Tag Archives: encouragement

Support Systems

Life lately has been interesting, and by interesting I do not mean easy.  It has been actually extremely difficult. Set in a backdrop of dissonance on a national and global scale, we are all expected to maintain a certain amount of strength and accountability more than ever.  It feels hard to ask for help and support, even as unavailable as things may seem, but it’s important more now than ever before to do so.  While I feel like we are awakening to a new consciousness in these crazy times, our senses are heightened, and we holding each other accountable in new ways with our own responsibilities.  But it is equally important to remember that there is magic in the minute; deeper meaning in the subtleties.  This is not so much a post about 5 things as it is a testament to people who have been important to me lately, regardless of how often or infrequently that I see them.  People who have helped me with the simplest of tasks, by mere suggestion, by a kind word or message.  Like making candles with Anna, riding bikes with Kristen, Nathan making dinner or video-chatting with Emily.  Just seemingly little things that remind me that I am part of the fabric.  That we are all part of each other, and are bound together by admiration, dedication, hardship, understanding, creativity,  joy, assistance, strength, stamina and belonging.  Oh, and Love.  There’s a lot of that too.  All of these folks have been on the higher point lately, helping me navigate my time in Portland, whether they know it or not.   Thank you.  I want to give it all back to you tenfold.

These are people and some things.  Photo credits are labeled, all other photographs are by me.  Sorry I am not very good at formatting this shit.  I will work on it.

Photo by Bloodhound Photography

Photo by David Andreko


Ice Cream Series by Larry Yes

Photo by Christian Johnson

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It never quite happens how you plan it, and when it does, it’s a miracle.

+ (5)Cinq Choses + Vendredi/Samedi + 30/01 Septembre/Octobre + 2011 +

  1. I dropped out of school.  Such a sad, and disheartening blow of a thing to do.  After much deliberation and the buying of textbooks I am currently not a student.  I called Financial Aid and the helpful person on the other end (this is not sarcastic, they seemed genuinely sad and tried to be supportive of my decision) told me I could use the dispersement meant for this term and split it up between Winter and Spring terms, but there is an air of defeat around me now.  And I will probably just wait the year and go in the fall when I am an official resident, but it’s nice to know I have the option of Winter/Spring, as it might give me the semblance that my whole plan of moving up here to be a student is not completely in vain.
  2. I met up with Katie Z. for coffee, who has a great androgynous style about her that she pulls off nicely and that I appreciate and admire.  Katie is funny, and so, so awkward, but she is kind and warm and gracious.  While we were sitting in the sun, a bee flew into her coffee.  It was kind of sad.
  3. I met Elizabeth at the North Portland Library after she got out of her yoga class, where I returned some books and printed out a copy of resume draft #324.  We walked around for a while, sitting by the fountain at Peninsula Park and lamenting about the changes of plans that we weren’t counting on.  My failure to be back in school, her failure to be back in Nicaragua, we are both running out of money.  Our failures and then our blessings, where we both admit to good fortune, and know that things will always work out in the end.  We walked some more, and then ended up at a little utilitarian playing field on the corner of Kerby and Alberta.  We sat on her yoga mat that she had been carrying around because the grass was a little wet.  Lucifer rolled in the grass, rolled and rolled, snorting and scratching and blissing out so hard.  He is captivating when he does this.  It really might be my favorite thing that he does right now (other examples are when he “makes his bed” by scratching at rugs or carpets, and what I call his “dinosaur noises” that he only started doing in the last couple of years).  Elizabeth started going though her phone and suggesting networks of people she knows about for potential jobs.  It was very encouraging, as she seems in the know about a lot, and has a lot of hustle with a lot of people.  I’m moving the rest of my stuff this weekend, and Elizabeth offered to help me with the big stuff, so we will do that tomorrow and then go to Portland’s Greek Festival, drink beer, and eat spanakopita and those little deep fried bread balls drenched in honey, and it will be good and rewarding.  It’s the little things.
  4. Seeing as how it was Meredith’s birthday, I was happy to see her feeling so much better then she has been all week with her bunk back.  Earlier in the day they drove out to Lake Oswego to buy some gluten-free cupcakes for the birthday times.  She split up the four that they had bought and we all shared, my favorite being one called “Hot Chocolate”, followed by the lemon-raspberry. Jeremy and Sam both were eating the Mexican chocolate one, and Jeremy kept making an amazing/confusing face.  “What’s wrong?” I asked, “is it gross?”  “Oh, that is his face of approval,” Meredith informed me, and Jeremy nodded emphatically with crumbs falling out of his mouth.  Then they were off to a different birthday party, just like that.  Sam was going to a party also, and he wore a suit.  He looked amazing.  Damn, that man is handsome.
  5. I went to Katie Z’s house for Evan’s birthday party.  I didn’t really know anyone there except for Katie, but it was okay and I do alright mingling.  I was planning on not staying too late, but after a couple of hours I had met some really nice folks, and two other ladies named Mary which doesn’t happen too often, though Mary and I discussed that old lady names are making a comeback.  Mary is also a twin, and we ended up discussing twin experiences with another lady (whose name has left me) who is the older sister of twins.  Me personally, I am not a twin, so I can’t even pretend to know anything really.  Katie, Evan and I all danced to John Maus and the Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue” which was great fun.  THEN!  In true form, I decided then and there that that was the crux of the night and therefore it was time to leave. So I did, just like that.
    -posted by Mary
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Creature Comforts

