Archive for: January, 2011

Portland Day 1: Foiled Again!

When I touched down in Portland at around 7 on Monday night, I was gearing up for a trip to IKEA to pick up the couch that Chandler had preemptively selected before even seeing her apartment. This was a high priority since, otherwise, I’d have nowhere to sleep. We had big plans for trying to squeeze in a million errands before the stores closed, after which we’d clean her new place into submission and pass out surrounded by bottles of Lysol and in a noxious puddle of bleach. Oh, to dream.

Not so. Turns out, her landlord didn’t realize she actually wanted to move in on Monday, so we were both homeless and, more importantly, without any projects. We love and thrive on projects. Womp-wah. Luckily, Chandler’s roommate from freshman year, Petra, let us crash at her campus apartment since she and her roommate were home anyway for winter break.

Artwork by Petra Lesser.

This was, of course, lucky news for us. But even luckier news for Petra’s cat, Boris.

My usual reaction to animals is to squeal and promptly go about sucking up to them. It’s not so much that I want them to like me, it’s that I need them to like me. I’ll shape my body into awkward positions to satisfy the whims of their physical comfort, straining my joints in directions they don’t bend in order to pet them just so. I’ve never owned a cat, or really even spent much time around them, so my basic knowledge of how to properly treat a feline comes from this insane woman (who I adore, by the way).

So I attempted to apply my knowledge. I’d always been under the impression that cats were a bit finicky and hard to win over. Not Boris. This chubby little fur-nugget was all up in my business— quite the, er, aggressive lover. Cute kitty cuddling quickly turned to weird kitty paw-kneeding, which progressed into filthy little love-bites. Eventually, that little fucker nibbled on my lower lip while I was trying to fall asleep—not hard as if to cause injury, but more like he was going in for some romance. I’ve never felt more violated.

4:30 a.m.

Aside from being sexually molested by a member of another species, I’m also sick. Like, might-have-plague-sick.

Seriously, body, why?! I’m almost never sick, especially when I have important things to do. I’ve decided that this is all about willpower, so with enough over-the-counter medications and a healthy dose of denial, I’m willing myself into tip-top shape. There is work to be done, and there’s no time for weakness. Period. End of story.

We did get one important thing done on Day 1, however. Chandler had her car shipped from D.C. to Portland by a bunch of sketchy, disorganized Russian dudes, so after about three hours of phone-tag and confusion, we finally met them on the side of the road to pick it up. It was all very clandestine and creepy. We’re also pretty sure he pulled a slight of hand and finagled us out of $150, but we can’t confirm or deny. Either way, sketchy.

11:30 p.m. Shady times.

Manhattan Nest: Portland Edition

Meet my friend Chandler.

While we’ve technically known each other since we were about 4, in elementary school Chandler was a little too cool, and proudly so, to give me the time of day. So we pretend that first decade or so of our relationship didn’t really exist. It wasn’t until the summer of 2006, after two years at separate high schools, that we serendipitously reconnected while attending the same one-month summer program in Paris. Since then, we’ve been two peas in a proverbial pod. Clearly she’s hot as hell and super hilarious—basically, my two qualifications for a long-lasting, meaningful friendship. This is only bolstered by the sometimes all-too-apparent fact that we’re essentially the same person, which tends to alienate others. Brotha from another mother, if you will.

The above photo was taken in 2008 as a part of our joint senior project in high school: a self-published book we created about, essentially, all our favorite things. The title pretty much speaks for itself.

Maybe I’ll talk more about it another time when I’m in the mood to relive the glory days, but it’s one of the physical masterpieces of our friendship. Just in case there was any confusion, that huge t-bone steak Chandler’s poised to chow down on is actually a red velvet cake. See? We’re creative geniuses.

But I digress. The point is, we’re besties. Here we are with some privateers at a war reenactment, just because I think this photo is magical. That man’s day-job? A realtor. You’re welcome.

Anyway, as you might have guessed, I’ve been home in D.C. for the last couple weeks for winter break. I’ve seen my family. We exchanged presents for Hanukah. Good food has been consumed. I’ve become newly obsessed with Glenn Close after catching up on the last three seasons of Damages. Overall, it’s been generally uneventful and as relaxed as I can really handle without getting twitchy to do something drastic.

ALL THAT’S ABOUT TO CHANGE. Because later today, I’m headed off to Portland, Oregon! For two full weeks. This isn’t just some jaunty winter break vacation, though. This is business. The business of getting Chandler’s new apartment set up, since she goes to school out there and is moving back after a summer abroad in Berlin and a fall semester in Rome. She’s a little like Carmen San Diego.

And I’ll be sharing it here! I’m aiming for daily posts, but given my commitment issues and the possibility of shoddy internet, we’ll see. Keep in mind it’s taken me months to get my apartment looking less like it’s inhabited by fugitives, but I think watching spaces progress and evolve is really exciting. And we’re aiming to do a lot of work in a very short period of time. Chandler’s also rented the apartment sight-unseen, so we basically have no idea what we’ll be working with.

And it’s going to be great. Chandler and I mutually, and genuinely, love to clean, organize, make lists, craft and decorate. I love to buy furniture. We’re both a little obsessive and have a hard time cutting ourselves off from finishing projects, and we both set unrealistic goals and then talk ourselves into thinking they’re totally possible. When homemaking is your drug of choice… talk about a toxic relationship.

Another thing about Chandler that should make these next two weeks interesting? I swear, probably more than anybody I know, weird shit just tends to happen to her on an admirably regular basis. I’ll leave you with this dazzling and seductive photo that she completely randomly received on her cell phone last night from an unknown number, much to the surprise and glee of everybody around. A roaring fire. A man clad in loungewear. Mimosa (or screwdriver?) in hand. A big-ass TV. Chandler’s response: “what are you watching?”

Manhattan Nest: Portland Edition. It’s going to be great. Stay tuned for the updates.

And Happy New Year everybody!!! Sorry I never chimed in for the holidays or to bid farewell to 2010 (I feel like I’ve violated some unspoken blogging rule), but know that you were all on my mind and I wish you the very best in 2011.

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