Tuesday, September 25, 2007

To Commute or not Commute

For those of you who don't know, I work at Doernbecher Children's Hospital which is part of Oregon Health and Sciences University which will be referred to as OHSU from this point forward. OHSU is humongous and sits atop a lovely hill in Portland. The land was apparently donated because it sits along a fault line. Go figure, huge hospital and university perched atop a fault line on top of a hill, brilliant. This whole arrangement of massive buildings and lack of land means no real room for parking.

Here's the thing; I simply refuse to pay $10 a day to park at work. And this is not a good parking spot, this $10 gets you a spot in the farthest lot that is affectionately nicknamed the "get raped" lot. Lovely. At least a ten minute walk.

So- me wanting to save a buck or $30 a week, have been constantly scheming on how to avoid said fees. For my first contract I parked illegally in patient parking by rotating lots and making sure I beat the parking attendant. This was fairly successful until one fateful morning when I hit snooze one too many times and the parking attendant witnessed me getting out of my car, he must've been on to me. After two warning tickets, I got a real live OHSU Parking Services Parking ticket for $100.00. You gasp, but to me I was quite pleased, this was less than a third of what paying for parking would have been for the first 3 months.

This leads me to my second plan. There is a YMCA at the bottom of said hill. (Picture the bottom of Wasatch Blvd leading to the U of U hospital but worse and many more trees and bigger hills; maybe a bad comparison). Let's get to the point. My bro-in-law has a membership to the Y which entitles him to a parking pass there. Until today I was parking at the Y then hiking (this is not an exaggeration) to work. You may ask, what happened yesterday? Well, summer ended and daylight is sparse. I would continue to park at the Y but stumbling down a steep trail while gripping my pepperspray to ward off the homeless no longer seems like a good idea. And eventually the Y may catch on.

Here's where things start looking up. I am not the only one always trying to avoid paying to go to work and one of my coworkers has done much research on the subject. Said coworker found a lot close to the tram (multi million dollar project that connects downtown Portland to OHSU) that is only $3 a day, for the whole day! It's about a 7 minute walk to the tram (I timed it myself) and then I get to enjoy Portland in all it's glory. You can see all of the bridges and downtown Portland and it looks great in the sunrise. I had no idea what I was missing out on! And on top of that- the tram provides great opportunity for eavesdropping, one of my favorite past times. (Not in a bad, gossipy, nosy old-lady kind of way; more of a people are very amusing kind of way.) This morning I learned all about bad popcorn that sticks to your teeth, why we all work to get microwave ovens, Mr. Anderson and myriad of other interesting snippets.

So what if I have to leave my house at 0610 to make it to work by 0700, today it was well worth the hassle and the $3. I hope I feel the same way when the rain starts!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Let Freedom Ring

In April I had a flight from Phoenix to Vegas. It was one of the last flights to leave from Phoenix that night. As I was waiting at the gate there was a lot of people gathering at the gate across the way and in the midst of them were a group of what appeared to be Junior ROTC members. They were junior high/high school age kids dressed in uniform. They formed two lines around the door of the gate. There was a general feeling of curiosity as to what was going on. Slowly more and more people gathered, including a slew of airport workers. I was beginning to wonder if some important politician was landing in Phoenix. As the doors opened and the plane passengers unboarded, it appeared to be any normal flight. No fanfare required. I thought that all of the passengers were off the plane as did the majority of the large audience. And then it happened, I heard something come from one of the young cadets and then saw an older couple coming down the lane, the crowd erupted in applause and I was still confused as I could not get a direct look and only saw their heads. The applause grew and then I could see; one of our troops was coming home, in a wheelchair, a double amputee. It was his parents whose heads I had seen earlier, accompanying their son home. I was touched. Here was a young man, probably not older than 23, arriving home to a life that will forever be changed because of his decision to serve his country.
Last night I watched the HBO special Alive Day. It can be downloaded from hbo.com. I can't stop thinking about these soldiers who have given so much for us to go about our daily lives free to live as we choose. I don't want this to be a post about pro-war or anti-war, I just wanted to pay my respect to those men and women who choose to serve their country and in doing so serving each of us. We have much to be grateful for.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Bird Lice and Fish Hooks

Well, word is out that this blog exists. I'm sure there was much disappointment in the fact that there was only one lowly post. Blogging I have come to find is much like journal writing. You start with great ambition and then when you slack off and don't write for months at a time it is hard to start back up again because you know how much stuff has been missed. Do you just start fresh and forget about the months that were not journaled or do you do a marathon journal entry trying to remember all the details that have been neglected. This is why I should not have started a blog, I am a terrible journal keeper!

That aside- I will go on to explain the title of this post (I know the suspense is killing you.) I had a nice little break from work in Portland and had a chance to spend a week in SLC and some time at home in Flag (Flagstaff, AZ for those of you not up on AZ city lingo.)

The trip to Salt Lake was great!! Even if I did work 3 shifts at Primary's. However, here's where the title comes in, I got to experience what I like to call "random acts of Kaydi's life." For some unknown reason, things happen in my life that I swear do not happen to other people. I can not say why this is, it just is. Perhaps I will go into some of these events in another post. Random act this trip would be the fact that I got fishhooked, yes, fishhooked while floating the Provo River. Not by a fisherman with a nice, clean hook but by a rusty, disgusting, fishgut infested old fishhook. It's been more than a week now and behind my knee has healed up nicely with no sign of infection, this is a reminder to all to get a current tetanus shot!

The second part of my vacation led me to Flagstaff, after a quick stop in Portland to pick up Zoe. I mean really, who doesn't love to fly with dogs? The trip was going quite well and Zoe although not a fan of Chloe (my parent's lhasa apso) seemed to enjoy getting into everything. Everything, including a pile of bird droppings that just happened to be infested with none other than bird lice. Yep, bird lice. I did not know that birds had their own lice, now I do. Thankfully, bird lice can not live on humans or dogs (or as the vet put it, "shouldn't be able to.") However those reassuring words did not keep me from itching for nearly the rest of my trip. Zoe didn't seem to notice.
And this is how life goes, randomly and not as expected but at least it's something to blog about!