December 29, 2009

Last Year

Last year in February I went with my friend Jason down to Tahoe. I didn't really know him well but we both got the time off work and it seemed like a natural course of action and thrashing around in the snow is a good way to get to know someone. We had been planning on going to Canada but there wasn't any snow up there and then I heard Mammoth was getting bombarded and then Tahoe was too so we decided to head down there. And I jumped in his truck that morning and asked him if he thought people that believe in god are less intelligent than those that don't and we had this long discussion about all that as Portland rolled back and the land got flat and then began to wind down long hills like thick carpet folded over with oaks and it was snowing near the border of California and the road was closed for about an hour and we got out and walked down the road in the slush in the dark, the snow falling in big wet flakes lit up by car lights and idling semi-trucks and then it all started moving and we had to run back up the road, laughing in panic, soaked to the knee when we got to the truck and we proceeded to have these magical snow-filled days in Tahoe getting lost at the different resorts and having adventures and eating buffet and cackling and exploring and plotting. And now I feel like I have this terrible secret that I shouldn't mention to anyone but it is only fair to say that he just died, I found out last night, he is the first of my friends to die and I am not sure what I am meant to do in this situation, but I know that no one does. And I biked to work today and it was such a cold morning and I am alive and feel differently about that than I did yesterday.

December 28, 2009

Dedicated to Dead Batteries

I finally went snowboarding. Due to faulty knees and an ill-timed injury I haven't been able to go up, but yesterday I finally got it together and it was so much fun. As it always is. It was really a pretty half-hearted attempt, stood around the house brushing my teeth and drinking coffee and gossiping with Charissa while Huy put the racks on my car, hadn't waxed my board, almost forgot my pass, milled around the Fred Meyer in Sandy for awhile, finding this gem in the process:

But finally got up to Meadows and it turns out I can still turn both ways and do really dumb shifties if necessary. And when we were leaving (we left really early because my knee started to hurt and it wasn't exactly an epic day and when it comes down to it, we just aren't very serious) and we got in the car and by the way---I don't have a stereo in my car, only a gaping hole in the dash where the stereo should be, and I get around this issue by listening to my ipod through headphones or else, more often, just singing poorly and loudly to myself---but Huy gave me this wonderful tiny speaker set that can be plugged into an ipod so we had music all the way up to the mountain and we got in the car and I pulled out of the parking lot and 'Shoop' came on and we were both like, yes! and it played for twenty seconds and then my ipod died.

December 23, 2009

An Obscure Reference to 'The Castle'

This was happening at the foot of the stairs at the Basilisque du Sacre-Coeur at Montmartre. Sara and I were directed here by an old man in a little hat who approached us as soon as we popped out of the metro and gave us good-natured directions in french. We bought macaroons and walked up the hill and a loiterer told me that he loved me.

