My Return to Voodoo Doughnuts

The first time I went to Portland, Oregon, I vowed to visit Voodoo Doughnuts, one of the many quirky and iconic shops in the area, but as I explained in this post, it just wasn’t meant to be. And so, my voodoo dreams having gone unfulfilled, I was doomed to wander the earth feeling as though I had some unfinished business. I felt incomplete. It was even worse than never having gone to my high school prom.

So when I realized we’d be passing through Portland again on our way home from our fabulous Oregon vacation, I told my husband that if it was the last thing I ever did, I would be going to Voodoo Doughnuts. Even if I had to throw myself from the moving car. Even if I had to crawl there on my hands and knees. That voodoo-flavored influx of sugar and carbs would be mine, or I would die trying.

To add to the pressure (as if dear husband needed more convincing) I read from the website menu as we approached Portland. “Of course we need to get a Maple Blazer Blunt. Who wouldn’t want to try a doughnut doobie?” “And we’ve got to get a Voodoo Doll, and an Old Dirty Bastard, simply to be able to say we ate one.” “There’s a doughnut with captain crunch on top! And one with fruit loops! And grape dust! And cayenne pepper! And bacon!”

By the time we got there, I had worked myself up into such a frenzy that you’d have thought I was a 6-year-old going to Disney World. I was practically fidgeting in line. Fortunately the queue wasn’t as long as it was the last time around.

Still, I sure wouldn’t want to work there. The joint was jumping. I bet they’re exhausted at the end of a shift. But they do that voodoo so well. (Sorry. Had to.)

So, were the doughnuts all I had worked them up to be in my mind? Of course not. Nothing is ever as good as you imagine. Heck yeah, they were great, and all, but there were no fireworks, no marching bands. And I’ve been avoiding sugar as much as possible for several months now, so this particular orgy of pure gluttony kind of left me feeling sick. So there’s that.

But who am I kidding? I’ll be back. If only because we discovered further down the road that we had neglected to get the Old Dirty Bastard after all.

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Signs Along the Way

I just got home from an amazing trip to coastal and central Oregon, and brace yourself, it has inspired no fewer than 15 ideas for blog posts. But don’t worry, if you’re not a travel enthusiast, I’ll be spreading them out over the next month or so, so as not to drive you off. (I’d miss you guys!)

One of my favorite things about traveling is seeing the strange signs and t-shirts I encounter along the way. They can really give you the feel for a place better than anything else. (If you use your imagination, that is.)

The best sign I saw was across the road on a busy highway. There was no convenient place to pull over or turn around for a picture without risking life and limb, so, this blog never being far from my mind, I had to content myself with a note. The sign stretched the length of a long, rustic wood building, and it said, simply, “A large variety of wood!”

I couldn’t tell if the place was open or closed. There were no cars in the parking lot. The windows were small and dusty. Was the owner selling firewood? Driftwood art? Elaborate sculptures carved from logs? Furniture? Or something rated x? I have no idea. I’ve got to say that for some reason it makes me really happy that this place exists. But I’d suggest that the proprietor might want to expand upon his signage or his displays just a tiny bit so that passersby would know if they are a part of his target market, because I’d be afraid to stop without knowing. Just sayin’.

In no particular order, here are some of the signs that I found pic-worthy along the way.

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This place will merit a blog post all its own. We saw a lot of evidence of how hard it was to travel around here back before there were paved roads and Starbucks every 500 yards, but this one pretty much says it all.

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This one was taken at Crooked River Bridge. I will attest to the fact that 300 feet is a really long way down. I know, because I got a wicked sense of vertigo while checking for dog carcasses. I’m happy to report that I didn’t see any. A few thoughts on this sign: It seems like there’s more concern for the dogs than the children. And there was a high wall blocking you from the precipice. It would take some effort to get your dog to launch itself into that abyss. Hysterical sign maker? Or is there a dark side to Oregon that they aren’t telling us? Hmmm…

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This one made me laugh. It was at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon. That amazing place also merits its own post. But after the last sign, I thought I should show you that Oregonians have a sense of humor, too.

