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So you know how I’ve paid my car off (MUWAHAHAHAHA

{MUWAHAHAHA

[HAHAHA]}) and quit my job and so now I have a lot of time and a car but not much money? And how recently that has led me to speculate regarding the idea of just driving to Portland instead of flying? And how I’ve always been slightly concerned about driving a distance calculated without pee breaks at ten hours?

HA.

Today I drove for nine hours, peed twice, pumped my own gas four times (which is more than I have ever pumped my own gas previously), and discovered that for long distance traveling (this was my longest solo drive ever [by about seven hours]) I amĀ  strangely akin to a fully hopped speed junkie. What happened is this:

I had the board meeting to go to, with the jacuzzi. And I had the five and a half hours to drive. And I had the bikini, and the directions, but I did not have a data plan (you should buy a data plan, said Alain; ignored omen 1). I did not buy a data plan, because I am stubborn and it costs a lot and I was planning on getting one eventually but I was putting it off as long as possible so as to avoid the shelling out of extra unnecessary dollars. Because I am not totally stupid, and because I had a holy terror of driving around in the mountains of southern California lost for nights until my tires blew out or my gas tank ran dry, I google mapped the end bit of my route. There were three long, windy, mostly appearing to lead into each other at some point in time country roads leading off the highway and up to the mountain vacation home, and I was not about to get stuck wafting like a starving strung out zombie up and down the wrong one. Two of them were even helpfully named the exact same thing, only one of the was Rd and one of them was Dr. They were not the same road, and they were each long and windy in their own right, and I was very very pleased with myself for taking the time to look the map over very very carefully so that I would not become hopelessly lost and die into a skeleton at the wheel of my rusted (but wholly paid off!) car. I did not, however, consider it important to pay any attention to the rest of the map, because a straight shot down the 101 till the exit was not something I anticipated being confused by. It is to laugh.

So I drove bravely, proudly, off into the morning sunshine.

My car has a convertible top that is rather full of punctures from when I lived downtown Portland and parked on the street, and various fuckers on various nights would just walk by on their way to dying in a gutter unmourned and unremembered, (I am maybe very bitter), and pop a knife through the roof to the hilt for I imagine the sheer joy of destruction and the glorious little pop the roof must have given as the knife went in. Not for a moment do I have a hard time understanding why a person would feel compelled to stick a knife through a convertible roof; I assume it is kind of akin to that nearly irresistible urge to throw oneself off of very tall buildings one finds oneself on top of, or to yell things like ‘God’s pee-pee’ in church. What I have a hard time empathizing with is the lack of self control and the overall scumbaggery required to actually follow through with any of these urges. Seriously. One hundred percent of the charm is the fatal attraction and once you’ve committed the act of destruction there is nothing for it to move on or be scraped off the sidewalk by the CSI. I am looking at you, convertible top knifers. Maybe there is a very tall building you have longed lo these many years to be on top of? You should seize that moment. Anyhow. My car has a convertible roof, and it is full of holes. Therefore it rains inside my car whenever it rains outside my car, and while soggy seats are tolerable the latest dust biter appears to be my stereo. Not that it has ever been anything other than the eleven year old stock am/fm cd/cassette the car came with, but I used to have those four options and now due to (I hypothesize) water damage to the delicate electronic bits my car refuses to play anything other than fm radio, and it refuses to turn the stereo off, and it refuses to stay on one station for very long. So my drive was aurally incredibly interesting, and encompassed several levels of heinousness that I will now break down for you succinctly so you will know precisely how valuable a cd player will be for your six hour ride through southern CA.

First of all, the exact same instant you begin to feel the doom doom of the onrushing mountains and the wane of the city bustle behind you, your options have narrowed to five and they will continue five narrow for the remainder of your journey. Hope you enjoyed that half hour of alternative rock, because now you are allowed

1) the boy country station

2) some incredibly dull, slow speeched talk radio

3) a spanish music station

4) the girl country station

5) the christian rock station

I assume that all of these are self explanatory in their titles. So I drove onward into the hearts of many tall mountains, and my radio would not turn off and it would not play anything decent. I mostly just turned the volume down so way low, and listened to the voices inside my head. Pleasant but by no means a substitute for the road trip cds I could have been rocking out to. (ignored omen 2; relevance questionable but shut up).

