August 31, 2010

So Many Things

I had this ridiculous day yesterday involving a lost wallet, lost keys, and incredibly high levels of stress. I tore my room completely apart. The nice thing was that I found my Star Trek sweatshirt. The bad thing was that my keys were still missing after all that. I also realized that I have an ungodly amount of stuff. Stuff that I never use, never wear, never touch. I don't know why I have all this stuff but I threw a bunch of it away yesterday. Plastic forks, buttons for sweaters I don't own anymore, weird pink lipstick, miniature water color sets. My goal is to throw or give something away every day. I need to pare down. If anyone would like new clothing or art supplies or random jewelry, please send me a message. I will make you a care package. I will even mail it.

The keys turned up. Finally. But they were in my friend Emily's car, tucked under the seat. The search was doomed from the beginning.

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August 30, 2010

Tears of Consent: A Memoir

Weddings have been on my mind. Not because I'm dying to get married or anything, but I have reached the age of weddings. Last year? Not a single wedding to attend. This year? I have been to three and have one more to go. My older friends had warned me about this, entire summers filled with weddings, vacation time parceled out before the weather has even warmed, weekends devoted, plane tickets, gifts, dresses, showers, etc. Your time is not your own once your friends start getting married.

I'm not saying they aren't fun. It's just a fact of life. My friends Meagan and Chad were married this weekend, and it was a lovely wedding at the Bigfoot Lodge outside of Hood River. Hood was looming in the background, the sun stayed out all afternoon, Taj (their dog) was in a tux, and we finished out the night dancing to LCD Soundsystem and Lady Gaga.

The thing that struck me most about this wedding was the fact that I cried during the ceremony like some spinster aunt with cat hair all over my polyester dress. I didn't just tear up decorously. I had actual tears running down my face. I don't know what has happened to me, a year ago I couldn't have cried if you paid me. Apparently I am getting sentimental in my old age.

August 27, 2010

Whisker Alert!

Um, have you seen this? If things don't work out, this is my future.

August 26, 2010


This morning I attempted to walk my bike down a set of stairs and managed to implant, with force, the left metal pedal into my left Achilles tendon. Excruciating. I yelled so loud Sam could hear it from outside and came running in to see who was murdering me.

On the bright side, this exists: A blog devoted to Nicolas Cage's face. It's fascinating. I could look at this thing all day.

August 25, 2010

How to Pick Up Portland Girls VI

Yet another installment. This one focuses on what to do after you have picked up your Portland girl and are actually attempting to date her.

Cater to your audience: This is a subtle art and relies heavily on the fact that you are an intelligent person capable of empathy and picking up on social cues. If the girl you are trying to date is an apathetic tea drinker obsessed with Sleep (the band, not the activity), she probably won't be excited about going to a Blazers game with you and being forced to high-five. In a similar vein, don't take the alcoholic punk-rock girl to the International Rose Test Garden and make her smell flowers and talk about her feelings.

Eat like an man: Portlanders love food. It's one of our things. Thus, Portland girls love food. We're all about variety, local products, weird strains of kale, hormone-free meat, Korean-Mexican fusion etc. So don't be surprised when we express shock and disappointment at your fridge filled with Kraft singles, white bread, month-old milk, and Bud Light Lime. We really like it when you cook for us, but not when it's Kraft singles-white bread sandwich dipped in month-old milk.

Be nice to old ladies: No, it's totally awesome that you can drink a six-pack of IPAs in one sitting, and that you have all these scars from when you used to punch windows, and that you once killed a rattlesnake with a throwing knife. We love dirtbags. So manly. But you should still be nice to old ladies, refrain from using your cellphone in restaurants, and politely request things from servers and bartenders.

August 24, 2010

Pizazz Vintage

Have you ever been to House of Vintage? Insane. There are a million amazing things in there but you have to go with some time, some patience, and a sense of humor. I wasn't in shopping mode yesterday but even so, I saw an Oscar de la Renta blazer, a few gorgeous silk dresses, and several incredibly tempting old lady glitter sweaters (my weakness).

Anyway, the whole reason I was there was to check out Heidi's new space in said shop. This is a big deal. Heidi is my friend and housemate and one of my favorite people to shop with. I have come to terms with the fact that I am really good at certain things: making salad dressing and messes, cracking jokes at the expense of others. I will say with confidence that Heidi's number one skill is thrift-shopping.

Imagine this. We walk into a Goodwill. We part ways. A half hour later we reconvene.

Me: I found this sweatshirt with white tigers on it and a black skirt that hits my shins at an awkward length. I'm going to hem it.

Heidi: I found these amazing red eighties ankle boots with snakeskin fan detailing, and this gold jumpsuit. Oh, and this unicorn lamp.

