Monday, November 30, 2009


Nothing is in a suitcase. I didn't do any laundry. I did go buy some last-minute necessities yesterday, but I didn't buy all of them. The house could be cleaner. I need to contact Poor Robert. I need to find my passport. I have to go to work but I really would rather not (I'm showered, though, so I might as well).

I usually wait until the last minute to do anything anymore and I guess that means I am right on schedule.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

I should have just stuck with lazy

Yeah so I've been watching bits and pieces of that show "Hoarders" on A&E and that, coupled with some random comments from a friend who has seen my second bedroom (where my computer is and consequently where the magic happens), made me nervous, so yesterday I had my brother Tom come over and help me sort things out. The second bedroom has always been a little bit like the trunk of my car - where things just go when I don't think I should throw them out. Being a person who has moved entirely too many times over the years, I have a hard time parting with boxes. Being a person who prefers laziness to constant activity, I have a hard time breaking said boxes down. And being a person who is convinced that there are spiders beneath anything in my home that hasn't been moved in more than a month, I can't do it alone.

It took no time, and really, I don't think I could have figured out logistically how to get the wardrobe boxes into the closet like Tom did. My mind kind of doesn't work that way. So now the second bedroom is (cleaner than my own) pristine and I feel it's a much more productive place for me to sit and pound out the mindless drivel I like to call Trauma: The Drama. The cats are all freaked out though.

So also when the maintenance guy came in to install my second heater he moved the cedar chest in the dining room over and the cedar chest is really heavy and I couldn't move it back by myself. Well, I might have been able to, but please see above where I talk about spiders. So that's moved back to a more desirable location. And THEN because the ceiling fan light bulb has been burned out for about a year now, I figured, what the hell, he's here, let's see if he can help me with that too.

Here's the situation with Tom: He's an artist. He can draw the hell out of some nature. Other stuff? Hm. Maybe not so much. When we were still living on Bruce Lane, and after my dad died and Benny and Brad were out of the house, Tom took over duties of the boy stuff, like putting the Christmas lights up on the house. Nobody is really sure how he did it, but he managed to take out the electricity to the entire front of the house in the process. I think we had to get someone in to fix it. Christmas lights. And then there was the time when everyone was alive and living there but they still made Tom change a lightbulb in the downstairs ceiling light fixture. He ended up removing the entire piece and couldn't get it back up, couldn't get the lightbulb in there, and the whole thing dangled by one wire for about a year after that (I don't really understand the way that story plays out, but it might explain a lot of my personality).

Anyway, I guess my point is, I should have known. So he was up on the chair, trying to twist the light part of the fan in the direction it said (well, actually, pulling is more like it), with me directing from the floor below, when it came to him that maybe there was a better way. Out came his trusty Leatherman (bad sign), and into the side of the glass cover it went. I said No Tom! It's glass! I don't think you should do that! But he didn't listen, insisted it was plastic, and began prying. He didn't have to pry for long because within seconds it sort of exploded and came crashing down on to the dining room table, into a million glass pieces. Sigh.

He felt bad and I wasn't mad, I mean, shit happens, and really I could have lived without the lightbulb being changed, so it was kind of my fault anyway. He did a really thorough job of cleaning up the mess and the good news is that's one part of the place I don't have to vacuum today. But here's what it looks like in my dining room now.

Anyway, that was pretty much my Saturday, since I didn't shower and really shouldn't have been out in public. I bought him lunch at the Carl's Jr. and dropped him off at my mom's, and then finished up with the vacuuming. Very accomplished.

Four more days. I have a ton to do today but am effectively putting it off, like I do, by blogging and screwing around on the interwebs. We'll see how much I can get done/put off thinking I am taking at least Wednesday off to finish up. I told you I preferred laziness.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Aaaah Thanksgiving. An American tradition. For the three of us there was a ton of food that Tom got to take home. It rained like an SOB and felt like November. And it's over.

This morning I got up at 4:45 and met those Timm girls at the Starbucks by the Beaverton Fred Meyer for their Black Friday tradition. Apparently there is a sock sale situation at the Fred Meyer and this sock sale situation has been a long-running tradition that I'd never heard of until I started working with that Jodi back in around 2001. Half price on all socks. Word is it's complete pandemonium at 5am when shoppers bust down the doors and head for the socks. Things might be tough financially, but I think I can swing socks at full price. So we met at 6am. It really wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be, and I found parking right away. I also tried the new Starbucks holiday offering, creme brulee latte maybe? I can't remember what it's called. It was really good though. We didn't have much focus (it was 6am, remember) but I did get some gloves, you know those stretchy kind that look like they're for kids but when you put them on they stretch to fit an adult? They were $.99, so I got two pair (one blue, one brown, orange and white striped in support of my Cleveland Browns) (somebody has to support them...). The guy at the check stand goes "You got up at 4am to buy THESE?" I know.

From there we hit Target, again, not bad, except for in the electronics department, which was really kind of silly, because the line for electronics was seriously really really long, and yet there was hardly anyone in line for the regular cash registers. I talked to a guy who was waiting for his wife to use the restroom (while I waited for Nicky to do the same) and he told me they got there at 5am and yes, the lines at the regular cash registers went all the way around the store. I asked if they stood in them and he said no, they didn't buy anything.

