Thursday, March 30, 2006

More of a letdown

Today has been a little melancholy. Just a little. Being away from work doesn't have that vacation vibe anymore. Now the work of looking starts up again. That's all.
I think it's time to visit the zoo and the cutest animal on the planet- the red panda. Seriously- the cutest. No comparisons are available. If you try, your head will explode.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rant du jour

For those of you under rocks, Seattle has been shaken up by the shootings last weekend. It doesn't help that the shooter was a good ol MT boy. Thanks, buddy- we need some more whack jobs from MT to make the place even more palatable.

Anyhew- what gets me is this. The girls who died. They were 14 and 15. What the fuck were they doing at that party in the first place? Hmmm? Why did the 14 year old have a 3AM curfew??? Damn. What were her parents thinking? The ages of the other victims indicate to me that they were significantly older than these girls. Why are young teenage girls partying with guys in their mid to late 20's? That's a rhetorical question- I have a pretty good idea of why. And it doesn't make me very happy. It's pretty fucked up.

When I was 14, I would've loved- LOVED to have partied with older guys at 3 AM. But my PARENTS wouldn't let me. At the time, it rankled. I knew girls who had more freedom- and I envied them. They seemed like such glamorous rebels. They were the Bad girls.

It took time, perspective, and growing up for me to see what was really going on. That the older guys who were with these little girls were preying on them. These guys were too big of losers to attract females their own age, so had to go out with the younguns. It pretty much grossed me out when I saw it for what it was. Then I was sad. I wonder where the girls I knew wound up. I knew that a couple of them were doing drugs- it scared me when I was young. Now I have a suspicion that it wasn't all fun and games for them- they probably have had a really rough ride of it since then. Most of them dropped out before graduation.

So when I see in the Seattle Times that these little girls were shot down, it makes me angry. Not just at the psychotic fuck who pulled the trigger- but also at their stupid, stupid parents for not making sure that these girls were home in bed at 7 AM after a night of who the fuck knows what kind of activities. Dammit. A friend of mine in the Fire Dept has been to plenty of those raves- basically dealing with sick kids. He scoffed when he saw that they are allegedly "drug free." Bullshit says he. So, that's part of the whole thing. Send your daughters off into the night with older guys and some nasty drugs. Sure, it'll end well. Right. Idiots. I'll admit at this late date that my parents, with all of their Rules, man- were pretty damned smart.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Things I learned from the firemen/women

After a refreshing nap, I am feeling much more human (didn't sleep well last night, thanks to KENGA!).

Here is a list of things I learned from the firemen and women:

-firemen never grow out of the attraction to icky things.

-firemen seem to like the color red a awful lot.

-I now know the difference between a corey and a galvin wrench. Ask me, and I'll show you.

-That's a Homaltro combi tool, silly! (we're talkin jaws of life here, people)

-when transporting you to the hospital, they will cut off every stitch of your clothes. So Mama was right about the underwear thing. And if you're hangin llama or going commando, the firemen WILL talk about it. Guaranfuckingteed.

-Most firemen and women who I met (and there were one hell of a lot of them) were among the nicest people I've ever had the fortune to meet. Only about 3 of them qualified as total dicks. Not a bad set of odds there.

-Firemen love to gossip. You think that women have some kind of patent, you gotta sit around a firehouse for a while- they are on 24 hour shifts, and I'm pretty sure have to come up with something interesting to talk about in that time.

-Also- if you have the misfortune of spending any significant time with a crew that doesn't get along, beware. It's hell on earth.

-They are great about explaining their jobs, what stuff on the trucks and engines are for, and are very proud of their vocations. If you get the chance, and it's not a serious emergency, ask- they'll tell you all about stuff. Also- if you show up at a station on a slow day, they might just give you a tour if you ask nicely. Cookies help. So does being a girl. And a redhead (see above).

-For some reason, they seem to have a penchant for The Sopranos. I went to several firehouses, and they were watching the DVDs. Must be a guy thing.

-And finally for today, DON'T TOUCH THE DAMNED BRASS!!! Friday is brass polishing day- and it pains them to have to clean the brass prior to then- it's stinky and not fun.

Free at last

And we're done. The Seattle Fire Department has all of their trucks, engines, aid cars, battalion vehicles, and specialty rigs inventoried. I touched approximately 90% of them. We laughed, we cried, and we grew together. It was like an after-school special. Only lacking Ben Affleck.

Now to find something different, better, and that pays more.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Weekend wrapup

Yesterday we undertook our new regimen- one day of doing something fun together. The following day is reserved for the other crap that normally fills up the entire weekend (tv, books, internet, movies, cleaning, projects, etc.). I just really want to maximise my time with Kenga before school starts, wherever I wind up.

