In which I recap my madcap, whirlwind, SUPERfun trip to the cit-ay!
By 8:30 Friday morning I was in Sheila‘s van, heading west. Her awesome daughters let me ride shotgun, which was supercool of them. The ride was lovely – watching the land change from desert to rain forest is beautiful every single time I see it – and the company was lovely.
I can’t tell you exactly how long, but it’s been a loooooooong time since I last saw Dave. We were in the MHCC jazz program together in the late 80′s. We had beers, and his neighbor (who also happens to be his bass player) set up an ad hoc wireless network for me so I could get online.
Adie came and picked me up after she got off work, and we went to her house, where I was attacked by terriers!. (Hah!) I put my bag in the guest room, changed my clothes, and after a bit we wandered over to Alberta for dinner at The Hilt. (Falafel! Hummus! Mojitos!)
My friend Leila dropped in and had a little nosh with us. It was a wonderful visit. After she took off we walked home, watched some TV, and were in bed by 10:30.
Saturday, I had two goals: catch Miriam’s Well at Saturday market, and see Cory Doctorow at Powell’s Books in Beaverton. Adie decided to join me because she’s awesome, and added two more items to the list: the farmer’s market at PSU, and a quick trip to the main Powell’s to drop off some stuff for work.
We rode the holy hell out of that lightrail!
Adie drove us to Lloyd’s Center, where we parked and caught the train. Downtown, we walked to Powell’s (aka THE GREATEST BOOK STORE IN THE WORLD) and back, then caught another line to PSU for the farmer’s market where I had THE BEST TAMALE EVER:
It was, get this, artichoke and cojita, with two salsas and crema on it, and chips on the side. OMFG. Foodgasm.
We caught the train back to Skidmore and checked out the Saturday market for awhile. I was late; only got to see the last twelve bars of Mir’s set. But at least I was there! Here’s the proof:
I hugged some of the band and then Adie and I went and fortified ourselves with iced coffees.
The last time I lived in Portland, there was one train line from downtown to Gresham. Now there are four or five lines, and you can take the lightrail to awesome places like Beaverton and the airport. The red line to Beaverton actually goes underground for awhile: it’s just like being in a real city!
When we got to the Beaverton TC, I pulled out my trusty directions and we started walking. Unfortunately, we had no idea which way was north so we walked a few extra blocks. It was hot and breezy and neither of us were really wearing good walking shoes, but Adie is totally laid back and after backtracking a little we eventually made it to Powell’s.
We were late again, but got to hear the Q&A section. (Here’s the audio from that session, if you’re interested.) I bought a copy of For The Win and had it signed. (I’d considered stripping the skin off of my Kindle and having Cory sign that for giggles, but I chickened out. He’s pretty anti-Kindle because of Amazon’s crackwhore DRM, and I didn’t know if it would get a laugh or a scowl.)
We walked back to the transit center and made it all the way back to the car intact. I’d left my Kindle at Adie’s place, so I read my new treeware:
After a full day of walking and being hot, it was a relief to get back to Adie’s house… and the terriers!
After a brief rest and a change of clothes, Adie drove me to Leila’s. I had a fantastic, lovely dinner with Leila and her kids (both of whom are taller than I am), and then Leila drove me to Mock Crest tavern so I could see Dave’s band play and meet up with my best friend from high school, Maija.
I can’t tell you why I didn’t get pictures of any of my friends for you. I’m so used to documenting crowds and inanimate objects it just doesn’t occur to me to shoot ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS.
It was beyond wonderful to sit and talk with Maija after all these years. I’d forgotten what an amazing creature she is… she’s got a few things from our teen years she’s going to scan and send to me: you’ll probably be able to hear me when I squee.
Maija drove me back to Adie’s at about one in the morning. I crashed with my boyfriend, Kafka:
Adie drove me back to Trader Joe’s on Sunday morning, where, after grabbing a sandwich from Panera, I met up with Sheila and the gang for the drive home.
My first observation is that I feel inordinate gratitude when people drive me places. I don’t know why this is (because I’m perfectly happy to drive my friends around) but I’m always on the verge of insisting they let me take the train or call a cab. Yes, I’m weird. My second observation is that I KNOW SOME REALLY FUCKING AMAZINGLY COOL PEOPLE. My third is that I got not one, but two offers to help me move to Portland; sincere offers like, “It’s not that far. I have a hatchback. I could come get you and your stuff.”
If I can’t get the state to put me in school for a year or two, I’m probably going to have to move to Portland to get a job.
I was invited to the beach by Leila, to Vancouver by Maija, and back to Portland anytime I want by Adie. Also: I invited everyone I saw to come visit me in Walla Walla; maybe someone actually will.
Conclusion: I had
so much ALL the fun in Portland. OMG! WTF! BBQ!