No matter where you go, there you are.
The past few days here have been loads of fun. On Saturday I went to the Huskies game with my roommate, my friend and her mom. Oh man, they stunk up the place, but it was fun to be at a live game. Plus, good weather! Then we headed out to get some fantastic poutine. Mmmm. Poutine.Sunday was international talk like a pirate day, so of course we celebrated by drinking at a pirate-themed bar. As you do. I also made some progress on my latest project. In an attempt to stay sane while unemployed I’m archiving all my digital photos. As in, printing them and putting them into labeled albums. All my printed photos from 2003 through now were printed and when delivered weighed in at 28 pounds. That’s a lot of sorting and labeling, It’s a bit of work, but I’m enjoying being reminded about the trips I’ve taken and the good times I’ve had. Yesterday my roommate took me shooting! I’ve never shot a gun before, but I’d been interested in trying it. He was a great teacher, and we ended up shooting three different guns. I found I was not horrible at it. Not great, but I managed to hit the middle circle on the target much of the time. The only off moment was when one of the spent cartridges ended up burning me a bit in a place it really shouldn’t have managed to get to. Today we managed to eat our way through the Puyallup Fair. Seriously. Between the three of us we consumed more food than any people should. We also watched “Mutton Bustin'”, which may be the most bizarre sanctioned child abuse. Kids – 6 years old and under – are put on sheep and lay on them, holding onto the wool rodeo-style, with the goal of holding on for at least six seconds while the sheep runs around a muddy ring. The kids are wearing helmets and padding on their chests, but it is, in a word, odd. But it seemed an appropriate way to celebrate the last day of one of the best summers I can remember.
Two friends of mine, Megan and Michael, got married last night. It was a beautiful evening, one I feel privileged to have been able to attend. Live piano music greeted us as we entered the house and were directed to sign the guest book. Guests made their way through the house to the back garden, where champagne was available as we waited for the ceremony to begin. There was a tent that had been erected at the last minute, as it was raining all morning, although by the time the wedding began not only had the rain stopped, but the sun began to peek through the clouds.
After about a half hour we were directed to take our seats (I joined up with Troy and Jamie, as Renee and Kevan were both in the wedding) and the processional began. There were eight bridesmaids, all in gorgeous dresses in various shades of green, escorted by the groomsmen in tuxedos that had a distinctly early 1960’s feel. Megan was guided down the aisle by her brother, and she was stunning in a simple dress with these amazing jeweled cap sleeves. The officiant was this great Irish man (former clergy, I believe) who just loves performing weddings. The vows were sweet, and Renee managed to stay still throughout even though a wasp was hanging out on her during half the ceremony. Impressive!
After the ceremony was complete, Megan and Mike ventured off to have some time alone while we got to enjoy an amazing cocktail hour. As we were clearing out of our chairs, cocktail rounds appeared. On them were four different cheeses paired with four different wines. There were delicious passed hors d’oeuvres, and a station with miniature toasted sandwiches paired with different beers. A dream for those who love good alcohol and good food.
An hour of enjoying the view of the lake gave way to dinner in a beautiful tent. Everything was so lovely, not overdone. The bride and groom had bookmarks as place cards and quote books for favors. Dinner was (unsurprisingly) delicious. After dinner, we were treated to three witty, charming and loving toasts to the bride and groom. It was just so good to sit there and be a part of such a happy, happy evening.The cake was cut, the first dance done, and then the rest of us invaded the dance floor for three hours of non-stop shaking it. The band played covers of mostly 70s and 80s songs, and the floor was packed most of the night. Around 10pm the ice cream station opened up (seriously!) and they brought out some more munchies to keep us fueled for the rest of the night. Around midnight the band finished up – with a rousing “Don’t Stop Believing” – and we went back to the house to see the bride and groom off!
Today I am exhausted. I got some sleep, but my training schedule had me running nine miles this morning. So today is all about sitting. Sitting, watching movies, and uploading photos. And sitting.
Being back in Seattle is great. Riding the bus home from doing some work for my friends’ law firm causes my breath to catch a bit – the views stunning. Yesterday I got to see a lot of folks at a lovely BBQ my new roommates threw to welcome me home. I’m finding a few jobs to apply for, and finally, FINALLY secured private health insurance, which means no more COBRA at crazy high prices.
My last week in London was fantastic: Diego threw a great party that involved much drinking and dancing; I saw a movie at Canary Wharf with Kate and Richard one more time (the A-Team – stupid and great); and I visited with almost everyone one last time at a fantastic pub near Finsbury Park – I really appreciate that people made the trek up to the top of Zone 2 in the midst of dissertation writing. Shawn was kind enough to help me get my luggage to the airport, and other than a frustrating baggage switch in Chicago (and the apparent lack of A/C in that airport) it was a smooth trip home to Seattle.
Since I’m about to leave London, I thought I’d take a minute to list out some of my best times here. I did it when I left NYC, so why not now?
My first exam is in a week. I have spent a lot of time studying over the past six weeks and I feel prepared for the most part; I’m reviewing flash cards at this point to drive the main points home. I’ve also picked up a couple books on related topics that are not on the suggested readings list for my classes, and am trying to read bits and pieces.
So, I’ve started my job search for Seattle. I’ve only applied for three jobs. One was kind of my dream job – one I’m perfectly qualified for, that is a good salary, and just fit. But I didn’t get an interview.Another was with a place I’d applied in the past an didn’t get an interview. No interview again. This one stings because I believe I’m overqualified for it. I’m trying to look at it from a good perspective – that the reason I didn’t get an interview is precisely because I am overqualified, and that someone who is just starting out in their career will get the job. But it still stings. It’s only two denials, and I am not complaining – that would be ridiculous in this economy. Especially as I don’t need a job right now – I need one in the fall. I’m in London, and the jobs are in Seattle. It’s just a reminder of what I’ve known since I quit my very adequate job last year: this is not going to be easy. But it will work out.
“Uh, I walked into a door.”
I was going to post something long and mawkish about turning 30. Instead I thought I’d do what I do best … create a list!