The past two weeks have had lots of great highs and one deep, unexpected low.
My friend/penpal, Caleb, I met in Halifax at the Anchor Archive during my zine residency last fall came to visit on the 15th. We had little more than one long day to hang out before I left Halifax but I already knew we would be great friends and we started planning his trip to Portland almost immediately! It seemed sort of ridiculous to be planning a trip 4,000 miles away and 6 months in advance to hang out with someone we had only spent a few times with… even if one of those times involved a 13 hours conversation, but I knew it would be fun! We continued penpal-ery and e-mail-ery for months and all of sudden it was the 15th and I was headed to the airport to meet him!
I met Caleb at the airport and we took the train into the city, met paul at XV for food and some beer then headed to Powell’s for Smallpressapalooza. The readings we caught were great. My sister showed up and immediately burst into tears. Her doggie companion, Coda, wasn’t doing well after over a week of treatments for a weird blood disease. I was honored that Webly would show up to my reading when there was such heavy stuff going on in her life.
I read the pieces I had selected and Paul played guitar then we sang a song at the end. I was nervous about the singing but I think it went ok. Webly recorded video of us but I guess the video is 2gigs so we need to find a way to compress it for the internets and my embarrassment. We stayed for the people reading after us and they were great too. After that some of us headed to Deschutes brewery which was closing so I left a New Kids On The Block rock card I found in my bag on the door to let the people following that we were headed to the Low Brow Lounge. After that Paul, Caleb and i caught the train home and crashed out.
The next day I woke up early to head to my sister’s house to see Coda. It would likely be the last time I saw her so even though I was up late with friends it was really important to me and my sister to visit one last time to see my puppy niece. Then I headed home. I think Caleb and I made buttons and ate burritos. That night my sister called to see if we wanted to go to Hungry Tiger Too with she and Brian. Coda had been put to rest and they didn’t want to go home to a house without her. They don’t drink so I was sort of a surrogate drinker and let Webly pick out what I should drink. Caleb was blown away by the place having two menus. One vegan, one no vegan. It wouldn’t be the first on his trip to Portland.
Coda was a black Cocker Spaniel found on the street the summer my sister had moved to Portland after graduation from the Uof O. Webly had always wanted a dog and a friend found Coda but couldn’t keep her at her apartment. Webly took her in, cut off all her dreadlocks that were constricting her leg movement and even the blood circulation to one leg. Webly wasn’t sure she was going to keep her but they fell in love and Coda was part of the family ever since. She was my first doggie niece and I dog-sat for Webly when they would go out of town. Coda liked garbage, treats and squeaky toys. She will be missed dearly.
There are lots of photos here of Coday and Webly plus images of Goody who left this world on Christmas. It’s really not fair to lose two canine members of our family within 3 months.
That was the super sad bit of my past two weeks but I still had a lot of fun ahead. The next day Caeb and I went downtown. We realized too late that it was St. Patrick’s day which is like Amatuer Hour of drinking. We first stopped by the world’s smallest park also forgetting the lephrecan/St. Patrick’s day reference to find it coved in stickers about the luck of Irish and whatever.
We walked around the Willmette for a bit continuing what would be more epicly long conversation that would eventually give us both sore throats. We took the train to the Zoo stop and wandered around the Arboretum where we saw this tree.
Which, just made me think of this Monty Python skit. I don’t think I would have been able to recognize a larch before that. I knew it was a deciduous conifer and Monty Python told me how to recognize it from a long way away. But now I can identify it from close up!
After that we headed to Powell’s and bought too many books including Zane Lamprey’s from the drinking show Three Sheets book about drinking. I also picked up a used copy of all three of the Riddle of Stars books in one book. I think that will be the next series in Caleb and my long distance book club after we are done re-reading the Earthsea books. The we went to Deschutes and drank yummy beers and Caleb coveting their epic looking growlers. I’m not sure what else we did that night but my bet it that it had to do with drinking and listening to records.
The next day we had planned a bike ride to Southeast, and area of town I rarely venture. It was a beautiful spring day. I was actually surprised because I was expecting rain while Caleb was in town. We rode by Food Fight! and the vegan mini-mall, and by one of my old apartments before slipping into my favorite Cemetery, The Lone Fir Cemetery. Where there are crumbling mausoleums and lots of neat headstones including this one.
We walked/rode up Belmont and stopped and got a beer at the Horsebrass but it seemed so dark in there when it was glorious outside so then we walked/rode down Hawthorne and got some pretty amazing stickers at the Dollar Scholar. Laser stickers with cats and vegetables! Stopped for another beer at a place where could drink outside and then headed to Los Gordiots! Yet another restaurant with both a vegan and non vegan menu! I had enchiladas that came with rice and beans that reminded me of the Mexican place my family used to go to when we lived in Houston. Caleb was again blown away by the amazing vegan food in this fair city. After a day of riding about 20 miles and my belly filled with food I fell asleep early that night but not before torturing/playing with the cats with the hamburger maggie drew and catnip in the back pocket.
More photos and stories later including a trip to the Riverhouse, Timberline lodge, The ocean including the Goonies house.