Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Rainman was based on real life. Dustin Hoffman's title character in Tom Cruise's magnum opus was based on an actual idiot savant who could memorize and recite entire telephone books.

And that, it seems, is the way of nature.

When one sense is lost, another takes its place. It is undisputed scientific fact that when someone loses their sight, they develope super hearing. When someone loses the sense of smell, they gain the unholy ability to fly. When someone loses their hair, they gain the ability to communicate telepathically with fish.

It's true.

It's in the Bible.

That is why I was not surprised this afternoon. Having spent the entire day slowly snipping at my blackened dead fingernail, incrementally exposing the scabby nailbed, millimeter by millimeter, I discovered something astonishing.

With each clipping cut and cast from my body, nature chose to compensate me for my loss. While I now have little more that a blacking purple stub of a nail on my right hand, I have in fact grown a sixth finger on my left.

Praise Jesus! Praise Him.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Finger Update


Finger Watch 2007!!

It's coming off.

Slowly now, but persistently, the nail of my right index finger is peeling away from its nail bed.

As the tip of my finger was held tight in the tiny crevice between my car doors, while I fished around in my pocket with my free hand for my keys to unlock the door, and while I struggled to maintain my composure, I thought to myself: "Well, I'm gonna lose that nail..."

I was sure of it. For the three days of cartoon-like swelling, and for the week and a half of the sub-nail squishy-floaty sensation, I was certain that I would lose it.

In the last week, though, as it descended into its current dark purplish hue, the nail seemed to solidify within its cuticle bounds. I began to allow myself the hope that it might remain miraculously intact.

Alas. It's coming off. By tomorrow afternoon, I expect to look something like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly.


Thursday, August 23, 2007


It is always a delight to rediscover lost pornography.

The tall rubberized recycle bin was parked in my family room, filling rapidly. Years of unpacked boxes and baskets were being sorted across the floor. Old bills. Old letters. Receipts that should have been claimed on our 2003 taxes.

I popped open the sticking latch of a dilapidated brief case. I still knew the combination. I had a suspicion about its contents, and sure enough, volume after volume of glossy egregious smut spilled out over my feet.

All the old magazines, which, in pre-internet days, had been so handy... all the old faces were familiar, the lay outs... the poses...

I sorted listlessly through the pile, reminiscing over edgier titles like Barely Legal and the more mundane like Penthouse. One of the Penthouse copies was an anniversary edition, and I flipped nostalgically through the pages.

One of the layouts was a re-run from a much earlier time. It featured a bright eyed (coked-up) slightly chubby blond girl and a relatively-haggard looking black man with a fat 12-incher, both walking around a deserted beach. Their given mag-names were something like Bunny and Ted.

There was an implied story and more than the mere suggestion of sex. I suppose it played on perceived taboos of the time.

I always found the layout to be odd, and my impression wasn't any different all these years later. I tossed the magazine, along with most of the others into the recycle bin (my own little gift to the recycling sorters at the transfer station.)

I only bring this up, because, I stopped and grabbed pizza for lunch today...

It was a busy day, and I worked on finalizing a dead-line-burdened motion way past my regular lunch hour. I was starving and my blood sugar was low.

I wandered out into the bright busy afternoon sidewalk and stumbled around looking for quick calories. Fortunately, I wandered across a Pizzacato around the corner from my office, and slunk in.

I was greeted by sensible Northwesty wood grain and muted tones. Low key jazz bee-bopped its way around the other ambient noise. Giant metal spatulas scraped the insides of the wood-burning pizza ovens. The whole place smelled of garlic. And cheese. And baking dough.

The joint was filled, also, from wall to wall, with beautiful people. A few dudes, to be sure, with their casual office-chic dress code, poofy lips, straight noses, and tussled hair.

More importantly, however, were the women. Tight skirts and smart blouses. Legs. Hair. It was an epicenter of provacatively sexy office attire. This is where all of the local sassy-elite seem to meet.

There was a hushed murmur, indicative of a high-stakes repressed meat market deal making. Side-long glances and subtle twitches of lips told the story.

Being the socially retarded dork with bad hair that I am, I was able to wander and observe with virtual invisibility, like Frodo with the ring or Harry under his cloak...

And as I wandered, I observed a very curious couple standing in line nearby.

He was probably her professor. He was tall and distinguished, probably 40, with dark African skin. His hair was WELL conditioned. Not "Geri Curl" conditioned, but still well-hydrated. The curls of his slightly graying head were loose, like a poodle (and I don't mean that in any sort of insulting way...)

