While I was slaving away at work, Becca and Ducky arrived at the Greyhound station after a long ride north from San Jose, and Melissa pulled into town after a drive from Walla Walla in her minivan. After some text-message coordination, they offered to come pick me up after work. The last half hour was torture, and when 5:59 clicked over to 6:00 I whooped, "FREEDOM!" and all but burst from the building. Within seconds Jarvis was pulling up and I packed myself in with Dar, James, Becca, and Melissa until we resembled a sardine can with a good sound system. And things got a little silly.
The goofy party atmosphere stuck with us the rest of the evening. I hadn't seen Melissa since May, and I hadn't seen Becca since freaking... I dunno, winter sometime? Fall? A long time ago anyway... she's been marooned in Scotland. ...Not marooned in a bad way. Marooned in an awesome way. Like the Swiss Family Robinson. ...Anyway. So, five (later, six) girls, giddy with being reunited, hanging out together in a group, and having a gorgeous summer weekend to celebrate. Imagine the giggling, and the loudness, the yelling to be heard over each other, the dancing around, and general silliness.
From work we went straight to Uwajimaya (Mimi somehow managed to predict that, strangely). We whizzed about buying tasty Asian foods and being ridiculous, eying the Giant Dongle Clams and indulging in such activities as the Three-Way Skirt-Wearing Bro-Fist (as Becca says, "I think I've seen a porno with that title..."). Then we headed back and Dar did her badass grill thing, and everyone took turns playing badminton with James except me, I just sat around being a lazy ass and djing on my computer and drinking chilled white wine. So then we sat under the giant shady tree and had bao and gyoza and rice and grilled salmon and grilled eggplant and grilled asparagus and grilled Walla Walla sweet onions (OHMIGOD SO TASTY~!!) as the light faded from the sky.
Then we all piled into the car and went to see Harry Potter, blasting wizard rock all the way. The 9:50 show was sold out, so we chilled in Borders for an hour, and I spent some of my Christmas-giftcard-from-Don purchasing
After waking up at noon on a fabulous sunshiney day, I jumped into the car once more, this time with Dar, Becca, and Ducky. We drove down Scholl's Ferry, which passes through Beaverton before, more abruptly than you'd expect, bursting out of Portland suburbia into open farm country. We hit a U-Pick blueberry farm and got ourselves a big old bucket of blueberries. Driving a bit further we hit another farm and picked a more modest amount of raspberries. ...We'll have to go out there again, and soon. There is so much tasty available out there, pre-picked or U-pick... raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, marionberries, cherries, peaches, lavender, AND SO MUCH MORE. ...I love this region. <3 the Northwest. <3 <3 <3. We had to limit ourselves, however, as the afternoon was wasting away, and there was still THE DECEMBERISTS CONCERT to go to. :DDD
We hurried back and had just enough time to wash the dust from our feet, change, grab tickets, cash, and other necessaries, print out maps, and shove sausage-buns in our mouths before leaping into Melissa's minivan. Stopping only long enough to hit an ATM and a gas-station, Melissa, Becca, and I blasted the indie rock and zoomed off down the highway to the McMenamins' Edgefield venue in Troutdale. ...OMFG I have never seen so many cars lined up on the shoulder of a highway trying to get off at the exit. And to imagine, this happens, like, every day of every weekend in the summer... I feel so bad for the people that live in that neighborhood, oh wow. After a very slow crawl of several blocks, we parked and walked about ten miles to get to the back of the line, then walked ten miles again to get to the front, until finally we were in.
Btw, the McMenamins' Edgefield venue is FABULOUS~! Clean, and well-organized... you can tell they deal with crowds of hundreds upon hundreds of music fans on a regular basis. The tents with band t-shirts and beer and pizza and ice cream and donate-here-to-save-the-environment booths are set up under the trees right at the entrance. Near there is the endless row of clean but sweltering porta-pottees, the handwashing station, and the jugs of water refills. Down through the trees is the Lawn, sloping down to the EPIC GIGANTIC GORGEOUS STAGE. There were a gazillion people on the Lawn already, and yet, magically, so much room. ...Time Lord technology. Bigger on the inside. ...Anyway. Melissa and I got riiiiiight up in the front (like, third people-layer from the stage) and set up camp, while Becca got pizza and a t-shirt. We switched off, fetching water and t-shirts and marionberry ice cream floats.
Blind Pilot played first, and they were awesome. The female vocalist wins my heart forever, because she plays the 'ukulele (:D) and the banjo, and she looks exactly like Molly Price. Same rosy cheeks, same adorable mouse-brown hair, same cute smile... and of course, fabulous singing voice. Andrew Bird was also awesome... holy crap that guy is good at whistling. And the pizzicato. And the violin in general. And the lyrics. ...He's definitely a bit weird, though. In an awesome way. But I was sad he didn't play that adorable song from the Where The Wild Things Are trailer. ...Anyway, yeah, the opening bands were fun, although I didn't fall head-over-heels in love with them the way I did with Other Lives.
...AND THEN THE DECEMBERISTS. The Decemberists live, and most especially The Hazards of Love live, was just as much of a religious experience this time around as it was last time. The sound wasn't quite as awesomely-overpowering-wrapping-me-with-s
At the end of the concert we cleared out as fast as possible (holding hands to stay together, and Ministry-of-Silly-Walks walking to stretch out our aching joints), but we still had to sit in the car for about ten years while the traffic filed sloooowly out of the parking area. But we got to watch a couple of twenty-something men skipping merrily, and we listened to lots and lots of Decemberists tunes on my iPod, and tanked Gatorade and groaned about how sore we were. We finally got back to the apartment, tired and hungry, to find Dar, James, and Ducky having a drawing party, and a kitchen full of barbecued ribs, grilled corn, and blueberry pie. ...Have I mentioned recently how much I love my roommate/best friend/platonic life partner Daria? I LOVE HER SO MUCH. We sat around lazily and watched the first eps of Dexter and and Six Feet Under, and then I passed the fuck out.
I woke up at around 12:30 and joined the living-room crew in drowzily lazing about on the couch until Dar and James woke up. Then she sent us off to Uwajimaya again in a sushi-ingredient-buying mission. We sat around eating raspberry crumble and interneting and reading Umbrella Academy and watching Steven Colbert's epic feud with The Decemberists while Dar made approximately twelve metric shit-tons of sushi. Melissa was forced to take off to go back to Walla Walla (;_;), Dar and James took a nap, and Becca and Ducky and I cleaned the kitchen, had Jewel sing-alongs, and read Edward And Bella Can Suck It. When Dar and James re-emerged, we had a draw-stuff-and-watch-Disney-movies (Beauty and the Beast and Quasimodo :DD) party. And then, it was my bed time... so instead of going to sleep I hung with Becca and Ducky and read Ducky's Metanoia doujinshi.
Work was crap today, and I was tired, and the air conditioning was broken. But Dar, James, and Becca came to pick me up, which was nice, and Dar made taro bubble-teas for all, which was also nice, and we let the cute Oregon hippie dude talk us into paying a few dollars extra for wind power, which was environmentally conscious.
We've been sitting around all evening going ARGH HEAT while Becca read Edward And Bella Can Suck It and Dar painted her and Ducky's nails and I hid in my room and wrote this epic gigantic LJ post. As is my wont.
I love my life.