Portland, OR Meet Up: Apparently I’m Supposed To Do a Proof of Life Post

Who knew?

Anyhow, here are the Portland, OR meet uppers or up meeters:

  1. Mnemosyne stated that: “Sorry, I had to take it myself so I’m not in it.”
  2. Landscape (horizontal) mode for pictures and videos!
  3. If you’re in the picture and you want to do so, identify yourself in the comments.

Open thread!

76 replies
  1. 1
    Mary G says:

    A fine crowd of jackals!

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: Hard to tell as the picture isn’t in landscape mode.

  3. 3
    Another Scott says:

    What?! No picture of the back of Capt. Mnemo’s head?!? I am disappoint.


    Green balloons! No wonder it was a success!

    Thanks for the picture. It’s good to know that we’re not all bots here.


  4. 4
    Sab says:

    Saw the picture and wondered “Where’s Mnem?” Never seen her. Never met her. But I know what she looks like from this blog’s comments/photos.

    Only three balloons? Are there lost jackals in the parking lot looking for you?

    Looks fun. Wish NE Ohio jackals would do one, but living in hostile territory makes us shy. I am convinced that Manyakitty lives within two miles of me, and I am equally convinced that I will never know
    who she is. And I have five cats!

    Not a dig. Just survival for the both of us. Sad, though.

    Goku lives miles and miles away. And Dan B moved to the Pacific Northwest years ago.

  5. 5
    germy says:

    I have images in my head of what commenters and front pagers here must look like, but I’m certain my images are incorrect.

    It’s like when you listen to a radio personality for years without ever seeing him or her. Then you finally see a photograph and they look nothing like you imagined.

    Except for Cole. First time I saw a photo of Cole, I said “Yep, that’s him.”

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    Sorry, I had to take it myself

    That’s what the wait staff is for!

  7. 7
    Debbie (Aussie) says:

    What a great looking pride(?) of jackals. (Please advice me of correct collective noun)
    An Aussie meet-up would be great, but I think we are spread (thinly) all over this rather large continent.
    A quick hello and thank you to all at this wonderful place, for allowing me to feel like I have fiends with interesting lives, for getting angry at the same/similar things that make my blood boil and for keeping me semi-sane in a time when the rest of the world seems to heading for hell in a bribed wire canoe 😢or🤬

  8. 8
    p.a. says:

    Nice. Who won the pool tourney?

  9. 9

    A snarl of jackals.

  10. 10
    John Cole says:

    You magnificent motherfuckers look at you

  11. 11

    Although this lot don’t look very snarlly.

  12. 12
    Amir Khalid says:

    @John Cole:
    You Magnificent Motherfuckers sounds like a band name.

  13. 13
    Dan B says:

    @Sab: Yes I did move to the PNW. 46 years ago. Was back in 1980 to move my parents from Clearview Acres to Seattle. My mom was afraid that Seattle would be buried in lava by Mt. Saint Helens (100 air miles away).

    Best of luck with a meetup!

    Portland crowd looks great! Lots of the menfolk.

  14. 14
    Sab says:

    @Debbie (Aussie): Google says we are packs. A snarl sounds more like us ( at least when we are late night gathering.)@Debbie (Aussie):

    Australia never ceases to amaze me. Wired canoes? Y’all are endless creative. Did you mean bribed wired, barbed wired, or simply wired? Any of them are plausible, and sound uncomfortable.

  15. 15
    satby says:

    Nice looking bunch! Hope it was a good a time as the picture suggests! I love seeing meet up pictures.

  16. 16
    Dan B says:

    Adam, Thanks for posting this! Extra points (for what – don’t ask. Jackals may hav opinions..)

  17. 17
    Sab says:

    @Dan B: Glad you got her out there. Seattle sounds like a wonderful place to retire with family.

  18. 18
    Debbie (Aussie) says:

    Sab, it was meant to be barb-wired canoe🙃 you know, the one up shits creek without a paddle.
    John, I like snarl, sounds very suitable for this lot a jackals, for sure.

  19. 19
    Sab says:

    @Debbie (Aussie): Yep, uncomfortable.

  20. 20
    BubbaDave says:

    Was a lot of fun, although next time we should either try someplace else or pony up the $300 deposit because we were under-tabled for some time before our neighbors left and we were able to annex the two tables closest to the camera. Good to meet so many other PNW jackals, and of course the legendary Ms. M.!

  21. 21
    NotMax says:

    Excerpt from The Coca-Cola Kid.


  22. 22
    cain says:

    I’m the only dark skinned guy in the pic 😂

  23. 23
    Dan B says:

    @Sab: My father withdrew but my mother took the bus everywhere. She joined several peace groups and went to the opera, including the full Ring Cycle, and symphony. In Ohio it was a once yearly trek to the Cleveland Symphony and Szell played a lot of Mozart and Bach – too plain for an Oberlin Conservatory grad.

