I even post my posts late.

(The following was written on Dec. 15 and my lazy ass is only now getting around to posting it)

As my good friend Parrish pointed out, it's been over a month since I posted anything. Don't I feel sheepish! Well, time does fly and all that. But, really. Sorry. SORRY!

I was actually looking through stuff on my computer literally yesterday to find an entry I had started when I was away from ye olde Intronet and never got around to finishing/uploading. It was mostly about my realization that Elmer's Glue is Ejaculate. So I don't think you were missing out on much.

Winter is cold. I love it. Though I wish I hadn't lost my hobo gloves. I lost my red hat too. I'd get sentimental, but the only thing that bugs me is shelling out another $15 bucks for a pair of gloves. They were such nice gloves...

Yesterday I discovered the greatest movie theatre in Portland: The St. Johns Theatre and Pub. It's right in downtown St. Johns and shows first-run movies for a mere $6. AND they serve beer. I went to see The Chronicles of Narnia (mediocre) with some friends and talked the shop keep into giving me the "Family Beer Combo" (which I invented on the spot) - basically consisting of me getting a jumbo popcorn for $2 with the purchase of two beers (that were going to be purchased anyway). My allegiance is firmly set and I will not be found going to another theatre to see any movie they are currently showing. Really, Portland is a treasure trove of independent theatres. I am now making it my goal to see a movie at ALL of them. Yes that's right. ALL OF THEM! I'll make you a list to monitor my progress and perhaps... join along?

My roommate and I are throwing our second party on Friday: Chrismukkah. I will only say this: Fuck YEAH! The O.C. is my church. I know I am crazy. I know this. I also know I don't care. Because I made a goddamn yamiclaus!

Writing "goddamn" just then keyed me into an odd hypocrisy: I think dammit should be spelled as I wrote it, rather than "damnit." Yet "goddamn" warrants an "n". Why?WHY?

I am making a slideshow/video/thing for the year-end meeting at work. Currently I'm in the "gathering" phase. I have rarely known such joy as when seeing pictures of these people in their youth completely disconnected from the age-worn individuals I know in context of George Morlan Plumbing. It preys on the worst of my voyeuristic impulses. Love. This project is a strange thing that has fallen in my lap, but I am trying to roll with it and learn the art of videography/editing. I'm a bit skittish about it, but it's also a lot of fun. Perhaps I could do this all the time rather than selling toilets...

-Thank you for reading.


Almost famous

Pardon me while I toot my horn for a minute.

While I didn't find out until Sunday, the above image of myself shooting stick at Berbati's was the lead in picture for last Friday's A&E cover story about Portland's latest late night scene. My identity was less of a give away in the paper because the photo was printed black and white (which looked HOT) and thus you wouldn't have noticed my signature red hat - which at the moment I fear I may have lost.

It was taken a week prior when I was out with friends on a completely unplanned Friday post-work bender that continued into the wee hours with me waiting some 40 minutes to get a Voodoo Doughnut. Seriously, what WAS that guy's problem? Anyway, the photographer approached me and asked my name - which having worked in "The Biz" I didn't think twice about and had forgotten it by the next morning. Though that may have had something to do with the bender part of the evening.

The funniest part about this episode is that I found out about the whole thing from a friend in New York, of all places. Apparently his Dad had told him about it and he mentioned it to me in passing when I had just called him to talk about anime and video games. So from now on I want all my news to be filtered by going coast to coast before it reaches my ears. That way all the unimportant stuff falls off somewhere around Nebraska.

But wait, there's more.

You ALL need to watch AM Northwest this Friday morning because I'll be getting my hair cut by Dayna Cakebread (best last name ever) of the Belle Epoque salon. I'm on their mailing list (dork) and she put out the call this morning for cool, scruffy guys. As I haven't had my hair cut since the last time she laid hands on it some three months ago - and she left it fairly long anyway - I'm prime for a new doo. I'm going to give her free reign, so who knows what the hell will happen.

But it's a whole makeover, not just the hair. So I get to wear hot clothes and possibly (and I don't know how I feel about this) get a facial. Anyway. That's worth working a little late this week so I can duck out early on Friday morning, right?

-Thank you for reading.


I want to have less meaning

Hmm. Where to begin.

It's been an odd month, which perhaps explains why I haven't written. I've meant to. I meant to say how I saw Neil Gaiman read from his latest novel and how magical hearing him speak was. He is man who exists to tell stories - captivating ones that, as he would like it said, "say true things." His charisma and ease in his own skin are the kinds of qualities that should be held by all great movers of men. It was a wonderful moment that would not be sullied by waiting an hour and a half for an autograph.

I meant to tell you of my trip to Bend - the second weekend of the month that I have given to my employer. I was there working a home show with poor attendance where I was only 60 percent needed. Had it been a four-night trip, it would have been better. Six-nights, as it was, stretched a little long. I compensated by eating some delicious and outrageously priced meals on the company dime. Yes, waiter, I'll have some of that scotch I see on the bar with "15" blaring out at me. Mmmm. Expensive scotch.

My excitement over halloween was high going into October, but now I find I haven't carved a pumpkin or planned any elaborate costume. Somewhere along the line, my resolve broke. I hope to do better by myself for New Years - and if Russ has anything to say about it, I will - but in general my mood is low for both reasons of season and emotion. I never thought myself too susceptible to dramatic mood swings that follow the cloud cover and moisture content of my atmosphere, but I have been bouncing rather from pole to pole as each day decides what exactly it will be. In that regard, there is no finer place than Bend for consistently gorgeous weather. I meant to tell you about the way the sun cradled between south and middle sister as it set punctually 6 marking the progression of 70 degree days into below freezing nights of crystal clarity.

