Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ducks 42, Oklahoma State 31

I probably won't be able to sleep much tonight.

It's been a great year to be a Duck!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Out and about.

So it's warming up. I got out today, in my own car. Sure the lot is still a mess, but there are is a lot of wet pavement around those big packs of ice and snow, and I didn't turn left at the top of my hill - I have to do that later when I pick up Tom and take his kitties to the vet. It's not pretty, but let's just keep the faith.

Today was the first day I could even fathom getting out. My neighbor's friend came over last night and shovelled the walk we share, which was really nice. I should leave her a note. The roads are pretty much fine, they should be, for God's sake it's 45 degrees out there and raining. Never in my life did I think I would ever say the words "Please let it be 45 and raining!" but here I am.

I think it will be smooth sailing for the rest of 2008, though I have yet to conquer Tom's parking lot or the hilly driveway that leads to the Petsmart where the vet is. Fingers crossed. I am a complete wimp.

So be it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all my readers - all 17 of you!

Well, I got out yesterday. My boss phoned from Lincoln Tower and asked if I wanted to come in to work - we were closed officially, but I jumped at the chance, threw on some clothes and waited for her to come on over. Even with chains on her 4WD Jeep Grand Cherokee her drive in (and ours out) was treacherous. Murray Blvd (Road? I don't know, only lived here most of my life) was nearly impassable, definitely so without chains. Big huge ruts that made changing lanes insanity. Same with Scholls Ferry Road. Huge, foot-deep ruts with hard packed snow and ice in between. My car with chains would have high-centered within 20 feet of my street. She'd change lanes to turn left and we'd go sideways. This happened a few times. But there were tons of cars on the road, all battling it like we were. Insanity. But I was just happy to be out.

Amanda from LT is coming to get me today - she took me home last night and we stopped at 7-11 for some supplies. That put me in a great mood (I remember just after Wilma when Laura and I were scrounging around the Chedraui for their last remaining packs of smokes. It was like that for me, rationing). But it all worked out.

So my ride just called me and I am on my way out to wait for her - this is good. Working is good. Getting out is good. The kitties and I aren't ready to kill each other yet.

No, I won't be able to get up north for Christmas, but what the heck, I probably won't be able to leave my house at all until sometime on Friday. That's cool, I have my little kits, power, and heat. Merry Christmas to you with all of your blessings, too!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day 4: I start to peel my skin off

Okay, not really. But seriously, this is getting just slightly ridiculous. My ride, my poor neighbor Robert (he's "my poor neighbor Robert" because he has to put up with me a little bit, and even a little bit can be a little too much), was trapped across town for the weekend so my options on getting to work were nil. So of course I flipped out muchly and harassed my boss, Whitney (whose desk I was supposed to be covering) and the branch manager of Main Escrow all morning. Because I couldn't get there, I have to take the time out of my PTO, and that's cool, I don't care about that, I just care that apparently EVERY PERSON IN MY COMPANY was able to get in to work but me. That's probably not exactly true, but I was flipping out so you can see where I wouldn't be rational.

Anyway, they closed the offices at 12n yesterday, and told us to check in this morning at 6am to see if we would be open today. I am up and showered by then anyway, so the good news is I am clean. The bad news is we are closed today (which really is good news, except that I haven't left this condo since Saturday). I guess it's bad news if you figure that if we were OPEN, there might be a faint glimmer of hope that someone could venture out in their chained up 4WD and get me out of here. Plus I have 17 cigarettes left. That's probably good news. But not really.

So yesterday morning when I trudged out to find that neighbor Robert was not in the 'hood I measured a foot of snow. Did I mention I don't own boots? I should mention that. Anyway, none of the cars in my general looking-out-the-window area have moved since Sunday at least. I really want to get my hands on the by-laws of this condo association - apparently they pay almost $200 a month in fees and yet not one bit of snow has been cleared. Isn't it safe to assume that would be part of the gig?

Okay. Enough of that. It's Christmas. My friend Lynda W. sent this to me via Facebook and I thought I would share it because it is quite fun and festive. You enjoy this video, and I'll go back to slowly losing my mind.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

For the love of God please make it warm the hell up.

So I cleaned the litter box and put on the closest thing I have to winter shoes to take the kittymess to the dumpster, made it about 5 feet out my front door, sunk in the many inches of snow (like 6, that's "many") and then slipped around a bit. Turned around, left the kittymess on the front stoop and came on back inside.

These are outside my back window and slider.

The law enforcement agencies aren't letting anyone out without chains (like I would have tried) and roads are closed and I'm going stir crazy. I am also out of facon. I love that shit. And though it's not like I would have any more of it today, or even for the rest of the work week, I'm out of it so I'm a little stressed out.

To prove to you all that it isn't just me, take a look at Jackie in PDX's blog and get another perspective from across the river. She even missed her hair appointment. That would have sent me right over the edge.

Well, it's about time to start flipping out about getting to and from work tomorrow, so I guess I better get started on that.

I am SO. DONE. with this whole situation.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cabin fever (obviously) setting in

Well good morning. Shall I recap my work week? Okay, I will.

