Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Playing hooky

After much arm twisting, Suzanne gave up going to work Monday to hang out with us instead. Ha! Sadly, we couldn’t convince Jana to do the same. Something about an interview or, I don’t know. Whatever.

We continued our tour, this time downtown, through northwest and the pearl district. Then we stopped at Powell’s. If you’ve never been to Portland, this really is a must-visit place, and one that locals are proud of. What, you ask? An independent bookstore which is the biggest and most visited in town? Unheard of! What about the dominant multinational chains?

‘Screw them!’, Portlanders say. Powell’s is much better, and bigger, and carries more interesting, hard to find, and intelligently recommended stock than the biggies will dare. And you can sit in their coffee shop and read without buying. It’s like an alternate universe, where everyone is clever and well-read and Interested in Things. It’s very easy to get lost in there for hours.

voodooAfter feeling so smart, we started to get a little hungry so stopped at Voodoo Doughnuts for some novelty junk food. I had a chocolate, peanut butter, and rice krispies one. Suzanne ordered maple glaze and bacon. Steve ate something called ‘triple chocolate penetration’, and Dan ordered the classic ‘voodoo’, which is in the shape of a little doll and filled with raspberry jam ‘blood’.

To spend some of our sugar rush energy, we played retro video games at the Ground Control arcade. They only have eighties games like asteroids, tron, dig dug, pac man, joust, paperboy, qbert, and burger time. And each one only costs a quarter, which was refreshing after realising a couple of years ago that a trip to the arcade in Maine with Kellar and Willa would cost about 20 bucks. Here at Ground Control, we spent $2 and felt satisfied.

That evening we had dinner at Kristen’s house and met her little girl Olive, and then let the babysitter take over while the ‘grown ups’ all went out to the Rogue Brewery, and listened to Suzanne’s stories of meeting Mr. T, among other things. I laughed until I cried.

Alberta1The next day Steve and I explored town on our own in the pouring rain. We mostly did a ‘driving tour’ because it was too miserable to walk around.

food cart

mash tun

I went to a Zumba class with Suzanne after she finished work, which is a dance/ fitness class that feels very similar to doing the choreographed dances that you make up with your friends when you’re 10 years old. Except Zumba is set to world club music and involves more pelvic thrusting (‘standing sit ups’ they call that) and ass shaking. It was a really good time, especially when the grey haired white ladies at the front enthusiastically requested the gangster rap number and started thrusting with gusto.

That night we had dinner at Jana’s, and did some more laughing.

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