Sunday, January 30, 2005

i'm alive...and how i know it

So my stomach has been hurting for well over a week, which I somehow always seem to take as something normal, despite the fact that my parents are encouraging me to go to a doctor. But I hate going to the doctor, and I haven't been to one here since I got my last inhaler prescription at Vaden, which I should probably replace at some point since that was well over a year ago and I used the last refill over the summer. Sadness.

Anyway, the stomachache, probably due mostly to stress/no sleep/last week's binge drinking, caused me to stay home Thursday and go home early on Friday. That means I am even further behind at work than I was. I also didn't get to rest that much, since I moved Friday (thanks to Jasmine and Ritu! and to a lesser extent Tammy and Shedletsky! for helping me). I have to go clean my old apartment now; I'm at work because I had some emails I needed to send out and I don't have internet at either place anymore. But by tonight, I will be done with the old apartment! Thanks for the memories, apartment--I enjoyed living with Walter, and there were some fun memories (the olympic rings cake, for example), but it has outlived its place in my life.

Now the fun will be trying to put the new place in some semblance of order, and with some semblance of quickness since Terry is having people over next weekend. This weekend was brutal--stomachache all the time, moving on Friday, the beach w/some of the mafia kids since I'd promised Jasmine I'd go and it was her last night here, then 'partying' in the Uhaul...then Saturday dim sum w/Tammy and Claudia (I cancelled on Shedletsky, then the three of us ended up going w/out him because I changed my mind and couldn't find him), then moving my computer, stereo, and all the other heavy things, then passing out at ten last night. Today I had brunch w/Ritu at Roble, which was great, and I saw Eric C, which was also great, then came to the office, and now I have to go clean.

After that thoroughly uninteresting update, I need to go so that I can finish cleaning while there is still daylight, since almost all of the lamps are at the new place. I will have you all over soon, I promise! And I will start writing interesting and ridiculous tings again as soon as I get settled in with the lovely internet at my fingertips.

It's sort of nice having wireless because it's like it's all around you all the time. I miss that security, and I can't wait to have it back. Comcast in coming on Tuesday! And then my life will be happy again.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

i'm a driver, i'm a winner...things are gonna change, i can feel it

Oh, the joys of being employed. I was at work for what, eleven hours today? And eleven hours yesterday? However, I had rib-eye steak and gnocchi carbonara for lunch, and I had enchiladas for dinner, so it's not like I'm truly suffering. However, work is a) cramping my style (even if it does enable me to pursue a type of style in my leisure hours that does not involve living in a box and squeegeeing windshields under the bridge) and more importantly b) keeping me from finishing the move into my new apartment. It was all I could do to actually do laundry last night; and since I moved all my hangers already, all the clean clothes are sitting in one basket on my living room floor and another basket in the passenger seat of my car. Sadness. Tonight, I got home a little after eight, was going to move things, but instead did a little bit more work, watched TV with Terry (oh 'Scrubs', how I love you, and to think that I missed out on you when everyone used to watch you in the Loro lounge!), then decided it was time for bed.

I really need to decide what the next step is--not that I'm considering leaving work anytime soon (for my coworkers who read this), but I also don't intend to stay forever, and some overarching life goals would be good right about now. For instance, I was watching 'Sex and the City' tonight (another good show I never used to watch), and Carrie needed to buy her apartment, and realized that she had no money or assets. Now, at 23, I'm not worried about buying a house--but someday I would like one, and unless my dream of writing romance novels and getting rich quick comes true, I should be thinking more about the future. However, the future is so far away...and the beautiful kitchen gadgets at Crate and Barrel are achingly close.

