Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Slummin' It... Free MAX Day

Train in downtown Portland Pioneer Courthouse Square
What a train in Portland may look like.
Fuzzy legs, Don Johnson stubble, Andy Rooney eyebrows and shorts decorated with Secret Aardvark splatter art: my costume for an incognito trip on the rails in Portland. Unfortunately, I was still recognized so I was allowed to board MAX without even having to pay on Monday, August 18. Being famous has its perks, so you have to take the good with the bad, I suppose. Getting free stuff is just a part of fame to which I've had to adjust.

I hadn't been on the train since April. It took me a long time to get over the trauma of witnessing the strange passenger next to me vomit all over himself. I honestly never thought I would recover but lately I've been working on pushing past my fears to attain high-reaching goals. As of late, I've been longing to return to simpler times, to experience again for even one brief moment what my life was like before my sudden rise to fame. Back when I was attending Portland State, I rode MAX every single day, spending my time on board doing homework, reading, attempting to breathe solely through my mouth, listening to my Discman, and only occasionally being robbed.

Surprisingly, nothing much has changed on the train itself, except this time I was not approached by a man wearing tiny 1970s gym shorts with his male parts falling out of one of the legs. Not even once! There are things you're not sure you're going to miss but shucks... I'm getting kinda misty.

The best selfie. Ever.
I boarded at my regular stop near my home and nothing eventful really happened until we reached 11th Avenue/Lloyd Center. A lady boarded and sat in the seat next to me, her overwhelming perfume enveloping her and anyone around her in a cloud not unlike that of Pigpen. I forgot to use any of my own fancy smell juice before I left the house so I was quite fortunate she was there to share hers with me. She kept trying to read what I was writing on my notepad as I was sitting next to her so I'm confused as to why she moved seats two stops later. I would think she would be flattered by my generous depiction.

The meth people got on at Old Town and sat 1/2 the car apart so they could just hear each other as they shouted. I could slightly hear them as well. They got off at 3rd and Morrison with all the fellows with their shirts tucked in yet unbuttoned all the way to their waists.

I exited the train at Pioneer Place so I could start a walk around town, taking photographs for blog posts in the future. I ended up at Pioneer Courthouse Square, Galleria, the theaters on Broadway, the Park Blocks and Waterfront Park. After this exhausting adventure I boarded MAX at Skidmore Fountain to go home. Apparently, so did the entire population of Multnomah County. It was packed. I couldn't find a seat so I made a woman take her baby out of the stroller so I could lounge. It was a perfect vantage point for the most epic throwdown I have ever witnessed on public transit.

The scene: two people taking up four seats in the priority seating area; the other two seats contained their bags. Of those two, one was a gender transitioning person with really cool hair. This person was the one involved in the ruckus. The other participant in the bout of the century was a lady in a wheelchair directly across the car from the other two. The train was filled to the point people were going to start squishing out the windows like in a telephone booth challenge. The dialog was as follows as best as I can remember, slightly paraphrased:

Lady in Wheelchair (LW): Hey, can you let some people sit in those seats where you have your bags?
Cool Hair Person (CHP): No.
LW: Well, there's a lot of...
CHP: My bag is heavy. (Clearly annoyed) If you would like to hold my bag, you go ahead.
LW: Well, I just think you could hold your bags and let some of these people sit.
CHP: No, actually I can't move my bag because if I let someone sit next to me, it's going to aggravate my anxiety disorder and give me a panic attack. (Aggressive voice) Do you want to give me a panic attack?
LW: On such a crowded train you...
LW shakes her head and looks away as everyone on the train rolls their eyes.

Personally, as someone that has experienced a great number of panic attacks over the last decade, I had no idea that having someone sit next to you could cause one, while the fact the rest of the train is fully packed, with people standing right next to you, blocking the exits and bumping against your legs, wouldn't. I guess my social anxiety was different. But, I'm so happy to know now that the next time I want to excuse the rude behavior of myself and my friend, all I need to do is cite my anxiety issues and it gives me a free pass. As if I needed any more reasons to be special. It was a wonderful day of learning on the Portland mass transit. I was so blessed.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Springtime In Portlandia, Part Two

This entry is a continuation of the exciting mystery serial begun in Springtime In Portlandia, Part One. If today's entry doesn't make any sense to you, it's probably because you didn't read the first part. Duh. 

 Picture 4:

Don't tell anyone I was up in here.
We know how to party up in the VIP. WHAT?!? Okay.
One of the aspects of this city I truly adore is the fact the populus leaves celebrities alone. Anywhere else it's all about autographs, pictures, locks of hair and partially-eaten toast. But here in Portland, a famous person can be virtually ignored. This was my experience at the Spring Beer and Wine Fest on April 18. In my recollection, I was never once approached, allowing me to finally enjoy an event in the style of the common folk.