The world along 101 South becomes truly gorgeous about the time you leave San Jose behind, and I was in a glorious mood. Speeding under a clear blue sky with sun on my forearms and wind in my ears, the world was my oyster, my acorn, my thimble…the trip was a success…the life, it was good. Eventually however, as the towns along the gorgeous became smaller and more spread out I began to notice a strange phenomenon: a centrally glowing, nervously insistent alarm began to go off inside me every time I passed up another town and headed further into open wilderness. My love of the open fields and forests of Fable II to the contrary, I am a city girl. I am a city girl, I am a city girl. Every single strip mall or cheeseburger sign I passed my heart would give a little leap of gladness and cry out ‘are we here?!’ and every single time I drove on by my heart would sink dejected back into its panic cage and fret. (ignored omen 3).

After about two hours of this, it began to rain balls. Inside the car it was mostly just a trickle of unpleasantness but outside the car it was like going through a carwash, without the floppy blue things to herd the water away. I had my wipers going as fast as they could, the setting that always makes me slightly ill to my stomach because they look like they’re about to fling straight off the windshield they go so fast, and still I could only see what a constant wall of water would let me. So that was how that went, for the next three hours. For the next three hours I stared at a twisted water world trying to make sure I didn’t miss the exit sign, ignoring bad radio, fretting about the lack of civilization around me. (ignored omen 4).

At long ass last I reached the appointed exit number, and lo, the name of it was not the same as the name on my directions. So I prudently did not take it, and I pulled off the road, and I called the giver of directions for guidance. They asked me where I was, and, pleased and proud that I had been paying such close attention to signs and could actually tell them, I said

Los Alamos.

Los Alamos? Los Alamos…a bevy of voices arose in the background. She’s in Los Alamos. Los Alamos? Los Alamos! Oh, she’s too far south! Los Alamos is too far south! Oh, she went way too far. She has to turn around.

So another person came on the phone, and directed me to drive back up 101 North till I got to a junction, and after that I could follow the original directions.

Ok, I said, and I sighed a huge sigh and I hauled ass back up the 101. At this point it has already been five hours, and I have only eaten a bowl of raisin bran and a thermos of coffee (if you are maybe looking for a new diet plan, may I suggest you consume a sixth of your suggested daily caloric, drink a thermos of coffee, and FREAK OUT CONSTANTLY for six hours. Will do wonders for waistline. Not recommended for muscle tone). I am naturally a bit strung out at this point, and I have a pity party for myself for the next hour of backtrack in the pouring rain, cursing myself for going so much further than I had to, crying real tears of rage over not having purchased a data plan, angry to the tips of my gas pedal toes that I was given incorrect directions. And then the sun burst out, and I laughed like a hyena with tears of self pity on its face, and all was great and good again. I felt very familiar with the road, and the adrenaline rush from passing the right exit number with the wrong exit name was still coursing strong, and I doted upon the sun like a mother upon her firstborn son. And I even turned the radio up and listened to the spanish station for awhile, because it for certain had the best music out of my smorgasboard of five. I grooved and I laughed and I happied along, and I did not pass the junction. And suddenly I noticed that a periwinkle dusk was beginning to set itself along the shoulders of sage green hilltops, and I began to feel sorry for myself again. The one thing I had not wanted was to have to lose and find my way among the mountain roads after dark. This was the very reason I had hauled so much ass out of the house that morning. BWAH.

So I got out my data planless phone to call them again, and noticed that I had missed a call from them. I called back, and wondered exactly how much further I would have to drive?

Where are you now? they asked.

Ah, Gonzalez. I just passed the Gonzalez city limit sign.

Gonzalez, Gonzalez…she’s in Gonzalez.

Gonzalez; she’s in Gonzalez.

Gonzalez! OH, she’s too far north! Too far north!

brain: *!&*%$@%!

Ok, so you have to turn around now.

