Tag Archives: Oregon

Word Vomit: A Rant About Why I Loved “The Unfortunates”

22 Jun

unfortunates4A little over a week ago my family arrived in Ashland, Oregon, to attend my long-awaited graduation from Southern Oregon University. Along with suffering through two and a half hours of dreadful heat and watching hundreds of students trudge across the stage to receive their faux-diplomas, we also had the opportunity of attending two Oregon Shakespeare Festival plays during our weekend together. My father and I have been attending OSF for going on eleven years now. Hell, OSF was one of the leading factors in my choice to attend Southern Oregon, where I graduated with a BA in both Theatre Arts and Creative Writing (and a minor in photography).

That Saturday, after the graduation commencement had ended, we saw A Streetcar Named Desire, which was quite enjoyable. Kate Mulligan brought a new energy to Blanche I’d never seen before, Jeffrey King was a lovably perfect Mitch, and both Danforth Comins and Nell Geisslinger made a great duo as Stanley and Stella. While Streetcar is not my favorite Williams play, I had a great time seeing this rendition. However, while a great production, Streetcar is not the play I want to focus on right now.

The night before graduation my family went and saw a play entitled The Unfortunates. I knew nothing about this show walking in, except that all my friends raved about it and demanded I buy the soundtrack. Since we were running late, I didn’t have a chance to flip open my program and read the plot synopsis before the play began. So, trusting in the magic of OSF to do no wrong, I sat back and let the players take me down a path I had not quite expected.

Ninety minutes later, my family exited the Thomas Theatre. There seemed to be a general consensus: they didn’t like it. The Unfortunates wasn’t what they had thought it would be and were all sorely disappointed by this fact. My godmother quietly remarked that at least the music was catchy and the performers talented, while my brother and godfather barked about how the plot was unfollowable and how nothing had made sense.

This took me by surprise. Had we been watching the same show? The second the lights had come back up after the play had ended, I immediately turned to my father and told him, “That was one of the best things I have ever seen. Ever.” How was my family going on in this way about such an amazing piece of theatre?

After hearing more squabbles from them, I came to the defense of The Unfortunates. “No, there was definitely a coherent plot,” I insisted, as my brother made a face of disagreement. “There was! You just didn’t get it.”

“Okay, well, what was it then?”

I opened my mouth to speak.

I faltered.

What was the plot?

unfortunates5I had gotten that there was something about being in a prison cell and people being shot, and then there was a bar… but was that bar a flashback? An imaginary realm? And everything else, what about all of that?A gambling game? Something about a plague? A strange love story? Some very hungry rooks? A dead king? An armless prostitute? What was the plot? I threw my brother a quick response about the play focusing on the last moments of a prisoner of war’s life, but even then I wasn’t sure I was in the know.

So why was I so taken with this show; this show that I couldn’t summarize for my family, or even myself? Why had I found myself with a large grin on my face, hands clamped on my cheeks, as I witnessed it unfold in front of my eyes inside the Thomas Theatre’s black box? As I thought more and more about it, I came to realize that this wasn’t a show you could explain in a text or a tweet. It was one you’d muse about with friends over coffee, that you could write endlessly about on your blog or in school essays, or that you could simply think about as you sat alone in your room at night before bed. It was a story that would fester in every inch of you and wouldn’t let you go – at least, not right away.

(Warning: it gets spoilery from here on out, so tread cautiously.)

