Tuesday, January 20, 2015

tree line

I'm in the beta group on flickr for the new uploader and camera roll, which means the computer found a bunch of pictures I never uploaded, like this one from the central valley of California in April of 2011. ANYWAY. Look out, is all I'm saying because there were a bunch of pictures I forgot all about (like this one) that are now in front of my face and some of them I'll be putting in front of yours.

I'm so relieved to be getting them off of the backup drive to my old kaput computer and into the cloud.  Those drives don't last forever and my computer certainly didn't - I'm so pleased to save the pictures!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

things that are happening


Before I get to anything else, I'm obliged to post this video because I LOVE IT.
I saw this on SNL back in November or whenever it was on, and it made me sit up and make a happy muppet face at the TV. It reminds me (and a lot of people) of Morris Day and the Time, but that only enhances my enjoyment!  It's so good and they're obviously having a good time being excellent at their jobs - something we can all aspire to in our way, even if we don't have a horn section.


WORK:  I love it. Things get weird (mostly in my head) but then they level out. I’m trying some new things and so far I haven’t DIED FROM SHAME or whatever I was afraid of. I love working in the library. My coworkers are great PLUS I am literally in a building full of books every day that I work which is an optimal environment for me. Do I want to punch people in the throat occasionally? Of course! I’m only human. But I laugh or am excited by ideas more often than I want to punch anything, so thumbs up to that.

AT HOME: Busby the cat has diabetes! But he’s responding well to treatment so far which helps mitigate how wretched I felt for not noticing how wretched he was feeling. :( He's only been on insulin for a couple of days and had his first blood check at the vet this afternoon. The vet is pleased and the tech said "he is such a good guy" so obviously these people know what they're talking about.  More on this at a later date, I'm sure.

At the GYM: ha ha ha! Yeah, no. But I should get my sneakers on and go for more walks. I ate a lot of cookies over November/December as I am reminded every time I try to wear clothes that are not pajama pants. (Which is every day!)

WRITING: Oh, man. I haven’t been neglecting my blog because I’ve been so busy writing elsewhere - I’ve been largely on vacation from all of it. BUT...

READING: has been going great! We live in a golden age for reading and no one can convince me otherwise.

Here's the official video for Uptown Funk - I include it here because I can never listen to the song just once, even though it's showing up in every movie trailer on TV.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

the end of December

lost lake
(winter scene from somewhere on Mt. Hood, taken sometime in December of 2009)

Greetings! It turns out that if I want to say something before the end of the year, I pretty much have to say it now because I work tomorrow and have 2 books to finish if I'm to make my Goodreads goal! 

(Northanger Abbey: Almost done! Catherine is sneaking around the abbey thinking the thrilling worst at the moment. The other is a collection of gardening columns from Vita Sackville-West that I can't remember the name of... Anyway - it's arranged by month and I am in December, so I should be able to make it to the end in time.) 

This, the TENTH YEAR of this blog, has been my year of least posting. In the new year I'd like to get back into the habit of a lot of things, of which blogging is one. I don't know. It helps arrange my thoughts, somehow. 

Well now it's after midnight and time for chapter 10. More on books and thoughts and pictures and everything in 2015! Or tomorrow. You never know. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

atmospheric measurements

masked lady detail


Checking in from planet Jen. I hope things are well on earth.

( ha ha! stating the above under this particular photo of a painting in a book makes me laugh because it maybe implies that on planet Jen we wear domino masks and loose braids and faux-ermine trim on our black velvet ballgowns while getting ready to write a blog post. MAYBE WE DO on some other part of PJ, but on my particular archipelago at this particular time it's more bathrobe and pajama pants.)

ANYWAY. I have been busy! Work and things. I work more hours now and was just awarded a special job on top of my job but still in my job, job which is exciting! But it doesn't start until Dec. 1.
Details to follow if it doesn't kill me week 1. (week 2 I'm taking vacation!)  Not work has also been good! I've been doing a lot of reading, a lot of needlework and crochet and whatnot, and before it got cold a lot of gardening. GOOD STUFF. I love it all and count my lucky stars that I'm in a position where if I want to, I can pretty much.

How are you? I hope that whatever planet you're on is atmospherically pleasing.

