March 31, 2010


It's all about choices. The other night, for instance. My friends Micheal and Jesse went to some dive on Powell to meet friends. They resuscitated a pit bull that was hanging out of a car (apparently it jumped through the open window and the leash was tied to something inside the car. It had given up and was actually just hanging there all limp. Mike gave it mouth-to-nose resuscitation while the owner was inside drinking pabst.) and then they proceeded to do some serious late-night wrestling in the gravel lot across from the bar. Wrestling. Complete with a referee and bloody elbows. I had considered joining in on this evening. Glad I didn't.

Instead I went out to my parents' house and stayed the night. I don't have a room there anymore but they make up the spare bed for me (it's a futon). I finished Watership Down (one of my absolute favorites. Yes, it's a book about rabbits), ate some cous-cous and then we watched a BBC Hercule Poirot mystery. If you don't know what I'm referring to, then you are way cooler than I am.

March 29, 2010

Savage Beast

You think you know a person . . . . and then you go snowboarding with him. Meadows got 16 inches on Friday and we got a carload together to head up early on Saturday. Kyle Carnes drove (it's pronounced Carns but in my head I pronounce it with a spanish accent) and Carin and Huy came along, and we got a pretty early start considering I overslept and Carin locked her keys (and her skis) in her car.

We get to Meadows and it is sunny and beautiful and and we start putting on our boots and all that business and I notice Kyle is just standing there, still wearing his jeans and his Topsiders with no socks and he doesn't look ready at all. "Kyle," I say, "What are you doing? You ready?" He proceeds to pull on some rain pants. Like, your average probably not even Gore-Tex black rain pants, the kind you might wear on a brief hike when it's not actually raining and maybe just a little misty. Over his jeans. I am blown away. And then it just gets more hesh. Does he have a jacket? No. A windbreaker? No. Kyle Carnage rocks the sweatshirt. He gets hot, he says. He wears a sweatshirt with leather work gloves and amber lens goggles from '92. His bindings appear to be prehistoric prototypes and he informs us that his board is some brand that we've never heard of that definitely is not producing boards anymore. It was amazing. The topper? One of his friends carved his stomp-pad into a somewhat inappropriate word. And the remnants are still there. It turns out Kyle Carnes is totally extreme. Watching him put on his gear in the HRM lot was one of my favorite moments of my favorite day of the 2009/2010 season. We even did a family photo.

March 26, 2010

For the Love of God

So, it's Dress-up Friday today which usually means it's a good day. I'm one of those superficial people that believe you feel good when you look good, and ending the work week in this manner usually leads to a positive start for the weekend. But I put on one dress and had to change because it made me look sallow and then I settled on one of my new naked lady dresses courtesy of Morgan, this black peasant dress with brown and white crochet detailing at the neck and the hem, and then had to empty my bag of tights onto my bed, finally settling on my sheer black pair because all the opaque tights were dirty. I had never worn these sheer tights before. But it looked okay. Ran outside. Got on my bike. Started pedaling. Went about a block before I noticed a tiny irregularity on my upper thigh. Tiny. No big deal. Kept pedaling. Two blocks. It's a run. A tiny run on my thigh. Kept pedaling. Before I had gotten to 15th it was a substantial run. And it just kept growing. Every time I looked down it had grown. Soon it was a hole. A hole the size of f-ing China. And then! And then it sent out runners, like a noxious weed or something, and I have these runners that are seeking to colonize my knee and I'm just like, really? Really? And this guy wearing shorts, socks, crocs and an orange safety vest cuts me off on his bike with panniers filled with like, a million pop can rings and empty shopping bags like he was planning on running out and killing some baby seals. And then I realized my tire was flat.

March 25, 2010

Naked Ladies

So, I'm sure this post is going to disappoint people. I know the strip basketball post did. Apparently there are a lot of people out there interested in strip basketball, especially if it involves a video. Creeps.

Anyway, Club 834 hosted one last night and I'm pretty sure it was a success. It was for me anyway. For those who don't know, a naked lady party is a clothing exchange amongst friends. You bring items that you don't wear anymore, throw them in a pile and people start digging through and trying stuff on and it's kind of a madhouse.

