Saturday, September 06, 2008

Dispatch from the Northwest

I'm in Eugene, Ore., my hometown for the first time in about a year. Here, in no particular order, are some notes thus far.

-If you fly into the Eugene airport, you will be greeted by a skanky duck (see left). I was nervous getting off the plane because there was nowhere to see which baggage claim carousel would have my luggage. Then I remembered that there is only one baggage claim.

-Yesterday, outside of Wandering Goat coffee, I parked the family minivan on a nearby street (free parking!) and slowly exited, in search of java. While walking out, I heard a soft crunch. I turned around and saw an old, bearded man behind the wheel of an ancient 70s van (God only KNOWS what he had in back) looking perplexed as the rear of his mystery machine crumpled the minivan's license plate. His window was unrolled, so I walked over. "Hey, you hit my license plate." He took a whiff of a "rolled cigarette" that smelled like earth muffin and craned his neck. "Dude, bummer. I didn't see it, man." I surveyed the damage and realized that it wasn't worth it to get hippie man's insurance info (if he had insurance) and the crinkle was minor. "Be careful," I told him. "Bummer," his Moses beard shook back and forth. "Bummer." He took a drag, puffed a cloud of magic smoke and sputtered off to the West.

-My father, Myron, has a debit card, but still writes checks. It clogs lines at the grocery store, is annoying and crushes my personal-finance-reporter soul. If he needs cash, he enters the bank, and writes a check to "CASH" rather than just asking the teller for money or popping his card into the ATM outside. When I politely asked him about the batshit lunacy of this system, he replied "That's just the way I do it." The iPod Nano I gave him for Christmas a few years back is collecting dust, too. Oh, The Olds.

-I'm trying to scan and organize my family photos a la David Pogue. There's some AMAZING stuff in the Morse-Pilon garage. More on that, later.

-As if the video store of my childhood morphing into a pet store wasn't depressing enough, Ferrel's (later called Pearl Street) ice cream parlor is no more. Some trendy, NoCal pizza bistro garbage has replaced it. Goodbye, childhood.

-If you google "monroe park eugene oregon," the top result is this scary blog. I couldn't finish my organic bagel.

-When walking toward my car from a store in the mall parking lot, I reached into my purse and pulled out a Metro Card. It didn't fit into the keyhole.

Oh, and there's sooo much more. Savin' it for the memoirs!