Monday, December 7, 2009


I am so sore. This weekend we painted the living room and the dining room and all the trim in both those rooms. The majority of the painting required primer in addition to paint, and also very very careful taping and drop cloth-ification because the floors have been refinished. We also set up the living room with our smaller couch and 2 recliners, and set up the dining room to be our tv room until the contractors are gone and we can paint our back room and get new floor in there. (It is currently wood paneled and carpeted in disgusting brown dirty carpet.) As if that wasn't enough, we also got a tree, decorated it, hung stockings, and hung some lights around the bay window and the fireplace. The upstairs is being sanded today and then stained tomorrow, and the baseboard in the wood stove room is being put in today. Now that our couches are out of the wood stove room and the baseboard is in, we can paint that as soon as we have time. We are also supposed to be getting new gutters this week, and putting up Christmas lights. Oh....and did I mention this week is finals?

Friday, December 4, 2009


Last week our downstairs wood floors got refinished. This week the stairs got refinished, and next week they're doing the hallways and landings upstairs. The floors in the house were pretty beat up, and there were sections where the floorboards were missing and they had patched it with different wood. Everything matches now and its uniform in color and shiny. Love it! Most of all, I love that it will actually make a difference if I clean the floors now. Before they were refinished, they didn't really have a clear coat on top, so if you tried to use floor cleaner it would just soak in. This weekend we are painting the living room and dining room and the part of the kitchen where the wood stove used to be. (You may say, "wait...I thought you already painted the living room?" Then I would say "we did, and then the next week the contractors decided to fill the walls with insulation from the inside instead of the outside, which resulted in about eight holes in the walls of the living room, and the paint we used in there was specially tinted, and we don't have more, so we have to repaint the whole room. Hooray!")

First, the after pictures...because I like those better:

The before pictures:

An area where the floorboards didn't match-

Some more floorboards that didn't match-

This is the wall that was torn our between the dining room and kitchen, the floor had to be patched where the fireplace used to be-

All the baseboards are being fixed too, but they aren't done yet in these pictures.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Living Room Progress

Our living room before-

Living room after some paint (and the bay window install)-

Yes, the fridge is still in the living room...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Kitchen With Appliances

Last but not giant sink

This is the view into the kitchen, there used to be a wall and a boarded up fireplace/chimney here. There's some plumbing that needs to stay, but it the rest will be open (and everything will be drywalled.)

The before:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Moving Day(s)

So I think actual moving day was horrific enough to deserve a couple paragraphs. It went like this:

Find out Budget moving van we rented 2 months ago is available, but not tow dolly we rented 2 months ago. No one at Budget really seems to care, they string me along until actual moving day, when I give up and finally get one at U-haul (and u-haul didn't have any either, but one showed up at like 4pm.) Pay about $200 extra because the dolly with budget had been a package deal. Meanwhile, our large group of moving helpers has dwindled to just a couple. So...takes us 9 hours to pack up the van, which includes when we drove the van to get the dolly and a bookshelf toppled over in the back, which made a gallon of paint spill on a bunch of stuff. Including the one piece of furniture I've ever bought NOT at Ikea or Target. Awesome. We roll out of Ventura at around 7pm and quickly discover that when Budget tells you not to go over 55 mph they mean it...what they fail to mention is you can't even go over 40. So we roll into some place south of Sacramento at about 2am. This is the one bright point of the trip. It was a Holiday Inn Express and it was NICE. Super comfortable bed, really cool bathroom. I didn't want to leave. Did I mention the A/C was broken in the moving truck? And it was literally 103 degrees outside most of both days? And both dogs wanted to be on my lap? And I get a rash from Jack that starts out as little bumps and turns into giant welts and itches like crazy? So I was covered in sweat and rash and dog hair and the seat was burning my thighs. It was awesome. Oh, and the first leg of the trip was immediately after packing everything. We didn't take showers. At least I wasn't driving. Brian really got the short end of the stick. We finally got to the new house at about 11pm on June 28th. Climbed through the truck to get the box I had set aside to be the LAST BOX PACKED. It was labeled LAST BOX. It was nowhere near the back of the truck. Thanks to my limber monkey skills I was able to get the flashlights, air mattress, blanket, and dog food. Then we went into the house and I went into a full blown panic. Keep in mind I had only seen the kitchen in pictures...and all those "before" pictures? That's what I was seeing....and let me tell you, this house photographed amazingly well. It was much worse in person. To put it in perspective, one of the first things I did was lift up the toilet lid to use the bathroom....and then scream and run out of the bathroom. The toilet was filled with black gunk that was much worse than any sort of toilet matter, or mold, or both. It seriously looked like someone trapped some kind of animal in there. We got new toilets very soon after that incident. Luckily, after a couple days (really once we got all our stuff in the house) I was no longer convinced it was haunted and/or should have been condemned.

