Good morning from sort-of-sunny Oregon! The good news is that it's not raining. Yesterday it rained most of the day, putting a damper (puns, so good at the puns) on our outdoor sightseeing plans. We recovered nicely with a trip to a shopping mall, a leisurely lunch, and then, when the sun came out, a walk-n-shop down 23rd street. Sandy came with me on this trip.
23rd St. has all sorts of interesting shops and funky fare. I was specifically looking for something for John's birthday tomorrow. I have to tread lightly with this post because he can, after all, read it and spoil the surprise. Suffice to say that at this particular shop, where we were the only customers, and possibly the only customers of the entire DAY, we were met with a frosty reception by the two salesclerks. The clothing was very weird, very thin, and very over-priced. A pair of shorts, for instance, that looked to have been run over by a particularly large semi, were listed at $139. I scoffed, laughed, and was apparently overheard, because as soon as we made the minutest move towards the door the saleslady opened it up for us and stood there waiting for us to leave. She may have tapped her foot, I'm not sure.
We continued up the street, back down the other side, and were eventually successful in another eclectic shop. As we strolled back by the first store I gave Sandy my very best Vivian impression:
Me: Watch me walk in there and be all "Oh hey. Remember me? I was in here a while ago and you wouldn't help me? You work on commission, right? (lifting up my one small shopping bag) Big mistake. HUGE. I must go shopping now!"
And then we laughed merrily and felt very superior, although if either of those two ladies had heard us we would have run in terror. (I'm made from a rare alloy called Afraidium if you will recall.)
Look, we're not in high school. We don't have BFF's or anything silly like that. But I have always felt secure knowing I was Sandy's BFNK . . . (Best Friend Named Karen) . . .
Sandy has a new GPS system for her car. She brought it with her, which makes navigating ever so much simpler, but there's a problem. The GPS voice has a name and that name is, you guessed it; Karen. She's Australian. How can I compete with that?! Aussie-Karen never gets lost. Aussie-Karen has a funky accent. Aussie-Karen can find gas stations and shopping malls.
I tried to sabotage Aussie Karen when I could. If she told me to turn right I'd just go straight, resulting in an exasperated "reCAAAculating" from Aussie Karen. I made her recalculate a bunch of times, until her voice started to grate on Sandy and she hit the mute button. Heh, heh, heh. Take THAT, you pretentious pile of genius satellite circuitry!
Oh I jest, of course. We'd be lost without Aussie Karen. No, I mean it. We'd be LOST!
I do have to wonder, though, why things like GPS systems and answering machines come with foreign voices. Does it just sound more sophisticated? Are we more likely to accept direction if delivered with an accent? I have a hard time believing that anywhere in the world they have GPS systems with American voices. I can't quite picture some French dude programming his GPS to sound like Mary-the-coalminer's-wife from Amazing Race.
FRENCH DUDE: Do I turn at zis intersecteeown, Mademoiselle Maree?
MARY: No! Just go straight! Go on! Git!!
And then, for character-accuracy, she navigates him completely in the wrong direction but never owns up to it.
OK, I'd better git. We have to get showered and over to the convention center for set-up day. The DollarScrapbooking booth will be even bigger and better than last year, so come early if you're coming!