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library poems, etc.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008
tonight I worked at one of my favorite small branches downtown, and it was S-L-O-W. I was on the desk by myself for two hours, which meant that there was plenty of time for miscellaneous library searches/ internet searches. I try to keep my internet use to book-related things, at least while I'm still fairly new to the job -- it's not like it's torture and it feels less like goofing off. Anyway, I had decided that I would check out the Poetry 180 resource to see if some of my favorites were still there and check out anything new. What I didn't realize was the branch was hosting a poetry reading tonight! I found out they do this every month or so and it's always full. I got to read poems at the desk and direct people to the meeting room so they could go hear poems in the flesh. Fun! (for real. Like I said before, I have adopted a deep and wide definition of fun -- it makes me less cross and things more interesting.) Here are a couple of poems about libraries --
This one is from Poetry 180 and is library/writer pertinent and new since I'd last looked:

“Do You Have Any Advice For Those of Us Just Starting Out?"
Ron Koertge

Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave

your house or apartment. Go out into the world.

It's all right to carry a notebook but a cheap

one is best, with pages the color of weak tea

and on the front a kitten or a space ship.

Avoid any enclosed space where more than

three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware

any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks

across the muffled tennis courts.

Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write.

And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle

where a child a year or two old is playing as his

mother browses the ranks of the dead.

Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.

The title, the author's name, the brooding photo

on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray

book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher

it gets, the wider he grins.

You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower

falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody

in the world frowns and says, "Shhhh."

Then start again.

from there I clicked over to the Library Of Congress (a tremendous public resource!), and then to their Poetry section, which (hooray!) had a feature on current Poet Laureate and one of my all-time favorites, Charles Simic. I saw him read here in portland last year and it was one of the smartest things I've done -- to think I almost didn't do it! Anyway, I read several of the interviews collected on the page (I did not think I could love him more, but I do), then spotted this poem which seemed just Too Perfect considering I was reading poetry in the library. So here it is:

In the Library

for Octavio

There's a book called

"A Dictionary of Angels." 

No one has opened it in fifty years,

I know, because when I did, 

The covers creaked, the pages

Crumbled. There I discovered

The angels were once as plentiful

As species of flies. 
The sky at dusk

Used to be thick with them. 

You had to wave both arms

Just to keep them away.

Now the sun is shining

Through the tall windows. 

The library is a quiet place.

Angels and gods huddled

In dark unopened books.

The great secret lies

On some shelf Miss Jones

Passes every day on her rounds.

She's very tall, so she keeps

Her head tipped as if listening.
The books are whispering.

I hear nothing, but she does.

--Charles Simic

what to do next?

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008
circle experiment
(I took this today using my camera (duh) and one of those little bubble wands that I found in the dirt at the park. I decided to do some experimenting -- this was the best of the aprox. 10 photos I tried using this technique. I'm sure I looked like I had a mental disorder holding this dirty plastic thing in front of the camera, but I'm pretty well used to looking crazy at the park now, and I don't think joggers have much room for finger-pointing. With a little more practice I think this bubble wand could result in some fun pictures.)

After a period of feeling like I would never have an idea again (roughly feb. 1 till today), I am back in the market for a new project. I know I said that I was going to do a february version of project 365 and attempt to take a self-portrait every day for a (short) month, but that fell apart somewhere in week two. I got sick, and frankly it was boring. I got a couple of pictures I liked alright, and I suspect it's one of those things where you just have to power through the boring awkward bits to get to where self-consciousness fades away and it all starts to make sense, but... as I said I got sick, and then I didn't care. Maybe I'll attempt to revive that project later, but it really isn't speaking to me now. (maybe I need to stare at the pictures until they start talking to me, and THEN I'll be ready for my next project! and my medication.)

