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Update: Shows and Anniversary

I've been lucky enough to have gone to a couple of fun shows the past week and a half. Last Saturday I got to see Maria Bamford at the Moore, which was super fun. Tuesday I got to see the Specials at the Showbox which was awesome. The funny thing about The Specials show was that, although the show was not all ages, the audience sure was. There were folks there from their 20s to probably their 50s or more, like the original fans from late 70s early 80s. To see older people, still dressing up like rude boys and semi-slam dancing was an amazing sight to see. Also, with the older crowd there was far fewer cell phones being held up. The audience felt present. I didn't take a picture until they mentioned it was the last song and I was like, "oh shit, yeah." It was a very fun show. They played all the songs I wanted to hear. Terry is a bit of a grumpy puss while Lynval is more upbeat, I guess as expected. Lynval mentioned that he had moved the the US and there were some jokes about Brexit and Trump that the audience was all on board for. However, I was really disappointed in the Seattle crowd for their lackluster cheer for his statement about Black Lives Matter. Though, yes the audience cheered, it was definitely not at capacity or it didn't sound like the majority of the audience was as on-board as I would have liked in the predominantly white crowd. That bummed me out. Otherwise, the show was sensational. And it had been a long, busy day for me at work and a bad day for Andy, the show turned moods right around!

Sept 21 was our 3 year anniversary. On the day we didn't do too much. After work, I had to feed my parents cats while they were out of town. Traffic was really bad and it took me an astonishing hour to get home just from Dravis after I was done feeding the kitties and I came home to find Andy taking a nap. We had dinner and watch some more Orange in the New Black.

On Saturday, though, we had reservations for a fancy-pants dinner at El Gaucho. Neither of us had been to El Gaucho and we were warmly welcomed with a card and rose petals on our table for our anniversary. We went all out getting the table side caesar salad and oysters and scallops and i had venison for the first time in years and it was amazing. Andy got a fillet oscar but with lobster instead of crab. Yum.  We got bananas foster as a desert and so got some tableside flambe going on. It was pretty delicious. It was similar to Court of Two Sisters meal in NOLA but of course not quite the same, no southern dishes like turtle soup, and of course not as beautiful as that outdoor patio that makes you feel like you're dining in a Renoir painting.

Anywhoo, there was also a celebrity sighting at the restaurant as well as we have a clear view of Seahawks defensive lineman, Michael Bennett, dining in one of the private rooms. That's the Seahawk who started a team book club! That was pretty neat.

Hodge Podge: Rambling into the Void

Ugh, I've been wanting to post for a while now but haven't been able to really pinpoint a specific thing I want to talk about  in-depth so this is going to be an update of various things going on in my life/mind.

After a quick binge on Stranger Things (loved it!) Andy and I finally joined this decade and started watching Orange is the New Black and are totally addicted. Addictive is an apt term for it. Since we started there has only been one day that we haven't watched at least one episode. Dishes have gone undone for a while, the recycling was piling up. The opening title song would be stuck in my head all day long until it was time to come home and watch some episodes. Actually, I had a prison theme going on last week as we got into OITNB and the Audible book I was "reading" was 'The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness' (highly recommended). I was already on board with the thesis before reading the book. Clearly, the War on Drugs and our inflated incarceration population is a terrible blight on this country and our legal system and the legal discrimination of felons makes for a catch 22 that traps people in the criminal justice system. One knows that there is a problem however, it's another thing to learn the history and the specific laws and Supreme Court rulings that brought us to this place. The author also points out a few ways in which our culture turns a blind eye to this, that I honestly had never noticed before and found very interesting, albeit infuriating and depressing.

Andy and I finally heard back from our rep at the property management company. We ended up lucking out and only had to swallow a $100 rent increase. That was a huge relief and a weight of stress off our shoulders. Another year in our home, another year of gardening and documenting spooky shit (it's been quiet as of late) and we don't have to freak out until this time next year. And, yes we will freak out again. Unless we come up with a plan to come up with the down payment for a house (unlikely).

I'd be remiss if I didn't post a gardening update. The summer is waning. The plants were producing like crazy, faster than we could keep up but it's slowing down now. I made eggplant parmesan with the eggplant that we grew, that was pretty neat. The cucumbers were growing so quickly we were pawning them off on co-workers and Dani. But we've noticed the green beans are getting a bit tougher. The Zucchini aren't coming to fruition. The tomatoes are doing well, but before long I'm going to miss going out and just picking a fresh tomato off the vine when it's time to make a sandwich or something. I'm bummed that, due to our former tenuous situation with the rent increase, we missed out on planting autumn gourds. (I wanted butternut squash, boo). However, we did plant some autumn plants--cauliflower and broccoli--so we still have something to experiment with and care for in the next few months, as well as the brussels sprouts which are very slowly coming along. And of course, the good news about the rent means next year we can learn from this year's hits and misses and try again/try new things.

