Category Archives: beer

East coast adventures: Part 1

I’ve been back home for a week and a half and yesterday was first day I left more than a mile radius of my house…it was also the first day I felt caught up enough to do so. I guess I didn’t post while I was gone so I’m gonna make a run down of our trip here:

September 21-26 Philadelphia, PA

Webly, Paul and I left Portland on a red eye on September 21st headed to Philadelphia. We were stoked to go to Riot Fest to make our inner 15 year old happy with some awesome bands like: The Dead Milkmen, Weston, and Plow United. We stayed with my friend Max and his housemate, Will, in West Philly.  Max lives around the corner and down the street from the Dock Street Brewing, which was our favorite brewery from the entire trip, probably because it tasted like NW ales.Max with his wiggle Muppet dog, Spocket.

Max has a muppet like dog named Sprocket. She’s a ball of energy bouncing all around and sitting in laps. The most ridiculous thing was her behavior with the cat, Lewis. Sprocket would try to play with the cat who would vacillate  between fighting back with paw swats or just  ignoring it. This would amount to the dog literally putting the cat’s head in its mouth and the cat would just let it. It was so weird! Occasionally the cat would retreat to the dog free space behind the West Philly window bars on the inside.

kitty jail is a safe space free of dog slobber.

Other amusing sites in West Philly:

I'm assuming this is what the east coas thinking being greee means? Small cap = less waste... uh hu, sure.

Stolen Skerple Revolution? I'm still kicking myself for not buying these! So ridiculous!

We checked out a bunch of awesome vegan restaurants and even tried to take a silly haunted tour. It didn’t end up being a haunted tour. It was more of a tour about the history of brothels and how there are dead bodies buried in all the parks. It was interesting, but not what we expected. On top of that we got caught in an east coast downpour and of course we didn’t have unbrellas. Oregonians don’t use umbrealls….but oregon doesn’t get rain that is like someone dumped a bucket on your head.

Oh! How could I forget! We went to the Mutter Museum! it’s a museum of medical oddities and it was pretty rad and totally worth the price to get it. The fetal skeletons and syphilitic brains and skulls were freaky. I totally suggest you check it out if you are in Philly.

Riot Fest was fun. It was like the Warped tour for adult punks in bootlegged Operation Ivy shirts. We tried to play a game of figuring out the ratio of  Black Flag tattoos to Misfits tattoos…but we gave up. Here are some photos:

Weston! I haven't seen them since 1995 in the basement of DV8. This big dumb stage was a far cry from that, but I still enjoyed it.

Paul and I sat on some bleachers and looked at a big dumb stage.

Philly sunset

Who in a million years would every have thought that Plow United would have been on a jumbotron?

Dead Milkmen in their hometown. It was excellent! I believe in swordfish!

More to come….

Saturday

We seem to have a crow nest in our tree. That’s what we have figured out by the aggressive jerks that caw without end and swoop down on us when we leave the house. My neighbor came over to say that she saw Jackie on a fence with 3 crows swooping down at him and fur was flying.  That’s the same neighbor that hosts BINGO at the sports bar down the street. Paul and I went last month and won cash prizes and a gift certificate to our favorite pizza place. I couldn’t go yesterday because I had too much work.

I was getting annoyed at the crow that wouldn’t shut up outside and took a bit of a break thinking that if I brought OJ inside that the crow would stop cawing at the cat. Well, when I opened the back door OJ started walking to the door just in time to miss the crow pooping right where OJ had been sitting! I hope the crow babies learn to fly soon because between them and the neighbor who has TWO starling nests in her roof, or corner is a noisy place. At least the hummingbird has been visiting again.

I have been tending my yard a lot. I have some photos here if you are interested. I guess having a lot of flowers means that people can steal them. I catch people stealing irises, poppies, love in a mist, and lupines all the time. The three weeks when the irises are in their full glory are my favorite time of the year so it makes me angry to see teenagers walking away with fistfuls of my flowers. I wrap loudly on my 100 year old melting glass windows like and grouchy old lady to get their attention. If they had asked or if they had offered some sort of trade I might let them have them. Hell, if they did it at night I might not even notice. if they offered to pull weeds and dead head flowers for an hour I would totally give them some.

