The day I had been dreading for months was upon us, Jackie was leaving for Korea in 24 hours. We had to do something special of course, but what? While we had been to the Oregon coasttwice, we had yet to see the magical Hug Point completely. We were determined to do just that.
We didn't have too much time left together, Jackie was leaving to teach in Korea soon, so we headed out to camp at Nehalam Bay State Park. Before we started dating, before I moved to Portland, she had camped there alone. I remember that time well. I spoke to her on the phone at night whilst laying in my car after work, staring at the empty skies and wishing I were with her. Now we were headed to the same place. I was excited.
On November 6, 2011, with the NBA lockout still raging on with no end in sight, LaMarcus Aldridge brought together some friends to play a basketball game for charity at the Chiles Center. The so-called Rip City Classic featured a couple future NBA Hall of Famers, NBA All-Stars, a slam dunk contest winner, home team favorites and a host of others. When I moved to Portland I was excited to live in an NBA city. I would finally get to see my beloved Boston Celtics! Then the stupid lockout happened and that destroyed my hopes for seeing them this year. Hearing about this game from Aldridge's Twitter, I told Jackie we had to go. She was of course down to go with me. Next thing I know I'm buying tickets online and we're getting ready to head out.
One day, November 3, 2011 to be exact, Jackie had an appointment on Hawthorne and I accompanied her. While she was in the office, I decided to walk and take pictures. I had an hour; that would be more than enough time. If you have never been to Portland, this is a pretty decent description of this area: Undoubtedly, Hawthorne is one of the most unique, and most popular areas in Southeast Portland. The area is known for its wonderful restored Old Portland homes, liberal residents, and fun and funky feel. The street is lined with unique restaurants and shops, and has a definite Portland-local flair.
There are a lot of words you could use to describe the locals who live in the Hawthorne District; activist, environmentalist, educated, opinionated, hippie, hipster, Gen X-er, entrepreneur...and more.
The first time I had been to the area was when I visited during the summer. I was downtown and decided to walk back to my hotel. Unfortunately, I got massively lost and ended up in a not-so-ni…
The night after our date to the Portland Art Museum and Apizza Scholls, Jackie and I had planned on heading to the Oregon coast to explore around a bit. Our plan included driving along the coast and stopping at multiple cities, starting at Lincoln City and heading north. Amazingly, in my 26 years, I had never seen any ocean before (other than from an airplane, but I don' think that counts).
A week after Seattle, Jackie and I went on a date to the Portland Art Museum. Jackie had been in town longer than I, but she had never been to the museum, while I had when I came to town to check out the place. I greatly enjoyed it the first time and I knew it would be much more fun with her there. She knows all about art (something I do not really know about). In March of 2011, we went to the El Paso Museum of Art and she knew everything. Even more than the tour guide!
[The previous day, Jackie and I had seen Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, Experience Music Project and seen Theophilus London at the Neptune Theatre. It was tons of fun. Now, I bring you the last day we spent in Seattle.]
We had been lucky to have a sunny day out first day in town. That night it had started raining and had not stopped much the next morning. After meandering around a bit, we had stayed up rather late the night previous after all, Jackie and I headed out to see the Fremont Troll around noon. Now, growing up in the desert, the dry, dry desert, I learned to appreciate clouds and rain. It is beautiful to me. So a rainy day in no way dampens my spirits. It, in fact, puts me in a great mood.
Before I moved to Portland, Jackie and I decided to go see Theophilus London in Seattle. She introduced me to his music months previous, but I had just developed a love of his first LP, Timez Are Weird These Days. One night we were chatting online, like we did nearly every single day since we met, and quickly made the decision to buy the tickets and get a hotel room. A Seattle adventure! We had been on adventures before, taking photos of graffiti art in downtown El Paso, searching around Las Cruces, basketball at random courts around El Paso, etc, but this would be on a wholly different plain. And we both felt excitement build as the day closer.
([Dramatic Voiceover] Last time on No Hippie Johnny, J.D. drove through scenic Colorado and was attacked by a mountain power plant in Utah. Our hero finally made it Idaho, where he is now sleeping in a Walmart parking lot. Part One of the trip can be found HERE. Part Two is HERE.)
I woke up in Jerome, Idaho with Catface playing the role of "guard cat." Not really. He was just awake and sitting there. As you can see in the accompaining photo, I slept across the front seats. Not exactly so comfortable. My head leaned against the driver's side window all night. Apparently, Idaho is very cold. I knew this of course, and I could deal with it, but I probably should have brought an extra pillow to protect my head from the cold window.
