Tuesday, April 26, 2005

"Wine is bottled poetry." -- Robert Louis Stevenson

Things are starting to slow down a bit at work, which means I get to start freaking out about billable hours and job security. But it also means I have a little more time to update my blog and work on my portfolio.

“So I got that goin’ for me. Which is nice.”

Over the weekend, SockMama, myself, and ten of our friends rented a gigantic white van and explored Oregon’s wine country. SockMama, being the proud planner she is, created an agenda of wineries complete with the winery’s specialties, contact information, and even a little paragraph regarding the winery’s history. In return for her foresight, I saw it fit to try each and every one of those wines.

It’s tough. But someone has to do it.

Anyhow, we had a great time. We started our pilgrimage at the Portland Airport Way Shari’s, where we ate omelets, pancakes, eggs, bacon, cheese and all the other good breakfast stuffs. Then we headed out. We made it to our first winery around noon: Rex Hill. After our visit there (their 2002 Pinot Noir Reserve is outstanding), we headed to Duck Pond. A quick (and eloquent, I might add) warning: Duck Pond sucks ass. Their wines suck, their tasting room sucks, and even their stupid little label with the duck sucks.

In fact, they suck so much we didn’t even take a picture there. And not one of us bought anything there save for a loaf of bread. Which doesn’t count because the bread was made by a bakery outside of the winery. So there.

All told, we ended up notching seven notches on our winery belts and stumbled back into Portland at 10 pm Saturday night.

I’ll have pics to post tomorrow. Or maybe even tonight if I can find the time. Or remember.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Updates and...stuff

It's been a hell of a week (hence the lack of posts), so I figure I'll do a quick hit - no pun intended - and that'll be that.

First off: my sister.

I haven't been able to speak with her directly, but my mom has, and here's an overview. She's only done it in the presence of her dealer/friend/*former* manager, and was never allowed to take any rock or powder or whatever away from the lady's house or shop, so I guess that's reassuring.

Or something.

I don't really know. I guess it means that my sister hadn't yet made the leap from user to dealer, so I guess that's good.

But with that "good" news, there's this bad news: she's been using a lot. Actually, frequently is a better term - up to 15 times a week. Which leads me to believe that the amounts were very small. Otherwise, she'd have the noticeable tell-tale signs of a crack head. You know, the rashes, anxiety, mood swings...all the fun stuff that comes with cocaine use. But still...15 times a week is nothing to, uh, sneeze at.

Along with this fun little magic number was the information that my sister has been smoking weed since she was in fifth grade, easily surpassing my 9th grade mark. Not that it's a point of pride or anything...I'm just saying. So at least she didn't make the jump from casual drugs to 'professional' drugs as drastically as I was thinking...it appears she worked her way up. Went to college a few years, I suppose you could say.

But that's actually all I really know.

'Cept for, you know...this.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Lines drawn, up in smoke

It’s late – 11:28. For a Sunday, I mean. Doesn’t matter. The thing is that I can’t sleep. And not because it’s the normal, “stayed up too late on Friday and Saturday, and now here I am tossing in turning.” In my defense, I actually have a legitimate reason. I found out two hours ago that my sister tested positive for cocaine use.

It’s strange, you know? I don’t consider myself to be a novice when it comes to drug use – I smoked more than my fair share of weed in high school, tried mushrooms a couple times. But that’s pretty much it. I guess I was fortunate never to have been presented with the opportunity to try the harder stuff. In all honesty, I could have easily gotten my hands around crank or crack or meth…that stuff was pretty rampant around my high school. But eventually I came around, figured out that getting high wasn’t all there was to life, and that being terrified of being robbed or worse when I was hanging out with my friends who dealed pretty much sealed the deal in my not smoking weed anymore.

I have this problem of assuming that, just because I took one path, everybody else must take that same path. That doesn’t make much sense. I guess I figured that you start out low, right? One thing leads to another – that sort of thing. For instance, I never smoked cigarettes in high school, but I started out with weed and beer; pretty normal stuff for high school these days. I’m not an idiot – my sister is 17, I know she has had plenty of opportunities to get her hands around a joint or bong or bottle. But coke?

I don’t know. I’m rambling here. I guess I just assumed that she would play around with the stuff I did – after all, she same me doing it. Well, not directly; I would come home stoned or buzzed occasionally, but I would never fire up a bowl or slam Jack Daniel’s in front of her or anything like that. Plus, she was witness to the fights and arguments my mom and I would always get into – I’m sure that had something to do with it.

Cocaine, though? Crazy. I guess I should explain a bit. My sister works at a small coffee shop. Because the shop was small, she got to know the owner: a 35 year old woman who apparently has a penchant for the white stuff. I’m not sure – nor do I even really care to know at this point – how their relationship was able to advanced past employer/employee to dealer*/user, but I guess that’s how it ended up. Anyhow, my sister has been working at this place for quite some time, maybe more than a year, I’m not too sure. But she’s always loved it, and, current circumstances excluded, has been really good for her. My sister’s always been dreadfully shy; she’s probably the most private person I have ever met. She has control of her emotions and can bluff her way through just about anything.

