January 26th, 2019

Berthold Run

Awkward, even in my dreams

You get another work-related blog post, because right now that's where my mind's at. (I worked an extra shift Friday, by the way. NOW I have one day off...)

Anyway. This was either a dream or something that was dream-like, because I think I was partly awake when I imagined it.

And I need to explain one thing about my work to put this into context: a lot of passengers walk past the booth where we valet workers are based, on the airport's upper roadway outside the terminal, thinking (or certain) that they're out where ride shares and taxis pick people up. Nope: that part of the upper roadway is where ride shares and taxis drop people off. Drivers, whether Uber/Lyft or taxi drivers, pick up arriving passengers one level below, on Island 2...which is almost directly below the valet booth. So a lot of our time at the booth is spent telling people "pick-ups are downstairs, go back in the terminal then go left to the escalators then out to Island 2." A lot of our time. Sometimes people are very confident they're in the right place, even as we tell them where to go. ("Island 2 is down stairs." "No, this is it." We've had this exchange. But we're right. Island 2 is very well-marked by signs, if — IF — you're actually at Island 2.)

Anyway anyway. What did I dream, or partially dream/partially imagine while awake? I walked over to a man waiting to be picked up. He was on the wrong level of the terminal. The man was also impossibly tall. Ten feet tall, maybe more. Also he was wearing a motorcycle helmet, with a visor. No one in the busy terminal was commenting on this. I wasn't about to. But I walked up to him and started to explain "Sir, people get picked up one level belo—"

"No," said the impossibly tall man, "I'm getting picked up here."

"Pick-ups are—"

He lifted up the visor and shot a withering, Sam-Elliot-thinks-you're-an-idiot glare at me. (Oh, yeah: he looked like Sam Elliot. Part-time Oregon resident and now Oscar-nominated-for-A Star Is Born Sam Elliot.) "Do I look like I want to go back into the terminal like this?" This was the first comment anyone had made about how he was impossibly tall. Um, okay, I don't understand the needs and problems of impossibly tall people. I ended the conversation. I also ended the dream, because then I fully woke up.

Anger, well-channeled: an appreciation of Storm Large

Portland singer Storm Large — longtime singer for several bands including Pink Martini, memoirist (her book and one-woman show Crazy Enough), one-time reality show star, and far more — built her reputation by being LIKE THIS in live shows: getting audiences completely into the palm of her hand with her showmanship. This is her song "I Want You to Die," a song made long and also a song made into an emotional journey. There's an unexpected development in this video, just as you think the song is ending, that shows one of Storm Large's many skills: getting angry and using that anger well.

I'd like to thank Lisa Wood, co-founder and co-runner with her husband Brian Wood of the late, great Big-Ass Sandwiches, for introducing me to this performance through an online music show she used to be able to do.