Saturday, May 29, 2004


That's all I have to say. Whew.

I feel like ass. Last night, I went to a party for my friend and her fiance. I got lost driving there and very nearly gave up to go home and sleep. But I finally made it to the house, up in Lakemont, very posh. And I had a really good time. So much so that I just stayed there until this morning. I met some great new people, visited with people I already knew, and generally had a good time. I came home about seven-thirty, and went to sleep about nine-thirty. I passed out, like jet lag. Like, so tired you have no idea where or when you are and you can hardly bear the thought of getting up. At 2, I made myself "wake up." I work tonight at five, only for four hours, and right now I just want to get through it so that I can come home and pass out again, only to get up at six tomorrow morning.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Happy Holiday Weekend!*

*Except for me, because I work. Back to the old college-days grindstone, when nary a holiday was actually a holiday for me. On the other hand, one always enjoys extra cash.

I have been working all week, it's going very nicely. The folks here are very friendly and have welcomed me. The work isn't demanding, and I have time "free" if I've finished my work. I'm having trouble with the early wake-up call, but I suppose that's only natural. It helps me appreciate the weekend that much more. My assignment has been extended through next week and probably more after that. Hurrah!

Yesterday I drove straight from the job in Kirkland to my job in Burien. It took a long time; there was even more traffic than usual. (It takes forty-five minutes to get here every morning! On the way home, it takes that or more.) I worked til 10.30, so I had a fourteen-and-a-half-hour day. I have another fourteen-hour day today. I am just about to leave work here in Kirkland. I work several days of the week next week, I hope I can get rested enough to get through it all.

Gotta run!

Sunday, May 23, 2004


I had a great talk with Kel about, among other things, my move to New York, specifically how to get there. We discussed my pitiful finances,the time constraints, and the nightmare of having a car in the city, and she pointed out that driving that whole way so fast would be silly. She reminded me that on my other trips, I went just because I wanted to, so I could/should take the time to do a real cross country road trip, when I will have time to visit lots of people and would be able to stop to look at interesting things if I want to.

I figure that if I were to drive, gas would cost around $250. Motels would cost $30-50 a night, for at least four nights. Tolls would cost maybe $30-50. Food would be at least $100. That's $600, plus the costs for the weekend in Maryland (hotel, food, transportation, fun stuff), not to mention money to park in New York City, gas, insurance, and an overall pain in my ass.

Flying one-way to New York is about $150. It would take one night. I would have to ship my computer, books, and clothes, which would probably be kind of expensive and also a bit of a pain. I looked at the commute between New York and Maryland, because that was half the reason I wanted my car. Amtrak goes to Aberdeen several times a day, and it's sixty bucks one way. Greyhound also goes to Aberdeen, takes at least twice as long, for thirty dollars each way. It's also possible that I catch rides with people already going, which would definitely be more fun and hopefully a bit cheaper too.

Anyway I spin it, it's at least twice the cost to drive than fly. And my huge concern right now is money. The rest of that money, assuming I have it somewhere, will go to rent for the summer. And, you know, food.

So I took the leap of logic and MADE A DECISION to fly. Hoo boy. Bought the ticket to New York. Emailed people about trip details. I'm gonna do this!

Mom and I continued making the plans for her trip to New York. We are going to stay in a hotel with a pool near Central Park for at least two nights! Very swank. We'd talked about taking a day trip out to Wallingford to visit the river and the labyrinth, which is something I'm really excited about doing. Not having my car to take that trip will either mean we won't do that, or it will cost even more money (for a train/bus or to rent a car). I figure if she's not up to the expense and extra time, I'll do it on my own some other time.

Ooh! This means that I will have more time to go see Movin' Out! Hurrah! And a few more days to work and see people. Altogether it's pretty clearly the right decision.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

I am not graduating from high school

So I was back at the high school subbing yesterday and today. Yesterday I was in the same classes from last week, and today I was all over, doing a little of everything and nothing. This morning there was a Senior Tribute assembly for the wee ones that are graduating. It was cute, they had some speakers (one really reminded me of Don), singers, a time capsule (with DVDs in it! These kids are rich!), and a slide show. The slide show was way long, it had pictures of all four of their years, and the last section featured two pictures of each student (there are only about a hundred seniors), one as a baby and one as a senior photo. That was really cute. Not to sound too shallow, but a lot of the girls seemed a little indistinguishable..they all have fake tans and highlighted hair. The very end featured a candle ceremony, where the seniors stood in a circle facing outward with lit candles, and the juniors came to stand in a circle facing them, and the seniors handed off the candles and then the juniors proceeded out. It was a nice Tribute Assembly, even though it was an hour and a half long.