Work is spotty for me this week so I'm trying to get things done at home. Some of it isn't bad (going through my closet and getting rid of things I haven't worn in a year, etc.), some of it isn't fun but I have to do it (filing papers! I hate it so much and I don't know why). However, even with these glamorous projects in mind, I still want to have something bigger going on. I did the blog-a-day AND the quilt in January, but now that both of those are over, I feel like the laziest person on earth since I don't have anything going. Which brings me to some photos!

future projects
I came across these fabrics today -- I probably won't use them together, but I thought it was funny how well they went together, especially considering that they were both gifts and given two years apart. I think I've only got 2/3 a yard or so of the silk on the left, and about 4 yards of the cotton on the right. I think I want to make a dress from the cotton, but of course I don't have a pattern in mind or any remotely useful ideas.

vintage japanese silk

a friend gave me this really great piece of vintage japanese silk, which has some shibori details that don't show very well in this picture. It's such a wonderful piece -- it's hand stitched together (since it's in traditional 18" kimono widths), and even more charmingly hand mended in many places where the fabric is damaged. Unfortunately, there are more tiny un-mended holes and it's a color that makes me look like I have liver disease if I wear it near my face. I want to do something with this piece, but everything I think of is not quite right, so I might just keep doing what I've been doing, which is drape it over something and just look at it. Doesn't really help with my project problem, however.

... and a camellia, just because. Spring is coming!
flirty camellia

what's the frequency?

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Saturday, February 23, 2008
mirror ball

slugs: only a couple more in Busby's fur (it's gross, but not as gross as slugs on the #$%#@ ceiling), so I'm calling it a win in the slug department.

full lunar eclipse: So cool! I didn't need to worry about not being able to see it due to work OR weather because when I arrived at the branch the sky was clear and the staff was already in full discussion on how we would all take turns to run outside and look at it. We told every patron. When the eclipse began we had to go stand in the back alley and look over a brick wall between some bushes (the moon was low) but by the time it got to full eclipse-edness (what's the right word? coverage? that's not it either.) it was high in the sky and had moved out of the alley and over the street. I saw a good bit of it -- so lovely! (although I know some people found it creepy and disturbing.) later that night I looked outside and the sky had started to cloud up again, but there was a rainbow all around the full, non-eclipsed moon. I know this is probably a symbol of hideous bad luck to sailors or something, but it was so pretty! (rainbow 'round moon/ death by a spoon? choke on doubloons? pecked to death by loons? devoured by baboons? ... these rhymes are all so ridiculous I must conclude that it's good luck instead.)

claim jumpers, lemonade hustlers and other junior badasses:

1. Claim Jumper restaurant: let me just say this was not my idea, but I warmed to it as a kind of Indiana Jones-style adventure into unknown territory. My reasonable questions (would we be required/ allowed to pan for gold? Did we need to supply our own gold pan and pickaxe, or would they have them there? could I legally shoot someone who tried to take our table?) were met with what I thought were firmer NOs than strictly necessary, but I remained undaunted! Some observations...
a) situated in the middle of a GIANT parking lot, the sidewalks were clearly designed by someone who had never used one. They were strewn here and there and led not to other sidewalks, but to awkward shrubberies and vast expanses of More Parking Lot. Getting to the restaurant was sort of like getting to the goblin castle in the movie Labyrinth. (only no David Bowie at the end.)
b) Waitstaff not nearly grizzled enough! (for acceptable level of grizzledness see: cast of Deadwood.)
c) Too much Elton John, not enough player piano.
d) bathrooms disappointingly named "women" and "men." I was expecting "whores" and "hoopleheads" at the very least! (I would have written many outraged letters.)
e) not one, but TWO kinds of antler chandelier (moose and deer)! plastic log chairs, pictures of various '49ers on the wall, but essentially a suburban mall parking lot upscale Red Robin. (so much potential, wasted!)

