Sunday, December 21, 2008

Things I’ve Learned From Arctic Blast 2008

1. Portland is a city of completely unprepared alarmists. Even though Arctic Blast 2008 is nigh unto the apocalypse (according to the Portland metropolitan area populace), no one owns so much as an ice scraper for their car windows let alone plows to clear the now re-frozen streets.

2. 1 small hill* of solid ice + 60 pounds of kitty litter + 2 slip sliding giggly girls = Sweet sweet freedom.

3. Arctic blasts make for FANTASTIC snowboarding in waist deep powder.

4. Ridiculous pimped-out low profile tires aren’t the best tires for snow.

5. They don’t make chains or cables to fit ridiculous pimped-out low profile tires.

6. If the guy at Firestone says that the cables they have might fit your ridiculous pimped-out low profile tires, don’t buy them. You and your friends will spend an hour in the freezing cold kneeling down in six inches of snow, your hands will go numb, you might swear, and they still won’t fit.

7. I have amazing friends.

8. Always bring your cell phone car charger with you. You never know when you’ll be driving in an Arctic blast in a city with no plows with ridiculous pimped-out low profile tires with no cables after snowboarding all day in waist deep powder and find that you have a dead cell phone battery. You wouldn’t want to spend 40 minutes driving with images of you and your new car in a ditch on the side of the road with no means of calling anyone to help.

9. God controls all things, including slippery hills, traffic lights, parking spots, and the radio.

10. Driving home in an Arctic Blast might make you more sore than an entire day of snowboarding in waist deep powder (which is a near impossibility since snowboarding all day in waist deep powder is one of the most physically strenuous activities in which I’ve ever participated…and I do a lot of physically strenuous activity).

11. Sometimes it’s nice when church is cancelled for a second week in a row so that you have a day to recover from all of the lessons I learned from Arctic Blast 2008.

12. Snowdays are much more fun when you have inflatable sleds, lots of neighborhood friends, and a gigantic sledding hill (i.e. Washington DC's Masonic Temple) across the street from your house.

*This is not my actual hill featured in the video, but a fun one nonetheless.

Monday, December 15, 2008


The great thing about being snowed in is that it provides plenty of time for long as my internet holds up (I can't seem to catch a break these days, can I?). But, I have lots of new and exciting things going on in my life that I'm sure you're all dying to know about...or at least that I'm dying to tell you about!

New #1: My new phone!

Many of you have been aware of the ongoing bain of my existence that is my phone. Near the end it literally became possessed by the devil and would turn on and off at will. It was particularly annoying when it would do so in the middle of an important conversation or not even turn on and stay on long enough for me to begin a conversation. So, if I have seemed less communicative than usual, it is my phone's fault. But, that is all about to change...because I FINALLY got a new phone. Not only did I get a new phone, but I also switched providers. So, all of you Verizonites out there, we can talk to our hearts' content. All of your Sprinters (which are a dying breed, I realize) you won't have the easy access to my ear you once had.

New #2: My new car!

I wish I had pictures, but until I have the means to buy and write New #4: My new camera! you'll have to use your imagination. She's a 2006 Mazda3 hatchback. Her name is Lyla and she's a little cutie. Kind of like my quest for a man, there are things about her that I never would have chosen but I have either learned to love (the fact that she's red) or just accept (the pimped out low-profile tires) or do everything in my power to change (the funky smell that has now been eliminated). Lulu has gone to the grave (God rest her soul) and Lyla and I are becoming fast friends. I'm just so thrilled to have transportation again that I think I'd love her no matter what, but so far she's been a great little car. We're having all kinds of fun.

New #3: My new job!

