The process for this month on my end went pretty well. I was a little ahead of the game early in the week so I wasn't stressing as much as I usually do. The ticket sales were also looking pretty good so I wasn't stressing too much on that end.
In addition to our guests being in character, our cast were in costumes. Phill was groucho, Ray was a fork in the road (which he turned into a schtick that he milked during the show), Ian was Number 2 and David was David Bowie (yeay!)
It's too bad that we didn't get to properly record this month's show. There just wasn't time. I knew there was going to be certain things that were good and The Red Sun doing Precious Things was one of them.
When I was on the bus to the theatre Phill informed me that there was an emergency and he wouldn't be able to make the show. We asked Sarah, who was coming to see the show anyway, agreed to fill in, or should I say Phill in. :P It worked out, as it was the costume show she dressed up as Phill, with a blazer and a tie, and we didn't change the slides or anything and it was it's own kind of joke.
I also had a surprise in store for Saturday night show. We had a surprise game about the Victorian couple from Port Townsend. This has been a subject that has got David and Ray riled up on Facebook and it's always great when Ray goes off on a rant on stage so this surprise was going to be promising. Now, I don't bemoan people for living how they want to live. You want to dress in Victorian clothes and whatever, that's fine.You be you. However, what is so irksome about this couple is their smugness about their lifestyle choice. They act so superior and as the person who had to do the research for this game and read their blog for material I can tell you that they have a certain holier than thou attitude and despicable white privilege that I feel opens them up to ridicule.
It was another segment I knew I wanted video of but it's a bit long, I'm having difficulty uploading it. Maybe later.
Both nights were good houses although Saturday was actually a bigger house. According to the rough numbers, this was our most profitable show. We've had larger houses but I think due to very few comps this month made it more profitable. Also a lot of new faces in the theatre as well, which is great.
So the shows were absolutely hilarious. The Red Sun was amazing, Dach'Yan (pronounced Dianne, LOL) was a funny and unique character, Bernie Sanders was spot-on and freaking hilarious and Mr. Rogers was not only on point but actually kind of warmed my heart while also making me laugh. If you're in the area check these guys out. They are amazing. Two really great shows. A good turn out. The theatre made money. And despite a couple of hiccups, it all went well. So yeah. What a great way to have a second anniversary!
So on Monday morning I was considerably tired after a long, sleepless night. I was walking from my bus stop to work when I witnessed a tragic and traumatic accident.
I was on the block of my work, walking northbound on 5th Avenue, walking towards Wall Street. About 20 to 25 feet ahead of me, also walking north on 5th Ave, was a person walking their dog. The person walked into a crosswalk, crossing Wall street, right in front of a car. I didn't see who had the right away. For a split second, I thought the car was going to hit the dog but the dog jumped back. But then I saw the care hit the person in the crosswalk. I thought this would be a moment of the car hits the person but the stops and the person and the driver exchange expletives. You see that sort of thing plenty of times, in the city, especially in the intersections around my work. But, unfortunately, it was not that at all.
I watched as the car kept going forward and pull the person underneath it. I started to yell "Stop! Stop! Stop!" as I hurried forward. It was like the car was gobbling up the person, like a monster in a movie. I saw the person go under the driver-side tire and disappear under the vehicle. It seemed to happen slowly but quickly at the same time. I kept thinking, 'oh my god back up, back up what are you doing?' The person had let go of the dog's leash and as I ran up to the car, I grabbed the leash, so the dog wouldn't run out into the street.
The driver, a rich, yuppy-looking guy with slicked back blonde hair, jeans, a white dress shirt and a navy blue blazer with a pocket square and shiny brown shoes, got out of the car (he was driving an Audi). He was afraid that he had hit the dog. He didn't seem to realize that he had run someone over until I said "They're still under there" and pointed to the car. Under the car was darkness but you could see the person's hand and part of her forearm underneath the driver's side door, he could have stepped on it getting out. The driver turned around and bent over, then quickly dove to the ground to look under the car.
"Oh my god!" He understandably started really panicking. Still, holding on to the dog's lead, I pulled my phone out of my pocket and tried to call 911. I've learned that I'm a bit rubbish in emergency situations. At first, I kept pushing the wrong app on my phone. Two or three times I kept pushing the camera app then trying to back out of it, only to push the camera app again. I've got a picture of the street as well as video of the ground and me breathing heavily and grunting in frustration. I finally dialled 911 but I couldn't hear anything when I put the phone to my ear because I had forgotten that I still had my headphones plugged in (Headphone that I had ripped off my ears when running to the car). I hung up and I saw red and blue lights.