    My father had wanted to retire to rural Arkansas. Yikes!

  24. 24
    Kent says:

    Sorry I missed you guys.

    I was going to drive in from Camas but then my wife got off work early last night and decided it was time for a date night. A Balloon Juice meet-up in a downtown Portland bar was not her idea of how to spend Friday night!

  25. 25
    Dan B says:

    @cain: Somehow I thought you were an overseas Jackal…. Only over-river. Woops.

  26. 26
    Dan B says:

    @Kent: So where did you end up on your date – Boring? /

  27. 27
    NotMax says:


    Omitted the quote to accompany the link.

    “That’s as Australian as… a barbed wire canoe.”

  28. 28
    Middlelee says:

    @Debbie (Aussie):
    A skulk of jackals.

  29. 29
    Duane says:

    @cain: You’re going to have to narrow it down more than that. Come on I’m dying to know who’s who at the table! What’s good to eat there?

  30. 30
    Sab says:

    @Debbie (Aussie): My sister is a Chinese art historian ( not Chinese at all, WASP born in Ohio, just loves the culture.) I went to a lecture of hers a few years back, about Chinese diaspora artists.

    One of the paintings I liked epecially was of the face of a large mammal with big eyes and huge ears. Also lots of stuff around it.

    My sister puzzled over it a bit and then moved on. After the lecture I went to shriek at her. “WTF is wrong with you if you cannot recognize a kangaroo painted by a Chinese immigrant to Australia?”

    She has a Ph.D. and tenure at her university and is about to retire with all kinds of honors. Five years later I am still gobsmacked and not inclined to be charitable. Do your job. Open your eyes.

  31. 31
    Bodacious says:

    Oh geez!!! I lived in Portland area for 27 years, waiting for a BJ meet-up, unable to scramble to Seattle. Now I’m in Boise. That’ right………….Boise. When hell freezes over, right?

  32. 32

    Fine group of jackals there.


    “Where’s Mnem?”

    I initially had the same question, but yeah she took the pic. I’m also usually the one taking the pictures when the LA area pack gathers.

  33. 33
    Steeplejack says:

    Landscape mode for every goddamn video and for almost every photograph unless you’re Ansel Adams or you’re doing a formal portrait of royalty.

  34. 34
    Steeplejack says:

    Here’s a little blast from the past that raised my spirits. I was talking with a friend via e-mail about Italian beef places in Philadelphia and got reminded of one of Jon Stewart’s greatest rants on The Daily Show: Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and pizza, from 2008. How time flies.

  35. 35
    NotMax says:


    But portrait mode is so slimming.


  36. 36

    @Sab: I’d do the trek to see the blog host. Kay and Ohio Mom are around here too. I thought eemom might be nearby, but that’s just wishful thinking on my part.

  37. 37
    tokyokie says:

    @Bodacious: I realize it’s not much consolation, but Boise beats the hell out of being in Twin Falls or Moscow. (Or so says somebody who used to live Ogden, which is better than Brigham City or Provo.)

  38. 38
    Steeplejack says:


    I really have problems with the Arby’s TV ads—Sterling Archer’s voice coming out of the visually not Archer H. Jon Benjamin. Ngrr!

  39. 39
    NotMax says:


    Or, one suspects, Dickshooter.


  40. 40
    Steeplejack says:

    @Bodacious, @tokyokie:

    Boise Boys is a pretty good renovation show on HGTV. The two guys have good chemistry, and they do a lot of mid-century houses, which I like. I’ve never been to Boise but would like to visit sometime. That is all.

    ETA: Maybe I’ll have a chance if/​when my RWNJ brother retires to a survivalist compound in the area.

  41. 41

    @Amir Khalid:

    You Magnificent Motherfuckers sounds like a band name.

    Godspeed You Magnificent Motherfuckers

  42. 42
    Sab says:

    Downstairs talking to my husband. Heard a big crash upstairs. What could that possibly be? We don’t have crashable stuff upstairs.

    Yes of course we do. Starscream the large tuxedo cat decided to launch himself from the basket on the desk where I told him at least fifteen times today any launch would not have a happy ending.

    He launched at about 11:30 and he scattered everything from the basket to the floor, and also a lot of stuff not in the basket. He is downstairs, sitting, waiting for me to calm down. I am debating with my husband whether to toss his sorry ass outside for the first time in fifteen years. The rain is pouring a lot outside. I say yes. My husband, surprisingly, says no, because he loves that cat (first time I have EVER HEARD THAT about that cat.) So I am latching my door so that that cat doesn’t think he is forgiven and can come visit me.

    Someday WearBear will tell me how I have gone wrong. Meanwhile my absolute favorite cat will sleep with his cat buddies instead of me so that I can punish him.

