What is Drastic + Dramatic

Monday, January 18, 2010

Week One

Well, almost one week anyway...okay actually five days. I've done mostly sitting and I've made over $700 after taxes already. :) Cool.

Okay, so to explain the first day's post...We didn't get a whole lot of "how to" information (a pattern that has continued solid throughout the trip) about our driver's log book before we started on the road. EVEN when instead of leaving at 7AM we left at 10AM, we still didn't know what we were doing and really even where we were going except following the first bus. The bus that my driving companion Merilee and I were in had a governor at 70 (meaning we couldn't go over 70 mph in case you didn't know) and soon we lost those in front that could go faster. I was quasi-sleeping in the rear when Merilee kind of panic exited and it was one of those unfortunate exits that doesn't have an on ramp to get back onto the freeway. So we eventually got back to the freeway and to the waiting drivers, but there was no intercommunication among drivers and it was a real mess. I'm not very good at mind reading. I've been trying to work on it, but it's not coming very naturally. It would come in handy about every five minutes here, because no two minds are alike, neither any two plans, two decisions, two final words.... Yaaaaa! It's somewhat frustrating. But I'm still having a good time. Optimism ruins bad situations and I'm really having a great time. I just love Merilee, she's awesome.

Okay, well so we were driving. I started driving Thursday at about 5:30 in Boise, ID. We drove for about two hours and guess where that led us? Le Grande! Cool! I called my Grandpa but he was stuck at home without Grandma and couldn't come see me (too bad I didn't know we would be stopping...I wonder if anyone knew...) but it was still fun to talk to him. Then we continued on. our log books had us logged on as "on duty" since 7AM, so when we got to Washington I had been "on duty" already almost fifteen hours so when the amaaaaaaaaaaazing weigh station guard checked our log books, his thin understanding of motor coach road rules wrapped us into parking and bringing in our paper work. He printed off some sheet of rules that were really vague and hard to understand on the fly but he relied on them like the Bible for a just punishment. Technically, however, if the right rules be read correctly, we weren't over our hours of allowed driving time for the day. See, drivers (truck or passenger vehicle) are allowed only so many hours on the clock a day and in the week. If you go over it could mean you're working too hard and could get drowsy, etc., etc. So, it's heavily tracked, regulated and punished. So I was one that got caught. The awwwwwwwwwwesome guard took us all through the process with this little "my tights are too tight" attitude, not really listening to our questions for clarification, just pointing to the omniscient piece of paper, and even covering his ears with his hands when my supervisor tried to get something cleared up. Wow. He decided he would go "easy" on us and he only fined us for going over 14 hours...which didn't make any sense to anyone. And another driver found the green book of official federal rules later and found out where the guard was wrong. So, we'll get off the hook, but we still have to plead our way out of it with a judge and stuff. Me and my noodle-nerve self were crying in front of the guard and the other drivers. I always get teary when I'm getting disciplined for something and it frustrates me even more and I lose control of my tears even more....I think it's terribly lame. But my throat ties in about eight knots if I try to suppress it and then I'll end up crying anyway, so I just let it out.

So, he finished the lame, lengthy process of giving me a lame, pricey ticket and I went back to my bus. Merilee would have to drive from there because I was off the clock until 9:20 the next morning. It was about 11 then. We drove to the next town, Kennewick, and it wasn't until 1:30 that we were checked into a motel and 2AM when we got to bed. LONG DAY.

Well anyway, here in Vancouver it's pretty cool. The first thing they warned us about was to not walk within 8-10 feet of the perimeter fences where our buses will be parked because of the heroin addicts throwing needles over the fence. They do it in anger because the Olympic committee took that port-side lot that formerly had abandoned warehouses on it that the addicts used as hide-outs of sorts, so it's mostly an act of vengeance. So, we need to watch out. I see bums EVERYWHERE and it makes me sad. Drugs are so powerful it's just not even fair....there are so few people that aren't mixed into some addiction or dependence on some substance not meant for consumption. Really sad.

Well, there's really too much to say... I'm in a hotel called the Shaughnessy and its theme is "cruise ship." We have individual rooms with a pull out couch bed, a bathroom, a sink with cupboards and drawers and a microwave, a television, a two seater table and a patio. Neat idea, sure, but a definite weird smell and sense of isolation that I really don't like. It's like a slightly souped up camper. Except this room I'm not worried about crashing into icebergs and sinking. At least that's nice...

So turns out I won't be staying in Vancouver, I'll be in the mountain town Whistler. It's the olympic venue for most skiing events and I'll get to see it tomorrow. We've just been training so far, which includes a lot of information, misinformation and re-information and sitting. And donuts. So I'll be disembarking the Shaughnessy and headed to a truck trailer with bunk beds in Whistler. Huzzah. :) The adventures seem to be endless for the 2010 Olympics.

Until next time. I have to wake up much too early tomorrow.


Anne said...

The adventure continues! I am so jealous I'm just here at the hospital saving lives as we call it. At least you won't be by the druggies anymore. Nothing makes me sadder than seeing addicted people without much hope. I hope you get my email. I love reading your blog. Aaron is pretty funny too. I hope Sarah Dawn is at Whistler with you. Hang in there honey! I love you!


Carrie said...

Well good thing you've made some easy money, because we'll for sure be paying for our place the month February. By they way, the lady you mentioned,she's not a possible canidate because if she has a pet, that's for sure not going to fly by with Tracy.So Im thinking for the next 2 months we'll be paying, so keep working for that money :)good luck in Canada.

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