Saturday, April 29, 2006


I apologize for yet another Pioneer Square entry, but all the action takes place in Portland's livingroom. These kids are camping out to raise awareness for the plight of children in Uganda. Whatever. All of the hippie dudes are there to score.

Sorry Amy

Dinner at Dragon Fish. Mmm... Edamame!


Portlanders fear no rain. We bought our jet boat tickets when the sun was shining. Yes, my outer shirt clashes with my inner shirt. Bite me.

Friday, April 28, 2006

A bridge too far

Bridge city. Any questions?

On the water

Gin and tonic on the river



Am 860 kpam

So i was just interviewed by a radio station about gas prices

News from the urban vacation

Sitting in pioneer square waiting for the yuppy lunch rush to erupt. Sky is blue. I have already fended off three requests for ballot initiative signatures.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Goat

Does that hurt?
I should think it would.
You should take better care of your teeth.

I hate myself sometimes.

I hate myself most of all on Tuesday nights. That is because, on Tuesday nights, the Missus and I have taken to watching American Idol.

I know!! Stop laughing...

I am intimately familiar with all that is wrong with the kitschy sappy commercialized shiny artificial-escalation to pop celebrity. It is corporatization to the Nth degree. I know that it is wrong, and not just a little-bit creepy, to vote a sanitized smiling song-singer into stardom. Be that as it may, I cannot stop watching.

There are enough winners-who-went-no-where to prove that the show can't completely control the taste of the masses. For me, though, I think it's the competition. It's the dozen nobodies who go out on stage week after week, singing their guts out in front of millions of viewers. It's the spirited voting. It's the cold elimination.

Yes, I vote. Again, stop laughing. I vote via text messaging. I vote mostly to eliminate the pretty-boys and fat girls. I'm cruel that way. I will probably go to hell.

After those categories are cleaned out, I vote to eliminate the country singers. I hate twang. I hate it almost as much as TV story lines about mental illness.

Embarrassing as it is to confess a fascination with Idol, I have found that I am not alone. I was surprised to learn recently that our very own Dr. Brian (the other Brian) is also a fan. Brian is one of my oldest and closest friends. While we have never actually played gay cowboy in Montana together, we have shared many questionable moments over the years. So, it was a comfort to learn that his taste in television sucks as much as my own.

Now, being one of my best friends, it should surprise no one that he has certain, uh, eccentricities. Brian, as you may know, is a dentist in California. A damn fine dentist, to be sure. However, as an outgrowth of his profession, or perhaps an inspiration for it, Brian also has an unhealthy fetish/obsession for perfect teeth.

This, of course, brings us to Goat Boy, or just "the Goat" for short.

Goat boy is apparently one of Brian's favorite finalists on American Idol, and the subject of many meetings with dental colleagues. Elliott's sad twisted Billy-goat bite haunts Brian's every waking moment by day and disturbs his dreams by night.

As a man of action, my little elfin dental buddy has focused his can-do attitude, and has taken matters into his own latex-covered hands...

The letter to the right is a copy of the actual letter sent by Brian to the producers of American Idol. His offer is genuine, and I thought worthy of some recognition. (Click on the image for a larger copy to read the text.)

Personally, Elliott is not my favorite, but maybe I'll like him better once Brian makes him pretty again...

As far as the show goes, I think twitchy-swaying early-graying Taylor is my pony. Although, neither Elliott nor Taylor stand a chance.

The final two will be Bald-rocker Chris and sexy slinky booby-bonanza Katharine. In the end, Chris will win his corporate rock contract. Katharine will pose for Playboy, Brian will make Goat Boy look human again, and all will be right with the world.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


The Dog
My dog licks his junk
On the other side of the desk
I cannot lick mine

Friday, April 21, 2006


"I'm sorry, you did what?" My wife was on the phone. She was trying to understand what I had just said.

"I licked my plant."

"That's what I thought you said. How long until we know whether it's going to kill you?"

"I don't think it's going to kill me. It tasted sweet."


As an office-warming gift for my first serious-paycheck job after law school, my wife had purchased and potted a pleasant plant for my credenza. I have no idea what it was, other than tall, leafy and handsome.

It was also sappy, or at least would become sappy, usually in Spring. Little micro-buds would sprout and drip a sticky dew, which would bead and run down the stems.

fascinated, I watched one day as the clear-colored juice pooled on a flat broad leaf. Without thinking, I bobbed forward and licked the leaf. The sap was sticky, but thinner than honey. It tasted like lilac. It was perfectly pleasing, although I had no desire to lick more. Then, all of a sudden, it dawned on me what I had done. I wondered whether I'd hallucinate. I wondered whether I'd die.