Yesterday, one of my across the street neighbors came over with a basket asking if she could have some of my roses for her relative’s wedding. It might have been for the girl from across the street that I have watched grow up the past 10 years I have lived here. She needed flowers for the flower girl. I thought it was so nice of her to ask that I told her to take as many as she wanted. She wanted roses after all. I’m not a fan of roses. They are the prima donna of flowers.  So, she filled a wicker basket and I watched a pack of older ladies in finery pack into a minivan and be off.

I must be getting old when I bought myself some truffle oil and some saffron for my birthday. My saffron came in the mail yesterday and paul and I had to decide what to do with it.  I settled on Moroccan seared tofu and a saffron pilaf. I actually almost followed the directions!

Seared toful over saffron pilaf

Kingpin is one of our new favorite beers.

I had been looking at the messy stacks of records in the dining room. We have to go through them ever few months but I think we have only gone through our 7″ records once in the 5 years we have lived together. I picked up way too many new records last summer hanging out with Steve, the record buying enabler, and I started going through and alphabetizing the 7″s leaving a specific section for old Salt Lake bands. I have this problem that whenever I find old Stench, Insight, or Brainstorm 7″s in dollar bins across the country I MUST BUY THEM. It is sort of ridiculous, but good.

Once I did all the 7″ and started sorting the Lps that hadn’t been up away Paul started putting them in order with the rest while he made me listen to Fleetwood Mac. I think I cleansed my palate with Operation Ivy Energy while we debated on whether we should but all the Aaron Cometbus bands in once place or if we should put Julian Cope under J or C.

The view from the table.

A full IKEA EXPEDIT of records and 2 full crates full of 7"s!

I’m glad we went through all the records because my birthday is next Sunday and Paul wants to take me record shopping at the place down the street that is also a bar. It’s pretty great, they have these pint glass holders for you to place your beers while you shop.

This was sitting on the table so I took a photos of it...

 

That’s the Leatherman that my dad got me complete with my given name engraved on it. I bought one for him and he found it so indispensable that he bought one each for my sister and me. I was born on Father’s Day in 1977 and this year my birthday, yet again, falls on Father’s Day. 34 years ago I became a human and my dad became a dad. I always like when it completes the cycle and happens on the same day again.

 

 

notes fron Denver and my zine concept band!

Greetings from Denver! Paul and I got in last night, ate some awesome food at Sputnik, picked up some beers we have never tried before and drank them as we watched the sunset into the Rocky Mountains from our hotel room. good times! We picked my sister up at the airport this morning, she was rocking her Dead Milkmen shirt from the last time we flew to a different city to see a band. She was also with me at the last show we went to for old time’s sake where I was elbowed in the head by a skinhead causing me new gnarly facial scar. She promises not to piss off any skinheads at the Warlock Pinchers show tonight

Speaking of bands… I started a band with Steve while he’s in town! We are called The Copy Scams. Steve plays guitar, Marc played bass, Paul played drums, and I sing. It’s a zine themed band and we hope to play a show before the symposium. We have one song down and the skeletons of two more. We’re hoping for a 5 song concept set. The songs are all about zines. The first song is the intro song that is all about excuses for why the zines/band is so late. I also have lyrics about the 24 hour zine challege, and getting caught stealing copies from Kinko’s! Steve and I are talking about making a 4 track recording and only selling them on tape!

Ok, off to try some more yummy vegan food in Denver!

The battle between me and the wisteria earns me well deserved beer!

After finishing up some buttons this morning I struggled with the wisteria on my porch. there are three wisteria plants but only one of them blooms. Maybe the other two don’t get enough sunlight? Who know. The problem is that they completely dominate my porch. So, I took some string and some clippers and show it! It went from this:

to this:

I also swept the sidwalk of the needles that our cedar tree constantly drops and finally gave up for the day at about the time Paul got up. My arms are covered in scratches that make me look like a wrestled a cat  but my yard looks great!

After that we took a walk down to Mississippi, shared a pitcher of Amnesia’s Copecetic IPA and stopped by Bridgetown Beerhouse, or favorite bottleshop in Portland. It is always a struggle on Mississippi of whether to spend our money there or around the corner at Mississippi Records. Often time the beer shop wins out.

Caleb Came to Visit Part 2!

So, last Friday Caleb and I went to go pick up the rental car at the airport and then headed up to the Riverhouse to see my parents. I wanted Caleb to meet my mom because my mom is rad and Caleb is rad… and I also wanted Caleb to see the Riverhouse. We climbed along the rocks on the banks of the river for awhile, drank the beer my mom got for us, hung out with the next door neighbors and then my parents took off for dinner with friends. We made food and spent the evening staring at the fire and talking talking talking. Webly and Brain showed up later and my parents came home much later. Caleb and fell asleep on the couches in front of the fire.

