I have a fondness for getting the fuck out of town. As much as I love Portland, I also like to leave it. Not having had a car for some time now, doing that had been kinda hard, unless I wrangled some car owner into taking me along with them when they got the fuck out of town.

At any rate, now that I am once again a CAR OWNER I decided to take one of my most favorite girls  Hilary (Hodie being always and forever my first-most-favorite girl) out of town for a driving tour of the Olympic Peninsula and Parts Yonder.

We went on what turned out to be an ACHINGLY lovely fall day. While headed north on I-5 we felt our day was blessed by a higher source; namely Jesus.

I have never really understood this particular monument to Our Lord and Savior. He’s sort of looming over the freeway. He looks kinda menacing, and vaguely bizarre perched atop that rust-colored plinth and surrounded by some other figure I can’t quite make out, and what looks like one of those death-cages for motorcycle stunts. I’ve never claimed to be particularly religious, but I would TOTALLY go to the church that sponsored a looming-motorcycle riding Jesus. That’s even better than the Buddy Christ!

We followed 5 north to Olympia and then 101 beside the Hood Canal and out around Port Angeles. The weather was stunningly beautiful. Mild and blue. I assured Hilary that this kind of weather was nigh on unprecedented for the rainiest part of the continental US. She replied that all of her firsts with me have been kind of amazing, so this is pretty much par for the course. To defend her point, she cites the 7 person lap dance of doom, and I am forced to agree with her.

My original plan had been to take her to Seattle and show her the sights. She’s from Maryland originally, so there is much tour-guidery I can impose upon her. Upon further reflection, I realized that

  1. I wanted to go back to the Olympic Hot Springs almost as much as I wanted to go on breathing
  2. Hilary would totally be in to that
  3. We could sleep in the back of my dandy new station wagon

and then there was no stopping me. So we drove for about 5 hours, but it seemed like less. As we talked about the strange statuary (see above) scattered all around the state, commented repeatedly upon the unusually glorious weather, talked about my new album of comedy country songs and it’s likely title “Prison Cheese” and featuring the breakout gospel smash “Jeusu: King of the Rodeo” the time just flew.

That being said, when we DID finally get there, we were DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED to discover that the hot springs were broken. Or, more precisely, the road to get to the hot springs were broken. Thanks a LOT Obama and your FUCKING STIMULUS DOLLARS!!! The old road was perfectly passable, except for where the tree roots had mangled the blacktop. SHEESH!

To soothe our disappointed souls and buttcheeks, we got out and looked at the view. It wasn’t so bad.

We were also consoled slightly by the fact that the typical cost of entry to the park was $15 but for some magical reason, it was a “FREE” day. I’m not sure if it was just the generosity of the semi-elderly park ranger or if there was actually a legitimate reason for it being free that day, he never bothered to explain. So we parked ourselves next to the water and engaged in various pagan rituals. We had some leftover river-float-rum-n-coke (Thanks Drew!!) and had a very relaxing evening.

It was only as the sun went down and I was a little too river-float-rum-and-coke-tastic to drive that I realized I had not really made any arrangements to camp. No reservations, no permit. Just kinda, showed up. Now, it happened that there were virtually NO OTHER PEOPLE in the park. It was probably due to the fact that most people, like me, assumed that it would pour down rain that weekend. Like it does 287 other days of the year. We had, so far had more sunshine than I have EVER seen on the peninsula, so I was feeling pretty smug, all things considered. But being that we were kinda stuck, and the park was mostly empty we decided on the following strategy: if a park ranger comes by, play dumb and mention that the guy at the booth said it was free and that we were just shocked to discover this did not include camping. Practicing my innocently confused look was exhausting.

We eventually crawled into the back of the car and hunkered down on the futon. It was quite cozy. It got a whole lot MORE cozy when, perhaps you can see this coming, IT STARTED TO RAIN!! Shocking, I know. And this was no gentle, atmospherically pleasing fall drizzle. This was pretty much a deluge. In the morning when it let up enough for Hilary to finally climb out of the car for a whiz, a neighboring camper came by and asked if we got wet. She assured him we were quite snug sleeping in the car, with it’s solid roof and windows. He and his companion meanwhile, woke up to a familiar, if unwelcome, sight for most campers in the glorious Pacific Northwest: Tent Lake. And people give me shit for my “futon in the back of the car” strategy. Suckers!

