Writing – Photos – Travel – Crafts

bench

I recently trained myself to use power tools. More specifically, a circular saw and a drill, which it turns out is all you need to make a bunch of crafty shit out of crap you can find on the side of the road! Now fair warning, taking pallets apart is a pain in the ass, but it’s made infinitely easier with a proper pry bar and a tetanus shot.

Pallets are the perfect length for these benches, but you could obviously cut them to any length smaller than original. You’ll need 4 boards and a 4×4 to make it.

1. Cut the 4×4 to the desired leg length. I like em at 16″.

2. Lay three of the pallet boards side by side and use em to measure cuts for the fourth board. Cut three pieces the width of the bench top.

3. Screw em together.

4. Flip over the top and balance it on the legs, placing them right inside the braces on the edges. Screw through the top and boom! You have a bench. If you wanna get fancy, add a couple more pallet pieces to the legs both for support and style.

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Now available as a zine in an uber or lyft near you (as long as you’re in Portland and get in the one I’m driving.)

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Welcome to Portland! Hope you like eating, drinking and nature,  because we’ve got lots of it. To help guide you in your journey, I’ve prepared this list of the hottest spots you really must enjoy. We’ll start in my quadrant, Southeast.

If you’re in Southeast you’re in luck, most of the best neighborhoods in Portland are nearby. The closest to my house is Woodstock, a mellow 3 block walk away. Get teriyaki and Hawaiian at the newly-opened Ate oh Ate. For burritos you have two choices – the New Seasons burrito bar or El Gallo, which is closed Monday and Tuesday, but serves delicious white-person Mexican with a local flair. The Lutz is the best bar (in all of Portland imho) and has amazing food. Skip Primal Burger and get a Lutz Burger – you will not be let down. The Delta is pretty fun, they serve southern classics and 40s of PBR on ice, like champagne. A little bit further down Woodstock is Double Mountain, a Hood River-based brew pub with decent pizza and sandwiches. If you’re feeling healthy, Laughing Planet has great bowls and wraps, or go the complete other direction and get a sidewalk sausage from Otto’s. There are also a couple coffee shops, a grocery store, a couple Thai places (I prefer Tom Yum) and more so you may never have to leave. But if you do, check out Division- a slow-moving stretch of some of the best restaurants in Portland. There’s an amazing cart pod on 28th and Division and Double Barrel and the Landmark Saloon are both great places to go drinking. Hawthorne is a few streets north and this is where the people of Portland really let their freak flags fly. Tons of good food, second hand stores and free entertainment. Go walk west from 39th and lose a day. Whatever you do though, skip the line at Por Que No, it’s #overrated and if you’re craving Mexican I recommend Pepinos (baja style), Los Gorditos (three locations) or Aprisa. Mt Tabor is a bit to the east from here, a park situated on a dormant volcano with great city views, cool hikes, and plenty of Portland weirdos being weird. For nighttime entertainment I recommend the 30-35 blocks of Belmont, where you’ll find a bunch of bars, each with their own vibe. The Liquor Store has dj’s and dancing. Belmont Inn is a dive. Sweet Hereafter is a vegan bar with amazing cocktails and a seriously dangerous buffalo “chicken” sub that is worth hipster overload. Aalto lounge has a great $2 happy hour and Circa 33 has a hidden “speakeasy” in the back, though it’s usually booked for private parties, but you can sometimes get in on Thursdays.,

Southeast is also home to the best strip clubs – a unique portland experience I highly recommend. There are no covers, drinks are cheap and the girls are incredibly talented and fun to watch dance. It is normal and socially acceptable to hang out at Strip Clubs in PDX, so hit up:

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STRIP CLUBS

Devils point. Especially if you happen to be here on a Sunday when they host Stripperoake starting at 9 pm. You sing, the girls dance, a good time is had by all.

Sassys. A bit closer in this is a classic Portland establishment with multiple stages and good food.

Rose City strip. A “hard rock” strip club where the girls dance to Black Sabbath and Jawbreaker, B movies play on the wall and there are several nice pool tables.

Lucky Devil. Hit up Lucky Devil on Tuesdays for “Tiny Tuesdays” when all the dancers are under 5 feet tall.

Casa Diablo. Though not it Southeast, this is Portland’s most riske club and everyone will know you’ve been there when you try to spend the two dollar bills they give as change.

Acropolis. This place has a salad bar, and the owner is a cattle rancher so the steaks are good and cheap. I usually go here for breakfast.

