The Red Shirt Diaries #21

The Big One edition.

I just got back from a quick escape to the coast with The Fox.  This is an important point, only because we specifically discussed potential caffeination strategies simply because of the beach house’s remote location.

Coffee wasn’t going to come handily.  Either you have to make the dreaded drip at the house, prepare to trek into town for whatever offerings you find or take some with.  

It’s a worthwhile trade off for this view, though.

The Fox is a Stok fanatic, which is a pre-made cold brew that you can buy in the store.  So, he was taking a bottle of that to get him through and offered to take a second for me.  I told him that I would likely just grab some Monsters to get me by.  I used to have a daily habit, but weaned myself off when I moved back to Portland and found worthy cold brew that was accessible on the daily.

Still, I spent the next several days listening to facts about how bad Monsters are and how they were named as one of the 10 worst things you can buy at the grocery.

Our route home from the coast was atypical for The Fox.  Normally, he will stop off in the hinterlands of Portland at the Costcos and Wincos to stock up for Armageddon. However, this time we stopped by the Fox Family Homestead to pick up Sallory – who is off on another family world tour and in need of a lift into the city and the airport.

No better reason to change the usual routine than that!

So, the usual Costco stock up and Winco Stok up run was put off a day.  I was asked if I needed anything and really could only think of hamburger.  Later, as we all played a pick up game of Where I Hurt – it’s a mental poker game I play when a group of us complain about our respective maladies – and my losing hand consisted solely of nightly calf cramps, I added magnesium.

The Fox rolls up to my front door with the ground beef and magnesium later as well as some back up lasagnes and a flat of Monsters.

Enabler.

I can find a place in my pantry for those!

However, it did prompt this question about our usual coffee date this morning:

My Earthquake Kit.

Of course, the big one is nigh.  There’s scarcely a month that passes without at least one of the weekly rags publishing some sort of article about life after certain death.  Most recently, it was a Dr Know entry about whether houseboats were the next big housing craze in Portland – after RVs and ADUs – particularly as a potential way to survive and ride out the aftermath of The Big One.  The response, I will leave to your sleuthing.

Because

This morning’s quandary for the Red Shirt was, “Would I want to survive?”

Even with the Monsters The Fox provided and the cash stash my parents taught me to have, I imagine Portland will quickly de-volve into some sort of post-apocalyptic knock-off version of itself.

Zoo Bombers will run the looter gangs.

Vegans will become cannibals before the first aftershock.

Yard chickens will become prophets – because it is still Portland.

And, somehow, I think all the little things about humanity that bother me will survive…even becoming amplified.

My inner optimist wants to believe that survivors will band together to create a better tomorrow.  Focused on making a community out of the ruins of our hipster culture.  But realistically, I think sacrificing myself by running into my crumbling building to rescue my neighbor’s (completely fictional, but give it time) balcony chicken will be the better move.

“All hail the prophet Cluckerella!” will be my last words as I fling my neighbor’s (again, completely fictional) balcony chicken off the balcony to freedom from our collectively crumbling roost.

The Red Shirt Diaries #21

Dating Into Oblivion, ep 4

I was reminded yesterday that sometimes dating is good.

We have all heard – and probably lived- the nightmare stories of dates that go awry.  The types where you walk away from the shituation thinking, “At least I’m not that person” or even, “I’m too good for them”.

This is not one of those stories.

This is one of those dating stories that reinforces ones worth.

I know, right?  Not the blog you thought you’d find words with that kind of pep, eh?

First, an admission: DIO episode 3 is conspicuously MIA.  It happened.  Also, it happened in the usual way, a one hit wonder that ended up more along the lines of Mating Into Oblivion, so I wasn’t in any big hurry to blog another notch into my bedpost.

Look at me, all humble.

Second, episode 4 is largely the same except I walked away from the encounter appreciative instead of further embittered.

Disclaimer:  That was not an admission of my specific bitterness, I still maintain that my grumpiness is just a reasonable response to the realness of our world and that I’m secretly happy…just judicious about where I expend my happy capital.

So…Felipe.

Aaah, Felipe.

We first met a few years ago – maybe just two – when I was looking at a potential business to buy down by Portland State University.  I was wandering around the South Park Blocks, contemplating.  

