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Sunday, June 22, 2008

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i missed almost everything this week i wanted to do because of this cold. it has kept me up two nights unable to sleep because of coughing, despite taking dayquil before bed, an 8-hour DM sucrets, and a whole bunch of cough drops. i began to eat dairy products in desperation early this morning to coat my throat and produce some phlegm, which makes coughing marginally more comfortable than dry hacking. there's a certain loud bird i recognize that begins to sing at 4 a.m. and its repeated chirp is more agonizing than water torture.

tmi? well, i managed briefly to escape today to hastily attend the rebel rabbit craft fair and show up for the next series of ninja stitching. pedalpalooza is passing me by; i hope i'm better for the big girls ride tomorrow! i've been looking forward to that for months.

i actually have good news, but i can't talk about it! a secret project was completed this week and we're waiting for the right time to unveil it. it was really hard not to twitter while it was happening. for those of you following along, "squirrels" were important to the project. [edit jul11.2008: the secret project is that we painted the house & studio!]

we also watched ratatouille, which was beautiful, but surprisingly bland.

Friday, June 20, 2008

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today is the summer solstice. solstice means "to stand still" and it marks the longest day of the year (or the shortest night, depending on whether your celestial sphere is half empty or half full).

the sky this week has some interesting info about today's solstice: "The solstice occurs during the last minute of the UT day of June 20th for the first time since the year 1896. Since that time the solstice has always occurred on the 21st or 22nd, but due to a variety of reasons involving the Gregorian Leap Year cycle and the gradual slowing of the Earth’s mean daily rotation, we will begin to experience these “early” solstices more frequently. The next one occurs in the year 2012, and we’ll have one every four years until 2044, when they will begin to occur in consecutive pairs of years. By the year 2096 they will occur for the next four consecutive years, then revert to the 21st from the years 2100 until 2132. A similar pattern will return and run through the end of the 22nd Century. "

ordinarily i would celebrate the solstice by taking a walk on powell butte to see how it's changed over the season, but I have come down with a terrible cold and i have cancelled everything due to phlegm. this means i don't get to do the pedalpalooza solstice ride, either, but i wasn't sure i'd make a whole night of bike riding, anyway. it's a little depressing to think that just as the weather is beginning to get better, our days will begin to get shorter.

Monday, June 16, 2008

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the good weather is finally here! this is wonderful during the day AND at night because i can finally see the moon again. a few nights ago i walked out of the hous and said, "oh, hi, scorpio!" the last major constellation i remember seeing was leo -- though to be fair, virgo & libra are not very distinct.

my good deed for the week: last week i was shopping at new seasons when a child entered the deli area screaming. the mother was trying to ignore him and continue shopping and i could feel the air temperature around me drop several chilly degrees as the child continued to cry. people were looking around and rolling their eyes. finally the mother took the child to a different part of the store, but you could still hear the boy screaming. when i made my way back to the toiletries aisle the mother was trying to wrestle her child into the cart but it looked like he was winning. people were snickering and mouthing to each other and an old woman said something mean to me that i couldn't make out but her tone was obvious. at that point i walked over to the mother and asked if i could help. "i don't know what i can do, but i wanted you to know you didn't have to suffer alone." i knelt so i was at the same level as the boy and began talking to him, and soon he calmed down enough to be led back to the deli for something to eat and drink. as he left he kept checking to make sure i was still there, and when i saw him later in the store he was following his mom along contentedly. i felt like a superhero after that, but i was scared because i don't have children and i'm not sure how it feels to have someone approach you like that: is it a relief or is it shameful? it felt like part of what i was doing was calming her down as well as him.

last week i also met w/ my fall 2008 artist's way group in vancouver. they've been meeting regularly since the group ended in december, so i was happy to be invited.

on saturday i did my first pedalpalooza event, a "cycle the well fields" tour organized by the portland water bureau. we did a 16-mile loop (my longest ride yet!) between the parkrose transit center and blue lake, stopping at different features and monitoring stations of the columbia slough watershed. i like learning unusal things about portland: not only do i know how much water portland uses in a day (80-100 million gallons in the winter and 200-280 million gallons in the summer), i also got to go inside a secret water bunker buried in the side of the hill and know of a secret canoe launch site. yay!

