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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

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is it freaking tuesday already? july has flown almost as quickly as may. i'm supposed to contact maggie at psu in july, and july's almost here. i keep thinking, wait! i have so much more to do! heck, i've just started planting & arranging things in the studio! all the inks are glistening on the kitchen windowsill; i'm a total sucker for ink bottles in sunlight.

speaking of plants, at the farmer's market we got a butterfly bush, a couple of cilantros, some flowering sage, some rosemary, some lettuces, wildflower packets, a blue-flowered vine for ground cover, and a plant-thing i bought on impulse and which already looks like it may not survive. but both the lambs ears are doing extremely well (tigger has developed flowering stalks and roo has shot up almost as tall as tigger), and the lavendar jalex & aaron gave us is looking healthier. (the tiny little lavendar shoot by the studio door, though, is questionable.) and i'm composting, something i had wanted to do in california but didn't have the space.

tech report, and the thing that's been sucking a lot of my time: mph recommended a shareware called "voodoopad" which we're both spent several days playing with; it fits (or in mph's case, creates) our workflows really well. (he even came up with a good gerund: vooderated!) i'd already have paid for it, but the shopping cart doesn't like safari, i think.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

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it's been a weird week, one where i feel both accomplished and awful.

* we finished up filming the gashlycrumb tinies footage for leopoldo on tuesday;
* there was the neighbor issue;
* we got the mailbox keys;
* i called adra for her birthday;
* i called my dad for father's day;
* i got paid but haven't deposited yet;
* we finished footage for sven's lovecraft festival entry, "the cave" (which required, among other things, for us to move all of the living room furniture into the dining room & then back again. thank god the day was cool!);
* we finished watching the last firefly episode on thursday & we'll probably start w/ dark angel next week;
* we had a terrible time picking out "vinyl composite tiles" from a woman who kept calling us "you kids" and not actually answering our questions except to tell us we couldn't have as much of that ugly: choose different ugly;
* we were supposed to go see jimmy blue in laurelhurst park but couldn't find it;
* today was the farmer's market & some planting & weeding (thanks for the shovel, leopoldo!);
* i was supposed to go to jackie chan's "around the world in 80 days" w/ michaelmas, bill & leonard, who i've never met. i even rearranged sven & my schedules to do so. but when i got to the apartment, nobody was home. :(
* i realize i got a little sunburned;
* i still have to find graduated beakers.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

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whoo hoo! i finally got paid for the work i did for psu in april & may! and so yes, this means we got mailbox keys today, too!

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hopefully, i'll have a mailbox key tomorrow. after 5 different stories from 4 different people, we leaped through the flaming usps hoops and we'll see what happens. *crosses fingers*

i had a lovely time w/ michaelmas tonight: he made me chocolate-chip cookies and we went to rose's, which was the first place i went when i moved here. i returned tori to him (after some struggling w/ the itunes deauthorization process) and we hung his last piece of art: the white tree of gondor hand-etched onto blended cobalt blue glass. the only sadness is that they've replaced his apartment's outside door key w/ a wireless fob, and they only give fobs out to people who are on the lease. so it's back to buzzing in at the front door. meh.

[fair warning: skip the rest of this entry if you don't like sob stories. it's hard for me to write about this in public, in part because i find my own behaviour mortifying, but that's also why i want to write about it in public. the toltecs might appreciate it, of all people, but they also might think i'm not strong enough. whatever.]

then i took sven home, and as we got out of trixie, the night went right to hell.

a child was screaming and crying in the house next door. i've seen him before; he's about three, and he's always been quiet. i understand tantrums, but i recognized that scream: there was something in it that made me stop in my tracks and made the hair on my arms rise. and he just kept screaming for minute after long minute, until suddenly he stopped. then an odd crashing and smacking began in a different room.

