Saturday, June 26, 2010

Suddenly bitter

And I'm not really sure why. I got an early-ish start (9am) by taking Tom to the Petsmart, and then we had some time to kill, so we went to the Beaverton Farmers' Market (he bought honey, I bought nothing) (I had $10 cash on me and was afraid I'd spend it all in one place so I bought nothing in anticipation of that happening so yeah, I still have $10 cash on me. My logic is astounding), and then I dropped him off at the 7-11 by the mother's pad (beer) (for him) (pay attention) and went to go get my eyebrows waxed. From there, I think, it must have gone down hill.

First I took the wrong exit out of the shopping center, so I could only go right, which meant I had to go west on Scholls Ferry, which turned out okay, since I didn't have anything pressing to do besides get groceries and it's sunny and west on Scholls Ferry leads to my country drive. Then "Here Comes My Girl" by Tom Petty came on KGON and despite the fact that the transplants driving in front of me were going 45 mph when they could (should) have gone 55 mph, I love that song and had it cranked. It was followed by "American Girl" by Tom Petty (block party weekend) so that made me happy, slow happy, driving in the middle of nowhere and still going 45 happy and the jackass behind me is all up on MY shit like I'm the one taking it carefully. Fucker. Little hiccups, but still, pretty good.

Then Winco. Which is fine. It wasn't crazy busy. But I was being followed (I swear) by a family of four with a boy who was JUST the right amount of irritating and the mom who seriously thought she was Carol Brady, all hip and talking to them like they are adults and on top of that LOUDLY calling out every flipping thing she put in the cart. I thought I had a leg up on them when she began saying in advance what she needed next, so I could purposely avoid those aisles, but apparently that was just instruction for her black-socks-with-black-crocs-wearing husband (no lie), who took off with the cart, leaving the rest of the family staying ever so close to me, irritating me, blocking the aisle, slowing down, speeding up, mother... I don't blame the husband. He obviously needed to get the hell away from them as much as I did. I finally broke free of them by choosing a checkout line that was as far away from them as I could get.

Cranky, yes, but not fully bitter, until MiniVan #1 cut me off on Cedar Hills Boulevard. After that it was a series of minivans, and nothing but minivans, cutting me off at every opportunity. I lost count at six. The whole way home. It shouldn't surprise me that more than six minivans cut me off in four miles on a Saturday afternoon in Beaverton, but it DID piss me off. By the time I got past Hart and Murray, and behind a whole line of minivans doing 24 in a 45, I was drawing a sweat from yelling so loud. I don't even know what song was on the radio. It's like they meant to do this.

Then two heavy bags of groceries (I only go grocery shopping twice a month now) and Seca tripping me up every step of the way and the refrigerator doors not staying open.. jaaaayyyysus.

So that's it, suddenly bitter, and cranky, and this can only mean one thing for me at 2:12pm on a Saturday - do NOT go to Target, do NOT go tan, despite the fact that you really need to do both. Instead, head straight to the sofa. You need this.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

God what a long week.

This has been the longest week ever. I don't know why. The sun finally started shining (which is completely unheard of while I work in Beaverton and which further strengthens my Armageddon theory) and it's been warm - warm enough for the sunroof and really, really loud music. I need loud. Because this branch is anything but.

I know some of you know how I feel about this branch, but I think you have it all wrong. I like the people, I like the fact that it's busy, I like the fact that everyone there knows what they are doing. What I DON'T like is the location, the inconvenience of going out for some "fresh air", and the fact that it is so quiet.

I'm just not a quiet person. I'm not over-the-top loud either, I mean at least I don't think so, but I like a little life in the party. I mean we have to be at work, we have to serve our clients and customers, we have to for the most part be on our best behavior when said clients and customers are in the branch. So why can't a person chat while working? I can. I'm highly skilled. And every one of these girls has more time in the industry (well, all but one) than me, so I KNOW they can talk and work at the same time. I think chatting away while working makes the work more enjoyable and the day go by more quickly. Let's face it, I am always looking for a willing audience to listen to my stories and opinions... but when it's frowned upon to react to anything it's kind of a drag. That's my problem with the branch. But that gets misconstrued as I don't like the branch itself. I do. I better - I'm there another three weeks after this one. This ridiculously long week.

