Thursday, December 7, 2006

A Gambol on Portland.

The past week has been a reunion of sorts. It was a reconnection with a familiar and inviting friend from the past that began with a purposefully ignored phone call about a month ago. I was at a neighborhood café with a friend and a new housemate when I felt the vibrating associated with an incoming phone call within the pocket of my blue jeans (I am not one to seek the outside attention that comes with any ring tone). I got hold of my cell phone and noticed a long distance call from an unrecognized area code. As usual I chose not to place myself in an uncompromising situation that can arise from answering an unknown number, so I press ignore and wait to discover whether or not there is enough importance in this failed attempt at contact to leave me a voicemail.

The first half of the visit consisted of sharing some of each other’s last seven years and attempting to recall our brief encounters at each other’s college towns. Neither of us seemed to remember hosting such a visit, but I do remember a beer pyramid on a porch and the high praise given to some band by the name Lawrence Arms by some local Carbondale punks. There was also time spent with my old friend’s travel companion, who is a recent graduate in the arts that plans to move here in the New Year. All this time seemed cordial and pleasant. It was fast and impressionable with stops at a number of watering holes (Mash Tun, The Know, The Nest, and Clinton Street Pub) and restaurants (Beulahland, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian and Vita). The two travelers also spent a couple of hours each day trolling through the eastside neighborhoods for the one who is relocating. Giving me an opportunity to work on my final class project about gentrification in the same Alberta District that I showed the two upon their arrival, which I seized by resting my head for a couple of hours. The first half ended with a continuation of their long travels with a side trip north on I-5 through Seattle and Vancouver.

The first half of the second half was relocation, Zack and Doug. The two spent a few Marriott nights to the North and returned here for the next couple of nights. Agreeing that this place is a good fit for both of them and that there is also now a recent graduate in beauty school that plans to move here in the New Year. I am pleased to hear this and will continue to wonder if it will happen in the future. The old friend and her travel companion returned with news of meeting up with a college friend that lives nearby. The college friend is in a local hardcore band and suggests that we go to the Hungry Tiger, which is near the mailbox of some friend he wishes to drop off a picture for. The suggestion sounded good so I spent the beginning of the evening listening about some Carbondale punks, drinking whisky, playing pool, and briefly speaking with some folks by the name of House Party Revolution. After the Tiger, we went to the Fir and had some late night food with the fake logs and pretentious vibe. The Cholula is stolen off the table in response to this atmosphere and staff demeanor.

The second half of the second half was education and the Blood Brothers. We slowly awoke the next day and met up with their nearby hardcore friend and went to Junior’s where we spoke about the prior night over some coffee and plates of food. After the meal, the old college friends exchanged farewells and spoke about being in the same city again. The three remaining friends spent the afternoon printing and turning in my final project for my lone graduate course, and touring the West Hills and Mount Tabor. After the errand running and cooler air there was time to rest to the volume of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on the living room couches and eat a Lebanese meal at Riyadhs. But then it would be onto the Matador, Scooters and to view a band by the name of the Blood Brothers. The drinking establishments provided some of the stiffest whisky and cokes; just the kind of jumpstart to this sort of rock show that you would desire. There was a tour of the venue/workplace for the relocating friends along with some uncommon interaction with coworkers. The buttons are stolen off the merchandise table in response to this atmosphere and my lack of concern with the staff.


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