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Aug. 16th, 2015 | 11:17 pm

Today I reached 40% of my real estate program studied. Tomorrow I start a new contract-to-perm design job. I didn't want to go back to design and slow my studies but it's a nice remote job and I was recommended by some ex coworkers who seem to like working there. And a money buffer before starting as a novice in a new career would be prudent.

Old friends moved to town and it makes me very happy. That's about all I can type now because here comes the ambien!

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(no subject)

Jun. 29th, 2014 | 09:37 pm

This is me having an expression of doubt and unhappiness. This is not me thinking I've made an error, and I say all this knowing full well that I am the architect of this situation. I'm just going through a lot of discomfort and need to work it out.

MOVING: The Bad

Is it that...
I miss Randall? I forgot how untethered I feel without someone to come home to, and what a kind, calm, entertaining, loving presence he is in my life. This is not a love letter, but he invariably improves my mood, calms me down when I'm flying off the handle, and makes me feel like I'm in the right place and right time just by being there with me. He also makes sure I'm taking care of myself. Totally been taking that shit for granted. Goddamn I love that wiener man.

I don't know where anything is, so each time I need to get groceries, or see other humans, or just not see the walls of this apartment, it's once more unto the breach. Everything outside of this space is an unknown, but this space i'm most familiar with is depressing as fuck. I guess this is my cue to become a regular somewhere.

Yeah, this apartment. Nothing's *wrong* with it but it isn't the kind of place I would choose to live. It's new, soulless, contrived, loud, ugly, and I don't feel as if I can unpack as we're not going to be here very long (I hope). It's in a convenient location but it's on a busy street with nothing interesting nearby. A sense of home is something I've sought all my life and in the past few years I've really had it. It grounded me and gave root to my sanity, creativity, and stability and now I'm hard-pressed to find that here.

My friends. When I need to see other humans, I don't know who to go to. I miss my people and the things we'd do. Local acquaintances, coworkers and even strangers have been universally lovely and welcoming, but they're all still strange. Potential friends, yes, but no family yet. All perfectly normal, but unsettling.

I'm just off kilter and can't seem to get right. I feel hung over, depressed, and tired all the time. Migraines (awful), tummy troubles and a minor back injury haven't helped. Songs come on the radio and I burst into tears. I feel like I should call in sick to work tomorrow, but then I realize that staying "home" here won't make me feel rested or better. This is what depression with a side of anxiety looks like.

I feel a lot of responsibility for this decision and its effects outside of myself. I hope Max is happy here, and I hope Randall is more than happy here. I hope he's relaxed and fulfilled and we have a ton of fun. But right now with just me even the cats seem depressed.

MOVING: The Good

Well, moving itself is pretty much all bad, but I can tell you quite a few good things about Portland itself.

It's really pretty. Everything is much more alive here than the bay area. It's green and the colors are saturated and the foliage is casually languid. It has rained more than once, but I have no complaints about that yet. Stunning clouds too. It's quite lovely and there's also many interesting buildings from the last couple of centuries to look at. California seems very dry in comparison.

It's relaxed. People (in general) are not in a huge rush. Work does not seem to rule over all other aspects of life here. I have not yet heard anyone decline an invitation because it's "a school night." In related news, there's no maddening commute (for me anyway) and drivers are super polite. Some would say to a fault, but I like it.

You really can bike all over and there appears to be a municipal respect for bikers that results in it feeling pretty safe.

The coffee, the food, etc. Good stuff everywhere you look. No problem being gluten-free (or vegan, or carnivore) either. You can't go three blocks without seeing a business that looks intriguing enough to stop for. Many bars with patios and pinball machines.

There's way more music and comedy venues per capita compared to the bay area (or appears to be) and people use them. Some say that it's because Portland is full of trust fund babies, but I'm not one of them and I get to enjoy it. You can see the presence of other arts too, but I'll have to report back on those.

People have been friendly and kind. Immediately, on a level that would take bay area people many meetings to get to. It's hopeful for me. People are also individualistic and weird and it's heartening to see. It is a lot like Berkeley but so far it seems like a bigger, better, less befuddled Berkeley if that makes any sense.

I am hopeful.
In three days I get Randall and Max back and then I hope to start looking at this place through happier eyes.

