Tuesday, July 14, 2009

... just another day

hi y'all, well, just another day in sunny portland... except it wasn't actually that sunny today. it was actually pretty overcast for most of the day, which means that, as per usual, chances are i'll be quite sunburnt. i know, i know... why do you go out walking without a hat if you know you're still going to get sunburnt anyway? i don't know. no, wait, hang on, i think i do know. i am a lazyarse, that'd be it! and i'm very much enjoying the sun! who knows? maybe my arm-tan-lines will be back up to aussie summer standard? perhaps...

i did quite a bit of walking around today. i caught the 14 bus into town, changed to the 9, went up to union station to the amtrak counter to buy my tickets for my side-trip to astoria. i'm almost starting to wish i hadn't decided to go there, simply because of the pain it's going to be schlepping my stuff hither and yon over the next week. i've also been told to go visit long view, washington, which is just across the bridge from astoria and which i've been assured i can get to via a regular service across that bridge. i'm not ecstatically interested in doing that so i haven't really looked into it at this end - i figure that when i get to astoria i'll check it out there.

so after i bought my tickets i walked north to the broadway bridge. it's one of the many bridges here in portland, a town famous for its many bridges, each one unique in its own special way. i'd love to take some photos of those bridges that move to accommodate riverine traffic but i can't be bothered checking with the appropriate authorities for vessel piloting times. if it happens, it happens. i had planned to walk back over the fremont bridge but it didn't have any pedestrian access that i could find. i already knew that it was closed to bicycle traffic, so maybe it was a bit of a pipe dream that i'd be able to walk it. the st john's bridge is further north up the willamette but i'm in two minds about going over that. i've a sneaking suspicion that it may be more trouble than it's worth simply to get there.

i did take some photos from the broadway bridge (it's painted the same colour as the golden gate bridge, called both "golden gate red" and "international orange", or so i've been given to believe), one of the fremont bridge and one of the steel bridge, which i will try to walk across at some other time.

while i was in north portland i had lunch at a yummy pub-place called the gotham tavern; delicious food, yummy beer (i had a "liberty ale" by a brewing company in san francisco called anchor brewing), great atmosphere, wonderfully relaxing in the early afternoon. i decided instead of walking the fremont bridge to find a place called "liberty hall", where once microcosm publishing (see link adjacent) had their digs. the place was locked up tight as a drum when i went past, else i would've stuck my head in. i was starting to feel a bit tired or i might have walked into ne portland to try to find the statues of the ramona characters. going to church the other day, i did go past klickitat street, featured as the home of beezus and ramona from the beverly cleary novels (very popular when i was in primary school oh so any years ago!) there is a park in northeast that has these statues and that is a destination for me.

so instead of doing that, i caught the bus back into the city, connected to the 14, and arrived on hawthorne blvd early enough to go to the bagdad to see x-men origins: wolverine. it wasn't bad, cheesey continuity stuff aside, and i was glad they ended it in japan (post credits). i was less impressed with their rejuvenated professor x (it looked ridiculous in x-men: the last stand so why repeat it here?) and i thought that ryan reynolds was utterly wasted as deadpool. danny huston did a good job as william stryker but i have trouble imagining him ageing into brian cox. look out for max cullen and julia blake! it was turning into spot-the-australian-actor for a while there. i liked the guy who played agent zero - i think that tim kang (the actor playing kimball cho in the mentalist) would have been equally good or better as zero.

when that was over, i went downstairs and enjoyed breadsticks (purportedly with a garlic-herb butter but not that i could really taste) and a glass of porter. since trying (and thoroughy enjoying) the james squires porter, i've been trying other dark beers as the opportunity arises. i've been known to enjoy a guinness now and then but here in portland there are quite a few microbreweries making porter and i'm very much enjoying trying them out. the black rabbit porter was nice enough, better with the breadsticks, had a thick, loamy taste that i wasn't a huge fan of with a mouthful of fruit at the end (which i really didn't like and which the breadsticks quite put paid to). not that i feel i'm becoming a connoisseur but i want to be able to articulate what i like. or not.

i finished the porter in time to go into the next movie, drag me to hell. sam raimi returns to his roots with a simple tale, simply told, or a good girl who does one wrong thing. typically, at least in horror movies since about the mid-70s, the good girl gets the bullseye painted on her back by sleeping with her boyfriend - in this film, she's already living with her boyfriend, brilliantly underplayed by justin long in a role he truly could have hammed up to the max. no, in this movie she gives it up for her boss, a small-town/suburban bank manager played by david paymer (also brilliantly subdued), by going against her gut instincts, being hardnosed with an elderly mortgagee and foreclosing on her house. the woman turns out to be a gypsy - curses her - and so the story unfolds.

i loved the attention to detail that raimi takes with this movie. it's nothing spectacular but if it had gone straight to dvd it might easily have slipped through the cracks. the only personal touch missing was the lack of bruce campbell - although sam's brother ted has a barely-visible-but-you-know-that-voice-anywhere cameo - but i think that the subdued acting (in contrast to the action) would have been hard for campbell to live down to. i found the special effects to feel low on CGI use, giving the impression of effects that one might have seen in a b-movie horror, lots of shadows, creaking doors, wind effects, jump-cut close-ups. the make-up effects are great. i think the lack of name-stars gives the film a cachet and an integrity that bigger celebrity actors would have detracted from and this will yield more enjoyent over successive viewings. i didn't think much of it five minutes later but i walked out two hours ago and i'm enjoying it even more now. alas, i predicted the ending.

one postcard down, four to go, plus a letter. oh yes! i also visited the post office. very friendly. maybe i got them on a good day. who knows?

i'm planning on doing washing tomorrow night, which gives me an extra day to do it if it turns out that i can't do washing tomorrow night. i might just take a book into town tomorrow and find somewhere to sit and read. maybe finish that obama book or read the mary guterson one.

oh, hey! she visited my blog and commented on my post! i couldn't think of how she found it but i realised that she must simply have googled herself and looked for what came up as recent. (i might go try that now... cool - i googled "mary guterson"+powell's+reading and came up on the second page...) there you go. cool.

well, i have a couple of other emails to send, then off to bed. good night!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

G'day matey!
Instead of 'schlepping' your stuff all over the never never, why don't you take what you need and put the rest into a secure locker at the station?
Also, after reading mother your blogs she thinks you should send your movie critiques to the ABC and offer to be their rover world movie reporter!
Glad you're having fun and remember - slip, slop, slap!
Sis xxx
PS: big hug from mum