Monday, August 30, 2004

San Diego in 48 short hours

The Peanut and I spent the weekend in San Diego. He grew up there, and I lived there for two years, so we didn't do anything too touristy or anything, but it was mostly a good time. I say mostly, because the Peanut's mother (heretofore known as the Spawn) is spawned directly from the loins of Satan himself, so it is always a little tricky to spend time with her. We spent most of the day on Saturday with her, but I was able to escape to AB and UD's house at about 5. Peanut ducked out of there to take pictures with some of his old friends that evening, but was subjected to a particularly unpleasant brunch with she and several of their family friends the following day. It would take me forever and a day to describe the levels of craziness that the Spawn inflicts upon those around her, but here's a little synopsis: She is obsessed, I mean, obsessed, with the current state of politics in this country, and this obsession has consumed every breathing moment for her. Luckily, she is of the anti-Bush persuasion, which makes it a bit more bearable, but it still reeks of the crazy. After lunch on Saturday we went back to her house to watch C-Span for 3 hours. Recorded C-Span. And not any particular show or event, just, C-Span. Now, I was a political science major and consider myself to by fairly well informed and interested about the current goings on, but Jesus H. Christ, three hours of fucking C-Span?? When someone would say something that she agreed with, she would hoot and holler and wave her arms around as though she were being saved or something. If she was in opposition to something that was being discussed, she would yell and curse at the TV. This is a woman whom we haven't seen in almost a year, and this is how she chose to spend the visit. She fancies herself to be quite the crunchy, crystals-about-the-house, psychic-visiting hippie, and I guess she is, but she is also the most judgmental, hostile, paranoid person I think I've ever met. It sucks, really, because if you took out the bad stuff, she would be an incredible person. She's well read, well traveled, informed and has great taste in art and film. It's just a bummer that she has treated the Peanut like shit for most of his childhood (so much so that he was emancipated from her at 16), and continues to find fault with almost everything about him and about our relationship.
So there's that.
I had a great time Saturday night with AB and UD, and with the cousins, drinking loads of wine and talking for hours. AB and I stayed up and watched bad TV, and then ordered a pizza late, late, late, and it was delicious. Sunday we had Indian for lunch, and then the Peanut and I headed back up north. I stopped by my beloved Sephora and purchased loads of shiny new products, including a Stila eyeshadow that is encased in a brown leather case, and I think I am in love with it. I then cursed the fact that there is no Sephora in Santa Barbara the whole way home.
Sometimes life just isn't fair, you know?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Ah, youth.

I've spent the day feeling very nostalgic for days gone by. And by "days gone by" I mean my early twenties, when I had almost no responsibility and took too many drugs and went out most nights, and somehow through all of it I trucked through school. This feeling was brought on last night by VH1. Yes, yes I am totally lame, thanks for asking. Actually, it was VH1 Classic Alternative that did it. I was flipping through the channels, and was amazed to see Sonic Youth (100%, if you're interested) on the TV, and when that was over, on comes PJ Harvey (Sheela Na Gig), and then, as if that weren't enough, The Church (Reptile) came on. And really, that's all it took to throw me back ten years, to my funky, amazing, insanely cheap apartment in Pittsburgh, where I lived with three of my closest friends, all of who were crazy artists and filmmakers and photographers. There was literally never a dull moment in those years. We were always out, seeing music, mostly, or going to a gallery to see a friend's art, or some happening around town. We were all in school and had menial jobs, and we all managed to do quite a bit of experimenting in the drug department while maintaining some semblance of reality. There was always, always music on (I don't even think we owned a TV for quite a while), and took many trips to Jerry's in Oakland, or Paul's in Bloomfield to procure even more music. All four of us loved to cook, so we would get a little high and cook, cook, cook. Or bake, sometimes. I probably made 5 zillion mile high lemon meringue pies in those days, and they were always gone by the next morning (maybe that's how I ended up needing to go to the gym every blessed day now). Those days ended when I transferred from Pitt to George Washington, but not in a bad way. Just different. DC had such a different vibe than Pittsburgh, and I was living in a dorm for the first time in my life. I made some new, equally amazing friends, and was still obsessed with music, but in addition to Sonic Youth and PJ and Sebadoh, there were The Roots, and Jurassic 5 and DJ Shadow. I still love music, but it doesn't define me and dictate my social life the way it did when I was younger. I watch a lot more TV now, and spend more time eating in yummy restaurants than I do in smoky bars (smoking in bars? was there ever such a time??) watching some band. Funny how a little benign VH1 can stir up so many memories.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Perhaps I should join the Junior League, yes?