So this weekend, we started with the Seattle Underground tour. Was pretty interesting, albeit a little spendy for what it delivered. I enjoyed the history quite a bit, but thought that it was pretty slender vis a vis actual sightseeing. But I'm glad we did it. And with lovely weather- couldn't be beat.

We followed up with a walk around the U of W campus (bastards who wouldn't accept me into either their Grad or Law programs). We were looking for the fountain that remains on campus from the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exhibition of 1909. It's still there. It's under construction. (according to Kenga- it was ready to roll in 1907, but competition from the St. Louis World's Fair (Meet me in St. Louis...Clang, clang, clang went the trolley- done in Judy Garland's voice) put it all on hold for a couple of years) Interestingly enough, you can still see where there was a cascading fountain on the side towards the lake. It's now flower beds- very much in the Olmstead tradition- and will re-open on April 30. So we'll go back. In the meantime, we found the boat arena, and plan on renting canoes sometime, went out on the football field at the stadium (surprisingly not locked, unlike ASU), and found medicinal botanical gardens starting to prepare for spring. I didn't know prior to yesterday that holly has little yellow flowers that smell nice.

Dinner was at Latona, with friends whom we haven't seen enough of lately. Too many crises in their lives, unfortunately. Hopefully we'll remedy this soon. (the time, we can't fix the crisis elements).

Good day. Today was much more prosaic. But the sun shone, no rain, and I had my Miata driving lesson, and didn't embarrass myself. Kenga was pleasantly surprised. Later I took a late-afternoon nap with the cats, and am now prepared to greet the final two days of the job. I'll probably debrief about the job later this week. There are lots of details. Suffice it to say, it's been quite an experience.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Who's my hero?

That would be Kenga. Today and every day. Ode to Kenga will be forthcoming. What did he do to earn this distinction? Well, first off, he fixed my car. So there Sean. It seems that it had a sticky lifter, and he added something to the oil that made it all better. It'll get me to MT in a couple of weeks, and then we can get something else. A plan is afoot, and now we can follow through.

Next up, home electronics. Yesterday, we were watching tv on the landlady's tv (she left it behind when she was deployed, and since it's huge, we use it) and the screen suddenly became covered with grey and white stripes. Shit, we thought. We have to buy her a new one...Then Kenga got creative. He went online (I love the internet) and found out that this model has this problem. He found a fix, went to Radio Shack (a Tandy corporation) and bought parts and then proceeded to solder some new guts to the innards of the tv, and voila- it works again. $14 fix. Love him, love him, love him. He is the smartest boy I know. And he loves me back. Mmmmm mmmm good.

Ode to Kenga:

Fixes everything- electronic, mechanical, emotional

Makes laughter spontaneously erupt- from me, strangers, cats

Endures allergies to love the pets

Does the vacuuming

Has a soft spot in his wonderful heart for the right movie moments

Takes me to the Locks when the day was bad to watch the boats and the fish

Confirms daily that I'm the luckiest girl on the planet.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Drum roll, please

The car might be in its death-throes. It started making an alarming noise when I started it up to come home this afternoon. Kenga is on the case, and might have provided the bandaid to stem the hemmorage, but it is probably terminal. I just need to get through tomorrow, and then Kenga has graciously allowed me to take lessons on hills and his car. Nervously, I approach that idea. I'll be probably driving the miata with the bullseye on the trunk. Until we go to MT next month- then I'll get a new car. Damn. The car now has 135K miles on it, and has been wonderfully brave. But the time swiftly approaches when it'll be the merciful thing to put a bullet in its head.

Otherwise, an unremarkable and relatively uneventful day. I was, however, successful in navigating the drive between a couple of unfamiliar fire stations without getting lost or confused- and did it faster than either of the other guys. Haha, I say!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bite me chumpy

Co-worker was even more of a man-bitch today. I wouldn't have thought it possible. Seems that Johnny Underachiever has deciced that it's ok to take his frustration with the job out on me. Well, I says, guess again, Johnny Underachiever. I have a plan. I will take his attitude and reflect it right back at him- in the following way. He says crap to me that is borderline rude, but in a very nasty way. So I plan on calling him on the way he's speaking to me. I only have an estimated 3 days left. So nothing to lose. I don't plan on getting into a full-on discussion with him- just pointing out his crap. And that it's not nice. We'll see how he responds from there. He's a bully and a jerk, and I plan on saying a well-deserved goombyo at the end of this ordeal.