Here are some pictures to commemorate the occasion:
(The one of just me was after we packed everything and cleaned the whole condo, right before we locked it up. The picture is too small to actually tell, but I was 95% dead.)

When in doubt, paint it.

I've never met a piece of wood I didn't want to paint. Unless it is really really nice wood, I think it'd be better white. Or black, brown, green, blue....pretty much anything but its natural state. When I was a kid, it drove my parents crazy. They used to buy $5 bookcases at garage sales and get all upset when I wanted to paint them because they had 25 glass rings on them. I was supposed to appreciate the wood. Whatever. The obsession has proven to be valuable. I first put it into real action in the condo. The cabinets were gross dark brown from the 60's. I painted them all white, took off some of the doors, and painted the inside of those cabinets. I think it turned out looking much better than before. Now that we have the house, I've had a ton of wood to paint. There was a pink built in dresser and an ugly 1980s vanity in the upstairs bathroom, I painted them both a really dark brown so they would match and at least look ok enough that we wouldn't need to do anything more expensive for a while. Then I painted the cabinet above the toilet in the downstairs bathroom (big improvement!) Next I have to make the decision of whether or not to paint some of the trim in the house white. The majority of the trim in the house is white, and then there's some that is dark wood. It looks cool in pictures, but in person it is pretty beat up. It would be so much easier to sand, prime, and paint than it would be to refinish it then it would all match. I feel bad though, I guess I have developed at least some appreciation for wood. Bookshelves from garage sales should still definitely be painted though.


So, I haven't written on here in forever because so much has happened that I don't know where to start....we moved on June 27th and got to Oregon on the 28th (after over 20 hours on the road....apparently you can't drive a 24 foot moving truck very fast, especially when its towing a car.) The house has gotten a lot better already, but the work has been very slow, because we have the world's worst contractors. First the world's worst escrow, now the world's worst contractors....but its almost done, so yay. The biggest change so far is the kitchen, which ended up looking pretty much spectacular.

So here is the kitchen before we ever even moved in:

Not only did the kitchen just look ugly, but apparently almost all the cabinets were gross and semi rotted, there were layers of old nasty peeling wallpaper, all the electrical was questionable, the appliances were definitely not usable, and the wall the fridge was on was getting torn out. (The opposite side of that wall has the fireplace/chimney that didn't work and was torn out, and the dining room.)

By the time we actually moved in, all the cabinets were ripped out and most of the walls had lath and plaster exposed. (If you are wondering what lath and plaster is, don't'll know soon.) We had planned to refinish the floors (there was hardwood under several layers of ancient linoleum,) but the floors were so badly damaged that we decided on tile instead.

For about 4 months this was our kitchen:

That was our kitchen because this is what the actual kitchen looked like:

THAT is lath and plaster. Old houses don't have drywall, they have that freak show behind the walls.

The whole kitchen area got re drywalled, all new electrical, plumbed for a dishwasher and water for the fridge, plug and switch for a garbage disposal, all the good stuff. We painted the walls and I think the color turned out perfect. (Behr Oatcake.) The contractor was supposed to do the kitchen, but since he sucks we ended up going to Home Depot, and got a totally better kitchen for less money. The best part is, well what do you know?! The kitchen is actually done!

All the appliances are in now too, except for the fridge. The contractor is doing the tile, so its no surprise that the tile isn't finished, and we don't want to put the fridge in until the tile is in. Last night the mini fridge died though, so the new fridge is plugged in in the living room so that I could refrigerate last night's leftovers. I'll have to take pictures of the appliances so everyone can see the full effect. They're all stainless steel and by far the nicest that I've ever had. The dishwasher actually cleans EVERYTHING, and the stove is gas. Gas is by far better than electric...and I've had electric since I moved out on my own. So nice to have it back.

