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Sunday, August 29, 2004

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a long hot shower is always a good investment before leaving. :)

goodbye, goodbye! special thanks to sven, mph, leo, dan, planet steve, carl, michaelmas & david z.!

for those of you still paying attention, here's a link to the never-quite-finished burning man trip report from last year! (heh) and all the burning man notes i was keeping for this year.

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what is wrong? why is everything breaking or disappearing? it started with our flat tire a few days ago, and yesterday the brick i made for steve broke in half, one of the bike baskets hit sven in the eye and not 5 minutes later a bicyclist fell headfirst into our driveway. i keep dropping things. things aren't quite fitting. we're constantly readjusting the scale of what we can accomplish.

we're pretty much on target, though, fortunately. a little later than we'd like, but about the same as last year (which may mean we're slated to go through alturas this year instead of the long way round nevada). and boy, the standard of living this year will be far higher than last. :) we stopped to see michaelmas and he helped put the poetry magnets back on trixie (she's back!). we're almost good to go.

Friday, August 27, 2004

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i finally broke down and got another battery and charger for eliot. i was down to 26 minutes fully charged (though usually not even that much in reality). i was really hoping to put it off until after burning man, but the charger wire finally got so frayed that you had to hold it at just the right angle and pressure for it to charge at all and it wouldn't have made it another day. meh. there's $150 i'd prefer not to have to have paid.

more mechanical difficulties: changing the bike seat almost brought me to tears. it made sense until i tried to put it all back together and then it seemed like i needed a longer something, or maybe a shorter something, or maybe only one wire where there were two. and the bike baskets were a complete mystery. i tried googling instructions for mounting them, but without success. fortunately sven has innate 3d sense, and is gleefully tinkering in the garage even as i type, ocassionally laughing maniacally in triumph.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

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yesterday sven & i went to see the first finished 48 hour film entries because leopoldo was involved with one! (what's the 48 hour film contest? asks michael. you pick a random genre, are given a character, prop & line, and then have 48 hours to write, cast, shoot, and edit the film.)

only 2 and some-odd days before we leave for burning man! today's general inventory (what do we have? what do we need?) took five hours! the food inventory is next, but i needed a break because i can't look at another list just yet. but the dead milkmen make any tedious project better. :)

casualities so far: two pairs of pants -- a pair of jeans that got irrevocably smeared wityh grease getting trixie's back seat out, and my green corduroys that finally split in the thin places. meh!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

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or at least, don't be around on the playa! there have been disturbing reports of rain and mud & coldness on the playa which would involve a change in packing plans, not the least of which is a fondue pot to boil water or soup in if, three days into the trip, i am begging for something, anything warm. cooking was not formerly in our plans, so any additional clothes or items which are needed for cold conditions (as opposed to just cool conditions, which i had been prepared for), are going to have to get packed right along with the hot-weather items. i'm beginning to wonder if trixie will fit all this stuff or if we'll have to take the svan after all.

here in portland it rained so hard that numerous muddy waterfalls have surged from houses up the hill. the tent, i am glad to note, is still dry inside, though sven & i had to take hot showers after standing out in the rain for just a few minutes. we were soaked! it's like the umbrellas had no effect. but there was great thunder & lightning. :)

Sunday, August 22, 2004

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* no nikki. :( she had our phone number wrong.

* flat tire! :( my prius roadside service ran out in may, but fortunately sven invests in AAA. only a pix rosemary pear tart could make me feel better; glad sven remembered it was open! and when i took it to les schwab to be fixed or replaced, they fixed it for free!

* sven & i had a lovely relaxed sunday before the final burning man push.

* i finally got concrete and now it's raining!

* hung out w/ michael on monday after he received his $1300 dr. who order! john's moving to his new place this weekend, but i can't help this weekend cuz i'll be gone to the desert.

* speaking of which, we were goodwill shopping for four hours today! guh!

* but before that we did brunch at fuller's w/ carl & cecelia. carl even gave us a a copy of the newly published this is burning man, which i have heard described as "the first book about burning man which is heavy on history and light on photographs." thanks, carl!

* tonight i have a sore throat. meh!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

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* whoah. blogger's playing with what used to be an ad at the top. you can search now, though it searches on my monthly & weekly archives rather than the per-page archives, which i am hopeful to fix.

* burning man has hit the "a little everyday" stage: we set up the tent, i learned how to tie a slipknot, mph loaned me his itrip (set to frequency 98.1), we slept in the tent, food has been stockpiling, etc. sven got a camelback-like thing i'm jealous of (good pockets!) and i have to keep saying i don't -need- another backpack, thank you very much. i still need to get concrete for bricks, though, and sven's waiting to see if the goggles i ordered work for me so he can use the ones i used last year (which are great if you don't have glasses).

