PDX Life

One piece of clothing

I only have one piece of clothing I actually deeply and truly care about. I mean, I have lots of stuff I like that I wear, but it’s not the same. No this is something utterly different for me. In 1996 (maybe 97? maybe 95?) I decided I needed a good leather jacket. I’d never owned one, good or bad, and wanted one. So that summer, while wandering the West Village I came across one of those stores that had been shit all around the area. Those tiny, over-crowded, jacket/clothing/shoe stores that had too much crap and always had a “Closing Soon!” sign to try and get you to buy something quickly before they died. I went in, just to look around and saw a Hudson Leather motorcycle jacket. I do not now, and never did ride a motorcycle. Doesn’t…

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Pronouns

Last year I started wearing a very pretty pin on my con lanyards. It said “He/Him” and I wish I could remember the artist who did it, because it is pretty. I saw, I think it was a Google conference, where they offered stickers with your pronouns for attendees to put on their badges. Also cool. But for me I felt this needed to be bigger, in a literal sense. I mean I love my pin, and stickers are cool – but they are small. And in a con environment when you’re meeting people and remembering them, you also want to know their pronouns so you can be a decent person. Making that easy to see, so you don’t have to lean in and look at all the pins and buttons and stickers on a badge or lanyard to find…

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Pavlov’s Idiot

Back in the dark ages of 2012/2013 the Pebble watch came out. I jumped on the idea quickly. I was, after all, the guy who had email on his phone back when that meant using a Sidekick and making sure it could load telnet so I could check my mail via pine while I was on the road. I liked being in touch. Being that connected way back then (good ol’ 2002) paid off, too. I sold at least one story because I could submit it when asked, and there was a time crunch going on. That was how I justified allowing myself to tether to the world that hard. Recently, however, I’ve felt the need to step back in tiny ways. I find myself longing for the days of a pager, really. I mean I want to be in…

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Do the work

So I got a tattoo today. It’s my 40th birthday, and so I decided to get myself something. Here it is, just after it was finished: Yup, it sits on my inside left arm, where I can see it constantly. That’s the idea. This is 100% for me alone. It’s about writing, sure. But it’s about more than that. It’s a general way of life. If you want something: You do the work. If you want to be a writer – you do the work. If you want to eat – you do the work. What the work is varies every time, of course. Sometimes it’s a bit on the “not much to really do” side. If you want to eat take-out, you do the work. You know, make a phone call for delivery. If you want to write a…

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Get up. Water the mulch. Go inside. Work. Water the mulch.

Growing up in NY I never had a lawn or yard or anything like that. So when I moved to Portland and saw that the lawns at the house were basically only weeds, a few scraps of grass clinging on, I sighed. I wanted to try having a real lawn, once in my life. So I found a great landscaper and they came by and took the place back to zero. Kept the trees and all just ditched the lawns and reseeded, covering it in mulch and all that. Except. Well. It’s a bright tan lawn now until the grass grows in. If it grows in. I don’t know, will it? Well it needs watering, of course. Twice a day until the grass comes in a bit, on days it doesn’t rain. So, of course, this week is rain-free. Now…

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Portland – polite garbage… wait…

After spending 38 years in NY (with tiny exceptions for a few years in Boston) I moved to Portland this past October. And already the changes have started. It’s… strange, but in no way unwelcome. The first thing I noticed was that Portland seemed too polite. Like, I mean NYers are polite (we really are) but also in a hurry. So it’s always a sort of polite drive-by. But in Portland when they ask how you’re doing – they want to hear it. At length. And will ask follow-ups. And tell you about themselves. I… I have no need for that. I really don’t. But I stand there and do some chit-chatting just because I can’t very well set fire to strangers and run off cackling. I mean, I guess I could. But I shouldn’t, and don’t. But it is…

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This is how you get Pants.

Yesterday we had to go out, Laszlo and I, to do a bunch of errands. Along the way we ran across a Petsmart. So, hey, Watson needed a new cat tree thing to hang out on and in we went. At the door was a place adopting cats. One of them really wanted to come with us. So we decided we would think, and go do our errands and come back. Of course we decided yes. And of course they were gone by the time we got back. So today I spent about 40 minutes on the phone. Calling Petsmart to find out the name of the place, but they gave me the wrong name, and so I did a run-around and eventually got the right name, and the wrong number so more hunting… and anyway – long story slightly…

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NY-PDX: The rest

Welcome back! No, really, I feel kinda bad. I wanted to update about the trip west every night but we’d get in after 12+ hours in the car and I just couldn’t face it, somehow. But now we’re here and all and I guess it is time to spin the magic time wheel back and look at what went on. Tuesday we waited for the guys to come and haul the last stuff out of the apartment so we could get on the road. They were supposed to show between 8-10 and that normal means 9:30. We were gonna be on the road by maybe 11, since we had 12 hours to Chicago. They showed up at almost noon. After they were done we loaded the car. Except the car didn’t want to hold as much as we thought it…

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NYC to PDX – start

The movers were supposed to show up at 9am. At 8am, when they arrived, I was still asleep. So, putting on pants at speed, we went over all the paperwork. That’s when I saw they tried to give me a total insurance coverage of 3500. That’s it. For my entire move. Seems the full (very much more) coverage got forgotten. So there were calls and a bit of stressed yelling. They started to work. Now a bunch of stuff isn’t going in the move, I’ll get back to that, but since there hadn’t been time before they got there to finish moving some stuff around flat surfaces not going were quickly receptacles for stray bits that were also not going. Which meant there were no flat surfaces left to sit on. Anyway, the movers themselves were champs. They didn’t slow…

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Witness!

The Impossible House

Moving across country is pretty hard. There’s a buncha stuff you have to do by feel, asking friends and guessing. And then there’s buying a house. Buying a house is rough at the best of times. Trying to buy a house 3000 miles away is… special. When I first spoke to my realtor and explained my situation (Wanting to buy a house in Portland while living in NY and oh, btw, I had to buy it before I moved and could only get out there for one weekend max before the move) and we both agreed: This would in no way work out. With the money I could afford, the needs for a house I had, and those other problems this was simply not doable. We agreed. We knew it was a fool’s errand, but we both also thought it…

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