Monday, December 18, 2006

Live from Oregon Pt.2

While it's been some time since I've been to Oregon (almost 6 years, I think), it's amazes me both how little things have changed and how much I've been told that things have changed dramatically.

--Maybe it's that I have lived in fairly racially diverse areas since leaving Oregon, but I have to chuckle in bemusement how "I'd be surprised how many Hispanics and African-Americans have moved into the area. Then I went to the mall. I'm not sure, maybe Minnesota can take Oregon, but it's hard for me to imagine a more racially non-diverse area than this. I've become so used to seeing brown all over the place that I'm looking over my shoulder at all these white people lurking around looking at me cock-eyed. Lock your doors and put your wallet in your front pocket, cause these crackers are out to get ya.

--Unfortunately, I went Christmas shopping and, thus, that means I hit the mall. While there is little to me more enfuriating than a mall, I must say that I'm pleasantly surprised by the number of small shops that have survived in the mall through the years. Granted, it's chain-city, but there are enough home-spun shops that it was actually the least enfuriating time in a mall in recent years.

--I am most happy to say that, in contrast to Dallas, the wonderful natural beauty here is preserved even in the middle of towns, even if it's small sections of green area. The philosophy in Texas is, if there are trees, that is room for two or three more parking spaces, the concrete of which it's made being much more beautiful to Texans than stupid ol' trees and junk. It's not perfect here, and the logging industry and general urban growth have done a number on the area, but in comparison to other places, it's fairly surprising.