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locked out, but not for long

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Thursday, March 31, 2011
I'm in Ashland!  I'm super tired, but I wanted tell you about THIS THING, which could have been so bad, but turned out to be a pretty good experience apart from how it took all my cash money. Mom and I arrived in Ashland late this afternoon. (We made many stops on the way down from Portland, but I'm not going to talk about those now. Know that there was ice cream and that it's sunny and in the 70s.) Long story short: I locked the keys in the car. All of the keys! My keys, her keys, everybody's keys. I was driving around town (it's an awesome little town) and ended up on Vista avenue - the light was beautiful and I thought it would be nice to get out and take some pictures because the vista was worth naming a street for, after all. As we were heading back to the car, I realized I'd carefully put my keys in the side pocket of my purse (where they go!) and then decided at the last minute to leave the purse in the car.  I was carrying two cameras which distracted me, BUT STILL.

Anyway. There we are - it's starting to get dark, no keys, no phone (also in purse), no AAA, no nothin' - stuck up on fancy street without a soul around. For some reason I knew we'd get it figured out. We walked down an alley to a road that led to Main St. It wasn't far, but it was steep - at least it was down hill. It was after 6, so a lot of the regular places I might think would be inclined to help a stranded traveler (chamber of commerce, library, bank, etc.) were closed. Pretty much the only things still open were lots and lots of small fancy restaurants. (Ashland has a lot of small fancy restaurants.) We got down to the main part of town and noticed a gas station - not only was it open, but it was a gas station with a garage. There was one young guy working (Cory) and I got right to the point - we're locked out, have no phone, no nothing, etc. did he know of a locksmith? He did! He couldn't find the business card that he thought was hanging up in the garage, but he looked up the guy on his phone and then let me use the garage's phone to call. I call the number, which is a guy who has his own mobile locksmith business. He was just getting ready to make dinner, but agreed to come down right away since it wasn't far. After asking the make and model of the car, he said he could pick one of us up at the garage (me) so I could show him where the car was. (I was the one who had cash so I went with him and came back down the hill to pick up mom.) The locksmith turned out to be not only not an ax-murderer, but a very mellow and totally affable dude-bro - one who was able to get the car open in less than a minute.  Success!

If I had to lock the keys in the car, it couldn't have been resolved much easier than this. Thing I learned: ask for what you need; people can be kind. I tend to try to do things myself if I can, but short of breaking my fist trying to break the glass there was no way I was going to get into that car myself. Thanks to Cory and Nameless Affable Locksmith Dude-Bro, what could have been a very traumatic experience* was just a thing that happened.

*I keep imagining what would have happened if I'd done the same thing in the deep dark middle of some seldom-visited state park - a distinct possibility. It always ends with us being eaten by bears.

(soooo tired! I'm sure it had nothing to do with the giant milkshake consumed earlier in the day.)

Unrelated Links:

1) How to Steal Like an Artist

2) Amanda Palmer sees Duran Duran (this is especially for Anonymous T.)

probably too much

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I'm done packing for my trip and I'm pretty sure I have way too much stuff. I blame the season - it's damp and cold-clammy up here, but not down there. Unless they're having rain, which they might be! SPRING!

In any case, I've got stuff for every reasonable (ish) occurrence I could think of.  I feel virtuous because I'm not bringing too many (but hopefully enough) books. We'll see.

the photo at the top is from last year's California visit - doesn't it just look lovely and warm? It was taken in June rather than March, BUT STILL. I have high hopes. And if it's cold, I have jackets in three categories.

road trips on my mind

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011
crown point sunset
(I go back and forth on whether or not I think roadtrip should be one word or two. I think I like it all in one word best, but it always gets flagged by spellcheck.)

ROAD TRIP! It's that time of year. This last weekend my sister and I swept  Martina away on a Mystery Road Trip for her birthday. GOOD TIMES! We made her ride in the trunk with a blindfold so it would be truly mysterious. (no we didn't.) We went down to Silver Falls and hiked behind a waterfall without dying! It was super fun! I've got a lot of pictures but they're still not uploaded because I've been scurrying around prepping for Road Trip 2: California.  (who am I kidding? they wouldn't have been uploaded yet anyway.)

