Week 21 – San Diego Visit

#143 Market Weekend

22 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

This past weekend was one where we intentionally tried to not do too much, since it fell in between two travel weekends. We ended up not doing too much and getting plenty of rest, but also, we had plenty of fun, including two foreign film discoveries on Netflix we really liked.

Le Chef is a simple romantic comedy, but with French chefs so we know it’s good. I overlooked it for so long by mistaking it for a French baking competition I had already seen.

Trash is a Brazilian film featuring a group of kids who live on a landfill and get by via scavenging. They find a wallet with random contents– a lotto ticket, a key, a bookmark, which ends up turning into a neat little puzzle film in which they uncover some big time political corruption.

And as if that wasn’t good enough, we also spent our weekend just wandering around the 5th Street Market and picked up a couple macarons. I had a root beer float macaron that was spot on. How on earth do they do that?

#144 Hanging Mint

23 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

“I guess part of growing up is learning how to allow the lost things of the past to make new roots and grow, to become new and greater things by digging down into memory and image and rise up again in a new form.”

–Tyson Motsenbocker

This quote seemed relevant since at the end of the week I’ll be in San Diego, the city where I grew up.

Increasingly, roots are asserting themselves as what I find really valuable. Having a sense of origin and allowing that to feed you. This makes sense to me in both a mega-cosmic spiritual sort of way and as a reference to childhoods and past homes and longtime friendships.

With my roots being spread quite far in terms of geography, it takes a lot of extra effort to give them their deserved attention. It’s always worth it, though.

And speaking of roots, my mint seems to be doing the best out of anything I planted. If I can measure success by mojito potential, things should be great in the late summer.

#145 Milanesa & Chimichurri

24 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

It’s 2011. I’d been in Buenos Aires just long enough to take a nap at the hostel before wandering the streets. IT hasn’t sunk in yet that this is where I’ll be spending the next five months of my life. While exploring, I get hungry and find a café that looks like it might be good.

I know that in Argentina, the steak is supposed to be really good. There are so many options on the menu, though. Lomo, Bife. When the waitress comes around, I point at one. Milanesa.

What came out was a bit of a surprise. A very flat piece of beef that was breaded. But from that day forward, I knew what a milanesa was. And I had it again and again over the next five months. Usually with fries. Sometimes in a sandwich. Or with a squirt of lemon. Or with ham and cheese on top.

Flip ahead to 2016 and I finally tried to recreate my first meal in Argentina, a task I was already at a disadvantage at because of the lack of quality beef within the U.S. But, I took on the task anyways and I kind of like what happened as a result.

#146 Book Cleanse

25 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

I think a lot of you are probably aware that my love of books goes pretty deep. From the days of me taking total advantage of Borders going out of business to scavenging thrift shops for travel guides to use as wedding props, I’ve accumulated quite the library over the years. Also, when Deanna and I got married, we wound up with a lot of second copies of the same title. I guess that’s a good sign we had a few things in common.

It’s probably a pretty good sign of personal progress and decluttering that I’m ready to drastically trim down my bookshelves to make room for new reads and to make sure everything can comfortably fit on there. Plus, a lot of the books I’ve trimmed down are either second copies or ones I’m unlikely to read again with all the things I have yet to read that I still hope to get to.

With all that said, I’m going to Powells on Monday with several stacks of books I’m looking to resell, but I thought I would check with my friends to see if there are any titles that interest you… there are some weird ones I’m getting rid of, as well as some all-time faves, but I won’t judge either way! I only ask that you Venmo me a little for shipping if you live far from me.

Vonnegut, Laura Hillenbrand, Jonathan Safran Foer, C.S. Lewis, Pico Iyer, Barbara Kingsolver await!

#147 Barry’s

26 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Eugene just lost one of its better coffee shops.

I went in on Friday for one last donut muffin, a latte, and an extra splurge of lox pie.

When legalized marijuana was up for a vote about a year ago, arguments in favor of lower incarceration rates and more efficient criminal justice were convincing enough to get it passed. The opposing side brought up gateway drug and slippery slope arguments, and so on, to no avail. Their arguments would have been a lot stronger if they brought up the dystopian future in which Barry’s loses its lease to a Cannabis Supply Shop.

#148 SeaTac Layover

27 May 2016 // SeaTac, Washington

Poking around the Sub-Pop store and trying to grab some fish and chips are the two most redeeming things about having a layover in Seattle.

I try to wear Timbers gear whenever I fly Alaska. Even when their flight routes take me through rival territory. Sometimes I wonder if people see me in my jersey, perhaps purchasing something with my Alaska mileage card thinking my customer loyalty game is ridiculous. But I’ve been on flights where wearing Timbers gear has resulted in perks like early boarding, so I can handle the judgement.

No dice this flight, but I did get comped some Portland Brewing Pale Ale, so no complaints.

#149 City of SD

28 May 2016 // San Diego, California

“I’m thanking God for being alive. And for our victory.”

–Trash (2014) 

Is this city our next home? Maybe. Maybe.

One of the big things that’s been on my mind lately is the fact that I’ll most likely be moving sometime within six to nine months. I’ll be finishing grad school and I’d like a job in a city that puts my family and friends in much closer access. San Diego perhaps? I definitely have a lot of family and friends there. Portland? It’s a possibility. We’ve also been throwing around the names of Sacramento and Ventura, and others may emerge.

Sometimes I wish I knew the answer already so I could start imagining the future, but perhaps that’s one of the big reasons why it’s a good thing I don’t know. In the end, I’ll have to see what my job hunt looks like after the summer and see what the options are then. So much of this move is out of my control. Then again, most of life is and I’m just pretty good at acting like it’s not.

One way or another, we end up where we need to be. It’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from the crazy travels and outdoor things I enjoy doing, and part of the reason I insist on adventure. It’s seeing how you managed to end up where you need to be and being astounded by the process.

I’ll find out how this goes eventually. In the meantime, I thank God I’m alive and for every little victory.