September 29, 2010

Neon Indian Night

Saw them last night at the Wonder and had do to do some research (Wikipedia) to figure out what was going on with frontman Alan Palomo. He was doing lots of mad scientist action, twisting knobs very intensely, flipping switches, etc. and I was curious about how much of it was necessary and how much was complete theatrics. Apparently he uses Abelton Live which is some high powered, loop-based software sequencer. My conclusion is that most of it was theatrics. However, he also had a theramin and playing a theramin is pure drama. The guitarist had a guitar with some sort of lit-up tie dye hologram screen on it and he was all about the guitar solo. What I'm trying to say is that this is the sort of band that you take drugs before seeing. There were clouds of smoke billowing above the crowd at all times. Also, we saw Wayne Coyne. From the Flaming Lips. He was wearing a gray suit and had that crazy hair and was being a normal person attending a show until this girl started shouting about Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips as we were exiting and he disappeared into the floor like a sprite.

September 28, 2010

Shi Shi II

It's time for a photo essay. I'm not great with prompt uploading of photos but I recently went through my Shi Shi photos the other day and it's about time I share a few. For some reason I love the idea of annual events. Planning has never been my strong suit, but as I get older I've found it more natural. I'm also easily disappointed (impossibly high expectations for everything) and find the anticipation of an event to be almost as important as the event itself. For these reasons, the annual event provides a particular joy for me. You can look forward to it for an entire year. You can make next year better. Shi Shi I was all about spontaneity. Shi Shi II was all about food. Each person brought a meal and we all waited with anticipation to see what delicious surprise we would be eating next. We also got a full day of magical sun, a rare occurrence at Shi Shi. We explored down the coast and ended up having to wade back at high tide in waist-deep water. So much adventure. I'm already looking forward to Shi Shi III.

September 21, 2010

Last Day of Summer

Well, it's time. Time for scarves, gloves, rain paints, rain jackets, a waterproof shoulder bag in which to carry my lunch, wallet, and other necessities for the day. I am going to have to start looking sporty and distinctly Northwest in some sort of Gortex disaster. I'm also going to have to start stocking up. I go through about five sets of gloves each winter. I prefer leather ones, especially those that have a vague resemblance to Isotoners, due to the hilarity of O.J. Simpson jokes and references to "my strangler gloves".

September 17, 2010

I'm Ray Charles

So, a while ago I biked home in the dark and ended up at my basement door shaking my keys around and I decided to pretend I was blind and see how long it would take me to open the door.

The answer?


I sat there with my eyes shut fumbling with my keys (I have like, six keys on my key ring) and tried each one in the lock, (which is hard to find when you're blind) and sometimes they would be upside down and often it wouldn't be the right key and I had to try not to use the same wrong key over and over again, but finally I got the door open. I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment. I also was aware of the ridiculous nature of the situation. If Heidi had been sitting on the porch she would have leaned over the railing and asked, What the hell are you doing?

This morning Sam and I recreated the blind game on a walk back from Pine State Biscuits (I got the one with pickles and chicken and honey*) and he walked me down the street and I had my eyes shut behind dark sunglasses and I found myself laughing with my face kind of waving around in a similar fashion to Ray Charles. And then we got to our first curb. And he said, Big step! right as I walked into it. And then we got to the next one and he said, Big step! and then I took two more faltering steps before finally reaching the curb.

We need to work on our timing.

No, there wasn't a point to this. It was just fun.

* Tony, you were right. It's delicious.

September 16, 2010


Kyle Arthur and Emily hosted a screening of Thrashin' last night. So great. The premise is a battle between The Daggers and the blonde kids (led by Josh Brolin, not sure if they had a crew name). I sincerely want to be Velvet (lead Dagger girl) for Halloween but Emily and I may have to rock-paper-scissors for it. So much good fashion, horrible dialogue, amazing music, and extreme skating (Tony Alva was skate choreographer and Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi, and Steve Caballero were amongst the stuntmen/actors).

Here is the synopsis: "Corey Webster, a young skateboarding champion, comes to Los Angeles for the breath-taking, classic downhill race, "The Massacre". He is forced to contend with a rival gang of punk skateboarders led by Hook, a tough rival, who breaks Corey's arm in a skateboarding joust. Despite his injury, Corey is determined to win the grueling race and must overcome Hook's deliberate attempts to run him off the road as the skaters tackle the steep mountain course. Only the finishing line then stands between Corey and the greatest challenge of THRASHIN'..."

I found these stills on the internet. Amazing.

These are the Daggers at their headquarters. They have no respect for breakdancing, cars, or small blond children.

