Here's part two of the journal I kept when Ursula & I went to Portland for New Year's. Ursula was interested in moving to Portland a few years ago, but we didn't get around to checking it out until recently. You can find part one here. (You can also find the previous journal I kept of our trip to Paris here.).
12/31/08 - Wednesday, New Year's Eve.
From the Ace Hotel we trudged in the rain to Voodoo Donut; my Bavarian creme donut that made the dreariness fairly bearable. After that we went to Old Town Pizza and met with Hans, a developer that works with Seso. They talked shop while I looked for things to do. From there we went to the Nines to meet with Samantha & Kirsty. The Nines is light years away from the diners and dive bars I usually hang out in, but I quietly kept my reservations to myself and thought of pranks to pull on the hotel after they throw us out. Gordon showed up after a bit, and the two of us picked up the luggage while the rest of the crew went shopping for tights. I met Gordon during the four years of debauchery that I spent in New Bedford. We were waiters at the Olive Garden, and there was a lot of hard living going on. Since our lives have changed substantially (for the better), I was curious to see what would happen when we got together for New Year's.
Of course, New Year's Eve turned out to be a blur. We went to a restaurant called Bajingo's and another place (that I don't remember the name of) for the countdown, the crew singing to Simon and Garfunkel in the car on the way. To be honest, I was already wrecked before we left the house, and would have been content staying home with the dog. I made a mental note to myself not to get that whacked out again...at least not for the rest of the vacation.
1/1/09 - Thursday, New Year's Day
Woke up with a hangover that didn't fade until 8pm that night. We had lunch at McMenamin's by the Columbia River; the scene reminded me of Twin Peaks. Afterward we went to see Milk in Vancouver, WA, where Gordon lives. Milk's story is pretty inspiring. I think the thing that strikes me the most about it is that he really didn't start living his life and making a difference in the world until he was forty.
1/2/09 - Friday
I met up with Dennis Culver for lunch at Sante Fe. Dennis & I originally met through a message forum several years ago, but I've only seen him in person a couple of times. It was great catching up; I'm looking forward to his comic from Oni Press coming out in February. Later that afternoon Ursula & I went to Excalibur Comics and had dinner at the Bagdad Theater in the Hawthorne District.
In the evening we went to see a free show at Doug Fir. Pabst Blue Ribbon everywhere. The first band up was the the Slants at 9pm. They sounded like Dead or Alive meets Bloc Party. The crowd got really into them towards the end of their set when the synths came into play. Next up was Western Aerial, a power trio chock full of riffs. They reminded me of a 1971 Mach One Mustang, the kind of car you would see kids from voc race on the quarter-mile. The night closed with the the Family Gun, a glam outfit with a touch of Moony Suzuki. The room was packed for their set: tight jeans and expensive tattoos as far as the eye can see.
1/3/09 - Saturday
On Saturday we went to the Gorge to check out the waterfall. The ice made the visit a little precarious; Ursula was sliding around everywhere. We followed up the gorge with lunch at the lodge and then beer and pool at McMenamin's Edgefield. At home later that night, Gordon & I messed around with his collection of guitars & effects pedals, then we watched the 500 fingers of Dr. T., one of the strangest movies I've ever seen...imagine David Lynch directing H.R. Pufnstuf.
1/4/09 - Sunday
As Gordon dropped us off at the airport, "I really want to be in LA" by Eagles of Death Metal came on the radio. The irony never ends.