So - I just had some random customer service experiences at two different locations in my morning, and I thought it perfectly captured why inner-SE Portland is full of shit heads (not counting the nice, decent folks I know who live in inner-southeast, mind you).
1. Red and Black Cafe = An entire Vegan menu with local fresh produce - a slim menu and huge mugs o' brewed goodness. A band venue. Far left-leaning. Hipster hang-out and mecca.
- I arrive donned in my work clothes (cause I will be heading back to the ESD112 after the orientation) and am early to meet the new member. So I take a seat and curl up with the novel I'm reading "Roots" by Alex Haley, love it so far and it only cost me .35 at the used book store a block from my house (eat that fucking Powell's).
I usually meet folks in a wide variety of coffee shops around Portland, and this is the 2nd time in Red Black Cafe. Usually, I never spend a dime on coffee, tea, etc. because I don't particularly like caffeine...and I'm cheap.
Some strange impulse in me is drawn to purchase a mug of hot chocolate - so I set my book down and approach the counter once the line thins out. I am amused by a drink titled with my name and smile at the menu while I wait for the woman in front of me - she orders tea in her own glass and a cupcake - I think - a cupcake sounds good. I'm the only person standing there for a minute or so while the two folks behind the counter finish up making some drinks. Then - a few people filter in around me. The woman at the counter doesn't make eye contact with me - and starts in making another drink. I shrug and wait yet a little more. She finishes off the drink - hands it to the dude BEHIND ME and collects his money. Whatever - I don't say anything. She takes my order - nearly rolling her eyes when I ask for the milk options - almost scoffing as I order ONLY a hot chocolate.
Then - I step off to the side, waiting for my drink and wondering a little - "what the fuck?" I start reading an article about the fact that the Cafe is moving locations because some gentrifiers are raising the rent. Out of the corner of my eye - I see the next dude order his drink, make conversation while paying - receive his drink and walk off. WTF?
Meanwhile, about three more people have arrived at the counter. I am standing in front of the espresso machine finishing up the article when a lady behind me asks me if I'm in line.
"Nope - just waiting." And finally - the bitch behind the counter starts making my drink. I don't bother finishing the article, cause I don't really give a shit about the fate of the cafe at that point. The HC is ready - and she hands it to me with some fucking look on her face that makes me want to lunge across the counter and shave off her mustache.
ARGH - FUCK Hipster-ville. Where the fuck do these people come from?
2. Subway = HUGE corporation. Assembly line sandwiches. Abusing workers (no health insurance, minimum wage). Not local, fresh or organic food what-so-ever.
- I arrive after the 30 minute drive from Portland to Vancouver, WA. I step in the doors and as I do - the woman behind the counter SMILES at me. Like, a real geniune smile. I smile back.
I wait only a few moments while she is obviously helping customers before me - and she immediately assumes I want the sub o' the day - because she watched me observing the menu and - "not frowning."
She makes the sandwich quickly and with a chipper expression, doesn't seem irritated at all when I ask for cucumber slices "on the side" and scoots me ahead in the line because the people in front of me have already paid (even though their sandwiches are still being prepared).
Here is my point: All the "cool" SE folks rag on places like North Portland and Vancouver, WA as being "ghettoes" and full of white trash. They think they're so much better than other folks because they eat their organic vegan shit and ride their bikes to work and dress like fucking bums (complete with white-person dreads) and apparently having nothing better to do all day but drink coffee...
But they're not nice.
I would much rather spend my time, energy and money on receiving decent treatment from people who are geniunely nice. Even if the places I go to are major corporations and the food is not grown locally.
Hipster Environmentalists are quite often combatative shit-heads who think their way of life is so much better (and thusly they are so much better) than everyone else. I say - YOU (my hipster friend) are the reason gentrification is wiping out hovels like Red and Black. And good fucking riddance. Obviously they have their heads shoved too far up their asses to treat "regular" people with any modicum of respect or decency.
I'll have no problem arranging the next orientation at the Starbucks on 20th and Divsion - right across the street, and I'll order a big fucking latte - sipping it while facing the empty building where Red and Black used to be and thinking..."that's what you get for being hipster dick-holes."
Much Love, Mindy C
The sound of your apartment complex parking lot being re-paved sounds like mechanical demon hybrid devils rising from the pit of hell to consume your soul.
Or, like you tried to flush a ton of concrete down your toilet.
And smells a bit like that too.
