Friday, April 30, 2010


morning. i can't say "good" because it isnt. i'm too sick to feel good about anything. i even went to cvs last night and bought robitussin! its not helping my cough, just making my coughs not as deep, but the deep coughs are the better ones. they hurt more, but i like them for some reason. anyway, i'm going to keep this short and sweet and maybe write more later when i'm home. for now, check out this AWESOME tea infuser! i found it on this site and i think its AWESOME. i've just said that twice. see how sick i am? being sick is NOT awesome. tea is AWESOME though. i had my last bag of throat coat last night. thats too bad. i'd like some more. my throat is all scratched up. my birthday is coming up, too.

i think i'll call someone and whine to them. i am not a very good sick person.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

dream apartment - 25

AWESOME idea. from apartment therapy. this totally makes me want to have a house with a secret room, hidden by a bookshelf. it may or may not need to link directly to the conservatory via a hidden tunnel...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

more travel adventures from san diego

ok. back again. on a flight. but no internet so this will go up later. thought i would write about my trip some more while its fresh in my mind. i think i was writing about how we had dinner almost every night with my grandma's extended family. it was good fun.

friday night, my mom and i met my grandma, my 2nd cousin and her husband and my great uncle and his wife at a seafood restaurant. for some reason, my grandma ordered salmon even though she doesnt like salmon, or any fish, for that matter. she complained about her food. i, personally, think she ordered it because my 2nd cousin's husband heard her mumbling about having a steak and he said "steak?! no! you can't have steak at a seafood restaurant! you should have fish." and my grandma said, "well, i dont know what to have" and he said "have salmon, salmon is great." of course, my grandma has no ability to reason to herself that she doesnt actually like seafood. so she ordered a salmon. and didn't eat it all. she ate some of it, of course, because you can't put food in front of her without her eating it (she forgets that she's eaten a lot and forgets what she does and doesnt like).

saturday, my 2nd cousin's husband took my mom and i out for a drive to see different areas of san diego (i previously briefly mentioned that). he kept complaining about all the homeless people we passed, or the people who sued the city because there was a big cross on top of a hill (what about the jews or the arabs or the atheists? the lawsuit mentions). he also lamented about how this woman had made a little beach for kids and now a bunch of seals have found the beach and want to live there (and thus the kids cant swim there). now there is a big controversy about seals vs. kids. i'm indifferent to all of it, and i honestly have no idea how he feels - he was just complaining that people were divided on the issue, i think. i dont know really. BUT i thought it was curious that when giving a tour, these were the things that were talked about. [oh, and as an aside, when we said goodbye, he said he would miss me the most! ha ha - i think he just likes to argue.]

after the tour, we met the same group of people for dinner again. we were going to go play bingo, which i was kind of looking forward to, but apparently it was too busy and we couldn't get a reservation (a reservation to play bingo?? apparently). so we ended up going to a mexican restaurant instead. my 2nd cousin's husband, who took us on the tour, complained about the restaurant we were going to. he was like, "this is like going to italy and having burgers" or something like that. curious, my mom and i looked up reviews of this restaurant online and we found one woman who gave it 5 stars (out of 5) and said "i live in minnesota and i love going to this restaurant each time i'm in san diego. it's great mexican food! it's like the red lobster of mexican food." ... yes. i kid you not. apparently red lobster is a high class joint in minnesohta. i, personally, enjoyed my tacos and we had a great server. my grandma said to her "bring me the bill" because my great uncle paid for dinner the previous night. the server didn't miss a beat and said "which bill? my internet or electricity?" my grandma didn't get it, she replied "i want to pay for dinner." which made the whole thing even funnier. the server just grabbed my grandma's shoulder and laughed as she said, "yes, of course!" again, my grandma didn't order food she would like. there wasn't enough gringo-y food on the menu, so i had my grandma order an enchilada. she ate part of it and a lot of rice and beans. so hard to please.

sunday, i coaxed my mom in to joining me in the pool. it was fun and felt great - LOVE heated pools! then we got ready and went shopping - i bought 3 pairs of shoes, which is stupid because i dont really have room in my suitcase for it, but i do love me some new shoes. we went to this place called venice pizza for dinner that night and it was the regular crowd - great uncle and his wife, 2nd cousin and her husband, gma, mom and i AND a whole bunch of additional people - another great uncle (who was diagnosed with parkinsons a few years ago, so he doesnt go out much) and his wife, one of their daughters, and another cousin (from the first great uncle). it was good fun and the pizza was delicious. i told my mom that if you werent from the area, and hadn't been going to it for years, you would probably just skip the place because its in a not-super-nice area and in a kind of non-descript building. we took lots of family photos - if you want any, let me know.

each night we were home by 9pm. oh, except saturday when we went to a movie - the joneses. it was really good! if its playing in your area, i def recommend it. but i'm not going to tell you a lot about it, because i think it would be even better if you dont know what its about. so just remember to see it (you can remember because it has to do with "keeping up with the joneses") and let me know what you think. (its very independent, so it might be hard to find)

monday we hung out on our own and went to torrey pines golf course to make my brothers and dad jealous (hehehe). we also went shopping downtown in the gaslampe district. i was actually really really disappointed in that area. i thought it would be really cutesy area with tons of boutique, independent shops. we found one or two, but the majority of the stores there were big chains - puma, vicky's secret, etc. i found a neat shop where i bought a bag and another one where i bought some necklaces and earrings. we had lunch and then took off. we watched dwts together and then split a burger in the hotel restaurant. it was a nice break from the big crowds.

that night, i woke up at 1am to find my mom in the bathroom using my laptop. she couldnt sleep. so she came back to bed and we watched tv for a bit and each used the computer. we were up until after 3am before both falling asleep again. oh, right, i forgot to mention that this WHOLE TIME i have been sick. i wake up with a hacking cough and a sore throat every morning. i'm trying not to cough on the plane so as not to spread my illness. this is the FIRST TIME i have been sick since i quit my job 2 years ago. its all about transportation, i tell you!

