...is "El Niño" here again?
Today Dad and I went to Portland, Oregon for a bit! We left at about 11, because I slept longer than I had actually wanted, and took longer getting cleaned up than I had expected.
Dad drove. I fell asleep. Then woke up and took pictures. Whoo!! *huggles his pencam!!!!1*
...and...I honestly don't have much to say about Portland. It was a great city! It had a small(-ish) town feel to it, as well as also telling that money was a big factor there. -_-
While up there, we stopped at a few cafes and shops. He got some glass things and a few trinkets, while I got a comfy white...shirt. While in Chinatown, we passed by a place called "Just Be Toys", which screamed attention from me, due to the mass Japanese toys they had inside. They even had Pocky! It seemed like a neat place, and even had a second level, where independent artists posted their works, whether a facsimile on the wall, on a t-shirt, a cap, or whatever else crossed their mind. If I ever return, I'd like to go there. No DVD's there I liked (my eyes!!!), and they didn't have any Radical Edward plushies there, either. I frown. :(
There were a lot of different art places in Portland, actually. We later meandered into someplace that displayed comicbook art on the wall, and sold a few independently produced productions (whoo redundancy). Dad asked me if I wanted one, but after browsing through the couple that were displayed, I told him there were only a few independent comics out there that I honestly liked (most of which're here on the web! Whoo hoo!). It was odd seeing different artistic/cafe places there in Portland, compared to what I've seen before. People...were putting up literal galleries inside of these places!
Dad and I stopped by Niketown later, as well as the Waterfront district, a Russian coffeeshop (Starbucks...everywhere...!!), and a couple other places. I took a lot of pictures, and I likely won't be putting them online, because I don't want my journal and webspace to become to cluttered with pictures. Just ask me if you want to see them, all right? :D
Afterwards, we left. Dad eventually stopped by a Red Lion Inn, where we went to the restaurant and my eyes bulged out when I saw the average meals costing upwards of $15! Geez! I...asked Dad if he was "sure".
"Sure about what?"
"...eating...here. Do you see how much it c--"
"Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah.... Mike. Don't worry about the price! If you want the 10-oz. prime rib, go ahead! And yes, I'm sure. 'Am I sure I wanna eat here'...."
Well that was the end of that. During our time there, a man in back of us discovered we were from Indiana, and later we discovered he was from Hammond (town near northwest Indiana), graduated around the time that Dad did, and also had a sister living in Portage (town where we live)!
Dinner was tasty. Not $20-tasty, by my standard, but still nice, nonetheless! I...wasn't dressed for a glitzy place like that, even though it was pretty empty at the time, but it still was a nice change. And Dad didn't even have to worry about making his glass of ice tea having to last the whole meal. XD
There was soething that I've been noticing ever since yesterday, though: Dad suddenly has money like water, and is encouraging me to spend it whenever and wherever possible. This...is a bit unsettling for me. I know I've written about this before in the past, but the past year I've lived on my own, barely scraping together what I could to pay the bills; living on ramen, Wendy's leftovers, and handouts, when possible; and coming down to watching down to every last dime and quarter I had available to me.
Now...suddenly, I'm living easily. That isn't a problem. What is bugging me is that I'm living extravagently easily. I could ask Dad for just about anything, and he would get it for me. He told me he wants to get me a new and better (that being some couple hundred dollars) digital camera for Christmas. He might be funding lazer-eye surgery for me once we get back. He doesn't even want me to pay him back for that horrible, horrible last semester of college I had--in fact, he's willing to pay for me to go back again as soon as the next semester starts.
This is just...just...too much for me. =\
I love my dad dearly, I do, but...I just feel uncomfortable all of a sudden running into this money like this. He's been receiving his "retirement checks" from Midwest Steel, ever since they were bought out, and apparently that's what has been funding his monetary extravagance.
But...the only thing was...that I was happy how I was. I honestly saw no need to replace my ratty-tatty shoelaces, get new clothes, get a new computer, or any of that. Then when I got them...I was ecstatic! The improvements to my shoes alone made me grin ear to ear (yay Dr. Scholl's cushioned inserts!). A new t-shirt or two made me bare teeth with my smile. A new computer (...though wasn't the best we could get, because of his stubbornness, nothing against him...) made me uber giddy, and even glomped him in the middle of the Gateway store.
