Friday, January 30, 2009

Waiting for the Big One

I don’t think many people are aware of this, but any building that is more than 75 feet high is required to have a Floor Warden program in place. This is because fire engine ladders cannot reach any higher than this, requiring a backup plan in case of emergency. And I am the official Floor Warden for my floor in the WaMu Tower.

Basically, a Floor Warden is responsible for taking specific actions if a natural or man-made disaster occurs. This could include but is not limited to: fire, earthquake, power outage, bomb threat/suspicious package/substance, medical emergency, etc.

Yesterday I attended our building’s annual safety training session, and basically succeeded in completely freaking myself out. One of the first things the Seattle firefighter conducting the class explained to us is that our city lies directly in the Ring of Fire. I had never heard this terminology before, but apparently it’s an area of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions encircling the basin of the Pacific Ocean, associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements.

To sum up, we are sitting ducks should some sort of natural disaster occur, and apparently we are due for one any day now, so the entire focus of the class was getting ready for it. And now that I’ve gone through the Floor Warden training program all I can think about is when “the big one” will hit. I'm totally freaked out, and it seems with good reason!

I just found out that a shallow earthquake centered 14 miles north of Seattle shook some people awake at 5:25 a.m. this morning. It measured 4.6 on the scale, luckily too small to cause any damage.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I received the following email this morning from one of my favorite aunts, Maureen.

"With the heaviest of hearts I tell you that our new little grand baby, Shaun Christopher, passed away quietly just after 2am January 29th. Though we only had him not even 4 short months he will be missed indescribably. He was an amazing and precious little boy we were just getting to know so well. Rest in peace sweet baby."

This comes just a week after their dog, Gracie, also passed away. My heart is breaking for my aunt Maureen, my cousins, and the rest of the family. Sometimes I just don’t understand the way the world works.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Gene Pool

I dragged myself out of bed way earlier than normal this morning in order to make it to a dreaded crack of dawn dentist appointment. There’s nothing worse than starting the work day tired and cranky, gums bleeding, with gritty cinnamon paste stuck between your teeth.

But once again… no cavities and, “everything looks great, beautiful teeth!” I have no idea how I get away with this. I mean, I definitely brush my teeth as often as the average person (I think?) – at least two times per day, in the morning and before I go to bed; sometimes after lunch if I ate something garlicky. However, here is my guilty, and a bit disgusting, little secret: I never floss. *hides head in shame*

OK, I guess never is a harsh word. Of course I floss when I have food in my teeth, etc. but I’ve never been able to make it a before-I-go-to-bed type of routine. My mom has been on me about this for years. I’ve worked in a dentist office before, so I totally get why flossing is important, and have experienced firsthand the disgustingness of gingivitis. But I just can’t seem to force myself to get in gear. My nerdy dentist calls me a “flossing rebel.”

Every time I go to the dentist and get another perfect report card, going home and starting a daily flossing routine never seems like a priority. Personally, I think it’s genetics. My boyfriend has constant problems with his teeth, even though he does everything right. He brushes (for at least 10 minutes at a time, I swear) with a Sonicare toothbrush two times a day, flosses every night, and uses antibacterial mouthwash daily. He’s still got a mouthful of cavities, and I’ve never even had one, although my dental hygiene habits are far inferior.

So what do you think? Am I disgusting? Just lucky? Pretty typical? What are your flossing habits?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Brunettes Have More Fun

I’m still trying to get used to a new financial situation that includes a mortgage double what my rent used to be and tuition payments. So it’s only natural that I had to make some cuts here and there.

Sadly, one of the things that had to go is my blonde hair. I refuse to be one of those trashy girls with dark roots. Carrie Bradshaw couldn’t even pull it off in Season Five, so I don’t see why I could either.

So I went in on Friday for the inevitable… my hair is brown again. It’s pretty tragic. I love being a blonde! However, I feel like now I can last through the winter without constantly being worried about touch-ups, and going blonde again in the spring will be that much more fun.