My top five finds last night:

1. Multi-stripe maxi dress-perfect for summer days

2. Turquoise brocade coat with giant buttons- I was just telling Heidi that all my jackets are man jackets and this is a coat for a lady.

3. Peacock feather earrings

4. Glitter grandma leopard sweater- I'm not sure why this is, but I am the undisputed queen of grandma sweaters. The more absurd the better. Blessing or curse?

5. Sailor stripe jumper- For my Lolita moments. I'm too old for it, but that doesn't mean I won't wear it.

March 24, 2010

Spirit Animal

I'm not sure why this is, but apparently people hate manatees. How could you hate manatees? Look at that thing. I've always loved manatees, the reasons are endless but stem from a wine-laden night and a comparison of our giant schnauzer Cyrus to a manatee. This came from our dear family friend Mike, who made this statement with all the flourish of important discovery. When I was teaching kids english in Japan and forcing them to tell me their favorite animal (Typical response: I like dog. I like cat), I would say "I like manatees." And they would make that noise and give me that look and then I would draw one on the white-erase board and there was that light-bulb moment, ohhhhhh, dugong. And I had this great manatee key chain for a really long time, it would come detached from the ring and then I would find the manatee in random places, car, home, ground, until finally one day I didn't.
This comes up due to the spirit animal discussion that has been prevalent at work lately; I'm designing a t-shirt for our upcoming team-building event. My immediate response of manatee received violent negative reaction from coworkers and friends: their slow-moving nature, their resemblance to cows (they are referred to as the gentle sea cow), world's dumbest animal with tiniest brain, and their inability to avoid being hit by boats.
They didn't evolve with speed boats. They can't help it. And I love them. However, I am open to suggestions regarding my spirit animal. Please know that this would be in appearance only, a one-time shirt thing, my alliance to the manatee has not faded.

March 23, 2010

Can I Get a Witness?

Newly added to the Sasquatch lineup: The Heavy. There was something on the Sasquatch website about Letterman loving them so much he asked for an encore. Which, frankly, didn't up their musical cred for me. But then I listened to them. Because that's what I do. I am an amateur musical researcher.
Apparently they are English but they are doing the whole weird southern gospel, neo-soul blues-rock thing way better than any weird southern rock bands that I know of (I don't actually know of any striving for that, but you know what I mean). I like to imagine that their show will involve a line of backup singers in sequined dresses with live snakes drooping over their shoulders and some classic backdoor evangelical moments. We will see.

March 22, 2010

Cake Cake Cake

I ate so much cake this weekend. I'm not going to go into detail because it would be disturbing. No one should eat that much cake. But anyway, here is some documentation of the promised and much-discussed icecream cake. It was glorious.

This is more of an icecream log than an icecream cake. It was chocolate cake and cookie dough icecream rolled up, kind of like a giant Ho-Ho. I loved those things but my parents never ever bought them for me. We ate stuff like Fruit Leather.

Personalized with the name of my alter-ego. More of a "g" than a "q" but you get the idea.

The aftermath.

March 19, 2010

Federale Tonight

I've stretched the whole birthday thing really far this year. A solid ten days after the fact I'm celebrating the day of my birth with Portland friends. We are going to have food and drinks at East End (one of my new favorite bars, it's dirty and there are giant Tecates and a mantle-piece moose made from popsicle sticks) and Huy is bringing an icecream cake (fulfilling a life-long dream) and then we are going to go see Federale at Dante's. I've never been to Dante's. I'm a little skeptical of Dante's. It may be the name, or the bands that usually play there (Storm Large and various small-time metal bands) or the crowd that spills out onto the street (liquid liner, vinyl, men with black beards and cigarette burns). But Federale!

