Living in limbo

29 08 2008


Jersey fireflies

Jersey fireflies

As Ali and I were driving to IKEA Newark yesterday, we both admitted that we don’t feel like our move is “real” yet.  I’ve brought Ali on to co-blog this post, to document our feelings of the in between-ness of things here in Jersey.


Ways it feels real…Writing our new address on my film festival submissions.  Hearing about art openings in NYC and planning to go. 

Ways it doesn’t feel real…My friends still text and send pictures and I feel like I still know what’s going on in their daily Portland lives.  Having Brooklyn, NY on my profiles, and thinking about Brooklyn, NY under my name in festival guides. 

In most ways it doesn’t feel real yet but I think once we actually move into Brooklyn on Tuesday, it will finally start to.


I have to agree that talking to our friends and family in Portland seems like they’re just next door. Then I talk to my friends in Brooklyn and they’re inviting us to events in the city, and that’s just weird.  Sitting here, at the kitchen table at Ali’s mom’s house, eating fresh bagels and reading the Metro section of the NY Times, it just doesn’t feel real that we live here.  It still feels like vacation.  

It feels like vacation, except that my cat wakes me up in the middle of the night.  And all our worldly possessions are in a pile of boxes in the garage. 

I’m sure it will start to feel real when we drive the moving truck into Brooklyn.  And do our first grocery run and take our first bag of trash out to the curb.  

Until then, New Jersey is a garden state of delights.  Joanne, Ali’s mom, has graciously loaned us her nice car to tour the hometown.  We go swimming in a great pool down the street.  And there are fireflies at night!


Coney Island wonderland

26 08 2008


Ali, me and Lauren at Coney Island

Ali, me and Lauren at Coney Island


We arrived safe and sound in New Jersey last Tuesday night.  After a couple of days recovering and orienting, we went into the city for some fun and frolic.  Ali and I met Bill in Washington Square Park after he got off work at 12:30pm because of “summer Fridays,” a phenomena that most New York workers enjoy.  We caught the train to Park Slope, met Lauren for some yummy burritos on their back deck, and watched the green parrots fly from tree to tree.

After lunch, we were off to Coney Island to meet Alex and Priya for sideshow wonders. Actually, we passed up the sideshow to ride the dreaded Cyclone. I checked my glasses and held on for my life-it’s a rickety, scary ride- but I actually think I enjoyed it more blind. We also rode the more tame Wonder Wheel. Ali filmed super 8 and I took pictures of the boardwalk and the shore.

After the thrilling rides and a walk out the pier, we waited in line for Totonno’s famous pizza. It was well worth the wait. My favorite part of the day was riding the above-ground train back to our neighborhood through the Greenwood Cemetery. I’m so excited to explore more of the history of our new place.

Greenwood Cemetary

Greenwood Cemetary

The perfect day

24 08 2008




Daniel is my best friend. So naturally it’s been so difficult for me to know that pretty soon we won’t be able to hang out on a daily basis the way we always have in Portland. Since we both moved here in 2002, we’ve done everything together: ride our bikes to work, knit, cook, grocery shop, take Lola for walks, watch TV, meet for coffee on the fly to dish about work and relationships. Cry. So to celebrate our good times, Daniel took me on a fabulous surprise bike tour.

She called me Wednesday morning to reveal our first rendezvous at the “shed of tin.” After a lovely breakfast, Daniel presented me with a sweet handwritten booklet of mysterious destinations. I was only allowed to turn the page to reveal our next immediate stop and activity. I’ll try and recount the glory below.

Remember, Tin Shed was Destination 1 which was followed by a ride through Alameda (Destination 2), the neighborhood that inspired Elliot Smith’s ballad, which we sang along the way. Being a brilliant politico herself, Daniel toured me around to see the giant houses of some of Portland’s politicians. At John Branum’s house (Destination 3), I made a wrong turn into Daniel’s back tire and fell dramatically off my bike. Luckily, I recovered quickly and it was on to see Ketzel Levine’s house (Destination 4).

We rode all the way up Willamette Blvd. (Destination 5) for beautiful bridgey views and then downtown past Gus Van Sant’s house (Destination 6) to the Blossoming Lotus for soy soft serve. Oy, that place is so Portland. It’s full of yoga masters, people on gluten-free cleanses, and you have to take off your shoes. After that refreshing treat, we headed to the Farmer’s Market on the park blocks( Destination 6). We purchased blueberries, fresh bread cheese and pesto. Daniel brilliantly fended off creepy cheese guy’s advances and then got him to let us borrow his cheese knife.

