10.31.2003

baby, I'm sorry

I'm so sorry, my little blog. I have neglected you for over a week now. I really haven't meant to, I've just been so busy lately, what with working all day and classes at night. I know, it's really no excuse, but it's the truth. I have been thinking about things to write in you, I actually have several topics ready that I've been turning about in my brain, but I just haven't had time to sit down and write them. I can't write from work much anymore, I'm too busy and trying to catch up on some very old projects that need to be finished. I really will be back, you'll wait for me, won't you baby? I knew you would.

10.23.2003

daily grind

After a weekend slogging through the watery Bellingham streets with my parents, I'm back into the work, yoga, work, yoga, work, yoga routine. Their weekend visit was fun, we did essential local things like breakfast at the Bagelry and walking up Harris Ave. to Marine Park, reading the little plaques on the sidewalk that give information such as "On this spot in 1870 Matthew was cut in two by a streetcar." We also ventured up to Semiahmoo spit, where it was actually nice and sunny. It dumped more rain here last weekend than Montana gets in a year, so I don't know if they'll want to come back anytime soon. They did buy me a nice raincoat though, which really does come in handy here. I no longer have to wear a water-logged hippie hat. Due to their visit however, I'm now drinking about a pot of coffee a day all totalled. Not only did they buy me good coffee to have at home, but I had to drink it to keep up with them, considering they stay up later than me, and get up earlier, probably due to the fact that they practically inject the brown juice intravenously. I know, it is sad when you can't keep up with your parents. So now I'm on the caffeine cycle - coffee makes me not sleep as well at night, so I need more coffee the next morning because I'm tired. Then I crash in the afternoon and am useless at work, unless I drink more coffee, but then I can't sleep at night. It's a downward spiral.

10.11.2003

the bizarre world of art

Or maybe it's not really art, I'm not sure. But I do know this article about 70 pairs of shoes filled with butter found on a remote mountain top in Sweden made me laugh. Apparently this is not the first time that butter-filled shoes have travelled to desolate landscapes and settled there. I love especially the last line, "officials are considering what to do with them." I picture a meeting of people, their arms folded seriously across their chests, staring at a huge pile of stinky sticky buttery shoes on a conference table in the center of the room. I don't know if they've actually removed them from the mountain top, but it's the Dibert-ness of it that I like. Maybe they could sell them over ebay!

10.10.2003

a bit of affirmation

It's amazing how a complete stranger can make you feel so good about your life in a 10 minute conversation. This morning when someone sat down next to me on the bus, I ignored him/her as I usually do and continued studying my Japanese book. The woman who had sat down next to me noticed what I was reading and asked me if I was going to Japan. The conversation started there and we talked about teaching in Japan, the grad program at WWU that she was doing in environmental ed., what it's like to be working at a job and realize that you need to get out and do something else, rather than be at that job for the rest of your life. She told me that I really had my act together, and that it was so great that I knew exactly what I wanted to do with teaching in Japan and possibly TESL certification. Now, I know she doesn't know me at all, she doesn't know that probably more than anything I want to eventually teach college-level creative writing and publish something (anything!), but that I keep trying to convince myself that other jobs would be better because they are easier to attain and promise a more stable salary (and because I'm terrified of grad-school creative writing programs). She doesn't know anything about teaching abroad or about what it's taken me and my husband to get to this point. But her enthusiastic smile encouraging me that she thought it was great that I was doing something brave, something I really wanted to do , and making it happen made me feel better than anything has in a long time.

So, I take back what I said about the girls on the bus. Some of them are OK.

10.09.2003

a testament to the importance of caffeine to the IT dept.

In the office where I work, the two lower floors of the building all share one coffee pot, which resides in the kitchen. The coffee pot is kept full of the low-grade acid-laden coffee that the company provides us with to keep us typing throughout the day. There was once cream and sugar, but both have disappeared over time, never to be replenished. There are a few boxes of various tea bags, and hot water as well. This set-up keeps four or five depts. in caffeine suitably. However, if one should venture upstairs to the kitchenette in the hallway between the marketing and IT depts., one would see the coffeepot kept full of Starbucks or Tony's gourmet coffee, a capacious electric bean grinder for ultimate freshness in the grind, a glistening espresso machine (complete with milk frothing attachment), and a Ms. Tea automatic teapot. I believe I've also seen flavoring syrups up there as well. I suppose this is not only evidence of the fact that they take their caffeinated beverages far more seriously up there, but also of the fact that they get paid enough more than the rest of us for them to have the ability to finely stock their coffeeshop kitchenette. However, do not be mistaken, I am not jealous, because part of the reason they make more money is the very reason they take their caffeine seriously - I'm sure they probably work about twice as many hours a week as I do. And that's just fine with me.