I'm just really curious about this whole phenomenon. I mean, if you're going to make the effort, why not buy something? Especially at the Target. It's the Target. Odds are good you're going to need something there. I bought kibble for the bunnies, some waterproof mascara, sunscreen for the face and some slippers (nothing Christmas-related in the slightest. But it's the Target.), all in preparation for my upcoming trip (did I mention I leave Thursday?).

After the Target we had an hour to kill before breakfast, so we went back to the Fred Meyer (again, easy parking) to get my car and to get another coffee at Peet's. Then breakfast at the Village Inn with members of the Timm extended family, and then I went to work. I had to fix a HUD. And of course when I sent it through I got a really rude response from the agent, who is also the seller, and I thought to myself, Listen, bitch, you're luck I give this much of a shit on my day off. Which pretty much dashed all holiday cheer that may have been building after the morning's events (no it didn't, I'm not giving her that much power). After that I came home and napped.

So I am down to like 5 1/2 days to go and haven't even begun my pack prep. There's a ton to do. Tomorrow I am cleaning like a madwoman and Sunday is the all-day laundry fest, and then I guess I can say I am almost ready.

I'm starting to get excited. It's been forever since I've been down there this time of year and I am in desperate need of my own holiday tradition.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

It sounds pretty un-American (and very cynical) of me to say that I've never really been a huge fan of Thanksgiving, and not just in a hey-I'm-a-kid-it's-cold-out-I-have-no-school-all-these-people-are-here-so-why-aren't-there-presents? kind of way. More like in a good-God-look-at-all-these-dishes-where-can-I-hide-to-get-out-of-doing-them? kind of way. Plus I don't really like turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce... for the first few years I had a piece of bologna for my Thanksgiving meal.

Some people really like the holiday, and I'll give them that. Even around our house there were all kinds of snacks to be had pre-dinner, and everyone was home from college (the older half of my family always felt more like cousins to me than siblings, back then. When you are the youngest of ten kids, that big gap between oldest and youngest means the oldest aren't around as much as the other guys so when they show up on holidays you don't really have anything to say to them), and there was that holiday feeling in the air, but the underlying stress to me (at, you know, five and six) was trying to figure out how to make myself scarce immediately after dinner, hoping nobody (Shelia) would notice that I wasn't around to help with the dishes and then yell at me for it. I didn't like getting yelled at AT ALL back then. Seriously, when you're six this stuff is pretty stressful.

Anyway, those days are long past and you'd think I'd come around to like the holiday, but really, not so much. Nobody has actually cooked (in my immediate family) in a long while, instead I will be swinging by the Haggens at 4pm to pick up the food, so it's not like there will be china, silver and a roaster to wash afterward. I guess it just boils down to having to go somewhere for a few hours when I'd just rather not. It could be worse. So I'm not really complaining.

But it is a four-day weekend, and that's good. I have agreed to do the Black Friday thing with those Timm girls. I've never done it before. I can't say that I will do it again. But a girl needs socks and frankly it wouldn't kill me to get out there and get festive with a family that actually digs this kind of stuff.

So shit, I'm just going to wrap up this mish-mash of early morning thoughts and say that though I may not be a big fan of the holiday, I AM thankful that I have the life that I have, the opportunities I have been given, the personality to make it all work, the kitties, the ability to pay for a big meal today, the great friends that make me a better person, and the resources to take a trip to Mexico one week from today. Who cares if I don't like turkey? It's not about that anyway.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Month end blues

It's the same every month end, and worse yet, it's the same every YEAR end. You know it's coming, but it doesn't take the bitterness out of it. Lenders are slow on loan documents, sellers are out of town, trust deeds from 1992 haven't been reconveyed. Cash transactions are opened on a Monday and expected to close on a Wednesday. We have the day after Thanksgiving off but live with the constant threat of having to to work it anyway.

Here's what I would like to have done during my lunch this three-day week: tan, go to Target, tan, have some food. If yesterday is any indication, it's not happening. I'm destined to go to Mexico as white as the day I was born. You'd think I'd be able to sneak out for one lousy hour (half hour even?) but no. The panicked emails and phone calls don't stop, and it is transferred to us poor (ha, like I have no control) escrow people who are so easily manipulated into thinking that just because the agent thinks it SHOULD happen, it will. Or else.

Or else what? Close on the cash transaction TODAY, when the buyer isn't even going to be in the STATE until next Tuesday? Whose agenda is THAT? Certainly not the buyer's, why would he want a house he won't even get keys to until next week? The thing about my job is that everything we do is reliant upon somebody else, most of whom do not have near the sense of urgency we have. Nobody ever told us up front when we got into this business that the biggest part of our job was convincing other people to care as much as we do if something gets done. We all know the service industry these days - people just don't care (don't believe me? Call the phone company some afternoon. People just don't care.).

It's a short week but, as is the tradition, we have to pack five days into three, all the while dealing with the codependency that makes us good escrow people what we are. And having to deal with the fact that it's November 24 and K103 is already playing Christmas music 24/7.


Monday, November 23, 2009


I hold grudges. I haven't really had a ton of disservices in my life that would make these grudges last so long that they hinder my everyday performance. There are very few, I mean VERY few things that can keep me up at night. I've developed the sort of attitude that things happen, and once they have there isn't a lot you can do to change them, being that you can't change history, so why dwell. Except for this one thing niggling away at me.

