Sunday, June 27, 2010


Wondering how to recap our trip to Portland earlier this month, I went back and read the two posts summarizing my 2007 trip. Remember 2007, back when I wrote coherently?

What is there to say about Portland three years later? It is still a very nice place to visit. There are homeless people that literally sleep under Portland's bridges instead of moving on, just to be in that special city, and to approach blogger's girlfriends on the MAX trains, and ask these girlfriends to give them money, and even ask these girlfriends to write a check for $100 when the cash thing doesn't work out.

I spent most of my time at work-related Powerpoints, but the aforementioned girlfriend and Alipete and I all walked around together on Saturday, June 5. We marveled at the local signage:

and the local brews:

and the famous Portland death-defying hairless stuntcats:

I had amazing salmon at Caffe Mingo, and proceeded to seafood the shit out of my vacation, downing fried oysters, sand dabs (flounder, I guess), more salmon, calamari, and shrimp. I also ate pasta at a food cart called Built to Grill, because DUH it's basically named after sweet guitar solos.

I finally got to walk around downtown Portland on the last day, and see Portlandia herself:

That's basically it. I mean, there was one moment during the flight home when I looked over and saw this guy reading an magazine - "What's up with David Duval these days" or some similarly titled article - and I felt sad, because we were flying through a sunny day, beautiful clouds and Big Sky country below us, and this guy's reading a shitty treatment about a has-been golfer because the airplane windows are so tiny, and he's sitting in the aisle seat, and plus we're all spoiled assholes when it comes to flying so we wouldn't be looking at the gorgeous scenery even if we could... anyway, that stung a little.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Black Saturday

I am so far behind blogschedule that I'm abandoning my plan for a well-executed Portland travelogue and focusing on a few main points.

*Before we start with the West Coast, allow me to tie a bow on the District of Columbia. On Saturday afternoon, after returning from brunch, I sat on my hotel bed and flipped on the television. I then received a text from Gav that read, "Michael Ian Black".

"Okay," I thought. Maybe Gav is also watching television, and he's just seen Mr. Ian Black's latest Sierra Mist commercial or an old episode of "Ed". Nine out of ten Tornado Slide readers are friends with Gav, and I'm sure eight of those nine are have occasionally received an incomprehensible text from the man, so you'll understand why I shrugged it off and went back to channel surfing.

A moment later, a more precise message was delivered to my phone. "Michael Ian Black is in the lobby," Floyd wrote.

"Oh. Okay," I thought. I put on some pants, grabbed my camera, and went downstairs to meet the two texters.

I saw where Michael was sitting immediately, through the reflection in one of the lobby mirrors, and proceeded past him to the hotel entrance. I walked outside, looked left and right, and discerned the Floyd and Gav were no longer on the scene. We would not be getting a picture together. I was left to approach the celebrity (very famous) on my own.

Since the clarifying text was read, I had considered how to address the man. Mister Ian Black? But "Black" is a stage name. Mister Schwartz?

I elected to walk up to him, seated in one of the lobby's four chairs, and introduce myself -- TURN THE TABLES.

"Hi, I'm Dan."

"Hi Dan, I'm Michael."

(We shake hands.)

"Yeah, I know! I was going to call you 'Mister Schwartz' but I didn't know if that would be dickish."

(Michael shrugs. Now that I've focused on him instead of trying not to look at him, I see that he appears very tired, and his ten-or-so-year-old child is sitting in the chair to his left.)

"Uh, anyway, I just wanted to say hi. I'm a big fan of Stella."

I assume he said thanks - at that point I was harshly evaluating my effort, from "dickish" to "hassling an exhausted parent on vacation next to his child", and was anxious to leave the scene without further damage. I managed to retreat exactly six yards, where Sarah was sitting, next to a giant box of Saltines and a large Gatorade meant to fuel @BAGEsq's revenge against alcohol. I sat down next to her to chat before realizing she was already on the phone with her mom, which resulted in me facing MIB diagonally for five minutes as I waited for her conversation to end.

Anyway, Michael Ian Black: class act.

Future gameplan for celebrity interaction: Ensure children are not present, introduce self, say one nice thing, make exit.

*Secondly, screw it, I'll postpone Portland prose for another day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Blood On The Cracks

A HeelTastic commercial came on my TV while I was browsing this internet. When the female with damaged feet gave her testimonial, I misheard the line "I had cracks so bad they bled!" as "I had craps so bad they bled!".

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Romantic Interlude

Before we move forward with a Portland recap (huh?), let's look back approximately one year ago, when Katie gifted the historical romance novel "A Touch So Wicked" for my 30th birthday. I've been wanting to read and transcribe a selection from this book for some time -- it's been sitting on my nightstand, waiting to be opened, for months and months. Today is the day:

Damian pushed himself away from the door. "I couldn't sleep. I tried to engage Sir Richard in conversation or a game of cards, but he preferred Maggie's company. Sir Brody had already retired, and there was no one else about."

Elissa pulled the covers up to her neck. "Go away. How dare you enter my chamber without my permission? Have you tired of Lady Kimbra's company already?"

Damian approached the bed with catlike grace. "This is my home. I go where I wish. As for Lady Kimbra, I've had all I can take of her for one night."

"I hope you realize your lady's behavior will lead to trouble if she can't be curbed."

"Forget Kimbra. There is something I wish to discuss with you."

"Can't it wait until tomorrow?"

He settled on the edge of the bed, ignoring Elissa's murmur of protest. "We will talk now."

"Verra well. What is it?"

"I want you to know that neither you nor your family will be sent away because Lady Kimbra wishes it. No message she dispatches to the king concerning you or your family will reach London."

"Why would you do that? I would think you'd wish to please Lady Kimbra."

"Aye, well -- the lady doesn't please me. I will wed her because I must, but I don't have to like it."

Elissa blinked up at him. "I thought she pleased you very well. Lady Kimbra is a great beauty. You seemed to enjoy kissing her."

"She kissed me," Damian whispered in a voice suddenly grown hoarse. "Her hair is blond and there isn't a freckle to be found on her aristocratic nose."

Elissa touched her nose, well aware of the smattering of freckles she'd tried to bleach with lemon when she was a child. Her gaze locked with Damian's. His took on a seductive glint that irresistibly drew her into their glittering promise.

"Damian, nay..." She whispered the words so softly they scarcely stirred the air. She knew what he wanted for she wanted the same thing. But she couldn't... wouldn't...

"I haven't asked you for anything...yet."

"Then go, before..."

"Before you desire becomes as great as mine?"

"Aye...nay...I donna know, I canna think straight when you look at me like that."

Then they boned.