Monday, October 05, 2009

My first mobile post

This could be annoying.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I made it!

Nine states later (beware of my geographical skills kids) and I am in North Carolina. No furniture, no dogs, and no Jim. I have a huge empty house. Its all part of the journey I guess. Just cross your fingers that our house sells fast.

The area is nice. The house is in a great neighborhood... errr... subdivision, and there is easy access to everything. I guess I did not realize Raleigh was so flat. No Indiana flat, but flat. Living in a river basin kind of flat. It is very green, and there are lots of soft deciduous trees as opposed to the scraggly sharp firs in Oregon. It feels like the southeast. It smells like the southeast. It has allergens like the southeast. I'm happy to be back.

Friday the guys from work took me to lunch which was very nice of them. It makes me a little less nervous about Monday. Today one of them invited me to a craft market which would have been awesome, but alas... I had to wait for the guy to come and fix the downstairs toilet.

The house is good. It is a little worn. The landlady said the family that lived there before had 3 little girls. That explains the marks - both crayon and other - all over. They didn't paint the interior, which is okay. It is less pressure on us. Plus the living room is the full 2 story height. Painful to paint. I'm sorry folks, but kids are WAY harder on a house (and a car) than dogs. Sherman and Muldoone may rub down the sides of the wall, but they never do it with a crayon in their mouth. I also think the previous tenants had a pet or two. You can just tell. I'm waiting to find some pee. All a part of the renting game though. Really... moving into a bachelor's 1950 rundown bungalow is quite nastier. I forget that. I also forget the nasty horror that our last rental house was. I tend to block stuff like that out. So this is a cake walk. Plus I am easily freaked out, so I have to re-clean everything. Too bad mom isn't here to help.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy birthday, kinda

I made it through Oregon and Idaho (no... Udaho!). I was going to stop just inside the Wyoming border for the night the first day. I got to the first town and all the hotels were full. I got to the next town, and all the hotels were full. So I asked what was up, and the lady said they had been booked for months in advance... she said it was the "oil boom". Huh? She asked which way I was headed, and when I said east she just shook her head. Crap. I ended up going almost to Colorado for the night which was far further than I had intended. I got to sleep at 1am mountain time. That pretty much put me off kilter for the rest of the trip. I made sure I called ahead to find a place to sleep each night, which meant I either went farther than I wanted or not far enough. The second day I got up late and went down through Colorado. Apparently I missed a big storm by going south. I had never been to Colorado (save the airport) before, and I wanted to see Pike's Peak. I got off the interstate at Trinidad CO and nosed around. That is such an interesting town. I ended up in Las Vegas New Mexico for the night.... also a neat town.

The next morning I got up really early, determined to make it to Jim's parents house, or at the very least Little Rock Arkansas. It was my birthday. My 35th birthday. So I was wondering what wonderful things the day would hold. Ha! About an hour into my journey I lost a tire. I had no idea where I was, except I knew I was on I-40 in New Mexico. AAA was good to me. Jim was good to me too... finding the nearest Nissan dealership since there was NO way there was an Infiniti dealership for hundreds of miles. The nearest Nissan dealership was i Amarillo TX, which was not close. My car has a very odd size tire on it, so there aren't many places that would have one. I could not get to my cheater tire without unloading a completely full trunk. I couldn't even drive the several hundred miles to Amarillo anyway. A nice guy came and towed me to Amarillo. It was actually nice to have someone else drive for awhile, and to have someone to talk to. Of course it was kinda like hiring a date. He was not a cheap travel companion. When I got to the Nissan dealership, they ordered the tires (yes I got all 4) and worked me in.

Needless to say. I got a ride with a crazy tow truck driver and 4 new tires for my birthday.

Friday, March 28, 2008

North Carolina Bound!

So things have been CRAZY lately. I don't know if you guys even check this anymore, but...

I have taken a job in Raleigh NC. My last day at my current job is April 11th. Jim and I are going to visit Heather in California the 16th - 21st, and then I am going to drive out to Raleigh. I have to get a rental house, which is stressful, but poor Jim has it much worse. He is staying here in Portland with the house. He is finishing up some of the work and putting it on the market.

