Cats, Alberta, Pedalpalooza, and Mortified!


Another week and a half has gone by! It’s feeling very summery here in Portland  (high of 90F/32C today). I am loving the sunshine, and things are getting busy here in the summer! I’m even planning to take a mini-vacation to a small town southwest of here next weekend; I’ll report on that next time.

For now, I’ve been spending my time building my bones at the OsteoStrong gym; talking to people all over the world via Cambly; watching the Japanese Netflix show Terrace House; having magical meetings with friends near and far, in person and via video chats; and sitting with more cats!

I said goodbye to the fluffy and high-spirited Laszlo on the 31st, and made my way up to NE Alberta Street to care for a mellow and incredibly affectionate fellow named Zu. I hope you’ll excuse all the photos; when I get to stay with a snugglebug like that, I soak it in! (His shy-but-adorable white-mittened neighbor, Naya, would sometimes come over around feeding time, hoping to find a stray morsel. But then she would catch a glimpse of me, and scurry out again.)

During those five days, I got to go out for several strolls along the iconic Alberta Street.

And, my next–and current–sit is actually just about a mile and a half west on Alberta as well. This kitty, named Cat, is not snuggly, unfortunately. In fact, she reminds me a lot of Libby, in both appearance and demeanor. Cat is 16 years old, but spry enough to meow, hiss, swipe, and even attempt to hold me hostage in my own (guest) bedroom! Fortunately, as with Libby, the house is plenty large and comfortable for both of us, and her people have let me know that the best way to handle her surliness is to simply avoid her as much as possible, just quietly providing food when needed.

Fair enough.

Meanwhile, Pedalpalooza—Portland’s annual 3-month summer bike festival with dozens of themed rides—happened to hold its kickoff ride in Alberta Park this year, less than ten blocks from where I was staying. I took this as a sign that I should definitely attend this year. In years past, I have tended to participate only in the World Naked Bike Ride, while intending to partake of the other rides but never following through, and then feeling slightly disappointed in myself.

This clearly was to be the year to change all of that. I had been gone—on a bike adventure, no less!—during last year’s Pedalpalooza, but now I was back, and summer was here, and the kickoff ride was practically in my backyard.

At the appointed time, I pedaled over to the park, which was teeming with cyclists arriving from all directions.

I recognized a half-dozen people I knew, all in different areas. But I felt strangely shy, and didn’t engage with any of them.

After standing around for about five minutes, it slowly dawned on me: I don’t actually enjoy group bike rides! That was why I had never been motivated to do them in years past!

I had to chuckle at how long it had taken me to realize this fact so clearly… but there it was. And my path was clear: I needed to get out of there before the ride started!

So I did. I went back to the house and sat on the porch, enjoying the warm evening.

And everyone else had an awesome time on the ride. Win-win.

Then today, a cool opportunity fell into my lap: I’m going to perform at Mortified! again.

This is a hilarious (and sometimes heartwarming) live show that has been taking place around the country—and even overseas—for more than 15 years. It is a show where adults get up on stage and read from their teenaged journals. I first performed in 2009, and had a blast. I reprised the material several years later. And now I’m going to do it for a third time! (The theater is right on Alberta as well!) I’m assuming this will be a new audience, of folks who haven’t seen me before. But even if some of them have seen me, I hope they will still enjoy it. I have attended dozens of Mortified shows over the years as an audience member, and sometimes I would get excited to see a repeat performer on the docket, if I remembered having enjoyed their reading the first time.

So… that’s my life right now! It’s awesome!

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