The Sounds of Fucking

are all I hear right now at 11:48 p.m. on Friday night.

My upstairs neighbor is getting laid. This will make the third time in Portland that I have lived in a place with walls thin enough to hear people cough. Of course I am going to hear them fuck!

The fact that we are all staying home more due to the Corona virus doesn’t help with the privacy factor. I work from home and I am self isolating at home. Leaving only for food, weed, and the self service station at the post office.

This means I see the patterns of my neighbors lives in a way that would have not been apparent to me pre-Corona virus times.

I don’t mean to be a hater. I’m not jealous even though I can say I wouldn’t mind if it was me getting laid. I will even admit that I watch porn so clearly I don’t mind sex noises ( I like them when I chose to hear them ) ( or make them ). I just don’t want to be in the position where I can’t escape other people’s sex noises.

The first time I couldn’t escape was when I first moved to Portland, Oregon. I moved into a basement apartment. A family had turned the basement of their home into a 3 bedroom rental situation. Only one of the bedrooms had a bathroom in it. Each bedroom had its own locked door. I shared the other bathroom with the third roommate. Otherwise we shared the kitchen and the living room.

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The roommate with the bathroom in his room turned out to be into the BDSM lifestyle. He was a Dom. He had many Submissives. At one point, I think I saw a different girl every day for 5 days in a row. He didn’t discriminate. The women came in all shapes and sizes. Gotta give him credit for that. It was just all the sex noises. How would you like to be constantly woken up in the middle of the night to loud fucking sounds?! I would yell through my wall sometimes – ” for the love of god, please just turn on some music”

I rather be woken up to music than the sounds of his fuck session. One time the other roommate and I sat outside his door at 5:00 a.m. and made loud fake sex noises of our own. That’s was fun! We laughed so hard for months. Another time, I was walking in the door from a long hard day of work, just to be met with the sounds of the Dom at it again. I yelled again for music.

I realize sex is a part of life. It is natural. It is fun. Where does the line get drawn when the walls are thin and it affects the people you live with?

Eventually I moved. Fast forward 7 years later…. I move into a studio apartment- by myself. I am excited to live alone again after not being able to do so for four years. I moved into a building with 8 apartments. I met one of the neighbors right away, a nice younger couple that have been in the building for eight years. I had not had the opportunity to meet the person who lived above me before I “heard” him. One weekend was especially bad. I couldn’t sleep because all I could hear was his music. It wasn’t obnoxious however I could sing along with the words of the song playing. If I am unable to sleep because the music is too loud, we have a problem. Second to bodily pain, nothing makes me grouchier than lack of sleep. It was about 11:30 p.m. when I started banging on the ceiling with a broom. No change made. Around 2:00 a.m. I plugged my Goal Zero external speaker into my cell phone, turned it up as loud as it would go with electronic music and placed it on the highest surface I had facing the ceiling. No change made. Normally I would have a conversation but here it was in the middle of the night, I was naked, I had been banging on the ceiling and playing loud music with no results. I was mad. I couldn’t even entertain the visual of a conversation. When the sex noises came at 5:30 a.m. I found a YouTube clip to play to let them know I could hear them – I rather hear this than the neighbor

Do you think they got the point? I can hear everything. I want you to know that I can hear everything. I really need to replace my earplugs.

I didn’t have to deal with it more than a couple months because he moved. I live in a great location therefore it didn’t take long for a new person to move in. This time I made sure to introduce myself right away. There was a gentlemen helping her move which she said was just a friend. I wanted her to know the walls are thin and if there was ever a time my music was too loud, she could give a friendly bang or text me and I would turn it down. I was wishfully thinking it would translate into her being aware ALL sounds can be heard through the walls.

Everything was going along nicely….

Until the sex noises started. FML. I wasn’t going to play the sex noises in retaliation. I didn’t want to change the dynamic of our friendly relationship. I dealt with it. It started to become more frequent and I found myself in the same situation. I rather hear music than the sounds of other people fucking. This Michael Jackson song is a great distraction – It is six minutes long, which is plenty of time for my neighbors to wrap it up. I really like it which means I get into it and can forget for a few minutes that I am bothered.

