Monday, June 28, 2004

my heart is a little sad today.
oh yeah
enough about stupid boys. what this blog is really about: my travels! did i say that i love whistler?! i do. it's stupendous.

saturday i did a 7 hour hike up to rainbow lake and back. and boy are my arms tired. for a lot of the hike, it was a steady climb. straight up. it wasn't so bad. coming down was a pain, literally, in my knees. in total, 19km. that's over ten miles. you do the math.

that evening, i had a sauna with a very nice girl i met at the Hosteling International facility in Whistler. Nikki is her name, and she's from England, on a 2.5 week holiday in Canadia. She was soooo nice. So this hostel sits right on the shore of alta lake. you can canoe, kayak, and mountain bike, all using the hostel's equipment. and it has a sauna! it was so cute.

but last night, as i was trying to go to bed so i could get up at 7 and check out and go rafting, these ESL students from vancouver were causing QUITE the ruckus, screaming, shouting in broken english, in korean, japanese and mexican. finally, at 2 or 3 am, i had enough and i went down and yelled at them. even tho' one of the girls was my roommate who was very nice and is from south korea and we swapped email addresses. oh stupid alcohol. so this girl from south korea, she said that you can't get a job if you're a fat girl. and their standards for fat are obscene. i can't believe it. well, i guess i can. i work with a lot of koreans...

thursday night i stayed at the HI in Vancouver, jericho beach. my bunkmate was this lovely lady Anne. I think I already wrote about her and the Native American thing. I did go to the museum of anthropology, and it was incredibly fascinating. but it struck me that so much of the history in the museum was created during my lifetime. i made the same observation in new zealand, too. does this reflect the way europeans like to museumize things? i mean, it's not because indigenous people lacked cultures before europeans showed up. i just found it interesting. i mean, the met wouldn't put a painting/sculpture in made by someone in the 80's, right? that's just what i mean.

alright, i'm exhausted. off to bed.
obsess with a capital o
during my last week in new zealand in march, i was driving around the country obsessing. about who said what and how, about a possible mistake even though it was such a healthy decision at the time. i'm kind of doing it again, only this time it's sad and it's closure.

so let me be direct. one of my guides on one of the many cool trips i took in new zealand is in canada rafting for the northern hemisphere summer. he said, if you're in the area, stop in. it turned out that my parents offered me a plane ticket to LA and in lieu of going there for reunion, which no one i knew was attending, i came here to seattle instead. i have friends here i love and who i haven't seen in a long time, and he was nearby so i thought, handy.

yeah, there was wah, i think. but i kind of shut down the wah because...well, for a lot of reasons ranging from the healthy (i knew getting involved would just make me crazy in the end) to not-so-healthy (i have this weird thing where i turn down perfectly nice people who ask me out...and then proceed to throw myself at them). well, we made arrangements for me to come, he even offered accomodation, but was tenting it at the rafting headquarters himself, but said i could join. that was several weeks ago. well, he disappeared off the email for nearly all of may, and then three weeks ago, i emailed him after he reappeared, to say, hey, can i stay with you after all? nothing. then the night before i left, the weekend before i was due in canuck-land, i sent another email. nothing. tuesday was my deadline, and i didn't hear anything from him, so i just said, screw it. i went to vancouver, went to whistler -- which i LOVED by the way. ooh it was so glorious there. i did this 7 hour hike up to this lake. it was a killer. and there was so much i haven't done. ride the gondola to the mountain, bike, watch the bikers at the bike park try and hurl themselves in all sorts of impossibly unhealthy trajectories. and this is just in the summer! there's the whole winter skiing scene, too! well, my little heart had been so set on going rafting with this dude that the thought of not going was kind of sad. so when i saw these rafters in the parking lot near the visitor center, i said, well hell, and went up to them and talked to them a wee bit. the next day, saturday, i booked a trip for today, sunday. and off i went to squamish to the c3 ranch to go rafting.

