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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

For the love of... 

By the time I started actually being productive today, it was around 11am. My first task was the laundering of dirty clothing articles. Easy enough task, yeah?

Quick background. Inside my apartment there is a door that leads downstairs to the basement where the laundering facilities (free) are located. At the bottom of these stairs is a small studio, rented out by an artist type woman. There is a door between the bottom of the stairs/her studio and the laundering area. This door locks. As I headed down the stairs, said woman left her studio and we exchanged pleasantries (this is the first time we've met) before I laundered and she left. Once the washing machine was started, I headed back, only to discover the aforementioned door's now locked status. Hm. A conundrum. I still can't fathom why this woman would lock a door she knew I would be going back thru in a few minutes (I was wearing flops, flannel pants and a tshirt. Not exactly outdoor wear for the rainy/chilly day. My keys? Yeah. Back in the apartment. Didn't figure I'd need them since I wasn't actually leaving the house!

Between me and the apartment (which at this time contained a running coffee maker, computer and stereo) lay either the locked door blocking the path I'd come down, and the main front door (there is another door leading to the outside world from the laundry room) which lays outside my front door. Both locked. Fortunately the apartment is on the ground floor with many windows. I tried them. Locked.

Now the fun began. I unhinged the locked door, only to find that its pieces are integrated enough to prevent its unhinging. I pried and jammed and yanked. Eventually I managed to get it half off, but that was all. The door jams are all bunged up (we'll see if anyone mentions that) and the door doesn't sit quite as nicely as it used to.

I grabbed the handle off a paint can I found, and fiddled around one of my windows with it, accomplishing nothing but bruised and cut hands. No one was at home in any of the other apartments. Spare keys were returning to my place, but not for another 5 or 6 hours. I considered walking over to the unheated basement I stayed in when I first got out here, but it's 10 blocks away in the rain and there was no guarantee that I could get in.

Defeated after an hour and a half of house mutilation, I sat down near the warm dryer in an attempt to give in. Thinking kicked in, and I realized that I had not tried the bedroom windows (I couldn't remember if there were any. There are two, but they look drastically different than the rest of the ones leading to my apartment). Off I went and as luck would have it, one was open! Not only open, but it doesn't actually have a latch (a problem, I suppose), something I should work on at some point.

After this incident I was muy productive. Nothing involving getting a job, but the apartment looks nicer and more put together!

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Monday, February 27, 2006

I cut my hair 

Ok technically, I didn't cut it (tho I so badly wanted to). At the recommendation of a girl in Buffalo Exchange (This is a used clothing establishment. I was trying to sell some of the clothes I'd decided I didn't want. No, they didn't buy anything, as the didn't fit any current trend. I know! I was shocked as well) I wandered down the street to bishop's, a hair cutting place. Wouldn't you know it, they handed me a Miller High Life to drink while I waited and got my hairs cut! What a surprise! (Not really. I was told I'd get a PBR. Sacrifices were made and I made do with the Champagne of Beers). Much later, I left, my head several pounds lighter. The Hank Williams playing over the radio took my mind off of the long process towards making me look 'respectable'. However, the poor girl cutting my hair was worn out by the end! She kept commenting on how much hair I had and how much work it was to cut it. As a result, I had to keep rubbing in my lack of employment for a year and a half (to which she responded with her having a job currently, and me questing for one. Touche). I was still amused; she fell down and took a nap on the floor. With all the hair I left behind, it made a wonderful mattress.

Not to worry, I am not super clean cut. My hair is much shorter now (it was a bit ridiculously long) but it is still shaggy. Still, I look funny when I see myself in the mirror.

Perhaps now it is time to grow out the beard?

Now I really am a sexy bitch. Meow!

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Home essentials 

One of the thrift stores peered thru the other night did nothing to provide needed furniture or housewares. However, a fun little item did make its way into my truck.

A dartboard.

Not just a dartboard, but an old Budweiser, cork, dartboard! How awesome is that!

I reek of class

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Stay strong.... 

Well, I got a call back from the company I talked with last week. Only this time, the call came from the engineering department. Later (today?) I will be getting a call from the surveying department. Seems my recently formed resume (I still can't find the last decent version of my resume, hard copy or electronic) comes across impressive enough for these folks to want me hired on as an engineer. Doing the same sort of thing I was doing before, only with more truly managerial responsibilities.

As the lady on the phone tried to sweet-talk me (I swear this happened!), I continued looking out at the chilly and rainy weather and began to question my logic in not returning to my former position, even if only temporary (she didn't seem to mind that it would be a temporary, non-career forming move). Hell, the pay would be better and I wouldn't have to work out in the rain...

But then I recalled the endless mornings I woke up dreading the hours I'd be spending in the office, the complete lack of fulfillment I was getting from the work.....and after a minute of contemplation I've shelved the call to the shelf of 'random ego boosts' and am anziously awaiting a call from the survey department.

