Monday, November 17, 2008

and now for something completely different

the weather and my life here in portland have plateaued. the last leaves fall from the trees, the air is generally cold except for the unseasonable warmth we've enjoyed through the weekend, and i expect the temperature to stay the same for a while until winter fully sets in around us. i found a job answering phone calls to a translation service. it's not glamorous or exciting particularly, but it's a job here in portland, the feat at which i thought i'd never succeed. after working three days now, i understand that while the bus system is warm and pretty convenient and efficient, it's not the quickest way to work. when i leave the house in the morning, i decide whether i have enough energy to ride my bicycle all the way to southwest macadam. by bike, the commute is little over thirty minutes, a little farther than four miles i think. if i decide to ride the train into downtown first and cut my bicycle ride in half, the entire trip takes about forty five minutes. basically, my commute is shorter now than it was when i was driving to work from either the suburbs or downtown birmingham. although, i worry that once the winter weather does brutally set in, it will be too cold to ride my bike all that way, especially considering that right now i am working from six in the morning to two forty-five in the afternoon, so i leave the house a little after five to be at work.

and despite the mean hours, having a job here in portland makes me feel more like i actually live in this city and less like i'm just camping out here or that booth and i ran out of gas here and couldn't drive any farther. josh helps cement that feeling as well. friday night, josh had some of his friends over, and booth and i invited helen, for a game night. we played all the portland usuals; games with mysterious names and instructions like "salad bowl" (which does not reference american multi-culturalism at all) or "the best game ever," which is truly fun, though nothing like you would expect. we also played "apples to apples" which reminded me of the long hours spent working in the coffeeshop at birmingham-southern, where the students would come and play board games for hours, screaming at the top of their lungs while i tried to study or read or watch a movie. alas, we were also probably a little loud as there was plenty of wine to be had, but we didn't have a midterm exam in a week for which to study.

josh and i slept in the next morning through the rally against california's proposition 8, which i really did want to attend. i think it would be exciting to see how excited oregonians can get about certain issues. i haven't seen any coverage on the event yet, but hopefully it was spectacular here in portland. josh and i did however manager to convince booth to sit around with us and watch the first season of twin peaks for hours and hours. it was suddenly dark and we made ourselves stop and be sensible. and after that, what? a quest for pie. i was hoping for pumpkin. the cold wind was against my desires and josh and i decided not to brave the walk to the market. we did waddle over to the blue diamond (the bar behind the house) to inquire into the possibility of pie. our kindly bartender informed us sadly she had none, but she did make a key lime pie drink for josh, which i tasted and which had the affect of only making me crave pie more. in lieu of pie then, we stocked up on junk food, and curled up with the television, something i haven't done in what seems like a while.

sunday, more of the same, more twin peaks, more television. we lied on the couch and relaxed. i hadn't done that in portland yet. just had a lazy weekend. no clubs. no parties. no socializing. and that's when i felt comfortable here: when i was doing absolutely nothing. it was just me and josh curled up on the most ordinary weekend. that's what it was: ordinary.

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