- Monday morning, sideways sliding and jackassery abounding as I desperatly and quite unsuccessfully attempt to get out of my neighborhood and drive to work in Hillsboro. Call Nicky, she picks me up and drives me to work in Lincoln Tower in her 50-ton Ford Explorer. Cover Rita in Hillsboro from LT.

- Tuesday morning Nicky comes to get me again. Cover Rita in Hillsboro from LT.

- Wednesday morning, Nicky again. I am supposed to be working downtown at the KOIN, learning some new responsibilities, but one of the LT units needs me so I stay in LT.

- Thursday morning, it has warmed up some and the hill out of my neighborhood is manageable. I drive myself to the KOIN and cover Sheree all day.

- Friday morning, can't get out of my complex let alone attempt the hill. Harass my neighbor who also works for my company at the KOIN into driving me to work. He has a pickup and drives like a champ, although we did slide around like crazy through Hillsdale and at one point at the Starbucks I was sure the truck was just going to go sliding down the hill and into the Lexus parked a few spots down. He likes coffee. Thank God. The title department had a little holiday cheer meetup after work, so my neighbor could not take me home so my brother in law Jim came to get me. Streets in downtown Portland and all the way home at this point were fine. We stopped for a couple on the way home, and by the time we left it was snowing again.

So as you can see, I have been lucky enough to have people who can tolerate me enough to drive my happy ass all over hell and gone so I don't lose my job. Plus they have better cars than me. Or nerves. Maybe both. Probably both.

So this morning as I peer out my window, it is of course all snowy in the parking lot. The prediction is another flipping storm later today, into tomorrow and tomorrow night. I should go to the supermarket. I should be showered. But I don't want to. I am on edge just thinking about it. There's probably like 3 inches on the ground out there, and though right now it isn't snowing, this being Portland, I am imagining that that snow is covering ice. Fa la la la la.

Let me tell you a little story. A long time ago, in another life, I lived in sunny Southern California with a Yucateco who had never lived anywhere besides Santa Ana and Merida. But he loved his Cleveland Browns, and I was sick of it taking 45 minutes to drive a mile and a half and waiting for an hour in the express lane of the supermarket. So I devised a plan to convince him to move to Cleveland. And we did. In August. The first snow was scary. The second and third ones, too. But we learned right away that what cities that have constant snow in the winter do is prepare for it. Like salt the roads. And plow. Hey! Plow? Wow, what an idea... so like, you mean, move the snow off the road so you can get around? That's a GREAT idea!

Pretty soon, living in greater Cleveland as we did, snow was no big deal. You always counted on the roads to be taken care of. It was cold, and we bitched about it, but it was never a feeling of, "Oh good God will I make it to work today?" Never. Biggest worry was keeping track of your gloves.

I moved away from Cleveland, and came back here to Portland, and when it snowed the first time here, it was no big deal to me because I had been driving in snow for five winters. But our snow here is rare (or at least it was, jeez, sometimes I wake up thinking, when did I move to flipping Iowa?), and there is usually ice underneath it, and we're so environmentally conscious that we don't use salt for the roads, and we don't plow. So, you know, we're fucked.

I would just like to say one more thing, especially about road salt, which whenever I bring it up here people are like, no! It's bad! It's bad for the environment! It corrodes the undercarriage of your car!

Okay, a) isn't salt from the SEA? And didn't I just see you choose plastic over paper and then promptly throw those plastic bags in the trash can along with your cans and bottles? Who exactly are you trying to impress by suddenly becoming all environmentally conscious?

And b) Some car washes in Cleveland (and probably wherever there is lots of snowy weather) have this apparatus that actually rinses under the car as well. They do that so your car doesn't corrode from the salt on the road that you are driving on to get to work because you can because they take care of the snow so you can flipping get to work and not be all stressed out.

I think I will be trapped inside for a few days and the anticipation is clearly getting to me. It's lasted a week now, going on two, and we are just not used to this here. Well, I'm not, anyway.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Making light

The main thoroughfares are clear (at least today, it was above freezing through the night and all day), but not all the roads are passable. This is kinda funny.

The roads are wet now, and it's freezing. Oh joy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Okay, I'm not going to keep talking about the weather, but

It is 19 degrees right now. 19. That's -7 to you folks in Canada and Mexico. And tonight? 12. 12.

What in the HELL is going on here?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh my hell it's cold

Yeah, so we don't get weather like this. I mean, we get some snow, usually once a year and maybe three inches max and it shuts down the city and all that. But usually the next day it is above freezing and it thaws and you can drive. Not this time around.

It's like 20 degrees outside, and I am not exxagerating (for once). I'm a wimp and I admit it. Hate it hate it hate it. I had to have Nicky come get me today because though I made out it of my complex, I couldn't get up the hill just outside of my neighborhood to put me on Murray so that I could get to Hillsboro. Just spun around like a jackass and slid sideways and all those fun things you do when you have no control in a huge hunk of metal on an ice-packed street.

This isn't a picture I took, I stole it from KATU.com, but it is very near my neighborhood. Yeah, it doesn't LOOK bad, but underneath that snow is ice, and it sucks.