Money, afterall, is NOT everything, does NOT mean happiness.

Everytime I type or write or say that word (happiness), a song comes to mind that I learned in grade school:

H-A-double P-I, N-E double S! That's the way you spell HAPPINESS!

Something like that. It's a happy jingle and makes me smile (and spell the darn word correctly).

Kudos to me. I've come to far to give in and sell my soul again to make a little extra cash.

Ah! My second pot of coffee is ready!

On top of all this fun, I've signed up for my first class (on March 7). If I wasn't a complete dunderhead, I coulda signed up for more at the same time. Although this first one is free, the others are not. Perhaps I should continue thinking smartly and wait until after being gainfully employed before incurring more financial burdens...

I rock

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Finally! 

Here is some exciting news: all my bags and boxes (all the ones I have with me, anyway) are empty. That is right, I am unpacked!! This is an exciting moment. For the first time in over a year and a half I am not living out of a bag! A relief, to say the least.

All weekend was spent moving and settling in. Most of yesterday was spent in shopping endeavors (not fun), but now almost all necessary items (except food) have been purchased. Right now I am typing away at my new desk while staring out at the wet Portland weather, with no plans to pack up and move anytime soon! Aahh!

Brain still isn't working. Need more coffee and some food

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A sad day 

For those who haven't heard, there's been a death. Don Knotts has moved on to another realm. See ya, Mr. Furley (that was more my era than Barney Fife)

As did Darren McGavin, who I knew as the funnily cranky father on 'A Christmas Story'.

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Finally. Unpacking 

The move went quicker than I'd expected, a rare and wonderful thing. The apartment loks bare due to a dearth of 'things', mainly furniture. A new bed and new/used desk are the only furniturish items adorning the floors. A sad state of affairs, in a way. Hopefully tomorrow will show a resurgence of furniture in my domicile.

I have a lot of cool stuff I'd forgotten about; things I've picked up in the last year point five.

A settled feeling is slowly starting to take hold, and the urgent need to get working on my upcoming projects is growing.

A jobby job would help these funities along, as funding is necessary (and already expected, by one of my sources).

Wooty hoo hoo

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ongoing thrills 

Despite the slow start to the week, things are ramping up and productivity it high, kind of. Yesterday an oral agreement was made with my new landlords! That's right, I have a place to live that isn't an unheated and unfinished basement! My new digs will be one of four apartments in a large house. All utilities are included as is trash and other assorted maintenance type goodies, including laundry! Very cool. It's not a huge place, but it's in an awesome location and is chock full of character. What more can you ask for? (Don't answer that out loud).

The only unfortunate part about this is that it looks like another weekend will pass without me getting any skiing in. Saturday is the move-in day. Not only is it a day for moving in, but it may also be a day of finding furniture. This place is not furnished, and my furniture is all of...nothing, really. Anything I had has either been sold, donated or is not in this state. Including a bed. A quick glance around has shown the lack of frugality associated with mattresses. Darn things.

Doesn't matter. I'm excited. There is a great park four blocks away (which I am claiming will encourage me to run), little coffee shops and bars and whatnots even closer. And the place has a ton of windows. And heat! Rockin'.

The excitement at findind a place was a bit muted for me, because it sank in, yet again, that Portland (not CO) is now where I am calling home. That and the unbinding, unwritten agreement to stay for at least a year prompted a small case of hyperventilation and brief panic on my part. So it goes. I had some wine, watched Fight Club and all was good.

Today is C's birthday so I've been running to stores for needed cooking stuffs. Now all I need to do is eat lunch, take a nap, and then cook some dinner.

Oh! I almost forgot. Romalo the mangy dog says hello. Actually, he said "ruff!", but you get the idea.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A sign of things to come? 

If employees at NREL and similar bodies are excited and cautiously optimistic about Dubya's new 'commitment' to getting away from oil dependance, maybe there is a reason to hope! Wouldn't that be exciting?

My inside sources tell me......not much, but there is excitement, which is good.

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Things are starting to move 

Yesterday morning I tossed out a few resumes and applied for a few jobs. It was exciting, and I assumed it'd be a couple days at least before I'd hear anything ("You want a job with that resume? What is wrong with you? Go serve up some fries ya bastard!").

Well, I'm not against being surprised. As I pedaled my way madly down the street in the direction of the post office, dodging moving cars and immobile poles, my front brakes disconnected due to certain, um, issues, my cell phone began ringing. Although I could hear it over the music wailing in my ears, it took a minute before I realized that I was producing the ringing. Don't worry, I didn't swing my bag around to get the phone out and answer it. That would be unsafe. Besides, a pumping song was playing and I didn't want to turn it off.

It was a job calling! How exciting is that? I called back once I got 'home', and we chatted for a long while. He didn't think my year (and a half) off was anything but awesome, has no problem with me geting this job as a means to pay for school (that was in my cover letter) and was very laid back. They are going to call back today so we can talk more! To say the least, I was happy. As further proof of the incestuousness of the profession, he knows one of the managers from my first job!

