Later September 2005 entries
I don't have a hard time making friends. I don't. I don't.
Okay. Maybe I do?
I was discussing this with both Andrea and Sean on separate occasions.
I'm bored.
I even asked Sean one night, after staring at my computer for an hour after coming home from work, "What did I do every night?!?" And he answered, "You were never home."
First, we have no TV because it requires cable even for local channels, and I'll be damned if we pay $60 a month for TV. So we watch Sean's Star Trek the Next Generation DVDs or movie DVDs. Which is okay, I guess, but West Wing! ER! What will I do?
I also realized, as discussed with Andrea, that my social life in Seattle was definitely something I eventually took for granted. I could be at a Blogger Meetup at 11 p.m. and say "Hot Chocolate at my place!" and twelve people would show up. I would simply buy a gallon of milk on the way to my place, and by the time I got there Sean would be welcoming everyone (unbeknownst to him that they would all be showing up - funny). Then I'd whip out a giant stock pot of hot chocolate and serve it in any of my twenty mugs, and there we would sit and chat, in our big front room.

with my date, Sean
I miss the Six Arms architects, too. It took nothing to plan a party and just assume that twenty people would easily show up. And between all of the birthdays and architect registrations and weddings and babies, there was always something coming up.
I know there are friends to be made here. I know there are clubs and local bands and gigs. But it's now that I'm realizing just how much time and effort I put into it in Seattle. Years of many, many late-night gigs and Six Arms and Blogger Meetups and parties and.... do I want to start it all again? In this tiny apartment? On the far-west-end of town? With NO TV?
I'm not lonely or sad, I don't think. Thankfully the house and the jobs lined up much better than we ever could have hoped for. But as the dark, cold, rainy days approach, I hope there's.... more. I just need to figure out what the more is going to be.
I'm baking almost every night. With the job and the landlords upstairs, there's plenty of people to bake for. As a matter of fact, the landlords just brought us a bottle of wine, some Russian bread, and a bunch of eggs and margarine for baking! But even baking every night isn't social enough for me.
I guess I'm just saying that I now realize how much I had in Seattle as far as friends and neighbors. And I know it's gonna take a lot of time and work to feel that... supported.... all around me again.
I've also noticed something about the people here - they aren't as "in your face". They are more politely reserved. They don't smile a huge smile or laugh quite as loud, and to me, it makes me feel like it takes a bit longer to just "make friends." They are totally NOT serious or pompous, they are just more.... gradual. And it makes me shy, because I'm trying not to be too American forward. Plus everything here is new to me. I mean, job and house and neighborhood, and I'm still feeling things out. I'm thankful for the friends I already have here - if it weren't for them I think I would be lonely or sad. And I'm thankful that Sean has calmed me as I paced the house saying "What did I do every night?" and then he'd help me bake something. But... there's gotta be more than coming home and wishing I had cable TV.
Vancouver Blogger Meetups? Stitch-n-Bitch groups? Something?

To the left are Dario and Ryan - two of my three bosses. David is not pictured because he met us at the restaurant that these guys are walking to.
My job still rocks and there's tons to do. We had a meeting Thursday with our accountant and now my head is swimming in spreadsheets to compile. I also met two developers that joined us this week.

Last night we had Shane and Katie over for a game of Settlers and I made my chocolate chip cookie bars. I thought I was going to spend the day on Granville today, but instead I did a major grocery shopping trip and loafed around.
I'm still adjusting to the groceries here. A couple of times I wanted to take pictures, but it's Saturday and the store was packed and I'm not as self-assured here yet. Yet. You'll get your funny grocery pictures soon enough. You wouldn't believe the shelf-space dedication to gravy here. And every time I've been to my local Starbucks I've been dismayed by it's condition. The place is trashed every time. They are not doing their "ten minute lobbies" and I've been tempted to take pictures and document them and send them to Starbucks (I'm a shareholder, dammit).
(Estella! Call me!)

I know I know... I'm still adjusting to it myself. The plain jane haircut was just starting to match with my t-shirts and sneakers. But Ashley at the salon next door to my work offered me a free haircut, so I figured what the hey. And at least she didn't give me a super-short cut. With some practice I can make it flippy like she did. Only I'm lazy. So I probably won't.
Tonight a storm is rolling in. We are noticing how much "stronger" the weather can be next to the water.
Last night I got about four hours of sleep because Sean & I had an argument that started at 3 a.m. Waking me up from a very comfy sleep. And he slept through the majority of the argument too. This is the life when you live with someone who sleepwalks, sleeptalks, and then denies that they're still dreaming, while they're still in the dream. Just when I thought he was awake, he'd say something totally off the wall again and I'd yell "You're STILL asleep?!" It was bizarre.
I ended up on the couch, and he ended up freshly awake and totally confused.