After listening to it a handful of times, I think I need to switch up the song. There could be the potential for miscommunication. Wanna be Startin Something? LOL

Do you have a suggestion for me? I need a couple go to songs. In the moment when I am scrambling, my mind can go blank and then I reach for MJ. I have mixed feeling about MJ after watching the Neverland Documentaries.

Do you think it’s rude of me to turn up music to drown out the sex noises coming from my upstairs neighbor? Is it reasonable to say that since I am the only person I can control, that I am making the necessary adjustment for my comfort?

I am not entirely sure which side of the coin I land on. I do know that I just want to get to sleep peacefully. In a nice, dark, quiet, and cold room. Where you will find me naked. Puhlease don’t mess that up for me unless you want to be drowned out with song.

Goodnight everyone.

4 guys & a raft to the rescue

When I worked at an Outdoor Gear store, I went on all the kayaking trips they had to offer and took a couple of safety courses specific to paddling. It is important to know multiple ways to re-enter your kayak if you find yourself in the water for some reason. Most of the trips I went on were on flat water and only once did I go Sea Kayaking. I would consider myself to be an intermediate level kayaker.

One Saturday, I decided to join a couple coworkers on their swift moving water kayak trip for the day. They were going to Husum Falls. Husum Falls is located on the White Salmon River in Washington. It has a 12 foot drop, is a class V waterfall, and is one of the 5 Tallest Commercially Rafted Waterfalls in North America. There is a bridge near by where spectators can watch people “run the falls” – Husum falls Halarity

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Since this would be my first time on fast moving water, I figured it best to let my coworker friend, aka: the outdoor school Tour Guides, pick out my boat. They were the experts after all. To this day, I still have no idea why he chose an inflatable kayak.

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inflatable kayak pictured

No sooner had we walked down to the put in spot and got in the water, we were off. Water was moving fast. I was starting to get the feel of how to maneuver myself in the water using the paddle when the current took me, swept me into this huge right half circle, and into a cove of rocks where the side of the boat scraped along the wall. There was a huge hole torn it the boat and I sunk immediately.
Just like that- it was over. Just a few feet away was a embankment to the right. We hauled ourselves and the deflated boat up on the rocks to come up with a plan. There weren’t many options for us. Since we hadn’t made it very far, it was too far to finish the run. It was logistically impossible to make it back up where we put in. We had to wait. Wait for a person coming down with space enough to carry me and my deflated boat.

We waited on the side of water for hours. Frequently, other kayakers would stop to make sure we were okay or to see if they could help in any way. What a nice community of people to be in community with. Makes me want to paddle more.

There proved to be only 1 option for us that day. I still can’t believe how lucky we were. There was 1 commercial raft coming our way with one free spot and enough space to carry the torn kayak. We flagged them down as soon as we saw them!

4 guys were on a Bachelor party rafting trip. Their buddy was a guide and owned his own raft.

They were such good sports to let me crash. I told them all the Dirty Jokes I knew as we paddled down the river. My buddies made sure to paddle close so we could still be together.

After 20 minutes or so it was time to decide if we were going to “run the falls”. If the answer was yes- we would have to go through some practice exercises in preparation. There is a particular way to crouch down, hold the paddle and the boat, as well as a pep talk in case things go wrong. They all wanted to do it and I certainly wasn’t going to be the chick they were nice enough to pick up to hold them back.

I was nervous. REALLY nervous. I had thoughts of backing out up until the point of no return!

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We did it! I did it! It was fun and it would be the first of many runs for me 🙂

Some guys go to Vegas for their Bachelor Party….

I am so glad these guys decided to raft the Husum Falls.

Calm Down

Does this phrase actually make anyone feel calmer?

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When it is said to me, it evokes the opposite response.

One day the washing machine at the house broke forcing me to go to the Laundromat. I like going to Spin Laundry Lounge because there are video games to play while you wait, their dryers are awesome, the prices are relatively reasonable and depending on which location you choose, there are snack options.

