Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I just read a blurb in U.S. News and World Report that there is recent research suggesting that people's happiness "set points" can shift as they age. That's what I hope is happening to me. I think that I have generally been happier the last five or so months than I've been in the last couple years beforehand...

I'm not sure why entirely. Maybe I don't feel so much pressure to always work because I'm not in school anymore... Maybe I feel freer to pursue my own interests rather than fulfill school obligations... Maybe it's because I have much more leisure time... Maybe it's just having Jake around... Anyway, I'm hoping that the mood shift is a permanent change for the better.

It will soon be Xmas break. Three more days of work and then I get to go home! Things are going to be crazy because Jake and I will have a lot of traveling back and forth to do. We'll be at his parents' house first, then my parents' house, then we're flying out to Colorado, staying at a hotel, and spending time with some of Jake's aunts and uncles who live out there.

I don't like saying that I make New Year's Resolutions. Resolution sounds so weak to me. I'd rather have a New Year's "Plan of Action" or something. "Resolution" implies a vague thought that something will get done, while I'd rather have step-by-step plans in place. I'm hoping that break will give me some time to sit down and reassess some of my life goals to figure out what the heck I'm doing with myself. We'll see if it happens considering my hectic travel schedule. I did write out some goals in a notebook during the summer and I've stayed surprisingly on track for a lot of them. I think I may need to make some new goals and/or revise some of the old ones, though. Maybe if I don't get it done while I'm off work, I can do it when I'm at the apartment by myself for a few days (I come back to VA a few days before Jake does). If I come up with some new goals, I'll have to work on blogging about them.

One of the goals I wrote up in June was to take an art class within the next year. I recently enrolled in a pottery class, which I'm pretty excited about. I'm going to spend two and a half hours every Monday learning pottery with the Art League in Old Town. My class starts January 8th and goes for nine weeks. What should I make while I'm in the class? I think I want to try to make some salad bowls. I can probably do that when I learn how to use the wheel...I think we'll probably do some sessions of hand-building, though. What else should I make?

Monday, December 11, 2006

I'm trying to be a better person.

I watched An Inconvenient Truth recently. I feel like I need to make a difference to stop global warming.

Jake and I have been using cloth bags to grocery shop lately. I guess that's one way to make a difference.

We really should install a low-flow showerhead in our apartment. Our shower pumps out a lot of hot water.

I heard that it's better to buy coffee that's shade grown. The stuff that's grown in the sun is often grown in areas of depleted rainforest. I don't know how to determine if my coffee has been grown in the shade, though.

I want to quit my job. I'm thinking my new career should be professional activist.

How do professional activists survive?

Sometimes I think my job is meaningless. Sometimes I think that the kids I work with just take up space. I think to myself about how if I knew I was going to give birth to a child like the ones I work with, I'd probably have an abortion. Does that make me a bad person?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sushi, Sake, & Smashed Silliness

Jake and I attended an engagement party last night. It was at a sushi bar. The cocktails were half price, so I had a bit more to drink than I'd planned. I also ate a bunch of sushi. We kept pulling more and more sushi off this conveyor belt and eating it.

This is my friend Tejal and me drinking this drink called the Flaming Volcano this weekend. Tejal usually orders a drink, takes a few sips, says she's drunk, and then gives up drinking afterwards. So, I'm sure I'm the one that probably polished off most of this drink. Oh, and see the fruity drink next to our flaming drink with the pineapple garnish? That drink is mine, too. I also had another cocktail prior to that one...

After the sushi place, a bunch of us went over to our friend Kevin's house. I drank some more there as well. I remember having this drink called "Prom Night on the Beach" and drinking a shot of sake. The bride-to-be whose engagement we were celebrating pretended that Kevin's standing lamp was a stripper pole and gave everyone a show. It was a lot of fun.

Whenever Tejal and I get together, we talk about what we could invent or what business we could start to make a lot of money. Her new ideas this week involved making a cheaper grocery store and designing a sash women could wear with a cell phone pocket in it. I really wasn't too crazy about either idea. Anyway, Tejal once told me that she talked to a very successful businessman who told her that the key to success is to be willing to take some risks while young. So, maybe one's twenties is the time to pursue crazy ideas. I'm not sure what to do with myself. I'm pretty sure that I don't want to be in special education for the rest of my life. Maybe I just need to pick something else and run with it.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dropping Like Flies

It has been a scary week at work. Two people got fired and one quit. I've started to get the feeling that the managers are really watching out for slip-ups. Luckily, I had an evaluation on Friday afternoon and was told that I'm doing a good job. They didn't even really mention anything too negative about my performance so far. In fact, they asked if I'd be more interested in actually writing up the behavior plans or in doing some teaching. I'm hopeful that I'll get some sort of promotion sometime soon.

Monday, November 20, 2006


When I got hired at my job, they told me that I needed to have a physical. I put off doing it because I really didn't want to shell out the money for it. Some other people I work with told me that they paid $200+ for their physicals. I figured I'd wait until someone at work bothered me about it. Well, we had a meeting one morning last week and the program managers announced the names of people who were missing paperwork. My name was called as missing a physical. So, I asked around to get some idea of where to go and get my physical done. My coworker Leroy told me and Pete (another of my coworkers who also needed to get a physical) about a place in NW DC called B & W Stat Clinic, where he got a physical and TB test for $50. The place is walk-in only and their weekend hours are only on Saturday morning. Well, I figured that I only wanted to have my physical form signed, so I'd try to get the cheapest deal possible. Pete offered to pick me up and drive me there on Saturday morning, so I figured that that was the easiest way to go...

After my number was called and I went in, my physical was completed within 15 minutes and my form was signed. The doctor asked me to read one line on the eye chart with both eyes (he never had me read anything with the left or right eye separately), quickly pumped up a blood pressure cuff on my arm, asked me if I was "smart" (there was a blank on the form he had to fill out about mental condition and intelligence), and had me go into the restroom and pee into a little dixie cup. I paid $35. When I looked at the form the doctor filled out, I realized that it was filled with blatent misinformation. He recorded both of my eyes as having 20/20 vision and I know my left eye is bad. My blood pressure was written as 100/60 and every time I've had my blood pressure checked in the past three years, it has been around 140/90. I've been told to watch it...I even had to go in for three blood pressure monitoring visits before UHS would represcribe my birth control pills my senior year at Madison. The doctor simply wrote "well" near most of the other items on the physical checklist...and he wrote "smart" on the line next to "Mental Condition and Intelligence" (well, at least that's not a lie...haha). I suppose it all worked out okay for me because I really didn't care what he filled out as long as the form got signed by someone with "M.D." next to their name. Really, I'm glad that I got it done for $35 instead of $200. Once I put in 90 days at work, I'll get health insurance and hopefully get a real physical then. But I can't help but wonder if other people go there hoping to actually get some sort of medical information or care and the doctor does the same sort of quick and dirty job...

The clinic is located near Howard University, and the neighborhood is very much a "black" neighborhood. I was the only white person in there. I'm sure I stood out. After my physical was done, Pete got called in. I sat in the waiting area reading a magazine. A few minutes later, a nurse who knew I'd already been in for my physical came out by me, looked at me suspiciously and said, "What you waiting on?" I replied, "Um, my coworker is still in there..." She nodded and walked away.

So, yeah...that was an interesting experience. One for the memory banks.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I finally got to go on a bike ride

Here I am in front of the house Jake wants to live in in the future. ;) Just kiddin'.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Note to Self: Never Play Paintball Again

How does one become an entertaining and engaging person?

I wish that I was a more compelling storyteller. I just don't think I'm very good at spinning the events that happen in my life to make them sound interesting.

I also wish that I were better at telling jokes. Friends of mine... please make me try to tell you jokes next time we are hanging out. I'm working on being better at it.

I'm pretty sure that this needs to be added to the list of things to accomplish in my life if it wasn't there already...

Now that I think of it, telling good jokes was on my list. People, make me work on this!

Monday, November 13, 2006

I want to ride my bicycle

I was hoping to go on a nice bike ride yesterday, but it rained and was gross outside. I haven't taken any good pictures of my bike yet. Here's me in my new bike helmet, though. Hopefully I'll get to go on a good ride sometime soon.


I think I always want life to move along faster than it actually does.

Does everyone else also think in steps ahead?

What good does worrying do me?

I'm always preoccupied with future events. I wish that I could learn to live in the moment. Worrying prevents me from living in the moment.

I really want to feel that I'm accomplishing something. Usually, I'm not accomplishing anything. Or maybe I'm accomplishing things at a rate so slow that I don't feel that I'm really doing anything. This is probably why I worry so much. If I accomplished one great thing, I wonder if I'd be satisfied. I doubt that I would.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Recap of the weekend

Jake and I held a poker tournament at our apartment on Saturday. It was an interesting tournament because we had more girls than guys. I think we had six girls (counting me) and three guys (counting Jake) attend. It wasn't the usual poker crowd. I invited some people from work, but none of them showed up. I lost all my money...

