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Assorted songs I like, and weekend open thread

30 Mar

Amy Ray came to Portland on Tuesday. Her band was the mutha-effin BUTCHIES, (yay!), and this rad chick named Lindsay Fuller opened. Amy Ray played this, among other awesome songs in her typically awesome fashion:

I saw Stanley Clarke quite by accident at Blue Note in New York last week. Fantastical show, including a 15-year-old pianist that blew the tops of everyone’s heads off. It was very messy. Here’s Stanley playing bass and then talking about playing bass:

You all know how I feel about unexpected covers, so this acoustic cover of the synthey Heaven pretty much rocks. Brandi Carlile is in Portland in May, and I’m currently trying to justify the ticket price. Stay tuned to find out who wins, my fiscally conservative self or my musically liberal self. Ha:

Another cover, for kicks, because I was listening along to Lights not expecting this AT ALL (bonus track! C’mooon CDs aren’t dead YET, guys, amirite??):

I love a good remix as much as I love a good cover, and thanks to Pandora this song in both its original and remixy forms is now in my regular rotation:

Heard anything good lately? Any good shows or stuff you’re excited about this weekend? Share, share alike.

Things rich people get for free

27 Mar

I flew first-class a while ago. I figured that it would be the same as regular-class, except with bigger seats. OH NO, my friends, THAT IS NOT SO. There are free things. THEY GIVE THE RICH PEOPLE FREE THINGS. Allow me to regale you with a list of Unlimited Things Rich People are Given for Free While Flying:

  • Alcohol
  • Soda
  • Tiny bottles of water
  • Tiny candy bars
  • Cookies, pretzels, peanuts
  • Hot towels*
  • Dinner**
  • GIANT ARMRESTS
  • Pillows, blankets
  • Seats that recline to a comfortable and reasonable distance
  • First choice of where to put your crap
  • Obsequious service

I’m not kidding about that obsequious service part. After partaking liberally in everything that was free, I passed out in my chair. I woke up at some point to adjust my position in my 45-degree reclining chair (!) and the attendant said, “You know, if your drink goes flat I can replace it for you.” SERIOUSLY.

* I’m still not clear on the purpose of these. I watched the old white men to see what they did with them. One guy wiped his hands, another guy wiped his face. I briefly considered taking a bum bath for lulz (ha!) but just copied the white-hairs, minus the face thing cuz makeup, duh.
** Not just any ordinary plane ride dinner, you guys. It had an entree, a fruit side, a salad, chips, a dessert and actual silverware on a freakin’ platter. A PLATTER. And a cloth napkin.

Mexican adventures

28 Feb

On the way out of the US, I had giant pointy metal sticks in my purse. I was allowed to carry these onto the plane. I then proceeded to pull them out and brandish them about hither and thither with wild abandon. No one bothered me a bit, and in fact they even brought me tea.

On the way back INTO the US, I was made to throw them away by a Rather Cranky Fellow. What were these sticks for, you ask? Perhaps for holding up the plane, redirecting it to a politically important location, and then landing it safely in order to have peaceful diplomatic talks in a mutually agreeable location? Commandeering it for a round-the-world disco dance party for me and 150 of my closest friends? For poking holes in important plane parts? Poking holes in important philosophical theories?

No, my friends, they were knitting needles. TSA even says I am allowed to have them on the plane. Mexico security, however, feels differently. Now let us all mourn the loss of my giant knitting needles and the boring scarf I was working on. Let this be a lesson to me: It is far cheaper to simply buy a scarf than it is to knit one. Although it certainly does kill the time on a long flight rather well.

This post brought to you by my favorite new word.

Travlin’ Roundup

6 Feb

I finally had an aviation cocktail. Here’s a picture:

I had this here.

I also saw this:

and this:

and this:

I do so love me some Frida and Diego. But especially Frida.

