Friday, March 28, 2008

Stop being a Consumer...

... and become a producer or a decomposer.*

"Congregation of the Church of the Holy Organic, let us scrub our sins away with Seventh Generation cleaning products. Let us go ahead and bite into the locally grown apple, and let us replace our incandescent light bulbs with those dreadfully expensive fluorescents.

But yea, though we walk through the valley of the luxury organic, let us purchase no imported Sherpa car seat covers. Let us use the old one, even though it is ugly, because our toddler will spill Pom juice on the organic one just as quickly as on the hand-me-down.


Community Outreach Coordinator
ReUse Works
"Buy local. Buy used. Save money. Save the planet."

* Did anyone get my biology joke?

Thursday, March 27, 2008 I come*

* The title was a reference to the song 'California' by Phantom Planet. Not to be a music snob or anything (because I'm not) but I totally liked them before The OC (Not that there's anything wrong with liking the first season and a half of The OC, because I do).

Early on Saturday morning, I, along with my parents (assuming that they can get over from eastern Washington, the land of the freak snow) will be heading south to Santa Barbara, California. I will be visiting UC Santa Barbara, where I will most likely be attending grad school. To make other people jealous, here is a picture of the UC Santa Barbara (technicallly located in Goleta, CA) campus:

Since I will be visiting with my parents, they will hopefully pay for a lot of things. This will be especially useful, as I have no money, because I bought tickets to Hawaii and I have yet to recieve my tax refund. This would be a good time to request souveniers (Nicole).

This is what I will look like after some time in California:

This is what Kelly will look like after some time in Norway:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We need to find new things to do


Fun in the office

My office mate, Thorin, used to work at the ReStore, and every so often he brings back something for our office. Recently, he replaced my lame, non-rolly desk chair with an awesome rolly desk chair. Wheeee!!!! I have spent today rolling all around. Roll! From my desk to the printer! Roll! From my desk to his desk! Roll! From my desk to the paper cutter! I have really noticed that the more boring the job, the greater joy I get from small pleasures.

Side note: I see that fellow office worker Lindsay has blogged about popping bubble wrap. Oh, office jobs.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Karma 1, Lynn 0

While I was writing that last post, I was getting a parking ticket.

Suck on that Nicole


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Creativity or Coincidence?

Today I was at Fred Meyer, buying groceries, and the woman in the self-checkout stand next to me was making an interesting purchase. She was buying a pregnancy test and those frozen BUNS that you cook in the OVEN. Now, do you think that she had come up with a creative way to tell her significant other about the pregnancy, or was it simply a supremely awesome coincidence?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Exciting News

I'm going on a date tonight. However, I haven't been on a date in approximately 4 years so I am making Kelly Jean come along. Anyone else want to come?

This is what Kelly and I are wearing:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Party Idea

Who thinks that we should have this at Paradise City's next party?

P.S. Check out some of the other things that you can buy. All excellent purchases.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What I Do At Work

Today, I called in sick for the first half of the day.

This is what I have done so far:
These are all good tips. Follow them.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I like many of these things.

A blog I recently discovered....

Stuff White People Like

I like many of these things, including #36 Breakfast Places, #29 80s Nights, #23 Microbreweries, and #10 Wes Anderson Movies.

" would serve you well to know some local breakfast places. This will also come in handy if you pick someone up at 80s night. In white person law, if you meet someone at 80s night and then go out for breakfast the next morning, then you are automatically in a relationship. There are no exceptions."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Friday, March 14, 2008


I got wait listed by Notre Dame. It wasn't even one of my original choices in the first place, and I'm not sure I would have gone there had I gotten in, but now that I had the chance to go there, I'm disappointed that I didn't get it. Whatever, I'm going to look on the brightside... Woo! I got into UC Santa Barbara! Woo! BOOK CLUB TOMORROW! Woo! I went to 80s night and Jodi said many hilarious things, including:

Jodi: Fuck you, middle schoolers!

Jodi: I'm going to take her short sweater, and wrap it around her head so you can't see her face. (Note: Jodi hates short sweaters.)

