Fri, Dec. 19th, 2008, 01:23 pm
Snow week! Even though we used to get two feet of snow in RI as opposed to two inches, it is so much more exciting out here because it's all anyone can talk about! Unless you read the Seattle Times comments, and then it's all people can bitch about. I don't get it - who could hate snow, especially when it's such a rarity? And who especially could hate THUNDER SNOW? I totally thought Komo News made that term up, and it makes me giggle every time I hear it.
I have to work but decided to walk instead of dealing with the buses this year, and it is so much nicer. I think I'm finally starting to feel a twinge of Christmas spirit. The walk from the hospital to Capital Hill is full of giant rich people houses, and last night they were all lit up with their classy decorations, and all the hilly streets were blocked off so big groups of families and friends were sledding down them.
This year I haven't really been able to get excited about the holidays. For the last few years we've driven to the kangaroo farm to get our tree and hang out with the kangaroos and wallabees and peacocks and mini horses at this weird farm in Darrington where they give you cider and you can stand around their firepit petting the baby kangaroos. But this year we moved, and all our free time has been spent shopping, which is my least favorite part of Christmas. So we got our tree on Capital Hill and Justin didn't even want to help decorate it. I made him, but making someone decorate a Christmas tree with you is as sad as doing it yourself.
My dad used to get super excited about Christmas. He'd take us to tag our tree before Thanksgiving and then we'd go back to cut it down weeks later. We always hated it because we wanted to take the tree home with us right away. And he actually had a favorite Christmas Album (Christmas with The Beach Boys) and song (Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses), and he and my mom always fought about tinsel (it made the cats puke and mom thought it looked tacky but he just loved it). We'd go on lots of night time drives looking at lit up houses in different neighborhoods, and would always end by driving home through Roger Williams Park, which had grand light displays, and listening to Christmas jazz on GBH, Boston public radio. Unfortunately, I've never dated anyone as excited as my dad about Christmas. Justin at least likes to go sledding and check out weird places & lights, but it just isn't a big deal to him. Sometimes I think I want a kid just to make Christmas fun again. Is that bad?
I bought Justin tickets to see the Nutcracker for his birthday and he opened them and said, "Are you sure this isn't a gift for YOU?" I could have sworn he said he's always wanted to go to the ballet. It doesn't really sound like something he'd want to do, now that I think about it, but I swear he told me this once. Well, we're going on Tuesday.
Mon, Nov. 24th, 2008, 07:11 pm
I think it's funny that I've been told more than once that I'd benefit from assertiveness training, because sometimes it scares me how assertive I can be. We are moving on Saturday, and my downstairs neighbor has been driving me crazy for months but I think he was sleeping somewhere else for a long time because we didn't hear him for days at a time, which made him a bit more bearable. For the last week, though, he's been playing death metal at the loudest possible volume so that our floor vibrates and I can't go anywhere to escape it and it's totally been pissing me off. He's also in a noise band that practices in his apartment. We live in a really old building with hardwoods, so the insulation sucks. I can hear my upstairs neighbor's phone conversations, but I'm fine with that because at least you can drown it out and it's not intrusive to the point where you have no choice but to listen to her.
In the past I've gone down and spoken to him about it and asked him to keep it down. He said "I might do it again, but I'll try to be quieter and do it before 10pm." I wasn't completely ok with that but figured as long as he knew he was annoying people, he'd be more conscientious. I was wrong and the next week he had band practice again at 10:30 at night. Then last weekend I came home at 2am and he was blasting metal again. I stomped on the floor and that worked.
This week he's been playing metal practically every night, and he started ignoring the stomping. Yesterday we woke up to it so we went out for the day, and when we came back, we were home for 20 minutes before it started up again. I started stomping and yelling at him from my apartment like a crazy person to shut the fuck up. He ignored it, so I went down and explained what was going on to the manager, who agreed that it was ridiculously loud, and he called the guy and left him two messages because he didn't answer the phone. He also wrote him a note and slipped it under the door. Eventually it got quiet.
So today I came home and the dude was blasting fucking metal again. I tried stomping. Nothing changed. I bitched at Justin to go talk to the guy because I'm sick of having to always be the aggressive one when it bothers both of us. Poor Justin, he's such a sweet guy, I know how much that must have stressed him out. I really need to be nicer to him, because he's just the best. I always tell myself that my goal in life is to be more like Justin, but it doesn't seem to work. Anyway, he went downstairs and knocked and rang the doorbell, and the guy completely ignored him.
