Snow in May

Snow in May in Iowa, 2013
The Carriage House

Pretty amazing. And it’s still coming down! But, strangely enough, this bothers me a lot less than the eighty-degree day we had earlier this week. I’ve done a complete one-eighty from loving heat and loathing the cold. Gimme hot tea and blankies! You can keep the sweat and bugs and burns of summer.

The real bummer is that all the precipitation we’ve gotten this week has led to water seepage in our basement. Again. But my wonderful handy husband is on the case, so i’m not too worried about it just yet.

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Moving On

As i mentioned before, Nathan and i have grown tired of conjoined living arrangements and have decided to leave our swanky downtown loft when our lease runs out at the end of this month. Several days ago that decision left us grasping at straws, trying desperately to rummage up a rental house posting on Craigslist that wasn’t already rented (and yet NOT removed? People, take your Craigslist posts down!) or terribly far away from either or both of our jobs. At the last minute, when we were about to go crawling back to our current landlord, we stumbled upon this:

house

Two-car garage, washer and dryer, a quiet, nice neighborhood in Beaverdale, two bedrooms and a stone’s throw from the nearest bus stop. All for a good price. We went over to take a look last night and ended up signing the rental agreement. The only things missing from the house are a dishwasher and any semblance of taste in the bathroom. It has green tiles EVERYwhere, and the wall space is painted light blue. It also needs a good scrubbing and a new light fixture. Gross.

So we’re planning to go in in two weeks and start painting and replacing things (the bedroom is also a nice pastel pink at the moment). But what color goes with not-quite-teal green? I’ve created some palettes with the approximate hue along with black, for the color of our towels. I also have some old lavender towels from college that we don’t really use, purple hand towels and one pink bath towel. Anyway. Here are the options so far:

bathroom

It’s hard to like any of them, really, but i haven’t come up with anything better yet. Any suggestions? Favorites? I’m leaning toward #2 myself, but to be honest i haven’t lived with that much color since my purple bedroom in high school. I’m a black-and-white kind of person (obviously).

Heart in a Head Lock

I suppose i’ll begin where i left off last time. Sunday the 8th I went to the Zoo with Mom, Nina and Karl. Dan had left the day before for his motorcycle trip with his dad. It was rainy Sunday, but the rain let up just long enough for us to see everything we wanted to see, and then started to come down again the second we got back in the car. It was perfect.

Monday i spoke to Canright for scarcely half an hour before he offered me a job. Right then and there. He told me to take 24 hours to think it over, and so I wasted no time in beginning to panic. I talked to the people closest to me on the phone and went to Nina’s to try to distract myself, to no avail. How could i possibly just take the job without having even seen the place? I sent an email to Jim Canright and requested a few more days deliberation, to which he agreed.

Tuesday i called up the Student Travel Association and they found a wicked cheap plane ticket to Portland for me for the following day. At this point i thought i would definitely take the job if the place felt right. I couldn’t put my finger on a specific fear, but i was just scared somehow of getting stuck in a situation that wasn’t right for me, and i thought that that would have to do with the job rather than the city.

Wednesday i flew out to Portland, rented a car and drove to my brother’s best friend Ryan’s apartment in NW Portland. All by myself. I met his girlfriend and her mean weiner dog Pancakes who will lure an unsuspecting stranger’s hand by looking cute & innocent, and then lunge to bite his or her face without warning. I was warned, however, so this didn’t happen to me. She even let me pet her, eventually. Between the two of them, Ryan and Amy have two weiner dogs and one weiner/chihuahua mix who recently had her teeth removed (read: cutest freaking thing ever). I proceeded that night to watch Ryan’s “The Office” DVDs until bed time–again a necessary distraction from the huge decision i was facing.

Thursday i borrowed Amy’s GPS unit and drove down to Canright in SE Portland. The place was perfect. Jim is a really nice guy, and most of the few people who work there are women my age, extremely friendly. The neighborhood is artsy and bohemian and has narrow streets with cars parked on both sides, and the building was comfortably modern and painted an inspiring shade of light green on the interior. There were Macs just waiting to be used and a corgi dying for attention.

