Tuesday, 31 March 2009


It happens every time something big is going on in my life. I get sick. It's as if my body can't handle what my mind dreams up for myself. And so it is with this move to DC. As soon as all of the big tasks are out of the way and I can relax a bit my immune systems also relaxes and I am now feeling the effects: congestion, headache, body aches, sneezing, watery eyes, chills etc.

I left work a bit early yesterday because I just couldn't handle being in the land of the living any longer. I went straight to the grocery store to get drugs, and once I took the drugs and changed into something warmer and more comfortable, Tim wrapped me up as seen below:

You can't really see me here, but I'm squished between the two air mattresses over there in the corner.

A little closer, but still hiding

There I am. Looking my best.

Our thermometer is on its way to DC, so I don't know if I actually have a fever, but the fact that I have chills and am freezing when everyone else thinks the room is too warm makes me think that I am feverish. I really wish my body would cooperate.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Beginning of the End

Toward the end of last week my parents and younger brother came to visit and help us finish moving things out and cleaning. What a huge help! We had a lot of fun just laying around (literally, since we don't have any furniture in our place), playing cards, eating out (no kitchen-wares either), playing tennis and chatting. My mom was invaluable in the cleaning process, and my dad and brother helped a great deal with moving everything out and cleaning the cars in preparation for delivery to Tim's folks.

Laying around in our empty apartment...

Saying goodbye to my folks and Daniel just before they left
and took one of our cars to Eastern Oregon for us

Again with my parents and Timmy

We also had dinner with some ex-coworkers on Saturday and Sunday to say farewell and Tim's best friend Josh came to visit last night.

Dinner with Josh and my ex-coworker Randy and his wife Jen at The Lucky Noodle - yummy!

And I went to dessert at Nib here in Eugene with girl friends this weekend too:

This is what sugar does to us!

Our yummy "Chocolate at Three Temperatures"

Oh, and we also had an impromptu sleep-over on Saturday at our house with air mattresses scattered throughout our otherwise empty living room and movies projected on our bare walls. You might think this is juvenile or sick, but it was good clean late-night fun!

With the lighting you can't really see the movie on the wall... but it's there.

A pretty enjoyable way to begin saying farewell to Oregon and hello to our new adventure on the other side of the country!

Friday, 27 March 2009

SF (a follow-up)

Some of you may have noted that "Gil" from Smart Furniture commented on my post regarding their website. He wrote:
Hey, Kendra -

Thanks for the shout-out about Smart Furniture! Congrats on the new apartment, and we hope that you can find something that goes well with your space. At any rate, if you need any assistance finding anything or figuring out what can fit in your space, give us a buzz and we'd be happy to help!

We totally dig the duck hamper... wanna trade for some Smart Furniture swag? At any rate, if you wouldn't mind sending us a note about where we could send you a little housewarming gift, let me know.

Thanks again! -Gil @ SF

When I saw Gil's comment this morning, I was shocked. What kind of company cares to thank you for mentioning their website on your blog? And then offers you a housewarming gift for doing so. I mean, that's just unheard-of! At first I thought it was a scam, but I followed up with a "contact-us" form on the Smart Furniture website anyway (what can I say, I'm a sucker for housewarming gifts). I got this response from Gil:
Kendra -

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, and congrats again on your new place! We'll put a little something together for you and Tim so we can send it out around the time that you guys are all moved in and settled.

Have a great weekend.

I'm officially sold on Smart Furniture. A walking advertisement, that's me. I mean, I suppose it could still be a scam, but I highly doubt it. I think I've finally just come across a company who really knows how to treat customers (and even potential customers) very well.

Kudos, SF! (can I call you SF?)

Where the Wild Things Are

I loved the book "Where the Wild Things Are" when I was a kid. Apparently they are making it into a movie?

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Smart Furniture

I recently discovered smartfurniture.com, and what a great discovery it is! The following are just a few must-haves for our new apartment, where space will be sparse.
Two-foot tall storage module. Perfect for the bathroom!

Sleek, concealed bookshelves

This display tower could be good in any space, but I'm thinking living room.

Leather hamper - a perfect replacement for the duck design we currently have (see below).

When everything you have is on display, even the clothes hamper needs special consideration.

Sweet design for a coat rack!

