June 26th, 2008


A house, a home

One of these days I'll again live in a house.

I realized I miss that when, last night, a resident of the communal house where the backyard screening series is happening showed me around said house. It was a grand tour: each of the several bedrooms, the living room, the living room-like basement room, a neat and large bathroom, the two-fridge-equipped kitchen, and all three levels, the top one reached by a really steep stairway.

(Oh, and the young woman giving me the tour was pretty cute, too. You knew I'd notice...)

I try to be very open to a place's "vibe." I got a good one from this house. It's a good place, with who seem like good people.

From January 2001 to August 2002 I lived in a good house, not far from last night's house in fact (both are off of Hawthorne Blvd.). The difference was that I soon realized that I could not trust one person who lived there, which started to sour me on that place. Then in July 2002 I realized I couldn't trust another person there, either. That was the breaking point: I started looking for an apartment. I found the one I live in now the next month, and moved into this place in the second half of August. Some time into my living here, it dawned on me: I've lived here longer than I did in the Hawthorne house...but it feels like I lived in the house longer. There was more drama there. (By the way, the first guy who I'd realized was untrustworthy "screwed the pooch" soon after I left, doing a stupid and thoughtless thing and getting kicked out because of it. I learned this the last time I visited that house, in December 2002.)

I've lived in my studio apartment the longest I've lived on my own anywhere: I'm two months from my sixth anniversary here, as opposed to the year-and-eight-months I managed in the Hawthorne house and the three years I had my Hermiston apartment. This is a good place, in a neat building, with some cool neighbors.

But I like the space, and the shared space, of a good communal home. Heck, of a home in general: I was lucky to grow up in good homes that I liked. My parents found good places; they have a great track record for homes rented or bought.

So homes are on my mind. Good homes. I know what those are like.
Blow My Mind

Fat '70s action brass! (Help D.K. Holm Film Festival continues next week)

Speaking of films (hey, I was), the Wednesday, July 2nd movie to be shown behind the house at 1804 SE 38th in Portland (again supporting Portland writer D.K. Holm) will be The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.

It's a great heist flick, where Robert Shaw and fellow hoods stage a robbery in the New York City subway while transit cop Walter Matthau tries to stop them. (It's also the film that inspired Quentin Tarantino to color-code the crooks in Reservoir Dogs.) The film's been remade twice, once in the Nineties for television and right now for an upcoming feature starring Denzel Washington, but the original has something neither of the others has: David Shire's pumping, thumping, insane score.

Watch the main titles and get a taste of that pumping, thumping insanity. Fat '70s action brass! (Yes, that's the technical term.)

Film starts once it's dark enough to be projected. Donations for D.K. Holm's living expenses will be accepted. Pelham's the second Holm-chosen film to be shown in this film fest.

A travelin' day

Several hours ago, once I knew that a shipment I'm getting will arrive tomorrow and not today, I went on a long bussing/walking trip. I had my feet, sneakers, a cap, and a Robert E. Howard paperback, and I wasn't afraid to use them...

I took what had briefly been a commuter route for me back in summer 2004: the #17 bus through downtown, the Pearl and Trendy-First (a.k.a. NW 21st Ave.) up to Montgomery Park, an early 20th-century department store warehouse, remodeled to be office space surrounding a neat atrium. I'd worked there for three weeks that summer at a Wells Fargo office, on the biggest filing job I've ever done. (And I did it well. Yes, I'll boast.) And thus commenced my zig-zagging path through Northwest and Southwest Portland, passing the Willamette Week offices and the Mission Theater and various trendy Pearl restaurants and Powell's Books downtown (where I sat for a while reading)...and hoping to stumble upon one other place whose location I didn't quite remember, the rebuilt Dove Lewis animal hospital. I've meant to visit. Overshot it, though; probably came within four blocks of it, and continued obliviously on. But hey, now I'll know where it is.

Anyway: plenty of walking accomplished, and that's a good accomplishment. I rewarded myself with meaty pizza at Rocco's. How meaty? It had pepperoni, sausage and salami and was called the Texas Barnyard Massacre. And yes, tasty, it was, it was. (For the record, I often eat plenty of vegetarian pizza, too. I'm an omnivore, not a carnivore.)