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crochet controversy!

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Monday, May 31, 2010
squares in progress
I thought needlecraft was a safe topic until I was asked "you hold your hook like that?" to which I replied HELL YES and then felt bad, then looked it up and discovered that there are two major ways - I am overhanded, she is underhanded and that's all I will say about that until I'm ready to say some more. My afghan is going to be MADE OF OVERHAND AWESOME. (squares pictured above are from an older project.)

(non crochet controversy report: what is it with the sneery "global warming" comments? Climate change! Climate Change CLIMATE CHANGE (which I may or may not have been screaming in my mind). I don't get how it makes you a really great conservative if you have no thought for conserving anything but the interests of business. Except the dumb thing is that these relatives, whom I love dearly, are also big nature lovers. I don't get how there's conflict or controversy in suggesting that human industry has a deleterious effect upon the natural environment. To be fair, these particular relatives just got back from a liberal interfaith wedding in the socialist pacific northwest, so maybe they were just twitchy.)

I could discuss this one on one with any of them (some with better results than others), but it just felt rude to get into it while we were all having a good time eating mixed berry shortcake.

weather overachiever

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Sunday, May 30, 2010
afternoon sun
I hate to say it because I'm beginning to believe that speaking makes it happen, but it's still raining. I saw on the news (a week ago!) that we're already at 197% of our monthly average rainfall. Enough already, sky! We get it - you're very good at rain.

This holiday weekend has also brought two kinds of visiting relatives, each with advantages and disadvantages. I was going to list them, but honestly if you have relatives you love who also drive you crazy, you know what I mean. (to say we are on opposite sides of the political spectrum doesn't begin to cover it, to name one tiny little thing.) One of the good parts of the visit is that a neutral area of discussion is CRAFTS - I have planned a new crochet afghan and at least two quilts!

fast moving water

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Thursday, May 27, 2010
where does it go?
I know I said I would post these yesterday but I was tired from hauling books around - when I got home I pretty much fell asleep on the couch while watching tv. ANYWAY. Here we are now, standing on a bridge over fast moving water. I love how the river just ends right there with a horizontal line in this photo. The earth is flat and here is the edge!

waterfall edge
What's going on from the side - it was so loud. Silver Falls park has something like 7 waterfalls, but I think this one might be the biggest. (I really don't know. It's the biggest one I've seen there, let's say.)

Sometimes it's best to obey the signs. The steep, slippery, rocky cliffside was enough of a warning for me but I could tell by the muddy bootprints on the other side of the fence that even a sign is not enough of a warning for some.

silver falls
So beautiful! I swear, you can't turn a corner in this state without some staggering natural beauty appearing. (or hiding, depending on the cloud/fog situation. I try not to take it personally.)

silver falls
There's a cave behind the falls that you can apparently see better when you hike the trail (that goes behind the falls). It was way too muddy/slippery to do on this day, but I'd like to go back some time this summer/fall and check it out.

green w/ waterfall
This was taken in march when all the green was very delicate and new. I liked how it looked against the fog.

IN OTHER NEWS, Leslie's in Spain! She's taking wonderful pictures and writing things up. Granada loves HAMMER PANTS. I love knowing this about Granada.

foggy, rainy

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010
fog in the forest
Foggy forest picture from a Silver Falls trip in March - I'm finally getting this stuff uploaded, hooray! (I love the pink jacket in the corner.) I have to leave for work in 10 minutes, so just one picture right now. More, with added waterfall action later today.

p.s. it could stop raining any time now! I have officially crossed the cozy indoors/annoyingly trapped threshold wrt: rain.

hey, guess what?