I've accepted a position as the Admissions Coordinator of the residential Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder program at the Denver VA. Yes...the DENVER VA. I'm moving to Colorado in mere weeks. How do I feel, you may wonder? Excited, sad, freaked out, overwhelmed, happy, anxious, thrilled...the list goes on and changes from moment to moment. The more it settles in and becomes real, the better I feel about it. I'm really sad to be leaving Portland, because I really love it here! I've had so much fun and have felt really connected to the city since the moment I arrived. I can see myself staying here for a long long time, which is part of the reason I'm leaving now. I am feeling a pull back to Colorado and back to my family. If I don't leave now, I may never leave. I've been away for 12 years, have seen the world, sown my oats (though I'm not sure how wild they've been), and now I'm ready to be back in Colorado and back near my family. I want to be able to spend more time with them on a regular basis and be a part of their lives. I have a lot going for me in Colorado and I hope to make a good life for myself there. It'll be another fun and exciting change and just might be my last stop.

I don't have a lot of details yet on when exactly I'll be back. I'm staying in Portland for the holidays but I should be back in Colorado in the first few weeks of January. We're still negotiating a start-date with my new job, but it won't be later than January 18th. I will be moving out of my house (big sad sigh) the weekend after Christmas and will be homeless (but taken care of) for a few weeks, and then I'll be headed home. I can't wait to see all of my Colorado peeps!! And, for those of you elsewhere around the world, Colorado is a GREAT place to visit! Come see me soon!!

Tale of A City...

...with no plows.

They said it was supposed to snow on Saturday. Everyone was talking about it. People were hunkering down. There was no milk at the grocery store. Adverse weather alerts were being sent out at work. Being a girl who grew up in Colorado, I kept thinking, "It's just a little snow, why is everybody freaking out??" I understand that not everybody knows how to drive in the snow, but it's not like we were going to get THAT much.

I'm now sitting in my house...trapped and eating humble pie (if only I'd bought some milk, it would go nicely). I woke up yesterday morning and had my sort-of-annual favorite morning - The morning you wake up and realize it has snowed for the first time that season. I LOVE those mornings. They are so beautiful and peaceful and bright. I get SO happy when it snows. To peep out the window and see everything covered in a gleaming white blanket brings delight to my soul! I began to get ready for church, then got a phone call notifying me that church was cancelled. WHAT?? Church...cancelled?? For SNOW?? These people are ridiculous.

But, it was officially a snow day which meant hours of guilt-free lounging. I laid in bed an extra hour and read my book, then transferred the lounging to the couch where my roommate and I watched endless movies on TV. It was fabulous. We braved the elements and went to pick up a pizza for lunch (gimme a was a snow day). The roads were a little slippery, but not too bad. We made it home safely and continued our lounging. I even made ribs for a late dinner. The day couldn't have gotten much better.

Today I woke up with every intention of going to work. I'd made it out yesterday right? It snowed all day yesterday, but today the sun is shining and it's clear outside. I got all bundled, got in my car, said a prayer that I'd be safe, and headed out. I got about 30 yards from my front door when I met my first (and only) obstacle - a slight hill that was a solid sheet of ice. I made my first (and only) attempt to get up it. I employed all of my I-know-how-to-drive-in-the-snow skills. I shifted to second gear when my tires started spinning, I turned into the spin that my car was starting to go into, yet I still ended up spun around and sliding sideways down the hill and into the curb. Luckily, I didn't hit the little sapling behind me or the parked car in front of me. I had to do a slow 20-point turn to get turned back in the direction of my house. I did, indeed, make it home safely, even though I didn't get far. I suppose prayers are answered in funny ways.

I'm not sure if it is the pimped out low profile tires on my new car ( read that correctly), or the below freezing temperatures, or the fact that Portland HAS NO PLOWS, or maybe it's a combination of the three. If this sort of thing happened in Colorado they would have had the streets plowed before it even stopped snowing and we'd all be on our merry little way. Here, there is just ice. Ice everywhere. Which leaves me trapped in my house. Snow day one = blissful guilt-free lounging. Snow day two = stir crazy cabin fever. I'm worried how long this will go on since there is no indication that the temperatures are rising or that they'll ever plow/salt/gravel our little hill since it's not a main road. Maybe I'll take a walk to the grocery for some milk.

Oh, and did I mention that the heat in our house isn't working? I'm currently typing this as I'm crouched next to a little space heater that is warming my room so I don't freeze to my house. If you don't hear from me for a few days, maybe you should send out a search party.