Yes. You read that title right. This weekend was … SEATTLE.
I’m tired and if I don’t go to bed now … well I’ll already have less than six hours of sleep at this point but maybe I can have more than five. I wrote down thoughts on Saturday and Sunday, thank god because right now I can’t really remember what I did Saturday. I basically tried to cram in everything I loved about Seattle into a weekend and it feels like I’ve been gone for a week when it’s only been three days.
– Paseo sandwich!
– Staying with Antoinette and being able to experience a mere three days of her crazy life
– New lantern!
– Thai Tom
– Brunch at Revel, the restaurant Antoinette works at
– Driving back and forth across bridges for no reason other than to listen to c89.5
– Running around Greenlake when I would have otherwise been working in Moraga
Will update later. One of these days … when I’m not bogged down with work.
– Not having the stomach capacity to eat more food
– Failing to bring back food for lunch tomorrow
– Discovering the house I lived in last year is now for sale
– Not impulsively staying permanently in Seattle
Listening to: The Wanted – Glad You Came (Alex Gaudino remix)
I wrote most of the following on scratch paper each night. The italics are afterthoughts…
Written on the couch Friday night before falling asleep
I’m in Seattle! Yes this is another one of Mel’s Random Ass Adventures. I booked the flights back in May when Southwest was having a sale. $202 to come roundtrip! Then another $105 for a rental car and $19.73 to pay for gas. 3 days – I took the Monday off. I’m staying at Antoinette’s, who I met while roadtripping in US, specifically, Ohio. In my brief stay there, she mentioned possibly moving to Seattle, but when I was there last year, she hadn’t moved yet. Now she lives in Greenwood and I am paying her a visit! And who are we kidding – I’m also paying Paseo, Molly Moon and Salumi a visit too. I ended up not eating Molly Moon or Salumi *cries*
It’s weird how much Seattle feels like home. My GPS was having difficulty locating satellites so I just hopped on the freeway and drove. I wouldn’t even know how to get around San Jose without guidance, but here I was like – ok. Greeenwood. I-5 North. Go.
I made it home from work on Friday with 20 minutes to pack. After I’d decided I was pretty much done with packing, I got an email saying my flight had been delayed by 45 minutes. Well then! Relaxed a little and reconsidered my clothing choices. Then my housemate Jessica took me to the airport. Thank god for non-auditing friends who are regularly home before 5! God I’m exhausted but I want to write while I have my “I’m in freaking Seattle!” euphoria.
So many things went wrong today
1) In my mad rush to the airport, left my laptop bag (and thus, my laptop, scratch paper, and book) at home
2) In my mad rush to get through check-in, left my bag of salad by the Southwest luggage check-in terminal
3) While trying to kill time and reading a tourbook about Seattle, nearly missed boarding for the plane and ended up lining up with the tailend of the B section and could not sit window
4) Rental car fiasco, which requires subsections
a) Forgot that I had reserved under National Car Rental not Enterprise and,
b) Waited for the Enterprise shuttle to take me to their off-site location and then,
c) Discovered that I had not only gone to the wrong company, but I had reserved under my dad’s name, not my own so,
d) Took the shuttle back to the airport and walked around the huge parking level in search of the National terminal, then
e) Spent the next hour trying to change my reservation to my name or creating a new reservation, including
f) Calling my brother, only to find that his internet was out so he couldn’t help me,
g) Calling my parents to ask what my dad’s employee ID number was, only causing my mom to freak out and,
h) Continue to call me back to make sure that I was ok, when I did not have time for any of that and
i) Calling the VIP number to make a new reservation, only to find out that he could not give me the employee discount via the number I had called, so he made me a completely new reservation which,
j) Never came through the database.
But in the end, all of these were outweighed by the fact that I am in SEATTLE!!!
I think my super chipper mood made all three rental car company employees not mind helping me out. Either that, or people in Seattle are just plain awesome. Clarence, the guy who helped me the longest, was super nice, and in between us just waiting for something to happen I’d be like “… SO! How is YOUR night going?!” and any time anyone asked me “what are you in Seattle for?” I would respond “FOR FUN. I LOVE Seattle. I’m going to move here one day!” By the end of the night, I had spoken to 1) the Enterprise employee, 2) the Enterprise shuttle driver 3) an Enterprise employee sitting on the shuttle, 4) Clarence, and 5) the man who had to check my documentation before I left the airport parking, and told them all about how much I love Seattle.
In the end, Clarence managed to keep my dad’s employee discount rate AND waive my Under 25 fee AND waive the cost of insurance and it ended up being even cheaper than my initial reservation. While profusely thanking him he was like “I’m going to make your night even better” and said I could take my choice of any car, even though I’d requested and paid for a Compact.
Unfortunately, I didn’t see any Lamborghini’s or Aston Martins on hand … I ended up choosing a VW CC
I think it looks like a ripoff of the CLK
I had ended up taking nearly two hours just to get this rental car so once I finally got the keys, I just started up the car (with help from Clarence) and started driving. I was about 30 seconds out of the airport parking lot before realizing that my GPS had not yet located where I was (SOOOOO weird to have to change the GPS to search within a new state – haven’t done that in months!), nor had I figured out how to turn on the lights on my dashboard so I couldn’t see how fast I was going, nor had I figured out how to turn on the AC and it was kind of humid, nor did I know how to use the blinkers, nor had I figured out how to turn on the radio. Of course, first priority: radio. Figured out how to get to C89.5 and figured that I could suffer a few minutes without AC and that I didn’t REALLY need to know how fast I was going…
The car is way too advanced for me – I drive a Corolla that doesn’t have power locks or windows. This was the kind of car without a turn ignition … I never figured out where the emergency parking brake was in those three days … I didn’t even know how to adjust the side mirrors but luckily they were already positioned well. In my attempt to turn on the AC, I ended up hitting the seat warmer, and realized that my legs were getting SUPER WARM. I fiddled around and tried to drive without really touching my legs on the seat. What a freaking shitshow.
Well, I finally found my way to Greenwood, then was very confused because I walked into to the wrong apartment complex. FINALLY found the right one … and YAY!!!
