Spread Out City, Small-Town Mentality, And Most Embarrassing Moments

Driving down backed-up Lancaster Dr. today, we made our way to Borders so I could buy some Chekov and Beckett short stories, and then to JOE’s (when did they take off the G.I.?) to return a Portland State shirt my mother didn’t know I already owned. I bought a black Nike t-shirt that says, “The Play Maker,” which I feel is fitting since I lead my team in assists.

Later in the evening I had a disappointing phan thai at some hole in the wall on forlorn downtown Liberty street. Building after building was up for sale or lease and even though the mall was bustling, even Gov Cup when I walked by, there wasn’t much to get excited about. No loud drunks in the street, no police lights flashing, no long lines into clubs.

Salem is a spread out city with a small-town mentality. Not that I mean to pick on Salem, I just think that it has so much promise and then fails to deliver. For example, Salem only has one bridge across the Willamette River which makes commuting for West Salemites difficult and is just plain stupid that there isn’t at least two bridges. And, much of the riverside property is unused and rundown property, which is ironic compared to Portland, where even a view of a glimpse of a tree that’s within 200 yards of the Willamette goes for a couple million.

Karin Holton’s rebuttal to the oft repeated “There’s nothing to do in Salem,” believes there’s plenty to do in Salem. Unfortunately I read the article to late and missed the auditions for the upcoming “Sunshine Boys” .

If I did make it to the audition, I would have worn these Robert Wayne shoes.

Now I’m going to switch to a completely different topic.

I want you to think of the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done alone. So embarrassing that if someone had seen you it would be the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done.

Here is mine:

My parents bought a video camera one day on a whim. We were at the Clackamas mall and my brother and I had a hockey game (which was in the mall) later that day. My mom taped all our hockey games that year, like the one in the Eugene tournament with 8 seconds left when I skated the puck into the slot, was tripped, and while falling down, scored the game tying goal to put us into the championship game. She would tape Christmas and Easter and birthdays and family reunions and parties.

This Christmas we pulled out all of those tapes from the closet and started watching them, laughing at the good old days. As a creative child I often used the camera to make movies. Godzilla was my best film. A stuffed Barney played the T-rex that kills everyone but my sister.

Also included in my film credits was a beer commercial, a few ESPN commercials, an unfinished gangster film, and…the most embarrassing of all: a music video. I was 14 when I filmed it in my garage wearing a tank top, beanie, and headphones. Most of the time I was singing along with the music in the background (Switchfoot “I Dare You To Breathe”). For some reason I thought I had destroyed the tape. Like in “The Ring” this tape is indestructible and came back to haunt me. My family was laughing so hard they were rolling on the floor crying and all went to bed that night with horrible headaches because of it.

Whatever you do when you’re alone, just be thankful you haven’t made a video of it.

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4 thoughts on “Spread Out City, Small-Town Mentality, And Most Embarrassing Moments

  1. well since i embarrass myself daily it’s hard to choose just one. but i remember in kindergarden i got really upset when we learned how to sing that song that goes, “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly…i don’t know why she swallowed that fly…perhaps she’ll die. DIE???? that little old lady is going to DIE? i was panicky. then as the song moved along she proceeded to eat a spider to catch the fly then a bird to catch the spider. then she ate lots of other barnyard animals trying to compensate for the one she had just eaten moments before. finally in the end she ate a horse and the last line of the song is “she is dead of course…” well i freaked out in front of everyone. i cried, alot. i saw no reason to kill an old lady in a song or to eat animals while they were still alive and kicking. it was tragic and i was a very innocent little kid- so this was like a full on horror story to me -like steven king at his best. anyway i could not get calmed down. they had to call my mom. and the rest of the year – everytime they sang that song i had to sit alone in the hallway and hold my ears so i could not hear the class sing. i think i told this particular story because it’s the first time i can recall being embarrassed 😉

  2. that is awesome haha. and yeah i totally agree. a biggish town with a definite small town mentality. while portland isn’t all that big, but it has a big town mentality.

  3. okay one time i went into the mens restroom and went in the stall, etc…, came out, washed my hands, and saw a man walk in. i laughed at him because he went in the ‘wrong’ bathroom. as i left, i saw a man at the urinal staring at me as i now realized i was a moron and wanted to hide under a rock.

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