February 28, 2011

San Francisco Treats

How great would it be to work at a mannequin factory? There's something so fascinating about their diminutive bodies and awkward gestures. In NZ all the mannequins had distinct nipples which kind of weirded me out. However, none of them even came close to these mini Sinatras and Biebers in their be-suited, creepy glory. Keep looking. It gets weirder the longer you stare at them.

February 27, 2011

Present Company Excepted

LCD Soundsystem at Sasquatch was up there in my top five best things ever. Add the excellent memory of this song on a sloped dance floor in the woods at Meagan and Chad's wedding and you have a recipe for nostalgic love that will live forever. And then there's this. Everything is more fun when puppets are involved.

February 23, 2011

The Great Outdoors

Last fall, Sam, Jocelyn, Tom and I went camping at the beach. Correction. We went "camping" at Fort Stevens State Park. We had pretty big expectations because an acquaintance of Sam's had told him that it was this great place to camp. We went there and apparently, even though it was late in the year, we should have made reservations. However, there was a prime spot left. The man behind the desk showed us on the map, "It's right by the bathrooms and the showers. The ladies will like that." He winked at us. It really was. It was right next the showers. And the Oregonian newspaper box. So much convenience! We got up in the morning and laughed and laughed. Even more funny was that Sam's friend did not tell him it was a "great" place to camp. We looked at the text in the light of day and it turns out he said it was "tight". Never trust the opinion of someone who uses "tight" as a synonym for "good."

February 22, 2011

Pretty Pictures

It was such a great three-day weekend. I hope you all had a good one too. We had a successful dance party at 834, filmed the first segment of the Couch Street Massacre, Liz and I went up to the mountain and had a fantastic day of snowboarding, and yesterday I went and hung out with my family. Now I'm horribly busy with work and a side project that is going to take up a lot of my time for the next few weeks. The blog will not be updated as often; I apologize in advance. In order to keep things somewhat interesting I will be posting some photos because they're easy and don't take much time.

This one was taken by my magical friend Kali. It is Alexis and I sitting near the house we rented at Sea Ranch during Rachael and Kale's wedding. At this very moment we discovered that we both love pulling all the seeds off the tops of tall grasses and then letting them fall out of our hands. Sometimes it's the simple things.

February 18, 2011

Who wants to be famous?

Calling all extras! Tomorrow night we're filming the infamous party scene for the slasher flick we're filming in Hasbeen's soon-to-be-torn-down building. It's going to be great. You just need to wear a Halloween costume, and be over the age of 21 (adult beverages will be provided). Please be 100 percent prompt. Not like, Portland-style forty-five to an hour late. You will just need to hang out in your costume, drink adult beverages, and dance around. You know, look like you're having fun. This may be your big break.

Location: 521 NE Couch St
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Email: huyhasbeen@yahoo.com

February 17, 2011

Oh Jeez

Most of the time I am not very sincere on here. This is not meant to be my diary. But today I am so sad. January was a horrible, horrible month for Mt. Hood. It was so warm, and then it was dry, and then it rained. Over and over and over again and we watched all the snow melt off the mountain. It seemed like the season was over.

It finally snowed a million inches of cold, dry snow up there and I am in Portland. Working at a desk. While people I know are having fun. I feel really left out today. It's like high school when you knew someone was having a party and you weren't invited and it's Friday night and you're sitting with your parents watching Jeopardy, eating pork chops and peas. And I'm listening to The National which is probably the worst idea ever, but that's how it goes.

February 16, 2011

Adventures in Film

If you aren't at work with your boss peering over your shoulder, check out these videos:

My friend Ben put together a collection of scenes that he filmed in the last year. He does this stuff for a living and it's pretty awesome. Check it out here.

If you ever wonder what it looks like when I snowboard, rest assured it looks nothing like this. Totally, totally crazy. I usually prefer snowboard videos that look kind of homegrown and backyardish (makes me feel like I could be there too) but this is a whole different breed. Terrifying. I got chills watching those slabs of snow slip off the peaks.

