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A Visitor

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 No comments

John was here in Portland for 10 days.  He arrived on Thursday the 14th and left on Sunday the 24th.  He told me he wanted to come here for his 30th birthday (the 21st) about 5 or 6 months ago and we’ve both been looking forward to it since.  We had a blast!  I wanted to write as much down as I could recall to help remember the trip.

Thursday – John’s flight was scheduled to arrive late Thursday night, shortly before midnight.  I saw online that it would be arriving a little late.  At some point, I stopped my car while I waited.  Some security lady told me that I couldn’t stay there and I had to circle around.  When I tried to start my car, it wouldn’t start.  I waited for John to arrive and then went to get help.  The airport sent someone to jump my car and we were on our way.  It was a great way to start John’s trip.

Friday – John went out and explored the city while I was at work.  My company had a party celebrating the opening of our new office here in Portland.  After John and I went to get my battery replaced, we chilled at my apartment that night.

Saturday – We got up and drove to Vancouver, British Columbia.  It was my first time leaving the country and John’s first time in Canada.  The hotel was pretty cool.  We went out to some clubs that night.

Sunday- We went to Granville Island and had lunch with my married friends Michaela and Dave.  After that John and I drove to Cleveland Damn and went on a short hike before it started to get too dark. We decided to go ziplining the next day in Whistler. We were exhausted after that, so we went to bed early.

Monday – We drove up to the mountains to Whistler.  I believe they had some winter Olympic events there in 2010.  The zipline tour on Cougar Mountain was so much fun. We got quite a bit of snow. We spent the night at Michaela and Dave’s in Richmond.  We had a steak dinner and some great beer.

Cougar Mountain, Whistler

Tuesday – We made our way back to Portland.  We stopped in Steveston Village, which is where they film Once Upon a Time.  It was cool seeing some of places where they film the show.  When we got back to my apartment we watched the latest 2 episodes.

Steveston/Storybrooke

Wednesday – I went to work and John did some more exploring.  Later John went to dinner with Breck and Mickey, two people that we knew back in Mississippi but have recently moved to Portland, unbeknownst to me.  After that John and I went shopping at Powell’s and Buffalo Exchange before heading home.

Thursday – This was John’s 30th birthday.  I got him a cake and an hour-long massage.  That night we went out to dinner at a pub and we went out to a club.

Friday – We had lunch at Little Big Burger.  They have delicious fries.  We drove to Tillamook near the coast for a wine and cheese tasting.  I discovered some great wines we both brought back something with us.  I don’t remember what we did that night.

Blue Heron French Cheese Company

Saturday – We went to the first ever Portland Comic Con.  We had 3-day passes, but I think we did everything we needed to in that one day.  We got to get Morena Baccarin’s autograph and see a bunch of stars.  That night we went to see Skyfall ant Baghdad Theater with Breck and Mikey.

Portland Comic Con 2013 crowd

Portland Comic Con 2013 - Morena Baccarin's autograph

Sunday – That morning it was time for John to go back to Mississippi.  I always hate parting from friends after having a good time. After he left, I cleaned a little, took a long nap, did some grocery shopping, and watched the Oscars.

I was glad that John got to visit.  I was worn out after being on the go for 10 days straight, but it was worth it.  I hope he’ll be here again soon.  I think he liked Portland and the Northwest enough that he wouldn’t mind living here.

Harmoncountry – Portland

Saturday, February 9th, 2013 No comments

Last week I went to see Harmoncountry, which is Dan Harmon’s (TV show Community creator)  Harmontown podcast on tour.  I had a lot of fun.  You can listen to the Portland episode here.

Some Things to Do In 2012: Revisited

Monday, December 31st, 2012 No comments

I think I rocked 2012.

  • Listen to music more. I didn’t do so well in the first few months of the year, but it picked up after that.  Between new CDs, SiriusXM, and live music, I think I did well.
  • Read 20 books. I read 20 books. I might be able to hit 21 by the end of the day.
  • Go to a Halloween party. Okay, so I bought tickets to a Halloween party that I had heard about.  A few days before party, I got an email saying that they were going to change it to an indoor party, which meant fewer people could come.  They offered me ticket to a couples only event they were also having, but I didn’t have anyone to go with.  I decided to stay home that night.
  • Go to a Christmas party. I went to my company’s Christmas party and had a great time.
  • Buy new clothes. I bought new shoes, shirts, jeans, socks, and coats.  I almost bought a new suit, but they couldn’t get anything to fit me when I needed it.
  • Meet new people. I’ve met new people at work and outside of work.  I need to hang out with them more.
  • Do social gaming. I’ve done more social gaming this year.  It’s been all online.  P.A.X. inspired me to do more board gaming, but so far that hasn’t gone anywhere.  I recently found out about a couple of groups trying to get a regular gaming night going, but with the holidays nothing got off the ground.  Maybe in the new year.
  • Start buying collectibles. I’ve been doing a good job of growing my collection of geeky items.  Following Brian’s suggestion, I’ve been documenting them on Facebook, Google+, and Flickr.