OMG - I almost forgot, which is weird because this is the reason I wanted to be sure and have at least one blog post in November: as of November 20 something, I have had this blog for TEN YEARS! TEN! That's a lot. I may or may not say more about this in the future.

okay. that's all for now. I am ending this transmission. I was going to do more photos but then I lost 20 minutes futzing around with them which is counter to my mission of:  get in, get out, but go more often. Be well, comrades.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

star ratings of immediate thoughts

noble plaster chicken

TONIGHT'S FULL MOON: five stars. I feel like I could probably read by its light,  which means it's of a particularly fine quality. Bonus four stars: total lunar eclipse. (sorry) (ha ha ha!) I plan on being asleep when the eclipse comes, but I bet it will be amazing. (moon, next time think about falling in the earth's shadow sometime before I need to be in bed.)

STREET SWEEPER: four stars. Good work keeping ahead of autumn debris, street sweepers! I also like the sound they make. I got so mad last summer when I'd think I heard the street sweeper, but it was just that guy riding his lawn mower down the street.

COYOTE I SAW ON THE WAY TO RETURNING BOOKS AFTER MIDNIGHT TO THE LIBRARY:  three point five stars. Full stars for the majesty of nature and the undeniable pleasure of seeing something wild with a big fluffy tail crossing the city street like she owned it, but then this coyote was probably eating people's cats and chickens for which I must deduct.

MIX CDS: five stars.  I hadn't made one in ages but when the radio news got too grim and my sister was having to drive a lot for work, I got busy! The beauty of these is I did not have time to fuss too much. Too much fussing is always my downfall. I pick a random theme and GO FOR IT and it has been fun. I bought a little external drive for my laptop (since it does not have a disc drive) and it works like a champ.

SLEEPING: all of the stars! I think sleeping is greatly underrated and I'm going to go do it right now.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

spiderville, tomato towers

My tomato harvest nemesis. (Many of her relatives also live in the Tomato Tower condominiums) #tomatotime #spiderville

This photo is from the 22nd, but it's still feeling pretty true today. These spider ladies have built elaborate webs going every which way ALL OVER my tomato plants. I try not to disturb anyone, but it's not always possible. And let's be honest - they're not worried at ALL about disturbing me. They don't even like tomatoes! I think they're just messing with me, honestly.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

more books

Hello again - here are a few more recent-ish (mostly from July because I am behind) book impressions.  What are you reading? Do you dig it? My up to the minute book update is that I'm reading The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Ugh, it's so good. People at work are tired of hearing me talk about it. ("oh, it's fiction? Nevermind." OR "never heard of it" OR OR OR I could go on but I won't. I just reassert its felicity at every freaking opportunity and hope someone will eventually take me up on it.) 

Sex Criminals, Vol. 1: One Weird Trick  by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky Read July 16
Love, sex, comedy, funny, Queen, crime, color, library, hating your job, loving your job, financial crisis, sex fascists, sex comedy, one cool trick

Explicit but big hearted. Funny.  Surprising. A perfect meld of writing and artwork. 

Epistolary, marriage, language, depression, infidelity, fidelity, sometimes the city is not your friend, short, wild animal feelings in your chest

if you enjoy reading about complicated human feelings including ones that are not always positive and if you can tolerate a journey that reaches a stopping point but doesn’t feel like the end (because complicated human feelings keep on shifting and turning and don’t easily resolve), try this book. The writing is beautiful and it’s short!

the two covers: I prefer the one on the right but the library had the one on the left so that's what I read. The insides are the same! 
Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch  Read May 26 - 28  

Constable Peter Grant discovers that there’s a lot more to London policing than he thought: trickster ghosts, magic, wizards, and a lot of other urban fantasy stalwarts. My favorite parts (I tore through this book and couldn’t wait to get back to it when I had to put it down), dealt with the Rivers of London that give the series its name: they’re an ancient, powerful, embodied, bickering blended family and have chosen Peter to keep the peace.


Adults with jobs, nobody gets kidnapped, no misunderstanding, their siblings get married, when it clicks it clicks

I usually don’t read contemporary romance novels unless they’re funny, but someone mentioned this on twitter so I gave it a go. I liked it! It’s only funny incidentally, but I enjoyed it regardless. Our couple consists of an investment banker and a FBI agent. The closest thing to hijinx is that their siblings are getting married and they’re thrown together in situations with religious parents where they have to pretend they’re not doing it. What sets this apart from many contemporaries is that while they have a little friction at first (because someone is a bit of an asshole), they enjoy each others company! They are equally successful in their jobs! And despite one of them being in the FBI, nobody gets kidnapped or shot. Despite one of them being an investment banker, nobody gets thrown out of the family business. Grown ups in love acting like adults!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

this is planet earth

it is finally raining! Only a little, but I'll take it. Everything is crispy and dusty. If I was in charge of the weather, it would rain (gently) for a week and then resume sun. (NOTE: I am not in charge of the weather.)

