Saturday, December 30, 2006

Obligatory Look Back at 2006 (or an excuse not to write anything original today)

Here at the Thousand Anxiety Wood, we saw several memorable blog moments in 2006. Here are some odd phrases that seemed to make sense at the time:
  • Go Angry Filberts!
  • I'm taking partial responsibility in successfully fulfilling my job as Dead Weight.
  • I only wear shoes that rule. In case you were wondering.
  • This is where I always baaa quietly to myself.
  • I'm sure it has seen things that I would rather not ever see without a cleansing frontal lobotomy…
  • Those shoes are mine, betch.
  • Kind of like forced interpretive dance, with only one of us knowing the steps.
  • The Bloody Stump
  • Dammit, and damn their fascist rules.
  • Almighty Father, please stop making jerks. Amen.
  • I walked away slowly, so as not to look too delicious...
  • Sub-elite level cyclist.
  • It’s garbage day, Frozen Pizza Boy.
  • I’m a slow reader. But jolly. Okay, I’m not jolly.
  • Drew to Dean, whose head is wrapped in a wet scarf: Is that cool?
  • Dean: If by "cool," you mean, "awesome."
  • Oscar Pereiro trying to answer journalists' questions in English: ("I...[unintelligible]...go faster...[unintelligible garble]...zen I hear...Floyd garble garble...[long pause]...[unintelligible] yallow jersey...sank you").
  • My son is a vicious pirate.
  • Hear me now and believe me later. George Hincapie will win the Tour.
  • I have been training for the weekend by wearing an underwire bra for two days in a row.
  • "I am about to fall asleep in the most hostile way."
  • I apologize for continuing to publish posts that I feel compelled to apologize for.
  • My friends, I give you the Visayan Warty Pig. Gaze not too long, lest ye lose all hope of matching such beauty with thine own humble visage.
  • I love children. I believe that children are the future. I just don’t like the way they act, sound, or smell.
  • "Each pig, dressed in a numbered bib, was carried squealing into the arena for each event."
  • Phrase of the week: dysfunctional douche-nozzles
  • Viva los oysters el nudo!
  • No, don't call me pathetic. How about "rather troubled but dealing with it quite bravely"?
  • “The wettest month since (whatever)!” “Flooding in (everywhere with a river)!)”
  • But if you played me one of those 60’s happy-sunshine songs right now, I would seriously slug you.
  • My oven has a button that says "Stop Time." I haven't tried it yet.
  • That said, walking into American Apparel is – well, it’s a cross between Term Project Day at Home Ec class and a look at the first clothing shop to open after a Mad Max-like apocalypse where the only thing left is one sterno-powered sewing machine and a truck full of jersey fabric, hijacked after being mistaken for a load of hooch.
  • It’s not quite jersey weather in the Great Northwest. It’s tarp weather.
  • The rest of the day, I walked around like somebody trying not to wake a panther sleeping on her head (a panther that has a tendency to be cross when wakened).
  • This is Janice “Storm Saxon” McTracy, signing off and heading for the tub.”

Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

In Uglier News...

It turns out that scary new helmets are not an adequate substitute for practice. Or, one can only assume, a hangover cure. Vegas Bowl score: BYU 38 Ducks 8

Know What Else?

My corner on-the-way-to-work coffee kiosk gave me my mocha for free this morning as a Christmas gift. What did your coffee shop give you?

What Did Your Boss Give You?

I bet my present was better.

Chris Funk vs. Stephen Colbert: America Wins

Was it the presence of the Decemberists or Stephen Colbert that brought out Morley Safer, rock critic Anthony DeCurtis, producer Tim Anderson, NY Governor-Elect Elliot Spitzer, Peter Frampton, and, yes, Henry Kissinger to the Colbert Report Wednesday night? You be the judge.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

We Celebrate Christmas in December so we Don't Go Crazy From Cold and Lack of Sunlight

Remember summer?

Wasn't it awesome?
Remember when the sun was warm? And it came up before 8:00? And stayed up past 4:30?
Good times.
I have a headache that could be due to TMJ, raging late-teenage hormones (okay, really, really late), the really good wine I drank last night (nah), or lack of sunlight. I choose to blame the angle of the earth.
So let's reminisce...

Drew, happy and filthy. With a beer.

A dragonfly that sat on my walkway for a while and posed for me.

A good reason never to wear this hat again.

Maryhill winery. Almost heaven. Columbia Gorge.

