Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oh Doogie

How I love you.
Funny video on - Pig

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


My good friend Mexico Way blogged about tipping, or not, in her most recent post. Go read it. I'll wait here.

So I caught her on chat today (tough to do, by the way. Let's get settled, already, huh?) and told her a little story about MY re-entry, and she wanted me to share it. So I will. It's just a little ditty. Nothing big.

Upon re-entry (my first one, not my second one. I wasn't there long enough the second time to adjust), I found myself at the Albertson's in Barbie's neighborhood for the first time by myself and paying for something. Probably a decent load of somethings because the process required a bag boy. While I was paying and waiting for my receipt, sort of gazing off into the distance and not really paying attention, I absently reached into the coin purse of my wallet, scooped some coinage, and handed it just as absently to the bag boy. You know the way you do, sort of fist-clutching-coins side down, looking off some other direction than the waiting hand, just natural-like. I was used to feeling the accepting hand, but didn't... and when I looked over at the bag boy, he was all, like, looking at me like I was nuts or something. Like puzzled, and even offended. I sort of shook my head out of my daze and pulled my hand back, embarrassed, feeling the need to explain, not finding the words, all in a matter of a second or two. I finally threw the coins in my purse, grabbed my bag and made my escape, all the while feebly mumbling something about, sorry, I forgot, just moved from Mexico, sorry... really weak. I felt both the eyes of the cashier and the offended bag boy on me the whole way out. I didn't visit that store again for a long while after that.

So it's normal to start handing out change to people who are just doing their jobs, here, MW, what the heck. It gave you a little story to tell (and me too), and probably one for the guy at your store. Sooner or later you will get back in the swing of all things Canadian. But every now and again you'll slip up, answer someone in Spanish, or oprima el numero dos... if they do that in Canada.

Quick sidebar to Becky H.

I can't believe you aren't keeping up with your Bravo reality shows. It's "Date My Ex"! With Jo and Slade! Keep up!
Here's Slade and one of his ridiculous hats.
Seriously. Lose them. You aren't doing yourself any favors.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I might be the only one that watches this show but

what the fuck is up with Slade and his collection of hats?

Not attractive. Not cool. Not good at all. You're more of a dork than you were on "Real Housewives".

But I still DVR it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bears a link

I just watched this video on my friend Anita's blog, My Magic Roundabout.

I surely hope it shows up for everyone, including those viewing from work. It's a great watch.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day 15

So this is the end of a week that last roughly 14 days and I am happy to say (for now) that I came out relatively unscathed. My counterpart, however, did not. I won't go on about it, but let's just say I am still invoking the smiling of the gods at this point, and will continue to work hard at shining up my karma as regularly as possible. Ugh.

I way slept in today, 7:30, not sure what that is about, and now I have a "you slept too much" headache. I have some errands to run and some tanning to enjoy and some litter to tidy up and some laundry to fold, some vacuuming and trash taking-out, so things are back to normal in the new casita.

It feels like the summer is slipping away and that makes me a little sad. I was hoping for August to get here in terms of pay checks as this move has pretty much killed me financially, but still. August? It's practically 2009.

God I have nothing to say. Let me get moving on my shiatt for the day and maybe, just MAYbe, I'll have some kind of anectdote for you later.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ickyness in the air

Work is kind of icky. The industry is experiencing a low and with that, in my end of it, comes not a whole lot of business to be had. We have been laying off for some time now, and we consolidated some branches. My feeling is that with less branches, and more people in the existing branches, floats will go by the wayside.

The thing about float staff is that even in the best of times escrow companies don't have them. When I was at Brand X back in the day, we never had floats. Well, maybe we had one. But she never floated on my desk. And I can't even remember who it was.

Back in July 2007, when I came back from Cancun the second time and joined the float pool, we had like five floats on the west side alone. Now we are two. How terrifying is that?

I don't really want to keep talking about it, because I feel like it will "make" it happen, but honestly, if I was management? I wouldn't keep floats. I would have the branch take care of their own. I guess it's a good thing I am not manageement.

