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.
6:00 PM: we will return you to the internet after these important messages
two events coming up worth noting:
October 30: http://www.zengerfarm.org/ I'll be participating in a reading on October 30 at Portland's lovely Zenger Farm as part of "Writing our Bellies Full." Bring something harvesty for the potluck or come early to walk around the estate and visit the chickens! 7-9 p.m.
November 7, 9, 13, 15: http://portlandopera.org/operas/2008-2009/fidelio I'm SO excited! I haven't been on stage in years and now I get to be in a performance with the distinguished & professional Portland Opera! I love the story, too: Fidelio is about a woman who disguises herself to rescue her husband, a political prisoner in a corrupt prison. Fortunately, good triumphs over evil and there is much rejoicing. If you've always wanted to attend the opera, come to this one to celebrate the courage and strength of women -- and anyone who stands against oppression.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
1:00 PM: time keeps on slipping into the future
* i finally installed the new time capsule! sven's new machine "writer" is now using time machine, and celeste is being backed up even as we speak. then it will be confessor's turn. so far the biggest issues are that photoshop broke and i've lost my email drafts folder. *knock wood* but i've been looking forward to using time machine for a long time now. :)
* i've begun rehearsals for fidelio! if you've ever wanted to attend an opera i'd recommend this one, not just because i'm in it (though i'd love the support!), but because the story seems pretty good: a woman disguises herself as a man to rescue her husband, who is a political prisoner. and the best part is, i don't even have to sing. :) it'll take up almost all the "free time" i have through mid-november (including sven's birthday! augh!), but i'm pretty impressed at the professionalism of the company. it's refreshing.
* i was an escort at the ppcw groundbreaking for the regional service center. while i was very happy to be a part of the new clinic on mlk, the protest activity was a little scary. as an escort here, my job was to identify people who looked like they were attending the event, smile & usher them in. but the protesters wanted to make that as difficult as possible and crowded the two of in as much as possible, blocking our line of sight with giant anti-abortion posters. i tried to maintain a casual air and smile, but the woman i was with was visibly nervous and left me alone for a little bit while she went to collect herself. in total, there were >150 protestors praying, shouting and menacing us. my job was also to identify planned parenthood supporters who wanted to argue with the protestors and redirect them to the event, which i only had to do once. but the good news is i got to sign a piece of plywood that will be mounted at the center as well as etched into the glass of the conference room. even better, i got to use the backhoe!
* lane's memorial service was simple but solid. nike provided food, chocolate & candles. sven wrote a long speech about how lane died to clear up any ambiguity, which i appreciated. i read a statement by her therapist who couldn't be there that night (but who i actually know via my art events!). the rest of the night was spent telling stories & visiting with people i only see rarely. at the end, a few of us ended up at lane's house to distribute the last few bits of stuff and to send her parents back home to seattle.
* alas, all this has meant we didn't pick up pumpkins at sauvie island this year. i'm a little nervous about putting pumpkins on the porch this year, though, since someone has smashed our pumpkins every.single.year. this year one of our neighbors had a couple of cute pumpkins on their porch but now they have a sign up saying you're on camera now instead. :(
and now, for your blogging pleasure, a couple of odd & random pix:
[a flyer i saw at the iprc]
[the saddest rocking horse around holgate & foster]
Sunday, October 19, 2008
2:22 PM: rolling with the punches
this has been a crazy couple of weeks: two people dead, one new cat, one person divorced and one person sent to the emergency room.
first, sven's friend lane attempted suicide and died 5 days later at the hospital. sven had been spending quite a lot of time with lane over the last month or so: as her disability situation has gotten worse, sven helped her find 24-hour in-home care and began organizing her end-of-life details. but lane decided she didn't want to wait to die and took matters into her own hands. unfortunately, it meant that she was sent to the hospital in a coma for a few days and when she came out of it, couldn't breathe on her own. so family & friends gathered on tuesday to say goodbye after they disconnected the breathing tube. (if you want to make this into a life lesson, please create your living wills and communicate to the people closest to you about how you want to die or what measures should be taken to save your life.)
so we adopted lane's cat, cleo. just call us the powell butte foster home for wayward cats. she's been settling in for about a week. cleo is a beautiful cat but doesn't have good listening skills like amelia or nina. you can shout or clap at her and she shows little sign of having heard you at all. she likes to jump on things. but she gets along with toby and likes being around people.
in the meantime we discovered michael's friend joe died climbing triple falls. joe used to take michael & i to the beach whenever i'd visit portland. we went to the simple & heartfelt memorial service last night at the old church.
also, an old friend wrote to tell me he was getting divorced and moving away from everyone. i was glad he wrote me but really sad about it, too. nobody gets married thinking they're going to get divorced in 8 years.
