Monday, December 24, 2007

merry christmas kids!

no fancy cards this year, no tree, not even a good christmas photo to post. it's been great so far, though. the fisherman was going to go to montana, but his plans fell through so i get to have him here for the holiday. our apartment is still very sparsely furnished (two camp chairs and an air mattress, jealous?) but it is still ours. we might not have much but nothing is in hock, bills are getting paid, and i get to go home at night and make-out with my favorite boy. things are good.

watching my niece spazz out on presents and hear her seriously intone "ho ho ho" when you ask her what santa says is pretty fucking awesome. there is plenty of delicious food at my folks and i can do my laundry here for free! i am getting some presents which makes me feel grateful because honestly, this year i just couldn't afford them. my job is still fun, and i'm getting more hours, so no complaints there. well, some complaints, but mostly petty ones about people being assholes in public.

we still have no internet, but i just got a library card and they have it there. i promise to post more soon, and even include some photos. i hope you guys have a merry christmas and all that jazz! kwanza! late hanukkah! new year! happy holidays to everyone, and to everyone a good night.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

the boat sank


red chair, originally uploaded by pinprick.

just last week the fisherman and i got word that the boat we lived on this summer sank. he spent almost a year of his life on that boat, and without it we wouldn't have met. she was a good boat, a solid boat, and to be perfectly honest i don't think she just sank. the captain was in some financial shit he didn't want to work through, he stiffed everyone who worked on the boat this summer, and talked about sinking that boat more than once. i think he sent her to her watery grave, and that makes me sad. someone else could have turned that boat around, but he took the easy cowardly way out and probably stands to get a whole lot of insurance money. none of which any of us he owes will see.

in better news, we got the apartment! we move in on friday, so no more cheap hotels and random sleep-overs for us. i will now be a resident of anacortes, which makes me super happy. i've always wanted to live there, and our place is in a good spot; right off the main drag without being too far off the beaten path. i got to see it the other day and it was as cute as the fisherman said it was (he did all the leg work on this one). for a one bedroom it's huge, too. i can't wait to move in. the place i set up for us to stay at while he was here was pretty much a huge mistake on my part. i hadn't spent any time at this house and just knew i liked the kids who lived there a lot, i didn't really see how it could go wrong. until we go there, of course, and realized it was a filthy hole, no better than a squat. swarms of flies, trash that had been sitting for weeks, dishes covered in mold. it looked like some place i would have lived in during my youth, but at some point i got a hell of a lot more responsible and cannot live with that smell anymore. to say the place is totally gross would be an understatement. having our own place is going to kick ass!

the past few weeks have been crazy. i'm ready to be in my own place, making my own little nest again, but i miss my family and especially the baby. the last time i saw her she jumped up at me and was all kissy and huggy, and when i asked her if she missed me she said, "yeah!" my little brother (my folk's dog) is also really sick; he was recently diagnosed with end stage kidney failure and has a year left, if all goes well. he's skinny skinny on top, with a hugely swollen belly, the result of fluid in his abdomen. it's an odd sight. he can't eat any protein anymore, so no good doggy treats and he's eating some weird science-food out of a can. he seems just as perky as ever, though, and not in much pain. i love the little asshole, and have been trying to come home to hang out with him more. he might be a dick sometimes and pee on my stuff to make a point, but he's also super cuddly and sweet and as much as i hate to admit it, he really is my little brother.

ups and downs, ups and downs. i think all decembers are like this, don't you?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

oh, hi!


holiday motel, originally uploaded by pinprick.

since the fisherman arrived in town we've been living like nomads out of the back of my car. staying with friends or at hotels, going out a lot, trying to squeeze in as much fun as possible. we're not sure if he goes back this week or next or even next month, the plan keeps changing.

thanksgiving was fun and i think my family liked him. we went down to oregon and he got to meet my nephews, which was funny. tiernan's never met a boyfriend of mine, and every now and then he had to point out to ed that i was his aunt amanda, which was the sweetest thing ever. i got to meet the newest member of the family, cohen, who is impossibly cute and smells delicious. we went to an awesome wedding, we went to the coast of oregon, we even got to go up to mount hood. we've crammed a hell of a lot of stuff into a short amount of time.

hopefully soon we'll be settled in our own apartment (we've got a lead on one that i am in love with, which makes me nervous that i'm jinxing it, but i can't help but say how much i love it), and i'll have regular access to the internet and a bathroom of my own, at which point in time i will be the happiest girl alive. all this moving around is sort of fun, but also tiring. i miss the baby. not seeing my niece every day is sort of sucky. it would be easier if i had a place and then knew on my days off i could come and see her.

there's my week in a nutshell! it's been awesome and strange and at times totally stressful (not having out own place is hard, and probably the one thing we fight about), but i wouldn't trade it for anything. i promise to give more details soon!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

OH. MY. GOSH.


our bunks, originally uploaded by pinprick.

the fisherman calls me yesterday while i'm at lunch and tells me we "need to to talk" and then gets me all nervous by saying he was missing me so much the other night he did something stupid, and the next thing you know he's telling me he'll be in town wednesday! as in, tomorrow! my fisherman! he bought a plane ticket and didn't make out with some naknek ho!

it's been three months. sometimes it doesn't feel that long because we're both busy working and we still get to talk pretty often, but once i realized he was going to be here soon it's like i finally felt how long it's been. we haven't seen each other for as long as we were on the boat, which seemed like a million years when i was there.

i am so excited to see him. i hope he still thinks i'm cute, obviously, and i hope he likes my people, but even though i'm a tiny bit nervous (in a good way) i have a feeling we're going to have a good time. he's going to get to go to portland with me and meet my people there, i'm going to get to show him all the things in town i love, we're going to get to pick out a bed together (i would try to make that not sound cheesy, but dammit, i'm too stoked), i'm going to get to take him out to eat and to movies and we're going to spend some serious time just sucking face like teenagers. awesome!

hooray for thanksgiving and hooray for awesome fisherman and hooray counting down the hours. i'm positively spazz-tastic right now, and i don't care who knows it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

blah


birthday hearse 1, originally uploaded by pinprick.

the apartment hunting is sucking. as in, sucking away my will to live, sucking seriously, sucking out my brain. the co-signer we got did not pass, and my parents don't want to do it. i'm not going to go into any details about that, but let me sum it up: suck. at this point i feel like no matter how much i like josh, no matter how badly i want out of this house, it's just not going to work out. i'm not going to throw good money after bad. i'm tentatively arm-wrestling my sister into looking at local places and resigning myself to the fact that i will be broke for a while and living here for a while longer as well. it's all a big downer, let me tell you. so i'm going to dump on you a little, then get over it.

i feel like making a t-shirt that says "razor blades are your friends!"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

yummy yum yum


sausage finger 1, originally uploaded by pinprick.

meat and cheese and wine are awesome. you really can't go wrong there; it's like a holy food trifecta. here is photographic evidence that my fingers do indeed look an awful lot like cocktail wieners. the only real difference is that my fingers are longer and wieners are boneless. you also can't chew on my fingers in lieu of a snack, much as i might try.

i bought a giant hunk of brie tonight and my sister came home with two fun cheeses, a cotswald and mozzarella/prosciutto roll-thing. baby stood in the kitchen clapping and saying "yay! cheeeese!" we got our dairy on and baby tried to sneak sips of wine, which i think is as good a way as any to have dinner. i love that my sister thinks it's perfectly okay to just have cheese and nibbles for dinner. i love that baby is already excited about cheese and will eat hunks of real parmesan as well as onion-y cheeses with abandon. i'm going to miss living with them. my new roommate is a nice guy, but he's not nearly as charming as baby and i think seeing him shake his booty won't be as fun.

