Tag Archives: road-trip

2016: The High Points-Ranked

3 Jan

There was more bad times then good this year.  Or more accurately, a lot of the bad points overshadowed the good.  Or their were the normal good times, but the daily grind had a lot of negative.  But here, I have happily remembered many of the good.  From awesome to major thrill, here is my Top Moments Countdown:

Honorable mention:  The Trampled by Turtles concert with Lorn Huron as opener.  They put on a wonderful show (see review blog) but the venue totally ruined the whole thing.

trampled-by-turtles

11-Kelly Coffey circuit workouts/running on the trail in the summer

Cool has gained so much ground on this front, and it makes it fun, quality time instead of a chore.  It’s really nice to do it together.  And even though it was very hot (sometimes 104F) we both ran well AND had great attitudes about it.  I hope to continue our fitness stuff for a very long time.

10-Balloon Races/kayak

This went from the top spot last year to 10th!  But not because it was bad or anything.  I packed the car to the brim, but forgot one bag.  The one with all the cute outfits I had lovingly put together over the prior weeks and weeks.  It was a fun trip, as always, but even though there were technically more days IN the visit, we were way more rushed.  We didn’t even get to play yard games!  We have to plan better next time.  And some lady chastised my family when we sat down at Dawn Patrol.  Even though there’s no tickets and no seating arrangement.  She got ugly about it, saying “we’ve been here since 3AM.”  False.  They don’t open the gates until 4 AM, and shove it up your ass, lady.  I had fun, and I always love the balloon races, but we were kinda running around.  Plus, my mom was still recovering from her radiation/surgery.  And my dad was having trouble walking around so much.  We will do it better next visit!

lauurel-remax

9-Cool’s birthday in Park City

I bought Cool (and me) a massage package in Park City.  So we could try out being fancy (that’s not our life).  It was fun, but I just don’t think I’m a massage person.  Example:  They have a sign-in sheet and it asks what you don’t want in the massage.  I wrote “awkwardness.”  My gal was like, what do you mean you don’t want awkwardness?  Long pause.  What is awkwardness to you?”  Umm, THIS conversation.  And there was a hair treatment in the massage.  But that meant either you have to walk around with straight up oil in your wet hair–or shower.  So I had a weird semi-private shower, which I’m never a fan of.  So the massage was good, but I just am not going to submit myself to any more of that.  We did get to window shop in Park City and eat at High West, so that was nice.

boss-moose

8-getting the impossible raise

My worth ethic is unparalleled.  And my department under-pays so there is high turnover.  I ended up doing way more then my share (as I have always done) on a consistant basis.  The difference was, they keep track of checklists, so I saved them and wrote everything down.  Everyone in the company, everyone, everyone gets a standard 40 cent raise at their yearly review.  Everyone.  No exception.  But I worked more so I deserved more.  And I asked for it.  My supervisor said no no straight away.  I persisted that I worked very hard.  And they couldn’t deny that.  So the head of the department said he could try to ask for more, but it had only ever happened on very few rare occasions.  I said we could at least try, and he said he’d talk to his boss, but don’t get my hopes up.  I didn’t.  But the next week, he said I got it!  I got more than the standard 40 cent raise!!!  One of very few–nobody in recent memory.  But then, because he’s a douche and he doesn’t like me (because I caught him red-handed talking shit about me to another random employee AND went to HR about it)  he ruined the moment by saying, “You got lucky.”  No, you mother-fucker, I did not get lucky, I worked hard and earned it.  And Cool further ruined the occasion by picking one of our biggest fights ever.  So this should be higher on this list, but *sigh* other people. . .  I DID buy myself a really nice fitness tracker as a gift to me.  And it is hands free/cord free/phone free music.  Right on my wrist–with no other device necessary.

7-Zoo Brew

Best idea ever!  With or without alcohol.  The zoo put on a 21 and over event, which is genius.  I don’t always want to have kids pushing me, deal with screaming, and have little people running around scaring the animals and tapping on glass.  As long as you look at the zoo before the adults get out of the alcohol lines, you can see the animals before the adults start to exhibit (pun intended) this behavior.  It’s the first time we ever saw the palace cat out, because it was actually quiet.  Love!  And we went to the very first event, so nobody knew if it yet, and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  Subsequent events were fun too, but word had spread and it was more crowded.  That May event–perfect!

giraffes-are-tall

6-my birthday:

