31.8.07

Sports Aren't All Bad


So, it hasn't been a great year in the sports world. Steroids is rampant. Dog-fighting is probably more widespread than Michael Vick. Barry Bonds passed one of the classiest baseball players of all time on the home run list. Etc.

But here's a great story...A GREAT story...about NBA players doing something for the world. I loved seeing Greg Oden's name in there, but Bonzi Wells may have been the biggest surprise, a perpetual headcase who is a part of something good.

Speaking of the sports world (which Bryan Allain should definitely be writing about on here), it's college football tomorrow. It'll be hard to pass up last season, when two of the greatest games I've ever seen happened (Boise State-Oklahoma and Oregon-Oklahoma), but I'll be watching anyway.

Quick prediction: the University of Oregon football team be as good as Dennis Dixon makes them. Maybe he's the next Vince Young this season!


Go Ducks.

30.8.07

Back Home


I shouldn't complain, but sometimes running a website like Burnside can take its toll.

Last week, I took a needed break from it all and traveled with a few friends for a backpacking trip in the Wallowas.

Here's a quick rundown of our trip:

Friday 12pm: Picked Steve and James up from their houses before heading over to John's. Left John's house.

1pm: Ate lunch at a Quizno's in Hood River. Those new "Sammies" may look like a good deal, but just go with the regular sandwich. Started not feeling well during the drive. Not saying the Sammies and nausea were linked...just saying.

6pm: Arrived at Terminal Gravity Brew Pub in Enterprise, Oregon. We had some amazing beer and burgers, but I couldn't finish more than a couple bites. Fed remaining burger to Athena (my dog). An ode to the Brew Pub will appear at a later date, because it deserves far more than a passing mention.

8pm: Arrive at Wallowa Lake campground after listening to Spoon. Set up tents, take Athena for a walk down to Wallowa Lake. Bats are awesome. I'm starting to feel a little better. Eat some Craisins. Head to bed.

Saturday 2 am: Wake up and vomit up all those Craisins.

3am: Wake up and vomit.

4 am: Wake up and vomit.

7:30am: Wake up for good. Head into Joseph to get some gatorade and water to fill up our camelbacks and nalgenes. Call Mindy for a medical evaluation. She tells me to wait an hour and sip a mix of half water, half gatorade. She tells me if I vomit again, I shouldn't make the hike. Sometimes it's nice being engaged to a doctor.

8 am: Vomit in the bathroom of a small store. Above the toilet is a poster telling women how to escape an abusive relationships. I love small towns, but that saddened me.

9 am: Feeling a little bit better. Drive back around Wallowa Lake and hit the trailhead. Sometimes it's not nice being engaged to a doctor, like when she wants me to be healthy and doesn't let me do what I want to do. Here's Athena all packed up and John's shapely legs.


And here's where we're headed, up the left side of those mountains.


12 pm: Arrive at Aneroid Lake. The trail is steep, but it's only 6 miles long. We don't care how long it is because each of us feels like we're about to die. To contrast, our friend Keith was in the same area earlier that week. He went on a 30-mile hike with a 50 lb pack. Our packs were around 30-35 lbs. We all recognize the need to get in shape for next year.

1 pm: Catch our breaths, set up camp, light fire, eat lunch (which I'm starting to hold down). For the rest of the evening, we gather water and take naps and generally act very tired. Staring at a fire for hours is therapeutic. At one strange point, I was talking to James and he was holding a frying pan, kind of looking at it in front of his face, when the the campfire did one of it's little mini explosions and we heard a loud ping. A second later, we realized James would've been hit in the face with a rocketing ember if not for a perfectly placed frying pan.

Here's a shot of camp:


Sunday 8am: Wake up and perform our own impromptu church service. I lead worship with a mandolin and harmonica.

Just kidding. John went fishing and the rest of us made breakfast. Athena played with a black lab from a nearby campground named Big, which primarily consisted of her sprinting in a huge figure eight while Big floundered about.

10 pm: Commence the opening ceremonies of the Aneroi-lympics. Almost every event involves throwing smaller rocks in hopes of hitting a larger rock. At the final medal count, Steve had 4 gold medals, I had 3, James had 2 and John didn't have any. Don't feel bad for John. He dominated the field during our last trip.

12 pm: During Aneroi-lympics, we walk around the two miles around the lake in search of new events. After a while, we don't find any, but we do take this great picture from a sandy beach on the lake's north end.

(From left to right: Me, Athena, Steve, James and John. Sorry ladies, we're all either married or engaged.)

