Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tour de America and First week in Cali!

North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, CALIFORNIA!

The highlights of that paragraph are definitely Jackson Hole (great recommendation from Uncle Bill) and Yellowstone.  Both were incredibly fun and packed with gratifying wildlife.  I almost got to pet a bison but Emily ruined it by driving away.

  In Jackson we ate at a really cool local brewery.  I had a bison burger (in preparation for the park the next day) and Emily had this awesome chipotle bbq pizza with goat cheese, chorizo, and figs.  We also had a pitcher of the heifeweizen that was brewed there and it was fabulous.  Don't worry Rachel, we got a couple pint glasses and they are sweeeeeeeeeeet. 

On arriving in Sunnyvale we went straight to the first apartment complex on our craigslist list, and didn't love it.  The second one that we went to was in a much nicer part of town and is actually attached to the side of an elderly couple's home.  Manfred and Tamara (pronounced Mon-fred and Tomorroa) are very cute and very European.  He is either German or Austrian and she is Russian.  They have a gorgeous back yard which is filled with flowers that Tamara maintains including a giant climbing plant that she illegally smuggled in from Russia a row of tomato plants that E and I hope to benefit from soon.  We are renting the apartment that is attached to their house but has a separate entrance.  It's furnished and fairly nice and we have access to their satellite (hello, DVR) and washing machine.  We're currently hijacking internet from some neighbor.  They check on us most days and Manfred tells us some very silly jokes about Russians in general and Tamara in particular.  We got a great deal on the place and are very happy.  The neighborhood is really nice and great for walking or running. 

I started work on Monday and have slowly accumulated some projects to work on.  I now have an ID badge and am getting a nextel on Monday (Noelle, don't make fun).  Maybe by next week I will be in the computer system so I can actually log my hours and get paid?  It's been a really hard but fun transition because I am in a very different environment than any of my previous jobs.  I really like everyone I work with though and I think it's going to be a great summer.  Everyone has been implying that the internships are a very serious foot in the door with the company, so everyone cross your fingers.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April Pollen

Can we get some showers please?  The entire parking lot, porch, and building as well as my car are totally covered in yellow filth.  Everything that was white is now the color of Mountain Dew.  My allergies are freaking out and today I took my last Zyrtec. 

In other news, I haven't written in a while and although the three people who actually read this already know I thought I would  inform you of the introduction of THIS situation into my life:
This creature is known in the Eastern part of North Carolina as the "Sophia O'Keefe".  Frequently, she presents her self in this way yet has also been spotted looking less badass and more precious in cases such as these:

"Oh!"  You might say, "How adorable is she?"  The answer to that is quite and also stubborn as the day is long.  This baby, who has already won my heart, wants to know every detail of the cognitive processes I use to make decisions for her life.  Examples?  Of course I can...

Sophie: Why are we riding in this car?
Me: Because it's the car I brought.
Sophie: What did you bring daddy's car and not mommy's car?
Me: I just did.
Sophie: But whyyyyyyyyyyy?  I want to ride in MOMMY'S car!!!!!
Me: But we have to ride in this one because it's here.  We must use it to get to Mommy AND her car.
Sophie: Oh...ok. 
*End vocal tremors and welling up of eyes*

And so it goes for 5 hours on Tuesday and 5 hours on Thursday.  There are also really easy conversations in which we just mindlessly discuss where other cars might be going, what sort of flowers are around us, how cutting paper is done with scissors while coloring is done with markers.  Nevertheless, she is an incredible person already and I think I may have finally found someone who takes everything as literally as I do.  Communication barrier with a toddler?  I think not.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Housing Drama

To Do:
1. Create outline for 15-20 page term paper on Tuberculosis
2. Fighter Pilot Visual Interface Project
3. Order bridesmaid dress(es)
4. Memorize new menu at work
5. Very long homework assignment that is due Wednesday
6. Attempt to sue landlord

 These are my tasks for the next two days.  As I blog (rather than doing any of these bulleted points) I  am frantically trying to figure out how to fit it all in.

Who can write 15-20 pages about Tuberculosis?  Maybe a Doctor?  Certainly not I.
This bridesmaid dress thing is getting ridiculous.  I wish David's Bridal was closer to us or that I had 2 hours to call my own.
Thank you, Lucky 32, for restructuring our entire menu by deleting old items, transferring seasonal items to the base menu, and introducing an even more complicated seasonal menu.
Why didn't I start my two part giant homework assignment more than 2 days before it's due?  I swore last time that I'd do better.

