Part of my absence was due to my contracting an autumn cold, complete with all the standard muscle aches, perpetual throat pains, and choke-you-in-your-sleep sinus blockage (ugggggh.) The other (more enjoyable) reason was my visiting a very dear friend and her husband in Portland, OR. I could not be more grateful to them for welcoming me (germs and all) into their lovely home and for showing me such a wonderful weekend. Here's a little glimpse at what we got up to:
What *didn't* we eat, is the question! And actually the answer to that question would be "animals or animal products," as my lovely hosts are both vegan. (Though, in all honesty, I myself had yogurt and some cheese and a buttermilk donut, so I guess I lost that game.) But seriously, Portland has some of the best vegan and veggie options out there, so if you're in the mood to sample, there's no better place to begin. Colossal burritos, cider-soaked apple crepes, all kinds of dark chocolate, cold brew coffee, cornmeal crust deep dish pizza piled high with veggies, a kombucha BAR, a magic elixir juice truck, tofu scrambles, almond butter granola bowls... I was in Northwest alternative foodie heaven.
A Timbers game! Guys, if you know me, then you know that sports and I don't really walk hand-in-hand under the peace of a sparkly rainbow. I'm skeptical of sports at best (outright critical at my worst), and I was initially uncertain about spending our afternoon in a hot stadium watching a ball fly back and forth. ... but, man, soccer games are FUN! Since this was a sport I actually played as a kid, I could follow the rules of it more easily, and the game pace was immediately engaging. If I had to choose a sport to be "into," it would be soccer for sure.
The lovely Miss H is never without recommendations for books, movies, or music, and she seems to always have a good grasp on what I like too. At her behest, we started with Ruby Sparks, featuring Zoe Kazan & Paul Dano. What a film! It was kind of like watching 500 Days of Summer underscored with my own feminist commentary. I loved it. The next night we watched The One I Love, which felt somehow French in its bizarre, unsettling plot. This was a much harder pill to swallow, but I found it even more interesting than Ruby.
Both films got me thinking about the modern relationship, and how we're all looking for our "perfect match." While I certainly side with the opinion that one should marry for love, it strikes me that not so long ago people approached marriage more like a business partnership -- an exchange of resources or skills. The modern expectation that a perfect love exists somewhere (and that anything lesser is ultimately disposable) runs parallel with our view of today's resources; Why make expensive fixes when it costs less to buy something new? Yet the fact remains, a person is not an iPhone. There's no promise of a quick upgrade to Partner 2.0 once you've grown tired of the original. Shouldn't we rather treat our relationships like a favorite pair of jeans, letting them morph from the fresh-dyed splendor of newness all the way through the patched raggedy cutoff phase? And shouldn't we love them a little more with each change, however differently? Just thoughts.
Well, I didn't smell much of anything, cause I was stuck in the traffic of Mucus Town. But roses were everywhere! We stumbled into a neighborhood garden and I probably could've stayed there all day chasing down bees and studying water droplets in macro focus.
There was much cause for celebration on this little journey. A five-long year friendship was at the crux, but there was also the end of summer / start of autumn, new performance projects (me), upcoming travels (them), and an upcoming wedding anniversary to commend! September has always felt more like the mark of a new year to me -- even moreso than January. It seems ever full of promise and new beginnings. I'm truly happy to have rung in my "new year" with these perfectly fabulous Portlanders!