His sideburns were long. 60's-radical long. His high-neck sport coat was made of some unusual finely-brushed buff velvet, and well-tailored to his frame. His expensive Italian jeans were just faded enough, and they fell around smart brown loafers.

He could have just walked off the set of the Mod Squad. The old one. This one:

Anyway, he was a bit of an anachronism. What was odder yet, though, was his lunch partner. She was probably 20, but dressed and looked like she was 15. Distinctively Swedish, with her copper blond hair woven in tight braids above her brow, she could have been named Helga, Gretchen or Heidie...

Her thin pale shapeless legs poured out of her tight-fitting daisy dukes. Her snugly flirtatious blouse was gingham.

They were involved in a hushed conversation.

Together, they appeared to be character models from the glossy pages of some fashion-forward conceptual publication. And that is why, perhaps, they reminded so much of Bunny and Ted.

In the end, the pizza proved to be good, if not a little oily, I now know where to go for local eye candy in the commercial neighborhood, and I was able to take a small break from my day to contemplate vintage porn. All in all, a good day.

Thanks to Dr. B For This One

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


The vote was close. I suspect it was a tie, with the win going to the guest (me). The grilled stuffed peppers came close. The glazed baby backs came even closer.

In the end, after the literal smoke had cleared, my smoked pork butt with grilled pineapple and pineapple BBQ sauce carried the day.

That was last summer.

The rematch is on, and it will be held this weekend. For the last four weekends in a row, I have massaged Lamb flesh with an assortment of herbs, spices and sauces. I have gone to bed each Sunday night smelling of smoke.

I have been planning the proper smoke wood combination. I have strategized my unique sauce preparation. I have contemplated presentation.

The game is afoot. It is GO time. Competition will be fierce. The home-team rib machine is out for revenge. The host's 10 year old son is in it to win this year as well with his grilled fruit, and he is a crowd favorite. There will be steak. There will be chicken. There will be pork.

Being Portland, I also expect a generous dose of Salmon.

In actuality, I don't expect to win. The lamb is good, and stays tender if I take it off at 155 degrees, and let it "rest." But it doesn't shine like the pork did.

The mint-infused BBQ sauce is creamier now than it was before, and has more mustardy depth. The char wood cooks hotter and faster, locking in moisture and preventing undesirable drying of the meat.

I'm not going to win, but I am going to give them a run for their money,having a "leg" up on the competition as it were...

Either way, I'll be tending the fire this saturday, sitting on my friend Lori's driveway, drinking cheap cold beer. I do hope that Josh joins me with his own grill. If you are around North Portland next Saturday afternoon and want to drop by and check on the progress, give me a call.

The Other Version

Amanda has posted another version of the weekend's events over at her blog:

King of the Road

Dear Retard:

Yes I saw you in your very important looking chef's uniform, standing in the middle of the street. Yes, I saw you yelling at me.

Did you see my single-finger response?

I can only assume by your sweaty and swarthy fry-cook appearance, and by the fact that you were walking to work, that you probably live in the low-rent meth-a-palooza apartment complex on the right.

I have to admit, you were correct, I was in fact speeding through what could only euphemistically be called "your neighborhood." The posted speed limit was in fact 25 mph. In daring and reckless fashion, scoffing the law and throwing caution to the wind, I was pushing 30.

Really, did you see my finger? I mean, I rolled down my window and hoisted it high into the air, waiving it to and fro. You were standing there, stumpy arms crooked, fists resting disapprovingly on your hips, staring down my tailpipe as it disappeared into the distance.

Listen, perhaps you have been recently promoted to assistant kitchen manager at Denny's, or something. Perhaps you have been given god-like authority over Jose, the burger flipper, and Jolene, the Downs Syndrome floor mopper, but that does not make you a Portland street monitor. Your omnipotence does not carry outside of the restaurant.

Enjoy your walk.

Alligator Does Not Taste Like Chicken

Alton Brown has a new show airing on the food network. Well, actually, it's the second season of his road-food side project called "Feasting On Asphalt." Alton and his small technical crew ride heavily laden touring bikes cross country (in this case, north along the length of the Mississippi), sampling home style fare, alligator or otherwise, along the way.

Point is, one of is crew members is the show's photographer. In essence, this guy gets paid to ride a motorcycle, take pictures, and eat some of the best food in America.

Now don't get me wrong, my job is great, but really, I don't know who I hate more: that guy, or myself for not being that guy.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Grand Unification

In the sandy land of Allah, beneath a well-worn tent of many colors, sat a young man hunched over a glowing screen. Power cables ran from the lip of the tent wall to the power outlet in his Mercedes parked along side. Likely alone, or at least away from the prying eyes of his mother, he typed in English.

