Weekly 09/03-09/09: Autumn is coming

Autumn is coming

Autumn is here - Nathaniel Barber blog

This was the first real sign of Autumn in Portland. I just get so excited. I just love Autumn.

I know it’s dumb to swoon over a season, believe me, I just spent a whole Summer listening to the sun-lovers go on about how the sunshine gives them life, and a reason to live. About how their visits to the beach (or whichever sun-drenched hell-hole) was such a rad opportunity to get back in touch with the things that really matter in life.

Give me a break.

Summer is the alpha cheerleader, the star quarterback, the one that grew up with all the friends and the charmed life. Summer is the one that grew up pretty. And because Summer grew up pretty and popular, Summer didn’t have to work for anything so summer grew up stupid and lazy and uninteresting and will die alone.

Autumn, grew up ugly. Autumn had to fight for its place at the table. And because Autumn had to fight to survive, Autumn is the funny one, the one that read all the interesting books and knows how to cook and loves all the best music. So you’ll please excuse me while I gush, I’m blossoming, for the first time in this year. I just feel so, alive, finally in tune with the things that really matter in life.

Namaste.


Scootchie gang

Just park that shit anywhere bro.JPG

I love these awful scooters. They’re ridiculously fun. They’re also appropriately loathed since their appearance in your town officially signifies everything is dead and thoroughly gentrified and they’re parked pretty much anywhere and they’re making everybody lazy and awful. I wrote about this further in this satirical essay.


North Portland's Columbia pool - Nathaniel Barber blog

All alone at the Columbia pool

Often, on weekdays, there’s nobody at the pool. We have the run of the place. The water is eerily calm.

On the far side of the pool, there’s always a water aerobics class. The lady teaching the class has a playlist she hasn’t changed up in the three years since I’ve been going to the pool. The playlist (mostly EDM remixes of oldies and 80’s pop) has Turn Down For What at like, three different places.

I think someone made her the mix as a joke. It’s a good joke too. Every time she plays the mix, TDFW comes on and she has to run over to the boom-box to skip the track. Most the time she just lets it play though, which is great to see a group of seniors eye-rolling to Lil’ John in the deep-end.


Tryouts for The Amazing Race

 Buffetland at the Spirit Mountain Casino – 💖

Buffetland at the Spirit Mountain Casino – 💖

Nate Fasser and I drove to the Spirit Mountain Casino, not to gamble, but to try out for the Amazing Race. It’s a reality show that we weren’t going to get picked for. But the whole thing sounded so crazy, I simply couldn’t resist.

We had a great time catching up in the car (we rarely get to see each other). And we stuffed ourselves silly at the buffet there. I love buffets. Buffets are where I make all my best, worst decisions.

The idea behind the Amazing Race tryouts, from what I could tell, they were looking for a team of two people who had a strong connection and entertaining rapport that could easily translate to the show. The show is a reality show. The premise is, there’s a ‘race’ kind of thing, in which people are given a challenge and must overcome a number of obstacles to beat the other teams to the end. Along the way, the teams laugh, and cry and they discover something deeper about life, and themselves.

At the Casino, there were a number of groups that were trying a lot harder than we were. There was a lady dressed up as the Oregon Ducks mascot. One guy, whose partner was in Minnesota for a wedding, he printed up a life-size cardboard cut-out of his friend. The people Nate and I were standing behind in line, it was hard to tell what their ‘thing’ was. They were both obscenely fit, but they were wearing the new Nike Air Max shoes, with the tags and everything. So… Go team?

You get one minute to make your pitch. Nate and I thought ours up along the drive to the Casino. We decided to introduce each Nate by asking the other Nate three questions about themselves. Two of the things were true things. One of the things was a lie. And it was up to the Nate being introduced to tell which one of those things was a lie. Nate got his wrong (that he, one time, shaved his body completely bereft of hair). I got mine right, guessing correctly that I’d never danced on stage with Billy Joel.

At the end we had ourselves a little hug and a cheeser to the camera. What a great time! I’m lucky for friends with patience and a sense of humor.

 Spoiler alert: neither of us got food poisoning. Win!

Spoiler alert: neither of us got food poisoning. Win!


Freeway overpasses of Portland

 You never know what you’re missing until you take a moment to look up. Look up! I promise you, every time you look up, or look around, or just be curious (with even the mundane stuff) you’ll see something new. You’ll learn something new.

You never know what you’re missing until you take a moment to look up. Look up! I promise you, every time you look up, or look around, or just be curious (with even the mundane stuff) you’ll see something new. You’ll learn something new.


Ramprasad at Green Noise Records

Opening act and Ramprasad

I’m a big fan of Aaron Edge. I love his Instagram feed. And hey, he’s also a fan of the book!

I first saw him play long ago at the Velvet Elvis Lounge (RIP), when he played guitar for Himsa. Since then, he’s been art director at Southern Lord Records, photographer and in thousands of other pretty incredible bands.

I got to meet him the other day at his free show at Green Noise Music, and the rumors are true — he’s a super nice guy. Always love to hear what he’s got cooking. His new project, Ramprasad, is a lot like Russian Circles—great instrumental metal. Not for the faint of heart. Fans of heavier music would do well to check them out.


The neighbors kicking the shit out of each other (again)

They’re supposed to be leaving soon, but so far, there’s no signs they’re packing up. A social worker has been around recently, she says she knows a way to keep them there without having to pay taxes. It was the worst news I’ve heard all year.


Portland's Steel Bridge in Autumn

Portland's Steel Bridge in Autumn - Nathaniel Barber blog

This morning was the first chilly ride to work. I wore pants. There’s something about that river, and that bridge and the fog and the faraway stillness of a city full of people getting ready for the day…