apete's apage

A place for me to speak and be heard.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Waiting for Godot

I'm excited for tomorrow. I get to see Waiting for Godot by the Gate Theater from Dublin. I saw the play when UMS had the Gate Theater come through Ann Arbor back in 2000 or so. It was one of the three big events that lead up to me taking my first leave of absence.

How you ask? Well, when I saw Godot, I really took it as a message about my life. I really don't take metaphors from performances too well but the time was right for this one. I saw Godot as being the end. At different times the end either meant death or retirement. I didn't want to be Waiting for Godot which is how I felt by just going to work everyday. I realized I needed to get out of the cycle. I couldn't just go to work everyday forever. It provided the REALIZATION.

The other two influences for me to take my leave of absence were:
  • I received the book, "Six Months Off" which gave me the COURAGE to believe that I could take a leave from work. Honestly, this may be the most influential gift that I've ever gotten. I read it straight through very quickly which is not common for me to do with non-fiction books. It helped me plot on how to get out of work as well as make me feel comfortable with the decision financially both of which were huge hurdles for me.
  • Finally, I received an email requesting volunteers for an archaeological dig in Peru for the summer of 2001 from the University of Michigan Anthropology Undergraduate Newsletter. This provided me with the perfect OPPORTUNITY. A doctoral student at the University of North Carolina was going down to do some field research and was looking for help. It was something that I always wanted to do and I already knew I knew the Andean region.

Things came together very quickly after these events happened and I was off in April 2001 for three months. After I left, I asked for another month and didn't come back to work until September. If these events didn't happen, I wouldn't have gone to grad school either, because I would have been too afraid to ask for time off.

The big question is why am I thinking about this now...is it because "Waiting for Godot" is in town...or could it be that I just started a new job and I am already planning my next temporary escape?

Welcome to Seattle

Welcome to Seattle is right. I've spent the last 5 days wet. I guess I've been blessed with beautiful weather since I've gotten here in August. I guess I can live with the rain but whatever happened to the misty rain that Seattle is supposed to have. There was plenty of actual drops coming down the ENTIRE time.

The one thing that is missing is the cool thunderstorms from the midwest.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Information Acquisition Day

Today was the day that I increased my access to information the most since I have been in Seattle. First, I went down to to the Capitol Hill branch of the Seattle Public Library to get my library card. It was nice to browse the books on CD and see new selections. I had sort of worn out the choices at the AAPL after going through them since 2002 with a long commute. I also finally got internet (I think we are calling it internet now, as opposed to the Internet, aren't we.) from Qwest which fulfills my dreams of not getting anything through Comcast.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Front Door

The Front Door
Originally uploaded by apete.
Well, I have moved in. There isn't much there but it is mine (via the bank.)

Now does anyone want a house in Ann Arbor?

Saturday, September 16, 2006


That may have been the best complete game that I have seen Michigan play in a long time.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Next Monday

Today, I spent about an hour and 15 minutes signing papers to become a new, proud owner of a condo. Yup, I raised enough money to at least get the 5% in. The title doesn't go into effect until Monday after everybody is happy with everything so, I have to wait through the weekend before I move my carload of stuff up there.

Washington's process is a bit different than Michigan's. In Michigan, I got to sit across from the seller and sign all of the documents together and at the end of the session, it was all over. For my last house it was an interesting thing because the guy that I bought my house from was one of those high school teachers that you don't want your kids to have so it made it interesting to me to finally see him for once. Here in Washington, the signings at different times. Hopefully Monday at some point, I will be able to get the keys and start moving in.

I do get my final walkthrough tomorrow so hopefully, everything looks good.

Last Weekend's Crazy Luck

Sunrise at Goat Rocks Wilderness
Originally uploaded by apete.
Well, last weekend I went on my first outdoor adventure. My friend, GJG, and I met up half way between Portland and Seattle in the Goat Rocks National Wilderness. We took a trail that we used using the nifty Northwest Hiker site. We selected the Shoe Lake Trail because it looked fun, it had water, and it was on the Pacific Crest Trail.

It really didn't have much in the way of water except for a few springs at the beginning of the hike and a lake at the end...oh well. We all survived. Another interesting feature was trying to find flat camping ground along the trail to camp on. We weren't allowed to camp in the basin that the lake was in so we had to hike back and with a few scrambles down a few ridges with no luck, we finally found a place that worked just fine.