I get to go to the circus tomorrow, which can be hard, because one day in a different branch is a bit of a challenge, but I'm up for it. Then Monday I am back in what can only be described as HELL, because I will be Sherri, and Sherri's desk on a good day is a nightmare. During month end it is seriously the kind of place where, when you get a quick second, you sit back and say, Oh my GOD what did I do to deserve this? I feel that way because I SUCK as an assistant on any other desk, and Sherri's desk makes me think there is seriously something wrong with my whole choice of careers. Maybe I just let her desk freak me out. Maybe I need to control it, not let IT control ME. Maybe if I just ignore my anticipation of it it will not be so bad. Maybe.

Meanwhile I'm considering an August Cancun trip, but we'll see how that pans out. I need cheap accommodations at the resort of my choice and I'm not sure how I'll score that. Also I need a new purse and that might eventually trump the vacation all together. Crap I don't know. It's hard for me to make decisions about anything so I'll probably end up bailing on the whole idea and stay home and clean the house. Woo hoo.

Off to work, in the sun. I can't believe it's only Thursday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Damn you, Mars, Inc.

Like I need another M&M variety.

Saturday, June 19, 2010



Is your cat plotting to kill you?


Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Hmmm. It might not be a bad idea for somebody to come by from time to time and make sure I'm alright...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Five Years, TtheD

Five years ago I started this blog as a way to let anyone back in the states who cared know how and what I was doing while living in Mexico. I still think the most interesting stuff is back there in the archives, since it appears to me that in those passing five years my life has slowed down. Which happens to everyone as time goes by, but not everyone can go back and see the actual progression from doing fun stuff to doing not that exciting stuff. For the most part, I'm fine with it. I'm not by any stretch of the imagination done, but maybe it just takes a little bit longer to rest between adventures.

I used to hate reading what I wrote, pre-blog. When I was a kid, I'd try to keep a diary (I think I called it a journal, though, "diary" was too Marsha Brady) but I never liked the "sound" of my voice. Now when people read this blog the most common thing I hear is that I write like I talk. So that's kind of fun, especially for readers who have never actually spoken to me. Now you know.

So five years. I'm not sure if I thought I would continue with this thing once the Mexico situation was over. But it transitioned as I transitioned, with re-entry and then back to work and then that whole crazy moving back to Mexico and then moving BACK to Oregon... things were always sort of happening. Now I've been in the same casita for two years (that's not like me), drive a decent car, think I have stability in my career... I'm practically a grown up. That's worrisome.

Five years ago I was six months or so in to the adventure of my life, and by then I was in a good routine with good friends and a pretty decent tan (hm. June? Probably not so much. I'd pretty much tanned myself out by March and had taken a break that lasted quite a few months. No, I'm guessing I was probably fairly pale in June 2005), maybe getting a little bit bored with the lack of intellectual stimuli. Every day was an adventure if you consider running into cockroaches the size of ironing boards or dangling power lines in the middle of any given sidewalk an adventure. Sometimes from where I sit here I wonder how in the world I had the nads to do it to begin with. I couldn't have done it without my friends, that is for absolute sure, so I guess I have them to thank for the support.

Let's not just go back five years, lets go back a little further to see if I always had this spirit. In 2000, I was living in Garden Home, working at Pacific NW Title in Raleigh Hills, had a great group of friends, drank like a fish and always made sure I had at least some semblance of a tanning package to keep me looking less dead. If I recall, summer of 2000 was when my gang of friends started planning a trip to Cancun - I and one friend had been before, though not recently, and the other two had not. Ten years ago the idea of packing up my shit, leaving the working world and moving to a foreign country was the furthest thing from my mind. But I suppose that's where it all began.

In 1995 (it seems like it was so long ago, fifteen years) I was leaving Cleveland (well, Cuyahoga Falls, so I guess I should say Akron) to return to the land of my birth. I'd been living in Ohio and California since I was nineteen and I guess by thirty I must have thought it was time to move on. My reason was probably nostalgia, mixed with itchy feet and a sense of adventure, but what I told everyone was that I didn't want to wake up one day and be forty-five years old living in Akron Ohio.

So instead I'll just wake up in a couple of months and be forty-five years old living in Beaverton, Oregon.

And this was supposed to be an upbeat post.