i've always been a survivor. for anyone who doesn't know, i spent ages 3-10 alone with my mother, who abused me in the "locks me in closets, breaks dishes over my head, kicks and throws me across the room, doesn't feed me for days" sort of way. i was actually a pretty good kid: i did what i was told, i was quiet and polite, i always got good grades & did my homework, i even happily attended sunday school because it got me out of the house for a few hours. but no matter what i did it was never good enough -- think the wire coathanger scene in mommie dearest and you might have an idea of my childhood. (i really have a hard time watching that movie -- anyone who thinks that scene was campy has never had a mother like that. i even have a hard time with the introductory bits in harry potter when the dursleys mistreat him; it seems hopelessly exaggerated to those who haven't experienced it.)

so i ought to have had no doubts about calling the police when i heard this. but i didn't want to. i even had a vivid flashback of my mother beating me while i shrieked at the top of my lungs in this same way, praying the neighbors would hear me. and i still didn't want to get involved. i was frozen in the back yard, tense, barely breathing, hyperaware and trying not be noticed. these things helped me survive once, but they certainly weren't helping this boy if i really thought he was in danger.

i usually do better in crises. i detatch and drop into "do what must be done" mode until things are copasetic again. i've handled at least three general domestic violence interventions with panache and rescued a kitten trapped in a very tall tree in a very scary junkyard. but this time i failed me. i almost failed him, too, but sven, thank god, was a good boy. he called the police, told them what we had heard, gave them the address. the police (all three of them) were very nice and were even good enough to stop by and tell us that both the children seemed fine and that there was no evidence of struggle in the house. very good news.

so who knows what was really going on, and all's well that ends well, right? but i still can't believe not calling was even an option to me. i didn't want to judge, i didn't want to jump to conclusions, i didn't want to ruin anyone's future just because of my past. i have all sorts of justifications for what i wasn't going to do, but they don't comfort me. instead i feel small and scared and weak.

no, i haven't made my peace with my mother. i don't forgive her. but i thought i had buried her well enough so that she ceased poking me at inconvenient angles. i accept responsibility for my own life: i am only who i am now and don't keep expecting someone or something to make up for my past, though sometimes i wonder who i might have been if i had had other options. but more importantly, who will i be now?

Sunday, June 20, 2004

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robots, pride fest (hi, jalex, aaron & catherine!), dyke march (hi, sue & michael!), pride parade (hi, sam! & apparently markalope & parni!) where i was so sparkly i could be seen from afar and where the "both ways" and "bi" shirts caused lots of comments, pride fest (rock climbing!), robots. tried calling my dad three times for father's day but nobody was home.

Friday, June 18, 2004

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good news:
this is the anniversary of my first year in portland! hooray!

bad news:
when sven and i came home last night from a lovely walk along the springwater corridor trail, we saw a GUY in the passenger seat of my CAR! it was 2 a.m. and he was very obviously drunk, but he was a large bald man who easily could have pummeled me if he had wanted to. after we yelled at him to "get the FUCK out of my CAR!" and he stumbled down the street saying, "i have a car that looks just like this; it's a couple of blocks away..." sven checked the car and thought he was trying to steal some cds because the storage compartment was open. meh! then a guy who lives catty-corner from us came to talk with us because he said he had called the cops on a loitering white truck he thought the guy had probably come from.

psu still hasn't paid me. i was supposed to check back today; now i'm supposed to check back tuesday. but i lost the mailbox key last night. the only mailbox key. meeeehhhhhh! what do you do when you lose all your mail keys? can you call the post office and ask for another?

this totally tarnishes my "luckiest. girl. ever." aura.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

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carl links to a cool social consumer site: meta-efficient. these are the kinds of things i want to see while i'm prepping for burning man this year. :)

we finally got to see the angel season finale last night. what? that's it? [update: mph points out that lorne got the worst deal of any of them.]

trying to do a backup of packetwarp, but i keep timing out. grrr. how do i disable timeout on ssh? [update: mph recommends o'reilly's ssh book, pages 156 & 260.]