We literally bumped into one another.

One thing led to another and, well…that was the first time I’d had sex in student housing in a while.  I might have been MIA myself for most of the rest of the afternoon.   I felt a little like Shirley Valentine without ever having left my own town.

Naturally, nothing happened. Me, being my charming self, said “We’re never going to see each other again after today, are we?” as we lay they chatting away the golden hours.

Not showers, Diezel.

It was a good chuckle and reminded us to make the most of our fleeting opportunity.

Of course, this being my life, my snarkiness ended up just being foreshadowing in disguise.

Flash forward to the following summer.  I spot an attractive young man while walking home through my Park Blocks – the North end version – from work.  He’s wandering without purpose, distractedly sipping one of those fancy iced teas from his reusable Starbucks cup.

I’m appreciating the guy candy and simultaneously judging his coffee shop choices.  He turns and catches me and we both recognize each other.

“Well, that was awkward”, he smiles.

“Aren’t you in the wrong Park Blocks, little boy?”, I tease in return.

“We don’t like to be called ‘boy’”, he says.

“Ouch!”

“But I wouldn’t mind being your sex slave again”, he says, locking his arm in mine.

“You never got to see my apartment, did you?  How rude of me.”

We go upstairs and I put his Starbucks cup in the fridge and open a bottle of wine.  We drink a little, shower and productively waste the rest of the day.  

This isn’t a bad ritual.

The next morning, as I’m putting off showering as long as possible, I find his Starbucks cup in my fridge, rinse it out and put it away in case he ever uses my phone number.

He hadn’t given me his.

Yesterday, he did.

Getting out of the elevator, he moved to go into my old unit.

“A few things have changed, I told him”, guiding him toward my new unit.

“Anything else change that I should know about?”

“Only the obvious”, I say, patting my belly.

“More to hold onto”, he laughs.

As we’re heading into my new bedroom, he fingers the bracelet on the doorknob that the star of DIO episode 3 left behind and comments that it doesn’t seem to be my style.

“I can’t just wait around for you to text”, I tell him.  “It’s called a leave behind, and it used to be a thing”, I tell him as I shut the door.

Later, as we’re dressing – no time to waste today, I have dinner plans – he tells me that he’s kind of surprised that I managed to show him something new again.

“Experience has to happen with age, this isn’t The Matrix”, I joke.

I’m just watching him dress and can’t help but express my awe at how well he’s maintained his physique as a student.

He shows some obvious pride and brushes it off with a quick, “I really don’t even exercise, this is just from swimming.”

Our eyes lock in a dare-stare as he awaits my comment.  Channeling my inner Lucille Bluth, I withhold.

“Well, it works.”

He tells me that I really shouldn’t be self conscious and I assure him that I’m still grieving over my retirement from running.

“It’s just been one injury after another since I turned…46?  No, it was the year before.”

“You are not that old!”

“It was 46”, I decide, “And that was several years ago.  My doctor told me ‘No more running for you.  Do something else, like swimming!’”, I tell him.

“Except I never learned how”, I admit.

He laughs and then goes there.

“I thought all you people knew how to swim!”, he laughs at me.

“Oh, did you want to take your Starbucks cup from last time with you?”

“Ouch.”

I grab the cup as he retrieves his jacket and he gives me a little kiss goodbye, “I cannot believe how old you are.  I oughta card you to make sure you aren’t telling me lies!”

As I’m heading to the shower, I smile and think, “Same time next year, Felipe.”

And I can’t help but feel improved by my casual familiarity with this young man.  His playful yet naive judgments remind me that sometimes what we perceive as our own faults aren’t even visible to others…and sometimes those judgments are just acceptance wrapped up in their own disguise.

Dating Into Oblivion, ep 4

TIL 8: Dad Crying

Did you know there’s such a thing as Dad Crying?

No?

Me, either!

And I’m not even a parent.

It’s so humiliating.

Definitely not cool.

Or grumpy.

But it’s a thing, and I think I fucking have it.

This isn’t what I planned on writing about today.  You’re just going to have to wait to hear Myrtle’s latest attempts on my life.

Soon, though.

Because right now, I gotta get this out of me.  I think it’s been a thing I was aware of for quite some time, dating back to Rib’s accomplishments in Culinary School.  It was a slow trickle then, these feelings.

