musings from the plastic-nomadic trail

We returned home safely this afternoon from our trip.
It was a good time for our family.

While on vacation I read the book ‘The Beach’ by Alex Garland. A great read; bummer about finishing a book that you really enjoyed is the attempt in finding that next book to read, this can be quite a task. I shared this angst with one of the employees at Powell’s (on Hawthorne) yesterday evening. But I made my choice, and I am attempting to follow up my reading of ‘The Beach’ with a book called ‘King Dork’ by Frank Portman.

Okay so ‘The Beach,’ the main character in the book, Richard, made the comment that he does not take pictures when he travels because he finds those things he took pictures of are the only memories that he has of his traveling. Interesting comment; and since we did not bring a camera with us on this venture I will have to go with his idea. Though I also mentioned to my wife that taking pictures does not matter much as we don’t seem to get the photos we take into albums anyway.

So I do not have photos to share, but here are a four memory snapshots of our trip that you can take a look at:

photo #1: “Nightly trips to the Dairy Queen.”
1. DQ was right down the street from where we were staying and my wife was working on the concept of eating a Cherry Dilly Bar a nite to create a taste memory so that all she would have to do is eat a Cherry Dilly Bar and it would take her back to the beach. Me…? I just like the blizzards. So each evening, regardless of how much we had eaten that day, ended with a frozed treat from Dairy Queen.

1a. Becket and I were walking to the DQ when an older man walking with a woman carrying a nearly empty bottle of Old English beer commented on my beard. He then went on to tell me how he wanted to grow his beard. He then went on to tell me how his “Lord and Savior had a beard until the end… He never used a razor… but then they didn’t have razors then.”

1b. As Becket and I continued our walk he asked me if the man was drunk.

photo #2: “The time-share tour.”
2. I would never go on vacation and willingly subject myself to the aggravation involved in buying a car, so why did I willingly subject myself to the time-share tour??? Never again! Never again!

2a. My wife justifies the 2 1/2 hours spent with Glen (the guy selling time-shares) in that we were given $50 in pre-paid American Express cards (which my wife has already spent) and a nite or two at some hotel.

2b. Okay, the $50 was cool, but even with that– never again!

photo #3: “Bookstore etiquette.”
3. When in Portland one has to go to Powell’s Bookstore; if you like books the place is a must.

3a. I was able to go to Powell’s by myself Sunday evening. It dawned on me as I perused the shelves that there is a certain civilized protocol as one walks down the aisles. When one comes to a person looking at the shelves and one wishes to pass them, although it is obvious that you are about to briefly invade their personal space, you say “excuse me.” To which the standing person replies “sure.” And order is maintained.

3b. I had a brief moment of psychosis when I was not sure if a person I passed had heard my “excuse me” or not as I passed him (he did not give the “sure” response) and wondered if I should have repeated myself in the name of decency. (I opted to remain silent and move on.)

photo #4: “The Bins”
4. We had recently learned of the Goodwill Outlet in Portland, also known as “The Bins.” Since we are fans of thrift stores we had to check this place out.

4a. “The Bins” nickname seemed to fit the place, as it is basically a large room where the majority of the items are brought out in large, shallow bins. This place is like a thrift store smorgasboard, where new bins containing potential treasures are rolled out regularily. Bins with clothes in them, bins with books in them, bins with a variety of stuff in them.

4b. Whereas the bookstore has it own etiquette, “the bins” has a survival style of sorts…
For instance: In observing some of the Bin-ites I learned that one needs their own shopping cart. Not only does this allow you to put your potential purchases in, but it is also a buffer of sorts to keep other shoppers away from you.

4c. We left “the bins” with some books, some toys for the kids, a couple of cassette tapes, and a pilates exercise video. Yes, an exercise video–after all, I had been eating Dairy Queen every nite for a week.

(For those interested, ‘The Bins’ is located in Portland at 1740 S.E. Ochoco St.)

9 Responses to “musings from the plastic-nomadic trail”

  1. Belladonna Says:

    WELCOME HOME! Glad you had a good time and made it home safe.

    We’ve been to several different time-share scam presentations. EVERY time we say NEVER AGAIN. I think this time we mean it….

    but we have gotten some cool things – like a cruise to the Bahamas one time. I’d say that was worth 3 hrs. Another time we got free tickets to Disneyworld & Seaworld.

    However, after the last one – when we ALMOST caved in and bought the silly thing, we’re pretty adamant to avoid them in the future.

  2. Paula Says:

    Hooray for taste memory!! That’s a good idea.

    Spoke and I sat through a time-share thing while we were in Vegas. I used to do door-to-door sales, so I know the sales schtick inside and out, and I am impossible to sell to. I find it fun to say “no” the requisite seven times!! I never cave, even when they try to guilt me out by asking me if I love my family…LOL! “No, I hate my family. Why would I want to spend time at a time-share with that bunch of losers?” Anyway, we got a great meal and a show for free.

    Maybe I’m sick and twisted, but I’d do that again in a heartbeat.

  3. Belladonna Says:

    Taste memories can work either way. When I was a little kid I once sat down with a box of Strawberry Instant Quick and a spoon, and ate half the box. I got SOOOO sick. To this day the taste or even the smell of artificial strawberry flavoring makes me ill. I can’t even use strawberry shampoo! Fortunately it didn’t turn me of on REAL strawberries.

  4. bluecanopy Says:

    Funny I was just thinking about that photo/memory thing the other day…particularly in regards to childhood memories. I agree.

    Glad you had a nice trip.

  5. Mike Says:

    Powell’s is great. Almost overwhelming, though. Like a never-ending candy store of the mind. I always have to come with a list or I am completely short-circuited by all of the choices. Glad you had a safe trip…

  6. aaron Says:

    Glad everything went well Papa.

  7. Thomas Says:

    The bins Rule! I used to live down the street from them when they resided off of MLK. Best find: Irregular (but new)Pendelton Wool Plaid Trench Coat (fully lined). Probably in the $300-400 range. At 50 cents a pound I bought it for $3 in 1984. What’s the per LB price these days???

  8. Gregory Says:

    Hey! Thought you might enjoy this link someone just passed on to me:

  9. papa herman Says:

    Even with the cash prize, I still have to say “never again” to the time share tour (though a cruise is tempting.)

    My wife noticed the different sales tools used like the volume that music that was at played.

    Powell’s rocks!

    The trip was a gooder!

    Oh, and Gregory… my answer was “St Jerome”

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