In addition to getting my laundry done, I was on a research mission for information about the Laundromat. My roommates have never been and they would also need to get their laundry done. I located two empty, smaller size washing machines next to each other and put my clothes in them. There is a spin dial to choose water temperature and desired cycle. I am guilty of not reading all the information before getting started with things. Today would be no different. I picked the cheapest cycle and swiped my credit card to pay. Then I realized there were more options. I wanted to wash them in cold water (which cost .25 cents extra). I guess it was too late. When both loads had finished, I took out the hang to dry items and loaded the rest in one big dryer. I went back to the washing machines to take photos to send to the roommates when I noticed there was a balance of .25 on the washing machine I had just used. I was confused by this therefore I located the only employee working to ask her what was going on. She followed me over, asked me a few questions and then said she didn’t know. She wasn’t even sure if they had gotten washed. Hhhhmmmmm that’s odd, they felt damp when I moved them to the dryer. She said it would have just done a prewash which would explain why they were damp. All I know is I needed my clothes to be clean.

It wasn’t worth taking chances so I went over to the dryer to pull that one load out to rewash. I expressed a bit of my frustration with this process and lack of knowledge when she suddenly says to me to ” I’m just trying to help you – calm down.”

The best part about this is: I wasn’t even that upset about it. I was just expressing my emotion. On a scale of 1 to 10, I was maybe a level 3.

I couldn’t believe she was saying this to me. I know myself. I know when I am being “extra” and when I am not. I know how people can react to me when I am acting “extra” and this situation wasn’t even close. Her words didn’t make me feel any calmer, like I said before it has the opposite effect on me. I immediately knew the conversation had taken a turn and we were in a different place now. A place I didn’t want to deal with. It can be a tremendous amount of work to get strangers to a place of real understanding of who you are and what you are communicating. It suddenly occured to me she was taking it personally. All she needed to do was give me the space to express my moment of frustration and we could all move on. So in that moment, the conversation was over for me. I told her, Thank you, I got it, and I didn’t need anything else. She walked away.

Over the years, I have come to realize when a misunderstanding is taking place. I would love it if everyone knew what everyone was saying all of the time. I also know that people are looking through their own lense at life. They can only meet you from where they are. Sometimes I take the time to correct the misunderstanding. Sometimes the moment is happening so quick and there is not time to do all that is necessary to get back on the same page. I made the assumption of how much work it was going to take based on her response of taking things personally and decided to just end the exchange. I wonder if this was the right thing to do.

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Another time I have been told to calm down, recently, was my first day in Spanish Conversation class. I enrolled in class through Portland Community College to solve a parking challenge at work and get more Spanish in my life. I work on the waterfront right in front of the Eastbank Esplanade in Portland Oregon. There isn’t any parking besides two private parking lots for business and one parking lot for a PCC campus. The class I signed up for is non credit evening class that takes me 30 minutes to drive to once a week however I love it.

The semester had been in progress for several weeks when I arrived for the first time. There was homework from the previous week that, understandably, I wasn’t aware of. I didn’t have the book nor did I plan on purchasing it. I was hoping for just conversation. It’s been years since I have taken a class and my Spanish skills were rusty. Midway through the class it was time for everyone to read their homework. Two jokes and a short story. There were only three other people besides myself and the professor. When it would have been my turn, I said with excitement, I don’t have any jokes because today is my first day. The teacher immediately told me to calm down, in a nice calm way a few times. I was immediately offended. Once again, expressing emotion was causing someone to tell me to tone it down. I wasn’t even upset until this phrase was said to me.

It took a few days of reflection and analyzation to figure out what exactly bothered me so much. I think that because she didn’t know me and her reaction to my expression was one of correction. She wanted me to be different. Therefore telling me to calm down felt like a rejection of my personality. When I feel rejected, I go into self preservation mode. I either let the full force of my personality out and I don’t care who likes it or I withdrawal completely. Either way, I am not trying to be likable. I don’t know why I respond this way but I do.

