Archive for August, 2011
David said he’d probably wake up before 10:00 in the morning. I woke a little before 11:00 and found no one. Only just before I left did David emerge, laughing about not making good on his prediction. He and Katie had plans to go to the river. I would have joined, but I had to get to the Cinema for Ian’s screening. I invited David to Holocene that night for And And And, then departed.
I got to Cinema 21 and was the only person on the balcony for the screening. People laughed at all the sweet spots, and enjoyed the reactions I heard to Rico The Destructor and Make Mine Country. I decided not to see The Man Who Fell To Earth that afternoon: Kevin Hill and Carlisa couldn’t make it, and it was so pretty out. I rode to the waterfront and finally, finally finished The Sovereignty of Good. I have no comments on it at this time, except that my favorite essay of the three was probably the first: The Idea Of Perfection.
I heard I was working the box for Dead Prez. This meant no And And And, which broke me a little. I called my mother and the plane ticket was purchased during the phone call. She asked that I outline my New York plan, and I described The Stooges in 1974, and Iggy Pop directly thereafter.
I rode to Mississippi and ate. The atmosphere was a bit like a storm brewing, though it was probably just from all the buildup from production meetings. Matt had been with the group all day. Kevin was running the show. The extra security (including Cutter from Berbati’s!) was arriving.
I got settled at the box. There were a lot more interesting folks than a usual night:
- One of the first guys bought a ticket for his friend (who’d yet to arrive). I asked “You sure? There are no refunds.” I was explicitly, repeatedly informed that the friend in question was a “broke-ass nigger.” Half hour later, the guy comes out saying the friend ended up not needing the ticket (for some reason!), and we had a laugh. I said sell it to the next person that came in. He did so, thanked me for my hospitality, and fist bumped me.
- Another guy bought four tickets. I ripped his and he questioned this – I told him it’s how he gets in… Then I stamped his hand (procedure), and he got pissed, saying, “I’m about to go downtown, motherfucker! I can’t have a stamp on my hand!” He licked the stamp off. He showed up again around 10:45.
- A girl asked when the show would be free. I pulled “an hour and a half” out of my ass (Dead Prez already playing). She then asked if I accepted sexual favors. I said I would, but I might get fired. Just then, her friend produced two passes he’d gotten from Liana at Holocene the night before. She said, “This guy’s getting a blowjob,” referring to her friend. I later asked Kevin what the Sex Policy was. He said, “You can accept sex, but it’s no good as currency at Mississippi Studios.” I told this to the girl at show’s end. We did not end up having sex.
- Two kids, boy and girl, came and asked if they could get in to see “their favorite band.” They had a pitiful Dickensian orphan look, so I asked how much they had. They produced $1.25 so I said come back in half an hour. I ushered them in and patted my own back.
- Seven people asked if they could get a deal. I said, “How much you thinking?” They said $70. I got pissed: tickets were $25; seven full-price would be $175. They were backing out, so I said $100. Still backing out, I told them $75 because it had to be a multiple of 25 (not necessarily true). One of the motherfuckers then said “$50!” I yelled, “NO! $75!” They paid up and went in.
- My favorite interaction of the night went like this (just pretend this bullet point covers the next six paragraphs):
A group of six or seven came up. The lead guy said, “I think I’m on the list with a +3… maybe +4?”
I looked and said, “You have a +1.”
He said, “Aw man, you serious?”
I said, “Uh-huh. Pick the most attractive person.”
He sort of laughed, and turned to tell his posse what I’d just said. They all laughed, with an air of nervousness. They looked at me to see if I would break to show them it was a joke, but I sat staring straight-faced. They joked that one of their guys (not the most attractive) be the one. But they finally picked this one girl.
She went up to get a stamp. I said, “I would have picked you too.” She smiled, and everyone seemed amused enough. Except one guy amongst them who gave a dirty look as he walked in. I wonder why!
The music was fairly superb. The stage banter was fairly god-awful. If I recall correctly, Dead Prez claimed there was a machine that created hurricanes and shot them in the east coast of the United States. Bye-bye cred.
I hung around until closing. I ended up writing the bar long for the night. Michael had to yell at some guy who tried to take a blueberry pastry that Drew had made. He’d been pissing Michael off, and this was the last straw. I also forgot to mention Racism. Some (white, near-elderly) woman snuck in a bucket of Popeye’s Fried Chicken and a croquet mallet. She swung the mallet in the air in the crowd, and offered the fried chicken up to Dead Prez. I hear they’re vegan. I also heard an audience member then punched her in the face. Caitlin ejected her and she pissed and moaned in the street in a crazed delusion.