[Last time on this here blog, I spent my last day in El Paso and drove across New Mexico to my grandma's house in Farmington, New Mexico. You can catch up on that post HERE.]
In the morning I awoke and got ready to go to church with my grandma. We went to Sacred Heart Catholic Church a few blocks away. Now, my grandma is quite the...ahem..."inventive" driver. Essentially, she makes up her own set of traffic regulations. She parked her Cadillac in an area blocked off with the words "No Parking" in easily visible locations. That is her space.
Now it is time to tell everyone the story of moving to Portland. In September I decided I could not take my situation any longer and needed to leave. A crazy work situation, having to move back in with my parents, being alone and being poor all factored into my decision. By October 8, I was on the road to my new home in Oregon.
I park on the street now because there are too many cars to park in the driveway. That's not a big deal really. But last night something happened which disturbed me.
Work for me ends at 8 p.m. generally. After picking up some things at Walmart, I got home at about 8:45. A lady, most likely in her mid-to-late 40s, was out for a walk on the sidewalk by where I park my car. She wore sweat pants, a tank top and cross training shoes. I put on my turn signal and pull up to "my spot" and she is about 15 feet away. She turns and sees me in the car. Suddenly she looks startled and begins to run.
It made me feel like crap. I do not think I look like a criminal or a threat. So then it would appear that she was running simply based on the fact that I am a man near her at night. Is that the world we live in, where a woman has to fear for herself when near a man she does not know in a neighborhood? (It is not as if the neighborhood is even in the ghetto or something. It is a normal, …
I am exhausted... On Sunday I had to help at the fashion show for the Boys & Girls Club. It was fine; I got to wear a tie. The bad part is I wanted to go see a movie at the Plaza Classic Film Festival, but the fashion show ran long so I missed it. Then I went to an art show/live music show at the Percolator and ran into one of my old coworkers from KRUX (I also ran into some other guy I do not know, the smelliest human being ever...). So that was fine, but I was very tired from running around all day. Made a new friend to finish the day off (Got her number and everything. That counts for something I guess).
I went to see Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979, IMDB rating: 6.7/10) at the top of the Mills Parking Garage. The view was amazing! You could see the city all lit up, which always looks nice. While sitting looking at the screen all I had to do was turn my head slightly to the left to see the huge star on the side of the mountain. It was windy and the screen, decently big as it was, moved a lot. The screen was not a normal screen though. It inflated and was a cube. So it moved with the wind, but didn't just fall over. A side effect of that was the image on the screen would warp as the wind blew and affected the screen cube. This turned out to actually be kind of cool. Very psychedelic. The whole time it I watched the thunder off in the distance. Luckily it never threatened where we sat. The sound was a bit too quiet for my taste. Seeing as this is a …
Monterey Pop (Arts Festival Plaza, 9:00 PM, Free) Elevator to the Gallows (Kendle Kidd Performance Hall, 10:00 PM, $10)
Last year I saw The Godfather at the Festival and it was amazing. The movie had such a greater effect on the big screen and in front of a crowd of people. I loved it. I got dressed up and everything. I will do that again this year. …
As I realize how ridiculous I look laying on the floor scrubbing the carcasses of bed bugs off the baseboards of someone else's room, I had one of those moments were you wonder how the hell you got to this point. In the past two weeks I have been as happy as I have ever been and as low too. And now everything is up in the air. It is the last few hours I have in Las Cruces.
The past week in particular was a whirlwind of emotions. I slept very little. Perhaps that attributed to the feeling. In the past three days I have slept four hours. And I will not sleep tonight...
Soon I will be in El Paso and in a worse situation than I am in now. I do not want to live with my parents, even if it is only for a month. It is a hassle to live with five other people. I like my parents, but it is too much to worry about. I have to be quiet at night, much earlier than now, because they get up so early for work. And the house is incredibly hot. They do not have refrigerated air like I have had in my…
It is kind of funny, I've lived in Las Cruces on and off for eight years, yet, now that I am leaving, nobody seems to care. That isn't exactly true. Probably two people have made an effort to hang out with me in the last few months. I appreciate it. But it feels like all the different places I have worked, the supposed friends I've made, it should be a bigger deal. And when I leave El Paso in a month I am willing to bet only one person will care there too.
Perhaps I haven't been a good enough friend. I don't know. I try to be a good person and listen to people's problems and be there if anyone needs me. It seems like people enjoy having me around. Maybe I should have been more aggressively social. Maybe social networking sites allowed people to keep in touch with me and have no need to ever see me despite us living minutes away from one another. Whatever the reason, I know when I leave I will not miss this place. There are things I like about Las Cruces (the N…