Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

From the Department of Regional Cuisines

There's an old hand painted sign on Alberta street above a carry out that says something about "Chicken and Jo Jos" and I thought it referred to a salty old couple who owned the store. Perhaps the mom was named Jojo and the pop liked to go as Chicken. Maybe on account of a limited career as a bantam weight boxer. Lo and behold, I found out from my lovely and talented legal assistant that Jojo is not a person, it is a food. A regional dish pictured here, which is a fried potato wedge.
And this got me thinking of other regional cuisines from here (salmon, hazelnuts and pinot noir) and from Ohio such as the hotshot from western Ohio. An open faced sandwich with gravy and mashed potato. Or sauerkraut balls, which have been immortalized on the marquee for the Hey Hey Club for years upon years. Anyways, I found out what a jojo is and I thought I'd share.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

After dark at science museum

Someone at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry thought it would be funny to keep the place open until 10pm and pass out free shots of vodka. And hence a trample of grown ups crowded the Da Vinci exhibit and played all night with all the various toys and contraptions. I was there. I held little metal pie tins in one hand and a lady I did not know held my other hand, and she touched a silver globe and current passed through us and the plates flew out of my hand into the air. Science!

Wolfmother - Witchcraft

A.C. Newman - There Are Maybe 10 or 12

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Two Awesome Things

1. Brunch at the Renegade Dinner Club. Billy came to visit for the weekend and as luck would have it, Colleen was making brunch at her dinner club. It's a loft space in an artist warehouse down near the river in southeast. You have to have a code to get in, and you climb up stairs through hallways that look like the set of Blade Runner. She's behind one of the many doors cooking up a storm. This morning she served gruyere toasts, a green salad with this amazing pickled carrot and allspice dressing, and eggs poached in red wine with bacon or something like that. There were a bunch of random people there and we drank strong coffee and chit chatted and generally felt incredibly lucky to be in the honey gold room on a rainy Portland morning.

2. The last time I ate at Colleen's I met an artist named Vanessa Renwick who operates as something called the Oregon Department of Kick Ass. She has a very cool installation up right now at the New American Art Union on Ankeny that goes something like this: a big room with some living room furniture on a shag rug. There's a record player with a bunch of great soul records. There's a little sign that says something to the effect of "You are welcome to play a record." Meanwhile, a large screen is playing a black and white film of a razed city block in north Portland where an old record shop used to stand called The House of Sound. The old sign from the House of Sound sits midway through the room, with votive candles spread out in front of it. Long matches are provided so that you can light a candle. I did. In addition to the sound of the soul music coming off the turntable, the house speakers broadcast a community radio program featuring two guys talking about the importance of the record shop in the black community in North Portland and reminiscing about the scene there back in the day. The whole exhibit is a touching elegy for lost space. It's going to be up through April 19.

Cymande - Brothers on the Slide

Roaring Ears

Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Crystal Ballroom on friday night. I was super psyched to get to see this band because they are notorious in Portland, in part because of the great rock documentary DiG! that came out a few years back. Anton Newcombe did not fight anyone during the show, and in fact he stood off to the side and didn't do much of the singing. Most of the singing was from the bass player, Matt Hollywood. Maybe all that hard living got the best of Anton, or at least that's the impression I got. Zia McCabe from the Dandy Warhols played tambourine with the tambourine man extraordinaire Joel Gion, begging the question by Matt of when you can have too many tambourine players at a Brian Jonestown Massacre show. And there were something like 6 guitars up on that stage going at once. Psychedelic burnout rock and roll fun.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Telegram

The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Anenome

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I hurt my ankle again. During my tennis lesson. It hurts.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Most Amazing Waterfall

No path. No stairs. No people. Mud under the fingernails and moss in the hair. My daring guide had the map and we pressed onward through a clear cut, and down a prodigious, slick creek bank. After climbing across slippery rocks and rotting green pine logs along the water, after I wrongly suggested that maybe we had gone far enough, we could hear a great whoosing sound around the next bend of the creek. And there in its glory was Abiqua Falls.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I got this text message from a friend that asked, "Are you going to the Iditarod?" and I was puzzled and replied, "In Alaska?" But he wasn't talking about that. He was talking about the Portland Urban Iditarod. Intrigued, I went over to where it was happening on Saturday morning. It goes something like this: a bunch of drunken costumed yahoos pulling shopping cart sleighs mushing from bar to bar and back and forth across the Willamette River. A lot of beer, screaming and traffic jams at major intersections. I would guess there were about 600 people participating. My favorite entrants were a group of boy scout looking guys who had an actual campfire burning in their cart. Which was the plastic kind. After watching for a while, I decided that seeing all the jackasses in their costumes was entertaining, but the gripping part was seeing everyone not getting killed even though that looked like a definite drunken possibility when everyone was howling across Burnside. Me? I opted not to follow the caravan and went to the library instead like a properly-behaved young lady.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Courthouse Improvement

I no longer have to look at official portraits of Dick and George when I walk into the Federal Courthouse across the street.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jessica Lea Mayfield

I came across a musician I really like and it turns out she's from Kent, Ohio. I went and saw her show at the Doug Fir recently and her brothers played with her and she had a woman drummer who wore a little hat. I kind of can't stop listening even though it's a good bit more country-fied than what I've been into lately. I think she's going to be famous.

