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weltinnenraum
18 July 2008 @ 10:35 pm
I haven't posted in many weeks, nor have I even been on livejournal at all to keep up with others' posts. Lately I've been more interested in writing for myself than for others. I've been so involved in stuffing my brain with literature, heady films, and all sorts of music that sometimes I feel the size of my world has shrunken to the size of my cranium. Not an altogether comfortable feeling. But soon I'll be amongst friends again. Until then, I shall most likely maintain my ridiculously pretentious existence and hopefully post a few letters to my friends along the way. At least I've had time to hang out my sister. We went to the Weisman museum today and ate and amazingly unhealthy meal at a semi-legendary dinkytown establishment (where I ran into Ian!). Saw lots of spectacularly industrial New Deal art. Next week we're going to Valley Fair, where I can conquer more terrifying rides.

Currently reading: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. For some reason I've been in the mood to read African and African American literature in the past month. I've also been in the mood to read some of the lengthier volumes on my shelves, and as such have not checked a large number of titles off my list. I really enjoyed Ngugi's latest novel, the monstrous Wizard of the Crow. I've found it endlessly fascinating to read his works more or less in chronological order because of the way they parallel his own transforming political and literary aesthetics. The endings in particular seem important. If in Devil on the Cross he constantly denies the reader the normal novelistic pleasures and subverts the love story in the book's final pages, suggesting the impossibility of [this] love in the current political context of Kenya, then he seems to move a bit further in Wizard. He allows previously impossible love to flourish in spite of the fact that Abuiria has just evolved from dictatorship to a bizarre, imperial bastardization of democracy. I'd love to study this novel further, particularly its discussion of the ambivalence toward witchcraft in modernity. It has much to talk about with a lot of interesting anthropological scholarship, much of which focuses on the role of witchcraft in contemporary politics.

Currently watching: a shit ton of shit. Notable mentions: Jim Jarmusch's fantastic comedy Night on Earth (though, in my opinion, still not better than his Stranger than Paradise), David Gordon Green's first feature George Washington, and P.T. Anderson's (one of my personal favorite directors ever since I saw Boogie Nights way back when) There Will Be Blood.

Currently listening to: shifts daily. I'm really excited to listen to William Basinski's first disintegration loop tonight (http://www.hauntedink.com/25/basinski-disintegration.html). I've heard a bit of one of the loops before, and it was beautiful. I know that much of its beauty stems from its mythic, accidental creation -- not to mention the accident's timing around Sept. 11 -- but I'm willing to accept that. This is certainly not the first time legend helped make great music great(er).

Do a favor for women's rights and sign a petition against the Department of Heath and Human Service's latest proclamations about contraception and abortion.

I'm really jazzed for Portland.
 
 
weltinnenraum
27 April 2008 @ 01:13 am
This weekend has turned out to be quite excellent, a bit to my surprise.

My Friday started out well. I only got about four hours of sleep because I had to get up for my radio show. I'm so happy I decided to do the KRLX thing. Even though I'm not a particularly charismatic DJ, it's a massive amount of fun, and a great way to start the day. I get to play a bunch of music I love at full blast (because it doesn't matter how loud it is on the studio monitors) and I get to feel hardcore for getting up at 4:30 AM. This week's playlist:

From a Motel 6 -- Yo La Tengo
Risingson -- Mezzanine
Black Cab -- Jens Lekman
Bottle Up and Explode! -- Elliott Smith
Fox Confessor Brings the Flood -- Neko Case
In the Deep -- Bird York
Kicked it in the Sun -- Built to Spill
Suffering -- Jay-Jay Johanson
Old People in the Cemetery -- Of Montreal
Johnny Appleseed -- Mia Doi Todd
Resurrection Fern -- Iron & Wine
Blame it on the Tetons -- Modest Mouse
Far Away -- Cut Copy [new music]

I decided not to go to bed after the show, because past experience told me I wouldn't get much more sleep anyway. So I went to Blue Monday for the first time since early last term. The rest of the day became increasingly mediocre, however. PoCo was alright, though discussion can still be frustrating, though I give props to Arnab, who has taken concrete measures to improve the class. I'm also excited about our extra weekly meetings to discuss selected postcolonial theory and associated readings. We're reading Hegel's Reason in History for this week, which thus far has been pretty interesting, and surprisingly readable considering it's fucking Hegel. The rehearsal for Steph's piece was good, though I seriously messed up my knee because of a fall that I made up for a floor combination. My own damn fault, I guess. Then I made my trip to the record libe and found some good stuff, and went home feeling depressed about my social life.

