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Who else loves Fiona Apple’s version of “Across the Universe?”

“If you want to sing out, sing out! And if you want to be free, be free. Cause there’s a million things to be, you know that there are…” Cat Stevens always has a way of helping me stay optimistic about humanity in times when the stress of the world seems to emphasize the dimmest parts of the human condition. In other words, the finals-week-machine is approaching with metal jaws chomping!


It’s been a bit of a struggle getting my mind in the right place for the madness that is finals after having such a blissful Thanksgiving break. I braved the holiday sky traffic and ventured to Nashville, TN to visit my boyfriend, Casy. I hadn’t seen him since leaving home in August, so it was really great to spend some time with him and to see the south, a part of this country I was completely unfamiliar with. Because my flight departed at 6 a.m. on Thursday, I was not able to make use of the handy LC shuttles that go directly from campus to the airport the day before Thanksgiving. Unwilling to shell out for a cab, I decided to go the bohemian way and took the last bus downtown, and then took the MAX light rail to the airport. I arrived at about midnight, and sat in the arrival waiting area until check-in time at 4:30 a.m. Sleep was pretty impossible, so I stocked up on Newsweek, Spin, and coffee. Despite accidentally overhearing an extremely personal cell phone conversation in the dead stillness of PDX airport at 2:30 in the morning, stuffing all my necessities into one heavy backpack so as to avoid bag check fees, and the subsequent delirium from lack of sleep, I arrived safe and sound in Nashville on Thursday. And I felt almost proud of my self-sufficiency, though it did mean sore feet and greasy hair- we’re young, this is the time to rough it! casy and me casy and me again


Casy showed me the ins and outs of Nashville and the TN countryside. It’s amazing how different cities are from one to the next. Living in PDX is unlike living in any other metropolis, I’m realizing; it’s so clean and livable. We ate Thanksgiving dinner with some friends, and spent the rest of the weekend baking (I took full advantage of having a real kitchen and made vegan banana bread and Christmas cookies), banana bread! cookiesmore cookies cookie dough is fun to play withwatching “Seinfeld” episodes and Harold and Maude, double-dating, playing music on the porch, and dancing to Beach Boys records with friends at a cookie-decorating party we hosted. dancinIt was such a great time! It was definitely what I needed to tide me over until winter break when I finally get to see my beloved California, my darling friends and family whom I miss so much!


fly golden eagleSince being back in Portland, I have not been able to see any shows. However while in Nashville, Casy introduced me to his friend, Ben who has a great one-man project called Fly Golden Eagle. He loops beats and writes and plays all the rest of the instruments and vocals himself. It’s really fun dancerock music whose songs cover subject matter from the development of technology since the 1970’s to wearing dapper suits. He performs in costume- this means a head-to-toe golden unitard, golden specs, and even a gold beak and wings. Give it a listen! He is quite the charming and talented young Nashvillain, and has been my jam for the past week.


Tonight I am going to go to French Film Club to watch “A Very Long Engagement.” Oh yeah, I also finally found a work-study job! You are reading the words of the newest Lewis & Clark Ceramics Studio assistant! It’s hard work, and so fun. It’s basically a lot of cleaning the studio, organizing the tools, getting everything ready for the artists to use, and mixing batches of clay for which I get to wear a gas mask. Cool? Chyeah!


Really, y’all, I mean it. Send me emails! I would love to hear your views on the ethicality of dumpster diving, Audrey Tautou’s adorable dimples, or the spiritual medicine being with those you love provides for the soul.

3 December 2008