Thursday Things

1. Hi! I feel like it’s been SO long since I wrote a life post – probably because my last Thursday Things post went up three weeks ago today! So let’s catch up.

2. My trip to Seattle was half good, half nightmareish. But let’s focus on the good first. We got to Seattle on a Friday and spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at my grandparents’ retirement home. We didn’t do a whole lot while we were there, other than go to Tacoma on Saturday for my half marathon (and then hung around downtown Tacoma for a bit after the race), but on Monday, we drove out to the peninsula, where we had rented a house in Pacific Beach. Pacific Beach, as the name implies, is right on the Pacific Ocean, though we didn’t have beach access from our house. If you’ve ever been to the beaches in Washington, though, you know they’re more of the “fly a kite and dip your toes in the water” sort of beach rather than a “lay out and relax all day” kind of beach – unless you’re into laying out and relaxing on a beach when it’s cloudy, windy, and in the mid-60s. Personally, that’s not my cup of tea.

On Tuesday, we went up to the Hoh National Rainforest in Olympic National Park. I had been to the Olympic National Park 19 years earlier, but, unsurprisingly, I don’t remember much of it, so it was nice to go back. We did a little bit of hiking and saw a lot of pretty nature.


On Wednesday, we drove back to the Seattle area and had a lazy day at my grandparents’, and then on Thursday went into downtown Seattle for our traditional trip to Ivar’s:


made friends with the seagulls:


and made our equally traditionally trip to the Pike Place Market:


That is basically all I’ve done in downtown Seattle the past four times I’ve been out there, but honestly, Ivar’s and the market make me so happy that I was perfectly content to do both of those things. However, since we always do those things, we were kind of in the mood to do something different, close by, and cheap. (I had wanted to go to the aquarium to see the puffins, but at $25/person, that was out of the question. My parents were not interested in spending $100 so I could see puffins – and I wasn’t interested in begging them to do that either, because that’s a WHOLE lotta money to see some seabirds.) After some Googling, we discovered that the Seattle Art Museum is free to everyone on the first Thursday of the month. And lo and behold, it was September 1 – the first Thursday of the month! So to the Seattle Art Museum we went.


It was nice! A lot smaller than the Art Institute, unsurprisingly, which made it much easier to see a fair portion of the museum’s collections in the time we had to spare. I’ve never come close to covering the entire Art Institute in one trip.

And then on Friday we flew back to our respective homes. My parents and brother left two hours before I did, which meant that I was at SeaTac 3.5 hours before my flight left. I walked laps around the airport and hit 10,000 steps for the day before I even boarded my flight, and, of course, hit up the Made in Washington store, as I am apt to do, to load up on the local goods:

(I actually bought the tea at the market this time, which makes it feel much more authentic 🙂 )

3. And now, for the nightmare. So, approximately one minute after we walked into my grandparents’ retirement home on Friday, my phone died. Its battery was at 17%, but sometimes the battery display is incorrect, so I was annoyed, but whatever – your phone dies, you plug it in to recharge it, and all is well. WELL. That only works if your battery actually died. When I plugged my phone in, it came back to life for a minute or two, and then died again, even though it was connected to a power source. I originally had it plugged into a battery pack, so I switched to the wall, and the same thing happened. I then switched to my brother’s charging cord instead of mine, and again: my phone continually died and came back to life while plugged in. At this point, I started panicking. Something was clearly very, very wrong with my phone.

So, off to the closest Apple store we went (we being my mom, my brother, and me). We got an appointment at the Genius Bar, where I learned that my phone was committing suicide–really. I mean, that’s not how the genius who helped us phrased it, but the phone was, literally, killing itself.

