Friday, August 29, 2008


off to Bend

I'm headed out to Bend, Oregon for part of the weekend. I've never been there, have no serious plan about that to do when I get there, and I'm leaving in a few hours with my wisecracking side kick ricky. We're going to check out the St. Francis School Hotel and maybe go hiking. Will report back shortly.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Philly Art

Killing time before coming home I had enough time to hit the Philadelphia Museum of Art which is such a palace. Some group of industrialists laid down the cash for that bad girl. Looking at art can be sort of melancholy because its so quiet and so much good art comes out of struggle or isolation or other darknesses. I have generally been attracted to modernists and neo-classists and they had a nice representative collection of each. But what I really liked was a new discovery: Cy Twombly. Big scribbly canvasses that looked like the deranged dissertation notes of a Homer scholar having a nervous breakdown. The museum had a whole room dedicated to his work, so i guess he's a big deal. Maybe i'm the last one to know. After that i went up to the third floor, still feeling a little art-blue, and was cheered like a kid by the amazing armament and armor collection. it went on and on and on, from ancient Greece to fussy Napoleonic dueling foils. Someone actually wore this stuff. Speaking of tough guys. A friend told me that they used to have the Rocky statue at the top of the steps of the museum but the fancy people arranged to have it moved because it wasn't really "art." So now it sits on a little pedestal off to the side of the great stairs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I'm just incredibly lucky and humbled to get to be a godmother. Especially for this one. She's such a good natured little kid. So, yes, I made it to Delaware, participated in a really lovely christening ceremony at a non-traditional, positive thinking oriented church and spent the weekend and following days hanging out with the family near Rehoboth Beach. i was so sad to leave this morning, and now i'm killing time in Philly before my flight back.

Why Baby Why - George Jones

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Late late late

I have lived a charmed travel life. I have never had a flight cancelled. But tonight I struck Major Inconvenience Paydirt. I'm on my way from Portland to Delaware. No, not to congratulate Joe Biden, but to go to a very excellent christening of my dear friends daughter, celebrate turning 35, and sit on the beach and read about how to survive a zombie attack. The best laid plan, to take the red-eye from Portland via Denver to Philly. Denver was my downfall. The pilot had a family emergency and they scratched the trip around 12:30am. 2 and a half hours later, i am sitting in a very nice hotel room, drinking tea out of a paper cup. Most of the hotels in town are booked up, and as luck would have it, I'm in the same one with the Stonewall Democrats. When I was checking in, there were all these gay guys milling about in red white and blue and I'm not sure what I thought except that it gave pause. Now I'm waiting until 4 am mountain time when I will get back onto the airport shuttle and put my weary body on a plane to Detroit. And then to Philly. I'm going to try to sleep on the plane. Whimper.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Siren Nation

I went to a fundraiser tonight for Siren Nation, a women's music festival that's happening in Portland in a couple of months. Boy is the line up good this year. The New Bloods and Laura Viers, for starters. Tonight's thing was a brilliant art event, that combined a silent auction with four painters who created four great big pieces on plywood from scratch over the course of the party and then sold them at the end. Really, very very fun to watch them all painting away outdoors, while the DJ spun his old Elvis Costello and Guided by Voices vinyl. So I got lured into silent auction world and ended the night piling into taxi cab with a big signed photographic print by Jackie Butler. For right now, i'm having a hard time posting the image. its cool tho. And last night, I went to see the new Werner Herzog film about Antartica. He mocks penguins and people and takes beautiful pictures of ice. Even though i got a little bored in the last 13 minutes or so, its a really good documentary, the same way taking a trip to Antarctica with a misanthropic but gregarious German uncle would be good. which, as it turns out, is good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rachel Maddow

Wonders never cease. MSNBC is giving my very favorite butch lesbian political commentator her own TV show. Amazing.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

There is an evangelical furor gripping Portland. Over biscuits. I have long thought it silly to get biscuits from a restaurant or a store because they are so clearly something one makes at home, preferably for a lover. But i may be a convert to these Pine State biscuits because they taste different than my Texas-style biscuits. And they are famous: Pine State was written up a few months ago in Esquire magazine as making one of the best sandwiches in America. Canup and I had to try it. The Reggie. Fried chicken, bacon, cheddar, and gravy on a cream-top buttermilk biscuit. Shayla had The Moneyball. Eggs and gravy over biscuits. I will not be hungry again for a week.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Taking Suggestions

Delta is changing their frequent flier miles deal on September 1, 2008 to something less pleasant. I have hoarded a decent number of miles and need to pull the trigger on a ticket by that date for a trip sometime after that.

So i'm taking suggestions on where I should go on my solo adventure.

The rules:

1. International
2. I've already spent a decent amount of time in the Caribbean, Mexico, Italy and France, so i don't want to go there again.
3. I don't have enough miles for Austrailia, India, Africa, the Middle East, or the Southwestern Pacific (no Fiji for me).
4. I'm don't want to spend a kabillion dollars once i'm there. So Iceland and Japan probably wouldn't be ideal.
5. I'm thinking Spring.
6. I'm probably going by myself (which I've done before in the aforementioned locations and I love it). Though i might be open to some sort of organized multisport adventure sort of excursion.

