Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Part 2

Well, it got so crazy this year that I managed to pull off two completely different costumes! This stemmed from the fact that our foursome had originally been planning on a Wizard of Oz theme, but that got nixed. Unfortunately this was after I had already purchased a non-returnable Dorothy costume, complete with ruby slippers.

Since several members of our Peter Pan crew were unable to join in the Halloween night festivities, we all donned individual costumes – Jeanna as a geisha, Vanessa sporting my NYPD cop costume from last year, and me as Dorothy. We had decided after much deliberation to attend a party at the Last Supper Club in Pioneer Square, a place I would normally avoid like the plague. However, this year the Underdog Sports League rented out the lower-level bar, and entrance was free for all league members.

Decked out in our costumes, the three of us headed downtown with Tre and Damon. The club was packed, and it took a while to get up to the bar for our $3 drink specials. We took to double-fisting them just to avoid standing in line again. Jeanna’s costume was a huge hit, and I am convinced she should cut her hair into a bob and dye it black immediately.
We hit the dance floor and had a fabulous time. I even managed to find myself a Scarecrow! All three of our costumes eventually became covered in spilt beer, and I’m pretty sure we collectively smelled like a drunk dirty homeless person. Luckily, everyone else was too intoxicated and covered with beer themselves to notice.

After the extremely lame costume contest in which no one could see the stage, we topped off the night with our own version of Dance Party USA as the deejay began playing 1980s pop songs like Hey Mickey. A fabulous way to end the night, and the Halloween festivities in general. My only disappointment was that a random stranger didn't come up to me and declare, "There's no place like home!" but I suppose that would have been a little much to ask.
I’m not going to deny I’m already thinking about what my costume will be next year. I can’t wait!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween

Well, I really managed to outdo myself this year with probably one of my most memorable Halloween weekends on record. Here’s the breakdown…
Friday night began with a group costume, starring yours truly as Peter Pan, Larisa as Captain Hook, Jeanna as Mr. Smee and Vanessa as Tinkerbell. We made quite a cast of characters! I don’t know how I got roped into playing the boy who wouldn’t grow up for Halloween, but the costume actually ended up being cute; and I still got to rock fishnets and sparkly green eye makeup! Our group was supplemented by Tre, dressed as some sort of little boy from Holland, and Abe as Sayid from the ABC series Lost. After a significant amount of pre-funking at Vanessa’s house, we headed to a house party in Greenlake. I freaking love Halloween. There is nothing more entertaining than going to parties and checking out the strange/fabulous costumes people have thought up. At the party we also met up with Mike, who came as Clark Kent/Superman.

My favorite part of the party by far was when a perfect stranger approached me, looked deeply into my eyes and said, “Oh there you are, Peter!” If you’ve ever seen the movie Hook, you get it.
After a broken window mishap, several beers, and some karaoke, we decided to bail to another party in the neighborhood. This one proved to be far more entertaining. That is, after I managed to get in the door, which proved difficult due to the overwhelming stench. This party was far larger than the first, two stories of Halloween fun! The cool old house was like a maze, with random hallways and doors everywhere, very spooky. There was also an upper deck and backyard perfect for getting away from the hot, noisy interior.
After hitting the keg, Jeanna and I decided to get our groove on in the sunken living room, which had been converted into a dance floor complete with deejay and multicolored lights. However, notice that I said sunken living room… this means that we had to go down two or three steps before hitting the hardwood floor below. This would have been good info to have beforehand. Somehow in the dark I assumed there was only one step, and in a movement obviously lacking all grace, I pitched forward into the crowd of people and slammed into the floor, only avoiding knocking out a tooth by getting my knee underneath me at the last second.