The next day was glorious. The sun was shinning but the next few days had predicted rain again so we thought this might be our last chance to head up The Gorge so we took off in the afternoon down the old highway on the Oregon side. Our first stop was Crown Point.

Hard to take these kinds of photos when I'm short and it's super windy. Check out part of my new awesome purple hoodie with unicorns and stars on it that i picked up at a the Good Will in the the way out of Battle Ground! It is my favorite new hoodie.

We skipped Multnomah Falls because it was packed and there was no room to Park and headed to Hood River. We stopped at the Full Sale Brewery and ate some food with the awesome view of the Columbia River right outside. Then we headed up Mt. Hood to get to the Timberline Lodge. It’s at about 6,000 feet above sea level and we had some epic sites with Mt. hood looming majestic but were too in awe to take photos.

Caleb ever laughing. The exterior of the lodge was used in The Shining.

Looking the opposite way you can see several mountains looking south and the clouds were rolling in.

Looking South East.

We got home just in time to meet Paul to go to see one of his bands’ play a show. Paul left a bit earlier and I went with Caleb and Maggie. It turned out that the venue had shut down without notifying the bands. So we all went to Vendetta for beers but there was some weird party going on. Paul was gifted a child sized accordion and was playing it under the table. Everyone seemed to dig it and seemed to need to mention to Paul when they realized it was someone actually playing and not a recording at the bar!

The next day I had work to catch up. Caleb has a button maker too so he helped me out a lot! People often offer to help me make buttons and sometimes it seems more time consuming to have to teach them than just doing it all myself. I have been making custom buttons for almost 10 years now and I have a system about it… or you could say I’m a little neurotic about the details. It was nice to know I didn’t have to explain things like making sure you cut the circles perfectly, which way the parts go in the machine or to make sure to check that you aren’t pressing two mylars.

Maggie and Caleb later went on their own adventure and I went to a zine symposium meeting where we chose the artwork for 2010! The site should be changed soon and the tabling registration should be up in a day or two. Remember the dates! August 28-29!

I walked home from the meeting with Doug from some crucial talks. He’s a great supportive and understanding friend and I’m glad to have made his acquaintance. I still find it odd that we both grew up in Utah but it took zines and Portland for us to get to know each other.  We got to my house and met up with Caleb and Maggie then walked down to the Alibi for Sunday Karaoke. I don’t ever sing Karaoke but it was fun to hang out with friends and stuff.

Monday I can’t remember what we did exactly. I know that Steve called me on Skype in the morning to let me know that his Visa, that I wrote a letter of invitation for, was approved! I was excited to find that out. I think Maggie and Caleb went on another adventure trying to find the 3-D Museum that was closed.

Tuesday we woke Paul up sort of early for him and got in the car to head to the ocean. We picked up two hitchhikers and dropped them off in Seaside where I bought a bunch of Salt Water taffy… It is sort of a weakness of mine. Then we headed up North to Astoria, the city Goonies was shot in. We found the bowling alley and the jail pretty easy but got ourselves pleasantly lost in the giant hills of the city looking for the Goonies house.

sad remains of a very large douglas fir right around the corner from the Jail.

The Goonies House!

Years ago Paul and I talked about making a zine out of images looking away from famous places. This is the view from the Goonies house. It is beautiful but I don't think it was in the movie.

Paul and Caleb walking back down the drive way.

We found and awesome brewery called Fr. George where they had vegan chili fries! Paul looked at the menu and looked at the sever and said “You have everything to make nachos on your menu but you don’t have nachos on your menu?” the server said “yup” so paul ordered a burrito. When the guy came out with our food he handed Paul and plate of nachos and said “don’t say I never did anything for ya” Rad! The food was good, the beer was good, the service was awesome. We are so going back there. Also, they had this really great house hot sause made by a 14 year old boy that I wish I could remember the name of.

After that we headed back down to coast stopping in Cannon beach for beer and hoping to make it to Manzanita for sunset. We barely made it! We parked the car by the beach and sat on a huge log and three of us cracked the three beers I had put in the cooler for just that reason, to drink them on the beach as the sun went down.

