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Saturday, July 31, 2010
I am making this one last post while I'm still awake in what is still my July if not the Gregorian July. (you can make your own Julian calendar joke here if you want.)

LET'S GET TO THE SECRETS! (warning: these may or may not be secrets. They also may or may not have anything to do with July except that I'm writing this in July. kind of.)

1) I love July, and not just because of my birthday.

2) I sat down for too much of July. What's up with that? Maybe I should commit to standing for all of August. I'll sleep propped up against the wall!

3) low-effort crowd pleaser: Sam Cooke singing Cupid from the car stereo. This came up on a mix CD (thanks, Martina!) when I was coming or going from one place to the other - it wasn't super loud, but it was audible - so many smiles and waves and people just singing! Young/ old and all those other opposites. I felt like we were performing a public service.

4) I'm so pleased that I'll get to work all of August at my favorite branch, but I'm also nervous because of an after hours casual backyard picnic. It's RIDIC, because I like all of these people and they went out of their way to invite me, but certain social situations can cause my rational brain to go totally wonky. I think I have to make myself go, if only so when Christmas comes around I'm not the person who has some convenient excuse three times in a row. (they asked me last Christmas, too. There was ice on the road, but I probably could have made it.)

5) so many good books! I think my favorites read this month would have to be The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender, and A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. More on those later, in the standing month of August.

(I just got REALLY TIRED of sitting and am going to go to bed instead. Goodbye July, I'll miss you. See you next year.)

the company of yourself

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Saturday, July 31, 2010
just sneaking in a quick post (maybe one more w/ pictures tonight, maybe not) - I recently came across this video featuring poet Tanya Davis via:Wild Horses. I think it's lovely. I like sentiment (alone is okay) and that the advice within is delivered with such kindness. I also like the animations, her Canadian accent, and that she reminds me a little bit of a grown up Olive from Little Miss Sunshine. It's a little movie no longer than the length of the poem, but it's just enough.

local news

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Friday, July 30, 2010
drift wood horse

1) I got a temporary assignment at work which means I know where I'm going for A WHOLE MONTH in advance. Woo hoo! It's the little things, you know?

2) I tweaked my back something awful on Monday. I'm pretty sure it was a dumb lift or turn while carrying a crate of books, but maybe it's just one of those things. I keep thinking "it's all better today!" and then am cruelly disappointed when I actually have to move.

2a) this makes me feel old.

3) COUSIN VISIT! Tues - Sun/Mon. These are my favorite low-stress/ easy-guest cousins - in town because K's brother is getting married this weekend. (Things being how they are in this small world, he lives a walkable distance from here.)

3a) Their son Jacob is sweet, smart, five, playful, shy, well behaved and goofy-adorable. He has an active imagination and patiently explains things he can't believe I don't already know. (Tom is the mean cat, Jerry is the nice mouse.)

3b) the cats, perhaps sensing this cartoon bias, are wary.

4) I like that new Covert Affairs show. It does remind me of Alias, but that's a good thing in my mind. Plus: SANDY COHEN!

(driftwood horse photo is from Harris Beach, Oregon in 2007 and only has anything to do with this post because my cousins were there too.)


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Wednesday, July 28, 2010
This might be my favorite recent kite picture. I like how the tail end of the kite just hooks in the air, like it's giving a pirate salute or asking a question, or doing something else that features yellow stripes and a sassy sense of the wind.

here's most of the rest of it. There were two guys with Washington plates flying this and other giant kites at the D River Wayside in Lincoln City. (compare big stripey to the normal sized kites flying below it.)

beach umbrella
bonus beach umbrella.

annie dillard everywhere

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Friday, July 23, 2010
iced tea

I was scrolling along last night and this Annie Dillard quote caught my eye on Smut to-go: “One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.”

This morning, another Dillard quote from Crazy Aunt Purl: "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."

I've never read Dillard, but both of these both rang a chime in my brain so I went to goodreads to see what was what. I clicked on Pilgrim at Tinker Creek; the review at the top was by a Jen who gave it five stars. I love this kind of random alignment or synchronicity or whatever you want to call it! I have added it to my list - does anyone have any other recommendations?