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Friday, May 21, 2010
LONG STORY SHORT: my car is fixed and it cost less than $100 (just). The battery - which was original to the car - died, but it chose to die in the most convenient way possible: parked on a wide side street not far from where I had to be. Today my mom gave me a ride to my car and let me fiddle around with things for a few minutes then said "it's dead! take it out and we'll go to Les Schwab and get a new one." I rode in the passenger seat with the dirty old battery in my lap, lest it tip over and blow up or do whatever batteries do when they tip over. Les Schwab is awesome and someone came right out to see what we needed before we even got to the door. (I've never had a bad experience there.) The guy tested the battery, declared it so dead that it didn't even give a reading, was amazed that it lasted so long and sold me a new one - all in about 5 minutes. AWESOME! He also told me where the bathrooms were so I could get the grease off my face.

ANYWAY - once again the thing I got all worked up about turned out to have a fairly easy solution, and I got the additional satisfaction of installing my own car battery. (I really do like knowing how to do these things.) Woo!

wishful thinking auto repair

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Friday, May 21, 2010

The weather has been insane the past few days: rain, hail, freaky clouds, wind taking down trees, etc. Yesterday I was working at a library near one of the loveliest parks in portland, so I drove over on my lunch hour and ate in my car (it was raining, but still so fresh and so green!), listened to a CD and read my book. When it was time to head back, I turned the key and NOTHING HAPPENED. I didn't really have too much time to freak out about it because I had to be on the desk in 12 minutes, so I grabbed my stuff and hauled ass, arriving only 2 minutes late (rained on and sweaty with wild hair and whatnot). I was hoping that it was some battery issue that would magically cure itself while it was "resting," but this was not the case! After work I walked back to my car (at a more relaxed picture taking pace) and when it failed to start I called my sister, who kindly came and picked me up.


We tried jumper cables! It didn't work, but today's hope is that if I try it again and try it for longer than 1 minute, I might get some results. If not, then I have to figure out how to get my car to the place that will fix my car, etc and SO ON. (it's so simple: call a tow truck, call the garage. done and done! But these things stress me out for reasons I don't understand. I often deal with people who are freaked out about simple happen all the time library things and I don't think they're dumb or ridiculous; I would imagine this happens even more often in the broken car business! I make my own troubles, I tell you what. I'm picturing a little factory in my brain that belches out smoke and has a thousand machines packaging ridiculous things for me to worry about. This just in: now I'm worried that the troubles factory in my brain is bad for the environment! That's it. I'm shutting it down and I'm going to have my brain troubles handcrafted by a hippie art collective instead.)

(the pictures are from March near Silver Falls. It was raining SO HARD, but I really liked how warped and abstract the green and the trees looked through the car window.)

Woo! It has finally stopped raining so hard I can hear it, so I'm going to take another run at getting my car home. It really could be SO MUCH WORSE and I know it

video happy

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010
ONE: This video by the mynabirds!! I love the song, I LOVE the color (I think I need to buy some new colored tights), I love the balloons and confetti. Enjoy the video in small size here (or full screen if you hit that button that is where it is) or lovely medium size over on pitchfork tv. (via fluxtumblr, which I love to read.)
(edit: this video does not show up in a feed, so if that's how you're reading this click through or click on some of those other links to see it - it's worth it!)

(Beyond the balloons and the confetti, I kind of love how the confetti/balloon girls only leave him be once he's accepted that he can't get rid of them. WHIMSY DETENTE!)

TWO: This Improv Everywhere mission hits the library/silliness/good natured sweet spot for me. (via color me katie, which is a fun blog to look at!) (I love that at one point you can see a guy mouthing "what the fuck?", which seems a perfectly appropriate reaction when a ghost sits down and opens up his laptop to look up this.)

THREE: I've about had it with all these literary/montster mashups, but this trailer made me laugh out loud. And not just a little tee hee, but a loud involuntary hootbark of laughter.

via Alyssa Rosenberg who says: "So. There's a vampire. Who fought with Hamlet over Ophelia. In real life. And now he wants to resurrect Hamlet so they can end the feud.  And Det. Cyrus Lupo, from the now-defunct Law & Order appears to be investigating these events. Which are mostly taking place in a theater company.  This may be the greatest postmodern black hole of the Culture of Our Time:"

midnight update

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Friday, May 14, 2010
I thought I’d post again tonight to END THE SUSPENSE of whether or not I returned diet coke cans for the deposit. (I did!) I also worked in the garden almost all day long and it was perfectly lovely, although now there’s dirt under my fingernails that is resistant to traditional methods of removal.

