Saturday, October 10, 2009

Some notes

Writing about the recent past is much more entertaining than what I did today. Trust me. I have the flu and only left the house today to go to Fred Meyer, wearing a hat so that I wouldn't have to comb my hair, to buy soup-making supplies and Kroger imitation Thera-Flu. The highlight of my day was finding out that Fred Meyer sells free-range chicken thighs for $3.something a pound. (I could erase that sentence but not unthink the thought.)

I left New Jersey on Sunday, June 28th. That night, I slept in a state that was new to me--Indiana. On Friday, July 3rd, I arrived in Portland.
So that means that Saturday, July 4th, was my first full day living in Portland. I kept thinking it must mean something that it was Independence Day. (For reference, I'm counting this weekend as Weekend #0 in the rest of this post.)

For the first two months in Portland, my weekends were very full for those of someone who only had two friends in town. I was just trying to look up, in my old e-mails, what the heck I did my first weekend in Portland, and all I can find is a description of what I bought at the farmers market and what I made for dinner. All I remember is that I went to the Downtown Farmers Market by car. This was when I had an irrational fear of taking the bus, and also, it was going to take at least 70 minutes to get there if I took the bus. I ended up having to pay $5 to park, and since I wanted to get the most out of that $5, I stayed downtown to do some exploring by myself. I ended up going to Powell's City of Books and spending another $20.
This means it was on Weekend #2 that I went on my first date in Portland. Also, during that weekend, my apartment saw its first dinner party. My roommate made an extravagant meal for me and visiting family members and some of her friends. I made ice cream. I met new people and had a blast. The next afternoon was my date.

My date wasn't for a drink or coffee or even lunch, as my dates in NJ had been. My rule had been to limit first dates to ninety minutes. But this guy had offered to show me around my new city, and that would take longer than ninety minutes.
We met at noon at Pioneer Square, one of the few landmarks I could locate. The plan was to go to the Portland Art Museum, which was free that day, and then I'd get showed around and we'd get Voodoo Doughnuts. Voodoo Doughnuts is kind of famous; it's the only doughnut place that is also a wedding chapel, and they sell a doughnut that has bacon on it. I really wanted that bacon doughnut. The guy, however, did not. That should have been a sign.
Anyway, I got to see a lot of the city and had a perfectly nice time. The guy also drove me home so that I wouldn't have to sit on the #4 bus for an hour, so that was nice. The odd part was that this first date lasted six hours. I was having a nice enough time and he kept offering to show me more sights, and so I went along with it. I figured if he felt like he was being held hostage, he'd put me on a bus and go home.
Anyway, there's no real story here, just that this guy spent six hours with me, bought me lunch and half a Voodoo Doughnut (but NOT the bacon doughnut!) and then never wanted to see me again. I wasn't hurt, just thought it was odd. Why waste six hours of your life on someone you don't want to see? Or maybe some people just like going on first dates. Then I thought, "I like going on first dates."
It's true. I mean, they can be horribly awkward...or just horrible.
But then you have a story to tell! And being new in town, first dates are just an opportunity to see more about the city. I will get taken out at a place that's new to me. Or, if we go to a place I already know, even if the guy and I mutually dislike one another, I'll still potentially learn something new about Portland in the conversation.
At the very least, I might hear a different account of what the rainy season is like.*

If Weekend #2 included the Dinner Party and the Date, that means that Weekend #3 was the weekend of The Flasher.
This is a story I've been storing up for blogging. This post is getting long, so I might put it in a separate post. That day, I kept going back and forth between downtown and home. Southwest and Southeast. Back and forth. I went to the farmers market, home. A work party. Home. Then to PDX Pop NOW! (I'm not sure where exactly the capitalization and punctuation belongs there.) This was technically on the East side, but it was right by the river so close enough.
A friend and I saw Pierced Arrows and parted ways at my bus stop.
And that was the scene of the crime, which I'll write about in my next post.
Then the next day I went to my first Meetup in Portland, to go see Harold and Maude with some strangers. I mention this because it was that weekend that I put a Cat Stevens CD on hold at the Multnomah County Library, and I didn't get it until last weekend. THAT is how popular Cat Stevens is in Multnomah County!
Weekend #4, then, was when I went on my second date in Portland. More on that later.

* I am currently compiling a list of Conversation Topics that Signal a First Date is Doomed. So far, the list includes "Jon Stewart" and "Rain in Portland." I also scribbled "Public Urination" on there defiantly one evening, though that was technically on a third date and that was in view of my date, who felt the need to tell me a Public Urination Story over dinner.

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