Friday, December 12, 2008

New Day #351

Well, Time magazine just published its List Issue and I'm sorry to report I did not make the Top Ten of anything. Maybe I'm 11th at something.

Number Ten on the Oddball Stories of the year was Ian Usher, who became an Internet sensation when he attempted to sell his life on eBay. Ian is now traveling the world, looking to achieve 100 goals in 100 weeks, which I find infinitely more sensible than doing something new every friggin' day.

This is my kind of guy.

So I was especially psyched when my friend David Sloan told me he was hosting Ian as he came through Portland. In the interest of doing Something New, we all visited the Shanghai Tunnels, which I feared would suck yet turned out to be fascinating.

Here's David descending below the street in Old Town, where reprobates unlucky enough to get drunk or stoned would find themselves locked up on a boat heading to Shanghai. Hence the term "shanghaied."

Apparently, Portland was the shanghaiing capitol of the country. Between 1850 and 1941, an average 1,500 people a year were kidnapped into servitude, enabled by a vast labyrinth of subterranean tunnels specifically constructed to accommodate human trafficking.

Here's me and Ian outside an actual opium den:

Please note that smoking opium isn't on either of our lists.


Anonymous said...

It is inspiring to see more and more people intentionally seeking out new experiences.

Fran said...

If it's any consolation, I did list you in my Best Of list (paperback edition) which is on our blog.

And I'm glad you haven't been shanghaied.

Anonymous said...

Second books by young new authors are NEVER put in any "best of the year" list.
I think critics who said the first was fabulous, are afraid to look partisan if they dont punish the second book.
That is why the third is so important. By then, critics believe they have done their duty, and feel free to lavish praise again.

So, keepup the good work. Next year you will finally top all the lists.

Anonymous said...

--Keep up--- sorry.

therese patrick, author said...

I have often meant to visit this underground city in my own back yard. Thanks for the picture tour. Glad you returned to blog and were not Shanghai'd.

It's fascinating to consider the objectives of humans, then, and that certain ethnic types were kept in subservient roles with steady supplies of drugs. It's little wonder their lives were so short.

Yvette Francino said...

Well... your doing an adventure a day and writing about it, Ian's doing an adventure a week and write about it... my goal was one a month and write about it! I feel like a total slacker! And I still haven't figured out my December Adventure!

My November adventure was "hanging out" with Ian Usher when we both happened to be in neighboring suburbs of LA over Thanksgiving week. (I talked him into skinny dipping with me in the freezing Pacific...a very impromptu adventure!)

It was amazing meeting him and, now through his blog, I found yours. I will have to read more of your entries and try and get an idea for my December Adventure!

Happy Holidays! (You're almost done!)