May 25, 2010


Everyone is coming to Portland. Like, as I type this. Sasquatch Weekend is almost upon us. I am in the midst of preparations, writing lists in cursive, baking cupcakes, rigging tent poles, gathering supplies. It's just like a family reunion except for far less awkward, with much better music, and no embarrassing stories about your childhood. Lauren Welch took this photo. She and I discovered the Gravel Pit last year, a dance haven. I hope it's still there. Liz calls this weekend the Black Hole of Fun. If an asteroid happened to take us all out at once, the world would be destroyed.

May 24, 2010

Reverting . . .

What is it about returning to my childhood home that sends me straight back to infancy? Does anyone else experience this? I go to my parents' house for a relaxing weekend only to find myself acting like a fussy six year-old. You know, like dragging my feet when I have to do the dishes. And bickering with my brother. And leaving dirty dishes around like it's my job. It's horrible. I'm not really sure how to fix it but they say awareness of the problem is the first step. I can only hope.

It probably didn't help that my old room had been gutted and I was going through all my old belongings: spurs and cowboy hats from the horse show days, high school photos, a million during-class-passed-notes still intricately folded and placed in a cardboard box, fishing gear, Dr. Martens, and a box stuffed with things like yearbooks that you feel guilty about throwing away. My plan is to post some excerpts of these letters I found, I have a feeling they may be hilarious but I'm also worried they may be too embarrassing. I'll scope it out tonight.

My dad noticed this beautiful cedar box carved with pheasants sitting in the pile. It is a treasure chest in which I kept things like Cracker Jack toys and my piece of the Berlin Wall.
"Where did you get that?"
"Oh, you gave me that for Christmas when I was five. I remember being really disappointed because I wanted a My Little Pony Castle."
"And you still have it, and that My Little Pony Castle would be long gone."
This is true. There is a life lesson in this.

May 21, 2010

Fun with Cardboard

Hasbeen Design is hosting an event tonight in celebration of cardboard and urban development. The above photo is a sneak-peak, you can see more at 521 SE Couch St between the hours of six and nine.

May 20, 2010

Hot Beverage Failure

I like to think of myself as a reasonably coordinated person. My fine motor skills are good, (I have recently developed a compulsion to draw girls wearing detailed strangely ruffled outfits which I then compulsively color in highlighter. They are all over the scrap paper on my desk.) and I can do things like olly on a skateboard, climb rock walls, and not fall over when riding my bike in traffic. But when I do things like knock over a full, freshly poured travel mug of tea with the kettle that I filled it with, I really start to wonder why I am not dead yet.

May 19, 2010

Alcoholism for the Unemployed

A guest-blog entry by Kyle Arthur

Rachel asked me to do this guest blog weeks ago and because I am currently unemployed and have a wide open schedule, I put off writing the entry until just now. Being unemployed makes for some interesting choices on how I am going to spend what little money I do have on goods and services. Nine times out of ten I spend my money on booze, food, entertainment, and booze. So Rachel thought it would be a good idea if I wrote out a little guide to boozing and dining while strapped for cash; here are a few of my favorite locations and suggestions to stretch those government employment compensation checks.

$2 Tuesdays at Eastburn (1800 E Burnside St.): Every beer on tap is $2 all day, and these are not just the Miller Lites and Budweisers. The Eastburn taps are some of the best taps around if you like good local IPAs, Porters, Belgians, Stouts, etc and the best part is they change the taps up on a weekly basis. Eastburn has a great back patio, a more traditional seating area upstairs, and a crowded bar downstairs with more taps than above. The best part of downstairs area is the twenty-five cent Skee-Ball games. One thing of note for this night is to get there before the 8pm cover charge ($5), that is two and a half beers already wasted if you get there late.

Thirsty Thursdays @ PGE Park: This is the last year you will be able to go to PGE Park and watch either a Beavers (baseball) or a Timbers (soccer, before they go major league). Usually the high cost of beer, and the fact that you may be watching a baseball game, deter me from ever going on a regular day. But thank god for Thursday and their Miller $2 beer night (limit 2 per visit to the bar), I highly suggest drinking one or two just off to the side of the bar, then getting another two before proceeding back to your seats. On a beautiful Oregon summer evening watching a soccer game (or tolerating baseball) with cheap drinks in hand and yelling at the opposing team is just what you are meant to be doing with your time.

Matador (1967 W Burnside St.): Two blocks from my house and it serves $6 pitchers of Pabst everyday and their shots and mixed drinks have very generous pours. This entry really should just be called your local; everyone has a nice dive to go to every once in awhile. Search your area, and I suggest calling a few friends to make the rounds with you. *cough* me *cough*

King Burrito (2924 N Lombard St.): And last, but not least, one of my favorite spots to get a good greasy meal for under $5. Sure the exterior of King Burrito (see image above) may look like it is a run down pawn shop, but what you get inside....well it doesn't look much better. But the food and the service are a treat. The guys are friendly and definitely know how to make some damn tasty food. Everything on the menu is below $5, with most burritos in the $3.50 range. I suggest the hard tacos, the chile relleno burrito, the all-meat burrito, or the King Burrito. I have never been disappointed. I've also heard from a few trusted sources to try their "American" burgers. Do yourself a favor and check it out, they are open until 11pm almost everyday, but as Elizabeth might suggest, get your food to go.