Photo at the top was another TTV attempt from Day 2 at the beach, where we rolled into princess parking at a popular restaurant and were offered ocean-view patio seating (on a glorious, sunny day). I had the fish tacos and they were delicious.

summer color

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Thursday, July 22, 2010
Note: these photos are from exactly one week ago.
Note: hydrangeas can be so pretty they kill me, revive me, force my finger to push the picture taking button. (helpless! Unless they anger me, which happens but rarely. Gardening can be volatile but mostly it's like self administered natural certified organic happy drugs, with the side benefit of flowers or tomatoes or strawberries. dangerous side effects may include: dirt under fingernails, unhealthy obsession with slugs, mind games with the raccoon who keeps digging things up, dirt smudges on face that become invisible to the smudge bearer but a source of snarky mirth to every wiseacre in the county.)

one of my favorite color combinations.

Shasta daisies kind of smell like feet in certain circumstances, but they're a-ok with me.

scabiosa/ pincushion flower
!!!! the pincushion flower (scabiosa) doesn't really look much like a pincushion when it has it's petals on, but once they fall off (like here) it does.

poppy skeleton
I'm not sure how this happened, but I'm glad it did - this is the skeleton of a poppy pod. I stuck it on these leaves so I could get a better picture.

the way it is sometimes

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I got called into work today which was one of those ON THE ONE HAND events: a bummer because I have pictures to wrangle and garden to wrestle, but great because my work schedule is light this week and I can use the hours. There's so much I want to do, but mostly it pays in satisfaction rather than dollars. (I would love to waltz into a shop with my wallet full of satisfaction: "you don't understand - I filed them ALL. How many donuts can I buy with that?")

In other news, there are so many good books out there, people! Maybe one of these days I'll get it together and list some of them.

almost better than always

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Monday, July 19, 2010
It's no secret that I love the beach very much. I was there this past weekend for my birthday and it was almost PERFECT. (Almost is better than completely in this instance (and many other instances) because 100% perfection means every trip afterward will be ruined in comparison. Whereas almost gives some wiggle room for future almost perfect outings. It makes sense in my head.)

More photos soon - this is one of my learning curve photos taken TTV style. TTV stands for Through the Viewfinder, which means shooting digital pictures through the viewfinder of an old film camera. FUN! There's a lot to learn, which is one of the more exciting parts of any endeavor. (will it break if I drop it? does swearing make it work better? stuff like that.)

a walk in the woods

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Thursday, July 15, 2010
For the record, I am having an awesome day. Here are some pictures from another awesome day - July 4th! These photos are from Tryon Creek State Natural Area - it's right in the middle of the city which amazes me because once you're in, it really does feel like you're deep in the woods. This isn't the gigantor rambling Forest Park, but it's impressive in its own right.

into the woods
Here's where we started. I think this one was called Big Fir Trail, but I honestly can't remember. There were a lot of mosquitos. Since it was the 4th, there was a brass band playing civil war era music (??? but it was awesome) in the pavilion, so that was audible every now and then as the trail dipped or raised in just the right way.

I love these little mushrooms.

and these little mushrooms. (there were so many mushroom pictures I didn't take!)

green canopy
looking up - there are a lot of different kinds of canopy - this was bright leafy green and lovely.

slug dining on leaf
SLUGS. I'm so glad the slugs in my garden are not these giant banana slugs that creep me all the way out.

banana slug
see what I mean? I get that they're a valued part of the ecosystem and I think they're even kind of situationally beautiful in the forest where they belong - but if I saw one of these on one of my plants I would have an epic freakout.

beautiful fungus
I don't know what this fungus is (fan? something. I should look it up), but it was SO PRETTY. There were dozens of them on the same tree. My sister went back later and said that the heat did them in. I'm glad I got to see them when I did.

in the forest
Does this look like it's blocks away from a bunch of houses? But it is! My sister and I went back for another ramble last week and we saw an OWL. I don't think I've seen an owl in the wild since I lived in Florida. We were coming up the path and could hear a bunch of little birds tweeting and twitterpated - lots of excitement and bird chatter. A woman coming down the path (with her big dog) was looking up and pointing. When we got close enough she showed us where this big ass owl was sitting on a branch minding his owl business. (Since his owl business involves eating little birds, I don't blame them for their upset.) When we got to the top of the trail there was another group of people who also asked if we'd seen the owl - I guess they're the ones who told the lady who told us. FOREST GOSSIP. Or celeb watching, or something. I'll definitely go back.


