Archive for April, 2009

So, I went to Target to Buy a DS…

Originally published on MySpace on April 28, 2009

Tomorrow is my youngest son’s birthday, and he asked for a Nintendo DS, to replace the one he lost last year. I agreed to pay for half since he lost the previous one, and off to Target we went tonight.

We arrive at the Target in Wilsonville and get Rock Star parking, which never happens at Target. The place is nearly empty.

My kids bolt from the car before I even have a chance to open my own door, and make a beeline through the front doors of Target, and straight to the Electronics section.

We quickly locate the Nintendo aisle, and the three of us stand there staring at the locked glass case, well stocked with Nintendo DS’s in red, blue, silver and black. Black?! Ooh new color.

We grab a friendly Target employee, because we know she has the keys to the Nintendo kingdom, and ask to see see “the black one.” It costs $50 more than the other DS’s and I want to know why.

I read the display card to my son, “It says it has a much bigger screen, a music player, and a built-in camera. Is that worth $50 extra to you?” I ask.

“I don’t know,” he says, then turns and looks at friendly Trarget employee Lisa. “Can we open it up and see it?”

“No,” she says. “Once we open them we can’t sell them anymore.”

“Okat,” I say, “Do you have one on display we can see, so we can compare the screen size?”

“No, we don’t have one on display,” she says. “But, let me see if I can open this without damaging the packaging.”

My son’s eys light up as we follow Lisa to the counter. She carefully lifts the tape with her fingernails, careful not to rip anything, opens the box, pulls out the documentation, and pulls out … a blob!

“Uh, that is not a DS,” I say. “What is that?”

“Oh my gosh!,” she exclaims. “It’s a rock covered in black electrical tape! I don’t know how this could have happened.”

Someone had purchased the DS, taken it home, removed the DS, and replaced it with a rock that weighed exactly the same as the DS. It was covered in black electrical tape so it would look like the black DS, just in case the person at the returns counter actually opened the box and looked under the documentation.

Can you just imagine buying that for a birthday gift, and seeing the disappoinment on the kid’s face when he opened the box up to find a rock!?

Needless to say. Lisa was happy to open every other DS we wanted tp look at.

My son ended up choosing a regular silver DS, because the “much larger” screen on the expensive black DS wasn’t actually that much bigger.

Oh, but the story doesn’t end here. As we checked out we saw this on the counter:


I looked at Lisa and said, “This just isn’t your day is it?”


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So I texted the Wrong Number…

Originally published on MySpace on April 27, 2009

Clarifications before you read the story:

CSZ: CSz is short for Comedy Sportz, which is an improv comedy
spot in NW Portland. We play games like they do on the show “Whose Line
is it Anyway?”

Andrew B.: A long-time friend and Comedy Sportz veteran, who was teaching one of the workshops on this particular evening.


Last Wednesday night I had plans to meet my friend Andrew for a spot of
hot chocolate before the Comedy Sportz Wednesday night workshop. We
were supposed to meet in the CSz parking lot at 6:45pm.

But before I met Andrew I had to pick up a couple of cases of wine
glasses from my friend Julian in NW Portland. I texted Julian to tell
him I was my on my way, and he texted me back saying he wasn’t home.
And that’s where our story begins…

I started by sending the following text message to Andrew at 6:30pm:

Me: The person who has my wine glasses is not home. He forgot and went to happy hour. So I’m on my way to CSz.

“Andrew”: LOL. What? Who is this?

Me: Kelly Jo!

“Andrew”: Kelly Jo? Do you know who I am lmao?

Me: Not sure now! Who did I text?

(Holy crap! Who has Andrew’s phone?)

“Andrew”: Paul the auctioneer.

(WTF? Paul the auctioneer?)

Me: Ha ha. Well you’re programmed into my phone as Andrew. LOL

(Now I’m really confused)

Paul: Ha ha that’s pretty funny! Well I wonder what Andrew is doing now.

Me: I have no idea why your number is in my phone, but this is all pretty funny.

(Andrew and I met up for dinner before a workshop two months ago,
and I put his number into my phone. I swear it worked two months ago. I
wonder if he changed his number?)

Paul: Well do we know each other? What area are you in?

Me: I don’t know any auctioneers. I’m at Comedy Sportz in NW Portland. Where are you?

Paul: I’m in Salem area. Did you punch the number into your phone address book or is the phone your other half’s maybe?

(I’m texting in auctioneer in Salem. Really? What are the odds?!)

Me: It has been programmed into my phone for two months! I swear it worked last time. ;^)

Paul: LOL! Hmmmmm, are you male or female?

(Okay, we seem to be headed somewhere I don’t want to go. The next question will be, “What are you wearing?”)

At this point Andrew pulls up next to me in the parking lot.