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

[#] [0]
i contacted progressive a few weeks ago to change my address as well as add sven to my insurance and my insurance went up $100 every six months! today i called them because they had my zip code wrong and it went up another $150! yowch! when i added michaelmas to my insurance, he cost me nothing, and i guess this side of 205 is a dangerous place to be if you're a car. sheesh! my other option is to sign something that specifically excludes sven from my insurance, but that means i am not covered at all if he drives trixie, which just seems unreasonable on road trips & quick trips to the store.

so i'm unhappy about that, and i'm sure it's aggravated because psu STILL hasn't paid me for the work i did for them in april and may. grrrrr!

[#] [0]
yet another person has come to ask how much the studio is. i had no idea we had such a hot property on our hands!

since michaelmas took time off yesterday, he bought me lunch at good dog bad dog to celebrate my fleeing california (thanks, michael!). then i helped him hang his art on his walls, which makes his place much cooler (there's a particular cluster i'm especially satisfied with). and i introduced him to my new ibook eliot and showed him rob & kyrie's wedding pictures, which i spent the whole day before downloading & culling. (and i picked up the most beautiful watering container ever!)

i had hoped while i was in the area to return some hangers to bee & to hop by new renaissance to pick up a singing bowl, as i had promised myself i would if i found a studio space to hold artist's way groups. but instead, i hurried to powell's to refund a book sven already had and to pick up a new book he didn't have (parking at storables, btw, is free! and is only a few blocks away). then leopoldo, sven & i went all the way to xerox in wilsonville (twice because leopoldo forgot his badge the first time :) to do some test lighting & sound for the unconscious collective's gashlycrumb tinies project. we were there till after midnight, but i got a great tour of the campus. :)

today we got an emergency call from sven's friend lane, who had fallen and wasn't able to get back into her wheelchair. we raced to beaverton to help, though because lane & i hadn't met yet, meeting under these circumstances was probably a little more awkward than either of us would have prefered.

i've got six more gmail invites to give away (much to mph's consternation). anyone want one?

Sunday, June 13, 2004

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an asian women knocked on our door today to essentially ask if the 1-bedroom next to us, the one we're using for a studio, is available for rent; her mother lives nearby (and was also at the door) and she wanted to live near her mother, which was a very sweet notion. but she didn't actually ask it like that, and it took several minutes for me to realize what she was asking and for her to realize we were not the owners nor was it even available to rent. when she did, she seemed angry i had wasted her time. buh? her mother was very sweet, though. :)

this is only one of several times now that someone has been visibly surprised that we're renting both places (and when i say "we," i mean "sven."). sometimes they've even seemed a little appalled. sven's mom, in fact, was actually concerned, though later she sent an email entitled "studio envy." it feels decadent to have a studio right next door, and every time someone asks a question about it i still get sort of self-conscious about it. not that anyone should stop asking: i think it'll just take a while to feel we're "legitimate" artists and talking about it makes it more real. and it's also apparent that half of what i own is art stuff, and it's so nice that it finally has a home. in fact, we're opening the carefully-packed art i brought with me from california that has yet to be unwrapped, one piece at a time to great acclaim. well, just one so far, on the first night, and i got the ned kelly piece i got when michael & i went to australia and which used to dominate my living room wall.

speaking of california, saturday was the one-year anniversary of the day i fled from california! i emailed the people i stayed with in los angeles & san francisco to thank them for harboring me (but again, thanks nicki, leeann, dean & ben!). next friday, the 18th, will be the day i officially arrived in portland, to michael, to flowers, to a plate of chocolate chip cookies and a view over portland 10 stories high. what a great year this has been! lucky girl!