We've Never Lied - Jessica Lea Mayfield (Woxy.com recording)

Kiss Me Again - Jessica Lea Mayfield

Change of Plans

For whatever reason, I decided I wasn't feeling the Greece trip. It was Greek to me. And so I switched those tickets for 2 weeks around the Mediterranean, starting out in Milan and flying back home from Barcelona. As a bonus, friends are also going to be in Spain for part of that time. So I'm going to be cheerfully meandering with a back pack and sense of adventure coming up soon. If you have any thoughts on things I should see, do tell.

Monday, March 9, 2009

D.B. Cooper

One of the great Northwestern mysteries is what in the heck ever happened to D.B. Cooper. I am generally interested in criminal folk heroes and have been acquainted with Mr. Cooper for quite a number of years. I remembered he was vaguely supposed to have manifested in this part of the country, but it wasn't until the recent Oregonian article on his continuing saga that I realized that the legend of D.B. Cooper is based right here in Portland. Here's the tale, roughly:

In 1971, he hijacked a Boeing 727 Northwest Orient airliner and threatened to blow it up. Through hostage negotiations, he extorted $200,000 and then leaped from the airborne 727 with a parachute somewhere over the vast forested wilderness of Portland, near the Columbia river. He was never seen again—dead or alive. D.B. Cooper and the money were gone into thin air. In February 1980, an eight-year-old found $5,880 in decaying $20 bills along the river, which proved to be part of the original ransom. Folks have speculated that he must have crashed and died. But nary a trace of him was ever recovered. So is D.B. Cooper my landlord? Is he living out by the coast? Did he land in the river and get eaten by a sturgeon? We do not know. The authorities say he didn't survive the crash, but never recovered a body. So who the hell knows?

What I did find out, on inquiry, is that the D.B. Cooper matter is an open investigation by the FBI in Oregon and a federal assistant United States Attorney who I am friendly with has been tasked with bringing D.B. to justice, should he ever be found. In the Fort Worth/Dallas area where I grew up, the local conspiracy theorists are dialed into Lee Harvey Oswald and the magic bullet. Out here, the amateur sleuths theorize on D.B. Cooper and what became of that daring mad man and all that cash. The case is still considered unsolved and is one of the most extensive American manhunts of the 20th century.

I am hoping if he is ever found that he will have spent that $200K, be without the financial resources to retain counsel, and that I can represent him because that would be very cool.

It Ends With a Fall - Okkervil River

Take Me To the River - Talking Heads

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I got to go to the Trailblazers game on Saturday night. Never been to an NBA game before and here's what I saw: tall guys, no black guys except for the people who worked there and the players on the court, cheerleaders, a "stun team" that jumped on trampolines during intermissions to make slam dunks, many children, break dancers, and the Blazers beating the Timberwolves 94 to 90 or something like that.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Good Morning

Early staff meeting today, and I'm still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. A couple of things:

1. For all of you well wishers who want to know why I haven't been fast-tracked into becoming a federal judge, this Douglas Berman blog post put it about as well as anyone I've seen. I'm sure that's the only reason, right? I pay my taxes and surely the judiciary could benefit from the addition of an indie rock obsessive adventure nut.

2. Word on the street is that Sleater-Kinney really might do a reunion show tonight. DANG. And guess who has a ticket?

morning after update: No, Sleater-Kinney did not reunite. They were all under the same roof but they weren't all plugged in. GREAT show anyways, I say. Explode into Colors, Tu Fawning and Mirah were soooooo good.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Coffee Contest

The United States Barista Championship is being held at the Oregon Convention Center March 5-8. They say:

The USBC is an event designed to encourage and recognize professional achievement in the art of espresso beverage preparation and service. Competitors will prepare and service three coffee beverages - one espresso, one cappuccino, and one signature drink of their own creation - for four judges in a space of 15 minutes. The winner of the USBC goes on to represent the United States at the World Barista Championship.

How caffinated can I get? Last weekend I sweat through my shirt and couldn't sit still and that was just based on a couple of americanos. I am ready for the challenge, since the event is open to the public, free, and apparently will be rife with coffee samples and chocolate.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Minigolf Art Invitational

holocene mini golf freak out from jlowe on Vimeo.

This past week I was pleased and lucky to go to the Holocene Minigolf Art Invitational. Imagine a bunch of artists from around Portland designing minigolf holes. Then they transformed the Holocene bar into a giant putting course and Tender Forever played a set in the middle of the action. I cannot find any pictures that can capture the stunning mayhem of it all, but my two favorite holes were the big cougar looking one and the one made by Pancake Clubhouse Historic Township and Activity Destination for the Living Arts. If you got a hole in one, you got a free pancake.

This Thursday

I wonder who Corin Tucker's two special musical guests will be. This is my deep thought of the week. I got tickets today so I'll be reporting later as the mystery is revealed.