Entry-area organization at its best


Saturday we loaded two thirds of our belongings into a horse trailer and pick-up and sent them off to Haines, Oregon with Tim's mom. Tuesday the moving company came and loaded everything else to transport to DC. What's left is an apartment full of echoes.

First-time experiences, like our moving across the country, tend to produce SNAFUs which, at the time, can be funny at best or panic-inducing at worst. Here are just a couple of our own memory-making moving SNAFUs.

1) Being a control freak, and not having much control over much of this moving situation, I meticulously planned out my wardrobe for the week between sending everything off with the movers and flying out to DC. I hand-picked each outfit, down to the socks and underwear. I kept just the right number of items, and the perfect type of outfit for each day we have remaining in Eugene. Apparently, Tim had done the same, though probably not as meticulously. Unfortunately, we both left all of our undergarments in the dresser which is now on its way to DC in the moving truck. Replacing socks, underwear, and sport bra (for tennis with my family): $77.

2) For The Move, the company we contracted to transport our belongings across the country apparently hires out their jobs. A company called "Best West Movers" showed up to load our things and demanded that we pay 60% of our remaining balance plus packing costs to them in order for them to load the truck. This was not what we agreed to, but being in desperate need of their service and with no other recourse we wrote them a check. I was not pleased that we had been given the run-around, however, so I called the brokering agent the next day to explain what happened. The agent apologized profusely, saying that there must have been some mix-up and that the check we wrote would be torn up. Demanding justice from the moving company: $278 savings.

3) We arranged to borrow an air mattress for the week from one of Tim's coworkers. When setting up our temporary bed for the first time, however, we realized that it was actually two twin mattresses. On the plus side, they are really nice, comfortable mattresses (as comfortable as an air mattress can be), which is especially good considering my "sneezy-back" issue. Laughing every night at the crack between us: priceless.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Looking Forward

Amid the hubbub of the moving preparations - finding boxes, sorting out what goes and what stays, booking a moving truck, finding affordable airfare, tying up loose ends at work etc. - I am setting my sights on the White House Internship program. I follow the White House blog almost religiously to watch as Obama lives up to his campaign promises. Tonight, as I was working on my application for the internship I checked out the White House Blog and was met with this amusing image:
(The White House North Lawn fountain flows with green water Tuesday, March 17, 2009, in honor of St. Patrick's Day. White House Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

Now, that's a sense of humor!

Aside from looking forward to green St. Patrick's day fountains, I am excited about many aspects of our pending move to Washington. Here are just a few:

1) Peak Cherry Blossom week - check it out! Peak week is April 3rd - 9th. How handy that we will arrive in DC the evening of the 2nd. Just in time! Plus, in a gesture of extravagant hospitality, there will be a parade to welcome us to town!

2) Scaling back on our belongings. We are moving from a large two bedroom apartment, into a studio. Simplifying is going to be so gratifying!

3) Traveling 3,000 miles with a kitty. This is going to be interesting. Timmy doesn't want to have Sophie in the cabin with us for fear of being "those crazy cat people", but I put my foot down and insisted that she's getting her own ticket to fly under the seat in front of me. Have I really turned into the cray cat woman this quickly?

4) The job market in DC! It's got to be one of the few areas of the country not hard-hit by this economic slump. So far I've applied for two administrative jobs - one with the Presidential Protective Service (a branch of the Secret Service) and one with the Department of Labor. I've also applied for a Policy Associate position with the National Immigration Forum, and several entry level jobs with senators. Of course, there's also the White House Internship application which is due Sunday!

5) Living without cars. For a long time I've wished I could live close to functional mass transit so I could live without a car. Now it will be possible.

6) The location of our new apartment - a map is worth how many words?

I'll keep you posted as to the progress of the move and how fully my dreams are fulfilled. :)

Monday, 16 March 2009

Speaking of moving too fast...

In case you haven't heard... Tim and I are moving to Washington, DC in less than three weeks.

Here's how it all happened, for those of you who are interested in "the rest of the story":

As anyone who follows my blog knows, I went to Barack Obama's Inauguration in January. What you may not know is that I came back inspired and with a great desire to move to D.C.! Almost immediately upon my arrival at PDX I was telling Tim about how we were going to sell both of our cars, and scale down on our belongings and move to Washington, DC to live the dream. I was pretty exhausted after delayed flights and a week of very little sleep, but I'm pretty sure Tim's response was something like: "What in the WORLD are you talking about, little miss crazy??"