So now that I've actually written something, I'm assuming I will keep it up....we'll see.

Monday, June 15, 2009


We got a new puppy on Saturday.  We named her Maggie.  She is a golden retriever mix and she is around 5 months old.  She is great so far and she likes to play fight with Jack and then pass out.

Friday, June 5, 2009

We thought it was a goner but the house came back, the very next day...

109 days later....49 days late.  That is 7 weeks people! Thanks so much Countrywide, Bank of America, Tamiya Smith and Bill Peterson, you were completely inept!  Without you, we would have never had to provide documentation that we can paint interior walls! It doesn't matter.  WE CLOSED ESCROW!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


So...I'm all registered for classes at Western Oregon University.  Yikes!  I'm afraid I've gotten stupid from watching babies for too long.  On the other hand, I think I will probably actually read my textbooks and study this time, so maybe I'll do even better than I did last time.  Who knows?  I guess I'll have to see.

I start on September 28th, and since WOU is on quarters, I only have to go until the beginning of December.  I can pull that off...I think.

I'm taking 17 units, unless I can figure out a 2 unit class that I need.  Most of the classes I need are 4 units and the advisor thought I was crazy for wanting to take 21.  I'm enrolled in an earth science class and lab, (totally excited about that one, I like earth science....or any science that isn't chemistry.)  I also have to take a Linguistics class (Ling 210) which is supposedly really hard.  I have read the description and still have no idea what it is, but the advisor told me I should just plan on going to the tutoring center from the beginning.  How can a class be THAT hard?  If you HAVE to have tutoring, doesn't that kind of mean the teacher sucks?  My other two classes are a health class that covers children and adolescents, and an education class that I have to take before I actually enter the education program.  The advisor says that class is pretty fun/interesting and that most people like it a lot.  Should be a pretty good quarter, as long as the Linguistics class doesn't kill me.

Before school starts, we have 4th of July, a couple outdoor festivals , Dave Matthews Band at The Gorge in Washington, and hopefully a 5 day free vacation to Bend/Sunriver that we got for listening to a timeshare thing.  Its going to be a fun Summer!

We have a ton of stuff to do before we move too....we're still trying to get a renter for the condo.  We had someone look at it yesterday and someone else is coming on Friday.  So there's that.  I'll need to fill all the nail holes and touch up the paint and all that stuff.  Then of course, we have to actually pack and move all our junk.  In addition to that, Brian is going to Oregon this weekend and staying for a week.  If the house thing works out, he'll check on the house and construction, if it falls through he will find a place to rent.  So hopefully this time next week, we'll know where we are living.  Wouldn't that be nice!  He is also leaving his car at his mom's, so that we don't have to drive two cars up to Oregon.  This weekend my old friends Lorenzo and Patrick (brain tumor Patrick) are coming up and spending the night and going to "BuFest" in the malibu area with me on Saturday!  Then, the next weekend, Brian comes home and I pick him up at LAX.  Then right after we pick him up we are going to some sort of hockey party that I got dragged into.  Sunday is a friend's birthday party.  Then the weekend after that my cousin is hosting a little going away party for us, and the weekend after that we will panic and do everything we haven't done yet, and the weekend after THAT we move!  


Wednesday, May 27, 2009


We are moving in ONE MONTH.  Who knows WHERE we are going to live, because escrow was supposed to close on our Ammityville Horror house on April 17th and due to some guy named Bill in Lake Oswego and some chick named Tamara/Tamyra/I can never remember who lives in the midwest somewhere....we are STILL in escrow.  Those two people are supposed to be handling our stuff, but instead they spend their days ignoring us and not doing their job.  Then 2 days before escrow is supposed to close, they tell us we need to turn in like 15 new documents.  So we do, but then they want more.  So then they extend escrow 3 weeks.  Then they ignore us for 19 days and then demand more papers, then escrow has to be extended 3 more weeks.  This has happened twice.  One of these documents consisted of an explanation of who will paint a few small pieces of new drywall.  We can't say that Brian and I will do it, because what if we are injured and can't paint our drywall?  Seriously.  So for all those people who thought their escrow was a may have been, but we win.  Sorry.  Oh and just in case you were wondering, all their managers/superiors have been contacted and have received complaints.  they like to ignore us also.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not much to say.....

but how awesome is this?!

