weather

July 26, 2011

This is how Portland’s dealing with the heatwave:

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This is my cat. He is in the window.20110725-072939.jpg

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Backspace is getting all of my moneys! 20110725-073042.jpg

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Someone wrote the seven deadly sins on the bathroom wall at Backspace. 20110725-073226.jpg

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Portlandia!

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Clearly it’s been a really productive summer at my house… 20110725-073404.jpg

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Sunshowers all day…

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Then my brother got out his G.I. Joe’s….20110725-073631.jpg

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….and made them do it. 20110725-073654.jpg

 

Watercolor project.20110725-073706.jpg

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An idea for the end of a story I was writing. 20110725-073749.jpg

More sunshowers.

 

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near.

July 17, 2011

Steve Almond taught me about the awesome concept of Poopy Soup today, so in honor of that:

Here are some things that are near me.

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I live next to a crackhead. It’s kind of a shame, he has really nice lilies.

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Reed College. Yay TinHouse!

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Lee’s daughter, after I turned her into an art project. (You can’t see it too well, but I bruised her eye with some cream base.)

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These are my nasty hippie feet at Charlie and Joy’s reading.

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Reed at night.

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Moorage on the river.

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I walked up to Pappacino’s and got coffee after Dorothy and Steve’s talk(s) today. They were amazing!

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Reminds me of Springfield.

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Reed at night. (again)

 

Or, the unpublished writer’s guide to cocksucking.

In film school, everyone imagines walking down the aisle, unfolding a crumpled sheet of notebook paper in front of millions of people and reading an Oscar speech. If you meet someone who’s gone to film school and they deny doing this, (typical responses are: “Psh, are you kidding me? I want to make ART. Not some commercial capitalist bullshit!”) they’re liars. Practicing your Oscar speech is kind of like smoking dope; everyone does it at least once. (Film nerd or otherwise.)

One time, I met Tina Fey at a book signing. (“You want me to get that name for you? LOOKS LIKE YOU DROPPED IT.”) I only bring this up because I love getting homogenous groups together and watching people try to function in a group of themselves. Young, sassy, nerdy, buddy-holly girls in business casual are a scathing bunch. Watching them try and operate in a group where they can’t be superfluously dejected and sit on a lifeguarding chair of judgment chanting “Look at your life, LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES” is hilarious. These bitches are my people, AND I LOVE IT.

Every summer since Junior year of high school, I’ve had the pleasure of crashing the Tin House writer’s conference. Now, getting a bunch of writers together, (who are not all sassy, buddy-hollys) is extremely amusing. Last summer I got acquainted with a woman whom I affectionately refer to as ‘my best friend Sue.’ The first time we met, she had hot pink lipstick on her front tooth, and proceeded to tell me about some of her poems. We were sitting near each other at a reading; and the rest of the week I kept running into her accidentally, which was always met by an affable wave. We were aimlessly inseparable. (Let’s just say, our cycles had synched up by the end of the week. We were tight.) One summer I sat a few rows ahead of a serious type who looked like a young Carol Burnett. She had her floppy moleskin perched on her knee; and was hawkeyeing the competition, making sure to perfectly time a stifled guffaw at every opportune moment. My favorite people are the ones who hang on every word and relish in it like it’s a reworking of the gospel.

I have come to notice, in the time I’ve spent crashing conferences around the globe, that there are two kinds of aspiring authors. One, being the stereotypical wall-flower type, that sits and watches people keeping notes on their every breath so they can crucify it later for the sake of ‘literature.’ It is especially interesting to get an entire room of these people together because no one will ever say anything, and it’s fun to watch cutting glances be passed around like a peace pipe. These people usually carry moleskins, to evidence the pain in their souls; but also to have a place to write, lest you do something stupid and they need some source material. Carol Burnett was one of these.

The second type is much more infuriating. They are the collective boasters. The extroverts. The “I’m a writer nice to meet you, this is what my latest manuscript is about” people. In order to hide their inevitable insecurities, (they are writers afterall) they speak in unnecessarily loud tones, and use superfluously intelligent language when asking questions. “In that ~*~*~AMAZING~*~*~ piece that you just read from, wondering if you’d pontificated the allegorical undertones of your protagonist’s journey with regards to….” The introverts are either wishing they could be that forthright, or judging the extroverts and taking snide notes about them. Extroverts have probably also read every single Flannery O’Connor  story in existence, and likely will reference the minutiae in casual conversation. “Oh, I love in A Circle in the Fire when…” I guess this could be equated to: “SO, YOU’RE A FILM STUDENT. YOU’VE SEEN 8 1/2, RIGHT?” (For the record, yes, and it was awesome!!)