i'm pretty sure the apartment is a go, but i think i won't be able to move in until next weekend. that's fine with me because i have a whole lot of work to do this week and not having to pay rent one more week will be helpful. i had to take out a loan from the fisherman which made me both nervous and relieved. money has a tendency to fuck shit up, but the fact that he was so gracious and unperturbed makes me think this will be the exception. i'd rather owe him money right now than my parent's and truth be told no matter when i go i'm going to need some help to get out. from now on, i'm totally investing in my savings account. seat-of-your-pants living is fine for a while, but i think i might actually be over it. could this be growing up? oh dear.

this week marks my first full-time week of only being the cheese specialist. i got to do it for a whole day last week and it was crazy fun. i've always known i like cheese, but i had no idea i knew so much and would get so geekily excited about explaining to dorks that you can indeed eat the rind of brie and camembert and cambezola. i got to say "gorgonzola" a million times and help people pronounce "jarlsburg." i cut up tiny cubes of cheese and poked party frill toothpicks through them and made signs that said silly things like "pepperjack adds 'pep' to just about everything!" it's fun work. i'm sure it's going to be annoying too, like when i get in three pallets of cheese that i need to squish into one case or when i spend the day cutting up wheels of blue and wrapping them, but for the most part i think this job was just waiting for me to show up. in short, i totally love it. i can't stop saying "awesome!" when talking about it, and i can't stop thinking about all the rad stuff i'm going to do. it's a cheesy dorkout.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

your daily dose of awesome


awesome sparkly, originally uploaded by pinprick.

man, i did not mean to sound so snarky earlier. i think about once a month we all get tired of bumping elbows and there always being someone in the bathroom and then we bitch and piss and moan and get on with shit. it's just that, unfortunately for you, you get to hear me thinking out loud about it. awesome!

no, not awesome. to make up for my pissy mood, here is a shot of a delicious dessert i ate the other day. i love how it's sparkly, and i can attest to the fact that it was just as good to eat as it was to look at.

i made a to-do list and have already crossed three things off it. i rule!

how do you spell amanda? a-n-n-o-y-i-n-g

seriously. if you polled the three people i live with, they would tell you stories. none of them would be good. if you asked baby, she wouldn't have a problem with me at all since i represent her favorite playmate and give her candy and hugs, but everyone else is less than thrilled with me. why? because lately i am apathetic to a fault, and have taken to responding to every question or concern with "dude, it's not a big deal," or an entirely unconvincing "ok." pop is beyond annoyed with the fact that i refuse to open my mail. i know what it all says and nine times out of ten it's "hey, give us money" and money i do not have so why read that shit? it's just a downer. mom is annoyed that i don't do much cleaning and my room is an unholy mess, and my sister is annoyed that mom doesn't actually tell me this but instead dumps it all on her. in general my sister and i are getting along quite well, but she is sick to death of hearing about how awful i am all the time, while no one actually says a thing to me. of if they do, it's after telling her all about it.

really, though, i can totally understand why everyone is less than pleased with me. i'm not loving myself that much right now, and i'm sick to death of living out in the middle of nowhere with no money, the longest drive to work on earth, and people who fret about my mail. i can't stand sleeping on a couch anymore, and even i hate the unholy mess my room has become. there's no room for me here, emotionally or physically. we're all going through some stuff and i think our physical closeness is just amplifying that. if we had our own spaces, our own addresses, we'd have some perspective. i don't think it's going to fix everything (i've given up on quick fixes, i think at thirty i finally understand that they are bullshit), but i think it would help. not having to see my mess and deal with my inability to do dishes before the sink is entirely full would make me a more sympathetic figure. my nest simply doesn't belong here, and as much as i love my family and am grateful for the chance to be here with them i think it's time to move on. i should hear back about that apartment today, cross your fingers.

Monday, November 05, 2007

the awesome list


mustache ham, originally uploaded by pinprick.

things i am totally loving right now:

1. mustaches. on hams, on milk, and even on men. bring back the 'stache!
2. the word awesome. i can't stop saying it. my sister made fun of me for a few days, but now she's saying it constantly too. awesome!
3. the new britney spears album. i know! crazy shit. my sister downloaded it and we've been listening to it pretty much all the time. it sounds like an older madonna album, you know, right after she discovered vocoders and electronica. it's not as much about britney because she doesn't do much, but the songs are all dance-y and retarded and fun.
4. the new crop of scary movies coming out. first on my list to see: the mist. my boyfriend, tom jane, is in it.
5. counted cross stitch. i forgot how much i liked it until i got my subversive cross stitch patterns!
6. torchwood. is anyone else watching this? capt. jack reminds me a little of tom cruise, but he's starting to make his own character and i love the whole alien aspect of it. british sci fi rules, anyhow, what with dr. who and all, so i shouldn't be surprised but i am completely hooked on this show. i am also loving graham norton, which comes on afterward. i'm pretty sure graham is the funniest man on EARTH.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

dirty thirty!


too hot for my beard, originally uploaded by pinprick.

i did nothing for my birthday. not entirely true: i did go out to eat with my mom, sister and the baby. that was all, though. my sister and i were broke and the baby didn't have a sitter, so we spent the day lounging around the house, reading and letting baby watch cars again. good times.

halloween was fun if uneventful. i loved my bearded lady costume, and am hoping to win one of the prizes up for grabs at work. another lady wore a beard as part of her biker costume, and even i admit she looked amazing. she better win 1st, but i would be happy with second!

today i dropped off a rental application and looked at some other potential apartments. the rental process stresses me out, and it makes me a little crabby. the fisherman might be here in a week, which is also stressing me out. no matter how happy i am to see him there's just been a lot going on this past month and i wish i were a hell of a lot more prepared. and by "prepared" i mean "wish we had a place to live." there isn't much more i can do, though, so i'm trying to work with what i've got and get us at least someplace to camp out for a little while. nothing says "i love you baby" like state park reservations, right? right?!

ah, thirty. so far, so good. if i had an extra $500 it would be going much better, but what can you do? maybe i'll run into a winning lotto ticket or something.

Monday, October 29, 2007

hey, i need a place to live!

today is the 29th, and the very last day i will be in my 20's. it's my last day as 29! i feel like drinking. or laying around the house. or tattooing something. however, instead of doing anything like that i'm going out to look at apartments with my friend josh. if the fisherman gets here as soon as he thinks he will, i'm going to need to have someplace for him to stay. of course, i would also really love to be on my own again, out of this tiny house and with a commute that doesn't eat gas the way cops eat donuts.

my new roommate, beside the fisherman, will be the aforementioned josh. he's a guy i work with who i like a lot; he's young, nerdy, funny and sort of a smart-ass, and this will be his first apartment. i worry a little about living with a boy who isn't old enough to drink, and who is sometimes a little spacey and forgetful, but he's such a nice boy i think everything will work out okay. plus, the one place we're kind of hoping to get has only a 6 month lease and then goes month to month, so we won't have to sign away our lives together. looking for and at apartments is exhausting and it doesn't help that both boys are like "oh, you know more, you should just do it." josh has been so pushy about it too! that's why i'm making him go with me today, i'm sort of tired of being in charge. there's only so much demanda* in me, you know. he's going to have to learn how to do this shit at some point anyhow, best he learns now.

ugh. the thought of filling out all that paperwork and applications is not appealing, but living here with my folks and the fisherman is a lot less appealing. off to the shower i go, wish me luck!