I went home with Liana.
–for part of Saturday August 27th, 2011
I watched Heist at Ian’s, which wasn’t as bad as I remembered… but still no good. The ending is still bullshit. And David Mamay is more of a cliche grinder here than anywhere else. Ronin still ranks as my favorite writing job of his. I did enjoyed Heist though, with the help of Jojo’s, peanut butter, and vanilla soy milk.
I showered and rode to Powell’s and read the shit out of Dear Diary. I acquired some hummus and crackers at Whole Foods and ate them in the North Park Blocks while reading the blog Pushing Ahead Of The Dame on my phone. I feel iffy on sitting around on my phone’s internet often. But damn if that blog isn’t crack cocaine.
I went back to Powell’s and read more of Dear Diary and made plans with Charles for the end of his workday. I got bored again and rode to the waterfront, where I laid while it got dark and called my mother – freshly back from Virginia. We made plans to get a New York City ticket the following day. I laid listening to the Velvet version of “Satellite Of Love” and actually saw a satellite in the night sky, which was pretty neat.
I stayed at Powell’s until closing reading Open Up And Bleed by Paul Trynka. Guess who it’s about. After the lights went out, I rode to the Safeway on Lovejoy and acquired more hummus. I still had many crackers left and was hungry. I rode to Coffee People on NW 21st and Irving for a water, and ate at a table on the street waiting on Charles. I ended up talking to Steve on the phone about getting accosted by an misunderstanding, disgruntled man, and about Hurricane Irene about to make landfall.
Katie got to me before Charles. I was invited to join her at Lowbrow on 10th and Hoyt. I went and she was there with David and Ann Marie, who I’d not yet come to know. Ann Marie said I reminded her of her friend Ken in New York, who I should meet. We talked about New York, who’d been (she lived there three years), what they thought, favorite bands. Katie asked my when I was leaving and I said I’d set my mind on September 30th.
It was almost 12:30. To stay longer with my present company, I made arrangements to stay with either Katie or David. Charles had lullygagged; I had to let him go. We parted ways with Ann Marie, though I took her number after she asked, “Will I see you again?” I had an interesting, passive aggressive bike ride (I was third wheel to it — no pun intended) with Katie and David to N Alberta. It was settled I’d stay with David because he “had more space.”
We got to his house and sat around with his roommates Evan and Robin for a little bit. They offered me a lot of food. David asked for my advice on getting a Music Fest Northwest wristband for free from a possible contact. I said do anything you can, because you never know what you can achieve just by asking. Eventually we pulled the couch out said goodnight.
–for Friday August 26th, 2011
Kyle peaked his head in to say he was going to go get coffee with someone, but he’d be back. We made plans that we’d go to Mississippi together. I talked to Tyler a bit about giving plasma, which sounds like a nice way to make some money.
Kyle returned and we first took his amp in to a shop near the Plaid on SE 12th and Morrison. We circumnavigated some traffic on a nifty route and made it to Mississippi. I sat around reading while a meeting was had a Brandi Carlile. Then Kyle and I loaded some big box into his car (a difficult task), and drove to Swan Island to ship it. He seemed a little preoccupied, perhaps even a little unhappy, which brought a little grey to the blazing hot day. It wasn’t an unhappy trip overall though, I don’t believe.
We parted ways back at Mississippi, and I collected my bike. I had a small box of Paul Thorn live CDs they’d left on August 6th that I rode to Fed-Ex. I used Billy’s account number, seemed to have no problems, and left for downtown. I deposited a paycheck at Chase, and bought Me Against The World and the soundtrack to Cannabis at Everyday Music. I may have even started Dear Diary at Powell’s.
As planned, I went to Portland State and sat with Ian as he exported his films in preparation for his screening. Around 9:00, we walked to Mazatlan and had some dinner. In the middle of the meal, someone behind me said, “Hey Bryan!” I turned to see it was Jemma’s boyfriend Thomas.
Sparing a few contextual details — I said, “How’s it going.” He said, “Not well. You know why?” I said I could imagine. He had a stand-offish attitude, which worried me a moment. But I leaned back and put my hands behind my head in relaxation.
Sara Blanke came out and I said hi to her, almost happy to finally be face-to-face with her. She said to Thomas, “Come on, let’s go inside. This is going to effect her getting unemployment.” I was certain enough it wouldn’t make a difference, and that Tommy wasn’t going to do anything. I said to her, “Don’t worry, I’m not going to report it.”
