Friday, April 20, 2007

I'm Not Going to Freak Out

I have roughly ten days left here in the Emerald City. But I'm not going to freak out. I have a house full of furniture and a list longer than my hair (used to be!) of things left to do before I leave, but I'm not going to freak out. I'm moving to another country and have not had adequate time to learn British. But I'm not going to freak out. This unidentified screaming rodent (USR) is a visual representation of how it feels in my brain right now. I have started having stress dreams- the ones where it's the day of my final exam and I have forgotten to go to the class all quarter... I know it's all in my head, so I'm not going to freak out. I know I can do it. But every now and then I begin to doubt my ability to get everything done to my satisfaction whilst retaining some semblance of sanity. Sadly, it appears as if some of my peeps may also be succumbing to this incertitude... Rebecca came over the other night for my End of Garage Sale/Come Drink All My Wine party, where she witnessed the state of my apartment. She said nothing even remotely discouraging- in fact she has been very enthusiastic during this whole process- but I know what she must've been thinking! All of the furniture is still here, along with piles of empty boxes just waiting to be packed. How will it ever get done in ten days?!? It's enough to make anyone make this face! But I'm not going to freak out. Cupcake and Paul, two of the other witnesses of the moving mayhem, appear to be equally concerned about all of the work that is left to be done. Perhaps they also fear last minute calls for help moving pianos and such, seeing as they live right down the road and are so very robust and able-bodied. They keep saying supportive things, but look at those skeptical faces! I know what they're thinking! I have ESPN! But I'm not going to freak out. Simone (my roomie's kitty) is in denial about the whole thing. She doesn't want anyone to move. She may not have a complete understanding of what's going on, but she knows that her beloved electric blanket is going into a box, and I assure you that she is not amused. She can't stand to watch. She must avert her kitty eyes. I don't blame her. Bjorn and Kass are not covering their faces because they will miss their electric blankets. Or me, even. In fact, they live in Vancouver and probably have little concern about or interest in my moving process. They are covering their faces because they know that at some point I have to pack all of the dishes, and they are afraid of plates. They fear that the plates will explode and blind them. (Without going into detail, allow me to assure that these fears are not at all unfounded.) Even little Timothy Hutton is concerned that there's no time to pack all of this stuff (or that Kass and Bjorn will be blinded- it's hard to tell which). Don't worry, little Timothy Hutton! Everything is going to be fine! =) I'm not going to freak out. I'm fine. Everything is fine. (Calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean...) I have faced seemingly insurmountable moving challenges in the past and made it through (though not entirely unscathed). I have a fine network of friends to love and support me in my time of need. (And by "love and support" I mean "pack and move.") So if any of you lovelies feel the urge to join in the moving fun, give me a call and I'll put you to work! ;) Otherwise, just leave me to toil on my own and then show up for the fun part- drinks at the Lock & Keel Friday the 27th! =) See you there, and leave your skeptical faces at home, because you know they'll end up on the internet! :o

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

21 Days and Counting

In 21 days I shall be on a plane heading out of Seattle. In 21 days, all of my things will be packed up and either stored in Ballard or riding in the trunk of the car on the way to the airport. In 21 days I will have completed all of the tasks that are still before me- everything on my lengthy list will be done. =) In 21 days I could learn C++ or any number of other computery things. (I know, because I looked it up.) But instead I think I'll just spend my time saying goodbye to friends and tying up all of my loose ends in Seattle. =) I do plan to come back, so it's not really sad, just moving on to different and exciting things. =) I am thrilled! But I have to admit, 21 days seems to be getting shorter and shorter... Off I go to pack! This kitten is 21 days old. (I don't know who it is- I stole the picture from somebody's website online. Is that bad?)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Look, Ma! No Cavities!

This is Sebastian. He lives in Atlanta with our adorable friends Tara and Bill. He's looking at you that way because he knows that you haven't been flossing. Don't ask me how he knows; he just does. He thinks you should accept resposibility and start flossing.