tuesday, i went swimming by myself for a bit. and get this, I GOT a HEAT RASH. in 65 degree san diego weather. yep. i kid you not. my chest was totally splotchy and i was nauseous. can you imagine me in africa?? i can't even handle southern california sprintime. after i recovered, we went to my great uncle's house and discovered that my grandma hadn't taken her medication for 2 or 3 days. when we pointed it out to her, she said, "i have NOT missed my medication!" no use arguing with her, but it explained why she didnt feel well. we went over to their house around 2pm and grandma was still in her house coat with her hair going every which way. i had a GREAT talk with my great uncle. i made a mini family tree and got the scoop on my ancestors. i'm related to this famous explorer from canada - he (peter warren dease) even has a wiki page! my great uncle is one of the nicest men i have ever meet - i have never heard him say a bad thing about anyone. i showed him videos of player playing basketball and all of the pictures that i had on my laptop. my grandma took a nap while we were there and then the 5 of us left for dinner at outback steakhouse - my first time ever at an outback. my mom's 3 cousins met us again and we had a good time. i got to know my two 2nd cousins a bit better. grandma was very silent at dinner because she had a headache, but she finally got some food she liked - a steak and potato. i asked her how her food was and she said "the steak is a bit tough." hard to please.

mom and i used a tomtom all weekend and we would've been dead in tijuana without it. it was great. i DEF suggest buying one and bringing it with you whenever you travel. i'm going to take my parents' with me on my trip to the east coast. and now i'm back to sac for a few weeks. more to come on the job front and my half-country drive a bit later... catch you on the flip side.

from san airport

fun from airports... i'm at the san diego airport waiting for my flight back to sacramento (via lax - of course, it would make too much sense for me to go directly from san to smf). i've been here almost a week (since last thursday). it was a great trip (no sarcasm, at all!) and i'm quite sad to go back to the real world.

in case i didn't explain this earlier, a few months ago, my grandma (who i call twice a week, but she thinks i call every day) mentioned on our phone call "i think i might go to california. i'm still deciding." it is absolutely clear to everyone in our family that she can NOT go alone, so i promptly hung up with gma and called my mom: "hey, why don't i take grandma to san diego?" my mother, who grew up catholic and therefore has the "guilt gene," said "i couldn't let you go alone!" i didn't mind, at all, but she insisted that she should bear sole responsibility for my grandma, so we thought about looking into flights for the three of us. we found a time that worked for her to get some time off from work, and for me, and we booked flights. i really really wanted to fly to fargo first and then take the flight with them from fargo to san diego. i know it sounds completely illogical, but i really really wanted to be with someone who would 1) allow me to board the plane early and 2) get to take the car from one gate to the next. alas, the cost did not overcome the coolness of sitting in the "handicap" seats at the airport. so i flew in last thursday evening and my grandma and mom flew in later that night.

the first few days, my grandma stayed with my mom's cousin. my mom and i stayed in a hotel at the airport and met up with everyone every evening for dinner. most days, mom and i stayed in bed until noon or so... we always had to ask the cleaning lady to come back. oh and "everyone" includes my grandma's two younger brothers and two of their daughters, as well as the other cousin of my mom.

oh crap. i have to board my plane to lax in a few minutes and i have to run to the bathroom first. ok, i'm going to post this because i can (and havent written for a few days) with more updates on my trip to come soon...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

dream apartment - 24

this isn't necessarily the ULTIMATE chair, but i definitely do want AN overstuffed chair, similar to the one above (from the slumberland website - i saw this chair in person in fargo and fell in love with it) for my new room in boston. and this one is on sale! do you think i should get it? i already have 0% financing at slumberland, so i could just pay for it a little each month for the next 18 months. what do you think?? my parents mostly convinced me to not bother since i'm technically unemployed... yes? no? sale and financing AND i really want it...

[update since writing this: i am now employed! so does that mean i should get it??]

Saturday, April 24, 2010

can't think of a subject and have to go

it is now clear to me: i have missed my calling in life. i should've been a synchronized swimmer.

i'm in san diego with my mom and grandma. we're staying at the hilton harbor island and i spent part of today swimming in the fabulous pool that is NINE FEET DEEP. thats deep enough for me to do all sorts of tricks and stuff. it was AWE-wait for it-SOME. then i went in the hot tub to relax my tired muscles. swim dancing is tough work.

so this trip is interesting. my mom and i are trying super dooper hard to do as little as possible, but we keep getting sucked in by our family - aaaaaagggg!!! no, i'm partially kidding. we love our family, we just want to be lazy and they're making that difficult.

last night, we met my mom's cousin (does that make her my second cousin or my cousin twice removed? i never know) and her husband who are taking care of my gma, at a restaurant with my gma's brother and his wife. none of the three people (the husband, my great-uncle and his wife) here remember meeting me last time i was here (10 years ago when my great gma was here). i wonder what that means... not memorable...? i'll ignore. anyway, we met them at a seafood restaurant where the youngest person was... yep, you guess it. me. and next up was my mom. by like 20 years. i had salmon and shrimp and crab cakes (it was a platter) with veggies and rice pilaf. oh my god. how annoying would that be if i started to write about EVERYTHING i ate?? then i had a piece of bread and a martini. haa ha. just kidding. i'm over that. anyway, it was nice catching up with them. we almost didn't make it because we didn't trust the tom-tom, but it got us there, so i guess that was good.

i was going to write more about my trip, but my mom is giving me the nasty eye because we have to leave again for dinner tonight.

oh, just quickly - today, my mom's cousin's husband drove my mom and i around la jolla and some other fancy areas. i would guess, based on his constant disparaging remarks about all things government-related, that he is maybe a bit right of the spectrum from me. i didn't say much, but we all know how long that lasts with me... so at the end, when he said some things, that i honestly didnt really understand, i started questioning him on it, and he started arguing with me some more, but i was like, 'well, you just said this....' and pointed out what he said and he got upset that i wasn't just agreeing with him. so he thought of some more examples, which i questioned some more and finally he said, "are you on a debate team?" and i said, "well, no, but i was in high school." and he said, "well, that explains it!" and i was like, "yeah, but i'm not really a normal debater" to which my mom disagreed. i thought that was funny...