Jake got his fiscal year bonus last weekend, so we went shopping. He got a new digital camera and I bought a new Trek bike. I'll have to take some pictures of my bike and post them later. My bike is red. It's hot. I was looking at some bikes that were more girly at first. There was one that was yellow and had a floral pattern on it. Jake laughed at that one when he saw it. The salesman at the bike shop let me test ride a couple bikes when I was there and I decided to pick a different bike that rides differently. The way I sit on my bike lets me ride a bit faster. My favorite part of the bike-buying experience was when the salesman asked me how tall I am. I said, "5'3"" and he said, "Really? You seem taller." Ha. I don't know why that really amused me...

Rock the Vote

I just got done voting this morning. Today I have a training day at work, so I get to come in an hour later than usual. This gave me plenty of time to vote in the morning. Yay!

The voting machines here are interesting because you need to spin a wheel and then press an "Enter" button to select your candidate. Then after you select all your choices, you have to press a big red button that says "Cast Ballot". I don't know if there is even an option to abstain from voting for certain sections of the ballot. Luckily, I knew everything on the ballot and how I was going to vote before going in today...

Monday, October 30, 2006


Jake and I went with some of the people from the patent office to King's Dominion for Fearfest. I decided that I can't suspend reality the way I used to be able to...I can't get scared watching movies or in haunted walks/houses. I mostly just find everything mildly entertaining. It really amuses me to see other people get scared, though.

I read that people that watched the first exhibition of a motion picture in Paris in the 1800s freaked out. They screamed and ducked under their seats. The film was of a train pulling into a station and there wasn't even any sound at that time. I wonder what it was like to be in that audience.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Adventures in Nature

This is Jake in Shenandoah National Park this past weekend. We picked up a couple of hiking trail books and did a couple of hikes on Saturday. We're considering getting a season pass next year so we can do more hiking and camping. The season pass is 30 dollars, while a day pass is 15, so if we go more than two times it will be worth it. See the stick in Jake's hand? He started using a walking stick after we walked up the steepest, most difficult part of the trail. So, he just walked around with the stick while we walked along the easy, flat part of the trail. Haha.
We also made it to see Daine in Charlottesville. We ate at a restaurant called the Bistro and then went to a place for tea. I made everyone drink a pot of tea called "Golden Monkey". My favorite part was when a worker at the tea place walked into the room and shouted, "Who had the Golden Monkey?"
Saturday was a long day. I was so tired that I almost got into the wrong car after getting out at the gas station on the way back.
Well, hopefully the weather will be good this weekend, because I'm planning to go to Kings Dominion.

Use it or Lose it

I get the feeling that my brain is constantly being turned off all day long. Working with students in special education requires a lot of repetition of simple concepts and commands. I feel like I am banging my head against a wall. I tried to read a bit of a magazine at work the other day and a coworker informed me that we aren't allowed to read at work. Blah...my brain is going to atrophy...I feel like I need to force myself to pursue intellectual challenges outside of work. But, I mostly just come home and veg out. Someone speak to me about something so that I learn...please!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Goings On

Well, the new job has been interesting. The worst that's happened to me so far is that I've been slapped by a kid and another kid peed her pants to avoid doing what I was asking her to do. Nothing, really, in the scheme of things. I'm sure I'll probably experience worse. Brendan, a guy I work with, told me a story about how one kid he worked with dug poop out of his ass and then tried to slap him with the poop. I'm sure that experience was much worse.

On Wednesday, I suddenly had this bout with homesickness. It came from out of nowhere. I cried to Jake about missing my friends and family. I think the stress of figuring all this new job stuff out got to me.

I need to go and get a physical for work. My health insurance doesn't kick in until I've been employed for 90 days though...so I'm afraid I'm going to really get screwed and have to pay a lot of money once I go.

I went out for a bit with some of my new co-workers on Friday to happy hour. They all seem friendly and I think things will go well with them.

I went to the Maryland Rennaisance Festival with Jake and some of the patent office people. We drank a lot, saw people in crazy costumes, watched some shows, and ate a lot of food. One highlight for me was trying a "beesting" which is a combination of cider and honey mead. I was exhausted by the end of the day and when we got home (at 8pm), I promptly fell asleep.

People from the patent office seem to always be planning some kind of get-together. On Thursday this week, they are going out to dinner and then taking a Ghost Tour of Alexandria. Jake and I might go. A week ago, some of the Work-Life people (who plan all of this stuff) were trying to convince Jake and I to go on this dinner boat cruise on the Potomac. They had dinner and dancing on a cruise ship. We were told that it would be romantic. Jake and I passed on going because it was kind of expensive. We're glad we did, because later about 40 people from the patent office who went on the trip got sick. Tonia (a patent office employee) told me about how she had to take a sample of her own stool, divide it up, and make sure that it got sent to Richmond to the Health Department. The people who got sick are filing a complaint.

I called Daine today and I think next weekend Jake and I will try to take a drive down to Charlotesville to visit him. We're hoping that the Blue Ridge Parkway will have some nice fall colors.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Soccer Star

Yesterday, I was checking out at Whole Foods when the cashier said to me, "Hey, do you play soccer?"

I replied, "Um...yeah, I guess I've played soccer before."

He said, "Oh, I mean, because you look like a soccer player."

I thought about it a minute and said, "Maybe it's my jacket?" (I had on this red and black jacket that made me look kind of sporty.)

He said, "No, it's not that. You look like that one soccer player. What's her name? Maria Sharapova?"

I said, "Oh, umm...thanks." I didn't bother to tell him that Maria Sharapova plays tennis, not soccer.

But apparently I look her. Or, you know, that tennis player...what's her name? Mia Hamm?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hey, is there a spare parachute somewhere in back?

Okay, I have the next week to get everything in order before I start my job. Can I cram in enough "me" time to make it worth it? I'm so pumped to have time without all the anxiety of finding a job. I'm sick of reading stuff like "What Color is Your Parachute?" and Jake's "Job Almanac". Yay! No more prepping for interviews, no more writing cover letters, no more tweaking my resume, because now I have a job! Jake says that if he had time off, he'd sit around the apartment in his underwear, play video games, and drink Miller High Life. Maybe that's what I should do...haha, just kidding...

The whole job search thing made me realize how much I'm really thankful to be with Jake. He's helped me a lot throughout my search. He did a good job of making me feel better after my crap interview last week and he's been patient enough to sit down and help me do interview practice with me, etc. Yay for Jake!

I'm sure this job is going to be stressful and I'm pretty sure it's not what I want to do forever, but I am thankful to be working. Right now, I'm going to take this opportunity to write out what appeals to me about the job so that I can come back to this when I get frustrated with it in the future. First, I will definitely will be using knowledge that I gained in grad school. My education will not have been an entire waste. Secondly, there will be opportunities for me to move up and to get a teaching license, which will make me more employable elsewhere in the future. Thirdly, it seems that there will be plenty of opportunity for affiliation within the job. There are lots of people about my age employed there, and hopefully that means that I'll be able to make some friends at work. Also, I'm pumped that the commute to my job won't be too bad. I think it'll take me about 15-20 minutes to drive there. I was scared that I'd end up getting a job that required me to drive on 495 everyday...I just don't want to have to deal with crazy traffic and I'm pretty sure that I won't have to deal with that on my drive. I think that overall this job will be an interesting experience...hopefully one experience in a series of varied life experiences. Hopefully I will learn and grow from this. I don't know if it'll help me gain the confidence I'm really looking for, but hopefully it makes me more comfortable and knowledgable about something...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Job Craziness

I got offered a job, but I don't know how I feel about it. It's a job helping disabled adults find employment. It would involve a lot of driving around, working some weekends, and working random hours. I asked them if I could have a week or two to let them know if I'd take the job. They wouldn't let me have that much time. I have to let them know by tomorrow. They told me that I was their "top candidate", and that if I didn't get back to them soon, they'd offer the job to someone else. I'm nervous. Ugh.

I'm leaving home in a couple hours to do an observation at this year-round school for students with developmental disabilities. It sounds like I could probably get in there and get a job. Maybe... I might prefer working there because at least it would be regular hours, no weekends, and not too far of a drive. It'd still be stressful, but at least it would just be stressful during regular hours...

(Okay, I just missed a phone call while typing this about a job offer as a psychiatric technician. The woman that interviewed me for that position told me flat out that she didn't think that I would be "challenged" by the job with my education. Plus, I don't think that it pays very well. It would also involve working some weekends. I'll call them back tomorrow and get the details.)

I botched an interview yesterday for a job as a mental health clinician. Okay, so orginally the guy I was interviewing with forgot that he had an interview with me and he set up a doctor's appointment for himself...so the people in the office there called him on his cell and he was basically like, "Oh, I really screwed this up. Can you come back in another hour?" So, I agreed and came back later and started my interview with a woman there, because he hadn't shown yet. Then he came in and took me to his office to talk. The interview started going along (not so well, I might add...), and then he asked me something about my weaknesses. I said, "I get nervous sometimes...like in interviews and stuff." He said, basically, "No kidding...you're killing yourself here." His comment took me aback and I started to cry. The guy went on to say that I looked awesome on paper, but if I always acted this nervous he couldn't realistically send me into the schools and that I'd probably be fired in like a month. He then said that he and I could try to chalk the whole experience up to us both having bad days and I could call him back in a couple of days to reschedule with him and redo the interview. I don't know if that's what I want to do or not...the job seems cooler than any of the other ones I'm looking at, but now I'm so ashamed of myself and feel so horrible about the whole experience that I don't want to go back.

