Archive for January, 2006

Polaris Dance

I should start by saying I don’t know anything about dancing. I equate seeing a dance production with going to a museum. I love to do both and I really don’t know a thing about either. Because I know so little about these arts all I can do is look at a piece and then experience the emotional response it gives me. Except in a museum if I don’t like the piece I can walk over to another painting.

Last night I saw “Scapes”, the latest dance production by Polaris, and the first half of their show had me wishing I could walk over to another piece. All I remember about the first half is too much business, too long and lots of beige. “Beside Me”, the middle part of the first half, was somewhat interesting though.

The second half of the show was fantastic! I thought it was really excellent work. They did some great stuff creating different layers with minimal set pieces and the dancing was stunning and beautiful. There was also some amazing work with these long red drapes tied to different dancers. Although, someone needs to oil one of the winches they used. (SQUEEEEEEK, SQUEEEEEEK, SQUEEEEEEK) The thing was so loud it drowned out the music. So, aside from a few technical things the second part of the show was wonderful and made the whole show worthwhile.

AND NOW A PET PEEVE

I have been to six different dance productions over the last year. At five of those shows someone just had to make a few announcements before the show. These few announcements have been anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. We need to thank so and so, this was inspired by blah-de blah or we need donations.

These are the kinds of things that should be in the program. If it didn’t make it into the program then print up a flyer to insert in the program. If that’s not possible then make your announcements at the end of the show or do it before we think things are starting.

The house lights dim the mood is set you’re excited the show is about to start and then some idiot starts talking. Nothing sucks the fun out of the beginning of a show quicker. So, please stop with the before show announcements.

A Warm Spring Night

I’ve been making many trips these past few weeks. I mean in the truck, the bus and by foot. Old Blue is indoors. I miss Old Blue. But, she needs rest. It’s hard to admit but she is getting a bit worn down. The frame is bent a bit, which is no surprise. She’s just an old girl, whose best times will be on slow, meandering rides through Portland on a warm sping night. We’ll load her up for shopping trips but I expect the new bike in the family will be on the road most of the time. She’ll call, though, and we’ll head out, taking our time for a trip to load her basket with bread, cheese and wine.

Warm sping nights. Oh, for a warm spring night in this soaked place on the Columbia and Willamette. I know the light is changing. I looked eagerly in the garden on our one sunny day this week. Judy giggled with glee at the sight of the healthy green shoots, poking through her rich compost, feeding the bulbs we planted. It’s all a bit melancholy, looking at the path, the apple tree sprouting buds, the beds where the flowers grow. Knowing it will all be just a memory soon, something you recall fondly, like a bike ride on a warm spring night.

More Commissioner Candidates

Jay Boss Rubin and Tres Shannon are running for the same spot as the guy I mentioned a week or so ago. Google around for pics of Jay Boss Rubin dancing at the Portland Challenge.

Both are fairly well-known Voodoo Doughnut workers: Tres is an (the?) owner of the shop, and judicious googling reveals that Jay runs the fryer at night. The report I read was unclear as to whether they’re running together for the spot or against each other. Either way would be slightly odd, methinks.

Oh, yeah, they’re both clean-money candidates. I like what this measure did for the candidate pool.

Your first PDX concert experience?

I’m taking my kid to his first concert tonight – we’re going to what was inexplicably billed as an all ages show at the Roseland to see rapper Tony Yayo (his idea, not at all mine…)

The saving grace here for me? It’s fairly inexpensive – plus I’ll be able to sneak upstairs from time to time for a beer. But friends are arguing that I really ought to be making his first concert-going experience a much more pleasant one – or at least at a place where he could sit down and/or might have a chance of seeing things.

I don’t know that I agree – when I think back on the best shows I’ve ever seen – in Portland and beyond – PDX venues stack up pretty nicely (excepting The Crystal Ballroom, topic of my inaugural rant here.) But who knows – I might be setting the kid up for a pretty disapponting time, now that I think about it. So to make me feel better and/or guiltier than I already do right now – tell me about your first PDX experience, and what made it so magical (or disappointing) for you, will you please…?

Trees


trees

Originally uploaded by dieselboi.

remember the days when we had sun and fun and warmer weather? well i do – it was TUESDAY! boy did everyone get out and walk the esplanade that day. as did i…

Ped/Bike Bridge over 99E


Ped/Bike Bridge over 99E

Originally uploaded by benkay.

We seem to have a new pedestrian and bike bridge going in over 99E. Many congratulations to the planners of this project. I have noticed not a whit more congestion during my drive from my school to my brother’s, and the designers seem to have taken the construction phase into account as well. Bloody thing’s not half-bad to look at.

Stop or You’ll Go Blind

If you don’t stop you’ll go blind. So, I guess the old adage is true, sort of. Apparently Viagra and Cialis are being blamed for causing blindness in some people. (sigh) Well, we’re usually in the dark when we do it anyway.
Read the story HERE.

Could Mario Lemieux being doing us a favor?

With his recent stepping down as a part-owner and CEO of the Pittsburgh Penguins, coupled with his recent retirement, Mario Lemieux may finally be removing the final stumbling blocks keeping Portland from having a hockey franchise.

Lemieux, who had long been working to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh, noted recently that he had no intention of the franchise moving from Pittsburgh on his watch, and despite efforts to prevent such a thing, there was a distinct possibility it could be happening.

Current outlooks hold a distinct possibility that the Penguins may be moving when their current lease expires in 2007, and a limited number of realistic options are being discussed. Portland joins a field that includes Las Vegas, Winnipeg, Quebec City, and Newfoundland.

Given the current lack of an NHL franchise in the Pacific Northwest, coupled with a strong hockey following (along with Portland, hockey is big in Yakima, Spokane, Seattle, and the Tri-Cities) and the more readily available winter audience (baseball might bust in P-Town, but none of us are running out to get rained on in the winter months), the NHL should be, and reportedly is, giving Portland a long look as they consider their next move. It helps that we have a current, well-made stadium ready-built that would accomodate, and a back-up rink at the Colliseum for those occasional conflicts with the Blazers.

Personally, I love the Winter Hawks. But the prospect of a pro franchise in town, with the right ownership and a commitment to community involvement, excites me as well.

What do you think?

Oil + Water – James Kunstler lecture tonight

Doomsayers unite. Tonight, as part of the 2006 Illahee Lecture SeriesРJames Kunstler kicks off the Oil + Water lecture series. James Kunster is the author of РThe Long Emergency – a book about the coming Peak Oil crisis and how it will affect our current way of life. Should be a great lecture. We will be seeing more about the Peak Oil crisis in 2006, trust me on that.

James Kunstler
First Congregational Church
1126 SW Park
7:30pm – tickets $20 per event.

RIP Chris Penn

dude, just last week i was watching footloose and dancing around the living room with mr. penn. according to the news, he was found dead and foul play has been ruled out. i enjoyed watching this actor and was looking forward to his newest movie – The Darwin Awards. condolences to the family.

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