November 24, 2010

Beauty Bar!

So, Shola already gave her report, but now you are going to get it from my perspective. I biked over the Burnside Bridge, extremely pleased to escape the torrential downpours that had plagued the rest of the day, and encountered this sad state of affairs on the way. RIP Made in Oregon sign. I have to admit, it's kind of exciting to cross the bridge and see all the lights of the city and the reflections in the river. You really feel like you're doing something.

Beauty Bar was very, very quiet, which was extremely nice. I may have a theory about frequenters of the west side but so I'm going to save it until I can truly present an informed argument. The lack of patrons made photography of the decor especially easy. You know, no random people in the shots. Anyway. Shola and Emily had arrived early to Beauty Bar and signed us up. We waited for about twenty minutes and had a drink. Then we went upstairs and a very lovely girl painted my nails. You will recall my concern regarding drinking ability? Rest assured. It all works out. While she painted my left hand I lifted my drink with my right hand and visa versa. Absolutely no problem. After our nails were done we moved to a dark corner filled with 50s hairdryers and vinyl couch-things. Why were the 50's so much more awesome and space-agey? Until this visit I had  never sat under a hair dryer that looks like an alien brain dismemberment device. We sat under them and we shared our opinions on various things and talked about weddings and boys and sign language. You know, the typical stuff girls talk about it. And then we did the photobooth to document the fun and went home. It was a perfect ladies' weekday evening.

So. Here's the run-down: Beauty Bar is located on 111 SW Ash Street. The manicures start at five. You have to sign up and it can get busy, though it wasn't busy last week. A measly $10 will get you a set of newly painted fingernails and a good drink. The service was great, the decor is all pink and sparkly and 50s, aaaaand they have bowls of matchbooks on the counter. I love a good free matchbook.

November 22, 2010

Life Saver

What a weekend. I watched the new Harry Potter movie with Sam last night. While we watched it  I thought about all the myriad times their lives are in danger and they manage to survive through wit or pluck or magic. It struck me a little differently. I've always wondered if I would be able to keep it together in a life-threatening situation. And now I know that, at least sometimes, I can.

Huy and Sam and I went up for opening day at Meadows on Saturday. I was so excited to share a resort that I absolutely love with Sam. We had some issues with his bindings falling apart run-by-run but finally got it together and started taking some runs together. And then we got to this gully and decided to go down it. Gullies are fun. You can ride up the sides and there are little things to jump over and Sam found this tree to slide on and then he disappeared down a little drop and it sounded like he fell. I went down around the other side and found his board and his legs and that was it. He was buried face-down in some sort of hole. He could only move his legs a little bit. I started digging around him and tried to pull on him, but obviously couldn't move him (he weighs about 170) and people have about two and a half minutes when they're buried in an avalanche and I was just using my hands and couldn't find his head, had only uncovered his back and finally one of his arms and I was yelling for help and it had been about five minutes but no one was around and we were hidden in this gully, anyway. It was the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced. By far. I have nothing to compare it to. I sincerely thought he was going to die. Finally I just grabbed onto his board and I pulled him out. I must have had an adrenaline rush because it wasn't that hard, it just kind of happened and he popped out. He told me he expected to see like, three people standing there, but it was just me. He had created a little pocket with his hand so he still had some air but his face was still kind of purple. And we both just kind of sat there and tried not to be hysterical. And we hugged and tried to warm up my hands because I took my gloves off at some point, in the panic, and they were frozen.

So, we took a few more runs after that (we took a break and dried out our goggles and whatnot) and the whole day felt so surreal, with this disaster averted, this thing that you hear about happening to other people but never to you, and it's staying with me. I still can't believe it happened.

November 18, 2010

Guest Fashion Advice: On the Subject of Sweaterdresses

You know, sometimes a sweaterdress can be a little unflattering. They're a little bulky, and can hit at an awkward length or create the illusion of barrel-torso/pin-legs if the cut's not quite right. The solution?

Belt it and go.

November 17, 2010


In high school I had this huge rhinestone phase. It was after my hippie phase and after my mildly gothic phase (not really gothic, but there were steel-toed boots and lots of black and lace and smudgy eyeliner). I was dressing up a lot and gluing sequins on all my stuff. I'm still a sucker for costume jewelry and cocktail rings. What I am getting at is that I have always loved gaudy things. I love rhinestones, I love glitter sweaters, I love kitschy items that would scream "costume" to anyone but me.

By the way, the other day I wore my glitter cheetah print sweater to accordion class. My instructor was SO impressed. She has never commented on anything I have ever worn and she actually stopped in the middle of the lesson and was like, "That is such a lovely sweater. Where did you get that? You could wear that anywhere, you could wear that to the opera." She did. She said I could wear it to the opera. I love her.

