Sunday, August 29, 2010

Workin'

I start work tomorrow, and work through Saturday (but not Tuesday) for a full, 40hr week! I am very nervous, but also really looking forward to keeping busy again, and earning some money in the process. I am not looking forward to walking to the bus-stop in my black pants and black, long-sleeved dress shirt, but at least it's only 10 min, and then the rest of my trip/day should be air-conditioned. I have mostly sorted out the bus schedules for the week, I am just terribly nervous that I'll miss my bus! The bus that goes to the mall from Arlington Center leaves about every half hour, at roughly the half hour, and on the hour. I have to catch the half-hour bus, to get to the mall on time, but only a bus on the hour would guarantee me getting to the store earlier than about 2 min. I am not sure how long it will take to get from the mall stop to the store, but 8-10 min is a little too close for comfort. So that means I get to take the bus that leaves about an hour before my shift, and have about 40 min at the mall to...eat? Read? I need more reading material.

Anyway, my dad has a recurring monthly combo pass on his CharlieCard, meaning he pays a set fee per month and gets unlimited bus and subway rides for that month. I believe the only limitation is how frequently in succession you can swipe the card at the same location. So I could not swipe myself and then a friend, if we were both going to go on the subway, or the bus at the same time. My dad said I could borrow his card, but I will have to get a local bus pass for $40/mo during the winter, as he will not be riding his bike to work then. It's a pretty good deal nonetheless!

On Tuesday, I hope to go and get my hair trimmed, just to get rid of split-ends so it can keep growing out, and perhaps go apply for a new social security card, as mine has been misplaced (most likely somewhere in the house). The office is actually quite close, so I won't have to mail in my driver's license or my passport to get a replacement!

Today I helped my dad clean and tidy the garage. We set aside a LOT for throwing out, and there will be more going next weekend (gods willing) when the Beetle's new owner comes to get the parts I'm giving him. If he doesn't come...out they go! I am excited about the ease of access of our bikes. I am considering training up to bike to work, but I am not sure how feasible that would be with being able to change once I get there. The roads, at least, would be fairly safe, except once I get close to the mall. Once there, I'm not sure where I could leave my bicycle either. A 40 min, by-bike commute would be preferable to a 1hr 20 min commute/wait to ensure that I'm on time...but I might be able to cut that down to about 1hr if I can make it to the store once I'm at the mall in 8-10 min!

It call comes down to hoping the buses are reliable!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Well, I guess I've had some major things happen in the past 24 hours or so. First, I wake up with the phone call I've been waiting for: a job at Sony Style Retail at the Burlington Mall! I start Monday, with paperwork and most likely some basics. I am nervous, and a bit excited, though I felt very NOT excited about it this morning. I guess the fact that my first real summer (carefree adventures, sleeping in, good times with loved ones, swimming etc.) in 3 years (or more?) is coming to a close hit me, and it made me pretty sad. I'll also have to say goodbye to my eyebrow piercing for the time being, and my nosering will have to disappear for work hours. A silly thing, to more aesthetics, but they've become a part of me.

Next, a nice young man came to look at my car, and we gabbed for a couple hours about it. It was great to
talk to someone who is in the state of mind that I was in three years ago, when I thought buying a car that needs work would be the BEST THING EVER. He is so enthusiastic, and about my car in particular, that I just had to sell it to him. So with some difficulties, the car ran again, and made it out of my driveway. All that's left is for me to take the plates to the RMV (hope I don't have to do much paperwork or anything), and sort out whatever parts I'm giving to this kid. I think it's going to be a lot, because I'd rather just get rid of the parts, than deal with selling things right now. It's just a PITA to list things online and negotiate prices and shipping blah blah blah. So I'm only going to bother for a few things, like the expensive carburetors I found in the garage! If I'm lucky, I can get a cool $100 extra for those!

Then, drama. Me
an people. Stupid people. I squarshed them in my mind like the moth I just squarshed on my desk. But then dinner was pretty tasty, and I had ice cream with hot fudge sauce for dessert, and I felt better about everything.

So.
Job = OBTAINED!
Car = SOLD!
Level up in life! +1 sense of accomplishment!

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Oh, pumpkin ale update? Post Road Pumpkin Ale get's a ONE PUMPKIN out of five. It didn't taste pumpkiny at all, and in retrospect, wasn't even that good of a beer. It was a bit wheaty, but not in a very pleasant way. The smell was OK.

And for Shipyard's Pumpkinhead Ale: Reduced to THREE out of five pumpins, because it only tastes good warm. That's kind of silly. Even in the cooling weather, I prefer a cold beer, and it was disappointing to drink warm, delicious swill, instead of cool, delicious pumpkin ale. I guess they changed something from last year's brew. Perhaps we will find a good replacement this season!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Autumn is coming!

