Back in the Summer of ’95

A couple weeks ago during one of our dinner conversations, the question of whether cats have bellybuttons came up. I started telling a story of the momma cat who had her litter of kittens in the closet of a housemate of mine, casually mentioning that happened to be the summer I lived with a rock band in Portland, OR.

Kitten bellybuttons were immediately forgotten. What rock band? Would they have heard of the band? Was the band famous? I couldn’t remember, no, and I doubted it but I liked their music – were my answers. I texted my friend who also lived in the rock band house (it wasn’t the entire band, mind you, just a couple of the members) and who happened to be the reason I was in Portland that summer. It was an impromptu summer adventure before I started college at ASU. We had very little money and so the more people in the house, the less our share of the rent.

She texted me back quickly – New Bad Things. Right, how could I forget?

I cranked up FreeWheel! on Spotify and danced like a fool while loading the dishwasher. Husband and the boys backed quietly out of the kitchen.

After the dishwasher was loaded, the text thread continued

She found it for me in a matter of minutes. Yellow Pages – a 1 hour 29 minute comedy that was released in 1999. Husband surprised me by buying a copy off eBay. I think he was excited to find out he was married to a movie star. Both my friend and I made the cut and are visible in the longer restaurant scene, but I am not recommending you watch it. It is rather horrible.

You would think that living with an indie rock band and spending a day on the set of a movie as an extra would have been highlights to my summer adventure all those years ago, but they were not. Not even close. What I do remember is this:

  • iced coffee at Powell’s. I could not afford fancy iced coffee so I ordered ice and coffee and put it together. I spent many a morning there.
  • visiting Hal at the Greyhound station almost everyday to check on my lost bag (I packed for an entire month of adventure in that bag that was stolen off the bus. It was never found, but the monies they compensated me with paid for my first semester of college books.
  • braving public transit by myself all around Portland (my friend worked a summer job, while I bummed around living on little, but living a lot.)
  • Kinko’s – for some reason we spent some memorable times there, copying resumes perhaps?
  • learning that the green leafy flecks in the cheap burritos sold from the hole in the wall restaurant walking distance from our house, was cilantro. I hate cilantro but did not know what it was that sometimes made me hate my burrito or taco until that moment. From that point on, I could order Mexican food free of fear that it would have that awful herb in it. Exhilarating!
  • antique shopping on the way to or from a natural nude hot springs and finding a great vintage, tattered, black cardboard suitcase with metal clasps and a leather handle. I used it for a suitcase then, but now it is where I put items that have significance to me.

And yes, kittens do have bellybuttons, but I forgot to tell Cody and Carter that after the slight derailing of our original conversation.

About Shoes

I am an elementary school teacher, a former microbiologist, a mom to a herd of two boys, and a grilled cheese sandwich and beer connoisseur.
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2 Responses to Back in the Summer of ’95

  1. Rivergirl says:

    I’d say living with a rock band and being in a movie definitely beat coffee and Kinkos!

    • Shoes says:

      I know, right?!? But for some reason those things were just on periphery of that summer when I look back. They do, however, make for great storytelling! 🙂

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