and that's how i found myself on the elaho river, in gritty glacial water at a brisk 6 degrees centigrade, clad in neoprene from neck to toes, (and wetsuits are none too flattering, mind you), face to sort of face with HIM. actually, i first noticed him as we pulled into the launch site. there's this full-size school bus -- we were riding the short bus ha ha ha ha ha! -- and he's on the rig in the back, adjusting straps. EEK! i said to myself. and i suddenly needed to look down and fix my booties.

i knew that running into him was a remote possibility. i mean, there were six rafting companies in the squamish-whistler area working three rivers, and the season hasn't really picked up yet. i intentionally picked one i DIDN'T think he worked for. but besides c3 running one raft of six, there was only one other raft on the river. from HIS company. and he was there as safety kayaker. so we manage to launch separately, since they were using our preferred launch we went a little downstream. they went ahead, we stayed behind. i thought all was good. i really really didn't want to see him and have to explain, uhh, yeah i'm not stalking you. but then...i didn't anticipate the JUMP.

it seems that good rafting trips all share some common features. one, you have to drive down dusty, bumpy logging roads to get to them. two, all guides are full of shit and like to fool clients with stupid stories of tree penguins and orcas swimming up glacial rivers to feed on seals that feed on salmon. and three, they mostly involve jumping off cliffs at some point. and there are rafts met, backed up at the jump. i am seriously laughing now at how hard i tried not to catch his eye. looking down, looking up, looking away, using the thin shaft of my paddle to hide behind. i figured the neoprene, helmet and giant lifejacket were pretty good camoflouge too. (i mean, i look like a whale in the getup. or is it an orca?)

i did the jump. a measly 15 feet, which is nothing after the 30-foot jump i did on the buller in new zealand. but while we were executing our acts of bravado (me and this other woman were the only ones to do it. we were also the ones sitting in the back, the dryest of the lot as everyone else in the front had already gotten drenched by the giant waves), the other raft went far far ahead. the last i saw of them, they were huddled on the beach eating their lunch. and HE, well, he had paddled down a little farther to pick up this piece of flotsam, so the last i saw of him HE was walking upriver with this twin mattress sized piece of foam bobbing up and down on top of his head.

i've been wracked with thoughts of, why didn't i just say hi? like i said, two people who met on the other side of the world, somewhat coincidentally on the same lonesome piece of river. couldn't i have put everything aside? no, i realize. because this trip wasn't about him. if anything, at some point, this trip became about forgetting him because he's an ass for not checking his email, not remember my visit, or intentionally blowing me off, if i must assume the worse. and just because he's a kiwi, rafts, kayaks, climbs, has a sweet accent, and is pretty cool, doesn't make it ok. he's still an ass! so this is closure. in a way. the best closure would be if he emailed me and i got to reject him by not writing back. but that's petty.

really, though, i'm excited about moving to boston. and lately, i've been contemplating giving this whole dating thing a try. i mean, really opening myself up to the risk. and i think getting this guy out of my system was like the last thing i needed. i don't want to be too grown up though. but i don't want to be reckless and frivolous and self-preserving, all at the same time, with my crushes and emotions. and i do this by liking/obsessing over IMPOSSIBLE men.

i'm scared. i'm really truly scared. of the amount of studying i'm going to have to do, of the amount of responsibility i'm looking for with my career goals, of not being able to run away when i fuck things up, and of not fucking things up nearly on purpose before i run away.

so that's that. are you still reading this, kev? :)

Sunday, June 27, 2004

back in the W A
i've made it back to seattle, after minor hassles at the border. the guard asked me where i was from and i sheepishly said new jersey, as i always do because i'm kind of embarrassed to be from the toxic state, and he said, turn of your car and give me your keys. eek! ok! don't send me to prison! he then inspected my trunk and asked a few questions about where i had been, where i was going, etc. and then he let me go. he was nice, but that, turn off your car and give me your keys was very sudden and startling.

so ... four more days in seattle and then i go home for my last month of life before boston. it'll be a crazy month, lots of working and packing and anticipating. today, in preparation for my new life, i officially let go of my old one. let's just say that i was within two yards of a guy i met halfway around the world and i pretended i didn't see him. and it's not like we were in a crowded mall. we were on this desolate, freezing river, on separate vessels, but within yards of each other. oh this is nutty. good bye crazy, transient traveler me. hello somewhat stable me, who is embracing a life of good works! hopefully...