This is Chween. Chween and her husband Nate live in Orlando, Florida, where she is studying acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Chween is saying, "Even me, Sebastian? But my teeth are so pretty! Look! Do I have to floss, too?" Sebastian says yes. Even the Chween must floss.

This is me. I am smiling because I went to the dentist today and had a cleaning and exam and I have no cavities! Along with flossing, I found out that it is very important to have one's teeth cleaned. I went online and found a list of the Top Ten Reasons to Have a Dental Cleaning for your perusal. =) Sebastian and Chween both think you should read it. =) Me, I don't care at all. Let your teeth fall out. See if I care. (Okay, I care! Read it!)

Monday, April 2, 2007

My Mom

This is my mom, Barbara. This adorable photo was taken just a few short years ago when she was a senior at Bellaire High School. Every time I tell my mom that I have a paper due for school and I don't know what the topic will be, she says I should write about her. Well, it never seems entirely appropriate to make her the topic of a psychology paper or linguistics essay, so I respectfully decline her requests. But I can write whatever I want on my blog! So here goes! =) My mom has two lovely children- my brother, Jay (now 33) and me (now 30). Here is a picture of us when we were still small and cute. =) (Check out my bro's sweet "Mork and Mindy" tee shirt!) When I was little, my mom used to make a lot of my clothes, so my dress always matched my headband. She is very crafty. She also got a big kick out of dressing us funny because it was the seventies and everyone else dressed funny, too. Here is a picture of us going to church for Easter in 1981. Notice how my mom was actually the same age as I am now, had two kids, and was beautiful and thin! How is that possible?! (Hold on, I have to go get on the treadmill for a minute...) My mom stopped making my clothes as I got older, but she was always into something artistic and creative, whether it was painting ceramic figures or making our costumes for Halloween. (Except for the year that my brother went as Richard Nixon. He had a mask. She didn't make that.) For as long as I can remember, she has always had a camera in her hand, taking pictures of bees and baseball teams and of my brother, mostly. She likes him better. ;) One of the most important things she taught me was never to leave the house without a camera, which has served me well. =) Here is a picture I took of my mom when we went out one day to take pictures of kudzu for my friends in Seattle who didn't know what it was. This is my favourite picture of her. =) My mom also enjoys scrapbooking (at which she is truly a genius). She creates amazing cards (and even more amazing scrapbooks) for her friends and family, such as this adorable thank you card she sent after her visit to my house last year. =) My mom will be getting married sometime in June (we're not entirely sure about the date yet) to her fiancé Kevin, whom she met many years ago at the office while they were both working at Galileo International. Kevin is also very nice, but isn't maybe so good at the scrapbooking. ;) Here they are at Everybody's Pizza (my former workplace) last time I was in Atlanta. (My mom made the earrings she was wearing. She's so crafty!) In addition to Kevin, my brother, crafty stuff, and me, my mom also really loves Rocky, the undisputed Cutest Dog in the World. She loves him so much that not only did she bring him out here for my birthday last year, but she recently taught him to type and helped him set up a Gmail account so he can add comments to my blog! Amazing! =) While my mom obviously adores Rocky, she also likes to hang out with other people's babies and she tries to keep them when their parents want to take them home. Here she is with cutie pie O'Neill, our friends Virginia and Ray's little one. =) My mom is very sad that I'm moving to England instead of Georgia. (I'm not going to show you the picture she took of herself pouting and left on my camera because I'd really like not to be disowned. That, and I might need it for blackmail later.) But I think she's secretly excited to come and visit. I hear she really wants to go to the Tales of Robin Hood thing where she gets to touch and smell the days of yore. =) My mom is one of the funniest people I know. My mom likes square ice (not round ice). My mom said one boy, here are two. My mom prefers not to be thrown in the gladiolies. (My mom will understand these inside jokes and I hope she will giggle.) So, there you have it. I hope you all like my mom as much as I do, but you can't have her, 'cuz she's mine! =)

