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BOOK: Child 44 - Tom Rob Smith

I think I found this on a best of list from last year. After sitting on my que at the Library for quite some time I picked it up and started reading. This is Smith's first book and it was pretty good in a suspense/mystery sorta way.

BOOK: Player Piano - Kurt Vonnegut

It was starting to look like iStanton had been abandoned but I decided to shake the dust off and do a post or two. I read this book while soaking up the rays in Mexico (see previous post). For the most part I enjoyed this one but I think I'd like to read some more of his stuff. The only other Vonnegut book I've read is Cat's Cradle.


Casitas Tortugas - Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico

When I started planning our trip to Sayulita I quickly realized that there's only one website with any information, Sayulita Life. This site does a good job of listing all of the available places to stay, activities and other information but its lacking in other departments. The photos are low quality and small and there aren't any comments or reviews allowed so its really hard to tell what a particular place is going to be like until you get there.

Anyway, I did the best I could and ended up with a reservation at Casitas Tortugas, right in the middle of the action in Sayulita. I thought it was going to be a decent place but I didn't expect it to be as nice as it was. We got the one bedroom apartment overlooking the courtyard complete with a resident turtle. There were also quite a few 3 to 4 foot long iguanas crawling in the trees that surrounded the place. The rooms are all kinda back off the street giving it a quiet oasis-like feel in the middle of a loud town filled with roosters that like to get going at about 3am every night. The owners were really cool and accommodating too.

If you're headed to Sayulita give these guys a call, it's probably one of the best places in town and really affordable too!

Altavista petroglyphs - Nayarit, Mexico

Last week Melissa and I decided to check out the petroglyphs at the Altavista archeological site while on vacation in Mexico. If you're ever in the Puerto Vallarta area and feel like having a little adventure I'd recommend checking this place out. It's not the easiest place to get to (unless you're willing to hike in or have a really high clearance vehicle) and a little difficult to find but it's totally worth the effort once you get in there. 

You can find very detailed directions and more information on this guys site


MUSIC: Coldplay - Viva La Vida

One of my favorites of 2008, it made me happy to hear Coldplay redeem themselves after their X & Y effort, or lackthereof.. 

MUSIC: MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

Love this CD. After months of waiting for this one to come up at the Library I finally decided to just purchase it on iTunes and it's pretty great. I want to go to this party if they make it to Portland sometime soon. 

MUSIC: TVOTR - Dear Science

It's on everyone's best of 2008 list so I figured I'd give it a listen. So far I like Dear Science more than any other TVOTR album I've listened to. The first track really does it for me. 


BOOK: The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

I really enjoyed reading this one, such a sad story yet so good at the same time. 


BOOK: The Audacity of Hope - Barack Obama

This is a fantastic book. I'd reccomend it to anyone, regarless of your political tastes. 



I have mastered the art of preparing this delicious green stuff.


Happy or Sad?


Sigur Ros - Schnitzer

The confetti was awesome but the music was even better. This is the 2nd time I've seen them and these crazy Icelandics didn't disappoint. 

Thanks to quayquay17 for the pic!


Menomena Poster

I got a new poster yesterday and I really like it. It's from the Menomena show on 11/24/07 at the Crystal Ballroom that I happened to attend. 


Home Improvement

Gabe and I got creative and made this storage shelf for our garage. If you look closely you'll spot the weight bench that has made its home underneath the shelf. It was really nice to get the garage opened up and a little more organized. I also put a couple of bike hooks in the ceiling.

I made this desk out of a recycled closet door from the Rebuilding Center and some legs from IKEA. It turned out really nice and fits well in our spare room.

John McCain - Robot Man

He didn't win Miss Congeniality in the United States Senate.

Jenny & Chad

It's not often I can get my cat's to sit still long enough to get a good picture.


BOOK: the curious incident of the dog in the night-time - Mark Haddon

Everyone was right, this was a great book and I'm glad I read it. 


BOOK: The Jesus Machine - Dan Gilgoff

Having grown up in church this book was pretty fascinating and a little scary for me to read, it took awhile to get through it but I'm really glad that I read it. It's amazing how much power and influence the Christian Right has in our countries political landscape. Regardless of what side you're on this book is an eye opener and is worth the read. 


MFNW. The Review

Wednesday - Gabe got me into a credentials party and then we went to the Roseland for Fuck Buttons and Mogwai. I really liked Fuck Buttons and Mogwai was pretty good too. I couldn't make it through the whole set though, work comes pretty early. 

Thursday - Another party, this time for the VIP's. Again, thanks to Gabe for getting me the VIP pass. This party was better than the one the night before. It was outside at the Wonder Ballroom and it was actually quite the nice night. After hanging out there for awhile I went to the Crystal to see M. Ward. The show started out really great and then his band left the stage and I almost fell asleep. I really liked the first three songs though. 

