Friday, August 31, 2007

the last hurrah

Last night was my brother's last night in town and we had fun. :-) During the day we drove out to Multnomah Falls and went up to the Vista House to check out the cool view of the Columbia River Gorge. Those are the standard, touristy things you're expected to do when someone from out of town comes to visit, so we did them and they were good.

But last night we went up to Last Thursday on Alberta. Last Thursday is the Alberta Art's District answer to First Thursday in the Pearl. First Thursday is full of yuppies wandering through the swank galleries of the Pearl, drinking champagne and looking beautiful, but Last Thursday is like a carnival meets a flea market, full of grungy NoPohemians (to steal a friend's phrase) and it rocks!

I felt like I was dragging my brother through the absolute best of Portland: all the freaks and hippies and gutter punks, the good folk artists and the bad folk artists, the street musicians (there were so many musicians!), the crazies from the Clown House on the tall bikes, the performance artists. I think he liked it and I KNOW I did. So many cute girls! I think he might consider moving out here just for the cute girls alone. I mean... he's pretty desperate.

After Last Thursday, we went over to my friend Leo's because she was having a bbq party for a classmate of hers. He got to watch a group of overeducated thirty-somethings hash out the controversy about that Senator Craig guy who's being witch-hunted for trying to get laid in a public restroom. He got to hear them be both raunchy and politically savvy and compassionate at the same time -- a set of perspectives he never hears at home. If I gave him anything on this trip, it was exposure to people and ideas he's never met before. I hope it has a lasting impression.

Now I'm gonna go get ready for my camping trip (!!!) -- I won't be back until Monday night. Have a good weekend peoples and thanks for sticking with me through the whole brotherly visit. It's finally over, and I hate to say it, but I might actually miss him a little...

...but just a *little*...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

coming up

Jumping the gun a bit on this, but just couldn't resist. This is where I'll be come Friday (after dumping the bro at the airport and riding a few hours in Kara's truck). Gorgeous Waldo Lake! So deep! So blue! So NOT full of motorboats! So peaceful for kayaks! I CAN'T WAIT!!!


Today I pushed him further outside his comfort zone than I have all week: I took him to Counter Media... to the PORN ROOM! I hadn't really planned on it, but we had lots of time to kill after eating lunch at the carts (mmmmmm, Taste of India) and we were really close to the two, cool media shops (Counter Media and Reading Frenzy) on that weird block near Powell's. I thought he'd like checking out the comics and stuff... and then I wandered into the porn room and he followed me. :-)

It was actually kinda sweet. I think that was probably the first time he'd been in a room with porn and I think he was mildly freaked out. I think he was too embarassed to want to look independently interested in any of it, so he just lingered at my side the whole time. He was hardly even able to make jokes. I just browsed, I didn't really say anything, I just sorta wanted to normalize the whole experience. "See, I can take down this copy of "The Ethical Slut" and read the backcopy without making some embarassed joke about the whole thing. This is all perfectly normal." I wonder if he'll need therapy now...

Actually, I took it as a major victory over his prudishness today when he announced as we headed back home: "Tomorrow night, at dinner, I might actually try a little bit of beer. I won't drink the whole thing, but I'll just try a little." SCORE!! I've been trying to corrupt him ever since he got here, but he very dutifully declines to drink because of his diabetes. At least, he blames it on his diabetes, but I know he's just scared of losing control or looking foolish. The fact that he willingly announced, apropos of nothing, that he wants to try some beer tomorrow night is nothing short of a miracle. And I'm actually beside myself with excitement about the whole thing. :-) I guess it doesn't take much at this point...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

slightly better

I don't want to jynx myself, but I feel like something's getting a little easier with my brother. Not sure why or what changed, but today he seems less rigid, less uncomfortable and slightly less obnoxious.

Last night, fresh from our post-camping showers, we headed off to Portland's legendary Tiki lounge, the Alibi. Adventure Girl, who LOVES the Alibi, picked us up and came along. I desperately wanted someone else to help either draw him out a little or at least entertain me. She tried to draw him out, she asked him some questions and tried to start conversations, but he let them all fall flat. "How do you like Portland so far?" "It's better than bein' home with my crazy family." "What did you think about the coast?" "It's different." "How's your burger?" "Almost gone." Augh. These are shitty answers to questions.