Jodi: I'm going to pretend that I made out with him because he reminds me of the crab man from "My Name is Earl".

Jodi: You can tell she doesn't have a good personality because of the way she dances to 80s music. 'Hello. I'm dancing to 80s music inside of a box.'

Thursday, March 13, 2008


First off, I love sea mammals. I love whales and dolphins the best, but all sea mammals are pretty great.

So I'm sitting at the Woods Coffee at Boulevard "working" on my laptop (ie looking for the best price tickets to Santa Barbara) staring out the window at the bay, and I see some movement in the water. At first I think it is just a duck diving and surfacing, but the movement seems odd for a duck. I continue watching, and a head pops out of the water. A seal head! A seal, swimming in Bellingham Bay! It dives under, pops back up again, and looks around for awhile with an expression like, "Where the hell am I and what am I doing here?" It submerged and must have swam away. Goodbye, my seal friend! Tell a whale to come visit!

Side note: My mom just called me, and apparently my parents are so glad that I actually got into grad school that they are paying for my ticket to Santa Barbara. Sweet! I am going March 28-31 if anyone wants to go. Kelly: If I decide to go there (most likely) I will be going again to look at housing, check out the nightlife without my parents etc., so we can go. However, if you would like to go with my mom and I, you are totally welcome to do so. My mom will probably buy us meals and stay in a nice motel. Anyone else who would like to go to Santa Barbara with my mom and I is also invited.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Music lovers...

Want some free concert tickets...

Hello Sasha

There are two dogs in the office now. Chloe is a black lab-shepherd mix and Sasha is an odd-looking black dog of some sort. Sasha is approximately 400 years old and extremely weird looking. She's not ugly, per se. She is very round with a very pointy face and pointy tail. It's kind of like you took a fat black pencil and sharpened it at both ends. Being 400 years old, she doesn't do much. She mostly just lies on her football beanbag and makes Chloe jealous by existing.

Today I had my phone interview with Notre Dame. I think it went pretty well. I mostly just talked about what the organization ReUse Works does. I spend about 20 hours a week repeating that schpeil, so I sound pretty good when I do so. I also explained about the National Science Foundation and what they do. Luckily, I had just looked them up, so I knew several random facts, like they fund 20% of university research and the MRI was created using grants from the NSF. It was weird having a phone interview. I know that I wasn't very coherent on a couple of the more general questions, and I wonder if that comes off worse over the phone than it would have in person. I know that I use a lot of hand gestures and facial expressions and body language when I talk, and that doesn't come across on the phone too well. However, I spent three years getting people to give money via a call, so I think that I have a pretty good phone presence. Some body language (especially facial expression) comes across through your voice, so if you normally use a lot of physical expression when you talk, you should use it on the phone. I'm pretty entertaining to watch talk on the phone. Anyway, hopefully I'll get in to Notre Dame, so I will have some options. Even more hopefully, I will get in and they will give me lots of money. I will give some of this money to Kelly Jean.

My interview was at 2 pm EST, or 11 AM Pacific. So I woke up at 9:45, took a shower, and ate some breakfast so I would sound nice and awake on the phone. During breakfast, I watched the first game of the Big East Championship, Villanova vs. Syracuse. I feel like March Madness is going to be really bad for my tv viewing habits. I'd watch at the gym while I work out, but I tend to yell at the tv, which is kind of embarassing. One of my favorite parts of watching basketball, is when the commentators say the same things that my dad would be saying, like, "You gotta find a white jersey, you gotta make contact, you gotta box him out," in that old man basketball kind of way. It's great.

