so long flag store, hello state police!

so i ended my temp. worker career with hugs from all the folks at the flag store. i think that's a good sign. i am going to miss those guys quite a bit. it was a weird job, that i never would have expected liking, but at the end it was the best temp job i've had.

when i got my degree i promised jessamyn that i wouldn't marry a cop, and i promised jade that i wouldn't become a cop. i still vouch for these thing, but lets face it... this new job is skating pretty close to breaking my word.

in the mean time, i am spending this weekend getting ready. i chopped off four inches of hair for a more professional look, ordered a refill for my day planner, got the oil changed in the grannymobile, and i bought a smaller courier bag to appease my doctor and my back... oh, and i am accomplishing all of this after having thrown out my back on friday. i can't bend over and i am sucking down advil like candy.

tomorrow should be interesting!


krispy kreme=casa highland??

today i saw a young boy poo on the floor at krispy kreme in medford. okay, i didn't exactly see him poo on the floor. i saw him standing above a pile of poo on the floor. and i don't mean a little turd. i mean a huge pile of poo. he looked really embarrassed. i must have poo-on-the-floor karma because it was just like being at home when trixie can't quite make it to the box. or like working at the sharegroup during the reign of the mad crapper.

oh poo. why must you plague me?


i hope to join the portuguese credit union

as you know, kate just scored a job with the state of massachusetts. along with her job, she gets to bank with a credit union. it occurred to me that maybe a credit union would be a better place to go than a bank. apparently you can get individually tailored financial management advice, and i really like the community aspect of credit unions. they are not out to make a buck off their customers - all profits are given back to the shareholders (the members), and they are dedicated to improving the financial state of their members. i have a hard time managing my finances: i see a big balance on pay day, and i'm out to dinner, buying drinks, and spending - i hope this can help me be a more conscious saver.

last week i met a realtor at a housewarming, and we were talking about the market. i have always thought you needed $30,000 to put a down payment on a house, but it turns out you can get by with as little as $8,000. she pointed out that at 26, if i start saving a little each month, it is entirely feasible to purchase a house in my early thirties. i had always thought i would have somebody to do this stuff with - like a partner. but watching kate own her own home, and with friends beginning to take charge of projects like home-buying, i think it's something i should start preparing for on my own. this is a goal that i have, and in pursuit of that goal, i need to get my ass into better financial shape. [my ass could also be in better shape in general, but that requires more trips to the gym - haha.]

so, in hopes of a membership at the cambridge portuguese credit union , i thought i would do a little research on the language itself.

turns out that in addition to being spoken in cape verde, brazil and portugal, it is also spoken in east timor, mozambique, angola, and other countries all over the world.

did you know that because brazil has such a large population, portuguese is actually the most spoken language in south america?! i had no idea, and i learned more about geography as well. i'm one of those horrid statistics who has a hard time with identifying other countries.

in honor of portuguese speaking people, and the casa's ties to the flag business, i thought i would post the flags of some of these countries:
portugalangolaeast timor
cape verdebrazil

i hope that i can join the CPCU. i can't do this $35 balance bullshit anymore; i'm 26 and it's time to start behaving like a semi-adult.

edit: i am still working on this. apparently i need a portuguese speaking friend to sign me in. hmmmm..... are you portuguese? email me!


it's official...

yup, folks, it's finally official. starting on Monday, August 1st, i will have a new job. a real job. a job with benefits. a job with *state* benefits no less.

in all honesty, this last week it really started looking like it wasn't going to happen. the background check, done by the state police, was the most intensive i have ever been through. one would have thought i was interviewing for the CIA, or the DEA, or some job that required a gun. but no, for a mid-level administrative job, they noodled all the way back to my teenage years to find any indiscretions. when they did find them, and they did, they grilled me unmercifully. it was a little like being interrogated for a heinous crime. it left me feeling attacked and defensive and yet totally unapologetic. it left me feeling like they could take this job and shove it.

but i calmed down. and i remembered all the reasons i wanted this job in the first place. and i got over it.

i am still a little trepidacious about the whole thing. i am moving into one of the most conservative factions of state government. i will have to stop cursing mitt romney and start keeping a lot of my opinions to myself. for a while at least ;)

thanks to all who gave me support during my very very long unemployment.