I had lunch with Kara, the accounts manager, and then talked to my Dad on the phone. He asked how sure i was that i’d take the job and i told him 90%.

I was driving around to look at a few apartments when things started to not feel right. It was all becoming very real. I realized i didn’t care about having to move all my shit across the country, wasn’t concerned about making new friends, wouldn’t have a difficult time adjusting to the new job. But Portland didn’t feel like home. I didn’t like the idea of disrupting my family in Iowa. And the thought of saying goodbye to Dan forever made me instantly burst into tears, despite the fact that i had thought i was ready to put my career first.

The truth is i’ve never cared about location or occupation nearly so much as the people i love. And it would be unfair not to mention here the fact that i dearly love my Dad and my sister, who both live in Eugene, Oregon. They’ll always be in my life and i’ll always be close to them, however physically far away. But to physically leave Dan to me meant to lose him, and i just couldn’t wrap my mind around that. I realize this about myself every couple of years when i decide it’s time to move away, and yet i need a more definite reminder every time. Last time was Rome. Before that i was going to transfer to the U of O. Before that i thought of starting college at U of O or the AI of Portland. Before that, high school at South Eugene. And on, and on, and on.

I lead a somewhat split life, having dreams and loves in two distinct locations, but at this point going to Oregon woudn’t be about returning, but starting anew. It will always be there if i some day decide i’m ready.

Friday i was able to spend some time with Dad and get a lot of good advice from him. We visited the Hawthorne district and the rose garden. After he left i talked to Dustin, Dan, Mom, and finally Jim Canright. Now is not the right time for me to take this job, i told him. He was sorry to hear it.

Saturday i flew back to Iowa and Sunday i reunited with Dan. Things still aren’t perfect, but i figure what’s already happening here is definitely worth seeing through. I’ve started the job hunt over completely. There are no freaking jobs around here, but i’ve got enough saved to probably see me through to better economic times, if necessary. I’ve got changes i want to make once i have income again. New glasses. More exercise. Increased appreciation for all that i’ve already got.

Head for the hills!

Friday was quite an adventure here in Ames, Iowa. It rained quite a bit last week, enough apparently to totally flood the meadow across the street from us, and then the street itself, and then the apartment buildings in the area. Dan called me at 11 AM while i was still in bed and told me to get out and move my car up to the next street to the North because ours was flooding. “I don’t see any water in the parking lot–wait a sec, yeah the street is totally filled with water.”


From the east end of South 5th, around noon on Friday


Behind our apartment buildings (ours is the grey one).

We got our cars out and up to South 4th just in time. I went and knocked on Karl’s door to tell him to move his vehicle and Dan went knocking on all of our neighbor’s doors, because cars were quickly becoming too submerged to drive through the water. He went into the office and suggested that they alert people. “What, you want us to go knock on everyone’s door?” “Uh, YEAH, that’s what i’ve just been DOING.” So he got their asses going. Good work.

Meanwhile, I waded back to our place with my big rubber boots on and quickly packed a bag and grabbed some bananas. I went back to my car, ate a banana and tried to decide whose house i could shower at… There’s a back staircase from S 4th to Nina & Karl’s apartment complex so i called him, took a shower at their place and was able to get out the back door and back to my car though the water had risen to their parking lot by the time i was done.

Dan stuck around and had a ball wading through the brown water with Ryan and making friends with the neighbors while i went to the mall for a bit (where i found THE JACKET!) before my dental appointment and then got out of town. I was on my way to Des Moines when my car suddenly shut off in the middle of the interstate. I was able to pull over onto the shoulder, called mom and then Dan who came with Ryan to rescue me after first grabbing a burger or two. Ryan identified that my fuel line had become disconnected, reconnected it for me and i was on my way. THANK YOU, Ryan!