I spent the rest of the party trying not to bleed on people. And arguing that I was, in fact, Peter Pan, not Robin Hood as many suggested. As the night wound down, we decided to head out. Totally disregarding my little spill inside the house, Jeanna thought it would be a great idea to slide down a railing next to three flights of concrete steps. She got about six steps down before crashing to the ground and narrowly escaping a rough tumble to the bottom. We were up to three scraped knees at this point… super classy.
The next morning wasn’t pretty as Jeanna and I woke up bruised, scraped and battered. Ah well, it’s the price you pay, I supposed. We geared up for another Halloween night out. Saturday night we had plans to attend a few parties in Queen Anne before heading out to the bars. We retained the same “Second Star to the Right and Straight on ‘Til Morning” theme, but this evening also included Kelly as Tigerlilly, and we were sadly sans Tinkerbell. After hanging at Je’s house for a while, we trucked ourselves up the hill in the frigid weather.
Since it was still early, the party was pretty low-key. We took advantage of the keg and spent most of the next couple hours inside socializing with each other inside… skanky costumes really aren’t made for icy October nights in Seattle, and we were reluctant to join the other party-goes on the deck. Eventually, Larisa’s friend called and informed us of a fabulous party happening in Beacon Hill. Normally I would never consider taking a cab that far into the south end for a house party, but since it was Halloween I decided to make an exception.

It was the longest, most expensive cab ride of my life. After pit stopping at a gas station for more beer, we became virtually stuck in SoDo – completely blocked from our destination by an endless line of trains, of all things. After waiting for them to pass for nearly 10 minutes, Jeanna couldn’t take it anymore and hopped out of the cab to find a convenient bathroom. Finally, we made it to the party.
Unfortunately, the house was filled with snobs the other girls had gone to high school with. Every guys and girl I met pretty much sucked. I managed to entertain myself for a while by singing karaoke with Kelly, but was overall disappointed in our choice of destination. Jeanna, Kelly and I headed out, in search of a main road that might yield a taxi back to the city. However, we took a wrong turn and were soon wandering, shivering cold, around a residential Beacon Hill neighborhood.
Once we finally found a main street there were no cabs in sight. Fortunately a mutual friend who had been at the party happened to drive by and offered us a ride. The journey home was the one thing that salvaged the night as we danced, laughed hysterically and sang at the top of our lungs the whole way home. It was awesome.
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Tara!

Yesterday I got together with my entire family on my dad’s side for my cousin Tara’s birthday – her 21st! This included my parents, grandparents, brother and sister, aunt and uncle, cousin Kate… basically everyone except my cousin Shane, who is going to college in Hawaii and understandably couldn’t attend.

I felt semi-awkward being around my sister, since the last time we interacted it was in the midst of a gigantic fight, but the evening actually turned out really well. We met up at Tara’s apartment where she lives with her boyfriend in the U-District. Their place was in one of those totally charming old brick buildings, and the inside was really roomy with a lot of character and hardwood floors. I was happy to see Tara had found such a great apartment to move into, since their previous was a tiny studio in Belltown.
We all trooped up to a tiny Chinese restaurant a few blocks away for dinner. The place was a hole in the wall, but turned out to be really great. All 12 of us sat at a large round table with one of those convenient turntables in the middle, so everyone could share hot tea with just a quick spin. Chinese food is one of my absolute favorite things, so I proceeded to stuff myself with egg drop soup, sweet and sour chicken, chow mein and egg rolls. I probably gained five pounds, but it was totally worth it.

Back at Tara’s apartment we indulged in a fantastic cake my grandma had made. I swear there is really nothing better than a homemade cake from Grandma. Rainbow chocolate chip with chocolate chip icing on top and in a nice thick layer in the middle. Yum.

Being that it was Halloween weekend, I naturally had to take off fairly early to get ready to partake in the holiday festivities. But I was glad to come by and wish Tara a happy 21st birthday… she’s going to love the world of legal-aged drinking!

Happy Birthday Cuz!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

WWU Reunion

Following my Middle Eastern cultural experience, we headed out for a Saturday night on the town. Jeanna and I traveled to Ballard with Tre and Kyle for a little pre-funkage before meeting Vanessa, Mike and Eddie at a Ballard hot spot. Then we headed to Fremont, where some people I knew from college were hanging out. However, Tre and Jeanna had other ideas, and wanted to head up north to meet Tre’s sister. As soon as Kyle described the “dive bar” that was their destination, I knew I wanted to pass on that idea. Ignoring the group’s forceful demands that I tag along, I eventually had to climb out Jeanna’s sunroof to escape the journey, and headed to the Triangle.

