Tag Archives: journal

Only In Portland #37

A guy riding a beautiful vintage two-tone Vespa. He has a courier bag around his shoulders covered with what look like boy scout merit badges.

The back of his scooter helmet has a bumper sticker that says “Ask me about anal fisting!”

What’s the News

What’s the news, I ask?
hoping for a different answer

than 1280 gun deaths
since Sandy Hook.

The Great Complainer

I am a great complainer
That bears the name of Christ;
Come, all you Zion mourners,
And listen to my cries;
I’ve many sore temptations
And sorrows to my soul;
I feel my faith declining,
And my affections cold.

I wish it was with me now
As in the days of old,
The glorious light of Jesus
Was flowing in my soul,
But now I am distressed,
And no relief can find,
A hard, deceitful heart
And a wretched, wand’ring mind.

It is great pride and passion
Beset me on my way,
So I am filled with folly
And so neglect to pray;
I am so weak I stumble,
And so I’m left behind,
While others run rejoicing
And seem to lose no time.

–The Complainer, traditional American shapenote hymn. ca 1835


An Hour After Sunset

I stepped out on the porch just now to see the light show in the evening sky. An hour after sunset, Venus is blazing away in the sky over Portland about 25 degrees above the western horizon. Higher and to the left is the stolid mass of Jupiter, somewhat dimmer but holding its own. I am told that even Jupiter’s moons are visible with a modest telescope tonight. Over the month Jupiter will descend in the sky, relative to Venus, as the fingernail moon rises from below. It as if the God of All Things Unknowable stepped out on his own celestial porch tonight, rang the evening gong, and lit these heavenly lamps to arrest our minds in wonder. How can one not be humbly grateful for such things?

Journal entry – 1/20/11

The morning paper has a story of a new show on cable called Portlandia that makes fun of my home town of Portland, Oregon. Apparently some are upset at the portrayal of a city full of terminal slackers who are tolerant to the point of obliviousness, who celebrate oddness for it’s own sake, who work three hours a week at food carts and play in bands with names like the Restless Futons.

On the same front page is a perfectly serious article about how the city is now going to allow “guide horses” on mass transit. (You can’t make this stuff up.)

If anyone wonders where the spawn of Annie Hall and Gilligan went to raise more nut burgers, look no further.