March 30, 2011


So, I know I've told you about my new OC obsession. It's gotten embarrassing. We moved on to Season 2 and blew through it in record time. At one point (the lowest), I ended up back at the video store mere hours after I checked out disc 5  (we thought it would be enough, we were fools) and the same guy was still working the counter. I basically returned in the amount of time it takes to watch four episodes of the OC. As he handed me the second one he said, "This one will also be due on Friday," with this curt little nod and smirk. What can you do? I can't be indignant. I'm the one who has a debilitating addiction.

Anyway, the point of this post is not how pathetic I am. The second season has a marked increase in the amount of up-to-the minute (in 2003) music it's exposing in the soundtrack. A live venue has also been added to the storyline, so bands can come on the show and play a song. They've played all sorts of bands: Modest Mouse, Flaming Lips, Of Montreal, Death Cab for Cutie, LCD Soundsystem, etc. etc.

Also, not the point. Twin Shadow. Twin Shadow is the finale of this post. If the OC was being filmed right now they would totally have Twin Shadow in the soundtrack, probably in a scene involving driving through Chino or a late night mope on the beach. It's not breaking any ground, this music, but it's also doing what it's meant to do very well.  I've been listening to their album all day on repeat and I'm liking it. Melancholic pop with some soothing vocals and familiar eighties hooks, some modernized synth. I would say this year's Phantogram, at least, in the scheme of Sasquatch.

Yes. This comes around to Sasquatch. Twin Shadow is playing at Sasquatch and I hope to see them. As long as they aren't one of those bands who play first thing at noon. I usually miss those.

March 29, 2011

I like letters

I got this in the mail the other day.

I love mail! Receiving letters or impromptu packages rates up there with laughing so hard your stomach hurts, stopping on road trips at strange roadside attractions, buffets, and discovering crazy lady glitter sweaters at the thrift shop.

I owe Alexis a letter. And now, for a limited time, if any of you leave your address in the comments I will send you a letter or a package so you can experience this joy for yourself.

March 28, 2011

A visit to Ethiopia

So, Sam and I went and saw Castanets on Saturday night. It was a good show but was totally overshadowed by what happened next. We were ready for adventure. Which led us to Club 2122, that scary looking bar on Vancouver isolated from the surrounding neighborhood by a large chain-link fenced superfund site and gravel encrusted lots. Thankfully there was a ten dollar cover so we decided not to go in. I'm not saying anything bad would have happened, but apparently it's one of the more notorious bars in Portland and has had many a run-in with the police and the OLCC.

We continued on our way and ended up standing outside the Sengatera Ethiopian Restaurant by my house. And then we went inside. It was dark, with some disco lights and little bar in the back. A large group was huddled around some tables in the back corner. There are twin dwarves who often hang out in front of the shop next door. I see them when I'm driving down MLK.  One of them was the bartender and he was sitting on a very tall chair. We sat down at the bar and ordered an Ethiopian beer on the bartender's recommendation. It was incredibly sweet and malty and pretty hard to choke down. I should note that they had a fairly well stocked bar but it was divided in half. One half was the normal array and the other consisted solely of Johnny Walker Black Label and Hennessey. Like, ten bottles of each all lined up in a row. When we were almost done with the hideous beer the lady sitting to our right ordered us two more. I started talking to her and she told me about her family and her boyfriend and moving from Somalia and her life in Portland. She was so nice. Sam bought her a drink and then we starting dancing to Ethiopian pop music with some of the guys in a line dance of sorts.

The best thing about this was how much it felt like a visit to a foreign country. It made me miss that feeling you get when you travel. Your guard is down. People are speaking a different language (in this case, Somalian). You are something different, a novelty, and you aren't surrounded by the same people with beards and hoodies and bikes. It was nice to talk to someone who didn't move here because they had finished their liberal arts degree and decided they wanted to be an artist or an organic farmer. I'm not saying I am anti- these things. I'm not at all. But sometimes it seems like everyone's story is the same, their background is my background, their experiences are just like mine. It's good to remember how incredibly different people are.

And that beer gave me the worst hangover ever. Which makes me pretty glad I don't live in Ethiopia.

March 25, 2011

Mighty Market Delights

You see these awesome dresses? This is my Star Wars dress, handmade by Caitlin (at left in that gorgeous artfully altered puffed sleeve  concoction). You are probably thinking, "I wish I had my own Star Wars dress." The thing is, you can't. It is a one and only. But don't be sad.  What you can have is your own dress handmade by Caitlin. She is all about recycling old clothing, using vintage fabrics, and creating garments that are unique as she is/you are. Etsy shop here. She and other talented friends are peddling their wares at Mighty Market #4 on Saturday night. Handmade clothing, vintage finds, Missoni-knit scarves, snacks, wine, photography, and all the finer things in life.

