Name and nickname: Alex "Grandpa" J.
Age: Oh, god. Thirty.
Hood: Northwest. I'm in the process of moving back from Montana to Portland.
Occupation: I'm a creative. Advertising.
Hometown: Pomona, California. You know who was born there? Tom Waits! We were born in the same hospital.
How fashionable are you on a scale of 1-10? 9.5. That's gonna sound terrible. I'm gonna look like an asshole.
Pet peeve: Ooh, I have three. People who talk to animals in baby goo-goo voices, sweatpants in public, and made-up words. Like "conversate." These are in descending order.
If you had a genie and one wish, what would it be? Money! If an actual genie came to me, I'd have to spend some time with that. I'd really have to look inside myself. The first thing that comes to mind is: I wanna pay off my fucking student loans, because I'm never going to be able to have any sort of life with $100,000 in student-loan debt. It's a toss-up between harmonious union among men worldwide, unlimited income, and superpowers. What kind? All of them. Let's say all of the powers of the X-Men, combined.
If you had a time machine, where would you go? I would visit myself at 21. To give myself... financial information.
Favorite thing about the opposite sex? Hips, and laughter, thighs... I like... just, conversation. Smiles. The little tiny wrinkles in the corner of 30-year-old women's eyes when they smile?! Ugh! [Loud car horn and near-crash] This fucking guy over here, wearing fucking boxing gloves, just crosses the street on a red light and gets mad at the fucking car that's trying to drive past. Fucking dick!
Least favorite thing about the opposite sex? Fighting with them in general. I like nice girls. I can count the number of fights I've had in six cumulative years of committed relationships on one hand. I can count the number of fights I've gotten in with my girlfriend in the last 48 hours on one hand. She has this barrier where she doesn't express her emotions or communicate her needs. So instead it all comes out fucking sideways. Suddenly she's yelling at me for watching Star Trek or something stupid like that. Can't you just fucking be nice? And know what I really don't like about the opposite sex? When they get drunk. I fucking hate drunk girls. When they're drunk, it's the least attractive thing a woman can do to me.
What should all women know that they never seem to? Not for all women, but I just need an hour in the morning. Where you don't ask me questions or talk to me about stuff. Little things are fine: "Have you seen my cup?" I have that, like, with my mom, but not with girls. Well, it's my mom, as well. I've had to tell her, "Can we just leave it alone? It's cool and everything, and I love you, ma... but chill the fuck out! Don't give me advice on what to do with my college degree when it's like, 7:45 am and I've been awake for six minutes! Let me have a cup of coffee! We don't need to plan everything right now. Can we just have breakfast and shut the fuck up?!"
What is your dream? Make money just being me. I just wanna do what it is that I do and have people pay me for it. I like to write, take photographs, create things. And I just want people to give me money for that.
What is your best Portland story? Yesterday I met Kenneth from 30 Rock, which was pretty cool. But I'd have to say spending the Fourth of July in 2008 with this girl on a roof in Chinatown, making red paper airplanes and throwing them off the roof all night long. Thousands of them.
Name and nickname: Thaddeus S.
Hood: I'm everywhere, man. Like Elvis, man. Like Elvis.
How fashionable are you on a scale of 1-10? Uhhhh... zero. One.
Do you have a cultural recommendation for our readers? Hey kids! Damnit! Test yer ears a little bit, sit down... hunker down for a few months, and learn some progressive jazz fusion and progressive rock, damnit! Thank you.
Were you cool in high school? Not to people. But I might have burnt a few fireants with a magnifying glass.
If you had a time machine, where would you go? You mean when would I go? Yes, but where is also an important component. Ahh, I see. England. In the late 1700s. Why? Even though they weren't highly favored by us Yanks, you know, they'd already done their bit for democracy and were well on their way. And yet, other than the soldiers being shipped over to America, they were pretty much safe, home, and dry at that time. So, they got to have their Enlightenment and eat it, too.
Favorite thing about the opposite sex? I take it you're looking for a body part? Oh, no. I get all kinds of answers. I'm probably just gonna be un-novel: I guess it's a toss-up for me between tits, ass, and face, you know what I mean?
Least favorite thing about the opposite sex? That's a loaded question. That's my answer. If I told the truth on that one, I'd further reduce my chances of getting laid.
What should all women know that they never seem to? That we males should not always have to change our damn minds about something we're planning on doing every time we want to enjoy coitus.
What is your dream? I want my computer back. It was stolen on the 21st.
What is your best PDX story? Gosh, I mean... Yeah, you have a lifetime of them. One came to mind, but my flash answer isn't that special, at all. I once saw an eagle... I mean, a seagull, attempt to eat a pigeon. Underneath the Hawthorne Bridge or something. The pigeon is injured, and the seagull thought, you know, that damn thing's... starting to look an awful damn lot like food.
Name and nickname: Duane "Superman" P. Jr.
Occupation: I work for Nike, and play running back and linebacker for the Portland Raiders.
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
How fashionable are you on a scale of 1-10? I'll say 9.
Pet peeve: Assumption. You know, it makes an ass out of you and me.
Guilty pleasure: Women! I'm attracted to women. Women get me in trouble. Good trouble. You meet me, you'll have a good time. You got a boyfriend, you don't wanna meet me.