Okay, I'm going to grab lunch and get ready to go in for my "observation"...

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Couch

Well, we got a couch on Monday night. We bought a used couch that a girl had from homereserve.com. Customers to homereserve build their own couches out of plywood. The couch was able to be disassembled to fit in our car, and thus we had no problem getting it into the apartment. Here's Jake as we put it together on Monday night.
Here is Jake triumphantly throwing his arms in the air after we were able to finally get a couch.
Oh, and we finally got someone to take the (other) couch away off the curb today...after someone stole one of the cushions, after we had like a dozen different people call and email about it, after we lived in fear that it would get rained on...A guy with West Virginia license plates strapped it into the back of his truck and took off. Yay, we don't have to rent another truck or something to take it to the city recycling center!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

New Apartment

Here are some pictures of our new apartment. See those red curtains? I sewed the bottoms of them myself! It took me like three hours! They came from Ikea and I was supposed to be able to iron the bottoms and glue them together using this material in the package, but that really didn't work. They started coming apart, so I decided that I would sew them.

Here's Jake in our kitchen. We got some metal shelving so that we could free up more counter space. We put the microwave on the second shelf, as you can see. Tonight I set off the smoke alarm again cooking dinner. Our smoke alarm is super sensitive. It goes off a lot in the morning when we come out of the bathroom. The steam from the shower makes it think the building's burning down...

Here is a coffee table that I assembled myself. Check out the folding chairs behind it. That's what we're sitting on. No couch yet. Boo.

Here's a peek into our bedroom. We have more room in there than I thought we would. When we looked at the apartment, I think the girl had a king sized bed and that took up almost the whole room. We have a queen sized bed, so it allows us a lot more space.


So, Jake and I thought we were going to have a couch this afternoon. We bought the couch from someone on Craigslist and used a van rented at Home Depot to pick it up (after having to deal with this incredibly bitchy woman at the Service desk there...but that's another story...). We recruited Brian to come help us carry it into our apartment. We tried everything to get the darn couch into our apartment...we tore the door off our neighbor's apartment, took off these wooden feet off the bottom, flipped to either side...everything. Now it's sitting as pictured on the curb. Crap. We spent all this money buying it and transporting it, and now we're screwed. We have nothing to sit on. Ugh! We posted it again on Craigslist, so hopefully someone will come by and buy it from us. I hope it doesn't rain on it or anything.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Phone Frustrations

I applied to a job as a mental health clinician through email yesterday with a center that works with some of the DC charter schools. To my surprise, I got a call back yesterday afternoon from them. My voicemail picked it up. However, when I tried to return the call using the number they left on the message, my cell phone immediately ended the call. There wasn't a single ring or anything..."Call Ended" would just come up on my phone every time I'd dial the number and hit send. I don't know why that would happen... anyway, I sent the guy from there another email to let him know that I've been trying to contact him. We'll see if he gets back to me.


So, I haven't been able to get to my mail since I've moved because the girl that lived in our apartment before us took the key with her. I'm freaking out that job stuff is getting sent to me. I have substitute teaching applications out to Fairfax County and Alexandria, and I imagine they are going to send me stuff about orientations in the mail. I'm wondering what I should do if I don't get a mailkey soon...should I just have my mail held at the post office and go pick it up?


I learned recently about RSS. I'm using it now to keep track of when friends' blogs are updated so that I don't have to type in their URLs to check. Most people probably use it to stay updated on news and stuff. Maybe I'll do that too, but for now I'm fascinated that I can just use it for the blog thing.


I read something once about people doing blogathons, which involved blogging about something every half an hour for 24 hours. I'm tempted to try something like that, but I don't want to stay up for 24 hours straight. I could stand doing that instead of job hunting today though.


I think I've grown more addicted to caffeine. Today was the third day in a row that I went out and bought myself a cup of coffee in the morning. At our old apartment, I could get free coffee every morning in the lobby. It wasn't very good coffee, but I'd still go down and get a cup to wake up in the morning. Now I've gotten myself hooked. Crap.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


This morning, I saw a report on the news about life expectancies. In Mongomery County, Maryland, average life expectancy is around 81...as it is in Fairfax County, Virginia. However, in the District of Columbia, life expectancy is only 72! WTF! People living about 10 miles apart have life expectancies almost 10 years different. That is insane. There was no explanation as to why the life expectancies vary so much either. Are people in DC just generally poorer and less able to afford health care? Are they drinking radioactive sludge or something?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Getting My Hopes Up

I got a phone call early this week that went something like this:

Me: Hello?
Guy: Hello, may I speak to Candace?
Me: This is Candace.
Guy: Hi, this is *Joe* from Arlington Public Schools. So, how's it going?
Me: Pretty good.
Guy: Great, so, umm...has anyone from here talked to you about your internship?
Me: What? No...internship?
Guy: Oh, so you haven't heard from anyone yet?
Me: Umm, no...
Guy: Oh, okay...well, it looks like we have you placed in an elementary school...I think Tuckahoe Elementary. Okay, well, we've been really swamped in placing people because we had a lot more interest this year than previously. Let me see here...I'm not sure who we have you placed with. Okay, well...I need to get more details on this. Is it okay if I call you back?
Me: Umm...sure?
Guy: Okay, well, I'll call you back when I work out the details.
Me: Okay.
Guy: Yup, bye.
Me: Bye.

So, I hung up completely weirded out. I sent Arlington my application materials way back in February or March. I didn't hear a word from them since then, so I naturally assumed that I did not have an internship with them. Why would they call me the week before school starts to let me know about an internship? Something was fishy.

The guy called me back yesterday and I asked a bunch more questions and made it clear that I thought I was applying for a paid, school psychology internship (he kept calling the internship a "counseling" internship, which also was fishy). He said, "Yes, yes...it's a counseling, or school psychology internship or whatever..." He told me that it was unpaid, however. I said that if it was unpaid, I'd have to think about whether or not I'd accept the position. He said, "Okay, why don't you call me back on Tuesday and let me know what you decide?" I told him sure, and then a little while later he called me back and told me that he had set me up with a counseling internship, not a school psych internship, "although it is clear on your application materials that school psych was what you were looking for." He said that the two school psych internships offered by Arlington had been spoken for since spring sometime. Yup...so basically some HR guy was confused and didn't know the difference between a school psychologist and a counselor. Eh, whatever...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Hobbit's Habits

Okay, so last week more stuff happened with the Hobbit when he came home in the middle of the night. This time, I'm not really ticked off about it so much as amused by it. One morning last week, Jake and I woke up and found that he left a couple of empty beer bottles in the middle of the floor. He had to have purposefully gone out of his way to place them right where everyone walks. They weren't sitting next to the futon or anywhere logical. Jake moved the bottles to the side of the futon so that they weren't in the middle of the floor. Jake left for work and I went to the fitness center to exercise. I came back, only to find that while we were gone, Justin took the bottles and put them right back in the middle of the floor! What a freak! When Jake came back from work, he put the bottles on top of the coffee table, where they remained for the rest of the week.

Then, on Friday night, Jake and I heated up a pizza, drank some beer, and watched a movie. I didn't throw away my beer bottles or put my plate in the dishwasher before we went to bed. I left them behind on the coffee table. When Jake and I got up the next morning, Justin had thrown my plate on the floor, had taken my beer bottles and placed them in the middle of the floor, and had added more of his own beer bottles and put them out in the floor. Yeah, I'm pretty sure he is waaaaay messed up in the head.

I ended up throwing out all of the recycling (including the empty bottle of rum and Pepsi can Justin had left in the kitchen). I don't know whether or not I should have or not. I don't know if Justin thinks he's yielding some great power over me by getting me to take care of his shit (it took me all of 15 seconds to actually clean up...). All I know is that I think he's acting in an infantile manner and it just makes me laugh. I feel sorry for anyone that might end up in a relationship or something with him. He really doesn't communicate what the hell his deal is...

I've thought about writing him a note telling him that it would be okay if he talked to me or Jake when he's in the apartment with us. I actually drafted something up that I thought was amusing, but Jake seems to think that it's completely hopeless and that I shouldn't bother. I am sort of curious to find out exactly how much of a paranoid weirdo this guy is... And did I exacerbate some sort of underlying personality disorder in this guy simply by showing up in Virginia?

What should I do? Just write him off? I don't really know him and I don't really know how he operates. For now, I've just been locking the bedroom door at night because I really don't know how pissed off he is and what he's really pissed over. I'm not scared, but I don't want to risk anything by giving him access to my room while I'm sleeping. So, do I write him a note? Bake some cookies and put up a sign that says, "You can eat one...they're not poisoned or anything..."?

We move in less than two weeks. Yay!