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(no subject)

May. 22nd, 2014 | 10:27 am

You guys! So much to say and I can't talk about it on Facebook because our families haven't been told yet and we're still working out job details. SO HELLO AGAIN, LJ!

TL;DR: We're moving to Portland in less than a month - Please don't mention on FB.

We've been idly talking about it for years, but in the last six months or so it got more real. A few things lead to it: the most acute being that both of us feel like our lives are completely dominated by our work because the cost of living here requires it of us. Your mileage may vary, but for us it's been feeling like a treadmill without enough payoff.

From this point I won't attempt to speak for Randall, only for myself.
I grew up in San Francisco from age 14. That's almost 30 years here. I moved here away from the first true friends and stability I ever had, but towards the big city full of artists, punk shows in parking lots, new wave dance clubs, all stripes of alternative culture, and beautiful old buildings. I went from child to adult here and I LOVED this place. I discovered my own independence here, love and loss, a career, and the craziest experiences you can imagine. I never felt more at home than I did here.

But things change like they always do. I know SF is a boom town and history just keeps repeating. I got through the 90s and 2000s with some sadness over the changes big money brought, but it was alright and somewhat thrilling to be part of a new industry. A lot of us fled to the east bay when the city got to be too much, but now it's gone past my threshold. Maybe I've just gotten old and nostalgic (or maybe wiser), but it's not fun for me anymore. This is a rich man's playground and I'm not interested in what that has to offer. SF has turned into Manhattan, and I didn't want Manhattan. Plus I've never really moved anywhere as an adult. Why not try it?

It's crazy to me that I'm actually someone who CAN afford to live here (if barely), and yet the fact that working class people and artists can't makes it too bitter to bear. And the truth is, I AM one of those people and I would rather live out my life being true to my nature than making $$ in an environment I hate. I don't know what I'm going to do but I can't do it with full time corp job and two hours of commute each day.

Anyway, you know all this. How many articles have you read about the douchebaggery of SF? About evictions and tech bros and google buses? It may be true, but we're all tired of hearing about it. I just don't have the energy left to carve out my own vision of San Francisco and the Bay Area anymore. I'm stretched too thin just getting by. To those of you who stay and work to keep the torch of culture and free thinking lit here, I salute you with all my heart. I know I sound like a cranky old hippy but it's hard not to be hyperbolic when talking about the factors leading to a sea change in life.

I know magical Portlandia isn't a panacea, and I have a feeling in 10 or 20 years it will be rife with the same issues SF has, but right now it's pretty great. It's got a lot going on and we can sell our house here and live for less there. It's pretty simple. The people are nice. Have you seen the trees? The amount of bikes and shows and good food? My company has an office up there - that makes an easy transition for me. Randall is still figuring out how he can keep working his job. We rented an apartment so we can get acquainted with the place before we decide to buy again. We'll be going some time in June.

I will miss my people and my house. However I'll be back at least twice this summer for work, so stay in touch. I'm sure I'll have a lot to say about Portland soon. If you have any questions, ask.

ETA: I know Portlandia is for real, but I've spent a lot of time in Berkeley so I know the drill. Also - Cats: Drive or fly them? Advice?
AETA: I may not be able to handle the weather! I'm not sure. But it's worth a try! VISITORS SUPER WELCOME.

Again, please do not mention this on Facebook. Discretion is needed for a while.

Read Similar:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/07/new-york-1percent-stifles-creative-talent
http://www.citylab.com/housing/2013/10/san-francisco-exodus/7205/

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(no subject)

Dec. 16th, 2011 | 01:44 pm

Into old houses? I have a blog for that.
http://revictorian.com/

Spread it around!
(PS, I've been busy lately.)

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In lieu of meaningful content

Jan. 19th, 2011 | 01:59 pm

I present my hair and glasses from the last two years.



There were some good days and some bad days.

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(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2010 | 02:16 pm

I need to think of a character from a two or more character story to draw in three active poses. I would like this character to be female.
...And GO!

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(no subject)

Aug. 26th, 2010 | 02:21 pm

Hey Internets, how are you?
I've been kinda laying low, as I have been for the past year or so. Lots to do and lots think about at any given time. Max is back in Florida but we had a great summer together. He's at a fun age where us less-parental types can relate better. When he left I gave him a small antique key I had since I was a kid because he wanted to wear it as a necklace (like I used to). I hope he knows how much we love him. We may actually see him at christmas time this year - his mom has another baby on the way and delivery (and grandparents flying out) may coincide with the holidays, which would make transportation much easier.