Harvest and carrots in love.


So I had my review and it was all good. It was the same feedback that I got a couple of months ago. In short, I'm awesome. I'm so awesome that my boss wants to aid my career development and support me in any kind of career development projects I want to take on in this position. I just need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. My goal was to figure that out this summer. However,  thanks to the housing scare and going down that whole buying a house rabbit hole, I didn't really come to any conclusions on the bigger picture with the career question.  (Though, the housing issue was kind of related in the should we stay or should we go question.)

I'm still struggling with this question. I want help even though I know full well that I'm the only one who can answer it Most of my life the answer to "what do you want to be when you grow up" has been easy to answer. "I want to be a writer." That is the dream I pursued in my education. It is the dream that I have since learned the complications and uncertainty of this time of the interwebs and a dying print medium. It's a dream I have honestly been distracted from as comedy has taken over much of my spare time. I've not worked on a short story or anything in a while. (bad Mir)

I fell into admin work because a girl has got to have a day job. Things I like about it is that it offers a variety of things to do, usually. From creating sexy self-tabulating spreadsheets, to flexing my editing muscles, to actually getting a bit creative on occasion with document creation. I think it's fair to say I'm a damn good admin in the right position. (I've already established why I have no interest in supporting, say the President or the Board, on account of it seeming to business orientated and I have my class hang-ups.)

There's a part of me that thinks that if I were to be more career-oriented that it would come at the cost of my artistic outlet (be that writing or producing a comedy show). That might be my own hang-up, a fear that it's like giving up (read: FAILING) on my artistic aspirations. Not to mention those artistic outlets are necessary to my psychological well beeing.

Perhaps that fear is warranted if I choose a certain career direction. For example, if I chose to teach, since I know I would like to stay in education. Teaching is beyond a full-time job. If I choose this path I would use my employer to help me learn how to teach. So I'd have to take some classes and training in that area first. Taking a class on top of producing the show I could probably do, but it would be exhausting and maybe difficult at times. Then there is the amount of time teaching takes in and of itself, reading, critiquing, discussing, etc.Then if I were to teach a class here, wouldn't that commitment would probably be on top of my current job and more time outside of my 40 hours a week of my "day job". And who knows how long it would take for that to be sustainable. Would that even make me more $$$ than being an admin?

I also have other hang-ups regarding teaching. Clearly, I would be interested teaching English/writing. (With a Master's I'm qualified to teach community college level, at the kind of University I work at it would most likely be courses on college writing for mostly ESL students). However, I'm not confident enough in my knowledge of grammar to teach with authority. Despite my degrees, there's a reason that I have a grammar handbook that has followed me from my Freshman year in college to my desk at every job I've had, as well as across the pond for grad school. That's because often times I look at something I'm editing or writing and I'm just not sure what is right/what the rule is. I have to look it up. How would that look to a student if they asked a question and I didn't know the answer off hand? (Teacher friends maybe you have a trick you can let me in on for this). Also, though I have a fair share of irony in my life, it would be another irony that I would be helping students improve their academic writing, the kind of writing I was so pleased to never have to do again. (However, when I was doing homework help volunteering in Columbia City, I actually enjoyed helping the kids write their five paragraph essays. Even though they tried their hardest to try to get me to write it for them, it could sometimes be like pulling teeth to get them to commit to writing their original ideas).

One might ask about going back into marketing? it's honestly something I've been soured to in my last experience at the Travel agency. I think even if you were to separate all the bad stuff, I did get bored with writing about the same subject all the time. it got a bit tedious trying to find new ways to say the same thing over and over again. Although, it was fun at first to write articles and advertorials. But it still got old. i worry that writing in the day job sours me to writing for myself.

Then the other thing I wonder is it so wrong if maybe I were to stick with Admin work? I mean. I like it okay for a day job. I like varied projects. I like the feeling of helping people. Is that so bad? However, since I am kind of particular about where I enjoy my admin work, then is this as good as it gets. Say we move to a different town, a college town, do I just gotta hope there's an admin opening in academics or assistants to the provost? You know.

And there you have it. Around and around my mind goes on the subject, finding no definite answer to help me move forward in any one direction. I'm seriously considering seeking some career counseling and have already tried a couple of tricks of career counselors, like taking the Myers-Briggs test again. (One of the many ironies of my life, like working at the career Development Center of Seattle U after being so anti-career counseling in high school). Apparently, I'm an INFP now. (Though i give this test little stock as I was an INFJ when i took it in high school and an INTP in college. I mean I guess people change over the years, so maybe that's not fair.)  Actually, the career explanation for the INFP is almost too on the nose. "First and foremost is seemingly every INFPs' dream growing up – to become an author. While a novel is a classic choice, it is rarely an accessible one." Then it goes on to say some of the things I've been talking about, I want to be creative and helpful and meaningful. Despite it being on the nose, I'm not sure if that helps. I could have told myself that.

