I was dreaming that I was sailing a small ship through a tremendous storm. The rain was heavy and dense, battering the ship and causing metallic thumps that scathed my ears. Then I awoke from my sleep and the sounds had not ceased. I cleared my eyes and sat up in my seat and saw a heavy downpour battering my car, where I was sleeping.
The rain had always made me feel blue. It’s common among people deprived of sunshine to feel blue and even develop a condition known as SAD, or seasonal affective disorder. It comes to no surprise to any of us that it rains for most of the year in Portland. Still, why do so many people feel blue because of the rain?
Indigenous people tend to see the rain as sacred and as a sign of life. For some reason, it seems that modern society and individuals do not see it in the same light. Perhaps our need for comfort through materialistic and superficial things have deprived us of the opportunity to reflect on ourselves in solitude.
It’s the end of the week, right after my last class of the day, and all I want to do is eat some grub and grab a pint before I pass out. So I order a 6-inch sub and a beer at Eastside Deli.
Two guys sit down at the table next to me. One is fully clad in denim, with greasy spiked hair. This crazy hair guy is jabbering the other guy’s ear off. His story starts with the line “so I was at a bar last night,” and ends with this mysterious man of denim taking two girls home for the night. “But I didn’t sleep with them,” he tells his friend. He goes on to explain that these two girls, though “super hot,” were way too “hipster” for his taste. “I just hate these Portland hipsters, trying to be so freakin’ different all the time,” he tells his friend. “Me, I’m not like that. I’m all about punching hipsterness in the face!”
Here’s this guy, with so much gel in his hair that his head is shining, wearing a denim onesie like it’s no big deal, claiming that he’s not at all like “these hipsters, trying to be so freakin’ different all the time.”
I could barely stop myself from laughing.
And the worst part is, I hear this sort of thing all the time—“I’m not like these Portland hipsters, I’m just different in my own way, but I’m not a hipster.” I’ll admit it, I’ve even heard myself say something like this. Now I’m starting to wonder: WHAT THE HECK IS A HIPSTER AFTER ALL? Are we all hipsters in our own way?
I don’t think I’m a hipster… but if hipster is the norm in Portland, am I being a hipster for not being a hipster?
Transitions. We all go through them, whether it’s moving to a new place, new school, or even a different job. My transition this new school year is finally moving out of the dorms and into a townhouse that is miles outside of downtown in Beaverton.
What’s the plus side of living off campus and in an actual townhouse? A kitchen! I have been able to cook something other than that $1 mac-n-cheese we college students have come to love. Having a freezer that works has been unbelievable; now I don’t have to worry about cleaning melted ice cream off the bottom of my fridge.
I had to spend $215 on a MAX pass, but it beats the $300+ for parking on campus. Also, being able to bypass Highway 26, where countless cars are just waiting for their turn to get in and out of downtown, is a benefit of taking light rail. And my rent is about $3000 cheaper than in the dorms for one year.
Living in the on-campus dorms had many advantages, too. Being able to roll out of bed and go to class within ten minutes was the best by far. Now I have to wake up a whole two hours before my classes even start, so adapting to going to sleep and waking up on time has been difficult.
I’m sure I will love my new home as the year continues; after all, I am saving a lot of money.
“Hey,you’re pretty cute. Do you give out your phone number?” he asked.
“Oh, you’re a lesbian? That’s cool. I couldn’t even tell. You don’t look like a lesbian”. End of conversation.
There are so many things that I wanted to say in reply to this well-intentioned, though obviously misinformed person. My gut reaction was: “Your blatant ignorance is very annoying, please leave me alone,” but that felt rude. He clearly had no ill intentions, and this issue goes deeper than one dude hitting on me at a bus station, doesn’t it? Yes it does.
As a stereotypically feminine woman in a serious monogamous relationship with another stereotypically feminine woman, this was not the first time I’ve encountered an inappropriate reaction to my sexual orientation or my relationship. Here are the most common ones:
“Oooh, what a hot couple”. Flattering.
“Would you be interested in a three-way?” Not flattering.
“I’m cool with lesbian. Lesbians are hot. Gay dudes weird me out though”. Not OK.
What we don’t get often at all are outwardly negative responses to our relationship. Even in the more conservative places in the metro area. I have deduced that this is caused by two things:
1. We live in Portland, and seeing two girls holding hands and kissing isn’t that rare.
2. We are both stereotypically feminine.
What’s wrong with the fact that it’s easier for us than other women in relationships with women? We shouldn’t be accepted just because men can still imagine enjoying having sex with us!!
I don’t fault anyone for finding my girlfriend or myself attractive. What I do fault them for is finding my more masculine presenting friends who are women dating women “repulsive” or even just “off-putting” because they “look like lesbians”. People are people are people are people. The privilege I experience as a feminine woman dating a feminine woman does not make me think or feel anything other than that I fit in with the ideals of our patriarchal society better than someone else, and only because of my gender expression. Queer comes in all sorts of colors, all are valid, all are beautiful, and all should be viewed as equal.
The beginning of a new school year, for most of us, means a new place to call home for the next 9 months. And with a new home comes redecorating again and again until it finally turns out the way you want it to.
This is where I am at right now. I just moved into an apartment and want the bland off-white walls and generic furniture to feel a bit homier. Therefore, I have spent the last week unpacking, moving my furniture, hanging lights and posters and reorganizing everything. I think I have finally gotten my room the way I want it, but that could change as easily as people change the color of their hair.
