April 2010

Comedy Quest leads back to The Office®

I can’t go into Portland without buying a Used CD. I’ve been buying so many Used CDs for so long; I believe that process is now encoded in my DNA. Last weekend I stood in front of the “Bargain Used CD Section,” all priced from 1-3 dollars, and salvaged three Lyle Lovetts, two John Hiatts, two Cowboy Junkies, a Desert Rose Band disc, a comedy CD featuring Mel Blanc and Carl Reiner, an REM disc; all for a buck each.

And that was just from one area of the store. I splurged and went over to the “Regular Used CD Section” and pulled another 3 or 4 discs out.

$27 – Priceless.

So I stumble out of the store, and, trying to “Be Green,” I opt for NOT taking a plastic bag. Now, granted, all of my cloth bags AND my backpack, are still in the car. For some reason, I didn’t bring any of that with me. But that’s OK, I mean it’s a nice day, I’ll just walk back the car, stow away my CDs, and then hike back and go buy a ticket for the Bridgetown Comedy Festival.

So I start hiking back. There’s plenty of time, I’m hours early. You know, the older you get, the more you start realizing that it’s OK to write things down. You see, when I parked the car, I noticed where I parked. It was 35th and Harrison.

So I wrote it down. On paper. With a pen. I put the paper in my coat pocket.

So I’m hiking back, from the CD store on Hawthorne, which is only a few blocks away. And I’m walking, walking, walking.

And I finally get there. 35th and Harrison.

And, not only is my car not there, but there aren’t ANY cars there. I mean, when I parked, I had to spend 10 minutes trying to put my car between two vehicles because the whole street was jammed up.

I look at the street signs again. It says “35th and Harrison.” I look at my notes. It says “35th and Harrison.”

You know that queasy feeling you get when you look and your car’s not there?

Yeah, that one. That’s what I had.

So I’m standing there, on the sidewalk, with $27 worth of used CDs that aren’t in a shopping bag. In desperation, I head east a few blocks.

And there it is. My car. I look at the street sign. “35th.” And “Harrison.” But, now that I look closer, there’s something underneath “Harrison.”

“PL.” Place.

I can’t believe it. There’s a difference between 35th and 35th Place.

As I was unlocking the door to my car, I was thinking I probably should have stayed home and watched an “Office” re-run.

At least I would’ve known where my car was.

Bridgetown Comedy Festival

8 p.m. April 24, 2010

Hawthorne Theater

“Theme Park” improv show featuring

Oscar Nunez (“Oscar on the hit TV show The Office),

Scott Adsit (30 Rock),

Janet Varney (How I Met Your Mother),

Danny Pudi (NBC’s Community),

Jessica Makinson (iCarly, Southpark) and

Cole Stratton (Animal Planet, various TV commercials).

Opening set by the Brody Theater Improv Group:

Whale watching in a pond

Relationship advice from an old lighthouse keeper

Theme Park:

Little Kids Squashing Bugs

Normal children with undead Zombie Parents

A dysfunctional Support Group

An even more dysfunctional Undercover Cop team reprimanded for not focusing on their job

Visiting the Ant Queen

Being Embarrassed in front of your friends because of your Mom

Zombie Tribal Sweat Lodge

Tell it to the Judge

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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