10pm: Head to bed, exhausted from another long day. The night got cold, and Athena didn't really have proper warmth, so I put my long sleeve shirt on her. That didn't really work, and she still kept shivering, so I had to intermittently drape my legs and sleeping bag over her to keep her warm. It was a long night, but at least no cougars attacked.

Monday 8am: Woke up, gathered water for the hike back. Irresponsibly burned almost all of our garbage in the fire. Packed up our bags, which were now considerably lighter. Didn't even break a sweat going down the trail, which felt great. Here's a picture overlooking Wallowa Lake. The spot we took this from is only about a mile from the trailhead.


12pm: Arrive back at car for the drive home. Going back west on I-84 was gorgeous the whole way. It was the best 5 hour drive I've ever experienced.

It was a quick trip, something we'll do again next year, but it was good for my soul and I'm excited to move ahead with Burnside and all the projects we're constantly cooking up. Thanks to John Pattison for covering for me this week!

I bet you can't hit me with a quarter...


Being unemployed is wonderful. Being unemployed and having to look for a job sucks. The wife woke me up this morning and said, “You should get going and look for jobs today.” I pretended to be sleeping for the next two hours. She eventually got up, took a shower, and left. Whew, that was close. The parts where she was in the shower and drying her hair were relaxing enough, but c’mon woman! How long does it take to put on mascara in front of the bedroom mirror?

I think the hardest thing about looking for a job is feeling myself having to fit into the mold of “Account Processor” for a large manufacturing firm, or “Inventory Specialist” for a retail chain warehouse. I might be the next “Warranty Processing Coordinator,” for your semiconductor manufacturing plant? Seriously? But why would I abandon my current position of “Internet Surfer” and “Cereal Eater” for that?

I drove past a bum the other day and rolled down my window just to converse with a fellow pilgrim on the same level. “How’s the biz?” I asked.

He gave me a pitied look and a few pointers before slipping a five spot into my shirt pocket.

“Don’t blow it all on booze,” he said.

Perhaps I’ll just buy a paper and read it in public. That always gives off the aura of a guy who’s got stuff going on… Plus I’ve recently heard it makes a great blanket.

Oh screw it anyways; another Sponge Bob marathon is starting.

Dang, that Squarepants is a hard working fry cook!

(I think I’ll take a nap.)

28.8.07

Summer Over and What Next

This past weekend my husband and I celebrated our one-year anniversary by going down to "the OC" where I grew up. He insisted on seeing the places I've talked and written about. It's not quite the OC made famous on TV, with impossibly young and beautiful people, scheming and shopping and pining away in their mansions overlooking the sea. I grew up one town over, where the striving middle class grunts connived for a chance to pine away in a time share overlooking the garages of those mansions overlooking the sea.

We rode our bikes along the Newport peninsula, past the ubiquitous partyers catching the last weekend of summer in their rented beachfront houses, on down to the Wedge, where there is no public boardwalk. It's all private mansions owned by people who live in Pasadena and wouldn't stoop to rent.

The ocean was gorgeous, the weather beyond fair. But it's August, and you can't help noticing the sun dipping lower and sooner out of the sky. It's a natural melancholy. And if we thought about what life amounted to down here, we would have left sooner. But you can do that when you're just visiting, you can take what you want and leave the rest.

The highlight was passing a party that was blasting Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" as we rode by.
How I wish you were here
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl
Year after year

Beach towns are so much the same. The same waspy, faces, wrinkled, botoxed, or not yet out of high school, striving for one thing: the pleasure of stasis. lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year.

I woke up today and read the headline that Owen Wilson tried to commit suicide. I wonder if he got tired of swimming in the fishbowl of the good life. I wished I could sneak into his hospital room and tell him that there is something more than People and Us Magazine.

I trolled Google for images of Phil Spector's hair, and wondered what darkness went on in the head between the hair. Just darkness. If only he'd gotten a chin job when he was younger, maybe he wouldn't have been so desperate for attention and gotten into guns. Man, he produced The Beatles's Let It Be. What went wrong?

Sometimes I feel so sad for where our culture seems to be heading. I saw a bumper sticker that read, "Where are we going? And why am I in this handbasket?"

I can get overwhelmed with pessimism and despair. The Great American Evangelical Consumerist Experiment failed us, didn't it?

But God is not the pessimist that I am. God never gave up on us, even in our darkest moments.

And besides, there's something new happening. I read it on Burnside and Emergent and in the old denominations that are returning to the anceint practices like Christian meditation and giving to the poor. I read about it in Shane Claiborne's website, the Simple Way. And then I hear about the resurgence of faith in China and Africa. Maybe Asia and Africa are our hope now.

