I like this little basement room of mine. The spiders have dissipated (or I’ve gotten used to them) and it feels very private. Probably one of the most private rooms I’ve ever had, considering I’ve lived in not one, but two hallways in the past year or so (shout-out to Square House and the Clam Shack).
It’s cheap, maybe a little damp, but has laundry and a rickety ping pong table. It hasn’t actually flooded into my room as of yet. The one light in my room (surprisingly) is exceedingly bright. I have a $20 rolling clothing rack I bought to hang my “nice” things on and two desks I got for free off of craigslist. I’m going to miss this place when I move out. I almost don’t want to now, though I know I’ll be excited in a new place for a lot of reasons.
Part of the reason I’m getting so attached to this bachelor pad is I know upgrading to a new place is officially opening a new chapter in my life. One that’s older, and more mature than the one I’m living now. Over the last year I’ve noticed a change in myself. I want to get schwasted less. I want to stay in and go to bed aroun 10pm more. My FOMO symptoms are waning. I’ve been investing more time and energy into truly understanding the things I like to do (business, art, snowboarding, web), and actually making plans to take advantage of the opportunities and experience I’ve gathered over the years. I just realized while brushing my teeth that I could do ANYTHING this summer. I could work a seasonal job serving tourists up in Alaska to build up a travel budget for the winter so I can write better stories. I can partner again with Smartwool, and begin building relationships with Patagonia, North Face and more- companies that are truly in line with my well-rounded perspective on the outdoor industry.
Leaving my job at High Cascade is the best thing that could have occurred for me, and I’m so grateful that I had this shift.
[Obviously, it’s November and this wasn’t technically, “last night’s dream,” but it was at the time that I wrote it, and I’m finally now getting around to posting it. Enjoy!]
I didn’t remember my dream until a few moments ago, when I stepped on some hard scrap of something at the bottom of the basement stairs. Immediately, my memory jolted back to it’s sleeping stimulations and I remembered.
I arrived at the concert festival location in good time. Camp was at the bottom of a canyon, and we drove our worn, white hummer-jeep hybrid all the way to the bottom. My frist encounter was with my ex-boyfriend and fest-y fanatic, Nate. I wasn’t there to see Nate, however, and I was trying to keep the encounter brief. He was nice and cheerful as always, but I knew he was also very high on something that he wanted me to try as well.
I moved on to the upper arena- this place was more built up and modernized, less like a fugitive camp and more like a VIP area. I saw my friends Chris and Tyler (the ones who had invited me out) and leapt from my car to give them a big hug. After greeting Chris, however, he told me I should be wearing shoes- there was tons of broken glass littered throughout the beach sand we were standing in. Sure enough, I look down at my left foot and see a gash across the inside of my heel. I feel the warm blood pulsing out of it and realize I need a bandage. I need stitches, the cut is deep.
My mom has wrappings and we wander around together, me somehow elevating my foot in the process, looking for the emergency room. We find it, but can’t find the way up to the front desk. I get on a service elevator and ride it up to the correct floor. I find a desk and ask to see a doctor, my foot is still bleeding and the consistency of my blood has now become something similar to ketchup, slowly burbling out of my bandaged heel.
She assures us that I will be seen soon. I know I need to get stitches NOW. I feel that I had to have lost a significant amount of blood. I wander around what is supposed to be the waiting room but is also somehow still part of the event space.
This is the most developed version of Too Hard yet, and it’s packed full of tough ladies sticking solid tricks. How can you hate on that? Also, if you weren’t a fan of Too Hard because of how ludicrous their filler clips were from the last edits, this one seems tame in comparison.
So open it up, push play and love it. These ladies worked their asses off and it shows.
No, not quite yet. According to my trusty weather app, the temperature is still hanging at a solid 32 degrees. I woke up this morning to a crystalized collection of icicles strung from every corner of the house and on each tip of a leaf outside. I love it! It’s reminding me of New England again.
And now the sun is poking through, and from each iced-over item it illuminates, there springs a steady stream of droplets. The ice is melting. It truly reminds you how powerful the sun is when you see something as simple as a shadow keeping one half of a bush frozen, while the other half is melting faster than the arctic ice caps (sorry, bad joke there).