We woke up and headed back toward the mainland for our Seattle tour. However, when we stopped for gas on Bainbridge Island, Colgate decided he needed to rest longer than we wanted to stop. He effected this rest break by just failing to start. As we were some 200+ miles away from home, this was kinda stressful. After about 20 minutes of cooling down, he fired right up. I guess I’ll have to treat my new car a little more like an old pony; rest breaks after long trips.

From there we got on the ferry, which Hilary described as “The most luxurious form of public transportation in the universe” I also enjoy the ferry, but was charmed by her complete awe.

“It’s so clean!”

“This is really fancy!”

“These seats are really comfortable!”

“You can get BOOZE!!”

She liked it way more than this photo would imply

She liked it way more than this photo would imply

We landed in downtown Seattle but I was so nervous about Colgate’s intermittent ignition problems that I elected to just barrel back to Portland. Which, we did. Good times.

is beautiful, and smart, and engaging. so is her website

you should go look at it.

i’m trying something new lately; when i am sad, instead of lying in my bed and praying for sleep, i actually get up and go spend time with people who like me. it’s revolutionary, i know.

to that end, i went out last night with my friend emma. we had a lovely meal at Wild Abandon (which is one of my favorite restaurants, but i always forget about it) and then tried to go see Up In The Air at the fancy theater in Vantucky for which i happen to have a gift card. it hadnt really dawned on either of us that it might sell out, but, of course, it did. so. we scooted back to the right side of the river and had some consolation cocktails at the Virginia Cafe. were very pleasantly surprised by the bill once we’d finished; apparently happy hour lasts most of the day on saturday at the VC.

so, movie time came and we decided on The Fantastic Mr Fox, about which i knew nothing, but emma had heard good things. it was a delightful surprise and i thoroughly enjoyed it.

mounted by the venerable Wes Anderson and his usual cast of characters (plus george clooney and meryl streep ftw) this story adapted from a Roald Dahl book was charming and sweet and funny and visually engaging.

being a fervent fan of The Royal Tenenbaums, i have a bit of a tendency to get very excited about any new Anderson offering. as such, i’m sort of pleased i had no idea what i was in for. having had no expectations, i was simply delighted by the film without reservation.

it is very much a typical Wes Andersen offering, but in no way the less for that. definitely hodie friendly, it was enjoyable and disarming, a pleasure to watch and a genuine treat.

emma liked it too.


it was a good one this year!

i always like to see my birthday as the ultimate opportunity to indulge myself. as such, i went to some effort to have all of my favorite things. it became my twitterproject for the day…

birthdays are all about favorite things; 1st favorite, stumptown mocha!

favorite thing #2 bacon squash galette from grand central

favorite thing #3: LOTS AND LOTS OF ATTENTION. it may be the hat…

favorite thing #4 shopping! favorite thing #5 being sung to!!

favorite thing #6 singing “Favorite” by Neko Case

favorite thing #7 PRESENTS!! borders gift card, @lyzadanger w/ the LibraryThing subscription. pegged as a bookworm i guess 🙂

favorite thing #8 leaving work early!! only 2 hrs to go!

favorite thing #9 bacon & blue cheese potato salad. mmmm. lunch

favorite thing #10 surprise blue sky out my window!

favorite thing #11 wardrobe change!

favorite Thing #12 MORE PRESENTS: bottle of patron

for symmetry i would have liked 31 favorite things, but as the day wore on, i got a little distracted and couldn’t keep tweeting as they came up. long about 4pm i was talking to my Uncle Ed (who’s birthday it also was) and having a rousing discussion about politics and love. so, that was amusing at amusing at any rate. then it was off to seattle.

