Big Exciting Changes

Someone recently pointed out to me that, even though I told them they could keep up with me by reading my blog… well, I never post on it any more!

I am going to try to make it a priority, because, this time? My silence has been due to being too busy with big wonderful changes. And as far as I’m concerned, big wonderful changes is what it’s all about, here in the Epiblogue.

One thing that makes it hard to make time to blog, is that I don’t have the internet at work. (So I should write on the work computer during slow periods, or bring a laptop and upload it when I get home, you say? Pish posh.)

And, exciting, news! I just got promoted! I am now going to work full time at my favorite house.

That’s going to mean more responsibility, more time to start and finish big projects at work, and more hours means (because who am I kidding, it matters) a whole lot more money. Which means more fun and summer festivals and trips to Portland and pretty things for the house!

Especially since I’m splitting my rent now…

Which brings us to reason #2 why I have not been blogging.

I have a boyfriend! His name is Tristan, and he makes me ridiculously happy. He has recently moved in with me* and has since constructed a marvelous, magnificent tapestry cave (a concept of which I was previously not cognizant) with christmas lights and pretty scarves all covering the ceiling.

He is sweet, and fun and brilliant and a bit of a tecnho-phobe who wants neither his picture nor his cave on the internet. As I am very fond of him, I will comply.

*If anyone is doing the math, yes. We have not been dating very long. But this terrible landlord decided to kick everyone out of the house where he was renting, because the landlord wanted to let his son stay there. We decided it made more sense for Tristan to move in here, rather than find a room somewhere else, where, by the evidence, he would probably never actually spend any time. See?

So, basically, I have been working a lot, and when I’m not at work I’m spending all my time with Tristan. I am going to try to post some more though, because I do enjoy it. And we have been doing a lot of fun things lately, like cooking interesting things like Bao (with cabbage and water chestnuts, and no pork! Very tasty) and writing new Settlers rules (hurricanes that wipe out ports, and forest fires that can spread to nearby tiles if you’re unlucky! And of course, hide your sheep from the Chupacabra…) for giant three-board Settlers games.

This was the aftermath of one of our first attempts.


As I was saying, I am getting a full time schedule at work soon. A month or so ago, though, before I knew anything about that, I realized that with my current schedule of Wednesday, Thursday Friday, then off from Saturday till Tuesday, could have 11 days free by taking only 3 days off work! So I turned in some paid leave and scheduled a trip down to California with Tristan. It totally snuck up on me, but apparently we are leaving in THREE DAYS!!

We will be in California from the 17th until the 27th (and are looking for places to stay in the Bay Area and Santa Cruz, by the way…) I am really excited to see everybody in Santa Cruz (and formerly from Santa Cruz) and for him to meet various people. Our schedule is very open and we are planning as we go. I really intend to write all about it, but I know how these well-meant plans often turn out!

And just because it makes me happy,

Here are ALL of Ira’s teeth…

And Rainbow in a box that is just a little bit too small.

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Today at work I watched this new sitcom, Supurgatory, which I like well enough to deign to watch at work.* The main character, a teenage girl, gets to have her favorite band play at her big party, and the main point is that this band is… either very bad or completely inaccessible to just about anyone. So I watch, as whatsherface finally comes around to the sparkly dress and begins to enjoy herself, when, lo, the band comes on,

And they are One Ring Zero.
Who recently put out an album, on which the lyrics are recipes by noted chefs, who got to chose their favorite style of music to which their recipe would be performed, as song.
And in the show, they played Radio, the lyrics of which are by Daniel Handler, who most famously publishes under the name Lemony Snicket, and less famously wrote a book which he describes as a “Jewish Porn Opera Novel,” and which I personally did not care for. (Though I thought that The Basic Eight was quite good.)

