Pocket Rocket

I'm currently intoxicated.
I finally quit my job today.
I am officially unemployed and feel very free.
I spent a few hours at a great local bar/restaurant with Jeff and Kes celebrating.
This wonderful place is named Produce Row.
It is right next to my former place of employment.
It is named after the now defunct produce district of the early 1900's where folks came for their weekly dose of veggies and fruit.
There are still old school cobblestone streets.
I am pretty fucked up off of a spectacular Oregon brew.
The name of this 9% alcohol beast is "Walking Man, Homo Erectus".
It is an IPA...a fan favorite reminding me of Petaluma's Lagunitas IPA with twice the kick.
We rode our bikes up Burnside, listening to my radio.
I have a tape-only boom box residing in my bike basket.
The contents: a mix of the Fellowship Freestyle and Murs 3:16.
This is the music of the working class, of which I am no longer a part of.
Last night we watched Factotum.
Bukowski is a swell guy; same goes for Matt Dillon.
We stopped off at a new bar called Rocket, who's menu features an item called the Pocket Rocket.
This is worthy of a chuckle, in person.
The bar has the Eastside's absolute most pristine view of downtown at night.
We chatted about city planning, and why Portland seemed to spark that particular passion in us.
I will be applying for the graduate program in Urban & Regional Planning next winter.
We also had a difficult time absorbing the clientele of this particular establishment.
We contemplated the merits of starting a riot, and whether it was an obligation or merely an impulse.
We parted and went home.
I forgot my briefcase at Rocket, and drove several miles backwards upon my cruiser to recover said item carrier.
I am currently typing.
I shall proceed to partake in my last clove cigarette of my current addiction phase.
That last statement leads one to believe that I am quitting smoking.
That one would be correct.
It is a wonderful Portland night, and I could stay up indefinitely.
Good-day and sweet reality.



Jeff and I recently had a discussion about our lack of "Pondering Life" in our posts of late, and quite frankly, ever since the inception of these Portland chronicles. To match the spirit of our usual entry, we've decided on a name change.

From now on, "Pondering Life with Old and Jeff" will be replaced with the more appropriate "Tales from the Stump." Stump is short for Stumptown, a nickname given to Portland back in the early logging days when the city still had tree stumps in the streets. The page's address will remain oldandjeff.blogspot.com for a few weeks more to allow time for our emails detailing the changes to reach all three of our loyal readers, at which point it will be promptly changed to:

Don't click on it yet, stupid. It's not active yet...it will be switched over sometime before I leave for Alaska mid-June (to hunt for grizzlies and mongoloids), so keep an eye out. Hopefully we won't lose too many of you in the transition.

Thanks for bearing with us in our second major (minor?) growing phase as we attempt to expand the readership. This doesn't mean we'll water the content down, or change much at all...we'll still be the same folks who aren't afraid to use the word "retard" and "hymen-crisp" in the same sentence.
Much love,
Old and Jeff


Oden/Durant v. the Portland Pricks

A few quickbitters:

  • Just heard on the news that car thefts in the Metro area are already up by 25% this year over last, and that percentage is expected to rise. Apparently, high numbers of retiring piggy-cops, plus no new piglets to take over the sty (recruitment is very unproductive lately) = the elimination of the Auto Theft Task Force = little hope of our car ever being recovered. You'll be missed, little buddy (along with the other 1,868 cars stolen between Jan. - Apr.).

  • We're rabid Trailblazer fans here, and have been crossing our fingers for a touch of luck in the NBA draft lottery. We were looking at a decent No. 6 pick, which we likely would have included in a trade to get some veteran leadership on the team (our closest thing to a leader is Zach "Stroke-Faced, IQ of a Box of Cereal, Hoop Family General" Randolph, who, I admit, is fucking great and should have been All-Star material). We had close to a zero chance of landing the first or second draft picks (well, actually a 5.3% chance). Well, tonight Portland was blessed with a kiss from the Hoop Gods, landing not the No. 2 pick (nor the 3, 4, or 5 picks...that would have been anti-climatic, dummy.), but the No. Fucking One Draft Pick. Watch for us in the playoffs next year. Now the debate begins about who to pick, Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, both extremely gifted players with very different skill sets. As a little bit of audience participation, please leave a comment with your vote, and I'll talk to my boy Kevin Pritchard about making your wishes come true.

