Did I tell you I have a new job?
In October, I left my outpost in downtown Vancouver, Washington, where, from my cubicle, I could watch the bridge lift up and down over the Columbia River. I now spend my work week in a windowless cube under blue fluorescent lights in a “skyscraper” in downtown Portland.
(Or what counts as a skyscraper in Portland. The building has less than 30 floors.)
My old view of the bridge during a lift. If you look closely, you can see some “skyscrapers” on the horizon. That’s downtown Portland.
Working in downtown Portland means I’ve been able to leave my car at home and take the bus or light rail to work, which makes me feel like I’m back home in New York (sort of). It has also meant that Martin could sell his troubled Toyota to a man who knocked on the door and offered cash for it, full well aware of the condition it was in.
Taking the bus has many perks. One less car insurance bill. Less gas. One less car on the road. My work subsidizes my pass, so it’s only $40 a month for unlimited rides. And I can lost in a book during my commute, play games on my phone or stare idly out the window and think about absolutely nothing.
It also has its drawbacks.
In November, Martin and I went to Hawaii to celebrate the fact that we put a ring on one another’s finger and agreed to put up with each other’s gas until we’re old and incredibly gassy.
(I jest. It was much more romantic than that.)
These are the iPad doodles I drew from our trip. We began in Oahu, where we camped on the beach at Waimanalo Bay while we played in an ultimate frisbee tournament. (I know. I know. On our honeymoon. But it was only fitting! We met playing ultimate, so why not celebrate our marriage by playing ultimate?) Afterwards, we drove up to the North Shore, where my cousin got us a family discount to a fancy resort for a couple of nights.
Then we flew to Kauai and stayed in a rental house I found the night before on the Internet. It was perfect: Ten minutes up a single-lane road outside of a historic plantation town that’s outside of the slightly larger historic plantation town that’s outside of the tourist outpost of Popui (on the sunny side of the island). We had a majestic view of the ocean from our lanai, where we could see the private island Niihau on the horizon.
The trip was relaxing and wonderful, save for the moment I slipped off of a trail while hiking on the Napali Coast, rolled my ankle and somersaulted off the edge, catching onto a palm as I rolled to stop my fall. Nothing like hanging off the edge of a cliff to make you thankful to be with the one you love.
I drew most of these in Hawaii, without my stylus (which went missing right before we left). I drew the rooster and the cat when we got home—you can see the difference the stylus makes.
We got married! The wedding was awesome in every way possible. Here is a small selection of the more than 900 wonderful photos our photographer took. Photo credit: Bryan Rupp Photography
It seems like a good time to change the look of my blog. It’s looked like this for… I don’t know, 4 or 5 years. Since before WordPress offered things like widgets and featured images. But every time I search for a new theme, I can’t find one that I like. They’re all so… bloggy. I like that my site is neat and clean and free from cheesy illustrations and flourishes.
Martin says it’s time for a new nose in the header image, but I’m not so sure about that. This is My Dog is Chelsea, after all. Could I put Calla or River’s nose in there? I don’t know.
We’ll see. It may change. It may not. I hate making decisions.
[EDIT! I made a decision! At least for now. My only complaint is that I wish I could add a header image, but other than that, I'm liking MDIC's new look.]
Martin’s grandma gave us a jar of plum jelly last night. “[My daughter] Rosie made it,” she said. “So if you don’t like it, blame her.”
Martin’s grandma is wonderfully adorable. At 91, she’s sharp as a whip and still makes her famous homemade loaves of bread and jams.
Watching her play with her new iPad is so charming. She is a whiz at her pinochle app, but anything beyond that is a little confusing for her. She doesn’t really understand the difference between reading email and reading Facebook. She doesn’t know her passwords for anything. But she swipes and pokes and tries really hard and it is so cute.
The other day, she and Martin and I were sitting on the couch. Martin was using my iPad to look up the seating chart for the basketball arena the family was heading to the next day. His grandma kept craning her neck to see what he was looking at.
Then she tried to find it herself on her own iPad. She opened up Safari, clicked on the Google search bar and typed “Sports.”
I slept fitfully last night. Dream after dream dug up old regrets. In the course of seven hours, I managed to uncover too many insecurities: Classes I never attended, or worse, attended but dozed my way through. My undergraduate thesis, which prevented me from graduating with honors because I half-assed my way through it. Laziness everywhere. Mean words I’ve unknowingly spoken because I was too obtuse to notice. Promises made and promptly forgot. Thank you’s thought but never said, and notes never sent. Loved ones who have died without ever hearing the things I had wanted to tell them.
I popped out of bed and resolved to write more in this blog, if only because I won’t remember my life unless I write it down. I’ll wake up in thirty more years regretting everything, wondering why I did what I did, wishing I could throw a glass of ice water in my younger face and force myself to try a little harder. I need to be more aware. I don’t mean to be so flaky, I just forget things.
Somehow, I suspect that deliberately writing in this blog may help. Because when you capture your thoughts—as trivial as they may be—days don’t roll into one another and life becomes less of a blur. You remember things good and bad, and you know why you did what you did. You float less.
And maybe, with any luck, I’ll hold myself more accountable. I’ll show up on time. I’ll try my hardest, always. And I’ll thank the people I love.