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This one made us do a u-turn. So, you go to the state park, and then you recycle yourself, big time. Glad to hear that Oregon takes the environment so seriously!

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Now this, at the Tillamook Creamery, (which will also get its own post) is my kind of sign.

And I’m leaving you with two t-shirts that I would have bought, because I have a twisted sense of humor. But I already have way too many t-shirts. Carrion, dear reader. Carrion.

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Another Design Flaw

Three years ago, I wrote about an annoying design flaw in the human body—that inability to scratch a frustratingly large portion of one’s own back. Recently, a friend (Hi, Mor!) pointed out yet another. Why don’t we have ear lids?

I’d certainly love to have a pair. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to employ them when you’re trying to take a nap and your next door neighbor cranks up his lawnmower? They would sure have come in handy the many times people have attempted to force their religious beliefs on me. I’d probably have much better hearing if I had ear lids when I attended the rock concerts of my youth.

There are many things in life I’d really rather not hear.

  • Anti-vaxxers trying to explain why they want to ignore every scientific inquiry to the contrary and put the rest of our lives at risk so that they can bask in their own selfish ignorance.

  • People saying cruel things to their children that I know will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

  • People crying out for help when I know I am completely incapable of doing anything for them.

  • Politicians attempting to justify their evil actions.

  • Details about Season 8 of Game of Thrones when I haven’t had a chance to see it yet.

  • Used car salesmen, and anyone else trying to hoodwink me out of my money.

  • Chinese robocalls.

  • Excuses. Lies. Hate speech.

  • Anything coming out of Trump’s greedy, corrupt pie hole, especially if it’s wall-related.

The funny thing is, nature is perfectly capable of creating ear lids. Most creatures have eye lids to protect their eyes. Heck, cats even have double ones. Marine mammals often have the ability to close off their nostrils. We are able to close our mouths when necessary, although many of us, including me, don’t do this nearly as often as we should. The ability to shut orifices is not a new concept. So why is there no means to protect our ear drums and our sanity?

La la la! I can’t hear you!

Perhaps this is nature’s way of telling us that we already spend too much time not listening to one another. Even so, I’d give just about anything to be able to have peace and quiet whenever I want it. I’m telling you, people, it’s time for an upgrade.

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Nincompooperance

I love made up words. The title of this post actually came from a Berkeley Breathed comic strip. Isn’t it fascinating when a word is invented and you know instantly what it means? Creative wordplay makes our language richer.

Another favorite “word” of mine is Douchebaggery. I’m also a huge fan of Youniverse, Textpectation, Unkeyboardinated, and Sproinging.

If you Google “made up words” you’ll come up with dozens of hilarious lists, but all the words therein seem to require definitions. I prefer ones that don’t. Like unforgetaway. And snowpocalypse. And darksome. Ginormous. Sickable, and its near opposites, foodgasm and scrumpdillyicious. Nonversation.

Below are some cute made up words by kids. A good start. These creative writers have big shoes to fill. After all, Shakespeare invented more than 2,000 in his time.

Have a fantabulous day, dear reader!

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An Odd Penguin

I’d heard about this unique guy years ago. He’s an emperor penguin with a genetic mutation called melanin. It’s kind of the opposite of being an albino. His chest is solid black instead of tuxedo white.

The first time I saw a photo of him was back in 2006. I was stunned he’d made it to adulthood. He must be a lot more visible to predators, especially when the snow is at its peak down at the south pole. And yet, he persisted.

We know he is still alive, because he was recently caught on film. (Technically it could be a she. No one knows for sure.) Before, we only had still photos of him taken by tourists. Now we get to see him waddling around amongst his peers, apparently being treated no better or worse than the others. He looks healthy.