I went extravegent for my bithday.  Not because it was a milestone year (33) but more because I had a job where I can take (paid) time off.  So I used it to my advantage and did bunches of things all week.  I got my hair dyed special. mussel-shooters-with-quail-egg She took the color out, then did a rinse so it was subtle, purple highlights.  I loved it!  And as soon as I catch up on money, I’ll get that again.  On your birthday you get to eat whatever you want, even if the other person doesn’t like that kind of food.  Cool is a very picky eater, so I always have to go without a lot of foods.  So I chose sushi.  The restaurant was cute, and had a mural and live music too.  I got a whole platter, which I never do, but it was my birthday, and I had to load up from the prior year of no sushi and the next year of no sushi.  And I got mussel shooters, which are fun to eat!  My actual birthday we paid for Red Butte gardens ($13/person and a total rip-off) which is MUCH smaller than Spokane’s free Manito Garden.  I won’t go back lizlard-wave-up-frontunless there’s a free day.  We went to Red Robin’s for lunch, which I wouldn’t choose, but my blood sugar got low and we had no other recourse and Cool panicked and got irritable.  Then we went to an independent theater and saw one of the films that had been at Sundance Film Festival.  It was “Swiss Army Man” see my review.  I liked it, and figured it out, so felt cool.  Then we had a Grapefruit Ballist Point beer on a patio and it was wonderful.  We had planned to go to our library’s coffee and chocolate class but some obnoxious lady sat immediately next to me, wouldn’t stop engaging me, and when she belched in my face I called it quits and walked out early.  Then sent a long complain letter to the event’s organizer–who turned out to be really, really sweet.  Signed us up for the next month’s (super competitive) class, gave me coupons for free coffee at the library shop, and gave me a birthday gift of 4 artisan chocolate bars!  Like, really sweet and very apologetic (that’s not usually my life).  Anyway, so we went to an oyster restaurant instead.  I like oysters, but found the restaurant very over-priced.  The day after my birthday, Cool had paid for an experience at the aviary.  I got to go in a private room with a parrot and a bird trainer.  The bird painted me a picture.  Well,  actually she went dab-dab dab with the sponge then looked for her food treat.  Then saw she had to dab more to get more food, so quickly dab-dab-dabbed in order to get more treats.  I got to take pictures right up next to her and took my painting by her home.  It was really neat to get up close and personal and she was a cute stuff.

painting-with-picaso-birthday

5-Halloween Costumes

We loved the year we were trick-or-treating, and I’ve always loved Halloween.  But usually, one of us is stuck at work.  This year–neither of us were, so we wanted to do something really big.  A couple’s costume!  So on Sundays we brainstormed and brainstormed, and researched, and planned.  The best, easiest thing for us to do was “Lions Tigers and Bears–Oh my!”  We bought more then we wanted, and made some cool accessories.  Then, I face-paintedgracies-contest-004 gracies-contest-026my little heart out!  It took forever, but we looked good.  We had signed up for a fun-theme-run, so we dressed up for that.  And the zombies chased us.  Cool body-slammed a zombie, and outran the children.  At the end, they had voting for best costume.  Except, they forgot to call us up (they said if you think you’ll win just get up there anyway) so we had to push through the crowd–which Cool is never good at.  There was no raised stage or anything, we were just in a parking-lot, and as short people, we were probably obscured to anyone not in the front row.  And the dope-DJ who was running the thing didn’t say our name properly he called us “a lion and a tiger.”  The voting was by audience cheer.  We got second place, but after all the afore-mentioned factors, I think we were robbed!  And I think the first place winners had stacked the crowd.  So we felt we could do better.  When a local restaurant announced they were having a costume contest for cash prizes ($500 Sunday night, $500 Monday night–when it had been one night the year before for $1000) we had to try!  Even though it meant taking time off work.  So I requested a partial day off Sunday (working corporate and having not only paid vacation, but as-needed employees to cover shifts is so nice!) to gracies-contest-025get ready and go.  I did my very best face-painting work and we hung out at Gracie’s waiting for the voting.  And some ten foot tall tree man took our prize!  With some king and queen getting 2nd, and that Tim Burton wig head dude and his gal-friend taking 3rd.  Disagree and disagree.  We should have at least gotten 2nd!  So we tried one more time and dressed up for work on Monday.  Because their was a contest and a secret prize, and our boss encouraged everyone to dress up.  He didn’t encourage us for work-spirit or anything.  That douche is a nerd and his big hobby is making and dressing up in costumes–even though he’s like, 50.  He has a batman, that could legit-be used for one of the movies.  That’s how much time and money and effort he put into it.  That is an old costume of his.  This year, he was working on a Captain Sparrow costume.  Which I thought was only so-so.  How hard is it to get a mscl-halloween-contest-copydred-wig, a sash, and buy tall boots?!  So we thought we’d at least win the work contest and beat him–cause who doesn’t love a group costume?  But alas, our boss won the whole contest.  And some gal painted herself silver and wore deer antlers (big deal) and beat us for 2nd place.  We didn’t even place at all 😦  So we had fun, and looked good, but this didn’t rank higher because nobody knows how to properly judge a contest, and we should have won, but didn’t.

haunted-5k-186

 

 