Friday, June 11, 2004

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hello? hello? is this thing still on? no apologies, but tuck yourself in for a hella long post. :)

on friday sven & i went to amago's frogz, a costumed dance troupe to which i had two wildly different reactions. pre-intermission i was delighted: the costumes, lighting and gestures were both suggestive and enchanting. my favorites of this period were "frogs", "reptiles" (spookyneat crocodiles!), "strings" and "intermission." however, post-intermission i was disturbed, and not in a good way. "racoons" started off the set and was both boring and repetitive, but once "orbs" began, with angry french balls stealing shoes from children until the whole audience was howling & sobbing, i was really unhappy. it got to the point where three children were on stage punching the orbs, which i can't imagine was the intended effect, and if it was, then that would make me even unhappier. nothing post-intermission matched the joy i found in the first half, and it sort of made the whole project a wash. i'd probably go again, but with some serious reservations.

but the thing that made it all worthwhile was that we stopped at burgerville for strawberry shortcake & saw fireworks exploding over the river again! this is the second time we've gone to burgerville late and had to pull over into a parking lot, climb on top of trixie, and enjoy the fireworks. (i think it was the start of the rose festival.)

last weekend sven & i went to the stumptown comics fest, meeting alex & surprise guest ben! alex says i'm not updating often on the blog. it's true! now that the majority of the people i know are blogging (now michael's friends bryan & steve are in on it!), where the heck am i? for someone who's underemployed, i sure am busy! anyway, i bought everything both girl-tables had to offer.

psu: alas, really no work from maggie this month. her boss found they had $60,000 less than they thought they did, so lots of stuff got put on hold. she says she wants to hire me and even knows what she wants me to do, but can't commit even when the fiscal year begins though i should check back with her then. she asked, "but that's okay, right? i mean, you have other stuff lined up?" um, no. i guess i should. *sighs* she told me about a full-time position that might open up in extended studies in july. and stephen gance is leaving, possibly not under his own will; he's the webct admin guy i first talked to when i got here.

meowmix: i got the important stuff (ical & address book) running before my phone call to maggie. email is on another server, so i fortunately don't have to worry about that. handy to have a 30gb ipod & sven's huge hal 9000 drive, i tell you. :) surprised to find i could only change my default shell via netinfo. still haven't played w/ expose. still lots to do: itunes imported everything on my hard drive sometimes more than once, so i have to weed through it (and deauthorize tori, i suppose). and it's narcoleptic: 30 minutes left, and then BONK. thinking of calling it "eliot" after t.s. eliot's "book of practical cats." any other suggestions are also welcome. "fluffy" is a close second. :)

randomly ran into andrew at fresh pot. that turned into something sven's been wanting to start for a while: the "write now!" group, where we get together and write for 2 or 3 hours. i think it'll be good time for me to do vein of gold exercises & poetry. but this weekend is booked and next weekend is the pride parade, so not till the end of the month, it looks like.

found: funny guy! got him to sign my book, says he knows someone with my name. "the booty don't stop." got the same picture of george & laura bush i did (but addressed to "mr. f. magazine"). called someone right then about the motorcycle note. told him about the ephemera exhibit, and he'd like to see pix.

unconscious collective meeting: we animated in under 2 hours! "catch" is a funny little animation where we all drew something and came up with a little 7-second snippet, which doesn't sound like much but the last time sven animated an 8-second bit, it took him 8 hours. hooray for adobe after effects (and lower production values :)!

came home to a blackout. i love blackouts! we walked around the neighborhood in the dark, though there was enough light from the rest of portland to reflect under the silver sky to give everything enough of a glow to see clearly, but all the annoying street lights were out (too bad! i would have -loved- to have seen stars with all the lights out). i took the opportunity to explore a house under construction, one of my favorite activites (and this thing is HUGE! but it doesn't have a studio. hah!).

yesterday, i weeded for four hours. :) i'm hoping to keep at least part of the jalex zapp-garcia memorial garden and i'm hoping she can point keepable stuff out to me before i get all crazy with the planting & the gardening.

