blogging, music, Portland, recording, sad 2 Comments »

Still in the middle of another CrazyWeek.  It’s been non-stop, full of recording (both with IrishBand and with Breanna), a really late but super-fun gig with IrishBand, and then tonight I’m going to watch my friend John play a gig, as he opens for a songwriter whose CD I love but who I’ve never seen play before, and a band who I’ve heard are good but I’ve not heard them at all yet.  Should be a good time, all around.

Slightly dark and stormy times in other ways.  Work’s been ‘teh’ stressful lately; so much so that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were almost unbearable.  Suffice it to say that I’m glad they’re over.  Financial times have been really tough too, for almost five months now.  Car problems and other problems have really been plaguing me lately, all at the same time.  I actually had to swallow my pride and borrow some money from a family member a week and a half ago.   There’s light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s still definitely a tunnel.

The first big storms of the year are rolling in as I’m writing this.  It’s pouring rain today, and the wind is actually whistling through the windows, which is extremely rare in my sheltered apartment.  There are sirens blaring through my neighborhood, coming from what sounds like an ambulance.   Portland may get hit with snow this weekend, which is pretty rare, and absolutely grinds the town to a halt when it does come.  I have an important gig on Sunday (playing drums in a wedding reception band, which will be a total blast) in the West Hills.  Luckily, my little Honda is great in the snow, and I have chains too, just in case the weather really takes a turn for the worse.  I’m sure I won’t need them, though, and I’m going to go on record and say that I don’t think it’s going to end up snowing after all.

Guess we’ll find out.

Heading back to work now. . .

synchronicity, of sorts

true, Washington No Comments »

While I was in Seattle with my brother’s family last week for the Thanksgiving holiday, I texted SeattleFriend and told her I was in town.  She asked for how long, and I replied, “Either late Friday night or early Saturday morning.”  She invited me to go to dinner Friday or breakfast Saturday, and I took her up on breakfast Saturday.  On the way there, my car’s alternator belt broke.

I was listening to a CD and heard a weird squealing sound.  I’d never heard that particular sound effect on that particular song before, so I hit the pause button and revved up the engine a little bit.  It squealed in response, and I shifted to fifth gear to ease the load on the engine.  A minute later, I heard a THUMP from underneath the hood, and knew that couldn’t possibly be good.  The car still ran fine, so it wasn’t life-threatening.  My battery light came on, which I’ve been very familiar with recently, so I knew exactly what had happened.  I decided to go to breakfast with SeattleFriend and sort it all out later.

We ate at the Maltby Cafe in the tiny town of Maltby, Washington, which is a suburb of a suburb of Seattle.  Best breakfast I’ve had in quite some time, by the way.  Farm-fresh organic vegetables, homemade breads and biscuits, and homemade sausages and everything too, if you eat that sort of thing. Unbelievably good food, not to mention the unbelievably good time I spent with SeattleFriend.  Really nice.

So then we got down to the business of getting my car from Maltby down to the suburb of Bothell, where the KingWithGoldenTouch car repair place was.  I’d called the Portland location of KingGoldenTouch to ask what they recommended, and to see if that particular part would be covered under warranty from the repairs I’d just had the previous week.  They said to take it in, and to call them if I had any problems.  We asked a girl at one of the little shops for directions, and she completely nailed the directions.  She even had details like ‘past the construction’ and ‘through the funky intersection’ and ‘past the car dealership’.  It was amazing.  THANK YOU, BETH.  In fact, y’know what?  She was so awesome that I’m gonna give their shop a little plug.  Check out Running Wild Spirit the next time you’re in Maltby, Washington.

Turns out I needn’t have worried about the car.  Those guys at first seemed curt and grumpy, but turned out to be very accommodating and helpful.  They charged me for the part, but not for the labor, and after I spent a couple hours hanging out at SeattleFriend’s apartment watching a Boondocks DVD, they called back and told me it was ready to go.

We drove back to Bothell to get the car, and then went and got coffee at HotWire, which was also really excellent.  I decided to have some caffeine for once, since I had the long drive back to Portland ahead of me.  The coffee was excellent, and so was the company of SeattleFriend, naturally.

Okay, okay.  I can feel you wondering, ‘This is all well and good, but what does it have to do with synchronicity?’

Well, if SeattleFriend hadn’t invited me to breakfast, my car would have had this little mishap in the middle of the night on Friday, somewhere along Interstate 5, in the cold and the rain, and it would have been much worse.  GoldenTouchKing would’ve been closed, and I wouldn’t have gotten to see SeattleFriend at all, let alone spend an entire day with her.

I’d say it all worked out for the best.



blogging, funny, Portland 3 Comments »

I took today off from work to hang out with CincinnatiFriend, who’s in town this week to defend her dissertation.  As of yesterday, though, I realized that I’m going to have to change her pseudonym to DoctorLove now (her last name means ‘love’ in German), cause she done dissertated that shit, and now she’s all up on her way to officially becoming a doctor.   Frealz, yo.  Much love to DoctorLove!

