August was a good/bad, weird/wonderful month for me. I've been struggling with how to accurately describe it, because it was so full of excellent, fun, exuberant things, make-you-feel-alive things, all while (mostly) being on Summer Break, a thing that most adult humans don't get to experience, and complaining in any way about it would make me seem like a selfish privileged bitch.
But the thing is, this is my blog so I can say what I want, and the truth is that I was so ready for this summer to be over. I am much more of a social being than my navel-gazing lonely teen self would have ever imagined, but at the same time that quiet navel-gazer is still at the heart of who I am. I think none of us ever truly leave who we were as teens. I like doing fun things but I also like being by myself. In fact, I NEED to be by myself. I need quiet. I need time to process all the fun things I've been doing in order to actually appreciate and process them. This quiet time usually results in me being my happiest, fullest self and ready to go out and live more life.
I had very little of that alone time this summer, and it was hard for me. I think it's okay to be honest with yourself when things are out of balance, and to say that things have been weird/wonderful, even if outwardly it really seems like you should only be wonderful.
So now that I've acknowledged the weird, let's do the wonderful.
Oh my GOD was the food this month wonderful! Like OH. MY. GOD. When Kathy's parents visited this month, we were tired of our regular haunts that we'd already taken everyone else to this summer, so we decided to try some new joints. Two of those joints were Podnah's Pit and Gravy. Now listen, we really weren't thinking outside the box or anything here, as these are both verrrrry established North/Northeast Portland restaurants, but somehow in our eight years of living here we had just Never Made It There, and how I am regretting that now. I ate all of my Podah's plate so fast that I felt so sick but it was so worth it oh my god. At Gravy, this is perhaps self-explanatory, but I really could've eaten that gravy forever.
I also made a meal for Kathy's parents at our apartment one night, an event that is becoming something of a tradition when they visit, and I think this might've been one of my finest ones yet. I finished the meal off with a peach cobbler that was especially excellent, and I felt SO PROUD OF MYSELF, like a real live adult!
Kathy, Manda, and I also chose Pacific Pie for our New Restaurant of the Month, an Australian themed place that specializes in "pasties," savory handheld pies, in addition to actual sweet pies. I had the Pulled Pork Pastie. It was good. How could a pie themed restaurant be bad?!
We saw Spy with Kathy's parents at my favorite second-run theater, The Academy, and enjoyed it 176213 times more than I expected to. If you like fun and funny things you will like it. If you don't like fun and funny things, you are doing something wrong and should stop trying so hard.
Couldn't narrow it down this month so here's the run down:
March is a graphic novel about Congressman John Lewis's life and the story is important and the art is just lovely. Book One focuses on Lewis's early life; Book Two focuses on the march from Selma to Montgomery and the March on Washington. Eager to get my hands on Book Two soon.
Nimona is a very different graphic novel, from one of the genius minds behind Lumberjanes, Noelle Stevenson. I have to say that Nimona took me a little while to get into--this is going to sound stupid, but Nimona was actually a little too violent for me even though this is essentially a comic for children, hahaaaa I am the wimpiest wimp--but by the end, I loved her SO MUCH and didn't want to leave her.
Brazil's Dance with the Devil is by Dave Zirin, a sports writer who frequents the Melissa Harris-Perry show. I'm filled with glee every time he's on the show because his anger and disgust with injustice and stupid people is so unapologetic and awesome and sometimes hilarious. I could listen to Dave Zirin rant about shit every day for the rest of my life. This was the first book of his I've read, and I swear I could hear his voice jumping off every one of these pages. I feel like I learned a lot from this book--about Brazil, about soccer, about international sporting events as a whole--and learning a lot from books is my favorite thing. Thumbs way up.
Lastly, I know that some avid YA readers take issue with some of Rainbow Rowell's writing and choices, and I get it, I do. But reading Fangirl confirmed that I'm on the Rowell train full steam ahead. Her romances just make me feel so good and warm and fuzzy, and her boys are always so sexy! I did feel like Cath could've fangirled harder, really--this story focused on fan fiction and fan fiction only, when fandom can really mean SO MUCH MORE!--and there were only a few Simon Snow excerpts that really drew me in. But the real story, of Levi and Cath and Cath's dad and writing in college being weird, I was totally there for.
And now for all the other stuff that occupied this month:
As you have surmised, Kathy's parents were here for a long visit, and so many things we did were fun and Portland-y and good. Particularly, we went to a fireworks show for the opening of the new Tilikum Crossing bridge downtown, and it was........amazing. AMAZING. THE MOST AMAZING PORTLANDY THING EVER. And we ate a lot of good food and Kathy's parents were very hilarious and Kathy's parents-y. This paragraph is very vague to anyone who isn't me. You're welcome.
Amester came to visit and in a relatively short amount of time, we managed to do a LOT of stuff. Like a LOT. Beer and donuts and street fairs and waterfalls and Mt. Hood and the coast and just...an explosion of Pacific Northwest goodness!
Right after saying goodbye to Amy, Kathy and I hopped on a plane to DC for some family time, and it was so nice, from getting to hug babies and talk about numbers and letters with Genius Nephew Evan to getting to be a tourist in DC for the first time in forever to getting to eat and drink Dunkin Donuts. My mom helped arrange the whole trip and I am so grateful to her. Thank you, Mom! I love you!
One of the best parts of this summer was getting to go to multiple Portland Thorns games. Portland is Soccer City USA, and while I love going to Timbers games, too, there is something special about the Thorns. A ladies' soccer team is a force to be reckoned with. Next year we're going to be actual season ticket holders and true hardcore Riveters. I love the game, I love the chants, I love our stadium, I love our players, I love the fans. BY ANY OTHER NAME BITCHES.
It's such a cool thing to see people you love evolve their life into the best possible life for them, and that's exactly what Scott and Kelly are doing--buying their own farm where they can see Mt. Hood from their backyard every day, raising goats and pigs and a million chickens. And at their wedding at said farm this month, Kelly rode into the ceremony ON HER HORSE, the coolest wedding entry there ever was. We got to meet up with a bunch of good people that we haven't seen in too long at their wedding, and it rained but it was perfect. As I wrote in their guestbook, I can't imagine our lives in Portland without Scott and Kelly.
Thank you for all the good stuff, summer. I have somehow stumbled into the luckiest, best life.