Anyway....I have been warmly welcomed by other teachers and staff at the school, it's been wonderful. They fully understand my struggles in dealing with the students and we laugh. They completely agree when I tell them that the sophomores are monsters. I feel a bit of an imposter, so young yet, too young to really be on the same level of the teachers that I was frustrating just a few years ago. (Although, I was a good decent student that didn't misbehave or really stick out in any way.) But at the same time, these kids make me feel old and prudish. All the girls wear either really short skirts or really low pants that lets their belly and back fat hang out for the world to see. Ugh. The boys wear loose saggy pants and sweatshirts. And don't get me started on the way technology is invading the classroom. Kids come to class with iPods or walkmen on, cell phones ringing and texting all over the place, and protest when I tell them to put it away. The bloody cheek!

I don't go back to Starbucks until next Thursday. Which is just fine because this afternoon I got a call for a temp assignment. Yay money! It goes all next week and a couple days the week after that. What a relief. Even though it's in Kirkland. Hurrah, now I will be plenty busy for the next week and change!

Oh man. The night before last, I had this crazy succession of dreams, or one long and really convoluted dream. First I was taking a math test outside a dorm I had just moved in with that was like the Americorps housing I dreamed about a few weeks ago. While I was taking this test, I fell asleep and dreamt of being shoved down a street. Then I woke up huddled against a young Brad Pitt who was trying to work on his test. Then I was on a train in France, that sort of turned into a bus. I was having one of those dual-language conversations with the driver; she was practicing in her English and I was practicing my French. Just chatting until on the side of the road I spotted a group of ducks. Not the usual kind of ducks, though. These ducks were really fluffy, like chicks, but the coloring of grown-up ducks, like red and black or black and white. And these ducks were giant ducks. Not even unusually large ducks, GIANT ducks. They were the size of large dogs, two or three feet tall and two feet wide. GIANT DUCKS.

I worked out tonight for the first time in at least two weeks. I really could tell the difference, I got tired sooner and my body felt all jumbled. I am hoping to work out tomorrow and next Tuesday, and then who knows. I have to make them quit me before the June billing, so maybe I won't even have the option much sooner.

Then my mom and I sat down at my computer. She will be at a conference in North Carolina in August, and we figured that would be a good time to come visit New York. Even though it will be August in New York. My mom has been all over the world, has been on different continents each New Year's for the past four years, but has never been to the Big Apple. So instead of just flying with a regular ticket, we played around with frequent flyer miles and got it all arranged. It was fun! It should be a good trip. What will make it better is the possibility of getting a hotel in Manhattan with said 'frequent flyer' stuff. Ooh, Manhattan. I realized that every time I've gone to NYC, I've only stayed with people, I've never stayed in a hotel, motel or even hostel, and never have I stayed in Manhattan. So this would be a first for me, too. Fun!

Monday, May 17, 2004

It's hard coming up with titles everyday, you know

Last night I watched tv and then read. And just kept reading until I finished my book, The Dive from Clausen's Pier, which was about 3.30. It was a good book. Sort of quiet, and definitely mildly melancholy. But good.

This morning I was up around 9.30 or so. I fully meant to go out and run some errands, but I didn't. I actually took a nap for about 45 minutes. Later I went to work. It went well. There was even a small "rush." After tomorrow, it looks like I don't work again until next Wednesday or Thursday. Hm, I wonder how I will fill the time? Anyway, this store has a lot of genuinely nice folks working there, so it's usually pretty fun to be there.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

SWD etc

I've had a really good weekend so far. Hurrah, I'm normal again!

Yesterday was Seattle Works Day. Though I was disappointed that no one else I knew signed up for the event, it was still a lot of fun. There were about eight of us from the team, and we went to Helplink, in the International district, to paint some of their rooms. The paint was gorgeous, bright and colorful and so much better than the dingy white it was before. I worked with two others in the computer lab and we had to use the three colors that the kids had chosen. We decided on a stripe of the darker color in the middle to bring the two brighter colors together. It was a process. In the end we did the stripe/three colors on two walls, and then one full wall of each brighter color. It took a long time, there wasn't quite enough equipment to maximize the time. Everyone stayed an extra hour and a half to get the job done, though, which really impressed me. It turned out really nicely, we were all proud and the sponsor was thrilled. I took a bunch of great pictures with their digital camera too, so we all can have before, during, after photos, cause those are the best.