Anyway, I recently made the mistake of going on Modcloth and I saw this:

It's so wonderful. It's exactly what it looks like. A sweaterdress with a rhinoceros on it. I've suddenly realized that I would like to own some sweaterdresses. They are warmer than normal dresses. You can just throw them on over leggings and you are basically wearing bedazzled pajamas. Also, I missed out on this:

 Already sold out, what a tragedy.

November 16, 2010

New Project

 My partner in crime is a mail-order bride.

In an effort to embrace the west side of town, Shola and I have decided to form a westside blogging alliance. We are going to start crossing the river on a regular basis to conduct social experiments. We met last week at Secret Society to form a plan of sorts (if you haven't been there you definitely should. It's my favorite place to get a nice cocktail in Portland). A list of possible field trips has been developed but we welcome feedback, advice, and requests.

We're meeting at Beauty Bar for the martini/manicure special this week. Do you know about this? $10 martini and manicure. That's a great deal and there's an appealing element of novelty to the whole thing. Though, I hadn't really thought about it until now. I guess you really wouldn't be able to drink the martini while receiving the manicure. Unless there are long bendy straws. But a martini out of a straw . . .? I'll keep you posted.

November 15, 2010

Warm-up Dinner

Last night Nate had Pre-Thanksgiving at his house. His house is so great. It's one of the only houses on the edge of the industrial area in Southeast, the train goes wailing by, there's a fortress of a factory blowing steam into air, and he has chickens and a garden and a fire pit.

Anyway, he had this dinner last year and it was quite successful, so I was looking forward to this year as well. It's a potluck and everyone made the most delicious things. There was a turkey and brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes and mashed parsnips and mac n' cheese and stuffing and broccoli casserole and mushroom gravy and other things too, but it got pretty overwhelming. About halfway through I was in physical pain. By the end I thought I was going to die. I was wearing a high-waisted (non-elastic band) skirt and tights, which was a horrible choice. It's not that the skirt was the problem, the problem was my gluttony. I just would have felt a lot better if I was wearing my gray sweatpants. Also, since it was a dinner party I couldn't just collapse on the floor afterward, I had to have conversations. And then there was dessert, which I couldn't pass up either. Once we got home I spent the rest of the evening in my sweatpants groaning and rolling around with a distended stomach. The thing is, I'm going to do the exact same thing on Thanksgiving as well. What a disturbing tradition.

November 12, 2010

Boot Scootin'

Ha! So last night I had the ladies over for a happy hour of sorts. I made stuffed mushrooms and bacon-wrapped dates and coleslaw (I recently ended up with an extra head of purple cabbage because I forgot that I had just purchased one and bought another one two days later) and Liz brought cornbread muffins and Laura brought homemade rosemary bread and some sort of delicious tart and we sat around and gossiped and drank red wine and traded old clothing. It was so nice. And because I lost my ipod a while ago, I couldn't play music. But I wasn't daunted by this. I turned on the radio and flipped through the stations and the clearest one happened to be a country station. So we listened to that all night. And I'm not saying it's good, but it was on and I just kind of let it happen. I'm not really even that ashamed.

It took me back to my youth (fourth and fifth grade), when I had a country phase and would sit in my room and eat candy and listen to country and read the Anne of Green Gables series. And it's really kind of embarrassing to admit, but my first concert was Alabama. It's actually totally embarrassing. I wish I could say that is was Micheal Jackson or Gwar or something, but that's what it was. I saw Alabama at the Memorial Coliseum and I remember the lead singer was wearing impossibly tight white jeans. And I'm pretty sure he had a mullet in a similar fashion to Billy Ray's. I know it's passe to make fun of mullets, and thank god fashion mullets have died, but how have they survived that firestorm? How is Billy Ray still traipsing around with a mullet?

Image source

November 11, 2010

Oh Eddie

I have been listening to this song obsessively over the past few days. Dedicated to Kyle Arthur and Emily and their new engagement. Pretty amazing to think that only six months ago I was writing about Kyle Arthur's imaginary girlfriend that he made up only to avoid the occasional social function. Now she is my favorite person to discuss the male domination of the literary canon with. Yay for love!

November 10, 2010

You are a Tiger

I'm not above some psuedo-artsy photos now and again. It harks back to the days of my black and white photography class in which I did a human roadkill project and made my friend Killian lie in the street with raw hamburger coming out of his head. Because it's Nostalgic Photo Week, I'm posting a few photos of my favorite subjects, Liz and Alexa. They are always willing to pose for me, even if it means being infected with  bedbugs or lying on a thistle. I direct them in the manner of a coked-out fashion photographer and they do the modeling. This how a good friendship works.  

