please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Memories of Doug

Earlier this summer, there was a hullabaloo. I could hear live and recorded music, plus what sounded like an emcee. It sounded like a bunch of people had decided to have an impromptu gathering in the parking lot, two blocks adjacent. General crowd noise, etc.
Later, I ran into Posey up at the Hole. She said that she'd just been down to the Doug, and for some reason, Dennis Rodman was there, promoting his new line of cologne (or clothes, I forget which). Aside from how absurd this was anyway (does he really think people still care?), she and her friend were standing in line, trying to get into the bar they wanted to get into, and a security guy asks friend if she'd like to dance on stage.
A stripper anyway, friend says that sure, she'd love to, but only if her friends get into this pointless event for free. After much disappointed sighing, the security staff decided that this was meet and good.
This is the insanity that is the Doug Fir. The Doug (and the adjacent motel, the Jupiter) opened with high hopes, feeling that Portland really needed some sort of rock star housing, ala Seattle's OK Hotel. Then they spent lots of money refinishing what had been a cockroach motel, with attendant bad Chinese restaurant.
What they came up with was a really beautifully appointed space, but one that all of us around here felt was just trying too hard, a major crime in the hip world. The bar is made of large timbers, an illuminated floor, lots of mirrors for checking one's fine self out in...In short, the kind of '60's-70's bar I dream of, though built in the 'Aughts.
Like a lot of things that feel they are doing well in P-Funk, it was nowhere near as cool as it thought it was. It was destined to bring in the bridge and tunnel, suburban, from Washington or Washington County crowd. Intel employees trying to get a bit of stink on them. Draggin' their bellies. As far as I can tell, this is the case.
I looked around one late Saturday night. Me, Bobby Massage and his boy were walking in there at bar close. After getting stamped, and having it suggested that we needed to pay, we just realized that it was close enough that we were never going to see a damn drink outta the joint, so we took a step back.
All around us, the human commerce: the courtyards of the Jupiter filled with wanna-be's drunkenly encouraging each other to come back to their rooms, a buncha confused-looking suburbanites standing around with uncomfortable smiles on their faces, and actual black people; an anomaly in this fairly segregated city. "High ballers and shot callers," observes the boy.
I observed that I figured that this monstrosity would lead to more rape, random violence and automobile-on-bike accidents. So far, it hasn't, as far as I know.
In April of this year, when I was sort of living the hip dissolute life and following around Keisheimer , she got herself a room at the Jupiter, for free. How did she achieve this, I wondered?
"I'm a media whore, remember?", she immediately responded.
True. The weekly she works for largely distinguishes itself by lavishing praise on the mediocre endeavors of their friends, and people who give them free things. So when she ditched her deadbeat boyfriend, she all of a sudden had herself a free hotel room, about five blocks from my place, as the crow flies.
Nights came and went, us laying there in the Euro-spare room, cool beds, cable, but still just a fucking motel room no matter how you slice it. I discovered that the two joints, the Doug and the Jupiter, considered themselves seperate enough entities that room service wasn't happening, so I'd march over there to pay too much money for their mediocre food. This is what Portland always does, I'd think. It wants to think that we'll forgive its half-assedness in light of how charming it is, and then it fails to charm.
The same is true of the staff there, which is studiedly unfriendly. They do this, I think, because a certain type of consumer wants some sass with their sauce, and won't truly feel cool unless they are insulted. This is ridiculous, and entirely at odds with my own theory of customer service which holds that people would like to feel comfortable. For this reason too, I can't support the place.
It should be noted that she and I came to an end on an evening in which I was too tired to have sex. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what that was. I'd come on strong and dirty at the beginning, and then had mellowed out into my basically calm self in the weeks following. No loss: she's a danger to herself and all who cross her path.
Later, when I was seeing Geech, we went there to see the Mountain Goats perform. The bar was full, she was at her claustrophobic worst, and John Darnielle sang the line that got everyone cheering, as we all felt it, however much or little we truly did:
"I'm gonna get through this year if it kills me!"
I looked around the bar, saw few faces I recognized; strange in this little city where everybody knows everybody. I was on my way to becoming one of those old hipsters who bore everyone around them with tales of how wonderful it used to be.
On the night I met Keisheimer, she and I were sitting backstage at the Show. She was relating to me that she'd been interviewed by a writer for a travel magazine who noted that the neighborhood I live in is the new, hip, up 'n coming one, and what did we call it?
See, Portland is largely a collection of clearly indentifiable neighborhoods, each with its own flavor and name. This is the Buckman Neighborhood, or the Central Eastside Industrial District. But all that shit around the Doug?
"Lower Burnside?" I attempted. "The Low Burn? Lo-Bu? The Neighborhood I Live In?"
Now they're probably gonna put in a Home Depot over there, and all the local flavor that makes this city truly unique, and causes people to want to move here will go away. It's painful and boring, progress. Expensive, too.



Blogger rich bachelor said...

As to Keisheimer, there's a lot of dirty, dirty stories I could tell about that girl, but won't, as this is a family-style blog, fuckin' a fuck.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Sam Freedom said...

That's ok, my friend. Be free. For this to be a family blog, you would need visitors first. So share your darker nature with impunity.


7:20 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Everybody? This is Sam, and he spammed my brother's blog yesterday. He actually, unlike most of them, had a comment feature on his pyramid scheme site, so I told him to leave the rest of us alone and ditch the gay porn pic.
Sam, Everybody.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Jacq said...

UGH, ha ha ha, yea Beavis. What HE said.

6:48 AM  

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