I have a cold.  Of course, that's how the world works.  Actually, that's how my body works.  All of the running around and stress about housing wore down my immune system.  My reward requires a box of Kleenex.  Today, I spent some solid time watching Pushing Daisies and drinking tea.  I got some Irish Breakfast tea from Trader Joe's yesterday.  That stuff is wicked cheap and really good!  I will be starting my day with it every morning.  Also, to figure out how to time my commute, I just got back from walking to the bus stop and back.  It's drizzling so I broke out all of my rain gear.  It takes me less than 18 minutes to get from the house to the bus stop so I will leave the house 6:38 to get to work by 8:15.  Yeah, I'm pumped about this.  Russ and Beth's house is situated on a very steep hill.  Surprisingly enough though, I'm able to get back from the bus stop in 22 minutes meaning that the incline only adds 4 minutes onto the time with the decline.  I came back quite sweaty so overall, it was a damp sojourn but it did help out my cold.  Now that I'm sitting down again, my nose is congested.  I am also solidly tired from my 40 minutes of walking.  Hopefully, I will be able to parlez that into a solid night of sleep despite my lounging today and anxiety for tomorrow.



Ok, so I have a definite course of action now.  I am going to be staying with Russ and Beth for the next two to three weeks.  This means that for the next two to three weeks, I will be commuting an hour and a half both ways.  There is a light at the end of this tedious tunnel!  The reason I am waiting for 2-3 weeks is I have the perfect place that will be available then.  It is in a great house that is about 2 blocks from where I will be working.  Hopefully, all the sleeping in that I will get to do once I move in will cancel out the 5:30 mornings.  If it takes 3 weeks for the place to be ready, I will spend 45 hours of my life on the Seattle transportation system.  I will be solidly caffeinated and have a book at hand.  Today, my mom and I went to Ikea and got lots of apartment stuff.  I got a new duvet and cover, pillows, sheets, towels, side table, lamp, clothes rack and hamper.  We also hit up Target and got a super cute lunch tote and various snack foods and toiletries.  Trader Joe's furnished us with frozen lunches and jalapeño cilantro hummus to go with veggies as snacks.  We also got tea to keep my caffeinated and help ward off this cold that is trying to take hold.  After Target, we visited ACRS.  It is so pretty!  I met Jeff in person for the first time.  I got some necessary paperwork signed and saw where I will be working.  I also got my all important bus pass.  It is in my wallet and ready to go.  Tomorrow, I will time my walk to the bus stop to make sure that I get to work on time.  It may not be the most ideal situation for the moment but it will work out in the end.  Above all, I'm so relieved to know what the plan is!


Photos for "Must Have Wine"

The living area of the sober living house.  Not bad but...
Guys playing giant chess in Pioneer Park
I just liked the horse.
Requisite architecture shot (with flowers)
There were giant doily looking things hanging from the tree.  I don't know why they were there but they made for a cool picture.
I had to get some Pacific Northwest art for Mikay.
Can you find the damage?  The cop couldn't.  Apparently, the other guys car got knocked around a bit but we were just dandy.  Also, the person reflected is my mom.  You can see my sparkly shoes off to the left.

Must Have Wine

Ok, so I was going to post something last night but I thought three posts in one day might be a tad ridiculous.  Yesterday, my mom and I got shitty lattes at a drive-thru coffee shack.  Then, we went to see house #3.  Turns out, while this house is quite nice, it's a sober living house.  Like, drug addicts that are fresh out of treatment.  While I laud them for turning their lives around, that doesn't necessarily mean that I want to live there.  It would only be $450 including all utilities which is nice.  I'm realizing that having no money in an urban area has much different implications than in a college area.  At Grand Valley, having little money meant that I was just like everyone else.  Here, it means that I'm going to have to push out past my comfort zone.  That may mean living some place with the serenity prayer on the wall.  Anyway, after seeing that one, my mom and I drove around a bit.   Mikay was my superhero, finding listings for us.  I need to know the area better so I can figure out what districts to live in if I can't live in Beacon Hill.  I'm also trying to find out if Alex, a guy I will be working with, wants to live together.  That way, we will have some kind of connection/ assurance that the person we are living with isn't a total creep or something and we can save money. We had some time to kill between our appointments, so we headed downtown to Pioneer Square to get something to eat.  The park was so cool and they were playing "Heads Will Roll" which automatically had me thinking of Nora.  While we were on our way to our second appointment, the GPS crapped on us yet again.  The first time, instead of heading straight to Pike Place Market, we got a tour of the harbor and shipyards.  I felt like there was going to be a mob hit as we drove by, although that would be highly unlikely since it was 11 am.  Yesterday, it told us to turn left onto a one way street.  Nuvi (the GPS) has a nasty little habit of assuming that if roads cross from a bird's eye view, they must be accessible to each other.  Not the case for overpasses, bridges, etc.  So...  We had an appointment to see an apartment but we ended up having to circle Safeco field during the Mariners game and get back on the highway.  Long story short, my mom tried to change lanes and didn't see a guy in her blind spot.  Smack, crunch, pull into nearest parking lot.  Nearest parking lot happens to be... the apartment we were trying to see in the first place!  I thought it was kind of funny and ironic.  The place was nice but too expensive and not that close to ACRS.  I ended up seeing the place by myself because Mom was busy exchanging insurance info and such with the other driver.  We had to wait an hour and a half almost for the cop to finally show up.  After that, we cut our day short, headed back to the house and had several glasses of wine and fish tacos.  I tried putting pictures in with this post but it was an epic fail so I will just post the pics separately except for this one.