So she ended up entertaining me, and that was helpful. Then she brought us home and I left him alone to go visit SK who is staying at Dutch's house for the remainder of Alex's visit here. I left him watching a Monty Python DVD on my computer and I figured he'd be fine. I'd only intended to go for an hour but I ended up staying the night. I was sleepy and SK was so warm and cuddly, I just couldn't resist the offer to stay. I sent him a myspace message to let him know about the change of plan and I went to bed very happy with SK.

I woke early, having been conditioned these past few days with Alex to wake at 7. I got back here before 8 and found him already up and in the shower. At ten we headed over to OMSI for the Body Worlds exhibit. I'd been wanting to see it for awhile but I have to say, it wasn't as awesome and amazing as I imagined it would be. I don't know what I expected. Sure, it was cool. Maybe too cool. Maybe cold. I was looking for the people under the "exhibits," any indication of the individual whose insides I was looking at. I looked for little places where the skin had been left on, I looked for hairs, hair follicles, pores, fingernails and toenails. One body wore gold toenail polish.

The one thought I had, over and over, was an awareness of a kind of eternal weariness. I looked at each body, so meticulously posed, and I thought "those muscles will never rest, they will always kneel/stretch/hold the javelin/lift the torch/etc." I walked through wanting rest for all the bodies, which isn't something I would've imagined.

We left and I took him to eat lunch at Pho Jasmine, my favorite Vietnamese place in town. It was still early when we left Body Worlds, so I drove us around awhile just to kill time. Alex is diabetic and tends to keep himself on a very strict eating regimine -- to eat lunch before noon obviously makes him anxious. I drove all over SE Portland and wound us back up towards the north. Miraculously, he started actually making observations about the houses he saw, the things he liked. He volunteered opinions that weren't phrased like dorky jokes or sarcastic commentary. And when we ate, he actually said "these salad rolls are good, I like the peanut sauce." You coulda knocked me over with a feather.

So, today is a good day. And I go to work at 4, so it will only get better...

Monday, August 27, 2007

the good times are killing me

I'm back from camping. I hardly know what to say. All I can think to say is this: having spent this time with my brother, I am now aware just how annoying I am, and for that I would like to apologize. For reasons I do not fully understand, he and I are a lot alike. Stunningly alike. Frighteningly alike. And only in ways that are annoying.

We both, for example, are uncontrollably compelled to read out loud the text of every road sign we pass. I never knew how annoying that was until this trip. We're also both so drawn into our own little fuzzy minds that we lose track of our surroundings and forget to try and participate in things like: chosing when and where to eat, helping pack and/or clean up the campsite, etc.

Watching him wander off while I was dismantling the tent this morning, I finally saw myself. I saw all the ways I dissociate when faced with something unfamiliar. I flashed back on all the times I became paralyzed when circumstances called for me to help with something foreign. And, in the context of watching him do it, I realized that the source is probably our shared father. Not his blood. His attitude. He seems like a nice enough guy, but he does like to make you feel stupid if you don't happen to know what you're doing. Combine that treatment with the booksmart, dreamy-mindedness that Alex and I share, and you end up with two kids who would just as soon wander off than offer to help.

Anyway, on that note, he is pretty useless. Camping was not something for which he displayed any natural proclivities. The tent was a mystery to him. The cooking was something he watched with bemused skepticism. He seemed to think I was crazy for even bothering and he ate good naturedly although it was obvious that he wasn't impressed. It, of course, didn't occur to him to say "hey, thanks for cooking and getting all this stuff together." SK -- any time I let you plan a whole outing and neglected to help or offer profuse thanks (have I ever been *that* bad??) I apologize hugely now.

