Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My very first home in Portland.

We sort of ended up here accidentally, really.  I had been living with Todd for a while, and he had gotten really bored with his job, so he decided to take on a business venture and develop an encrypted diary program for little girls, called: "My Digital Diary".  Sadly, blogs were just starting to gain popularity, the business never really took off, due to a few things not working out.  We all decided that something had to give, and we needed to simply be in a larger employment pool, because Eugene, Oregon?  Holy shit.  It is HARD to find work in that town, or at least it was in 1999.

So, the three of us; Todd, Jackson, (our roommate,) and Yours Truly, spent some time driving up to Portland, to look for work.  Kind of a lot of time, actually.  I didn't take every trip with them, because I was working as a waitress at the time, and couldn't get the time off to do so.  But, the one time I did go, I picked up an Employment Guide newspaper, made one phone call, and landed a job that day.  Amazing!

It took Todd a bit longer, and Jack decided to go live in Texas for a while, shortly after we moved up here.  He was here for about a month, but good lord.  I get it.  Living with a couple?  Not easy.  Also?  I'm kind of a bitch, if we're being truthful. 

Moving day came on December 8th, 1999.  It was a trip, in more ways than one, and yes, I completely intended that pun.  I packed as much as I could into my little 1983 Tercel 4WD wagon.  This included a betta fish, in a bowl, that I secured to the floor of the car with sweaters and a few pairs of shoes.  (I fucking loved that car, by the way.  I'd probably still have it, if it didn't have a few structural issues. Ah, well...) 

It rained ridiculously hard that day.  An ocean fell from the sky, and the interstate wasn't for the faint of heart.  I had a small amount of anxiety, because I was starting work, that very day.  I came up before Todd and Jack, because they had van packing to do, and were still unemployed, so they got to do it, and I got to start my adventure a bit earlier.  Ha!

I was all set to stay with a friend, and when I arrived at her house, she wasn't there.  She had also forgotten to leave a key under the mat!   AAAAHHHH!!

So, I ended up going to work, after leaving a message on her voice mail... with all of my stuff, still in the car; up to, and including Fishums.

When I arrived, I remember crying, and asking to use their phone, because I needed a place to stay, and while I had a few cards, I only had enough money to cover the expenses I had laid out in front of me, and really not much else.  (Yes, I was 23, and it was beginning to show!)

I entered my training, and inquired, with the tenacity of a kitten, if I could go out to my car and bring my poor freezing betta into the office.  The answer was yes.  They took care of Fishums for me, and by the second half of my training session, my friend had somehow managed to find the phone number, called, left a message, and I magically had a place to stay, once again.  Actually, I had a couple, because I had successfully gotten a hold of a few others, as well.  Phew!

Quick side note:  Fishums lived on my desk; almost the entire time I worked there.  I quit that job, in 2002.

So, after work was through, I met up with her in the bar she worked at.  She had a couple hours left on her shift, as she worked as a cook.  I brought Fishums in with me to her bar, as well.  He was kind of my mascot at that point.  We sang Karaoke, got a bit sloshed, and then made our way home to her place, which was across town from the bar, but that was OK.

Here are a few pictures of the place I ended up in.  It was... a jumping off point.  We got it, thanks to Todd's stock portfolio, and the fact that I was employed.  We were there exactly 6 months, and then beat feet away from it.  It's too bad, really, because the location was prime.  Really, and truly.

After the pictures, I'll explain in a hilarious manner... the reasons for our leaving so soon.

My apartment was the ground floor unit, on the left.

View from that apartment.

The building was called "Crown Vista", but the complex was called "Crown Royal".  That was really kind of embarrassing, when I applied for a car loan.

Location, location, location!

This was what I could walk to in seconds.  Furever Pets was a candle dipping store at the time.

Trade Roots was there at the time I lived there, and I spent a LOT of money in that store.  I still wear some of the jewelry from this time period, from that place.

Swift was called "Collosso" at the time.  It was pretty good.  Sweet Jayne was Mimi and Madre.

We lived dangerously close to Helen Bernhard's, Peet's, McMenamins, too many bars to mention, and also too much shopping to remember, let alone mention. 

That big, ugly, gold building... I can't remember if it was there yet, or not.  I kind of don't think so.

View heading back to the apartment.

A building I would see on my walks.

Also, this.  I lived just a mere three blocks from the Portland White House!  Oh, I miss walking past that, daily, and sometimes have to come back and walk in this hood, just for this view.

So... the reason we left... well?  This building wasn't all that sophisticated.  It did not have in-unit laundry, and the plumbing was always getting jammed up.  I learned not to leave anything on the floor, because the apartment would sometimes flood. 

One day in particular, I came home, and I heard frantic meowing.  I opened the door. Water sloshed out onto my feet.  My poor cats were on the counter tops and refrigerator, trying to escape from the deluge.  The entire place was flooded, and it wasn't stopping.  Water literally sprayed out of my kitchen and bathroom sink drains, as well as the bathtub drain.  Some grass or something, also seemed to be everywhere. 

It was like the largest dog in the world had puked all over my little corner of the world.

I called the manager, and they sent a rooter out.  He pulled a ball of hair, the size of my 12 pound Dacschund out of the main sewer common to our apartment, and the one above us.  We figured out that the woman in the apartment upstairs had been washing her hair in her kitchen sink, and the hair had staged a coup d'etat on the entire gray system.

So, when the time came to give notice, I had never been so happy to do so.  Ever.

The next place we found?  Quite a bit of interesting history.  Stay tuned! 

Until tomorrow,


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