I went downstairs and tried the manager but he wasn't home. So I rang the metal guy's doorbell 20 times in a row super fast, like a freaking crazy person AGAIN, and he totally turned the music UP! I didn't think it could get any louder. So I started kicking the door violently (though I had Chinese slippers on)! What is wrong with me? I have kind of an explosive temper and just couldn't restrain myself.
He finally said through the door, "Yes?" and I yelled, "Dude, that's so loud!!!" and he said "Sorry," and turned it down. What the hell? I could still hear it, but at least I couldn't make out the words.
I think it's karma for when I was in my early 20s and used to drive my downstairs neighbor crazy. Although that guy used to pound on the ceiling when I was vacuuming in the middle of the day and I never listened to loud music (though one night on a Friday, we did have a late night acoustic jam session). But still, I kind of empathize with that guy now.
Five more nights until we move into our crazy yuppie condo with a zen garden and movie theater and hopefully some sound proofing! This week is dragging and I'm afraid I'm going to start lashing out at this guy! Luckily I have plans for the next few nights so I can probably deal.
And this has nothing to do with anything, but it's my birthday next week and I asked for a banjo or sitar! I love both, but I'm really hoping for the sitar because it'd be more useful in the band. I tried Craigslist, though, and can't find any for sale. Are they rare?
Wed, Nov. 19th, 2008, 07:02 pm
I think my nose is broken. Damn!
I will find out tomorrow after what I've read is a very painful check up. At least it means I get to sleep in and miss half a day of work. It's a little exciting because I've never had any broken bones. This lady in my office said she had a broken knee for two weeks before she realized it. I always assumed something like your bones breaking would be pretty obvious. Guess not.
Wed, Nov. 5th, 2008, 11:54 am
I am incredibly happy with the results of the election. Obama will give the country the image makeover it desperately needs, proving that Americans value intellect and don’t need to vote for average Joes because they are the only people we can understand.
That said, oh my god I had the worst night last night, and what was supposed to be the event to restore my belief in the good of others left me lying awake fuming about how everyone is so pathetically self-centered and horrible.
We made the mistake of going to a bar downtown to watch the results, but it was loud and we couldn’t hear the TV and I am blind so I couldn’t read the close captioning. So that part was not as exciting as I wanted it to be.
Then we got on the 43 bus back to Capital Hill and when we boarded I walked past a drug addict looking woman who was yelling at this homeless man about how he took her things, and she kept hitting him to the point where he was cowering in the corner of his seat. This was all going on right behind the driver and he was completely ignoring it and letting it happen. We (Justin & I) went and sat in the back of the bus, but we could see that it was still going on, and she kept pounding on him. The bus was full of people, and aside from a few people yelling at her from their seats to knock it off and get off the bus, no one approached or tried to stop her from hitting the guy. I ran up to the front of the bus and started yelling at her to leave the man alone.
She punched me in the face.
The weird thing is, I totally didn’t feel it and wouldn’t have known that it happened (you know how sometimes your body blocks out trauma) except that when I turned around and went back to my seat after the stupid driver finally kicked her off, Justin said “Liz, you’re bleeding!” I had a bloody nose, and today I have my first ever black eye that wasn’t caused by a sinus infection. I wasn’t mad at the lady who was obviously fucked up, but I was livid at the rest of the bus, these young, liberal, socially aware people who were so proud of themselves for electing a black man president yet were perfectly fine with sitting there letting a guy get beat up right in front of them, maybe because both parties were homeless.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a public fight and been the only one to try to break it up. Luckily, the last one was between three seven-year olds ganging up on another seven year old, kicking and shoving him for like 5 minutes in front of fifty or so families hanging out at a public park. That time there was no physical danger involved for me, although I realized when I pulled the kids apart that I really had no idea what to do next and suddenly the bullied kid became the aggressor, punching one of the other kids while I was in the middle of yelling at him.
But I think about the case of the Capital Hill woman who was stabbed to death by a random stranger on the front steps of her apartment at 7pm, and how people interviewed claimed to have heard the screaming and ignored it, and other similar violent crimes that have happened right in the middle of a public area, and I don’t know how people can not feel obligated to try to do anything about it. I’m not brave, and I’m not even really that nice, but I’d still help a stranger out if they were being attacked right in front of me, and anyone who doesn’t should be ashamed. Especially if you have a bus load of people there to potentially back you up. Oddly, the only other person who stood up to try to help me out was also 5 feet tall and like 105lbs. It was bullshit.
Thu, Jul. 31st, 2008, 12:06 pm
I overheard a funny conversation on the bus yesterday. There was a group of about 7 grizzly looking construction workers in bandanas sitting in the back talking about stupid shit like cadillacs and how they’d never tell a woman they loved her, blah blah blah, and I spaced out and started reading my Television Without Pity recap, when all of a sudden I heard one guy exclaim, “I fucking LOVED pottery class, man!”
