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Monday, May 30, 2005

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how i spent my memorial day
a bulleted essay by gretchin lair

* add more animals to the neighborhood menagerie: on our way to feed carrots to the ponies, we discovered two adorable feral kittens hiding under a car. one of them just could not coordinate its back legs, but compensated by attacking everything in sight, including the curb.

* sitting at the bench near the sheep, sven had his arm around me. an older man biked by, waggled his finger and said, "cut that out." what -is- it w/ this neighborhood? we're not even being obviously affectionate.

* i have fond memories of the penny arcade in manitou opening on memorial day, and so sven & i went to the avalon nickel arcade this afternoon. i sent out invites to people but my email provider has had issues today and so it looks like not everyone got them -- my apologies if you didn't; it certainly wasn't intentionall. jalex & mari showed up, though, and now i've played so much air hockey my arm hurts. i also accumulated enough ski ball tickets to get a tiny lock decorated w/ moons & stars. and i flapped my hands wildly in an attempt to play dance dance 2nd remix, a game i truly did not understand. i've never felt so clueless about a game before.

* mari pointed us to a good art show at stumptown on belmont: funky alien sculpey figures sven adored.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

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today sven & i got to meet maya! i held her as she slept for over an hour. the meads, while sleepy, are doing very well and were graciously accepting of visitors & gifts. we sang two happy birthdays (one for maya, one for rob) and a happy anniversary.

[update: here is maya in my arms]

[and of course, clicking it will show you a larger version]

then i came home and gardened for over 2 hours. the day was cool but not raining, and though i should have done this at least a month ago, i finally got a chance to overturn the garden. the heat killed many of the plants i bought from dinique's swim team fundraiser, but the edible ones that are left will go into the freshly fluffed garden soil. boy, we have a lot of clay and rocks. the other plants, the flowers, are still waiting for an action plan, but my highest priority at the moment is planning artist's way, because it starts in a week. eek!

Friday, May 27, 2005

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maya dawn elizabeth mead is here! i -so- called it: she came with the sunrise yesterday morning, the beautiful day finally tempting her to join us. congratulations, rob & kyrie! (and just in time for rob's birthday & their anniversary, which is sunday!)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

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it's been a gorgeous day today! went on a warm sweet bike ride out past the sheep, rested at the bench in the sun & the grass, and breezed back home. took a long lovely shower, dressed lose & flowy, had a great lunch, know what i need to accomplish for psu, the cat is purring, the ice cream trucks are singing, and i have a little treat planned for later this afternoon. i told rob that maybe maya would come today because it was so beautiful, or come tomorrow if she was enjoying today as much as i was. tomorrow's supposed to be hot; i'll need to start paying closer attention to the plants now.

yesterday michaelmas & i went to the delta cafe to celebrate my csusm-iversary, then we kicked back at his place experimenting with airtunes and going through the itunes celebrity playlists and essentials.

Monday, May 23, 2005

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since i thought i lost my wallet, i had a sad but productive day out: went to fred meyer, burgerville, got a haircut, and went to trader joes. i even got washington mutual to close my checking account and open a new one without any id. on the way home i suddenly realized where it had to be: in the calligraphy bag i take to class on fridays. and when i checked the studio, yep, that's where it was -- which was a. huge. relief. i feel dumb for getting a new checking account, but at least i don't have to change my driver's license or deal with reissuing anything else in my wallet.

however, some other unsettling news this morning: the person i've been corresponding with at the mac to set up an artist's way class is leaving june 3, three days before my class starts, and she has no replacement. so i'm sure the summer class will run, but will the fall class? is there anyone there anymore who knows what the heck artist's way is and why the mac should offer it?

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fuck. it looks like i've lost my wallet.

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between yesterday & today, i've received about 10 messages that i lost from 2 weeks ago. mail queues are funny things.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

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leopoldo's on his way to paris. sven went to an early showing of star wars w/ mph. i, on the other hand, stayed home to attend to laundry and cooking. i actually like cooking on sundays: i have the time & energy to play with recipes i wouldn't ordinarily try, and i don't have to worry as much about meals for the rest of the week. today i made baked potato soup, a quiche, honey mustard dressing, pomegranate pepper dressing & steamed brown rice for the chicken teriyaki i think we'll make later this week.

