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Friday, September 28, 2007
save the date!
(dates for the Pendleton Roundup, which is also not this weekend.)

I should never post after midnight! Or only after midnight, if just to develop a consistent level of wrongness. Both the Friends of the Library sale and the 100 Monkeys craft swap are NEXT WEEKEND. This is good (gives me more time to assemble donations), but also alarming because I blithely jumped over a September weekend right into October. I love October and all, but come on!

Because I have the posting window open, I will note that my West Linn job cancelled on me today which was a lovely surprise and I'm not even kidding. I can do all those things that I have been wanting to do, like laundry and well... I'll probably get laundry done at least!

Ooh -- I had another Chestnut Experience this morning. I woke up early and decided to head to the park since it was not raining or hailing or being otherwise inclement. First time around: no chestnuts, but no biggie; I certainly wasn't expecting them. Next time around, I saw one (and like the giant nerd I am I took a picture because I had my camera), it made me inexplicably happy, only to be topped when I notice that they are now on EVERY post. Do they just sprout up out of the top? I don't know! It's the best sort of mystery, I tell you what. And my ipod still loves me, in case you were wondering. How do I know? Friday I'm in Love by the Cure on a Friday is how! (maybe it heard me talking about the new ipods...)

I love it when a plan comes together

| On
Friday, September 28, 2007
beware of objects

My Free Will Astrology horoscope for this week said "Move the furniture around. In fact, why not move some of it right through the front door and out of your life? If we're lucky, this will get you in the mood to launch a purge of everything that no longer belongs under your roof. Maybe you could throw a Simplification Party, complete with an exorcism. Or corral your friends for a haul-it-all-away caravan to the garbage dump. I don't care how you do it, Cancerian. Just get rid of all knick-knacks, wall hangings, funny mirrors, broken dreams, balls and chains, and formerly cute mementoes that have lost their cuteness. It's time to liberate your home."

To which I thought ... "hmmmm..." and noticed that THIS VERY WEEKEND is the Friends of the Library book sale, and I believe it's not too late to donate books. Coincidentally, just as I was thinking it was really time to go through my rubber stamps and get rid of the ones I bought early on (ones I look at now and wonder if I was completely high, having an out of body experience or merely temporarily insane when I selected them) I spotted this excellent good craft swap news on the West Coast Crafty blog -- which is ALSO THIS WEEKEND.

I have absolutely no problem giving away (rather than trying to sell) things that I once loved but no longer want, but I always like it if I can target my giving a little more specifically than just taking it to Goodwill. Woo Hoo's all around! (despite what it may seem like from the photo used on this post, I will not be pitching things willy nilly off the St. Johns bridge if I don't make it to the FotL sale or the crafty swap.)

(and in bonus woo hoo news, I found the button I thought was missing from my new to me Little Old Lady Who Lunches french pirate sweater AND I slept long enough last night that I feel coherence inching its way back to me! Obviously it's not here yet, but moving ever closer.)

chestnut saga and other updates

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Thursday, September 27, 2007
These past two weeks have been CRAZY for me. I know it's not even regular busy for some people, but I am so tired -- my sleep schedule is all wonky (no doubt due to the 30 minute nap I MUST TAKE at 10:30 pm, which means I am awake far longer than I should be...) and so on. This break from my usual routine is good for me; I think a period of Extra Busy is a good transition to the New Regular Busy I'll be (with luck!) starting some time in the next few weeks. BUT, as always, the transition is a bitch. If I could just learn to love these inbetween times when everything is in flux, I'd be in clover. (note to self: learn to love these inbetween times! Tomorrow! After you get back from the thing and do your laundry and prep house for craft night and for god's sake do something about your eyebrows. wah!)


Chestnut Update: (you know, the ones left by my favorite love vandal art perpetrators, who may or may not be a precocious 5 year old with a label maker): Dateline, Saturday: went to the park. First time around, notice nothing except that it is a gorgeous day and my ipod loves me. Second time around the park path I notice that the chestnuts are back on their posts, and am charmed all over again. Fourth time around (ish), I notice that they are gone. Am ALARMED, but find a couple of them not far from their posts and replace them. Feel solidarity with chestnut-placers. Who knocked them off? Everyone in park and vicinity is immediately a suspect instead of a citizen. Next lap, I catch the evil-doer in mid act. He is a skeletor late-middle age type with a miniature pinscher on a chain. He's casually throwing the chestnuts as far as he can. He's not even letting the dog run after them. Clearly he has a small bit of gravel where his heart should be. To be continued, if I ever make it to the park again.