So much fun! (On the way in) #DuranDuran  #hollywoodtheatre #pdx
golden afternoon light
There has been so much going on I don't know where to start, so I will start with the Duran Duran Unstaged viewing that Bec, Ms. Tara and I went to. GOOD TIMES. This was a "one night only" theatrical showing of the youtube collaboration between Duran Duran and David Lynch from a couple of years ago. Basic premise of the original: special concert that was broadcast live with a layer of Lynch on top. Some might find it a curious collaboration but it makes perfect sense to me: David Lynch is fluent in visual non-linear dream language and Duran Duran songs are often lyrically oblique and musically nocturnal. (Playing right now in my headphones: Night Boat.)

ANYWAY - it is a concert film, an art film, and a good weird time. Special guests Kelis, Beth Ditto, Mark Ronson, and Gerard Way all seemed genuinely stoked to be on stage with the band and it was just really fun. Would watch again!

Here's the teaser trailer. You can't really tell, but that's an egg in a rubber gloved hand.

Here's Planet Earth with Gerard Way. (Couldn't find any other full songs on the internet. Gerard Way is an adorable tiny moppet.) I think there was some editing between the time it originally appeared on the internet and when it appeared in theaters for ONE NIGHT ONLY (plus some other nights) because in our showing, Gerard Way had bright red hair shining through the black and white.

Here's the sign after the movie with the marquee turned on!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

why not do it today?

Today is Internet Slowdown Day. This John Oliver piece is from a while ago, but his description of the net-neutrality issue is the most passionate yet informative (and hilarious) that I've seen.  Anti-Cable Company Fuckery INDEED.

Write your representative! (or call if you can, phone calls count for more somehow.)

supermoon spider bites

I think a spider bit me on the face or near-face region last night during the SUPERMOON which seems like it should give me at the very least a minor superpower.  (do supermoons feel super at all now that they happen 3 months in a row, etc.?)  Nothing yet, I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED.

Zinnias are wonderful and no one will ever convince me otherwise. So if you've got some problem with them keep walking pal. 


•I'm sad that So You Think You Can Dance is over for the season, for this was a very good season! I loved this take on the show and how it has changed for the better. The author of that piece has stronger feelings about Adam Shankman than I do, but I 100% agree about the fabulousness of Cat Deeley. She's the best! 

•spider season - I have to admire the optimism of the spider that builds a web across the front door every day. 

•this is the part of summer that is hard. It's still summer in spirit, weather, and fact but the days are getting shorter, the kids are back in school and wah. Winter is coming. 

•Finally watched Season 2 of Game of Thrones. I enjoy it, but it's really murdery.  I have to turn my head a lot. 

•I found a bunch of local garden blogs and am now filled with ideas and a sense of inadequacy! Woo! But I don't mind feeling inadequate to a task (some tasks, I should say)  - it takes the pressure off, somehow. 

Same Zinna picture but different.

and now to bed - I'm sleepy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

GREETINGS and book bits

GREETINGS. (I heard something on NPR recently where an American correspondent was talking to an African correspondent and he was all "hey, hello" super casual and she came on with a strong 'GREETINGS' and it was perfect. Like, it's the only way I want to greet anyone ever, want my phone message changed to it, etc. GREETINGS.)

ANYWAY. I started to get into the bananas nature of my summer, but that way lies mission-creep so I deleted it for now. It will have its day! But today I come before you to talk about BOOKS. I've been trying over the many years of this blog to find a way to speak briefly about various books that I've read. I've tried some things, but nothing made me particularly happy. Then I started writing in a notebook.  Just the title, then a list of top of my head things I thought about it. I'm bringing those here, and then I'll write a little more about it if I feel like it.

I'm trying to train myself to bring my thoughts a little closer together so if someone asks me about a book (not unusual or unexpected in a library) I can pull it together and respond. As it is now, it's like all my thoughts are floating at various depths in a swimming pool. They're there, I just can't lay my hands on them in the space of a quick conversation. (does that make sense? I will trust that it does.)