Riotous

Not only that, but people I called about housing still had places available! Maybe by the end of the week I'll be home-having and employed (thus fulfilling the prophecy of the Magin 8-Ball)!

Last night was semi-celebratory and I met lots of fun new people, but that is a story for later. I gotta run home and let someone into the house...

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

All in a day's work 

"Team America". Brilliant bit of filmaticness. Quite amusing and spoof-filled. I liked it mucho. It made me laugh and guffar for what, about an hour and a half last night? You haven't lived until you've seen an extended puppet sex scene. Riotous, believe me.

Today has been productive:

I've gotten a couple people to agree to show me a couple apartments (and for once my calls were not greeted with "sorry, we've filled that property"). I have more to call when I return to the house shortly.
I reduced my cholesterol by eating oatmeal for breakfast. This trend will continue when I go for my run later today
My resume has been sent off to multiple places for a couple different kinds of jobs. Other avenues are alse being explored.
My gullet has taken in much coffee.
I put pants on
Later, I'll shower and shave (I heard this yesterday: "Man. Corey. You really do look jobless!" Something about being unshaven, wearing old jeans and a flannel and a toque)
The post office and library will also be recipients of my patronage today
Perhaps a bookstore as well
Brunelleschi's Dome is a couple pages closer to completion
I am sexier today than I was yesterday. Trust me

I coulda sworn I had something worthwhile to say, but I'll be damned if I know what it was. Let me check some news sites real quick

Nigeria. Nice work kicking out foreign interests! Sorry, Shell. Scale back!

I still don't like Madonna

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Today is a holiday. Who knew? 

Yup, President's day. It's a holiday for those lucky folks working govt jobs.

Saw a great bumper sticker today. It had the US flag draped across it in a wavy manner with the following words: "Dissent is Patriotic"

I smiled.

Then I went to a bookstore, and left with only one book: 'Brunelleschi's Dome". I hear it's good. I'll let you know.

Man. I ain't got anything worthwhile to say do I? Too much sleep, that's the problem. It's stunting my thinking. Perhaps the job/home stress adds to that? Nah, I just need some good music.

Kenny Rogers was a big hit over breakfast this morning. Gotta love the good stuff

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday morning coming down 

Ah how I love the home search! While it may be a nice diversion from job searching, it can be just as frustrating and unfruitful. Yesterday ended up being a day of driving around, phone calls and frustration.

Today has been productive, at least. Many things have been bought with which to fill the prospective domicile, which is exciting.

Goodwill had a nice collection of records to peruse and I ended up heading 'home' with some new goods: Kenny Rogers and Ted Nugent! There were others, but those might have been the most exciting! Too bad no one else shares my music preferences. Closed minded individuals I tell you!

Ramma lamma ding dong

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Friday, February 17, 2006

More interesting embargo facts 

Myth-busters, these guys are playing. A very interesting read.

I'd paste in some text, but it's a .pdf file and that ain't working. Check it out.

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The greater good? 

From a 1997 report put together by the American Association for World Health. The full executive summary can be read here. A very interesting read.

After a year-long investigation, the American Association for World Health has determined that the U.S. embargo of Cuba has dramatically harmed the health and nutrition of large numbers of ordinary Cuban citizens. As documented by the attached report, it is our expert medical opinion that the U.S. embargo has caused a significant rise in suffering-and even deaths-in Cuba. For several decades the U.S. embargo has imposed significant financial burdens on the Cuban health care system. But since 1992 the number of unmet medical needs patients going without essential drugs or doctors performing medical procedures without adequate equipment-has sharply accelerated. This trend is directly linked to the fact that in 1992 the U.S. trade embargo-one of the most stringent embargoes of its kind, prohibiting the sale of food and sharply restricting the sale of medicines and medical equipment-was further tightened by the 1992 Cuban Democracy Act.

...

Finally, the AAWH wishes to emphasize the stringent nature of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. Few other embargoes in recent history - including those targeting Iran, Libya, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Chile or Iraq - have included an outright ban on the sale of food. Few other embargoes have so restricted medical commerce as to deny the availability of life-saving medicines to ordinary citizens. Such an embargo appears to violate the most basic international charters and conventions governing human rights, including the United Nations charter, the charter of the Organization of American States, and the articles of the Geneva Convention governing the treatment of civilians during wartime.

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Meddling meddling 

Venezuela. Our largest supplier of oil (I believe) and now a source of ire. Hugo Chavez wants the US to stop meddling in his affairs, while the US says he has to stop eroding democracy in his country while also destabilizing the region.

Rice said on Thursday Washington would try to curb Chavez's anti-American influence by reaching out to allies to expose any anti-democratic policies in what she termed an "inoculation" strategy to counter Chavez, who is allied to Cuba.