4-my thousand day in a row mile

I ran so many days-in-a-row that I made it to #1000 this summer!  To commemorate the occasion, I made flyers at work, inviting people.  Even though I knew those duds and douches wouldn’t show, I was excited and there was an off-chance someone might share in that excitement–plus, I could get acknowledgement of my huge accomplishment, and tie it to my resume that way.  As part of the work in-a-row-2event, I made it a coin drive fund-raiser so we could adopt a bird at the aviary.  The money goes towards feeding and care and they give you free aviary passes, a plush of your bird, and a certificate.  Only my supervisor came to my mile, but I really hadn’t expected anyone at all, so that was OK. I wore my running skirt and felt awesome.  And I used our concert window chalk and painted my accomplishment all over Rusty.  On the way from the fundraiser to work, I was stuck in traffic.  I don’t use my air conditioner–ever–in order to save money, so my windows were both down.  I heard a, “I promise I’m not hitting on you.”  Firstly, I didn’t expect it.  Secondly, I thought–that can’t be for ME.  Thirdly, I was like–do I really want to engage with this?  So after a long time, I turned my head, and some guy stuck in the traffic jam beside me, asked, “Did you really run so many days in a row???  That’s cool!”  So that was nice.  While I was at work that night, our Hispanic cleaning gal brought her whole family inside our lab.  They all looked really happy, and they asked if any of us spoke Spanish–none of us do, all of us randomly speak German, if any second language at all.  Her husband had his phone and somehow conveyed that they wanted to buy a car.  I heard “Isuzu” and realized what happened.  They saw all my window paint, but couldn’t read English.  So they assumed I was selling my beautiful Rusty for $1000, and they were ready to take it that night!  I was like, “No, no,no, not for sale.”  And they looked very disappointed.  And everyone in my lab teased me that I broke their hearts for the rest of that week.  Only like 3 people at work donated to the coin drive (I TOLD you I work with duds) but 2 of them donated $20s.  So we got to adopt a bird for $50.  I chose a black vulture 1) because vultures are important to our world and Andy N. Condor has enlightened me to their cuteness and cause. 2) Little Chewy and Vader of Tracy Aviary didn’t have any sponsors for 2016, and that made me sad for them.  3)  Our lab is SO vulture!   We are the clean-up crew of the medical industry as we have to sniff out mistakes and correct them.  We deal with icky samples.  And–we’re all anti-social and sort of put-down upon by the hoity-toity management and the super-social client services and phlebotomists.   I hung the flyer, the certificate/facts, and the vulture plush in the lab.  Everybody likes it and we named out vulture plush, Culture, which is appropriate for us.

1000th-mile-in-a-row-003

3-Brandi’s concert

Brandi always makes our list.  She always puts on an exciting show that you come away from amped up.  But the venue was awesome!  We were right in the middle of the Deer Valley bunny area, with mountains and trees all around.  And Park City is always fun–we of course snuck into their mini Arts-Fest (only for 2 min) and ate beer cheese pretzels and drank cocktails at our fave- High West.  It also made it the best time because we packed our own tailgate and pic-nic.  We had greek pitas, watermelon-rum slushees, salads and s’mores in (separate) mason jars.  It was delicious, and topped off the day nicely.  Oh, and we got the very best parking spot where we could exit the concert first, and easily, because one of the Deer Valley maintenance workers gave us a good tip.

brandi-date

2-Utah Arts Festival

It was bigger and better then I ever expected!  There were booths where we got to see SLC’s creative side.  The live music was cool, and we got to see Beats Antique–a legit band that made my countdown–at the end, right in the park.  The highlight of the day was getting a sampling of foods from there different food trucks.  And we came home with Rogue Bear and a beautiful pinned moth.

power-lunch

1.rodeo

We wanted to do something on our holiday weekend, but didn’t know what exactly.  At that time, we lived right pioneer-days-rodeowithin walking of downtown, but lots of things were closed, and nothing pioneer-days-rodeo-2016spectacular was going on.  But they do convert the whole arena each year for “Pioneer Days Rodeo.”  We thought we’d go check it out and kill some time.  We both wore our best cowgirl outfits and walked down.  Out front we stumbled on to a signing!  It was my dream at pretty much every event I’ve ever attended to have a meet and greet with the main person, but that’s not my life.  And here, we were standing in the middle of a meet & greet, but we didn’t know who any of the rodeo people were. . .  Still, the main guy invited us to get autographs, gave us a magazine to get signed, we had hats for them to sign.  They talked, and took pictures.  Everyone was really nice!  And inside the rodeo we had a lot of fun and excitement watching all the events.  We had no idea we would like the rodeo so much!  We had SO much fun that while we were sitting in the stands, we used my phone to buy tickets for the next evening as well.

 

So that’s the best of 2016, and I look forward to an very very much better 2017!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When It Rains, It Pours: April [drive, err 2nd drive]

17 Jun

Yes, yes–another hiatus.  And there will be another (for a week) because my parents are visiting and I won’t have time to do the important things either.

PS-this is my WordPress anniversary, which is cool, but not my blogging one.  I started on Myspace–and yes, I liked it better.

anti-facebook

Anyway, let’s wrap up the moving story already.  I think the posting may be actually taking longer then the move itself. . .

So I had to drive Rusty (unknown vehicle status) a SECOND time from Spokane to Salt Lake City.  And I started out all tired.  Also, my house-sitting job wrapped up on a Saturday night, so it was awkward timing.  Because 2 days prior the lease on my apartment was up.  So I technically had no place to stay in Washington.

My boss (the owner of the house-sitting house) offered my an extra night at their place.  But I thought it would be awkward when her and her husband were home.  So I declined.  And my aunt offered me her house, but then I would be obligated to chat Saturday night, use her dirty bathroom/shower, and they would probably make me late (and CRAZY) in the morning with more obligatory chatting.