I've decided that instead of just wasting time when I'm bored at work, I am going to learn things. In keeping with the March Madness theme, I have learned about mid-majors and RPI. I also studied video regarding how to do a flip turn while swimming. Next I am going to memorize all of the countries in Africa.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A fruitful day

Whenever there is a cold germ in my vicinity, I get sick. Yesterday, I spent approximately 1.5 hours out of bed, and 22.5 hours lying on the couch. It was okay, because I accomplished a lot. First, I watched Texas beat Oklahoma State. Then I watched the "One Week Until Selection Sunday!" special report. I fell in love with Adam Emmenecker. The Drake Bulldogs are totally the new Gonzaga. I took a several hour nap. I read, but not the bookclub book, because it was all the way on the kitchen counter and I couldn't reach it. I watched Gonzaga barely beat Santa Clara. I concluded that Matt Bouldin looks like the slightly deranged love child of Adam Morrison and John Mayer.
I took another nap. Jodi got me a popsicle. I watched the Darjeeling Limited. I moved from the couch to my bed, where I read some more. Then I went to sleep.

Friday, March 7, 2008

My dad

I was talking to my dad on the phone yesterday. This is a very common occurence. Sometimes we talk multiple times a day. This is mostly because we have unlimited family minutes and jobs where much of our time is spent not doing anything. So, anytime one of us finds out something that the other one finds interesting, we call the other one. For example, yesterday I called my dad to tell him that Haggen bought the Larry's Market in Redmond and also that Errol Knight signed to play with the Bellingham Slam. He said, "Speaking of athletes...I saw that Jake Locker is playing baseball in Bellingham this summer."

I replied in the affirmative, and he went on to outline a plan. The superintendent at the school he teaches at is from Ferndale and knows the Locker family. My dad wants to give him my picture to pass on to Jake Locker, and then have me hang out at the Bellingham Bells games. To quote my dad, "Marrying Jake Locker would even be better than going to business school!"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha forever.

This is mostly funny because this is the last thing that you would ever expect to come out of my dad's mouth. He is constantly reminding me that I probably shouldn't get married until I am at least 35 (despite the fact he got married at 24), and whenever my mom asks if I'm dating anyone, he says, "Janet! It's PERFECTLY fine if she isn't dating anyone." Apparently, this deal seems too good to pass up. He's probably even pay for the wedding. (He once offered me $5000 if I promised to elope when I do get married.)

In this tribute to my dad post, I will list five important things that he has taught me:

5. B.E.E.F.: Balance, eyes, elbow, follow through. These are the four essentials for a good shot in basketball. While I am not a great basketball player, I do have a nice looking shot.

4. How to easily convert from Celcius to Farenheight in my head. This is especially useful since I mostly listen to Canadian radio. This is how you do it: you multiply the temperature in Celcius by 9/5 and add 32. "Hey!" you may think, "that's not easy!" Well, the secret is estimation. Let's say The Beat 94.5 tells you that the temperature is 19C. To figure that out, I would just say, "Well, 20C is pretty close to 19C." (My dad also taught me the importance of 'pretty close' in math.) 20 x 9/5 (reduce 20 to 4 and cancel the 5) is 36 + 32 is 68F. So you're off a few degrees. Whatever. This isn't analytical chemistry.

Sidenote: this may be why I did not do very well in analytical chemistry.

3. How to shoot a gun. When I was seven, I got a bb gun for Christmas. Mind you, I did not ask for a bb gun. I guess he just wanted me to be ready to inherit a small armory.

2. How to change a tire and the oil. I am rather uncoordinated and messy. If there is a slight possibility that a person could get dirty doing something, it's guarenteed that I will get dirty doing it. My dad said I had to change the oil in my car as part of the 'responsibility of driving'. I think he mostly just liked to laugh at me when I was entirely covered in old motor oil. Same with changing a tire. Les Schwab will put on or take off your snow tires for free. However, it's even freer to make your daughter do it as part of the 'responsibility of driving'. I have had to change a flat tire several times, and I was very glad that I did know how. Thanks, Dad!

1. How to put on my socks. This he learned from John Wooden. First off, you always wear 2 pairs. The first pair you put on inside out, so the seams don't rub on your feet. The second pair absorbs your sweat and keeps your feet dry. You must be very careful that there are no lumps or bumps. Your socks must be absolutely smooth before the shoes go on. I wore my socks like that until I was about 15. I still feel a little guilty when I only wear one pair of socks, and when I do get blisters, I know it's my fault.

