Pizza State Of The Union

April 14th, 2014

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Oh hi! I know I haven’t been around here much. This is because I spent last week sailing on a sea of sneezing—every waking moment devoted to mucus management. New life development: I’M ALLERGIC TO SPRING.

On another note entirely, recent happenings have me thinking heavily about pizza. The source of its power. My relationship to it. Et cetera.

If you’re a Portlander, then you know that “pizza as art” is kinda having a moment right now (see below). But I’m just talking pizza as sustenance here—a nearly perfect food that’s at its best when you’re gut is so empty it’s about to digest itself. Hot, crunchy but also soft, comforting, a modest food of the common man.

Basically, pizza rules because it’s fucking easy and good. I’m sad about trends in my town toward overly fancy pizza with trumped-up prices and ingredients. Ovens fired with special woods. Drizzles with oils of truffle. Farm-to-table sausage toppings. And so on.

This trend—it’s driving me to only make pizza at home now, a decree I already passed on breakfast years ago cuz I can make a WAYYY better chive and cheese scramble than I could EVER get for $9 after waiting in line for an hour eating out. Similarly, I can grab a ball of dough for 2 bux at Trader Joe’s and in no time have an entire steaming pie!

Anyway, at a certain point, everyone’s gotta ask themselves, “What does pizza mean to me?”

For every hot slice topped with simple cheese or whatever else is on hand (I’m not opposed to a pile of fresh arugula, but please, no potatoes—potatoes don’t belong on pizza), it’s the easy comfort of your surroundings and the kindness and love of the people you are with that makes it all GOOD.

Okay, I’m done now.

pizza tattoo screedler

Pizza-hawk tattoo, courtesy of Screedler.

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Subversive pizza art, courtesy of Dave Banks.

daddies pizza sticker screedler

Pizza-skull sticker for Daddies Board Shop, courtesy of Screedler.

Odd Thoughts, Sustenance , ,

Waking at Night

April 8th, 2014

silver falls state park

Waking at Night

by Jack Gilbert

 

The blue river is grey at morning

and evening. There is twilight

at dawn and dusk. I lie in the dark

wondering if this quiet in me now

is a beginning or an end.

 

Books, Music, Moviez, Odd Thoughts, Travel , ,

Spring To Do List

April 3rd, 2014

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1. Keep my seedlings alive until it’s time to stuff them in the ground. The sitch is tenuous—a touch of mildew, mold, or blight and it’s all over.

2. Adventure more. South? North? I care not.

3. Eat sandwiches and beer in the sun in the park.

4. Skate all the razor scooter parks while the children are still locked away in school.

5. Procure a butter dish. A small thing, sure—except I eat toast in no small amount and want, or actually NEED velvety room-temp butter to spread on said toast. You can’t just have a stick of butter wrapped in its original wax paper sitting on the counter, though. That’s crazy talk.

6. Take longer walks neath the flowered drooping trees.

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At Home, Odd Thoughts , , ,

Spring Broke

March 31st, 2014

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Spring break’s for kids—or is it?! I’m gonna argue here that in the Northwest, us “grown ups” need it more. We bravely get up and out of bed everyday, carrying on the business of living as our hopes are routinely toyed with, lifted by dazzling sun and then crushed beneath senseless rain.

Anyway, a trip begged to be mine. I didn’t care for how long. I didn’t care about the forecast for “heavy rain.” We were gonna walk beneath the cascading curtains at Silver Falls State Park (a fairy-tale type place you MUST see) and then suck in some of that arid pine-laced air in central Oregon. Yep, and in 48 hours we did all that. There was also incendiary Mexican food, many coffee breaks, a couple of llamas, and my very first time ever watching the movie Purple Rain (!!!!).

A quick voyage, to be sure—but I walked away anew. 

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Misty woods and it was raining very, very hard. Can you tell?

 

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See? Fairy-tale type shit.

 

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A Harry and the Hendersons moment up on Black Butte.

 

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Inexplicably sunny at the Sisters skatepark and the gods (or whatever) are smiling upon us.

 

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They call him Fernando.

 

Travel , , ,

Breadcrumb Trail—A Slint Documentary

March 27th, 2014

Slint

Watched this rock doc the other night—an accounting of the band Slint, how they were a bunch of a weird teenagers doing their own damn thing and how one of my fave 90s albums Spiderland emerged from such unassuming locales as the Louisville, KY basement of Britt Walford’s parents’ house.

What I took away from the film is that where a band comes from means something. The town, the scene, the social climate, the streets themselves—it all flavors the music, for better or worse. I spent a night in Louisville once—sweated, ate a rotgut meal, and saw my first (only!) katydid creeping through the grass by the skatepark. But I wasn’t there long enough to see what it was that makes “people in Louisville … just fucking crazy” like Ian MacKaye says in this movie.

Anyway, these kids weren’t just playing punk or garage like other teens in parents’ basements across the country—they were masterminding disjointed, mathematical, sometimes kinda scary rock stuff—heading, formidably, in their own weird direction.  

The movie was made by a fellow Portlander, Lance Bangs—a lovely guy who was there at the screening shaking hands and answering questions on a man-to-man basis. So cool. Make seeing this movie happen, people!

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Books, Music, Moviez , ,

Yard Birds

March 24th, 2014

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As you may know, Portland’s a beaut for many reasons. One reason in particular—its bangin’ backyard skate scene. I’m talking backyard bowls, quarter pipes, curbs, mini ramps … especially mini ramps. They’re my favorite. Try out a new one? I’m always down. Mini ramps tested in the name of science!

