Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Am Miss Bates

Not Emma Woodhouse, not Harriet Smith, not Jane Fairfax and not even Miss Taylor, but Miss Bates. The sooner I accept it and adjust my expectations accordingly, the happier I'll be.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gobble gobble

I'm stoked! I ordered a local wild turkey for Thanksgiving from Bald Hill Farm and I got to pick it up today. Yesterday morning it looked like this.
Now it's in my fridge. Is that morbid? Perhaps. More morbid than Butterball? I think not. At least it was happy and healthy while it lived. And it will be oh so tasty come Thursday afternoon, assuming I don't overcook it. Gobble gobble indeed. I also got a local organic ham for my poultry allergic brother. I love leftover ham. I hope my stomach has recovered entirely from it's weekend of bad behavior. I have no wish to have to eat carefully on Thanksgiving.

I'm going to stay at my uncle's for the next few days so that my other brother can have my room. That way he won't have to drive up and down the hill every day, and also he can stay with his cat, Casper, who will be here as well. Aren't I nice? Not that I have ulterior motives... Uncle Snake just bought season 3 of Heroes, which I have yet to see. Now I can stay up all night and watch it :D

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Yesterday there was a kid on my bus who squealed with delight every time we passed a field of sheep. "Sheep!!! Sheep! Look, Mom, sheep!! SHEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!" It was totally cute. He didn't seem at all impressed with the many cows and horses we passed. Clearly this kid has got his priorities straight. SHEEEEEEEP indeed.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The last run of my day I usually transport a half dozen people or so, give or take. Today I had one lone passenger, a young man who rides nearly every day. He observed as we drove through the abnormally empty streets of campus after dark, "Whoa, it's like the aftermath scene in a zombie movie... cause there's no one around, ya know?" I laughed. It's such a guy thing to say.

There's a group of special women I transport from the gym to the terminal every day, so they can catch their bus home. They work out and go swimming and soak in the hot tub before they come to my bus. They're lovely, cheery, chatty ladies. Yesterday as I was pulling up to their stop, one of them peered through the front windscreen, saw me, turned to her friends and said, "Oh good! It's her", while clapping her hands with glee. Made my day, I tell you.

Yesterday I had a meeting with my funeral director friend to ask him questions about his job. It was very informative, and of course, he took me on a tour of the facility. Did you know they have little mini urns, so that if more than one relative wants to keep Grandma close by they can divvy up her ashes and carry her with them? I find that a bit creepy, to tell the truth, but not as weird as funeral keepsake jewelry, which is exactly what it sounds like. (ew!) I had to smile because the flower shop that this particular funeral home recommends to it's customers is run by my ex-boss's arch nemesis. I just bit my tongue and kept on walking.

Naturally we looked in on the embalming lab. Edna was there, chilling on the table, waiting to be dressed for her service, which is tomorrow. She looked to have been in her 80s. My friend said they wait to dress them till just before the viewing because sometimes they leak, and that can be a problem if they're already dressed. He did tell me that the the whole bodies-move-during-the-embalming-process thing is just a myth. He said he's never seen anyone move. I was surprised how much the embalming lab did not smell. I was standing next to an embalmed body and I couldn't smell formaldehyde until he actually opened up the cupboard where the chemicals are stored. Then I got a faint whiff. Did you know the smell of formaldehyde sinks? The vents are all at floor level. I also learned that I don't actually have to go to school and get an embalming license to be a funeral director. If I don't want to do embalming, I can do an apprenticeship and take a test and get a funeral director's license that way. Seems like the weenie's way out to me :) Aren't you glad you're my friend and get to learn all these fascinatingly morbid factoids? Bet you're glad you logged on here today, eh?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Farewell, my little blue friends

The carnage!! The destruction!! The total devastation!! The Smurf Village has been razed to the ground. Sob. Apparently the grounds crew at HP have no respect for little blue beings because when I drove through there today it was all gone, only stems left. I'd post photos, but I think they'd be too graphic for my reading audience.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Sorry for the unexplained absence. We did end up driving to Seattle for the weekend and had an interesting visit with my Bro and his family. I had to do battle to get my Saturday off. I went to my manager and truly ranted for about 10 minutes about the injustice of the situation with particular emphasis on the need for a change in the system. She agreed with me, but didn't see what was to be done in this particular instance. One of the other drivers who was also scheduled to have the day off agreed to take the shift, mostly just to shut me up, I think. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Of course, he shouldn't have had to give up his day off either, but at least he volunteered.