I told my secretary. She gave me that "god, you're fucking weird" look that I so often got from her. I then told Princess Leah, with whom I worked at the time. She considered it for a moment, reminded me that I was a dumb ass, and suggested that I call the wife. The wife was simply confused.

That office came and went, as did others. The plant grew tall, and although the plant and I both survived the licking incident, it eventually went the way of the Dodo.

About two years ago, with great eagerness and anticipation, I began my current job in my current office. The missus once again wanted to warm the office with a gift. Having previously learned her lesson, she avoided leaving me alone with potentially hazardous foliage.

Seeking an immanently safer office companion, she decided to buy me a small fish tank instead. Six gallons of happiness, it sits on my bookshelf, home to a friendly family of assorted tetras. With minimal maintenance, the tank is a source of tranquil light, color and movement in what is often a chaotic day. Since I set up the aquarium, it has been virtually problem free. Virtually, that is, with one glaring exception. Algae.

It coats everything. I've tried many of the various additive treatments, and abrasive scrubbers. Nothing has worked. So, last month, I went out and bought a snail.

The creepy fish clerk at the mega-lo-pet store reached his hand into the last vat of sickly looking snail carcasses. "Running low. Shipment tomorrow." He explained as he pulled out a Black Mystery Snail. It had no body. He explained that it was hibernating behind it's safety flap, and that it would wake up and start feeding soon.

That was a month ago. The snail never woke up. I pulled it out of the water this morning and peeled back the flap. The shell was empty. There was no fucking snail.

So, I set my sights on acquiring an actual algae eater today during lunch. However, sometime prior to noon, one of my co-workers invited me to go to lunch with her. Although, she said she had an errand to run first. I said that was fine, I had an errand too, and we should just go together.

Turns out, her errand involved giving a urine sample at her doctor's office. My errand involved buying a snail. Lunch, as if it matters, involved a salad bar.

All in all, one of the strangest lunch breaks I have ever had. I ended up with a Ramhorn Snail though, funky horn-like shell, white slimy body spotted black like a cow. It's really pretty cool, for a snail that is.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Legend of Daisy

The tall tan blonde squatted on the narrow beer-splattered shelf, her knees flanking my ears, her smooth shaved sheleighly winking at me in time with the heavily-ho-laden lyrics of some hip-hop hit blasting behind me at 11 decibels...

I was bored. I'd seen that vagina before. Several times in fact.

I looked to my right, past the nicotine smoke-stack protruding from my ex-girlfriend's face to Tom, who looked equally bored. We gave each other the nod. Dylan stubbed out her Camel. We made for the door.

I'm not sure which club it was. Many are the same. Portland has, as you have heard before, more strip clubs per capita than any other city in the United states, perhaps even the world. It has something to do with Oregon liquor laws. We can have full nude dancers with a full alcohol bar. There are only two catches: A) No touching; B) The club has to serve food. And that means one thing, CHEAP STEAK...

Tom and I had made it our mission to hit every club in Portland, a challenging goal as the clubs kept closing and re-opening under new names. It was like painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Once we got near the end, we needed to start over at the beginning again. We got close.

We also made it our regular practice to bring guests along with us on our quest. This particular night, we brought my ex, Dylan. We were still pals, and she knew Tom from our time together in church back in California, praise god. We were up for adventure. We were up for anything. Unfortunately, we were also jaded and a bit dissolutioned.

"What next?" Dylan mumbled as she slumped into the back seat.

"Something... Something..." Tom was looking for words, but he was drunk, and not always good with words.

"I want to see something wrong." He seemed to be getting closer.

"You know, like some one with hideous scars. Or... Or.. An Amputee, somebody tragically disfigured in a farming accident." Wow, Tom had some specific needs.

I had nothing. My massive memory map of every club in the city didn't cue to any club that featured freaks. All I knew was that we were on Sandy Boulevard, and had explored all of the local lounges, except one. We were mere blocks from glory. There was one nudy bar that Tom and I had never hit. A land mark of legend in the Pacific Northwest. It was The Sandy Jug.

"Why was it called the jug?" you may ask. Well, it was a small building, shaped on the exterior like a whisky jug. (It's now called Pirates Cove, but that's just wrong and not important for this story.)