If Heather's stare isn't enough to scare the competition, get Dean. He will maim you with his steely gaze. Hey, you in the national champion jersey. You're going down.

Yeah. Summer. Good times.

Ho. ho. ho.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Another Sign of the End Times

I want a list of all the parents (you know there were some) who bought this before it was pulled.

You Have Been Warned

I have it on good authority (mine) that Dollar Tree has the worst Christmas Muzak in the universe. I can only assume that it is made to chase people out of the store, possibly as a precaution against buying too much broken-in-the-package, useless crap that some bewildered Laotian made ("What sort of people buy tiny plastic, fat, red-suited, white-bearded men with small, poorly wired lights coming out of their faces? Is this some sort of religious symbol?") (yes).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

So long, Uncle Rummy.

For those of you without cable, enjoy.

No Wonder.

According to the rules for these things, my porn star name would be Fritzi Laurel Park Drive. I guess I'm safe from falling into that profession...

Mark Your Calendars

Chris Moore's You Suck Tour comes to Powell's: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 07:00 PM

I'm aiming for 5:00. That means I'll get there by 6, and still have to sit in the back.

Ooh, I should remember to sit over on the right side where the signing line begins. I'm guessing that will mean that I'll get trampled by everyone else fighting for a spot in line, and someone will stand on my foot, and then I'll slink out in a quiet huff.

Oh well.


I've always held the opinion that men are delicate blossoms on the flower that is manhood. More medical evidence to prove my case.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The 7 Rules of Christmas Decorating (Deeply Discounted from the Original 12!)

Do not break these rules. Or I will be forced to make snide comments behind your back.

  1. Plastic luminarias. Luminarias are cool only because they're incredibly dangerous. Brought to us by those safety experts south of the border, the original design calls for paper bags with candles inside, held down by a little sand. Awesome! Now they are making them out of electric bulbs and plastic. Take the danger away and you have a pretend paper bag. Paper bags are not pretty. And if you live in a region that does not have cacti, it's double silly. Do not ever use these.

  2. Half-way-up tree lighting. If you have a humongous tree in your yard, congratulations. Trees are great. But do not try to put lights on it if you cannot reach the top. The lit-up outline of the bottom half of your tree is not attractive.

  3. Large inflated decorations. Unless you want your neighborhood to look like a strip mall. These are the worst examples of Wal-Mart globalization and unnecessary gobs of petroleum by-products that will surely end up in the landfill after a half-hearted try at trying to dry them out enough to box them up for next year. Those who manage to box them up will undoubtedly pull out a wad of deadly black mildew next December, so they are just delaying the inevitable. And what is the deal with the one below? What is Santa trying to do? And where are his pants? And why is there a carousel inside an igloo? Wouldn't this scare eskimo children? Steer clear.

  4. Colored "icicles." Bizarre.
  5. Laura Bush. Do not try to put Laura Bush in your Christmas decorations. It will just bum people out. I feel sorry for her. I bet George never listens to her.

  6. Mixing messages. I love nativity scenes. But not if they include Santa, reindeer or snowmen. Let's keep some separation of church and greed.

  7. Excess. There is no such thing as an excess of Christmas decorations.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Oooh, Snap! And Crunch!

Drew: you've probably already seen all these because highway gore is "you people's" pastime, but there are some doozies in this collection. No gore visible, although some of the crashes are obviously uber-fatal.

Our Town (Not Exactly Like "Our Town")

We have brilliant arsonists in Vancouver (USA). According to a report in the paper, the allegeds were spotted leaving the restaurant/arson-target-in-question with a gas can in their hands at 3 in the morning. They returned to their SUV, apparently parked nearby, while three police officers watched. The police officers moseyed over and engaged the fellows, who reeked of gasoline, in conversation, during which the fire alarm sounded at the restaurant. Further inspection uncovered the protective tops from flares (the types of flares later found to have started the fire) in their pockets.

The restaurant's sprinkler system put the fire out.

There's an uglier, less amusing side to this story, but I like the dumb parts better.


Our leader being helpful to English reporters who can't understand why he can't admit to the chaos his administration has caused in Iraq:

"It's bad in Iraq." (long pause) "That help?"

Monday, December 04, 2006

This is Cyclocross.

Dean did some photobloggin, but he failed to include the one photo he took that best encapsulates the sport of cyclocross, which includes biking in mud, running in mud while carrying your bike, hopping in mud (ditto about the bike carrying), pink wigs, and beer. This photo captures everything but the beer, which, I believe, is implied nevertheless.