Still no go on the flickr uploads. Oh, wait! I seriously just figured this out: I think it’s because I’ve not been choosy enough with my uploads in the past and I know I need to do a better job of selection, which makes the whole thing seem like ten times as much work. (because it is!) Well, maybe now that I know what that’s all about I can make myself get over it.

UNRELATEDLY: have I mentioned my new novel-reading method? I don’t start something new unless I have enough time to read 50 pages. This has done WONDERS for getting things read instead of getting a chapter in and putting it down for weeks while I read the first parts from a bunch of other books. I still read more than one thing at a time, but usually it’s a mix of novels, non-fiction (I’ve joined a non-fiction book group at the library), and graphic novels or poetry. Somehow having that little 50 page head start makes it easier to sail through the rest of the book. I got this tip from a book blog (can’t remember which one) - although I think they had the additional advice to only read in 50+ page chunks. I can’t promise that I’ll have enough time to do that, but I have found getting through the first 50 is a huge help.

As for what’s next from my TBR pile… I think I’ll read The Ask by Sam Lipsyte. I picked it up at the newest library branch which has something called the Lucky Day collection. They have a selection of popular (bestseller-type) books for lucking into! they don’t fill holds, they can’t be renewed, and you can only take two out at a time - they’re just there to make your day. I picked this one up while I was at a training. I don’t know that much about it, but it looks like it could be interesting. HOWEVER, I’m so freaking tired from working in the sun/garden all day long, I don’t think I’d make 50 pages tonight, so I think I’ll start the new Fables collection instead. Woo!


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Friday, May 14, 2010
this way!

morning list:
+plant plants (yeah!)
+bottle return (ugh!)
+ upload pictures to flickr (this has been on every list I’ve made for the past 6 weeks. ugh x 8!)

general notes on the day:
* the weather is BEAUTIFUL. Sun, no clouds, high of 77. I will wear sunscreen.
* I don’t have to go to work today.
* my mom’s birthday is tomorrow and I have to do a couple more things related to that, only I’m not sure what they are yet. (awkward!)
* it’s not likely that someone snuck in and altered all my pants to they’re tighter, is it? I didn’t think so.
* I sense good things on the horizon.

roadtrip time machine

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Monday, May 10, 2010
It's really super-crazy-beautiful around these parts right now, but all of those pictures are still on my camera and not on the computer so instead here are some pictures from the pre-Christmas December roadtrip to BEND OREGON.

As always, I keep hope alive that one day I will be on top of all of my various projects/ambitions and ideas will float directly from my brain right into their intended project/ambition containers. Wait, no! no containers! FREE FLOATING AWESOME IDEAS that magically get things done and make me feel better. That day is no doubt a long time coming, so I guess I might as well make peace with my 6 months in the past roadtrip time machine. Or maybe I will declare an AMNESTY WEEK where I can post old stuff and stop making such elaborate apologies. Hmmmm.

Let's get on the road:

!!! I just think this is so pretty - this is on the other side of Mt. Hood from Portland. Portland is the valley side which is all lush and green, driving up the mountain is much of the same until you get to the alpine parts, which really do look like a Ricola commercial, and then on the way down the backside there's a bunch of scrubby looking pine (not my favorite mountain zone, I'll admit), but THEN you get to the buttes and plateaus of the high desert, and from there to the wheat fields or whatever this wheaty looking stuff is below.

