Portland, OR — I currently am south of sober and north of the 45th parallel. That means I am drunk and closer to the North Pole than I am to the Equater. I had my longest travel day thus far. San Francisco to Portland was a haul, but a beautiful journey. This is a majestic land in which I live. Before this trip is over, I’m gonna end up being some tree hugging enviornmentalist. There is some amazing beauty in the west, and I want people to stay away from it. On a completely unrelated note I was watching the E! News ticker earlier and saw it scrawl “The company that released the Paris Hilton sex tape plans to release a tape featuring Kid Rock and Scott Stapp.” There were some other words after that, but I didn’t read them. This will be the hottest and best selling celebrity gay sex tape ever.
Jumping back into reality, the City By The Bay was one of my favorite stops. The city offered everything, good sites, good culture, good food, good times and most importantly good friends. Big thanks to Heather and Oleg for their hospitality and company. I hadn’t seen either of them in over four years and that was far too long. Also got to check out the San Francisco comedy scene with Matt Morales. This marked the third time I had ever seen Matt and the first time a strip club wasn’t involved.
The trip up from Los Angeles was mainly a high speed afair. It’s going to be hard to adjust when I get back east and can’t spend hours driving in excess of 90 MPH. Going into the city I crossed the Bay Bridge. I quickly renamed this the GOD DAMNED THREE MOTHER FUCKING DOLLAR BRIDGE. I later changed my tune when I found out the Golden Gate Bridge cost $5. Even though I am a huge Raiders fan, I neglected the oportunity to stop off in Oakland. After crossing the bridge I had an idea for a new reality show. Take people from south Louisiana, give them a car with manual transmission and film them driving in San Francisco. I think the quantity of fatlaities would be offset by the quality of entertainment.
The first night featured a scrumptious Italian meal in North Beach (including a dish I had never tried before). While walking to the resturant, we encountered a blackout. This didn’t phase my host (because apparently this is not an unusual occurance in San Francisco) or me (becuase I had some familiarity in dealing without a lack of electricity). Dinner conversation was largely populated with Katrina talk. This was the first time in months I’ve been in a situation to relive the days of late August and September. It was interesting to go back there again. After dinner Heather and I went out in the Mission. We discussed our happening-way-to-soon mid-life crisises. And I saw maybe the coolest thing I’ve seen on all of my journeys. We stopped by a bar called Amnesia which was having their blue grass Monday. Neat enough, but the performer was Toshio Hirano. He is a middle-aged Japanese gentelman who is an exceptional blue grass musician. He would play some Jimmy Rogers, then some Hank Williams, then some Jimmy Rogers, then some traditional cowboy songs, then some Jimmy Rogers, then more Jimmy Rogers, and what the hell, toss in some Jimmy Rogers. It was a surreal experience to see this man up there performing these tunes, but you got lost in that because he is REALLY good. And his stereotypical modest Japanese between song banter just sold the deal. If for any reason I am ever doing some type of tour, I totally want this guy opening for me. And I inplore all who read this to stop by and check out his show if you are ever in the Bay Area. Later that night we went to a bar that was a formerly a beauty parlor, and retianed most of the equipment, but added a kissing booth. Good times all around.
The next day me and Heather cashed in her rain check for a Segway tour. I can totally see why these little devises didn’t quite catch on, but they are fun to drive. If you ever want to feel like a total dork, ride through a city wearing a helmet, gloves and a floresent vest while driving a Segway. Not that me or Heather gave a fuck, but we were not oblivious to the fact. We knew we were being cheeseball tourist and reveled in it. Afterwords we grabbed some lunch at Taylor’s then picked up Oleg for a life changing experience. We stopped by 826 Valencia. This was by far the best pirate store I have been to on my current excursion. Yes they sold skull & crossbone flags. Yes they sold puffy shirts. Yes they sold eye patches. No they didn’t sell lard. You had to barter for the lard.
The next day I ventured out on my own. I saw Lombard St and Union Square. I hung off the front of a cable car. I shopped a spy store. Yes, a pirate store and a spy store on consecutive days. No one should be allowed this much joy. That night I met up with Matt and he took me too the Punchline and Cobb’s. I got to see some quality comedy and meet some cool folks. Then we grabbed some food at the Grubstake. There is a certain group of my friends who will understand why I couldn’t stop giggling the entire time I was at this resturant.
Right now I look out my window and see Portland Meadows. Those horses must me cold. But I have to give it to Oregon, you have more rest stops than I have ever seen. They seemed to almost equal the number of exits. And after visiting Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Portland I have almost completed the tour of cities featured in the Grand Theft Auto series.
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