The view of the ocean from my lap with a beer.

The sun sets into the Pacific.

Then we all walked on the beach for awhile. I brought my cloak along on the trip because it is always warm in windy weather…but I also secretly (ok, not so secretly) love the dramatic-ness of it. We ended up checking into the motel directly across from the beach. It was a bit more than we expected to pay but totally worth it. There were two rooms, a kitchenette, and a huge sliding glass door that looked out to the ocean. The woman at the desk let us borrow her her personal Scrabble game and we stayed up drinking our beer and eating the hummus,  potato salad and other snacks we had brought along.

In the morning we let Paul sleep. Caleb and I got up around 8 and went for a walk on the beach and then a walk around town checking out the little shops, checking maps to figure out how I could get there on the bus with my bike, and getting coffee for us and some to take back to Paul so we could check out by 11.

I gotta say that at this point Caleb and I have bags full of silly inside jokes. I was telling stories about how every year people are killed by logs at the beach each year. We were sitting on a log on the beach and I kept saying it was going to kill us. Well, in the motel room there was a warning on the wall about how logs can kill! I wish I had taken a photo of it.

We headed down south stopping at the Tillamook Cheese Facotry because it is sort of a tradition. Then headed south stopping at Cape Mears and a lighthouse.

The reason there are logs that can kills you is the forest abruptly ends at the sea cliffs and the tress can fall into the water.

The Oregon coast also has cool rocks that stick up out of the water.

Then we headed to Pacific City to what I call the “real” haystack rock. It looks like two rocks together with a hole like a needle between them. I forgot to take a photo. But here’s one of Paul and Caleb.

I love how misty the Oregon coast is too.

At this point I was getting sort of tired of driving but Paul and Caleb don’t drive. We went back through Mcminville stopped a brewery we hadn’t been to before but we weren’t that impressed. Paul got home in time to take a nap before he went to work. Caleb and I rode bikes and took beers to the Bluffs. He was sort of surprised at what a punx picnic it was. There were at least 50 people there in small groups all drinking and sharing the view of the bridges, train yard and west hills. It was a beautiful night and it seems like lots of other people were there to share it.

After that we rode to the Voodoo Doughnuts on Sandy to meet up with housemate Maggie and see Paul at work. It was the first time I had seem him at work there before. That place is a mad house! We were there for 45 minutes and the line never ceased! We headed over to The Sandy Hut to wait for Maggie to get off work and Caleb’s voice was failing from our week long coversations so I got him a Hot Toddy and we wanted for Maggie. She showed up, we go another drink. When we left the Sandy Hut the sky had opened up and it was raining down on us but we rode north to the Florida Room for another drink and some food before heading home. Caleb and i got some water and started a fire in the fireplace and sat up talking until late in the night.

The next day I got some much needed work done on the computer and then Caleb, Paul and I sat around and watched the entire series of Spaced as the rain stormed and pounded the windows. After so many days of go go going it was good to have a chill day of hangouts, especially when it was so miserable inside. It was Caleb’s last night and trying to look back on the past week and a half seemed like a blur. My throat hurt for talking so much but it felt like the conversations needed to be had before we were left to the 4,000 mile continental divide, the postal system , and sterile e-mail. It was a great trip and it only leaves us discussing out next adventures! I’ve been to his coast and now he’s been to mine. We are thinking that we are going to have to meet in the middle next time!

Friday morning we got up early and went shopping for train ride provisions for Caleb’s trip down the coast. We also stopped for a burrito on the way to drop the car off, rode the train into the city and spent two hours in Portland Union Station. Sometimes goodbyes are best when short, but I think this long goodbye was suiting. Until next time Caleb, in postage we trust.

Caleb came to visit! Part 1

The past two weeks have had lots of great highs and one deep, unexpected low.

My friend/penpal, Caleb, I met in Halifax at the Anchor Archive during my zine residency last fall came to visit on the 15th. We had little more than one long day to hang out before I left Halifax but I already knew we would be great friends and we started planning his trip to Portland almost immediately! It seemed sort of ridiculous to be planning a trip 4,000 miles away and 6 months in advance to hang out with someone we had only spent a few times with… even if one of those times involved a 13 hours conversation, but I knew it would be fun! We continued penpal-ery and e-mail-ery for months and all of sudden it was the 15th and I was headed to the airport to meet him!

