Happy Belated Thanksgiving, You Guys

Above: a peaceful moment from Thanksgiving at my brother and sister in-laws' place in Oregon City.

Whew but dang...that was quite a week of holiday visitations and merry-making. One thing we didn't realize on moving back to Oregon is that living close to most of both sides of our respective families, while great, also means that holiday visits happen at double the quantity they used to. In this case, it was tricky coordinating everything less than a week after we'd moved into the new pad. That said, it all worked out and we had fun and ate a lot of stuffing, so go team.

We haven't seen our friends very much for a little bit, though, so we plan to change this in a big way soon. Perhaps when the Vonage thing shows up we will start calling people...on the LAND LINE!

Stay tuned for more breaking news of earth-shattering consequence.


Further Observations

  1. It's quite tough to find the time to do stupid things like register your car and take the written test when you have a "job"!
  2. That said, here's to the personable fellow at the emissions testing joint today. That whole process was painless. One (more) thing I love about Portland is the fact that average joes like him are often witty and urbane (this is to say, wittier and urbane...er than their analogs in California.)
  3. I wrote a successful program the other day in C-sharp. Then I had to do more complicated stuff and I turned into one of the monkeys from the start of 2001, jumping up and down and throwing rocks at an obelisk.
  4. I have a special "programmer's cramp"! When I can't figure something out, my left shoulder bunches into a painful, burning knot. Fun!
  5. DARN but it has been cold in Portland over the last few days! Today we braved it anyway and went to the store with Plan C in her stroller. She was all bundled up and looked adorable, as ever.
  6. Waitin' for the thing to arrive from Vonage in the mail. When it does, we will have a LAND LINE again. We are old school like Vision Street Wear and gettin' film developed!
  7. My homie Ransom is helping us fix our car, because he is a fine human being and a good friend.
  8. Today I wrote a lecture about the late bronze age. I bet you didn't know I knew a lot about that! Neither did I.


Observations For Your Day

  1. Learning to program is hard, not easy.
  2. Say what you will about Comcast, their repair/support guys are totally nice and helpful.
  3. B and I have abused our recycling privileges at the new place - we had a lot of boxes, and we yet have more to go. DEAL WITH IT.
  4. Dominos pizza really is quite good now; I'm not sure if it actually changed, but the whole crew was super into it the other day.
  5. You know what I still love to do? Play Dungeons and Dragons.
  6. You know how many lectures I've had time to write for next term so far? None.
  7. Pesto is loving the new place. She has a big carpeted room to run around in and things to hide behind. Total bunny heaven.
  8. So...tired...


Swedish Modern

Yesterday evening, B and I, aided by our invaluable friend, the inimitable K, hit up Ikea. We dropped what the Italians refer to as un sacco di soldi on new furniture: a loveseat, a new bookshelf, a desk setup for me, some other crap.

You see, tomorrow we move again, this time back to our beloved Southeast Portland, some thirty blocks to the east of B's and my first apartment from seven years ago. It's a few blocks from Laurelhurst park, next to all kinds of neat stores, and at the foot of Mt. Tabor, Portland's scenic walking bump (i.e. it's a big bump you can walk on/up.) The apartment itself looks different depending on your background and point of view:
  1. If you are used to nice things, it looks like a slightly worn-out, funky two-bedroom apartment in a red brick building in need of a little sprucing up.
  2. If you are used to living in Santa Cruz, California, it looks like the Taj F'ing Mahal, dude. It's huge. It costs precisely 50% of the equivalent in Santa Cruz. It has storage. It has enough counter space in the kitchen. And, OMFG, it has a dishwasher. I am ALL A-TITTER about this place.
Tomorrow, the gang shows up around 11am, just as I return to the house with the Uhaul. I figure it won't take too long to load up our stuff (which is mostly still in boxes) and drag it on over. Then I call in the pizza, return the truck, and celebrate the arrival of quality living.


So, Do You Have Five Minutes?

Because...the thing is, the following is probably the funniest thing I've read in six months or so. Maybe longer. Ahem:

The Different Kinds of People That There Are.

It's from Portland's local alterna-rag, The Mercury, which I have always loved.

If you choose to read the article, stick with it. It gets funnier as it goes on, until you are left all happy and hurty by the end.


It's a Happy Panic

I always knew that things were screwed up in my life in Santa Cruz because of how I felt during the default moments; when I wasn't directly engaged with something interesting (academic, computer-related, friends, whatever), I was pissed. My life was a constant series of distracting activities meant to keep me from remembering where I was.

Things in P-town are better in precisely this capacity - I'm still a seething little ball of anxiety, but I'm happy during the default moments. Right now, for instance, I have a lot on my plate:
  1. Prepare two classes for next term, most of which will involve new lectures from scratch.
  2. While I'm doing that, continue to work semi-full time on the most complicated IT stuff I've ever dealt with while trying to teach myself SQL, Javascript, and C-sharp (p.s., no, I have never coded before, besides bonehead HTML and CSS stuff.)
  3. We're moving into our new place in a week. This part isn't actually a source of stress, it's a source of rad. But it still involves effort, just in terms of finding the time to set things up. Also: there is need for Ikea.
  4. I should add that my car broke last week; 350 dollars later, we have a whole new spark plug setup. The (cool, kind of rockabilly) greaseballs who did the work also identified problems with the gasket head and serpentine belt, which would be another 200+ bucks to fix.*
The difference is, though, every time I look up, I'm in Portland. This really keeps things in a happy place.

* Can you believe there's a part of a car called a "serpentine belt"?! I thought Axl Rose made that F'ing word up for 'Welcome to the Jungle'!



To celebrate my current state of semi-employment, and because the rest of my shoes are a. trashed and b. made out of canvas, I got a new pair of Adidas. They're made out of leather and they have the rubber clam-shell toes, which I have on good authority make them highly resistant to the wet.

I don't know what you think, but I think they're rad. The best part is, when I wear something like this, you're never quite sure if I'm going to start break dancing.