Welcome to the new people!

I’m not sure I can take more from these painters. The last time they were here it cost me $6000 to have the f*ck up my wood. They primed the wood that was supposed to be stained, and then stained it all splotchy. That got one guy fired. This time they put all the hardware for my $3000 window on backwards after painting the frame. I’m exaggerating, because really they only seemed to have six of the eight pieces either swapped left to right or on backwards so the window wouldn’t close. I was wondering why that room was so cold and I finally figured it out at 10:15PM that it wasn’t really latching. 30 minutes of f*cking with the window later, and the thing now closes. I tried looking up the window diagrams on the intarweb to make sure they didn’t go eight for eight on the backwards pieces, but the drawings don’t match my window.

My buddy Eric welcomed his twin boys last Wednesday, and today Devon and Dave from the gym welcomed their new daughter to the world! Hooray! All I can say is I won’t suggest interior house painting as a career choice for them.

Heater weather.

It’s starting to get cold and the heat pump kicked on today. I suppose that means the seasons are changing and we’re getting back to the Oregon I’m used to. On the plus side, this probably also means that the crowds watching the birds will be gone soon.

The painters are almost done (they say) and after the carpet gets in, I gain another room! Hooray! I still haven’t gone through much of my dad’s old crap. We’ve resigned ourselves to thinking that most of the stuff he had was cheap, so a big trip to Goodwill is definitely in my future. Anyone wanting weird and probably chintzy Asian stuff might want to hit the Goodwill on West Burnside.

The punes again.

I was falling asleep at work all day and I’m not really sure why. My stomach wasn’t actually hurting last night, but it doesn’t feel great. That’s what I get for eating oysters off of the sidewalk, I’m sure. I came home early and I had to take a nap and my stomach still felt odd. Didn’t keep me from going to the gym, but after I got back I felt a little lightheaded when I stood up too quickly. And I even saw those fun stars that float around when your brain doesn’t feel like it’s getting the oxygen it deserves.

Even worse is that my stupid DVR, which probably runs some form of Windows, decided it was going to record all my shows off of the East Coast feed of CBS, and then that it wasn’t going to allow me to see anything other than my local station. Most of my Monday recordings were useless to me. Ah, well. And I seem to have some sort of odd spider bite on my side that itches and hurts at the same time. I’m just falling apart. Maybe it’s time for a vacation, or at least a lot more naps.

So much for going to sleep early.

I left work early today, but it was a “team building exercise” I bailed out of. I had to get home to do some work on the house before the painters showed up. I bought a circular saw that was delivered today and was thinking I might do something on the room being painted, but I ended up in the basement using all sorts of other tools but not the circular saw. If started plugging a hole that the contractors left and finished wiring some phone lines.

I was planning on going to sleep early, but I heard a buddy had been laid off and several of us were hanging out. We were out a while and on the way home there was a rollover accident two blocks from my house. Somehow, on a residential street with traffic calming islands next to a park and a block from an elementary school, someone flipped their car on their side and deployed their airbags. I saw a hand hanging in the middle of the car, which was an eerie sight.

I got home and waited to see if there were any emergency vehicles approaching before I called 911. I ended up calling when I thought it was taking too long to hear sirens, but they were on their way.

While standing in the middle of the street, I saw a couple having relations in the school yard across from my house. I’m guessing they were bird watchers. Whatever. It’s an elementary school, but there aren’t any kids there at midnight. At least there shouldn’t be any, and if there are they’re likely to see lots of things that they wouldn’t see if they were asleep at odd hours of the night.

Fat, Dumb, and Lazy

I think I feel quite lazy after the workout we had at the gym tonight and a set of “max pushups” and then five rounds of rowing and running around the building didn’t do much for my gumption. Not that I know if gumption is even a real word. In any case, I’m cutting and pasting my review of Lovely Hula Hands from the burger blog because I’m feeling fat and lazy at the moment, and not editing it because I feel dumb as well. In summary: the burger didn’t match my expectations, but the dessert was spectacular.

Here it goes…

Lovely Hula Hands is probably still Sean’s favorite, but they seemed a little off today. The meat was tasty, the grilled onions were sweet, and it had everything I like in a burger but I just didn’t like it. I finally figured out that the bun (which had more sesame seeds than should be allowed) was a little stale and it was throwing the whole experience off for me. I had no idea that just the texture of a dense, stale bun could throw me off that much. I ate the burger thinking of how it would taste with better bread and I think I remember why Sean and I decided this was the best burger we had at that time. I think the rest of tonight’s crew, Matty G, Erin, Sean, and Jeff all thought this was a great burger and one of the best. I think I’m putting Wildwood above it, but those may be fightin’ words to the others.


At Sean’s suggestion I had a “financier” with salted almond and caramel ice cream for dessert and I didn’t share a bit of it with anyone. It was that good. I can’t say much more about it other than that you shouldn’t pass it up if you have the chance!

Message in an iPhone

I found a way to become even more antisocial with my new DirecTV DVR because now there are lots of ways to kill time and hide inside without being bored at home. It’s not about what’s on right now, it’s about what’s on the recorder. I even see ads on TV for movies and wonder how long I have to wait to see them on my HUGE 23″ HDTV. I can be a special kind of hermit. Not too different than the kind of hermit I am already but now I can use a SATELLITE.

Technology is speaking to me. I know it’s just a coincidence but both of my iPods played the same song last night. My iPhone on shuffle played Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’ by Journey as I was finishing up my mopping. When I got to my car, the next song on my iPod mini was Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’. If I were a believing man, I’d take this as some kind of sign, but what sign is it? Maybe I’m supposed to count the number of “Na’s” in the “Na, na, na nah, nana”, etc, and use that as some sort of numerical goal, but what goal would that be? The number of pull-ups I can do in a 24-hour period? I’d rewind the song and start counting but there are a BOATLOAD of “na”s in that song.

