Pepper Blizzard

I had a spice crisis a couple of days ago and am just barely starting to feel comfortable in the kitchen again. Friday morning I was making myself a breakfast sandwich before work and needed a little black pepper for the coup de grace. I reached for a canister we had just bought from the store but it still had the plastic “tamper-proof” strip around the top. After attempting to pry that off with a knife, the whole thing exploded in a fine black powdery blizzard that settled softly over everything. The stove. The kitchen floor. The feta cheese I was about to add to my sandwich. And me. I looked like I had a raging case of black dandruff. So I cleaned everything up and, stubborn guy that I am, ate the sandwich anyway. Feta and all. An hour later my mouth was still burning, but by god I hadn’t had to throw the feta away, saving myself $1.98.mccormick-pepper

Classic case of it-could-only-happen-to-me.

And you know, the next day I did toss the feta in the trash after all, because that pepper was potent. Now I’m being careful with the caraway, gentle with the ginger, deliberate with the dill, mindful with the marjoram, and precise with the paprika. I have no desire to deal with another spice emergency quite so soon.

Then Friday night we met up with our friend Kara for drinks and dinner at a bar in Portland. This place has a great vibe, good food, very reasonable prices, and heavy-handed bartenders. Every time. I knew this going in, but my Bloody Marys were tasting really good so I kept ’em coming, forgetting the fact that I am considerably smaller than before. Suddenly it was four hours later and weird things were happening. Like, apparently I drunk-Facebooked a status update that was riddled with errors and then later deleted it out of embarrassment, but not before a bunch of people had seen it and commented. Oops. The next morning I awoke with a hangover, which is pretty significant because I famously never get hangovers. Tara felt bad for me, but also, she gloated a little. A couple of Excedrin took care of the headache, but I felt kind of “swimmy” for much of the day.

Fortunately, we were going to the beach, so that turned out to be rather apropos.

It wasn’t the best day to head to the Oregon coast for several reasons, the biggest being the thick layer of smoke and haze that drifted over Portland when the wind shifted direction and blew all the smoke from wildfires in Oregon and Washington our way. It was really bad all over, and our air quality rating dropped to “unhealthy” for the first time in forever. We were hoping Cannon Beach would be clear, but nope. The usual ocean breezes were not blowing this time around. On top of that, we ran into a 45-minute delay on the way over due to an accident. “This has never happened before!” I told my wife as we inched forward excruciatingly slowly. (Little did I know that coming home 10 hours later we would run into another costly delay because the whole freakin’ highway was closed due to a fire. Seriously, what are the odds? And also, is anything not burning out there?!).

But, there’s no such thing as a bad day at the beach. I call it ocean therapy. We took a long walk down the sand past Haystack Rock, caught up on some reading, people-watched, grabbed dinner at a seafood market in town, and caught the sunset. Great day. Take that, smoky air!

Smoky air over the Columbia River.

I really wish it would clear up, though. It’s weird to walk outside and have it smell like a campfire everywhere you go. The wind is supposed to shift back this evening and blow the smoke back east, away from us. Can’t wait. I swear, this has been the worst summer in ages. So hot and dry. And yet, there are signs of change in the air. Like this tree in our apartment complex.


Now that’s a sight for sore eyes!

Fresh Fish? Touché!

About six months ago, Tara told me her dad wanted to drive out to The Dalles for a little walleye fishing and asked if I’d be interested in going.

“Sure,” I said, thinking we’d bait a hook, toss a line in the water, sit back, and wait. All from the comfort of the shore, because that’s what fishing is. Right?

Turns out Randy takes fishing a tad more seriously than I do.

“Seriously” meant chartering a boat for 8 hours and plying miles and miles of the Columbia River in search of walleye, and then hopping into his boat the next day for a few more hours of the same. Which, to me, was a helluva lot of fishing. But we had a great time.

Friday evening after work, Tara and I drove out to Rufus. This small town (pop.: 210) in Oregon is about two hours east of us, and I’d never heard of it before. My first impression was…well, I’ll let Facebook do the talking.

Screenshot 2015-05-11 08.16.36

No offense to banjo players, of course.

Actually, Rufus wasn’t that bad. It had one restaurant/bar. We ended up eating there four times. And the motel bed was really comfortable.