He's not a bad kid, he's good. He's just dim. No, he's not dim at all, he's just socially stunted. How could he not be? It's a long story, I won't bother to tell it now, but he's led a sheltered life and now, at 25, he's more like a precocious 12 year-old than a full grown adult. Too cool to display any enthusiasm about anything, but always happy to make stupid wisecracks about everything he sees and very excited for you to know how many big words and obscure concepts he's familiar with.

I'd hoped we might get to know each other a little, but I'm learning that he keeps up quite a thick veneer of sarcasm and bullshit, it's like there isn't anybody in there to know. I know that's not true, because I do the same thing, but I like to think I do it a lot less now than I used to. At least I know where he's coming from. And as much as I'd like to tell him to shut the hell up every now and then (because even though he's flat, he's not always quiet) -- I am surprised to realize how much I actually love him. It's kind of shocking, but it's what keeps this from being the most miserable time of my life.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

are you getting sick of hearing about this?

As sick as I am of living it? Hmm.

Each day feels like a lifetime. Yesterday, at least, I got a break. I actually enjoyed the few minutes I spent with my coworkers when we popped in work to steal the Chinese Gardens pass. I've never been so happy to see Mohawk in my life. Then we went to my friend Leo's graduation from library science school, and that was another oasis in the otherwise dull expanse of time with my brother.

He's fine, but he's so flat! He's also sometimes infuriating. Because he thinks he knows everything and he starts to suggest things that are either patently obvious or completely ridiculous and either way you want to say "shut the fuck up! what do you know about cooking over a campfire/raising milk cows/buying houses?!?*" (*Actual conversations we had.)

But mostly he's not so bad. I was able to leave him alone for two and a half hours yesterday to go hang out at my friend's post-graduation drink-a-thon at 820 over on Russell. A fine establishment at which I drank an avocado daquiri... not all it was cracked up to be, but not bad. Then I dragged him to my friend Rose's party where he managed himself pretty well. He went in expecting something more along the lines of a frat party, full of screaming people, blazing drunk, but when he found a bunch of calm, intelligent, friendly adults sitting around a fire and having civil conversations, he was pretty surprised. He'd come prepared to "make sarcastic remarks" as his only entertainment (his words, not mine) and when we had friendly conversation after friendly conversation with nice people who were genuinely interested in chatting, he realized he didn't have anything sarcastic to say anymore. And I guess that's the kind of education I was hoping to give him here.

Anyway, now we're getting ready to go to the coast to camp. At least we'll leave the city, for a change of pace. But the company will probably continue to make me weep from boredom. Oh well.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

i'll give him this much...

When it comes to bathroom etiquette, he's a kid after my own heart. After his morning shower, he leaves the bathroom exactly as he found it. Without being told, he knew to take the bathmat off the side of the tub during his shower, and then put it back after. He also knew to pull the shower curtain closed after his shower so the water could drain off. And the best part of all? He leaves NO WATER in the bathroom floor. OR ON THE BATH MAT! Why??? How is that possible?? Because he dries himself off while standing in the tub, JUST LIKE ME. We are obviously related.

However, if this was my other brother, David, I would find the bathroom looking swamped and nasty as though some tropical depression and just breezed through, because he's a slovenly little bastard. But at least I'd be having more fun with him. I guess life is just a series of trade-offs...

first full day

So far he's only been here one full day and I'm already weary and ready to escape. I guess I'm not good with guests. Or losing my freedom. Or males.

Anyway, here's what we did and here's how he enjoyed it all, in numbered bullets for your convenience:

1.) First we took a utilitarian trip to the grocery store because he refused to tell me ahead of time what he eats. That wasn't so bad.

2.) We took the bus downtown. His first ever trip on public transportation. I gave him a ticket and explained what to do w/ it and he seemed ok. He maintained a flat affect all the way downtown.

3.) We walked to Powell's Books, the biggest, most awesome bookstore ever imagined. I've been telling him about this bookstore for years, because he loves books. We walked in. I offered to show him around, but he demurred. We both wandered into the literature section and I lost him. An hour (and three book purchases later) he found me in the cafe, our predetermined meeting space) -- he said "this place just keeps going and going." I think I saw the slightest flicker of an affect as we left.

