Saturday, August 11, 2007

if this is the dream then i'm living it

This is one of those days that feels like four days crammed into one. Are you ready? Here we go.

1.) I woke up at 4:30am to go stand in line at an REI used gear sale. We were all supposed to meet there between 5 and 5:30. I got there at 4:55. And the line was all the way around one block already. I sat down right next to this little dyke who was busy setting up two of those folding camp chairs for her and her girlfriend. Within moments, a guy showed up and sat on my other side. He promptly began unpacking and assembling an array of products. A thermarest, another thermarest, a sleeping bag, a giant caraffe of coffee. You'd think he was planning a week long sit-in instead of a three-hour wait on a sidewalk.

My kayak friends were all late. Maia showed up at 5:30 and the rest slowly trickled in. Good thing I got there so early, by the time those guys showed up the line was nearly to the end of the other block. Damn, these Portland people like their REI sales! According to the dykes next to me, they'd been coming for years and this year had the biggest, earliest turnout. Wow.

At 8 the doors opened and they herded us in. Oh. My. God. Who knew these Portland peaceloving naturefreaks could be so goddamn crazy at a used gear sale? It was a total madhouse. People were blithely snatching things right out from under other people's noses, elbowing in front of each other and just generally behaving like selfish American consumers. I have to say, that wasn't a scene I expected to survive, but I pulled it off. I just threw my whole entire personality out the door for about half an hour and turned into a complete asshole.

I can't say I loved it, but it got the job done. I got so much stuff. And so, now, my transformation into a Portland Nature Jock is nearly complete. I now own paniers for my bike, two pairs of REI convertibles (those lightweight pants with the legs that zip off and turn the pants into shorts), a collapsable Columbia cooler and an awesome pair of Merrell hiking shoes. If I don't act fast I'm going to lose ALL my faux-hipster credibility...

2.) After the sale we all went to breakfast. It was good. I ate three enormous pieces of bacon and I was happy.

3.) After breakfast everybody left and Maia and I went on a paddle on Sauvie Island. We basically just toodled along in this very still little pond, chatting the whole way. Oh, and also burning like a baby in a house fire. I swear to god, I forgot my sunscreen and guess what? That's a bad idea. Not only did I forget my sunscreen, I forgot my hat and sunglasses too. Basically, when I woke up this morning at 4:30, my brain just didn't believe that the sun would ever be a part of the day's adventures, even though I knew I was going to paddle after the sale. So... yeah. I guess 4:30's just a little too early for my brain.

4.) Finally, despite the fact that I've been up since (let's say it all together) 4:30, and that I'm exhausted and sunburnt, etc, etc -- I'm going out dancing tonight!! Because it's Girl 4 Girl at the Wonder Ballroom and all my new (geriatric) kayaking friends are going! And how can you turn down an invitation from a 61 year old woman to go dancing? You just can't. At least I know I won't be competing with them for the same ladies. So it's all good. :-) Now all I have to do is stay awake long enough to get myself there...


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