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Friday, May 1, 2009

Been a while...and Pat

So I keep wanting to write something but I haven't really had anything to write.  We will be moving in 8 weeks, so I guess the countdown begins.

I had written a while ago about how my friend Patrick has a brain tumor and how he was in the hospital over Christmas time.  The tumor isn't cancer, but it was in a part of his brain that controls a lot of important stuff, and it blocks the flow of brain fluid, so it will build up and cause major problems if he doesn't have the shunt in his head.  The doctors had talked about doing radiation but he met with a bunch of different doctors and one of the top surgeons in the U.S. (who is in San Francisco) thought that they should go ahead and try to remove the tumor.  This was for various reasons, including the fact that the tumor could eventually become cancerous, and the SCARY fact that the type of radiation that he would need would LOWER HIS IQ BY 25 POINTS.  Who knew?!

So for the last month or so Pat's been complaining about having to go back to the hospital.  He kept joking that he wanted the surgeons to play "Highway to the Danger Zone" when they did the surgery, and that he was going to yell "dead man walking" when they took him down the "green mile" to the OR.  He told me the other day (before the surgery) that he was singing "Don't Fear the Reaper" and his mom wasn't amused.  I kept giving him a hard time about complaining and being dramatic.  I hope he didn't think that I thought it wasn't a big deal.  I just can't be serious about serious stuff.  

Patrick had the surgery on Wednesday.  They took him in late, not until noon, and he was texting me up until about 11:45, complaining about having to wait.  He wasn't out of surgery until after 8pm.  It was obviously MAJOR surgery.  He had a biopsy of his tumor and his shunt installed a few months ago, and that was still surgery in his head, but it wasn't nearly as invasive as this time.  Last time he was in surgery for hours, and then late the next day he called and sounded HORRIBLE.  I was so scared after I talked to him, he sounded like he had gotten run over by a truck.  The next day he called me and sounded fine, didn't even remember calling the first time....he had just been really out of it.  This time is different.

Pat hasn't woken up and he's still on a respirator.  He had several seizures during the first night.  They have him sedated and when they bring him out of sedation he doesn't wake up, but they have been able to check his reflexes and stuff like that and those seem ok I guess.  The doctors seem to think this is within the realm of normal, since it was such major surgery, but when Pat was first given his consult, they said that he would be out of the hospital in three days.  This is obviously not what they expected.  It just scares me to think of him with a breathing tube and everything, when just hours before he had been texting me and complaining and threatening to do the surgery himself if they didn't hurry up.

I think I worry more than the average person about stuff like this.  When I was in 8th grade I had a friend that was hit by a car and died.  I KNEW people could die, I KNEW kids could die....but it didn't seem real until that happened.  I was messed up for a long time.  In fact, I don't think I've been the same since then.  My grandpa had died a few months before, and it was really sad and scary, but it was different.  He had had cancer and he had been sick for a long time, and although he wasn't OLD, he definitely wasn't a kid either.  It was just different.  When I was 20 my friend Ginger was at work and collapsed.  Her heart had stopped for no real reason and they weren't able to revive her until over 20 minutes had passed.  She was on life support in the hospital for a couple days but she was brain dead and she died.  I can't even think about it without feeling like I'm going to throw up.

Patrick probably just needs more time to recover.  They had to cut into actual brain matter and apparently you don't just bounce back from that.  The doctors seem encouraged by all the little signs that he will be ok.  They still feel that the surgery was the best option, and will benefit him in the long run.  When Pat wakes up, he's going to be pissed....he knew that even their estimate of a week in the hospital was crap, and that he'd be stuck in their longer.  He only has 2 seasons of Seinfeld on dvd with him and if he goes through those episodes and he isn't discharged, there will be hell to pay.

Joking aside though, I'm terrified.  If I think or even type about what I fear, I will fall apart.  I can't handle saying it out loud.  Its so unfair that someone who doesn't drink or smoke or do drugs or do ANYTHING would have this happen to them (but I always told him all the Mountain Dew couldn't be good.)  Its so weird that someone can be in the middle of finals in college and all of a sudden find out they have a brain tumor.  It is hard to wrap my head around the fact that he's not even breathing on his own right now and he was talking about surfing just a little while ago.

