Posts Tagged ‘ lost ’

Things I learned in 2012.

When I was drafting this blog, I was laughing internally because in comparison, the one I wrote for 2011 was so short. It amuses me that 2011 felt like I grew so much, but 2012 was so much more.

So because this list is so long, I’m going to subdivide it into months.


  • Saying goodbye isn’t the hardest thing– living without is.
  • Moving to the Willamette valley in January is a terrible idea. It’s the crappiest weather of the year.


  • Crappy jobs still pay rent.
  • Rich people aren’t good tippers. Actually, rich people are the worst tippers.
  • Getting thoroughly lost can be the best way to learn about a city’s geography.


  • Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to tune out.
  • If you’re willing to be surprised, a good friend can come from anywhere.


  • Unemployment is only scary when it stops feeling like a vacation.
  • Twenty is a surprisingly bummer age to turn. Suddenly adulthood feels like a burden


  • Aim high, be prepared to score low, and you may be pleasantly surprised.


  • Summer in Portland is perfect. 
  • Living in a main street in Portland during the summer… Not so much.


  • Nothing is certain, not even your life.
  • Getting prodded by medical folk gets easier the more it happens. Same with throwing up.
  • Dulaudid is one hell of a drug.
  • Recovery is the hardest part– waiting and wanting to be back to normal, but still sick.
  • In spite of the soap opera-y parts, Friends is an awesome show.
  • Staying hydrated is so much more important than I ever thought. Drink water, people!


  • Bicycling through Portland at night in the summer is amazing.
  • Doctor Who is one of the best TV shows of ALL TIME.
  • Life goes back to normal really easily, even when you’re changed forever and there’s constant turmoil in your brain.


  • Empathy is not a strong trait of mine, except where my sisters are concerned.
  • Every wedding should have dancing. (and dancers.)


  • Important decisions can be delayed.
  • I’m freaking awesome at parallel parking.


  • People who skype in coffee shops make me nervous.
  • Shutting up and listening is important.


  • Feeling rich is still a major fault of mine.
  • Handmade Christmas presents are the best!
  • Distance hasn’t made me love Central Oregon and my people there any less, and time hasn’t made me miss them any less.
  • Even though 2012 was a really tough year, it was a really good year– and it was really important.

And yeah… Fart jokes are still funny.

With that said, I’m really looking forward to what 2013 will hold. I’m making plans to intentionally make it the best year ever.



The Lost Bethany Chronicles, Part 2

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I have a little bit of an ongoing problem with getting lost.

Round two with Trimet involved, again, trying to find my way to my sister’s house. It seems like a simple task– walk a half mile west, board the bus. Get off at a certain stop, walk a block south and board another bus. Get off and cross the street. Simple, right?

Well, not when you’re in a city where you have no sense of direction.

On the journey in question, I successfully boarded the correct bus, and even got off at the correct place to make my transfer. However, as soon as I stepped off the bus I had a horrible realization.

Walk south one block, the direction said. I looked up at the buildings and spun slowly in a circle. Not only did I have no idea which way south was, but I had no idea which way was which at all. I took a deep breath and started walking, glaring irately at my phone GPS which had failed me yet again. I walked about four blocks in one direction, turned right and walked another five to six blocks, then turned right again and headed back the direction I’d come. All the while my annoying GPS declared in large letters “SEARCHING FOR GPS.” (I later figured out that I had gone west, north, and east– every direction but the one  I needed to.)

Not helpful.

I walked by the courthouse. I walked by PSU. I walked by a lot full of food carts. Finally, my phone beeped– a notification that the GPS had finally been located. Eagerly, I retrieved the device in question from my pocket, and discovered I was only a block away from my destination. At a power-walk pace I headed that way.  I spotted my stop and approached it just as the bus I needed pulled away. It sucked.

However, I was in (relative) luck– since I was downtown, this stop was serviced every fifteen minutes, so I didn’t have long to wait.

As I stood, I noticed a rather short young man standing on the corner, approaching strangers with a binder in hand. It seemed he was trying to get people to listen to a particular shpiel, and after I observed him being rudely rebuffed several times, I decided that if he were to approach me, I would be nice and listen to him even if I didn’t care about whatever he was promoting.

Well, he did approach me.

First he complemented my state of plaid flannel shirt– “Bringing it back,” he said, awkwardly touching my arm. I laughed uncomfortably as he launched into his speech, talking about poverty, privileges (like being literate) and how relatively wealthy even those below the poverty line  are in this country.

I half-listened. I already knew that  I was going to say no to whatever he wanted me to sign up for, until he finally got around to the point that he was gathering people to sign up for sponsor children. For a moment I considered it. I think that sponsoring a kid is a great thing to do. I changed my mind when he revealed the kicker; a sign-up sheet which had spaces for credit card information and not a whole lot else. Mentally, I backpedaled, desperately thinking of an excuse.

“Well,” I said, “I don’t think I’m going to sign up right now.”