we ended up going to Freak Night at the WAMU theater. it was quite a spectacle. costumes everywhere. it was sort of amusing to see certain trends in the room; there were tons of pirates, many slutty versions of cartoon characters (although my favorite was seeing 1) standard Rainbow Brite 2) Slutty Rainbow Brite and 3) ULTRA Slutty Rainbow Brite all within like 5 minutes of each other) and a veritable SWARM of bumblebee costumes. i was jessica rabbit. looked faboo if i do say so. did not get photo on my own camera (doh!) so proof of such will have to wait.

the lineup was pretty wicked: we had Crystal Method, Moby, and Paul VanDyck. it was dancetastic. at some point i gave in and took off my beautiful but patently cruel high heels and started prancing around barefoot. good times.

slept over at my cousin Khava’s place. and i do not exaggerate when i say she has the MOST COMFORTABLE BED I HAVE EVER SLEPT IN. man ALIVE! we got in after 4am and were up by 9 and i still felt more well rested than i have in ages. i gotta bust ass over to costco and get me one of them mattress pads post haste. had breakky with Khavs and her boyfriend at Jax in West Seattle. potato pancakes. mmmm. little Pike Street market action wrapped up our time in Sea-town. i swear i never feel such a vital intrest in produce as i do when i am walking through that market. i got an avacado that i’m pretty sure is larger than the head of my child. i don’t even LIKE avacados. it was so shiny, and green, and alien-head-looking i simply could not resist. we also bought a giant red pear.

later that night it was time for all the silliness i didn’t get to on the birthday proper: $5 steaks at the Acropolis, lap dance, and karaoke.
i was sad to discover that Hollywood Bowl no longer has the kick-ass dive bar style lounge anymore, because it was my favorite place to go sing. alas, no more. they have re-modeled in a “Grand Central” style i like to call “drywall chic” which is wholly shabby and utterly disappointing.
i liked the laid back atmosphere and boy’s club quality of the old lounge. and just for the record, there was literally NOT ONE PERSON in there on a saturday night. might have been a tactical error folks. so, we were forced to go with karaoke plan #2: The Galaxy. i have no specific problem with this place, although i did have to step over vomit on my way out the door. i also enjoy that one of the waitresses looks EXACTLY like Caroline Jones. my singing was less than stellar due to slight cold and/onset of drunkness, but i had an enthusiastic audience in my cohorts, so it was grand nevertheless.

finally on sunday, it was time for the last event of the birthday-stravaganza-weekend. brunch at Meriwethers for Chicken & Waffle. oh, daddy. the general consensus around the table was that no one needed to eat again all day after that. we were a full and tipsy crowd after all was said and eaten. dee-lish.

it was lovely, i felt very loved. i’m glad it’s all over for another year. next, VEGAS!!


and not just mine either. today i wished my friend lyza happy birthday about 8 times via several varying sorts of electronic media. i am pretty sure i was more excited about wishing her a happy birthday than she was about having one.

i do not know wherefrom this enthusiasm comes, either. cause it is not like birthdays were ever especially awesome for me. i have a tendency to get REALLY REALLY REALLY worked up and excited and then spend the actual day in various stages of hysteria. my 29th birthday is the only one in living memory i did not cry at least once. this was because i basically ignored the fact it was my birthday. there was much incredulity all around when i announced this plan, but it worked, in a manner of speaking. i wasn’t HAPPY exactly, but i didn’t cry.

this year i’m back to hopping-up-and-down-obnoxious-excitement style birthday. it’s less confusing for my loved ones.

only 9 days left….

my friend Lyza is the opposite of a dilettante: by which i mean that though she has a dizzying variety of intriguing hobbies and interests, she doesn’t dabble. instead she immerses herself in research and practical application. i am consistently impressed by her ability to master whatever she sets her hand to, and i am very proud indeed to count her among my close friends.

but perhaps never so proud as i am today, when she and her cohorts were finally able to announce the release of the new Obama App for iPhone

Lyza has been devoting herself to the difficult task of growing a small software startup with several talented and like-minded tech folks here in the Portland area. CloudFour is the result of these efforts, and for some time now she has been drawn to the idea of creating iPhone applications as a component of her work. what a way to begin…

not only with an application that has such promise for wild popularity, but one that has the potential to be meaningful as a political tool in the crucial upcoming election.

