Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Don't Want Pictures of Your Kids

I love getting Christmas cards from my friends, especially the ones who live across the country and I don't get to see very often. I like their brag letters telling all the wonderful things that happened to them this year and I like the cards with photos of the whole family.

Let me repeat that.

I like the cards with photos of the whole family.

So far I have received three photo cards from friends or family who live in Kansas and Minnesota. I got one from my cousin Brian and his wife - it's a totally adorable picture of them out in a boat wearing silly hats or something (I'm not sure exactly what's on their heads!) I love it. I hadn't seen Brian for years and years until Grandpa's funereal last year. We got a chance to reconnect and it was cool. It's nice seeing the photo and I'm glad he's keeping in touch. (Now I just need to do the same!)

I also got one from a friend in Topeka and one from a friend in Minneapolis...both just photos of their kids. Swell. I don't get it. Why would you send me a picture of your kids and not yourself. You are the one who is my friend. Your kids are adorable and all that - but YOU are my friend. I want to see a picture of YOU. What - you think you take a bad picture, that your smile is weird or you have a double chin or you're going bald. I don't care. It's not that I don't care about your kids, if all of you are in the photo that's the best. But honestly - if it came down to it you could take them out and have it just be you (and spouse or whoever if you have one.) You're my friend, if you're going to send me pictures - send me ones of you. I miss you.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Little Somethin' About Me...

I got tagged to do this...so why not?
The ones in bold I have done...

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said "I love you" and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped

11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne

24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment

27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and didn't care who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer

40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign

46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date

89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper

129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ

148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Bit of Holiday Cheer

Sent to me by my friend Jennie...

"Straight No Chaser - 12 Days"

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dance the Night Away

I’m a little slow in getting this down…but it’s been in my head for a week now. After bowling last Thursday I bolted over to the Doug Fir and met Julie to see VHS or Beta. Julie knew the opening band - Moving Units - and they were pretty good – but I was most stoked to see VHS or Beta. I wasn’t aware until they started their set that they, or at least the singer, were from here. He mentioned that he’d grown up in Eugene anyhow – so close enough. We’d had some beers at bowling (and I’d wandered into the men’s room without having any clue until I came out to see a guy giving me the stink eye as he walked in and Violet about to walk into the women’s room laughing at me!) and of course we had some cocktails at the Doug Fir. By the time the night was over I had a nice buzz…but the drink wasn’t what was keeping me so pumped.

It was just such a fun show – and it was the type of show that I really hadn’t been to in a long time. Sure – Noland and I go see lots of bands, and I love them. When it’s the stuff I don’t like – I don’t go, he heads of with Bill or Ian. So I do really have fun at the shows I go to – but Noland doesn’t do this type of show, and since I’ve moved to Portland I haven’t been friends with anyone who does. The band is a bit reminiscent of 80s techno-pop…New Order, Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys…but not a retro-rehash. Very unique actually. But it’s the type of show I would have gone to with Anita or Susan or Jennie…and we would have danced through the whole thing – not just stood there and watched. During their set I was thinking that I need to send all of them a CD of some of their music in case they don’t know it (so if by chance any of you read this – act surprised when it arrives!) But that’s what Julie and I did – we shook our grove things! I didn’t realize how much I’d missed that. I know that Kelly or Violet or even Steve like going to those types of shows as well – but between V needing a sitter or K’s travel plus things like bowling, shows that go see with the guys, and just general life – when it comes to deciding on which social things to do and which to skip, this is the stuff that always gets back burnered. But for Julie – these are the front burner things – so I’m glad that she’s here to kick my butt into gear and do some of them!

After the show we were in the bar hanging out with a friend of hers up from Atlanta and some other folks until almost 2 am on a school night, so if I hadn’t gone – I might not have been so wiped out on Saturday and we may have made it out to Satyricon or Dante’s….and that would have been fun. But I typically leave a show at Dante’s ready for bed. When I left Doug Fir, if I hadn’t had to work the next day I could have gone all night. That’s a much better feeling.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gun Play

I think this is a great idea.

I'm not actually opposed to toy guns - my brothers and I all played cops-n-robbers, cowboys-n-Indians, army man, etc. - and none of us are gun owners as adults. I completely disagree with the parenting style that doesn't allow kids to ever see something bad. (And as a non-parent I totally have that right - ha ha!)

But I DO have a big issue with private gun ownership. I think all semi- and automatic weapons should be illegal for personal ownership. I think having rifles/"hunting" guns are fine, but should be quite restricted. And I think handguns should be even more restricted, as I see little need for them in a home.

So even though I don't think toy guns are harmful to kids - I do like the idea of them deciding to turn them in for a different toy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

People Who Piss Me Off

I try to ignore them, but they drive me crazy and I just want to pull my teeth out. You know them. You've heard them. Maybe you've cheered them on. Maybe you ARE one.

