April 2011

Another blog. About Portland. And other stuff too.

about | archives | twitter | flickr | potma | iphone snapshots | facebook | yelp
rss feed | youtube | links | the burning log

Questions? Comments? Reservations?

Another Portland Blog

Friday, October 31, 2008


Why it just doesn't pay to carve effigies of GOP candidates for the vice presidency

I began "The Palin Pumpkin Project" an hour late but with the best of intentions, ie, to carve a pumpkin that would best exemplify the persona, beliefs, biography and very essence of the candidate herself. As you can see below, the end result looks more like the love child of Slimer and Dr. Zoidberg than Sara Palin. This pumpkin is ghastly, ungodly and difficult to look at for longer than five seconds.

Naturally, I consider the project a success.

Here's the outline I was using as a model.

Now remember, my goal here wasn't to create something like this, a jack o' lantern that would actually resemble the outward appearance of the governor of Alaska. Oh sure, I could have attempted to stay within the lines as I carved but would that have truly encapsulated the spirit of Mrs. Palin? I don't think so. Am I trying to excuse my absolutely pathetic pumpkin carving skills here? Of course not.

The damn thing took me nearly two hours to carve. Also: the two glasses of Vampire Brand wine I drank during dinner and the bottle of pumpkin beer I drank while carving surprisingly did not improve my chances of creating anything presentable. In the words of Dr. Frankenstein after he realized that he unleashed an unholy behemoth on an unsuspecting countryside, "Man, I should have probably gone to see Saw V instead."

The Palin pumpkin is still at my parents' house. I wonder if they're going to put it alongside the other pumpkins in their front window tonight as they wait for trick or treaters to ring their doorbell. Somehow I doubt it.

I guess I could try to carve another Palin pumpkin next year but, with any luck, no one's going to remember that twit's name come Halloween 2009.

Labels: ,


Zombie Walk

I missed this past weekend's Zombie Walk because I was stuck at work. Here's a clip of the crowd "attacking" a MAX train downtown last Saturday.

Photos of the event and more can be found over at Monitor Mix.

Labels: ,


Various things that turned out better than the Palin pumpkin during an evening at my parents' house last night

The jack o' lantern cheeseburger pies. Of course, there's more calories in each of these than your average beef cow or that 1,000,000 calorie eclair on that old episode of The Simpsons.

The pumpkin my mother carved.

The pumpkin my sister's boyfriend carved.

The Obama pumpkin my mother created with a stencil off yeswecarve.com.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


The Palin Pumpkin project

This year I'm going to attempt to make a Sara Palin jack o' lantern because, honestly, I can't think of anything scarier to carve into the side of a pumpkin (*groan*).

I will fail. The end result will be absolutely terrifying, in all the wrong ways, and not nearly as good as this one:

Yeah, it's been done but it's either this or the standard three triangles and a mouth. Photos forthcoming....



Still keeping Milwaukie weird

Heading over to the Davis Graveyard in Milwaukie has become an annual tradition for various family members and I. I've been out there twice this year and I'll probably make one last trip before everything gets taken down. It really is cool, as far as intricate Halloween yard displays that required hundreds of hours of man labor to create go.

New this year: a talking "Ghost Host" skeleton and some new tombstones, including:

Nothing like a good ol' fashioned reference to one of the most aggravating video games I've ever played. I have yet to make it past level thirteen. Lousy, no good cake.

You can learn more about the Davis Graveyard and the owners' attempts to win this year's "FEARnet 25K" contest by clicking here.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008


A trip to North Plains

The first thing that springs to mind when people think of corn mazes and pumpkin patches around Portland is "The Maize" out on Sauvie Island. It's the state's most elaborate and popular patch but also the one most likely to force you into spending two hours stuck in traffic. Myself, I prefer the setup at Lakeview Farms in North Plains, which offers a maze, a pumpkin patch, a train ride, a boat ride with two robotic monsters that pop out of the water and, last but not least, pony rides on the weekends. Pony rides! Of course, I didn't think to take pictures of the farm's more interesting attractions so here's a few shots of pumpkins and some old equipment lying around:

Lakeview Farms offers a substantial amount of what Linus from Peanuts might describe as "sincerity." If you're looking to kill an afternoon between now and the holiday, you might want to head out there.