Velvet applies Hook's warpaint prior to the joust. She is his lover. At one point she makes him an earring out of her hair. There may or may not be an Flowers in the Attic thing going on with Hook and his sister (Josh Brolin's love interest).

This is Josh Brolin's training montage. There are a lot of random, unsuccessful powerslides to show how difficult skating is. What this photo doesn't show is how inept he is at tearing duct tape.

The next movie night is going down at 834. It's going to be Purple Rain.

September 15, 2010

Lasers! Glitter! Guitars!

Prior to attending the Scissor Sisters last night, I would not have said I was pro. Certainly not anti, but definitely not pro. However, Jesse got bronchitis and it turns out that I make an excellent default date.

When one just wants to dance, I can't imagine a better show. The crowd was varied and incredibly enthusiastic (suburban mothers, light-up cowboy hat bearded types, lithe men in denim short-shorts hopped up on substances, women of all sizes wearing Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman before she's rich dresses). The presentation was all vinyl and leather fingerless gloves and some backup singers in spandex doing synchronized dances. Clothing came off throughout the show, culminating in the finale, with lasers, glitter confetti, and something similar to a wrestling singlet (but skimpier). At one point Ana reminded us that she was raised in Portland and pointed out her beaming mother on the balcony. The crowd truly was the best part. After the zombie crowds at Panda Bear, it was nice to see people of various ages smiling, laughing, dancing, and having a legitimately good time. I felt bad for not wearing a dress composed mostly of lycra, but there's always next time.

September 14, 2010

Still a hack

Yeah, I'm still playing the accordion. That's actually my accordion that you see there. I bought it from a woman with an injured hand who lives in a log cabin in the hills north of Camas. I still totally suck but have become completely proficient at "When the Saints Go Marching In". I take weekly lessons from a woman who is wonderful and enthusiastic and has been playing accordion forever. I'm not sure that she remembers who I am most of the time. She always gives me the eye when I walk in and we talk about the same things all the time. Either this is because I'm not actually progressing or she is old.

September 13, 2010

A Few Things

Such a glorious weekend. The nice thing about Oregon is that just when you are starting to mope and eat random fried things in preparation for winter hibernation, you receive a few gift-wrapped hot sun days and the world is bearable. Surfing was great, the water was warm, and I still have all my body parts.

But Caitlin is gone. She moved to Amsterdam to be in love. She is already missed. You can still follow her blog. I'm hoping that she will keep us updated on the trials and tribulations of being an expat, as well as all the things we need to know about crazy euro fashion Hammer pants. I hope so.

Also, if you are anything like me, you rely on your friends' vast collective knowledge to keep you updated on all aspects of life. Gabe is my movie friend. He is on top of it. And now he has a blog (Gabe Watching Movies) and it's funny and informative and providing me with an endless list of movies I need to watch now. It's a public service.

And finally, this is incredibly vain, but I have always wanted to be stopped on the street and have someone take my picture because they think I'm fashionable in the manner of the Sartorialist or Urban Weeds.* This doesn't happen because I often don't look put together at all and am wearing jeans I accidentally burned while camping or a dress from Target or multiple prints, leg warmers, and bike grease. But my friend Rian did put me up on her blog, 18th and Hoyt, so let's pretend she isn't a good friend and just some blogger who had to capture the fleeting glory of my style.

* This actually kind of happened yesterday. Huy, Carin, and I were lurking outside the Walkmen show at Pioneer Square and were kind of hanging off the fence. Stretching, kind of. It was awkward. Some girl took our picture. We aren't sure why, but now she has a picture of me and my friends and our armpits.

September 10, 2010


I'm going surfing this weekend. Exciting. I have been swimming recently (like, training) in an attempt to develop my subpar swimming skills. The whole thing has awoken some bad memories involving swimsuit malfunction, and created a new one.

2004. I moved to Dunedin, New Zealand for a year. In my first week there, I did the obligatory I'm an American With No Friends So I'm Going to the Beach by Myself Trip. It was sunny, the water was gleaming, I waded out into the ocean with all the screaming children and attempted to body surf for a while. I was wearing a bikini top and a ridiculous shin-length skirt because I'm self-conscious. After half an hour, I was blinded by salt and tired. A pale behemoth rising from the ocean, I turned, and fighting the current and my skirt, began to stagger to shore. I passed a man playing with a baby. He looked away with an expression similar to horror. I continued to pass families, children, and finally some tan snickering boys. The boldest yelped out, "Hey! Noice top." I looked down. My bikini top was not a top anymore. It was a twisted flora-print string under my boobs, tucked away and filled with sand.

