Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Switching Over

Alright ya'll. So here's the deal. Some amazing things are going down in my life, and then some not so amazing things. I'm really proud of who I am becoming and I have found that there are certain people who are not being super supportive of who I am and the life I live. Some of those people read this blog. So, I'm abandoning this blog and going over to another one, because I believe in surrounding myself with positivity. If you are still interested in reading my aimless posts, e-mail at the below address and I will send you the link, that way I can control who will be able to read my blog. Hope to see you over there! Carly E-mail address: carleneostedgaard@hotmail.com Put in subject line: Your name- I think your blog is awesome! The subject line is there just to stroke my ego a bit;)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Just letting you know I'm not dead

This is a super quick post to let you know I'm still alive. My writing has been sucking lately. As I bicycle all over the city, I conjure all these eloquent zines, posts, letters to friends, etc. But when it comes to putting paper to pen (or in this case, fingers to keyboard), it just doesn't seem to be translating. I'm also on the 15 minute express computer because people mob the library computers on Sundays. The library is closed on Mondays (stupid fucking budget cuts! Really? The library and public transportation are eating all the shitty cuts?!) so I will try to post on Tuesday. See you then, I guess.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lots of Thinking Going On

Hello there! It's been a bit. Sorry. Things here have been wild. I mean, I had all of these activities going on, which kept me busy, but I've also been exposing myself to new ideas, new ways of thinking, and new kinds of people. It's amazing and overwhelming and exhausting. I moved here because I'd been marginally exposed to concepts such as anarchy, radical parenting, queer theory, and polyamory (all through zines) and I wanted to know more. I've made friends who are involved in all of these communities and they are open and honest with me and patient/indulgent with all of my curiosities. This is wonderful, but my mind is also on this constant reel, questioning what of these ideas is are ones I want to adopt. Sometimes I just want to turn the thinking off. I'll give you an example: Friday night I went out with the first friend I know to be polyamorous in my itty-bitty group of friends. I straight-up asked her if she would mind telling me about her choice to be poly and the obstacles and joys she's faced living that lifestyle. We talked about how living a polyamorous lifestyle forces you to constantly reflect on the assumptions that the dominant culture makes, our own insecurities and why we have them, and the ways in which we relate to each other. Then, we moved to another bar and my friend saw a woman with whom my friend's primary partner is engaging in a poly relationship (we'll call her Alice). My friend (we'll call her Katie) walked right up to Alice and gave her a giant hug and she introduced me and mentioned that I had been asking about poly and how crazy it was to run into Alice. Then, Katie and Alice engaged in what I would normally think of as an awkward conversation about a situation that arose between Katie, Alice, and Katie's partner (By the way, this pseudonym thing sucks. It's so hard to remember who's who!) because Katie's partner was not very mindful of the dynamics. Alice gave Katie mad props for not proceeding to punish Alice for the partner's mistakes. I just sat there not sure if I should be listening to the conversation or giving them their privacy while simultaneously wondering how on earth I would ever handle this situation if I were to engage in the polyamorous lifestyle. Two days later and I'm still thinking about it. I know earlier in this post I was complaining about the exhaustion of always questioning the choices I make in my life. But really, I think about what a curious person I am and how I am least happy when I'm not learning about all of the possibilities available to me in my life. So, I'll just handle the fatigue because to me it's worth it. It's worth it to know so many diverse, crazy, amazing, free-thinkers who are always challenging themselves to get to know themselves and the world around them more intimately.
This is the book that Katie gave me to read while I was hanging with her at her garage sale. It's about polyamory, of course. It's a really good read, I must say!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

How to Remedy the Homesick Blues

This is a quick check-in, guys. I no longer have free and easy access to a computer until I move the rest of my things out in late October/early November. But I'm feeling a little bit homesick and writing on this blog does help me with that at times. So, what's going on in my world, you say? 1. I moved into my new house yesterday. 2. I bought a bike. 3. I started training for one of my jobs and my first day of school is Wednesday. 4. Julie's coming out on Tuesday! This is all super exciting, but with that excitement comes some nerves. I'm learning the nuances and schedule of one of my roommate and I haven't and won't meet the other one until Monday (he's out of town). I'm nervous about whether or not I will do my job well (which seems to be par for the course in any job), but I also have a little anxiety just being in a school building again. In fact, I was so anxious at one point last week that I dreamt about East Middle School. This school does seem to have a much more community-oriented vibe than East and it's an elementary school so I anticipate I will get over my anxiety soon. In the meantime, what I'm experiencing is just the waiting that happens before everything settles in. Hence, the slight sting of homesickness. What I've decided to do today to combat this is to do the Portland thing. Or at least I think it's what Portlanders do. The Portlanders I know do it all the time. I'm headed to North Portland to either Fresh Pot or Albina Press, I'm going to order a coffee, and then I'm going to read and write-- for hours. I'm looking forward to it. I'll talk to you guys soon!
Albina Press in North Portland