Once inside the bar, it immediately became clear that I had hours of catching up to do. My ex boyfriend Alex was completely hammered, along with all of his friends. It was so great to see them all! It had been at least two or three years since I had seen Bart and Nichole, who are now married. And I hadn’t seen Kelly since a drunken encounter at Kell’s about six months ago, where it had been way to loud to really catch up. And of course the rest of the “crew” was there: Josh, Tyrell, Casey, Eric, et al – Basically the entire WWU rowing team from 2000-2004. I forgot how much I’ve missed them! You tend to lose touch with these types of mutual friends after a breakup; it’s inevitable.
But they’re a great group of guys.
A DRUNK group of guys. Although Alex desperately needed to be cut off, he continued to order drink after drink. He was visiting from Reno, where he moved about a year ago, and was in the mood to do more than a little celebrating at being reunited in Seattle with his buddies. What could I do? I wanted to help (and hopefully avoid Alex being kicked out of the bar on his ass) so as soon as his back was turned I helpfully downed whatever drink he had most recently ordered. Ha. Free drinks for Sarah, and a little unknown sobering up for Alex.

The night ended up being really great – it’s always fun to hang out with old friends, and a good feeling to know you and your ex can move past all the dumb bullshit and just be friends. Of course it usually takes a little alcohol to get the ball rolling, but there’s nothing wrong with that!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Leyl Al Arab

This Saturday I had a random start to my night. Jeanna, Larisa, Vanessa and I attended a performance of Middle Eastern dance. Random, I know.

Most people will remember that the four of us take belly dancing classes on Monday nights at the YMCA. Our teacher, Katia Sahar, is an amazing dancer and was performing Saturday at Enat Ethiopian Restaurant in Northgate. To show our support, we decided to show up, pay our five bucks and have dinner while watching the show.

I’ve never been to an Ethiopian restaurant before, and I have to say eating dinner there was an experience in itself. Dumbfounded, I looked at the menu and didn’t see a single recognizable item. I decided to go out on a limb and split the combination platter with Jeanna; at least I would get a taste of several authentic foods all at once.

It was by far the strangest meal I’ve ever had. When the steaming platter of food arrived, it was covered with many small piles of pureed meats and vegetables. I looked around for my fork to try a tiny bite of the yellow stuff, and realized that silverware was not an option. We were instead expected to eat finger foot style, tearing off pieces of gray, dough-like bread and using them to scoop up mouthfuls of the strange-tasting food.

Not so daring in her order, Larisa had requested a small bowl of lentils. She then made the mistake of asking for a spoon to eat them with. The waitress scoffed and reprimanded her with a stern shake of the head before stalking away. Apparently in this sort of place you’re just supposed to go with the flow – asking for a little something extra seemed to be strictly off-limits. As Larisa stealthily grabbed the tiny spoon out of the sugar bowl and began to eat with it, I was sure we were going to be kicked out immediately.

About halfway through our meal the performance began. If you’ve never seen true belly dancing before, it’s quite an experience. It was hard to understand how these women could gyrate their hips while following complicated steps, smiling and seductively waving their arms at the same time. I don’t think we’ve quite gotten to that in our class yet: I’m still working on my shimmy.

Although the food was tolerable, I don’t think I would go out of my way to eat it again. About halfway through the performance we collectively agreed that our stomachs were churning and rocking to the music. However, the dancers were highly entertaining, and I think Katia was surprised and pleased that we had shown up. Overall, I think it was a great start to the evening.

To be continued…

Friday, October 20, 2006

Seattle Seven

Last night marked my second event as an employee at my new job. However, this particular evening proved to be far more stressful than previous events I've been a part of, since this time I was in charge.

