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Sunday, February 22, 2009

[#] [11]
more death news:
* i took kamron to lunch so she could notarize the "renunciation" form for my aunt to be the personal representative for the estate. i never expected anything from my mother, but it's still hard to give up all hope so tangibly. i also requested a copy of the death certificate.

* sven’s grandfather died: food poisoning from a crab enchilada, they think. sven and the other grandchildren (from canada & india) gathered in tucson to pay their respects, though the actual memorial service won't be until july in wisconsin.

* we discovered michaelmas' friend bryan died a few weeks ago, too. bryan helped michaelmas move into 1010 before i arrived and into 306 after i left. we helped him move from an apartment into a house. my first thanksgiving in portland included bryan and we watched a few geek movies together. but my favorite memory of bryan was when he took us to the airport when i came to visit michaelmas -- upon discovering i had lost my wallet, he urged michaelmas to give me some money for the trip home. i was touched at his thoughtfulness.

in medical news:
* i went to the dentist. ouch. i've had trouble with one of my back teeth because it's difficult to clean since getting my wisdom teeth out several years ago.

* i'll be attending the NAF conference in april since it will be in portland. according to the washington post, med students sometimes practice abortions on papayas, so i tried it, too. though i don't have the tools, i only missed a couple of embedded seeds. whether i did it gracefully or painlessly is another matter, of course. it was interesting to review the procedure i've now seen dozens of times as a patient advocate from a different perspective. it was definitely a different mindset and it makes me even more grateful that ppcw has a patient advocate program, someone who's totally focused on the patient.

* i was a standardized patient at ohsu again (abormal pap smear again). i really love doing these roleplays: in addition to being a whole lot of fun, they feed you lunch and pay you. i hope i'm not -always- the abnormal pap smear, but so far it's been incredibly interesting to witness the range of responses to the same scenario.

in other news:
* michaelmas took me to dinner at 23 hoyt for a belated valentine's day meal (thanks, michaelmas!).

* i applied for an "original practice" shakespeare performance here in portland over the summer. OP means they do it the way they did it in shakespeare's time: without rehearsals. instead, each actor is given just their own lines on a scroll they carry with them on the stage, and each show rotates the cast members for each performance, so each show is unique. wish me luck!

* venus reached her peak brightness this week. she'll still be brilliant for a while, but she's on her way to becoming the morning star again. alas, i haven't managed to see comet lulin yet. assuming it's not too cloudy, this should be a good week for it! *crossing fingers*

Sunday, February 15, 2009

[#] [4]
* groundhog day was completely uneventful.

* i spent some time at the edgefield for my unbirthday, thanks to michaelmas & sven. i was hoping to decompress a little and write some poetry. delicious food and a massage and soaking in the pool made me relaxed enough to write. returned home to tulips & a clean house. ah!

* i got to see the premiere of coraline w/ sven. the movie was okay, but the afterparty at the portland art museum's masonic ballroom was really amazing! they had sets and props and models set up so you could touch them and ask questions of the people who worked on them! sven soaked in the armature ambience for hours. i got near neil gaiman but never actually spoke to him because i didn't know anything i could say that would make it worth it. i got into a shoving match with someone who stuck his arm in my face trying to get teri hatcher to sign a poster. a sweet detail i think most people missed: the O in "arlene schnitzer concert hall" was a big black button. :)

* i attended jalex's baby shower but had to leave early.

* i attended my last hoop class until march and then hopped over to the hoopjam at nia afterwards. didn't stay as long this time because i was so wiped last time, but i'm finally getting the chest hooping thing.

* i taught another creative business class. while I have very much enjoyed separating the audiences for the Creative Business Basics class, one of the things I have found surprising is that we usually have to review the previous steps, and that takes longer than I expect, which sometimes keeps me from talking about the more advanced concepts like Allies or Identity. for instance, only one participant in the advanced classes has ever had a formula for pricing. talking about pricing your work to make a livable wage is a huge chunk of the "starting a creative business" class: it takes 30-45 minutes to talk about completely, so even in the non-basic classes I end up spending more time than I expect covering this very basic step. so i'm wondering how i should approach the classes now. breaking them into smaller topics may mean the classes don't fill.

* ohsu is treating me well: i am in a video to stimulate small group discussion about medical ethics. next week i'll be in another standardized patient scenario.

* i've had two backup shifts for backline but no calls yet. i hope i still remember everything when i get a phone call!

* this was a strange valentine’s day. sven & i attended a "puppetlove" show and it was pretty terrible. well, at least i was wearing a really awesome dress.

* romaine and i met at pix and cried a little about her fiancee's cancer and my mom's death.

* my aunt's lawyer sent me a document to sign naming her as the personal representative. we agreed to do this over the phone, but having to sign & notarize it feels like i'm signing my mother away.

Monday, February 02, 2009

[#] [2]
last week began with bubblewrap appreciation day, which i failed to appreciate. i hope your bubblewrap feels appropriately appreciated!

most of this week was spent talking to lawyers about opening probate on my mother's estate and mediating, if necessary, between me & my aunt. at this point, it looks like she'll be the "personal representative" and i will sign things. there are all sorts of reason why this is problematic & even more complicated than it looks, but i feel i made the best choice i could given the information i had. the bright spot, believe it or not, was one of the lawyers i found. gordon williams was everything i was looking for: a kindly, smart, responsive and reasonable probate lawyer who could handle an emotionally messy family situation. i spoke to over a dozen lawyers, so i feel confident that he's exceptional and i would recommend him to anyone without hesitation.

in the meantime, michaelmas & i helped an old woman who fell in the street back to her apartment. "i'm drunk!" she cheerfully shouted at us. a man was trying to call the police and another woman had stopped in the street to help her, but she begged us to just walk her home, so we did.

also, sven & i went to a whitebird dance performance that was pretty neat, and we saw "apollo" at portland center stage (3.5 hours!). narrative-driven, presentation-like performances don't do much for me, but sven thought it was one of the best plays he had ever seen.

i also scrambled to prepare for the trillium board meeting, which was notable in part because i biked there & back using my new bike helmet with the ear flaps! it worked great. i have found that if i keep my ears, hands & feet warm, everything else basically takes care of itself. on the way back it was so foggy it was if i floated home on clouds. you couldn't even see a whole block in front of you. but there was so much moisture and it was so cold... frost collected on. my. face! my eyelashes, eyebrows and each tiny face hair was tipped with white sparkles when i got home. i barely had enough time to be amazed before it melted, but it was magic for a moment.

saturday was busy with hooping, a backline meet & greet party (i'm finally scheduled for a shift! ee!), and kristen's birthday bash at casa de k. we gave her a copy of the eclectic abecedarium & a gift certficiate to roller skate at oaks park. it was a big noisy party where we didn't really know anyone but had a good time, anyway -- and i meet karen, a volunteer coordinator from naral. it's always nice to meet someone else who can say the word "abortion" without flinching. :)

stargazing has been mostly disappointing, though, as it's been mostly cloudy at night. i missed an annular eclipse of the sun in indonesia. (i'll also miss the longest eclipse for >100 years in china in june.) i'm looking forward to comet lulin, but it's not quite visible in binoculars yet, i think. but venus has has been simply dazzling, and she'll shine her heart out until march. in a dark location, she's bright enough to cast shadows! but in portland, she's just bright enough to be the only thing visible in a hazy fog.