But then the day got infinitely better. I  went to the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra performance with Jenny and Tomoka. They played a couple of works by Stravinsky and one by Haydn, and the performance was amazing. From what I've heard of Stravinsky, his counterpoint is detailed and requires really crisp performance, and the SPCO delivered beautifully. Their violinists and their oboist were certainly the highlights for me. After that I hung out with Steph and Rachel for a bit, the first time I actually saw them this week. Then I went to Battle of the Bands around midnight to see Fuctape (because I figured I wanted to experience the terror before I died). Even though I knew what to expect, they were still remarkably bad. I also caught a bit of the act before them, which was also pretty lackluster. I left after about 15 minutes, and I'm glad I decided not to go earlier/stay longer. (Listen to outstanding musicians play nuanced, complex music or spend an evening getting drunk, ravaging my cochlea and wasting precious stereocilia on mediocre bands. On my way home, however, I ran into a friend who was apparently in an awkward situation with two other people interested in each other. She called me a few minutes later and ended up coming over to my place, where we chatted for three or so hours. I need more of these great conversations (and conversationalists) in my life, I think. I feel like I come alive for a brief time. It's hard, though, to find people with whom you feel you can be completely candid. I have very few people who fall into that category, and it's nice to feel like I've found another. I guess I just hadn't realized how compatible we were before. Funny that. I fell asleep listening to Talking Heads, I gave Remain in Light to someone recently, before I had listened to it, and he didn't seem to enthused, but I'm not sure why; it's great stuff.

Today has also turned out to be really good. I got some reading done in the morning, had brunch with a friend, and went to Semaphore. Although we weren't very productive today (we ran Sarah's piece, worked some more on Liz's piece), it was low-key and it felt nice to spend a couple hours conversing and diddling around. We also got our sweatshirts today, which are both green and fuzzy (i.e. splendid). I got a little work done between "rehearsal" and shopping for/making an Indonesian nut stir-fry for dinner, which turned out pretty well, though I spilled some molasses on my shirt. Fuck (but it'll come out). After that I reconvened with some Semapeeps for the Indian dance show, which was gorgeous though severely under-attended (and shockingly, considering the last Indian dance performance at Carleton, which was packed). I went to the library after the show, but didn't get much reading done because I kept on running into people and getting into long conversations. Thankfully all were pleasant. Around 11 I decided to go to a party I had been invited to, had a good time for a couple of hours, and then I came home.

Tomorrow should be good too. Katie and I are headed up to Zenon in Minneapolis for a rehearsal for Sarah's piece (with a different cast) to be performed at the Ritz sometime in May. It should be cool. And I get to bring my car to Northfield afterward, so I can get out of this godforsakenn town whenever I want/need to.

Now I'm going to listen to music and maybe watch some Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I've a craving for Meetwad.

This week's moment of self-discovery: For a long time I've felt in crisis about my own particular balance of introversion and sociability, and I've been afraid of the idea that I've often claimed to prefer solitude only because I lack social graces. I don't think this is true, though. True, there are certain people to whom I turn off immediately, but when I'm around people I actually like (familiar or unfamiliar), I can actually be very extroverted and energetically social. That said, I still think I require more time alone that a lot of people to be happy. So often when I'm alone do I feel free to explore/think/read/watch whatever I want in my own time frame, and it's really liberating. As I've said, though, there are definite limits. I've explored some of that this week, and while I'm still trying to figure out where my depression/emotional distance from certain people fits into this equation, I feel like I've made a good deal of progress this weekend. I've connected with a number of different people both familiar and unfamiliar with various intensities and I've still had a good enough amount of time to feel like I'm still cultivating and individual self.
 
 
Current Mood: Content for once
Current Music: Talking Heads, Pavement, LCD Sound System, Patti Smith
 
 
weltinnenraum
18 April 2008 @ 06:13 am
I had my first real solo radio show this morning, and while of course it was far from smooth technically (I had never actually touched the equipment before...so trying to adjust modulator and microphone levels while speaking and queueing music was I problematic juggling act), it was still a lot of fun, which was the point. I've decided not to feel bad at all about my fuck-ups since I know it takes most people a while before they actually, you know, sound good. I've learned that I really need plan out how much cross-fading time I need between each individual song so that I don't end up with as much dead air. My cross-fading worked well at the beginning of the show, but sort of broke down later when I started playing more experimental stuff.

