Monday, July 30, 2007

At one point yesterday when it started to drizzle, I put the Sanford and Son theme on my ipod and played it repeatedly. Of course, there were no customers, so nobody but Sean and I found this funny.

We did sell a few things, but what really got the pile of crap in picture one down to the smattering of crap in picture two is the infamous FREE PILE. I think people must know about this phenomenon and therefore just wait until the garage sale is over then come by at night and pick through the remnants. Good for them.

The only thing that I found sad about this are the remaining pairs of super ugly shoes. Either of these could win an ugly shoe contest. The KISS boots used to be nicer, but now that some kind of blue spray paint got on them, they'd be perfect for the glam rocker who wants to maintain his identity during his day job at the construction site. The other pair of white macrame shoes with rubber dual-heeled soles are the culprits in my first bout of serious back pain fifteen years ago. I haven't worn the things since, but I haven't been able to convince someone else to take them either. Any takers?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

First there was Vicki who got out of the country and married a Hungarian soon after college. This September, Lynda will marry Todd. In October, Sally will marry Joe. And with that, all my dear friends from back in the day (the pimply, angst-ridden day) will be hitched. Back then, we were too busy being artsy and tromping around the cemetery to have any kind of fantasy wedding discussions. But I guess these things sneak up on you.

There must be a portion of the teenage population that dreams of white dresses and fancy cakes (and perhaps hot naked grooms) but it's a dream that I didn't understand then and still don't understand now. It's like my lack of baby lust. I was born without the gene that makes me crave such things. Maybe I'm missing out on something or maybe I'm saving myself and everyone I know from a horrible horrible fate.

Still, I'm truly happy for my friends. I find it amazing that we each found our way out and into the world and did it with a bit of grace. I'm happy that we each found a place to sit and a person to sit with.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

This is a throw away image that my friend made while learning how to screenprint. My friend now has four of these Tom Selleck panels. I found the same image available as a $20 t-shirt. What exactly are you saying to the world when you wear a $20 Tom Selleck t-shirt? When will we stop embracing irony as a driving force in our culture? Does sincerity have even the slightest chance? And furthermore, what do you think I can get for this panel at my garage sale?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Aah, my first river day. Humidity gone, sun out, the river a beautiful cloudy aqua blue. But when we went to dive in, we found our usually deep swimming spot had no more than a few feet of water. The river was high on the banks but filled with tons of extra Sandy River sand.

When I got home, I read how just this afternoon they started demolishing the Marmot Dam on this river. It will be the largest dam demolition on the West coast in 40 years. It sounds like it was more of an economic decision than anything else. Still, hooray for the fishies. I kind of doubt this is the reason our swimming hole is now a wading pool, but so be it.

Click here to watch the dam explode!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

LinkGo out TWO nights in a row? Crazy. Stay out to 2 and 3am listening to music, dancing, drinking, talking to STRANGERS? Yep, that's me, the good girlfriend. Sean's birthday celebration started out on shaky grounds when his band got bumped from a craptastic show at the Roseland, but redeemed itself with a little dancing with Dr. Theopolis. I think I avoided this band in the past because I was turned off by the fake afro wig, but these guys put on a great show. Extra endearing was the fact that they sang the song "Sweet Love," "I made sweet love to your mama/Nasty wrinkly love" with the singers' mother standing at the front of the audience. Kudos.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I saw Sicko yesterday. I cried through a lot of it, partly because of hormones and partly because I have lost my steel-hearted immunity to any true story about loved ones getting sick or dying. Give me a story about someone who's been killed and my eyes will stay dry. I guess I'm still under the illusion that my loved ones are safe from the more dramatic kinds of death. May I never be disillusioned.

Anyway, it's a good movie for stirring up some bewildered anger and some desperate longing. Quick, I have to get to France NOW. But really, I don't want to go to France. I want things to be fixed here. I just fear that it's all too late. We've become too hardened against the poor, too enamored of the dream of wild amounts of wealth. I wonder if there is a cure for our selfishness other than the complete collapse of our economy and our environment.

I guess, we're all going to have to get better at self-surgery. Here's a story about an apparently sane man who decided to remove the steel plate from his ankle in the bathroom of his home, down the hall from where Mom was sleeping. He was not successful.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rain, gobs of it. Yesterday, today, tomorrow(?). Only now, here in the evening, as a few streaks of blue crack the clouds, do I finally feel a bit of the drag drop from my feet. I should be happy to have 100% confirmation that the sunflowers turned out to be sunflowers.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Aah, family. Sean's dad has been visiting for the last few days. This photo was taken at a picnic where two other friends had visiting parents and siblings. Lots of bad jokes and lots of good cheese.

In the presence of other people's families, I am reminded to be thankful that my own family's primary sin is that of dullness, unless, of course, you are really into archeology, business assessment or lengthy arguments about who should pay the bill or who was sick what year on who's birthday.

Let us all learn from those who've gone before us.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I have a friend that paraphrases Camus at me, something about writers not showing their doubts, and sometimes I think this is good policy. But I'd also like to note that I don't always exclude myself from that group of people I put down in yesterday's post, the ones with stories worth telling and writing but not necessarily publishing. There is too much far too much mediocrity in the world of writing. As a girl with a well-off suburban childhood and a happy adulthood, I have to face the fact that I'm going to have to up the ante as far as language, observation and imagination go. Nobody needs another dull romp through the ennui of suburbia. Nobody NEEDS any of it so I better make it good.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Every summer I do this solo ritual of riding out over this Reed College "canyon" to hear readings and lectures at the Tin House Workshop. It's way too expensive to actually attend, so I slip in as unnoticed as possible into the back of the lecture hall and ampitheater and absorb a few good words.