He went to Google, that much I know, and he searched for images featuring the word "Ass." Fortunately for him, that search paid off, and at precisely 7:38 a.m. PST that search led him to the Gin & Tonic Lounge.

Twelve hours later, just a short distance from Riyadh, yet a religion away, another young man sat in Tel Aviv, searching Google for the exactly same thing. He too found his way to the Lounge.

Ass, specifically soft-core sexy pictures of it, is the great unifier. It is the common thread that can heal the rifts of this war-torn world. Forget poverty, injustice and genocide. Hot Ass pictures are the key to cultural healing and global peace.

So, although I am only one man, and this is only one blog, here is my contribution to making this world a better place:

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Mama had things to do, and I didn't feel like laying around the living room for another Summer Saturday. So, the girl, who is currently going by the enigmatic name of "Moolah," and I set out toward the south on a wild photo safari of the eastern Willamette Valley.

Our first destination, of course, was Starbucks for the traditional Saturday coffee (hot chocolate) and doughnut. The doughnut selection was sparse this morning, but Moolah is becoming quite adept at gnawing through the old fashioned glaze.

Our next stop was only a short distance across the parking lot to Target, where we acquired the necessary hot-pink faux-snake-skin adventure gear. These boots, it seems, were made for walking. They were also made for taking names and kicking ass.

Ahoy there matey, our sea-faring friend, Amanda, has been dry-docked for health reasons, and is currently rehabilitating with mom in the fine city of Salem, the Cherry City, the State Capitol.
Therefore, the girl and I slipped south on the freshly repaved freeway, down to Salem, to pick her up. Always pleasant and Blithe, Amanda brought along her cheery disposition as she joined our crew.

Being the multi-cultural-minded parent that I am, and as long as we were in Salem, I thought we should make offerings of sacrifice at the temple of Shiva before continuing our journey.

Offerings complete, it was time to hit the first highlight of the day, the old-timey Salem carousel. Moolah is a sucker for wooden horses that go up and down in a circle, and Amanda and I took turns playing the stable jockey. I asked her to show me her ride token, but she her attention was firmly fixed on other things.

Then we saw a river. Actually, it's a slough, but she's two and a half, and I didn't feel the need to elaborate.

Then, we visited the Dick Cheney Global Conquest Memorial.

Then, we literally danced on a pole. I have no further comment about this. And really, neither do you.

Amanda tried to convince Moolah that she was a movie star. Moolah called Bullshit.

Each year, the State Bar holds a photo contest for the cover of its annual membership directory. My entry this year will have something to do with this statue, called "The Circuit Rider."

Mama and Daddy met in law school, but Moolah had never actually visited the school. As long as we were across the street, I though we should stop by.

As most of you know, after In-n-Out, Del Taco is my most-missed fast food chain. Finally, they have arrived in Oregon, but in only three locations, none of which are in Portland. Fortunately, one of them is in Salem. So, we stopped for lunch.

Leaving Salem for the greater stretches of the eastern valley, I took her to see her first serious waterfall. Silver Falls is really a very large waterfall, despite the fact that it looks like a miniature fountain in the photo.

After exiting the park, and having taken a rather unfortunate and dusty detour, we cruised cautiously through the quaint hamlet of Silverton. Apparently, office space is at a premium, as we came across this rather-shabby commercial structure in mid-move...

Next, we passed the stately village of Mt. Angel, home to wicked nights of Oktoberfest debauchery. Apparently, and surprisingly, segregation is alive and well in rural Oregon.

Mt. Angle is, of course, home to a famous abbey and a historically-grand cathedral. I though it prudent to introduce my daughter to religion in a town made famous by brewer-monks....

Amanda demonstrated the the concept of sin's slippery slope on the steps of the church for the girl...

In the end, I was quite pleased to see that my daughter had the appropriate response to religion.

Between naps, Moolah demanded with increasing force and persistence, that we: "RIDE THE BOAT, DADDY!!!"

Yes, I had promised a ride on the Canby Ferry, and after much driving we finally arrived. This short journey back across the mighty Willamette marked the end of our adventures. We were, after all, just down the rode from home. The ferry ride, with its inspired awe and wonder, cost a buck fifty. Money well spent.

Twelve minutes after driving off the deck of the ferry, we were home. It was an ambitious day, but it did not disappoint. I suspect there will be more days like this to come.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Never Underestimate...

...the power of cleavage...

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


As I scooped the dead blue female from the rocky crevice with my finger, I paused to wonder...