But it’s getting worse.

Mostly, this phenomenon occurs in darkened theaters, thank gawd.  The last three movies I’ve seen have opened the tap.

Speaking of taps, no…I wasn’t drinking during these shows.  Well, soda.

It started with Love, Simon.  This gay teen coming of age slash love story made a reasonable case for my tearing up.  

I wrote about it, and that link above will take you there.  But one of the comments I got on that entry made me think – which I like.

The point made was that Love, Simon Glee-coated thisbperson’s coming out story and wasn’t representative of the traumatic experience coming out can be for many gays…check that, many LBGQTI peeps.

It’s a valid point.

Totally.

But I think why I liked it was exactly that.  Sure, he struggled with coming out to himself and then his friends and family…and then it wasn’t that bad.  He’d – or the writers – had built his fears up to something larger than they were and the process was resolved in tidy fashion.

I know the feeling.  Luckily.

But I know that’s not always the case.

Given the political climate in America, even the world, where equal rights for LBGTQI people aren’t the default, the stories of bravery and struggle need to be told.

At the same time, I think part of what got me emotional about this flick – besides that I’m a total sucker for a good chick flick…key word, good – was that it was Glee/washable.

Acceptance isn’t the default, not by a long shot, but the work of previous generations has gotten us to the point that at least this type of movie can be made without being relegated to the LOGO network or an art house only release.

But then Ready Player One got ahold of those same heart strings and played me.  It had to be a fluke of nostalgia, right?

Testing that theory, I went and saw it again when I couldn’t get it off my mind.

Nope.

Played those same strings.

Harder.

Fighting those same urges to go see it again, I went today to a matinee of Blockers.

John Cena was brilliantly funny in his role as a stay at home Dad with hair trigger water works…and I left the theater with a name for my affliction: Dad Crying.

I also left the theater with a salty residue on my cheeks that wasn’t  from the popcorn I shame ate.  Don’t make that dirty, Diezel.

Thank gawd I was in the theater alone!

I have prepared for and accepted two truths about the back 9 of my life:

First, I’m going alone; and,

Second, I’m going to get grumpier as I go along.

EOG paradigm: shattered.

And this after being reminded that my “only” nephew graduates from high school this June.  I hope that takes place in a dark room, too.  Just in case, I better go sunglass shopping.

TIL 8: Dad Crying

Hipster Cure

I imagine my response to seeing a hipster is similar to what my grandfather’s would have been to seeing a beatnik.

I’ll own that early onset grumpiness behavior.

Although, I admit to an occasional attraction.  Defensively, I’ll chalk that up to wanting to get them out of those seemingly uncomfortable clothes.  Gotta save face…

I can’t help thinking of the internal groans from my family if I show up to a family dinner or vacation with a hipster boyfriend in tow.  They’ve found an appreciation for/with each of my past relationships but I’m pretty sure a hipster would be where they draw the line.

Maybe I’m projecting, though.

I do spend a lot of time thinking about what drives a hipster mentality, though.

Mostly so that I can convince them to give it up.  They are the fashion equivalent of vegans to me.

Then an idea occurred to me while watching Wild Wild Country, a Duplass Bros documentary about the Bhagwan Shree Rashneesh and his compound in Antelope, Oregon.

Appeal to the hipster counter-sense of uniqueness.  Ruin one or two of their favorite affectations by showing them this guy:

The beanie, the crazy beard…the original hipster!  Forget the socks/sandals combo.  This is Oregon.

I think we’d see men with newly clean shaven faces and trim haircuts dropping off garbage bags of headwear at the closest Goodwill Donation Center.

Might work.  And I’m not kidding about the bags of headwear.  My favorite barista and I were talking about his reservoir-tipped knit caps the other day and he confessed to having seven or eight of that particular style just for work.

“In different colors, though”, he assured me.

Speaking of baristas…hipster job numero uno.  I consider this to be their leveling device: coffee.  I think they all sit around at their favorite Service Industry Night watering hole, drinking their PBRs and Montucky tall boys for $2 while they think of intimidating new coffee drinks or latte art designs to keep us cowed while we order.

And I really wouldn’t change that staple that our diverse cultures come together over.