This is going down from 6 to 9 pm at 4047 N Michigan Avenue. See you there!

March 24, 2011

Triple Feature!

Mississippi Studios has three great shows in a row for the next three nights. I would highly recommend checking out at least one of them.

Esben and the Witch: Sounds like the name. Haunting, dirgelike, some psychedelic noise stuff happening in the background, overly and awesomely dramatic. If I didn't already have plans to eat soup with Liz and Gabe and watch Auntie Mame I would totally be there.

Friday Night
 Foster the People: Um, Mississippi Studios calls it "chillwave". I think that's awkward. I don't think any musical genre should have "chill" in its title and combined with "wave"?. Ugh. Nevertheless, let's call this summery California pop that pretty much sounds like car dancing (you know, dancing around in your seat and waving your arms around while passing fast food signs and palm trees and old ladies walking dogs) with the windows down. Unfortunately, it's sold out. Good thing they're playing at Sasquatch.

Saturday Night
Castanets: I'm really excited about this. I've been listening to Castanets for awhile and haven't seen a live show yet. This is Raymond Raposa's one-man band, but apparently he brings in a rotating cast of musicians for his live performance. I like the recorded stuff but I imagine a live show will be quite a bit different and equally if not more awesome.

March 23, 2011

Best Weekend Ever

I cannot even begin to describe how magical this last weekend was. When people ask me I can only say it was the best weekend ever or some other superlative. Because really, it was. You would have to have been there to fully understand. I didn't stop smiling from Friday afternoon to Sunday night. The only thing I can do is make a list and accept the fact that it is incomplete. Feel free to add to it in the comments. 

1. Golden Poles Chalet! Afternoon sun streaming through the window, giant two-person recliner, monstrous collection of bootleg VHS, full kitchen, master bedroom. 

2. All of my favorite people (almost, there were a few missing). 

3. Cake! Laura made a delicious cake from scratch, complete with cream cheese frosting. I came out from the bathroom to find everyone beaming and the cake covered in candles.

4. Alcohol and snow. Friday night involved a lot of running around in the snow, flipping off buildings, climbing up snow piles, and throwing snow at and on people. In a good way. And by the way, when I say flipping off, I mean acrobatics. 

5. Fresh snow and sunshine on Saturday. We roamed the mountain in an enormous wolf-like pack and somehow managed to stay together and jump off cornices and navigate tiny tree trails to get to the good stuff. Jocelyn was the star of the day (she hadn't been snowboarding for a few years) and I never expected to see her not only keep up, but take some awesome falls with pride. We also sickened people everywhere by doing multiple cheesy team photos. See above. 

6.  Heated Pool. Glorious. We even did Arctic Challenge and rolled around in the snow before jumping back in. And then it started snowing on us.

7. Saturday night team. An additional crowd showed up on Saturday evening and added to the general mix of awesome people who were there to have fun. Extra fun. 

8. Splits contest. I saw Andrew drop into a full-on splits, arms up like a gymnast and then do the bounce. I thought only strippers could do that. 

9. We took over the dance floor at Charlie's and danced like we had never danced before. The live band was great and other people were jealous that they weren't us. No one got in a fight (though a few people tried).

10. We are adults. The best thing about doing stuff like this now is that people actually know how to cook. The party aspect is there, but we aren't eating ramen and peanut butter out of the jar. We ate like kings (thanks to everyone who contributed) and cleaned the condo and got out  five minutes before check out despite Saturday night's festivities. It was impressive.

11. Also, this was for my birthday. I meant to list ten things, to keep the list symmetrical but this is a fact that cannot be ignored. Continuous birthday love throughout the whole weekend made it extra special.

March 18, 2011

Birthday Weekend Commence!

I cannot wait for this weekend to start. I came in to work early so I can leave early, I made cookies last night, I did most of my packing last night (until I got distracted and started working on a painting), and there have been email chains that could set world records. We are going to the mountains.

I don't know if any of you have ever planned a condo/cabin weekend in the mountains but it is exhausting. I don't think I did it right. I first wanted to make sure I had enough people interested in coming. I sent out some emails. My friends responded in a positive manner. Then I started looking for the cabin/condo. There were so many options. I spent a few weeks agonizing and then I picked one. This solved one problem. I then reconfirmed that people were coming. And here's where things got tricky.

A friend of mine recently tried to do a cabin mountain weekend and it didn't work. At all. She found it impossible to get anyone to commit. Worried about a similar situation, I overinvited on the assumption that some people wouldn't want to, some people would flake at the last minute, etc. When I went in for a reconfirmation I realized that I had 20 people coming to a condo with an occupancy of nine. Not feasible.