Ok. How far north am I? Am I really looking for this junction number? Because unless I am tripping I did not pass it.

Ah…you’re about three hours north. Where were you before.

(……) Los Alamos.

Los Alamos, Los Alamos…Los Alamos! You were right where you should have been!

(……)

At this point I have been driving for seven and a half hours and I am just passing a sign that tells me I can be in San Francisco in two hours.

I am going to San Francisco, I said. Sorry, I do not feel like driving three hours south to be lost in the mountains in the dark. Kisses.

So I drove on toward San Francisco, and at this point the world became truly dark and the adrenaline wore off and I turned into a damn asshole. I considered taking up smoking, I raged at countless street and town names (really how many fucking streets and towns need to be called Monterey? It’s not even a great name) and drivers (really if you are not going to go eighty miles per hour than you can just get the FUCK OUT OF THE FAST LANE ASSHOLE) I eventually arrived back in the city and more or less flung myself on its neck and wept with relief.

I have this to say:

buy a data plan

do not ignore omens

fuck the wilderness

legomaraschino is a good name for a band

and I am

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smeagol free

February 23, 2011

Ah, well.

Today is a good day, because it is the filling in the sandwich where I get to do everything I want to and nothing that I don’t. Yesterday I broke up with the studio, and it went in a very anticlimactic manner. I had the feeling that it might, but I was kind of surprised that it did. Basically I got up, said I am leaving, watched seven layers of comprehension and knowledge cross the button faces in front of me, and realized that I actually did not need to say anything further at all. Everybody already got it. I guess all the words I had floating at the ready in my head were ultimately nothing compared to the fact of my leaving. So I left.

Woo!

Tomorrow I am going on my longest solo drive ever, down far south in California for the Earth Peoples United board meeting. It will be weird to drive alone for such a long time, and I bet it will be therapy like a dunk tank of gin would be therapy. I imagine just cruising down the 101 with the top pulled down so my hair can blow, for six hours; with music and rushing wind and FREEEEEEEDOMMMM. There will also be a pool and a jacuzzi at this board meeting, and I am stoked. I am going to drive a long way by myself in my very own car that I own; I am going to learn scads about running a nonprofit; I am going to swim swim swim like a dolphin who looks floppy in real life and graceful like a water panther in her head; I am going to eat delicious foods and hang out with people who laugh at my jokes and listen to my ghost stories; I am going to be so happy.

So today I have to get the oil changed, stock the sad and empty fridge with foods, and party on Garth. I am definitely a party on Garth kind of girl. There has never been any Wayne for me. I have to pack some clothing but really most importantly a bathing suit. I have to bring my book about nonprofits and how to do good at other stuff too. I have to pet the cats so annoyingly much to make up for being gone almost a week and leaving them to whore around for other pettage. I have to go drink coffeeeee!

I am so totally

doing it from the chest

February 22, 2011

Now I am going to break up with the whole studio. I am nervous. I have some vague notions of respect and backbone floating around in my head but mostly I just want everybody to eat their grapes and cookies and be quiet and feel that they should do better.

I am

off with excalibur

February 22, 2011

So I walked into the office yesterday and the two staunch hearted were there and we gabbled about work things for a second and then I gave them my cookies and I said

hey I’m quitting

and one of them looked at me and went

OH GAWD

and

I’m quitting too, I’m putting in my two week’s today.

That doesn’t change my mind AT ALL, I said,

me neither, she said,

and it was a bad day for my poor boss.

So I let her quit first, because I was busy pulling every wire in the office out of its tangled rat’s nest for the second time in a probably futile attempt to make both computers print from the same printer. (the software download only gets to a certain place in the process and then it asks you to click a button, takes you to a screen where you click another button, and then you are redirected to the original button, lather rinse repeat foam at mouth fling self on floor and wail).

So my boss comes to find me and says, same thing? And I say yes, and we go to talk about it. And she tells me that most people give her a month’s notice when they quit, and this is not acceptable, and really do I have any idea what this is going to do to her? And I am all like Well Actually were it not for the staunch hearted I would be finishing up this convo right now, leaving the building, and never returning. And some of the rudest behavior I have ever experienced has gone down here, so I think I am being pretty nice after all.

