Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Adapting to a troublesome situation

I know, I know, I'm not blogging enough. Sorry. There just isn't much going on. I could tell you what other people are doing, but that's not my job. So I'll tell you about the annoying little "trouble" light on my alarm pad.

So when they built these apartments they wanted this building to be all super-cool-European-flat-like (I know: I moved in here when they were first built and that's how they marketed them. It worked then; this time, eh). The parking is on the first floor with a gate, and also on the first floor are alleged shops. I say alleged because for the ten years this building has been there, the only thing that has managed to stick around is the hair salon and the police sub-station. There is a little stop-and-rob but I can't see it lasting since the guy's hours are like 7:30am to 5pm or something. He is never open. He just sort of makes his own hours. Really not convenient when you are talking about a convenience store.

Anyway, so you go into the lobby that has a sitting area that no one sits in and the mailboxes and the elevator. You remember the elevator - those dogs are still just as stinky as ever. The doors from the garage and the outside into the lobby area of course require a key. Then you go up to your floor and down the hall and there is your apartment. In each of the apartments is a security system. The City of Beaverton, being the City of Beaverton, requires that every resident pay $10 for the very idea of this security system. If you want it activated you have to sign on with an independent company and pay that separately. But if you don't want to you don't have to. No matter what you choose, however, you still have to pay the City of Beaverton your $10. I paid $10 to get the crap annoyed out of me pretty much nightly.

So this $10 key pad on my wall by my front door is lit - it has a green "ready" light, and then some "region" lights that light up when, say, you open the front door or the deck door or if somebody throws a chair threw the window or something. That's it. There is also a little light marked "trouble" that I never noticed until one night about 2 months ago when I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

I heard beeping, about every 5 seconds. Be-beep (one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, four one-thousand, five one-thousand) be-beep. You get the idea. I don't generally turn on the lights for the mid-night pee simply because it hurts. But this night, I thought, Oh crap, the smoke alarm battery is dying. Having just moved in I grumbled to myself about how irresponsible it was for the management company to not have looked into this, but as I neared the smoke detectors (moving AWAY from the front door) the sound got fainter. And the little smoke alarm lights were solid green. Hmmmm. Finally I followed the be-beeps and found the "trouble" light ablaze. Well what the heck does THAT mean? This building is a fortress for Pete's sake, and since I am on the third floor and Spiderman doesn't exist in real life, I am sure no one was climbing onto my deck. Tired, I gave up and just went to bed. I fell back asleep pretty fast. And forgot about it until about 3 weeks ago.

The be-beeping thing started happening one night while I was watching TV. Nobody dropped a vase upstairs, I wasn't doing laundry, I wasn't using the blender. Just sitting there watching TV. TROUBLE! Be-BEEP! Gads. Not knowing what to do I just continued to put up with it. It stopped on its own accord. And started again in the middle of the night. It became pretty sporadic, maybe every three days or so and only for a few minutes, but gradually started increasing in frequency.

About a week ago I went to the key pad and just started banging on the numbers to make it stop. It did. The lights went back on ("ready" and "trouble") after about 10 minutes but the be-beeping didn't come back, so that's my remedy now. Bang on the keys until it stops. So trouble is in the air, but the $10 key pad knows I know so it must figure it's doing its job. Every now and then I will see that the trouble light is out, and if it's right before I go to bed I just sigh heavily because I have learned that trouble will definitely begin brewing sometime right after my TV timer in my bedroom goes off.

I am learning to live with trouble. I let it lull me to sleep last night. When I got up this morning I needed a little mental kick-start to remind me of the routine I have stuck to for the last 15 or so years (brush teeth, wash face, put in contacts, moisturize, take vitamins) and I ran in to a couple of walls early on, and forgot how to get to Lincoln Tower and lost my place a couple of times when answering the phone, but I think I am getting used to it. I'm pretty adaptable.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

