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Archive for August, 2010

30
Aug

Rei is: studiously sitting in class writing a blog

So, though there have been things, I didn’t go into any of them from…pretty much the time we landed in PGH.  I aim to avoid a long, detailed retelling of every nuance of every moment, but I had that aim in my last blog as well.  But at least I have good intentions, and good intentions never led to anything bad…right?

Life in the ‘burgh has been moving at its typical (of late) frantic pace.  The day we got home, we had to drive to Freeport, then I had to shower, change and we had to drive about an hour the opposite direction so I could make an interview that proved to be, basically, a waste of my time, and was conducted while I had enjoyed a full…I don’t know how much sleep, but little enough that I was literally unable to fight it’s pull on the car ride there and back, and fell almost instantly unconscious for four hours when we got home again.

Wednesday, recovering from a sinus infection, I put on a dress and makeup and came into town for the Student of the Quarter luncheon…which I was late for and then couldn’t find and eventually gave up on, so instead of doing homework at home, in PJs, on my sofa, I did it in a dress, make up and jewelry, on a bench at school.

On Thursday, my last minute thrown-together paper for my Psych presentation beat the pants off of the theoretically researched and not-last-minute papers of everyone else in my group.

Friday and Saturday were spent very specifically not doing homework and recouping from the CA trip a little… on Friday I went for a walk and had a tea with Anna, then cleaned the living room and dealt with my mostly-untouched-since-returning suitcase, and on Saturday, Briggs and I (finally) got to go see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, which I liked a lot, aside from his choice of the bored, issuey hipster chick over the adorable and sweet and fun Asian girl.

Yesterday I finally did at least a little homework, and made some yummy-tastic spinach lasagna.  And we (finally) got around to watching Inglorious Bastards…which I liked a lot, aside from the fact that at least 2/3 of the long movie is subtitles (which I have no problem with, except that you can’t do anything ELSE while you watch a subtitled movie) and also that the ‘Bastards’ were big jerks.  I liked the French Jewish girl with the cinema.  (However, look at that poster design…is that not GORGEOUS?)

Other stuff that’s been happening:

-Since returning to Pittsburgh, the weather has been much more habitable.  It gets hot during the day, but not so humid you need a snorkel (which wouldn’t work anyway, if you think about it), and cools off at night.

-Along with the one disappointing and one successful interviews so far, I have one planned for tomorrow, one for Thursday, and another next Tuesday.  This is both exciting and nervous-making.

-I’m on a hiatus from coffee again…when I quit a few years ago I thought, for some reason, that espresso drinks were to blame for my stomach lining screaming in pain…but no…it’s just coffee in general, and how much I drink (usually on an empty stomach) in specific.  So, I’m back on tea for a little while, and hopefully, by the time it’s cold and I really want coffee again, I will be able to drink it with impunity, for at least a little while.

-I began to wonder today if the coffee really WAS to blame, as I’m only drinking tea and still getting twinges…almost as though the stress of school and internships and portfolio and being broke and a million other things were effecting my stomach acidity level.

-um…..

-yeah…i think that’s everything.

28
Aug

Been away so long

Well…in reality, about a week and a half, which is certainly NOT the longest hiatus I have ever taken, but I have been attempting to be somewhat more prompt, especially if anything is actually happening in my life, and as I suppose one could certainly suggest that anything actually has been happening in my life, well…here I am blogging, and before the caffeine has fully soaked into my system, at that, so prepare yourself for a wild ride of badly expressed thoughts, badly written anecdotes and badly concluded…everything.

The biggest notable ‘anything’ in my life this past week and a half is obviously the fact that I cleaned the living room yesterday.

Oh wait.

Okay, it’s the fact that I went to California for the wedding of one of my longest-time friends, the awesome and estimable, possibly unsinkable, Kristin Marie Wrosh, to her fantastic sweetie, Will Hart Meyer:

It was kind of a big deal.

