Saturday, February 28, 2009

Something Is Missing At Mount Bachelor

Snow. Check.  Chairlifts. Check. Base lodge. Check. What's missing here? Holy shit, where are all the condos? How did the developers miss this gorgeous swath of nature in their quest to pave paradise. Mount Bachelor is like the 8th largest ski area in the US and there isn't one single, itsy-bitsy house on it anywhere. Now that I think about it, the last house I saw was 20 miles down the hill in Bend.  Maybe that's what's so nice about skiing here. You actually feel like you're visiting nature instead of some new development outside of Simi Valley. Excuse the pun but it's really a breath of fresh air to look around while you're skiing and see nothing but endless vistas of trees and mountains.  And not have to worry that if you hit some ice and ski off the trail you might end up in Paula Abdul's bidet. I give Mount Bachelor 5 scimitars.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

5 Days And No Movie Deal Yet

This is unbelievable.  I have poured my heart into this blog for almost a week now, exploring and charting hitherto untouched parts of my soul and not a single, lousy phone call from one studio executive or star who wants to turn my blog into their 'Slumdog Millionaire', Oscar-winning future.  All my life I've heard that if you are willing to work hard and dedicate your life, or a least a week of it, to your dream than nothing can get in the way of making it happen. Now here I sit day after day by the phone waiting for Geffen, Spielberg or Lucas to do their part and, frankly, they could give a tinker's cuss for the struggling artist. Well I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bought A Wheelbarrow. Moved Some Rocks.

That's it.  Some days just don't generate much in the way of news.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When It Absolutely, Positively Has To Be There..Eventually

So today we got a call from the Fed Ex guy while we were in town having breakfast.  Apparently he was running late and didn't think he could get out to our house and finish his route so he called to find out where we were so he could deliver our package to us there instead. I'm not sure if this is really great service or really shitty service.  Anyone?

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Truckload of Gravel

Recently Melanie and I were invited by our neighbors to attend a concert to benefit Sisters High School. It was a great evening with Michael McDonald from the Doobie Brothers performing in the high school's incredible auditorium.  (Nicer than most venues I've been in anywhere.) My favorite, and the most telling part of the evening, though, was when they announced the auction prizes we could bid on.  Prize #1. Three nights at the gorgeous Salishan Resort on the coast with all meals at their award winning gourmet restaurant, two rounds of golf and spa treatments. Polite applause.  Prize #2.  A handmade acoustic Breedlove guitar crafted of the finest wood, inlaid with mother of pearl, finished in gold plate and autographed by Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald.  Mild applause.  Prize #3. A truckload of gravel delivered anywhere in Central Oregon. Wild unrestrained applause, screams of ecstasy, small children crushed in the stampede for the door. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jesus Gets Better Internet

In Sisters we have a choice of two coffee houses,. They are on either side of town and on either side of the political spectrum. Angelines is our liberal choice and features lesbians and lots of colorful art on the walls.  The Sisters Coffee House is our conservative choice and features religious reading materials and lots of dead animals on the walls. Normally the choice would be easy for me except for one thing.  Jesus gets better internet.  Way better.  So, for the few weeks until we got hooked up at home, we hid our Obama buttons and pretended that Sarah Palin was a breath of fresh air. 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Eat, Sleep and Drink in Portland.

If you find yourself in Portland and you don't want to spend a fortune on your hotel check out the Ace, a great little place right in the heart of town.  I'll start with the only negative and get it out of the way.  It's really noisy so make sure you get an inside room or you'll be down at the desk at 3AM begging for ear plugs. (they had them). Rooms were only $110 mid week and they're small but well equipped and perfectly adequate. The best part of the hotel is the common areas.  One on the second floor which is ideal for working or just napping. Be sure to open the drawers in the large chest and read the notes guests have been stuffing in there for years.
The other common area is in the lobby where there's a huge couch that seems to attract interesting, friendly people at all hours.  On one side of the lobby is Stumptown Coffee. Great coffee.  On the other side is the restaurant Clyde Common. Great food. We ate there both nights it was so good.  Seating is at huge tables and the flank steak is a religious experience. Sometimes, when you travel, it's better to go a little downscale.  The people are usually friendlier and the experience a little more interesting. Such was the case at the Ace.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Deschutes River Trail