Whats more boring than the

Whats more boring than the flag store? Working at the flag store when the computers are down!


penelope is a year old

and to celebrate, i had a small ladies cupcakes and tea party. christina made cupcakes, iced tea and iced coffee, and i whipped up some icing. we got the necessary party accoutrements: hats, streamers and a birthday banner to make the casa a little more festive.

penelope was less than interested in partying, preferring to hide under my bed or under her fleecey blanket on my bed. we brought her out to meet everyone, but it was clear she preferred to enjoy the festivities from a safe distance.

i hope everyone enjoyed themselves - a few close friends from SCUL and other parts of life decorated cupcakes and sat around chatting. penelope got some dope gifts as well: hair clips to play with, a new leash and harness for the front porch, gourmet cat food, and an awesome new toy! overall, a lovely evening.

the set-upless chit-chat, more cupcakes!
me & the birthday girlthe set up


drug testing...

many of you know that i am in the final steps of getting approved for a state job. i have a provisional offer of employment, that is contingent upon me passing a background check and a drug test. i am not going to post the details here, but it's a job i am very excited about. email me if you want info. the background check is in the works, and yesterday i went in for my drug screening.

specimen cupi had to go to this swanky health place and give a urine sample. while i was happy to learn that the did not have to actually watch me pee, i was a little surprised to find that the whole thing was timed. it's like taking the urine SAT's. "okay, aaaaaaaaand TIME. pencils down pass your exam books to the front". once they peel off the seal on the specimen cup, you have four minutes.

four minutes.

while this seems like an exorbitantly long time to pee, it goes by quickly. my bladder does not respond well to pressure, and knowing the clock is ticking just makes it clench up and mutiny against the plastic cup. meanwhile i know the nurse outside the door is anxious to finish this, so that he can get to the red sox game. more pressure.

it was a long four minutes, but i eventually won out over my stubborn bladder and completed the drug test. the results take 48 hours, and then the first hurdle will be over.

for the second hurdle, i am going in for a background interview, and to get fingerprinted, at 6:30 monday morning. that's a little early in the morning to be charming. i think i will just have to settle for "awake enough to drive there and not drool".


tales from the flag store...

huge rack o' flagsso i have now been here three weeks at the flag store. i manage the retail section, deal with the customers, and do general administrative work. all told, i have probably sold almost $10,000 worth of flags. that's a lot of flags. and i have learned a lot here, some useful, most not so useful. dealing with the people is interesting. some samplings of conversation from the shop:

customer: "am i going to get arrested if i fly only a state flag and a corporate flag, but no U. S. flag? I hear there are laws about that"
answer: no. while it is considered poor etiquette, it is certainly not illegal.

customer: "my flag has been up for only two years and it's starting to fray. is that the average life expectancy of a flag?"
answer: no. the government states that the average life expectancy of an outdoor flag is 90 days. that's 90 days assuming that you treat it correctly by taking it down every night and during inclement weather. if you don't do those things, the life expectancy is shorter. if you got 2.5 years out of your flag, it's a miracle.

customer: "my neighbor has a really tattered flag flying in his front yard. it's a disgrace! can i call the cops on him?"
answer: no. the cops don't care. there are, however, civic organizations that will go harass the flag owner for you.

customer: "it's fucking disgusting that you carry the iraq flag! anybody who buys that piece of shit for anything other than burning it should be fucking arrested!"
answer: ~silence~

it's like that all day around here. weird flag questions, which i have now learned the answers to. i think the rest of casa highland might be getting a wee bit sick of my flag knowledge...


it seems like a lot of death lately.