*demanda is me when i'm bossy! it's a very demanding amanda.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

say cheese!

so i got a promotion at work. i know, crazy. it's weird; it's for a job i technically didn't apply for until after the fact, and i was so blase about it i'm surprised i got it. when they brought it up at first i was very, "yes, that sounds awesome, but really? me?" i didn't take them super seriously, and i didn't say anything to anyone because i was waiting for it to be official. the new schedule came out and i'm not on it, i have my own now, so i suppose that's official enough. i am now in charge of specialty cheeses. i am your cheese girl! the new position means i won't have to wear the hideous deli costume anymore; i can say good-bye to the chili pepper vest and ballcap, start wearing skirts and sweaters over my white button down shirt. color me excited. i don't even mean that sarcastically. the outfit i wear to work is useful and appropriate for food handling work, but it bums me out. i look like an unhappy square woman in it, very matronly. also, because i'm not allowed to wear bracelets or have visible tattoos i'm forced to wear band aids over my wrists every day and those areas get fussy from all the adhesive. with the new job i can cover up with a watch and bracelet and call it good. yay! the other nice thing about the job is that it has the same hours every week, and it's never less than 40. i won't get a pay raise until i finish my training and pass my tests, but the extra hours will help immensely. you read that last part right; i'm in some serious training for a while and have to take a series of tests before they'll finish the promotion, but i like cheese enough to be okay with that. how i got this job i don't know, it sounds way too good to be true. my main job will be stocking the cheese area and sampling (standing at a table trying to talk you into tasting this or that), as well as ordering and working with other departments (like wine!). it's a brand-new position and they have pretty high hopes for it, so let's hope i don't fuck it up.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

this is what i work on


flowers close, originally uploaded by pinprick.

while they pump dad full of x-rays!

today is the last day of his radiation therapy. everyone is crazy excited. then he'll have a few weeks to lay around the house and heal up, go in for a check-up to make sure he's doing okay, then a few months after that they do an MRI and look for the cancer. he's sore and raw and miserable, and all he wants is for his taste buds to come back. i think that's reasonable, don't you?

saturday i start looking in earnest for a place to live. i've been trying to do that while working and taking pop to his appointments, but not a lot has gotten accomplished. the fisherman gets here in a few weeks and i have no place for him to stay. this house is too tiny to fit anyone else, we need our own place. apartment hunting stresses me out, but the thought of all of us crammed in here stresses me out more.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

two and six

two more days in cancerland, six more until my birthday! i cannot wait for radiation to be over. i'm sure dad is more excited, but damn. this last week of it has been extra-super-miserable and soon he'll just be able to sleep and rest and start feeling better instead of spending all his time in the car with me, criticizing my driving and dreading his appointment. ugh.

and i did make a plan for my birthday! mom is going to watch the baby that day, and my sister and i are going to head into seattle to do super fun stuff. on the list: see the darjeeling limited (which won't ever show on the island, i'm sure), go to uwajimaya, eat noodles at shanghai garden, and feel all nostalgic about our lives before moving back in with mom and pop. we might also do some shopping and goofing around, depending on what time we leave town. i'm excited about going into the city, i haven't spent any time there since i got home.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

t-minus seven days

and so far, i have no birthday plans. i'm planning on babysitting my niece, if my sister gets this job she's interviewing for.

i'm kind of sad i might end up doing nothing. once anne pointed out it was my golden birthday i was so excited! i feel like i have to do something because i'll never have this kind of birthday again. dammit, i'm going to go make a plan now. any suggestions?

Friday, October 19, 2007

cancerland

hanging out with dad at radiation this week has been interesting, to say the least. my sister actually bought me a cocktail at crapplebee's last night to thank me for doing it, since the sight of needles makes her nauseous and lord knows they use pop as a pin cushion.

a lot of the other patients are nice and i like chit chatting with them. there are a few men who are in for prostate radiation, who always come alone because the side effects aren't so awful. i suspect my pop is getting a much bigger blast of radiation as well, but no one will confirm or deny this. i usually knit or embroider out in the waiting room, make small talk with the other patients, fetch cups of ice water for dad. yesterday i went with him for everything, which meant watching them take more blood (he clots so well that most of the time they take it once then come back and say, "um, we need more."), pump him full of a medication that is supposed to save his salivary glands, and watch him nearly barf taking the anti-emetic (irony!). he has exactly five more treatments and i can assure you that's he's as excited as he can be for this to end. he's tired and lost his voice and more of his hair, that radiation sunburn is becoming more red and evil looking by the minute and this week alone he lost two pounds in one day. all he wants right now is for this to be over and to be able to taste thanksgiving dinner. we were talking the other night about his treatment and wondering if in twenty years they'll look back on this kind of cancer treatment as barbaric and old-fashioned. all they can really do now is kill cells and excise tumors. it's mass carnage; blast it all with massive doses of radiation and hope it doesn't come back. civilian cells along with rogue ones go down, and the side effects are lousy. pump your body full of poison and cross your fingers.

what bothers me more than seeing him miserable is not getting a straight answer out of anyone about his prognosis. no one will commit to any sort of odds; is this going to cure him? what are his chances of it returning? how long will it take before he feels better? is all of this worth it? what happens next? no one wants to talk about it and the doctors and nurses say things like "we'll just have to wait to and see," or "it really depends on *fill in the blank*." i understand that they don't want to treat him or his cancer like a number, but it would be nice to know in more concrete, mathematical terms, what we're dealing with. at least, i think so. if they gave us bad news i might now want to know. maybe i should scrap this paragraph...

my week in cancerland has been eye-opening. i've said it before and it holds true; a diagnosis of cancer doesn't magically cure familial issues. i've seen fights in the waiting room, one guy telling his mom to "fuck off" because she pissed him off, one guy ignoring his wife's request to move her wheelchair a few inches back, little spats over stupid shit. however, i have to say that even if pop makes me mad or snaps at me i pretty much never argue with him in public. i'd rather die than yell at him in the radiation waiting room. no matter how unreasonable or jerky the cancer patient might be acting you pretty much look like a major douchebag when you yell at them. i should print up pamphlets to that effect. "don't yell at your cancer patient, you look like an ass." they might be evil incarnate, but put an old lady in a hospital gown and freaking out on her in public and you will indeed look like a slimeball. i'm not saying we all need to be having hallmark moments, but you can let it slide if they raise their voice or tell you not to interrupt. one guy actually yelled at his mom, "it's all about you, isn't it?" and i wanted to say, "um, yeah. when you get the shit radiated out of you, you can act like an ass then." jeez.

speaking of cancerland, i have to go take a shower and get ready to go. today pop is having a coffee shake on the way up there, and i need to finish midge's baby blanket since her sweetie is due in about a month.

p.s. i just bought this and it makes me crazy happy. i've been meaning to order it for a while, and realized hey, now would be a good time. subversive cross stitch rules, and i think a kit would make an awesome christmas present for any crafter you know. not only are they amazing and funny, but it will give them something cool to work on.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

book review revue

fledgling, by octavia e. butler: this is a book about a vampire, shori, that looks like a young black girl but who is in fact much older and has amnesia. normally i like butler's spare and no-nonsense writing style, and i admit i seriously enjoy a good vampire book, but this leaves me nonplussed. i don't know, i can't quite get into it. i kind of don't care why shori has amnesia, who her people were, or why she was badly injured and left for dead. there was a bit of controversy when this book came out because physically shori is described as looking like an 8-10 year old girl, but has sex with an adult man. the scenes aren't graphic by any means (it reads like your basic harlequin, only much tamer), and honestly i find the story boring enough that i don't care. i'm only four chapters into the book, though, and i know i'll finish it so maybe it will win me over. although to be honest, i'm tempted to just go ahead and return it.

rescuing patty hearst, virginia holman: memoir about a girl who's mom has a psychotic break and kidnaps her kids to live in a cabin and prepare for a secret war, in which they will be in charge of helping the orphans. i first heard part of this story as a short on this american life, and then put this book on my amazon wishlist and forgot about it. i'm sad i did; it's a quick read, sad like most memoirs are these days, and an interesting look at what it's like to have a parent with severe mental illness. the chapters are arranged like a series of short vignettes, and go back in forth in time from the seventies to now. even though it is at heart a sad story about a mother who needs help and doesn't get it until it's way too late (by the time she's diagnosed and gets medical attention she's so far gone that not much helps), the book doesn't wallow in a lot of self-pity or "why me?" i would recommend this book to anyone who likes augusten burroughs, david sedaris, david rakoff, sarah vowell, etc.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

sicky sickerton

damn, everyone is sick right now. baby came home with something snot-filled and coughy, and then her mom got it, pop got it and now i have it. whoo! it's bad enough that dad wouldn't go to radiation yesterday, and you know you can only miss one of those appointments. we all spent yesterday on couches and in beds napping. i called in sick to work and this was the response i got: "so, you're calling in sick with a cold? see, i always feel better after i work with a cold." ooh, good for you! however, i am not a masochist. it irked me enough that i looked in the paper at other job openings. that's what i do when i have a bad day at work; look at other jobs. passive aggressive, yes, but satisfying.