Now for a bit of local history that's a 180-degree turn from pony rides. After spending an afternoon out there last week, the family and I headed over to the Rouge Pub in downtown North Plains where we learned of the legend surrounding "Pumpkin Ridge Pete." He was a local hermit who mysteriously vanished from the area in 1977. Controversy erupted after three men bragged about torturing and killing him during a drunken night in a downtown saloon where the Rogue now stands, leading to signs being posted around downtown North Plains calling for "Western justice" if they were ever found guilty. The case remains unresolved over three decades later.

And, of course, the spirit of ol' Pete supposedly still roams the hills surrounding the community. RIP, Pete.



Up to our belly buttons in the paranormal

Another thing that Portland has a plethora of this time of year: haunted houses. There's Scream at the Beach up north, Fright Town at the Rose Quarter, The 13th Door at the Washington County Fairgrounds and, while I'm not willing to do a Google search to prove it, probably at least two "Hell Houses" at a few local churches.

But last weekend's "XXX at the Mansion" (that link? Kinda, sorta NSFW) one-night-only event was probably the most, er, "unique" of Portland's 2008 haunted houses. I'm at least 10 - 12% sorry to say that I didn't make it over there for it. Meanwhile, I think the award for "Best Locally Produced TV Ad for a PDX Haunted House" goes to the folks at the 13th Door. Check it out:



Always thinking with your stomach

It seems like you can't drive outside of the city during the month of October without coming across a harvest festival, a corn maze or a pumpkin patch every 100 feet. Last week, a few colleagues and I hit up a festival outside of Wilsonville. In addition to the usual stuff, the organizers built a Noah Ark-themed petting zoo, a huge hay slide and my two favorites: a corn cannon shooting gallery and an Ewok Village-esque compound for a family of goats. Sadly, we were about a week late for the annual "pumpkin drop," which crushed the car in the photo above.

In the goat village a series of ramps led from the ground over a small house and up to a crows nest attached to a tree. For a buck, attendees could use a rope and pulley to raise a cup of Goat Chow up to one resident who absolutely refused to let any of his fellow goats up there.

I gave the corn cannon a shot but was completely upstaged by a six-year old who managed to lob an ear within a foot of a pumpkin-shaped target. I aimed for a cow cut-out but my two corn shells missed by a country mile.

Here's a tip: if you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to fire a corn cannon in order to take down, say, a malevolent zombie scarecrow or "Jigsaw" from the Saw movies, I strongly suggest that you aim high.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Burn, baby, burn

The mother in Halsey who made national news after claiming that she would burn a local library's copy of The Bunny Suicides has come to her senses. Today she decided to return the book but, had she gone through with it, I wonder if her actions would have started a chain reaction of other outraged locals burning books they find offensive. While I'm a pretty staunch advocate of the First Amendment, the debate got me to thinking: if I was pressed, like if a hypothetical someone put a hypothetical gun to my head and demanded that I burn a library book, what would I select?

I guess I would go with Walden. I've hated that book since I was forced to read it in junior year English class. I can't think of anything as incredibly dry and meandering as Thoreau's tedious wankfest. On the other hand, naw. At least that book has merit and inspired better works. Now that I think of it, I don't think anyone would miss a copy of a random Dan Brown novel or The Bridges of Madison County.


No Country For Liberal Portlanders

Ok, so Disney World didn't provide a complete refuge from what's going on across the US. It's difficult to find a newspaper for sale anywhere and while internet service runs $11 a day and the nearest accessible WiFi network is at least ten miles away, little bits of reality did creep in.

Or at least a skewed version of reality did. After all, the resort sits smack dab in the middle of one of the most hotly contested swing states in the union. Check out what greeted us in the Hall of Presidents:

A bust of Josh Brolin, er, GW himself. Same difference. He played Kennedy, uh, I mean Bush once.