Do you have a cultural recommendation for our readers? Music. All music. Rap, Christian, rock.
Were you cool in high school? Yep. Let's just say I know a lot of people.
If you had a time machine, where would you go? 1400s. Rome.
Favorite thing about the opposite sex? Hoo! Eyes.
Least favorite thing about the opposite sex? Complaining. Bitching! For no reason, sometimes.
What should all women know that they never seem to? Know men. Know more about men. All around. From habits to what guys like.
What is your best Portland story? Putting a guy to sleep! I was downtown one night with some of my friends, and there was a guy and chick sitting on a ledge by a parking garage. The girl was not smiling at all, so I walked by and was like, "Smile!" And the dude next to her says something to me. I stopped, walked backward, and was like, "What'd you say? I just gave the girl a compliment. You should use it. If you have a girl next to you and she's not smiling, you'd better brighten up her day." So he says something. Called me a bitch or whatever. How big? Six one, six two. A little bigger than me. Words were exchanged. I was like, "Don't get beat up and I take your girl." The girl's like, "That's not my man!" And he's like, "That's not my girl." So I'm like, "Okay, this is a great reason for you to get beat up and me take this girl." He started slapping at my face, smiling. He stood up. I'm like, "Oh, this guy's ready." So I took off my shirt, cuz I was wearing some letters from my fraternity. I was at an angle and let it fly. He woke up 10 minutes later, all like, "Where am I?" There was a cop on the corner, but he didn't see, so I didn't get in trouble. Then I just, you know, went about my business!
Anything you'd like to hype or promote? 503 Mixers. It's my rap group. We have no website, but have been doing shows, trying to get our name out there.
Name and nickname: Michelle B. I've modeled for Suicide Girls, City Girls, a lot of different places. Chi Angelique Starr is my modeling name.
Occupation: Two jobs: tropical fish and retail.
Hometown: Cheboygan, Michigan. It's beautiful, but the people there suck. Most people I know from Northern Michigan are extremely rude and stuck up. Everywhere we go, if we're from Michigan, people are like, "Oh, really? You're a good worker." It's automatic. It's fucking—and excuse my language—I think they're the rudest, most arrogant motherfuckers who have ever lived.
Favorite place to drink in PDX: Tom's! I love my bartenders, man. I have over seven years bartending experience, so if I don't like my bartenders, I will not go there. I've been to a million goddamn bars in this city. Tom's? Day and night.
How fashionable are you on a scale of 1-10? As in, what's up to date? What's fashionable? Isn't that based in how you feel comfortable? "Fashion," quote unquote, to me, is all these people wearing weird gear, weird hats, and all these things they're trying to make popular. Then you have people who wear what's comfortable, what makes them happy. I think happy is fashionable.
Pet peeve: Messiness, rudeness, arrogance, disrespect.
Guilty pleasure: Muscle. Not a lot, but tone-ness. And I like tummies. Muscle, tummies, and tacos.
If you had a genie and one wish, what would it be? I would ask for no more child abuse.
Favorite thing about the opposite sex? They can lift heavy shit!
Least favorite thing about the opposite sex? Penis. They just weird me out. They just kinda hang there. Most guys are not very hygienic.
What should every member of the opposite sex know that they never seem to? Compassion and less male arrogance.
What is your dream? To be happy. Even though I am happy, that's my dream.
What is your best Portland story? Negative or positive? Both. At 6 am, I was downtown. I attract a lot of crazy people—people crazier than I am! Anyway, I'm going to work, minding my own business. And I come out of the store, cigarettes in one hand, coffee in the other, and this chick looks at me and starts calling me Satan! She really thinks I'm the goddamn devil. Anyway, that was a negative story. So, for the positive one, my wife and I just moved here, and we meet this kid. Cute as hell. And he looks like a goddamn fucking goldmine to me. I'm sorry, but I can sell you your own shirt for five dollars more than you paid for it, with the button missing, off your own back. I can sell you the piece of paper you're writing on. I felt like I could make a mint off him. But I'm married. The wife didn't want me to be a pimp. But he wanted me to sell him! He was so fucking cute! I could of made a fortune off this kid! That's probably one of the best positive Portland stories I have. How old? I dunno, he looked like maybe 24 or 25.
Anything you'd like to hype or promote? Let's use Portland as a promotion. It has something for everybody. It doesn't matter who you are, what you believe in, what you think, what you do, it doesn't matter. I've lived in almost every state in the US, I've lived everywhere, and Portland is the friendliest city I've ever been to, and I absolutely love it. I don't ever go back to anywhere, but I came back here. I think it's the most homeless-friendly city that ever was, is, or could be, and if you have the goddamn vocals to talk, you have the help—anything and everything you need. Portland can give you your poetry, your drinking, your strip clubs—all you have to do is open your mouth. Open your mouth and it will happen. Portland will help you. I've never experienced such... individualism. You have it all here. Diversity is the main thing of life. Here is my promotion: Live life like a blind man. If you don't look with your eyes, and you only look with your heart, Portland has everything you need. Period. This is Michelle speaking. Have a great night.
Look for more "What's Your Story?" interviews by Alec Quig, three times a week on Blogtown (blogtown.portlandmercury.com).