Monday, September 29, 2008

When the Swifts Come Home

What a glorious thing. I had one of those I Love Portland times after work when I went up to the Chapman School and watched over 10,000 vaux swifts spiral and organize and dodge through the air and then spin against the sunset into their decommissioned chimney and autumn lodging. Just like last year. And I have to post the same song again because I like it so much. All manner of Portlanders were there with picnic baskets, splits of pinot, piles of bicycles, splayed across the hillside overlooking the athletic fields. I was surrounded by first dates, folding chairs, punk rockers with their laughing babies, and gasps of happy. The weather couldn't have been more beautiful. And it was quite a show. Two peregrine falcons dove into the swarm and then the swifts gave chase, and then the falcons chased, and then when both the falcons found a slow one to pick off midair, the swifts retired for the evening into their chimney, two shy of last night.

Tenement Halls - When the Swifts Come Home

Sunday, September 28, 2008

inky wrists

1. Calexico at the Crystal Ballroom. Big horns and rickenbacher guitar music that sounds like sand and tumbleweeds. Great show packed with people. Dance floor on springs.

2. Holocene for Doubledown, everybody wins. big lesbian dance-a-thon and they even played my favorite song to dance to, Knock on Wood. Not the Sam and Dave version. not the Justine bateman version. the other one. the one that's kind of disco.

3. Whisked off to the E Room in an 82 chevette by a couple of sheilaisapunkrocker mullet wearing hipsters. the chevette that belonged to the brother and it had a number on the side and it runs on biodiesel and plays nothing but 80s dance music on the tape deck. so loud that my ears are still ringing.

Calexico - Black Heart

Amii Stewart - Knock on Wood

The Cure - Jumping Someone Else's Train


Friday, September 26, 2008

Film Night

Went to a the Portland Gay and Lesbian Film Festival this evening. Went with a friend and had no idea what the film was called or what it was about and it was sort of odd, about Indian women getting it on in apartheid South Africa. A World Unseen.

Probably more interesting than the film was to go across the street and watching the debate and O'Brien's bar. i love portland. the place was packed with young people and you could have heard a pin drop if the debate wasn't turned up so loud. people were riveted. and rooting for Obama.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

its new to me

The 3 month experiment with having no vehicle is over. I'll still be good friends with walking to work, trimet and the occasional zip car but the rain is a coming and as you know i really like getting out into the wilderness from time to time so I went ahead and pulled the trigger on a used mazda 3. i like it. Shayla said, girl, you need to get a car. she rarely tells me what to do so i took it to heart and followed her instructions precisely.

Thao - Travel

The Walkmen - The Blue Route

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I climbed Saddle Mountain

I just got home from a weekend of roughing it with friends from Seattle. I am starting to scrounge together a nice collection of camping gear for such adventures and I'm going to go out a lot more. Better yet, figure out a way to mix it with kayaking. But for this trip, we were land lubbers near the ocean and it was awesome. We met up at Saddle Mountain State Park which is part of the coastal range. Our campsite was way up in a dense forest of tall birch trees, underneath the towering craggy mountain. We had a radio with a hand crank that was tuned to a great classic rock show on the coastal community station that night. You know when you hear a song that you've never heard before on the radio and so you sit there and wait for the DJ to come on and announce the name of the song? It was like that, but the songs were 13 minutes long and we had to keep cranking the radio back up so we wouldn't miss the vital information. Like my life depended on it. And i'd never heard of these bands before, from the late 60's? Frumious Bandersnatch? The Wizards from Kansas?.

The next day's hike was a 1600 ft climb, basically straight up for two miles. The trail was well maintained and they had foot holds on the especially steep part near the summit. it was a cloudy day and for a lot of the ascent, we were inside of the clouds, surrounded by mist. when we finally reached the top, the weather cooperated a bit and we could see all the way to the ocean. When we got back down we drove over to Cannon Beach and then to Ft. Stevens where we camped on saturday, drinking wine by the fire and chatting. In the morning, we went on another hike to a shipwreck buried in the beach and one of my friends brought the diary of Lewis and Clark and read passages to us about what the Corps of Discovery was up to when they were near this same spot. (answer: getting VD from the Chinooks). There were a lot of horseback riders out on the beach and it was sort of rainy and magic feeling. I think my legs are going to be sore tomorrow.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why I stay out of NE pool halls.

Went to see The Shondes tonight at the Towne Lounge. It was alright. The people in the band and the people watching the people in the band were more interesting than the music. So that's not so bad. Not so happening for me musically. But did i tell you that they seem really nice and queer and fun? When I heard the title of this song, i was super wishing for Shirelles/Carole King cover. That, my friends, is showing my age.

The Shondes - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

But I've been meaning to tell you... there's a bar called Roscoe's somewhere in Portland that has thrown down the billiards gauntlet. pool tournament. If, after ascending to the finals of the tournament, in the final round, you lose? You have to get a tattoo of a flaming dolphin. If the Portland Mercury is to be believed, two people have suffered this fate thus far. It reminds me of hearing about a mayan sport that was sort of like basketball and if you lose you get human sacrificed. I guess that's worse than having big gay Al flipper on your thigh.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

happy anniversary to me

well looky here, I've been in portland for 367 days. Its been a nice ride as far as the town goes. And for my anniversary day on monday, everything fell into place. The weather was beautiful and when I walked to get my coffee, the shop was blasting Edith Piaf. Listening to her first thing in the morning makes everything nicer.