Written on the couch on Saturday night right before I fell asleep
As many of my blogs are, I am writing this while feeling very exhausted. Except, unlike the usual exhaustion of a 9 hr workday combined with a 2 hr roundtrip commute, today’s exhaustion stems from exploration and constant exposure to sun. My Moraga client has unfortunately trained me to wake up at 6am, which is what happened this morning. I stayed in “bed” read: couch until 8am, then got ready for brunch with Antoinette at Glo’s in Capitol Hill. People in Capitol Hill don’t start waking up until afternoon, so parking was easy to find. Capitol Hill, per Antoinette, used to be very clearly the gay part of Seattle, but now it’s less of a “gayboy” area and more of a hipster area. Which I think is a similar situation to most major cities with a gay enclave.
Brunch was yum and somehow made both me and Antoinette incredibly full for the rest of the day. We split an omelette and coffee cake so I have no idea what made it so filling. After this, we drove to U District, and it was so weird to feel so … normal walking down the Ave. Today did not feel like I was visiting a city at all – I feel way more familiar here than when I go back to SoCal, and all of Bay Area feels foreign to me all the time. I met Antoinette’s friend Karen at the farmer’s market. It was unfortunately warm in Seattle – 80! We ended up going to a cafe and just sitting around, chatting, avoiding the sun, and enjoying the AC. Which was a perfect change from my previous experience of going to cafes just to do work.
Around 2 we drove back to Greenwood to decide what to do next. I was feeling really wishy washy and didn’t know what to do next, since my plans to walk around neighborhoods was made a little less appealing due to the sun. Finally, I decided Antoinette should drive me to Queen Anne and I would walk around myself and cross the 99 bridge and rejoin her for dinner. So I got dropped off near Kerry Park, walked around the Upper Queen Anne and Queen Anne Ave which houses Queen Anne Books and El Diablo Coffee, before crossing over to Fremont. I made the mistake of blindly following my GPS, and I kept thinking “that’s odd … the bridge I want to cross is over there but the GPS wants me to go here?” and I didn’t realize until too late that my GPS had led me to the less interesting Fremont Bridge. I could very clearly see the 99 bridge though, so I just found the steepest hill to climb up and figured I’d be led to the bridge. When I was in Seattle last year, the east side of the bridge was closed off for repairs, which made me really sad because the east side has the better view. But this time I got the bridge all to myself! East side is better because you can see Downtown, Gas Works Park, U-District area, whereas west side you see just a lot of shipping cargo and Fremont and Ballard, which is not too gorgeous.
Antoinette picked me up and we drove the Paseo’s second location by Golden Gardens, which thankfully had not yet run out of sandwiches. If we had gone to the normal Fremont location, I don’t think they have any sandwich bread left by 6pm on a Saturday. We attempted to find parking at Golden Gardens but I guess the sun drove all of Seattle out to the beach, so we decided to drive to the more secluded but just as gorgeous Carkeek Park, which was the first Seattle park/destination I had ever gone to. We ate our sandwiches on the beach, talked, then finally packed up when the last rays of light were leaving.
I just got incredibly distracted and spent thirty minutes cleaning out the dust under my laptop keys. Feeling accomplished!
We sat in the car and Antoinette started driving before we realized we had not actually agreed on a destination. I asked if she would mind just driving … around … and she was like “sure where to?” and I was like “um … let’s just go across the bridges and freeways” so she drove me down the 5 and back. HAHA Every time I drive down the 5 there, I really want to stare out the window, but I had never been the passenger so I couldn’t. Along the way, I ended up hearing the amazing story of the time Antoinette ended up driving her drunk date’s car and picked up a pimp and a few of his hoes at a gas station and dropped them off at a party. Surprisingly, that entire sentence was literal. Then we went to Gas Works Park for a night-time view but I stupidly forgot to bring my camera from the car. I don’t think it could capture even a fraction of what you see in real life though, so it’s just as well. Then we went back home and agreed that even though it was only 11:30 or so, we were both exhausted and ready for bed
Written in a cafe late Sunday night
Now it’s Sunday. But my weekend is not yet over. Craziness! Yet also – exhaustion. Sitting at Trabant now, I sort of just walked onto a random street off the Ave and would like to think that something in my subconscious led me to one of the few cafes open until midnight, but that’s highly doubtful. I came here last year and they’re known for their chais but I got a chai the last time I was here and tonight I really feel like a mocha. I got an Omanhene mocha which I think means “mocha made of Ghana dark chocolate”
Once again, I woke up at 6:10 am today, but was very happy to think “fuck that!” and continue sleeping. When I finally got up, it was gloriously misty and overcast. Alas, the sun burned through the marine layer by 10am.
Antoinette took me to Revel where she works and it was AMAZING. Seattle is a city that seems to wake up later, kind of like LA. She introduced me to the chefs and people working there and they gave us a ton of comp food that left me holding my stomach in fullness for about two hours after. The restaurant itself was very cool looking, like exposed industrial feel with an really cool open kitchen bar that we sat at. Some of the food we got:
Everything was amazingggg. I was skeptical about the pudding but that ended up being one of my favorites that I really want to learn how to make.
I left to go to Ballard’s Farmers Market while Antoinette worked. Spent the next two hours thinking I was going to implode.
So right now it’s 10:45pm and I am at a window seat looking out at a rather isolate street with cars and buses zooming by and it’s all oddly calming.
I had the next few hours to myself so I just hit all the little things I missed about Seattle but would not want to drag people to: the farmer’s market, the Ballard library, walking around aimlessly… I checked out Stone Gardens climbing gym, which is one of very few indoor climbing gyms in Seattle. I was kind of disappointed in it: PG is much better and the routes are clearer and I think more appropriately graded. Whenever I leave the Bay Area, that will be one of the few things I actually miss … good and numerous climbing gyms. I stuck it out at the gym for a while before I finally accepted that I was only staying there to get my $17 day fees worth, when there were so many other things to do. So I jumped in the car and headed to Alki Beach, hoping to browse Easy Street Records but that ended up being a disaster because I think they were loading trucks at the port so they stop traffic and after sitting without moving for six minutes, I just turned the car around and headed back across the 5. I made a VERY brief stop at University Village. It would have been nice to shop longer, but I just popped into Ravenna Gardens, found another awesome lantern and bought it. YAY LANTENRS!!!