I didn't mean to write this. But being in my head for too long is never a good idea and I don't want to have to continue and look back at things I meant to do.

Thank you for reading.


I am the host with the most

I love my roommate. She tapped the keg for our party because I've never done so and would most likely have fucked it up.

We cleaned the place up nice, complete with foofy foods like hummus and vegetables... OK, there were m&ms too, but they were GIANT and in strange pastel colors.

We keep him in our secret closet. He dances for nickels that people throw at him.

I am so happy with how the party turned out. The crowd was big enough, but not too big. Everyone was respectful of our stuff and drank responsibly while managing to kill the keg. I am heartened that our future entertainment endeavors will meet with success. Next up is likely Pumpkin Carv-nival Part II: The Carvening. I certainly learned my lesson from last year not to leave pumpkins out in rainy weather for two weeks. Ew. Though it was fun to push them all off the balcony.



Stretching out

I love my new apartment like I love puppies.

Each time I come home, I have a moment of awe that I live there. It’s beautiful, spacious and full of charm. AND it’s coming together nicely with our preexisting and newly purchased furniture. The living room looks so adult with Katie’s new couches and my awesome rug. The dining room will be good, but we just need more stuff for it, it’s so big. The kitchen was fantastic before we put anything in it and will only grow more incredible – though we did overlook the fact that none of the brand new drawers and cabinets have handles. Yeah. Got to get on that.

My bedroom remains a mess, mostly because after getting my new bed set up and my books put away, my motivation to do anything else dwindled. It’ll happen before next Friday, though, when we are hosting our housewarming bash. I am insisting, though here for the first time, that I purchase the keg as I’ve never done so and have wanted to ever since seeing “Teen Wolf” – which got an odd sort of props from The O.C.’s third season premier last night. I swear, they’re not even trying to make those characters believably 17-years-old, but if they did I probably wouldn’t love it.

Also in the good news department, my time-off request went through and I’m taking a long weekend in New York on the 23rd. I’ve done the NY thing enough times that I don’t need to act too touristy, though I’m always excited about real NY pizza, even if we have the next best thing right here in Portland.

What we also have in Portland is rain. I’m going to have to gear up if I want to attempt scooting to work from here on out. I’m thinking something like this:


-Thank you for reading.


The most outrageous shit ever

Am I that lowly of a person that I get excited when people leave comments on my blog? Yes I am. But what do I see there? BLOG SPAM!!! Scroll down a bit and check it out for yourself. Check your own blog, for that matter, if you have such a thing. Did you look? You’ve got to be fucking joking, right? Yes, because you comment on my blog, I will be very interested in your diabetes testing site. Why, to think, I’ve gone 24 years without considering the fact that I COULD HAVE DIABETES. What a horror!

Fucking blog spam and mattress ads on my Gmail. I think the path of cultural technology excess I’ve embarked on could just be an intermediary to a complete shutout of info tech.

Thank you for reading (and not spamming, fuckers!)

I'm just a boy with a new haircut

I think I will instantly fall in love with any woman who washes my hair.

Of course, it helps that all the girls working at Belle Epoque are button-cute. They said just a wash would be $10, so I'm thinking if I can stretch out two washes a week, I will have beautiful women wash my hair forever.

I treated myself to a full-service wash/haircut/hand and scalp massage (all standard at B.E.) last night and couldn’t be happier about it. Well, actually, I’d be happier if it was a little cheaper, but I figure it’s all money that I won’t be spending when I go bald. Flaunt it while you got it, I always say.

I went under the shears of the owner herself, Dayna Cakebread (not sure if that’s a real name). She moves with speed and precision, at once deciding on her vision and carrying it out with excitement. It was fantastic, as I usually have few specific requests for my stylist. There are just general guidelines that usually include, but aren’t limited to, shorten the back and de-thick-ify the sides. She did that and oh such more… not that I was paying attention because her uber-cute new assistant was massaging my early-stage carple-tunneled hands. Ohhhh so nice. She tried to give me a little too much spike in the back, but I decided I didn’t want to look like this

(that part behind the “N” is still his hair.

Anyway, the move is still on. Apparently my Dad just got a truck that I can use. Sweet. He must be giddy like I was when I got my scooter. Seriously, he’s been talking about getting a truck for like 10 years. It fulfills his inner-putterer, though at this stage in life, I don’t know how much rugged use he’s going to get out of it. I mean, my folks just got a gardener for the love of Pete.

Thank you for reading.


Go see what I saw

Oh Dog, You Sleuth! posted a fantastic picture of Aqua Boy from the soapbox derby. How fucking cool is that kid! I wish my parents would have made me a cape. For Halloween, I'm gonna be fucking Aqua Boy.

Thank you for reading.


All I'm selling are false promises

Last week on the sales floor was, in ways, less frustrating than my first go-round because I’ve eased my internal pressures (mostly by farting) and am generally more assured in the fact that by simply speaking kindly and honestly with people, they will tolerate your complete incompetence. What I remain skittish about is the fact that I am not giving these people anything when I make a sale. I am selling them a piece of pink paper that says at some point before the magnetic poles reverse, they will receive the items listed therein. How that is supposed to happen is almost entirely beyond my control. So when they inevitably call me two months from now asking where their sink is, I will be just as bewildered as they.

As Katie has mentioned on her blog, she and I are moving at the end of the month. Our place is gorgeous. I bought a rug for it the other day. I never imagined myself buying a rug, but I seem to have gotten quite a deal. We are already planning a bash to christen the dwelling. Katie wants to call the apartment “Versailles,” which I’m not opposed to in theory, but in practice it doesn’t really roll off the tongue. We’re working on it. But the party will be excellent. You should come.