Pat will probably get better and read this and I just want him to know that this doesn't mean I can't make fun of you for being a whiner, but I really hope that everything works out and you can put this behind you.  Also I hope that you can find a girlfriend that doesn't suck.  Sorry.  I just had to say it.

Think good thoughts for Pat.  He's my friend and he needs to get better :)

oh and P.S. I only had two really dumb, really old pictures of you on my laptop so I stole the one off your blog thing.  You can thank me later for using one where you still had hair and no giant scars.

Monday, March 9, 2009

My New Favorite Food

One more recipe to complete the trilogy-


1 Tbs olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped (I always add more)
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, plus 1 Tbs adobo sauce
coarse salt
28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
4 cups of chicken (cut up) if you want chicken chilaquiles, or you can use eggs....we prefer eggs and use 4 
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro
4 cups (about 3oz) tortilla chips
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup feta cheese or queso fresco cheese

Combine oil and garlic in large frying pan, cook over medium heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes (with juices,) chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, and 1 cup water.  Smash up tomatoes.  Heat until boiling, add salt, then reduce heat but keep it at a high simmer for 6-8 minutes until it thickens.

If you want chicken, add chicken.  If you want eggs, scramble 4 or more eggs and add to pan.  Throw chips in and mix them around so they soak up some of the tomato, then add cilantro and turn off heat.  Serve with sour cream and cheese.  

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pepper Beef (or chicken)

3/4 lb flank steak (or any thin meat that's cheap, or chicken)

2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs chinese rice wine, rice vinegar...something like that
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbs canola oil, divided
1 cup vertically sliced yellow onion
1 1/2 Tbs minced garlic (or if you like garlic...a whole bunch of garlic)
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (about 1 pepper)
1 cup thinly sliced green pepper (about 1 pepper)
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups hot cooked short grain rice.

Cut steak or chicken into small strips. Combine meat pieces, soy sauce, vinegar/wine, sugar, and black pepper

Heat a wok or big frying pan over high heat.  Add to Tbs oil to pan.  Add onion and garlic to pan, cook until onion begins to brown.  Add bell peppers, cook until crisp tender.  Spoon bell pepper mixture into large bowl

Add 1 1/2 tsp oil to pan, add half of chicken or steak to pan.  Cook until browned.  Add to bowl of onions and peppers.  Repeat with remaining 1 1/2 tsp oil and remaining meat or chicken.  Put everything (onions/peppers/rest of meat) back in pan and sprinkle with salt, stir fry 1 minute or until heated through.  Serve over rice

4 servings...or two if you're pigs like us.

Dang Good Salmon Fish Tacos

This is for Kelsey, but also anyone that wants to try it out. Kelsey- we like stuff pretty spicy, so we always add more peppers.  If you follow the recipe it isn't super spicy, but probably too spicy for Rory...maybe taste some of the chipotle pepper to feel it out.  Suzi-  these are the really good tacos I've mentioned.  If you can find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that don't have wheat in it, everything else is gluten free.

You'll need this blackening spice, which is REALLY good and works for chicken too...if you don't want to make it you can use whatever you like to use to season salmon.

Blackening Spice
2 Tbs kosher salt
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs pepper
1 Tbs plus 1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs dried thyme
1 Tbs dried organo

Just put it all it a ziploc bag and mix it up.  Lasts 6 months according to the recipe or 2 years if you don't care like me. ha!

Chipotle Sauce
1 cup mayo (we use non fat, its just as good)
3 Tbs sour cream
2 minced canned chipotle chlies in adobo sauce (sold in a can in the mexican section of regular grocery stores)
2 Tbs minced cilantro
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Mix it all up, lasts 3 days in fridge

Rest of the tacos
About 1 1/2 lbs salmon (this amount is for two tacos for six people)
1/4 cup blackening spice
12 corn tortillas
8oz finely shredded cabbage
3 green onions including green tops,  diced up
3 Tbs lime juice
2 ripe tomatoes, diced.
Chipotle Sauce

***This particular recipe had a ridiculously complicated way of cooking salmon.  Here is what we do:
preheat oven to 450 degrees
Put blackening spice on salmon, put salmon on a piece of foil, put salmon in the oven for 15 minutes.  This almost always cooks the fish perfectly.  Check to make sure the fish is flakey and opaque.