Office has been so strange this week. We've had a new recruiter start, and we've had several visitors from some of our satellite offices visiting, so everyone has been on their absolute best behavior. Which is...odd. It's not like I work with a bunch of ogres, but there is always some drama going on. Usually the various assistants are at each other's throats, and the two people in the office who have constant, illegal, monkey sex are angry at each other for one reason or another. Or perhaps it's to throw off any suspicion. Who can say? But in any case, it's been interesting to see all the smiles plastered on the faces around the conference table at our Wednesday meeting, where usually there is abject boredom or open hostility.
The new recruiter, with whom I am now sharing office space, is very nice, very cute, very Junior League. I took her to lunch today and picked her brain about her recent wedding and her recently purchased home, both subjects of which are like porn to me. I am always amazed when young professionals in this town are able to both pay for their own wedding and buy their own homes (both of which she and her husband did, just months apart). Every wedding venue here is ridiculously expensive (the Peanut and I just got a price from the winery where we were thinking of having our not-yet-official wedding, and I almost died), and the median house price in Santa Barbara just reached $1.1 million. How do people do it?? Our combined household income is just fine, thankyaverymuch, but we can't even think of buying a home right now. It really is incredibly unfair. It is also unfair that we rent from a total and complete fascist. No pets, no plants on the balcony, no BBQ, no smoking. Total. Fucking. Fascist. There are positives, of course. We live really close to the beach and have ocean views from every room. It's fairly spacious, in a nice neighborhood, and it's not too expensive. But no plants??? Ugh.
And as a poetic end to the entry, I can now hear my assistant and the receptionist arguing. As though they were two, and in a fucking sandbox. Finally, things are back to normal.

Friday, August 13, 2004

All of them bitches

So holy shit. I was almost robbed in Ann Taylor today. Gentle, civilized, Ann Taylor. Is there nowhere that is safe anymore??
I was trying some things on during my lunch hour, and popped out of the dressing room to grab something else....for just a few seconds, I swear....leaving all of my stuff in the dressing room. When I returned, there was this burly, baseball cap wearing motherfucker bent over my purse. I think I was in shock and mumbled something that resembled, "Huh? What the...huh?" and then he shoved me aside and booked right out. My wallet was on top of my purse with the credit cards pulled out and the cash holder thingy unzipped, but luckily he didn't get anything. When I told the clerk, who had just then noticed Mr. Burly Motherfucker, she immediately called security, who arrived in a flash. I, of course, immediately called the Peanut to tell him the drama, who then magically appeared at the mall within ten minutes to, um, do something? I'm still not sure what his plans were, but I appreciated the rescue gesture. As we were walking to my car, I saw him. Just chilling at an outdoor table at Starbucks, without a care in the world. And luckily, without my cash and credit cards either. Bitches. When I pointed him out to the Peanut, he saw me do so and ran like the wind. I wish I had some awesome end to this saga, like "And then the Peanut tackled him to the ground and made him wish for quick death", but I don't. I did get a really cute shirt and pair of pants, though. What, did you think almost getting knocked out by some thug was going to prevent me from completing my shopping transaction?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Money for nothing.