Of the 17 years that I have known her, I’ve never once really known her. Sure, she’s my sister, but she’s a skelaton, a shall of a person. She can be anyone she needs to be, just as long as that person doesn’t get physically or emotionally attached to anyone else. That’s my sister’s ace card, I think. By not getting emotionally involved with anything, she never get’s hurt; she doesn’t take risks because she puts herself in a position not to get burned by them.

Until now.

Apparently this past Friday night, someone called her dad (technically, she’s my step-sister, but I was there when she was born and held her in my arm’s and wept and smiled and said, “She’s my baby sister”) and told him that she had been using cocaine and that she was getting it through her work. When confronted, my sister denied it and consented to a drug test. Needless to say, it was positive. I guess the business was shut down, the woman’s kids taken away and was arrested. The police searched the shop and found a “substantial quantitiy” – whatever the hell that means.

It’s sad, I suppose. The shop owner really got along with my sister because she reminded her of her first kid down in California. She got to know my sister, hired her on part-time, and became good friends with her. And then, with a serious case of insanity, she offered my sister a hit or a line. And my sister, for once in her estranged, silent life, was accepted. Not for what she could do or offer, but for who she is.

She said she’s only been doing it for a few months now, but who knows. She’s probably telling the truth, I don’t know.

I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. Fuck. Should I be this torn up? After all, she’s a kid, right? I’m 25; I’m not that far away from that age. But then maybe things are different. Then again, maybe they’re not. All I know is that cocaine isn’t something you play around with; it’s not some recreational thing like cigarettes or even weed. It’s highly addictive and highly dangerous, especially when dealing with the kind of people…

I don’t know. I knew plenty of dealers. They were friends. Same thing here, probably. Well, certainly. My sister was friends with her dealer; she trusted and confided in her, took chances with her. Which, on the one hand, I’m almost a little proud of her – she’s never taken chances, never pushed a limit in her life. I just wish the limit wasn’t cocaine. Why couldn’t she go joy riding or steal some cigarettes or clothes or something?

Man. I don’t know. It’s going to be a long night. Fuck.

Friday, April 15, 2005

I know, I know...

I've been a bad blogger this week. But I've got some fun stuff, I think. Maybe. Well, there's this:

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Someone, somewhere came up with the utterly brilliant idea of putting ol' G Dub on playing cards (much like he did to the wanted members of Al-Quaida (that's one hard word to spell, let me tell you) and to Michael Moore...) in the form of classic pinups. I would scan the entire deck, but I don't have a scanner and my Art Director might actually end my life if I were to do that.

Also, just in terms of sheer marketing coolness, Xbox is creating quite the stir with www.ourcolony.net. It's basically the DaVinci Code, with clues, hints, inferences, and hidden vibes ringing all through the thing, but for the next Xbox (supposedly called Xbox360).

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Let's see...I found this earlier. This may be one of those times where my brain is suddenly thinking of so many jokes that I can't formulate a single one. The thing is, if this had happened anywhere else in the world, it wouldn't have been nearly as funny.

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Nothing else.

That's it.

Okay, okay, some more Dubya:

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Have a great weekend all.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

This and That


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Ticket stub of a great concert I saw last night. Started out with an outstanding set by The Exies. That one followed up with an outstanding set by Theory of a Dead Man. And then the headliners took the stage. If you have a chance to see Breaking Benjamin, they put on an unforgettable show. In all honesty, this might be the best $20 ticket I’ve ever had; every band gave their all, and the music was fantastic. In fact, I’m thinking of dropping this writing gig all together and becoming a bass player (it’s not nearly as complicated as being a drummer, but you get equal “coolness” respect – can’t really go wrong there).

And that...
My arch nemesis:

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This little gray box of evil appears once a week, and kindly notifies me – right after I click the “send” button on an important email – that my mail box is full and that I need to clean it up. You’ll notice there are several options for alleviating the situation, which, I suppose, is nice. But the thing is, the original email, which apparently just stepped over the cusp of the file limit (probably by 40 kilobytes), DOESN’T send. Instead, it sits there, under the evil little window, stuck in some strange Outlook email limbo. And it stays there until I can delete enough stuff (archiving, while nice in theory, simply doesn’t create the space – you need to DELETE stuff) to open some space. Lastly: it’s a little too insistent that I delete my stuff RIGHT THIS INSTANT. And because I am immediately suspicious of all things hasty, I hate this window mightily.

And also this...

Very funny link.

Found this from Defective Yeti.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

It's a bird, it's a plane...no...it's...

this dude:
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Honestly. Who comes up with this shit? This actually came from a story on Yahoo.

I guess I just can't, uh, hang with it.


Friday, April 01, 2005


Now, it seems that the redundant logos are not there, making them, uh, UNredundant. Blogger is starting to piss me off.

Blogger bug

Something's wrong. Every time I go to publish the bad logo, it says there was a problem. I finally get it to work, and it published it three times. Now I can't go in and delete the redundant ones. Fuck.

Not much

I'm pretty busy today, so all I can give you is a logo. It's a bad logo. A very bad logo. Almost as bad as the bumper stickers that rip off Calvin & Hobbes or "Got Milk" (you know: "Got Motorhead?"or "Got Herpes?" all those...)
Anyhow...here you go:
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