I would have to start the drive Saturday evening.  But I’ve learned trying to press on at all hours of the night, not only sucks, but is dangerous.  So I just broke down and shelled out money for a hotel.  But in Missoula–because I love that town!

pow wow and Missoula 031

So I’m driving up this steep, steep hill, pushing Rusty to do 65-70 MPH (normally 50 is my absolute max) not being sure how much Rusty could handle.  Everything is going ok–I’m in between that Idaho and Montana part that’s up, up, up, but fast speeds.  And suddenly, the hood of the car just catches my eye.  I saw it move!  While I was going 70mph!  I abruptly put on my flashers and pulled over in the “emergency stopping only” to check the scene.  Sure enough–the hood was OPEN!  I was so scared.  How long had it been open?  What if I hadn’t noticed?  What if it flew up while I was driving up hill with a lot of speedy traffic?  I could have been killed.  I imagine at that speed the hood would have broken the front window.  Not to mention obscured my vision.

So I closed that and resumed my trip, drama-free, but shaken.

I stayed at the hotel and it was lovely and uneventful as well.  Then the next morning I got an early (I am now a night person, remember) start at 5:38AM.

That drive between Montana-Idaho-Utah is boring.  Sure, the speeds are high, but there is really nothing out there.  And of course my phone doesn’t get reception.  Also making me nervous about potential car trouble.

Rusty is a 1992.  And back then, they apparently did not try to make it a quiet ride.  I could hear all the traffic loudly and the awful wind.  A random storm blackened the sky over me and caused severe wind that made it effortful to stay in my lane.  But it was so, so loud I kept thinking my doors must not be closed all the way.  So I was nervous one might open while I was driving and stuff (maybe me) would fall out in the highway.

The other thing that happened was while climbing a hill.  I was using cruise-control–that did make it a better ride then when I took the Penske.  Anyway, I’m going up hill at 75-80 MPH in a group of cars and suddenly Rusty just came out of cruise control.  Just decelerated at an alarming rate.  And because I was mid-hill I couldn’t get any speed manually either.  I had to quickly pull off.  And I didn’t know how alarmed to be.  Was Rusty done for?  Was this a sign of a bigger problem?  Would I be stuck in Idaho without a car or phone reception?  uh oh. . .

610

There was tons of wind and tons of bugs on the interstates of Montana and Idaho.  I was having to clean the windshield every time I filled the tank, then it would quickly become buggy again.  One time, about 5 hours into my journey, when I was tired, thirsty, had expired from car-slurr, I cleaned the windshield.  It wasn’t 5 minutes and this huge group of bugs crashed into my windshield, covering it with their rust-colored bodies.  It made me disproportionately upset and made the trip feel so loooooonnnnnnnggggg.

But I just used the bathroom, and cleaned off my windshield with vinegar–which boosted my morale substantially.  Vinegar worked better then the gas station cleaners and it was the first time I could see well!  And my car had no further issues.

The end of that trip sucks, because just when you’re the most greasy, tired, thirsty, and ready to arrive at the destination, the traffic becomes thick and the driving moronic.  You have to pay super-close attention and constantly defensively-drive!  So I’m worn out and crowded in speeding cars, having to pay acute attention.

Needless to say, when I pulled up at the apartment, I was DONE!  I was ready for a hug from Cool and a nap in a clean apartment.

But that’s not what happened.  Cool, still being manic, had bought a used futon while I was away.  Which was bigger then our living room.  I was thinking it didn’t fit.  That bed-bugs had probably been introduced.  And how did she pay for it.  Instead of the relaxation, nap, shower, and meal, I would have to fight with Cool, pack up a futon, clean the apartment (which of course she left a mess) and I might as well unpack Rusty while I was at it.

Not the best.

In the end, the futon got re-sold for a $5 profit, I cleaned the house, and Cool got a meds adjustment, and *knock on wood* has been a lot more stable.

captial-sky

And that’s the end of the moving story!!!  Finally.

When It Rains, It Pours: April [house–sHit]

11 Jun

When I was cleaning the OLD apartment, I was dreaming so much of the relaxation of house-sitting for waelthy people.  This was going to be just the vacation I needed after a crazy month of stress and packing and stress and driving and stress and unpacking and stress and planning logistics and.  Stress.

last house-sitting 094This was going to be the restful break, complete with amenities that would rejuvenate me before I had to drive (again) Rusty to Utah.  Ten+ more hours, but by myself.  In a third-hand car with unknown history and not enough maintenance.

Sidenote–I knew I should get Rusty’s oil changed and a tune-up before a big trip.  BUT every single time I took a trip in my Jetta, and went to a mechanic prior to that trip they would deliver some awful news of some sort.  Something was terribly wrong, it costs a lot of money, it would push back my leaving date, and if I did pay an extraordinary amount of money (NOW!) my car would probably die on the way Jetta 1there, leaving me stranded.  Every trip this happened.  And every trip’s dates would be set in stone and strapping me for cash.  So I would never be able to have time or money to fix whatever problem it was.  But I would worry the entire time.  Trips in my Jetta were always full of terror because I was always certain I was just about to break down–without a cell phone.  Or any sort of recourse.  And the problem was especially compounded when I traveled by myself (most of the trips) or worse–with pets.

The point is–NOT knowing was better then panicking the entire time, so I did not take Rusty to see anyone.  This was a gamble.  BUT this time I did have Triple A–just in case.  So I was a little worried.