Wow. This late summer melancholy is getting to me. Time to look at Phil's hair for another laugh. Or cry.

27.8.07

I'll Fly Away......


Yesterday, Tricia and I finally joined a church. The church we joined has the old-school invitation, so we walked down the aisle, talked to the pastor, and filled out an information card. When the invitation was over, the pastor asked us to come stand by him so he could introduce us to the church. Afterwards we stood in back while at least half of the two thousand in attendance stopped to say hello and shake our hands.

When the last hand was shook, we went to McAlister's for lunch, and while we were waiting on our food I went to the rest room. Standing in front of the urinal I reached down to unzip, only to notice that I was already unzipped. That's right, I stood in front of the entire congregation, then shook their hands one at a time, fly down! Needless to say, we will be joining another church next week.

22.8.07

God's Country


This is Aneroid Lake.

It lies on the East Fork of the Wallowa River in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, a few miles south of Joseph, Oregon. As lovely as it is, it is not one of the more scenic lakes in the area. The best lake I've seen is Glacier Lake, where you can look 20 feet down to the bottom, and see at least 8 fish plain as day.

When we were kids, we went to the Wallowas twice a year. It's in the very northeastern corner of Oregon, 6 hours from Portland. Our family refers to it as "God's Country". The town of Joseph is sometimes referred to as the bronze sculpture capital of the US, and it's also named for Chief Joseph. The Nez Perce tribe lived here until they were kicked off their land.

It's the best part of Oregon, and it's still widely unknown, but once you've been there once, you feel it calling.

So that's where a few friend and I are headed this weekend, out the Gorge on the I-84 corridor, through the towns of Pendleton, Hermiston and La Grande (where Rick McKinley was a youth pastor before planting Imago Dei) and then up to Enterprise and finally Joseph. We'll also be stopping at the Terminal Gravity Brewery, which crafts absolutely the best beer in the world.

That's what it's all about: some of my best friends, my dog, some fishing poles, the best patch of land in the world and some good whiskey. It's going to be a solid weekend.

21.8.07

No One Is Reading


Now, I'm not going to say this is the source of all the things wrong with America.

But I will say it's a source of a lot of what's wrong with America.

US reading habits are on the decline. I'm shocked.

Further, there was a lovely Onion News Network piece last week. Remember when there were concerns Barak Obama could never be elected because his name was too close to Osama Bin Laden? I thought to myself, "Who are these idiots?"


In The Know: Candidates Compete For Vital Idgit Vote

65 years ago, this never would've happened. Names didn't matter back then. Ask Rudolph Mitler, who successfully campaigned for a state senator slot in Idaho's 2nd district back in 1942. You can't ask him, of course, because he's dead...and it was Idaho...

Never mind.

Congratulations, Bob and Lalita!


Simon Ham was born at 3:06 am. He and Lalita are both healthy. Bob is also healthy, but he didn't have a delivery a baby or climb through a birth canal. Suck it up, Bob.

Maybe we'll get some pictures up here soon, but congratulations again to our Music Editor, his wife, and their new son.

Update: Here's a picture! He looks wild-eyed, like he's saying, "You'd better be glad I'm all wrapped up right now, or I'd come over there and kick the crap out of you."

20.8.07

When the rain comes, they run and hide their heads


It's another crappy day here in Portland. This has been the weakest summer ever.

So, today, I'm helping a guy at the store, and we're doing some idle chit-chat. I ask him how he's doing, he asks me how I'm doing, and I say, "This rain is bumming me out."

"You haven't been here in the winter yet, have you?" he asked all snotty-like.

Now, listen all you Portlanders who "love the rain and the gray". I get it. I get you're compensating because you just moved here from California or Montana or some other inferior state. But for those of us who've spent our entire lives here, we're over having to tell everyone how much we love 9 months of gray.

9 months of rains gets old. I mean, I'm 27. If you take away the one year I spent living elsewhere, I've still been here 25 years. With 9 months of gray skies per year, that means I've spent 18.75 years without the sun. I'm not even factoring in night time here!

By the way, after telling that guy I grew up here, I asked him if he'd grown up here. He hadn't. He moved here from Chicago 10 months ago.

19.8.07

Only In Dreams


Sometimes you have those dreams you just love, the ones that brighten a whole day. No, not those dreams.

Last night, I had one of those. I dreamt I hung out with David Milch for hours and talked to him about his writing. David Milch is the creator of "Deadwood", "NYPD Blue" and the recently canceled "John From Cincinnati".

