Thursday, November 29, 2007

Skunks Get Lonely, Too.

When I arrived home late Tuesday night, the dog stood on his hind legs to hug me, the cats all purred. The hamster came out of her tubes in hopes of a treat, and the fish came to the surface in expectation.

But the skunk made my day. As soon as I opened the cage she followed me around the kitchen as I prepared my dinner, then lay on my feet until I was done eating and allowed her on the couch with me. She snuggled right up and didn't budge until it was bedtime.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Contacts: Don't Leave Home Without 'Em

On Wednesday my cousin/wedding coordinator and I drove to Walla Walla from Portland for the Thanksgiving holiday. She lives there, and I was visiting.

I have driven up the Columbia Gorge countless times in my life - I used to travel with my grandparents bi-monthly to visit my great-grandparents. I have lived in College Place and beyond and driven to Portland bi-weekly for choir practices and performances at my church. I-84 is so familiar to me that I cannot help but recall the many trip memories from my childhood every time I pass through.

My grandparents were teachers before their retirement and our journeys were always filled with lessons for me, usually math and/or constellations while I laid in the back window of their Volkswagen Rabbit.

Since this four-hour drive is old hat to me, I did not find it necessary to wear my contacts as I had no need to read the highway signs. Once we reached our destination in College Place, I dropped my cousin off and continued on my list of people to see all in the same evening. Having spent a good amount of time in College Place as a child, college student and later housewife, I can easily transverse the small town by landmarks alone.

My other two cousins and their families live in Walla Walla, which is a sister town to College Place and only really separated on a map. It was dark by the time I headed through downtown en route to the first of their houses and I was going on directions written on a napkin that I could not see because the borrowed Subaru had no dome light.

I wandered the neighborhoods near Whitman College before realizing that I had not gone far enough on Isaacs Street. I finally found Bellevue Street and made the correct left turn. I then began looking for an alley/driveway after the second house on the second block. There it was! I pulled in to my left and tried to figure out where to park. It took me two phone calls to figure out that I was supposed to be on the RIGHT side of the street, not the left. I came out of the alley, crossed Bellevue and parked behind my cousins house for a lovely 45 minute visit.

As dinner time neared it was my cue to move on to the next location. I had been instructed to take a right on Isaacs and then a left on Division, but was not told how far down to find Division. As I could not read the street signs until I was quite literally upon them, I soon found myself winding around Whitman College again, heading the wrong direction. I made another phone call and was set on the correct path. I had been told that if I got to the three-way stop I had gone too far, so of course I had to flip a U-turn when I hit it and finally made it to my dinner host's abode.

After dinner and much stress (Scott decided on Wednesday night to fly out to Portland on Thursday) to book an airline ticket, it was time to cross town again to the cousin's house I was staying at. I departed heading in the general direction of College Place, intending to zig-zag across Walla Walla and come back in on Rose.

As I took a right through a main intersection, the car fishtailed. Granted, it was well below freezing, but I thought for SURE the ground was dry. I gained control easily and took my next left onto what I thought was Rose. I began to hear the tell-tale thump-thump-thump of a flat tire. I pulled over and braved the cold to investigate. Sure enough, the rear left tire had blown out completely, I could stick my hand IN the tire at the edge.

I made yet another phone call for rescue and had to get out of the car and trot over to a street sign to read where I was. Apparently NOT on Rose and NOT in a "good" part of town. I locked myself in the Subaru and awaited my knight-in-shining-Camry (aka my cousin's husband).

The moral of the story is two-fold.
  1. Wear your contacts when driving, you silly woman.
  2. Double check the contents of your purse before you leave town with the keys to the abandoned car.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Heading Home...

My travels yesterday began when Scott dropped me off at the Key West airport. My flight was scheduled to leave at 4:22pm, so we arrived at the terminal at about 3:45pm. I unloaded my purse, pillow and suitcase from the car and then hauled out the big duffle bag from the trunk. At the last second I decided to grab the little neck pillow from the back window (you know the kind - all squishy and have names like SQWISHEE!) for some added comfort.