To top it off, my oldest niece turned 13 today! That also seems impossible...I was ten when she was born, and now suddenly I'm thinking about assets and mortgages and financial goals and moving and jobs and career plans and life plans and all the things that being a grown-up is supposed to entail, and yet when she was born I was thinking more about Nancy Drew and the stars (i.e. hot gaseous masses, not the hot people I now watch on VH1) and why all the kids at school hated me and how absolutely adorable my niece was. I don't want to be ten again, which is good since you can never go back, but when I was ten I never expected that my life would be where it is now. When I was ten, I hoped I'd be an astronaut or something...but I secretly really just wanted to be a mom, and I expected it to start around the age that I am now. Now, I definitely don't want kids at this age, especially since I'm so far from knowing what I want...but we never know what we want, and I've spent so much time doubting myself and wondering about potential paths, never wanting to commit to any one thing, always 'committing' to the wrong thing/person because at the end of the day I knew it would never work and so I wouldn't really have to commit to it after all.

I've said this all before, reached the same conclusions before, and so I doubt that this will really help. But every once in awhile, I have to remind myself of it so that someday, I'll catch myself in the right moment when I'm actually willing to make the change. Until then, I am trying to maintain my childlike wonder for all things, and I hope that you will too. Despite my rather cynical, sarcastic side, there's a lot to enjoy about life. Actually, Terry said that when she saw me Thursday night (the night of the drunken post, see below), it was really strange because I was so happy and there was absolutely no cynicism, sarcasm, or biting wit at all. Not that that's the real me either--but it's interesting that when my inhibitions go, they take the sarcasm with them.

Okay, enough introspections, it's time for bed!

Monday, January 24, 2005

cocaine nosejob

Well kids, I'm back. I must say that being drunk is tres fun, but being sober is also a good time. I am currently exploring sobriety with a new, more appreciative attitude. After drinking to the point of either tipsyness or smashedness six night out of seven (and the only night I didn't drink was the night I spent four hours driving back from the Loro ski trip), my liver deserves a long, nutritious vacation.

So, to feed it, I went to dim sum on Saturday with the opium lounge club, and we played Shrimp or Feet. It was Shedletsky's turn, and he quite unfortunately picked tripe with chilies and ginger. That's right, tripe, as in "The rubbery lining of the stomach of cattle or other ruminants, used as food" (definition courtesy dictionary.com). Shedletsky, true to his selfish roots, refused to even try it; this failure, combined with his refusal to try duck tongues a few weeks ago, means that he is at -1 points after his second turn. Tammy, Claudia and I all tried it, and Tammy and I went the distance, splitting the dish equally for half a point each. It was pretty gross; the tripe pieces were about two inches long, the main piece was very rubbery/chewy, and each piece had four or five little wavy 'appendages' attached to one side. The appendages were more flexible than the main pieces, thinner, very bumpy in texture, and altogether quite strange.

Verdict: I'm not a fan of tripe. I am also more scared of the game than I was before, since the tripe came off of what I had previously viewed as a moderately safe cart that contains various types of dumplings. I also know for a fact that they serve some sort of tripe soup that one of us will get eventually, much to our continuing dismay. Also, no one has had feet yet, which is too bad. So, standings after 1.5 turns are:

Tammy: 2.5pts (baked bbq pork bun, deep fried shrimp dumpling, 1/2 tripe)
Claudia: 2pts (marinated duck tongue)
Sara: 1.5pts (pan fried rice noodle, 1/2 tripe)
Shedletsky: -1pts (shrimp/pork dumpling, refused to try tongue, picked and then refused to try tripe)

Right now it seems to be about 50/50 as far as the difference between good and bad; or, if you prefer, 2/2/2 for great/mediocre/hideous. Not particularly great odds, eh? Anyway, it's my turn next! And Claudia gets another turn before the end of the second round as well, so she should be solidly in first unless disaster (in the form of gelatin w/blood and sea creatures) befalls her. We also need to come up with some sort of suitable, awful punishment for Shedletsky, since he refuses to even try foods and clearly doesn't care if he loses right now.

