Snow Day!

From the bus stop at 7AM- I thought things might go badly.

Thank goodness we had five inches of white stuff dumped on us Tuesday, because after MLK day on Monday, we might have had to work four days *in a row*. Unfortunately, that much snow keeps Portland at a standstill, because we don’t really have much by way of chains or snowplows, and essentially we depend on local children building snowmen to clear the streets. Multnomah county is bussing in snowman-hungry children from as far away as Nevada to get the city back to normal.

Bulldogs, annoyed that the snow is up to their elbows.

Goth Nite

Over the long weekend, we took the opportunity to take in a spooky, sinister goth nite  at Hive at Lola’s room, and we dressed appropriately as a chubby French Maid doll and a transvestite military man. Walking up to the bar, I wondered- Aren’t I getting a little old for this shit? If the reader has an opinion, I would kindly ask them to keep it to themselves.

Bike Essay

Me and my bike, making snow angels.

I sent this essay in to a contest for to promote bike commuting, and it was not good enough to win a prize, but it’s plenty good enough to annoy you people with.

Mental Health: I am the last sane person at my office, because I never have to worry about the over-capacity parking lot. Whenever I arrive, I put my bike in the same bike room. And if the racks were full, I could lock my bike to another bike, or I could chain it to a railing. If I were really stuck, I could put it in my office. Try that with a Jeep, and you’ll find you can’t. My tinkling laugh rings out when co-workers run into meetings panting they had to park and walk from Vancouver.

I am guaranteed an hour and a half of quiet “me” time a day, when I am not annoyed by the horrible, grating chitchat of friends and loved ones. If you are a friend or spouse, I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about the others.

Continued Education:

I can pull a blown tube, replace it, and put the tire back on the wheel while standing. It’s like the world’s slowest, lamest magic trick. I can trigger the signal at stop lights by rolling over the mysterious tar circles. The motorists think it’s magic, or that the light turning green has something to do with elves. br /br

Fitness: I have calf muscles that could cut diamonds, or at least slice bread, or definitely spread butter on bread. Unfortunately, that makes for really greasy, buttery calves.

In closing, go ahead and ride a bike, because who wants to live forever anyway?

Gloomy, The Naughty Adult Bear

Judging by the referrals on my site meter, a lot of people are getting to my page because they are looking for pictures or information about Gloomy, The Naughty Adult Bear. Since I sometimes pretend to myself that I am providing a service, here is a good page from Wikipedia about Gloomy, a toy series and his creator, Mori Chack.
From his press release: Gloomy, an abandoned little bear, is rescued by Pitty (the little boy). At first, he is cute and cuddly, but becomes more wild as he grows up. Since bears do not become attached to people like dogs by nature, Gloomy attacks Pitty even though he is the owner. So Gloomy has blood on him from biting and/or scratching Pitty.

The moral: wild animals are dangerous, even when they are cute and/or pink. I’ll bet you didn’t know that a hippo will take your arm off if it gets a chance. I met a guy who was pulled out of a boat in Africa and badly maimed by the cutest, fattest hippo ever. Hippopotamus means “river horse” in Greek, but you absolutely should not ride him.

Many celebrities exhibit the same behaivor, appearing cute and harmless but lashing out when cornered, like Mel Gibson, Peter Buck, and that guy from Seinfeld.

Bye-Bye, Baiji.

One of my favorite weird animals appears to have checked out, after 30 million years of rocking freshwater rivers in China, which means they watched us stand up and walk 3 million years ago. There were 20 recorded in 1993, 7 spotted in 1998, but this year, the Yangtze river dolphin appears to be extinct.

I am sorry to see us lose our first whale species to human pollution, fishing, and sonic interference.

Douglas Adams, who unfortunately is also extinct, wrote extensively about about this dolphin in his book on endangered species,  talks about their intelligence in the Hitchhiker series.

“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

He’s called Baiji when he’s at home. The Chinese believe the Yangtze river dolphin to be an incarnation of a drowned princess. Although she did not drown, I think they look a lot like Princess Diana.

Sure, they’re frequently albino. Sure, they have small, strange-looking eyes, and are mostly blind from knocking around in the murky, polluted river for the last thousand years. Sure, they think that dead aliens are in our blood, screwing up our life and relationships. Are they really so different from Edgar Winter? And yet, he survives.

Crispin Lovers

Crispin Glover was in town at the Clinton Street Theatre last weekend, presenting the oddest film I’ve seen for awhile, called “What is It?” It deals with Crispin’s rejection of the censorship involved in corporate backing, and his continuing interest in the “aesthetic of discomfort.” Almost all of the actors in the film have Down’s Syndrome, and although both Shirley Temple and a minstrel performer are in it, there is zero tap dancing, which I consider a tease. Crispin is on tour presenting his movie, which for various reasons is unreleasable, alongside his slide show presentations and readings from some of his books.

The evening started oddly when Crispin headed out onto the stage and immediately fell off the one-foot drop at the Clinton Street, hard. The audience held its breath, but when the actor sprung up and started reading from Ratcatching, we laughed in relief that he had executed a pratfall. Later, when he told us that he had really fallen and hurt his elbow, we felt badly. We didn’t know any better. We’re just an audience.

All in all, it was kind of nice being in a small room with Crispin and letting him make a world. He’s interested in Victorian novels, cut-ups, madness, films, sex, and animal skinning. Here’s a reading from the event from an unpublished book, Round My House.

For no reason, I’d like to point out one of my favorite Crispin trivia facts- He was George McFly in the first Back to the Future movie, but declined to be in the rest of the series. When the director opted to make up another actor in prosthetics to imitate the appearance of the original George, Crispin successfully sued for trademark violation. No matter what the pod people think, you can’t steal another person’s face without their permission, both written and verbal.

Emo Philips in Bend!

Emo Philips is making a rare Oregon appearance in January, and as a star of this caliber, you have probably guessed that he’ll be performing at  Joker’s in Bend, OR.  Please let me know if you would like to hop into a middle-aged Volvo on January 24th and go see the man ripped off by Hot Topic in live person, and we’ll make an evening of it, or as long as it takes us to post bail.