4.) We walked and walked and walked. He breathed hard a little. We ended up on the waterfront and he said "that's not a small river." Score! Finally a comment about his surroundings! I said "do you want to sit and read awhile, or keep walking?" He said "keep walking." Score! Finally an opinion about what we're doing!

5.) We walked to Sushi Takahashi, where I introduced him to the sushi-train, a cute little western style choo-choo train that circles the sushi bar carrying plates of sushi to choose from. He gave no indication of being impressed or even interested in this quirky little phenomenon. He didn't find much he wanted to eat. He had a hard time with the chopsticks, but he tried. Pros: he never once complained. Cons: he didn't seem to like it.

6.) We went to the old-skool video arcade Ground Kontrol. He'd never been to an arcade before. This I think he actually liked. He kept playing games even after I petered out and went to sit at a table and read. His affect was still flat, but there was definitely a little more glimmer in his eyes.

7.) We took the bus back home, had a little break, and then drove over to southeast where we walked up and down Hawthorne, just so he could see a different neighborhood. He said "This is different." And it was.

8.) We went back home and I suggested we walk down to County Cork to eat and watch music. I said "are you hungry?" He said, "No, I never really get hungry." What? Whatever. I dragged him down there anyway. He was adventurous, he ordered a Scotch Egg and it turned out to be really good. There was live, traditional Irish music happening, which I thought he'd appreciate since he's an Ireland-o-phile, but all he said was "this is a far cry from the last Irish music I heard..." At the end of the meal I said "Do you wanna stay and listen to the music a little longer, or head back." "Let's head back, I want to play on the computer." Lord.

So that's basically it. Now I have to go take a shower and start this whole process over again... Maybe he'll show signs of enjoying himself today... we'll see...

Friday, August 24, 2007

day one

My brother is here. My brother, whom I know almost exclusively through his myspace bulletins. My brother, with whom I did not grow up. My brother, whom I've spent no more than one hour alone with our whole lives. My 25 year old, virgin, doesn't drink or smoke, has never even kissed a girl brother. If he finds this post he will probably hate me forever. Well, it will certainly put a damper on his visit either way...

I picked him up from the aiport last night. I realize that, as scorpios, we're a lot alike and that also, somehow, our father's blood that runs through both our veins (he's the only parent we share) also links us in unlikely ways. I got to the baggage claim where I told him I'd meet him, a little late (which I warned him about, because I knew I'd hit traffic on my way from work) and I couldn't find him.

I stood around awhile, watching the people watch the luggage conveyor, but still he didn't turn up. My mind ran through all the possibilities, the most exciting and least likely of which was that he'd been detained by Homeland Security for some reason. I went up to check the arrival time and his flight wasn't even listed anymore. I went back down to baggage. I walked up and down the whole area, I looked, I came back to the luggage carousel that was supposed to be his, I stood and waited.

Eventually he came walking up from some unexpected direction, a dufflebag in one hand and a book in the other. "You've been there awhile, haven't you?" He had been sitting in a chair reading nonchalantly the whole time. I guess he only bothered to look up for me once or twice during the 45 minutes I was there waiting. But I wasn't mad at him because it was exactly the kind of retarded thing I would have done.

So I dragged him up to the upper parking deck and he did not marvel at the natural beauty visible all around him. He simply looked at Mt. Hood and said "I think I saw that from the plane." Yes. Well. There it is again, then. I had big ideas about taking him to either 1.) my favorite mexican joint, or 2.) Mississippi Pizza Pub for some pizza and live music. What did he want? Fast food. I couldn't bear to give him regular fast food (you're in Portland for christsakes, eat something different!) so I took him to Burgerville.

Then I drove him around the bridges so he could see the lovely city lights. Did he marvel at the beauty of the views of Portland from the bridges? Not so much. I don't think he even turned his head and looked. I wanted to reach over and turn it for him. Look at the lights! Look at the moon! What's wrong with you??

But it's not his fault. He's a shy, strange scorpio who's baseline affect is flatter than flat. He can't emote, unless he's smirking. I can't expect him to get all effusive about anything. Anyway, I better get some food in him before his blood sugar drops to nothing. More later...

