Monday, December 01, 2003

Waking up at 7:45 this morning to go take a J101 test was more painful than usual. I attribute that to the awesome time Kyle and I had in Portland (and in deserted Eugene). Janelle drove us to Portland, up I-5 and Route 205, both of which were flowing fairly fluidly, despite accidents (one such accident crashed right in front of us.) She dropped us off at an arbitrary location just off the freeway -- a Mexican restaurant. Roberta, my folks' one-time roommate from 20 years hence, picked us up and took us to her place, and promptly dragged us back out on the road to stock up on foodables. The woman forced us to pick out foodstuffs. ("We are SO coming back for spring break!") Perfunctory Thanksgiving preparations ensued. The next morning, we woke up to tea and Dutch babies (and this time I wrote the recipe down--Katie's Dutch baby lesson has already been covered in dust layers too think to unearth) and a sketchy battle plan for our cooking forays. Long cooking saga short, Kyle and I (between bastings) made mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, salad dressing, and chocolate chip cookies -- and we still had time to read our books, chat with Roberta's neighbor and generally unwind. For the record, the food was spectacular.

Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, heralded an ethical dilemma: to enter Powell's, whose striking workers had walked out, or not to enter Powell's? As I may have mentioned, Powell's is Mecca for us bibliophiles. Union ethics won the day; we walked out of the Hawthorne location after interrogating a manager on the status of the strike (not the big one on Burnside) without a purchase. I'm the daughter of two card-carrying NEA members. It was the least I could do. Instead of a downtown Portland adventure, we wandered the funked-up Hawthorne district, which was walking distance from Roberta's house. My dad's old Portland haunt, Nick's Coney Island Hot Dogs, remains an adventure for another day ("...if you go there, you have to try the Dog of Death!") It started to rain, and we had walked a whole lot by 4-5ish, so we retired to Roberta's house for leftovers and proofing of The Christmas Card. Her cards, every year, are an event. I look forward to them. One year, a package containing a fortune cookie, a letter on rice paper, instructions on how to do a Chinese paper cutting and a good luck ritual were all mishmashed together in a shiny, eclectic package with...something I'm forgetting that was awesome. Anyhow, these cards are little packages, and she makes 100+ every year. So we got to help with the process this year, which was cool beyond belief. Naturally, we've taken a vow of silence as to the nature of these cards. Assuming certain family members are reading, I can't say anything more. But it was WAY cool.

Saturday was a truncated day. We woke up early (ish), wandered downtown, and hit up Powell's (the strike was a one-day thing, but what a day they chose!) I could live in Portland. That would be a-okay. We barely saw any of downtown, but it makes an impression. It's the only big city (defining big city at over a million people) that I've really spent intimate time in, wandering and looking and not being yanked around by parents (cough cough RENO cough). The place has a hold on me; every detail I took in wasn't enough. The place is so vibrant and so layered. I digress, back to saturday. We took the train (eee! I love trains!) back to Eugene, and walked another mile and a half home, having arrived and hour or two later than we thought we would. The things you hear about Amtrak are true, apparently. Still. Beats the Greyhound.

And that's more or less it. We're back just in time for Dead Week. Now I must go to my lit class.

Kyle and I cut her hair, too. Pictures eventually.

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