How do you not like ME?! - Bonus 2nd post in one day

Wait I just remembered something. So the other day at work someone told me they met someone who DOESN'T LIKE ME. I was stunned! And amused, by the way, but this person who DOESN'T LIKE ME didn't know that the person who told me actually is a friend of mine. And of course he wasn't giving that up til he got the whole scoop. Apparently she DOESN'T LIKE ME because of a) the "quality" of my previous desk, and b) the fact that I have left the company and returned twice in the last few years. All really good reasons. Back in the day I had a heavy lender desk, and so consequently a lot of my business involved subprime loans - foreclosure and bankruptcy bustouts, no-doc stated income products, stuff like that. I guess because I closed that stuff I must be completely responsible for it, right? I mean, by the time a loan gets to me, the borrowers have been completely convinced by their loan officers that it is the best deal for them. Let me explain in simple terms what the role of an escrow officer is in Oregon: A NEUTRAL THIRD PARTY. So long as I am following all instructions and am convinced that the borrower sitting in front of me is the actual guy who owns the house, I am pretty much at the end of my responsibility. Now granted, if the loan officer is sitting at the table WITH the borrower and he is holding, say, a buck knife or a semi automatic weapon at the borrower's head while the borrower reconsiders, yeah, I have a responsibility to sense that perhaps the borrower is being coerced into signing. But remember that whole concept of free will? Yeah, um, these people have been fully disclosed way before I ever entered the picture, and to date I have seen no weapons in my signings.

So, girl who DOESN'T LIKE ME (and this time it had nothing to do with my two year old sweaters), just because I closed very good numbers monthly, bonussed enough to be able to finance over a year in another country without having to work, and came back (twice) based upon not only my abilities as an escrow officer but my sparkling wit and warm personality, do not be a hater. You can admit that you're jealous. I have met you exactly twice. You have no room to tell people you don't like me. Odds are good the people you are telling DO like me and will probably report that back to me, since they know I will be amused. And, you know, shocked, because, shit, how do you not like ME? Blows me away. And just makes me want to work harder to make you NOT LIKE ME MORE.

Duty bound

Well, I've been sitting here a few minutes trying to figure out how to start this post. Because I am blogging out of duty, not desire, this morning. There are people out there whose blogs bring them serious cash, to the point where it's their full time job. I don't know, if I didn't have a regular full time job I wouldn't have anything to blog about. But, you know, I wouldn't mind that.

I have been out of Lincoln Tower now for 3 full days, and yet in the morning my car would really prefer to drive there. Mostly because driving over Burnside to the Uptown branch has been a lesson in patience. I'm not saying I've learned any patience, I'm just saying it's been a lesson. I wonder if those people realize it's 40 mph most of the way on Burnside. I wonder if they don't trust their tires' ability to grip the road. I wonder if they can see me, in their rearview, just inches from blowing a gasket while they CREEP over a hill that has been there since for flipping ever. I can totally understand Sunset Highway creeping, I have to take it today as I will be working downtown. It's a freeway - they were BUILT to be slow during the morning commute. But surface streets like Burnside? Yeah, I'm not buying it. Or accepting it. I loved working in that Uptown branch - great gals in there - but the driving there had me stressed out by Tuesday and I already have enough coffee in me, I don't need any further stimulants.*

Well, it's morning, what did you expect? I really am due for an adventure, and I think you would all agree with me. But what? It's supposed to be sunny for the rest of the week, maybe I should go on an adventure this weekend. After the Duck game. Great, now my stomach hurts.

*Please note that I am not complaining about the many directions my current job as an escrow float leads me - I actually really like floating. I have hooked up with a lot of past clients and I get to see everyone pretty much that I know out in the branches. Lots of variety AND I get to constantly learn new things. Plus having a fresh audience every couple of weeks is great for throwing my opinion around without people just tuning me out. So I am not complaining, just putting my thoughts out there.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Braving the Wet Outdoors

I couldn't sleep this morning so I got up at like 6:30. Jeez. I have lost all concept of sleeping in. It is raining like a bitch outside, too, and frankly, I just can't seem to get used to it.

I guess it could be worse - wet outside does not necessarily mean "walk very carefully because the sidewalks/tiles/street/stairs/hallway/supermarket floors/gas station parking lot will be like an ice rink", but it's still pretty dang bleak out.

Anyhoo, I am going to throw some clothes on after this and go pick up Tom and go to the supermarket, breakfast, and some sort of art-related stores because that's the kind of girl I am. Sickly sweet and nice. Yep, that's me. I debated the shower issue and since I didn't sleep much last night I managed to not sleep on my face so the hair issue looks okay, and since I didn't go out last night I don't have beer-smells seeping from every pore. So ultimately I am not showering. I really get sick of that. I wonder what THAT will evolve into? Good Lord, I don't want to think about being 60 and just giving up on the hygiene thing, but really, this lack of motivation is kind of like drug-abuse - degenerative. Let's not think about that.

I am leaving Lincoln Tower (work) for a week for the first time in like ever. This last week just about killed me, but I'm not sure if it was the desk I was on (Tracy should be cannonized) or if it's just because I have grown accustomed to not being busy (in other words, I may have just gotten lazy). I will be Uptown and then Downtown and that will be a nice change of pace.