Getting the yin and yang of the writer’s circle together is a fascinating experience. There is one thing that both sides of the coin do very well, which is sucking cock. (I mean that in a nice way.) I have never witnessed so many disingenuous hearty chuckles. I have noticed that real writers don’t make a big scene about what they do. The best of the best are just writers. There’s no post-script, they don’t have to prove it to anyone that they’re writers, they just are. They put words on a page, and people pay them for it. At the conference, there are a lot of people that would kill to be in the shoes of a ‘just writer.’ Professionals together, talking about their craft is awesome. Watching a bunch of people vying for a tough spot in the glorious heavens known as “I’m published!!!1!” is interesting. People, who at their cores operate very differently, are all trying to accomplish the same goal. (And likely will throw the other posers under the bus when they get their opportunity at the big time.)

It’s probably like the film kids. “AND I’D LIKE TO THANK–” Every aspiring writer dreams of changing lives with their strung together sentences. (However delusional.) I’d be willing to bet that anyone who says otherwise is lying.

I have recently come to the conclusion that I like my coffee black. (Excluding airplane, coffee-cart, and Pike Place coffee, which need to be nuked like no one’s business to be even remotely tolerable.)

At Irving 71, I usually get a little bit of skim. At Marsee where they make you pour milk by yourself I try to do skim; but always put too much in and it sours.  Soon after I came to the conclusion that straight black is my style, I realized that Marsee’s just makes terrible coffee. At Grey Dog, I usually get a little skim as well. One time I was at Blue Kangaroo and all they had was 1/2&1/2. I had recently come up with the idea that to avoid souring my joe with too much milk, I would pour a little into a spoon, and then dribble a little of that little into my coffee, and have the best of both worlds.

Let me just say, my dexterity is awful, and the poor baristas had to help me sop up a lake of cream. My Toddy was essentially white, and when I sat down to take a drink, the dread on my face was palpable. Like, people were stopping to ask me what was wrong. “I DIDN’T ORDER SNOW-JOE, I’M A FAILURE!” When I finally had worked up the courage to take a sip of my concoction, I was surprised. It tasted– like cream. Not sour milk, not half digestible coffee with a hint of something else. Just cream. I mean, the coffee was hiding in there somewhere, but it didn’t ruin my mouth like I’d expected.

MAC: 1, MAC’S INEVITABLE FAILURE AT LIFE: 0

It was a happy accident.

At Backspace the other day, they’d run out of plastic cups and poured my coffee in a paper one instead. I couldn’t find the milk table amidst the crowd of hipsters and overpriced art; so I took a sip without. BLISS, I TELL YOU. It was awesome! I think that’s when I realized I actually dislike any sort of foo-foo accoutrement in my java. It’s superfluous. I didn’t realize that I was in it for the aesthetic appeal of a more chocolate brown color. (#COOL STORY BRO.)

In a related, yet equally unimportant story, Peggy Lee and I have the same birthday.

Walk

July 6, 2011

Around town enjoying the weather…

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Walked by a pile of clothes on Holgate.

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Polly-Pocket shaped windows. Wonder what kind of Dodge this is?

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Festive lawn art near Powell.

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Samurai Barbie at the Knife shop on Hawthorne.

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Mission accomplished: Powell’s on Hawthorne, Steve Almond’s “Evil B.B. Chow”, an anthology by Mary Oliver, and croissant crumbs. Heaven!

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I had to puss out and take the bus home. 😦

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But all in all a lovely day 🙂

Tore Down.

July 5, 2011

Heard.

July 5, 2011

Let me start out with a little backstory about the Windsurfing capital of the United States. (And before that, a story about how I just spent 100k on a BFA and still had to check if I was using the proper “capital.”)(Which I most certainly was not.) (EMBARRASSING.)

Hood River, Oregon is by no means the most exciting place on Earth. Not a lot happens there, unless you’re into windsurfing;  skiing 12 months out of the year; or a big fan of “The Shining.” (Timberline. Look it up.) That said; nothing was exactly what my dad was looking for when he bought the Cabin. It’s literally in the middle of west-jesus-woodsy-fuck-nowhere; and about twenty miles from a brewery. (As most places in Oregon are.)

Those of you who have beach houses, or have friends who have beach houses, or cabins in the woods, or vacation homes et al are likely familiar with the idea of “Cabin Music.” The 15 or 20 CD’s you keep there for no reason whatsofreakingever other than to annoy your children on holiday weekends. You know what I’m talking about.

Given that yesterday was the 4th of July, and we haven’t been at the cabin lighting shit on fire for awhile, I thought I’d make a compilation of Cabin Music. No matter where I am, I swear to you, if I hear Tower of Power’s “What is Hip,” I’ll recite my dad’s insufferable response: “Did you know these guys played at my high school?”

This is always interesting when I’m around other people. They look at me with the same face: either it’s clear I’m a time lord who’s inevitably stuck in a dimensional hiatus, or… “WHO THE FUCK IS TOWER OF POWER?”

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Seen.

July 4, 2011

Around the house.

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