I can only assume my handler made all of the arrangements because the VIP section left much to be desired. I'm used to far more posh accommodations when making public appearances. The drink, however, was first rate. There were so many varietals of wine, and not many of them repugnant. I prefer the sweeter types; the rieslings, moscatos and ports were not to be missed. I especially liked the Passion and Muscat from Noble Estate, the Fortissimo and Vibrato from Vitis Ridge, the Sublime from Silver Falls Vineyards, and the unique fruit wine varietals from Nehalem Bay Winery. Yes, the regular bubbly flowed as well and I know what you're thinking. No, this was not what placed me into a multi-month stupor as I still had a couple more picture clues on my phone after this one.

Picture 5:

This is how famous people slum it.
To continue my enjoyment of Portland like the regular people do, I apparently decided to try some water from a public dispenser downtown on May 22. I'm not used to imbibing this beverage when it's not pouring forth from a plastic bottle I conveniently leave anywhere because climate change is a lie, so ingesting this from a commoners' spout was very traumatic for me. Don't laugh. I'm new at all of this.

After a few seconds of sipping, I started to relax somewhat because it tasted a lot like Coors Light. After having my fill, the trauma returned as I started to feel nausea overcome my usual overwhelming sense of ego. Is this how you people always feel after drinking this swill? OMG. This is it. This is what happened that made me so sick! Immediately after I drank the water, in addition to nausea, I developed a sharp pain in my abdomen, followed by extreme dizziness, a bubonic rash, hemorrhagic fever and hiccups. Also, this happened:

Photo 6:

Pile of deceased color treated hair
It ate too much poisoned quadro-triticale.

The water. There must have been something wrong. I'm certain of it. It's almost as if someone put a dead body in the reservoir and when it was drained the body was found but everyone in charge said it was a bunch of dead birds instead. I'm never drinking water again. I could take that as a positive but I'd rather find someone to sue. We should have been warned about this.

It's fortunate I regained my health just in time to venture back to Vegas for another adventure in liver destruction but that's a story for another day. Soon.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Springtime In Portlandia, Part One

Oh, how you've missed me, dear fans. Unfortunately for you, I've spent the last several months in an induced coma to reduce a swelled ego. Either that or it was an awesome new weight loss scheme I was researching as part of my gaining even more dieting expertise. Anyway, no matter the reason, I woke up having lost a lot more weight, so I win! The difficult part of this situation is that right before this wonderful mishap, I was out and about so much here in Portland and planning on sharing all of the details with my devotees. My memory is terribly spotty so I'm going to have to do the best I can to fill in the gaps and still do my adventures justice, while also solving the mystery of my missing time. Luckily, I found numerous pictures on my phone to help me reconstruct a narrative.

Picture 1: 

VMB main ballroom
Is this HELL?!?

This first photo is scary, but doesn't appear to contain anything coma-inducing. There are some spooky people in top hats, some hot chicks with fangs, and up on the stage we can see some lovely shadow dancers. Hmm. I'm going to need a little more help to narrow this event down.

Picture 2:

JK in white ready for a bite
My butt has a spotlight on it.
I got married again or something, but my hair is all lumpy. No, hey, I think I know what this is. If we look at the two pictures together, I'm sure I went as a sacrifice to a satanic party. Clearly. Hmm. I didn't think I'd really do that. Again.

Upon checking the date stamp, 4/12/14, I figured this was the Vampire's Masquerade Ball. I went in white because not only am I completely contrarian, but I was hoping to draw the attention of numerous terrifying bloodsuckers. Do you know how much blood weighs? You could lose a dress size or ten just based upon how hungry the undead are.

The event was as beautiful as usual but I still went home just as untouched as I have each of the other five times I've been to the ball. Maybe someday I'll finally be savagely attacked. I can only keep on hoping. I mean, even the lovely organizer of the evening complimented me on my gown instead of goring me with her ram's horns. I can't win.

Picture 3:

People spinning in the air on massive rings
I bet I could do that too if I was in really good shape, ate right, practiced a lot and was in tune with my body. Big deal.
This was one of the acts at the VMB, Night Flight Aerial. In addition to their spinning all over the sky acting all beautiful and cool and making me feel bad about myself, they don't throw up while they're up there or anything. There were other acts, like DJs that play a lot of dark stompy music and people with instruments that I know are mocking me because I gave up practicing the piano years ago, but they didn't spoil my mood. There were plenty of mirrors to look in constantly so I could keep my priorities in focus. As usual, I stayed all night and had a wonderful time even though I wasn't completely exsanguinated, but there's always next year so I can try again.

There are other pictures on my phone after this so this was definitely not what drove me comatose. I'll have to keep on looking in order to solve the mystery. Part Two of this investigation will be posted next week.

PS: Adult vampires are NOT the same thing as Vampire Babies. Not even close. Really.