Thank God for Jezebel (the name stuck on my scooter like squashed bugs on her angular hood). I’ve taken to scooting around just to relieve the tension. Today, for instance, a brief jaunt to Cha Cha Cha! for lunch has refreshed me. Unfortunately, the minutes are scraping by, each clinging to the one after it, willing to drag them down but not succeeding and making the following minutes cling harder for their knowing that they will fall just like the ones who are lost.

I’ve endeavored to go to New York this September for two reasons, who happen to be people. The first is Greta, one of my closest friends whom I love dearly. She will be appearing in her first non-student lead role and I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss it. I had the pleasure of seeing her as Juliet in the premier Portland Shakespeare troupe’s production when she was still in high school. Basically, the girl has the stuff. I’ve always known it. I’ve always told her so. And it’s basically just nice to be right.

The second is Alisa, an ex and extraordinary individual that anyone would be a fool to cast from their life just because she doesn’t want to smooch you anymore. So I didn’t, and I’m better off for it. I mean, she gave me a microwave for crying out loud. And I plan to have a thrilling ride on the back of her scooter for my trek back east.

There are others to see, but those are the important ones. The REALLY important ones, anyway. Nobody offended? Ok? Ok. So yes, it will be a lovely trip. I’ve not breathed the NY air for a few years. Hopefully it won’t be too full of poop.

Thank you for reading.


Look what I got

Unless there are strong objections, I think her name is Jezebel. It's the first thing that ever came out of my mouth, but it's grown on me. And I love the dictionary definition that she was a queen who encouraged idolatry, because I do fucking worship her. She's beat up and rattles like a maraca, but I have never experienced such joys as I have in the last few days scooting the streets of Portland.

So now I want to make a sub chapter of some existing scooter club. If Jezebel really sticks, maybe I'll name my chapter something to do with the 10 commandments. Banning false idols and other gods was #2 on the list, so that might give me some ideas.

Otherwise, I've been swamped with work and looking for a new apartment with Katie. And I've got more books, CDs, video games and anime to get through than I can possibly hope to consume in any efficient time frame. Ah, such troubles.


The working world

Does everyone have this much trouble with new jobs? Here I am, three weeks in and I haven’t truly done anything I was hired to do. The closest was yesterday wherein I learned to use the super-fancy poster printer and produced and mounted 18 large posters for display at the Street of Dreams. The furthest from my purpose was when I spent two rather sweltering days in the warehouse last week. But as far as this “catalogue” goes… Well, I’m becoming of a mind that it will never really happen.

And all I want to be doing right now is reading Harry Potter and then playing videogames. These desires haunt my thoughts even as I pound this keyboard. Scooters, too, are much in mind as I have contacted a fellow selling a 1985 Honda Aero and we should meet this afternoon. I’ve learned not to get my hopes up, but I believe I beat others to the punch and if this man has any sense of loyalty, he will give me first priority and option to purchase. The scooter is more practical than charming, but I would never call it an eyesore. A few well-placed stickers and possible a basket or two and I dare say it would look rather fetching. Obviously, if anything happens, it will posted here promptly.

Last night was spent making merry with an old friend who has abandoned us for New York many years past. Seeing him reminded me of just what a good man he is – quite the life of the party with his wit and character. Even though he manages a video game store, I have no idea how he plays as many games and consumes as much anime as he does. Though I was slightly clued in by his demonstration that a PSP can play compressed video files. My interest in the machine is now piqued, but I’ve mostly forsworn portable game systems for the horrendous temptation they represent.

But presently, I am tempted by the promise of lunch.

Thank you for reading.


Down the drain

That's where my weekend went because it was all spent at the George Morlan Tent Sale. The last three days have been utterly insane. I wish I'd been keeping track of personal numbers the way they tracked all the sales figures. If I could do so, I would love to tell you things like how many miles I walked (all within a one block radius), how many hours I talked and how many names I forgot.

The world of sales is strange. Through one lens, "salesman" is another word for "vulture." I pounced on so many people this way with the "are you being helped" line, or "can I answer any questions for you." It's funny how these phrases are ingrained in my vocal memory from all the salesmen I have been irritated by in the past. Now I am one of them. But on the other hand, I learned that if you are willing to do what you can to help people and be sincere and considerate of their situation, you can sell even if you don't know fuck all about what you're selling. Of course, it involves a lot of frantic shoulder taps for help and I made a point to personally thank everyone I pestered during the weekend.

I don't know for sure, but I averaged 4-6 thousand dollars a day. For a novice, I'm pretty happy. The new girl who actually got the job I originally applied for went at it with a fucking conviction. I don't think I ever saw her without a customer. And after working the 13 hour days, she would go home and research the products Online so as to have more knowledge the next day. I am dumbstruck by her effort.

My trial was entirely intended to give me the crash course primer of the company. I have a sense of the culture and environment at the company. But most importantly, I know what the customer wants to know and what the salesman has to do to move the product. Now over the next few months I get to take all that and build a catalogue custom tailored for George Morlan, and I hope unlike any catalogue that exists. I've got lots of ideas I want to put to use somehow, though any one of them is going to take a lot of work.

What I've been most impressed by is the way this company supports its employees, who in turn support each other. As I said, the help people offered me was invaluable. I can't imagine what I looked like when in a panic, I realized I'd charged someone the wrong price or needed to find some antique replacement part or forgotten how to describe simple aparati like shower faucets. No joke. There came a time I was looking inside my head for words and just found a gaping whole where knowledge and communication used to be. Actually, that's kind of how I feel now. Time for some beers.

Thank you for reading.


God made me a job

Well, actually it was Rick Kramien - President of George Morlan Plumbing - who made me the job. I'll warn you now if it's not too late, there is a HIDEOUS audio clip that plays when you click that link. I'm putting it on my list of things to shake up once I'm comfortable.