But the house-sitting was going to be a lovely, easy time.

house-sitting 011

Except I forgot that the animals don’t allow sleep.  Dr. Fletcher makes anyone in the guest room (A.K.A. Dr. SLC-all moved in 004Fletcher’s room) miserable by doing power-muffins, licking, frolicking, opening then slamming the door, scratching with (previously done by another owner) declawed paws on anything, etc. . .  There is no night-sleeping.  The other 2 cats begin to meow and fuss and make a ruckus about 5AM when they usually get their breakfast.  This with the stirring dogs and thought of starving horses mandates crack-of-dawn mornings.  There is no napping, because the dogs run amok during the day, the phone rings all day, the answering machine is long and loud, and packages are frequently delivered.  There is too much going on during the day to sleep.  In the evening the dogs are hyper and need fetching until their legs fall off, and the bulk of the chores must be completed.

In short–I was even MORE tired during and after house-sitting then when I started.  I don’t think I ever slept more then 3-4 consecutive hours.

And then I had to drive from Washington to Utah.  Alone.  And for a second time in 2.5 weeks. . .

When It Rains, It Pours: April [moving-drive-1st leg]

28 May

Let’s see, driving long stretches is mostly boring.  But a few key things are worth noting.

-Going on a Sunday was genius.  Traffic around cities was a lot less.  And bigger then that, the construction was on hold.  So we still lost time to slow speed limits, but we never had to stop in a line for workers or anything.  Any other day would have taken a LOT longer to get through those zones.

-Cool had fairly bad behavior for the entirety of the planning and execution of all of the move.  She was the bad kind of manic:  Unfocused, irritable, all over the place, no common sense or concentration.  So mostly she provided stress upon the stress.  BUT the one amazing thing that she thought of–and followed through to completeion–was walkie-talkies.  I wasn’t all about them–I figured they’d be fun if we had them, but not having them wasn’t a deal-breaker.  Let me tell you:  Walkie talkies and 2 vehicles are THE way to go if you have to drive a moving truck.  I drove the 16 foot Penske, and Cool (and the cats) followed along in her HHR.  This was great, because she could monitor my blind spots.  If I wanted to switch lanes, we could just beep each other quickly on the radios.  No cost of cell phone minutes (though using Boost, we both have unlimited talk, text, and data anyway) and no one-handed stuff.  We could also easily communicate which speed we wanted to go and when we had to stop for gas, bathroom, food, or rest.  The walkie-talkies made driving the Penske EASY!  Awesome job, Cool!!!

-We got started around 2PM, and drove 5.5(?) hours to Butte, which was about 2 hours past my point of fatigue.  Having long-hauled many road trips before this, 2 hours isn’t all that bad–relatively speaking.

Big Sky Country

-The cats rode in the car well (I’m told).  Usually Goose is good, quiet, and still during the car ride.  Choco-Luv likes to scream and yell the entire trip.  But sans drugs, they did pretty good–maybe Cool just tuned them out with loud music though.

-And the hotel seemed magical when we got to stop for a real shower and bed and TV.

-The cats fussed a little–they do the opposite thing at lodging that they do in the car:  Goose is usually a horrible, terrible noise-maker and pacer in hotels.  He kept us all awake the whole night in Boise, and when when my dad and I took him from Missouri to Nevada for the final time, Goose was so angry with me he peed on my hotel pillow.  He yowled a little, but not incessantly and we could still sleep.  I think it helped that we didn’t drug them at all this time.

-Splitting the trip into 2 days helped bunches, and the next day we just had to drive 7-ish(?) hours to Salt Lake City, instead of a whole 10.5 hours.  Which I think 10.5 is a low estimate from Google, it might have been more like 13 in real conditions.

-Montana and a nice high speed limit, and I always feel at home under it’s big-sky.  Idaho is full of nothingness, but at least they also have an extreme speed limit.  I just kept driving the Penske because it was going well.  And I think switching off would have made everyone more nervous.  Unlike Rusty, the Penske had cup holders, and you don’t realize how important and nice those are until you’ve lived without them.  It was also nice having a clock, which Rusty does not have.

-The only thing about the Penske that was bothersome, was my accelerator-foot got tired.  The speed tops out at 70 mph, but with a speed limit of 80 mph, I wanted to push it as fast as it was willing to go.  But it made the truck roar and shake, and I had to mash the pedal all the way to the floor.

-Utah drivers are awful, and it made it a little difficult that we had to finish the drive like that.  You’re at a point where you’re tired and just want to get there–it’s no time to have to employ a bunch of defensive-driving techniques.  But we did.  And all 4 of us made it in one piece and without very much fatigue or headache.  Also–this is of course relative to past trips.  We were all very tired of sitting in a car, sleepy, and wanting to be home.

-We got to the new apartment at 3:30PM.  I needed a shower.  I was fatigued.  I was SO done with moving!  I just wanted to shower and chill.  But alas, the parking situation was tight, so in order to unload the Penske in the vicinity of our unit, I had to park in 3 neighbor’s spots.  Needless to say, there would not be an afternoon/evening of rest.  Not even a meal break.  We had to immediately unload the Penske in order to move out out of the way before people got home from work and had no place to park.

welcome to utah- t-rex

Next episode:  Unpacking.