2. Lemonade Hustlers: I worked at a branch very near my house last week, so I got to come home for lunch (huzzah!) This time, there were some adorable urchins selling lemonade right on the sidewalk in front of my car. (it's near my house, but not so near my house that I can walk there and back on my lunch break.) Anyway, I thought "hooray! I will cross "buy lemonade from adorable lemonade urchins" off of my to do list." So I go up to their stand (a cooler with a hand-written cardboard sign in front) and see what's what. There is a girl and a boy at the cooler (appear to be siblings) and another boy relegated to the grass behind the sidewalk. I made the mistake of thinking they were adorable lemonade urchins when they were, in fact, a well-oiled lemonade-con machine. I was not their magnanimous change-purse patron, but a hapless patsy. The sign said Lemonade, .25 (drawing of people drinking lemonade) .25. Now, I would think this meant .25 for a cup of lemonade (which turned out to be Crystal Lite -- I should have known RIGHT THEN), but oh, no, explained the little girl (or cleverly disguised felon), that's .25 for half a cup, and .50 for a full cup. I went ahead and sprung for the full cup, which she poured out herself after handing my change over to her brother. Of course she only poured it a tiny bit over half way, but it's not like I'm going to get into an argument about how much Crystal Lite is in my cup. (if it had been real lemonade, I would have taken her to small claims court.) I think I will stick to giving money to buskers.

3. sk8 or die!: at the park two little girls (probably 7, if I had to guess) were skateboarding down the middle of the street that runs on the north, long side of the park. There's no sidewalk in the park, so they were in the street and kind of wobbling their way across to the side.They were by no means expert and were sort of hanging on to each other as they picked up a little speed. A car came up behind them, slowed to a crawl and gave them a hugely wide berth in order to get around them. Despite that courtesy (they were in the middle of the road!), dark haired skater girl flipped the driver off in the British fashion (you know -- the peace sign except with the bent fingers toward herself) -- so funny coming from this little girl! I hope that she's just a natural badass and not a tiny person with rage issues. Needless to say I did not let them see me laugh lest they beat me up with their skateboards.

slug on the ceiling (what a feeling)

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008
This morning started with the exciting adventure of getting a slug (A SLUG) off of the ceiling (THE CEILING!)... (THE CEILING!!!). I know this is the rainy northwest and all, but come on!

A day that starts like that can really go anywhere, and so far a litany of assorted wrongness has led me directly to the conclusion that my mojo is broken, or at least crumpled. Crumpled mojo = no good! I have taken some emergency mojo repair maneuvers:

1) wearing a dress! I usually wear jeans to work because it's easier. This is an experiment, but I think it will still allow me to move around. (can't wear anything that is too narrow in the skirt or getting on and off the chair behind the counter would be a non-stop graceless comedy hour, which is only funny when it happens to someone else.)

2) have painted my toenails! (the word toenails is kind of gross, but I didn't actually paint my whole TOE so... Oh, wait! 2a) I gave myself a pedicure! (much better!)

3) (this isn't an actual maneuver, but nature may improve my mood) it looks like the clouds may be burning off enough that I'll be able to see the full lunar eclipse tonight. I'm working, but the branch I'll be at has lots of windows, and maybe I'll be lucky enough to take my break when the moon is doing its thing. (in case it is cloudy, I am urging anyone who CAN see it to look at it some for me.)

There is various other uncategorized weirdness, but I since I have to finish getting dressed (my shoes don't match since I was debating which one would provide maximum mojo repair -- boots won) and go to work, I'll have to catch it later.

no slugs were harmed during removal from the ceiling. (CEILING!)

monday, sunny tree day

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Monday, February 18, 2008
I have been such a blog slacker! Not that there is a specific number of posts to which I aspire, but my intention was to do more and I have in fact done less. Why do I hold myself to impossible standards on some things and write myself a million free passes on others? A QUESTION FOR THE AGES. Or, you know, just something for me to think about since the ages are probably busy with more important matters.

Maybe it's because we're having a few days of lovely spring-like weather right now, but it feels like things (vague enough for you?) are shifting ever so slightly in a positive direction. But who knows -- mostly it's a bunch of stuff that starts off sounding good ("we'll pay you!" or "would you like a temporary regular assignment here at your most favorite branch in the entire system?") that may or may not ever manifest into something more. Just starting with something that sounds good is a pleasant change, so I'm going to continue going about my business and hope for the best without obsessing. (ha! well, I am going to try to do those things -- complete success is unlikely.)