Maybe I just need to talk this out. If anyone has any advice or anything, I'd listen. That is, assuming anyone actually made it to the end of this crazy long, rambling blog which is probably unlikely.

QC Weekend

So the weekend after we got back from Cali (Aug. 26 & 27) was a QC weekend.

We had a line-up early on. This panel was excellent in getting their material back to me (I asked well in advance before my vacation). The content was looking good and since returning from Cali, I hit the ground running spending a full day off from the day job working on the show. The only thing that was worrying me, though, was the ticket sales. I was anxiously checking the ticket sales page hourly and panicking. Eventually, Friday started to look okay but Saturday was still looking abysmal. Well, cross that bridge when we come to it.

I'll be honest, seeing Saturday's pre-show sales--with a possibility that we might not even do a show on Sat.-- I filled Friday with the A content and Sat with the B content.The A content mixed with the nerves and uncertainty of what to expect from the panel make Friday's show stand out. The panel was sharp and witty and just on it. It was hilarious. Plus there was a precious thing that was quite phallic and that's always good for a laugh. Yes, Friday was an al around fantastic show.

More Friday night PicsCollapse )

Saturday was nerve wracking with the ticket sales but it actually turned out okay. We ended up with enough walk-ins that we only had a few fewer people than the night before. The show wasn't as hot as it was the night before but it wasn't bad. Actually, the best zinger was dealt by an audience member. In the second half, David was picking audience members to be up for prizes for the Precious Things game. He chose this woman in the front row to be represented by the team of Mike and the two Kevins and the girl, without missing a beat, said, "I love being represented by white men." Aw SNAP!

Sat PicturesCollapse )

All in all, it wasn't a bad weekend. Though once it was all over I was understandably exhausted having come from a trip to hit the ground running getting the show together and fretting all the while about people showing up to see it. It all turned out all right.  

Road Trip to California!

Andy and I took a road trip to California 8/18-8/23. We took a day and a half to drive down there. were there for the weekend and then took the day and a half or so to drive back up. Andy was looking forward to the drive as part of the adventure and so was I as I've only flown to SF and haven't been further south than Portland on i-5 (except way down in LA). So some more of this country I haven't before seen. Plus, I've also only been to The City (way back in 2007) and I hadn't seen the Bay Area before.

Mostly though we were traveling down there to visit Andy's "good" family, that is his older sister, brother-in-law, Tiffany, and nephew (and his kids). It's odd that with the exception of Tiffany, I'd only met Andy's parent's before they passed and his "bad" sister who he wants nothing to do with now that his folks are gone.The family he actually likes I know only through stories and phone calls.

So on Thursday we got up early and hit the road at a quarter to 6am to avoid traffic. It was a good thing we did, too, because there was a tanker accident in Tacoma the closed I-5 both directions that morning. Yikes! The drive down was fine. We were making really good time. We listened to music and comedy albums. Andy was slaughtering me in Slug Bug, as would be the case for the entire trip in fact this shall be the last I mention of it. We made it all the way to Redding, CA by about 6pm where we decided to stop for the night.

My first peek at Mt Shasta from the ground.

Get it Peak?

When we got out of the air-conditioned car, we stepped into a heat that I had forgotten had existed. That dry, desert heat that instantly sucks all the life out of you. When we were talking to the front desk lady at the hotel we were checking in to we were all "it's hot out there like upper 90s." The woman just laughed and in a patronizing but jokingly way replied. "You're sweet. It was 109 yesterday." Sure enough, I looked at my phone and it was 103 degrees. Ugh. No thank you. Needless to say in that heat the first order of business after getting our stuff into the room was to get swimming gear on and hit the pool.

Later, when we were about to head out for dinner in Redding, we approached our car when another guest at the hotel pointed out to us that a metal bar was hanging from the back axel of our car. Sure enough, this was true...and troubling.

We called my dad and texted him the picture to see what he thought it could be. He said he thought it was a stabilizer which sure sounds like a bad thing to have broken on a road trip. It's certainly not safe to have a piece of metal dangling from your axle at least. So the next morning we got up, packed up, checked out and headed straight for the LesSwab down the street to be there right when they opened. We were the third party in line when we got there (a lot of people try to hit up that place right when they open, dang!) and explained to them our situation and handed them the keys. About 20 minutes later (maybe even less) they called our names and had removed the dangling metal bar from the car. It was a stabilizer but it's not a necessary feature, they say that off-roaders using the 4 wheel drive, usually have it taken off anyway. We were road safe and best of all free of charge, They took it off at no cost! So what seemed like a possible nightmare of an expense the night before, turned out to be nothing and we could hit the road yet again. Thanks, LesSwab of Redding, CA!

