Friday, July 16, 2010
7.10.2010: Portland, Oregon: Kim Powers Geist (1993), Jay Powers (1987), Ashley Flanagan (2001)
We really had a blast in Portland staying with Kim and her husband Greg and their baby Clay and their dogs Jasmine and Betty. Betty was so nice that she slept with me on the blow-up mattress…first time I think I’ve ever shared a bed with a dog.
When we returned from the beach we arrived to a kitchen in full swing. Their friends, Kevin and Mira, had brought supplies for Dark and Stormys, and I think we all had a few, then feasted on pulled-pork sandwiches, steamed kale, salad, corn, cherries, brownies, ice cream, hurricanes, and local brews. Jay showed up and began shower us with stories about work, ESA, New Orleans, snow balls, and his children—what Kim called “The Jay Show.” Love siblings. Here’s one:
Jay was living in San Francisco working on becoming a psychiatrist. He and a friend of his, who had cool dreadlocks, were driving around town and just pulled into a parking spot. A man driving his daughter pulls up next to him and starts shouting, “Hey! You took my parking spot!” So Jay thinks that he’ll use his training to reason with they guy: This parking spot doesn’t belong to anyone, you don’t want to do this with your daughter in the car, etc. Then the guy, who had been eating an ice-cream cone, launches it at Jay. With his super-fast reflexes, Jay swats back the cone which hits the guy’s car. The guy gets back in the car and drives away yelling. So Jay’s friend says “We should totally chase that guy.” “Yeah!” says Jay. So they leave the parking spot and take off after the guy and his daughter. At some point they realize the fallacy of this chase. Jay’s friend says “That guy totally assaulted you with that cone. We should file a police report.” The two of them head to the police station and report assault by ice cream cone and provide the license plate number. To this, the cop responds, “Yeah, we’ll totally look for that guy.”
Ashley Flanagan and her boyfriend, Zach, drove in from Eugene where she’s getting her MA in history (Greek and Roman) and teaching (hello Dr. White!) Western Civ to freshmen at the university. These kids, she told us, have no idea about anything about Western Civ. So this brought up the memory of Dr. White and his bricks, McIntyre and his ceiling, and dumb things students say in general. On a test Ashley gave, one student wrote, “without a telescope, humans would not know that the sun existed.” Hmm.
I think my favorite quote of the night came from Jay’s daughter, although she wasn’t there: “My butt is so cute it should be in the front. People would really enjoy seeing it.” She’s five.
Over the course of the two days that we stayed with Kim and Greg we found out that while she had been trouble in high school, these days her life is that of the professional working mother. She got her PhD in Pheonix, Arizona on something to do with spiders, which, she said, was really cool. She decided not to continue with life in academia, moved to Portland (one perk, her bro and his family would be around), and found a job doing environmental consulting and impact studies for an engineering firm. This job occasionally butts heads with her husband’s, who regulates water quality. And who rides not one, but three motorcycles.