I met Caleb at the airport and we took the train into the city, met paul at XV for food and some beer then headed to Powell’s for Smallpressapalooza. The readings we caught were great. My sister showed up and immediately burst into tears. Her doggie companion, Coda, wasn’t doing well after over a week of treatments for a weird blood disease. I was honored that Webly would show up to my reading when there was such heavy stuff going on in her life.

I read the pieces I had selected and Paul played guitar then we sang a song at the end. I was nervous about the singing but I think it went ok. Webly recorded video of us but I guess the video is 2gigs so we need to find a way to compress it for the internets and my embarrassment. We stayed for the people reading after us and they were great too. After that some of us headed to Deschutes brewery which was closing so I left a New Kids On The Block rock card I found in my bag on the door to let the people following that we were headed to the Low Brow Lounge. After that Paul, Caleb and i caught the train home and crashed out.

The next day I woke up early to head to my sister’s house to see Coda. It would likely be the last time I saw her so even though I was up late with friends it was really important to me and my sister to visit one last time to see my puppy niece. Then I headed home. I think Caleb and I made buttons and ate burritos. That night my sister called to see if we wanted to go to Hungry Tiger Too with she and Brian. Coda had been put to rest and they didn’t want to go home to a house without her. They don’t drink so I was sort of a surrogate drinker and let Webly pick out what I should drink. Caleb was blown away by the place having two menus. One vegan, one no vegan. It wouldn’t be the first on his trip to Portland.

Coda was a black Cocker Spaniel found on the street the summer my sister had moved to Portland after graduation from the Uof O. Webly had always wanted a dog and a friend found Coda but couldn’t keep her at her apartment. Webly took her in, cut off all her dreadlocks that were constricting her leg movement and even the blood circulation to one leg. Webly wasn’t sure she was going to keep her but they fell in love and Coda was part of the family ever since. She was my first doggie niece and I dog-sat for Webly when they would go out of town. Coda liked garbage, treats and squeaky toys. She will be missed dearly.

There are lots of photos here of Coday and Webly plus images of Goody who left this world on Christmas. It’s really not fair to lose two canine members of our family within 3 months.

That was the super sad bit of my past two weeks but I still had a lot of fun ahead. The next day Caeb and I went downtown. We realized too late that it was St. Patrick’s day which is like Amatuer Hour of drinking. We first stopped by the world’s smallest park also forgetting the lephrecan/St. Patrick’s day reference to find it coved in stickers about the luck of Irish and whatever.

it's basically an island in the middle of the road.

We walked around the Willmette for a bit continuing what would be more epicly long conversation that would eventually give us both sore throats. We took the train to the Zoo stop and wandered around the Arboretum where we saw this tree.

The Larch

Which, just made me think of this Monty Python skit. I don’t think I would have been able to recognize a larch before that. I knew it was a deciduous conifer and Monty Python told me how to recognize it from a long way away. But now  I can identify it from close up!

After that we headed to Powell’s and bought too many books including Zane Lamprey’s from the drinking show Three Sheets book about drinking. I also picked up a used copy of all three of the Riddle of Stars books in one book. I think that will be the next series in Caleb and my long distance book club after we are done re-reading the Earthsea books. The we went to Deschutes and drank yummy beers and Caleb coveting their epic looking growlers. I’m not sure what else we did that night but my bet it that it had to do with drinking and listening to records.

The next day we had planned a bike ride to Southeast, and area of town I rarely venture. It was a beautiful spring day. I was actually surprised because I was expecting rain while Caleb was in town. We rode by Food Fight! and the vegan mini-mall, and by one of my old apartments before slipping into my favorite Cemetery, The Lone Fir Cemetery. Where there are crumbling mausoleums and lots of neat headstones including this one.

We walked/rode up Belmont and stopped and got a beer at the Horsebrass but it seemed so dark in there when it was glorious outside so then we walked/rode down Hawthorne and got some pretty amazing stickers at the Dollar Scholar. Laser stickers with cats and vegetables! Stopped for another beer at a place where could drink outside and then headed to Los Gordiots! Yet another restaurant with both a vegan and non vegan menu! I had enchiladas that came with rice and beans that reminded me of the Mexican place my family used to go to when we lived in Houston. Caleb was again blown away by the amazing vegan food in this fair city. After a day of riding about 20 miles and my belly filled with food I fell asleep early that night but not before torturing/playing with the cats with the hamburger maggie drew and catnip in the back pocket.