She said she had contacted governments to publicly criticize a treason trial against leaders of a movement, Sumate, which had received U.S. funding and helped organize a 2004 referendum that failed to oust Chavez.

Critics say the trial is political persecution by an increasingly authoritarian government, a charge Chavez dismisses as propaganda. Prosecutors say the group illegally received funding from a foreign government.

Should we be giving money to an opposition party in another country? Wasn't there an uproar here about a connection between Saudi donations and Bush? What is wrong with countries wanting some sovereignty and separation from the US? If democracy is so important and noble, what firm ground are we standing on when we criticize and withhold our backing when candidates we don't like are democratically elected (see Palestine)? If the people elect someone in a truly democratic election, isn't that what we are after? Or is it a truly democratic election if the candidate the US wants is elected?

Our (recent) history with Central and South America is pretty screwed up, a fiasco of meddling, US-sponsored dictators, etc. I wonder when that will end? Is it really any wonder that those countries want to be free of our direct influences?


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I turn 30 

This is a story that must be told. For those who don't know, I tend to have an active imagination. When it comes to situational events, such as my 30th bday, I get into my head and create an intricate (and often lavish) story for how I'd like to see the event go. Typically, I'm way off and things don't get nearly as silly as I imagine. This time, however, the night (both of them) went pretty much how I'd envisioned and hoped.

To start off with, a few of my friends expressed surprise and a bit of dismay that I would decide to go off by myself, planning to celebrate my 30th birthday all alone in a foreign country. My thinking was that I wanted to make this bday memorable. Not that my past birthdays haven't been fun, but I wanted more of a story than a party or a night in a bar. And if I ended up celebrating it by myself, so be it.

That said, let's get to the telling. For the record, I don't plan on embellishing this story at all. I don't think it's necessary (that means the following account is all-true. At least as true as the Cano Blanco allows me to remember it).

A short set-up is necessary. While in the capital city of said country, I was sitting in one of the plazas writing in my journal and watching the scene. Two girls ended up sitting down next to me on the steps of the church and I noticed that they were speaking English. Obviously, I struck up a conversation with them and found out that they hailed from Scotland. No names were exchanged and we didn't talk all that long but an impression was made. A couple days later, half way across the country, they recognized me sitting by myself in another plaza and we got to talking again. This was 2 days before my birthday.

Now this plaza was the scene of much chaos and revelry. Live bands played nightly and it seemed as though all the tourists and locals gathered here to drink and dance and have a good time. There was a series of steps leading up to a large terrace (for lack of a better word) where a band was set up on one end, many tables and chairs sat in the middle and a bar was situated at the other end. Another series of steps led up to another landing (people sat all over these steps. They became like stadium seating at night) with another bar and more tables and chairs. I was at this top landing the night before my birthday, writing in my journal and watching the scene from on high. The girls showed up and I moved over to join them.

For those who have never traveled alone, I’ll fill you in a little bit. If you are shy and don’t try to talk to random people, you will spend your time talking to yourself and going slowly insane. Therefore, finding ways to strike up conversations with random people gets easier and easier (I think) as time goes on. Being low on shyness, it was not very hard for me to work into the conversation my impending birthday and the age I would be acquiring. They girls got much excited and as soon as midnight hit they started buying me drinks. Hearing the cause celebre, many people (mainly the guys who kept stopping by the table in an attempt to bed the girls) joined in. I was regaled with birthday wishes and much rum was shared (many Cubans carry around their own bottle of rum and a plastic cup. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than buying drinks when out at places). It was a fun night to say the least. It went late into the night (2amish), which was only bad because I had to wake up the old guy with whom I was staying in order to be let into the house. I felt sheepish to say the least.

The following day was a good day (I allowed myself to eat multiple meals!), and very interesting (a bit too serious for this post), but I’ll skip ahead to the evenings festivities.

My intention was to make it an earlyish night as the night before had been late and excitement-filled, and I didn’t want to be a total pest to my host. Famous last words, I know.

By the time I returned to the party area, ready to ‘party’, it was after 9pm. I was a bit sluggish and sat on the steps/seats with my beer taking in the music (a large crowd had not yet gathered). My friends (K and A) arrived, hugs were administered, and additional adult beverages were purchased. As the girls were dressed nicely (I was not. Although I did have on clean underwear and my cleanest shirt!) we opted to sit at a table and not on the stairs. The only available table was right in front of the band. Knowing the dangers inherent in a table such as this, we sat down anyway. Before long, it started. A was the first to be dragged onto the floor to attempt salsa dancing. K was next. I sat and giggled all the while. There was a very very cute older couple dancing away in front of us. You could tell that they were very much in love, and couldn’t have been happier out there dancing away. Awesome to watch. It was this couple that began my woes. After we’d been sitting a while, cheering them on, the female half of the couple shimmied up to me and stuck out her hands, requesting a dance.