I was able to tell him honestly, "Look, I'm hooked on 'John from Cincinnati', but you sure don't make it easy. I mean, I watch it every week, but I never look forward to it. It's more like, "Well, 'Flight of the Conchords' is over, let's check in on the Yelling Yosts and that weird gay guy who won the lottery and bought the hotel where everyone hangs out at waiting for the apocalypse."

I'm sad it's canceled, though...as much as the show bugged me, it had something heavy happening, like it was a story that would make perfect sense at the end, and slogging through the beginning was tough. It was a lot like "Everything is Illuminated", actually. The book.

Plus, Milch is a legend. Seriously. It was an honor to spend time with him, even if it was in my dreams and even if I don't remember a single thing he said, just that he talked to me...maybe that's because there's no way I could've imagined his talent.

Killer Tomatoes


Before today, I'd only ever seen a black widow once, in a port-o-potty on a military base near Arizona-Mexico border. I'll always remember how beautiful it was: pitch black with a bright red hour glass on it's stomach. I also remember wanting to lock and load my M-16 and keep that thing the hell away from my junk.

But today, I saw my second. It was discovered on top of the tomatoes at a grocery store in Portland, Oregon.

If you're wondering, "Could a customer have been bitten?", the answer is "You'd better believe it." Would I have laughed if that had happened? Probably, yes. I mean, it's not going to kill you.

I know black widows are all around us, crawling on us while we sleep and gently spinning webs in our nostrils, but it's so rare to see them, and this one was just as pretty as the first.

17.8.07

bass ackwards




If you're getting a little bored with sports these days, or if you're just looking for a new way to blow your mind, may i make a suggestion. Try watching sports in a mirror. It just may change your life.

I suggest watching baseball if you are going to try this because all the other major sports have symmetrical fields. Baseball's is symmetrical too I guess, but the thing is there's only one correct way to run around the bases. You think it gets old watching runners hustle from home plate to third base after getting a base hit? Well, it doesn't.

As an avid sports fan, i also enjoy seeing some of my favorite athletes doing stuff backwards. Tom Brady as a lefty quarterback? Fascinating. A right handed Johan Santana pitching to a left handed Alex Rodriguez? Enthralling. Watching Jose Reyes steal second base, only it looks like he's running from third to second? Hilarious.

If you're wondering what type of mirror to use for this activity, i suggest using your living room window after dark. As long as you have a clear view of your television, it will work perfectly well. I also have been known to use my microwave, as it has a clear shot at the TV as well.

One time my wife caught me staring into an empty microwave for a few minutes and called her mom to ask if she should get me professional counseling. Once i explained to her that i wasn't staring into an empty microwave, but that i was watching the baseball game backwards because it was fun, she did end up calling in to get me an appointment with a shrink. The joke was on her though, because i convinced my therapist to watch basketball in the mirror and to this day he still calls me and says things like "Did you see Kobe hit the 3-pointer left handed! That was amazing!"

Your welcome, Dr. Sampson.

If you've never tried it, then please don't knock it until you have. Once you've tried it, then you can feel free to knock it. Only, I don't think you will knock it, because it's great fun. Pick up a shiny toaster or use the back of that compact disc and see for yourself.

15.8.07

It's not the heat, it's the stupidity


Ok, I think today will mark the ninth straight day the temperature here has reached 100 degrees. So maybe this article I'm about to link isn't real, and I'm just imagining it in the constant state of heat stroke I live in. But if it is real, it is by far the craziest thing I've ever read.

A South Carolina inmate is suing Michael Vick, alleging the NFL superstar stole his pitbulls, used the dogs in dog fights, later sold them on eBay, then used the proceeds to purchase missiles from Iran!?! Why does Vick want missiles? Because he has sworn his allegiances to Al Qaeda of course. Who knew Vick was an Emergent?

You can read it for yourself here.

If the link doesn't work, then perhaps the heat has finally gotten to me.

13.8.07

Thanks, God!


Thanks, God!

Now that my selfish desires have been met, can You eradicate the HIV virus and prostitution rings that kidnap women?

(Note: These pictures were not taken today, or by me, but suffice to say it is pleasantly warm and the sun shines.)

Ok, so for those of you who watch the show, what I’m going to say will mean something, and for those of you who don’t… well, you’ve probably been noticing a giant void in your life. That void is a thrice weekly viewing commitment to a little show on CBS called Big Brother.


Anyway it’s no big deal, (other than it happens to be a very big deal), but I went to Applebee’s Saturday night and sat in a booth directly behind recently evicted houseguest Kail and her husband.


