We arrived in Seattle. I forgot to mention that we sold Steve's old Festiva to his brother before we left Memphis. We were told we didn't need a car in Seattle, which was true. Good thing we didn't bring a car because our apartment neglected to mention there was no parking for tenants. We spent the first few days exploring the neighborhood, finding our way around on the bus and shopping (groceries and stuff for the apartment). We had a studio apartment which was small - just one room plus kitchen, closet and bathroom.
On the 4th of July people in the coffee shop asked us if we were going to see the fireworks. They said we could just follow the crowd and head down the hill. They meant to Gasworks Park, but we hadn't explored the area enough to know where we were going. We were too tired anyway. After dark, we began to see fireworks out our window. We had a great view of both shows - the close one at Gasworks and the far one in the Bay. This became our 4th of July tradition. No crowds and when the show is over, we stand up and are already home.
We went up to Vancouver, BC for a big family visit. This is me with all three of my sisters. Our Dad and M-. surprised us by showing up. Sister L. said they wanted to crash our reunion.
We loved Vancouver. This is me on the beach.
Steve on the beach. We loved it out there. Loved it.
Here we are on the Cloud Nine ship, taking a break from duty on the Battlestar: Galactica.
After our visit to Vancouver, we went back to Seattle and began jobhunting. Steve got a job at the Seattle's Best Coffee right downstairs from where we lived. People were big tippers in Seattle. His daily tips averaged $20.00 so he would often get his tips and then head to the grocery store across the street to get dinner. We went down to the Market for fresh salmon a few times, but then the guy at the seafood counter at QFC said they get their fish from the same place everyone else does, so we only bought it there. We loved all the fresh seafood. Our favorite dinner was a nice piece of salmon or halibut, a fresh vegetable like asparagus or baby bok choy, and a tiny handful of Dungeness crabmeat that we would heat up in butter.
I went on a lot of job interviews. Several were promising but they were taking too long. Our money cushion was running out. I had a good interview at a PR firm. I didn't even know what PR firms did (they call media outlets and try to convince them to run a story about whatever their clients are doing). I interviewed at several new "dot-coms" and often was confused about what their business even was. One place was decorated in funky art and the 20-something who interviewed me said she was just hired but was already moving into a different position. Somehow they would allow you to buy something on the internet and pay for it via your phone bill. I interviewed at Deloitte & Touche (back when they were still & Touche). The partner I interviewed with said I reminded him of his old assistant whom he thought 'walked on water' according to the office manager. But she wouldn't make me an offer until I could meet with all of the Admin Assistants to make sure I would fit in with all of them. It sounded like the Tribunal of Admin Assistants from Dilbert. The job I ended up taking, which I didn't really want, was at a real estate investment company. When the boss guy called to offer me the job, I said I'd like to think about it. I called the PR firm who had yet to check my references. I called Deloitte but they still had to schedule the Tribunal. So I took the job.
This was the worst job I ever had. I barely lasted a month. It was a very small office. The Guys were all sales guys who bought real estate that was in trouble and about to be foreclosed; they then sold parts of it as investment income to buyers, so as the in-trouble owners paid the money went to the investors. I think - it all confused me. The Girls were all the staff. There were just seven of us. The woman who had my job left just weeks before when the owner left to start another office (or something like that) and she went with him, not telling anyone she was leaving. The woman training me, Michelle, barely understood the job. One woman handled all the actual buying and selling paperwork and she was a piece of work, always getting in my face when I made a mistake. The job training went something like this: Okay, for this type of transaction, do A, B then C. Oh, but if it's this, then do this. Wait, if it's this, then do this. There were so many exceptions I named my handbook the AFE Handbook, for Another Fucking Exception. Which the boss guy thought was hysterical. The main accounting woman also got in my face for mistakes. I just couldn't take it. One morning after being yelled at - again - for something Michelle forgot to tell me - again - I just walked out, walked across the street to a payphone (before cellphone!) and called the employment agency I had been working with and asked if they had anything. They had a Legal Secretary position. I interviewed, got the job, and gave about a week and a half's notice so my last day would be the end of a pay period. When I told boss guy I was leaving, he said, "Well, shit! Does Michelle know?" He did take us out for a nice dinner on my last day.
I started at the law firm, which was on the 54th floor of a building downtown. We had great views. From my desk I could watch the sun set on the Cascade Mountains. This was taken from up there:
The job was okay. Still a Shit Office Job. The attorney I worked for was kind of a Jackass. He was oblivious most of the time, barely saying hello, often walking in and right past my desk without speaking. Once I rode down in the elevator with him and he didn't even acknowledge my presence. His paralegal did most of his work and I mainly worked with her. We became friends and often hung out together. She made probably twice my salary so she often treated us to Starbucks, or lunch out. Or she would give me money to run downstairs to our Starbucks, saying, "You fly! I'll buy!"
This is the curios cabinet full of stuff for my sister L.'s 50th birthday. The back of each section is lined with family photos. At the bottom that is a beaded cityscape of Vancouver. The Motherhood figure is in the top section.
Us at sister L.'s in Vancouver, Christmas of 2000.