El dia de los muertos

There's been a lot of death in my family this last year. I know it's part of growing older but it doesn't make it any better. There are millions of cliches about learning and moving on. But I like a quote from Aldous Huxley. It struck a chord with me the first time I read Brave New World. It's tucked in the introduction and Huxley speaks to learning from mistakes, making amends, and changing future behavior based on that. He ends by saying, "Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean."
It was my grandmother last Fall, my Aunt this Spring, and on July 15 my dad died. He and I hadn't been on good terms for many years. My take on it was that he was an asshole and unrepentant about it and that made it impossible for us to have any kind of functioning relationship. We had much back and forth on the subject until it was obvious he wasn't willing to change his ways and I told him that we wouldn't have a relationship until something changed. Looking back now I can't even recall when that exactly was - probably 6 years ago now. And the only words exchanged in that time were some slight pleasantries
at my grandmother's funeral. In many ways I had already said my goodbyes to him.
I expected there to be sadness but there hasn't been much. The whole scenario felt like, what I would imagine it's like, having a distant relative pass away.
The memorial service was a celebration for the good guy my dad apparently was at one point. My uncle Mark was able to deliver the eulogy (eugoogley?) and I think that greatly helped his healing process. I know it's hard on my grandpa but he would never let any of us know it.
My dad's old fraternity brothers and old friends turned up in great numbers to pay respects. And it was nice to talk to these people, many of whom I remember from childhood, and catch up on life. But they also contributed to the part about it all that was saddest to me. Many of them recalled a guy that was always in good spirits, willing to help friends, the life of the party. And I never knew that guy. Maybe he was around when I was too young to remember. But the great guy, the person who most people came to memorialize, was never a part of my life. That's the saddest thing to me because I think I may have liked that guy.
Enough with the ranting... on to some photos.

Of course Diesel is chilling.

Wing shot with the Columbia and freighters.


Going to Denver for the memorial service meant hanging out with these great people - Steph, Jerry, and Amanda.
We played an intense game of Sorry! and followed it up with some battle of the sexes questions that ranged from obscure to borderline retarded. No matter though because any time with this crew is good. Especially when Jerry makes the pillow his hat.

Amanda lives in "LoDo" and has this view of the baseball stadium. This has started an obsession with the Rockies.

This is Higgins. He belongs to Jerry and Steph.

Just random.

Junk warehouse.

Double decker bus carcasses.

The 1968 SAE fraternity photo that includes my dad and many that came to the service.

It was fun matching these faces to the photo above.

I was in Denver for less than 48 hours. So back to the plane.

I love getting this view of Mt. Hood when returning home.

And what better way to spend Sunday than rocking out with Chromeo?

It's off to Montreal for work for a few days this week, returning to Portland, and then steering the car back North to Canada with Amy and Diesel for the summer trip to the Okanagan.


Lincoln City/Exploring

A lot of little things going on this last week, it felt like. My office was getting shuffled around last week so I had to work from home. Real bummer there. Friday rolled around and it was off to Lincoln City for my friend Josh's bachelor party. It was fun hanging with the old friends from high school and a couple new friends. One night out there felt like Cougar City instead of Lincoln City. The guys wanted to golf so I hit the skatepark and the best veggie restaurant that shares its space with an adult themed store. It's called Aunt Mary's Toaster Bistro. The Hamms are only $1.50 and one year the Oregon Trifecta had the afterparty there. Aunt Mary filled me in on good Karaoke spot which hit up later that night and took it over. It happened to be their annual Hooker's Ball so that worked out well too.
This week back in Portland I've been out shooting photos with Pat and we've been doing a bit of exploring. Good stuff.

Home Computer vs. Work Computer

We're filming for Caught Clean 2 at the dudebarn.

What does this mean for the ramp???

It means someone is getting a new hammer.

Keg in the back for the ride. Good idea.

Cougar City.

Better practice that form.

Old park.

New Park. Holy shit the snake run has some speed! I bailed the first time down because going that fast is frightening. Then I only went half way up the 13 foot wall at the end. Rad but scary.

Beach. It looks nice but the wind was out of control.

The wind was strong enough to hold a frisbee on Andrew's face.

