Friday, November 19, 2010

Adventures in Raechelle-land

As you may or may not know, Todd and I told Kayleigh we would redo her bedroom for her 13th birthday. No more little girl furniture. She was now a TEENAGER.

She finally got a new, full size bed last week. That’s been nice. But now, we needed to find her a desk so she could sprawl in her room (instead of the dining room table) and do her homework, and she needs a new chest of drawers.

One of the many things I love about Kayleigh is she immediately said “We’ll look on craigslist and at Goodwill!” No brand new, expensive furniture for this girl. She is happy with gently used – as long as it’s new (and cool) to her.

Gotta love that.

So I’ve been scouring craigslist in my spare time, looking for a big corner or L shaped desk. And yesterday, I found it. For $25.

I emailed the link to Kayleigh, then called her at home and told her about it. The desk doesn’t really fit the color scheme she’s going for, but she agreed that for $25, it’s better than not having a desk right now. And when we build up, and she moves into our (much bigger) room, we’ll get her a Real Desk.

I emailed the craigslister and arranged to pick it up last night. She lives in the Greenlake area, so I mentally prepared myself for a drive on a Thursday night, after being tired all day at work.

After arriving home, I was reminded that Kayleigh’s school was holding teacher conferences that evening – 5:45 – 7:45pm. Todd had rehearsal, so okay fine, I changed into comfy clothes, and off we went to the middle school, before heading up to Greenlake to get the desk. There was no time to make dinner, and it would be too late by the time we got home, so Todd said, “Why don’t you just grab dinner while you’re out?”


And I immediately thought of Blue C. Kayleigh loves Blue C, and I thought since that’s in Fremont, and we’re going to Greenlake, we might as well stop by the Ballard Goodwill to see if they had a chest of drawers! Make it a girl bonding night!

The conferences were good. I met most all of Kayleigh’s teachers, and they all had nothing but positive, lovely things to say about her. Of course.

At 7:00pm, we left the school, and headed to Greenlake.

After getting turned around a bit, we found the craigslister’s house and prepared to buy a desk.

And here’s where things get fun.

The damn thing wouldn’t fit in my car. The craigslister’s husband tried all kinds of different angles, but nada. We just need one more inch! It’s funny, I didn’t think to measure the desk for the car before we left. I measured K’s room, to make sure it wouldn’t take up too much room, but didn’t even think about the car.

The desk would have fit in Ruby.
I’m just sayin’.

So the husband, a young Pacific Northwest rock climber dude complete with headlamp, tied the top of the desk to my roof rack. Fantastic.

However, I felt a bit unsure about stopping at BlueC and eating. The BlueC parking is in a garage under the building. A dark garage. Kayleigh said, “It’s a desk top! Why would someone steal a desktop!?” Oh, you’d be surprised. Granted, I’d only paid $25 for it, but if someone wanted to steal it, and they got the ropes undone, they could potentially damage the car trying to get that thing off the roof. It’s quite heavy.

So… BlueC. There were almost tears.

Until the craigslister reminded us that there was a BlueC in U Village which has a parking lot right in front of the restaurant and was brightly lit AND was just right on the other side of the freeway. Well, alrighty! But Goodwill was back in Ballard, in the opposite direction. It was now 7:30pm, and we were hungry, and we couldn’t fit in both places. I left it up to Kayleigh. Goodwill or BlueC. Pick one.

She picked BlueC. Good girl.

So with the desk top securely tied to my roof rack, off we went, east across the freeway, through the University District, to get our fish. And the traffic a was a bit heavy for a Thursday night. And what’s that policeman doing parked there?

And why is that road closed?

Oh. Oh no.

How could I have forgotten?! It was all over the news!

HUSKY'S GAME! During rush hour traffic on a Thursday evening.

Yes, I remembered hearing this, but had promptly forgotten about it because on Thursday evenings, I go home to West Seattle, in the opposite direction of the University area. Because who, in their right mind, would be going to U Village on Thursday evening? Sheesh.

Me and my daughter. That’s who.
For some fish.

If you, dear reader, have a daughter, you understand when I tell you that changing the plan was not an option. BlueC was on the brain and come hell or high water or a University football game, we would have fish. I was in no mood to be the bitch and say “Ain’t no way in hell we’re going there now!” because I KNEW there would be a lot of tears and some moaning and some mumbling about how I was the worst mother ever and how I didn’t care at all about her feelings or her stomach and how could I be so MEAN?!

So, merrily (really, really trying to be merry), we crept along at 5mph down 50th, around to 25th, down a back road to the Village because the main road in front of it was closed. But magically, when we got in the parking lot, it was wide open. Oodles of spaces.

We parked right outside of BlueC, got seated right away in an oversized booth, and had a quick little dinner. Even split an ├ęclair for dessert.

We paid and were back out to the car 30 minutes later.

And apparently that’s exactly when the game let out.

We sat in the U Village parking lot for about 20 minutes. Couldn’t go right, couldn’t go left. No one was moving. People walking everywhere. Everyone was trying to get to 25th to head north, because (ah, the power of the University) the road had been altered to only go north. Twenty fifth Avenue is usually a major north/south arterial. But not tonight, folks! Everyone’s going north! Turn on 65th to get the freeway? Nope. Keep going north.

Funny though, people would drive past 65th, then turn left into the gas station, circle around, then turn right on 65th. Like they wanted to begin with. All the while, the very official cop is standing in the intersection, shaking his head “No!” when I’m mouthing, “BUT I NEED TO TURN LEFT!”

I went straight. I have to set a good example for my young, impressionable daughter.

In an odd twist of personality, I was doing very well at being calm and even pleasant about the whole experience. We had good sushi in our tummies, Bob Schneider on the iPod and the butt warmers on high. We talked with Steph on the Bluetooth for a minute. It was all good.

I told Kayleigh, this must be what it feels like when you have to evacuate. Everyone is going the same way, across four lanes of traffic and driving on the wrong side of the road. It like I was in England.

We continued north, past 85th, at 10mph. If you remember, anything north of 85th is Canada to me. There are no sidewalks, and very few street lights. But I wasn’t panicked just yet. I knew if I kept heading north, I would hit Northgate Way, another major arterial going east/west, so I’d just take that over to 99 to head home. Because there was no way we were getting on the freeway. We were north of Husky Stadium, so in order to get home on the freeway, we’d have to double back and go south, right past Husky Stadium. All those cars that were leaving were all taking left turns off 25th. They were headed east. To the freeway.

No way.

So north we go, keep going north, we’re very far north (Kayleigh is now whining, “I just want to go to bed….”) and wala! I see a major intersection! There’s lights and many cars going east and west! We’re saved!

No we’re not.

That’s Lake City Way. I get shot off 25th onto Lake City Way which aims even farther north. And east.

For reference, we live south. And west.

(I see now on my handy dandy map, that if I’d just continued to go north a little farther, I would have hit Northgate way. Possibly, with some luck.)

So, we backtrack, get on 85th, head east toward Aurora, and are finally on the right track to get home.

And it’s 9:30pm now.

But traffic on Aurora is light (thank gawd) and we’re home in 15 minutes.

And even though Kayleigh’s bedtime is 9:30pm, I let her stay up and check her email and Facebook.

Cause see?
I AM a good mom.

And mom always says not to panic. “It’s an ADVENTURE!”

Key for Map:
A/G = home
B = Kayleigh’s school
C = craigslister’s house
D = Husky Stadium / U Village
E = Lake City Way
F = Aurora Ave

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