Things I enjoyed this week (March 30)

• ~500 words • 2 minute read

I feel like I may be writing this a little prematurely as there's still a lot of Saturday left to go, but oh well! My weekly exercise in appreciation and summarizing:

1. I went to go see The Grand Budapest hotel and loved it. It was the most Wes Anderson-y Wes Anderson film since... Well, probably the last one.

2. New apartments, old streets and neighborhood. Early in the week I signed a year lease — longer than I really wanted but a lease shouldn't really stop me from leaving and exploring opportunities should they arise — for a studio on Belmont street, close to Mt. Tabor. Before I'd left for all of 2013 I'd spent the previous three or four years living in a studio further down Belmont.I truthfully hesitated whether or not to count this a thing I enjoyed this week. I know it was the right choice, that it was a necessary and important step in feeling back, or at least putting myself in a better place to figure out what to do next. Still, there is something slightly melancholic about literally going around the world and coming back to a tiny studio on the same street, mostly because I thought my life would be more different when I returned.

3. I heard an instrumental cover of I Want You Back and remembered this version by the Esso Trinidad Steel Band:

There's an amazing version of that mashed-up with just the vocals from the original tune too: Just when you thought that song couldn't sound much happier and more upbeat.

4. I went running with some friends around southeast Portland up into Mt. Tabor. I'd never done a whole lot of running with groups but it was enjoyable turning my solitary activity into a social thing. It was also a nice way to catch-up on the last year and share stories.

5. Attended a First Friday event in downtown Vancouver, Washington. It's a bit like Portland's First Thursday events that happen in the northwest neighborhood. My friend lives in Vancouver and together we work on bicycle-based projects together. We'll be working with the Vancouver Downtown Association to bring some pedal-powered publicity to this even in May.

I'd never really spent much — possibly any? — time in downtown Vancouver. It was kind of fun to walk around and look at the old buildings, restaurants and art galleries. Something about it makes it feel like a cute little beach town, like Astoria or something.

6. The new Bad Plus Rite of Spring album came out, which I wrote plenty about already. Still enjoying it.

7. Green tea and reminiscing about Japan.

8. I'll likely double-dip on this one, but tomorrow I'm running in the Bridge to Brews 10k as part of my resolution this year to run in one event every month. So I guess I'm counting looking forward to that event tomorrow as the thing that made me happy this week and (hopefully) I'll be counting the event itself as something that made me happy next week.

So long as I finish and (ideally) don't come in last. Modest goals.