Friday, August 25, 2006


So, I found out from my dad that Al has a new band. He talked to Al's mom at Piggly Wiggly in Princeton and she gave him the website for the band and Al's email to pass along to me. Check it out here. I sent Al an email to check in on what he's been up to, so I kind of hope he gets back to me.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

There's No Place Like Home

I still don't feel like I'm at "home" yet in here in Arlington. I'm looking forward to moving because I really want a place to feel settled into. I've known all along that this living situation would be temporary, so I haven't been able to think of it as home. It's more like a long stay in a hotel...just with all my worldly possessions as well.

Maybe if I start at a job, it'll help me feel more at home. I have no sense of purpose at the moment. I try to pretend like I have this important daily routine and schedule, but I really don't. The biggest thing that I have to a purpose these days is making sure that I plan and cook dinner for Jake and myself in the evening.

Am I a bitch for slamming the Hobbit online in my last post? I feel a bit guilty for doing it. Oh well...it's not like I have people here to call up and rant to about it.

I heard recently that the Health and Human Services's "recommended" amount of daily exercise for adults to maintain their weight is 60 minutes a day! They recommend 90 minutes a day for people trying to lose weight. Holy shit...maybe this is why I've been working out for 30 minutes a day for the last month and a half and haven't seen any change in anything. Nope, haven't lost an ounce of weight. I also checked my blood pressure yesterday at the pharmacy and it's gone up since the last time I was at the doctor. I made the blood pressure cuff-thingy squeeze my arm three separate times, and every time the reading came out right around 150/100. Shit. I think the last time I was at the doctor it was around 139/90 and they told me I needed to watch it then. Of course, Jake hopped on and checked his blood pressure right after me and he came out at like 120/70 or something.

I have a job interview on Friday. It's for a real job this time. Scary. This job would involve a decent amount of driving and being on-call 24/7. Huh. I don't know how I feel about that, but I do know that a real job would be nice. It would also be nice to hear back from more of the jobs I've applied to. Crap, I hate rejection.

I talked to a guy in the elevator of our building yesterday. Well, more accurately, he talked to me. I found out that he had just moved here this summer, that he had grown up in a small town in Illinois, and that he went to school at UW-Platteville. I of course told him that I am from Wisconsin. I should have at least found out what his name was or what apartment he lives in here. He held the elevator door open for a while to talk to me as I was getting off of it. Then he just said, "Well, see you around..." when he let the elevator door close. I doubt I'll see him again, though...the liklihood of me running into him in the next two and a half weeks before I move out it is pretty slim.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

You can't talk to a psycho like a normal human being

So, before I moved here, I thought that Justin's assholish personality was just some sort of joke. I thought he was joking about being a spiteful, angry, bitter person. Not so. I'm pretty sure that he seriously *is* an asshole. It never clicked until I moved out here with him...this is why a lot of the guys at Triangle, etc. don't like him.

Anyway, there have been two incidents in the past week that have pissed me off. As usual, he still can't condescend to say hello to me or Jake any time he comes into the apartment. Luckily, we still don't see him too often. I don't know what he does with his time. However, on Wednesday night at about 1:30am, he decided that he wanted his presence known. I woke up to hear doors repeatedly slamming out in the hallway. First his bedroom door, then his bathroom door, then the front door, then his bedroom door again, then his bathroom door again...SLAM!SLAM!SLAM!SLAM!SLAM!SLAM! Then I heard him in his bathroom throwing up...because he's a drunk ass. I think he honestly thought of the slamming the doors in the hallway as some sort of "retribution" for Jake trying to enter his room at night a few weeks back (the little bit that I do know about Justin is that he really believes in revenge...like the time he purposefully left Jake's umbrella in a bar because Jake accidentally broke one of his glasses in the dishwasher. Ass.). Our apology note from a few weeks ago, which he had left hanging on his bedroom door, was taken down the next morning. What a fucker.

The second incident happened last night. Jake and I were asleep when Justin came in at 12:30am and turned on a movie in the living room. He cranked up the volume on Jake's speakers and we could hear the bass thumping in our bedroom. I lay in bed saying "What The Fuck." I decided that I did not want to put up with his crap, so I walked out into the living room, still groggy from being awakened and said, "Can you turn that down some?" He replied, "Perhaps that can be arranged," and picked up the stereo remote to turn down the volume. I said, "Thanks." He responded by saying, "Tell Jake he's welcome." WTF? I guess I don't count as a person or something...it was ME asking him to turn down his shit. ME. He can say "You're welcome" to ME. Anyway, he didn't really turn down the volume, so I had to hear his stupid movie for the next two hours. ASSHOLE.

I had a good laugh this morning when I opened the refrigerator and found that Justin had placed a bunch of bananas in there. HAHAHA. That's like rule #1 with bananas...they like the tropical equator, so you don't put them in the refrigerator. You know, like the Chiquita bananas song.

In conclusion, not only is he an asshole, but he's a stupid asshole.

If he thinks we're going to actually share the expenses to rent a U-haul with him when we move out...he's got another thing coming. He'll have to actually *gasp* have an actual conversation with us in order for that to happen. He can't just keep sending Jake emails demanding whatever he wants...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Early Birds Get the Worm

Jake and I signed the lease on an apartment on Sunday. We're still waiting to see if our credit is going to be approved and if we have it for sure, but I'm certain that won't be a problem. We're supposed to know tomorrow.

Anyway, I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to get this apartment. We are trying to save money for the wedding and other expenses (e.g., my student loans and random trips and stuff we want to do), so looking for an apartment in the area we're currently in was pretty much ruled out. The rents keep increasing, and now that Justin will not be contributing to the rent, we are in the market for something cheaper. Jake and I looked at seven or eight larger apartment complexes a bit further out over the weekend. None were too close to where Jake works or to the Metro, really. All of them did offer shuttles to the Metro and were on buslines, so I'm sure it would have worked out fine. However, I like being able to walk and get on the Metro and it's much more convenient for Jake to be closer to work. We also would most likely not have been able to afford a place with a washer and dryer in it (only one of the apartments we considered had a washer and dryer).

Anyway, after spending all sorts of time looking at big complexes, Jake and I were trying to make a decision on Sunday afternoon. We narrowed down what we wanted to about four complexes, but none of them stood out as the best one to choose. We figured we should try to have something reserved somewhere because there weren't very many apartments coming open when we want to move (in fact, we got turned away looking at some places because they don't have any apartments available during our time frame). We were discussing which place to try to reserve when I randomly decided to take a peek on Craigslist to see if anything had been posted during the day. I came across a listing about an apartment in Old Town Alexandria not far from Jake's work. I told Jake he should get on the phone and call about it. Jake called and was able to set up an appointment to see the place an hour later. The man sounded a bit surprised because he said that he had just put the ad up on Craigslist. We showed up and were met by the landlord, Clifford. He was an older guy, maybe in his late 50s or early 60s (?) (I'm bad with people's ages sometimes...). He said that he could not believe how many phone calls he had been getting since placing the ad online. Indeed, his phone kept ringing as he showed us the place (he said, "Well, jeez, if it's my wife it's one thing, but..."). The apartment was small, but kind of cool. The building was put up in the 1930s and has hardwood floors. Clifford told us that he was planning to install central air and a washer/dryer into the apartment before people move in. Sweet! Even though the place is a little bit small and doesn't have a dishwasher, Jake and I agreed that the rent and location were too good to pass up. The neighborhood is full of little townhouses and smaller buildings, has free parking, and seems really quiet (at last, I won't have to hear the damn fire sirens all the time...right now we're down the street from the fire station). After Jake and I told Clifford that we were interested in signing a lease, we headed downstairs so he could get some papers from his truck. When we got outside, there was another couple our age waiting, wanting to see the apartment as well. Clifford had to explain to them that we had already taken it. While we went through the whole process of filling out forms, etc., we talked to Clifford and found out that it was his kids' idea to start listing apartments on Craigslist (his kids are in their twenties, and his daughter also lives in one of the apartments in the neighborhood of the apartment Jake and I got). He told us that typically he rents out his apartments through word-of-mouth. Clifford seems like an awesome guy and I think he'll be a great landlord. He owns all the apartments in the few blocks surrounding our apartment, and it seems that he knows everybody in the neighborhood. He told us about who our neighbors are (one is a woman who is a commercial airline pilot, another is a football player who is recovering from cancer). People were driving by and honking and waving at him and stuff while we were outside filling out the lease. Clifford encouraged us to get to know our neighbors and told us that sometimes the residents on the street put together a block party in August or September so that all the neighbors can meet. Man, from everything that I've read about "authentic happiness", it really seemed that this Clifford guy has the formula down pat. He told us that he feels that he's never worked a day in his life. He used to have a job with the Pentagon working on fighter jets, and he said that he would never look at the clock and the days would just fly by. Yay for a cool landlord and not having to deal with stupid management companies that just try to rip you off wherever they can!

Another cool thing about where we are going to live is that Jake's friend Brian A. lives two blocks away. Brian has a nice backyard area where he grows tomatoes and peppers and he has a grill and lawnchairs set up out there. When Jake and I found out that we were going to be Brian's neighbors, we went over and told Brian and Brian sat with us in his backyard and gave us a couple of beers to celebrate. Brian is a homebrewer, so Jake and I were teasing him and telling him that we are always going to come over and bug him to sample his beer when we move in. Hooray for beer!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Yo quiero enchiladas de pollo. Y una Corona, por favor.