I then went a few years without major mishap. One moment on the Washougal last summer but only after diving. That happens to everyone. Most people adjust underwater rather than waiting until they've stood up proudly, blowing water out of their nose, but apparently that's just not me.

And then. The training: Columbia Park Swimming Pool. Lap swim. I got this new one-piece. I want to be a swimmer and everyone knows that serious swimmers wear a one-piece. Liz is a serious swimmer. She has a one-piece, a cap, goggles, and an actual routine. Not just like, make it to that end, cling to the wall for a while, make it back to the shallow end, stand, gasp for breath, repeat. I feel successful if I don't get hung up on a lane divider. Anyway, after lap three, I did my typical shallow end routine of standing up and gasping for air. As did my right breast. In front of another lap swimmer who made a horrified expression and looked away. The one-piece purchase was a total failure.

So, here's the positive. I'm going to be wearing a wetsuit while surfing. It is thick and neoprene and extremely difficult to get any portion of my body in and out of it. The chances of my chest's exposure to open air are directly proportional to my chances of being ripped into pieces by a shark. Which, I think, are pretty small.

September 9, 2010

Panda Bear Wednesday

So, Jocelyn, Sam and I went to Panda Bear last night. I wish I had some cool picture of him playing his little guitar, twiddling various knobs with authority, and all the crazy projections in the background, but I don't because I feel like a jerk when I start waving my camera around above everyone's head trying to get some average shot of the stage that doesn't look as good as the real thing. So I didn't take my camera and I danced. Unlike most people there. When did things get so somber? At one point we decided to move from our vantage point in front to a place where we had some room. We worked our way through the crowd and everyone was just kind of blank, like they were confused about what they were supposed to be doing. It was a fun show, walls of noise, long awkward moments of discord and apathetic rhythm, and then Beach Boys on acid over a solid bass line. Jocelyn and I danced. We looked a lot like we did in the picture above except we were wearing different clothes and we were in the Crystal Ballroom instead of Jocelyn's backyard. Sam and I finished up at East End. I love that bar.

September 8, 2010

The Land of Gun Racks

Went out to Idaho for a long weekend with a big crew. We all brought our various skills and I would have to say that we all successfully completed the Idaho Labor Day Pentathlon.

1. Drinking: Yes, there was plenty of this. A shining moment involved Harold's exclamation of Good job Rachel! after I took a large swig of his whiskey. I have heard similar praise and enthusiasm directed towards someone who just aced a math test or peed in the toilet for the first time.

2. Rafting: It was hot on Saturday and perfect for rafting. We negotiated the rapids of the Payette with skill, lost our guide Liz on the first rapid but managed to collect her, and Brian failed on his kamikaze mission to take out Micheal (the other raft guide who continually persecuted us with his well-aimed paddle-splashing). Unlike a true samurai, Brian did not commit harakiri afterward.

3. Eating: Oh. Man. We were overly successful at this. There was a roast pig amongst a million other things to eat. Massive dinners, breakfasts, lunches. I'm still dealing with the aftermath.

4. Singing: The night of the pig roast involved a karaoke machine. That's really all I need to say.

5. Shooting: In true Idaho fashion we went out to the shooting range and shot shit up. I can kill a can at 30 meters. Or less.

September 2, 2010

Back to School Shopping

I'm not going back to school. But isn't there something about fall air? That unique sunny clear feel to the air in the morning, smell of old leaves, anticipation of new friends, new classes, new clothes. This means I will need to put away my shorts (that I never wear because shorts are unflattering), my sandals, my light-as-air cardigans. I have this mental list of things that I want for fall (skinny black pants, high-waisted skirts, yet another cardigan, boots!) but I am also conflicted.

I have a feeling that this feeling, this special fall feeling and the need to buy things is directly related to my old back-to-school habits which is not actually applicable in my life anymore. Do I need to buy new clothing? Not really. If you could see my closet and my shelving system and my storage boxes and my clothing rack you would tell me that I don't actually need any new clothing. Ever again. I feel like I have fallen into a marketing ploy, like my desires have been hi-jacked by consumerism. It's similar to my feeling of desolate loneliness on Valentines' Day, my desire to live on cookies for the month of December, my desire to be thinner and tanner than ever as directed by June issues of certain lady-directed magazines. There is a reason that the September issue of Vogue is the largest of all the issues.

This year I will fight. I will not go to the mall. I will not start buying sweaters and boots with abandon. I did buy the pair you see above*, but they are it. I'm giving up on shopping.

* They're Bass. They are my third pair of Bass shoes. I don't know when I turned into an old lady, but there it is. Three pairs. To justify, I do feel like they're rebranding a bit and are slightly less stodgy than they used to be.