The coolest thing about the hike was that we inadvertently found a friend of GJG's, Dan, that was a thru-hiker on the PCT. GJG missed meeting him while he was traveling through Portland. He knew that he would be in Washington somewhere and that was about it. We asked the first few thru-hikers about him and after translating that Dan was really Sweatbox on the trail and that he was about 15 miles behind. Armed with the knowledge that Dan=Sweatbox, we asked the next groups of thru-hikers with names such as Nemo, Haiku, and Tree Hugger getting better info. Finally, about 3 miles away from the car as we were leisurely walking back to allow for Sweatbox to catch up, he did. Very cool and lucky. Anyway, he was hiking with Star and Token Civilian. Greg got to catch up and we heard some harrowing stories and then we drove them up to the store for provisions before we took off to watch the exciting end to the 9-6 Seahawks victory over the Lions.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Expansion, Sharpies, V8, Condo Update, and Walking

Today, I got to choose the new layout for my office. The two interns that I was sharing the office with have gone back two school and my office will only have one other person in it! That means I get a bigger desk...I could use a bookshelf too but one step at a time.

I also realized today that the only writing utensils that I had on my desk at one point today were 5 Sharpies...I don't think I've used a Sharpie since I've been here but there were no normal pens or pencils. I really have to start making sure, I come back with all of the writing utensils that I walk off with and not leaving them in other offices.

It is nice having all of the free drinks that I want while I am at work. It sucks having free Coke there all of the time though. I have been trying to wean myself from it though. I have been very successful in the morning. I have been forcing myself to drink a milk, a V8 and at least one other kind of juice. No Coke. It's been working too. I've even started liking V8. I just wish it didn't have so much salt in it. My next step is to start replacing those afternoon Cokes with Talking Rain water. I've been doing ok with that.

As for my condo, things are looking good for closing by the 18th. I get to inspect it on Monday! I am getting excited and nervous. I am looking forward to having a place to call my own. Right now, I am renting a room from a couple of people in my programming class that have a extra room in their apt. It's working out for both of us.

Finally, for you Fitster fans, a few of us, have been keeping track of each others steps on walkertracker.com. It is the best thing that I have seen on the internet and I have been using it for the last two weeks and uploading almost everyday which is saying something! I really like the graphing...which you can do with your 'comrades'. There is also a mapping feature which isn't quite as cool as Fitster would be but you can see where your fellow walkers are. So if you have a pedometer, get out there!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

More on the Condo Purchase Agreement

I forgot to mention a couple of things about the condo purchase agreement in that previous post. I had some fun in negotiating. I really didn't touch the price directly at all but I did get three cool things added that weren't there before.
  • I got my homeowner's dues, which are paid to the condo association each month, waved until 2008 which I think is about $250 a month.
  • I also talked my way into the appliance upgrade which puts all stainless appliances into my unit. I think there was a $6000 pricetag on that one.
  • Finally, the association only allows dogs under 25 lbs in the unit. I had it written into my contract that I could have that waived for the first time. I think it is written in there, '...until the said dog is gone.' It helped that my real estate agent and the woman representing the condo were both dog people.

It was kinda fun and it reminded me that I wanted to take a negotiation class while I was in grad school. I guess I could look at UW for one of those.


WOW! There is a true classic Metallica dad out there somewhere. Srah just passed this link to me. I've seen lots of coverband CDs doing all kinds of stuff including Metallica's own collaboration with SFSO. The song selection was near perfect as well. I was excited to see the lesser known bass solo, Anesthesia, by the late, great Cliff Burton on the disc. I am excited to hear it. I would have replaced 'NEM', 'Sandman' or 'Unforgiven' with 'Horsemen' or 'Seek and Destroy' but then again, I didn't come up with it.

Why I really like this is because it reminded me that a friend of mine, MT, has promised a photo of his first born in the scraps of his faded metallica t-shirt that he purchased at our first Metallica concert in Saginaw, MI way back in February 1993. We've come a long way since then...4 years in the MetClub and 7-8 other shows including Woodstock '94 and a club member only performance in Toronto.

Also, Metallica is now available on iTunes. I can't quite forgive them for their anti-Napster crusade but it is an interesting step.