I knew I had to be back at Antoinette’s by 4:30 and I made it there at like 4:22 and ran up the stairs and was like “I JUST NEED TO CHANGE” and, done. We headed to Capitol Hill and picked up her friend Kate and then went to get food at Marination Station which is like a Korean/Hawaiian mix. Although we went to the restaurant, apparently the food truck was voted best food truck in the nation by Good Morning America. Or so their site says. It was really good – I got two tacos (Kalbi and Tofu), Spam slider, and macaroni salad. Then we headed to the KeyArena to watch a Seattle Storm WNBA basketball game. I had to warn them beforehand “I may look like I am having the most miserable time of my life, but that’s just my face when I am in huge crowds.”
The game went by wayyy faster than any other sports game I’ve been to, so that was nice. I’m thinking WNBA games have shorter quarters than NBA. Also, I keep writing NBC instead of NBA. Probably because I type NBC way more than I have ever typed NBA.
After the game we drove around, found a good view of the sunset near Ray’s, some stuffy looking restaurant that looks like it’s only good for the view and not for the food, then to Safeway for random groceries, then back to Antoinette’s. I decided I wanted to sit in a cafe so I drove off and here I am.
After the cafe I decided to just drive around Seattle at night and listen to c89.5 so I drove to Alki Beach and stared at the view then back.
This I’m writing from memory on this Sunday afternoon, which is basically a week after it happened. My strongest memory of Monday is running around Greenlake at 9am in the morning and feeling like life was complete again and feeling awesome because instead of sitting and working in Moraga, I was in my favorite everyday place in Seattle. The next Tuesday when I was back at work felt like a VERY long day. So yeah, I ran/walked two laps around Greenlake which is where I used to live. Walked around random streets of Greenwood and then walked back to my old house and was REALLY sad to find out that it was for sale! I definitely want to live in Greenlake/Greenwood/Phinney Ridge when I find a house here, but I don’t want a 4 bedroom, which is what that house was. I later talked to my mom about it and was like “I don’t want it though – I want a 2 bedroom” and she said “2 bedroom is too small! Where am I going to sleep when I visit? You need a 3 bedroom” *rolls eyes*
I told Amy the same yesterday when I went over to her house and she looked it up on this site that I think I am going to get very addicted to. So this is my house. Currently selling for $494K. I don’t think I want to buy a house in Seattle for more than $400K.
Anyway … after that I went to Gas Works Park and since it was a Monday, I was only one of a handful of people there. I could sit there all day long but finally decided to move on and went to downtown Seattle to get a sandwich from Salumi…
BUT they were closed! Devastated. Driving into downtown Seattle for a sandwich is like me driving into downtown SF on the weekday for a quick bite. Kind of dumb. But I’d paid for my metered parking already so I just wandered around Pioneer Square and made it back at the exact minute my time expired. Woot. Since Paseo was closed on Mondays as well (I would have totally wanted another sandwich) I decided to go to University District for Thai Tom. I got takeout and brought it back to Antoinette where we had a very nice and relaxing takeout lunch in her living room. I asked to use her computer to check-in to my flight and saw that she had Joy the Baker’s site up and was like “oh I love reading her blog too!” and she stared at me and was like “funny thing … Joy the Baker is Lauren’s sister” (Lauren is one of her friends who I unfortunately did not meet this weekend). I was like “WHAT?! OMG! SHE’S Joy the Baker’s sister?!?! OMG She is the reason Joy the Baker goes to Seattle! THIS IS ALL MAKING SENSE NOW” and I spent the next few hours, and possibly the next day, being very amazed at how small the world is sometimes.
In an effort to skip horrendous Seattle traffic, I left really early to the airport … TOO early. I had like more than an hour of free time to kill. Wah. But oh well, I wandered around the airport for a very long time before finally boarding. Magically got a window seat despite being in the B section (yay!) and basically stared out the window for two hours. Almost cried when the pilot said “welcome to San Jose!” and then Laura picked me up and then here I am back in South Bay.
Listening to: Skylar Gray – Invisible (Dirty South remix)
AGH I have a tummy again! I used to be very pleased with my stomach size but ever since Peru I have been in the mindset of “I can eat everything and anything I want because I will be going on a five hour hike today!” My mind has not yet realized that the only exercise I get is me walking to and from my car. GAH.
I am starting to feel exhausted, only today was a good day unlike the others before it. Well, I have come to realize that a “good work day” generally means a day when you didn’t do ANY work at all. Today we had training at 8am in SF, so I set my alarm for 5:45. I ended up waking up at 4:50 and thought it would be a great idea to finally upload Peru pics to facebook. Did that for a little bit before I had to drive over to Amy’s.
I am practically next door neighbors with Amy. HAHA I have never been inside her house before though. She lives in one of those huge complexes where everything looks the same. I ended up getting there 20 minutes early but got completely lost inside her maze of a complex and we ended up actually leaving about 10 minutes later than we planned.
This did not matter because Amy drives CRAZILY and got us into SF with much time to spare. By crazily, I mean, very well and I love it and just laugh when she does something kind of dangerous because I don’t actually feel in danger. Julie and Julia, who are both very cautious drivers, do not have the same sentiment.
So training happened. I love the fact that I can go to company meetings/trainings/events and it’s like a reunion where I can talk to all these people who aren’t normally on my teams. One day, who knows when, I will end up leaving my company and I will feel really sad to not work with these people anymore (unless they leave me first, which is very likely).
After training, we then drove to the all hands meeting, which was brilliantly planned to be in Fremont *rolls eyes* Well at least I wasn’t the one driving in a huge ass circle around the Bay Area. So that was to start at noon or something. We got there and everyone there was in tax, BAS or admin … since everyone in audit was coming from client sites. Sat through some presentations … had yummy guac afterwards … it was too hot for me to feel like drinking … played foosball …
Left around 5pm and dropped Julie off at her car. Then we went to Safeway and got some groceries and then watched Amy cook us dinner! I met her husband and finally got to go into her house for the first time. After the grand tour I said to her “AMY I feel really sad right now … your house is so cute and you make me want to be married and now I just realize how single I am” and she was like “OMG I’m going to cry!” and then we hugged in her kitchen. HAHAA The light in her living room hits really well upon her white walls, and it’s lived in but not very cluttered. Her kitchen is filled with NICE things. Like, a garlic press and everything! Her husband was tending to their balcony garden and brought back this container of grape tomatoes that they grow. The flower he had on his tux on their wedding day is taped up to the wall and I was like OMGGGGG SO CUTE. Oh sigh. HAHA
We made roast chicken, and roasted mushrooms/brussel sprouts/leek, and hummus. SO GOOD. Although I kind of got full off the hummus before the rest of dinner was even served.