Saturday, June 26, 2004

in yesterday's post from vancouver, the author mistakenly identified the day as canada day. in fact, canada day is july first. there is no obvious explanation for the shops staying open late on thurdsay. the staff of aspiring expat would like to apologize for any inconveniences this error may have caused.

i'm in whistler! wow it's gorgeous! i stopped in squamish to stop for gas but otherwsie got the hell out of dodge because the world is smaller than you think. (i may still go rafting, tho, because my heart is sort of set on rafting.) whistler is amazing. just driving into town, with the mountains in the distance, and this hostel is right on alta lake, like something out of dirty dancing. i went canoeing today, it was kind of hairy but we're alive and i'm eating couscous and drinking wine. tomorrow i think i'm going to hike this rainbow lake trail, which i hear is kind of hairy too, and there are bears in the woods, so if i don't post within the next few days, please raise some alarms.

do i have to come home?

my dad just called for advice on how to use our computer system. he's so cute! do i feel bad that he has to work for me? not really, but i probably will once the buzz from the yellow tail wears off.

Friday, June 25, 2004

on the road again
i'm in vancouver! it's kind of disappointing. the city was desolate and at times kind of creepy. and then when i crossed the border into canada from washington, one of the first things i saw was a strip mall with a pier 1 imports. i don't know why i was expecting more from our very close neighbor to the north, but something different from america, this being the commonwealth and all.

and i think today is canada day. i'm not really sure what that means but there was a lot of traffic leaving canada this afternoon and all the shops stayed open late. and i think tomorrow is a holiday. isn't it funny that on a national holiday here, the shops stay open late, whereas back home, they close early?

tomorrow i'm off to whistler. i think the nature will do me good, though it's probably going to be as commercial and depressing as vancouver is, since whistler is a chi-chi ski resort and all. oh well. here's to fresh air. i've booked a bed at the hostel but then i realized, what the fuck am i lugging my tent all around the country and then some for?

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

i hate boys.

but maybe this is along the same vein as my i hate koreans kick. it's not the boys i hate. it's me. and how i am with boys. right....let's not generalize.

p.s. seattle is great. the weather is phenomenal. but hot. and there is like NO air conditioning whatsoever so my ass gets all sweaty when i'm having lunch somewhere and it's 85 degrees outside. it's not so bad, but i guess i just want to be spoiled since i'm on vacation and since before i left, it was like 90 degrees and 100% humidity at home.

my friend's apartment is neat. they have a little balcony and from almost all their windows you can see lake washington. and the gasworks. and it's only 2 blocks down to the water. yesterday i was hanging out in the university district. i had to go to the post office to mail some keys back home since i accidentally took a set with me that my parents are going to need this weekend. and then i just walked around and browsed in stores, had coffee and read a lot. i read my book, i read books in bookstores, i browsed through used bookstores. it was all thoroughly enjoyable. today i am going to visit a friend who works in a cafe down in pioneer square. this is hap, taking the bus. yeay!

Saturday, June 19, 2004

bon voyage yet again thank god
what a stressful two weeks. i never want to be my parents. and i mean that on so many levels. i'm about to leave for the city, for work, for my last night at the club for two weeks. i leave straight from there for newark airport for seattle and maybe canada next weekend. things are so up in the air, but at least one thing is certain: tonight is my last night at the club for two weeks!

oh so last night, before we even opened, while we were still setting up, the hooch who had her purse stolen and her two idiotic sidekicks came by. she wanted to see our business permit because she wanted to sue us. this wouldn't have happened if you had just paid us that night, you know. well whatever bitch you wanted $3000 and i wasn't going to give it to you, even if i did have it! see you in court. oh so cute. see you in hell cunt.

i am so irate, still, over this. ok, i'm supressing every urge to say condescending things about koreans. actually, i know this has nothing to do with being korean, it's just that this girl is a hooch who thinks she's so smart and cool whereas actually that night i was running circles around her. there was nothing i could do, she wouldn't flat out say she wanted the money, and then she called the cops. uhh, okay whatever.

