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The great Plochman's caper

Or, the tale of how the smallest of things can send you on really big annoying adventures.

My plans for today were simple: 1. Go to library. 2. Drop off ballot. 3. Go home.

But then I ran out of mustard. Not normally a big deal, right? Well, a little bit. You see, in Iowa the mustard options were basically 1. Plochman's. 2. Cheap knockoffs of Plochman's. 3. Competitors, also yellow smooth mustard. 4. Cheap knockoffs of said competitors. My favorite was, and remains, Plochman's. But here in Portland, the only options are 1. French's, which I hate. 2. Cheap knockoffs of French's. 3. Fancy-pants, hoity-toity stuff whose only resemblance to mustard is that it contains mustard seeds. I have tried these fancy mustards, and cannot stomach any of them. So the only mustard I can stand is my favorite, Plochman's.

For the first year or so of living here, I could only despair that my favorite mustard was lost to me. I would search every new store I could find for it, never finding it. I was sad. For a while, Albertson's carried it, but then they stopped. :-( Then finally, I found some at New Season's Market. I bought 2. It just now ran out, this morning.

So after I dropped off my ballot, I got on the computer and went to Google Maps to find the nearest New Seasons Market. The directions were quite clear: Take the MAX to Rose Quarter Transit Center, then the bus line 44 toward St. Johns, off at Williams and Tillamook. So I did that. MAX trip was unremarkable, then got on the 44 after a long wait.

At first, I thought I'd missed the stop. I got off, waited to go back the other way (it was a long wait). Finally got on, told the bus driver I needed Williams and Tillamook. She acknowledged. The stop she had me get off at was actually - I found out after getting off - Vancouver and Tillmook. But no problem, according to the little map I'd copied from the Google Maps map, I would have had to go to Vancouver anyway. Everything lined up. So I went one direction down Vancouver. The numbers were getting too big, so I went the other way (I needed 2004 Vancouver, not 2100 or 2200 Vancouver).

Now, I have both a Trimet (bus) system map of the city AND a Portland street map with me at all times these days, and I've been living here for three years. I haven't seen all of Portland by a long shot, but I understand its logic, usually, and even when I don't, I can still follow directions, especially with maps. But I was all over that neighborhood today. Either the New Seasons Market at 2004 Vancouver is cloaked, or it doesn't exist, or Google Map's directions this time totally sucked. Because there wasn't anything there that even remotely resembled a grocery store, and there was no 2004 Vancouver at all. I checked my position by the map, compared it to the map from Google Maps. They matched. So... Google Maps, which usually has great directions, completely and utterly failed me today, sending me to a fictional address and a nonexistent store. I shall have to go, tomorrow, to the one I already know the location of.

Well, from there I went downtown to Border's to get another copy of the city map so I could hang it on the wall at home. After that, I stopped at Saturday Market for the last half hour they were open, and got a wool winter cap lined in fleece, to keep my ears warm.

Oh, and I don't know what was going on, but going to and coming from Saturday Market, the MAX trains were really screwed up. One train was cycling through all the line colors, the machine telling which line it was apparently was broken. Other trains seemed to be having color issues, too. And then I was on one train that was labeled "yellow line," but since it had pulled up to a station for red and blue lines only, the yellow line has an entirely different route with no stops in common with red or blue, and the previous issues, I figured it was a mistake and was either red or blue. Well, it went along the red/blue route until just after the bridge, where it turned. Luckily, it stopped across a few streets from the red/blue stop, and I was able to get off - highly annoyed at the clusterfuck the MAX had become - and walk to the red/blue/green stop. Missed a red line train, but got on a green line train that was apparently switching from being a yellow. Good gods, I don't know what kind of monkey wrench they had in their system today, but I hope it gets fixed soon. What a frakking clusterfuck!

Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org

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