seeing sufjan stevens at prospect park in brooklyn on tuesday!
omg. cannot. contain. excitement.
booked the room at the hostel and i cannot wait to escape to the city for a couple days.
mara and i just need to find things to do on wednesday because neither of us have the money to shop and we saw everything that we wanted to at the met in march. plus i’m a little museum’d out after my trip to DC. and mara’s from new york so she’s seen most of the “things to see” in the city.
also, if anyone knows of any good lesbian-friendly/centric bars in brooklyn, that would be fabulous.
maybe now portland will get a mayor who cares more about people and social services than bikes and bike paths. and who will maybe spend some money on improving portland’s abysmal public schools and the horrific drop out rate, instead of spending money on trying to make portland the amsterdam of the united states.
and maybe we’ll get a mayor who will spend some money to actually pave roads and put in side walks (my mom lives on one of those roads in east portland - it’s paved but there are no sidewalks and it is surrounded by dirt and gravel streets), rather than rip up perfectly good roads (that actually are paved!) to make them better for bikers.
i understand that no one is perfect and we’ll never get everything we want. but practically everything sam adams has done while mayor has been a complete joke. i understand that people who visit portland and who just moved there think it’s fantastic and love the “bikes! bikes! bikes! foodcarts!” attitude - but try growing up there with awful schools that don’t even have janitors or try getting around on one of the multitudes of unpaved roads (which aren’t exactly great for road bikes, either) and the city tells a very different story.
how does one go about packing up an entire apartment?
moving out on thursday. oh lord.
i’m also kinda sad. cause while this hasn’t been my apartment per say, i’ve spent a significant amount of time here this year - from the first weekend i was at school and hung out with mara (who was the first person i met besides my roommates) to parties and sleeping on the couch and sleeping in beds and moving in and cats and plenty of great memories.
i’ve just spent the summer reminding myself that it’s been cold and rainy in oregon 80 percent of the summer and i wouldn’t have been able to do too much adventuring had i been back there.
and also i’m here with the girl i love, which doesn’t hurt.
but i miss certain things. like waking up early on saturday morning to go surfing at short sands, the long windy drive through the pass to get back into the city, spending the rest of the evening bbqing with my dad.
i also miss hiking and the way the sun looks through the trees and clear creeks and streams.
there’s a lot of things in this article that i can’t relate to - being considered a “radical queer,” for example. but there are plenty of things in here that do strike a chord with me.
although not the bay area, the overall main points of this post reminds me a lot of how i feel about portland these days. my dad moved to oregon from colorado for college and my mom moved out there during high school. i was born there, grew up there and have many amazing memories there. but sometimes when i go home, or even read things on tumblr about the city and state, i feel like a stranger in my own home. i feel like people fetishize portland the same way this post talks about people doing that to the bay area (which i know damn well that they do, after living in norcal for 2 years). not to say that portland isn’t great, but i feel like for so many people it’s this mythical place. and almost everyone is just arriving from somewhere else.
just replace “The Bay” with portland and this is a good picture of portland right now:
When did you arrive?
Where are you from?
How long have you been in The Bay?
Oh, your family is in town visiting?
Where did you live before The Bay?
How long do you think you’ll stay?
i’m not at home enough anymore to really get involved with the gay community there, but from what i’ve heard it sounds a lot like the white, “radical queer” community in the bay area - exclusive. i feel like if i were to be at home for an extended amount of time (and i know zero gay people in portland) i would feel like i very much didn’t have access to the community. hence, being a stranger in my own city that has been overrun by liberal arts grads or dropouts from massachusetts to san francisco and everywhere in between.
