Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ativan, STAT!

What's worse than going to the mall? I'll give you a second to think about that.

I've never been a big fan of the American shopping mall. Growing up I lived more than 75 miles from the nearest structure posing as a shopping mall and I never ever had that feeling in my stomach compelling me to go and look at shiny things I don't need. I didn't cry myself to sleep thinking that my life would be complete if only I could saunter around in a building with 100s of of other people, buying things mass-produced in sweatshops and sold at ridiculously inflated or rediculously discounted prices. (Alright, so I didn't think about consumerism that way when I was 12 or 13, but I still really never got mall fever like the media tells us all teenagers do.) I still usually have to be hogtied and forced to buy new clothes. And Goodwill is my clothing store of choice (newest score: NorthFace fleece jacket, $6.99!! MSRP, $99!!).

Today my boss Andy didn't have any special plans for the afternoon. I called his mom to see what Zack (Andy's visiting 10 yr old nephew) wanted to do. She said "go to the mall and spend the money his dad sent him." Oh great, that sounds so awesome. see: sarcasm. So I get to take a 26 year old in a wheelchair and a 10 yr old with money burning a hole in his pocket to the most outrageous mall environment in the Portland metro area: Washington Square Mall. I've spoken of this devil before. Let's just say that the week after xmas, when all of the stores are trying to sell off the rest of their inventory AND school is out so the mall is overrun with emo teenagers, this is not the best time to go to the mall. If there's ever a good time. I kept seeing flashes of donkeys on Pleasure Island.

I couldn't decide if I was going to have a panic attack or a psychotic break. My day peaked just before I got out of bed, so this was right in line with the rest. Did you know that most stores in the mall aren't ADA accesible? What a shocker. Not to mention at any moment, through no fault of his own, Andy's arms and hands might whip out of control and crash a display of NASCAR calendars (not hypothetically). So Andy and I spend most of our time waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting for a 10 year old to decide what he wants in Zumiez, what he wants in Spencer's, what he wants in Hot Topic. I was miserable, if you haven't figured that out.

[Let me also mention that Andy's mom has this week off. So instead of taking her nephew and son shopping, she sics me on it. Yeah, I'm getting paid for it, but that doesn't make it less tortureful. Tortureful: as in full of torture.]

Maybe I'm getting old. (No, I know I'm getting old. When Keith told me Katie was getting a Go Kart for xmas, I didn't respond, "Cool!" I said, "Oh, that sounds dangerous.")

Maybe it's that Keith and I are joining The Compact (stated mission: 1) to go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of U.S. consumer culture, to resist global corporatism, and to support local businesses, farms, etc. -- a step, we hope, inherits the revolutionary impulse of the Mayflower Compact; 2) to reduce clutter and waste in our homes, as in trash Compact-er; 3) to simplify our lives, as in Calm-pact) January 1st. I just don't buy into the mall craze. It's a scam. Sure I buy stuff I don't need. But I generally don't go to a place where that's their specific get you to buy things you don't need. It's all distraction and shiny things.

Gearing up for joining The Compact, Keith and I have been making a list of things we should buy before January 1st. After 1/1 we will restrict our purchases to the following categories: Socks/Underwear, Food/Health/Toiletries, Safety. Everything else we will get 2nd hand through thrift stores, craigslist, bartering with friends and family, etc. including clothing, furniture, books (which I don't really buy anymore thanks to a kickass library system), electronics, even gifts for other people. Luckily we have SCRAP and tons of other resources because this is a recycling kind of town. It just seems to us that so many people live disposable lives. We buy things new without thinking. We throw things away without thinking. Where does all of it go? Landfills. Especially electronic items. Tens of millions? A lot. So we are doing what we can to reduce the waste the United States produces. It's catching on.

Trash trivia:
  • The average American throws away 3.5 pounds of trash per day.
  • To give you an idea of how much trash we generate here in the United States, imagine a hole the size of a football field, including the end zones. If we bury all of the trash we produce in just one year, that hole would be 100 miles deep!
  • Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the state of Texas.
I was a little embarrassed carrying it down the street, after people had seen it sitting on the sidewalk out in the rain overnight, but Keith and I brough this treasure up to the apartment. He tried to play it off as a Christmas gift to me. Ha. But now I have somewhere to put my clothes. A little drying out, wiping down, good as new.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

at 6:28 I've been up for almost 3 hours

(one of the side effects of Wellbutrin being I can't go back to sleep once I've been fully awake)

Lazlo was moaning and standing on Keith at 3:45 am so we took the doggies for a very short walk. By the time I get dressed, put on my coat/shoes/(new) hat! and walk outside (under 30°), I'm awake. I laid in bed for 45 minutes thinking about: the holiday shopping we have left, pros/cons of selling the Jeep, making paper, taking a nap later, making gnocchi for xmas... So I decided to just get up. Time for some chocolate milk= Nesquik + Silk soy milk. We scored some great stuff @ the market (+ The Internets) to ship out as gifts next week...very exciting to give things you think people will actually like as opposed to Last Minute 7-11 Gifts. We're going back to the market today to finish up.

it was cold @ the market

Keith just stumbled out of the bedroom to complain that I didn't tell him I was getting up and he's been cramped up in the bed while Mia & Lazlo monopolize whatever space they can. They are sweet babies. Seriously, Keith and I think they are falling in love.

