What I’m Thankful For


It’s the last week of November of the year 2015. How bored would you be if I talked about some things that I’m thankful for?

Not having to travel on Thanksgiving: A friend’s Instagram post from an airport reminded me how little I want to get on a plane right now. Yes, yes, I’ll spread all of my belongings on a conveyer belt and walk through the body scanner in socks, but only for the winter holiday. For Thanksgiving, I’ll stay home and be lazy, eating in celebration of autumn with all it’s crunchy leaves and it’s cold.


My house. Everyone needs a spot they can go back to and recharge. Find comfort, find silence and solitude in the noise. I like the energy in my place—the house is definitely not haunted. No cold spots, no shadows, no bumps in the night. Nothing but good vibrations on 57th Street.

A few good friends. Friends take time and energy, and you can’t be friends with everyone. This is okay. I don’t need a bajillion friends. What I do need, what I’m actively trying to proliferate in my life are fun, joy, and meaning. If you check one of these boxes for me, then let’s do this. If not, I’ll see ya around.

Snow on the mountain. Not really for snowboarding, just for, you know, being there. For making the peak a pure white. For the promise of moisture, which is really the promise of life and the assurance that Oregon isn’t, as was previously thought this past summer, about to dry up and blow away like a little ole tumbleweed.

12256674_920056131421095_1021311709_n  12145605_1541344952822346_474605823_n


First Snow


After a happy youth spent bumper-car-ing between snowbanks in Colorado, I have fallen out of touch with driving in the snow. Won’t do it. Don’t really have to. Sometimes, though, it sneaks up on you.

What happened was, Trish and Cairo lured me off the couch to hike up Larch Mountain. It was your average astronomically rainy Sunday. We thought we were prepared. We had an umbrella, a carload of people, and a carload snacks, along with a plus-sized dog to eat if things got really bad. What we couldn’t predict was that on the way up the access road, the temperature would dive 15 degrees in as many minutes. No one saw the big fluffy flakes coming. No one thought they’d do anything more than harmlessly melt against the wet, dark road.

Now, snow is very beautiful. It makes the branches hang heavy. It collects the light. Everything is well defined, except for the treetops, which are buried in cloud …


But eventually my tires stopped doing that thing they’re supposed to do—making the car go. We peeled out a little, we floated around a corner on prayer alone, and when the road tilted slightly in the direction of a ditch, that’s exactly where we went.

Getting stuck can be fun when you’re only stuck for a little while and don’t have to call a tow truck. It reminded me to buy new tires. It reminded me that the future is unwritten. It reminded me to always have at least one bad ass in the crew who will just fucking take charge and handle it—whatever “it” may be (thanks Mark!).


This is what the Columbia River Gorge looks like in November, and I ain’t mad at it.


We found a new hike at a reasonable elevation. The fall colors were just fine.


Another day, another boring waterfall.

Favorites 11.10.15


The palette of November: The sun’s always hiding behind purple-grey clouds and then piercing through all last minute, putting those lit-match orange trees into high relief. We can’t pretend it’s not pretty.

Old friends from other places moving to town for a month: Worlds collide. Your old friends become your new friends. Instead of flying across the country for a jet-lagged visit, you can walk down the street and visit them for a cup of coffee. A cup of coffee!

Not having hives: In a random turn of events, last year at this time I was in the depths of an illness brought on by lead poisoning. Maybe you didn’t know? I was probably trying to be brave or some shit when I saw you. Anyway, after a year and a half, after a crap load of doctors and a crap load stress, I no longer have dark circles under my eyes or full-body hives. I am backing this!

The season’s first really dark, damp Sunday doing nothing at all: Last weekend winter became real. The cat laid on the couch all day, while the dog laid on the floor. I stayed home and cared nothing about the cold or the rain. I read and watched movies for hours, I didn’t give a shit. It was impossibly cozy. By the end of January, we’ll be anciently tired of ourselves—but for now, things are just fine.

Asziz Ansari’s show Masters Of NoneMe and everyone I know—even, let’s be honest, you.

The Halloween Report


In honor of an important holiday, dressed up like a jedi princess and went to a legit costume party. Short Round from The Temple Of Doom was there, along with several bearded ladies and a contingent of potted cacti. Keg beer was guzzled, and everyone danced to Drake.

Frantically bailed water off my back patio to keep the basement from flooding. It’s good exercise!

Floated down to Burnside on a river of rainwater and watched approximately 4 and half minutes of the 25 Year Anniversary. A metal band riffed. A guy destroyed his knee. A mortar exploded. Then we wandered off into the deluge.

Spent most of Sunday moving very little and eating whenever possible, including a biscuits and gravy brunch on Belmont Street with Trish and Cairo. It’s motherfuckin’ November!


That time Leia and Short Round kicked it.


Burnside 25 Year tarp city.


Office partyin’ on Friday afternoon—a very Nemo Halloween!


Joyful reunions.

Been Watching

Last week was the kind of week where you watch a bunch of movies.

Chappie: Like Neill Blomkamp’s other movie District 9, Chappie is set in South Africa in the dystopian future. And crikey! I liked it. It’s funny, sad, gripping—with an ending that’s both redemptive and sinister. Sci fi is a go for me. Sure, it’s about the future and robots and shit. But really, it’s about us.

Crimson Peak: In homage to All Hallow’s, watched this one on the big screen. It’s a good ol’ fashioned ghost story. (In the spirit of honesty: I believe in ghosts.) This one’s a Guillermo del Toro joint, so it was more creepy than terryifing—but I still got skeeered. The film was beautiful, too, each scene like a painting.