BRUNCH

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Speaking of breakfast…. brunch! Bunch is the most important meal of the day but if you’re not careful, you can end up standing in line until it turns into happy hour. These are the places I recommend, which will have a reasonable wait time and still deliver on the quality food.

Bar Carlo- Half record store, half brunch spot, this place is so Portland, but has managed to stay off the radar enough to not be mobbed. I recommend the breakfast burrito, breakfast on a bun or the crepe of the day, but it’s all damn good.

Midpoint- This place is a small so do a drive by and make sure the parking lot isn’t packed with humans. If you do get in, get the fork mashed potatoes over the hash browns, I promise they’re the bomb.

Mehri’s- A little neighborhood joint with good food and an interesting crowd of old Portland locals.

Genie’s 2- Not to be confused with Genie’s this place is inside the Spaceroom on Hawthorne, has tons of seating and a huge patio.

Night Lite (weekends only)- Did someone say bottomless mimosas?

Dots- More all-you-can-drink champagne and OJ and outdoor seating with a highly entertaining parade of Portland bike nerds rolling by.

Dinner Spots

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 Slow Bar – The best hamburger in Portland.

Montage – A great place for big groups, Montage serves soul food and Mac and cheese, but more importantly wraps your leftovers in fun tin foil shapes!

Screen Door – You will have to wait, but if you’re craving southern, this place serves reasonably priced upscale cuisine that you won’t wanna miss.

Bete Lukas – Dope Ethiopian.

Mi Pueblo – The best sit down Mexican restaurant in Portland, although it’s actually in Clackamas. Be careful, the large margs are dangerous.

Du’s Grill – The best teriyaki in town, but it’s closed on weekends.

Kennedy School – An old elementary school that McMenamins has converted into bars, restaurants, a movie theater, soaking pools and more.

 Lunch Spots

The Whole Bowl - There are a few locations (the brick and Mortar is on Hawthorne,) but there’s only one thing on the menu. It’s a bowl with beans, rice, salsa, cheese, olives, cilantro and sauce and damn, it’s like eating a hug.

Chinese Delicacy – Venture out to 82nd Ave for the best $5.50 lunch special in town.

An Xuyen – Authentic Bahn Mi for under $4.

Little Big Burger – Fancy little burgers and truffle fries. Cheap and delicious.

Must See

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Rocky Butte – The best view of IKEA in town.

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The Rhododendron Gardens- A luscious spread of Northwest flora and tons of ducks and geese to chase.

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Multnomah Falls – One of the closest impressive displays of nature, though I warn you, the hike to the top is not really worth the effort. The best view is from the bottom.

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Mt Hood – Even if you don’t ski or snowboard, Mt. Hood is an awesome day trip. Travel into a winter wonderland (even in the summer there is lift accessible skiing.) Visit the Timberline lodge, which you may recognize from the Shining, and sip hot toddies by the far. If you do ski though, you have three choices:

Ski Bowl is the closest, an hour away. It’s a bit lower elevation so a lot of times the snow will be falling as rain, but if you hit it right, this place has the best terrain on Mt. Hood.

Timberline tends on the flat side, but they put up and very good park and the crowds never get that out of control.

Mt. Hood Meadows – The biggest resort on Hood, Meadows has tons of fun terrain and gets fairly consistent snow. The issue is it’s the choice resort of most of the city of Portland, so prepare to battle the crowds on weekends and holidays.

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Other neighborhoods to check out:

Downtown: Get happy hour any day from 4-6 or 10 pm on at Portland City grill. It’s on the 30th floor of big pink, which you can’t miss. Fun fact:  it’s not actually the tallest building in Portland – that honor belongs to the Wells Fargo tower. Go up to the Hoyt arboretum, the Rose Garden and the Japanese Garden and wonder at majestic nature, mere minutes from the heart of the city. If you like breweries the Pearl District has a bunch of them- Bridgeport, Rogue, Fat Head, Deschutes, Back Pedal and 10 barrel (the latter has a roof top balcony for when and if it ever gets nice.) There are also a few Mcmenamins properties on W Burnside. Once you’re good and liquored up, go get lost in Powell’s, a literal city of books. You’ll want to get Salt and Straw ice cream, but skip the line on Division/Alberta/23rd and hit the soft serve S+S in Pine Street market. It is a swanky indoor food court masterminded by some of Portland’s hottest chefs. You could even combine it with a trip to Saturday market, Portland’s weekly bazaar running weekends pretty much year round.

