Thursday, February 28, 2008

Portland Travelogue

You know that you haven't yet recovered from your dorky 70's childhood when you call your cousin and leave a message on her voicemail saying, "I've lost the directions you gave me, so I'm using The Force to find your house."

Fortunately, The Force was with me, and nine hours after leaving my Humboldt homestead, I arrived at Keri's home carrying one red sandal that she left under my bed in August and a bag of green m & m's.

Bright and early the next morning, the adventures began. There is no way that I can do justice (let alone remember through the alcohol haze) to all the action that we packed into four short days. We drank, we laughed, we gossiped, we burnt our flesh with hot metal, we acted like fools in public, we sang along with ABBA in perfect harmony and much, much more. Here are just a few of the highlights.


On our first day together, Keri and I drove 35 miles for a doughnut. Not just any doughnut, mind you, a Voodoo Doughnut.

Keri chose an early-morning-appropriate Grape Ape - a glazed confection covered in grape powder and purple sprinkles. She said it was just like eating a mouthful of grape koolaid powder. Mmmmmm. I was feeling a bit more adventurous and chose a gigantic maple bar topped with big slices of bacon. Now that's what I'd call breakfast!

As if our early morning sugar rush wasn't enough, we also had to visit Saint Cupcake to really make sure we didn't go hypoglycemic. We were disappointed that the Fat Elvis cupcake wasn't on the menu that day, but we did enjoy the turtle, red velvet, hot fudge, chai, big top and coconut cream cupcakes. We even shared some with the family - really. After we'd licked them all of course.


Regrettable Missed Purchase #1: The Bee Gees bag

I loved this bag. I loved it so much that I carried it around the store for 20 minutes trying to decide whether it was worth the $14 price tag. Unfortunately, every time I looked down at the bag I started humming "How Deep is Your Love" and couldn't stop. The bag was returned to its rack. If it had been an ABBA bag, there might've been a cousin-on-cousin wrestling match to report.

Regrettable Missed Purchase #2: Pornogami

So tempting. But really, I don't need another excuse for not working while at work. And making naughty folded paper sculptures would be a good one. So, with great reluctance, I put this little gem back on the shelf at Powell's Books, the greatest book store ever.

Fabulous Purchase #1: Recycled Bag

It's hard to tell from the picture, but this bag is crocheted, and made completely from recycled plastic bags. It's huge, super strong and was $2.99 at Goodwill. It was such a score that an old woman at the checkout line tried to talk me out of it, but I just sneered at her and hung on tighter.

Fabulous Purchase #1: Crafty Necklace

Crafty Wonderland was Crafty Wonderlicious! Beautiful and hip crafts made by beautiful and hip women (and a couple of guys who weren't really all that hip but were kinda cute in that embarrassingly heart-wrenching emo kinda way.) This gorgeous necklace is made out of shrinky dink plastic.


Outsider Artist Douglas Jones

Jones created his art on pieces of freeway signs and trash underneath bridges while he was homeless. I love, love, love his work.

Figure Studies

These are very cool mixed-media pieces created by students in the anatomy class at the Art From the Heart program for visionary artists.

Keri and I also took an art class together where, after about two hours of sleep and a ridiculous amount of caffeine, we were shakily molding metal heated to 700 degrees. Fortunately there are no pictures, but my left inner thigh still stings from the burn.


The Exhibitionist's Room

This was my room at the Ace Hotel, which had the best coffee, the funkiest honor bar and the cutest front desk boys in Portland. The walls were covered with a strange painting and a poem about "The Oregonian Gentleman," who apparently likes to watch. The crystal clear glass shower was located not in the bathroom, but right behind the bed in the middle of the room. Perfect for soaping up and showing off.

The Oregonian Gentleman

Another reason to love Portland: it has the most adult businesses per capita of any city in America.

Keri and my favorite: Spartacus Leathers.

You've gotta love a place with a sign at the entrance stating "Please refrain from spanking/whipping/flogging others while shopping at Spartacus Leathers. Violators will be asked to leave the store." Yes, we made some purchases. No, you can't see them.

Big Oregon Love

I've got a great family up in Oregon. Uncle Ken is planning a future yurt compound in Willa Crick. Aunt Cheryl has been known to tap-dance on the street for cash. Grandpa Joe is a bonafide dowser. Keri does a perfect impersonation of the Swedish Chef, especially after a couple of long island ice teas, and is much more like a sister than a cousin.

Plus, Oregon's got clean rest stops, no sales tax, legal Everclear, amazing waterfalls, an abundance of outdoorsy flannel-wearing boys, and you don't have to pump your own gas. What's not to love?