last night we saw "the cockettes" at cinema 21, who i first heard about from the lipstick librarian, linda. sven & i dressed "fabulously": me in a long-sleeved tight black-silver shiny shirt w/ lose teal shiny pants and with my hair in pigtails & diamonds glued to each eye, while sven was dressed in a sparkly black dress and black & white striped hose and glitterbrushed and tiny star stickers near his eyes and big clunky black shoes. ee!

today has been more studio prep, though sven is at a point where he's actually working on the lovecraft film over there. yay! me, i'm more interested in the garden because its lifespan is now or never, but i did wash the studio windows. :)

Thursday, June 03, 2004

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studio! garden! stairs! ibook! shower cleaning! ee!

this month i've "inheirited" a studio! which of course needs to have stuff from here moved over to there and otherwise furnished. and i've been thinking about gardening more & more, and it looks like that will happen this month, too: we told the landlord about it when he was asking if he could pesticide the jungle which is our back yard, and not only did he agree not to pesticide, he offered to build us stairs from the deck, which has been something i've been hoping would happen "sometime." ee! and in another confluence of events, the same day a local neighborhood girl offered to weed the yard(s) because she's raising money for camp. (though she asked for an incredibly paltry sum, especially given the weeds here, which could suck the marrow right out of your bones if you were unfortunate enought to trip and helplessly flounder near them. sven did the right thing and offered her more money and since i've been impressed with her skills, i'd consider keeping her on a semiregular basis.) anyway, it seems like the universe is saying, "here! you've got everything you've ever wanted. now don't come crying to me if you can't make something of it. go go go!"

mad scientist sven, in order to finish cleaning the shower, has actually attached a sponge to a drill! it's amazing! and boy is the shower buff now! ee!

and holy cow! i had no idea there was a thriving trade for gmail invites! on ebay they can go for as much as $80! [update 06.07.04: leopoldo says he saw an ebay auction for $202!] mph told me that gmail now supports safari, and now that i'm the proud owner of an ibook running panther which has a recent version of safari on it, i can now use it for gmail. ee! because yes, i bought leopoldo's ibook last night! it's currently named "meowmix" to honor its former name, "meow."

the only non-ee! event has been about my psu contract work: i haven't seen a check for the work i did in may yet. plus, maggie says that due to a budgeting snafu, they're not doing any contract work until the next fiscal year, which begins july 1. optomistically, i could be happy about having some enforced free time this summer, especially with all the studio and garden options, but there's something to be said for momentum, and i worry that no funds for me now means no funds for me later. we're scheduled for a phone conference monday, so we'll see what happens next.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

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congratulations, rob & kyrie! the wedding was almost a fairy-tale spectacle, held in a palatial compound with roses raining from the sky. i met people i had only heard about (hi, dan!) and re-met people i hadn't seen for years (hi, colleen! hi, donna!). i was in a bright orange dress and it wasn't as bad as i feared.

unfortunately, when we got home jalex was furious at us for leaving amelia alone while we were in corvallis. she said it was animal neglect and she was close to calling the police. but then the next day we spent 14 hours helping her move to her new place w/ erin & catherine. it's a 2-bedroom place on ne ainsworth with huge back & front yards and an abundance of fruit trees.

yesterday i took philip to sell a long box of comics to future dreams, and on the way back we found random water towers that looked like giant green robots, so we had to stop! the water towers were next to a community garden and looking at all the strawberries made us jealous, so we picked up michael and went to burgerville for strawberry shortcakes and shakes. then i showed michael all the stuff from arizona & the wedding, and we went to see shrek 2, which i thought was okay, but i liked the first one better.

this morning was spent attempting to clean the shower, which reached the appalling stage and isn't about to give up any ground now. i wrestled with it for about 2 hours before i fell into the rest of my otherwise relaxing day, and i'm about to go grocery shopping just to prove i can, in fact, be productive.

i just realized i can invite people to use gmail. mph already got one, and i gave one away to a usability person i know, so that leaves me one to give away. anyone interested? [update 06.03.04: leopoldo got my extra gmail account.]