December 22, 2009

Center of the World

 Photo: James Mustico
I know malls suck. There was a time in my life when I really cherished the mall, and shopping and those candy bins and giggling but I feel like that love died when I was 16 and I came out of Nordstroms to find a firetruck parked next to my truck which was altered considerably from the pristine state that I left it in (charred, windows smashed, wet and totaled). But I have had some good times in malls since my early teenage years:
Last Christmas when there was all that snow and Jocelyn and Alexa and Ben and I ran through a large portion of the Lloyd Center to catch the matinee of Australia, dodging people laden with bags and children with balloons tied to their wrists. There's something about running inside in crowded places. And when I came back from Japan and Heidi took me to Clackamas Town Center and we ate a Cinnabon and watched overweight people and people with wide-legged jeans and green hair and facial piercings eat Cinnabons as well and I realized that I was really back in the states.
But last night was the absolute best. Liz and I drove out to Cinetopia in Vancouver to see Avatar. I don't really know anything about this movie (something about blue people, aliens and James Cameron) but it's supposed to be three-dimensional and I've never actually seen a movie like that before. So I was excited. And then we got there and it was sold out and the next show at 8:30 only had the front row seats so we drove back to Portland, straight to the Lloyd Center in hopes of catching it there. And Liz kept trying to make me use her crazy phone with the touch screen and internet and ridiculous buttons everywhere, which was pretty unsuccessful, though we did make up some really nice songs about James Cameron.
And we ran into the Lloyd Center Theater and Liz asked if they had tickets for Avatar and this kid said, "Yes we do." And we both said, "Yes!" and gave each other this epic high-five and it echoed through the lobby and then she followed up with, "In 3-D?" And the answer to that was no. Huge letdown.
We could have, at that point, been utterly defeated. She could have given me a ride home and then I would have gone into my kitchen and microwaved some frozen vegetables and ate them while reading a crappy magazine and then I would have gone to bed.
But that's not what you do when challenged with adversity. I told her, "We are going to go to the Lloyd Center and we are going to watch the ice skaters." She responded to this with less than enthusiasm. "It will be amazing," I said. "It will be wonderful." She conceded and then we ran across the street and entered the mall and it was, of course, terrifying, she mentioned something about the weight of all humanity and then we were there at the rink, leaning over the barrier, laughing hysterically at these kids, falling, zipping around, slamming into walls, brothers in matching snowflake sweaters, middle-aged man with his hands in his pocket doing hockey stops and power pivots, all the bowed ankles, the amazing grunt-groans expelled when they hit the ice, enthusiastic parental support, and eventually suspicion as they noticed the two girls standing at the railing breathless with laughter, at times almost too weak to stand and that's when we left. Also because this guy was starting to vibe us as he zipped by with spin moves and come-hither stares. Liz muttered, "We've been spotted", and we ran out. And somehow in all of this I lost my blue glove.

December 21, 2009

The Remains

Besides a disturbing amount of plastic 1/2 gallon bottles, champagne bottles, beer bottles, cans and keg cups sticky with residue, I discovered a tiny alligator hair clip, a multitude of business cards for someone who does various promotional activities, a biscuit, and Orbs! For those of you who don't know, Orbs are the latest in tobacco development. They are tiny little brown pellets made of finely milled tobacco, hidden in a discreet child-proof plastic container that took me over 30 minutes to open. You are meant to sit there and suck on this little tab and relieve your nicotine fix in a non-repellent manner. I tried it. I don't recommend that you do. It is possible that chewing a cigarette up and swallowing it might be better than the slow dissolving horror of Orbs. In addition my stomach was destroyed for a better portion of the next day and I can only attribute Orbs to this, as nothing else was out of the ordinary regarding my diet or habits.What is more terrifying is that someone at our party was toting around Orbs. The awesome thing is that I discovered the Orbs on the back of the vinyl porch love-seat, indicating that the owner of the Orbs forsook them for a much more appealing, socially acceptable cigarette.

December 18, 2009

Deck the Halls

Also, brief shoutout, my ex-friend Huy is having a show at Hasbeen Design today. Sixth and Couch, six to nine, skatedeck art, probably some cheap beer and then a caravan to the christmas party at 834. Here is the link.

Don't Break the Yolks or I'll Kill You

My friend Molly is staying with me for the weekend. She came up from Eugene where she is living with her boyfriend and cooking him food because she doesn't have a job. She's a teacher but the school she was working at recently closed. It's unfortunate but she will be okay. She is one of my favorite people and I wish I could post a photo to go with this story but I think they are all on my laptop. We went camping once near Buena Vista after playing disc golf at Leadville and shuffleboard at a bar in Buena Vista where a man lurched in on stilts and got a beer. We woke up in this little pine grove and made breakfast burritos in the sun and then drank tall cans of High Life and did a photo shoot. It was pretty grisly.