ANYWAY. Here are some pictures.

tree day monday
this is the horse chestnut in front of my house. All the branches that have been stick straight and dormant all winter long are starting to gear up for spring. I can only imagine that waking up from an entire winter asleep is quite the process -- no coffee or tea if you're a tree! Maybe this early thickening limb stage is analogous to shuffling down the hallway to the room with the caffeine.

tree day monday
I wish I had more zoom on my camera so I could capture some of the more delicate details. The finer branches look like lace.

tree day monday
here's some love for the evergreen trees!

tree day monday
this one has a power line in it, but I like how the sun looks against the white bark of the tree.

....and on a completely different topic, here's proof that I finished that quilt project. Woo hoo! It's not perfect (there were some 'dealing with bias stretch' issues), but I like it! Most importantly: it's finished!

on the floor so I can see the binding quilt

I think you're just so pleasant

| On
Thursday, February 14, 2008
bandaid knee
(from my roller derby t-shirt. You can't see the lightning bolts here, but I thought the knee band-aids looked appropriately heart-like.)

happy valentine's day! I know it can be a controversial holiday, particularly among fellow unattached human beings on earth. [diamond cartel rant excised, except for this much: I swear to god, that "hypnotize her with this hideous necklace" jewelry ad is WRONG on so many levels I can't even start to list them. Actually, I started, but got sidetracked into a very unproductive (but violent and strangely satisfying) cul-de-sac that involved me poking out eyeballs with a "diamond journey" bullshit necklace.] But I do like the paper valentine/cheesy/cheery/conversation heart (FAX ME) wing of the holiday. Ms. Dressaday sums up my (non-violent) feelings so nicely here with "I like Valentine's as an excuse to wear red, obviously, and also because I think it's a great day to just be nice to people for no reason. Pick the grumpiest-looking random person you can find, and hold a door open for them today, or pay them a compliment. You can find something to compliment ANYONE about, I promise. (I'm very much looking forward to being an cheerfully eccentric old lady and can give people pieces of candy out of my pockets without them thinking it's creepy and weird.") (Dressaday in general is such a great inspiration for having fun getting dressed! Recommended x1000.)

ANYWAY. I also like Valentine's Day because it means I get to make valentine cards, which are my favorite holiday cards to make right after halloween. I am having a hard time getting a good picture of this year's card, so instead know that I generated many piles of garbage that looked like this during construction:
valentine project

In Other News: I am really digging the She & Him song Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? (via Stereogum). I wish I could remember where I read the bit about the collaboration (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) being like Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood for the Starbucks set. (I tried to find it to no avail!) Anyway, it's kinda true, but I like Nancy and Lee and I don't care one way or the other for Starbucks, so there's that. The song is not particularly demanding or deep, but it is sweet, jaunty, laid back and it makes me happy goddammit! The record doesn't come out until March, but you can download the song at the link above, or at the Merge Records site. How cute are they?? (I think that cemetery is the one near my house, but I always think everything is near my house so who knows? I am sure it's in portland, though.)

(random tree interlude -- the sky is crazy this time of year! this was at noon!)

And Last but certainly not least... a new (to me) Feist video! I love it! there are explosions! and jumping around! And a stripey shirt! (I really wish this would happen when I bang on garbage cans.) (also via Stereogum.)

if you have x-ray eyes please promise not to peek now

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008
1) I have Signal In the Sky (Let's Go!) from the Powerpuff Girls Heroes and Villains soundtrack stuck in my head. It could be worse, but people do look at you funny if you are muttering power super, super power/power super, super POWER under your breath all day. At least that has been my recent experience.

2) I picked up Talk To Me on a whim at the library and enjoyed it quite a bit! I think Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor were both in fine form and I loved Taraji Hensen as Vernell. Martin Sheen was also having fun -- what the blue blazes, indeed. Plus... THE CLOTHES. ha ha ha! You know, it seems like people used to have more fun getting dressed than we do now. I am putting "have fun getting dressed" back on my to-do list. Fun is underestimated in wardrobe choices, I think. (I have a very broad definition of fun, which makes it easier.)