By amazing fucking happenstance it seemed the car behind him, a brown Chevy SUV, was an unmarked police car and out stepped a plainclothes officer. At least, I think it was the car right behind hum during the accident, I could be wrong, I wasn't paying attention to the car behind the one running over a person. It could have just showed up in the chaos. I'm not sure. The officer came out of his car, looked under the vehicle then went back in his car. I pulled the headphone jack out of my phone and called 911 again, this time getting through. I reported the accident but as I was on the phone, I could hear the sirens on their way. Luckily, the Belltown fire station is just a block away so the rescue team was here very quickly.
Soon it was very, very busy with firemen, more police officers, and the odd person from my work lingering around to see what the commotion was about. (I told a co-worker to inform whoever was in the President's Suite that I was a witness and would be late for work.)
When I saw the accident happen I couldn't tell if the victim hit was a man or a woman. Though I saw the person go under, and can still see it in my mind, in the morning haze I couldn't tell the gender of the person. As it turned out it was a woman. I could tell when I saw her arm poking out from under the car. The firemen used the wooden block to hold up the car and pull her out. I only saw her legs when she was on the gurney being taken to the ambulance. Again, kind of like a movie that was censoring violent content, there was always something or someone obstructing my view of her body. This is probably for the best.
I stood back against the building still holding the dog's leash while the emergency response crew did their work. The driver of the car had sat against the wall beside me in shock. The dog had kind of walked around him so the driver was between me and the dog, the leash kind of in the driver's face, but the driver just petted and held the dog for comfort. Eventually, the police asked the driver if he could hold the dog, and he stood up and did so while I pulled away for a moment and the police asked for my ID and phone number. They didn't take a statement or anything. All they wanted to know was if I saw who had the right of way. I did not. I told them a bit more but it wasn't really notated.
After they took my information I went back to where I was standing and they pulled driver away to ask him some questions. The driver handed the dog leash back to me. The dog--a grey schnauzer that reminded me an awful lot of The Webbs' dog, Bowser--was very well behaved. It didn't bark or pull away but it was clearly concerned about its owner. And this is where I have to try real hard to write this without crying because every time I think of that dog, I lose it.
Eventually, a female police officer came up to me and informed me that they had contacted a family member to come and collect the dog and that I was free to go. Feeling protective of this dog I was all "are you sure?" and She nodded. I told her I worked right in that building and i would make myself available if they needed me at all. I started to walk up Wall street to the entrance of my building. I looked back at dog and the lady police officer waved me off. I think they were trying to secure the area from gawkers. Of course, I could see the street if I looked out of the window from the President's suite. Which I did on occasion.
The police never contacted me that day. There was a lot of buzz about what had happened and word had gotten 'round that I saw everything. My boss and my colleague encouraged me to go home and get some rest but a feeling of not knowing what to do with myself, my sense of duty and wanting to work to take my mind off of seeing the image in my mind of her getting pulled under the car again and again, I held out at work until noon before catching a lyft home. . Before I went home, though I was spying on the situation from the window in the President's suite kitchen. I saw the driver being dismissed (about 11:30) and he went away with what looked like his wife or girlfriend (clearly the Audi was going to be impounded for a little while) By the time I went out to get my Lyft, Wall street was all clear like nothing had happened.
Of course, when I got home I gave Sparky a big hug before letting him out. I made it home just in time to greet the guy coming in to look at our furnace but that's a whole other story. Andy came home that afternoon too and did a good job of cheering me up. We still talked about the accident and I explained it to him.
So yeah, that was my Monday. I have included some pics behind the cut with explanations should my writing not paint a clear enough picture. Please feel free to skip.
There's a reason I take the route I do to work every day. I avoid crossing 5th Ave at Wall because the drivers are always so aggressive, they frighten me. This guy, I don't know if he was distracted, looking at his phone, or what because he was clearly unaware that he had hit someone, despite the fact that she went under the driver's side front tire. I don't drive so I don't even know how that is possible that he couldn't see her but he seemed legitimately shocked to discover he had run over a human and not a dog. All of my class issues aside, and regardless of who was at fault he was obviously in shock and horrified and I feel for him as well well as feeling bad for the victim. As for the victim I saw her status go from "critical" to "life-threatening" in the news. I don't know if she pulled through but I emailed the SPD and they say that they haven't received word that the victim has passed so that's promising. I can remain hopeful that she and her pup will be reunited.
Sunday night, though it was after midnight so technically Monday. I was in bed unable to sleep. The furnace, we discovered that night, was not blowing air. I had showered so my hair was wet and I was cold. However, it wasn't the cold that was keeping me awake. It was memories replaying in my head and rage that was keeping me awake into the wee hours of the morning.
