March 16, 2008

Conceding defeat.

Last night one of my roommate's delightful drunken friends asked me if I thought I was going to stay in Portland, and I shocked myself slightly by saying I wasn't sure. How could I say such a thing? All over town, local music and bicycle breakfasts and my friendly neighborhood worker-owned socialist vegan cafe are crying because I have betrayed them. The daffodils that have started coming up everywhere are trying to burrow back into the ground because really, why do they even bother if they're not appreciated?

Last weekend I rebelled against the massive paper I am supposed to be writing, and I spent the afternoon biking down to Southeast to spend some hard-earned dollars on a bunch of the bullshit that makes me love this place so much: outrageous stripy socks and obscure foodstuffs and a tasty lunch at the abovementioned friendly worker-owned socialist vegan cafe and an adorably ratty-looking home-silk-screened patch from, for once, somebody else's home silk-screening operation. (I did not buy the Anarchist Teapot Mobile Kitchen Guide To Feeding The Masses, but I thought about it.) And as I rode the sky was blue and the air was reasonably warm and the sidewalks were crammed with cherry trees and plum trees all frantically bursting into floofy puffs of pink and white blossoms. And the ground was dry and the daffodils were crowding up out of every otherwise unoccupied patch of ground and people were happy and cheerful and wearing short sleeves (optimistic, to my mind, for 55-degree weather, but far be it from me to stop them). It was glorious.

Two days later it was raining again, solid cloud cover from horizon to horizon, and the daffodils were all bruised from the raindrops and the cherry and plum blossoms were smushed wetly into the soggy ground. As of right now it is raining -- not the vague sprinkling that my co-worker calls Oregon Slowrain, but actual rain that goes drumdrumdrum on the roof and soaks through your sweater -- and it's supposed to rain for the next two weeks solid except for tomorrow. Tomorrow it will be merely "AM showers with a high of 51", and I'm finding myself paralyzed with indecision about how to spend this one outlandishly nice spring day.

On the eve of said nice spring day, which would be right now, I just had to re-close the storm windows in my bedroom because I was freezing. The windows themselves have been shut solid since October -- a thing I cannot stand is a room without fresh air, but another thing I cannot stand is a room that is 45 degrees Fahrenheit -- but I had thought a few weeks ago that I could at least get away with cracking the storm windows open an inch to let in the idea of fresh air. But my freezing toes and the frostbitten leaf edges of my little potted Bryophyllum both say otherwise. As I angrily told last night's asker, back home I would be wearing a tank top and basking in 70-degree sun, and here I am wearing two pairs of socks and three sweaters.

And I am inside. I can't handle it.

Posted by dianna at March 16, 2008 01:30 AM

But hell, congratulations on making it through the winter and not feeling like rebelling until mid-March. That's the trooper impressive part.

For a little sunshine in your life, I arrive a week from Wednesday. Yay!

Posted by: DelightfulFormerHousemate at March 16, 2008 12:31 PM

You wouldn't be the first person to move to [a] Portland only to cave and return to California.

If that helps.

Posted by: Chris at March 16, 2008 08:26 PM

DHF: Yay! You are a ray of sunshine! I look forward to your enthusiastic muppet noises up to 9 pm and sleepy indifference thereafter.

Chris: It's a good point. I'm frustrated, though, by the fact that this here Portland is so utterly wonderful in every cultural way and so totally miserable in every meteorological way. I feel its sort of municipal geist aligning with my own in a way that is simply glorious and unmatched by any part of California I've experienced. And yet I am becoming obsessive about this bullshit weather and longing for sun and Santa Ana winds and days that are actually hot. I'm starting to understand why I stayed in the Bay Area for so long: it's what you get when you add LA to Portland and divide by two. Shock from either direction is minimized for both weather and culture. On the other hand, it costs a million fucking dollars to live in a closet there and if I have to deal with another stupid freezing bay breeze ruining an otherwise tolerably warm day I'm going to scream. So I don't want to go back there, and I already knew I didn't want to go back to LA, and I am left with all of those kind of empty bits of the state map and don't have any existing desire for any of them particularly. I dunno. How'd you pick SLO, anyway?

Posted by: Dianna at March 16, 2008 11:11 PM

It was easy; I got a job here.

Posted by: Chris at March 17, 2008 07:38 AM

I hear pretty nice things about Austin. It's pretty warm/hot all the time, and I hear it's a pretty hippie-ish place. On the other hand, I don't know if it is an objectively hippie place, as measured by the National Institute for Hippieological Studies, or if it's just a relatively hippie place when compared to the rest of Texas. Also, I mean, it is still in Texas, which causes me to reflexively rotate my body forty-five degrees so that I may more effectively look askance at it.

And, I dunno. I'm only just now getting really used to winter in New York. My first winter I basically never left the apartment except when it was absolutely essential. My second winter I got out a lot more, but still only when I had a firm destination in mind and a reasonably good purpose for going there. This year I'm wandering around aimlessly just the way I do the rest of the year. On the other hand, I'm more heat-sensitive than I am cold-sensitive; I'm not sure I could deal as well with, say, 100 degree summers as I have with 20 degree winters.

Which is all a long way of saying: Life's a funny thing, you know? I mean, hey.

Posted by: MoltenBoron at March 17, 2008 11:31 PM

Since you mention it, I've heard nice things about Austin too. But, among other reasons to mess with Texas, I just can't see myself living in a state that thinks it's a good idea to ban sex toys. Where I go, the box under my bed goes with me, and that's final.

Posted by: Dianna at March 18, 2008 03:28 PM

Hey, haven't you heard the word, thunderbird? The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, widely considered the most conservative circuit, recently overturned Texas's ban on sex toys, in Reliable Consultants v. Ronnie Earle. On the other hand, the Elevent Circuit has upheld Alabama's sex toy ban, which means there's a circuit split, opening up the possibility of a Supreme Court decision settling, once and for all, whether vibrators are a constitutional right. If such a case ever comes to the Court, I'd very much like to hear the oral arguments.

Posted by: MoltenBoron at March 19, 2008 03:06 AM