This happened very fast. Much too fast, but I think I have made a good decision.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Burning Off Bad Karma

When faced with unfortunate circumstances, a person’s true nature comes out. I think I have the upper hand on some. A) My true nature is actually pretty nice and caring – contrary to popular belief. B) I am a seasoned flyer, and although things can frustrate and inconvenience me, I don’t get freaked out or anything. I’m not saying it isn’t anxiety inducing, but I know that it will just become an adventure and all work out in the end. I know my last post reflected my fatigue and frustration, but really the whole experience was very interesting. People who freak out, cry, scream, and act as if they will never see their home again are pretty entertaining to watch. I do however feel very very very sorry for the people having to deal with these idiots. Its funny how the gate agents remembered me when I came back from another cancelled flight needing help. They greeted me with an exuberant “Hello Ms. Reed!”

One thing that is pretty great is how people sort of rally together. I met so many nice people from all over the place. When you have nothing but time, you might as well get to know each other, right?

The most interesting person was an incredible woman from DC that I met in the bar on the second day in the DC airport. She was such a strong loving person. She has helped over a dozen transsexuals go through the sex change process. She was not herself transgender. She gives them a place to live when necessary, stays with them through the agonizing transitioning process prior to their operations, and she travels with them and gives them moral support when they have their surgery. She said she had been to Portland several times to a notorious doctor that used to live here. He was pushed out when the hospital he was in was sucked in by a religiously affiliated hospital conglomerate. We hit it off and spent several hours chatting and laughing. Oh and there were some bloody marys involved, but that is beside the point.

I also met a cool girl from LA that lives part time in Rochester NY. She works for Kodak as a designer. We had an hour to get to know each other while we waited in the freezing rain for the hotel shuttle. One woman I met when I was finally on the plane to Syracuse. She was a retired writer for a horse magazine, and she had traveled all over the world following equestrian events. And then there was this outgoing little boy who, after hours and hours in an airport, had worn on his mother. He struck up a conversation with me. I do not like kids as a general rule, but I don't mind them when they act like little adults. He have a skateboard, and he promised me I could ride it. So I did… badly. It was crowded as all get out in the terminal, so there I was making my way through the people. I wasn’t really skateboarding as much as pushing people over to keep from falling off as I hurtled down the concourse. The kid really enjoyed that… he was behind me squealing all the way, and I was laughing so hard I could barely see through the tears. At that point I was hysterical from the lack of sleep and the stress.

I also met a guy my age from Maine who was trying to get home because his dad was just put on life support and not expected to make it much longer. He was trying desperately to get there to see him. Funny…. he was calm and respectful despite the circumstances. We were chatting and sitting across the way from a woman screaming obscenities to the customer service person about how she was going to miss her daughter’s birthday. Bitch. That’s why they make “happy belated birthday” cards. I don’t recall Hallmark making a “sorry for not being able to tell you I love you before you died dad” card. Hum… Finally, after what seemed to be hours of her yelling, I could not take it anymore. So I of course had to say something to her. Not enlightening her on just how much of a bitch she was, although it was hard not to, but I told her she was in fact not the center of the universe, that there were people there who had real problems, and that she should apologize to the customer service lady because it is completely inappropriate to talk to anyone like that - ever. Of course I said it in my sweetest southern “love your heart, but…” sort of way.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day

I got my bag at 3am Thursday morning. I was just in time to sleep in my pjs for a couple of hours before going to work. I had somewhat boring meetings all day, and after work I drove to Rochester to stay the night at a hotel by the airport. I was afraid of the driving conditions on the way… you know… since it was 8 degrees F. Everything was pretty clear though. Before I got to the airport I called to see if the hotel had a shuttle because I was going to go ahead and turn in the car, Well the hotel was on airport property, It was actually at the end of the departures drop off, and right next to the rental car return. It took me literally a minute to cross the road and get to the hotel. Oh that was the best bed ever. Well at least the best in a few days. I stayed up way too late, but it was nice for the 4 hours I slept, and the 4 hours I watched tv, drank my green tea, and played on the computer. At 5am I rolled out of bed, rolled over to the United check-in desk, and rolled through security slick as a ribbon.

So I think I am noticing a trend. This morning an old couple sat down next to me and pulled out some bananas. Just like the situation in the Las Vegas airport, I asked them where they got them – you know sometimes they actually sell fruit at newsstands and starbux in the airport. Well the old man said they brought them from home. He said they had an extra one, and he pulled a banana from his bag. I of course took it. Mom said never take candy from strangers, but she never said anything about bananas.