They've got an Ennio Morricone, spaghetti western thing going on and pull various musicians from various Portland bands, at times numbering up to 14 deep. They do concept albums. I'm a total sucker for concept albums. It's probably my literature background or the fact that I'm a huge snob. Their latest album "Devil in a Boot" is the revenge story of Jack, who lost his home and family to a ruthless railroad baron when he was a child. Rian saw them on New Year's Eve and told me she thought I would like them, and that they do a bunch of whistling. And that's really all it took.

photo from Federale

March 17, 2010


I'm pretty indifferent to this holiday. I don't know. The pinching thing always bummed me out and I'm old enough to drink but I'm not catholic and I'm not Irish and not really into drinking like an Irish person just because they have this special day to celebrate St. Patrick. I looked it up. Apparently he explained the trinity using a clover and that is his greatest claim to fame.

But I caught a ride to Denver last Saturday with my friend Chris Banks and on our way down we found out that there was a St. Patrick's Day parade going on. So we bee-lined for that but totally missed it. All we saw was the aftermath. Confetti, vomit, puddles of beer and a bunch of day-drunk people wearing really stupid hats (ah, we didn't actually see vomit but it would have made the whole thing complete). It was kind of like an all-ages frat party dyed green.

The best thing about the whole venture was that we passed a small scene on our way back to the car. This woman had been arrested and was sitting on the curb defiantly and the police were milling around and we had to step down off the sidewalk to pass by. I made eye contact with her but kept my face pretty neutral, leaning towards sympathetic. She took one look at Chris Banks, who hadn't said a word, and growled, "Don't be a dick!"

March 16, 2010

Just Like Kristi Yamaguchi

Okay. So just to round out the CO saga. Lots of snowboarding. Obviously. My friend Elizabeth works for the local radio station KSMT and apparently she even has a radio show on saturday afernoons and mentioned yours truly by name. The gist of it was: Rachel is visiting and I spent my first year in Breck living with her in a one-bedroom apartment. And we're still friends. Yes it was a miracle.
But the radio station has something called The Medallion and they allow this to be used by their employees or their employee's friends (me). This is a large silver medal that you can wear around your neck and it provides access to all resorts in the area. So I got to run around all week with a medal around my neck (just like Kristi Yamaguchi who apparently has been spotted in Breck dancing in Salt Creek and other unsavory places) and snowboard everywhere including my favorite mountain Beaver Creek (awesome terrain, Elk Glades, escalators, hot cookies at closing time)Thanks Ebee.
But after all the no-show missing person debacles, I was not on the top of Elizabeth's Most Organized Person list. There was talk of my need to redeem myself. But she made me french toast and we picked up Billy Grow and went to Keystone and then (this is just ridiculous) we got on the lift, like first run of the day and it was gorgeous and so sunny and we were really excited and then I dropped one of my gloves off the chair. Like a total rookie. Not redeeming. Fortunately I dropped it in the first 100 yards and we could see it from the lift but then I had to duck a rope to go get it, and people were heckling me from the lift for trying to get some pathetic pow turns. But I got the glove back. And if I didn't exactly redeem myself, it at least brought me back to neutral.

March 15, 2010

I left my heart in Colorado and my phone and my gloves and my . . .

Back from Colorado and realized I don't have a single picture of snow-covered mountains and deep blue sky or snowboarding action or much of anything really. I have realized that despite my best efforts, I am actually not that successful at traveling, vacationing and maybe even Life.
I arrived on Friday afternoon, Sam and Boone picked me up, we wandered around one of those Denver suburbs until we found Steve Jones and then we proceeded to have a night of legendary Denver proportions. This involved Sam putting his car keys in my coat pocket for safe-keeping (note to everyone who knows me: never give me anything for safe-keeping). I checked my coat at a mysterious club called Lipgloss which is actually called La Rumba but for some reason is Lipgloss on Friday nights. And there the coat remained. We spent Saturday moping around waiting for the club to open so we could actually get inside Sam's car and drive up to Breckenridge. The club didn't open until nine so there was a considerable amount of moping. I didn't have my cellular phone and assumed it was in my jacket. Because life is easy with cellphones I didn't have Elizabeth's number or her address (I was planning on staying with her) and couldn't call her and explain that I was staying in Denver for the day. Lipgloss finally opened, now La Rumba, practically vacant, with about five awkward couples learning various latin dances in the center of room, and I got my jacket back. But my phone wasn't in it anymore. And that was that. I have never saved my numbers so many a contact was lost. The car keys were in the proper pocket and we drove up to Breck trailing clouds of glory. And Ben, who had seen us out at Lipgloss the night before doing various deplorable things and hadn't heard from me despite multiple attempts at contact, posted a comment on facebook to the gist of: If no one has seen Rachel or heard from her I am going to file a missing persons report.