penny's right, though. i should be a teacher. i've actually been thinking about that a lot lately. looking into what it will take to get certified, thinking about what i'd like to teach (social studies or history! or english, even, although i can't diagram a sentence for shit), and planning my classroom outfits. that part is my favorite. i vacillate between wanting to do prim and proper librarian style skirts and short heels and cardigan sweaters or a more casual i'd-like-to-be-your-cool-teacher stuff. in my heart, though, i am a nerdy librarian so i'm pretty sure it's cardigans and closed toe, sensible pumps all the way for me. am i too old to make a career change like this? should i just use the degree i have and try something else? thirty isn't that old. i don't feel like i'd be totally out of place in school again. also, becoming a teacher shouldn't take more than two years, and i could put up with college shenanigans for that long.

okay, time to go get ready to spend the day in the radiation wing. i have books to collect and embroidery projects to organize! i hate to admit that i kind of like my time there just because it's a nice quiet place to work.

Monday, October 15, 2007

super thrifter!

i almost forgot all about my deep love of thrifting. i left early yesterday so i could meet up with a friend from work to hit a thrift store before work, and found such great stuff. a new sweater, a new skirt, a few scarves for work (we have to wear a tie or a lady scarf, and i found a bright orange one that is crazy and lovely), cute new shoes and two movies. thrifting is so different from regular shopping; even if you go in with a specific goal in mind, you are likely to find amazing things that weren't on your list. getting a good deal is also a thrill. the hunting aspect of it all is addictive.

two days of work this week, then three off, then one on. including yesterday that makes four days where i only work 6 and half hours. did i mention they are seriously cutting hours at work? while reducing costs and making money for shareholders they basically expect us to get as much done for less pay. um, i call bullshit. i could bust my ass a bit more, sure, but not for corporate whores i won't. if this were a mom-and-pop operation and we were all taking one for the team i would reconsider, but so far it's only non-management that's feeling the crunch. i hate to get all commie on you, but i'm kind of anti-"the man" right now. my paychecks are sad and i still pay the same in gas money every week and have a million bills to pay off.

money, money, money. sometimes i get so sick of it.

in better news, i am in love with my library again and reading all sort of great things. the last thing i read was "righteous" by lauren sandler. i'd tell you more about it, but i have to get ready to go to work. in short, it was a great read, albeit a bit freaky. if i've said it once i've said it a million times, evangelical christians scare the shit out of me. has anyone else read this book? were you a bit taken aback at the political agenda inherent in evangelicalism? it makes me shudder to think.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

X marks the spot

big surprise; radiation therapy totally sucks! since my dad started going three weeks ago he hasn't encouraged any of us go with. mom went once at the start to check it out, but since then he's mainly gone alone. i didn't even know he was actually already in radiation until almost a week into it, he was so secret. i've been wanting to go with him for a while, but didn't want to push the issue too hard. he was okay doing chemo by himself and i think he doesn't like the idea of losing his independence. more than that i think he hates the idea of any of us driving his car. the man loves his car. doing it on his own also means he gets to leave when he wants, and it maintains the status quo. i mean, he can't really be sick is he can take himself to treatment, right?

he's gotten so weak and miserable the past week, though, that he finally admitted he'd at least like the company. the drive up to the cancer center is over an hour long and he does a lot of waiting around once he gets there. after he checks in (via a neat little bar code on a card; it automatically fills in his info and puts him in line), he gets his glass of ice water in the infusion treatment ward where people are getting their chemo, and settles into another waiting room in the radiation wing. he gets a pill when he gets there, then waits another half an hour for a shot, then waits a half hour more before they can actually radiate him. "radiate" is a sort of misleading term, however. dad doesn't get dosed with actual radiation (i.e. plutonium) he gets bombarded with serious x-rays. the nurses brought me back to show me the room they do it, and i got to watch the whole thing. first they arrange him on a table and affix a custom made mesh mask to his face and neck. the mask is marked with the area for treatment as well as various plotting points. then he has a board that they place at the soles of his feet; through the board are two long ropes with shearling covered cuffs. when dad pushes his feet on the board with the cuffs around his wrists it gently pulls his shoulders downward and out of the way of the radiation. he doesn't wear a gown or anything, he just sheds his shirt and takes his boots off. then they calibrate the ray a few different ways, use the x-ray to make sure they're in the right area, then start the radiation. they aim for three different parts in the same area, covering the area of the actual cancer as well as a bit outside that to make sure they get any hiding or stray cells. on two screens are black and white video feeds of dad on the table, and on the computer is the actual x-ray image of his skull and spine, with spots highlighted showing the location of the ray. while the treatment itself is time-consuming, uncomfortable and boring, it's the after effects that are really making pop unhappy.

because they aim the radiation at where his lymph node used to be he's got a what looks and feels like a sunburn on his neck, as well as a wicked sore throat and mouth. he's lost his sense of taste and his mouth is basically one giant raw sore. eating anything too hot or cold bothers him, he's sensitive to acids and spice, yet everything tastes like sawdust to him. he's lost his appetite and quite a few pounds. we try to make him drink protein shakes and ensure, but he balks at that even. he's tired and uncomfortable and just isn't interested in eating. he's also had to give up coffee, and if you know my dad at all you know that's not cool. the man drinks a few pots a day, goes through a five pound can coffee in a little over a week. his saliva production is also down, so he has to use a nasty tasting rinse to make sure his ph doesn't get too high and the acid from the bacteria naturally in the mouth doesn't rot his teeth away. the doctor prescribed what amounts to medical marijuana (it's a liquid derivative with no high, damn) to try to stimulate his appetite. in order to get through the next few weeks of treatment he has to stay as healthy as possible because if he misses more than one day he has to start the process all over. trust me, he doesn't want to do that.

it was hard to see him strapped to that bed with the face mask. harder to see how skinny he's getting. walking through the infusion treatment ward was awful as well. everyone at the clinic was very brisk and cheerful and the whole thing felt like "business as usual" but at the same time there were all these skinny bald people hooked up to iv's. some were obviously sicker than others, and the ones that were all alone killed me. i know cancer treatment has gotten much better over the years, and that when dad did chemo he did most of it alone because he wanted to. if i were sick i have no doubt i'd feel the same way. and it is better for the atmosphere to be one of perky efficiency rather than sad melancholy, but it was still difficult to see and take in. i know my dad is sick, and not with something he'll sleep off, but seeing it won't ever be comfortable for me. to put it simply, i don't like it. regardless of how promising his prognosis is there's still a good chance that he'll just get sicker. his chances of coming down with luekemia in the next ten years after all this are also much, much higher. we talked about that the other day. i promised him that if he's diagnosed with cancer again and he doesn't want to do this i'll buy cartons of smokes and kegs of beer and we'll just have fun until he goes. he's not doing this as much for himself as he is for my mother, sister, niece and i. this is as much about the women in his life as it is him getting better. he's sacrificed lymph nodes, his taste buds, his hair and his general sense of well-being so we'll have a dad/husband/grandpa longer.

tagging along to radiation and making endless glasses of ice water and pots of soup is the least i can do to thank him.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

why flickr sometimes sucks


fancy tights, originally uploaded by pinprick.

i put up a photo like this because i like my new tights. they remind me of chain link fences, and were on sale for like $5, and they make me happy. yet even with the "no pervs" and "pervs go away" tags i apply to anything foot and/or leg related, this photo still has been viewed 160 times. 160! it's not like my legs are so amazing, or you can even see much of anything (aside from baby mess) in this photo, and yet all those jackasses with feet and leg and tight fetishes are looking at my photo. the thought creeps me out. it just serves to remind me that even if the internet is amazing, world-wide, and has great potential to be a tool for education and knowledge and interaction, it will always be primarily a big old porn repository.

as a side note, i think feet as a fetish is totally passe and everyone should just find something new to dig on. the foot fetish thing is boring. i'm yawning as a i type this. pretty feet are nice, i get that, but i'm suggesting that if you are a guy with a thing for feet you cultivate a new hobby. like suicide*. or pick up a new fetish, like clown sex or over-sized underpants. be creative.

