Night.

Nighttime is so strange here.

Last night I heard a dog yowling in pain, cat fights, and an air raid siren just like the ones out of WWII that made me wonder if I should duck under a table or toss on some camos and start scavenging for food and a good source of alcohol.

There is also of course the familiar sounds of car alarms going off, mopeds passing by, clock ticking, …MOSQUITO BUZZING smash… dammit-I missed. But there are so many stray dogs and cats that I could easily imagine that the dog was seriously injured, or the cats were fighting for their lives. Perhaps against a hungry stray dog, even. And then barking, barking, spreading in waves back and forth across the city, sounding much like two sets of Mel Brooks and Madeline Kahn arguing in the airport in High Anxiety.

Every once in a while, however, I hear sounds I can’t place. I’ve been ignoring those. Must be cats, I tell myself.

Despite the noise, I’ve been sleeping quite well. I am a New Yorker, born and (partly) bred, after all. This is all just a new lullaby to me, who grew up falling asleep to the soft music of sirens, alarms and various people shouting.

But next chance you get, hug your pets. Unless they’re fish, that might not go over so well.

Don’t read this. No, DON’T. SERIOUSLY.

Hello internets! Today I would like to codify, for posterity, the best April Fool’s tweet I’ve ever heard:

RT @CERN OH FUCK RUN   (link) 

The brilliance of this tweet may not be apparent at first glance. Let me break it down for you.

I wonder if they send messages to each other in little tubes.  I mean, let's make this thing earn the ~6 billion dollars it cost to build, right?

Very Large Hadron Collider. Words Capitalized For Proper Effect. Photo by Peter McCready

First of all, who is @CERN ? Why, none other than the The European Organization for Nuclear Research , who are currently in the process of running the Large Hadron Collider , or LHC. The LHC is a 100 meter particle accelerator which spans the border of France and Sweden, and which is right now smashing million and billions and trillions of atoms in an effort to gain a better understanding of the universe. They started its ‘operation phase’ a few days ago, amid (partly) joking worries  that these experiments would create a black hole that would engulf the earth. Ok. So, big huge ass particle accelerator.  Ramping up to create antimatter and black holes and Maximilian  will jump out of it and eat you. The buzz on Twitter was pretty amusing, with people mostly faking panic. Mostly.

Next, the tweet itself. “OH FUCK RUN” is pretty simple, but if you know who CERN is, and what they’ve been up to recently, combined with the muted concern around the world that …well, something VERY VERY BAD could maybe possibly happen when you start fucking with the universe and physics in a whole new way and who are these crazy physicists and what the hell do they think they’re doing, right? Despite the fact that these experiments are recreating occurences that happen all the time in the universe. They’ve just never happened on our planet, underneath the earth, in a controlled experiment by fallible humans. So, armed with all that, it’s clear that perhaps the folks at CERN are playing, quite unintentionally I’m sure, on the not-so-scientific community’s fears.

But then comes the true genius of the tweet. Because CERN tweeted no such thing. It was in fact first tweeted by a guy named @mikeysan . I suppose that CERN might be somewhat to blame. I mean, they did time all this activity at the LHC daaaaangerously close to April Fool’s Day. I mean, I do believe April Fools’ day is a well known day in Europe, considering it was first mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (which I am very fond of, incidentally!  What, you can’t speak Olde Englysh?)  Maybe next time they could postpone it a week or two.  You know, after April Fool’s day, when everyone has forgotten about pranks and practical jokes as a national pastime for 24 hours.

In conclusion, I’d like to just say one thing:  My hat is off to you, @mikeysan.  Well done.  Well, well done. 

Note: I admittedly did very light checking of facts for this article, as I’m on a shitty wireless connection in a hotel in Baltimore.  If I got any of the facts about CERN or the LHC wrong, please feel free to comment below and correct.  Thanks!