Yeah, if you don't get that reference you're obviously not a fan of the best adventure movie released between June 15th and June 30th 1985.

Anyway, inside the Hall of Presidents a robotic version of the 42nd president delivered a speech praising freedom and why we need to *snicker* protect the tenets of the Constitution. I struggled to suppress laughter while watching the show, mostly because the gigantic vet sitting three seats away from me was taking all of this Very Seriously. Sitting up straight in his chair, he looked like he was going to burst into a Walter Sobchak-sized display of super patriotism at any given second.

And the Bush Bot stands next to Robo-Nixon. Oh, how I love the Magic Kingdom. Let me count the ways...

We woke up every day to find commercial breaks during morning newscasts filled with nasty attack ads from both the McCain and Obama camps. Many guests in the parks were decked out in political gear. One guy waiting for a bus outside of Hollywood Studios had a homemade "Vote for Barack" shirt. Somewhere in the UK Pavilion at EPCOT I saw a large family all wearing McCain/Palin shirts. A grandmother, a husband and wife, their many kids, even a baby, were all displaying their faith in the GOP.

On the plane ride from Houston to Orlando we were seated next to an older gentleman reading McCain's autobiography. From that point on, we decided it would be best not to talk or even think about politics the entire time. Immediately after making this decision, three women sitting across the aisle got into an argument with a male flight attendant after he made the mistake of calling one of them "honey." This ended with him being reassigned to business class and them spending half the flight loudly telling anyone who would listen about how "they were soooo going to write a letter to the airline." The guy next to us buried his head in his book and he looked like he wanted to hide in the bathroom when an attendant asked him to fill out a form relating his recollection of what happened.

Instead, he folded it up, put in the back of his book and kept on reading. Which, honestly, is what I would have probably done myself.

Also: at EPCOT there's an attraction called "The Universe of Energy" or, under its revised title, "Ellen's Energy Adventure." The current version features Ellen DeGeneres as the host and, somewhere in there, she explains the virtues of offshore drilling.

If I can be frank here, it's the most batshit insane theme park ride I've ever seen. It's 45-minutes long, it involves a Jeopardy dream sequence co-starring Alex Trebek, Jamie Lee Curtis and Bill Nye the Science Guy. If that wasn't enough, in the middle of the attraction, what seems like a bland movie screening suddenly turns into a ride. The seats break into mobile sections, the screen disappears and the audience is led through a primordial scene involving a robot Ellen's battle-to-the-death with a giant eel.

I swear I'm not making this up. You can read more about the whole thing here.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Down and Drunk in the Magic Kingdom

OK, neither of us got all that drunk in Disney World but I had to come up with some kind of a riff on that Cory Doctrow book. Time for a slide show...

Say what you will about the Disney parks. That if you've seen one, you've seen 'em all. That they're overpriced and filled with the worst examples of American humanity imaginable. That they, perhaps even more so than the Circus Circus casino circa 1972 best exemplify the death of the American Dream or whatever Hunter S. Thompson was babbling about in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Despite all of that, the people running these places know their way around explosives. This photo was taken from a restaurant at the Japanese Pavilion during EPCOT's nightly fireworks extravaganza. The show beings with a four-story tall fireball in the middle of the park's lagoon. Why? I have no idea and I don't think the pyromaniacs running the show do either. It just looks cool and from the window of that restaurant it looked like the end of the world at the Itsukushima Shrine.

This is also pretty creepy. Feel free to mock them but, after few days of 90% humidity and a constant onslaught of singing robots in a paved-over swamp, Dale hats start to make a lot of sense in a Stockholm Syndrome-kind of way. Now why would I or the person I was traveling with subject ourselves to a week of this? Because, somehow, for reasons I can't explain, we consider this sort of thing fun. Or at least a lot more interesting than lounging around on a beach somewhere.

And did I mention the explosions?

Ok, on second thought I cold probably give you a thousand rambling words praising the merits of roller coasters like Expedition Everest or why I consider the Haunted Mansion one of the finest creations of the western world but, instead, here's a photo of an indoor drive-in movie theater/restaurant at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Diners sit at tables that look like old Chevys and some of the waitresses zoom around on roller skates. Brilliant!

