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Hot Yam! The first blog of the year…

The first blog. Sigh. Where to begin? Though it is only a month and half into the semester, I feel that in order for you to join me on this journey, I must bring you up to date. And with my artistically disheveled mind, lists, often scrawled on multicolored Post-It notes and slapped all over my desk, save my life. So here is a list for you:

The 5 Most Memorable Moments of My First Month of My First Semester of My First Year of College:

 1)  Bicycle Love.
My lovely blue bicycle!The bike culture in Portland is fascinating. Everywhere you turn on campus and downtown you see a two-wheeled beauty whizzing past. I have an adorable little vintage beach cruiser back home in California, but it wouldn’t stand a chance on the hills and gravelly paths around LC. The bus system here is very efficient, and can take you pretty much anywhere off-campus. However, once you are downtown, making your way around Portland on foot can be rather time-consuming. As soon as I got here, finding a bike was essential. Finally I found a man on Craigslist who restores vintage bikes and he had a 1975 Huffy road bike just my size! My friend Karl and I took a bus out to Beaverton to pick it up and I am completely smitten. We cleaned off the rust with a bit of steel wool and replaced the brakes, and that sky blue baby is as good as new. I have already enjoyed getting to sleep in five minutes later since I don’t have to walk to class in the morning!

2)  Exploring Hawthorne

Hawthorne SunsetA couple of weekends ago, a group of friends and I took a Trimet bus out to the Hawthorne district of Portland. This is one of my favorite parts of Portland just to go and hang out or to shop.  I have found the best vintage here and a record store at which I found a great Leo Kottke album. Photo by Logan Fields.We ate at a delicious Thai restaurant called Vege Thai. Everything on the menu was vegetarian, including soy shrimp and soy chicken! My friend Logan and I split pumpkin curry with brown rice. And squash-darn*, that was the best pumpkin curry I ever did have! On the way back to the bus stop, we popped into a local produce market and bought some fruit and honey sticks. Dinosaur Eggs

3)  Open Mic Night

Singing at Open Mic in the Platteau!In the basement of Platt-West lies the Platteau, the student-run art center on campus. It is equipped with a dark room, a ceramics studio and dance room, as well as a piano and a small stage. Open mic nights are held here pretty frequently. I went to the first one as an audience member but I was too chicken to sign up to play. However, I was so inspired by the talent and acceptance of my fellow LC students that when the second open mic rolled around, I worked up the courage to play a song. I played “Born” by Over the Rhine. It was really scary, but I was glad I had done it in the end. Gareth!

4)  Dorm Life

Our door at the moment.Living in a building with hundreds of other people your age is an adventure in and of itself. One such adventure that sticks out so far is the dance party in the Ponderosa basement (in Forest). My friend Dick is a talented amateur DJ and he manned the computer/iPod while kids created a makeshift rave by wearing headlamps and dancing furiously about to MGMT and M.I.A. The result was a very sweaty basement and an unprecedented amount of dance-induced delirium.Girls’ Night! Life in the dorms isn’t always crazy, however. Last night was the first night of Fall Break and some girlfriends and I spent it sitting on the floor of my room, listening to Joni Mitchell and Hot Chip records while drinking tea, talking, and painting our toenails. Girls’ Night IIMysteriously, this evening did end with a dance party to A-ha’s “Take On Me”…

5)  Poetry Slam!

The slam poetry club at LC, “Apocalips,” arranged for the Junkyard Ghost Revival tour to make their first stop at LC. The Junkyard Ghost Revival is a spoken word group consisting of Derrick Brown, Buddy Wakefield, Anis Mojhani, and my favorite contemporary poet, the amazing Andrea Gibson! The amazing Andrea Gibson!The poets switched off performing their pieces, accompanied by Timmy Straw, a local musician whose music was beautiful, challenging and moving. Timmy Straw.We were front and center, and our minds were thoroughly blown by the entire show! My favorite, of course, was Andrea’s performance of “For Eli.” Check it out!

So… sorry this was so long. But look at the bright side: I have posted lots of pictures, and now you are all up to date. Posts from here on out will be shorter and more detailed. Stay tuned! And, as always, feel free to email me and exchange curry recipes, wax poetic, or ask about why calling someone a ferret as a term of affection can easily be misconstrued.  kkucera@lclark.edu

*a pun, relating to the inclusion of pumpkins in the squash family

9 October 2008