confession: i never bothered to learn the difference between seattle and portland. whenever someone talks about them i just mentally code it all as the same place
i blew through a lot of career aspirations pretty early on in life. having walked away from — at various points — one of the top studios in the world (of it’s time), a six figure salary, and a cushy set-for-life post at a university, i don’t really feel the urge to “prove myself” anymore??
having had time to reflect, i mostly now just want a 20-hr-a-week gig at a bookshop i can walk/bike to, to cover modest accommodations somewhere my dogs have room to run around, so i have time to focus on art
it still feels slightly embarrassing to aspire to something so simple (hence the impulse to rattle off a few accomplishments in the preamble 😅😅). i think that’s still the vestiges of capitalist programming stuck to my brain. like honestly
lotta haters in my mentions saying it can’t be done (jk the feedback has been entirely sympathetic, but this is a more dramatic framing device...)
fwiw i’ve had every piece of this plan realized at some point over the past ~decade, i just haven’t pulled it off altogether at one time
but after taking stock of everything important in my life, i can’t imagine why i’d settle for less. like why compromise for something empty and unfulfilling, when instead i can just die pursuing an ideal
you ever muse about something on the internet and then two days later you’re packing up a truck to move three thousand miles across the continent
what a perfect time to finally take a road trip cross-country, when all the national parks are closed and i can’t stop to visit friends in any of the cities i pass 👌💯🎯
driving cross country is like scrolling through america’s local tl
currently on mile 2932 of 3052 (got a late start due to packing the truck and stocking up on supplies). crossed the state line from VT to NY along the way
favorite two landmarks so far:
- a billboard reading “I’m DONE” with a huge picture of someone flipping the bird but with their ring finger (with a wedding band) and then below “Divorce: $499” and some attorney’s name and number
- a large statue of a woodland ape, with a tiny woodland ape riding on their back. both were wearing covid masks
it’s only respect women juice if it’s from the women’s rights region of new york, otherwise it’s just sparkling feminade
i was not fully prepared for how expensive it is to rent a truck to drive cross-country, plus all the cost of gas. across the flatter states i might just get out and push instead
every single driver in the chicago area is a complete asshole. i’m sorry but y’all deserve each other
i’ve never really been a podcast person but they are saving my life on this trip
actually i’m listening to “This Land” as i drive east to west and it’s fucking me up
me: ugh this trip is going to take days
This Land host: my great great great great great grandfather and his people were rounded up and forced to march for eight months straight from georgia to oklahoma
cool how the sunset lasts perceptibly longer when you’re driving directly towards it on the highway
i got to watch it set over iowa as i crossed the mississippi river 🌞🛣🌉😎
some people might not know that the rural iowa landscape is scattered with wind turbines. i didn’t
some people might not know that wind turbines have giant red lights at the center that blink on and off at night. i didn’t
late last night when i crested the low hills out of davenport and the horizon was suddenly a glow of red lights blinking on and off all at the same time, i was tired and slightly delirious from driving all day and had *zero* clue what i was about to enter (1/2)
(2/2) the lights were all blood red and blinking on-and-off together. it looked and felt like i was driving through the worlds most extremely massive 500-mile wide set of defective christmas lights, or perhaps some sort of demonic ritual site large enough to trap an old god
i was so exhausted i just absently continued driving and it wasn’t until the light of the morning did i realize what the hell i’d been seeing 😵😂😂
i now fully believe flat earth theory but only in the context of nebraska
i didn’t have binoculars with me, i’m fairly certain i could have seen every spot on earth out on the nebraska horizon
it’s impossible to describe how big the sky looks when you can see forever in every direction
so wyoming just has these signs everywhere huh. what a great rest stop, i feel so at ease
wow talk about saving the best for last, the drive into portland was absolutely gorgeous. it was like imax 3d of a windows desktop wallpaper
it didn’t feel right to drive all the way across the continent and stop less than 100mi from the shore
so today i drove straight to the ocean and dove in 🐠🐠🐠
it was a bit chilly but it felt great
omg i was cruising down the highway when an extremely cute guy in the car next to me gets my attention and he’s gesturing. he rolls down his window, i roll down mine and he’s like “your truck door is open” and he’s pointing at the back 😱😱
i try to pull over but it’s one of those cement ravine highways so there’s barely a shoulder. as gently as possible i creep to the next ramp, and get out to look
of course the door is fully all the way open. (1/4)
the truck wasn’t 100% full to begin with, but there had been stuff piled all the way to the door. i’d had to push the stuff in just to get the door to close, bc how full it was. one of the items right near the very back, loaded in last had been my computer and monitors
it was raining moderately hard today, so of course water got everywhere. the highway had a lot of ups and downs, i’d been going pretty fast, and the door was all the way open to the very top (2/4)
so i start to take an inventory to see what survived and....... nothing is missing??