In other news, I moved some stuff to Menlo Park this weekend, but I have so much stuff that it seems like I haven't made any progress at all. For most people, moving ten boxes of books, six tubs of clothing, several board games, a coffee maker, forty or fifty hangers, two pillows, and three boxes of souvenirs/keepsakes would be great progress; but for me, that's just the beginning. Ah, fun times. I can't wait to be settled in, though--our new place is lovely, and is such a step up from the car-repairing neighbors. So, if you need to get your car pimped, you only have another week to visit me and get my neighbors to do it; after that, I'll be in Menlo Park, where pimping is frowned upon. But that means that I'll be so much closer to campus! And campus = friends, and friends, as you know, I love (almost as much as I love the letter 's'). The one bad thing about my new apartment is that the fastest way to get to work is to cut across campus via Arboretum...and that means driving past Crate and Barrel every day. Please rescue me from myself! [Editor's note: it's too late for that; I ordered bedding from Crate and Barrel yesterday. yay.]

Thursday, January 20, 2005

hooray!

oasy so that was really too much alocholiszzle
i am realy drunk
and this is not meant to worry and y of you
seriously
but i just ahd a lot of vodka
which in russian is water
lik e the water of life
and it is our friends
i love friens
ds
ythey are the bombdiggityss
and lik ethe lieesttser 's
'
it is our firensda s well
hi kids@!
i amon the ski trip
and by 'amon' i mean 'am on'
not hte god of eypgyt
you knwo wat i mean
pharousahs, gods
they are the same
in egypts
wheeee
hi kids
vokda and v8 = friends
and tahoe = friends
and sales vonfereances = friends
vonfereances =- conferences
you knwo what i mean
and we are all firends
friends
yay friends
yay new paartmenets whihc i will move into tomorrow
and yay for all the poeple who mena so much to me
claudia adn teytysedgrey (terrysgt)
emilay
wqalter
(ahaha walter will think its funny that i can
't sepell her name beczuse i'm tood runkg to see)
john and cris and zacdh and adita and ritu and reness and julie elien and greg and tom and rachel and sthari and doug and shed nd curt adn eric and sean (who is in cahrage!) and micahel adn jasungmen adn tammsy(TAMMY SO COOLS)adng wahtever i can't dstyeps anwyamore and tehr'es a itnotehre party that iwasnt to go toes so goodbye!!!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

too much alcohizzle

Hello, friends. I'm sorry that I haven't written since I got back to California; I know that I use the phrase 'insanely busy' a lot, but this time it is no exaggeration. In the past two weeks I have:

1) worked 12-14 hours/day for two weeks (ugh)
2) found a new apartment
3) attended a karaoke/dress-up birthday party
4) went to Tahoe with the Loro mafia kids
5) came to San Francisco for the sales conference

I will address all of these issues as follows...

1) Working 12-14 hours/day sucks. There's nothing more that can be said about that.

2) Claudia, Terry and I are moving next week! We signed a lease on a three-bedroom condo in Menlo Park, two blocks back from Secret Safeway in Sharon Heights. It's lovely--quiet, beautiful, tree-filled setting; sparkling pool; great bedrooms; jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom; wonderful kitchen; built-in display cabinets (and liquor cabinet!) in the dining room; patio; etc. And, it's v. close to Stanford for Claudia, which also means that I can visit Stanford people more easily. Yay! I'm moving my stuff starting as soon as I get back from Tahoe Friday afternoon (more on that in a second).

3) The karaoke/dress-up party was surprisingly fun; I normally don't have a fantastic time at the boys' parties, but this time I really loved it. I got drunk off of sangria made with wine and bacardi 151 (potent combination), as well as some vodka and cranberry juice that I had in a canteen labelled 'chemicals' (an homage to Gavin Rossdale/Bush's 'The Chemicals Between Us'). We sang a lot, and Bon Jovi was included in the mix. I saw all my friends, slapped Ritu's boyfriend (hard!) after a mock argument heated up, and sang 'Take Me On' by A-ha in honor of the two members of the School of Ruckus (!) who were present at the party [for those of you in the know, the School of Ruckus members there were Vijay the SLE tutor and the drummer whose name I can't remember]. Fun times were had by all.