Now for those who know me, dancing is not my forte or something I particularly relish doing. But how could I say no to this lady? Up I went. My performance was atrocious but at least I didn’t clomp on her feet. (That night A, who was my life coach for the night, told me that perhaps this is my decade for dancing. Perhaps it is indeed)

As the night went on, I felt as though I was in a Jack Kerouac book. Have you read any of his passages about bopping around jazz joints and running around, conversations on all sides, hilarity and chaos, the craziness and hecticness of it all? That’s how this felt. The band was rocking; swarms of people were spinning and flying around the dance floor performing amazing salsa moves; the crowds were getting into the music and clapping and singing along; the beer and rum were flowing. We made new friends with an older couple and shared stories and rum and everything with them as they did everything they could to get me and K to hook up (they physically pushed our hips together to get us to grind while dancing) and wanted us to come back in the morning with 4 babies on the way…. It was insane and amazing.

It’s hard to even describe the scene in adequate detail. When we left, I felt as though we’d been literally spun out of the insanity to find ourselves down the street, panting from the melee.

During the night, a really big guy was trying his darndest to get into A’s pants, and she requested that I play her boyfriend to deter the advances. It would have worked better had he not thought me a liar. As he furiously went away, our new friend (a cop, it turns out) told us to be careful, that this guy was not exactly safe. And that none of us should walk home alone. Of course right after that he told us not to worry about anything. Not exactly reassuring. So I walked the girls home, my 2 girlfriends for the night, and as soon as they were inside I made my way home (around 2am by this time) and woke up my host and passed out.

It was a crazy and amazing night, and I couldn’t be happier that that was how I passed into a new decade in life. There was only one part of the night that did not go as I had hoped-I ended up passing out and waking up in my bed, all alone. Awww! I know, feel bad for me. Not everything can be perfect, ya know?

I wonder what I’ll do for my 40th bday….


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Thursday, February 16, 2006

"My hypocrisy knows no bounds...." 

Let's forget that the Guantanamo Bay US Base exists on the land of another country (against that country's wishes)(Not to mention a country with whom we have no political recourse; whose president/dictator we have tried to assasinate, depose and shout out of office; a country whose poverty we have helped to ensure by keeping in place a crippling embargo for 45 years).

But how can we forget that this 'free' country of ours is holding people prisoner there without charging them or allowing the UN to check out their scene, with reports of abuse and torture rampant? The UN just issued a report that, of course, our high officials are reacting to with great scorn and annoyance, with no sign of shame or an apologetic nature. Perhaps there is nothing to apologize for. But again I ask, why not let the UN in to inspect? If this UN report was based on only partial truths (according to Scott McClellan, who also said the UN should not waste their time on this issue but should investigate other things. Huh?), how about letting them in and letting them get the full story? If there is nothing to hide, what can the harm be in letting the UN talk to individual prisoners?

How is this govt still so arrogant as to continually be pulling the "do as I say not as I do" routine? We hold everyone else to standards that we do not apply to our own actions (such as, hmm, torture is bad and no one should do that! But, well, maybe there are cases where we can allow our folks to employ it. You know, to stop terrorists...)

Check out this article and this one. Nothing groundbreaking or shocking. Sad, however. And embarrassing.

A buddy and I were talking about this the other night. Say the people held in GB had/have knowledge about al Qaeda plans and whatnot. They've been imprisoned for years now. Like my buddy said, they have no knowledge of anything recent. If something was planned, it's been scrapped and new plans have taken the place of the old plans. What possible useful info can these people give up? Where to find bin Laden or where training camps are? These groups are not countries-they are very mobile and things change constantly. So, why exactly are they still being detained?

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Wake me up before you go go 

In a way I've been productive. The little Saturn aced her emission's test. Later today I'll ride my bicycle (assuming it holds together) over to the DMV to get plates. I ate breakfast, I'm drinking coffee, I've sent off emails for some temp hourly work, and am finally reading one of my books ("The History of Danish Dreams"). I received notice that a spot in a boat has been reserved for me on March 4 for a beginner's session in Dragon Boating (The team's name is 'The Castaways') and some random girl and I are going to meet up and go running sometime this weekend (she wanted to meet up on Saturday morning but that has been dedicated as "find a place to live that is not my buddy's unheated basement" day. Hopefully Sunday works. And hopefully Saturday isn't a huge night). I've also made a contact to start playing ultimate frisbee again (pick-up games, the best variety).

All I really need now is a job (and a decent resume)! Then I can start my classes.

It's not raining today, but it is cold. Darn the luck!

I should drink less coffee. It makes me urinate often.

Other fun things have happened, I think. Right now these entertaining tidbits are eluding my brain.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Job hunting 

Not one of my favorite past times, let me tell you. I've done quite a bit thus far today, and have what I will pretend are some leads, but nothing has been sent out yet as I don't feel that explosive goodness has supplanted the blase-ness of my resume.

