Ah Bugger

The vapid utterings of a neurotic mind.

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Location: DC, United States

I ain't too proud to bug.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

'spose I'll have to come back to Seattle sometime...

I was so excited to see Seattle. I got up fairly early (read: alarm went off at 7:30 and I got up at 9) and had some breakfast. I went to the Tacoma Glass Museum. It was really cool, the various works of art there. I would have loved to have bought a piece, but the average price was several hundred dollars. Instead I bought two little glass bugs. They were a buck each.

I headed into Seattle and found a place to park on the marina. I wanted to go to the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center which is a hands on kind of museum (my favorite!), but they were closed due to some Microsoft event. Grr. So I went to the Seattle aquarium. I was in and out in 12.2 seconds. There was nothing to see except a wolf eel which looked like an old man chomping on his dentures, a wee little octopus who was squished so tightly into a corner that I nearly missed him, and a bunch of starfish. Wow. Worth the $15. Nope.

So then I wandered up to Pike's Market where, apparently, a mood had set in and I was not appreciative of this place I have been aching to go to forever. I pushed my way through lackadaisical crowds who languished at the stands piled high with clams and whole pike. I scoffed at the magic store and turned my nose up at the sterling silver jewelry. Uh oh, I thought. I am not feeling this.

History: Every time Marci and I take a trip, there is a day where we hang out in the hotel room and do nothing. We eat candy, stay in bed all day and watch bad television (usually some girly film that ends super happily). I think that moment in time hit me today. But what about Seattle? I was determined to see and do stuff. I drove to the Space Needle and looked up at it . I contemplated going up into it, but the crowd waiting to go up made me grumpy (er) and I turned on my snotty little heel and went to the monorail. I paid $2 to go to a mall. Once in the mall, I wandered about and then paid $2 to go back to where I started. In the monorail, I noticed that the flagship Macy's was right where I just left. Dang. If the Macy's was there, then the Nordstrom ought to be nearby. But I was headed back to the Space Needle. I got into my car and drove over to that area. While doing so, I contemplated the name Nordstrom. Loosely translated from German it means northern electricity. So then I thought, well Nordstrom must be Swedish (like Ikea). Truly, the amount of thought I gave it was unbearable. Then I suddenly could not go there anymore. (Plus, I just had to look Nordstrom up because I have thought about it so much that it no longer seems to be the right name, but it is.)

I drove on. Well, best I could considering the traffic. For a second I thought I was back in DC. ACK! I just kept going.

I am missing out on the tour of the Seattle underground. I am missing out on the Orcas. I am missing out on Seattle, but I don't care! Am I burnt out? I don't think so. I just think I was not ready for a city on my own after having been in so many national parks and then with friends. Plus, there is just always that one hotel/bed/tv day.

Washington and more National Parks

Okay, I am getting sleepy, but I guess I should get you all up to date while I can. I will be heading to visit family soon and that will leave you entry free for a little while.

I am currently near Seattle, WA. I am beyond thrilled to get to witness this city. Back in the day, I applied to the University of Washington. They did not accept me. But I could have possibly lived here. I have always wanted to go to Pikes Market, etc. Tomorrow I will start by seeing the glass museum in Tacoma.

Today I drove some random path into Olympic National Park. Several miles in (to the nothing... I just drove up a steep mountainous path into nothing), my gas light went on. Uh oh. I kept driving because the Tomtom said there was a gas station in a few miles. (Where, on the top of the mountain?) I was freaking out. There was no sign of life and I had not encountered anyone in a long time so I finally wised up and turned (carefully. It was a narrow road) around. The road was super windy and the edge dropped off terrifyingly. I put the car in neutral and coasted down the mountain at breakneck speeds. I coasted for 25 miles. I wanted to not have to walk and get gas and my plan let me go an additional 40 miles on empty. Ack. Never will I go below 1/4 tank again!!!This could have been one of the last things I ever saw...

Then I took a different path into the same park. I stopped and had lunch at the lodge. Fresh halibut. Yum. Plus there was a painting on the wall there I really liked. I wrote down the artist's name and maybe I can order a piece.