Friday - I went to Britt Daniel and Built To Spill at the Wonder ballroom. Both shows were pretty great. Unlike M. Ward, Britt Daniel didn't disappoint and I didn't have to fight the urge to take a nap during his set. Built to Spill pretty much rocked as well. 

Saturday - I got to the Wonder nice and early for Ratatat and was fortunate enough to get in. This show was the highlight of the whole festival for me. I was really looking forward to seeing them but I had no idea they would be as good as they were. The crowd was really into it and they just really kicked some butt! I can't wait to see them again. Later on I went to the Crystal to see Menomena. Their show was awesome and left me wanting more. Hopefully they'll be playing their own show sometime soon. I was also planning on seeing Sir Mix A Lot after Menomena but when we got to the Fez it sounded like his set was going to be super late and I'm an old guy now so I decided to call it a night. 

This was definitely the best festival I've ever been to and I can't wait to do it again next year. 



Music Fest NW starts tonight and I'm very excited. I'm going to get the party started by seeing Fuck Buttons and Mogwai tonight. See you there!


Radiohead Road Trip

Earlier this week Ryan and I went up to Vancouver BC and then down to Auburn, WA to watch a couple of Radiohead shows. It was absolutely amazing as always and felt like more of an "experience" than a show. The LED light display they have going on is crazy, I've seen lots of interesting light shows but this one definitely takes the cake. They did a good job of integrating it into the set, it's not distracting and adds a lot to the whole show. I really wish I could go down to some of the California shows but I think I've spent enough money for the time being so I guess it's time to wait another 4 years.

Check out my updated gigography for specific details on the shows. Thanks to A Reminder for the pics. 


My Radiohead Gigography *UPDATED*

I've been a Radiohead fan since 1997 so I figured its about time I logged the shows that I've been to. I had it in my head that I'd gone to 9 already but I guess it's only 8 (now 10). I still feel like that's a pretty respectable number considering the frequency of their tours. I'm really looking forward to the two shows I'm attending next week, especially since it's been 4 years since I've last seen a show of theirs!

Here and the shows and some brief thoughts:

The Big Stink - 8/3/97 - My first RH show came in the form of a lame festival that NRK put on in Estacada Oregon. Originally I wasn't going to go cause Cake was the only band playing that I wanted to see. I had only recently gotten into OK Computer so when NRK announced that RH was joining the party I spent the $20 and went. I ended up missing Cake while I waited in line to get in but seeing RH play there was amazing. They only played a few songs but were definitely the highlight of the day for me. Candlebox headlined, I remember being a little pissed about that.

Salem Armory - 4/4/98
- Even though it was in the Armory this show was awesome. Every time I watch Meeting People Is Easy I think of this show. Sometimes I'm sad that I didn't get to see them when they were playing small clubs like La Luna, but now I feel fortunate to have seen them in the hay day of their OK Computer tour. The highlight of this show was them stopping in the middle of Exit Music to kick some DB out for crowd surfing. Instant respect!

The Gorge - 6/23/01 - I can't remember for sure but I think this may have been my first show at the Gorge. A bunch of us got together and planned a camping/road trip for this and the next show up in BC. Aside from the company of my best friends highlights included hearing the first version of Reckoner for the 1st and only time until this recent tour, and of course the band opening with National Anthem. We all knew it was going to happen but it was awesome nonetheless.

Vancouver BC - 6/24/01 - For some reason I can't remember a lot about this show :) I do remember having an amazing time and getting to see Talk Show Host and Nude (this used to be a really big deal) live. I always have a good time in BC and I'm looking forward to re-visiting the scene in a few days!

Hollywood Bowl - 8/20/01 - I had always heard great things about the Hollywood Bowl so I figured why not go see my favorite band play there. A friend and I splurged on $100 tickets off eBay and flew down to California for the show. I think this was the first and only time I've seen Pearly* and also True Love Waits. Rumor has it that Edward Norton and Brad Pitt were in attendance, along with countless other celebrities I'm sure.

Red Rocks - 8/23/03 - Ever since I first saw the Sunday Bloody Sunday video on MTV I've wanted to go to Red Rocks. This is by far one of the coolest and most unique places to see a show. My favorite thing about this one was hearing Subterranean Homesick Alien live. It gave me the chills. Ryan saw Jack Johnson walk past, apparently he likes a little RH now and again too.

Shoreline - 9/23/03 - I love me some 2 + 2 = 5. Shoreline sucks but of course the show was awesome.

Coachella - 05/01/04 - This was my worst RH experience ever. The band was fine but the environment has left a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to festivals. Coachella sucks! I spent close to $40 on water and it was probably 110 degrees all day long. The cool thing about this day was seeing the Pixies open for RH but other than that, and seeing them play again, I was pretty miserable.