In a medium serving bowl, toss together cabbage, green onions and lime juice.  

If you like your tortillas warm, warm the tortillas in the oven for about 8-10 minutes while you're cooking the salmon.

Assemble tacos with salmon, cabbage, tomatoes, and chipotle sauce.  

Friday, March 6, 2009

Things I will not miss about Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a beautiful place.  I used to love to come visit Suzanne in Ventura and then drive up to Santa Barbara and go shopping.  The weather is almost always great, there are lots of neat little shops and restaurants...I always had a great time.  Then I moved here.  

I got over it.

The blogger at  wrote this about Santa Barbara:

"Santa Barbara has to be the most simultaneously beautiful and boring city on earth. Every street and passageway is flanked by gigantic palms trees and inordinately large pink flowers drowning in sunlight the color and intensity of gold. Yet, my cronies and I spent the entire afternoon at a small booth in a Subway sandwich shop and in our parked car sipping Mike's Hard Lemonade bought at a grocery store. We couldn't find a bar or a patio or even a shop where the average pulse of its customers was over 15. Made no sense to me."

Sums it up perfectly.

Some things that drive me crazy about Santa Barbara-

1.  There is a ridiculous amount of horrible drivers here.  The other day, I was on the freeway in the middle lane, with a semi to my right and a Suburban in front of me.  The suburban was going WAY over the line, almost slamming into the semi.  This is a normal occurance.  People don't feel the need to go when the light turns green.  I've been behind  cars at a red light and had to wait for the next cycle because the cars took so long to make it through.  In parking lots, I'm pretty sure that people have their eyes closed while driving.  When Wendy came to visit me in Goleta for the first time, she noticed the bad driving in less than 5 miles, so I know its not just me.  Oh, and I've been rear ended twice, when I was stopped at a red light and the person behind me decided not to stop.

2.  As if all the bad driving wasn't enough, pedestrians are lacking in brains as well.  In parking lots, they just walk wherever they slow as they want.....while staring at you as you wait for them.  On Cabrillo (the main road along the beach) people just dart out from between parked cars, trying to run across the street, and give you a dirty look when you have to stop fast.  People on bikes do this too.  Then they act like you should be arrested for not realizing they were going to dart out in front of you.  You're on a bike! You're supposed to be following the same rules as a person in a car!  You're not even bothering to pose as a pedestrian and use the crosswalk.  

3.  Everyone thinks of Santa Barbara as this great coastal beach town, but here's a little secret.  The beaches here (at least compared to San Diego,)  SUCK.  My idea of a great day at the beach does not end with picking tar off your shoes or feet.  That's right...TAR.  Its all over the beaches.  Totally gross.

4.  The cops here are really bored.  I got pulled over once because the cop said I had swerved over the line on the freeway.  I had been in the fast lane....there was a center divide directly to my left (the way he said I swerved.)  I would have slammed into the concrete divide.  I didn't swerve.  It was 2am.  He asked if I had been drinking.  I said no.  He asked if I had anything with dinner.  No, I didn't.  Also....dinner was around 6pm.  If I was still drunk 8 hours later we have a problem.  Then he asked to see my ID, saw I was from San Diego, and got all excited, started talking about how he used to live there.  Then he let me go.  I'm pretty sure he just wanted someone to talk to.

5.  I was walking around the grocery store the other day.  There was this seemingly crazy woman with disheveled crazy hair, really messy, dirty, baggy clothes...she was talking to herself in a ranting, crazy tone.  I was like wow poor homeless lady.  She left when I did and got in a Mercedes and drove away.  In Santa Barbara these are rich eccentric people....anywhere else they're homeless.

6.  It hasn't been too bad lately (knock on wood) but the traffic here is ridiculous.  You could be stuck in traffic for half an hour, not moving at all....then you get to move and you're looking for some major accident.  Nothing.  Nothing at all to explain what was going on.  Or you're at a slow crawl for 40 minutes and then suddenly going 80.  (Where's that cop now?)