*i joke!

Monday, October 08, 2007

true story

(with a gratuitous photo of baby stuffing her face with eggplant parmesan)

the other night my sister and i are out running errands and we're talking about a kid she went to high school with who she tells me is part japanese. "really? serious? how did i never know this?" she point out it's his dad who's asian and i think about it for a second and say i can't recall what his pop looks like. "amanda, you spent hours with him when he fixed your car. we all went to the same church as kids. you can't remember what mr. so-and-so looks like?" um, nope. i think about it harder and admit i know he's short, but that's all. we argue about whether or not he does indeed look japanese, then decide to ask dad when we get home. after all, dad's spent the most time with this guy out of any of us (this man fixes all of our cars, and he and dad spend a lot of time in the garage shooting the shit).

we get home, and ask dad what sort of race or ethnicity he thinks mr. so-and-so might be. he thinks about it hard for a second, then says, "french canadian."

at this point my sister and i bust up laughing because 1) how does anyone look french canadian? and 2) where did pop come up with that? we tell him he's not french canadian, but half-japanese, and then we all spend a lot of time determining who in that family looks the most asian before going to bed.

this is what passes for entertainment around here. that and feeding the baby.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

pink october

it's october, which means those awful pink ribbons for breast cancer are everywhere. i know that saying i hate those pink ribbons out loud is tantamount to me sharing my kitten pie recipe on-line, but i can't help it. i hate the pink ribbon. the pink ribbon can go fuck itself. everytime i see it i feel sick to my stomach and more than a little angry. i hate the plethora of items that are branded in the same sickly shade. buy a pink toaster/toothbrush/cheap plastic bracelet and we'll cure this thing! i hate that people think that by purchasing this stuff somehow the pittance that goes toward breast cancer research will actually do something. what i hate most of all, though, is how that awful pink color essentially infantilizes and trivializes a disease that mainly kills women (if i hate pink being the color for breast cancer, imagine how the poor men who get it feel). pink is the color of little girls, of immaturity, of frivolous women. it's a color most men don't want to be identified with. it reduces breast cancer as a concern for only women, not taking into account the men who love those women; the sons and husbands and uncles and fathers. pink is the color of mary kay, tupperware parties, pepto bismol, tea sandwiches and lipsticks. pink is not the color of tumors and mastectomies and radiation and chemotherapy. pink isn't a color that expresses the pain that cancer patients go through. pink paints cancer in a pretty light and cancer is anything but pretty. pink is cheerful! and perky! and a color we don't identify with strength or struggle.

my favorite aunt died of breast cancer, one of my father's sisters died of it, and one of my other favorite aunts lost a breast to it. in general the people in my family seem to be fond of rogue cells multiplying, but breast cancer has shown up the most. it's something i worry about getting. just because i hate that pink ribbon doesn't mean i'm all for breast cancer. breast cancer is shitty and horrible and painful to deal with. i hope we find a cure. i don't think it will happen until people take it seriously, however, and i don't think the pink color is helping. it might have been an effective marketing tool in the beginning, but i don't think it's doing much for the cause now. let's find another way to show our support, like volunteering for or actually giving real money to foundations working on cures, working to raise awareness, or working to help real women with the disease. stop buying pretty pink kitchen appliances and anything with a pink ribbon on it. i don't think those things are helping.

Monday, October 01, 2007

i should be packing a lunch

instead of wasting time at the computer, like i'm doing now. everyone's out of the house right now, though, and having the computer all to myself is a rarity that i can't resist. i'll buy lunch! fuck it! dude, i work at a grocery store, after all.

speaking of which, here is a small list of things that annoy me at work:
  1. old ladies who freak out if you put too much into their container. our small container is all of 12 ounces, but they insist they can't each much more than a spoonful and will actually reprimand you if they get one broccoli floret too many. have they never heard of leftovers? would eating more than 6 ounces of chicken salad actually be such a crime?
  2. old men who eat bologna. bologna is okay on it's own (delicious, actually) and for the most part i'm fond of old men, but they are fucking persnickety when it comes to the thickness of their bologna.
  3. we have a nice new girl at work, who happens to have the same name as i do, and yesterday i was helping her help out a customer and the old lady we were assisting actually had the gall to complain when we were done. "i prefer to be waited on by people who know what they're doing." yes, well i hope you get rained on and melt.
  4. i love it when yuppies freak out about having to buy their prosciutto in packages. they want us to have a big hunk of salty ham ready to shave thinly for them, and when they find out we don't they basically stomp their feet and pout. one guy was canadian and told me "american's are fucking stupid." we might be, but we could totally take over your country, fucktard.! i smiled and nodded, which made him more mad.
for the most part i like my job a lot, which i think is pissing my mom off. we had the "underemployment" talk the other day, which is basically a rehash of every "potential" speech i got as a teenager. she's taking to sarcastically making remarks about how it "must be nice" to waste my talent/intelligence/time etc. i can see where she's coming from, and no amount of pointing out i took this job as a space filler will convince her. plus, it's not such bad work and it is actually giving me some skills i can parlay elsewhere. i don't know. it's work, you know? maybe i should be looking harder for something better, but right now i'm pretty okay where i am. my expectations are low, i guess.

not so low that i'll go to work without putting some makeup on, though. i have some eyeliner than needs applying! place your meat orders at the deli, please, and don't forget to check out our wide variety of cheeses. thank you and have a nice day!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

countdown

thirty days to my thirtieth birthday. thirty! maybe i should do something big and stupid before then. although one could argue i've done my share of slightly irresponsible stuff already this year, so maybe i should just plan some sort of party. i haven't had a proper birthday party in years, mainly because i don't really enjoy them, but if any milestone deserves some sort of recognition i think this one is it.

a few of the girls at work yesterday freaked out on my when i told them i was almost thirty. "no way, you don't look that old." while i don't think i look terrible, i don't think i look that young. i mean, the big cheeks and random zits are actually working in my favor, but come on. i don't pass for early twenties anymore! that's fine by me. my early twenties were a hell of a good time, but i don't think i could carry on like that anymore without some serious hangovers. funny how those get worse as you get older.

i had a whole list of things i wanted to do before i turned thirty, and i don't think i've checked a lot of them off. at the same time, i did a whole slew of things i didn't think i would do ever, and that's got to count for something. in the past year i've,
  1. learned how to drive a stick.
  2. lived on a boat for three months.
  3. made another major move from one state to another.
  4. gotten into my first car accident.
  5. had a pattern published in a book.
  6. cut off my long hair.
  7. i met a hot fisherman and, you know. went in for a one-night stand and ended up with a serious boyfriend. what?!
  8. i finally conquered my fear of knitting socks and have made a few pairs.
  9. got a new tattoo and made plans for my next one.
that's not bad for twenty-nine. i'm ready for thirty, though. i have a feeling this is going to be good year, and i can't figure out why. there are a lot of things i'm looking forward to this year, like friend's weddings and trips and art projects i have planned for the dark winter. autumn is my favorite time of year; no matter what new year's might have to say this is when i feel like the year is really starting. the scent of wood fires and that dark, deep, greenness of everything getting it's last big growth in before winter always makes me feel like getting my own shit together so i can work all winter. winter's here aren't exactly fierce or gruesome, but they are dark and i do tend to get a lot of work done in them. hiding out at home and making stuff is pretty much the only thing i want to do when the sun goes away. if anything, i should have a little party around my birthday as a hooray for fall thing.