The pillow had been in the back window of the BMW for quite some time and apparently had melded to the upholstery. As I retrieved it, the casing tore and brought forth 3,496,872 little white SQWISHEE! beads. All. Over. The. Car. And my head. And down my shirt and pants and in my shoes. And in my pockets.

I took a quick moment to attempt to dust myself of the blizzard and then made my way into the building and to the ticket counter. I checked my bags and received a boarding pass, then made my way through security with about 5 minutes to spare before boarding.

In Miami I had about 20 minutes between flights and used it to hit up an airport Starbucks for a Venti Black Tea Lemonade. I sucked it down in about 10 minutes, boarded the next plane, and by the time my flight landed in Dallas, my bladder was in state-of-emergency mode. I was seated in the very back of the plane and was concerned that our late arrival meant I would miss my connection to Portland.

As I speedwalked off the aircraft, I found my next gate and was exceedingly grateful to discover that my next flight was also delayed. I waddled my thankful bladder to the nearest restroom with the intention of relieving my discomfort. I was carrying a large shoulder-bag and a full size pillow. The stall had one hook. Pillows are not made for hooks.

I hung the bag on the hook, undid my pants with one hand and then carefully held the pillow between my knees to er, do my business. It was then that I noticed that I had about 2 cups of SQWISHEE! beads in my nether regions. I'm sure a few were quite literally pissed away, but the remainder were not going down without a fight.

It is very difficult to remove something from that part of your anatomy with a full sized pillow held carefully between your knees.

I managed to eradicate most of the little buggers, and boarded the last flight hoping I had got them all.

When I changed my clothes for bed last night I shed about another 2.5 cups of beads on my mother's guestroom floor, thanks to the castaways lurking in my bra, scalp and navel.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

BTS: Chapter Two

I received a "transcript conversion" from FKCC for my time at MHCC, and it looks like several of my classes will count towards the certificate I'm planning to receive.

I'm going to obtain a Small Business Management Certificate program before continuing with an A.A.S. I think I can finish the certificate program in the time that we are in Key West, and I can then go on for an A.A.S. wherever I am.

Also a pleasant surprise was that I had a GPA of 3.45 at MHCC, the highest I've had in my school career.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Back To School: Chapter One

Officially I am planning to get an A.A.S. in Small Business Management. I thought it would be a good idea since I am managing a small business.

I met with my "adviser" today. He told me nothing I didn't already know and basically just talked about himself for a half hour. I learned much more about him and his family than the program, much less received any advice.

I have taken two quarters of college previously and am hoping that some of those credits will apply. At the least it looks like my "Intro to Business" course at MHCC in '97 is still good, and I'm hoping an AP English class in High School transfers as well.

I was expecting my adviser to advise me as to which of my previous credits were now applicable and which things I should start with. Apparently, I have to ask a different adviser to figure that out and I am on my own as far as what classes to take when.

Not that I'm complaining or anything. Ha.

I picked up the course requirements page and a course request form and will get into the 2008 class schedule to figure out what I want to take. I'm going to start easy since I'll still be working full time AND getting married during Spring semester.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


One of those days.

Dumb customers.

The skunk won't stay out of the dog food and the siamese keeps getting on the counter.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Best Under Pressure

I'm nearly always busy - I have lots of projects half-done all over the house. Scrapbooking, blankets in the midst of being crocheted, a stack of books to put away...

But since I do better when I have too much to do, I'm going to take on more!

That's right - I'm going back to school. I've threatened it several times in the last 10 years, but it's actually going to happen this time.

I've applied, been accepted, gotten transcripts sent, established residency, and been assigned an advisor.

My next step is to meet with him and figure out if any of my old credits are still good (and when I say "old", I mean MOLDY) and then plug the classes I need into my work schedule.