This election is so ugly. I don't feel like I need to rehash current events for anyone who might be reading right now, but for future Mir, looking back, I think it's important to note. On Friday the tape of Trump's "grab the pussy" conversation hit. He tried to pass it off as "locker room conversation" On Sunday, before the debate, Trump paraded the woman accusing Bill Clinton of rape. I didn't watch the debates but I saw coverage of this political stunt some douche bag orchestrated to detour attention away from Trump's casual views on assaulting women. Assault on women, rape and rape culture has become a trending topic. I mean it's been a hot button issue this whole election cycle and with the Brock Turner story it has been part of the media conversation. Something about it this weekend, though, really struck a chord with me.
I was in bed and I was thinking about all the stories women were sharing on Facebook of times they were assaulted as a collective force to illustrate how commonplace it is. I couldn't think of the first time I was assaulted in such a way. There was the memory of the perv in the window of his apartment masturbating to us kids playing in the sandbox when I was six. That was traumatizing. I wasn't sure if that would have counted. That rabbit hole of thought lead me to think about the time that I was raped...and it I couldn't stop and I couldn't sleep for hours.
( Details behind the cutCollapse )
So fast forwarding the wee hours of Monday morning, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I couldn't stop thinking about all the other times I had put myself in danger out there in the world only to have it have it happen to me at my own home, in my own bed, only feet away from all my friends.I grappled with how for years I equated being a "strong woman" with not putting myself in a situation where that could happen to me and how, in turn, that puts the onus on me for it happening. I thought about how the incident itself made me feel dehumanized, reduced to nothing but a hole, and then discarded like I was nothing when the person was finished made me feel terrible. However, the internalization, the same, the believing myself to be worthless was a product of cultural conditioning that it was my own fault for being "that girl" who let emotions and drink get the better of her.
I thought about how rape culture made me feel like I was the weak one, but, at the same time, I hate how in conversations about the topic in the media victims are said to be "ruined" "scarred for life" "forever traumatized" from their experience. I mean, since this affected me at the time and affected me as I sat up all night thinking about it seven years later, clearly, yes I have been traumatized to an extent. However, I'm a perfectly functioning human being who goes on her daily life not thinking about it. I struggle with this sometimes because the worst thing to happen to me was the catalyst to one of the best things that happened to me. The depression from the event, the dissatisfaction with life, drove me to step it up and really make going to grad school in London a reality. There's no way of knowing if the bad thing didn't happen if i wouldn't have still made it Goldsmiths but it was definitely a turning point, a motivator for getting the hell out of Seattle. So I take issue with the narrative that victims of rape are "ruined" but that's not to say that I'm going to thank the person for shaking me out of my comfort zone and driving me from my home, either. I wanted to prove to myself that I was a strong woman who could handle taking on the world by herself.
I'm glad calling out rape culture is part of the conversation. I'm glad we are moving forward collectively to correct victim blaming and calling out attitudes that normalize assault. It's just not an easy conversation to have. Over the years this conversation and shift in attitudes has really helped me absolve my own self-loathing on the matter. We victims are probably the harshest victim blamers because once you've been dehumanized, it's easy to impose it on yourself. Still, when the entire media is focused on the subject, you can't check your Facebook feed, or read the paper of watch TV without rape and sexual assault being the focus, it's easy for all those thoughts and memories to come roaring back and in my case, bouncing around in my head all night.
While we were sitting at a table together, we were talking about how we wondered if there was going to be a bouquet and garter toss. Sam is 3 for 3 on catching garters at weddings, or actually 4 for 4. Sam was telling this story about how at Elana's wedding he caught the garter and this little girl took it from him and he told her that little girls who steal the garter will never get married. We laughed at how he may have scared her, that she may grow up to be forever single because she recalls being cursed by the evil gay wizard, which became the on-going joke for the night.
The food was BBQ fare, which I didn't get too much of was I was still pretty full from lunch. We ate, drank and were merry for the wedding. Dan and Kristen seemed very happy and I, again, cried during their first dance (Kristen broke and that made me loose it) and during the speeches. Andy made a speech about his friendship with Dan and how Kristen has brought a calm to Dan that Andy has never seen in him before. Again, the water works. We even got a little face time with the bride and groom. Oh yeah and Dan did this silly dance which has some inside joke I'm not privy to but I'm sure it solidified, in case Kristen didn't know, that she was marrying a big dork. They're the best kind. :)
Everyone pitched in at cleaning up and my only disappointment was that the bride and groom didn't depart from the wedding on horseback because that shit would have been fucking rad. [Important contextual backstory Kristen owns and rides a Fjord horse and is quite the equestrian.] Congratulations, Dan & Kristen! Mazel tov!
We clean up pretty well!
Me & Raye
Sam's evil gay wizard face!
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.
- Current Music:The Specials "Friday Night, Saturday Morning"
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.
- Current Mood: contemplative
- Current Music:Dalek, I Love You
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.
- Current Mood: pleased
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...
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.
- Current Mood: disappointed
- Current Music:Amy Winehouse
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...
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.