1. My intention for the first post of this blog was to upload songs for y’all to listen to. For the life of me, though, I can’t figure out how to make a song go from a CD to a web-page. I’ve found websites that have a catalog of songs you can select for your blog, but none of them had the three songs I wanted. So if any of you know how to set up a digital media player on a web-page that will play songs uploaded from CDs, please let me know.
Actually, now that I think about it, you guys are about as web-savvy as I am…so maybe we’ll just have to skip the music for now.
2. The money situation has gotten a little scary lately. I’m working in the store now, and I’m getting fewer hours in at work because 8 hours dealing with walk-ins really feels like 8 hours. The margin between my paycheck and my rent payment is getting dangerously slim. My current lease is set to expire at the end of this month, and I got a letter the other day letting me know they’re raising my rent by $25 if I re-sign. If that rent had been paid out of the last paycheck I got, I would have had exactly twenty dollars left over. I get paid twice a month, of course, and rent is only due once, so in theory I should be able to save money from one paycheck to apply toward the rent coming out of the next. Somehow, I never manage to do this, though. The more consciously I try to save money, the more I end up spending.
Anyway, in addition to squeezing out off-the-counter overtime whenever I can, I’ve been trying to find a new pad. But it’s looking like my apartment was pretty much the best deal in all of Portland. Most of the studios I can afford, if Craig’s List is to be believed, are in The ‘Couve. While I kind of have this gentle affection for downtown The ‘Couve (it’s very charming, and there’s not a strip mall in sight, and it feels more like a small town than it does a suburb) public transportation between there and Portland is crappy, and there’s nothing in the way of good vegetarian food.
Emily thinks I should rent a house with her and Willard, and that’s starting to look like the best option. It’s certainly more practical than living alone, and Emily is pretty much the best housemate I can think of. (The only other person I can clearly see myself living with is Ashley. That apartment would be so tasteful and clean and marvelous that I’m not even, as Ashley would say, gonna lie.) But Emily is really good at cooking, and I’m really good at sitting and talking to people while they prepare food for me, so I think we’d have a pretty good time. Wilfred, for his part, is pretty much the most quiet, patient person I’ve met, so there shouldn’t be any problems there. We’re also the same clothing size, and his shirts smell like my grandad used to. Awesome.
I just can’t quite eradicate this sadness I have about giving up on having my own territory. That was such an important thing to me when I moved out here. Ah, well. It’s not as important as having enough money for food and books and movies.
3. Speaking of books, I’ve been reading Hotel California based on her recommendation. The only thing I want to say about it here is that I think it’s really cool that Joni Mitchell and Neil Young never had sex. She slept with C,S, and most notably N — but never Y. They were the only two Canadians in the Southern California rock scene at the time, and they were arguably the two biggest and most influential musical geniuses to come out of it, and they just kind of had this tremendous friendly respect for each other. Mostly, I just like to see it when a man and a woman can be friends and admire each other’s professional work without everything eventually devolving into something sexual and complicated and gender-roley. I like to imagine them seeing each other across the room at parties, and each giving the other a reverent and heartfelt Great-White-North nod before descending back into the fray.
Yeah, OK, kind of stupid to be telling you guys about this. I just think it’s nifty, is all.
4. I really want to go to Los Angeles for four reasons. One is — as I’m sure you can guess — Laurel Canyon, the nexus of the Folk Rock movement, where Mitchell still maintains a home for part of the year. You should Google the pictures. It looks like a combination between Portland’s West Hills, and the piedmont landscape where Mama McDaniel lives. It also looks like it’s been steeped in singer-songwriter mystique. That’s kind of irresistible for me.
Dan at work went to school in Pasadena, and says that (a) Six Feet Under was filmed there, and (b) all of the houses there look like the Fishers’. He also says it’s kind of a cool place. I really like Dan, so I’m going to trust his judgement on this one.
Downtown L.A. has a pretty dramatic skyline. I know that that really means very little about the city itself, and I shouldn’t be lured in by style in lieu of substance. I know that shiny, tall buildings are necessarily expensive buildings that interesting, independent business cannot afford to operate out of. I know the whole “It’s so plastic” lament. (You can’t live in Portland and not hear this uttered in repsonse to your mentioning a place you really like.)
I also know that nothing can make my heart quiver like a bitchin’ skyline comming up over the horizon.
Everyone hates L.A. now, and there is this strange compulsion to be contrary coded into my DNA. (Please refer to my title for further evidence of this.)
Round-trip tickets from Portland are less than $200, so if any of you guys coming out to visit us in the next couple seasons are up for a trip-within-a-trip, let me know. I think it could be fun.
5. Please don’t expect subsequent posts to be this long.