7. Speaking of traffic, there's only one freeway through Santa Barbara, so if anything happens on the freeway, you're not going anywhere.  For hours.

8.  When I first moved here I nannied for a nut job family that didn't put their baby in a proper carseat, even though I'm assuming they had the money, since they lived in Montecito and put the baby in a Mercedes.  They seemed to think I was supposed to be honored to work for them since they were so loaded and amazing.  They treated me like "the help" and got mad when they caught me talking to their rich "french cousin."  The help doesn't talk to the family...just the children.  The "french cousin,"  who had driven up in a vintage porsche, had started the conversation.  I quit.  I've had a couple great nanny jobs since then, but that turned me off big time.  Oh, they also were kind enough to let me know about their friend who had a place for me to live in exchange for the equivalent of $900 a month in babysitting.  It turned out to be a small room attached to the top of their house....with no closet or kitchen.  At all.  They let me know they didn't have to find me a place, it was just out of the kindness of their hearts.  Thanks.  Did I mention these people paid me the least amount of anyone I have worked for since I moved here?

9.  Santa Barbara is very against growth...they want to keep their small town feel.  That's a nice idea.  The result is that there are no Targets or Walmarts, just a disgusting run down Kmart....and virtually no drive thrus.  How can you have a Kmart instead of a Target?!

10.  When you order food from a window, and get 2 sandwiches and some fries, it should not cost $20...if it does, you're probably in Santa Barbara.

Oh Santa Barbara....I will not miss you.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Let Me Count the Ways

20 reasons I am excited to move to Oregon

1. I read here:    that there was a salon in Portland giving away a $75 deep conditioning if you would stand outside their building and reenact the scene from "Say Anything" where John Cusack wears the trench coat and plays "In Your Eyes" from his boombox.  The promotion is over but how cool is that?!

2.  The idea of visiting all of these delicious looking, cheap sources of food
There is pho!!!! and dim sum!!! and thai!!!! and EVERYTHING!!!!!

3. Being in the home of the coolest place on earth

4.  Weather

5.  Not having to smog my car unless we live in Portland.

6.  No sales tax

7. A house with a washer and dryer and TWO bathrooms AND A YARD.

8. Maybe college will be fun this time?

9. Living two miles from school after having commuted 45 minutes each way for two years.

10. I already have a bunch of friends in Oregon

11. The beef jerky place on the way to Corvallis

12. Closer to lots of Brian's family.

13. The green in Oregon makes California look brown.  No offense California, Oregon is just really green.

14. The beaches

15. An excuse to be pale.

16. Have you had beer in Oregon?

17.  I always loved that game Oregon Trail

18. We won't have to drive to Oregon every Christmas.

19. Powell's books

20. River Phoenix was born in Oregon, enough said.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Know what's really lame?

My hair.  

My hair is naturally super curly.  I have always hated it.  I don't hate curly hair in general, its just that I can never count on my hair to look good when I need it to.  If I straighten it, it looks good, but if I get sweaty or it rains or its foggy it will get so frizzy that I can't do anything to make it look ok again.  If I let it stay curly, it might look great, but it also might look like a freak show.  Can't predict which one will happen.  If I put it in a ponytail at any point during the day, it will totally mess up the back of my hair and leave a totally stupid looking dent in the curls.  This sucks, since I take care of babies and they will pull my hair unless I have it up.  

The second Christmas Brian and I were together he bought me a miracle.  I got my hair permanently straightened at a salon in Beverly Hills.  Its a special form of Japanese hair straightening developed by this guy Joe Kanno.  So Joe straightened my hair, even though I was convinced it would either all fall out, still look curly, be straight but look super damaged, or some other disaster would occur.  Yeah none of that happened.  My hair was straight, shiny, perfect looking.  Even the color looked new and better than ever before...and my hair was like 6 inches longer than it had been when it was curly.  When they sent me back to take off the robe thing I had been wearing, I looked in the mirror with my glasses on for the first time since they had straightened it and almost passed out.  I couldn't wash it for three days and it smelled like bacon, but I didn't care.  When I finally did wash it, I left it wet and just combed it, and it dried and looked perfect again.  Even better, it never got tangled, always looked perfect even if it rained, and didn't get dents in it if I had my hair up (or at least not as bad as before.)  Since the straightening was permanent, it stayed perfectly straight until it started to grow out, and even then it look pretty much straight, but the top of my head would get a little frizzy sometimes.  Barely anything compared to how it had been before.  After about 7 months I got it done again, and 7 months after that I got it done again.