I thought we were going to eat at the market, but oh no. We were off to Sellwood Park (Destination 7)! Now, for six years, Daniel and I have pondered Sellwood. We’ve wondered “where is Sellwood?” Whenever we get lost, we joke that we must be in Sellwood. One Christmas, I got her a Sellwood t-shirt. Today was the day we would make our Sellwood fantasies come true.

We biked through the heat on the Springwater Trail to, wait for it, Sellwood. It’s beautiful there. With views of the Willamette River and Ross Island, Sellwood Park is the perfect place to have a picnic. We lunched under a tree and rested up for our next adventure- perhaps the most challenging of the day- swimming at the Sellwood Community Pool.

As we biked up toward the community center, there was a caucophony of little kids’ screams. The pool was packed with little people, whooping and splashing. The intimidation I felt was overruled by my memories of childhood delight at going to the neighborhood pool in the summertime. Daniel threw on her Speedo and I, my Baywatch bikini, and we jumped in. Daniel told me stories of how she used to be a lifeguard. In fact, she had saved the lives of two old men! It’s amazing the things you don’t know about your best friend. After we’d been in the pool for a while, a lifeguard started whistling feverishly. Everyone evacuated the pool. Daniel and I speculated about the reason for the sudden clearing. A shark? The lifeguards put on latex gloves and dove in with pool nets. Our worst fears were confirmed- a kid had pooped in the pool. We left.

We biked back to Portland through the heat of the day.  We passed by a secret mausoleum which was established in 1916 in the wetlands. Daniel and I hoofed it up Multnomah hill and paused to remember a not-so-nice moment in our early friendship when I turned the wrong way up MLK Blvd. (I’m a much better driver now!) Our next destination was what Daniel calls the “Irvington Library” (Destination 8), aka the Lloyd Center Barnes and Noble where we enjoyed A/C, iced coffee, and trashy literature. Having not had TV for the past five months, I had a lot to learn from People, US and In Touch magazines.

We were properly chilled and educated after 2 hours, so we rode off to our next to last Portland place, one of the yummiest, Sweet Basil Thai (Destination 9). While sipping mango mojitos, we took the time to recall the first time we met. Daniel and I had both moved to Portland in the summer of 2002 and were working starter fundraising jobs. We met at a miserable tabling event and decided to commute to Corvallis together the next week. Daniel filled me in on how her house had burned down in San Francisco. I detailed my recent breakup with my first girlfriend. We made plans to have lunch the next week at Stanford’s, where Daniel fooled me into praying before we ate. We have been inseperable ever since.

Our last, and final, special Portland destination (Destination 10) was Daniel’s lovely home in the Alberta Arts district. Daniel’s house has been the site of many a relaxing evening, and thus, is my favorite place in Portland. We ate fudgesicles, watched TV, and cuddled with the cutest dog in PDX, Lola Tony Toni Tone Ledezma.

All in all- the perfect day.

7 days till lift off

12 08 2008

Our move is a week away. Damn!

Until then, our daily schedules are packed. In addition to packing, shipping, and errands, I have these daily hang-outs to look forward to:

Wednesday: Portland bike tour with the lovely Daniel.

Thursday: Visit from my “baby” cousin Renee and my PSU going-away party.

Friday: Homo trip to the Newburg Drive In.

Saturday: Our amazing going-away BBQ, Midwest Bake Off and backyard Goonies screening.

Sunday: Mass cleaning of our house with friends and then scary-oke at the Spare Room.

Monday: Hang out and much loves at Ryan and Gail’s Castle New Borthwick.

Tuesday: Lift off to Jersey! Myriah took the day off to take us to the airport.


7 08 2008

Ali’s newest music video is premiering on LOGO TV on August 31st. Are you one of the four people on earth who hasn’t seen it yet? Check it out:

I’m working on a NYC release party. Otherwise, we’ll be in Ali’s mom’s basement watching it alone. Cry.

Drag king dreams

5 08 2008

For 3 years of my Portland life, I was a full-time drag star with DK PDX. Drag has enriched and changed my life in so many ways and when I stopped performing full-time to go back to teaching, I missed it! So I incorporated drag king-y gender performance things into my lectures at Portland State University to keep connected. As it turns out, the glitter intrigue of drag has rubbed off onto some of my former students and they’re starting a new drag troupe in PDX.

No doubt they will blow their audiences away with their sexy creativity. If their drag names are any indication (Manna Montana and Perky Woodkins, for example) this town better watch out. I can’t wait to see what they do.

Trixxi Vixen

Trixxi Vixen