Friday, December 11, 2009

the epic journey begins

we leave bright and early tomorrow morning for our big road trip. we are heeding the call to go west! most of the next three days will be spent in the car, but we have a few exciting points along the way. we are going to stay one night in las vegas, which should be interesting at the very least. we wanted to go to a show, like circ de soleil or blue man, but we were clueless about how expensive those can be. i am sure we will be sufficiently entertained by the lights of vegas and the (minimum) 70 degree temperature increase the area promises.

then we spend a week in the bay area with laura and kevin. in reality, i will spend the week with them and brandon will spend his week with geology folks at the AGU conference. he keeps worrying that i am going to be bored, but i know that is impossible in the company of laura!

turns out harvey is the most expensive part of our trip. (is anyone surprised by this? no, didn't think so.) finding a place in vegas that was eager to have a  dog to stay the night caused the hotel price to rise quite a bit. and then in cali we are going to board him, luckily with people that seem normal and not too out of touch with the animal-human division of privileges. however, bay area boarding rates are out of this world. if anyone is at a juncture in their life where they don't know what to do with themselves, it appears that a lucrative option would be to open a boarding facility in san fran that charges slightly less than $50/night. you would be overwhelmed by business!

Monday, December 7, 2009

the joys of laundry day

we love our little house, we really do. the one downfall: no washer and dryer. (okay, so there are two downfalls as there is also no dishwasher, but we are dishwashing pros so we get by). anyhow... the lack of w/d leads us to the laundromat. i have noticed that i used to go more frequently, about every week and a half. lately, i have been pushing it to more like three weeks (or until we just don't have any more socks or undies left). yesterday we both realized we had nothing left in the way of undergarments so i loaded our bins and headed out the door with pockets full of quarters.

i learned a bit while i was there:
1) going to the laundromat on sunday is an awful idea. everyone else is there and the football game is on so it is far from quiet.
2) talking on your cell phone might not be the best idea, as everyone can hear everything you are saying (see below).
3) folding 7 loads of laundry by yourself is a daunting task.
4) if you are going to own fitted sheets, you should really make sure you have a partner there to help you fold them.
5) the key to surviving without a w/d is to own multiple sets of sheets. this way you have that glorious clean-sheet-sleep, without having to go the laundromat once a week.

the laundromat shows limited discrimination (aside from the "haves" and the "have nots", i suppose), so there is always someone entertaining to watch or a phone conversation you are forced to overhear. this weekend in particular there was a young man who received a call from his mother, who accused him of getting a DUI. the conversation went like this:
no mom, i don't have a DUI.... no, i have never had one... what are you talking about?... do you really want to go there? do you want me to print out my criminal record?... just listen to me, i have never had a DUI!...
kind of makes me wonder what his little brother told his parents! however, it was nice to know that the person i am sharing laundry-folding tables with does not drive intoxicated. his conversation got funnier though:
so mom, i woke up this morning and the dog was acting to weird. stumbling around in circles and looking really confused. i put him outside and he just kept falling down... yeah, so i called the vet and she said it was an extra $100 for weekend emergency visits.... anyhow, i took him in and $350 later she told me he was drunk!
so maybe the dog is to blame for the DUI?

Friday, December 4, 2009

late arrival

yesterday my brother alex turned 17. it has been so much fun to see him find what he is naturally talented at. he is brilliant, so school comes easily to him. he has always been pretty good at video games, but it wasn't that exciting to see him spending his days inside.

this summer we traded him kayak lessons with current for helping us at a big 4th of july event. i wasn't sure if he would like boating, but he and his friend sam both took to it naturally. they were fearless and willing to do things in their boats that still scare me.

it has been great to see him work through challenges with kayaking and come home with war stories. each time we talk on the phone now he has some exciting boat adventure to tell me about. i am so proud of him for the effort he puts into this passion and can't wait to see where paddling takes him.

he is also a wonderfully thoughtful brother. he always thanks me, gives me a hug, and tells me he loves me whenever the opportunity comes up.
he has always been the one making smoothie messes in the kitchen, staying up late reading an exciting book, and "just looking" at breakable things.

spending time along side him in a kayak on the mckenzie last summer was one of my favorite memories. my face hurt from grinning so much and i am sure everyone on the trip got tired of hearing about how proud i was of him.

happy birthday bubby! 
we love you!

the human icicle

it has been cold here lately. i mean really cold. for instance, since tuesday we haven't seen a temperature in the double digits. mostly we have been seeing negative numbers on the thermometer.
i had to take a rushed shower yesterday and blow dry my hair quickly. i didn't have enough time to make it totally dry, but figured it was close enough. i rode my bike to campus (slightly terrifying given the snowy/icy roads, but way quicker and since i was late i had no choice). as i walked up to the glass door of my office building, i noticed in the reflection that my hair was white. i felt it and it was frozen. around the back of my head i had two clumps of frozen icicle hair. i was a little scared to touch it for fear that it would all break off. the thought of me being a human icicle kept me laughing most of the morning. guess i am going to have to plan ahead in the morning to make sure my hair is fully dry.
my grandma used to always freak out if we went outside with wet hair (even in july), insisting that we were going to catch pneumonia. i can only imagine if she saw my frozen hair!

today is the last day that my assignments are due and therefore what i consider my last day of school! we have a break for over a month, which i am excited about. i will keep working at the VA next week, but no school work to deal with when i get home!
we are driving to the bay area around the 13th for a geology conference brandon is presenting at. we get to stay with my lovely friend laura and her boyfriend kevin. i am excited to spend the week in san fran and the other cool areas around there. mostly, i am excited for good food and laughs with laura!
we have to board harvey (because laura has cats and is in a place that isn't doggy friendly). theoretically it is no big deal to board him, but these bay area dog owners are nuts and spoil their pooches. this means the boarding places all offer a bone on the dogs' pillows, a blanket turn-down, and puppy pedicures. at the tune of $60 a day!!! all i want is somewhere that will feed him twice a day, give him a place out of the rain, and not make me fear that he will loose his eyes (like a place in laramie is known for). sometimes simplicity is just too much to ask for.