This is from a mural in the queue line for the dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom. Isn't that a subversive bit of something else? I'm sure it's led to at least 1/10th as many awkward conversations between parents and their frightened kids as the death of Bambi's mother. Imagine being four years old and, after this uncomfortable reminder of your parents' mortality, your mother leads you onto a three-minute jeep ride through a fake jungle filled with screaming animatronic lizards that leap out of the dark? The stuff of childhood nightmares? Sure.

One thing that sets the Disney parks aside from the likes of the Six Flags chain is the attention to detail. I've never set foot in a small village in the foothills of the Himalayas but after wandering through the recreation at Animal Kingdom I feel like I may as well have. Small Himalayan villages sell $8.00 kids meals and have people in Safari Mickey costumes wandering the streets, don't they?

If you ever feel up to spending a week at Disney World, for whatever reason, I recommend traveling in October. The heat isn't quite as unbearable as August, the crowds are lighter and off-season airfare and hotel rates are obviously cheaper. EPCOT also hosts an excellent Food and Wine Festival. If not for that, I probably would have gone the rest of my life without ever trying escargot or eating anything from New Zealand. I didn't even know people in New Zealand ate food until last week.

There's also the annual series of "Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Parties." During these events full-grown adults run around grabbing handfuls of candy from barrels in Jack Sparrow outfits. We spotted no less than four families dressed as The Incredibles. Outside the resort, the presidential election was in full force and the Dow Jones was jumping up and down like a rabid bear on a trampoline. I guess that's a good part of the appeal of a place like this. It's incredibly easy to turn your brain off at Disney World, a refuge of overpriced PG-rated fun surrounded by a few thousand acres of untapped swampland. I'd like to think my week-long theme park lobotomy did my blood pressure some good.

Labels: ,


Catching up...

Here's two things I wanted to cover before I skipped town last week but I didn't pull it off:

A few friends and I went to the Achewood signing on the 10th at Skeleton Key Tattoo. While we were there two fans actually got tattoos of the comic's characters on their arms. We grabbed a comp ticket for a chum who couldn't make it up from Eugene. He's considering a Ray. As for myself, I settled on a copy of The Great Outdoor Fight since I can't commit to a brand of breakfast cereal, let alone a permanently attached illustration of a hedonistic house cat on one of my appendages. Achewood artist and creator Chris Onstad kindly scribbled a Ray on the inside cover of my copy and a Phillipe on the back of a colleague's iPhone. The organizers gave us free booze and a good time was had by all. I recommend picking up a copy of the book, available now from Dark Horse. The intro alone is worth it.

I also went to the Flogging Molly show at the Roseland the following night. AKA "The Celtic punk band That Didn't Record That Song From the Climax of The Departed, they put on a solid set that whipped the crowd into a medium to medium-high level frenzy. A group of very large and very shirtless men formed a pit in the middle of the room. For the uptempo songs they slammed repeatedly into one another. For the mid-tempo songs they formed a huddle and ran around in circles. For the slow songs they threw their arms over each other and shouted out the lyrics. Sometime later, one of them climbed a pillar and waived around a flag. If I was undergraduate liberal arts major I might describe such a scene as "homoerotic" but at least one female jumped in the fray so I don't think it qualifies.

Every time I go to the Roseland I'm shocked to discover how much of a fire trap the place must be. At the end of shows the organizers force everyone to exit down two thin staircases and the process takes forever. After the band's set, I found myself wedged between an enormous middle-aged Irish guy who looked like a U2 roadie and a few hundred other sweat-soaked fans. The smell, dear God, the smell. As drunk as he was even he couldn't help rant about that the only thing separating us all from safety and a bone-crushing stampede was a little smoke.

Outside a group of strippers dressed as cheerleaders was screaming at the crowd as they drifted out of the venue and down Burnside. Apparently, they were looking for new recruits for their club. How did this drunken crowd that had just spent a few hours jumping around like maniacs react? With emo-ish sneaker gazing and lectures on how the girls were exploiting themselves. Ahhhh, Portland.


