Portland, Oregon

Had the electrician out today to install a new light/bath fan combo unit in the upstairs bathroom and fix the long-standing bath fan problem in the downstairs bathroom. Let me tell you, those guys from Code Electric know their stuff. Not that I’m at all qualified to judge, but any time I look at something and say, “You know, there’s no way I could do that as well or as efficiently” I become a very happy fella. This is money well-spent.

We’ve got the tile rep coming out tomorrow, and that will probably give us a good sense for just how close we are to being done. I’m still hoping for a mid-October conclusion, but we’ll see.

I was going to ferry Erin to her first OB/GYN appointment since our big news, but the doctor had a “family emergency” (the tee off time probably got moved up) so we’re now rescheduled for next Wednesday. This is the second time this has happened, so if they move our appointment again, I’m gonna raise a stink, since were kind of dealing with a time-sensitive issue here. Or at least it seems to me like it would be. I mean it’d be nice to make sure the fatigue Erin’s feeling is for a good reason and that she hasn’t come down with some bizarre mono/elephantitus combination.

Drove up to Portland (passing a nasty crash on I-5 southbound) to hook up with Dennis and Maria. Together we headed downtown to the Crystal Ballroom for a concert by Sleater-Kinney. The Ballroom has a really neat gymnastics-like floor that’s all springy. Really cool for jumping up and down on, not that I did a lot of that.

The opening band, the Quails, was a trio out of San Francisco. I didn’t really dig their brand of punk rock, but the bass player was good and they had one song I got into. I could see how some folks might like them. What I couldn’t see was how anybody could dig Shannon Wright, who tortured us for at least an hour alternately on guitar and Rhodes piano. Backed only by some dude on a drum kit, she wailed, yelped and otherwise made a lot of racket—and without much melody to dull the pain. No slight intended on the character of Ms. Wright, who for all I know is a charming person, but I would rather work a week in a baby diaper cleaning service than sit through the likes of her set again. Swear to God, give me a Rhodes piano and a guitar—an instrument I don’t play, by the way—and I’ll put on a much more entertaining hour.

Happily, Sleater-Kinney rocked. The women were in fine form and delivered a great show. They’ll be touring the US for the rest of October, and they’re tentatively scheduled to do Conan O’Brien on October 30. If you get the chance to see them, do it! (And bring ear plugs or you’ll go deaf.)

Special thanks to Dennis for letting me crash at his pad post-show.