Archive for the 'shenanigans' Category


Meg wanted me to make it clear that we’re not spending all our vacation at the Rodeway mentioned in the previous post. So here’s the view from the Oceanside, Ore., condo she rented for a couple of nights — a huge improvement, right? The beach is fabulous, and we are planning a Tillamook cheese curd run this afternoon. It’s not the worst vacation ever, just to be clear.


What you pay for

Meg took a couple of days off immediately following Labor Day, so we decided to head for the Oregon coast for some r&r (not that an unemployed library school grad needs much more than a good book for that). Anyway, we decided to head out after church and stay in Portland for one night to cut down on travel time Monday. Since Meg brought her doggies along, we needed a pet-friendly hotel — preferably a cheap one. Meg found one online and reserved it, so we were all set. I don’t think the picture does the place justice, as you can’t tell that our room window is 10 feet from a strip club. Across the street there were two day cares, a booze shop and an off-track betting joint. Oh, and a really creepy guy met us at the entrance and tried to get extra friendly with Meg. I guess that’s what we get.


Run-in with a raccoon

Usually I fly home to visit my family during the holidays, but because I’m going to be spending a few months with my parents, I decided to drive down so I could take more stuff and have my own car while I’m there. I left Seattle at about 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, and things went well for the first nine hours or so. There was a little bit of ice on the road outside La Grande, Oregon, but nothing too scary. I got to Boise around 10 p.m. and was feeling pretty alert, so I decided to drive a little farther.

Just outside of Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho, I saw a huge raccoon in the road. I swerved to go behind it, but the critter turned around and ran right in front of my car. THUNK! THUNKETY THUNK THUNK! Continue reading ‘Run-in with a raccoon’

Biking way more than necessary

This weekend was entirely free — no lectures, no transferring to different hotels, no suggested day trips, etc. — so I spent a couple of days exploring the area surrounding Rotterdam. Since I traveled mostly by train yesterday, today was a day for biking. The late summer weather was lovely, so it was a perfect day for it.

Poppy bought a bike in Hoenderloo (near Hoge Veluwe) and rode it back to Rotterdam last weekend, so she had the wheels to join Molly, Jonathan and me on an easy ride to Den Haag by way of Delft. Continue reading ‘Biking way more than necessary’


Trent left this weekend free for self-directed exploration, so a lot of people from the group here decided to go to Brugge, Belgium. A few of us stayed in Rotterdam to explore the surrounding area, though, and I am one of them. Today was kind of rainy, so I ditched my bike in favor of the train and went to Utrecht with Poppy and Jonathan. Trent has told us it is one of his favorite cities, and we could see why. The city isn’t too big, but there are a lot of interesting things to see and do. We actually ran out of time, so I’ll have to go back someday.

One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to climb towers, so I was delighted to discover that the tallest tower in the Netherlands is the Domtoren in Utrecht. Continue reading ‘Utrecht’

The poor girl’s guide to auto body repair

Last summer when I was in Arizona, someone dinged my car while it was parked on the street outside my house in Seattle. The inconsiderate someone didn’t leave a note or offer to pay for repairs, and I was too poor at the time to get it fixed (I’m still too poor). So the dent has bugged me every time I drive my car, which is only about once a week, so it has been endurable. The thing that really bugged me about it, though, was that the dent distorted my bumper enough that the clips on the car didn’t hold the bumper flush to the side of the car. I don’t know why things like that bug me, but they do. So this weekend I decided to take things into my own hands.

Continue reading ‘The poor girl’s guide to auto body repair’

Can’t sleep

Every once in awhile I have a bout of insomnia. Last night was one of those times. It didn’t help that the tapping I kept hearing outside my window reminded me of those creepy urban legends (or contemporary folktales, as we called them in my BYU folklore class) my friends used to tell me. You know, like the stories where the babysitter goes outside to check on a tapping noise and never comes back and the kids hear the tapping all night but don’t go outside to check on her because they’re scared, but then in the morning they go outside and see the dead babysitter hanging from a tree, her dangling foot tapping against the window. (Yes, urban legends are best told in run-on sentences). That sort of thing.

Continue reading ‘Can’t sleep’

Big Climb

The overblown, schmaltzy strains of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” filled my ears as I stepped through the doors of the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle. I had just climbed 1,311 stairs — 69 floors — in Seattle’s tallest building to help raise awareness and money (by the way, you still have time to donate) for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, but I didn’t feel like much of a champion. The first 60 floors of the Big Climb were pretty easy as I kept a steady, gentle pace floor after floor. But when the bracelet Maria gave me the day of Celia’s funeral snapped in half after catching on my pocket, I just wanted to be done, so I raced up the last nine floors. I was a sweaty, breathless mess by the time I got to the top, and I had awhile to wait while Meg caught up with me. Thinking time.

Continue reading ‘Big Climb’

Blood donation, take two

I donated blood at a blood drive at my church today, and it went much better than my Halloween attempt. The guy doing the needle insertion popped it right into my vein, and I pumped out a pint in 5 minutes. As I was pumping blood, I heard the phlebotomist tell another guy, “Great start to the day — hard stick, got it on the first try.” I hit my 2-gallon mark today for Puget Sound Blood Center. I think if there hadn’t been so many botched needle insertions in my past, I’d be on about 4 gallons by now. Ah well. Let’s hope it goes this smoothly again next time.

Happy Halloween!

halloween09-1This Halloween, I tried to treat Puget Sound Blood Center to a pint of clean, pure O- blood, but the phlebotomist played a mean trick and didn’t get the needle in my vein right, so my blood stopped flowing midway through my donation. The same guy has messed up the needle insertion before, so he’s one vampire who won’t get another chance to drain my blood. Boo!