St. John’s : So far away (from everywhere) but home to a super cool bridge and Pattie’s Home Plate, which is a pretty epic diner.

Alberta : This used to be the ghetto 15 years ago, but now it’s an “Arts District.” Tons of good food spots and home to the Bye and Bye, a favorite local watering hole.

Mississippi: Lots of little shops and restaurants. Mississippi studios has shows almost nightly. And on Tuesdays Mississippi pizza hosts Bourbon and Bingo.

NW 23rd : The bougie shopping district if you’re looking to burn some cash.

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If you know me, you know I love Tinder. It’s more than a dating app, it’s a hobby and a money maker (seriously!) My young protege Dickie Sweet put together this short epic with more.

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Read the review on wweek.com

Africa

Posted by admin in travel - (0 Comments)

Apparently most people don’t randomly go on trips to Africa from Oregon. Something about the 23 hours of travel (each way), money, danger, etc etc. But fuck it, I do what I want and when my Internet friend (now real friend!) invited me to visit him in South Africa, I said, see ya Thursday. Now you may have caught some photos on Yobeat, but that was only one day of my trip! For the rest of my adventures, read on.

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We took one of those obnoxious red tourist busses around Johannessburg, and wouldn’t ya know? I actually learned a bunch of stuff. It also probably prevented us from being robbed, as we stuck out just a little and poverty is rampant in the city. Those pink drips are part of an Urban Art project to beautify some of the bricked-up buldings that are all over downtown Joburg.

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Every time I saw a “To Let” sign, I thought it said Toilet. But in reality, public bathrooms are not plentiful, or really something you probably wanna use.

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There were a bunch of nice buildings in the middle of the comdemned ones.

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I’ve never felt so white in my life. And I am pretty fucking white.

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Laundry day.

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African kids are the cutest.

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Why yes, I did feel like an overprivledged asshole taking this photo.

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The Carlton Hotel (now closed) and the tallest building in Johannesburg, which we didn’t go in.

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The locals were hyped on getting their pictures taken.

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Urban decay.

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Well, this building had all its windows, so that was something.

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More friendly locals.

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This is like the South African version of the Corn Palace, I think.

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My hosts, John and Shaun who kept me entertained and from getting car jacked/raped/murdered while I was there.

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Inspirational graffti.

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I assume this used to have a roof.

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Day two we went to check out the cradle of humankind, where they believe all human life on earth originatied. So yes, we are all African, technically.  We were pretty stoked to get these stylish helmets for our journey into the Sterkfontein caves. As it turns out, they would actually come in handy.

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Taking photos in a cave is pretty much impossible, so you’ll have to take my word that it was cool.

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Art.

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Obvious next mission in Africa: a safari. While our guide told us his name (twice) I imediately forgot it and referred to him as Ndugu for the rest of the day. Close enough. Anyway, he has pretty much the coolest job in the world.

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Shaun was oppoosed to selfies, but really I just wanted to take a nochalant photo of our tour compatriots. They were awesome and would randomly break into song whenever we went for awhile without seeing animals.

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I basically missed my calling and was pointing out animals all day. Here we see two Kudu, an african Antelope.

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This is a bird.

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Impala. These things are like the razor scooters of Kruger National park. They are everywhere.

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Wet back antelope.

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There are only 200 cheetahs in all of Kruger, and we saw two of them!

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You guys get that?

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Monkeys are awesome.

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Despite my best efforts to catch one and bring it home, I failed.

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Baboons may look like monkeys, but there were signifcantly less appealing to try and catch.

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This dude is starting a fight.

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More monkeys!

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Of all the enourmous creatures, the rhino was by far the least photogenic. Pretty much just looks like a rock.

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This bird is apparently really ugly up close, but it looked cool from the road.

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Speaking of ugly, even being a baby didn’t make warthogs cute.

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You are not allowed to get out of your car within the park, cause you know, man-eating animals, but we did get to walk around on a giant rock at this overlook.

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Though we stayed at a hotel called hippo hollow, we saw none of the fabled hippos there. Luckily, Kruger came through.

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An elephant was actually the first animal we saw, and holy shit, it didn’t even seem real.

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But then by like elephant number 5 it was just kinda like, meh, another elephant.

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These two giraffes were pretty tight.

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They are tall.

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Very tall.

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Bufallo, animal number 3 of the big five (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino). Though we missed out on Lions and Leopards, I’d say we did alright.

