It's been a really fun and crazy week, and I'm really beginning to like Portland a lot. And work is really fun, my project is cool so far, but it'll be the next few weeks that it gets "hard" so we'll see how that goes.
Last Wednesday I took my first Oregon hike with the Intel Hiking Club, to the top of Saddle Mountain which is a little over 3,000 feet above sea level. The hike up there was somewhat tough, but well worth it in the end. At the top I could see the Pacific Ocean and mouth of the Columbia River, and then also the peaks of Mt Reiner, Mt Adams, Mt Hood, Mt St Helens, and Mt Jefferson. It was absolutly amazing, and everything I'd heard about the gorgeous Oregon outdoors is true. The pictures don't do it justice at all, but here's some that I took:
Mt Hood in the distance
The Pacific Ocean
Me at the top
Columbia river near the top
About 40 people went
On the way back down
Thursday I went to a local baseball game (forgot my camera so no pictures) and went saw a little bit of downtown. Then this weekend went up to Washington to the Sasquatch Festival mainly to see Modest Mouse in concert. The venue is really cool, it's set in a gorge, and it holds about 20,000 people. It was really fun, and MM was awesome. Spent Saturday night camping out in the grassy parking lot with thousands of other cars, and had a blast.
Setting up the tents
The Main Stage
Ran over a bucket on the way home
After recovering Sunday, I wandered around downtown Portland on Monday, to explore it and find my way around. I also went to the best bookstore in the entire world, Powell's, which has books on anything you could ever imagine. It's like a large city-block sized library that you can buy all the books in. There's also an entirely seperate store full of just computer and technical books. If you ever visit Portland and like books, you have to visit this place.
Riding the MAX
Looking down Broadway street
Finally last night I found out that one of my favoritest bands EVER, The Presidents of the United States of America are playing in Portland on my birthday! I was actually thinking about driving down to a concert in Southern Oregon the next day, but low and behold they're up here on Friday. Talk about an awesome birthday present. They're from the area and they tour just around here, so it's pretty much my only chance to be able to see them. Portland has a lot of famous and cool acts coming, it's one of the great things about living in a large city.
Beg for a date with Natalie Portman. I should have thought of this first!
Dos mas dias.
PUSA put on one of the most awesome shows I've ever been to! The lead singer is over 40 years old, but he's still all over the stage and the place had a lot of energy. The Crystal Ballroom is a pretty cool venue too. The acostics aren't that great, but it really is an old ballroom so it's got a chandilier and wooden bouncy floors, and it brings in a bunch of bands (Interpol is playing tonight in a sold out show, and The Shins were there a few weeks ago). My birthday was really fun even though I couldnt' celebrate it with all my friends from Florida, but I got a lot of phone calls and IM's throughout the day so it was still cool.
Dinner at Old Chicago pizza with the interns
The Presidents of the United States of America
Saturday I went to a (town)house party that one of the interns was throwing, and then today I went to Chinatown in downtown for lunch (and ate some cow intestine, it was chewy) and then went to see Multnomah Falls which is right outside of Portland. It was a pretty rainy/cloudy day (ie typical Portland weather) but the scenery was gorgeous. We hiked the mile to the top of the falls, and I took tons of pictures as usual. Again, these do no justice at all to how it really looked:
Smaller waterfall at the top
Me and the other interns who went
Another waterfall further up the river
Yep, I'm not photoshopped in, I was really there
My Internet connection is going REALLY REALLY slow. It feels like I'm using a 14.4K modem. Fast in 1994, but not so fast in 2005 for a DSL connection.
This literally is the first time I've had a chance to update in the last week, and really I should be going to bed since I have to get up for work in the morning. Life in Portland has been keeping me incredibly busy, and I seem to be going out just about every night to do something, even more than I do in college. Highlights of the past week: Watching the Pistons-Miami game with 20 other interns, putt putt, seeing a crazy robot band (more on that later), watching the Portland baseball team, and a weekend roadtrip to Seattle! Tomorrow it's go-karting and a trip to Canada is in the works two weeks from now. Never been to visit our friendly but backwards northern neighbors, so I'm looking forward to that.
Wednesday I went to see Captured! By Robots which was a very entertaining show to say the least. It's a guy with a band of robots playing in the background, all playing hardcore rock (think unintelligiable screaming with a lot of drums and guitar). Not such a fan of the music, though some was good, but there was just the "Oh my god what the heck am I looking at?" shock factor. The opening band was also the greatest worst band ever, with songs about performing experiments on animals then setting them free and flying away into the sky with them, again to unintelligable screaming. Good times. You could easily tell the 75% of people there for the music, and the 25% there just for the robots.
And Seattle was really fun, went to the art museum and saw the Space Needle. It's $13 (!) to go up the thing, so I just took pictures of it from the ground. Also went clubbing for the first time in ages, and they were playing some awesome progressive techno, so I quite happy. But this update wouldn't be complete without pictures:
Seattle Art Museum
THE original Starbucks
The huge fountain was broken
I also rented a car for the very first time, only $10 a day with unlimited milage on the weekends. Not a bad deal at all.
Found out there's a Wienerschnitzel in Portland. I really miss it from Texas, they have the best hot dogs and chili cheese fries.
Hmm, looks like it's a twice a month update schedule from now on. Since the last time I updated, I've gone swing dancing (and thank god it wasn't all just 60 year old married couples), went to a soccer game, saw some movies, and went to Canada this past weekend. I'd never gone through customs before, and it was my first visit to our friendly northern neighbors. It's really just like America though, except their money is way cooler and they're advanced enough to use the metric system.
I also took an amazing hike on the coast last Wednesday, and just look at the pictures to see why Oregon is the most beautiful state I've ever been to.
Congress is at it once again with the yearly constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. Ever since doing a report on Texas vs Johnson my senior year of high school, I've been a passionate defender of the first amendment and the desire to not join China and the former Soviet Union in creating laws like this. So please, please, write your senator and tell them why this is such a horrible idea.
One way to find out how ethical your company is, is to take the bagel test. I like it.
Finally the perfect gift for the book lover out there, 1,082 classic paperback books for only a little more than $6,500. So... have you started planning for Christmas yet?