Well, nothing has been happening on the job front. I don't know what to do. Blargh.

I want to throw a party tomorrow. Jake and I have been over to dinner at other people's houses about four times since I've moved out. I figure that it's time that we host. It should work out well because it seems that the Hobbit has now actually left until the 14th. We haven't seen him since the one weird night when we thought someone else was sleeping in the apartment. I don't know if this party is going to take off or not, though...I've been bugging Jake to send invitations to the people he works with and he didn't send them anything until today. I'm going to be sad if no one is able to come because I really want to make enchiladas and play board games.

Jake and I flew to Chicago last Friday. The main reason we came back was for Mitch and Danielle's wedding, which was on Sunday. We stayed with Jake's family on Friday and Saturday night, though, so we did a few things in Wisconsin before checking into the hotel for the wedding. On Friday night, I met Joe, who has been Jake's friend since middle school. I guess Jake's mom has always said Joe was "a bad influence". Anyway, we went with Joe, Melissa (Joe's wife), their one-and-a-half-year-old son, Kirk (Joe's brother), and Amy (Kirk's wife) out to dinner in downtown Janesville. Then, we went back to Joe's place and played poker. I, surprisingly, came out as the winner. I think that was my best night of poker ever, probably because we weren't playing for money. But, maybe I'll take my poker playing skills along with me to Atlantic City later this week (ha...not really...I think I'm going to be scared to put down money on anything). On Saturday, Jake and I went and got haircuts in Janesville. The lady who cut our hair told us that she used to work for the FBI and then after that worked at Bell Laboratories in New York, where she met and married John Wiley (current UW-Madison chancellor), who she later divorced. I don't know what made her end up cutting hair in Janesville... Saturday night, we got together with Jake's parents and my parents for dinner at Great Dane in Madison. This was the first time we've had all of our parents together at once. My mom and Jake's mom met when we did wedding tasting, but this is the first time our dads have been included in an outing. I think it wound up going fairly well and wasn't too awkward, which is good.

Mitch and Danielle's wedding was a good time. The whole thing was held at the Sofitel Hotel not far from O'Hare. The hotel had a free shuttle to and from O'Hare, which was nice for Jake and me. The ceremony was very nice and there was a lot of emphasis placed on family in what the rabbi talked about. I didn't realize that Danielle has two cousins who are rabbis. Both did readings during the ceremony. Between the ceremony and the reception, everyone spent time eating hors d'oeuvres (yup, had look up how to spell that...) and drinking. They had an open bar at the wedding, which did me in. Yeah...I need to learn moderation so as not to get any more hangovers. The hors d'oeuvres were really good, too. They had sushi and skewered beef and chicken...yum. After our dinner (stuffed chicken with rice), they also had a table full of different sweets, which was awesome. You can't go wrong with chocolate covered strawberries or chocolate covered anything, for that matter. The dance floor stayed fairly packed during the reception. Man, I think the way to go has to be to have a band playing "Hava Nagila" and everyone dancing in a circle. I'll have to copy that idea for my own wedding. ;) Jake and I managed to catch Mitch and Danielle for a picture together at one point during the night, so here it is...

On Monday, Jake and I took the train into Chicago and hung out around town before our flight left. We went to the original Billy Goat Tavern for lunch, walked around Navy Pier, peeked in some shops, and strolled through part of Milennium Park. Our flight landed back at Reagan National at the time it was supposed to, but then we sat on the ground for half an hour waiting for another plane to be moved away from the gate we were supposed to enter into. That was annoying.

Monday, July 31, 2006

I can't wait to get our own place...

It feels like the summer is going by so fast. I can't believe that it is going to be August tomorrow. How did July go by so quickly?

I applied to about a dozen jobs last week. I only heard back from one, at a Latin American Youth Center. I got an email saying that they'd like to do a phone interview with me. I emailed them back to let them know I'd do a phone interview, but they haven't let me know what day and time they'd like to talk to me yet.

I've been looking into doing more community service type things. I found out about this group called Rotaract, which is basically like the Rotary club for people between the ages of 18 and 30. Jake and I went to one of their meetings on Wednesday, and then on Saturday, we volunteered at a local food bank with them. It was interesting, and I had fun doing it. I wouldn't mind going back to help there again. I'm probably going to look into some of the other stuff that Rotaract does, too. I know they took homeless kids to Chuck E. Cheese recently. I wish I could've been in on that...basically because I want an excuse to go hang out at Chuck E.'s. :)

Jake and I went to a housewarming party held by a few guys that work at the patent office Saturday night. I drank far too much and felt like crap on Sunday. I had a lot of fun, though. I played guitar with some people, ate a good hamburger, and met a lot of people. Angela showed up with a guy for a little while and then said that they were going to go out dancing. I tried to convince Jake to go out dancing, too, but he didn't want to. I met this girl named Jen who went to school at Penn State whose fiance also works at the patent office. She came across as fairly girly-girl. I had to talk to her about wedding stuff and dresses and all that garbage. Yuck. I could tell she's one of those believers in having the "perfect wedding". I bet she believes in soulmates and all that shit. Anyway, she was bragging about how she can beat guys at push-up contests, etc...then I beat her armwrestling. Haha. Most of the other girls at the party seemed pretty cool. I met one girl who told me that she examines patents for racks (coat racks and wine racks and all of that...). How does one end up doing that?

The situation with Justin and the apartment is weird. I don't understand him. I really think that he is looking to create situations in order to be angry and antisocial towards us. Okay, so there was the incident a few months back when he accused Jake of opening and sending back one of his Netflix DVDs (which Jake did not do). Justin never confronted Jake directly, but instead sent an angry email to him. Jake tried to talk to Justin about it, but Justin would lock himself in his room and refuse to respond. Since then, Justin will talk to Jake over the lunch hour at the patent office and in front of other people, but whenever he comes home to the apartment, he doesn't talk to us. He typically makes a beeline for his bedroom and shuts himself up in there. Weird. It's like he's stored up all this anger over some imagined slight. He doesn't communicate with us. Anyway, from what we know, Justin is planning to go back to Wisconsin for a wedding sometime soon. Last week, Jake sent him an email while at work and got an automatic "out of the office" reply saying that he would be out of the office until Aug. 14. We did not see him around the apartment or hear from him for a couple of days after that, so we naturally assumed that he had left for the wedding he'd mentioned earlier. Saturday morning, after volunteering, Jake and I came home and the house smelled different...like perfume or something. There was also a spanish newspaper and a backpack sitting in our living room. Naturally, since we thought Justin was gone, we wondered who had been in the apartment. Jake called Justin and left him a voicemail. Later, Justin called back and simply said, "The backpack is my mom's. Don't touch it," and hung up on Jake. No exchange of communication. I don't know if that boy doesn't understand phone manners or what... Anyway, Jake then called back and left a voicemail saying, "We thought you had left...did you give your family keys or something? We're wondering why they would be here when you are not here." Justin did not call back after that. We came home after the party Saturday night and the backpack was gone from the living room, the newspaper had been moved, and there was a bottle of water on the coffee table. So, it was obvious that people had come back after we had left. Then, (and I don't know what possessed him to do this, because it is the last thing I would do...considering what a freak Justin is...) Jake tried to open Justin's bedroom door and found that it was locked. He then knocked and said, "Hello? Who's here?" There was no response. So anyway, we were both weirded out that Justin was just letting someone random sleep in his room while he was gone. I wrote a note that said "Dear whoever is in our apartment: Justin did not tell us that anyone was staying here. Honestly, we're a bit creeped out right now. Could you please leave a note and/or have a conversation with us to tell us who you are? Thank you for being understanding, Candy and Jake." Turns out that it was Justin that was sleeping in there. We got a note back in the morning that said, "Introductions are not needed, as we have already met. Please don't disturb me again (especially at 1:30am). Also stop touching my stuff, and don't attempt to enter my room." Ouch. I can understand about being upset about Jake knocking on his door early in the morning, but I'm confused about what "stuff" he is pissed off about us touching. Can we not sit on his futon? Is he pissed that I'm bringing his mail upstairs? Or cleaning his damn dirty dishes? Is he touchy because we've watched one or two of his 8 billion DVDs (which he must buy so many of to fill up his empty possession-obsessed life?)? What an ass. How does he not understand that he should just let us know what's going on so that little misunderstandings don't blow up into major drama? Anyway, Jake wrote him a note apologizing for trying to go in his room and posted it on his door, but we haven't seen him for the last day and a half, so I don't know what's going on with that... I want to ask him to clearly define what "stuff" we can't touch. But, I don't think that he's going to be open to talking about that...yup, he's got to cause drama. I don't even know how to deal with him besides just write him off as a lost cause and think things will be better once Jake and I get our own place in September.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Jake and I had a good time in Boston, but it was fairly exhausting. It was a long drive there and once we got there, we did lots and lots of walking.

I was glad that we got to meet up with Matt (from Triangle). Here's a picture of Matt and Jake out at the bars. We parked the car at Matt's place for the week (and no, his place isn't in Hahvard Yahrd...it's in Medford, one of the suburbs north of Boston). Matt was around the first few days of the week and went out with us those days. On Monday night after we arrived, we went with Matt to the North End and ate at an Italian restaurant for dinner. Then we hit up a couple of bars.

