I graduated from the University of Illinois having majored in Political Science and English Lit, which sounded so much better in the fall of 2005 than in the spring of 2009.
So, yes, I am one of those Midwest transplants you've been hearing so much about. Apologies for the redundancy. Anyway, after college, I moseyed on back to my little hometown in Southern Illinois, leaving a trail of disregarded resumes in my wake, and managed to kick around there for a couple years. Eventually, I figured that the locale didn't much suit me and lit out for the promising cultural landscape of the Northwest with my meager savings.
I lived in hotels for a few weeks, eventually found a roommate on Craigslist, toiled away as holiday help at the lovely Lloyd Center (where you can watch girls figure skate to orchestral interpretations of classic rock standards while wondering if the slice of Villa Pizza in your hand is going to break rent) and, in January 2012, in the nick of time, got the first decent job of my life, working for a company that helps hospitals match patients to the caregivers best suited to their particular care needs.
I love Portland. The climate and culture are amazing. There is a steady stream of great shows, and an intimidatingly vibrant local music scene that I really haven't even scratched the surface of. There are great restaurants and great bars everywhere. There are movie theatres with engaged and knowledgeable people doing wonderful curatorial work. I've met people through work or through random interactions that have introduced me to some great stuff, but it would be nice to meet more people. It would be nice to meet you, and get to know the things you know.
First and foremost, I am obsessed with Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels.
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
About to dive into Zero K by Don DeLillo, a time-tested and mostly reliable favorite of mine; can't wait!
Assorted recent favorites:
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay, Redeployment by Phil Klay, The Novel: A Biography by Michael Schmidt (no, I didn't finish it, and neither have you, I bet... but it's really, really good)
Favorite recent films:
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Hateful Eight
Springsteen, White Lung, Kendrick Lamar, Sturgill Simpson, Courtney Barnett, Protomartyr, Parquet Courts, Prince, Bob Dylan
Mad Men (so sad it's all over!), Fargo, Game of Thrones, Daily Show, Silicon Valley, Late Night with John Oliver
lucky number 7: the enduring spirit of il maestro, Lucio Fulci (who is partially included in spaghetti westerns, so this isn't really cheating at all, you see)