Monday, October 13, 2008


In a red state

I woke up in Florida this morning. I'll be spending the rest of the week at the Disney World resort eating escargot in a fake version of Paris and making fun of the GW robot in the Hall of Presidents. As the most recent Commander in Chief, his electronic doppelganger gets to give a long speech about, get this, defending freedom and the tenets of the Constitution.

Given what direction this state leans there's a good chance I won't get out of here alive. Anyway, I won't be doing any of this while I'm here:

(my Republican grandparents live in Georgia)


Thursday, October 09, 2008


Random Cell Phone Photo # 39

Here's a window display in a NW Portland thrift shop, possibly inspired by a David Lynch movie. I'm thinking Eraserhead. It creeps me out every time I think about it.



Bad golf my way

Golf probably isn't the best pursuit for someone like me, given my limited career prospects, inability to understand handicaps, a natural tendency to get a little reckless whenever I have the opportunity to drive a golf cart (I'm actually sad to say I've never rolled one but I did have to jump out of one yesterday when I didn't set the emergency brake properly) and my current mailing address somewhere a few blocks south of bulls-eye for the brewing capitalism apocalypse. Golf is a game of kings, possibly lords or at least knights and, in the land of tired feudal metaphors I am but a lowly serf living in a hut made out of pig poop.

I'm also incredibly bad at it.

I blame too much mini-golf as a child for all of this. Don't let anyone tell you that the Family Fun Center in Wilsonville doesn't offer at least one kind of gateway drug. While a life-long unrequited love affair with the game is probably better than an addiction to some combination of meth and roofies, I moved on to full-fledged golf sometime in college and, despite hitting the links at least three whole times a year, I don't seem to be getting any better. While I've become fairly apt at keeping the ball on the right fairway I have a real problem with getting it to fly further than thirty yards. And clearing water hazards? Yeah, I have yet to actually do that. Even once.

Fortunately, the Portland area has several solid public courses that don't cost much more than a price of a movie to play on. $14 - $20 buys at least two hours of entertainment and access to an infinite amount of sports bloopers. Earlier this summer I watched a guy somehow tee off from the hole next to mine and send his ball flying across two fairways and into the driving range. A few years ago someone I know, who will remain nameless, managed to clear a difficult water hazard at RedTail....by hitting a duck. The ball bounced off one of its wings and it landed about five yards from the green.

I've played both the front and the back nine holes at Eastmoreland in the last month and that second half is killer for a sub-sub par player like me. Part of the course runs alongside train tracks. If passing locomotives don't prove daunting, the numerous amounts of waterways will. There's also ducks and geese that hang around the nearby rodendrum garden, not that they've gotten in the path of any projectiles. They just seem to enjoy quacking and squawking at the most inopportune of times. Like when I'm about to tee off, am teeing off and immediately after I botch teeing off.

With winter rapidly approaching (seriously, it's friggin' freezing outside right now), my clubs will probably sit in a corner until next spring, allowing me to forget everything, if anything, I learned on the links this summer. I'll probably never play Pebble Beach, mostly because I'll never be able to afford the $500+ greens fee, but I'll be satisfied if I can one day conquer the fourth hole at Eastmoreland.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008


A whole new way to enjoy my tedious observations

I've created a Twitter page for Another Portland Blog since I keep finding myself with a plethora of stuff that just doesn't warrant a full blog post. So if you're in the mood for regular updates about incredibly interesting and super important topics like the carpet at the Fox Tower and the coyotes that keep running through my yard, you can find all of that over here.

Labels: ,

Monday, October 06, 2008


Gee, I wonder who the owners will be voting for in November...

I'm thinking it might be Ross Perot. Is he still around somewhere?

I went over to check out the "Obama lawn" tonight. It's located near the corner of NE 19th and Irving. The spooooooky decor sure beats the pumpkin lights and cotton spiderwebs I'll be decorating my house with this Halloween season.