It was lovely to see my bro and his family, wish we'd had more time and could have been more help. The most we could really do was to suggest they move here to be closer to family support. That would be so cool. Then we'd all be here, except Alex, who is just an hour and a half away.

I didn't take even one single photo the whole weekend, not even of my family, nor did I walk. I spent nearly the entirety of my waking hours sitting in the car or at the house or at a restaurant.

This is a photo from a different Seattle visit, where I walked a lot :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


This evening I walked the entire length of Monroe Avenue and back, 52 blocks, 45 minutes. I don't much like walking after dark, not because I don't like the atmosphere, but because I'm a paranoid, chicken little girl. I get jumpy every time I have to pass out of the light, even on a totally busy road like Monroe. I imagine creepy homeless crack addicts behind every tree. I also like it less than daylight because I can't get decent photos of anything. I need a tripod :p

I pass this bush in the bus every day and I find it fascinating how the branches change from glowing orange to vibrant purple, polar opposites on the same plant. Of course, this photo doesn't do the colors justice.

This is one of the many churches on Monroe. I used to sing here as a girl. My school choir had a concert here every year. The stained glass is much more impressive from the inside :)

Today I want to quit my job. I was supposed to have Saturday off, as per the new schedule I mentioned. I had planned to help my brother move, and was trying to keep the weekend reasonably free in case I needed to rush to Seattle to help with the family drama going on up there. But someone in the office didn't do their job and it was discovered that they had double scheduled someone for Saturday afternoon. Instead of telling one of the people who had asked for an unscheduled day off that they needed to work their shift as there was no one to cover for them, they are forcing me to take someone else's shift. I am sick sick sick of working for a company who doesn't respect my time, my health, my mental well being. They don't care that I have a life outside of work, or that I am having to change plans and disappoint people in order to accommodate their mistake. For the millionth time. Rant rant rave pontificate spew vent rant rant rant.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I haven't blogged much in the last few days because I'm upset about some family stuff and anything I write is going to be a vituperative rant. I don't want to go there, particularly not with any detail, but I will make one observation. This is a gross generalization, and maybe it's just in my family. I don't know, but it seems to me that men are awfully good at excusing themselves from blame when things go wrong, even when it's completely obvious to the rest of the world that they are complicit in the problem, whereas women beat themselves up mercilessly about things that couldn't possibly have been their fault. Am I imagining this?

I took a walk around my neighborhood today and snapped a few photos :)

I stumbled upon the Smurf village on my way. They weren't at home, alas. Maybe next time.

This is possibly my favorite tree in my home town. I know it doesn't look like much now, but in the spring it's pretty impressive, and of course I like it in winter when it's naked. The reason I love it above all others is that it is, in fact, a pair of trees. Two trunks, two trees, one crown, one silhouette. Two trees forming one entity. Make of it what you will. I just like it.
I need a new camera. If I had a new camera I could have gotten some really impressive shots of these geese. As it is I have to tell you they're geese or you'd never know. When I started to shoot they were closer, but apparently I'm scarier than I think I am, because they made like a flock of chickens and beat a hasty retreat as soon as I started moving.

This just makes me smile.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I had a great day in Portland yesterday. I went to the temple, which was lovely, and afterwards I picked up my bro and we walked a bit through his neighborhood.