Another spin on it is that he could be pissy that I'm still around, and not like the fact that I do things like try to figure out how to fix problems, rather than sit around and let the others do it. I dunno. His idea of aiming high it to be a tow truck driver. THAT'S what I'm dealing with here. And he wears jeans that have the crotch around his knees. I thought that those were passe, but seems that he thinks not. I say, not horribly K-Momo of him.

(diversion- K-Momo 7 was a clothing store in East Phoenix in the late 90's- and we drove by it every time we went to our favorite Thai restaurant (Thai Rama)- which tended to be weekly. It became an inside joke. Well, that's not very K-momo of you...etc.)

There. Now I feel better. Time to drink some wine (Spanish Rioja with a little tiny plastic bull attached to the bottle- how delicious and cute at the same time) and sit down to Fellini's 8 1/2. Life will be just fine.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I did, however, watch a couple of Busby Berkely musicals this weekend. They both starred the amazing Joan Blondell. Dames (1934) was pretty cool. I made Kenga watch the production number at the end- some incredible special effects- especially when you realize that it's 19bloody34 (I don't know why I'm doing that tonight- annoying habit, I know. My blog, my rules.). I could live a long, happy life without Dick Powell, but was pleased by Joan. Also on the Tivo was Footlight Parade- also with Berkley dance numbers. And Joan. And Dick. But the real highlight for me was Jimmy Cagney- singing and dancing. I never really appreciated Cagney- he was good in White Heat (Made it, Ma! Top of the world!), but like I said- not that fond of him. Well, that changed. I couldn't take my eyes off of him when he was in a scene. I wasn't attracted in any particular way (like Cary Grant or William Powell, or even the young Jimmy Stewart or Gregory Peck), but he was arresting on camera and very fun to watch.
Anyhew, that's the movies that I can say are fun. Now I have some Fellini to dig through. And a Bergman. That one oughta be a pip. I'll have to save some 30's light comedies for after that.

No news.

Otherwise, nothing going newswise. Just waiting to hear from schools. The deadline for Penn State is looming- but I'll probably hold off as long as possible to commit. I have yet to get my aid package from them- so don't feel a huge compulsion to make any kind of committment. Also, like I said before, moving doesn't sound like a whole lotta fun. So just waiting. I'll look at the last year and a half's job situation as good practice at waiting. Without going batshit, that is. (though I might've gone batshit, and not realized it...not improbable.)

Bitchslapping the coworker

Would that I could- but he'd probably enjoy it too much. And if I'm going to start being a dominatrix, I had better be paid better.

He was a real dick today. Just a little bitch. Reminded me of an ex-boyfriend- we'll codename him Migi. Migi Carter. (got that Darrin?) Looks like him. Acts like him. Has that strange rich-boy love affair with the blue collar types. Wants to act tough. Not patient. Not even very nice. At least Migi was smart, and wanted to learn. Not coworker. Just wants to blow money, and be mean and snippy to me. Like it's my fault that we have to fix a bunch of mistakes that the computer and bar codes made. Well, I say fuck him. Not in a good way either.

That's about all I care to say about it- except that the eerie coincidence of it is that Migi and the coworker have birthdays 2 days apart. (different years though) Cue Twilight Zone music...

Monday, March 20, 2006


I know that I keep reporting that the crap job will end this week. But then I find out that under each rock are a couple of dozen creepy little things that we're needed to attend to. Today I figured out why. Seems that some of our barcode tags were duplicates. About 200 of them. So approximately 200 items on some unknown apparatus/apparatii are have dubious descriptions. I found this while auditing a med car- I had some suspicions as the inventory I was working on was really strange looking, and had some huge gaps. Well, when we downloaded the data, I found that the lactated ringers in a drawer was in reality a 4' Pike pole. Hm. Made us start thinking.

So, given that this is one of the major problems that we're now finally discovering (after being told this morning that this was the last week) I'm beginning to think that this job might just go on for a little longer than planned (again). sigh.

Mrs. Peel, we're needed.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Gotta call it as I see it

The discussion this morning runs as follows:

"so, you're having breakfast cookies this morning."

"they're not cookies, they're cereal."

I maintain that Cracklin Oat Bran, while delicious, are oatmeal cookies, not cereal. Look at the ingredients and decide for yourself. Silly Kenga, cookies are for snacking, not for breakfast!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

80's preoccupation

Did anyone else's parents buy a trash compacter in the 80's? It was THE appliance to get. My dad thought it was the best to blow up glass jars in there. My complaint was that eventually, someone (guess who?) had to haul the 75 lb bag of compressed crap to the alley. I tried a work-around one summer- I put the bag on the deck for a few days to see if it would go away on its own. But all I did was grow maggots underneath. It was probably one of the ickiest sights I can remember. So I didn't do it again. Even in winter- which was cold enough to put stuff like that outside and freeze it solid.