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Apparently I've been taking some kind of summer hiatus. Wasn't really aware of it, but... well... here I am. Turns out, blogging is something I'm only inclined to do when I'm sitting on my ass all day and thinking too much. On the other hand, when I'm constantly out running around, going on dates and kayaking trips and whatnot, blogging doesn't just take a backseat, it gets tossed into the trunk next to the spare tire and the jumper cables.

So, here's what I've been up to.

1.) Kayaking. A lot. I did it today and I did it last weekend and I'm doing it again over labor day. I still haven't gotten myself a boat yet, but I HAVE got myself some super-hot arm muscles, the likes of which I never dreamed possible on my once scrawny little arms.

2.) Going on dates. One or two. With this random woman who practices law. Last week we had a beer, then we had breakfast a few days later, which turned into an all-day trip to an impromptu beer and bicycle festival on the waterfront. That was cool.

3.) Working. A lot. Weird hours. During the day. Makes me tired.

4.) Hanging out with SK. Which has been really, really fun. She's been living with me since mid-July and we're managing to do really well in my tiny little apartment. We don't fight, we have lots of good times, and I'm still allowed to go on dates. It's been great!

5.) Preparing for my brother to come. Did I mention that my brother Alex is coming to visit me this week? Did I mention that he's staying EIGHT DAYS? Because eight days is a lot of days for your brother to be in town, in case you didn't know. Your sheltered, country-mouse brother who will need lots of entertaining and won't be able to manage himself at all in the big city. We'll have fun, but I'm pretty sure I'll be excited when he's finally gone.

6.) Complaining about the weather. That one's self-explanatory.

7.) Not writing blogs.

The end. Regular production of this blog will probably resume sometime in October. We'll see. But stay tuned for the occasional fantasy girlfriend or something like that. And I'll try to write some while my brother's here. Certainly there will be some interesting stuff going on in the midst of all that...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

tuesday fantasy girlfriend... again on wednesday...

This week's fantasy girlfriend is Mary Louise Parker. For "Boys on the Side," for "Weeds," and for this:


Sunday, August 12, 2007

living the dream part two, will the fun never cease?

Boy am I tired! I was out shakin' my booty till after 1am last night, which is pretty impressive considering the day I'd had. And no nap! I tried to sleep between the paddle and the dance, but I couldn't quite get there. I had a nice rest though. I lay on my bed for over an hour and listened to the little kids playing (read: screaming) in the neighborhood before I gave up and went to the kitchen to make some food.

The dance was kinda lame. Less women by half, at least, than last time. And the DJ really sucked. But the company was good and the dancing, once it started, was fun. I saw only two friends, which was a little disappointing, but all in all it was a good time and I'm glad I went.

To keep the party going, I got up this morning (at the very early hour of... 10am) and got myself ready for another stint out with the Lesbian Breakfast Club. I've been off their radar for a few weeks and I didn't want to fall completely to the wayside, so I made a point to show for this one. I was especially enticed by the requirement that everyone wear cowboy clothes to breakfast this time. Last weekend, while I was out kayaking with Adventure Girl and the X-factor kayakers, most of the breakfast club was out at a roots/bluegrass music festival called Pickathon. To stretch the Pickathon joy a little further, the crew decided to request country attire for today and, well, I would never turn down an invitation to dress like a cowboy, so I had to go.

I put on my best cowboy shirt with my very awesome cowboy beltbuckle and that was the best I could do. I almost wore my cowboy hat, which I love very much, but the hat just felt too over the top and I didn't really want to be stuck wearing it all day. And unfortunately I don't have cowboy boots to complete the look, but oh well. I don't think I'd enjoy pedaling my bike in cowboy boots anyway.

So I cycled over and met them all for breakfast and it was good. Now it's time for me to stop spending so much money. I'm a little out of control these days. And speaking of out of control, my wild, rock-n-roll lifestyle has left my house looking like a wreck! So I think I'll spend the next couple hours working on some housekeeping before SK gets back to town. I'd like to at least clear her a path in the front door...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

if this is the dream then i'm living it

This is one of those days that feels like four days crammed into one. Are you ready? Here we go.