Geek Life

This is for all my geeky techy friends out there.  You know how it is, being the most tech savvy one in your circle of friends and family.  You know.  You know the frustration and agony of wanting to send a copy of xkcd’s Tech Support Cheat Sheet to everyone who’s ever called you to help them fix their laptop/printer/desktop/modem/router/vibrator.  But some days, you are invited for a peek into the most amazingly fabulously outrageous events in your friends’ and family’s life.  I submit to you the following interchange between myself and a very dear but perpetually tech unsavvy friend of mine which happened earlier today:

non-techy friend: Do you have an extra keyboard? I put mine in the dishwasher and i think it is dead :-(

me: You’re not kidding, are you.

ntf: You must learn to be more loving and patient with your short bus friends.

m: Excuse me while I laugh at you for a few minutes.

ntf: No problem.  I can wait.

m: Ok now put it in the fridge for a day or so and then try it again.

ntf: I said short bus, not mini cooper.  Now you are just messing with me.  ‘Here, <friend’s name redacted to protect the innocently untechy>, try this!’ then some more laughing with your big smarty pants computer smarties.

Bully.

I honestly can’t say what would possess anyone to look at a keyboard and think it is a worthy prospect for a trip through caustic detergents and super heated waves of water.  I would no sooner put my phone, or my television, or …well, my laptop in the dishwasher than the keyboard.  But this story does have a happy ending:  I did in fact have an extra keyboard – a wireless one, in fact – and the super clean yet unfunctional one is hopefully drying out in the fridge.

So a word of warning, everyone!  DO NOT PUT KEYBOARDS IN THE DISHWASHER.

Internet Famous

Something fabulous happened last night, my dear internets. It was so strange and surreal and well… Here. Read.

I’m at the Bagdad Theatre last night, watching Word to the Wise(men), a festive storytelling event full of scantily clad elves, cupcakes and music. That in and of itself is fabulous, I know. Being at the Bagdad and not running an event is kinda strange for me now, but some friends of mine were represented in this effort in various ways, and I was being a fangirl supportive.

I see a friend of mine walking over with a few other people, so naturally I go over to say hello. Thats what you do in these social situations, acknowledge people you like, right? See I thought so. Anyway, my friend introduces me to the guy with him: “Morgan, this is AGuy.  AGuy, this is Morgan.”

AGuy (sorry, can’t remember his name, it takes me a minimum of 7 times before I can remember peoples names, seriously you don’t?) anyway, he says to me as he grips my hand Very Tightly (the same hand I nearly broke on Thanksgiving, ouchouchouch): “Morgan? Like as in morganpdx?” I nod affirmative, slightly bewildered. “Oh man I LOVE reading your blog! You’re so funny and awesome and amazing and I want to have your babies!!”. At least that’s what I think he said. That’s what I heard, anyway. Which means, of course, that I’M INTERNET FAMOUS!!! I’M A FUCKIN ROCK STAR!

Funny, my chauffer hasn’t arrived in my Morgan limo yet. You get one of those when you’re Internet Famous, right? And a personal chef and personal trainer? I expect the checks will start rolling in Any Day Now.

Silly shoes, social media, porn, and a Dave Chappelle FAIL.

Internets, it has been a NIGHT.  Let me tell you.  I mean…I don’t even know what I mean, that’s what a night it’s been.  See, this blog post was originally going to be about those silly shoes I’ve seen cropping up around town, the one with the toes all individually packaged and looking very uncomfortable.  I don’t like them.  So I was going to tell you about that.  BUT INSTEAD, you get this.  And it’s much better.  Oh so much better.

Tonight I was one of several thousand Portland residents to witness the most amazing, baffling, anticlimactic social media experiment in history.  Not to mention an epic #FAIL moment for Mr. Dave Chappelle, comedian, and an opportunity for me to publish porn for the first time.  Yes me!  I’m beginning my meteoric rise to porn industry domination!  Or not.

Let’s take a little journey along this story, shall we?

So I heard rumblings in the Twittersphere of some Dave Chappelle something or other.  Seeing as I was DJing tonight, and that it may or may not have been my last time DJing at Tonic, and my pal and DJ teacher @mrballistic was gonna show up, I was a bit preoccupied with other more relevant stuff.

Incidentally, I’m still not exactly sure if I’m DJing again there in two weeks.  Either way, there will certainly be more gigs.  I’ll keep you posted.