The Story of Stuff

Yesterday, I went to a Sustainable Connections monthly member luncheon. Sustainable Connections is a phenomenal organization in Bellingham that promotes local, sustainable business. They're the ones responisble for all of the 'Buy Local' paraphenalia that you see around town. If I decide to grad school in Bellingham, Sustainable Connections is about 60% of the reason why. Bellingham is a national model of sustainable, locally-based economy, and, as that is the kind of business I want to go in to, it seems reasonable to want to stick around.

Anyway, at the monthly membership luncheon, we watched a short film called 'The Story of Stuff'. I really think everyone should watch it. Now, I am not suggesting that everyone should become freegans, but I am pro-conscious consumerism.

You can watch the whole thing (it's about 20 minutes long) on her website

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My successor

On July 12, 2008, I will be replaced by a new VISTA, fresh from VISTA training in Provo. They will finish training on July 11, fly back from Utah that night (if they are like me, they will proceed to 80's night and get hit on by an 18 year old who wants to have a threesome in his Saab.), and the next morning, report to work. The new VISTA will most likely not meet the previous VISTA; most likely they will just be set adrift with a vague workplan and a lap top.

If I was a kind, compassionate person, I would recall my confusion and desparation in my early weeks as a VISTA, and respond by leaving a clearly-labled filing systems, accurately-named computer documents, and perhaps a list of important things to know. However, it is much more fun to think of ways to make life difficult for my successor. (They'll thank me for it eventually anyways. The more effeciently they'll be able to do their job, the less time it will take them to do it, leading to more time spent staring vacantly at the wall. Anytime not spent staring at the wall is good time, generally speaking.)

Here are some things that I thought I could do:
- Title all Publisher documents with acronyms that are only comprehensible to me: apdepdonapsp2 is obviously the second version of an advertisement in Spanish for Appliance Depot's appliance removal service

- Start and get halfway through a huge mailing project, to the point where I do all the easy envelope stuffing and label making, but the new VISTA has to make all the follow up calls.

- Title all spreadsheets things like 'Family Vacation' and 'Cute Puppies'.

- Change phone number on letterheads and business cards to fax number, so people can never return phone calls.

Any other ideas?

This is the job I want

3. Conversation baristas: These employees don't actually sell coffee; they engage in small talk or, if this is your choice, large talk. They're filled with interesting anecdotes (all of them preapproved by the home office) and provocative yet noncontroversial opinions. They could even have areas of expertise and wear signs around their necks: "Philosophy," "Sports," "Entertainment," "Travel," "Free-form whining." Conversation is, as always, optional.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

24/7 commitment to AmeriCorps

When you become an AmeriCorps VISTA they send you to a large, 3-day training in an exotic location like Provo, Utah. At this training, you are forced to sit in a circle and discuss your feelings about poverty. Crying is encouraged. Strangely enough, this was not the highlight of my trip to Provo. The highlight was when Nicole and I went to the Monte L. Bean Science Museum on the Brigham Young University campus with her VISTA supervisor Christopher James 'Mancub' Cochran and his sould twin, P. Ryan. This was not actually a science museum. It was actually just a building filled with taxidermy. Here are some examples:

Something else that they tell you during VISTA training is that you make a 24/7 commitment to your organization. They are not kidding. You are literally supposed to be available to work for WHENEVER they could possibly want you to work.

Usually, on Thursdays, I work from 9 to 4 and then go to yoga. However, today I have to attend a customer service training from 4 to 6. I don't even do customer service. Now, I realize that attending a two hour training instead of yoga is not a flagrant abuse of the 24/7 policy (unlike the egregious exploitation of my VISTA status this past weekend), but I really wanted to go to yoga today. Plus, Chloe, the office black lab, is taunting me by doing yoga poses. She was just doing the cat/cow stretch. Silly Chloe! You should be doing downward dog!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Why you should always read the fine print