The theme of this week's episode was Pride Month. I haven't really "celebrated" Pride at Carleton this year for a number of reasons, so I thought I would devote an hour to exploring all sorts of work from GLBTQ musicians, not just stereotypical divas and dance party stuff, although that was, I think, also represented somewhat. This week I played, in order:

I Love Rock 'N Roll -- Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (because she's Joan Fucking Jett)
Flamboyant -- Pet Shop Boys
Cripple and the Starfish -- Antony & the Johnsons
Wilderness -- Sleater-Kinney
Nightclubbing -- Iggy Pop
Gloria -- Patti Smith
The Maker Makes -- Rufus Wainwright
Crank Heart -- Xiu Xiu
Another Thought -- Arthur Russell
City Hall -- Vienna Teng
Spondee -- Matmos
Proud -- Heather Small (I don't care how cheesy this anthem might be, it's uplifting)
Midnight Radio -- John Cameron Mitchell (as Hedwig)

Last night I went and danced with prospies (i.e. in their presence, not "with" them in a sketchy way) at the Cave. I was going to stay around for the second act, but they were taking their sweet time setting up, it was 11, and I still had my French to do.

I also learned that dancing barefoot on Bell Field in the dark, while dirty, is a great release.
 
 
weltinnenraum
17 April 2008 @ 01:50 am
The train whistle is blowing in tune with the Books track I'm listening to. It's eerily beautiful.

Also, I'm pretty excited about the James Baldwin Symposium going on on campus. Although it's been a hectic couple of weeks I've been trying to go to events. I went to part of the film festival last night and watched a biography of the writer which was quite interesting. I wish I had had time Tuesday to see Go Tell It On the Mountain, though I guess it's better to wait until I've read the book. I've only ever read the "gay novel" with which he officially came out, Giovanni's Room. Sadly, I don't think I appreciated it as much as I would now.

Today is national poem in your pocket day. I'll be carrying G.M. Hopkins' "Carrion Comfort":

Not, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist—slack they may be—these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?
Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.
 
 
weltinnenraum
The past week has been somewhat blasé with regards both to my classes and my general attitude toward Carleton.

French has been hectic with two oral presentations, an exam, a longish essay, and the six or seven regular daily assignments. The workload has been fine, actually, it's just that my prof (the ridiculously gorgeous one) has been a tad scatterbrained. In the first couple of weeks she was M.I.A. once for illness, and then she was gone two other times for conferences. Other profs filled in, but with little coordination. No one, for instance, even mentioned a test or a paper in class, which would be fine if our moodle site actually had information on either of them. Mais non. Conclusion: ambivalent.

I become slightly more disillusioned with Arnab's professorial style with each class period. Let's have a play-by-play of this week, shall we? We've been reading Rabindranath Tagore's The Home and the World. On Monday, we opened class by making a long list of binary oppositions at play in the novel. Arnie then proceeded to lecture for the rest of the period on the place of women in Indian society in the context of emerging nationalism. We ran out of time without having really touched the novel, and he essentially told us that on Wednesday we would talk about how this lecture applies to the book. What a horrid way to approach literature: it allows for little intellectual exploration. But this is how he guides discussion, more generally, as well. He structures our conversations so rigidly, as if ultimately to prove whatever "suggestion" he has made or will propose. Today's class (mercifully held outside) offers an example of Arnie's other principle flaw as a professor. People will make observations for about five minutes, and then he'll stop and "synthesize" what people have said. The problem is, however, that his is less of a synthesis of what people have said and more of a flash-forward to some grand, utterly totalizing and glib reading. But my issue goes beyond his unpacking of the text for us; I get particularly inflamed when he can't clearly articulate that reading. He self-consciously chides PoCo theory for its legendary impenetrability, and yet he cannot extricate himself from it. He starts blabbing on about sublimated narratives and such like and wonders why people don't get what he's saying. What kills me, though, is that these are rather elementary concepts. All he was trying to say is that good novels (and yes, he was speaking this generally), of which Tagore's is an example, have a dominant narrative and other counter-narratives that challenge that dominant narrative. The novel, through its characters, descriptions, and so on reveals more than one reading. Whoopty fuckin' doo. I don't need to go to a 300-level lit class and have my prof tell me that there are things called sublimated narratives that cause ambiguity. (He also holds our hands through the paper-writing process. We have to consult him if we're making our own topic for a 4-5 page paper because he wants to make sure it's appropriate and has an argument. I'm a senior English major who just finished my comps, and it was fine. I think I'm gonna be fine for a 5-page trifle.)

