My roots

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Cousins’ and mythical beasts

The allure of the stumpy cow statue was too great. We wanted a hot meal, and it was coming from a restaurant named Cousins’.

Marcie, Cody, Garrett and I were heading back to Portland from the Sasquatch music fest in George, Washington. It was the year before Sasquatch turned into a four day fest, when it was just a standard festival show with two stages and lots of bands. Six years later, I’m still trying to figure out why Coldplay headlined over Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips or Jurassic 5. The venue is called the Gorge, and it’s completely worth the five to six hour drive from Portland.

As much as the town “George, Washington” screams “booming metropolis,” The Gorge is surrounded by absolutely nothing. You have to spend the money to camp at in the official venue campground, which is just a field with banks of port-o-potties. There aren’t even old logging roads to park on or a terrible state campground. The only thing around except the venue are farms where Jethro’s wife comes out to tell you not to park on her property to eat cold pizza out of the cooler that’s jamming into your side while you’re shoved into the back of a Volkswagen.

We drove up the night before Sasquatch and the four of us crammed into a two-person tent that Marcie’s parents got as a wedding present. (Garrett only made it into the tent for a night and a half–he fell asleep face down in the grass in front of the tent for part of the second night). When we were about to crash the first night, we stared in disbelief at the tent door flopping over. I dug through the trunk and found my duct tape, wrapped a piece around the front pole, pulled off a long strip, slapped the tape down to the hood of my mom’s Golf, and said “Everybody in.”

On the way home, we stopped to frolic around the concrete Stonehenge replica at the Maryhill Museum.

About a half hour after crossing the bridge back into Oregon, we were in The Dalles, where the gas station bathrooms sell Love Kits for a quarter. We noticed Cousins’ on the way up to Sasquatch, and on the way back, we couldn’t deny the towering roadside sign or the livestock statues.

The hostess said, “Howdy Cousins!”

When our waiter came to the table, he said, “How are you cousins doing today?”

The menu told a convoluted story about the restaurant’s origins: There was a group of cousins who were close and opened Cousins’ together to serve up homestyle food and make everyone who came there feel like they were one of the cousins too…I hoped the wait staff didn’t cheat at board games like my actual cousins. I let the story of the founding slide, but I had a pressing question when the waiter came back to get our order.

“Random question: Why is the word “halibut” in quotation marks on the “Real ‘halibut’ fish and chips?,” I asked and pointed to my menu.

“I don’t know,” he said. “But yeah, that’s weird. I promise it’s real fish.”

We ordered veggie burgers and salads.

A few top ten lists

I’m restarting my old blog, Alpha Wolverine, as k.wolverine. So to start, I’m reposting the only two entries from my previous blog…

Maiden Voyage:

Top Ten things people have yelled at me while riding my bike in Brooklyn:

Since moving to Brooklyn, biking has become my main mode of transportation. I live in and commute to work through neighborhoods where the fellas just love to yell things at girls. Honorable mentions: Some orthodox jewish kids throwing rocks at my roommate and I as we rode to a party/ hey rider/ I like your bike.

10. “Hey mommy/beautiful/cutie!”

I know nothing screams sex appeal quite like my work pants that are two sizes too big and my super cool helmet, but it’s really great to get reassurance before 9am.

9. “Hey, wait, sexy!”

Sorry delivery truck driver, I had to get to Target and buy muffin pans.

8. “Watch it, Bike-O!”

I responded, “You watch it, walkie!”

7. “Hey I’ll take a ride.”

I’m not sure what he was gesturing at, but something tells me I’ve never been drunk enough to even consider taking it around the block.”

6. “Nice titties!”

No explanation needed, just a note that I either need to move or wear a trash bag when I go out.

5. “Heeeeey…you got something on your neck…you got somethin on your neck…I’m just joking…c’mon…”

I was waiting to cross the street and there was one other guy there. He was close enough to see the mole on my neck and remembered that girls really like it when strangers compliments on

4. “Move Bitch, get the f*** out the way!”

I did, even though their beater was in my lane.

3.”Awwww, take me witchoo!”

Oh yes, stranger of the daylight, hop into my basket and let’s ride off together along the JMZ tracks and get splashed with mysterious subway water, which will later cause us to have matching skin legions.

2. “You can do it, hipster!”

You’re right, I can stand on my pedals to travel up hills. Thank you for noticing. I’ve also gotten, “Pump those legs, girl!”

1. “You don’t like yourself very much, do you?”

I was riding toward traffic and as I passed a parked delivery truck and the driver quietly asked me about my self esteem from the window. I’ve also gotten “Are you f***ing retarded?” while riding toward traffic.

Reason #407 why my homestate rules:

I grew up in Oregon. While living there, I never developed any sort of loyalty or hardcore fandom to a college sports team. But I think this video converted me to being a Ducks fan.