This was the view of Lake Crescent from the lodge. After lunch I hiked the Moments in Time trail. I saw a couple of deer who showed no fear of me, whatsoever. I kept walking and got scared that I may be eaten by a bear. I actually turned around to head back to my car, but then ran into a couple from Nebraska and forced them to let me walk the trail with them. After we parted ways, I found my way up to Marymere Falls. The path was steep that I was panting a bit. (Shameful). I was apparently rather gleeful in having gotten to the top! Like the hair? I flipped my head over and fluffed it up. Trust me, this picture is way better that the one right before it. This tree was big and so I set up my camera to take my picture. I want to compare this picture to ones I will take at Sequoia National Park.

I left the park and found myself at a blackjack table somewhere on my route towards Seattle. I chatted up the old men sitting there (connected to an oxygen tank) before losing my $20 and heading back into my dark gray chariot.

That's all for now!

xoxoxoxoi (the i is for Clussy)


Yesterday, I spent the day in Victoria. I remember my dad saying that it was one of the most beautiful places he'd been. I think I have looked forward to checking it out my whole life.

I drove to Butchart Gardens (which I had a really hard time finding and thusly spent an inordinate amount of time driving through the 'burbs of Victoria). The garden was packed to the brim with people, but check out these beautiful flowers and you shall understand.

Then I drove into Victoria and shopped a bit. I bought a t-shirt at Roots with "1973" on the front. Great year, that was. I still had some time to kill prior to getting on my ferry to Washington State and so I went to see the film "Journey to the Center of the Earth". It was in 3-D and it was pretty good. I liked it, anyway. Some of it was a little cheesy, but it is a kids movie and some of the cheesiness was due to the 3-D factor. Therefore do not watch it unless you can do so in 3-D. Plus, there is a scene where the kid is leaping onto these rocks that hover over an unending abyss. This made me feel sickly because I envisioned him falling off. Gah.
This is Victoria, as viewed from my ferry. Two violinists were playing music on the ferry. They were passengers and simply did so to terrify me and two German tourists whom I bugged during the ride over. It terrified us because the Coast Guard rode next to the ferry with a huge weapon manned by a man on the helm. Uh... We had visions of the Titanic and the violin music was played there, too.

I got into Port Angeles late and stayed at a wee little hotel. Back in the States. Thanks for the entertainment and the coffee, BC.

Wait, there's more! Vancouver Island

MarciA came over on the ferry with me to go to Vancouver Island. There were seals that were swimming alongside the ferry, but we could only see their wee little black heads bobbing in the surprisingly calm waters. We met up with two friends who then took us to Nanaimo to witness the annual bathtub races. Yeah, you read me right. Bathtub races. Apparently, in 1967, the mayor of Nanaimo, Frank Ney,(who dressed like a pirate) thought that racing bathtubs across from Nanaimo to Vancouver would be a great way to celebrate the centennial. The tradition has stuck and now people create these bathtub boats they have to race across the straight of Georgia. They kneel in these crafts for an hour and half (or so) in supremely choppy waters. When they arrive at the finish line, they are to jump out and run up the beach to a bell they must ring. Unfortunately, their legs are often numb and they tend to collapse instead. It is rather hilarious, though one guy bit it pretty badly and ripped his leg open. That was not hilarious at all.
This guy had trouble with his motor at the beginning of the race but managed to finish pretty quickly. He had a rather exciting (for me anyway) trip to the finish line. His legs were like rubber and buckled several times, bringing him to the same repeatedly. But he rang the bell.

This is how they look on the water, racing along. It was all very exciting. I am estimating, because I can't remember the details, that 43 boats entered the race and 8 sank. Oops. Each bathtub boat has to be escorted by a bigger motor boat just in case of issues.

After the races, we milled about Nanaimo where MarciA tried to feed some WLM. They seemed a liiittle too comfortable.

We went to the house of one of the local friends whose parents fed us a great dinner. Really great people. I like Nanaimo. I even found a house I could live in, though I did not photograph it. I also found another rainbow. They seem to be following me around.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What happens in Vancouver... is shared here

Oh my goodness, I have so much to tell you. I was staying with my friend MarciA* and her husband just outside of Vancouver, BC which is why you have not heard from me in a while. But while you were feverishly refreshing my page, I was having a ball being a tourist with MarciA.
We went out to White Rock and wandered the beach. That's where I realized that Vancouverites really enjoy the colour orange. Seriously, it's every where! Check out this house.

This person is a true Vancouverite. The picture does not do it justice.