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Sunday, July 11, 2010
I've finally uploaded EVERY SINGLE PICTURE I had pending to flickr! Good news for me since this had become a task I dreaded way out of proportion to the labor involved. Now I am back into the realm of the reasonable, on this issue at least.

This quartz is from in front of the Mariposa Courthouse in Mariposa, California. (It sits in a quartzy lump on a post right in front. I'm sure it signifies something, but I didn't take a picture of that plaque.) Here's a little more about the courthouse from their website:

Mariposa County was formed in September 1850, even before California became the 31st State of the Union. Four years later the Mariposa County courthouse was built. The Court has conducted normal proceedings continuously in this courthouse ever since, the longest active period for any courthouse west of the Rocky Mountains.

Further reading tells me that Mariposa county was once so stinking huge it went from Merced all the way to Los Angeles. (It's smaller now.)

As I was saying - I'm so relieved that my picture situation is now in hand. I hope to have a forest post ready some time in the next couple of days.

marching stones

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Thursday, July 08, 2010
Junior Rose Festival parade

I mentioned this a while back - here is a middle school marching band in the Junior Rose Festival Parade performing Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones - a perverse yet delightful choice for 10-14 year olds to play while walking down the middle of the street.

(I did not get my flickr done by noon (I walked to the library to return a book instead), but I am currently in the thick of it and expect to finish today!)

small list

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I have the next couple of days off and decided that I should finally get some nagging tasks DONE so I can invent more nagging tasks to keep me from what it is I really want to do, whatever that is. Woo! So far my agenda is shaping up like this:

1) hang up all the clothes on the floor. (It looks like monkeys came and ransacked my closet - but it was just me!) I did this one already so it's sort of cheating to put it on a list, but I read somewhere that making lists of things you've done can be more effective anyway. (makes sense to me.)

2) Dye t-shirt and other shirt: it's happening RIGHT NOW. My fingers are blue. I'm trying this dye that goes in the washing machine instead of having to stir it in a giant pot like a dye vat witch. Here's hoping that it doesn't make everything else for the foreseeable future also blue.
(NOTE: the power keeps cutting out so who the hell knows what this will look like.)

3) Read book for book group on Sunday. This month it's Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table by Sara Roahen. I'm enjoying it - she writes well about food and I feel like I know more about New Orleans, which is a place I've always wanted to visit but never have. I'm just to the part about the New Orleans/Spaghetti connection, which was an utter and complete hole in my knowledge of the city. I love it when I learn something I not only didn't know, but something I wouldn't even have thought to invent.

4) FLICKR: this is the most ambitious project on my list. I intend to get my uploads caught up (ENTIRELY!) by noon tomorrow. Woo! This has been dragging on me forever and I look forward to that self-satisfied feeling of lightness which I know won't last but nothing lasts really, so why not anticipate and then enjoy?

5) write up overdue book so I can take it back. At least find the part I wanted to find and read one more time.

I'm hoping to get most of these done today (apart from the book, which will take longer), then who knows what I'll do? On the other hand, it's already after 4. Hmmm. We shall see.

in july but not of july

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Monday, July 05, 2010
bashful pony
I love this pony - I spotted this a couple of months ago when I was walking from work to my broken car during that brief period when I harbored the hope that somehow the battery would spontaneously cure itself after a nice rest. (this didn't happen, but it all worked out!) Anyway, I love this bashful plastic pony.

maple drop
this is from a red japanese maple and that's just how they look in the spring! which is when I took this. (while on the same walk of deranged hope.)

BUSBY! he is a handsome cat. I took this last year and came across it again in the course of looking for something else. (I just looked and this WAS taken in July, just not this July.)

random good news: it's supposed to get above 80 some time this week. I'm very excited.

…and now for no other reason than I LOVE this song/video and it's on my mind because I came across the Mark Romanek video collection in the book drop this morning. No one had a hold on it, so I put it in the staff picks section. (I love the phrase Devil's Haircut - it's so evocative of a particular state of mind.)