You may wonder what the hell I'm doing working for a plumbing company. After looking at the plumbing knowledge test I have to take, I'm kinda wondering the same thing. But appearances aside, this is an incredible opportunity. Basically, I went in to interview for an Admin Asst position with the small hope that I would gradually learn some skills in marketing. Well, when Rick saw my resume, he got all excited about my communication skills and basically created a position for me to spearhead all content production for a catalogue spanning their entire product inventory. To make a metaphor, it would be like asking Santa for a vest and him getting you a 3-piece tailored suit. Sure, the job won't be all glitz and glamour, but it's putting my communication skills to work exactly like I wanted to. AND I still get to walk to work!

Thank you for reading


More death

This is Precious. She was my dog. Now she is dead.

My parents finally decided to put Precious down on Friday because of numerous health problems that, I am convinced, had actually turned her into a zombie dog. I'll spare you the gory details, but she was literally falling apart. She had numerous infections and open sores that were just not healing and, at 15 years old, not really worth fixing. I know that's a little callous. I'm ok with that. My Dad got really emotional about it, which is a little surprising considering the love/hate relationship he built with her. As she aged and went deaf, I think she lost any sense of "the rules," that or she just flauted them knowing she had nothing to lose. She really wasn't living much of a life for the last year. And so we say, "It's for the best." But really, all we know for sure is that it was for our best.

Precious came into my life 10 years ago. My sister inherited her from her horse trainer at the time. Unfortunately, we all inherited the name "Precious" too. It took Dad and I a few years before we were comfortable saying that in public. On walks she was referred to as "you," "dog," and "girl." She was a well-bred dog - fuckin' papers and everything. I think she might have showed briefly. Horse trainers like to train other things and in her younger years, Precious had an impressive arsenal of tricks to display for guests. The one where she went on hind legs and after you point a finger-gun at her and say "BANG BANG!" she flopped over dead... that was a crowd favorite.

I always considered her to be part cat, because she was never an overly affectionate dog. She wouldn't want to sit in your lap or beg for attention. No, she was a whore for the treats and scraps. If you had food, she was your best friend. If not, maybe she'd let you rub her belly for a while. A bit of a diva, really. That's part of the reason her loss hasn't hit me that hard. She was never really my dog in the Old Yeller sense of the word. She was just Precious. And I will miss her.

Thank you for reading.



The fine art of good karaoke is practiced seven nights a week at the Alibi, but last night I was witness to a slew of songsters like I've never seen. I suppose that's what happens when you start waving money in people's faces. Every Wednesday this month, some ellusive judges are picking people to compete in a final competition for the monetary sum of $1,000. Maybe that doesn't sound like a lot to you. But then I would remind you that this is for getting on a microphone and singing two, maybe three songs by artists whom you probably mimic on your own time (say, in the shower or car) free fuckin' gratis.

I'm not one to brag, but I put on a fair show on the mic. I'm no Freddy Mercury, but I can carry a tune. Likewise, I'm no dance machine, but I acknowledge good karaoke doesn't constrain itself to a mic stand. Stil, I have never seen the room more packed with people - 80 percent of which were formidable contenders. The crowd has two harmful effects from the get go: Cigarette smoke lingers in the Alibi like fog over a Scottish meadow and the chatter of people over already high decible levels of singing both strain the voice something fierce. Luckly, I got my songs in before 10:30 because by 1 am, I couldn't have sang "Footloose" if Kevin Bacon had given me his blessing. What I did sing was "It's now or never" by Elvis and "Man of Constant Sorrow" by The Soggy Bottom Boys. Good songs to be sure, but they don't move the crowd the way I'd like.

All the while I was cheered on by my friend Stacey, from whom I stole the excellent title to this post. I can't think of anyone else I'd rather have had in my corner and her being there was wonderful on levels and for reasons I don't want to get into just now.

Someone I wish wasn't there was this large black man who is just too damn good for karakoe. There comes a point where you should just be in a band or work as a studio musician singing theme songs for cartoons. He gets up there and sings "Kiss" by Prince - and he fucking nails it. NOBODY can sing Prince except Prince. Sigh. I'd seen him at a few other karaoke places around town and hated him for basically nullifying any chance I had at the finals. Stacey and I took off shortly after 1, not waiting to hear who made it. But there's good odds I'll be there next week, if y'all want to come represent!

Thank you for reading.


The Departed

I have a dead woman's furniture in my house.

It's not something I'm particularly weirded out by, as the furniture does not somehow warp into Tim Burton set props once its owner leaves this world, but it is bizarre to consider. The furniture I have was either gifted to me by friends, relatives or street corners. These are the scraps of an estate - and one which I don't think Vanessa even had strong ties to. I told Vanessa if light bulbs start to mysteriously not work or my firstborn only has one arm, we're getting rid of the shit.

As it turns out, I knew who this woman was as she would come to Vivace from time to time. She was a Suicide Girl, as was obivous to anyone who saw her. She carried a vinyl bag with large spikes on it, and often met men there who were obviously not friends getting together for coffee. Nonetheless, she seemed nice enough and I have no cause to complain. But now she is dead from a heroin overdose. And don't think of making any suicide/Suicide Girl joke. I can't believe you'd even say that. You people make me sick. It's like nothing is sacred anymore...

Sadly, this isn't the only death in my life as another Vivace customer recently passed away. His name was Kurt and he would come in mornings and order a morning latte in a mug. That was it. He was very soft spoken and kind. He worked at Pioneer Music, and excellent fine instrument store downtown. One of my fellow baristas really took to him and they would play guitar together from time to time. I can't claim any strong ties to the man, but he was a good person and I'm sure many people will miss him.