The filtration was clean and strong. The bacterial colony of the bio filter had been percolating for a week. The water had recently been 50% changed, and was well-aerated.

This was the third mass-killing in as many weeks. It was becoming a bit of a mystery.

I have committed to keeping the aggressive and stunning sexually dimorphic Kenyi, a cichlid species from Lake Malawi in Africa. They require certain particular water conditions, but I have been careful to create those. Still, they die.

The fourth family, one male with three females, currently reside. I am adhering to a slave-like water conditioning regimen. This morning, I arrived to discover the tell-tale cloudiness of a bacterial bloom in the water. This is normal for new tanks and harmless to the fish. What isn't harmless, however, is the invisible toxins upon which the bacteria are feasting.

A quick lab test revealed higher-than-wanted ammonia levels, and I took the required precautions, including a 15% fresh water exchange.

Later this morning, as I reviewed a few articles on water quality, I discovered that most municipal water treatment plants no longer use chlorine to clean the tap water. Rather, they use Chloramine, a sort of chlorine-ammonia mix.


Mystery solved. During the current water-cycling process, I will need to maintain a frequent water-change schedule. However, now, I will use added caution in treating the new water.

Then, maybe, I will not have to scoop dead females out of rocks anymore...

Monday, August 13, 2007


The office is slow today, and it is time for lunch. I think I will wander down to the carts for some pork tacos. Once again, however, I face the grand dilemma. Fancy food cart with spicy guacamole-laden tacos al pastor, or slightly weather-beaten taco trailer from the unfashionable far side of the parking lot...

The fancy tacos are to die for. hell, they may be to kill for...

The rustic tacos are sublime and authentic. They are like a Caribbean fiesta in your mouth.

Perhaps I will get both.

Viva los tacos al pastor!! Ole!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

New Poll

Interesting. It seems that the greatest majority of folks who voted expect to find hidden messages written to them. Who knew that so many narcissists read the Lounge with any regularity.

And Dentists! who knew we had so many friends in the tooth business?

There is a new poll up. I have shortened the response time, and multiple votes should be allowed, if the damn thing works properly.

Friday, August 10, 2007


At six o'clock, the central power to the archaic air conditioning system shut off, as it does every day, with a loud dull "clack!"

The soothing mechanical hum that seeps into the back of my mind stopped, leaving me with a clear and distractingly-obvious silence. Distinct traffic noises tooted and screeched from seven floors below, all of which was magnified when I opened the window to compensate for the lack of cool circulating air.

It was then that I heard the din, the commotion, the scuffle. There were hoots and hollers, aggressive "Arrgghhs" and timid "eeeks." Something was afoot, and it seemed to be coming from under the canopy of trees covering the park below.

It is not unusual to hear hooting and hollering in this town in the evening. We have our share of hipsters and hippies, both young and old. We have anarchists too, and a fair share of eco-terrorists. Now, while I have serious doubts about the political effectiveness of public protest, these groups do not, and there seems to be a public display of political expression every week. usually at five, in a calculated effort to tie up traffic and piss off the suits who are just trying to get home.

So, I listened carefully to the noise, trying to suss out the likely source. I poked my head out the window, and saw a flurry of activity coming from the park. Curious, I went down, staying a safe distance away, to reconnoiter.

What I saw looked fun, though I was ill prepared to participate. There were nearly 200 pajama-clad hottentots running amok, swinging pillows, spilling feathers in a plume into the air. There were tramp-stamped tarts with low-slung PJs and gnarly dudes with no shirts at all. Some folks were in flannel, and I saw a teddy or two. It was like a live-action holiday GAP ad. It was orchestrated chaos, silliness incarnate.

It was mesmerizing.

I could not stay, though, I had to go. There were things that had to be done.

This morning, however, I was amused to see the brigade of city workers, power blowers in hand, raking and scooping the thick snowy layer of down covering the park.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Happy birthday to Oosje. I hope you feel better.

Happy birthday to Tom. I hope the rash clears up.

...and for those readers who live in Taiwan, Happy Father's Day!

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Sack

The gangly transvestite sauntered by, as second-hand cigar smoke, buoyed by the breeze, teased my nose.

I sat, in rogue fashion, high upon the back of the park bench, perched, as I was, with full perspective over the red-brick square block lot.

The park is one-block square. There is no grass, only brick. It lies catty-corner (kitty-corner?) from my building and is safe for suit-wearing slicks only during daylight hours. While the sun shines, the malfeasance is mitigated to mere occasional oddity, sufficient amusement for a 15 minute intermission.