Attempt at Positivity

The Bad and The Ugly

So.... I am no longer all set for my stay here.  Yesterday, my mom and I met up with an old schoolmate of hers to have lunch.  Prior to that we went to Pike Place Market but you got to see that experience.  I wish I could somehow post the smell too.  There were so many flowers and fresh fruit and veg stands.  It was incredible. But I digress.  Since we are still on Michigan time, we left the house too early.  I guess around 10, I got an e-mail from Robert (landlord guy) saying that I could stop by the place between 10 and noon.  While we were at lunch, I got a call from Robert wondering why I didn't stop by.  So it turned out, Robert couldn't be there when we saw the house.  I described the house the other day as not so classy.  That is quite possibly the understatement of all time.  We just saw the outside of the house which was mostly obscured by a privacy fence.  Turns out the seating on the outside of the house was a bucket seat removed from someone's van.  We knocked on the front door for like 3 minutes solid.  I called Robert again.  He said we had to go downstairs to get Joe to show us the room.  Well, the garage thingy was covered in crap.  Joe was a foreign gentleman in his 40's.  He walked us out of the garage, through a gate and into the backyard.  My "room" was a room only the academic sense.  It had 4 walls and a roof.  The floor looked like a deck or something.  As in, no insulation and day light coming through.  It was a tiny room with a bed.  My mom described the ideal tenant for this room as a defector from the Eastern Block for whom this room would be a step up.  It was unlivable.  I expect a real floor for $400 per month plus utilities.  Well, after seeing the room, my mom and I got out of there as soon as humanly possible.  I started making phone calls.  First, to Robert telling him to rip up the check that we had sent as the deposit.  Then, I called Jeff, my boss, asking if he had gotten any more responses from the first e-mail he had sent out on my behalf to find a place.  Cassie, my mom's school friend, has also been on the hunt for a room for me.  We went straight from the rat nest back to Russ and Beth's house to hop on Craig's List once again.  I called about a few places and was able to see one last night.  It's only $270/month with everything included.  It's just a room with 3 other people in the apartment.  Tiny kitchen and bathroom and laundry can be done in the owner's house for $1 a load.  I'm not a huge fan but the price is nice.  I'm worried about security on that one and it isn't the best location.  We are going to see another place this morning that is $500/month with everything included.  That doesn't leave me much wiggle room for my budget but we did a drive-by last night and it looks a lot better than the other places that we have seen.  I'll update later today.  I will also take pictures so you guys can see what I'm talking about.


The Good...

Our transport for the week.  A 2011 Ford Focus.

The house we are staying at.  You can see 4 of the 6 bays of the garage.

Me in front of the famous sign.

A fantastic tart in a bakery we hit up right outside of Pike Place Market.  I'm quite proud of this photo.

Can you tell that I like taking grocery photos?

