Sunday, July 27, 2014

A breath of fresh air (sort of)

After about a dozen applications and various e-mail inquiries, I landed myself a job interview.  I thought I'd be nervous, but was actually quite calm about it - in fact, everything went about as smooth as could be.  And with my first interview I have a job at a large cardiovascular office in Portland and because they're electronic, I will be working at their corporate offices.  I do not start until Tuesday, August 4th but that's fine because it'll give me some time to go out and get things done.  Unfortunately I cannot use my scrubs as it is a "business casual" environment (hell, I don't even know what "business casual" is - but I'm sure after a few days, I'll get a good idea what it means to dress like a zombie).  This means another set of wardrobes.  I am fairly optimistic as they're paying me more than I expected, though I do say that with caution.

In the process I've been doing some more exploring in Portland and hanging out in the depths of what the locals do.  Yes, Portland is full of weirdos and it's part of the culture - it's awesome.  The not so awesome part is the lack of parking, especially when a lot of the venues are on major streets and parking can be several blocks away.  It's probably not uncommon to get parking violations (I already landed an $80 one and paid it off)... and the threat of having the car towed, which they have no problems doing.  I can see why Park N Ride and mass transit is a much more affordable option in many ways.

Portland is broken up into several districts which are distinct to each other.  The tourists have downtown proper - but to avoid the congestion of touristy locations, the outer districts tend to be better.  Each district has its' own section of main street that has everything a community wants - shopping and food.  One of the best districts in the city is the Hawthorn district, there is just all kinds of awesome in that area - and its' on the east side of the river.  There is still more urban exploration and as I've said to my friends, there are so many interesting/historical buildings that one can do a book simply on the architecture of the place.

There is still so much to see and for now, the job gives me more stability and the beginning of something bigger.  Hopefully the living conditions get better and building a living base from which to jump into adventure will get better as I find solid ground.

Monday, July 7, 2014

2w1d

So let's see here - it's been two weeks and one day since I have moved from Las Vegas, NV to Vancouver, WA.  Ideally Portland, OR would've been nicer, but I'm fortunate enough to have some really good friends out here and so I'm couch surfing until I land a job and get settled enough to venture on.  I have a few applications out there and waiting for responses and every other day I'm on the internet looking for job opportunities.

Portland is the shit.  It's just as awesome as it was 3 years ago and now that I'm exploring around and discovering the outdoors more, I'm falling in love even more.  I just need that stupid anchor of employment.  Ugh.  The only thing I have to get used to is the short on/off ramps/interchanges: it get's worse when you get into metropolitan Portland ("pdx" henceforth).  The freeway system can be a little confusing as well as the streets - and it doesn't matter what side of the rivers you're on.  I'm sure there will be a day when I can take my Garmin and bury it - but I suspect it might be a while.

In the short time that I've been here, I've been down the Columbia River Gorge (gotten lost on a trail to some hidden falls), been down and through St. Helens, across to Longview and back to Vancouver.  Explored a few places, broke my 300mm lens (which I'm seriously bummed out about), and having an interesting time.  I also plan on going on random roadtrips to grab as much of the outdoor and natural surroundings as I can.

It's also time to try and make some friends, check out the music scenes and get more accustomed to the area's nightlife and realize that it's not a 24 hour place - life out here is too nice for that.

Noteworthy facts: don't fill up gas in Oregon because the attendants have to pump it; not all gas stations are convenience stores, some are actually garages; don't buy smokes in Washington; and yes, there are mosquitoes.  Despite my protests, they still want to suck my blood.