So there is sort of an "air" about at work, and of course everytime there is a meeting scheduled, or whenever Linda comes in for a visit, we all get kind of nervous and nobody makes eye contact. It's just sucky. But I have sort of put myself in the position that whatever happens happens, and it's already been decided anyway, I am sure, and I'll just have to do whatever the next step is should my name be on the list. I can get comfortable with that, I don't have a lot of options.

Still it is a little bit sad to see good people that I have worked with for a long time not be there anymore. It's still the best title and escrow company out there, it's just a little bit different now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Yesterday to Beckla!

Because I suck. And even thought about blogging this yesterday. But didn't. I sure hope it was fab. You know those non-milestone birthdays...

I need to start making some lists.

What do I need at the supermarket?
What do I need at the Target (two entirely different lists, by the way)?
What do I need to look for on Craigslist to round out my decorating style?
Find a decorating style.
My friends birthdays.
My family's birthdays.
My bill-paying schedule.
The quickest way out of debt.

Stuff like that. Things I can't remember, until it's like 2:30pm and I'm in the middle of a signing or something.

And then, what to flipping blog about. I swear to you I have these great ideas in the day and sometimes even in the middle of the night, and then when I sit down I can't even think of what they are. What does it mean when the things that you do in the day, though often comical, are forgotten the minute you change environments? Am I really this boring? I never was this boring.

Maybe I need a list of things to do to shake up my world and make me more interesting.

Not to you. To me.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sometimes it's all about the critters

So it's been a week in the new casita. Here's a brief rundown.

Kitties resurfaced on Sunday night and enjoyed the long hallway to run up and down relentlessly. They sound like a herd of antelope so it's a good thing I am on the first floor.

Ants! I put down kitty food in the kitchen, went to run an errand, came back, ants all over the kibble. I moved the kibble to my room while the Raid fumes lingered in the kitchen, came home from another errand, ants all over the food in my bedroom. Shelia suggested Ortho Max Home Defense. Monday night I doused the entire apartment and locked the kits in my room. Tuesday day I doused my bedroom and locked the kittens OUT. No ants. And nothing else, I thought.

Friday night I got home from work to a big (really, big. Not just exaggerating here)spider on my bedroom wall. Very sad. Doused it with Raid and found that it is now time to buy more Raid. Ortho Max Home Defense clearly does not work on spiders. Shit.

I don't smoke inside the apartment so this really cuts down on my usage. It's a good thing since I have never been so broke. Although trust me when I tell you by the time I am ready to walk out the door in the morning I am practically diving into my car.

Today I go clean the other place and empty out what else is left in there. There isn't much, but it's odd-sized stuff, like my pizza stone and a chip-and-dip someone gave me a while back. It shouldn't take long as it is a small place, but I hate this part. Oh well. It's not like it's really sunny out right now.

Oh and I have to tell you this deal - so I had been in Lincoln Tower and then I was needed in Orenco Station, so I was going to split some time but ended up really spending the rest of the week in Orenco. Anyway, Rita in there is in to trying different things health-related, so Thursday she brings in these two machines. One is an electric foot pad thingie that, when you set your feet on it for like 30 minutes, it sends electric shocks (jolts?) up through your feet, killing parasites and all stuff along the way. I did not try that one, but I do want to.

The second was this foot bath, oh my hell, I don't know what the secret was, but you hook it up to this other thing and set your feet in a water bath with this OTHER thing in it, and it churns around and sends some sort of ampage and some God damn thing, but pretty soon all manner of CRAP comes out of your feet and floats around in the bath and Mother of God it was just some crazy shit. I did it for about 40 minutes, maybe a little less. There is a little guide that tells you what all this stuff is and what it means, black specks are heavy metals, brown means liver, white foamy stuff is cholesterol. Parasites come out too (Rita says they are dead but frankly I saw one waving its little tail at me), and deep read blood-clot-looking things and holy shit, after like 20 minutes I am sitting in this just disgusting pool of bile, I don't know what it all was. Plus she gives you a magnifying glass to get an even closer look at it. It was definitely crazy. You are supposed to do it like once a week or something. I am so going back to do it again.

Afterward, I felt like I had had a really good massage, like I felt looser, and I just wanted to drink the hell out of water. All the girls in the office did it, except Jodi, as she just didn't want to know what all was inside her. I was afraid to eat afterward, thinking the food would fall into my shoes or something. It was really quite the day in Orenco.

