December 20, 2006

speeding ticket!

Bend, Oregon is a friendly place. Lots of people being courteous and smiley. I counted no fewer than three pretty girls smiling at me yesterday (not including shop clerks, which are obligated to do so). Of course, it might have had something to do with the new jacket that Maria bought me, which makes me look sort of like that gay cowboy (the blonde one) in Brokeback Mountain.

Anyway, the mountains are beautiful, but I don't really dig the high desert in the winter. It's got that dirty feel with sand all over the roads and crusty, white dust coated on all the cars, and people bundled up in hats and gloves and bulky jackets. Mud in the afternoon, crunchy ice in the evening. I can imagine it's gorgeous in the summer, and I can't wait to come back then.

But I like the area. It feels much more real and down to earth than Walnut Creek. Not so much new money, not so much financial pressure, not so much judgment in the way people look at you. At least, that's my first impression of Bend. Favorable.

Vacation's been enjoyable. We've spent a lot of time with the friends we've come to visit and will see them even more in the next few days. Today we go to the High Desert Museum. Yesterday we xmas shopped downtown. The condo we're renting is huge and quite nice out at Eagle Crest. Friday we'll day-trip to see relatives in Eugene. All quite a nice break from the "reality" of work.

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