The Summer Scene

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I am trying to take it slow and maintain a respect for the summer. All its bounty. It came on so hot and fast—my lawn already cooked into a hay-colored patch (a development usually reserved for later in July)—that I’m kinda worried I might get sick of it?

For instance, my stomach didn’t want BBQ food on Saturday night after having feasted on it Friday night, too. Another veggie burger, blahhh. Instead, I ate PB&J before riding my bike to the Q. And Sunday? We couldn’t muster the energy to go swimming after having roasted at the river all day on Saturday. Instead, we just skated and sweat in the heat and humidity and then lazily sipped beer and booze on a patio under swollen thunder clouds.

Every night, apocalyptic sunsets blow up the sky. Fires are burning to the North. 100 degrees is in the forecast for multiple days this week. Is it the end of the world? Aw, well, Armageddon ain’t so bad, I suppose …

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Sun-dappled trails into swimming holes, etc. 

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Lefty likes to catch a cuddle wherever he can. 

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This is how you hydrate. Right????

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Favorites 6.25.15

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Reading on the deck after dinner: Like, 25-30 pages. Nice, quiet way to tie up the day—just me and the dog and the cat and that one bird that hops around picking at the cherry pits under the tree.

Mt. Tabor hill bomb: Apropos of Monday’s post—hike up through the forest; roll down the switch backs. The perfect pitch—no need to powerslide it out, but you don’t gotta push, either.

Stella Taco: A newish taco join on Alberta Street where we all went one warm Saturday eve and sat at a high table with our feet dangling like toddlers and ate fried avocado tacos and drank ice-cold drinks and didn’t want to leave.

True Detective Season 2 Soundtrack: Hey it’s just original songs by Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Lera Lynn, etc—all strung together in a musical tapestry that’s deep and rich and chilly all at once. I mean Lynn’s This Is My Least Favorite Life from episode 1—DANG. T. Bone Burnett curates here, so, yeah…

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Go Skateboarding Day, It Happened!

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Yesterday was many things (Father’s Day, the summer solstice, etc) but it was, first and foremost, Go Skateboarding Day. An official holiday? I guess. But for us it was just a good excuse—another reason to spend all day doing this one fun thing we all like to do. So …

*Met the squad for breakfast at Genie’s. Everyone showed up at different times and put in complicated orders and the waitress rolled her eyes the whole time but she was a fundamentally kind soul who didn’t give us any shit and got us buzzed on that stiff Portland coffee.

*Hiked Mt. Tabor and bombed it with the wild kids. Some got chucked by pine cones or cracks, others were claimed by speed wobbles. No one didn’t have fun.

*Pushed 65 blocks toward the river through Portland’s East Side. Lurked in front of Shrunken Head. Skated the parking lot at Evo. Collected a sunburn (from the sun) and some free merch (from Kevin at Evo—thanks man!).

*Crossed Burnside Bridge in search of street pizza. Mid-day tequila shots all around! Skated through traffic. Laughed and yelled. Acted disorderly. Posted up on the river bank to rest our legs and make fun of each other.

*Pushed uphill to NW 13th street—muscles on fire, lungs at capacity—to a kinda skate block party going on in front of Tilt. Saw a ton of faces, some old, some new, all smiling. Skated more. Laughed a lot more. Watched the sun set and the sky turn purple.

Such a good day. Love all of these people. Love this town. Happy Go Skate Day!

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Thursday Things

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Work projects finally calmed down around here. My head’s above water. My mornings can linger. At lunch the other day, I took the dog on a long walk in Forest Park. It was hot as F out in the sun, but not in there—in there it was all cool shadow and green light.

While walking, I listened to the Marc Maron WTF where he interviews Mike Watt from the Minute Men and found that shit to be inspiring—thoughts about growin’ up punk, thoughts about music and what people want it to be and what it really is, thoughts about middle age, thoughts about loss and death. Mike Watt is a natural story teller with poetry of voice and vision. The dude is, was, and will always be a wizard.