Coordinating a major event in downtown Seattle was no small feat. I had to systematically organize and implement a $20,000 budget and event plan, something I had never done on so large a scale before. I was pretty much frantic for the entire day. Not only did I have to synchronize everything with the Event Coordinator at Benaroya Hall, but I also had to manage the catering company, wine supplier, flower company, printer, photographer and videographer. All this while simultaneously directing seven fabulous interior designers in a photo shoot – quite intimidating. But yay, I managed to pull it off with no major glitches.

The Seattle Seven event itself was sponsored by two major companies: Starwood Capital Global, LLC+ and Avalon Holdings, along with my company. It was private event showcasing seven of Seattle’s most outstanding interior designers and their vision for modern living. To do this, the designers each used the Second + Pine penthouse as their canvas, and then presented his or her vision with inspirational renderings, interior images and sample interior finishes. This was done on large display boards that we set up around the perimeter of the room.

Second + Pine is a world-class high-rise community currently being developed in downtown Seattle, including luxury condominiums, an urban grocer and flagship retail. The award-winning interior design firm Yabu Pushelberg will premiere the interior home finishes and common areas for Second + Pine.

I ran around frantically for most of the day attempting to ensure that the event would be a success. This included a lot of last-minute details I’m sure the party-goers were unaware of… running down the street to Pacific Place to buy a guest book and matching pen, sending a co-worker to buy a glue gun, stuffing hundreds of packets of information, setting up displays and flower arrangements, chilling wine, coordinating lighting, mic checks, etc. All this while wearing four inch stiletto heels – big mistake.

By the time the event finally began I was exhausted. My boss told me I could go home, but I didn’t feel right about leaving since I had been the contact point for so many people throughout the day. So I took her advice and had a glass of wine. One quickly turned into many, and I spent the next couple hours chatting with our receptionist and his girlfriend. As the event began to wind down, I realized I was practically spinning from the combination of wine and not remembering to eat all day. Frantically, I looked around for my boss to make sure she didn’t notice my state. Not to worry, she was having a great time entertaining her guests and hadn’t taken notice of me. I sighed with relief and began to unsteadily help with the cleanup efforts before accepting a ride home from Isaac.

I can’t believe it, I pulled off a successful event! I never realized how much effort it takes to put on a party of that magnitude – and I have to admit it's much more fun to simply attend as a guest. But I do feel pride in the fact that the Seattle Seven event was a success, and I look forward to more party planning – I think I might have a newly discovered talent!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Ladies Night

A night out on the town with the girls is always fun, and this past Saturday was no exception. Angela was kind enough to organize a girls only wine/appetizer party, and the night turned out to be pretty fabulous.

We started off at Angela’s apartment in Fremont. Her place was nicely crammed full of fabulous females, amazing appetizers and an assortment of wines. In between chatting with friends I managed to completely stuff myself with some delectable goodies – my personal favorite were Vanessa’s stuffed portabella mushrooms.

Once sufficiently buzzed, we headed down the street to the High Dive, anticipating hearing The Mob Law play. As we approached the bar, I couldn’t help but notice the absolutely gorgeous ladies I was surrounded by. I still don’t understand how anyone could possibly call this group “the B squad.” We are undoubtedly a group of complete hotties! Not to mention we all have amazing personalities to boot.

Waiting in line to show my ID I was greeted with a pleasant surprise; several guys that I went to college with but hadn’t seen in nearly two years were on their way in to see the band as well! I met Josh, Tyrell and Casey sophomore year at Western and hung out with them incessantly until graduation, so it was great to catch up and reminisce. Inside, I also saw another group of old friends from Western – apparently it was college reunion 2006 in Seattle this weekend. Random.

The Mob Law was pretty rockin’ and we had a great time drinking and dancing the night away. Sometimes it just feels so great to go out with the girls with no expectations except to hang out with each other. I really love my fabulous friends!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Gallery Opening

One of the perks of my new job is that we throw large, extravagant, expensive parties all the time. I’ve experienced a couple these events before, but last night was my first time attending as an employee.