but now i'm going to have a cup of coffee and get ready for work. whoo!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

hatr


hatr, originally uploaded by pinprick.

yesterday i was completely full of anger. i was worse than alexander on his horribly rotten day! i was all single eyebrow glaring, eye rolling, yelling at cars mad. it was not pretty. i went by the evil empire to pick up a prescription and was annoyed that the stupid clinic i went to only gave me a script for two months worth of pills (what the fuck? did she not believe me when i said i'd been on them for six years?!). then i was annoyed that the other script was $12 instead of $4 because it didn't come in generic. then, i didn't have enough money. searching through my wallet didn't make any magically appear, so i told the lady i'd pick up the cheap pills that day then come back for the other ones.

then the lady behind me in line gave me two bucks and told me not to worry. she totally ruined my bad mood.

it was such a nice thing to do. she doesn't know me, i'm sure i looked angry and fussy and bleak and lord knows i might not have been so nice to a girl who looked like me. i might stay away for fear of an old-fashioned shivving. i'm not going to go all hallmark on you and tell you this lady was an angel sent to help me out, but damn. no matter how black my heart is, i was touched. i ended up being nicer to people all day. i felt guilty for muttering about mouth breathers on my way into the evil empire, only to be proven totally wrong. that two dollars bought more than pills, it smoothed out the rest of my day.

Monday, September 24, 2007

happy news, in no particular order


carving, originally uploaded by pinprick.

1. baby and i are making our first trip to the library this week. they do a preschool story time, and lucky for me i have the day off! i'm excited to introduce her to the library, and am hoping she has as much fun as i think she will.
2. i got the "new" shins album last week and i think since then i've listened to it about five hundred times. i say "new" because it came out before i went to AK, but i just now got it. when it came out i wasn't so sure about it; i really loved chutes too narrow and when that happens i worry i won't love the next album as much, but hearing james mercer on the latest modest mouse album made me change my mind. wincing the night away wasn't what i thought it was going to be like at all, but it's amazing. it's an unexpected happy surprise.
3. i get to officiate at a wedding! aunt lisa is getting hitched and i'm going to buy a pretty dress and get to be part of their happy day. whoo! i'm crazy excited about that. when it was first brought up i thought they were joking, but the more i thought about it, the more i realized what an awesome thing it would be. i spent most of my drive home from portland daydreaming about it. lots of people get married, but not a lot of people get to be the ones saying "you may now kiss the bride."
4. i just found out i get paid more to work sundays. the grocery store i'm at gives a premium for hours on that day because i guess everyone hates to work it. which is fantastic because i always work sundays.
5. i'm off to a slow start this year, but my christmas present making it coming along nicely.
6. my netflix hold comes off today, and on the top of my list is hot fuzz. i can hardly wait.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

secret jewish boyfriend

oh andy samberg, with your floppy hair and adorable smile, you are one of my newest secret jewish boyfriends. you are the epitome of things i love in men including curly hair, big noses, and a smart ass sense of humor. i always fall for boys who love poop and dick jokes. i think sometimes secretly i'm a teenage boy stuck in a chubby broad's body.
perhaps you've seen andy on a little-known show, saturday night live, where he's funny in sketches but brilliant in the digital shorts he creates. who can forget such masterpieces as lazy sunday, natalie portman rapping, laser cats and the gift that keeps on giving, dick in a box. dude, he's funny. seriously funny. he's also sort of tall and lanky, and i think a lot about climbing up him. this might sound a little odd, but i always think about what people will look like when they're older; if they'll have a face interesting enough to always want to look at. it might be weird, but i think andy will be cool looking when he's old, and that appeals to me as well.
honestly, look at that face and tell me you don't like it at least a little. of course, secret jewish boyfriends don't get by on looks alone; i'm a sucker for the funny guy. funny is harder than most people give it credit for, and while denzel washington might get by playing the same stoic-faced, impossibly handsome man, i don't think he could crack me up. aside from cheap liquor, that's the fastest way to my swimsuit parts. andy samberg, congratulations on being this week's secret jewish boyfriend.

p.s. he's also hot in glasses, and like that. i like it a lot.

go computer, go!


bear face, originally uploaded by pinprick.

the drive to portland today was miserable. i was about twenty minutes late in the grand scheme of things, and ran into not just a hell of a lot of seattle traffic, but there were also about four accidents slowing me down. got here in time to kiss T goodnight and feed him candy (i hooked him up with his first pez!) and then goofed with his folks for a while.

everyone is in bed now, which would be wise of me to do as well seeing as H gets up e-a-r-l-y, but my vampire time clock says it's too early. i will just have to suffer through tomorrow, which won't be so bad seeing as i will get to spend the day with some of my favorite people. i will load up on coffee and comics and hugs from my boys. how could i sleep though a day as great as that?!

high speed internet access, how i ache to have you for myself. being here and getting on and off the computer so fast is delightful.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

my niece is smarter than yours


baby on seat 1, originally uploaded by pinprick.

i have been spending a lot of time with baby lately, and while i have a million stories for you, here are a few that totally prove my assertion. i mean, i'm sure your niece is smart, but mine is going to blow that mensa shit apart, yo. if she doesn't take over the world first.

1. her new favorite shape is the star. she has a star balloon, she gets all excited when you draw them, and she spends a lot of time crawling all over me to see my tattoo stars. she especially loves the one behind my ear, which coincidentally i got with her initial in it. so she's crawling around up there the other day, and she pulls out my plugs, which have stars on them too, and then giggles and pokes around the holes in my ears. very funny. the next day she finds a pencil eraser, the kind you put on top the pencil, and she looks at it, she looks at me, and then tries to stick it in her ear. when she realizes she doesn't have earlobes big enough for it, she walks over and hands it to me, and waits patiently until i put it in my ear.
2. we're teaching her to name body parts and so far she's got her nose down, as well as her eyes and ears and stuff. when you ask her where her booty is, though, she doesn't point at it. instead she shakes what her mama gave her. she's got her own booty dance, and she's not even two!
3. pop listens to a talk radio show that uses guns n' roses music as their intro. baby drops everything to run in and listen, then she shakes it happily. i don't know if that proves she's a genius, but i do think it proves that she's going to be a lot of fun someday.

on my way out of town, just as soon as i bathe and finish packing (god, i am slow). from portland i will have access to a computer that isn't in the baby's room and i can tell you all sorts of other random things. aren't you lucky?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

new library card

getting a new library card is downright thrilling. why? because i am a dork. a very broke dork with a need for new things to read and listen to. i went down to the library i lived in as a kid and it was so much the same. the kids section was in the same spot, the same chairs were in the corners, waiting to be sat in to read in the sun, even a lot of the librarians and aides there i recognized. one of my favorite past librarians was even there. i used to baby-sit her kids, and now they're 20 and 15! i told her i was a month away from 30 and she said, "oh amanda, i didn't need to hear that." picked up a knitting book, a book about a crazy alaskan family who live pretty much in the middle of nowhere and a set of cd's that are all edgar allen poe stories read by vincent price and basil rathbone. it's almost my favorite month of all, october, and therefore close to my favorite holiday, halloween, so i thought the stories would be fun to listen to on my way to and from work.

man, i love the library. love it. tonight i'm going to make a list of the books i want to read (by pulling them off my amazon.com wishlist!) and see if i can get them at my branch. the library in my town is tiny, but we are a big system and one of the other branches are bound to have all sorts of good things for me to read and listen to. i can hardly wait.