As the song began, and I realized what was happening, I was sent into this string of thoughts:
Radio! I love this song!
But they didn’t call the band “One Ring Zero” they called them… something else. Curious.
I know quite a bit about the song that is being touted as “Inaccessibly Indie” by a prime time sitcom! Hoho!
Hmm. “Inaccessibly Indie” by a prime time sitcom Eeehh…
(This has at once put me on and knocked me off my hipster high horse.)
Damn this is a good song!
If I had a radio for every time you loved me so, I wouldn’t have a radio at all.
I should get that latest album with the recipes.
But now they’re going to be all well-known because they were on some tv show.
Do I actually care?
Not really.

Anyway, I felt the world needed to know, that;
a. There is a band called One Ring Zero, and back when that last album came out I thought they were really pretty fun.
b. One Ring Zero was on tv! How weird is that!
c. I had a little hipster high horse moment tonight and I clearly needed to share.
d. There is an album of recipes recorded to music that sounds really pretty swell, that I, for one, will be acquiring post haste.

*I realize that I have been talking about watching tv a lot lately. This is because, clearly, I am watching a lot of tv lately. This is mostly at work, where there is a lot of down time. (And where I have found that my residents have the aggravating super power of sensing the second that I have settled into reading my book, and realizing that that very moment is the moment that they must! have! something! out of the locked back fridge!) And, that is why.

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Moving. Also, sneezing.

I am sick and it makes me feel like such a responsible adult. Why? Because when I woke on Saturday morning feeling like death, my first thought was, “Oh, thank god this happened on a weekend. I should be well for work on Tuesday.”
Doesn’t that just make your little corporate-minded heart swell?

Well… I do have work tomorrow, and I’m not totally well yet (still sitting on the couch with a box of tissues and a headache) but I’m a lot better and I should be able to function.

Now would be a really bad time to take my first sick day, anyway, because I have a lot of expenses this month:

Because I am moving into my new place!!!

It’s not a big move, just a half an hour away, to Albany, which is much, much closer to work. There are some really great things about the new place too. It’s a townhouse with two stories, which means that the cats can run up and down the stairs all day, which they will love.
I am also excited about the spare bedroom, because I think it will really help to have lots of space. I know that things get messy when I don’t have a place for everything, and having an extra room, even if I just use it as a walk-in closet, and occasional guest room, will really help.

I am also quite pleased about having a kitchen with enough room for two whole people and enough cabinet space so that I don’t have to keep my dry goods in the hall closet. (Like this apartment where all my dry goods are kept in the hall closet. In this instance I am not being hyperbolic.) And a sunny little breakfast nook, where I can put flowers on the table and listen to NPR in the mornings.

I am very excited about it. (and just realized that I said basically the same thing in my previous post, but too bad!)

As of this morning, I had my move-in date set for Saturday, the 12th. When I called today to make an appointment, though, I learned that they would be closed on Saturday, and also on Friday, so it’s been moved up to Thursday. Which is BASICALLY RIGHT NOW as far as I am concerned.

In conclusion, my living room is covered with liquor store boxes, some of which are full of books. My coffee table is covered in tissues, and I am in a strange and confusing state of excitement and furious packing interspersed with cups of soup and body aches, and “just one more episode” of Criminal Minds.

This week is going to be really fun, as long as I can stop coughing.

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Of Townhouses and Eggplant and Staying Up Very Late

Last night I stayed up until 8 in the morning, because I had to, because it was my job. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

I wonder, though, if my body will react the next time I think about saying yes to a noc shift. “Oh yeah, brain? You could use the extra hours? Fool me once, asshole. I know what graveyard means now, buddy.”
Really, though. Not so bad. The night-time chores only take about and hour and a half. Other than that I just watched downloaded episodes of How I Met Your Mother and drank coffee.

I really like this job for many different reasons. One, though, is that working in two houses with five bedrooms each means that I can get to know the ten residents I work with really well. I was a little worried about being in a big, dark, quiet house by myself all night, but I never felt like I was by myself. I know all the people who were asleep in the rooms around me, I respect them, and for the most part I like them. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t chant “Go to bed! Go to bed!” in my head when somebody got up for the roughly one millionth time to drink milk and fall asleep at the kitchen counter. But I liked it. It was peaceful.