somehow literally everything — even the empty plastic bins that weigh almost nothing, could blow over in a moderate breeze, and had been right against the door — despite the all bumps and turns, literally everything was still exactly in place
and miracle of miracles, my computer wasn’t even that wet. it stands a couple inches off the ground and water only soaked the side and pooled around the base (3/4)
(4/4) last week at the very start of the trip, when i went to rent the truck, my debit card wasn’t working so it took 40mins and several calls to the bank just to get the transaction to go through. i joked with the guy at the rental place, “maybe this is the only problem that i’ll hit and the rest of the trip will just go magically perfectly”. he laughed. but but looking back now, well, gosh
no YOU”RE downloading podcasts off the mcdonald’s wifi from the parking lot without buying anything
this street sweeper slowly puttered past with it’s big brushes spinning and then just parked on the side of the road. (we’re in the middle of the woods at a pull-off where people park to go fishing)
20 mins later this truck comes zooming up with it’s sign flashing, and idk why but it cracked me up so hard, like
sweeper: bro i’m sweeping but no one’s paying attention to me
sign guy: bro i got you i’m 20 mins away
i’ve been living out of a truck for the past week and, apart from the background anxiety of doing so in a violently capitalist and anti-homeless country, it’s been pretty great actually
omgggg i just went to look at a room and when i mentioned i was new to the area one of the other tenants spontaneously warned me to “watch out for antifa” bc they’re supposedly very violent and will throw bricks at anyone, then later in the conversation he said a lot of people assume he’s racist just bc he has “this flag” on his hat as he gestured to the cap he had on backwards. honestly i didn’t stick around long enough to see what flag it was, but i have a few guesses. wowwww
i’m looking for a room somewhere on the west coast, preferably north CA or OR, somewhere with good public transport/bikeability
💎 great credit / financial stability
🏆 strong recommendations from past property managers
🐶 two of the sweetest dogs on the planet
📚 quiet, nerdy, but also friendly and sociable
hoping to keep rent/util under $800/mo but flexible. places with fenced yards or near dog parks a huge plus!
the weird part about living out of a vehicle is you always have to think about where you are. you’re never at a neutral location where you can fully relax
i wish cities had like, basically a parking lot with wifi, each space with it’s own power outlet, and somewhere on the premises is a restroom/shower. basically a motel minus the rooms. it would be so much fun to live in a van and just cruise wherever you felt the impulse to go, stopping in one of those lots whenever you felt like staying put
@red 💙 you are making good time
@june the first night i put in an extra hour, just to get a good start. the second night i kept missing the rest stop entrances bc i’d be in the wrong lane and a wall of trucks were blocking my path and that went on for an extra hour and a half. then last night when i was ready to call it, there wasn’t another rest stop for another two hours. so it’s been even better time than i planned 😭😂😂
@red caution: rattlesnakes may be present, mindful even. fully immersed in the Now.
@red nice, welcome
@garbados thank you 😇
Hooray for making it in safe!