1.) I woke up at 4:30am to go stand in line at an REI used gear sale. We were all supposed to meet there between 5 and 5:30. I got there at 4:55. And the line was all the way around one block already. I sat down right next to this little dyke who was busy setting up two of those folding camp chairs for her and her girlfriend. Within moments, a guy showed up and sat on my other side. He promptly began unpacking and assembling an array of products. A thermarest, another thermarest, a sleeping bag, a giant caraffe of coffee. You'd think he was planning a week long sit-in instead of a three-hour wait on a sidewalk.

My kayak friends were all late. Maia showed up at 5:30 and the rest slowly trickled in. Good thing I got there so early, by the time those guys showed up the line was nearly to the end of the other block. Damn, these Portland people like their REI sales! According to the dykes next to me, they'd been coming for years and this year had the biggest, earliest turnout. Wow.

At 8 the doors opened and they herded us in. Oh. My. God. Who knew these Portland peaceloving naturefreaks could be so goddamn crazy at a used gear sale? It was a total madhouse. People were blithely snatching things right out from under other people's noses, elbowing in front of each other and just generally behaving like selfish American consumers. I have to say, that wasn't a scene I expected to survive, but I pulled it off. I just threw my whole entire personality out the door for about half an hour and turned into a complete asshole.

I can't say I loved it, but it got the job done. I got so much stuff. And so, now, my transformation into a Portland Nature Jock is nearly complete. I now own paniers for my bike, two pairs of REI convertibles (those lightweight pants with the legs that zip off and turn the pants into shorts), a collapsable Columbia cooler and an awesome pair of Merrell hiking shoes. If I don't act fast I'm going to lose ALL my faux-hipster credibility...

2.) After the sale we all went to breakfast. It was good. I ate three enormous pieces of bacon and I was happy.

3.) After breakfast everybody left and Maia and I went on a paddle on Sauvie Island. We basically just toodled along in this very still little pond, chatting the whole way. Oh, and also burning like a baby in a house fire. I swear to god, I forgot my sunscreen and guess what? That's a bad idea. Not only did I forget my sunscreen, I forgot my hat and sunglasses too. Basically, when I woke up this morning at 4:30, my brain just didn't believe that the sun would ever be a part of the day's adventures, even though I knew I was going to paddle after the sale. So... yeah. I guess 4:30's just a little too early for my brain.

4.) Finally, despite the fact that I've been up since (let's say it all together) 4:30, and that I'm exhausted and sunburnt, etc, etc -- I'm going out dancing tonight!! Because it's Girl 4 Girl at the Wonder Ballroom and all my new (geriatric) kayaking friends are going! And how can you turn down an invitation from a 61 year old woman to go dancing? You just can't. At least I know I won't be competing with them for the same ladies. So it's all good. :-) Now all I have to do is stay awake long enough to get myself there...

Friday, August 10, 2007

i did not make a friend today

And I did not buy a kayak.

I was all geared up to buy the absolute perfect kayak today. After my three day paddle last weekend (you might have read something about it on this very site...) I discovered that the perfect kayak for me is a Wilderness Systems Pungo. Why? Because of the cockpit. Just trust me.

So I came home from that discovery, hopped on Craigslist, and goddamn if there wasn't a Wilderness Systems Pungo kayak right there for sale! What luck! I wrote the poster and opened negotiations. From what the woman said, the kayak sounded great and I made plans to see it today. I even talked her down from $575 to a flat $500. Rad.

Tonight Kara from my kayaking group picked me up in her truck and drove me over there, all ready to load the thing up and take it home. I even had $500 cash in my front pocket just itching to hop into the hands of this Craigslist woman, in exchange for my very own, sweet, precious kayak.