Then we went to a CFL game. The BC Lions were playing the Montreal Alouettes. The game started off really boring, but then the Lions started to realize they were actually at a real game and started to play properly and won by a very narrow margin in the last seconds of the game. I had a great time at the game, though AND MarciA and I met the mascot, Leo. Guess what colour the Lions wear...

That's right! Orange.

The next day MarciA and I went to Stanley Park where we found a couple of fellas who drove up in a DeLorean. I started smacking MarciA because we had to go get a picture. We headed over to see that not only did they arrive in a DeLorean, but one was dressed to the hilt in a Darth Vader costume (to attend a wedding. No, it was not a theme wedding). I think I love Vancouver.

Not quite certain why I am standing like an 8 year old, though.

Stanley Park is lovely though a lot of trees were taken out by a rather wicked storm a few years ago. We tried to go to the aquarium to see their baby beluga whale. Unfortunately the line wrapped around the building, so we walked on. Soon we found ourselves at the Capilano Suspension Bridge (where finally my student id got me a discount. Yay) and MarciA made me walk on a very long bridge that wobbled and shook. I am surprised at how much it freaked me out to walk on it. I was holding on for dear life and I could feel the fear build up in the bottom of my throat.

That's me hamming it up a bit for you, but I never let go of the railing. Seriously, it was a long way down. See?

Besides, MarciA was telling me about how a woman dropped her baby off the bridge and that made me envision that act which only made my knees more wobbly. (The baby survived and was taken from the woman). The other side of the bridge had more stable bridges to climb about on to get to various little treetop platforms. We gallivanted around there and when we finally had to go back over the suspension bridge, I was not quite as freaked out anymore.

I had a great time in Vancouver. MarciA cooked me breakfast every morning and we had beers and friendly conversation every evening. Her friends are awesome, as is her husband. It is so great to meet someone that just instantly becomes a friend for life. Two peas in a pod, we are.

Thanks a ton, you guys!!!

*I add the capital A to Marcia's name so that you know not to confuse her with the one and only Marci.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Montana on Tuesday, driving on Wednesday

I drove through Kalispell, Montana yesterday. Some congressman or senator has an event there that a former boss used to go to. Kalispell seemed out in the middle of nowhere to me and now that I have driven through it I see that it is indeed, in the middle of nowhere. But what a beautiful nowhere it is. I drove for a while behind a car that was from...Virginia! I was so excited, but they did not seem to be. I contemplated nudging their bumper to say hi, but I guess that would not excite me much if someone did that to me. So I sped away and wound up in Glacier National Park in Montana.

I think this would be a great place to camp and go boating or kayaking. I am willing to come back here in case any of you think a camping trip may be a great plan. (Harms?)

The trees enclosed the streets. It was much different than Yellowstone. At Glacier Lake, the trees were rich and bountiful. No toothpicks stuck into a mountain here. It is remarkable to see what a fire will do.
"Climb ev'ry mountain. Ford ev'ry stream. Follow ev'ry rainbow. 'Til you find your dream."

I am going through (yet another) fixation on Julie Andrews. It is never ending, my crush on her, but this time it is because I am reading her autobiography and also due to the fact that youtube.com has everything that I used to have to physically go to the Museum of Radio and Television in New York City (where I went in the early 90's to borrow "Cinderella" starring Julie Andrews and then sat in a little cubicle and watched it in all it's grainy black and white glory) for. I found this trailer for Mary Poppins that someone put together. Hilarious. Watch it here.

So, after leaving Glacier National Park, I wanted to get a hotel room early and checked out a Super 8. Sold out. Then I drove back through Kalispell and they were sold out. Everything all the way to Libby, MT was sold out. I was forced to drive until 10:30 PM to find a place to sleep. (Over 500 miles!) During this drive I was lucky enough to be trapped behind a pickup truck driving 30 mph all the while with the left turn signal blinking away (Liar! You had no intentions of turning). Then I kept seeing deer every where. Luckily they stayed off the road. Oh, and the rain. The ever present rain. Sigh. I had to wear my glasses and everything! (I know! You can't believe that I am not perfect, but it is just a little bit of issue with the far away stuff... I am still practically perfect in every way).

