Busy Weekend

Another week down, another weekend gone. We made the most of this last one though. Friday night we went to cash my first check (Yea! And state taxes suck!), pay for our room, then to a celebratory dinner at a local joint called Shari’s (the biscuits and gravy were to die for, as was the chocolate cream pie), and then to see The International. I’ve decided I’m going to live on strictly cash as soon as humanly possible – no debt. Debt means power over you and I’m about done with that. Check out the movie – it gave me goose bumps.

Saturday I worked. Got out an hour early. I think the boss had had enough fun for one day and just sent everyone home. I’ve been fiending for this knitting needle kit since I read about it on the dominknitrix website and finally found a place that had it, was open, and not in Vancouver. I think we only drove by it once – tiny little sign. On the second attempt I decided to pull into a side street (I saw a parking space that didn’t require my rusty-to-non-existent parallel skills) and it turns out the shop was right around the corner. Let me just say up front that “dazzled” probably doesn’t cover my reaction. I’ve never been into a bona fide knitting shop before, and this one was comprised of 3 conjoined storefronts filled to the roof with every color and texture of yarn you can imagine, 1 storefront of patterns, and another as their own coffee shop. I was in Technicolor heaven and it smelled fabulous. It was also packed – apparently a lot of Oregonians are knitting fans. I managed to get out without breaking the bank too badly, but I know I spent too much considering I’m supposed to be saving for an apartment, but I couldn’t resist and Honey encouraged me. (It’s all his fault really). We ran straight to Shari’s from there because we’d both waited too long to eat and were getting shaky and weird, respectively. We had their chicken and dumplings, which I think was the best I’ve ever had. Skipped the pie for lack of room and went home to make my first attempt at knitting in the round, which turned out to be harder than I thought and took nearly half and hour on the web. I found instructions to avoid the gap and jog that’s common with rounds, and then had to cast on four different times because I kept running out of tail yarn too soon. Plus the directions were for American knitters, not Continental knitters (I knit like a lefty though I’m not) so some adjusting was required. I did finally get it together, no twisting, and an inch or so done before calling it a night.

Sunday. Somehow I popped out of bed promptly at 8:30am thinking I’d slept until 10am and was raring to go. I fit into a bra I haven’t ever worn and went out into a blustery rainy day to try out the MAX line. We drove to my office, parked next door at the frame shop (cars, not pictures) and walked to the train terminal. It’s fascinating – here they’re into trains big time and there are stations everywhere, three different lines (red, yellow, and blue), and the tickets are good for trains, buses, and trolleys. We bought all day passes and hopped the first train towards the zoo, which was our intended destination. We got a little sidetracked / quasi lost. We hadn’t gone far enough, got off to check the map and get our bearings, and ended up at the location of the Portland Saturday Market on its first weekend of the season. One side of the street is all hand made art; the other is all imported, with food vendors sprinkled on both sides. We both bought beanies with ear flaps (a must around here due to the wind) and a Philly cheese steak with garlic sauce that was wonderful and soon everywhere. The photographers all seem to shoot landscapes (beautiful ones, but with that being the only genre). There were metal hair pins and knit goods everywhere, and lots of things that I will later be spending lots of money on. It was a little small due to some confusion about opening day – supposed to be the first weekend in March, but Saturday was in February…you get the idea. We walked around downtown Portland till we found Camera World, which turned out to be a little disappointing. They didn’t have the accessory strap for Honey’s camera pack even though they carry the brand, and they can’t print any larger than 24” x 36”, and no metallic paper. Tried to find Voodoo Doughnut – GPS kept saying it was right around the corner, but we never did get there. Wandered back to the market and hopped the train to the zoo.

I like the idea of seeing exotic animals I’ve never seen before, but I also feel sorry for them when they’re in cages that look nothing like their home environments. One of the wolves was trying to dig to China; the sea lions swam the exact same path over and over and over; the ocelot was anxiously pacing in circles with its brow knitted. The monkeys are the hardest for me – it’s like seeing pit bulls at the pound, looking in their eyes and understanding that they know. The mandrills were bad – the male named Ebeneezer sat in the corner plucking at his fur; the orangutans were worse – one of the younger females came right to the glass, sat down, and put her chin on the window ledge, just staring at us. The other people loved it. Honey got some great pictures of her, but I felt sick. Regardless of what your stance is on whether humans are descendants or not, the fact is they’re 98% identical in DNA make-up. They’re almost human. That small percent difference doesn’t make them stupid – they understand. And this young female did - I could see it in her eyes – she knew. The question on her face was ‘why?’

We considered stopping at the Saturday Market on the way back to grub, even though we’d spent enough that day, but they were almost all broken down and gone when we passed back that way. I sat across from a guy on the train who I’m sure was reading my aura at one point and listened to the other passengers, complete strangers, some homeless-looking, some college-student-looking, sitting side by side, having actual conversations (ie not weather related). The people here may be indecisive, but they are friendly and approachable. I asked for directions to the zoo – the guy went and double-checked the map for me. We spotted at an apartment building near the yarn store we liked but couldn’t find the office so I knocked on a downstairs window – the lady not only opened the door, she answered my questions, and seemed genuinely pleased we’d moved here, as everyone has that’s found out. We’ve been welcomed to Portland at least 5 times now.

We were so tired; we got fast food closest to home – waited forever in the drive-thru. Got into our pj’s and finished watching Sleepy Hollow right about where we’d left off that morning. I finished the scarf I was working on for one of Mom’s friends, even managed to make fringe without the benefit of scissors. We both crashed out around 8:30pm – when Honey turns the TV off that early, you know he’s exhausted. He carried a full camera pack around all day so I’m not surprised.

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