Monthly Archives: November 2003

"On Nov. 24, economists and urban planners will discuss how nanotechnology could become an engine of economic creation for Portland, Ore. The Hillsboro Argus reports the event will be Webcast and viewers will be able to e-mail questions."

I could live with a nano boom. I've been lightly following nano for years, and it's gratifying to see the mainstream admit that the crackpots were right.

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I explored the U-R today; the area downtown just south of Keller Auditorium.

In the 1960s, Terry Schrunk and his trusty sidekick Ira Keller bulldozed an entire neighborhood--an historic Italian and Jewish neighborhood that has never been replaced--and built a Sixties vision of Utopia. Their Urban Renewal project was a cornerstone of their lengthy reign over Portland.

I kept expecting Michael York and Jenny Agutter to pop out from behind some monolithic corner and run for their lives through one of the abstract fountains.

Not that it isn't lovely. Two walkways run the length of the microcosm of high-rise apartments and office buildings. Spotted by parks, benches, and fountains, there is a certain sterile appeal. I found myself wondering if it would be as deserted in the summer as it is in winter.

Still, I imagine the victorian houses and bustling businesses that once filled this area, and couldn't help but think that it would no longer be the "slum" it was called by city officials. Considering what has happened to other historic neighborhoods in Portland, I'm betting it would have found its own way to a gentler urban renewal, and would now be a buzzing center of activity, rather than the quiet secret it is today.

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I've decided that I'm Class II Cranky today:

Class III: Gosh, things are kinda ick. It will pass.
Class II: It would be awfully nice if someone I hate caught on fire.

So as long as I can steer clear of Class I, I'm cool. But I sure wish Rush Limbaugh or Neil Goldschmidt would catch on fire.

Oh--on Neil--that slimy goon! He campaigned hard against the PUD, and today Enron announced they're selling PGE to a Texas firm--and Goldschmidt is on the board! (Bix! has a good summary) So he had a financial interest all along.

I once saw him in a Burger King. I should have set him on fire then.

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Last night I had the best dream of my entire life. I'm not exaggerating--I woke up in a joyous mood, just remembering it.

I died.

Okay, there's more to it than that. In fact, it was a highly detailed dream that went on for some time. I wish it were true. The highlights:

After you die, you attend a small meeting in a house in the suburbs, where a volunteer fills you in. At first, you'll be completely insubstantial as you get used to being dead. Once you're ready to move on to other things, you become able to feel things in the living world, and influence them to some extent.

I moved to stage two almost immediately, as Bill was already there, and waiting for me in the back room. There's another stage, but the dead don't know much about it, only that it comes after a long time. Kind of like death is to the living. The dead don't worry about it, as the dead are pretty mellow.

We were offered another wedding ceremony, as the one we'd had before was only until "death do us part," and we would now be together forever. We gleefully got married again.

The dead seem to get along doing whatever they like. There are movies, and stars, and even models. The models are a little ticked off because dead hair is hard to manage.

When you're dead, you look like your inner self. This can be a little embarrassing. We saw one forty-something die, and his dead self came out as a 20-something, wearing a leather jacket. Most people look like they did when they were alive, more or less. Michael Douglas seemed to have acquired George Hamilton's skin. You never know.

Sometimes people are surprised to die, and they snap out to someplace familiar, then hide in a living person's body. The person's stomach will pooch out a bit, and they'll look confused. That's only for a few minutes though, because the dead know when their loved ones die, and rush right over to get them. Time is slightly non-linear, because I went over to a place I used to live to get my confused and newly-dead mom.

You would think that, since the dead are all around, they would be able to communicate. The problem is that they are living a very different existence, and when they try to talk to us, it comes out cryptic and confusing. Bill and I founded a Yahoo! Group called TheDead. We managed, in our cryptic way, to lure living people to a little house, which we would then haunt, scaring the piss out of the poor livings. I laughed my dead ass off. Good times, good times.

Think about that the next time someone online sounds a little "weird".

No, I mean really weird. Shut up.

CAT and BILL are talking again.

BILL: I'm hungry.
CAT: You had two dinners!
BILL: Yes, but it was all vegetables!
CAT: You're a vegetarian. What th'fuck did you expect?


BILL: You know humans can't digest cellulose. They don't have the right bacteria. And if they did, they'd need to have a separate stomach.
CAT: Like a cow!
BILL: Yes, all ruminants have those.
CAT: Whenever I hear the word "ruminant", I think "revenant".
BILL: MooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooo...


So I thought I would do Citysearch a favor and cross-post a couple of my restaurant listings.

I edited entries for Oba!, Porto Terra, and P.F. Changs for content and length. Guess which one got accepted. Yes, they rejected both negative reviews.

This is especially interesting in the case of PF Chang's, as the reviews they have are positive to the point of saccharine. At least twice, attractive staff is mentioned. Yes, I don't care if they hit me in the head, as long as they look good doing it!

In any case, the form letter they sent me says:

"Thank you for submitting a review of Oba Restaurant on Citysearch. In
order to assure that reviews are as helpful as possible to the
community, we've established content guidelines for all submissions.
Unfortunately, your review violates these guidelines and cannot be posted."

I have written and asked them precisely which guideline I have violated. For reference, tips are here and guidelines are here. Can you spot where I went wrong? Besides not being paid off, that is.