We were there for the fishing, though. Saturday morning we met up with our guide, Touché – that’s a nickname, but he never divulged his real one, so that’s what we called him. And it fit. He’s this white haired guy of 75 who has been fishing the Columbia River for 30+ years, so he knows his way around. Real nice dude, too. Very affable. We were on the water by 7 AM, and immediately got down to the important business at hand.

Fishing the Columbia River.
Fishing the Columbia River.

Drinking Bloody Marys.

After that, we got down to the other important business at hand, which would be the fishing. It didn’t take long before we reeled in a couple. Tara hooked a bass and I caught the first walleye (not bad for a landlubber like me). We spent the next eight hours going up and down a good portion of the river while Touché regaled us with humorous stories. The weather was damn near perfect – sunny, not too warm, very little wind. And sadly, very little fish, I guess. We ended up with six total, which was a disappointment to the others. I, on the other hand, was like, “Hey! I caught a fish! I rock!!”

A fish. Oh, I amuse myself sometimes…

Our guide's boat was pretty slick!
Our guide’s boat was pretty slick!
The important business at hand.
The important business at hand.
This is the life!
This is the life!

We ate dinner and then crashed early, since we’d been up since 5 AM. Fishing wears you out, even if you’re just sitting on a boat for most of the day.

Sunday we ditched Touché and went out on Randy’s boat – it was me, Tara, him and Cynthia, his girlfriend. We didn’t catch a damn thing.

Well, that’s not exactly true…

Say cheese!
Say cheese!

Before we headed home, there was one more place to visit. Stonehenge. No, we didn’t hop on a plane and fly to England. There is a full-size replica of the ancient monument in Maryhill, Washington. And this one is better than that stupid one on the Salisbury Plain, because none of the stones have fallen over. Take that, Great Britain!

Think of it as Stonehenge West.
Think of it as Stonehenge West.


Stonehenge in the Columbia Gorge.

We were back home by 2 PM.

And if you’re wondering about the walleye? It was delicious, sauteed in a little olive oil and butter and lightly seasoned with garlic pepper and salt.


A Better, Wetter Life

November 19th marks the anniversary of a pretty big day in my life. Exactly 20 years ago today – right around this very moment, as a matter of fact – I became an official resident of the Pacific Northwest.

It felt like I had finally come home.

Growing up an Air Force “brat,” I never had a home. Just a series of houses I lived in temporarily, in cities thousands of miles apart. We never stayed in one place longer than three years. My dad’s final assignment before he retired was the Bay Area of California. I actually managed to stay put for eight years in San Jose, but quite frankly, hated it there. Too many people and too much (traffic/pollution/crime/sunshine/emphasis on the tech lifestyle). The only thing keeping me there was my (now ex-) wife, who was born and raised in the Silicon Valley and whose entire family lived there. She swore she would never leave, so I would sit in my bedroom gazing longingly at pictures of Oregon (seriously) and dreaming of a better, wetter life.

Images like this made me long for the Pacific Northwest.
Images like this made me long for the Pacific Northwest.

And then, opportunity came knocking. The company I worked for was expanding, and decided to open a sales office in the Pacific Northwest. It would be either Seattle or Portland. And if I wanted to relocate, they would pay for my move. Oh, and promote me, too. Even throw in a nice little salary increase. What a deal, huh? I was golden. Except for the wife-who-would-never-move. And then, because:

  1. The Universe has a sense of humor (not to mention impeccable timing), and
  2. Everything happens for a reason,

She picked that moment to decide our two-year-old marriage no longer appealed to her. Fine, I said. I’ll date the hot girl my friends want to set me up with. And then move north and have a kick-ass job in a part of the country I used to sit around in our bedroom daydreaming about. Bitch.

The new girl WAS hot, and her parents owned a sushi restaurant. Because of those things, I:

  1. Tried salmon roe sushi for the first time, and
  2. Agreed to accept the job offer and relocate to either Seattle or Portland to become the Customer Service Manager for our new sales office.

The salmon roe sushi left much to be desired, but the impending promotion (not to mention Hot New Girl) had me feeling on top of the world. Everything in my life was suddenly falling into place just right. But not so fast. Remember how I said the Universe has a sense of humor? Suddenly, the wife decided she did want to be a Mrs., after all, and would I pleaseprettyplease with a cherry on top take her back? She told me this, incidentally, while I was in Indianapolis for a big meeting at my company’s headquarters.salmon-roe-sushi

Because, not to mention impeccable timing. Remember?