“Oh, well, what’s holding you back?” Zack asked. (His name was Zack. If you read this, Zack, your pitch was actually very good. I’m just squeamish about credit card information.)

Desperately, I played the poverty card. “I’m poor,” I said, “I kind of haven’t eaten yet today.”

Zack started his addendum speech about how easy it is to cut little things out of your expenses like eating out or coffee (hah.)

Just as I was starting to feel cornered, my salvation came in the form of the bus. “Look, Zack,” I said, stepping away, “I’ll see if I can work it into my budget, and if I can I’ll go to your website to sign up.”

The thing is, I checked out the website and he was legitimate. I just really hate being put on the spot. ( if you’re curious.)


Today I went round three with Trimet, this time trying to find my way home from my sister’s house. I eventually had success, but I swear that the mobile trip planner has led me astray more than my own lack of sense of direction. Thrice within twenty minutes I looked up routes home based on my current GPS location whilst downtown, and thrice the mobile trip planner told me different routes.

Finally, I went with my instinct, and it was (shockingly) better than the trip planner.

Downtown Portland breaks my heart, though. In front of the Arlene Shnitzer concert hall, an old lady in a motorized wheelchair solicited passersby, asking only for a dollar. I gave her an orange instead.

Then I passed by at least four other people asking for money. I only responded to the ones who spoke directly to me, but seriously, I wanted to feed all of them a nutritious feast– even though one homeless man asked me if I had a more ripe orange to give him. Oh well. The homelessness problem breaks my freakin’ heart. I can’t help but imagine what if it was me in their shoes.

Despite getting lost and other distractions, I made it home successfully.

Trimet, I win.

Fish out of Water, or the Lost Bethany Chronicles.

I admit right now, I’ve been putting off writing this blog for about the last three weeks. I wanted to wait until interesting things happened to me after the move before I wrote.

Well, interesting things have certainly happened.

The first thing that happened to me when  I moved to Portland was a raging ear infection, which led to a ruptured ear drum and temporary hearing loss. Literally the first thing that happened to me. Not even exaggerating.

So if day 1 was moving in, day 1 also consisted of a fever and overwhelming ear pain. Day 2 consisted of growing ear pain, a runny ear, and finally visits first to urgent care and then to the emergency room, where the doctor was a buttface mcStinker.

Anyway, I received antibiotics and eventually got better.

My next grand adventure involved Trimet, Portland’s bus system.

Trimet does have a trip planner on their website, and Google maps is helpful. But even the map isn’t all that  helpful when it looks something like this.

So anyway, the first time I decided to ride the bus into town to my sister’s house, it was quite the adventure. Since  I’m out in Lake Oswego, there is a limited number of bus stops within reasonable walking distance of me.

First, I couldn’t find my stop. I attempted to follow my faulty GPS, but it led me asunder–  I ended up scrambling down the side of a hill to a trail I spotted underneath a bridge. It was, at best, sketchy. However, the trail led me into a pleasant park, wherein I discovered that I was farther than ever from my destination.  After walking at least three miles out of my way, I finally made it to my stop, which was, as it so happened, only about a ten minute walk away from my house. I was not full of joy.

The bus arrived about 20 minutes after  I did, and I boarded, relieved. “The hardest part is over,” I thought. I deposited my handful of change into the thingy. The bus lurched away from the stop while I cleared a jam of quarters, and I nearly lost my footing. Seizing a bright yellow bar, I managed to not fall over, and haphazardly made my way toward the back of the bus.

At the front and top was an LED sign accompanied by a computerized voice announcing upcoming stops. I put away my phone, confident that I would hear my stop when it approached.

I rode for a while, observing people come and go with greater frequency as we approached Portland State University. I looked around as we went through downtown. I finally realized as we drove away from downtown and into an area that seemed oddly industrial that not only had I missed my stop, but I missed the entire area where I was meant to disembark and transfer buses.

Seized by uncertainty, I sat.

I rode around for another 45 minutes, waiting until we got to a decent-looking residential area before I got off the bus. I googled quickly as I walked, attempting to find out which bus stop would take me back to Hawthorne.

I must have looked quite interesting to the people in the yards, enjoying the sunshine, as I power-walked by, glaring at my phone indignantly.

Finally I reached the stop that would take me where I wanted to be. I checked the stop ID– it was off by one digit. A bus was coming up on the other side of the street. I ran to the crosswalk and across the street, in front of the paused bus. Out of breath, I boarded, carelessly pulling dollars out of my wallet and inserting them into the cash thing.

I again aimed for the back of the bus. While I rode back, a couple behind me talked loudly about how they were about to go smoke a joint, a kid got yelled at by the bus driver for not having his fare ready to go, and a girl looked at me as if she thought I was a rapist.


Forty-five minutes later, I leapt off the bus as the intercom announced Hawthorne avenue. Not wanting to bother with another bus, I walked the remaining distance to my sister’s house.

And that was just the first time I got lost.

This post ended up being longer than I anticipated, so coming Sunday– the Lost Bethany Chronicles, Part 2.

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