Thursday, June 11, 2009

Seattle part one: coffee (and donuts)

I meant to post this first thing yesterday morning. But, a job interview at a small start up on Monday, followed by a Disney rejection on Tuesday, then a rejection by the start up on Wednesday (double ouch) and finishing this got pushed down the list as my after Seattle glow flew out the window.

The worst thing was I didn't get the job because I wasn't familiar with Facebook games, which they produce. And for weeks now people have been telling me I should set up a Facebook page. And every time I would say, but I already have four web sites to maintain. How could I know they were actually giving me vital hints from the career gods? But it's not as if I couldn't familiarize myself with Facebook games in a hurry, with a paycheck at stake. It would be like my first job out of college. I was hired to be a Flash animator even though I'd never used Flash in my life. But with all my other skills, they assumed I'd learn the program soon enough. I learned it within a week.

But I'm not resentful. No. Because I watched Oprah today. And she, in that a-ha moment kind of way, said, everything is happening to teach you more of who you are. And, it's always going to be OK. I also did some therapeutic painting, the kind that just comes together on the canvas. I love when that happens. And I am a damn good artist. Damn them. Damn Disney. But now I'm wondering...maybe I am meant to be more of a painter than an animation artist? Maybe. All I need is one really good gallery. Instead of the crappy one representing me right now - which I am grateful for of course. But I must say it doesn't feel like they're trying very hard to sell my work.

And yet I still dream of working for a film or animation company. I dream of working on the kind of film that becomes a classic, a great work of cinematic art. And of being so excited to be working where I work that I can't wait to get there each morning. So maybe I should be glad I didn't get this game job. And I should keep sending out the resumes.

Alright, enough grumpiness. And onto vacation photos. Yeah! I'll start with Top Pot. The day before we went, L. and I had spent an entire day walking all over Seattle, at least eight hours of walking. And the night before, probably because I'd had two large cups of made in Seattle coffee, I didn't get a single wink of sleep. Or it might have been because my body was thinking, Wow, I'm having so much fun! Do I really have to stop just to sleep?

So when we got there I was exhausted. But happy. And I got even happier when I discovered that the gift certificate left for us at the counter was double the amount promised! Thank you Top Pot! Alas, this being Sunday morning, there was no frying going on, thus no smell of freshly made donuts. But the donuts seemed fresh enough all the same. They were also delicious. And the coffee! Oh my God, the coffee... It was so good that just one medium double shot latte was enough to wake me up - and keep me up all day - even after a sleepless night. Could have been the massive intake of sugar as well, I guess. But I'd rather blame it on the coffee.
Of course Seattle had cafes everywhere. On Seneca Street, where our hotel was, we saw a Starbuck's every two blocks. Here's a non Starbuck's at the public market...and a cafe inside a jewelry store! And a very happy cafe owner named Hans who moved to Seattle from Switzerland 50 years ago. And we just had to visit the very first Starbuck's. The lady with the sunglasses and the short hair is the first lady of Taiwan. The blond woman in the black suit is with the US secret service. You can tell by how inconspicuous she is. In fact she, along with two other black suited people standing in front of the cafe in that overly serious way they have is what alerted L. and I to the fact that something interesting might be going on. (Overseas, btw, my sister says you can always tell who the CIA operatives are. Secret they are not, unfortunately.) And they all kept giving us the you better not be terrorists look for taking so many photos. So of course we had to follow them to see where the first lady was going...
To appreciate the gorgeous view (for about two seconds). That's the way to travel, L. and I later joked, with a huge entourage, some to keep the riff raff at a safe distance, some to talk to, and some just to carry your purchases. Nice.


  1. Welcome back! It sounds like you had a good vacation. I'm from the Northwest, but have never spent any time in Seattle...I'm a Portland girl. Ya gotta love all the neighborhood feel of the shops and cafes. It's awesome.

    Sorry about the employment rejection, but if you try to be philosophical about it, you'll find what you're meant to find. At least that's what I keep telling myself!

  2. Love the Seattle pics, Cheryl. Oooh ... so many cafes to choose from! I love cafe life! :-)

    As for the job situation, stay positive and keep your dreams in sight. You will blossom out of all this so much stronger and more vibrant.

    And to any companies out there reading this ... Cheryl is a wonderful talent and a bright spirit. Hire her ... today!!

    Sending you millions of magical moments. xx

  3. Cheryl,
    These pics were worth waiting for.

    Keep your chin up, Disney lost out big time!

    When I get a rejection letter, one without any comments, I file it and make myself believe they didn't even read my manuscript. Because if they had, they would have loved it. Yeah, I'm totally deluded.

  4. Hi Embee, thanks I had a great vacation! And you're from Portland? That's another city I've always wanted to see - for the food, the scenery and Voodoo Donuts.

    I'm keeping my spirits up despite the rejection. My friend L. told me the other day that just because I feel backed into a corner doesn't mean I can't turn around and make my own door. And I do have an art show coming up, and hopefully I'll get into one of the galleries I've approached lately.

    Hi Carol Ann, I love cafe life too! And thank you for your unfailing encouragement. Right now I'm focusing on the paintings I have in the works as well as sending out a steady stream of resumes and artist packets to galleries. I don't know what'll happen in the future, but at least I can enjoy what I do best. And in doing so I can only get better and bring more positive things to me.

    And thank you for all the positive energy you send me! (and to any companies who might hire me!) I so appreciate that and hope I send you as much in kind, love, Cheryl

  5. Hi Helena, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed them. Hopefully it tempts you into visiting Seattle. And yes, Disney doesn't know what they're missing. One day...! Which reminds me, I can't wait to get back to work on my painting!!!