3) I am in another time-warp. Not the kind where I suddenly wake up and think "I need to dress like it's 1973," but the kind where I think "oh my god! that was 1000 years ago!" only to realize that whatever it was happened just on Monday of THIS WEEK, which was only two days ago. sigh. I don't know what causes this weird temporal displacement, but it happens every so often. Time just goes bonkers.

Random Photos:
sunset wednesday
I realize that most pictures I post of Portland are of trees or flowers, which isn't very indicative of the city at all. (well, there are LOTS of trees and flowers, but that's not all.) This photo features power lines, traffic and ugly buildings! But the sky was so beautiful -- it had been raining and sunny and rainbowriffic just an hour earlier. Plus you can see the fremont bridge, which I think is rather attractive. (it crosses the Willamette (rhymes with dammit) river, which divides the city east/west. This was on the west side on my way home from work today.) The sky was BEAUTIFUL and got increasingly more so as the sunset progressed, but I was driving a standard transmission and had to change many lanes of traffic on the bridge, so I didn't get a lot of pictures.

Here's Fullers in the pearl district, except of course when Fullers was originally established the area wasn't anything so precious as "the pearl," it was all gritty and grotty with lots of warehouses, junkies and funny smells. The area has gentrified a LOT in the past 15 years, but Fullers remains. They make really good milkshakes! It is Classic Greasy Spoon dining all the way. "what do you have in the way of reconstituted potatoes?"

great milkshakes
the neon really lights up the whole place at night. I was in the neighborhood on Monday to go to a reading at Powells (just a couple of blocks away). Well, it was a quasi-reading. It was more of a panel discussion on the state of book reviews/criticism, and if there is really a market for them anymore. It was interesting -- I will have to get my notes out and see if I can reconstruct the basic points (later). but here are a couple of things: I learned that independent book stores only account for about 9% of all book sales, and that a space purchased on a table at Barnes & Noble (did you know that publishers pay for all those books to be there?) will result in more sales than even a glowing review in a national publication. I know it's just doing business, but it makes me a little sad that it's so quantified. I think it's because reading is so personal; I want to think of books finding their way to me in some ineffable fashion, not because a publisher paid X dollars for a face-out display. Silly of me, I know.

cherry cherry (cherry!)

| On
Sunday, February 10, 2008
february cherry
(photo cheat: this is from three years ago, but I assure you it looks pretty much the same right now.) The cherries are getting ready to bloom. In several weeks! They're getting ready to get ready. If spring is a party that doesn't start till eleven, the cherries are just thinking about getting up from their disco nap. I saw my first blooming camellia the other day, but haven't downloaded the picture yet. But spring is coming, someday soon!

The sun has been visible for TWO days in a row here in Portland. Amazing! A february miracle! I think it actually happens every february, but it seems miraculous, even so. This morning was very misty, but burned off to be a lovely sunny day. (Mist is a whole different vibe from out and out rain -- it's barely moisture at all, it's so fine and diffuse -- but it's certainly enough to make your hair frizzy if you are lucky enough to have hair that thinks humidity related frizz is The Way Forward. I am VERY LUCKY.)

Today was so great, and not just because the sun was shining (although that helped), but because my favorite library called me up this morning to see if I could work -- hooray! The very best part was that I am actually feeling cured from the hideous cold AND they waited until after 10 to call me, so I got to sleep in -- the best of both worlds. Today reinforced for me that I really do prefer to work in busier branches because there's always something to do. Plus, the busier the branch, the more books that pass through my hands, the more passive book shopping I get to do. Woo hoo! I know it sounds silly, but I LOVE how busy this branch is on sundays. There were 30 people waiting to get in when we opened the doors, and there was a line that wrapped all the way around the desk pretty much all day long. There were patrons still waiting in line 5 minutes after we closed. AT THE LIBRARY. It's such a mix of people, too, which is just exactly how it should be.

