Tuesday, June 29, 2004

'Tis the season for weddings! I've traveled across the country to attend two in the past few weeks, and Jack is on her way to another this coming weekend. It's wonderful and joyous, but a bit tiring, I must say. I spent a brief weekend in Ohio, celebrating the marriage of a dear friend who became my pen pal 12 years ago and who I just met face to face at my own wedding six months ago; and then Odious and I took a week off to fly to Oregon for the wedding of another friend who worked with us for a short time last year. After a few days in Eugene for the wedding, where we had a lovely time and met some marvelous people, we headed up to Portland to scope things out and take a quick vacation. Besides eating at some fabulous restaurants (I'm not so upset about leaving Santa Fe now!), visiting the Western Culinary Institute (which I will attend starting in January), wandering through the beautiful Rose Garden (where I was thrilled to see the Rose Music fountain from Virginia Euwer Wolff's The Mozart Season!), and getting ourselves hopelessly lost amid the tangle of one-way streets and mysterious exits, we also spent some happy hours in the world's largest bookstore.

Powell's is also called the City of Books, and takes up an entire block in downtown Portland, as well as spilling over into a number of offspring stores across the city. It is a wonderful place. We spent most of our time in the science fiction/fantasy section, which is roughly a quarter the size of our local Borders store, with a brief foray into children's, and that took nearly three hours. Of course every shelf had to be combed carefully to avoid missing anything, since they stock used and new books together, and an out-of-print treasure was often hiding innocently amongst current bestsellers. We walked away with a huge stack of finds, among them a signed first edition James Branch Cabell, Tasha Tudor's A Doll's Christmas, a collection of folk tales by Richard Adams, and The Essential Bordertown. Getting them all home was interesting, especially since that was not the only bookstore we visited--at a hidden basement shop in Eugene that stocked mostly used philosophy and theology, we walked away with an armful of Chesterton, the Schaeffers, and Jacques Ellul.

So as you can see it was a highly successful trip, and I'm certainly looking forward to moving to Portland in the fall. In the meantime, however, I'm going to enjoy being home and back to a somewhat normal schedule.

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