We hit the Bay Area in the early afternoon. First top was his family's house where we met Tiffany and then we went over to Andy's sister's business and I met Terri for the first time. After a while, we went to check into the hotel and chill for a bit before going back over to the house and Tiff was going to drive us into San Francisco for the Giants vs. Mets game we had tickets to. Yes, Andy planned this trip around the Mets being in SF so that we could go to a game. We would have gone to all three game if we could but he couldn't get tix to Saturday's game (of course the day my favorite player was ptching).

On the way out to the city I had my first drive over the Bay Bridge which seems like a notable first for which I took a couple of pictures.

I've actually wanted to go to a game at At&T Park because it looks beautiful and it's right on the water. I have memories of the people who would be out on boats and kyaks trying to catch home run balls during the home run race. This I got to see in action when Granderson hit a home run in the 2nd inning. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

When we went in we had a look around and I was able to take some fun pictures. It really is a lovely ballpark. Our seats were on the first base line in the 100 level. What I didn't realize was that we were the very last row of the section so our backs were right to walk way.  Before the game, they were doing a birthday celebration for Tony Bennet's 90th birthday so I saw him in person along with Willie Mays who was there too. So that's pretty neat.


Naw, it's cool.

View from our seats

The game itself was actually pretty sloppy. There were some blunders on both sides, but particularly the Mets. Andy had his hands on his head or his face buried in his hands a few times. Shit, I went to the ladies room only to come back and SF had scored 5 runs while I was away from my seat. But Tiffany was happy, along with the rest of the crowd, including the crazy-intense lady that was sitting next to Tiff. I have to note this because it was pretty bizarre. There was an older Asian lady who was so into the game she was literally on the edge of her seat the whole time, crossing her fingers and, in an interesting move, would shake her crossed fingers at the Giants' players as if casting a spell of good luck on to them. I'm actually glad the Giants won, just for this lady's sake because if that's how intense she was when they were winning, she'd probably be hanging herself from the rafters had they lost.

On Saturday we got up and went over to house in the morning Terri, Tiffany and the kids all loaded into Terri's car and we headed down to Santa Cruz. A bit of back story. Before Andy and i met and when he was living in Vegas, before he came to love Seattle Santa Cruz was the place where Andy dreamed of moving. I had heard lots about it (and seen it in films) but had never been. We were going to Boardwalk with the kids which is on the beach and has rides, midway games, shops, an arcade, fair food, etc.

That stage, there? I heard Smash Mouth was going to play a free show that night. Not even kidding. What is it 1998?

Andy tests his strength

Tiff helps Peanut (unseen in her lap) and Andy helps Juda at a midway game

Andy gives Peanut a higher vantage point on his shoulders

Now, Andy and i are not used to doing stuff like this with children. There was actually a certain novelty to it for us and so actually had a lot of patience. If it were just the two of us, we would have played way more midway games, explored the beach and played that came of mini golf that we won. However, with a 3-year-old, 5-year-old and 9-year-old in tow, we were slowed down a lot. But somehow that was okay. The kids were good. The kids were pretty cute and best of all we had little people to pawn off our plush winnings in the midway games.

Don't take this the wrong way. Andy and I are still firmly on the Childless Couple Train and have NO intentions to step off that train. I do NOT want kids. I don't want the life-long responsibility. I don't want the loss of what little disposable income we have. I don't want vaginal tears (*shudder*). Just want to make it clear that no change is happening on that front; no biological clock change or anything. All that said, there must be some sort of evolutionary trigger that happens when you see your significant other doing well with children that endears you to him/her. My heart kinda melted when Andy had Peanut on his shoulders. Andy said he felt the same way when he saw me holding Juda's hand while crossing the street. Andy doing well with the kids made me feel more confident in my choice of partner, even if it is not a skill we aim to use regularly. Maybe it's easy because we're related yet still fairly removed from the kids, but also they're pretty fuckin' cute. It's hard not to warm to a scene like this.

The car ride back to Fremont, the kids zonked out.

Peanut reminds me of the littlest girl in Despicable Me "It's so FLUFFY!"
And one last shot, group shot of us all at the boardwalk.

After the boardwalk we had dinner out in Fremont, then went back and talked for a while at the house before heading back to the hotel.

Sunday we had yet another game to go to but not until 5. So in the morning we headed over to the house and Tiff gave us a ride again. On the way into the City we stopped in Oakland to see Andy's nephew at his new soon-to-be tattoo shop. It was a brief visit but I got to meet his nephew (the kid's dad) and thus met everyone on that side of the family. Then we headed into San Francisco, specifically Chinatown for some shopping and some lunch. I got swag fro co-workers, my mum, and prizes for QC. We had lunch at a little place in a basement that was quite good. (We were the only non-Asian people there so that's a good sign). Chinatown is probably my favorite part, or at least one of my favorite parts of that town so it was neat to be back.

