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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Matthew Harris' LiveJournal:

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Saturday, November 28th, 2015
6:33 pm
Waiting at PSU
I'm in Smith Hall at PSU. There is one other person here, working quietly on a laptop. There is a grainy sound coming from a movie a few rooms over, and a few people talking downstairs. It's hard to believe this is the same place that it could be in spring or summer or even earlier in autumn, dappled light from the elm trees, the excited chatter of freshmen, the sounds of game and music.

And hard to believe that I am the same person as when I lived here. I am waiting for a basketball game. When I went to PSU, I never availed myself of the opportunity. I was too serious then, and trying to rack up numbers towards liberation at Free Geek. Now I'm ready to drift and do silly things.

Game is going to start in half an hour.

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Thursday, November 26th, 2015
11:07 am
Sick on Thanksgiving
Yesterday I volunteered at the Food Bank for a five hour shift. I came home and felt really tired, a tiredness that I soon realized was not just fatigue, but actual illness. Despite my sickness (and maybe because of all the tea I was drinking) also had problems getting to sleep, and I was up until 4 AM or something. After six hours asleep, I wake up with a sore throat and a stuffy nose. Blecch.

Luckily I don't have much to do today. I going to try to fix a tofurkey, but the holiday isn't too important to me.

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015
4:59 pm
The thing I want to get with money: a job
For a long time, I got by day by day, always waiting for disaster, taking the cheapest and quickest alternative.

For example, when shopping for shoes, I went through a cycle of wet feet and cheap K-Mart shoes, trying to be unobtrustive as possible as I got the bottom pair of shoes and left.

So now I feel, for whatever reason, that I am allowed to ask questions. That I am allowed to say exactly what I want and ask until I get it. That these people are actually there for me, and not me for them. I hope this sense of entitlement doesn't grow too much, but in terms of me keeping my feet dry and warm, I don't think it is too much.

And all of this, I hope, is in service of me taking part in the world. I have enough money right now that if I wanted to fuck around more, I could. But with the exceptions of a few diversions I want to catch up on (watching some college basketball!), there isn't much I want to do "for fun". What I want to spend my money on is being the type of person who interacts with the world more. And we will see what comes of that. I hope my current course gets me into the world that I want to be in.
Sunday, November 15th, 2015
10:09 pm
As promised: nature pictures
Maybe not exactly a nature picture, but here is a picture of a barn and farmhouse with a suddenly light sky in the background: it was a stormy day, and this was a sudden appearance of the sun in a stormy sky.

It rained hard today, and the sun went down at 4:30. But I had to do something (I felt) so I bicycled 15 miles north to the old Heisson Bridge. A nice ride, but one with a constant edge of anxiety (as discussed), a subtle feeling that I had to get somewhere and back before the night came. Not as bad as it has been, but not a bicycle ride where I was just floating heedless of time schedules.

Friday, November 13th, 2015
2:15 am
I have become Portland through the magic of osmosis
Today I was riding back from downtown Portland on the yellow line when I heard two women next to me talking. I wasn't eavesdropping since they weren't trying to be discreet.

I only heard snatches of their conversation, but it was basically them railing at a co-worker. And I knew who they were talking about. Not that I had ever met him, but he was a friend of friend and suddenly the entire context of the situation sprang clear.

I feel so part of things when I'm in Portland. This is only ten miles away, such a brief distance compared to how far out of it I was in Montana, but still a world away.

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015
5:47 pm
Food bank day, and welcome new people!
I recently added/was added by some people from LJ addme community. So let's catch up on my day!

Today, like every Wednesday since July, I went to the food bank. Things have changed since July and August, when I would work there and hide in the walk-on refrigerator to hide from the blistering heat. It is cold, and also routine: I help unload and sort commodities into bags, and maybe think of one or two good ideas of where to put things. I like keeping active. I like helping people.

And then I come home and am tired and also thinking about the things I want to do and need to do and don't want to do and...so on.

