painandlight: (happy shamrock)
I got some news a couple of nights ago that pissed me off. Doesn't matter what the news was, it was the sort of thing whose only appreciable impact on my life is how I react to it. I'd be lying if I said it didn't still piss me off. But fortunately, I've got better ways to feel and for the most part, I've been in a pretty damned good mood since the morning after (indulging my bitchy side and mentally composing a multitude of "fuck you!" blog posts that I'll never actually write has been a significant contributor to this.)

Instead, I'm writing this.

I just want to give a huge thank you. To the gods, to friends, to everyone who's been so supportive of me and Gavin for the last couple of years now, for anyone who's helped in any way, offered help, or wanted to but couldn't for some reason, even something as seemingly insignificant as a virtual hug, has made some difference. To everyone who's stuck by us and given half a damn. Thank you. We are so blessed, and things are just getting better.

I'd like to offer a list (certainly not exhaustive, I'd be here all night) of thine things for which we are particularly thankful right now.

-For having moved to Eugene, necessary mistake that it was. I haven't written a lot about it, but after moving to Eugene, a lot of things got worse for us than they were in Baltimore. Thankfully, money wasn't one of those things and one of the great blessings of living there was that it quickly put us in a position to get to someplace much better for us.

-For moving to Portland. Eight months in Eugene, and by the end of the first week, it was already feeling like a distant bad memory. Two weeks beyond that, it barely crosses my mind. When we moved to Eugene, we were so thankful to be out of Baltimore. Now, we're thankful to be in Eugene, but we're even more thankful to be in Portland. Three weeks here, and if we had to leave tomorrow, I couldn't tell you how sad I would be after this short of a time.

-For my job. The one for which I shouldn't have even gotten an interview. The one for which they broke rules to hire me. A job I've done before and liked doing. One that I'm good at.

-For our new apartment. Getting it was a fiasco. And then we got here and found out that it wasn't supposed to be ready for at least another week. but the maintenance guy and the leasing agent (and a friend of the leasing agent!) rolled up their sleeves and had it usable in just a couple of hours. There's still a bit of cosmetic work to be done, but that will be taken care of this week.

-For the movers. We were supposed to have a friend help us move, but when we were forced to change our plans a move a week later, he was no longer able to help (though we were still grateful that he was originally going to). After the last experience that we had with movers, we were very reluctant- but had no choice. These guys were so much better than we could have asked for from a moving service. (Uptown Movers out of Marion, Oregon if anyone needs a mover- I highly recommend them.)

-for the leasing agent from the apartment that we didn't take who was really nice and told us a bit not only about the area where that apartment was, but also about the area that we ultimately moved to. We were originally going to go with her apartment, but after we handed in our deposit, we then noticed some fatal flaws that made the place completely unworkable for us. She offered our deposit back without us even asking, when legally, the company was perfectly entitled to keep it.

-For my commute, if you can believe that. It's really silly, but every day I head off for work, and I sit there on the train and I get a little excited when it gets to the arena and I can see the western side of the city looming across the river. It just makes me a little giddy for some reason. I love that Portland straddles a river. And that we live in the free rail zone, where we can take the light rail and street car for free. I still have to get a transit pass because I use it every day to get to work- but I get to buy it for half price through my office- something else to be thankful for! Oh, and TriMet in general. I love the public transportation system here. I love how they post the arrivals of trains and busses and update them in real time.

-I am thankful for Gavin, the one I love, who has been here with me through everything, who has kept me from losing it completely more times than she will ever know. Everything is so much better with her here.

-I'm thankful that, since everything else has worked out and there are so many things that we don't have to worry about anymore, that figuring out ongoing spiritual issues of the last few years has also improved greatly and more so than ever, relationships with the gods are truly improving again, and new things are happening as well. Shortly before Christmas, I started working on getting to know Ares. It's going slowly at this point, but I believe it's as real as anything else has been, and I also believe that he helped us out at least as much as Apollo and Hermes, and I also believe that he has, at least a bit so far, helped me with some personal things with which I don't really know that I'm entirely capable of handling entirely on my own. For all of this, I am most grateful because without them, I don't believe that any of this would be possible.

So I'd just like to say that I am thankful for all this and so much more- beyond words.