I'm not going to lie. There was some panic. I came up some poor solutions such as (1) not go at all and move away and never return, or (2) organize some sort of gladiator-type battle for condo supremacy. Instead, Liz found a place for some people to stay and we divided the group amongst the cabins. Not so bad. Liz really came through.

So now we are divided but not in our hearts. I'm really excited for the weekend, there has been a million emails about all the delicious food people are bringing, the rides are sorted, the mountain has been getting heaps of snow, and basically it's going to be awesome.

The two things I have learned from this?

1. Don't overinvite.

2. My friends are wonderful.

March 17, 2011

After the Party

You know, some of my favorite times are after the big event, when everyone is kind of loopy, and danced out, and hungry, and you end up sitting around laughing about your favorite moments of the evening (in this case making fun of the English guys in the pink shirts and making the DJ play ODB), eating food (in this case not-so delicious pizza), and cuddling. Also, taking a million photos while lying on top of a hotel comforter (something I would usually immediately remove and throw in the corner due to rumors of bodily fluid stains) doesn't seem like a bad idea at all. I love these girls.

March 16, 2011

What a Dilemma

Red Dress Party tickets are on sale. Now. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to dance to techno for hours in a room filled with gays, girls, red lace, lycra, and fishnet, now is your chance. I have gone for the past two years and have always enjoyed it immensely. However, this year ticket prices have gone up considerably and I'm not rich. What to do? Do I ignore fiscal responsibility and just go for it? Or do I stoically abstain?

Well. In the midst of writing this, Lauren Welch (future nurse and wonderful person) made me an offer I just couldn't refuse. And let's not forget this is a charity event. Here are some photos from last year. Ani set up a semi-professional photography studio in his apartment and we pretended to be models. These are the pre-party photos. The post ones were a bit less polished.

March 15, 2011

Cowboys in Space!

The American Astronaut / Trailer from Cory McAbee on Vimeo.

We watched this a few nights ago in a real-deal lawyer-owned home theater. This room had leather chairs that reclined electronically with the touch of a button, a quality sound system, a projector, and a very large screen. I can see why people go into law.

We ended up there because Jocelyn invited Sam and I up to a place she's housesitting. She cooked an entire chicken, greens, mashed squash, and white wine risotto for us. Homey and delicious.

We followed up dinner with The American Astronaut. The soundtrack is wonderful, it's deadpan funny, extremely strange, and incorporates musical numbers. Shot in black in white on what appears to be a minuscule budget (the space travel animations are refreshingly quaint), it's also nice to look at and reminds you why camera angles and editing are more important than large explosions. While we watched it Jocelyn kept saying, "I can't believe I haven't made you watch this yet." I really couldn't either.

March 14, 2011

Passive Attack

I stayed at Sam's last night. As you all know, he lives in NW but I probably have not described his building to you. It's a large brick building with four floors. It's located next to the world's loudest Wells Fargo ATM, the beeping of which you can hear at all hours of the night. The interior often smells like curry, or marijuana, or a combination of both. There is a lot of orangish carpet, and lots of stairs, and a decrepit elevator. In the summer there is always a group of lurkers who sit on the stoop and drink beer and sometimes they barbecue. They always do this in front of the door and then I have to shuffle through awkwardly with my bike, trying not to knock over beer cans.

Today the apartment building hit an all-time low. I rolled my bike to the elevator, pushed the button, and it opened to display an decrepit, elaborately stained twin mattress. Like, full-on Venn diagrams of late-night bladder release. That sad abandoned thing was just sitting in there, enjoying the ride, undoubtedly shedding bedbugs and fleas on every floor. I then had to share the elevator with it, a presence more ominous than any lurker with a beer can and a plate of curry. Can you catch bedbugs just by standing next to an infested mattress?

March 11, 2011

Fringe Element

I used to be a serious equestrian. I started showing horses competitively in fourth grade and kept it up all the way through high school. I was still the same person you know now, so don't get any ideas. I was not one of those horse girls who wore Wranglers in high school and dated the kid with the faded circle on his back pocket from his chew can. I wore normal clothing like any other kid. However, at horse shows I wore what every one else wore. Fringed chaps, crystal covered bodysuits, plaid button downs, denim vests bedazzled with rhinestones, felt cowboy hats, Wranglers, crepe-soled boots. I miss it. Is it surprising that I love these Cut N Paste bags? Not at all. I need more fringe in my life.