(grammy eyelash interlude: every single woman on this show is wearing crazy fake eyelashes, except for Feist who is wearing subtle fake eyelashes, which I think is a bold, smart move on her part. If you're coming on after Beyonce and Tina Freaking Turner, there's no point in trying to out-flash (out-eyelash, out-wig, out-dance, out-glamazon) them.)

cherry ames

Here's cherry #2 -- Cherry Ames, roving nurse extraordinaire! If they were still writing these today, she could be Cherry Ames, Grammy Nurse, who dispenses life-saving eyelash glue technology to divas in need. Maybe when the cherries start blooming I'll bust out the Dude Ranch Nurse cover in celebration. (possibly my favorite Cherry Ames cover of all time, although Cruise Ship Nurse is pretty fabulous.)

and because I cannot resist, a groovy Cherry Cherry video from The Music Machine. There is a rock flute, bowl cuts, black turtlenecks and some must-be-seen-to-be-believed backup dancers. ha ha ha! (Neil Diamond himself, like the Dude Ranch Nurse, will be saved for actual Cherry Blossom season.)

you can't bargain with mapquest or werewolves

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Friday, February 08, 2008
groovy typewriter

what I failed to account for in my bargain-making with the universe regarding coughing and working on wednesday: the hideous unforeseen complication. (I don't know why I'm surprised! Bargaining of this sort rarely turns out like the bargain-maker expects.) I got profoundly lost on my way there and was LATE. It was so horrible! This was a branch I'd never even visited before -- I usually like to get to new-to-me branches at least 5 minutes early so there is time for someone to show me around in case they have me scheduled on the desk in the first hour. It did not work out that way. This branch is way out on the fringe of town and I didn't allow quite enough time. This would have been fine if I'd managed to drive to the right place, BUT NO! I overshot it by MILES. I even looked at a map! (the problem here was I was so sure I knew exactly where it was, I looked at the map and thought "oh, sure! just where I thought" but ... no. It worked out. As it happens, this is a super-casual, super-nice branch (not always the case) and since I'd called in a panic to let them know I was ON MY WAY, it doesn't seem like there will be any permanent consequences. (beyond me feeling really stupid, which I deserve.) It turned out to be a very slow day, which was a good thing. I didn't cough at work at all, although I did spend about half of my time profusely apologizing for getting lost and being late, which was probably more annoying than coughing.

the real reason I watch CNN is because I'm sure one day this will happen: Peter Ames Carlin sums up Super Tuesday viewing . "Lost and confused, I began to think that Wolf Blitzer might really be a wolf. Or at least a werewolf. It's in his beard, and that wild gleam in his eyes. Was it a full moon? If it were, you'd see him hunch, his suit bulging crazily as his body contorted to take on super-lupine strength and form. He'd snarl and spit, and suddenly lunge, hairy forelegs ripping through pin-striped sleeves, soaring across the set and knocking Anderson Cooper onto the floor. The camera would find them on the floor, just as Wolf locked his powerful jaws on his colleague's jugular and bit down, hard, now straining upwards in a shower of anchor blood and gore. A horrifying howl, and then he'd lunge again, off Cooper's still form and toward the edge of the screen, his suit drenched in blood, his tie flapping crazily behind him....and then he'd be gone. Out the door and down to 34th street. Last seen galloping madly up Sixth Avenue, barking and snarling, headed straight for Fox HQ on 49th Street...."

If you're going to call yourself "Wolf Blitzer," a name so unsubtle a professional wrestler wouldn't use it, I think some werewolf jokes are the least you can expect. Anyway, it made me laugh. This blog (the TV blog for The Oregonian) is also a good spot for ruminating/speculating/enjoying Lost. Not least because his reaction to seeing Daniels from The Wire as Matthew Abaddon was also "Hey! it's Cedric Daniels from the Wire!"

beware of insane swimming bunnies

| On
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Funniest thing heard on the local news only moments ago by an entirely sincere news anchor: "Oregon's primary may actually count!" It's so sad and funny, but I will admit also a little EXCITING. I was listening to CNN today (god help me) and they were trying to make the case that having two candidates continuing to run was bad for the democratic party. I think it's GREAT for the party -- it gives people who maybe weren't aware an idea of what the issues ARE, and the scope of the potential for change. As long as it doesn't get nasty (and perhaps I'm being completely naive, but the mudslinging really backfired before the debate so it's possible they'll keep it issue based), I think having two intelligent candidates talk/argue issues can only be a good thing.