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Sunday, November 8th, 2015
11:19 pm
Ice skating!
In relation to last, hidden entry,

I can go ice skating now but have no one to go with. Who wants to go skating???? :)

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
9:50 pm
I went to Kalama today
I went to Kalama today.
The reason for this (other than because I could) was that I have been through Kalama so many times in my life, on the way from Portland to Seattle. But would would it be like to actually see it?

Well, cold for one. I did like the beach though!

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Sunday, November 1st, 2015
3:33 pm
I keep putting off the winter

Every time I think that I have to give in to winter, that things have finally gotten so cold and dark that I have to put aside the summer's attitude of "just go there!", I wake up early and cheerful enough that I just jump on my bicycle and go there. This is the Lewis River as seen from the Heisson Bridge, which is about 15 miles from my home. A wild world, really only a few miles from the now-soulless suburban streets of the town I grew up in. Not quite enough time there to forget the wheels I am currently turning in.

Sometimes I look at a map, look at bus schedules, and think of how short it would be to go to some little town, and I can get lost in thinking of how close these little pocket worlds would be. I could lose myself, I think. But I never do: I always have this edge of anxiety that I need to be somewhere, that time is running out.
Thursday, October 29th, 2015
3:52 pm
You heard it here first...
I am always afraid of making announcements, but I am seriously looking at taking the CELTA. It takes time and money and effort, but I don't know what my other options are.

I will have more updates on this as I progress. Or not.

Pretty tired, and the days are getting darker, and there is a lot to do.
Monday, October 26th, 2015
1:16 am
I don't have to do everything but it feels like it
I've been here over three months now and I've done a lot. Some of that was fun and minor and other parts of it have been really important to what I should be doing in life.

And yet I feel like I am so far behind. Sometimes (like right now) I feel that there is a weight on my chest and it's hard to think about ever being free because I feel like there is 10 steps to take just to get to square one.

But I will still get up tomorrow and go to that effort.

There is much more to it then that butttttt I don't want to write it here right now.

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Monday, October 19th, 2015
3:32 pm
Moments between worry:
A few hours ago, I was worried because a place where I had sent a resume had not contacted me back.

Now they contacted me back and I am worried because I am trying to figure out when to schedule the interview.

There is always something new to worry about!
Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
6:08 pm
Moving, maybe, into the next plans
I posted a resume on Dave's ESL Cafe. I don't really know what goes in a resume there. Its more for me to stake out mental territory for myself. To remind myself that while things here are okay, I can move on to different places. And that I WANT to move on to different places.

As much fun as I have had, I am starting to feel just the slightest bit trapped. Money and the weather are conspiring to take away the breakneck fun of the summer, and at some point that disappointment will turn into a subtle depression. So I have to keep looking forward.

That is the report for now, and now my back hurts. Time to go home. Good pickings at the Food Bank this morning!
Monday, October 12th, 2015
3:02 pm
Hustling as hard as I hate
I bicycle down to Clark College on a sunny day, a cool and sunny day, and tutor for an hour, an hour in which I actually feel things getting done. I feel progress. My shirt is on neatly. I am a professional. Then I come to the library. I throw out seeds of information hoping one will sprout into a tree while I go and grind through my life. I wait. At some "point", some turning point, I have to make a decision, but for now I am just happy that I am making any progress. If I could eat a burrito without worry it would be the best of all good things.
Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
5:37 pm
Autumn, for real?
Today I woke up to rains, drank some tea, and went to the Food Bank in a mild daze. We were defrosting the walk-in refrigerator while at the same time doing our normal unloading. Despite being tired, I got to work. Two hours later, a feeling of accomplishment and a box of pastries.

That at least is routine, although I don't feel too routine. Every day from July to now has been a change. I'm on a circle, not a square, every day brings a little bit of change. I keep on thinking of "before" and "after". The first two weeks here, as always, seem oceanic, as my mind changed shapes to adjust to my new environment. But each time I think I have a nice line, something comes along. Lately, its been when I started volunteering at the college (serious work, summer is over) and my house-sitting stint (which was a big break in my routine).