I guess the moral of the story, here, kids, is that you never really know where life is going to take you. What you didn't think you'd ever do becomes the most memorable adventure you've ever done, what you say you would NEVER do becomes something you can't imagine having lived without doing it, what some call a normal life you call complete boredom. And the adventurous spirit, while still there somewhere, doesn't have quite the wind in its sails as it used to. But I don't think I'm completely done yet. There's still a lot of opportunity out there, and plenty of doors to close to allow others to open.

So happy five years, TtheD, and here's to bringing back a little more adventure to your pages!

Friday, June 11, 2010

It just feels like I'm some kind of weirdo if I go to bed at 10pm on a Friday night

Isn't it funny how the short weeks always seem like the longest? Having taken Wednesday off, I launched into a surprisingly busy Thursday-Friday gig at Lincoln Tower, and honestly didn't think that I would be as busy as I was. Good-busy, Lincoln Tower-busy, the kind of busy that makes me want to break a phone or hurl a chair through a window. I kind of missed my blood boiling.

The theme of the last few days, of course, has been this blasted rental car. I had such not-fun driving it around SE and NE Portland Wednesday that by Thursday morning I was ready to just leave it in the carport and walk to work. It didn't help that I took the wrong turn off the Morrison Bridge in an attempt to go get Barbie for her foot gig and wound up somewhere in Hollywood and then two cars behind a car accident on the Banfield. For some reason if there is a choice to go one way or the other I always panic and take the wrong choice, then wind up far, far away from my destination with no clear idea of how to get where I need to be. Stupid east side.

So I get to work Thursday morning and immediately phone Kadel's to find out if it's true, if I really get my car back on Friday, and Sean the Kadel's Guy said absolutely, and so I believed him, and though the day was dark and gloomy and dreary and cold and wet (Barbie calls it "Juneuary") I had a little ray of sunshine in the back of my mind. And then I thought of all the things I could be doing in a car that wasn't fifteen feet long and eight feet wide and let the weather get the better of me again.. but Friday was nearing and it looked like I'd only have one more day of trying to dock that bitch in the proper space at home.

Because today was so FLIPPING busy this morning (and throughout the day, really) I didn't realize that Sean the Kadel's Guy hadn't phoned to give me a pick-up time like he'd told me he would. I went out for a breath of fresh air, without my phone, and when I came back, sure enough, missed call and a voicemail. I should mention that it was freezing cold out and though the forecast called for no rain and clearing skies later in the day, it felt yet like February. I listened to the message. He wasn't sounding cheery.

So it turns out the guy that was putting my car back together accidentally cracked my bumper. They had to order a new one and the car would probably be ready late Monday. Sorry.

That's when the wailing began. I called him back and bitched about the rental and how much I hate driving it and how could they have cracked it and oh my God how will I ever get around all weekend in this boat and pretty much went on and on. He offered to have the rental car company switch out the car, but all they had was a Chevy Cobalt (good Lord) and a Ford Focus. I told him I'd have no choice but to live with the Malibu and driving with my toe, but Enterprise was not going to be happy with the condition I will leave the transmission in.. His advice to me was, "It's a rental - drive it like you stole it." I like Sean.

And then like four more hours of complete bedlam, a trust deed-reader and an overbearing loan officer, an appointment scheduled with no loan documents and an onslaught of land sale contracts, and I was ready to go home. At 5:01 the work phone rang, but in the middle of that call, my cell rang. Sean the Kadel's Guy! I noticed at that moment the sun start to break free from all those clouds...

So it turns out that the bumper came in today and the paint guy was going to stay late to paint it, and I can have my car back Saturday! At 11am! And drop off the piece of shit Malibu! And be done with all this crap! I gushed all over poor Sean the Kadel's Guy (I vaguely remember breaking in to song).. but holy CRAP am I happy. I can't wait to start driving with my knees where they are meant to be and not up around my ears (did I mention how jacked the front seat is?).

So yeah. I think it's going to be a good weekend. Despite the upcoming week(s) ahead, battling Beaverton traffic and wondering if it will ever be consistently sunny for more than six hours. How stupid is it that my whole attitude changes because I get my car back?