Love, Mindy C
1. Grab the nearest book
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the text of the next four sentences in your LJ with these instructions
5. Don't go digging for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet - just pick whatever is closest.
"Yet when she had gained the Great Road out of Hambry and her heart had demanded she run, she had run - under the light of the Kissing Moon and with her skirt held above her knees she had galloped like a pony, with her shadow galloping right beside her. For a mile or more she had run, until every muscle in her body tingled and the air she pulled down her throat tasted like some sweet heated liquid. And when she reached the upland track leading to this high sinister, she had sung. Because her heart demanded it."
Wizard and Glass - Stephen King
Love, Mindy C
World Population On the Decline??
Read the article and let's discuss.
Love, Mindy C
PS - It makes me feel better about my choice to wait until I'm 30 to have a child. Cause all the cool kids are doing it. :)
PPS - It's also curious to note that the journalist (so-called) mentioned nothing of the effect BIRTH CONTROL might have in contributing to less children world-wide. Think about it. If women don't have to have children...they might NOT. Holy Shit! Ain't that a crazy concept???
I said I wanted to be alone with you in a little room for a while. To talk.
I needed to tell you something about how I've been feeling lately. What compells me to anaylze every situation. Why a good strong glass of beer can be a god-send for an over-taxed mind such as mine.
Yesterday almost all of it was all over.
Now I have a month left of recruiting and preparing for the next journey ahead which has nothing to do with me or mine or anyone that I'll know.
All over in a flash of light, almost immediately everyone sweeping up table-cloths and balloons and center-pieces with not a thought to the impact of the last 10.5 months.
Or maybe not. From here it is so hard to gauge what their thinking, that I've nearly given up. Sick psychosis is what drives me to continue such delirium.
Today I must remember to take my Vitamins. Get some Lotrimin, Advantage for Sunny, and water the house plants.
What else? What else is there?
I applied to the ESD112 LINKS Member Support position yesterday. I would be working AS AmeriCorps, instead of for AmeriCorps. If that makes any sense. It would be a temporary cushy desk job (August-Dec) wherein I would be paid $14.00 an hour to do less work than I do now (which means everything that implies - 24 to 32 hrs a week) and get paid MORE for it.
And still get to retain the rosey glow of being around idealistic, like-minded people without all the fuss of ACTUALLY BEING ONE.
Plus - I'll get to do site visits in exciting places like Alaska, Idaho and Montana. I think. I hope!!
And this program has a more environmental tone to it, which means crunchier, chewier, edgier members.
Though I do love reading...
I also applied to the Beaverton school district for a secretary/media assistant position.
I'm becoming increasingly obsessed with the lack of response in regards to my job search. Even a simple email stating one has received my application is enough to send me into a spasm of ecstacy at this point.
Tra la la la la.
A Scanner Darkly was such a bizzare film I need to read the novel. I don't think I quite grasped all of it, and it's become a sliver in my mind that needs removing through more concentrated efforts.
My manic tendencies are crying out for some sort of focused project, or they are threatening to overload on me.
I still want to write that murdering-portrait script. I think I should take some screen-writing class, or Troy, Becca and I should create a writing club. I know how to write, that's not the issue. What I need is someone who knows how to write in a particular format.
Anna Karenina is boring to me right now. But I'm halfway through. But I have the ELDEST book on hold at the NoPo library.
Yes - I live in North Portland. It is amazing. I love my little apartment with it's magnificent kitchen and old tile.
Sitting here in the children's section at the library makes me want to read pre-teen novels and listen to books on tape.
I tried Spanish on tape, but it's horrifically mind-boggling to ask your brain to both drive and cojungate verbs. My brain says: Drive and listen to music.
I can't wait for new things to happen to me. I can't wait for all these happy opportunities. This is the best part at the moment. The anticipation.
Even though I'm broke - this weekend holds a lot of promise. I will take a tour of the behind the scenes of the Hollywood theatre, and their newly renovated dressing rooms. I will watch as they re-light the sign. Maybe I will got a street-fair.
Or cook dinner for my parents.
Probably I will do laundry.
I've had no small visitors today at this desk. Will I have any?? Will any small children return their summer reading game-boards for prize incentives??
I love libraries. I love being in one under the employ status of volunteer and sitting at a desk while patrons ask me booky questions.
I loved dinner last night with Kati, Ashlee, Lindsay, Becca and myself. Drinking beer and talking loudly of horrid topics while staring past their brilliant faces to the sun setting over the river and the planes taking off and landing at PDX.
I heard what they probably wanted to say all year but didn't have the heart to. It's nice to be privy to the bad stuff as well as the good.
There is an elderly blind couple meeting here at the library right now. A middle aged woman with glasses and a proper demeanor is helpinig the gentleman return from the bathroom. Both are overweight and the man is balding. As he nears her - the man plaintively asks "Gloria." In a tone that is so fucking endearing I can't help but look up in surprise. It is so moving.