On Tuesday, Jake and I spent the day walking the Freedom Trail. We were pulled aside by a cameraman for the local Fox station and asked if the problems with the Big Dig interfered with our travel plans or if we were worried about it at all. I think our responses were pretty boring, so I doubt they actually showed us on the air. I don't know...I guess they could have, though. We met up with Matt in Harvard Square Tuesday night. He hangs out at a bar there and sings karaoke on Tuesdays. I drank copious amounts of beer and then Jake, Matt, and I got up and sang "Swingtown" complete with the "Fuck you"- "Eat shit" chants ala Camp Randall. I think we confused all the Cambridge folk with our antics. I got in line for the bathroom afterwards and these girls asked me, "What were you guys shouting at each other? Fuck you?" and I was like, "Yeah, and 'Eat Shit.'" And they were like, "Yeah, that was funny..."

Wednesday, Jake and I went to the top of the Prudential building. We also toured the Sam Adams brewery. We got to try a beer called a "rauche" (sp?) beer. It's not being distributed currently and Sam Adams is just trying brewing some of it right now. They told us that they're considering putting either this "rauche" beer out or a Honey Porter as a seasonal brew. Anyway, "rauche" (however you spell it...) is German for "smoked". That beer was really interesting because it tasted just like bacon. I hope it wins out over Honey Porter, but I doubt that it will. After Sam Adams, we went to the Museum of Fine Arts because admission is free after 4pm on Wednesdays. Wednesday night, we met up with Matt again and tried out candlepin bowling. Apparently, in that area of the country, "bowling" involves wooden balls about the size of your hand which are rolled toward skinny pins. It's tougher than regular bowling (which Matt told us is called "big ball bowling" in Boston), so you get three balls per frame. Here's a picture of me holding one of the little balls.

Thursday, Jake and I spent most of the day in Cambridge. We walked around Harvard and MIT and looked in shops. We had burgers at Mr. Bartleby's for lunch, which were delicious. We went to a Brazilian restaurant for dinner that served rodizio, which involves waiters coming up to you with random meats on skewers over and over. Matt left that day to go back to Wisconsin, so we didn't go out at night. We were tired anyway and wound up watching "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" on tv.

Friday, Jake and I took a walk around Beacon Hill in the morning. We ate at Durgin-Park (a really old Boston restaurant) for lunch. We took a walk and looked in shops on Newbury Street in the afternoon. I wound up buying a skirt at H&M because it was the first skirt that I've tried on in a while that I haven't hated. It's just a plain white linen skirt and should match a lot of stuff. We wound up getting rained on in the evening. We stopped at a bar for a drink and I tried a beer that tasted like blueberries. Good stuff.

Saturday morning, we walked forever looking for Matt's place. It's a long way from the subway stop and we weren't entirely sure where we were going. Then, we took forever figuring out how to get back on the interstate. It turned out that we didn't get on the road until nearly noon. We hit lots of rain on the way back, too, so that slowed us down. It was nearly 9pm when we finally got back home.

Home. That's so weird to me. This place still doesn't really feel like my "home". I can't believe we have to move fairly soon, too. Jake already talks a lot about where we're going to move next.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Baby steps. Baby steps.

Well, I only ended up applying for three jobs this week. I thought that I'd do a lot more. Justin keeps saying that he would take advantage of the situation that I'm in. He says that he'd claim that he was looking for a job and instead drink and watch movies all day. I have to admit that I really don't want to find a job RIGHT NOW. I'd rather start something around the time the school year starts.

I've been working out in the gym upstairs. I feel like I'm getting over my social anxiety of having people see me work out. Right now, I like it a lot more than I thought I would. It may be hard to keep doing it if I get a real job, though. Right now, I wait until Jake leaves for work and then go up and work out. I think if I get a job, I'll want to go up in the morning before I leave for work.

I feel that I am a very boring writer. Do most people feel that about themselves? I just don't feel that I have as much insight or as interesting of a perspective or something. I'm just, "Blah blah blah...boring boring boring..."

On Wednesday, Jake and I went to a dinner party at his friend Jesse's house. A bunch of people from the patent office were invited to eat beef tenderloin and watch the show "America's Got Talent". Jake and I brought along a 1.5 liter bottle of wine. There were two other girls at the party. One was Angela, who works as an office manager at the patent office. Angela was interesting. She is a bit older than Jake and me (about 27-28ish), but she is talkative and funny. Jake and I were the only people drinking the wine we brought. Everyone else had beer or Mike's hard lemonade or something. Every time my wine glass was empty, Jake kept filling it right back up without even asking me if I wanted more. Jake and I ended up finishing off the entire 1.5 liters ourselves, which I felt bad about because we brought it as a gift to the party. Isn't it bad manners to do something like that? I was way more drunk than I hoped to be, which lead to a craptacular hangover the next morning. I think I may have been the drunkest person there. But, I was definitely being talkative and social. Angela seemed pretty cool, and when we left the party, I told Jake that I liked her. He told me that she was having people over for dinner at her place soon, and I made him promise that we could both go. The more I hear about Angela now, the more I think that she is pretty darn interesting. Jake says that she dates lots of different guys. He also said that he heard a rumor that she might have been some sort of groupie for a while. She also got married and then divorced some really rich guy straight out of high school, who bought her a $100,000 car. I'm intrigued. So, anyway, Jake and I are going over to Angela's for a spaghetti dinner tonight after he comes home from work. Jake has a theory that Angela and I have mutual "girl crushes" on each other because Angela sent him an email that said she thought that I was "very cool" and that she was glad we are coming over. I can't see why she'd think I was interesting. I can't remember really what I even talked about with her over at Jesse's.

Jake's been working lots this past week. He's been putting in time so we can stay in Boston this week. He's working today (Sunday) and worked yesterday (Saturday). Yesterday, I came in to see him at work and we went for lunch. We also went to the bank and opened some accounts together. It took forever. We were in the bank for about an hour, I think. I am confused by Jake's explanation of his budget system. We now have like 10 different accounts (two of them owned jointly) and I need to figure out how the heck we are paying for what from where. I think the woman at the bank was confused, too, when Jake tried to explain to her why we needed to open three accounts yesterday. I'm going along with it for now and hopefully I'll figure out the system soon enough.

Well, we leave for Boston tomorrow morning. I don't think Jake wants me to take my computer along, so I may be out of touch with people for a while. I'm sure I'll post when I come back and report on what we do in Beantown.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Move to Virginia

It's been a while since I've blogged, just because everything has been crazy busy. I still don't feel settled at all in Virginia. I left Princeton on July 1 and haven't been able to find the time to sit down and write about it. I'm going to attempt to give a day-by-day update on what's happened since I got the U-Haul out on the road:

Saturday, July 1st: My family and I get on the road around 6:45 am. I sleep for most of the first leg because I was out with Lelani the night before and didn't get much sleep. We stop off for gas before we even leave Wisconsin. The car gets horrible gas milage with the trailer attached to it (about 15 mpg, I think...). My parents have a second breakfast at McDonalds, which confuses me and my brother. I have a coffee and then drive after this first stop for a few hours. I plug my ipod into the car stereo while I drive, which annoys my family because we aren't constantly changing CDs so that other people can pick the music. We stop and have a late lunch at a Chinese buffet around 2 or 3pm. Around 6 or 7pm, my mom starts to complain and says that we need to stop off for the night. She claims that we will never find a hotel room because it is a holiday weekend. I think to myself, "We're in bumblefuck Ohio...who comes here for the holiday? People are going to the beach." I don't say anything to my mom, though, because I'm afraid that she will fly into some sort of rage if I contradict her. I complain to my brother while we are stopped off for gas, though, and my mom ends up overhearing at least some of what I said. She gets angry with me for a little while, but it passes. Nothing gets thrown at my head. We get a hotel room in Springfield, OH, which is still pretty far from Columbus, which I thought was our goal for the day. Our hotel has wireless internet, so I check how much further we have to drive the next day. We still have about 12 hours of driving to go, according to google. I say to my parents, "How are we going to get the U-Haul returned by 5pm tomorrow if we have so much more driving to go?" My dad says, "What? The U-Haul place is open until 7pm. We'll be fine." I read Lelani's myspace blog while in the hotel room. It makes me cry and I get the feeling that my family is wondering what the hell is wrong with me. We go out to some barbeque place for dinner and then shop at Big Lots. I'm overwhelmed by the enormous amount of crap. I overhear an amusing conversation between two old black men about how the devil knows all of our weaknesses and is out to get us. My brother begs my parents to buy him a bunch of blank CDs and a plastic file thing that he wants to use to organize his scrapbook materials. He's randomly decided that he wants to make a scrapbook of his life. He's been working on it on and off throughout the car ride. He's mostly been sleeping, though. I get my parents to agree that everyone will be ready to be on the road the next morning at 6:30am. We'll have continental breakfast as it opens up and then take off.

