March (17th) Madness

It's been a week now, and I still can't fully remember what happened on St. Paddy's Day. I contemplated not writing about it at all, as I have no way of being totally sure what is and isn't true. However, it's been a long, long time since I partied in such a fashion, so I figured I could at least make an effort to summarize the night. Most of what is written below was either told to me or pieced together through a vague, foggy memory.
The night began at my friend Maggie's house. Her friend/roommate, Emily, is a world-renowned chef (well, not really, but I hear she's awesome in the kitchen and loves to cook). To get in the spirit of St. Patrick's (who wasn't even Irish) Day, Emily decided to make Irish soda bread and shepherd's pie. Maggie was then given permission to invite her friends to dinner, where we would eat, drink a little, and then go downtown to celebrate the holiday. It sounds innocent enough, yes, but innocence can only be taken so far.

Here's where things went right:
- soda bread, good
- shepherd's pie, good
- Irish music, good
- Irish car bomb's, good (although here's where things started to turn)

Things went fubar when I (actually, it was Stacey's fault) drank a 40oz of St. Ides with dinner. Yes, I was drinking, as one should do on St. Paddy's Day, but it seems Guinness or some other "good" beer would have been more appropriate. Anyway, the 40 of St. Ides was followed by an Irish car bomb. This is simply a shot of Irish cream and whiskey, dropped in a pint of Guinness, then chugged as one drink. It sounds horrid, but the combination creates a beautiful chocolate milkshake taste. Hmm.
So, now that I had enough alcohol to keep me intoxicated for a good couple hours, we decide to go downtown. The problem now was, how to fit 8 people into one sober person's car. Somehow we did it. Emily's boyfriend stuffed us all into his suburban, and we drove to a transit station, where we caught the light-rail downtown.
Before we knew it, downtown was upon us. We went to Kells Irish pub, where, supposedly, the Northwest's biggest St. Paddy's Day festival was taking place. It was, in fact too big, as the the line and cover charge was enough deterrent for us to go somewhere else. Luckily, we only had to walk across the street to a place called Barcode. This is where my memory starts to fade, because the first thing I did was buy Casey and I a shot each of Tequila and a beer to follow. Somehow I forgot that I was already a little drunk and that Tequila was the last thing I needed.
And if the amount of liquor consumed thus far wasn't indicative enough of my intoxication, the fact that I proceeded to the dance floor was. Yes, I hit the dance floor like there was no tomorrow. Part of it had to do with the fact that the Bay Area's own E-40 and Keak da Sneak's song, Tell Me When to Go, was on, and I had to get hyphy. And did I ever. Before I knew it, I was being pulled down from a stage where all the hot girls were dancing. Apparently, it was a girls-only stage, and they were there for show, not to be danced with. How was I supposed to know? Sounds sexist to me.
As the night went on, and Casey and I kept throwing back shots and beers, we decided to be adventurous and go to another club. While on the way, I struck up a conversation with a homeless fellow who was from San Francisco. Now, we all know my infatuation with the City, so the dude instantly became my friend. We walked, we chatted, I think I may have even given him a dollar. I miss that guy. Anyway, to say the least, I was happy and sociable...to the point where I was making friends with homeless dudes.
We finally made it to the club, and this is where things got ugly. From what I was told, while we were waiting in line at the Voodoo Lounge, the bouncer let a group of people in before us. Apparently this angered Maggie to the point of sheer rage, as she began wildin' out on dude. When she got in the bouncers face, he pushed her back. This created a domino effect, and everyone behind her fell. I wish I could remember that, as I'm sure the succession of people falling probably was a little bit comical. At the time, though, I guess I didn't find humor in it, as I got pissed and pushed the guy (or so I'm told). Maggie then got up and came back with a vengence. Little did the bouncer know, but Maggie is NCI trained and is well adept at putting fools in CCPs (this is work-related lingo for restraining people). Word is, she started swinging on him and had to be restrained herself. I guess it caused enough of a seen that the cops came. Well, that was just great, because I get along so well with the police. Now, I didn't assault any of them, as I've been known to do, but I did carry on a conversation that was, shall we say, less than polite. I guess it wasn't rude enough, though, because we escaped the situation without any further problems.
By this time, it was 2:00 AM, and we were all a little tired. We walked to the bus stop, where we expected the light-rail to come and take us home. After waiting for 15 minutes, we finally gave up and decided to take a cab. We waited so long, I finally grew agitated an started walking. The only problem was that the Burnside Bridge stood in my way and there was no sidewalk. Did this bother me? No, not in the least. I am grateful, though, that my friends and coworkers were concerned and they didn't allow me to wander off too far (that could have been bad). When at long last a cab finally stopped for us, we were all delighted. I took the front seat and everybody who hadn't yet disappeared crowded into the back. Maggie made it clear that we could all stay at her house. It made the most sense, as our cars were there and nobody was sober enough to drive. However, as the cab traversed across Portland to Maggie's neighborhood, I realized that we would be driving near my house. All of the sudden, my bed (well, really it's a mat on the floor) sounded really appealing. So when I had a chance, I told the cab to stop so I could walk to my house. I gave the cabbie $20 to cover the fare for the gang as they continued on, and then I hopped out. Now, the problem with my quick departure is that I didn't fully think it out. Nor did I explain to anybody why I was getting out...I just did it. They had no idea that I lived in the area, and were left totally confused when all of the sudden I disappeared from the cab. And to find out the next morning, they didn't realize I gave the cabbie $20. This meant he was paid twice and got away with a pretty nice tip. It's not devastating, but $20 is two hours worth of wrestling kids at work.
The other problem with my quick, and not-well-thought out departure, was that I was left without a car in the morning; it was at Maggie's. The good news was that I didn't need the car, as I stayed in bed re-hydrating until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. In fact, I didn't leave the house until Old offered to take me to Maggie's on the way to a movie (see Lazy Afternoon post).
All in all it was a good night. There were lots of laughs and happy moments. I wish I could remember more, but perhaps it's better I can't.