Wooo! I'm going with my mom who decided a little bit ago (after a planned drive to Alabama fell through), that she was going to go to California to see the wildflowers in the Sierra before they're done blooming. I'm going with her because I, too, would like to see the wildflowers in the Sierra before they're done blooming and it seems like a way to get out of town and celebrate the good parts of working on-call (impromptu vacations!). Road trips always help me sort out my thinking on tangled subjects, so I'm looking forward to that as well.  At this point, we're thinking of stopping in Ashland, Redding (to see the sundial bridge), then down to Fresno where we'll spend some hopefully sunny days, then down and over to Arizona and the Hoover Dam (we're nerds), then blah blah blah back home. It should be fun! We leave early Thursday morning.

More to come - I just finished reading a short story collection that knocked me flat I loved it so much. I think part of it is related to growing up in Florida, but more on that soon.

(side note:  blogger has made a ton of improvements and I just noticed that there's a way to remove stealthy formatting, which is AWESOME since I was making myself crazy trying to do it myself on stuff I copy pasted from another program. wooooo!) (note: you can probably remove all sorts of formatting, not just stealthy formatting.)

cardamom explosions and technicalities

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Thursday, March 24, 2011
SO. I met with my boss today and found out the reason, or "reason" my application bounced out on the first round. I won't get into it but to say that it was a letter of the law technicality, which makes it at once better and worse. Better, because the reason isn't that I'm terrible person; worse, because SERIOUSLY? I'm going to take a little time and think it over.

In other news, I got cardamom all over my jeans and shirt yesterday. I was so mad - the spice cupboard is overfull and I couldn't find the everloving turmeric. (It's highly likely that I was also hungry shading to hangry.)  I was moving jars around and the cardamom came sailing out, hit the counter upside down, the lid cracked and there was a powdered explosion all over my dressed to leave self. I managed to get most of it back into the now broken-lidded jar and got most of it out of my clothes - they still smell a little cardamomy, but it could be worse! We won at trivia, so maybe cardamom dust is a lucky thing. If you'd like a potentially lucky yet occasionally enraging overfull spice cupboard of your very own, I recommend looking into Penzeys - their stuff is so good! And they just opened a new location downtown, so check it out downtown people! (They also have mail order if you don't have a location nearby.  Everything is so fresh!)

VIDEO BREAK: I came across this video at Pitchfork TV. I love the wildly enthusiastic and sweetly feral kids at the beginning, I love the cardboard forest, I love tUnE-yArDs and I super double love everybody's face paint. How about for random weeks throughout the year, everyone abandons traditional cosmetics in favor of full on face paint? You don't have to say yes or no right now, but think about it. It would be awesome, right? Right! (I'm embedding the video below, but have no idea if it will show up. Click the link above if you don't see it below.)

fun signing checks

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Monday, March 21, 2011
I'm gonna change my name to EQUINOX SUPERMOON.  Or maybe that can be my superhero name - I don't know what powers would come with a name like that... maybe the ability to make day and night the same length? To make the moon appear bigger? The ability to have THE COOLEST NAME, EVER???

I did test out Vernal Equinox Supermoon, but that only lasted about 12 seconds.  Maybe if it was V. Equinox Supermoon, Esq. - Lawyer by day and Lunatic by night in equal measure. I would be undercover and have to stay away from the ocean lest I mess up the tides and reveal my identity with my SUPERMOONINESS. The trouble starts when I have to represent Triton in a wrongful barnacle case and there's no way to avoid the sea. I try to get the case moved to a smaller lake somewhere, but guess what? The judge is a total hardass and my client informed me that he "doesn't do ponds."

(thrilling conclusion: we settled out of court. I discovered that I could fly to the moon, but only on solstice or equinox - so if you want something from the moon, you've got a while to think about it.)


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Thursday, March 17, 2011
It's raining. Let's have some color and look at freaky plant shapes, shall we?

I think this almost looks like it could be part of some undersea anemone, or glow in the dark alien worm creatures - but nope. It's the center of a hellebore.

SPINY! (I gotta tell you, I want to spell spiny with an e, all spiney-like. But it's wrong.) Anyway, in my new life as an eccentric who does things like visit the haberdasher and my own personal milliner, I am going to have a hat that looks like this. In addition to its general pink magnificence, it will also serve to save my seat whenever I might get up to do whatever. (like set fires or order milkshakes at the counter or  whatever.)