By this point, I had already mentally prepared myself for an exciting new chapter in my life, and was pretty much over the whole marriage thing. I decided to throw out an ultimatum. I’d take her back, I said, if she agreed to two things:

  1. We would move to the Pacific Northwest, and
  2. We would have a baby, with an option for babies.

“OK,” she said. “And OK.”

That pair of OKs completely caught me off guard. Honestly, I was not expecting her to accept those terms. Plus, I had a big date planned with Hot New Girl as soon as I got back home. If I had found salmon roe sushi even mildly appealing, my life might have turned out very differently…

…but raw salmon eggs are disgusting. And also, a promise was a promise. Which is why, 5 months later, my wife was pregnant with our first baby and we were driving north to a new life in the Pacific Northwest. Destination: Portland.

We Are MovingThe preceding months had been filled with excitement. We spent a drizzly and cold 4th of July in Seattle, and were given a grand tour of Portland by the man who ended up being my new boss. We really weren’t familiar with either place; ironically, despite my longing to live in the PNW, I had only ever been north of the California border one time. I’m still not sure why it took on such a mythical aura. Once it was decided that Oregon would be the location for our new office, I made a solo trip back to PDX to find us a place to live. I picked out a nice apartment perched on a hill in Beaverton, a suburb of Portland. It had two bedrooms, a fireplace, and a stunning view of Mount Hood from the living room.

My first home in the Pacific Northwest.
My first home in the Pacific Northwest.

Friday morning – November 18, 1994 – we watched San Jose dwindle in our rearview mirrors as we drove north. Plural, because we each had our own cars to drive, making the 669-mile journey a quiet one since cell phones wouldn’t exist for years yet. We stopped briefly atop the summit of Mount Ashland just over the border, where my wife panicked momentarily because it was snowing and she had never driven in the white stuff before. I talked her down and we continued all the way to Springfield, about two hours south of Portland, where we spent the night. We had a rendezvous scheduled with the moving truck the following afternoon.

Oregon Sign

The following day – again, exactly twenty years ago – we set out mid-morning, driving through the Willamette Valley for our last leg of the trip. It was the type of day many consider “raw” – overcast, drizzly, the temperature hovering in the upper 30s. We arrived in Beaverton just in time for lunch, grabbing subs at a local sandwich shop before meeting the movers at our new apartment.

And that is how it all began.

15 months later, we bought a house just across the river in Vancouver, Washington. Different state but, imaginary lines on a map aside, it’s all really just Portland.


The wife decided once again that she didn’t much like being married – at least to me – but by then, it was a moot point. I was up here and got my babies. Obviously, I’ve never been happier. And Tara is not a fan of salmon roe sushi, either – so she’s a much better match for me.

It’s hard to believe I have lived nearly half my life here. This place is home in a way that nowhere else could ever come close to matching.

And I can’t imagine ever living anywhere else.

Appled Out

I learned yesterday that one of my coworkers is allergic to apples. Apples! Kind of an odd allergy. And, he lives in Washington state. That’s kind of like a Georgian being allergic to peaches. Or an Alaskan being allergic to snow. Or a Mississippian being allergic to Confederate flags or bibles or guns.

In other words, well nigh incomprehensible.

(I love using phrases like “well nigh.” They’re rare enough to sound exotic, and make me feel smart. The same holds true for words like dichotomy, fastidious, verisimilitude,  and non-sequitur).

Also, my apologies to Mississippians. I did not mean to ostracize you or point out your idiosyncrasiesimagesizer

I’m on a roll today.

This happens to be the same coworker to whom I ill-advisedly said, “I thought about you while getting dressed this morning” recently. It turns out words like those can be seriously misconstrued, especially when the coworker in question is a guy. In my defense – a phrase I seem to use an awful lot – I was merely referring to the fact that I had decided to wear a short-sleeved plaid dress shirt, which happens to be his go-to fashion statement, rather than my usual t-shirt. I had no idea others in the office would so quickly assume we had coordinated our matching outfits the night before. It’s not like we were both wearing jeans and hiking shoes, too!

OK. We were. But that was entirely coincidental.

Anyway, he’s allergic to apples. That’s got to be a real bummer. Because Tara, Audrey and I hit the “Fruit Loop” in Hood River a few weekends back and stocked up on apples. Not just any apples, but heirloom apples. Difficult to find varieties that are about a million times better than anything you can find in the grocery store.

No offense to any Galas or Fujis out there. Or Safeways, for that matter.