If you squint at that first photo you'll notice a pair of Depends wedged on a pole. Eeeep.

Here's some background info from Blogtown.

It's those kind of elaborate props that win homeowner Michael de Lapp the award for Most Enthusiastic Liberal Yard Decorator. De Lapp, a freelance designer and event planner, explained that the signs, toilet and skeletal McCain are leftovers from a crazy Obama fundraising party he held over the weekend. Aided by the presence of a full bar, party-goers willingly donated $20 to "ride the McCain express" (a wheelchair) around the block and $3 each to throw darts at a life-size cardboard cutout of Sarah Palin. All in all, de Lapp netted $2,200 for Obama and at the end of the night he buckled a strap-on to the Palin effigy, hot glued fireworks to her back and blew her up. All that was left after the inferno was a melted strap-on and a pile of ash.

Alarming violence-toward-women, witch-burning imagery aside, I'm glad we've learned how Palin can fire up the Democratic voter base. ha HA!

Say what you will but that fundraising party was at least more interesting than the efforts of the Obama-supporters I've seen milling around downtown these past few months.

My favorite: a McCain dummy in a wheelchair with a bony, upraised middle finger.

Ok, the toilet is a nice touch too.

The display has been up for going on two weeks and I wonder if anyone has messed with it. Given the political spectrum of this city, I'm thinking not. Meanwhile, if I leave a pumpkin on my porch overnight it will wind up smashed in the street by dawn.


Friday, October 03, 2008


[insert Viagra joke here]

I really can't come up with anything snarky about this so I'll just say, "Get well soon, Hung Far Low sign."

Labels: ,


The Not-So-Great Golf Course Bug Mystery

I recently spotted this insect on the fourth hole at the Eastmoreland Golf Course. My guess is that it's some sort of stick bug but I didn't know we had those around here. Maybe it's a Praying Mantis but aren't those much larger?



Summer may be gone but c'mon...

What is it with people in this town and scarves?

On Wednesday the temperature climbed into the high 70s but I spotted no less than four people walking around NW dressed as if it were mid-winter. They were covered in some combination of scarves, jackets and khakis while I was walking around in shorts and a t-shirt. Even weirder: on a warm night last week I passed a girl walking down Broadway in a full-length winter coat, dressed as if she was about to go Christmas shopping on a sub-freezing afternoon in northern Quebec. You can drive past the Crystal Ballroom on any given night this time of year and spot at least a half-dozen scarves up and down Burnside.

Maybe it's a fashion thing. Maybe these people bought all of this clothing a few months ago and they've been eagerly waiting for the winter months to arrive. Still, that's got to be uncomfortable. The only thing I can assume is that all of these people are recent transplants from Arizona and any air temperature below 75 is considered "freezing" for them.

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Les Misbarack

Casting McCain and Palin as the Thénardiers in this parody of the musical version of Les Miserables is a small stroke of genius. Still, I'm sooooo not looking forward to this group's improvisational "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables" follow-up on November 5th.

Yeah, I'm convinced that no matter how badly the Republican party continues to screw up over the next month that there's no way that America will vote for the Democratic candidate for president in this horse race. A guy named Barrack Obama over a white "war hero" and his adorable and oh-so-folksy female stooge? Not gonna happen, no way. Not even if McCain "temporarily delays" his campaign twenty more times between now and Election Day. Not even if McCain and Palin get caught selling state secrets to the Russians after being found solely responsible for the economic crisis. And no, not even if they get caught drinking kitten blood in a Satanic ceremony presided over by Osama Bin Laden, his dialysis machine and the ghost of Saddam Hussein.

The bar is set so low for Palin in tonight's debate that the only way she's going to lose is if she bursts into tears and runs off the stage. No matter how cool and calm he remains, no matter how many gaffes he avoids or zingers he flings, there's just no way Joe Biden can win it.

My uneducated prediction: everyone will be so shocked at how Palin managed to not say "you betcha" a single time that McCain's numbers will climb ten points between now and Monday.

Do you hear the people groan?