More photos and stories later including a trip to the Riverhouse, Timberline lodge, The ocean including the Goonies house.

Holiday Wrap up

Ok, Holidays are done.

A few days before Christmas Paul and I went up to the Riverhouse. My parents were in town with their new adorable puppy, Maggie. She has this problem with wanting everyone to wake up at the same time and so she runs around and jumps on you when you are sleeping and just waits for you to wake up. it would be more annoying if she wasn’t so damn cute. Both of my aunts brought their dogs and one of the aunts brought her boyfriend. My sister and brother-in-law came with their two dogs. The final count was humans: 9, dogs: 5. Although one of the old dogs was taken away by Santa to doggie heaven on Christmas Eve. That sort of put a damper on things but it was the right decisions. he lived a long and loved life and was a very special furry friend.

We aren’t really a family that buys each other clothes or ties or whatever. Some of the unique gifts I received were: a set of ingredients for brewing a brown ale (my aunt drove all the way from Texas with the yeast in a cooler so it wouldn’t spoil!), that gift also came with a bottle opener that was also a keychain and a 2 gig flash drive!, a stainless steel  soap (even though I like my hands smelling like garlic!) and tickets to Portland Center Stage. My parents gave me some money which is always a good gift but I think it will have to be used for the not so fun-ness of going to the dentist.

We played a multitude of games: Uno, dogs with a laser pointer almost as fun  as cats with a laser pointer) Life (on a computer and not the boardgame) crossword puzzles, Apples to Apples (the best game ever!) and I think I walked in on a failed attempt at my family to play Mille Borne with a french deck left over from my parents when they used to live in Ontario.

A Christmas with our family wouldn’t be complete without two things: Copious amounts of drinking and Chinese food. Last year for Christmas Eve we got Chinese food from the town near the Riverhouse and Paul got sick. This year we had some from a different place the day after Christmas and Paul still got sick. We have had this tradition for as long as I can remember where we each take turns shooting Champagne corks and try to get the farthest distance. The Champagne is for our traditional Christmas morning Mimosas. I held the record at two separate house my grandparents lived in Texas. I was able to make it to the center of the river from the back door but I think my sister’s shot was farther this time. We went through about 7 bottles of Champagne for 11 people. Good times! My dad also made the mistake of taking me to the beer store and telling me I could get a six pack… I grabbed 6 beers that added up to over $40. He should have put a money limit! I did impress wine drinkers who say they don’t like beer with some Belgian Ales and the syrupy black Abyss by Deschutes. yum!

I love my family but after 4 days in a cabin it was time to go home. I had about 80 e-mails waiting to drown me and my housemate’s cat who were not very happy with the food that their person left them with when he left for the Holidays. It was nice to sleep in our own bed.

One of the days we got a zip car to run errands and spend some gift cards. We had ones from Home Depot, Target, Lowes, and Pet Co. The pet go one was sort of due to the passing of a family animal. My mom decided the cats at our house should get treats too. Paul and I wandered around thinking that we could get pets for the cats like parakeets or ferrets but decided on a case of ultra fancy human grade cat food with trout and salmon. It always seemed weird to me that cats like fish. The thought of a cat taking down a fish is just ridiculous!

Paul and I decided to be adults with our gift cards and buy boring adult things like weatherizing stuff: air duct covers, spray foam for cracks, silicone caulking, plexiglass to replace a cracked window pane in the basement and air vent to put in it for our clothes dryer exhaust, stuff like that. If it was up to me alone I would have got a bunch of plants and dirt and garden stuff but, this was about being practical and hopefully saving a bit of money on our heating bill. You see, I have finally come to the conclusion that I will be staying in this house so I better take care of it. For so long it was sort of up in the air if I was going to sell it and more on but things seem to be going well here so I think we’ll stay.

For New Years I made black eyed peas and collard greens,  tradition from my Texas side of the family, but them in Tupperware and we met James and Christina at the Tugboat brewery and headed to their house. I was amazed by the people drinking in public! Dude on the street car with a half empty plastic gallon jug of vodka, girl with the comically large bottle of Champagne, and her friend with a half empty case of Coors light. I felt I should join in and drink some vanilla infused vodka from my flask although I was a bit chicken and didn’t drink any until we were off the train. At James’ and Christina’s house we snacked on food, drank more beer, and listened to records. Then someone has the bright idea to do Screaming Nazi shots (Jagermeister and Rumple Minze), something we used to do about 11 years ago that always seemed to lead to bad things. At the 3rd shot Christina said something hilarious causing James and I I to spew our drinks all over the kitchen. Good times! and also sticky floors in the morning. We were up until 4 listing to Oingo Boingo, which seems to be perfect New Year Music, and Paul kept howling at other people on balconies off the porch to see if he could get them to howl back. Paul and I got home and crashed out again only to wake up later to watch the new Doctor Who!