It's been going on for a few years now, I guess two, anyway. And it's not like it isn't based upon something I ultimately decided to do. But there it is. The people that led me astray from rational thought by toying with my emotional side are still out there, and I no longer speak with them. The bummer is I considered them to be really good friends, and I know why they did what they did. But it doesn't stop me from holding this grudge.

Sometimes I see them around, online (you know of which social media I speak), and I think, oh Christ somebody has to bury the hatchet. I think to myself that they are thinking, wow, I sure wish this fence could be mended, but I'm not going to make the first move, she must hate us. But then I just don't extend the olive branch, because I don't think they have hurt enough yet.

And they have. The actions they took back when this all ended were their own choices, and I don't think they took into consideration what hurt could come of it. Nevertheless, it landed them in a bunch of (financial) hot water and they are paying for their karma. So why isn't that enough for me? Do I want an apology? I acted on my own free will as well, though the facts laid out for me when I made the decision were not actual "facts". The stable(ish) me that was me back a couple of years ago is gone as a result of my own actions. I could have said no, and since I didn't, there really isn't anyone to blame but myself. These things I know.

But I still struggle with my grudge. And I WANT to bury the hatchet, I WANT to reconnect, but I also want to know that this broken friendship hurts them like it hurts me. Or at least an apology. Maybe. Maybe?

Nah. This IS a grudge, after all. I want to know they hurt.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Morning after

Words cannot even express how I feel this morning. No, I'm not hungover, not from alcohol anyway. I'm still exhausted from witnessing (well, on TV anyway) one of the most gruelling, angst-ridden, up-down-sideways games I have seen in a long time. Seriously, it almost killed me. I paced, I left the room, I watched "Entourage" reruns through 85% of the third quarter, I hid behind the sofa, and when that didn't work I opened the door of the linen closet in the hall and hid behind that. I know at least one of my neighbors is a Duck fan so I am pretty sure there won't be any complaints. And now it all comes down to one game - Civil War.

It's no secret I can't stand the Beavers (wait, whose blog is this? I'll say it - I HATE those bastards). This is going to be a tough, nearly 2 week wait for me, and I won't apologize for the way I treat random Beaver-color-wearing-inappropriate-flag-waving OSU fans. Because at a time like this I don't hold back. We are the Ducks, the only team that put Oregon on the map back in the mid '90s, and I'm tired of those bastards riding on our coat tails. Pretty much "You're welcome" for anyone in this country even knowing who the hell you are.

Last night seriously nearly killed me, but I will say this - both teams wanted it badly, and it showed. Only one could win, and it was the Ducks. We'll do it again. Our boys deserve it. They've earned it. More than anyone.

And I'll be there, pacing, hiding behind the sofa, screaming loud enough to get me evicted.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I love this picture.

It was taken about 26 years ago, of a friend of mine, but it's timeless. To me, it represents hope.

I've been wanting to write something about this photo for a while now, but I couldn't really put it into words. "Hope" was about all I could come up with. Up until last night I kept relating hope as an escape from the impending winter, the dark and the cold that is already here and is still coming at us. I look at this picture and I think about promise, the promise of light and Spring, but also the promise of a future and what lies ahead. Baseball is so symbolic of that to me because I remember back when I was a kid, toiling through a bleak February, knowing Spring was coming, wishing for baseball, wishing for Spring.

I still feel that way.

But last night I spoke on the phone to a very good friend from days gone by. We've been in touch, it wasn't a reconnect. It was a checking in. We live miles apart, and I know how her life has been since we lived next door to each other. I know the challenges she has faced and continues to face. But last night for the first time I heard something in her voice that I hadn't really heard since we've reconnected. In her voice I heard despair. Her challenges are huge, enormous, nothing I could ever have handled had it been me in her place. I admire her strength, and I will never fault her weakness. In her failures I see successes, and I don't know that I can find the right words to make her really believe that, to make her have as much faith in herself as I do. I think she fears the loss of hope, and I don't know how to help her get it back. Except to show her, maybe, my symbol of hope, and pray she finds her own.

Hope is never gone. It hides, it hides a lot, even if it isn't trying to. But it's always there. It has to be, because without it we couldn't possibly survive.

This picture makes me smile, it makes me feel happy, a longing for earlier Springs, and hope for impending ones. For an instant it brightens a dark night, breaks through the rain clouds that can weigh on my soul. It helps me find my hope.

I just wish I could help my friend find hers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I just wonder what the other drivers thought I was doing.

The iPhone has an app for Google where you can search for whatever you are Googling like a normal person, and it also has voice search function. The voice search function rocks for those occasions where you find yourself speeding down Scholls Ferry Road and need the number for the Rain salon because you just caught a look at your eyebrows in the rear view mirror and thought, Holy crap, something needs to be done about THAT and I mean pronto, and you are driving too fast to see if you still have their card in your wallet or type out R-A-I-N on the keypad. Just hit the voice search button and say "Rain Salon Beaverton" into the phone and it will give you the best matches. It really works. Just make sure the radio is turned down. And that you have a firm grasp on the pronunciation of the English language.