I woke up today at 3:30pm. I called my parents because it’s Sunday and that’s what happens on Sundays. Mom asked me what I was going to make for dinner, and I replied that I didn’t know, but that I had an eggplant in my fridge. They said “Eeew!” but they are clearly disturbed individuals with no sense of taste. I have not been cooking lately, beyond the occasional over easy egg or can of soup, because:

1. I get to cook at work, and make big dinners for six or seven people at least a few times a week.
2. My kitchen is… impossible. This is my kitchen prepped for making the eggplant parmesan I lovingly crafted for myself (and possibly one naughty boy cat who likes to lick my empty bowls when I’m not looking). As you can see, two of the burners on the stove are being requisitioned as extra counter space.

And here is the lovely finished product. The addition of mushrooms and summer squash was most excellent. I will thoroughly enjoy the copious leftovers I have set myself up for.

Happily, my existence with this pitiful kitchen is not a life sentence. I have actually applied for another apartment! This one is much bigger, and not just the kitchen. (Although the kitchen is very serviceable and will lend itself to cooking more, and more adventurous things) It’s a two-story, two-bedroom townhouse, only 2 miles away from work! I can’t wait to hear back from the office so that I can put in my thirty-day notice and start packing! Again. Luckily I don’t have too much stuff; only as much as will fit in my car, plus some furniture. Oh, and this little guy.

Isn’t he sweet?

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Look What I Just Found


They’ve never done this before. I’m so pleased with my little happy family.

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Call Me a Cat Lady If You Must

I went to the pound a few days ago, the Heartland Humane Society, just to look. The day before, I had found (stepped in) some kitty vomit, which looked as though it contained some kitty poop. Add that to Rainbow’s scratchy, “I’m pissed off” voice lately, and it equals cat in crisis, who desperately needs some company while I’m at work.

But I just went to look, and then bring Rainbow back to meet my top choices, or bring them home to meet her. Unfortunately, when I got there, the man at the front desk told me that there wasn’t really any way to do that, with their cats. You just have to pick one that seems like they’ll be good, and hope. He suggested a young, social male cat for Rainbow.

I looked through all of the different cat rooms, and met a lot of really sweet, good cats, but none of them seemed like “the one.” One sweet boy named Popcorn seemed like a good choice, but I stood up and realized that I was covered in white cat hair. With a white cat and a black cat, I could never wear any colors of clothing without being covered in fur. So Popcorn was out.

I had seen all the cats, and didn’t need to take any of them home, so I went to find Rebecca and sister. I found them in the lobby, and Rebecca was holding a big grey and white kitten. I took him out of her arms, and did not set him down again. He was it. He was sweet, and pretty, and had nice markings, and the finest, softest hair, of the sort that doesn’t come off all over back shirts.

I had to have him, and after a tense moment, when the front desk guy called another family who had a hold on him, I filled out my application and took him home! It was an instantaneous decision, but it was clearly meant to be. Hopefully this would fix all of Rainbow’s problems, and I would get to have the second cat that I have been wanting for ages.

Rebecca suggested names on the way back, and one of them was Ira, which I like, because it sounds good and because then kitty can be named after radio personality Ira Glass, which is absolutely something I would do.

So meet Ira!

He’s a sweet, lovey little boy, who likes to play and likes to cuddle. I think we are going to be a very happy family. Eventually.
He and Rainbow are working it out. Tonight is the first night I’ve seen them play together. I’ve been a little worried that they would be enemies forever, but they seem like they will work out just fine.

Oh yeah, Prologue: When I brought Ira home, I found another vom/poo pile and showed it to Rebecca, like “See! Kitty’s going crazy” and she said “Uh, that’s a big hairball.” So… I could have fixed the problem with some olive oil in Rainbow’s food. Instead I got a second cat. Oh well!

Oh, and here’s a video that explains why two cats is perfectly fine, but three makes you “that weird guy with all those cats,” thus proving that I am not a crazy cat lady yet! However, loving this video as much as I do might make me a crazy cat lady anyway…

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The Fallibility of Memory

I had a conversation with a friend last night, while we were driving around looking for dinner, before watching Doctor Who, in which the friend made a comment,

“Other than Chris, you didn’t really date anyone in college, did you?”