5 things Monday September 26, 2011
  1. It’s so nice to be in Jeremy and Meredith’s house.  This morning, while I was making coffee, Sam came into the kitchen with amazing bedhead.  Right after he said he was going to go out for coffee at a coffeeshop as opposed to making it at home, he cut his finger slicing a bagel.  I gave him a sympathetic frown, all while thinking “that could have been me, that could have been me, without coffee, that would’ve been me“.  Was also informed that there is a pedestrian bridge that makes it a lot easier to cross Powell and zip over to the esplanade making getting to school very fast and rewarding.  (Thanks, Jeremy, for that information.)  The whole morning got me thinking about space and environment, and how something could be comfortable, open and giving, and other space can feel so creepy or controlled or toxic.  I wonder what my space feels like to other people.  My space is usually filled with dog hair.  People with pet allergies usually avoid my space.
  2. Ma class de Français!  I was worried about this class, having taking first year French in Salt Lake City, then transferring from semesters to quarters.  I was apprehensive because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be in line with where the first year PSU Frenchies were going to be.  My professor is a nervous kid taking on a role as an adjunct professor.  Initially, I thought he was a fellow student. He is from France, and only spoke in French to us, most of which I kind of understood…a pleasant surprise since I have not studied all summer.  He went over the syllabus and how to use the book (which was similar to the book we used in SLC) and had us all go around and introduce ourselves and where we were from.  After the class I tried to go talk to him about placement, and he didn’t understand what I was asking.  Meaning French is his first language.  Meaning, he doesn’t really understand English which weirdly made me feel some kind of illogical affection for him.  As we struggled with the language barrier, a girl who had also stayed behind interjected and asked me, “Did you understand class today?”  “About 80% of it, “ I said.  “Then you should stay in this class,” and she explained her reasons a bit.   For validation, I texted mon ami dans SLC Jeff, who told me that the textbooks are the same for his semester back home!  So I felt a lot better about dropping $170 bones on a single textbook to further my education.
  3. Went to the PSU Bike Hub and procured a free map of the downtown vicinity, because even though I have lived in Portland on and off for over six years, I still get fucking lost all the time downtown, especially as I am moonlighting as someone who lives in SE right now.  I’ve spent only a short stint in SE, which calls for new ways, routes and systems and bridges that I’ve rarely ever used.  I am making good use of the esplanade today, which is lovely with the brown choppy waters juxtaposed against the pale grey sky and the jagged skyline of downtown buildings and the huge pylons that are holding the bridges up.  It’s so beautiful here, albeit moody.  Maybe that’s why I like it.  You know what else I like?  That the little scraps of paper for use in the Millar Library are old cards from a card catalog.   The first time I went there I stole a whole stack of them, thinking I would send them all out like little birds to friends.  People make those things out of nostalgia, recreate them on printing presses and here they are just for the taking.  I want to do something with them, but right now they are all just bundled with some old SLC postcards that I bought when I first moved back to SLC and never wrote or sent.  I still think I will, but maybe not to people in SLC.  I keep thinking about Pete and Steph in Milwaukee, and Susy in NYC.
  4. Went to Fidelity Investments where I had to stand on this electric floor mat that would automatically log me off of my session if I stepped off of it.  Or shuffled my feet.  I told the guy in the suit that I couldn’t verify my account at home even though they sent me new a link for it.  AS IT TURNS OUT, whoever entered my information entered my birthday WRONG, which felt bad for some reason.  Like they have money of mine, but I couldn’t access it because of their lack of attention to detail.  NBD, it turns out since in this process I am quite aware that I am basically considered to be at poverty level.  C’est la vie. I have resigned myself to the idea that I will always be poor-ish, but really my problems are still relatively first-world problems, and that I still need to suck it up and be grateful, damn it.
  5. Women’s Studies class is going to be awesome.  My teacher is a beautiful, large, dreadlocked black lady who kind of had the same no-nonsense that reminded me of Libby with more of a sense of humor.  The class is kind of large, but everyone was extremely present and diverse and on point.  Seriously, Utah is so much more white and self-righteous in comparison.  Jeremy: “How was school?” Me: “You know what the weirdest thing was for me at school today?” Jeremy: “What’s that?” Me:  “People actually make eye contact and smile”.  He laughed, but it’s true!  I hope that all of my posts don’t revolve around school.  I’m gonna have to mentally check it.  BUT, before I change any subjects, I got texts from so many rad people wishing me luck today!  Including my girl, who I luv.
  6. Meredith has chronic back pain, and today she was hurting pretty bad.  To stave off the boredom that Meredith has been coping with all day they decided to watch a movie, so I joined them for part of “Wall Street:Money Never Sleeps” and it was god-awful.  Probably the most redeeming thing about it is watching Carey Mulligan (who I find just adorable) and the fact that I was watching it with the Peanut Gallery.  Seriously, between me, Jeremy, Meredith and Sam, we were cracking ourselves up, pointing out that the blood-thirsty actors playing blood- thirsty investors/traders don’t pay taxes anyway and that most of Shia LaDouche’s dialogue was probably overdubbed among other things, but it was one of those “you had to be there” kind of moments.  Plus, Lucifer was being really cute and laying on the floor close to Meredith, which I think she likes.  She told me earlier today that Luc is good company-I was glad that he could be that for her while she’s been so laid out.