Both my flights were on time coming home. And I guess as payback, I got bumped to first class for my 4 ½ hour flight from Chicago to Portland. Does it fade the nightmare of futilely switching flights over and over again all day Tuesday and part of Wednesday? Does it make me less grossed out about spending several days in the same clothes (I did shower however)? Does it forgive the fact I missed a day long workshop? Does it lessen the anxiety of breaking out of my normal travel routine? No… but it REALLY helps.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hello Mr. Bag.... I missed you

Oops... can you see my underwear?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Brief Life in Washington DC

AKA... my life without clothes, toiletries, and cell phone chargers... not to mention my work computer.

I have had the worst 2 days. I flew from Portland to DC. Once I got there my flight to Rochester was cancelled. The next (and last) flight was cancelled, then uncancelled, then cancelled again. I tried to get standby on the last 2 flights to Syracuse. They were over sold by 15, and there were over 40 people ahead of me on the standby list. I tried Albany... anything. I found out today that the 2 flights to Syracuse actually took off, got to Syracuse, and could not land so they came back. I could not get a flight with a confirmed seat until 1pm today... it was to Syracuse. I knew last night that my bag was placed on the last flight to Rochester, and got there about 1am. I got here in Syracuse this afternoon, and I have been trying to get my bag ever since. I'm getting some call center with a bunch of people I can not understand. They are supposed to bring my bag to my hotel between 6pm and 10pm eastern time.

The problem is I have to check out of this hotel at 7am tomorrow. I have meeting all day, some of which I am running. I don't have my materials, computer, nothing. I bought a notebook tonight. Where the hell is my bag going? Tomorrow night I am heading back to Rochester to fly out the next morning.

They have 10 minutes.

What? What?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!

Friday morning I am embarking on a "girl's weekend" in Vegas. A bunch of us (friends from work, friends of friends) are going to paint the town red. I am looking forward to not sleeping, losing money, seeing the Chippendales, and probably consuming too much food and drink. I am getting back Monday. Then of course I am turning around and flying to New York on Tuesday morning for the week.

I'm not sure if you should expect photos... they have threatened to make sure there is no record of our antics. Yeah right!

My Pussy Willow is Blooming


We had some weird, inconsistent weather today.... oh wait. It IS oregon.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I'm being published!

Well kinda. I have a photo being put in a book called "Weird US". They are using one of my photos from my trip to Tulsa. How bizarre, eh? Well I'm pretty stoked. It is my second photo to be published. Back in the summer some of my photos from Liverpool UK were published, but it was in one of their regional tourist booklets. This is much more exciting.

If I did all that with my little camera, imagine what I could do with my new one! Maybe I give up my life in the corporate world and become a professional photographer. Okay... that might be going a bit too far, but you know what I mean!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Matildamesh the Velvet Pig

Today we had to have Mattie put to sleep.

When we lived in Tennessee, one day Jim and I went for a hike to Andrew's Bald at the base of Clingman's Dome in the Smoky Mountains. It was then we decided we wanted a dog. We scoured the papers, and decided to go and "just look" at a puppy. We went to Morristown to a scary house in the boonies. There she was in a muddy pen in the backyard. She was maybe 6 weeks old and the only one left. She was the runt of the litter. Her ears were way too big for her body - that never changed. We could not leave her there. So we ended up back at our apartment with a little brown disease bag. Her registered name was Matildamesh the Velvet Pig. Matildamesh was Jim's car in high school. Pig was what she looked like and how she acted. Velvet was the way hear ears felt.

She had everything worm and parasite know to dog. She cried. She pooped. She peed. She destroyed. She was smart, sneaky, and manipulative. She was also prickly and definitely not a cuddler. You had to force her to be affectionate. I can't say how many times Jim and I sat on the kitchen floor crying... asking why we did this to ourselves.

We took her to obedience school right after she was spayed. She was the youngest by far. She taunted the other dogs - the rottweilers, german shepherd... She was the teacher's pet. We of course would leave with exercises to practice, and we never would. We would stand there nervously, knowing when it was our turn she would do nothing. No... she pulled it from her butt. Perfect every time.

She loved things that squeaked. In fact they drove her crazy. She would jump and squeal and bark. She would destroy her toys, dig holes in the yard, and eat cat poop. She let the cats chew on her, attack her, and ride her like a pony. She loved kids, and she was very protective of them. She was also an excellent judge of character. She was never wrong. Never. We always joked if Mattie liked you then you were good people. I remember Jim had a friend that came over one night. Mattie would not leave him alone. She chewed on him, attacked his shoes, and showed us she did not like this guy. She did this every time he came over. She was so right. He didn't last long.