What a great year this has been.  I moved across the country to a great city with lots of exciting things to do.  I’ve made new friends and I have a job that I love.I’m not going to make a list for 2013.  I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing.

Life is Good

Sunday, October 7th, 2012 No comments

September just flew by, didn’t it? It started out with P.A.X., which I’ve already written about. The next weekend was the first ever Rose-City Comic-Con. I went in not expecting much, but my expectations were somewhat exceeded. There were a lot more people than I expected. There were people in costumes, but the quality wasn’t as good as they were at P.A.X. and San Diego Comic-Con. I shouldn’t say it, but most of the people wearing tight costumes shouldn’t have been in tight costumes. Richard Hatch and Noah Hathaway were there signing autographs and they had their own panels. There were booths set up with some interesting stuff. I bought some comics and some artwork that I need to hang and take pictures of. The only panels I went to was a Star Trek anniversary panel and a Doubleclicks panel. I had never seen The Doubleclicks perform, but I had heard much about them. I really enjoyed it. I did everything on day one. When I left I figured I had done everything I needed to and decided not to go back for day two. My personal highlight of the con was that Matt Fraction and his wife Kelly Sue DeConnick were there signing autographs. When it was finally my turn to speak to them, someone else started talking to her, so I really only got to speak to him. I can live with that. I’ve gotten used to being around celebrities over the past year and half or so, so I don’t usually get nervous anymore. I got nervous around Matt Fraction. He was really cool though.

Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick

The next weekend I got to see Oregon play Tennessee Tech down in Eugene. I got a call the week before from my dentist’s office saying that they had a drawing for the tickets and my name was pulled. Awesome! I didn’t even know I was in a drawing. I figured someone couldn’t go and they decided to give the tickets away, which was pretty much confirmed at the game. The drive down there was about 2 hours. There were a lot of other Oregon fans making the trip down. Driving through the middle of nowhere Oregon is a lot like driving through the middle of nowhere Mississippi except that there were hills. At one point I saw a vehicle coming down on a parachute. I loved the University of Oregon campus and the game day atmosphere was great. I tailgated with my dentist and his friends and father before the game. I had a great time at the game itself. The Ducks won 63-14. The trip back took over 3 hours because of traffic.

Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick

I got a lot of cool stuff done and work and a made some new friends, whom I’m sure I’ll be hanging out with on a regular basis. Even Reese has gotten to social a lot more lately.

Life is good.

Fun Week

Sunday, July 1st, 2012 2 comments

After many weeks of doing nothing but going to work, watching TV, working out, shopping, and going to see movies, I started to get out and enjoy Portland again this week. A lot of the events that I bought tickets for weeks or months in advance are starting take place now.

On Wednesday I went to a Foster the People concert. FTP is my favorite new band over the past year or so. Their first album is one that I can listen to all the way through without skipping any songs. The concert was outside and the weather was perfect. There was lots of skin on display, and I love seeing lots of skin. A singer named Kimbra opened up. She was good. The next performer was Mayer Hawthorne, who I liked a lot better. He has more of a soul kind of sound. After a while the songs started to sound alike, but I definitely want to give him another listen. FTP was last, of course, and they were SO GOOD!!! They played most, if not all, of their first album and some songs I didn’t recognize. They left the stage without playing “Pumped Up Kicks”, so everybody knew there would be an encore. When they did play “Pumped Up Kicks”, they changed the ending to make it sound like a techno song. Great concert!
foster the people

On Thursday night I went to see Aziz Ansari perform. He plays Tom on Parks and Recreation. A comedienne name Chelsea Peretti opened up. She was pretty good, but I was eager for Aziz to get on stage. His act was very funny! My favorite part was when he talked about meeting President Obama.
aziz ansari

On Friday night, I went to see the 80s Room. I learned about this event from Brian. Basically, a PSU student started collecting 80s TV commercials. He categorized them and showed some of them that night. I actually recognized some and the jingles from a few others. It was a really fun snapshot of the 80s.