But

What would happen in Portland if “hipster beer” was banned?  

$9 Schlitz at Timbers games, is du rigeuer.  Outside sporting events, $3 PBRs are common place.  Montucky is literally brewed – according to a rep friend of mine – in the same Montana brewery as PBR and then slapped into the fancy cans pictured above.

The same beer but with a better marketing campaign,

Could. It. Be?

How can this be tolerated in the land of craft beer, I ask?! 

Ban that swill, I say.  A six pack of tall boys for under $5?  It defies common sense.

Well, good taste, at any rate.

Oregon’s economy would boom as the local beer industry grew even more, creating jobs for hipsters that need an income to afford better, more expensive beer…and another hipster affectation crumbles: misery.

Unemployment would go down even further as our disaffected hipsters head to their $30k/year jobs pulling coffee shots.

Back to fashion real quick:  skinny jeans.  

Tights are not pants.  Not even if they are made of denim.

But, His Grumpiness Xtopher the Worst has inadvertently taken care of that.

Now that I’ve got hipsters drinking heavy craft beer, waistlines will expand and we won’t have anymore of those 26″ waisted  men smuggling bbs down the street in their too tight pants.  I’ve not checked this, but I really don’t think skinny jeans come in sizes bigger than a 30″ waist.

I think that would do it, honestly.

Redirecting their waistlines and debunking their fashion icons fixes the clothing and facial hair.

Forcing them to work $15/hr jobs to afford better beer fixes the misery one must surely experience ingesting PBR and accomplishing something – on befall of your fellow man, no less – provides a sense of accomplishment and pride.  All of which improves the slacker hipster disposition.  Not to mention, their balls aren’t being redirected into their abdominal cavities anymore…

I think I can declare a thought exercise victory here.

Of course, there would be those staunchly devout hipster holdouts that didn’t cave.  But Portland’s housing prices have my back there for an assist.  There’d be a white flight of those hipster holdouts from the big city.  

Don’t give me any racial crap about using white flight…honestly, who’s ever seen a black hipster?

Anyway, BoltBus could set up a new line from Portland, heading anywhere east…might I suggest Antelope?

Hipster Cure

Hey Look, I Got A Liebster Award!

liebster-award-title-photo1

So, this happened.

I was busy being slowly crushed by the daily onslaught of bullcrap at work over the last few weeks and not even Living Gay Brisbane could snap me out of my funk with his nomination for the Liebster Award.

I really appreciate the timing and am sorry that it took me so long to get around to doing my part and publishing my post and passing on the torch.  His is one of my favorite blogs and he has recently taken it off WordPress to his own platform called Millennial Gay, check it out.

Ok, here are the questions that were put to me:

1) Why did you start your blog? and where do you see it in the future?

I started this blog because of a Facebook dare, basically.  A couple of my friends suggested that I should write a book.  Flattering, and I’m not going to lie…I’m fairly susceptible to that.  If I want to be.

Anyway, a book seemed like a tall order, one that was fairly far off.  I started this blog to help me find my writer’s voice.  Three years have passed, and I think I’ve settled into a comfortable style, but I’m still not sure my stream of consciousness tendencies lend themselves to a novel.

As I begin year four, I think I’m looking forward to at least two more years here.  My goals for this year are to reformat my blog and to actually participate in NaNoWriMo in November and then next year, perhaps look into ways to introduce ads to my blog.

2) What advice would you give to your younger self?

Be more patient and don’t sell yourself short.  

I was impatient to get my adult life launched as a means of escape from school life traumas.  When I was offered advancement in my retail job, I took that instead of pursuing my original interest in a law career.

3) Who in your circle did you first show your blog to?

I tethered my blog to my Facebook page, so when I publish something, everyone can see it.  It was Facebook’s fault this happened, anyway, so they had it coming.

The first person I presented it to was The Silver Fox.  He’s a Facebook Curmudgeon and refuses to participate, so I had to go out of my way to show my best friend what I was up to.

4) Love, Sex or Money? Which one would you choose?

Love.

The question didn’t ask for an elaboration, but that’s not my style.

I’ve had money, sex and love all at some point in my life.  Sometimes, I even thought I had it all.  

