Posts Tagged ‘culture shock’

This never would have happened had you just called Goodwill

A few weeks ago, on a Sunday I believe, our neighbor dragged all of her living room furniture onto the curb: Two couches and one big ass sofa chair. No idea why and no clear sign of replacements.

The first couple of days, we would spy the younger  kids draped across the oversized couches – engaged in deep discussions about their friends and pop culture. Passing by, masking my judgements with a forced smile, I would think – how cute and yet so ghetto.

Two of the pieces were picked up quite fast by Craigslist “FREE” crawlers, but one remained. And it stayed there – lonely and defeated – until the rains came and swiftly washed away its potential of ever having a new home.

When the rains had subsided for 1.5 days, a new flower box was installed where the two couches had been stationed. I thought – how nice – such pretty flowers. Then I noticed that the chair had moved and was now in front of our house. Clever.

I obsessed over this chair. I did. I worried about rats and cats and what not, and I fumed about my neighbor’s audacity and fantasized about how I would put her in her place – NY style. But I told myself to be patient – to not focus on it, for surely it would be disposed of soon.

That was eight days prior to this morning. See I was checking a voicemail and happened to gaze out the window only to spot that Harry the homeless guy had taken up residency in our front lawn. This was no joke. This dude had moved in. His dusty self was draped across the chair’s lumpy frame. To his left was a plate of beans and a camping cooler and just behind him, parked at a 15 degree angle, was his big blue shopping cart. One you’d get at Walmart – substantially large and quite an eyesore for a residential neighborhood.

I was furious. My neighbors’ tacky and waterlogged sofa chair had been  defacing my lawn for weeks, and if that wasn’t bad enough, now I had a homeless person and his ugly cart to deal with. And I should have seen it coming. Furniture to the homeless people is like milk to stray cats – you put it out and they come. And then they stay.

I have no problem with homeless people. I feel for them and want to help them. But having one 20 feet from the safety of your home is not something easy to digest. Because you don’t know if they’re crazy; you don’t know if they are messed up with drugs, off their meds, homicidal maniacs… you know nothing, and so you can’t confront them. You just have to watch them and pray that something inspires them to leave.

I closed the front drapes and wrote a nice note (double-spaced on loose-leaf and cluttered with smiley faces) to the neighbor requesting that she call for a bulk pick-up and have the chair removed. No mention of Homeless Harry – I figured that was assumed.

About an hour after I taped the note to their front door, I heard the neighbor clunk down the front steps and shoo Harry away,”You take that to the corner, that is just disgusting!” she said. She must mean the beans – they did look pretty gross. Hey – why the corner? Is the corner less offensive?

Harry is gone now and the loose-leaf note has moved to my door with the addendum, “it will be gone by tonight – *smiley face.” Poor chair.

Would You Like To Come For Supper?

Yesterday was the second time a colleague of mine invited Jaime and I over to their home for dinner. We haven’t obliged just yet as things are quite busy, but we intend to. There is something about being invited into someone’s home. It’s their safe place – their routine – and they want you to be a part of it. It’s pretty awesome.

We’re very accustomed to meeting new people out at a restaurant or bar, so this will be entirely new. And I just don’t know what to expect.

Is it weird that I imagine a woman of the 50s with a red-checkered apron working in a yellow kitchen? Have I just watched too much TV? It’s also a bit unnerving – like, what if we just don’t jive – or what if they’re really weird – or what if the food is inedible. I suppose I should look at it as a win-win – provided we survive – we would a) walk away with new friends or b) walk away with a killer story.

A London Log

Day 1 – Part 1

Day 1 – Part 2

Day 2

Day 3 – Waking Up

Day 4 – fading Out

There’s not enough CANDY in Portland

I am tired, okay?

When I am tired, I need sugar. Mike + Ikes, shock tarts, skittles, something.

We have a candy machine – but it’s near empty. Savages!

There is nothing – no bodega man with a plastic bin of stale Bazooka gum and gobstoppers. I need!

Where is it hiding? There must be a place! Where is it!?

Am I going to have to resort to doing an order off of Amazon Marketplace!?

I have a problem with this image. Everything is fine, except – well – Hi – who eats Halls as candy? Who? You? You have a PROBLEM. Seriously.

Catcalling Across Coasts

Catcalling in Brooklyn

(while lugging 3 bags of laundry on a Saturday)

“Hi baby – doing laundry? Want some help? I’ll fold your clothes. Have a good day, beautiful”

 

Catcalling in Portland

(during a morning run at 8:17 a.m.)

“Oooh baby – look at you! You’re looking good!”  *softer  “Be careful, okay?”

About this sound fingerless wolf whistle

The first day

Yesterday was my first day on my new job. Would have updated this last night, but when I got home from work, Jaime had surprised with a dozen cherry-red tulips and a delicious steak dinner with roasted fingerling potatoes and Brussel sprouts. I wasn’t about to be like “oh this is so great! can you hang right there, I need to update my blog.”

We woke at 6 so that Jaime could start work. It’s actually nice being up at that time. Everything is so quiet and the view out the window is dreamy with pretty color lights dancing up the mountainside.

Anyhow. At around 9:15, I headed out to work. It took me 1 minute to get there. Literally. It is across the street! I confess that I still used my GPS. I did. I was walking and I knew it was in between Davis and Everett, but I couldn’t see the numbers. Nancy may have well said “Look up, you dumbass!” because when I turned her on, she was very abrupt with her statement “you are AT your destination!” It echoed and I felt dumb.

I received a tour of the office from a nice girl named Porsche. How cool of a name is that!? Oh, and there’s another girl in the office whose name is “Amber lavender.” LOL. Awesome, no? “Amber Sage lavender you come here NOW!”

Ok, so this office puts JWT to shame. It’s all wooden floors and open. Nice kitchen on each floor. An atrium with a ping-pong table and grand piano. Props (giant popcorn boxes, giant slices of pie) everywhere you look. A conference room encased in sticks to look like a nest. A free coke machine. A giant cafeteria with outside deck, bbq grills and an unobstructed view of Mt Hood and Mt saint Helen. I wept.

I met my team about 30 minutes later and away-we-went! The project is huge and goes live in 5 weeks! This is the largest project I have ever worked on (in terms of exposure). I am PSYCHED about the concept, the execution and how we will track user engagement. It’s a little chaotic as I’m taking a hand off from a guy who just took a hand off, but I know what I need to do. I am really impressed with the people I work with – they are very talented and knowledgeable so I am looking forward to our collaborations.

Funny story, so I got hungry and decided to head out for lunch. To me, nothing is more embarrassing than getting lost in the office on your first day, so – as I was taught in Wilderness Wise, I took a visual inventory of my surroundings – white bike, printer to the left, giant slice of cherry pie to my right. Yes – my marker is a giant slice of cherry pie!

Another funny story. My tech director asked me to help him draft an email last night. In the middle of giving me direction, he stopped, looked at his watch and exclaimed “Ugh – it’s late!” It was 6pm. I wept again. Yes, my friends – these people leave work at 6pm!

Anyhow. The environment fosters creativity and quality of life, so I feel good about it. People work really hard, but they still take time to chit-chat with each other about weekend adventures, child rearing and new foods from Whole Foods. I know I will work hard – mainly cause I want to show my shit – but I know I won’t work to death.

Okay, have to get ready for the day

Happy Birthday, Jaime! You’re 365 days away from 30!

Kate

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