The list method is something I picked up from Lynda Barry's What it Is. There's a part where she has this enormous word list that you cut apart and use in your writing/drawing exercises. After you select your words, you quickly write down whatever pops into your mind. I've used this in other writing and find it VERY USEFUL.  Here we go:

Dystopia, horror, thriller, science, good teacher, young girl with extraordinary intelligence, failures of bureaucracy, road novel, it’s probably what you think it is

This was a fast read once I got about 30 pages into it. I don’t want to say too much because while I don’t agree that spoilers are inherently evil (or good), I think this book is best enjoyed just diving in. Warning: creepy and gross. But the pages kept turning!

Creatures, science, family, magic, time walking “the old fashioned way”, trust, loyalty, lots of castles, vampire investment opportunities, knew everyone, invented everything

This was the concluding volume of the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness; it tried to tie up EVERYTHING, which I think made for an overstuffed book. Nevertheless, I quite enjoyed the trilogy and would be lying if I said I wouldn’t read another installment next year. (As far as I know there are no more installments.) I thought aspects of the story were too tidy, but I really love the world she has built over three doorstopper volumes. (Volume 2 is set almost entirely in Elizabethan England!) (p.s. I heartily disagree with the “Twilight for grownups” dismissals that this series has received and will happily have it out with anyone who wants to bring that argument to me.)


I was going to put more books up tonight, but I think I'll just do short little bursts and we'll see what happens. More soon, but not now - I've got to get myself to bed because there are Florida relatives in town and they are running me ragged with their tourism demands! (it's super fun, though.) 

Saturday, August 09, 2014

no water

I've had this song stuck in my head since I woke up this morning and since it's great and fun I don't feel bad about getting it stuck in your head, too.  Besides sounding just like a Tune-Yards song, it also reminds me of Tom Tom Club and I think of Busta Rhymes with every WOO HA WOO HA.

PLUS, if you even needed a plus, the video is pretty great.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

summer video

HELLO. I had to get one more post in before July was gone until next year.

I had a good July! It's always one of my favorites because it is my birthday month. I read somewhere that people often have an affinity for the time of year they were born  - does that sound legit or ridic to you? I vote: LEGIT.

Anyway - someone linked to this song and video on twitter and I LOVE IT.  It's mega summer guitar pop with a boat and stripes and an amusement park... just watch it.

See you in August!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

when your world is full of strange arrangements

(this picture from nine years ago (9!) came up in my flickr stats today.  Have you been to the redwoods? You should go.) 

ha ha! I just deleted a bunch of wah wah stuff and it feels GREAT. I will say that today was a weird one for me and I felt manic yet sluggish at the same time which is a gross combo. But my normal brain is returning for which I am grateful. 


• were 2006/7 peak blog years? I mean personal blogs. It feels like so many people have either gone pro or gone to Facebook and I just kind of miss the old freewheeling days of WHATEVER out in the open by anybody. I know this is largely replaced by Twitter for many and that's cool, but still. 

• I am super digging the Mad World book and am so happy they're already at work on volume 2. MORE ON THIS in the future when I will also include a bunch of pictures and videos. 

• My old computer won't even turn on and on the one hand it's fine because I have a newer, functional computer and I can get whatever I need off of the backup (I THINK), but on the other hand aaaaarrrrgghhh. Just do what you're supposed to do, brick of plastic! 

• So, I've been listening to some ABC (thank you, Mad World book) and my favorite part is always when Martin starts talking to himself. "Martin, maybe one day you'll find true love. (heavy sigh)" ha ha ha ha! The Best! 

• ho ho - I just deleted (or delted, if you like Original Typo Style) something else that is not worth devoting any infinite free space to. Ha ha! take that, THOUGHTS. 

Monday, July 07, 2014

tomato time


June 8 - I planted these about a month earlier from starts I bought at Fred Meyer.  From the left: Bloody Butcher, Sugar Lump, jalepeno (not a tomato), Tigerlike, Juliet, another jalepeno. I've taken to buying tomato plants that produce smallish fruit because I never know if we'll have enough sun to ripen a big tomato.


July 4 - the tomatoes seem VERY HAPPY in their block bed! They have since crested the fence. Lots and lots of little green tomatoes - I'm excited for them to start getting ripe!

Tomato mania warning: I also have a green zebra and a "chocolate cherry" tomato growing in pots elsewhere.