Sunday, February 21, 2010

Here I Am

I hate packing! And I hate moving! But I always seem to find myself in these positions. Boxes, dust, too much crap, will it all fit? But while I'm sneezing and boxing and doing laundry this song keeps playing in my head:

I'm gonna live and live now, get what I want - I know how.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Triple Letter Score

Wednesday night and the online scrabble is HOT! Competition is FIERCE! It's 9:15 and I am already TIRED!! YES! I am 24!! Believe it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hotel. Motel. Holiday Innnnnnn!

Kamel flew into Seattle on tuesday night (after waiting and waiting and waiting for him all day long with really nothing to do) for business: a conference hosted by microsoft called Gamefest. A nerd emporium! Except, unlike comic-con the fans were not made aware - an industry only thing. The thing is - it makes little difference when the people who make the games are also major fans themselves. Anyhoo - Kamel's company put him up at the Grand Hyatt downtown from tuesday - friday and I got to stay too! I went into this thinking Glamor! Room Service! Giant bed! Quicker commute to work! And it kind of was all that ... and more.

The more part was living out of a suitcase! Air conditioning that gave me migraines! The inconvenience of not having my own toiletries! Having the breakfast room service door tag slip off when we closed the door and shoot back into our rooms without us noticing until 10 minutes before I had to leave for work!

It definitely wasn't all anti-climactic and disappointing. There was a fabulous bathtub and a floor to ceiling window with a view of capital hill, the location was awesome when I wasn't exhausted from work, and of course there was a tv. So watching the Today Show as I woke up in the king sized bed was a reality.

But staying in a hotel in the city you work and live in? Turns out it's pretty lame. Your mind is all "HOTEL!!! WE'RE ON VACATION!!!" But then the reality is that ... actually no... you still have to work and when you get home all you want to do - regardless of being downtown in a fancy hotel - is watch tv and sleep. Which feels like a waste. And setting your alarm while staying in a hotel seems incredibly counter productive! This whole thing just makes you MORE tired because your are having to constantly fight with the gap between reality and expectation. "This will be great!" turns into "But you still have to work!" turns into "And set your alarm!" clashes with "But we're in a hotel! Downtown! This FEELS like it should be vacation!" Crash, burn, lumpy pillows, lauren goes to work with migraine and then all she wants to do is nap.

But the bathtub was fabulous.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Waking up next to Kamel with fog outside and rain still on the windows. After making me laugh so hard I have to cover my face with the comforter so as not to wake claire - something about a dream he had about his knee growing a belly button - we sit up in bed and surf the internet on separate laptops. His feet still in socks, keep my little naked ones warm. Our elbows touch. He sometimes steals kisses and tells me how lucky he is, how beautiful I am, how he loves my big hair in the morning. He laughs at the crumbs still on my sweatshirt from my plain waffle and then laughs more as I pick the crumbs off and eat them. I read mommy blogs and he researches building his own computer. He smells like trees and hair gel. I love the way his undershirt feels against my cheek.

I am lucky.

Happy Valentines.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Seattle to San Francisco and Back Again

Here is the news: I'm moving back to San Francisco. Some people - including grad school friends - were all "about time!" and other people were all "WHY?!" And here is my explanation... It all has to do with hindsight my friends. Hindsight is funny because in the moment it means nothing. When you are making decisions it is no where to be found it is only AFTER you've spent thousands moving, spent time and stress trying to re-establish yourself in a new apartment, different city, different job, that hindsight is all "dude, you messed that up."

I've never really made a mistake in the process of my life before. I look back on decisions I've made, things I've done and sometimes I think "If I were to do that over again this is what I'd do", but most things happen for a reason, and it all works out in the end, right? I guess in your early twenties those two cliches become a mantra. This time, though, I feel like I did make a mistake. It's not unfixable, it's not the end of the world, but I'm calling it how I see it.

Here's what happened: I wanted to take a break from scrambling for what I wanted, from filling out applications, from running the race. My last semester/year of grad school I was exhausted from working full time and going to school full time. Exhausted through every cell in my body. Eternally tired. You get the idea. So I decided to not fill out all those applications all over the country for composition professors and to move home, get a food service job and write. I wanted to focus on being a writer and publish. Well it didn't exactly work out that way. Writing didn't happen like I thought it would for various reasons (no desk, no space, no motivation, and again that tired thing), I ended up working long hours in a very physical way which made my days off about scrambling to get my life errands done and trying to work out a routine that took 6 months to only 1/2 figure out. Plus I was just becoming more and more broke with the threat of my expensive loan looming in the future. Future meaning due in March. Realizing that I needed to get a job that paid more I started hunting on craigslist, on company's websites, etc etc. Nothing I saw inspired me. I want to use my education, I want to do something I'm interested in, passionate about, something relevant to what I know and how I am. And the best I could do in seattle was an admin at an insurance company? To say the least there have been tears of frustration over this. There were very very few opportunities in the writing section of craigslist. Nothing really relevant. Blog from home? I already do that. Translate Japanese? No. So on a whim, just to see what other cities were like in this category, I checked out the writing section in San Francisco's craigslist. And the comparison had me floored. And mad at myself. Here is a side by side comparison:

Not only were there more jobs, they were relevant. Publishing, marketing, editing, the list goes on. I had a full on what the fuck have I done moment. Why wasn't I more patient after graduating? Why didn't I look around longer? I left a writing community, a support system of professors with connections, and apparently a wealth of job opportunities. So I'm moving back. I don't have all the answers and I'm lucky that I don't have children or real responsibilities so that I can make mistakes and fix them without a lot of repercussions. I'm moving without a job lined up - though I am applying all the time, and without a lot of money. But thankfully I have people there who will help me. And it's all an adventure, right? Take the plunge and see what happens. It's San Francisco - Take Two.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Back Fat