I’d post a picture of my new look, but I found out that having dark hair makes me look VERY pale. Stay tuned for a photo update once I’ve hit the tanning bed a few times.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Wow. I basically had the craziest work week of my entire life. As part of the development team it’s my job to help put together proposals in an effort to obtain more projects. And more work = more job security, so I’m definitely happy to oblige. However, we ended up cutting it pretty close this time.

Even though I came in to work on Saturday and Monday (a holiday), I had a feeling the rest of the week was going to be quite stressful. I was correct. On Wednesday I stayed at work until 11:30pm trying to stay ahead of the game. The proposal had to be in California by 5pm on Friday, which meant it needed to be on a plane with one of our VPs by 6am that day. So by Thursday, it was crunch time.

I arrived at work at 8am and proceeded to work like a lunatic. At about 2pm I began typing up an introductory letter for the proposal… and immediately realized that it needed to be delivered to San Francisco. However, we had mistakenly booked a flight to Long Beach. OH F*CK. It took a couple hours, but we finally got that figured out. But by 6pm it was clear that we had a lot of work left to do.

To make a long story short, I finally left work at about 4:30am after confirming that the package was safely on its way to the airport. I went home, slept for about two hours, and then headed back to work for a Friday morning meeting. I think my boss slept at her desk for about 45 minutes.

Thank God I finally work at a company that pays overtime.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy MLK Day

Note to self: The next time I decide to come into work on a holiday, make sure to tell the office manager to turn on the HVAC system. It's freaking freezing in here!!

I'm really looking forward to a nice warm lunch with Tara in a few hours...


Sunday, January 18, 2009

16 Things

Since I took the time to post this random list of facts about myself on my Facebook page, I decided I might as well put it here, too. The rules were one you’ve been “tagged,” you are supposed to write a note with 16 random things, facts, habits or goals about yourself. So, in random order, here are 16 completely miscellaneous facts about me.
  1. When I was 10 years old, my mom told me that I had another sister I had never met who my parents had given up for adoption when they were in high school. I did not meet her until I was 22. She looks just like the rest of my family.
  2. I am not an organ donor. The concept of organ donation makes my skin crawl. My loved ones have all been informed that if I am ever in a serious accident, I wish to adamantly refuse any organ or tissue donations, even if it could potentially save my life.
  3. I love infomercials and have ordered lots of things off television. Sometimes I watch QVC at night to put myself to sleep because I find it very soothing.
  4. When I was a little girl my mom took us shopping for new school clothes in August and then we picked them up a few weeks later. I didn’t realize until I was an adult that this was because they were put on layaway; my parents couldn’t afford them at the time.
  5. I have an unexplainable phobia of the telephone. I screen my calls and feel anxious when the phone rings. Sometimes I don’t answer calls for any particular reason except I don’t feel like talking.
  6. I dislike children in general and am terrified that this won’t change when I have my own.
  7. I am completely tone deaf, which is a new development. I was in the choir in elementary, middle and high school and was often given solo parts.
  8. Even though I know I shouldn’t, I sleep in my makeup every single night.
  9. I am obsessed with “the end of the world” and think the possibility of the end coming in 2012 is very real. This makes me equally obsessed with analyzing my life and wondering if I am spending my “final days” in the right way…
  10. I’m terrified that I will never find a career that I am truly passionate about.
  11. After 27 years I feel like I am only now starting to figure out who I am, and who I want to be.
  12. Every single day, I feel guilty about what I ate and how much exercise I got. I gained 40 pounds in college and haven’t felt good about my self image ever since.
  13. I love cilantro – I think it’s like cat nip for humans.
  14. I buy Real Change every week and then recycle it without reading it.
  15. I can’t put down a book without finishing it, even if it’s horrible. I still have to force my way through it before starting the next one.
  16. I hate bananas.
There you have it... am I a complete nut case?!?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Alone & Semi-Creeped Out

I decided to come into work today because (1) I have a huge proposal due next week that I want to make sure I am on top of, and (2) I could really use the overtime. However, now that I’m here, I’ve decided that being alone, on the 27th floor of a downtown high rise, is really creepy.