I found reading the playbill’s pieces on The Unfortunates and, eventually, the script helped me grasp the pieces of the plot I was missing. Little things were brought to my attention that I had missed upon seeing the show, and it was easy to see the entire story after I was done reading. Yes, I had been right in what I had told my family, about the prisoner of war aspect. If we were to assign this show a dramatic statement (dear god, the SOU theatre department is going to haunt me the rest of my life, isn’t it?), The Unfortunates is a play about a man finding solace and courage in the power of music – or, rather, the power of his own song – before he is about to die. It turns out, this show is all about the music. It’s about holding fast to music, even when times are brutal. Joe escapes into his fantasy-bar where he’s king, drawing in parallels to his prisoner of war surroundings (such as his deceased friends taking on new personas and his fists – oh this fists, we’ll get to those fists in a bit), and how he finds comfort in the music. How, even when his fantasies take a harsh turn, the music is there to help him find his way and face his deepest fears (I feel like “Guard the Right” is the number one example of this). Plus the tones of the show were constantly shifting, dragging you along with it at every turn. There was the chilling opening as each man was taken away, the fun vaudeville-feel of the bar numbers, the romantic inclinations between Rae and Joe, the creepy feel of the Doctor’s stage presence, and the overwhelming rush of emotion at the play’s end. If anything, I think The Unfortunates is a show that should be viewed on two separate occasions, so the first time you can find yourself lost in the music, and the second time you can lose yourself in both the story and the music.

This leads into the number one reason I believe I was so instantly taken with this show: the music. Now, I’m a huge fan of musicals. Back when the girls in my class were belting ‘N Sync and Britney Spears on the playground, I was off humming Music Man and Les Miserables songs to myself. Showtunes were all I listened to up until the last couple years of high school, and while my taste in music has definitely expanded in the more recent years, I still listen to showtunes quite often. So, going into The Unfortunates knowing it was an original musical, I expected the usual slew of showtunes that appear in contemporary shows.

unfortunates8I was surprised that a number of the songs in the play were that of rap and hip hop, and, what’s more, that I found I loved them. Really, really, really loved them. Nothing personal, I’ve just never felt a connection with that genre of music before. However, The Unfortunates did such an amazing job taking these musical genres and crafting them to fit the story. Not only that, there’s also a beautiful mix of gospel, folk, r&b, and a capella incorporated into the soundtrack of the show. They all blend together, making for a truly gorgeous musical score.

There is not one song in this show that you cannot hum or snap your fingers along to. Upon leaving the black box, I immediately purchased the soundtrack, knowing full well I’d go crazy without this new music in my life. The recorded songs, though a tad different than the final product you view in the show, are wonderful and great to sing along with. My favorite song changes on a day-to-day basis; however, gun to my head, I’d have to say “Quarantine”, “Good to be the King”, “Down and Out”, “I Want You”, and “Tell Me Where It Hurts” are my five favorites. They’re all unbelievably catchy, and it’s almost impossible not to dance or sing along with certain numbers. It’s also fascinating to read about the history of some of the music; where it came from and how it inspired the playwrights.

Not only is the music beautiful, the dialogue is as well. The style in which many of the characters speak is akin to spoken word, in my personal opinion, which is another reason this show resonated deeply with me, as I have definite ties when it comes to spoken word. There are many magnificent pieces of dialogue throughout the play, but my absolute favorite is a speech Big Joe gives during “Tabs Are Always Open for an Addict”:

“I never wanted nothing more than the breath I was breathin’, the moment I breathed it. I never had nothin’ I wouldn’t mind leavin’, includin’ the breathin’. These fists are a fury, this tongue is a torrent of suffering stuffed like a bittersweet cup. I nearly tore my heart out just to feel touch once, but ain’t nothin’ so bitter as want. I want, I want, I want to rip open these fists, grip a life that’s slipping in between these fingers where nothing else gets, blood flow from my fingertips kissin’ my wrists as it drips, warming a heart that only exists for your lips.”