And it went on like that for a minute, but I am too tired of the conversation to write it all down. Mostly I quit and she told me to say I was ‘leaving instead of quitting’ and limped around like a wounded antelope for the rest of the day while other deserter and I put up a craigslist ads for our replacements and was all WHAT ABOUT ME for the entire process. It was actually kind of a relief, as I had been unsure what to expect from her by way of a reaction and having everything be all about her is something I’m already used to. I was not mean at all which I guess some people will think is pansy of me, but really it wasn’t for any reason other than it wouldn’t have actually brought me any joy. She’s a sad person to me, and I don’t think she can actually learn how to treat others as well as she expects to be treated, and so I would have been wasting any time spent trying to teach her a lesson anyhow. I was just gentle and firm and so so so ready to be done with it; one time she pissed me off by saying that she sticks up for me when people say nasty things about me leaving so much behind my back,

and I was straight up NO

you know what? When you hired me you said and I QUOTE (so I quoted) ‘I know I’m not paying you a living wage (and you’re not, I said) and I know you don’t have any benefits (and I don’t, I said) but the nice thing about this job is that you can travel. You can work from home a lot.

And that’s why I took the job, I told her. Travel and work from home are the things you presented to me as the perks of the job when I was hired, and they’re what you’ve been bitching at me for taking advantage of. So there’s that.

And she had nothing to say, because I was right. And oh god y’all, so nice to actually have said that. So nice to have stood up for myself during the entire encounter, because she was damn determined that I was the bad guy and I was so not having that. John Wayne says you’re a liar, ma’am.

Anyhow. So that was the only time I was mean, and I was really only honest. Today is my official last day for the next week, wherein I will tell everyone that I am ‘leaving.’ Then I am off to a magical board meeting in the sky; there is a swimming pool and a jacuzzi. I am pretty pleased. I am also pretty pleased that other staunch hearted is quitting, and that the only remaining looked at the two of us quitters, laughed like a baby lion, and said oh god you guys I was JUST thinking this morning about whether or not I could afford to quit…

the worm turneth, yo. I am

oh, and dude

February 21, 2011

whoever got to my blog by googling the word ‘pretending,’ you are my favorite. peanut m&m cookies to you.

Welcome to the morning of the day I tell my job that I can’t be with them any longer.

I am naturally sucking down coffee and wishing for something that calmed like a cigarette without smelling like a cigarette. I have a glorious wide tongued future yawning once again ahead of me, and I am determined to meet it with as much stimulant as possible in my system from the very beginning.

I’m mostly just sad for the ending of good things. There are people I totally love, whose popcorn I have shared and whose sideĀ  I have taken against many storms; there’s the massive ancient building with its brass and glass elevator and its decades of crumbling precious books; there’s my little walk every day that has been such a roller coaster of glee and sadness, encompassing so many tiny treasures of beauty to discover and so many souls in despair to meet the eyes of; there’s the delight of having something to affiliate with officially in this big city that can’t see me; there’s the insidious passion destroying generally agreeable mental laziness that comes from having someone else tell you what to do with your time, from the real decisions never being up to you; there’s the thrill of taking in new experiences from all the crazy crazy people around you: I will probably never work with such a lot of this particular brand of beautiful crazy all at once ever again. And I am so down with that, you have no idea; but I will also miss it, because the beautiful crazy is cute when it’s pulled its teeth in and is shuffling around the room trying to find the ipod speakers that are in its ears.

I am sorry to be leaving the staunch hearted in the lurch. I am planning on offering two weeks because I love the staunch hearted and I want to leave it only after giving it as much help as I possibly can. If it were simply a matter of protocol weighed against the way I feel I’ve been treated, I would probably have to politely quit and never return or feel like a craven doormat consistently bending over backwards for muddy boots that do not care; however, the staunch hearted of the company fill me with a desire to fill the office with peanut butter m&m cookies and offer the option of on call consulting. But…yeah; the cookies, they repose already upon a plate all full of color chunks and ready to go; the two additional weeks, that is all I can give even the staunch hearted.

