Happy New Year! I rang in 2010 very quietly but that’s okay because I had one of the best weeks ever leading up to it. When the week started, I had no idea what I was in for. I was still recovering from an epic Christmas Eve spent out on the town and Christmas day trapped in my gradparents’ cabin while a murderer was on the loose.
On Sunday, I got a call from two of Star’s friends, Mary Bee and Kai. They were roadtrippin’ through Portland and asked me to join them for coffee. Innocent enough, I thought. Little did I know that a cup of coffee would turn into a two-day voyage across two states. Longest cup of coffee EVER, I tell you.
After a brief meeting at Floyd’s, I directed them on an impromptu tour of Portland’s best spots. First, we hit the Doug Fir. I’d just been there twelve hours before for dinner and a metal show and showed up in the same exact outfit. They had a sparkly pink West German gnome in tow, but I didn’t ask questions. Best not to rock the boat, I thought.
I kindly offered to smuggle the gnome into the Doug Fir tucked inside of a designer body bag.
The gnome thoroughly enjoyed the Doug Fir’s trippy disco mirrored bathroom.
Myrrh tried on the accompanying bear hat for size.
Next up, we tried to find Sock Dreams to no avail. A 45 minute drive through the outskirts of Portland led us to the Burgerville Parking lot. Local fast food? Perfect. The gnome loved our chocolate hazelnut milkshakes. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, we almost wiped out. Were the milkshakes spiked?
Onward we marched to the Clinton Street Theater, thinking we were going to catch a showing of The Big Lebowski. DUDE. Problem was, the theatre was dark. The doors were locked. The crowd was swelling. Seems that someone didn’t show up for work. A guy finally came up, unlocked the door and let us in. The gnome hammed it up on the front of the stage. The movie turned out to be something completely different. Called Sita Sings The Blues, it was the weirdest movie I have ever seen. A ton of arguing cartoons with Indian accents hijacked the screen for the next hour.
To get the full Portland effect, I hauled the out-of-towners, bear hat and all, out to Sassy’s. It turned out to be a good move. My friend showed up and we looked on completely dumbfounded as Kai and Mary Bee took the gnome up to the rack and a stripper picked him up and cradled him in her arms. They explained that he needed a name and she looked longingly into his eyes and named him Rodney. RODNEY!!!
The next morning, the roadtrippers were heading up Seattle and invited me along for the ride. We weren’t very far along when Mary shouted, “STOP! WE HAVE TO SEE THE GOLDEN JESUS.” And, so we did. Along the side of the highway, there was a memorial commemorating the Holocaust, Native Americans and Mother Theresa in a large field. The whole contraption was pretty amazing.
This issue of The Mercury was lying on the floor of the car. Merry Christmas!
Onward we moved towards Seattle and Liz’s house. When we arrived, we realized that Rodney had a long lost wife; a pink velvet Virgin Mary statue.
Liz gifted Mary Bee with a 3-D wooden lobster puzzle. It’s a long story.
We made a pit stop at Gasworks Park which was pretty awesome. We immediately climbed to the top of the hill to check out the view.
Afterwards, we dined at El Chupacabra, which was a mexican restaurant full of skulls and a multitude of miscellaneous oddities too numerous to mention. We left in a hurry when Mary Bee blurted out a saying having to do with toes that we’d much prefer to keep private.
Onto Bleu we marched after many laughing attacks. It was a perfect way to end the night. A guy in the booth next to us kept resting his arm on our ledge so we placed Rodney the gnome in his hand. He got totally freaked out, of course. The waitress called Rodney “psycho” to his face. I have no idea why….
The next morning, I woke up on a collapsed red velvet couch in Liz’s living room and Mary Bee cornered me with a stack of temporary tattoos and Tupac tunes. Of the tattoos, Mary Bee said, “We straight thuggin’, ballin’, gonna cost her some G’s. She got the car, the keys, the house in da hillz, â€“Nubbenstein Manor 4 lyfe.” You get the idea.
By the time we left the house, we had basically 2.5 hours to see the rest of Seattle. Thank god we were up for the challenge. On the way through town, we passed a clown limo service.
First up: the infamous Fremont Troll. Rodney loved visiting his relatives.
Of course no trip to Seattle is complete without a visit to Pike Place Market.
We posed for the requisite ’emo band’ photo.
Kai and I kicked all the kids off the golden pig and took over. I’m not sure if the crowd was more scared or impressed with our enthusiasm.
We basically had 45 minutes left….and ran through Pike Place Market.
Everyone enjoyed Rodney’s presence. That pink glittery little body is pretty seductive.
Oh, and I got a fish tossed over my head. Perfect Seattle moment!
After a few last minute stops, we were on the road again.
The Lust Lady sign always has the best sayings…
I kept Rodney company in the back seat.
On the freeway back to Portland:
Kai to Mary Bee: Is it okay if I speed? I want to know my options.
Mary Bee: Sure.
Me: If we get pulled over, Kai is wearing a bear hat and I have on Girl Scout gear. We have a sparkly pink gnome in the back seat. Speeding is the least of our problems.
My phone was ringing off the hook the entire way back to Portland. Seems that the city was hit with sudden, blizzard-like conditions. We were oblivious since the first two hours of our drive were perfectly normal (weather-wise, that is). When we arrived back in Portland in the dark and frozen tundra, we decided to have one last supper together.
Thanks to Kai, Mark Bee, Rodney and Liz for the fun times and hospitality. Best road trip EVER.
Even though I had some major action crammed into the first three days, the week was still young. On Wednesday night, I went to my first Blazers game in fifteen years. Talked through most of it. At least they won. As Jason said, “Sequins and secret shots!” We were sipping whiskey that my dad smuggled in. So ridiculous.
And, now it’s 2010. I couldn’t muster the strength to go out and celebrate last night; I was too partied out from the previous days. I am thankful that you and I survived another year and am excited for new goals, new beginnings and making dreams a reality.