Star Wars

The moment: early June, 1999. The last day of eighth grade. After a brief ceremony (not really a graduation), we quickly transitioned into the first half-day of summer- the last summer before high school and all that came with it.

Brief Catch-Em Up

I'm gonna try and use this a little more. Life is bonkers and will only get moreso, I'll do my best to keep up and see what we can learn from it. 

  • Just wrapped up an amazing 10 show weekend at Bridgetown Comedy Festival, with very little sleep and more laughing and hamburgers (Neil and otherwise) than you can shake a stick at. Highlight was being loaded blindfolded onto a bus with 45 other people as a part of Kurt Braunohler's K-Ohle Podcast. Looking forward to seeing that go up on the web. Looking forward to sleep. 
  • We're about to embark on a summer-long vagrancy as the inside of our house is demolished and rebuilt, stronger. This week we'll be packing everything up and out, and then it's floating to friends houses, camping in the backyard, and maybe a camper trailer in the driveway if the stars align. I'll try and take some photos.
  • Still listening to hella music. Great new stuff from Young Fathers, The Tallest Man on Earth, and Mikal Cronin. Upcoming concerts: Mountain Goats, James McMurtry. 
  • 5 weeks into marathon training, race in mid August. Look for me on the roads.
  • Excited to add Andrew W.K.'s new podcast "America W.K. with Andrew W.K." into the listening list. Two episodes in, and it's just an hour and a half of him talking to himself about his pseudo-philosophical approach to life. On Glen Beck's radio network. Go figure, go get it.  

A Mystery, In Three Parts

Part 1: Mystery

Sometime in the Summer of 2008, I received a mysterious package in the mail.

It wasn't my birthday, but it was wrapped like a present. It was about 3 feet tall by 8 inches wide (probably was not cheap to mail), and it came from Woodland Hills, CA. The name listed on the address label was "Kuchta", a name which I had no context for, from a place I'd never heard of. The package contained two items. A handwritten note, which said something along the lines of "Was It Good For You?", and this painting:

And that's it. No context and absolutely no evidence that I could trace back to anyone I knew. Emily and I had recently moved into our apartment in NW Portland, and only a handful of people had our address. I distinctly remember double-checking to make sure that I hadn't put our new location up publicly on Facebook inadvertently. Because it was addressed to me personally, I ruled out accident, and because my address was a relative unknown, I ruled out a purely random act of "weirdness". The most baffling thing about it at the time was the apparent cost that it would require to mail it- I knew people who would play a trick like that on me, but it had to have cost $20 to ship, which pretty instantly rules out all of those people.

I used the tools I had to sleuth- I remember staring vacantly at a picture of the address on Google street view, looking for clues. My ex-girlfriend was the one person I knew living in Southern California, and (after some pondering) I reached out to her to see if she knew anything about it.

She did not.

I probably asked around a few likely suspects among my friends, feeling for leads but giving up pretty early when it was obvious they had no idea what I was talking about. Dejected, I wrote the address down in a notebook, and discarded the letter and wrapping paper.

The painting lived in the bathroom of our apartment for the next 8 months or so, and I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it when we moved to our house in January of 2009. Discarding the painting (creepy as it was) felt like giving up on a little mystery that in my heart I knew was worth solving. So it came with us.

I think it spent the first year or so propped up in our current bathroom, prior to a little remodel, and has lived in our basement since. In a stack of random art while Nathan occupied the basement bedroom, it graduated to leaning up against a wall in full view since we got married and kicked out the roomates. Every time I see it, an inspired confusion sets in. I don't like a joke that I'm not in on, especially one I know I would enjoy the punchline of, but I do love a puzzle. Time passes.