So I did my DJ thing.  There was technical difficulties not of my own doing (Helps if you don’t give your speakers to unreliable folk, just sayin’) but the night went off without too much trouble.  And now, @mrballistic and his friend @jetstream were talking about heading down to the square for this Dave Chappelle thing.

Huh.  Dave Chappelle thing?  My set over, I dived into the stweam (twitter stream! ha.) to see what the hubbub was about.  Mind you, it’s right around 11:00pm.  What’s this?  Rumours are abounding that Dave Chappelle is going to do a free show at the Pioneer Courthouse Square tonight?  And there’s thousands of people down at the square already?

Well.  This bears witnessing, I thought.  No really, I really did think that.  I thought, and I quote: “Well.  This bears witnessing.”  I really think like that sometimes.  And then sometimes I think “Dude I gotta check that shit out STAT!!!!!  ZOMG!!!!!”  Ahem.  Anyway.

So, impulsive chick that I am, I hop in my car and instead of heading home as I intended, I headed Down Town.

Parked without too much difficulty pretty close to the square.  Now normally, around 11pm on a Tuesday, things are pretty quiet in downtown pdx.  But tonight, there were cars and people wandering around.  Not a lot, but certainly more than normal.  That is, until I saw the square.

IT. WAS. PACKED.  Literally, thousands of people were there.  A madhouse.  Throngs of people.  Gaggles of people.  Groups and gangs and masses of people.  All at the square, at 11:30ish, on a freakin TUESDAY.  There was a stage in the middle, and people had climbed everthing imaginable to get a good view of that stage.  They climbed chairs, walls, onto the starbucks, onto the random sculptures, onto the empty foodcarts, anything that could barely (certainly not safely in some cases) hold the weight of a human had a human on it.

Whoa.

Ok so.  Because most of these people didn’t really *know* that this was happening for *sure*, after about 45 minutes of waiting with no sign, people either a. started to leave or b. got cranky.  I mean, there was a lot of people all crammed up against the stage, lots of drinking I’m sure, and I seriously got a contact high from one spot I tried to get a good view.

screenhunter_01-jul-15-0335

Now, there had been no substantiated evidence that this really WAS going to  happen.  This huge crowd was the result of rumour, speculation and hearsay, from Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, and all the other social networks that are changing the face of our world and our existence these days.

Think about that for a second.  Thousands of people, at the square at (now) midnight, all because of rumour on social networks.

A-freakin-mazing.  Really.  Really!

Well finally, he shows up.

Here.  Video:

And now for the part when I become a porn director.

If you watched the video up there, you’ll see people started yelling about not being able to hear anything.  Pretty much he came out with a mic attached to a tiny little amp, and no one further away that about 20 feet from the stage in the direction the amp was pointing could hear.  Not anything.  Nothing.  So a crowd, waiting for an hour for this guy to show, he shows, and now 95% of the crowd can see him, but can’t hear him.

That’s when the FAIL began.

Fortunately at first, there was a bit of a distraction.  And now is where I become a porn director.

Suddenly I notice three people standing on top of the roof of the starbucks.  One girl, two guys.  And the girl and one of the guys had no shirt on.

And they they started a striptease.  All three of them.  On top of the Starbucks.  In front of thousands.

Here.  Video:

Uh….huh.  I’ll be making the porn beeelions soon, hangin with my porn peeps, doin my porn thang.  And with all my new porn connections, maybe then I can publish this little short story I’ve been working on…

Ahem.  Right.  Back to the thing.

This little distraction couldn’t last with all the Portland Police on the scene.  No, our men and women in blue were ON IT.

screenhunter_03-jul-15-0336

Except that I saw those same nekkid folks, somewhat nekkid again, down in the fountain pool a few minutes later.

Again with the video:

So now we’re back to a crowd, waiting for an hour for this guy to show, he shows, and while 95% of the crowd can see him, very few can hear him.

screenhunter_02-jul-15-0335

Apparently there was some discussion down near the stage that a sound system was being figured out.  This figuring lasted about another hour.

screenhunter_06-jul-15-0355

So there was a lot of crowdsourcing the running of speaker cords and electrical cords and umbilical cords and all sorts of cords running over and under and around the crowd.  And then it was all hooked up, and ready to go and….