Nobody complained about dinner
Last night we had Andrea, Yael, Birgitte, and MJ over for tuna casserole and Kung Fu Hustle, which I've seen so many times now, I can now repeat some of the lines. IN CHINESE.
Today I didn't work, so I walked around 10th Avenue dreaming about all the restaurants I will try in the future. While there, I forgot to buy vitamin C for Sean, which was my ONE GOAL for the day. And there's a vitamin store on 10th. I may head back out soon, after finishing the mound of dishes, because I don't want to catch Sean's cold.
P.S. We thought KFH was not better with the voice-over translation.

Home Again Home Again
Saturday morning I made a quick trip to Pet Necessities for cat litter and some frozen cat food (it was worth a shot - but they wanted nothing of it). While there I met Mabel, and I should have asked what kind of dog she is - she's huge! There were a couple other dogs in there too - more pictures on Flickr.
We had a bit of a rough time at the border. Sean didn't bring his U.S. Green Card because he was only visiting the U.S. for the day, and since he was only visiting we figured it wouldn't be a problem (he had his birth certificate). But once the guy asked for photo I.D., and all Sean had was his Washington State driver's license, all Hell broke loose and we were ushered to the immigration office to be scolded by agents. Sean can keep his Green Card for up to a year. We moved here two weeks ago. Jerks.
We barely had enough time to get ready for the wedding at Jon & Amy's and headed out to Colman Park. The weather was perfect and the views were spectacular. The Sam & Cathy's ceremony was beautiful and the sincerity in Sam's voice when he said his vows made me cry. But I cry at most weddings these days.
It was also a great reunion of sorts. I know we've only been gone for two weeks, but it was interesting "visiting" our friends in Seattle. I kept telling people to come visit us.

They were smiling like this the entire night.
They've been dating for ELEVEN YEARS.
The reception was held in the Seattle Central Library on the top floor. It was incredible. Christine (dating Brian - so a Six Armser) catered the reception, just as Jon & Amy's wedding. They had a great mix of American and Middle Eastern food and a dessert table that had people lining up and hovering 15 minutes before it could be served.
Do you guys remember Scott & Shin? Sean & I went to their wedding two years ago - and I don't think I've seen them since then. It was great to catch up, although while I was sitting at their table talking to them, a bunch of my friends left for the night and nobody could find me. Sean said he even went down to the car in the parking garage to look for me!
So to those of you who I missed - "Goodbye! See you next time!"
Late that night we got to Dan & Maureen's and Nick and Seth were still up. We met their new Pixie-Bob cats, Luther and Dauber (yes, from the TV show "Coach") and finally passed out around one. They next morning Nick made breakfast for everybody and we hung out for a few hours before driving.... to our old house. I wanted to see if they had any questions, and to meet them. Alas, they weren't home, but some of their friends were. They offered for me to come inside and look around but I didn't. It's not my house anymore. Every window was covered with closed blinds, so it looks so obvious that we don't live there anymore. It was heartbreaking. I also saw that I left my potted green pepper plant in the driveway in one of my favorite striped pots that I had painted. The plants looked healthy. And it's not like I could have grabbed it and said "Oh, this is mine. I'm taking it." so I just left it there. The plants should be transplanted though. There's three little plants in one pot.
We also visited Sylvia for a bit, which was bittersweet. I miss her. I miss my old neighborhood. We drove up to Central Market for some American Groceries (Nestle Tollhouse Morsels, our favorite tea [Estella I grabbed a bag for you], Jiffy corn muffin mix, and Eagle Borden Sweetened Condensed Milk [a necessity for Hello Dollies]). After that Sean drove all the way home.
There are many, many wedding and reception pictures on Flickr.


Sam & Cathy
We're off to Seattle, briefly, for Sam & Cathy's wedding! We'll be staying with our old landlords, Dan & Maureen (and their sons, Nick & Seth). I will report back when we get home.
My first five days at work were splendid. There was a lot to organize and move around. We moved into the work loft right next door for more space. A brand new empty kitchen!! We still have the view and the deck, but now there's space for 8-10 of us. Thursday David & I went to IKEA (again! I've memorized the location of EVERYTHING) and bought some desks and drawers and lamps, then Friday we finished putting it all together, as well as assembling three new office chairs, on which it took me three attempts to assemble correctly. After I screwed it up the second time, I said "So how's my probation period going?" while David was laughing at me.
Now I'm on a search for cheap kitchen supplies and bakeware that doesn't break the budget, yet still gives me the opportunity to, say, whip out a batch of cookies on a cloudy afternoon. Because really. It should be in my job description.
And I've added some pictures from the past couple days....

The new work loft, Photoshopped

The kitchen

The view Friday

Micah & Sean etc. on the patio