When It Rains, It Pours: April [pre-move]

8 May

Since I didn’t have time to update throughout April, I’ll save some time here by making a bulleted list.  I’ll try to remember everything, but things got pretty hectic!

-At the end of March, we started looking for apartments.  In another state.  Real Estate agents are apparently flakes, hardly reading correspondence or answering/returning phone calls.  We also immediately saw that not many understood out-of-state moves = No, we cannot come view it tomorrow!  This was going to be more difficult then we anticipated.

-We also learned that securing an apartment before starting to pay rent wasn’t a thing.  We wanted to have pro-rated rent mid-April, the agents wanted us to start a lease 4-1-15.  Which wasn’t going to work since our Spokane lease wasn’t up until 4-30-15, and we couldn’t afford to pay rent on two places at once.  How do people usually manage this?

-To further complicate the matter, I had committed to house-sitting until May 2nd.  This meant we either HAD to sign a new lease that started May 1st in Salt Lake City (SLC from here on out) or pay month-to-month at our current apartment.  Mo-Mo increased our current rent from from $480 to $610/mo.  On top of moving expenses and deposits–that was not going to work.

-In addition, it seems SLC is anti-pets.  We could hardly find ANYthing that accepted 2 cats.  And those that would, were about $100 higher in rent (and mostly more then that), charged a minimum of $300 extra deposit (on top of $300 security deposit), AND charged monthly pet rent.  This was going to be expensive–and I didn’t have a job so I didn’t know how much money I had to budget. . .

-Needless to say, we are scrambling around on the internet, looking for suitable places, e-mailing (to no avail), and calling–without a SINGLE return phone call.  WTF?!  Is this a real estate “thing” or just a SLC thing?!  Either way, it was super-annoying, not to mention bad business practice.

-Cool gets legit-stressed, but then goes full-on manic.  Not awesome timing.  She decides she has to visit her family, 6 hours away, right when we’re trying to find housing.  I was going to go, but I work on Saturday, and didn’t want to leave my co-worker friend alone to do everything.  So Cool and I were initially going to visit Tacoma Sun-Tues.  BUT Cool also realized she had NO time off work.  None.  And she only gets weekends off.  So she planned to make the visit without me.

-To compound the situation, the Friday Cool was going to leave (after her work shift was over at midnight) for the other side of the state, she calls me.  It was 9PM.  Good news:  She was able to transfer within the company she’s been working for into a job in Salt Lake City!  Cool got a job!  Bad news:  She had to start work April 23rd (in 14 days counting that night).  Worse news:  We had no housing, she still intended to leave for the weekend, and in order for me to give 2 weeks notice at my job, I’d have to turn in my letter of resignation tomorrow.  STRESS!

-After we had a deadline looming, things got really insane.  I had to turn in my notice at work, secure housing, start packing (and getting rid of things), and making reservations for moving trucks, hotels, flights, etc. . .  Despite this being 2015, the internet wasn’t super helpful in finding an apartment OR changing my address.  I had to make a zillion phone calls–and you know how I despise that.  Forget about details like cleaning the old apartment or trying to get a job in SLC–that stuff would have to wait.

-We found 1 viable housing-option (above our price range).  But the landlord was a doofus.  We Cool (because this kind of crap makes me belligerent, and that would accomplish nothing, plus, I was doing EVERYthing else) had to call like 6 times before we got any response.  Then we had to wait.  Then, things didn’t work right.  My full 2 weeks notice were closing at work, and we still had only the promise of housing–no lease, no deposit. . .  This is terrifying to me.  What would happen if it fell through?

-Meanwhile, I was frantically packing and trying to get rid of things.  What to do with the huge, old treadmill?  How were we going to get the 37″ TV down the stairs, and where would we put it?  You never realize how much stuff you have until you have to put it in boxes and move it!  Even though this is a small bullet point, this stuff really consumed the majority of my time.  It was a lot of thinking, planning, lifting, and packing.

-Nothing was easy.  What size rental truck should I get?  I got a 10′ in Missouri and had to leave half my stuff at the storage unit.  It sucked terribly, got rained on so it was unsalvageable, and the storage management were pissed so they took all the money I had paid ahead as a “cleaning/trash fee.”  I did NOT want that scene again.  So I fretted, measured, and deliberated, before deciding on a 16′.  It was big, but they’re all bigger then what I’m used to.  The 12′ and 16′ were the same price, gas efficiency, and width.  The only difference was the 4′ of additional length–and after 12′ what’s an extra 4′?

-We also had to decide how we would logistically move 2 cars, 2 cats, a moving truck of stuff, and ourselves to 10.5 hours away.  While still getting Cool to work in SLC on April 23rd and me to my house-sitting job in Spokane April 27th-May 2nd.

-We decided to drive the Penske full of stuff and HHR with the cats to SLC.  Then, Cool would start work while I unpacked the stuff at the new apartment.  Then, I would fly back (rental car was only $20 cheaper and took 6 more hours) to Spokane.  While in Spokane, I would clean the entire old apartment by myself before the lease was up, then continue on to my house-sitting job, before driving (a 2nd 10.5 hours) my car back to SLC.  At least we had a plan.