then someone threw an apple at mph while he was biking to pick up his son at preschool. he ended up in the ER with stitches in his eye! i wrote his story up and sent it, along with the horrible day-after picture of his bruised & bloody face, to all the news organizations and bicycle advocacy groups i could think of, including the transportation office (home of mayor elect & bicycle proponent sam adams). i don't think it did much good, but it made me feel like i was doing something remotely constructive. it looks like mph might not need plastic surgery like originally feared and he's already going for bike rides again with the blood on his helmet as warpaint. (braver man than i!)
speaking of bicycling, i hope my bicycle season isn't coming to an end yet. so far this year i've logged 280 miles, which, as an unathletic geek girl who never liked bikes before, impresses me. i'm still biking to my thursday writing class (even through rain! eee!), but i didn't make it to the final lents farmer's market. i'm really going to miss that as a sunday ritual. once on the way home a man passing me told me my flowers were beautiful, but i didn't understand what he said until it was too late to thank him. :)
politically, we just got our ballots in the mail. i supppose it would be obvious how much i hate the republican ticket, but sarah palin really took it over the edge into almost pure fury (with only occasional twinges of sympathy for the sexism she has to put up with. there are plenty of reasons to be infuriated with her without going there, really). nationally, california has two initiatives i hope don't pass: the one to ban gay marriage and the one to require parental notification for abortions (though it makes me mad people are pushing it again since it failed last time). and south dakota is trying to ban abortion for the whole state again. argh! and colorado is trying to amend the constitution to include the maddening definition of "embryonic personhood" which will erode the rights of the person carrying it. i went to a "politics & pastries" tea w/ cecile richards (the head of planned parenthood), last week and it made me teary. alas, it didn't make me hopeful. all i can do is keep volunteering, voting and contributing to organizations that try to protect our lives and liberty.
also, sven got a new laptop this week (just moments before the announcement of the new macbooks). we also got a time capsule so we can get all the laptops backing up more easily -- but i haven't been able to get time capsule working yet! i'm surprised because all the other airport wireless options i've owned have more or less worked flawlessly. the airport express we bought 4 years ago still works perfectly, thank goodness. but i really want our backups to begin again.
artwise, the sacred circle went into a bit of a meltdown. i keep telling myself i'm just here to provide the opportunity; it's time for others to help provide the community. sven & i attended a great white bird performance (where we were unfortunately seated next to a person with the worst body odor i have ever smelled). we watched "the butterfly effect" (meh), attended two weekends of open studios, attended the portland theatreworks insomniACTS fundraiser, stopped by to see linda's installation at mad/50, roamed through the vegan ghetto at 12th/stark, and tried to catch the first scratchpdx of the season least night but didn't check the time and got there an hour late. oops!
next week i'll start rehearsing for the portland opera's production of fidelio (and i don't even have to sing!) and writing something to be read at the end of the month to conclude the writing workshop at zenger farms. whee!
Monday, October 13, 2008
12:23 AM: chang'o and the jade rabbit
in september sven & i were invited to celebrate the chinese full moon festival in diamond, oregon. there wasn't an official celebration; we just wanted to watch the moonrise over the desert. diamond has a population of 5 and the only thing there is an old hotel. it's like the oregon outback. stark country lined with ledges of columnar basalt.
day1: we left early and made many stops. driving over mt hood, we stopped at the arts cabins where i held my down to earth/andy goldsworthy class. sven hadn't seen it before and we got to see how the piece i created has weathered over time. then we stopped at mill creek, the deschutes river, the old canyon highway, and ate lunch at our favorite place in bend (mirenda). we were delighted to discover a "shoe tree" between bend & burns: 20-25 pairs of shoes had been thrown into a dead tree so the shoes looked like fruit. we reached diamond just in time for dinner. afterwards we shared the binoculars and starcharts and then joined shu-ju & mike for a walk in the bright moonlight. the stars were beautiful and the crickets sang with one voice. later that night i saw four deer munching the grass under the apple tree in the yard.
[diamond: population 7 5]
[hotel diamond sign]
day2: after a late start, we ate lunch at the hotel's odd little restaurant/lounge area which used to be the community icehouse. we played two games of pool, both of which sven won: 1 because i sank the 8 ball early, and one based on merit. we explored a fascinatingly burned building next door that housed dozens of dragonflies and then walked about the dirt roads for a bit. then we all packed up picnic dinners and head toward the alvord desert (with a stop in fields). just as we finished setting up and settled down to dinner, the full harvest moon crested the plateau of the steens mountains. we ate traditional mooncakes & washed them down with strong black tea. without anything in the way, i was hugely surprised to discover that auriga/capella rises almost due north!