Shot while being stuck in traffic.

Lost in translation. That picture is not a shrimp. Not at all. lol.

Then it was back to the ballpark for another game, after a quick drink at a nearby bar on the way. I also noticed that we walked by a historical literary point of interest on our way to the ballpark.

For this game we were back in the bleachers in the outfield.

It's much colder out there. It was weird in to be at a game--in AUGUST-- and eating clam chower and drinking hot coca to stay warm.

But what hot chocolate! Gheradeli, baby! I haven't looked this cold and Mets-y since the World Series.

This game was more of a pitching battle and went by super quick, with the Mets coming out on top.  I'm glad it all worked out well. Tiff was happy with Friday's win, Andy was happy with Sunday's win. I'm happy everyone gets a win. After the game, we took the San Mateo bridge back to Fremont for me to get to see a bit more of the Bay Area. We stopped by the house and visited a little while longer, saying goodbye to the kids who were going back to Oakland. We talked for a while, then said our goodbyes as we were headed out in the morning.

On Monday morning, on our way out of the Bay Area we took the 680 north and made a stop in Concord to have one more visit while there. We met up with Anneke at a little doughnut shop and caught up with her for about an hour or so. It was so nice to see her and we got to meet Deklan and Eoghan (Grayson was at his first day of kindergarten). Oni and I interact fairly regularly on Facebook but it's different actually seeing friends face to face and just having a conversation. It was nice. Certainly wasn't able to have that the last time I saw her because I was busy gettin' married. (Grayson apparently still remembers me as "the princess" and I'll still take it!)

Speaking of facebook Raye was taken aback by how many pics there were of me with children.

The ride home went smoothly for the most part. Finding a place to crash was stressful for a minute but we ended up in a Super 8 in Springfield (a suburb of Eugene) that was actually the nicest room we stayed in the whole trip. By this time I was already focused on the oncoming installment of QC so I started working on that and was starting to stress about the show.

We got home on Tuesday afternoon and relieved my mum of her pet-sitting duties and I dove head first into putting the show togeher. Vacation was over and i had so much shit to do...

Well this is a bummer...

Last post I mentioned that we were going to talk to a guy about what it would take to get a home. Our credit being good, despite Andy's foreclosure and my incredibly high student loans, we still could get a home loan. However, that 3.5% down payment is still WAY out of reach.

Housing prices being what they are we'd have to come up with at least 12K, but more likely 15K if you take into account the closing costs. We simply don't have that much and are unable to come up with it.

So when I was saying, well we couldn't be making that much less than our friends that are buying, what have they got that we don't got, apparently the answer to that question is parents capable of "gifting" down payment.

I know for a fact that this is how at least one of my friends was able to get his house. I've also read from other friends trying this process that this is what mortgage people commonly ask "So can you get the down payment from your parents?" I knew to expect it, but I didn't realize this is the only bright idea the industry has when it comes to coming up with a down payment. For those of us whose parents are not firmly middle class enough to have tens of thousands of dollars tucked away somewhere, I guess we are just SOL. Andy had a second conversation with the guy about the down payment yesterday and I guess the guy was like "I understand your parents are deceased but there's still Miranda's parents you can ask." As if it's a matter of us not wanting to trouble them or being afraid to ask as opposed to that money simply not existing.

It's a sad state of our generation when that is how we are expected to get a start in this world. That even in our 30s and 40s we are expected to resort to crawling to our parents for a loan or gift to get our starter home. It's even more upsetting when people don't understand the meaning of the words "my parents don't have money"

So it looks like we have no choice but to endure weathering this shitty rental market and hope that our rent doesn't go up too much and we get another year in Crown Hill.

As for making a plan, the thought of leaving the Seattle area entirely is looking more and more attractive. One can't help but feel as though if you can't afford to live here the city wants nothing to do with you. If you're not happy to pay out the ass to live in a tiny apodment for the privilege of having a Seattle zip code, then you're just a fucking NIMBY that's part of the problem. Despite being practically a native, I feel like the secret about this beautiful place is out and it's going to be the next San Francisco/Bay Area of have and have nots, but without the public transportation to sustain the outward movement of people. On the other hand, I do really like my job and though I would like to make more, (probably going to ask for more during this current review period), unless we move to a college town and I get a similar gig, I'm not going to make much more in a town that has a cheaper housing market. And remember I pay a third of my income to student loans so it's not like I can take a huge pay cut. There's also the fact of abandoning this town's really great comedy scene but I'm already seeing those folks being priced out of here too so who knows how much longer this scene is able to even last. (Not that I'm deep into it, but I've got a show that people enjoy doing and keeps me tuned into to some of the talent this city has...for now). But then also my parents are getting up there in years and would I feel right abandoning them?