Five Things I Learned in Vegas

8 Jul

Since it’s almost the weekend, how about some life lessons from the partyingest city in the Western US? Yes, I went there. Of my own free will. It’s true! I have proof. Since I’m a paragon of virtue and all, I thought you could benefit from some Tips For Vegas (from me):

5. Bingo and Blackjack are fun.
4. Slot machines are boring
3. $20 drinks are worth it…
2. …but free jagerbombs are better
1. Hookers and blow are harder to get than you’d think.

That’s all folks! What are y’all doing this weekend?

I want a trust fund

18 Mar

When I grow up, I want to be blessed with a chip on my shoulder, imbued with a sense of entitlement I’ve never questioned or lived without. I want a trust fund so I can look down my nose at people who desire money. I want to show my scorn for a poor man’s desire by wearing thrift-store clothing ironically. I’ll call myself a socialist, a populist. All my friends will be just like me. I want to assume that I am more intelligent than Steve the janitor by virtue of the sort of work I do, nevermind that his mind, unlike mine, is free to think truly original thoughts while he does his work; whereas my mind is occupied trying to figure out new ways to sell the same old shit, office politics, and the bottom line. I’ll invent dumpster-diving, train-hopping, international travel, and be the first person in history to discover poetry and nature. I’ll buy cases of expensive wine, refuse to cross rivers and train tracks, never leave my neighborhood, call myself a philanthropist, consider graduate school, complain about how hard it is to find good help these days.

No post this week

4 Nov

due to tropicality:

In lieu of actual content, I give you a picture of me at a luau, making a funny face. I hope this amuses until I return to a mood more snarkily suitable for Serious Blogging:

Now I’m going to go eat some cookies.

Classic Adventures

7 Sep

Bored? Explore the Adventures Archives this week for fun and profit!

Adventures in Pee
From 2006, when I could still drink things called “Foo Foos” with a straight face.

Easily Distracted
Even back in 2007, before I learned about StumbleUpon, Twitter, and iPhones, I was a terrible single-tasker.

Breedin’ is what branded me, to some readers with below-average reading comprehension, as a hater of children and their parents. Which I am not. I just don’t groove on the smug superiority that’s the primary facet of the cult of parenthood.

The Tropical Isles of Wherever, is a somewhat coherent rant against the well-traveled, faux-bohemian Millenials among us.

Soundtrack of my Love Life
A glorious explanation of the zeniths and nadirs of my music collection, chronologically arranged by lov-ahs. 2009.

Red Lines of Portland

12 Mar

I’ve been in Portland long enough that I can safely say I’ve figured out where the red lines are. If you live here, you know what I mean. If you don’t live here, chances are your town has its own borders that nice girls and boys are not supposed to cross.

People say things like, “Harold drives a Ford and lives out by Clackamas Town Center, if you know what I mean.” I have to restrain my sarcasto-reflex to stop myself from responding with, “No, actually, I don’t know what you mean. Unless you’re trying to say that Harold is poor and kind of trashy so that you’ll look better by comparison? But surely that’s not what you’re saying, because gee, that doesn’t reflect well on you.”

This quadrant-ism is so freakishly prevalent that when trying to pick a happy hour location with a coworker yesterday, she laid out her requirements like so: “I won’t go over the hill on the weekends, and I won’t go past 82nd.” This was her way of saying that she is wealthy and hip enough to live downtown, and urbane enough to avoid the suburbs like the plague.

In case any of you are thinking of moving here, I have drawn a map to help you quickly get up to speed on where all the “right” kinds of people live:


As you can see, the city is neatly divided into four parts for convenient segregation of the haves from the have-nots. All political correctness aside, here is how it was explained to me when I moved here: Southwest is downtown (tall buildings, people with smartphones.) Northwest is yuppietown (coffee shops, people with smartphones and skinny jeans). Northeast is the ethnic ghetto, and Southeast is the white ghetto.

