Sunday, 22 June 2014 22:23 | Written by Byron Beck
Tony Tapatio, Sahexy, Morti-Air, contestants, Sherry Alexis, Kara, winner Tony Tapatio after his win
TO ERR IS HUMAN. TO AIR GUITAR IS DIVINE: So not only did I judge a "top model" contest for dogs this week, I was also one of the judges for the U.S. Air Guitar Contest at Dante's on Saturday night.
It was the only Portland qualifying event for this freaky national competition as well as a benefit for the SUN Community School Program.
My fellow judges included national champ, Lieutenant Facemelter (who took off his pants and changed into some really groovy threads back in the judging area), the Marquis, and local radio god Daniel Bozyk.
After adult bevvies were provided the panel got our asses to judging. I was told to look for three things: technical accuracy, showmanship and “Airness” ("you’ll know it when you see it," my instructions said). After each contestant competed we gave them a score and a few words. Well, maybe I gave them more than a few words...and a little 'tide...but they seemed to take it all in stride. For this competition there were two rounds. The top 5 from the first round went on to the second round where they were asked to play a song they had no time to prepare for. It was all very cool and very airy.
The winner was Tony Tapatio who had all the right moves, and then some. The second and third place winners weren't that easy to pick and ended up in a twisted, messy air-off. At the end Sahexy and Morti-Air ended up taking second and third. That air-off was AWESOME (it included a stage dive). Damn, the whole night was AWESOME. Can't wait to see if one of these three will air their way to a national crown. Represent, Portland!
Sunday, 22 June 2014 22:03 | Written by Byron Beck
Helen Raptis, Kimberly Weishoff, Sheryl Stewart, Poison Waters and Pango, Sandi Langman and Sebastian, one of the TopDog contestants
TOP DOG: I would like to thank LexiDog, Hotel Monaco, and the Oregon Humane Society for allowing me to participate in their 7th Annual TopDog Model Event.
For the event, held last week, I was one of the lucky judges alongside Kimberly Weishoff, Helen Raptis, Sheryl Stewart, Mitch Elliott and Kevin Cook, aka Poison Waters. The emcee was the one and only Andy Carson.
There were incredible entries and somehow they narrowed the contestants down to the top 12 small and top 12 large dogs. Prior to the event we were whisked back to a VIP suite where were able to relax and have a cocktail.
As for the contest, it was really hard to pick a "top dog." Fact is, all of them were "top" to me and my fellow judges. But we had to choose, and here is who ended up in the winners circle: in the large dogs (30 pounds or more) category, Ross, a 12-year old English Springer spaniel was chosen as the TopDog Model. The Fan Favorite of the same category was awarded to Huck, a Tibetan mastiff pup. For the small dogs, Smoochie, an eight-year-old Pomeranian, won TopDog Model honors. Lola, a terrier mix, was the Fan Favorite small dog.
It had been years since I had participated in this incredible event, and I was pleased as punch to be back amongst the pooches at this year's spectacular event.
Thursday, 19 June 2014 10:09 | Written by Byron Beck
PDXFF guru Josh Leake, Haley Joel Osment and Mayor Charlie Hales at PDXFF14 party
STARDAR REPORT: From August 26th to September 1st, Portland won't just be the city of roses—it'll be the city of film. That's because Mayor Charlie Hales has decreed that week to be just that in honor of the upcoming Portland Film Festival.
To kick off the upcoming fest a mixer/party was held high atop the Streetcar Loft Building in The Pearl District on Wednesday night. Not only was it a chance to visit with those with a vested interest in the fest, but it was also a chance to rub elbows with actor Haley Joel Osment (Sixth Sense, A.I.) who announced 20 of the films that will screen at the fest including the opening night film he stars in, Sex Ed., directed by Isaac Feder.
Others that attended the party included Pennie Lane, Chelsea Cain, Marc Mohan, Andy Mingo, Mayor Hales and PDXFF14 driving force Josh Leake.
The Portland Film Festival brings indie film, filmmakers, musicians, artisan food, guest speakers, workshops, networking events and more over the week. Think of it as a sunny Sundance with a decidedly Portland vibe.
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 11:52 | Written by Byron Beck
Trudi Toliver and Martha Stewart at Portland Farmer's Market on Saturday (photo by Scott Ballo)
MARTHA TAKES PORTLAND: Anyone with access to my Facebook page on Saturday knew that I pretty much spent the day stalking Martha Stewart.
Martha was in Portland for a speaking engagement at an event planners conference.
As for when she wasn't speaking, Martha Stewart was first spotted Saturday morning in Portland at the Portland Farmer's Market with Trudi Toliver, the Executive Director of the downtown market.
Next I heard word that she was shopping at the hipster mall known as Union Way, where supposedly she bought a pair of Danner boots (I was told she received a 20-percent discount).
Then came the news that she was swiftly making her way to Sauvie Island and Cistus Nursery where she says on her blog, "I bought myself several early birthday presents for my garden in East Hampton and (owner) Sean (Hogan) is shipping them to me," before heading over Cornelius Pass to Sherwood and Xera Plants.
She ended her day of shopping with a meal at Ava Gene's with Timber Press publisher (and former head gardener and Martha Stewart Living gardening editor) Andrew Beckman. From all appearances it looked like she had a very lovely day.
To read more about what Martha says about her trip to Portland click here.