I got up this morning and took a shower and then I made her make me breakfast. She was sleeping on the couch but it's Dress-up Friday so I was wearing these boots with noisy heels and they woke her up and then I asked her if she would make me breakfast and she actually did. Eggs and toast (this is a big deal because Molly has never been enthusiastic about cooking. I remember snacking on raw mushrooms at her place in Colorado because that's all there was). And she told me that when she was growing up in Coquille this methhead broke into some lady's trailer and pointed a gun at her and ordered her to make him some eggs. He told her, "Don't break the yolks or I'll kill you." So now that's a running joke in her family. And I don't know if anyone's seen Once Were Warriors but that has a great line involving eggs and violence as well and that was a running joke when I lived in New Zealand with six other people at 729a Cumberland. And speaking of eggs, when I was decorating the christmas tree last week with my family, we were talking about how eggs are just little abortions and joked about how we should bring that up with the pro-lifers at the next family holiday event. I guess there is a lot of humor potential in eggs.

December 15, 2009


Just in case you were wondering, like I was last night while we were having a picnic on the floor of my friend Carin's new home:

White elephants were regarded as holy in ancient times in Thailand and other Asian countries. Keeping a white elephant was a very expensive undertaking, since the owner had to provide the elephant with special food and provide access for people who wanted to worship it. If a Thai King became dissatisfied with a subordinate, he would give him a white elephant. The gift would, in most cases, ruin the recipient (courtesy of Phrase Finder).

December 14, 2009


I know it's a little early for this but I was walking around last friday and I saw this pink flyer stapled to a telephone pole along with a bunch of other fliers, and I thought. Yes. That is an excellent option.

To preface, I am really bad at New Years Eve. It seems that every December 31st of my life has been a dubious fail, from puke to sad bedroom lock-ins, to all the jello shots, unfortunate makeout partners, lost jackets, fights between couples who I am third-wheeling with, and so on and so forth. I was just now trying to figure out what I did last year, couldn't even recall it was so lame, and then I remembered: 
patron + pink stiletto ankle boots  =  shit show to the nth power

And after going back to the bar the next day and collecting all of my belongings (phone, purse, coat and camera) and returning the corduroy? H&M blazer that I apparently stole from the bar, I sat with my friends and watched Mr. Magoo (the Leslie Nielsen feature film) and felt hungover and demoralized.

Anyway, what I saw on that pole was a flyer for the Murder City Devils at the Roseland on the 31st. I love them and I'm pretty sure they would be the best band to watch on New Years Eve ever. How could it fail? Watching Spencer Moody flail around the stage and growl is like watching all of my eves combined in one man, and I'm pretty sure that being in the presence of that will dilute any choices that I make to less than slightly regrettable or even pretty good.

December 9, 2009


Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are playing at the Doug Fir. This show is sold out. I bought tickets on friday at Music Millenium and the guy told me that there were only 11 left. I'm really looking forward to it, I might even do some crowd participation, clapping and the like, which is usually something I refuse to do (because I'm bad at it, yes, bad at clapping).

December 7, 2009

Coastal skating, cookies and cake

I just had one of those weekends. Gabe and Liz came over on Friday and we watched Aguirre the Wrath of God. It was so awesome. If you haven't seen it you should. Lots of long shots and building tension and incongruous action and some inexplicable slapstick near the end. I read about the filming process beforehand which made the whole thing even better.

Anyway, the next day Drew and Huy and I went out to the coast to do some skating. There were all these low clouds and fog in Portland, we couldn't see the top of the Fremont Bridge as we crossed it, and as soon as we got out of Portland the sun came out. Cannon Beach has a new park (I think they finished it last year) and it's small but fun, was completely empty when we got there, and I should have pictures but I always forget to take pictures because I'm skating instead. The only thing is that Cannon Beach requires helmets, so a lawman came by and kicked us out after a couple hours. We were walking down the street in search of food and came across this man in a top hat and a cape and he told us about free cookies and cider in the library so we went inside and it was true. And we sat in the children's section and ate little homemade cookies and cider served to us by women in bonnets, surrounded by books about the Bobbsey Twins and dinosaurs. It was amazing. And the woman serving tea told me this wonderful story about her daughter-in-law's christmas party but I have to tell it in person because I have to do the voice.