The only person who knows that I am here is my boyfriend (because he’s supposed to pick me up later). The building is absolutely silent and I had to use a special coded key card to enter. I can’t help but wonder: What would happen if there were an earthquake? A freak tsunami? What if (God forbid) a plane hit the building?!? How long would it take for rescue efforts to commence, when everyone assumes that the tower is empty?

OK – I have to get back to actually working instead of entertaining irrational and unlikely theories in my head. The silence actually is kind of nice. And the view is breathtaking.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Workin' (sort of) Hard for the Money

I realized in shock today that I’ve been at my job for six months already. And since starting my new position I haven’t:
  • Cried in the bathroom/hallway/co-worker’s cubicle
  • Chain smoked in the back of the building
  • Hyperventilated or had a panic attack
  • Placed any frantic phone calls to friends/boyfriend/family members
  • Worked more than 40 hours per week without getting paid overtime
  • Been made to feel like I am a completely incompetent person
I. Love. My. Job.

I know; what a crazy thing to say, but I do. My team and boss are really great. The position is exactly how it was explained to me in the interview, and there is room for many different types of growth depending on what I’m interested in. I don’t feel taken advantage of. I learn something new every day. I am complimented often about my work product and attitude. Most importantly, my boss is not stark raving mad.

Here’s hoping the next six months will be just as great!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bus Sick

I’ve always been able to read while in transit. Cars, busses, airplanes – nothing phases me. However, lately I seem to have developed an annoying problem: I’ve developed an extreme case of bus sickness.

This has been a major impact on my life, considering the fact that I spend three trips, for a combined total of more than two hours, on the bus each day:

#1: Ballard to Downtown - 30 minutes
#2: Downtown to U District - 45 minutes
#3: U District to Ballard - 45 minutes

It’s quite the commute. Normally, I occupy myself with reading or studying, which makes the tedious rides a little more bearable. But lately things have changed. I get on the bus, settle in with my textbook, and begin to read. A few stops later, queasy and light headed, I slowly shut it. Then, I spend the rest of the bus ride trying not to vomit all over the person in front of me. I alternate between closing my eyes and looking straight forward, breathing deeply and chanting, “Don’t puke, don’t puke, don’t puke…” in my head.

No, I’m not knocked up.

But the whole situation is quite annoying. When you spend as much time on the bus as me, it’s absolutely imperative that I can use the ride to my full advantage. I can’t waste two hours every day sitting and staring straight ahead like an idiot. Even listening to my iPod is a waste of time… I have so much studying to do!!

I’m hitting up the drug store ASAP to see if I can buy some anti-nausea tablets or something.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Paying the Tab

So apparently it's been decided that the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be replaced with a tunnel, scheduled for construction in 2011 and opening in 2015. Frankly, I've completely lost interest in the whole issue after years of debate, but am glad some sort of a decision has finally been made. However, I have to wonder how the new roadway will be paid for.

Ah yes... here comes the inevitable. According to a Seattle Times article, King County will attempt to raise the money through a car tab tax to fund new $190 million tunnel. This means you'll see your tabs increase $100 annually on a $10,000 vehicle. Well, my car cost about twice that, so... you do the math. Ugh.

I can't help but wonder whether this is going to be similar to the first year I moved to Seattle, when my tabs cost almost $400 to cover the “monorail tax.” No plans to build a new monorail were ever put into effect, and the money seemed to vanish into thin air. I can't help but wonder if the cost of my tabs is going to almost triple for the next few years – with nothing to show for it.

We'll see...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Little Self-Indulgence

I discovered a new hidden Seattle gem last night - Queen Bee Nails & Spa.

