Angela Moore, 34, at her home

You ever meet someone and right away decide you'd like to be their friend? That's what happened with Angela. She used to work at one of the local publications I occasionally shoot for and I'd see her every time I swung through. Always bright, always smiling, always friendly, and clearly a smart-ass. In short, my kind of person. She's a freelance writer now and a talented and lovely human. She's got a big heart and a smile that is determined to get one in return. I look forward to getting to know her more. 

Who are you?

I am Angela Moore. Probably the most accurate kind of blanket sweep of who I am is I'm kind of a dork. And I'm kind of a doofus - I've been called many times before. But I think in a (laughs) lovable, fantastic kind of way. God, I moved around 13 times before I was 18 to different states and different countries and, the rare occasion, different cities within that state. My dad is in the shipping business, so pretty much anywhere there was a port, we moved. That was actually kind of nice. People will ask, Well, don't you feel like you missed out? Or, That must have been really hard moving to different different areas, especially being young. Aside from not having anything to compare it to, I actually find myself very fortunate to have been able to do that. Not just because I got to go to schools in Hong Kong and Denmark and be able to travel to places I never even thought that I would travel growing up, but aside from that, I did not have to grow up with other people. So my personality is something that I've taken from each one of those moves. Whereas people have had to grow up as a unit - I think that's very difficult, especially when you're trying to find out who you are and things like that. I feel like those people's personalities would mimic their friends' more so than myself. The longest place I ever lived before moving to Bend was three years and that was in Hong Kong. Each time I was able to move I got to shed whatever I didn't like about myself at the time. So it kind of gave me a little bit more freedom to play around with, you know, who I could be or clothes or jokes or, like, hair. I had the great privilege of being able to start over, which was really nice. Especially, you know, you do have the pressure from your group of friends or the school or whatever to try to fit into this mold and I didn't have to do that, which I think was really nice. So, I don't know, who I am - still to be determined. Aside from the dork and doofus thing. That's pretty well-set in there and I don't think I can do anything about it. 

What brought you to Bend?

(Laughs) God, I did the call home. I had just moved to Hawaii from Eugene and was like, This is it. I'm gonna go pursue my writing career on a beach. This is gonna be great! I'm gonna watch the sunset all the time. Which is always so nice to think about, but then you actually try to do it, you know, and it just doesn't work out. So I had moved to Honolulu, Hawaii - right in Waikiki. I didn't know anybody. I was there by myself. And the minute the plane landed, you couldn't get me to stop crying. I just felt like I had just made a huge mistake. I got a job pretty much immediately doing food service - which is something that I've done sometimes in the forefront of my life, but for the most part it's been easy pick-up jobs and things like that. I had gotten a job right on the beach and it was this great restaurant and tourists everywhere and people just having a great time and I was just miserable. I would ask people, too, Why do you live in Hawaii? And the general consensus that I got was, Get out while you can. This place is gonna suck you in. (Laughs) Holy crap! And what they meant by that is that you will get in a financial tunnel, whirling down. Because rent there is higher than Bend. It's insane. It's one of those places where you can't buy property if you're not a native. It's not like I was looking to buy property anyway (laughs). But, you know, the rent was so high. Utilities were so high. Food was so high. And the water - you had to buy bottled water to cook with. You had to buy bottled water to drink. But yeah, I had gotten a job pretty immediately. It just wasn't the money I thought I was going to make because it's this great restaurant right on the beach and there's tourists everywhere. Culturally, Japanese and Australians - they're not a tipping culture, so what I was walking away with was mostly just that minimum wage at the time. And I was talking to my mom and I was really like, I chose I was gonna do this. I saved up my money. I said goodbye to all the people that I needed to say goodbye to. Tied up all the loose ends. I am gonna stick this out for at least a year. And then I can reevaluate if I still don't like it. (Laughs) Like a month and a half in, I'm talking to my mom and I just cannot stop crying throughout the whole conversation, but I'm trying to be super positive. It was just a mess. My mom and my dad were living in Vancouver, B.C., at the time and my dad was tinkering about retiring (which, fast forward, he never did). But they bought a retirement house in Sun River and they were like, Why don't you come back? We miss having you around. And I was like, Okay! I mean, literally that night I bought my plane ticket back with the last bit of money that I had. So, yeah, that is why I'm in Bend - I did the phone call home. Need help! Didn't plan my life well enough. (Laughs)

What does community mean to you?

