Monday, July 31, 2006

Cheers to the Douglases!

This had to have been one of the funnest (I know, not a word, I don’t care!) weekends of the summer.

Beginning on Thursday I went over to M&K’s to help Kelly do the flowers for Saturday. The boys were all off getting their tuxes fitted and once they came back they grilled up in the backyard while we did the flowers and once all the work was done we enjoyed some lovely BBQ on the deck and got to hang out a bit with Kelly’s folks and Mike’s brother and sister and kick off the beginning of wedding weekend.

On the way home, about 10pm – we get a call from the Craft-ies who have just closed on a new house in SE – they’re movin’ out of the ‘Couve! They have a sitter and are headed out to celebrate – Noland, Spencer and I meet them at the Lowbrow and help celebrate in fine fashion.

The Friday morning was Brewfest prep – My fabulous Noland and I both took the day off, so we slept in – got up and headed to Biscuits for some all-day drinking base. One sausage and cheddar omelet with hash browns and biscuits later – we head toward the waterfront. As we crossed the bridge and the tents came into view – as Noland said “it’s like seeing the circus Big Top when you’re a kid – it just makes you feel all giddy and wobbly inside!”

We arrived about 10 till noon and set up camp in the SE corner of the tent. Tony and Phil showed up next just as the taps opened and the day begins. This year had to have been some of the best weather we’ve had for OBF in years – I hated to say it but it was almost chilly there for the first hour or so – it was fabulous. Nearly everyone (but the bride to be – she was a little busy) made it down at some point during the day and even as I went to get my final beer at about 4:30pm – there were no lines longer than a person or two. We even found these great handmade wooden beer steins that were so cool – we had to go back on Sunday with more cash to pick up a pair!

Then it was off to the Forestry Center for wedding rehearsal and back to Lola’s room for the rehearsal dinner. All seemed to go very well and no one freaked out at anything! After a late night Thursday and an anticipated late night Sat. - we crashed out early – by around 9pm and headed home to play with the dogs and fall asleep on the couch.

Saturday morning was good putzing around the house before heading up to the Forestry Center for the main event. Crazy parking issues aside – the wedding was fabulous – Mike and Kelly looked so happy, there were no melt-downs, crazy in-laws, obnoxious drunken uncles or any of that other stuff that you seem to hear always occurs at weddings (as I told Noland later when we caught something on TV showing some Texas-sorority girl wedding “see, this is why our friends are so normal – no drama!”) My husband was (of course) a fabulous officiant - getting praises of “we wished we’d had you do our wedding” or “we’ll be calling you for ours you know.” Even though it was Mike and Kelly’s ceremony – I like to think it was me in his thoughts when he wrote all those nice thoughts of love and marriage. After all the official to-do was over, basically everyone under the age of 40 that was there headed downtown to the Matador – where we proceeded to take over the entire back-half of the bar and close the place down. It was great – all the out-of-towners from both Mike and Kelly’s side of things were all hanging out with all the Portlanders and everyone had a fabulous time. And now those crazy kids are official husband and wife – pretty cool.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Walkin' in someone else's shoes

The new season of 30 Days starts tonight - if you’ve never seen it, it’s pretty interesting. It’s Morgan Spurlock, the guy who did “Super Size Me.” The premise of the show is that he – or someone else – walks in someone else’s shoes for 30 days.

There was only one episode last season that I thought was pretty worthless – one where a mother tried binge drinking for 30 Days to “teach her college age daughter a lesson.” It just didn’t work, because it wasn’t the person ‘living in the others shoes’ – and therefore the one that the show follows – who was supposed to be learning something. The homophobic guy who lived in the Castro for 30 days, the strict Christian who lived with a Muslim family, the high-tech New Yorkers who lived in a hippie-like commune, Spurlock and his fiancee living in Detroit on minimum wage, etc. – they were all pretty fascinating. Seeing these people who either opposed the ideas held by the people that they lived with – or simply had never been in that situation before – learning to adapt.

This season looks to be interesting as well. Tonight starts with someone who is very anti-immigration moving in with a family of illegal immigrants. There is one where someone who moved away from Christianity to become an atheist lives with a Christian family. Spurlock spends 30 Days in prison (although I heard he only actually lasted 28 and decided “he had enough footage.”)

They do a pretty good job of getting people who are ‘normal’ examples of whatever the behavior or life they’re representing and I think that’s why it works. Why it doesn’t become a big Jerry Springer disaster. The straight/gay episode for example – sure they had him go to the Castro, but as Noland and I said – if they followed one of our gay friends around to see “how the other half lives” it wouldn’t be much of a TV show. But they guy he lived with wasn’t a drag queen, he wasn’t clad in leather chaps, he wasn’t lispy or effeminate or anything else most other shows of this type would have required the person they picked to be. He was a guy, with a job and friends and a cat - who happened to be gay. And that’s what the episode really showed the guy who came to live him.