Looks like someone's got more game than the other....

Surprise...it's a mutant sea monster!!!

One of the joys of living in Portland is the numerous movie houses that play cheap, second-run and/or independent movies. One of our (Old, Kes and I) favorites (actually, just most conveniently located) is the Laurelhurst Theater on 28th and E. Burnside. If you don't mind waiting a couple months to see that highly anticipated, marquee movie, the $3.00 admission is quite the bargain compared to the $9.00 you'd pay to see it upon it's initial release at the bigger theaters. What's more, instead of overpriced popcorn and Coca Cola, you can buy locally brewed beers and slices of pizza. And, once inside, you'll find tables in front of your seats in which to place your goodies on.

Well, enough pimping of the Laurelhurst (it's a cool spot, but not worthy of a full blog and this much praise). On to the real reason I'm writing: Old's conniving and trickery. He recently convinced Kes and I to go see a movie none of us (except for him) had heard of. He refused to tell us anything about it, implying that it was such a good movie, a description would not do it justice. The real reason he didn't explain it, though, is because Kes and I would not have gone had he told us what it was about. So, because of Old's conniving, I was under the impression that I was going to see some thought provoking, highly acclaimed flick about espionage and deceit. I was quickly disappointed, however, when I met Old inside the theater and he showed me the movie's promotional poster hanging on the wall.

It hit me then that I had been duped. No, we were not seeing a soon-to-be Oscar nominated movie. Rather we were seeing a Korean produced, subtitled movie about a mutant sea monster that terrorizes the city of Seoul. Great. I had an immediate feeling of hate and the accompanying urge to box Old in his face and karate chop his neck. After seeing the movie, I was not nearly as disappointed as I was after seeing the poster, though. Yes, the movie did revolve around a mutant sea creature who eats any Korean that gets in his way. And yes, the movie climaxes when an Olympic-medalist archer brings the mutant to its knees in a truly "heroic" (hint: cheesy) manner. However, the movie was pretty good...in a weird, subtly funny and quirky way. I still have a hard time understanding what provoked Old to see the movie, though. I mean, seriously, what would prompt someone to see this movie based on its description (written below)?

To share in my confusion, you can read an email I sent to him right after seeing the movie. Peep it below:


"Quite possibly, The Host simultaneously ranks as the worst and the best movie I have ever seen. But, how could you have ever guessed it's awesomeness by the the following plot summary, as provided by IMDB.com?

"The film revolves around Park Hee-bong (played by Byun Hee-bong), a man in his late 60s. Park runs a small snack bar on the banks of the Seoul's Han River and lives with his two sons, one daughter and one granddaughter. The Parks seem to lead a quite ordinary and peaceful life, or maybe a tad bit poorer than the average Seoulite. Hee-bong's elder son Gang-du (by Song Gang-ho) is an immature and incompetent man in his 40s, whose wife left home long ago. Nam-il (by Park Hae-il) is the youngest son, an unemployed grumbler, and daughter Nam-joo (by Bae Du-na) is an archery medalist and member of the national team. One day, an unidentified mutant suddenly appears from the depths of the Han River and spreads panic and death, and Gang-du's daughter Hyun-seo is carried off by the monster and disappears. All the family members are in a great agony as they have lost someone dearest to them. But as they find out she is still alive, they resolve to save her."



Pork & Barrel

The City of Portland recently (well back in January) unveiled their latest infrastructure addition, the OHSU Tram. Originally developers and the Oregon Health and Science University (also a major hospital) claimed the project would cost a cool $15 million. However, by the time of the project's completion, the final tab was a disgusting $57 million, of which the City agreed to pay 15%...this doesn't seem like much, but still comes out to $8,550,000 taken away from more pressing community needs (Can we say affordable housing? It's starting to look like Cali around here.). So as our way of protesting this expensive aerial limo service for OHSU docs (it goes from the hospital to their new facilities in the South Waterfront district, a rant for another day...the public pays $4 round trip, University staff don't pay shit) we decided to take the flying metal suppository for a spin.

