February 25, 2010

Local Natives

So, these guys will be at Sasquatch. They are sweet. Not sweet in the 'that's a sweet Camaro' sense, but I imagine that if they were a Portland band and not an LA band we could hang out all the time and sit on rocks by the Washougal in the summer and they would lead our late night birthday party noise making sessions with a gentle air of authority that would somehow lead to everyone singing the same thing, in tune, on beat without being resentful. I think it's the harmony and the strings and all that. They just sound like nice guys.

February 24, 2010


While it may be admitted that I kind of suck at life, I am coming to the conclusion that this is not a completely negative thing. It is really horrible to lose things but I'm not sure there is anything more wonderful than recovering them. I had an average to poor day yesterday, most likely a direct result of the weather, and after work I went back to the house where the party was (a million dead cigarette butts on the sidewalk in front) and I stood on the porch and knocked on the door and looked towards the grungy smoking couches to see my glasses sitting on an end table in their case, completely intact. I practically skipped to my car in the rain and the air smelled like cherry blossoms.

I feel like there is a life lesson in there somewhere. You know, something about having to lose things to appreciate them or something like that. That's my theory. People who are good at life just don't appreciate it the way that I do.

February 22, 2010

Neck Punch!


My first hockey fight. I mean, I wasn't in it, but I was watching it and it was hilarious and the refs just stood there in their striped shirts and their skates and the crowd went wild and I don't know if anyone else knew this, but the Winterhawks are all teenage boys. I kind of thought they were men.

Snowboarding with Rian and singing in the car and first run at like, one. Has to be a lazy snowboarding record.

That foursquare church on Ankeny with the eighties stained glass tower. It's magical in the moonlight.

Getting up early and working on the dirt berm (it will soon be a garden)with the window open and Nurses on the stereo.


Belly flop to frozen ground and the subsequent aching ribcage.

I lost my glasses. They actually fell out of my purse somehow, probably at that crowded party and I'm sure they were stomped on by some permed girl in keds.

February 18, 2010


In the past week I have seen:

1. violets scattered on non-groomed lawns

2. crocuses

3. the beginnings of blossoms on the trees outside my office

4. daffodils

5. weird pale white guys wearing shorts and flip-flops

Spring is early this year and I am already imagining river trips and camping and skating and swimming and drinks on sunny patios and coffee in the morning sun. In Japan everyone celebrates cherry blossoms by hanging out in the parks under trees and having seriously elaborate picnics and drinking chu-hi (this kind of malt beverage, the equivalent of Zima maybe, but it's less sweet and higher in alcohol content and without the high school connotation, like, it is perfectly acceptable for a grown person to drink a chu-hi). And they call this event Hanami. And because the whole "watch" versus "look at" versus "view" thing is a confusing english language distinction, they will tell you that they enjoy watching the cherry blossoms. The photo above was taken in Yoyogi Park, one of the most popular parks in Tokyo and I think it is a pretty good representation of the insane festival quality of Hanami. And I think we should bring this to Portland and celebrate spring.

February 17, 2010

Ween versus Pavement

A Portland three-day weekend full of the usual suspects: postcard parties, bike rides, late-night birthday dance parties, delicious breakfasts, shuffleboard, monster truck rallies (maybe not so usual), napping on the parental couch, getting lost in the gorge, rewarding hiking legs with an IPA and then, to top it all off, the Sasquatch lineup delivered via text by one Alexis Chicoye who attended the lineup announcement party in Seattle. Maraschino cherry text.

Ween is headlining! I really couldn't be more pleased but it's going to be pretty polarizing. There are lot of people out there that do not love Ween. May in fact, hate Ween. I almost stopped talking to someone over the holidays due to a heated Ween/Pavement discussion. I don't like Pavement. May in fact, hate Pavement. Why? Well, let's pretend Ween and Pavement are not bands, but instead, two people.

Pavement is this 90s pop song guy and he overthinks things and is slightly too large for his tightish jeans and he thinks a lot about his feelings and is self-deprecating but still, sadly, takes himself very seriously. His parents never took him camping when he was a kid. He has some sort of graphic design job. He peppers his conversation with popular culture references and we would end up watching movies all the time and drinking affordable beer.

Ween is a mixed bag. He is probably not as boyishly attractive as Pavement but he doesn't think about his looks. He eats drugs and then runs around in the woods. He has had many strange jobs: guy that fills the condom machines at strip clubs and gas stations, commercial fisherman, Tijuana tour guide, fork-lift operator. He may be slightly insane but in a very charming way. He would appreciate a chemistry set as a birthday gift. We would do science together. He is way more fun. We would probably end up sailing the world and eventually be destroyed by Somali pirates.