On Saturday night, I went to see Patton Oswalt. This was at the same place I saw Marc Meron. I think I went online and bought tickets the moment the show was announced. I was close for the Meron show, but this time I was right in front of the stage. It was great. Both the opening act (I can’t remember his name) and Patton Oswalt spoke to me during the show. I kept noticing them looking at me. Before the show when I had to sign my name saying that I received my tickets, I saw the names Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, and Corin Tucker at the bottom of the list. Google them if you don’t know who they are. I didn’t get to look for them, but I overheard someone say they saw Fred Armisen. Awesome show!
helium comedy club

I was so exhausted last night. I must really be getting old. I want to stay home every night for the next week, but I think I have stuff on my calendar.

Loving Portland

Saturday, April 21st, 2012 No comments

Man, I’ve been neglecting this blog again. I meant to write something after I had been in Portland for a month, but I never got around to it. Things are so busy. I never even finished unpacking. I’ve been here a little over 2 months now, so I figured I should say something.

I love Portland! Yes, it’s rained a lot, but I’ve gotten used to that. I actually like the rain. Lately, we’ve had some really great, sunny weekends though. I’m sure I’ve made many mental observations about what I like better about Oregon than Mississippi, but I didn’t write them down, so I’ll probably miss a few. I like that there’s no sales tax here. That’s saved me a good bit of money. I like that there’s a lot of places to shop. I’ve done a lot of shopping. I like that there’s a comic book store and a Best Buy nearby. I saw a Facebook post from this time last year where I was complaining about not having either one. I like the beautiful scenery. I like the nice people. I like that doctors, dentists, and vets are open on weekends. The biggest complaint so far is that I haven’t found any BBQ that’s as good as Southern BBQ. From what I’ve seen, a lot of the stereotypes about Portland do have at least a little bit of truth to them. Just watch an episode or two of Portlandia and you’ll see what I mean.

I also love my job. The work is a lot more interesting here than at my last job. I get to work with cutting edge technologies and I’m learning a lot. We move at a much faster pace and that took some getting used to. We have a small office and I’m probably the youngest and most inexperienced person there. Things are going well though.

Because of all the long hours I’m putting in at work on this project that’s ending, I haven’t met people outside of work and I haven’t done much in Portland yet. I think that will change soon. In my free time, I have gone to a Greg Rucka book singing, gone to the Spring Beer & Wine Fest, gotten a tattoo, gone to a screening of the new Morgan Spurlock movie after which he did a Q&A, and gone to a Marc Meron comedy show. Except for the tattoo, I couldn’t have done any of that in Starkville.

I’m glad that I made the decision to come here. Maybe I can get some friends to visit soon.

Moving Complete

Sunday, February 26th, 2012 3 comments

The movers have finally delivered all of my worldly possessions – at least the ones that I didn’t bring with me in my car. It only took 9 days longer than their original estimate. I should’ve known they wouldn’t get here in 5 days. Now I can relax and really get settled in. Like I said on Facebook, I don’t know what I’m more excited to have back: the TV, the Xbox, the clothes, or the cooking equipment. Reese has been sleeping on the couch most of the night, so I know he’s glad to have it back. Between the moving company and the management company of this place I’m living in, moving has been a little bit of a nightmare.

I hired a moving company (America’s Moving Services) that had good reviews online. After the experience I had when they came to pick up my stuff in Starkville, I researched some more. It turns out they contract the work to other companies. I don’t know if this is standard in the industry. That’s why it was a different company (World Wide Van Lines) listed on the van took my things away. Maybe this was obvious and I just missed it somehow. While I was waiting, I had a hard time getting answers out the original company. The original guy who set up my move wasn’t reachable anymore. They never called back like they said that would. They would try to connect me to people and I would get hung up on. For a while I was getting a little worried. When they finally emailed me to tell me what the final amount due, they told me to make my payment out to a third company. A day or two ago, I got a call saying they would be here on Sunday and this morning I got a call saying they would be here today. The company that delivered my stuff today (company number four) was United Van Lines. I should’ve gone with them originally. I wonder how many times my belongings changed trucks and if it would’ve been the same if I had chosen United from the beginning. The United guys were careful with my stuff, they were very cooperative, and they joked around with me the whole time. I gave them a tip. I did get charged $75 extra because they had to take steps up a hill to get inside and they had to take stuff upstairs to the bedrooms, but I was expecting that. The contract said 1 flight of stairs was free. I noticed that someone else’s belongings were on the same truck as mine and their stuff was better than mine. A little advice: don’t use moving boxes purchased from Walmart. Most of them are damaged and I’m afraid the contents are damaged. One of my boxes of precious books seems to have suffered the worst damage. I’ll probably have to repack many things that I planned to leave in boxes until I found a more permanent place.