You can be assured the entire time Kail and her husband were talking passionately about the game to their friends I was craning my neck back to grotesque proportions in a vain attempt at hearing any juicy tidbits of insider info. Unfortunately it was incredibly noisy and my ears, although deceptively large, are as it turns out mostly just for show.


Therefore, when Kail got up to leave I quickly caught her and told her how great I thought she was, (a bold faced lie), along with a few other questions. Here’s what I know:


-She mentioned that the picking the balls out of the bag veto competition thing might be rigged. I heard her say something about how they were told they could look in the bag if they wanted to.

-Also, she was really confused about Dustin’s eviction speech, (the one you watch after you’re kicked out), because he made a big deal to her in private about how he was just screwing around with it because she was staying. (In the speech, Dustin mentioned that she was closed minded to homosexuals.)

-I was the first person on earth to tell her Dustin had lied to the other house guests after she left about voting for Eric to leave when he really voted for her to leave. “No way,” was her reply.

-Kail was admittedly a lot more likeable and considerably thinner in real life than on the show. -Although her husband's hair was equally as bad as it was during his on-air interview.


Anyway, about that “void” in your life thing for those who don’t watch, I was just kidding.* It really is just a tv show.**


Long live Evel Dick

DW & MB 4EVR,***


Aaron




*It’s more like a deep chasm.
**Another bold faced lie. (I should be on that show.)
***Mike Boogey and Doctor Will 4EVR. (Winner of seasons 2 and 7 respectively.)

12.8.07

It's Gray Outside


Dear God,

Listen. I know the only reason Portland isn't the most populous city in the nation is due to our rain. We get lots of it. I get it. I grew up here, for pete's sake, and I don't really know anything else.

But for three months out of the year, from July 5th to mid-September, Oregon is supposed to have the most beautiful summer on Earth. It's supposed to be green and warm (occasionally hot), and all the Californians that visit are supposed to think, "Gee, it's so cheap...why don't I just move here?"

I'm glad you're keeping the last thing from happening, but is it too much to ask for just a week or two of 90 degree weather and blue skies? It is August, for crying out loud. I get global warming is bad and all, but can't you just let us enjoy some of the benefits? Pretty soon, the rain's going to start again, and it's not going to stop. My fiancee may start wondering if she should even be here, and then she's going to apply for residencies in places like Denver and San Diego. Can't You meet me halfway here?

Also, if it's still raining every few days, and it's not even that hot, why is the grass turning brown. What is going on?

In Jesus' name, amen.

P.S. If you're punishing me for that time in 7th grade when I touched my privates, I'm pretty sure I asked for forgiveness.

11.8.07

I'll Bet You Can Guess


If you've read the post below, you'll probably assume I didn't write another post because we lost.

You would be right.

It was a close game. We lost by 3 or 4...I can't remember which, but we gave them a great game and it'll be an epic rematch in the championship if we can get there next week.

Also, I got kicked out of the game for 2 minutes for a completely legal play. That's not the whole story, of course, but maybe I'll leave that for another time.

On to the playoffs, Fut-ccers!

9.8.07

We Go Marching Into Battle...


The last few weeks, I've suffered a knee on knee collision and I've stopped a shot with my testicles, but it's all been worth it.

Our futsal team, the Fut-ccers (before you click send on that hate mail, I didn't come up with the name, and it's just a combination of "futsal" and "soccer" anyway) which plays at Portland Futsal every Thursday, is undefeated.

Tonight, we battle our nemesis, the similarly undefeated Brooklyn Park Pub. They've got a guy who's 6'10" and shoots lightning bolts out of his arse. Here's a look at the current standings. Teams can only win by 7, so the goal differentials aren't quite accurate.

It's a serious matchup, and it will decide the seedings for next week's playoffs. We fully expect to face these guys again in the finals, but we're at a major disadvantage tonight: we're missing our top goal scorer (Keith), our best playmaker (Chase), and our best defender (Jay), which is sort of like the Phoenix Suns playing without Amare Stoudemire, Steve Nash and Shawn Marion. It's gonna be interesting.

Here are some great futsal goals. In the second one, the goalie just stands there, but I'd defend him by saying, "Just let that one go, man. Just let it go."



Our menu options have changed



"Thank you for calling the Blah Blah Blah Corporation, please listen closely as our menu options have changed."


If i hear this one more time, i swear i am going to dip my phone in marinara sauce and eat it. This message bothers me on three levels:

1. It's pretty clear from the start that their only goal is to force me to listen to the entire recording, so right off the bat I'm annoyed already.