Been missing my favorite mini ramp lately. As you may know, Bracewell (owner of said ramp) and his chick had their baybay (YAYYY!), and although procreation and the miracle of life etc etc trump skateboarding (or at least that’s what they tell me), a girl still can’t help but be missin’ all those leisurely backyard sessions with beers and all the buds.

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A River Day

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I didn’t go to the river last weekend AKA the “hot weekend” (I was entertaining out of towners) but instead waited until this past weekend, which wasn’t as sweltering but adequately toasty mind you, to hike into a secluded beach and spend a few hours tanning and swimming.

The dog, though, he’s already been in the water this summer—it wasn’t, like, his first time. You wouldn’t have known it by watching him, though, running around madly, a real Tasmanian river devil, barking and splashing in everyone’s faces. His pal Igby—the same. Together, they drove us all crazy, stomping over the clean towels, kicking sand on both people and food, always shaking off gallons of cold water on the most comfortable person—the one who’d really settled into their towel and was almost, almost asleep.

That’s the thing about dogs! Always doing dog things. You can’t not be happy when you see how happy they are, though. Lefty’s a water dog through and through—he was made for river days, and it just somehow wouldn’t be right to deny him.

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Sunburns, sandy feet, etc.

Summer To-Do List

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1. Find a new secret river spot. Show all my friends.

2. Stay away from bars, hang out in backyards, only—for backyards are the province of summer.

3. Freeze coffee into ice cubes and get buzzed on ’em in the afternoon.

4. Go skate-camping (skamping!) in the woods of Central Oregon.

5. Cut out everything in my life that isn’t absolutely awesome—including the toxic shit and the shit that’s of zero note.

6. Live off chips and watermelon.

7. Find my passport (closet? underwear drawer?) and head north to Vancouver. Drink caesars. Befriend some new Canadians.

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The Weekend Report

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Attended two surprise birthday parties. One, for Ben, involved NoPo’s best front porch awash in evening light. The other, for Charlie, involved face-melting guitar rock from the band Magic Sword, as well as everyone running around all drunk with toy light sabers.

Slashed the Bracewell mini for the last time for a spell—as Bracewell himself is becoming a new dad, like, any minute now and will need nothing in his life for a bit but peace and quiet and, probably, diapers.

Took the dog for summer’s first swim. Watched him lunge through the shining waves.

Moms and pops were in town with nephew Pat. As such, they were towed around by me in search of a Portland I insist upon, one that is not clogged with kooks and traffic but rather a mellow city of incendiary pizza, easy parking, and snow-capped volcanoes off in the distance.

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Wine spritzin’ on the porch with my boy Walter.

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Mom and nephew—nice light and good marble at Pittock Mansion.

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Don’t pizza make you smile?

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Fact: I went to a party that looked like this and I was not on drugs.

Tunnel Falls

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Hiked 12 miles roundtrip to walk behind a waterfall last week. What’s a long hike to you? Twelve miles is very long to me. The longest! But it seemed worth it considering that walking is good for you and meditative and also there was that sweet sap smell of the trees in the sun and how, once at the falls, you could slip into the darkness of a cold tunnel and then emerge again in a wild prism of overspray, which dropped over you like a veil and cooled your skin, giving you energy for the (long) walk back to the car.

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Favorites 6.2.15

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The close proximity of river season: Almost, almost, almost.

Marc Maron interviews Fresh Air’s Terry Gross: Hey it’s just two of my favorite interviewers, like, interviewing each other. Marc gets at a cooler, younger Terry. Terry gets at a more empathetic Marc. It’s great.

Fried cauliflower po’ boy at The Old Gold: Spicy, crunchy, soft. An incendiary sandwich for people of the vegetarian persuasion—and crucial acknowledgement that we can do better than reconstituted soy product.

Silicon Valley: Because Mike Judge, because Martin Starr, because everyone of us knows someone who’s just fucking like one of the characters on this show.