The property management company needs to get itself together. The people who work in the office obviously don’t know much about their rental properties. They’re unorganized. I may have mentioned it before, but I overheard a conversation when I went to sign my lease where they basically admitted how unorganized they are. They thought I was coming 2 days later though the paperwork clearly stated which day I was coming. I was promised that this was a one-story townhouse, but it’s two. I should bill them for the extra $75 the moving company charged. There was supposed to be a washer and dryer here and there wasn’t, but they fixed that problem. There’s a lot of stuff that’s broken, but I’ve documented it all. They’re working on getting it taken care of. I have to stay on them since they don’t return phone calls.

I don’t even know where to begin unpacking. I was exhausted after the movers left, even though I was feeling pretty good beforehand. I went to see The Phantom Menace 3D tonight like I had planned to days ago. It went anyway instead of staying home just to get away from these boxes. My next move shouldn’t be as bad as this one. Before I left Starkville, I told myself that a lot of my current furniture wouldn’t go with me when I found a more permanent place. Some of it’s over 10 years old and is well used.

Anyway, time to get to work on around here. Now that my electronics are here, DirecTV can come install my satellite. Then I’ll get around to enjoying Portland.

P.S. – It was still Saturday the 25th when I posted this. I hadn’t changed the time zone on the site yet.

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Portland Bound, Day 4

Thursday, February 16th, 2012 No comments

I made it to Portland yesterday, but I couldn’t write because I didn’t have Internet access. I went from Idaho to Oregon. The last leg of the trip was a lot shorter than the previous three. There were some boring parts, but the scenery was beautiful for the most part. I got to drive through more mountains. I was thankful, though, when we started to drop in elevation and I started to see trees. During the last 30 minutes of the trip, I started feeling a little doubt the decision I made to move. I’m sure everything will be alright though.

I got to my new place around 4 or 5 yesterday. It’s okay. I made a decision on it without ever getting to see it, so I was taking a risk. It was always meant to be temporary. It didn’t have a washer and dryer as advertised, but they’re working on getting me one. My biggest issue is that there’s a busy street 2 streets over. I didn’t anticipate the traffic being as loud as it is. I’ve lived on busy streets before. When I lived in my grandmother growing up, there was always traffic coming through, even 18-wheelers that woke me up in the middle of the night. The noise here is more constant thought. I’ll just have to keep reminded myself that it’s only temporary. Don’t get me started on how hard it’s been to deal with the property’s management.

Hopefully, the movers will get here before it’s time to move again. I’ll never use this company again. I did get an email from them this morning saying that my stuff is only 160 lbs over weight and not 1300 lbs like the driver said. That’s some good news, at least.

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Portland Bound, Day 3

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 No comments

Man, I enjoyed today. What a difference a day makes. Other than a little bit of worry at the beginning that the roads might be slick, I was fine. I went from Wyoming to Utah to Idaho. Today was the best scenery day so far. I saw lots and lots of mountains. They were beautiful and breathtaking.  It was weird being at such a high elevation.  At one point my GPS said that I was around 7000 ft, but by the end of the day I was around 2800 ft. I saw a part of the Great Salt Lake. Maybe I’ll come back another time for a proper visit.

It was a long day, but I enjoyed it. I shouldn’t have to do nearly as much driving tomorrow. Almost there.

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Portland Bound, Day 2

Monday, February 13th, 2012 No comments

Today I went from Missouri to Kansas to Missouri to Iowa to Nebraska to Wyoming. I’m spending the night in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Today wasn’t exactly a good day. I blame it all on the snow. I’m not used to driving in the snow. When it snowed in Mississippi, everything shut down and I didn’t have to leave the house. When I left the hotel in Kansas City it took about an hour to go 30 miles. I was stressed out because I was worried about having an accident. After a while, conditions started to improve. Right when I started to get comfortable, a car ahead of me started sliding back and forth across the road. Finally, after about 2.5 hours I got to the point where I could pick up the speed a bit. I saw so much snow today even though the streets were fine for most of the trip. After seeing hours and hours of snow-covered fields, I’m tired of snow.

somewhere in Iowa

The scenery did get better at the end of the day’s drive. Driving through western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming just felt different. It was too dark for me to take pictures. I saw a truck stop on a hill that kind of reminded me of Edoras from the Lord of Rings movies.

Super 8 was much more pet-friendly. Reese was really good today.

I am worn out. I hope to get off the road earlier tomorrow so I can have more time to decompress before bed tomorrow night.

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