And then we walked down the beach for awhile and watched the birds and saw a man doing tai chi in front of Haystack Rock. And don't get me started on tai chi.

And then we went to Seaside to skate that park, which was also fun, but it was nearing the end of the day and I was tired and it was cold and there were some kids tearing it up, one who had a headband and an immaculate muscle car, he took a break to stand next to it and chug an energy drink, and then went and started whipping around the bowl again. And Huy filmed Drew in the bowl for one of his scumdays videos.

And then I went out with Heidi that evening and we went to Tony's game party and won a game of darts and tied in a fan dance competition (Tony has this enormous cloth fan and it was really fun to whip it open, it makes this great sound, and then wave it around in various ways). And then we went to a dance party and I was the only person wearing a dinosaur t-shirt. And we ended up eating at Holmans with all the drag queens.

And Sunday was my dad's birthday and Heidi and Charissa and I went out to my parent's place and my dad took us to Mike's tree farm (family friend) and got a tree for 834. We got a good one. Taller than us, but not too big and Heidi and Charissa cut it down like loggers and my dad stood there and heckled us. Which was okay because we had been heckling him earlier about being old. And according to him, figure skating is the last thing you will see before you die, and he would rather be punched to death than run over by a car.

And then we ate cake.

December 4, 2009


Look at THIS.

Did you know people do this? I had no idea.

December 3, 2009

One Mystery Solved

 I went to Content 09 awhile ago at the Ace Hotel, and among the standouts I listed, there was this room filled with structurally beautiful pieces falling off the bolt and threads draping through the room from spool to garment and I didn't manage to jot the name down but I've been snooping on the internet ever since and finally figured it out (not the coin though, I still haven't figured out the coin). Liza Rietz is a designer here in Portland, apparently she used to share a space with John Blasioli (the guy with the great jackets) but now she has her own shop at 2305 NW Savier, and it would be worth checking out. Here is what I would be wearing if I didn't have to pay rent and utility bills and doctor bills and eat food:

Maybe not in white though. Everyone knows I can't wear white. She does this romper in a soft gold too.

If it's asymmetrical, I'm in.

December 2, 2009

Writing Group

Last night we had writing group at my house. It's something that happens about once a month (give or take) and it's this democratic process which we start by throwing dates out on a group email and then someone will be gone or someone says yes that's perfect or someone is like, nonono, I don't have anything, writing is shit and I hate it, and then we push it back a week or two. But it's always on Tuesdays and it's always at my house. I think this is because it gives Colin a monthly opportunity to leave the west side. And some of the original members are missing and we have a couple new ones, though Kevinovitch is still not an official member because last night was meant to be his debut and he was on a call to Kyrgyzstan.

And it's great. If you write and want to improve, or for that matter, just don't want to keep a lot of secret notebooks in an ever-growing box in your room without ever having anything to show for it, then you should be in one. I was once terrified of sharing my stuff with these people and now I sit there and ask for more sandpaper and take it and make notes without wimpering and then ask if there's anything else horrible about my story that I should know. Reading outloud in front of actual strangers would be a completely different act of heroism but this is a start.

December 1, 2009


Some people were having a conversation about an idealistic acquaintance who hopes to make money on someone else's farm by beginning an agri-tourism buisness for hip meat-eaters who want to get back to nature and do it themsleves (he apparently forced these people with the farm to raise pigs last year and sold the shares to a few interested parties and now wants to make it big. He's really into farming but he lives in SE). One of the guys (the one from Jersey) said, "Well he should start a blog! And then write a book about it: His Year With The Pig. I was talking to someone the other day and they were like, 'Start a blog!' and I was like, 'Yeah, I'll start a blog. A blog about how much I fucking hate you."