02 September 2009

two more days (and nights)...

I have been telling people I haven't been on vacation in several years, but I suppose that isn't quite true. Still, I can't remember the last time I took more than a week off and did something that was pure relaxation (at least the way I define it). So that is exactly what I will do starting Saturday.

I don't have a plan quite yet. I suppose that means the whole experiment could be a total bust, but there are some thoughts in the back of my mind. A friend and I have loose plans to pay a visit to Spokane and tour the state's only distillery (originally to take a quickie course they offer in distilling, but it was booked through January). I might spend at least one day at Bumbershoot or find a last-minute ticket to DMB in the gorge, either of which would satisfy my concert quota for the summer. I might do Portland up right. I miss the humus plate at McMenamin's (no offense to Merende, which makes a fine humus plate... even extra toasty like I prefer) and of course their fresh-squeezed greyhounds (looking forward to them moving in just up the street soon too). I was also thinking of a last-minute web-special to wherever Alaska Airlines thinks I should go. I have never been to Vegas or Hawaii or Mexico. I'm easy I guess, just feel like getting out of dodge... by myself if necessary.

So there would be no shortage of things to do to take chillaxin to a new level, if only for 14 days. In other news, I have been often asked how I like my new residence. Well, I love it of course, but I have to confess I am not quite settled. I think after 2 solid years, I only finally was getting settled in the old place, so I shouldn't expect to be fully unpacked after only 2 months here. Still, I did clean the apartment for the first time last weekend. I may have a moth problem. I'll keep everyone posted. I'd hate to have to buy new clothes, but it might be otherwise necessary anyway.

Back to the thought I was having though; It got me to thinking about what I've been doing with my free time since moving. I am definitely spending less time at home now, but initially I was happy to report that it was time spent doing more of the things I really enjoy. I was getting outdoors, introducing myself to my neighborhood, visiting the park, the birds, the waterfront. I had even been lucky enough to catch a lot of live music from local bands without really making a huge effort to do so (something I was missing ever since coming up here from Vancouver).

Lately though, it would seem my dance card is getting full hanging out with some new friends who I have to admit I don't think I have a lot in common with. I'm not that white guy listening to rap music at full-crunk with my 1200 watt amps and spinners on the rims, nor the preppy duchebag that can't sit still if there aren't enough hot (ie slutty appearing) chicks in a joint. I dare say the primary motivation for going out is just to have a good time, which is clearly an absurd concept to many of these people, who sometimes appear to be miserable as they try to figure out where they SHOULD be instead of where they are.

Perhaps it is a social experiment. I've had friends who exhibited some of these patterns before, but I was usually wearing the pants in those relationships. For some strange reason, I feel flattered when these people ask me to hang out with them. They rarely ask me what I want to do though. In fact, last night one of them did and it caught me totally off guard. I later thought that I should always know exactly what I would want to do in the event someone were to ask. Live music maybe? A decent pool hall? Even air hockey or ping pong would be fun while conversation ensues. As it were, we called it a night early because neither of us had any ideas. Well, perhaps that was just one of those people who was more dependent on me to have a notion and here I'd been spending too much time with the ones that could care less and I suppose I've forgotten how to exercise that part of my will.

So there is this strange paradox of friendship playing out at the moment. I enjoy hanging out with some of these people and I feel more at home here when I am around them, but for some reason it requires a small sacrifice of my own interests in the process. The irony might be that it was at a time when I thought I was being perhaps the most myself I have ever been that I formed these ties, only to find it drawing me away from myself bit by bit again.

Maybe it is more that while I choose my setting carefully, many of the casual acquaintances I have made have found themselves there more accidentally or have not made themselves entirely comfortable there, so they will always want to leave sooner or later and regather someplace more familiar for them. Well, in that sense, they won't all have the same effect of drawing me away from myself. I don't really think they all do actually. I wonder if it isn't that my perception of the dynamic is reversed. Perhaps the person who seems to be asserting their will over mine is really the person who needs my company more than I do theirs, and given a simple alternative, would gladly try something new or different from whatever rut they were in.

Hmm. Life goes on folks. More to come.




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