Sunday, July 2: We do lots of driving through the mountains. The car struggles to get up the inclines. My mom bitches at me and says that I'm going to overheat the car by making it go too fast. We stop off at this place in Maryland and there is a sign that shows where in the horizon we should look to see the Mason-Dixon line. I realize that I am now a Southerner. We get to Arlington a little bit after 4pm. Jake comes downstairs with a cart and we take loads of stuff up in the service elevator at the apartment building. It gets to be after 5pm and I ask my dad where we are taking the U-Haul. He pulls out a sheet of paper with phone numbers on it and realizes that all of the U-Haul places do close at 5pm on Sundays. As we're pulling the last things out of the U-Haul onto the cart, it begins to rain. Jake lets us know that he noticed a parking spot on the street where we could keep the car and U-Haul for the night. We are lucky because it's a spot we can pull straight into. It would be impossible to parallel park that U-Haul. Jake drives us to Alexandria and we go out for pizza. It's still raining when we get there, but it clears up enough that we are able to take my family for a walk down to the waterfront in Old Town after dinner. We inflate an air mattress for my parents to sleep on in the living room and my brother sleeps on the futon. I start working on putting my things away in the apartment.

Monday, July 3: Jake and my dad return the U-Haul in the morning. They buy a parking pass so that my parents' car can stay in the apartment parking lot for the week. I say that I wouldn't mind trying to go the National Archives. Jake and I went once before, but didn't have time to stick around and look at everything we wanted to see then. We take my family on the Metro into town and find out that the Archives are closed due to the flooding that occurred the week before. We go to the Museum of Natural History instead. Cory said earlier to me that he wanted to go shopping at Urban Outfitters, so I suggest that we head into Chinatown, grab lunch and go to Urban so that he is happy. We try to go to someplace simple and reasonably cheap like Fuddruckers or Potbelly, and both places are crammed full of people. My family doesn't want to wait in line for food. There is a tapas places called La Tasca and there isn't a wait to get in. My brother and mom want to go to it. We order tapas and my dad is incredibly grumpy about the whole thing. He doesn't want to have anything to do with this kind of food. I also think he was pissed because it was more than he wanted to spend on lunch. After lunch, we take Cory to Urban Outfitters. We spend an ungodly amount of time in that store and no one buys anything. My dad is still being grumpy. I'm irritated at the amount of time we are spending shopping. We also go to a sports store that is in Chinatown. My mom buys these little spandex shorts for my brother. Jake and I think the shorts look hilarious. Cory needs them because he is going to be in a triathalon soon, though. I hope someone takes pictures of him in his tiny shorts. Haha. We go to the Museum of American History in the afternoon and then head back to the apartment around 5pm. I continue working on cleaning up the house and putting my things away. My dad is still grumpy and does not seem to want to leave the house to get dinner. He wants a hamburger but doesn't want to walk a few blocks to get one. We end up ordering food from this horrible Doctor Delivery service. Our food doesn't come until after 9pm and is cold. I don't complain though, because I don't want to irritate my parents.

Tuesday, July 4: We head into DC to see the parade on Constitution Ave. Jake and Cory run to Potbelly and get us sandwiches as it opens. It's really hot outside and I get thirsty. After about an hour and a half of parade, Cory gets antsy and says he wants to leave. Jake and I have the idea that we should take my family to the Old Post Office Pavilion to sit down and have a drink. We have to cross Constitution Ave. to do that though, and my family doesn't want to wait for the police to let us cross the parade. Jake and I wait outside as my family goes into one of the Smithsonian buildings and uses the bathroom. They come out and we go to the Post Office Pavilion. My dad says we should take a walk past the White House, so Jake and I take my family up there. Jake has credits left on a game card for ESPN Zone, so we take my family there to play games in the afternoon. After that, we head back to the apartment for a bit. Right after we get home, a huge storm hits. There is lots of wind and hail and we watch lightning from the windows in the apartment. Cory wants to use the pool at the apartment building right after the storm blows over, but he goes downstairs and someone there tells him the pool is closed. I manage to clear away all of the boxes in the house and store them. I only have a few random things in the bedroom that need to find a place. We eat Mexican food for dinner and then carry some fold out chairs out on the Mount Vernon trail and watch fireworks across the river. We spare ourselves the huge lines to get onto the Metro that Jake and I experienced last year.

Wednesday, July 5th: We go up the Washington Monument in the morning. Jake put tickets on hold for us so that we wouldn't have to wait in line at like 6am or whenever people who don't order tickets ahead show up. We check out a bunch of the other monuments (WWII, Korean, Lincoln, and Vietnam). It sprinkles on us on and off. We walk up to the Exchange to get sandwiches for lunch and it starts to rain harder. It's still raining hard when we leave lunch. We decide to ride the Metro to Arlington Cemetery and check the weather there. When we get off the Metro, it's sprinkling lightly and it appears to me that the darkest clouds are moving away from us. I suggest that we risk it and try to do the cemetery. We stop in the Visitor's Center and it starts raining a lot harder outside. We mull around in the Visitors Center, but the rain doesn't appear to be letting up. I suggest that we just make a run for it back to the Metro and leave. My parents are against this idea. Jake, Cory, and I are antsy to leave. After sitting in the Visitor's Center for about an hour, we finally convince my parents to make a run for it. When we get back to the apartment, Cory says that he wants to try to use the pool. My family tells him that it's probably closed because it is raining outside, but he insists that they probably didn't close it because there's no lightning. He really wants to train for his triathalon. Jake and I offer to take my parents to the hotel they've reserved for the evening and ask Cory to ride along so that we can go to Home Depot and buy a grill. Jake wants to use the HOV lane and we need a third person in the car. Cory whines because he just wants to check on the pool at the apartment and go swimming. Eventually, Cory gets his way and my parents tell him he can check on the pool at the hotel to see if he can swim there. My mom offers to ride along to pick up the grill. We buy a grill and come back to the hotel to pick up my dad and brother. Cory still couldn't use the pool because the one at the hotel is outdoors and closed because of the rain. HA. We go to the grocery store to pick up food. My brother somehow manages to slice his toe open on an escalator there. We have to buy a bunch of stuff so he can bandage up his foot. We come home and Jake and my dad assemble the grill. Cory puts on the movie The Usual Suspects, which he has been begging to watch all week long. My mom and I boil brats and corn and put togther sandwiches to put in the cooler we're planning to take to Six Flags the next day. We make dinner and drop my parents back off at the hotel. Cory and Jake convince me to start up a game of Risk in the evening, which is the longest game ever. We don't finish the game and leave it set up when we go to bed.

Thursday, July 6th: Some of the power randomly goes off in Jake's apartment in the morning. At first, I think we've blown a fuse or something, but then Jake goes out in the hallway and says that the elevators in the building aren't working either. We load up a cooler to take to Six Flags and Jake and Cory haul it down the stairs to take to the car. We pick up my parents and drive to the park. We get there early and have to stand around for about an hour. We get in line for this Superman rollercoaster and it appears that there are problems with it. A guy behind the controls is on his cell phone and appears to be working on something. The operators keep running test runs and not letting anyone on. While in line, Cory picks at this pimple on his ear and suddenly it starts gushing blood. He has blood all over his hand and nothing to wipe it up with. My mom gives him a map made up of glossy paper, which he uses to try to soak up the blood. I say the whole thing is ridiculous and tell everyone we should just turn around, get Cory to wash up, and get in line for a different ride. I take off and my mom and Jake follow, but then I get outside of the line and my mom informs me that Cory and my dad refused to leave the line. WTF? The lines are short, so my mom, Jake, and I ride a different rollercoaster. We finally meet back up with my dad and brother after Superman starts running. I have a headache and am severely irritated with my family. I keep thinking about how I just want to go home, relax, and get ready for my interview that's happening the next day. We have lunch in the parking lot out of the cooler and I go to a really cheesy show with my parents afterwards because I say that I don't think I can handle rides. My dad says that he's not feeling well either and doesn't want to go on anything. Cory and Jake go off by themselves and ride a bunch of rollercoasters. After the show, it gets warmer out, the sun comes out, and I start feeling better about things. I go on some rides and Cory and Jake say they want to go to Hurricane Harbor and go on water rides. We do some water stuff while my parents go off on their own and then meet up to leave the park. We drive to Red Lobster for dinner because my parents have a gift card they want to use. We drop off my parents and return to the apartment. There are still problems with the power and we have to take the stairs again. There is no power in the apartment, but luckily it's still light outside. Cory has to go number two, though, and he starts to complain that he doesn't want to do it in Justin's dark bathroom. I find a candle that he can light and use while he's in there. Jake and Cory leave for the park to play basketball and I start to look at interview stuff. The power comes back on just before it gets dark outside. I get bored and call Maria to wish her a happy birthday. Jake and Cory come back and I win the Risk game because I am a strategy genius.

Friday, July 7: My family leaves in the morning. They pull out of the parking lot and I randomly start sobbing, which I think freaks Jake out because he didn't expect it out of me...probably because I'd done a lot of complaining about my family the whole week long. Jake leaves to go to work. I take the Metro to my interview in the afternoon. The job sounds overwhelming. They ask me how I would care for my own mental health if I have to take a job where I see children in terrible conditions. They ask me pointed questions about if I feel that I can be culturally competent and work with people different from me. I don't know if they'll offer me a job or not. They said that they will probably contact me in about two weeks. I get home from my interview and fall asleep. I'm totally exhausted. Jake comes home and I'm out of it. He makes me get up and we go to Noodles for dinner.

