Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Weddings are weird. While my friend's celebration was loverly and all, it was best not to dwell too long or look too closely at anything we were doing for fear of the whole day collapsing under all the absurdity. At least, it was best if I didn't look too closely.

Do these rituals change you, regardless of how deeply you believe in them? No, I think they have to mean something to you first, otherwise my friend's sweet, heartfelt ceremony would be on par with Britney's 24hr. Vegas marriage. And if you never partake in the shared ritual at all, then what?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This Halloween I'm going as a bridesmaid and the Halloween party is my oldest friend's wedding. Instead of shouting Trick or Treat at my neighbor's doors, I will be reciting an e.e. cummings poem at a romantic Newport inn. Instead of candy corn I will be eating fancy cake. Well, let's get this party started.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Too rarely, I step out into the woods after the rains have really started. Now, I know better. These are just a few pics from the Wildwood Recreation Area, a beautiful spot along the Salmon River out towards Mt. Hood. Here are some more pics.

Fantasy as a genre has never held much interest for me. I have a hard time getting worked up about creatures who don't actually exist. Fairies, elves, trolls and the like enter my consciousness only on rare occasion. One is when a movie like Lord of the Rings becomes nearly impossible to ignore or a movie like Pan's Labyrinth delights despite (or maybe even because of)its fauns and monsters. The only other time I think of fantastic woodland creatures are when I walk around in the wood land. I poke my nose down close to the mushrooms and moss and squint my way down a path of shiny evergreens and I can't help but imagine that I'm intruding on a landscape not really meant for my eyes. Of course, the world's forests would be better off now if we'd all believed a little more deeply in the fantasy and left them alone.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Less TV. More books. More writing. More staring dreamily out the window. The choice seems obvious, doesn't it? And yet sometimes at night, the lazy in me takes over. My butt fills with lead and I'm on that couch, dammit, leave me alone. This is going to have to change. Law & Order: SVU is a really horrific show. I watch it because it's on Saturday nights and I'm awake, sleepy but still awake. It's not just a waste of time, I think it's bad for me. The fact that Ice-T is on it is no longer amusing. I'm done. And now I'm going out to stare at gold leaves and hazy skies.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The cat is back. We negotiated the return of Xiao Lao Mao (little old cat) and have her set up in the garage while she adjusts to her new surroundings and her new name. Fluffalumps? No wonder she was an unhappy animal.

Sean and I now hover on the edge of being crazy cat people. We go visit the cat, lying down on the dirty floor in order to let her climb onto our chests. We feel badly when we leave her alone for too long. We bring her fish secreted away in napkins from our own expensive restaurant meals. Okay, so maybe hover is too generous a description. We have set foot, at east one firm foot, in the land of crazy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More beach. It's always good to have more beach.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I have great beach luck. Almost every time I go to Manzanita the weather is wonderful. We had 65 degree sunshine and very little wind. Our houseful of people coexisted beautifully with beach walks and hot tub soaks and lots of trash magazine reading (the above pic was a rare moment of book-reading). We ate well and drank even better.

As I said before, this was a trip to celebrate where we are now before things start to change (once again and always). And as it turned out, the changes are already underway. Our friend announced her pregnancy. Next fall, if we can manage another outing, there will be at least one infant in tow. On we go. . .

Friday, October 12, 2007

Off to Manzanita for a belated birthday celebration. This will be the first time I'm at my usual beach spot with a full house of friends. There was the sudden realization that things might be really different this time next year. Friends who are married might have babies. Friends who are in relationships might be married. Single friends might be in relationships. I predict that Sean and I will be in about the same place, but the world swirls around us, things change, and we're going to take a moment this weekend to hang out and enjoy where we are right now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

If only I could clear away the wires and roof tiles, the posts and gutters, all the low, ugly bits of our lives spent hunkered down next to the ground. Sure, we'd be wet and have no electricity but wouldn't the sky be delicious?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Poor ol' Willa. I called today to make a reservation at the Sylvia Beach Hotel and was told that the Willa Cather room will be a Tolkien room by the end of November. I'm not happy about that. Give Robert Louis Stevenson the boot, I say. Each of the hotel's rooms have an author associated with them. There are only four smaller, less expensive rooms, Willa's being one of them. So instead, I went with Gertrude Stein. I've got no problems with Gert and ultimately, it doesn't matter much. I plan on spending most of my time in the upstairs library tucked into a chair that faces out on the ocean. I'm bringing my novel with me, in whatever state it's in by the end of next month. I'm hoping to have another draft done by then so that I can arrive on the stormy beach with a giant stack of words, ready to be blown and twisted.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Good morning. This is a clip of the drummers that accompanied the 2007 Memory Walk for the Alzheimer's Association. They raised about $130,000 and woke up everyone within a ten block radius sleeping in at a swanky hotel, crappy dorm room or in the back pew of the Lutheran Church. My participation felt unnecessary, but it was still nice to be out in the briefest bit of good fall weather.

While the skies here are slate gray and wet now, I noticed much of the rest of the country is brutally hot. A 35 year old man from Michigan died running the Chicago Marathon today in eighty-eight degree heat. Eighty-freakin-eight degrees. What the #?!

Needless to say, it's a good reminder to be happy with what you have. Take the day and slip into it whether it be wrapped in a new wool sweater or waving a folded paper fan.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I have no proof that the inside of the woman's house looks like this, but I have suspicions. Yesterday, the owner of the sweet cat found the note Sean left her and called us. Despite the fact that the note said she was open to giving the cat up for adoption and the food cart employees were under the impression that the cat needed to be adopted, the woman just wanted her cat back. She lives in a house with no front stairs. They were reclaimed by the earth. We insisted on meeting her face to face to give the cat back and had to creep through a hugely overgrown backyard and wait for the woman to make her way to the basement door where she refused to let us in. The door to the house at the top of the stairs was shut tight.

The sweet cat immediately dug into a dish of food the woman put out for her and argued that the cat wouldn't be 16 years old if she was being abused. Good point. I told her to get a collar for her cat so people didn't think it was stray or abandoned. She was worried that we were crazy people who just went around collecting cats. I think she was projecting.

Obsessive hoarding fascinates me. Again, who knows if this woman suffers from this, I only suspect. She keeps a job, looked and seemed normal enough, but was extremely hesitant to let us anywhere near her house. What's going on in there? What will happen to the poor sweet cat, the cat that would rather sit in the rain than go inside her owner's home? We will have to be satisfied visiting the cat under the tarp, one more resident on the street of shattered hopes and broken dreams.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I came home this morning from running an errand and found Sean lying on the garage floor with this cat curled up on his chest. He is a SUCKER. A sucker for love, baby. The best kind, really. I don't know what this cat's name is yet, but Sean rescued her from down the street where she'd been hanging around in the rain under the tarp of a food cart on Hawthorne. Apparently she was being halfheartedly tended to by an elderly woman with MS in a nearby house, but both the woman and the workers at the food cart were looking for someone to adopt this sweetie. She (I'm not sure if it's a she, but there aren't any obvious signs to the contrary) is very skinny and very sweet and temporarily living in our garage. She will have to be a mostly outdoor cat in the long run, but for now she seems pretty content to curl up on a warm, dry blanket and eat some good food. Sounds about right to me too.

Monday, October 01, 2007

No picture again today. That's because Apple's got problems. My imac G5 died yesterday and there's a really good chance that it needs a new power supply. That's the same part that I had to replace a little over a year ago. It's the same part these particular computers have a known problem with. While my baby gets fixed, I'll have to get on a campaign of complaining. Does Apple not understand that I have valuable time that needs wasting?