High Maintenance

Okay, so I don't read that much anymore. I used to read constantly as a kid- every time the Ohio Valley Mall Santa Claus asked me what I would like for Christmas I asked for books. In middle school I made it my goal to read every work of fiction in the school library alphabetically by author. (In three years I only got through L or something.) But when I tried to write a nice list of my favourite books for my blog profile I realised that I haven't read any fiction worth mentioning in a long, long time. I felt a pang of regret at the degeneration of my reading habits. Immediately I went over to my bookshelf and selected something I had picked up at Goodwill for 99 cents. It was High Maintenance by Jennifer Belle. I decided to write about it here because I'd like to keep a log of the books I read and this seems a good place to start. So, let me begin by saying that 99 cents might have been too high a price to pay for this book. Look how the cover has words like "hilarious," "exceptionally funny," and "bestseller!" LIES, I tell you! (Okay, the bestseller part is probably true, but it only goes to show that Americans will buy just about anything.) This book was basically 350 pages of lackluster writing with perhaps the sum total of one page worth of funny and/or interesting lines thrown in sporadically. The plot: a rich woman divorces her cheating husband and has to move out of the apartment over which she obsesses for the rest of the book. She becomes a real estate agent and spends a lot of time showing apartments- comparing them to her old one and passing judgment on just about every client. Basically, the protagonist is unlikeable, her thoughts inane, and her actions contrived. Her love interest is clearly insane, married, and lies constantly. He is vile and offensive to both the character herself and to the reader, and there's actually a scene were he bites part of her ear off and she has to get it sewn back on by a veterinarian. Ew. I am glad to have finished the book- I would've quit reading but I genuinely wanted to see what would happen in the end. Not a whole lot- things did get wrapped up tidily as they tend to do in these kinds of books, but I never really liked any of the characters anyway, so I just didn't care. To add insult to mediocre writing, she dishonors my brethren, the nerds. The main character doesn't care for her best friend's beau. Allow me to quote: "Her new boyfriend played Dungeons & Dragons with two other guys every Sunday night. I'd rather date a married psychopath than a man who did that." Preposterous. All I'm saying- don't read this book. As for me, I'm on the road to bigger and better works. Up next is "Gone With the Wind." If I can't bring myself to enjoy that one, perhaps I should just stop reading altogether! :o

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Pack It Up, Pack It In...

...let me begin... Packing and moving, that is. =) A storage facility has been rented and the first of many boxes moved into it! Yay! =) This photo was taken during the truck unloading portion of my last real move- from Atlanta to Seattle- a reenactment of which I am trying desperately to avoid. As my mom, Kevin, and Chween can attest, the Atlanta segment of the move was completely disastrous! I won't go into great detail, but it involved many vehicles, including Kevin's truck, a rented moving truck, and a giant semi truck. (I have to use the word "truck" while I still can- I hear they don't have those in the UK!) It also involved collecting my effects from a second-floor storage unit (sans elevator), my mom's house, a friend's house, my own house, and from Target! (That's where my Vespa was living.) Add to that the excavation and toilsome removal of many boxes from a dark, moldy, 100-degree, mosquito-infested basement where most of my clothing had deteriorated into kind of a stringy, black liquid and many of my other belongings had similarly decomposed, and you begin to get the picture. We all worked until literally delirious, and there were at least two nights when I never went to sleep at all. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the people involved in that torturous experience- without their help I would surely have fallen asleep during loading and been shipped across America in the back of a semi loaded with all of my stuff and 30 tons of cat food or diapers. I'd also like to assure all of those kind souls that their services shall not be called upon for this move or any other laborious and time-sensitive project with which I might become involved in the future. In an effort to avoid a repetition of 2003's Moving Mayhem, I have already begun work and intend to have everything done on time and without the suffering of any of my dear friends and relatives! (Though to be completely honest, I wouldn't refuse any volunteers!) I have 30 days until I'm on a plane out of Seattle and there is much to be done, so back to work I go! =) Let the moving begin! =)