The other thing that was (and still is- really) fun was watching
dad put turkey bones down the garbage disposal. It sounds like a mini wood chipper. Last time we were home, he got all but 3 bones down there. There was a man with a mission. Indeed.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Well. That's interesting.

I have a day off- our database guy is off, so we can't work. Which suits me just fine. The sun is out, and I have time to play.

Interesting thing. I have confirmation that kids definately can sense ill-will directed at them- and that those instincts are very good to have. I've learned that person I've known for a very long time has a serious problem with me. Not that I've done anything to earn the emnity- basically be born, I suspect. I always knew that this was the case- that I was hated from that direction- it bugged the hell out of me when I was younger. But then it just became kind of like background static. Just knew not to trust this individual. Not to turn my back. And it never really mattered. It still doesn't- just that now that this person has played their cards, so to speak, I am in the know. And it's kind of nice to know that I was right. Just call me the fucking Cassandra of the block. I do wish that things were different, but this person will probably always remain the victim of his/her own particular brand of pathological psychology. Lovely. While I should just write them off, I feel really sorry for them. It's downright out of Dickens the way they're behaving- and it's an embarrassment. For shame. To quote Joan Crawford's character out of Mommy Dearest, "Don't fuck with me, fellas. This ain't my first time at the rodeo."

Gotta go- it's sunny out for a brief moment- and I think I'll go for a walk down on Alki Beach- and look at the water/boats/skyline of Seattle. I'm trying to get as much face time with the city while I live here- as it might wind up that I move to fucking Pennsylvania...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wrapping up

Allegedly my last day on the job is Friday. We've been through this before, however- and had a couple of extensions. Then it's a free-for-all when employers citywide discover that I'm free to be hired!


Anyhew, I was thinking about stuff. Cuz my job is anything but cerebral, doncha know. Scanning barcodes ain't what I use my schoolin on nohow. We watched the documentary about Henry Darger last night. Made me think. For those who are too lazy to look him up on Wikipedia, he was the obsessive/compulsive, possible nutcase who created tens of thousands of pages of an illustrated novel over the course of 60 years. His paintings were often over 10 feet long, on both sides of the paper. Impressive. We saw some similar stuff (in a way- which I'll explain) when we went to the Montreal modern art museum last summer. There's something universal about artists who have that kind of obsessive need to create - whether it's in paper and paint or it it's arranging bottle caps in a certain design, or cutting up puzzles to create new puzzles of amazing complexity and scale. It resonates with me- as I have a touch o the old ocd going on- thus am very good at my current job- counting and organizing data...yummy. But thing is, I get it. It makes me sad kinda when I see the Darger stuff- since it shows how very rich his internal life was, but how very impoverished his personal outside life was. I hope the other artists like him have it a little easier.

That's what I was thinking about today. That and my ongoing fantasy of driving the Nuhrburgring with Michael Schumacher in an Enzo Ferrarri. With his shirt off. Yummy. Indeed.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Ah dammit.

No job for me. Just found out Friday that they decided to, "keep the job internal." I could've predicted that when she told me that she was going to check with her IT guy. They are notorious in that organization for owning stuff. Then the wait occurred- waiting for an answer...that finally came.

So I am still counting things.

And waiting for an answer from schools across the land.

In the meantime, I have some delicious nuggets o' culture to share.

I watched an interesting documentary called Dig, about the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre (bands for those of you who aren't familiar). What was cool was that it offered a sometimes skewed, but interesting look into a couple of bands and their interactions. It led me to do some surfing online, and find some great music. I was familiar with the Dandys, but the Brians were a revelation. Lovely, lovely stuff.

I watched Cries and Whispers by Ingmar Bergman last week. Not for the faint of heart. There's one scene in particular that's pretty brutal/gruesome. But not without import...very moving and difficult movie. All about family dynamic between three sisters as one lies dying.