We (Marita, Dave and I) booked a condo on Isla Mujeres for February, so I am coming down. I like the idea of Isla because a) it's not the Cancun hotel zone, b) it's totally chill and c) it's a quick ferry ride to centro. I can avoid Slices and Corona Bar and all those nice folks from Minnesota who think "downtown" is where the Hard Rock Cafe is, but couldn't really tell you because they are too frightened to leave their resort. So now I will be shopping for airfare. I would be more excited if it were closer, even though it IS getting to be late October... Dave and Marita are currently in Playa del Carmen for the weekend (maybe I should move back to the Midwest...) and then they go away again in December to Cancun. Lucky bastards. Have I mentioned it is just pouring outside here?

Not much else to update, just sort of avoiding putting on socks and pants, drinking some coffee and surfing the net. I think I'll buy a vacuum cleaner today.

And book my air.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Well again, another Happy Birthday post for another fabulous gal! For those of you who refuse to look at older posts, Rebecca is the friend formerly known as Becky T.

I think this is the only picture that I have of her downloaded - I do have a great one from a night at Medieval Times in LA waaaaaaaaay back when... remember that, Becky? You were wearing a paper crown - it might have been your birthday then, too - post UCLA-Duck game, good times. Anyway, as a person who has been 40 for two years a month and three days longer than you, take it from me: it's exactly the same as it was yesterday. One day we will figure it all out. We will, won't we? WON'T WE?? Any 50+ers want to chime in on that one? Barbie? Shelia? Anyone?

Well, sister, I hope it was a great day and am convinced there will be many more. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy Birthday to Kim R!

Well I had a full day today and then I went to dinner with Marsha, so I did not have the opportunity to phone you and say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Kimberley! But I wanted to - it's just that since I am two hours behind you and it's 10:30 your time now and I am assuming you are spending quality time with that Arturo, well, you know how it is.

I hope your 40th was wondrous - ask Becky T. (Rebecca H.), your 40s are not bad at all (but that's only if you won't listen to me). Lots of clarity and knowing what you want and all that rot. Isn't it ironic? I've been 40 for 2 years now and I don't know what I want... maybe you should just listen to Becky T. and not me so much... anyhoooooo

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIM R! Many happy thoughts for a fabulous year!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Things that are currently annoying me

The fact that those Beaver bastards beat Cal yesterday. It's great that Cal finally lost, but did it have to be to the Beavers? God I hate them. This is not a victory for me, whatsoever. Frankly I am speechless. Don't even know what to say. I'm just sick about it.

Along those lines, I love my boys, really I do (meaning the Cleveland Browns - sorry, quick turn to the NFL), and we even just beat Miami today. Always good. But the killer is that our quarterback is Derek Anderson. Yep, a Beaver. Fuck.

So for a while there the school zones in this town changed to where the speed limit was 20 mph no matter when. They keep changing them because it can be kind of ridiculous depending on where the school is, and one such school zone is right on Scholls Ferry Road on my way to work. Used to be 20 mph from 7am to 5pm, then 20 mph all hours all days, and now there is a light above the 20 mph sign that indicates "when lights flash". I drive by there between 7am and 7:30am depending on how quick I get out the door, and the light is never flashing. So why does it annoy me? Because the light isn't flashing, and the cars in front of me are STILL going 20. It's a 35! For the love of Pete take advantage! If you get pulled over, and this is a big IF, because the light isn't flashing, just tell the cop the LIGHT ISN'T FLASHING! I swear the root of all my problems is always going to be the drivers in this city.

The new TV season is in full swing, and with it comes a bunch of new shows. It's like week 3 or something, and it bugs me enough to put it in this post when the TV announcers say, like, Catch an ALL NEW EPISODE of "Back To You"! Well duh, of course it's a brand new episode... there is only one other episode besides the one you are announcing and what does it say about the show if they run that one again?

That Ditech commercial is still killing me. Seriously, people aren't smart.

I pay for HBO and never watch it because nothing is on. The minute I cancel it, everything will be on. My DVR is broken and I will lose everything on it that I can't watch anyway because it's broken, but I don't want to call them to fix it because I know I will lose those shows saved on it. And while it is completely useless to me right now, I am still paying for it.

The elevator in my building is painfully slow and there is that guy on the 4th floor with the dogs. Huge, furry, slobbery dogs that get hair all over the place and smell really bad this time of year because of the rain. Getting on that painfully slow, wet-dog-smelly elevator sucks. Bad. The other day I almost fainted. You think I'm kidding.