From the very first game of the 2013 season, it was evident that Denver Broncos tight end and former Portland State football/basketball star Julius Thomas is a likely Super Bowl contestant. Thomas was a 4thround draft pick in 2011. Mostly known for his basketball skills, this 6–5-inch athletic beast threw down a slam dunk on the goal posts after scoring his first touchdown of the season, showing he can handle the ball equally well on the court and the field. Thomas also had nine catches, 122 yards, and two touchdowns in a 51-48 win against the Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday.
How could I forget to mention the man throwing him the ball is Payton Manning, arguably the greatest quarterback to play the game? When you hear football experts say Thomas is a key weapon on the undefeated Broncos’ offense, you know this former Vik is getting his shot at having a great NFL career. Next time you happen to see a Denver Broncos game or highlights look for number 80 to make an exciting play!
Watching Thomas play truly is an inspiration to me as a Portland State Student. He shows that talent and hard work can bring us success in our careers after college. Good luck to the Denver Broncos and the Portland State Vikings football teams as they finish off the second half of their seasons. GO VIKS!!!!
There is no one reading this that has not heard that our U.S. Government is, “SHUTDOWN”.
As of midnight on October 1, 2013, the U.S. Government went into shutdown mode because Congress could not agree on a budget for fiscal year 2014. It has occurred 17 times in the past, but this time it is different- and it will affect some students at PSU.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, ACA, which was put into law on March 23, 2010, PSU stepped up and revised its existing health insurance plan. The school is now offering a very comprehensive and affordable health care package benefiting many students. But some members of Congress do not like this law, ACA, and have made it a priority to have it repealed. They do not wish to approve a national budget unless the ACA is repealed. President Barrack Obama has refused to compromise with them and considers this action to repeal this important and existing law, “Unacceptable”. Thus, the government is in stalemate and our government in a shutdown mode.
Because of the current government shutdown many federal agencies have to furlough federal employees because they no longer have the money to pay them. Over 800,000 federal employees are being laid off now. Included in this are many employees of the Veterans Administration. This is the agency, which takes care of our veterans in terms of health care, educational assistance and disability payments. PSU students who are veterans and using educational assistance via the V.A. may have their benefits cut or even stopped until this shutdown is resolved.
This event is unique in our history. Congress has never before failed to pass a budget with the sole reason, “We don’t like this existing law. Repeal it- or we will not allow our government to function.”
In times past the government has shut down for a variety of reasons, a new bill before Congress, arguments over how the government spends its money (our money), etc. But it has never before gone into shutdown over an existing law.
Let us hope our Congress and our President can resolve their differences. Arrive at a compromise where our government does not have to, SHUTDOWN. And PSU students will continue to get excellent healthcare from the school and our veterans, who have given so much for this country, can once again receive the financial benefits due them.
Does anyone view the Millar library as their home? Or should I be asking: Does anyone not? As a place rich in knowledge, it is the Millar’s atmosphere that makes it inviting. You can read, learn and make new friends, and the staff is helpful and engaging. I am already calling it my second home and a place that is perfect to enhance my learning experience. Grab a hot cappuccino and be seated on the east side of the 2nd floor and the morning sun will provide you with the needed Vitamin D! And even if the sun is not willing to warm you up, the drizzling rain provides the perfect setting for refreshing your mind. In the evening, bunk up on the cozy 4th floor on the west side and study while watching a game on Stott Field. What more can you ask for? Hit the Millar to experience the energy.
Do you agree?
There were days when I could not think but only feel, there were nights when I could not sleep but only remember. I would walk among the multitudes of people in Portland lost in the past, lonely in the present, and fearing the future. Young or old, man or woman, love is universal.
I was torn down to my core, to the essence of my being. For the first time in my life I embraced it. Overwhelmed with guilt, confusion, and fear, my beliefs were thrown into questioning. An intense turmoil of reevaluation and awareness came about my inner self.
The desire to get distracted among the nightlife, faded away within me. Slowly but surely, I began to see. My curiosity led me towards a self-educational path in search of the meaning to my life, the truth, my identity, and the questioning of my beliefs.
My journey is not only to be a man of heart but also a man with a spine and soul. To earn what I need, to face what I deserve and have caused both in good and bad. As Dostoevsky once said “there is only one thing I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.”
School is almost here, but not quite yet.
So why am I suddenly so busy?!
I need to go get my books. I need to meet with my advisor and make sure I’m taking the right classes. I need to start working—my campus jobs are already almost in full swing. And I still need to dedicate some time to do nothing, or else I’ll be completely useless when I do anything else.
But at the same time, it feels kind of nice to be busy. I like having something to do again.
A month ago, I had sunken into my mom’s couch, crumbs of food littering my lap, petrified with boredom. I was writing about things that were probably just a waste of time, consuming myself into a vacuum, imploding with a case of home-for-the-summer-and-nothing-do-to. But now I’m back at PSU, writing about things that I care about, things that I’m being paid to write about.
It’s nice to know that my food coma, brought on by my mother’s delicious (and endless) home cooking, was only temporary. It’s good to be off that couch.
Besides, I’m sure my imprint on the cushion will still be there waiting for me whenever I’d like to return.
Being a part of the Orientation Team has been my absolute, without a doubt, favorite part of the summer. I’m glad I decided to get involved in my school, or else I would not have met all of these amazing people and I never would have gotten the same type of work experience anywhere else. Everyone always says “Get involved!”, but you never realize how much of a difference it makes until you do.