I read The Lost Painting- which is the tale of a lost Caravaggio being found. Good journalistic essay. It kind of got me fired up about art history again. But it did not, alas, kindle an interest in Caravaggio- never really got him. I can appreciate his work, like I can appreciate Rubens. But they are both such products of the Reformation, and all that that entails- very overblown and dramatic. I like art that's a little quieter- more reflective and contemplative. Unless you're talking about modern art- and that's a whole different kettle o fish. If we're discussing art prior to 1890, I have a penchant for Vermeer, if that clarifies things any. He's my favorite. In 1994 (? I think?) we flew across the country to DC for a Vermeer show- the first and perhaps only time that some of those paintings would ever be on loan- and braved a DC blizzard (they DO NOT know how to deal with snow removal) to see his stuff. I fell firmly in love. And am still there. The man was amazing.

Over time I have developed a strong appreciation for art that I considered clumsy and ill-executed back in the day. I love illuminated manuscripts and medieval painting, for example. Not quite the Romanesque- bit clunky- but the stuff from the High Middle Ages (i.e. Gothic). The color was exquisite, and the details are remarkable. They were such amazing witnesses of their surroundings- and captured these with such accuracy removed from the Renaissance preoccupation with scientific study of perspective and anatomy. Theirs was a more emotional filter, with less of a removal from the subject. I would argue that when perspective and other scientific areas of visual study came into the forefront, these became the focus for most artists, rather than the details. Not that this is a bad thing, exactly- just a shift in world view.

There. Now I've had my art history talk for a Sunday. The F1 season's first race is today- and I'm happy. I'll exit before I start expounding about F1 and Michael Schumacher's chances at winning another world championship- suffice it to say that Ferrari is back, motha fuckers!!!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Dicks at Dick's

We went to Dick's last night for dinner. For those of you who don't know Dick's- it is a drive in. With seriously wonderful fries, good shakes and yummy burgers. Cheap too.

We went to the Queen Anne location since it was yucky out, and thus didn't want to go to the drive in ones.

We got there, and a homeless-looking fellow was harassing the cashier because they didn't have any onions for his $1.10 burgers (told you it was tres cheap). He wouldn't leave it alone. He kept asking, "but why don't you have any onions?" When she replied, "because we didn't have time to prepare them yet." He got all irate. The other cashier tried to take our order over the commotion. Good thing she was paying attention- we did get what we ordered.

While this was going on, the beleagered cashier ignored the irate man and asked to help someone else. A guy stepped forward and ordered, pissing off the guy behind me who was on the phone. Words were exchanged-

"I was in line."

"I thought you were on the phone."

"No, I was in line...hold on, I'll call you back...I was in line."

"I'll have a Deluxe...."

"Go to hell."

By the time our food came, I was getting ready to see blows exchange.

Must've been something in the water.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Awards schmwards

Just watched the Academy's. Love, love, love Jon Stewart. Despite his somewhat tepid reception- I thought he was wonderful.

I didn't see most of the movies. I really don't even know why I care- I just wanted to see Jon be funny.

There is one lasting mystery about the night, however. Why did Tom Hanks look so totally pissed off when he strode out to announce the best director award? He didn't banter, or even crack a smile. And that was after his goofy thing earlier in the night. What happened? Is he a secret dick, wearing his smiles as a mask to inner dickiness? Or did someone really jerk him around just prior to going onstage? Wha happened?

In another life, I want Hillary Swank's body to be my own. But not her face. It kind of scares me.

Or Salma Hyack's body.

Despite my love for him in many movies, I suspect that Philip Seymor Hoffman is a closet jerk. Something about him seems a tad precious. I dunno. It's just a sixth sense that I have for that kind of thing.

Is there a plan afoot for another Speed movie? If not, then why did Sandra and Keanu show up together? I'm very confused. I didn't think that anything spontaneous happened at the Oscars. Much less careless dating. Very mysterious.

That's about all I really have to say about the 4 or so hours of my life that won't come back again. Except that during that time I wrote my second of two personal statements for U of MT Law school. And got my application in an envelope and ready to post tomorrow. And I ate some good cheese on mediocre crackers. And drank a sip or two of wine. And folded a couple of loads of laundry. And watched the kitties play with their new toy- a laser pointer. Endless hours of entertainment there.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Resuming holding pattern

Still waiting to hear about the banking gig. Interview went very well, I thought.
Basically, true to form, no one in this stupid town can make up their minds in a timely manner, and communicate the decision quickly.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Firemen won't let go...

I keep expecting to have my last day, and find out that it has been extended. I went in for what I thought was 2 hours of debriefing this morning. Got home at 4, after a full day. They want me back tomorrow.

I have an interview at the bank tomorrow. I'll still go to that. If the firemen want me badly enough, they'll pay me what the bank is offering. Then I'll stay. Happily. Otherwise, if I get this new job, I'm outa there.

No other big news- just gonna go sit on couch. And be kittenlike. Like the name.