I still don't feel like I've arrived. I keep on waiting for the worry to be over, to feel like I've "came home", that I am living my life and not a patchwork imitation. But I still make the best of the in-betweens.

And the rain keeps falling. Or maybe not, I haven't been outside for a few hours.

Oh, and I've been spending too much time on Facebook. I miss the crispness of online communication. For all the things I've been through, I feel alone because I haven't discussed them the way I like. Which is on here!
Thursday, October 1st, 2015
1:11 pm
Well, that made my day bad
I should have updated and talked about this earlier, but I have been house and dog sitting for a friend of mine in Vancouver for the past week. Well, since Friday night, today is Thursday afternoon. The person I am sitting for is coming back this evening.

I've kind of been cocooned here. Living with someone else, even my father, kind of puts some type of presence on me to get up and get moving and look presentable. Here its been sit on the couch, use the internet, sleep on the couch, repeat. Living that life. This is also the first time since July I've had regular internet, and instead of doing all the actual tasks I've wanted to do, I do what most people do: click around and watch stuff. Career and activity epiphany has not managed to happen. Luckily I have two hours to fix that.

Also, today's mass shooting in Roseburg have obviously put a damper on my day. I worked at SWOCC. That could have been me. Don't know what else to say about it now.
Sunday, September 20th, 2015
5:29 pm
Two thoughts:
Oh, I am more pressed for time than I thought I would be, so that means I will put two thoughts together

First, one thing that I am thinking of, and still thinking of, is that most of my life is spent, and is still spent, adjusting to others and their schedules, and their backgrounds. I have become adept at it, I think, although perhaps not as much as it might seem, because I am still having to adjust myself to another's culture. One of my biggest dreams, at the age of 36, is finally to be in a situation where it is more equal. Alas.

Second, and in more immediate news, summer is ending, I will be tutoring in the fall, so my adventures are going to be scaled back. I still have one big one planned for what is the "last day of summer". Reports to come soon! :)
Monday, September 14th, 2015
2:57 pm
The Summer of Matthew
There was a joke, on Seinfeld, where George talked about having "The Summer of George", a summer where he would just do everything he wanted to do, and where everything he wanted to happen would happen.

That has pretty much been this summer for me. I still have a few things that bother me, that worry me about the long term, but pretty much this summer I have been in the mindset that, if I had an idea of something to do, or an idea of something to see, I did it! I didn't wait for things to happen. If my first idea didn't work out, I did something else. The memories have piled up quickly this summer! With a few exceptions (I did have a few down days), I can point to pretty much every date on the calendar and remember what I did that day.

As the summer winds down, and things here aren't as immediately exciting as they were when I first arrived, I might change that. But that will also be good, in its own way. And I still have a few things I want to try...
Monday, September 7th, 2015
10:09 pm
My first con (kind of)
This weekend I went to Kumoricon. Kind of. I only had a vague idea it was going on until this weekend, so I didn't pay money. A big part of it happened in a public park, so I just went over there Saturday and Sunday and saw costumes and talked to people.

It's kind of a let down now that it is over. It was such a rush of excitement to be around so much creativity and energy. To have so many people to talk to! To be around people I could start interesting conversations with...

And now. It is all gone. At least for a while.

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Friday, September 4th, 2015
5:42 pm

The Sandy River at Troutdale.

I've been here more than six weeks now. In my first few weeks here, coming from Montana, the opportunity to go to a new town, or even a new intersection or park, was fascinating to me. I only had a few options in Montana and I had exhausted them.

Here, I had so many places to go. At first it was just a constant stream of travelling. It still is, but I do feel that I am slowing down. I also feel that I am not looking at places as deeply as I was.

...and that is the update for now.

More to come.
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