Friday, February 26, 2010

Change

It was December of 2008. I had just gotten a new position at Large Corporate Company, I had just taken on a second job as a server, it was the holidays, it was The Seattle Ice Storm That Ousted Greg Nickels, I was driving back and forth a lot between Tacoma and Seattle, and on one of those trips...

...BOOM. My sleek black Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the only new car I've ever owned, and the FIRST car I've ever owned, slipped on a patch of ice and died.

It wasn't a problem at that moment--Large Corporate Company was on winter holidays and I didn't need to drive anywhere. But January of 2009 would come, and with it would come a regular 7:30-4 business schedule...in my new position, 30 miles away from my house. Had the crash happened in my old job which was in South Seattle, I could have...worked from home. Taken the bus. Hitchhiked. ANYTHING. Now I had a new job, 30 miles away, that I had to be physically at EVERY SINGLE DAY, and I had a second new job that I had to leave the FIRST new job early for, some days, and work longer hours, other days. And suddenly I had no car. I had no way to drive the 30 miles to work OR leave early to make my second job OR work the longer hours on the days I didn't have to work both jobs AND I WAS TOAST. Should I...buy another car, used? Buy a new car? Quit my second job?

I called my mother, always an ever-present help in times of trouble. "...and so how is it possible that I got hired for two new jobs and crashed my car all in the SAME THREE WEEKS?" I ended, frustrated.

And then the clouds parted and the heavens opened and she gave me this excellent piece of advice: "Miss Dear, often when you change one thing, dozens of other little things will be affected, and you end up with a lot more change than you bargained for."

"Really? Why?"

"When your father and I decided to leave Chicago and move to Kansas City with you, he took the new job...and then, suddenly, several things happened to us all at once. We both got some traffic citations. Other unusual things happened. I remember it well. He--we--didn't take the new job SOLELY to change things up--we wanted to leave Chicago and the new job in Kansas City looked promising. But that change, somehow, affected a number of other things in our lives. Changing energies? Changing wants and desires that are somehow communicated to the universe? Who knows. It happened to us, and I'm not surprised it happened to you."

So true. You're going along in a groove, living your life the same way every day, and pretty darn content in its ways, and all of a sudden you explore some interesting side path and WHOA, hold the phone, your apartment goes to condos and some idiot runs into your car and your favorite clothing store closes up shop, all in the same week. You make some realization about your job. You decide to delete your Facebook account. WHATEVER. The point is, pursuing an interesting side path--for the side path's sake--takes us off the main path we were on and often, we can't get on it again.

Hypothetically speaking, of course. Be forewarned.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Georgetown Sunshine

It was the day after Carnival. The sunlight stabbed through my blinds. The kids next door--yes, I live in Capitol Hill, and somehow moved onto the only neighborhood that has small kids in it--were screaming outside at the top of their lungs. I had forgotten, through the winter months, that good weather meant Kids Playing. I had forgotten that they were allowed to do that. Stupid active, happy kids.

I was hungover and had to be mobile. I sent several texts that said, "Hold off on the plans until I can move without throwing up." I waited and chugged some Pedialyte. And then, somehow, with enough drugs--ibuprofen and free coffee from C-- and enough motivation--the promise of excellent brunch at Calamity Jane's with Chalie--I ended up in Georgetown, soaking up the midday sunshine like a volcanic lizard who possibly only blinks once a century.

Me with the shades.

Charger and Calamity Jane's. So. Delicious. Made me happy to be alive. Quite a feat on that particular morning.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mother Nature LOVES Seattle: Saturday Morning Musings

Our ski season may be shite this year (see: every newspaper in the world covering the LACK of snow at Whistler for the 2010 Olympics) but it is freakin' beautiful, I will tell you what.

I took this with my Storm in an undisclosed location. Sweatshirt by Target. Lashes and nose by DNA. Hair by The Wind.

I'm eating homemade scones with hand-churned honey-orange butter in the gorgeous Seattle sunshine. Tonight I get to get dressed up in a super fancy dress with a super-fancy mask and go to the fanciest damn party Seattle has ever seen. You won't even believe the pictures from last year but--they look like screen caps from a Baz Luhrman movie--but I'll give you the link anyway. Somewhere, someone, is having a really rough morning just so my morning can be this good. Thanks, Someone.

