Thursday, July 22, 2010

Highlights from the big city

Ha ha ha..I can't write big city without laughing because Salem is by no means a big city, but it is bigger than Bellingham so I guess it should be big to me. Also the word "Highlights" makes me fondly remember my subscription to the amazing childhood magazine that included several word and picture puzzles to keep me busy for hours. Okay, back to reality - here are some of the highlights of the great city of Salem (so far):

1. Cinebarre - I know other cities have this, but Bellingham does not and it is wonderful. A movie theater, restaurant and bar in one? Perfect.

2. Salem farmer's market - I immediately felt at home as I visited all the booths, checking out the local fare.

3. Mexican foods - okay this is random, but it is one of the reasons Salem is a city after my own heart. I love Mexico (I've only been twice but have loved it each time) and it is no secret that Salem has a large latino (mostly Mexican) population. Here's why it's great. You walk into virtually any grocery store and can get the same foods you can get in Mexico! My favorite are Canelitas - these delicious cinnamon cookies.

4. NO TAX! Okay I realize this isn't exclusive to Salem, but I am loving this fact of Oregon life. You go out to dinner and order a $9.99 entree and it's actually $9.99! So simple, but so wonderful.

5. The beach - Just under an hour away is Lincoln City and the Oregon Coast. It's so nice to go to a real beach - not just the rocky shore of Bellingham Bay. I could go there every weekend because it's so beautiful.

So there's a sampling of Salem life. Much, much more to come.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Coffee Woes

Oh how I love coffee. And on top of that, I love me a caramel americano...from Avellino. Delicious, right? Oh, but the pain and suffering I have endured during my last two Avellino visits is making me second guess my beloved caramel americano.

First visit: I walk down to get some coffee with Emily for me and Jason (because I'm a nice coworker). I order two tall caramel americanos. We sit down with one of Em's friends, chatting and waiting. After about 5 min, Em has her drink, there are no more drinks coming, and the barista is in the back. I think, "Um, did they run out of caramel? Are they getting more beans? Where did they go?" So I go up to the register - no cups waiting. The cashier comes up after a couple minutes and I sheepishly say, "Oh, um, are my drinks...." but I don't even have to finish because the cashier hurriedly grabs two cups and does her prep thing...I don't even have time to notice that the caramel bucket isn't out...

So I head back to the office, two drinks in hand. It isn't until I am back in my office that I take my first drink of sweet, rich, caramel-y coffee goodness...but wait! Something is missing. There is no caramel-y is caramel-less. I immediately run out to the front to confirm my fears - did Jason have any caramel in his? No. I can feel some slight rage coming on and I begin to rant to Jason who, after a few minutes of listening, calmly picks up the phone - "Hi, my coworker just bought two americanos from there..."

Oh no, I really didn't mean to "make waves." It's not actually a big deal. I take it back! The conversation ends with Jason giving our names to the person on the other end (I'm thinking for Avellino's unruly customer shit-list). "We have two free drinks next time," he says. Although I'm a little uncomfortable with it, I'm also a little elated. Woohoo! Free coffee! ...I just hope they don't spit in it.

Second visit: Three days later, Jason and I head down to Avellino (I made him come with me, knowing I would never have the courage to actually mention the free drinks myself). Once again, I look forward to that sweet cup of caramel-y goodness. When we're up to order, Jason mentions the freebees and orders a caramel americano. I say I'll have the same, but with EASY caramel. Now, a little history here: the past few months I've been asking for half the caramel they usually put in - and it's always met with the barista saying "ok, easy caramel." So when I'm ordering my FREE americano, I happen to say "easy caramel." I thought, hey, I know the lingo now. I'm an official Avellino regular.

After ordering, I see the barista take a giant scoop of caramel from the bucket - we're talking about double what they usually put in. I figure that must be Jason's americano and I've just been getting half as much caramel for so long that I've forgotten how much the regular amount is. I take a look at the order of the cups, however, and it's looking like the mega-caramel one is mine. Apparently to this barista, EASY caramel equals EXTRA caramel.

So I wait for my drink just to be sure, and wow, it is beyond sweeeett! Not good sweet either. I don't have the balls to turn down a free Americano, so I take it, knowing that I'm actually having my dessert for breakfast today, but thankful for free coffee nonetheless. From now on I'll stick to saying "halfthecaramelyouusuallyputinagrandeamericano."

Avellino, I still love you. Just make my coffee right next time.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Winter is here?

Just when I was ready to break out the flip-flops and capris, good ol mother nature gets PMS-y and throws a winter storm our way. Seriously, I thought my window was going to shatter from all the wind last night, not to mention the freezing cold ice legs I had all night long (I had already put my extra "winter" comforter away. duh.). And then, all day today my fingers are like little icicles and my nose must be near frostbite by now. Stupid winter.

Dear Winter,

You officially have 10 days to get the eff out. Stop blowing your nastiness on me, drenching me with freezing rain, and turning my perfectly good appendages to ice. You are no longer welcome.



Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Turn off brain

Seriously, thinking too much is actually a sickness. And what the hell are dreams? I just experienced night four of a disturbing, unsettling recurring dream - just my worst fears realized, no big deal. I hate it I hate it I hate it. Turn off brain! I can at least distract myself during the day, but what can I do at night to stop my brain from focusing on painful things. And then I wake up in a sweat, feeling sick to my stomach wondering if it's ever going to end. And then I can't help but have those words and images in my brain all day long, only to lead to another night of restless sleep. I will be asking God about this whole dream (or nightmare) thing when I die. What's the purpose? Really? I'd like to know...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oregon Bound!

It's official folks - I'm moving to Oregon!

I've wanted to do this for a long time and finally the timing is right. I haven't nailed down the exact date, but it's looking like mid-June. I've decided on the Salem area for several reasons:

A) It's cheap...well, a lot cheaper than Portland (and Bellingham for that matter)
B) Fun people live there - aka Stephanie E. Almeida
C) It's close to family - Salem is 30 min away from my brother's house in Portland
D) Woodburn Outlets are just a hop, skip and a jump from Salem. I love outlets....

Leaving Bellingham will be hard, but I'm excited for this new adventure

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I just really need to have some positivity in my life right now...what better way to do it than celebrating all that is going RIGHT in my life.

I am so thankful for:
1) Middle School Compass - those kids are amazing. They are dealing with crazy hard things and surviving. They are hillarious also. And even though they can be a lot to handle sometimes, I love getting to see them every Thursday night.
2) Friends - I am super leaning on my friends right now and they are actually amazing. I love that I have their support even when I'm not the best support back. It's nice to know that there are people in my life who will be there for me no matter what.
3) Jesus - For real. Don't know what I'd do without him in my life.
4) A Job - Okay, so I don't exactly have my dream job right now, but I'm thankful that I at least have a steady income because I know there are so many people right now who are struggling just to survive
5) Health - I'm alive and I'm (at least fairly) healthy. Can't take that for granted. I'm glad I can move and do active things (within reason). I'm working on this a lot lately and it feels really good.

I'm sure there are many more things I could list, but this is a start...

Feeling Bloggy

I think blogging comes in waves and I'm starting to get that itch to post some word vomit. I hate when people say word vomit. Don't you? Ah, well, it's just as well. I will be making an effort to blog more...simply for my own well being. Read if you wish.