But in typical BFS&T fashion, that’s not the real story I originally wanted to write about.

The real story is that while I was lying in bed this morning, I sent out a quick message on Twitter saying something to the effect of, ‘Sure is nice to lie in bed and listen to the rain.  I could do that all day.’  My phone rang instantly.  It was barrington, calling to say, “Oh, man, you’re so lucky you get to still be in bed.  I had to get up, get in the car, drive around everywhere, get out of the car, come in to work. . .all in the pouring rain.”

I laughed.  “I love how you listed ‘get in the car’ and ‘get out of the car’ as two different things you had to do today.”  I started to mimic him, gesturing each item in the air with my hand, which he couldn’t see over the phone.  “I had to GET IN the car, I had to START it, I had to put it in GEAR, I had to STEER it, I had to push the ACCELERATOR.  Oh yeah, AND push the BRAKE pedal. . .”

He laughed and continued the riffing.  “Yeah, it was ALL in the RAIN.  I had to turn the WINDSHIELD WIPERS ON. . .”

“Daaaaaang, no way!  Did you have to turn the DEFOGGER on, too?”


“Oh, man, YOU have a rough life.  At least you don’t have a STICK SHIFT like I do.  I’m gonna have to do that when I go out today, and push in the CLUTCH a million times.  Ugh.”

Ahhh; just another day in the life of two Portlanders.

So now I’m up, and eating BREAKFAST, and doing LAUNDRY, and taking a SHOWER, and then heading OUT to pick up DoctorLOVE, and it should be a REALLY GREAT DAY, despite the fact that I’ll have to push in the CLUTCH and SHIFT GEARS a whole bunch of times.

Incidentally, I have TWO sets of windshield wipers (front and rear!) that I’ll have to turn on, while I’m doing the clutch and the gearshift.  Think about THAT.

new links

blogging 1 Comment »

If you’ll notice, I just updated my blogroll, with some new links for you to peruse and enjoy.  There are some new ones mixed in with the familiar ones.  I have a new friend, Carolina, who’s seizin’ the day down in Texas and wishing the best for her family, who live in Houston and have a very large hurricane heading their way.

Speaking of large hurricanes, when Katrina hit New Orleans three years ago, my cat Katrina (Petrovisky-Mouskewicz) was still alive, and she would perk her little head up and look at the TV every time she heard one of the newscasters say her name.  After a while, though, the novelty wore off and she just took it all in stride.  And no, I don’t have a cat named Ike.

I recently started using the blog reader in GangstaMail, and I found that I hate it, despite its convenience.  Part of what I like about reading blogs is seeing the layouts and the pretty colors and all that.  I don’t mind having to click around, y’know?  So now, the links are back on my blog, where they should’ve always been.

Seaside trip

beautiful, blogging, Oregon, pictures, Washington, Yakima 1 Comment »

Yesterday after work, my friend Blaine came to meet me at my place, where we switched to my car and drove to Seaside to meet Chris and Nicole, who live in GoldenGateCity. You remember them, they got married this last spring. Anyway, they were up in Seaside (Oregon, that is; there’s a Seaside in GoldenState also) for the entire week. They stopped in to see me at my place on their way up, and I recruited Blaine to join me when I went over to visit them last night. We had a blast listening to a funny CD we made about a million years ago, and laughing like hyenas the entire way.

It was sunny and ninety degrees when we left Portland, but when we arrived at the coast it was cold and fairly crappy. This is the norm on the Oregon coast, and I’ve learned to be prepared with a hoodie or something, no matter what time of year it is.

The terrible picture is from my phone, by the way. There’s a huge amateur volleyball tournament happening this weekend (Sarah in NYC? You gonna be there?), so there are nets everywhere on the beach, as well as a smallish stage. We met Chris and Nicole and went to sushi at a pretty decent Japanese restaurant called Tora. After that, we headed back to their time-share, which is the same one that Chris’s parents and siblings (and siblings’ kids) were staying in, so we went to their parents’ place to say hello to everyone.

We all talked and laughed, and at around 10:00, Blaine and I drove the hour and a half back to Portland. Again, we had a great time talking and laughing, but the drive was more difficult this time. It was foggy through the mountains, and we saw a coyote or something in the road at one point. Once we were in the city limits, around 11:45, there was a huge wreck in the opposite direction of the highway, which looked like a motorcycle was involved. There were lots of police cars, and at least one ambulance, and traffic was completely stopped.

We got home and I went in and went to bed, but Blaine still had to drive himself back to his house, which is about half an hour’s drive, in Vancouver’s NorthernSuburb. Incidentally, I’d like to give a ‘shout out’ to Blaine, who said that he reads my blog in the morning on his PDA, while sitting on the toilet. No doubt some would say that’s the only appropriate place to be while reading blogs, but as far as I’m concerned, wherever you want to read from is fine by me.