Category Archives: October 2012

October 12, 2012: So, about that pina colada…

Okay, so I’ve been to Trader Vic’s a number of times since they reopened here in Portland. Never once have I had a pina colada there. You want to know why? Because their thing is mai tais. MAI TAIS. A whole menu of mai tais. The sad, lonely pina colada isn’t on any of the three drink menus.

This is incredibly disturbing, especially in a town like Portland, a town inhabited by any number of blutbads and other creatures who might be in the market for a cocktail at a downtown tiki bar.

I wonder what Warren Zevon would say.

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain
He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook’s
Gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein

Werewolves of London!
Aaoooooo! (Repeat)

If you hear him howling around your kitchen door
Better not let him in
Little old lady got mutilated late last night
Werewolves of London again

Werewolves of London!
Aaoooooo! (Repeat)

He’s the hairy-handed gent who ran amuck in Kent
Lately he’s been overheard in Mayfair
Better stay away from him
He’ll rip your lungs out, Jim
I’d like to meet his tailor

Werewolves of London!
Aaoooooo! (Repeat)

Well, I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen
Doing the Werewolves of London
I saw Lon Chaney, Jr. walking with the Queen
Doing the Werewolves of London
I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s
And his hair was perfect

Werewolves of London!
Aaoooooo! (Repeat)
Draw blood…

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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in October 2012


October 11, 2012: The return of the grey

The fog has returned. Two days in a row here, holding strong through a significant part of yesterday.

I’m well aware that fog has been known to appear at any time of year, but it seems to take on a special significance in October.

Because October is creepy. If October were a place, it would be a safe harbor for all things sinister and monstrous. It holds mystery and terror and is a breeding ground for all those things that make the hair at the back of your neck stand on end.

And all those things are perfectly happy to be shrouded in a thick grey cloak of fog.

I’m looking forward to heading out this morning into the fog. Perhaps I’ll meet a nice werewolf and we’ll go get a pina colada at Trader Vic’s.

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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in October 2012


October 10, 2012: Words

For years, I’ve counted October 10th as my anniversary as a writer. It’s silly and sentimental but, if you’re reading this, you know these two things are cornerstones of my personality.

I have a hard time writing in the summer. There always seems to be so much going on. Admittedly, I did more writing than I expected to this summer, but it ended up being in a field I never expected to be writing about.

But here we are in October and I’m slowly shifting over to my usual October creepiness.


In the distance, the last chime of the church’s bell slowly falls to silence.

Silence. Silence and darkness.

What lurks there?

Your pace quickens with your pulse. Your eyes dilate, but never enough that you see what might be just beyond the circle of light cast by the streetlight.

And believe me, there is something there. There’s always something there.

You pause there, in that circle of light. Do you dare set foot beyond it?

Happy October, kids.

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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in October 2012


October 9, 2012: Oh what tangled webs we weave

Another short post today as I’m still recovering from my Seattle adventure. Apologies.

Everywhere I look, spiders.

This is how I know October has arrived. They are everywhere.

Spiders have become a symbol of October and, more specifically, Halloween. Spiders themselves tend to give me the creeps, but their webs are fascinating. I hope someday to be half as good a knitter as spiders are weavers.

Well, that was an awkward sentence. Hrmph.

So, go look for some spiders. Don’t squish them. They eat the other crawlies.

Happy October.

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Posted by on October 8, 2012 in October 2012


October 7, 2012: A gathering of friends

I know. I’m late. Apologies.

I’m a bit distracted by the most basic of October Thoughts today, as I have been over the last few days.

Today, I’m going to spend some time with my friends.

Like I’ve said before, I still tend to live my life by the school calendar. A summer free-for-all where we all scatter to the four winds, a September when we try to settle down and try to get ourselves back into a normal routine and then October.

October is for the gathering of the tribe, the time to come together to celebrate the harvest and renew relationships with those we may not have seen much over the summer.

Today is a little different for me. Today, I’ll be a part of a gathering of 1,500 members of the Timbers Army traveling 180 miles to the north to face our most hated rivals. A great deal of pride and passion and love will be shown today.

Every year at this time, I find myself a part of some gathering, be it a wedding, a memorial, a homecoming or this insane, rolling tailgate-convoy, that makes me thankful for those around me. Without each and every one of you, I’m not sure who I would be.

Thank you.

Happy October.


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Posted by on October 7, 2012 in October 2012


October 6, 2012: The wind returns

Without fail, at the same time every year, the winds return to Portland.

They sweep in from the east, gathering speed and strength as they funnel through the Columbia River Gorge, following the same channel cleared by the Missoula Floods so many thousands of years ago. I could give you the long, drawn-out meteorological explanation of how wind forms and what it means in relation to the changing seasons, but there’s nothing October-y or poetic about that.

It’s now safe to get your sweaters out, people. Fall is really here.

This one’s a short post as the next few October Thoughts will be. You see, there’s this soccer game happening on Sunday and I’m a bit preoccupied.

I did, however, find this Tolkien reference to the East Wind:

“That is as it should be,” said Aragorn. “In Minas Tirith they endure the East Wind, but they do not ask it for tidings. …”

So, if you’re playing October Thoughts Bingo, you can mark off Aragorn, Missoula Floods and soccer from your card.