Hipster Alert: My neighborhood is being overrun. I don't really mind, except would it be possible, o skinny jeaned hipster boys, to just have one ironic haircut at a time? I can kinda deal with the variations on the mullet, but I just don't know if I have the psychic reserves to deal with a mullet and mutton chops on the same head. Please! think of the neighbors.

Thrift Store Finds: Traffic was really hideous on my way home from West Linn the other day so I stopped off at a thrift store I haven't been to in a long time. It was an interesting mix of stuff from cheapo places like Target, Walmart, Kmart, etc. and donations from little old ladies who lunch. I left with a double-breasted LOLWL silk/cotton black and white striped sweater (it's like a french pirate sweater!) that needs some button shifting to allow for wearing without the dreaded boob-gaposis. I noticed when removing the buttons that I'm one button short, so I'll probably have to replace them all, but it will be worth it. The perfect accessory would be an eye patch, or maybe a cutlass between the teeth, but I think I'll just settle for buttons where they should be and the knowledge that an eye patch would liven things up. I also found a sweet pair of classic clamshell adidas sneakers with yellow stripes! I just have to clean them up a little. Anyway. it was a fun traffic dodging diversion.

TV: I am missing all the new TV! I have seen... Bones, and that was it. And I fell asleep during the last 5 minutes. I can say that I'm glad Hodgins got a haircut. As always I like both Brennan and Booth. (boothe? booth? SEELEY? Seeley always makes me think 'posturepedic' and then I realize that I really am 95 years old.) Actually, every time this show comes on or I see an ad, all I can think is "Angel's on TV! Angel's on TV!" which is what the local alt-alt weekly said when Bones first came on. I want to see Ugly Betty for sure, I want to check out Reaper because I have been hearing such mixed reviews (people either love it or loathe it) -- the Reaper guy is from Tualatin and the local TV guy LOVES HIM and has been doing various stories about it. I wanted to watch Heroes but I find that I'm not really that upset that I missed it. Um... I think I saw Cold Case and my thoughts on that are the same as always: Lily is probably the PALEST woman in America, Scotty is adorable, etc. I swear I've seen something else, but for the life of me I can't remember what. I am approaching the return of Grey's Anatomy and the arrival of Private Practice with something near dread. Grey's really was cheesing me off by the end with the whole George/ Izzie thing (ugh!) and Private Practice just seems like a really bad idea. I love Addison, but every ad I've seen makes it sound like the things I love about her (prickly, conflicted, ultimately kind) are going to disappear in goofy dancing naked montages while she learns about Life and Love. And a #$%#@ talking elevator. Bleh. I will give it a shot, though. Maybe it's just a spectacularly unappealing (to me) ad campaign.

I have also been watching season 3 of Deadwood on DVD, but that really deserves its own post. (except to say I fall over laughing every time I think of 'cob shucker' which is what they're dubbing over one of the most common Deadwood epithets to make it acceptable for broadcast tv. Or so I learned on some commentary track or another.)

Now I must go to bed before I fall asleep with my head on the keyboard.

what it looks like

| On
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I have so many things I want to blog about (news, non-news, delights, felicitations, rants, reviews, ETC.) but I have been crazy busy (for me) this past week and have not had time. I did finally get the pictures off of my camera, though, so I thought in honor of the last full day of summer (TODAY), I would post some pictures of what it looks like here in pdx in middle to late september.

not as helpful as he thinks
lots of garden work going on this month -- here Busby is on the job deciding whether or not I'm worthy of another wheelbarrow of bark dust. (I was, but there was some serious head/butt-scratching negotiating that had to happen first.)

blue sky! (look harder)
Blue sky! somewhere! Believe it or not, it didn't rain this day and in fact was sunny and beautiful within half an hour of the instant captured in this photo.