[gl. & shu-ju with chicken hats]
[moon rising over alvord desert//credit: steve messick]
day3: out on the screened hotel porch for a late breakfast. i wrote a poem out there on the laptop, one in a series of poems based on the full moon. sven & i headed out with plans to see the mulheur caves, the lava beds, and the crane hot springs -- but couldn't find any of them! we went too far past too far, ending up at burns junction and we take the opportunity to buy homemade chocolate-chip cookies from the mayor. at that point, the most exciting thing that had happened to us that day was that we had crossed into the mountain time zone! so we tried driving up the stinking water access road just to go somewhere, but despite some good views, it was very slow going, so we headed back to diamond. however, we took a wrong turn and end up at the malheur wildlife refuge, which added an unexpected hour to the trip home. the hotel had been serving some great food and had been quite good at accommodating sven's vegetarianism -- except on this day, when they they thought he ate fish. oops! after dinner, we played two games of pool w/ shu-ju & mike (we won one, then lost one because i scratched when sinking the 8 ball. sound familiar?). before we went on another nighttime walk, we were enchanted by two new hotel guests singing "golden slumbers" with a guitar on the porch. then the sweetest dogs accompanied us on our walk: we called them the hotel's safety escort service, though we had a close call with a car and the dogs as we were returning to the hotel.
[road to nowhere]
[gl. at burns junction]
day4: another breakfast out on the porch meant we got to wave shu-ju & mike goodbye. not long afterwards sven & i headed out, too. our goal was to stop by john day. first we stopped at the john day outlook which was dizzying & inspiring. then we stopped by john day's archaeology center, which is new and pleasant. finally we journeyed to the painted hills: wow! i was really impressed at the beauty & grandeur & alienness of the painted hills, and especially painted hills cove. we were shocked to discover another shoe tree on the way home. this one had even more shoes and the remains of a sign. toby came with us on this trip and sang spike's parts in "once more with feeling" on the way home. after a brief stop at the prineville pizza hut, we got back home late only to immediately launch ourselves into someone else's crisis (the phone rang as we were unpacking the car!).
[sven & gl. at the john day fossil bed]
[more painted hills]
[another shoe tree!]
anyway, overall it was a great trip. i'd love to do it again next year but the date of the full moon festival conflicts with the hp lovecraft fest! aiieee!
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
9:35 AM: any sufficiently advanced art is indistinguishable from poetry
a gigantic catchup post for september & october (now w/ more pictures!):
* first, this is how i've been feeling lately. (the song, mostly, not the video. i don't get the horse at all):
(Santogold - L.E.S. Artistes. "i can say i hope it will be worth what i give up//if i can stand up mean for all the things i believe")
* art: susan collard's exhibit at 23 sandy, 100th monkey, built, old spaghetti factory, 10 tiny dances (though there were only 8, but i got to finally see taiko!), taught creative business basics (still too long), birth play that jalex helped organize, white bird dance performance with shaolin monks, a weekly writing class at zenger farms, portland art open at milepost 5. also, i closed my artist's way email support group (the "sacred circle"). then i revived it because people wanted a place to check in, but i'm no longer facilitating it.
* travel: hooping in kenilworth park, biking (though rose ate my good pants!), walking about in ladd's addition, lents farmer's market, mt scott park. also, we went to the steen mountains to watch the full moon rise over the alvord desert, but that really deserves its own post.
* eating: tart, old spaghetti factory, arleta library bakery & cafe, ten 01 (wow!), pho van
other events: * talk like a pirate day w/ kristen, todd & michaelmas. we ate food from salvador molly's & todd's homemade tamales while watching pirates of the carribean 2. we also hosted the fearsome one-eyed toby and his first mate, peg leg greg. they terrorized & scandalized the guests with their raucous songs and fierce appetites. a good time was had by all!
[toby & gregory as pirates]
* equinox walk on powell butte. the ankle i twisted in august meant i wasn't able to climb my favorite tree, but i really adore the apple orchard up there. a spot i used to go is now oddly covered with strange, tall weeds.
[a cairn sven & i built]
[my favorite spot on powell butte]
[hugging my favorite climbing tree]
* sven, michael, philip, teena, bill & i all attended the lovecraft film festival (at differing times). it is, as they say, the only festival that understands. it turns out chile-covered mango slices are good for keeping one awake during a boring movie, or just during a weekend fueled with sugar & popcorn.
[the only festival that understands]
* a big announcement from someone i didn't expect to hear from again. still deciding how to respond.
* i'm volunteering three days a week for planned parenthood during election season. in addition to patient advocacy, i'm going into the admin office to do data entry from their outreach events. if you get called, it's probably my fault. sorry!