February 15, 2011

Overlooked and Delicious: City State Diner

I can't believe this place isn't busier but I'm really glad it's not. City State Diner is great. Sam and I went yesterday for a Valentine's Day breakfast. We both ordered the hazelnut french toast (I got the deluxe edition with banana and coconut rum syrup) and it was amazing. Their coffee is good and the servers are always quick to refresh your cup. They do a lot of stuff in-house and all it's all fresh and delicious and the menu is interesting. I haven't even been for lunch yet, but they have some appealing options. It's on the way to work for me, on NE 28th just a couple blocks north of Burnside. Sam and I were one of three couples in the entire restaurant, but I'm pretty sure things won't stay that way forever. Next time you want breakfast and don't want to wait in the rain for an hour, check this place out.

February 14, 2011

I totally take requests

 Look! I got a request. Gentleman's Time, your wish has been granted.

Dear Rachel,

While I'll be following your advice, can you please recommend some Valentine's Day activities that I can do ALONE that night in the event that I'm unsuccessful. I mean I could just stay home, watch The Notebook and listen to "Circles" by Mariah Carey on repeat as I cry myself to sleep but I already do that every night. Kthnx!

Okay. You are alone and it's Valentine's Day. You are totally doomed. The cats are going to eat you.  You can take this lying down or you can do something about it.  You have some options. 

Sad Dancing:  
Mariah Carey is good, but Mary J. Blige is better. I recommend doing an aerobic, ballet-inspired interpretive dance to "No More Drama".  This should look like a cross between Black Swan and that terrifying dance scene in Silence of the Lambs. Not only will you get some exercise, but if you're doing it properly you will start crying half-way through and release some of that pent-up emotion. 

Make Everyone Else Feel Uncomfortable: 
You know what? Screw all those self-satisfied couples. Why should they be happy? Rich people don't get congratulated when they venture into the ghetto. They get stabbed. I can only assume that when you cry yourself to sleep at night, you're doing it at home, alone. Oh wait, the shower? Probably not very safe, but whatever. You need to take it to the next level. Go to a very romantic place (I recommend Pix). Order something decadent. Sit down and start sobbing. Smear that cake on your face. Spill things. If you haven't ruined everyone's date in ten minutes, you aren't crying hard enough. 

Throw Away The Notebook: 
I honestly don't think The Notebook is a good idea. If you're stuck on Ryan Gosling (it's understandable), Blue Valentine may be a better film for you. This movie will show you that even true love fades and becomes bitter, bitter hate. However, I think an even more inspiring choice would be The Last of the Mohicans. Romance/violence you can believe in, suicide, and hatchet-throwing. Who would you rather be? An old man sitting in a retirement home reading to an Alzheimer's patient or Daniel Day-Lewis in a loin cloth? That's what I thought.

February 12, 2011

No, but seriously

From Awkward Prom Couples
I would recommend attending this event over constructing a valentine made of lace, construction paper and blood. It's the second annual Rock n' Roll Prom at Rontoms! The Monarques, Dirty Mittens, and Rocky and the Proms are going to serenade you with 50's and 60's love song covers while you and your date dance a balloon's width apart and alienate people with your blinding taffeta. If this party doesn't result in you finding your life partner, nothing will.

February 11, 2011

How to Pick Up Portland Girls IX

Valentine's Day is approaching. The pressure is on. You better not be single on February 14th because that means you will die alone with forty cats who end up eating half your face and the coroner will have to double check your identity using dental records. Oh no.

But it's okay. You're in Portland. There are many young single people here looking for love. You just need to stand out in the crowd. Here's how to do it.

Draw attention to your head (girls love guys in zany hats): 
 Remember fedoras, newsboys caps, those fuzzy Kangols? Instant style. You have two options in Portland.

Option 1: Yep. Just wearing a giant fuzzy arctic hat. Yeah, it looks like a raccoon died on my head and is just like, rotting here, but that's kind of the point. Someone could live off what's on my head for weeks. And I'm warm. And handsome.  And single . . . .


Option 2: Yep. Just wearing a tiny hat with a tiny brim that cyclists invented in France or something. I like cycling. Biking. Riding my bike. No, see, I flip the brim up because .  . . .  I'm not sure why. It actually completely obliterates the function of the cap. Did I mention I like bikes? And riding them?

Lure them in:
You know how pedophiles troll around in vans with tootsie roll pops and hand-held video game systems? Well, do this but for girls. Girls your age. I recommend carrying it all in a basket so everything's out in the open. Heart-shaped chocolate box, bottle of wine, variety pack of condoms, and a boombox for playing slow jams. This just doesn't happen enough in Portland. Guys need to be more obvious.