Hail The Chief

Could be either a countdown to freedom, or a countdown to the next asshole's inauguration.


Oldcrimewriter's Blog

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He's a mean old badger, but we love him dearly.

Lazy Afternoon

A wonderful thing about Portland is the widespread occurrence of low-cost movie theaters that play second-run films. For 2-3 bucks, we gain the privilege of kicking back in an oddly decorated theater (sometimes on sofas), a frothy locally- crafted microbrew in hand, a slice of aromatic pizza awaiting ingestion on the table, and the glory of cinema dancing before our eyes. I am a film fanatic. I regularly storm the local library, peruse the DVD and VHS selection, and come walking out an hour later with a dozen movies...mostly odd foreign films I've never heard mention of before, sometimes strange gems that alter my outlook on life (Jeff...we need to track down that copy of RichArt/Urineman for some pirated bootlegging on my camcorder). The moving picture is my escape from the daily grind, a vessel into which I pour my soul and let the alternate reality form and mold my future, take me to places I've so far been denied access to. However grand watching movies are at home, nothing...nothing...compares to that feeling of sitting in a darkened cavernous room among complete strangers, experiencing something relatively structured and premeditated, knowing that we're all living this other life on-screen, and living it in completely different ways, seeing similar occurrences from drastically unique angles. And it's a wonderful way to waste time, especially if you don't feel like doing a goddamn thing else.

