Monday, February 02, 2009

Welcome to Lucifer's

Noland is playing this videogame right now called Fallout 3 - in it he's walking around the DC area in a post-apocalyptic world fighting the bad guys and is often wandering around partially blown-up buildings with open walls and no ceilings. As I was sitting reading the other day and half-watching him play one of the scenes he was in reminded me of this place I used to go the summer between my senior year of high school and my freshman year of college.

We called it Lucifer's. It was in Lawrence, KS - about 20 miles from where I lived in Topeka - where older teens would go at night and hangout. Some people would bring booze or pot or shrooms, but at that point in my life I didn't do more than have a beer or two. It was an apartment building that according to what I heard, burned while in the midst of construction, and for some reason or another the project was abandoned. So it was 3 or 4 stories high - had cement floors and staircases and partial walls, but nothing else. While it was right in the middle of the city, and not to far from other apartment buildings, the property was full of trees that probably were going to be cleared, but never were and was quite overgrown. So from the street below you couldn't really see or hear any activity up there. A majority of the building was covered in graffiti - some of it just random, some of it was beautiful artwork. The kids who hung out here weren't the jock or cheerleader types - this was a hang out for the artsy kids, the weirdos, the punks and the 'goths' (as they'd be called now). And on one side of the building someone had painted in huge letters "Welcome to Lucifer's!"

I remember going there one evening after being out dancing at a local club that we could usually get into. There was a big electrical storm going on and there was a guy sitting the edge of the top wall. He was big and bald and reminded us of Tiger(?) the bad guy from the old Buck Rogers TV show. He was dressed like he was ready for the RenFest and even carried a big staff. As the lightning cracked overheard he would just raise his staff in the air and laugh. I think he might have actually been selling - but we were more entertained by his antics than anything else he had.

I also remember being there once when the cops showed up and we had to bolt down the hill through the trees and leave whoever's car was there up in the parking area for them to retrieve later. It was one of the last nights we were all going to be together that summer. School started soon and people were headed off to various colleges so someone had brought a keg, a rare occurrence, and they had to leave that behind as well.

It was one of those places that has always held a sentimental soft spot in my heart. And probably one of those places that freaks parents out because they imagine the worst... yet it was nothing more than a little bit of booze and minor drugs, couples making-out in dark corners, and friends enjoying being young. It made me smile to think of it as I watched Noland trot around his videogame land, and it made me smile even more to think that places like that and the people I met there probably were the first step in Noland and being such a perfect match.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Gnome is Going Down!

Buried... but breathing!

Oh.... just an eye left!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Photo blogging the "Arctic Blast" of 2008

Schools have been closed for three days. Everyone is driving like an idiot or terrified to go out in the streets. The local news is the reigning king of fear-mongering.

Check out the photos of this crippling snowstorm...

Good lord! Someone is driving in this? Be careful!!!!

Wheee - snow day - no school - let's build a snowman!

Treacherous roads! Especially on curves and hills!

Brrr... soooo cold!!!

What exactly is he shoveling?

Good things he has those chains for all that snow!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's the time of year...

...for snow! And the annual smug post about how pathetic Oregonians are when it comes to it. We've got a decent amount of snow for Portland - maybe 2 inches I'd say - and the wind is blowing good, so it's moving around a lot as well. And it's cold, so it is indeed sticking. However as we were out and about this morning, I was once again reminded why we can't go out when it snows.

  • Driving cautiously does not mean going 15mph in what's normally a 40mpg zone. All that does is cause traffic to block up behind you and everyone has to ride their brakes behind you, thus causing acidents.

  • If you decide you need chains (which you don't unless you're headed into the mountains) don't stop in the driving lane of a major road, or interstate, to put them on. Do it in a parking lot or driveway, or.... no no... it's too easy.... designated chain up area before you get to the mountain!

  • Don't brake when approaching a hill, you need momentum to get up when you have less traction.