Friday, April 23, 2010

dream apartment - 23

if you don't know by now that i love stairs, then... well... i guess you dont know. but now you do! i LOVE love LOVE love LOVE me some stairs - cool stairs, afraid to walk on them stairs, boring stairs, whatever. and my new goal is to have this - above. no, not a spiral staircase. i will have one of those in about a month when i move to boston. my goal is to have a place where i have stairs that lead to NO WHERE. how awesome and completely non-functional is that??? it's like having my own sitcom! thanks, apartment therapy for helping me realize another goal. you can check out more stairs here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

r.o.c.k. in the u.s.a.

i have a general question for people: what are your thoughts on subsidies? i'm from a farming state and i believe that a lot of farmers in north dakota receive subsidies, but i dont have much information on it. i know there are issues with sugar subsidies and the whole sugar/corn syrup industry has boomed (and some could argue at the same rate as american's waistlines) because of subsidies and this bothers me. i recently read an article on rum subsidies in peurto rico and the US virgin islands. the article makes me not want to drink rum anymore. i worry about the effects that these large multi-national corporations are having on these small island communities. sure, one could argue that they're providing jobs and improving the economy of these countries. but what happens when the company no longer cares about the local economy? they force governments to give them tax breaks or their employees to take pay cuts so that they will stay in business on the island. the islands have no choice but to comply: they need these rum distilleries for their economy. the whole thing sounds fishy to me. and i've never seen a large mnc give back to the community and care about the little people. why are people like you and me ok with the idea that mnc's will always "do good." their primary focus is on profits and they do that at whatever cost to the economy, their employees, the environment. and americans like you and me, we are not concerned with where our products come from, just that they are cheap (but we use the word "affordable"). i'd rather buy a more expensive pair of sneakers that was made with quality in the US than a pair of shoes from a company that spends millions in advertising (part of which goes to pay a womanizing, infidel man who happens to be excellent at golf, but not necessarily a good person) so that their "brand" and "name" are worth more. when i was in junior high, i had a cloth bag that said "American M.A.D.E - Making A Difference Environmentally." at the time, i thought it was important to buy american goods, but then as i got older and saw the different prices of things and started taking business classes, i drifted away from this notion. i read case studies about nike using child labor and i convinced myself that not paying a living wage in far east asia was "ok" because "something" was better than "nothing." but then i listened to this man speak about his crusade to convince nike that they are doing harm to these economies and not helping anyone. you can read more about it here. it made me really upset and sad. and i will never buy another nike anything.

to that extent, when i needed new shoes last fall, i found a pair of sneakers made in the US by new balance. the proceeds from the sale of my shoes went to support breast cancer (the shoes are bright pink and i got them personalized to say "in memory of gma helen" on the tongue for my father's mother who died of breast cancer when she was 35). see picture here:

i was pleased with myself for buying these shoes and just liked the idea behind them, but i was even MORE excited when i read about the shoes:
Congratulations - you now own a pair of shoes that were made or assembled by the New Balance team in one of our five US factories. New Balance proudly relies on our manufacturing associates to produce a quarter of our North American footwear worn by consumers (approx. 7 million pair of shoes) in the US each year. We made our first pair of running shoes in 1938, and hold the distinction as the only company that still manufactures athletic shoes in the US. As a company, we are proud to invest in American workers who provide some of the greatest working spirit, commitment to advancement and ingenuity known in the industrial world. For us, Committed to American Workers is more than a slogan or viewpoint - it is the heart and "sole" of our company.
and even more excited when i got an email from new balance, which reads:
Dear ,

I wanted to follow up regarding your recent purchase from us.
I sincerely hope you are enjoying the comfort and fit of your
New Balance gear.

Understanding you have many choices, we truly appreciate your
business. NB Web Express is committed to earning your loyal
patronage by surpassing your expectations and being open to
suggestions for improvement.

You can contact us directly via email or by calling
1-800-595-9138(Toll Free) with any comments or suggestions.
We welcome your feedback!
how great is that? i realize its a standard email and probably sent automatically from some server, but have you ever gotten that from any other shoe store? and maybe if more people buy their shoes and make comments that its because they were american made, they'll move more production here...

[song by john mellencamp because its good to support america where we rock]

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

dear mr. man

woo hoo! this is a $10 blog post, fyi. i am writing to you (and then posting) from the sky above. i am currently on a flight from msp to smf (minneapolis to sacramento) and they have wifi on the plane! its not free, but since this is my first flight with wifi, i decided to buy it for the low price of 9.95. and also because i haven't written in quite a few days and i feel guilty about that.

i'm really excited about using the internet on my computer - the only problem is that my battery will wear out - i'm at 88% already (/only). this alone would make me take delta from fargo to sac anytime in the future (lately i've been flying united through denver so that i could get more united miles, but now i would TOTALLY change). alas, there are no more flights from fargo to sacramento in the foreseeable future.

so i was home for a few days because i found a really cheap flight online and have been increasingly bored on the weekends. it was a good weekend - i got in at midnight friday night. on saturday night, i went out with my brother and his friend and my parents. we went to listen to this band... oh crap, i was going to put their website here. let me see if i can find it (their business card is in my suitcase which is stowed above and i dont want to waste battery time looking for it). woo hoo! i found it. i'm so good. they're called the radio stars band. it was fun. my dad knows the first guy in the band, so we went to support them. i had a good time and paid for it sunday morning.