You read that? That’s fucking poetry right there. Beautiful, mesmerizing poetry.

unfortunates1I’ve also come to love thinking about the symbolism in this show, particularly that found in the characters’ hands and arms. The two forefront characters are polar opposites in that sense: one has no hands and one has giant hands. In the opening, we see Joe’s fists raised in defense, which speaks of him in that reality, trying to defend himself from the inevitable. When we’re taken to the world of the fantasy-bar, suddenly his fists are huge. They allude to Joe being a boxer in the opening song, so perhaps that’s why his fists become five times bigger, fighting being what he knows best, or perhaps it’s his subconscious needing to physically protect himself from the reality that awaits him (ie. his execution). Then we have Rae; beautiful, graceful, armless Rae. Why is she armless? This was the number one question my aunt kept pestering me with the rest of the night, and having no idea at the time what the answer was, I finally just told her, “Character device.” Looking back on this show, I realize there was much more at play than just some arbitrary character device. In Joe’s reality, he clutches a picture. From the whistle the enemy soldier gives we know the photo is of a woman. No doubt it’s the woman in the photo that the illusion of Rae is based off of. To me, her lack of arms symbolizes how she is stuck in a world she cannot escape from; she is being whored by her own father and there’s no way to claw her way out. She is helpless and in need of rescue (again, this is Joe’s fantasy, so her character reflects heavily on him and his wants). What’s more, her state of being contrasts Joe’s completely. He can’t unclench his giant hands to hold her, no more than she can wrap her nonexistent arms around him. It’s not until she dies that she can finally be whole again, just as it isn’t until Joe has finally accepted his inescapable death that his fists disappear; the moment they’re both finally freed (ie. no longer having to be a prostitute and Joe’s acceptance of death) is when they can return to normal. Then there’s the whole sequence where the Doctor’s arms stretch out to enfold Rae – goddamn, that moment gave me chills (and was when I finally started crying) – and just that contrast with everything else going on in the play… It just comes together so magically. I don’t know how else to describe it.

unfortunates7Finally, the performers. Ah, the performers. Each one of them was absolutely brilliant. From those opening moments of the play when you’re not quite sure where the characters are or why, you’re able to pick up immediately from the body language and acting of the performers (and, okay, the offstage gunshots help too) that things are not all right. Each actor, and the musicians too for that matter, are just wonderful. They’ve each got powerhouse voices, and each hone their characters’ personalities and physicalities beautifully. Not to mention all four original creators of The Unfortunates are in this play, which, as someone who considers herself both a writer and a performer, is absolutely fantastic. Everyone in the show used their talents to the best of their abilities, and did a kick ass job doing so. Plus there’s a live band on stage throughout the show, and goddamn if they’re not equally as amazing.


So no, The Unfortunates might not be what you expect when you walk into the Thomas Theatre in the next few months. It’s not your classic My Fair Lady or Music Man musical. It doesn’t abide by the expected showtunes and overdone story structure. But you know what it is? It’s fresh. It’s new. It’s exciting, which I feel has been lacking in a lot of new theatre (especially musicals) as of late. We need more musicals like this one, that’s for sure.

I would like more than anything to see this play for a second time (no big surprise, right?), and I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be able to. I take off for New Zealand in exactly a month, and the time before my departure is going to be quite hectic. I’m planning to go down sometime in a couple weeks with a friend who loves the show just as much as I do, so hopefully that will pan out. If not, hey, at least I got the chance to experience The Unfortunates just once, just as everyone else has or should.

… But seriously, if you’re in Ashland and you haven’t seen this play yet, what the fuck are you doing?

Go buy a ticket to it.

Right now.

Trust me, you won’t regret it.

unfortunates2

unfortunates3

one month to go.

13 May

I’m feeling good today, which has been really nice. I’ve been in a rut for the last week, feeling depressed about life while also feeling excruciatingly lonely, so I’m happy that today has been a good one.

I think there’s a whole combination of reasons for my positive outlook on today. For starters, I got to write some articles for BP this afternoon. It’s been a while since I’ve been asked to write for them, and there is no greater feeling on this planet than getting paid for your words. Then this morning I went for a run and listened to I Am America, which was just an amazing way to kick start the day. I also found out Nick is coming to town this weekend, which just fills my heart with glee. To top it all off, the weather is just beautiful (and not sweltering hot like the last couple days), and good weather always puts me in a good mood.