Monday, September 10, 2007

my hands hurt


dusty dials, originally uploaded by pinprick.

they are so dry from all the hand-washing that any little thing that bumps into them cuts me. yesterday a metal chaffing dish sliced through my thumb, leaving what feels like an extra-big paper cut on the joint. sucks. i try to slather on the lotion on breaks and before bed and on the drive to and from work, but i'm afraid soon i'm going to have mitts like asbestos, and my soft little sausage fingers are going to be tough soon. too bad.

tomorrow i have the day off so i'm trying to talk my sister into taking baby to the park with me. i could use a run around and some time on a swing!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

baby interrupts my blogging!


wheel watch, originally uploaded by pinprick.

my work schedule means i'm up late at night and don't get up too early in the morning. i miss out on prime being-on-the-computer time thanks to baby's need for naps and sleep. doesn't baby know auntie needs to blog?!

work is going well. there's one old lady i work with that i totally and completely despise, but other than that i'm pretty happy. i'm getting to know people, and who knows, maybe some of them will be good for going out to have drinks with. my feet hurt less than they did when i started, and i think i might have lost some weight thanks to the heat and constant running around. people eat a lot of sliced meat and fried chicken. that's all i'm saying.

the money situation around here is embarrassing and frustrating. the captain still hasn't sent the rest of the money he owes me, i don't get paid until next week, and yesterday i had to hit up pop for gas money. whoo. it's not enough i live with my folks, i have to ask them for cash! dude, i rule.

the best thing about working in the deli are all the people i see every day. that satisfies the anthro in me; i watch them and try to figure them out and generally enjoy thinking about what their lives might be like. i hook up punk ass teenagers with extra jo-jo's, wink at old men, try not to roll my eyes as yuppie moms insist that i don't fill the smallest container all the way because they couldn't possibly eat all that potato salad, and goof with babies in carts. most of the time my shift passes so quickly that i'm in and out before i realize it.

the fisherman is on land for a while and we've been talking a lot on the phone. man, i love that. he's doing some drilling right now, working on water and oil wells. he might have this winter off and then we are discussing (gasp!) shacking up for a few months. it wouldn't actually be all that different from bunking in the same stateroom all summer, but to me it feels bigger. i have never, in all my years, wanted to shack up with a man. the closest i've come is a boy having a toothbrush at my house. a key? his stuff? using my address?! that's grown-up stuff. i'm excited though. i can't wait to see him, especially on our own terms and not on the captains.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

two day weekend!


blurry ferry shot, originally uploaded by pinprick.

i had the past two days off. yesterday my sister and i spent the day at the mall, which we thought would be fun, but since we are both totally out of the loop culturally we didn't realize that the mall would be freaking insane. it was labor day, duh, and the place was packed with teenagers and families and it was totally overwhelming for both of us. we found a seafood place on the outskirts of the mall and went in and had lunch and a drink before doing any actual shopping. we needed a little fortification.

today i did some major lounging, including napping, and took baby to the park to play. she ran all over and we had a good time, but i felt dumb that i forgot my camera. that kid is photogenic, yo. after she goes to bed, my sister and i are headed to the grocery store to do a little shopping. i need some lunch supplies!

work is going well. the job itself is physically demanding, which i love. by the time i get off work i'm tired, sweaty and ready to be home. i've learned a ton of stuff this week, and think i'm doing okay. although to be honest, all the driving is indeed taking a toll. i'm going to ask if i can cut back my hours until i get a place closer to work, i think it's just too much for me. plus, pop starts radiation soon, and because i spend so much time traveling to and from work i'm not much help around the house. this leaves my sister the bulk of housework-y tasks, and with baby that's a tall order. the hours are great, and i do really enjoy the job, but i need to not be there all the time. does that make me an ass? maybe. i just thinking roasting five hundred chickens daily is less of a priority to me than taking care of my family business.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

no thanks

the thing about working in a grocery store, in one of the hottest places in the store, swaddled in poly-cotton blends and dealing with armies of roasted chickens and vats of coleslaw, is that at the end of the day you kind of aren't hungry anymore. eating for me the past few days has been a task because nothing sounds good and when i do eat, i can't bear to eat anything warm. this is either going to be the best diet i've ever been on, or pretty soon i'll adjust and just start eating a few chickens every day, ripping them apart with my bare hands and shoveling the meat in.

the rotisserie chicken is one of our mainstays, and flocks of birds are consigned to the roaster every day. i like meat, i think it's tasty and being a carnivore comes pretty naturally to me, but the mass consumption of these birds sort of freaks me out. not to mention the waste that goes on. if something is going to die so that something else can eat it, like me, then i don't think it should be unceremoniously thrown out when it doesn't get bought in time. throwing away food that is perfectly acceptable but maybe not as pretty or juicy as it was isn't something i'm 100% comfortable with. i've bought those kind of chickens before, and think they are tasty and delightful, but never thought of what it takes to be able to provide hundreds of people a day with food. it's a huge operation, and while most of what we make is used and consumed, because it's such a big show there is a considerable amount of waste. in relation to the amount of food that does get eaten it's not such a big number, but on it's own it sort of overwhelms me. it also reminds me of how separated the ordinary consumer is from the food making/procuring process is. people expect to be able to walk in and buy the food they want to eat, with out much thought as to where it comes from, how it was made, what went into getting it from it's raw state to their grocery cart. when i stop to consider all the steps taken transforming raw products into packaged food items you can eat my brain almost explodes.

i also work with a bunch of teenagers and old women. there doesn't seem to be much in between; people aged 25 to 55 are scarce. i think i'm one of three. i don't mind the young kids, except sometimes they talk more than they work, but the old women and i don't get along. one of them in my department is universally loved, but i can't stand her. she's got a wicked lisp (which i know i shouldn't hold against her! but i am shallow), can't hear for shit, and is always talking down to me in the sweetest, most grandmotherly voice. you can use any tone you want, but telling me to not sell meat that's been on the floor still seems fairly condescending to me.

last but not least, i'm not totally in love with the driving. being in the car for two hours a day (usually two and half) isn't so awful, but i did apply for a job closer to home with the county and if i get an interview for that one, i'm taking it. it would be a city job with good benefits, and i wouldn't have to wear a vest and tie every day and i'm not opposed to that.

Friday, August 31, 2007

sleep-deprived

work is going well. it's tough work sometimes, but i like that i'm up-up-up and the day goes by quickly. the other women i work with seem to be fun, but as usual i'm sort of a spaz this first week. learning all this new stuff, combined with the long hours and the hours a day spent in my car means i'm kind of over-thinking things and not sleeping so great. i'm not complaining! any new period of adjustment makes me like this, but i do really enjoy the job and even though my uniform makes me look 500 lbs heavier than i am (i look like a square woman) i think i'm going to be happy doing this. every day i have some interesting conversation with someone about meat (the difference between pastrami and corned beef) and that makes it all worthwhile. i have to say though, the worst thing about the job is that i don't get to see baby as much. weird how much i miss her now that i'm out all day carving meat and scooping potato salad out of giant vats.

my fisherman is home in homer, which excites me because i've talked to him two times in as many days. talking to him on the phone rules. in his line of work phone calls are few and far between, and while they're all nice to get, when you get to talk to someone more often you can talk about all the stupid little things you're thinking about. i wouldn't want to spend a lot of time telling him about some stuff if i know i'm only going to get ten minutes of time with him that month, you know? now i get to ramble at him about how i wear a vest at work, and dude? who thought of vests? they are not cool.

okay, you're bored. i know i am. i have to get ready for work and hopefully i'll have more interesting things to tell you later this week. ooh, i got a haircut. i'll take a photo and post it later. you can all debate whether or not it makes my face look a full moon.