Yes. Now you know one of my methods for articulating why I like or dislike a band. This is why I don't review music for a living.

February 12, 2010

Romantic Night Pt. 2

I hosted Romantic Night last night. It lacked the panache of our last venture into romance but there was an actual wood fire burning merrily (smoldering, actually, because I think the wood was a little damp) and I slaved over some tapas (dumped olives into a bowl, laid out some prosciutto, rinsed some grapes and sliced some bread) but we still had lovely conversation and wine (that I think was corked) and pleasant music was playing on the stereo and Tony was telling us amazing stories and Charissa brought us balloon animals! and tales of Moslems: Satan's Seed. All in all, a success. Considering I gave everyone the wrong address and Heidi was wandering around the neighborhood, checking dimly lit numbers on porches and ruining her shoes, I'm just glad that we all were finally able to congregate in one place and enjoy each other's company. Club 834 will have to up the ante, this was an interim Romantic Night, a draft if you will.

February 11, 2010

Proud to Be

So, being American has never really settled with me. At times, especially while traveling, I have been ashamed of being American. I'm often disapproving of what our country is doing to other countries and what it has done in the past. I know there are heaps of people all over this country that are incredibly proud to be American and feel that our country is superior to other countries and all that. There are people who are proud of our health care system, our spreading of democracy, our huge supermarkets, our hamburgers and our portions. At times I have thought that I wanted to live anywhere but here, and at times I have felt very happy to be here, happy to be somewhere where individuality has been hammered into the soil. But still, when I am out in the world, I am often a little apologetic about being American, and feel somehow estranged. I find myself trying to express that my America is not the America you see in movies, my values are not their values, I am somehow not typical.

But. I've been slipping. It's like I don't even know myself anymore. It started with the Super Bowl Party that I attended. Yep. I went to a Super Bowl Party and I watched a fairly large portion of the game and I ate as much as I possibly could and quite possibly caused irreparable damage to my stomach. If they were to dissect me right now I believe my colon would be lined with cheese and peanut butter pie. Sick.

And. Then I went to Claudia's, which is definitely a sports bar, and I watched the Blazers lose to Oklahoma City. Yeah, lots of people like the Blazers, but basketball is essentially an American game, there's no denying this, and it's the way that I watch the Blazers. I swear. A bunch. And when they make shots I do a fist pump, like a really high in the air triumphant fist pump, and sometimes, if it's a really great moment, a double fist pump.

And. I'm going to a monster truck rally this weekend. Quintessential American activity. I'm not apologetic about this. I can't even express how excited I am. I hope to have some pictures, maybe even some interviews to post in the days following the rally. I am planning on eating hot wings beforehand and maybe even shotgunning some beers. I am unabashedly glad to be American this week, because I'm pretty sure this is only country in the world that even has stupid events like this.

February 10, 2010

Post Haste

My friend Huy is having a collective art event at his shop. Here's the flier. I think there's still time to send a postcard of your own design to the above address and bask in an evening of artistic glory. Or you can just show up and enjoy some delicious beverages and like, network.

February 9, 2010

Darwin Gets Knifed

I thought The Knife couldn't get cooler. But I was wrong. They just released an opera based on Darwin's On the Origin of the Species in collaboration with Mt Sim and Planningtorock. I wish I could see it. My birthday is coming up. If someone wants to send me to Stockholm to see it, I wouldn't protest. Also, I wouldn't protest if someone gave me a recorder that cost more than a dollar. Or an icecream cake. I've always wanted an icecream cake.

February 8, 2010

Egg on my Pants

I am house-sitting right now. This involves hanging out with a large gray cat with no teeth who likes to talk to me and appears to be eating an insane amount of food (I'm worried that he is eating so much because he doesn't know how to deal with abandonment and they told me to feed him when he wanted to be fed and if he keels over from overeating I'm going to feel really bad).

I went snowboarding this weekend. It was good, best conditions yet. Which doesn't mean that much considering I haven't been able to go on any of the great days this season. Because I have a job. And knees that are giving out. But anyway, I always stop at Mountain Moka in Sandy and get a coffee refill and usually a bagel or a breakfast sandwich and the girls are always caffeinated and chipper and foundationed and I have a frequent customer card that I have almost filled, but instead we went to that gas station which has the burrito shop inside. I got a breakfast burrito and it got all over me and my hands and my face and my pants and my car. It was a battle. I was wrestling with this burrito for a good portion of the drive and was probably one ill-timed bite from an accident. And while it was tasty, it seems wrong to keep finding little bits of egg in the creases of your clothing as you move forward with your day.

