Saturday, February 26, 2011

What am I going to DO?

When people hear that my husband & I have moved across the continent, and into a strange and foreign land, their first question is always 'Why'?

That question is easy enough to answer; Sean was offered an excellent opportunity in Baltimore, and his current company wasn't treating him very well. We don't have kids, and it seemed like the perfect chance to try something and somewhere new. I could elaborate, but that's the gist of it.

The next question is always a lot harder to answer; 'What are YOU going to do?'.

The truth is, I have no idea.

I can't legally work in the states. Thankfully we'll be able to make ends meet without my having to do any under-the-table nannying or dog walking, which is fortunate because I'm not a huge fan of drooling and poop. Human or canine.

I've tossed around some ideas of my own, and have had an outpouring of suggestions from friends and family.  For kicks, I thought I'd list a few of them below, and if you'd like- leave a comment on which I should take up, or suggest something new!

  1. Take my yoga practice to the next level and become and instructor. (To be honest, I'd need to at least get good at it before entertaining this one, but a good idea nonetheless)
  2. Train up those important thumb muscles and hone my hand-eye coordination by playing video games all day. (I really like this one...)
  3. Write a Baltimore food blog. (Maybe even answer the eternal question of how come a city so close to New York can't make an edible slice of freakin' pizza for chrissakes!)
  4. Polish up my Spanish and work illegally in a restaurant kitchen.
  5. Learn to sew. (I got a C- in high school sewing. I sewed the sleeves of a sweatshirt on backwards- like cuff to shoulder. I didn't think it would matter as much as it did. They were also much too long. Sort of like a shirt for an orangutan or sloth or something. I still have no idea where I went wrong.)
  6. Learn to play the banjo.Banjo For Dummies I am seriously considering this suggestion.
  7. Do some online courses. Almost as much fun as cleaning toilets, but much more expensive. 
  8. Make babies. (Yeah, thanks for the suggestion. No comment.)
  9. Write a book. This seems to be one of the more common suggestions, possibly because if I were writing down my stories, I wouldn't be telling them to people, and they could have a brake from listening to me talk.
  10. Cookie of the day blog. Sean suggested this one, and selflessly offered to help eat the fruits of my labour. And by fruits I of course mean cookies. I have vetoed this suggestion as I have no intention of making myself a widow any time soon.
So what do y'all think? Have you ever been out of work? Any ideas?
*Also, a quick shout-out to my loyal readers in the Netherlands. Hallo! Welkom!*

Friday, February 25, 2011

Update, or Why I'm Still Here.

I should have been driving through Boise right now, instead, I'm driving my way through a box of Kleenex- fast.  Yup, I'm still home, for the moment anyway because I'd already arranged to give up the apartment to my tenants TOMORROW.

Let's take a look at my checklist, shall we?

  • Do every piece of laundry so it's ready to be packed. (check)
  • Fold & pack clothes. (not so check)
  • Separate out important paperwork to have on hand for trip, and pack/recycle/shred the rest (not even pretending to check)
  • Do a sweep of leftover stuff in the apartment for things I've forgotten to pack. (Nope. Seeing a trend?)
  • Pack remainder of things to be brought along. (oooog...)
  • Pack up car. (moooaaaannnn...)
  • Take out garbage & recycling. (*collapses*)
I don't know what's going to happen. My folks have offered to put me up for a few nights & put the cats in a kennel, but my Dad's recovering from complications with his surgery, and I don't want to give him the plague. And there's the fact that I can't even freaking get out of bed to do all the things I need to do!

*Spaz!* *Freak-out* *TANTRUM!!* *Smash!*

Ok, so all of those shenanigans were in name only as I can barely sit up, so unfortunately smashing is definitely out of the question. Turns out several other people (that I know of) have since caught Mike's flu- he's like the effing monkey from the movie Outbreak.

Enough complaining, I'm going to have a(nother) nap, and things will just have to sort themselves out. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sayonara Seattle

A few weeks ago, my good friend Eunice was sweet enough to come on one last day trip to Seattle with me, even though it was Superbowl Sunday! We hit all my favourite spots, ate way too much good food and had a really nice time. It was the best Seattle send-off I could've had.

I've definitely caught Mike's flu, so I want to go to bed, but I've been meaning to write this post for so long! I think I'll just post some pics and a few lines, and come back to fill it in later. Enjoy!