  6. oh those rejection letters are a kick in the gut!!! but maybe something better will come along!

    and getting a good gallery to back you is so hard, but so important. boy, it can make a huge difference!

  7. Well, the unimaginative (!) reason they gave you for not hiring you sounds like nothing to do with your qualifications. Too bad for them, and you are one step closer to find that really great job you are dreaming about.

    Those coffees look so inviting, I'd take one immediately. I find it so interesting that Seattle had this coffee culture already back in the Eighties when we in D.C. had to go to Luigi's Pizzeria downtown to get an espresso (don't even think about asking for a cappuccino!).

  8. Top Pot had me drooling...oh the coffee... I could only imagine it!

    And, yes. I think the Oprah statements are very wise and everything that happens to you will make you who you are and shape what you decide to become... it WILL work out and you will find something you love. I can feel it!

    There used to be a bar here that would give you free drinks when you brought in a rejection letter...

    I can't believe you guys ran into an entourage... you have such great adventures!

  9. Hi Drollgirl, yeah a kick in the butt - I mean gut. Ah well, sign of the times maybe. In any case, there's thousands of galleries out there and I'm going to query each and every one of them until I get into my dream gallery. It'll happen sooner or later...

  10. Hi Merisi, I think you might be right. Maybe it was just an excuse and they didn't like something about me, my work or my working style. Who knows? I don't have the energy to think about it. All I can do is take it as a blessing in disguise. I am meant for better things! I hope.

    Coffee culture - yes, I'm so glad it's more widespread now. It's also too bad the quality of coffee is not the same everywhere. That's what surprised us about Seattle coffee, wherever you went, whether to a hotel restaurant, bar, bakery or cafe, the coffee was always top quality. Makes me realize there's no excuse for bad coffee.

  11. HI Shanster, Top Pot is definitely worth a trip to Seattle. Worth a trip back to Seattle too!

    And Oprah, yeah, she was just what I needed to hear. And thank you for your encouragement! I really appreciate that! I just wish I could feel it too at the moment. Maybe when I get over the disappointment completely. But, then again I figure if I keep the resumes going out at a steady enough rate, it'll happen sooner than I think probably.

    That bar idea sounds great! A real community service. Wonder if any place here does that here...?

  12. "...everything is happening to teach you more of who you are..."
    Childish, but this reminded me of the saying, "I know you are but what am I?"
    It also made me think how important it is for me to know who I want to be...
    Great pictures!

  13. I was born in Seattle and left there when I was young. It symbolizes my life when all was easy and lovely and beautiful. I love Seattle for its trees, green, and water----and for all that coffee. Now, thanks to you I am desperate for a donut.

    I am sorry you didn't get the job if you wanted it but I don't hear that you did. I hear that this interview made you clearer about what you really want and that is a great thing. I am happy for your clarity.

  14. Hi Beth, ha, ha! haven't thought of that one in a while! Who I want to be - that's a great way to put it. Food for thought as I go about my business today. Thanks!

    Hi La Belette Rouge, Seattle yeah! What took me so long to finally visit that wonderful city?

    And, you're so right! I knew the moment I walked into their office that I didn't want to work there. The air felt heavy. No one looked like they were enjoying themselves. This, I could sense, was the sort of work place that slowly sucked the energy out of you. That was my gut feeling. Whether it's true or not I'll never know. Nor do I care to know anymore.

    I know what I want, that job that does not feel like a job, but joyful play. Creating artwork is fun, for goodness sake! And when I find that job I will look back and think, pfft! what was I so worried about!

  15. So, you avoided an overdose of Starbucks? Have nothing against them ... but I must admit a preference for our old type of caf├ęs! I hope they will resist! :-)

    I would like to se a "gallery" of your art somewhere, a special blog or whatever!(Not necessarily Facebook!) :-)

  16. Mmmmm.... good coffee and donuts always make me happy even if I'm surrounded by CIA operatives :)

    "Everything is happening to teach you more of who you are. And, it's always going to be OK."
    This is so true.

    Eventually all the pieces fall into place....until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason.

    And thank you for visiting my blog :)

  17. I'm glad you're still positive about everything. I mean, I love facebook but I only have that and a have 4?? But anyway, the fb games are quite cool!!! I sometimes wonder if there's some type of catch to them that we don't know about.

    Anyway, It's so cool that you followed this lady!! Those people in the suits definitely don't look subtle! It's nice that she doesn't have to carry anything though! I could get used to that!!

  18. Hi Peter, actually we did OD in Starbucks. I mean, we kept running it wherever we went. Though if there had been the choice between Starbucks and an older, European style cafe, we would have gone there instead every time.

    A blog of my work? Well, I'll try to post my work more often than I have been. Thanks for the interest!

    Hi Dutch donut girl, there is something cheering about a fresh donut and a really good cup of coffee. I'm glad we have our Krispee Kremes over here!

    And yes, the more I get out of my own way, the less I overthink things, the more things can fall into place. hard to remember somethings though...

    Hi Yet, Oh!!! I had a feeling fb games were cool! I'll have to check them out one day...

    Yes, being a first lady must be really cool. Sure, you might have to live in a fish bowl but look at what you get in exchange!

  19. What fantastic photos! I love the ones of Taiwan's first lady. Oh those donuts and coffee look sooo good. I'm already thinking I'm going to need that kind of rush for my 5:30 a.m. flight on Saturday. I am not a morning person...


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