So, this post has been produced on special request that I share some stories from a trip to Europe that I took a few years back. Making a short story very, very long is something I tend to do, so whatever.
2009, if I remember correctly, my homey Leaf and I hatched the grandest plan of all time to venture to Europe and suck its dick, but in actuality, this “grand” plan was rather “dodgy” and unstable, but fuck it… we already had the tickets.
We flew to Gatwick. Custom’s officer took one look at us and after we told him our plan he was all like, “You twats think you just show up in a foreign country with no planned itinerary, looking like yourselves, and no person to contact in this country to validate your plan… and we’re supposed to say, Yeah mate, have a go. Best of luck.” He’s not impressed by my natural charm and it takes a few phone calls before we get a hold of Leaf’s family that can vouch for us. And we were in.
Train ride, Underground, overland train again, meet family, post up, blah, blah, blah… we get a hold of these shitheads that Leaf met in P-town out drinking one night at The Florida Room in Portland. He drags these British kids, out on a US tour, back to his place and feeds em mushrooms, smokes em out tough, posts em up royal style and they end up staying a couple days. The promise of their reciprocation was about to pay off as we rolled into North London on the train.
Lemme say that I like to go hard when I’m out partying, but these kids are ‘puttin on clinics’ when it comes to kickin shit up and fucking raging. Everyone, no matter what age in London, parties like their 25 years old. Seriously. Blow is called ‘Gear’ and you can’t do it off the top of the tank in the pub’s bathroom cuz the flusher button is in the way… so you gotta do it off the lid. It’s fuckin nasty. Oh, and also, you do it with a ‘note’ rather than a ‘bill’… and from my short time in London, I will say fo sho that The Queen has had an unimaginable amount of gear tooted across her face! Closed the pub with these fools and follow them back to their place where we can crash and not soon enough cuz I was so fucked up I was ready to pee someone else’s pants, when they say “Aw man, we can’t wait to go out tomorrow night when it’s Friday and we don’t have to work the next day! We’re gonna get our faces fucked.” I couldn’t believe it, I was fucking shwasted and these kids just put in a work nights worth of raging. No big deal.
I was intimidated.
Next night, we got “geared up” at the kitchen table before we headed off. North London is pretty fucking cool. It’s dirty with lots of graffiti and got freaks and geeks walkin the streets. Street vendors (drug dealers), off license liquor bodegas, and tons of Turkish kabob joints, and along with the general sense of contributing good and excessive partying form, made it like their was this electricity in the air and we were about to be part of a special night based on our group dynamic… but really it was probably just the blow.
We rocked out at this costume party for many, many hours, on many, many hits of ecstasy and constantly rotating spliffs. Nobody really smokes herb straight, they all roll it with tobacco and most of the time just smoke hash and tobacco. My heart was sprung! I was in love with Europe for the sole fact that it’s in the world hash belt that doesn’t cover us over in The States. Turkish, Afghani, Moroccan, Egyptian, Greek hash oh fucking my…it was a revelation. But anyway, I think The Talking Heads ‘Stop Making Sense’ played 4 time while we rewrote the book on ‘New Dance Moves’. Ended up in the basement doing Ketamine at like 8 in the morning. Of course, this gets us kicked out and we spilled out onto the streets of sunny British week end morning.
I was lost. The British kids, one was a Pumpkin, one was Ziggy Stardust, one was The Slutty Queen, one was Shirtless Matthew Mccoughnaey or however the fuck you spell it, and Tim (no costume)… the leader of these misfits, had so much K that they are all imitating Kamodo Dragons, crawling and laughing uncontrollably on all four’s doing lizard tongues and shit, fucking crawling across the street, mostly because they have had too much Ketamine, which makes you very heavy and it becomes hard to get off the ground. Leaf left the party hours ago in a cab and I was stupid enough to stay with these fucks. I end up having to pick up on two feet, and ‘Weekend at Bernie’s-ing’ these assholes across the street one at a time to this house where we smoked a spliff in the garden to regain our wits before these fools I was with could walk and we finally made it back to their dirty flat.