Street kids, probably from good suburban families, clamor by loudly in zig zag formation. They have either an attention deficit, or perhaps a deficiency in attention. Either way, they wear their hearts on their sleeves (if they have sleeves), and probably wash the purple out of their hair before heading home to mom in the evening.

Horny male pigeons stalk their sexy lady-pigeon pals for what seems to be a never ending mating season. Every day, they are there, chests puffed out, tail feather splayed in macho presentation. Most prove not to be suitable suitors, as their pathetic procreative posturing is rebuffed and abandoned time after time. Apparently, some male pigeons do eventually succeed in wooing with their cooing, because there seems to be an endless supply of these rats of the sky.

A redhead with a perky sweater and a tight skirt walks her dog in front of us.

I try not to stare.

Suddenly, from somewhere behind me and to my right, a young man begins to yell with all of his might. He is loud. He is making a public announcement for all in the park to hear. We all turn to look; the kids, the tweakers, the suits, the transvestites, the pigeons and the girl with the dog.

He is young, early twenties, and looks like a Portland progressive. You know the type. Tall, thin, new mesh of facial hair creeping over his gauntly jowls. He wore a faded hipster t-shirt and nonchalant cargo shorts. His feet were wrapped in Jesus-like vegan Tevas. He looked idealistic, with that pre-crushed-by-the-reality-of-the-world glint of optimism in his eyes. A random act of kindness was brewing. Mr. Idealism was on a mission.

"FOOD!! WHO WANTS A SACK OF FREE FOOD??" He yelled, as he swung a plastic sack over his head.

It was a poorly-packed grocery sack, I could see as much, with odd box corners and can-shaped sags straining against the side.

He looked around. No one was taking his offer. He seemed perplexed. Here was a perfectly fine sack of food, I supposed, but he came at the wrong time. Sure, this park is well known for its homeless and other nocturnal wanderers, but it was 2:30 in the afternoon. Everyone who was there had already eaten.


We all looked approvingly at the brave, but odd, young do-gooder. Some of us nodded, and others just smiled, but no one took his food.


And with that, he put down the bag in the center of the block and walked away. I wondered briefly what was in the bag, and whether an actual homeless person would have the means to prepare it. I mean, there were boxes and cans, and that sort of thing usually requires fire, water and/or electricity...

I was embarrassed for his awkward maneuver and miscalculation, but I also admired his intention. Whether he purposefully purchased the sack of food to hand out, or whether he found himself with an unexpected surplus, I could not tell. I just hope that by tomorrow, the contents of the sack will have been put to good use.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Second Annual

Well, it's been two years now, or at least, almost two years. Next week will be the second anniverasry of this godforsaken shit-stack of a blog.

Ya, fine, I'll hand out sone meaningless tokens of validation to the 2 or 3 morons that waste their time with me each day. I mean, obviously, Dr. Brian will get some recognition for being the jack-ass-in-chief, and Carl with get props for being a pampas fop. The rest of yo will get moinor nods in varying degrees, but really, propbably more than you collectively deserve.

I don't really plan to put much time into it.

I may just hand out a prze to myself for blogger of the year and say "fuck it all" to the rest.

Look, yesterday, the missus and I sind documents that effectively paid off two mortgage-sized student loan debts, and we celebrated tonight with Fred and Oosje by drinking something like two-dozen gallons of champagne tonight. And no, it didn't come from Champagne, France, so it was just some fizzy bubbly. So, fuckoff. It was, however, well fermented, and now, I'm feeling a bit surly.

Also, in th last two days I have doen a bit of filing, and in the process have read and reviewed every photograph and document that we have in our filing boxes.

This is what I've come to realize.

Tom and Brian used to have more hair.

I used to be less fat

Carl has looked the same for the last 12 years

I was lucky to get into, much less out of, law school

My wife has had a lot of different hairstyles

I have had the same doodling/cartoonstyle for about two decades

I have also had the very same writing style for nearly as long

I actually started blogging in much the same way back in 1994, and not much has changed since.

I was lazy in college

I'm going to go smoke a cigar. If you haven't filled out the poll down and to the right, go do it. If your name is Mitch, I found photos today of the festival of meat. If your nameis Carl, I found photos today of your oldest about hte same age as my current. If you are Evelyn, I found a pictureof you standing in front of a large boat. Hoewever, most importantly, if you are an ex girlfriend of mine, I very likely came accross a photo of you or your sister in your bra. Sorry, but thanks!

I'm tired. I shouldn't have drank. fuck.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

By Request! Wet Pussy!

Sometimes, these things just fall into your lap...