I realized today that I’ve begun to slowly come to terms with The End. The end of school; the end of my time in Ashland. It’s a rather bittersweet feeling. I’ve wanted out of this town for a while (since my junior year, really), but now that the end is in sight I’m sad to leave it all behind. I’ve been reflecting on my definition of “home” recently and have come to realize that, in almost two months, I’m not going to have a home for an entire year. That both scares and invigorates me. Ashland’s been my home for so long; so much so that Portland doesn’t quite feel like home to me anymore.

Anyway, I’ve got about a month left before I leave Ashland. In that time I’d like to revisit my favorite restaurants/bars/coffee shops, say goodbye to all my friends, walk all of Lithia Park one last time, hang out at Emigrant Lake, perform in the Rogue Valley Poetry Slam for my third (and final) time, and perhaps see My Fair Lady or King Lear at OSF.

It’s funny. When I close my eyes I can see my dorm room back when I was a wee freshman; Amanda sitting on her bed in the corner sketching while I watch CSI over at my desk across the room. Things were so different back then. I was so different back then. I was still a kid. I didn’t know anything about the world. And now… well, okay, I still don’t know much about the world, but I know so much more now than when I was a frosh. A part of me feels like I’m just a giant kid wrapped up inside an adult’s body, and I think I’m always going to feel that way, but I can also recognize how mature I’ve become. Nowadays I love cleaning, budgeting my paychecks, grocery shopping, cooking/baking, running/exercising, drinking, writing poetry, and having a job. I literally despised all of those things I just listed when I was eighteen.

The gap between an eighteen year old and a twenty-two (going on twenty-three) year old doesn’t seem like much, but holy hell, it really is a lot. You just deal with so much in that time frame. You try new things. You learn new things. You learn who you are and how you perceive the world around you. That’s one reason why I’d argue the importance of going to college; not so much for the degree and all the student loans you’re guaranteed to wrack up, but because of the people you meet and the interactions you partake in and the experiences you garner. Would I have turned out differently if my neighbor back in the dorms hadn’t slowly transformed into a transwoman before my eyes? If I didn’t gain friends who outwardly enjoy sex, weed, and alcohol? If I hadn’t dealt with friends coming out, friends expressing suicidal thoughts, and friends who went through pregnancy scares and abortions? Would I be the same sheltered girl that I was when I was eighteen, so wide eyed and naive to the ways of the world?

Probably.

This wasn’t meant to be a rant. This was supposed to be a quick update on how I’ve been having a good day, but then I got… nostalgic? I guess I’m just grateful. Despite wishing I had chosen a different college many times throughout my education, if I had to go back I wouldn’t have chosen differently. I’m sure I would’ve had a great time at other schools as well – and probably gotten more for my money – but I wouldn’t trade in the friendships, experiences, and memories I made at SOU for anything in the world.

One more month to go.

Let’s try to make the most out of it.

September, 2008

 

May, 2013

Waiter, There’s an Dipshit in my Soup.

3 Nov

Last week my dad called me up and told me he was going to be coming down to Ashland to see me this weekend. This caught me a bit off guard, since my dad had just come down at the end of September and we had seen five shows together. Nevertheless, I found that I was, surprisingly, excited that he was coming down to visit so soon.

So he came down this Thursday and stayed for two nights. We went and saw Romeo and Juliet Thursday evening, and then we saw Animal Crackers again last night. I had seen Romeo and Juliet several weeks ago, and I enjoyed it a lot the first time… but then again, maybe that’s because I went with a really cute Russian boy. This time around I found I was bored through most of it. Maybe it was the performance, maybe it was because I’ve seen Romeo and Juliet one too many times. Animal Crackers, on the other hand, was hilarious as always. It was my dad’s second time seeing it and my third. This time was a special treat because Jonathan Haugen, who normally plays Hives and Chandler, as out and we had an understudy (Robert Vincent Frank) go on. Since the show’s so fast paced and he’s probably never had to go on before, Robert was on book. Of course, since the show is so slapstick and improvised, the main trio of the show gave him a hard time during the entire show’s run. Luckily he was a good sport about it. I’m sure he knew going on that they’d tease him a bit. The best part was when his character was passed out on the floor they semi-undressed him. Good moments in theatre 101.