Edith Piaf - Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

Uh oh.

Looks like Bitch Magazine needs our help. I'm in.

Cleaning Day

Yesterday at work, everyone got to wear jeans and tshirts, eat pizza, and be chill. The only catch was that we had to clean our desks, scour through our file cabinets for dead cases, and generally do the internal paperwork stuff that we are supposedly too busy to do the rest of the time. My desk has never sparkled like this before. Now i'm on my way to the office so i can mess it all up again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My New Favorite Thing

I had so much fun today I can barely contain myself. I clearly have to get a car now so I can join the kabillion other Oregonians who drive around with kayaks on the roofs of their cars. I found out today what they are up to. We set out at eight in the morning and after a few safety talks and some practice with not flipping over and dying, i got suited up with my life jacket and helmet and got my river on! i was out there for about five hours and didn't spill out even once. I want to go everyday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Training Day

Today was the safety lesson in the pool. I smell like chlorine and I like it. Sunday is whitewater day.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


i felt like a real Portlander today. After work I went and got my hair cut at a "lesbian barber shop" called Hotbox. The proprietress gave me a nice new hair cut, a bit of a back rub, and plenty o' charm. And then it was off to the Buckman neighborhood to meet my friends for a 40th Birthday dinner for my friend Harold. He loves loves bicycles and I got to ride his sweet Bianchi Milano through the neighborhoods, over the Hawthorne Bridge, and up to Andina, a great nuevo Peruvian restaurant in the Pearl District. I had something called a Pisco Sour and lots of delicious ceviche and peppers and whatnot. Perfect tuesday.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

MFNW again

Save me from my audiophile ways! Ratatat had a line 3 blocks long, didn't get in. But I did see Blitzen Trapper, Mirah, Blind Pilot, The Slants, Blubird, Teeath, and Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. i'm kind of tired now. i went to the after party and a security guard the size of phone booth went ballistic and grabbed a guy and sat on him, why, i do not know, but the guard had the guy in a really painful looking stress position for several minutes even though no one was fighting anyone. and I just couldn't stand it so I went over and said, "you need to back off that guys legs" and told them i was a lawyer. and I doubt they were very impressed (they said, "we have insurance") but I pointed out that the guy wasn't fighting and had his hands behind his back and repeated about getting off his legs and then the guard did AND he didn't turn around and grab or clobber me. Whew!

The after party was in this cavernous warehouse sort of space that purported to be the Globe Hotel but don't believe it, unless it was the worst hotel in the world after the apocalypse. But there were 4 different kinds of macaroni and cheese for the VIPs, to make us feel special. and free drinks. and bouncers with impulse control issues. So many rock stars.

without further adieu-

Blind Pilot - Go On, Say It

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down - Beat

Blitzen Trapper - Crushing the Wheat

Mirah - Don't Go

Saturday, September 6, 2008

MFNW so far

So far i've seen, in order: Love as Laughter, M. Ward, The Whigs, Britt Daniel, Built to Spill, Typhoon, Valiant Arms, Crooked Fingers. And i saw some totally kick ass band playing at Berbati's pan tonight, but i have no idea who they were and I can't figure it out. i stood next to Bobby Bare jr during at the Crooked Fingers show and asked him who was good tomorrow. I got to breeze past all the lines with my Very Impulsive Person pass and it seemed sort of worth it at the sold out shows. Mostly i'm sort of tired right now but i'm gearing it up all over again tonight to go and see Ratatat, Blitzen Trapper, Blind Pilot, Mirah and Thao. put another dime in the jukebox baby.

The Valiant Arms - Dizzy

Built to Spill - Carry the Zero

Crooked Fingers - Call to Love

Typhoon - Shallows

Love as Laughter - All Parts of Me

Britt Daniel - Don't Make Me a Target

The Whigs- Right Hand on my Heart

M.Ward - To Go Home

by the way, my brother forwarded this to me. want to know the #1 billboard song on the day you were born? Mine is Brother Louie by The Stories.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Going Greek

I hemmed and hawed about how I was going to use those frequent flier miles and ultimately squeezed my eyes closed and just went for it. Next May I'll be ferry hopping my way from Athens to Lesbos and then I'm going to check out Istanbul and some other islands. That's the rough plan right now at least. Thanks for all the suggestions I got through this page and on email.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Full tilt Ricky

The Blue Hole was really very blue. Like the water on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at disney but EVEN bluer. I'm not sure how it gets that way, the sun wasn't especially bright that day. But we hiked 4 miles to get to see it in the middle of nowhere. Ricky was less than impressed. I was all excited and she was just like, yeah tex, its blue. We also hiked up Horsetail Falls and the Bridal Veil later on. As for Bend, i don't think its my kinda town. it was like a rich neighborhood in Tucson or something. But the St. Francis School was an incredible place to stay.

Monday, September 1, 2008