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a good morning

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Saturday, March 30, 2013
Bonnie's puppy Yukon. So cute I can't stand it.

This adorable puppy belongs not to me, but to weird cousin Bonnie (who is weird in the good way). They came to visit earlier this week. He's so very cute and a good natured little dude on top of that.

It's super sunny here right now and it's just lovely. I'm sitting at my desk under the window listening to Tame Impala on the stereo and happy birds out the window. As soon as I finish my current project (rubber stamp FUN TIMES) I may go sit in the sun out on the back patio and read my book.

I hope you're having a lovely weekend!  

bells are ringing

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Thursday, March 28, 2013
I was reading a little bit about Kate Atkinson's new book Life After Life and it rang a little bell on a string in my brain attached to Lucy Ellmann's Dot in the UniverseI've read Dot, have yet to read L.A.L. (because it's not out yet!) and have got no idea if there is any more in common between them than female British authors whose work I enjoy and reincarnation* - but I look forward to finding out!

*They also apparently share POIGNANCY, according to the jacket copy below. Dot is "a hilarious and poignant journey" and LAL is "darkly comic, startlingly poignant." dun dun DUN. (so excited to read LAL, and it turns out Lucy Ellmann has a new book out this year, too! You'd better believe I'll be reading that one asap as well.)

Here's the dust jackets and the descriptions lifted directly from Goodreads (linked above):

Dot in the Universe: It's your worst nightmare: instead of being dead, you're alive!

Dot thinks she's perfect, with her blond hair, pointy nose, and pink skin. She lives on the east coast of England with her magnificent hubby, cooking him gourmet meals and crashing the car. So one day she decides to End It All. But-Dot BLOWS it!

After a brief sojourn in the underworld (populated by "underaged, underdeveloped underlings all, understated in their undershirts and UNDERSTANDING VERY LITTLE"), Dot is reincarnated, first as a possum, and then as a girl in Ohio. A hilarious and poignant journey through our puny universe, this is a masterpiece of disquiet.

(this is a brief interlude in the middle of the page to keep the pictures from running into each other. I'll also mention that I've had Icona Pop's I LOVE IT stuck in my head all day and I don't even care because I LOVE IT.)

Life after Life:  On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Clearly history (and Kate Atkinson) have plans for her: In Ursula rests nothing less than the fate of civilization.

Wildly inventive, darkly comic, startlingly poignant — this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best, playing with time and history, telling a story that is breathtaking for both its audacity and its endless satisfactions.

sensible Eunice pipes up

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

this isn't the edition that I read, but I like this cover!
Since it was a full moon tonight (not that I can tell here in cloudy Portland, but I trust it's full above the clouds), here's a moon quote from Kate Atkinson's Human Croquet (which was so good in the way her books are good):  

On the way home, even Eunice is silenced by the sight that greets just as we turn into Hawthorn Close, for suddenly, without any preamble, the moon rises from behind the roof of Audrey's house. 
Not any old moon, not the usual moon, but an enormous white disc like a big Pan Drop, a cartoon moon almost, its lunar geography - seas and mountains- a luminescent grey, its chaste rays illuminating the streets of trees with a much kinder light than the streetlamps. We’re stopped in our tracks, half enchanted, half horrified by this magic moonrise.

What’s happened to the moon? Has its orbit moved closer to the earth overnight? I can feel the moon’s gravity pulling the tide of my blood. This must be a miracle of some kind, surely - a change in the very laws of physics? I’m relieved that someone else is sharing the lunacy with me - I can feel Audrey clinging onto my arm so hard that she’s pinching my skin through the fabric of my coat.

A moment longer and we will be running for the woods, bows and arrows in our hands, hounds at our heels, converts to Diana, but then the sensible Eunice pipes up, ‘We’re only experiencing the moon illusion - it’s an illustration of the way the brain is capable of misinterpreting the phenomenal world.’