Somehow ended up leaving at like 10pm after a failed attempt to go to Pinkberry for dessert. Now I am waiting for my laundry … and then I REALLY should be sleeping … but whatever.
THINGS I WISH I HAD SAID IN THE PAST TWO DAYS (in italics)
DAF: omg I JUST finished my expense report
me: oh wow. how long did that take you?
me: wow. don’t forget to take that time out on your form 1, just like you told us
DAF: oh, I don’t charge that time
me: you don’t? How many hours do you charge in a day then? Four?
*At the presentation today*
Events person: And we will be having our annual Dress for Success event in the upcoming months. We’ll be going to Nordstrom’s together and a consultant will give us tips on professional attire
me: based on my current salary … can we change this from Nordstrom’s to Nordstrom’s Rack … or Ross?
Alas, it did not occur to me until after the moment had passed. Too bad.
Edit: I just got an email from Amy and we completely forgot that we had made quinoa! Wah.
Went to bed at 1:40. Set my alarm for 6:15. Snoozed until 6:25. It’s now 6:36. I now have 9 minutes to dress and eat a breakfast before I’d be late for work.
This is life for the next three weeks.
I’ve noticed that when I’m on farther clients, I start a dance music phase. So … dance music! I don’t even have the time to make this into a playlist.
It’s 12:24. I had wanted to sleep at 10:30. Not sure what happened. Well, I decided to try and close out any open items for this one client, that’s what happened. So there’s that. I’m going to try to write this blog in six minutes
This was supposed to be my “catch up” weekend in August. Which meant, this was the one weekend in August when I would be staying in South Bay … so I wanted to watch tv and read and do errands. Instead, I have six hours of sleep before I have to wake up and drive to fucking Moraga (I have now determined that every time I ever say Moraga, it must be prefaced by the word fucking) and I am not certain if I have enough clean underwear to last me through the weekend.
The past workweek was a good lesson for me. One, people REALLY like to gossip at work. I can’t tell if word about someone quitting or word about discontent at a client travels faster. I now realize how careful about what I say and to who. Two, in order to bring up a complaint, you REALLY have to back it up with good performance. Thankfully for me, I did ok in evaluations, so most people’s reactions to my complaints have been along the lines of, whoa if Melissa is unhappy and feels a need to voice complaints, it must be REALLY bad.
Let’s see. Thursday I ate dinner with Pooja in South Bay. Surprisingly good food! Again – every time I go out to eat in the South Bay, I am amazed by how good the food is. But I still am not compelled to actively search for restaurants. Things are just too spread out here.
Damn it’s 12:29. Ok I guess I’ll be sleeping at like … 12:35.
Well yes, ate with Pooja, caught up with her. Then I called Amy to check what she was up to and found that by pure coincidence (I had not told her where Pooja and I were eating) she and Julia were literally across the street at Best Buy. So I made Pooja drive over, despite the fact that she had her fuel light on for the last 25 miles. HAHA So YAY reunion in a Best Buy…
Friday I ate lunch with a partner. OMG SCOTTS AHI TUNA SALAD was AMAZING. Love ittttt and now spoiled.
I had gone into the office that morning so I could do the lunch. So I basically left for my Redwood City client at 2pm. ZOOMED down the freeway – best commute ever. I wish I could regularly just drive to a client at really off hours, like 10am or 2pm. I then left at 4:30 because Amy told me she wanted to eat dinner in Santa Clara at 5 and I was like UH I AM REDWOOD CITY for me to arrive at 5 I have to have left 10 minutes ago.
I made it to Santa Clara at 5:10. Pretty good time! I then watched HP7 part 2 for the second time with Julia, Amy and Jenny (a manager I have never worked with before). It appears I mainly ever hang out with the few Asian people in my office, which I find rather strange.
HP7 part 2 was way better the second time, being NOT in 3d.
SATURDAY. AGH IT’S 12:25!
I went to get a physical. FINALLY. Probably means nothing to you guys but this is like, a huge accomplishment for me to have FINALLY made time to go to the doctor. For any female who has not had a physical before, I would suggest looking up what a pap smear is, lest you be unpleasantly surprised.
I then had to race over to Rockridge where I had a coffee chat with someone from work. It was for work purposes, but afterwards we spent a long time talking about whatever. The first time I worked with this person, I told Julia “I WANT TO BE HER BEST FRIEND.” I find her just plain awesome.
Then I listened to my voicemail and found out that Kristen was about four blocks away from me! So I walked over … she went to get her hair cut, I ate Ici’s, then we walked to her car and then to an eyebrow place, then we decided to do work together at Crepevine. Yay … Saturday! Actually, I don’t mind working on the weekends, as long as it’s in a cafe. I don’t believe it’s really work if 1) I’m in a cafe, 2) I’m with friends who are also working, or 3) I’m drinking while working.
She left before me – I did a little more, then hit my favorite Berkeley things: filling up at the Arco on Telegraph, walking down 4th St, running in Edwards Track, visiting Jon, and eating something delicious. Unfortunately, most shops on 4th St were closed, Edwards was closed, and Jon was working. But oh well. I ate a hoagie. It was delicious.
Got home and just passed out, so exhausted.
Woke up, drove to SF, hiked Land’s End with Kristen (WOOT WOOT), had Jamba Juice and Azuzmandi (I don’t have time to look up the correct spelling – it’s 12:42!!!), went rock climbing, then ate dinner with Anna at 6:30 at Ju-Ku in Richmond. We ended up talking until 9:30. HAHA If you don’t remember, or maybe I never said, she is one of my ex-co workers who has now moved onto bigger and better. Food was crazy good, although all my food turned cold because I kept talking for all of dinner. The hike was fun. As all things with Kristen are! I had always thought Land’s End was a really long trail and told Kristen this – but when we walked it, suddenly we were at Sutro Baths and we were both like WTF is that it. Ah well.
SO TIRED NIGHT Will post a picture of Land’s End later!