But I have auto insurance. And some chips. Had an energy drink and now have a printer up and functioning with my laptop.

How exciting am I?

Should I download some Kelly Clarkson off of iTunes? She's listed under 'teen pop rock' and I don't feel quite right getting anything off of there. Sorta makes me feel like a lech. An old one at that.

Haven't exercised today, except for some fast-paced walking. Which has gotten the kinks and soreness out of my legs (and my old worn down hip). Maybe a short bike ride later tonight?

Nah, I'll wait until tomorrow. The temporary tag on my car expires today so I'll be riding my bike to the DMV which is not all that close. Stupid car and expenses and all that.

Rubber bananas are funny

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Laugh at me 

This is what you get from driving for way too long in a car without cruise control:
A sore butt. My right butt-cheek is sore from all the driving. Who knew driving could be such a workout?

Job hunting. Not so fun

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The Drive 

Here it is, a couple of days after the big long push from Denver to Portland, and I am feeling a bit more normal and rested and not so cracked out. Which I suppose is good.

I will now attempt to recount my experiences on the drive, but have no idea how it will go as I was not the most alert person in the lower 48.

The day I left began at 7:30am. I met up with a cousin of mine and we spent almsot 3 hours driving out into the country to her co-op. This was the only time we could meet up before I left, and I didn't have to drive, so it was all good. Post-family time, I grabbed some coffee, loaded up the car and headed out.

Wisely, I decided to break the projected 18 hours of driving up into 2 stretches. My break came after almost an hour of driving, and was a sit-down lunch with a buddy of mine. Good times, good food, and too much caffeine. My packing prowess stunned my friend into silence (if you know him, his being silent approaches unbelievability), as he could not believe how much I was able to cram into the poor overloaded Saturn (the rear shocks were compressed completely, I think).

A quick good-bye and I was off.

My travels took me thru Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho (I giggled the entire couple of hundred miles I was in the state. And not just because of 'Napoleon Dynamite' quotations)(My first time in the state) and Oregon. A long way, let me tell you.

Fortunately, the moon was full and unhindered all night which rewarded me (for what I don't know) with stunning views of the landscapes baathed in bright moonlight. It really was amazing. The buttes in Wyoming, the mountains in Utah, the hills of Oregon....lovely. Orion remained overhead all night and provided an outlet for my rambling incoherencies. Good times.

Don't worry, I didn't push myself so hard that a crash became imminent. Well, not really. I considered stopping in Idaho, but there was nothing same. Same for Oregon. Not to mention the excitement that overcame me when I crossed into Oregon.

The last couple hundred miles of a long haul are always the worst. Interminable is too kind a word. For a 19 hour drive, this is even more so the case. Those last 300 miles I swear took a month to end. Fortunately I timed my drive perfectly to hit Portland during the morning rush hour. Idiot!

The shakes overtook me pretty fiercely when I got out of the car, and a funny feeling also took hold. Maybe dehydration, continued malnourishment, or simply having been in the car for way too long. In one week I drove about 3,000 miles over...I don't know how many hours. Impressive, no?

No big long drives are ahead of me for some time.

I hope

Other funny things happened, I think, during the drive but nothing is coming to mind right now. Perhaps that's because there were only delusionally funny and I've blocked them out or my mind is slipping?

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Final (ish) Step 

I am in Portland now. After almost 19 hours straight of driving, I arrived a little before 9am (local time) this morning. Had the body shakes, and upset stomach from excessive caffeine and not enough sleep. By the time I crawled into bed, I'd been awake 28 hours. This bed is in an unheated basement. With lots of warm covers. Perfect sleeping conditions.

One hour. That's all I could manage. I tried a shower and eating some food. Still nothing. I just had a beer and I am hoping that helps. How the hell is that all I can sleep? I know my body is pissed, so why won't it cooperate? I'm still overly jittery and I can't concentrate for poop so doing...anything is out of the question. I can't even read! I considered going for a run, but I didn't want to be falling down all over the neighborhood. People may begin to wonder.

More details later. Thinking isn't really working.

Wish me luck, I'm headed back to bed to try again....

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Off again 

Well, my time in Denver has come to a close, for now. I'm having my coffee and email check before heading back to pack up and hit the road. Then it'll only by 18 hours or so of driv ing before I can unpack, before packing up in (hopefully) a few days to move and then FINALLY unpack, for at least a series of months (I hope). This has been...a visit. It was great to see people, and I'm glad I wound my trip over this way before heading to the NW.

What is the next chapter in this life of mine? Time will tell, right? To say that I'm excited to put things into action is an understatement.

Although the excitement is tempered by the long drive I'm about to start. Ugh. At least I have three books on my iPod, that should help the time go by.

And, I don't have to see Nebraska or Iowa which is tremendous!

