Image Slider

I should be cleaning

| On
Sunday, July 31, 2011

I don't think I've mentioned it here, but I'm heading out on a big ass road trip Thursday morning. Me, my sister, our mom, and our suitcases rolling cross-country to upstate New York. My mom was born there, has family and childhood associations she wants to share with us - she's been wanting us to go with her for AGES, so we're finally just going to do it. (She's done it twice herself in recent years.)

ANYWAY. I'm trying to pack as light and smart as I can, but I also want everything I want. We'll see how that goes. I got a Kindle for my birthday so book packing is a little easier. (But not entirely easier, for reasons I will probably explain in my next procrastinating post.)

We've finally hit summer weather here in Portland - the kind where it'll be in the mid-high 80s in the afternoon. I know this is considered cool weather through most of where we'll be going, so I'm trying to adjust my mind.

(Photo is from the sculpture garden at the Portland Art Museum, where I met my pal Blondie on Friday. We looked at the fancy car exhibit, which is amazing. They don't make them like they used to doesn't even begin to cover it. After that we went to see a quilt exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society, which is now free for Multnomah County residents (we passed a levy). After that - OHS is right across the park from PAM - we walked down to Elephant's Deli, got sandwiches and watched kids play in the fountain in the plaza. A good time was had by all!)

let's go there

| On
Thursday, July 28, 2011

I would love to see this in person someday.  Looking at videos on youtube, it seems that these lanterns are primarily flown (floated? set sail in the sky? released?) in Asia and Poland.

This was for the summer solstice. Lovely.

window ships

| On
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
glass in the window

I love this picture - from the gift shop at Cape Foulweather, one of the places visited on my birthday beach trip. Such a great name! If you were a sailor or pirate stuck in the rain and swells and fog you couldn't say you weren't warned.

gift store tall ships

And these! It looks like they want to bust out of the glass and hit the high seas.

five minutes ago

| On
Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's sunny today and might even get to 90 degrees, which will be the first time this year!!! To celebrate, I ate my cereal on the front step, which is where the sun hits first. Busby the cat joined me and helped take this picture. My part was to aim the screen at these beautiful cactus flowers and hope for the best - it's really bright out and my screen is COVERED in fingerprints (how? why? I don't even know) so I couldn't really see.  Busby's part was to swish his tail in front of the flower, which I believe provided that  artistic blur in the lower left corner. 

I think our second try was more successful. Then he stood in a pot of chives but got distracted when some jays started fighting in the cedar tree. (fighting? maybe that's just how they talk to each other.) 

Let's see... other news of the morning: I am reading a terrible book that has sold millions of copies - Wicked Appetite by J. Evanovich. The good news is, there aren't many words per page so I'll be done soon. I should just quit, but now I'm half way through and am sort of enjoying my irritation and trying to figure out why it just isn't working for me. Thoughts so far: clunky exposition, limited vocabulary, characters have very little depth or shading.  Some of the dialogue is fast and funny, but it's superficial - you'd think the plot would maybe kick in to compensate but so far it hasn't. The premise has potential and I've read and enjoyed some of the author's other work, but this is all gloss and no substance. 

Grover gets me every time

| On
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sesame Street breaks it down from Wonderful Creative on Vimeo.

ha ha ha! (via Vulture)

I'm uploading pictures

| On
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
These are from the beginning of June, but SO PRETTY I am posting them now.  This is a peony and they are beautiful.

Rhododendron is very satisfying to write out on the keyboard - I think it's the hododen in the middle. Don't the stamens in this photo look like an organic spying device? Like if you were in Wonderland or Labyrinth or some place like that,  these would report back to the Red Queen or the Goblin King or whoever?

orange poppy
Poppies! I love them.

yellow rose
lemon buttery

lavender rose
lavender meringue

rose pinkred

peony pink
I'll close this post with another peony. (gorgeous! underrated! they smell good, too!)