Once he recovered from the shock, Timmy naturally realized that mine was a good idea. ;) We began discussing how we would make the DC dream a reality. Tim sent his resume out to a couple of Information Technology contacts I had gleaned from friends in DC and I began looking for jobs that were of interest to me. Shortly after Tim had sent out his resumes, we decided that moving immediately was not a very wise decision financially, so we aimed to save money over the summer and look into moving in September. Of course, in an ironic twist, shortly after we renewed our apartment lease through August, Tim got a phone interview with HouseCall IT in DC. Then a week later he had a video conference with the same company. And a week later (last week) he was flying out for a week long interview on The Hill.

Long story short, Tim loved DC and the job and has accepted a Jr. Systems Administrator position with HouseCall starting April 6th! He also nailed down an apartment for us. You can check it out here! We will be living just 5 blocks from the Capitol (where Tim will work, and hopefully where I will work as well), 4 blocks from one Metro stop and 5 blocks from another, and just 4 blocks from my good friend Anna (with whom both Tim and I stayed during our recent visits to DC)! It's right across the street from a park with tennis courts and room to frolic, too!

So, as it turns out, we have sold both of our cars, turned in our 2 weeks notice, and will be moving to DC the first of April - just in time for the peak Cherry Blossom season! A dream come true.

And we both live Happily Ever After!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Slow down, ya move too fast

So, do you wanna hear a funny story? Of course you do! Anything to take your mind off the depressing news about the economy, right?

This morning
I woke up and felt like the cold I had been fighting the last few days had finally gotten better! I was pretty excited about that, thinking - this is great! I'm finally past the worst of it and am back up to full speed! And I rolled out of bed to get in the shower and get ready for work.

I noticed my lower back was feeling a bit funny, but thought it was just the morning kinks. It was right about then that I felt a sneeze coming on. This had been a recurring theme to my cold. I would feel like I was going to sneeze, but I would only get the precursors and none of the relief that an actual sneeze provides. So, in the last couple of days, I have been celebrating full-on sneezes. Therefore, I got a bit excited when this sneeze started building (as excited as one can be through the early morning grogginess). And then I SNEEZE!!!!!!!

But this sneeze is not one to rejoice over like the ones of the last few days. This one shoots serious pain down my lower back and the pain is so intense that I can't stand back up straight.
Instead, I fell to my knees and then realize I couldn't stand back up.

Oh yes, it was THAT pathetic!

I could hardly move! I made it to my phone and called my chiropractor, only to learn from their answering machine that they aren't open on Thursdays. Perfect. On top of that, Tim is out of town so I called my good friend Kristen who graciously got me phone numbers to other chiropractic clinics in town then took me to one on her lunch break.

Yup, I sneezed in the shower and threw my back out so bad that I'm laid up for two days, and had to go to a new chiropractor. The new chiropractor (at The Chiropractic Healing Center) said it seems to just be major muscle spasms, not a bulging disc, which is good! I should be up and running in a couple of days as long as I stay off my feet, use ice/heat therapy and lay in the appropriate positions.

So, it's sad, but it's kinda funny. This silly incident forced me to let my body rest and recover from my cold completely, and take a much needed break from work. So I'm listening to my body and taking it easy. Plus kitty and I are enjoying our time together taking cat naps, reading and blogging...

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Office Before and After

Lately I've been obsessed with Before and Afters. Like this foot stool and this dresser.

So here's one of my own. My office at work, before and after. It's nothing grandiose, and I'd still do a lot more if I had a larger budget and more freedom, but let me know what you think!


View when you walk into the office. I love the hardwood floors, but really nothing else.Looking at my desk from the client perspective. Not a pretty sight.

Another angle on the desk and window. Gotta love that clunky monitor and the fan.

The awesome bead curtain "concealing" the server "closet" that resides in my office.


The view upon walking into the office.

View from my side of the desk.
Note the much nicer monitor and much more concealed server room.

Side of the office.

Client view - looking out the window.
Note, new chair - much more comfy and stylish.

This side of the room is still very cluttered, but I'm not authorized to move those files, so I just added a plant and photos on top in an attempt to distract from the clutter.

New shelf set-up, including a real, live pet fish.
Meet Frederick VII.

Ahhhh, tidy desk with nice set-up.

So, what do you think? Obviously it's FAR from perfect, but it's much more workable now than it was to start with.