Sunday, April 10, 2005


It's good, but weird, to be home. I'm sure this is a topic that will be explored in great detail over the next few months. For now, I'll leave it at that.

Day 2 of my journey home (aka Friday) will forever be remembered as Wakechick's Adventures in Installing Tire Chains. I wanted to hit the road by 6 am in order to time my drive so that I'd dodge rush hour traffic in Portland, Tacoma, and Seattle. Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn't cooperate and the weather forecasters completely blew it. I walked out of my hotel to find it pouring rain. This was in Redding, which meant I had two mountain passes to get over in the first couple hundred miles, and of course rain in Redding meant snow in the mountains. Sure enough, 20 minutes into my drive, rain turned to snow, and 20 minutes after that it started sticking to the road. It was a white-knuckle first hour of driving since the snow plows/sanders hadn't been out yet. Made it safely over the first pass, but learned they had closed all of I-5 earlier in the morning at the next pass and had just opened it back up with the requirement of chains. UGGGGHHHHH. In all the drives I made over the Cascades to get back and forth between home and WSU, I always had a 4WD vehicle equipped with studded tires and never needed chains. Here I was in a 2WD vehicle, by myself, with no experience installing chains. I figured it was better to be safe than sorry, and ponied up the $90 for chains. It was snowing pretty hard and I didn't want to get stuck in Yreka, and nobody seemed to know what was going to happen weather wise. So I set about installing the chains outside the store in case I had problems. {profanity warning} I have never been so frustrated, and cold, and dirty, and naturally by the time I got those fuckers on I had to take them off because the snow had let up and the DOT had cleared the road. I would have been better off sitting down at Denny's for some coffee and pancakes, I would have saved $85 and my sanity. Oh well, so it goes. Now I have chains and know how to install them. That may come in handy in Chicago. I got back on the road, turned on some very angry hard rock music and worked out my frustration, and continued on home. Ended up rolling into the old driveway around 8 pm, though not before stopping at the store for some cold beer.

Saturday I had to clean out my old room. I had some old clothes and random stuff to be saved, given away, or thrown away. I realized that I went to high school during a very unfortunate time, fashion-wise. Especially during the PNW grunge thing. Just say no to baggy, shapeless flannel. My purge inspired my mom to do the same with her closet (just say no to suit jackets with matching shorts in her case). We were loading up the car to go to Goodwill and my dad got inspired to clean out the garage. This was a miracle of epic proportions. My folks have a two car garage that only has one car parked in it at any time, the rest filled with junk. The garage gets my dad's attention once in a blue moon. My mom and I treated my dad like he was a pitcher in the midst of a no-hitter...any wrong movement or word might distract him from his current mission, so we just let him do his thing and tried to stay out of the way. We ended up taking two loads to the dump and one big load to Goodwill.

Today was pretty lazy, watched the Masters. What a finish. My mom and I were rooting for DiMarco to pull it off, and he did make quite a turnaround, from posting a 41 on the last 9 holes of his 3rd round this morning to taking Tiger to a playoff hole. Pretty amazing to mentally put that first ugly nine behind you, and play the next 18 so well. Tiger's birdie on 16 was the shot of the tournament.

Back to work tomorrow, should be interesting....


britchick said...

Ah yes, I remember grunge. Fortunately I think all the evidence went to the charity shop sometime ago. I trhink the chains are probably an investment of both time and learning for Chicago winters, so don't be too annoyed :) Glad you had a safe trip.

Anonymous said...

No snow chains needed in Chicago cuz it's flat. When I moved out to the Northwest, I scoffed at chains at first but then realized that you need them on hills. Plus, Chicago's got 2 battalions of snow plows so they probably won't leave your trunk in Chicago.