Of course since I have no boyfriend I invited Jeanna, who is quickly becoming a fabulous stand-in. Who needs relationship drama when you can go out and get drunk with your girlfriends, right?

Gallery is one of those luxury downtown condominiums that my company markets. Even though the Belltown project currently only consists of a hole in the ground on the corner of Second & Broad, yesterday marked the opening of the sales center, which is basically a mini-condo where agents can take prospective buyers to convince them that a condo at Gallery is a must-have purchase.

Gallery takes an interesting approach at selling condos, by marketing four distinct homes/lifestyles:

“When your motto is less is more. The look is cool, calm, collected. With a place for everything and everything in its place.”

“Current, confident, yet classic describes the Modernist. Warmer woods, soothing shapes and calmer colors define this palette, a contemporary expression of traditional good taste that never goes out of style.”

“For those who have something to say, and aren’t afraid to say it, the Expressionist palette is a bold statement, featuring strong tones and clean lines.”

When you can’t be defined by just one style, make your own. Put the Eames chair next to the Barry sofa, and fuchsia paint on the wall. Gallery offers a multitude of options to help you create your own work of art – your home.”

Basically, Gallery’s theme is Life = Art, a concept they tried to promote at the party. The rooms themselves were works of art, filled with beautiful, perfectly matched furniture, paintings and photographs. I felt like I had stepped into another world. This combined with the dazzling array of beautiful people was almost sensory overload. I’ve never seen so many of Seattle’s finest in one place at one time! Everywhere I looked was a gorgeous man in a suit, or a beautiful woman dressed in designer everything. This was definitely a world I could learn to love.

Jeanna and I made ourselves at home by hitting the bar. Alpine Martinis, which consisted of Absolut Citron and mint sorbet topped with pine sprigs. It was a little strong for me, and after wandering around for a while drinking and socializing with my co-workers, I switched to wine. We basically spent the rest of the evening people watching, eating fancy hors d'oeuvres and drinking. At one point we ventured outside onto the streets of Belltown and were rewarded by a rapping homeless man. Since he performed, I gave him a dollar.

I hadn’t meant to spend the entire evening at a work event, but all of the sudden Jeanna and I looked around and realized that not only were we basically the only ones left at the party, but we were more than a little tipsy. It was time to go. Normally I wouldn’t be at all interested in going out in lower Queen Anne on a week night, but since I already had a buzz going it didn’t take long for Jeanna to convince me we should go to Pesos.

A few hours, a couple bars and one creepy new friend later, it was time to head home. I woke up this morning with a headache and a smile. I love my new job. Cheers!

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Real Deal

Today I started my new career as a Marketing Coordinator and let me tell you, it was real overwhelming. This job is going to be drastically different than what I was doing before in a million different ways.

To give you some background from my company’s Web site, we are "the recognized dream team that supports developers and their lenders for the disposition of high-profile, high-volume condominium and mixed-use buildings in the city. As a single point of service, the award-winning marketing company provides market research, product development, marketing and sales management from inception to completion by employing proven techniques to engineer the results of sales.”

I know… what? I’m pretty sure most people still don’t know what the hell my job is, and even less can figure out what it has to do with my degree. I’m still figuring it out myself, I’ll let you know. But I do know that I made a move in a very positive direction.

So far I feel very out of place, lost and confused. Even though I have worked with many of the people in this company before, it’s different to now be one of their co-workers. Even worse; before I was an expert at everything I did, so they respected me. Now I am the clueless new girl who doesn’t even know how to use the fancy fax machine.

It’s very odd to go from working for a company with hundreds of employees to one with only about 15 people. The company takes up the seventh floor of the historic Olympic Tower on the corner of Third and Pine Streets. Needless to say, a bad location for me – not only am I blocks from every fabulous shopping venue in town, but I’m also right across the street from McDonalds! And let me tell you, gaining ten pounds from eating McDonalds every day is NOT an option. All of the girls I work with are fabulous, trendy, 20-somethings who are perfectly put together every single day… and not one of them weights more than a buck ten. Not gonna lie, I bought myself a substantial new wardrobe last weekend just to try and fit in.