Peace, y'all. I'll see ya on the flip flop

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

In Denver 

It's been a couple days. The sun is back out and shining again, but it's still cold as balls here.

I've had the chance to see some friends, eat a burrito, get a free t-shirt from a cute Malibu promoter type, and drink lots of coffee.

Only one more day in town then I start the long haul to the west coast. I am rested up from the last driving stint so I am not too worried. The only thing that worries me is how I am going to get my ski gear into my already overloaded car. That might now work, at last not well. Wish me luck.

Nothing too exciting to report. I am getting more and more excited about going to Portland, and can't wait to get my life finally jump started again. You know, with a home and job and all that.

The rehashing of my bday is about to break on here. It's written up, but I need to re-read it before opening it up to the public.

People keep telling me that the Rockies here are having the best snow they've had in a very long time. Painful, is what that is. If only I were in shape enough to ski more than one run in a day I could check it out before leaving! Ah well

Off to run more errands and stuff

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Made it 

Stage 2 is done. I am in Denver now after making the drive in record time: from my parents' doorstep to my buddy's, my stopwatch ticked off a little under 14 hours. Pretty damn good, I'd say. I wasn't really hallucinating, but if it had taken me any longer I might have had some issues, like two other people I saw on the drive (not counting the swervers or the destroyed looking truck drivers I saw in gas stations): somewhere in Nebraska a semi left the road and went to check out the center median (probably 30 feet wide, steep bank down to opposing traffic). Not being an off-road vehicle, he ended up on his top (Perhaps the 'lovely' NE scenery drove him to it?). Another guy tried that in a car just inside the CO border. Looked like he flipped at least once. And left car pieces everywhere. They were good motivators for me, ya know?

Anyway. By the time I laid down (I had to unload most of the car so it wouldn't get broken into) it was about 5am. Which was almost 24 hours after I woke up. In that time, I drove for approximately 18 hours. And ya know what makes it better? After sleeping for 4 hours I couldn't go back to sleep.

And since my buddy (Who is out of the country) turned all the water in his house off, I had to walk down to Einstein's bagels to use their toilet (and get coffee). Hopefully he lets me know how to turn the water on. I could use a shower.

So I'm in Denver. A bit melancholy, as I still feel like this is home. It's warm out and the mountains look amazing.....ah.

Maybe it's hunger and lack of sleep and dehydration?

How are so many people sitting in here at 1040am on a work day? Don't these people have jobs?

Speaking of which, time to get to working on my resume and job search again

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

On the road 

The first leg of my trip is done. In the last 2 days I drove from Chicago to Fort Wayne to (near) Columbus, OH to Lafayette, IN and I just got back to Chicago. I got to see old college friends and 2 new babies. Unfortunately my visits were virtuially lightning quick thanks to my self-imposed schedule. Sorry, guys. It was great seeing you and I promise the next time will be for more than a couple of hours!

Now comes the next stage: Chicago to Denver. I have to finish packing the Saturn and get a temporary tag (I think I'll take my chances and go get it on the way out of town); the Saturn is already half packed (and has a new windshield!). Oh yeah-I need some coffee too.

Too bad it's 20 degrees outside. That should make packing fun.

And I need some clean socks. I wonder if I could find any?

The fun of moving, right?

Time to pack

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Monday, February 06, 2006

The road trip begins today 

Stamina is going to play a key role in the success of the next few days. Here's why:

Today: off to Fort Wayne, IN.
Tomorrow: Fort Wayne to near Columbus, OH (I hope) then to Lafayette, IN
Wednesday: Lafayette to Chicago to Denver
Some day later this week: Denver to Portland.

It's going to be a long week, it seems. But by sometime on the 13th (next Monday) I will be in Portland (and hopefully handing out resumes by the 14th?). Yes, I'm excited.

One question-where the hell is the box with all my kitchen stuff? I can't find it for the life of me. And as I recall, it was one of the larger boxes so that chance that it simply disappeared or is escaping my notice seems unlikely.

Better go back to the garage and take another look...

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Too many ideas 

I had forgotten about this idea, and I can't remember anymore with whom it came up. I think with BW, my buddy who I traveled with in Costa Rica.

Running with the bulls! How fun will that be? I don't know that it will happen this year, but you never know. It would make a nice short vacation.

I mean hell, that's a good 4 months away. I should be ready for a short trip by then, right?

(Mom. Don't read this. If you do, I swear it's only a joke!)

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Super Bowl Sunday 

At least I think it is. It would be quite accurate to say that I am not exactly overflowing with excitement at the impending climax to the football season. Maybe once the commercials start flowing I'll get a little juiced up. But right now, walking over to the coffee shop and sitting reading my book over some black caffeine is what's stoking my embers. Maybe because I am tired?

Met up with a buddy from college and his wife last night. Had a killer time. It was very amusing watching their initial reaction and continued stupefaction at the length of my hair. Hehe. We had some great talks, went thru a bunch of beer (decent beer, not the low brow variety that typifies our college reunions), and had a great time. I think I even convinced them to fly out to Portland next late summer for a visit (Portland is WAY better than LA. I swear!).