Oh, man. I can visualize it. I have a harder time saying it. Community to me means just giving a shit about the person next to you. And it doesn't have to just be the person within your four walls, but the person across the street or the person down the road or the person on the other side of town. Having empathy and caring about other people's situation even if it doesn't reflect in the least your own. Being able to empathize for somebody, whether it's their business closing down or a bad break-up or whatever it is, having that baseline understanding that everybody is going through their own thing and applying that kind of empathy towards other people, just in your daily interactions, makes for community. I don't think it necessarily has to be a centered group of people within a geographical area. I think being in a community comes and starts with the individual. 

What do you appreciate most about this community?

You know, more and more I've been getting a bit disappointed in the community. Maybe it's only because of my recent interactions at my past work place. I felt like we were a community of people fighting against each other. Let me try to think of a really positive thing to say because there are positive things, I just feel like I've been jaded recently and it's kind of clouding my ability to care (laughs). What I really like about this community is something that I appreciate about other communities, specifically in the Pacific Northwest, is that people will smile at you. I know that kind of sounds stupid, or it's a really small thing, but I was on the East Coast not that long ago - and I am absolutely one to make random comments to a random person just walking down the street just for that little bit of brief interaction; that acknowledgement that I'm a person and you're a person, too, and we're in this together. We're on the same page. It may be a totally different book, but we're in it together. And I said something, just randomly to somebody, making a joke about something, and they just looked at me and just walked straight on. And I felt like that was completely unnecessary. But it was a huge reminder that, Wow, we're not in Oregon. We're not in Washington. We're on the East Coast. In Oregon, people, whether or not they're having a good day or whatever, are generally pretty nice just right off the bat. It may be fluff and all a veil, but people are sweet to each other. They're nice. So I think the thing that I would say I appreciate about the community that we live in here is that people aren't afraid to smile at you. 

It's crazy how uptight people can be when you step outside of Oregon or you step outside of Bend. People are more open to other people here. Which is really interesting, too, because Bend is predominantly white. (Laughs) My roommate - I was making the joke, makes up like 30% of the black population in Bend - but he had friends from California in town and they're Mexican and they made the comment that there's just white everywhere. It's a sea of white. Whatever, it's just the town that we live in. Oregon, but Bend in particular - we pride ourselves on being very heavy in culture and being really interested in other people's cultures, but it doesn't reflect on our population. We have Thai food here and Indian food and... I guess that's it. Thai and Indian (laughs) food. We have these plays and this community theatre and these small-town book shops and it is a very cultural-centric town, but without the actual culture being here. Who knows what it will be like in 50 years. Or even five. Shit, things are changing really fast!

Do you have thoughts regarding Bend's growth?

I do have thoughts on Bend's growth. Everybody at one point has certainly thought about it, whether it's a priority for them or, you know, some people are more invested in the growth, whether it's going to get smaller, larger, or stay the same, especially property owners. I am disappointed in a lot of people's greed all of a sudden. Everybody wants a piece of that real estate money. Renters have been living in areas that all of a sudden their rent just went up $500 overnight. I don't blame the smaller mom and pop real estate companies that have bought this house and they're just renting it out for whatever. You know, I don't totally blame or hold them super accountable as individuals, but when each of those people have that same mentality of Oh, I'm gonna raise the rent on this or Oh, I'm gonna charge this amount for this, then it becomes a massive problem. If everybody's doing it, then it's gonna be an issue. It's interesting, too, because we are a tourist town, but a lot of the jobs are hospitality. Hospitality (laughs) doesn't make all that much. I don't know if that's a huge newsflash, but the hospitality is a working class people. And if you're tying to hire all of these people to work in this restaurant or, sorry, work in this brewery is pretty much all their is, or hotels, you know, the living wage to be in Bend is becoming just more and more difficult to actually obtain. So, with that growth, I would hope that people get a little less greedy and realize that there are people that they're renting to or that them making a few hundred extra bucks a month means that's getting taken away from somebody else and that somebody else could be a family and kids and things like that. Trying to even fathom buying a house here is just like painful. With that growth of people coming in to buy property here, it's gonna shove the people like me out because I can't think long-term here. And anytime you're in an area where you can't think long-term, you don't become as invested in the community or the politics or anything like that. I think that is a big shame when that happens. 