but there is one thing about koreans. there are like some serious rituals/protocols/traditions when it comes to drinking. you don't pour your own drink, for one. and last night i found out that as a woman i have to hold my glass with two hands when i'm clinking. part of me subconsciously knew this, but it was almost six am, and i was being put on the spot as one of the waiters was introducing me to this guy who, every time he comes in, drops nearly a grand, if not more. i know i've seen him drop a few grand. and i was put on the spot because i didn't want to let the waiter have any more beer so he, the waiter, planted the customer at the counter right in front of me. how the hell was i supposed to pull rank when this guy, who is nearly singlehandedly keeping us in business, sitting right there. man, i felt like i was 12 and incompetent and inconsequential. a shitty way to feel as i was driving home.

and here's my other dilemma. i can protect our mexican/latino busboys. but am i any better if i treat our waiters like shit? ideally, i'd like to be able to be compassionate and caring towards all of them, but it's so hard because the waiters squander resources, have no respect, and do an all-around half-assed job at their jobs. the busboys, on the other hand, work hard, are slightly more meek (though some of them aren't when they so blatantly steal from us), and are being exploited. i don't know what to do.

oh wait, yes i do. i'm going to seattle and then when i come back, i'll only have four more weekends before i move to boston. there's a reason i went to college and am getting educated out my ears -- so i never have to work in a bar/restaurant, and so i'll never have to own my own business.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

impeach bush
i saw a great poster in a store in new paltz when i was up there earlier this week. a cartoonish drawing of bush, looking goofy as per the usual. underneath it said "elect a madman, get madness". so true, if only we had elected bush.

i just finished lies and the lying liars who tell them by al franken. i started it almost six months ago but had to put it down because it infuriated me too much. but maybe because of the upcoming elections, i had to get through the whole thing. yes, franken is a democrat, but instead of relying on insults and lies to make his point, he relies on facts, numbers and statistics and lexis-nexis to document how bush, cheney are liars. and so are the right-wingers of the media, a larger lot than you'd think. (e.g. the entire fox news network, the wall street journal, the new york times, at times, etc.) for example, why was everyone all over gore during the last election, taking things out of context, like the inventing the internet comment. i think there's far less scandal over, oh, bush lying about the evidence of saddam hussein having weapons of mass destruction. and i remember hearing somewhere, sorry for not remembering exactly where, that the same thing is happening to kerry. the media, probably driven by karl rove, is picking up every slightly erroneous sounding comment, taking it out of context, and is going to try and paint kerry to be as big fat of a liar as gore. hey, it worked last time. oh, that and purging all the black votes from florida's recount.

not all republicans are evil, not all democrats are compassionate. but for the love of god, get bush out of office. i've even offered to buy people's votes. $20 is about all i can afford.

also, i saw the movie "saved" last night. you know, with mandy moore. my friend characterized it as a teen movie. so true, except instead of having the popular girl be someone who breaks all the rules (sex, drugs, etc), she's this seemingly devout christian. it wasn't all that great, save for some shining comedic moments. but then it's started a whole 'nother chain of thoughts. not exactly original but i've had these thoughts before.

i am a christian. i believe in jesus, i struggle, but i having something of a personal relationship with god. how is it that i'm of the same faith as george w. bush and john ashcroft? being christian is not about the culture that was portrayed in the movie. that's an extreme and ugly part of the culture. i do not throw bibles at people who do not do as i think jesus wants me to do. it's not about following rules. just because you don't drink and don't have sex, doesn't mean you're a good christian. however, it doesn't mean you can go out and just have it all willy nilly either. i'm not sure what my point is. i guess i just can't believe me and dubya believe in the same god, and that the movie wasn't about christianity as a religion, but about a particular subset of a particular culture.

holy hell it's hot.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

total fatigue
sunday i woke up at 2pm. went to bed at 3am monday morning and woke up at 5:45 to drive 1.5 hours to new paltz, in some of the heaviest rain i'd ever seen. was scaling cliffs by 9, konked out at 2:30. i said, please, no more, i'm out of it. realized i totally forgot all my toiletries, walked to the drug store up the street from the hostel, took a shower, walked around town so i wouldn't fall asleep, finally had dinner and then went to bed. i was sharing my room with one other person, a hard of hearing 80 year old woman. we went to bed at the same time, at 8:30.