* i got a pile of free fountain pen cartridges from freecycle! whoo hoo! most of them are black, while i prefer blue, but hey! free ink! i also gave away bubblewrap to a woman who is creating a bubblewrap floor for their 3-year-old's birthday party. i approve because michael did that for me one year when i came to visit. :)

* carl wrote a great little bit on his blog about how presence would enhance workflow sharing, and thus the concept for a local "mac salon" was born, hosted here and tentatively scheduled for october 7.

* this guy randomly emailed me to check out his new blog. i have no idea why.

* the neighbor girls stopped by on the way to blackberry picking, and it looks like they're on schedule for watering while we're gone (school starts sept. 7). at least i have their phone number and email addresses now. *crosses fingers* but we had a looooonnnnng visit where they played the accordian, took pictures of themselves with the izone, petted amelia, drank water, and then asked if sven & i believed in god and the rapture and if we'd like to come to their church. meh!

* last night, after 3 months of good behaviour amelia crapped on the rug in front of the front door. i was devastated, not the least because i stepped in it coming in and tracked it all about the living room.

* leopoldo will be involved in the 48-hour movie project tonight! ee!

* my cousin nikki is supposed to be in town but i don't know if we'll get together. i hope so, but i have no idea when it's supposed to occur.

Monday, August 16, 2004

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friday was the 13th and i didn't even notice. we unknowingly chose to flaunt fate by taking leopoldo to the coast: to cannon beach & seaside and bits in between. alas, i was carsick a great deal of the time, so i slept and was quietly concentrating while sven & leopoldo talked, and when we went to the tillamook cheese factory, i couldn't even get an ice cream cone. meh. it turns out both sven & i suck at throwing and catching the air disk (which i like quite a bit because you can catch it by looping it on your arm), belying the first-place award i won for that skill in the first grade.

better money news: i called mbna, who lowered my rate from 26% to 19%, which, while not great, is a heck of a lot better than 26%. i feel a little better now. i'd still be happy to pay this puppy off, though. :) and seeger wants me to watch his cats while he's gone on short notice.

and i opened a washington mutual account because in 8 weeks they'll deposit $100 in it just because i'm a new customer. (this is about to turn into its own paragraph rant: my only irritation about this is that in case of disputes they require you to consent to mandatory arbitration in lieu of trial, which is something i hate. if you want to make arbitration a first step, great. if it's my only step, then that feels downright illegal. i hate being asked to sign away my rights. the woman who opened the account for me, who probably wasn't any older than i am, didn't know anything about it and said we couldn't change it. grrrrr. i've actually had people take it out of contracts before i sign them -- trixie, for example -- but this woman just seemed unable to do anything other than what the computer told her. grrrrrrr. so i signed because i need the $100. but i might close it after that. a pity.)

Thursday, August 12, 2004

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on monday i had dinner at the heathman w/ michaelmas to celebrate my birthday. at this time last year, i had just recovered from the worst illness ever and we toddled to the heathman, ate my salmon very carefully, and toddled back home. this year i careened through the streets of portland trying to avoid traffic tangles, picked michael up at the library, indulged in a fabulous meal, and hung out with him at his place. -much- more satisfying. :)

on tuesday, sven & i took pamela & her family to multnomah falls! pamela's in town because her daughter larkin is attending psu in the fall & they're getting her settled into her dorm room. it was great to see pamela, who was a huge influence at the end of my time in california and the reason why i want to do artist's way groups in the fall. i had met her husband archie in passing while attending artist's way, but hadn't met larkin at all, so it was good to see them in more context. they are way more fit & walk faster than me, so we ended up splitting into two groups, which gave us a great chance to use the walkie-talkies sven & i have been experimenting with for burning man, and they worked like a charm here. so while they sped up to the top of the falls, sven & i explored the gorge trail and came upon a large landslide of rocks that had been still for so long they were covered in thick tufted moss. we climbed them and sat amongst their quiet lumpiness. :) we met up with pamela's family for lunch and had a great conversation. afterwards, i showed pamela the studio & gave her the dried flowers & herbs i had saved from her place which burned to the ground last year.

yesterday was full of ups & downs:
the group that manages my working assets credit card just sent me a notice saying they were raising my rates to 26% (!!) at the end of this month. i felt it was a ridiculously high rate and i was going to call to complain and possibly close the account. but going through my records, i realized my rate had actually dramatically increased from 14% to 25% in march! if i was going to squack, i ought to have done it then. *makes gurgling noise in back of throat*

and for whatever reason, citibank won't let me do a balance transfer onto their card, even though i've just paid it off (ha! i thought it was the higher-rate card!). "it's not on the account. i can only do it if there's a promotion on the account," says the ever-so-helpful customer service guy, and doesn't feel we can just skip to the next promotion. *sigh*

speaking of which, i saw the corporation last night w/ sven, leopoldo & dinnergrrls jessica. it made me depressed: are local businesses the only trustworthy ones? somehow i don't believe -that-'s true. i hadn't realized corporations were considered legal persons and had exploited a loophole in the 14th amendment to be that way. noam chomsky made a great point likening the institution of coporations to the institution of slavery: the the individual people can all be very nice and can even treat the people involved very well, but the whole concept is unavoidably monstrous. anyway, i'm at a loss because after fahrenheit 9/11 i can't work for the government, and after the corporation i can't work for a corporation. universities truly are the lesser evil. or working for oneself, i suppose.