That's all I have for now. I know I have been remiss in posting, so I thought I'd throw something up. I'm a little drained right now to be too insightful.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

What the heck, I guess I'll rant some

Since I had a good amount of time to do some soul-searching yesterday (rainy in the afternoon, got most of my chores out of the way early, etc), I have come to some conclusions. Now, I want you to know, Marshy, that this is not solely based on the conversation that you and I had on Friday night further into the evening, but it did sort of spark it. I know lately you feel responsible for a decision I have made recently, but really, you shouldn't, because it's pretty much all me. So here I go.

I have come to the conclusion that I'm tired of working on certain friendships. You know, you would think that by now, concerning one in particular, I would be over it. I should be. It's been a couple of years now. But I think when I came back and rejoined the group I was perhaps hoping that whatever destroyed this particular friendship would either show it's head or work it's way out nonconfrontationally. It did neither. The longer it stayed destroyed, for some reason, the more I agonized over the why. Sure, I agonized over the why internally, and the 2nd party to this once very strong friendship probably never even knew it (but you know, one would hope that they were feeling the same way, if only just a little bit), but it seems like slowly I was letting the whole situation stress me out/bother me more and more to the point where I was losing sleep (figuratively speaking. In reality I get plenty of sleep). I have decided I am not going to fret about it anymore.

There is a more recent situation that has happened, that really isn't about me, but in a way that was bothering me just below the surface, and well I think I finally figured out why. I had a lot of lounge time yesterday, and in my current physiological situation, I let my mind run wild. I won't go into details, but I will tell you what I have decided to do.


You know why? Because lookit. These people are supposed to be friends. Good friends. And if one has an issue with a good friend, then isn't it like completely normal to TELL THAT FRIEND ABOUT IT? What is with the silence? Why make the other person agonize over what happened? I found out, after I came back the first tme, that one person was infuriated with me for 9 of the 14 months that I was gone. Nine months! And then miraculously (or perhaps with difficulty, I don't know. Who knows?) got over it. All while I was gone, and completely oblivious. Because they DIDN'T TELL ME. So there I am, living life, buying Raid and arguing with taxistas, and completely unaware that someone who was my very good friend was pissed off at me beyond all consolation. And then got over it. I had absolutely no idea. And at the same time, apparently, someone else had been wronged so completely by me (who by the way was roughly 3000 miles away) that they decided to just stop talking to me and be done with it. Fine. Great, I guess. Everyone is entitled to react to things their own way. But hey, how about TELLING me what was up? Because, you know what? I'm not going to know if you don't flipping tell me.

So then you gotta figure, really, you weren't a very good friend to begin with it you didn't feel that you could tell me what was wrong or what I did. If the friendship wasn't worth THAT, then why agonize over it after all this time? So I'm not going to. I don't want to know. Actually, I WANT to know, because I am curious I guess, but I don't CARE to know anymore, because seriously, friends are supposed to be able to talk freely with one another about things that might be affecting the friendship. I'm not going to give any more power to the person that made the decision that our friendship wasn't worth it. Clearly it wasn't worth it, and I just didn't get the memo.

As for the more recent situation, well, I didn't get the courtesy of being made aware that I wasn't their friend anymore, and I guess I will take my own time before I say anything to them. The difference is that I was completely oblivious since at the time they were pissed at me, I was miles away and living my dream, completely unaware.

I'm just tired of stressing about it. I seem to be the only one who is. I seem to be the only one who valued these friendships, or thought they actually had value. Clearly I need to be a little more blase. Who knew that having a goal and realizing it (in this case, moving away like I did) would continue to teach me so many valuable lessons? I mean, beyond how to keep the hormigitas out of your apartment.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Slim PIC 'ens

Just a few pictures from Wisconsin that have nothing to do with the party besides my neato goblet that Marita and Dave personalized for me.
Here's one side

And here is the other side, next to my Showboat mug.

And here is my sign in the Showboat that simply means I belonged there.

And lastly, two fairly drunk girls. I am roughly 10 Jaeger bombs in here, and it had been rainy and misty while we walked around The Dells.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Planes, trains, automobiles, j - oh for Pete's sake, the END

Shit just keeps getting in the way.

So where was I?

So Saturday morning, we drove home from The Dells, and stopped on the way at Marita's parents' dairy farm. Have I mentioned that most of Wisconsin appears to be farm country? And that there is a cheese factory on every corner? So I met her parents, and we took a little tour of the barn and the shed where the barn kitties were. They leave little dishes of milk out for the barn kitties, and on this particular occasion the flies were swarming. So upon walking into various and sundry outbuildings, we had to walk through enormous swarms of flies, so much so that you couldn't, like, talk, or laugh, or smile even, without winding up with a mouthful. Many many MANY flies. It was fine, you know, I mean, I wasn't grossed out (the theory being that if I am in THEIR territory, it's doable, but if all these flies were in my apartment I would be catatonic in about 3 seconds), and the bull was enormous. It was actually pretty cool since I haven't been even remotely near anything farm or ranchlike in some years, and I kinda dig that sort of thing. After bidding our farewell, we returned to Sammy Jo Circle.