March 10, 2011

A Few Good Things

Well, now I have to come down from my birthday high. Last night was great. Photobooth shenanigans, a fantastic turnout, a healthy amount of peer pressure, and lots of love. I would like to note two things:

1. I beat Sam at Big Buck Hunter. This may not impress you. But I was soundly losing for a good portion of the game and suddenly it was like Mighty Ducks or something and  I just stepped up and took over until my arm was exhausted. It felt great. I am an extremely competitive person (though I try to pretend I'm not) and I can't really describe the joy that I felt when I holstered my rifle knowing that I was a champion.

2. I told Sam that I would read the entirety of the Hobbit to him, with voices. He was less than thrilled but pretended to be okay with it. Sam, I want you to know this was not a rambling empty promise. This is happening.

And finally, for your entertainment, here's a video that I appear in. I took the Greasebus (which is awesome! $10 to get a ride to the mountain in a vehicle powered on vegetable grease. They even give you free treats!) a few weeks ago on a beautiful sunny day and now there is documentation on the internet that I am a pretty average snowboarder. You guys were bound to find out eventually. P.S. I am the girl in green.

Powder riding in Jacks woods from Greasebus on Vimeo.

March 9, 2011

Birthday Guest Blog!

It's my birthday! Yes! I haven't cried yet today, so this is obviously going to be one of the good birthdays, rather than the soul-searching what am I doing with my life birthdays. So that's nice. Liz wrote me a little birthday guest blog, I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did:

On March 9th 2010, I really let Ms. Wrong down. I’ve let her down more times than I can count. Every time I’ve declined to swill tequila shots, or turned up my nose at some libation she gets this dejected look as if I’ve kicked her dog . When I can’t make it to an event because of a prior engagement it's like I let it spill that Santa was a pedophile. And when I didn’t save her a piece of chicken-pot-pie from a potluck she was delayed in arriving to, well that was the equivalent of sticking coal in her stocking. All of those failures on my part pale in comparison to her birthday last year, when I went home early for no better reason than the fact that I was “tired”.

Tired? For God’s sake I was just 26 years old, did I think it was going to get easier as I got older? Did I think that for some reason simply having a job that started early in the morning should make me exempt from drinking recklessly with one of my best friends? How could I be so deluded with the imagined importance of my “career” as a low-level manager, to think that it would really harm me if I had to drink a few extra cups of coffee in the morning to seem chipper at the 7:30 meeting? And a better question, when on earth did I get to be such an old sandy vagina with such pathetic excuses? I disgust myself. So, upon hearing the words, “I think I’m going to bail”, I was surprised to see Ms. Wrong take the news so stoically. In fact, I was so surprised, I asked again, "are you sure?". She told me again that it was fine, but I know, because of the subsequent times that she has mentioned it over the past year, not with judgment, but with sadness, that a little part of her soul died that night, along with a little bit of her youth.

Well, that it won't happen this year. In fact, I started pre-hydrating for this evening four days in advance. I'm going to go out, I am not going to look at my watch, I will shimmy, and swill, and make merry, and I will like it. I will fucking love it in fact. But really, how could I not love every opportunity I have to celebrate such a dear, unique and wonderful friend on her birthday?  I've even look forward to buying her a diet coke, and listening her moan as she laments the fun we had.

P.S. I also hope all my Portland friends will be at the Standard tonight to see Liz in action. It should be pretty good.

March 8, 2011

One Year

So, Sam and I marked our one-year anniversary yesterday with a self-timed photo.  There were a lot of attempts. This was actually the best one. We are not the kind of people who look cool in photos.

This whole one year anniversary thing is a pretty astonishing feat. I have never celebrated one consecutive year with anyone, and neither had Sam, actually. It went so extremely fast. One minute we were making out in a Denver dance club (like, on the dance floor. Not a classy moment. There were witnesses) and then there was the texting and calling and the brief but exciting weekend visits, and then he moved here and we were suddenly eating breakfasts together in the same city and going on picnics and attending metal shows and headbanging next to each other. I even saved his life once when we went snowboarding. He has a pretty large capacity for tolerating my wretched traits and encouraging the good ones and it has been an amazingly great year. I try to avoid gushing about stuff like this in a public forum, but it's a pretty big deal. Especially for those of you who knew me prior to this relationship and had to feed me chocolate and pat me on the hand while I flopped around on the floor and croaked that I would never date again.

March 1, 2011


After a particularly dry January, it feels especially good to get these epic snowstorms up at the mountain. Meadows has received 24 inches in the past 24 hours. Jeeeeeez. It has been so good up there. Here's a shot of Eva (in red) and I (in green) at the top of Heather Chair. This was after a magical run through Jack's Woods. I probably turned five times total, threw some powder around, and generally felt really glad to be alive. The best thing? The storm isn't over.