We walked in. It was cramped, smoky and dirty. A man slept in his barstool. It was perfect. The single ramshackle stage didn't fit in the triangular wedged corner. The Bartender was an enormous Jabba-like woman with tits the size of Tom's ego. Dylan breathed deeply. (Free nicotine!) I salivated over the expansive wall of beer taps.

We sat at the rack. We always did. The girl on stage was wearing a gray zip-up hoodie, an odd choice for stripperware. She was small and thin. The heroine hollowness of her eyes haunted me, but there was something else... Something I couldn't...

"Oh dude," Dylan exhaled cigarette smoke into my ear, "do you know who she looks like??"

I had no idea.

"She looks like your wife as a teenager.."

Fuck, she was right. I tipped extra. The Jug had only a two-girl rotation that night, Hoodie quickly shuffled off the stage.

The music shifted to something jazzy, sultry, sophisticated. The lights dimmed. The drunken buzz from the bar behind me died. Tom eagerly eyed the curtain at the stage door. I had no Idea what was about to happen.

Long thin fingers with nails painted "fuck-me-red" pulled back the velvet barrier. With grace and presence, far more than could be expected in a dive like the Jug, the second dancer strode to the front of the stage. Large milky natural breasts swung barely-contained by an open snug-fitting dressing gown. Her long legs were smooth and punctuated by barely-sensible high heel shoes. Her lips were ruby. Her eyes were emerald. Her hair was that of a 1940s move starlet.

She smiled a broad knowing smile. She shook hands with each of us, introducing herself as Daisy. Now, when I say she shook hands, I mean to say that she shook our right hands. Not so much out of polite custom. Rather, she simply had no left hand. In fact, she had no left arm, to be more precise. Nothing, but a small Thalidomide beak protruding from her left shoulder, which she was able to wiggle in time with the music.

Oh, and she was missing one of her front teeth.

But otherwise, HOT! I kid you not. The girl was all about entertainment. Dancing. Jokes. Stories. She waived her robe like a matador, and stomped the stage to focus our attention. I was astounded. I was flumoxed. I was put under. I have sampled most of the prurient performances Portland has to offer. Daisy was heads and shoulders above the rest. Tom, I believe, had an orgasm.

We returned to the Jug more often than was prudent with hopes of dueling with Daisy, but she was gone, never to be seen again. Tales are told, though. Stories surface now and then of the infamous one-armed dancer of Portland. Rumor has it that she appears here and there, never staying for long, riding the wind into Stripper mythology.

Good God, the Birthdays... (4/20)

Birthdays past:

Happy belated birthday to Josh. We were supposed to play poker. It never happened. I owe you a drink.

Actually born today:

Benjamin Lawrence. 5 pounds, something ounces. Mother and boy are doing well. I don't think Benjamin's dad actually reads the blog, but who knows...


The monkey is 16 months old today.

(Holy christ, my dog just let out the biggest belch... Smelled like dog food.)

Birthdays past:

Hitler was born this day in 1889

My ex-girlfriend, April, was born this day in... 1973? 1974? She wasn't a bad person, but every time I hear about Hitler's birthday it reminds me of her...

Birthdays future:

Happy birthday to Lisa from Wales. Her birthday is 4/21. I'm writing this on 4/20, but it is already 4/21 where she lives. Damn international date line... Of course by the time y'all read this it'll be 4/21 here in the Pacific Time Zone, and nearly 4/22 in the UK. Well, happy birthday nonetheless...

Miscellaneous holidays:

Happy 4/20 to my, uh, more herb-minded friends. Thanks to Anonymous for her kind donation.
That is all...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I suspect this post will be much like sniffing your finger after you scratch your ass.

You are compelled to do it, but it won't be pleasant. That is, unless you trick your wife or sister into sniffing it for you. Well, then, it's just good wholesome fun.

Folks who commented on the previous post did a good job of reducing this Turkish bazaar into a few simple shiny baubles: Sex, Strippers, Booze and Narcissism. Well fuck, that pretty much wraps it up now, doesn't it?

I suppose I should tell you what I was thinking, but it all seems so pedestrian now. If I do, it won't be a good read. If I don't, well, then it's just a cop-out. I'm wavering.

Ech, I don't have a good feeling about it. It's a let down either way. I think I'll put an end to this before it gets worse...

On a brighter note, Oregon appears to be one of the least religious states in the union...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Getting To the Bottom of Things

What is the Gin and Tonic Lounge all about anyway?
Mandarin Oranges?
Little girls called Monkey?
Christina Ricci?
Battlestar Galactica?
Strippers and booze?

It's hard to say really.

