Saturday, February 14, 2009

little christopher goes to lightbar

booth and i headed up further into northeast portland last night to check out lightbar, a weird portland phenomenon my coworker shannon introduced me to. some guy sets up this huge white tent in his backyard during the month of february and hosts strange happenings and parties on the weekend.

we missed the risque readings and film featured last night. however we did witness a sort of party, some people dancing, others standing around talking, some dressed in costume. there were cayote heads, and bear hoods, and a unicorn disguise.

this very upbeat guy named mark (i still have no idea how that name stuck in my head when i can never remember the name of anyone else) introduced himself to us. his wife is completing her phd in some bio-science; he is an out of work contractor. they're living on the savings accumulated during better economic times. he plays a lot of scrabble apparently.

after a while, the lightbar closed and everyone was encouraged to take a midnight mystery bike ride around the city. a huge mass of people would follow one person on a random path. oh, lightbar. you're so weird. another weekend perhaps?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

let's play a game!

booth bought doughnuts from voodoo this morning. i bought coffee from stumptown. watch out world. i ate a super sweet pink doughnut with a piece of bubble gum frosted in its center.

it's so sunny here today. sunny and pretty warm. portland changes when it's sunny like this; it suddenly so beautiful. one could almost believe that's this is the most european city in the united states, like that blogger for the times wrote.

let's play a game! antonio and i used to do this every month or so while we were at asfa together. we'd empty our bags (we usually carried at least two book bags every where we went) and scan everything we were toting around. then we'd post the pictures on our blog. i'm not carrying a lot these days, so as not to weigh myself down as i pedal about the city. let's see what i have:

an "i love trader joe's" sticker the cashier gave me while shopping last weekend.

the birthday card my office gave me thursday.

everyone signed it. wasn't that sweet? it made me tear up a little.

the coffee i bought this morning at stumptown upon the recommendation of the guy working there. it promises pear and dark cacao chocolate topped off with a little peach for a very crisp, clean flavor. what do you know? i walked away from the annex with a cup and thought it fantastic as i sat outside next to the cafe, reading the times in the sun.

my nalgene bottle i take everywhere with me. i bought this one at powell's because matthew barney was listed on the side.

my sister gave me this yoshitomo nara journal last year for christmas. it makes me happy everyday when i write in it.

i'm almost finished with the new sedaris book. i'm working through the longer "smoking section" right now. i thought it thoroughly entertaining. usually i find myself carting around several books, but i'm at a loss as to what i should be reading right now.

this is a treasure i take everywhere. it's a tiny, foldable bike map of portland. while it doesn't list all the streets and does not point out bus or train routes, it's generally one of the most useful and least obtrusive things i take everywhere with me.

even in weather in which i may not need gloves while walking, i take these everywhere while i'm riding my bike else i usually show up to work with hands red and stiff from the cold.

since the weather was nearing something one might call balmy midwinter, i opened the windows and decided to mop the floors. i have to open the windows because the apartment owners only allow us to use a mixture of vinegar and water to mop the floors. they are apparently very proud of the wood floors and everything else causes buildup on the finish? i don't really understand. so now our floors are slightly wet and the entire apartment smells of vinegar. delightful! the mop i bought at the dollar store last weekend lasted about ten seconds then broke. i had to tie the spongy part to the handle with a piece of string. it's not going to last through another cleaning session. at least i purchased it for only a dollar, though now i'm wondering if it's recyclable or it i will just have to toss it in the dumpster.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

i love being boring

i think i've been drinking way too much coffee every morning. that, or my eyes have already become adjusted to the low light of portland's usually cloudy skies and these strange, intensely sunny days we've been having here lately have been causing a my head to hurt. i just feel so tired every morning when i get to work; it feels like the cool night temperature has frozen my brain into a sludge and i can't think. so i drink a ton of coffee and by the time i feel awake around noon or so, my head begins really aching. when i ride my bike home in the afternoon, my headache lets up a little and i enjoy the sunlight and the weather. yesterday it was sixty degrees here in portland. i went for a jog. opened all the windows in the house. drank beer in the sunlight and fell asleep on the couch. went i woke up, my headache had returned. i really can't nap; i always wake up feeling mean and groggy and in pain.

but despite my headache after falling asleep yesterday afternoon, i did manage to scrap myself out of bed last night, throw on my coat, and bike down to helen and garrett's to meet booth. helen made us some indian food for dinner, and i stopped by whole foods on my ride down to pick up some wine. the food was delicious. i thought it was prepared perfectly and i really don't understand how helen knows how to cook so well. i generally get too distracted to cook well. and i have no sense of what would taste good with what when i'm cooking. i need to stick to recipes. however, i really wish i could make the meal helen made for us last night; i'd probably eat it every week if i could. indian food is some of my favorite.

and helen and garrett are some of my favorite people. this is the second time the four of us have met up for some dinner. i like sitting around on a weekday night and chilling with others, drinking wine and talking. it's good to see another face other than booth's, whose face i obviously see everyday more or less. and on these week day dates, there's no pressure, no heavy drinking. i can have a few glasses of wine, hang out with helen, garrett, and booth, then go to bed. it's hard enough to wake up so early as it is; i really can't afford to go out and get crazy during the week.

the other people i really love are actually the interpreters i talk to on the phone everyday. as i connect calls to these men and women sitting all over the country ready to talk to spanish and french and punjabi and somali and oromo speakers, i come to have favorite interpreters and get to know their personalities a little. like we have two interpreters named guadalupe, but i know which prefers to be called "lupe" on the phone, although now the other refers to herself lupe too when she calls to tell me something. and today teresa called to tell me her son had to go to the emergency room last night because he was in a carwreck; fortunately the child only has whiplash, but the car is totaled apparently. some interpreters tell me about the weather in the part of the country in which they live. one new interpreter lives in birmingham, alabama and i always want to say, "i just moved from birmingham!" every time i talk to her. and one woman screams at me every time i call her. it's strange how these people i talk so sparingly to have distinct personalities for me and how much it seems sometimes like i really know them.