Gorgeous flowers at Pike Place Market



I have arrived safely in Seattle.  A few interesting moments aside, it was a fairly uneventful journey.  I must also add that 4:30 a.m. seen from the other side, without the aid of caffeine is not a pleasant experience.   I was also starting to have a panic attack on the way to the airport.  My heart was pounding and it felt like I couldn’t completely catch my breath.  I was having my freak out but luckily, there was pharmaceutical intervention in my carry-on.  Xanax!!!  That allowed the rest of the day to be handled with a sense of serene calm and a hazy fog that made sleep come like warm embrace.  Needless to say, that with a bit of shut eye, the day seems much brighter.  While we were on the flight from Memphis to Seattle, there was a fantastic moment.  The ridiculous safety briefings do nothing to educate me, only to remind me of Fight Club.  Well, the stewardess was holding up the little seat belt demo thingy with a shit-eating grin on her face, as I’m certain is required by Delta Airlines.  She did the little belt release thing and snapped it on her finger.  She had a look of horror on her face, partly due to the pain and shock but mostly due to embarrassment.  It was really funny to watch.  Then, after we had disembarked at SeaTac, there was another fantastic bit of real life slapstick.  There is a shuttle from the terminal to the baggage carousel.  We had gotten on (sidebar: there must be a lot of Koreans coming through because while there was some signage in Japanese and Chinese, the marquees on the tram were in English and Korean, as were the announcements.  We were also assisted by young Asian women, who most likely spoke Korean as well.)  The announcements said clearly and in multiple languages to hold on to a hand rail.  One woman, who I assume was on our flight from Memphis judging by her accent, made the foolish decision to not heed that advice.  The tram took off with a fair amount of force and she fell into a pile of luggage and people like a bowling ball into pins.  It was fantastic.  Even better, she just sat on a newly overturned bag, rather than get up.  It made for a wonderful moment.  My mom and I got some coffee at the airport (Seattle’s Best, which is bold claim for a brand name in this city).   We stopped off at Russ and Beth’s house to drop off some luggage and then set out to drive around a bit.  First, we hit my new house.  I knew what it looked like but I didn’t realize that I would be living in the ghetto.  Also, the house is still in the process of renovation so it’s not looking so classy.  In fact, due to work being done on the electrical, there is no power at the moment.   We had a little chat with Robert, my landlord but did not have a chance to go in.  I will post pictures as soon as I do.  Unexpected perk though.  One of my roomies has a dog!  We also drove by ACRS.  The building looks so amazing!  It’s new and a lot bigger than I had imagined.  After those drive-bys, we went to hit up one of the eighty Trader Joe’s in the Seattle Metro Area.  It was so awesome to not have to drive 100 miles to go shopping there!  It was also a lot bigger than the one in Ann Arbor.  I was freaking out over the huge variety and how wicked cheap it is.  I could feel people’s eyes on me.  I felt like such a small town girl at that moment.  I’m going to need to develop a sense of ennui and jaded disinterest to live in a city that speaks English.



In less than 24 hours, I will be on a plane to my new life in Seattle.  I can't believe that all of this has happened so fast.  I'm pretty much packed.  I have a few things left and I need to sort out what will be in my carry on but I'm well on my way to be ready to go. I went to Meijer to top off my sock and undies supply yesterday and happened across a few cute dresses.  I got one of them but I think I'm going to get the other two today.  There is also a nice cardigan there too.  I need a new cardigan since I have so many tank tops and Seattle is chilly.  I'm so excited about the weather.  I'm sick of Michigan sticky weather.  I love the rain.  I don't know if I will get sick of it but at least in the short term, it will be a nice change of pace.  I got an e-mail from my boss saying that I need to be there at 9 am on September 1 for an ACRS staff meeting.  They have more than 200 employees.  I'm so excited to start this job!  I'm scared and hope that I can do the job but I think it will all work out for the best. Intellectually, I know that it won't be a problem but I still have those fears of inadequacy at the pit of my stomach.  I guess we will see in time.


No More Days

As I am less than 2 weeks from Seattle, I don't really give a crap about what day I'm on.  This is partially because I'm just stressed but also because I'm failing miserably at the whole weight loss thing.  I had lost my birth control pills for about a week and therefore started my period.  Since it's been a while since that happened, I think my body just went into hibernation mode or something.  I've been so bloody tired for the past 4 or 5 days. I didn't work out because I was just so sleepy but I pushed myself and worked out today.  I did Turbo Jam Cardio Party 3 and I could barely get through it.  However, I was pushing myself to my limits to try and make up for the days that I didn't work out and that also contributed.  Today, I went out and picked tomatoes.  We had a whole lot of tomatoes and home grown jalapeños so I made pico de gallo.  I had a giant bowl of it.  Like huge.  I had a couple handfuls of tortilla chips to go with it but I ate most of it with a spoon.  Now the question, should I feel guilty about it?  It's just tomatoes, red onions, jalapeños, garlic, cilantro, lime juice and salt.  I guess that I paid for it nonetheless.  My mouth was still kind of burning when I started my workout.  I also have a nick on my thumb that was stinging from the heat of the pepper.  I made the mistake of wiping the sweat out of my eyes  when I was working out and instantly regretted it.  Yeah, dumb mistake.


Day 29: Update

Sorry I haven't written in so long.  I've been busy and stressed for the obvious reason.  I'm going to SEATTLE!!!!  I think I have a place lined up and it's just the finalization of stuff that I'm dealing with.  I also need to do my paperwork for the job.  It's boring but it kind of makes me feel like it's really happening.  On the fitness front, my dad gave me his bike.  It's awesome!  I've gone on a quite a few rides, some of them with my dad.  It'll also be great for Seattle.  My weight has been bouncing around.  I've gone back on birth control which I think is messing around with my hormones and such.  I don't like it.  Also, relating to Seattle, I got on a new phone plan. I figured I won't be around my friends and family so there will be a greater reliance on telecommunications.  My new phone is tiny and cute.  I only got it yesterday and I'm getting used to the QWERTY keyboard.  It's definitely nicer than the little T9 gizmo that I had.  I also bought a cute pair of rain boots on eBay.  They haven't come yet though.  They are black and white with a floral pattern.  Obviously, I need wide calf so there was limited selection. Now I have a kelly green trench coat, a Mona Lisa umbrella and cute wellies.  I think I am set for rain gear.  I will look like a mess of style!