Also, I was fairly amused when I was first writing this post on Friday. On my way to work, I was doing it the old fashioned way- in a notebook to be transcribed later. I had my iPod on shuffle, a play list of about eleven hundred songs. The song Peaceful world by John Mellencamp came up, and the line "Money's good, work's okay. Looks like everything is rollin' our way" played just as I was writing about my job. So I shamelessly borrowed it for my subject line.

Oh, and I can't remember the last time I played a video game. (It's an inside joke!)
painandlight: (Default)
I never did post on why I think Portland will be so much better. So, here.

By the time we left Baltimore, the things we had hated about it had driven us so nuts that getting into Eugene, everything looked so nice and appealing, for at least a few minutes anyway. Hell, East Cattlefuck North Dakota had it's own charm when we stopped there on the train and at the time, if that was where I was going, I think I'd have been happy for a bit.

Recognizing this, both Gavin and I have had to question whether we're excited about moving to Portland or away from Eugene and if we will be happy in Portland for what it is, or if we'll just be superficially happy for a while because it's not Eugene.

There are still things that I like here, but he sum total of them does not add up to a place where I can happily live. Whatever weer to happen, I need to be out of here, I know that. Need to be like I need to breathe. Even if certain things had gone perfectly and smoothly without a hitch, I might have been able to tolerate for a bit longer, but I would not be happy. I know that. I give it maybe another six months before I was climbing the walls.

When I went up to Portland last week for my interview, I was dead tired, but started to feel a little better just getting on the train. I got off the train and walked into the train station, and was feeling even more "right", like there was something there that I was missing. Um, then again, it could also be that I have a thing about train stations. Especially really big, old ones. Portland's isn't the hugest, but whatever the criteria may be, it's met. Train stations like 30th Street station in Philadelphia, Penn Station in Baltimore, Grand Central in New York, and apparently Union Station in Portland feel...hmm, almost like a sort of temple to me. I love traveling by train but I'm not one of those railroad buffs or anything. But tehre's always this sort of feeling of "rightness" to them for me. I used to even have a sort of ritual where every time I was in 30th Street station, I would go to the Chinese buffet there and get some food and sit down in the middle of the floor and watch the sign board flip through the departures and arrivals. (30th street station also looks a lot like it should be a temple...lol)

Anyway...I didn't have a lot of time walking around the city that day, but it was enough to start getting a feel for it. There was an odd familiarity to it. It reminded me of cities in the northeast- but cleaner. Some blocks felt a little like Baltimore, others felt a little like Philly. There was more of this same feeling when we went back on Saturday to look at apartments. I was feeling like I was getting parts of me back that were missing. Between living in the city, and getting a job that I'm not going to have to get an all-new, "not-me" wardrobe fore, and knowing that I will be allowed to dye my hair fuschia again...woohoo!

I've badly missed having to look up to see the tops of buildings, and public transportation that consists of more than just busses and runs after 9pm...hell, I've missed the "ding" of the ilght rail trains- so much! And Portland's system is so much better than Baltimore's was. There's a whole other city just north of us, too- Vancouver, Washington is just across the river to the north, and they have a separate public transportation system, but the fare passes for Tri-Met and C-Tran are interchangeable. And for some reason, I just love the idea of a city that's split up by a river. And there's an air-tram and street cars and....and....

One of the really good signs that we see is that we've found a hangout, a default place to go where we don't know where to go. Back in Baltimore, that was the Barnes and Noble at the harbor where we would get coffee and unless it was too cold, sit outside on the balcony and watch the world below us. We ran into Dominic there semi-frequently also. We've never found a place like that here in Eugene and try as we might, we can't think of any place that we'd want to be such a thing. There's one such place that had some possibility, but it also just wasn't quite right- not close to enough other stuff, minimal people-watching potential and various other things.

There are just so many little details, I don't think I can list them all. Suffice it to say, I think going up there Saturday has shed any doubt about being happy In Portland versus being happy Not In Eugene.

Life tells me, again and again, that I need to be in a bigger city to be happy. Doesn't have to be The Biggest City EVAR (Love to visit New York, for example, don't wanna live there.) But it's pretty safe to say that I need a good public transportation system, an Amtrak station, a population of around half a million give or take and buildings that require I look up to see how high they are to be happy.

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Memories of Pain and Light

July 2013

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