My immediate thought was, “Of course I did!” I mentally scanned my time in college, my time at UC Santa Cruz, and laughed at myself for expecting that exercise to reveal that I had completely forgotten the year and a half or so that I had dated Joe, or Steve, or Rigoberto.

I answered my friend that no, maybe I hadn’t. That instead, I had developed some wonderful relationships with my female friends, and had proved, to myself and the world, that I was free from co-dependence, and could cheerfully make it on my own.

Still, though, the thought bothered me, and as I drove home from Portland, slightly sleepy and feeling annoyed that, while I hold my own in many aspects of our competitive Oregon relocation, he has me solidly beat when it comes to relationships and friends.

And it came to me. I hadn’t forgotten a Joe or a Rigoberto. I had forgotten about Wes!

It’s not that I had forgotten about his existence. In fact, I have an email from him, starred in my inbox, that I have been meaning to find the time to craft a meaningful response to for quite a while.
I think about Wes all the time, actually. Whenever I hear an English accent, and want to know what part of England it comes from. Whenever I see a mandolin, or hear a Flogging Molly song or when someone asks what, in the world, I am doing with a cricket ball. I think about Wes at least a few times a week. But somehow, when I think about college boyfriends, romantic pairings in college, I often completely forget about Wes!

And I can tell you why, too. I did it yesterday. When I let my mind roll over my college experience, across the dorms, and that year when the girls had that apartment in French house, and the time that Devon and Katie lived next door, with Devon’s bed in the living room. And over the parties, and the quiet nights at home and the various wonderful things we made and cooked and wrote and experienced, I look at Santa Cruz, and the people I love that lived there.

Wes existed apart from everything to do with college. When I was with Wes, we lived in limbo, close, spatially, to the existence we had led in High School, but also completely apart, and largely out of contact with anyone but each other.
It was us against Sacramento; neither of us wanted to be back, and there was absolutely no one we wanted to see there. We were stuck, together in a bizarre no-mans-land that did not look like our present, and was too close to our past to ever truly allow us to relax.

I was with Wes for an entire summer, after that first night when he kissed me, watching tv on the water bed in the spare room, and I jumped up and ran back to my parents’ house, to the last night when I helped him get his bags into the car, and took a picture with him where, although I tried to hide it, I look exactly like I had been crying for at least an hour.

I visited him in England a few months later, over Christmas, and realized that it was over. Realized that he was never coming back, and that, really, that was the best thing for him. I saw the country through the eyes of a local, or at least, a reasonably seasoned transplant with a transatlantic accent, gave him a hat that I had knitted for him a few months before, had my first legal drink, and left, hoping that we could keep in touch, anyway, in spite of the fact that we were together previously, and that now we were not.

It wasn’t over, of course, and the next summer found me driving back and forth from Santa Cruz to Sacramento, in an attempt to provide what small comfort I could, while the tragic circumstance that necessitated his return to the States left us both drained and fragile. When he left again, I had established that I loved him, and that I would, I think, always love him. Romantically, though, as a couple, we were clearly, obviously not meant to be. Our personalities would have dictated that, even if the ocean’s separation didn’t.

And that was what my brain was looking for, when I stumbled over the question of whether I had had any other relationships in college. I had a deep, meaningful relationship in college, that spanned two years, and has made me a life long friend, but my memory traces don’t find it, when I look at UC Santa Cruz. It hid itself in the cracks, and no one from my college experience ever really saw it, but when I look for it in the right way, I find myself astounded that it isn’t on the tip of my tongue.

I had to fight the impulse to call my friend and say “So there!” even though I know that, while he might find it interesting, really, truly, he would not care. I guess it just got me thinking about my life and the important people in it, and made me feel like I should document the existence of my dear friend Wes, so that the next time someone asks, our story will be the first thing that comes to mind.

Posted in Beaux, Santa Cruz, The Past | 2 Comments