No rest there. Ziggy Stardust has his weiner out, as he did most of the night, and is trailing his silver sequin body suit behind him around the ankles throughout the place looking for an egg, because The Pumpkin bet him he couldn’t stick one in his ass and get it out without it breaking, for 50 quid. Game on. Not only does he do it but he then gets challenged to cook it up and eat it.
I took that as my curtain call and said goodnight. They didn’t sleep.
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings are a contemporary group doin’ a throwback style that is hot, hot, hot. Never seen ’em live, but here’s a single that’ll be in your head fo sho.
I buy clothes usually en masse like once a year. I just don’t give a fuck about spending my hard ass earned money on ridiculously priced clothes… that what? I’m gonna wear for a while and eventually surrender to the Goodwill? No, not my style. It makes sense to me to just get it there in the first place.
The way I usually roll is to buy clothes in the fall, wear em all winter, cut all the pants into shorts in the summer and rock them shits til it’s time to “lather, rinse, repeat”.
These fuckin idiots below are funny as hell…and this track pretty much sums up my feelings about the Goodwill. I feel like the intro is a little weak compared to how dope the track is, so don’t give up. Keep listening.
Seen in the hood below.
The god damn Internet is out at the house I live in and it has been for a couple days. This is gonna sound terrible, but I have become so dependent on having it, that its taken me until now to remember life without it, sad but true. I’m losing my fucking mind over here, I’m such an asshole! I watched dvds last night like it was 1999 again. Who fucking does that? Watches DVDs, it’s like listening to cassette tapes. Any non digital formatting is dead and/or dying.
I first tasted this amazing beverage at a restaurant in N Portland called ‘Po’ Shines’. It is just a tea made from dried hibiscus flowers and sweetened with simple syrup or agave (I usually use agave nectar), and sometimes sexy-fied with lime juice and a sprig of mint. It’s is generally served cold as a summertime refresca. Very popular in the Southern US and Mexico, it is always in my fridge at home, not just in the summertime but ALL THE TIME. I get my hibiscus at mexican grocery stores, food for less, or on one occasion a specialty tea store (but they are waxin’ for that shit). I call it purple drank…
Easy as fuck, here we go…
1c dried hibiscus flowers
2qts cold water
simple syrup or agave nectar, approx. 1 cup
optional, lime juice, wedges, and sprigs of mint (I omit)
Bring water to steeping temp. in a large pot. roughly 185 degrees F.
dump those fucking flowers in there and stir. Kill the heat. Let steep for 20 minutes.
Strain through a mesh strainer into storage container with the ice.
I have been living in St. Johns for the last 4 months. If you don’t know where St. Johns in Portland is, that’s not surprising. It is a small little neighborhood in the very most northern part of north Portland.
At one time it was it’s own municipality but since the 50’s, I believe, it has been part of Portland. It is quite different from the rest of Portland and it has this weird little small town, anywhere, vibe going on. It is s decent enough neighborhood to live in, but god damn it is fucking faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar away from my daily life. It takes me 25 minutes to get to SE Portland most days and all my work and most of my friends live outside of St. Johns, and convincing them to drive all the way out there to hang out is impossible. Besides the fact that I am spending most of my time commuting back and forth from work and hanging with my homies, I have found some decent spots to get down at.
I will start by saying that St. Johns is NOT a place you want to come to find amazing cuisine and Portland style nightlife. That being said, there are a few places that I have been getting down. The first place I ever went to get shitfaced when I moved out there is this greasy bar/ small music venue called Slim’s. Slim’s is about what you would expect from a neighborhood bar that has live music most nights of the week. They have a pretty large FSA and Sysco based menu, about 10 tap handles, ciders, and plenty of booze. Of course, like every bar in Ptown they got video stroker parlor in the back, a couple of pool tables and loads of ugly St. Johns skanks sneaking around. Go for the music and cheap booze, happy hour has dollar Pabst if you are into sport drinkin’… but eat before you go.
