Saturday, January 31, 2009

Road Trip to the Coast

We pulled back the curtains on the hotel room at Cape Kiwanda this morning to find something very much like the picture above. It was a VERY sunny and nice day for January and so Rev. Shayla, Jason and I tore that coast to pieces:

1. Cape Kiwanda. Exploring the tidal pools! The timing worked out amazingly well and we got out just at low tide. The sea receded to reveal little pocket pools in the limestone rocks that had barnacles, starfish, little anemone looking things and fishes and crabs. After that we climbed the dunes to a outlook where we spotted a sea lion swimming around in the churn. It was so pretty that Jason asked if you could be too inundated with the sublime.

We also tried little bit o' beer at the Pelican Brewery near Cape Kiwanda, which supposedly has the best beer on the west coast? They had a lot of medals. And though we just had a taste, it seemed pretty darn good.

Lida Husik - Breeze

2. Oceanside. We found a cool tunnel through a bluff and crawled through it and wondered it if was the Cave of Time from the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure series and would lead us to the beach in 1997 when I did not have a job and George Bush hadn't ruined the country yet.

Richard Buckner - (A Year Ahead)... And a Light

3. Cape Meares. Visited the stubby little lighthouse there and the Octopus Tree. Its a gigantic sitka spruce that has split into 8 or so gigantic spruce tentacles up on a ridge above the ocean. Legend has it that the tree, which is called council tree by Native Americans, was shaped that way because a particular chief put his canoes on its branches when the tree was younger and that made the tree form that way. I don't know the truth, except that it was a cool tree. I bought a box of Good and Plentys at a little store nearby. We headed on down the Three Capes Scenic Route.

Tv on the Radio - Family Tree

4. Tillamook. With about 5000 residents, it's the biggest town for many miles around. I told a handful of Oregonian people that I was going to the coast this weekend. I was looking for tips and insights. And almost everyone asked me, with a shifty look in their eye, with their voices in a slightly higher register, if we would be stopping by the Tillamook Cheese factory. People from Oregon get downright funny about this place. Sweaty palms, maybe some running in place. They sell this cheese in the Portland Airport, such is the passion of the people who have to have it when they fly far away. So passing through Tillamook we felt compelled to visit the factory and see what all the commotion was about. It being a Saturday, the assembly line was not in full swing, but we did see some gigantic blocks of cheese getting shrink wrapped. Rev. Shayla bought everyone ice cream cones. I got Marionberry Pie ice cream because it seemed a very Oregon thing to do. We also tried to buy some fresh oysters in Tillamook from a place called the Pearl Point. It's in a very old decommissioned bank that just looks like you want to rob it on horseback. As for the shellfish, all the coolers were empty, and the oystermonger said sorry, we are sold out. Rats. And so we kept heading north on HWY 101.

Devendra Banhart - Seahorse

5. Giarbaldi. This is a working class fishing village where we got up close with crab rings. Which are the regional name for crab pots. Which the rest of us call crab traps. We didn't eat any crabs. We were full of ice cream. And so we drove on a crazy winding logging road away from the coast back to fair Portland.

The Gris Gris - Winter Weather

Friday, January 30, 2009


For every action, there is an adverse reaction. And so we have an all-out anti-bacon reactionary frenzy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Was it in 6th grade the last time I had roller skates on? Something like that. Tonight I went to this fabulous throw-back amusement park called Oaks Park and roller skated for several hours with a pack of scenesters. Though my legs may be sore tomorrow, tonight I feel like the belle of the Starlight Express. After a few sketchy turns around the vast wooden floor, I was able to skate more or less as well as I did in 6th grade (undistinguished) and I did not fall down. Still can't skate backwards. Or reliably steer, for that matter. I very much wish I had worn a better outfit. Maybe a tasteful gold sequin cape and pink satin stretch pants. The occasion to reclaim my skating career was brought about by Ethan Rose, a composer of eerie electronica. He recorded his last record, called Oaks, using the massive Wurlitzer organ that is suspended above the skate rink. Tonight, he performed some of those compositions live, while we swirled and swirled around under the lights.

Ethan Rose - On Wheels Rotating

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Purple Rhinestone Eagle

I was in Seattle this weekend to see the friends. I happily stumbled upon a flyer for a Purple Rhinestone Eagle show and was very pleased to convince pals to come along. Purple Rhinestone Eagle is a Portland band but last night they rocked the paint off the walls at The Wild Rose, a women's bar institution right in the middle of Capitol Hill. They make self-described "rock-n-roll-pyschedelic-garage-stoner fury." They are the antidote to Ani. They made me very happy and I bought the t-shirt and the CD. They make me want to hang out in a basement under a black light and practice pentatonic guitar scales. I can't believe I don't have a basement or a black light. What has become of me?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stand by Your Sam

So the mayor screwed up and told a pack of unsavory lies about how he didn't get it on with an 18 y.o.. Turns out he did. Oh well. I don't really care. I don't think lying about your personal life should disqualify you from public office. I stopped by city hall last night and saw a bunch of awesome Portlanders lined up for a pro-Sam rally.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Unfaithful Correspondent

