Archive | July, 2012

Weekend decisions

23 Jul

Special Ladyfriend decided to have a sampler platter of beers from the new hop joint in the ‘hood:

This little beer went to market…

I decided to have a classy Aviation cocktail made from all the new classy liquor additions to the bar at home:

Technically not chuggable, but we’re no sissies.

The Roommate decided to have a giant goblet of “house red”:

The wine just told a very funny joke.

Put all these decisions together and you get Even More Awesome Decisions, like:

- Interpretive dance (there’s a video. No, you don’t need to see it)
Sir Mix-a-Lot karaoke (god I hope there’s no video)
– Jello shots (TOO DELICIOUS)
– Drunning (this is what Hash Harriers do in a much more organized fashion)
This, in public, with strangers

You’d think we’d have no energy leftover after all that, and you’d mostly be right. But there is always energy for deviously plotting ways to utilize our extensive sweatband and tubesock collections. JUST YOU WAIT, internet. Yet more brilliance is coming your way.

Storm Warnings in Portland, Oregon

20 Jul

I love a good storm.

The lightning strikes are starting fires elsewhere. But here, they’re drawing us out onto our porches to count the seconds between light and sound.

Storms are good times for poetry, don’t you think?

Storm Warnings
by Adrienne Rich

The glass has been falling all the afternoon,
And knowing better than the instrument
What winds are walking overhead, what zone
Of grey unrest is moving across the land,
I leave the book upon a pillowed chair
And walk from window to closed window, watching
Boughs strain against the sky

And think again, as often when the air
Moves inward toward a silent core of waiting,
How with a single purpose time has traveled
By secret currents of the undiscerned
Into this polar realm. Weather abroad
And weather in the heart alike come on
Regardless of prediction.

Between foreseeing and averting change
Lies all the mastery of elements
Which clocks and weatherglasses cannot alter.
Time in the hand is not control of time,
Nor shattered fragments of an instrument
A proof against the wind; the wind will rise,
We can only close the shutters.

I draw the curtains as the sky goes black
And set a match to candles sheathed in glass
Against the keyhole draught, the insistent whine
Of weather through the unsealed aperture.
This is our sole defense against the season;
These are the things we have learned to do
Who live in troubled regions.

Hawthorne Bridge Walk and Brunch

18 Jul

My roommate and I were driving across one of Portland’s many bridges one day after our yuppie workout class, zooming past strolling pedestrians and spandex-clad bike commuters, discussing our plans for the day.

“You know,” one of us said. “I’ve lived in Portland for quite a while now, and I have never walked across a single bridge.”

“Weirdly,” said the other. “Neither have I.”

It’s not that either of us is ecologically irresponsible, choosing a car when our feet would do just fine. It’s just one of those things that, if you don’t live or work very close to the waterfront, you have very little reason to ever do.

Clearly, this needed to be rectified. You see, Portland is famous for its bridges. Neatly bisected by the Willamette River, to get from one side of the city to the other you have to cross one of ten bridges. Eleven if you count the one that’s just for trains. That’s a lot of bridges for a relatively small city – and is the reason why one of Portland’s aliases is Bridge City.

Our genius plan was to organize a group of ruffians interested in bridge-walking, and traverse one bridge per month until we’ve conquered every last one of ‘em – foul weather, bad traffic and hipster infestations be damned.

Our first conquest was the Hawthorne Bridge:

A rare sunny day in April on the Hawthorne Bridge.

You drive on this metal grate suspended over turgid grey waters. Crazy!

According to Wikipedia, the Hawthorne Bridge is the country’s oldest vertical-lift bridge. Who knew? Not I. The most interesting facet of this bridge was that the part the cars drive on is a metal grate, so that when you look down and through, you can see the water below. Quite the vertigo-induction.

Once we completed our perilous journey, and since it was Easter Sunday for we secular godless types, we naturally brunched at the only restaurant worth going to at the West base of the Hawthorne Bridge, Veritable Quandary. With a name like that, how could you NOT?

Is this salad a veritable quandary? We’ll never know.

Furthermore, Veritable Quandary bills itself as a restaurant that “offers a truly authentic Portland experience.” I don’t know what to make of that claim, but I will say that 1) the food was good, 2) the place was packed and 3) the service was poor – three identifiers of Portland restaurants if ever there were any.

The Stumptown was burnt but they made us a fresh pot without too much complaint, so everyone went home happy, full, and having conquered our first Portland bridge.

What about you, readers? What iconic or touristy thing have you never gotten around to doing in your home-base city? Or, if you live in Portland, what bridge should we do next?

Smile, baby

17 Jul

Image

Today I bring you some Troof from one of my favorite web “comics,” A Softer World, which has of course reminded me of the Great Smile Boycott of 2010 as well as the words of Shulamith Firestone:

“The smile is the child/woman equivalent of the shuffle; it indicates acquiescence of the victim to his own oppression. In my own case, I had to train myself out of that phony smile, which is like a nervous tic on every teenage girl. … My ‘dream’ action for the women’s liberation movement: a smile boycott, at which declaration all women would instantly abandon their “pleasing” smiles, henceforth only smiling when something pleased them.”

What do you say, ladies and gents? Shall we endeth forced smiling, or carry on in the name of social lubrication?

48

9 Jul

In the past 48 hours I have:

  • Lost at arm-wrestling
  • Won at arm-wrestling
  • Fist-bumped a stranger
  • Danced on a stage
  • Been to a block party
  • Listened to live bluegrass sung by handsome fellas
  • Lost at pool
  • Experienced the wonders of karaoke
  • Lost at pool again
  • Slept til noon
  • Gotten up at 4
  • Stayed up til 4
  • Played Tori on a dive bar jukebox
  • Played Prince as loudly as possible on an iPhone jukebox
  • Worn leggings unapologetically in public
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