This is why today we found ourselves lining up, cash and ID in hand, outside of the Laurelhurst Theater in NE Portland. We were tired, grumpy (in Kes' case, frumpy might be a better adjective), and a good deal more than a little hung over. Last night, Jeff and I had experienced separate St. Patty's day celebrations, and were today feeling the effects. Kes and I had been invited to an engagement party for some of her graduate school friends, which was fairly sedate, but fun nevertheless. Jeff, who had celebrated with his work crew, was definitely feeling the effects of his one night stand with alcoholism a little more than myself, mostly due to the absurd amounts of alcohol imbibed...there was grumbled talk of 40's of St. Ides, Irish Car Bombs, tequila shots, etc. This combination itself has the power to instantly conjure headaches and nausea simply by contemplation alone. Don't want to spoil too much of his night in case he'd like to write about it, but there did seem to be a bar fight involving his group and the club's security guards. Whether the police arriving was caused by Jeff calling in a 911 complaint on himself or not remains to be seen.

Get to the fucking point Old, what movies did you see?

Well, we started off with the film Capote. Let me preface any other opinions of this film with the following statement: Philip Seymour Hoffman is a pimp. Or maybe it’s Truman Capote who is the pimp. Well, despite the pimp in question, I really don’t see what all the hype is about this movie. Maybe I need to read In Cold Blood (this movie tangles itself amongst the real life events surrounding the creation of America’s first nonfiction novel) to find out what the big deal is. In general the acting was superb, but I honestly could have cared less about the characters and what events befell them. However, rent it for Hoffman’s performance (one of cinema’s finest characterizations) alone, which was the only thing that kept me awake for the duration of the film.

At this point Jeff cut loose for home to climb once more into his sleeping bag for some drunken recovery slumber…Kes and I went on to our second film of the night, the much more entertaining Good Night, and Good Luck. George Clooney has consistently been evolving over the years into a formidable director, and this is his masterpiece. The actors are on point, and the script is engaging, following the battle waged between Senator Joseph McCarthy and CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow (played wonderfully by David Strathairn) over the unjust Communist witch hunt in the 50’s. The thing that makes this movie so relevant is that the events described almost perfectly mirror the current state of affairs in our nation today with the War on Terror. The bullshit “You’re either with us or against us,” and the labeling of all criticism of the current administration as “unpatriotic/subversive” was as evident then as now. In fact, you could re-dub this film, substituting the word Terrorist every time the word Communist is used, change the dates a bit, and this film could be a snap shot of our society today. Oh, wait…I forgot…back then we had reporters who had the guts to tell the politicians to fuck off by reporting on the injustices and scandals. Now they just say, “Tell me what to say Mr. President and I’ll let you give me a good ol’ patriotic fucking! Yes!” Yellow assholes. Sorry…a great film, go check it out, the crowd applauded at the end, I felt like I was re-energized to keep up my part of the fight, blah, blah, blah…

A few quotes to close with:
“Dissent is not disloyalty.”
“We cannot defend freedom abroad, while dismantling it at home.”

Good night…and good luck.



