November's/December's theme:"We diverge and I collapse into my bed/And you are shoved awkwardly into my head" A Separate Lid Behind Closed Eyes

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Jason recommends the album, American Weekend by Waxahatchee

Extra doses and double shots - December 13, 2021
Half a life ago - December 12, 2021
Buggy - November 27, 2021
When We Two Parted - November 25, 2021
Catfish - November 22, 2021

July 28, 2004 // 8:45 p.m. // Leaving Seattle (or: entering no sales tax, Oregon)

Day 4. 06/29/04

I decided not to get up at 9 or so like I had the previous mornings. One reason being my bus left at 10, the other being I wanted to milk the last little bit out of Seattle before I left.

I headed down to the Pike Place Market one last time. I stood around the fish market hoping I'd get the chance to see some fish being thrown, but no such luck.

I did see an incredibly ugly and absolutely huge fish while I was there though:

After arriving at the Greyhound Station, I had a lot of time to kill. So I read the local paper, and listened to a CD. When I actually boarded, I was surprised to see just three others on the bus. Apparently, the driver was too. With the greatest of sarcasm, he exclaimed, "we've got four here? That's good. This new schedule is taking off like hotcakes!"

And so off the five of us were to Tacoma.

A number of people got on at the Tacoma stop. I took advantage of this to get a snack. Despite forty or so people getting on, I still had both seats to myself. This made taking stuff out of my carry-on much easier.

Next stop: Olympia.

I really liked Olympia. Well, what I saw of it in ten minutes. The bus station was across the street from a park, and it felt like a quiet little city despite being the state capitol. I haven't checked for the population or anything, but I know Olympia has a great music scene.

We hadn't even gone a few blocks before I heard the girl in front of me say that she was moving to Utah. My head immediately turned. I wasn't bold enough to move up two seats and jump into their conversation, so for the next hour on the road to Portland, I sat with my body facing the aisle and my ears pointed in the direction of their conversation. I waited until they mentioned Utah again to add to the conversation.

We (me, her and the boy she was talking to) talked for the last 30-45 minutes of the bus ride. I told her nearly everything there was to know about Utah from minimum wage to the price of apartments.

Like I said, she was moving from Olympia to Salt Lake, so she had a lot of stuff. And I believe only one suitcase. Most of it was in bags that she had on the bus. When we got off, I helped her carry a teddy bear and a bag, leaving my own suitcase outside in the process.

After setting it down for her inside, I found my bag to be gone. The driver told me to go inside to check baggage claim. Lo and behold, they had my bag, and I had exited the bus less than five minutes prior to this.

There was another girl on the bus who was travelling to Alaska. She had a guitar, and multiple items, and she began talking to us while helping with the bags. Before I knew it, the four of us were buddies.

The other three were Henry, Shayla (moving to Utah) and Sarah The three of them had at least an hour to kill before their buses or trains left, and I had nothing to do, so I decided to hang out with them while they searched the Portland streets for lunch.



Henry (headless, because this is what happens when you have the zoom on and don't know it.)

Unfortunately, we were in a part of Portland that wasn't loaded with convienience stores or quick places to eat. We were in China Town, and we were all either not in the mood for Chinese or couldn't take the time to sit and eat. So for a good fifteen minutes, we walked around looking for someplace to eat, only to find nothing.

Since Sarah was the first to leave and needed to eat soon, we decided to go back to the Greyhound station to eat at their snack bar. She ordered first and completed most of her meal before the rest of us got there. She left a bit early for her train, wished us the best, and then there were three.

As I mentioned earlier, Shayla was moving to Salt Lake. And she had a lot of stuff that she didn't want to carry around the city. As a result, she just left it in the plastic bags she packed it in unattended at the Portland Greyhound station. And what happened? When we got back, guards were searching through her stuff. She didn't walk over, so I don't know what became of it all.

The wall of ducks that provided the three of us with jokes for the next thirty minutes:

Sitting at the table with Shayla and Henry was a lot of fun. The conversation flowed as if we hadn't met each other less than two hours earlier. And the jokes...some of the funniest jokes I've told and heard in a long time. After eating, we headed outside and talked until their buses left. I gave Shayla my number and told her to call me when she gets to Salt Lake. Everyone needs someone to help them out when they move to a new city, right?

I then walked to my hostel, which was fortunately just one block south and numerous blocks west of where I was standing. Numerous (fourteen or so) sounds like a lot, but Portland's blocks are ridiculously short, so it was in reality half or even less than that in any other city.

At the hostel, they gave me my map, and I was off to explore for the three or so hours before the concert.

My first stop was Powell's Books, the world's largest independant bookstore. This place is huge. It's four floors, a full city block and more rooms and books than two or three major bookstores. The prices on used books are great and the selection is incredible. They even had the two books I paid full price for a few days before I left available used for just $5.50 each. I could have bought both for $11 when I spent $13 on each.

The photo of it is not the greatest photo (why I didn't think to take a better one I don't know) but I think the photo taken inside was lost when my memory card started acting crazy.

Burnside, a major Portland street.

I'm not sure where this was taken, but it shows how green Portland is.

One of the many Portland parks.

The skyline:

I like old buildings:

Pioneer Square, one of my favorite spots in the city.

I left from Pioneer Square and went to the venue. I was early, so I waited a few minutes and looked for a way to hide my camera, as I never got a clear yes or no about whether I could bring it. It was at this time that I realized I couldn't find my ticket.

I checked my front pocket. My back pocket. Every pocket. I checked them all three times with no result. I had remembered placing it on my bed at the hostel, and figured it was still there. It was 6:50, and Portland blocks are short, so I jogged back to the hostel ten blocks away.

I searched my bed. Nothing. I went downstairs and searched my bag. Nothing. I checked the bathroom. Still nothing. At this point I was convinced I had it and that someone had taken it, but after checking my pocket and finding that it has somehow become folded within the map, I jogged back to the venue.

So I left at 6:50, looked for my ticket for five minutes, jogged a total of twenty blocks and made it back in just under twenty minutes. No, I'm not fast, it's that Portland's city blocks are about 1/3 of those here or in any other city. Maybe less. In the rush I had forgot to hide my camera, but they let me in without mentioning it, so I was in the clear.

Rachael put on another great show. There was a duet that I wish I had recorded, but my batteries were low and my camera doesn't record video when the low battery light is on. Everything about the show was better than the previous night's show and I spent even more time talking to her than I had the previous night. Not only did she remember me, but she remembered meeting me in Salt Lake months earlier. I made a plea for her to play closer to home next time, she said, "all right, baby" and I headed back to Pioneer Square to pick up a newspaper and call my sister.

I walked inside and went right to sleep, capping my first (and really only) day in Portland.

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