I'm constantly on the lookout for affordable places to have my nails done. It's a luxury I probably shouldn't be indulging in, considering the current state of the economy, but I just can't seem to help myself. And for me a good pedicure can last more than a month, so I consider it a beauty investment.

For the past few years I've frequented the several little nail salons in lower Queen Anne. These are what my sister (an esthetician) calls "chop shops." They seem dirty and run down, often with rude staff that doesn't speak or make eye contact with you besides shouting, "Pick a color!" when you walk in the door. Then you're whirled through the process of clipping, trimming, scrubbing, rubbing and painting in about 20 minutes - all for $18 plus tip (pedicure only) if I remember correctly. But hey, you get what you pay for.

I've been searching for a similar bargain since moving to Ballard, but have yet to find an equivalent in my neighborhood. However, Queen Bee Nails & Spa recently opened across the street from the building that I work in, so I decided to head over with some of my co-workers. The salon is located on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Seneca Street, and a mani/pedi costs only $25 (plus tip). Definitely worth checking out.

When I walked in, I figured the usual "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" treatment was in store. Boy was I in for a surprise... The salon was quiet and clean with a polite and friendly staff to greet us. They have the most extensive color collection that I've seen with both OPI and China Glaze polishes. We sat in brand new massage chairs that had both back and booty rubbers... Mmmmmm! The girls were talkative and friendly without being too invasive, and took their time with the pedicures while we chatted away. I was surprised by the excellent foot and leg massage that was followed by a hot towel treatment.

By the time we moved on to the manicures I was loving life. In addition to the manicure I usually receive, I got a hand and arm massage, followed by a paraffin dip treatment combined with a long, relaxing shoulder rub! No way!! This is definitely not what I'm used to when I get a bargain mani/pedi. A $5 tip was suggested, but I was so impressed that I was a bit more generous. They do add a $1 fee if you pay with a credit card, but overall I'd say this is definitely the best bang for your buck downtown. Waxing, facials and massages are also available. I'm definitely going back next month!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Delurking Day

I just found out that it's National Delurking Day! What a fabulous idea! Simply put, today is a day dedicated to all those people who browse blogs but never leave a comment. It's time to come out from behind your computer and show yourself!

I don't have a ton of faithful readers, but I am sure there are at least a few of you I don't know about. So please, flatter me... don't be shy and leave a comment! Today's the day - go ahead and say hello! Let me know a little bit about yourself and how you stumbled across my blog. What do you like about it? What do you hate? What would you like more of?

Happy Delurking!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Veggie Tales

Over the break I got into a pretty heated discussion with my mom. My sister and I both made the statement that we don't believe in hunting. My mom then stated that this is hypocritical because we both eat meat.

OK. Fine.

So starting in January I quit eating meat. So far, it hasn't been all that bad. I really don't eat a whole lot of meat anyway, so the transition has been pretty easy. I have had a few slip-ups (ate a turkey sandwich a co-worker brought me without thinking) but overall I've been able to eliminate meat from my diet with little difficulty.

I've still been eating dairy, eggs and seafood, which is probably up for debate. However, I've been reading lots of articles that say vegetarianism should be approached in stages. For example, first give up red meat, then pork, then chicken and poultry, etc. So maybe this month will end up being my "giving up red meat month."

There are lots of meat substitutes that I already love, so I think this might not be too hard. I love Morning Star sun-dried tomato and basil pizza burgers, and there are some meatless chicken nuggets at Trader Joe's that taste just like the real thing. I also made vegetarian lasagna last night for dinner, and not only was it tasty, but it was FAR healthier than the meaty kind.

We'll see how it goes!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bye, bye, Seattle P-I

When I worked at The Seattle Times for a couple years after graduating from college, all I heard about was dramadramadrama between that newspaper and its rival, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The two papers were involved in a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) which allowed them to share advertising, printing and circulation while maintaining separate news and editorial departments. However, the Times wanted to break the JOA because it was causing the company to lose money, resulting in layoffs. Hence, the constant drama. Luckily, since I worked in a revenue-generating position, I was spared from being laid off. And soon after I left the company, the JOA was renegotiated and both companies resumed normal operations.