after the ride i scrambled home to change into a dress, pick up the broccoli polenta and go to jalex's bridal shower, where i was embarassed to have answered the most questions correctly on the "how well do you know our beloved jackie?" quiz. i think most of it is osmosis from sven, really, so i shared the prize with him when i got home (five dark chocolate caramels). as far as bridal showers go, this one was pretty pleasant.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

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the first week of my summer vacation and the cool cloudy weather almost killed me! i am so ready for sunshine and bikeable weather. apparently the consensus is that it stops raining after the last parade of the rose festival, which was yesterday, so i hope that it's true!

i visited jennifer at her yard sale today. it was nice to see her, evan and nina again. i lost her a customer, though: a guy with a cigarette came up to the house and when jennifer went inside to take care of evan, he threw his cigarette into her lawn. "hey, don't throw your cigarette on our grass!" i said. he glared at me. "no problem," he said, as he picked up his cigarette, threw it into the street, then got into his car and drove away before jennifer came back. oops.

later i attended the "blessing of the bikes" at st. mary's. as i told the two cameramen who wanted to interview me later, i'm not at all religious, but i like a good ritual. (earlier in the morning i also anointed rose w/ rose oil & a personal blessing.) they passed out programs and stickers featuring Our Lady of Ghisallo, who is apparently the patron saint of bicyclists. it was a smaller crowd than i expected, but they rang the bells for us and the ceremony was oddly moving, especially when they called out the names of the bicyclists who died this year and punctuated each name with a bell toll. they also found a strange passage from ezekiel to read to us (ezekial 10:9-17). since pedalpalooza begins later this week, it really feels like the beginning of the biking season is upon us!

afterwards i stopped at saint cupcake (now that should be the body of christ! ;). i also took the opportunity to ride around nwpdx, something i've not done yet, so i stopped by to see michaelmas, who was making characters w/ philip, dave & reza.

and fortunately the weather was fantastic today: it must have been divine intervention. ;)

Monday, June 02, 2008

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it's finally june! i've been looking forward to this, the start of my "summer vacation." may wasn't such a great month for me and it was hella busy, so i'm hoping for peaceful epiphanies this month.

also worth mentioning:

* i'm so glad sam adams is mayor! none of the other city councilors i voted for won, but i don't have any complaints about the ones who did. sam was the one i -really- wanted to win; i would have been crushed if sho had gotten a majority, so it's super we've avoided a runoff. certainly i was the only one in our neighborhood with a sam sign, so i wasn't sure what would happen.

* i broke up with my acting coach. it's been hard since february but i'm stubborn and the process was giving me something i wanted (slowly, wrenchingly and despite her instead of because of her). but she finally wanted to "talk" and for me to commit to her methods, which are completely contrary to what i want from a support person. so. meh.

* michaelmas, sven, michael hall & i saw indiana jones: it was better than i thought it would be. :) i also saw shortbus, of which i had no preconceptions and it was, um, surprising. and then sven finally saw the golden compass, so i could finally talk about it with him. seeing it the second time was more disappointing than the first time, unfortunately.

* went to ground kontrol for my annual memorial day arcade pilgrimage. there's nothing that a good game of tempest or joust can't temporarily cure. (flap flap flap flap)

* i biked all the way to the new collage on woodstock, which means it's the longest bike ride i've ever been on (about 13 miles). it was great! i even found a little niche by johnson creek to stop and read. alas, today i took rose back to bike gallery because she had gear-slipping-and-skipping issues (since taking her to the "bicycle maintenance workshop," ironically enough). but i'd also really like her to stop ticking, which she only does while pedalling, and which she didn't do three weeks ago.

* jen has begun her aids lifecycle ride! sandy is in australia! leeann wants to come visit! zoe just graduated! cecilia's moving back to portland! jennifer's looking for a new HR job!