Me: Damn you.

So, if you have any interest in awesome vintage clothing and other curios (there was this mystical triangle table clock), I highly recommend dropping by now and again. It's one of the first spaces to the right when you proceed from the counter.

Pizazz Vintage
. House of Vintage. 3315 SE Hawthorne.

August 23, 2010

Sleigh Bells

I've been listening to these guys all day. They are all sorts of hyped-up and apparently are a great live act. I wouldn't know because I missed them when they opened for Yeasayer. We were too busy doing karate in the dark down the street. Seriously.

I can only imagine all the crashing and squealing and lasers and projections and sweaty kids on drugs that this sort of show would entail. And you know what? I'm stuck imagining it because while LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, and Sleigh Bells decided to do a bunch of shows together (amazing heart-breaking dream show), they also decided that they would just go ahead and skip that little town in Oregon with all the bikes and bad venues. Like total assholes. I'm actually hurt. Mostly by Hot Chip. This is probably abnormal but I feel like this some sort of personal affront. I'm thinking about writing a letter.

August 20, 2010

I'm . . . . . Biggie?

So, I recently acquired a boyfriend. I say acquired because things did not happen in the usual agonizing process that begins with first makeout, lags in constant phone checking-conversation analysis-pseudo-date-limbo and ends months later with the infamous facebook status update. We were long-distancing and then he moved here. Instant boyfriend. It’s been awesome.

However, there has been a slight snag. When he made plans to move here, we of course discussed living arrangements and the need for him to have his own space. I suggested NE (where I live), or SE (where I work). North would have been fine too. I provided some gentle guidance, but left him to his own devices so I wouldn’t seem like a bossy hag. He listened to my opinions on the matter very respectfully and then he found a place in NW. Yes. The West Side.

I love Portland. But what this whole thing has really brought to my attention is that I am a total neighborhood snob. Maybe snob is not the right word. Devotee? I never go to the west side. Almost everything I need is on the east side of the river and I find myself disturbed by the necessity of constant exposure to the west side. I’m not sure why. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s nice over there. His place is nice. But I have this unmeasured disdain for the area and I can’t seem to help it. And it’s not just the disdain factor. It’s my love and loyalty for the east side that makes the whole thing especially awkward. If Portland were actually the United States, and I was a rapper, I would be aligned with Biggie and Bad Boy Records. I’m not even sure that I’m comfortable with that. I’ve always preferred 2pac and the west coast scene in general.

I’m hoping for an intervention. If anyone has any input on things that you like about the west side, good places to go to breakfast, cheap bars, etc., please comment. The spiral of violence has to end.

August 19, 2010

Troll 2

This is playing tonight on the roof of Hotel Deluxe. I was excited until I saw the trailer. Now I am excited times 2.

August 17, 2010

Power Dress

So, the potluck was a success. Great food from contributors (though I burned the mac n' cheese), good conversation, hilarity, inexplicable plastic baggies (most likely for sneaking the leftovers into cinemas, theaters, and other places where plates aren't accepted), lots of wine, and so on and so forth. One of the guests was Caitlin, the girl behind Riot Siren and the Quiet Collector. She makes beautiful dresses and skirts out of vintage fabric and reclaimed cloth; all are imbued with a sense of humor and love of dress-up. You can buy them here. She made my Star Wars dress, which I should probably post some pictures of, and her latest endeavors are these amazing A-line, strong-shoulder, puff-sleeve concoctions. Total power dresses.

August 16, 2010

Power Suit

I found myself in the Red Light last night trying on this crazy skirt-suit from the early 90s, mildly Cher-esque (Cher from Clueless, not Cher of sheer bodysuit fame). The suit was woefully small, probably made for a small child, but the fact remains that I am suddenly interested in wearing one. And then I found this on the Street Snaps in Japan blog. Awesome. She left her cane with the extending hidden blade at home, but that hat probably turns into a weapon when tossed at high speed.

August 13, 2010

Guest Blog: Kisses

This is a guest blog from Mysterious Tony. He recently left Portland and all its glories to live in his brother's place in Brooklyn and get drunk every morning. I asked him what he missed about Portland. This apparently inspired a rant on the thing he despises most about NYC. This Seinfield clip sums it up.

Meeting new people isn’t easy. And I hate it. There’s on-the-spot facial memorization, impromptu topic conversation, and becoming acutely aware of pastry crumbs nestled in my beard, teeth and clothing, which must then be promptly removed. I usually fail two of these three tasks, and my only success is due to the constant examination of my visage to make sure I do not yet have a double chin. On the rare occasion that I successfully pass all three, I would normally immediately leave the situation and go home satisfied with my social prowess. That worked quite well in Portland, especially as an excuse for a self-congratulating fourth meal; some poutine, machaca burrito, or other fine delicacy from Cart-World on Hawthorne.* However, here in NYC, I don’t have a home to go to, and I am continually thrust into new conversations far too often for my liking.

