January 28, 2010

Blood Curse

Okay. So this is kind of crazy but here it is. Last summer I crashed a wedding with some friends at the request of the best man and it turned out to be a disaster. Total, horrific disaster which culminated in the best man tackling me onto a wine glass which punctured my lower back and created a gash that ended up bleeding profusely onto a white suede couch. It took a long time to heal. I still have a scar. The best man went back to Japan where he is teaching English to Japanese children. And I vowed that when he came back I would return the favor and stab him.

He still isn't back but we were talking about my vow last night, Liz was trying to tell me it was unacceptable (as if I didn't know that and would never actually stab someone on purpose unless maybe they were actually trying to kill me and even then I would have a really hard time with it) and we had been singing and playing music and then we decided to play darts. And I was really sucking at darts. Like my darts weren't even hitting the board. Like, one out of three was actually making contact with the board, and even then, not inside the circle. I was getting really flustered and I turned around to hand the darts back to Jesse and one of them, I don't know, slipped and flew out of my hand and kind of hit him. It was this extended awkward moment and I was apologizing and trying not to laugh and Liz and Michael were laughing (hysterically) and Jesse was a little bummed and was like, "Yeah, that kind of hurt," and then he looked down and exclaimed, "I'm bleeding!" He was. He was bleeding through his white athletic sock. And then I was even more apologetic and he went upstairs to clean it up and I was feeling pretty horrible, I mean, what are the chances of inadvertently stabbing someone in the foot with a dart? Then I took off these fingerless gloves I had been wearing and proceeded to play one of the best dart games of my life. Liz and I destroyed them.

So here's the thing. I'm pretty sure some sort of horrible blood curse was enacted with the spilling of my blood at that ill-fated wedding; it started with Brian's horrible blunder and then passed on to me, and now it's been passed on to Jesse and he's going to have to make someone else bleed in a really ridiculous way. It may go on forever. Watch out for that.

January 27, 2010

A Few Things

Okay, at request from Kyle Arthur I will divulge a great getting-to-know-you question. Side note: Why is it that some people are first and last name people? In my head I always refer to Kyle Arthur as Kyle Arthur, not Kyle. Ever. I have also known two Mike Days, one was a bartender in Dunedin and an English major dropout and one was stabbed outside of Cecilia's in Breckenridge. Anyway, here is the question: What song would you strip to? This is putting aside the fact that you have no desire to be a stripper and would, in fact, find it humiliating. What song? Kyle Arthur chose Spiders From Mars and Micheal chose Your God is Dead. This was all discussed at the Sandy Hut and followed us to the PRG and the East Burn (such a weird bar) where we were making new friends, kind of. Bring this up next time you are making new friends. See what happens.

Also. This is now mine.

I bought it from a Bulgarian out on 82nd. He carried it out to my car for me. He had a gold watch, is a bartender at the Sheraton and wants to move somewhere warm. It was raining on us as we walked to my car. I could relate.

January 25, 2010

Miracle at the Sandy Hut

Yes, miracles still happen. All the time. Even to me. And I have three witnesses: Michael Burnell, Kyle Arthur and the skinny ginger cook with the glasses.

Friday evening I went straight from work to my favorite bar in Portland, hands down. The Sandy Hut. They've taken down the steamed clams sign, but it's still a disgusting little purple bunker with a fabulous jukebox and a great shuffleboard table and that mural on the wall. Has anyone noticed that mural? The bathroom stalls were recently painted over but I have faith that the graffiti will reach its former amplitude. The regulars didn't bat an eye as I cursed at the television and convulsed in my chair while the Blazers lost and I even ate food there for the first time with no ill effect. The game finished and we were applying various layers and getting ready to leave when the cook came in from a smoke break and asked if we had a bike outside. I did. And here's what happened. I had left my bike, unlocked, just sitting there against the bike rack in front of the bar. Just forgot to lock it. Unbelievable. And it hadn't been touched. This was over the time span of three beers, a grilled cheese and tots, two triumphant games of shuffle board and the second non-triumphant half of the Blazers game. Photographic proof:

This totally makes up for the first time I lived in Portland and some methhead stole my seventies road bike in broad daylight while I slaved inside the Doug Fir making fifty horrible pounds of hamburger patties.