I know. I've been bad about writing. There's the bacon story to tell, and a death defying stunt in a windstorm, and some other details too. Give me a minute.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Windy Bacon Catch Up

1. 105 mph gusts! What provoked the daring heroines to drive to the top of Columbia Gorge on the windiest day ever? The wind was so strong, I thought it would yank the car door off. The wind was so strong, it felt like we would get blown off the edge to our utter doom. The wind was so strong, the waterfalls blew sideways and left the hill sides all icy. The wind was so strong, it could yank eyeglasses RIGHT OFF YOUR FACE. This happened, and yet, the glasses were miraculously recovered some 100 yards and down an embankment. Lesson: people are tiny and nature is big. The wind at Crown Point was scary, but the thing that really freaked me out was seeing all the giant fir trees getting yanked around. We drove down a tiny curvy road, covered in debris from the storm, and huge trees had fallen right across the roadways. If we were in the wrong place when one of those suckers came down, that would have been it. We said the headline would read (assuming there are still newspapers being printed these days): IDIOTS DIE IN GORGE WINDSTORM. But it was really spectacular and since we didn't die, I'm so glad we went. And then fearless Greta got onto a plane in that wind and went back to LA.

2. The bacon master challenge? It was AWESOME. It went down at this big new bar near Chinatown called the Davis Street Tavern. There were two big rooms full of bacon oddities: Bacon and peanut butter icecream sandwiches, bacon wonton pockets, bacon and bourbon brownies, bacon refried beans, bacon cinnamon rolls, bacon smores. What did we make? Imagine a glazed donut, sliced in two like a sandwich. Therein, find BACON! and stone mustard and mascarpone cheese and a little maple syrup. Can you believe we didn't win??? Me neither. But the winner's dish was truly delicious and awesome. it was a little salad cup made of bacon with lettuce and a cherry tomato and blue cheese. tasty.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

No you didn't...

Greta got in last night. And we will have a rollicking, one for the books, go tell it on the mountain, total gayhem, the sun is shining in Portland kind of day. At least part of it is going to involve making a dish for the Master Bacon contest (see below). And this video probably looks a lot like what Greta and I will look like in the kitchen in a few hours. It's like a TV dramatization from a crime scene. Watch:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fraking Dorks

How wonderfully dorky is Portland? So much so that the Bagdad Theater is having a gigantic party and mass viewing of the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica. And apparently, they are going to do it for every episode of the final season. for free.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


from a press release I saw today, right before I blacked out from excitement overload:

Masterbacon Inaugural Event

Posted: Jan 12th, 09
Have you ever wanted to get together with a bunch of other bacon geeks and just geek out about bacon? What if there was an event specifically catered to bacon geeks to be able to share their favorite bacon treats with the world? Wouldn’t it make sense to make it a competition complete with trophy and prizes? Of course it would.

Masterbacon is just such an event is proud to announce the inaugural “Masterbacon” event which will be held at the Davis Street Tavern on January 17th, 2009 (RSVP on Upcoming).

Where: Davis Street Tavern ()
When: Saturday January 17th, 2009 - 1pm - 4pm (judging starts at 2pm sharp!) Why: Because bacon tastes good Who: Come one, come all!

Get your bacon engines ready.

The rules are as follows:

Participation is required; either you’re bringing a dish, help to judge or dress up as a piece of bacon. There are no on-lookers at Masterbacon.
Please send a note to scott @ some last name (its ‘kveton’) dot com and let us know that you’ll be bringing a dish.
Those bringing dishes (assuming we get a decent turn-out) should expect to make enough for 10-15 servings.
Please bring a hand-written or typed (or you can email ahead of time if you want) the recipe for your bacon dish as the winning dishes recipes will be published on (you can do this ahead of time when you tell us you’re bringing a dish too).
Each participant can bring one dish to enter in the contest although you can bring more than one for everyone to enjoy.
You can use any kind of bacon you’d like but it does have to be bacon (no fair cheating with pork tenderloin)
Judging will work as follows:

The number of entered recipes will determine the total number of judges - e.g. 12 recipes means 6 judges.
Judges are chosen on a first-come-first-serve-basis with a bias towards those who have traveled.
Judges are each given N votes where N = the number of judges.
Judges taste each dish and award one point to each of their favorite dishes for a total of N awarded points. Judges are not required to use all of their votes.
Winning bacon dishes are the ones with the most awarded points from the judges.
In addition Grand Prize and Runner-up, we’ll also have several special awards:

Most creative use of bacon
Most veggie friendly use of bacon
Best Gluten-free/Dairy-free bacon dish
Best presentation
Best “would-have-been-better-hot”
Worst use of bacon (is there such a thing?!)

Of course there will be prizes. The folks at have kicked in some t-shirts and aprons and we’ll have a special mystery sponsor there as well with all kinds of fun t-shirts to hand out.

I look forward to the first ever “Masterbacon” event and hope you’ll join us … here’s to bacon folks!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Driving that train

It felt like a very hippie night. Ree and I went over to the Goose Hollow Inn with a chess board and played three games (which I won, thank you very much) while listening to Grateful Dead records. Say what you will. The Grateful Dead sound good in that bar.