From Top:

You are dying in the desert and the only water is alkaline and tastes like Pabst.
You are a vagrant with really good shoes hanging out in your sidewalk living room.
You are a raptor.

November 9, 2010

Try Not to Drown

Now that the rain is really starting in earnest (I'm not even sad because I know that it's snowing in the mountains), I really have to say goodbye to swimming in the sun until next summer. I'm not sure there is anything better than jumping into water, cold or not, on a hot day when you have nothing else to do. It's a way to measure good times. It adds pomp and circumstance to otherwise typical events.

Once, when visiting Gisborne, my friends Elizabeth, Belinda, Tyler, and I went to a bar and drank beer and danced to the Clash and on our way home we decided to jump off the bridge in the center of town. We left our clothing in little bundles under some trees near the water's edge, and ran out on the bridge in the dark in our underwear. Cars honked at us. We stood on the concrete railing, giggling. Elizabeth jumped first, before the countdown had ended, and we followed blindly into black water. An otherwise typical night transformed.

From top: Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula, Shi Shi Beach, Siouxon Creek

November 5, 2010

Navy Blue Weekend

Something has happened to me. I like navy blue all of the sudden. I found it the most dull color in existence, had almost purged my wardrobe of it (except for dark-rinse jeans), and all of the sudden I have this huge old-man cardigan in navy blue, and tights, and shoes, and I'm wearing them all at the same time and I like it. I'm not saying it's the new black or anything, but I am suddenly feeling a lot more tolerant. Next thing you know, I'm going to start wearing khakis.

November 4, 2010

Who I used to be

I once heard that the books that really impacted you as a kid, the ones that you read over and over and over again, are the ones that will impact your writing voice, for better or worse, forever.

I think the same thing applies to drawing. I draw in a very certain way, a strong-lined method that brings to mind those old hand-drawn animations. One of my favorite movies as a child was the Last Unicorn. It is the most magical movie. I love all the lines, the curves, the colors, the epic journey, the lost self/lost love story, the America soundtrack. Yes, it was kind of a musical but that only made it better.

I recently stumbled across Caitlin Hackett's work on my love for you is a stampede of horses.

So beautiful and all done with ballpoint pen. Not only artistically inspiring but I immediately thought of the harpy in The Last Unicorn. I would bet money that Caitlin watched The Last Unicorn as a child.

November 3, 2010

How to Pick Up Portland Girls VII

Three pick-up techniques that don’t or shouldn’t ever work. This one’s dedicated to the lovely Heidi, who came home from a Last Thursday confused and disgusted by yet another passive aggressive pick-up.

Passive aggressive pick-up: Some dude is sitting at the bar watching a girl flip her hair around, sip her drink, and play shuffle board like an adept retiree. He decides that she is attractive. He approaches her, finds a conversation of mutual interest, indicates his desire to take her out. He probably says, “We should hang out sometime.” She agrees. He then gives her his number. We don’t know why you guys do this. You’ve already done the hard part. You’ve expressed interest, you’ve received some interest or at the very least some cordiality, and then you give up. That’s like asking someone on a date and then telling them they need to plan it and bring their credit card. Girls won’t call. It wasn’t their idea. It was your idea. They may have even liked the idea, but this method lacks follow through and that means you probably still live with your mother, have a poor credit score, and are afraid of horses.

Whistling from cars: I’ve never understood this. No matter what type of whistle, holler, or whoop you emit, you are still a person in a moving vehicle. Let’s say the girl in question does, for some insane reason, find you appealing. What is she supposed to do? Start sprinting? Write down your license number? Post an I saw U (You hit and ran over my heart . . .)? Unless this is taking place on 82nd, it’s pretty doubtful that anything will come of this. It’s uncouth. Whistling from cars indicates that you grew up with sheep and probably love professional wrestling.

Using The Game: The worst birthday of my life involved sitting in an izakaya in Kita Urawa, Japan, listening to two sleazy English teachers explain how The Game works. Prey on your insecurities, tear you down to build you up, appeal to your caveman instincts, etc. Gross. The same people who use The Game use tanning products, hair gel, trim their pubic hair into awkward shapes, and probably own at least one Ed Hardy item. Utterly depressing. These are the guys in Portland who voted for Dudley.

November 2, 2010


Sam and I had a bet riding on last night's Blazers game. Due to his childhood proximity to Chicago, he is a Bulls fan. I am, of course, a Blazers fan. My hatred for the Bulls harks back to the '92 finals when it was Mike versus Clyde and you could get those commemorative glasses from Dairy Queen.

So, if the Blazers won, Sam was going to have to wear my Blazers jersey to the upcoming Blazers/Bulls game in February. If the Bulls won, I would have to wear his stupid Jordan jersey to the game. And the Bulls totally won.


November 1, 2010

Fun with stop motion

My friend Huy did this.