Well, here I am.  And I’d be crazy to answer love and not acknowledge how damned lucky I am to have the people in my life that call me friend.  They are my chosen family and – just like my biological family – I love them dearly.

That said, I still wonder if there’s an enduring mate for me out there somewhere.  I have money and sex both when I need them.  Love is a little trickier.  I have the love required to maintain my happiness and well-being, generously supplied by my friends and family.

For me, that enduring love that has eluded me thus far in life would enhance that baseline happiness and tie it all together into one tidy partner.  Er, package.

But, what the hell do I know?

5) What is your idea of the Perfect first date?

I like event/activity dates for a first date.  It takes the focus off of small talk and allows me to get to know someone while also figuring out how we play together.

Gimme a hike on a lovely day.  Blowing a few bucks on video games at Ground Kontrol.  Or bowling!  That’s fun stuff and we can take those activities at our own pace as we talk and learn about one another.

Then again, my old friend DP asserted once that long-term relationships are just one night stands that never ended, so I guess I should be open to a perfect first date ending with a bang, too.  

6) What are your non-negotiables when it comes to a relationship?

I have to be with someone I can talk to.  If we can’t talk, and I mean really talk, then our first fight will probably end us.

On top of that, there has to be respect.  If we truly respect one another, then that first fight and any subsequent fights are nonexistent because they are just conversations.

And then my last non-negotiable would be that we have to be able to play together.  Sure, including sex.  But moreso even just having shared interests outside the bedroom.  Relationships take a little work to maintain – I guess, I’m the single guy, remember? – and if you’re gonna put in the work, the reward should be playing together.

7) First time you realised you were in love?

It was just hormones.

I thought I was going to let that stand alone,  but I keep coming back to it.  Man, when I was a young buck, my friends teased me that I fell in love every time I turned my head.  

It was kinda true then and it’s kinda still true today.  I think many men are beautiful.  I’m attracted to a wide range of types…was it love?  No, that is and was really just hormones.

But the rush is still a thrill to experience, even if it only lasts for as long as it takes to order coffee.

8) Celebrity Crush?

Tom Holland.  Fer realz.

Ok, maybe not…that’s more of an old man’s fantasy.  I’m just attracted to his youthful spirit and physique.  But this old man would not mind slinging a web or two with him.  Maybe if he was ten years older, I could call it a legit crush.

But a celebrity that I do have more of a cerebral crush versus a physical attraction to is RDJ.

I think he’d be a good fit for me personality-wise.  Assuming what you see on interviews is genuine and not just branding.

Obviously, I need to stop watching Avengers movies late at night.

Ok, so now it’s my turn to nominate my own Liebster Award winners.  Since this is a tough choice for me, I’ll stall by saying that if they choose to participate, I want them to answer the same questions I did.  

The reason it’s tough is because 

A) Living Gay Brisbane is one of my faves and he nominated me, so that’s kind of off the table.  He’s one of the bloggers I interact with most on WordPress, too, which is partly why I enjoy his blog so much.

B) I think that some of the bloggers I follow might not be into it, and that’s part of why I love their blogs.  They have more serious content, but at the same time, we trade comments that are both light and fun as well as constructive and supportive.

Ok…enough stalling.

MeRaw, you’re up!  I love your daily entries.  It’s heavy themed stuff, but the love that your daily posts demonstrates is a beacon to me.

Topher Gen…you, too!  There are four or five young, gay bloggers that I follow and your posts are really great work.  I appreciate them but I don’t know too much about you, so…will you have some fun with me here?

Thanks for reading this far, if you stuck with me all the way through, no gold star for you!  But I hope you’ll take a look at the blogs that I nominated as well as Millennial Gay to get a better insight into who I spend my free time reading!

Love and Pizza!

RULES:

Display your nomination on your blog and thank the person who nominated you.
Nominate other bloggers for this award and let them know about it.
Form questions for them.

Hey Look, I Got A Liebster Award!

TIL #7:  Danny Glover Was Right

A few months ago, I ran into a former employee of mine from the airport.

At.

The.

Airport.

What was initially awkward about it was that she had quit me with no notice because her doctor told her her legs couldn’t handle it.  She told me she’d really only worked sit down style jobs before.

“You were a bartender!”, I had corrected her at the time, incredulously.  