I like this one because of the speed sign and the clouds and the tidy rows of wheaty looking stuff. I was not driving. (although I have taken pictures driving before.)

lost lake
This was on the way back to Portland, taking a different route. Isn't it pretty? It was half iced over and there was so much snow on the side of the road we almost didn't stop. I'm so glad we did! I love the greeny color of the water. What's it called, we wondered.

lost lake sign
Lost Lake, as is only right and proper.

second in a series

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Thursday, May 06, 2010
I’m clearing off my desk and taking things back to the library. I was doing so well! I had winnowed down my checked out items to a manageable number somewhere in the 50s, but now I’m back to 86. How does this happen?! Nevermind. I know how it happens.
UPDATE: I just double checked and it's only 68 things! That's not so bad...

Anyway - both of these books are: 1) sitting on my desk ready to go back to the library 2) the second book in their respective series 3) feature a female protagonist both supported and bedeviled by her eccentric family.

Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

I liked this very much! it’s my kind of crime novel: screwball, funny, about characters rather than corpses.
Here’s a description of the family from the jacket flap: “Now the Spellmans, a highly functioning yet supremely dysfunctional family of private investigators, return in a sidesplittingly funny story of suspicion, suspense, surveillance, and surprise.” (I disagree with sidesplitting, but completely understand the alliterative urge. It made me laugh, but no sawdust was lost.)

Curse of the Spellmans is funny, fast paced, and delivered by Lutz with affection and understanding for the completely neurotic behavior of this family of P.I.s. Izzy Spellman is the main character and chief investigator, but it’s her family (and her role as chief screw-up within the family) that makes these books stand out. But it’s not just about the Spellmans - there’s an array of interesting secondary characters who populate this version of San Francisco. I always get a kind of Rockford Files vibe from the series, which I love - the characters are warped and wounded in various ways without being completely broken and the family ties are strong if strained.

CAVEATS: She does a lot of footnoting which was distracting until it wasn’t; when she’s not breaking the 4th wall she’s leaning on it pretty hard.

Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson

I really enjoyed book one of this YA series (Suite Scarlett), and was very glad to revisit the Hopewell Hotel and all those who dwell in her. This series is like crack to me - it’s like a CW show, but IN A BOOK. Check it: set in New York City, acting shenanigans, teenaged wiseacres, unexpected reveals and reversals, broken hearts, misunderstandings, romance, sibling rivalry and affection, running gags, a formerly fancy hotel in genteel decline (I love hotel stories), and just the right amount of clothing description. I would watch it/ read a new episode every damn week if I could.

Let’s meet the Martins: oldest is brother Spencer, a gifted physical comedian and actor; next is Lola who has the power to spin straw into gold (except when she can’t); Scarlett (our heroine) 15 year old high school student and part time theatrical agent (thanks to her indentured servitude to former guest/now boss, the flamboyant Mrs. Amy Amberson); Marlene is the youngest, a cancer survivor,pain in the ass, and “Power Kid.” (The parents are in it but not IN IT - although they are more present in this book than in the first.)

This adventure involves a terrible Broadway musical, secret talent, the popular long running television show Crime and Punishment, biology class, a nervous dog named Murray, a party stopping dance number, and MUCH MUCH MORE.

merry month of may

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Monday, May 03, 2010
your well wisher
HELLO AGAIN! I feel like I’m sending messages from a telegraph office in the middle of the ocean. (I’m not sure what that means, except maybe it takes a long time and there’s a blooping underwater sonar noise, because my telegraph office in the middle of the ocean definitely utilizes a submarine.)

ANYWAY - that is about to change in the merry month of May! I've got this idea that May is the month in 2010 where my actions keep up with my good intentions, blog-wise. We shall see. (don't worry, it's not like I'm going to sell my imaginary submarine or anything - I will just be sending more frequent telegrams, perhaps from somewhere closer than the middle of the ocean.)

(I had to retype the word Merry about 15 times - I went to school with a girl named Merry back in the olden days and I always want to capitalize it.)

(I just deleted a long story about pre-internet fan fiction reverse fan letters that Merry and I used to write about our favorite bands. I will type it again one day! There’s so much to set up I don’t think I could do it justice tonight.)