Here's the view from the Tram, looking back down the hill to OHSU's new Health and Healing Building (or some such hippy madness).

Here's the little guy itself. There are actually two cars, leading to a fun community contest to name them both. A few of my favorite entries: Boon & Doggle, Dumb & Dumber, Hood & Wink, and a few better ones that I can't recall at the moment. They officially chose "Walt" and "Jean" leading most people to say "Fuck You."

Here's a few great shots of the city from the Tram itself...notice Mt. Saint Helens (the still very active volcano that exploded in 1980).


No More Jesus Jokes...

Apparently the Big Man Upstairs wasn't a fan of my promotion of the hilariously-wrong Jesus Christ's Blog.

Since that post I've developed some crazy form of sinusitis, for which I'm taking a literal pharmacy of meds, forcing me into a monk-like existence. No caffeine, no alcohol, no dairy...are you fucking serious? Cheese, americanos, and gin are my three food groups.

Yesterday, our car was stolen.

Apparently, due to the make/model/year of our steed, we're likely to recover the vehicle, but it will be stripped of its sheet metal, tires, bumper, fender, and engine. I can't wait. Thankfully I work right next door to an Armenian/Russian restaurant/nightclub named Ararat who I know are deeply connected with the Mob and car thieves. I've seen cars dropped off in their lot from the inside of moving trucks, then stripped of their metal and parts. Maybe I'll pay them a visit, looking for information on the cock-faced thieves. I don't even care about the car, I just want my personal effects back. My burned CD collection was included in the abduction of Destro (the name of our car, and homage to the original chrome-domed G.I. Joe arch-nemesis). Pirated pirated CDs. How fitting is that? We also found out where our tax dollars are going to when the cops showed up 5 hours late to take our statement and put out a stolen car notice, meaning it could be anywhere by now.

On my way to hang out with Kes while waiting for the coppers to show, my new cruiser bike broke. It was a fitting end to an already shitty day. I've been meaning to post a picture of my new bicycle...it's a beast, weighing close to 100 pounds, and has a basket on the front perfect for my tape player-only boom box. Our friend Nico now refers to me as Debo, from Friday. Really, though, I just don't feel like sharing it's wonder with you...I'll post more about it later once it's patched up.


The "weird Portland" myth

If you've spent time in Portland, maybe you've seen the "Keep Portland Weird" bumper stickers. In part, they're big middle fingers directed toward mainstream, corporate culture that proud Portlanders are fiercely opposing. They're also an ode to a Portland ethos that is slowly slipping away as the city as a whole becomes more and more homogenous.

Coming from San Francisco, I can't say that I've been particularly overwhelmed by the "funkiness" that Portlanders proclaim to characterize their city. I think the notion of "keeping Portland weird" is also lost when those sporting the stickers all look alike (sort of contradictory): anti-war, pro-choice, Suburu driving hippies. However, that doesn't go to say Portland isn't weird. Indeed it is. I was just lucky enough to live in another city with similar funky/radical qualities. Portland is definitey weird in its own right; it is unique and certainly bucks a lot of trends.

I think a lot of Portland's weird and funky attributes get overlooked by more obvious attention-grabbers. For example, public pillow fights in Pioneer Courthouse Square make the news every year. So, too, does the drunken Christmas revelry that is Santacon (imagine hundreds of drunkards dressed like Santa, roaming the streets of Portland while handing out handmade sex toys). Both of these events get a lot of attention and solidify Portland's reputation as being weird. However, it is the smaller stuff, the more commonplace things, that really bolster this reputation. Often times it is taken for granted. Case in point are the numerous theaters around town that play films such as the one pictured to the left. I mean, seriously, "Suppressed Vicious War Cartoons!!!" I'm not even sure I know what that is. However, somebody does. And apparently they think it would be a big enough draw to fill up a movie theather. In most cities, they would be completely wrong. Not in Portland, though. For Portland is weird, and weirdos live here...and they go to see movies about suppressed vicious war cartoons.