Saturday, July 8th: Jake and I go shopping. I get a free card to Costco, because Jake is allowed to add one person onto his account. Costco is the most awesome store ever. You can buy huge pakages of Combos! And big platters of sushi that are only $5! And beer! And books! And digital cameras! And whole Norwegian salmon! And chocolate sculptures of the Capitol building! We go to Brian's (a guy that works at the patent office) in Alexandria in the afternoon. He has a 1/4 barrel of beer. Justin is there and I finally get to see him for more than half a second. He asks me who the guy was sleeping on the couch and I tell him that it was my brother. He makes a random inappropriate joke about tea-bagging my brother. Hmm. I find out that Justin plans to work 120 hours over the next two weeks so he can take another vacation, so I figure I probably won't see him much around the apartment over the next month or so. Brian has a nice little backyard area where he is growing a bunch of tomatoes and random herbs. We grill a bunch of food. There are about 7 or 8 of us drinking a bunch of beer. We end up finishing off the 1/4 barrel. We see some of Alexandria's fireworks from the front yard. Lelani tries to call me, but her phone cuts out before I hear her say anything. I'm drunk and it's loud anyway. Most or all of the guys at the party work at the patent office. There are a few girls at the party and most or all of them work at Mount Vernon. I think they are all friends with Lori, who is married to Matt, who works at the patent office. There is a lot of bitching about jobs. It seems like a lot of people hate their jobs.

Sunday, July 9th: Jake and I go to see the Pirates of the Carribean movie. We watch the end of the World Cup. I cook salmon for dinner. I'm happy because we have a dishwasher...if we didn't, I know it would have taken me five times as long to clean up after dinner. I start this blog.

Monday, July 10th: Christ, this thing is getting long. Kudos to anyone who stuck with it and read it. It's probably pretty damn boring. Today, I'm going to work on looking for a job...


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Psychic Reading

Lelani and I decided to stop at a psychic in Madison yesterday. It was totally sketchy and everything one would want from a psychic reading. We rang a doorbell at the back of this woman's house and she let us in. She asked us if we wanted a tarot reading. Tarot was expensive ($45). We asked if she could do palm reading. She said sure, and the price was lower for that...we wondered if she just said she could read palms to get us to pay her something. We weren't allowed to go in and watch each others' readings, which was also sketchy. She took us to a little room in the back of the house. It had two chairs facing each other. She had an impressive collection of garden gnomes. The person left behind got to sit on the couch in the living room and watch a big screen tv while the woman's husband sat in the room. The woman's kids were in and out as well.

So, anyway, here's what came up in my "reading":

I will live a long life. I am a kind-hearted person who is willing to lend a hand. I have a temper (I think I gave her a look when she said this...), but my temper doesn't last long, only a few minutes. I have been having some relationship problems in the past year. (When I told her I didn't really see myself as having relationship problems, she pumped me for information until she found out that Jake had moved away. Then she said, "Yes, that is what I am seeing..."). She said, "You don't plan to move out any time soon?" And I was like, "Well, actually...I am moving out soon." She said that she saw that I have had disappointment in the past year, and asked if I was having problems at work. I told her that I had problems finding an internship and she responded by saying, "Yes, that is what I'm seeing." She told me that I have many good changes coming up in the future. She said that I am headed in the right direction and that the move to be with Jake will be good for me. She said she saw that I have family members worried about me, but that the worry will go away once they see that I have settled in and that I am happy. She told me that I will be financially comfortable and that I should not worry about money. In four or five months, I will have a happy reunion with someone who has been very far away.

I should have thought out a bit more what I was revealing about myself before going in. I wonder if she seized upon "relationship problems" right away because she saw my engagement ring and could put together that I was in a relationship. Damn. Anyway, it was a hoot to get to go and then talk about it with Lelani.

The picture I've included is one of Lelani and me at the park yesterday. I accidentally sat in some chocolate or something. Check out the big glob of it on my elbow.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Sarah and I went out to see Pat McCurdy last night. Here we are dressed up and ready to go before our Pat experience. We're giving the peace sign as a nod to Korea, Em. Anyway, it was an awesome time! The Annex wasn't too crowded because there are a lot of people gone for the summer. It turned out that Mike Wilkinson was there with his girlfriend. Sarah got harassed by some guys next to us because she kept looking at him. Anyway, Mike was a Pat virgin and Pat looked at him and called him a "tall drink of water"...I'm pretty sure Pat didn't know who Mike was. Sarah and I got onstage for "Sex and Beer" and did the dance at the end. Then, we finished off our wonderful evening with some Greenbush donuts. Hells yeah!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Happiness Revisited

I've been taking happiness questionnaires through the University of Pennsylvania. I am surprised at how really unhappy I am. I found out that I am on the border between moderate and severe depression. I should retake that questionnaire after I move sometime to see if things change. One good thing that I did find out is that I actually was measured to have a secure attachment style in my close relationships. There's also a quiz on "signature strengths". I found that love of learning is my top strength, followed by: fairness, equity, and justice; caution, prudence, and discretion; curiosity and interest in the world; and judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness. I don't know what that tells me about what I should do with my life. Any suggestions?


I went out last night with a girl in my program. I couldn't pay attention to the conversation too well because it just all seemed so pointless to me. I don't care to sit around and talk about theses and portfolios, etc. anymore. I want social contact, but it's so irritating to me to have to constantly talk about where my career is going. Ick.

I think it's very likely that I won't see anyone from my program again. I wish I could have developed a friendship with someone. I don't know how much of me not being able to do that is my fault. I've tried to be friendly to people. I don't know if it's because of personality differences or because I've kind of been all over or what. I could email people and try to make contact later, but I doubt that I will. If I don't get an internship, I will feel that they are probably going to judge me for it. I found out that everyone except Jason and I have found positions for next year. I'm sure Jason will find one by the end of the summer, too. I'm sure that I will get talked about as the socially isolated "loser". I've heard many other snide comments about others in the program...and they all ended up with school psych positions somewhere! Whatever. I need to do my own thing to try to be happy. I don't want to care what these people think.

Maybe I have too many issues to be a good friend to anyone.

Very few people understand me.

In related news, I have a phone interview on Friday. It's for an internship in Baltimore City Public Schools. I will try my best, but right now I'm not sure if an internship is what I even really want. There will be the stress of commuting, low pay, probably no benefits, so...yeah. But I will see how it goes.

I live too much in my own head.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Becoming Happy

Do we all have our own happiness "set point"? I read that only 25% of people report drastic fluctuations in life satisfaction and that change is generally for the worse. Still, I am hopeful that I can become happy. I really do feel that I'm at a place right now where I am unhappier than I usually am. I have a feeling that I'm ending this chapter of my life for which I won't ever really feel nostalgia. Well, maybe I will miss some of the stuff I got to do with Lelani or other friends here and there or I will look back on visiting Jake, but I mean the stuff that goes on in grad school... I'm not going to miss that. I think I am glad to be moving out of Eau Claire. I was sad to leave Madison...and I did have a place in my heart for Princeton when I left it (although I don't think I could ever move back at this point- maybe I could have after freshman year of college...), but Eau Claire hasn't given me much to really, really miss.

I watched the movie Palindromes last night. It's written by Todd Solondz, the same guy who wrote Welcome to the Dollhouse. Palindromes is much darker than Welcome to the Dollhouse was, I think. I sometimes wasn't sure if I should be laughing or not watching the movie. Anyway, the movie retains some of the characters of Welcome to the Dollhouse, like Mark Wiener. He had an interesting quote in the movie: "People always end up the way they started out. No one ever changes. They think they do but they don't. If you're the depressed type now that's the way you'll always be. If you're the mindless happy type now, that's the way you'll be when you grow up. You might lose some weight, your face may clear up, get a body tan, breast enlargement, a sex change, it makes no difference. Essentially, from in front, from behind. Whether you're 13 or 50, you will always be the same." Well, I don't know if that's true or not, I just found the quote to be apropos.

I have to believe that I can become happier. I'm working on finding ways to get myself in a better mood. There have been studies that show that exercise works as well as taking an antidepressant, so I figured that it is worth a shot. My goal is to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day at least 3-5 days out of the week. I've been able to do it for the past two weeks. I do notice that I do generally feel better on the days that I work out. The only time I've gotten really, really down in the past two weeks was on a day that I hadn't worked out (but that could have been situational, too...). It's easy for me to get exercise right now, as I'm not in school and don't have a job. I think it'll be a little bit more tricky once I get busier down the line. I'm going to try to enlist Jake to help me stick to it after I move. I also need to make sure that I come up with a variety of activities to do so that I don't get bored and give it up.

I'm going to try to make myself become more confident. Hell, I can make myself do it! I think just building in some specific goals that I know I can attain will make things better, too. If I can at least have some personal success in some areas of my life, maybe it will boost my confidence or at least make me less hung up on other areas of my life.