This weekend, I bopped up to Portland to visit my friend Jofish, who’s in Portland doing an internship at Intel for the summer. And since I don’t think I’ve ever actually been to Portland, it seemed like a good excuse to go visit. Plus, Jofish is fabulously fun and spending more time with him is a good thing.

So I said I would come visit him this summer, and about two weeks ago I realized “D’oh, the summer is almost over!”, so I went online to try to get tickets, and eventually ended up deciding to frequent flyer it instead. Unfortunately by that point, there were basically no flights left that were available to frequent flyers, so I ended up on a 6am Saturday flight up, and a 6am Monday flight back. But oh well. So at 4am on Saturday, I got up, made my way over to SFO, and went up to Portland.

In a totally random coincidence, the boys from Squid Labs were also heading to Portland this weekend, to go kite surfing in the Hood River Gorge. And they were also frequent-flyering it, so they ended up on the same flight as me. So we all trucked over to Jofish’s and then headed out to brunch at Veritable Quandary, which was excellent, and then to the farmers market. Back to the house to drop off the produce, consume a flat of berries, take a nap, consume bread and cheese and sausage and venison as a “light” snack before heading to the Oregon Brewer’s Festival, which coincidentally happened to be this weekend as well. We drank _way_ too much beer (I think I had 10 tastes, at 4 oz a taste, which is only two and a half pints of beer, but it was hefty stuff), and basically wore ourselves out (especially the ones who had been up since 4am), and came home.

Oh, home. Jofish’s place in Portland is totally fabulous. It’s got a beautiful back yard, with all sorts of plants and way too many spiders (who spin beautiful webs that glint in the sun), and a deck that overlooks it all that is nicely shaded by the trees. Just an incredibly relaxing place to hang out. We spent most of the weekend hanging out on the deck when we weren’t out running around.

Anyway, after getting back from beer, we had a BBQ where Jofish and Janet magnificently rose to the occasion of hosting ten people by putting together bread, salad, pesto, and a grilled salmon. Good stuff. We stayed up late talking on the deck by candle light, too stuffed to eat another bite (Jofish tried to insist that we eat the watermelon for dessert, but failed). I finally went to bed at around 1am.

This morning was very lazy. Breakfast on the deck. The Squid Labs boys headed off to the gorge. The rest of us eventually got going, went to Trader Joe’s to stock up on more food after we’d eaten everything in the house yesterday (and to take advantage of my rental car), came back for lunch, and then wandered over to Powells, which is Portland’s most significant attraction, at least for book nerds like myself. Spent a lovely two hours wandering around there with Jofish and Janet and Eugene, dishing opinions about various books, often with one word dismissals, which was entertaining in our cultural snobbery. Went to a bar around the corner to have what Jofish deservedly described as excellent tater tots. Back home, out to play some badminton at the local school, and then played on their jungle gym for a while, which reminds me that I need to go swing on swings more, because I enjoy it a lot, even if I actually managed to scare myself because with my mass, I was able to propel myself up above the horizontal on the swing. Dude.

Now, I’m peacefully typing away on the deck – it’s a nice cool evening, the BBQ is warming up, and life is just really really good. I need to remember how much fun it is to get away from it all and hang out with awesome people and break out of my normal routine. I should just start budgeting for one of these excursions about once a month.

I have a new meme that I was introduced to this weekend. Jofish and Eugene have done some work researching social connections on LiveJournal, including putting together a LiveRank algorithm. In the process of doing this, they read way too many LiveJournal entries. Eugene’s summary of the canonical LiveJournal entry: “No one understands me. Should I dye my hair pink or blue?” Once you start saying this, it becomes completely ubiquitous. “I don’t like Harry Potter! Nobody understands me….” etc. It’s wonderful. I’ve started saying it all the time, and it’s hilarious, and nobody back in the Bay Area is going to have any idea what the heck I’m talking about. And then I’ll legitimately be able to say “Nobody understands me…” Yes, I’m easily amused.

After an outrageously early flight tomorrow morning, I’ll be back in the Bay Area, in my normal life, measured by normal metrics, defined as a programmer at work and in my normal social roles. But for this weekend, it was fabulous to just be me, Perlick, without worrying about how I fit in or what people thought of me. And, yes, I know this means I need to change my normal life such that it fits that ideal better. I’m working on it.

5 thoughts on “Portland

  1. D00d. That sounds like such a fun weekend. Especially with the SquidLab boyz up there. I’ve been having a similar feeling of being in a familiar old environment on this Boston trip–Friday was gin & tonics on the back porch with Bird & Jen; Saturday with a combined birthday party for U5/Morton/me, at Amie’s house; Sunday was Dim Sum, and a tour of Bird and Jen’s mando in NH.

    But did you go to Portland and not get to see Schtick? Or was he just way too busy?

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