This is posting a couple of days later, but that is the glory of this thing.  It’s whatever we want it to be in the moment, and it will probably continue to change.  That being said, I think I have to drop out of school already but that will be detailed in another post.  FIN. À bientôt, mes amis.

posted by Mary

 

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The Temporal/The Corporeal

5 things for Thursday September 22

  1.  I was a gaping bottomless hunger pit today, and grumpy about it.  I keep hoping to hear from the people who magically make food stamps happen (I somehow equate this with a Wizard of Oz type of scenario for some reason).  The government man who, in his dingy office, gives me a card that somehow equates to me being able to eat on a regular basis.  It is like a strange kind of magic.  Hopefully this can happen soon.  I also know that I am premenstrual, and quitting smoking and drinking as of late is probably adding to the desire of hand-to-mouth behavior, and general hormonal craziness.
  2. Luc has been bundles and spurts of energy lately on our walks.  We walked to Woodlawn Park again, and he was doing sprints of running across the field, which is more running than a 14 year old dog-man should be doing.  My heart bursts in affection for him when he flops on the grass and wriggles around, bending his body in half and kicking his skinny, seemingly fragile legs up into the air in powerful circular kicking motions.  I used to think that he was rolling in something gross (which often might still be the case) but really I think his fur is so thick that rolling in grass must feel really good…like a rewarding back scratch, like Baloo in the Disney Jungle Book cartoon.  Also at the park, a large fountain erupting, and a toddler with no grasp of verbal language, gesturing wildly at it shrieking “UH! UH! UH! UH! UH!” while its mother recorded with her mobile device.  The kid’s eyes were like saucers, pointing and looking in amazement from the fountain to its mother back to the fountain like it was the most mind-blowing, amazing thing it had ever seen in its life, which is possibly true.  Moments like this make me feel grateful and jaded all at once.
  3. Dropped my car off at Alamo Auto Repair, which consists three older mechanics who have carved a serious niche in the Volvo mechanic service of Portland.  These dudes are gems, the stuff of legend.  I took the car in for an oil change, but got new window switches!  A new rubber pad for my clutch pedal!  And my defrost hose adjusted!  And a list of things I should eventually fix.  All for no extra charge.  I will always suggest them for new business, but they never answer the phone because they are so busy.  Job security!  The lot that they work on is a crazy tetris puzzle of Volvos in all shapes sizes and states of broken-ness and disarray but nothing gets those guys down, I swear.
  4. After dropping my car off I bike the 7 + miles to PSU to print off some resumes and check out their job fair.  It was a lovely ride, really.  Being in Portland, it’s so nice to see all the thruways so clearly marked and easy to navigate.  And now that it’s turning fall, everything feels so temporal and corporeal.  As I passed 21st and Ankeny, I saw my friend Erin who often is known by the name “Chach”.  I stopped and hugged her and asked her about a trip she’d recently returned from.  She was heading to PSU too.  “I have my car, or I would bike with you,” she said.  She told me she got a tutoring job with Portland Schools.  Then she told me that there were something like 350 applicants and they chose HER.  This information kind of set me off on a hopeless moody trajectory.  I am stoked for her, but one can’t help but feel a little helpless at that kind of news.  I think reality is really hitting me, after months of care-free living.
  5. The PSU thing turned out to be a shit show.  Discouraged, I ended up talking to my dear friend Katie G., who cheered me on, and then called in some names for me to take resumes to, all of which I did.  Every day is a new challenge for sure, but I just keep going a day at a time, knowing that it will all work out eventually.  It seems crazy to think though, that 6 months ago, I was laying in my bed in Salt Lake City and literally thought to myself: “I AM SO HAPPY.  I AM SO HAPPY THAT I CAN’T IMAGINE THAT I WILL EVER BE THIS HAPPY AGAIN”.  But I will be.  Bring on the corporeal, bring on the temporal, now.

posted by Mary

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