I think I probably forgot some things, but you get the gist:  April was busy, busy, busy, costly, and stressful.  In the next installment I’ll talk about the actual moving process.

BAD Blogger!

7 May

I just moved.  Moving is crazy.  This is my excuse for such a long post-drought.  This is my timeline for past moves so I can tell the stories of this last month:

14

And it’s not like I haven’t done it (moved) before, on the contrary I have moved so much it portrays a wanderlust or flakiness that doesn’t really fit my true personality.

Polson- enteranceWhen I was 4, my parents and I moved away from all of our extended family in Montana, to Nevada for job opportunities.  Montana is beautiful, but you “can’t eat the scenery.”

I grew up in small-town Nevada, going to the same Kidron's NV pics 050school for 13 years.  Which is good and bad.  I have well-established roots, and I always knew everyone and all my teachers, and everything.  BUT everyone always knows you and your business too, so good luck trying to live down embarrassing moments, changing/growing, or keeping anything on the D.L.

RenoI went to the same college everyone goes to my first year, which required a short move to Reno (an hour away) but tried to branch out instead of staying with my same ‘ol click as most of my small-town counterparts did.

I wanted more opportunities and was chasing my veterinary dreams so I took a HUGE leap and transferred to mid-Missouri, site-unseen, my sophomore year.  That move was big-time, but I was still somewhat protected by the insular world of college:Mizzou quad  I moved right into dorms and worked for campus dining services.  When housing, jobs, and school all line up–moves are substantially less stress.  And emotionally, I had already been away from loved ones before (moving from MT at 4) so I wasn’t lost or lonely.  Plus, school and work kept me so busy, who had time to miss anything?!  The move from Nevada to Missouri required a 30 hour drive.  I made that drive with my mom carrying a few dorm essentials.  I made that 30 hour drive with Douche, in a U-Haul.  I’ve made that 30 hour round trip by myself and a car-load of essentials and a dog.  I made the return trip by myself and 2 cats.  I HATE that drive.

265173_2208001644072_1368379309_32588356_2533618_nThen, my Saint George acceptance pulled me out of Missouri–which I really liked the 6 years I was there.  I had to make that 30 hour drive once more, with my dad, in a U-Haul.  Never again!  I’m not sure anything else aside from vet school would have compelled me to ever leave the midwest.  But veterinary school was calling, so I temporarily visited my parents and dropped off my cats that summer.  Nevada was just a brief visit.

Except Saint George fell through a week before matriculation.  Suddenly, I had nowhere to go, but obviously I wasn’t going to live with my parents–that was never the plan.  I had to choose where to go–and not being based on any acceptance, it could be anywhere that had a vet school.  I didn’t really know, and my parents dictated that I decide immediately.

I had been watching a lot of Frasier, wanted to try out a more liberal and city environment, and Frasier saturation increasedliked Washington’s veterinary program.  So to Seattle I (blindly) went.  Driving a car-load of essentials the 15 hours by myself.  I lived with my great aunt, which I always saw as a temporary transitional set-up while I looked for my own place.  I had previously gotten along famously with my college roommate, so I wasn’t discouraged Seattle housing prices negated living alone like I had in Missouri.

bedroom darkI moved to 12th Avenue, and soon saw what real-life roommates mean.  I needed out of that place ASAP because it was ridiculous!  Around this same time, I met Cool.  We hit it off, and sometimes I stayed at her shared housing situation, which was WORSE then my 12th Ave scene.  I don’t think I ever completed a full sleep cycle in Seattle.  I was always tired, always grumpy.  It made me HATE the city.  I needed my own space, without crazy roommate scenarios.  I needed a reasonable housing cost.

So we moved 6 hours across Washington to Spokane (with cats in Cool’s car and me driving a U-Haul).  And it was so much better!Fremont Fest 114  We could afford our own apartment without roommates!  Vet school didn’t happen for me, and the job market in Eastern Washington is horrible.  There was nothing there for us–Spokane wasn’t home.  We needed out, but Western Washington is out of our price range.

So I wanted to show you, I’ve moved.  I have left those emotional connections and everyone I know.  I’ve moved out of state.  I’ve had to find housing from a distance.  I’ve known the expenses.  Which brings us to 2015 and my latest move.

The Long Journey Home [UU AuD Interview Part V]

23 Mar

This may be the most drawn-out series I’ve ever blogged.  I anticipate a renewed enthusiasm and follow-through on posting once I resume a normal sleep schedule.  I have just 5 more weeks of this swing-shift that kills my motivation and productivity.  And though I’ll need a (summer) job, I would be very hesitant to accept a swing or night shift position.  Especially for paltry minimum wage.

cityscape 6

Anyway, here is the story of our long, long travels back home.  It started Saturday around 7:30PM and doesn’t end until 3:30 PM Sunday.  I may never take a Greyhound again:

-it snowed–more like a wintry mix and within a half hour, there were trucks sanding the interstate highway.  I couldn’t believe it!  Even after inches of accumulation, Spokompton is slow to plow, and may never clear/sand certain roads (ours).  Leaving a snowy, muchy, icy, slick mess for weeks.  What a treat timely snow removal procedures will be!

