My Travel Map

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Temp Job

Sweet Jesus, I'm glad that's over. After two months of living in Oakhurst, I finally got a call from the temp agency. I worked as a receptionist for a medical office for less than a week (today was my last day) and half way through the first day I already wanted to pull my hair out.

It had nothing to do with the actual job. The people were nice enough and the job was super easy, mindless even. But just being back inside an office with no windows made my skin crawl. Maybe I'm just not cut out to work in an office environment. Does the Peace Corps allow dogs? If so, I'm joining immediately.

At lunch time on the first day, I seriously considered calling and saying I got into a car accident and wouldn't be able to come back. But I refrained, because every time I've ever called in fake sick to work, I ended up getting the actual illness weeks later (flu, food poisoning, sprained ankle--you name it).

I think the ladies at the office were having a hard time figuring me out.

"So you're in college?" someone asked.

"No. I've been done with college for a while," I replied.

"But you're only looking for temp work? Not full time?"

"Well, I've been living in L.A. but decided to leave my job to do some traveling. I'm just hanging out in Oakhurst until my next trip."

Cricket, cricket, cricket. They looked at me like I had three heads and was speaking in tongues.

"And, uh," I continued, "My sister had a baby so I wanted to spend time with my family."

"Oh, congratulations!"

This they could understand. If there's one thing small town folk never question, it's time spent with family.

"And I'm only doing temp work because I'm heading back to L.A. in a month or so."

"L.A.?! You don't want to live in Oakhurst?"

If I did, I wouldn't be moving to L.A.

"Nah," I said.

"Why would you want to live in L.A.?" one lady pressed.

Because in L.A. no one questions my living preference.

"I just like it there."

"Don't you love it here?"

"I love both cities equally."

Why did I suddenly feel like I had children and they were challenging me to choose between them?

Not that my social skills were any better. I ran out of small talk the first day, and I'm usually great at making conversation. Today I showed up for work and just blurted out, "I saw a dead deer on the side of the road this morning."

What the...? What's wrong with me? Who says that?

One morning I was convinced this lady wanted to set me up with her son.

"How old are you?" she asked.

"28."

"My son is 28."

Uh-oh. Here we go.

"He lives in the Bay area."

Kinda far away for a set-up, but whatever.

"He's got a great job up there."

Mm-hm.

"He's married."

WTF?

"They just had a baby."

Now in the movie version of this, my response would have been something like, "Okay, he wins! He's better than me! He lives in a real home with a real spouse and a real baby and has a real job! He's the winner! He beat me fair and square! You happy?! He probably had clear skin and straigh teeth growing up too. Well, la di freakin' da!"

But in real life I just said, "Cool."

Man, I am dreading going back to the "real" world. But I'm not gonna think about it right now. Time to pack for the Bahamas, baby!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Moments of Beauty

It's been tough trying to wrap my mind around what happened with Jill. Life can be so sad sometimes. But since receiving the sad news, there have also been moments of beauty. In fact, the day of Jill's memorial was the same day my sister gave birth to little Ava. I can't tell you how strange it was to be mourning the death of someone and celebrating new life on the same day. Surreal. Very circle of life. Both events make you really stop and think what's really important in life, namely spending time with those we love. Life is so bittersweet sometimes, isn't it? I'm reminded of a line I read in book once. It went something like, "Life would be completely unbearable if it weren't so hilarious." I think I want that to be the title of my autobiography.

So we have a lot of catching up to do, yes? Here's what's been going over the past few weeks. I went to Pismo Beach for the day and took Sam with me. It was his first time at the beach. I think he would have enjoyed it more if it wasn't so windy. His ears were blowing straight back.



I eventually had to pick him up because the sand kept blowing in his face. Here's a picture of him screaming. Aaaaggghhhh!








After the Pismo trip, I got asked to the prom! True story! Okay, it was more like Tammy asked me to help chaperone the prom, but close enough. Oh man, was that fun. Here's me and Kim getting ready for the original prom 10 years ago. Not sure why we're just standing next to a closet door.




Good news is I found my old prom dress and it still fits! And I don't mean it-fits-but-I-gotta-suck-in-my-gut-and-can't-sit-down-all-night. I mean it actually fits! I almost wore it to new prom, but I was informed that no one wears floor length gowns anymore. I didn't want to look like an L7 weenie.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of Tammy and me at 1999 prom, but here we are at 2009 prom:



A few things were different. Tammy is knocked up for one thing. My old teenage insecurities are non-existent. But some things are the same. Like the fact that I grew a big ol' zit on my face! Seriously, skin.

At 1999 prom I had dinner at a nice Japanese restaurant. This year?






At first we were pissed because they assigned us bathroom duty, which meant we had to stand guard by all the dark shadows near the bathrooms to make sure students didn't run off and make babies. Lame!



Eventually we got to go down to the dance floor, which was super fun (even though the kids tried to stay away from us because Tammy was a teacher and I was a teacher friend). We couldn't help but request "Thriller."

The DJ was like, "And now we're gonna take it back to the 80s because someone requested this song."

Me and Tammy were like, "Whoever could have requested such an old song?"

Good times, for sure.



The next day was Mother's Day. I spent it with the fam. Here's me, my mama, and my still-pregnant-at-the-time sister.



I was surprised to find a present from Sam that morning.


Whatever could it be?


My mom was doing a handprint project with her preschoolers for Mother's Day, and she had Sam make one for me. Is that the cutest or what?

Speaking of mothers, my sister finally went into labor on May 15th and we couldn't wait for that little baby to get here.


Yay! Is she here yet?


Auntie Tammy and the Grandmas wait patiently...


Uncle Matt and the Grandpas


Baby Ava is finally here! This is Matt and Steph's first family photo.


Precious.

I've taken about a million photos of Ava already, but I'll try to narrow it down to just a few more.









When I'm not with the human baby, I'm with my little furry baby--taking naps, hiking around, or just playing outside.






Mom and Sam on Lewis Creek Trail.


Lewis Creek


Sam in the car on the way to Yosemite.


Bridal Veil Falls


Aunt Rochelle, Sam, and Dad at Yosemite



And the adventure continues...

Monday, May 4, 2009

I won't be blogging for a while. I found out yesterday that a friend from high school died. She was on a trip to Thailand with her boyfriend, got really sick and died. They're still trying to figure out what the hell happened. Not only does her family have to deal with the shock of her death, but now they have to deal with going over there and taking care of this mess. It breaks my heart. I want to fucking puke. Jill and I grew apart, but thanks to my trip, I was able to reconnect with her for the first time in years and I am forever grateful for that. We only hung out one night, but it was fun and we got to share "Remember whens" and laugh about old times. Now I'm thinking about old friends I've lost due to time and old grudges and it makes me really sad. I can't believe Jill died. It makes me so sad.