Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ashland, Oregon

Ashland, Oregon, site of my dishevelled enrollment in the journalism program at Southern Oregon University from 1994-1997 was the next stop on our whirlwind tour.

Here I reunited with my old housemates Scott and Terry. Had arranged to meet Scott on the deck at the old Rogue Ale brewery. Figuring I'd recognise the guy even though it's been ten years I was strangely drawn to a guy in RayBan wayfarers with his hairdo superglued into devil horns. It was the longest few seconds I've experienced in my entire life. The guy I was fixated on may have even snapped his fingers a few times. Scott showed up subsequently, accompanied by his wife Lisa, who instantly reverted back to calling me Shaner in her own sweet way like I had never left at all.

They had a newborn baby with them and a Boxer. I met them both, the baby and the boxer, the boxer from the back of scott's truck parked under the bridge. The dog suffers from such an extensive underbite that it used to use its lower lip to fling food into the air until scott came to the conclusion that that was no way for a dog to live and designed a food pedestal for him (Scott's a carpenter).

Terry I've known for ages. We played basketball at Mt Hood Community College together from 1991-1993. After that he moved to Ashland and I moved home to my parents, disaffected and riddled with angst, before joining him there in the beginning of '94.

These days Terry lives comfortably in a suburb north of Ashland with his Mexican wife and the beautiful Guatamalen girl they recently adopted.

We partied until we were violently ill. The food of choice were Jalapeno pancakes and a slimier version of Oysters Rockefeller than the ones we had in Monterey. Food was washed down with local Rogue Ale's Nutbrown Nectar, several tall Snakebites and several rounds from a ridiculous sushi place that pumped death metal and specialised in mojitos.

Scott and Terry said my technique of combining a box of macaroni and cheese with a can of chili is now available in stores, I told them that that's great but the original idea came from a guy I went to high school with who had this amazing knack of combining those unexpected ingredients into a delicious late night snack.

Ashland is a really pretty city. I arrived there in '94 a total tragedy and left with some of the polish of the man that I am today.

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