after recovering, i went mattress shopping with my mom. i decided to buy a bed in fargo and take it with me to boston instead of trying to get to a mattress store in boston (where i wont have a car) and paying higher prices there, higher sales tax, and not supporting a north dakota company. i got a really fancy mattress - i hope i like it! i'll pick it up once i get back to fargo in may. oh and i felt bad for the saleswoman. so that partially convinced me to buy from her. she explained that the mattress i was looking at came with a 60 day trial period. after she brought this up the third or fourth time, i explained that i wouldn't really do that because i was moving to boston. she seemed surprised. "oh, ok. well, you can take it with you" or something lame like that - yes, that is in fact what i was planning on doing. so my mom and i are laying (lying? i can never remember) on the beds and she walks away. later, she comes back and i explain that i'm interested in doing financing, but i wans't totally sure and i'd have to come back the next day to do it. she wasn't working on monday (not until wed) and said that i'd have to do it on sunday. i know i could've done it with someone else, but i dont like to switch sales people after they've already helped me. oh, and there was this thing about how they order on monday to be delivered on friday. so, i explain that i dont live in fargo and was leaving on tues. she asks where i live and i explain sacramento. then she seems really confused. why don't i have a bed in sacramento? and i'm bringing all my stuff from sac to fargo then going to boston? so i explain i'm homeless in sac and staying with a friend. and all my stuff is in fargo. it's overly complicated, i realize. BUT - i got a bed!

yesterday i worked from home and then made my brother feel guilty enough for being bad at communicating that he drove from his apartment all the way to my parents house (its annoyingly far - they should just move to north fargo already. :)). after going on a bike ride with my mom, i showered and when i came downstairs my brother, homie, surprised me by being there - zaz! that was cool. we celebrated his passing of an A+ certification test with some bubbly and pizza - great combination. after that, it was dwts with my parents and then they went to bed and i stayed up.

i was up early this morning (at 5) to get ready to head to the airport. again, i'm on a plane. its really cool. i'm easily entertained obviously.

and today has been weird from a flying standpoint. first, security. i have been through quite a many different airports in my life - i would probably guess at least 50 different ones (that may make an interesting post sometime - i'll have to write about that. good idea, d!) and i have long held that security is TOUGHEST at fargo's hector international airport (and yes, its an "international" airport because we fly to canada so stop right there with your thoughts...). i don't know if its the fact that people in fargo care about their jobs and take them seriously, the pay for security people is enough to sustain a decent life in fargo (even if its the same across the country - the cost of living in far is so much cheaper) and therefore the security people are happy and willing to do their jobs, people in fargo are typically law-abiding citizens, or they're just afraid of letting a terrorist get on a plane in fargo (most likely via canada - crossing the border in a car or something)... no matter what the reason, security is TOUGH in fargo. i can't tell you how many times i've had to open my luggage AT the check=in desk and show them whats in it. then, they actually look at your picture when you get to the security gate. then they are super strict about passing laptops, liquids, and other items through security. almost every time i fly, they have to rescan my bag - and they ALWAYS do it very professionally and politely. they politely explain "ma'am, i'm going to have to run your bag through again." and how often have they had to look at it after they've scanned it twice? multiple times. i must carry on funny items or something because it seems to happen to me more than other people. and it happened again today - the security guard asked me "do you have a 40 in your bag?" i gave him a blank stare because i was trying to translate - "did he really mean a 40 oz can of beer??" apparently he did. upon seeing my expression turn to the quizzican he said "or maybe a water bottle?" ahhh, yes. i did have a tin water bottle in my suitcase. i explained that i was empty and he politely said he'd need to take it out and scan the water bottle and suitcase separately just to make sure. but this makes me wonder - how many people are bringing 40s in their carryons?? and why did he think *I* would be one of them??? why was his first thought "40 ounces of beer" instead of "water bottle"???!! that was strange. i wish i had thought to say "honey, if i had a 40, i would've drank it as soon as i got up" or something witty like that that would make him laugh and remember me all day. but no. so the water bottle was empty and i was on my way.

the next weird thing happened when i was waiting to get ON the plane in fargo, standing in the jetway. this older woman says to me "going on a business trip?" and i explained that i was actually just visiting fargo and didn't live there. but it made me wonder - why did she assume i lived in fargo? and how did she know i was in "business" and not some other profession? was it my super fancy black and pink suitcase? my "suitcoat" with jeans outfit? maybe i just look like a smart business person. but it still made me wonder why i gave her that impression. not enough to ask, though. i typically avoid small talk conversations.

so i get to minneapolis and i'm walking to a new terminal and this guy tries to get me to sign up for the gold delta amex. i happily told him "i already have one!" (even though technically i dont bother to pay for "gold" and i just have the regular delta amex) there were 3 or 4 sales people standing in front of a table and i wonder why he singled me out. its obviously my classy appearance.

so then i get to my gate (G17, which if you know MSP, you know there are not enough seats at this gate). i move along a "fence" type thing - is that called a "rail" when its inside? rephrase: i move along this rail separating a completely empty chilis seating area and the gate seats and stopped torwards the end. this guy behind me, i *think* he looks at me and says "i'll move down next to you since there are no seats." i vaguely smile because i'm thinking... "he's with someone - there is a woman following him - AND i clearly have headphones on. they happen to not be playing anything, so i can hear him, but how does he know that??" i'm confused that he's trying to talk to me. well, i dont really know if he is, in fact. which confounds me more. so i pull out my phone and call my mom but since my headphones are stuck in my shirt (thats where i keep them when they're not in my ears - yep it looks like they're almost in my cleavage, but they're not) and the head phones are connected to my ipod and my ipod is in my bag, i kneel on the ground (again, there were no seats). my mom and i are chatting and i see this empty seat on the end of a row (i hate to sit in the MIDDLE of two people, so i prefer to kneel) so i say "mom, i gotta call you back!" and hang up. i throw the phone in my bag and start to assemble my purse, fancy black and pink rolly case and my grande soy no-water chai, and stand up. the seat is gone. the guy makes some comment, but i wasn't looking at him, so i dont know what he says, so i ignore it. he might've been talking to his companion. so i kneel again and call my mom back "there was an empty seat but i wasn't fast enough" i explain. so then i go on to tell her why i really called. i listened to this npr episode on alzeheimers (more to come on that in a different post) and she tells me how i am like my aunt b. so that makes me happy because i like my aunt b. THEN i see the same seat open up again - why are people not staying in this seat?? so i say "mom, hold on!" and throw the phone, in the middle of a call, in my bag. i assemble my things again and stand up and the seat is gone. the guy looks at me and says "i heard what you said about alzeheimers and i agree with you." i'm like, "umm... yeah..." feeling totally awkward because 1) my mom is still on the phone in my bag and 2) i HATE IT when people listen in to your conversations and then comment on them. oh and i dont really know how to make small talk. minor point. so i'm kind of standing there like, "... " i know he wants to talk, but i pull out my phone and kind of give him that "sorry, i'm on the phone look" and start talking to my mom again. THEN the seat opens AGAIN and this time i'm already ready, so i go grab it, all the while still on the phone with my mom. so i just completely DISSED this man who was trying to talk to me in a non-drageur way. sorry, mr. man.

