i am an unrequited astronomer, pretend patient, gentle adventurer, pedal enthusiast, recovering calligrapher, occasional thespian and unfinished poet living in portland, oregon. contacting me via email is usually a good idea.
11:05 PM: out with the old, in with the new
i can’t believe tomorrow will be a new year! 2009 is lurking in the wings, but to be honest i won’t be too sad to see 2008 quietly exit stage left. it hasn’t been the best year. but interesting stuff keeps happening (for some value of “interesting”). december is always busy, but made crazier with the snowstorm and the other events that all happened before christmas. (i guess i’ll have to write about xmas in january.)
* i finished my last hooping class. i’ll start another series saturday in the “intermediates,” though i still feel like a beginner. i need to find a place to practice where i won’t hurt anything when the hoop goes flying.
* i got a call from someone who lives in michaelmas’ building. remember when i helped a persian gymnast fluent in 4 languages carry his bag up the hill near michaelmas' place? well, he’s an old man, easily in his 70s. i’ve seen him from time to time since then, when i go to visit michaelmas, and we wave or chat in a friendly & casual fashion. once he stopped both of us to tell michaelmas what a great girl i am, which i guess should have been my first warning sign. then a couple of weeks ago he called my house because we exchanged business cards. sven answered it and handed it over to me. this was the entire conversation: me: yes? saul: hello, gretchin? me: yes! saul: i was wondering *long pause* is that man i see you with your.... steady friend? me: yes! saul: and the man who answered the phone, is he also your friend? me: yes! saul: oh. all right. well, that’s all, then. and i just wanted to tell you that you have a great personality. there is something about you that draws people to you. me: okay! thanks, saul! goodbye! saul: goodbye. it’s funny when i write about it because he clearly isn’t a threat. but if he was any other man this would be creepy. i still lean towards creepy.
* michaelmas & i tried tanuki, a japanese restauraun near his house. the night we went they didn’t have power in the kitchen (why? the waitress said she didn’t know) but they still had a limited menu, which i found pretty tasty. but then, i like eel.
* i didn’t have much xmas shopping this year, so i missed much of the madness. but the “bike craft” show was packed! too bad, because i would have liked to have bought something there but it was too claustrophobic; i made a round of the tables saying hi to people i knew and then left.
* art in december: i saw 23 sandy’s maternal book show with the local book arts group and there were only 3 of us! plenty of time to handle the books. sven & i saw scratchpdx and it was terrible: the acts were good (or at least interesting), but the MCs were lewd and they took more time than the acts! my gocco class cancelled, which i discovered after i had packed my supplies and showed up at the callbox. but at least i got a gift certificate to half & half, and i got a chance to see a small press show (red bat and loaded hips: red bat colors her letterpress cards by hand!). while we were at it, we rescheduled the creative business class, too since, the weather was so terrible. i also got to see shu-ju’s relay/replay exhibit at the rare book room at the central library, we well as the “gems of small press” exhibit, which was beautiful.
* the amanda palmer concert rocked. we got there early enough to be in the second row, which made standing outside in the cold worth it. we met a woman in line who had gone to the seattle show and snogged a member of the danger ensemble, and was at the portland show to see him that night, too. jason webley performed the exact same thing we saw him perform at the crystal ballroom with the dresden dolls. in addition to amanda’s fine song repertoire, i was hugged by a different member of the danger ensemble as part of a performance piece. during one song they shook water onto umbrellas and shook them into the crowd. only two things marred the night: sven lost his jacket, and i accidentally ran a red light afterwards, which got me a citation from a relatively kind police officer.
* watched idlewild: a pretty movie, but a couple of spots where i was all, “what? they’re going to do THAT?” and we had to watch it w/ subtitles on, like vera drake.
* the weather hasn’t left much opportunity for stargazing: either cloudy or freezing. but it’s been a delight to watch orion rise, one of my favorite constellations, and with him the other stars of the winter hexagon. also, i got a chance to show sven the star Fomalhaut, which made news last month by being one of the stars where exoplanets are directly observable.
tonight i'll stay awake to watch the first dawn of the new year, as has been my tradition since i lived in pueblo over 12 years ago. i'll wrap up the loose ends of 2008 so i can greet 2009 with a clear conscience. see you next year!