We were positively inundated in apples for weeks. If it’s true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, I should be healthy for the next seven years. We ate those apples plain. Enjoyed them with slices of cheese. Tara made an apple cake. She cooked a pork and apple roast. We washed everything down with apple cider that we also brought back from the Fruit Loop. I cannot imagine being allergic to apples, especially living in the apple epicenter of the world. Although, after three weeks of nonstop apples, I will admit to feeling a little appled out.

Which does not bode well for work tomorrow…


Grape Juice With a Kick

Tara and I met up with a friend to go wine tasting over the weekend. This was a new experience for us, and I gotta say, it made me feel like…


I like wine, but I’m hardly a connoisseur. Hell, it took me several tries just to spell the word connoisseur. And I’m a professional writer! The whole experience is rather intimidating if you’re a wine novice like me. The person pouring the wine is talking about “oakiness” and “tannins” and “a nice finish” and I’m thinking ooh, what a pretty shade of purple. 

And then there’s the tasting menu. How are you supposed to pluck out “notes of grapefruit and lavender with a butterscotch finish”? All I taste is grape juice with a kick.

I think I was thrown off by the town itself. When we made plans to go wine tasting, I was picturing stops like this…


Instead, we apparently wandered into that creepy town where the children of the corn resided.


That would be Carlton, Oregon. I’d never even heard of the place before Saturday. Is it any wonder? Apparently those who wander into town never leave. Was this my payback for flirting with a nun, I wondered?

Creepy signs aside, at least the wine tasting in Carlton was convenient. The main street looked like this: wine shop, wine shop, cafe, wine shop, wine shop, cafe, wine shop, jam shop, wine shop, wine shop. We got buzzed without walking more than half a block. And then after leaving town, we did stop at the nicer-looking winery pictured above. There, we got into a heated debate that did not involve pinot noir vs. syrah, but rather, Prince vs. Michael Jackson.

OK, maybe we were really buzzed at that point.

But I loudly contended that Prince was a far better music artist than the vastly overrated Gloved One. Our friend Chris, on the other hand, thought I had lost my marbles.

“Billie Jean!” she declared.
“Purple Rain!” I countered.
“Thriller. Zombies.”
“‘Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.'”
“Your guy changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol,” she said.
“Your guy dangled a baby over a ledge and bought the Elephant Man’s bones,” I responded.

We were both rallying the people tasting wine around us to our side. Chris got some random woman to agree with her, but then her husband sided with me. I think the whole thing ended in a draw, but c’mon…

…I’ll take Prince over Michael Jackson any day.

How ’bout you?


Carpet Diem

Portland has a reputation for weirdness. It’s something we embrace – and want you to, as well. We even advertise it on our buildings.

And if you think our unofficial city motto is just meant to be cute, well….


Let’s just say it’s legit.

Nowhere is this more obvious than at PDX, our international airport. People are in love with the carpet there. In fact, it’s become a downright obsession for many folks. I’m not kidding. The PDX carpet has its own cult following. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof.

When the carpet was installed in the late 80s, airport officials wanted to invoke the spirit of the Pacific Northwest in the color scheme (greens and blues), while paying homage to the intersecting north/south runway, as seen from the control tower. Here’s what they came up with:

PDX, airport carpet

Local travelers fell in love with this carpet. It became a symbol of home, and marked a direct contrast from other boring, utilitarian airports around the world. This being Portland “put a bird on it” Oregon, we decided to put a carpet on it, too. You can buy all kinds of merchandise with the PDX carpet now. Socks, t-shirts, hats, water bottles, coffee mugs…you name it. Tara and I were in Powell’s last weekend, and came across these groovy coasters.

PDX carpet, coasters

The PDX carpet is so beloved, it has its own Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as an Instagram hashtag. Look up #pdxcarpet and you’ll see lots of photos that look like this:


I love this city, but man, I’m beginning to think “weird” isn’t a strong enough word.  After all, we have a love affair with a rug. Top that, Austin.

And now, people are in mourning, because PDX has announced the beloved carpet is in need of replacement. They’ll begin tearing it up this year. But fear not, carpet lovers…they’ve come up with an updated, modern design that perfectly captures the aesthetic of the original PDX carpet while bringing it into the 21st century. This one adds additional runways, flight paths, the terminal, and even surrounding landscapes.


I like it.

And I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they are selling PDX carpet-themed socks reflecting the new design.

In the meantime, you can always settle for these.