I don't care. It's the little things.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Mid week day off

So I'm taking a day off today because it's the first time I haven't been assigned anywhere in a long time (I wonder if I should be worried about that. Hm. Never really crossed my mind until now.). I have some things that I can get done today that are a little bit more of a pain in the ass to do during the work day, so what the heck, might as well knock them out. Plus it was kind of fun to sleep an extra hour today (which was a struggle considering the kitties have learned that if you kitty-biscuit my bladder just right I will pretty much shoot out of bed no matter what time it is and therefore be available to turn on the faucet for their drinking pleasure). I am also taking Barbie to get her foot shot up and casted, so that should be interesting.

Mostly interesting because I am driving a rental. Yes, folks, I finally dropped my car off at Kadel's yesterday morning, and now I am the proud (?) borrower of a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. It's flipping huge. This is how I see it in my mind:
It's funny because the rental company apparently tries to put you in a car comparable(or maybe it's the insurance company. Could they finally be thinking of someone other than themselves?) to the one that is in the shop, and when I looked at this thing all I could think of was "I am never going to get that thing in my carport". I did though. After stressing about it all day at work. Now as I sit here contemplating the route my day should take me, all I can think of is "I'm never going to get that thing out of my carport".

I've been in Lincoln Tower for the last two days, a branch I haven't been in since January, and will finish out the week there. Then it's a five week stint in Beaverton, and if history and tradition have anything to say, that means five more weeks of rain. Sorry, kids, I don't write the rules.

Not much else is going on beyond work and pretending like I'm going to be all accomplished today. I swore I wouldn't take a nap and now that I have Barbie detail it looks like I will be able to keep that promise. That stupid car out there is really the most formidable thing on my mind right now, like how hard is it going to be navigating the more narrow streets in SE Portland, and will I be able to maneuver it in the rain/over a bridge, and how long until I break down and smoke in it despite that one place on the form that I initialled saying I wouldn't. I only have it until Friday (allegedly) but that seems like an eternity to me. I have to swing by a supermarket at some point today - maybe I should take it back to the Scene Of The Crime Safeway and see if anyone rams in to it. Does lightening strike twice? Today could be the day we find out.

By the way, this is what the car really looks like: But this is MY car, and to me, the difference is ASTRONOMICAL. Plus MY driver seat isn't all jacked up, MY radio stations are preset to the music I prefer to listen to, and MY car probably doesn't fit five people comfortably in the back seat (I'll admit I need to get over this already, but nobody ever said I wasn't a little bit dramatic).

I guess the one saving grace is that I sprang for the $40 collision insurance fee for the rental yesterday. Just in case. You just never know.

Don't pictures just make it more fun to read?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

No rain for the party

I know everyone is bitching about it around here, so I'll join the sheep. MOTHER OF GOD STOP RAINING. Remember when I was back in Cancun in 2005 and we had this big motherfuck of a hurricane and the power came on but then it would go out and half an hour later it would come back on again as they brought up other neighborhoods but we didn't really know that until later so at the time it just got to be really depressing (I know you remember because you all have read past posts regarding the whole reason why TtheD came into existence)? It's kind of like that. Rain for flipping two solid months, then yesterday this fabulous day of sun and blue sky and good moods and happiness and la la la it's almost summer and today? Seriously I've never seen it rain so hard and so steady up here. Which is probably a total exaggeration but I don't care. It's a curtain of rain out there and has been since I got up at 5:30 and suddenly it appears I live on a lake. It's just depressing. Seriously. I was totally going to clean out my trunk for the body shop appointment on Tuesday. I still will, but now I'll be all wet afterward. It's now 8:30 and my living room is still in full dark. It's a good thing I've never been suicidal because there is NO QUESTION this would put me over the edge.

So last night (a world away, the sky was blue), evening really, I went to a party for my friend Kim's birthday. She's 40. (Happy Birthday, Kim!) As is the case for Kim parties, there was a very diverse crowd, and part of that was a slice of one of my many former lives. Very fun boys from long ago that I used to hang out with pretty regularly. Sit in back yards, drink a bunch of beer, once in a while go to a bar. It was fun and everything but it was really a long time ago, and, you know, people change and stuff. Or, you know, they should. I did.