Pondering life with Old and Jeff. It sounds like a self-help book, or some silly sitcom that'll only last one season. In many ways, it's probably both of those. Actually, I doubt there will be any self-help, but I'm sure it'll be silly and probably won't last long.
I'm not quite sure how to start these things. In fact, I'm a little reluctant to blog in the first place. I mean, seriously, who proudly calls themselves a blogger? Not me, but I've already begun, so I might as well continue (Old, was this your idea or mine?).
It's 1:48 AM and I just dropped Old off. We went to Squeeze with some of my coworkers. We had originally planned on drinking some 40s, smoking a joint, and watching Goonies, but plans changed when Old couldn't find the Mickey's. Some St. Ides would have worked, but somehow they evaded him as well. So, we went to the bar instead.
I've been going out with this group from work for about a month now. It's a good group of folks; not your typical Portland breed. For those that aren't familiar with Portland, typical means black-rimmed glasses, tight pants bought from your local Goodwill outlet (not because they're cheap, but because they look more hip when they're old and used), well-groomed and managed hair that looks the same as mine (well, if I had hair) when I wake up in the morning, vegan, emo and indie pop listening, arsty-fartsies. Uh, maybe a little stereotypical, but not too far off (Old can vouch).
Anyway, back to my coworkers. They're good people. Most aren't from Portland, rather they have come here for the same reasons Old and I have: make new experiences, meet new people, grow, learn, live, etc. We've bonded at work because of the intense working conditions (more on that in another blog), and began going out drinking to cope with those same conditions (or at least that's my excuse). It's good times, and I thought Old should hang.
I'm a little disappointed we didn't smoke that joint and watch Goonies, but that can wait. Tonight we were Squeeze bound (quick sidenote for those in the "know": viva la squeeze box). First thing was first, though, when we got there: hit the jukebox. Actually, that was second, as we do like our beer and had to have a drink first. Nonetheless, music was a priority. We searched hard for some Bay Area rap, but none was to be found. Instead, we let Johnny Cash, the Talking Heads, Sublime, and Beck inspire us to drink (not that we needed any inspiration). I think we might have snuck a New Kids on the Block song in there also.
Old and I moved on to the back room of the bar, where most my coworkers were, or eventually ended up. There, he was introduced to everybody. I forget if it was me or Old who said, in error, that his name was Dustin. It was weird hearing people call him that. It has been some time since someone has referred to him by his nickname. Ha ha. However, it wasn't as weird as hearing my coworker, Adam, introduce himself as Chris.
As we played pool, listened to music, and caught Old up to speed on news from work, our level of intoxication grew. This is by no fault of my own, however. My supervisor's husband, Casey, kept buying me beer. And the speed at which he did so was pretty astonishing. It got to the point where I had to start pawning the beers off to Old. Seriously, I could not keep up with the guy, and because I was driving, I had to draw the line. Plus, it kept Old out of debt, as he surely would have spent a lot of money if he paid for as many beers as I passed along to him.
I think the highlight of the night was when, just after sneaking Old a third beer, he heard me comment about someone who said, "fo shizzle, my nizzle." Now, I'm not totally opposed to such speak, but for some reason it stressed me out, and I couldn't remain speechless about it. Luckily, though, I didn't remark too loudly, and only Old heard me. Strangely, this made it more funny, and Old began busting up. Well, it wasn't as much of a "bust up" as it was a choking on his beer, blowing it out his nose, and crying. It was pretty funny. Thinking about it now, however, what I said probably wasn't very funny or clever.
At this point in the evening, Old and I started talking about our days in Humboldt. For those that don't know, Humboldt State is a University we both went to. I was only there for two years, Old for all four. This specific trip down memory lane involved graffiti battles. We were trying to remember the name of a writer who battled Old for a good few months. If I remember correctly, the writer in question might have even exchanged death threats with Old. It was a heated battle, that caught the interest of many local writers. It ultimately ended when Old's unworthy opponent was unable to withstand the 337 soulisms that were unleashed at him. However, none of this was really discussed at the bar. All we were trying to do was remember the dude's name. I don't know if it was the beer, or because it's such a distant memory, but we could not remember it....then. When Old finally remembered, I had already dropped him off at home, and it was (is) 1:45 in the morning. He called my cellphone, which at 1:45 in the morning can be very annoying (if you've heard my ring tone, you know what I mean), to inform me his name was Evade. Instantly I was hit with an onrush of memories of Dave (yes, try it backwards and add an "e"). I remember he was from Orange County, and that stressed me out. I remember that he had a super-fine girlfriend, and that stressed me out. I remember that he had this little tag along homey, who definitely stressed me out. And I remembered that the dude just had no skills with spray paint, and that stressed me out. The guy was weak, and I wanted to fight his friend, if only because he wasn't hard but really tried to appear so.
Anyway, Old's call did, however, motivate me to write our first blog (ughh, I said it) entry. I probably could have picked better material to write about, but I have to go with what I've got. There was no pondering life, but we had a good hang with some good folks. I imagine that's what life should be about, right?. Whoa, now I'm pondering. Let's end it here.