Monday, August 08, 2011

... marooned in portland

not me. someone else. n. is a californian who has been systematically marooned by her friends in one city after another, friends disppearing one after another like layers on an ogre, from vancouver (canada), through seattle and portland to san francisco. she just got a message from a friend saying she'd just arrived in san francisco. alas. n. is is unflustered by this. she's going to hang out in stumptown for a while and make her own fun. good on her, i say. yet another entertaining acquaintance made on my trip to the city of roses.

day two of the zine symposium went well. while i didn't feel energetic enough to go to the after-party at a place in north portland, i was comfortably sidetracked into eating at a local burger establishment called burgerville. it was actually pretty nice food, except for the part where you receipt tells you how much of your daily required intake of calories, etc. were in the meal you just ordered. when i order junk food, i don't ask to be told how bad it is for me. i take it on faith that as bad as it may be for me, if i don't know how bad it is, it can't be that bad.

last night after the symposium there was a zinester-feud (a la family feud) and karaoke night at floating world comics in ne portland. that was nice. several of the zinesters showed themselves to be quite the karaoke superstars and while i felt too tired to join in, i was very entertained by one person's rendition of the tina turner/james bond classic, goldeneye. marvellous.

i spent some time going around the tables today, trading my own zine for some and buying others. i managed to find some choice reads, along with things i thought might make nice gifts for people. (my housemate, if you're reading this (and i hope you are) i've also bought a couple of pint glasses on sale from rogue brewery for $2 a pop and a growler as well! we'll be able to get that filled at slow beer, no problems, i reckon!)

i visited a church this morning that was recommended to me by some online contacts i made prior to this trip. imago dei was a very pleasant experience, although i must admit that while i was warmly conversed with, it was more in response and i wasn't proactively addressed by anyone at the church. the speaker was a visiting pastor who had left the church some six months earlier with thirty-odd others to start a church plant in salt lake city (of all places!). he spoke of encouraging starts, followed by committed followings-up, and slow growth. he spoke on exodus 20, and how the giving of the law came after God's gracious salvation from the hands of the egyptians. it was a warm, encouraging message but felt a bit like a pot of tea at a chinese restaurant - filling enough at the time but not really satisfying by itself. the music and songs were good and i took notes on a couple of verses - hopefully enough to find out what they were and to see if we could maybe sing them at my own church. maybe.

holy communion was shared as well. this was a slightly odd process but novel and really made me think back to the gospels, where Jesus is asked by john (at the apostles' behest) who would betray him to the authorities and Jesus says that the one to whom he gives the bread dipped in the wine - which was judas iscariot. for the Lord's supper, then, we stepped up and were given space to pray as we wished, and then we dipped our pieces of bread into the glass of wine (or juice) adjacent to the bread bowls, then ate. i found it a quite thought-provoking activity and i have to say it did give me pause as i've not had in some time, feeling very much taken back to the last supper, far more than i can easily remember being before.

of course, the other good thing about this communion service was the lack of concord (i had thought this was "imperial") grape juice. the last time i took holy communion while on holiday in the u.s. was in ithaca when i was visiting there. while it was fantastic to be visiting with my friend, i was startled (a little euphemistically) when i tasted grape juice that seemed to me more like hubba-bubba bubble gum than the grape juice i was used to at home. i used the wine this time, although i suppose that without going back and comparing the two, i'll never know if they were offering the hubba-bubba grape juice.

(i just explained all this to a nice, clean-cut young fellow from minnesota who is on a road-trip of his own, having driven from minnesota to montana, thence to portland, from whence he plans on going to california, nevada, colorado and back home again. a trained vocal musician with experience in catering and a fresh, go-getting attitude that is so classically american, i truly think the world is this young man's oyster. good luck to him, i say.)

and now, i'm off to bedfordshire. tomorrow i hope to report interesting things from omsi, the oregon museum of science and industry. (i think.) there's an exhibition of old - sorry: classic - arcade games there. and you can play them. how cool is that? i'll have to make sure i leave that section for last. can't have dessert before i eat my greens.

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