Well I have killed enough time, so I had best be getting my shit together and go feed Tom's cat and clean out that dang old apartment. It will be over soon and life will be normal as we know it. Just get me through this weekend...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Family plug

So my adventure-seeking, must-be-on-the-verge-or-perhaps-tail-end-of-a-mid-life-crisis brother in law is off on another road trip. They are fun reads and he sometimes even has some good things to say (okay, fine, often). Find him and my nephew, lovingly referred to as "Boy" by his father (and that isn't just for internet anonimity, either) here.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Moving day continued

Eegads what a long day. It's 8:03pm, I have been up since 5am, and have half the kitchen put away and the bed made. I had a sourdough bacon cheeseburger plain and dry at about 2:30 with my brother Tom, and that is pretty much it today, beyond water. I know I smell, and I can't find my cats.

Pros of the day:

- Let's be honest here - I didn't start packing until I got up this morning. So I managed to pack 99% of the whole apartment by 10am (about 4 1/2 hours).

- The kittens don't mind driving in the car, they really like their carrier. I moved them over first and that was the least pain of all (for me, I should say).

- After having had my cable turned off a day earlier, I was leary of my scheduled 12-2pm appointment window, but he showed up at 12:30.

- I had a tiny window between cable guy and U-Haul to eat solid food.

- U-Haul pickup was quick and the movers were on time (more or less. 3:20, but they are not from the west side so they got lost).

- I didn't have to drive the truck.

- They moved me out of my apartment in an hour and a half and into the new one in less than an hour.

- It's 92 outside but it doesn't feel like it at all in here, it feels nice.


- The cable guy was on time and all that, but the dang CSR that set my appointments and mishandled my disconnect day ALSO didn't have me set up for the transfer properly, causing the cable guy to have to call and have them fix it and so he took an hour and a half. He was sad. I was pissed that I sent an email to the CSR's supervisor saying how impressed I was with him on Wednesday when I scheduled the whole thing.

- I broke 2 wine glasses and 2 water glasses. Big deal.

- Seriously, I can't find my kittens. I am hoping they are hiding up in the bed. Because they are NO WHERE else.

- I officially hate the closest supermarket to me, the Safeway in Murrayhill. They don't have anything that I buy.

- I can't think really of any other con besides the fact that I have a lot of unpacking to do.

The best thing to happen to me all day? So the U-Haul cost $29.95 for the day, plus .69 per mile. My move would be roughly 8 miles total - from the U-Haul to my old apartment to my new one to the U-Haul place. The clerk told me when I picked it up that I had to calculate my mileage (the truck gets 8 miles to the gallon) and ask the gas station to put in that many gallons. Okay a) here's me at the gas station - Hi Can I have ONE GALLON of regular? and b) there is no way I am driving that truck even the block from the gas station to the U-Haul place. Then he says, if you don't put gas in it, we will charge you a $30 re-fueling charge plus $5.50 a gallon we need to replace. Oh yeah also, don't break the seal on the blankets in the truck or you'll be charged $7 to rent them.

I neglected to tell the movers about the blankets, so really it was my fault that they broke the seal. And when they said they would just bring the truck back and didn't need me to come with them, I thought, well, maybe, but then decided that I should go and get the key from them (assuming the U-Haul was closed at 4pm like it said on the website). So I followed them back to the U-Haul and sure enough they were still open at 6pm. The movers leave, and one of the U-Haul guys starts checking me in. I told him right away I did not re-fuel and was ready to take on that charge, and then I told him the seal was broken on the blankets and I was prepared to pay for that too. He told me he wouldn't charge me for the blankets because he thought that the re-fuel fee was ridiculous, so I thanked him, and took my little slip back into the office area. The counter guy and me were the only people in the joint, so when he put in the information on the slip from the guy outside, he said, do you want it on the same card you reserved it with? And I'm thinking, yeah, it will be about $65, I will. I said yes, and he said, that'll be $26.95, then. I looked at him, like, really? And he goes, were you expecting more? And I said, very quickly and short-like - No. Then he smiled and said, you're mileage may have been off when you checked it out. I go, oh, yeah, I hear that happens... So somehow I managed to SAVE $3 on the whole U-Haul experience. I am pretty flipping happy about that, let me tell you.

