Guess what guess what guess what

SPEEDING TICKETS ARE MORE EXPENSIVE IN SALT LAKE COUNTY THAN UTAH COUNTY!!!

And, of course, the reason I know this is because, sandwiching a rear-ending that was 100% my fault, I got a speeding ticket in each county. #YOLO

Also, it remains the case that if you rear-end someone, it’s your fault and your insurance has to cover everything.

Kind of I’ve been busy doing really productive things, obviously. Sometimes when you’re an adult, you have to confirm the things you were told as a child/teen to be Life Truths … or something like that. Incidentally, I’m one of the most paranoid drivers on earth these days, and I’m just waiting for the day I get a ticket for not driving fast enough (haha just kidding, I at least drive the speed limit everywhere I go).

I think this is what happens when I don’t work and feel house-trapped by a puppy who pees on all the things (update, however: she only pees in her crate when I leave, so I guess count your blessings, though the correlation between peeing and leaving continues to make me feel, you know, house-trapped). We did get the mail the other night, though, so things are looking up. And, I’m sorry to say, but my dishwasher is either really dismal or the hard water of my city doesn’t rinse worth crap, and the end of this story is: I have a dishwasher except I don’t. And hand-washing dishes is the least fun of my entire life.

But! Light at the end of the tunnel. Mom’s coming into town tomorrow, and I’ll bet she’ll feel sad about a lot of dirty dishes and do them for me. Because that’s what moms do.

Road Trippin’ it for the Holidays

Since Husband’s parents live about three and a half hours south of us, driving is obviously our mode of transportation of choice. I mean, I can’t really think of any other options we’d have in the first place, so our preferences are pretty moot. We just drive there.

And every time we’ve driven there, aside from some mega boredom around hour two, when we feel as though we should be there already and are beginning to really disagree about the music (he wants Metallica, I want Fitz & the Tantrums), it’s a pretty good time. For starters, the speed limit is 80, which is really rad. 80 mph gets you places, let me tell you. 90 gets you even more places, even more faster I’m just saying.

But this year, we have a cat, and although we have found catsitters in the past, holidays leave us kind of scratching our heads. Does a person actually want to come to our cold condo on a major national holiday to scoop her poop? I mean, probably not, so why even bother. I offered up the idea to kennel her, but that seemed too traumatizing, so Husband determined the only thing we could do was put her in the car with us and drive down those three and a half hours, just us, our baby, and a litter box, to a house with three fully-grown adult Golden Retrievers, who, incidentally, hate cats.

He's just my most favorite Klingon dog ever, even though he has the worst breath in the universe.

He’s just my most favorite Klingon dog ever, even though he has the worst breath in the universe.

I feel like there’s some major fallacy in our plan, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

I’m also all sorts of curious how our cat is going to feel about driving somewhere so far away (she was fine on the car ride from the clinic to our home, but then again, maybe she was just happy to be adopted). Husband says he’s absolutely fine with her having free reign and not keeping her in the kennel, which … heh. Yeah we’ll see. And will she notify us when she has to use the litter box? Or is she just going to surprise us because she can? And how enjoyable will the car ride be after she’s done so and our car smells like poop?

And here’s the real low point, people — this is simply a trial run FOR WHEN WE DRIVE TO OREGON FOR CHRISTMAS. Yes, Oregon, as in two states and fourteen hours away. I felt quite strongly that we should kennel her at that point (I’m not heartless, but I mean … come on), but Husband put his foot down and said, “You just want to be with your cat at Christmas.” If that’s not heartwarming, then I honestly do not know what is. And when he says stuff like that, I’m a puddle, and he can do whatever he wants. So, yeah, that’s apparently going to happen. In less than a month, we’re going to put our cat back in the car and drive fourteen hours to my parent’s house, and I’m pretty positive at some point she’s going to need to potty, and GOD HELP ME. Literally none of this seems like a good idea.

I imagine this is the look she's going to have on her face the entire time.

I imagine this is the look she’s going to have on her face the entire time.

Also, as a completely unrelated aside, I believe I’ve suffered insomnia about five separate times since the inception of this blog, six if you count the past two weeks (and you should), and that seems like probably a medical issue. Because sometimes I sleep and it’s awesome, but sometimes I don’t sleep at all, and it’s the worst. Maybe we should get that checked out.

She Really Wasn’t Good at Math

Hey remember that time I had a flight to Portland leaving Salt Lake City at 6:05, and then I somehow decided that scheduling my ground transportation should result in my arriving at the airport at 5:45?

Yeah so that happened.

I’m not entirely sure why I thought that was a good idea when I used the trip planner on the UTA website, seeing as I’d have to get myself to the terminal from the TRAX stop, check my bag, print a boarding pass, go through security, and then get in line to board. Perhaps that afternoon I was feeling especially ninja.

Image courtesy of blendswap.com

Image courtesy of blendswap.com
Oh look, I was only at 55%.