This doesn't really lead into my next big issue of the week, but oh well. I went to see the SMUT production of My Fair Lady this past weekend and it was, if I may be so frank, the worst production I've ever seen at Carleton. There were a few positive aspects: the woman who played Eliza did well with her singing, acting, and accent; the guy who played Alfred, Eliza's father, played a passable drunk (and he's actually an alum); the guy who played Freddy, whom I know to be an excellent voice student, delivered an outstanding solo; and the woman who played the maid (a very small role), had good physicality, a good accent, and, when she sang, had a pretty (and tuned) voice. Other than that I didn't find much to appreciate. The orchestra was flat and falling apart, the acting was terribly dull and poorly paced (much of the cast lacked variable facial expressions, for instance), the singing was wretched (not loud enough -- i.e. poor engineering with microphones for those who had them -- off-key, off-rhythm, and entirely without spirit. The staging was also exceptionally bad, with stage-hands (some not even dressed in black) awkwardly shuffling on and offstage to change scenes while the scenes were still going on.  The choreography, while simple, didn't bother me at all. It would have been fine it anybody actually performed it correctly, or together, but without even that it just became more painfully evident how lackluster the choreography was. The costuming, while sometimes tasteful, was on the whole notably icky. My personal favorite was when Henry Higgins, the play's paragon of class, struts off to the races in a brown suit (with pants too long for the actor), a black hat, and black shoes. How stereotypically gay of me to say that, but really -- an Englishman of that time period would have noticed (and speaking of time period, others tell me that most of the costumes were 1920s style for a play set in 1912; I didn't notice and that seems a little unfair even to me). I could go on and on about other disasters (esp. the ball-room scene; again representing the epitome of class with dancers running into each other and skipping around as if it were a farce), but I'll only mention one other. Perhaps the greatest irony of this whole production came with the casting of Henry Higgins. If there's one thing the actor of this role must, without a doubt, be sufficient at, it is enunciation -- he's the snarky, snobbish professor of phonetics for godsakes. But apparently that was too much to ask. The performer (who I'm sure is a nice guy) relentlessly overacted, running around the stage madly squawking his outrageous accent without cease. One of the first things we learned in conservatory about acting was that if you feel the need to move when speaking, chances are you shouldn't. And lo, it was bad. At intermission when a good proportion of the audience vacated, I told myself I'd stick it out to the end. But then it started again, and it was even worse (Col. Pickering was a joke of a singer...not just tone deaf and rhythmically challenged, but several tones and several beats away from the orchestra at any given moment). I had to leave.

I don't mean to prattle on like this, ripping the poor production to shreds, but I do it for a reason other than simply to play the powerful and pitiless critic. I do it because for the couple of hours I sat in Arena Theater I felt like I was attending a dramatization of the Carleton experience -- a microcosm of the Carleton condition. Holy shit that sounds grand. What I mean is that My Fair Lady is a demanding musical. It's long, it requires crystal clear accepts, comic timing, strong singers, etc. This is not something to be pulled off within the space of 10 weeks. But I feel like so often we are biting off more than we can chew, and excusing our mediocrity by shining our badges of liberal arts education. In my experience this goes for many aspects of Carleton student life. Classes are an obvious starting point. We have fewer than 10 weeks to cram in as much as we possibly can. I have such fond memories of stuffing Moby-Dick down my throat in about 1.5 weeks, then having 2 days to compose a thoughtful, polished essay on the damned thing. I also recall reading two of Shelley's immensely difficult plays ("theatre of the mind"...too dense to really be staged, except perhaps by the avant garde) and the other Shelley's Frankenstein within the space of a single week at the end of the term. What can you possibly say about Prometheus Unbound in 65 minutes? How can you fully explore in Melville's masterpiece in 10 days? And what about the ENGL 110 atrocity I've heard of in which the entirety of Paradise Lost is assigned for one or two class periods? It's not even worth picking up the damned book if that's the way we go about it. And what about the culture of perfectionism that plagues us? There's no time for revision of writing, for full development of thought, so we expect ourselves to produce perfect papers the first time around, and when we get to comps we have internalized the notion that revision is bad. Although I lack the time and energy to provide further examples (or even to make this ramble concise and eloquent enough to sound impassioned), I think this applies broadly to other aspects of student life. From my limited experiences and various discussions with other students, campus activism is mostly a joke. The music program is sad and uninspiring (except for some a capella ensembles). Student theater, while often decent, is rarely impressive. It is, in short, immensely difficult to produce anything of quality here, and to me this mode of learning is frustratingly shallow.