Tuesday I was discussing via email with Shelia about Thanksgiving options. When I'm at work I have all these grand ideas of getting non-work-related things done so that I don't have to do them when I get home. They rarely get done because I am easily distracted, but Shelia pointed me in the direction of the Haggen's supermarket pre-cooked holiday meals. You simply order one, go pick it up, slap it on the table and presto! Dinner. Now, for those out there that might be thinking, Wow, how sad for her, please do not. I really have never liked this holiday. The local family is sort of diminishing and the last few Thanksgivings that I have been around Tom, mom and I have just gone out to dinner. But good Lord I hate crowds. So when Shelia suggested the Haggens I thought, wow, right up my alley. I told myself I would call the Haggens when I got home from work that night and order one.

Of course I forgot all about it. But it came back to me yesterday morning on my drive in (since it's like 20 feet from my house and I pass by it daily), so, speeding down Murray Road I thought I would use my Google voice search situation and call the Haggens.

To my ears there is nothing wrong with the way I pronounce things, so when I calmly said "Haggens" in to the phone, I was mildly surprised to see that it came up with "Higgins". No worries, perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I tried again. "Haggens", a little louder, a little more emphasis on the "a". Higgins came up again. I turned down the radio volume a little bit more and much more forcefully said "Ha-ggens!". I didn't get "Higgins" again, instead I got "Denver", which sort of pissed me off because I'm thinking now the phone is just making fun of me. At this point I am driving 52 miles per hour down TV Hwy yelling every variation of the pronunciation of "Haggens Supermarket" into the phone and getting responses like "Hayden", "What is a supermarket?", "Denver Supermarkets" and even a "What is a Denver?" Seriously? The beauty of all of this was that I certainly wasn't giving up and by the time I got to 185th and Baseline I was actually given a choice for "Hagen's" (and the suggestion that Google gives you - Did you mean "Haggens"? Um, yeah, I did.).

It should be noted that it took me about twenty minutes and maybe seven miles of stop-and-go traffic to accomplish my feat, but I did it, I beat the dang app, phoned in the order and am now that much closer to enduring my 44th Thanksgiving holiday. Sorry to those of you who like the holiday, I'm just not that in to it.

I'll close by saying that somehow last night I agreed to getting up at 4am the day after and going sock shopping at the Fred Meyer with Nicky and her daughter Ashley. I have never shopped on Black Friday and thought I never would, but I got all caught up in the hoopla of the cycle finale of "America's Next Top Model" and must have lost myself. Me, who went through all this trouble to avoid crowds.

I do this to myself. It really shouldn't surprise me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Be thankful or else.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and it sort of snuck up on me this year, putting me in the uncomfortable position of not being able to bitch about it for weeks prior to the event - now I only have days. But I was thinking this morning about writing my feelings about the holiday when it dawned on me that some people really like Thanksgiving and this year I should just keep my mouth shut and be thankful I can bitch about the fact that I have to do something next Thursday. So I will. That's kind of a switch for me. I can make no promises that this feeling will last, and there are still a few more days for me to complain. Just sayin'.

I don't have much time to write this morning so I will leave you with this point to ponder. Mean people suck. You've seen the bumper stickers and t-shirts. You've even probably seen it here. But it's true. Enough cannot be said about how people with big bad it's-all-about-me attitudes are the worst kind of assholes. Just because we are in a service-related profession does not give you the right to treat us like shit. A slight mistake (I shouldn't even call it a mistake - really, "oversight" is even too strong a word) was made on Monday and I am not kidding you, I had roughly four phone calls and easily six emails regarding it on Tuesday. And it wasn't even that big of a deal. One of the girls in the office apparently didn't stroke the ego hard enough of a client and seriously the client just wouldn't let it go. I am not one to use excuses like "Oh it was a hectic day" or "She was just really busy" - it is what it is, it happened, it happened YESTERDAY and there is no changing the past, all I can do is apologize and get you to agree that it is time to MOVE ON. Because frankly, who the hell do you think you are? People make "mistakes" all the time (I really hate using that, because it wasn't a mistake, but for lack of a better word...) and look at that! Still standing! You still got your check! The buyer still got their keys! The world is still spinning! All of these things I swear I will say to the client if I have to hear about it all day again today.

So today's lesson is this - just be flipping thankful you get what you get, because 99.9999999% of the time we are giving our absolute best and you know it, you just never recognize it. And one teeny tiny misappropriation in your eyes should not make the whole system crumble before your eyes - if it does, good God. You need help. Help calling me to complain about it 17 times is not going to provide. Get over it, get over yourself, and move on to the next thing. Because at least you have one.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Windy night

It's windy outside, perhaps more windy than it's been since I've lived here but I don't really know for sure. All I know is that it's pretty dramatic noise-wise and the kitties are just going batshit. Yowling, finding dark inside corners to hide in, creeping along the floor like they're expecting the ceiling to cave in. They run out to the slider and peek through the blinds, then they bolt back down to this end of the casita, yowling and weaving between my legs. I tell them it's going to be all right, but they don't listen. Thirty-one miles per hour is nothing compared to what I've seen, but they weren't around back then. I was thinking out loud that there is nothing to worry about so long as the power is on, but then again, I'm afraid of the dark.

It's really, really loud out there. Poor little kitties - I wonder if this is their Wilma?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Organized tradition

I love the weekend, especially when I'm home. I sure hope I'm not turning into one of THOSE people.