The other guys all joined in and excitedly agreed that pottery was the best, and one guy said, “Yeah, pottery RULED! I made so many pots and bowls and shit. That’s not gay, either.”
The guy across from him said in this perfect Cheech and Chong voice,“I made a lot of steins.”
I love when people aren’t complete stereotypes.
Wed, Jul. 16th, 2008, 06:56 pm
My parents are gone, and I miss them so much. They're pretty weird and my mom's high maintenance, but I feel like I live in a city where people are so proper and guarded that I kind of need someone obnoxious like my dad around to say things like (to the Obama Campaigner on the Ave) "I oughta slap you for taking two of our electoral votes away!" (or out of the corner of his mouth about the dumb guy blasting a wacky MIA song with cash register effects in the car next to us) "is he listening to the Disney Channel?" Or my mom standing right next to him interjecting in her shrill, ridiculous RI accent, "is there anything about HILLARY on your petition?!! Hillary should've won!"
I feel like when they were around I absorbed a little of that oblivious to other people's judgments attitude. During an emergency meeting in my office while they were still here, an employee tried to steamroll me because she wasn't happy about a policy change I'd made, and she said bullshitty things like "well, that's not the way any of the other managers have ever done it," and I said, "Well, new manager, new policy. This is how I want it to be done from now on." And it totally felt great and the next day, the crazy employee apologized to me and said she had just been in a stupid, bad mood, and another employee came over to me and gave me maybe the coolest compliment ever: "I really loved the way you were in that meeting yesterday. You're small and you're young, but you're tough!"
Anyway, while they were here it was kind of funny because everything we did was so Rhode Islandy. On Saturday, we went to the New England of Washington, Port Townsend & Port Orchard, and of course they loved it. In Port Orchard, there was a wooden boat show and we got to tour a houseboat for sale for $38,000 with the world's cutest dog. He was like "Mr Winkles" cute. I would love to live on a boat. My dad had a sailboat when we were kids but we couldn't afford to keep it for very long. Our friends had a houseboat, though, and my mom always talks about how my dad used to run around the deck drunk pushing me in the stroller and how many fights they got into about that. My dad, by the way, can no longer drink, and I spent a lot of time during this trip driving around trying to find convenience stores that sell non-alcoholic beer. None do, it turns out. You can only get it at grocery stores. The people who owned the boat we toured were really good at convincing my mom that she could live her houseboat owning dreams (that I didn't even know she had). The woman was talking about how they really had no major boating experience, and that she'd started with a canoe, then got a 14-footer, then a 28-footer, and now they were selling that because they bought a larger one. My parents have made a lot of sudden, sort of bizarre decisions in the last few years, first in out-of-the-blue deciding to leave all their friends and relatives and our childhood house to move to the middle-of-nowhere, tiny town Florida. Then one of the first things they did upon arriving was buy $500 worth of meat out of the back of some guy's car, which later turned out to be (surprise!) bad. Then my mom cashed out her 401k. So I'm really hoping they go with their obviously flawed instincts this time and buy this freaking awesome boat because I want to live on it so badly! It had two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Unfortunately, among the many things I want that Justin absolutely doesn't, living on a boat is one.
Then in Port Townsend we saw tons of super hippies of the kind I haven't seen since the early 90s. There was this cute teenaged girl with wild curly hair, a short belly cut-off tee shirt, tiny denim shorts, rawhide fringed vest and leather moccasins, and our waitress was in her late 30s-early 40s, had five dresses of varying lengths on, and dreadlocks down to her waist. There were tons of hippie guys, too, but they all look the same. Port Townsend was kind of boring, but we took a detour to a place called "Troll Haven," which I'd read about in that Weird Washington book. The photos in the book made it look like some hokey Disney place, but in reality it was a little creepy, more like a late 60s horror movie or more accurately maybe, like Eyes Wide Shut. It's a little hard to find, on Garden Beach Road off the small, two-lane highway 101. There aren't any signs for it, and when you get to the property, there are actually "Private Property, No Trespassing" and "If I don't now you, I don't want to" signs all over the place. That's the part that creeped me out the most. Like here is this guy who basically built a castle and carved trolls and ogres all over his beautiful landscape and he didn't do it for tourists. Though I guess you can rent out the castle and an adjacent building for special events, but the average tourist isn't supposed to stop by to take pictures beyond the entrance. We did anyway (we ain't scared of no trolls!), and when Justin posts them, I'll put up a link.
