November 25, 2009

Dance Party Disco

Okay, so after yesterday's post I checked out the world wide web. The bird on the coin is not a cassowary, but a lyre bird. So there you go. The cassowary is a large flightless bird (somewhat like an emu) that can maim domestic animals and small children, and apparently Australian men with doors if provoked. Here is a terrifying photo. This doesn't solve the mystery but does brings me one step closer.

Anyway, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, which means I am going to eat. My family is pretty big on Thanksgiving. One year we had dinner at my aunt's house and because we didn't have any leftovers to speak of, my mom roasted an entire turkey and we had Thanksgiving again, on friday. With stuffing and potatoes and the whole thing. It was ridiculous.
This year I have something up my sleeve to combat the effects of the two-day food coma. Simian Mobile Disco is playing at the Wonder on saturday night, which will give me an opportunity to dance like a dervish and sweat out some gravy. This is awesome. Their new album is great, with some solid collaboration with various musical forces, everything danceable. Here's their song with Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor.

November 24, 2009

Girl with a Coin

I found an Australian coin in my room last night. I was shaking things off my bed (my room is small and the closet is the size of a coffin and sometimes my bed turns into a table because my room is filled with things, clothes mostly, a few unhung drawings, a rolling clothing rack that holds coats and dresses, earrings hanging from a piece of gauze nailed to the wall, shoes, sweaters unraveling from the shelves and bracelets scattered on flat surfaces, lots of loose paper because I print out my stories and then I make notes on them and leave them in piles and books, books are stacked in the bookshelf because there is not enough room for all of them, though the floor is mostly clear except during the weekend when it gets hectic and I change in out and out of things three times and throw rain-soaked jeans on the floor, and t-shirts that I've spilled coffee on, and socks).

So this coin catches on the edge of my comforter, flips to the floor, glinting, and I could already tell that it was foreign, the metal's all wrong and it says 10 in a large script that isn't familiar and I thought it would be from Japan or China or maybe a euro from the most recent venture. I picked it up and Queen Elizabeth II was on one side and on the other were feathers, very pretty, very delicate, on closer inspection there were not just feathers, but a whole bird, with the bottom of the bird and the feet and the wing and the rest, the head, hidden behind all those feathers. I can't remember the name of the bird but I feel like it starts with a "c" (cassowary?) and it was minted in 1993.

Alexa moved to Australia a while ago and to date she has sent me two letters. One on the unicorn stationary I gave her, enclosing an article about Nick Cave, whom I love, and apparently she loves him too, though we did not share this love before she left, and then a letter with 40 American dollars enclosed to reimburse me the cost of shipping her a package and a CD with the Noisettes and Thao. Actually, I was listening to the CD when I found the coin.

And I don't remember an Australian coin being in either letter. And I've never been to Australia. I should have said this from the beginning. Because that makes this a mystery.

November 20, 2009

Welcome Home

In celebration of a certain friend of mine returning from a warm and semi-tropical place I am going to relay a story to you regarding an interesting situation that she found herself in. No names of course, and events may be slightly dramatized.

This friend of mine loves vampires in all their forms. It was she that forced Buffy on me until I actually liked it, and it was no surprise that she adored the first Twilight movie. She teamed up with another friend of mine to sing its praises, repeatedly, until at last I agreed to watch it. I hated it and thought it was dumb (But I was also exhausted and hungover and guilt-ridden due to inadvertently crashing a wedding the night before and probably slightly anemic from all the blood I lost through the gash in my lower back created when the best man tackled me onto a wine glass like an asshole). And though many of my friends have devoted time to these books with all their vampire allure, Mormon values, and easy to follow plot, I refuse to indulge in this cultural phenomenon.

So, my friend was sick the other week, a flu of some sort, and she was laid up in bed for about five days. Finally well enough to sit up and do some reading she decided to read the Twilight series. Because when you're sick you don't want to do much thinking. She blazed through a few of them and found herself at a crossroads. She could stay home in bed and watch movies she had already seen, or she could go out and buy the rest of them.