Today was a good Monday. I wish all of my weekdays could be modeled after today in some form. I got to work at a regular 9am. Went out for lunch. Got to leave just a little after 5pm. Went to the gym right after. Then on my way home I got a call from Amy and she ended up swinging by my house to pick me up and we went to Pinkberry together. Came home, found some new music (courtesty of C89.5 New Music Monday, which is quite possibly the happiest 1 hour of my life and one of very few things I look forward to regularly). Read a book and now researching my upcoming trip to “Chicago.”
Chicago is in quotes because I’m really going to St Charles for training. This is the same place I went to last year for my training as an A1. Now I’m an A2!!! And now I have friends so I can actually make an event out of it. I’m planning to take a later flight while Kathy takes an earlier flight (her training is after mine) and then we will meet up in Chicago airport and then begin our tour of the city. I only remember Millennium Park, Magnificent Mile, and Hyde Park. I want to find more cute neighborhoods to walk around in …. more random street art fairs … and MORE FOOD.
I want to wake up really early tomorrow but I imagine I will just end up doing what I did today – waking up and thinking fuck it and sleeping for another hour.
Listening to: Bon Iver Live!
There are a lot of things I want to do right now. Research Chicago. Read a book. Search for new music. But I’m tired and I don’t really want to do anything so instead I will … blog.
This weekend was fairly packed. That on top of the fact that I had one of my most tiring workweeks leaves me extremely exhausted at 9:20pm on a Sunday night. Although I usually complain that I have few friends in the Bay Area and don’t do very much, I think if I were to really count it up, I have an equal number of “I would like nothing more than to sit at home and do nothing and talk to no one” thoughts.
Because honestly, I spend every weekday sitting for at least 8.5 hours with someone. Someone I have to be polite to, whether I like them or not. Usually, every summer I would have a period of time to myself where I would just sit in my room and marathon a crap load of new shows to replenish the number of shows I’d watch in the fall. Now I don’t have that luxury of free time and I feel like I’m getting farther behind on good shows and good music. This must be how older people stop being hip and knowing what’s new in the world. They are too busy working.
Let’s see. I left off on Wednesday from my last entry. Thursday, our senior left to return to Reno (where he still currently lives) and the audit was left in the hands of four A2/A1s. Surprisingly, the world did not come crashing down. We were far more productive, far less stressed out, and thus far happier than in the days prior
OK. NEW OBSESSION. NPR’s Live in Concerts. I was streaming Bon Iver, then realized you can download the entire thing. So now I’m downloading Tegan & Sara, Local Natives, The Decemberists … by the time I finished this paragraph I had dled 15 different live sets. I feel like this is the same feeling I had when I first went into a library. All of this is … FREE?!?!?!?!
Well I started this blog at 9:20. Instead of choosing from any one of those above tems I wanted to do, I … completed a workpaper. Working on a weekend … The hope is that now my senior will not bother me for an entire week as I am on another client. That seems like an unlikely wish though.
Friday: Work actually ended at a reasonable 5:00 time. It was me, Marina and Kathy left in the audit room, and our senior manager was talking on the phone so we just sort of stuck around until she got off the phone. During this time, this happened
Me: I don’t want to leave so early though! I’ll just be stuck in traffic…
*conversation continues for several minutes*
Me: Hey! What are you guys up to tonight? Do you want to get drinks or anything?
At least, that was my take on it. Marina tells me later this is what ACTUALLY happened
Me: I don’t want to leave so early though! I’ll just be stuck in traffic…
Me: Hey what are you guys up to tonight? Do you want to get drinks or anything?
HAHA WELL what’s wrong with having MORE than ONE reason to hang out with people?! I enjoy their company just as much…
We ended up driving to Pyramids in Walnut Creek for happy hour. And it was a REAL happy hour – with appetizers and beers that all came out to a total of $12.50! This team and my year-end team is competing for my heart’s choice as “favorite team.” My year-end team (the one which I would later go to a wedding with) is just plain awesome from top to bottom. This team in Moraga is more like … there are a lot of people my level so I think it is just inherently more fun to be in.
OMG SKINNY LOVE just came up in the Bon Iver set. This night just reached perfection.
We wanted a cobbler from Pyramids but apparently they ran out so instead we just walked next door to SF Creamery. Walnut Creek is a rather cute place to walk around! I suggested weekly happy hours here, which they both seemed to agree with.
Then I drove back down to SJ around 8:30pm and raced to get to the Glee Live 9:50pm showing. I thought I’d have to compete with a large crowd of Glee fans for good seats. Laura and I walked in pretty late and found that there was practically no one there.
I don’t think the movie was terrible, but I wish it could have had a different format, like … the actors being themselves rather than their characters. I don’t care so much about the three fan vignettes but I guess cinematically it makes sense. The movie was in 3D, which seemed rather unnecessary, except it DID make Heather Morris’ performance of Slave 4 U far more compelling. I imagine it will be the lowest grossing film I will have ever watched in theaters…
Saturday morning: I was rather unproductive before finally dragging my ass to go to the farmer’s market with Laura’s sister, Jessica. For most other people, I would have called them and said “I’m so tired … can I cancel” but I know that if I had, she would never let me forget it. Well I’m glad I went because I bought delicious bolani and spreads and a pint of blood orange juice. YUM. $25 for a farmer’s market trip. I suppose that’s just as bad as if I were to shop at Whole Foods.
I drove to pick up Julia to begin our drive up to Sacramento for my manager/coach/friend’s wedding. It was during this trip when I found out my car’s AC is not working very well. It really only works consistently if I am driving 70+ mph. This of course is revealed to me as I am driving in 100 degree heat in Sacramento. We stayed at Lake Natoma Inn which was a fairly cute place. They had arranged a bus to take us from the hotel to the church to the reception and then back to the hotel. It was a relatively small wedding, and the first non-Asian and non-family wedding I’d been to. I almost fell asleep in the church portion of it. 5 other coworkers (and their SOs) went and I got to sit at a table with Julia, Julie, and Julie’s boyfriend. Higher up people sat in their own table of 8, which I’m thankful for because that allowed me to bitch bitch bitch for most of the dinner.
I liked the reception – delicious champagne, fun music … and a NORMAL AMOUNT of food. My only memories of weddings from my childhood is … endless banquets. I would basically feel full after the third dish came out … and then realize with horror that there was about 15 more dishes to come out and if I didn’t eat a little from each one, people would think I was rude. So YAY! I also got the waiter to bring me a second slice of cake. It was SO GOOD.