    At least I didn’t bite his head off . He wouldn’t treat a chipmunk like I treated him.

  43. 43
    Lokahi says:

    I’m the short guy in the Aloha shirt.

    Oh, right. Can’t see the shirt. Because portrait mode?????

    Great to meet everyone and wish Mnem a Happy Birthday. It was my second Balloon Juice meetup; the first featured Cole himself in Austin many years ago.

  44. 44
    Steeplejack says:


    It was my second Balloon Juice meetup; the first featured Cole himself in Austin many years ago.

    Man, you should get an oak leaf cluster or something.

  45. 45
    NotMax says:


    Willow leaf cluster. :)

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:


    I was standing at the head of the table. Landscape mode would have cut out half of the jackals.


    Who did you think I learned that trick from? 😂

    It was a fine meetup with lots of talking by all. I forgot the LA refinement of bringing blank nametags so people could write their nyms. I was a few minutes late, so the table thing was a relatively minor annoyance to me. 🤷‍♀️

    I had a pretty epic Portland day:
    – Walked to Blue Star for donuts and handed out one of my Pride buttons
    – Took the Max to the Oregon Zoo and hand-fed the sea otters
    – Had lunch at the zoo with G and then set out on an epic hike across Washington Park (we’re middle-aged and out of shape and spent a lot of time cursing whoever decided that was an “easy” hike)
    – Discovered that the summer tram stops are not marked in any way we could see and started retracing our steps back across the park
    – Stumbled across a permanent tram stop that took us back to the Max station
    – Collapsed at the hotel for a couple of hours
    – Giant dinner at El Gaucho, which included tableside bananas foster complete with giant flames
    – Return to hotel where we collapsed in exhaustion

    Tomorrow we’re going to try for an early run to Powell’s so we can stay out of the way of the Pride parade. We’ll have to come up with a way to kill a couple of hours between hotel check-out and returning to the airport, but I have a couple of ideas. 🤔

  47. 47
    NotMax says:


    Bananas Foster would be a super name for a drag queen.


  48. 48
    something fabulous says:

    @Mnemosyne: previous thread appear to be dead so happy birthday upstairs to you too!

  49. 49
    Pete Downunder says:

    @Debbie (Aussie): I think Vivabrisvegas is in Ipswich and I’m in Brisbane so if you’re up north should be easy. Also I go to SYD and MEL pretty regularly so a meet up would be good. Adam has my email if you want direct contact.

    ETA: spelling

  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:

    @something fabulous:

    Thank you! We have another day in the city tomorrow before we fly home about 7-ish, so I need to go brush my teeth before I conk out!

  51. 51
    Steeplejack says:


    I was standing at the head of the table. Landscape mode would have cut out half of the jackals.

    Oh, bullshit. You could have framed it to have all the jackals included and lose the half of the current picture that is the rafters and the floor under the table. You weren’t shooting with a Brownie Starmite, were you?

  52. 52
    Bumper says:

    I’m the first one on the left. Mr. Bumper chose to sit this photo out. It was a nice meet up. After leaving Raven and Rose, realized Powell Books is open quite late so we made a quick visit there. Their parking garage is a white-knuckle experience but it’s worth it for the chance to spend time there. Got a recommendation to visit Mills End Park, which sounds like a must-see on our next trip down. Thanks Mnemosyne and Portland juicers for getting this together 😄

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne says:


    You realize there’s a reason all of my film degrees are in writing, yes? I can’t take a photo for shit. 🤷‍♀️

    Since I was standing at the short end of a rectangular table, it made sense to me. Crop out the bits you don’t like.

  54. 54
    J. Squid says:

    It was wonderful to meet so many interesting, knowledgeable folks. I could listen to those perspectives and experiences for quite a few more hours.

    I’d love to have Mnemosyne take all future pics of me because I can assure you that I – 2nd from the front on the left – don’t look close to that good.

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:


    It was great to meet you and Mr. Bumper! Hopefully he wasn’t too bored. 😂

  56. 56
    opiejeanne says:

    I’m the white-haired woman on the left. mr opiejeanne is just beyond me, I don’t remember who the next woman is, then Warn. Cain is in the dark pink shirt, the gentleman in black is Aziz, Light!, then Kenji. I’m sorry but I either didn’t get everyone’s names or I have forgotten. I’m afraid I bore poor Aziz to tears.

    Afterward, we were going to take Mnem back to her hotel but we had a little adventure trying to get the garage pass to work, and the gates were closed so we couldn’t just walk down the ramp. I know there’s a hotel connected to that parking garage but darned if we could find the entrance. Finally, we went back and got the card to work but for a moment it was a bit unsettling.

  57. 57
    opiejeanne says:

    The Rookery, where we met, is above the Raven & Rose. The building was constructed as a stable or carriage house in 1888 and has been moved from its original site, then moved back (If I understood correctly).


