An extra-long but thoroughly rewarding day at work ended with an impromptu dinner date with FunkyPlaid. We drove across the Burnside Bridge and marveled at the dreamlike dusk.

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Writing from: my study. Listening to: “Happy Idiot” by TV on the Radio, a favorite song from a favorite band. When I hear their music, I feel calm and focused and energized all at once. 

Sometimes the Internet pacifies my laziness in a great way. FunkyPlaid and I were hunger-yawning by the time we got to Eugene so I asked my Pocket Computer for nearby food options and it told me about Cornbread Café. Turns out this place is a vegan diner! Check out the darling decor. I enjoyed my Eggfu Benedict, especially the cashew hollandaise, although the tofu “egg” was a bit texturally weird for me.

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Writing from: my study. Listening to “Cranes” by Tigue.

It’s funny, the halfway brain that sprouts from sleep deprivation. I wake up at 05:30 but really I wake up on the bus in downtown Portland, trying to remember if I did basic things like dress myself and feed myself and not leave the front door wide open.

So far, I’m doing pretty well. (But let’s not jinx it.)

Many photos to catch up on! Nineteen, in fact. I may have a little bit of a preoccupation with flowers. To be fair, this city blooms gratuitously. And now ripe apples and plums are falling off the trees, sometimes knocking me in the head like a physics lesson.

I’m still in love with my new job, but it is mentally and socially intense. Most evenings I come home and barely have enough energy to eat dinner. While my in-laws were in town, we managed a little weekend escape to Forest Grove, which I needed desperately.

Zen now reliably wakes me up with mournful howling before my alarm goes off. While FunkyPlaid is out of town I have taken to sleeping in my study downstairs so I can soothe her faster.

Other snippets from the past few weeks:

  • I visited the Beaverton City Library for the first time and was suitably awed.
  • I tried to switch back to an electronic task list but my Bullet Journal is just too good.
  • I dealt with my mobile service woes, including a factory reset of my iPhone which sucked up a day and a half, one of those being a weekend day I was rather cranky to sacrifice at the altar of the capricious technology gods.
  • And I bought body lotion. Big deal, right? Well, it is my favorite, and I had been holding off on buying some until I had my own income again. It became a bit of a symbol, this body lotion, and I relished the anticipation.
  • O yeah, and I tried Pokémon Go! I am entertained by it but perhaps not as much as actual Pokémon fans or at least people who like wandering around with their phones out. Since the library is a Pokémon Gym, I regularly witness Pokémon Go players bumping into things. I try not to laugh.

Time for bed. Tonight I will rest well, being all caught up with my project. Well, for a few hours. Then Zen will start to sing …

Writing from: my study. Listening to: some episode of “Prison Break” I’m not really watching.

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Today’s photo is yet another beautiful specimen from Rose City, which is certainly living up to the nickname this week. Before my dad and I said goodbye tonight, we took one last wander around the neighborhood and stopped to smell the roses.

I had a whole rumination on our far-flung lives and how relieved I am to be at least on the same continent as my own family again … but my iPad ate it. For all my iPad appreciation, I still have not figured out how to use it to post here without losing text. Any tips from those of you posting to WordPress with your own tablets?

Writing from: the living-room. Listening to: the latest episode of “The Catch”. I can’t decide if I like it or not.

During my dad and stepmom’s visit in Portland, I have been opting to go to bed on time instead of posting a photo each night. Tonight I realized that I was five posts behind. Whoops! Here is a quick catch-up.

Our activities have included a stunning drive in the Columbia River Gorge, communing with the Belmont Goats, a tootle around the International Rose Test Garden, and plenty more I didn’t think to photograph. And then there is the food. Some of it was even free (thanks, Taste of Bangkok)! All of it has been delicious. Of course. It’s Portland.

Writing from: my study. Listening to: “Fault Lines” by Beacon.

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Today FunkyPlaid and I got out of Portland for a bit and hiked to Wahclella Falls with Courtney and Robert. They had been there before, and it was good to go with people who knew what level of hike we were undertaking, especially since I am so out of shape. It is definitely past time to reboot my exercise regimen.

I took photos of the falls but they didn’t turn out as well as this one. You get the idea of how ridiculously photogenic the place is. Soon I will return with a proper camera!

Writing from: my makeshift study in the dining-room. Listening to: trains in the distance.

portland redux

Because sitting in my office with the door closed while eating a wilted salad and trying not to cry is not an acceptable new hobby, here is the briefest of notes on our trip to Portland.

It feels so good to take a risk — traveling with friends — and have it turn out better than I could have hoped. Although it is always nice to have alone-time with FunkyPlaid, the four of us made a great team.

The highlights were many, and involved eating, geocaching, and visiting with friends. There was only one lowlight, in the form of an overpriced and disappointing meal at Bluehour, which I will be reviewing in detail soon. In fact, I have decided to dedicate a portion of this site to reviews, focusing on but not limited to my culinary adventures. It’s well past time.

Portland is enchanting. I love the Pacific Northwest for so many reasons, but the people I meet there consistently impress me. Seattle and Vancouver are more culturally diverse, and therefore more compelling to me, but Portland is so charming and quaint without being precious that I could easily see myself living there.

FunkyPlaid and I are Active Travelers, which is a kind way of saying that we neglect to schedule downtime and end up rather frazzled on the last days of our vacation. We ran out of time before we ran out of things we wanted to do and people we wanted to see, so we’ll just have to go back.

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