Saturday: Meet parents at PDX and pick up rental car. Awkwardly direct parents to Happy House and then to co-op for chili-, salad-, and cornbread-making supplies. Make cornbread (to strains of Paul stereotype441 playing Chopin) while parents more or less singlehandedly make rest of food. Should really invite parents over more. Good smells. Housemates hover. Paul apparently developing Pavlovic reaction to sound of blender grinding flax seeds for cornbread. Finally, everyone eats, then sits around after dinner congratulating selves on good cooking and telling geeky stories. Dad glad Lindsey's housemates actually adults these days. Zing!
Sunday: Drive out along Columbia Gorge on way up to Yakima Valley. Point out scenic vistas occurring approximately every four seconds. Dad asks about climate and agriculture; try to say intelligent things. Mom asks about job, school, music, theoretical boyfriend; try to say intelligent things. Stop at Multnomah Falls Lodge for quick bite of breakfast and accidentally find selves at Very Fancy Brunch. Oops. Should've just gone to coffee stand. Oh, well, now know where to take people for Very Fancy Brunch. Keep driving. Astonished by Yakima Valley crop diversity: apples, pears, wine grapes, table grapes, hops (whoa -- never seen before), corn, alfalfa, flax, mint, potatoes! Back in Iowa, only corn and soybeans. Visit Dad's old Peace Corps buddy and wife in Toppenish. Both still fluent in Spanish from Peace Corps days. Both nurse practitioners at clinic that serves farm workers. Phrase "salt of earth" comes to mind. Dominican rice and beans and plantains for dinner: yum. Hang around Toppenish; glimpse future of small-town Iowa in fifty years, once resettled by once-migrant workers: definitely better scenario than small-town Iowa at present. Drive around visiting wineries and farmers' markets. Purchase fantastic eight-pound zucchini for fifty cents, no joke. Read entire collection of Calvin & Hobbes before dropping off to sleep.
Monday: Up early for breakfast in Toppenish before hitting road. Alternate sleeping and fretting about not being at work. Back at Happy House, work while parents eat leftover chili and cornbread and return rental car to airport. Bike downtown to meet parents at Pioneer Square; walk over to Backspace. Megan does especially pretty latte foam on account of parental presence! Point out one Comics Fest poster to parents; for rest of visit, parents point out every other Comics Fest poster in Portland. Visit Chinese Garden; interesting tour, with emphasis more on "Chinese" than on "garden". Stop into Powell's; leave rather happier and rather poorer, as per usual. Walk up to Trendy-third and stroll all over; purchase cloth napkins to further goal of living like grown-up. Contemplate eating. Finally pick out restaurant, and five minutes after sitting down, see Eric and George! Good choice. After delicious Thai dinner, back to Pioneer Square to get bike. Have to ask couple of cops about where voice-amplificationny thing is (but cops very helpful). Train to bus to home. Day ends badly, though, because Dad leaves backpack on bus, containing car keys and headache meds! Several frantic phone calls, but gone.
Tuesday: Force self awake, take first real shower in days, call TriMet lost and found. No dice. Replacement car keys and headache meds procured, after much hassle. Escape from house with laptop to do actual work; send parents to Tin Shed for lunch. In afternoon, parents go to Powell's again! Try to work, but get sidetracked trying to find restaurant suitable for introducing parents to Indigo indy1725 and Willow during available 45 minutes between end of work and beginning of Code 'n Splode meeting at which apparently supposed to give some sort of coherent talk. Google comes through, though! Bike to restaurant. Order food. Bite nails. Everyone shows up; everyone gets along; and food meets with enthusiastic approval from everyone, including those too young to read menu. Yay! Dash off to CubeSpace and, in grand tradition of procrastination, make slides for presentation during other presenter's presentation. Instead of giving real talk, mostly just ramble about job for 30 minutes. Introduce parents to various geek friends. Take parents on bus to Chopsticks and find Indigo about to rock Billy Joel song. Mom gets up to sing Santana! Dad gets up to sing Johnny Cash! Lindsey gets compliment from stranger! Total thrill. Will be back.
Wednesday: Up crazy early, catching up on work. One last breakfast with parents; finally kill last of cornbread. Closing Remarks and Farewell. Call cab, pack, kiss, hug, send off.
Wonder why feel pressing need write like Rorschach.
Final score: up two bottles of 2005 Yakima Valley Syrah and down one copy of Ethical Slut picked up off bedside table, furtively flipped through, then borrowed to read on plane ride home. ParentsFest 2007! obviously big win!