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befuddled with clouds

My weekend schedule was busting at the seams, so on Friday night, I resigned myself to a thrilling evening of studying in hopes of freeing up my Saturday and Sunday. And then Abe had a pack of cards at dinner. Alas! All my studious plans, dashed on the 52 rocks of four suits! When the Bon booted us out at closing, we migrated to the Manzi lounge, which is currently dominated by a tent someone pitched and never took down. Everything’s more fun in a tent! Even card games where the first rule is you can’t talk about the rules.

fortune tellerMy roommate and I were both up at crazy o’clock on Saturday morning – Yukiko was riding the Ski Bus up to Mt Hood for her Snowboarding class; I was attending campus tour guide training. I bailed ten minutes before the end to catch the Raz (the free student shuttle) into the city. Last year I volunteered at Cascade AIDS Project as a youth peer educator; via CAP, I was invited to feature in an international major motion-picture length documentary called Let’s Talk About Sex, which is scheduled to hit theatres early next year. With cameras and mics flickering around us, four other Portland youth and I led one of our typical outreach activities in Pioneer Square. Armed with paper fortune-tellers, we approached unsuspecting Portlanders and asked if they would play our game for the camera. The fortune tellers contained questions like “What is one thing you wish people knew about HIV/AIDS?” and “What’s your favorite body part and why?” – each designed to spark dialogue about health and communication. After five hours rattling around the cold of Pioneer Square, our filmmaker (a dude from Australia) bought us all coffees just so we could unfreeze our fingers.

Evidence that Saturday was the straw on the back of a busy week that broke us: my roommate and I were in bed before midnight. On a Saturday. But at 2am, we both bolted upright to the tune of the fire alarm. Sleepy-brained and pajamaed, we shuffled into the parking lot, then joined the crowd of students glomming together in Templeton Student Center. Turns out some joker broke a fire extinguisher in a hallway, and we weren’t allowed back in the building until all the fire extinguisher goo was cleaned up. At least fire alarms are a rare occurrence – we were evacuated from my residence hall a grand total of once last year – because someone had burned toast.

Oregon Nikkei Legacy CenterBack in the days of gigapets and Your Oxen Died Trying to Ford the River, school ended around 3pm on Friday. Turns out, college is not the fourth grade. On Sunday, my Qualitative Research Methods class field tripped to the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in downtown Portland. It’s a pretty neat little museum/heritage center located in what used to be Japantown. The project we’re doing for class is to track down certain Japanese Americans, now in their tottery eighties and nineties, and interview them about their experiences in the WWII interment camps for official historical records.

new piercingAfter our informational session at the Nikkei Legacy Center concluded, I met up with my friend Rachel, who had been studying at Tea Chai Té on 23rd. It’s a personal quest of mine to investigate a spectrum of piercing shops in Portland. This time, Rachel and I one upped our earring claims at Straight to the Point, located on 3rd and Oak. It was a decent place, if rather acetic. The piercer dude was really nice. The new stud doesn’t match the others.

postermakingLast night, Apocalips Slam Poetry Club pumped out a bundle of hand-sharpied posters advertising our upcoming “Slamwich”. The Slamwich is three days of poetry goodness. Day one is round one of our National Qualifier Competition, where LC students are invited to perform their poetry for a chance at a seat on the plane to Nationals; day two is the Spilljoy Ensemble, a quartet of phenomenal Slam masters touring the country; and day three is round two of our own Nat Quals. I love poster-making, but I love performance poetry more! If I want to compete at Nat Quals, I need to shine one more poem.

the mountain is outThe mountain was out today! In Portland, skies are befuddled with clouds so much of the time that there’s an unscientific average of five days per school year where Mt Hood is actually visible. Today was one of those days.

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4 February 2009