It was good to see these people again, but shit, I have to ask. How do you continually drink as much as these people do and sooo regularly and still be sane? Two of them don't work (one is an apprentice in a union so to his credit he has to wait around to be placed for jobs, but still, I mean, as I said to him last night, I have never actually spent any time with him where he was employed. And I have spent A LOT of time with him), one of them might, but I failed to ask him, he's one that usually does work, so I didn't see the point. One of them in the last few years has actually died, been brought back, had open heart surgery, and told me, while smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer, that he's opening up a hot dog cart this summer. One of the guys told me (while I was telling him, You know, it's really hard to look at Joe and not think of him as being dead once. What do you say? Geez, you look fantastic for a dead guy..) that Joe has pretty much figured all this post-dead time is extra, so he hasn't taken any steps to, uh, take good care. As horrible as that might sound to most of you, to me it makes sense for that particular group of people. Who have not changed one bit in the ten years since I hung out with them.

Which is fine, you know, for them. It's nice to see them but I always leave thinking, good God, I couldn't do it. I could not go out EVERY FLIPPING NIGHT, get completely wasted, sleep on someone's couch until 4pm and then go to another party/bar/friend's house, crack open a beer and then, after three or four, say, Whew, starting to feel a little bit better now. Good Lord. I mean, I USED to be able to do that (I think), but holy crap. I was like in my 20s. What's next? Will these guys live to see 50 (probably not Joe)? Like I said, it's good to see them, and the further away from them I get, the more the horror of the idea of not having changed in ten years goes away.

Anyway, thank God the sun was out for it because for the short time I was there it was quite festive, nobody gave me any shit for not having a beer, and I drove home with the sunroof open. I am sure the festivities lasted well in to the night, and I hope that the rain held off for the end of it.

Because it's certainly getting us back for anything remotely close to almost-summer today.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Not necessarily a weather report.

My friend Saundra posted on FB yesterday (and I paraphrase) that she wished people would stop complaining about the rain already since it is, after all, June in Portland. When I mentioned it to Barbie, she countered that at least we usually get some sun in May. It's been raining pretty much nonstop since March and not just sprinkling. It's June 5th for God's sake and we are already at the quota for the entire month. I realize the Fun Center isn't the Fun Center unless it's swimming in a pool of mud, but for crying out loud.

Today it's sunny, however, and my attitude has taken a complete turn (for the good..). It's essential to me and my well-being (and as a result, everyone else's) to have some flipping sunlight in my life. I don't think I'm asking for much. So today I am showered and (almost) ready to bolt out into the fray that is a sunny Saturday in west Portland. I can take it: I can take the crowds, the annoying people, the errant lane changes and cut-offs, the screaming babies and the people who act like they are the only people on the planet. Because it's sunny. It really makes a difference.

So, (non-industry) people have been asking me if this new title company in town has been making some waves in my world (and frankly, even industry people have been asking me). It hasn't, really. We've to date still only lost a handful of people to them, and frankly, the escrow people that have gone there are the same people they were when they worked at the company they worked at a month ago - they were our competition before, and they continue to be. Where's the worry? The only difference is their paycheck has a different logo on it. I have no real concerns (especially since I am not management). The feedback I receive from clients is that they wouldn't want to go to a start-up company anyway. And once those rebellious ex-other-company-employees don't produce they'll be fired. Then what? How about this - stick with the stable company. Your odds are better of turning out a quality product, keeping your clients happy and continuing to be successful in the industry. So that's my two cents. I know it doesn't really matter to the majority of you out there, but escrow is my current world and I can write anything I want.

What else is going on? Cece moved into her house and it's bad ass. I'll be working in Lincoln Tower next week for the first time since January. The kitties have suddenly done a role-reversal and now Lava is the crazy one (I think they're just fucking with me though, Lava isn't really that convincing as the crazy one). I haven't vacuumed in a week and everything is covered in fur. Working in Orenco for two weeks was great fun despite the fact that it was pouring down rain every other twenty minutes and the fact that there is a Starbucks mere feet from the front door caused me to spend money like a drunk. Other than that, same old shit.

So what's next? I need to plan a vacation, do some laundry, hit Costco with Barbie, vacuum the casita and figure out a festive gift for a 40-year-old birthday, not necessarily in that order. Life continues on it's path as I patiently await the next chapter. So optimistic.

Because it's sunny.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Okay, seriously?