“Yeah, but that was only part time.  And at The Elks”, she had replied, like The Elks was a stand-alone explanation.

I’d written it off as relative at the time.  I really liked Kim, she reminded me simultaneously not to judge a book by its cover and that stereotypes exist for a reason.  That was Kim.

Mrs. Magoo glasses.

Bowl style haircut.

She was a middle aged transplant to Portland from Spokane.

SpoVegas.

SpoCompton.

Spokanistan.

Take your pick.

She moved away from Spokane for her internet fiancé.  Fuck my life…should this boost my romantic optimism?

Anyway, I run into her in the roadway under the airport at about 5 am.  She was just getting off work, I was just starting.

Innocently, I ask how she’s doing and express my surprise at seeing her.  Instead of the conversational default response one expects to off the cuff, reflexive social niceties, Kim gives me a longform response.

I guess that I – particularly – had that coming.

She was back to work, ground crew for one of the airlines.  Nights, it was hard, but it worked with her and her fiancés parenting schedule.

“Wait, your doctor wouldn’t let you work in a newsstand but now you’re working ground crew?”

I had both knees replaced!

“Wait, wait, wait.  Parenting?!?  Knees replaced?!?  It’s only been 6 months!”

She and her also middle aged fiancé had adopted or were in the process of adopting a 6 year old relative of his.  They had also moved out of his parents house.  I mean, mid-50s is probably the right time to venture out of the nest, if ever there was one.

She was going on about how she was looking forward to getting onto the day shift, but not until school started and she was going to have either her hips or ankles done.

I get distracted by imagining her as Jaime Sommers.

…and tune back in as she says, “but now my doctor wants me to wait to do that until after they take out the brain tumor” like it’s y’know, somehow an elective surgery.

I had to get away from this surreal conversation.

I walked away thinking, “How does she not put a gun in her mouth?!?”  It was really inspiring to think on.  Kim took over as my workday inspiration.

Shitty joints.

Late in life love and parenting.

Entry-entry level physical grunt work.

Oh, and a brain tumor.

If she can do it, I can do it!

Bad news for my former inspiration/mantra:

For the moment, “If Britney can make it through 2007, I can make it through today” took a backseat to my new battlecry of “Tim Kimke!” which was a mash up of her actual name.

It was really kind of the motivational push that I needed.  Britney’s breakdown was only getting me so far.  I was also reaching back to when I worked with a peer that was a real B-word in my mid 20s-30s.  

I was stubborn.

That stubbornness was manifesting itself in longevity in a job that didn’t deserve my efforts.  But I was learning a lot, while simultaneously refusing to walk away from a bad company where I had a boss I liked.

But he was weak and didn’t reign in my counterpart.

Ooh, foreshadowing.

Nonetheless, I stayed, refusing to leave before she did because to me it sent the message that she won.  

It was kinda fucked up.

My payback was that I was learning how to really manage.  Succeeding through my people, versus calling what I could accomplish with my own two hands success.  That kept me motivated whenever I crossed paths with my backstabbing peer.

But, I was recruited away by a former peer and I took a leap.  It’s actually where I met my current boss, even though we only worked together tangentially at the time.

Flash forward 15 or so years.

I’m doing good work, feeling like I make an impact everyday…of course, there’s a but coming.  

My boss is weak, but I like him.  But that’s not enough.  He’s afraid of being the bad guy.

Since last summer, I’ve been stringing up carrots to get me through the bullshit that weakness has manifested:

Make it to your year anniversary.

Make it to bonus payout.

Make it to review time.

Well, the other day, I found myself thinking, “Only 11 more months til bonus payout” and that was a wake up call.

 I’d doubled my tenure since work got shitty, I’d spent as much time dreading my job as I’d spent loving it.  The writing was on the wall, too.  Things weren’t going to change…just like my boss’ poor people management skills created the dysfunctional environment I was spending my time in, his boss was further enabling it by refusing to take action when measureable company policies were broken or violated.

You just need to learn to get along…maybe I heard that one too many times.

Looking back, once turned out to be too many.  The writing was on the wall, but I had to hear that damn phrase a few more times before I saw it.

Then I turned in my notice and basically fired my employer.

Time to reset.

Me time.

Heal wounds.