If you can swing it, it’s best to live on the west side, but if you absolutely must live on the east side, the rules are as follows: Live above Holgate (preferably above Foster) and west of Powell. Live below 60th, but preferably below 39th. If you live on the West side, your best bet is the alphabet district if you’re inclined to hipsterism (delineated by the hipster glasses, above) or the Pearl if you’re inclined to use a hair straightener. You should probably work downtown in a tall building (see drawing of briefcase), but if you can’t manage that, you can serve $10 drinks at a Northwest bar until you’re30. After 30, people will start wondering if you should move to the East side.

The problem is this: Limiting yourself geographically is also limiting experientially. The same people who refuse to leave the 20-block radius around their condos are the same people you’ll find extolling the virtues of world travel and blathering on about how their trust-fund funded trip to Europe changed their lives by broadening their horizons. As someone who has lived in both Marin County and Oregon’s Illinois Valley, I can tell you that you don’t have to leave the country to have your mind blown by cultural differences.

So what’s the give? Once they’re back in the States these worldly folks are suddenly no longer interested in traversing outside their comfort zones, or meeting people with different backgrounds than their own? Why have the same people who bore me with 12,000 pictures of the natives in Nepal, complete with narrative about the mind-expanding qualities of learning about different cultures, decided that they will only socialize with their own kind when they’re on their home turf?

And – if you live here, what are the neighborhood stereotypes you know of? Longtimers: Have they changed?

Complex Guilt

3 Jun


As my friend Colin always likes to say, I suffer from a serious case of balloon-hand: Need someone to volunteer for something? Up goes my hand! Nothing can keep it down, not previously made obligations, lack of sleep, expense (time or monetary) or even exhaustion.

My eyes are bigger than my proverbial stomach when it comes to the amount of stuff I think I’m capable of doing without collapsing into a sobbing heap of overwhelmed Sarah. As such, I am constantly overbooked and occassionally volunteer to do two or more things — be they favors, social engagements or boring assignments — at the same time on the same day. Such was the case this Sunday, when I was simultaneously expected to attend a wedding with my Mom, celebrate a first birthday, study for an important test, make complicated and expensive vacation plans, and drive a friend to the airport.

All this basically caused me to a) freak out; b) reschedule said test, c) miss out on the cake-and-punch fun, and d) flatly and mostly unapologetically refuse to drive said friend to the airport.

The last two I felt terribly guilty about and thought about a great deal afterward. The airport thing wasn’t so bad since it was a last-minute request that was asked without much finesse or politeness, and was solved with the help of said friend’s roommate. I’ve become much better at refusing to give rides lately. Years of being used for my wheels have really jaded me to helping out my pedestrian acquaintances. (It’s one thing to rail against the evils of automobiles; it’s quite another entirely to do so while mooching off your be-wheeled pals. Particulary if an unwelcome critique of my driving ability is going to be involved. (ahem).).

The birthday party was something I’d rather not have skipped, but it was simply a matter of being physically unable to be in two places at once. This doesn’t, however, stop me from feeling terrible about it. I’d feel just as terrible if I’d gone to the party and skipped the wedding. It’s my nature, and I suspect it’s more prevalent in the female variety of human. Ridiculous, yes, but we’ve been bred to feel excessive guilt since birth.

But it’s when things like this come up that I find myself really having to do battle with my overactive sense of obligation to other people. I have this rather inefficient tendency to put everyone elses’ needs ahead of my own — delaying that test will set me back a great deal and probably cause some stress in the future I’ll have to deal with then. But I wasn’t ready to take it because I’ve been busy caring for everyone around me instead of taking time out from life to study and take care of myself.

The solution seems so simple — take some time for me, relax, study, get organized, and voila! Everything’s better. But what that attitude overlooks is that every time I take space for me, some other obligation suffers. When I take a weekend off to devote to myself, that’s one more weekend I’m not spending with the people I care about; or one other obligation I’m putting off until tomorrow.

It’s not just hard due to my overactive sense of obligation and guilt, either. I genuinely LIKE baking cakes for friends, I really enjoy spending time with my family and my friends, but there simply isn’t enough time to do everything, every day.

The only solution? Sleep less.

What do you guys do when you feel overwhelmed?

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