-We got the rental car to the airport without incident.  Thank goodness.  I was still very nervous because it was a rental, the weather wasn’t perfect, we were lost, and the people of Utah drive like F@#%ing idiots.

-At the airport, we found the rapid transit pick up point, and purchased a $2.50 (for 3 hours) ticket via kiosk.  It was very simple.  What was not simple was deciding which of the colored routes we needed to follow, where the transfers might be, and where we should get off the Trax.  This is always a nerve-wracking experience when you’re unfamiliar with the city, and have never ridden their public systems.  And like all anxious passengers we got off too soon.  Then we walked in a kind of sketchy area back to a prior stop.  Which I guess we could have waited for the next Trax going the opposite direction, but we were anxious and that’s what we did.  But we calmed down at the prior stop, waited for the next Trax, and reentered.  Then we got off 2 stops later.

-This took us to the stadium where the Jazz NBA team plays.  And a game was getting out so loud fansarena dressed in Mardi Gras colors were everywhere.  I would have loved to go to a game.  BUT I had tried to purchase a single-ticket game for the Gonzaga men’s team–and they had season ticket-holders only–for more then $100.  So I figured NBA would be worse, and maybe we could win tickets on the radio or something for a special occasion. . .  We had to wait 20 minutes for a different colored line to take us to the bus station, because maybe people of Utah don’t know the rule, or maybe all the fans were drunk–but everyone pushed ON to our Trax line before we were allowed to disembark.  And our next line was just leaving.  Had they followed the rule of letting people unload first we would have made it without any wait at all. . .

-When we reached the bus station, we looked up the cost of Jazz tickets.  They range from a hundredbear down to $3.00 (depending on the seats)!!!  I was instantly disappointed, because we could have gone to Friday’s game or Saturday’s and that would have been awesome!  As it was the next home games were before we move, then October.  Damn!  Lesson learned–don’t assume.  And who does Gonzaga think they are?!

-Our dufus Cheesecake Factory waiter had not packed forks or napkins for our to-go cheesecakes.  Instead of eating them in the bus station at 10PM, we had to wait until we could get forks.  And so we did more waiting (on super-uncomfortable wood chairs) with other strange and trashy people.

-At one point, Cool had to go to the bathroom, so she left her backpack on her chair immediately next to me.  And I put my suitcase on the floor immediately in front of her chair.  This did not stop a hispanic family of 6(?) from crowding right on the rest of the row, standing in front of Cool’s chair (and me).  So when Cool came back there was no room, and I physically moved one of their suitcases from in front of Cool’s chair.  They totally tried to steal our chairs–while I was in one and obviously saving another.  PS-sure, there weren’t an overabundance of chairs, but at that time, there were 3 different groupings that were totally empty.  Why they didn’t sit in those, I can’t be sure.  I was SUPER-annoyed about it though, and let it show all over my face.  I mean Jesus–get out of our grill.  Unnecessary!

Sunday

-The forks were procured at 4:30AM.  It was slightly melty by that time, but still delicious.  And why was our waiter so incompetent when the restaurant had been it’s emptiest of all the days we were there?!

-Then, more driving, more waiting, more stops occurred.  I actually slept because this time, every passenger was solo.  So it was fairly silent.  I was exhausted and bored.  So I was able to doze much of the time.

-Cool was trying to be saucy and tease me.  She opened her mouth in a smile, then a huge stream of saliva (gleet/gleek)  arched up and landed on her jacket sleeve surprising us both.  Her eyes went from sassy to surprised and it was a large stream with rainbow trajectory.  She looked like some cartoon sea creature purposely spitting–except she and I were both shocked.  The bus was still nearly silent, but I fell into a fit of giggles that I couldn’t control.  I just kept picturing her face and the spit-fountain!  I got really giggly, and really had to fight to eventually pull myself together.  I just kept picturing her accidently doing that.

-We finally got off the bus at 3PM, and boy did it feel good to be moving out in fresh air.

-Our sad, sad cats thought we had moved.  Choco-Luv didn’t act ferrell as usual, just dramatically lovethankful we hadn’t left forever–poor thing.  Goose gave us the cold-shoulder to punish our offense, but eventually became snuggly.  We’ll never leave for 5 days again, as it was too long for the poor buddies.

Aftermath:

-I’m constantly hungry after overindulging to such an extent.  It’s like terrible-bad, hunger that’s persistent and without reason.  I must have stretched my stomach big-time, and the shrinking process is not fun at all.

-I also noticed WA is cloudy.  Which is obvious, and I notice a grey, cloudy day almost every morning, but I forgot just how dark and depressing that is.  I’ll be happy to move somewhere with more blue sky.

309379_2466606222942_1185891124_33037847_1831945920_n

-Coming back to Spokompton was a little depressing.  I just know our standard of living and quality of life in Utah will be a little better.  And I’ll get a new schedule, which seems really exciting.  So being back here in a swing-shift job, cheap apartment, bad neighborhoods, was sad.  And made me disappointed and impatient to leave again.  But as of now (mid-March, OK end of March almost a month later) as I write this, it’s all soon coming to a close.  The time for logistic concerns is fast-approaching so I’ll be distracted by that too.  It’s good, we’re good.  We are excited to move.