WTF, Google?! 

Last week, my boyfriend and I went on a quickie road trip up through Portland and on to Mount Saint Helens (I almost typed “Mount Rushmore”, and that’s where I said we went when the gas station attendant asked us where we were off to the morning we left. It’s a wonder I can even function). 

Mount Saint Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Washington state, about 50 miles northeast of Portland (thanks, Wikipedia). It last erupted in 2008, but it’s most famous eruption was on May 18, 1980. Growing up, I heard stories of how the ash from the 1980 eruption found its way nearly 400 miles to the deck at my grandparent’s cabin on Coeur d’ Alene Lake in Idaho. My mother said the ash blocked out the sun and it looked like the end of days. 

Since I always heard the stories of the eruption growing up, and I teach my students every year about the cause and effect of volcanos, it was decided that it would be our summer destination. 

We left Reno around 7:30 AM, stopped in Klamath Falls for some Taco Time lunch and a Dutch Bros. coffee, and arrived in the Portland area around 5:30 PM. It was a long day of straight driving, but it was the start of our vacation, so there was no bloodshed yet. 

We stayed with my aunt, who was gracious enough to host us. She had her pool ready and raring to go, so we definitely took advantage of that luxury. Our TBs (tired butts) were very grateful. 


The next morning, we were up early and excited to see Mount Rush..Mount Saint Helens (See? There’s something wrong with my head). 

We stopped at Tom’s Pancake House to fill up, as we planned on doing some hiking (to be honest, I was really hoping there’d be less hiking and more sitting in a scenic spot, eating the “hiking” snacks we packed). When I saw that Tom’s had an option to top your waffle with Oregon marionberries, it was an easy choice! I’m not really sure what a marionberry is, but since we don’t usually see them in Nevada, I had to try them. 

Mmmm…this was so good! I can’t really describe the flavor of the marionberry. The flavor is just “berry”.

When we got back into the car, we used Google to get the directions to the mountain. 

Before we had left Reno, we did a small amount of research and knew that there was an observatory and plenty of hiking trails to choose from on and around the mountain (I liked the sound of the 1.5 mile one and the one that had no incline). 

So, back to Google. Via maps, we were given the directions to Cougar, WA. So, we merrily made our way to where we’d hoped to find a spunky grandma who’d take a picture by the town sign.

After we wound our way through a quaint rural community, the road became very twisty and turny (yes, that’s a word) underneath a thick blanket of trees. We were climbing a mountain, just not the mountain we had come to see. 

The landscape was not at all what I had expected. We also saw not one sign indicating we were headed toward the mountain, an information center, or the observatory. In fact, there were some signs, but they were stangely covered up. 

There was so much green- nothing like the pictures we saw online!

Eventually, we made our way to the first hiking spot. We were hoping there would be further information at the trail head that would help us glean where the heck we were. But, no such luck. 

Also, the hike was an eight-miler, so that was a no-go.

‘Thumbs up’ to not hiking eight miles!

We got back into the car and continued up the mountain. Not long after, we got sight of Mt. Saint Helens and it was glorious, but, worryingly, still pretty far away. 

While we were admiring the volcano with our 10x magnifying binoculars, a friendly German couple came up to talk to us. 

They remarked on the beauty of it all, and we asked them if they were headed to the observatory. The woman said the road to the observatory was closed due to a late winter. 

(The jury is still out on that).

We felt pretty defeated and downright lost, as we had zero service on our phones and no paper maps to help guide our way. 

We decided to get back into the car and continue further. Almost at the very end of the road was another spot to hike. We decided it would have to work.

I’m sure by now you’re realizing that we were lost or just completely mixed up. Well, right you are! 

It wasn’t until we headed back down the mountain and to Ape Cave did we come across an information kiosk/gift shop where people with factual information could be found. 

When I asked how we could get to the observatory, the young man working the gift shop said it was some three hours away, but we could still make it, as they didn’t close until six. 

Three hours away. 

We were on the complete opposite side of the mountain. 

We had spent our entire day, dedicated to seeing Mount Saint Helens, like total dopes on the wrong side of the mountain.

So, how did two college-educated individuals mess up so royally? 

It’s all Google’s fault. Yes, just like a tattletale seven-year-old, I’m blaming it on someone/something else.

When you Google, “Johnston Ridge Observatory”, Google has you go to Cougar, WA. 

Notice how, in the first website under the egregious misinformation, it says, “Toutle, WA”? Yeah, that’s (closer to) where the observatory is. 

Our trip wasn’t all in vain, however. The hike we took was through utterly stunning terrain (honestly, I think it was way prettier on the wrong side of the mountain). We also went in Ape Cave, and I crossed a suspension bride just like the one in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It was just like that one (don’t listen to my boyfriend. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about). 

