Friday, July 27, 2007


Amanda and I hit the IKEA Grand Opening on our way out to a dog romp--we didn't bother waiting in line, etc., just barged in on the opening ceremony. You missed: TV crews, Swedish national anthem, old man in knickers creakily cranking up Swedish and American flags, ladies in Swedish national costume handing out canary-yellow swag, Tom Potter droning, finally ABBA blasting "Dancing Queen" as the manic hordes burst forth and flooded (shuffled) through the doors, waving their inflatable IKEA thunder-sticks.

Picture the throngs below streaming out of the left side of the frame and all the way around the back of the building, where hundreds more patient consumers waited in the paved and barren shadows, far out of earshot and sight of the "entertainment."

The front-of-line people started camping out on Monday for the Wednesday morning opening. For this, they were rewarded with I WAS ONE OF THE FIRST 100 AT PORTLAND IKEA T-shirts. (Which you can see tied around/tucked into? the waist of the middle lady.)

Amanda and I targeted the Swedish dames like fighter pilots, swooping in on as much tacky swag as possible in fifteen minutes. (The dogs were waiting in the car.)

I am unexpectedly excited to now own a "cellphone chair," a yellow nerfy thing upon which my battered mobile is currently resting.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

ROBERT, 1975-2007

My friend Robert died last night. He was found in his apartment in Oslo by a bandmate. It is in the Norwegian newspapers.

(That's Robert, on the left. Then Frode, then this other singer Ane Brun, then Sivert.)

I met him in 1997, during one of a handful of amazing summers where I'd go to Norway for a whole month. He and his bandmates had moved from their tiny town way above the Arctic Circle to Oslo, to make it as a band. They were called Abbey's Adoption, one of the worst band names I've ever heard. (Also: imagine it spoken with a Norwegian accent.) Frode explained (sheepishly) that, unable to agree on a name, they had opened up the English dictionary to A and picked out two of the first words they found. Fortunately, they dropped it after like two shows and became Madrugada.

Miraculously, they actually did make it and became one of the biggest bands in Norway.

I originally wrote way more in a huge long post here but it made me feel weird, writing all these things about it. I haven't seen Robert in a few years. But he was a sweet, kind person, and I knew him at a really good time in my life, and his. And I'm terribly, deeply sad that he "left," as they say in Norwegian. His summer was booked with shows and he was in the middle of recording Madrugada's fifth album. He was only 31, two and a half weeks older than me. Isn't in medias res where you're supposed to start, not end?

Hva tenkte du, kjære venn? Du var ikke ferdig her.

Monday, July 2, 2007


The rock camp session one showcase was one of our best yet.
The Today Show was there to film it! Segment airing sometime in the next couple weeks!
Here are photos.

UPDATE: Here's the Today Show segment. I am in it for two seconds. Disclaimer: I had no idea they were going to be at camp when I arrived the first morning of the session. I definitely had not showered.