But it was recently announced that the P-I is up for sale, and Seattle will most likely become a one-newspaper town. Considering the current state of the economy, I’m not surprised that one of our newspapers is going out of business. Although I still find it sad something that’s been around since 1863 will cease to exist. As a journalism major, the evolution of the media industry in a world increasingly dominated by technology has been fascinating to watch. I, for one, never buy the newspaper. Why bother when everything is readily available via the internet from zillions of different sources? In addition, I’m helping to save trees.

However, I definitely feel for the P-I staff members who will likely lose their jobs in the next couple months. And I’m thankful that I chose to get out of the newspaper industry before it comes crashing down!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Seattle Bar Scene Threats - Be Safe Out There!

One of my bosses came into work this morning extremely distressed. Her daughter’s best friend died last night after a night of drinking at a Seattle bar. I don’t really have any more details at the moment, except the girl became separated from her friends at the bar. By the time they located her, she was exhibiting signs that she may have been given some form of a date rape drug. She was rushed to a local hospital and died sometime during the night.

I am completely freaked out. Especially considering the Seattle Times article I read yesterday afternoon warning that 11 Seattle gay bars have received letters threatening ricin attacks. A 12th letter was also sent to an alternative weekly newspaper, saying that the paper should be “prepared to announce the deaths of approximately 55 individuals.” Creepy, creepy, creepy!

Of course this article was the first thing that came to mind when my boss came in and told the story of her daughter’s friend this morning. This particular situation might have nothing to do with the threatening ricin attack letters, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The Seattle Police Department is taking the threat seriously, and I urge all my friends and fellow Seattle bar hoppers to do the same. Please be safe out there this weekend and, as we always should, KEEP AN EYE YOUR DRINKS.

The letter lists specifically targeted bars as: The Elite, Neighbours, The Wildrose Bar, The Cuff, Purr, The Seattle Eagle, R Place, Re-bar, C.C.Attle's, Madison Pub and The Crescent, and implies that the attacks will take place one Saturday this month. Might be locations to avoid for the time being…

Thursday, January 08, 2009

WWU Football Gets the Boot

I received an email this afternoon containing the announcement that WWU is ending its football program. I was shocked and slightly saddened by the news. Even though I only attended a handful of games during my four year stint, a major university without a football team just doesn’t seem right. Times are really getting tough, I guess.

It’s too bad that my alma mater has had to resort to such drastic measures. College life just won’t be the same for those who come after me. Tailgating and face painting, jumping up and down screaming in the freezing cold rain – these are supposed to be some of the best times of our young lives. Even if you don’t like football, the energy on campus and the after-game parties are fantastic.

I think supporting a football team really contributes to the university experience. Western's team has been around since 1907 and I’m sad to see it go. Farewell, Vikings!

Girl Talk

I ran into an interesting conundrum yesterday afternoon. A friend asked me for boy advice and I wasn’t quite sure what to tell her. I think I’ve been out of the dating game for too long, because I found myself frantically trying to sift through years of dating experiences searching for the right answer.

The question: “Am I overreacting?”

The background: They met on New Years Eve and had a fantastic evening of drinking, dancing, flirting, and laughing. The evening ended with a kiss… and more. Much more. Last weekend consisted of a fantastic date with more great conversation, laughing and flirting. It ended with… well, more. Early this week there was a cute little text message exchange, but now things have tapered off. She feels a little rejected, wondering why he hasn’t called, or tried to make plans. Is he just not that into her? Could he be busy with his job? What’s going on? Is this a fling? Or the real thing?