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And another monkey for good measure.

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Some Lion King shit right here.

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Despite cries from the plebeians that my “whole life is a vacation,” sometimes I feel the need to actually get away from the Internet. But since the ‘net is global, this can be a challenge. This year, I figured out the perfect destination. Newfoundland. It’s closer than Europe, but they still have funny accents, and most importantly, international data ain’t cheap, so my phone was more like a wifi-enabled camera. But when anyone found out we’d come all the way from Portland, they asked the same question – why here? And I guess it was a bit of an odd choice, seeing as we didn’t know anyone, or really anything about the place. But after six days I came up with a few reasons.

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1. Pot holes.

Since we had plenty of time to kill, we opted to drive the entire Irish Loop. In a mere six hours, you get to see a good chunk of Newfoundland and more coves than I could count. The real highlight of the loop though, were the enormous and unavoidable potholes on the Northern part that jarred our lime green Chevy Spark and had me legitimately scared that we were going to blow a tire and be stuck in Trepassy forever. Now I understand why they were so emphatic we get the tire insurance.

2. Screech.

When you go to the island, it’s essential that you get “screeched in.” As a “come from away”  everyone tells you this so emphatically that you wouldn’t dare argue. However, after paying $20 for a chunk of spam, a kiss on the lips from a cod and a shot of screech, I’m pretty sure this is the best scam anyone’s ever come up with. Bravo Newfies, bravo.

3. Jiggs Dinner.

A few locals told me I had to try Jiggs Dinner, a traditional Newfie Sunday meal. It’s basically a bunch of Newfie delicacies, such as turnips and salt meat, boiled for awhile and then served with a side of gravy. We were lucky to meet Sherrie (yes, on Tinder), who not only guided us to the goods of the island, but whipped up an authentic Jiggs dinner for us on the final night of our trip. Salt meat is actually pretty gross, which was not a huge surprise considering most of the other food there was too. But still, culture, man.

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4. Skeets.

Skeets are Newfoundland’s version of townies and they are a rare breed. While my main encounters with them were via Tinder, they boast epic accents, ridiculous piercings, oddly colored hair and a very narrow world view. The girls are named Brenda and Trina and the dudes all wear Fox jackets, have bad facial hair, and apparently make large amounts of money working as engineers.

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Photo: Jared Souney

5. Skateboarding.

Actually, Newfoundland is a terrible place to go skateboarding. It rains all the time and the two parks I visited were nothing special. The first in Mt Pearl, a St John’s suburb, was built by Newline (one of my favorite park builders) but unfortunately was covered in pebbles and overrun with razor scooters. Mundy Pond was bigger, and arguably better, but mostly made me wish I knew how to ollie. Instead I slashed a corner and Jared made it look sort of cool.

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6. Icebergs.

Actually, we had no idea that if we had arrived a few weeks earlier, there would have been Icebergs everywhere! It’s even where the above photo of my boy Parks Bonifay was taken. But alas, we saw no icebergs, only heard the legend, as we were told repeatedly – should have been here in July.

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7. Lighthouses.

There are lots of them and they’re scenic as fuck.

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8. Sugar.

Like sweet things? Go to Newfoundland! Everything from the burgers to the pizza to the salsa were insanely sugary, which is apparently how they like it. Also, if you like seafood, they have lots of of that too, but I’m mostly just mentioning to have a reason to post this photo of crab. That shit was good.

9. Newfie Music.

Live music is not high on my list of vacation priorities, but we did jam out to some Newfie music on the radio and at bars. It’s sort of an Irish bluegrass, and the locals are really proud of it. Maybe next time we’ll go to one of the shows that are basically happening all day, every day on George St.

10. Pirate day!

Pirate day is when pirates come ashore, steal booty, take photos with children and then sail away in a boat that definitely did not look seaworthy. As you can imagine, it was AWESOME.

Now enjoy the art a created with my camera.

 

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Last weekend I took an impromptu trip North to catch the pre-opening day at Stevens Pass, which perhaps even more exciting meant going to Stevens Pass for the first time. Though I’ve driven past the sign for route 2 at least 100 times, I never made it east on that particular highway. We arrived in Skykomish well after dark, but it was pretty clear this town was awesome, in that, never wanna live here in a million years kinda way.

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Haunted brothel? Ok!