Wow this turned out long! I can only IMAGINE how I smell NOW. I'm off to hose off for everyone's sake, or at least the kitties...

Moving day

I arranged for Comcast to disconnect me 7/12. They decided to give me a little boost and disconnected me on 7/11. I am on pirated wireless from (obviously) one of my neighbors (the network connection is called "Krishnaraj"). Am I happy? Not at all. I bitched and they couldn't reconnect - I love that - you have to wait forever for someone to show up to CONNECT it, but it takes one second to DISconnect it. Makes no sense. But now I have free cable services for a month. And I really controlled myself.

I'm packing and it's probably good that my connection is sketchy at best. I will see you all later.

The kittens are no where to be found. I don't blame them. I wonder if there is room under the bed for me, too?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


I was just sitting down to do a mid-week post that I am sure was full of a whole lot of nuthin, but my brother Benny called from Oak Creek, Colorado. I know better than to answer any phone calls from Benny after, oh, say 6pm my time, but I did it anyway. Benny has been wanting me to post an ad on Craigslist for his 1968 Buick Skylark.

A couple of weeks ago his friend took a picture of it on his cell phone and emailed it to me, but gave me no information about it. I wasn't into to a big long conversation at the time, so I didn't like call him back and say, so what is it? Instead, I kind of forgot about it until now, when the phone rang, at like 8:30, and it was Benny. I felt like I should answer it. Bad idea.

About once every year or so his friend John I. is with him when Benny phones me. Which means they are drinking beer and doing some other stuff and they get to talking and having really loud conversations with themselves and totally ignoring me and all this crap and I generally put up with it for about 15 minutes until I can't take it anymore and yell at them and hang up. But I was trying to be nice this time and did the Craigslist ad with both of them yawing back and forth at each other. It lasted an hour, the phone call. I can't believe I let it.

Oak Creek is sort of a hippie kind of town, and Benny and his buddies don't really have a big interest in modern things, you know, like the internet. I think Benny just got a cell phone about five years ago. He refuses to get one with a camera on it, I mean flat out refuses. Benny's like one of those caricature old timer prospectors from the Bugs Bunny cartoons. And not really in a good way. But no beard. He used to have one that looked like Colonel Sanders, but I think that was just a phase he was going through.

Anyway, my original post was going to touch on the fact that tomorrow I have to shell out a crap load of money to move into this new apartment on Saturday, and the fact that I have one box packed. It really shouldn't surprise any of you that know me. I work better under pressure. The good news is that Comcast can switch over my cable and all that on Saturday, my moving day, so there should be no interruption of service. And I believe them because this is not Mexico. Although my Cablemas experiences really weren't that bad.

Instead, anybody want to buy a car?

(You know, if you click on the picture, you'll see Benny in the background drinking a beer. Neither of them realized he was in it until I pointed it out to them tonight. Them laughing about it probably took up about five minutes of that hour phone call...)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Surviving my anti-social mood

This weekend is the Blues Fest down at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Some of my friends are there, and I was planning on it, but it's been kind of a bleh weekend so I bowed out. I'm in one of those anti-social moods that usually roll around when I have a ton of money to pay out that will leave me flat broke. Until like August. Have I mentioned it's July 5th? Yeah. It's a drag.

Tonight there is also another party that I am not going to, but if I could have I would have. It's down south in Cancun and I hope that at this very moment my friends there are getting themselves all purty'd up and having a couple of pre-function cocktails in anticipation. It sounds like the kind of party I would like to be at right now. I guess I will find out tomorrow if I was right.

So I finally went to the store only because the kitnesses are down to one can of wet food and almost no Greenies, and what the hell I could use a few things. So I hit the Fred Meyer at the unprecedented time of 6:30pm on a Saturday. Turns out, that's Indian time. I should have known since my entire parking garage was empty. I'm not kidding I was about the only white girl in there. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's probably the last time I will be in that Fred Meyer in a long time, so I guess it almost doesn't really make a difference.

I am moving next weekend. I have plenty to do between then and now, including dreaming up a wad of cash, but it will happen. This means a new beginning, new routines, new Starbucks and new supermarkets. It will be nice to get out of this flipping OVEN of an apartment though. It's like 68 outside today but inside I am not kidding you it is 90. At least. Talk about retaining the heat.

