Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dodged a Bullet

Portland is off the table.

.    .     .    .     .

That was my sigh of relief you heard. While the option to move somewhere new and different always has an appeal, I'm not sure Portland and I would have been a match made in heaven.  More that we would have ended up on Maury Povich arguing about who hated who first and ending with one of use tackled by the security staff.  I'm not saying if it would have been PDX or me, but it would have been ugly.

After two days there I looked Danielle in the eye and said "I don't think I can move here".  She laughed and I reiterated with "No really.  I think it might be too much".  I moved to Spain a Catholic country with a pace that's glacial for any meaningful business, i.e. banking, official paperwork processing. I live in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country where I was awakened every day for months by the call to prayer of the mosque. Traffic meant it could take two hours to go four miles and the only beer was Heineken and it's local equivalent Bintang. I've spent weeks in countries where everything bites and the temperature and humidity are the same number.  I think I draw the line at Portland.

Here are some snippets of the notes I made on the music agenda. A lot of these seem to be directed at the hipsters, so only take them to heart if you are a hipster. And if you are, message me to seek treatment.

The 80's are gone.  Either know that you loved them and let them go or know that you will never get it because you're 15 and your elders are (or should be) wise enough not to allow you to repeat their mistakes.

There is one Zoey Deschanel. You aren't her.

There are lots of guys who look like pictures of my uncle from thirty years ago - a big, bad, dark beard, floppy semi-curly hair, skinny to the point of needing force feeding. He had thick black framed glasses, a strong Jewish nose (hey, I've got it too), and a general air of nerdy/unstylish. It wasn't good then I'd imagine, it was hilarious as kids when we saw the pictures and it's not ideal now. His style has changed, so should yours.

Why do you look so gay but bring your girlfriend to the concert?  If I saw you in Seattle, you 5'5" man in tight pink knee length shorts, white ironic/graphic tank, comb over, bracelet, purple raybans, teal keds with ankle socks, I would know you were at home in Seattle, probably Capitol Hill. In PDX, you insist on dragging your beard girlfriend around though neither of you exchange a word or seem attached to each other.

Come to think of it, most of you hipsters don't seem attached to anything.  You are decidedly detached from emotional response.  I don't know if you're all high or have spent too many years abusing your livers but I swear a smile or facial expression is a normal part of existence.

I realize that burning bras had it's day.  As far as I know, bras are plentiful.  There are lots of them around in different colors and styles and price ranges.  There is no excuse then to go without.  Floppy and wiggly is something that should be saved for jello molds. Bright pink bras should go under bright shirts, not flimsy white ones. Bra straps are not a fashion accessory despite what some magazines and manufacturers produce. If you are wearing a tube top, buy a strapless bra. That's a requirement not a suggestion.

Clothes shouldn't be so tight as to appear painted on nor so loose that you could fit your significant other in them as well.

Men - get your hair situation together.  Fuzzy chests with deep V's, mustaches of the 70's/porn star variety, facial hair that is patchy and a bit all over, Bieber hair, overcolored/overtreated and there fore thinner than thread.  Men in headbands.  Not even for Fernando, sorry Meghan. Sort all that out.  I'm about this close to putting a no facial hair clause in my online profiles because there are so few who pull it off, but I don't want to open the door for 6'2'', 318lbs guys to have a go at me because I hate their beard. Not that I couldn't take 'em. . . I just don't have the time or interest.

Was there a great flood in Portland in the last two years?  Everyone cuffs everything.  Jeans, pants, skirts, shorts. I get that when you're on a bike you cuff the right leg so it doesn't get greasy in the chain but I stopped trying to count people walking around with cuffed pants.  Either manufacturers need to make a PDX specific cut that is short enough for all the flood-fearers or there need to be group information sessions about the correct pant lengths.  Folded up so it's three inches above your ankle (and your legs are the most horrifying white) is not appropriate.

Why can't you afford a shave and a haircut but you can spend thousands of dollars of lots of often lousy tattoos? I have a few tattoos.  I have plans for a couple more but being in Portland for long would be enough to put me off tats forever.  I don't think I've ever seen so many neck tats.  Lots of full sleeves and lots of generally globby tats. I started getting mine when not every person had one, now Portlanders are getting enough for everyone.

Single soul examples of fashion disasters:
Male, 30's, 5'5''-5'6'' pork pie hat, floppy side part ahir, waxed mustache, wife beater tank top in white, nylon baskeball shorts in black past the knee, long, dark argyle socks, leather "dress" shoes like a lot of middle school boys wear when they have to dress up.

Male, 35ish, 5'9'', short sleeve plai button up, beard, BCGs (see previous post), black low top chucks, flatbilled baseball hat, raybans, skinny jean that was too short, black socks.

Female, early 20's, 5'7'', skort dress in bright purple,  blue raybans, keds, long stick strait hair with a leatherband with feathers on it tied around her head just above her eyebrows.

Overall I found Portlanders in need of mending, ironing, shaving, trimming, washing and general tidying up. I think I left Portland with a virus, one that has left me with little defense against "the hipster".  It may have long lasting effects; we shall have to wait and see.

Last two only vaguely related thoughts:
As I get older, 21 seems to be getting younger.  The shows I saw at the Crystal Ballroom had two sections in front of the stage, one of which was a 21 and over bar section.  There were folks in there that make me double take.  Not just a couple that I could assume had snuck in but heaps.  Apparently I'm not old enough to want to question the young whippersnappers about their id.

Drummers are proof that men can multi-task.  Based on some of the bands I've seen recently I should expand that to musicians.  I saw one performer from Beirut switch from a trombone to a tuba to a guitar.  Another in Royal Cannoe played a keyboard, a synthesizer, a guitar and a tambourine. I doff my hat to you all.

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