Oooh, now I want this as a hat, too. Although this one looks a little bit more like a science experiment gone awry. Like maybe it is alive in ways beyond plant ways. Don't say anything you don't want repeated in front of it, is what I'm getting at. This freaky plant hat has ears and lots of them.

orchid face
this orchid is obviously singing opera. I can't even imagine what else it might be. Maybe some kind of heavy metal?  Did I hallucinate the story I read somewhere on the internet a while ago about the opera teacher or voice coach or someone like that who rated various heavy metal singers on their singing ability? It was fascinating and really funny, but not in a mean way.

hydrangea blue
So, this is a little soft focus. A little Joan Collins vaseline lens for my friend the blue hydrangea. Isn't she beautiful, though? I love these colors together VERY MUCH.

hydrangea blue
blue hydrangea canopy. I like it because it looks like an enormous hydrangea tree! In addition to my flower hats, I now want a parasol made from blue hydrangea. No, no. It won't look weird at all! it'll be awesome.

think that thought

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011
here's my horoscope this week from Free Will Astrology"In the absence of clearly-defined goals," said Cancerian writer Robert Heinlein, "we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it." If this description is even a partial match for the life you're living, now is an excellent time to address the problem. You have far more power than usual to identify and define worthy goals -- both the short-term and long-term variety. If you take advantage of this opportunity, you will find a better use for the energy that's currently locked up in your enslavement to daily trivia. 

this description is more than a partial match for my current state. Right now what I need is a schedule and some BIG IDEAS and BIG PLANS.  Or maybe just to commit to some of the big ideas and big plans that have already occurred to me. Hmmmm. Still thinking about it.  My view has been unnecessarily narrow lately.

In news unrelated to the zodiac, I finally got some pictures uploaded! These are from ages ago ::checks date::  February 7th.

I don't know how many times I've taken pictures of these same trees at the park, but I love them.

yellow lichen
Yellow lichen! This was on a fir tree and not on the previously pictured trees.

yellow lichen
I think it's pretty.


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Friday, March 11, 2011
I just got the email tonight that tells me I will not be given further consideration on my application for a regular position in the library. I'm upset. It's disappointing and humiliating and I really don't know what I want to do now.

I typed a lot more stuff, but I think that gets to the crux of it in this moment.

(SEVERAL HOURS LATER): still very disappointed, but the shock has mostly worn off. I know I shouldn't be shocked since there was a huge chance I wasn't going to make it - but deep down I believed that because I love my job and am good at it and am doing it already, that would be enough to at least make the first cut. BUT APPARENTLY NOT. So...  As far as I know, this rejection doesn't affect my job as it currently stands. I hope I can find out in the next few days if it was simply a lottery issue, or if my application was  just that terrible.

Meanwhile, I'll keep on keeping on (because I love it, plus it's tough to get a job in this town right now) but this whole business is like a swift poke with a sharp stick to work even harder on my creative projects. I'm sad and angry, which is always good motivation to return to regular exercise. I'm super bummed, but there's nothing more I can do about it tonight. 

When You Reach Me, Scott Pilgrim

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Thursday, March 10, 2011
Scott Pilgrim 1-6 by Bryan Lee O'Malley: I re-read all of these before I watched the movie (on DVD), and as charming as they were one at a time, they made a lot more sense all together. If you liked the movie but are unsure about the books, let me offer this assurance: you will love them! The movie did a good job of getting the romantic/action/comedy/crazypants tone of the books, but was understandably limited. The books are funny, insightful, and contain the vegan police, super-fans, crushes, love, cluelessness, cluefulness, faulty memory, very faulty memory, misunderstandings, battle of the bands, the visual and spoken language of video games, diners, mooching, Toronto, evil exes, roommates, battling INERTIA ninja-style, poor choices, wise choices, psychic powers, hilarity, Wallace Wells, Kim Pine, growing up, and a subspace highway right through YOUR BRAIN.

MAYBE SPOILER, BUT NOT REALLY: One thing that bothers me about some of the stuff I've read online about the books/movie is the sentiment that "Scott picked the wrong girl - he should've stayed with Knives." (I don't think that's really a spoiler…) Anyway - I disagree. My first reaction was WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! Knives is in high school, Scott Pilgrim (23 years old) is an adult. (of sorts  - the legal sort.) Furthermore, Knives deserves better than Scott who uses her thoughtlessly and takes her devotion for granted - she's too besotted for most of the story to realize this, but as a reader/viewer/ person older than her, I was mentally yelling "Oh, honey don't   - you can do better!!" I asked a co-worker who's read the series what she thought about this Scott with Knives stuff to gauge if I was overreacting and she delivered her opinion in one word: Gross. Vindicated! There you have it, anonymous internet dude(s) who thought Scott should have pursued the slavishly devoted teenager for whom he had very limited romantic feelings instead of the complicated, just as messed up as he was woman of a mysterious (but legal) age with whom he had an actual relationship: it would have been gross. 