January 22, 2010

Projects Afoot

I've been pretty busy with random hobbies. Have gotten really enthusiastic about playing music, started accordion lessons this week and have been practicing every day, also been brushing up on my recorder skills. So far I've figured out the intro to Ironman, Holy Diver, Hot Cross Buns and am really close to the intro of Behind the Bushes (The Knife). We are getting a band together, (we being everyone I know) and I am imagining a big hot mess of random percussion, chimes, recorder, accordion,violin, banjo, and harmonizing vocals with lots of drunken shouting (aka layering). A family band. A commune band. Magic Outfit.

Also, last night I went over to Caitlin's (otherwise known as Riot Siren and the Quiet Collector) and she gave me some sewing tips. I got a new German sewing machine for Christmas and would like to start making more clothing. However, as I have previously mentioned, I do not include precision amongst my skills. Caitlin passed some tips along and made me iron and measure and pin and do things I would otherwise never do in the process of making a garment. She is producing a collection of skirts for her etsy shop and they are awesome and they have pockets. Highly recommended, get them now before they're gone.

January 20, 2010


So, there are some of you that may recall my first post ever so many months ago. It was about the neighbor and his lack of curtains and the fact that we were there first and shouldn't have to get curtains. We had settled into the unconscious routine of glancing at him through the window on our way through the kitchen and seeing him in the flickering blue of the television, or playing his guitar and singing, and slowly came to understand his schedule, (bed by eight, up at four or five to watch tv). It was very oddly intimate. But that era is over. Today, as I was preparing a quick egg breakfast I glanced up through the window to see the back of a mirror or a framed poster over the window, probably the mirror that was leaning against the wall in the living room since he moved in. We have triumphed.

January 18, 2010

James Cameron is Still Ruining My Life

After two thwarted attempts, I finally saw Avatar and it made me throw up.

Many aspects of the weekend were a resounding success so I feel comfortable accepting the non-success of that venture.

January 14, 2010

Rachel and Her Weekend of Wonders

Okay. So this is kind of a secret promotion because I want a good spot right up front and I'm hoping that nobody knows about it though I'm sure it's going to be packed. Holocene is playing Valerie and Her Week of Wonders tonight. It's this 1970 Czech coming-of-age surreal vampire movie that I've never seen and the best thing is that three Portland bands, Nurses, Gulls and The Slaves are each going to provide a portion of the live score. Czech vampires, blood and priests and all that post-modern shifting of signifiers and meaning with those seventies this-is-a-symbol shots, live score, I cannot wait.

Also, SMP happens in Boise this weekend. Synopsis: Annual dress-like-a-shitty-musician party that has grown from its conception in 2003 as a humble house party to a massive blowout. We are heading out en masse, eight of us, taking over an Friday afternoon flight on Southwest, snowboarding on Saturday at Bogus Basin, meeting Surly Shirley (Liz's grandmother and a model for what I will be when I am old), SMP'ing on Saturday night and flying back early Monday morning. Last year Liz and Jesse were Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. They won the costume contest which involved a trophy and a debilitating bar tab. I am proud to say that Liz was dressed from head to silver-tipped-cowboy-boot-toe in clothing that I casually pulled from my closet.

I am going as her.
And yes, my multi-faceted mother knitted a costume for me.

January 12, 2010

Canadians Wear Hoods Too

I made this hood for my friend Natalie over the holidays. She is Canadian. I also made one for myself but her modeling skills are superior to mine. Also, when I say I made this hood what I mean is that I was inspired by some photos of a NYC designer who does hoods and cloaks and then I picked out the Pendleton wool at Mills End (best fabric store ever, those old ladies are amazing)and then my mom sewed it. Because she is actually very talented and when I sew things I don't use patterns and they end up being janky and have things like unfinished edges and expander panels. I did some of the cutting and layout and artistic direction and . . . okay. When it comes down to it, my mom made this hood for my friend Natalie over the holidays.