so when i get on the plane from msp to smf, where i am currently as i write this, i sit in my aisle seat (slightly annoyed because no window seats were available and when i checked in online yesterday they had me in a MIDDLE seat which is just completely UNACCEPTABLE and the aisle seat is moderately better...) and dont put my seatbelt on or store my bag because i am expecting someone to come sit in the middle seat. there is a man in my window seat but i am starting to be ok with him. i can tell we're both anxiously watching all the other passengers board the plane, waiting for our seat mate. and guess where the ONE empty seat on the WHOLE plane is. thats right, peanuts! right next to ME! woo hoo. and because i feel bad for dissing mr. man earlier, i say to my one-seat-away-seatmate "i'm anxious for someone to come and sit here" and he said "yeah, me, too" so we make small talk of a total of about 36 words a piece and then no one sits here. its fanTASTIC. and now we aren't talking anymore, and i feel TOTALLY fine with it - i was polite and somewhat witty and neither of us feel uncomfortable now. i'm totally redeemed.

and with that, im going to post this so that the few people who are online can read it right away and give me pleasure for paying $9.95 to write this.

[song title by prince - good song]

Friday, April 16, 2010

drive you home

i am so grateful to my friend for letting me stay with her and her husband and their two cats. but i am really ready to settle down. i've been living out of a suitcase since basically last august - i had a 4-month assignment in ohio, which was great and worked out well because i knew, at the beginning, that it was going to be 4 months. i had a great apartment (i guess i forgot to take pics of it. hmm...) for the last 3 months and it was in a great area. then i went home to fargo for a few weeks and came out to sac to an unknown place to live. it was unacceptable. for over $1200 a month, i was living in a trailer the size of a car - here are the pics:

view from the doorway:
view also from the doorway, turned to the right:
here is the mini-fridge, note there was no freezer and no oven. the "silverware" was in the plastic bin to the left of the fridge:
the bathroom had a toilet and a stand-up shower (which is fine), but no sink, so i had to brush my teeth and take out my contacts using the tiny kitchen sink (seen above in the top left corner). there was a mirror - kind of.

very cutely decorated, and clean and new, but much too small, especially considering that my brother and his fiancee were coming to stay with me - i couldn't even put out my yoga mat, so i had to move from this place:

to a proper one-bedroom trailer. a bit bigger, and decent furniture and amenities (a real fridge and oven and flat-screen tv!):

with a cute little desk area:
and a functional bathroom (although when i turned the shower on, i could hear water dripping under the trailer - i dont know if this is normal, or not):
and a clean bedroom that felt like a bedroom on a ship:

this place wasn't bad, but it was not worth the $1700/month that i paid. the carpets were sticky (i dont even want to know!) and it was basically in the ghetto. so i moved out. i ended up at a friend's house who was out of town and i took care of their cats. it was great, but i felt like i was imposing. so when my contract got extended for another 2 months, i decided to move to an extended stay hotel which was closer to my budget of $1200/month (still a LOT). i think i wrote about my check-in experience and how i ended up in the 3rd room they gave me (again with sticky carpets, hair in the bathroom, cigarette stains / burns / holes in the blankets). i stayed there because it was close to work and i wasn't in anyone's way (that i know of). it was uncomfortable and not worth the money (again), so when my contract was extended for ONE MORE MONTH, i decided to move back in with my friend, hoping to stay out of their way (and paying rent!). i'm glad i'm gone a lot because i hate to feel like i'm in anyone's way. and the point is this: i've been living out of a suitcase for 9 months - moved 6 times in 9 months and its time for a PERMANENT HOME. and my belongings have been in boxes for TWO YEARS while i traveled around. i need to unpack, get rid of things, organize, put up paintings, have my own bed, etc. i'm so looking forward to getting back to boston just for this reason...

pictures of my new home to come soon!

[drive you home by garbage on the beautiful garbage cd because i hope to be driving myself home soon!]

Thursday, April 15, 2010

that's impossible, sir. it's in johnson's underwear

agh! its almost the end of the day and i was going to write this morning when i woke up, but then i didnt. then i was going to write when i got to work. then after lunch. whew - the day has gone by! and as the end of the day nears, i am trying really hard not to fall asleep! i'm reading this article on shadow banking and its a bit dry. and tiring. PLUS i have been up late and super busy this past week, so i haven't gotten a lot of sleep.

so sunday, i got a call in my "room" asking if i was staying for another month. i said "no" and she pointed out that my 30 days contract was done on tuesday, not FRIDAY, like i had thought. so i had to pack up everything in my place, go to work on monday, bring my perishables to my new home, then go back to my "room" and finish packing. before work on tuesday, i packed up my rental car and went to work. after work, i moved to my friend's house, where i am staying for the next month, and started to unpack and do laundry. but i wasn't able to finish because it was so late. so i went to bed. last night, wed, i finished unpacking, cleaned my room, and did my taxes - woo ho! they're done. i really should get in the habit of doing those right away in january. i'm getting quite a bit of money back, which will help pay for rent in boston since i HAVE NO JOB (eek!!).

taxes are done, but i have to pack again tonight - i'm bringing home a case of wine which is currently in two boxes and i have to tape them to make them one. i love sneaking around the rules, especially airline rules. i hope to go to bed around 9 tonight - i'm so tired! then i'll get to work by 730 tomorrow (oh! i've been leaving after 8 the past few days and it makes my commute super long! not cool). in the vain of other stupid things, here are some articles that have been in the news recently that i think are stupid(ness):
[quotation from the breakfast club because this post is kind of nonsensical...]