They greet each-other at the table and open their brown bags. Pulling a sandwhich baggie out, they smell the contents and nod their white and grey heads. Then bow them to pray.
They break off and chew their food slowly in the darkness of their world. It must be nice to have a friend who understands that darkness so completely. I wonder at the fate and fortune of two blind people in love.
Being in a library makes me swoon with the tragedy and joy of humanity. Everyone is welcome here. And it is here that you see life unfolding around you. If you look for it.
Love, Mindy C
And never have a felt so grown-up as now.
But I think FEELING is the wrong way to put it. I'm not really sure how much I FEEL. There is a somewhat startling absence of emotion. Which is neither good nor bad but solidly ambiguous.
I'm not sure if it's really hit me yet that I'm not a member of my parent's household.
But it is nice to have my own kitchen.
I'd just like to stop living out of boxes.
Lately I've been thoroughly exhausted and craving early evening naps in the warm sun curled in a papa san around a large hard-bound copy of Anna Karenina and Sunny the Pug Dog.
I've met some great neighbors: Glen and Alaina. Very Scottish, German and African-American. Glen runs his own Tour company and manages a New Seasons location off of Killingsworth. Alaina is some sort of optometrist at the Lloyd Center Binyon's.
We took the Max down to Pier 99 and watched the Fort Vancouver Fireworks with them (as well as Glen's two children - Andrew and Marisa).
I've had WAY too much alcohol in the past 24 hours. Too much alcohol = grumpy Mindy.
To be honest...I was kind of looking forward to not having the internet.
Except for the whole "needing to get a job" angle of my life. Computers are immensely helpful on that front. Would it be possible for at least ONE of the places I've sent application/resume/cover letter/etc to call me in for an interview??
I really hate owing my family so much $$$. And as poor as we are right now (which is extraordinarily poor, by the way), I'm feeling fantastic about life.
I ate a wonderful pollo concoction today - pollo, chorizo, garlic, onion, tomato...and something else. I want to remember the recipe, because I fell in love with it. I couldn't stop eating it. I completely gorged myself. This dish and the Spanish rice were so good. Sooo gooood. Lori is a pretty amazing cook...but I'm going to chock it up to the influence of Mexico.
Now it's midnight and I'm hungry.
I'm sitting in my office/spare room.
My whole life feels like an out-of-body experience right now. I thought this change would be good, but I'm kind of frightened about what I'm feeling. Or rather, NOT feeling. This feels like home and yet so bizzarely NOT LIKE HOME.
I miss my good friends.
Love, Mindy C
There is relief in picking something up, some piece of cheap molded plastic, conformed to an amusing shape. A pleasing form that once held your fancy. Once held something more.
And tossing it in the garbage. All the emotional and sentimental attachments that cling desperately to it...gliding through the air. Sailing home towards the receptacle and the white plastic ziploc bag inside.
Relief comes in the knowledge that you do not have to label ALL THINGS and put them away in their correctly labeled boxes, wrapped with tape. Not everything has to follow you.
Not everything needs to remain IN your life. Especially things that you've never really been able to have a place for anyway. ESPECIALLY those things. The nameless bits of gifts and awards and business cards and buttons that you thought MEANT SOMETHING when you picked them up and put them in your pocket.
Because your memory is not always your ally. But objects hold value. Even if your thoughts and feelings do not.
Except...as your memories fade...the objects remain. Cluttering your life. Taking up all that valuable living space. Sitting around on a desk or a night stand or a specially made shelf. Begging to be put in a box, only to be opened when you are trying to find something...
To throw away. So you can have more open area in your life. For the things that are important.
I say all these things because it is a challenge to change myself when I pick something up that I remember fondly. That remembers me and the moment my hand touched this particular item. Who got it for me and why.
But I've had this long-term idea that nothing really belongs to me. It might have a lot to do with living and sharing space with 5+ people for my entire life, and then it might also have to do with the fact that much of my belongings/clothing/transportation/pets.
And there is a certain power in being the destroyer of the history of an item. By cutting it off from the hands of someone else. By not passing it on down the line. There is a rampantly guilty pleasure in the action of tossing a perfectly re-usable item in the garbage and sealing the bag.
Because if you stare at all of your shit long enough (and there is a lot of shit in this room), everything looks like it could use a 2nd life. Everything could be used again for something else.
Yet - all the space it would take in my life. All the time it would eat up saving, storing, packing and lugging around these objects that COULD eventually, maybe, some time, serve another purpose. Well. That is just too much, then.
All but about 6 or so of my books have been packed up into two massive and insanely heavy boxes. My book-shelves have vacated the premises for storage in the "covered area" between the front and back houses. Who knows where it will eventually end up.