I guess there were a few things I missed in there. I snowed the other day. We don’t normally get snow but we got 3 inches of fluffy white stuff. The housemates and I made a chickpea stew to eat over barley and watched episodes of Spaced. We also had the one night a year amnesty of smoking in the house. Oh, also Paul and I listen to 1st and 2nd wave ska over the Holidays. I’m not exactly sure how that happened last year but it seemed to make sense. I have been on a Cure kick lately. I blame it on Paul getting me that disintegration album and also reading Roger Odonnell’s memories of making that album. He posted it on his site here as a sort of a celebration for the 20th anniversay of the album. The Cure were my first favorite Band and that album  came out the year I entered Jr. High and pretty much changed my life for ever.

Now it’s back to work life for me. I have 75 copies of my new zine to put together and finally send more out to distros, I have button orders to attend to and about 50 pounds of coffee beans came the other day and I have yet to put them away. But first, the year end meme:

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Took a train underwater to France, Went to 5 zine fest and 2 other zine events, started a podcast that I swear we’ll put another one out someday, did everything from pre-press on for my own book all by my self, put out a zine i have been meaning to do for years, sang on a song a let Paul record it, took part in the Anchor Archive zine residency.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t really make resolutions.

3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?

I was with Paul and James and Christina eating black eyed peas  and Champagne.
4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, a puppy nephew.

5. What countries did you visit?

USA, UK, France, Canada

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

More time and energy to work in my yard and on my house.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

7a driving though the Redwoods with Paul in June with all my books in the car and listing to music and singing along.

7b One of my last days in Halifax Caleb found a car to drive us to the ocean. I drew a labyrinth in the sand and stared out at the sea thinking about how I had been on both sides of that sea this year. It felt like an accomplishment.

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?

Publishing my own book, getting my zine done, doing a lot of traveling by myself, meeting some very special friends.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not doing enough in my yard and no doing much in Portland.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had The Sick.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

plane tickets, publishing my book, and my new computer

12. Where did most of your money go?

travel

13. What song will always remind you of 2009?

The whole Lemuria-Get Better album has been on high rotation. I have also been listening to Cub and love the song Chinchilla. Paul says it reminds him of me but I’m not exactly sure what that means.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Saved money, planned more, ridden my bike, brewed more beer.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?

worried.

16. What was your favorite TV program?

I watch too much tv on the internet. I think Battlestar Galactica ended this year and that was sad. I also liked Mad Men and Doctor Who.

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I try not to hate. There is some weird power in that. I am still annoyed at the people I was annoyed with last year but I don’t want to talk about it.

18. What was the best book you read?

I read three books in the Dies The Fire set. They were alright. I can’t really remember what other books I read and enjoyed. I read a lot of zines.

I19. What was your greatest musical discovery?

New Music discovery? Fifth Hour Hero (thanks Steve!) and also my housemates’ band The Tagalongs!

20. What was your favorite film of this year?

I don’t really like movies. it is hard for them to hold my attention. I prefer tv shows where there is time to develop character. I think I saw Star Trek and Avatar this year and that’s about it.

21. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 32 but I don’t think I did anything that special. Soon after Paul and I took a plane down to Oakland to sticker copies of SSR and drive back up. it was a fun birthday trip.
22. What kept you sane?

Paul and knowing I had a home to come back to wherever I went.

23. Who did you miss?

Friends who live to far away. I hope they all come visit me soon!
24. Who was the best new person you met?

I met a lot and sort of have  have a top 3 even though it seems sort of unfair: Steve, Isy and Caleb.
25. How did you spend Christmas?

With my family at the Riverhouse, see above.

26. What was your favorite month of 2009?

June or October… probably October.

27. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Travel and getting my book printed

28. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier and a bit more hopeful.
b) thinner or fatter? fatter but whatever
c) richer or poorer? about the same

29. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009: Traveling alone is a worthwhile experience in wits and a total adventure!