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

dream apartment - 22

from boingboing. cool desk - not really sure if it would work for me, but with a few modifications, i could totally give it a go. what do you think?

Monday, April 12, 2010

dream apartment - 21

my dear friend [dave] sent this to me because he knows me oh-so-well and KNEW i would absolutely LOVE this because i hate being outside, but do love fires and s'mores... isn't that fun?? it's more of a thing just to have and you can read about it here...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

baby, you send me

its saturday morning. 10:27am in fact. i'm still in bed. and i kinda love it.

last night was fun - my first *fun* night in a long time. i left work about 415 and went to see date night. totally fun! it made me laugh. i was annoyed that a lot of the good parts are in the previews, and its completely unbelievable, but i really liked it. so i was in a good mood when i left the movie theater and so i put on my "most played" playlist and blared the music and rolled down the windows and got on the highway for the 3 mile drive back to my room. but i was having so much fun, i just kept driving! i drove past my exit and was thinking "where could i go? what could i do?" it was 630 or so and i realized i should get some food and then i realized, "i know! davis! i'll go to davis." its a city of 64,000 people, home to uc davis, about 15 miles west of sacramento - on the exact road that i was on. so i cruised on, singing along to my music at high volumes. and i hit up redrum burger and it was DELISH! i had a quarter pounder burger with jalepenos and bbq sauce (and lettuce, tomato, onions, and mustard) and an oreo milkshake. it was soo good. i hopped back on the freeway and headed home.

i was in a really good mood and then got home and watched the end of its always sunny season 4. which was also fun.

today i think i'm going to go rollerblading and then head to napa and pick up some wine - woo hoo! (another chance to cruise with the windows rolled down! i think thats my new favorite pasttime. please dont remind me of the environmental impact of driving. it makes me feel more guilty than i already do. i've never liked having the windows rolled down, its a new thing for me. (hair has to be up, of course) i think its because it makes me feel like i'm on a motorcycle, but i can only imagine because i have never actually been on one. i think i would like it. but i like driving in a car with the windows down because i get to sit upright. i wouldnt get to do that on a motorcycle, unless i get a hog, right? should i do that? maybe i'm a hog kinda gal.) and then maybe go downtown to check out second saturday. maybe not. we'll see how motivated i am. :)

ok, i gotta go eat breakfast and get out of bed. woo hoo!

[baby, you send me by pm dawn is obviously the only song you can reference when talking about cruising around]

Friday, April 9, 2010

help! i need somebody!

and ... scene!

it's friday! woo hoo! for once, i am kind of excited about the weekend. tomorrow, i am heading to my beloved napa valley and going to pick up a mumm wine shipment and... dum dum dum... TWO CASES of bubbly! woo hoo. (i have two coupons for 50% off of a case - can't wait!) it's very important to always have bubbly on hand. i think i might check out the wine garage, too. i really like that place and can get good new wines to try at a decent price. i'm partially looking forward to going because i have been looking for a nice drive somewhere to listen to some npr. should be fun.

in addition to that, i have to pack this weekend - next week i'm moving out of my extended stay hotel - woo hoo! am so glad. i have about 5 weeks left here in california and i have a lot to do, so thats good. i'm 1000% more effective when i'm busy.

so good news: the fierce red river of the north is receding! news today says that the red river has fallen to minor flood stage now. congrats to fargo for surviving another flooding season!

a friend of mine sent me an article the other day and i was like, "i was going to write about that!" but i hadn't read it yet. then he writes back, "it's basically an article about YOU." so i read the article and he's right! so funny. its about how educated women drink more than their uneducated counterparts, which might be a little counter-intuitive. i saw a different version online which was titled "cleverest women are the heaviest drinkers." well, then, i must be a lush because i am SUPER clever! :) ha.

so the biggest thing going on for me right now is i'm trying to coordinate/decide/figure out/some other verb what i am going to be doing in the next few months. i've basically decided i'm heading back to beantown. not my favorite city, BUT i feel i have a new appreciation for living among people who are more similar to me than not. AND i LOVE the proximity to europe. and i'm excited about my new apartment. i can't wait to hide lotion bottles all around. BUT now i'm wondering about the logistics...

my stuff is in storage in fargo. and technically it can stay there, BUT the more i think about it, the more i want some of it to be in boston - namely: my bike, sheets and pillows, clothing, it would be nice to have a few more purse selections, some books, maybe all my pictures to organize (since i never did do that while i was at home), a tv, etc. BUT to ship all that would be a few hundred dollars, even if i shipped the basics. SO i started looking in to u-hauls and they're less than a grand for me to move my stuff myself (vs. $3500 it cost to move my stuff from boston to fargo - paying someone to do it for me). and all my stuff is already packed. so, i kind of think i should just move it, even if boston isn't where i end up in the long-run. then the question is - when do i move it? my mom has a week off in august, so i could buy a plane ticket from fargo to boston in may, then fly back in august and drive with her and my stuff and then fly her back to fargo. or i could bring my stuff right away in may. i get back to fargo on may 15 (and am paying rent effective may 1). i tried to get either my brother and sister-in-law to come with me, or my cousins, but no one really has the time off. IF someone came with me, i would be willing to leave around may 26/27 and take 2-3 days to drive there - stopping in minneapolis or milwaukee then syracuse. so that whoever came with me could stay in boston for the long memorial weekend and then i'd fly him/her back. but thats not really working for anyone.

