Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Happy Halloween! It's definitely gloomy outside, but at least (cross your fingers) it stopped raining. I may go out tonight, but I may not. I have a sort-of/makeshift costume, so that's good. Are you going out? Trick or treating or drinking/dancing/clubbing? I haven't decided, myself. Do share your plans. (Yes, I know that I'm talking out into the void. So what. Delusion is fun.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

It's the Eve of All Hallow's Eve. And since I KNOW that no one is reading or caring, I shall go on in excruciatingly, irritatingly useless detail and not hold back any boring tidbits about the inner workings of my sad little brain!

Tomorrow is Halloween, in case you didn't catch my hip, jokey reference above, or in case you're an anticapitalist, pagan-bitter freak living in a cave. Sigh, don't I wish I were with you. Anyway, that also means that my birthday is two short days away. Now hold on a minute, you don't know what I'm going to say. There's no jumping up and down and frantic party-planning. (Kristin and I were laughing about our mutual opinion that the phrase "birthday party" is universally childish and silly, conjuring images of little kids in funny paper hats and the like. Although I'm always up for pinatas-woo!) I'm actually un-excited about having a birthday so soon. Rather bored, and otherwise unsocial. I don't want presents, I don't want attention, I don't want to see people, I don't want to pretend to be happy, I don't want to do anything. So I know that I will end up sitting in this cold and empty house all fucking day long, not doing a goddamn thing. And I know that that is ultimately the most pathetic thing EVER. Sigh.

In addition, this not-being-employed bit sucks ass. It is nice to stay up late and not worry about getting up early, but it sucks. I have nothing to do and believe me, I do nothing. I'm sending out resumes, but I got sick of filling out stupid application forms and the like about four years ago. And I get to do it some more, for an unknown continuous amount of time! Yippee! I'm thrilled. Especially the part about sending in things for jobs that I really don't want but that sound easy and boring and skill-lacking enough that I could do for a couple months, just to bring in money, and then having to drive all over the freaking county to go to silly pointless interviews, for, let's remember, silly pointless jobs that I DON'T EVEN WANT. That was a really long, grammatically-incorrect sentence. See what this is doing to me? Sigh. I really do hate my life. Oh, don't worry, there are many more reasons than that, and more substantial ones, rest assured. On a more positive note, I was pleased as pie to learn that I do indeed type fast. According to my test today, 60wpm. Go me!

More random, only-interesting-to-me stuff. I've begun listening to Christmas music already. (Perry Como is playing on my stereo at the moment. No, I have absolutely no shame about this, so just shut up, I don't care. You can't make me cool!) It's certainly cold enough for it. It has been raining for the better part of today. Which is kind of cool, it fits my mood perfectly. I am quite enjoying the fall, the changing leaves all over, the crisp weather. It's decisive. I like bundling and it's fun to dig out hats and scarves and gloves. Because I'm so sensitive to the cold, I use them constantly from October through March or so. Again, it's fun, like in a movie. I also am going to pick up some instant spiced cider, (To Kristin=Iced Spiced Chidah), because of its warm fuzzy qualities, emotional and physical.

Oh, my point was that one of my LA lessons was my enjoyment of the phenomenon of seasons. Especially the fall, and especially in Bellingham. I remember being enchanted by the pretty colors and haphazard piles of leaves on the walk down to campus from the Ridge. And that little ridge that sits behind Red Square, just like a movie, always remained a solid block of green. It was truly beautiful. The rain pounding at my window right now reminds of the petulant winter rain-and-windstorms. I felt like something essential was released, listening to the rustling trees, frolicking in the cold, hard breeze. And it seemed to a phenomenon unique to Western, because I suppose that around here, where I've lived forever, the sea isn't close enough, and plus, there are too damn many houses.

I better get used to this frigidity, because in January I'm going to Maryland to serve with Americorps. I am looking forward to it a lot, being the terribly bored, dying-to-get-out person that I've become in the last years. I enjoy looking up words in the dictionary, words that I've heard a lot, and whose general usage I vaguely understand. This evening I looked up "sycophant." My dictionary listed two synonyms: 'Parasite' and 'Toady'. Yes, toady. No, I don't think I get it either. But isn't it interesting and entertaining nonetheless?

Friday, October 26, 2001

2001 Road Trip, Part Two

Today is October 26, 2001. There has been a slight change of plan, so to speak. I am at home! I spent exactly three weeks in Los Angeles. I definitely enjoyed being there, it's an exciting place to be. I shall return when I have my head together more, when I have plenty of time, and when I have enough money to get set up comfortably.

So it's been approximately 25 hours since my return. I made it in record time: I drove seven hours on Wednesday, and ten on Thursday, breezing from mid-northern California (fifty miles from Redding), through the entire lovely state of Oregon, and back to Home Sweet Renton. This morning I took everything back out of my car, but other than putting my stereo up, that's as far as I got; everything is strewn on the floor.
My plan so far is to get out there and find work; money has to be my priority. Plus I'm looking forward to finding some new, different work. That is an exciting though scary thought. I've got some ideas already and one of them is to scour the Sunday classifieds.

I haven't really told people yet; I feel kind of weird about suddenly being back. I wanted things to be different but I guess they're not. And I know no one's reading this, but that's okay. :) I'm not sure if I need to tell people either; I can never tell when it's that stage of growing apart. Depressing, eh?

Sunday, October 21, 2001

2001 West Coast Road Trip, Part One

Today is October 21, 2001. I am living in Los Angeles, California. Three weeks ago today, I left home (Renton) on my driving journey here.