Well. It didn't work out. The boat wasn't what I expected. The "dry storage hatch" turned out to be this tiny little pouch with a screw on lid that would barely fit my Nalgene bottle in it, and that's not an exaggeration. And according to Kara, the seat was "packed" (ie: the foam was dense and hard, which means its old) -- the woman claimed the boat was only a year old. Kara called bullshit on that during our private consultation. She thinks the boat was probably more like 5 years old, if not older.

Why is that important? Because the newer Pungos are better designed and LIGHTER. Light is good. Heavy is bad. Not to mention, the seat would need to be replaced in the not too distant future. Bottom line, Kara thought they were asking way too much for the boat and I agreed. I had a sinking feeling from the moment I saw it and I agreed with Kara's assessment 100%.

Then I did something very foolish. Well, it wasn't foolish, I just did it poorly. I tried to talk them down a little. I didn't go in with the intention of screwing them into an even lower price. I just told them that I'd done my research and I didn't believe $500 was a fair price. I told them the things about the boat that I wasn't happy with and I said $400 was as much as I felt I could pay for the boat.

And they just looked at me. This woman and her husband, standing in their cluttered kitchen with a baby and a dog and who knows what else. They looked at me like I was crazy. Then the wife offered to throw in a life vest. "I already have a life vest."

Silence. They just kept looking at me. Looking at me like I was crazy. Like I'd just called their baby ugly. Like I'd just peed on their linoleum. So, I did the only thing a warm-blooded, feeling person could do. I started babbling to make the silence go away. My babbling did not help.

Then I offered to help him hang the boat back up on the ceiling and that actually got him moving. We solemnly marched back to the basement and rehung the boat with grim faces. As Kara and I left, I felt a cold wind blowing us out of the house. We got back in Kara's truck and she said, "Wow. They were NOT HAPPY."

No they were not. Well what the fuck?

Anyway, that's all the energy I have for that story. Crazy people. Selling shit on Craigslist. Lying about how old it is. And looking at me all crazy-like. Fuck em.

So I don't have a kayak and I'm bummed. But I'm still getting up at 4:30 tomorrow morning and driving over to the REI garage sale. Why? Because I'm fucking crazy, that's why. And I might go paddle tomorrow. If I can borrow a boat...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

tuesday fantasy girlfriend, STAT!

This week I present to you a woman I have drooled over for many, many years now. She plays badass, smoky-voiced nurse (and I guess now doctor) Abby Lockhart on teevee's longrunning E.R. -- Maura Tierney!

First she dated the George Clooney character many long years ago after crazy Nurse Hathaway (also a hotty, I have to say) left town. Then she dated hot Croatian Luca. Now I don't know what she's doing because I haven't actually watched E.R. in about four years. But I know it's still on and I know she's still on it. And I'm guessing she's still as hot as ever. How could she *not* be?

But anyway, regardless of how hot she may be on the show, my google image search yielded me very little in the way of hot pictures. So you'll just have to settle for this one. And Dr. Lockhart, you can come intubate me any day... well... you know what I mean...

Thanks for being today's FANTASY GIRLFRIEND!

Monday, August 06, 2007

and now i'm really tired

Sorry I haven't been around. I spent the weekend on a three day kayaking trip down the Willamette. I don't think I have the energy to adequately describe how awesome the trip was, but I'll sketch out the bare details and you'll sorta get the idea.

We left *early* Friday morning. We drove to down to Wallace Marine Park in Salem and when we had all assembled we packed up 6 kayaks with three days worth of food and camping supplies and off we went. We started out with a nice, leisurely paddle through quickish water in a gorgeous part of the Willamette. There were tons of islands and sloughs to paddle up and explore and the banks of the river were full of herons and osprey, we even saw a few bald eagles.

Eventually we met up with our other two kayakers who weren't able to get out of work that morning and who had planned to catch up with us downriver. They were waiting at another park, so we docked there and filled the rest of our water bottles (this was the last water gathering spot) and used actual toilets for the last time, then we were off again.

The rest of the day's paddle was more vigorous. The water was moving slower and we wanted to reach our camping spot early enough to set up before dark, so we had to kick it up a notch. We ended up camping on this sweet little sandy island and eating an incredible meal (potatoes, corn on the cob and bbq'ed chicken), then we all sat around staring at the fire and zoning out.