late-summer sky
No rain here, either! I know two cloud pictures are probably overkill, but they're so pretty.

pretty pretty
This leaf was on the ground -- a harbinger of things to come. I love the orange/green combo, and I love that the rest of the trees are mostly, for now, still green.

shiny chestnut
This is one of the chestnuts I was going on and on about two blog posts ago! Aren't they pretty? They were all gone when I went to the park today.

cute shoe!
I have had this shoe (and its mate) for YEARS but never actually managed to wear them out of the house. I got a great deal on them and LOVE them because they have such classic vintage appeal (in my eyes), but hadn't worn them because they are so very tall (for me -- I realize people sprint all around in higher heels than these all the time, but I am not one of them). Anyway, I wore them last night and aside from having to negotiate unexpected stairs and a floor pitched for broken-ankle downhill MAYHEM, it went okay. I felt very tall, but relatively stable since these have such a sturdy stacked heel.

As always, more later. (threat or a promise?! you decide.) INCLUDING: why I want some sort of cannon or trebuchet I can use to deal with the asshats from the bar on the corner who leave beer bottles by my fence (hint: it has to do with leaving beer bottles by my fence) and seeking understanding as to why so many dudes in opera appear to be the kind of asshats who would leave beer bottles in front of my fence.

late-breaking update

| On
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I passed my interview! WOO HOO!!

Believe it or not, this is not the last step, or even the second to the last step, but it is definite positive progress. Hooray! Gotta run, more details later.


invisible circles

| On
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I returned to the park today after an extended break -- the break wasn't really my idea; first, I got a lot busier, then I got sick. The bathroom scale informed me that not only was it time to get back out there, but maybe, just MAYBE I should double check and see if Marie Callendar's Key Lime Pie was actually considered medicine like I have been assuming. My fat ass and the scale say otherwise, but personally I think that's all circumstantial evidence that wouldn't hold up Dessert Court. (Pie always wins in Dessert Court. The fix is in!)

I was delighted to see that my favorite park prankster has returned (or the Love Vandals as I like to think of them -- he, she, they, it -- I honestly have no idea). I was listening to the Raveonettes for a while during the last Love Vandal outbreak and I tried to mentally recast them as the Love Gang, but it just didn't take, even though it's probably a better name. Today's exhibit was subtle. The end of the park that I enter is down by the off-leash dog area (although honestly dogs race all over the dingdang park since the irresistible squirrels do not feel so confined). The official area is demarcated by small pillars that say "off leash area, blah blah blah." They are about 3 feet tall and painted park-service green. There was one brilliant brown-red chestnut (sans outer shell) sitting right on top of the first marker I came across. It was so shiny and such a beautiful color I took a picture (it's still on my camera and therefore not right here illustrating my point, so you'll have to take my word for it). It wasn't until I had looped all the way around again that I noticed every single pillar had a chestnut on it. There are no chestnut trees in the park, these were imported for the express purpose of who knows what! I do know that it made me happy.

I believe this to be the work of the Love Vandals (whom I first noticed around valentine's day with I Love You stickers on every lamppost) -- the repetition, the encircling and the fact that it coincided within a few weeks of me finally noticing the Love Vandal masterpiece (more stickers!) lead me to this conclusion. It could be someone else, I suppose; these stickers are not hand written, they were not stuck in the same places... but at the same time, the very ways the method has changed feels more like a natural evolution than a whole new person. (although if there are that many people who want to share the love at Wilshire park, more power to them!) Anyway, back in February I had the experience of seeing all of the I Love You lamppost stickers in their cheerful glory, only to return the next day to find them all removed, but for two that had been missed. One of these I walked by every day (and picked it up the day it fell off the lamppost. I'm looking at it right now, in fact), the second one was slightly out of the way, but held on for weeks after the first one fell until one day it just wasn't there. I only ever checked on it when I was feeling particularly gloomy, so it was not a great day when I realized it was Gone. (cue rain and a solitary and therefore extra sad tear.)