tuesday, was up at 8, on the cliffs by 9, and climbed all day till 5, the latter part of the day with my friend who lives up there. all in all, it was an amazing time. but my arms and shoulders and back are so sore, and my knees and shins are all sorts of shades of bruised. rock climbers are NUTS. I was climbing 5.4 and 5.5s and some of the parts were hairy. you just don't think that these super sticky rubber shoes are going to stick to a piece of rock sticking out that's like half an inch big, but they do. still, what i was climbing was cake compared to the 5.10 - 5.14 that professional nuts climb. that's like climbing a chalkboard, let me tell you. okay, maybe a chalkboard with a tiny hairline crack running down it.

still, i feel so physically satisfied. my body has done some hard work and earned the 9 hours of sleep i got last night (and the 11 hours the night before). i could totally see myself doing this again, but really, how many hobbies and ways to recreate does a girl need?!

back to the real world. back to all the errands i have to run for my parents, who, by the way, called me for the second time yesterday. and YELLED at me FROM ACROSS THE ATLANTIC OCEAN. how depressing.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

damn weather
good weather is good for the club, because rain tends to keep the scantily clad, high-heel wearing prissies home. i think it's because the rain ruins their hair. so after some phenomenal weather this weekend, when i was either sleeping, chasing after obnoxious kids or trapped in the basement with giant rats, it's going to be hot humid and rainy all week. i'm supposed to go climbing in new paltz on monday and tuesday. my north face tent is quite trusty, but do i really want to camp in "dangerous" weather? more importantly, do i even get to scale cliffs under threat of thunder and lightning?
growing up
when i was young, sometimes, i'd eat fruit in the car. and having no garbage can and getting tired of holding the peach pit/apple core/banana peel in my hand, i'd give it to my mom to hold. and i always thought she was amazing because she'd hold other people's gross saliva-y masticated garbage. it'll come with having children, she told me. well, i think i've had a kid somewhere and not known it because i've stuck my hands in all sorts of disgusting things at the club. just imagine, fishing rock glasses out of other people's drunken crap. not literally crap, but a smorgasbord of food, cigarette butts and ashes, spit, backwash, leftover liquor, beer, water, juice, milk and god knows what else. eew.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

lost and found
there is one thing my family has never been lacking. umbrellas. being in the restaurant/food & beverage industry leaves us with more umbrellas than we could ever need. i have just accumulated three in the last two days as we did a giant purge of all the crap at the clubs. one guy actually lost a shoe. *A* shoe.
no title
i feel like a cartoon character, you know, when one gets really angry and he turns red from the toes up, resulting in steam shooting out his animal ears, or they twist up in a bunch. that's how i feel.

i'm trying to purge the racism from my head, the racism that has creeped its way in from working at the club. let's make this clear: i don't hate koreans. i just hate the ones that work at the club, and most of the customers.

i kinda flipped out tonight, and i feel bad for flipping out and yelling at some of the employees. i don't feel bad about why i did the yelling, but i guess i feel badly because I'M NEVER GOING TO GET THROUGH THEIR SKULLS and in their eyes, i'm just some bitchy daughter of the boss who freaks out every once in a while.

we had two new busboys today. we usually have three working between the two joints, but we had two. and they didn't have a clue as to what was going on, either. while we're frantically cleaning at closing tonight, i hear one of the more senior waiters saying, amigo, amigo, bathroom. as if that alone were enough to compel this guy who barely speaks english to go clean the bathroom. and the guy, well, he was working hard, trying to get the thousands of cups and shot glasses through the dishwasher. meanwhile, some of the other waitstaff were sitting on their asses, smoking and shootin the shit. so i kinda freaked and said, hey, he's a little slow, we're going to have to pull a little more weight around here tonight, ok?!

the thing is, some of the others had. the one who was bossing the busboy around ... he peeves me off to start with. and i understand that there's training involved, but it's the tone of voice he had, that he always has, like he's calling his dog to him, and then telling him to go eat a pile of shit. that completely demeaning, condescending, i expect you to do what i say as quickly as you can, no questions asked, bitch, kind of voice. and that's what got my goat.

