Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

I live across the street from an over-priced hipster joint that has a line out the door every weekend with throngs of people dying to make their own pancakes.  The sidewalk is flooded with patrons waiting for a table that has it's own griddle.  Once seated, you can choose a variety of different batters and literally make your own pancakes on the table right in front of you.  It's a novel idea, but it's way too expensive for my taste and I'm not sure it's worth the wait.

Today, Father's Day 2011, I walked past the trendy cafe and saw an even bigger crowd than usual.  Lots of Dads were hanging out, clutching their cups of coffee and obviously enjoying the time with their families.  There were Grandpas with their older, grown-up kids; there were young Daddies hoisting the little ones on their shoulders; and everyone was laughing, happily and patiently waiting for their moment in front of the grill, eagerly anticipating the Mimosas and Bloody Marys that would accompany their delicious breakfast fare. 

Today, I think of my Dad, long gone now, but ever present in my memory.  I wonder what he would make of me as this pseudo grown-up person and if he would be proud of my life.  He lives in me every day; every time I crack a corny joke or have a splash of temper, he's there. 

I miss you Dad.  I wish you were here.  But as corny as this may sound, I see you in my dreams quite often and I thank you for taking the time to visit from wherever you are.  Happy Father's Day Pop!  I love  you, you ol' rapscallion you!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend Highlights

Come on...tell the truth.  You just did a double-take on the photo above, didn't you?  Well, don't're not seeing things.  That really is a guy riding his bike naked.  And that's exactly what I saw this weekend...oh the perks of living in such a silly city known as Portland.

We were driving down the and D...and suddenly D says, "Hey!  That guy is naked!"  I turn to my right, and sure enough, there is one lone guy riding his bike sans clothing!  I did the requisite double-take but there was no mistaking it. 

He seemed like he was having a very enjoyable afternoon ride on his bike.  He was wearing a hat (apparently to protect his head from the sun, but obviously nothing else was protected.  I sure do hope he was smeared with SPF everywhere else!) He was wearing socks and sneakers and that my friends is all she wrote!  Just had his birthday suit on and nothing more.  Hmm....wonder where he kept his wallet?

No cars were honking or making any type of spectacle out of this spectacle.  I guess everyone here in Portland takes this type of thing in stride.  D didn't even honk because as he told me, he was too flabbergasted to even think about honking.  It took us both a couple of minutes for our brains to register what we were seeing.

I cracked up laughing.  I was highly amused.  I hope the cyclist got home safe without any incident (meaning I hope he wasn't arrested for indecent exposure or any other hassle.)  I truly believe he was simply taking advantage of the lovely weather we were having. 

Sometimes after a long, cold, rainy winter, you just have to get out there on your bicycle and ride.  Naked.  The motto here is "Keep Portland Weird."  Amen to that!  Hope you all had an equally enjoyable weekend. With or without your clothes on!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


As many of  you  know, I moved from Southern California to Portland, Oregon last October.  The reasons behind the move are varied, and the act of picking up and moving a long distance is traumatic enough.  To say I downsized in order to move to Portland would be an understatement; though I held on to many of my cherished belongings, and put the most important things in my little car and drove north.  The rest of my things stayed in storage.

Last week, I returned to Southern California to retrieve my items out of storage.  There was more stuff in that little storage facility than I had remembered.  So there I was, once again discarding more items and repacking. It was emotional. I kept telling myself that it was only "stuff."  But it was my stuff!  Every object had history behind it.  Since not everything could fit in the car or in my new place in Portland, I inevitably had to let even more things go. Downsizing again.  But my motto has always been less is more, so I guess it's a good thing.  I guess...

On the drive back to Portland, I got to thinking about the meaning of home.  Southern California is so familiar to me.  I know where everything is; my family lives there and it was my home for many, many years.  But I never truly felt like I belonged there.  I always felt like I was on the outside looking in.  I've lived in many different cities and I've always had that similar feeling...that I was an outsider.  And so, because of that, I've moved around a lot...hoping to one day find the place that clicked.  That one day I could identify with a certain city and truly call it home.

Is Portland home?  I'm not sure yet.  I still have mixed feelings about this place, but I haven't even been here a year so it's too soon to tell.  I like it here a lot, but it takes more than that to make a place a home.  I am doing the best I can; finding ways to become part of the Portland community.  There are many opportunities here, so I have hope that I will one day hunker down and feel that this is where I belong.

For now, I simply ponder what it means to call a place "home."  Yes, now all my stuff is in one place and that feels good.  Secure.  But I need something more...yet whatever that something is, remains elusive.  I hope I find it here in Portland.  I'm not sure I have another long distance move in me.  Not for awhile anyway.  So I'm hunkering down...putting the books on the shelves and the pictures on the wall.  And for today, I am home.