I soldiered on, as one does when the delicate city park love-sticker ecosystem has been damaged. BUT THEN, two days after the last of the old stickers fell, I noticed a new one on an easterly lamppost. This one was different than the old sticker -- it was typed, and instead of just "I Love You!" it said "I Love You With All My Heart And I Always Will." !!! It cheered me up tremendously, as silly as that sounds. I know it's technically vandalism of some sort, but I just love the idea that there is someone out there who not only thinks this up, but carries it out. Who are they? Who is it for? What's the story? It gets even BETTER, because all this time I'm thinking that the Love Vandal has retrenched to a literal lone lamppost outpost on the corner (I always look for it when I'm there to make sure no one has peeled it off), until one day I happened to notice it was on one of the metal poles that hold up parking signs around the periphery of the park. Then I noticed it was on every single one of them! Love, love, love. I especially love that they were there all along and I never knew it because I wasn't paying attention. Moral of the story: pay more attention!

I have assorted awesome links to share, but they will have to wait for their own new post as I have to get up early AND have a great book that isn't going to read itself.

10:50 to 11:20 Sept. 12

| On
Friday, September 14, 2007
Central Branch
(central branch in winter. right now the trees are all very leafy.)

general info: Interview for library clerk position, 10:50, Sept. 12th, central branch. 10:50?? Is that a crazy time for an interview? It sounds crazy to me! I guess I should be grateful it wasn't in military time or at 10:57, EASTERN TIME or some other "so, you think you're clever, do you?" test time. (thoughts like these are how I constantly overcomplicate my life.)

All I knew ahead of time is that there would be more than one person interviewing me, I would need to get someone to let me on to the staff elevator that goes to the fifth floor and that I would need to check in when I got there. So I did. (personally, I think it was another test since 3 out of 4 people behind the desk acted like asking about how to get to my appointment on the fifth floor was akin to asking about UFO landings in Pioneer Courthouse Square. The 4th person, however, was awesome, on the ball and wearing a bright purple shirt.)

There was one other woman waiting when I arrived on 5, and two others came and went as I waited. There were three rooms conducting interviews, although I don't think all of them were for the same position. Every other interviewee was wearing some variation of navy and white. (pinstriped skirt, white sweater/ navy pants, blue and white flowered shirt/ navy trousers, white sleeveless sweater, etc.) I was NOT and therefore felt a tad conspicuous. The only white thing I had on was the giant bandage on my chin, which brings me to ...

wardrobe, in list form:

bandage: white, about 2" square. This is small compared to what I was wearing the day before. It was chosen because it was the smallest one that would cover completely and not allow any seeping, oozing, draining or other words I cringe to type. I decided to brazen it out and not offer any explanations for the obvious first thing anyone would notice, although if anyone had asked I would have explained. No one said anything until later in the day when an old man who clearly fancied himself as some sort of lady killer comedian asked me 'what does the other guy look like?' I punched him in the face. ... Okay! I just gave him a smile and kept moving, but in my mind I totally bruised my knuckles on his nose.

skirt: the Miracle Traveling Pencil Skirt. My aunt gave me this lovely heavy silk (not shiny) skirt she had made for herself by a tailor in India. The miracle is that it fits me perfectly, and I am about 8" taller than she is. It's a beautiful very dark tealish blue (it almost reads charcoal from far away) but it still has a hot tone to the color, which means it looks great with...

top: pinky-red tone on tone Duro Top, aka Maybe Clown Pajamas, But I Love It Anyway. I just finished making this the night before my interview, which is why I had some ambivalence about it. It's the basic McCall's Duro pattern, but with a skirt that is only 11" long. Voila! perfect to wear with straight skirts and jeans! I wore a dark teal camisole underneath to keep from fidgeting every 20 seconds to make sure I wasn't flashing my boobs inadvertently. (if I'm going to do it, I want to know about it!)

shoes: magic bronze mary-janes. They are neither black nor brown, but they go with anything that either black or brown would go with. They are round toed, neither too clunky nor too delicate, the perfect height and a-dorable. I love them and will cry when they fall apart.

the interview itself:

I was called into a conference room by a very nice woman who introduced herself as the supervisor of one of the branches, there was one other (very nice) woman who worked as a clerk for another branch in the room. They brought me water, which I think was in deference to my bandage infirmity and not standard procedure.