She is the second of my girls to get married this summer (something in the water perhaps?), the first having been Erin, who’s wedding I was, unfortunately, NOT able to attend, but looked like it was super beautiful:

…but this blog is about things I have done, not awesome things other people jerkishly did without me, so, moving on…

We actually flew out of Pittsburgh at a totally reasonable time, this time, and did not have to leave the house before the sun rose.  I always thought leaving before dawn was novel and exciting, adding to the thrill of a trip, when I was little.  In recent years, however, I have discovered that it just means I have next to no chance of getting to sleep before I have to wake up, I won’t sleep on the plane, and while the novelty of the trip might keep me perky, by the time I reach my final destination, I will be exhausted and cranky and want to kill anyone and anything that gets between me and some sleeping.

So this time, we left at ten-something in the morning.  On the first of the three airplanes we would use to get across the country.  Yes, we had a sucky two connection trip on the way out.  We were stuck in a deserted terminal in Milwaukee for three hours, a place where not only are the sandwiches $10, they haven’t yet realized that the rest of the country provides free internet in airports to keep tired travelers calm…no…there were two wi-fi connections available, both of which were pay-by-the-hour.  So Briggs was all, “NOT ON MY WATCH, AIRPORT!!!!!”, and magically tethered his netbook to his phone and then created a network that I could sign my computer onto, and we thus had internet for those three sucky hours.  But we were still in Milwaukee, so…

Anyway, we finally arrived in SFO where it was much chillier than PGH, and even though I had been expecting it, it’s very difficult to prepare for damp, chilly weather, when trying to avoid melting in stifling heat and humidity.  I was, indeed, one of the tourists I used to laugh at, as they walked across the Golden Gate Bridge in their summer clothes, shivering.

We grabbed some Thai food with mom (at which point I discovered, much to my dismay, that I am probably going to have to take a break from Thai for a while…I really need to learn better than to ever eat anything I love when I’m feeling under the weather…), headed back to Santa Rosa, and pretty promptly passed out.

The next morning, Heather woke us up at some UNGODLY hour (okay…not really.  Something about being in a time zone three hours earlier makes it much easier to wake up at a descent hour.) and we went to Starbucks for coffee…where we ran into Aub and Erin!  And Briggs took some very cute photos of all of us that he won’t process and post!  Anyway, it was awesome and fantastic, and unfortunately, we all had stuff to do so our fun impromptu coffee date ended too soon.

The day went by and was filled with things, like going to Target with Heather, and finding me a jacket or two at Goodwill because I didn’t pack warmly enough, and getting ice cream at Screaming Mimi’s, and then Erin and then Crissi showed up to take me to the Bachelorette Party.  At which (and Kristin doesn’t read my blog, so I think I can totally get away with saying this) I’m very glad I had Crissi, Erin and the later acquired Lisa, so we could sit in the corner and be bitchy and bitter while everyone else was cliquey and…I don’t know the word for ‘woo-hoo!  It’s your bachlorette party and we are your bridesmaids and we are all very important and awesomer than everyone, especially awesomer than people who are not staying the night in the hotel room like WE are!’  …but whatever the word for it is, well…we felt a little alienated, but had I been without the awesome of my afore-mentioned posse, I would have felt a lot alienated.  I had kind of a fantastic time hanging out with them, even though the party, which was originally “We’ll start at Steps of Rome (the awesome Italian cafe the girls and I used to love to go to) and then see where the night takes us!” turned into, “Well…we’re going to go to this random, overpriced little trendy place for dessert, and then straight back to the hotel for the night, ’cause the wedding’s tomorrow’.  So yeah, even though we drove to the city just to spend  a lot of money on dessert and then go home, it was still fun…and to be fair, Kristin DID come sit with us for a while to make sure she shared the love, and we DID have fun hanging out…she was in no way being any kind of bitchiness or bridezilla, and was just, understandably, stressed and busy.