I started to blog yesterday about a funeral I had to go to/went to but I stopped because everything I wrote sounded contrived and maybe a little bit to personal for TtheD. Not that this isn't a place I could do that. Sometimes writing things down makes them a little too tangible and I had a Duck game to watch yet later in the day, so I needed to be a little bit more on top of my game. Not all deep and introspective and reminiscent. About THAT kind of stuff. I guess I'll just skip to the moral of the story - live a good life by being considerate of others and you will pretty much accomplish what God expected of us all along.

I've been to church twice in the last week, the most I have been to church collectively in probably five years. I only go when there is a (Catholic) funeral or (Catholic) wedding. I was raised Catholic, did the whole Catholic grade school gig and even was forced to go to CCD when I switched over to public high school. I think I know that religion pretty well. It's not a bad religion, as they go, but I was raised with the idea that if you didn't go to church, missed a week or two, and didn't go to confession about it, you were in trouble. You also shouldn't go to communion until you went to confession.

Last Sunday Barbie and I were in Ontario and we went with Helen (and AJ Feely's dad). We sat in the very last row, and I think that I was the only person in the joint who sat out communion. Everyone noticed. Everyone sort of looked me over and wondered what sin I committed that kept me from participating (well, at least that was my perception of it). Barbie went, despite my whispering in her ear about how she was going to hell for the sin of pride (she's not a church-goer either and my theory was that she just wanted to be seen), but as it turns out the body of Christ didn't turn to fire on her tongue and there were no lightening strikes in the church parking lot on the way out, either, though I kept my distance from her. She went yesterday for the funeral mass, too (I didn't - again, people noticed. I told a woman behind me I wasn't going because I hadn't been to confession in 30 years - she looked like she wanted an explanation), but again, no gigantic condemning finger pointing down at her from the heavens at the end of it. Maybe God doesn't care. My mom does, but maybe God doesn't.

So I guess what the point to all of this might be is that religion is for the people, not God. I honestly don't think that God expects us to meet in groups and worship if it isn't our gig. I think what God wants is just that we be considerate and nice and try not to be too selfish and give of ourselves what and when we can. I'm sure he probably likes the worship part, all those different services to the same guy, I mean, that's gotta be fairly flattering (except for the whacky stuff like snake handling and speaking in tongues, he probably pops a bowl of popcorn and settles in to watch THAT stuff), but I don't think he is separating out the church-goers from the non-church-goers and saying, These ones are more holy. I think that if people just go to church because they HAVE to, or because there are certain rules associated with going to church, that might actually have the opposite effect on God. He's probably thinking, Go because you want to, not because you feel like you have to.

So why won't I go to communion? Because I still believe in the sacraments. Some things just stick in your head. I think if you are going to join in the organized religion tradition you have to play by the rules. Just like football (we all know God is in Eugene loving the Ducks right now, I mean, who isn't?). It's not necessarily out of respect for God, it's more out of respect for the priest (and the three monsignors and two bishops who attended this funeral mass yesterday).

In other news, did I mention I finally went to El Pollo Loco? Twice, no less. It was fine. It's expensive-ish for lunch. All that hoopla (on my part) for some grilled chicken. I have also been pretty good at tanning but not this weekend for some reason, and I have just under three weeks before vacation. Did I mention that? And did I mention my hand is still killing me? And also that after day one of the crow I never heard it again, which means either it flew away or it it died and I will hear from it once it starts to smell? And that for some reason I keep having dreams about rats and I'm not really sure what THAT means? And that it is cold out, I mean really cold and I can't wear a coat or socks until December 1st? And that after writing that it dawns on me that during the course of a winter I slowing lose socks and that I should probably do some kind of pre-season sock inventory and replace what has been lost before December 1 rolls around and I am fired up to have warm feet but have a drawer full of mismatched socks? And that now that I'm thinking about December 1 I'm realizing it's also flannel sheet season and if I recall it's time to get some new ones?

I guess we all have our traditions, and it's Sunday (no Browns game though so no draining the battery on my iPhone watching Gamecast; no, this week the Browns get to show their no-talent selves get the complete shit kicked out of them by the Ravens on Monday Night Football for all the world to see...), so I'll get some errands out of the way, tan (I swear) and then perhaps nap (ha ha, I said "perhaps"). But because it's Sunday, I promise to keep the road rage to a minimum.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Events of the day

I know it's only 6:54am.

It all started yesterday morning at around 7:25am, while I was getting ready to get my purse and go to work. I walked by the fireplace and heard the "Caw! Caw!" of a crow; not an unexpected sound around here, but this one sounded really close. Really really close. Like it was in the house. I paused for a moment and it cawed again. Yep. It's in the house. More specifically, behind the wall above the fireplace (or as it's more commonly known, the chimney). What. The fuck.

We stood there for a minute, me and the cats, just looking at the wall and wondering what came next. The crow cawed again, and I took the flashlight that sits on the mantle (for such occasions as this) and shined it (cautiously) into the fireplace itself. I don't know if I was looking for the crow specifically (because what in the holy hell would I have done if it was actually IN there) or some kind of crow evidence: black feather? poo? shiny object? There was nothing, but apparently the light attracted the crow and it cawed a couple more times for effect. I put the flashlight back and walked away, thinking to myself, Wow, I sure hope the flue is closed. Now what?

"Now what" was go to work and think about it. Maybe it wasn't really IN the chimney but ON the chimney and the chimney style just carried the sound really well. Maybe it would find its way out. Maybe the upstairs neighbor lady heard it and will actually do something about it because I think she's home all day and a couple of hours of that cawing might possible drive one mad.