I Want to Look More Portland

We went to a rock ‘n roll show Saturday night, and while standing in line, I realized I didn’t “fit in” with the rest of the crowd. In a sea of hipsters, I resembled a suburban dad. Granted, I am a suburban dad, but there’s no need to look the part out in public. Any survivalist will tell you the key to success is blending in with your environment.

With that in mind, I have decided I want to look more Portland.

(For the record, that would be Portland, Oregon – not the “other” Portland, in Maine. I imagine everybody there looks like they stepped out of an L.L. Bean catalogue and owns a different lobster bib for every day of the week).

Granted, I’ve made some positive strides over the years. “At least you’re wearing Kicks instead of white tennis shoes,” Tara pointed out. I may have the footwear figured out, but I’m way off base with the rest of the outfit. Take my black cargo shorts, for instance. Seriously: take them away when I’m going out to a concert! Everybody else was wearing jeans. I was sporting a Pink Floyd t-shirt, while the rest of the crowd looked like they were ready to ring in the new year (if the new year was 1994). One word: flannel.They wore beanies or hats while I displayed a $14 haircut from Great Clips. Oh, the shame.

My big mistake was dressing for comfort. It was a warmish evening, and I was too concerned with feeling cool when I should have realized my lack of sleeves and long pants would only serve to highlight the fact that my arms and legs were embarrassingly free of ink. They were smirking at my clean-shaven face through their whiskers, I just know it.

I have a better idea. Instead of writing about the essential items needed for that “Portland” look, I’ll present them visually.

Yes! This is perfect.  Look out, Portland!

eating lobster with a lobster bib alma new brunswick canada

Err…other Portland…

A Tale of Two Sunsets

Tara and I got back from a weekend trip to the Oregon coast yesterday afternoon. It was my anniversary gift to her, and it seemed fitting. After all, we were married at the coast.

We always make it a point to catch the sunset when we’re there. Friday evening, we arrived with about 90 minutes to spare. The view from our second-floor, corner unit condo was unbelievable. As the sun sank toward the horizon, we sipped wine and watched as no fewer than a half dozen whales swam slowly by offshore. Talk about magical.

Friday evening's sunset.
Friday evening’s sunset.

After the sun dipped below the horizon – we watched it literally wink out – there was a long, slow fade to darkness. We watched the sky very gradually turn from orange to pink to black, a process that took a good ninety minutes.

Saturday night’s sunset was equally spectacular, but also very different. It had been perfectly clear all day and unusually warm for Newport, 80 degrees or so. Just as the sun was nearing the horizon, wisps of clouds from an offshore fog bank began to drift in. They raced across the sky on a stiff breeze, trying to blot out the sun.

Saturday evening's sunset.
Saturday evening’s sunset.

They didn’t quite make it, but instead added beauty and drama to the experience. The evening before, we’d had that long, slow fade to dark. Saturday night, three minutes after the above photo was taken – no exaggeration here – the world had gone completely gray. This is the photo I took then:

The same view, three minutes later.
The same view, three minutes later.

It went from light to dark in minutes, the complete opposite of the previous evening. Not that it mattered; we were tucked inside the condo listening to music, drinking alcohol, and cooking an amazing dinner. Fresh dungeness crab, rice pilaf, and corn on the cob.

All in all, the weekend was perfect, even though our plans were thwarted. Tara had booked a charter fishing trip for Saturday morning, so we got up at 5 AM, drove north to Depoe Bay, and joined a crowd of would-be fishermen and fisherwomen waiting to head out onto the Pacific ocean in pursuit of rockfish, lingcod, sea bass and crab. Unfortunately, all fishing trips that day were cancelled due to unusually large and dangerous swells. Their website explained why:

The ocean weather was marginal in the forecast to begin with but in one hour the ocean swell went from 7.2 foot to 8.2 foot to 9.8 foot and now at 10.5 foot. That is a really quick rise in swell in a real hurry. The result is a total cancellation from the Tradewinds fleet this morning. No wind to speak of but really rough especially at the entrance to the harbor.

Oh, well. We ended up walking along the bay front in Newport, watching the sea lions up close before heading to breakfast and Bloody Marys. Then we grabbed some fresh crab from the South Beach Fish Market because we had really had our hearts set on that crab.

All in all, a great weekend. Here are a few more pics from our getaway.

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The Best Surprises Involve Sand Between the Toes


Saturday morning I woke up and Tara was standing by the side of the bed, yanking the covers off me.