Coming soon: beach pictures, news, information, miscellany.

to the west

| On
Saturday, July 16, 2011
sun flare at the beach

I'm headed to the coast for the rest of birthday weekend - yay! Accuweather says rain today and sun tomorrow, but who knows what will really happen. Yesterday was supposed to be cloudy, but it was lovely. (LOVELY!)

view (with squid)
Maybe it will be like this

kite day
with some of these

but it's nice even in the rain. (as I type this, it just started raining in Portland.)

while waiting

| On
Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday night is trivia night most weeks, and this past week I had to hold down the table by myself for a while. Usually there are at least 4 of us, and we're always a pretty happy table. This week it was just me for a loooong time - a couple of regulars couldn't make it, and the other bedrock team member was running late. I thought it would be fine and it mostly was, but I will admit that it got a little nervous/weird for me. (which was weird! I was sitting there thinking "this is weird for me!" and being surprised by it.) I'm used to being a part of this weekly unit so I felt a little forlorn holding down the table even as I thought that it was a pretty stupid time to feel forlorn since I was in a room full of people united for a common purpose, most of whom I know by sight at least.

I dug around in my purse for something to do - it really needs to be cleaned out, and that's no lie. After a little digging I came up with a small paper notebook (one of those three pack moleskine dealies) and thought that I could make some notes for a story I'm working on. This was a great idea! Something about being away from my computer altogether and thinking about it in an unusual environment was very productive.

The waitress came by and was nice, as always. She knows my drink!  The trivia host came by and was nice as always, although I know I'm a bit of a blank spot for him since most everyone that goes to trivia is his facebook friend and I'm not on facebook.

I made some patio notes while the clock ticked by:

• At the table behind me (new team) there was a guy with crazy hair and intense big eyes who was really excited about phones. He talked about phones for at least 45 minutes. blah blah Android, blah blah Swype, blah blah aps, blah blah iphone iphone iphone.  He was cute, in a really into phones Jude-Law-hair way. Many beers later he landed on his ass trying to get out of the table. (they're picnic tables in a semi-enclosed outdoor patio.) He blamed flip-flops, but I'd say it was half beer, half flip-flops.

• a big truck going way too fast between stop signs. What's the hurry?

• not everyone needs my help: a somewhat helpless looking nerdy dude wanders in with a new release fantasy epic tucked under one arm -  he looks about, I presume for an empty table. (tables fill up fast.) I find myself in library helper mode and want to point him to the table that just opened up. I don't do this, because how annoying would that be. He hasn't asked for help and offering it in this instance would be obnoxious. I realize that I'm always anticipating, which is great at work and great with people I know, but exhausting to have turned on all the time for random strangers. I needn't have worried, as he found the table and then had 5 friends join him, while I still was alone at my table. Maybe they felt sorry for me!

• My favorite team (after the one I'm on) was sitting at the table in front of me. The core members are two sweet boys a couple of years out of college. One of them says to me (as the host is handing out paper) that I'm welcome to join them if my teammates don't show up. This is very kind and I appreciate it. The host says to them "you just want a librarian ringer on your team!" and the nice boy said no, that it was because I looked so lonely sitting all by myself.  I was sincerely grateful for this offer, but I knew my friend was coming so I stayed put.

• There's a girl across the room who has given no fewer than 5 high-fives in the short amount of time she's been here.

• My friend came, our team (three members strong by the end!) tied for second place.

ghost hands

| On
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
sweet pea package

I can't seem to get anything actually done today. I feel like a ghost in an 80s made for TV movie where I stand around and pass my hands through objects I intended to pick up. (in my newly imagined 80s ghost state, I'm wearing a dress with ridiculous Jessica McClintock ruffles and enormous shoulder pads - now my jeans and t-shirt reality is even less interesting than it was 10 minutes ago before I thought of that. Good work, Jen!)  I went to bed way too late and then ended up sleeping longer than I intended and everything is just 80s-shoulder-pad-in-the-washing-machine out of whack.

Things I have done today:
• got my hair cut (it's super way cuter than last time)
• dumped all my clean clothes on the bed with the idea that they will get put away
• made some tentative explorations of Google+.  I like it, but am wary. My cousin helpfully posted a bunch of pictures of her kids, so I got to make some comments and see what's what. I'm sure I'll be less squirrelly about it as time goes on. (or MORE squirrelly about it. it could go that way, too.) I don't know why I'm so wigged out about facebook but apparently don't mind google being all up in my business.