I have a lot to thank Carleton for, of course, but right now I'm feeling rather cynical.

Peace.
 
 
Current Music: Arthur Russell, The Books, Sunset Rubdown, !!!, Matmos
 
 
 
weltinnenraum
10 April 2008 @ 09:28 pm

Overall this has been a pleasant week.

My PoCo (postcolonial) lit class with Arnab has been excellent this week. Not only are we reading one of my favorite books, A Passage to India, but the class has under 15 people in it, most of whom are rather engaging and insightful. Class discussion has been invigorating -- it's a great way to end the academic day. For the most part I like Arnab. I think he's a funny guy and he certainly knows what he's talking about. He can, however, be awkward at points (e.g. starting discussion with that most hated of questions: "So, what did you guys do with/think about the reading?"). Also, considering that until this term he's only taught 100- and 200-level courses, I think he's still getting adjusted to teaching a class that actually gives a shit about literature. He also focuses more attention on formal/structural elements than I generally like, often providing pat readings which, by his own admission, don't really work. As was the case with Kipling, however, we didn't have enough time to really break those readings down to my -- and I think others' -- satisfaction.

French has been sort of meh. I was fine reading "La Belle et la Bête," but reading "La Légende du pain" has been sort of annoying. To be fair, my annoyance primarily derived the fact that I had to give a group presentation Wednesday on the author, Michel Tournier, with a less-than-inspiring group. As usual, I ended up making the powerpoint myself, which was more time-consuming than I had hoped. The presentation went fine, though.

Hopkins today went pretty well. We discussed some of his early poems, in particular "Spring and Death," "For a Picture of St. Dorothea," and (my pick and personal favorite for the day) "Easter Communion." Since our independent study has become semi-focussed on the musicality of Hopkins (and thus an exploration of how composers have sought to capture his poetics through musical setting), we also listened to settings of "Heaven-Haven" by Barber and Britten.

Semaphore has, as usual, also been great. Sarah's piece is getting better, though we still have a ways to go as far as intensity is concerned. Since the piece is a lot of contact improvisation, however, that means more that just drilling set movement. But it will get there soon enough (and Katie and I have been invited to perform in the piece with another cast at the Ritz in Minneapolis, which is pretty cool; I hope it all works out). Wynn's new piece, "Unquiet Grave," is also getting better. It's far more energetic than her first piece for us, "Floating World." Whereas the latter piece was difficult because of how grounded you have to be to perform it well, the new piece demands a lot of attention to details. I moves very quickly and fluidly, and it will look like we're flailing unless we get every detail as crisp as possible. It makes for intense rehearsals, but it'll be 100% worth it. We just started working on a new piece tonight, choreographed by Liz Tan. It'll involve video projection, and it is going to be awesome, with multiple realities and shit. Shweet.

Other than that not much to add. I've been studying in the GSC all week. I made a new friend -- Hubert -- who works in the adjacent Office of Multicultural (or is it Intercultural?) Life. We had a nice discussion about poetry (Milton, Hopkins, some Latin American wonders). I also had a really nice conversation with Justin Smith. Whenever I talk to him I remember how cool he is.

Now I've got to fill out an application and go to bed, so I can wake up at 4:30 and have someone teach me how to do my radio show. I'm excited.

Oh yes, and props to Saira who is awesome and had a birthday and to whom I promise to write an extended email/letter thanking her profusely for her lovely mix and thoughts.
 