While I was in the waiting area, I had been given a clipboard with a list of the questions I would be asked (very civilized!) with a written notice not to be offended if the interviewers didn't maintain constant eye contact because they would be taking notes. This made me smile because I totally understood where they were coming from! (I am not disinterested just because I am not trying to see into the back of your brain through your eyeballs.) Take that, Relentless Eye Contact/ Staring Contest/ Read Too Many Interviewing Tips people!

They were both very nice and easy to chat with. It was clear that they had actually read my application materials, although they didn't ask me any questions other than the ones that were on the list. I think that kind of careful rigidity is probably standard procedure for any kind of county position, though. Here is my distillation of the 6 interview questions, once the bureau-speak is boiled away:

1. The public is an unpredictable beast. What experience do you have working with unpredictable beasts?

2. Are you an impossible to work with crazy bitch? Do your coworkers hate you? Please give us an example. We will be watching to see if you use this opportunity to shine us on with some crazy story about how your only fault is that you work too hard.

3. Are you a bigot?

4. Can you lift shit and stand up for more than 10 minutes at a time?

5. Intellectual freedom Rules Our School. Will you be offended by freaky stuff patrons check out? What will you say when a patron says "how DARE you!" about materials they find offensive? The second question is not a hypothetical, it will happen.

6. can you handle an angry bear? please describe your best bear distracting techniques.

Here are my (distilled) answers:

1. Yes, I have a strange fondness for the unpredictable beast and have worked with it off and on for most of my working life.

2. No, I'm super mellow and can get along with just about anyone over the course of a work day and my only fault is that I work too hard. Seriously, I don't like passive aggressive office politics and prefer to bring any problems up with the person I have them with directly, the thing I would like to improve is bringing them up sooner. (which is almost as bad as 'my only fault is that I work too hard' but not quite.)

3. no.

4. yes.

5. I will not be offended! (I actually feel like I flubbed this answer which makes me sad since I am ALSO a huge fan of intellectual freedom and feel like libraries are one of the last bastions of freely available information in this society and should be celebrated and protected. I hope I got that across, but the truth of it is, I didn't really have a good reply for how I would deal with the "how DARE you" person beyond "are you fucking KIDDING ME?" I did not share that exact vocabulary at the interview, though. (although I realized that I swear a LOT more now than I did the last time I worked with the public.) I think I gave the kind of answer that indicated I was on the right side of the issue and would work out what I needed to work out, rather than being someone who said "well, I don't mind handling materials as long as there's no naked people or atheists involved.")

6. Yes! it is one of my specialties and involves a whistle and a long stick with honey on the end. If that doesn't work a chair and a whip will do the job.

I wasn't there for the full half hour allotted. I didn't have many questions for them, but it seemed like that was okay since they acknowledged that I already had a grasp of what the job entailed from all of my volunteering. (which came up several times, and not always from me.) I left thinking I was qualified and that it went pretty well, but for all I know it went REALLY well for all those other people who were being interviewed that day (and all the days before and after). I get to wait some more to find out. I should know one way or the other by Sept. 28. I'm hoping that I will at least get placed on their Eligible to Hire list, which is good for a year. One of the women interviewing me said that she waited NINE MONTHS between applying and getting a job, so I guess that should reset my impatience meter!

Anyway, that's the story of my interview. Ooh! except I found really excellent parking before the interview, which if it wasn't a sign for good things to come, at least was a good parking spot.

Emily Dickinson loves you for your brain

| On
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
both at once!

I am back from my interview! More on that later, probably tonight. (including exciting details like my analysis of whether it was smart to wear a top that could have been from the cover of the Clown Pajamas Unlimited catalog.) I think it went okay.

I am getting a stack of stuff to take back to the library since some PERSON out there in Multnomah County wants to check out the Emily Dickinson book that I've had out since March, I thought I'd leaf through and reread the aprox. 30 things I had bookmarked. Here are two of them that jumped out at me because they are a) short and b) almost zombie-like in their appreciation for meaty, juicy brains. mmmmm, braaaiiins

The Brain—is wider than the Sky—
For—put them side by side—
The one the other will contain
With ease—and You—beside—

The Brain is deeper than the sea—
For—hold them—Blue to Blue—
The one the other will absorb—
As Sponges—buckets—do—

The Brain is just the weight of God—
For—Heft them—Pound for Pound—
And they will differ—if they do—
As Syllable from Sound—

The Mind lives on the Heart
Like any Parasite—
If that is full of Meat
The Mind is fat.