Some day i’ll tally up all the money that Dan and Ryan have saved me on computer and car repairs and feel guilty, and then take them out to a nice dinner or something. Amazingly, all the bad luck of the day ended up making me feel very fortunate to A: have an apartment that’s on concrete stilts; 2: Have found the perfect jacket finally 🙂 C: Still have super healthy teeth even after a year and a half away from the dentist; 4: Have friends to rescue me; and E: be close enough to just hop down and visit my family. Never mind that i experienced a flood and car problems on the same day.

I stayed in DM that night and visited with Tim, Angie, Jamie and Mom and perhaps Grandma and Grandpa heard some of what we were saying, having been in the same room for most of the time. I had an interview with Zillow in Seattle which was a little awkward because i had forgotten about the time difference and expected a call at 3:30 rather than 5:30, and the phone connection was rather fuzzy.

Cut to today. Nothing in my email inbox. I feel anxious. Chicago? Seattle? Portland? Chicago? Portland? Seattle? Interviews? Plane rides? Hotels? Nothing at all?? Everyone warns me about Chicago. There is still nothing to speak of in Portland, my top choice. I am still waiting. This will be my first week without pay.

Red Five Standing By!

A note on the map:

McLeod in Texas sent me a gentle rejection, i’ve had phone interviews with Zillow in Seattle and the Chicago Tribune (which went well & sounds promising), and i applied for a job in DM today because the company is called Red 5 Interactive and, being a big Star Wars geek, i couldn’t pass up the chance.


Red 5 being, of course, Luke Skywalker’s handle during the Battle of Yavin in Star Wars Episode IV.

I just want some say in between

This is a map of the jobs i applied to last week. I didn’t realize until making this map that i’ve completely neglected to apply for any jobs in Iowa. There aren’t any i’m interested in, i guess. I’ve already been rejected by a handfull, so i feel like Iowa doesn’t even want me here. Screw it.

I want to go to Portland but it’s just painfully lacking in opportunity for the likes of me. My only shot would be freelancing, and that’s scary. I don’t really want to go to Chicago but there are so many more jobs there than anywhere else. I interview with the Tribune today at four.

I read that it takes an average of seventeen interviews to get a job. I think that means people either score right away or blow every interview they manage to get before giving up, and the average just happens to fall at seventeen. Not encouraging at all.

The good news is i’ve conquered every Grand Prix on Mario Kart and my name now bears a star next to it when i play online. I don’t think i’ve ever spent this much time on a video game before. Bravo, Nintendo. I hate you.

Onward and Upward

I made the decision yesterday that i’m going to leave my current job as soon as i find a suitable new one, for reasons i probably shouldn’t disclose here. I feel relieved to have decided at least that much, as i’ve been trying to decide what to do with all these open doors since around January when our landlord started to pressure us to renew our lease for August. Hm, i could stay, or i could also leave…

So now i’ll be applying for jobs like mad, and i figure whatever offers i get will help me narrow down the next decision, which is where i want to go when this lease is up. I’m looking at:

  • staying in ames
  • moving or commuting to Des Moines
  • moving to Chicago
  • moving to Portland
  • moving to California where it’s f*cking warm

Yeah, i always swore i’d never live in Cali, but life here where there are seasons is just miserable anymore. Besides, it would make my grandparents really happy to be close enough to feed me lots of good Italian food, since i’m morbidly skinny in their eyes and need guidance.

Moving far away would mean sacrificing relationships though, which would suck. It’s probably not going to happen, because even though i’ve always had dreams of striking out on my own and magically turning into an admirable person by mere proximity to tall buildings and bright lights, being near the people i love is a lot more important to me. Portland would put me closer to some other people i love a lot, though, so it’s not a black-and-white issue by any means.

In regards to the new blog, thanks so much for your feedback. I put a button illusion up on the header in response to popular demand, and i think you were right. It looks nice. Now if only i could get a pretty rollover effect to happen without having to slice up that image…