Monthly Archives: October 2008

Our October Event

Thank you so much to everyone for attending. Our October event was just wonderful. The storytellers were excellent. The audience was marvelous. Urban Grind was lovely. Special thanks to Dynagraphics for the flyers and Strange Love Live for the sound.

Videos to come.

But first: announcing our December event.

December 10th at the Mission Theater (1624 NW Glisan) Back Fence PDX will host local musicians telling true, unmemorized, eight minute stories based on the theme, Rock the Bells.

Our musicans so far:

Gideon Freudmann from Portland Cello Project

Adam Shearer from Weinland Music


Singer songwriter Nick Jaina.

Info on advanced tickets and more names to be announced.

Thanks so much for supporting Back Fence PDX!


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Back Fence is TONIGHT!

Back Fence PDX is happening tonight. The stories are simply magnificent and the storytellers are remarkable. This month’s intermission features belly dancers Miriam, Kalila, and Mahira of Bellypalooza

Purchase tickets here until 3pm. We only take cash at the door.

And steal that image and put it on your own blog, would ya?

Special thanks to Tyler and Dynagraphics for printing up the paper flyers. Dynagraphics rock, plus they live in a gorgeous deco building. You can see it if you click on that link. For your printing needs, check out Dynagraphics, and check out Tyler’s blog too — it has that new blog smell.


Filed under Just Can't Get Enough

Just Can’t Get Enough October 22nd

We are so excited to see everyone at the next Back Fence PDX event. October 22nd, Urban Grind NE — 2214 NE Oregon St. Doors open at 7, show starts promptly at 8. Come early for beer, wine and food!

Here’s something new: You can buy advance tickets. Go now!

Tickets are $7 in advance, $8 at the door. We’ll only be taking cash at the door, so if you’re a plastic-only person, buy tickets here.

This time we have seven storytellers including San Francisco author and Porchlight co-founder Beth Lisick.

Announcing our storytellers:

San Francisco author and Porchlight co-founder, Beth Lisick. Beth Lisick is the author of two books, Everybody into the Pool and Helping Me Help Myself.

David Bragdon became the Metro Council’s first regionally elected President on January 6, 2003, representing the voters of the metropolitan region. Under David’s leadership as Council President, the Metro Council has undertaken new initiatives to preserve natural areas and protect water quality, support thriving neighborhoods, create jobs and economic prosperity, and improve our transportation network. He drove a taxi right here in Portland.

Sarah Gilbert was once an investment banker. Her transition to the dotcom world looks prescient in retrospect. Now she works from home managing financial blogs for AOL and writes away the wee hours after her three little boys fall asleep.

Sadie Medley has her finger in a whole bunch of pies. By day, she is a freelance graphic designer and creative thinker-chick. By late afternoon she can be found teaching people to stay calm while standing on their heads. In the early evenings she sings opera, and lately, she is obsessed with becoming a voice over actor. Her mutable, and restless personality make this type of life feasible.

Slim Moon still thinks of himself as a punk rocker, after all these years. After 17 years at record labels as founder of Kill Rock Stars and later briefly working as an “A&R guy” for the Warner Music Group, Slim is happy to now be pursuing his true calling in life – helping artists he loves – in the way that best suits him – artist management. Notable artists that Slim has worked with in his life include Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith, Miranda July, The Decemberists, The Gossip, and Deerhoof, among literally hundreds of others…

Tina Newton is the founder and color genius behind Blue Moon Fiber Arts, the company that makes the perpetually popular sock yarn, Socks that Rock. Tina has a fertile imagination and the practical creativity to support it. This energy is contagious and inspiring. She loves sharing her vision and working with others. This is the spirit of Blue Moon.

Dave Jarecki founded Breakerboy Communications to provide strategic messaging, copy and grant writing services to small businesses and non-profit organizations. Writing workshops started in 2005. He likes working with kids because they’re smarter and funnier than adults. Recently, a student in one of his workshops said, I have three weekends between now and next Sunday.

Bellypalooza consists of members from local belly dancing troupe Tigerlillys and solo-dancer Miriam. They enjoy shiny objects, phat beats, and womanly forms.

It’s going to be a great night!

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Just Can’t Get Enough



You’re never truly ready the first time you bleed, no matter how prepared you are. Once you’ve been through days of feverish hemorrhaging and boiling organs, you’ll know for certain you are being punished by an unholy force. No gentle spirit would allow such unjust suffering. Not dying from it afterwards feels unnatural.

In the third grade my mom told me what was coming. We sat on the floor of the living room, our backs against the couch, and she explained the physiological process of “becoming a woman.”

She informed me I was going to bleed once a month. There was a general overview of how babies were made, but only as far as it related to menstruation. Feminine hygiene products were discussed. Bloating, pain, and mood swings were mentioned briefly. She asked me, solemnly, if I had any questions. I can’t remember if I asked any. The only thing on my mind I dared not ask: “Are you crazy?”

Until that moment I had been living in a world of tire swing championships and crunching grasshoppers in the grass until dinnertime. Major highlights that year had been pierced ears and dancing at my favorite teacher’s wedding reception.

And now my mother was telling me that my uterus had an automatic self-cleaning cycle. It would cause pain and inconvenience and make me bleed from between my legs. And I had no say in the matter.

The idea of menstruation appalled me. How could such a thing be possible? It was ridiculous that blood letting and uterine shedding was part of being a woman. It was a story line from a twisted x-rated slasher film. It was unbelievable, and so I decided to not believe it. And then I put it out of my mind.

A couple of weeks into my seventh grade a calm ache simmered in my pelvis, and my heartbeat pulsed in my breasts. A sticky wet substance appeared in my underwear. I decided to ignore it.

By the time I staggered home after school, blood dripped down my leg and seeped into my sock. In the bathroom I peeled off my jeans, dripping dark inside and out. The amount of blood surprised me. I couldn’t believe it. That horrible, unnatural thing that I refused to believe would happen, actually happened.

My mother figured out what had happened when she came in to get the laundry from my room that night. I lay defeated in my footed pajamas, my underwear stuffed with heavy-duty absorbent pads, as she reiterated the major points of the talk we’d had years before. It sounded vaguely familiar.
A storm raged in my genitals. I imagined the churning pineapple in my womb, its bumpy skin scraping the inside, its crown poking through my cervix. It would explain sweet stickiness of the blood.

I went white-faced to school the next day, armed with several super-absorbent pads with useless adhesive strips and a note to excuse me from PE. All day I raced to the bathroom between classes, trying to stay ahead of the flow that gushed out of me.

I ignored the significance of  conversations cut short when I waddled by and women teachers I didn’t know asking me how I was feeling. I pretended I was not mortified by the smell of the deodorant pad, full with warm menstrual blood, wafting from my crotch. I paid no attention to whispers as I walked to my desk in the last class of the day, shaking and thirsty. The large crimson smear I had left on my chair yesterday, however, could not be ignored.


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