Thursday, October 4, 2007

Random Photo of the Day

Here in Portland, we're adding another light rail line along the path of the original Transit Mall, which opened in 1978. The track will run from Union Station on the north all the way to Portland State University on Fifth and Sixth avenues, where the train will share spaces with buses and cars. Over the past weekend, trains were shut down through central Portland to accommodate construction on this intersection, where the new track had to be cut through the existing track from 1986.

What I find most amazing about the project is the speed at which the road- and trackwork is being completed. There are portions in Old Town where the work is already finished, at least at the road level. None of the work to put in stations, overhead power, or the multitude of other work has even been started. I'll get some photos soon of some of the finished brickwork; it's really beautiful and a significant upgrade over the previous road surface, which didn't appear to have been touched since the 70s.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

So go read the funny book!

Denis Cooverman has spent his school years (especially the critical pubescent years) sitting behind the exquisite Beth Cooper. Year after year, classroom after classroom, sitting in excruciating love, tumescence and devotion.

His big chance finally comes at graduation, in the guise of his valedictorian speech, where he finally and publicly declares his undying love for you, Beth Cooper. An unwise decision? Yes, in all probability, but it's a decision that is destined to change his entire life -- or at least the rest of graduation night, which is nearly the same thing.

Anyone who has survived adolescence, whether as a geek, a jock, the head cheerleader or a Goth, can find serious, important, life-affirming hysteria in I Love You, Beth Cooper. Larry Doyle, who is apparently young enough to remember the wrenching violations of high school and old enough to view it with amusement instead of agony, is a very funny writer, and Evan Dorkin is a very funny illustrator (each chapter features a new and more ravaged portrait of Denis -- see here ).

So, remember, I don't do book reviews any more. This is your only warning. Go get this book and read it.