Thinking about that moment in class over and over again led me to this realization.

I am an emotional creature. A very emotional creature. Sometimes I show that emotion when expressing myself verbally.

Maybe the other person is uncomfortable with the level of emotion that I am expressing and saying calm down is their way of trying to control the situation to bring it to a level of comfort for them. (Emotional Contagion). I don’t need to take it personally! I can understand what is happening for the other person and adjust where I can.

I hope I am able to maintain this point of view so that the next time someone tells me to calm down, I won’t feel the need to be so reactive.

Go to Crater Lake if you can

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It only took me eight years and A LOT of effort to get there however it was totally worth it. Therefore, I highly recommend it to you.

It is a very popular spot. Camping spots are taken up months in advance. There are two campgrounds they provide information for on their website. They are very good about keeping the website updated with open spots for reservations.

  • Mazama Campground is the closest to the Lake. This site reserves 10% of the spots for walk-ins. Walk-ins are on a first come first serve basis. Whether you have a reservation or are just walking up, Check-in time starts at 12:00 p.m.
  • Lost Creek Campground is the second closest, doesn’t take reservations, and is a tent only site.

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I lucked out and a spot opened up at Mazama’s two days before my trip. I kept checking back every 30 minutes or so to see the status of open sites.

When we arrived around 11:15 a.m. there were people already making a line for the walk-in spots.

I recommend bringing your own firewood. They sell firewood at the store near the entrance to the campground. It cost $10 a bundle. Since there was a burn ban in effect, I felt so lucky each camping site had a fire ring which allowed us to build a fire. My favorite part about camping!!!

Technically Crater Lake is a caldera not a crater. You can drive 33 miles around the entire thing on the Scenic Rim Drive (since you are there- why not?!) It doesn’t take that long to do…

Elevation of Crater Lake ranges from 7000 to 8000 feet. Portland’s elevation is only 50 feet above sea level. Be mentally prepared for this. I underestimated the effects of this on my body. I figured since I grew up in Colorado that it wasn’t going to be a big deal. I forgot that it has been 20 years since I have been to Colorado and it became apparent real fast. There is less oxygen the higher in elevation you go. My heart was beating so hard after a few steps hiking around.

I would only get to spend 1 day and 1 night at Crater Lake so I wanted to make the most of it. I signed up to take their 2 hour boat tour. It cost $44.

There’s only one place to access the water. It’s the same place you will have to go if you decide to take the boat tour.

We arrived to the check-in spot for the boat tour, only to learn it had been cancelled 💩

They only have 3 boats. One of them had just broken down. They are required to keep one of those boats designated as the rescue boat aka: “the just in case” boat. If for any reason something happens to the boat people are on, they need the just in case boat to rescue everyone.

I wanted to touch the water so I convinced my friend to hike down to dip our feet in it. It is not a recreational lake so activities are limited. You can fish. There is a small area to jump in. No flotation devices, no swimming and no private boats.

The hike is moderately difficult because of the (overall) elevation change. The hike itself only changes by 780 feet. If you already live in a place that is is more than 6,000 feet above sea level, you will be fine. For the rest of us, I again want to mention how it took my by surprise. It took hours to get back up the hike. (Still worth it). I just want you to be prepared ❤

If you have the chance to visit this place- you must go!!!!!

Tips for stress free selling on apps like OfferUp and Letgo.

I sell a lot of things on OfferUp, Letgo, and Craigslist.

If you have sold things on these platforms, you will know how flaky people can be.  It can be quite frustrating. I refuse to have strangers waste my time. I will not be held hostage waiting on anyone ever again.

Here are some tips & tricks I have found to be effective in order to feel less stressed.

Pricing: I like to price things to move. I list it for half of what I paid or I do some research to what others are selling it for and make it a few dollars less.  No matter what price you list your item for- expect people to ask to buy it for less.  It is okay to remain firm in your offer.  The right match will come around once you stand your ground.  Especially if it is a fair price.  If you are willing to accept their offer – go ahead 🙂

Communication: Don’t expect it to be great.  When people message me to ask if something is available- I answer yes and then delete their message.  When people message me to say they will get back to me- I delete the message. I assume that people are going to flake so I just delete all messages. I don’t chase and I don’t follow up after I have provided pertinent information. Just let it go and move on.  The serious ones will come back around. After some time, they become obvious.