Damn that took longer than expected to write, it is hard being on the internet longer than 30 minutes when you don't have to be.

May 18, 2010

Music Crush

So, you know how it goes when you are on the internet and you click on some random link and that sends you to some blog about a woman who wants to be MILF now that her kids are in school (yuck) and then you end up reading about japanese hats and then you find yourself watching a snowboarding video and liking the song and taking the link and then it turns out this song that you really really like is actually a song by Ryan Gosling (yes, young Hercules) who you have had a major crush on ever since he was a junkie teacher in Half Nelson making drugs look good in synchronization with Broken Social Scene and it's just. Wow. He just decided to like, make music with his best friend and a children's choir in between movies. Of course he did, he is no mere mortal.

May 14, 2010


Really excited for this show even though I will probably cry through the entirety of All My Friends.

May 13, 2010

Strange Days

It's been a little weird this week. I started out with a crippling headache on Sunday night that picked up steam on Monday and really got going on Tuesday with the right hemisphere of my skull randomly exploding at five second intervals. I went and got acupuncture for the first time at Pine Street Community Acupuncture. It's one of those sliding scale group places and I was led into this enormous room with a high ceiling and a skylight and there were little fountains everywhere making noise and Tibetan monks chanting through the speakers and she stabbed me with needles in my hands and my feet and then left me there. At first it was relaxing. I napped briefly. The headache was departing. I tried not to think which led to me imagining that I was scooping my brain out like a melon ball, over and over and over again. Then I got worried. It felt like I had been there forever. She didn't come back into the room and it was entirely empty and the sun came and went through the skylight and the fountains kept playing and I couldn't move. The needles have little springs in their ends and they were waving off my hands like alien antennas. I couldn't scratch my nose. She had forgotten I was there. But not really, eventually she came back and gave me some herb tablets and I took them and went back to work. It worked. The headache was gone.

Then it came back as I was heading over to Tony Vu's. He made meatloaf with chevre and pine nuts and we ate that with asparagus and olive bread and sorbet and drank pabst and then we went to the Owen Pallett show at the Aladdin. So good. He plays the violin and loops over himself. He didn't play this song:

But I wish he would have. The headache left about halfway through the show and it was like the lifting of a black veil. He told a really charming story about blowing it the last time he was in Portland opening for Bloc Party at the Crystal Ballroom. Gus Van Sant and Hedi Slimane were there and people talked loudly throughout his entire set and he eventually walked off the stage to zero applause. We all said AW, and cheered loudly enough to make up for his last Portland failure.

So Owen Pallett cured my headache on tuesday and I met Jocelyn at Slow Bar on wednesday for Portland's best hamburger (so they say) and we ended up at the Dirty Mittens show at Holocene. But not before sharing a watermelon flavored Four Loko in the alleyway. Like teenagers. I had never tried this drink before and it's a fruit-flavored caffeinated alcoholic beverage. Right? How can it go wrong? Our New York friends love it and Kale tried to get me to befriend it on facebook. That's not happening. I don't need to be friends with an undesirable like that. Four Loko turned out to be less than a good idea. But the Dirty Mittens show was great. I think the thing I find most charming about them is the amount of fun that it looks like they're having up there.

May 11, 2010

Breakin' the Deal

I don't know if you have seen the dealbreaker blog before, but it's hilarious. I check it out on a semi-regular basis and sit there and cackle. Thanks to Alexa for pointing it out. Here are some of my dealbreakers:

Your river sandals: Yeah. Tevas, Chacos, cheap imitations. It doesn't really matter. River sandals are creepy. The velcro, the exposure of hairy man-toes, the implied sportiness. Unless I see a boat and a river in direct contact with your feet, it's unacceptable.

You have emo hair: I am really glad that I didn't grow up in the time of emo rock. I was at the tail-end of adolescence when it really gathered steam. Knowing my teenage self, I would have totally loved all the skinny boys with swooping emo bangs and therefore would have had a decade's worth of lame, black-hair-dye, girl-jean crushes to lament. Thank god I escaped with my dignity. Those boys have grown up and as an adult I'm just not interested. Alexa put it best: They're just like, "I'm withering. Where's my mother?"

You are a monologuist: I'm not a total asshole but I do like to talk and sometimes I do like to talk about myself. Or variations of that. My trip to the beach. My shoes. My opinion. Whatever. Conversation must be shared and it gets really awkward when I'm just throwing a word in here or there and nodding a lot.

You love the Red Hot Chili Peppers: I don't think I really have to expand on this one. I hope not.

You submitted a photo to Cute Boys with Cats blog: See above.