Say it in spraypaint or some other material:
There's a lot of great crappy graffiti in Portland. My personal favorite is Paulrus is Dead and I don't even know Paulrus. What if it was personalized? What if she started seeing propositions on every dumpster in town? Your name and hers in the middle of a heart impaled with an arrow right there under the Burnside Bridge. I mean, go big, appropriate a billboard. You don't need to stop at spray paint. Think blood. . . . on the windshield of her Buick Le Sabre. That's romance.

February 10, 2011


Album cover from Wilderness Heart

 The Sasquatch lineup is pretty underwhelming this year. Apparently Foo Fighters was just the beginning of a massive booking blunder. Death Cab for Cutie AND Bright Eyes? Ugh, slit my wrists.  I've seen all the headliners that I like at Sasquatch already,  some more than once. This doesn't mean it's not going to be great, I was just hoping for a little more novelty. However,  I'm shaking it off and I am going to appreciate it for what it is. Moving onwards and upwards.

This gives me the chance to do some research and find some new bands to get excited about. Aaaaand, mission accomplished. Black Mountain is all that I need in festival rock. They are Canadian. Always a good sign. What to expect: dirty 70s guitar, male and female vocals all stretched out and druggy, squealing solos, some weird synthy organ stuff, tambourine, and the perfect tempo for passionate headbanging. You aren't excited yet? Listen to Black Mountain (their first album). I will definitely be at their show.  Sober. With clean hair.

February 7, 2011

The Near Future IS Bright

Tonight, I am attending the Blazers vs. Bulls game at the Rose Garden. And I will be wearing a Bulls jersey. This is because Portland lost last time they were matched against the Bulls and I was foolish enough to make a bet on the fact that they wouldn't. I'm sorry Blazers. I'm sorry in advance. Don't let my turncoat ways dissuade you from winning tonight and helping me get revenge upon Sam. I really, really hope they win, but mostly I just hope that no one spits on me.


A few of you may have seen this post before I took it down on Monday. That's because we were surprising Jesse for his birthday and taking him to the game. I realized after posting it that there was a chance he would see it and the surprise would be ruined. But no,  it was a complete success. I made fajitas, my family came into town, we ate cake (all at lightning speed due to the impending start time) and then I came downstairs in my Bulls jersey and Sam pulled the tickets out. That look of complete surprise was priceless. We ran to catch the bus (literally) and made it to the game only slightly late. And then! They won! It was such a great game. They played so well! It was so exciting. Turnovers, dives to the balls, artful dunks, great assists, great defense, and a 95 percent free-throw success. Everyone played well. I'm not even ashamed to own a Rudy jersey anymore. After the game I kept the gloating and celebration to a minimum so that Sam wouldn't need to break up with me. But it was hard.

February 4, 2011

What Happens at Ron Toms

So, I'm sure you've all been at Ron Toms (600 East Burnside) at some point or another. It's a pretty great bar. I'm not going to say it's my favorite but it provides a reliable mix of random people, decent music, strong drinks, and weird interactions. You can play ping pong there. They have a patio. You hear it all there. Guys in little beanies ramble on about the healing powers of fixed gear bicycles on bad knees (yeah right), people from the Northwest apparently don't get sarcasm (okay smug guy from New York with your gold chain), random really drunk girl tells me, "I'm wearing my slut shirt", adults in nice clothes from the outer ring (Beaverton, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego) come into town to get drunk and drive home, men come in wearing suits, cool kids come in wearing costumes on days that are not Halloween, it's pretty much a free-for-all. It's loud and seating and flow and the line-up for the bar always feel kind of haphazard but that's okay. I feel like it's a good place to take someone from out of town if the Sandy Hut would bum them out. Not that I actually associate with people like that.

I was digging around in my photos today. I never post photos directly after the fact, but I'm working on it. These photos are from last fall a few days before Kale and Rachael got married in September. We braided Kale's hair in french braids and drank shots of tequila and celebrated celebration.

Celebration, kind of. There is one really sad face in this collective.

Jocelyn and I demonstrating our french braiding skills

Kale is notoriously bad at smiling for photos. I'm not sure what happens.

