Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I'm finally back

I'm back from Portland these past few days and making preparations for the move. I've done some of the major items, like banking and car changes, now I have to start packing. I find I'm dragging my feet a bit; it feels rather overwhelming. But I have to tell myself, "just start". Take the "one box at a time" attitude. Do it a few hours at a time instead of a packing marathon. I have some time yet, so I don't feel super pressured. Which can be both good and bad.

My last few days in Portland passed pleasantly. The weather was absolutely beautiful; sunny and warm. I got to spend time with my hostess/friend and it was great. It was the first opportunity we'd had to just relax and talk.

On Friday I went on a hike with one of my new friends there. We went to a place called Lost Lake. It's a hilly, forested area on a large lake with a stunning view of Mt Hood. We saw an osprey, who caught a fish right in front of us and flew up into the trees. The trees themselves are HUGE, and very old. I always feel like I'm in a cathedral in a forest. It really speaks to my soul. After we got back from the hike, myself, my hiking mate, and my hostess friends all went out to dinner at a little place called Wild Abandon. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed the warm breeze, some Sangria (yummy!), delicious food and fine conversation. It was a great way to end my initial visit to Portland.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

just hangin'

It's Tuesday, week two of my time in Portland. It's been an interesting time; rather a rollercoaster emotionally. It seems I either feel really good about being here or want to tuck my tail and run back to AZ. Have spent a lot of time alone as my hostesses are working gals and lead very busy lives. I've had too much time to think, which is always trouble. I feel like I've been here for months instead of 10 days. I've had that weird time thing that happens to all of us; sometimes a minute seems like hours and a day seems like a minute. I've been in the minute to hours place. I know things will be better once I have a space here with my art supplies, books, etc. And once I have a job. Right now I'm in that limbo state, just floating, not quite sure what to do with myself.

Ok, now for the good stuff. I went to a happy hour on Friday night with a new friend that I met at the Sunday meet and greet party my friends here had for me. It was really fun! I met some nice gals, had good conversation, and got a little info on the art scene here.

Saturday I went down to the Portland Saturday Market, which they hold every weekend from March thru December. There were a lot of vendors there and some really nice work; crafts and fine art. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Then Saturday night I went out with my friends from the happy hour the night before to a couple of dance events here. We had a great time. It was really good for me to get out, laugh, and just have fun. And dance, which I haven't done in I can't remember when.

Sunday was the Irvington Home tour. It's the neighborhood I'm staying in, and it's filled with big beautiful old homes. It was a treat to get a glimpse of some of these homes. After the tour, I stopped over for a wine and cheese party at one of my new friends' houses. A small group of us went out for sushi after. I have to say, people here are very friendly and welcoming. I felt instantly included with this group, easy conversation, relaxed and warm. Just lovely.

Yesterday, I found an apartment. It's just down the road from my friends' house in a nice, small apartment complex surrounded by beautiful old homes. The rent is incredibly cheap for the area, and I feel so fortunate to have found it. There's a possibility that an even better apartment may open up soon, and if so, I'll be taking that one. The nice thing about the one I found yesterday is that there's no lease. It's a perfect transition home.

So, that's the update for now. Will write more soon.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

another day in Portland

Well, the sun is blazing here again today. I'm feeling very fortunate to be enjoying such good weather.

Yesterday I attempted another foray into the city. I did better than the day before. The concepts of NE, SE, NW, SW finally started to sink in. Maybe there's hope for me yet! Trying to find two placement agencies took me all morning. Funny how something that would take you under an hour to do in your home city can take 4 hours in an unfamiliar place.

After I got myself home (I figured it out without the help of a map...woo hoo!) I spent the afternoon on the computer and phone contacting ad agencies, temp agencies and the like. Back to the days of selling, only now I'm selling myself instead of ad space. Felt very comfortable and familiar. It's like, "I know how to do this!". And as in selling, I have to put a ton of leads out there to get back one or two possibilities. I do have an appointment set up for Friday morning with a temp to permanent agency, so we'll see what happens with that. I'm going to check out the schools here as well for work, the universities and colleges. I like that atmosphere, and would love to work in that environment again.

I also called on some apartments that look interesting. I've left the gal two messages, but haven't heard back from her yet. A little frustrating.

The rest of the day will be spent contacting more potential sources of employment, mailing out some resumes and cover letters, and seeing an apartment later this afternoon. I'l also toying with the idea of doing an all day "Learn to meditate" class at the Shambhala center here this weekend. It's something I want to add to my life, and it's supposed to be rainy this weekend, so it might work out well. Hmmm....

Monday, May 14, 2007

Day three, Portland OR

I'm sitting at my dear friend's computer writing this entry while sunshine pours through the window of her home office (who says it rains in Portland all the time?!). Today's plan is to search for a place to live and make some initial work enquiries, as well as get a city map!

I arrived on Saturday afternoon. We hung out for a little while, then headed downtown to see a dance performance by the Jefferson Dancers, a high school dance troupe. They were simply amazing! Their age was all that gave them away as high schoolers. They danced as well as any professional dance troupe I've ever seen. The pieces they performed were complex, fun, and beautiful. As we watched them perform I thought about the gift of having that kind of passion in high school. To know so young what you want and pursue it with the enthusiasm they do. It's inspiring and reminds you of all the good and beauty in the world that we so often don't focus on.

Speaking of beauty, did I say this place is amazing? I took a walk early yesterday morning. Unfortunately I can't post pics because I'm not at home (I will do so once I get back). The trees, the flowers, the green! Walking under huge canopies of trees in the neighborhood I'm in, seeing the birds and the squirrels (I've missed squirrels!). Just luscious! My friend's home is in a lovely neighborhood full of old turn of the century homes, each with so much character and charm. I feel so lucky for the opportunity to stay in this wonderful area.

And I met many really nice folks yesterday. My friends through a little open house/meet Kathy party. Sometimes those types of events can be kind of stressful - a room full of people you don't know, small talk, all that. But this wasn't like that. It was very easy and fun. I felt welcomed by all of them and look forward to spending time with them again.

Today I'll make my phone calls, take a walk, write in my journal, then head out to Powell's bookstore to buy one of those detailed city maps so I can get myself around without getting too lost. I'm cooking tonight, so I'll be finding the local Safeway as well. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Here's the latest sketch done in my little moleskine while waiting for a school friend of mine at Starbuck's. This fellow didn't know he was being immortalized. Poor guy! I drew it with a Bic pen, your basic ballpoint.

Just finished school yesterday. It was bittersweet. I said goodbye to my class buddies and teachers, got and gave lots of hugs. It passed so quickly! Today, we went and signed the papers on the house, so as of Monday, I am no longer a home owner. And Saturday, I leave for two weeks to Portland. I'm feeling kind of numb right now. Preferable to completely panicked, I suppose.

I got a little digital camera for my purse, and I'll be taking lots of pics while in Portland. Don't know if I'll post there or wait till I get back. It depends on whether I take my computer with me or not. I really would prefer not to take it, as it's a pain getting through security with a computer and I'm traveling by myself, so no one to help me through the line.

Anyway, may get a chance to post again before Saturday.