Paul Bunyan strength

This raging river, cutting through volcanic rock, had pools with beautiful Caribbean-blue water.
Huge volcanic rock formations
This was truly one of the scariest things I’ve ever done!
My boyfriend took this while he was crossing the bridge. I kept yelling for him to not drop my phone. I was totally concerned for his safety, too.

We didn’t have enough layers on to do the whole cave. It was FRIGID!

We decided against driving another three hours (one way) to see the observatory, so we drove back into downtown Portland for some sightseeing.

We hit up the world-renowned Voodoo Donut and the Deschutes Brewery. 

Donuts and beer totally made up for not getting to the observatory. 

It was 93 degrees out. The sun beat down on us as we stood next to a glittery brick wall that was radiating heat. It took 20 minutes to get to the front. TOTALLY WORTH IT.
Utterly, insanely gluttonous
My favorite was The Neapolitan.
I’d like to spend some more time in Portland when it’s not melt-your-face-off hot. I DID NOT get the true Portland experience.

So, kids, learn from Aunt Fatty. Do not rely on Google, it’s not all-knowing. Go to the actual website for the location/landmark/attraction you are going to visit. Do some damn research before you go, and don’t rely on your phone for everything-you might not have service where you’re going! 

Know before you go:

Johnston Ridge Observatory, last stop on HWY 504, 52 miles from Castle Rock. NOT in Cougar, WA. 


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References: 

Wikipedia

WTF Monday?

Yup, you read that right. Because I couldn’t think of anything wittier, WTF Monday it is. 

I already have my WTF Wednesdays post planned for this coming week, but I absolutely couldn’t wait for the following week to share a review with ya’ll. So, you get two WTF posts this week. Do you feel special? 

My boyfriend went out of town for the weekend, so I pulled out all the stops. I slept in the middle of the bed. I ordered in from all of the places he isn’t too keen on. I left my bra, gossip magazines, and girl products positively everywhere.

I also did a face mask. 

I don’t know why I felt the need to do this when he was gone (I mean, it could be that every time I do one, he acts like I’m a ghost and I’ve frightened him clean out of his shorts), but it just felt like a girl-on-her-own-for-the-weekend thing to do. 

So, I’m sure you’ve seen the videos and testimonials for the Shills black mask that’s supposed to be so magical that many don’t even recognize themselves after. 

No? 

You know. The one that’s supposed to pull off a layer of skin to reveal the real you underneath. 

Still no? 

The one that pulls out black heads, showing a close up view of the pretties, and it’s oddly satisfying to watch. It’s disgusting, but you instantly have to do it. 

Yup. That one. 

So, I’m totally not the type to jump on the bandwagon and buy every product that’s featured in videos that Facebook, so helpfully, pops into my feed. 

But, my direct deposit had just dropped and I was feeling like a baller. 


Source

This video:

Is the real reason I spent $15 whole dollars on a face mask. I want to know this woman. I want to be her best friend. Mostly, I wanted a mask that would remove my mustache!

Full disclosure: When I first saw this video, I was sitting on the toilet. I was full-on ugly-cry-laughing. My boyfriend knocked on the door to see if I was OK, as I’m sure I sounded like a dying seal. When I shared the video on Facebook, I mentioned this and my next door neighbor responded, “So, that’s what that noise was!” 

Dead. 

Gosh, I sure know how to do a preamble, don’t I? Let’s get to the actual review now. 

It took more than a week to get the mask (after ordering it on Amazon Prime), but lucky for me, I got it just in time for Girl Weekend. 

To prep, I washed my face with really warm water to open up my, already Grand Canyon-sized, pores. 

I used one of my makeup brushes, just like the pros, and applied the mask pretty thinly. Perhaps, this was because the tube is pretty dang small, and I could have easily used the whole thing on my giant face. That’d be a pretty expensive one-time-use mask, if you ask me. Also, there are zero instructions on how to apply it. 


Once it had dried completely, I was pretty giddy in anticipation of seeing all of my nasty black heads and bad choices being ripped out of my face. 

I started from the bottom, just like I’d seen countless times. It didn’t hurt at all. I was hoping all of my chin hairs would be pulled out, much like the rooting up of trees during deforestation. Nope. Those assholes stayed firmly rooted in place. 

As I started to pull my way up my cheek, it felt like it was pulling pretty good, but when I looked, there were maybe three black heads. Three.

I don’t even want to get started on my upper lip. I was so hopeful, yet it was so anticlimactic. While utterly disappointed, I was enlightened to what it surely feels like being that dude who can never seem to score, no matter how close he gets. Just disappointing. 

Also, IT DID NOT PULL OUT MY MUSTACHE. WTF. 

I guess you have to have one of those non-mustaches that are just baby hairs to qualify for hair removal.  

