The Daily Discoveries of Gustavo Valentine

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Friday, August 29, 2008

good reads

Bobby came to visit again last weekend and we did our usual pancake breakfast and book store tour. He got me the entire series of a book about a farting dog that's really really funny (to Bobby anyway). And the next day he took me fishing! We didn't catch any fish but I did get to see Grandpa sink up to his belly in the river. He's coming back next weekend and me and Dad and Bob are going fishing again and sleeping over in a motel somewhere and everything. We'll see what we catch. Last time my dad went fishing with Grandpa, HE was the one who got caught. Their first hour in the boat, Grandpa hooked my dad right in the cheek and he had to float all the way down river like a dead Coho salmon. Better luck next time???

Monday, August 25, 2008


So, like I told you, the moms left their kids home with their dads and went out to a night of drinking and dancing and whatnot. Britt and Dawn had left both their 1 year old babies with Britt's husband Monte and so she was anxious and impatient to get that party started fast because she knew the clock was ticking against her. She kept explaining to the DJ that she was a mom that might get a text any minute calling her back into momdom and could he rush past the eclectic build up songs and get straight to the bumping dance songs please.

It was a real great little downtown bar with a real great intimate vibe and the music was truly exceptional. And the party did get started right.

And just as it did, just as Britt was shedding her motherly feelings of obligation and responsibility and getting into the groove, just as the DJ put on her very favorite record in fact, she got the dreaded text: "Signe has been screaming like he's been stabbed for over 30 minutes." Waa waa waa.

So Britt, our hero, "took one for the team" and went home to tend to Dawn's baby so Dawn could have her one night out with all her old Portland posse. That's true blue in the mom handbook.

My mom was also having a real great fun night out, her first actual fun Portland nighttime feeling night, dancing with her eyes closed to some awesome African pop song with some real live jazz guy that just walked in off the street accompanying the song on his saxophone in her ear...when she got the dreaded call on her phone, from Britt: "The baby's still up, I'm sitting on the porch outside so he doesn't wake up the other baby, you've got to bring Dawn home." Waa waa waa. So, (after just one more song), they said good-bye to the Mom's Night Out and headed back to Britt's. This is the whole essence of the M.N.O. It is freeing and it is fun, but it is fleeting. You've just got to understand this.

And so, the two moms finally got home to rescue the one mom and they found her, on the street in front of her house at 1:30 in the morning, with one baby strapped to her chest and another on her hip both wide eyed and sleepless:

Both babies and moms had a pretty slow and sleepy and mildly headachey next day but this is the price they must pay and you can bet they will pay it again the first chance they get.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Party til Dawn

We had the first little soiree over at our house. LA friend Dawn and her baby boy Signe were revisiting Portland, her old town, and we had them over so we could see them and meet more of her PDX pals. It was a big success especially for me because I made two new boy buddies, Badger and Vito. I had so much fun playing with them and running around like mad men and hiding and seeking that the smile on my face almost exploded out of my cheeks.

And then Danny and Amy and baby Nadine popped over from next door and they met everyone and Nadine played with Dawn's old friend and Mama's new friend Britt's baby girl named Piper. This is the way things happen over here, pop overs and meet ups and everyone talks and plays and listens to records and eats good food and sits on the picnic table and it's just so great to have all these new fun people around.


And for my mom to have moms all around her everywhere is a great thing too. As a matter of fact, tonight all the moms are leaving their kids behind and meeting out somewhere on the town. I'll get the full report tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

southern friends

I got to meet and go out to lunch with the notorious Dave Stone who has known my parents separately and together since way back. I wanted to listen to my Finding Nemo tape in the car but Dave said he already knew what Nemo had to say and was more interested in knowing what I, Gus, had to say, isn't that kind of very cool? And at the restaurant Dave had eggs for the first time in like ten years and no one knows why today was suddenly egg day for him. What a strange and mysterious man.

I really do enjoy being the host to the out of towners all the time. Keep em comin' and Keep Portland Weird!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

reunited cuz it feels so good


While in our old neck of the woods I of course stopped by to see my old #1 bud Himal. We went straight into his room to catch up with each other and with any new toys and we didn't come out for over an hour.

The new baby Kailas is barely a baby anymore. This is what happens when you are not around to watch, things change and you don't even know about it. Thank goodness Lishu is still the same wonderful Lishu.