Because I stuck with it as long as I did, I’ve got the foreseeable future covered in cash:

Forgoing vacations allowed me to bank some PTO to ice the bonus cake I’d waited out.  Believe me, I’m gonna make every penny scream.  If you wanna enjoy my therapeutic free time with me, of course, you can treat!

I’m gonna write again.  No more of these weeks without content or publishing.  That bullshit ends.

Starting here.

And tomorrow, I’m going to brunch and then a hike like a normal Portlander does on a weekend.

TIL #7:  Danny Glover Was Right

PDX Weather…

Life in the PNW is low-key glorious.  We don’t want word getting out and even more people moving here to experience it.  They always bring their hometown tarnish with them and it harshes our mellow just a bit.

Let ‘em scratch their heads in confusion about life here:

Rain.

Without umbrellas.

Great food.

That comes from a truck on the street.

Great coffee.

That’s intimidatingly simple to order.

Beer swilling liberal haven.

Filled with inexplicably fit folk…

Being smart and right burns a lot of calories, m’kay?

Let ‘em think all that crap about us. As long as they stay there and don’t move here.

Come get a taste of the wonder, but be careful how you time your visit.

You can get a great hike in our in the gorge or cascades.

Or

You can watch horrified like the rest of us as our beautiful landscape burns at the hands of some punk.

You can enjoy our tasty brewed treats – caffeinating or intoxicating.

Or

You can question reality – and how strong that beer was – when you (think you?) see one of these characters.

Two of those are undeniably real, the other is a secret.  Not sure whether any of them are actually a reason to stop drinking or a better reason to start.

Again, it’s about timing in the PNW.

Just when you think you know all the potential traps to avoid when planning your exotic getaway to weird Portland, Orygun, you go to your travel agent and say something like, “Um, like we wanna go” – just assuming you’re from the San Fernando Valley for some reason – “for a weekend during Spring Break.  All the locals will be gone, but it’s not as touristy bad as summer will be.” only to find yourself wondering why your Travel Agent is giving you this face.

It’s because you can’t outsmart us.

Don’t.

Even.

Try.

It’s a little known fact that our summers here are simply glorious.

God’s Country.

Lit by the longest, most sunshiny days you can imagine.

An even less known fact is springtime in Portland.  Every year I wait for it.  It doesn’t happen every year, but when it does…it’s amazing!

It’s been on my radar since early this week, when people were talking about snow this coming Saturday – aka: tomorrow, at this point.

I have to check myself when I start to expect it, because you never know it’s coming.

Wrap your mind around this:  all four seasons in one day.

It almost happened yesterday.

I woke up and tried to plan my day’s attire.  Really, the mystery here is what type of outerwear I’m putting over my jeans and tee shirt.  It was 32 degrees.

Winter.

I’d gone in on my usual day off, but ended up arriving a few minutes later than expected.  I’d taken a later train than planned when I’d returned to my condo for an umbrella after hitting the street and discovering rain with drops the size of my head.

Aaaah, Spring.

And, yes.  We locals do use umbrellas.  We aren’t idiots, like the transplant that started that rumor.

I left work and decided that I deserved a margarita.

The Silver Fox joined me for my second and when we left, proving margaritas are a cure for what ails ya – working on my Saturday, in this case, it was sunny and golden bright out.

Summer.

For two blocks.

Then it was sunny and raining out.  It kept getting brighter and the rain got harder.  People were laughing and smiling as they strode the sidewalks of Old Town in the surprise – and gorgeously lit – shower.

“Sunshine drops!”, I yelled out, giddy over the prospect of hitting the weather lottery.

This is why people think we don’t use umbrellas.  You’re out and about and get caught be a sudden shower.  Others might step into a doorway and wait it out, Portlanders relish it and carry on about their business.

I went home and surprised Myrtle doing something she wasn’t supposed to do – sitting in one of my dresser drawers that for sure wasn’t open when I left.

But I was only home to grab a growler so I could get provisions for the evening and hole up for the finale: snow.

I went to the Big Legrowlski to fill up and chatted for a sample or two with one of my favorite Pearl District peeps as she filled my growler with a lusciously light triple IPA.  

As I was leaving: hail.

So close.

I woke up this morning to a reminder from Apple and Mother Nature:

PDX Weather…