(Rated FOUR POINT FIVE stars overall. Or 4.75. Really high. I give this series my heart eyes seal of approval.) (Re-read in Sept. 2010)

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead - I really enjoyed this story.  It's a middle reader (I would say it's middle/ younger YA) set in the 70s or early 80s. If you ever loved A Wrinkle in Time, I recommend this quick read - it's charming, clever, and a little nostalgic (or at least nostalgic for those of us who were kids in that era), but it also hits on some classic childhood issues like growing apart from old friends, making new friends, the embarrassments of being poor, ambition, compassion, cruelty, imagination, etc. That makes it sound like some kind of after school special, but it isn't.  I don't want to give too much away, but there's a great little puzzle going on throughout as well. Pick it up!  It won the Newbery Award for 2010 and will take almost no time at all to read. Here's the blurb from the Newbery page: "Twelve-year-old Miranda encounters shifting friendships, a sudden punch, a strange homeless man and mysterious notes that hint at knowledge of the future. These and other seemingly random events converge in a brilliantly constructed plot."  

There are mysterious notes, people! MYSTERIOUS NOTES. Just read it and/or give it to your cousin/niece/nephew/kid who knows what's what re: the awesomeness of mysterious notes.

Rated FOUR STARS (read in early 2010) (The cover art is by the super-groovy Sophie Blackall of Missed Connections.


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Wednesday, March 09, 2011
I have daffodils blooming in my yard. I repeat - DAFFODILS ARE BLOOMING.

Also: blooms are stuttering open like popcorn on the cherry tree outside my window. One here, one there, soon a WHOLE BAG FULL. (pan full. tree full. you know what I mean.)

lap of the gods

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Saturday, March 05, 2011
GUESS WHAT?  I was finally able to apply for a permanent version of my job today. WOOO! All week long I kept thinking "it opens today!" but I was always wrong... until today! It's finished and now I'm kind of delirious from trying to cram a bazillion buzzwords into three paragraphs of attempted distilled personal awesomeness. (Delirious in a dizzy, should lie down way, not in a doot-doot-doot-doot-doot-doot Prince delirious way, although Prince does make me dizzy.) We'll see how that goes. In the meantime, I'm just glad that it's done and, as my dad used to say when it was too late to change anything, "in the lap of the gods."

Now I can quit fretting about it coming up and start fretting about whether or not I did it right and wondering how many applications they get. (my guess: 1000+) But first: sleeping.

in other news:
•new moon (TONIGHT)

•I burned the roof of my mouth on soup, which drives me crazy

•All the drawers fell out of my dresser. I guess they didn't fall all the way out,  but they started hanging at weird angles giving that fashionable, rakish, ransacked hillbilly look. It's an Ikea dresser that's over 10 years old, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but man alive. When they quit working, they quit working! Now I'm in the market for a vintage dresser made from actual wood instead of one made from melamine and the stolen chest of drawer dreams of Swedish forest gnomes. I'm sure letting the 20lb cat sleep in open drawers didn't hasten the dresser's demise... (he looks so cute!)  I finally got the drawers back in, but the clothes are still everywhere.

• Are you still thinking of Delirious by Prince? I am! and it's not on my computer for some reason, so I am UNSATISFIED.

•Remember when I learned to make internet bullet points? it was a happy day. (Option 8 on a mac - thanks, Bec.)

• ooh - here's another hot mac tip: option shift and the volume key will let you make it louder (or quieter) in smaller increments! Not that you'd want small increments for Delirious.

•I have to find the CD that has Delirious on it. Where did it go?

•This gives me an idea for an after midnight detective show. Prince will solve sexy crimes and every episode ends with a performance, just like on Fat Albert or Josie and the Pussycats in the olden days.

•Speaking of sexy crime solving, have you been watching Justified? RAYLAN! You might think that Timothy Olyphant plays a lot of cops, but his Marshal Raylan Givens is miles away from Sheriff Seth Bullock - farther than I imaged possible. Anyway - it's a good show that would be good even if Raylan didn't wear his hat with such charm. (But he does!)

• ha ha ha! I had itunes set to "prince" when I was looking for Delirious and Prince of Parties came on, which... well, it IS delirious, just a completely different kind - see for yourself. I'm going to bed