Portlandia

Mike and I watched the first episode of Portlandia over the weekend.  If you haven’t heard of Portlandia, it’s a TV show that’s really more of a series of comedy sketches rather than a TV show.  It’s meant to poke fun at the Pacific Northwest in general and Portland specifically.  The interesting part is that I didn’t find it funny as much as I found it true.  There were definitely funny parts of course, but mostly it just looked extremely, disturbingly familiar.  One sketch of note involved a couple going to eat at a restaurant.  The couple asks the waitress, “Can you tell us a little more about the chicken?” and then they launch into a barrage of questions.  “Is he farm-raised?  How much room does he have to roam around?  Is it really organic chicken?  Is it local?  How far away is the farm where he’s raised?  It’s not just a farm owned by some rich guy in Miami, is it?  It’s a real, local farm?”  The sketch culminates in the couple viewing the chicken’s “papers” and then deciding that they ethically have to go visit the farm prior to ordering the chicken.  Although most people here stop short of actually driving out to the farm prior to eating the chicken, the sketch was right on.

Over the weekend Mike and I also went to the Solstice Parade in Fremont.  I promise you that if you are from the midwest, nothing about this parade will make sense to you.  It starts with about half an hours worth of naked bicycle riders.  Why are they naked?  Don’t know.  But they are.  Every year.  It’s an annual tradition.  To be fair, many of them are not completely naked and the others are covered with such thick body paint that distinguishing particular portions of anatomy would be difficult, even if you were so inclined to try.  However, it’s definitely not your run-of-the-mill start to a parade.  This portion of the parade is followed by various home-made floats and a lot of people dressed up as either fairies, sprites, woodland creatures, clowns, or other unidentifiable beings.  The costumes and floats were designed beautifully and were very ornate.  Fremont gears up for this day all year and it was so crowded that the bus that normally takes you to downtown Fremont stopped early and you had to walk across the bridge yourself to get to Fremont.  The streets were just packed with wall-to-wall people and even viewing the parade was difficult.  We met a friend of Mike’s from work there and hung out with him and his girlfriend while we monitored the parade as much as we felt we needed to.  While in Fremont we ate at a cool Greek restaurant that I’d been curious about for awhile.  It was completely packed, since downtown Fremont was completely packed but we just waited patiently for our turn.  Once we were seated, the service was really fast.  Probably because they wanted to get people through the pipeline as quickly as possible so that more people could be seated.

When we went to leave it was raining and Mike and I huddled under an awning with about 70 other people, all of whom wanted to catch the 26 bus back downtown.  The 26 bus came, but there were way more people waiting for it than were going to be able to fit in it.  People crammed into the aisleways, and finally the bus driver cut people off and  closed the doors.  With Mike and me still outside.  Bummer!  However, almost no one got on the next bus (the 30).  Mike and I got on, though, because it ultimately ended up by the Space Needle and was significantly closer to our homes than we were at that moment.  It stopped raining while we were on the bus, which was convenient, so we were able to walk home and stay dry.

Friday after work, I had a doctor’s appointment in the University District, so I texted Mike to just meet me there on his way home from work.  Mike and I walked around the University Village for awhile.  We looked around and “shopped”.  We didn’t really buy anything, but it was just fun being out on such a nice evening, especially in the University District.  I tried to take Mike home a secret back way using the Burke Gilman Trail, but his sense of direction was too good and he figured out where we were going to emerge from the trail.  Darn.

Last night Mike and I tried a new restaurant for dinner.  It was an Italian restaurant, and I got carrot soup and a mixed greens salad, and Mike got a steak.  I don’t know why we hadn’t been there before; it was close to home and very good.  Probably because it’s right near where I work, and I prefer to keep my distance from work when I’m not actually at work.  🙂

Mike and I have still been on a no-coffee kick, and it’s surprisingly easy to do.  I think we’re on week three or four.  We’ll see whether or not we start drinking it again during the trip to Michigan.  The last time we started drinking it again it was when we were on vacation.

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