Just Married

Yay for post 100!

(and C & R's marriage)


NE 42nd @ Alberta

Boo flash & dirty windshield.

I played a show tonight, and then I went to see an awesome one by Bigg Jus and Myka 9 (ohmygod). Then I worked for a couple of hours.

I feel completely beat, and wish that I had someone's rump to spank. Other than that, life is beautiful.


Happy Birthday to Me

(I did not take this picture)

I had a very happy birthday - dinner at Ya Hala, and then I got to see the amazing Konono No 1.

I don't want else to say except that I love my life. I know Wil wants music reviews, but I'm not sure how to describe Konono No 1.

"Awesome" is a good word.

"Fantastic" also works.

I have not enjoyed a show that much since I saw Afrirampo for the first time, and I can't reccomend their music enough. It was a real treat to be able to see them live, I just had a huge ear-to-ear smile on my face through the whole show. If you buy the album, you will love it, and all of your friends will think you are awesome when you introduce them to it, and be jealous of your taste in music. This is true for anyone of any age, no matter what kind of music you normally listen to.

Ya Hala's the best Lebanese food in town. I am a cab driver, and I know these things. Eat there.


This is not my arm

Today is also my birthday.


New column up here.

The short ride home


David Halberstam is dead

David Halberstam is dead, and that makes me sad.

I'm not going to bother trying to eulogize someone I never met, but he was, in my opinion, the greatest living American writer. And now, I guess, he's not. When I think of people with just pure story-telling chops (whose stuff I've read), regardless of their nationality or whether they're alive, he's near the very top of my list. Gabriel Garcia Marquez beats him out. Maybe James Jones. Maybe Alan Moore. Maybe Carl Hiaasen (again, purely in terms of ability to almost physically seize you with the strength of a narrative). Tom Wolfe isn't quite there, though he'd like to think he is.

And that's pretty much it. This isn't to discount other writers, it's to say that he was just that good.

While I was not a huge fan of his nostalgic sports books of recent years (meaning I didn't read them, I probably would've devoured them had I started them), the man wrote some of the most personally influential books I've ever read. I can't think of a book of his that I read and didn't like. I also can't think of one that I was easily able to put down. I mean Jesus, the guy wrote a book about the corporate politics of the automobile industry that had me riveted.

The Best & The Brightest
and The Children should both be required reading for every American. I loved The Powers That Be and Breaks of the Game (required reading for every Portlander). These are all (save Breaks) gargantuan, and are all non-fiction. The amount of talent and intellect involved in writing a 900 page book that's actually interesting throughout is astounding. There are people who can write good sentences and people who can write good paragraphs, but he just wrote good books. And he just kept writing them, and writing them, and they never stopped being incredible.

And thinking about it, the main thing that strikes me is his enormous empathy. The amazing thing about his books, and this is likely a product of the enormous amount of interviews he did, is that there's never a villain, as such. The Best & The Brightest is an absolutely heart-rending story about how the U.S. got so entangled in Vietnam, and many of his books are about great tragedies (whether noticed as such or not) of American life, but throughout them we're always able to understand that the men and women making decisions that lead to such disastrous consequences are normal people, often good people, and perhaps even abnormally talented and good people, with moral codes and true desires to do the right thing.

I feel incredibly ineloquent (is that even a word), and I could just keep rambling and rambling, so I'll just leave it at this:

I am a better person for having read David Halberstam's books.

And that's how we get back to the new "things that make me happy" theme of the website.


Kitty Midwife

Kitty Midwife at PDX Artix '06 (with adoring fan).




Instead of explaining this one, I think I'd rather let you guess.


This should be made clear...

On the column archive on the WWeek page, I've only written two (at this point). Those are the ones with the picture of the cab next to them. The ones with the picture of the woman's eyes in the rearview mirror ARE NOT BY ME.

I would've thought that this was fairly obvious, until I got a letter from my sainted mother telling me that the column had her transfixed and that she had so many questions, but still loved me. When did I live in L.A.? What was this about an ex-boyfriend?

Granted, this rather hilarious misunderstanding is from someone who can be a little... clueless with the computer, let's say. But still, I think it's worth making as explicit as possible.


So I was able to make it through face-gate with only being called "hipster smegma" once. I'll consider that a success. The new column's up here.



Soup Purse (mobile, circa 2006).


Will asked for updates on music, so here is one, even though I am not at all plugged into music that is popular, or even really all that well known in underground circles.

