Tuesday, September 30, 2008

For Posterity (who am I kidding)

I think I'm going to write this post because I want to have a personal written account of what I did the day of the greatest stock market crash in US history, maybe to help cement it in my memory so that I can tell my grand kids great nieces and nephews what I was doing. Actually, it was a pretty full day. I got up early so that I could have breakfast at Max's with my Grandmother, and then I stopped at work but really only long enough to say goodbye to whomever was there to hear it. I got dropped off at SBA, caught my flight to PDX and had a pleasant conversation with a French teacher about life in big cities, dating, and education. Back in Portland, I headed to my now-standard coffee shop to work, and later in the evening helped my friend Greg restore his lap top's wireless capabilities that the instillation of Service Pack 3 had completely gimped. When I got home I was so exhausted that I fell asleep fully clothed on my bed while still holding a glass of The Balvenie, which I then spilled on myself, waking up smelling like a drunk Scotsman.

That day's Talk of the Nation was brilliant.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Proposition 8 On The Streets

That is, opposition to prop 8 on the streets. Today some of my friends sent me a photo of a "No on 8" sticker they spied on the corner near a coffee shop we like to frequent.

I'm heading back to Santa Barbara tomorrow, and I'm excited about volunteering to work the phones for the No on 8 campaign. My confidence is still pretty high that this bill is going down, and such positive thinking is exactly what I need to cut through my new-town-loneliness doldrums.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

You can tell from the absence of my return that my exit was genuine

So I finally did it, I moved my ass to Portland. Leaving Santa Barbara was something I've been thinking about for a while, though i knew it would only really be a possibility once I had finished grad school, which happened just over a year ago. Whereas in some sense you could say that my time since graduation has been wasted in SB, I don't think that was the case for me at all, having had a year's time to spend with my friends (living with one of them in once case), getting to know and become friends with my coworkers, etc. The only downside is now that I'm finally up here, my friend Aspen, who has been bugging me to move up here for a few years, is now living in Queens NY. It was a move that had very good reason behind it and I'm looking forward to when he and his partner can one day move back, which I think they plan on doing

In the meantime I think I've managed pretty well to make some friends in my new home, two guys that I first met when visiting Aspen with my friend Dana, both of whom are really great people (and one of which was instrumental in me visiting my first strip club, but I digress). When I say "my home," I mean that in a loose sense, one reason for which is that even though Portland is now my home, it doesn't really feel like it yet, maybe instead more like an extended vacation where I'm working. The other reason I use the phrase loosely is because right now my physical home is a very short term one, on the order of a couple of months: a furnished room with a meager stash of essential clothing and belongings where I'll live while I find a lease that's more long-term. The rest of my earthly crap is back in SB in storage where it will stay until I find a way to get it up here.

The drive up here was long. Long, straight, and for the most part, very boring. I guess that's Interstate 5 for you. Shasta National Forest and some more mountainous parts of Oregon provided some great scenery and mental refreshment. I saw the most awesome and ridiculous billboard promoting creationism along the I5 in rural Oregon, and I regret not having my camera ready, though I do remember the website it pointed to. My Grandmother gave me a sunflower from her garden for the drive, and while I had initially thought of doing something cool like leaving it on the CA/OR border as I passed it, turns out that would have required stopping on the highway immediately after a sharp bank. In the end I decided to leave it on the grass where I eventually parked my car at the official end of the journey.

I didn't make the entire drive from SB to Portland in one day though. I stopped in San Francisco at about 4:30 and spent the rest of the day with friends who live there, whom I had been planning to visit for some time. We all went out to dinner at a great German style pub, ate pub-style food and drank some fantastic bier. I stayed the night at my friend James' house, where he, his partner and I stayed up late looking at old children's books in his library, in my case, this great magic book for kids that I remember owning myself years ago. I need to visit SF again soon and maybe spend a full weekend there in order to spend some more proper time with my friends.

So now I'm here, taking it all in, adjusting to a new way of life, and drinking WAY too much coffee in my make-shift office that consists of a table at a local coffee shop. I've been getting some good work done, which so far has calmed my fears about the lack of an office environment killing my productivity. I can't wait to meet new people and get to know my new friends even more. One of my huge motivations for getting out of SB was that I always felt that it was a very hard town to be young and single in, especially if you're queer. I get the feeling so far that Portland is a completely different scenario in that respect :)

A note on the title...there's this old folk group called The Kingston Trio, and I'm totally ripping them off. They have this thing on one of their live albums where they return for an encore saying, "you can tell from the speed of our return that our exit was fraudulent."