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.