BECAUSE

I am going to school full time.

And oh it will be a grand conversation when I come back and talk about that.

For now I am still steeling myself up for the unhappiness of quitting my job. I really fucking hate to hurt people’s feelings and leave them with a rough situation. I feel like there is no way I get even the remotest bit of that in return from my workplace except for my dulcet darlings for whom the cookies toll, which is ultimately why I’m leaving instead of just offering them part time. I really have never had such rude things happen to me in my entire life, and all of them have been vastly fucking amusing to me all the way through, and just shawking behavior has gone down and I never got to go to public school so it’s really been a magical drama laden trip of the soul and you know what has unexpectedly become of it? My drama enjoyment level has gone mysteriously down. It’s like one day there’s a full water cooler, next day there’s a full water cooler, and then BAMMO suddenly half the water is gone and you’re all like what? Is this because my job goes out of its pretty little way to contradict itself at least seventeen times (yes you got that right seventeen, we are not talking just twos of contradiction here oh no that would be far too easy and not worth the chapstick) in every single day and the reality rubber band in the back of my brain really did break forever that time I felt it snap?

Seriously you guys, it was really hard sometimes to tell if people were joking or not at first. I also do not say any of this out of the meanness of my spirit. It was a deep close look at how it is to spend a great deal of your time with a large group of brilliant excessive compassionate and usually impressively self absorbed women, and I enjoyed so damn much of it. Really I did. But I’m a little bit worse at listening with my whole brain while a person cries about what’s wrong with their life that they are MOTHERFUCKING CAUSING ARE YOU EVEN KIDDING ME. I’m a little bit worse at that, loss for the world. Maybe it will come back someday. Someday after I am a mathlete! Or you know. Past math 95.

This entry is seriously the most fun I’ve written in so long. I love to be doing homage for this job. I have truly fucking loved so much of it. I always loved crazy girls, because I never got enough of them (no public school) and let’s face it, the crazier a woman is the more attractive she is. I don’t know why, and I did not make the rules, but that is how it goes. Moths to flame. Fascination for crazy. My friends would even be mad at me sometimes because they would be SO TIRED of some incredibly ignorant, incredibly drunk, insanely hilarious cute girl at a bar that I just would not be able to say goodbye to quite yet because oh my god SO funny so much funnier than even the dumbest drunk guy in a cosby sweatah and backward ball cap. So I think I had an unhealthy level of tolerance for the cute crazy and I think now it has been taken down a notch. Not to say that I am anything other than falling over my own stilettos watching some coatless trixie in a maximum exposure sleeveless shirt (they call them dresses and they cost seventy dollars but come ON) and no pants go trollicking off of trash cans and US postal service boxes on top of a pair of too small four inch ten pound bad shoes. But that is not the kind of crazy that occurs at my soon to be ex-job, although you know what I bet it would help if it was sometimes.

Be all that as it may, I am

So I am going to be taking math again shortly; very shortly. I am going to be taking smarter math than I have ever taken before, and I am excited and scared like I imagine you are right before you go diving in caves – what could go wrong diving in caves? I remember the golden days of math. I was so good at counting, and adding and subtracting, and multiplication and division. Then we got to decimal points and percentages and my brain did a lot of hiccupping and I did a lot of rapid guesswork every day of my life and I drew little windows with curtains and flowerpots on sills around the mathematical problems on my worksheets…and I did not do well at math. After a while more life happened to me, and I entered a strange era in which decimals and percentages were actually useful tools to me, and now I am great at them. This also goes for the previously terrifying units and measurements, but it does not really go for algebra right now. So I am slightly nervous but I am hoping for the best.

I really hope that I can figure out some way to make whatever I’m learning applicable so that it becomes interesting; because I think a lot of my problem with math is that it needs some curtains and a sill plant to make it a little more alluring. I love story math problems. I could never get over my conviction that anyone who said they had a hard time with story problems must be making it up for some strange secret purposes.

It’s funny that now I’m good at taxes. I hope college math is like taxes.