Tag Archives: Pacific Northwest

A Journey to Endor

All my life I’ve been waiting to see the Redwoods, and finally yesterday I got the chance.  Photos can never do these trees justice; you must experience their surreal majesty in person.  I visited one of the most well-known areas for viewing the giants, Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park near Crescent City, California.  In another unintended turn down film history lane, this park is coincidentally home to Endor, the planet of the Ewoks from Return of the Jedi.Do you know that over 90% of the original redwoods have been logged by greedy-ass humans?  Gross, right?These behemoths can grow over 370 feet tall and over 20 feet in diameter.  They are some of the oldest living beings on this planet.  It is truly depressing to walk among these ancient groves knowing that dumbass humans cut down the biggest, tallest, strongest, and oldest specimens in the early 1900’s.  The hubris of a man taking a saw to a 1,000 year old tree is truly disgusting.   Walking through this forest, knowing it is now only a shadow of what it used to be because of human interference, makes me hate people more than I already do.  I didn’t actually think that was possible. Take the time to visit this place and remind yourself how insignificant we are compared to the resources we destroy.  Sitting humbly at the base of one of these granddaddy trees does wonders for recalibrating one’s perspective.  Enough preaching, if you could give a fuck about preserving the Earth, well then maybe you care about visiting Endor.  Whatever gets you there, it’s worth a trip to backwoods California to gaze at the big tall trees.  Psychedelics are optional, but you have a much greater chance of glimpsing an Ewok if you bring some along.

 

Dita Von Teese: Strip Strip Hooray

Saw Mizz Dita Von Teese and her burlesque buddies on Memorial Day in Portland at the Aladdin Theater.  I anticipated this show for months, set out on an epic journey to be there, and even built a Pacific Northwest trip around it.  So did it live up to all the expectation? 

In two words:  FUCK YES.

Dita started the show with her now classic martini glass routine.  She lip-synched a song about liking it slow, and stripped down from a perfectly fitted tux to a gorgeous corset. Her body is every bit amazing as it looks in pictures.  Her waist is really that tiny and her skin is milky white and flawless.  In between Dita’s four performances, other well-known burlesque stars like Dirty Martini and Catherine D’Lish punctuated the stage with their unique flavor.  This show was interesting because there wasn’t any singing and really not much in the way of dancing.  I’d call it more coquettish posing and prancing.  It is like watching a live editorial photo shoot.  Strike a pose, click.  Strike a pose, click.  The audience takes in a series of beautiful images, but really not much more.  The whole shebang amounts to a gorgeous puff of powder, but what it lacks in substances it makes up for in style.Not to say there are no skills involved; Dita completed much of her mirrored-compact routine en pointe in Louboutin ballet point shoes.  She definitely looked a little nervous and strained during the more challenging balancing requirements of the act.  Truthfully, there were more than a few moments where Dita telegraphed her anxiety.  When the fasteners on her garments didn’t cooperate with her quick release commands a palpable panic swept over both her face and her gestures.  I found this surprising for such a seasoned performer since I’m sure in this type of show wardrobe hiccups are par for the course. While physically stunning, there is a classic stripper disconnect between Dita and the crowd.  Many of her hand-selected co-stars made more meaningful connections with the audience than Dita.  No one looked better, but there was definitely a wall up between Dita and her fans.  Almost as if she was looking past us, or maybe down at us?  Dita closed with a big opium den number set in part to a remixed version of the Cure’s Lullaby.  The incredible finale climaxed with four gloved hands pawing Dita’s body into ecstatic submission.  Nary a nipple was exposed, but the entire show was a pleasing, erotic, and light-hearted delight.  This show was well worth the price of admission, and even worth traveling a distance to catch.  We owe Von Teese a great debt in keeping the art of burlesque alive and relevant, and she’s obviously one of the most stylishly influential women on the scene.  Three cheers for Dita indeed, Strip Strip Hooray!

on the road

Many of you know I’m in the midst of an epic road trip.  Twelve days and over 1,300 miles by air, road, and sea.  5 days into the journey, I’ve come to rely on a few unexpected items.  Here are things that have helped me survive, navigate, and stay connected while away.  Laptop, Kindle, cell, I need a least three outlets.  Since I don’t want to unplug every lamp, alarm clock, and TV in every room I stay in, a power strip is key.  Slip one in your bag; you’ll use it everyday.  Many cell phone companies fuck us over by preventing us from roaming on foreign networks.  They don’t want to pay a premium to other service providers to allow their own subscribers network access.  Enter Google Voice.  When you port a number to Google Voice you can hear voice mails, send texts, and make calls even if you can’t connect to a cellular network.  I’m not going to get into all the technically amazing shit you can do with Google Voice, but I highly recommend you look into this rad, FREE service.  On a similar tip, when the GPS isn’t working because you are in the middle of BFE, make sure your ass has an actual map, and ensure the map is current.  We’ve become too reliant on technology.  Learn to find your way around without it.  The most interesting places on this planet do not have cell towers. My wardrobe travel essential this trip has been my hooded army green drawstring-waist jacket.  It has sheltered me from the rain, kept me warm, but not hot, and has plenty of pockets for items I want to keep close.  A loosely structured jacket pulls together an outfit while also maintaining a feminine silhouette.   Bring every kind of wipe you can fit in your bag: anti-bacterial, flushable, baby, whatever.  Wipe the remote and any other surfaces to protect you from the skeeve.  If you watch Hotel Impossible, you already know why.  Mitigate the funk.