Saturday was the wedding, and was just absolutely fun all day.

We went to Erin’s I could help her decide what to wear, and we hung out and played with her super adorable animals and drank coffee.

We went back to my mom’s house to get ready ourselves, in a hurry, so we could go up early with Erin and Rob and help them tie super-professional-looking bows on the chairs.

We ate an awesome Oliver’s take-out lunch that Erin and Rob had the foresight to bring along.

I got dragged off to take photos of the insanity of getting ready, as the photographer wouldn’t be arriving until right before the wedding, and it was fun and I felt important, and even got a few decent shots along the way.

Heather showed up and appreciated my stupid humor.

The wedding started, it was lovely, Kaitlyn was adorable, Kristin was beautiful, Will was dashing and the ceremony was both very nice and not too long.

The reception was very nice, very Sonoma County, and unlike when I was at Shawnie’s wedding, I actually KNEW people!  I knew people that I WANTED to hang out with and who’s company I enjoyed!  It was fun, the speeches were funny/sweet/touching, the food was good, and I even danced (see Merriam-Webster Online under: “have a seizure”).  I also wore a very awesome green dress (yes, a real green dress…I know that’s cruel, but hey…it looked great on me) and Briggs took some very cute photos of me wearing it, and he also refuses to process those.

If you want to see the plethora of photos I took at the wedding, and the few I took at the bachelorette party (the place we went was really dim…another point in SoR’s favor!  Good lighting!), you can see them HERE.

On Sunday we had originally planned to go to Cloverdale with Heather to hit up the river for the afternoon, but because she’s a big wussie, after being up for a large portion of the day Friday, then working all night, going to a wedding on Saturday, then working all night, by Sunday morning she was all, “I think if I don’t sleep, I will DIE, especially since there is driving to get to my parents’ house to your mom’s.  I’ll sleep for a while, and call you later.”  (which she did, at which point she made it clear that she was still very sleepy so we made plans for the next day.)  So, Briggs and I decided to walk to where the frozen yogurt was, but when we got there, we realized that first, we needed Mexican food (which was for the best in the long run…you’ll see.) so he had a pork soft taco and I had a ceveche tostada and they were both small and light and not overwhelming and absolutely DELICIOUS.  And then mom came and met us and we had Golden Spoon frozen yogurt which was also DELICIOUS.

And then later, we all went out to sushi, and brought along my mom’s friend Lynn and also Brendan.  The sushi was, as you may have guessed, DELICIOUS.  It was a day of deliciousness.  Which was completed when we went to Cliff and Elena’s house where there was an awesome awesome group of people and I got to force the Double Rainbow song on people, and there were carrot cake cupcakes which were, as you may have guessed…DELICIOUS.  As was the company — the company which included…lessee…Adam, OF COURSE, and the awesome Cliff and Elena because it was their house, and all their zillions of cats, and Sean and Robby and Carrie and Karly and Brendan and…um…one of Adam’s sisters…Nellie?  Anyway, I’m probably forgetting people, for which I apologize, and apologize for that.  All I cared about was the cupcakes.  They were THAT good.

I need to end this as I am descending into serious rambling at this point…

Well…we have arrived at the final day, and anything since returning to Pittsburgh I think I’ll put in a new blog.  And Briggs just brought me a new cup of tea, so i think I’ll be able to power through this.