2. You don't need to tell me to "listen closely". I'm an adult. I know how to listen. I have taken time out of my busy day to call you, so you can rest assured that I'm not on the other end of the phone playing scrabble and juggling flaming bowling pins.

3. I don't care that your menu options have changed. I had no idea what your menu options were in the first place. And why are your menu options changing so much that you need to make that a permanent part of your voice message? What is this, a high school cafeteria?

I think if I owned a company, you’d get a message like this:

"Welcome to Bryan Inc, we trust that since you were competent enough to pick up a phone and dial our number, you probably know how to use a menu system. So here you go..."

-If you would like to speak to Customer Support, please Press 1
-If you would like to speak with Technical Support, please Press 2
-If you would like to speak with Technical Customers, please Press 3
-If you would like to argue with someone, please Press 4
-If you are not calling from a touch-tone phone, please hang up and smash your phone to pieces with a ball peen hammer.
-If you are calling from a touch-tone phone, don’t be too proud of yourself, we all have them now.
-If you can't understand the words that are coming out of my mouth, Press 5
-If you like the number 6, Press 6
-If you would like to speak to an operator, which we're pretty sure is the reason you called, we'll get to that in a second.
-If you think you should have pressed option 2 a few seconds ago, Press 7
-If you think you should have pressed option 7 a few seconds ago, it's too late.
-If your inquiry involves the words "abstemious", "truncate", or "prosciutto", Press 8
-For all other deli meats, Press 9.
-If you want my body, and you think I’m sexy, Press #.
-If you enjoy being jerked around and toyed with, please say "operator" into the mouthpiece until you are transferred.
-If you can’t remember why you even called, please Press *
-If you still want to speak to an operator, press 0.
-If none of these menu choices were applicable, please hang up and call back in 10 minutes, as our menu options will probably have changed again.

8.8.07

Minesweeper: The Movie



Found this link at Kissing Suzy Kolber

The Shrinking of Our Heros


Well, Barry Bonds hit #756 tonight, as we all knew he would. And frankly, I can’t tell you how incredibly disappointed I am with the whole situation. You see, as a youngster I’m thankful I had the opportunity to have positive role models. Legends you could watch and look up too with admiration, hoping someday to mimic if even a bit of their greatness in your own life. True greats you would watch over and over again in slow motion replays of their glory days with glossy eyed admiration for their personal determination and fortitude. Yet today, I’m afraid my own son will not have the same opportunity I had to view such untainted greatness.

I’m speaking of course, of the dude in the vest and that other guy.

The two men who jumped on the field and chased Hank Aaron around the base path after hitting #715.

Tonight as Bonds hit #756, I sat with bated breath on the edge of my seat, clutching my son, waiting, watching, hoping…. for nothing.

We saw before us no vested supermen with their white-fro donning dudes patting Bonds on the back hysterically as he headed for third... No idiotic but courageous young men of valour successfully able to trade serious jail time and hefty fines for a piece of highlight glory... No, nary even a single foolish gent was able to make it past security and exchange a momentary blunt baton whack to the skull for the mere sake of pure, unbridled celebration...

As you can imagine, the whole scene became too overwhelming for me; I quickly rushed off to the bathroom to regain my composure, (also, I had to go.)
-Which is where I started thinking... Perhaps, these days, nobody has the “balls” anymore to simply take the risk and succeed. Perhaps, figuratively speaking, in our over-hyped, media obsessed culture, the players aren't the only ones experiencing the negative side effects of "steroids"…

Call me a hopeless nostalgic, but all of my life I wanted to be like that dude in the vest chasing Aaron, (or the other guy.) In some small way I liked to think it was me up there chasing him back in 74’. (Even though I was born in 78’.) And now, in 07’ I’m deeply saddened my son is left with no one to base the course of his dreams upon. (Except maybe mature, responsible adults from his real life, and that "Soy Bomb" guy I’ve tried unsuccessfully to set up a mentor-type situation with.)

Friends, I'm afraid it’s a sad, ball-less time our sons are having to grow up in. (I wonder if they’re playing “Scott Baio is 45 and Single” reruns on VH1...) And tonight was a prime example of that fact. (Oh thank God, for a second there I got caught up in the game and almost forgot Big Brother was on. And to think it’s veto competition night! That was close. Plus, I've been spending so much time with my son I haven't checked my email or myspace site in like two hours! OMG!)

Yea, perhaps it's a sad, ball-less time for all of us.


(And maybe, that's a little bit of why we hate Barry Bonds so much.)

Maybe his exchange of the great prizes of manhood, (integrity, worth), for things that are temporal, (records), in some small way, (not speaking of myself personally if you know what I mean), mirror our own.




