hello i have anime hair and i’m ready for bed!!!!

Driving up I-5 towards Portland at 3 a.m. the other night, I saw a surreal orange light glowing in the pitch black trees in the hills. I was confused as to what it could possibly be. It looked like a UFO was landing or something. I remembered years ago taking a bus between Austin and New Orleans in the middle of the night and seeing the black sky on fire from the refinery towers way out there in the barren Texas wasteland. For a moment I thought that might be what I was seeing . . . but of course there are no such things in the Oregon wilderness, at least not there. I had driven up and down this section of highway a million times and had never seen anything like it. I considered that it might be St. Elmo’s fire, but could only know if I got closer, which I was gonna do whether I wanted to or not. Going about a hundred miles per hour I rocketed down the dark highway and approached the strange lights in the trees. I saw this:

Yes! The god damn forest was on fire! I was completely alone on the highway. I didn’t see a single car in either direction. I slowed down to a crawl and took these pictures. Was it a controlled burn? I didn’t know. This was right by Crater Lake National Park, where I had visited years before:

But then I thought, you know, there’s no way they’re going to do a controlled burn that close to a huge national park, and especially not at night like that. Also it was massive. I stopped cold on the highway and rolled down my window. The fire was completely silent and smoke filled the sky. It was so weird to see and I almost considered that in my delirium I was imagining it. The smell! A bonfire the size of Rhode Island. I couldn’t believe it. What else could I do except drive on? So I drove on. I searched for news stories on the fire and found nothing. Had it not been for the pictures I took, I would have chalked it up to a dream.

Days later, round about 6 p.m. on my way back down to Oakland, I saw a massive line of cars at the very same spot where I had witnessed the fire. It was gonna add another hour to my trip . . . but I pulled off the highway and cut through a small town about three miles long, and then got back on the highway, which allowed me to avoid all the traffic entirely. The highway was condensed into one land beyond this point since the fire was raging on about twenty or thirty feet away from me, and sometimes getting so close to the road that you’d drive right through the flames if you were in the far right lane, which was coned off and lined with firetrucks and dudes in hardhats.

Anyway this is what it looked like, now ten times larger than it had been a few nights before:

I only managed to take a few pictures because all these park ranger dudes were waving us through like it was the end of the world. I read later that at that point in the day, the fire had consumed over four square miles of surrounding land, and was apparently started because of a god darn bolt of lightning. Man oh man! The air was polluted with heavy smoke for another two hours or so and seemed to be spreading south into California. I could hardly breathe. It was real bad.

Here’s the last picture I took before I escaped the fire zone:


Man . . . the Pink-Haired Girl and I laid down a bunch of blankets on her top deck and watched the stars every night when I was in Washington. From up there we overlooked the Columbia River, and Portland was way the hell over there across the water and the dark forests. It was completely silent in every direction. And one night we saw probably five shooting stars in a row. It was so cute. We were so happy to see them. There were even some constellations I’d never seen before too. . . .

Her parents were so good to me. I can’t think of nicer people. And I loved her cats too!! Bub looks like black-haired Dante.

As I was leaving, the PHG handed me a big bag of snacks for the almost 700-mile drive back down to Oakland. She gave me a gallon of alkaline water too. Man! I had me a good old time. I drove the equivalent of half the total distance of the United States in a handful of days, and with a fuzzy eye and on no sleep. Hell, I’d do it again tomorrow if I didn’t have bills to pay.

(ALSO: I passed by a huge forest fire that is ripping through hundreds of thousands of acres by Crater Lake, so that was the only bummer. I’ll post pictures I took tomorrow.)

Thanks for everything, Stargirl. I’ll seeya soon.

OK~ ☆彡

Hey!! Don’t forget that DUDES DONE WRONG triumphantly returns AUGUST 1st, which is THURSDAY. Several people have RSVP’d, so it’s gonna be a real hot and delicious night. As is the Dudes custom, I will not reveal what film I will be exhibiting until them butts are planted on my couch. If I tell everyone ahead of time, they will look up some lame-ass synopsis and decide they don’t want to come. But these things tend to be inarticulate and written by bone-headed stooges who couldn’t think their way out of a wet paper bag. Some of the best films I’ve ever seen have been ones I did not know anything about, and they edified me as I sat quietly in the dark with my friends (lol). Just come on over and have a good time, man. It is a beautiful thing. It is gazing into a wormhole which leads to The Other Place. We can only catch of glimpse of it, and only for a few hours. There is such thing as too much of a good thing. This holy night is sufficient to get you through the next week until the follow Dudes. Let us break bread and feast upon the works of geniuses both dead and alive so that we ourselves may live free!!


And why does it start at 8:30 p.m. when The Dudes Code stipulates our ritual is to begin at 8 p.m. sharp? Because some fine individuals from San Francisco are making the trek across the Bay Bridge, and I have rubberband’d the rules to accommodate them . . .that’s just how much I like having them around. Who is missing? Laura and the Pink-Haired Girl . . . but their absence will be remedied soon enough. Yes!

Seeya there punx!!!

P.S. I have added a DDW sidebar shortcut, now that I will be updating the page every week, though you can only see it on a desktop. Oh well! It still looks cool I think . . . but what do I know~