Managed to catch the 1240am train back to the 'burbs (I think I took a short nap in the train station while waiting) and was in bed by 145am. And was up again at 415am to drive my dad to the airport. Let me tell you how good it felt to get back into bed and sleep some more!

My stuff is pretty much all bunched up in a couple of piles and I get my car back tomorrow. Hopefully I can get my temp tag and some car packing done (to get a feel as to whether or not I need to make some final cuts and leave more shite behind) before heading off on a whirlwind romp around the midwest that is east of here.

My plan is to head out of Chicago sometime on Wednesday. Get to Denver. Stay some days. Then get to Portland on the 13th. It's doable, but I might be a bit cracked out by the time I arrive in the land of greenness.

To say I'm excited would be an understatement. I've been talking a lot the last few days about Portland and it has been serving to ramp me up even more! The only drawback is that I am not on my way yet. It's not frustrating me yet.

Imagine. I am excited about getting a job! Well, maybe I am overflowing with elation at my impending unpacking and the job excitement is misdirected overflow. Or else I don't remember what it is like to be locked into work...

Go Bears!!

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Now it's real 

Last night I sent out an email, announcing to some people where I am heading once my car is packed. And it's not Denver.

For various reasons, I made the decision that Denver is not where I need to be right now, but that Portland is. So sometime mid-next week me and the Saturn will head west. After a stop in Denver for a couple/few days we'll continue on to the west coast.

A bit sad, as Denver has been my settling place since I was 9 years old. And it's not out of the question that I will still end up there one day. But for now, Portland it is! After sending that email last night and letting most people know my intentions, it's more real now. Which brings both good and bad feelings. So it goes.

Today it's snowing/raining. And I got some sleep last night! It was exciting. I pile of stuff is accumulating in 'my' bedroom. Closer, closer...

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Holy shite I'm on fire 

Hehe. The old me is resurfacing. I think it's true-I lost a few years on this last birthday instead of gaining one more year/decade.

Despite the fact that I haven't been sleeping (my little sis made me talk to her until long past 3am this morning), I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep. Which has produced one of the more productive days that I have had in quite a while.

What have I done? Let me proudly report that: The Saturn is running!!!

It took a new battery (oops) and some explosive spray, but she's running! Got her down to the gas station and filled her up. Ran over to a tire shop and have 4 new roundies on her. Tomorrow AM she visits the car doc for a check-up (keep your fingers crossed).

My wireless internet is working (but not here, for some reason).

I drank a lot of coffee

Three more chapters have been sunk in my book (Wild Swans. Hella-good book).

I ate lunch!

A nap is looming, as my eyes are way pissed at me and would like some rest.

But

Tonight I'll start coalescing my stuff into what is going with me and what isn't.

Turn around time here is dwindling and getting shorter and shorter with each passing hour.

I've looked for jobs (kind of. It's hard to look seriously when you don't quite know where you are living or when you are getting there). Clubs and classes have been scouted out and a list is started.

Later I'll get to a write-up I swear. A nap is more pressing. Otherwise gibberish is all that will be produced.

The energy and adrenaline is at a level long since absent in me. It feels good.

Look out-I'm back and ready to do some damage!

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Amazing 

For the first time in months I am infused with energy (despite the lack of sleep and food) and excited and unable to sleep much and am raring to get going. It's awesome.

And a great start.

It's cold in Chicago in winter. I much prefer the heat and sweat in the Caribbean. Although it has lent my shoes a permanent stench (Ask D. He had to open the windows in his car when he picked me up in Orlando the other day).

Do not fret. The caffeine levels in my blood are slowly raising and I am about to start documentation for your benefit some tibits from the last 2 weeks.

My stomach is the size of a pea. I should really start eating again. And exercising. I was going to damn run today but it's cold out which won't be great for my burgeoning cold (amazing that I am getting sick. I wonder how? Do you think 5 flights in 2 days, no sleep for days and no food for weeks has anything to do with it?)

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Done 

Hey there!

I am in Chicago and almost done with my burrito. Mmm!! Food tastes good!

My flying days are over, gosh willing, for a while. It feels good.

Prior to commencing the burrito snarfing, I stepped up on a scale to see the extent of the damage I did to myself. And....I was right. I'm about 10lbs lighter than when I left a month ago. Oops.

See gang, come to me for dietary advice! I know how to lose weight, tho it may not be the healthiest way (but really, are my ways really that much less healthy than, say, an all-meat diet?)! And for a change, this diet was bugless! Quite exciting.

Fun fact of the day: I now weigh what I did when I graduated from high school, 11 years ago. (Don't worry, this won't last long)

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ABOUT ME
Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

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WWW http:/www.jimspeak.blogspot.com