Monday, July 14, 2008

Leaving Portland

Ok, first order of business: whoever left an anonymous comment on my last entry without signing it, I don't know who you are. If you have stuff you want to talk to me about, you should let me know who you are. Or if you prefer to maintain an air of mystery, by all means change nothing.

With that out of the way...

I'm leaving Portland in less than 24-hours. Through craigslist, I found a ride with a man named Gary, who is concerned with environmental issues, has an unidentified accent that sounds sort of French and sort of Middle Eastern (not that I'm an expert my any stretch of the imagination), and told me on the phone that though he wasn't vegan he could imagine himself spiritually converting to veganism. Ooookay. Should be an interesting ride.

I've been here now for just over two weeks. In the post before my last I talked about some of the things I had done up to that point; sadly, I've done almost nothing worth mentioning since. Well, maybe it isn't all that sad, because I tend to enjoy sitting around a living room reading, watching movies, and talking with my friends. But the lull in activity has reinforced the feeling that it's about time to get moving again. Not that I'm getting sick of my very good friends here in Portland, nor of the city itself, but 2 weeks is a pretty good amount of time to spend in a city in which one has no projects, goals, jobs, or activities. I could just keep renting moves and reading books, but I can do that (and I often do) in New York, where I can also work and pay down my credit card debt rather than amassing even more whilst sitting on my ass.

But I haven't done nothing, just less than in my first week. So, here are a few things I've done in the last week:

-Played a lot more pool.

-Spent a few hours tanning with my feet in a public fountain, the likes of which I've never seen. There is a very fountain downtown with several levels and artificial waterfalls, and in which swimming is not only allowed but encouraged. The water in each area is only a couple of feet deep, so there are no lifeguards. Just a sign that advises the citizen to exercise caution. On a day as hot as that one, it is pretty crowded, but there is still plenty of space to sit in the sun with one's friends in naught but sunglasses and boxer-briefs. The real miracle is that no one has yet fallen and been seriously injured or killed. The upper-level pools are separated from the 15-foot drop to the lower ones by a ledge that stands about as high as the water level and is about half a foot wide. No railing, no pathway, nothing. Sitting on the bottom I watched 4-year-old after 4-year-old stand on a slippery ledge, back facing a potentially fatal drop, and jump into the pool. Perhaps Portlanders are more coordinated than the rest of us.

-Sitting in the cafe at Powell's, reading. Powell's, which I've probably mentioned in previous posts, is the largest used-book store I've ever seen. It occupies an entire city block and has 3 or 4 floors. I am somewhat of a bibliophile, and I could wander around the stacks all day thinking about books I'd like to have read, things I'd like to know more about, and how impressive my bookshelf could look. This time, however, after an hour or two of browsing, I made an uncharacteristically financially sound decision and decided to sit in the cafe with my friends reading the book I already owned - Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow - instead of buying several more. My reading queue is already miles long and getting longer. Some day I'll know everything.

-Wikipedia-ing rappers, housing projects, gangs, philosophers, and writers, for a total of 4 or 5 hours in 2 days. It all started with being curious as to the educational background of Lil' Wayne, but once you get started clicking links, you can go for days. Did you know that Lil' Wayne and Tupac were both drama geeks in middle school?

-Driving in Matt's car, running other peoples' errands, for 3 or 4 hours one day. I've always really enjoyed driving, and now that I do it so rarely it's even more fun.

-Celebrating my birthday. We bought Pizza dough from Hot Lips, Temptation Cheese from Food Fight, and Stewart's root beer from New Seasons. Jake made pizza sauce and Sean, drawing upon his previous experience at a pizza shop, spun the dough in the air. Justine topped everyone else by making s'mores cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. Excellent birthday.

1 comment:

tracy said...

Dear Jack's Portland friends: thanks for throwing him an excellent birthday. Love, Tracy