Death isn't something I'm equipt to deal with. I don't know if anybody is. There still hasn't been a close death in my life, so that'll really shake me down. My gradpa died when I was six, but I couldn't begin to process that. My parents actually had me see a counselor because I didn't cry. I remember my Dad taking me on a walk to break the news and he cried saying it. Seeing your Dad cry at that young age is a strange thing. He is still flawless and my unfailing support and protection. But there he is crying. All I could do was say, "It's ok, Dad." and the like, trying to console him, because this thing happening right in front of me was more real and more pressing than the news that someone I didn't see daily would never be seen again. I'm almost afraid that I'll have the same reaction for all deaths - just to pause, consider and change the files in my head about that person from the "alive" category to "deceased." I tell people I'm dead on the inside, but I don't want to prove myself right.

Thank you for reading.


It's official

Well that was easy. Get a load of this business.


Blogs in the 'Hood

I just made a weekly check-in to a blog I stumbled upon some time ago about the Sellwood neighborhood, only to find it has now moved to OregonLive. Turns out, the site (which is the online presence of The Oregonian, among other things) has a whole section of blogs devoted to various areas around Portland. And you know what's missing... MY neighborhood! SO, I am now officially starting my campaign to be Northwest Portland's blogger. My first post subject: Wacky Willy's.

This emporium of... stuff is closing after many years of operation just a block from my house. It's a sad state of affairs, to be sure. The store reminds me of the song "Portobello Road" from the Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks. "Anything and everything a chap can unload, is sold by the barrel at Portobello Road." For the record, I've since been to the real Portobello Road in London and can vouch that the song speaks true. Wacky Willy's is the greatest of junk stores, where you have no idea what will ever be there or how it came to be there. There is a standing trashcan full of the early "brick" style cell phones. Around Christmas, they had a huge shipment of Teddy Ruxpin dolls and tapes. But what's most amusing are the signs the employees make for various doodads. There's no way to explain with words, so I'm going to go snag some pictures to post later.

In the meantime, everyone send OregonLive emails about how wonderful my blog is and that they should pay me millions of dollars to write about NWPDX!


As it turns out, Wacky Williy's already has secured a new home and it remains mere blocks from my house. Yey! Sadly for them, the street visibility is much poorer, but I've a feeling that the kind of people who go there will seek it out. Still, as I promised, here are pictures.

Thank you for reading.


Out with a bang and a beer

This Memorial Day was less about remembering heros and more about remembering my friend Ryan. I was out at the coast for his bachelor party before he ties the knot this Friday. Rather than a raucous, debauched weekend, it was just five guys united by their bonds of friendship to Ryan... and a keg of beer.

I've had friends get married already, but this is the first REALLY close friend to go. His bride-to-be has basically been that for the past 2.5 years, though it's only been official for the last six months. Still, it's going to be quite the affair. I'm an usher (I didn't make groomsman because I won't wear a tuxedo. It's a longstanding vow of mine and Ryan knew me well enough not to even ask) and will be taking Ryan's parents down the aisle. But what I realized also sets this wedding apart is that Ryan comes so much from where I come from, and was so cared for by just about everybody, that EVERYONE will be at this wedding.

Let me just give you some context on Ryan: All through junior high and high school, he would go around to every table at lunch and ask for people's scraps. It wasn't because he was poor, it's just who Ryan is. And people would give him everything from a roll to some tater tots to hamburgers because he was so unapologetically genuine about what he was doing. I think he was the best fed kid at school. Ryan's peddling became so commonplace that people (myself included) would actually seek him out to give him food they weren't going to finish.

So myself and the people who care about him sent him off in style this weekend. Nothing special. Just good times, good smokes, good beach and good beer. We all love you, Ryan.

Thank you for reading.


Jobless and Joyful

I got fired last Tuesday.

It's been gradually sinking in since then, but last night I had a dream where I had it out with my old bosses and I came away from it feeling very cleansed. To those of you for whom this is news, I'll sum up: I had recently begun plugging my ipod (Yes, I bought a new one. I call it "Mpu2.") into the stero at work because any more time I spent listening to the crappy, stale music there would have caused me to jam a portafilter into my eye socket. I knew this would chap the bosses' hide. He designed the music program on the computer we used and it is the last remnants of his previous career in engineering. Still, I was willing to bear the consequences if they found out, and hoped it would open a dialogue about some changes that might be made.

Well, they found out. But I had underestimated the fury of Alex's wounded pride because he fired me on the spot. I didn't fight it, but I tried to explain some things to him that might improve the work environment for my co-workers. I doubt any of that penetrated. Because what you have to understand about this man is that he is mentally 7-years-old. He actually admitted to me, and it took a while before I could say this without envisioning my fist in his face, that had I not gone down and put Mpu2 in my bag while switching the stereo back to normal, he would have TAKEN AND KEPT it.

Let that sink in.

Yeah. Fucking absurd.

But regardless of how silly the situation is, it's a blessing. I've been discontent not just there, but with the entire service industry for some time. So the boot out the door is the push I needed to get going in a better direction. I'm reminded of The Sandman, my favorite comic series. For those of you not familiar, over the course of the books, the King of Dreams subconsciously sets himself up for a big fall because it is the only way he can get out of the rut he's in. I did the same thing. Because while I wouldn't say I was trying to get fired, I no longer feared any consequences my actions might bring and my according behavior was out of line.

Still, I have visions of the entire staff just walking out in protest and leaving the old bosses royally ass-fucked.

SO! I'm on the career hunt and if any people have suggestions, I am open to hear them. I've already contacted some temp agencies in the area, but I'd love to get more recomendations (there's so many). I'm thinking I'd like to find something to do with my writing/communication skills like marketing or public relations. I'm also looking at industries that are filled with creative energy like publishing, video games, shoes (nike and adidas are in my backyard). Of course, I might just go teach in Korea. "All things are possible in this best of all possible worlds."

