Monday, March 31, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

First day. It feels like a bad dream. This is a nightmare that lasts from 8 to 5. Another sea of faces, an impossible number of names to remember. No one to train me, she quit last week with no notice. How can I answer questions if I don't know where anything is? I keep overhearing things like: "Wow, I can't remember the last time we didn't run two shifts. Things are so slow right now, it's so wierd." and "Oh, hi, you must be new. You're replacing Joanne? I didn't even know she left!" Sigh...I have a bad feeling about this....

Sunday, March 30, 2008

This Weekend

Recap of this weekend:

Friday: Pick Casey up from airport, drop him off at hotel. Go back to my apartment and do laundry, ply, and tidy up. Pick Casey up from hotel, go get lunch at Fire on the Mountain (chicken wings are one of his favorites). Stop at Nike Factory store where Casey gets all new workout clothes. Drop Casey off at hotel, go back to apartment, get ready for Bruce Springsteen Concert. Drive to Casey's hotel, drop off car. Take cab to Kell's Irish bar for a bite to eat. Board Max train to Rose Quarter, take hilarious picture of Casey as witness to his rare use of public transportation. Make fun of The Boss' lack of enunciation and his use of the concert as a forum for his political agendas. Get lots of one dollar bills for the continuation of the night's entertainment. Catch cab back to the hotel, get truck out of hock, and fall into bed about 1 am.

(view from Casey's hotel window of the Willamette)

Saturday: Wake up, eat breakfast, drive to Casey's hotel. Pound on hotel room door until a puffy-eyed Casey answers and agrees to go to the Portland Saturday Market. Wander around market in the rain, snow, hail, and sunshine. Laugh at Casey's amazed face after seeing a group of homeless teenagers displaying a sign that said "$15 dollars short of buying a bag of pot- help us out". Laugh again after one of the teenagers tells Casey "hey, honesty is the best policy" in response to his shocked countenance. Eat late lunch in bistro, walk around downtown. Drive back to my apartment to watch Ratatouille and take naps. Change into nice blouse and walk to Wildwood, where Casey's stomach finally felt settled enough to order chicken. Walk back to my apartment while Hypochondriac Casey diagnoses himself with symptoms of hypothermia. Drive Casey back to hotel, watch Charlie Wilson's War on pay per view. Drive home, fall into bed at 1 am.

Sunday: Wake up early, drive to Casey's hotel and have the eggs benedict breakfast. Drive Casey to airport, say goodbye and wonder when I'll see him again. Drive home, do some plying, and take pictures of my orchids for Mom. Sit at home and wonder where the energy to start a new job tomorrow will come from. Early bedtime tonight, I think.....

The McMinnville Food and Wine Classic

Well, just a quick post about the McMinnville Food and Wine Classic. It took place in the McMinnville Aviation Museum, which I had not been to since the Spruce Goose was moved there after it's restoration. I have other pictures of the move, which the construction crew had to do in several phases. Anyway, the museum is really nice and they even have a section dedicated to, you guessed it, Rosie the Riveter!

I met Adrienne and Paul there and we meandered all afternoon, tasting wine and checking out local artisans. These sculptures were really neat, all made out of re-claimed metal objects.

Some pics of the museum and the inside of one of the wings of the Spruce Goose. Can you believe they actually used beach balls in the wings to add to it's bouancy? wonder it only flew once.....

He we are on the shuttle back to the parking lot after a lot of wine and cheese samples!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Well the Good News Is....