When I was in college - thinking I was journalism bound (Cs in my Intro class proved to convince me otherwise) I applied for an editorial position at the newspaper I eventually became a copy editor for. Phew! Did you get through that sentence? Anyways - my sample piece for the editorial application was about the women on campus not wearing the correct size of pants. Of anything, really. I didn't know that editorials had to be based on some sort of research so what I turned in was basically a large, hilariously ranting blog entry. I didn't even know what a blog was at that point. Wrong audience is what I'm saying. I wish I had it on this computer but I don't know where it went. All I remember for it is the phrase "Cascading back fat" and that everyone I showed it to thought it was really funny and really spot on because holy jesus people! Pull your two sizes too small jeans up and OVER the love handles, don't just pinch them out creating the well described muffin top!

Fast forward 6 years later and I'm at work la di da, doing my thing when Maris texts me "You would not BELIEVE the back fat spilling out of the girl's shirt in front of me."

I have to admit (because I am now older and gentler) my first thought was "oh come ON maris, it can't be that bad, stop being so judgmental!" I did. I had that thought. And I went about my busy food service, bakery ways. And then a few minutes later, that crafty maris sends me a picture text. I think my mouth actually hit the counter. I think the entire room heard my intake of breath. I'm pretty sure I started laughing immediately and not more than twenty seconds later went running to the back to show my co worker because ladies and gentlemen this is no ordinary back fat scenario.

My first response was "It's like a BREAST is attached to her back!" my next response "WHY DOESN'T SOMEONE TELL HER NEVER TO WEAR THAT SHIRT EVER AGAIN!"

I have been called insensitive and judgmental, yes. But sometimes you just have to laugh at the ridiculousness of life, the human body, and lumps of fat that resemble boobs on someone elses back. Otherwise, is life really worth living?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Granola Eating Hippy

Kamel has netflix. And with his subscription he gets the netflix streaming online thingy where you can watch movies and television shows that aren't the latest and greatest without waiting for them to arrive in the mail. You can also manage your account, etc. I routinely use his log in name to watch back episodes of 30 rock, random documentaries and Margaret Cho stand up... and then "accidentally" add movies and television shows to his queue. But that's beside the point. In the last month I have watched two documentaries that have drastically turned me into a tree hugging (i don't really like to touch nature), tie die wearing (lie), Birkenstock loving (not really, that's claire... and maris's boyfriend), wool sock knitting (me knit? Please), granola eating (Mmm...) hippy.

When I was in college everyone thought because I came from Seattle I was a full on member of greenpeace and peta and all CRAZY liberal (loving the gays, baby killing, etc). This was surprising to me because a) Isn't EVERYONE like that?! and b) I wasn't extreme in any way. I wasn't going to disrupt traffic to save a whale, is what I'm saying. And I'm still not going to. But here is what I have changed my tune about: I want to try and avoid having my future babies in a hospital if I can (meaning no drugs, no suctions, and no flat on my back deliveries), and I am no longer eating meat if I don't know exactly where it has come from.

A few weeks ago I watched the Business Of Being Born and I was expecting to make fun of it. I mean it has Ricki Lake in the credits for crying out loud. How silly is that? But then it turned out to be really balanced and to make a lot of sense as to why natural birth, home birth, and/or birthing centers work for some people, and in some cases are healthier ways of having babies. I believe in doctors, in check ups, in science and technology, but I also believe in trusting and listening to my body, in experiencing life in a spiritual way, and in doing what makes sense for you, the individual. Nothing drives me crazier than people who want to preach about what EVERYONE should be doing and the choices EVERYONE should be making. I'm never going to scream in your face that you should be eating organic, or riding your bike to work. But I do think everyone should be better educated so the choices they make are rooted somewhere besides "that's how everyone does it". Anyways, I never thought I would ever say I want anything but a sterile, ordinary labor/delivery experience. But I do. Also - if you could check back with me in ten years to see how that one worked out, that would be great. Seeing as I have no pregnancy in my immediate future.

The other documentary that had me writhing with anxiety over the ammonia additives being blended into 80% of the hamburger sold in the United States = Food Inc. (Which is actually nominated for an oscar this year. Hooray!) Bottom line is: Food is important. It keeps us alive, it can make us sick, it can kill us. Anyone sitting through a food handlers permit class knows this and rolls there eyes. It's not just about "Do not place your hands on ready to eat food!", it's about how our society is generating mass amounts of meat, poultry, and corn and how making food part of our industrialized society is hurting the individual. You'll have to watch it to get all the nitty gritty - and let me tell you this is not one of those graphic slaughterhouse movies. Lord knows I wouldn't go ten feet towards one. Bleck. And again, this is a personal choice. I don't mind paying more for animal products, I don't mind eating them less (actually - health wise we should all be eating less meat), and I will never ever be a vegetarian because I believe humans are supposed to eat meat, but I want to know where mine comes from, and I don't want it to come from a huge factory. I wrote a blog a few years ago about watching this guy at one of those walk up-mall type mexican places make my food. And how he was angrily and violently throwing my chicken and lettuce together and how I KNEW he didn't want to be there and I KNEW he hated his job, but um... excuse me, that's my food you are hating on, and could you at least be nice to it? And that's exactly how I feel about my choice to pay attention to where my meat products come from. I don't want to eat stuff that's treated badly.

And could this post get any more touchy feely? Gross. It's Superbowl Sunday! Now off to eat my weight in nachos.