March 17th, 2011

Hermione not amused

Fucking annoying day so far

I got up earlier than usual today to go to the library and go to this one coffee shop on Belmont that I'd been to before. Got to the library fine. First sign of things going south was a fuckton of high schoolers at the bus stop. Seriously, why are these kids using the public buses? Don't the schools have their own fucking buses? Damned bus was packed full.

Got to Walgreen's, intent on getting a Gopher (grabber tool) for myself there, but they were sold out. So I started the walk anti-cityward along Belmont to get to the coffee place. Wasn't entirely sure where it had been, but I knew it was between 39th and 60th. I still know that for a fact. I know for a fact it's on Belmont, because I remember taking the 15 partway home the day I was there, and I know the 15's route between the river and Gateway Transit Center extremely well. I know the area on the river's side of 39th even better, because I used to live in the area. And I know the other parallel streets well enough to know it wasn't one of those (plus, as I mentioned, the Line 15 Belmont had stops right outside it). So I know for a fact that the coffee place I was at was between 39th and 60th. Yet I walked all along that area, scouring both sides with my eyes, and couldn't find it. The damn thing just fucking vanished, or somehow escaped my gaze, and so I ended up hot, exhausted, and grumpy as hell because the damn thing pulled a Bermuda Triangle on me.

Worst part is, it's one of those places I'd recognize when I see it, but I can't remember the name of it, so I can't exactly Google it. Wait... actually, there IS something worse: my brain keeps insisting that its symbol was a red P on a wooden background, but I know that's not right, because that's Powell's Bookstore's symbol. And the coffee place I went to wasn't a bookstore. There isn't even a Powell's on Belmont. There's one on Hawthorne, but I've never been in it.

The thing is, while my memory for faces and names sucks shit, my memory for places is flawless. It bugs me when to no end when I can't find something I've been to before, because it almost never happens. Especially when my memory is clear that it was by the video store and the food carts on Belmont, but I scoured that area more thoroughly than the others, and didn't find it. (It also annoys me when someone else insists something I remember or don't remember, in regards to places, is wrong. Lilla used to bug the shit out of me every time we'd walk by this one pizza place, because she kept insisting I've been in there with her before, but I can see in the window well enough to be 110% certain I haven't been inside ever before, with or without her.)

Other things I remember clearly about that coffee place:

* The interior. Lots of wooden tables and chairs with a dark patina. Also some fluffy chairs and spindly little tables. But that could describe several dozen cafes in town.

* The wifi password was "dontshutusdown", apparently because they'd had some problems with idiots downloading illegal content on their connection.

* I think I was there back when my iBook was still working.

* The women's toilet wouldn't flush properly, I had to alert the guy up front about it.

I'm gonna look for it tomorrow or another day.

In unrelated news, on LiveJournal I now have a custom userhead. See: fayanora (Dunno if DW people will be able to see it.)

EDIT: [personal profile] darkoshi suggested I try street view. On a hunch, I checked the cityward side of 39th and found it, a place called Sound Grounds at 37th and Belmont. It was in a fuzzy spot in my spacial memory of Belmont between 39th and 34th (a part of Belmont I usually only see in passing). I had forgotten that I'd wandered that direction that day.

Crossposted from

I hate the options in this damn town.

My best options for places to go to do writing/etc in this town were Ohana Cafe and Morning Fix Cafe, but now Morning Fix is out of business. I'm currently at Case Study Coffee, which is closer than Ohana, but closes at 6 PM. I like that Ohana is open til 9pm on weeknights, but their food - while okay - is expensive, and the only drink options they have are soda, fruit punch (which is excellent), and this gods-awful sweet tea that makes normal sweet tea (which is complete shit) taste pleasant by comparison. Everything else in the area closes at ungodly-early times. It's one of the few major things I hate about Portland: no night life. For a place whose motto is "Keep Portland Weird!", there is a surprisingly potent compliance to the whims of Homo Sapiens Diurnalus. It's not quite as bad as small-town Iowa in that respect, but it comes pretty close.

In other news, I need something to keep dust and crumbs off my keyboard but not get in the way of the keys/my typing.

Oh, and note to self: it's been raining the last few days/last week. Your emergency umbrella is not quite as small as a dinner plate, but it comes close. Take the big, bulky umbrella with you for the next week, if you go out.

EDIT: I don't even really like coffee. I only drink it when I'm out at a coffee shop. I prefer places like this one, where I can order tea. Actual tea, black, no fucking sweeteners. (Seriously, who's the fool who decided to put sugar in tea?)

Also, I *could* go to Tosis Restaurant, but they have no wifi. Since I use the online dictionary, thesaurus, Google, and as writing tools, this isn't a good thing.

Crossposted from

Thunderstorms? In MY Portland?

This weather gadget on my computer predicts thunderstorms for tomorrow. And while I don't doubt there will be a downpour, seeing as we've had a few lately, I highly doubt thunderstorms. I've been living here in Portland for almost 4 years now, and while it rains fairly constantly during the winter, parts of spring, and parts of autumn, it almost never makes lightning or thunder. In those entire almost-four years I've lived here, I have only heard thunder in Portland on maybe three different days, and there wasn't much thunder even then. So thunderstorms would be interesting, from a purely "oh, how novel" stance. But even if one shows up, I doubt it will be very impressive.

Now, if you want to see a REAL thunderstorm, go to Iowa. They're rare, because the air in Iowa likes to soak up as much moisture as it can for weeks, even months, at a time before finally letting it all go in one enormous storm. But when it rains in Iowa, it's almost always a thunderstorm. As in raging, howling winds, clouds that turn day into a night so dark you'll be lucky to see your hand in front of your face, several dozen or more powerful cracks of lightning that turn the darkness briefly back into daylight, deafening booms of thunder that shake the room, and a downpour you could drown in even before the flooding starts. Also, you sometimes get huge chunks of ice falling with the rain that make you worry one of them will break your car's windshield and leave massive dents in your car. Iowa thunderstorms are almighty and terrifying to behold. Portland thunderstorms, so far, are wimpy to the point of being laughable. I remember my first Portland thunderstorm. I saw some distant lightning and heard wimpy thunder. It was a little windy, but the winds of Iowa thunderstorms would have beat the tar out of that wind and stolen its lunch money, all without breaking a sweat.

Iowa thunderstorms: you see one forming and you turn your computer off and unplug it, even if it has a surge protector, and you stay off the landline phones, because the thunderstorm WILL find you or your computer and fry one or both the first chance it gets. Portland thunderstorms, you could dance in an aluminum suit on the roof, holding a lightning rod that was plugged into your suit, and I doubt anything would happen to you. I don't advise it, and I don't advise mocking Murphy's Law in one's behavior, but seriously, Portland thunderstorms are wimps, the ones I've seen anyway. And even when they get a little fire in them, so to speak, it only lasts a few minutes, whereas Iowa thunderstorms almost never last less than an hour.

Iowa thunderstorms: those bastards can turn into tornadoes, which are like a speeding locomotive's worst nightmare, a goddamn Land Hurricane, Katrina in cornfields slamming against small towns like a bullet train running over a Chihuahua puppy. Portland thunderstorms: might scare small children and excitable pets. Possibly.

Crossposted from