The last few weeks, financially, have been my own little corner of hell. I had decided that although I had been with the same bank for almost five years, it was time for a change. My bank, as it were, sucked. Still sucks, I'm sure, so I went to Shiny New Bank with high hopes of finding bank nirvana. SNB was fabulous. The special new accounts person couldn't have been more friendly, and she made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She told me tales of automatic checking to savings transfers and lines of credit for overdraft protection and no monthly fees and just all sorts of goodness. She let me pick out some snazzy "Napa Valley" checks for free (whereas Ghetto Old Bank charged me for even the plainest of checks) and gave me a Mastercard debit card that was pretty. I left satisfied that I had made the right decision, and not at all daunted by the fact that I now needed to transfer the 50 kazillion automatic debits that come out of my checking account each month to my new account. Having just a touch of the OCD, I made a list, complete with phone numbers to call and dates to make the switch and charged forth with the changing. Most went smoothly. Gym? No problem. Car payment? Check. Netflix? Without a hitch. Student loans? Um, yeah, not so well. The neat folks at Big Bad Student Loan Place decided to ignore my request to change bank accounts and used the old bank account. Where there was no money. And where overdraft fees were incurred. When I realized what they had done, I thought, no problem, I'm sure they'll rectify it and refund the overdraft charges with a big fat sheepish apology. But not so much. It's frightening that I've found myself literally yelling into the phone to yet another "supervisor" who is telling me that they can't possible reverse it, even though they've double charged me for the month. I went to GW, where I paid a pretty penny for my education, so the student loan payments? Not so small. I've cursed at them. I may have even called one or two of them a not so nice name (this after a week of playing nice and professional). I still don't have any resolution.
And SNB? Not so shiny. They've decided to not extend the overdraft protection to me, which, well, sucks. Not that I'm out there bouncing checks left and right, but when something like the aforementioned student loan fiasco happens, I like to know I have a little back-up. Also? When my paycheck is direct deposited into my account, I have to wait 24 hours to use it. Um, people? I live in fucking Santa Barbara. It is expensive here. When it gets close to payday, I am just itching for that check to be deposited, and now I have to wait another 24 hours?? Fuck me. I'm totally going to keep my money under my mattress from now on.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Fiesta is for suckers

So I was hypocritically sucked into Fiesta over the weekend. After I cursed it with all that I am worth, I was sucked in. My girls decided that we should really take advantage of being a local in Santa Barbara, and bathe in the glory that is crowded streets, drunken tourists and those waiting to smack you in the back of the head with a plastic egg full of confetti (oh yes, you haven't truly lived until you've been cracked a few times by fuckwads who think the egg-confetti combo is hilarious). I found myself in the beer garden around four-ish on Friday, a deliciously slurpee-like margarita in one hand and a cig in the other, basking in the glory of Fiesta. And really, it wasn't all bad. We ran into many friends who'd had the same idea as us, and were able to navigate the drunken tourists without incident. Since the Peanut works for one of those wacky dot coms who still like to provide liquor and food and party favors for their employees, he had been drinking since the morning time, so by the time he wandered into the beer garden to find me, he had a broken shoe and a need to tell me about it. Repeatedly. Lather, rinse, repeat with the broken shoe.
Saturday rolled around and we were Fiesta'd out (is that right? Fiesta'd?), so we headed up to Santa Ynez where the wine flows and the...gamblers....gamble? Whatev, there's a fancy newish casino up there, so we popped in to play a bit of blackjack in preparation for our yearly Vegas trip in October. I left $10 up, so I considered it a success. We then picked up a few of our wine shipments and did some tasting, and came home drunk and happy. Well, the Peanut was still hung over and somehow full of snot, so maybe he was not so happy. By this is all about me, right? Right?
JR and I did our best to boost the economy on Sunday and did some shopping after our Spinning class (after coming home to shower and change, of course. What am I, gross?). She successfully purchased a peasant shirt that wasn't too...peasanty, and I successfully purchased some lovely tidbits for my sistah's birthday, which I must now send to her house of mystery in New Jersey. OK, it's not really a house of mystery, but she's moving in with her boyfriend in New Jersey after having lived in Cali for the past five years, and I just don't know a thing about Jersey. So for me, house of mystery. JR and her man are staying with us this week while their landlord rips out their bedroom ceiling. I'm planning on being a fantastic host, complete with food, booze and hopefully a Netflix shipment.
Just call me Martha. Without, you know, the jail time.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Help me, Monkey

I've been thinking alot about getting a helper monkey. I have too much going on, and somehow a personal assistant seems too fancy. No, seriously. I've put alot of thought into this, and I have a ton of just, things, that I have to do every day that I think a monkey could handle just fine. For example, every night when I come home I have this little list in my head of small tasks I have to accomplish before I settle in with a glass of wine, or before I drift off to yet another episode of Law and Order. There is dinner to be made, dishes to be done, gym bag to be packed, lunch for the following day to be decided upon, packed into my cheap ass generic tupperware and packed away into the free-gift-Clinique bag that is just large enough for lunch. The Peanut is no help in this regard; he has his own list, I suppose. Like, take pretty pictures, fuck around with said pictures on the computer, show me pretty get the idea. Of course, the list just goes away on the weekends and blissful disorder and chaos takes over, and it's okay. During the week, though, I think a helper monkey would fit into our lives perfectly. I like monkeys alot, so it would be like having a cat or dog, but more useful, ya know? And maybe I could bring him to work to take care of the tasks that my assistant sucks at, or rather, doesn't want to do, like sending a kajillion faxes every day, making copies and Fed Exing stuff. Maybe he could even fill my water jug up so I don't have to walk all the way to the kitchen twelve times a day. This is a fantastic idea and I need to make it happen.
I'm going to call him Jeeves.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Damn you to hell, Kate Spade