I feel that nap coming on. First nap of the day before 7am. That's a start of a Good Sunday.

Friday, December 15, 2006

We're s-h-o-pp-i-n-g, we're shopping

Tomorrow a.m. we head down to the Saturday market to begin holiday gift shopping. Which I am kinda, surprisingly, looking forward to. I would 100.000x more like to buy arty things from local folks in the open air than spend $$ at a germ-filled, kids-screaming, shoving, panting, confined supermall (Andy's Personal Mecca). With only 4 or 5 people to buy for, it should be fun and quick. Will need fuel from Voodoo Doughnuts to get us started.

Keith just sat down next to me with a spanish rice-black bean-corn-avacado-cheese-tapatio quesadilla. My mouth is waaaaaaaaatering. And I wasn't/am not even hongry.

I put the idea of becoming vehicle-free on the table for discussion this eve. Put pencil to paper and it makes sense. Getting the addiction out of our systems will be the challenge. I figure we can rent a car anytime we need to go to, say, Idaho. And take the bus/MAX to Coscto and take a cab home. Cost effectiveness is paramount. This proposition will be voted on by all non-canine family members in the near future. Canines love cars, and traveling in them. We shall not be swayed by their input.

Saw Charlotte's Web this afternoon with Andy. It was really good. Not Oscar material, but very good. The only thing I missed (from the animated version) was Templeton's song (Paul Lynde!) at the fair. The animal-animation was very believeable, not distracting. And a good cast of voices including Robert Redford. ? Better than Unaccompanied Minors, which I was forced to view earlier this week. (Lewis Black you are dead to me.)

the elevator warped his head!

Keith's co. xmas party was last night. Most enjoyable "company" xmas party I've attended in a while. Ten cool people having dinner at a good restaurant. I had butterbut squash ravioli (vegan, yo) and a greyhound. Mmm good. Good people, Keith works for.

Monday, December 11, 2006

We will surveeeeeeve.

(That's some Tony Clifton for ya. You're welcome.)

Keith and I made it home from Kansas and we're still recuperating from jet lag and lack of sleep and stress, but other than that we're good. We flew Frontier and got live Mapquest® updates of our flight progress in the seat back in front of us: speed, altitude, all of that (also 20+ channels of DirectTV for $5!). Watching the altitude drop as we were approaching the Denver airport, it was going down....6000'....5500'....then all of a sudden: BAM. We've landed. So I guess it's actual sea level, not the plane's altitude... Another reason they won't let me fly planes.

"Can't you just drop us off???"

We had reserved an economy car from Enterprise because when you're driving across Kansas and paying with credit, let's face it...we didn't want to be giving blood to buy groceries when we got back. But when we got there all they had left in the lot were ginormous SUVs. So we picked the one that we were told would get the best gas mileage, and I suppose that 17.5 miles/gallon is considered good gas mileage, I don't think it is. On the upside, gas is only $2.20 in the Midwest, so we saved about $45 there. Driving a 2007 Jeep is quite a bit different than driving the 1992 Jeep we have. (And about $30,000 more. Eeek.) Also, a big shoutout to Rockstar for keeping a girl going driving across flat, coma-inducing Kansas in the middle of the night, staving off white-line fever.

Mia and Lazlo didn't kill each other at boarding/doggie day care, so that was a relief. They had to share a kennel and we weren't sure how that would go. But apparently they are getting along just fine, even unsupervised at night. The people at Virginia Woof were super nice and said they were sad to see Mia and Lazlo go home. I'm sure they tell that to everyone, but still.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Kansas City Here We Come

Searching for music for the trip to the Midwest next week.

powered by ODEO

We know from experience that there's nothing that tempers the monotony of driving across Kansas in the winter like good music. My Buzznet peep DJMark has been kind enough to give us several of his playlists from a radio show he does in Santa Barbara called Night Shift at the Thrill Factory, so we have a great mix there. Also got some stuff from Music for Maniacs. And this some from Odeo. Like this:

powered by ODEO

I've been on a Radiohead kick lately. I'm a latecomer, but really getting into them. Especially Easy Star All-Stars reggae covers.

The Internet Hiatus didn't last long. Haven't been reading much. Developments around here have kept us preoccupied. Also doing this 72 hour project thing, which is going so-so. Both cameras had the wrong time/date stamp set so, um, yeah that's something I should have checked before I started!

Made a trip to Costco, bought some pants, tried them on (too big), lost the receipt, found the receipt, lost the receipt again. It may be in the Jeep but if not I'm stuck with (another pair of) pants I can't wear. Okay so why can't Costco have fitting rooms? Wouldn't that greatly decrease the amount of refunds/exchanges they have to process? Not to mention the Customer Annoyance Factor.

So instead of doing anything productive in preparation for the trip we're going to make, Keith is sorting slides and I'm interneting. Stalling. Something. It just feels like a day when you don't do anything and it's ok. We're existing in that world where time is wayyyyyyy slowed down and you know it will eventually catch up, like TiVo, but for now we're stuck.