Monday, August 27, 2007

certified food worker


seasick, originally uploaded by pinprick.

took my food handler's test today! i was hoping to be able to brag about getting 100%, but i missed two questions. drat. i also fueled up my car for cheap on the rez, had my oil changed, and found a copy of the cartoon based on george orwell's animal farm for baby at the evil empire (for only $1!). that i found it there of all places tickled me immensely, and knowing i can indoctrinate her in my pinko ways early is a cheerful thought as well. "see, baby? that's not how to do socialism. this is why the USSR fell." genius!

i feel so out of the loop music and movie and pop culture wise since coming home from alaska, so i've been buying a glut of records. i had the new modest mouse before i left, but not enough time to add it to my mp3 player. verdict: i fucking love that album. the song florida makes me think of colorado in a bittersweet way, and while i read reviews that said johnny marr wasn't a "standout" on the record i would have to disagree. i might be full of shit, but i feel like i can hear this difference between his guitar and everyone else's. i talked my sister into buying some amy winehouse, and while i wanted to dislike it and her because she's just so outrageous, i find i'm totally smitten with both. the album is great, and i can see why rehab was such a hit this summer. i listen to this album on repeat these days, i can't get enough. her sixties girl-group sound is evocative without being a total rip-off, and i'm pretty sure on one song she actually uses the word "fuckery" which makes her my hero. new white stripes: it bores me, but makes me want to dye my hair black. new interpol: i won't say there's much on this album i haven't heard before, but i don't care because i love interpol. i'm not always so sure a band has to do a bunch of new stuff all the time in order to be interesting. interpol sounds like interpol, and that is okay with me.

i put a couple new photos up over on flickr, some doodles of my trip and stuff. go look!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

it's never enough


tie, originally uploaded by pinprick.

i start working this tuesday, which is sort of exciting. they called me back in the other day although it wasn't for my second interview; they liked me enough to just skip that and let me come in for my orientation and to take my pee test. i picked up my fancy new uniform (apron and hat) and then went and picked out the rest of the pieces like non-slip shoes and dark pants. it sucks sometimes having to spend money to make money, but what can you do?

of course pop was irritated when i wasn't working and made sure to point that out when he could, so i got a job and now he's unhappy with that. he thinks it doesn't pay enough, he doesn't think i'll like it, he's not happy i'm not using my degree, and on and on. you can't win with him, and you can argue with him either so i'm just avoiding any conversation about it. yes, it doesn't pay a massive amount, but i think it's better than not getting paid. plus, working in a grocery store has a few advantages; discounts on food, a wide variety of positions, and grocery stores are everywhere. you get in with one and if you move it's easier to get in with another.

you would think that anyone who's known me as long as my family has would just resign themselves to the fact that i am not exactly career-oriented. work is work, i don't particularly care for it but i need to make money. i don't ever want to do anything forever, so why would i want a career? why would i want to do the same thing, day in and day out, for the rest of my life? working in the deli of a grocery store might not be what anyone had in mind for me, but i'm happy. the work sounds interesting, you get to see a variety of people every day, there are some days when you get to hang out in the back cooking, and the best thing is you go in, work and go home. if i don't feel like thinking about potato salad when i leave, then i don't have to. of course, all this might change once i actually start working there, but why does everyone have to rain on my parade? damn. i like the idea of it enough to apply, enough to put on a nice skirt for the interview and enough to take the job. i think that should be enough.

it's frustrating to have this talk with everyone whenever i get a new job. who really cares what i do as long as i'm doing it? i don't. well, i guess i do since i'm complaining about it. i'm just tired of having to explain myself to people i think would know me better by now. i am who i am, and no amount of wishing or poking or prodding is going to make me suddenly more ambitious. at heart, i'm just to lazy to care about work. it's a necessary evil, and i think career is a four-letter word i don't want to be best friends with. honestly, i could think of a million other things to dislike about me other than that. i hate the idea of what i do for a living defining who i am. it's just a job. everyone insists i have one, but then when i get one it's not good enough. nothing is ever enough. man, this week has felt shitty. my blog is suffering from all the complaints too. i promise the next post won't be so tiresome.

Friday, August 24, 2007

aprons


aprons, originally uploaded by pinprick.

this morning i was a tiny mess thinking, "oh my gosh it's ten a.m. and no one's called, they said they'd call this morning and what if this means i jinxed myself?!" but then they called and this afternoon i'm going in for the official job offer and to fill out massive piles of paperwork.

i will be wearing an apron again as part of my uniform, the same way i did over at finko's! i liked wearing an apron, they have pockets you can put stuff in. my dress code also includes wearing a tie, which i find hilarious. i picked one out at target yesterday that is black with tiny white stripes and makes you dizzy when you look at it too hard. the only part of my uniform/dress code i don't much care for is that i have to wear a ball cap every day. if you have bangs, then you know why that sucks. it mooshes them and means when you take the hat off, you look like a drowned rat. whatever. my non-slip shoes are the real prize though; totally orthopedic and chunky they make me feel like a sprightly 60 year old.

i'll have more information for you after i get back, all of which i'm sure will be riveting.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

jobby job


CRISPS, originally uploaded by dedoorg.

i got a job, suckers. wait, i'm the sucker for working. damn!

i haven't technically been offered the job, not in an official way, but they french kissed me on the way out of my interview, so i'm pretty sure that job is mine.

i'll be your new grocery store clerk. i am so fabulous, so high class now, though, that we might not be able to be friends anymore. after all, i'll be slicing deli meats extra thin and you'll just be contributing something to society.

(i joke! no matter how big i become we'll always be friends. even if i get all the way up to courtesy clerk, which everyone knows is pretty high on supermarket food chains.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

cancer dad!

as many of you know, earlier this summer my pop was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma. since then he's gone through chemo, lost all his hair, is preparing for radiation, and got a wicked case of pneumonia. needless to say, his summer hasn't been all reading on the beach and drinking beers delightful for him. he's in good shape, and looks fantastic bald, but let's face it: he doesn't want to be cancer dad any more than we want him to be.

to that end, my mom and her good friend jen are raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training and want to compete in the Nike Women's Marathon In San Francisco. in order to race, though, they need a certain amount of money in donations. which brings us to the part of the post when i ask you nicely to drop a few bucks in their cup.

anything you donate would be seriously appreciated. it doesn't have to be big money, and you don't even have to leave your name. mom and jen are a little under half-way to their goal, and we've been doing all sorts of fund raisers. tonight we're headed down to the fishmonger in langley to do a brownie fund raiser (you get a delicous brownie in exchange for your donation!), we're having a big yard sale on labor day weekend, and we're all knitting and working on projects for a silent auction. if you would like to help us out and learn more about the Team in Training program, you can visit mom and jen's site here. i promise this won't be something i bug you about constantly, but i thought "i have a blog, i could put a little something up and maybe that would help." in any case, it can't hurt. thanks for reading this far!

(you know i wouldn't ask you if i didn't think it was important, and if it makes you feel any better dad is totally going to kill me for putting up that photo. that is, if he finds out, which i'm hoping he doesn't. personally, i think he rocks the bald look, but he's not so thrilled with it.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

suck-tastic!


tiny cupcake 2, originally uploaded by pinprick.

today has sucked ass in a major way. i don't know how much longer i can live at home, looking for jobs is lame, i got into a huge fight today with my sister that ended up with my pop wanting to have a talk with me (which i think was ridiculous since she was the one that started it), and i got to talk to my fisherman which just made me miss him more. i'm frustrated and irritated and would like a cocktail. i need my own place. too bad i need a job first! i'm going to have to ask some people about maybe staying with them for a while; the house really is just way too small for all of us. if i had the money (if i get paid the rest of the boat captain owes me) i could move first and then look for a job, but right now i just don't have the funds. i think we'd all get along a lot better if we had our own space, and personally i would feel a lot less depressed about being here if i weren't living with mom and pop. this is sort of the last place i wanted to end up, you know?

if i had a bed i'd crawl into it and never get out. shit.