So I got into the car to drive myself to the Frontrunner stop and suddenly I realized I had a bad, bad plan. But I was in the car and my flight was leaving at 6:05 with or without me, so the only option I had was to drive straight there (which I didn’t even do — seriously I followed the signs and took a rather roundabout route) and park in the economy lot (with money I don’t actually have — hey Husband. You’re looking pretty handsome. Every day of your life).

My best friend told me to consider the positives, namely that I realized my mathematical fallacy before getting on the Frontrunner, and after all, there is never enough money, so I may as well stop being upset about it. For the record, I hate it when she’s right.

Confessions of a Music Snob

I’d like to consider myself a pretty reasonable individual. ie, I’m not like my ex-boyfriend who referred to Muse as a watered down (potentially inappropriate line here) version of Radiohead.

I listen to Top 40 music because most of it’s catchy.

I think most other music snobs would like to kick me out of the music snob club because of this, but I will retain my membership for the rest of my life — once a music snob, always a music snob. I’ve just been more willing, as of late, to expand my horizons, kitschy though they may be.

So while you’ll probably hear me listening to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros or Kishi Bashi the majority of my work day, something by Justin Timberlake is probably going to make its way into my playlist.

20/20 Experience. Seriously, people, it’s so good.

So. Meet Shazam.

Shazam

I’m not ashamed to admit that the sole reason I wanted a smartphone was to download the Shazam app. Because you all know how it used to go — you’d hear a rad song on the radio, you’d try to memorize part of the lyrics, you’d go to Google and type them in and then you’d sift through till you found the song and artist. And then you’d buy the CD because who downloaded music? That wasn’t even a thing.

(To teenagers worldwide, I’m not even going to go into detail as to how you’d find a song title or artist before the internet. You relied on the deejays not being jerks, mostly.)

(Also, a little shout out to my fellow late twentysomethings/early thirty year olds who’d record a song from the radio onto a cassette tape several times because the deejays kept talking over the intro.)

For those of you who don’t know what Shazam is, it’s basically magical. You touch to shazam and then it magically tells you the song title and artist of whatever song you’re hearing at the time. Say what!? I know. Mind blown.

But I’m particular. I only reserve Shazam for songs I actually like and am interested in, I don’t know, adding to my playlist at work or maybe even purchasing. I have a discerning ear.

Meet my most recent tags.

Shazam Tags

Oh, I’m sorry, Shazam, it says here that a song I purposely wanted to find information about is actually performed by Justin Bieber. So that can’t possibly be right.

*face/desk*

I die. My worst nightmare has come true: I was listening to the radio, and I liked a Justin Bieber song. I ALSO LIKE CAPITAL CITIES AND THE LUMINEERS, YOU GUYS.

A funny thing happens when you like a Justin Bieber song. You start questioning everything you believe. You no longer trust yourself. You consider skipping work and going straight to Plato’s Closet (which, let’s be honest, is probably a lot like how hell will look, sound, and smell like).

I naturally immediately changed the radio station, searching out something with stomping or shouting or maudlin lyrics, but that station was just playing commercials and I had to settle on Rihanna.

My life. It has gotten so bad.

The Excursion of 2012

– OR – “How Donner Pass Ruined Our Lives”

-OR – “How We Almost Became Cannibals”

This is how I feel about Donner Pass:

Upset Mary

The only reason I might look even a little happy is because I was clearly having a great hair day. But the overarching theme of this blog post is anger and frustration.

Because Donner Pass is a beast. A BEAST. I’m thinking of other words right now, but my mom reads this blog, and I don’t want her to be aware that I know those words. We decided, after the trip to San Francisco was over, that we probably should have flown and not bothered with a car, but most trips are made cheaper by driving, and we thought this would be the same. A word to the unwise: San Francisco is not made cheaper by driving. But we didn’t know that, and so we forged on ahead.

We’d been forewarned about Donner Pass, so we armed ourselves with chains and felt that was going to be good enough. We had water, we had food, and we had enough coats to not die of hypothermia in the event we got stranded on the side of the road, but we also had an intense hope that would not occur. And, while it was just raining and looking a lot like this,

Wet Donner Pass

men in large yellow outfits forced us off the road and told us to put on our chains — there was bad weather up ahead.

I hate these men. I hate them all.

I hate these men. I hate them all.

Well. This was clearly untrue. The roads weren’t bad, the chains weren’t necessary (ignore the above picture, which clearly shows bad roads and a necessity for chains), and they were bullying perfectly nice people into getting out of their cars and chain up. But we acquiesced, and when we parked the car, Husband turned to me and said, “Okay go ahead!” Because Husband travels in athletic shorts, even in the dead of winter, and heaven forbid he have to step outside in the frigid frigidity. I was in a jacket and a scarf. I clearly was the appropriate person to put chains on our Versa.

Low point number one, folks, would be Husband forcing me to put chains on our car instead of manning up. I still love him, most of the time.

As it turns out, our chains were for 14″ tires, which would have been really perfect if we were driving a car that had 14″ tires, but alas, the sporty exterior of my car meant 17″ tires. Because … sporty. So there we were, on the side of the road, in a patch of snow, surrounded by people whose chains did fit their car tires, Husband in his shorts and I in my jacket, wondering what in the hell we were going to do.