4) The Loro mafia ski trip was everything that I could imagine it to be and more. I missed the cataclysmic final act, but I participated in all the good stuff--and the group had started drinking, which was really weird and unexpected, and meant that I've gotten tipsy/drunk 4 of the past 5 nights. We played 'never have i ever' as a drinking game, and interesting tings happened Friday night. Saturday, I hung out with Michael and Jasmine all day, and we had lunch with my friend John; then Jasmine made tasty enchiladas, and we played indian poker as a drinking game. Indian poker was ridiculously fun, considering how ridiculous it is. Then, Shedletsky, Doug, Curt and I played four-person mafia and kept the whole house up, much to others' chagrin and our absolute amusement. I hung out there all day Sunday, and made it home from the Nevada side of Heavenly in 3hrs 59mins. There are many many fun things that came out of this trip, but for the sake of sensitivity (which I don't use very often) I will not recount it here. Sorry.

5) Sales conference/ski trip is this week. So I got back from Tahoe at 1am Sunday night/Monday morning, slept for six hours, repacked my stuff, went to work on Monday, and then took a bus to San Francisco Monday night. I'm here now and am having a great time, although I'm tired, and I drank Monday and Tuesday night. Tonight is the closing banquet (banquet=alcohol), and tomorrow we take a bus to Tahoe (tahoe=alcohol). Then we come back Friday and I have to work Friday afternoon before beginning my third move in fifteen months. Ugh. I bought Dramamine to fight car sickness on the bus and drug myself into blessed slumber, so I hope it won't have a bad reaction to any leftover alcohol in my system :)

And that's all for now! Time to change for dinner. Take care, friends, and I'll start checking in more regularly in the near future.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

arrival

I'm back in California. Walter picked me up at the airport. It was surreal. He slept on my floor last night and will again tonight, and may or may not leave tomorrow. We went to Pizza My Heart with Claudia, Adit and Terry, as well as Can, Shedletsky and Joanna (who met us there), and fun was had by all (I think) even though I was being even more obnoxious (i.e. mean) than usual.

Work was brutal, since I didn't go to bed until almost four last night; I got there at 9:40, which was pretty early considering how late I went to bed, and found out that I have a lot of work to catch up on. In fact, I have so much work that I decided to come home at six anyway, because there was no way that the dent that I could put in the amount of work would be sizable enough to be worth staying another hour. So, I have many fun and varied projects awaiting me for the rest of the week. Wheeee.

I have nothing else to report that is worth staying up longer for, so I shall go to bed. I hope that everyone else made it to their destinations safely and that all is well :)

Monday, January 03, 2005

massive attack

I'm too tired to write much, but it will be interesting to see if I get back to California tomorrow...an ice storm is currently beginning to move over my area, and is supposed to last all night. That could severely hamper my ability to drive the seventy miles from my house to the airport. Luckily I don't have to be there until 4:30 or so, so hopefully they can clear the roads...but I need to go to work on Tuesday, so I hope that everything works out okay.

However, it's been a great break, and today was a fitting end to it; my mom made vegetable stew (and by vegetable I mean mostly meat and potatoes, w/some corn, green beans, carrots, and tomato juice for color), and Aunt Becky and Grandma came over to eat. We tried to play hearts, but it's a bad game for six people, so we quit early. Then we played a quick hand of 'square dance solitaire,' which evolved over my vacation into an actual game of sorts; it started when I was playing solitaire after a game of hearts, and my dad was sitting at the table watching me and telling me what to play. This eventually developed into some sort of singsong rhythm, which turned into a rhythmic call-type 'song,' like move callers for square dancing. We built it up for my aunt, telling her she had to play square dance solitaire...and when my dad first started calling the moves, she laughed until she cried.

I guess you had to be there.