But if the Heart omit
Emaciate the Wit—
The Aliment of it
So absolute.

—Emily Dickinson

driving the fruit loop

| On
Monday, September 10, 2007
It seems like I've only ever been complaining or stressing out on this blog for MONTHS, so it's time for a Good Stuff list. (I realize the only other thing I've been doing is lists, but bear with me.)

Some Good Stuff (a list):

1. Leftovers, particularly leftover valium.

2. the new ipods. I really think the new nanos are adorable, but I'll probably get the classic. Mine is a 3rd Generation, and while it is not, as my cousin cruelly suggested, something that belongs in the smithsonian, it has a tragically short battery life and is only 10gb.

3. Ewan McGregor as Catcher Block in Down With Love. I know this movie isn't for everyone, but he cracks me all the way up every time I see it. He has that wicked gleeful glint in his eye and seems to be having such a good time -- it's hard to resist. He should do more comedies. (I like to watch this one while I'm sewing because the clothes and the colors are so fun.)

4. Bring It On Home To Me -- Britt Daniel covers Sam Cooke, posted on LocalCut. Further proof that the world is ready for Sam Cooke and Alexander Hamilton to FIGHT CRIME! (other evidence collected: Hamiltion Biography face out at the library. Did you know he was a scrappy orphan? It (the AH/SC Crime Fighting Movement, or perhaps my insanity) is gaining momentum!) You may disagree about the rightness of this crime-fighting duo for whatever deranged reason, but you must agree that this is a great cover of a great song. (you must!)

5. driving the fruit loop around Mt. Hood! So pretty, so many farm stands with so many things to eat.
mt. hood through the sunflowers

6. My face should be much less swollen by Wednesday, which is the day of...

7. My interview! (woo!) Being sick has had one major benefit, and that's that I've been too distracted to fret even one iota about it.

8. I can't believe I almost forgot the phantom funk marching band! I think it's from the middle school up the street. If I felt better I would have gone to investigate -- but there's something to be said for not knowing for sure. There's nothing quite like hearing the distant rumbling of Parliament Funkadelic as interpreted by 11 year olds with tubas. (really!)

Infectious Fun with Boilin' Bess

| On
Friday, September 07, 2007
Hey, guess what? I spent this morning in the emergency room! It wasn't a dire emergency, but I am in the midst of another bout of bizarro face infection. (perhaps related to a recent spider bite infection.) Oh, what fun words the doctors use! Cellulitis, and of course my personal all-time favorite: Furuncle. (which is the technical term for a BOIL! I've been afflicted with boils! It's almost worth it to be able to say "I've been afflicted," but not quite. It gets better and better: plural for furuncle is carbuncle! (edit: I just have the one. Although if I get to count the one from before, I am totally carbunculated.)

The good news is I recognized the symptoms soon enough to avoid the whole hospitalization and surgery route required last December. I am on super mega antibiotics, am taking lots of naps and with any luck that will do it. If the whole thing doesn't appear to be responding to drugs, I have to go back so they can jab at my face, I guess. Anyway! Wish me no swelling or pain by Wednesday so I can have my interview without the extra stress of feeling like a deformed afflicted furuncle-haver.

It could have been worse. I knew things were going to be better for me this time (so much earlier, so much less pain) when they led me over to the DRY side of the emergency room (looks like a doctor's office) rather than the JUICY side (looks like ERs on tv with lots of bodily fluids, needles, beeping, yelling, blinking lights and whatnot). Hooray!

Of course once I saw the word "furuncle" it made me think it would be an excellent addition to any pirate name. Here are the few I came up with on my way to the pharmacy:

Furuncle Fran
Carbuncle Kate
Boilin' Bess (my current favorite, since she could just have a temper.)