i don't know what it is about this year, but there have been so many deaths of bicyclists. i've personally known one - ariel / pigpen, and although she was not killed on her bike, that really affected me in a reality sense.

but in new york, and in boston (kirsten malone), cyclists seem to be on the receiving end of bodily harm more frequently. today, keith alexander died in NYC. no car was involved in his death.

that's the fifth or so death in recent memory - like, since january. and in those accidents where cars are involved, nobody has been charged. how does one hit a cyclist - literally run them over - and then continue on, not noticing. the police? "no charges have been filed". if a vehicle runs over a pedestrian, charges are filed - but if it's a bicyclist, it seems far less likely.

i've had a couple close calls this year: people just don't pay attention, they're too busy rushing around and talking on the cell. even in pedestrians i sense a "me first" mentality - screw the other guy, i'm in a rush and need to get where i'm going. is it people in general? i just feel like there is so much selfishness permeating our culture - maybe even the world. is there some way to combat this that we haven't yet discovered? what can be done? does anybody care?

i haven't been wearing a helmet like i should. i had one and lost it, but i'm buying another one this week. wear helmets. try to be safe. take care of yourself, and have consideration for others. these are things i need to remember.

so, RIP. you will all be missed.

brandie baileykeith alexanderkirsten malone



my pottery teacher says i have "strong hands" and that i should work with larger chunks of clay rather than smaller. i think that's a euphemism for "kathryn is incapable of being gentle and cautious", but i'm not sure. i've been scolded for trying to go too fast, and i cannot wait to glaze my other pieces. i wouldn't be so eager if i wasn't worried time was flying past. we've already had four classes - it's like i'm crossing the rubicon of pottery class or something.

also, i'm definitely the messiest student in class. totally covered in clay - last week kate picked some out of my hair. but whatever. i made some nice bowls and a flowerpot last night, and i glazed my ashtray!


a weekend of bikes

so, this weekend continued the 'summer of fun' theme pretty well. friday night i pedaled out to a housewarming party in roxbury.

on the way there, i paused to ask a guy on the street where i could find a liquor store. he directed me two blocks away and two blocks down, and then paused: "but, you know, it's not a white neighborhood..." i didn't know how to respond, he looked amused [it's important to note that he was a black man]. i nodded and said "i'm ok with that". he laughed and said good luck, and i headed off down shawmut to the "two brothers liquor store", right next to the "black men's club". i guess black folks worry about / don't want white folks in their neighborhoods. just like white folks can be assholes about black folks in 'their' neighborhoods.

i don't know; race relations are really strange sometimes and i wonder if we'll ever all get settled with each other. i actually gave that interaction a lot of thought - and you know, i have friends who would have opted for a liquor store somewhere else in a white neighborhood. god life is weird sometimes.

anyhow, nutshell: the party friday was fun, and i got pretty totalled. i was described as being in "rare form" when i showed up at the middle east later in the night.

saturday christina and i went to another housewarming barbecue, and i rode with SCUL on saturnight. it was my first mission this season, and my ship, TrezBonz was a little too big for me. i couldn't get it started going uphill, and almost ended up in tears at one point. i'm glad i stuck with it, and riding that beastie proved important the next day during girl's ride.

oppo and gluteus maximus and i went on a 25-ish mile ride. and skinny dipping in the cambridge reservoir. and then we ate at friendly's. there was only one hill i couldn't make it up, and for those hills i did conquer, i just kept reminding myself of how much 'easier' this was than riding trezbonz and that if i did a 10 mile ride on that, i could certainly do 25 on my own fixed gear.

sunday, i had erika and carrie over for some tasty barbecue. we had a nice time sitting on the porch and catching up. i then headed to teele square for a game of kickball with my dear friend cobi and her girlfriend's co-workers from darwin's. we ate some redbones ribs, then i did some weeding at the casa before biking over to watch fireworks with becky, pete and alex on the mass ave bridge. we ran into some SCUL pilots, had a good time, went to charlie's, and finally, home.