Thank you for reading.


Allure and Dissapointment

I've been spending a lot of time poking around craigslist lately. My love for this site has already been covered and I am not claiming any originality in being one of its many fans. But what I've been so interested by lately are the personal sections - in particular the "casual encounters." I'm 98 percent there as a voyeur, which covers a large percentage of the readers, I'm sure. But, people post these things hoping for legitimate response. The whole breakdown is fascinating. Mostly gay/bi posts, followed by straight males and then ugly/older women. The odd post is by someone who probably has no need to do so, possessing the god given tools to secure satisfaction from whatever sex they want. I'm not saying any of this with disdain. Rather, it is illustrative (as even this or any other blog is) of the outlet created to just say what you want and hope to find a sympathetic ear - maybe even a collaborative voice.

The bottom line: People are lonely and I count myself among them. Don't take that as a depressive statement. I care for many people and have many that do the same for me. But I'm looking for more. To that end, I empathize with the people who make these posts - however outrageous... and I mean really outrageous.

But what happens when nobody answers? Whatever hope the Internet represents, I think it really just hold more dissapointment. Of course, that may just be a matter of asking for reasonable things. Substitute perhaps a conversation for a cock-sucking. See where that goes.

Thank you for reading.



You know that feeling where you're talking with the most beautiful girl in the room even though you probably don't have any right to - and it's working? I hope so, because it's great.


Comix Chic

I make no secret of the fact that in the last two years I've fallen hard for comics. I collected as a young teenager in the dawn of the Image days when the market was booming with pomp and circumstance. Though I didn't know it at the time, that was a huge bubble that popped shortly after I started collecting avidly. At one point, there were actually two comic stores across the street from one another in my little suburb town of Lake Oswego and even though I hadn't been in either for a while when it happened, I was sad to see them both close their doors. In one case, the whole building was just knocked down.

The comics I collected in those days were mixed, but it was all super hero stuff. Having re-read almost everything I own in this second coming of comics, a lot of it is crap. Then, I was more obsessed with the habit of collecting. You don't want to know how much money I wasted on sports cards before comics. I didn't even care about those damn things. That was just compulsive. Actually, my grandpa and I would play baseball card rummy: Instead of suits, you'd match cards of people from the same team. A child older than five could have probably read the team name of his opponent's cards from the back.

Anyway, getting back into comics was very much an escapism because I had graduated college, was living at home and wanted to occupy my time. I'd started reading a number of manga in college because I'd caught the anime bug and, most times, wanted to read the source material for series I enjoyed. But my new full-fledged foray into comics came with The Sandman. Without exaggeration, it is the greatest comics achievement ever. From there I hit all the other big name series: Preacher, Concrete, Transmetropolitain, Lucifer, Books of Magic. At the same time, I fostered an appreciation for the alternative scene. My Mom had gotten me a copy of Maus back in my first phase because in her mind it was a way for my love of comics to have some real impact rather than good guy fist meeting bad guy face (she was right, by the way). Daniel Clowes, Paul Pope, Craig Thompson, Jason Lutes, Paul Hornschemeier, Doug TenNapel, Kyle Baker... I've discovered a lot of incredible artists. And you'd better believe I was foaming at the mouth for the McSweeney's comics edition.

But just yesterday I struck gold. I was scanning the comic section at Powell's on Hawthorne when I found the Vol. 2 #1 of Raw Magazine. This is the magazine Art Spiegelman started and where Maus was originally published in serialization. This is from 1989 and it is exactly what the McSweeney's edition is today - just 16 years older and subversive rather than celebratory. I haven't even begun to read it, but let me tell you it's a find. As I was telling the clerk (who frequents my coffee shop) how excited I was, the fellow just down the counter asked me where I found it, hoping there might be other copies. No such luck, fellow. No such luck.


R.I.P. Mpu (April 2-11)

Oh, Mpu, I barely knew you and now you are gone. On the first full day in Costa Rica, where I am currently on holiday, Mpu and his older brother DigiCam were stolen right from under my nose. The subject is still sore, so I won't elaborate. But the fact remains, my tiny, wonderful and expensive digital toys are gone. Is this a sign from God? Am I not meant to partake of his technological spledor? Should I shave my head and become some manner of ascetic, spending my days in contemplation of non-technology (aka "nature")? I hope not.

The larger question remains, will there be an Mpu2? The ipod is never something I coveted, and yet, having just barely tasted the possibilities it presents, I may be hooked. The camera is a no-brainer, though I may take some time to consider different models. But I just don't know... Either way, I'll spend some time generating the funds to cover my losses. If I knew how to start pity pay pal donations, I might do such a thing because I have now gotten my first comments from "anonymous" readers, meaning some people might actually be reading this on occasion. Particular thanks to those wonderful people. And for the rest of you, as always,

Thank you for reading.


The continued saga of Mpu

Can I just say how much I love craigslist?

The ads I placed with my tale of ipod case woe actually got a response from a kindly man willing to GIVE me an extra skin he had just lying around. So I went an picked it up from him on Thursday where he works, which was mere blocks from the house I grew up at in the burbs. And you know what? It's exactly the skin I was looking for. I was expecting some gaudy pink monstrosity - which in itself would be awesome because of the story - but instead it is sleek and clear and has that part that covers the input so you don't get it all linty in your pocket. Fantastic.

To further the wheel of karma, I turned right around and offered the skin I mistakenly purchased for free. Not an hour later, someone claimed it and I will pass it on to them today. Of course, he works at Vinton studios, just a block away from my coffee shop. I've probably made him crepes before. This is out of the whole craigslist community. Think of the odds.

I tell you all of this to prove a point: I believe the universe is random, but there sure are a lot of coincidences. But more importantly, there are a lot of kind people.