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Continuing the Conversation

I've been feeling less creative lately, probably because I'm slightly anxious. It's a good anxious, but this is the week of changes and change is never easy for us humans! Here are just a few things going on in my world, though. 1) I am returning to the Scandinavian tradition of 4-6 hour "events" with friends. For those of you who know about my experience in Denmark, you probably know what I'm talking about. Lunch was an event that you had to block out half of your day for, if you invited friends. Talking, eating, drinking, and laughing were prioritized over everything else. I find myself returning to that lifestyle. I can spend three and half hours at coffee with Fiona and four hours for lunch with Matt. It's amazing! 2) (In a similar vein) I have begun to realize that I moved to Portland because Portland is the closest approximation to my life in Denmark only in the United States. 3) I'm (evidently) a boisterous conversationalist. I blame my family for this one. 4) I've had a couple of occasions where I've noticed that my friends use the phrase "Oh man!" and it always cracks my shit up. For example: "Oh man, if I had Gandolf on my team, the others wouldn't stand a chance!" and "Oh man, I totally didn't get that comics job in Hillsboro." I would say this is a Pacific Northwest thing, but both of these examples were said by people from the Midwest. Maybe that's the common thread. Doesn't matter. There's just something funny to hear someone say "Oh man! __________" Like, you know that they are so disappointed or passionate abut something, but they say "Oh man" and the phrase doesn't accurately encompass their disappointment or passion. And that somehow makes it funny... to me.
The ubiquitous image of Denmark

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I think It's Called Faith

I secured myself a house today. Yay! I have two male roommates, which I'm actually pretty thrilled about and it's near the Hollywood neighborhood, which is one of my favorite neighborhoods. So, things are finally coming together for me. That's not the real reason that I wrote this post, though. Each time a piece of my life falls into place here, I know that it's going to work out before it does. There is zero logic to it. I mean, it's not like I have evidence or a strong argument for why I'm going to get this job or that house-- I just know. I knew it when I got hired with Vermont Hills Family Life Center and with Athleta. Yesterday, after I left the house I will now be moving into, I was still holding out on a house in North Portland. That house was in a cool neighborhood, near some friends, but a little more than I wanted to pay and perhaps a bit far for my job. I really wanted it, though, because of it's proximity to all the cool people and stuff. I told my now roommate that I would get back to him by the end of the day, because I was still hoping to hear about the North Portland house. But weirdly, I woke up this morning and thought "That house on 77th? That's my house. I just know it." I waited until 3 in the afternoon just in case I heard back from the other house, but I just knew. I knew that my new home was in Northeast Portland. This keeps happening to me and I can't help but think that this is what fate and faith are. I've never been much of a believer in either. Maybe it's my age. Maybe it's all the books I've been reading lately. Maybe it's my quarter life crisis-thinking. But I am starting to believe that some things are, in fact, in the cards.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Revelations from when I went to Colorado

I've been wanting to talk about my trip back to Colorado and volunteering at the Portland Zine Symposium for a while, but then I starting fretting about my life situation and forgot. Well, here's a little bit about the observations I made while I was in Colorado. First, I want to say that my family is the shit! We haven't talked often since I moved to Oregon, but that apparently is not a problem. I thought it was. I thought they didn't like me or didn't really want to include me in their family unit. I have no rational reason for believing this except that sometimes I get insecure. I have this weird habit. I am not insecure with my friends (I mean, my really good friends like Julie). But my family is this force. I don't even know how to describe it. We are an amalgamation of really strong personalities (my dad and I being probably the weakest of those personalities, but not weak by anyone else's standards). It's easier for the less-strong personalities to feel less-than or left out (it's similar to the concept of "eat or be eaten"). Basically, most of my life I've been the least sure of who I am or what I want and that has made me pretty insecure when I see my mom,sister, and brother all pretty damn comfortable with themselves. So, I am always evaluating who I am in relation to my family. Portland has eased that some, but as my trip to Colorado neared, I found that feeling bubbling up again. Here's what I learned, though: I am the only person who is unsure of my position in my family. Upon my return, I easily fell back into a rhythm with my brother and sister with the bantering and obligatory sibling heckling (I will say they were gentler than they used to be when I lived near them). They didn't seem to be riddled at all with any uncertainty about whether or not I was still an important part of the family. I was, but those are my issues. I still feel that there are some unsaid tensions between my sister and I, but after going back to Colorado, I feel fairly confident that we will deal it those tensions when we're ready. In the meantime, I've realized that I shouldn't worry that we won't be ok. We'll be ok.