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Posted by on October 6, 2012 in October 2012


October 5, 2012: Try this at your own risk.

Okay, if you’ve known me for a while and you’ve been following along on my adventures through past Octobers, you know my distaste for popcorn balls.

I mean, really. Popcorn balls? What the hell. Who’s brilliant idea was this?

Someone with some leftover popcorn, no doubt. Or maybe a dentist looking for new clients.

There are no good commercially-made popcorn balls in the entire world. I think this is common knowledge.

But I saw a recipe for something I think might actually be made into a decent homemade popcorn ball with some slight adjustments.

Today, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Candy Corn Caramel Popcorn.

1 cup candy corn
3 tsp butter
5 tbsp heavy cream

Melt over low/medium heat.
Pop popcorn, remove extra kernels. No, I don’t know how much. I stole the recipe off someone’s Facebook page and he was using microwave popcorn. Don’t do that. Use real popcorn. Just guess at how much.
Pour melty stuff over popcorn evenly.
Add nuts (might I suggest pecans?) and shake like crazy to mix.
Spread popcorn over a silpat on a baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 3 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes.

I’m sure you could probably form it into balls if that’s your thing, but I’m sure it would be just fine in whatever state it’s in when it leaves the oven.

Again, try this at your own risk. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will sometime soon. I’ll let you know if I find any adjustments that need to be made.

Shockingly, there is no Wikipedia page for popcorn balls. I don’t understand this. I did, however, find the following tidbit on the Wiki popcorn page:

The world’s largest popcorn ball was unveiled in October 2006 in Lake Forest, Illinois. It weighed 3,415 pounds (1,549 kg), measured 8 feet (2.4 m) in diameter, and had a circumference of 24.6 ft (7.5 m).

So, there you go. I do not know if that puppy is still there but, if you’re in the neighborhood, you should try to find out.

Oh, lord, there are pictures. I have to find something more productive to do with my time.

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Posted by on October 5, 2012 in October 2012


October 4, 2012: Wayne says I should write about beer

I have a cold. It’s clouding my judgement and making it difficult to put words into a meaningful order. I’m terrible when I’m sick. Really, really terrible. Someone, please make me some soup.

So, I put it out to the world of Facebook to offer suggestions as to what I might write about for today. Lots of great answers. I’m sure I’ll get to all of them by the end of the month, but we’ll take Wayne’s suggestion first.

Beer. Wayne says I should write about beer.

And he’s absolutely right.

While I’ve missed every single Oktoberfest in the Portland metro area this year, I did manage to rally enough to make it to the Jubelale release at Deschutes on Tuesday. Winter is coming and with it come the dark, spicy, malty beers of the cold season. Pyramid’s SnowCap and Humbug’r, McMenamins’ Kris Kringle, Ninkasi’s Sleigh’r, Alameda’s Papa Noel. The list is, thankfully, endless.

But, while we wait for more and more of our favorite winter beers to appear at taps everywhere, we’re flush with fresh hops and the lovely things our brewers are doing with them. Fresh hops? you say. Yes. Fresh hops.

We even have a fest for it. Of course we do.

Oregon hops account for just under 20% of the hops production in the United States, roughly 5% of the world’s production. If is to be believed, another 75% of US hops come from Washington. Is it any wonder we love our beer here?

The first known instance of hops cultivation dates to the mid-700s in Germany. Leave it to the Germans. Hops have long been considered medicinal and the scent is said to have a calming effect. Have a touch of insomnia? Slip some hops cones into your pillowcase and sleep like a baby.

More medicinal uses for hops? Click here.

So, there you go, Wayne. A few words about beer, hops and insomnia.

Happy October.

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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in October 2012


October 3, 2012: The changing colors of autumn

There’s something special about the light of October.

The light of summer is bright and clear but October’s light is tinged with amber. With every passing day, the light grows deeper, richer. More…lifelike.

It is, I think, an echo of the changing color of the world around us. The green of summer foliage gives way to orange and gold and deep, dark red.

The tree in the neighbor’s yard, the one I look to as the bellwether for the changing of the seasons, is still mostly green, though a lesser green than it was just a week or two ago. By this time next week, it will be perhaps half red and the week after that? It will be afire with orange and yellow. When we leave October, it will be bare branches and a memory of the color it once wore.

Take a minute today to look around you. Enjoy the green that remains, but relish those other changing colors. They’re here but for a short time. Make sure you don’t miss them.

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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in October 2012


October 2, 2012: May it please the Court.

So, Tuesday dawns and those of you who are fiendish collectors of October lore already know that I’m off my game.

Yesterday, obviously, was Monday.

The first Monday in October.

Yup. I totally missed the opening of the Supreme Court.

As penance, I’ve just spent far too much time reading the synopses of many of the cases the Court will see this fall, among them a bunch of search and seizure stuff, international child custody issues, some Medicare reimbursement, and a whole bunch of environmental law. Oh! And my personal favorite, intellectual property. This is some exciting stuff, people, truly exciting stuff.

Okay, I get that not everyone experiences the same fascination with the court system that I have cultivated over the years so I’ll offer this:

The American Bar Association’s list of the “25 Greatest Legal Movies.”

Shockingly, Robert Redford’s Legal Eagles did not make the cut.


Posted by on October 2, 2012 in October 2012, Uncategorized