Posts Tagged ‘ rain ’

Things I learned in 2012.

When I was drafting this blog, I was laughing internally because in comparison, the one I wrote for 2011 was so short. It amuses me that 2011 felt like I grew so much, but 2012 was so much more.

So because this list is so long, I’m going to subdivide it into months.


  • Saying goodbye isn’t the hardest thing– living without is.
  • Moving to the Willamette valley in January is a terrible idea. It’s the crappiest weather of the year.


  • Crappy jobs still pay rent.
  • Rich people aren’t good tippers. Actually, rich people are the worst tippers.
  • Getting thoroughly lost can be the best way to learn about a city’s geography.


  • Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to tune out.
  • If you’re willing to be surprised, a good friend can come from anywhere.


  • Unemployment is only scary when it stops feeling like a vacation.
  • Twenty is a surprisingly bummer age to turn. Suddenly adulthood feels like a burden


  • Aim high, be prepared to score low, and you may be pleasantly surprised.


  • Summer in Portland is perfect. 
  • Living in a main street in Portland during the summer… Not so much.


  • Nothing is certain, not even your life.
  • Getting prodded by medical folk gets easier the more it happens. Same with throwing up.
  • Dulaudid is one hell of a drug.
  • Recovery is the hardest part– waiting and wanting to be back to normal, but still sick.
  • In spite of the soap opera-y parts, Friends is an awesome show.
  • Staying hydrated is so much more important than I ever thought. Drink water, people!


  • Bicycling through Portland at night in the summer is amazing.
  • Doctor Who is one of the best TV shows of ALL TIME.
  • Life goes back to normal really easily, even when you’re changed forever and there’s constant turmoil in your brain.


  • Empathy is not a strong trait of mine, except where my sisters are concerned.
  • Every wedding should have dancing. (and dancers.)


  • Important decisions can be delayed.
  • I’m freaking awesome at parallel parking.


  • People who skype in coffee shops make me nervous.
  • Shutting up and listening is important.


  • Feeling rich is still a major fault of mine.
  • Handmade Christmas presents are the best!
  • Distance hasn’t made me love Central Oregon and my people there any less, and time hasn’t made me miss them any less.
  • Even though 2012 was a really tough year, it was a really good year– and it was really important.

And yeah… Fart jokes are still funny.

With that said, I’m really looking forward to what 2013 will hold. I’m making plans to intentionally make it the best year ever.



Why I Love Living in Portland.

I know it’s old news by now, but I live in Portland. What I may have failed to mention is that I recently moved into Portland itself instead of living out in Lake Oswego, because I like Portland. Therefore, I have compiled a (very short) list of the things that are making me fall in love with this city.
  • The Coffee
As far as I know, most places in the country (and indeed the world) you can get coffee, but in Portland, you can get excellent coffee everywhere. I’m not kidding– everywhere. Even at random little greasy spoon places, if you order a cup of coffee it’ll probably be from Stumptown or Portland Roasting Company. Neither of those are my favorite roasters, but they do a damn fine job compared to the Folgers you’ll get at little places in Central Oregon.
  • The People-Watching and Eavesdropping
A few weeks ago, my sisters and I were walking around SE Portland. It was on that random weekend in April when it was 80 degrees and sunny, and since Jessie had misplaced her sunglasses, she was wearing ski goggles instead. No big deal. All through our walk of a half mile to the clothes store, only one person looked at her weird. Indeed, that guy was the only person who even did a double-take. He must have been from out of town, because he looked like he was either going to fall out of his chair or cry.
But therein lies my point. There are so many weird people here. The people-watching opportunities are endless; and I shan’t go on too long, but the eavesdropping is amazing, too. Just in coffee shops or on the bus I’ve heard so many random conversations, including one guy who was lecturing a stranger on how his crucifix was so much more powerful than his voodoo charms.
  • The Weather
I mentioned before that I think the weather in Central Oregon contributes to the significant writer’s block I have there. Since I grew up with sunshine, I take it for granted. It bores me. Rain, though? I love it. Today was gloomy all day, and as soon as it started pouring rain I breathed a sigh of relief. Call me crazy if you want, but I adore Portland weather.
  • The Public Transit
As much as I love to hate on Trimet, it’s actually really good. Yes, some of the buses come early or late, but they always come. Also, you can’t beat it for people watching and eavesdropping. Sometimes when I’m running low on writing material, I just go take a ride on Trimet, and the people always inspire me somehow. True story.
  • The Pride
I love how stoked Portlanders are just to be in Portland. I like the stickers that say Keep Portland Weird, even though the people who work too hard to be weird annoy me. I love how granola the city is, and how it’s so easy to find local and organic food. It makes my heart content how the church I’ve been to is so focused on being genuine but still proud of being Portlanders. I love living in Portland.