When you open up Diagnostics on your phone, you see all sorts of messages. Most of these messages are fairly innocuous – except, that is, for the messages that end in “panic.” This article explains it well, but I’m particularly fond of the opening line in the Panic section: “I’ve saved the worst for last.” Yes, friends, there is truly nothing worse that your phone can do to itself than have panic messages. These only happen due to faulty hardware, and there is only one possible outcome: eventually (and by “eventually” I mean “in about 12 hours”), your phone doesn’t turn back on again. Ever. It’s bricked itself. (As a point of clarification, my phone was not actually “dying” as in turning itself off like I thought it was. Instead, it was rebooting. Every time it does this, it gets closer and closer to death, until eventually, it doesn’t reboot at all.)

This, of course, happened one week to the day after my warranty expired, which seems awfully fishy to me, but I have insurance on my phone, which meant that Verizon would replace it for free. But MY OH MY what an ordeal that was. See, when your phone kills itself, you can’t just walk into Verizon and get a new one. No, no. They have special phones to replace suicidal ones–not brand new phones, but refurbished phones, and those phones don’t live at Verizon stores, they live in some warehouse somewhere not in Seattle. When we went in on Friday afternoon, the customer service rep who helped us told us that they would have a phone overnighted to me via FedEx, and it would arrive at my grandparents’ house between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. the following day (a Saturday). I could live without my phone for that amount of time, so we went on our way.

Well. When we got home from Tacoma Saturday afternoon, the phone still had not arrived. My mom checked the package tracking, and it turned out that the phone wouldn’t get there until Monday. This was a particular problem because we wouldn’t BE there on Monday – we would have already left for the peninsula by then. Fightin’ mad, my dad first called Verizon to demand a resolution, and when that went nowhere, we went back to the store we had been to the day before, where we had the “pleasure” of being helped by the rudest customer service rep this side of a call center hotline and basically were told, “There’s nothing we can do for you. Sorry.” Over, and over, and over again.

I was livid. The receipt I got on Friday CLEARLY said “Next Day Delivery,” and FedEx does, indeed, deliver on Saturdays, despite what the lady at the Verizon store tried to tell me. Eventually, the store manager got involved, and while he was also less than helpful, to say the least, he did get the package redirected to our rental home in Pacific Beach, and credited my portion of the bill on our family plan for the month, since I clearly wouldn’t be using my phone for several days on this billing cycle. The phone finally arrived on Tuesday, so when we got back to the rental house after our time in the rainforest on Tuesday, I tried to set my phone up, but couldn’t get the backup of my old phone I had made to my brother’s computer to sync to my new phone, so I got to start over from scratch on my new phone, which was just a blast and a half. (I had never backed up my phone to iCloud, because the cloud freaks me out.)

I know it’s kind of silly to get all bent out of shape over not having a phone for five days, but it was so much more than just not having a phone, you know? Smartphones aren’t just phones – they’re dozens of different tools packed into one. Not having my phone meant that I didn’t have my camera, didn’t have my alarm clock, didn’t my calendar–smartphones have become such a part of daily life that not having one goes way beyond inconvenience, especially when you’re out of town.

What’s been going on with all of you? I’m so behind! I’m trying to catch up on blog reading, but it’s been a struggle.
Have you ever had phone woes? Tell me so I feel less alone. Haha.

6 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. Yikes – sorry that you had to go through that horrible ordeal with your phone. There’s a saying that “it is human to err, but to really screw things up takes a computer” – and I couldn’t agree more! It’s also for good reason that utility companies like Verizon have such a bad rap when it comes to customer service, right? I’ve had my fair share of issues with FedEx, too. I had an iPhone issue once before when I had to upload company apps in order to be able to access my work email on my phone – and it screwed up a bunch of other settings. It took a lot of time to resolve, and eventually I had to go in for a Genius appointment, too. So frustrating dealing with all the complexities of technology, ARGH!!!!!!

  2. Oh god that phone drama sounds terrible. I broke my phone last Friday and was planning on getting the 7 tomorrow, so I got to pay 100 for a new screen a week before I get a new one which was just awesome. iPhones are great, except when they decide to break haha otherwise it sounds like Seattle was great though!!

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