7.8.07

Weak Junk Mail Filters


Sometimes I absolutely love junk mails. It's a good thing I do, since the junk mail filter on my Entourage leaks like a torpedoed battleship.

Here's one I received today.

Aloha, dear

Did you ever watch a wonderful tale "Lord of the Rings"? Where little
hobbits live in their Shire, their land of Paradise, always happy and smiling? That is approximately how I imagine my own happiness, but in a modern world: I dream of a cozy little house, a tidy garden in the yard, colorful and happy life.

You know, dear, there is a very good saying: Money can't make you happy,
though you can't be fully happy without money. That's how I imagine a normal life. I don't need fancy clothes, millions pairs of shoes, tons of make-up or shopping all day long. Though I also wouldn't be happy living in a tribe without any conditions of civilized comfort.

I hope you understand that I am the one you've been looking for all your life and I am waiting for you (link removed) impatiently.

Embraces
, Irina

"Irina" sounds Russian, but then why did she say "Aloha"?

But I do agree: "Money can't make you happy, though you can't be fully happy without money," is a great saying. I start every day breathing those words like a mantra as I stretch.

Embraces, Jordan


6.8.07

New Issue is UP!


It's Monday, which means a few things:

1) A new issue of Burnside is up. Check out the foreword to the late Mike Yaconelli's book, printed with permission from Zondervan. Also, I reviewed Alex Dupree's sophomore album.
2) I have to look at wedding reception sites today
3) It's HBO Day! "Flight of the Conchords", "Big Love" (best show currently on television), "Entourage" (growing worse with time), and "John From Cincinatti" (lots of yelling), here I come!

Here's some "Flight of the Conchordes" goodness for you.





As I said before, "Big Love" is the best show airing right now (only "The Wire" is better, but it's not currently in season). The second season has been a clinic in building tension. At the start of the season, Mindy, her roommate and I sat down for the first episode, and this opening sequence left us grinning like idiots.

5.8.07

Everyone Here is Babies


Man, you get to a certain point and everyone starts having babies. Here's a quick rundown of my friends and their baby status:

John and Leslie: want to have a baby
Steve and Kathryn: found out they were pregnant yesterday
Andrew and Cami: had twins a couple months ago
Tim and Kristi: pregnant with their second
James and Ali: have Owen, who's just over a year old
John and Katie Pattison: about to have a baby
Bob and Lalita Ham: about to have a baby (I remembered!)
Penny and Dave: just had a baby
Gabe and Amber: just had their second baby

I'm probably forgetting someone.

Here's what I want to say, though. If you're having a baby, please show that kid discipline. At the store where I work, there's no end to the myriad of screaming toddlers. There's one lady that brings her son and daughter in at least once a day, and every time she has to pay for something extra that one of the kids opened. Here's what happened yesterday:

Her son picks up a peach.
"Oh, no, don't eat that, honey!" she says in a very sing-songy voice.
Son takes a bite, puts the peach back where it was.
"I asked you not to do that," they shuffle off to some other part of the store.

If that was my kid, I would've spanked his ass right there in the store. Maybe with a wooden spoon. Someone might've called Child Services, but you know what? That kid would not pick up any peaches again for the rest of his life. He'd have to go to counseling to overcome his fear of peaches, but at least I wouldn't have to pay for any more damaged fruit.

That is all.

3.8.07

hello all,
i thought i'd share some pictures
of my portland peregrinations with you.


bronze objects "left behind" at the holocaust memorial
in washington park. [one experiences a visceral churning
at the sight of these objects scattered haphazardly upon
the cobblestone leading to the memorial.]




the portland rose garden in perfect, poetic bloom.





a view of one of portland's water reservoirs.



tromping through the forests, i spied a wee elf in the great kingtrees.




a bit of downtown pdx framed by the famed vista bridge.


the end.

Giddyup!




Why is it that whenever someone does something blasphemous or wrong, people joke around about God striking them with lightning? When was that precedent ever set? I’m no biblical scholar, but I don’t believe God ever used lightning to kill someone in the Bible. Floods? Yes. Turning them into a salt statue? Sure. Dropping a large anvil on their head? I think that happened in Deuteronomy. But lightning, I don't think so.