That guy in the leather jacket is not someone anyone knows. First he was the photographer, then we made him join in. Ron Toms is a great place for picking up people for group photos so it looks like you have more friends than you actually do. I like this photo because of Kale's joyful smile.

February 3, 2011

Pump it Up

Well, I've finally done it. The unthinkable. I joined a gym.

I've always had a hatred of gyms: the sweating, the sidelong glances, the tank tops, the men admiring their own muscles in the mirror as they grunt, shiny cross trainers, bad music, spandex, and . . . . .  . . . smells. 

But I've also been getting sad for no reason (the reason being winter and all its long nights and short days), and a little doughy. I can usually combat this with bike rides and occasional bouts of calisthenics in my living room, but I decided it was time to call in reinforcements.

I joined the Lloyd Athletic Club. It's awesome. They give you a towel when you walk in and the machines are never crowded and there's a hot tub and a steam room in the ladies locker room and you don't have to be 45 minutes early to get into a class. I took a yoga class the other night and I was one of five people. The only downfall to a class with five people is that when you are standing in some sort of groin-stretching position with your head hanging down and you suddenly get lightheaded and then you are rolling around on the floor like you slipped in a mud-wrestling pit and can't get up because you actually fainted (I actually fainted!), the instructor stops and asks if you're okay and everyone looks at you. Which is good I guess, because it means you won't die in yoga class without being noticed. There are lots of old, old men using the weight machines, and many people sit in the lounge when they are done and have a beer in the front of the fire place so you can walk through the lounge and it smells like hops. Basically, I'm really excited about this whole gym thing. Which may be kind of sad in the grand scheme of things, but surely getting in shape can't be considered sad even if it takes place at a gym. However, just punch me if I start asking you to feel my muscles. That's when you know a line has been crossed.

February 1, 2011

Best Albums to Do Stuff To

All music has a time and a place and a purpose. No one wants to hear Celine Dion on the jukebox when they’re trying to play pool in their favorite dive bar. You don't invite people over for a party and play Cat Power. You can’t do it while Tony Basil is playing. It’s physically impossible. The following are operating instructions for a few albums that I enjoy.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fever to Tell: Listen to this when you are getting ready. Imagine that Karen O is your best friend. No, better yet, imagine that you are Karen O. Dance awkwardly throughout your entire bedroom, jump on the bed, leap to the floor and then gyrate in front of the mirror. Put on lipstick in an exaggerated way and imagine this scene is the opening montage to the movie of your best day ever.

Gayngs, Relayted: Listen to this on vinyl when you guys are breaking up. With all the fading guitar and soft vocal stylings it sounds sad but beautiful, which will justify your feelings and make it feel like the whole thing is meant to be. People were never meant to be happy anyway. The best artists never are. It is the perfect background album for your harsh words and divisions of furniture, custody of the cat, and your joint record collection. Smile wistfully when the saxophones start playing all echoey. Brush away single tears.When the record stops and there's just that thump, thump, thump, it's time to move on.

Iron and Wine, The Shepherd's Dog: Take this with you when you move to Japan to teach English. Listen to this on subways and trains and stare out the window at all the piles of concrete blocks, the rice paddies, the exotic curve of temple roofs. Wander alleyways and parks like the alienated Caucasian wraith that you are. Decide that you want to move back to the states and build like, a farm or a bookcase or something.

Pink Floyd, Meddle: Take this with you on long drives. Make sure you are somewhere really good when the last song plays. Preferably rushing down a windy road high in moonlit mountains, or precariously threading your way along a craggy coastline. Get all introspective and feel insignificant. It’s better when no one else is in the car with you, but if they are, make sure that they don’t sing along, or hum, or even worse, talk when this album is playing. If you are going on a long drive, make sure you don’t end up with Fergie’s The Duchess with you. No one can completely recover from that.

The Knife, Heartbeats: When you are at the bar and then it closes and you and all your friends still want to be awake doing fun things, you should take them home with you and play this album really loud. The entire thing. Invent some sort of stomping line dance that threatens to break the floorboards and the patience of your non-slumbering roommates. Sing along. Drink whatever is in the fridge, even if it’s not yours. Spill something. Feel good about the direction your life has taken.