“Andrew! I tried texting you to tell you I was early and I got Paul the auctioneer!,” I said, totally confused. “I’m pretty sure I have your cell phone number in my cell phone from last time.”

I read Andrew the number, and it turns out I had the area code as Portland not Vancouver. Right number, wrong area code. DOH!

“Hey!” I said, “What kind of auctioneer do you think Paul is? Do you think he auctions livestock or stuff?”

“What? Are there only two categories?” Andrew said.

“Let’s just ask and find out.” So I texted Paul…

Me: What do you auction? Livestock or stuff?

Paul: Everything but livestock.

“See Andrew!” I said, “Two categories. Livestock and stuff.”

“What do you think he looks like?” I said.

Andrew just looked at me, totally deadpan and said, “I think he has an unfortunate mustache.” And if I had had any hot chocolate in my mouth at that time it would have catapulted out my nose!

“Hey! How do you think one becomes an auctioneer? Is there a college degree? Associates degree? Does it run in the family?” I said. “Let’s ask.”

Me: Awesome. How do you become an auctioneer? Do you get a degree or was your dad an auctioneer? How long have you been doing it?

Paul: Ten years. I went to auction school in Missouri. I love it!

Auctioneer school in Missouri! No kidding. Andrew and I got a lot of
mileage out of our exchange with Paul the auctioneer that night. It
still peppers our conversations.

Not all wrong numbers are wrong. Some are informative and entertaining!

Photobucket Photobucket

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Cheers and Jeers for April 26, 2009

Originally published on MySpace on April 26, 2009

Cheers: to Jeff M. of for giving me the VIP pass to the Widmer Brothers 25th Anniversary party.

Cheers: to Jeff E. for being my date to the Widmer party, and being a
good sport when it turned out to be like a giant frat party.

Cheers: to Jeff E. for taking me to a Blazers game!

Cheers: to Chris “Birdman” Anderson of the Denver Nuggets, who stopped to talk to me in downtown Portland.


to Anne J. for helping me set up for the Wine and Chocolate party on Saturday.

Cheers: to Karen M. for staying late and helping me clean up after the Wine and Chocolate party.

Jeers: to the people who said they were coming to the Wine and Chocolate party but then didn’t show up.

Cheers: to Andrew B. for taking me to Coffee Time for hot chocolate
before the Comedy Sportz workshop last week. I will forever refer to that place
as Crazy Time, because of the strange people hanging out there.

Jeers: to the Swine Flu. Please don’t come to Oregon!

Jeers: to the cancer that recently took the life of KINK’s Les Sarnoff.

Cheers: to Michael for taking me to the KINK benefit concert at the
Aladdin last week. Paulo Nutini, Serena Ryder, and one other band.
Great evening of music.

Jeers: to the guy two rows in front of me at the Paulo Nutini concert
who was holding up his BlackBerry and checking email at eye level.
Might as well have had a flashlight shining in my eyes. The guy in
front of me finally said something.

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One Place, One Memory

Originally published on MySpace on April 21, 2009

This is a list of some of the places I’ve been that evoke strong memories. Some places are more exotic that others!

The rule: one memory, one place.
There are some places that I have hundreds of vivid memories of, but I’ve limited myself to one memory.
More pictures coming.

Ephesus, Turkey: My guide Rosa who was so passionate about the ruins that she made me feel as if I was walking down the marble streets with Cleopatra herself.

Arco, Idaho: The little country store that
made you feel like you were in an episode of Twin Peaks and the
Twilight Zone all at one time.

Mumbai, India: Mrs. Shah’s afternoon chai.

Srinagar, India: The Sheikh Palace houseboat on Lake Dal, and the family who ran it. I went back three times.

Palitana, India: 5000 steps (3.5 km) up to the Jain temple. No Stairmaster necessary.

Giza, Egypt: Riding a camel with Ibrahim around the pyramids at sunrise. We were the only ones there.

Barnet, England: Geezer Paul.

Balboa Park, San Diego: Meeting Prince Andrew.

Madrid, Spain: Running into some art students at the Museo del Prado and getting an amazing tour of the museum from them.

Arctic Circle, Finland: Cross country skiing at 2am and seeing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

Waikiki, Hawaii: Scattering my mom’s ashes off the back of a sailboat.
Rome, Italy: Having a lunch of spaghetti, bread and wine in the back room with the baggage handlers at the train station.
Civitavecchia, Italy: The pizza place that cut pizza with large scissors and sold the pizza by weight.
Munich, Germany: Oktoberfest with my work colleagues, 2002.

Seward, Alaska: Waking up to see a bald eagle perched on a post outside my window.

Sunnyvale, CA: The weird neighbor who was rumored to shoot rock salt at kids with an air rifle to keep them off his property.

Saratoga, CA: The Harleigh House that I shared with three friends.

