Tuesday, March 22, 2005


I love Portland, but...

Portland, Oregon is a great city and I'm glad I live here, but who wants to hear about that? Screw that, there's a lot of stuff that drives me bananas or just defies explanation, and that's what I want to write about.

-Drivers in this town don't seem to understand that the solid double yellow lines painted on the streets mean you are not supposed to drive over them, whether for passing or turning. The neighborhood surface streets of Portland are narrow and often congested, and more often than not, traffic is backed up several car lengths and into an intersection because some shithead is waiting to make a left turn into the Walgreen's parking lot over the double yellow lines. C'mon people! Learn the rules! If the line is dashed or there is a break in the solid double yellow, you can pass over or turn. If it's a solid double yellow line, keep driving.

-You ever noticed that when you walk into a hospital or doctor's office, there's that little sign that says something like "Please turn cellular phones off when on the premises"? You know what that really means? It means "Turn your fucking phones off and don't turn them back on until you leave, assholes." Cellular phones can cause disruption of the operation of some types of sensitive medical diagnostic equipment. Do you want to have to do YOUR catscan twice because some general contractor in the waiting area is yammering away on his Nokia? Not to mention it is annoying in general. I'm sitting there tired, sick, and afraid of what the doc is going to stick inside of me, and some white trash gansta teenager is calling his friends to find out such vital information as where day at, and hoozall dere.

-I've noticed more woman in Portland with missing arms than any other city I've been in. And I'm just not talking about the occasional heroin junkie. I'm talking of an assortment of professional women and college aged girls. My pal Jeff thinks there must be some vast underground secret wheat harvesting industry that all women are forced to work at at some point in their lives. Hence the threshers claim an arm every so often. I think it's the blackmarket female arm dinner club at work.

-This town has a basic socioeconomic problem: Too many hipsters, not enough cool jobs FOR hipsters. There is only a small amount of design jobs and club DJ positions open for hipsters to occupy. The net result is you get a lot of piss poor service from hipsters working the less desirable jobs. On far too many occasions, I've been in the videostore, coffeeshop, or record store and gotten the "I'm way too cool to give you good service" attitude from the horn-rimmed glasses wearing college radio kid behind the counter. I certainly appreciate the people who do those jobs and do them well, but when I walk up to the counter to place my coffee order, and you're the cashier, say hello or SOMETHING. Don't just stand there and stare at me, waiting for me to speak first. That's YOUR job, not mine. I will stand there as long as it takes until the counterperson says something. I'm a freelancer, I have all day.

Some stores are worse at this than others--there's a certain video store in particular that I'm thinking of where everybody behind the counter knows in their heart that they are the next Tarantino.

So they share all of their hard-won movie knowledge with us, instead of just going to get my damn rental.

I'm also a little weirded out that almost every single place we went to today was closed. This is Portland--we're supposed to all be heathens who go to strip clubs more than churches, right?

(Don't even get me started on the liquor store situation...)

On the other hand, at least people try and give you directions when you ask!
Yeah, The video store near my house, which I will descretly call MOVIE MADNESS has a great selection of movies and I like giving thme my business. But man, do I loathe the hipper-than-thou attitude of soem of it's employees. I remember being in there and one of the clerks was talking to another clerk about how much he hated Star Wars Attack of the Clones in a volume intended for everyone else standiing near the counter. Especialyl annoying was that it isn't exactly hard to bash SWAOTC, and he wasn't really being particularly insightful.

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