When I got to my nose, I got excited. Surely, there’s enough nastiness to be had there that I’ll have a major success. No such luck. It barely pulled up anything.  

At this point, I’m pretty damn mad. What a freaking waste of $15 that could have gotten me three days worth of Starbucks.

As I neared my eyes, they watered and snot promptly started rolling down my face – I finally felt the pain everyone goes on about. 

It was terrible. 

Excruciating.

I realized it was pulling out hairs-the baby ones that don’t count around my eyes. 

What.in.the.actual.eff.

So, now it decides to actually work. 

Watch me be the only one to grow full-on, thick, black hairs around my eyes now that I’ve messed with the baby hair that once peacefully, invisibly existed there. We all know what happens when you mess with those baby hairs

Also, it didn’t all come off in one nice, clean mask. I spent ages picking tiny pieces off until I just gave up. 

When I stepped back to take a look at the mess I had made of my face, it was pretty clear that I had failed at the black mask fad. 

I’m calling my face mask ‘stache the 360 Degree John Waters. 

Just wait and see, I will grow facial hair on my entire face*. I will either have to spend a fortune on hair removal or I’ll have to resort to joining the circus as the female version of Lionel the Lion-Faced Man. 

It maybe would have been worth it had more than three blackheads been removed. 

Next. 

*I edited and filtered the shit out of my face. You’re welcome. 

Sit Sleeping at the Movies and Other Ridiculous Things  

Nope. I just have to lay down for 5 minutes to read, and I’m out.

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I come from a long line of sit sleepers. What exactly are “sit sleepers”, you ask? Well, imma tell you. When you’re a sit sleeper, there’s a 98% chance that you will fall asleep within ten minutes of sitting down. The likelihood increases when you’re in a comfy armchair, it’s warm and cozy, and you’ve had any alcohol whatsoever. If you’re laying down, forget it-you’ve missed the entire episode of Orange is the New Black. 

I noticed I came from a family of sit sleepers early on with my grandmother. When I was kid, we got to spend the entire summer at the cabin on Coeur d’ Alene Lake in Northern Idaho. The best part of this wasn’t the long summer days filled with swimming, boating, and lounging in the sun. No, the best part was that I got to sleep in my grandma’s bed. It was the best sleep spot in the cabin. The other room was the “boys’ dorm”, filled with bunk beds and farts. It was gross. 

Without fail, the moment my grandma got settled in, covers just right, and with her current book, she was snoring. Except, it wasn’t just snoring. It was something entirely different. See, my beautiful grandmother took her teeth out at night. I still remember those weird, waxy looking chompers floating in a glass on her nightstand. Because her teeth weren’t in when she fell asleep, book opened on her face, it sounded like the subtle flapping of a flag in the wind. 

It was always really entertaining to bet on how many minutes, seconds it’d be until I’d hear the flapping. 

The entire time we had the light on to read, I’d slightly nudge her and she’d sputter awake and continue reading right where she left off. I remember really being concerned that she’d never get through her book. Somehow she did. The marvels of this world are endless. 

The best part of this whole nighttime ritual was that sometimes I’d tell her she was sleeping. Every time, she’d swear up and down that she hadn’t been sleeping. 

I’d say, “Grandma, your book was on your face!”

She’d say, “That’s how I read best.” 

Oh, how I miss the nights I’d nudge my grandmother to say, “Grandma! Your lips are flapping again!” 

Of course, my mother was gifted with sit sleeping. One of my fondest memories is of our nighttime reading. No matter how late, how tired, how stressed, my mom read to us from infacy. As we got older, my brother and I read to her. Each stage had a different level of narcolepsy-like sleeping spells.

Some nights, my mom would be in the middle of a sentence and suddenly, the book and her head would fall, and she would be quietly snoring. 

“Mom!” 

“I’m awake!”

Then, she’d pick up right where she left off. 

When we grew into voracious readers ourselves, we started to read to Mom. That was hilarious, because with no book to hold, and nothing to do other than lay and listen, she was usually snoring before we could even get through a page. 

If we ever have my mom watch Harry Potter, she’d likely say, “Why is this vaguely familiar to me?” 

We’d answer with, “Well, mom, we only read the entire series!” 

A fun little aside about my mom and falling asleep in inopportune situations:

Not only has my mom fallen asleep during reading and during every.single.movie. she’s ever watched, she’s also been known to fall asleep while eating. Yup. You read that right. I wasn’t going to mention that it was likely due to some medication she was taking for her back, but either way, she fell asleep while eating a burrito. Except that’s only what she thought she was eating. She said she was eating her lunch and the damn tortilla would just not cut. She said she hacked and hacked away with her plastic fork, but no luck. Eventually, she decided to just gnaw at it with her teeth. At this point, she woke up/came to and realized she was eating her paper plate. I ask her to tell this story at least a couple times a year, because it’s just too good. 