We found Shipyard's Pumpkinhead Ale in a liquor store in Davis Square today; this is an amazing sign because it means it is practically Fall, here in New England. Autumn is by far my favorite season of the year. I hope that it brings me a job and the ability to continue to rework my wardrobe. I've found my sense of style has changed a lot over the past four years, after not making many shifts during high school, but now that I have an idea of what I want, I can't afford it. Most of the changes I want to make are in color, as I'd like to make the shift to earth-tones instead of mostly black, but that still requires money, even if I'm going to try and make some things on my own.

I hope that Autumn also brings me continued good moods and good times. Some new friends would be cool. As much as I love hanging out with my dearest as much as I do, it would be great for us to have other people to hang with as well. Since school friends are not near enough, that leaves pretty much no one! Perhaps a job will help with that...either that or I'll earn more stalkers.

Back to the original topic: I think I am going to review some pumpkin ales this Fall with Holcomb. It'll be pretty informal, as I have no interest in keeping any sort of continuity, just sharing my opinions on the matter because I LOVE pumpkin ale.

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Beer Co: Shipyard Brewing Co
Type: Pumpkinhead Ale
Logo: Green horse with green rider, with an orange jack-o-lantern head. Maybe he's supposed to be a statue?
Rating: ***** (5 pumpkins)
Thoughts: I love this ale! I remember from last year that this was my favorite out of the several (at least 5) other pumpkin beers I tried. This one tastes like a liquid pumpkin pie beer. It is fairly sweet, which I find to be a nice contrast to the generally wheaty taste of beers. This beer sets the standard for me, so all other beers will be compared to this one.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Travels to the Los Angeles area

Boring plane rides totaling over 7 hours including a layover in an airport named after one of the George Bush's = drafting blogs in my head. And of course, now that it's the next day, I've forgotten most of it, but I remember the jist of some, even if it's not so eloquent now.

I was in Southern California for a few days this past week, on not-happy business with my boyfriend's family, but the experience is still standing out as positive in my mind. Having lived in Massachusetts my whole life, even for college, I have become accustomed to the idea of four seasons being normal and right, but in California, they have something completely different. Rain? Rarely. They are in a constant state of drought. Snow? Well, there are mountains there...they probably have snow...sometimes. Clouds? No, there is no humidity down there, only smog, so what you think is mist, is really from your car, and the thousands of cars all around you. That is probably what unnerved me the most. I don't like the non-clear blue sky. But the streets are wide and spacious, the sidewalks are not decrepit, and the curbstones? What curbstones? They are made of concrete like the sidewalks, and are sloped to prevent tire/rim damage should you make contact with your vehicle. How neat is that? The streets are much more grid-like than in New England, which is of course a little boring, but so much easier to find your way. That is probably one of the reasons why everything felt so big there; in a grid, it is easier to make adequate space!

The landscape is so different there. We were in "The Foothills", I guess, and I could see mountains in the distance practically all the time. These are not the mountains of New England, the mountains you can sometimes see on the horizon, driving on I-190. These are real mountains, with foothills, and expansiveness, and height. You can probably tell, I found them really cool. And not only is the landscape different from the way it contours, the plant-life is very different there. Being so dry, the most green you see is from happy-desert plants (palm trees of all kinds) and from well-kept plants with hidden sprinklers at the base. Near any shopping complex, peek under the shrubbery and you will find some kind of watering system. It's necessary to keep their flora and fauna alive there. That is an odd concept for me, coming from a pretty rainy place.

There aren't highways there, (you pay for highways) they are freeways. And you have to stop at a light before getting on, to help regulate the flow of traffic. The hairpin exit/on-ramps for the freeways were a bit unnerving too. There are noise-barriers next to the freeways, so nearby neighborhoods experience only the distant din of whooshing cars, rather than a roaring just down the street. Oh and the colors are different there! New England's idea of "earthy colors" generally means deep browns and rich, dark greens. Southern California favors sandy colors, and sandy pinks. Many of the houses and walls were of this color, with very little boring grayish concrete to be seen, even Targets and Babies R Us sported this rock. The schools are also very different there, being designed around having children outdoors as much as possible. I have only seen schools like that in movies from the '80s. Rows of classrooms open straight to outside, with tables and benches in between; even the cubbyholes or lockers are outside. That kind of design is not realistic in Massachusetts, where the variable weather would leave children soaked or freezing, depending on the mood of the sky (I know better than to just say "depending on the season").

Pictures will be added later, most likely.