10.07.2003

it's time to blow this popsicle stand

Really. We need to get out of this town. It's a great town and all, but we're both feeling stifled, bored, and trapped. The fact that we're planning to leave the country soon is a good thing, because it's exactly the sort of change we need right now, but at the same time it means that we are stuck here for nine more months. I know, it's not that long, but it feels like it. I like Bellingham, and I like our friends here and everything, but we're both kinda working jobs that mean nothing to us and feeling like we're going nowhere. It's the whole "OK, I got the degree, so now what?" realization. And if it doesn't get any better than this, I swear I'll take out a post office somewhere. And I know that is a statement coming from a privileged silly girl who's never had it really hard, but honestly, I'm sick of feeling guilty about being privileged while I eat nothing but noodles and bread with peanut butter for a week because I can't afford groceries. We saw the movie Lost in Translation last night - it's truly excellent, I recommend it. I really resonated with both characters, and the director did a great job of using both actor's strengths to produce a really incredible movie about loneliness and being lost, without much "plot" in the traditional sense to distract from the emotions and the characters. I've never seen a movie with so many scenes of characters waiting, sitting, staring at the ceiling trying to sleep, but nothing much happening. And that's what made the movie. So, I guess the movie is what brought it all up, the feeling of needing to get on with things and DO something and go somewhere else. Honestly, I'm tired of living in college towns - I want to live in a city where there's a wider variety of people and everyone doesn't look and act the same. And I know that's a raging generalization and there are all different kinds of people here, but on the bus every morning, I swear there's fifty clones of the same girl and I am just going to punch her in the face if she says "omigod" one more time. I feel like I'm in high school again, listening to Rage Against the Machine in the parking lot before the bell rings and writing angry poems in assignment notebooks. OK, I'll shut up now.

10.04.2003

and now for the weekend...

This has been a really crazy week. I started teaching yoga classes at the university fitness center this week (they have a truly posh brand new facility) and while it's a lot of fun, it's also a lot of work for me to prepare a class at this point, since I'm pretty new to the whole thing. And at the first class (which seems to be all 18-20 yr olds) I seriously dated myself by referring to that Simon Says electronic game that was popular when I was a kid. These kids were born in '85 so it was kinda no longer cool when they were old enough to play it. Anyway, the lights and sounds lit up in a certain order and you had to imitate it - it was a memory game basically.

Also this week was the first Japanese class, and I'm so excited for this class. It's a community ed. class, so it's only one evening a week, but we covered a lot more than I thought we would, and I'm happy that it seems like it will be more comprehensive than I'd thought. The instructor is from Japan, although she moved here quite a long time ago, so I think she'll be a good resource for us as we get ready to go over there. She's really really nice. There are other people in the class who are moving to Japan for work, one person who visits there frequently, and then some business people who want to speak with Japanese clients better. Makes me feel better about our plans to go there with very minimal Japanese ability, esp. the comments from the girl who visited there about how it would be hard to find somewhere where no one speaks English. I'm sure that is where we will end up though! Also I don't want to be a pushy American wanting everyone to speak English to me - I wouldn't be going if I didn't want to learn the language. Things are coming together with the application stuff, and a prof. from the college I went to is going to help us with the apps. even though I never took Japanese from him (I took French in college - silly me!). Zut alors! Anyway, it's going to be a crazy fall and winter, and actually considering getting ready to leave in the spring, it's going to be a crazy next few years. It's good though, I've been kind of hibernating in a full-time job and not-much-else stasis for a while and it's really good to shake that up. The most exciting thing this week - today is payday so I get to finally fulfill my week-long craving for a bubble tea, my new addiction.