I think the college coming in is a good thing - not just for the economy, but kind of as a reminder that not everybody in Bend is an old retired couple that has a lot of money. Having that amount of students on a budget is going to have to force prices to go down a little bit. With more and more people coming to Bend, oh okay, here we go - I'm about to go on a giant rant here (laughs). I have, like I said earlier, traveled around a lot, lived in all kinds of different places. The blinders that Bend, Oregon, has on anything that has to do with crime blows my mind. I will walk through a parking lot, you know, to get to whatever (I'm not just randomly walking though parking lots - or am I?) and there will be cars unlocked, purses right there, laptop right there. Bikes just scattered around with no locks on them. I'm like, Where do you people live where you think like this is fine? But, unfortunately, for the most part, it is. I think people are gonna get a very, very rude awakening the more and more people that come into this town. Because the more and more people coming into this town aren't necessarily gonna be the white collar folks or whatever. It's going to be people with a criminal mentality. I have seen recently our homeless population has grown quite a bit, or I don't know if it's grown so much as I've seen it more, and I'm not saying that all homeless people are criminals. I'm just saying more people with alternative lifestyles are gonna come in and their alternative lifestyles may not match up with our judicial system or the same kind of standards in life that other people have. With the population coming in, yeah, people are in for a rude awakening. The purse right in the front seat! I would just never do that, you know? 

What do you wish for the future?

I want something that's mine, whatever that looks like. And I'm just talking about where I'm gonna live. Since I have that travel bug in me that was like kind of crammed down my throat growing up, I do get a little antsy after two or three years. I've moved around in Bend like a hundred times, just because I feel like I need to make that move with my surroundings. But for the future what I really want is to be able to have something that's mine, either on a piece of property but ideally, I would love to have a traveling tiny home. Or my boyfriend, Seth, and I are talking about re-doing a school bus and being able to travel and not be tied down somewhere. And really see a lot of the world, not just outside of the States, but within the States as well, because there's just a lot to see. I don't have any kids and we're not gonna have kids, so having that kind of freedom where other people don't, I feel like it puts a little bit more pressure on us to take advantage of that. What, ultimately, I want is to live more self-sustainably. That has always been a real big priority for me. People have these lush, beautiful lawns, and I'm like, You know how much food you could grow on that? Along those same lines (laughs), I can't grow shit! We have like four beds out there in the garden in our backyard and I think one of them is accidentally growing something, but everything else is just this barren landscape. And I tried to. But with self-sustainability I'm going to have to educate myself a little bit more on that, which is fine. I do want to know where my food is coming from - I think ultimately is what is the big priority. I am a candy-aholic. I fucking love candy. And, unfortunately, candy comes in an insane amount of wrappers. The other day - I'd like to say it's the kitchen trash that I took out (laughs), but it's the trash can in the bedroom that I took out - that was just full of food wrappers. And that's all it was. It was just food wrappers. That 20 seconds of joy that I got on that sour piece of candy - which by the way, sour's the way to go, don't give me chocolate, give me sour fruit candy - that's just gonna be in a landfill forever. I felt just so insanely guilty about that. It is considered a treat for most people, not, you know, a food group. People aren't supposed to be eating it that much and I feel like my participating in the sour candy trash movement is a little too high for my taste right now. So, we're talking about buying in bulk and being able to do that. I just need to do it. Dammit. Knowing where my food comes from, cutting down on my footprint in the garbage world - is something that is a really big priority for me. I'm not gonna push it on other people to do. I don't suspect other people are gonna follow my lead or anything like that, but I feel like anything you can do to chip away at your environmental impact or just, you know, a more healthy lifestyle for yourself makes a big difference. I'm not out to change the world. I'm out to do better for myself and my clan, pretty much, and if the trickle down effect is beneficial for a community or a community greater than just in my own little world, it's a plus. I feel, unfortunately, really overwhelmed when I try to think of making a difference in the world. You know, there's so much shit going on. And it's sad. And a lot of the times, I feel like a turtle on its back. Whatever I'm doing, whatever movement I'm creating, I'm just... all I'm doing is like spinning in a circle, making myself dizzy. Along the same lines of what community is and how you can better impact a community, I think it needs to start with you and making changes for what you want. 

Do you have anything else you want to put on the record?

