‘Ocian in view; O! the joy….’

Once I figure out how to do a photo blog type post on here, I will post one covering my trip to the Oregon coast last weekend. The small bit of the Oregon coast that I visisted was far, far more amazing than any bit of the Atlantic coast that I’ve ever visited. I think I’m in love.

In the meantime, you all can browse my flickr stream or if I know you on facebook, you can see some of the photos there, too.

Happy Monday! Woo!

Debt free in five years or less?

I had this crazy idea that I’d be able to move across the continent AND pay off my credit cards all in one year. It’s a nice idea, right? But I don’t think it’s actually likely to happen considering that we’ve only six months of 2008 left.

I did some playing around with this debt payoff calculator tonight, though and with some conservative estimating at how much I can throw at my debts (for example, I’m not taking into account my monthly bonus from the hotel since that’s not a given; also, one of my credit cards has a flexible interest rate based on what percentage of your debt you pay each month and there’s no real way to take that into account using this calculator), I could be debt free in five years including my student loans! Let me say that again: INCLUDING MY STUDENT LOANS!

That would rock quite a lot, I think. Of course, that implies that I stop using my credit cards completely which, I’ll be honest, is very unlikely to happen. However, I also know that I have much better self-control over when to use my credit cards for things than other people do. The last time that I used one was when I needed to buy a new pair of work shoes and I’d only just started working here and my cash flow was pretty minimal.

Anyway, this makes me happy. Even just looking at my credit cards, it’s likely going to take me closer to two years to pay them off rather than six months. But, even still, it’s nice to have a plan of attack.

Five year plans are good. They worked for the Soviets, right?

Snowball away!

Bowl full of cherries

It’s berry season here in Oregon. And, yes, I’m aware that cherries are not berries even if they rhyme, but it also happens to be late cherry season. And I just ate a bowl full of Oregon cherries while watching the Ice Storm. Well, I also ate a bowl full of some delicious briyani that I made tonight for dinner.

My roommates have been away for most of the week so it’s just been me and the dogs doing a lot of hanging out. They’ve been a bit rambunctious and I can’t really blame them because I probably would be too if I were cooped up in a kitchen all day and didn’t have opposable thumbs that I could use to cook things. Other than that, though, they’ve been pretty good. I rather enjoy my roommates dogs.

This post isn’t about them, though. It’s about me. Well, not entirely.

As you will recall, I was stood up last Saturday night by the boy I’ve been seeing for the past six weeks or so. When I finally called him on Tuesday and pointed this out to him, he seemed genuinely surprised and begged that he had honestly forgotten that we were supposed to go out Saturday. As to why he didn’t respond to my texts, he had nothing to say.

He asked if there was any way that he could make it up to me and I, being a nice guy—or being a sucker, I haven’t decided which, said yes. Friday seemed to be the night that would work best for both of us so we made plans to meet up after he finished up with a work thing that he had to go to at 5. I figured 7 or 8, though we didn’t set a definite time. 830 rolled around and still no sign of him so I went out for some food and drink with my book and thought maybe I’d hear from him while out. I came home and not long after started getting ready for bed when a little after 10 my phone rang and it was him.

I screened and in his voice mail he said that he was just leaving the work thing and that he and some friends were going to get something to eat and he wanted to know if I’d like to join them. After debating for about 10 minutes whether to even listen to the message I did and then went upstairs to brush my teeth.

My phone rang again. An update in plans about where they were headed for food and a reminder of what his phone number was.

Now, I’m actually not all that angry. I am but not a lot. More than anything I’m just frustrated that I can’t seem to find a mature guy who has his shit together and can handle something that lasts longer than a few weeks. This technically made it to six but even still that’s not very long.

I guess I could go spit cherry pits at him but that probably isn’t going to be a good indicator of my own maturity level.

But, as I mentioned above, I just ate a bowl full of cherries and now I’m left with a bowl full of pits and I’ve got to do something with them.

The Ice Storm

If you’ve not seen this film, YOU MUST SEE IT!

I’m not sure how I managed to miss it.

Okay, granted, it’s 11 years old now, which means that it came out when I was either a freshman or a sophomore in high school. But it’s the kind of film that I would have imagined that I would have picked up sooner rather than later or come across. It’s been on my list for a little while and I noticed that Criterion has relased an edition of it, which means that it must be pretty good so I picked it up when I noticed it on the new arrival wall at Videorama.

Wow. It was simply amazing.

And not just because Kevin Kline is shirtless a lot in it.

It’s really a very simple story about an ordinary family in the early 1970s. Thanksgiving 1973 to be specific. And the family isn’t working too well, at least, the parents aren’t. The kids, as seemingly messed up as the film tries to suggest that they are, I think come across as the most psychologically okay characters in the film.

I don’t want to delve too much into plot details since I knew very little about the plot going in and I think that even if I were to give a full synopsis, it wouldn’t strike you as much of anything worthwhile. In fact, maybe that’s why I never got around to seeing it. It sounded like a pretty ho-hum story. And, to a certain extent, it is. But that’s one of the things that makes it such an amazing film.

Oh, and the cast. Kevin Kline, as I mentioned, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Chirstina Ricci, Tobey Maguire, Elijah Wood (there was a scene with him playing flag football and part of me wanted to yell ‘GET THE RING!’ but I didn’t). Katie Holmes has a small part, too.

I wish it weren’t due back tomorrow because I’m sure I’d watch it again. Perhaps I’ll just have to add it to the library at some point soon.

Quick moving update.

So…one of my roommates clients has a house that she has been using as a rental that she wants to sell and has offered it to my roommate and her husband as a rent-to-buy situation. It’s an adorable little house and a fantastic opportunity for them. And they still want me to live with them.

Except that the house is in nowhere that is in any way convenient for me to live unless I were to buy a car and that’s really not something that I want to do considering how expensive gas is, never mind the fact that I right now am paying $65 a month for my bus pass and don’t particularly want to quadruple that amount just to pay for gas, never mind insurance.

Um, so, yeah.

I’m also angry with the boy that I’ve been seeing because we were maybe going to go out Friday night and were pretty definitely going to go out last night except that he never called or responded to my texts until this morning when he phoned to say that he was really hung over and was wondering how I was doing since it’d been a couple of days since we’d last spoken.

Good thing this arrived in a box from Maine a few days ago.

Moving. Again.

Yes. It’s true. I’m going to be moving. Again. Probably not until September, though.

We found out today that our landlord wants to move back into the house, which means that we have to go, which is sad for us. Especially considering all of the work that my roommates have put into the back yard! (I’ll post some pictures at some point.)

But, we don’t have to move until September. And, actually, we might already have a lead on a place.

The good news is, though, that even though I’ve only been living with them for two months, my roommates want to continue living together, which makes me happy because I want to keep living with them too!

More info as it comes in. Plus, I’ve got a couple of longer posts that are germinating in my mind right now. One of them is about how someone tried to order a caramel macchiato at my coffee shop yesterday and the confused look I gave them.

It’s probably going to incorporate some stuff from an essay that I started writing a while ago about the importance of customer education in specialty coffee/third-wave espresso. It’ll probably meander a bit into why I think being a snob can sometimes be a good thing, too. But it’s still just a germinating seed right now. I’ll see if I have time over the next week to write it out and get it ready to put up on the page.