Last night I saw 2 Oboes, my favorite band in Portland (pictured). I also got to see another band I really love, called Moodring, and the fabulous Waves of Nightengales. I'm forgetting who else... Paraquat, who's a valued friend. I slept through a set by Eet, who I also love tremendously. I left early because I was thinking about going to another show (Master Musicians of Bukkake and Neung Phak) that I was really excited about. If I'd stuck around I could've seen Soup Purse, the Reproachables and Eet again. This show was at my old roommates' house, and featured a potluck beforehand. The only things I could eat were baba ghanoush, bread, onion rings, and the cake that I brought. Being vegan can be lame sometimes.

I stopped by my house on the way to the second show, and got entranced by Casino Royale, which my roommate was watching. I didn't end up making it to the other show, or starting work until 1:45 AM. I don't like James Bond movies, or action movies at all really, but I thoroughly enjoyed that one.

I also liked that I only worked for 3 hours, and still made what I do on a mediocre 8 hour week night. It's good to be lucky, and even better to be both lucky and good.


Sorry that I forgot to post one yesterday, so here's two. Yay camera phone!


Carved from a lettuce heart. I'm not the one who did the carving.



Nothing will happen today. Nothing at all. They forgot to publish the paper. There was no first column, and there was no horrible face of a disturbing looking man who is not me, and possibly stepped out of a Toad the Wet Sprocket music video.

The column will begin next week. That will be my first column.

Does everyone understand?

Nothing happened today.


If you know what's good for you, you will remember this.

Nothing happened today.

I'll post a link to the first column, when it appears next week, on the 18th.


I don't know what the deal with Cabbie X in Eugene is, which is why I haven't been responding to inquiries. Well, that and laziness.

Speaking of which, I've finally added a link to an incredible New York yellow cab driver's photoblog. He's a much better photographer than myself on every level. I'm just a guy who takes snapshots and doesn't have any photographic training or pretensions on any level, but these are from someone who has a very good idea of what they're doing. Not only that, but he's got a fantastic eye for composition. His photos do a remarkable job of capturing what the world actually looks from the driver's seat (and it often looks quite beautiful and entrancing, something I always fail at capturing in mine, or never think to pick up the camera) - note the way he often includes the window frame and sideview mirror.

I'm pretty embarassed that I hadn't had a link up before, and can't reccomend the site highly enough, as it's one of my favorites. Given my change in direction here, though, there's really no excuse at all. If you're only going to look at one cab driver's pictures, they definitely shouldn't be mine.

But you should still look at mine. And everyone else's.


Soul Doubt

Starting this Wednesday (4.11.7), I will be the Willamette Week's new Night Cabbie. This is the writing job that I'd mentioned before. They'll be publishing one 250-word column a week. That's why I haven't written anything here in four months: so that I can write far shorter pieces with far less frequency, all while getting paid (a very little) and read by (a lot) more people .

I am, in short, a sellout.

If for some reason you enjoyed my writing about my job (and if you're still checking back here at this point, chances are that you probably did), you'll be able to get your fix here starting on Wednesday (the ones with the picture of a woman's eyes in a rearview mirror are obviously not mine). I should warn you, however, that four of the first six are just re-worked posts from this site.

Anyway, now you'll be able to tell all of your friends that you were down with the Night Cabbie before he even was the Night Cabbie. If you're not from Portland, this won't get you much in the way of cred, but at least you can take solace in the knowledge that it won't get you much cred in Portland, either.

Another indication of my selling out is that I now have a MySpace page, which people who know me will attest to being a likely sign of the apocalypse. I'm told that it's the way to pimp oneself out on the cheap, and I'm certainly cheap. You're more than welcome to be my internet friend there, as you already are here.

I don't plan on advertising this site on either the MySpace or in the paper. I like it as my private little corner of the internet, and am hoping that it will stay that way. This is my anonymous anonymous website, whereas I guess the other two are my common-knowledge anonymous websites.


So I've decided what to turn the blog into: a photographic blog of things that make me happy. The next writing project (details to follow in a day or two) will be much darker than even this one was, so I thought it would be nice to just change the direction of this completely. I can't write about anything job-related, but some of the pictures inevitably will be. I also don't plan on doing much in the way of writing here, so expect very minimal context. Hey, obscurity can be fun.

We might as well start out with the whole reason I even have a job in the first place. Though money in and of itself doesn't make me particularly happy, it's a very useful tool. And I like useful tools.

This is the way money looked when I was a kid. Now, when I see the odd old school bill, I get all nostalgic.