I'd like to be able to say this is some cool local street vendor, but it's Trader Joe's. They had luscious flowers outside, but sadly most of my photos were blurry :( This is the best one.
Our walk took us to the Ram's Head, a branch of McMennamin's, which is an Oregon chain of pubs, I guess, if you can call half a dozen restaurants a chain. They do lovely fish and chips, and of course I approve of their decor :)
After dinner we saw "The Men Who Stare at Goats". It was hilarious, more especially because they kept going on about Jedi warriors and using the force, and Ewan McGreggor, who is Obi-Wan, the ultimate Jedi in the Star Wars movies, kept looking utterly clueless and asking, "What's a Jedi?". You probably have to be a Sci-fi geek to appreciate the humor, but it cracked me up. Yes, yes, I know it's rated R, but only for language and for one brief, incidental, non-gratuitous bit of nudity involving Ewan McGreggor and George Clooney and hospital gowns, which frankly I enjoyed.
Also yesterday morning, before any of these other activities, I went to Mt Hood community college, where there was an information meeting about a program I'm looking in to. MHCC has the only Mortuary Sciences degree in the northwest. I have long thought that working in the funeral industry would be a rewarding way to spend one's time, being there for people at that most trying time, preparing remains for their eventual resurrection. I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to do it or not. I'm not sure it's what the Lord wants me to do at the moment, but the meeting was very interesting, particularly watching the other people there and how they reacted to certain things. There were about 20 people there. At the end of the meeting they took us into the embalming lab. Normally there is no one there unless they are actually performing an embalming, but yesterday there were workmen fixing the cooler, so the normal inhabitants of the cooler were moved into the lab. So there was one body on a table at the far end of the room, wrapped in plastic. Many of the potential students seemed quite reluctant to enter the room, or go to the far end where the table was. They all huddled near the door. I kept thinking, "dude, if you have trouble with this, you shouldn't be here".

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day Off

I'm going here tomorrow :)

Yay! It's been awhile since I've been, so I took the day off in order to go. I'm killing two birds with one stone and going to see my brother while I'm in Portland.... not that I'd actually kill birds. You know what I mean. We will be dining and seeing a movie, I believe. I told him he could choose, so I hope I don't have to go see Saw 6 or anything creepy. I'd actually send him in to the theater and meet him after the carnage was over. I don't do creepy.

I didn't have a walk today, as it is bucketing down rain with gale force winds. I like this kind of weather, but I'm not keen to be out in it, fighting off flu as I am. Instead I plan on doing half an hour of Wii boxing after Mum goes to bed. Upper body workout instead of lower, for a change :) I find Wii boxing therapeutic. I kick ass!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

River Ramble

Today during my lunch hour I took a walk along the river. I then promptly undid any good I might have done by lunching at Dairy Queen. I eat there about twice a year. I really like the pumpkin pie blizzards, and the peppermint flip ones, so I allow myself one each per year. Today was pumpkin pie blizzard day :) I also had a new grilled turkey sandwichy thingy that was surprisingly good.
This stretch of river that I strolled along today was the site of my one and only truly illegal act. About fifteen years ago I became aware of the existence of a sawed off shotgun in my garage. Don't ask me how it got there. I had nothing to do with it. My roommate Laura's dad was a retired cop, so we called him and asked what we should do with it. He said under no circumstances should we call the police, as the mere possession of said object would get us in big trouble. He told us to take it apart and dispose of it, preferably with the help of a rowboat. Neither of us had any clue about guns, so we called our friend Vince who came and dismantled it for us, chuckling the whole time at the condition of the gun and how freaked out by it we were. He said it was so old it probably wouldn't shoot. Late that night my friend Aaron and I took a little stroll along the river with the pieces of the gun in a very inconspicuous brown paper bag which we periodically opened and tossed the various pieces of gun into the middle of the river. We laughed at ourselves the whole way, knowing how ridiculous we must look skulking along in the dark. It was a bizarre experience.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Yesterday my walk consisted of 45 minutes of pushing a gorcery cart around the aisles of Safeway, even though there were only half a dozen things on my list. Today I was going to walk to church, and it's a gorgeous day for it, but I woke up all achy and fevery, and they've asked us not to come to church if we're sick, so here I sit at my computer while my mum sets forth for Sunday worship. Later my Uncle Snake is coming over for dinner, so I'll have to look lively for awhile. I gave him the option of postponing to avoid contamination, but he says he'll risk it :) Who knew my cooking was worth it? lol. We're having spaghetti bolognese - hard to mess that up.