I found a motel where I had to ring a bell and some kids opened the door. Then a man in a red bathrobe came out and gave me a key. I wandered to my new home and noticed it looked out over an alley. I walked in and it was the perfect set for a scary movie. I blockaded my door and showered with my flip flops on. (1. ew, grody shower and 2. so I could run away faster!). I kept seeing shadows of people who were out to get me, but in the end I slept well and even dreamed of having an acting class with two tall handsome blond boys, one of whom I think was supposed to be my boyfriend. I think I was younger in my dream.

This morning I hit the snooze a mazillion times and then finally got up and let the lady, who must be married to the red bathrobe guy, make me a latte and it was good. Then I posted to you guys and hit the road. I got into Canada and drove through some serious mountains. I really hate passing vehicles when there is only one lane going each way. I am terrified I am going to time it wrong and become like the bugs on my windshield, only I will be the Bug on someone else's windshield. I am getting good at it though because the people were driving 20 mph. Grr. Move it or lose it, honey. I saw a deer on the road, and he looked at me and licked his lips. I am not sure what that was supposed to mean.

Driving up the hills was horrendous. I put the pedal to the metal and nothing would happen. The roads were steep and the altitude is high. I could not hear for about 5 hours. Then when I drove into a valley, my ears popped and I was granted the gift of sound! Oh, and on the whole drive today, it rained. I know! Can you believe it? I am the Rain King (Move over, Adam Duritz). Yet, because of the rain, my head was in the clouds.

I stoppped in a town called Osoyoos, BC. This is a touristy area with a lake. I wanted to stay there, but they wanted $150 for a room. !!! So I kept driving and found a room for $60. Much better. It looks like someone's apartment and smells like an old folks home. I stopped early tonight so that I could write properly. I hope you all appreciate it. Everything I do, I do it for you.

Oh, and JT, I found the Sasquatch. He lives in BC. I talked to him and he said he was indeed on vacation in Montreal five years ago. He said to say hi.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday Grand Teton, Yellowstone park

This is mostly a photo entry because I simply have not had any time to write. Even now I am skirting my hotel's rule of being out by 11 because I just wanna finish something! In order to appease you, here are some pretty photos. -Bug

I wrote this while sitting in my car early on Monday:

I am finally learning what the phrase “breathtaking” means. The mountains in Grand Teton National Park are met by the calm waters of Jackson Lake. Still covered in snow, the mountains rise up along the horizon and create an atmosphere of strength and serenity. I could stay here forever. As I was driving up (searching for bears to no avail), my stomach started to ache. It was weird, like the beauty of this landscape is painful. The Grand Tetons are the youngest mountain peaks in the Rockies. This area is very popular amongst Ansel Adams students. The name les Grand Tetons translates to “the big breasts”, so I know a couple of you who will want to visit. Must be time for me to move on. I am sitting here at Jackson Lake with my door open, typing away and a bee keeps visiting me and having a hard time finding his way out of the car. I guess he thinks I should move along. I didn’t know park rangers came in such small sizes. How do they fit them for the uniform? There he is again. Okay sir! I am going!

Grand Teton

Jackson Lake, Wyoming

Then I drove into Yellowstone where I got to witness beautiful rapids.

But Yellowstone is still affected by the wildfire of 1988. It is sad, really. It looks like (quoting my mother) toothpicks stuck into a hill. You would think it would have regenerated by now. That was 20 years ago.
On my way out of the park, it started to rain. (Seriously, I have seen rain practically every day I have been driving in my car. Enough already.) The fire warnings were high, so I am sure the rangers were grateful, but the ground could not absorb it, and we drove through some seriously high rapids that formed on the street. It was a little scary. I don't know if you can see it in the following photo, but look at the lower left hand corner. Plus, there's me! Adorable me!
What's this traffic jam for?
Someone saw some elk.
And a bison
I found a bison skeleton. I asked the ranger about it and he said that the bison had died of starvation in the winter. I asked where it's head was and he shrugged, saying he did not know. I said a bear probably took it for a late night treat. And he said, have a good day.
This is a pool by Old Faithful. I decided to walk to the morning glory pool and found this on my way. See it is boiling.

This is the morning glory pool. Isn't it pretty? Doesn't smell pretty. Sulfurous odor that washed over you with a slap of heat. That baby is boiling, too.

It is just sad that people need to throw coins into bodies of water. I wish they would address why people throw things into fountains.