On Monday, mom was at work and we had aborted river plans to deal with.  Aub had called and mentioned, the day before, that she was interested in a river trip if we were going, and since Sunday’s aquatic plans were derailed, we decided on a Monday river trip NOT to Cloverdale (which mom later revealed was just a stupid public beach, not the awesometastic destination I had been dreaming of) but just out to Gurenville, like in the old days.  She picked us up around mid-day or a little later, and we swung by Erin and Rob’s place so she could attempt to doctor her poor abused laptop, which, of course, turned into a somewhat lengthy process, but it was okay because I got to play with Erin’s animals some more.  Once we were on the road again, just to add to the nostalgia (and provide sustenance) we stopped at the Safeway in Sebastopol for food to bring with.  Aub and Briggs were both smart and got sandwiches.  I got awesome bread and cheese and meat and olives and fruit, which I envisioned being munchable throughout the day, but that I luckily ate as much as I really wanted of shortly after we arrived, because I had forgotten that it was really hot out and meat and cheese + hot sun and no refrigeration = badness.  *shrug*  Anyway, after some driving around and one false start, we decided to head to the slow deep water under the trestle-style bridge, and it was just the right choice.

I now realize that I took the Russian River somewhat for granted while I was living in California.  After all my searching for a wonderful place to swim all summer, the river turned out to be just exactly perfect and awesome in every way.  Aub and I swam and frolicked like kids for a couple hours, then there was drama, with the arrival of Sean, Heather and a bunch of other people (which also was properly nostalgic…the drama, that is.) and then the drama got mostly resolved and Heather and I frolicked like slightly mentally challenged kids for another hour or so, and then we all packed it up to head back to SR.

After a brief stop over at Rob and Erin’s so Briggs could do one last thing to Aub’s computer and I could see Erin’s animals…I mean Erin and Rob one more time before we left, Aub dropped us off at mom’s so she, I, Briggs and Heather could head over to La Tauqeria for dinner.  Unfortunately, as much as I adore real Mexican food, the combination of the hot day, the sun I’d gotten and the stress of leaving in a couple hours combined to make me not even a little bit interested in eating my food.  I had a bite or two and discovered that I really wanted to rehydrate and that was it — certainly not eat richly-spiced pork and vegies.  Sooooo dinner was kind of a bust.  But we went back to he house and hung out for another half hour or so while mom napped, then we said goodbye to Heather and headed for the airport.

I won’t detail the annoyance and misery of the flights back because well, you’ve all flown before, right? …and I’m pretty eager to end this story now, as I’m sure you are all (“all” HAH! ) ready for it to end as well.  Suffice it to say, the flying SUCKED, I got no sleep to speak of, though I did doze a bit on a sofa in Milwaukee, the arm of which was coated in generations of other people’s drool, and eventually we landed in Pittsburgh.

19
Aug

cool link of the week

Strange Miniature Worlds of Cotton, Sugar and Spice

18
Aug

Interview’d

This quarter, I approached my director about setting me up for internships.  She sent out my resume, looked at my work and told me what teacher could best assist me in putting together an interview portfolio.

About a week and a half later, I received an email from the marketing director of Iron City Brewing, asking if I would be able to come in for an interview.  As I’m going to be out of town for Kristin’s wedding from tomorrow on, I agreed to come in today– because I didn’t have enough to do already, haha.

I did a rush job creating what I hoped would be a presentable interview portfolio, had Briggs (yet again) consult on what I should wear (I’m lost when it comes to grown-up clothes) and crossed my fingers.

This morning, Briggs dropped me off about five minutes before my interview and drove off in search of a coffee shop in which he could wait for the duration.  About 15 minutes later, I called him to get me.  He was surprised and concerned, having expected a wait of half an hour to forty-five minutes at the least.  He need not have doubted me.

The most challenging part of the interview process was figuring out where to enter the building.  I eventually had to find an employee around back to show me where I needed to go.  Then I met my interviewer and was led to his office.  We chatted for a few minutes about the company, what I would be doing and so on (apparently, I would be doing actual design, for consumption by the public) and then he opened my portfolio.  A few pages in, he basically asked me when I could start.  After he finished, he let me know that he would be happy if I wanted to start next week…but also that, if I were overwhelmed with classes at the moment, I shouldn’t over-extend myself, and I could just begin at the start of the fall quarter, as planned.  In the course of our conversation, he told me at least three or four times how good my work was.

And not once did he ask me to tell him about a time when I had provided excellent customer service.





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