People use conversations about weather to fill the awkward silence that arrises in some conversations. It’s supposedly a ‘filler’ when there’s nothing else for these two people to relate about. I disagree. While sometimes, yes, weather is an easily breach-able common topic for two partial strangers to converse over, it’s also very, very interesting. And it never ends.
Crisp, fall days are something I rarely get to experience anymore. Which is sad, because those were some of my favorite times of the year when I was living in Massachusetts. There’s something special about the golden light you get in the morning and afternoon, coupled with the smell of decaying leaves and set against the crisp, bright blue sky. You get to wake up, see the wind outside, know just how brisk and chilly it’s going to be- and have your hands wrapped gratefully about a mug of tea, cozy in a warm house.
I haven’t had that experience in my new home until this morning. It’s cold in Portland right now, damn cold and clear as I’ve ever seen it (in the past six years). Windy too! Yesterday a neighbor’s tree fell over into our yard. I was home at the time and heard something strange, but didn’t realize what the noise had been until later into the evening. I looked out the back door to let Zeppo in and realized a big birch was resting it’s top branches on the roof of our garage. It was a moment where I was glad I didn’t own a house.
I’ve only ever known this city to be cold and soggy in the winter. A little icy too, but I can count the number of times I’ve seen actual snow set down on the pavement- three. However, I did miss two big snow storms over the years living here, which I was exceedingly bummed about (and still am).
So, let’s see what you’ve got, Portland Skies! Bring it on! I’ve got more jackets than a goodwill and enough hats to make it logistically impractical for me to put them all on at once. I’m gonna be toasty, Portland. What’ve you got in the works?
I have to block out every moment of my day in a schedule in order to function. If I don’t, I find I just…. waffle around for a while, snack, and then get a sinking feeling in my stomach when I look at the clock and realize a whole day has rushed by. It isn’t relaxing. It isn’t helpful. I’m learning that in order for me to enjoy my time, I must allocate ‘work time’ and ‘play time’. When I’m in ‘work time’ I must create a schedule to delineate my day and feel fulfilled at the end. During ‘play time’ I must remove myself from any setting that reminds me of my to-do list and just turn my brain off to it. As soon as there is any inkling that I can get some form of work done, my relaxation is lost. I tumble down that rabbit hole and never emerge satisfied.
I’d say in this case, “necessary” is the winning word.
A lot of things we decide to do are wagered on a scale of “Pain vs. Pleasure.” (I’ve been listening to a lot of Freakanomics podcasts lately and I think their economist mindset is infiltrating my mind. Cost/benefit analysis!).
“Beauty Knows No Pain” is a quote that came to mind yesterday when talking with one of my students.
“I don’t want to go outside for recess today.”
“My shoes get soaked! Look, I stuffed paper towel in here to soak it up.”
Her feet were swaddled inside her golden moccasins with brown paper from the elementary school bathroom.
“You need to get some new shoes for this rainy weather.”
She shrugged. “Yeah.”
The call was made to, “Line up for recess!” and she immediately spun around and sprinted over to her friends gathering up near the wall. Her shoes were soaked when she came back inside. Her dad carried her out to the car when she was picked up.
I have to address this one. Currently, learning to skate is the activity where I find myself making the most “Pain vs. Pleasure” choices.
Last night I went out to Daddies Boardshop to learn how to skate a mini ramp. I was sucking, couldn’t get myself to drop in until my friend just told me I was going next. Then I waited one more person. Still wasn’t getting it, practiced over on some quarter ramps. Then things calmed down in the ramp and I got down in the belly of it to push and practice kick turning. Things were improving! I finally got back up on the deck and dropped in. Then dropped in again. Then dropped in and finally got the turn! Made it to the other side! Turned again! So FUCKING stoked. I was beaming, looking around to my friends, with a goofy grin and hoping they’d seen me. I got up there for my next turn and nailed it again. On my final drop, I got the first turn and on the second slipped out and slammed on my ass. That one hurt, really really bad. But I was still smiling, picked up my board, and walked off the ramp to go get drinks with my friend Janessa. I can’t wait to get back in there.