We still had plenty to do. Dave and his friends killed a pony keg the night before, but the tent was up, the dj equipment was almost finished, the tiki bar, the big barrell tables with the umbrellas and lights were all up - it looked like a party. Of course I have pictures of NONE of this, because, well, because I just forget I have a camera most of the time. We made a quick list of items needed (Marita's prescriptions and some more Christmas lights) and headed for my first Walmarts appearance since the day before I left Cancun. This one had a Subway.

Basically the rest of the day consisted of having sandwiches and losing the car (seriously. To the point where we were like standing in the parking lot and going, well, where is it? What ... do we do? like complete dorks because we were still kinda dazed from the night before), cutting up the dessert bars and ham and cheese roll up thingies, and sort of muddling through the afternoon. Dave and Marita gave me a REALLY NEATO MUG that commemorated the occasion (I have that, and I have a camera, and I should probably just take a dang picture of it and post it), so I tested the beer and irritated Dave til he finally made the booze run. People started showing up around 4:30 which inspired us to go put decent clothing on, and the festivities began.

So here was the party: a whole bunch of really seriously nice people who like to drink beer (and liquor) in mass quantities and tell really funny stories, and listen to my stories and laugh at them. Dave telling me the only answers are "yes" and "no" when it comes to an offer of a Jaeger bomb. Me getting scared and thinking that if I say "no" he won't ask again, so saying "yes" many, many times. Good dj music that wasn't too loud and was surprisingly not all that God-awful heavy metal crap Dave listens to. Doing something I can't even remember that earned me a reward of a shot of Lumpy's Southern Comfort. Getting the dirt on FuckinJoe's new girlfriend before anyone else. Sharing said dirt. Calling Waupun "Waupoon" from here on out. Muscle cars. Bratwurst barbecued then soaked in beer and onions (PHEEEE-NOMENAL). The blow up tiki cooler thing that looked like a penis. Getting updates on the Duck game and having Badger fans run outside to tell me when the Ducks scored. Jello shots. That gosh darned addictive butterscotch stuff. The police coming and me thinking he was a stripper. Him coming back and saying he got four more complaints in the time it took him to get to the end of the cul-de-sac. The fire pit thingie on the lawn, sitting in lawn chairs wrapped in a comforter because it is FREEZING and drinking Jack and Coke because we ran out of beer. Whoever the hell that guy was in my bed (I swear to God nothing could have ever happened, I was just too tired to argue) and Dave throwing him out. Going to bed around 4am.

Waking up at around 10.

The front of the house where the party was was a mess, and there was sticky stuff spilled over by the tiki bar that was attracting bees like mad. We considered cleaning it up, and kind of started (I watched), but then decided we should go get some grub. We had lunch and then took a drive around the town of Fond du Lac. Who knew there was a lake? And a big one, at that? It's actually a very cute town. We even got frozen custard, a thing I haven't had since I lived in Cuyahoga Falls in the mid 90s, and finally went home and played with the cats and watched TV and napped. When the sun started to go down, and the bees started to clear out, we continued the clean up (lots of watching on my part) in the front yard and managed to get garbage in the proper receptacles and put the tables and stuff away. At around 10:45 for some reason we thought we needed Taco Bell. Sunday was a good day because there were no Jaeger bombs involved and it was sunny and lazy enough to feel good about being productive.

Sadly on Monday I had to go, and Dave was going to Maryland, so after a big incident with the bees swarming around the garbage and trying to get in the van and GETTING in the van and me freaking out and Dave needing to pick me up in the middle of the street on account of all the flipping bees, we took off back to Marita's work, and then over to Dave's shop, and then finally to the airport. Had some lunch, said goodbye sort of mistily, and flew home without crashing or circling anything. Marshy picked me up, we went and had sushi, and now, a week later, the suitcase is still in the middle of my living room. I now officially have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to look forward to.

I hope the wait was worth it, and Marita I hope I gave it justice. I really had a great time on my little jaunt and if you are throwing one next year I may just have to come on over again. The midwest United States is definitely a different world, and I mean that in a good way. I am not sure if I could move back there, but it sure is worth the visit.