As the Community Outreach Coordinator for a local nonprofit organization, part of my job is to research local events in which we could participate. While performing this task, I came accross Lynden's Holland Days which "celebrate Lynden's Dutch heritage." This events attracts hundreds of people, many of whom are probably in need of an affordable, quality used appliance. I sent along the vendor application to my boss, and encouraged our appearance. He sent me back a copy of the submitted application form with a note that read, "Looks like a great opportunity. Did you notice that you'll have to dress Dutch?" I went back and read over the rules and regulations (events in Lynden always have many rules and regulations), and, sure enough, one of the points was "vendors are strongly encouraged to dress in traditional Dutch costume." Oh, well. It gives me an excuse to buy those wooden shoes I have been wanting.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


In my life, I have had two boyfriends (Right, Nicole?), but I don't have one now. Here is a list of my top eleven fake boyfriends:
11. Mr. Darcy. He's handsome, he's rich, he's kind of an asshole...what's not to love?

10. Andy Bernard from The Office. Most girls would probably pick Jim, but they just don't know how to have fun in a relationship.

9. Bill Haverchuck from Freaks and Geeks. Just look at that smile!

8. Nick from Freaks & Geeks. He plays the drums. I have a thing for drummers. He romantically recites metal lyrics to his girlfriend.

7. Eric from Undeclared. He works at Copy Town and could make me a pillowcase with his face on it.

6. Stephen Cobert. Date, Do, or Dump: Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, and John Stewart? Dump Conan, Do John, and Date Steve.

5. The Natural. Oh, hey there Robert Redford in baseball pants.

4. Barack Hussein Obama. I'm looking for a man with a body like Barack and a Denzel Face.

3. Justin Timberlake. The way he moves is so hot.

2. Special Agent Fox Mulder. Newsflash: I am actually a huge geek, and nowhere is it more apparent than in my love for the X-Files. I am almost as excited about the new X-Files movie as the Olympics. Call me, Mulder!

1. Indiana Jones. He was my first love. I was four when The Last Crusade came out and I've never looked back. When I was seven or so, it was announced that there weren't going to be anymore Indiana Jones movies. According to my mom, I started crying. The new Indiana Jones movie is more exciting than the Olympics.

This weekend

While there were other ways I would have preferred to spend my weekend, it could have been worse. Here are some things I enjoyed about my weekend:

1. There was an abundance of attractive men with manly professions like 'carpenter' and 'builder' and 'hot tub installer' wandering around.

2. My boss said I didn't have to come in until 2 on Saturday, and then called and made me come in at 12:30. Oh, wait. That was something I didn't enjoy about my weekend.

3. On Saturday night, I went out with a group of extremely fun ladies. At the Royal, we pretended that it was Courtney's bachelorette party and dedicated a song to her. Then I had french fries.

4. I just had a bean, cheese, and rice burrito from Diego's, and it was the best BCR I have ever had.

5. Only two more hours and the show is over!

6. A seven year old boy told me a story about when his mom accidently put the phone in the washing machine. It was hillarious.

7. Awhile ago, I purchased Cruel Intentions (an example of film making at its finest) on VHS. I watched it on Saturday night, and, as I couldn't find the remote, I watched all of the previews. I must have been feeling particularly impressionable because the trailers convinced me I needed to watch Idle Hands.

8. My roommate called from Vegas because she saw Flava Flav playing craps. She is on the lookout for Bret Michaels.

Side note: Last weekend, I accidently went to a party with a stripper pole, and now I have a lot more respect for Tila Tequila. It takes a lot of upper body strength to hold onto a stripper pole.

9. I worked an extra 21 hours this weekend. This will be useful in April, when I am in Hawaii instead of at work. Woo! Hawaii!

10. I sent in my applications to Notre Dame and Seattle U. Four down, two to go. Plus, I got into Western. I'm now 2 for 3 on my attempts to get into Western. I hear from Notre Dame and UC Santa Barbara this week. Keep your fingers crossed. Not that I really want to move to Indiana. I checked weather, and it was like seven degrees below zero.

11. The Penguin Windows booth is just down the aisle from me, and the people working there have to wear tuxedos. I don't have to wear a tuxedo.