My favorite was when Kristen came over at the end of the night and asked if we had all danced. She looked at me and said “I’m sorry, I actually told the DJ that Britney Spears songs were not allowed.” I was like, HAHA it’s ok and when she found out that I had not danced yet, she VERY seriously asked “what is your favorite Britney song? I’ll have the DJ play it if that will make you go on the dance floor” and I was like “there is no song that would make me dance.” But I’m touched she would consider playing Britney just for me!
All in all, awesome wedding! It started to make me really think about what I’d want my wedding to look like, although that is getting ahead of myself …
Sunday morning: The summarized story of Sunday is – woke up, went shopping in the Folsom outlets (BR!), ate brunch in Tower Cafe (AMAZING!) in downtown Sacramento, then more shopping in the Vacaville outlets (met up with Kristen and David!), drove to Dublin so Julia could pick up food from her friend, Laura’s for a little bit, then back home.
Tower Cafe was delicious and cute. I highly recommend it if you are passing through Sacramento. I say that, having never eaten at any other Sacramento restaurant, so I’m not sure how it ranks. There is a really nice, shady outdoor area. We actually sat indoors, but that turned out to be just as fun of an experience. I’m guessing that the owner of the restaurant traveled to Brazil and Thailand because the walls were just covered from floor to ceiling with souvenir looking items. Food was good too – blueberry cornmeal pancakes! Which will be my meal tomorrow …
Um. Crap. It’s 11pm. I really should have done something more productive than sit and write a blog.
August is turning out pretty good! Between Julia and Amy, the rest of my year-end team, and now my Moraga team, I actually have a life. I actually go out and do things. I drink on the weekdays! It may be really tiring to go out after a day of work but totally worth it. Yay!
Also listening to: Dirty South & Thomas Gold – Alive
THIS IS A MORE PRESSING MATTER THAN THE MEMORIES BELOW: If you have an invitation to Spotify I will LOVE YOU FOREVER AND BUY A MEAL FOR YOU if you send it to me! That is all.
My body and mind are completely exhausted right now. I feel like if I shake my arms and legs hard enough, they could just fall off my body.
I’m not sure how much I can get through in this post today but I have the feeling that today of all days will be my most free this week, so I must blog now.
First things first: about two weeks ago my ipod suffered a fatal injury and I had to hear it die a slow death. Basically my little first gen ipod shuffle is like a USB stick, and the little metal part that sticks into the computer would sometimes fall off. For the past few years, I remedied this with some permanent glue, but the last time it broke off, I didn’t glue it immediately and it damaged the circuitry, so my computer would no longer recognize that something had been stuck into the port. This meant that all the songs were still on the ipod, but there was no way to recharge or change the songs. I rationed the remaining battery life over several days, allowing myself to only listen to songs while brushing my teeth in the morning. It finally died, the last song: Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man.
This week was been … crazy … workwise, kind of terrible and I now remember why I really wanted to quit months ago … otherwise actually quite fulfilling. As I said to Amy, it’s really exhausting to have a life outside of work. To which she added, “and expensive.” So true.
I have been running on a crazy sleep debt, and it’s not helped by the fact that every minute at work is a constant NEED TO GET SHIT DONE mode that just drains me. Monday morning I woke up at 3:30am in order to catch a 6:05am flight in LAX. Lesson learned of the day, that I will inevitably forget the next time I head to LAX: LAX IS FUCKING BUSY AT 5AM IN THE MORNING. Not the first time this has happened in my life, but when my dad pulled up to the Southwest dropoff zone and I saw three different lines coming from inside the terminal and extending to the outside sidewalk, I had a minor panic attack and resigned to the fact that I would probably miss my flight.
Here is the real lesson actually: PRINT OUT YOUR BOARDING PASS if you are going to LAX. There are a few times when I am in such a rush, I figure I can just print the boarding pass at the airport kiosk. At LAX though, you save at least 30 precious minutes by skipping past the line and heading into the check bags only line. This definitely saved me, because I only had about ten minutes to spare before catching my flight.
So yes – every time I go to LAX in the morning I think, WHY ARE THERE SO MANY PEOPLE HERE? I AM NEVER GOING TO MAKE IT. But amazingly, it actually IS possible to go through the lines within 45 minutes!
So. I had checked my schedule Friday afternoon to make sure I was unassigned Monday – thus Julia could pick me up from the airport and we could work from the office, then she would take me home and I would never have to worry about airport parking. Just out of curiosity, when I arrived at the SJ airport at 7:15am, I decided to check again. And that was when I found out that over the weekend I had been assigned (FOR THREE WEEKS in August) to my most hated client and I was supposed to be there that day. I discovered this about five seconds before Julia called to say she was on her way to pick me up, so she and several other people around me in the airport terminal heard me go “OMG JULIA! Guess where I have been scheduled. FUCKING _______! What the FUCK! SHIT”
Well Julia picked me up and I went to the office with her to see if I could get my senior to let me work remotely. No cookie. So after eating some SD brunch leftovers, I took a taxi from the office to my house at the oh so reasonable cost of $35. Running that shit through! Then I set off for Moraga at 9am…
The thing about this engagement is that it is already kind of terrible to begin with, but I think it is made worse by so many other factors that are internal to our company that it is just … really fucking terrible. I have never seen such terrible morale on a team ever, not even close. Unfortunately, I think by the time I have my next coaching meeting, I will have rolled off and the painful memory of this client would be foggy and I will completely forget to voice my complaints and concerns and shit will just continue on.
While I dislike the engagement, I actually really like this team and it was the fastest I have ever bonded with a team. I guess a shared hatred for something really brings people together. I think there are mainly three ways people ever become friends: 1) you are stuck with someone for so long that you inevitably find something likable about them, 2) shared interest in something, 3) shared hatred in something. This was definitely an example of the third.
Anyway. Monday night I got home and around 9:30 ended up going out with my housemates to a pretty cool Japanese/Korean tapas place on El Camino. I was looking around all the restaurants passing me by, and that’s when I realized, hey there are actually some pretty cool looking restaurants here! That day I really appreciated living in a house with such cool and nice and relatively young people. We got … sake and Sapporo, fried cheese mochi, sea urchin in poached egg, pork belly salad and rice ball with salmon. Conversation topic of the night was Caryn asking me questions where my answers would somehow reveal something about my personality. Like … “there is a field of strawberries that belongs to a farm. There is a fence that surrounds the strawberries. Would you cross it? What does the fence look like? How many strawberries would you take? You are caught, what do you say? The farmer is pretty pissed, what would you do? How guilty would you feel about it afterwards?” If you can’t tell, the strawberries are a metaphor for cheating.