January 11, 2010

Weekend: Check

Nothing better than a weekend well-done. Jocelyn is back from Ecuador and studying for the Oregon bar. She came to visit for the weekend and she and Rian and I went to I am Snowboarding at Nemo and then to the Holocene for a dance party featuring Reporter. Rad. There are apparently multiple bands named Reporter but this is the three-piece Portland band formerly known as Wet Confetti. I am officially a fan. Lots of synth and distorted guitar and Metropolis beats and at one point we found ourselves creating a complex dancing machine with robot arms and punch kicks. You would have had to be there. Late night follow-up pasta dinner and chorizo breakfast burritos in the morning and an extensive errand checklist. We witnessed a car accident and the man not at fault was missing a foot and disoriented by his airbag. We went to that shopping village off I-5 which was kind of horrifying. Biwa for dinner (how have I not been there? The only thing they are missing is miso ramen, but they have high-end shochu and karaage and hot towels and it is probably as izakaya as you will get in Oregon). This was followed up with Christina's birthday party with crazy socks and cake and dancing and cops and then breakfast at Liz and Jesse's in the morning. They should probably just open up a bootleg breakfast place. I would go every day.

January 7, 2010

James Cameron is Ruining My Life

So, at this point the score is:

James Cameron: 2

Liz and Rachel: 0

We tried, yet again, to go see Avatar. I went by the theater on the way home from work and bought tickets well in advance, then met Liz and we ran back to the theater and went in with our hope and our stupid 3-D glasses to find the only empty seats were in the absolute front row right up against the wall in the corner. It was total shit. I tried to be positive and Liz sat there squirming and muttering, no, no, and finally we cracked and ran out and got our money back.

So we were faced with a decision. I was throwing out things like miniature golf and OMSI and Liz suggested drinking a beverage or playing pool or boardgames and we agreed we couldn't watch the ice skaters again and she called our movie-expert friend Gabe who directed us to an 8:00 showing out on 82nd and Powell which just wasn't cutting it and in the end I suggested walking around which evolved to walking around Irving Park which evolved to playing basketball on the lit-up court at Irving Park.

But first. We went to my house and put on warmer clothes and then I showed Liz my accordion and played it for her and apparently I have now filled my quota for playing the accordion in front of Liz until I'm an expert. And then we put on Hot Chip and began to sing improv songs over the beats, with an emphasis on harmonizing dueling verses and chanting. Our subject matter varied from James Cameron to Jesse's beard to outer space to Sigourney Weaver to the impossibility of saying no to magic. It was practically spiritual. The mix tape will be dropping in 2011.

And then we went and played basketball (I found this basketball last summer when I was walking home from a party at Liz and Alexa's, it is white and not full size and I found it in the gutter and dribbled it like a soccer ball all the way home). And we played a modified version of Horse in which you get five chances to make a shot from a certain vantage point and if you miss you either have to remove a piece of clothing (not racy, considering it was cold and windy and we had gloves and hats and scarves and down jackets on) or else a body part (close an eye, one-armed shooting etc). And I'm not sure who lost. It might have been me. But it was for sure not James Cameron.

January 5, 2010

Music Mix 2010

On December 31st I made this fantastic on-the-go mix on my ipod which was marred only by the entirety of the Holy Diver album somehow ending up in the middle of it. Oh Dio. The idea is that it will be the soundtrack for the myriad successes of the upcoming year, which really, is off to a pretty good start (flowers, pirate ship alarm clocks, Big Trouble in Little China). I'm not big on resolutions, not sure that I've made one in the past few years. In high school I probably decided something like, lose fifteen pounds (and therefore die), but I can't recall writing any down. I have a friend who decided to be more animated this year. Another resolved to be more physically fit. Yet another told me: I am going to be nicer to my brother's girlfriends even if they are what some may consider idiotic tramps; this ties into trying to be nicer in general. I'm sticking with the resolution that I made upon return from Italy this past summer, and that was to be less vocally negative. This was mostly inspired by one of Yoko Ono's "paintings" that I saw at the Biennale, the gist of which was, try not saying anything bad about anyone for a day, and then for a week and then for a month and see what happens to your life.