Yesterday afternoon my dad and I went to Jacksonville. I’d never been to the small town except for the two times I went there for Britt Festival, but even then I only ever went straight to their outdoor theatre. I found the town to be quite charming. My dad explained how it was a historic piece of Oregon, and we wandered around through most of the shops. After talking to a nice woman at an antique store, I made a mental note to come back to Jacksonville during the Christmas season. It sounds like they decorate the entire town and go all out for the holiday season, which sounds fabulous. They’ve also got a killer kitchen appliance store, so I’ll have to go back there to find my dad a gift for Christmas.

Alas, our trip to Jacksonville was far from perfect. We went to the Jacksonville Inn Restaurant, which my dad was raving about. He told me how it’s considered one of the top one hundred restaurants in the country, and how he’d been there before. Well, let’s just say I walked into that restaurant excited and left feeling… agitated. For starters, our waiter was sort of horrible. He had to keep coming back to ask us questions about our orders, we waited for our food for over forty-five minutes, he completely forgot our appetizer all together, and he brought me the wrong kind of wine (luckily my dad spoke up and I was given the correct kind). Normally I could excuse things like this, except we were one of three tables in the restaurant and the guy had been working there for months. So there’s that.

But that’s not while I was feeling agitated by the time we left. Despite all the problems with our lunch, I was ready to leave the meal feeling all right about the establishment. The burger I ordered had been great. However, as my dad and I were getting ready to leave he asked me, “What does your button say?” I glanced down at it and grinned. “Time Lords for Obama,” I replied. I was about to tell him all about the site NerdsForObama.org when we were interrupted. The maître d’ of the restaurant, who had been so nice to us and had been the reason we finally got our food, came over and asked me if I was voting for Obama. I hesitated before telling him “yes.” I sensed a disturbance in the force. The guy then went on to give me a five or six minute long rant about why Obama is a terrible president. At first I was quiet, thinking he’d eventually talk himself out. Then I tried to give him visual cues with my body language and expressions that the whole conversation (well, not conversation, more like him lecturing at me) was making me uncomfortable. Finally I couldn’t sit there any longer in silence when he tried to argue how PBS should have its funds cut.

The whole thing was infuriating. I’d make a statement and he’d immediately cut me off before I could make my point. He’d also ask me if I knew certain states and dollar figures about things Obama has “screwed up”, which was just plain dumb because of course I don’t know any of this off the top of my head. He then gave me a speech about how he shouldn’t have to pay for other woman’s birth control and blah blah blah, it just went on until my dad finally stood up so we could get out of there.

Uggggh.

That’s just not acceptable. If you’re working at a restaurant, no matter how comfortable you feel with your customers, you should never put them in a situation like that. As we were leaving the guy was telling me how he’d hope that I’d come by again sometime soon, and all I could think was, “No fucking way am I ever coming back.” I then went home and took an angry nap.

Anyway, besides that glitch, my weekend with my dad was lovely. It’s odd that I’m now at a place in life that whenever he leaves I’m genuinely sad. We don’t always get along, but I do love the guy. Glad I’ll be seeing him again in less than three weeks for Thanksgiving.

hiking.

5 Sep

Today I went for a hike. This might not seem quite as momentous to some, but you’ve gotta understand a little thing about me. I rarely go outside. I mean, I go outside to get from one place to the next and I’ll go outside for my morning runs, but that doesn’t count. Not really. Rarely do I ever go out for a walk or a hike, or just sit in the park and observe nature. I know I wrote up an entry the other night about lying in a field and looking up at the stars, but that really doesn’t count either considering the field is a block away from my apartment and I just so happened to be passing by it at the time.