So that is how I ended up sleeping at 2am on a Monday, and I went to bed having a slight headache from the alcohol. I think I may be allergic to sea urchin because I totally broke out in hives.
TUESDAY. More work. After work, Amy Julia and I had decided we would have pizza mojito Harry Potter night. So I drove to Safeway so I could buy some desserts and ended up running into Amy who was also there to pick up things for the night. We settled on mimosas instead of mojitos (my doing, clearly) and getting Ben and Jerrys Red Velvet. This is our conversation as we look at champagne for our mimosas:
Amy: You can choose
Me: Well I’ve never had any other champagne besides Korbel … is that ok?
Amy: … let’s move up a few dollars.
So we arrived at Julia’s and had an awesome work bitchfest and then Harry Potter, which I of course napped through half. Then we ended up leaving around 12:30…
Oh yes. So normally sleeping at 1:30 is not that late. But normally I wake up at 8am. For this client I wake up at 6am because 1) it’s an hour away and 2) we start at 8am. Death.
Wednesday our team was supposed to have happy hour in Walnut Creek (or as Kathy calls it, Dub C) but we pushed it to possibly tomorrow. So maybe that will happen. Friday I think I’m watching Glee Live. Saturday and Sunday I’m going to a wedding in Sacramento and REALLY have to research what I want to do while I’m up there before then. And … make sure I have appropriate wedding attire.
Actually I’m tired. Will do that later.
Well ok. I’ll try. I’m going to regret this greatly though …
Friday I was working from the office. For most of the day, the 10Q I was supposed to tie out didn’t come in yet, so I just spent my day slowly doing training and chatting it up with people in the office. That was an AWESOME workday – so many of my favorite people all in the SJ office!!! Love it. We were talking about possibly leaving at 4pm when at 3:30, I received the 10Q and I was like SHIT I need to tie this out in an hour and a half! After giving Julie and Mark a few parts to help tie out, I finished and sent my comments and then went off to dinner about 30 minutes late.
Dinner was Orenchi Ramen with Amy and Julia – delicious! The wait is crazy though. But yummers! I liked this convo snippet:
Amy: Who are you going to SD with?
Me: Friends from high school
Amy: Thanks for inviting me. Why can’t we go?
Me: Because that’s weird. You guys are coworkers. Not friends from high school
Amy: If quitting this job is what it takes to move from the coworker category to friend category, I will do it
Well my flight to SD was supposed to be at 10:05. I figured I’d have to leave my house at 9pm. We finished dinner at 7:30 and decided to go to Whole Foods. My reaction: You guys shop at Whole Foods?! Who do you guys think you are!? How much money do you guys make?! Apparently once Julia had gone with Amy and picked up a bag of cherries without looking at the price. When the cashier said “$12” Julia thought she was joking and just waited for her to say the real price. After the cashier awkwardly stared in silence, Julia then realized it was actually $12 and paid it. HAHA
Well I got the blood orange sorbet that Soo Jin had bought and we had eaten at the previous paella making dinner night. SOOOO GOOD. We just went to the car and ate our little pints of ice cream there.
Then I drove home and threw a ton of crap into my duffel bags and Laura picked me up…
Flight! Made it to the terminal with 10 minutes to spare! I can’t believe I used to go to the airport so early that I would just sit in the terminal for an hour before boarding. All that time wasted…
Arrived in SD and my brother picked me up from Irvine. There were a lot of possible ways for me to get from SJ and SD and after several weeks of waiting to see what would pan out and what wouldn’t, and about two days of frantic scrambling, it turned out that my brother driving an hour down from Irvine and an hour back up to Irvine was the best option. Well. Now I am indebted to my brother.
He took me to eat Mexican food which was yummy. Except I accidentally ate mostly his burrito, because I am an idiot and incapable of distinguishing pork from beef. We ate this while watching the ending of Marley & Me, at my request. Ended up sleeping around 3am…
I woke up the next morning and used his gym facilities. Irvine apartments are infuriatingly nice. But also justifiably expensive. Then we went out to a restaurant called … Signature Cafe I think? It was essentially the restaurant for Macy’s. My first reaction was “YOU TOOK ME TO A MALL RESTAURANT?! WTF?!” I do not eat mall food. But it ended up being pretty good – I should have realized restaurants in Irvine malls would be of a higher caliber.
Met up with Connie Y, Jackie and Frances C and off we went to SD. Where I had just come from less than 12 hours ago.
Ton of traffic on the way down. We ended up going to Coronado and walking around there for a little bit. Then drove back to SD and checked into our hotel and then looked for a place to eat. We had initially wanted to do El Zarape for dinner, but that would require driving and we were lucky enough to find parking in the hotel, so we were not giving that up. Yelp ended up finding Craft & Commerce, a gastropub just a few blocks away and it was GOOD. I love gastropubs – just learned that term when I went to Father’s Office a few weeks ago … I got broiled oysters (YUM) and shared a burger with Connie Y (DOUBLE YUM). We had a shortage of water so we had a fun time of refilling water bottles with our table water and constantly asking our waitress for refills. Unfortunately we were so pressed for time we couldn’t just sit around because we had to hoof it to Extraordinary Desserts after!
I’m not a huge fan of Extraordinary Desserts … I will always wonder what the blood orange ricotta would have tasted like. I ended up getting a lemon bar because I wasn’t in a creamy mood.
While sitting in the gastropub, and also at various points in the trip, I realized that all the lists that place San Diego towards the top of “Sexiest Cities” lists is pretty accurate. Especially there, we were like “um … we definitely underdressed …” I was so used to going to PB and thinking it was ok to wear tshirts and flip flops to bars.
Headed back to hotel room, fully stuffed and ready for bed.
Next morning we headed to brunch at the Tractor Room around 9:30. SD brunches in my opinion are way too unnecessarily large and expensive. I would rather just pay $10 for a normal sized meal than $17 for some monstrosity of a breakfast plate. Having said that, SUPER glad I had leftovers for Monday morning, otherwise I don’t know what I would have eaten.