Studying the various shapes and sizes of U-Hauls as we purchased the boxes...I felt my blood pumping faster and my ears burning.
This is going to happen.
There is a rapidly mounting stack of boxes in the middle of the back house room to prove it. Books and "breakables" and electronic equipment. Next are the DVDs and the board games.
There are hardly words to describe the intense feelings of freedom that have been breaking in me the past few hours. I feel no need to justify my over-dramatic descriptions of all of this. No desire to compare my situation to yours.
This was how it had to happen. There is no other way it could have gone.
I'm anxious to know how the rest of this all plays out.
Love, Mindy C
This weekend, a pug-dog came into my life. Her name is Sunny.
She is six years old, and she was a breeder for the majority of her life. She's super shy and docile...except when she's snacking on rawhide. She is my latest obsession, and I just hate leaving her alone...she even slept in bed with me this morning.
So far the only people she has really bonded to have been my mother and me. Her cute little curly tail wags when we enter the room, not so with the other members of my family.
I accidentally took her to Seaside yesterday and spent a lot of time carrying her around the boardwalk (pugs can't go on the sand because it gets stuck in their wrinkles and get's infected). So we bonded over the book "American Psycho" and a cheesecake ice cream cone.
Mother's Day was interesting. I've been spending a lot of time with my sister and mother (now that Miss Angela is in Cali with relatives) and it's been super pleasant. Jan and Jake came over for Chinese food dinner last night and we played this dice game called $10,000 and drank raspberry lemonade with Tequila. :)
Sunny is sitting on my lap panting and snorting as I type this. Damned 90 degree weather! :)
She has inspired me to fill out my FAFSA forms and Apply to PSU. All in one afternoon. I think I'll be just fine financially, especially with an EFC of ZERO!!
I'm anxious to see exactly what financial aid package they will give me...
The next step is to update my resume and apply for this PT apartment leasing job for 17 hrs a week that offers a free two-bedroom, two bathroom apartment and the opportunity to earn $$$ off of turn-overs. :)
The start date says: June 1st or Sooner!
Life is moving fast now.
Love, Mindy C
PS - Sarah and Katrina. I keep getting these "vague" impressions that we are hanging out towards the end of this month. Am I wrong? I would love to be right! :)
I was thinking that going back to college and completing my BA would be the most exciting thing in my life since post-it notes...
But I'm starting to think that maybe I'm not so motivated for school right now. Which is terribly fucked up, I know. One of the large motivators of Americorps was to score $$$ for college.
But I just helped Dan write a scholarship essay and a scary feeling of disgust and drudgery rose up in my little heart. As much as I hate writing WRC Memos...I hate writing lame-ass Essays and spinning BS.
That could be why I didn't even blink when a large majority of the scholarship application deadlines for PSU rolled past me. Didn't even blink. School sounds grotesquely BORING right now. At least - the money grubbing BS writing part of it. The essay writing part. Seven pages of nonsense about non-sensical type things. BLARGH to that.
I need to get a Master's to start in fun and fancy free library land...but the idea of 4 more years of school is making something in my body rebel, quite forcefully.
What a frightening state to be in. No motivation to get back to school. At least no desire to get the ball rolling.
No hablo espanol esta noche. I am so lame. Why am I so lame!?!?
My throat is sore and pouty. My sinuses are dry and grumpy.
I need to get back into the mind-set of a collegiate fool, but how does one go about re-programming? De-programming when one has been re-wired to think all life is about service? When one has been taught to "Get Things Done" through real world application, instead of essay applications. *sigh* *sigh*
Someone tell me the next step. I can motivate 25 people...just not myself. Heh.
Love, Mindy C
PS - I promise you, I will. :)
A large grey and black moth was sitting on the path as we walked into the ESD112 this morning. Natalie and I stepped around it (it moved nary a soft moth step) and she commented: "In Benin, this would be a bad sign."
30 minutes later - my husband calls to tell me our family dog died this morning. Chewbacca. Chewie.
He was never really mine. Or the family's. He was almost always my Dad's.
So it's sad. But more for my father than me.
This is the second family dog that has died of old age (natural causes). And it's been more like a relief both times. They were old and arthritic and suffering. Hair falling out. Morose look of depression playing about their eyes and mouths. Tails barely wagging anymore with the effort of living. Chewie had long ago stopped paying attention to anything but people food (never let a dog beg) or my father.
And now he's gone. But I don't feel so sad. Not so sad at all. Pets dying is like friends and family leaving. A mere fact of life and nothing more.
I predict we will not have another family dog for a long time.
Love, Mindy C