Okay, seriously, it's not funny anymore

So, Saturday and Sunday we got horrendously lost driving around the city. Today, The Husband and I stayed close to home and did some unpacking. Our furniture delivery went very well, and we came back from a brief Safeway trip and decided to put together the couch. To put together an Ikea couch, you have to stick the back to the seat, put on the seat covers, and then piece together the rest of it. It's very simple, really. Except, of course, this fucking town apparently wants me to hate it here, and we bought the wrong size seat cover.

Not wanting to have to wait to get our couch together, we checked the transportation office hours. They said they were open until 5:30. It was 4:45, so we decided to run over, get our public transit passes, and then hop on the bus/train/whatever to go to Ikea. We'd drive, except, as noted above, we've been getting horrendously lost.

The transportation office, it turns out, is not open until 5:30 right now. It's open until 5:30 once the quarter starts. We considered trying it in the car, but a) The Husband has an audition tomorrow and needs to practice more than we need the sofa put into a single piece, and b) I'm not actually sure I could handle getting lost again at this point.

To make matters worse, we can't bathe right now because our faucet is fucked up. It's one of those where you twist the faucet edge to turn on the shower. We don't have a shower, but, being basically magpies, The Husband and I went, "Oh, what would happen if we twist it!" What happens is that the water doesn't come through the spout and turning off the water doesn't make it retract into being a bath faucet. We put in a work order, but facilities doesn't consider the fact that our faucet doesn't work as an emergency, so they didn't get over here today. Which means I can't take a bath tonight, either.

It's not that good things haven't happened. We had a good day up until the couch incident, but it feels like there's just been a pile of jackassery and it keeps getting bigger.
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    aggravated aggravated

Dear Downtown Portland:


A follow-up:

Dear Google Maps:


We've arrived. We're safe. The story of our complete inability to get anywhere easily (or with even just slight difficultly) led to a minor breakdown of the emotional variety for both The Husband and I. We were so freaked out after spending nearly an hour circling the downtown area trying to get back to our building that the thought of driving to the parking structure undid us both. The Husband's mother, having followed us into the clusterfuck, got us a hotel room, because we knew we could get to the hotel. I don't think I can thank her enough.

Tomorrow, we have to brave it whether we want to or not because we've got to go back to Ikea to set up furniture delivery for the rest of our stuff, but at least that we can do in a single car (we had both because of what we bought from Ikea tonight), and we can find our way in the daytime.

I see why people don't drive around here. I think the Spruce Bruce is gonna spend a fair amount of time in the parking garage until we're certain we won't get horrendously lost every time we try to go somewhere.

(For the record, I know part of this is just exhaustion from the trip and that it'll get better, but for today? FUCK THIS.)
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    exhausted exhausted

Dear White House blog writer/editor:

Regarding this entry, I could pick some minor political bones with you, but I want to concentrate on this:

And we’re funding a Post-9/11 GI Bill that helps our veterans and their families pursue the dream of a college education. Just as the GI Bill helped those who fought World War II -- including my grandfather -- become the backbone of our middle class, so today’s servicemen and women must have the chance to apply their gifts to expand the American economy.

You've just implied that the GI Bill was inactive from World War II until the updated version of it that Obama approved came into being.


(On a sidenote, I'm thrilled to see an expansion of the GI bill. If anyone deserves a free education, it's someone wiling to defend their country.)
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I don't usually want to take an axe to an automated line

But I got close today.

I think most people I know can't stand automated phone systems. I tend to prefer them. It's a rare thing for me to call a number and need more than basic help. And I like them for getting me transferred to the department I need. In my experience, I'm more likely to mis-transferred or hung up on by a real person than by a machine.

So, of course, the streak had to end today.

The Husband and I make the move of "holy shit we have to get across the country" in exactly 2 weeks. While sorting through some papers the other night, I came across a couple of savings bonds I was gifted back in 1992. I looked them up and discovered that they're both worth about $10 more than face value. Weighing how much more we could make off of them if we let them mature a little more versus having a little extra money for the trip, I decided I'd rather cash them in. A 2500 mile trip is exactly the kind where you want a little extra money just in case.

So, I sat down to call my bank and see if they can cash out savings bonds. First, I went to the website to look up the number of the branch closest to my mother-in-law's house (where we're living until we move). The bank's website didn't have a phone number.

Let me repeat that:


Thinking it was a fluke, I typed in our old zipcode. No dice. Apparently, my bank assumes that no one wants to call their local branch.