About 2 miles outside of Bend, Oregon you'll find the Deschutes River Trail, reason enough by itself to move to Central Oregon.  For about 10 miles the the Deschutes River cuts through ancient lava flows, towering pine forests, grassy meadows and moss covered rocks. Because of it's low elevation the trail is open almost all year long and today, with temps reaching the mid 50's and not a cloud to be seen, it was as close to perfection as you can get.  Melanie, Taiga and I spent about 4 hours out there today and, at one point when we were all laying in a meadow by the river, I thought I could actually feel some of the poison draining out of my body and flowing down the river.   

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This Post Rated R

You know what really burns my toast?  When a movie is rated R but there's no nudity in it. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

5 Inches Of Totally Naked Calf.

I wasn't expecting it. I wasn't hoping for it. I could barely remember what it looked like. But suddenly, there it was on display right in front of me.  5 inches of totally naked calf emerging from a car as we drove down Main Street in Sisters. No Sorrel boots, no thick ski pants, no heavy fleece. Nothing. Just totally naked calf basking in the 41 degree heat.  I slammed on the brakes sending Melanie and Taiga crashing into the windshield and just stared.  5 inches of totally naked calf.  I became aroused.  My breathing increased. My chest heaved. I felt like Daniel Day Lewis when Michelle Pfeiffer took off her glove in 'The Age of Innocence.' What kind of debauchery can I expect when we hit 50 degrees?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Small But Amazing Moment

If you've ever lived in a home with large windows you've experienced that occasional, horrible thud of a bird crashing into your house.  It happened here yesterday.  I came home, looked outside and saw a lifeless form.  Upon closer inspection I saw that this bird was larger than the usual birds which have an otherwise great day of flying interrupted by my house. It was a young golden eagle. My heart sunk. If you've never seen a bird of prey like an eagle or hawk up close it's worth the effort.  There is a confidence, beauty and focus in their gaze that is amazing.  And their bodies have a strength that sets them apart from the birds we are used to seeing. And now I had killed one. But what could I do?  I grabbed a plastic bag to pick up the bird and went outside but as soon as I opened the door, he stirred. My heart leapt. But my brief moment of elation was tempered by the sudden realization that he might be badly injured. Now what? CPR. Bandage him up.  Take him to a vet, the ranger station. Strangely, 25 years of advertising hadn't prepared me for this. Then the worst thought of all passed through my mind. Would I have to kill this beautiful creature rather than see him freeze to death or suffer the inability to fly and hunt?  I decided the best thing to do was to make him a little home where he could rest the night without freezing and hope for the best.  So I got a box and put some shredded paper in it.  I put some water in a dish. I wanted to feed him but we were all out of mice.  Gathering up my makeshift emergency room I headed back to the bedroom. When I looked outside he was there but had shifted his position and was now standing on his feet but hunched over like a stone gargoyle on a skyscraper.  How would I get him in the box?  Would he try to peck my eyes out if I touched him?  Anyway, the moment I opened the door he turned to look at me, stared a moment of two, then took off and flew into the canyon. He had only been stunned. I stayed outside and watched him soar through the canyon then went back inside feeling very, very happy.  

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Letter From The Editor

Today we begin our first subscription drive.  At present, The Lost Angeles Times has only one reader but I see very little difficulty in doubling, or even tripling, that figure in the coming year. Our mission at The Times will be to cover and interpret the world scene from our worldwide headquarters in Sisters, Oregon. Or not. We haven't really decided yet.  But we are planning an offsite soon. Maybe I'll just let you know what's going on in Sisters.  With over 1500 residents, including Dwight Schrute, Dan Fouts and Dan Weiden, there should be no end to the fascinating topics available. So please join us on this incredible journey to the heart and soul of America and become a regular reader of The Lost Angeles Times.

mark monteiro  editor