But then — luck! The men in yellow outfits disappeared, cars started zipping by, and we thought to ourselves, “If they can all drive without chains, well, then so can we!” This proved to be only partially true because we hit a point when a man in a kiosk stopped us, asking if our small, hatchback car was all-wheel drive, and Husband turned to me and then turned back to him and said yes. Fact: our car is not, nor will it ever be, all-wheel drive. It is not equipped with snow tires; we didn’t have chains that fit. But we were on a mission to get ourselves into the city of San Francisco because our hotel reservation, made through Hotwire, was non-refundable, and I was not paying for a hotel room I wasn’t going to spend a night in. 

Things started out fine, but then they turned less fine.

Donner Pass

At this point, I decided closing my eyes (I was the passenger, lest you’re worried about our well-being what with me driving with my eyes closed) was my best course of action. I did not need to see things get worse.

And, in fact, they did get worse. So bad that when I woke up, Husband was trailing behind a snow plow, his knuckles white, leaning over the steering wheel with a look of utter dismay on his face.

Snow Plows in Donner Pass

Don’t tell my mother this part of the story. It will make her worry.

We did get out. We survived Donner Pass without spending several months there, without eating each others’ flesh, without requiring search party after search party to come look for us. But we almost didn’t. And it required lies and deceit and 5 mph travel. It probably could have been worse.

Probably.

The Word of the Day is: Oversight

Today, class, we’re going to learn about the word “oversight.” Does anyone know what that means? No? Let’s turn to our Merriam-Webster dictionaries, then, and take a look at the definition.

Oversight: noun “an inadvertent omission or error”

Can any of you use that word in a sentence? Darcy, how about you?

“It would be considered an oversight that Mary planned an entire trip to San Francisco with her husband based upon a December 27th checkout, only to discover that morning that they should have checked out on the 26th.”

Excellent, Darcy! Perfect usage of that word. And, indeed, that would be considered an incredible oversight. I can only imagine how thrilled her husband must have been when, already distraught over how expensive the entire trip had cost them, he discovered he’d need to pay for an extra night at the hotel!

Anyone else? Bill? Why don’t you try to use it in a sentence.

“Many people would argue (although we cannot really know exactly what signage Mary saw as freeways changed names, plus we need to take into consideration the fact that her husband turned off the GPS and fell asleep) that it was an oversight that she somehow got onto I-5 and drove dozens and dozens of miles in the opposite direction and would have driven even farther if she had not elatedly called out, ‘Portland!’ when she saw the city sign, notifying her husband that she was headed on the entirely wrong path for southern Utah.”

Very good, Bill, although we could probably do without the parenthetical commentary, and that sentence was a little long. Now let’s move onto a lesson in geography. How many of you are familiar with the western United States?

No one? James, finger out of your nose, please. Let’s look at a map.

Western US

As you can see, she headed north, when she clearly should have only headed slightly south before going east. *shakes head*

Well, that’s all the time we have today, class. Tomorrow we’ll go over some handy tips in inclement weather travel.

It Started with Procrastination

I once swore I would never, under any circumstances, write an entire blog post with my thumbs on my iPhone. Yet here we are, under the covers, so the bright screen doesn’t wake Husband. Which is super considerate of me, given the fact that I’m awake because he elbowed me in the face. He elbowed me good. I still love him.

In mid November, we decided to spend Christmas in another place. Originally we thought cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean (well, on it. We didn’t want a Christmas Titanic experience on our hands), but as it turns out, airfare a month in advance across the country is heinously expensive. So we settled on driving to California. To the Frisco. I’ll never do that again, I promise – I hadn’t even heard the term till yesterday. Although relatively late in the year, I still had ample time to plan out his trip.

But then I didn’t. And I found myself somewhat frenetic yesterday afternoon, scheduling out seven days in California and southern Utah so we wouldn’t arrive, unsure what to do in a city with hundreds of places to go, see, and do. It was fun, let me tell you.

I initially thought to say things started with a phone call, but I suppose the procrastination of the phone call attributed to my blogging with my thumbs at 3:49 am. Awhile back a friend mentioned something about hotel parking, so I thought, yesterday, at the height of my anxiety, to call the hotel and find out how much we were talking.

$52 a day, people. $52. Dollars. A day. Lest you think we have several other options that might be substantially cheaper, we do not, unless you consider parking at the airport, about 30-45 minutes away and then losing easy access to our vehicle an option. And that’s great if you do. I don’t.

That gave me a heart attack. I’d always considered myself something of a city girl, but obviously I know nothing of cities because he most I’d ever heard of paying for parking was about $20 a day for the very elite. So.

I somehow managed to fall asleep, however, and was doing great till the elbowing, and then I found myself very much awake, unable to fall back asleep, and, for reasons inexplicable to me, singing 80s tunes in my head. Lots of Phil Collins going on right now.

So to recap: procrastination, phone call, heart attack, sleep, elbowing, Phil, thumb blogging.

Gonna be a long drive today, people. Long drive.