Screw it, I thought. I'll check The entire point of is to look up phone numbers and addresses, but mostly phone numbers.

Guess what it didn't have? If you guessed "the number for the damned bank," you win!

So I go to Google and type in the name of the bank and the location. Google spits out the nearest five branches, with phone numbers. Shaking my head at the ridiculousness of the whole thing, I dial the number of the bank I need. The number I dial is local.

I get routed to the automated system. No big deal, I think. It'll give me an option to speak to a rep.

It doesn't.

Let me repeat that, too:


I assume, were I to push the right sequence of buttons for a department, I'd talk to a person, but I didn't find out. Instead, making a guess, I pressed 0. Sure enough, it got me to a person.

"I need to know if [Name and location of bank] can cash out savings bonds."
"Please hold while I look up that number."

I sat on the phone for three minutes wondering if I'd be connected straight through or be required to call myself. If they give me the number I dialed, I decide, I'm going to raise some mild hell.

After three minutes, I pull my phone away from my ear to make sure I'm still connected. I'm not. I've been disconnected.


I went back to Google, tried the next branch on the list that's located near my mother-in-law and got someone to answer on the second ring. She transferred me to someone who answered on the first ring, and I found out my bank can cash out savings bonds.

Shock and fucking awe.

Anyone needs me, I'm off to pick out an axe with which to chop down the automated system at my bank. I lost fifteen minutes on a one-minute phone call. Wankers.
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    aggravated aggravated

Oh, universities, why am I ever surprised by you?

A few weeks ago, The Husband's financial aid information finally cleared all the necessary hurdles and made it possible for him to register for classes. He sat down to do it immediately, and out of all the theater classes listed as available for the fall, he found one he could take. Being a smart student, he e-mailed his advisor. His advisor got back to him within 48 hours (on a Saturday, no less), and explained that The Husband would need to audition for the acting classes he'd be taking and that information on that is available on the theater department website.

Yeah. Not quite. The Husband found information on the website, but all the classes were coded for undergrads. So, he sent a new e-mail, asking if he was supposed to take those classes (as there were no grad-level acting classes), and asking who he was supposed to talk to about taking them.

We then spent two weeks wondering if we'd managed to completely mis-read everything the theater department claimed about their masters in performance. And we spent these two weeks worrying because The Husband's advisor didn't respond to the e-mail or the phone calls.

For two damned weeks.

Wednesday, at roughly 1:00 PM our time, The Husband attempted to call the theater department and try to get information. The line was busy. All day. He called about every five or ten minutes for four hours. Busy. Busy. Busy.

Today, he tried again, and lo and behold, someone picked up! Turns out the department was finishing a move (their building is getting shut down for the fall for remodeling), and the lines weren't hooked up yesterday. Why the main switchboard--which The Husband called to try and backdoor his way into the theater department--wasn't aware of this, we have no damned idea.

But! Good news! The Husband got off the phone with the name of the prof in charge of the performance classes, and he now knows that his advisor is out of touch until September! And, also, the guy's a big enough flake that he doesn't think to change his voicemail message or set up a automatic response through his e-mail! Fun!

The Husband will have to audition, and he's currently in negotiations with the prof right now as to the exact time and date. He told the prof we'd be in town come September 18th, and she said she'd be happy to meet with him that day. Which led to a follow-up e-mail explaining that we'd be moving in on September 18th, and while he could meet with her in the evening of the 18th, the 19th would be better. No word back, yet, but he sent the last response in the later part of the afternoon, and if they've been moving buildings, no doubt the prof is ass-deep in things needing organized.

Regarding my own academics, everything seems to be fine. I'm registered, and I'm waiting for the booklist to show up, and I'm going to e-mail my advisor on Monday to set up a face-to-face meeting sometime after we get to campus.

We're 19 days out. Tomorrow, I start figuring out how to pack tighter.
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    determined determined

Oh, Portland...

It's been hot as blazes here this week with the temperature in the high 90s and even tipping to triple digits before the heat index. Today, for example, it topped out at 101 (at 3:30 in the afternoon, when it should be cooling off), and the heat index finished off at 107.

Portland, Oregon, on the other hand, is 90 but "feels like" 87. This sounds amazing to my sun-baked brain. Portland, apparently, considers such temperatures worthy of a heat advisory.


I can't wait to move.
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    amused amused


I've been working on a sweater, and it's come out super-cute. All I had left were the sleeves and maybe a tiny bit of neck detail. So, of course, I ran out of yarn. A trip to both the chain stores and the local stores have revealed that no one carries the color I need. Of course.