Last week I bought these super snazzy and pretty and fabulous Kate Spade sunglasses. I had visions of myself looking oh-so-stylish in them, and even thought about an outfit or two that would be particularly accessorized by Ms. Spade. The little hitch that I glossed over in these fantasies is that I totally can't see without my glasses, so said sunglasses would have to have my prescription inserted, otherwise I'd be flailing around blindly on foot and mowing down many a passers-by in my car. So I call my optometrist, whom I love love love, to discuss the prescription insertion, only to find that they've stopped accepting my insurance. Fuck. Me. The only place in the whole of Santa Barbara that now accepts my ghetto ass vision insurance is Costco. Now, I can totally get behind Costco for many things. Toilet paper, for example. Big ass tent for $70? Sounds fab. Plus, food samples? Love it. But the mumu-wearing glasses lady at Costco should burn a long, slow death in hell. Did I mention she had a mullet? You just don't see a lot of mullets around these parts, so that in itself was notable. She declared my glasses "trendy" and "like something Britney Spears would wear" and "there's no way you'll find anyone to make those things into prescription sunglasses". That sounds like a challenge to me, Mumu. So I called my old optometrist (props to Dr. Faucett!), and he can take care of it for me toot sweet, though I'm paying almost as much to have the prescription inserted as I paid for the glasses, instead of this shit being free at Costco.
Do you think this is what Kerry has in mind when he talks about health care reform? If so, that shit is resonating with me.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Office Space

I've decided that I need to come up with more reasons to close my office door, for, you know, the whole day. Office is an open door kind of Office, complete with "suggestions" by upper management that solidarity will abound if we all just keep our doors open. Today I had a project that validly required me to close the door, and it was glorious. There were no interruptions, no unavoidable eaves dropping of cat fights, nothing. Just lovely, lovely silence. I have an office mate, and she is also a fan of the closed door, so we've decided to make it so. Make it necessary to keep out the common folk, the mouth breathers, the, uh, office dwellers. I'll keep you posted on our progress.
This weekend is the big Fiesta weekend here in Santa Barbara. It's supposed to be a celebration of the Mexican culture and history in the city, but really it's an excuse for every single bar, club and restaurant to have an exorbitant cover charge, and/or waiting lists to get in. All the UCSB kids invite all of their out of town friends to come to town on Fiesta weekend, thereby clogging the streets and fucking up the right of the locals to drink and eat peaceably. It is madness. The Peanut and I will either get out of Dodge for a day or two, or hide out in someone's house, lamenting about the ruin that is Fiesta. Viva la Fiesta my ass.

Um, hi. Yeah. How's it going? I've decided that since I spend as much of my work day as possible reading other people's blogs, perhaps I should just go ahead and write a little something myself. Mostly, I get a little obsessed reading Amalah and Miss Doxie and Ampersand and Sundry, and aspire to make people just a little obsessed with me, as well.
I'm a recruiter, which basically means I try to snag the best and brightest people to come and work for the clients for which I recruit. There is lots of paperwork, lots of meetings, lots of schmoozing, and it can be incredibly exhausting. I live in Santa Barbara, which I love, and came here by way of San Diego by way of Washington, DC by way of Pittsburgh. I miss DC the most and fantasize about dragging my solidly west coast boyfriend back there someday, but I've been spoiled by the ocean and the breeze and all that is right with the world here in SB. The Peanut and I live by the beach, and don't take advantage of it nearly as much as we should. Peanut is a photographer and steals off to take pretty pictures at the beach far more than I make it the two blocks down there, but I guess it's the idea that we live so close, yes?
I am off to Spinning momentarily, and am quite sad about it. I am not one of those people who get high from exercise, you know? Those people who leave a class all shiny and smiling and grateful. No, that is not I. I am usually fairly bitter at the end of the class, and am having elaborate fantasies about eviscerating the instructor during the class. But alas, I am off.