Yesterday I was scheduled to open the coffee shop, which means I have to get to work at 6:45. In the world of coffee that’s pretty freakin’ plush, but since I’m the opposite of a morning person I still am uncomfortable awakening early enough to accomplish this, especially when I’m greeted by the sight of a paltry snowfall– only half an inch, and a slushy half inch at that.

Lake Oswegians are crappy enough drivers on a normal day, and let’s be honest; valley drivers can’t deal with snow anyway.

So I leaped at my roommate’s generous offer of dropping me off at work. It was a quick decision, a brief weighing of two things that suck– walking home in the rain, or possibly getting hit by a crazy rich person whilst riding my wee scooter  in the snow/slush in the daylight-savings induced darkness?

I decided to walk home in the rain.

The ride over was positively luxurious– they say you never know what you have ’til it’s gone, and boy were They right. Work was characteristically uneventful, and so when it was still snow/rain/hail/whatever-ing at noon when I got off, I thought little of it.

“Whatever, rain,” I thought to myself, “I’m from Oregon! I can deal with this!”


The first few blocks were just dandy. My scarf and dual hoods kept my neck warm, and the wind beat against my back. I thought that was grand until I remembered that the final half mile to my destination was facing into the wind. I internally grimaced.

As I continued walking, both my route and the wind shifted so that the rain-slush was driving into my face. My raingear was failing me, and I became wetter and wetter. My glasses, covered in raindrops, were useless, actually obscuring my vision. I pushed them up onto my head. My bangs were drenched, clinging to my forehead uncomfortably. I thought, “Well, I might as well go for it.”

I partially unzipped my jacket and dropped the hoods to my jacket and sweater, freeing my hair from its damp, insufficient protection.

I trudged.

Just as I approached the final road to get up the hill to my house,  I realized something stunning– although I was wearing low-top converse, my feet felt quite dry. I had no water sloshing around my feet.

“Hah!” I shouted at the sky, “I showed you!”

Then, my blindness and pride cut me down.

Too late, I watched as my foot descended into a puddle– a puddle that was too deep for the paltry rubber sides of my favorite, hand-dyed shoes to protect me from.


The inside of my left shoe was flooded. I shouted some choice words, inconsiderate of the construction workers up the street who could probably hear me. They looked askance at me as I trudged past, probably appearing somewhat akin to a drowned rat.

I left a puddle in the entryway from where I stood to take off my jacket and shoes. My soaked clothing went straight to the dryer. My feet bore the signs of bleeding dye, a consequence of being discontent with orange converse.

Next time, I’m braving the Lake Oswego drivers.


Some doodles from Portland, or a blog about Hipsters.

I spent the New Year in Portland.

It was exciting. The place I was staying was right in the Hawthorne district, which is the cool part of town. (How dare you not know that, you un-cool person you.)

For those of you unfamiliar with Portland, you should know something

Portland has almost as many hipsters as obese squirrels.

I saw a squirrel out a window of almost exactly these proportions. It was amazing. But I digress.

Since I was in the cool part of town, I spent at least hours wandering around, looking at shops and stuff. Most of the time, though, I spent watching people, and playing rousing games of “Hipster-or-Hobo” with my cousin and friend.

I can say with confidence that Hipster culture is hilarious.

Out of the dozens of men I saw sporting beards, floppy beanies, plaid, and guitars, only one left an impression on me. He was walking the same direction as me at about the same pace, so I started a conversation. It was a lame conversation– I can’t even remember what words we exchanged. I’m not even positive it was the same man I was talking to the whole five minutes– another hipster man may have jumped in and taken his place when I wasn’t paying attention.

