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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Day 4

It. Is. Hot. I'm sitting in my room in front of the (wonderful wonderful) air conditioner (one of those little window units.) I had to skip out of the afternoon lectures because I (stupidly) wore myself out walking around downtown (with a backpack full of books from Powell's...heh) When I got back here at 5 it was 88 degrees. Yikes. No wonder I felt like I was dying.
I have no heat tolerance anymore. Not that I had much to begin with...

Anyway. Now that I am feeling well-rested, there are so many things I want to do, but of course most of them I can't do because of the heat. At some point I'm going to have to venture out to procure food. *whine* I think I'll hit up that sushi place again.

Here are some more highlights from yesterday, pics from today will be posted later (and more on this actual educational thing I'm supposed to be attending...)

statue of umbrella guy

Stumptown coffee

Hot Lips pizza

Monday, June 25, 2007

Day 3

Ugggggh. Sleep did not work out. Again. After waking up every 2 hours again, I woke up at 5:30 and could not get back to sleep. At all. Finally got out of bed around 7, caught an earlier bus downtown and went to Stumptown for coffee. Which may or may not have been a good idea. Anyway, I made it through class, had some decent pizza for lunch and then on the afternoon break I prowled around the center of downtown, or what my map informed me is the "Cultural District." The art museum and the Oregon Historical Society were both closed on Mondays, but the park was nice, and riding the streetcar was fun. It was really quick to get from the NW to the SW end. (Seattle, take note.)
I'm not sure where I got the energy to do all that. After wanting to take a nap in the afternoon lectures (they weren't boring-I just am too tired!) I walked down to Powell's and checked out their graphic novel section, then figured out where Voodoo Donuts is (and that they are now open 24 hours, so I'm going there first thing in the morning) and found the Middle Eastern place where we ate last time we were here. It was very good. I had a combo plate with hummus, baba ghanouj, falafels, tahini, tabouli, stuffed grape leaves and yogurt cucumber salad.


More later...

Portland Day 2 (6/24)

Well, I didn't sleep too well last night. I fell asleep quickly, but I kept waking up every 2 hours. Like clockwork. It was weird. I've heard that a human needs to get at least 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep in order for it to be thoroughly restful. So I didn't get that. One other thing: It is charming that there is a large tree directly above skylight. I woke sometime between 4 and 5 to the sound of birdsong quite near. I thought "oh, how nice, birds in the morning." 20 minutes later, I thought, "I am going to kill that bird."
(Figure of speech. I wouldn't really kill a bird. Really. Honestly.)

Anyway, I was only operating on 1/2 or maybe 2/3 of a tank, so to speak, when I boarded a bus at 8:30 am. It was pretty easy to get to the Pearl district. After I arrived at class it was revealed that in addition to our class schedule, which meets mostly in the mornings, there would be several lectures offered in the afternoons. So what I thought was going to be a 1/2 day turned out to be a full day. (It doesn't matter, because Alex flaked anyway, although I left him 2 messages like a stalker.) I wasn't crazy about all the lecture offerings and considered going back up to the guesthouse for some of them, but ended up just crashing in the lounge area at the school, in a loft with comfy couches where I swapped life stories with one bright-eyed junior. Ah, college. This rest period did me good, as I was able to rally myself for the last lecture of the day, on webcomics, which was very useful and informative. (Links to follow.)

Also, they treated us to brunch, which was really awesome. I had this wild salmon hash with poached eggs. It was quite good, as was conversation at the table. This girl and I were eyeing each other in class and doing the "you look familiar" thing, well it turns out she lived in Oly while I was there and she is the creator of Tammytown, the movie, which I attended a fundraiser fashion show for at Capitol Theater in 2000. (I know that last sentence was awkward, but I totally don't care.) Another Oly/Portland connection.

For dinner, I walked up the street from the guesthouse to a restaurant I noticed yesterday which featured organic food of various cuisines. I had an Indian dinner which was quite good-a combo of Subji (cabbage, potatoes and peas sauteed in garlic, ginger and cumin), Dal (not as mushy as some dals I've had, with whole kidney beans, very flavorful-although I found the addition of raw red onions on top to be distracting rather than complementary, although normally I love me some raw onions.), with rice, chapati, mint chutney, and raita, and a tasty rice pudding. It was all served on a metal plate with each thing in a small individual metal bowl. At first I thought this was just supposed to be cutesy presentation, but then I realized it kept each individual portion warm, which was appreciated. Also, they were willing to cook it mild, (which means I could actually taste my food), and since the chutney was spicy I could add a bit of heat if I wanted. Yum.
It's also fun to get your check and have it be the same price as your food. I know if you live here they take the tax out in other ways, but as a visitor, it's always a nice surprise.

Full and content, it's time for me to go to bed for a big day tomorrow, all day and evening downtown.

Portland, Day 1 (written 6/23)

In Portland for the Pacific Northwest College of Art's Graphic Novel Intensive, a week of classes, lectures and workshops. I am having so much fun here, and it's only been 1/2 a day.
The train ride down was uneventful if boring and cramped (I ended up in one of those seats facing another set of seats) and rather filled with squalling childrens, but ah well. Took a taxi from the station 'cause I was so zonked (couldn't sleep well last night, natch) to my lovely little guest house! This place is so adorable. All the rooms are named after authors (well-except Elliott Smith. But I think the point is that they're all local.) I'm in the Ken Kesey. I have a skylight above my bed!

Skylight over bed!!

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

After attempting to nap for a bit, and chatting with the proprietor in the lovely kitchen...


...I then walked several blocks up to Hawthorne to look for food. After walking back and forth a few times in indecisiveness (and a detour into Powell's on Hawthorne where I gave in and bought Animal, Vegetable, Miracle rather than waiting for the 400 people ahead of me on the library list-Yes, I have been in Portland for fewer than 24 hours and have already bought a book), I found a little sushi place on a sidestreet that turned out to be a fantastic find. They had a delicious salmon skin salad that consisted of salmon skin pieces (a generous amount), cucumbers, asparagus spears, julienned carrots and green onions in a yummy sesame vinaigrette. I also had an unagi roll which was decent, and also notable for the fact that it was in actual bite size pieces. I hate it when sushi is too big to fit in one bite.

Anyway, I then made my way back down to Division and to Food Fight, a fabulous little food store where everything is vegan, and purchased some snacks and soymilk. Now I am back in my room with the skylight open, feeling the fresh breeze and watching the tree sway and the clouds roll by.

View out of the skylight

The weather is fantastic today-kinda warm and humid (but only if you're walking a lot) but with a great breeze, lots of variations of clouds and sun, and for a while there it was raining with the sun out. I love summer rain. There was some lightning too!

It's raining

It's going to be an early night for me because I am so tired and I have to get up fairly early tomorrow and the adventure of taking the bus downtown, etc. I have class until noon and then I will hopefully hook up with Alex from Stumptown Coffee, who will hopefully show me some cool stuff to do on a Sunday.

Note: Click on any picture for a link to even more pictures.
Pictures from the train trip down will come later, as I shot only film.