yes, i get bored of reading about people with their heads up their own asses who can’t think of anyone besides themselves and their feelings and their identity and their sexuality flipping out about every goddamn little elitist PC thing in the universe as if that’s going to fix anything for anyone besides them and their 5 friends from their women’s studies seminars who will now feel safe and protected in their dorm room during casual conversations with straight people. i get bored of reading about people who don’t see the big picture. i think the personal is political but sometimes the personal is just personal. and part of moving forward is recognizing that things won’t always be comfortable, or safe, or even easy, and that you might face unmistakable adversity and prejudice and you might have to hold your tongue so hard your head explodes but that’s part of life. it is! it’s just part of life. but it makes you better and stronger and more capable of facing the big bad terrible world out there because it is big and it is bad and it is, unfortunately, terrible, but if we want to be a part of it and be heard that means picking our battles sometimes. part of life is dealing with these spaces and then figuring out ways to change them instead of sitting at our fucking computers and whining because we’re sad and alienated and probably hate our lives and feel if we can at least control the discourse on this-or-that obscure feminist queer blog then somehow we have control over our lives but we don’t, you don’t. the only thing that will change your life is changing your life. there’s a huge big picture and we have to be realistic about the kind of adversity that’s out there and be REALISTIC about what one can expect from people who didn’t read the same books they read and be REALISTIC about how the world is and realize that none of us, not ONE of us, is the center of the world, and that our feelings only matter insofar as feelings are things we have in common with other people. so yes, i am sick of reading stories about our people in privileged spaces having privileged arguments over privileged issues — which has a value, but that value is educational and self-reinforcing for the people involved in that conversation although it holds little direct worth to the outside world — and then these people are trying to get the mainstream to listen to them when they’re not even speaking the same language. everything we do has to make itself relevant to everyone else on a very basic human level. there is something universal out there.
i want every story i read to be universal. i want every story i read to be infinite.
Icaro Doria, a Brazilian man, working for a magazine in Portugal started this campaign using real data from the UN and flag images, he’s created whats known as Meet the World. The colors within the flags from its respective country are used to represent current, geographical relevant issues. Take a look.
mara just went on a field trip to smith college with the teen mothers in the GED program that she interns at. after her describing all the opportunities the girls at smith have (they pay you to do internships!) i actually want to throw myself off umass’s 26 story library.
sometimes public school just doesn’t compare.
but in the end, i can’t complain too much. after going to numerous events at smith, i like my public school, even though umass is the joke of the 5 colleges in the area. i like the diversity. i like the bros and hos. i like going to school with boys. i like that not everyone is wealthy - in fact most people i know definitely aren’t. i like the fact that i go to a school where people’s biggest problem isn’t that their daddy won’t pay for them to bring their horse to school so they can be on the equestrian team.
and ugh there is just way, way, way too much lesbian pda at that school.
so here’s what my life looks like for the next few weeks:
on saturday, i’m having a late birthday party because since my 21st was on a monday night and most of my friends are in boston/scattered around new england, i didn’t go too crazy.
on august 1, not only will i get the keys to my new apartment, but it will also be my first day at starbucks. i’m not sure yet if i’m moving in right away or staying with mara for a bit, because i have no furniture and my roommate won’t be in amherst until september. also mara and i will still be living in the same apartments, she’ll just be across the pond from me. so living by myself for a month might be kinda lonely.
on august 2, mara and i are heading down to new york city to see sufjan stevens at prospect park in brooklyn. it’s the only U.S. show he’s doing before taking off to europe for like ever. i’ve wanted to see him since around 2005/2006, so i’m really excited. i’ll also be 21 in nyc which is exciting and we’re staying at the new york loft hostel again in brooklyn so we shall have part 2. of our hostel adventures after being there for spring break.
on the 4th, post-brooklyn adventure i’m officially beginning my starbucks training. meaning i actually have to learn how to make coffee. uh oh.
august 6 i’m seeing bon iver for the third time in holyoke, ma!
i can’t believe it’s almost august. i can’t believe it took me until august to get a job. i can’t believe that a year ago, i was starting to get ready to head out to the east coast for the first time, expecting to only stay a year and then go back to school in california. definitely not the way things turned out in the end, though. god i can’t believe how much has changed in just a year.