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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

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man, i was all set to say "happy bubblewrap appreciation day!" today but it turns out it was yesterday! but hey, i didn't know it came in such cool colors...

Monday, January 30, 2006

[#] [1]
it is so windy and stormy tonight, sven grabbed his skateboard and rainbow-striped umbrella and sailed madly down the street.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

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doug's first book has just come out! happy birthday to last week's apocalypse! (but as he says, "If you had asked me in high school if I'd be 35 by the time my first book came out I would have thought you were being mean.") you should buy it if you have any inclinations towards silly, surreal & postmodern sci-fi (i think burning man dan would like it quite a bit, for instance).

so last night there was a launch party to celebrate the book, which, despite doug sending me a postcard, i thought was at a completely different place: the tribe theatre, a place that's hosted one of doug's reading before. so i gathered michaelmas & sven and headed to tribe at 510 nw glisan, only to find a "moved to 5359 se foster" sign. so we hopped back in trixie and went there, only to find a play called "sharp objects."

at that point sven & michaelmas thought we should head to rimsky's korsacoffee, where we indulged in a very loud piano, bad service and a table smeared w/ fudge sauce. the desserts were tasty and we toasted to doug with our miniature plates, but michaelmas didn't notice we were at the trick table that slowly lowers to your knees and up to your chin over the course of dessert, and i was feeling like a bad friend -- doug & i aren't close, but i think somebody's first book is a very big deal!

so we headed back to michael's where i got online long enough to check the address. michaelmas decided to stay home for the rest of the night so sven & i headed to the northwest cultural center, and i could tell i had arrived because there was a cluster of writers smoking at the entrance, one of whom was doug. he took us to the table of books and signed a copy for me, then sven & i did a lap around the room as the party was being cleared away. doug's wife miriam saw us and was gracious enough to chat a while and introduce me around.

and then we went home. doug says the "party went off without a hitch," and someone else who attended called it "a terrific success." so here's to many more books & book parties in doug's future! *clink*

Saturday, January 28, 2006

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i can barely believe it, but someone knock over the mailbox the whole block uses last night, one of those huge sturdy multi-box things bolted into *concrete*. the sound woke us when it fell, but we couldn't tell what it was until sven went to check the mail this afternoon. a couple of weeks the construction portapotty was knocked over by vandals and lay partway into the street for days. i love powell butte, i love the springwater corridor trail, i love this studio but i HATE this neighborhood. :(

update 01.30.06: could postal employess have a little compassion, please? i had to call three different numbers to get a response, and nobody was kind. i wasn't blaming them for the box being down; i just wanted to know how to get my mail, especially since i have artist's way registrations coming in this week! if i'm desperate i can apparently go down to the distribution center once every three days, though they "aren't staffed for it."

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this is the 20th anniversary of the challenger explosion. as a girl from a tiny backwards town saving her pennies for space camp, it had a huge impact on me, but i've been trying to get a good poem out of it for years to no avail.

Friday, January 27, 2006

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oh, saturn's in opposition! that explains why, on the very few nights i can see it, it seems so bright right now! last year sven & i called gemini "the cell phone constellation" because that's what the addition of saturn made it look like, and it was about the same magnitude as castor & pollux. now that saturn is in cancer, which is a very faint constellation, it blazes in the gulf between gemini & leo, dominating the sky like mars did last summer. mars is now setting earlier and earlier and is still visible but dimmed -- but don't worry, mars will always be my scarlet star!

Monday, January 23, 2006

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i can't believe we had sun today! and tonight, finally, the stars were piercing and clear.

also on the weather front: my dad is home from the hospital; he even convinced them to let him out a day early. he'll be home for 2-3 weeks and then he'll go back to work part-time for a couple of weeks after that. he's eating well, in good spirits, and glad to be home.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

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and now it can be told: my father was in surgery today to remove the large tumour residing in his colon. to do that, they actually removed a big chunk of his colon; his doctor is the kind of guy who does gastric bypass surgery, so he has some experience in lopping off chunks of organs and stitching them back together. on the phone this afternoon after the surgery my dad sounded drug-drunk but alive.

i didn't say anything before now because my parents asked me not to: not that anyone in my family reads this blog, but they waited to call everyone until the day before the surgery to avoid stirring everyone up. my dad wasn't going to call me, in fact, but vickie finally convinced him to. i guess i had it coming: when i was in the hospital for my pulmonary embolism eight years ago, jacob (!) said he was going to call my parents whether i wanted him to or not.

Friday, January 13, 2006

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argh! these headphones are no good, either! i mean, they're better than the last ones, but they have different annoyances that you don't know about till you open them up (& can't return them).

in this case, the cord is asymmetrical and requires you to loop it behind your neck, and i so hate that because it's just another thing to get tangled. and because it's asymmetrical, it has a tendency to fall to the left side, tugging the right earbud. also, the cord is too short to reach your pocket, so they thoughtfully provide an extension that allows it to hang to the floor, which is both way too long and adds even more weight to the left side with an awkward lump in the middle.

the good news is they fit in my ears well and are lots easier to get them in & out easily. but man, the next rung up is the $100 range, and i don't know if i can do that.

(and boy do i wish i would have bought them from amazon instead of the apple store, which would have saved me about $20.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

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my hero cheeseburger brown, the author of the darth side & simon of space, has been writing again, this time a series of posts of his past enemeies, softened through the lens of time.

in his tale of the weird sisters, he writes a really great and easily overlooked description of a certain form of learning i know intuitively but could never describe:
"I sipped a drink box and read a book I largely didn't understand about neutron stars. I hoped to read another book in the future that would shed some light on the nonsense I was packing into my head (a process I called pre-stuffing and Stephan called swamping)."
swamping! what a great term! this is a form of learning i'm quite familiar with and i'm hugely pleased to find such an intuitive term for it. the other day sven came up with "mistake-based learning," a great term for something i had been advocating for academic technology users for years (but academic IT people aren't really keen on it, choosing instead to restrict them even further "for their own good" until they become stiff and dependent.)

i'm also swamped in its less educational form by artist's way promotion. (c'mon, google! why do you refuse to list the portland artist's way classes higher in the search results? why do you insist on putting me on page 10? the top 5 things you link to link to me, and everything after that has pretty much NOTHING to do with portland artist's way. argh!) we did a big sweep of nw, nw, se & gresham and i've been working my way through the list of electronic optons. if anyone has any ideas, you're welcome to offer them.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

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alas, the headphones i bought with michaelmas a couple of weeks ago didn't pass their first & only one-handed street trials. while flyering on 23rd today, i tried to juggle the earphones & the ipod & my umbrella, which only ended up with me dropping nocturne on the sidewalk, and i couldn't get the earphones to set in my ears right, anyway. ergh. so now i have a battered nano -and- i have to shell out for new headphones. argh!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

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"now let's welcome the new year, full of things that have never been." (rilke)

so not a year-in-review post, but a year-yet-to-be.

i'm trying valiantly to stay up till dawn, as is my tradition: to see the first sunrise of the new year. i've been doing this so for 8 or 9 years, ever since i lived in pueblo, watching the twinkling city lights fade into purple then pink over the pueblo reservoir, or throwing those round spinning firecrackers into the river to dance beneath the water. even when sven & i stayed at the coast we would wait until the sky became more blue than black, then walk to the beach and light a sparkler, watching the sparks fall on the wet sand like stars. but this year seems easier: how did i used to stay awake before the internet? :)

i was very fond of this wish for the new year i found on neil gaiman's blog: "may your [year] be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. i hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. and i hope, somewhere in [2006], you surprise yourself."

don't forget to eat some black-eyed peas today!