Tommy wanted to know why. He said, “She fucking worshiped you. And you went and stabbed her in the back.” I explained it to him in a basic way, and he couldn’t believe I was afraid for my safety. I shrugged and told him that I didn’t know what to tell him. He said a five-foot-one person can’t threaten anyone and said, “What – did she hold a knife up to you or something?” I looked at him then her, then explained. It occurred to me then, and I maybe should have brought it up — I don’t think he had a god damn clue what happened.
So he went on to say I was scum, that we’re enemies (which he’d never had before – no one had ever been so low), and that if he were a biker, he’d kick my ass, but: “Temperance Prevails.” I said lucky me. Sarah insisted, with some temperance of her own, that I really had fucked things up for all of them.
I said, “I don’t know either of you as well as I’d like, but I’d like to apologize for making things difficult. I know what I did, and it wasn’t easy.” Tommy asked me how I could apologize for doing something I thought was right. I shrugged and said, “It was a complicated situation.” Apparently he doesn’t have those; it makes him one of the fortunate. He asked if I’d ever had my life threatened, and I tried to think if I had. The pause pissed him off (shouldn’t have taken him seriously, I guess). He sort of wandered off, but said, “I don’t know how you can look yourself in the mirror.” I thought about saying that’s a perk of not being a narcissist, but just let it go.
The waitress came out and asked if I was okay. I said yes, and shortly afterward we got some boxes. I was going to write a note that said, “BELIEVE IT” and paste it to the window where they were sitting with my saliva. Ian convinced me to forgo the comedy. Instead, as we paid the check, I told our waitress to cut off Tommy’s drinks. The thought of him ordering more drinks with a swinging dick only to be told that “the guy you just accosted told us you were cut off” warmed me.
Ian and I walked to Cinema 21, where I finished the Mexican food. We watched some shorts to make sure they fit the screen, then headed out. The chances of catching a bus at that hour (only 11:30…) seemed low, so we walked it to his place. It was a somewhat quiet walk, as he thought about the screening and I thought about my verbal beating, which seemed more thrilling than painful.
For better (fortitude) or worse (sociopathy), I was not too concerned or sympathetic with Tommy. Sara seemed to have a firmer grasp of some truth that lay in-between him and I. He was just too deeply entrenched on his side.
–for Thursday August 25th, 2011
I rode from Ian’s to Portland State in the morning. I contacted Kevin Hill about getting lunch (as we’d made plans over the weekend). He traveled downtown and we met at Baan Thai around 1:00. We both had curries.
The first thing we discussed was his translation of Nietzsche’s Will To Power, which he has been contracted by Penguin to do. Slow-going but he struggles on. We talked about Freud and how maddening he is for this and that (misrepresenting things he compares, though the comparisons themselves are original and brilliant). We somehow got into knowing intentions, and he wasn’t sympathetic to the view that we can’t know. We didn’t talk as much about Wittgenstein or Murdoch as I would have liked.
We talked about couch surfing and its liberating effects, and moving to New York. I asked him if it’s better to painfully leave something you love or happily leave something you hate. He said the latter, apologizing for it seeming like a question not worthy of much contemplation. But we got into talking about stability; how he wants it (wanted it at my age too), and how I desire a roller coaster now. He talked about how stability can be a push for perfection, which can allow one to miss good things as they happen (because they’re not “good enough,” perhaps).
We got into the recession and downgrading. He doubted it’d effect me or my cohort too much, which is interesting. I would notice the Fall Of America however. Life would be harder; my opportunities to pursue whatever I wanted would be less. American life will become like European life, which ain’t bad. They get by (even Greece and Ireland will survive). Things had been on a decline for awhile, but my generation would be the ones to perk up and really see it. He brought up how the rest of the world view Americans as weird for their effortless days. He said, “It’s sounds strange, but it’s said that we smile too much.”
I said, “Well, I’ve always been told I don’t smile enough.”
“I guess you’re ready for the new world order,” he said.
We parted ways and I went off to Powell’s intending to read Dear Diary, but got drawn to a stories-behind-the-songs book on Lou Reed instead. For some reason it only went over two Street Hassle songs specifically, and none for The Bells. The author even said “due to limits in space.” Doesn’t this defeat the book’s titular purpose? Or is this a coy way of saying Lou has no stories behind his songs from 1978 onwards? I don’t believe it.