I suppose this summer has been sort of good for my (lacking) outdoorsy side. Today I went on a three hour hike (which might not seem like much, but is tremendous for me), I biked all the way to Emigrant Lake with Gina and have visited Emigrant several other times, and I went camping last June for the first time in nine years. It doesn’t seem like much, and in retrospect it really isn’t, but for me it’s not half bad.

The thing about nature is, for the most part, I really like it, and when I get an excuse to go and be in it I usually have a great time. Outdoor School was my favorite part of middle school, so much so that I returned as a counselor. I probably would have been a counselor more than once if it hadn’t interfered with theatre so much. My girl scout troupe also used to go out “camping” all the time (we’d pitch a tent, but we’d be on campgrounds with bathrooms and a cafeteria). I remember doing a scavenger hunt challenge with Laura for one Girl Scout camping event, and we wandered through the woods together in order to complete it. Those were some really fun times.

I’m well aware that, in the eyes of my peers, I come off as the least outdoorsy person of all time, what with always staying locked up in my room hunched over my laptop, but when I’m actually out in the heart of nature I do really enjoy myself. I take in the beauty of a fallen tree, the way the light shimmers off the leaves, the crumbling rocks, and the songs of birds. It’s cliche sounding as all hell, I know, but it’s also true. There’s something so absolutely wonderful about it all. I feel like I’d actually go hiking or camping more often if there was someone to give me that excuse. Or maybe I should stop being such a lazy person and go out and do it on my own. I do find that I tend to enjoy my time out in nature more with company… so maybe once college is over and done with I’ll try to do more on a regular basis.

Anyway, today was a blast. Beckah was my hiking partner and we had a fun day of talking, discussing what would happen if one of us died out on the trail (and different methods of cannibalism), observing tiny lizards, me (poorly) attempting to climb a hill, and enjoying ourselves. The best part of the entire day was when we happened upon an entrance to a cave. We had not been expecting it, so we were instantly intrigued by the opportunity. With my tiny flashlight we entered into the cave. Beckah gripped an old piece of wood, in case we needed to ward off any bears, cougars, or crazy mountain men we might encounter. The pathway in the cave went on for what seemed like ages, and every turn we took our breaths hitched for fear we might run into something spooky, but nothing ever popped out at us (thank goodness). We finally reached the cave’s end, which was just a rock wall with some chalk drawings on it. I turned off the flashlight and the two of us stood in absolute silence. Our eyes couldn’t adjust to the dark, and there wasn’t a sound except for a faint drip drip drip from somewhere in the cave. It was one of the most eerie, awesome moments I’ve ever experienced.

In short, the day was lovely. I had my camera with me, but I didn’t take as many pictures as I probably should have. Here are a few more that I snapped along our journey:

i left my heart in the sea.

20 Aug

I spoke to my father today on the phone, and we’ve made plans for my brother, him, and I to go to the beach in less than a month. Even though we’re only going for three days, I can’t wipe this grin off my face. My heart is overflowing with so much joy right at this very moment.

Early morning runs on the beach. Sitting in the grass by the stream. Grabbing coffee from the tiny cafe just up the street. Window shopping in Cannon town. Feeding the seals in the Seaside Aquarium. Playing arcade games with Anthony. Watching Miss Doubtfire and Forrest Gump at day’s end. Eating at Dooger’s. Candy shopping at Bruce’s. Sitting on the back porch and writing. True bliss.

I left my heart at Cannon Beach long ago, and there shall it forever reside.

lonely in a land of ash.

6 Jul

My best friend is on the other side of the planet. My ex-roommate and a handful of other friends are now moved away. My current roommate never comes out of her room. My cat’s gone to live in Portland. I’ve fallen out of contact with the majority of friends who still are here. It suddenly feels like everyone in my life has slipped away and left me.

This tiny town has never felt so big.