Basically I still work in a cubicle, but a nicer one. I still work in front of a computer for most of the day, but it’s a brand new flat screen. I still work with advertising, but now I sell it to the Seattle Times instead of processing it at the Seattle Times. I’ve moved up, in a nutshell.

Even though I’m not going to specifically be using my degree, I’m really excited about how much I’m going to learn in my new position. I get to help market expensive downtown condo projects from the ground up. This means developing the brand and then marketing it to the public. I get to create ads for magazines, newspapers and web sites. I get to write copy for advertorials and marketing materials. I get to plan and throw fabulous parties for various project stages. I get to design and print direct marketing materials and invitations. I’m pretty excited to get my foot in the door and become an expert on all these things.

I can’t wait until I am up to speed, it’s just so frustrating to be the new girl still trying to figure everything out. I know I can be great at this job. I just hope the learning curve isn’t too steep. Fingers crossed…

Friday, October 06, 2006

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye!

Well, I’ve managed to get through my final week at the Seattle Times. When I first started working here I thought it was just temporary. Little did I know it was a job I would learn to love.

When I first got assigned to work with my sales rep, Mikel, I was terrified. He took me out to lunch and asked me, “Why the hell do you want this job anyway? Don’t you know this is the most difficult desk in the company? I’m going to make you cry.” Even now I don’t remember what possessed me to accept a position working with a person who would threaten to bring me to tears, but I did. And it was one of the best moves I’ve ever made.

Even though the job was very hard, and Mikel was demanding and rude on more than one occasion, we managed to get along. And after a while we even became friends. He learned to respect my boundaries – “No, I will not go to the break room to get you a Mountain Dew and a cup of ice!” – and I learned how to ignore his sometimes cranky and ill-mannered behavior. We became a great team. I admired him for his abilities as the highest revenue generating sales rep at the company, and he began to value and count on my skills as a phenomenal associate.

And no, he never did make me cry.

Mikel understood my frustrations, as it was clear to him that I worked harder than other people in my same position, but received the same pay. Without his support I think I would have left the Times a long time ago. However, working with him kept me busy and entertained for the most part, and I enjoyed coming into work every day.

Coincidentally, it was Mikel who got me my new job. A person who I thought I would never in a million years with learn to interact with as a co-worker actually became a friend and person I trusted. Even though he knew it would be detrimental to himself, Mikel choose to support me and went out of his way to help me find a new job when it became clear that the Times was a dead end for me.

And today at my going-away party he really pulled out all the stops, along with some other co-workers who have become my friends. Not only did they prepare an awesome potluck where everyone from the department brought something, but Mikel went out of his way to pick up and pay for a specialized cake from some fancy bakery downtown. Usually our manager just buys a cheap nasty sheet cake. Not only that, but when I came into work I was presented not only with a card covered with farewell wishes, but a robin’s egg blue bag… yup, you guessed it.
They had bought me a gorgeous silver Tiffany necklace to match the bracelet Mikel had recently given me for helping him make his most recent sales goal. I didn’t know what to say, it was way too much to accept. I just felt so touched that my co-workers cared about me so much to plan such an elaborate going away party. I felt desperately afraid that Mikel would in fact make good on his promise and bring me to tears.

I was filled with mixed emotions for the entire day – exhilaration and anticipation as the hours counted down, and sadness thinking of all the friends I would leave behind. Zoe took me to lunch the day before, and Jesse threw me a fantastic going away party last night. Shannon, Tracy and even Steve came out to celebrate. But I was most touched by Mikel’s unselfish efforts to help make my life better, and I truly appreciate his efforts, despite the glaring typo on the cake!

I really made some great friends while working at The Seattle Times Company representing The Seattle Post-Intelligencer – try answering the phone saying that every day! I will miss the friends I made and am sure that we will stay in touch, but it won’t be the same as seeing each other at work every day. Hasta la vista kids, stay in touch!