Okay I'm officially rambling now so I'll stop myself. Point is, it doesn't look in the cards to buy a home here lest we win the lottery prize or something. *sigh* I still want to use this information to sit down with Andy, come up with goals and make like a 5 year financial plan. I really do. But it sounds like in order to do that we still need to think about where we really see ourselves in that 5 years. Is that going to be in the Seattle Metro area? It's hard to say. In the mean time. we're just going to have to bend over and take what is given and accept it. 


Here Have ALL the Updates

Garden Update

The garden is doing pretty well. There has been some good harvesting going of cucumbers, zucchini, beets, carrots and especially green beans. OMG these green beans are growing like crazy! Last week we harvested on Wednesday and there were enough to harvest all over again by Saturday! We did a test harvest for the corn and the cob was only about half full so we pollinated again. The kernels that we did get, though, were mighty tasty. We also got our artichoke and had it the other day. It smaller than those you get at the store, there wasn't a lot of meat on the leaves, and there were some ants that we had to get out of the leaves, but the heart was sure tasty! That's the problem we are having now, trying to keep up with eating all the veggies we've got. A lot of green beans to eat. Luckily our green beans are SO DAMN FLAVORFUL we don't mind having them day after day. In fact, I'm going to rue winter when we have to go back to the waxy store-bought green beans.

Now please enjoy pictures of our bounty...

Spooky Shit
I've been bad at posting about spooky happenings close to when they happen. Since my last post, we've had a couple more instances of stuff moving around upstairs. A couple of weeks ago we went up after hearing a noise to discover Raye's pillow moved and a padfolio of hers standing up. I don't know where these items lived before they moved but they were not in the middle of the room.

We left it like that for a little while before getting around to moving them. Twice in the past couple of weeks, I have come into the bedroom to discover the door to the stairwell open. Uppon one such occasion, we investigated upstairs to see that Rob's hats (as you can see in the picture on the left on top of that tan furniture piece) were knocked haphazardly on the bed. I didn't take a picture of this as I didn't have my phone on me at the time.
Still nothing on the typewriter.

A couple weeks ago I had the cast of the show over for a BBQ as a thank you and talk a little business. It was a good BBQ. Andy made his signature carne asada. Sparky and David's dog, Kane, sort of got along. We had a good discussion about taking the show to the next level but I also really enjoyed their company and it was nice. I've been wanting to do that for a long time so I'm glad to have done so.

Planning for the Future
Today Andy and I have an appointment to talk with a mortgage guy about the prospect of buying a house. Our lease ended in July and the property management company has not gotten back to us about a new lease and say they are still negotiating the rent with the home owner. For anyone reading who isn't in the area, Seattle's got a housing problem. The rents are skyrocketing. Home prices are shocking. People are being priced out of the city left and right. It's pretty fair to say that if we get priced out of this rental, we're resigned to renting in the suburbs most likely. (Though I refuse to go back to the area I grew up in. Not that it's a bad place necessarily but it will make me feel like a failure, like I have not progressed.) We are at a kind of fork in the road. Do we keep paying the rising rents and get nothing, or do we try to find a place to own, most likely in 'burbs because the median house price in Seattle is half a million now. We are spending about $2K a month now on rent and that's considered a steal for a house, considering studios are going for $1,500. When we were looking for a house to rent two years ago, there were plenty of places already asking for $2,500/mo. I don't want to think how high they have gotten considering that earlier this year rents went up 11% in one month.

I don't know if we are ready to buy or not but I want to have some questions answered from a professional because this is a conversation Andy and I have gone around in circles about for months. and months. We make pretty good money but are getting squeezed by this rental market. Friends of ours are buying and we think that they can't be making THAT much more money than us (well maybe they are) but I'm sure they don't have a bankruptcy, foreclosure and a shit ton of student loan debt working against them, as we do. (And when i say student loan debt I'm not talking like I pay for or fice hundred dollars a month, I'm saying I pay over a thousand, I literally pay a third of my income to student loans). We keep looking and using these mortgage calculators and mortgage looks comparable to these high-ass rents, but then we think what we have on hand for a down payment and are disheartened again.