Thank you for reading.


I pod, therefore...

I have joined the anti-social elite by finally obtaining an ipod musical device. I have named it "Mpu" after the AI satellite in episode nine of Cowboy Bebop, my favorite anime series. Dorky, yes. But not nearly as dorky as the fact that you can also use Mpu as an anagram for Music Player Unit. Wow. I am a such a nerd.

But not only am dorky, I'm also stupid. Because I want to protect my investment (thankyouverymuch) I went to purchase a nice rubbery case to keep Mpu safe. Firstly, let me say I'm dreadfully disappointed with the selection of such accessories. I there is no perfect combination of features. The either have the screen protector AND an annoying clip, or neither. And the colors suck. AND their overpriced starting at $20. So, after settling on a clipless model assuming I could figure some way to also protect the screen, I now realize it is for the 40gig model, where I have the 20gig. I'm not foolish enough to mistakenly purchase a "mini" accessory, but nobody told me the normal ipod models were different sizes! Sigh.

So, not that this will help at all because nobody sees this, I have made a few posts at craigslist to emplore the good people of Portland to bail me out. But should you stumble on this and feel generous/helpful, I'd love any assistance. Honestly, it's not a huge deal. But it's the principle of the thing.

Thank you for reading.


Ding Dong...

Well, the Pope is dead. I have absolutely no moral feelings on this either way. The simple fact is, I am no longer last in the celebrity death pool I'm in. Sadly, it's not like this tragic loss came without expectation, so I've a ways to go before taking the lead. If Jack Osbourne kicks it though, I'll net three points for unexpected checking-out. Honestly, though. I'm not sure how Courtney awarded each person point values. I think it's purely age, which is a little boring. A mutually agreed upon scale of likelihood would have been better.

Moving on to exciting news of the living, last night I had the pleasure of seeing one of my pet bands, alaska! The exclamation point is part of the name, as is the lower case "a", both of which made them a bitch to write about the two times I've put them in various newspapers. This is was my third time seeing them, and sadly the least fulfilling. They were only allowed a 30 minute set at the beginning of a concert for Ash and The Bravery, both of whom I knew nothing about prior to last night. Though I was unfulfilled by the show, I was able to pick up a pre-release copy of their second album. My first impressions are that it lacks the variety of moods shown on their first album, but it does go more passionately into dark and mystic sounds. The lead singer/guitarist Imaad Wassif comes off as a moody, fragile fellow with explosive energy and capable of channeling his emotions into his music with hypnotic effect. The man is literally a scarecrow and as he thrashes about on stage, I am deeply concerned he will break himself.

Another blogger I read was at the show for Ash, and he described alaska! as "dismal." This first struck me as an insult, but honestly it is dismal music. I suppose that's just its appeal to me. And just as I wasn't enthralled with Ash because they are totally new to me, he was unimpressed with alaska!. The way my head works, I need to decide I like something. I'm rarely moved by pure emotion and taken with something in the moment. There must be a process. An introduction followed by a courtship and then, after many many flowers, love.

Thank you for reading.


Movies and Music

I just saw Gunner Palace last night. Interesting documentary about a group of soldiers in Iraq. There isn't any great message, it's just a testament of what these real people are going through. It's both dramatic and funny - much funnier than one might expect. And while it IS a movie, it's more real than anything else you see on the news. I went with a friend of mine who popped up out of my past about six months ago. Now we're begninng to get to know each other in new light and maybe kissing occassionally. So that's nice and slightly weird. Mostly because the last time she was part of my life, I was dating her best friend and she was dating mine. Odd. But that was a teenage lifetime ago...

And I found out one of my favorite bands is coming to town on tour for their second album. alaska! is a band I discovered opening for Elliot Smith on one of his last tours. At that time, the band was just two guys beautifully harmonizing over acoustic guitars. The haunting result has never really left my head. Since then, they've rocked it up a bit with, in my opinion, successful result. I was just listening to some streams off the new record and it sounds like they've gone even a little more mainstream, but I'm still excited to see them soon. And it's a great thing for me to go do with the aforementioned lady.

Thank you for reading.



The thing about Portland is you just can't have an umbrella. It rains here. I would say it rains a lot, but that just hasn't been the case of late. Still, having such a thing as an umbrella would make sense to the outside observer. And yet, you would be wrong.

A good rain jacket is fine. We are afterall the birthplace of columbia sportswear. REI started just three hours north. But among the young and hip right now, wet is in. Choosing to walk the damp streets in fashion rather than functional garb is a meter for cool. "I'm getting wet and I don't fucking care." "I'd rather be soaked than look lame." I am one of these people... sometimes, at least. It's just plain silly. We honestly don't have enough sense to come in from the rain.

I'm on this tangent because it is, in fact, raining right now. After the Winter that Never Was, people are seriously excited about it. And amid the gray skies I went out yesterday to see a brooding piece of theater called "Tape" in which an old friend of mine stars. You can read the review here and see a picture of said friend. He's the one with the mustache yelling. The play was mediocre, but it was a pleasure to watch Clay act. He's got talent, and while this wasn't his best performace, it's nice to see him doing something again.

The rain makes me want to read. And smoke, which I don't. It makes me long for fireplaces and watching movies cuddled with people in blankets. It makes me want to walk through neighborhoods and smell the wet world and the smoke from peoples chiminies.

Thank you for reading.


When this house is a rockin'

I live in a moderately shitty apartment on the industrial cuff of one of Portland's "cool" streets. This means I'm walking distance to the hip urban life, but for putting up with the sounds of traffic and the smells of factories, I can do it on the cheaps. What this also means is that my apartment building has the stability of a marsh reed when it comes to factors like large trucks/busses driving by and my roommate fucking upstairs.

