What I Learned While on Vacation With My Mother in Oregon

1.) I smirk like Michael C. Hall. Not in pictures, not to people, but in those little self-gratifying “a-ha” moments which typically occur in public and most likely make me look smug. The problem is, I hate that smirk. I hated when he did it on “Six Feet Under” and I hate how he does it on “Dexter”. Why did I develop this problem? Why?

2.) This is the first time I’ve seen my mother in 9 months and I was confused and disappointed to discover that the phrase, “Cool beans!” comes out of her mouth after each excitable moment. I casually mentioned to her that it’s not 1998 anymore but she says she can’t help it. I love her nonetheless.
3.) Some breed of fly has taken over coastal Oregon. They swarm onto you by the dozens and stick to your body. It makes you realize what rotten fruit must feel like.

4.) Oregon is way too clean. Look, I lived in the state where three of the dirtiest beaches in the country are located. I’m used to a little poop in my drinking water. My first introduction to Venice Beach? Digging up a syringe in the sand. Now, that is a beach! Forget all this no cigarette butts and crystal blue water shit.

5.) I don’t want to get old. We had to be the only people under 70 traveling the Oregon Coast this week. It was an enigma. Every single place we stopped at had a bunch of blue hairs with brightly colored placards draped around their neck so they wouldn’t stray too far from the tour bus. They all walked very slowly and looked angry. I want no part of it.

6.) Trendy boutique hotels in top-rated hipsters cities are not suitable for mothers. It wasn’t the condom sitting by the bedside that bothered her, but the Ikea furniture, box-like sauna of a room, and lack of elevator. Yeah, but Mom, you can go drink a Pabst Blue Ribbon with a bike mechanic named Spider downstairs at the bar.

7.) The people who own what is affectionately known as “Mikey’s House” from Goonies are really cool. They invite you to come up their drive-way and gawk at their house.

8.) I’ve seen heaven and it looks like a giant cheese factory off the coast of Oregon.

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  • Reply mysterg September 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    I can't tell in that last picture if that is your Dexter grin or your cheese appreciation grin – but either way I think it suits you!

  • Reply That Chelsea Girl™ September 23, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    I <3 Oregon. Glad to see you had a good time!

  • Reply Hannah Miet September 24, 2009 at 12:19 am

    I actually love that grin on Six Feet Under.

    And "but Mom, you can go drink a Pabst Blue Ribbon with a bike mechanic named Spider downstairs at the bar." That took me a minute to recover from. My ribs almost burst. I can't imagine ever taking my mom to a hipster hotel. Though I did go out with my father and autistic brother in Williamsburg on a Friday night…so, there's that.

  • Reply Hannah Miet September 24, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Also, you are too cute for words.

  • Reply Tennyson ee Hemingway September 24, 2009 at 1:54 am

    I'm very much looking forward to getting old and travelling on a bus tour all the time. Of course, by that time, I will be in the throes of a major cocaine addiction, so it won't be too bad.

  • Reply Polly Syllabick September 24, 2009 at 1:58 am

    Wait, wait. Spider's in Oregon? I coulda sworn I just saw him by the Montrose stop off the L. That sonofabitch owes me money.

    And what kind of cheese was it? Regardless, I'm jealous. Your trip looks nostalgic, quirky and fulla love.

  • Reply Polly Syllabick September 24, 2009 at 1:58 am

    PS Tennyson ee Hemingway is my new "If I make it past 50 this is what I'll do" hero.

  • Reply withthejoneses September 24, 2009 at 2:36 am

    Spider and the PBR almost made me pee in my pants! Love the image.

  • Reply Hipstercrite September 24, 2009 at 3:49 am

    Mysterg- that is my "I love cheese!" grin but it is kind of close to the Michael C. Hall grin. Imagine a more subtle smile with dancing eyes.

    Chelsea- thank you! it was a blast! at the airport now heading to ny for a little bit.

    Hannah- how did your brother and father enjoy Williamsburg?

    Hemingway- where will you visit when you're old?

    Polly- yeah, Spider lives in Portland, Austin, New York, Chicago, Philly, and L.A. In each city he looks a little different, but it's always him. Always drinking PBR and talking about his bike

    Emily- I miss you!

  • Reply Hannah Miet September 24, 2009 at 5:16 am

    My dad was confused as to why the boys were wearing "ladies' pants."

    My brother passed by a group of street musicians and said "is that a Beastie Boys song?" and someone chucked a PBR can at his head.

    So, uh, they liked it.

  • Reply cool as folk September 24, 2009 at 9:25 am

    I would travel all the way to Oregon just for the cheese. Definitely.

  • Reply Angie September 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Cheese factory? Amazing! You know, the Hershey Factory is a couple hours from Ottawa… that tour is ALWAYS a good time… plus it has a gift shop at the end… mmm…..

  • Reply kayseeah September 24, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    I know that grin! It's cool beans!

  • Reply nicopolitan September 24, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    PLEASE tell us you made it out to Powell's bookstore? A trip to Oregon isn't complete without it.

    Oh but cheese does happen to cover a lot of ground.

  • Reply Stephanie September 25, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I must visit Oregon. Looks like you had a good time.

  • Reply Borah September 28, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Heaven is a giant cheese factory? Cool beans!

  • Reply Ms. P September 29, 2009 at 4:52 am

    You are amusing as hell, and I must concur on the cheese factory…

  • Reply Hipstercrite September 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Thanks everyone for your messages! It makes my day!

  • Reply Joanna October 11, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    love your blog. i think traveling with your mom after being out of the house for a while is really enlightening. you realize how strange and great they are at the same time.

    i wrote about going to hungary with my mom back when i lived in europe, it was interesting – http://j0clay.blogspot.com/2008/07/where-in-world-is-mary-jo.html

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