To my dismay, this has become more problematic in recent weeks. Despite my low success rate, I have accumulated enough acquaintances to encounter the second greeting. In NYC, once the the first meeting has been bridged, additional meetings provide the opportunity to kiss on the cheek. THIS IS NOT OK WITH ME. The first time it happened, I was so taken aback I gasped audibly, and the kiss-giver asked if I might be choking on something. The second time, I ducked and she ended up kissing my forehead like she was my mother sending me off to kindergarten. This was becoming a problem I could not ignore. Strangers whose names I cannot remember are running around with a license to touch their lips to my face, and this bothers me so much that I have concluded that I am pretty much a prude. As a male, I'm quite disappointed to realize this, but I suppose there are worse things to discover, like bed bugs or your bicycle stolen.

Sadly, it looks like at least one of those things is becoming endemic to Portland. First it was headbands, now it's the bedbugs. It is only a matter of time until my beloved Portland becomes overrun with kiss-hellos from NYC and I am powerless to stop it. I guess it is time to just let the double chin grow in and leave the pastry crumbs on my face to deter the kissing. Besides, let’s face it: there was a pretty good chance I’d never be kissed again anyways.

* Editor's Note: Mysterious Tony lived dangerously close to Cart-World when he was still a Portlander. Now he is in city limbo.

August 12, 2010

Social Anxiety

I'm having a potluck at my house tomorrow. It started as a desire to have a few friends over for dinner. Like, I would have my friends over and cook them a meal and we would sit around laughing and drinking wine and eating delicious food. And they would be like, "You're the most amazing cook ever and such a wonderful host!", and I would say, "Oh, it's nothing."

But then it morphed and I invited a few more people, some people who aren't friends with the people I originally invited and now it has become a mixing of social spheres. Which is something I do a lot. I know quite a few people but they don't all know each other and I like the idea of all the people that I know meeting and loving each other and creating this woven human basket of harmony. But when I actually organize an event all these people end up meeting and having nothing in common except for friendship with me and there are awkward silences and sidelong glances and general confusion. And later someone will lean in and ask, "Who was that [insert description of awkward person here]?" and then I have to explain how I know them and why I like them and why they were throwing bottles in the street or snorting cocaine or whatever and it takes away from the whole melting pot of friends thing.

This culminated my senior year of college when I had a birthday party. It was a great birthday party. Halloween in March. Heidi and Rian came down from Portland and Heidi had this amazing robot costume and it was a general good time. But one person that I happened to casually invite was this kid from my intro art class who was a freshman and awkward and he showed up about an hour earlier than everyone, like we weren't even ready yet, hadn't even poured a drink, and he was wearing a Peter Pan costume. An adult Peter Pan costume. And as the night progressed we realized that he had a crush on me. It was brutal. And there was the inevitable, "Who was that awkward early kid in the Peter Pan costume?"

But I've accepted this is how things are and I'm really looking forward to the potluck tomorrow (it became a potluck rather than a dinner, so I don't actually have to cook very much) and there won't be costumes. We'll see how it goes.

August 11, 2010


I've been wanting to start surfing for a while but the whole thing is so daunting and intimidating that I just kept putting it off as something I would do at some point in the far off future.

It seems the future was this weekend. Sam picked me up and I wasn't feeling very good, and I have to admit, I was kind of being a jerk. I don't like doing things when I have no idea what I'm doing, especially if I feel like it's a public forum, and surfers are notorious for having these complicated hierarchies and all this unspoken etiquette and they call people 'kooks' when they flail around without reason (that would be me) and as we got closer and closer to the beach, Sam got more and more excited, and I got gloomier and gloomier. I was imagining all sorts of humiliation and perhaps death by drowning (which doesn't look like drowning). And it was kind of raining. We went to Short Sands which requires a walk down a trail to the beach and I was just like: doom, doom, doom. And there's the sad fact that my wetsuit hood squeezes my face and makes me look like a teletubby.

But then we actually got in the water and it was so fun. Yes it's cold. But wetsuits are warm and the only thing that was cold were my hands. And paddling is exhausting. When you finally get out of the water and try to walk, you are shaking like a wet dog. But I finally stood up, like, actually kind of caught a wave (three times this happened!) and it was indescribably exciting. Total triumph. DFP. Sam said he had never seen a bigger smile on my face (teletubby smiling). I cannot imagine how fun surfing is when you are actually good. I'm done for.