and wonder of wonders, last night i installed the ups & the new animation/movie drive (tenatively named "emet," the word used to animate a golem) with no trouble at all. even restored from the old hal9000 backup (thank you, rsync!). i wish i knew how to redirect standard out & standard error to files AND have them display through the tty, too. i know how to do one or the other but not both.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

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revenge of the sith doesn't totally suck. unless we're talking about padme.

other reports: shield says this was the worst of the three & resents his childhood stolen from him; jalex really liked it; michaelmas won't spend money on it; sven went to see it again and will probably see it at least another time; mph compares it to a passion play; rob's glad for the closure; markalope thinks it was worth the wait, even with glaring inconsistencies.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

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today i drove sven to the star wars line and it was a much different scene than yesterday: storm troopers & imperial guards & rebel alliance, two children dressed as princess leia and queen amidala, a giant cingular balloon and a line halfway down the covered archway. this must be the place, then. i took the max into work and i'll take the max back to join him there after work. he's -so- excited. :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

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we have tickets to what the tickets say is the 12:01 a.m. wednesday showing of star wars: episode iii. so when sven & i went to wait in line at 9:30 a.m. this morning, i was suspicious when we appeared to be the first in line. "you're crazy, but you aren't the -craziest- motherfucker in portland," i told sven. eventually, the promotions coordinator came to move us to where we wouldn't be blocking the emergency exits and told us star wars didn't actually begin until 12:01 -thursday-! it says "wednesday" on the tickets because that's the theatre's business day. arrrggghhh!

sven seriously considered staying overnight, but that was cut short when two guys began to harass us, even going so far as to grab one of sven's toy lightsabers from his backpack and run away with it. sven actually had to run after him and grab him by the coat to get it back.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

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i can't believe we didn't know leopoldo was going to france sunday until the star wars party yesterday! and he briefly mentioned he may not be working for xerox in october, but didn't give any details at all. so now i've seen ep2, which i wisely missed in the theatre because every "romantic" scene between padme & anakin gave me the creeps and it would have been more embarassing to squirm and howl in front of so many people.

today i went to a party where i didn't know anyone. it was an "open house," but not in the traditional sense of the word: it was much more like what we did two years ago at the coast, an open party that had 1/2 hour sessions running the whole day, presented by people who cared about building a copper trellis or restorative justice. it also had a clothing exchange (i now own nice fuzzy slippers and an artistic batik shirt), a book exchange (4 books, 2 for collage), a game room, a hot tub and a treehouse w/ electricity, as well as a meditation space and a no-talking/reading room. it was a great space for a curious introvert like myself. i had a -really- good time. i met two calligraphers and talked a lot about artist's way, and for a great deal of the party was the youngest person there. i found out about it from one of the other artist's way facilitators, who didn't go, and so i still have yet to meet her!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

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weirdness: last night sven & i both woke up around 3:30 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep. i even tried to sleep on the couch, but i finally crawled back upstairs and we eventually fell asleep between 5:30 & 6 a.m. part of it is that my head was full of ideas and some of it was artist's way: i've now found someone else who's teaching a summer course. and part of it might be that i'm still sick. but not sleeping is one of my top 3 "something's seriously wrong" symptoms.

today was better than the lack of sleeping ought to have made it: a warm day led to lunch on back porch, which led to weeding & composting for me and digging up jalex's old garden by the studio for sven. while were were out we heard the first ice cream truck of the season, though it didn't come down our street.

two unrelated items taking up brainspace:

1. we live in a neighborhood full of unusual animals. yesterday sven & i went for a walk, looked into a yard, and saw a goat w/ floppy ears chewing on the grass. it looked up as if to say, "what? if you aren't grass, i'm not interested." at the end of another street lives a small white pony, but when we went to visit, he had been joined by a small brown pony, a hen, and two tiny cutecute white baby goats. we have the howling peacocks a little closer to powell butte, and a large roan horse we can see out our bedroom window. one house has a cat who likes to lie in the middle of the sidewalk and sometimes in the middle of the street. the russian house up the hill has a chicken coop and sven has seen more baby goats in the same pasture as the roan horse. on night walks, we sometimes pass a spooky house that is packed with parrots.