On my first Karaoke song I announced that it was Josh's bachelor party. That prompted this scene.

This girl was making wagers on who could keep these on the longest. Brian jumped in without hesitation.

I wasn't lying about the Hooker's Ball.

Party crew.

Too bad this pipe is being used as storage. Or those are skatestoppers. On the outside it looks like a keg.

But there are plenty of other setups nearby.

Executing some rad. The good shot will see the light of day elsewhere.


The Perfect Pet

This book has been tucked away in a box for many years. It was written by me in the second grade. Hand illustrations by me and print outs from what I can only vaguely remember as awesome computers. Probably the same computers we all played Oregon Trail on. Behold in all it's glory.... The Perfect Pet.

The Perfect Pet, by George Cutright.
April 15, 1988.
Lewis Ames Elementary.

One day I got my allowance. I went to the pet store. I bought a stingray.

I brought it home and it tried to eat my big, fat fish named Popeye. Then he nipped at my Danny-os. Then he tried to gobble up my sucker fish! All of a sudden I noticed he was hungry!

Then my mom gave me some money to buy some stingray food. When I got there the store was twice its size! (apparently at 8 I drew my self with a spikey mullet and green moon boot/high tops.)

When I got in the people were trying to get a gigantic shark into a small fish tank. There was a lot of noise!

I got the food and went home.

About the author:
George is 8 years old and has 1 sister. He is in Mrs. Morandi's second grade class where his favorite subject is art. George has 2 dogs, 2 birds, 9 fish, and a rabbit. He would like to join the army when he grows up. (yeah right!)

Sweet comments.

Conor, this one is all yours!


Rain in Arizona? I thought it was the desert.

I had to make a trip to AZ for some fatherly duties. It was good to see the family. It had been just over 6 months since I saw Mom and Hilary in Colorado. Arizona in the summer time is not high on my places to visit because of the ungodly heat. But it ended up raining most of the time I was there so I felt like I had never left Oregon. It's always good to spend some time with Mackenzie.

Early last week I took a bike ride downtown. The Fremont Bridge as seen from the Broadway Bridge.

Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier.

The mighty Columbia River.

And of course Mt. Hood.

Mackenzie and I did some rainy day bowling. Cougar ball.

Everything about Mackenzie's approach said left handed except she was bowling right handed. After some convincing from me she gave it a go lefty. Turns out she's pretty good as a lefty. If that arm was stronger she would be killing it.

Legit bowling shop.

Mom, Mackenzie, and Hilary.

So much Freedom in AZ that they have Freedom Station, a place where you can celebrate Freedom all day by playing video games and mini golf.

Mackenzie celebrated Freedom by climbing this wall and ringing the buzzer.

Then we had a joint killing-it-at-skeeball/Freedom session.

My mom has always loved animals and every time I go to visit there is a new animal living at the house. This is Guiness.

This is Hilary's cat Hershey. She is all chocolate brown and meows almost non-stop.

This is Pigeon.

This is Cooper that Mackenzie is holding. He has a crooked beak and can imitate my mom, the microwave, other birds, squeaky dog toys, etc.

And finally Joey.

Mackenzie was petting my face.

And it wouldn't be the Southwest without some crappy Kokopellis.

The clouds were quite amazing leaving AZ but we had to fly around them which made my flight late.

Got back into town and these 2 show up shortly after making their high powered Brass Monkey with Sparks. Times are going to be crazy when Josh and Doug live together.

Amy and Renee. Renee and Jen came down from Vancouver to visit. And somehow I didn't get a photo of Jen.

We tried to sing some Karaoke at the Alibi but they were no longer taking songs. So next best option is George's tavern for some trivia. Dorothy Leigh with her almost routered off fingers was visiting from SF.

Bike pile. Josh wrecked twice on the way TO the bar. I wonder how his ride home was?

Diesel enjoying the company of Hector.

Back to this thing. Pat's got something good for it but a fat security guy in a golf cart gave us the boot.

Good thing this fun little bank is nearby.

While home I went through a box of my childhood papers my mom holds on to. I brought back a couple gems and will make a whole post dedicated to them. Stay tuned later this week.