“Northwest Classifieds, this is Sarah… signing off.”

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I think I’d rather be dead.

Looking for a distraction from my narrow Saturday night escape, Jeanna, Larisa, Vanessa and I met on Capitol Hill Sunday for some early Halloween costume shopping. My throat was still killing me, and after a few hours I was feeling faint and weak as well. Crap. I hate it when my body fails me. Determined to kick what I assumed to be a prolonged hangover combined with stress and lack of sleep, I went home and crawled into bed, where I remained for the rest of the day.

When I woke up later that evening drenched in a cold sweat, I knew something was still wrong. A temperature check showed that I may in fact be ill – 102 fever, not good. Panicked, I tried desperately to think. The next day was supposed to be the start of my last week at the Seattle Times. There was no way I could call in sick. They would never believe me – I’ve only called in one time in the two years that I’ve worked there, and that was because I was in the emergency room. Now all the sudden I am sick for my last week. Ironic.

The light of day was blinding and painful, and I stumbled, shivering, out of bed to close the curtains. A temp check showed that my fever had risen to 103. NO. I will not call in sick to work. I don’t call in sick. I went into the bathroom to shower… and sunk to my knees, which seemed unable to support me. Fuck. OK fine. It’s only Monday – a slow day of the week for my job. No one’s going to die if I call in sick, and who cares if they think I’m a liar, right? I left a voicemail for my boss and went back to bed.

Several hours later and throat feeling worse by the minute, I tried to check things out. Opening my mouth and looking in the mirror, I was greeted with the most disgusting sight I have seen in a long time. My swollen, red throat was COVERD with white spots!! Great. Strep throat, I thought with a sinking feeling. Contagious, and only cured by antibiotics. Crawling into some sweats and trying not to pass out – a process that took about 40 minutes – I headed down to my car and drove to a health clinic. A quick test and then the diagnosis: Step, just as I had suspected. I headed to Bartell’s to fill the prescription and called my boss with the news.

Since I’m allergic to penicillin, whenever I am in need of antibiotics doctors have to find me an alternative medication. In this case, it was erythromycin. I popped the first of the pills and went back to bed, expecting to be fully recovered in just a few short hours. Needless to say I was shocked when around 11 p.m. I awoke with horrific stomach pains. I won’t bother you with the details, but let’s just say that I spent the next 12 hours on my bathroom floor, wrapped around my toilet. In between bouts of being violently ill, all I could do was feel sorry for myself. As the tears ran down my face all I could think about was how alone I was. No one to take care of me – I could die there on my bathroom floor and my cat would probably eat off half my face before anyone noticed I was missing.

After calling in sick to work again, I immediately phoned the clinic and requested an alternate medication, which the doctor said she would call into the pharmacy. 7 hours and several phone calls later, I still had no medication. Frantic about missing work, weak from not eating but scared to put any food in my body, and still no closer to fighting off the bacteria that had invaded my body, I called the doctor’s office again. The blatant rudeness and disrespect the front desk bitch showed me was completely inexcusable. Never before has someone in the medical field treated me so discourteously. I had to throw a royal fit just to get a medication that I desperately needed. I guess this is why smart people have real doctors and don’t rely on clinics.

The worst part of this whole situation? The power was out at my apartment for the entire day! This meant no light, no heat, no internet and no television. I was able to watch one movie on my laptop before the battery died, but for the rest of the day I just lay on my couch bundled up like a ski bunny and stared off into space. I’ve never been so miserable.

FINALLY, I was able to get my new prescription filled with a drug that the pharmacist insisted is gentle on the stomach. Weak and about 6 pounds lighter, I was able to drag myself into work this morning. I hope and pray I don’t get sick like that again any time soon, although I did appreciate the crash diet.