January 4, 2010

Why I haven't Called

Horrible at dating. My track record is actually pretty hilarious when you really analyze it in retrospect which is not something I want to get into here. This all comes up due to an encounter with someone who I liked and I thought liked me and then there was the long slow suffering of the non-call which, really, takes a while to sink in because you keep thinking that they will call eventually with some fabulous and endearing excuse and things will just pick up from there. Here are some of the possible explanations Liz and I came up with the other night:

1. He is not alive anymore.
2. He suffered a horrible crushing injury to his larynx rendering any communication via telephone impossible, also, he broke his thumbs making a conciliatory text impossible.
3. Has amnesia, has no idea where, who or what he is and is living like a feral badger in a 24-hour Wal-Mart.
4. He was an avid non-movie watcher and I convinced him to watch a movie with me (this is true and not speculation). This resulted in a spiraling, crippling addiction to motion picture feature films which will take him years upon haggard years to recover from and I have ruined his life and at times, in strange moments of clarity, he curses my name (this is speculation).
5. He is dealing with the loss of a fish or a friend or something tragic of that nature.
6. He won the lottery and now is in Las Vegas covered with strippers and cocaine and Little People dressed like the members of Kiss.
7. His family has a blood feud against my family and when they realized what was going on he was forbidden to see me and is, at this very moment, lying in a tomb somewhere drugged to the point of near death waiting for me to come and stab myself in the heart over his not-really-dead body.
8. He was blinded in a senseless accident in his laboratory and is groping at the walls without reference and getting dangerously close to the proton radial particle accelerator device which happens to be turned on and a mouse happens to be sneaking through the lab and is attracted to the tiny chunks of cheese that are being radially accelerated (do you see where this is going? Mouse Man!)
9. He is actually a gypsy and when I go home tonight all of my belongings will be missing, as well as my car and my roommates and my house.
10. He’s actually a seal (selkie) and over the holidays he found his seal skin locked in a magical chest and he put it on and went straight out to Cannon Beach to reconvene with his brethren and seals don’t use cell phones so there you go.
11. He was actually a ghost who was granted one wish, kind of like Devon Sawa in Casper when he goes down the stairs all slow and romantic and starts slow-dancing with Christina Ricci.
12. We just found a trail of three fortunes scattered mysteriously on the office floor. I picked up one. It said: An admirer is too shy to greet you at the moment. I’m not even joking about this.
13. He was converted by a wandering Jehovah’s Witness and is now cutting off all ties with his former friends and acquaintances all of whom are mired in the depths of Satan’s sway.
14. He sensed that I am totally batshit crazy and would end up writing weird stories about him and posting them on the World Wide Web.
15. Witness Protection Program.
16. Jury duty. He is in the middle of a hot case (something very OJ Simpson-like) and he is not allowed to have any contact with civilians because they could taint his opinions or try to sway them and so he is sitting in a Motel 6 with the television shut off reading one of those Bourne Identity books (because that’s all they gave him which is really unfortunate because those books are among the worst ever written).
17. Oh man. He is probably a vampire.
18. Or he is in the sort of cult that would feature prominently in a Japanese movie in which the members have a secret pact to ruin people by breaking their hearts and crushing their spirits and this has all been a malicious game that will be revealed in a very climactic scene involving dripping candles and ravens and ritual sacrifice.
19. I just bought a new accordion (not speculation but fact). He is avoiding me because the torture of hearing someone who does not know how to play the accordion but attempts to anyway is far too painful to bear.
20. He has full-blown AIDS.