@emma it was a wild ride, but everything worked out great!
@red cheers. Have lived in Portland since 1992. If and when the air is clear again, much still going for the city. Many great SubGenii in and around the area. Best of health and happiness.
@onan thank you 👏 if you’ve made it this long it must have something going for it!
@red hooray! Glad youre here. Hope we get to hang out before you decide it's a shitshow and move to Seattle lmao
@ItsJenNotGabby haha it seems charming so far! idk if it’s bc i’m driving a uhaul rn but the streets feel so tiny like i’m driving around a cute little elf village
@red did you see Multnomah Falls? About half an hour before you got into Portland? It's my absolute favorite place in the entire country
@Johnny i drove past it, but all the parks are closed rn. i’ll have a make a trip out there again when things get back to normal
@red 💙💙💙💙 welcome to west coast - it was pretty good before you got here but it’ll be better now that you’re here!
Also, perhaps you would like to scan the horizon and notice our occasional volcanos - the flat one up north is St. Helens, which blew up 40 years ago this day. Sooooo... coincidentally, you got into to town the day (night?) before the 40th anniversary of the day one of our bigass mountains just hauled off and exploded. Auspicious start. Welcome!
@june awwww that is so sweet of you to say
and wow, what a wonderful occasion. i hope my time here is equally spectacular (although hopefully less destructive) 😅🎇🎆🌋🌋🌋
@red my heart was in my throat reading this... so very glad your luck was there!
@red i don’t go anywhere without my Announcer 💅🏻
@red sweeper? I hardly know her
@red wish someone would hype me up like that 😔
@red tbh i'm just the most impressed with the backwards cap gesturing thing... that is galaxy brain self-awareness
small brain: gesturing to the cap you’re wearing
big brain: gesturing to the cap you’re wearing backwards
galaxy brain: gesturing to the “cap” you’re not wearing
@red well. the good news is there might be antifa around who can help you out if need be 😂
@red hey there, I happened to be looking for places with yards for rent for a friend today, so: https://portland.craigslist.org/nco/apa/d/portland-nicely-remodeled-beautiful/7128240804.html
@courtney ha small world!
@red ayy, you followed my advice! Frankly I wish I was in a position to move up there myself so I could say I'd join you. As it stands, I'll ask around!
@shooshy thank you 🙌 and thank you for the encouragement
@red my sisters live on the eastside, so I'll ask if they know anyone. They've been here longer than me, so they might, plus I have a friend from college that lives here, so I'll reach out to them too 😊😊
@ItsJenNotGabby awww that’s so thoughtful thank you! the search so far has been a rollercoaster, some days things seem so certain and others everything is up in the air 😂🎢🎢 i appreciate your support
@red I just sent the word out, so Ill let you know if I hear back!
@ItsJenNotGabby once i land somewhere, maybe i can buy you a coffee to say thank you? ☕️😇
@red I would ABSOLUTELY love to meet you, regardless of what beverages are present
@red sadness! I am in fact about to need a roommate but my building doesn't allow pets and while I think a single dog could be gotten away with, two probably couldn't :(
(I mean, I'm also in WA. So there's definitely a better fit for you out there! But it would've been cool to have things line up like that =D)
@hummingrain awww yeah when i adopted the little beans i was definitely smitten with their adorable boopers and not thinking about future housing options and limitations 😆😆 still i regret nothing 🐶🐶💕
@red Hahaha, there's nothing to regret! Dogs are wonderful and yours look like cuties-to-the-max
@red campgrounds are a thing but they're all way the hell out. Urban campgrounds would be useful to a lot of people, from poor folks living in their vehicle to tech nomads moving from one three month contract to another.
@WanderingBeekeeper right?? it seems like camping has been fully relegated to recreation, but it could be super practical too
every day is a moon holiday when you're living in fully-automated luxury gay space communism. lets dance to honor our lesbian aunt the moon under the silver glow of her justice and grace