So far i'm considering Thailand, Argentina, Greece... but I just started thinking about it.

Any thoughts?

Goldfrapp - Fly Me Away (Acoustic)

Public Enemy - Get the #uck Outta Dodge

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Portland Still Safe for Ninjas

Good news!! As previously reported, Portland is a ninja-friendly zone.

Lifted from the Portland Mercury...
A court in Oregon has overturned the February conviction of a man for carrying a concealed ninja sword in a Critical Mass rally. According to the appeals transcript, James M.Turner was riding his bicycle in a Critical Mass rally, when a Portland Police Officer riding next to him saw "three to four inches" of a sword handle wedged between Turner's back and his backpack. The officer testified in court that there was no doubt in his mind that the object was a "sword or [something] similar."

According to the transcript, the officer asked Turner, "What's sticking out of your neck?"

Turner replied that it was a "ninja sword," and the officer motioned for him to pull over. After Turner stopped, the officer removed the sword, which was sheathed, from between Turner's body and his backpack. As he removed it, he discovered the sword was contained in a "double sheath, where one sword goes in one end, one in the other." At the time the officer removed the first sword, he had not seen and was not aware of the second sword. He arrested Turner for carrying a concealed weapon based on his discovery of the second sword.

The appeals court ruled, however, that the officer did not have probable cause to stop Turner for carrying a concealed second sword, based on their conversation about the first sword, which did not constitute an official "stop." However, the interaction became an official "stop," the court ruled, when the officer motioned to the rider to pull over.

Under Article I, section 9 of the constitution, a "stop" must be justified by the officer's reasonable suspicion that a person has committed or is about to commit a crime. Because the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to believe that defendant was carrying a concealed weapon at the time that he motioned for Turner to pull over, he unlawfully stopped him, and the trial court erred in failing to suppress evidence of the second sword, ruled the appeals court.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

honey, i'm home

It was often cold, I nearly took my thumb off cutting onions in the kitchen, and my body is still recovering from staying up late and sleeping in a tent for so many days. When i went off the grid, John Edwards was having a nice day and Russia hadn't invaded Georgia. But I had a great time at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival again this year and i'll be back. there's no place like it on earth. This year i tried to tune into a message that i could take along with me until next year. So I thought alot about trying to remain an open person and not getting closed off. Shutting out new people and new experiences gets easier the older you get, i think. One of the musicians who played during the week talked about this a bit, and put it as being able to step in at a moments notice to lift someone up or do what is necessary. i have certainly been the beneficiary of that sort of love in the past couple of weeks.
There's a crafts area at the festival full of various clothing, pottery, art, books, music and gay what-have-you. i came across a jewelry booth associated with a really excellent craft enterprise called Honey and Milk that turns out is owned by a Portland woman who is friends of friends. There were many many little silver rings with helpful phrases on them. The proprietress assured me that the right affirmation was more important than getting it to fit on a particular finger. So I bought myself a great new ring, with the perfect affirmation. When i start to get shaky or feel sad, looking at it makes me feel better. its says "I WILL THRIVE."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

off to the woods

As i have done nearly every summer since i was 18, I've gone to the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. Off the grid and completely removed from the world. See you next week.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Indie Rock Heaven

My head is going to explode. In a couple of weeks, an incredible number of great bands are descending on Portland. I guess MFNW is going to be kind of like SXSW but its not going to be overdone and overrun. Look who's coming! TV on the Radio, Vampire Weekend,
Mogwai, M Ward, The Helio Sequence, Menomena, Polvo (!!!), Nada Surf, The Builders and The Butcher, Trans Am, Old 97’s, The Cool Kids, The Night Marchers, The Whigs, Seaweed,Steel Pole Bath Tub, Deerhunter, Centro-Matic, Crooked Fingers, Bobby Bare Jr., Death Vessel, Blitzen Trapper, Dan Deacon, John Vanderslice, Britt Daniel, Jedi Mind Tricks, Monotonix, Old Time Relijun, Mirah, Matt and Kim, Poison Idea, The Joggers, Forro in the Dark, Rupa and The April Fishes, These Arms Are Snakes, Port O' Brien, Calvin Johnson, Pseudosix, Starfucker, Throw Me From The Statue, Past Lives and a whole, whole bunch more.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Last Thursday

The last thursday of the month on Alberta is a hoot. Every dirty hippie and late 1800's obsessed handlebar mustachioed hipster is roving the street, half pissed, looking at art and looking at each other. I was with a work friend and made my way to a quiet patio where a group of weird looking guys with weird looking instruments were setting up for their show. I don't care who you are - when you see that mandolin come out, you think, okay, this is about to get really terrible. Or charming. Wait for it. Luckily, it was Sneakin' Out, the venerable Portland bear band, that utilizes the bass, mandolin, and typewriter to do Go-Gos and Beatles covers. That might sound really bad but they are actually really good. Viva la Alberta!