Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday

Currently, it is rainy and dark, the way I was told Portland in the fall/winter would be. However, most of the day it was beautiful. Sunny, blue sky, brilliant fall colors and still-flowering gardens everywhere. I rode the bus downtown and the bus driver was so jolly. He was patient--actually keeping the bus stopped until everyone had a chance to sit down--and friendly. As he was chatting with people, I watched the colors of the houses and gardens and trees pass by, as we headed over the bridge and toward the western side of Portland, the West Hills--a mass of green from the conifers now mottled with yellow and orange--ahead.
I love looking at the West Hills in the fall. (I say this as though I've had many falls in which to experience this.)
I had lunch at Laughing Planet--it was a date and that's all I'll say on that topic--so there's another place I can cross off my To Try in Portland list. I had a giant burrito that was only about $6, which overflowed everywhere. I saw a friendly acquaintance--someone I'm getting to know who will probably become a friend--getting lunch on her way to work, and that was a pleasant surprise.
After lunch, we walked through a park and past nice houses and nice gardens in Northwest Portland. I kept noticing (and commenting) on all the different Japanese maples. Some had completely shed their leaves, but that only made their branch architecture more noticeable; some were blazing red; some were mild yellow. Some were surrounded, at the bases, by low-growing ericaceous shrubs and giant ferns.
- - - -
Prior to that, some crummy stuff happened today. I'm trying to figure out what's going on with my unemployment claim. My first check, according to their automated claims information system when I called on 10/30, was issued a week before Halloween, and I don't know when it was mailed. When I went to pick up my mail on Monday, there was no check. I've been calling and calling (because I was unable to file last week--problems with the website, and now to find out what happened to that check) and just getting busy signals. Finally, I got the automated claims system (not a person, but better than nothing) and when I entered my information, it said I had a balance remaining, but also told me NO checks had been issued. HUH? What happened to that other check!? Where's my money? Am I getting any money?
Oh, and when I pressed "0" to speak to a real person, the computer told me that all lines were busy and hung up on me.
So today I walked around, after it was too late to call any more offices, wondering if this meant I was getting no money. I have to wait until 7am EST (yes, that is 4am PST) to call. I hate this waiting. I hate the idea of getting up at 4am tomorrow to listen to a busy signal!
As soon as I got home from my date, I turned on my laptop to see if I could get some more information from the New Jersey government website.
My laptop would not boot. It kept going to a weird screen. It kept trying to run maintenance things that would fail.
In short, I thought it had crashed. I thought, "Great! I might be getting no money and my laptop might have crashed!"
My computer did some stuff to itself, and now it works. (Linux is great. Would a Windows machine fix itself like that?) Maybe this is a sign--that when I call the Re-Employment Center at 4am tomorrow, they will not only answer the phone, they will tell me that the worst case scenario is not the case, that my check is...somewhere...and I'm still getting money. Then I can sign a lease at the place I'm living, unpack my bags, and actually be settled somewhere. (I feel like I've been moving, running around, living out of suitcases, since the middle of 2008.)

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