I called the property management people and they told me to call the association (nobody really wants to be involved, and I don't blame them, but it's easier for the association to get that poor maintenance guy over there and figure it out). We all had a good laugh over it, thinking about the flue being opened and the crow set free to fly all over my house, but the reality is I really, really don't want a crow flying all over my house. The verdict, ultimately, was to give it a day and see if I heard the bird again. So far, nothing, but you can bet when I got home from work last night I was very cautious, just in case that flue really IS open and the crow got out.

So as I sit here the next day, I haven't heard anything yet. But remember I didn't hear anything by this time yesterday either, and it's not like I am not constantly walking by the fireplace. But because it is morning and I am expecting to hear it, I've been walking around really quietly so as not to wake it, and in the silence of the morning, I accidentally stepped on Seca in the kitchen, which caused her to do that RRRREEEEERRRR cat thing and me to scream, which if anything is going to wake that damn crow up it would be that, and it also scared the shit out of me, so now I am all shaky and nervous and wondering what is going to happen when I walk by the fireplace to go at 7:25. So it's now 7:07am and I am all jangly and jumpy and FUCK I hope yesterday was just a fluke because I am learning about WAY too many things lately, and I just don't think I need to know how to get a crow out of my chimney.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Random things from mid-week Beaverton

I meant to mention, since it's a pretty gigantic occasion, that the (flipping) El Pollo Loco finally opened in Beaverton. Imagine my shock when I drove past it Monday morning expecting to scream "OPEN!" like I have done for roughly two years. Have I been there for lunch yet? Well, no. I'm pretty low on funds due to the fact that I have just stopped charging stuff and am back to a strict pay-that-crap-off-and-pay-cash-for-everything-again game plan. I do it to myself. And though I might have $60 in my wallet right now I still haven't had Starbucks or Dutch Bros all week. Discipline. I don't know that it will last.

But one of the biggest reasons for that, if we're going to be honest here, is because it's been raining or threatening rain or whatever every morning (and day) this week, and Beaverton is the only branch where the parking situation makes getting a coffee on the way in problematic. Let me explain: If it's raining, or might rain, or starts to rain the minute I cut the engine, with the fact that Beaverton has no covered parking, I'd have to battle my purse, my coffee, and an umbrella to avoid hair disaster. Lincoln Tower and the KOIN have underground parking, and Orenco has a Starbucks on the corner (so I don't stop. I park, go in, get settled, then take my umbrella to the Starbucks and carrying a coffee and an umbrella is no battle), so those are easy. Beaverton has that God-awful Rae's Cafe on the first floor but their coffee tastes like foot and it's ridiculously expensive and just a stupid cafe. So in closing, I might say I haven't gotten coffee this week because of discipline, but it's really about pride. I don't want to look like a jackass walking in the building.

Other than that, no real updates. Tanning is not going well, I've been inconsistant and am trying to rectify that situation. The desk I'm on is not the busiest, so I have some down time in the day, and that makes the day sort of drag on. I need to get to thinking about what I have to bring on my trip (which is fast approaching - what is it, like 21 days away? Remember when I used to do these elaborate countdowns at work and talk about it constantly? I'm not doing that. I'll look up and realize the date and go, oh shit, I need to be tanner!). It's not that I am not fired up about it, I am (but it's been so long since I've been there it's almost not real). I think I just have too much else going on mentally that I can't focus on the get-excited part of it.

I'll close by saying it's Veterans' Day. Thank a soldier. I am currently thanking (everyone but specifically) my nephew Matt and my dad Joe. Way to throw yourselves out there and take one (or twenty) for the team and my ability to complain about the most mundane of things. Cheers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Killing time means no real content.

No matter how hard I try, no matter how much longer I sleep in, I still cannot seem to leave for work late enough to not stand in the hallway in Beaverton. It drives me nuts. It's hard to be such an early person in that branch, because they just aren't. Some are, but it's hit or miss. And there isn't a ton going on there. No matter how hard I try to stay here at home until 7:30, I just can't seem to pull it off. So I'm blogging with nothing to say until it's REALLY time to leave just so I can stress out on my stupid drive there thinking I'm going to be late when I am just not.

And it's the stupidest drive I have, of all the branches. Even downtown is easier than this. I have to drive through the heart of Beaverton and it takes for flipping ever. I will never understand why I stick around this dang city. It drives me nuts.

So I'll throw something out there that's been on my mind, even though it seems like I haven't heard anything about it on the local news lately (of course, you have to actually WATCH the news to hear something on it, I guess). This moving the Portland Beavers to Beaverton thing. Seriously? Do we really think they will succeed out here? They don't succeed in Portland. In that nice re-do of Civic Stadium they did a few years back. Nobody goes. People go for a little while at first and then they stop going and then they try to think about ways to get people to go and people still don't go. There was talk (again, I am not up on this lately, so somebody correct me if they have abandoned the idea already) of it going in where the Westgate Theater is/was (and stealing land from a long standing Beaverton family in the process), and if that is still the idea, it's got to be the worst idea ever. Cedar Hills Blvd (part of my stupid drive to the Beaverton branch - see how this all fits together?) is bad enough even with NO baseball park there. I sit on that damn road for seriously no less than 35 minutes on my way home. The traffic lights make no sense and you could seriously just turn off your engine and park where it intersects with TV Hwy during the afternoon rush hour. So imagine having an event (forget about that for right now, imagine the construction phase) there and all those other saps like me trying to get the fuck home while the 14 people that actually go to Beaver games are trying to get in there. Stupid. How about the city planners sit in that traffic some night and then decide.