The Problem with Portland…

2 Jul

Portland is my hometown and I love it with all my heart. It’s got a great atmosphere, it’s beautiful, it’s fabulous, it’s everything you should want when looking for a city to live in. I know my neck of the woods (West/East Moreland and Sellwood) like the back of my hand, downtown Portland is one of my favorite places to be on this earth (POWELLS!), and nothing beats a visit to Voodoo Donuts. But, you see…

The problem with Portland is –

Wow. I can already feel people throwing their Purina water purifiers, recycling bins and Ikea furniture at me (probably just by reading the title of this entry), SO JUST HOLD YOUR HORSES AND LET ME FINISH.

The problem with Portland is that it makes me lazy.

Coming home to Portland is like going on a vacation – half the time I’m crazy busy out and about doing fun awesome stuff with friends and family, and the other half is my lounging about doing absolutely nothing and feeling like a lazy piece of shit. Basically, nothing productive get done while I’m in Portland. In Ashland, when I’m not out with friends, I’m at home writing, cleaning, checking things off my to do list, etc. When I’m at home in Portland? Fat chance. I’m watching TV, browsing tumblr, eating lots of food, and, yeah, that’s about it.

I can’t say this trip to Portland has been totally uneventful. I went out to breakfast with my godparents/my brother’s godmother, I went camping for two days, I had a Disney marathon/sleepover that involved me drinking way too much vodka, I went to the Portland Zoo, I visited Powells, I’ve seen three movies (Brave, Seeking a Friend, and Moonrise Kingdom), I made a ton of cupcakes, I replaced my broken iPhone, I played video games with a friend, I saw a live puppet show, I’ve gone out to eat several times… so yeah! It’s been a really busy week and a half.

Evidence that I have actually gone outside since I’ve been in Portland. The short hair is sheer proof of it!

That being said, I’m currently sprawled across my couch, bag of Cheetos at my side, watching The Colbert Report episodes I’ve missed, and positively not giving a fuck.

A part of me inside is crying, “Take care of your bills! Work on that screenplay! Go out for a run! Wrap your brother’s birthday gifts! Update your Muppet tumblr! Read The Book Thief! For the love of Christ, do SOMETHING.”

Then, on the other hand, there’s the other voice that’s currently cooing, “But Stephen Colbert is so funny and this couch is so comfortable…”

I can’t decide why Portland turns me into this. It’s either because Portland instantly reverts me back to my sixteen year old self, whereI was the laziest teenager to ever live, or it just feels so much like a vacation. I think it’s a combination of both. It feels like a vacation because, while this is the home I grew up in, I’m rarely here, and so traveling up to Portland in and of itself feels like a vacation. Ashland’s become home for me, so I don’t feel bad shirking obligations when I travel north.

Plus we can’t overlook the simple fact: I’m a lazy fuck.

A Julia in her natural habitat: drinking wine from a beer mug, lazing on a couch, and doing jackshit all day long.

Today I had a conversation about how I’ve matured and I’m on top of bills, chores, grocery shopping, and, yeah, I’m a functioning adult. THAT BEING SAID, if it were up to me I’d probably spend the better part of most my days doing absolutely nothing if I could, which goes against the whole “grab life by the horns!” mantra I’ve been clinging to for the past several months, but, y’know, some days it doesn’t hurt to just laze about and not care. Not every day, but some days.

And seeing how much I’ve been doing since I got back to Portland, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that I’m choosing to ignore my ever-growing To Do list and watching some TV. Granted, most of my trips to Portland consist of me staying indoors a lot more and doing this, but this time I’ve been pretty busy, so I think I deserve a little slack.

It’ll be weird coming back to Portland next year after I graduate, because it’s going to mean readjustment; explaining to my brain that Portland will be, for the time being, my permanent home once more and I can no longer do this. Once I move up here I can no longer fall into these lazy routine patterns of getting nothing done. That’s twelve months away from now, which seems so far off, and at the same time seems so soon.

For now I’m gonna keep eating this bag of Cheetos and watching Colbert go on about his love for America. But maybe I’ll go on a run later? Or maybe I’ll drag my dad to see a movie when he gets home.

Probably the latter.