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