**People who are good communicators will get back to you. They will answer your questions. They will set up a specific time to connect with you. They will be responsive and sometimes, just sometimes, even be the one to initiate the details. They will let you know when they are on their way (especially if you have requested they do so).  They show up. Be sure to give them positive feedback about the aspects of their behavior you appreciate ❤

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Location to meet: I like to find a business close to where I am located (this can serve as a reference point for them to map how far it will be from their location). I never give my physical address unless (it works best for my life) / I have gotten a good vibe, the communication has been good and they are ready to head my way.  If the communication hasn’t been great, I just give them a business nearby and ask them to let me know when they are there and then I will come over.  This will save your time.  This way you don’t have to wait at your house for anyone.  I understand that things come up which could change the time they are able to come.  If you just ask them to let you know when they are there then you don’t have to be held hostage.  Sometimes they don’t show up…. makes no difference to you since you aren’t waiting around on them and then a bunch of random strangers don’t have your home address.

I hope that you found these tips helpful.  I hope if you use them, that they work out for you. Feel free to share tips that you find useful!!!  I am always looking to improve…

Happy Selling out there!

 

 

Ride Shares – Adventurous or Risky Business ??

I had never considered using the ride share section on Craigslist until my friend Wrenna said she had great success with it. She is a twenty something hippie kid from Ashland so maybe her trust level is different than mine ?

I did grow up in a time ( the 80’s and early 90’s ) where hitchhiking was common and relatively safe. I can’t remember ever doing it though.

I wanted to go to Oregon Country Fair and I didn’t have a car.  I moved to Oregon with a car but it died a year later.  I wasn’t in a position to purchase another one right away so I became a bike only girl. That adjustment will go down in history as one of the all time biggest adjustments I have had to make yet.  I rode down with the coworker that told me about the event the first year I moved here.

In order to get to fair from Portland, you need a car.  It’s in Veneta Oregon, which is a few hours away.  I also like to be able to arrive and depart when I feel like it.

I missed fair for a few years in a row and I was aching to go again.

I decided to give this ride share thing a try. It would be cheaper than renting a car on my own. Boy was I nervous.  This is really out of my comfort zone.  The thought of it being out of my comfort zone amuses me now that I have been to Burning Man a couple of times. Regardless…….

I went to Craigs List, found an option that worked for me and reached out.  I remember he didn’t have his shit together and we would be leaving later than he stated in the listing because he needed to clean out his car and get gas.  I didn’t have a choice but to wait.

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Once he picked me up, making conversation was easy.  Once we arrived, we parted ways to experience fair on our own. We set a time to meet back at the car. The drive home was challenging for me.  Having to listen to this middle aged guy go on and on about the number of young girls breasts he saw made me want to throw up.  Instead I pretended I had smoked too much weed, was tired from walking around the event and closed my eyes to sleep the whole way home. Never again.

 

The following year I decided to rent a car and offer a ride to other people.  I ended up with 3 other passengers, one of whom did not have their ticket and made the whole car go out of it’s way to a location where one could be purchased. You can not purchase them at the gate. Besides that, they were nice enough.

We also parted our individual ways to experience fair and meet back up at the car at a set time to travel home to Portland.  I didn’t have to hear about tits and I was much happier.

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This year, I am still a bike only girl that wants to go to the 50th anniversary Oregon Country Fair event.  Since I have been on both sides of the coin. I prefer to be in charge therefore I have rented a car. I posted in the ride share group on Facebook. I also put a listing in the ride share section of Craigs List.  I am up for some adventure and just know the people that I give a ride to will be nothing short of awesome. My heart and mind are open ❤

 

I CAN’T WAIT TO GO TO FAIR THIS YEAR. I AM THE MASTER OF MY DESTINY.