I hope that continues to be the way – that in the Atheist/Christian show for example – that the Christian family that they send the person to live with is a normal family with a house and kids and a dog or whatever – and is also Christian – I’m sure they’ll be someone who is very involved in their church, if they were just casual attendees – again, it wouldn’t be much of a show. But that they won’t be super-right wing, Focus on the Family, nut-jobs. Because like the straight guy who was to represent the point of view that thinks that all gay men are weirdoes – I’m sure the atheist is supposed to represent someone who thinks that all Christians are crazy-right wingers who don’t believe in science, freedom of choice, etc. claiming it all to be on God’s name – so it’ll be interesting to see if they find a good Christian family who is much more representative of Christians than those usually in the media.

They also have an episode however, that is supposed to be a pro-choice/anti-choice pairing. I’ll admit – I have my bias (I’m sure you couldn’t tell that) but I’m not really sure how that will work without it being extremist. Apparently someone who is pro-choice has to be anti-choice for 30 Days – so what will they be doing? Bombing medical clinics? Picketing girls picking up the birth control pills at the local Planned Parenthood? It’s definitely a divisive topic – but not really something that you live in day after day like the others. I could see it slightly more from the other side – an anti-lifer having to work in a clinic and see the pain and torment these women go through having to make that sort of decision, but even then it doesn’t work very well.

So anyway – I’m curious how it’ll all work out. And you should be too!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Where oh where are you tonight

I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t been sleeping as much, or maybe I’m stressed about something, but I’m just not having my regular bout of fun dreams to share with you all these days. There are snippets that I remember – but not like normal where it’s the entire story beginning to end, including the lucid parts where I go back and change it because I don’t like it....all I’ve got as of late...

- being in a public restroom and running out of toilet paper

- hanging out with some women with a really strong southern accent – I didn’t really like her very much

- having my car tip over while going around the curve of the exit from 26W onto 217 S (I did that one over again and didn’t tip)

- trying to walk both the dogs by myself and getting all caught up in the leashes like on a sitcom

- waiting for someone to show up who never does - but I was waiting in my treehouse

I want my cool dreams back!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Beer Fest Weekend

While I will say that even though my ass was dragging when I got out of bed at 6:15 this morning after going to bed at 2 - it was well worth it! But it would be very redundant if I talked about the Electric Eel Shock show last night - so just read this or this for THAT!

However - the Portland International Beer Festival is this weekend and I am stoked. I've been to The Big-One every July since I moved here 9 years ago - and this will only be the 3rd year at the PIB - but I must say it's really growing on me. The beers are just as good – and really, it’s not like you can taste them all anyhow – and they seem to have more variety from year to year than the main event. I am quite fond of my hometown brewery’s contribution to the event, but enough with the Porter – especially in July – bring another variety sometime, PLEASE!
There is also a refreshing lack of frat-boy swagger and irritating testosterone-fuel call that resonates through the tents more and more frequently as the day goes on.

Plus you get the bonus of “Happy Hour” at the PIB – 5 extra tickets if you get there the first hour it opens? Yeah – that’s a tough call to make. See ya’ll on Saturday!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Never again a 7 year hiatus

Whoops- found this in drafts from back on July 2nd - never posted:

From when I discovered the Indigo Girls in about 1989 until I moved to Portland in 1998 - I saw them in concert probably 8 or 9 times. They came through Des Moines, or Ames, Lawrence or KC about once a year and we were always there. Steve and I saw them the first year that we lived here at Lilith Fair in PGE Park before they renovated it. And then - dry spell. None of my friends here were big fans - last summer I even had tickets to the show at the Veneta Vineyards outside Eugene, and ended up selling them on Craigslist because no one I knew here wanted to go and the airlines were being huge buggers and it was going to cost SSSS an arm and leg to try to come out for the weekend from Des Moines.

Last night - Kelly and Mark and I loaded up on some Bud (yes - really - it was all they had that wasn't dark and it was to hot to drink dark beer) MAX'd it out to the zoo - where you can then buy a bottle of wine (I can't imagine any other show I've been to in practically the past decade where they would voluntarily arm the crowd with big glass bottles) for pretty cheap and chilled on the lawn of the zoo ampitheatre until Amy and Emily hit the stage.

They started off with their biggest hit and then into the very appopriate for this time in the world "Shame on You" and we decided we couldn't contain ourselves at the back of the crowd and moved right down the very front amongst all the others who couldn't just sit and watch but had to dance and sing along. They played a great mixture of old songs from lots of different albums, stuff off of their soon to be released new album - there was a new song that Emily did that was just fantastic. They moved the soon-to-be-bride to tears with "The Power of Two" and when they played "Hammer and Nail" I had to call Anita and just hold the phone up. After more than two hours of just two amazing women and their guitars on stage they took a quick break and came back for a few song encore - closing the show with "Galileo"

We headed out back to the Max station where we jammed way more people that is probably legal onto the trains and headed back downtown. Everyone on the train was laughing and smiling and talking to strangers - I've never seen people so smashed into one place that were still having such fun. As one girl commented - everyone should be required to listen to the Indigo Girls before they get on Max and the world would be a better place.

Never again do I go 7 years between shows.