Anyway, then Lorena showed up with some books on Scotland that she wanted to loan me after I told her I was interested in Scotland, and she read us all a Scottish version of 'Three Little Pigs' in a Scottish accent. We also drank some champagne that I had brought back for new years eve and not opened, since I knew it would turn to vinegar if I left it here. Aunt Becky, Lorena, and Gram all left, but Katie showed up around 7:30. We didn't talk much, and instead watched a re-run of 'Cold Case' on CBS, followed by a network airing of 'Behind Enemy Lines.' I actually liked it a lot; the premise wasn't particularly great, the idiocy level was high (like when Owen Wilson called in to base to say that he was at the rendezvous point, lost contact in the same location, and the admiral was yelling for someone to 'triangulate his position,' which should have been completely unnecessary). They made effective use of completely unnecessary slow-motion, Owen Wilson was ridiculous in the serious role since he often appeared to have a Hansel-type pout (although I'm of course biased because I have seen Zoolander 300 times), and I completely loved it, of course.

So for a last day, that was pretty great--awesome soup, games with my family, square-dance solitaire, Scottish folk tales, champagne, quality time with my best friend, and a thoroughly ridiculous war movie. Yay. So, goodbye Iowa...I shall see you again around the Fourth of July. See you soon, California...I'll be back before you know it (unless I'm iced in, of course).

Saturday, January 01, 2005

it's way too late to be this locked inside ourselves

Today was super fun--we had our neighbors, Ross and Lorena, as well as Katie and her dad over for dinner, an occurrence that is becoming something of a tradition. As I've mentioned before, Ross and Lorena are really awesome, interesting people; they were in one of the first waves of the Peace Corps back in the sixties (to Nigeria), and he is the Presbyterian minister while she leads the talented and gifted program at the jr. high/high school. And of course, any time that I can spend with Katie is good, although never enough, and her dad is entertaining as well, so a good time was apparently had by all. We made prime rib and crab legs...and the eight of us ate a ten-pound prime rib (that includes the bone, though, which we didn't eat) and five to eight pounds of crab legs (which includes the inedible shell, of course), as well as new potatoes, green beans, sourdough bread, salad greens, and my jam thumbprint cookies for dessert. Ah, everything was so tasty! We also had a bottle of zinfandel from the Valley of the Moon winery that I went to in Sonoma with Ritu and Maneesh--I really liked that wine, I had a bottle of it when I made the chorizo/garbanzo bean soup a couple of weeks ago, and so I brought another bottle of it home with me. I have a bottle of merlot that we didn't get around to drinking, so my parents can drink that sometime, but I insist on popping open the champagne I brought home before I leave, since it would be tragic to let it turn to vinegar. I may get the chance tomorrow, since Aunt Becky is coming down to play games (and eat more food, no doubt...I guess we're making stew or something...as my mother said, it would be a tragedy if I couldn't cook, since that's all my family does).

In forty-eight hours, I should be landing in the San Francisco airport. I tried to change my flight so that I would get in earlier, because I'm currently scheduled to land at something like 11:45pm, and I will have to pick up my luggage before I can go home, but Northwest wanted to charge me $800 to change my flight, which seemed ridiculous at best and robbery at worst. In some ways it's nice, because I don't have to be at the airport in Des Moines until 4:30 or 5, which means I can eat lunch at home and will have time to shower and finish packing...but it sucks on the other end, since I'll have to find a way home from the airport at midnight, which requires either a shuttle or a request for a ride from one of my friends. So, we'll see what happens. I'm actually more worried about the weather than anything, since it's icy here right now and may get worse before Monday...and I *have* to go to work on Tuesday, since I'm training people Tuesday morning. Bleh. It's been really nice to have a break; I've made a point of checking my email only rarely, and refusing to think about it otherwise. Vacations are wonderful things, aren't they?