I love my Free Will Astrology horoscope this week. It simultaneously makes absolutely no sense and perfect sense, like all the best things. Go here to read yours. Here's mine: The World Dream Bank ( collects tales recorded by spirited dreamers. I'd like to call your attention to one of those dreams, because you'll benefit from entertaining similar themes. Here's a paraphrased report: "I dreamed I was a telepathic teenage unicorn with five hearts. My lesbian twin, an untameable mare from the Middle of Nowhere Desert, came to join me, as did my best friend, a cute Tyrannosaurus Rex doctor on roller skates. We built a boat and sailed off into a warm red sea, headed towards a rite of passage that we looked forward to as a fun adventure. We passed a buoy with a sign that said, 'Beware of Insane Swimming Bunnies.' We weren't scared in the least. We had packets of magic confetti that we knew would make the bunnies sane." Hooray for fun adventures! And knowing what makes the bunnies sane.

I am still sick. It is just stupid now -- my head is all congested, my ears pop every time I move or open my mouth, and I managed to burst a blood vessel in my EYE while trying to clear my ears. (I could feel it happening and was convinced I would look in the mirror and see a giant bloody eye, but instead it is just a broken blood vessel that makes me look like I was hitting the magic confetti a little hard. So unfair.) I'm not contagious, I just feel crappy. My goal is to be well enough tomorrow that I can get through 6 hours at a new-to-me library without the tubercular death-rattle cough and that my ears are clear enough to hear people. That's all I ask! I am willing to cough all the way home if I can keep it to myself for the duration of my shift. (So reasonable! some day the universe will take me up on one of these bargains.)

ION before I fall into what I hope will be a deep and healing sleep, my valentine's cards are coming along nicely, although I do wonder why I felt the need to have so many tiny pieces that need gluing. Really. OOOH, here's something cool: I got a "can we use your photo" request yesterday on Flickr, which happens every so often. Anyway, this request comes with the very distinct opportunity for payment, which would be a first for me! It came from a local, well-known ad agency, so we shall see. I wasn't even expecting a photo credit, so the notion of actual money, however modest, is delightful.

buzz me, buzz me baby

| On
Monday, February 04, 2008

I finished my quilt! It even folds up more or less evenly! (... believe it or not, this has been an issue with past quilts due to my 'measure once and hope for the best' sewing philosophy.) photos to follow, no doubt. Now, since it has been ONE MILLION YEARS (aka 1 day) since my last post, here are some things on my mind:

super tuesday: have fun, all you people who get to vote in the primary tomorrow! Guess when Oregon's primary is? MAY FREAKING TWENTIETH. And when we do finally get to vote (and they do let us vote, despite our generally communist ways), we have to do it by mail! I know it saves a bunch of money and more people vote, blah blah, but I don't feel like I'm getting my democracy fix! I need aged volunteers giving me the squinty look as they scrutinize my voter card! I like trying to guess stealth republicans standing in line! I like trying to find the correct door in a musty church basement! Dropping off an already completed ballot into a box at the library is simply not the same, although I do wait until ELECTION DAY to heighten the drama. (sometimes you have to make your own fun.) Maybe this year I'll make my own "I voted" sticker, too.

valentine cards: I think I figured them out today! There are only about 2000 tiny parts that require gluing, but hardly any sewing. It's a victory though, since it's less complicated than my original idea. I will have to finish one completely and look at it in the morning and see if my reaction is one of hooray or creative despair.

January Experiment: My decision to jump onto Martina's post-a-day in January bandwagon was last minute -- when she first mentioned her plan, I didn't think I'd do it because a) I blog pretty regularly already b) I write every day in some form or another c) my innate laziness. But then, in a rare moment of clarity, I realized that these weren't reasons why I shouldn't do it, these were reasons why I SHOULD do it. I am too complacent by far. It was fun! There were many days when I had no idea what I would end up posting, but some of those days were my favorites. Posting every day isn't something I can sustain indefinitely (although I'll probably be posting more often) but I figured I should try to roll that energy into some kind of ...