Well, just this morning, a co-worker, and frequent reader, told me about an article in Paste magazine, which may just solve the riddle once and for all.

The article talked about FOUR basic things. Four broad categories. Four topics of conversation. And it dawned on me, these four things are the meta-blog. They what this blog is. They are the structure of all things in the Lounge. They are the common thread that runs through all of the posts, dating back to those very early August excursions.

I want to explore each of those four things. Unfortunately, I don't have the time or energy to do them any credit tonight. So, that post will wait until tomorrow night. Consider this an advertisement.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


I stopped celebrating Easter 16 years ago.

Back when I was religious, I hated non-religious people who pretended to celebrate the uniquely-religious holiday. Easter-Christians, you know, those trashy jackasses who put on the fine clothes and truck their unruly kin to church for Easter Sunday service.

They didn't believe. They didn't care. They didn't make the sanctimonious sacrifices for God that I made on a daily basis. But they showed up once a year as a sort of spiritual fire insurance. Perhaps Jehovah wouldn't notice the other 51 Sundays that they were sleeping-off their hangovers, if they showed up to get "churched" on Easter.

Easter is a complete and wholly holy holiday. Either you buy the crucifixion and resurrection, as I once did; or your don't, as I now don't. Christmas has the same problem, but with the over-lapping winter solstice and generally-vague goodwill theme, secular Christmas can be defended. Easter, however, is all about blood and death and sin and repentance. It's a heavy message, no matter how many Peeps you've stuffed yourself with. I just don't understand the commercial-kiddy Easter. This is not a fun holiday.

But now I'm a dad, and I am entirely unable to deny the monkey anything. So this weekend we braved the chilly Oregon April rain storms to search for plastic prize eggs in the park, and I dyed the obligatory hard boiled eggs at the tall table. It was fun, and the white cups brimming with vinegar-smelling colors makes me happy. But now that the festivities are done, and something doesn't seem right.

Perhaps it was too much gospel for one day. Like a bad 1970s spy movie, my long-dormant psychological conditioning starts to stir. The woods are lovely dark and deep...

Mostly, however, I just feel dirty. What few principles I DO have, are so easily set aside for the sake of making my daughter happy. What sort of role model am I?

Oh well, at least the egg salad sandwiches are good.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Blessed are the cheesemakers...


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Naked Redux

Time to update your Netflix Queue.

I just can't get enough of the nekkidness.

Last month, I featured selected civic nudes from photographer, Spencer Tunick. Still reeling from the lack-luster responses of my readers, or just simple lack thereof, I dare delve into that gratuitous subject matter once again.

I just finished viewing the first of two phallus-laden documentaries journaling the early development of Tunick's public nude goat rodeos. The flick is titled "Naked States."

Surprisingly sweet, it plays like a crafty travelogue across the bare-breasted byways of America. Backstory narratives by volunteer models give the chaotic flesh fiestas added heart and soul.

Watch it for the politics. Watch it for the art. Hell, watch it for the copious amount of full frontal nudity. I heartily recommend that you pick it up.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Going Down Smooth

I have spend the last 9.5 hours preparing for tomrrow's arbitration.

I am now enjoying one of these:

I am contemplating going out to my upper deck and enjoying one of these:

I'll talk to you kids tomorrow...

bad news

Sorry folks...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Blood Lust

As a Republican, I oppose almost everything that my party now stands for.

I oppose the religious right.
I oppose wreckless deficit spending.
I oppose right-wing activist judges (well, any judge with an agenda...)
I oppose Chenney in general, and
I oppose the Conquest of Iraq.

That having been said, what the fuck is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thinking?? Our Commander In Chief is a witless warmongering Pinochio whose strings are being pulled by a bloodthirsty Atilla-like Vice President. Americans in general love to kill muslims for sport, and we're quickly running out of Iraqis to slaughter. Now, the President of Iran stands up and threatens the US with harm??

Does he not read the papers?? Forget the hypothetical weapons of mass destruction. This is clear and present danger! The unpopular president could double his approval ratings with one single massive air strike on Tehran.

I'm not saying that it would be right or wrong for the US to invade Iran. In fact, the prospect of fighting the global religious war that would likely ensue is not appealing. However, I feel comfortable saying that most Americans, since 1979, have secretly desired an all-out blood-letting in Iran.

Hell, if Chenney wanted unwavering domestic suppoort for an oil-field hijacking, he should have teamed up with Saddam and gone after the Ayatolla to begin with. Alas, Chenney's choices may have left us too weak to go after this tempting target. Of course, He's not up for re-election. So, nothing is stopping him from instituting the draft...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

But For the Fence...