Writing about it right now is getting me pretty depressed, but that is likely because I just read This article. Which is weird because I've been the one so far taking a pragmatic approch to this. Thing is, we basically need to come up with a plan. We can't just wait this out (or maybe we need professional advise that we should) or keep going around in circles. It's time for us to set goals and come up with ways to achieve them. So even though we might not like the news we hear today, we are taking a step in the right direction. 
I've been pretty quiet on the political front because everywhere I look I see nothing but vitriol on all sides. Pretty much all my friends on social media, short of my extended family, are pretty much progressive (with a couple of libertarians hiding in there) so I've been lucky to not have to deal with any Trump supporter nonsense. That doesn't mean, however that there aren't wars and nasty messages going on all around me all the time. I am a Bernie supporter but I'm going to do what I must to make sure that Trump does not become President. I'm aware of Hillary's scandals and shady-ness of her and the DNC. Yeah it makes mad and it sucks to have to choose a lesser of two evils but that's the reality we live in.

I've thought of an analogy for it, or at least how I see it, that I think holds up...

You know that scene in Shaun of the Dead. When Shaun's mum dies from having been bitten by a zombie and now she can turn into a zombie at any minute. There is the heavyness of loss and sadness in the air but it is not long before David cocks the gun and is all "we've got to take care of her." Shaun gets understandably upset, as as they argue, and more people get involved it becomes about other things and not just the problem looming. Shit get's peosonal and our characters or not just screaming and flinging insults at eachother ("You're the one that's gone from being a chartered accountant to Charlton Heston!" "i'm not a chartered accountant" "Well you look like one!") it exaserbates into everyone all screaming at eachother and holding sharp objects to eachother's necks. Meanwhile the in background there's a subtle moaning as the zombie in Shaun's mum starts to rize.

I feel like this is where the left is at right now. People, whose intellegence I respect and people I love are on both sides of the to vote/to not vote for HRC. Emotions are understandibly high. There has been a loss (Bernie's nomination) that is deep felt and heavy. There's a lot of other shit going into the argument (questions of privilage, principle, cowardess, protest) but stakes are high as the reality is that a monster (Trump) will soon drastically change the dynamic of the room and yet all they can do is scream at eachother.

Eventually, Liz does what I want to do every damn day and screams "Everybody CALM THE FUCK DOWN!"

She tells Shaun that even thogh David is being a twat (as some HRC supporters have been) and that she can sympathize how hard this must be for him, the state of affairs are as such that David is right. Something has to be done to stop the monster that will destroy them all. It's terrible and downright reprehensible to have to shoot your mother in the face (vote for HRC) and it really sucks that you find yourself in the posision that you have to be the one to do it but it doesn't change the fact that it has to be done. You have to stop the moster.

Yes I equaded shooting one's mum in the face to voting HRC, which might seem like hyperbole, but for the Bernie or Bust people (or 3rd party person) on the left whose hatered for HRC is so stong, I believe that analogy is astute. I don't feel that strongly against her which is why the choice at hand is, sure dissapointing and nothing to get excited about, but clear. To other's it's as morally reprehensible as shooting thier mums in the face.

True to the analogy is the fact that shooting your mum in the face is not going to help the overall situation. You're still hold up in a pub with a comical number of Zombies outside, wanting to get at you. The status quo aint ideal. However you can't figure out how to get out of that situation if you're busy fighting of the zobie version of you mum trying to gnaw at your neck.  If you let the monster win, no one has a chance to get out alive.

In the movie Shaun's mum kind of hisses and he's able to pull the trigger right as she is about to attack. I hope that this is the case in November. I hope that although now were are all still fighting, screaming and pointing broken bottles and cork screws to eachothers' necks phase, come Election Day, those who don't want to do what they have have to do to fight the mosnster end up taking the shot. It's not right or fair that they're in this position, holding a gun to their mums face, but it's a posision that we are all in together at the end of the day. The moster is coming. The moster is real. the moster will eat us all if we let it.  


Yet another spooky update

So today Andy and I went upstairs to put the table away that I had pulled down for QC (it's been sitting in the living roon for a while, lazyness). Now when we last went up there on Wednsday night we found the poster of Raye's sitting in the middle of the room, if you remember from my post earlier this week. That was the second time we had found it like that. We found it like that on Tuesday, put it back then on Wednesday discovered it was back in the center of the room again.

Here's a refresher of pretty much how we left the room the last time we were up there on Wednesday night (though this is a pic from Tuesday, it's pretty much the same).

So today when we went upstairs to return our table we discovered the room like this...

If you look at the two pictures as a before and after, you'll see that the other framed art was sitting behind that pile of boxes on the left of this first picture. You can see that the stool was stacked atop another stool on the right of the picture.

So yeah...Interesting.

We put the pictures away. We put them in a differnt place this time, we proped them up along a part of a bare wall facingout. We also tried an experiment I've been curious about trying for a while. Nothing may come of it but I have my typewriter up there. It's a vintage mechanical typewriter. We opened her up and put paper in there to see if anything happens. Nothing may come of it. I don't even know if I believe whatever is responsible for moving shit around and making noises is even capable of communication. But it's a fun experiment. We shall see if anything comes of it. 

