Monday, July 30, 2007

the antidote

Two things cured my post-Potter depression: 1.) keeping busy, and 2.) reading an EVEN BETTER BOOK.

What's this?? An EVEN BETTER BOOK than HARRY POTTER?? What is this heresy?!?

But first, let me tell you about the keeping busy. You'll have to hang in and wait for the book... Here's my weekend in chronological order, with numbered bullets because I like those:

1.) Friday morning SK and I cycled over to Gravy on Mississippi for breakfast. Oh my god, I love that place so much. I ate my favorite on the menu, the Bacato scramble. Bacon, eggs, green onions, tomatoes and CREAM CHEESE. *Sigh* So good.

2.) Friday evening I went over to my friend Leo's birthday bbq. It was a joint party with another friend of hers (a straight man) and, consequently, it was full of STRAIGHT PEOPLE and CHILDREN. I felt a little dizzy looking around at all the skorts, but the kids were sorta cool, all off in a corner of the enormous yard, playing in an awesome wooden fort. One mystery guest at the party was this tiny little grey kitten that kept popping up when you least expected. She'd suddenly dash out from under a bush, spring into the middle of a circle of chairs, and stand there looking around until someone, inevitably, grabbed her b/c she was SO CUTE and you just couldn't resist, then she would squirm away and vanish under a piece of furniture. That was pretty special.

3.) Saturday morning, SK and I got up early and packed up the (borrowed) car and headed off for a camping excursion. We drove south towards Mt. Hood and ended up on a very sweet little hike which led us up to Pansy Lake. Aptly named, Pansy Lake is small and VERY shallow. From the ridge above, as you hike down in, you can see the bottom at all points and it looks no more than two feet deep at it's deepest. But the hike in was gorgeous and even though it wasn't swimmable, we still had a nice time sitting on the edge and eating our sandwiches.

We were joined by a mother with her 2-year-old daughter, who were camping there and wanted to check out the lake. Mom started pulling off the daughter's clothes so she could get in the water, and then, much to my surprise, she started pulling off her own as well. I glanced up at one point and saw the mom, suddenly topless, swinging the daughter up onto her hip and walking, gorgeous, out into the shallow, muddy water. I love women and I love it when women are free to be naked without the creepy, omnipresent leer of men. In fact, there were hardly any men at all up at Pansy Lake. Maybe they find the name off-putting...?

In addition to naked people, we saw an osprey dive into the lake and grab a duck! We didn't realize it had grabbed a duck until the thing it grabbed had wriggled loose and landed with a big splash and a very cranky "QUAAAACK" back in the water. Sure enough, there was a little brown duck, shaking itself off and looking indignant. Furthermore, we saw a colony of very cute little salamanders by a log in the lake, dozens of them all swarming around in different directions. The little girl wanted to catch one and I think the dad, who surfaced at some point, was going to help her after they ate lunch. I hope they managed it. That little girl was cute.

After Pansy Lake, we drove down toward Detroit and ended up randomly grabbing a campsite just South of Breitenbush Hot Springs. We weren't in the market for a hot-springs adventure, we just wanted a nice, quiet campsite near a river, and that's exactly what we got. There was no easy river access where we were, but the site was lovely and we had a nice time exploring and setting up camp. At dusk, we had a sweet little fire then we went to bed in my BRAND NEW AWESOME TENT and it was GREAT. :-)

4.) Sunday we got up, packed up camp, ate a breakfast of fresh fruit and then headed off in the direction of the coast. It was quite a long drive, but we made it eventually. SK had an appointment in Yachats at 3:30 and we got there in plenty of time to climb to the lookout at Cape Perpetua, which was gorgeous.

I sat on a rock outcropping very similar to the one in this photo and looked down at the steep drop below me. I love heights. Nothing pleases me more than to get myself right on the edge of something very high up and then to just sit there, soaking it all in. The only bummer is when there are other people ambling around on the paths, behind the safety fences where you're supposed to be. Your little meditative moment becomes performance art as they notice you in the act of something that looks crazy and suicidal. But mostly it's ok and they leave you alone.

After Cape Perpetua, we went into town and SK dropped me at the Landmark Restaurant and Lounge for clam chowder while she went to her half-hour appointment. Back when I was with CB, I spent quite a bit of time on the Lounge side of this old, seaside building, drinking and playing cards and watching the seals play in the bay. This was my first trip to the restaurant side of the building and it was nice enough. The Landmark has THE BEST clam chowder on the coast. I promise you, I have eaten a lot of clam chowder on the coast, and theirs is really the best. Just trust me.

Before I knew it, SK was back and we were in the car, pointed towards Portland. Big thanks go to SK for doing all the driving. Our borrowed car is a stick, and I can't drive a stick, so she was stuck in the driver's seat. Sorry honey. Maybe someday I'll learn again.

5.) Back in Portland, I had a quick shower and ran off to yet *another* birthday bbq party for yet another leo. What's up with these leos in my life? There's too many of them. Anyway, the leo in question this time was Dree, the youngster from my work on whom I have a tiny crush. I hadn't managed to get any birthday presents or cards or anything, I just showed up with a sixer of red-stripe (my summer party beer, apparently, I've brought it to more parties than I can count so far) and walked in to a house filled with the smell of pot. Wow. In the kitchen, I found Dree and that's about the most I saw of her all night. I put the beer away and wandered out to the back porch where I watched a group of young-ish men trying to start a fire in a stone pit, and talked a few minutes to Dree's mom who joined me there, eating vanilla ice-cream off a paper plate. She told me the details of the summer of Dree's birth (cool and sometimes rainy, a nice reprieve in the 9th month of pregnancy, then it got warm again in August, after Dree was born). The mom was nice, then she disappeared back into the pot-shrouded house and I found a seat in the yard and sat quietly for some time. Conversations were quiet and heavy, for some reason. Maybe everybody was high. I left after an hour, I didn't even say goodbye to anybody, just snuck out the front door like the scorpion I am and that was that.

And now, what you've all been waiting for, the book that is even better than Harry Potter: The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. Oh my god, that book was so good. I started it on Friday and stayed up late last night finishing it. SO GOOD. If you don't know, The Road is set in a post-apocolyptic America and follows a father and young son as they struggle to survive, always moving, always walking down "the road." I hadn't read any Cormac McCarthy before, but now I'm inspired to read everything. His style is so spare and powerful and poetic. Plus he uses the best words! His vocabulary is enviable and I found myself reading during the trip and wishing I was near my computer so I could look things up.

So, the perfect antidote for post potter depression is a book that is ACTUALLY GOOD. Because, in the end, Harry Potter is just a bunch of adequately rendered genre fiction intended for kids. And ultimately, real literature blows it out of the water. (Sorry Harry, you know I still love you.)


Blogger heather said...

that book looks dark but interesting. i'm jealous of your coastal trip, so beautiful. i mean, i went to the beach this weekend but jesus, no comparison.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Andygrrl said...

what is it with Leos and BBQs, that's what I want to know. I've got two Leo BBQ birthday parties in as many days this week.

My cure for post-Potter depression? Woolf's Orlando. Loving. It. Harry's a good time, but he doesn't really hold up next to, you know, actual writing.

12:53 PM  

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