When we'd finished and cleaned everything up, five or six of us headed to the afterparty at South Lake Union Park. People had already cleared out some (probably partly because the weather was nowhere near the predicted 70 degrees), so we just sat in the beer garden and talked. It was really nice. We discussed work/unemployment, travel, random things. I really enjoyed it; they are genuinely nice folks.

I drove my painty self to Issaquah and went to see Troy with my dad and Bill. The movie was okay. It was certainly very epic, but it wasn't quite the incredible film I'd heard it was supposed to be. Later I told my dad that I was starting to really second-guess myself about driving to New York, with the cost and wear on the car and pain to park...but he said that I should stick with the driving plan. So that made me feel better, to hear unbiased advice. Now I really need to think about how fun the drive will be and what I want to do.

Today I got up and had the time to eat breakfast and read before heading in to work. It was a good shift, it went quickly and was pretty fun. It was a lot busier than the evening shifts I worked the rest of the week. I stopped at Costco before going home, and now I've got the rest of the evening to relax and do nothing!

Thursday, May 13, 2004


No, not an actual arachnid (thank goodness! I hate spiders!), it's a solitaire game that I discovered on my computer yesterday while forced to be offline. It's a combination of FreeCell (which I suck at) and regular solitaire, and is quite addictive. Good times.

Last night was my second day at Starbucks. Most of the shift was spent off the floor, which is fine. I go back tonight and tomorrow night too. It's kind of fun being back in a store like that. It's hard to not be perky. And you all know that Julie =/= perky. But apparently I do still have a very social side to me, and this kind of job really forces it out. As the last few weeks have shown me, I really need that. To know that I can feel like, and actually be a normal person who can be friendly and effecient.

I was just watching the Travel Channel (I love their top ten specials). This one was the top ten superstructures or something, spotlighting places like the Eiffel Tower, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and the Parthenon (there were others, but I hadn't personally visited them). Watching it I could remember being at those places, the incredulous wonder, or boredom, depending.

The Colosseum was my first stop in Rome, the same day that I arrived by plane from Athens. I found a hostel, dropped my stuff, and had to head out again (damn lockout). It was SO hot, there seemed to be no shade in that area, I was really thirsty, but not enough to spend seven dollars on a bottle of gatorade. I got in and saw the place, and was like, okay, now what? Since it cost money to get in and to get the audio guide, I stayed as long as I could, but frankly I was kind of bored. It's hard to get really interested in something visiting alone, no one to talk to, no tour guide to explain the interesting bits.

Now, the Parthenon was a whole different story. Athens in general was just awesome. Literally, awe-inspiring. You can see the Acropolis from everywhere in the modern city. God, it was so incredible. Walking up the winding, slippery path to get to the plateau was an experience in itself. And then getting up there, seeing the buildings, blinding white in the bright sunshine. Even though there were tourists milling about everywhere, I was so awestruck and giddy and in disbelief that I was actually seeing the Parthenon! It was unreal and satisfying and mesmerizing. I wish I was better at finding words to describe sensations like that, that I could paint a picture for you to feel like you were there too.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

A new look!

Woohoo! Only a couple months old and already my blog needed a makeover. Isn't it pretty? Last night I was SO proud of myself for figuring out how to manipulate the HTML to add the extra sidebar stuff. Anyway, enjoy!

Glad that's over

Whew! My second day as a substitute has finished. It went okay. The freshmen were relatively great today. The sophomores had a writing test and they took forever to settle down and stop talking and actually do the test. Several still managed to be extremely rude. Both classes totally thought I was a total bitch. I don't have a problem with that, though, because even though I acted tough, they still pretty much ignored me. Anyway, we all survived. What an eye-opening experience!

I really meant to go workout...I got dressed and drove down there, but I didn't make any big rush and oh darn, I got there too late. I feel really exhausted this evening so far. I was wide awake an hour before my alarm went off, but since I'm lazy, I didn't get up, so the alarm was an especially nasty wake-up.