AND, finally, Tom Mother Fucking Waits:

The ocean doesn't want me today
But I'll be back tomorrow to play
And the strangles will take me
Down deep in their brine
The mischievous braingels
Down into the endless blue wine
I'll open my head and let out
All of my time
I'd love to go drowning
And to stay and to stay
But the ocean doesn't want me today
I'll go in up to here
It can't possibly hurt
All they will find is my beer
And my shirt
A rip tide is raging
And the life guard is away
But the ocean doesn't want me today
The ocean doesn't want me today

Oh, Tom. Marry me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spring Already?

These daffodils are very confused:





It makes me want to start up my garden again, which is in a sad state.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Poor Design

Or perhaps more like an absence of any appearance of common sense whatsoever. I was at my local salon* when this blight upon the eyes and brain just sprang out of nowhere to assault human decency:

THE FOLLOWING SERIES OF PICTURES MAY DISTURB YOU.

Hook and shelf. So far, everything appears normal.

I hang my coat on the hook, and...wait a second, where did the shelf go?

Oh, THERE it is.

Are you not supposed to use the hook and the shelf at the same time? Who in their right mind would stack a hook and a shelf that close together? Is the hook only for purses? And no, there is NOT a hook on the other side of the changing booth. I checked.

Fight against poor design, everyone. It makes me stabby.

*Get it together, Gary Manuel.

Reason # 37 Why I Need To Stop Buying Breakfast At Starbucks

It's not that Starbucks is a bad company, or even that it's overpriced. It makes great coffee and great food for a reasonable price and most of the time, I love it.

But. Still. I spent something like 18 dollars on food today and the DAY IS ONLY HALF OVER. And this still happened:



Yes, that's a trashed breakfast sandwich. I branched out from my normal artisan Bacon/Gouda/Parmesan Egg love and got a classic sausage. It was terrible and I couldn't finish it. But I would have never been in this situation had I taken the time to MAKE my breakfast.

It's an important balance: in general, I am all about food on the go. This is one of the many reasons to live in a city--there's food everywhere, and they know you're in a hurry and they serve it to you quickly. But sometimes you get failures, on the same day that you forget to bring your lunch to work, and you end up paying enough money for a damn manicure to be mediocrely fed for the day, and you end up cursing the clouds and wishing you had just cooked.

You know, hypothetically speaking.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Had a Magical Moment at Trader Joe's

I'm walking along the aisle, looking at vitamins, and The Beatles' Hello, Goodbye comes on, and as I'm walking and humming along in my head, a woman walks past me.

She's early-fifties, I would say, although I revise that estimate upwards when I see her shopping companion, who I would peg at sixty, not like it matters. I noticed her because she was mouthing the lyrics, in perfect time with the song, unconsciously and very naturally, with a complete lack of realization as to what she was doing, and as I looked at her doing that it hit me like a tidal wave: When she first heard that song, she was twelve.

Assuming she's fifty-five, she first heard Hello, Goodbye when she was twelve. TWELVE.

She stood there, in her baggy Gap jeans and her grandmother pixie cut and her yellow cardigan and her respectable shoes, the picture of a casual Seattle grandmother, mouthing along to a song from an act that shocked the world, an act her parents probably detested and wouldn't have in the house. Suddenly I saw her as she would have been, the grandmother pixie cut grown out to her waist, strawberry blonde hair tied back with a bandanna headband, big sunglasses on, in hip huggers, maybe singing along to the song at home with her big sister who saved up her money and bought the record to play on the phonograph at home, one of the big sets with the speakers that took up a whole wall like a buffet. The Beatles were just a sign of huge things to come for society, for the world, for women's rights, for free love and too many drugs and things changing faster than anyone could possibly keep up with, and now here they were, being played in a grocery store.

