Archive for August, 2006

One Thousand Pictures

Last Friday night my friends and I caught three bands at the Doug Fir, One Thousand Pictures, Persephone’s Bees, and Every Move a Picture. You just never know what kind of crowd you’ll end up with on any given night at the Doug Fir Lounge. In this case, the crowd was small and very well-behaved. There were a few amusing bridge and tunnel girls, clearly “out on the town” but other than that it was pretty mellow.

I always love it when the first band is the best. Partly it’s because they’re typically new to the scene and it feels like I’ve made a great discovery. Partly it’s because on a Friday night, after a long work week, I don’t really mind leaving the club early. Yes, I know, I’m getting old!

One Thousand Pictures, was a fun band to watch and listen to. I met the lead singer after their set and he was incredibly sweet. They had no merchandise for sale and were seemingly just really happy to be there. They’ve been signed by a major label with an album due out in January 2007. In the meantime you can download a couple of their songs from their MySpace page. Their music is an interesting mix of New Wave vocals, but with happier lyrics. Check them out and you’ll see what I mean.

… continue reading this entry.

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A Little Bit About Technogrrrl

When I was little, I wanted to be an astronaut. I told my 6th grade class this during a “what do you want to be when you grow up” session and everyone laughed. I kid you not! I found their laughter so puzzling! What’s funny about wanting to be an astronaut? I didn’t end up becoming one, but still, it was a nice idea at the time.

The next year, I begged my parents to get me a computer for Christmas. This would have been around 1985. On Christmas morning I discovered a big box under the tree. Instead of the intensely desired computer, it was a large German collector’s doll. That’s right, instead of a computer, I got a doll. So, I read my little basic computer programming magazines and wished I had some way to try out the cool programs inside. Being 1985, these programs would do things like tell you what date Easter would be in the year 3030 or how many feet there are in 456 miles. But I loved the idea that I could punch in these neatly ordered lines of code and then something cool would happen.

In any case, I mention this because no one I knew had any clue what the hell I was talking about most of the time. My parents didn’t understand the potential that computers held for my generation; they thought it was a really expensive toy. My girlfriends, all the way through college, treated me like their nice eccentric friend whom if they pretended was normal, might someday actually be normal.

I discovered at about age 12 that several of the boys in my class actually did know what I was talking about most of the time. While my girlfriends were giggling about boys, passing notes about them, cruising the malls in hopes of meeting them, and generally trying to figure out how to get their attention, I got to actually hang out with them. We always talked about cool stuff that we’d read in our science magazines or National Geographics. Great, geeky stuff!

Technogrrrl was born in those days of the 1980’s. I loved techie stuff, science fiction, fantasy, baseball, and New Wave music. My few girlfriends chose to ignore these eccentricities and instead focused on the fact that I could hang out with the guys, but not actually compete for their attention. Hence, I often found myself out on a Friday night with my best friend, who was a cheerleader, surrounded by cute boys. Oft times the odds were 6 to 2 in our favor. I got to talk to the ones that she was choosing to ignore, as per the standard code of women everywhere. Popular girl + sidekick = Peace in the realm. It was quite a lot of fun and worked out well for both of us.

Years later, at the ripe old age of 33, I’m still the only girl I know who can go to Fry’s, buy a bunch of parts, and build her own computer. I still feel most comfortable hanging around with geeky guys. Not nerdy guys, geeky guys. There’s a huge difference! I know there are plenty of other women out there who are more geeky than myself, but I think they probably have their own cadre of geeky guy friends and so we don’t seek each other out very often.

My “little bit about Technogrrl” seems to have turned into a self-indulgent “lots about Technogrrl” ramble so I’ll stop there. Suffice it to say, I grabbed the Yahoo username “Technogrrrl” back in 1997, before the grrrl craze hit I might add, and it’s served me well!

Bar Pastiche – Basque Cider House Dinner

Tonight I enjoyed the traditional Basque Cider House Dinner at Bar Pastiche on Hawthorne. It was such fun! They pulled enough tables together to cover the reservations (required for this event only) and served the 5 course meal family style. When I say “family style,” I mean let’s give 10 people 4 plates per course and watch them eat off them! Germophobes need not apply.

My friend and I didn’t know our tablemates so we trusted them not to have anything infectious and went to town on the great food. The point of the food was to soak up the unlimited cider, from the Basque region of Spain, which they made sure to ply us with before providing the food so that we would all be social with complete strangers and eat off each other’s plates.

They (sometimes the patrons) pour the cider from 12″-24″ above the glasses in order to aerate it. This leads to much giggling and splashing so you may want to think twice about wearing silk. The cider is completely unlike the bottled cider you can buy by the 12 ounce bottle in the grocery store. This cider is naturally fermented, needs the extra aeration, and dry. I can’t imagine getting drunk off the cider by Hornsby’s. I’d be sick in 3 bottles from all the sugar. I can, however, happily report that even as I type and retype this blog entry, and the previous one, that I don’t feel sick at all. You can infer from that statement, that I am indeed inebriated.

The 5 courses consisted of chorizo with onions, salted cod with scrambled eggs, salted cod with Basque green peppers, big juicy slabs of steak (which were incredibly good), and quince with a hard cheese for dessert. I feel quite good about spending $40 on such an enjoyable culinary experience.

Since we were on Hawthorne, we were pretty well assured of dining with interesting people, who were unlikey to be Republicans. We dined with a woman, her husband, and her parents. The husband was from Poland and they had a good friend from Armenia, so we had a fun time comparing notes on our Armenian friends, who are all convinced that anything from Armenia is automatically THE BEST in the world.

It was a lovely experience and I highly recommend it. They do this dinner on the last Tuesday of each month. For reservations, call 503-236-4760. You can read more about them at http://portland.citysearch.com/profile/41544861/.

Cheers!

Stars of Track and Field – New Album on iTunes

As of August 22nd the new Stars of Track and Field album is available on iTunes. They’re my favorite Portland band. Originally, the new album was due in April 2006, then June, then April of 2007 because they signed with a label that was purchased by another label, yada, yada, yada. Bottom line, I was overjoyed to discover their new album is now on iTunes.

This is my first purchase on iTunes. So far, at least one of the songs is also on their out of print EP, but it’s a great song so I’m cool with that. I should mention that I’m maybe a little bit drunk as I write this, but the sentiment is the same while drunk or sober. These guys are great! You can find a sample on their myspace page, http://www.myspace.com/starsoftrackandfield .