UPDATE THURSDAY NIGHT: She made it all of, what, three minutes without saying "betcha"? I didn't hear a "you" but a "betcha" is still a "betcha."



The swifts take on a giant

In this photo you can see a gigantic flock of swifts that nest in a chimney at the Chapman Middle School in NW Portland every year. The annual event draws hundreds of spectators every night throughout September.

And in this photo you can see a 20-foot tall woman about to knock over the building and send those freeloading birds on their way.

Ok, so she merely walked in front of my camera while I was taking a photo. Whatever.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Sounds like a real collector's item

A few potential titles for this:

  • "Veep Throat"

  • "One Hard Beat Away"

  • "Impalin' Palin"

  • "V.Pee" (that is if the movie includes "water sports.")

  • "Behind the Screen Door"

  • "The West Bada Bing"

  • "I Can See Russia From the Front Door of My Kinky Sex Dungeon"

  • "Sexecutive Order"

  • "Sexecutive Order Part 2: Sexecutive Privilege"

  • "The Ovular Office"

  • "Do It Like the Caribou Do"

  • Ok, that last one is especially lame. A tip o' the hat goes out to "DA" and "SI" for coming up with a few of these.

    Three cheers for poor taste! Vote Quimby!

    Labels: ,



    I saw the movie adaptation of once-and-forever Portland literary king Chuck Palahniuk's Choke over the weekend in a packed theater at the Fox Tower. I read a copy of the source material a few years ago and it's one of the author's more, how do you say, "all over the place" tomes. The book covers topics ranging from religion to zoos to the mental health care system to restaurant scams to the overbearingly strict policies at colonial theme parks to the proper application of anal beads to...I could seriously come up with another 300 of these.

    The movie makes the mistake of trying to cram the entire book into its too-short running time and suffers for it. A subplot involving an empty lot and a huge stack of stolen rocks is never resolved and it seems like every scene introduces a new plot element. I can't imagine that anyone who hasn't read the book would be able to make any sense of Choke once a certain doctor starts making claims about the main character's long-lost father. The result feels more like an episodic series of funny vignettes about a group of extremely screwed-up people than a coherent film.

    Another problem: Anjelica Huston is both too youthful and too wrinkly to play the part of Ida. She's too young to portray a doddering elderly woman and far too old to play the same character in a series of flashbacks to the '70s. Still, the cast does the best they can with a packed script and Kelly Macdonald is perfectly cast as Paige.

    In other news, I'm still waiting on that film version of Survivor.

    Labels: ,


    A song for Valerie Plame

    When I went to that huge Obama rally in Waterfront Park way back in May (man, does that seem like a long time ago now), the Decemberists played a song I could have sworn was about Valerie Plame. It was hard to tell from where I was standing in the crowd.

    Sure enough, the band did pen an ode to the spy who had her cover blown. It's the first track on their new EP, Always The Bridesmaid: Volume I. And I thought Colin Meloy only cared about tragic stories involving people born prior to 1920.

    If you're curious, you can hear the song over on Blogtown.

    The Decemberists are also set to return to the Crystal Ballroom over Thanksgiving weekend. I think I might have to pass. I've seen the band four times now live. Shouldn't there be a limit to this sort of thing, even if the lead singer lives in the same city?



    Riddle me this

    I was driving across the Terwilliger Bridge over I-5 today and I noticed a work van covered in homemade pro-McCain-Palin signs. One said "WOMEN FOR MCCAIN!" Another in the back window read "OBAMA = FRAUD!"

    Now who would you imagine might be behind the wheel of a van like that?

    If you guessed a muscle-bound Rob Zombie lookalike you're...right, actually.

    What's that guy's deal? Did he lose a bet or something?

    And on the opposite side of the spectrum, there's the "Obama Lawn" over in NE.





  • October 2003
  • November 2003
  • December 2003
  • January 2004
  • February 2004
  • March 2004
  • April 2004
  • May 2004
  • June 2004
  • July 2004
  • August 2004
  • September 2004
  • October 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011

  • Clicky Web Analytics

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?