“Get up,” she said. “We’re going to the beach.”

“No, we’re not,” I mumbled sleepily, confused by my wife’s declaration. She was going into the office to get some work done. We had no plans. “You’re going into the office to get some work done,” I reminded her. “We have no plans.”

“I lied. It’s Father’s Day weekend. Work can wait.”

Turns out, she had planned a surprise trip to Cannon Beach behind my back. Complete with a picnic lunch and new kites to fly. It was pretty awesome, I have to admit. We hadn’t been to Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast in two years. I’m not sure how that happened, but considering how much I love the place, that’s a crime. So an hour later I was showered and dressed and we were eating breakfast before heading west. Audrey was in on the secret, too. I’m impressed they pulled it off. As we drove over the Coast Range the clouds pressed down ominously, giving way to spates of rain and worrying me that our trip would be a washout. But the coast was dry and mild, and by the time we were walking across the sand at Cannon Beach, skies were blue and the sun was shining brightly. For about ninety minutes, anyway; just long enough to get a nice little sunburn going. We had a picnic lunch, flew kites, walked down to Haystack Rock and back, and just enjoyed the sights, sounds, and smells of the crashing surf. The ocean always takes away my stress and makes me happy. We stayed until a little after 5 PM, then made the journey back home, stopping into the Helvetia Tavern for burgers and a cold one (well, root beer for me) on the way. Got back around 8 PM, tired after a long but fun day on the go.

Sunday was considerably more relaxing. And also considerably wetter, so it’s a good thing we hit the beach on Saturday. Perhaps because it was Father’s Day, I found myself immersed in old home movies from when the kids were little. I used to tote around a camcorder like a modern day Scorsese, filming nearly every moment of Rusty’s and Audrey’s childhoods. The impromptu viewing triggered a bit of nostalgia, as I watched memories from a completely different life reveal themselves in brightly colored pixels before my eyes. Tara observed that I led a very “yuppie life” back then, and – between the house in the suburbs, the two children, the birthday parties and Easter egg hunts and ballet rehearsals and karate lessons, the freshly mowed lawn, the 4th of July fireworks, and the mountain of gaily wrapped gifts beneath the tree on Christmas morning – I can’t really argue with that. The only thing missing was the white picket fence, and that’s only because our HOA would have fined us for disrupting the neighborhood aesthetic if we’d dared to put one up. It just amazes me how incredibly different my life was a dozen short years ago. That’s a blink of an eye, really. And yet it feels like it was the Ice Age. One obvious takeaway from the home movies: I loved having little kids. I was in my element then, in a way that my ex never was…and that is also obvious from the videos. She often told me, as things were unraveling, that she only had kids because I wanted kids. I never really believed her then, but I think I do now. After all, the camera never lies.

Having teenagers is just so completely different. Especially when one doesn’t even live with you, and hardly ever comes around. I miss those days more than I ever imagined I would. At the same time, I’m thankful I got to experience them.

Here are a few pics from the weekend. Click on any to enlarge.


Keep Portland Weird

Portland’s unofficial motto is “Keep Portland Weird,” and that’s a reputation the city proudly strives to live up to. Between the chicory-pilfering sous chefs and the battle between the machete-wielding stepdad and the kid who defended himself with a garden rake, there’s plenty of weird to go around. But even I was unprepared for this particular sight a few days ago.

RIP Bigfoot

We were driving through one of Portland’s nicer neighborhoods last Saturday on our way to lunch. This area of tree-lined streets and beautiful big houses is called Ladd’s Addition, and is just south of Hawthorne Boulevard, a favorite hangout. I would love to live there. I would also need to have quite a bit of money to live there, so for now it’s a distant dream. Anyway, when we came upon the above sight, we all did double takes. And then parked the car to take pictures.

Now, I’m sure there’s not really a body beneath that dirt piled next to the curb in front of somebody’s house. The owners probably had topsoil delivered for a gardening project, and thought it would be funny to stick a couple of crosses in the dirt.

I’m about 85% sure, anyway. If this were any other city, I’d be positive. But it’s Portland, so you never really know.

This got me thinking about all the weird sights I have seen around town. Fortunately, I have photographic evidence of many of them. So, without further ado, enjoy!

Is your city weird, too? Do you have photographic evidence? And what do you think of the first photo: topsoil for the garden, or a homeowner taking revenge on the guy who always steals his parking spot?

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