Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hippies, Superfoods, and Floating.

In response to a request (from my mom), I will write about the new city I'm calling "home": Eugene, OR.

Culturally, we're adjusting still. Don't get me wrong, I like this place--it's super green and beautiful, I'm enjoying my job, Ruby's enjoying her babysitter's house, people are friendly, things are going well. But, we really don't really fit in culturally here. 

For those who don't know, Eugene is very green--both in color and in attitude. That's great and all, but I have a long way to go before I reduce my carbon footprint as much as everyone around here has. Everything you use is recycled, everything you eat is organic, and most prefer to avoid milk or meat, and meditation is hip. I overhear conversations about people's hatred of plastic. When I carry my re-usable plastic water-bottle around I realize I'm the only one--everyone else carries metal or glass. When I'm in the grocery store I notice I'm the only one buying veggies out of the non-organic section. At work people tell me where you can get good deals on organic food and I bite my tongue before I tell them that it's half the price for the non-organic probably genetically engineered green peppers I buy which I think taste good and they haven't killed me yet so I will stick to those (saying that would be social suicide). People tell stories about their experiences "floating" (I think that's what it is called) where they pay $50 to get put into a long, pitch-black tube of saltwater to think. Let's just say I could think of other ways to spend my $50.

Although I did make a huge social blunder with one coworker that went something like this:
ME: "Hey, have you ever thought about going to grad school?"
HIM: "I don't know, I mean I just have so much stuff I like to study on my own. Like, I'm really into studying superfoods."
ME: "Oh."
HIM: "Aren't you into studying about superfoods?"
ME: "Uh, no, I can't say that I really study about them."
HIM: "How could you NOT? Don't you know that they are good for you?"
ME: "I'm not anti-superfoods, I just don't spend time studying them." (I wanted to add: especially not so much time that I can't go to grad school).

Camm also had an interesting conversation with a co-worker who asked what area of Eugene we were living. "Oh, so do you like your neighborhood?" he asked Camm.
"Yeah, it seems nice. But I have this suspicion that our neighbors might be dealing drugs," Camm said as he thought about all of the cars that go in and out of that driveway daily.
"Oh," his co-worker scoffed, "that's a common part-time job here. A lot of people do that. My roommate deals drugs. Don't worry about it." I guess the hippie culture is alive and well. 

Anyway, we're adjusting. I probably need to try acupuncture, floating, and eat organics before I'll really be a cultural resident of Eugene. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bragging Moment

I usually don't brag, but I'd just like to say that I am now officially a professional blogger. I received my very first payment today, and here I frame it (The real payment went into my bank account, but a quick replica ought to do the trick, right?):

Five whopping dollars! If I calculated things correctly, this means that after 17 months of blogging fairly regularly, I have made $0.005 per hour at this job.
Worth it? I'd say yes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Opinions, please

Camm and I are thinking of getting family pictures taken the week of the 4th of July when we are in Tillamook for our family reunion. I contacted the photographer that took pictures of my grandpa and Ruby back in October and we're working on setting it up.

Tonight I started to think about what we should wear and how I want the picture to look. I realized I had some research to do: Google image research. Here's a screen shot:
Lessons learned from my content analysis: Common themes are red/blue and stripes are always a plus.

Though I love the family twinners from the pictures, I felt there was something missing. We'll be taking our pictures the same week we celebrate our country. Our pictures will undoubtedly need a patriotic theme. I have to keep in mind that it might be chilly on the Coast. And most importantly, I want it to show our family love.
Here's a general sketch of how I'm thinking we should do it.

Granted, I am still open for suggestions as it is a few months down the road. What do you think? More stars?

PS--I'd love to hear stories about your matching family pictures you've been forced to be a part of or you've planned on your own!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Ruby's growing up. Where's my little tiny baby that I think I still have? Here are some quick updates:

I spent all of a recent Sunday morning looking for the match to my cream heel. How could I have one of the shoes and be missing the other. It can't be too far, I kept muttering to myself.
The next morning I found it in one of the lower cabinets in my kitchen. That's funny, I don't remember setting it in a kitchen cabinet.