Feel free to call me a wimp, I am totally embracing it right now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The kitties have new cousins!

My brother Tom got two new little kitties today! Though he was still grieving over the fairly recent loss of his previous cat, Cattus Puppus, his friend's daughter Rachel decided he was lonely so she talked him into adopting some new kits. He picked them up today. They are 6 month old straight-eared Scottish Folds, brother and sister, and they are SOFT. OH my hell they are soft.

Here's Billy

And here's his sister Lucy. Because my camera is complete garbage it was tough to get a good shot of her, even with Rachel holding her, so if she looks a little bit shocked it might be because someone made a loud noise to get her attention.

Billy found a spot in the closet that holds all his camping gear.

And due to no good stills of Lucy, here's a video of her. That's Tom in the background.

Yay! Fun!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Vacations' end

So I'll admit it wasn't my first choice in vacations, and it certainly wasn't my traditional December vacations, either. As a floater, I have to choose my vacations ahead of everyone else, and then in theory they just work around me. I say "in theory" because I am sure they don't, but if someone out there is choosing vacations and I happen to already be off, and they NEED coverage, then they are either SOL or they choose another week.

Traditionally I am in Mexico right now. Judging from what I am wearing, the pastiness of my skin and the current temperature, however, I am not. I had scheduled to be off from Wednesday of last week through this Friday, but since airfare went through the roof and I didn't feel that now was a good time to be spending a bunch of money on a tan, I cut it by three days and just stayed in town.

I haven't really done anything. I cleaned (finally. It doesn't matter that I did most of it today, the last day, the point is that I actually did it) and hung some more pictures and put some tchochkies on the shelving unit. I got a neato present at Lincoln Tower's Christmas party, a decorative plate situation that two other people wanted and one of them actually tried to steal from me, and I hung that up. I played with the kits and I went to the Walmarts and I had coffee with that Heather and I broke a rule and went to the mall in December. And I napped a lot. Which I probably would have done if I was in Mexico, except it would have been on a lounge chair in the sun. So, you know, it wasn't the same.

So now I am kind of bored and ready to go back to work and do all that stuff again, I guess, but it's only three days and then the weekend and my brother Tom adopted two kitties that he picks up on Saturday so I'll go see them, and then we all work a full week and then we all have two weeks of only three days and then it will be the end of the year and maybe I'll actually get to go to Mexico in February or something.

God I hope so because though I like my home, it would be nice to be away from it for a few weeks once in a while.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Field Trip

So because I am off work for a week I decided today to get out and do something adventurous. I went to the Walmarts. To a lot of you, this may not seem like much of an adventure, but I assure you, to me, it is. The Walmarts around here aren't very close to (civilization) me, and it's a sunny day, I have the time, and don't feel like cleaning, so off I went.

I think I left the house at like 9:45 or something, and headed west toward McMinnville. Sure, the Woodburn Walmarts probably is closer, but a) it's Woodburn and b) aren't people constantly getting shot out there? I figured McMinnville, though 30 miles away, would be a nicer drive.

So this particular Walmarts wasn't one of those ones that has a supermarket in it. I didn't realize (until someone told me later) that there was a difference. There was food in this one, but not like a big supermarket situation, a la Cancun. It was pretty frightening most of the way through, you know, because it's the Walmarts, but I managed to look cool and act like I knew what I was doing. I don't think anyone could see my skittishness. The good news is that I started to feel at home since everything was in Spanish and sometimes in English, so that helped. I actually bought some things, laundry soap, tall kitchen bags, diet A&W root beer, and the best part was they had my coffee - that Cafe Bustelo I dig - for like $3.40 a can! I bought three. There was a lot to be said for their Latin foods section, and then again not so much to be said about the rest of it. It was kinda dirty.

I was looking around for something to bring to the Lincoln Tower Christmas party Friday night, but I couldn't find anything and after about half an hour my nerves were starting to fray (I don't think there are a lot of people with day jobs over in McMinnville). I paid the low low price and headed back to Washington County. Actually I stopped at the Safeway across the street first because I had to use the restroom and because the Walmarts didn't have a supermarket, and I needed cranberries, sugar and creamer. This particular Safeway had my coffee too. So there's always back up.

I had a notion to get that Angela started on a sweater, so I had brought along my favorite-but-now-kitty-shredded sweater as a guide and headed east, hoping to find some kind of shortcut to Hillsboro. I found it - over a mountain, it turns out. Chehalem Mountain, so it wasn't like Mt. Hood or anything, but nevertheless, twisty-turny roads and people climbing all up your ass because you aren't taking the hairpin turns at break-neck speeds. The views (when I peaked and the sweat wasn't running into my eyes) were beautiful up there. I white-knuckled it the 15 miles or so and managed to get to the Orenco office in an hour. Christ.

Angela's last day is tomorrow so they were having some lunch, so I chatted briefly and then was on my merry way.

I'm home now. I think I belong in Washington County. The parking lot at the Walmarts made me a little nervous, all those big Dodge Ram trucks and people dressed in cammo. I think I'll stick to civilization.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

You should probably skip this one, Angela

I think this is just awesome.

It's been a great week.