Saturday, July 28, 2007


Yesterday, after having begged Ali for a week, we finally visited the Kwik-E-Mart in Mountain View, CA (home of Google). It was pretty sweet, almost as exciting as seeing the movie itself.

For those who are unfamiliar, 7-Eleven converted about a dozen stores across the country into their Simpsons counterparts to promote the movie. In addition to cardboard cutouts of characters (including an old guy in the freezer), they sell Buzz Cola, Squishees, pink doughnuts, and tons of Simpsons merchandise - t-shirts, cups, comic books, etc. Sadly, they had sold out of their Krusty-O's.

We went at a quiet part of the afternoon - there were only about 30 people in the store and 1 security guard. Apparently there have been lines around the block. If I can figure out how to get pictures out of my cameraphone, I will post them here, because it was awesome.

Anyway, today it's off to the GARLIC FESTIVAL with Mike Chan. Have a good weekend.

Oh the Humidity!

So here goes my first post from sunny Scottsdale. I got here almost two weeks ago and have since spent a crapload of money on getting settled in. I'm living in a nice 1 bedroom apartment opposite a big public park with lots of tennis and sand volleyball (a little too dry and landlocked to be using the word "beach") courts. I bought a new red Toyota Yaris, even after my mom told me I looked "cute" in it, and have purchased a bed, a dining room table and chairs, and a futon with an incredibly comfortable mattress (hint: come visit). I'm teaching 6th grade English in a charter school about 5 miles down the road and I had my first meeting and tour of the new school. My classroom is sadly windowless, but I'm sure I'll survive. Teacher training starts on Wednesday, with school starting two weeks on Monday. I'm pretty much wavering from quietly confident to terrified.

Oh so before I forget, the title of the post refers to the 50% humidity going down in the 852 (Scottsdale) at the moment. Apparently it's "monsoon" season, but it's all relative and should probably just be called "kinda humid with some occasional rain, both of which seem crazy to us all because we live in the high Sonoran desert" season.

Highs and lows of moving here include:
-Not knowing anyone except for some distant cousins
-Arriving while the Diamondbacks are on a 7 game winning streak and finding it easy to follow them (on radio - no tv yet)
-Fairly cheap rent and cost of living
-Breaking my ceiling fan (crucial to perceived room temperature) while moving an apparently indestructible IKEA lamp
-Driving around the desert listening to Meatloaf
-People being nice to me after telling them I just moved here and I'm a teacher

Before moving to the Phoenix area I spent June in London going to other people's graduation parties (not nearly as fun as going to your own) and the first half of July in Hong Kong and Bali hanging out with my dad and half sisters.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

You know you're in the midwest when...

Since we're a little lacking on posts, I decided to send this to the blog rather than the email list!
Yesterday I experienced my first ever 'business trip'. No I didn't get to wear a blazer and get on a flight with nothing but a briefcase and a laptop, I was stuck in a minivan with 4 other people as we drove 5 hours (I was reading harry potter).

We were visiting another corn plant (the world's LARGEST corn plant to be exact!) to ask questions on a process they have running there that we are getting up and running at our plant. Anyway, you know your hotel is in the middle of nowhere in the midwest when your room window view looks like this.... Yes... that is a corn field.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

growing up?

Things I'm finding out:
- when I hear some songs I still think "this would make a fun arrangement for the YPMB"
- a coffee habit is really easy to pick up, especially if you sleep less than 5 hours a night
- no matter how much I complain about my parents, I'm still sorta sad when they leave (it's complicated, but at the very least I'd like my mom to stay and not my crazy dad!)
- making money doesn't mean you'll actually have any more of it at the end of the month
- if you reconsolidated only some of your loans, things get complicated
- it is your responsibility to check on your student loans, even if you haven't been receiving statements in the mail
- you don't get reported to the credit bureau until 60 days of deliquency :-)

I had more to say, but now I don't remember. Oof! I forgot my camera! Gonna meet up with some band people after work. Will post fun gossip if any. :-)

Thursday, July 12, 2007


After 7 days, 14 states, and 3,800 miles, Ali and I have finally made it to California. As we search for jobs/an apartment, we're housesitting for Ali's uncle in Gilroy, CA - the Garlic Capitol of the World. There are horses next door!

We highly recommend you all check out whenever you travel next. It's an international social network - kind of like myspace/facebook - where people open up their homes for travelers. We stayed with an Ohio State post-doc in Columbus who was extremely accomodating, lending us a bedroom and giving us a campus tour! No money changes hands - people simply open up their couches, floors, spare bedrooms, etc. It's a great way to meet people in the places you visit.

Of course you have to be careful, but it can be done safely (i.e. you can choose female-only and/or households of couples). These days we can be kind of paranoid as a society, and we can expect the worst of strangers - it's kind of sad, really, because it makes people cold and distant. Anyway, I think couchsurfing is one great way to avoid that. Check it out.