Sorry, That Had a Lot of Words In It.

Here are some pictures of the same subject instead.

Here's my student visa circa May of 1982. It seems I remember ripping up my driver's license to get a picture for it. Another example of how well prepared I was for this trip.

Here I am with Drew, panicking inside while I wait for my flight to Germany via British Airways. You could say I look white as a sheet, but I always do, so it's hard to tell... My most vivid memory of the flight? The headcheese. Mmmm, British cuisine...

Here is the view outside of my Frankfurt hotel. You probably can't tell from here, but those are naked ladies on the posters in the window. The professionals in the doorway have more clothes on this morning then they did the night before. The schoolchildren are trying to get gum out of the gum machine. At least I thought that was a gum machine. On second thought, I'm not so sure.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Velcome to Der Deutschlandischness

Insomnia isn’t as fun as it sounds.

My nose has been stuffy, so I have been taking Sudafed, which is the only thing that works without putting me to sleep. Just the opposite, in fact.

Unfortunately, my personal Sudafed side affect has been heightened to an extreme degree lately that I have had to give it up.

When I try to sleep after taking Sudafed during the day, my mind will go into an endless loop of whatever was in my head when I went to bed. This used to last a few hours, but this week it has gone on all night.

If you have read this blog before, you might guess that my last thought will inevitably be some sort of worry, real or imagined. Last night I tried to derail the unwanted thoughts by trying to construct a blog post about a time in Germany twenty-four years ago. Turns out a lot of it is gone now. Which is a pity because it was a good story and you would have gotten a kick out of it.

Here’s what I remember.

When I was a sophomore in college, I was invited to participate in a guinea-piggy program of immersion language study through a partnership program between the University of Oregon and Universit├Ąt T┼▒bingen (founded in 1477, newbies) in Tubingen, Germany (Deutschland for you Deutsche sprechers).

Since we were the first group of students to be offered this program, it was soon clear that they had not worked out all the kinks yet. First, they did not arrange for travel to and from the program. It was left to the students to transport themselves to a pick-up spot in Stuttgart. This is akin to telling kindergartners to meet you up at the zoo for the class field trip. We scattered. Some spent a month wandering through the Mediterranean before the program started, some came into Germany early to hang out in the beer halls of Munich, and some just went to Berlin to heckle the (pre-glasnost) East Germans. I, being a small and timid creature, made arrangements to land in Frankfurt and be at the Stuttgart rendezvous about three days later. By myself.

Second, it was soon clear that the professors from Tubingen University had expected students with a better grip on the language than those sent to them. Our group all had two solid semesters of first-year German under our belt. That means we were still working out why the hell every noun had to be feminine, masculine, or “neuter.” Actually, I’m still not over that. But still, we could barely say “Ich liebe dich” without giggling.

I remember being completely shocked when, as I was in the Frankfurt airport trying to figure out how to get a rail ticket into town out of a vending machine, a well-meaning Ger-man told me that the machine was “kaput.” You mean they really say “kaput?” The thought would have been hilarious if I hadn’t been so terrified.

Cut to a small, frightened creature trudging through the streets of Frankfurt, looking for Moselstrasse (Mosel Street), where my well-meaning mom had booked a room in the Hotel Ambassador through her local travel agent (sight unseen, oooooobviously). It sounds like a likely place for young international travelers, right?

Turns out it wasn’t.

It was getting dark. I finally asked a nice policeman to direct me to the Ambassador Hotel on Moselstrasse. He gives me a very odd look, asks if I really want to go there. I say yes. He gives me directions and tells me to hurry before it gets dark, because it’s not a very nice neighborhood. Oops. Well, I’m committed. Off I trudge.

It was once a very grand hotel. Not so much by the time I walked in. I was smack dab in the middle of Frankfurt’s red light district. Working girls were lined up on the street and posed in second story windows. Windows without hos had x-rated pictures in them.

For a small, easily frightened girl from Vernonia, Oregon, it was too, too much. But it was dark, I was tired, my duffle weighed a ton, and I was here. I checked in, declined a ride up in the elevator with some leering men, spend my last bit of energy tugging my duffle up the stairs, had a private panic in my room, and went to bed.

In the morning, school children with little school book packs were marching past the naked-lady pictures in the windows on the way to school, and a few of the working girls were now lounging in doorways, wishing them a good day. I snapped a picture and went down to breakfast. Which was delicious.

The rest of the semester was slightly less panicky.