Here is a video of Old Faithful erupting. I was a little slow in filming, but you get the tail end. Enjoy!

Dings and smashes and no bears, dammit!

I am too sleepy to be coherent tonight. Also, the wind here is insane and when I got out of my car, the wind ripped the door out of my hand and smashed it into the U-Haul trailer next to me which then energetically dented my door which I then made worse by attempting to open the rear door which caught on the front door dent and created a new chip in the paint. Then I opened my emergency car kit which has a pair of pliers in it and worked on undenting the dent which sort of worked, but I am still mad. I also ran over something that made an intensive and unfortunate clanging sound on the bottom side of my vehicle which may or may not be bad. Hoping for not bad.

In any case: where the heck are the bears and mooses*? I saw not one though I did see this sign everywhere which made me think that I should not be able to turn without running into a bear, yet... no bears. Grr.
More about my day tomorrow.

*I was just being silly. I know the plural for Moose is Meese

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Why? Oh, ming.

I started out the day in CO where I passed the Budweiser brewery. I veered off of my path when I saw a sign for a Natural Rock Bridge. I drove into the nothing for several miles until I found a bunch of families picnicking (think Hain's Point). The bridge was pretty, though. It was naturally formed and some of the pioneers on the Oregon Trail (were they adventurous) would go through this area, though it was treacherous terrain.

I opted to hike up to the top of the bridge...in my flip flops. They say I am brilliant! Now, I am just about an hour away from Yellowstone National Park. I was closer for a while, but my gas tank was getting precariously low and there were no gas stations in sight, so I had to turn around and drive back 30 miles. In the meantime I saw a moose, a deer and a rainbow. I bet this house has a pot o'gold in it.

These are some of the mountains that are around me. Pretty, huh?

Finally, I stopped and enjoyed some Moose Drool while eating a cheese Quesadilla.

Now I am tired and can't think straight. I bought a cool cowgirly shirt in Cheyenne that I may wear tomorrow and then find someone to photograph me. We'll see how persuasive I can be.

Still not moving...

Hmmm, I am still in Colorado. I was not kidding when I said it was hard to leave my sister. Add to that the virus in my computer and the fact that my brother-in-law works for a big software company, I stayed today to allow my computer to be refreshed completely. And now I have a computer like new. Who creates viruses? Those people should be forced to ingest salmonella infested chicken.
I did drive south to the mountains, Evergreen, CO. I visited with my friend John and had an opportunity to really see the mountains for where my sister lives, the area is rather flat. I took pictures at Red Rocks which I will post tomorrow, maybe.
I am leaving for Cheyenne in the morning to be a part of Frontier Days. I have never been to a rodeo before. I am looking forward to it even though I saw some booty shorts for sale on the website as souvenirs and I am afraid I might witness them in person. Gah.
I have 1400 miles until I get to Vancouver. I am looking forward to getting there, but I am going to take my time getting there. I'd like to see what's in between.
Sorry to post so infrequently, but that will change once I hit the road.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I have been attached to my computer like it was my full time job because I got a little cocky and looked at a movie download site that then went on to gleefully infest my computer with viruses and adware and spyware. Delightful. I have been cleaning and decontaminating and raging. So, I may have a future in IT, as my old company seemed to think I had. (Our IT guy had quit and I, along with the rest of my office, got an email from our HR lady that I would be the new IT person. Really? Me? What possibly made her think that I would be the one to take on that responsibility? Forward thinking? Did she know I had mad skills? Or was it more that she hoped it would all come crashing down on me and I would suffer...? Just wondering).
I am still in Colorado. It is great being with my sister. I just love it. I get to sink back to my youth and let her guide me all around town. She cooks for me and entertains me and takes me to Starbucks for treats. I am going to have to leave her soon because I have places to get to and I don't want to spend this entire journey in a car merely trying to get someplace I won't have time to spend in.
But it is great here. See some of my grand adventures...
Yesterday I watched my niece shoot her .22 rifle for 4H. She's pretty good and totally looks like a badass when she's shooting. Check it out:
She shot a cherry tomato out of a hole. Yikes!

Then we saw a polka dot lipped calf:

Here is my sister's ginormous dog being "more cuter" though she looks a little unstable and a bit like a vampire bat.

Oh, and my older niece got her first car.

It is green...

It was nibbled on by a bear. Oh, the travails of living in the mountains.