The Departed: It’s the other Whitey Bulger movie. Made by a fellow named Martin Scorsese back in 2006. I watched it ’cause every time I’d say I saw Black Mass, someone from Boston would be like, “I liked The Departed better.” Now that I’ve seen both, I do agree. It had, among other things, a wicked good soundtrack.

The Desert And Back

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 4.20.09 PM

What happened was, my mom called a while back and demanded that I drive down to meet them in Southern Utah. The desert in the fall sounded just fine, and past me didn’t care that future me would have to drive 15 hours each way to get there.

Having just returned, I’m gonna argue here that all those long hours spent in the car were almost the best part of the trip. I saw so much natural beauty outside that windshield. Fucking scenery! Roving rainstorms off in the distance, hanging their veil over the purple mountains. Oceans of lonesome sage brush. The canyon between Salt Lake and Green River, where steep ravines covered in orange scrub brush turned soft in the lilac twilight. Colors upon colors, the palette changing with every new valley …

Anyway, we spent a couple days in Moab eating and hiking and staring at the rocks. I love that town. You’re surrounded by red canyon walls, right there on the cusp of Arches, Canyonlands, and Monument Valley. Every time you walk outside, you see something worth sending a postcard about. Surreal!


Young, wild, and free on Alvord Salt Flats in Southern Oregon.


Lefty, clearly trespassing in the Ruby Mountains, Nevada. This was also the scene of a picturesque peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 4.29.55 PM

Paradise Valley, where we found a clutch gas station just in time to watch the sun dip.

FullSizeRender 3

Arches, lagoons, and cliffs carrying the stains of ages.

FullSizeRender 2

Nephew Pat was only mildly impressed with the scenery. Tough crowd, 11 year olds.


The motherfuckin Colorado River! Word on the street—it gets its name from its red color.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 4.19.29 PM

Me, thinking about geology at Canyonlands.

P.S. I borrowed this picture (and the one at the top!) from Mark, who, bless his heart, drove all the tuff shifts and crawled in the dirt to fix my tire.

On The Way


I watched The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. I liked it—better than I thought I would. Ben Stiller didn’t do his schtick, he played it pretty straight and the movie was less campy, more odd. Cool odd. I clicked in with the undercurrent of digital replacing analog and what that means for things like craft, timelessness, and the essence of moments. Like, is it all just disposable?

Apropos of that, and apropos of #selfies and clogged feeds and the constant scroll scroll scroll, I didn’t take any pictures of my epic autumn hike yesterday. Wait, I did. The pic above of the view from the top. Views are views, but all the best stuff about walking in the nature can’t be translated by your phone-camera anyway—stuff like the pine-sap scent, stuff like how safe you feel in the sunlit room created by a scrub-oak canopy, stuff like the way tough physical exertion leads to a transformation of the heart.

3 Things


The road to Moab: Headed south to Southern Utah next week to meet moms and pops, to meet sister and nephew Pat. There, I plan to wander the red rocks, smell sage brush on the wind, and see as many desert sunsets as possible.

Work dreams: Got a couple humungous projects weighing me down. I know that I’ve been working a lot lately because I’ve been dreaming about it. Dreaming about words and sentences. Isn’t that sad? Instead of spinning into strange watery landscapes where I ride ocean liners with my mom and then jump off towering cliffs into the pale, shining waves, I’m just sitting there trying to come up with taglines. It’s lackluster. It’s too REAL. I don’t want real life when I close my eyes, I want fucking fairy tales.

Black Mass: Hard boiled. Exceptionally acted. It’s one of the best modern-day gangster stories evahhhh, if you can get over the facial prosthetics that make Johnny Depp look like a blue-eyed cyborg. Which I couldn’t.

Positively October


The first week of October, already gone. And I turned 30 something last week. It was the loveliest day, I barely did a thing. Worked a little, skated a little, laid on the deck in the sun with the cat.

As I got to reminiscing on the past year, I realized something: this summer was the very best summer of my life. At least in recent memory. In non little kid memory. It came on hot and fast. We went swimming every weekend. I skated a ton and went out a ton—on warm Saturday nights, always pedaling my bike down Alameda Street, headed toward Alberta, toward friends, toward tacos. Brooding was near non existent, and wasted angst was kept to a minimum. It was great, I did what I wanted … which is all you could ever really ask for in a summer.

Anyway, it should make all y’all 20 somethings glad to know. Things never dry up. There’s always more. Nope, no shortage of bounty as the years go on. Trying to say the good times will be over at such and such an age—hey that’s just a myth we keep telling ourselves.






Favorites 9.29.15


Blood Moons: Lucky for me, the moon rises right outside my front door. On Sunday night, it arrived a deep, dusty red. In a time before social media, what we did was simply look at the lunar eclipse—some of us wondering about its dark celestial mysteries. Now, we can take pictures with our iPhones! (P.S. I borrowed this pic from my friend Kurt. I doubt it was taken with an iPhone. And for the record I deem astronomical happenings to be plenty worthy of a tap or two.)

Toasted sage: I didn’t know that you could chop and cook sage until it was crisp and then sprinkle it on such things as squash and spaghetti to add fragrance and crunch. I mean, did you?

No roommates: I had roommates all summer and the last of ’em just left. Now the house is super quiet and warm with fall light. I love having the place filled with people, laughter, etc.—but then eventually it’s so nice to be totally all by yourself.

Backyards of Portland: Perfect for the kind of fall days when you want skate and be with friends but make very little effort and deal with zero skatepark undesirables.