P.S. Confidential to a certain local newspaper employee who expressed some displeasure at our neighbors to the north: Maybe next time if you'd just be nice instead of acting real jackass, you'd have a better experience. Just a thought.


Hank Sims said...


I think you seriously misread me.

Kristabel said...

Hank! I wasn't talking about you. In fact, I have no idea what you're talking about. Unless you're joking, and then I still don't get it.


P.S. Read the T-S blogs much?

Tapperass said...

How much junk do you write about places/people/things Hank?

The defensive posture makes me think this is not the first time Hank has presumed he had to defend his work.


Hank Sims said...

Down, Boy. At ease soldier.

Kristabel, I just naturally assumed that you were nursing a deep grudge against me based on my year-and-a-half-old pro-Portland, anti-Oregon screed elsewhere in the blogosphere.

I figured that's why we could never get you to write for us, despite having begged and pleaded on bended knee.


P.S. Read the T-S blogs much?

I must confess that I sometimes miss a post here and there.

Tapperass said...

OK Hank, you were the one who went off your meds to begin this thread.

Now K-bel, I am so bummed that I will not be hanging out with you, and that Bee Gees hand bag. (sniff sniff)


Monica... That One Girl said...

Voodoo Donut!!!!! I freaking love that place! When I went up to Portland with the Strix Vega/Que La Chinga boys a bit over a year ago, Voodoo Donut was right across the street from the venue the boys were playing. They have some truly disgusting concoctions that I still kick myself for not trying. And that crazy little loft area up top where apparently they host bands, on occassion.

And re: the missed bag-buying opportunities... dang. I've been wanting to create/sell my own, but wonder: if they don't come from Portland (and do come from The Metro), are they still cool and hip?


Jennifer McKenzie said...

Oh how FUN!!!

Kristabel said...

Okay, Hank... Nope - I had missed that discussion, but it was fun to read now.

And about that bended knee thing....I must've missed that as well. xo

Kym said...

I like that Douglas Jones piece. I can see what you like his work.

Anonymous said...

rocket J Ardilla said...


I believe Kristabel was referring to the otherwhiny jackass, James Faulk

Anonymous said...

ditto on douglas jones!
next time you go adventuring, i want to tag along...bacon donut, my version of heaven!
now if you'll excuse me, i must go tell people about this blog.

Jennifer Savage said...

Thanks for the vicarious thrills. Again.

Anonymous said...

I'll be going up to Portland, for the first time in May, to move my 19-year old daughter up there.

She is wanting to spread her wings in Portland.

Of course, I who thought Eureka was the big city when I was 19, will see what the hubbub is all about in May. Portland in the spring.

Thanks for the report.

Kristabel said...

Hey, crossgirl, do you live in Humboldt?

Monica...You do know that you can get married at Voodoo Doughnut, right? It's a nice alternative to the 24-hour Church of Elvis since it closed its doors. And yes, your handmade bags would be just as cool and hip - maybe even more so. I think we may need to do some crafty networking.

Kristabel said...

Hey everybody,

There's a show opening in March in Portland called "I Heart Mr. T." Over twenty artists who've made work about everyone's favorite mohawked Messiah.

Who's up for a road trip?

Erin said...

Glad to see you're back in action.

I get all fucked up and out of sorts when you take a break. I've become spoiled by your charms and lovely writing.

Hey! Will you be slinging art in Old Town tomorrow night. Shall we meet for a drink?


Keri said...

God what a great trip! I relived it all over again. Even though we are older, we still know how to paint the town red, don't we sista?!?!

Well I miss you and think we should do the Mr T. party FOOL!!! I'll bring my felt pocket demon and butt plug with the horse tail. Hee, hee!

Thanks for coming up!


Kristabel said...


Blogging is the only action I'm back in lately.

I'd love to have a drink with you, but no, I won't be slinging art. I'm waiting for the alien baby to be born that's still lodged in the back of my throat.


Jeff said...

Ladies....'twas purt near 20 years ago I came across a mid-70s metal Bee Gees lunch box (w/thermos) for $15 in an Albuquerque antique shop. I waffled and wavered and walked away, figuring the $15 would be better spent elsewhere. Now I'm a life-long BeeGees fan, the earlier melodious stuff mostly, the disco era not so much, and to this day, though I've searched high and low, have not seen that lunch box again. Life's full of regrets, no?

Anonymous said...

Not to change your subject, but the BeeGees had extensive tooth work done. If you watch this video, you can see what I mean.