the good news is that in between all that, i managed to score a large-format mobile cartthrough freecycle yesterday, the kind architects to hang plans. (those things go for more than $350!) it holds art paper tremendously well. :) it was downtown, though, and i only had trixie, so i'm sure it was comedic to try to watch me fit it into the car, give up, disassemble it, and tie a big chunk onto the roof. i have the bruises to prove it!

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happy birthday, leopoldo, who is also turning 31 today!

Monday, August 09, 2004

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on thursday we watched chronicles of riddick (my first time at the laurelhurst) & afterwards i worried leopoldo by attempting to access an idling semi when its owner stepped out for a moment. :)

on saturday sven & i celebrated our 1-year anniversary at chez machin & powell butte for blackberry picking (tick scare!), which we did the first time we met (minus the tick scare). then we ate at lauro which for me was pretty tasty, but sven's choices were pretty limited (there are no appetizers there that don't have meat! and only three other options, two of which were pizzas).

blech. hot. the weeds are tricky and hiding amongst the plants i wish to keep. and i have a huge blister on my thumb for no apparent reason.

Friday, August 06, 2004

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my birthday was lovely! thank to all who made it so. when i woke up i found myself trying to solve an ipod/itunes issue (still unresolved) which made me a little grumpy, but then i went upstairs while sven made crepes (yum!) and managed to write my birthday poem, which i haven't done on the same day for at least four years. then sven & i went to oaks park, which i've never been to. we rode the carrousel 31 times, each revolution a chance to tell what had happened to me that year of my life. (after grade school it was freaky to realize how much it all blurred together, and after college i was glad i started the birthday poems to give me -some- sort of insight about where i was at that point). we also rode the looped roller coaster, roller-skated, rode the bumper cars, and finished with cotton candy on the ferris wheel overlooking the willammette & western portland.

it began to rain just as we left oaks park, which worried sven mostly because he had built me an 11-foot to-scale burning man wrapped in paper & painted w/ 31 stars, with 31 tin stars hidden inside to fall and twinkle as the man burned on the studio driveway. crazy but true!

fortunately, the rain stopped and the burn occurred as planned:

but i'm getting head of myself, as that was near the end. :)

first there was the party, a decidedly low-key affair after the big blowout michael & i had on the roof last year (we ate for almost 2 weeks after that party!) just hangin' around talkin' and drinkin' punch. it was surprisingly hard to blow out all 31 candles! i only got the last two with my dying gasp, and it didn't even feel like air came out. i must be getting old. :) as the last group of people left, sven and i examine two slugs curling themselves into knots on the side of the house w/ holes in their necks that opened and closed.

but the balloons from the party are spookily making their way upstairs one at a time. every time we go up there or come down, another one has crept stealthily up. it's kind of creepy.

and now it's time for the birthday present round up, which i do less to brag about what i got than to make sure everyone is appropriately acknowledged & appreciated every year. :)

* sven: pineapple upside down cake, a trip to oaks park, a swiss army card, another star lamp, a gorey journal, and a bell for stella!
* michaelmas: a copy of donald norman's emotional design since i introduced him to norman, and lyra's oxford, a sequel to my favorite series of books, his dark materials (which michael introduced me to!).
* mph: nerds mix cd, which includes some original compositions by mph himself!
* carl: cookies & milk & chocolate milk
* laura: rilke's letters to a young poet
* leopoldo: a trip to seattle to see a play (i think i've chosen "fiction") and a parasail kite for burning man!
* alex, amelia & miles: they might be giants' bed, bed, bed
* philip: mix cds "the magician" and "the chariot" from his tarot series
* my parents: what is my cat thinking, a check
* sven's mom: a necklace & earrings made from the oregon state stone
* my grandmother: (a conditional gift) if i visit, a cake and dinner

...also, emails & icards from michaelmas, leopoldo, markalope, briant (!), becky, chuck and packetwarp dan.
...and cards from cyberscribes julie & diane, plus one from my aunt janis!
...and a weird postcard from burning man dan!

thank you, thank you, thank you, one and all!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

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this time it's they might be giants' first album. meh!

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a woman from ne jersey emailed me about some old artist's way materials she found on packetwarp! apparently they fit with a conversation she was having w/ her sister. what a small world, eh?

Sunday, August 01, 2004

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happy blue moon! sven & i walked up the north road to powell butte to see it rise.

and now it's august!