Gardening update

Man I have been wanting to do a gardening update for a while. Things are going along pretty well.
We've harvested half of our beets. The green beans are starting to pruduce. The tomatoes have finally started to produce, but are a ways from being ready to harvest. Our carrots should be ready soon. The Zucchini is producing really well! The cucumbers are starting to produce too. The corn is looking really good. We have pollenated the stocks and should probably do so again soon.

Today I put a lot of effort into trimming the tree in the back yar, mowing the front and back yards, weeding in the garden, watering and I finally put some TLC into the flower bed. Here are some pics I took today to share how it's going...

The back yard & garden

The green beans are growing like crazy!

Artichoke and our corn (On the 4th of July we were at a BBQ and our friends who live in our neighborhood mentioned that they tried to grow corn last year but the birds kept getting at them. The next day saw me and Andy putting up netting around our corn to protect it.)

Brussel Sprouts, aphid problem seems curbed but it's still not ready to produce.

Zuchinni producing really well so far


Beets (1/2 harvested)


So that's the garden. Like I said though I also put some love into the sad flower bed in the front yard.

Flower bed before...sadly neglected.

Flowerbed after. We went to Swansons and picked up some new flowers to add. Happy flowerbed.

Also I've been taking picutres of some of the stuff we've harvested in the past few weeks. Check it..
Zuchinnis, bell petter, green beans and a test carrot. :)


Spooky update

I have so much stuff that I need to update about and I've just been too darn busy.  I haven't done a garden update in ages it seems, and there are weekends, birthdays and drama not to mention a rant that's been percolating in my head.

However I do have to take a moment to log a spooky thing, as it's been a while, and I'm trying to be accurate and consistant with logging these things to see if there are any patternes.

So last night I was home and thought I heard a noise in the bathroom which was weird becasue Andy was outside smoking and both of the pets were in my sights in the living room. It sounded like a soft thump like when the cat jumps down from the counter but there was kitty in front of me curled in a ball on the floor, sleeping. When Andy came in from smoking I muted the TV and asked if he heard anything. He stood there for a minute and thought he heard kind of a soft grunt or something. He went into the bathroom, then the bedroom to investigate but found nothing weird. So he announced he was going upstairs.

As I've mentioned, we've got Raye storing her stuff upstairs right now and the whole time it has been up there things have appeared undisturbed until now. The last time I went up there was to get a table for QC the other week and the only thing that was off was that the door, which had been left open was half-closed. Everything else though was normal.

Last night we went upstairs to find Raye's poster positioned in the middle of the floor.

This poster was standing on its side, against some boxes and stuff. It was sitting picture side out, so it didn't just fall over in this position or it would have been face down. It seems unlikely to have fallen from the bottom end and into this position especially as it was sitting on the short side. I can't explain it. Yet another item deciding it belongs in the center of the room when we aren't looking.

Nothing else strange, apart from Sparky being locked in the bathroom when Andy came home on Monday. That's pobbilby the pets themselves though.

As for the state of the house, has been a mess but also been clean. Like it got messy but we spent last week steam cleaning and stuff.  Work has been kicking my ass, and I've been working late so it's gotten pretty messy this week. There is a lot of stress in the house. But usually our company helps decrease the stress in one other.

So yeah it's not much but worth noting.

So it's now 7/21 and last night I worked late and came home. Andy had a bad day and was in a bad mood. We went out to dinner, which also turned out to be a clusterfuck as they were really slow with our food and when it came out it was cold. So we had to have it sent back and it came out a second time and some of it was still cold. Andy was at the point where you just have to laugh at the day for not giving him a break. So when we got home enegry was still pretty negative.

Shortly after we got home Andy headed to the kitchen to get a soda from the fridge and i went to the bathroom to pee. We both heard a thump-thump. To me it sounded like it could have been Andy like throwing an empty soda box into the recycling but I wasn't sure so I yelled "was that you?" He shouted back that it wasn't, saying he thought it was me and I was like "No, I'm on the can, that wasn't me."

So we looked around on the main floor but everything looked normal so we eventually went upstais. The door upstairs that we distinctly left wide open was closed but not latched closed. Andy pushed the door open and there it was again. The poster that we had put back just the night before was sitting in the middle of the room yet again.

Prone to the dramatic when he's in a mood Andy dropped the flashlight with an "oh fuck this shit" and we decided to leave things the way wthey were. We left the door open but we didn't bother putting the poster away this time. We just picked up the flashlight and went back downstairs.

So once again we were lured upstairs by a strange noise and we discovered Raye's poster placed in the center (with wise of the walking space of the room).

So I needed to log this and also note the energy around Andy at the time. If it's significant. There are other times when there is far less moody energy and shit happens. Can't seem to find a consistant pattern. 

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