On Easter I noticed her hair looked glued on to the crease in her neck. On closer examination, it was sweet, colorful glue. Apparently, tiny mouths can't hold baskets of candy all at once. Sugary drool had escaped and glued her hair to her neck. Happy Easter!

Learning the word "mine" has changed my life. There's the obvious changes--like when she grabs things out of my hands and tells me "mine." But there's also the unexpected changes--like sitting in church and having her scream to the girl three rows back "MINE! MINE! MINE!"

Development of a new fear: the fear of boredom. She has always been a good sleeper, but now she seems genuinely scared that she might get bored in the middle of the night. Before allowing me to put her in her crib, she insists on finding as many toys as possible to bring to bed with her. Cars, buses, noisy animals, books, babies, and a few stuffed animals fill her bed. One night she even insisted on bringing a pack of crackers. Though crackers were crumbs lining her sheets in the morning, I'm just happy that she still lays down easily.

Self-potty training. Do all kids go through this stage? Here's the basic logic as far as I can tell: I'll take off my diaper and pants and sit on the potty chair while I read some books. When the books are finished, I'll walk around the house and pee. That way I don't get my potty chair dirty. I don't even want her to get potty-trained yet. She's still only 1! Take your time, and keep that diaper on baby!

As a first time mom, I'm not sure if these are all normal developmental things that all kids experience, or if this is Ruby's personality at it's best (seasoned mothers, clue me in, please!). But either way, I'm actually really enjoying this stage. Ruby keeps us laughing every day!

Monday, April 1, 2013

the commute

For those who don't know, I got a job in Eugene, OR in February. Camm got a job up here that doesn't start until April 15th, so he's been commuting each week to and from Klamath Falls. The drive is about 3 hours (or 4 if it's snowing) and Camm has gotten really good at making it over that mountain pass.

So, starting April 1st, the highway he takes would be closing at 8pm for construction. April 1st is today so we had to make sure he would be passed that part of the trip before it closed. If he were to miss it, he would have to drive basically all the way back here and then go the long way. It would probably add 4 hours to his normally three hour trip. At 8:20pm tonight, I got a text from Camm:

"In mountain bad reception. I missed tunnel by 4 min i am too tired to drive around i am getting a motel in oak ridge."

My heart sank. oh poor Camm! I just felt so badly for him. If only I hadn't talked to him an extra four minutes! It's all my fault. Now he has to sleep in some nasty motel where it probably smells like smoke in the non-smoking rooms and they probably haven't washed the sheets in years. Poor poor thing!

So I texted him back that I would call him at the motel since he had such bad reception. I asked him at what motel he was staying and I got no response.

Oh poor Camm! I kept thinking. And now he has such bad reception he probably didn't get my text so now he not only has to stay in a nasty motel, but he thinks his wife doesn't care about him!

I googled motels in Oakridge, OR. There were only four so I decided to just start down the list calling them. "My poor husband," I would start, "missed the closing of the tunnel on 58 by four minutes and now he has to spend the night in Oakridge and doesn't have cell reception. Did Camm Clark check in there within the last hour or so?" 

One by one they told me the same thing, "Camm Clark? Doesn't sound familiar. Sorry, he must be at one of the other ones."

When I reached the last one on the list, more realizations started hitting me, Poor Camm! He probably decided to save $45 and sleep in the car. He's going to freeze to death. Does he even have a blanket?

As I sat in my bedroom wondering how I could make his night just a little more pleasant (Can I order pizza to his car on the side of the road?), my phone suddenly rang. It was Camm.

"Oh, Camm! I love you so much! I'm sorry you have to go through all this," I blubbered.

He responded with two simple words: "April Fool's!"