I got offered a job!! I interviewed with a Siverton, Oregon company called BrucePac on Tuesday and they offered me the job yesterday (Thursday) afternoon! That was fast....
The good part is that I'll have responsibilities similar to the ones I had a Farmer John, so my learning curve will be less than at my current job. The REALLY good part is that they are offering to pay me what I make now, so it will be a lateral change.
The bad part? I'll probably have to move again....Siverton is about a hour away from where I live now, and that's quite the commute when gas is close to $4 a gallon. I'm house-sitting for the McMahons again this weekend and they suggested I come over tonight instead of tomorrow so we can brainstorm logistics....All in all, it could be worse, a lot worse. There are people who work here that have very few options, I count my blessings that I'm not one of them. I have extremely supportive friends and family who always catch me when I stumble and who are always ready with offers of help. I appreciate this more than you know.
After reading Mom's blog (which she managed to post despite being on her deathbed), I realized that I also have much to be thankful for (that four-year degree is worth it's weight in gold. Now I'm so glad I took that summer chemistry course, even though it seemed like cruel and unusual punishment to be in a chemistry lab when the Oregon sun was shining...). I'm glad I took classes that challenged me and that Mom didn't let me just scrape by in high school or college because the people that did are now the ones in my office, pleading for help with their resumes and cover letters. I'm glad that Dad wouldn't let me have credit cards and that he taught me to be financially responsible. I'm glad he talked to me about 401Ks, re-financing, and savings accounts. I'm glad that we, as a family, never gambled more than some occasional bingo games and lottery tickets (a must for Christmas stockings) because the people who did are now panicking about loosing their homes as well as not having any money saved for retirement. Just the thought of being 62, with less than nothing to show for my life and the knowledge that I would have to work until I died, makes my skin crawl. I hope that I never find myself in that position.
Nope, my life is already heading towards it's next new adventure, the next new experience. Everyone tells me Silverton is a beautiful town and I have a nagging suspicion they just might be right.....

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Chinese Garden

Both Emma and I have been meaning to go to the Chinese Garden for a while, but there's not much to see in a garden during Oregon's winter time. But, in what seems like overnight, spring has unexpectedly come to Portland and things are waking up all over the city. Buds have appeared, flowers have started to open and trees are heavy with pink and white blossoms. I decided it was time to make the much anticipated visit to the Chinese Garden. I parked at Emma and Don's apartment, then we took the Max over to 2nd Street. Here are some of the photos I took while we were there.

All the walkways there are paved with these intricate designs.

Trees just like this line the sidewalks all around town....

One of the few plants that already have big, full blooms were the Camellias.

Here is a picture of the tea house where they serve dozens of different types of teas as well as traditional Chinese appetizers. Emma and I tried pickled bamboo shoots, diakon radish salad, and Chinese spiced edamamme. Oh, and I also had my first celebrity sighting in Portland! Patton Oswalt was waiting to be seated as we left (if you're not familiar with the name, he was the voice of the rat in Ratatouille and he plays Spence on King of Queens). Steven made us listen to his stand-up comedy album the whole way to Seattle for our Christmas trip (We all thought it was hilarious, Mom didn't approve). Anyway, Emma were seated on the top floor and we had a great view of the gardens while sipping our tea selections.

Here is Emma and Mark, who slept the whole time!

Wake up, wake up!

Yep, we had a very good time and decided that we should go closer to summer to see how different all the plants look after some prolonged sunshine!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Good Times, Good Times

Well, I've waited long enough to post these pictures! I wanted to make sure that enough time passed so that I really missed everyone and to make sure this post was properly nostalgic..... mission accomplished, I think.

Here are some pictures of the very glamorous world of bacon production...


Here are two of the most secure men the world.....they love each other, really.

Here we are having dinner at Woodranch after a long day of trailriding. Clockwise, it was Camille, Joanne, yours truely, Brenters, Michelle, and Carlos. Many drinks were had, many stories were told, a good time was had by all. (PS- Brent looks HOT in cowboy boots)

Now, fastforward to my going away party at Shakey's Pizza. I tried to post the most flattering pictures I could find...heeheehee....

Look at all these handsome men! Gee, why did I leave again??? FJ has the best looking Retail Marketing Department I've ever seen.....

Ha! Sorry, Jeff, had to post this one. Very rarely does anyone catch Jeff in an awkward moment, but I think this picture does the job nicely...

Here is Carlos and his Drop-Dead Gorgeous girlfriend Michelle.

Brent, Casey, and Jake....

Everyone stuffing themselves with pizza and talking shop. I see Kevin, Vince, and a radiantly pregnant Erin (congrats to that branch of the Clougherty family, by the way!)

Judy Machingo, Niki Taguchi, and Jim Choe...

Here is Casey and I at the end of the night, packing up the tons of pizza that was left over (I think he ordered too much on purpose- he LOVES cold pizza for breakfast, ugh...)

Jake and I rounded out the night at the Ice House where we got to sit so close to the stage, we could see the comedian's flop sweat. Jake was nervous that he might inadvertently become part of the act....