25 September 2008


Hey guys. Sorry about the most recent hiatus. I have been horribly sick, and started work, which means leaving the house by 6 am every morning. I have not had to do this since--um--I've NEVER had to do this. Not even in high school, when we started at an ungodly 7:15 or something like that.

Needless to say, I have not been feeling very energetic or inspired.

However, I could not possibly go to bed tonight without adding my CONGRATS! to the Beavs, who managed to do two of the only things that can make me happy in the realm of college football.

1. They have screwed with the BCS poll in a big way for this coming week, and in a Thursday night game, no less. And live on ESPN. The only thing I really love about college football is a good upset, particularly one delivered by the Ducks or Beavers.

2. They managed to pull said upset on USC, which is the one team in all of college football that I actively hate (as opposed to the simmering antipathy I have for the vast majority of programs).

Well done, gentlemen.

Between this post and my last one, I think that I have blown all of my sports opinions for the whole year, so something different next time. I'll give you a teaser about what I'm thinking, so you can look forward with great and eager anticipation.

For those of you who can't get enough
Here's a future blog hint, though it's rough:

He's gathered great fame,
But I don't know his name--
Is it Diddy or Daddy or Puff?

Check back!

15 September 2008

Portland Loves

Greg Oden.

On Monday, Mikey, of the J variety, sent me this, with the comment "How can you not love this guy?" I thank Mike for thinking of me and for sending this along. But I would have seen or heard it anyway, because it has been all over Portland media.

Originally, because of my ties to Texas athletics (the fact that I was mentoring in study hall the same time that the men's basketball team served study hall), I was sort of sorry that the Blazers didn't get Kevin Durant. I thought it would be especially cool to see two former UT players (Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge) in Portland, since I'm always looking for ways to feel like my two most recent worlds are colliding. I was, and I'm ashamed to say it now, disappointed to see the Blazers draft Greg Oden instead--even more so when the news came that Oden would not play his first season due to knee surgery.

No offence or disrespect to Kevin Durant. But, boy, was I wrong.

And I say the following with absolute sincerity: I have never, ever cared as much about any professional athlete as I care about Greg Oden. And I am including that strange crush I had on Andre Aggassi in 1991 that caused me to actually put up a poster of him in my bedroom (a dubious honor that he shares only with Johnny Depp--circa 21 Jump Street, Elvis, and the Beatles). Greg Oden is a cool freaking guy. He sings 'N Sync in front of hundreds of kids, badly. He talks to Barack Obama on the telephone and then goes on RIB to talk about the experience. He writes a blog, which is charming and silly as hell (if you only read one recent entry, read the one about him going to see Kanye West and Rihanna). And while you are looking at this material, consider this: THIS may be (is, in fact, likely to be) the next monster superstar of the NBA. He is a goofy, down-to-earth, self-conscious kid. And Portland is already in love with him, before we've seen him play a single NBA game, in spite of the fact that we already have a team full of great young guys who we AlSO love. Hell, I saw the guy riding in a truck during the Jr. Rose Festival Parade in June and had to hold myself back from running onto Sandy Boulevard to give him a big ol' hug. And you people know how I feel about hugs.

Those of you who are not from Portland may not understand how meaningful this team, and this particular player, are to this city. The Blazers are all that we've got--no other professional sports teams. Our state universities are represented by duck and beaver mascots. With the exception of some great runners (moment of silence for Pre) and a surprising recent run by the OSU Baseball team, we sort of know that we can't really compete--or at least can't often compete--in the realm of sports. We are the city equivalent of the kid who always gets picked last in P.E. So this is an exciting year for us. It is the chance (or the beginning of the chance) for Portland to play--hell--to compete--with the big dogs. And, because we believe in the character of this player, and the players of this team generally, we can do it without feeling a loss of integrity.

And that is why Portland loves Greg Oden.

13 September 2008


True story. Last night I got a text message from J-Bro that consisted of the word blog typed over and over again. This is not the first time she has pressured me. My recent writing hiatus has also prompted promptings from other readers.

The good (?) news is that I have a list of things that I have been needing to blog about. (And I use the term "need" very loosely.) Now that part of my employment picture is settled for the next few months, I have the time/energy to devote to the Make-Ready.

However, at this very moment, I have limited time--so I'll just provide this little nugget and promise you more to follow.

Earlier this week I went to see Vicky Cristina Barcelona with Keri T. I thought the film was totally delightful (maybe more on that later). But something really funny happened while we were there. When we entered the theater, we were the only patrons. But by the time the film started there were about 4 other parties seated. The most interesting of these was a group of 4 seemingly straight guys in their mid-twenties. As soon as they walked in, I started to wonder about how THAT came about. How did this group of guys decide to see this movie together on a Tuesday night? Weird, right?

As I was puzzling it out, the trailers started. The second or third trailer was for that remake of The Women. You know, the one with every female actress in the world in it. This is not a film that I am going to see. And I would bet that it isn't a film that Keri T. is going to see either. But we sat quietly and patiently during the trailer. At the end of it, however, one of the 4 guys in front of us said, a little too loudly, "I'd rather slit my wrists . . . "

The other guys laughed kind of quietly, but I laughed not quietly at all. Because that is funny. Not funny because it was really witty or anything. But funny because this guy apparently is the kind of guy who WOULDN'T see The Women, but WOULD come see V C B with 3 of his buddies on a Tuesday night.

I appreciated the unintentional irony.

(And before I get a bunch of comments that make this point--I sort of figured out the motivation eventually. These guys clearly expected the film to have significant girl on girl action--involving Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz. Hmmm. That had to be sort of a disappointment.)