Pride and Such

I was doing really well at posting in here regularly... I must apologize, all of my faithful readers, for the suspense. I'm doing well. I'll try to do a recap to bring us up to speed. Also, I have a terrible memory so we'll see if this even works.

Tuesday, June 9th
I went by Sisters of the Road and dropped off my resume and cover letter. Unfortunately, the lady who took it (who is hiring, who I'd be working under) didn't really want to talk or anything. Maybe she was busy? So I just dropped off my stuff and left. :T And then I went to go get tickets to Greg Laswell for next week! And then I realized I was hungry, and I went back to Sisters for lunch. On the way back (like 30 minutes later) I passed by the same lady... and said an awkward greeting... I wonder what she was thinking. What's this guy up to? He came and left... and then came back later... is he a stalker, a weirdo, or what? You know? Bleh. But the food was excellent and I met Sarge and Arthur. And then I left, and went and did some other stuff that I don't remember at present. :(

Wednesday, June 10th
I had a busy day today as well. I drove all around town - I went and dropped of a resume at a little coffee shop that's hiring, and I drove by the Doug Fir to see if they were selling Bat for Lashes tickets (sold out! But they sell some at the door so I'm going to go try that), I went to a garage sale way out in Troutdale and got a desk and some storage shelving stuff, I drove down to Lake Oswego and looked at a bicycle (no good), and I think I did even more. It might have been this day or the day before that I talked to Jesse and he said he's going to come to the BFL show! So that's cool. I have a new friend. I also made contact with Charles at NWeSOURCE (please don't look up their website) as a potential job opportunity, and with Ifara, Inc., an AIDS awareness/advocacy organization that I might be volunteering with to help them write grants.

Thursday, June 11th.
Thursday! Was a big day. I went in the morning and bought a bicycle! I LOVE IT, here are crappy cell phone photos:

Yessss... I'm fuzzy here about the timing, but I also met with Fred at Ifara, Inc., and am going to help them out for free, and with NWeSOURCE, and I'm going to be helping them out FOR PAY! That's right, I got a job. It's temporary, and piece-by-piece, meaning not steady, but I'm writing and doing a little layout design which is cool.

Then that night I rode my bike to the Doug Fir and waited in line and got tickets to BFL! I also met Jesse there, who is this awesome dude I met at a couchsurfer meet-up the weekend prior. He is a graphic designer, runner, and all-around cool dude. Since we got there about 6:30 and the show didn't start until 9:30, we had about 3 hours to kill, and we had only met once. Luckily, we are both talkative, and we had a ton in common so it was cool! I think we're going to go running next week. Sweet.

Then there was Bat for Lashes... such an AMAZING show. Unfortunately, some WTF band called Hecuba was before them, and they were interesting to say the least. Oh gosh. But BFL was so incredible, and I was literally a foot away from Natasha Kahn, because I stood on the edge of the stage as to not block too many people, and she happened to set her keyboard up right on the edge, right in front of me!

Photo from the Merc, where there are more and a write-up as well.

I was only able to get this crappy phone photo (I forgot my real camera), but you see how close I was:

Wow. It's been too long since I've been to a great concert. I'm tired and I need to get to other things, so I'll finish the wrap-up later tonight or tomorrow.

Who knows what I did on Friday, June 12.

Saturday, June 13th, and Sunday, June 14th have been the Pride Festival! I helped IFARA run a booth where they got people to film safer sex messages for a PSA.
I think one of those days was the day I planted my little garden! If you want to see it, and some of the process, I filmed it and a little tour of my house in a YouTube video for my girlfriend. If anyone that's reading this wants to watch, then they can find the video here; remember that it was filmed for my girlfriend so... skip the sentimental parts if that's not what you want to see, I guess.