We can't really understand today how SHOCKING acts like the Beatles were to our parents' parents, since oldies is now easy listening music played at grocery stores and in elevators and over phone lines, but it was: it was shocking. It was strange, it didn't sound like music, it had weird lyrics that didn't mean anything, and worse, it made you want to shake your hips. I asked a mid-forties co-worker not too long ago what some of his most memorable albums were from his youth, and he said, "Boston. Kansas. The Scorpions. Poison."

I'm not sure I could name one Scorpions song without prompting. And Boston? BOSTON? Aren't they...you know...terrible?

And I'd consider myself fairly well-versed in music, not the kind of snob who thinks anything made before Nirvana is only fit for the old folks' home. (I mean, come on, that would leave out Guns N' Roses, arguably some of the sexiest music EVER.)

I followed the woman around Trader Joe's for a second or two, trying to see more glimpses of the past. No such luck--the moment was over. And then I realized that I didn't need to follow her, because in another 25 years, in 2035, the Trader Joe's--if there is such a thing--will be playing Nirvana's Polly. And I will be there, in my short practical haircut and tennis shoes, and I will know all the words, and I will remember when that song was demonized as a Sign of the Decline of Youth Today, banned on the radio and at my school, and we had to listen to it on CDs, which were new, and scribble it on the inside of our notebook covers.

Update to Tucker Max Can Bite Me

Calm down, everyone. (I got a few concerned emails yesterday.) I write mainly about the bad dates because they're the only ones that generate real material for the blog. They're a small percentage, but they're overrepresented because otherwise, my dating posts would look like this:

"Had a great date with someone I really dig. Woo-hoo!"

See? You yawned already, didn't you? I thought so. I AM making a concerted effort to record the good moments as well as the bad, due to this woman's research on the negativity bias. I wouldn't want to look back on this blog and remember my dating life as a series of mishaps and dates with jagoffs. This is unlikely, as I actually like dating (ducks) and even a date with a Tucker Max knockoff can provide hours of entertainment for me and everyone around me--but you never know.

Moving on.

For future reference, please keep in mind that:

1. Stories are out of order, chronologically.

2. Stories are small glimpses of what actually happened.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Tucker Max Can Bite Me

WARNING: PARENTS! Don't read this. Or if you do, don't say you weren't warned.

Hi Tucker! Sorry for the hate. It's not about you--really, it's not. You seem genuinely happy doing what you do, and I'm impressed that you've found a way to make a living at it. Many of us could take lessons from you. And I'm pretty sure you're not reading this anyway--you're a busy man, and from all reports, pretty freaking smart, so for all I know this blog actually falls below your standards. (Putting you in the same category as China.)

The point is, though, that no one else can do what you do--well, as well as you do it--that's what she said, heh, heh--MOVING ON.

No one can do what you do, but other men don't realize that. And so I end up going out on dates with guys that will say one unbelievable thing after another because they think I'll find it...sexy? Amusing? Attractive?

"I'm not really a breast man," one might say. "You could whip yours out right here at the bar and I would just be like, 'meh'. In fact, maybe you should do that. Come on--it's Cap Hill, no one's going to care. I just want to prove it to you."

Check, please.

"I don't really like your perfume," another one might say at the conclusion of a long involved routine about how he likes to rape donkeys on weekends. (Also: Dane Cook, you can bite me too.) "I'm just telling you this because I think you'd want to know."

Yeah? Well, I don't really like you while you're speaking. Maybe you should wear a ball gag--in fact, you'd probably get a lot more play if you did because girls wouldn't have to hear your ridiculous patter like we're on the Dane Cook/Tucker Max LIVE! AFTERDINNER! SPECIAL! Apparently this is the new trend in dating? The girl has to prove she's "cool" and "unshockable" and has ears of iron?

I appreciate a good swear-word-laden joke, but the key word is GOOD. Just trying to shock me or see what I'll put up with--or go straight for the Tucker Max insults without the humor--is not the same thing as having a real sense of humor or actual confidence. Are you funny? SWEET. Lay it on me. Are you just another red-bull-fueled knockoff that sees the existence of famous assholes as an excuse to BE an asshole? Please shred my number. THANK YOU.