22 February 2004

lots of new stuff

Hey, I heard you NW people stole our weather! Man, I came all this way for nuthin' It's been 57 degrees here and drizzly since Wednesday. No big deal, right? Wrong! I don't think the building where I work has any heat. Or, at the very least, no one knows how to turn it on. It gets weirder. I heard one lady say, "I'm glad I brought my denim jacket today since it's so cold in here, but I don't know what to do because I don't want to wear it outside and get it all wet."

Excuse me, WHAT?

Otherwise, the job is going well and I am proud to say my NW roots are proving very useful.

Our marketing team returned this week from a show in Vancouver B.C. It was an Outdoor Sports trade show with exhibitors from every industry including: kayaking, mountain biking, climbing and the scuba people were there as well. The PADI people observed that the consumers attending the show seemed very enthusiastic to hear about scuba but seemed very adverse to actually going out and doing it. They were very confused and somewhat disappointed.

I explained that, up there, the ocean isn't something you associate with fun per se. Coastal towns and cabins, yes. The actual ocean... not so much. It's more like this thing that is to be looked at from a distance but not something you actually get close too, much like a wild animal at the zoo. I tried to explain the difference between the "coast" and the "beach," but decided to save that one for another day.

They think I am off my proverbial rocker.

In other news, we've found an apartment and we'll be moving in next saturday the 28th/ sunday the 29th. After we sign our lease, I have exactly 10 days to get a California driver's license and register my car in California before they could *theoretically* start sending me fines. I'm hoping that this whole state budget crisis will be working in my favor and that whomever is supposed to be keeping tabs on new residents has been "restructured."

Oh, and by the way, this may be Orange County, but I have yet to see even one orange tree. You'd think there would be one in every yard or, at the very least, they'd issue you a free basket of oranges when you sign your lease. Nope, It's a total scam. Then again, I never saw a beaver in Oregon (keep your pottymouth remarks to yourself, thanksverymuch).

We also bought a new sofa.
The color of our sofa will be "espresso" (not shown).
The good news is we got a HELL of a good deal on this couch (purchasesd at J.C. Penney of all places). The bad news is, sorry Leah and Kyle, it won't be here for 10-12 weeks, but we have a deluxe air matress for you! Bonus for me: the name of the company that made the sofa is "Bauhaus." Now if only I could get a Peter Murphy brand coffee table and a Love and Rockets entertainment center. We also got a fridge, which ended up being cheaper to buy outright than to rent for 12 months.

I'll send/post pictures once we get settled in. It's about 860 sq. feet and has 1BR, office, living room, dining room/bar area, kitchen, and a good-sized porch. Madam blackthumb here might try her hand at growing some tomatoes. I even have a name picked out for the plant (Lucy).

Okay, I've rambled on long enough and, hey, if you guys aren't doing anything next weekend, we're offering $20 and free pizza to anyone who'll come help us move. heh heh...

eh? eh?

Miss you all. Have a great week.


P.S. A big congrats to Amy and Mike on their latest addition to the Portland hipster scene: Ernie Campbell. Long may he ROCK!

08 February 2004

one month gone

This past Wednesday marked the one-month anniversary of my relocation from the NW to SoCal. So, in the tradition of end of the year recaps, slambooks, and clip shows, I thought I'd run down a list of the highs and lows of the past month. From great trips to the beach to the horrors of apartment hunting, here are the best and worst things about my first thirty-four days in Orange County.

(Besides missing all of you terribly)

10. The overly-perky kickboxing instructor who shouted so loudly it actually made my ears ring for hours afterward.

9. Listening to a pair of radio DJ's gripe about how their Hummer H2's are too tall to fit into most parking garages AND their abominable suggestion that current garages should be retrofitted to accomodate those ugly, hideous, earth-killers.

8. Finding out that $1200/ month apartments in California don't necessarily come equipped with a refrigerator.

7. No more free car washes when it rains.

6. Lack of restaurants catering to vegetarians/ no one understands my "Hail Seitan!" T-shirt.

5. The additional $30/ month "pet rent" demanded by the $1,200/ month apartment community. (Looks like Heidi is going to have to learn how to flip burgers...)


3. Getting your strip malls confused and ending up at the gym instead of the Target.

2. Toll roads.

1. Styrofoam.


10. Frozen bananas dipped in chocolate and covered in nuts.

9. My governor can beat up your governor.

8. You can drive a minimum of 45 mph on any street.

7. The Thai restaurant in Irvine Spectrum with wasabi mashed potatoes.

6. The "severe weather warning" broadcast using the actual Emergency Broadcast System which alerted Orange County residents that (gasp) it might rain.

5. Zipping down the rainy streets past all the freaked out California drivers in my Oregon car.

4. Hearing "Girlfriend in a Coma" (and other great songs) played on a commercial radio station.

3. Learning Californian: "You should totally go to Trader's to get some snacks for your trip back to Lumberjack Country." "It's tough getting up early, you can flake out on that cot if you want." "Are your friends crunchy granola too?"

2. Sunny, 70 degree February days where you can ride your bike down Huntington Beach and watch the surfers.

1. Scoring a job with the a company as awesome as PADI and meeting all of the very friendly and down-to-earth people who work there.

Congratulations to Karen Martwick for being the winner of the dream interpretation contest I especially enjoyed her observation that "Mike Tyson is a deeply disturbing cultural figure who haunts us all on some level." Thank you to all of the fabulous entrants for your participation, and I hope to offer another fine contest to you all very soon.

Have a great week!