Monday, May 10, 2004

I am a little crazy

Today was a big-ass day. I went to the high school (a private, religious one, mind you!) for my debut as a substitute. It went alright, overall, but holy shit, some of those kids were a disaster.

First of all, I was wide awake at 4am (not up doing stuff, just in bed pretending to be asleep as I so wanted to be)(this happens to me all the freaking time if the coming morning is a big one), trying not to freak out. Trying to reassure myself that the students wouldn't laugh and walk all over me.

I taught three classes of freshmen and two of sophomores. Now, the teacher had left lesson plans and everything, but they were really boring. Sitting and reading or writing. Clearly, that sucks. The freshman were definitely on the rambunctious side, but for the most part they behaved and quieted once I called them on it. The sophomores just blatantly disregarded what I said. One class "defended" themselves by saying, well, we're never quiet, the teacher probably left you a note. I responded, I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm still going to ask you to read quietly. They finally did, a little bit, before slowly building up the noise level. The other class was completely out of fucking control. NONE of the students brought their books to class, claiming they only did if the teacher notified them ahead of time (almost all of the other class had their books with them, so this defense was bullshit). I dismissed random pairs of them to retrieve them. They proceeded to return to the classroom (I guess I have to give them that, they did come back), throw the book on their desk, and join right back in the conversation with their friends. I was at a loss. For the first half of the period, there were only a couple books in the class. I had nothing. They ate me for lunch. God.

I'm going back tomorrow. In one sense, it's not as scary as today was, because I was completely clueless this morning. Tomorrow I'll know what I'm going into. I'm not sure if it's even more intimidating. Right now it sure feels like it.

The good news is that the teacher's prep period fell at the end of the day, so I got to leave early. Which was nice, because tonight was my first day back at Starbucks. Dude, it was weird...everything came back straightaway. It was very surreal, like I was the Julie of three years ago. It went well, people appreciated that I was new but knew exactly what was going on. The four hours went fairly quickly, though my legs and especially one knee are achy. I've got three more shifts this week, Saturday off for Seattle Works Day, and then three more shifts. Hurrah for money!

Friday, May 07, 2004

Thank God it's the Weekend?

I am so tired. The last couple days I have slept really soundly and been very unhappy to wake up after even eight hours of sleep. Last night I dreamt that I tried to attend an MC Hammer concert (it was cancelled and refunded) with family people, and then later broke a bracket off my braces. So I was all freaking out about what to do since I don't have insurance, and then I found my mom and said, what's going on here? I don't HAVE braces anymore! It was the weirdest thing. So I pulled off all the little white rubber bands around each bracket and piled them together, and then pulled out the wire connecting them all.

The night before, I was a Charlie's Angel. I think I was Drew Barrymore. I mean, I was me, but I'm pretty sure than Cameron and Lucy were there, so that leaves me as the Drew. We were fighting three dudes, and then we liked them. There was a cliff. Possibly also dancing.

You can't make this shit up, man.

When I woke up this morning, I felt like I'd worked out really hard. (You know, that body tiredness, weary muscles that feel kind of weak) Except I hadn't. Well, I did on Tuesday. Which doesn't exactly explain the feeling on Friday morning. All day yesterday my stomach was misbehaving, so perhaps that distracted the rest of me from feeling achy. But man, I feel worn the fuck out. Plus, I banged my elbow region on a cabinet right before leaving work, and it hurt really bad. Then I tried to work out and couldn't put any weight on it. It hurts to bend my elbow past ninety degrees and to straighten it all the way. Waah for me. Anyway, I think I'm going to revert to lazy bum mode this weekend.

I actually did pretty well this week. I worked four days. (However, I am watching "Best Week Ever" and have no idea about any of these references. Hm.) Next week I have three days already full. It's possible that the Bellevue office might request me to temp again, to which I respond in an inner monologue chant of "four hundred dollars a week, four hundred dollars a week, would solve all my problems, four hundred dollars..."

Thursday, May 06, 2004

An irritable day

I definitely made the right decision to leave the mortgage industry a few months ago. Yesterday I started temping again at the Bellevue office from a couple weeks ago, and I'll be there at least through tomorrow. Some of the people are really nice, plenty have introduced themselves and been plenty friendly, but some are just...not. And demanding. The work is silly, which obviously I can handle, but since I know it from before, and I spent WAY too much time doing this silly work, it's more difficult to while away the hours doing it now. Grr. Plus, everyone keeps their cell phones ON, so they ring all over the place, even when they're not at their freaking desk, so the rest of us have to listen to the goddamn thing RING and RING. That is so incredibly rude, people. If you absolutely must have your phone on while AT WORK (which you shouldn't, because IT IS RUDE), put it on silent or vibrate, or on 'ring once.'