working at the club and seeing this kind of stuff hurts my soul. it really does. the racism is so deeply engrained in all the employees, the culture, even in my parents. and the best i can do is give them a few extra dollars, be it by skimming the tips and when there are, a healthy cut of my own bar tips. but the dollars don't compensate for the demeaning, the ridicule, the feeling of working for people who make you feel shitty and lesser.

but then in my head i took a step back. sure i can sit on my highhorse and try and say i'm not like that, but in a way, i am. i shop at the gap. i buy clothes that are made in sweatshops in developing countries. i know this, but it doesn't always stop me. so indirectly, i'm contributing to the same kind of oppression and classism and racism that i so hate at the club. the other problem is that i've kind of had a rough few days. too much responsibility since my parents are out of the country and they always keep their affairs in the state of borderline chaos. i don't know how they keep it together. and i've been taking my frustration out on some of the people around me, the employees, because i guess in the end i know they can't do anything about it, nor do i care because i hate them so much.

i'm an awful person.

Friday, June 11, 2004

just for the hell of it ... one of the many pictures of me in front of a giant object. this is the l&p bottle in paeroa, new zealand. l&p is a new zealand made fizzy drink. it's kinda gross. Posted by Hello
at risk of catching the plague
my parents, the lucky ducks, are away. again. this time to europe, where i can't reach them via a simple phone call. lots of responsibility, lots of errands, lots of things to do to keep the club running. well, when i got there today to wait, yet again, for these electricians to do some work, i ran into a tenant from the apartments above the bar. he informed me that the hot water had been out all day. bugger. i don't know the first thing about lighting pilots, much less where the boilers are. i know they're in the basement somewhere, but our basement is quite large and windy and ... well, as basements are in nyc, full of giant cat-sized rats and just dirty. i mean, there are three restaurants who share the space.

i sit on the dilemma for a few hours before my friend convinces me that i NEED to call some plumbers. the problem may be as simple as re-lighting the pilot, but if i'm not going to try it myself -- i was afraid the rats were going to eat me and give me the plague -- i had to, for the sake of the tenants, call a plumber. and so i did. and i found myself waiting once again. they show up. i take them to the basement, follow them into the deepest darkest reaches of our subterranean hell, and we discover the boiler room in the basement area of one of the korean restaurants. it's in a very busy area, and no, it wasn't as simple as relighting the boiler.

they flipped a switch. really, a switch, like a light, only this one was on a red box that said gas. apparently, someone knocked into it while moving boxes, so says the restaurant's owner. although the plumbers tried to say that it was because there was noise, that some pump isn't supposed to make any noise. and that it needed to be replaced. whatever. still, the plumbers were pretty understanding, didn't make fun of me too much. but then charged me $125 FOR FLIPPING A SWITCH. they originally tried to charge me $150.


Tuesday, June 08, 2004

i'm back
quick tiring trip to boston. but successful! if all goes well, and i get approved, i should have a lovely sunny one bedroom apartment facing the christian science center. sounds weird but it's in a great location. i'm really digging boston. it's got the hustle bustle feel of a big city but it's so easy to get from one end to the other, so it's totally manageable. i'm really excited!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

not so subliminal message
have you seen that commercial for crestor, where there's this guy with high cholesterol and he's not allowed to eat anything with taste. he's shown wandering around a dingy, gray, hectic city. then he walks into a doctor's office, gets put on crestor, and passes through to colorful happy nirvana -- the suburbs.

right, and there, he'll drive everywhere because there is nothing within walking distance and get fat, even tho' he has great cholesterol.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

i've had two dreams in the past month about janet jackson being involved with one of my male friends. the first one was weird and random enough on its own; the second one is worrying me.

Hey neat new feature from Blogger and Picasa -- Hello! It allows you to post photos straight to your blog. The best part is free photo hosting!

I'm testing with this image of the Ketetahi Hut on the Tongariro Circuit in New Zealand, taken last year. Click on the little image to the right to find out more -->Posted by Hello