I recommend, leaving Slim’s and walking directly across the street to what most people know as “The Hidden Restaurant”. It’s a Mexican store complete with bakery and butcher counter, but in the back is this sketchy looking cafeteria style room with dozens of folding tables and absolutely no ambiance or flair. The place looks dirty and I’ll tell you the truth, I was fuckin’ bugged out when I walked in the first time. There is 1 counter with a fridge behind it full of Jarrito’s, an horchata circulator, a small salsa bar which I wouldn’t eat out of, and stacks of cases of Mexican Coca-Cola everywhere. The food is BANGIN’ y’all. Dollar tacos and $4 burritos, menudo on the weekends, and everything I have tried there has been top fucking notch. The place is actually called ‘Tienda Santa Cruz #2’ and everyone in St. Johns knows this is the place to go for the bomb ass cheap eats. Be sure to go with plenty of time because I have never been in and out, this place is always busy…ALWAYS. The bad news is, they close at 10 pm, so if you’re a late nighter, like me, then keep reading.
Another dope spot to drink AND eat at is a little joint called, ‘The Fixin’ To’. I mean with a name like that, how could it not be awesome. The place is fairly small inside, maybe 6 or 8 tables, but they have two outdoor seating areas, 1 is covered and has overhead heaters, the other is only partially covered, but the craft cocktail menu is OK, I guess, kinda ‘meh’ for me, but I’m a beer guy, and they don’t have the largest beer selection, but it’s a PBR life over here folks, but the food is outstanding. The menu is small and easy to manage for their limited space but all of it looks awesome and the truth is I can’t get passed the chicken and dumplings. I grew up eating chicken and dumplings like a boss, and theirs is everything I always wanted and more. Truthfully, I am going to steal it when I move back to Cincinnati. I will say that ‘The Fixin’ To’ is the most hipster dipster spot in St. Johns so if you don’t wanna punch a hipster in the ego for being a douche, then go somewhere else.
Oh and an update, maybe y’all remember when I blogged about Bakersfield, the taco joint in Cincinnati puttin’ it down out there. I mentioned that my 1 gripe was that they weren’t doing double tortillas on the tacos and good news, I got word last night. They got hip and now all of em are rollin’ out on two tortillas. I don’t care what the real reason is, I’m taking credit for that decision and I’m very proud of it.
This is frickin’ cool as hell. I haven’t had the time to try this, cuz my life is like crazy busy right now, but I have the procedure here for y’all.
On a scale of 1- awesome, How fucking cool is this shit?
Lots of y’all know I’m dippin’ outta P-Town at the end of November and I’m driving back to Cincy. The dilemma I am faced with now is, Which route do I choose to get there?
This map shows in red, the quickest and most efficient route to take. I will also mention that it is boring as fuck. Now, the scenery is magnificent. I have done it twice, but you stop in nothing but bullshit towns the whole way. Zero is the number of fuck’s I give about Lincoln, Nebraska and Indianapolis. On the western part of it you can stop in Salt Lake if you want, but Why…?
I have a much more interesting idea, highlighted in blue.
My homey Joe, is living in LA right now, and I don’t have to strong of a desire to see LA, except for the fact that Joe is there. I’ll give it a shot to see Joe. I also have heard awesome fucking things about Austin. I don’t know anyone there but, fuck it, I’ll find a way to pull something together. As long as I’m down there it doesn’t seem like a stretch to see New Orleans again. From there, I wanna swing through Memphis, because it’s on the way and Nashville after before I bring it in to Cincinnati.
What scares me is this stretch of freeway from Phoenix to Austin, that stretch alone is 1,000 fucking miles, through the desert in my piece of shit car. Of course I’ll risk it like an idiot but it is intimidating. We are also talking the entire trip being a distance of 2,300 miles going the boring route and 3,700 frickin’ miles going south. Am I crazy? 1,400 extra miles just for shiggles…especially, solo miles if I don’t snag a road dog to go with me.
Anybody got any input on this one? Lemme know.
Oh, and here’s a track to listen to.