Ramble on Rose - The Grateful Dead

Friend of the Devil - The Grateful Dead

Sunday, January 11, 2009

In the checkout

Okay this is the funniest moment I've had in the grocery store check out line in a long time. This is not a parody. For reals.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bread and Tennis

For the first time since, oh, say, 1991, I had a tennis lesson this week. I signed up for a series of classes with the Portland parks department. Being in Portland, its held in a big indoor facility, out of the rain. But it is also across the street from the big bakery in town. And so, as I practice my forehand and backhand and run through different footwork drills, the air is thick with the smell of baking white bread. There's a guy in my class who looks like Lee Harvey Oswald and he hits the ball really hard. Next time I see him at class, I'm going to think of this song:

Bread - If

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Plane train automobile

So I'm supposed to go to Seattle this weekend to see the pals there, but crazy weather is cramping my style. I-5, the giant west coast interstate, is closing between Portland and Olympia because of floods. Concerned that this might be the case, I planned ahead and bought an amtrak ticket. Now amtrak just announced that they are closing the route between Portland and Seattle due to mudslides. Okay. So I could still fly there I suppose but that's kind of pricey and I've still got to make my way to and from the airport and I just don't know. This ordeal feels pretty exotic to me. Who's ever heard of an interstate closing or mudslides?

The Beastie Boys - Stop the Train (a capella)

The Acorn - The Flood Pt. 1

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Mayor

Here's how we kick it Portland-style. For the impossibly cute new mayor's inauguration, they pack city hall with circus performers, bicycle advocates and The March Fourth Marching Band. To make it really fun, they hand out free snacks, beer and wine to the public. And it wasn't two buck chuck, either. It was A to Z pinot noir from the next county over. And amidst the carnival barker screaming that he is the best politician since Abby Hoffman, our gay mayor takes the reins of power.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Five Quadrant Consumerist Bacchanal

It is a treat when friends come to visit from other cities and I can really put on the Portland show. There's an awful lot to see and do here, even on this rump of a holiday weekend, even if lots of things are closed or on vacation. And so on Saturday, Kara and I hit Portland commerce, one kickin neighborhood at a time. We had breakfast at this very charming Scandinavian restaurant in SE called Broder. The owner was there and asked me how I liked my eggs. My favorite thing was the lingonberry sauce. There's a great little record store next door with a good zine collection called Q is for Choir.

Next, we went over to the lower Burnside area and found the coolest jewelry and accessory store called Redux. Lots of recycled materials. I particularly liked the pendants by LeeAnn Herreid that integrated a carpenter's level. Next door were a couple of other more gallery-type shops, Grass Hut and Sword & Fern. Uber hipster. After that, we stumbled upon the store with all the Marimekko stuff in Northwest. And I went next door to the new Cork location and picked up a few inexpensive bottles of wine and one nice one.
And we pressed on! To Mississippi, where we visited the terrariums at Pistils and the sportswear at Blue. We also strolled up to the coolest record store in Portland, at least in terms of the ambiance, Mississippi Records. It's almost all vinyl. Now I would not dare mislead you and suggest that I am bad ass enough to be a vinyl person. Records are heavy and delicate and not my thing. But I did see an old record there from my childhood that gave me a chill instead of a thrill.

Perhaps to establish some feminist equilibrium (and to shake off Marcy), we went to the women's bookstore, In Other Words, where I picked up a Susan Sontag novel. I read an article about her journals recently and am curious. Edified, yet a little hungry, our next stop was in the NE at Random Order on Alberta for a peanut butter sandwich. Then we stopped by Ampersand to say hello to Miles and next door to Pie where they have lots of vegan shoes. I suppose I should have known there was such a thing but it hadn't occurred to me. Down the way at Foundation Garments they are always so nice and the music is always good. They sell all sweatshop free stuff there, made by small designers in the U.S. and Canada. I bought a little purse for a relative's birthday. Hope she likes it.
So that about covers our exciting five quadrant spin through town. I guess we didn't technically go shopping in SW, but I did get a voodoo donut late the night before. And so we have consumerist completion.

Everybody Knows this is Nowhere - Neil Young

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Most Happy New Year Indeed

It was the best new year's that I can remember. It went something like this:
1. Friends coming in from out of town and converging for a great lamb dinner at another friend's house. Toasts, jubilation, awesomeness.
2. Gathering up and heading to the Doug Fir, AND we had the good judgment to buy tickets in advance. So we sailed right in. Saw the Nick Jaina and The Builders and the Butchers downstairs. But the real action was upstairs. DJ Safi simply Tore. It. Up. We congregated around the firepit on the patio and danced and danced and danced and screamed happy new year and then kept on dancing.
3. Took what was apparently the only free cab in Portland all the way home. Incredible luck. Good Omen.
4. Sleep. Wake. Cook. Santa Fe style enchiladas, black eyed peas, home fries, mimosas, bacon, sausage, bloody marys. 6 for brunch. Fire in the fireplace. Football on TV. Total comfort.

The Builders and the Butchers - The Bottom of the Lake

Nick Jaina - A Narrow Way