Monday, June 15th through Thursday, June 18th are kind of a blur. Applying for jobs, bumming around the house, riding my bike. On Tuesday, I think, I went over to Jesse's for dinner and met his girlfriend, who is super nice (they're both super nice, actually) and then we went for a little jog and talked about stuff. And we passed by the Skate Church, which was weird. But the skatepark looked awesome; I think I might check it out next month...

This upcoming weekend is the beginning of PedalPalooza!

Does Portland have a festival every freaking weekend? I can't go, though; I'm flying back to SoCal to go to Nick and Sheena's wedding. I am pretty psyched for that. But PedalPalooza goes for a few weeks, so... I don't know. Should I do the naked bike ride? Or one of the other 328974 biking-related events? We'll see.

Tomorrow I go to see Greg Laswell! Exciting! I feel like I shouldn't have bought that ticket, though; I still don't have any money. Oh, did I say that I applied for, and received, food stamps the other day? They decided to give me the full amount (about $200), which is probably more than I need. Anyways, I do need it; my income right now is about $400-600 a month, and my rent is $450. So, let's hope I get a real job, and then I won't have to be on food stamps anymore, OK? Yay!

I live at 4221 NE 77th AVE, PORTLAND, OR

So I chose to live with Larry. Except, Larry doesn't live there, he owns and rents the place but lives elsewhere. So I live with some other dudes. Weird, middle-aged dudes. Most of them are really mellow and keep to themselves, so that's cool. But Sal is really friendly and we talked a little bit. He seems like a really wise man. He moved here from Libya 32 years ago and I think has a lot of experience and wisdom. We'll see. Everyone in Portland is weird, and that is awesome. I love weird people. I think that might not have been expressed enough in my last post. I love how everyone is themself here. There aren't seventeen layers of pretension like most of the people I met in LA. People don't really seem to care about what you think of them... it's great.

We went to a couchsurfing meetup this afternoon and I brought some fruit I had just purchased at a roadside stand (it was a potluck). But then I left it all there! I wanted to bring home at least a little. And I made a friend! So that's cool.

Did I mention that we saw The Hangover the other night? It was hilarious. I recommend seeing it. Not the funniest movie ever, and I surely have critiques. But quite good.

Bat for Lashes is playing at this little club on Thursday. And Greg Laswell is playing next week. I think BFL is sold out, though. Tickets are going for $100 on craiglist? They were originally $10. Hopefully I can buy some at the door, I don't know.

Also, this is a strange, convoluted post, but I like today's Cat and Girl (click to enlarge):

That is all.

Elliott Writes: "Enough"

I wrote this a while back, and then I revised it a few weeks ago when I sent it as a writing sample for a job I applied for. I think I like it a bit less now, but it's recent writing!

A mentor of mine has a t-shirt that reads, “The opposite of poverty isn’t wealth… it’s enough.” I often wonder about this enigmatic message; its simplicity, its hope. But one realizes that the phrase is only superficially simple. What does “enough” really even mean? And how do we get there?

This past summer I spent six weeks volunteering in a small town in Ghana, western Africa, where poverty wasn’t just downtown, or on a news special, or in my non-profit class, but was everyday life for nearly everyone I met. I remember seeing a poster for sale on the street that featured a naked, emaciated young boy, arms outstretched toward the sky, with an imploring look on his face and tears in his eyes. Above him were the words, “God, you promised us our daily bread; may we have it now?”

And I wondered about the concept of “daily bread,” and about greed, and about the United States, and about Africa, and about wealth and about “enough.”

On our last day in the country, we spent the night at a friend of a friend’s house in Accra, the airport city. But “house” is a inaccurate, because this was a three-story mansion, even by American standards; complete with a servant/doorman, a neatly trimmed garden, and, most unbelievably, both air conditioning and running water.
And spending the night in a mansion was difficult, after six weeks in regular Ghanaian homes; we looked out over the balcony of the third story of this benevolent woman’s home and as the sun set watched a couple across the street give their daughter a bath in a bucket of soapy water, on what could be called the “front porch” of their grimy, dilapidated shack.