So, I'm on the hunt for Omega Sinfonia in variegated green. There are a couple of online places that have it, but I'd much rather be able to go in and buy it so that I can at least hope on color-matching the dye lot.

On the upside, I found cute buttons for it.
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    aggravated aggravated

It is still boiling hot and other not-really-news

We had an absolutely lovely day yesterday, nice enough that The Mother-in-Law and I spent a few hours sitting on the patio reading. Today? Boiling. Again. Because this summer does not want me to breathe comfortably at all. Wanker.

I've been crocheting since about noon today, and my hands are starting to ache a bit, but I think I'm gonna push forward. I'm using sportweight cotton yarn to make a little sweater that will be, I think, short-sleeved. If I end up having enough yarn to make it long-sleeved, I'll probably go that direction. I'm winging the thing, and so far it's looking very good. I'm surprised at how fast it's going, as I usually get frustrated with thin yarn projects, but this one I am absolutely determined to see through, and it's working so far.

I read two books last week. One was "Pretties," which is the second in Scott Westerfield's "Uglies" series and the other was "1984." I spent yesterday reading volumes 2-6 of "Scott Pilgrim," and I've started "Emma" on my Nook. I'm also in the last 160 pages of "A Confederacy of Dunces." It's nice to be able to just sit and read. I'm not used to it anymore, and I'm trying to get into the same habit for my writing for the next few weeks.

Tomorrow, I get up with The Husband, take him to work, and then spend the day doing stuff. There's some editing to do--both for myself and some other people--and I want to get a few things organized.

We're five weeks out from the move, give or take, and we're waiting pretty patiently. I booked our hotel rooms the other day, and had to remind myself that it's okay for the bank account to drop because that's the point of the money in the bank: to pay for the trip.

Also, as I promised, here's a picture of my bright pink hair out in the sunlight so you can see how bright it is:

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I'm washing it every other day to keep the color bright for as long as possible, and I desperately need my bangs trimmed, or I need to blend them in with the rest of my hair. I can't decide which way to go. I like having bangs, but it's a pain to keep them trimmed, and I look just fine without bangs as well. Anyone care to give thoughts to such a silly question?

Okay, back to crochet, because I really, really want to see if I can get to the armholes by tonight.
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    cheerful cheerful

An updatey update thing

I have pink hair! Like, PINK. I have one picture of it that isn't very good, and which I have not uploaded, but I will get one shortly. If you keep up with me on Facebook, you've seen the bad one. I'll try to get one in sunshine tomorrow.

Also, I fucking love it. It's PINK.

In other news, attempts to make it look like we live at the MIL's, rather than looking like we're using her for storage have been successful today. It's still not perfect, but we figured out what can hang out in the garage and what needs to be stashed elsewhere in the house, and soon I get to start re-packing things to make our load a little lighter.

I am about 2/3rds through 1984. When I tried to read it for high school english, I couldn't stand it. Reading it now, with an 11-year hiatus in which to grow up a little, I'm fascinated. It's dark, yes (the reason I didn't like it at 16), but the way Orwell builds the paranoia is amazing.

I also read the second book in the "Uglies" series, called "Pretties," and then I went to Shelfari to add the other two to my "will read" list, and while checking out the synopsis for book 4, got the ENTIRE third book ruined for me. ::Headdesk:: Good job, whoever wrote up that synopsis. You can die now.

And how's the flist?
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    cheerful cheerful

The first part of the move is a complete success

We are safely ensconced at The Husband's mother's house for the next six weeks. Even without our furniture, it looks like an apartment blew up in her dining room. We're going to have to re-pack some things to make sure we can fit everything, but what's life without a little adventure?

I'm still semi-exhausted from the move. I sent The Husband to work on his own today and slept in a bit, but after being on the treadmill for 40 minutes, I was tired again. I think my body just needs some time to relax. Two full days of packing and cleaning and going up and down stairs is flat-out exhausting no matter how active or in shape you are.

It's a waiting game again until the big move, but at least we're mostly packed this time. I also heard from PSU, and they're giving me exactly the amount of money they think I'll need to make it through the year. Happily, they work some "personal expenses" into their proposed budget for students, so I think The Husband and I will only need part-time jobs to get by. We're not looking to be loaded; we're looking to pay bills and have a small bit of money tucked away just in case.

Off to organize something. Not sure what, yet. My options are pretty open.
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    tired tired