The first day, Sunday, went fast. Leaving home about 11 am, I made it to Portland in two hours and less than half a tank (I love my Saturn!), and prompty got lost, wanting to find some good shopping. Go figure, serves me right, I suppose. Because I'm stubborn, I just kept going, ending up on freeways going who knows where, and getting very desperately lost. Took some random turns and ended up in a lovely green area. Reed College was on one side of the street, and the Rhododendron Garden was on the other. So I parked and finally got out of the car. It was warm! I was pleasantly surprised. I spent awhile there, looking at my atlas and trying to figure out my itinerary, then I just read for a bit. It was lovely there. From Portland I found 99W, which wound through little towns and forests, linking with 18, which met up with Highway 101. At that junction is Lincoln City, a beautiful, if touristy, ocean town. I was thrilled to see the open Pacific Ocean; I can't remember the last time I did. So I parked again and frolicked in the sand and the freezing water. I didn't find a place to eat so I started driving down the coast. I got pretty far; around 7.30 I decided to stop, in Florence, Oregon. Chose a random motel, which was equipped lovingly with cable-woohoo!

Monday morning--got up around 10 or so, watched tv (I couldn't help myself, I so love cable), left again about 11ish. The drive was pretty gnarly, if you will. The coast highway is really the coast highway. It winds around the mountains and rocky bits just in from the ocean. The trees and brush grow in a wind-whipped shape. The roads wind back and forth in near U-turns. Lovely views, viewpoints everywhere. Something I found reassuring was the fact that nearly the entire coast is made up of various state parks. Good for Oregon. Seriously, I very much enjoyed being inn Oregon, it was beautiful. Successfully made it through the rest of Oregon and into California, which I found exciting. Soon came upon the Redwoods and more state parks. Perhaps I'm jaded, but the damn trees weren't that big! They seemed like any other group of trees I've seen. For instance, the ones on the hike to Fragrance Lake. These ones did seem to have bigger circumferences, though, I'll give them that. Along the road were various attractions, like the one-log house. This consisted of one huge log, hollowed out and sitting on its side, made into a caboose-looking house. Went by another house, this one actually in the tree, like the Berenstein Bears. That was cool. Decided to try to make it as far as I could, but then I started getting sleepy and the way was getting pretty isolated and few other cars were on the road. Kinda creepy. So I stopped finally in a town of approximately 130. Lafayetteville or something like that. The motel I chose was cute, and it had HBO, but only two other channels. Waah-I want my cable tv! Aren't I a spoiled brat? :)

Tuesday--actually got up early and got going at a good hour. I think I left around 9 or 9.30 or something. Drove through wine country, it was very pretty. I was excited to see the Golden Gate Bridge, nearing San Francisco! It was so cool! I've only been there once, when I was like ten or something. My dad and brother and I had a taxi ride straight out of the movies, flying over hills and all. That and the Fisherman's Wharf is about all I remember. So anyway, it was thrilling to get to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, and even thrilling to pay the three dollar toll. Woohoo-three cheers for Seattle's non-toll bridges, traffic-plagued though they are! I headed on through downtown S.F., still on the 101, which was very cool. The city has a neat vibe to it, I enjoyed seeing it. The traffic sucked. But traffic everywhere sucks. Or at least in the big cities. I was heading to San Jose to meet Mom at her hotel, and the signs on the freeway declared it 101, to San Jose. But it never said where exactly San Jose was; I kept expecting it to be just around the corner. But there were no mile-marker signs to be seen, so I got off the freeway to find a gas station. There was one right off the offramp, but my luck continuing, it was closed down for construction. So I kept going down the road and entered residential-land, so I turned around. Then there was something weird with the gas pump when I did find a station, and whatever, blah. Finally made it to San Jose, but could not for the life of me figure out where the exit was! There simply wasn't one! So after I noticed the freeway surrounded by desert, nonpopulated places, I somehow got off the freeway and went the other way north, then found another freeway to explore, and, miraculously, found the right exit and successfully arrived at the hotel. Triumphant, I got out of the car, sweaty and hungry. In the lobby I called Mom's cell phone. There was no answer, which I found odd, and then I was looking abstractedly around and saw Mom walk right past me. That worked out well. We had drinks out by the pool and read. Mom set up her meeting stuff and I drove down the freeway a bit to the nearby shopping center. I found a really cute shirt, a pink-type one, since I haven't bought a new pink garment lately. I was craving to buy books, so I wandered around the mall and examined the directories in dismayed disbelief--a million square feet of mall and NOT ONE BOOKSTORE! What the hell were they thinking? Don't people in San Jose read, for crying out loud? Goodness. So then I had to get back in the car and explore, looking for a bookstore. I found one, but,being me, I was on the wrong side of the road so it took me approximately fifteen minutes getting turned around and arriving at a Barnes & Noble. Quickly found two books to buy, and headed back to the hotel for the season premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Wednesday--left way late, about 12.30. It was fun to hang out with Mom and be in a real hotel with big, nonsqueaky beds, cable, yummy-smelling shampoo samples and good water pressure. Woohoo! Drove pretty much straight through, I think, deciding to stay on 101 rather than detour again on the 1, to go faster and stuff. Oh, wait, I did stop for awhile, when I came upon the Hearst Museum. I got out and stretched my legs (and my poor sore bum!), got some expensive nachos, and admired the surroundings. Gotta love what oodles of money can build for you, eh? So then I got back in the car and headed into the maze of the Los Angeles freeway system. Arrived at Kelleigh's around 8.30, promptly getting lost in the housing complex. Sigh.