So. Work was dumb. I like money.

I am planning on leave for my road trip five weeks from today! That will leave me seven or so days to get there, which is good because I'm planning on five and so there will be some wiggle/delay room. Sometime soon (how soon?) I'll have to start thinking about what to bring and what to leave. So far I'm thinking about a couple bags of clothes, the computer but not the stereo, bath stuff, some important bedding (ie, my favorite blankets and all my stuffed animals), and, that's pretty much it. Just the very basics, or as basic as I can get without getting too desperate.

I'm watching Friends. Are you? I hate saying goodbye. Not like these are real people or anything. But it reminds me of saying goodbye to real people, which I've done and which is really really hard. Aw, I miss Fire 4.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004


My car is back! My lovely, shiny car. They washed it and vacuumed it and somehow unearthed the last two pairs of sunglasses that I had lost. It drives really differently than my mom's Focus; for one, the brakes don't squeal heavily (although I think they might squeal a little bit), and also, it sits much lower. In my car it feels like I'm practically sitting on the road. But it's MINE! Bwa ha ha! And I'm going to drive it three thousand miles in five days six weeks from now!

Saturday night I went out, on purpose. Joined a group of people at a karaoke bar in Federal Way. (The people that I know apparently only hang out at karaoke bars. Weird.) It was okay, if really loud at times. I don't understand how I can simultaneously be hard of hearing and oversensitive to noise. Anyway, and then I stayed up really late, having a fun nice talk with Rae. I woke up grudgingly at noon on Sunday and then went back to my old apartment for a really late brunch with Stacey and Raegan and Dan. Mm, food. There was bread and chocolate pudding pie. Like, not all in one dish, but two separate, tasty courses. Two mere hours later I went to the buffet place in Factoria with my dad et al. Could not eat much, but I did have a nice salad and some pickles. Mm, pickles.

Monday was not bad. I went to Burien for the health food card class...REALLY lame. In the evening I played some catch with some of the Bellevue gang, and then went for Thai food with others of the gang, where I discovered the lychee fruit, which is very tasty. We watched the conclusion of that stupid earthquake miniseries. In the scene with a TEN POINT FIVE earthquake going on, people are RUNNING all over the place. Obviously this "film" was riddled with lame-assedness, but that's one that really sticks out. If the ground is moving so hard that Los Angeles becomes a freaking island, there is no way that people, especially, a huge mass of them, would be able to stay on their feet at all, no less to run away from the incoming ocean. Puhlease. I guess it's my fault for deciding to watch it; I won't make that mistake again. No more cheesy sensationalist tv miniseries for me!

Today I went to a job, for about six hours in Fremont, on Julie's Landing. It wasn't bad work, the day went quickly. I got a call to work the rest of the week at the Bellevue Countrywide, and later I got a call to sub at Eastside Catholic for tomorrow. I also set up a classroom observation for next week at a nearby elementary school. And I got my car back and went to work out. Good, productive day!

The lady in the office where I temped and I had a nice conversation about travel. She was a military kid and lived all over Europe and the US. We compared stories; it reawakened my travel bug. It's not nearly as thrilling as traveling overseas, but I'm hoping the road trip will satisfy the craving at least a little. I think it will. Maybe I'll happen across a giant ball of twine or something. Who needs an Eiffel Tower?

Saturday, May 01, 2004

A lucky day

Why is it a lucky day? Because I found a four-leaf clover, of course!

I found it at Snoqualmie Ridge, while volunteering at Habitat. I hadn't been at that site in quite a few months, and the other one was full, so I went. It was nice. The weather was gorgeous, it was quite warm. I helped with some painting in the morning, and worked on filling insulation gaps during the afternoon. Sneezy and sweaty. I enjoyed it, though. It's nice to feel useful; it helped get the community center more ready for inspection, plus most of us donated our hours to Abby, a future homeowner.

I definitely am a wimp though, my legs and knees are rather achy. Ai. I came home, snacked on edamame, nachos and a brownie, and watched tv. SVU is awesome. Now watching Speed. Keanu is so pretty.