The good news is that I have written a rather stirring letter to the landlord asking them to please reconsider letting us move since I found a subleaser and rather than putting them in my apartment they instead rented them a different apartment within our same complex.  Awesome.  Rachel's boss (owner of the rat dogs) thinks that we can get legal aid and press them to reimburse us.  I think we have no legs to stand on and that they are just rude pieces of shit that don't care about anyone.  OR the vagrant nanny sleeping on anyone's couch.

The icing on the cake is that I have a Tegan and Sara song stuck in my head.  And it is based on the sort of discord that is NOT harmonic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bridesmaid overview...

If you're a girl, you've heard the expression "Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride" or the variation of "always a bridesmaid..."  Well, I hope that's not true because I'm doing wedding numbers 3 and 4 this year.  So far, I have loved my brides before and after their weddings.  I have also loved them during even though I'm pretty sure for each of them it was the most stressful day of their lives. 

Volumes have been written and movies made about being a bridesmaid.  In this mini-series of bridesmaid posts I will touch on a few things that have stood out to me about being a bridesmaid.  I may interject other posts and just write these as they come to me, we will have to see.

Bridesmaids' Dresses
Although you are thrilled for your friend/sister/roommate and her lovely fiance, one of the primary concerns for every bridesmaid is "Oh my God, what will I have to wear?"  It seems that even the most reasonable type of woman loses her grip on fashion and good taste when given the power to dress their 6 closest friends on what is the most important day of  her life.  Colors and fabrics that they would not be caught dead in are suddenly free game because they are "springy" or "will look nice in the church" or "match tulips...and you know those have always been my favorite flower!"  So far, the dresses that have been imposed on me have not been out of control.  They have not always been my personal taste but they weren't feathered, sequined, or otherwise bejeweled.  Just a quick share...

Wedding #1
Bride: Christy
Relationship: College Roommate
Ensemble: Shiny, brown, T-length dress.  Off the shoulder straps.  Silver shoes. 

Wedding #2
Bride: Catie
Relationship: College Roommate
Ensemble: black floor length strapless dress.  Horizontally-pulled netting overlay.  Whatever shoes you want.

Wedding #3
Bride: Noelle
Relationship: very best friend
Ensemble: bright blue, knee length, cotton dress with "Y-neckline".  Has pockets for lipgloss.  Silver heels/sandals. 

Wedding #4
Bride: Camie
Relationship: Friend from college
Ensemble: TBA... there is talk of a "lovely burnt orange reddish colored" floor length dress with gold shoes.  I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is it Pretentious to Call these Musings?

Thanks in large part to the inspiration of my friend Alli and my cousin Amy, I have been inspired to blog.  I'm a little embarrassed, having always made fun of bloggers for assuming that everyone wanted to know their thoughts - but at least it's not twitter.  Which I still swear I will never do.  I guess that even if no one reads this, it will still be fun to write, so I begin.  Either way, it is part of my campaign to write things down and take more pictures so that my life as a student (which is flying by, it turns out) will be recorded. 

Since it's incredibly late, way too late for blogging, I guess I will start by outlining myself just a little - in an icebreaker game sort of way and maybe a story that I have been pondering all week.

I am a graduate student at North Carolina State University and I'm studying Ergonomics, which is in the department of Industrial Engineering.  My undergraduate degree is in the same field, but it is from Clemson University.  I'm in the midst of "putting myself through school" by being a server at Lucky 32 in Cary, NC so that I can brag to my future children about it later.  Most days I like it.  I live with my roommate and childhood friend, Rachel, and my Welsh Corgi, Bentley.  I will try not to talk about him too much, but he is smart and funny and I like him more than most people so the emphasis in this sentence is definitely on try.  After 12 years of lessons and competitive piano and choral efforts I have turned to math and science "on the daily" but I'm still exercising my music muscles by singing in the Women's Choir at school.  As for the rest, I love to read and I think I'm funny.

As for the anecdote, It is short and to the point.  Tuesday during my lunch shift I waited on two ladies.  They were perfectly nice in every way and when I delivered the check, it came to $25.66.  Once I noticed that the book had been placed on the corner of the table in a way that begged to be retrieved, I returned to the table and politely said "I'll be right back with your change!" which is an opportunity for the guests to say either "No, keep the change!" or "Thank you."  Our ladies chose the latter.  After scrounging up 4 dollar bills, 3 dimes, and 14 pennies (it's all I had in my change purse) I left the money and the check on the table with the ladies and wished them a lovely day.  After they left I returned to clean the table and collect my tip only to realize that they had left me the $4 and taken the 44 cents.  The question that I leave you with is, "Why?"  What great plans did they have for 3 dimes and 14 pennies.  I hope they were going to ride the pony machine outside of Walmart.