Anyway, like I said, I don't even know if it's an issue anymore, but I never got it off my chest before, and now it's off, and would you look at that! It's 7:30 and time to go to work. I know you suffered through this, but remember that I did too, so we're even.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Back and forth

So it was a good trip, quick. I was back and unpacked before 4pm and I even took a quick nap. It's freezing in here and the kitties are back to being insane and that's that.

The trip over was fine, Cabbage Hill was icky but really not, and despite being lost in Hermiston for about 25 minutes and making three stops we actually made it in just over six hours. Ontario is Mountain Time, so I'm glad I left early from work. We stayed up chatting until around 1am, and slept a little bit on Saturday morning.

Saturday we met up with my cousin Dan and toured the (closed for the season) museum in Nyssa. I can't remember what it's called. But it had some pictures of my grandfather and great-uncle on my mom's side, Martin and Thomas, as well as some other photos of life on the sheep ranches from back then. It was actually a pretty cool museum, and in the event you ever get out that way, you should check it out. The mayor of Nyssa let us in and showed us around, and there were also some other guides that showed up along the way, though these ones didn't have faces and only enough strenght to pat me on the back and shove me on the hip a few times. I'll let you think about that.

After that we watched the game while Helen napped. I'm okay with it, by the way. The Ducks just weren't on their game and Stanford definitely was, and such is the game of football. Dan came by after the Veteren's Day parade in Ontario and watched the end of it, then the three of us went over to the assisted living facility to see our Aunt Jean and another old timer from days gone by. Drex, we found out, has lived quite a life, and will be 99 years old on January 29. Before Aunt Jean showed Barbie and I the door (quite quickly - she's lost her memory mostly and didn't really remember us - me especially, she never remembers me..), Dan told Drex that Barbie and I were there, and Drex pretty much pinpointed who are father and grandfather were without any kind of help from Dan. Sharp old man, that Drex. That was a very cool conversation.

We all had dinner at Helen's and turned in early. This morning we sat with AJ Feeley's dad at mass, and hit the road around 10:30 (which is 9:30 Portland time) after fueling up at the Jolts-n-Juice. It was sunny in Ontario; it was not in Portland. Sigh.

I wonder why I like going over there so much and kind of entertain the idea of making a living there. Kind of. I mean, it's out there. But it's nice. And there is so much history. And I spend a lot of time wondering these days what my purpose is. I'm just going to keep wondering for now, though, and see if anymore of those folks pushing me around in the Nyssa museum come in the middle of the night and give me some answers.

Friday, November 06, 2009

On the road again

The worst thing about leaving is leaving the kits. Though they probably don't even think about it, I hate leaving them because they know something's up and look at me with their little kitty eyes and it makes me sad.

But I'm off. I'll work most of the day and Barbie and I will be on the road by around 2pm, off east, through the gorge and over that flipping Cabbage Hill. No avoiding it in full dark. I hate that. But it's supposed to rain here all weekend and not in Ontario, so that's a plus.

I injured my right wrist last night trying to rectify a situation that has been irritating me for about two months. I have three smoke detectors in the apartment, all within two feet of each other. One of them (the one on the ceiling, highest of all three) has been beeping for about two months - about four beeps, with about ten seconds between each beep, once a day, then several times a day, so what does that mean? Low battery? I guess. Even though it is hooked up to the electrical source. Whatever. So last night, thinking this would be the weekend that the thing just finally broke down and endlessly wailed for the three solid days I'll be gone, I decided to disconnect it. I dragged one of my cast iron chairs down the hall and climbed up. I have balance issues, but I was fine during the twist-it-off-and-unplug-it-from-the-wires part, but when I went to get down I started to sort of pitch backward, and in the process, grabbed out for the back of the chair, wrenching my wrist in the process. It didn't hurt right away but the pain steadily increassed and now I have limited use of it (typing hurts, but I'm a giver, and so you can thank me later). I considered going to the doctor this morning on my way in to work, but if I recall, my cousin Helen used to be a nurse (I could be so wrong) so I'll just have her look at it. And suffer.

Anyway, no posts this weekend, but hopefully I'll have some adventures to tell when I'm back. It's a long drive back and forth, but that's what makes me such a big fan of the thunder run.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


So I'm supposed to take these antibiotics for 10 days for my left ear. Apparently after seeing the horror in there, the doctor took no chances and prescribed an antibotic ear drop along with the stronger oral antibiotic. I'm supposed to put 10 drops in the ear twice a day, which is fine, my aim is good and so far I have not dribbled any of it down the side of my neck, which seems like something I would do, especially when you consider there is no getting over the shock of that first drop hitting home, all cold and wet and in your ear.