Hipster men tend to be very self-aware of their lack of self-awareness.

Hipster girls share the above trait. They also tend to be vegetarian or vegan, but not for health reasons, and smoke outside the uber-hip coffee shop they have to wait in line an hour for to get a table. Also, hipster girls appear to never cut their hair except for where it falls on their face. That, they crop into eyeball-obscuring bangs.

While I was walking around this cool part of town on a non-rainy day, I blended in pretty well. Typically I dress in plaid and jeans, and I was wearing rain boots as there were puddles everywhere.

None of the hipsters gave me a second glance; that was until it started raining.

Since I wear glasses, I dislike walking in the rain. There is something unbelievably annoying about water droplets obscuring and distorting one’s already poor vision.

So when it rains, I carry an umbrella.

A unique trait of Hipsters in the Hawthorne district is that they’re fiercely proud of the fact that many of them are Portland and/or Oregon natives. In Oregon, a good way to wave around a banner that says “I’m not from here” is to carry an umbrella. One might as well tattoo it on one’s forehead– I’m not a Native!

I couldn’t believe the number of stares I got as I walked down the sidewalk on Hawthorne blvd. with my red umbrella open over my head. As I waited for a light to cross an intersection, I thought a biker was going to crash from staring at me as he rode by.

I’m not very into attention, particularly of the negative variety, so I quickly retreated back to the house and drew this picture.

I realized after I drew it that the Hipsters’ stares had been only at what I was wearing or carrying, not at me.

It was very superficial.

Then I laughed.

Overall, the weekend was fun. I love Portland, and can’t wait to live near there. The more hipsters I get to watch, the more drawing material I’ll have.

Also, Portland is full of men with beards, and women who obviously wish they had beards.

That is all.

A extremely depressing story

It’s been rainy for the last several days here. Since I’m used to the fabled 300 days of sunshine, the clouds tend to throw me toward the bluesy side of the mood spectrum. I don’t mind in the least.

Rather, I find a sort of poetic beauty in the blues. Rain inspires me to write (songs, blogs, stories,) draw (usually with blues and grays,) and make music (often with a lot of minor chords.)

However, in my state of poetic depression I tend to write sad and depressing things. The sadder I write, the more I worry that people won’t take me seriously. So today I decided (while journaling) to write the saddest, most depressing things I could think of, and then everything else I write will seem relatively bright and cheery.

(It gets awful from here on out — you’ve been warned.)

Scene one: Annie is a reasonably pretty, reasonably intelligent 20-something female. Her cat (fluffy, cute, stupid) just died, which, coupled with unemployment and singlehood has thrown her into a deep depression. As she walks home from work, all her cares flood over her and she begins to cry. She fights the tears, but they overpower her. People on the sidewalk walk faster after seeing her, looking away uncomfortably.

Scene two:  After arriving home, Annie weeps copiously whilst searching the house for her journal and a pen. She finds a suitable notebook, and eagerly looks about for a writing instrument so she can pour out her cares to the impartial pages. She can’t find a pen.

Scene three: Annie dials up her best friend. As she vents on the phone, her friend says “Oh, boyfriend just walked in, bye!” and hangs up.

Scene four: Feeling the need to clear her head, Annie leaves the apartment to go for a walk, but it starts to rain so she heads back to get an umbrella. She’s locked out of the apartment.


All right, I’d best stop there, before this turns into verbal suicide.

Poor Annie. I almost feel bad for giving her such an awful life.


Summer thunderstorms are definitely one of the best things about life. The relief from the weight of the air. The majesty of the huge lightning flashes. The vibrations of the grumbling thunder in your chest.

Thunderstorms are a place where heaven and earth lean in for a kiss, and then the earth just can’t contain itself and its heart explodes into lightning and thunder. My favorite part about summer thunderstorms, though, is the rain.

Each raindrop is like a little kiss from heaven, touching you for just long enough that you know you’re loved. And not just loved, but loved by the Cosmic Power that gave us thunderstorms– a time where heaven and earth really do seem to touch, even if just for a moment.


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