And Leo, still hangin' tough. His hair is wider though. We, us guys, all got to wrestling. Himal's been taking tai kwon do fighting lessons so I can no longer take him down like I used to. I have to admit that he pinned me more than once. I'm asking Mama for my own fighting lessons now. They're all going to come visit Portland soon and then one word, pal -- REMATCH.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

home is where the pie is


Mamop sweet Mamop. Boy did I miss this lady. We drove all the way to Bainbridge last weekend just so I could hug her.
This was our first time back there since we changed houses and towns and states. Everything looked so HUGE. It's like a house for giants compared to ours. They sure know how to live up there. Both my parents took immediate tubbies.

This is Cake-O, Uncle Nicky's new lady friend. She's now my new lady friend too because we really hit it off. She knows how to play cars just like a three year old boy. Aces! And she's named after cake, which I love!

Bobby and I hit the road as soon as possible, cruising around to all our old B.I. haunts, the bookstore, the museum and the ice-cream store, just like the good ole days. I stopped taking naps so now I have plenty of time for cruising and for all the other things that Bob and I like to do such as working in the basement and stupid tent time.

It sure is nice to get away from city life for a few days, unwind in the nature of the tall woods and let in all hang out with the people who know me best. Yep, it sure is.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back To Work

Mama got a job. This is the place. The Northstar Ballroom in the Mississippi district near where we live. She's going to turn this quiet old building into some kind of bohemian renaissance happening spot.

My mom hasn't worked in almost 3 years, unless you count taking care of me every day, which no one really does. She said she was a little shaky but we dropped her off and she went on her way and I asked my dad about once every 12 minutes when she was coming back.

And then later in the day when we picked her up I thought I noticed she had an extra different kind of kick in her step, like I do when I ride my tricycle way down the street all by myself. She is only working a couple days a week so Dad and I are pretty sure we can survive it. Mom says she's looking forward to time in her little office on the top floor but I can't understand how anyone would want to go to work when they could instead spend their time entertaining me. It doesn't make any sense but we're going to support her no matter what she does.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Passers That Pass Through

Auntie Salami. She is a tour manager of a band that came through town so we got to see her and visit. She is has a cane and is currently a hobbler on account of breaking her toe in a late night rock n roll accident.

This is where she lives. It is a giant bus. Do you know how much I've always wanted to live on a giant bus?

She took me ON the bus and well, let me just say, holy moley. This is the life I would like to live I think.

And also the AuntiJen is in town, for a whole month actually. She missed us so much she sublet a room nearby and we get to hang out with her all the time. Instant road dog. And here she is hugging Suzie the adorable merch girl and LA friend. It's like we never left that town at all!

Mama went out to another rock n roll show with all her old homies. Good times, great oldies. (not you, Mom!)

Mama's Girls. Solid Forever.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


The girls and I went to OMSI, the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, which was jammed packed with all these crazy thingies and gadgets and fun stuff to do and to look at.

First off, they had an exhibit all about my very favorite animal in the world right now, the dinosaur. There were huge skeletons of giant actual dinosaurs and some of them mechanically opened their mouths and moved which can be pretty scary unless you are brave.

Here we are digging for dinosaur fossils, something I also know a lot about from my dinosaur books. It took some real persuading to get me away from this part.

Long slimy snakes and big hairy spiders and other crazy creatures that if you are really really brave you will look at through a magnifying glas and feel like you are right next to them.

Eagles nest. Ka-Kaw!

Favorite part: the water river area. Got to wear a raincoat and rubber boots because you're gonna get wet.

And then we all went out for some good Mexican food at our local La Bonita. Emily and Greta always make me to say "guacamole!" in my funny mexican way. The girls and I always have the best time together.

Does it show that I am really having fun in Portland?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

next doors

These are our next door neighbors, Danny, Amy and the baby Nadine. They are super cool and friendly and just like us, a young family who moved to Portland to be slow and peaceful. Danny is also a writer, he works on something called the Lonely Planet, but he seems very happy, not lonely. My parents say we lucked out with the neighbors we got.

We all walked down the street the other evening for some pizzas and beers and getting to know each other chit chatting. I don't think there was ever one second of silent non-talking the whole night.

And then we all walked back home and they went in their house and we went in ours and I went to sleep in my little bed and Nadine went to sleep in her little crib and this is just a picture of one sweet night in our little neighborhood of slowness and peace.

Friday, August 01, 2008

A Gus is a Gus

Our town is called the city of roses.

This is just one of the rose gardens around here.

Mazes and fountains and beauty abounding.

Each day we take a little time to take it all in.

Stoppin' and smellin'. Mmm.