The answer: I honestly have no idea. I can’t remember the protocol, really. My first instinct was that it’s only Wednesday afternoon, so no need to panic. However, when you really like someone and have slept with them twice in a week, are there certain expectations that need to be met? I felt horrible that I didn’t have better advice.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sex Appeal

When I saw a link advertising “10 Sexy Careers” on my MSN home page today, I couldn’t resist clicking… and I was surprised at what I discovered! MY JOB just happens to be #1 on the list! Shock me, shock me, considering that I chose my current position as a “transition between careers job” while I am in school. Who knew it could turn out to be so glamorous?! According to the article, Administrative Assistants have much more sex appeal than you probably realize:

“When you visit almost any workplace, a smiling administrative assistant greets you. Very often you don't know if you're in the right place, whom you need to speak with or even what you need to do. Administrative assistants know the answers and, because they're your first points of contact, they have to be well-groomed and kind to visitors. Knowledge, good looks, a nice personality and helpfulness? Yes, please. And since they frequently work closely with high-level executives who value their opinions, they often possess a hidden but large cache of power. Administrative assistants pretty much have the whole package.”

In case you’re wondering which sexy career you should pursue, the other 9 are:

2. Baristas – I don’t know about this one. Coffee workers always look frumpy and frazzled to me. (Except for you of course, Jamie!)
3. Hairstylists – Definitely. They always look super put together and manage to have on a fabulous outfit and rad shoes, even though they have to stand on their feet all day.
4. Disc Jockey – Sure. DJs have to have decent taste in music and know what people want. They also have great networking skills which is always a plus.
5. IT workers – Really? Not in any of the offices I’ve worked at… and the lax dress code tends to be more of a minus than a plus.
6. Mail carriers – Oh God. No. I have never, ever seen a sexy postal worker.
7. Personal trainers – Well, yeah, this one is pretty much a given. Who can resist a perfect bod?
8. Photographers – I suppose, if you’re into artsy types, that photographers could be strangely alluring.
9. Psychologists – Not too sure about this one… Paying someone money to listen to your problems does not seem super sexy.
10. University professors – Ah yes, the power of intellect. I can definitely admit to having a crush on one or two of my instructors over the years!

What are some careers you think are sexy? I think my number one would probably have been Rock Star.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Resolutions - 2009

Once again, I am going to try to set some realistic goals for myself. So here they are, in black and white – my resolutions for 2009:

Exercise more & drink more water
This will continue to be a challenge for me, especially considering I am working full time and attend school three nights per week. However, a healthy lifestyle is majorly important, so I need to try and find time for exercise in my life. Still not sure on a specific plan of action, but step one will be joining the gym in my building and attempting to hit the treadmill on my lunch break at least a couple times a week.

Pay off debts
I am accumulating some major debt due to UW tuition, but my plan is to have it all paid off by the end of the year (hopefully sooner, since my credit card only has 0% interest until August). In addition, I plan on paying off my car a month or two early and then I will finally own it free and clear! In addition, I don’t plan on acquiring any more major debts – a mortgage is enough!

Make a career decision
After I graduate from my Paralegal Program in June, I will have some major decisions to make. Choosing whether to stay at a job that I love or pursue a career in the field of law will definitely be a struggle. In addition, I will need to consider whether law school is in my future. This will all require some thinking, but I hope to have made a decision and a plan by the end of the year.

Cultivate my friendships
I tend to always let life get in the way. I’ve neglected to make phone calls, send emails, and follow through with plans as much as I should. This year I resolve to talk to my out-of-town friends on the phone more frequently. I promise to send emails, cards and flowers, remember birthdays, and plan trips. I am just as busy as the next person, but my friendships are important to me and I need to make sure I give them the time they deserve.

Even though I have gotten over the resentment I harbored last year, I still feel like there are some things in my life that need working on. My sister and I have frequently discussed some troubles within our family that we just can’t seem to get over. I am going to try very hard this year to just accept certain situations for what they are, instead of allowing them to upset me and the rest of my family.

So there you have it. Last year’s resolutions didn’t turn out to be an overall failure… this year I am hoping for a perfect score, wish me luck!