2. i realized that one of the problems with electronic calendars is if you're aiming for a goal, you can't put little motivational stickers on it, like gold stars or "you go girl!" stickers. and ical has the worst printed interface -ever-, so that wasn't really an option, anyway. so i created a category called *cough* "exercise" and copied a star from the special characters palette to use as an all-day event on each day i bike or walk or use the *cough* happy fun ball. i tried to make the category yellow, but for whatever reason, ical doesn't believe you -really- want a yellow category and changes it to a muddy soup sort of colour. so now it's orange. but it works: seeing a string of stars is a happy thing. it seems like something ical could build in, like ichat's emoticons.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

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michael, sven & i went to watch kung fu hustle and i was surprisingly charmed by it. i certainly liked it better than the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, which ought to have been that ludicrous but wasn't. and the hurly burly at the end was way better than the matrix. even with its odd propensity to show people's half-covered asses, kung fu hustle managed to mix engaging characters and outrageous cliches.

which makes up a little for the cold sinking further into my chest and having an odd team meeting at work. i spent some time in pioneer plaza after work just to clear my head a little. i may not know about hive for another week or two, but when i do it's likely to be the most tedious way possible. that's okay; i can do tedium. it's perpetual ambiguity that drives me nuts. in the meantime, i might do something crazy and try to re-learn a bit of php to create an web-based version of the instructional design checklist just to prove i can. in an unexpected move, maggie asked me to come to a meeting friday because of my "analytical mind," but i can't because it conflicts with my calligraphy class. is there room for an analytical mind without a master's degree on her team? apparently not after june, as maggie told the team "we won't be renewing her contract" in july, which, while implied previously, was a little harsh to hear out loud and in front of everyone. keep smiling and nodding. the bigger issue is that there's just not enough time between now & the end of june to do anything she wants to do with hive or alternate courseware, and i want to know how to end this contract with the softest landing possible, one where all the frustration and disappointment about hive doesn't rub off on me, where i still have an option to be used again.

Monday, May 09, 2005

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brian visited this weekend! he was in vancouver for a mensa conference but hung out with me, michael & sven on saturday night. this is the first time he's been able to see the house & studio! yesterday we went to a brunch that was faaaarrr to expensive due to mother's day and walked along the columbia river.

an awkward neighborly interaction:
last night sven and i were watching the sunset from the corner sidewalk when our usually very chatty foursquare evangelical neighbors walked up the street. we considered going into the house, but the daughter is one of the girls who helped us with the garden last year and we went to their christmas party. the father asked us what we were doing and we pointed at the sunset and said, "nice sunset." without even turning to look at it he said, "because where i come from that's called spooning," and hurried along without saying another word. yowch.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

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yesterday i paid double on my car payment for the first time! ee! we also took the bikes out again in the morning. of course, it began to rain, as sven pointed out, at the furthest point in our route. so the way back made me wet and cold, and my jeans stuck to my legs. later that night, the mac salon seemed a little chaotic and i was cranky on the way home.

today i am sick again, with a sore throat moving towards voicelessness and a fuzzy head. it feels like i was just sick. what's up with this? and right before i have another visitor!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

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creating a naming convention that doesn't rely on an external code to consult or knowing the previous item in a sequential series while still keeping the whole thing vaguely readable is difficult. i have two items that need to be named, and the second one includes a time stamp. but how do i make the first one unique enough? how do i address an exception?

i finally managed to convince maggie that to input objects into hive i had a choice of two evils, and so she picked the third choice: neither. so my job activities are currently in limbo until she talks to the guys in australia.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

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we saw a peacock on the sidewalk this morning! we have some that howl in a cul-de-sac several streets removed, but this one was just walking down holgate. to its credit, it looked a little confused.

Monday, May 02, 2005

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we brought out stella and tomato moon from the garage and went for a bike ride this morning on the springwater corridor trail. neither of the bikes have been out since burning man. we probably did three miles, though i did walk the bike up a couple of hills on the way home. i was feeling pretty good until i tried to put stella back on her hook, and then i almost got sick. oh, well. i want to ride the bike more, and by the end of the month i hope to look at this incident and laugh.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

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someone built a poem on the top of my car. that's the first time since we got trixie new magnets:
celebrate that sizzle
of rust & easy skin

taste the glassy day
so as to
make us want
on friday night sven & i saw hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy (which was mediocre). we returned home to a neighborhood blackout. like last year, we walked around the area in the dark, feeling like we were in a post-apocalyptic movie. near the end we heard people playing board games and could see candle clusters in the windows; sven said it felt like camping and got a really good poem out of it.

today: new art at scarlet star studios....