I usually appreciate the guests, but there's something weird about all these hopeful writers gathered together in one of what must be dozens and dozens of summer writing workshops across the country. Who said that everyone has a story to tell? Maybe they should have said that while everyone has a story to tell not everyone needs to try and get their story published. Is that mean? Maybe. Fuck it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

100 degrees is no good for giving massages (I had to buy a tiny air conditioner for my room yesterday...sorry.) It is no good for the new shoots on my new plant that shriveled up into a crisp yesterday. It's no good for the old people who have no fans.
But still. . .
I love riding my bike through the heat, like I'm riding through water. I love lounging in the heat with a cigarette and a glass of whiskey and gingerale. I love the heavy wrap of it and the slick of sweat.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Tonight I was twenty-three again. We had Mai Tais and a full dose of Martin Denny at the Tiki Bar before I abandoned my friends and rode off to a poetry reading alone. Is there an age when it stops being okay to drink in kitchy bars? Is there a possibility that I will ever sit and listen to poetry in Portland and be able to roll my eyes and applaud in the company of a friend?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lucky day. Lucky me. Berries make berry smoothies.

The sky is now streaked with that perfect orange-pink color but my view is slashed with wires and poles. I have to narrow my site on the smallest little part, on the evergreens many blocks away and pretend there is nothing in between me and that landscape.

This reminds me of the excellent Philip Johnson documentary "Dairy of an Eccentric Architect" that I watched the other night. At one point in the film he is showing off a huge Frank Stella sculpture and he talks about imagining he was very small and walking around in the caverns of contorted metal, then growing a little bigger so he could climb up to another part of the sculpture then coming back to his real size to enjoy the piece as a whole. I used to do this same thing on a plane while looking at the clouds, or with the patterned wallpaper of my bedroom. A little shift in perspective and the whole world is new.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Sorry to those who hate the blog tag. For what it's worth, I've found some new blogs I like because of it. For those feeling that unique kind of chain letter nausea, check out this guys research on chain letter evolution.

Now, let's move on...

This is a pic from a few years ago, but there are certain rituals which look more or less the same around here and picking berries on Sauvie's Island is one of them. My friend in her cowboy hat is part of that ritual. Mouthfuls of perfect raspberries and blueberries (all covered in deeeeeelicious pesticide I'm sure) are also part of that ritual. Now the freezer is full of fruit and my day in the country just twenty minutes from my house is complete. All I have to say is summer summer summersummersummersummmer.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Jordan Rosenfeld has tagged me "It." Jordan has a non-fiction book on crafting a scene due out this fall. Yeah Jordan! I generally hate tag and all tag-related games, but since I love Jordan and because it's not just me, but lots of "its" all over the land of blog, I will comply. Welcome to yet another interesting way people connect, promote and maybe even gloat in this weird voyeuristic universe.

Here are the rules:
1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Well hot damn, no one's ever called me a "player" so let's hit it.
1. Last night I watched this movie about the attempted coup against Chavez in Venezuela. Very interesting.

2. Last night I also watched about three minutes of Tony Danza practically having a heart attack trying to dance and sing really badly though his opening number at the D.C. 4th of July hoopla-thingymabob. Very bad.

3. I don't have a book to promote, so I'll promote Funk Shui instead. Their old album will kick your ass but the new album out next month will kick MY ass (and folks, that's a lot of booty).

4. I once rented Edward Penishands from a store called "American Family Video." Go figure.

5. When I used to listen to Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight" coming from the tape deck of our station wagon, I thought they were referring to ice cream sundaes at HoJos. I still have that tape, I still like that song and I still love ice cream.

6. I have a literary crush on Stuart Dybek because he writes about Chicago the way I hope to write about Portland.

7. Back in our college days I had a regular old crush on the man who designed this amazing lightbox

and imagined that some day in the future I would "convert" him to my team. I'm hoping to get one of these as a reward for (a) not attempting an actual conversion and (b) 18 years of friendship.

8. I'm a little drunk.

Okay, so that's the deal. Now I'm tagging these people, some of whom I know, some of whom I picked randomly and some I stole off Jordan's list. So there.
Hotel Overshare
Linera Lucas
Life's Persistent Mysteries
Guide for the Careering
Side Dish
Welcome to Blog
The Urban Emigrant
Myfanwy Collins

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What would people talk about if they couldn't complain about the weather? It's getting hot here. HOT. I, personally, love it. To me, it means river time. Even if I'm stuck in the city, I like knowing that the rivers are out there, doing what they do, ready for me to plunge in at any moment. I was always a pool girl growing up, but now I'll take the river over the pool any day. It's colder and messier and a million times more beautiful.

Monday, July 02, 2007

It's very nice of my friends to agree to let me share these photos. It's very convenient too, since I've lent my camera to a friend and have no current pics to post.

If you are one of the two people reading this who aren't Jordan or Emily, then check out these lovely women in their more intelligent and thoughtful personas on these blogs:
Jordan Rosenfeld at Jordan's Muse
Emily Block at the Fit Pregnancy blog Emily, Expecting

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I'm not kidding. I just counted. I have photos of twelve different people in this get-up. I'm pretty sure only a few of them were drunk. Mob mentality emerges in the oddest places, I swear. . .