Things I intend to do today, but probably won't due to my Ghost Hands diagnosis:

• put AWAY the clothes I dumped on the bed
• address the mountain of clothes that has risen seemingly out of nowhere. (I think there must be an electro-clotho-magnetic REGION under that carpet. Why else would everything end up there? As usual, science provides an answer.)
•SWEET PEA RESCUE: I planted some sweet pea vines in a container, but of course didn't provide sufficient height for them to grow on. They're blooming now (and smell so good!), but they're starting to flop over. I need to do something fast or they're going to BREAK and I will CRY.

All right - I should probably go wave my ghost hands over something. Some days are just like this.

seven eleven

| On
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
sundail bridge
(another picture from April - this one from the Sundial bridge in Redding, Ca.)

Best thing I got to do today: help a 14 year old be able to use the library again. She had a lot of fines (not just a lot for a kid, but a lot a lot) and paid $10 with a summer reading prize coupon. This still left a huge amount - she didn't say much about the circumstances that got her there, but it was apparent that so much of it was beyond her control. She seemed resigned to the fact that she wasn't going to be able to check anything out for YEARS, but she planned to chip away at it. I suggested she call the number we suggest people call, telling her "they can help you out." She was in misery! "I don't really do phones." I've been there, so after running around trying to figure out what to do for a while, I ended up calling for her. I'm so glad I did - she left with a big stack of books that she told me she would read in a week. "Good," I told her. "You can bring them back then and get some more." I hope she does.

sundail bridge
(this bridge is bananas!)

There's other stuff, like the regency mystery I'm reading that makes me nuts with its exposition-by-letter: Our Heroine would not have time to hand write 20 pages of "and so, dear sister, after I snuck out of the painting gallery I heard a rustling in the shrubberies" AND SO ON! (there really are a lot of shrubberies in this story.)

Okay, so I guess I told you the part about the regency mystery, but the rest will have to wait because it's late and I have to go to sleep or I will be a zombie tomorrow.

sundail bridge
(it's a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that TELLS TIME with the sun. Pretty cool.)

wednesday walk mosaic

| On
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
wednesday walk mosaic

So, I've been thinking about how I want to start taking walks again - usually the thinking takes a lot longer, but this morning the sun was shining, my legs hurt already from working in the garden + a day of post-holiday library labor (bookdrop never stopped), so I decided to just go. Woo! It was good! I went a way I've never gone before, which kept it interesting.  I took some pictures, I listened to some music, I crossed the street rather than walk by the sketchy guy outside the hardware store (which of course meant he 'hey, how you doin''-ed at me across the street), I walked by lots of really great houses with really lousy gardens, and lots (and lots) of beautiful gardens. Here are a few pictures - I wish I'd taken more, but there was walking and thinking to do!

top row: Allium from my yard;  bee balm, which reminds me I want to get bee balm; the biggest poppy pods I've ever seen - they were as big as my fist!

second row: awesome chalk t-rex; they were watering grass at the cemetery - I had to climb a rock to get this picture over the fence. (I hope no one saw my graceful rock ascent and descent); I like these stone mosaic pavers

third row: restaurant on fremont - love that huge rusty thing, whatever it is; RED TRIM on the upholstery shop;  mossy checkerboard in someone's driveway strip.

when I got home I used mapitnow to recreate my route, which was totally fun and then got home and made my photo mosaic with fd's flickr toys, which was also totally fun. TOTALLY FUN.


| On
Monday, July 04, 2011
I thought since this was a picture of an Abe Lincoln silhouette, it was suitable for the holiday. 
This is from Lynda Barry's excellent What It Is. I saw her at Wordstock a couple of years ago and she signed it for me. I couldn't even look while she was doing it (author signings make me nervous, authors I like a lot are so much worse, nerves-wise. I almost never get things signed, but I had to because I like her so much)  but when I saw it, I loved it. We chatted a little bit about libraries (we are both IN FAVOR) while she did her thing. The way they had the signing laid out, it felt more like an audience (in a good way) than just standing in a queue forever for 2 seconds of "I love your stuff."  

I realized when I got home that I was wearing my interrobang necklace, which I think might have been an influence for Abe's heartbangs! (which I LOVE FOREVER.) 

Today (July 4)  was a lovely day - the sun was out all day long, some friends came over for food which we ate in the dappled shade.  It was all very casual and relaxed and the nicest Independence Day I've had in a while. I hope yours was lovely or explosive or whatever it is you like in your summer federal holidays.