Argh, I'm sick of writing and Justin just came back with his IPhone. There's a feature on it where you can hum or sing a song into the phone and it searches for the song name. I'm so addicted to it, even though it's not really good at finding anything except super obvious songs. And even then, I hummed "Heart of Gold" and it pulled up "Mother" by Pink Floyd. That makes no sense!
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008, 07:50 am
My parents are in town and I'm having a hard time playing tour guide. Yesterday it was just me, Jackson, mom and dad, and I originally wanted to go to Tillicum Village because I've never been and there's a boat launch from the water, but the more I read about it the worse it sounded (Salmon bake, indian pow wow dancing, $65, fakey totem poles, only an hour to spend walking around). Then I was going to suggest taking a ferry to Bainbridge Island, but yesterday was the first day in almost 2 weeks where it was freezing until about 2:30, and my parents are Floridians now so they were wearing sweatshirts and pants and walking around going "brrrrr!"
Instead we hung out at my sister's store, and Jen wanted me to try on wedding gowns, which of course my mom was thrilled about. I must say, I was shocked that I actually am able to pull off a really glitzy dress. My hair is pretty ratty right now, but I looked better in the wedding gowns than I do in normal clothes! Maybe everyone thinks that, I don't know. Unfortunately, I'm not very photogenic so most of the pictures we took looked just ok to really bad. I need to take a class on how to not make stupid mad faces. This meant that when we showed them to Justin, he wasn't as blown away and inspired to propose as I would have liked. Plus he of course loved the boring and most form-fitting dress.
We wound up going to the aquarium, which I'd been to 2 weeks ago. It's a little overwhelming there with all the swarms of kids, and they have no sharks or whale & dolphin & seal shows like the Mystic Aquarium where I went as a kid. However, they did have a scuba diver cuddling a large rockfish in the crook of her arm. I guess these fish are really territorial with rocks and sleeping spots, and this particular fish has become that way with the divers, so he always comes over and sleeps on their shoulders or heads or in their arms. I never knew fish could be cute. There is also this tank that produces a big wave every 10 seconds or so, so that the fish will be swimming in one direction and then when the wave comes they get pushed back to where they started. Two weeks ago when I saw it I thought this was hilarious, but yesterday it was kind of sad because the fish were all huddled in the farthest corner where the wave couldn't quite get to them, as though they were just too exhausted to fight. Speaking of fight, we saw our first ever otter fight! One otter was trying to get up to his sunbathing spot on a log and the otter already of the log kept shoving him down with his paw and sometimes head (he was totally head butting the other one!). Finally the otter in the water made it up, only to be given the complete smackdown by the other one and body slammed back into the pool. Then they twisted their bodies around each other and started swirling around in circles like that, all intertwined.
After that we made the mistake of going to Pike Place Market for lunch. Is that place ever not busy? I can deal with it when I'm alone and can easily snake in and out of crowds, but trying to stay in a group of four was annoying, and we ate at this disgusting soup and salad bar. Jackson apparently has never eaten at a salad bar I found out later from Jen, and his plate consisted of 2 hard boiled eggs, a little pile of grated orange cheese, and corn. It was so nasty looking, all yellow and white and orange and stinky.
Finally after getting us lost trying to go from Capitol Hill to the International District and ending up on Rainier Ave, we went back to Jen's and had a barbeque. I ate about 30 chicken wings, and my mom, who is so annoyingly obsessed with her weight even though she's a size 4, ate a tomato sandwich and nothing else. It's weird, because she loves beaches and boats and only seems to want to do things by the water, yet she refuses to wear a bathing suit. And she's been like that for the last 20 years, at least. I hope I never get crazy and paranoid about my weight. I already have super pale cottage cheese old lady thighs but I'll be damned if I'm going to let that stop me from swimming, one of my favorite things to do. Anyway, whenever she's here I find myself pigging out even more than I normally do out of spite for that kind of attitude. It sucks because we can't talk about clothes without her making some kind of disparaging remark about how she can't wear that style because she's too fat.
We haven't gotten into any fights yet, so already this trip is better than the last! Today Jen has the day off and we're going kayaking. Tomorrow Justin and I are spending the day with just mom and dad and we can do anything. I was so set on taking them to the desert or somewhere where they can get a sense of the "old" west, since they've really never been in that type of environment. They seem to have no interest, though, and would rather go to the San Juans. Which is cool because we can rent scooters and the only one of the San Juans I've been to is Friday Harbor. But I feel like if they saw the Methow Valley or even Toppenish or Ellensberg, they'd be transformed into lovers of the west instead of tropical island dorks. I'm just kidding, although my dad did spend two years after their cruise to the Caribbean listening to Calypso music and wearing Hawaiian shirts. And when he came out to Seattle he rented a convertible and drove around with the top down doing these things.