Nothing.  NOTHING.  That’s right.  Dave is still using the tiny amp, no one can hear him, and people are starting to drift away slowly.

The culprit?

screenhunter_07-jul-15-0357

So after a bit more of this, suddenly we all realize that Dave Has Left The Building.  Or the Square, in this case.

I’ll leave the analysis of exactly how, why and when and what types of #FAIL this was to folks in the morning.  It’s 4am, and I’m beat.

Thanks Dave.  Not sure for what.  Something to blog about, I guess?  I hear that the people down at the stage thought you were pretty funny.

Google me this…

Google me this, interwebs.

One of my favorite things about website stats tracking are the search terms that people use which somehow leads them to wind up on my blog.  Is it fate that guides your little optical mouse to click that one search result of about 95,600,000 (0.09 seconds)?  Destiny?  Kismet perhaps?  (WTF is kismet anyway?  I suppose I could google it…)

I thought I’d take a moment to share some of the more…interesting…google searches which have ended on my little blog’s doorstep.  I have not changed any of the formatting or spelling, with the exception of bolding the text.  Enjoy.

SONGS of losing YOUR GRANDPA and replacing the love to a dog : Wow.  That’s kinda sad.  But you know, that has just GOT to be a country song.  I’m afraid my blog was most likely of no help, since I pretty much can’t stand the majority of country music.  I mean, there are exceptions, of course.  I’m not completely twang-averse.  But mainstream pop country…blech.  Now, gimme some Be Good Tanyas…that’s not half bad.

portland : Well now.  I’m all a-twitter (and really, what does that phrase mean now, with Twitter on the scene?  I wonder) about the fact that Google searches for my dear Portland are winding up on my humble little slice of the interwebs.  I hope I’m doing right by you, my dear town.  P to the D to the X!

why lying is good : I’ve actually gotten this one several times.  Lying is bad, interwebs!  Bad bad bad!  Not that I don’t do it, but I try not to, and really it just ends badly when you do!  Trust me, I know.  Unless, of course, you’re telling me how awesome I and/or my blog is.  Then, by all means, LIE.  Oh yeah, babe.  Lie to me.

could : Um, honestly?  Really?  I just don’t see how this as a Google search could be of any use to anyone.  I mean really, how could it?  (Did you see that there?  I used the word could.  Hah.)  How many hits did you get?  I’m sure the numbers would give a super action liquid cooled quad processor pause.  And more importantly…how did my blog get on that list, and high enough that you’d click the link?  Baffling.  Truly, baffling.

how to survive a hanging : Ok people, we’ve gone over this before.  I won’t ask why you’re trying to survive a hanging.  But you know, unless you’ve got Billy the Kid or Zorro vested in your mortality, then I’m thinking your chances are not very good.

great : Yes, well, my blog is pretty dang great.  I’ve always thought so.  So nice to have confirmation.  But again, much like the whole ‘could’ thing…really?  What good is a google search for great?

Wait.  Someone did a google search for ‘great’ and MY BLOG SHOWED UP.  I hereby dub myself the Queen Of the Interwebs!!  Bow before me!

taglents : WTF is a taglent??  And why is my blog coming up on Google searches for taglents?

<pause for quick googling>

Oooooh tag lents!  as in tag: Lents, as in lents springwater corridor!

All is clear to me now, grasshopper.  Google has shown the way with its awesome algorithms.

things to remember when it comes to knife safety : Uhh…I know I was a girl scout camp counselor and stuff, but I’m probably not the best person to come to for knife safety.  Basically, the pointy end doesn’t go into the other man, or anyone for that matter.  Unless you’re a surgeon, I suppose.  Or in a duel.  Then, certainly, the pointy end goes into the other man.

speaking in tongues music and trees : I’ve read this phrase again and again and again.  And then a couple more times.  And this is what I get.  Are you singing in tongues under trees?  Are the trees speaking in tongues?  Is there a song about speaking in tongues?  With trees?  I mean, I’m all about music and nature, dude, but the speaking in tongues thing?