Here we go again!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

From the Enquirer

I've noticed a few articles in the gossip mags lately about David Copperfield attacking some crazy female in a sexual manner.

I do not believe it.

Not because I am a die-hard Copperfield fan, but because I am convinced that David Copperfield is GAY.

P.S. In addition to missing my "L" and "9" keys, my space bar is on the fritz. Grrrrr.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

6 Things I Did Today...

...that most people don't ever do:

1) Wear a live skunk hat.

2) Rehabilitate a Hamster that has been running loose in a pawn shop for a week.

3) Hold hands with a Scarlet Macaw.

4) Facilitate some inter-racial love.

5)Witness a turtle pyramid.

6)Put on socks and make hot chocolate because it was down to 76 degrees.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Little Bit About the Past

You remember back when you were a kid and you thought about the year "2000?" I think I was probably in about 3rd or 4th grade when it entered my consciousness, and I realized I would be 24 in the magical year 2000. Considering that my biggest worries at the time were how to fend off my enemies and getting out of doing homework, I could not fathom what sort of worries could possibly beleaguer someone that old.

As it turns out, the year I was 24 was probably one of my most difficult. Shortly before my birthday I began dating someone I had been interested in about a year previous during one of the many "breaks" in a relationship with someone else (hereafter known as Guitar Guy). For some reason, we thought it would be a good idea to get married immediately. I was not pregnant and neither of us were in need of a green card, but we planned and executed a wedding in three months - complete with nine attendants each, two candlelighters, a ring bearer, a Bible boy and ten "snowflake chuckers" (it was a December wedding).

My husband thought it would be a good idea to move away from the community I had lived in the majority of my life, so we moved to Moyie Springs, Idaho. In January. With one vehicle. And no TV.

Our home was a beautiful little chalet that was open on the bottom floor with the exception of a bathroom. It had a door to the outside on all four sides of the house and a circular wrought iron staircase in the middle. The two upstairs bedrooms were mostly unusable because A) it is hard to carry furniture up a spiral staircase and B) it is hard to heat an upper floor with just a wood stove downstairs.

We placed our four-poster bed in the corner (see diagram) nearest the wood stove and lived miserably there for about two and a half months.

My then-husband had obtained a job before we moved and the place that was employing him had promised me one as well. They lied. I had nothing to do and no way to get there in any case, as he took the truck every morning.

I was alone from about 7 am to 7pm Monday through Friday. I read every book I owned within about the first three weeks. I was also on the internet a lot, as our cell phones only worked in one corner of the house, on a clear day.

I managed to disguise my despair to everyone but my mother, who flew to see us and told my then-husband that he had better move me immediately or there would be a dire situation. She was right. If not for adopting a cat that I spent all my time with daily, I don't know if I would have survived.

We moved to a trailer in Hermiston, Oregon in mid-March for about three weeks while we looked for a place to live in College Place, Washington. By this time we both realized that our marriage had problems beyond removing me from my environment, but he took a job that required him to be gone 4 to 6 nights a week and when he did come home I felt like he was invading my space.

I moved out and we decided to divorce right about the middle of April. I got a job back in my familiar neck of the woods and rented my first apartment of my own. I learned to deal with budgeting my finances and having full responsibility for myself.

I adopted a second cat (I got the first one when we split) and got back together with Guitar Guy (if the truth be told, I was not over him to begin with, one of MANY nails in our marriage coffin).

Our divorce was filed just before I turned 25, and was final in November. We were leading very separate lives by the time the first anniversary of our wedding rolled around.

It took me a long time to be able to tell many of my friends and family that I was getting/had gotten a divorce. I was so embarrassed to admit to so many of them that this thing I had attempted was a failure.

Now seven years later, I am glad for the experiences of that year, but would not want to re-live them for anything.

I am not afraid to get married again, and am anxiously waiting for April 12, 2008 to come!