Connie L and I then headed off to go “hiking” while the other went shopping at the outlets. I say “hiking” because it was not possible to park at the trailhead, so after killing what was probably 30 minutes of driving back and forth, we finally decided to just go walk along the beach. I sometimes forget what it feels like to be in an overpopulated state, until a nice sunny weekend rolls around and suddenly there’s just an explosion of cars and people everywhere and I’m like, WTF this would NOT happen in Seattle.
We walked along the beach until without any warning I guess we had entered Black’s Beach which is a nude beach. The thoughts in my head: Wait, did that guy just take off his trunks? I probably saw wrong but I’m not going to turn around and look. omg that guy is naked! Why is his penis just right there in my face?! omg there’s another naked guy! and another naked guy! Penises everywhere!
We then headed to meet up again in El Zarape. SO SAD I was so full from brunch that I didn’t even finish my salmon burrito AKA the food I have craved since leaving SD and mention every time SD is every brought into a conversation. WAH.
Not long after that, we headed back up to Arcadia (slowly through traffic with a stop at Walmart for the restroom and 85 for bakery items). Then I had dinner with Kim (YUM) and walked around AHS with her. FUN TIMES. Was supposed to then hang out with Eric but when he called at 12:30 to say he was home, we both agreed that we were too tired to go out. Then we talked for an hour on the phone. And I slept at 1:30 and woke up two hours later to go to the airport and …
Refer to beginning of post for continuation of that day.
That weekend made me realize how much I sort of miss living in San Diego. For one, after going through Yelp, I realized that I barely touched all the restaurants and food offerings in SD which makes me really sad. I wish I had surfed more. More so, I wish I had not stupidly left my wetsuit on the balcony so it wouldn’t have been stolen and I wouldn’t have been discouraged from surfing. However, when I look back on my time in SD I wouldn’t have spent it any differently so I guess what I really wish is that I could spend more time back down in SD rather than changing the past, because my memories of studying in Twiggs and random SD cafes by day and hanging out at Connie L/Erica’s apt by night was pretty pitch perfect.
Because I’ve been going out at night in addition to work, I have not had time to do very much. I went through ONTD today – it’s always hard to justify looking through ONTD after a few days of not checking, because I am fully aware of how useless the info is and how much time it wastes. BUT if I DIDN’T look through ONTD I wouldn’t come across these gems…
Also, Amy informed me yesterday that apparently the BART just shut down for about three hours yesterday due to a system glitch. And tons of people were just stranded at bart stations at 7pm (RUSH HOUR) until 10pm or so … and those already on the trains were just left off wherever and had to figure out how to get from there to their homes. THINGS I LOVE #2949: when heavily depended upon modes of transportation become unavailable and chaos ensues and people figure out how to get to where they want and life just continues on. Love it.
Today I saw a small mention of London riots so I went to BBC to see what was up (because NYtimes tells me practically nothing!) and after watching several videos, am now in a state of WTF. Like, how do people really justify all these riots and setting fire to random people’s houses? I think the craziest thing for me is the large number of people participating and how they seem so nonchalant about it, like they’re just walking around the streets at night and it’s perfectly normal to evade police or smash windows or steal things. I just don’t understand humans sometimes. I also don’t understand how I could have listened to my London radio station for three days and not hear ANY mention of this. They really are strictly a music station with zero news coverage…
SLEEP SO TIRED
Somehow just watching a few good clips of a show makes me feel like my day, while in all other respects completely worthless and mundane and unexciting, was kinda alright.
So I was listening to Portugal the Man – and when I say listening to, I mean dancing around my room with no inhibitions because that’s what their music does to me – and I thought, would they be playing in CA any time soon? According to their tour schedule, they are playing in SANTA CLARA on my BIRTHDAY!!! That MUST be a sign that I have to watch them, right? The crap thing is that I know I’m scheduled on a client in East Bay and the concert starts at 6 so I’d have to leave at like … 4 :30. Also, I have no idea who I could take to go to this concert so I’m not some loner in a club. Is there some kind of legitimate website where I could post something like, “looking for someone to attend concert with” where I would not receive a lot of creepy emails in response?
In the span of a week, I have had two different people comment “you practically hoovered you food” and “I really did not think you were capable of eating that much food” which makes me think … DIET TIME. I seem to have become immune to my leptin hormones because I never feel full anymore and no matter how much I have eaten, a little ice cream never seems out of the question. I also haven’t really gymmed very hard core for quite a while which means … time to start running! As soon as I get my shuffle in the mail…
Listening to: I have created a playlist because I have so many new favorite songs! Included is the song I paid $200 for. HAHA Well, my first choice had been TI’s Whatever You Like but she went with a backup song instead and I love it just as much. Looking at the selection I gave her to choose from, I’m really glad she covered the Sam Cooke song.
Feels great to donate!
Watching: Well I finished now, but Love Bites is a comedy that I had heard about and forgot about until I saw it on Hulu. Unfortunately it was cancelled before it even aired, so the world will only ever have eight episodes. It stars Becki Newton who I love, (mainly just for this scene in Ugly Betty and because the Fug Writers seem to like her too), and it has soooo many guest stars it’s like tv heaven for me. Seriously, you would never even think of some of the people that just show up here. Kathy Kinney aka Mimi from The Drew Carey Show … Christopher Gorham of Popular … Jeffrey Tambor of Arrested Development … even Ranjit from HIMYM is in an episode! I like to play Guess The Actor – when I try to figure out where I have seen the actor before I cave in and just check IMDB.
I watched all eight episodes over the span of two days. It’s like a TV version of Love Actually I guess. There are three vignettes per episode and each vignette centers around a different couple. Most couples only appear for a single episode except Becki Newton, Greg Grunberg and Constance Zimmer who appear in every episode. The show must have had a massive rewrite after Becki Newton got pregnant because the trailer I saw on youtube is not at all what the show ended up being about. I think it got rewritten for the better because Becki Newton’s storyline is far more creative and allows for much more hilarious scenes to emerge. Anyway WATCH IT!
Actually … that’s all I feel like writing about for this weekend’s entry. Music recs and tv show recs. I am also reading My Booky Wooky by Russell Brand but I’m not at a point where I would or wouldn’t recommend it.