I always thought falling asleep the second one sits was an old person thing. Well, at 33 years old, I can tell you it’s not!

Guys, I have become a sit sleeper something fierce! 

I’ve seen two movies over break, and during both of them I’ve fallen asleep. 

Like, fell asleep and woke myself up snoring. 

Yesterday, we went to see Rogue One at the luxury theater. I am fully convinced that those damn reclining seats have led to my demise. 

I was all settled in-candy opened and ready to be demolished, napkins draped across my chest like an adult baby, and my contraband drink nestled safely between my ass and the seat. 

I felt I had enough food to keep me awake. If I’m eating, I can’t be sleeping. It’s usually a foolproof plan.

Except, it wasn’t. 

I finished my theater food too soon. 

All of a sudden, I hear the crinkling of wrappers. It sounds like it is coming from inside my head. 

It stops. 

I go back to drooling all over my napkins as I try to keep at least one eye on the screen. 

Suddenly, the sound again. 

What the actual eff? 

I suddenly realize it’s the girl next to me. She’s been crumpling her candy wrappers like inside my ear. 

I’m aghast. I’m shocked. 

How could someone be so rude? 

Then. I realize.

She was crumpling her wrappers next to my head, because I was snoring. 

My head was leaned to her side, my mouth was gaping, and I was snoring in her face.

Who is this person I’ve become?

At this rate, I’ll be ten times as bad as both my grandmother and mother combined. 

HELP!!

This is too good!! 😂😂

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These Hiking Boots Were Made For Quittin’

Recently, I decided I haven’t seen enough of the rugged Nevada countryside, nor have I been on enough hikes (the last time I went on a hike I almost died from Burst Lung Due to Lack of Use. It’s a real diagnosis. Look it up. Just kidding, but really, I almost hyperventilated at least 20 times. So…that’s probably why I haven’t been on a hike since).

So, today, I got up in enough time to make some nutritious oatmeal (don’t tell anyone it was loaded with brown sugar), filled up my dusty Nalgene, and found my running shoes that were in the deep recesses of my closet.

I dragged a friend and myself up to the Galena Creek Trail off the Mount Rose Highway.

Continue reading “These Hiking Boots Were Made For Quittin’”

Lipstick

He had one job. One. Before we entered the event, I made him promise that if my bright red lipstick went askew at any point, he had to tell me immediately. I’m not one to wear lipstick. Like ever. Any time I was insane enough to attempt lipstick, I always had a hard time not looking like I applied it in the dark, with my left hand, on drugs. I loved coloring as a child. I was an expert at staying in the lines. I don’t know what happened between childhood and adulthood, because applying lipstick is basically adult coloring, yet, I have a learning disability in this area of (woman) adulting. So, I use the shit out of nude lipgloss, instead.

Since becoming a loyal member of the Best-Day-of-the-Month-Makeup and Beauty product company, Ipsy, I have a pretty substantial collection of delicious lipsticks. They all terrify me with their bright, staining hues. I want to have a relationship with them, but I am too scared of getting hurt. I recently decided that enough was enough and it was time to become a real woman. I committed to adding lipstick to my Steampunk makeup look for an event at our local art museum.

I made the terrible mistake to go with a lipstick gloss. This one to be exact.


She’s a real beauty, but I will never, ever trust her again.


This was before the incident. 

Let me try to paint the picture, lay the scene. We are working the crowd, strutting our stuff, showing off our hard work. Everyone is looking at us as we pass, it’s like I’m the Steampunk queen. I nod, every so often, humoring my lowly subjects. As I glide up the stairs, looking out over the entire room, I’m smiling my biggest smile at all of the gawking faces (that in hindsight, weren’t in awe of my costume, but my awesome makeup job).

Then…I go to the ladies room.

Fuck. 

I want to throttle him. He had one fucking job. 

I stand there, numb, astounded. How long have I looked this this? How long? 

I don’t even know what to do. How do you remove blood-red lip stain? How do you go back in time so you can smack the lipstick out of your hand?  How come the floor never opens up and swallows me whole?

Why the fuck me? Why me, every damn time? 

My bright-red, look-at-me lipstick is now dying a slow painful death as it creeps down from the corners of my mouth, down the sides of my chin. I looked like a sad, demented clown. On meth.

How many people had I smiled at?! Like every damn person in the building is how fucking many. 

This is the kind of shit that happens when I try to be sexy. Note to self: just give up. Oh, and NEVER trust a man to tell you when you look crazy. They don’t see food in teeth, boogers, or melting lipstick, but one stray hair on your chin and they’re human microscopes. I can’t even.

Here’s a video of the can-can dancers from that night, because I hope their frilly bottoms are all people remember, not the demented fool with IDGAF lipstick.