 
Current Mood: Pugnacious, despite my tone
Current Music: Etta James, "At Last"; Otis Redding, "These Arms of Mine"
 
 
weltinnenraum
06 April 2008 @ 12:55 am
So technically there's nothing wrong with my life right now. I feel like I've gotten closer to my Semapeeps through ACDF, I have post-graduation plans that are exciting, I got a distinction in comps, and I just finished a long and wonderful evening of conversation with various friends. Classes are aso going well (even if Arnab is perhaps too focused on structural approaches to literature). Yet still all I want to do is get the hell out of Northfield. The moment I stepped back onto this godforsaken campus I felt my whole body clench. Last term was a rather manic experience, and I poured all of my strength (until about 1 in the morning virtually every night) into comps and other meaningless work trying to crowd out other shit, trying not to deal with other thoughts. Now it's spring term senior year and I'm supposed to relax, and instead I'm wondering why I even came back when I could have been done early. I know it's really for Semaphore and for sundry other aspects of closure that in the end will be necessary for me. But I nevertheless find myself striving to cram more and more into my schedule so that I won't have any time to think, so that time will zip by without my noticing. Then I can leave Northfield and forget all the shit locked up there. I'll be able to sleep again, perhaps be happy again. Who knows? I'm looking forward to a time when I don't have to feel hateful and bitter much of the time. When I can live in peace. When the past won't feel like such a grotesque animal. When I won't have to write petty posts like this.
 
 
Current Mood: Ready to pick a fight
 
 
weltinnenraum
03 April 2008 @ 05:43 pm
I'm so proud to have a niece who came out of the womb ready to kick some ass.

 
 
weltinnenraum
02 April 2008 @ 01:24 pm
Although still not all that thrilled about being back in Northfield, it seems like my classes this term will be excellent.

I'm excited to take French from Stéphanie Cox again, and equally thrilled to learn more complex grammar and to read actual (albeit simple) literature. We're starting with "La Bell et la Bête" (1756) by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont.

PoCo will also be highly rewarding. I like Arnab's tendency toward snarkiness (e.g. he relabeled "ideology" -- in terms of Althusser's application of the idea to the colonial machine -- "bullshit").

Poetics of Inscape damned well better be awesome since I'm in control of what I do. Hopkins is one of the few writers that get me really enthralled about poetry.

Currently listening to: John Cage et al., "Pulse! Percussion Works"

Currently reading: my racist French book, which includes in the vocabulary the phrase argot for "to murder French": "parler francais comme une vache espagniole."

Also, my sister Abbey just had her second child this morning. Her name is Lainey Ann Bailiff and she was 7 pounds 9 ounces.
 
 
weltinnenraum
30 March 2008 @ 01:13 pm
Lacking the energy to fully record Robin's and my exploits in Portland, I've opted to provide a bare-bones itinerary despite the fact that it likely won't mean much to anyone...

Saturday, 22 March
Cup & Saucer Diner
Think Cupcake
Powell’s
Tea Zone & Camellia Lounge
(Ran into Whitney Quon on corner just outside of Tea Zone)
Replica of Chinese Bronze of Elephant
Pioneer Square (“Portland’s living room”)
Cinema 21 (saw Paranoid Park) – According to Chuck Palahniuk, known as Enema 21 by employees
The Roxy (24-hour diner with gaudy as fuck décor)

Easter Sunday
The Chaos Café (Brunch with Liesl)
The Portland Art Museum
Half & Half (tiny café featured in Paranoid Park, down a sidestreet near Powell’s)
Wandering through Inner Southeast P-town
Met Carly, Robin’s friend from work, for coffee at the Pied Cow Coffeehouse (apparently haunted by a ghost named Lydia, according to Chuck Palahniuk)
Doug Fir Lounge for Concert (Bachelorette, Weather, Faun Fable)
Union Jack’s Strip Joint for athletic pole dancing fun (I count this as a cultural event, considering that Portland is famous for its number of strip clubs – higher per capita than even Las Vegas!)

Monday, 24 March
Powell’s Part Deux
Japanese Garden
Holocaust Memorial
Music Millennium (home of the ‘Keep Portland Weird’ bumper stickers)
Restful evening at apartment/reading/watching Capote

Tuesday 25 March
Samurai Bento
Under U for Men -- random stop in a men's underwear store, where a smelly clerk showed me hemp and natural rubber     undergarments
Le Happy (founded by manager of Pink Martini, but closed when we got there)
Little and Big Finnegan’s (Toy Stores)
Random Order Café
Halo Thai (with Anne)
Anne’s House
Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club (Mel Brown Septet) – pretty swank; sampled the Fat Tire, a local beer

Good times were had by all.

In other news, I don't really want to be back at Carleton, though I didn't realize it until I got here.