I haven't gotten it done in a year and I think I am done with it.  This decision haunts me daily.  I decided to stop doing it because 

A. Its expensive, really expensive.

B. I will only let Joe do it and if we are moving to Oregon I don't really want to go to LA twice a year for the specific purpose of getting my hair straightened.  The Governator might go once a week, but he's the governator (yes, he goes to this specific salon once a week, and I have seen him while getting my hair done.)

C. Straight is awesome but it makes my hair REALLY straight.  As in, won't do anything at all except lay flat on the sides of my head looking nice and shiny but boring.  and flat.

D. Part of me feels like I'm living a lie and being someone I am not....walking around with straight hair makes me feel fake.  Not a lot, but a little bit.  If I had a daughter one day who had curly hair, I would feel bad that I was parading around as a straight haired person.  Its a thought that's way back in my head, but still.

So my hair has been growing out since last March and its doing weird stuff.  It pretty much still looks straight, which is crazy.  The new curly hair has grown down to about earlobe level, but the top still looks straight.  At the point where the new hair and old hair meet, there's a crazy weird triple dent.  That's the best way I can describe it.  It succeeds in making my hair look neither curly nor wavy....just messy.  I got 2 inches trimmed off the other day in the hopes that it would make the messy dent a bit more curly or wavy but it didn't.

That's about it, my hair is just lame.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

wait wait wait back up

Ok so I guess I left a lot out of that last post.  First of all, I didn't write anything for 2 months.  That is basically because I had meant this blog to be about the big move we are embarking on, and I wasn't sure about the details and hadn't told the appropriate people (ie employers) so I didn't want word to get out too much.  Also, I just got really busy.  So we had Christmas and New Year's, spent 2 weeks in Oregon during a crazy snow storm that everyone kept assuring me was NOT normal, and Pat (the same Pat I had just written about) thought it would be fun to go get a brain tumor and scare the crap out of me.  Turns out its not cancer, which is nice.  Didn't find that out for like two weeks though, and then there was another two weeks of the hospital and gibberish text messages from him at 2am.  Found out later that the hospital stay included a couple reactions to meds and meningitis.  Since he didn't share that info in his drugged stupor, I just thought he was being his weird self.  Truth be told, he has had weirder moments when nothing was wrong with him.

Also, I've applied and been accepted to Western Oregon University and we are moving at the end of June or beginning of July.  WOU is in Monmouth, near Salem, OR.  Also, Monmouth is not a dry town anymore, some people feel very concerned about me living in a dry town.  Really, it will be ok.

I love Oregon, I am totally excited.  I will miss being close to family in Ventura, and some friends and definitely the kids I take care of...but the truth is that Santa Barbara definitely doesn't feel like home and Ventura isn't quite right, and I'd like to try something different than San Diego.  When we move to Oregon we will be close to lots of Brian's family, and lots of Brian's old friends who I have gotten to know during our trips up there.  Yes, I know it rains there a lot.  I don't mind rain though, and now I will have an excuse for being so pale.  Oh, and its cheaper.  SO MUCH CHEAPER.

It was just a quiet, sleepy town... know those movies that start out with the family in a station wagon packed full of kids and boxes, pulling up to a house that the kids and wife have never seen before?  The kids are yelling about which room they want, the wife is amazed at how big the house is...."it needs some work but it will be great!"  Apparently, the wife was never involved in getting the house, and she can't believe her husband found it for such a great deal.  The house is in a small town, the neighbors seem friendly (maybe a little strange, but we're not in the city anymore!)  Then the kids start hearing stuff....and seeing stuff....and pretty soon people are getting possessed/people are dying/people are freaking out.  Yeah well, we've put an offer in on a house, and it has been accepted.  A big house.  In a small town.  We just can't believe what a great deal it was!  Don't worry though, I've watched a ton of scary movies, I know how to stay alive.    **2 points if you know what the house is in the picture.