November Rain

2 Dec

Mimi at OMSI After Dark

Escape Domo! Great Costume at OMSI After Dark

We had a fantastic warm beginning to autumn here in Portland. August contained the rare couple of weeks where it’s actually too hot, but afterwards it settled into the kind of perfect autumn weather I remember in Kansas City-warm and comforting but with a certain briskness in the air. It carried me off into waves of nostalgia- Occupy protests last fall, my first few months in Portland, wistful nights in AmeriCorps, shuffling between classes at KU. Through September and into October, I was able to hold up my social schedule as well, hanging on to each moment of sunlight. But… the rain started on a Friday in mid-October, and it hasn’t let up since. This is Portland, after-all; there’s got to be a price for living in such a great town.

After the glorious summer, the last couple of months have been up and down. For one, the election was both exciting and nerve-wracking. My first two jobs post-college were stimulus-funded, so you can probably deduce my leanings and satisfaction with the outcome. Right after the excitement of that, though, some bad food poisoning  was a huge wake-up call. My formerly cavalier attitude towards expiration dates and some cooking habits are now long gone. It’s good for me to become more health-conscious, but it’s also a struggle sometimes to make sure the internet doesn’t drown me in hypochondria. I’ve made  that mistake before. WebMD and the average commenter on Yahoo! Answers is convinced I should be dead 20 times over. Regardless, I’ve glad this experience has given me a kick to the trinkets and motivation to right the ship. I’m still young, and my body can take a lot. I’ve improved a lot over the past year in this department. You’ll see me downing green tea and a apple each day, but I’m realizing more and more what I’ve taken for granted.

Eric visits Portland

Eric visits Portland

There have been some visitors recently! First we had my old friend and former roommate Eric visit town in early October. During the final week of great weather, I had a great time showing him around classic Portland spots like the Rose Garden, Japanese Garden and one of the famous poetry slams at Backspace Cafe downtown. While I  couldn’t take much time off work, I still gave him a taste for our local cuisine. We hiked up to Seattle for his final weekend. It’s a fascinating place, reminding me of Portland but with a stronger big-city feel to it. My two favorite highlights of the trip were probably eating fresh salmon by the waterfront and a science fiction museum that included, among other things, a Dalek used in Dr. Who, Captain Sheridan’s uniform from Babylon 5 and the captain’s chair from the original Star Trek. Sometimes you forget how nerdy you are until this sort of thing gets you giddy with excitement.

Family visit over Thanksgiving

Family visit over Thanksgiving

The second group of visitors was my family! They stayed at my place for Thanksgiving, and for the second year in a row we forewent a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for a meal at Andina Peruvian Cuisine. It was superb to say the least. Our other plans were more of a mixed success as we had to deal with illness- first my brother and then me coming down with colds. Despite this, though, we managed to fit in trips to Powell’s, buying an Ipad for Mom, McMenamin’s beer and perhaps the best James Bond movie I’ve  ever seen, Skyfall. The family had some critiques of my apartment, so the good news is that my place is looking a few levels cleaner and polished than before. Always good to see the family! I’m really looking forward to heading back to Kansas City for Christmas.

I wouldn’t mind some sun while I was there! I love Portland and see myself here for a little while yet, but wintertime always has me dreaming about moving to a warmer climate someday. My social schedule has taken a hit but still pushes on. I’ve been to a handful of roller and ice skating Meetups. Can’t say my skill will win much praise, but the company was good. A couple other highlights were an excellent Dracula musical, OMSI After Dark on Halloween (where the costumes were jaw-dropping) and most recently the Yahoo! Chirstmas Party. I’m notoriously reclusive about parties- considering my distaste for alcohol- but it was an impressive set-up and a handful of quality Domo picture. As you can see, I’m still pushing through and getting out there, but I’d be lying if I said the winter grey wasn’t slowing me down. The last few winters have kicked me around with employment woes, break-ups and nagging health issues. Between grey skies, colds and food poisoning, this winter is off to an inauspicious start, but I’m still hoping for a better draw. Regardless of where December takes me, it’s been a fantastic year, and I’m looking forward to reflecting on it in my next update.

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