I even googled the phrase.  Talking Heads?  But what’s with the trees?

So confused.

what happends when you put music by a fish : I’m just gonna go WAAAAY out on a limb here and say…Nothin.

I have fish.  They’re worse than bunnies.

explain the phrases in how do i love thee let me count the ways : See, I told you people were coming to my blog to find out about that poem.  Now didn’t I.

Fear not, my brave answer-seeking interwebs!  I will not let you down!

bamboo related injuries : Uh, bamboo is a….plant.  That doesn’t move.  And has no sharp bits.  Unless of course you 1. use it to create some sort of pointy tool or 2. THE TRIFFIDS HAVE ARRIVED!  I’m going with explanation 2.  Ockham’s Razor be damned!  RUN, INTERWEBS!  RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!

Heh.  Crazy googlers.

I LAUGH in the face of pollen. Ha Ha Ha Hachoo!

There’s an ugly rumour going around that I have allergies.

Pshaw, I say.  Poppycock.  Rubbish!  Slander, even!!

Ok, I used to have allergies.  I used to be terribly allergic to dogs growing up.

And yet…my entire childhood, we always had a dog, and I’m glad we did.  Not just any dog, either, but for the majority of my childhood we had a Great Pyrenees.  Think German Shepherd size, maybe a little bigger.  Think HAIRY.  SUPER SUPER HAIRY.  (Or just check the official AKC page I linked to right there.  That’s what he looked like.)  I just had to learn what I could and could not do; i.e. for the most part I had to avoid getting too up close and personal (think big puppy dog hugs, those were out), as well as small enclosed environment, such as car rides with the windows all rolled up.

However, as I grew older, my allergies become less and less pronounced, until finally, they were mostly an afterthought, especially after I quit smoking.

So a few years back (pre-quitting smoking), I had this allergy test thing done.  I was having some issues with the dog I was living with at the time, so I wanted to rule out other stuff.

The result came back: HIGHLY ALLERGIC to Dogs, Cats and Grass.

Riiiiight.  Whatevs, Mr. Allergy Dude.

Because the whole time I had dog allergies growing up and lived with the dog, I also lived with at least two cats.  And I most certainly came in close proximity to them, often.  (Much to their endless chagrin, I’m sure.)  And I lived across the street from a pretty large park.  And then, we moved to New Hampshire, which is at least 98.3% grass.

And now?  I will occasionally have an evening where I can feel the scratchy throat, but other than that, nothing.  I have my own dog, and live with two others, I have a cat, I mow my lawn.

Take that, allergies!

And seasonal allergies?  I always felt bad for the poor chaps who were afflicted every spring, but not me.  I always welcomed spring with open arms and nasal passages.

Until now.  The past 36 hours or so have been pure misery.

So clearly there must be some fluke, right?  Some strange occurrence that makes this pollen season different, or worse, or …freaky?

Well.  I have a theory, you see.  Check out my post on ourpdx.net for my brilliant conclusion.

Theories aside, however…I’m getting cozy with a little thing called Loratadine, aka Claritin.  Which, I’ve found out since my little outburst on twitter last night, takes a few days to kick in.

I wonder if hot toddies will speed the effectiveness of the drugs?  Well, only one way to find out…

Do you know what happens when you leave a fish too long in an elevator?

You don’t??

Well here’s a clue:

Fish is biodegradable.

That means it rots!

Ah, the Jazz Butcher.  Love that band.

Seriously, though, do you know what happens when you leave a cell phone too long in a fish?  Apparently nothing!

Personally, I’ve never never had my cell phone swallowed by a 25 pound cod.  I have, however, lost it in the fall, and found it again after the snow melted in spring, plugged it into the charger and have it turn on, just like that.  In fact, I gave it to a friend, and she’s still using it.  It’s a Samsung, in case you’re wondering.

Granted, unless you beat on the things, there’s really not too much that can go awry.  But it’s still pretty amazing.