February 5, 2010

Long Live the Landlord

I saw Do Say Make Think at Mississippi Studios last night. Wow. I'm not really familiar with them, started listening to their stuff last week when I saw that they were playing this show. I had pegged their sound as settlers migrating over desolate plains music. Not quite as apocalyptic or exciting as Godspeed You! Black Emperor (a favorite of mine).

But I kind of take it back. Here are some things I jotted in the dark in response to their songs, they are my quick impressions and some of them are observations and some are my cinematic imaginings. It was the best show I've seen in awhile.

(a) Animated eagle clan's epic battle with sky warriors ending with a thunder flying battle.

(b) A wasteland filled with swamp and dying trees and the heavy sky and dead rabbits litter the meadow, poisoned, and the fish lay gasping in the ponds.

(c) and then it's long slow plodding plains with the mountains so far away they never move and the dust in your mouth and jackrabbits and low scrubby fires that can't drown out the vicious vast sky.

(d) I just noticed there are two drummers! Two guitarists, a bassist, a violinist, alto sax, two trumpets. Sampler and keyboard. The sound is just right, I'm swallowing but not chewing.

(e)An imploding city with live animal markets and people in love and dusty streets and pigeons flying up and children sucking on nitrous balloons in alleyways trying not to be the people their parents told them to be.

(f) The dying throes of a superficial futuristic lifestyle. Vitamins and motorized walkways and filtered air and gelatin supplements. Our hero escapes and runs through the last forest and licks sap off trees and rolls in the dirt and freezes in the river and bleeds on rocks and falls asleep in the sun on a hillside.

(g) The guitarist/keyboardist just went for some flair on the keyboard and knocked it off the stand. He is the most animated of all the musicians and it's a bit unnecessary. Incongruent in fact.

(h) Swimming in a river and sun on rocks and a long slow departure from the place and person that you were. But it's nice, the way the sun is on the stone and it's like sitting under a porch when it's raining or walking through fresh snow or tall grass.

February 4, 2010

Fingers Crossed

courtesy of Hot Chip website

I love Hot Chip. I really really love them and have been forcing other people to listen to them ever since I was a prep cook at the Doug Fir and Lance the cook (who randomly enough was a bartender at the Horsehead before that) passed on his Hot Chip megamix to me. And I still haven't seen them live and it kind of breaks my heart. My love for Hot Chip can be compared to your biggest lamest high school crush and the disappointment I will feel if they aren't on the Sasquatch lineup will be comparable to how you would feel if your crush decided to ask out your best friend only because you happened to be home sick that day. They are playing Coachella. If those LA assholes get Hot Chip and I don't, there is going to be another blood curse. This is the single from their new album of the same name. They're moving into the ballad side of things on this one and I'm okay with that.

February 3, 2010

Composition: Winter Oregon 2009

I keep this little composition books. The ones with the faux marble covers and the taped spines. They are a great size, only slightly larger than a credit card and I jot down observations and dialogue and stories and sketches and sometimes write in them to give a situation purpose (some people do this with texting and cell phones when they feel a situation is awkward). And I have been kind of busy lately and just today got a request to keep my readers entertained (yes, it was only one request so maybe the correct thing to say would be reader as in singular). This book is red and I started it last winter. It's close to being completely full. Here is an excerpt:

Tonight Alex was punched in the face and his nose was broken. We hung out in the fire station afterward. I didn't say anything because I was peeing behind a building in the dark when it happened. Alex was bleeding all over and his nose was entirely shifted to his left, or maybe his right I can't recall. After it all happened and the police came and a taxi came and took some people went to the hospital, Liz and Adam and I hitchhiked with some hippies in a minivan across Eugene. It was excellent. We rode in the back and I sat on a plastic box and Liz hiccuped through the night as we rolled through the dark neighborhoods and kept an eye out for Jocelyn's street. We got home and pulled Rosie into bed with us in apology for waking her up at 4 a.m. I am writing and Liz is hiccuping in her sleep and Rosie is licking my elbow and Alex is having his nose set. Alexa is probably crying. What a mess the whole thing was. Lauren went to help Alex figure out hardship no-insurance health care. She went along as his adviser. She is probably advising right now.