By the time she was 6 months old the three of us had come to peace. She was affectionate. She was potty trained. She did not dig in the yard. She no longer chewed. She was a smart, sweet, pretty girl - still with ears that were too big for her body. She was our baby.

She was so patient with the boys as they came into the house. She put up with each puppy, making sure they knew she was the boss. She would not show them affection either and would not mother them, but sometimes we would catch her snuggled up with them. She always looked so guilty when we caught them. As she got older she got more and more cranky. She would bark at the mailman, do her mean voice when to doorbell rang, and once she even try to attack a ground hog. We took her often to Nags Head, NC in the winter to play on the beach. She would eat the nasty things you find on the beach, and dig in the sand. She remained queen of the house up until a few months ago.

We found out a few months ago that she had cancer. We didn't want her to suffer, and Jim and I had "the talk" when we found out. After that she was allowed to do anything she wanted. She ate as many of mom's homemade dog biscuits as she wanted. She slept where she wanted, she got to dig in the yard... she got all of the special treatment. She is the first dog we have ever lost. We loved her, and we are glad we had the strength to keep our promise to her. She will be missed. 8/7/1995 - 2/1/2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jim on the Tractor

Jim got home tonight from a trip to Jackson to see his parents and sister over the weekend. They now have all the tractors at the house, so they got in a little play time. They took some video, so I'll try to get some of that up. You can hear the cool tractor sounds.

The house was nice and quiet - except for Mattie's snoring, but I sure am glad he's home.

Snow? What Snow?

We apparently had some awful weather last night. There was ice and several inches of snow. Seems like North Portland didn't get hit. There was barely a dusting (the red car makes it more dramatic) here at the house. The roads around the house were completely clear. Good thing I am off this week. Over the ridge at my office it was a mess. Ahhhh.... dogs, pajamas, and wool socks.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Wonders of Tulsa

Ok, so Skaneateles NY has the cleanest lake in the country. Toronto has the tallest structure in North America. Santa Fe NM has the oldest house in America. San Jose CA has the Winchester Mystery House. Quinault WA has the largest spruce tree. Oregon has the shortest lighthouse in America.

But.... Tulsa Oklahoma has the Center of the Universe. Yes. It is true. 2 people stand across from each other and one can hear the other person's voice echo, but not there own. Well Tiffanie and I got excited! It took us awhile to figure out how it worked, but a nice little passerby told us. If you stand there by yourself you hear the echo, but no one else does. It was in a very unassuming place downtown. They have built a bunch of pedestrian bridges over the railroad tracks as part of an urban renewal project. The center of the universe was on one of those bridges right next to the Tulsa Union Depot.

Overall I think Tiffanie and I took in the wonders of Tulsa, and we don't need to go back anytime soon.

Such a Mix of Architectural Styles

Boston Avenue Methodist Church

Hey! I'm at the Center of the Universe!

Impressive, huh?

This is it.

Center of the Universe, Oklahoma Style

Google maps never lies. Well... almost never.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Oral Roberts University

So I know it seems like Oral Roberts University is weird place to visit when you go to Tulsa Oklahoma, but it was kinda cool... and kinda weird. I had heard there was some pretty cool architecture there, and there was for sure. There was lots of "Sunsphere gold" on the buildings. We were fortunate that we got there late in the afternoon because the setting sun intensified the golden glow. I don't know what was cooler, the prayer tower or the praying hands.

The Praying Hands

The hands were VERY veiny - creepily so.

The Prayer Tower

It looks like a spaceship crossed with a carnival ride.

Oral Roberts University

I'm an Oklahoma Queen

Tif and got into Tulsa this afternoon. But unfortunately my luggage did not. We flew from Portland to Denver, then from Denver to Tulsa. Apparently there was not room for my luggage (as well as several other people's) from Portland to Denver, so they sent it from Portland to Chicago, and then it was going to be in Tulsa when I got there. Ummm. No. The flight it was supposed to be on was cancelled. Then the next one they put it on just landed. Grrr. Several of the guys from NY that are meeting us here were on that flight, so I got the inside scoop.

I just heard that my friend Jill in Knoxville is getting married!!! Yay! I'm so happy for her!

Sherman and his babies

We've started buying them at Ikea. They last longer and they are machine washable. Oh and they are his favorite. He loves carrying the octopus around and hitting things with the tentacles.

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