SO... NOW i'm kind of thinking maybe i should do the drive by myself. i could leave sooner, which means get to boston sooner, which means get to work sooner (hopefully - or at least get to LOOKING for work sooner). and i could take my time driving. i could drive to minneapolis and see my cousin's new house. then i could drive to milwaukee and see a friend there. i just got off the phone with a friend in columbus and she suggested i drive through there, which could work. its a little south, but it would be fun to go back to cmh. then i could head up to syracuse (a natural way to boston) and stay with my aunt and uncle there and then hit up beantown. does that sound doable? its going really really slowly and driving 7.5 hrs MAX on any day (most days are 5-6 hours). is that a good idea? i can't decide...

i just want someone to tell me what to do.

[help! i need somebody is a song on the 1965 album/film by the beatles]

Thursday, April 8, 2010

dream apartment - 20

a little busy as of late, so only have a chance for these quick posts...
my new place, which i'm moving to in may (eek!!) has a spiral staircase, but i'm thinking we should do something like the above... we can totally make it work. if even for like 5 bottles or something. other cool under-the-stairs ideas found here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

my forgotten favorite

just a quick note because i am super busy today - slept in a bit (was going to get up at 5, but got up at 7) and want to be at work in 15 minutes, which is not going to happen.... tonight i feel like i have a lot to do, but i can't think of it right now. for now, though, the point is this: pie won. wtf. i wasn't pleased with either finalist (i think red velvet cake vs. cheescake pie), but i voted for red velvet because cake is better. do YOU, dear readers of wanderlust nd style think that, in general, pie is better than cake? do you?? do you??

if so, i don't know if we can be friends anymore.


not pleased!

[my forgotten favorite (fun song from the clueless soundtrack by velocity girl)]

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

dream apartment - 19

i found this picture at apartment therapy and it made me reminisce for my apartment in paris (holy crap! that was 7 years ago!!!) this isn't so much "dream apartment"-worthy, BUT it did make me realize that i would like to have an apartment in paris one day. one to call my own. [as an aside, this picture is almost twice as big as my apartment was - it was SUPER SMALL.]

Monday, April 5, 2010

a beautiful morning

my trainer came over this morning and she pointed out that i was in a good mood. i guess i am! how odd. :) i'm not really sure why... in fact, i woke up at 4:30 or something, worried because i don't have a job after mid-may. i decided not to bother trying to get back to sleep, so i got up and did some emailing and reading articles and whatnot. i think that is the key for me: being up and not dealing with anyone for a good few hours before other human contact. then i should be in a good mood for the day. maybe.

as always, monday, my favorite day of the week. my partner is slacking a bit on the mad tasty posts, so i pushed out a quick one for today in honor of easter (which was yesterday - i have to keep reminding myself that). please check it out here and leave a comment! that would help extend my good mood, hint, hint. :) people keep asking me how my easter was and i'm like, "oh, you mean sunday? yeah, it was normal."

actually, the more i think about it, i should logically NOT be in a good mood today. i'm very annoyed by the final four in the cake vs. pie showdown. red velvet and german chocolate?? ew. NEITHER. apple pie or cheesecake? again, neither, but not so adamantly. i would "maybe" eat apple pie, but i prefer apple crisp. this whole thing is so disappointing! but not really a big deal... eh. i'm over it.

in honor of my good mood (this is really just setting me up for a bad end to my day, i'm sure), i thought i would post a link to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. i've been to a few, my new goal: to visit at least half of them. the thing with me and beaches is i get bored easily. it's tough for me to just go and sit on the beach. i can bring a book, but that lasts just a few hours and i listen to music (or the sound of the ocean), but then i get antsy. and if i'm in the heat too long, nooo way. i'm outta there. BUT i like LOOKING at pretty beaches. and i like swimming in oceans that are certainly shark-free. but i still can't do that for hours on end. BUT i'd still like to go there. where is your favorite beach?

there are a TON of pictures to go through (ahhhh....) so i just re-went through a few and i really like this one:
it reminds me of a poster i got from the dentist's office when i was in 4th grade...

but THIS picture looks super-shark-safe and therefore makes me want to go...

i've only been to cancun (very pretty) and aruba (pas mal) and... i think that's it. oh, obviously new zealand and sydney but i guess neither were really beaches... oh, duh. i've been to the cook islands. that was so-so. i probably wouldn't go back. if i'm going all that way, i'd just go to tahiti or something.

i'm also partially happy because i am mostly done with this massive project at work - zaz! and i feel like i'm starting to get unstuck. i've got a place to go, even though i dont have a job, but i have some plans and goals and that is always good for me...

now, my only isssue is that i need to decide if i'm going to yoga tonight or not...

[a beautiful morning by the rascals because i'm in a good mood]

Saturday, April 3, 2010

loneliness is worse

this is close to being a repeat of last weekend: bor-ing! it's saturday night and i'm at work. i dont actually mind, but it would be nice to have something to do other than going to movies (saw alice in wonderland last night, that brooklyn movie is no longer in the theaters around here). i think tonight i'll see greenberg at my favorite theater in town - the tower theater. woo hoo! i'm watching sons of tucson which is actually pretty funny. i suggest you check it out.

i thought you guys might enjoy this link. unfortunately, i can't paste the picture here for you (necessitating that you click on the link); its a link to a story on a study the gop did that shows the propensity of sports fans to vote (and which party they typically vote for). scary. or something.

great. another photo i can't put in. grrr! well, check this link out, too. its a graph showing what average americans eat vs. what the federal government thinks we should eat. summary: too much grain and meat, not enough fuit and veg. i actually read a really good article by a doctor which says that the fda food pyramid is completely wrong (having grains be so much of our diet), but that was ages ago that i read it, so i can't link to it here. if i find it, i'll put it up for you.

i just figured it out. it must be an IE6 thing: not being able to put the pictures in here. stupid work for not allowing my firefox to work. i think they blocked it. grrr. anyway, i wanted to paste this picture of a funny "hotel" in denmark or somewhere like that (its a drain pipe) and see what ya'll thought. it maks me curious to go and stay in one of these places...

and finally for your saturday night viewing pleasure, i liked this article by a guy (or lady) who says that he (or she) is cancelling magazine subscriptions based on the ads inside. i like sticking up for your princples like that. bravo, kind sir (or madam). i'm going to go see a movie now.

have a good weekend!