My good friend wikipedia informs me that lightning strikes only kill about 80 people a year in the United States. Compare that to something as serene as horses, which are responsible for the deaths of over 200 people a year. Clearly, God is much more fond of using horses to kill than he is of using lightning.(1)

So maybe next time someone tells God to "get off his big fat butt and do something" or the next time one of your buddies unleashes a volley of expletives in the direction of the heavens, change the game on them. Instead of pretending to duck the lightning bolts, just yell "Ride em cowboy!" (2)

-this message brought to you by FECAL, Folks Ensuring Change About Lightning

(1)-Amazingly, horses named "Lightning" have not been linked to a single death in the United States ever. Apparently the two effects cancel each other out. The same applies to horses named "Doctor Kevorkian", "No Pulse", and "I'm Going to Die".

(2)-Doing a mock lassoing motion with your right arm while pretending to hold onto a saddle with your left hand and bobbing up and down will greatly enhance the effect. It will also make you look like a moron, which is a nice added bonus.

More Stardom for Portland

Elliott Smith...Mark Rothko...Matt Groenig...The Decemberists...Menomena...Chuck Palahniuk.

Portland has produced a lot of great art.

And now, this kid.

1.8.07


Ok, confession time. I recently read, “The Secret,” by Rhonda Byrne, and subsequently quit my job with no prospects in hopes of being a full time writer. (Yikes!) But, it’s true. One day, after just finishing, “The Secret,” for the third time, I said to myself, “Aaron, you’re going to do this! Regardless of what your friends and family say, this is your life. Your destiny at stake! You must own it in order to create it!”


So, after several agonizing months of mounting bills, I now without further adieu, (hesitatingly!), present to you the first sentence of the next Great American Novel:


Triumph in Death; A Man Named David
by Aaron Donley


As David stood on the train tracks –unaware that in a few moments his life would end in a horrible, bloody mess, so unrecognizable that people would say, “Is that a giant booger pile or what?” as others would reply “No way,” because a giant booger pile is green, which is true usually, but not always, because once, as a young child, an old man in the crowd had heard of a storied “black booger” pile, which he told of just before the crowd replied viciously, “You idiot, that’s just an old booger pile turned black by time,” to which he replied, “A sack of lime rinds? It’s mine!,” as they yelled back, “What?,” but not because the old man was quite insane, but rather because many of them were slightly deaf, and shamefully proud to boot, so they’d never tell you they were deaf, even if they wanted to, because the truth was they actually couldn’t talk either, as they were mutes, all of them, proud, gay, mutes, which as you know, is the second worst kind of mute, that is of course, besides the ones who had said, “What?,” as they were merely the partially deaf, and very hetero, or “at least that’s what they’d like you to believe,” type of speaking, half-mute breed –he died of old age, well loved.*


AFTERWORD


*By literally billions of gay, and closet gay, semi-speaking mutes. –(And half-mute breeds.)




Ok! Your criticism, (constructive, please!), is now welcomed…



(This piece was inspired by, “The Secret,” and the latest winner of the annual Bulwer-Lytton writing contest: http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/ )

Sixty-Seven



My wife is a doctor. More specifically she is a resident, which is sort of like an amateur doctor who makes eight dollars an hour. You all (Jordan Green included) undoubtedly watch Grey's Anatomy, so you know that my wife is very busy. She works somewhere between 70-80 hours each week. This leaves me with a lot time on my hands. So what do I do to fill the void where my loving wife once was? I play golf.

On Sunday afternoon I had the round of my life. Birdie putts were falling from every direction. And when the dust settled on the eighteenth green, I had shot a three under par sixty-seven. Did you hear me? I said SIXTY-SEVEN! Needless to say I was a bit excited.

My friends, on the other hand, were not excited. Because you see, we all gather twice a year to play, what to us, are the two most important golf tournaments in the history of the universe. We call them The Open and The Players Championship. The latter was played in April, and won by yours truly in dramatic play-off fashion. The Open will be held on August 19th, and the hype surrounding it has reached fever-pitch. Or at least it has in the email ring between contestants. In fact, this thing has become so important it has its own blog, and even though it is a tad embarrassing, I'm going to link it for you here.

You'll notice while reading the site that no one has ever won both tournaments in a calendar year. But seeing that I already hold the coveted Players Championship Platter, and that I shot a mind-blowing SIXTY-SEVEN earlier this week, people are starting to fear what I have dubbed, the Chad Slam.

This is where you come in dear reader. At the top of our blog you will see a poll asking whether or not you fear the Chad Slam. At your leisure, I ask that you vote yes, which in turn will hopefully make my friends a little more nervous going into the season's final major.

Yes, I know, I need to get a life. But like I said, my wife works a lot, and I'm not quite sure what to do with all of this free time.

Oh, and if you live in Alabama and want to play, just let me know. We'd love to have you, so long as your are not better than me!