This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I am looking at the ocean right now.

This internet thing seems to be working right now, and that's exciting. Yesterday I got up at 4am and flew standby to Portland. It took us 11 hours of waiting to get there, and then we stayed up another 9 hours and par-tayed. And this after I went to bed at midnight the night before. I was so tired people thought I was drunk.

Some highlights I might tell you more about later:

1) A heated conversation between a United agent and a man who didn't know what his itinerary was. Overheard from the agent: "I don't have to look at that piece of paper if I don't want to."

2) A house graduation party with a jazz band playing that reminded me of "Jazz Times Ten" (can you get that reference?), except there were only six of them.

3) Giant, wonderful, green, and majestic trees all over the place. Also, hills and temperatures under 70. Laugh all you want, reader -- I live in Texas and never get to see these things.

4) My wife and I were the last two of the waiting standby losers to get on our flight from Denver to Portland. They called us up to the counter, said they could only take one of us, called some other dude named "Lechter" (as in same as Hannibal) when we declined, then re-called us when they magically discovered there were actually 2 seats left. Poor Lechter. Yeah, he looked a little miffed. Hope he doesn't try to eat us.

5) I just drank something called "Terminator Stout." Tasted like Guinness mixed with ground-up baker's chocolate. That's not good. Why do these people even bother with the "stout"? It's not like everybody's clamoring for it.

6) We passed a sign that pointed to "Namaste Vineyards." LOST aren't the only people digging up that word, apparently. A google maps search of "Namaste" brings up 120 locations, almost all of which are in the Portland area. This means something, I just know it. We also passed a "Dallas, Oregon." Very disturbing.

7) Portland is a really weird city. Really weird. There's tons of natural beauty, but also a bunch of urban blight. The downtown is strangely ugly, despite being bookended by a river and foothills. It's like they took Boulder, CO, stretched it out, and filled in the blanks with trailers, tattoo parlors, Trail Blazer billboards, and rusty steel beams. Plus -- and there's no better way to put this -- it's totally overrun with hippies, and not in a good way. I'm not even sure there could be a good way.

8) The ocean is peaceful, but it's cold up here.

9) The United flight we took from Dallas to Denver had an in-flight entertainment package that included commericals, Access Hollywood (which is really a commercial disguised as a program), more commercials, and an episode of My Name is Earl. I like that show, but it was the episode where Earl works at a fast food restaurant to make up for the fact that he stole a couples' anniversary money (long story). Whenever a sitcom features characters in a fast food restaurant, they always get it wrong. Managers don't just stand around and demean employees all day. If they did, all their employees would quit, and their bosses (the real ogres in the fast-food world because they don't know what it's like to work at a restaurant) would demand their heads on a platter because the numbers would be atrocious and the flow would not be controlled. You can't demean someone who makes 6 bucks an hour, especially if they're competent. That's management insanity on par with licking the merchandise as you hand it to the customer.

10) Sunset's in a couple of hours. I love vacation.


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