Apparently along with having a small mouth, I also have a small ear canal, because 10 drops seems to be just a little too much. In theory (or as prescribed) I'm supposed to keep my head tilted to the side for five minutes for the drops to really get in there, but a) it kind of freaks me out to wonder where exactly all that medicine is going when it funnels down the canal and b) five minutes is WAY too long for me to sit with my head tilted. One night I just laid on the couch like that, but that meant I had to hear out of my bad ear and cover my hearing ear so watching TV and not hearing it was tiring after about a minute. For the most part I just stand in the kitchen and wait, or try to do things that I can do while tilting my head. Filling the cat bowl with water is not one of those things. Neither is trying to swallow the oral antibiotic but I certainly wasn't going to let common sense and logic keep me from a lesson to be learned. I can pet the cats, who are always on the counter these days, and I can read the stuff that's on my counter, but again, I'm good for about two minutes tops and then I shove some cotton in my ear and go about my morning or evening, as the case may be.

But then I'm deaf for about four hours again, until it finally sort of clears itself up when I'm not paying attention. I've never had any real pain with this infection, so it's not like I can tell if it's working by feeling better. I just have to trust the prescription. Ten days is a long time to have to keep doing this, especially if you have patience issues like me.

On another note, I spoke with my cousin Dan in Vale today about our upcoming trip. He didn't know we were coming, so I gave him a bit of shit for not keeping in touch with his cousin, which confused him, because my cousin Helen is actually his aunt, which led him to give me some shit for not keeping track of the family, which really shouldn't be a huge surprise to him. He'll be around this weekend, so that's good, and we had a nice chat. We still claim we are going to the homestead, which will be neato and might even warrant an actual camera as opposed to just my iPhone, but we'll see how I remember in the packing process tomorrow night. Apparently it's rugged terrain, and it will be cold. Colder than shit, actually. Remember how I don't really have coats? Just that one wool one I wear to work (but not yet because I can't until December 1). Anyway the conversation kind of fired me up, and so far the weather doesn't really call for horrific conditions over Cabbage Hill (so far. Remember, it's me and Barbie on this trip), so I guess I am getting excited for it.

That's petty much all I've got for today. Work is fine, home is fine, life right now is fine, just plugging (unplugging?) along, living the dream, tilting my head.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

One million-word sentence

I don't have much to contribute today besides happy birthday to Sheree who does not read this blog, but if you do, and you know her, wish her a happy birthday, and also I've been wondering recently how someone you thought you were SO IN LOVE WITH (in an I'm-16-and-have-no-idea-what-love-is kind of way) a million years ago can become so annoying and different a million years later, and it's obviously just what life does to a person but seriously if you would have told me a million years ago that this person, who left, never to be seen or heard from again, would come back, a million years later, I would have (at that time) been ecstatic, no matter what, wouldn't have cared what he was like now, just happy, just grateful that he was back, but really, what do you know when you're only 16, and after a million years of living my OWN life, I'd really just rather he stayed in my memory exactly the way he was a million years ago and not the pompous, irritating, self-righteous (did I mention annoying?) person he has presented himself to be now, a million years later.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Prep month

So now that I'm booked and in theory really only need to pack a bag and find a way to the airport, you might think I can just while away this month of November. Well, you're wrong. It's Power Tan time.

I should have tanned yesterday, it being November 1st, but I didn't. Instead I napped a little, cleaned a lot, and tried to take a drive (there was a big wreck on River Road and I was turned away). I simply must start tonight. The problem is I'm not that fired up for it yet. I really only took a month off from tanning (sufficient time for me to go back to complete paste) so the thought of it kind of tires me. Plus the first couple of times I go I don't really get anything, and I have patience issues.

Power Tanning means I go daily for the first week and then every other day for the rest of the month. Not only does it prep my skin for the rigorous tan schedule I have while in Mexico, but it allows me to actually wear shorts when I first get there. And it also opens the door for me to tell everyone I run into that I'm going on vacation. Because I do that.

Today Rudy the maintenance man is coming in to (scare the shit out of the cats and) install a new heater in the casita. I'm sure you all know about my heating issues, two baseboard heaters in the back bedrooms that are rarely if ever used, and the one little box heater by the front door that is intended to heat the entire living area (I almost typed "living space", but thanks to HGTV I refuse to call it that). It doesn't work. It heats a straight path from the entry way to the hall, where nobody sits or stands. I cover myself up with blankets and last year I even bought a little space heater for the super cold days (but I had to keep reminding myself to turn it off if I used the microwave, because if I didn't it blew fuses all over hell and gone and it's a pain in the ass to reset the cable box). This new one will be in the dining room and might actually heat more of the room. I hope so. I hate being cold and it's been cold already.

But sunny. Today and the rest of the week it will allegedly be sunny. I'm glad for that. I'm working downtown and when I need to go out for a little fresh air it sucks if it's raining because you have to take an umbrella. It's the little things. Plus sunshine just makes me a happier girl.

Not much else new except for the ass-handing the Ducks gave to USC on Saturday night. You know, nothing big. I'll be honest - the first half had me nervous (putting it mildly) because their offensive line was doing what their o-line does - looking marvelous. I don't know what happened at the half, though. Usually you figure the locker room chit chat is inspiring enough for them to come out with guns blazing, but apparently it didn't. Not as much as it did the Ducks. I'm happy for that, the Ducks are my boys no matter what, but I love to see this kind of success. Let's just keep it going, one week at a time.

I'm not even going to think about what I'll be doing the night of the Civil War game. Because I can't believe I booked without thinking about it. For now I'm not thinking about it. For now the focus is the Power Tan.