See, people here appreciate the value of a backyard. Come summer, life happens in the backyard. And ain’t it sweet that that even means skateboarding?

Think about it: No precious hours wasted in the car on a rare sunny day. No waging war with skatepark undesirables. Just friends and skateboard-orientated fun. You leave a happening like that feeling dog tired and happy. Maybe sunburnt. You got to see all your pals. You got to snack on shit and drink shit and talk shit. You got to skate until exhaustion!

Simple folk like myself could not ask for more.

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Hudson’s on the 4th of July. Sun-dappled yard, dogs, food, and friends—quintessential summer stuff!

 

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A new backyard bowl over at Chris’s house—a kind of giant garden sculpture. Magnificent use of space, non?

 

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Bracewell residence training facility. Many miles logged here.

 

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A tiny skatepark, in a backyard, right off Hawthorne. Ain’t this city grand??!!

Odd Thoughts, Summer , ,

Only Lovers Left Alive

March 20th, 2014

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Guys, this movie!!!

Unlike some people, maybe, I don’t engage in every vampire flic I encounter. But this one’s a Jim Jarmusch vampire flic. Love you, Jim!!

Now, Jarmusch films are slow—ain’t no getting around it. His story lines? They’re the kind of shit that unfolds slowly, like a flower opening. You have to be patient, but your patience is rewarded with this wonderfully languid humor of happenstance. I’m excited, then, to see what he does with the matters of love, mortality, and a marriage that lasts—literally—an eternity.

Books, Music, Moviez , ,

Favorites 3.17.14

March 17th, 2014

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The last 3 minutes of every True Detective episode. A remarkable show that’s very much repping dark, heady shit like Twin Peaks and Nietzsche. But the last few scenes of each episode—crikey! They wind down by winding you up with the haunting-est poetry of voiceover, soundtrack, and direction of photography. Not uplifting—but definitely captivating.

Grating and roasting your cauliflower. Discovered recently! When cauliflower encounters a cheese grater, it crumbles into a texture perfect for salting, olive oiling, and roasting on a cookie sheet until all its ragged little corners are brown and crispy. Then you can make all manor of things with it (fake rice bowl, fake pizza crust, fake hamburger meat)—or you can just, you know, eat it.

Doing whatever you want on a Saturday. Yes, yes, Sunday you’ll do all that crap on your list. But Saturday, lovely sun-washed Saturday—it’s the cool-down day after a hard week, made for doing exactly what you feel like with no underlying agenda. Like, parks and dogs and skateboarding and friends and long lunches at picnic tables with cups of wine and stuff.

“How to make courtesan au chocolat” via Wes Anderson and Mendl’s: One is inspired to place dollops of frosting on everything.

Faves , , ,

What To Do Right Now

March 13th, 2014

laurelhurst park

I heard something about “springing forward” when I was really tired and I couldn’t comprehend what exactly that meant for me and my three bedroom clocks—none of which tell time quite right. Then the sun came out and all the dogwood blossoms popped overnight. Bless your heart, Portland.

I was wondering if you ever think about growing peas or kale? Lettuce, maybe? The reason I ask is because if so, then you should plant them NOW. It’s simple. You barely need to lift a finger, much less a shovel. Requirements entail a couple seed packets and a plot of land. Some rich mushroom compost to swirl into the soil. Some rain. And some time.

These cool-season green crops are the easiest of the easy when it comes to yard gardening, and so you could very possibly be blowing it if you’re not tending to at least a container or two of them. Also? Green stuff is good for you, and if you grow it, you will eat it. Funny how that works. See, I never buy lettuce because I forget about it until it turns into a brown mass in the bottom of my crisper. But if you grow your salad in a tidy row, you will be inspired to wander out and pull a few sprigs to put on your cheese sandwich or whatever. The rest will stay in the ground where it belongs, just, you know, photosynthesizing.

Seed packets? $1.50. No excuses. Buy and plant now, before it’s too late!

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lettuce seedlings

My lettuce seedlings require the protection of chicken wire on account of the neighborhood cats mistaking the garden bed for a giant luscious litter box. I suspect the cats in your neighborhood will be equally as confused on this topic, just FYI.

 

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I save my egg shells, crush them, and sprinkle them in the garden beds because they are filled with rich calcium goodness.

At Home , , ,

Adventures In Foot Pain

March 10th, 2014

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Due to an acutely lame foot injury, I’m hot off acupuncture this morning and currently walking around in $120 running shoes. 

Now, there are injuries that happen because one has a grand, explosive mishap, and then there are those that happen because one is careless and lazy and getting old. My plantar fasciitis is the latter—due to a lifetime of running, not stretching, and jumping up and down on my skateboard. Cool!

I woke up this morning and realized that SUMMER IS COMING (it was a smell drifting in the window—dirt and green things), and so I’ve decided to get very serious about my recovery—because I plan on spending all summer running, not stretching, and jumping up and down on my skateboard.

As mentioned, I had acupuncture earlier. My friend Hudson plunked a needle straight into ground zero of where my plantar fascia connects to my heel—and then sprinkled some more into various other parts of my body. If you’ve never had acupuncture, I feel I must shun you into doing so immediately. What’s wrong with you?! Don’t you WANT to feel good? To feel every muscle relax? To feel the needles twitching and throbbing as they tap into deep mysterious energies inside your body? And finally, to leave the office floating on a fluffy cloud of self-induced quaaludes?

If you don’t want this stuff then I can’t relate to you at all.

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Odd Thoughts ,