'The moon illusion,' she repeats patiently. 'It's because you've got all these points of reference - ' she waves her arms around like a mad scientist, 'aerials, chimney pots, rooftops, trees - they give us the wrong ideas of size and proportion. Look,' she says and turns round and suddenly bends over like a rag doll, 'look at it between your legs.'
'See!' Eunice says triumphantly when we finally obey her ridiculous command. 'It doesn't look big any more, does it?'
No, we agree sadly, it doesn't.  

from p. 49

roller disco daffodil

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Monday, March 25, 2013

It's been SPRING for a couple of days now, which is very welcome - I'm giving the screen two thumbs up, which you can't see but trust me. 

Here are some things that've been going on: 

  • I finally picked out a smartphone (Samsung Galaxy s3) - I like it very much - now I can send text messages without laboriously pushing number buttons 11000 times! Wooooo!!!  I'm digging swype (probably like it's 2007!) but Leslie tells me there's some other even more miraculous screen typing thing out there, so I'll probably check that out, too. There are many wonderful things about this phone (the camera is good, the screen is huge but the phone still fits in my small square hands) but I gotta tell you - I miss some ios apps. [edit: from my ipod!] Right now I'm looking for (of all things!) a suitably wonderful MOON WIDGET. I downloaded one earlier but it was a dud. I need to know the LUNAR SITUATION. Are we waxing or are we waning is what I'm talking about. 

  • all this phone business has caused me to do some much needed housecleaning on various online email repositories. Hello, email from some ancient early 2000s form of the internet. I've been archiving and deleting like a champ today. It feels good. 

  • GOOGLE READER: noooooooooo. I know, I know. There are alternatives. I figured I'd give things a few weeks to settle down. I use Google Reader every dang day and I will miss it. I figure Blogger will probably be on Google's chopping block (ha ha - typed "chopping blog") sooner or later and I don't know what I'll do. I'll figure it out -  it's not like there's no alternative.

  • But still. 
So many more things to talk about, but I think I'll leave it here for now. 

bridges and willows

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Monday, March 11, 2013
Today was bright but rainy - grey skies that were mostly white along with a constant drizzle. Saturday, on the other hand, was AMAZING in a blue skies and pleasant weather way. 

The first part of Saturday I spent at the Women's Expo with my friend L. I hadn't been to one since the 90s and it was pretty much as I remembered. (awful.) The vendors were roughly divided as follows: one part snake oil, one part boudoir photography, one part home party shopping, one part inexplicable home repair, one part chocolate. The chocolate was good! And to be fair there was one booth with some good looking bags and another from my favorite hippie shoe store. It was fun hanging out with L.,  but the next time someone wants to scratch their crowded convention center itch, I'm going to recommend Crafty Wonderland instead. But all in all = a plus and I'm glad I went. 

After the Expo I got home and my sister asked me if I wanted to go on a walk along the Eastbank Esplanade with her and Anonymous T. I said yes!

The day was gorgeous - bright sun, temperatures hovering around 60. There were people and dogs and bikes everywhere, not that you can tell from any of these pictures. 

These were all taken with my new phone - they're all instagrammed up, which is good for some things but bad for showing how blue the sky was! This is the Hawthorne bridge. We walked over it to get to Waterfront park and meet T. 

I'm not exactly sure which bridge this is - an onramp to the Marquam, maybe? That's a positive ID on the  Willamette river, though. The Burnside bridge is the one you can see through the pilings. (or is it the Morrison?) The sky was the color of the upper left quadrant ALL OVER. 

MYSTERY BRIDGE! The Morrison? Maybe they'll rename it the MYSTERY BRIDGE and I'll feel better about this...

The willows are just starting to turn green. Love these trees. That's the Hawthorne bridge and downtown on the other side.  (this was taken from the Fire Department building on the water. They were riding fire department jet skis all afternoon.) 

the TRUE BLUE SKY and the willow tree.