The boy barks only on occasion and usually for not very long. Therefore, his repeated throaty growls and big-dog barking caught my attention.

As I stepped out to the deck, I saw him out in the corner of the yard, paws up on the tree, fully focused on some intruder hidden within the tree house.

Hoping against hope that it was the piece-of-shit trespasser who trashed the club house a few months back, I trudged out to the far corner (in my pajamas). The excited commotion continued, but the tail began to wag with the sight of my approach.

I suddenly wished that I had my baseball bat (or my .357) as I slowly climbed the wooden tree ladder. As I popped my head through the trap door, I observed two glowing demonic eyes peering at me from against the far wall.


The beast realized quickly that while canines can't climb, tailless ape descendants can.

I jumped down to go fetch a cat-removal tool, but my efforts were for naught. Perceiving the possibility of escape, Garfield darted down the hole and out into the yard, putting him and the dog in an awkward instance of realization. The dog jumped first. The cat wasted no time, but chose the most unfortunate path, which took him along the far length of the yard.

The dog is half German Shepherd, half Husky. When he runs, it is usually more of a trot with his white-tipped tail waiving at vertical attention. This was something far different. I’m not sure whether you have ever seen the predator genetics activate in a big dog’s head, but I was seriously stunned by the force, strength and speed as the chase plowed past me.

The dog gained ground, but the fence came quickly. The invader escaped, but the boy was victorious in defending the yard.

I’ve never figured out why certain animal owners feel that it is OK to let their pesky little pets shit in my yard, put their paw prints on my paint job, and spread their allergen fur all over my things. Well, now it seems that a little speed training may just cure that problem permanently.

Good Dog!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Slow Play

Poker is a fucked up game. On-line poker is doubly so.

Skill matters, to be sure, but even the most finely-honed tactics fall prey to luck. The pros say to play the player, but you must also muck the mediocre hands.

So, it's the cards, and it's the players, but most of all, it's you. Your loss at the table is more likely the result of your piss-poor playing, than it is the omnipotence of your opponent.

Then there are your chips. These are your scale for score keeping, yet they are also your ammunition. You must fire your chips at the table to take down a pot, but if you fire too many, you lose. It's best not to form an emotional attachment to your stack, as Kenny said: "There'll be time enough for counting, when the dealing's done."

On-line games lend themselves to greed and corruption, so only make-believe money for me. The only benefit to winning is the personal satisfaction of having out-played the juvenile ,smart-mouthed, spiky-haired, iPod wearing pseudo-studs who frequent the tables. The victorious fist-pumping is all the more exuberant when the defeated trash-talking jack-ass loses all of his chips and fades away.

And so it was tonight, as the table of ten dwindled to three. The impatient power players falling one-by-one to the trio of slow players. After quickly climbing to the second chip position, I tightened my play and bided my time. I waited for the premium hands and lured the suckers in for the kill.

I resisted the urge to be greedy, always leaving a little behind to create a false sense of security, until eventually there were two. Heads-up play. This is the point where I usually fall apart. This is my kryptonite. This is my Delilah.

And my 5-to-1 chip lead slowly began to slide, 4-to 1, 3-to-1, 3-to 2...

The blind were getting high. The game itself was forcing action. The deal came. Cowboys. Two Kings in the hole. This was it. It was time to reel him in.

He fired first. I hesitated, playing insecure. Then, I called. No raise. I didn't want to chase him away.

Flop was a rainbow of undercards, 5, 7, 10. Check. He smelled blood in the water and fired again. I sat, hesitating. A quick call would raise suspicion. He was dead money, but he didn't know it yet.

The turn card was another 10. I was sitting on two pair, Kings and 10s. Check, again. He fired half his stack at me. Good, now if I could just loosen the other half from his grasp... Call.

The River.

This is the fifth and final card. This is the card that makes or breaks the game. This is the most anticipated, yet dreaded card. This is the card that is always followed by some player exclaiming: "Oh Fuck!" in varying degrees of excitement or dismay.

I'm not sure what he was chasing, but he seemed enthusiastic about the King that came up on the River. Of course, that King fit well with my other two Kings and the pair of 10s on the board. That's what you call a Full House, and I just waited for him to give me his remaining stack, which he did.

It's satisfying to win. It's very satisfying to defeat a loud mouth jackass. But, it's perhaps the most satisfying to defeat a jerk-off by slow playing a Full House.

Really, it's a great feeling, you should try it sometime.