I was listening to the radio on the way home and that version of "I Will Survive" by Cake was on the radio. Now, don't get me wrong, I hate that song in any other version - Gloria Gaynor, Kinesis - but this one is actually not bad. It sort of makes fun of it. I like that. The original is so... so.... Cancun Hotel Zone. So even though the version was different as I listened on my way back from the Fred Meyer, it called to memory the original and Kinesis versions, and I thought to myself, you know, I DID survive. I survived a lot. So right now, I deserve to kick back tonight and watch "Big Love" reruns on On Demand and be totally anti-social. So that's what I am doing. And I may be missing out on some good times all over the world, but that's okay. There will be more.

Ladies and gentlement, for your viewing and listening pleasure, I present to you, Cake.

P.S. I just noticed the lead singer for Cake looks like Bundy.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tired and dry

I thought I should blog tonight. I am just exhausted and I don't really have much to say, but I feel some how obligated. It's not you, it's me. Really.

So my esteemed brother-in-law Paul gave me a project for LGRT, and I will work on that very soon. I even thought about starting tonight, but my mood isn't right - perhaps tomorrow while I am beginning a long weekend of procrastination. I'm moving soon (SOON) and I haven't really done anything along the lines of prepping for it. I work best under pressure (or, you know, when someone comes over and does it FOR me), so I have no worries about this particular move. It should be my last move for a long long time. Famous last words, right?

Last night my life-long friend Vinnie came in to town. He was with his wife and son, but I did not see those two, which actually is pretty common for Vin's visits. I was trying to remember when the last time I saw him was - I am pretty sure it was when I visited my brother and sister-in-law in Yorba Linda back in May of 2005. Anyway, Vinnie was in town during the break from the Olympic trials being held down in Eugene. He was giddy. Vin went to the University of Oregon with my brother Chris, and he spent a lot of time in our family home in Beaverton for holidays and stuff. As a Duck, having the trials in Eugene has been great. It was nice that he was able to come up for a couple of days during the break and visit my mom and other friends.

He showed up (advanced notice, but for Pete's sake) at Tom's apartment at about 7:15pm last night, and I met them over at the Broadway Saloon at around 7:40 or so. Here's what I (don't) (really) love about the Broadway - it used to be my local like I don't know 6 or 7 years ago, and I might go in there maybe once every 9 months or so. I mean I never go in there. But of course, it being the Broadway, I walk in and know people. So you gotta go through the whole Oh, hey, how are you blah blah blah you look great blah blah blah I can't believe you still work here blah How long has it been blah? Twenty years? Oh my hell blah! Yeah whatever, it's a flipping school night, practically TOMORROW it's so late, let me just find my friend and get this thing rolling.

So it was nice catching up. Vinnie likes to party and all that, and I am just not into it right now, so I had a couple of club sodas and stayed a couple of hours chatting and talking about old times and catching up on the Southern California set. It was nice, and though I got home right around 10, I had to watch the (dvr'd) season finale of "Hell's Kitchen" (which is a two-parter for crying out loud) and went to bed around 10:45. FORTY FIVE MINUTES PAST MY BEDTIME. Ugh.

I slept fine and got up and felt hungover. So I'm kind of pissed off. All day I felt hungover. Which is just stupid. I haven't had any alcohol in like, I don't know, a month or something, and yet... so I figured what it must be is that all this time that I was going out on school nights and drinking and then feeling like crap all the next day and just EXHAUSTED and begging to go to bed that night and all that, it had nothing to do with the booze. It apparently had EVERYTHING to do with a messed up sleep pattern. So I make this sort of pledge to myself that I am going to lay off the sauce for a while, what real good comes of it and all that, and really, it was totally getting a bum rap. I feel totally gypped. I can only IMAGINE how beer feels right now.

So I am typing away right now but the look on my face says it all - drawn mouth, drooping eyes, head sort of bobbling around on my neck... I am so going to go get ready for bed, you can believe that. I'm all "hungover" but I'm really not.

I want to blame it on screwed up sleep patterns, but it probably is just more psychosomatic fucked-up-ness that I deal with on a regular basis.