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Thursday, January 13, 2011


The year in blurry iPhone snapshots

Inspired by Kate O. and her efforts over at the Karate Kid-fueled Effing the Ineffable, here's a photographic rundown on my 2010:



As you might recall, both myself and sixteen of my coworkers got the boot from Comcast in November of 2009 when the company decided to ax our department for reasons still unknown. I had just celebrated my seventh anniversary at Comcast. Two of my coworkers were expecting and another had just bought a house. It seemed like the end of the world at the time. Not only was I out of work, I could no longer afford the rent on my cottage over near Tryon Creek. But the Flying Spaghetti Monster never closes a door without opening a stove vent. I wound up enrolling at PSU for a second degree. At first, sitting in lecture halls alongside students five to ten years younger than me was intimidating. Then they started inviting me on their radio shows. Pictured above: the on-air booth at KPSU.

February 2010


I spent a few days up in Vancouver during the Winter Olympics with my sister Shanna and her finance Kyle. It was awesome. There were roughly 500,000 people roaming the city and the surrounding mountains dressed like this. Did I lie about my nation of origin a few times? Maaaaaaybe. Hey, it was the only way I managed to slip in among the locals watching the US v. Canada hockey match in a rowdy downtown bar.



Nuthin' says "spring has sprung" like grease-covered hippie gents in the Park Blocks.



I celebrated Songkran, the Thai New Year, with my friends Pete and Nong down at the Wat Buddha Temple in Salem. This involved lots of food and washing both Buddha statues and the hands of monks.



Olly and Rhi, two pals, decided to tie the knot in Akron so a bunch of us flew over for their nuptials. This allowed me to tour such legendary Ohio locales as a "world famous" Bible museum, White Castle, Pancake House and the always lovely, always post-apocalyptic Cleveland! Here's a shot of my friend Bryan passed out at the airport next to a Tauntuan that was purchased at a vintage toy shop...in Cleveland! Cleveland! Cleve...


"M" from Bubbly Red Stuff came to town and I wound up tagging along with her on a tour of the Oregon Outback. We ate ice cream in Ashland, got attacked by a vicious swarm of mosquitoes in a ghost town and blazed around the Alvord Desert Knight Rider-style. This blurry snapshot of my guitar at a campsite outside of Lakeview doesn't even come close to doing the trip justice.



Here's the belly of a woman I found myself sitting next to on a bench at the Oregon Country Fair. "Tykes" seemed to be the theme of my summer. I volunteered at an educational day camp out in Tigard. You haven't lived until you've had to lead a dozen 6-year olds on a nature hike. You've heard the term "herding cats"? This was more like herding cats with the attention spans of Animal from The Muppets.



I wound up back in Black Rock City as a volunteer for the 2010 Burning Man Festival. I worked on/got-in-the-way of a project organized by a group of Portland-based artist and served as a staff writer at The Black Rock Beacon. My assignments included an investigation into the police presence in BRC and constructing an art bench covered in parodies of daily comics. I also got the opportunity to fly a small stunt plane for ten whole minutes, compliments of Pedro, a pilot from the Bay Area.



I wasted away a miserable few days in Amsterdam in 2007. I received some terrible news about a family member, got searched by the police and nearly had my passport stolen by a fishy hotel clerk dressed in a Reservoir Dogs suit. I vowed to never return to the Netherlands. Three years later, I ate those words when "M" invited me over for a few weeks. With her watching my back, things went much smoother this time around. We even managed to pull off a long weekend in Istanbul. This photo was taken at a lamp shop in the Grand Bazaar.


Dang, another photo of Bryan? Well, this time he's dressed as Columbo. This blurry shot was captured on Halloween night at Roadside Attraction in SE Portland. It's become my favorite bar in town. The front yard is a great place to pass a sunny summer afternoon or a winter night. A large fire pit manages to keep things toasty. The decor inside is one part opium den, one part limbo and the jukebox is killer. On Halloween right around midnight, the place felt downright supernatural. The back room, which features a blood-red pool table, an old piano and eerie portraits, looked like various revelers had been kidnapped moments before we got there. Two full pint glasses sat at a table in the corner. A shot of whiskey was left untouched on a stool. Someone had abandoned a homemade proton pack on the floor. Outside, a guy tripping on acid while dressed in a creepy seahorse costume was posed for photos by the fire.


I spent the fall months interning for a US senator. Among my tasks: inspecting mail for anthrax, volunteering for Obama at the Convention Center, shaking hands with Sam Adams and contending with the never-ending slew of strange "regulars" that called in to the Senator's office everyday. This snapshot? It was taken on Election Night at the downtown Hilton moments before John Kitzhaber's speech. That night he was still locked in a stand-off with Chris Dudley for the governorship.


Last but certainly not least, a "cock monkey." Three of these bad boys showed up in the mail in a package sent to Portland direct from the Red Light District in Amsterdam (via Leiden). I kept them stored away in a foot locker until the holidays, when they were given to Pete, Nong and Kyle. You can imagine what's hidden beneath all that "No Peaking!" ribbon. A squeeze of their left paws gets these monkeys, well, "excited." One of them did a hell of a job as a back-up singer during a stint at the Voicebox karaoke lounge a few days before Christmas. Another was last reported getting on a plane to Thailand, where he's hopefully entertaining plenty of Nong's relatives and colleagues.


Great post! It makes me smile to see my blog referred to as Karate Kid-fueled, but it also looks like you have had a pretty exciting year.
Thanks! 2010 was an interesting one, that's fer sure.
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