Summer Vacation!

I am officially on vacation!  The next three weeks will hopefully be filled with days at the beach with a book and an iced coffee.  I have no interest in swimming in the lake seeing as how the water reclamation plant opened the flood gates and now I don’t care how diluted it gets, it will always be dirty in my mind.  I am perfectly content listening to the waves.  I have no need to swim in them.  Now the problem is what to read first …

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home

It seems that most memoirs these days are just written because the writers are being paid to tell their story.  (I enlarged the quotation marks to make a point.)  Don’t get me started on all the celebrities and the non-celebrities flooding the market.  It annoys me and makes me angry.  I am all for free speech but c’mon. 

So I have been on the hunt of the anti-popculture memoir.  It seems fitting that the alternative comes in an alternative form.  This graphic memoir is one that has been on my “must read” list but kept getting buried year after year.  I finally dug it out and read it during my breaks at work.

What I loved about Fun Home was that she wasn’t telling a story just for the sake of telling it but she took an introspective look at her family, more specifically her relationship with her father.  It’s shocking to think that we know so little about our parents.  And while this generation feels the need to tweet about every thing we eat, see, think, feel, our parents kept their lives private.  Guarded might even be a better word.  But it is what her father tries to hide from that seems to be the cause of so many of his problems.

Everyone is a product of their family’s dysfunction but it’s not something to be celebrated or exploited.  To profit from scandal is disgusting.  But Alison tells her story without malice and her intent is self-exploration.  It didn’t feel to me that she was dishonoring her father.  In fact, it felt like a tribute.

Portland

After spending four days in Portland, I only have pictures of the food I ate there because it was so good.  My husband and I went back to the food carts three times.  We love to get different things and then share so that we can try as many things as possible.  But this isn’t a food blog.

The other thing I did there was drink coffee.  I would have taken pictures of my coffee but it wasn’t nearly as interesting to look at as it was to taste.  I visited a different place every day and avoided Starbucks: Stumptown, Public Domain, The Ugly Mug, Bean and Tree.  As I’m sitting here, sipping on a cup of Stumptown’s house blend, I am kicking myself for only bringing back one bag of beans.

And of course there are the books.  There are Powell’s bookstores everywhere but there is only one Powell’s City of Books.  I thought The Strand was huge but this place is ginormous!  I went back there three times and still didn’t get through the whole place.  Partly because I had to stop and look at every sale table, every recommendation shelf, and look up every book with an interesting cover that I had never heard of.  Somehow I managed to restrain myself and I only bought five books, which turned out to be a good thing because we found out that my suitcase just made the 50lb limit.

I don’t think Portland is a city I would want to live in but I wouldn’t mind visiting it again.  The books, the coffee, the no sales tax, the food carts.  It was the perfect mini vacation I needed.

And now, back to your regular programming.