May 10, 2010

A real vampire movie

My friend Gabe and I have a running Werner Herzog movie night. We love him. Gabe first introduced me to Mr. Herzog with Aguirre the God of Wrath and we followed up with Cobra Verde. We also saw Bad Lieutenant at the Mission a couple months ago. He's so great. The long shots, the pace, the dark, spiraling stories, the madness of Klaus Kinski (and Nick Cage for that matter), all the making-of drama that is inherent in a Herzog film. He stole a bunch of monkeys for the ending of Aguirre the God of Wrath in this cartoonish I'm pretending to be a vet and these little guys are under quarantine sort of way. Who does that? And then apparently brags about it?

Tonight we are watching Nosferatu the Vampyre. The original Nosferatu was released in 1922. It was based on Bram Stoker's Dracula but they couldn't obtain the rights to the novel, so names were changed and a few characters left out. The studio ended up being sued over the film and lost, but by that time the film had been distributed so widely that they weren't able to stop it. The first time I saw it was in a sophomore film class. Werner did a remake in 1979 and Klaus Kinski is Count Dracula. I can't wait to see his skulking, limping rendition. He won't glitter when the sun hits him and I bet there are shots of him eating rats.

May 6, 2010

From our correspondent in the wild

So I received a text from a friend last night. The text said: Hey first sighting of dumpy khaki butt in the wild! And there was the photo. I asked her to elaborate on the time and place and how it made her feel. The results you may read below. I like this. Feel free to join the foreign correspondent team. It makes me feel like the editor of a newspaper that reports only on frivolous things.

At first sighting of said pants* in the wild I was elated and shocked. The elation obviously was due to the timing of said sighting, and the relevance of their appearance. I was just entering the Tin Shed when it happened, and happened to be dining with my mother. The end result of the sighting, however, left me feeling as if one the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse had just decided to dine with us. The gravity of the moment sunk in as I realized that only too soon they would be ubiquitous throughout Portland, and in fact as I stared at the unfortunate heart shaped mom-butt on an otherwise nicely shaped woman, there was no denying that Ms. Wrong was right on target, and there was no other option but to snap a picture.

*American Apparel Riding Pant

May 5, 2010

Buy Local

The nice thing about living in Portland is that I can sincerely support local bands. It's wonderful. I'm sure not everyone experienced this, but when I hear "local band" I have this horrible high school flashback of creepers and leopard print and shitty, emotive punk rock played down at the community center with a bad sound system and all the girlfriends up front, standing awkwardly and toe tapping because it's daytime and they don't know how to dance and there are the two best friends who really want to mosh and know all the words and are rushing around bumping into the girlfriends while they cringe. And the standout memory for me is that the drummer of one of these bands only had one testicle, that's called cryptorchidism, or maybe it was just that he had two abnormally large testicles, but no matter. It was a stupid rumor and the point is, that sticks out in my mind more than the music.

So Dirty Mittens are playing with some other local bands (Reporter, Copy, White Fang) at Holocene next Wednesday (May 12). They had a show at Mississippi Studios a couple weeks ago, and it was so fun. So Fun. It's pop, but kind of doo-wop and there are horns (not usually a fan of horns, perhaps because of ska and Kenny G but it works for them) and I'm not going to go into some big explanation of what they sound like because you can listen to a song here.

May 4, 2010


The things that really get to people are always a fascinating window into the psyche. For example, Alexa hates cake, people who eat cake, people who hate mayonnaise and apparently people who pick their teeth in public. Charissa can't stand men with tiny lady hands or men with tiny creepy teeth. Heidi hates convertible drivers in Oregon (I'm not sure if she makes an exception during the summer months).

I hate these pants.

They are spandex pants modeled on english riding breeches, complete with the reinforced knee for the serious equestrian. This annoys me for several reasons. You can get them for about $20 at any store that sells riding apparel and tack but American Apparel is charging about $70 for them. I have expressed how I feel about leggings but the devil continues to plague my soul by sending pantless minions out into the world with their short t-shirts and their camel toes. And because American Apparel is producing these, people all over Portland are going to be wearing them, and I am going to have to look at dumpy khaki butt all summer and probably all fall and winter too. Ugh.

May 3, 2010

Weekend o' Firsts

I don't even know where to start.

I lost $6. Turns out my years of hanging out with horses does nothing for me in the high class world that is Portland Meadows.

We created a new shot. It needs a name. It involves whiskey, real maple syrup and a bacon chaser.

I went to Broder for the first time. I'm guessing that means brother in Swedish, but it's definitely a guess. I had the smoked trout puff pastry thing with a baked apple. Rian got the greens as a side. Not recommended. I seriously think it was steamed lettuce. I do highly recommend the restaurant in general. And the plus is that now that I am old I wake up really early. We were there before the rush. We didn't have to wait on the sidewalk and sip cold coffee. I just walked in, sat down at an open table by the window and sipped hot coffee until Rian arrived. That was also a first.

We went to Mt. Tabor. Yes. That's a first for me. It's kind of shocking. I'm not sure why. I don't have a good excuse.