...but now, I keep getting all this money, and I just...don't feel like I need it. Like I deserve it. "Why am I getting all this money spent on me?! I don't deserve this!" A great online friend named Malkav (POP POP TEA!!) simply said that it's probably just that he's happy I'm back, and he loves me in the first place. She's quite perceptive and probably right...but...g'ahh, I'd try my hand at a clever analogy, but those have been escaping me lately (...sorry, Sam).
Yesterday Dad surprised me at Boeing when he basically gently forced me to buy a jacket there. It was a tan Carhart-type jacket (I was just told what "Carhart" was then) with a Boeing tag on the inside, and I really like it! He then bought himself a black shiny leather bombers jacket, and then tried getting Uncle Phil one. He told me while there, "Money doesn't mean anything unless you finally spend it." That pretty much describes what it's been like with him these past couple weeks. After much going back and forth, Uncle Phil finally got the upper hand and got Dad to back down (he said he had too many jackets already, or otherwise he would have accepted).
And today, Dad was offering to get me something everywhere we went. I...know we're on vacation at the moment, but this just feels somewhat alien to me. So much money.... "Money"...something I'm very familiar with, but at the same time virtually complete stranger. I've reached a state of wanting to be completely and totally self-sustaining, but now Dad is funding, well, everything in my life, just about! While a lot of parents out there would expect big (...and I mean "huge") payback from their children...Dad doesn't expect anything. "Just do what you're supposed to, and you'll be all right" is what he says.
He expects me to get along with and take care of Mom. He expects me to help out around the house as directed. He expects me to do what I'm told. That's it. This...this...aye, this is normal stuff most people had to deal with growing up. Instead, it's the conditions upon which I'm to be living under Dad's roof. Does anybody else think this a little bit strange? I...I don't mean "strange" in a bad way, like Dad is doing something wrong or illegal, but...it just seems out of the ordinary, as far as life goes. Post with your comments, could you people please? =\
Anyways, onto another subject, I discovered last night that Mom's stroke a year ago occurred in her brainstem; it just showed up there on the MRI only very recently.
Also, I've found that Uncle Phil and Aunt Carrell are very touchy-feely people...and that's not a bad thing! I like healthy human contact! It's just not something I get very often...and now I'm getting a lot of it here.
Tyler has been doing okay. It's fun watching him laugh and giggle and play around with things. I helped Sarah scan some pictures that were professionally taken of him; he looks adorable. I might even upload some so you folks can see as well.
Mike, her husband (policeman), seems like an okay guy. I haven't got to talk to him much, but he freely allow me to use his and Sarah's computer for whatever I need. That's...quite another big change, actually. At the apartment, Fallon would be [darned] if she had me on her computer, and Ryan was very protective of anybody being on his computer except him. I issued an open invitation to them to use mine if they ever wanted to, but I don't think they ever did...except to see what was wrong when it didn't connect to the internet. Now...I'm told to go upstairs and hook up my computer and have a heyday up there, as long as nobody's sleeping in the room! It's...different...well, for me...but I like it. :) That's the sort of atmosphere I want to broadcast and be around all the time. And even in the future, if I ever set up my own place, if I ever actually...get a family? (I don't know if I ever will) then I want them to be brought up with these kinds of values, and live according to that style. People need to be more intimate, sharing, and close with each other, you know...?
On another note, I'm enjoying my vacation very, very much! I'm more relaxed and at a state of slightly elevated happiness while out here. What was wearing me down before, just...isn't now (at the moment, at least). I've been getting more sleep in than I normally do, due to the long car rides that we take to pretty much everywhere around here. I've gotten a lot of really great pictures which I'm going to take back to show to Mom, all stored onto a CD, compliments of Sarah and Mike. Dad has gotten a lot of gifts for a lot of people he knows. And the fun times, tours, exploring, and sights that we've been seeing will stay with us. When I get back, I should be fully charged, and rearing and ready to go. :)
Anyways, tomorrow Dad and I are departing for Vancouver, Canada, and I don't know if we'll make it back here during one day, so we might stay out there. I'll write if I get back, so I can let you folks know what happened, and any other ramblings from my mind that might come (...if...you like...that sort of thing).
Anyways, see you folks later, and God bless! :)