Our first stop was the Fremont Troll.

 We also walked around Seattle Center and gawked at the Space Needle, Experience Music Project, Pacific Science Center, other buildings and public art.

 Then of course is the infamous 'Gum Wall' in Post Alley under the Pike Place Market.

We stood outside and smelled the delicious coffee at the very first Starbucks... but the line was too long to go in,

After an unbelievable dinner at Poppy (see menu below), we stopped behind a giant church in Capital Hill overlooking downtown Seattle, and Eunice snapped this pic.

More to come later, when I'm feeling better!

Snow Barf

Can you have a hangover from a hangover? Had a few drinks (ok, maybe more than a few) with friends on Sunday night in celebration of my move, Tara's birthday, and in general, the fact we didn't have to work in the morning.Woke up yesterday with a watermelon instead of a head, and this morning I feel relatively rotten. I will endeavor not to give credence to the suggestion I might have caught Mike's flu, except to say that if I have, the blame for any calamity that may befall me in the days to come rests squarely on his shoulders. Ok, not really. Just wanted to see if I could pass the buck.

Today's 3-day weather forecast calls for snow just about everywhere between here & Salt Lake City. My recent conversation with myself/cats:
 "Holy cow! There's going to be snow! Oh barf. Well, maybe I could delay a day? No? Still going to snow? Another day? Still snowing? What the hell?"
I don't know why I was so bloody surprised. There is clearly some sort of disconnect between reality and my perception of reality. My activities over the last 24 hrs included:

  • Putting snow tires on my car.
  • Getting blankets ready of the trip.
  • Setting aside gloves & hats & scarves.
  • Digging out my coffee thermos.
  • Saying "Wow! Looks like snow" enough times to be obnoxious.
And still, I can say part of me is genuinely surprised it's going to have the gall to snow on the first day of my trip! Snow in Washington is the worst because they all turn in to a bunch of panicky morons. Should be fun!!

Ok, enough avoidance. Today is errands, laundry & packing day 1.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I stood at the ferry terminal temporarily overwhelmed by my surroundings. The sound of the water trickling down a rock face in small impromptu waterfalls, the smell of the sea air mixed with cedar and salal, the sight of the morning sun shining off the snow capped mountains surrounding me on all sides, even the taste of the coffee I was cradling. All of it wrapped around me demanding to be acknowledged, cherished and committed to memory.

Later, on the ferry, I saw a pod of orcas swimming below me. They seemed to sing 'life is fleeting; love, learn, experience. You'll come home one day.'

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Highways & By-products of Pre-historic Life.

I have a brilliant idea for a new reality show! Here's the pitch; take an unemployed Librarian, put her in a compact car with 2 overactive cats, then have her drive 5,100 kms in the winter. Now that would be entertaining!

Well folks, are you ever in for a treat!  In 3 weeks time, this blog will be bringing you EXCLUSIVE coverage of just such a voyage. Due to factors that are out of our control, it looks like our best option to get both the cats & the car safely to Baltimore in a timely manner is for me to drive them. As you can imagine, most parties involved do not like this idea, but what can I say? Nuts to them.

I'm up for an adventure, and I certainly have the time. Will it be dangerous? Maybe a little. Will it be harrowing? Yeah, probably. Will I end up spazzing out and having a nervous breakdown by the side of the road? Umm... no comment. All I can say is I will be very well prepared, I will be cautious, and I will take my sweet time. How many people get the opportunity to drive all the way across the continent? How cool is that!

To change the subject and maybe divert your attention enough to keep you from lecturing me about the dangers of winter travel in the comments, let me tell you about the muffins I made last night.

I have an awful lot of leftover food stuffs in my pantry & freezer, and having been brought up in a family that wastes nothing, I feel really, really guilty. The unopened packages I will be donating to a local women's halfway house, but I've been trying to use up what I can. I rummaged around and decided to make some muffins with what I have on hand, altering a recipe to fit my ingredients. I came up with chocolate-cherry muffins. I soaked some chopped dried cherries in brandy and added them, some cocoa powder and a few chocolate chips to the batter. Well, I have to report that something was not quite right. They turned out looking like petrified dinosaur poops. Seriously, I could punk the whole paleontological community by burying a few of these. Strangely enough, they taste pretty good, but eating something that looks like a turd takes a certain level of mental (& emotional) fortitude that I just don't posses right now. Instant oatmeal it is.