I think my back is feeling better, too. I didn’t have a sharp stabbing back pain — a good sign — but it was kind of sore all day long. I went to the gym anyway and did lighter weight for the workouts and now it’s feeling better. I may be deluding myself, but I’m hoping it all resolves itself soon.

In case you were wondering, I counted 154 “na”s in that song. I’m up late because my buddy Il told me I had to watch the episode of House I have on my DVR. I think it could have waited a couple of days, but it was good.

I hurt myself at the gym, I think.

Great. All those workouts and I hurt myself PUTTING STUFF AWAY at the gym. Figures. I’ll have to see how my back feels tomorrow. This is one of these cases where I say, “Brilliant,” when what I really mean is, “What the f*ck was I thinking?” That’s what I get for putting stuff away.

In any case, I’ve got nothing. I’m still accumulating TV shows on my DVR and I’m watching them as fast as I can. Maybe I can be on injured reserve and watch more TV tomorrow. We’ll see.

Cold turkey means cold turkey.

I gave up bicycling when I got tired of giving it up every winter. The rain in Portland isn’t exactly road biking weather, and I have issues with mountain bikers. Also, bicycling started making me numb in places that I didn’t want to be numb. The last year I rode a lot was probably the last time I participated in Cycle Oregon, 1995, and the last time I remember even being on a bike is riding to the opening of the REI in the Pearl. That was FIVE YEARS AGO. Even after all that time off, things came back pretty quickly and I was able to start getting my feet in and out of the toeclips and almost had a track stand at one point. I also passed a lot of people going up the hill from Burnside to the Pittock Mansion.

Unfortunately, that biking combined with the front squats we did today are making my ass hurt right now. I wish I had better problems to complain about. I told my grade-school buddy about a picture from the Emmy’s that featured someone else from our grade school who we remember being unkind to us. He told me he went out with her in middle school for three whole days. Well, that’s three more days than me. I suppose I was invisible back then and I’m pretty much invisible now. Never when I want to be, but you can’t have everything.

How very odd that I’m not feeling that bad.

So, I’m not sore from the race yesterday, and I already bought new shoelaces to repair the ones that almost killed me yesterday. I wasn’t able to sleep very well, but that’s really neither here nor there. Hung out at some hardware stores with my buddy Greg, then spent the afternoon trying to wire more phone outlets in the house. Somebody (I suspect the contractors) cut one of my pull strings and I had to go through a lot more nonsense to finish pulling wires through the wall. I suppose I should have expected that.

If I’m dead tomorrow, blame the Oyster Race

I just got back from Courtney’s housewarming and as always, she cooked some terrific food. I stayed until I was sure the birdwatchers were gone and it was fun.

But the real fun I had today was running and biking in the rain during the Portland Oyster race. My position on the team was to take the blame and make Melissa look good. Melissa took care of looking good all on her own, so I just had to take the blame. I may be dead tomorrow because I had to eat an oyster off the sidewalk in Old Town, a place where the sidewalk is usually covered in transient urine. On the next leg, for example, we ran through something that looked a lot like diarrhea, so I may have dysentery. We’ll see.

In any case, people have been asking what we had to do. There were teams of 3 to 6 people and at least 3 had to be out on the course, within 100 feet of each other unless the instructions said otherwise. There were a lot of puzzles to figure out where we were going, but I’m just going to say what we did.

  1. First they blindfolded one of the team members and put them on a bus. Then they told the rest to meet up at the Made in Oregon sign and take a picture with everyone and the sign.

    It was only sprinkling at this point.

    Then we had to find a picture of three statues with four feet on the ground and take a picture of us and all four of the feet.


    Extra curricular activity:

  2. Get to the locomotive at the World Forestry Center with your bike (MAX is in play), take a picture, then get to the Pittock Mansion. Lots of puzzles to figure out both those locations and it was POURING. It was also uphill both ways.

    This is the only section I thought I’d have to quit, because my shoelaces got caught in my chain ring and shredded and then looped over my water bottle cage. Fortunately there was enough slack and I didn’t fall off my bike. I wasn’t able to do much with my shoelace, so I just left it the way it was and tucked it in my shoe.


    Extracurricular activity:

  3. Head BACK to the Hoyt Arboretum (this was a puzzle question). Then back to Pioneer Square.
  4. Two parter done in any order. Let me point out that it was POURING DOWN LIKE CRAZY on this bike ride. First go to 30th and Powell and have someone on your team bowl a strike or a spare. I bowled the spare.

    Second, find the spot on the water with the banner. One guy kayaks across from the banner while another guy runs across. Switch and come back. At the same time, everyone else goes to Deke and Bryan’s Next Adventure to get a tattoo. Return to Pioneer Square.

    Extracurricular activity:

  5. Run to the Oyster Bar and have someone drop an oyster from the second story and catch it in your mouth. If you don’t catch it (I didn’t see anyone catch it), pick it up, put it on a plate, and suck it through a straw. I refused with the first dropped oyster (it fell on the f*cking ground in f*cking Old Town) so they made me do it twice. I dropped the oyster a second time and complied by picking it up off the street, putting it on a plate, and sucking it through a straw. Go back to the transition area.


    Extracurricular activities:

    On the way back, I went to Red Star for the shot of vodka, hoping that would kill the street germs.

  6. Go to Powells, find a bunch books, note the aisle numbers, take the aisle numbers and decode a cipher that turns into a jumble. The jumble takes you to Deschutes Brewery where you taste test four beers and match up what they are. Go back.

    The End.

So if I die from the street oyster, I hope to come back and haunt the SOB who decided that eating an oyster off the ground would be a good idea. If I just get sick, I may just find some other method of revenge.