Nov 7, 2009

Couch Surfing in Portland

Finally, after months of talking about it, and one failed attempt at doing it, I'm finally getting to use my van for more than cruising around town in the fast lane during rush hour. My good friend Bev is in Portland taking a class, and she made the mistake of inviting me down to visit. (Note to friends - if you invite me to your place for any reason, be sure to set a time line or you might end up with an unintentional roommate. It's not like I have anywhere to be or any job to do...)

Road trip!

Before I left I wondered aloud what the chances were of getting stopped at the border because of my van. Pretty good, my sister thought.

She was right. I pull up to the customs officer and he immediately tells me that the computer randomly selected me for a full inspection.

The computer? Random? I call bullshit. That guy pegged me as a peace-loving, drug-totting, hippy jerk from the moment he saw my camperized van of awesomeness roll into view.

So I had to pull off to the side and leave my keys with a lonely looking guard, then go in to a smelly little building and answer a bunch of questions to Officer Joe. Joe, who had the exact same birthday as me, and wanted to know how I had felt about turning 30 this year. Thanks for pointing that out to the crowd, Joe. After going through an extensive list of dangerous goods, Joe asked if I had any other items that could be used as a weapon. I mentioned my knitting needles, and he got very concerned.

You have knitting needles?
Yes.
Why?
...To knit with?
Where are they?
In the van.
I know! Where in the van?
Oh, in my knitting bag-
They're in a bag?
Yes.
Okay, then.

I didn't understand why the threat of my knitting needles was diffused by being secured in a bag. I didn't ask. He disappeared for a while to search for contraband, and when he told me I was free to go I swear he sounded disappointed.

All I can say about the drive from Vancouver to Portland is that whatever genius thought it was a good idea to have the I-5 go right through downtown Seattle should be shot. Out of a cannon. Into the sun!

Right, so, impressions of Portland. Initial ones revolved around my bed. Bev rented a condo, and it has this couch that must be an Ikea thing. It's uber trendy looking and not very comfortable. The back lowers down in three sections so you can turn it into a bed. Why you would do this in three sections I don't know. It's either a bed or a couch. Why would you want part of it to stay up as a couch back and part of it to be down like a bed? This makes no sense to me.

And what is stupid about this couch is that I dated this real idiot about a year ago, and he had one of these. In red. Most of our dates revolved around this couch. Playing video games or watching movies or reading comics. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. But what I really don't like is me, for thinking about this douche bag every day when I transform the couch into a bed or back into a couch. Some stupid coincidence - he likes uncomfortable furniture, the owner of this condo likes uncomfortable furniture. And in both situations, I'm stuck using it, and stuck thinking about someone I have no desire to remember. How lame is that?

To those that may feel the need to tell me there are no coincidences - that everything is connected, that coincidences are god/fate/the cosmos/whatever smiling at us - I say this. If there really is some divine power, some master plan, is this really how it chooses to communicate with me? Is this the best it can do? Deliver me unto the same model of bed every 365 days? That's a serious misuse of power, if you ask me.

If I'm a mighty being that can guide people and objects towards a specific time and place, well, let me tell you that I'm using that power to do more than make a single girl feel annoyed towards a former dumb-ass date. Like maybe have said girl trip over a bundle of money in the street that was possibly dropped by said dumb-ass, but she'd never know that and would give half to charity (read: spend half on wine and give the empty bottles to a student doing a bottle drive for school sports) and spend half on soft cozy yarn or movies or parts for her really cool but old Westfalia.

That, or I'd use my power to bring the producers of Survivor to Garbage Island for their next season.

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