My buddy Jackson is in town. Lord! I haven’t seen this kid in some time. We met in Austin when he was a 19-year-old programming prodigy at the publishing company I interned for. Then we both moved to the Bay Area. I left, he’s trying to leave, maybe to come here. . . .
Now, four years later, Jackson is six inches taller and asleep on a huge area rug in my living room—which, let me just say right here, he purchased for the house earlier this evening! What a swell guy. It was cold and rainy today, and Jackson said to me, “Ryan, let’s go get you a rug.” So we went. We took his buddy Tim and my buddy Ella. We had ourselves a good old time in the car, driving through the rain on the highway, listening to real good music. I found this real big mother in the warehouse section of IKEA, and the two of us carried it to the register like brothers. I bought everyone soft-serve frozen yogurt. I said, “Y’all wait here. I’m getting yogurt.” And I went and did just that. They had strawberry, so of course we all had strawberry.
Back at my fortified compound, we unraveled the thing out and got to laying down. We rolled around on it like dogs. My buddy Natalie came over, and Matt came home, and pretty soon the place was filled with people, all of us sitting on this huge delicious carpet. Matt lit a bunch of candles and I put on the ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ soundtrack. Ella got cold, I saw her shaking, so I turned on my space heater. I made tea. We drank tea. For God’s sake, finally: our house is now a destination. I looked around and saw what I had, and it was very good indeed.
I AM FINALLY GOING TO STOP JERKING AROUND AND ACTUALLY SELL MY BOOKS
Matt volunteers at some sort of printing press. I am probably going to start volunteering there too. In exchange for the time you put in working the front desk, they let you use all the equipment for free. You just pay for materials. Uh, whoa! Since Christmas I have been touching up my short stories and novellas, and so on, and I’m going to print about 50 copies of each and see what happens. Maybe people will buy them . . . ? I don’t know, dude. It will cost me next to nothing to make them, so really I don’t have anything to lose. If nobody buys them I’ll use them to start fires in my fireplace.
I AM OPENING AN ONLINE STORE WHERE I WILL SELL MY BOOKS, AND OTHER THINGS TOO, SOME OF WHICH WILL BE MADE BY OTHER PEOPLE FAR MORE TALENTED THAN ME
I have designed some things. Some neat little things. I have asked my artist friends to design neat little things too. We’re going to sell them in my store. I am making a store, you see, to supplement my income, and to do work that I give a damn about. It’s about time, yeah? I mean, why not. It’ll be a small store with a few books and a few non-book things. If it somehow becomes a bigger store, then I will work hard to make more things, and then I will use some of the money I earn to go to the dentist.
This is coming real soon! Like . . . within the next few weeks! OK!?
PEOPLE ACTUALLY SHOWED UP FOR DUDE’S DONE WRONG LAST WEEK, AND THEY LIKED IT SO MUCH THEY HAVE PROMISED TO COME BACK
So for two weeks it was just me and Matt. The thing about Portland is that everyone wants to hang out at their cozy house and not leave it. Well, now that our house is cozy as heck, and I’m always making everyone tea and sandwiches and so on, they’ve started to catch on. Also, Dante lives here, and everyone likes petting Dante. Hell, even Dante is starting to like having other people pet him. Really it’s not a bad idea to come hang out at my house. I’ll bet I get a text once a day that says something like, “Hey I’m walking by your house. Can I hang out for a bit?” And I shelter these fine souls and give them water with lemon, and sometimes I let them use my sunscreen too.
Anyway: Dudes Done Wrong was great! We had a screaming good time. What if . . . this week was going to be even better? Whoa. I guess you’ll have to show up and find out!!
LAST FRIDAY MATT AND ELLA AND I SAT ON OUR STOOP AND LISTENED TO MUSIC AND THEN WENT TO A HOT SPRING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
It’s true: We have created yet another ritual, and this time it involves sitting on our stoop and listening to a playlist of carefully hand-selected “Dad’s hanging out in the garage drinkin beers and smookin doobs while Mom’s out of town” tunes. We have something like sixty Classic Cool Dad Songs™ loaded up on this thing: Bad Company, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Dire Straits, and on and on. We put a speaker in the window and get down, man. Last week we shared two bottles of wine and ate a bunch of fruit and shit. I was wearing a fur coat. People were walking by, on their way to bars and whatnot, and we were jammin on the stoop, jammin on the sidewalk, jammin every which way, man. Listen: If you ever want to get heavy with a couple of cool losers, just look for the creeps drinking grocery store wine and eating strawberries while ‘Free Bird’ blares out of an open window.
Uh: Around 2 a.m. we decided to drive all the way to Bagby hot springs, and I’ll be god danged if we didn’t do just that. It was pretty cool! It was also cold as hell. We walked on a dark path in a dark wood for maybe a mile and a half to get to this place in the middle of the forest. We got a private room and hunkered on down. Ella and Matt thought the water was too hot so we had to dump in some cold water from the spring, though hey, it ended up being a real good temperature. We brought candles and everything. By the time we left the sun was coming up. Have you ever driven through spooky foggy Oregon at 7 a.m.? Whoa. It’s a thing to see.
I AM ENDING THIS POST NOW
Every night before I fall asleep I have been watching one episode of ‘Cowboy Bebop’ . . . in Japanese!! I’m going to do that now. I think I’m on episode 13 or something. I haven’t watched it since high school. I watch it, and I wonder: “Why can’t anyone else make something this good?”