I went back to Portland State to watch with Ian the movie we filmed at the coast – XXX The Biggest Lie. It was very nice. We tweaked it, then I had to move on to Mississippi just to see Nick Jaina. On my ride there, my phone batter died almost randomly (I didn’t know it was close to dead). The lighting was so pretty that I took a picture (below) and wanted to get a thousand more along my ride. But, much to my chagrin – no fucking cigar.
I ended up helping Kyle and Liana. Liana was working the door, and I stopped some people from waltzing in for free (even sternly rebuking one by saying, “Did you think you could just walk right in without paying?” He seemed humbled). I even stopped Emily Katz from walking by, which was weird – she probably could have just asked! Nick Jaina was even kind of a douche. He wasn’t stupid or mean, he just seemed too cool to control who he was letting in free or care what was going on.
The music was nice. I didn’t pay much attention to Run On Sentence or Dovekins. I had a talk with Kyle about family and (once again) leaving – spurred by his dad shutting down their restaurant in Salem and Steve’s dad. Liana and I loitered in the secret garden over some drinks, then Kyle came out with food and joined us. It was a rosy, cheery time.
I was about to crash at Liana’s, when Kyle offered his place up. Interested in variety, I took him up on his offer. We drove there talking about the origins of music (which may be religious ritual?) and why I don’t drink (I told him 80% of it; more than almost anybody). I got the couch in the TV room, but had to start on the floor just to straighten out. I lingered on From Hell for awhile.
–for Wednesday August 24th, 2011
In the evening, Lucinda went out with Sam. Sam was drunk from his friends Rachel and Taylor’s wedding. His faith in love and humanity and companionship was aflame with life. They went for a shot of tequila and they sang karaoke. They stumbled around and talked about sadness, confusion, and frustration in Portland. He put his arm around her and gave her a little kiss. She said she couldn’t kiss him back — at that moment. Sam fell in love with her, just a little bit. Then he left town to go home to the San Juan Islands for 10 days.
I awoke at Liana’s in the middle of a heart to heart between Jeff and Ashley. I believe it was about cleanliness: Ashley was cleaning, mostly alone. I think there was a subtextual reference to me somehow. I think Liana was a target. I slipped out as smooth as I could and rode to Overlook Park.
I started the essay Of “God” And “Good” in The Sovereignty Of Good. Some teenage girls walked up to me and asked if I drank. I said no, and they explained they were having a bad day and wanted something harder than Sparks, which is all they had. They assumed I wouldn’t help (correctly), and one said, “Okay, we’ll let you get back to reading… The Sov…rin…ity… of Good…” I thanked her, and the Portland Public School system.
I hadn’t eaten anything yet in the day, so I went to pick some blackberries and had a talk with Sam. I was pleased with the developments. I asked Sam which blackberry was his favorite. “Ripe-as-fuck,” he answered, “melting before they hit the tongue.” He told me not to eat the ones closest to the ground. But it was too late.
I went to Mississippi and tried figuring out the strange load-in situation. Matt gave me a little information, before reminding me he doesn’t work production anymore. [redacted]
I had a vegan burger, and saw in Sunbeam, Ascetic Junkies, and Katie Mullins. Everyone was pleasant as can be, and somehow there was no strangeness with the load in at all, as the email thread had suggested. Most of the staff was out playing the final softball game against Por Que No. They ended up losing, to my sincere regret. They all trickled back in while I was working the box and got sauced.
I settled the show and got caught up in a three topic conversation with Michael, Jonny, Liana. The first topic was debt. Everyone was in it except me. Jonny said I was living the dream being free as I was… as long as I wasn’t sleeping under a bridge (I tugged my collar). Michael said if he could trade places with Liana or I, he would (drunk talk).
Topic two was sex; how all of us were deprived except Liana. We took a spell talking about how I didn’t masturbate from August 2010 to June 2011. I said the reason was meeting someone that basically traumatized me into chastity and the outcome was living in a female sex dream. There were mixed reviews, but all were confusedly delighted.
Topic three was religion / God / faith versus science. It was long and grueling and mostly Michael versus Jonny. Liana tried to get two cents in, but was ignored. I sometimes got something in that stuck. One such thing being, “Science is necessarily dehumanizing in its method so that it can explain the world with a reason that’s not distracted, while faith is necessarily human – so deeply personal that it’s beyond reason and explainability.” Jonny liked it, I think Michael did too.
It ended with Liana angry at being ignored and leaving. I left with her because it was raining and I had nowhere to go but her place. On the way out, she saw Mitch in Moloko. She gave me her key and said, “Just go,” with a cold anger that didn’t shake me only because of that purple drank.