February Project: I decided that the 365 days project (self portrait every day for a year) was way beyond my scope or interest, but adapting that project to one month might work; particularly a short month like February. I don't want to take the same picture over and over again, so it's forcing me to think outside of what I would normally consider "a portrait." (the group pool is a good source of inspiration -- plenty of MySpace style phone portraits, but some people get really creative.) I don't love taking pictures of myself, but I figure it's a good exercise and a possible neuroses buster. (or builder! talk to me in March.) Let's just say that it has been SO MUCH FUN (not really) while I've been sick. But it all fits with my larger goal of taking more pictures, period, which I am attempting this month. (digital makes it so easy to experiment -- witness the photo at the top of this post which was achieved by cramming my camera into a kaleidoscope.)

random notes from my stereo: Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons' version of Love Hurts on the Sacred Hearts and Fallen Angels Anthology is fantastic. The song Buzz Me by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five (from Blowing the Fuse: 27 R&B Classics that rocked the jukebox in 1946) is SO FUN and, when you have a cat named Busby, conveniently lends itself to singing "Busby, Busby Baby." Ooh! god bless youtube, because here's the video of Louis Jordan doing Buzz Me:

two hundred dollars a day plus expenses

| On
Saturday, February 02, 2008
I watched one million episodes of season 1 Rockford Files today while I hand stitched the binding on my quilt. (thank you, library!) I used to watch that show all the time when I was a kid (after school, 4pm). It struck me as I was watching the very first episode how few shows now have a working class smartass as the lead. He was not rich, money was an issue. (he almost never got paid and almost always got beat up! the private eye life is not for everyone.) I was trying to think of other hour long detective dramas set in L.A. and could only come up with Shark (which made me laugh because 2 seconds after I thought "Shark" there was James Woods on Rockford as a skinny patricidal nutcase) and Numbers -- both of which either have wealthy characters (Shark) or money don't mean a thing, although if we were to create an algorithm to track it we'd have to conclude that we're quite comfortable characters (Numbers). I'm sure it makes some kind of sociological sense that there are no poor people on tv with the current economic crisis, but I am too tired to put it all together tonight. (hah! assuming that if I were wide awake I could!) One of the most interesting things about Veronica Mars was that they did try to address the have/have not divide.

ANYWAY. I thought of a couple of comedies that feature non-rich characters (Ugly Betty, My Name Is Earl) -- I'm sure there are more and I'm just not thinking of them. I don't watch many sitcoms, maybe that's where people of moderate means reside on network television. Other things that stood out watching a show from the 70's in the 00's: Rockford never wore his seat belt! (did you know that James Garner did his own stunt driving?) Also, he smoked, but it was no big deal. He didn't do it all of the time, it was just something he did sometimes -- it seemed completely natural, which would be IMPOSSIBLE today. Some of the clothes are really funny, but honestly the fashion wheel has swung around far enough that most of the women's clothes, anyway, are pretty close to fashionable right now.

I was going to write more about something else, but since I am sneezing my fool head off I am going to go to bed instead. But I do have to mention one very fun thing that happened tonight -- I went with my sister to Barnes & Noble because she had about 4 gift cards with small amounts left on them that were burning holes in her wallet. I agreed to go with her since I was at the point in my cold medication cycle where I felt GREAT (usually about 45 minutes before the drugs wear off completely) and wanted to go somewhere because although my temperature wasn't elevated, I did have cabin fever. (it snowed today! not enough to keep anyone from opening their cabin door or anything, but it was pretty.) Anyway, I was feeling pretty good after feeling not great all day, and I walk up to one of the tables at the front of the store and see the Maira Kalman book that I've been waiting for at the library (The Principles of Uncertainty) ... and it was only 3.98!!! There was only one, which immediately went into my hot little hands. It has an almost invisible flaw in the dust jacket, which is the only thing I can see wrong with it. Now I have THREE spaces available on my hold list, which I can't think about too much right now or I will never get to sleep. It's a beautiful book, I can't wait to dive in.

Happy Groundhog Day!