my most sincere congratulations to the entire team.

there seems to be light shining from somewhere. it casts itself through me, but falls, seemingly without resistance, on the ground before my feet.

i’ve had this strange feeling for the last few days, of being out of my body and totally disconnected from my brain. i hear myself saying things i cannot credit. i feel like i am observing my actions at a remove. from somewhere above and to the right of my head.

i feel somehow less substantial to myself. more nebulous and not-there. ready to float away. casting about for an anchor, with none in sight.

and then, strange coincidences… irrational fears… gripping inanities… the absorbing mundane; all these become more difficult to process. to sort. to dismiss. and so i chatter to myself to try and make some sense of it. to give my thoughts weight, if my impulses, my feeling seem to lack all substance.

newly added to the list of things i really like but am not that good at: Golf.

at least i look the part

at least i look the part

i went out with my friend Darrin last week and played my first round of big girl golf. up til then it was all par 3’s and pub courses and the driving range.

at the first tee i had a misleadingly good start: swung and connected first thing. ball flew straight and reasonably far. i was all cocky for a minute. then, well, my moment of luck passed, not to be seen again in that round. ah well.

i did really enjoy the scenery. the evening was sunny but cool enough to be pleasant. the greens were lovely. we had some drinks… so the golf cart part was fun. all in all a really nice evening and something i cant wait to do again.

i have the gin & tonic portion of golf DOWN!

i have the gin & tonic portion of golf DOWN!

it was a wild one, no doubt.

hodie-related drama friday night cut short plans for evening. made it out for shoe admiration and drinks with Lyza but no karaoke. sad.

on the whole, it might have been for the best, since i woke up in the wee hours for my race. it went really well, though it turned out that the swimming was better than i feared, and the running was harder than i’d imagined. i think the momentum of exhaustion just built up. but! i ran the entire course and didn’t wuss out and walk at all. hooray me!

brewfest was less than thrilling. dusy, hot, crowded, and spendy. i saw some peeps i like and heard some juicy gossip, so that was fun anyway. got a bit drunker than planned due to low food intake coupled with heat and alcohol. staggered a little on the way home. designated driver fetched me out for an additional party later that evening. announced my arrival with bellowing belch. as usual.

sunday morning dawned with golf on the agenda. met up with pops and went out to the course and hit some balls at the driving range.

which, being only the second time i ever picked up a club, went pretty well! then i hit a hole in one on a par three. so… strange luck that i have. that was pretty cool. steakburgers after. yum.

after the golf-stravaganza, i went off to ann taylor to get the dress for the wedding i am going to be in come march. it’s GORGEOUS and AWESOME and it was KILLER to walk into ann taylor and a) get to buy something b) put on a size 4 and have it be too big on me. ha. i heart shopping.

mike & les are going back to the mitten state and we had a little farewell feast for them at madison’s last night. drinks and food, wee bit o’ crying on my part because i am a sentimental slob. nice way to say goodbye.

premier of Mad Men was last night and went to Lyza’s to enjoy with wine and her lovely friends. the new motto of the moment is: take off your hat. on behalf of womanhood: thank you, Don Draper. thank you.

on the whole a capital weekend! hoo-rah.

i must say, spring was singularly uninspiring in the sense of having much going on. so far, summer has been making up for this in spades. awesome things i have going on this weekend:

  • acquisition of domain name, blog improvement plans, & shoe-admiration with Lyza
  • birthday celebration for friend Darrin including (but not limited to) brewfest, dinner, karaoke, strippers…
  • triathalon (mini, yes, but still)
  • more brewfest w/ different friends. don’t want to deprive anyone of the opportunity to see me drunk after all, spectacle that it is. besides, i heart beer.
  • golf with daddy. as long as he doesn’t spend the whole time cursing at me for wrecking his game, this should be enjoyable.
  • shopping for bridesmaid dress with friend Danielle, other girlyness likely to ensue

ocean viewing weekend component missing, as well as smooching, but apart from that, all elements of amazing weekend are in place. can’t wait to take 952 pictures of shenanigans so as to properly recall said shenanigans later free from alcohol haze.


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