Monday, March 31, 2008

Ah, urban living. I know the yard I have would be considered vast in other cities. It's a nice, manageable size if I were a person with garden manageing skills. I am not. I spent the afternoon planting a few scared looking plants in my front yard and pulling more weeds in the back yard. I am highly aware of not knowing what I'm doing, but it must get done.

Instead of beach houses and tropical palapas, I am now focusing my procrastinating powers on building some small semi-private sanctuary out of this bland patch of earth. Hide. Hide. Hide. This picture doesn't even show the worst of it. The view out my office window, the window I sit next to as I write, is five feet from my neighbor's crowded, cluttered patio. It's quiet over there now, but as the warm weather returns it will fill with squealing teens and middle-aged drunks watching baseball.

I've got to get my fortress growing. I've got some shy characters over here. They scare easily and don't like rowdy parties.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Periodic cat photo:
Here's Mao trying to get into Middlemarch. She had about as much trouble with it as I did. She gave up and decided to play with her toy mouse instead. I gave up and tried Tolstoy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

If only I could make these blooms my umbrella. Fat pink joy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The New York Times has this page up. 4,000 dead U.S troops.

Meanwhile, there's the civilian death toll. Over 82,00, at least.

Go ahead, vote for McCain.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Yet another monster going up in The Pearl. There's so many now that one more doesn't matter. The stretch of empty field and railroad yard between the Broadway Bridge and the Fremont has long been consumed. Who lives in these places?

The condo down the street from me has three tenants and the rest sit empty. The signs have gone from "For Sale" to "Price Reduced" to "For Rent/Lease." The only activity I've seen over there has been a small local production company that rented one of the units out for a shoot of some sort. So now, the building so many neighbors worried wouldn't fit in with the local aesthetic, fits in even less. It sits there, with an open pit next to it where another condo has failed to appear. A giant mistake.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Last year at this time I was preparing for a week away in Yelapa, Mexico. This year, my friends are going back without me. I feel the lack of tropical sun on my skin. I crave that bone-deep warmth. That said, I could also live quite happily in this permanent state of twilight blue. Berries. Ink. Sapphires.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The beach and the bay and the two brief moments I was out enjoying them on my trip to Lincoln City. The retreat was a success. Thoughts thought. Writing written. Struggles, triumphs, whiskey and a big ass bathtub. I honestly can't say that I'd want to do that kind of intense thinking all day every day. It felt good to get back to my physical work this afternoon. But I'd be willing to take one out of every four weeks and hide away with a project and a view. If only I could find someone willing to pay for it.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I hate to leave town when Taylor St. is about to burst out with my favorite celebration of pink blooms, but I'm off to the beach and another round of revisions. It's just a stack of typed pages, but I feel as though I'm about to meet up with some old high school friends. What will they be like? Will we get along? Do I really want to spend four days all alone with them? No choice now. Dig in and make the best of it.

Friday, March 07, 2008

photo by Herman Krieger

A new study shows that for every dollar Oregon spends on higher education, a dollar and six cents is spent on prisons. Look here to see how much your state cares, then let your state legislators know what you think.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Ever feel like you're driving around in a beater van with painted over windows and no brakes? Okay, so it's a bit of a stretch. Still, it feels like I've been bumping around inside this shitmobile for over a month now, waiting to hit something solid. I'm hoping that landing is solid but sweet when I head to the coast in a few days for another round of novel revisions.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A poem by Robert Creeley

The Farm

Tips of celery,
clouds of

day I'll go away

Saturday, March 01, 2008

In a dream, this would be my backyard. A forest of timber bamboo. In reality, this is one small grove on the extensive grounds of Bamboo Garden in North Plains, OR. Too open to truly hide in, it would still be a good green filter against a rush of miseries, a good tease for the imagination.