Vancouver BC - 08/19/08 - It took us about 2 hours to drive the 10 miles from our condo to Thunderbird Stadium but once we finally go there everything was great. Radiohead came on shortly after we arrived and played an awesome set. This was my first time hearing In Rainbows and I was quite impressed. I feel like you never know how well the music is going to translate live but they always exceed my expectations. Some of the highlights included Weird Fishes, National Anthem, Just & Planet Telex (lights were crazy for this song), Reckoner and 2+2=5.. The rain started almost as soon as the band started playing and got progressively worse as the night went on. This was the first time I've been to a show in the pouring rain but it almost made it a little more fun. Awesome show!

Auburn, WA - 08/20/08 - I didn't have high expectations for this venue but it turned out to be a pretty great place. It was raining again but our seats were covered so that made it a little more enjoyable. We were also further back, which normally isn't a good thing but this allowed us to really take in the full scope of their light show. Thom came out in red pants so I figured it was going to be a good night. They did a good job of mixing things up with the set list. We got to see Climbing Up The Walls, Idioteque, Lucky, The Pyramid Song and In Limbo! I was pretty excited about that. They always play Morning Bell so it was nice to see this one get some love. They also brought out Nigel on the tambourine for this song. This was a first for any RH show I've ever been to, I've never seen them bring anyone out there with them and it was especially cool for that person to be Nigel Godrich

Both shows were awesome and complimented each other very well. I'm really glad I got to go to two shows in a row! Now I want more! 



I finally made it to Nutshell (one of Portland's new vegan restaurants) tonight and it was fantastic. I'm not a vegan but if I could cook food like this I'd be tempted to give up meat and cheese for the rest of my days.

We started off with a delicious order of focaccia bread and olive oil and then moved on to the bamboo fries. At first I thought that was just a clever name, then I found out that I was eating bamboo. They were pretty awesome though. After the fries we had red chard & green kale with creamy grits & a cherry ginger gastrique, also incredibly delicious and probably my favorite thing we ate. We then topped it all off with penne pasta featuring oyster mushrooms, onions etc..(shrooms are my new favorite food).

Everything was wonderful, I'd go check it out if you haven't been there already. I always cringe a little when I think of vegan food but this stuff is really great.

BOOK: Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim - David Sedaris

It's been a long time since I picked up a Sedaris book so I really enjoyed reading this, even if it pales in comparison to Me Talk Pretty One Day.


Double Mountain Hoplava

Mmm. Delicious.


BOOK: A Civil Action - Jonathon Harr

The definition of a page turner. I really couldn't put this book down but I was a little sad about the ending. I'd highly recommend it, especially if you like courtroom stuff.


A well crafted mojito



BOOK: In the Merde For Love - Stephen Clarke

Almost as good as A Year In The Merde. I loved this book. 


My water bottle has arrived!



Greyhounds, books ane sunshine!

Portland International Brew Fest

Last night Gabe, Ryan and I all went down to the brew fest in the Pearl. This was probably the most fun I've ever had at one of these things, usually I hate going. The weather was nice and there were trees everywhere so it was pretty great. We also didn't have to wait in huge lines to get beer and someone gave me 9 extra tickets while I was waiting for Gabe and Ryan at the front gate. Sweet!

After sampling several tasty IPA's we headed to Life of Reilly to play 36 holes of Golden Tee where yours truly won both games in decisive fashion. 

Lackthereof - Holocene

I finally got to see Lackthereof on Thursday at Holocene. The last time I attempted to check them out I accidently missed their set while drinking beers outside so I got there really early this time. The show was great, as was having my girlfriend point out all of the celebrities (people from Viva Voce, Menomena, Talkdemonic etc) in attendance that I would not have otherwise recognized. 

Click Here for WW article. 

Thanks to Alicia J Rose's flickr page for the photo. 


BOOK: Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson

This book definitely exceeded my already high expectations. Nick Hornby refers to Marilynne Robinson as the greatest living American writer in one of his books so I assumed it would have to be pretty good. Get your dictionary out and settle in for a beautifully written and eerie novel. I loved it and would definitely recommend it.


Talkdemonic: Bastille Day

On Saturday we went to the free show/block party that Pix was hosting in NoPo for Bastille Day. It was pretty cool to see a show outside on a city block. Talkdemonic was great, as usual.. Towards the end of their set someone started passing around sparklers and throwing tons of confetti into the air so it felt a little festive there for awhile. I think this is something that needs to happen more often in Portland. As much as I like going to places like DF or the Wonder for a show being outside on a nice summer evening will always be better.

Thanks to teeathh's flickr page for the picture!