Aschaffenburg , Germany: Andreas the Lear Jet Pilot.

Burbank, CA: PSA (airline) always stopped there on the way to San Diego from San Jose every time I went to visit my dad when I was a kid.

Del Mar, CA: Meeting Desi Arnaz at the race track.

Carslbad, CA: Being in a really horrible place emotionally but running a great marathon.

NY, NY: Election night in Times Square, 2009.

Durham, NH: UNH dorm, getting written up on my very first day!

San Francisco, CA: My dear dear friend Michael Deeb, and all of the meals we had together at his restaurants. May he rest in peace.

There will be more entries, and I will add pictures.

If you could pick one memory per place, what would some of them be? It’s difficult to pick just one!

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Clinging to the Edge

Originally published on MySpace on April 15, 2009

Today I ran along the waterfront at lunch, and as I was
crossing the Hawthorne Bridge I noticed a sign that said
“Suicide Crisis Hotline,” which I thought very timely considering
I had the following story bouncing around in my brain before I crossed the bridge…

We clung to the edge of the bridge, fingers entwined,
smiling, laughing, living on the edge, never realizing the peril we were in. I
met you there, on the edge, the ledge, and there we stayed for months on end.
We seemed happy there, on the edge, until you dared me to look down.

“Look down,” you said, “Look down.”

“I can’t look down! I won’t look down!” I said, with fiery
denial, not wanting to believe our entire world existed on the edge.

I continued to look up, as I felt your fingers slip, my grip.
I fought to climb up, and you fought to let go.

I stood on the bridge, at the edge of the ledge, watching
you tumble into the darkness where you so desperately wanted to go.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t save you” I said, through a veil of
tears as I felt your fingers slip away. “I choose to save myself.”

And the song that was playing in an infinite loop on my iPod for my whole run was Jai Ho from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack

Jai Ho

(Jai Ho)
(Jai Ho)I got (I got) shivers (shivers),
When you touch away,
I’ll make you hot,
Get all you got,
I’ll make you wanna say (Jai Ho)

(Jai Ho)

I got (I got) fever (fever),
Running like a fire,
For you I will go all the way,
I wanna take you higher (Jai Ho)
I keep it steady
Cuz steady is how I feel it.
This beat is heavy, so heavy,
You gonna feel it.

(Jai Ho)You are the reason that I breathe,(Jai Ho)
You are the reason that I still believe,(Jai Ho)
You are my destiny,
Jai Ho! Uh-uh-uh-oh!
(Jai Ho)No there is nothing that can stop us(Jai Ho)
Nothing can ever come between us,(Jai Ho)
So come and dance with me,
Jai Ho! (oohh)

Catch me, catch me, catch me, come and catch me,
I want you now,
I know you can save me, come and save me,
I need you now.
I am yours forever, yes, forever,
I will follow,
Anywhere in anyway,
Never gonna let go.

Jai Ho

(Jai Ho) Escape (escape) away (away),
I’ll take you to a place,
This fantasy of you and me,
I’ll never lose the chase. (Jai Ho)

Yeaahhhh (Jai Ho) Yeaahhhh

I can (I can) feel you (feel you),
Rushing through my veins,
There’s a notion in my heart,
I will never be the same.

(Jai Ho)Just keep it burnin’, yeah baby,
Just keep it comin’, (Jai Ho)
You’re gonna find out, baby,
I’m one in a million.

(Jai Ho)You are the reason that I breathe,(Jai Ho)
You are the reason that I still believe,(Jai Ho)
You are my destiny,

Jai Oh! Uh-uh-uh-oh!

(Jai Ho)No there is nothing that can stop us(Jai Ho)
Nothing can ever come between us(Jai Ho)
So come and dance with me,
Jai Ho! (oohh) (You and me, it’s destiny)

Catch me, catch me, catch me, come and catch me,
I want you now,
I know you can save me, come and save me,
I need you now.
I am yours forever, yes, forever,
I will follow,
Anywhere in anyway,
Never gonna let go.

Jai Ho (Yeeeaaahh), Jai Ho (Yeeeaaahh), Jai Ho

I need you,
Gonna make it,(Jai Ho)
I’m ready,
So take it!

(Jai Ho)You are the reason that I breathe,(Jai Ho)
You are the reason that I still believe,(Jai Ho)
You are my destiny,
Jai Ho! Uh-uh-uh-oh!

(Jai Ho)No there is nothing that can stop us,(Jai Ho)
Nothing can ever come between us,(Jai Ho)
So come and dance with me,
Jai Ho! (oohh) (You and me, it’s destiny)

Jai Ho!

Baila baila!
Baila baila!

Jai Ho!

Baila baila!

Jai Ho!

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Truth, a Poem

Originally published on MySpace on April 7, 2009

Photo credit: Veil to Silence, by Sea Fairy

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