However, I didn't write anything in my romance novel this break, which makes me sad. It also makes me angry at myself, truth be told, since I wanted to finish it by the new year, but lacked the will/inspiration. We'll see what January holds in regards to the novel. I do intend to read more about Scotland; the more I know, the more fascinated I am with their culture, and I feel like more information about Scotland (particularly the Highlands) can only help me to form a picture in my mind. I was talking about Scotland with Lorena tonight, and she was there several years ago before visiting her son in Kenya, and she was telling me about all sorts of books she has about Gaelic culture and customs, Scottish fairy tales and myths, Scottish spirituality, etc., that sound fascinating. She's supposed to give me the titles/authors tomorrow so that I can find them in a library or get them off of Amazon...so expect more information about Scotland, if nothing else, since I like to share the fascinating little tidbits that I pick up while reading.

I wanted to write my year-in-review tonight, but it's almost two a.m. and I need to go to bed if I have any hope of getting up early enough tomorrow to shower before my aunt shows up. I also have to start the brutal process of packing; I got lots of breakable or semi-breakable stuff for Christmas (like irish coffee glasses, candleholders, a cake plate that had belonged to my grandmother, etc.) that I have to package carefully. I also have to figure out what to have my mother send me later, like the waffle iron, my pizza stone, and the casserole dish that is the only really perfect dish for baked beans or pizza surprise ('pizza surprise' is what we call midwestern goulash--elbow macaroni, ground beef or sausage, tomato sauce, and cheese--because my dad was going to try to make us pizza in Ukraine once but realized that he didn't have the ingredients for it, and so we ended up with goulash instead, so it's pizza surprise because the surprise is that it isn't pizza). I got the casserole dish for Christmas last year but didn't want to risk leaving it in the kitchen when I was sharing with the two random roommates--the casserole dish is an antique, and it's the same as the one my mother uses, since she got it off of eBay. The casserole dish was an effort to forestall a blood feud over the inheritance of the real casserole dish, since all of my siblings would want the dish...so my sister and I got 'new' ones from eBay, and my brother will eventually get the real one. Seems fair to me, especially since I get to start using mine whenever I want. Too bad it isn't red, though...it's a light blue, so it doesn't match the rest of my stuff at all, but it produces awesome baked beans and so I can't complain.

Now I'm just rambling, and for no purpose whatsoever since a discussion of casserole dishes and pizza surprise is hardly interesting. Goodnight!

and they rode on in the friscalating dusklight

Happy new year, everyone!

Mine was not particularly exciting. I woke up this morning around noon, accompanied my mother to the next town over (~30 miles away) to pick up a prime rib for tomorrow night's feast (and also got to buy some awesome white skechers with hot pink/glitter trim), came home and made jam thumbprints, ate dinner, and watched 'JAG' and 'Without a Trace' on CBS (classic Midwestern television...I hadn't seen JAG for a long time). Then, my mother wanted to watched 'The Royal Tenenbaums,' which I had received for Christmas, so I popped it in the DVD player...and she of course promptly fell asleep, so I watched the last hour and twenty minutes by myself. It ended around 11:55, so I got to see the countdown (and chose to watch the countdown on Conan instead of Dick Clark/Regis' New Years Rockin Eve), and then sat around and watched the news. V. uneventful and boring...but I didn't have to clean up anyone's vomit, or fight crowds, or get mauled in a club, or try to decide who would be the designated driver (usually me), so there were definite advantages to this 'celebration.' And I *love* 'The Royal Tenenbaums,' so watching it again was great.

Tomorrow will be more fun...we're having our neighbors over, as well as Katie and her dad (which was a surprise since I thought she would be out of town tomorrow, but I'm glad she'll be here), for our ritual winter feast. We're having prime rib and crab legs, and perhaps new potatoes, but the focus is really on the meat. And the alcohol...I brought wine and champagne back from California, so I'll have the chance to enjoy some libations a bit stronger than iced tea.

Also tomorrow, or the next day, look for my recap of 2004...I was going to write it tonight but I'm too lazy. I hope that everyone else had merry and safe experiences tonight!