Of the two roommates I have, the one I don't care for likes men. I won't bother to analyze, but she's definetely trying to fill some void with a lot of cock. So I'm sitting in the living room playing videogames and my couch starts to wobble like I'm on the high seas. What's odd is that the insulation in the house is great, so I don't actually hear anything. Which lets me pretend... "It's just the traffic. It's windy outside. We're having an earthquake. Yes. It is all these things. It is not the ugly people sex that is happening above my head. No. It couldn't be that. Just play the game. Play the game."

Needless to say, it's not something i will miss when I move in two months.


In the clear

Rituals are something I'm short on but I treasure the few I have. Which is why this morning was so special. I've been sick since Saturday and when I'm sick I play the part by not shaving (similar symptoms occur during bad break-ups). But this morning when I woke after a night of peaceful, non-sweat-soaked sleep without the aches of a diseased body, I knew I was in the clear. So I took my shower and then had the best shave I've had in months.

I'd never call what I have a "beard." It's too sparse to be anything other than scruff. But after a week (yes, a week) it's long enough to feel heavier when wet and itch like the dickens. Shaving it off marks the physical transition from sick to well, dirty to clean and it puts a tangible end to my infermity.

And then the coffee. Mmmm. Out of respect for my body, I forego coffee while ill - and that's no easy thing for me. I one of those people who works at a coffee shop primarily for the free coffee. I've met baristas that don't drink the stuff and they're just off their rocker. Unless they're like recovering coffee-holics and go to support groups and shit. Maybe then. But I'd probably still think they were pussies for quitting.

Anyway, my coffee this morning was delicious. I've made the permanent decision to french-press all my coffee and fully realize my snobbery. But the best part is how hard it hits you. Flushing out the system for three-days really increases that caffeine jolt. So now my hands are shaking, my brain is buzzing and my tounge is going bitter because coffee is breakfast and food doesn't come 'til lunch.

Everything's back to normal. Thank you for reading.


The young dude and the sea

I have now surfed the Oregon coast, which puts me among the most bad-ass/stupid people on earth. God bless my outdoorsy roommate for taking me to do things I would never ever contemplate. Because who the hell surfs in Oregon? It's crazy. But you what what else is crazy? I'm pretty fucking good at it.

The second wave I caught, BOOM I'm standing up and surfing. Really, once the board is being swept up by the wave (and when I say wave, please don't think of anything more than three feet) I foud it to be pretty stable. Then you just hop up and there you go.

A few things of note:
My board was made by the Bic company and likely composed of the exact plastic that is in the pen you were writing your grocery list on.

Generally speaking, the glimmer of wet neoprene makes people look like seals.

I think my body was trying to return to the sea as I couldn't stop crying from the salt water, drooling from my exhaustive panting and snotting for no apparent reason.

But there must be a price for all this, because now I am sick and mildly halucinating. I'll try and get up some pictures when I'm less feverish.

Thank you for reading.


Work in progress

I was taken with a dazzling idea for a new/side blog project: mugs. I love them. You love them. We must combine our affections with pictures and text on the Internet. Perhaps this has been done and I have merely stumbled onto someone's brilliant idea and claimed it as my own. But until I am corrected, we will assume the brilliance is mine as are all residual rights and responsibilites. So hopefully I'll have it up soon.

Thank you for reading.


A singular existence

I just concluded an evening with one of my favorite new people, Catherine. She is one of two completely platonic female friends that have recently entered my life and I enjoy her very much. Primarily, we watch the O.C., which was done tonight, but we also walk her dog and discuss issues of the opposite sex. During our evening's O.C.ing, the other C.P.F.F., Kristen came by. What a pleasure to have them together. I know enough about myself to observe that I seek out more girl friends than men. But in cases like this where there is absolutely no pretense or subtext in the relationship, I feel truly fulfilled.

Earlier this evening, when I was amusing Catherine during her solo shift at work, one of my familiar customers/neighborhood personalities came into the video store. I commonly refer to her as "Sad Lonely Woman" because she strikes me as someone who is profoundly lonely. She isn't young, but you wouldn't assume she's a grandmother, which she is. She always wears white or off-white and blue Dansko clogs. Being one who spends a lot of time in the Northwest neighborhood, I often see her walking - more pacing - from place to place. Tonight she passed the video store at least five times before entering. After noticing me, we talked for a brief while as she eyed films in the children's section. I'm not sure if she was actually drawn there, or if it's merely closer to where I was sitting. She is so obviously craving attention and contact it's heartbreaking. Because she seems to be a pleasant woman. But as with all deperate people, she has a stink about her that you want to avoid even if you're curious about it.

She and I actually spoke tonight, while at the video store not renting anything. Her name is Holly. I want to know why she is this way. Why she seems so sad and isolated. In a way, I can guess at a path that could take me to her place and my desire to avoid that would have me learn from her mistakes.


The alpha entry

I am officially on the bandwagon.

And why not? I've given in to so many trends lately. I got the ipod. I watch the O.C. I bought the low-rise boot-cut jeans. I asked a girl out in an e-mail... and it worked. So this is just the next step.

Austensibly, this will be a method to get me in the habit of writing. We'll see. All previous attempts at journaling have ended in a matter of weeks. But let's not get ahead and drowned out in nay-saying.

Instead, I will talk about how lovely the world has been lately. Portland, Oregon is enjoying unseasonably good weather. It may be droll to talk about the weather, but truly, it's remarkable. My East coast friends are all stuck in their coldness and I walked home from work today without my shoes on. Just because I could. I'll post some pictures as soon as I figure out how to do such things. But really, if you are anywhere in the NorthWest, just go outside and see for yourself.

Well, I am eager to "post" this thing and see what becomes of that. And I don't feel the need to make too much of this blog at the get-go. Thank you for reading.