I can only hope I passed on my sickness to a certain someone from last Saturday. God knows he deserves it, and that would be real karma, eh?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Evo & the Aftermath

Being friends with Jeanna tends to have its perks, and one of them so far has been her longstanding friendship with Matt, who works at Evo, a local ski and snowboard shop in Fremont. The company often hosts rad parties, and this weekend they cleared out the store, erected a tent/beer garden and threw a bash to premiere a new snowboard movie.

Although we usually know better, Jeanna and I started off the night with tall vodka diets at the Melting Pot. After narrowly escaping being sucked into the black hole, we headed to Evo. We were greeted by crowds of gorgeous men, live hip hop music and free keg beer – not too shabby for a Saturday night. After drinking ourselves silly and showing off our moves on the dance floor, we stumbled back into the night and somehow ended up at a wine bar on Queen Anne. I think I poured myself into bed around 3:30 a.m.

On Saturday night we were ready to head out again, hoping the second night of Evo’s party weekend would surpass the first. However, I never did manage to get over my hangover, and drinking seemed to be out of the question. My body was physically rejecting alcohol, not a good sign combined with my intense sore throat. Still, I made the best of things and hung out with the crowd for the evening, which (while fun) was nothing compared to Friday night.

By about 12:30 I was really feeling like crap, and decided I would head home instead of following the troops down to Pioneer Square. Unfortunately, Jeanna’s friend Matt picked this particular time to latch onto me – totally uncomfortable. As the rest of my friends jumped into a cab to head downtown, Matt made some embarrassing and pushy attempts to kiss me and hold my hand. Trying to be polite, I explained that I was going home – ALONE. Matt offered to give me a ride.

Let’s see – free ride home versus $15 cab ride by myself? I didn’t see the harm in taking him up on his offer, since I had already explained that I was sober, sick and most definitely flying solo for the rest of the evening. Big mistake. That ride was basically the scariest thing that has ever happened to me.

The short trip from Fremont to upper Queen Anne turned out to be one of the longest of my life, as a completely inebriated Matt pulled the car over every few blocks and proceeded to yank me over to his side of the cab, mashing his face up against mine. I didn’t know what to do! I could stay in the truck with a person who I had up until this point known and trusted, or I could get out in the middle of a dark residential neighborhood and walk home by myself. Mistake #2 – I stayed in the car.

By the time we finally got to my building, Matt was being pushier than ever, and my wrists actually hurt from continually trying to pull away from him. I couldn’t wait to get out of the car. But Matt did not pull into the convenient circular driveway in front of my building. Instead, he pulled down onto a dark side street. I thought he missed the turn. He didn’t. He blatantly informed me that he would be accompanying me upstairs, and that I should be glad to have him there. Still trying to remain composed, I told him that no, in fact I would be going up to my apartment alone, just like I had informed him when he offered me the ride. And I began to open the door.

As the dome light came on, Matt’s face changed. Red and contorted in outrage, his eyes seemed to burn through my face. “Get the fuck out of the car then,” he growled, and hit the gas. With a giant shove I was forced out of the moving car. I hit the pavement mortified and confused, looking up just in time to have the fishtailing vehicle spray me with gravel. Alone in the middle of a deserted street, confused and cold, I walked home.

In hindsight, I almost feel like one of those girls who makes excuses for her boyfriend who beats her. Did I lead this guy on? Did I in any way cause him to believe he had any chance of sleeping with me? And even if I did, did he have any right to treat me this way? What did I do wrong? How did I get myself into this situation?

My friends responded with expected sympathy and outrage. Understandably upset, I went over to Jeanna’s house for some comforting. Jeanna, Larisa and Tre all agreed that the way I was treated was completely ludicrous – Matt’s actions were those of a crazy person, someone not to be trusted again. And I will make you this promise right now: I will NEVER interact with Matt again. I never want to be associated with a person who would treat a woman that way, under any circumstances.

I feel lucky that I escaped with only a bruised ego, and not a bruised face. Be careful girls. I didn’t realize it before because I was naive (and up until this point in my life very lucky), but things like this happen when you least expect it. Stand up for yourselves. It’s never your fault, and you NEVER owe anyone ANYTHING. Be safe out there.