I just wish people were nicer to each other. Everybody can get a piece of the pie. That pie is fucking huge. You don't have to step on other people to succeed, you know? Yeah, you can share that. You don't have to put somebody down to bring yourself up. You don't have to step on anyone to get what you want. I think that is, unfortunately, an American culture thing. We're not real heavy on the family unit. (Laughs) Here we go. I also really think that the downfall of a lot of society is our lack of a strong family unit. It doesn't have to be mom and dad and 2.5 kids. It could be your mentor and your sister. But I think kids growing up not having a solid family unit - that becomes less of a priority for them to pass along later in life. It's a lot easier for dads to bail on their kids because the woman is the one physically having the kid and they're just kind of stuck with it. As well as there's a lot of pressure in society that like, you can be a deadbeat dad, but if you're a deadbeat mom, you are the lowest of the low. But that same expectation isn't put on fathers, which is astounding to me. I truly just don't understand that. I understand it on the level of misogyny and just, you know, all of that, but as a human being or a person, just bailing on this tiny person that really needs you... Each generation that that happens to, that family unit is just crumbling. Unless one of them does that whole opposite turn. Again, going back, the individual needs to be the one in any unit to stop that cycle and be able to move on. 

What my initial point was is that I wish women were nicer to each other. Oh, it's so upsetting how ingrained the competition thing is with women. You flip through magazines or TV or anything like that and it's always like How to win that man back or How to stand out amongst other women or just anything like that. It's like Ladies, we're fucking great! We are taught to be super catty to each other, which is just so unnecessary. You don't have to be mean to her. You don't have to talk shit behind people's backs. There's that saying, Guys will get into fist fights and girls will give each other eating disorders. And that, unfortunately, is totally true. We are pitted against each other. We pit ourselves against each other. We compare ourselves to each other. Seth and I were joking about something and he made the comment, Oh, babe, you are a supermodel, except you're really fucking short. And that just got me thinking about how ridiculous the beauty standards for women are. Men definitely get that as well. But my own experience as a woman, you know, I was able to shed different parts of my life that I didn't like and move on to the next place as a kid, but you can't shed that kind of popular culture. That is everywhere. You know, depending on what country you're in, it might change a little bit, but the standard is tall, beautiful, quiet, submissive, but also a freak. Aesthetically, I have bags under my eyes and I get the occasional pimple and stuff like that and I don't always look great. And I feel like I would be just personally more confident in myself if I didn't flip through every airbrushed frickin' photo in a magazine. What they do with celebrities and thinning them down all the time. She didn't need to be thinned down. The standard of beauty is a really unfortunate thing for women. Because each woman has their own feeling of inadequacy as far as aesthetics go - that puts more pressure for women to put down other women. Maybe I'm not feeling really great, well, Her hair is disgusting or Look at the fat roll. By pointing out the flaws in other women, a lot of the times women will feel better about themselves. You know what? What you can do instead is find something you like about that person or you know what, fuck it. It doesn't even have to be true. I try to compliment another woman at least once a day, if I ever leave my house (laughs). But I try to say one nice thing about one other woman and that's my little part in trying to make the world a better place. It's super unfortunate. I wish women were nice to each other. 

I also wish people would do more when they see something. If you see something, you say something - I think that's just something people kind of spout out and not really apply to themselves. I really do, I try to stand up for what I believe is right within my own little area. I think about this all the time and I should probably just let it go (laughs). My dad has box tickets to the Ducks games because he went to the U of O. And Seth and I were sitting there - and it's the box seats, so it's nice - and the guy in the aisle next to us is just eating peanuts and I look over and there's just a pile of peanut shells on the floor and he just left. He just left it for somebody else. And I just thought that that was such a terrible representation of the upper crust of society not giving a shit about anybody but themselves. And I wish I would have said something. I didn't because these aren't my seats, these are my dad's, I'm supposed to be representing something else. But, you know what, that doesn't matter. That was wrong. That dude's a douchebag. Somebody should have said something and fuck, I wish that was me. I wish I would have said something. But I also try to apply that now to like, No, just say it. Remember the box seats and the peanuts? It's gonna haunt you. Say something! I wish that more people would call out other people for their shitty behavior. There's a gazillion ways to say something. You do not have to take the hostile approach in saying something. There's just so many different ways to say something that you don't have to be a dick about it. You can still be assertive without being hostile or super confrontational. Well, I'm not saying something. I don't want to start a fight. You don't have to start a fight. You know what, you can start a conversation. I think a lot of people confuse those things. Really, all of you have to do is make the decision for yourself that you know what, I'm gonna try to stand up for what's right by creating a conversation and a dialogue instead of just yelling at somebody. That fucking peanut guy!