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Location: PDX, United States

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I never received love notes from strangers until I moved to Portland. Today I was given my third.

I was having cup of coffee at a little place in a strip mall in Gresham, and a man I'd noticed the week before came up, silently lay an envelope down on my table, and went back to his own table.

I felt a little self-concious opening the envelope; I was aware the people at the next table me were enjoying the drama. The card had a picture of a cat looking out a window on it, and inside, said only "I think you are wonderful." I packed up my stuff as quickly as possible, and headed off to the library.

I feel both relieved and a little sad that this Saturday was my last in Gresham. The class I've been co-teaching out there for the past two months ended today. I'll never go to the depressing coffee shop in the strip mall again and I won't have to have an uncomfortable conversation with my admirer explaining my disinterest. But I do feel a little badly for the guy who will probably think I'm avoiding the place because of him.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Good luck!

Found inside a book in the bookdrop:

Things I Want to Do Before I’m 30

1. Run a half marathon
2. Wear a bikini on the beach and feel confident
3. Write a novel
4. Write a screenplay
5. Reduce my waste as much as possible:
alternate sources of power
compost pile
energy saving patches
hybrid or converted diesel

I wonder how old this list maker is…it kind of seems like a lot to take on. Maybe I’m just lazy, but if it was me, I’d maybe just focus on one or two of these things.


Sunday, February 17, 2008


I have amazing luck in Portland. Even when bad things happen, I am still lucky. The other day I accidentally left my debit card in an ATM machine. I didn't realize it until the next day, when I tried to pay for the coffee I'd ordered, and discovered I had no cash or debit card. Before I had a chance to figure out how was going to get my coffee, the barista told me it was on her at the exact same time the woman behind me in line insisted on paying for it. The argued for a minute, and I felt like I was being bid on. The woman behind me won; she'd recently had the same thing happen to her, and person behind her in line had paid for her coffee. She felt like it was her turn. I got my coffee, went to work and when my coworker asked me if I wanted to go out to lunch I said sure, if she paid, since I had no money. We had a nice lunch, and then I borrowed some money from J. to tied me over until my new debit card arrived.

The whole situation made me think about how cool people could be, and what an opposite perspective I'd had towards people in Seattle. My expectations for other people and myself were low, and my experiences reflected this, which is probably why I've only spent two days in Seattle since I moved to Portland. I don't really think about my old life at all, other than when I go to the dreaded but convenient Safeway and type in my old phone number. I have been using a Safeway club card based on a phone number I haven't had in three and a half years. The card was under B.'s name, not mine, and every time I use the card and the cashier says "Thank you, Mrs. Bigley" I am pulled momentarily into a past that has so little in common with my present it doesn't seem like I could still be the same person.

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