The trip has been a very good one for me. Though the ride up was initially tough, I enjoyed it anyway, and the weather in Portland has been brilliant. My hosts are wonderful; and they are usIng my visit as a wonderful reason to throw a party – I am so lucky in the friends that I have. Yesterday I saw a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in more than 30 years; he and his wife will be here today, as will another friend I haven’t seen in that long. I’ve gotten to see other old friends that I haven’t seen in some time, and get better acquainted with newer friends who I haven’t seen since I was last in Portland. More of that will be happening today as well – and will continue until I leave for home. Even better, I’ll get to meet a bunch of new folks and introduce many of my friends to each other, which pleases me no end. I have two more friends who are in the process of moving to Portland; I’ll have that many more friends to introduce them to once they are up here. And I like it here enough that I could easily see myself living here at some point. I’ll even be able o touch base with another old friend on the way home, stopping in Yreka to do so.
For today, until it’s time to prep for the party, I’m just chillin’ with Belmont, The Pitbull of Silliness and reading Gene Wolfe’s Book of The New Sun (which I attempted and failed to read when I was 14 – this time I’m enjoying the hell out of it), and remembering my dear friend Jay Lake, who introduced me to so many of the good people in his life (including my hosts).
When I get back, I’ll be celebrating my 21st wedding anniversary with my wife and best friend, then I’ll be resuming my physical training regimen, do some online training-related seminars and, in June, take another trip, this time to Indiana (and then Kentucky) to visit yet more of the wonderful people in my life. When I get back from that, the certification training begins, first for PMI then for Agile/Scrum master.
I’m looking forward to it!
…and I had a wonderful time.
The basic plan was to visit my sweetie Veronica, who lives in Indiana and Do Stuff™ in her company. Notable highlights of the trip (and yes, pictures were taken for many of these things) in no particular order:
- Lots of time with my sweetie; we don’t get to see each other often, so time with her is precious and much appreciated.
- Time with other wonderful friends – lunches, dinners, a 4th of July BBQ and fireworks, baseball…
- Flat 12 Bierworks for a pint, and then a growler of Hinchtown Hammer Down.
- Attending a lovely wedding for a couple I’d not previously met. Lovely women both, and a very nice ceremony. With great live music courtesy of my sweetie.
- A visit to Lava Lips for a hot sauce tasting. I purchased a bottle of their “Pinatubo” sauce and a bottle of Khan’s Island Sauce.
- A visit to Saraga Market – this generated iPhone photos that I’ll be putting to use in an *ahem* photo-essay…
- A night at the West Baden Springs Hotel, in French Lick.
- Hank’s, for both smoked brisket and smoked corned beef.
- Going to A Taste of Indianapolis.
- Great wine tasting at Chateau d Pique’s tasting room in INdy; I brought home a bottle of their estate grown Steuben – the oddest wine I’ve ever had (it’s pretty damn good).
- A night at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY. and a visit with my friend Mya, who lives in Old Louisville.
- Visiting the Falls of The Ohio on the Indiana-Kentucky border.
- Cataract Falls on Mill Creek near Cloverdale, IN.
- Watching AAA baseball – Indiana Indians vs the Toledo Mudhens.
- New Day Craft Mead and Cider in Indianapolis – their 1% sugar cider tastes like fine dry Champaign – very tasty and impressive.
- Much Nerdcore music whilst roadtripping (pointing at MC Lars and Schaffer The Dark Lord in particular).
- Hanging out with Joe The Goose. And the cats.
- Hanging out with Carissa, Sean & Alex. And Amy. And The Indygeek & Amanda.
- Sausage and double-smoked bacon from Claus’ in Indy.
- OMFG Happy Wheels capture videos with insanely funny voiceover commentary.
Yeah, that was one hell of a good trip.
…was a lot of fun. My wife and I traveled to Great NorthWet, specifically, Seattle. We were there for a number of reasons:
- To celebrate our nineteenth wedding anniversary.
- To hang out, dance, and socialize at Folklife.
- To see old and new friends.
#1 – that was the entire weekend, really. We’d last been to Folklife to celebrate our second anniversary; we had a ball there then, as well. In addition to the dancing, tourist-ing and socializing, we also had a proper “dinner at a nice restaurant” on Saturday night, with two of our most favorite people – eating, talking, and catching up. They will eventually be moving down to the Bay Area, which makes me very happy, as we’ll get to see them much more often. Another bit of celebration was to make the trek to Pike Place Market. I feel the hype is actually deserved – the market has much of the feel of the San Francisco Ferry Building mixed with the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market. We had a great time there.
#2 – we did, in fact, do a good amount of dancing, and lots of socializing, highlighted on Monday by having a leisurely lunch of pretty awesome fair food (and no, I did not actually try the deep-fried PB&J sandwiches one booth was selling, though it was a close thing) with a former sweetie of mine (and still a very dear friend) and her husband.
#3 – covered in great part by 1 and 2 above, with a notable exception of the Roller Derby Outing. We got to see the Rat City Rollergirls’ “Rat Lab” who my friend Betsy Nails skates for, beat the Grunge City Rollers. I was very impressed – roller derby has evolved into an actual sport – something I was unaware of, but discovered that I really, really like.
So yeah great weekend all around, with one slight flaw – but that belongs in my next post.
I’ll be wandering about, helping with stuff (I’m on the concomm). I’m sure I’ll see some of you there!
I think I will start actively posting more often. I’m starting to finally get back in gear with my drawing, and I have some jewelry and sculpture pieces that I would like to finish. Also, I will be starting my new job early next month, and having a more structured day will allow me to get back in the habit of writing.
So, new stuff: as I mentioned, I’ve a new job. It’s in Palo Alto, close to a CalTrain stop, so commuting will be a breeze on those days I don’t wish to take a motorcycle. My job title is IT Operations Engineer – this makes me ridiculously happy, and I’m very excited about the job itself. I’ve updated my online portfolio with two new drawings (here), and I’ll finally be uploading my pictures from our February New Zealand trip later tonight (I’ll post again when they’re up). Lastly, I spent this last weekend helping to run SFWA‘s Nebula Awards last weekend; despite inadequate sleep, I had a blast. I also got to meet many of my favorite authors, see old friends, and meet new ones. It was a great weekend.
Upcoming, apart from the new job, I’ll be doing a road-trip through one of the “BBQ Corridors”: Indianapolis, Nashville, Memphis, St. Louis & Springfield with my friend Veronica; and the weekend I get back, I’ll be at Westercon 66 in Sacramento.
So, for the moment, life is good.