August 10, 2010

Things I did in Portland this weekend

I was kind of sick all weekend. Disappointing, and the weather was fittingly morbid. But some things happened all the same. Charissa and I had an adventure involving all those stupid roads in SW that don't connect to anything, sweaty neoprene, piles of dirty clothing, and Otto's sausages.

First we got hopelessly lost while trying to find the surf shop out on Macadam. She sat with me while I tried on wetsuits (occasionally jumping up to peel or tug or make sportscaster-style comments). If you ever want to not be attracted to someone, you should sit in a hot dressing room with them and watch them try on wetsuits. I'm not saying Charissa was attracted to me beforehand. But if there was ever a hope, it is now forever and completely dashed.

Then we went to The BINS. It was my first Goodwill Bins experience. It's way out on 99, just a bit past Acropolis. You can buy clothing by the pound. The Pound. There are men running around with fresh tables of clothing and people jump on it like vultures and we kept finding these crazy obese harem pants (it seems to be a theme). I got Back to the Future on VHS. So that trip wasn't a waste. We were both feeling ill and tired and light-headed from all the used clothing fumes and I suggested ribs as a restorative measure.

So we wandered out to the Delta Cafe on a ribs mission (I say wandered because we weren't really sure where it was and again, we got kind of lost). Unfortunately we arrived at the desolate moment between dinner and lunch when the Delta is not at all open. Was in fact closed. We went straight to Otto's down the street in desperation and sat at a picnic table and had a hot dog. The weird thing was that there were like, 15 teenage boys lurking behind the deli counters, an excessive amount of teenage boys all aproned up, doing absolutely nothing, watching us as we tried five of each sample (which all turned out to be the same kind of summer sausage.)

I finished up the day with Back to the Future.

August 5, 2010

My Own Monsters

My friend Neil Perry is having a 30-piece art opening tomorrow at Red E Cafe. Paintings, drawings, and prints. It's his first show in the United States. Apparently he's super nervous about it, which is understandable. I probably would be too. Making art is fun but I've always found that there's an element of embarrassment in actively showing it to people. You're always worried that people aren't going to like it and will walk away thinking you're weird and don't know how to draw. I'm not saying he should worry about this, his stuff is sweet, I'm just imagining this is why he's nervous. But I'm also totally projecting.

Anyway, Neil has a great accent. He hails from northeast England but lived in Edinburgh for awhile as a illustrator and screen printer. He recently ended up in Portland after some brief and harrowing experiences in Pasadena and Dallas. One can only imagine.

Check it out at red e (1006 N Killingsworth), 7:00. There will be food and drink (rumours of HUB), interesting, non-pretentious people, and of course, cool art.

August 4, 2010

Is this okay?

Okay, so one of the blogs that I check out on a regular basis is The Sartorialist. I don't always find his subjects appealing. Maybe about 75 percent of the time. This was posted today. Those are basically Hammer Pants. Popularized by MC Hammer and distributed to children in the 80s everywhere. Otherwise known as Parachute Pants. Otherwise known as super unfortunate. So, if mom-butt pants are coming back, and the 90s are coming back hard, is this going to be okay too? I thought only aging hippie women who like chai tea were into this look. I don't know. I feel really uncomfortable with fashion right now.

There was a People Style Watch on the kitchen table and I read it this morning. I didn't want to, but it was there. Besides a lot of moronic fashion tips (This Jumpsuit Works! This Jumpsuit Doesn't.* In: guys who love cats**, khaki. Out: regular sized cupcakes, lawns), they were showing $500 t-shirts and horrid $1,000 one-season trend dresses like their readership doesn't shop for clothing at Wal-mart and Target on a regular basis. And Jessica Simpson is repping a jeans line and she is incapable of closing her mouth when she's "modeling". Seriously. It's eerie. I don't know. I guess I just don't want to hear about fashion from the same people that stalk celebrities I've never heard of and show close-ups of their cellulite. It was a bad start to the day.

* It's a jumpsuit. Of course it's awkward.
** They actually cited the cute boys with cats blog. Ugh. You know how I feel about this.

August 3, 2010


I went to see the new Videograss film and failed miserably. Living Room Theater is small and the shows kept filling to capacity and I was distracted by friends and clean air outside and bottles of wine and highball glass theft. Snowboarder types were filling the streets and lurking hard. There was a lot of neon and plaid and general dirtbaggery which was only more pronounced once the party moved down to Beauty Bar for the official after-party (which by the way, was sweet. I heard Beauty Bar was the new Tube and therefore decided to avoid it like the plague. Someone totally misrepresented it. I'm using my complimentary nail file right now.) I also met the Peepshow girls and they are awesome and have a new film coming out, fingers crossed on a Portland debut in a large, official venue. I will totally be there (if it happens).

Let's Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow from peepshow on Vimeo.