Today was a spectacular day of deals! I haven't been to the market this week (yes, I've decided to start calling it "the market". It's not an Oregon thing...but I like the way it sounds and it makes me feel like my life is quaint). Anyway, because I haven't been to the market, I had to go out to lunch today. This can be difficult in Salem, as there aren't a lot of good eats around my office (there isn't much of anything around my office honestly). My choices were costco pizza (always delicious), Dairy Queen or the Burger Basket. As I'm trying to eat more vegetables these days, none of these options were working for me. A co-worker suggested a Mexican place down the street...Muchas Gracias (not just an expression of appreciation, but the actual name of the place). It was this little shack of a place (always promising with Mexican food...the shackier, the better). I was also pleasantly surprised to find they had a drive-thru! Yes, I'm a lazy American and I hate getting out of my car for much of anything...plus I had a patient to see so I didn't have much time for eating. Anyhoo...the abovementioned co-worker clued me in to the fact that the portions at this place are HUGE. And while I AM a lazy American, I'm trying to prevent myself from also becoming a fat American. So, I opted for the kids meal, bean and cheese burrito (Ted will appreciate this, especially in light of my attempt to eat more veggies), rice and a small drink for $2.60. That's right, TWO dollars and sixty cents. And...because there is no sales tax in Oregon, it was ACTUALLY $2.60. I was so thrilled with this deal that I paid in change (mostly dimes in fact).
The second deal came on my way home from work. I stopped at Costco to get gas and was pleasantly surprised that gas has dropped below the $3.00 mark! Whoopie!!! Who thought I would EVER be excited about gas being $2.95? That sad reality is here folks. I remember the day gas went over $1.00. I was shocked and appalled (but not nearly as much as my dad who, whenever this subject comes up, tells about the days that gas was 30 cents and he could fill his tank for $3.00). I've never been so lucky. I once paid 79 cents for gas in Goldthwait, TX on our way back from spring break in South Padre Island in 1998. That was back in the days when gas was starting to creep up near $1.50 and we were so thrilled to have such good karma on our road trip. We took a picture that day as well. I'm starting to sound way too much like a 90-year old grandpa recounting the good ol' days. Just know that cheap (?) gas is a comodity for me considering I drive 90 miles a day (round trip) to work...I think I'm going to become bf's with the gas station attendent at Costco.
Speaking of which...While I'm on the topic of gas (because really, how often does that happen?)...I'm going to make a side note about not being able to pump your own gas in Oregon (so much for keeping my blogs short...and what's with all of the parenthetical statements in this post??). So, getting gas has gotten a lot more awkward than it used to be. When you pull up to the pump you hand over your card and say "fill it up with regular please" (quaint yes, but not in a market kind of way). What do you do while the attendent is pumping your gas, or cleaning your windshield? I mean, I know it's really nice and more convenient and fits with my love of not getting out of my car, but I still feel a little weird about it. The first time I got gas by myself I tried to busy myself in my purse to avoid just staring at the 60-year old dude squeegie-ing away at my window. Thank goodness for ipods with which to fidget! My trips to the gas station are made more awkward by the fact that my gas tank lock is controlled only by a double turn of the key in the car door lock. This normally wouldn't be a problem because I generally just unlock all of the doors by this method whenever I get into my car. However, my passenger side front door lock has stopped working with the double turn, so to prevent having to lean over and lock the door whenever I get out of the car, I just don't unlock all of the doors with the double turn. But, this means that the gas tank also remains locked. So, when I unexpectedly go to the gas station, the attendent tries to open the gas tank, finds it locked, and then asks me to open it. And, instead of the smooth push of a button that would occur with newer, sleeker cars, I have to get out of my car and shut the door and then stick the key in the lock and give it the double turn. It evokes serious FOLLACI (see la dolce vespa for definition). My friends all say that not pumping your own gas has lots of perks (especially in the rainy season) but I'll have to wait to discover said perks. For now, I just feel awkward (which should be read in a sing-songy voice ala Ted).
Here's to another ridiculously long post! And to two fun quirky things about Oregon...no sales tax and not pumping your own gas (and to parenthetical statements). Hip hip!!