If any other these things 'cause you to say, "but...." then you don't know how to drive in snow and should stay home. There's no shame in that - or at least not much. But we'll all be safer without you out there.

Thank you. That is all.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dream Analysis Difficulty Level - LOW

It was my birthday and we were going out with all the people I work with. We got to the place that we were going and I only had $2 in my wallet, so I couldn't use the vending machines to get a drink - I had to find an actual human bartender. But it was pretty early in the day and many of the bars in the complex weren't staffed yet. So I wandered down to the basement and the folks down there were watching a movie - so I sat down and joined them. We were watching and having drinks and I guess I didn't realize that so much time had passed, because then someone came downstairs - one of the really young ones - and asked if we were ever going to come up and party. I went upstairs and it was already dark - it had been the middle of the day when we went downstairs! So I looked around and all the people upstairs were hot and tired and many of them covered in random paint splotches and had been having a great time dancing and drinking and I missed it!

So then we were at home and had to get ready for the wedding, it was two of my blogger friends and I was manning the guest book. I had to pick up my grandparents and Noland's family and my parents, so we were supposed to get there early, but we ended up arriving just about the time that the other guests were arriving. As we walked in there was a big sign proclaiming that regardless of the laws of the state that they were getting married. I was in a hurry, so I heard one of the grandparents or parents - I'm not sure - call out asking why they needed that sign - and I call back to them as I walk in the door - "oh, didn't you know they're lesbians?" I take up my post at the table but someone already had it under control, so I just signed the poster - and after my name tagged "divebarwife" 'cause they might not know who I was by my real name - and went into the chapel. I ran into a few of my cousins whom I haven't seen since I was 12 or so - but they recognized me 'cause I was wearing the same dress I wore to my cousin Andrea's wedding back in like 1982. Although I felt a little overdressed - everyone else was much more casual and I didn't know that it was a more informal affair, so I rolled the sleeves up. But then they called out that they needed someone to perform the ceremony, the person they had couldn't do it and had anyone else ever performed a wedding before? I tried to call to Noland to see if he could get up front, but there were several other volunteers who got there first and one of them performed the ceremony.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Losin' my View

There's a building going up that is soon going to block my view. From my office window I can look to the east and see Mt. Hood (even after a decade in Oregon is seems weird that there are mountains to the east.) I can look to the northeast and on some clear days see Mt. St. Helens (can today!) the Willamette, parts of Waterfront Park, the buildings in the Convention Center/Lloyd District, the Hawthorne, Burnside and Broadway bridges... it's a beautiful view of Portland. But there's construction going on at 2nd and Morrison... right now the frame is about 12 stories high - but today they've started to add two more. It' now hitting the point where it's beginning to block off my view. I've already lost a part of the park and the Burnside bridge. If it goes another two higher all of the northeast side is hidden, and beyond that - it starts to block the mountains. I'm all for progress - but if they're going to build a building that blocks my pretty city/mountain view -there'd better be a job for my husband in it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Racist Trolls

I missed the original article over the weekend with my 72+ hours internet downtime this weekend, but there was a good article in the Oregonian about a family in my neighborhood and the lack of grocery options/transportation options for low income families, despite being a lower income neighborhood.

What I saw today though was the note talking about the comments, nearly 100, a majority of which were racists remarks because the family in the story is Hispanic and it said they used food stamps. Remarks that the mom or the daughter needed to get jobs. Remarks about them being lazy because they didn't walk to the store or dumb because they went to one farther from their home. Just ridiculous. The whole point of the article was that they had to travel farther because while they have stores closer, they're stores that are more expensive.

The Albertsons most of the comment trolls mentioned is the closest grocery store to us and we don't shop there on a regular basis because it's overpriced and we're not low income. The Safeway they mention is our regular store, but we definitely pay more than WinCo for the nicer store. The point is these people are in a tough situation and it's a problem for many low income neighborhoods that needs to be addressed. And all they can focus on is that she speaks Spanish.

Most of the time idiots on the internet don't bug me, but this time, they just really pissed me off.