Gauntlet+Lint= Lintlet

Strange things happen on Twitter.  Well, strange conversations at least.

And even stranger, in my particular tweet stream, many of them seem to involve @StephStricklen.

Yep, our very own KGW Live @ 7 anchor.  She seems to attract strange conversations on twitter, and apparently this also extends somewhat to her blog.  She attracts people, well-meaning readers I’m sure, who peruse her blog on occasion and slam her for the dumbest shit.  For instance, one lovely chap complained – on her blog – that she should just stick to the news, and quit talking about other, non-newsy stuff.  On her own, pretty much personal, blog.
Her response?  She wrote a blog about lint.  Navel lint.  Yeah.  You rock, girl.

But of course  me, being who I am, gotta give her crap for writing a blog about lint.  LINT.  At which point she told me it was the safest of the topics that were suggested to her.

Well.  When you put it that way, I’d say lint was a safe bet after all.  And I alluded to the fact that now *I* wanted to write about lint.  To which she said if I wrote a post about lint, she’d totally read it.

Well.  The Lint Gauntlet has been tossed, my dear.  It has been tossed.  The Lintlet, if you will.

So first I had to figure out what kind of lint I would write about.

  • The dryer kind?  I have a friend, we’ll call him Mark, who has the nickname of Safety Warden.  Because of him, I’ve become a stickler for cleaning the lint tray after every drying cycle.  No thank you, scary dryer fire!
  • Or how about the navel kind?  I tend to collect very little, as a rule.  Strange, since I don’t have the protrusion issue that Steph is experiencing these days.  But this guy knows more about navel lint than you ever thought possible.
  • Perhaps you prefer the Lindt kind of lint.  They make those little Lindor truffle balls you see everywhere.  My fave is the hazelnut, in case you’re wondering.  I’d say that’s probably my favorite “Lint”.
  • For some reason, Lindt makes me think of Liszt: “Women fought over his silk handkerchiefs and velvet gloves, which they ripped to shreds as souvenirs. Helping fuel this atmosphere was the artist’s mesmeric personality and stage presence. Many witnesses later testified that Liszt’s playing raised the mood of audiences to a level of mystical ecstasy.” Which of course leads me to one of my favorite Bugs Bunny episodes (Oh?  I didn’t tell you I was a Bugs fan?  Yeah.  My secret’s out, crap), Rhapsody Rabbit, wherein Our Hero is playing Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody #2.   Phone rings.  “Eh, what’s up doc? Who? Franz Liszt? Never heard of him. Wrong number.”   Heh.  Of course, you’d have to know he was playing Liszt for that to even be remotely funny.

And with that, my Ode to Lint, and also randomness, is complete.

How to survive hanging, or catering to my readers

Ok. Ok ok ok ok, fine.

So, I have this friend, see.  She’s living here for a couple years, but she’s originally from Israel.  Haifa.  She’s had a couple of friends fly out to visit, and when they do, she likes to take them for the Requisite Portland to Hood River Gorge Tour.  She usually invites me along.  I dunno, maybe cuz I’m funny.  Or, I’m the token American. 

The first time, I was inspired by the trip to blog about it.  I titled the blog post “Hebrew 101, or How to Survive Hanging Out with Crazy Israelis”.  It was pretty damn funny, I thought. 

(Apparently my Israeli friends thought so too, since they spammed the post via email to everyone they know.  I now get regular .il readers.  Heh, cool.  I think?)  

Anyway, I digress.  This blog post had a completely unintended side effect.  Unintended, and quite disturbing.  Creepy, you might say.  Bizarre, at the least.  What is it?  Are you on the edge of your seat yet? 

I get a LOT of hits from search engines on ‘how to survive hanging’.  I think I’m number 4 on google.  Yeeesh.

Edge of your seat, indeed.  Just don’t slip, ok????  That’s tip number one.

Right.  So, for all of you who happen upon my blog because they’re trying to figure out if they can survive hanging, here is my service to you (thanks to @mercuryPDX for these tips):

1. Avoid noose-like constructs.

2. Wear an iron dickie.

3. Always carry a box knife.

There you go.  Hope that helps.