She went to Borders. A Borders out somewhere on the edge of town, Jantzen Beach or something, where no one would be able to identify her or remember her face. Apparently, (this is what she told me) she kind of smelled and I also imagine her looking very pale, with dark circles, almost like a vampire herself. She couldn't find the books, was circling aimlessly through self-help and diet books and then looked up, (probably picked up their scent) to see them glistening in a large and ostentatious display. Balloons, ribbons, lunchboxes, stacks of books on the table. She took off in a half skip, half run towards the display, full of sick joy , and then tripped over her feet and in a complete collapse of dignity, pulled the whole display down on top of her as she went. The whole thing. She recalls a lunchbox being the sharpest item. Needless to say, it was a shit show and a perfect example of intellectual karma and I would have payed no small amount of money to be there.

On a complete side note, my friend Aaron is going to be dj'ing tonight at the Mercy Studios Opening Party at 537 SE Ash. He is an excellent dj and I can only imagine that it will good. I've heard him explain that being a dj is about developing trust. No musical alienation here.

November 18, 2009

Walking Planks

So. I didn't buy the (Vivienne Westwood)boots but I did buy a pair of pirate boots the other day. Well. Swashbuckler boots. And here's the big thing. I bought them on ebay. I had never bought anything on ebay before yesterday. Which is probably a shocker for most of you, but I'm on a very slow curve with the whole computer thing (the most in-depth thing I've ever created on a computer was a Hypercard project about dolphins and porpoises. I feel like we even added some shitty animation in there. I remember using a scanner for the first time and being pretty liberal with the fade effects and the paint tool).
So, I've been wanted Frye boots for awhile because I'm not into shopping much at the moment and am trying to stick with those investment pieces that last for years and are timeless classics (and you're thinking really? pirate boots?) and used is great because of all the waste and consumer throwaway culture that goes on around here and it makes me feel a lot less guilty and Frye boots really do last forever. As my friend Charissa put it, it's a lifelong relationship. The bonus, she said, is that if we get in an argument I can put them put them in storage for a few years and then find them all over again and wonder how it ever went wrong.
But back to this ebay thing. It was kind of like my first and only judo competition when I was a white belt and the only girl in my weight class was an orange belt and we got out there and bowed and suddenly I was thrown and lying there on the mat with my arm behind my back and my chin in a ringworm soaked wrestling mat. The seller had a set price and the only option was to make an offer. I wasn't really sure what was happening but I dropped $50 off the price and clicked the yes I commit to this price and then it was sold. Just like that. No deliberation, no haggling. It took less than a minute and I was the owner of the pair of boots. Pirate boots.

November 16, 2009

New Home

I've moved. All my old stuff is at Just to update, the weekend was the gory Creature premiere Hesh Law (a reminder of how much I love skating), a white party (a reminder of the fact that when I wear white, people pour pomegranate juice all over me), fixing my car at my parent's place (a reminder that my dad is awesome and that I am inept), hiking at Eagle Creek (a reminder that I love hiking and should do it all the time), brunch buffet at Skamania Lodge (a reminder that buffet is awesome but deadly), and 2001: A Space Oddessey (a reminder that computers are indeed sinister, kind of pathetic and cannot be trusted).

Over or Under

I attended a pre-thanksgiving celebration the other day. I went over early because I wanted to bike and therefore had to take the ingredients in the uncooked form in order to transport them in a non-disastrous manner and I got there and was damp and standing in Nate’s kitchen with three girls that I didn’t know and they were being very nice and complimenting my dress, but they were also wearing jeans and I started to get the feeling that I had over-dressed for the occasion. Which is the worst. I really, really hate being over-dressed. It makes me feel awkward and self-conscious and I think part of it is due to the fact that I dislike looking like I’ve made an effort and part of it I can trace directly back to my first Halloween at pre-school in St. Helens (And I wasn’t actually overdressed, Nate was wearing a bunch of plaid and a cummerbund and other people came and they were all dressed up and no one threw gravy on me but it was the initial panic that recalled this childhood trauma). Here’s what happened:

I was a unicorn for Halloween. My mom is pretty skilled with a sewing machine and adapted my fuzzy pink pajamas (the ones with the feet) into a pink unicorn. She sewed a horn onto my pink stocking cap and attached a yarn tail to my butt and dropped me off at school where I proceeded to prance around and show off my costume. A classmate had built up a huge block castle which I trotted up to and leveled with my horn and to his protests replied, "I’m a unicorn!" and shook my horn around in demonstration. And then he punched me. And we all got in a line and had a costume parade all over the school and around the playground and ate some candy and then the teacher clapped her hands and announced, "Okay, everyone can change now." And I stood there, horrified, watching the entirety of my class skip over to their cubbies and pull out folded over paper bags with normal clothes and shoes in them. And I had nothing. I didn’t even have shoes. Recess proceeded, the teacher made me go out. I was kind of padding around, morose and ostracized, lack of shoes contributing to my helplessness. It was at that point that my usual friends turned on me, became feral dogs, and with cries of "Kill the unicorn!" chased me around the playground until they treed me on the jungle gym and threw chunks of barkdust at me until recess was over. And unfortunately, that’s what happens when you overdress.

Love, Kickstand

Let me tell you about Eva. The first time we met, I had just moved to Portland and she was visiting and we were milling around at Last Thursday drinking beers in the street. Her bangs were hanging in her eyes and she had this leather jacket on and I was a little bit scared of her. And then we started talking and she was totally charming and then she moved to Portland and now we are friends.

She is a walking surprise. We’ll be chatting over beers about something or other, girl talk and she will just throw down some words of wisdom that leave me feeling like I’m in the Brady Bunch and I’m like, "Gee Eva, I never thought of it that way," and I want to walk off shaking my pigtails. Not like Eva in any way resembles the dad in the Brady Bunch. She is adorable and is always wearing awesome clothing put together in creative and flattering ways, fringe and jackets and boots and feathers and just when you are thinking that she is so much more awesome than you are, she will give you a sincere and lovely compliment.

And the great thing, for the rest of us, is that she just opened up a booth at the House of Vintage. She has been collecting all this stuff that she thinks is really cool and that she would wear; but instead, she’s going to sell it to you and I. So that’s good news. And she is a skilled shopper. This girl has been thrifting with her grandmother since she was a child. And the name. The name of her shop is Love, Kickstand. I asked her what the meaning behind that was, thinking she’d come up with something typical regarding Portland bike culture or something. No. Here it is, directly cut from an email correspondence with Eva:
When I lived in Bend I started a band called Master Booty-we were a birthday rap band and I was the MC. I would make up raps about my friends and perform them at their birthday parties. We did a couple of shows at bars and at our first gig was a pajama birthday party at my friend’s house. We all made up our "stage names" and I coined myself Kickstand.

So it’s official. My new wish for when I’m a cancer patient is to have a birthday party with Master Booty and my own personalized birthday rap from MC Kickstand. (Old wish: Being thrown into a giant foam pit by a couple of the Portland Trail Blazers.)

So in explanation, Love, Kickstand is a little present from Eva to her discerning customer. It really couldn’t be more beautiful.

Space #1
House of Vintage.
3315 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland OR 97214

Apparently they are open from 11 to 7. Also, I believe Eva is opening up an online Etsy shop of the same name, for those of you outside the Portland area.

November 12, 2009

New Love

Don’t ever ask me for new music recommendations. I’m a remora that snacks on the leftovers of musical carnage that my much more informed friends leave behind. And then, once finding a band that I’m into, I’m really really into it. Annoyingly so. I will listen to the same album for months at a time before moving on. I can define periods of my life in this manner, albums substituted for atoms and action. I am also very much an album person. I don’t use the shuffle application and I don’t skip songs. So I’m pretty excited to have met someone new. Neko Case got me through the last winter and I spent time with various old flings over the summer but it’s time for something special. Just in time for winter.