That pleases me greatly, because over the years I’ve often thought of him, and wondered if he had survived. It looks like he’s getting plenty of food. Does he get to mate? Do penguins care about color?

I hope he gets to mate. I mean, what else is there to do down there? It’s not like he’s got a smart phone.

It’s no fun at all, being an odd duck. I’ve felt that way my entire life. So I’ve been rooting for this penguin. And from all appearances, he’s doing just fine. So there’s hope for all the misfits out there. If he can do it, we can, too.

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Television is a Strange Teacher

Have you ever noticed that everyone who is struck in the head on TV instantly gets knocked out, and then eventually recovers with no cognitive problems whatsoever? Just once, I’d like to see someone spin around and say, “Ow! What the hell?”

As a matter of fact, when’s the last time anyone ever said ow on TV? And most of the time no one dies from a head blow either, unless it’s a forensic show. (Kids, don’t try this at home.)

Another neat television trick is that you can almost always punch someone in the face and not sustain any hand injuries at all. That’s pretty convenient. It’s also not very realistic. (Not that I’ve tested the theory.)

On television, you can go through a whole host of action scenes and your hair will remain unfazed. I wish that were the case in real life. Most days, I can’t even wake up in the morning without a mirror shock experience.

And on TV, bathrooms only exist if you a) need a place to smoke a joint, b) are nervously preparing for your wedding night, or c) are part of a group of girls who are talking about boys.

On the small screen, too, CPR always works, unless, oddly enough, you’re in a hospital. Then you’re a goner. And bones are never broken in the process, which is vastly different from what occurs in real life. (And the success rate of CPR in real life is abysmal.)

I can’t say I know the success rate of love stories in the real world, but on TV, people seem to live happily ever after a ridiculous percentage of the time. We do love a happy ending.

And it seems as though everyone gets a second chance. And no one ever needs a third chance. If only we all really learned from our mistakes the first time around.

If some alien got all his intel about humanity by watching our television broadcasts, he’d have a very strange view of the planet. For example, he’d think that all men, without exception, are prone to making grand romantic gestures. Gimme a break. But, hey, three cheers to the ones who make the effort!

Sage Advice

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A New Unit of Measurement: The Quagmire

My Dachshund, Quagmire, is 31 inches from nose to tail tip. (Eight inches of that is tail.) The reason I’m telling you this is that I find I often use him as a very precise unit of measurement. This is important, so pay attention.

It takes 2 1/2 Quagmires to span the width of our king-sized bed. I know this because he often inches me from one side of it to the other in the course of a night. It’s critical to know how much bed you’ve got left. Safety first.

I also know how many Quagmires a Quagmire must be from the front door before I can open it. (Four.) If I don’t take this into account, he’ll bolt outside and head straight into traffic. I don’t know what it is about the highway that intrigues him so, but it’s a wonder he hasn’t been squashed flat.

I’ve also learned the hard way that all dog bowls must be at least 5 Quagmires apart or chaos will ensue. He’s very territorial about his kibble. Believe me, it isn’t pretty.

He only has to run about 6 Quagmires before he reaches the end of my extension leash and practically yanks my arm out of its socket.

We’ve had to install 10 Quagmires-worth of fencing to keep his sneaky little butt out of the strawberries and tomatoes in the back yard.

There aren’t enough Quagmires in the world to keep us from smelling his musk when he has rolled in something dead. He seems quite proud of this.

You can throw a toy about 5 Quagmires away and he’ll chase it, but he’ll only bring it about 1 Quagmire of the way back. A retriever, he is not.

The interesting thing about this unit of measurement is that it increases to 40 inches in the vertical. Despite his stubby little legs, he routinely jumps chest height. So you always have to consider the vertical Quagmire before leaving any food unattended. As far as he’s concerned, anything less than a Quagmire above the floor is community property.

But the very best part about this measurement is that it only takes one Quagmire to fill my heart with love.

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