March 4, 2010


I went to Beaker and Flask with my family last night for a birthday dinner. It was great. I wholeheartedly recommend this restaurant. The grilled pork cheeks with the pickled octopi and whatnot is indeed a wonderful dish. I feel like every review I've read raves about that, so I guess I'm jumping on that wagon. Don't order the cocktail with the grappa however. It is called The Old Main Drag and it was totally brutal. We all received our cocktails and did the hmmm, yeah, interesting, tasty, etc, and my dad took a sip of his and said, "I made the wrong choice." And he had. It had this medicinal oily aftertaste that was vaguely reminiscent of gasoline or something equally unpleasant. Everything else was great though.

And the crown jewel of the night: Alto recorder!

It was enough to staunch the hate. I am full of love and good will today.

March 2, 2010

Hot Hot Hate

Because it is my birthday soon (it's next week but I am going to Colorado to visit friends and when I go on vacation I make a point to avoid even touching computers) please spare me this indulgence. It's a brief list of things that I hate. You know, just for fun. With and without explanations. Please know that this is not an inclusive list. There is way more where this came from.

Frisbee-- But not frisbee golf. I like that for some reason.

People that bring dogs into cafes--And their little dogs too.

The term "foodie"-- I don't like how it sounds. It's reminiscent of footsie, an unpleasant word, and not far off from furry, also disturbing. And the sort of person that would self-identify as a foodie? Questionable. It's like identifying yourself as an amateur egyptologist or a pop culture expert. Pretty much everyone likes food.


Lack of cellphone etiquette-- Especially those guys that lurk in airports and you always end up standing behind them in the coffee line and then they're on your plane and sitting across the aisle from you and the moment the plane lands they start ranting about big business deals and the color of the new carpet and tell Maureen to throw that in an email and we'll need a CA and RFP. And they're always looking around to see who is noticing how important they are. And while I know that everyone answers their phone everywhere now and there is absolutely no escaping it, whenever you, my friends, are answering your phone and talking and it's just you and I hanging out one-on-one, yes. Yes I'm upset. I may not say anything. I probably won't. But I have a little mental chalkboard with tally marks on it.

Wearing something that has a large stain on it-- This could be solved if I washed every article of clothing that I own as soon as I have worn it once. But I don't do that. And there's nothing worse than looking down and realizing your sweater has a large dried patch of mustard on the left sleeve. And it's been there all day.

Losing one of something-- This isn't so bad with earrings. I've totally embraced the one earring and the mismatched earring combo. But you just can't do that with gloves.


My birthday is next week. I'm not saying I'm anxious about it. But I will admit that I've gotten old enough to be less than excited about my birthday. And I have a fear that I will end up being one of those grizzled women with bleach blond hair that work in the convenience store of a gas station and roll their eyes at customers when they have to stub their cigarette out and go inside to ring up a diet coke and a pack of gum. I told my friend Sam this once and he thought it was ridiculous.
Do you smoke?
And you don't have blond hair.
No, but I will. . . . I will if I work at a gas station.

Probably I will be nothing like this. It is far more likely that I will end up being dumpy and wear wrinkled linen and clogs and organic cotton socks. I'm not sure what's more depressing. And there's a new twist to my aging fears. I've always loved dogs and am looking forward to having one when I am very settled and not secretly planning on running away and having an adventure in the near future. But I did some house-sitting recently and this involved taking care of a cat named Tuntses. And I really liked it. It was nice to have his company. I sat around and played the accordion and he meowed at me and sat in my accordion case and slept on my bed and ran up to greet me when I walked up to the front door at night. And on the last night that I was house-sitting I left a bar thinking that there was no one in there worth talking to and I found myself looking forward to seeing Tuntses. So there's that. I'm probably going to end up being a cat lady.