Not having had access to a comfortable keyboard, I've neglected posts, as well as letters. Sorry about that. I type this on a good keyboard in the "internet cafe" in the lobby of the building into which I'm moving, while I await management to finish up the paperwork. Man, this is the most lux place I've ever moved into, and I include my place at The Belmont Dairy, where my apartment was bigger but the amenities were fewer. Here are internet Cafe, two swimming pools, lux work out facilities fitted out with all kinds of gym stuff, conceirge on site, and all for less money than I was paying in rent in Portland. I am one spoiled dude. Is anyone surprised?
"What happened to living in a garage apartment and living like Raskalnikov while pursuing the life of scholarship?" I got into my late forties, is what happened. Yah, I do feel some embarrassment and guilt over all this, but not enough to stop myself. Comfortable quarters is going to make being in Houston more fun, and the rigors of the grad program softer, hopefully, in a good way.
So far, I like Houston, or rather, I like the people. The place only sort of sucks, in that it's hot out and you absolutely need a car to get anywhere, including a grocery store, the nearest of which to me is about five miles away (no more popping down to Zupan's). I'm more comfortable with the superficial smiley friendliness down here than I am with the superficial smiley friendliness of Portland, I think. Why? Because here it's married to expansive gesture and natural gregariousness. Portlanders are not precisely taciturn, but they're guarded. They play status games in colder tones than they do down here. Yes, status games are being played here, but... here, I feel as if I'm being INVITED into the games--as something on-going an open to possibility--whereas in Portland, I feel like people are simply trying to win; to get it over with; to stop being bothered. I could say that status games down here feel like good improv whereas in the Northwest they feel like bad improv. It's the difference between saying "yes" and "no."
Anyways. That's just an impression, the soundness of which shall prove itself, in time. This is my honeymoon phase, of course. I'm sure I'll tune into the subtlties of "no" saying in time.
But for the moment, "Hell Yes, y'all!"