I almost don’t believe this, but I was issued a hall pass. I’m using it not only to wander about freely, but to jump on a big ol’ jet airliner and fly away to Portland, Oregon. My number one mission: to figure out if the locals call it “organ” or “ore-uh-gon.”
Okay, that’s not really my first order of business; the actual reason for our flight — over the girl’s Spring Break next week — is to investigate this crazy liberal arts college that Skye has her heart set on. I’d never heard of Reed College but apparently it’s an intense school that shuns things like ratings systems and grades. It sounds a lot like my parent’s and aunt’s and brother’s and grandparent’s college, Antioch — the maker of leftist hippy do-gooders before there were such things.
Reed College resides in Portland and my daughter seems to love everything about it. When I heard Steve Jobs went there and could only handle one semester, I was intrigued. To hear he “dropped in” instead of dropping out piqued my curiosity. He reports Reed is the reason computers have had such excellent fonts since the inception of home computing. He talks about it in his fantastic commencement speech to Stanford graduates; if you haven’t seen this, it’s really something to check out.
So Skye got a daylong meeting scheduled for herself at Reed and the rest of us, having an Oregon gap in our Pacific Coast love affair, all decided to tag along. Yes, I checked it out first with my doctors and although I’m simply forbidden to sample the microbrews Portland is known for, I did check out all the places Guy Fieri has visited on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. If I can’t drink, I’ll make up for it in eating.
(Marci usually inserts, at this point, that before the transplant I wasn’t really much of a drinker anyway and by talking about beer in a seemingly obsessive way, I come across as a big, sloppy lush.)
What I’m most amazed about, actually, is that I’m allowed to do this. I have my hand-written note from my awesome nurse-practitioner Laurie telling the TSA that yes, a human being can actually consume this many drugs and they shouldn’t worry about it while rummaging through the portable pharmacy in my carry-on.
But more than that, it feels as though this is sort of my coming out party. Last summer, last fall and winter even, I could only dream about this moment. Traveling is my cocaine. If I can feed the monkey on my back, it represents a return to the Rodney I once knew.
In order to prep for the trip, apart from walking more and looking up everything we can about the Rose City, we’ve also stumbled upon a crazy, six-episode-long mini series put out by Lorne Michaels, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein called Portlandia. Think Flight of the Conchords meets SNL.
Local firefighter and long-time blog reader Jon is staying at our place and taking care of our beasts while we’re gone. My mom has even agreed to drive us to and from the airport so with that and the great flight/hotel deal we got it looks like everything is falling into place.
My ladies need this. I need this. In a real way it pushes the anguish and constant worry back to the rear of the stove where the heat is off and the splatters slowly flake away.