If you come up with additional infection-related pirate names, please let me know!

coconut woman (september girl)

| On
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
late summer stuff
(these pictures are from the past couple weeks or so -- most during my bookcase project, which explains the high Cherry Ames/Peggy Lane ratio.)

I have been trying to figure out the best way to continue celebrating summer even after the artificial season ender of Labor Day Weekend. (Today calypso music and Big Star have been effective.) I get that it is back to school and in a lot of practical ways summer is over. HOWEVER, (I do love me a good however), the earth is still tipped in the summer direction for the northern hemisphere! Summer's not really over until September 23rd and the autumnal equinox. Take that, local sad-sack-labor-day-end-of-summer apologist-newscaster! Oh, who cares? I'm taking summery September since Portland is always cheated out of a summery June.

So far, this month has been pretty good: I finally have a date for an interview (which I technically found out in August, but the hooray of it is still upon me) and I started Project Color-Coordinate Bookshelf which has brought me MUCH HAPPINESS. Well, the one big bookshelf has been pretty fun. The others, where size is a big part of why the books are where they are, have been slightly less fun -- but the project is enjoyable nevertheless. It's like a party on the shelves! Strange bedfellows, as a friend remarked. Personally, I love it. I think my big hesitation at doing this before was that I thought it would make it impossible to find anything, but I realized I look AT my bookshelves every single day, and I look FOR something on them much less often -- and it's not like my previous system was comprehensible outside my own brain anyway. Plus, things are getting a much needed dusting. (it is possible that my desire for practical order is being met at the library, so I am free to get crazy on my own shelves. Alternatively, it is possible that I don't have that much desire for practical order.) If I've learned one thing, it's that I really need to stop buying Penguin Classics from the 50's-60's at estate sales. On the other hand, I must find more of the Fernand Hazan Petite Encyclopédie de l'Art books, for they are adorable! (Oooh, speaking of groovy book covers, I currently have wallpaper #3 from here (go to downloads) as my desktop. via How About Orange)

There is a downside, and that downside is that straightening all these books has made me realize that something must be done with my out of control art supplies. (did I come across a book titled Something Must Be Done With Your Out of Control Art Supplies? No, but that would be funny.) The supplies are encroaching! It starts with paper items. Since books are made of paper, I think it's okay to shove other paper on the shelf -- which is fine for a while, but quickly degenerates to the mess I find myself looking at today. I suspect that if the earth opened up and swallowed half of this non-book stuff I would be secretly relieved. Anyway, it's a good project too, although it won't be as fun as the shelves. I suppose it's the sloggy, responsible part of September, but slogging that must be done. (my concession to the eventual IN ONE MONTH arrival of fall.)

Okay, now for some fun links since it seems like a summery-type thing to do, and as everyone knows summer goes on for weeks and weeks yet:

+++I love this post at La Coquette about watching Godard's Breathless for the first time. Not only did I also recently watch Breathless for the first time, but I, too, grew up in Florida reading magazines at the 7-11! (except in my town it was the Stop & Go.) I don't speak French or have exciting Parisian adventures (much to my sorrow), but Coquette does and she writes about them with wit and flair.

+++Posie goes to the Oregon State Fair. I love the state fair (although I haven't been in a while), and I love this blog. I'm so happy she's writing and photographing a craft book, but I also wish that she were writing a novel or a collection of stories so I could read more, more, more. What I especially love about this post (aside from the pictures and the goat hilarity) is the part about the horse arena. When I was there several years ago, I had a really strong reaction to that building -- it has such an atmosphere. It was freaky; I swore that if I closed my eyes and thought really hard, I would open them up and it would be 1919. (this MAY HAVE BEEN right after I read Time and Again by Jack Finney, but even so!) Oh! this post also reminds me of the time the National Square Dance Convention was in Portland; it was glorious and completely surreal. There were giant poofy skirts EVERYWHERE, like the city was poised for some huge civic musical.

+++Answer Girl has returned from her August hiatus with a new blog format. This year's daily posts will focus on books she's kept for a long time. I enjoy this blog very much, and not just because she sometimes posts pictures of her dog, Dizzy. (I am a Dizzy fan.)