[song by veruca salt on the eight arms to hold you album. because its kinda lonely in sacramento...]

Friday, April 2, 2010

i won't tell your secrets...

it is 3:20am and i am wide awake. i do not wish to be so, but i am. i had a rather nice april fools day and went to bed 5 hours ago in a good mood. now that i am not sleeping, this good mood is quickly disappearing.

i haven't had a rental car all week because they weren't available at reasonable prices (the normal budget office did not have any available because of spring break and the airport had them for $45 / day - NOT good. normally, i get it for less than $30 / day). so my coworker has been picking me up. he picked me up early on thursday morning because we had an early meeting. got to work and started getting a bit of stuff done on this massive project i'm not liking so much. i spent part of wednesday night doing the project by hand and i also watched some netflixes. then i went to a cool restaurant with my coworker and his gf for lunch. i had a burger. it really hit the spot.

the office was kind of dead, which i enjoyed. since wednesday was a holiday at the office and friday (today) is a furlough, a lot of people took thursday off, as well. after lunch, i worked on my project a bit more and then my coworker took me to get my rental car (@ $28/day, thank you very much). my coworker is SUPER NICE - like, almost unrationally so. he and his gf are going out of town this weekend and so he gave me his parking pass for monday so i can park in his spot and not pay for street parking (which is like $10/day) AND he's giving me his key so i can go over to his place and do my laundry while they're away. how nice is that?? he also let me use his car the other night when i didn't have one and had a hair appointment. and he kept offering all week to let me use his car. so sweet.

anyway, at the budget office, the girl told me that they didn't have any "compact" or "economy" cars available (which is what i always reserve because i dont need the car for anything other than getting to work and getting groceries). she comes back and says "we don't have your size available, so i'm going to upgrade you for free." i said "oh, thank you." and she glances up at me as she says "it's a nissan altima." i kind of looked at her blankly until i realized she wanted me to be impressed. finally, i said, "oh, i know nothing about cars, so i'm not sure what kind of car that is, but if you tell me it's nice, thank you!" she kind of chuckled. i really had NO IDEA if that was a good car or not. i'm still stuck in high school thinking that this one guy's dodge neon was a cool car. whatever happened to those, btw?? it wasn't until she pulls the car up that i see, it IS a pretty nice car. THEN i get inside. it's a keyless car! like seriously, there is no key. it's just a button that you push to start the car! how COOL is that?? i have to put the clicky thingy in this little compartment so it charges, but other than that i do nothing! its REALLY NICE. and i have it for 3 weeks!! i'm quite pleased with myself for gaming the system like that. :)

so i drove back to work quite happy because i was talking to a friend who had good news. (hands free, of course!) i get back to work after 5pm and of course i dont feel like working anymore. i bummed around for 10 minutes trying to decide if i should stay. i couldnt really think of anything i needed to do at home, so i finally put on dwts from monday night that i missed and buckled down. i got a lot done and left the office at 730 to head to pf changs to get dinner before heading home by 8pm in time to watch bones, which, of course, was awesome. i love awesome tv shows. oh, and the guy at pf changs gave me a free drink to go! another fun thing.

i watched some podcasts and got tricked by TWO of them! one wine podcast gave an announcement that he was retiring, which kind of surprised me, then at the end it said "april fools!" and i was like "bra-vo! i did NOT see that coming." then i watched this other podcast called economy bites where they cook a cheap meal that lasts all week. she went to the store and bought some tv dinners and i thought "holy crap! this is TOTALLY CRAPPY." then, of course, "april fools!" i'm such a fool! it made me chuckle.

oh, i forgot the best part. my friend kj and i are about the blow this whole story out of the water. we have stumbled upon a discovery in our collective minds (well really she figured it out, but i'm making sure we don't get erased by posting on this blog as a whistle-blower). i can't go into all the details just yet, until we've figured out the conspiracy, so i'll give you a few clues....

1) take the guy in the middle...
2) now, take this guy in the middle...

3) put them together. eh? eh? EH?

just think about it. you'll get it.

... anyway, put all that together and i had a pretty decent day. oh wait. except now i have no job. i mean, technically, i never REALLY had a job, but i had a potential job in boston (did i tell you, btw, that i AM moving there?? yeah, i'm moving in with higgi in the morning in his FAB-U-LOUS apartment on tremont street effective may 1, but i won't get there until mid-may or so). so now i need to find a job in boston. to pay my rent. any suggestions? oh, and to be clear, i'll be here in sac until about may 14. i'll fly home to fargo but then the question is... do i spend my birthday in fargo or boston (or somewhere else)? and do i fly directly to boston? or do i drive my stuff out there? or do i wait until august when my mom has a week off to get my stuff to boston? (not "wait" as in wait in fargo - i'd fly to boston and then fly back to drive my stuff out. OR is that the way to do it??) i have no idea what to do. i need to make some decisions.

now its 3:52am. i'm not sure if i'll be able to go back to sleep but i have my trainer coming in less than 3 hours. bleh. i'm more excited to finish this project at work than i am to work out. just not loving it these days. i need to rollerblade again. i haven't done it in a while. and i'd like to figure out something to do this weekend. i'm sure i'll be sufficiently bored to pay my taxes and update quicken. oh, and apply for jobs which i had stopped doing. BUT i DID finish my resume, for the most part. so THERE.

oh, finally, then i really DO need to go to bed... re: this no-pop thing. i looked up tonic and it is considered a soda. do we consider energy drinks as soda pop, too? like monster or red bull. ah crap. i just looked up "energy drink" in wiki and it says its a "soft drink advertised as boosting energy." i guess that answers that. no more sugar free red bull for me. i just might miss that even though i drink it once a month or so. what about bubbling flavored water e.g. pellegrino. that's just water, right? not soda?

["i won't tell... your secrets... are safe with me..." is a line from alicia keys' song diary. i can't get these lines out of my head - it seems i woke up and i was thinking them. i wonder why...]