I set up shop in her room (instead of the living room; I didn’t want to wake inside a heart to heart again). She came home with Jerry but let him convalesce on the couch and I somehow woke up in her arms in the middle of the night, on her floor with my blanket and pillow below us, sminking of gin and kiss-free.
–for Monday August 22nd, 2011
I woke up to Liana screaming over maggots in her trash can. That house has issues of cleanliness (which I was to discover more about shortly). She took the trash outside, and I watch maggots squidge out of little holes. Her roommate Ashley saw me taking a picture and said, “He’s documenting this?!” If only she knew.
I went to brunch with Liana and her friend Candace. It was alright, except my tofu scramble was depressingly overpriced. It tasted amazing, but never again. I hung out in Mississippi in the burning heat until patio show started up.
I was out talking to Paul about New York (he reckoned it might suck sometimes, but it’ll never be not fun) and Lucinda showed up. I’d told her to come for Luz, who sang and played very beautifully on a classical guitar. It made me want to buy her album, but I don’t think she had any. Death Songs played, but I’m overexposed to that. Nathan was there and for a minute it turned into an Ingrid-fest for the second Sunday in a row.
Lucinda asked about the show for that evening, and I said it was Rob Wynia and that it’d probably suck, but it’d be free if she wanted. She decided to do it, which was an iffy choice because it was about burning time to be near unavailable me.
I set up the show. Rob was nice enough. The girls and boys of Oh Darling were pleasant as well. Most of the music ranged from offensively easy to oppressively awful. With two artists on a Sunday night, it was over before I knew it. Rob was a pleasure to settle with. I had sprinklings of Lucinda, but mostly was on the computer in the office. She came to tell me she was going to spend the rest of the evening with Sam, and departed.
I ended up staying again at Liana’s, but not before I ran into Jon from And And And. I asked him if I could crash at his place just to stir things up, but he said someone else was on the couch that night. He talked about an And And And show to come on the 27th (same day as Dead Prez at Mississippi). He seemed ambivalent about it.
–for Sunday August 21st, 2011
For only the second or third time in the summer, I awoke to an alarm. It was 8:00 in the morning, and so very painful. Sam wandered out and was rushed, having to get to the Stumptown on Belmont at 10:00. But the rush made no sense. It was 9:20 and the ride was going to take him less than ten minutes. He clearly was either being deceptive or being foolish.
I rode to Mississippi listening to Ziggy Stardust and arrived in time to work merchandise for Justin Roberts And The Not Ready For Naptime Players. I wasn’t enamored with the childrens music. The children liked it though. And some of the parents really liked it…
Justin noted my having Iris Murdoch’s The Sovereignty Of Good and we discussed it afterwards. He said he’d received a bachelors in theological philosophy degree (can’t remember exactly what he said), and a masters in divinity – it was comparative studies with Christianity and Buddhism. He did some stuff with logic, but wasn’t good, so took some post modern subjects to distance himself. Man after my own heart!
Kyle came over and we talked a little about Kierkegaard, Gerard, Lean Luc Marion, and David Tracy. Justin’s publicist approached with a smile and said to him, “I doubt you imagined that playing a show at ten in the morning in Portland, Oregon to toddlers would end with talking about deconstructionist philosophy!” I guess they hire the right people at Mississippi or something. Very lovely. Justin paid me out handsomely.
Drew was cooking pigs and blankets, but I couldn’t eat any. Fortunately when the show concluded, it was lunchtime, so I ordered up the usual. Drew apologized for a recent time when he served me something non-vegan. He gave me a fig, which was delicious. Kyle, Liana, Maria, Drew, and I all lounged around. Kyle asked more about New York, which saddened me. I haven’t been close with him long (and perhaps this is a big part of it), but he’s one of the paramount friends I’ll miss.
I left for Overlook Park talking to Steve. He told me, among other things, that he’d broken up with Sarah. It was a friendly, sad conversation with moments of joviality. I hadn’t spoken with him in a good while.
I laid out under the big tree in the middle of the park. It was the perfect shade. I lounged and read The Sovereignty Of Good and listened to some music. There was a perfect breeze, that blew some humidity around and cooled things to the most wonderful temperature. An obese girl hanging out with some lesbians got topless for no apparent reason. One of the lesbians looked like Art, which freaked me out for a little bit. I was there until the sun went down over Forest Park on the opposite side of the river.
–for part of Saturday August 20th, 2011