Monica... That One Girl said...

I would love to craftily network. I have some fun ideas, but me and sewing machine... well, we don't get a long so well. Though I am contemplating taking mine in for a service (*snicker*), since I figure maybe if it worked better, I'd be more likely to, well, use it. heh.

Blah Blah Nyborg said...

I've searched high and low, have not seen that lunch box again. Life's full of regrets, no?

Bob, someday that lunch box may find its way to E-bay.

Disco was alright, I was too dorky to get into Studio 54, because being in sales makes you very dull.

Those donuts look very yummy. Next time I am there, I may grab me a box, or twelve.


Tapperass said...

Who puts bacon on a donut? Probably the same cook who put green beans in the eggs at the camp I worked my summers at while I was in college.

Could she have moved up there?


Joel Mielke said...

Lovely cupcakes, evil doughnuts, exhibitionism, gee, there were so many items in that post, I forgot which one I was going to comment on.

Hank's rant about Oregon was correct in every observation as I recall.

Kristabel said...

OK..not ONE of you. Oh god, I just used capitals. Sorry CPR. I think I need a private lesson from you in some of sophisticated ways.

Alright...not one of you have agreed to go on the Mr. T art show road trip with me. What are you all afraid of?!

Anonymous said...

I would go, but sadly, I live in Florida. You must go and blog about it though!!

headwrapper said...

Crossgirl , so nice to see you here, being as I am a big fan of yours.

Kristabel said...


Your work is fantastic! Now I'm a big fan too.

Thanks for posting the link, Mr. Headwrapper.

Tapperass said...


Road Trip!!!


Erin said...

Down for another extended road trip this year?

Let's go to Burning man 2008 and see what kind of trouble we can get ourselves into there....

Anonymous said...

reuben, i'm honored. thank you and kristabel too.

Anonymous said...

My fun mother-in-law used to fold her cloth napkin at more formal events into a cone-shaped bra (a la Madonna)- it would make my kids hysterical! She would have liked that paper folding book.

Also, my Swedish relatives came here for one of my kids' weddings, and we all lip-sync'd to ABBA at the rehearsal dinner. I think ABBA needs to have a reunion.

Fun blog! BTW, I like bacon and maple together- kind of like when your syrup runs onto your breakfast meat.


Anonymous said...

wait a minute. you mean, the last post was 2 days ago? this is why we don't need so many blogs. no one is posting comments and it takes 2 days to get an answer to anything. we have too many blog sites and it is confusing people! they can't find their comment or the comments after because they forget where they have been! IT'S NO FUN to come back and see that your comment has had no retort or comment. more blogs means more dead space.

Anonymous said...

some of these blogs/bogs are just dead action

Tapperass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tapperass said...

wait a minute. you mean, the last post was 2 days ago? this is why we don't need so many blogs. no one is posting comments and it takes 2 days to get an answer to anything.

Need attention do you? Might I suggest a chat room. There are some bloggers who do have lives away from the Blogsphere.

some of these blogs/bogs are just dead action

Somebody should have prepared you for the transition from porn sites to local blogs.


Keri said...

So sorry to have left you and your ADHD attention span for *gasp* 2 whole days!!!!! What ever will you do? How will you survive? Maybe you could leave your mom's basement and go be a productive member of society.

Just a thought.


Kristabel said...

Oh, anony.miss, I'm so disappointed. I loved your comments about naughty paper folding and ABBA and was looking forward to welcoming you when I got back in town today, but my statcounter shows that the nasty commenter with an attention span/memory problem is you too.



Anonymous said...

Yeah, Annony-miss. AKA anonymous 11:52 and 12:15 can't you devote your time to more productive activities?

Like harassing your tenants , for instance...

Robin Shelley said...

Thanks for sticking up for Oregonians. Some of 'em - er, us -enjoy your blog!

mresquan said...

Hey I can guaranty that Kristabel lives a much,much too extravagant lifestyle to have time to even blog as much as she does.I personally very much cherish her very thoughtful words.

Kristabel said...

I wish I knew about my extravagant lifestyle...

Thanks, mresquan. You're so cute when you're totally drunk.

mresquan said...

Not quite drunk yet,but thanks though!!

Kristabel said...

Huh. I don't know if you should admit that you wrote that comment sober.


mresquan said...

Could depend on one's interpretation of "quite".

Defiantmuse said...

duuude, looks like so much fun!!! I'm still not sure about a maple log with bacon on it but those cupcakes look damn tasty.

You made me want to go visit MY cousin in Portland!