So when is the house done enough to have a housewarming party? Do you know? It's stupid, but I've worked so hard on parts of it that I don't want those parts to be overshadowed by the many things still yet to be fixed. Yeah I know it'll never be perfect. So I'm thinking maybe combo party for our birthdays at the beginning of October. That's still under a year from move-in!

Still on my immediate house to-do list: Paint the moulding in the kitchen, paint the hallway (still has visible nicotine stains *bleah*), install a couple of lights, find a chandelier to restore on ebay, find a storage solution/printer stand for the office, hang more pictures... find frames for said pictures... it goes on and on.

In lieu of doing these tasks I spent the last week catching up on True Blood. And that's okay. I feel like my brain needs a certain amount of shut-down time to recalibrate. Being a parent for a couple months at a time makes for mental and emotional jet-lag. Also I feel like I'm coming to the end of my period of obsessively working on the house and soon I'm just going to live in it - which will free up a lot of time and creative energy and I'm wondering what I'm going to do with that.

The big answer is that eventually I want to be (at least partially) self-employed. There are lots of things I like to do, and some that I could get really good at - I only wish I knew which one a) I could be happy doing for a very long time, and b) people were most likely to pay me for. Tattoos? Illustration? Cafe proprietor? In related news I've registered for an intro to illustration class that I hope will shed some light on what I actually enjoy. I don't know. I'm just starting to feel a little bit old to still be so far away from the answers. If you have any opinions on what I should do, I'd be happy to consider them.

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(no subject)

Jun. 7th, 2010 | 01:33 pm

How the kitchen went - in epic detail!Collapse )

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(no subject)

Jun. 3rd, 2010 | 02:16 pm

PCOS is tied in with a pre-diabetic metabolism, so they Rx'd me something called Metformin. It targets insulin resistance, something I was showing signs of. I didn't realize I'd been showing signs of it all my life: hunger was never something I could casually address, it was always a big low-blood sugar freakout. Because of that, I've always eaten in a manner to keep it at bay. Heavy foods and eating before I got hungry (because there was nothing between not hungry and RAVENOUS). Well, I didn't realize that wasn't how most people are. Apparently there's this feeling that goes "Hmm, food is starting to sound good. I wonder what I should make for dinner?" Yeah, there is! And now I've experienced it!

Do you understand? This is a physical revelation to me. I can choose if I want to eat or not. That's never happened before. Before it was all about staying ahead of the crash - the terrible, shaky body, fogged mind and wanting to cry I was so hungry crash.

I don't know how long this is going to last, and I don't know how I feel about once again being in debt to big pharma, but right now I'll take it.

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Meme!

May. 29th, 2010 | 07:34 pm

Hi Gwenzilla! Thanks for the quarters.

THREE NAMES YOU GO BY:
1. Valerie
2. Babby
3. Boopsie

THREE THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW:
1. turquoise sandals
2. purple t-shirt (I'M A PURPLE LADY!)
3. my usual spirally earrings.

THREE THINGS YOU WANT VERY BADLY AT THE MOMENT
1. sleep
2. a mixer
3. fun, without interfering with sleep.

THREE PEOPLE WHO YOU HOPE WILL DO THE MEME
1. you!

THREE THINGS YOU DID LAST NIGHT
1. Sat around a table with friends.
2. Talked about cheese that came from a necklace. It's even worse than it sounds.
3. Watched this :(


THREE PEOPLE YOU LAST TALKED TO ON THE PHONE:
1. Randall.
2. My boss.
3. I don't like talking on the phone.

THREE THINGS YOU ARE GOING TO DO TOMORROW:
1. 104th annual backyard party that takes place at Tom and Chris' place.
2. Paint the rest of the kitchen, and/or build bunkbed.
3. Sleep in.

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE DRINKS:
1. Coffee.
2. Water.
3. Thai iced tea.

THREE THINGS THAT MADE YOU SMILE TODAY:
1. Finishing one side of the kitchen.
2. "an orca is a female orc."
3. Randall makes me laugh about 50 times a day.

And I'm done.

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