We stayed at the only hotel in town, a classic joint with shared bathrooms and a cafe smelling of deep fryer attached. However, we were told the “best fried chicken in Washington” was actually available down the street at the OTHER restaurant in town. There we did find some delicious chicken, as well as most of the townspeople, a combination of snowboard-looking types and old people. Really old people. Needless to say, it was a wild night in Skykomish!

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Derrek Lever is good at presses.

Stevens Pass opening was great, but you can read all about that here, so instead I’ll skip ahead to our jaunt to Leavenworth. The idea of Octoberfest in Washington’s only Bavarian Village SOUNDED amazing. The reality was much different, and if anything, all the ugly Americans really detracted from the beauty of this quaint little town. So we drank a beer, ate some schnitzel and got back on the road to Oregon. I think I’ll go back when it’s raining.

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This place is real.

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Ye old pretzel shop.

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I had to crop out all the fat people in liederhosen.

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Nature’s majesty.

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Since leaving the house is hard and rarely very rewarding, I’ve taken up the hobby of pet photography. It also helps that we have a pretty solid heard or creatures. So far the cats and the dog have their own instagrams, and it’s only a matter of time before the chickens do as well (though I should leave that one up to Jared.) Anyway, if you love adorable things follow @willisandtyra and @thelemmygram for more photos like this, plus occasionally witty captions.

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Because I really enjoy seeing if clueless PR people will come through on their promises, here’s some completely irrelevant info for the people who came here 1) looking to get their Instagram unblocked or 2) that think I’m funny/interesting (there are way more of #1.) I believe this EXCITING info I received today was  aimed at Yobeat, but whatever.

I work for a company called The Collectionary.  We are building the best place to go on the internet to find and buy items for avid collectors.

One of the Collectionary’s we have is for NASCAR!

http://thecollectionary.com/club/nascar

We would love to feature your blog on our NASCAR Facebook page with over 127,000 fans .  In return we would like to have a link to our NASCAR Collectionary on your blog.

We think that your blog offers great content and something our NASCAR fans would love reading about.  We also think that the readers of your blog would enjoy seeing some of the great NASCAR items in The Collectionary.

I would love to hear your feedback about this idea.  I’ve attached our logo, if you can add this to your page with the link to – http://thecollectionary.com/club/nascar – it would be greatly appreciated and we will post about your blog.

Can’t wait for the Brookegeery.com feature on their Facebook!

While I’m admitting to being old and falling asleep at shows, I should also note I once feel asleep in the front row on an emo show. It was my friends’ band, formerly Hijack the Disco, now known as HIJK, because Panic! at the Disco issued them a cease a desist. Anyway, I had gone to a wedding reception prior, been drinking all day, and as soon as I sat down (even in the FRONT ROW) I just nodded off. It was a small show, so obviously the band was aware of my absurd behavior, and proceeded to throw my name into songs to try and wake me up. It didn’t work.

That said, I have NEVER slept through a Saves the Day show. It’s hard to sleep when you’re bouncing up and down and punching the air, ya know. I love Saves the Day and when I heard they were playing Musicfest Northwest, it was the only reason I secured a wrist band.

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However, Saves the Day did not take the stage at the Hawthorne Theater until 10:30, which had I sat at home waiting for, I would have been dead on the coach before it started. Instead I figured we might as well take advantage of our VIP access and go check out the big show in Pioneer Square — Animal Collective. Figuring I’d heard of them, and any “alternative” band that managed to penetrate my brainspace must have at least one hit I would like, we headed across the bridge to check it out. Apparently, Animal Collective is like some hipster Phish that just plays long stints of noise with banging and stuff. I made it through three “songs” before deciding a drink at a bar sounded a little more pleasurable.

We got to the Hawthorne Theater a little before 10 and the opening band, Into It. Over it, was still on stage. Jared had informed me I would probably like them, because they’re “emo” and had I been in college, I probably would have. But realistically, the reason I like Saves the Day isn’t because that sound still gets me going, it’s because it reminds me of being 19 driving around in So Cal, or being in college in Bellingham. And I know all the words.

It seems I am not the only on either. Granted, it wasn’t a huge crowd, but you could describe the pit as “frothing” any time they played a classic from Through Being Cool. And much like myself, any time they played new songs, the crowd mellowed a bit. But the show was long and I stayed awake, a true testament to the fact that I just need epic entertainment.

And as if that wasn’t enough, here’s me after the show, just hanging out with Chris Conley (read: nerdily asking if I could get a picture with him.)

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