It helps to know that this is a group of older women. I drag down the curve at 32. The next up from me is 39 and at the top end we've got two women who are 62. But they're very young 62's and you'd never guess they were that old by looking at them. And I should tell you, this is the perfect group for me. They're all sweet, they're not competitive, they just want to have a nice, smooth paddle and enjoy the serenity of nature. I love it.

However, don't think they're not fiesty. One of the 62 year old's snuck herself a pot brownie and didn't tell anybody. Then Kara, the unofficial leader of the group, whipped out a sport bottle filled with 100 year old tequila and went around the group squirting shots down people's throats. I'd never done a tequila shot before and I'm proud to say that my first one was 100 year old tequila shot down my throat out of a sport bottle held by an awesome dyke on a kayaking trip. That's the kind of shot you'll always remember.

The next day was more of the same, a more steady paddle through slower water, but still gorgeous and fun. At our lunch stop we ate burritos and passed around a bowl out of which we shared premade (weak) margaritas. Then we walked across the island to a still, deep slough and played in the water awhile. It couldn't have been sweeter.

We had a harder time finding a good campsite the second night. The last island was pretty rocky and we ended up on a funny little slip of bank opposite the end of the island, right across from what was evidently a landing strip for small planes b/c we kept seeing them land and take off, right there in our laps. It wasn't annoying at all, just entertaining and bizarre. I cut my legs all up thrashing through the undergrowth and dragging dead trees out for firewood. There was more tequila, spaghetti for supper, lots of staring at the fire and telling stories and listening to the bullfrogs across the way. It was really awesome.

Day three was all too short. The paddle was the hardest and it was over way too soon. We docked around 3:30 in Champoeg State Park (at least 40 river miles from where we started), dragged all the boats up this very steep, very long hill to the parking area, and then I was elected to sit with the boats while all the women were shuttled back to their cars in Salem.

This might have been my favorite part of the whole trip, actually. I sat amid all those gorgeous boats in a little squatty lawn chair, finally all by myself, free to go inside my head and think and not worry about anybody else. I sat with my journal and jotted down lots of little trip details so I wouldn't forget and then suddenly I remembered that there was one Black Butte Porter left in a cooler that we hadn't managed to drink the night before. Ahhh, sweet, sweet Black Butte Porter! All mine!!

It was perfect, really, Sipping that sweet, dark beer, sitting there on top of that hill looking down to the river and the valley below, the rise on the other side, all the trees, the blue sky full of puffy clouds. I couldn't have been happier.

After about an hour, the ladies all showed back up and we loaded the boats onto cars and headed back to town. We were all so sad it was ending, we decided to go out for dinner and beer before actually splitting up, so we caravaned out to McTarnahan's Brewing Company over in the NW, the same place we went after the Sauvie Island paddle a couple weeks ago. I ordered and completely devoured a half pound bacon blue cheese burger -- it was the biggest burger I have every completely eaten in my life. The whole table was amazed.

Then I went home and that was that. I still feel like I'm moving on water. I have a few blisters on my hands and some new muscles in places I didn't know muscles could grow. And I'm just wondering how I have lived my life this long without kayaking and I'm trying to figure out how I can keep doing it every single day forever. Because that's how awesome it is.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

sometimes we should remember our limits...

Hello peoples. I'm hungover today. :-( Yeah... it's ridiculous.

I foolishly double-stacked my social engagements yesterday. I had two happy hours. First I met up with school people at 4 for drinks at the Rock Bottom Brewery, to commiserate with Rose who just took the bar last week. Good luck Rose. Then I bussed over to Hawthorne and met work people at the Lucky Lab at 6. And I didn't do a great job pacing myself.

Oh well. Consequently, I don't remember much about the Lucky Lab. I remember having a good time. I remember leaving. And then I was home laying in the bed, falling asleep. And then I was awake at 10:15am, feeling groggy and fuzzy and headachey and, well... that was that.

You'd think I'd know by now, but I guess there are some things you just never learn...