  58. 58
    piratedan says:

    @Mnemosyne: if you have transportation, I would humbly suggest either Multanomah Falls (just head east down the Gorge for about 30 miles), or rack surfing a Music Millennium down in the Hollywood district, but naturally ymmv

  59. 59
    Bumper says:

    @Mnemosyne: He wasn’t bored, just tired. He spent Thursday at work, then went to a hooding ceremony at Tacoma, then picked up oldest son at UW to move him home for the summer. It was close to 3am when they returned on Friday, then he had a regular work day and the trip to Portland. It’s been an exhausting few days but he was able to rest today. I was so appreciative that he made the drive with me because Balloon Juice is really more my thing than his.

  60. 60
    worn says:

    @cain: I’d like to say I’m the only redhead in the photo, but I’m not sure that’s true.

  61. 61
    worn says:

    @opiejeanne: It was a pleasure to meet you & your husband, opiejeanne. I came away most impressed with the folks who trundled down from the Seattle area. That’s a grueling trek when take on a Friday afternoon. Attendance was easy for me – the venue is on the way home from work.

    Best of luck with the remainder of your travels!

  62. 62
    tobie says:

    So jealous of all you Pacific Northwest Jackals! The PNW always feels to me like a serene oasis in an otherwise angry land. Hope you all had a great night and great conversation over microbrews!

  63. 63
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @BruceFromOhio: we had a Blue Ash meet up over the winter that was well attended. I’ll be back there before too long.

    If you’re a lawyer, we also have periodic meetings of the Balloon Juice Blue Ash Bar Association at the Brown Dog Cafe. It’s more of a bar meeting than a lawyer meeting, of course!

    @Mnemosyne: I did the Washington Park hike way back when I was your age last year. Same experience.

  64. 64
    zardalu says:

    Two weeks! Two weeks after I move from Vancouver to Lacey there is a meetup in Portland. Wished I could have been there and met all the fine jackals. Oh, back that camera up about 10 feet.

  65. 65

    @Mnemosyne: When is your birthday?/

  66. 66
    The Lodger says:

    I’m the partially visible guy behind the gent in the black shirt.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:


    We would have figured something out. I haven’t had great luck with magnetic strip cards lately, so it was probably my bad aura.

    I still can’t figure out how that building could be a hotel, though. It looked way more like an office building.


    We’re having a car-free trip, so we’ll probably stick with Powell’s. Next time, maybe!


    The actual day was yesterday. I’ll send you a photo of me with the otters. They were super cute and wanted all the shrimp, NAOU! 😂

    They apparently have semi-retractable claws, sort of like a cat, so they warned us to be careful while pushing the treats to them.

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m just teasing a little — he was fine. I made G come to an LA meetup after we had a few regular ones just so he knew who all of these strange guys I was hanging around with were.

    It just made me laugh that when I said, “Picture time!” he did a slow fade backwards like Homer Simpson disappearing into the hedge.

    @Steve in the ATL:

    It was a beautiful hike and nice and cool under the trees. It was just a bit annoying that we couldn’t find any of the summer tram stops.

  69. 69
    chris says:

    Happy birthday, Mnemosyne! Here’s your present. Sea otter cam with otters right now!

  70. 70
    TomatoQueen says:

    @Steeplejack: Dead thread I know, but in case you do see this, thanks for posting it. 2008 you say and of course you do. There is no excuse for anyone not knowing all there is to know about him and at least that far back. Brilliant.

  71. 71


    …the gentleman in black is Aziz, Light!…

    That is like the best nym ever.

  72. 72
    cwmoss says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Were you in our fair city (PDX) doing some union busting? We still have a few unions left, so next time you come here, give a holla!

  73. 73
    Aleta says:

    Happy birthday week Mnem!
    I had some of your present from @chris: . (Liked rhythm w/ the random paddlers) Cool that you saw otters from the train on the way up.
    Thanks for the picture! First impression “I like those rafters above the faces and balloons.” So f’k’m brainswashed by tech dictates, and long live freedom! … : )

  74. 74
    cwmoss says:

    I’m in the light blue shirt, second from the right. Nice to meet you folks who were sitting at the near end of the table. (Next time, I’ll try to cover both ends!)

  75. 75
    Chris Johnson says:

    @NotMax: Mop leaf cluster :)

    One of these days I’ll drop by an East Coast one…

  76. 76
    Kent says:

    @Dan B:

    @Kent: So where did you end up on your date – Boring? /

    Nuestra Mesa in downtown Camas if anyone is still reading this. They have nice outdoor tables and great street tacos on home-made blue corn tortillas: https://www.nuestramesacamas.com/ plus a good selection of Mexican beers on tap. I get weary of all the super-hoppy IPAs sold around here.

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