'The only television I watch is PBS and The Discovery Channel.'
'I went on this cleansing diet of nothing but lemon juice and it was amazing.'
'My little Jimmy/Janie decided to be a vegetarian at age 3.'
'We only use natural/recycled/organic products in our house.'
'Our kids were just under stimulated in public schools.'
'I never eat fast food.'
'We don't even own a TV.'

Sure - Discovery had some good programs - but you've never been flipping channels and gotten sucked into something ridiculous...or something fantastic, but totally not educational? No? Bullshit.

And your cleansing fast? You loved it? It felt great? And all the people sucking up to you telling you how great it is that you did that? Bullshit.

I could go on. And you know what. I don't believe ANY of you. Self-righteous, smug little twats.

And that goes double for you people who cheer them on.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How to Train Your Dogs to Pee

Our dogs live outside when we're not home. We have a nice fenced back-yard with room for them to run and a variety of places to get out of the rain or sun depending on the weather. During nicer weather - most of the time we spend with them is spent outside. They come inside occasionally, but spend most of their days outside. As the rainy weather set into it's daily drizzle - that pattern changes - and we bring them inside most every evening that we are home.

Being outside dogs however - they aren't trained to go outside, pee and come back in. They figure if they're going outside it's to either play, walk or just be put back outside. Even if they're the ones who indicated that they wanted out. Begbie does pretty well, but once outside Faith is so excited about the prospect of the ball being thrown that she's lost interest in peeing. Even when it's midnight, wet, and we just need them to go once more before we go to bed.

So Noland has come up with a brilliant plan on how to train them on that particular command. The last several nights before we go to bed, when he opens the door and sends them out with the "go pee" command, he goes and pees with them.

All three come back in relieved for the night and ready for bed.
So adorable.

Monday, November 19, 2007

So Close to Home

Yesterday we delivered Thanksgiving boxes to families that may not have had much for the holiday otherwise. More than 100 boxes were delivered - which feed more than 600 people - nearly 400 of whom are children. We had a little conversation before hand talking about how doing this isn't for us to feel good about 'doing something good' but truly to be helping those who are in need. Noland and I took 4 boxes - I believe everyone was given fairly random assignments of where their boxes went. Two of the boxes that we had in our car - ended up being delivered to home just blocks away from our own house. I know we don't live in a wealthy part of town...when we're feeling lazy and put our aluminum and bottle recycling out on the curb rather than taking it to the store - I think it's one of our neighbors that usually picks it up. But it was still a bit of a shock to think that poverty really is that close. That our neighbors might not be eating, or not eating well, while we really do have so much.

Doing the Thanksgiving baskets is great - and I'm glad that East County does it, and there are a lot of other great things done - especially around the holidays - but what about these people the rest of the year?

So my company is putting together an initiative to get involved in the community in a volunteer aspect and I'm leading part of that program. I think what we're going to do, is get involved with the Community Transitional School. It's a school for kids who are homeless...they have a bus that goes around and picks them up wherever they may have spent the night before..the route changing daily. For many of these kids - this school may be the only stable thing in their lives. They've been in a variety of temporary locations over the years - but are now building a permanent building not to far from where we live. So I'm going to talk to the people at the school to find out how we can best help - if it's donations of school supplies, they also need basic hygiene supplies for the kids, if we can do something at the school itself.

It's not about us - it's about them...but I'd be lying to say that it doesn't make me feel good that we can do this.

Friday, November 16, 2007

What Good Does Flushing Do?

Before you pee that is.

There's a woman who works across the hall (we share restrooms with another office) who always flushes the toilet when she first walks into the bathroom. As far as I can tell - always - not 'cause someone else didn't.

Beside wasting water - what's the point?

I don't get it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I Am Invincible!

The last time I was there they thought I was sedated. They thought I had no idea what they were doing. But I wasn't completely out and I knew. Luckily they almost got busted and I got away. I never told anyone about it because I was afraid they might try to come find me, and somehow they did. I was now back there again. But this time I had the upper hand. They thought I'd have no memory of the last time, but I knew exactly what they were planning.

My mom dropped me off as planned - but I had her grab my purple overnight bag and take it with her instead of leaving it behind. I told her to just grab it as she walked out the door and to be subtle. I didn't tell her why. I went back into my room like I was supposed to, then into the bathroom - but from there I slipped out the back door and around behind the buildings. I started to head toward the parking lot, but saw a group of folks in uniform so I slipped back into an alley and came into the parking lot on the far end. Because I knew what they were planning - when I left my keys with the parking attendant I had only left a copy - I still had them in my pocket, now I just had to find my car. I couldn't see it and I knew I didn't have much time, so I hit the unlock to see if I could catch the lights flashing. Ah-ha. There it is. I get in, but I've been spotted and the alarm has been sounded. I'm running toward my car - but so are they. I get in and start it up - but one of the guys is hanging on the door trying to climb in after and stop me. They have some sort of electro magnetic device that they use to shut down my engine - and I can't go any further.

There's a bit of a scuffle - and they decide they need to move me to a different facility. They still don't know how much I know however - so they only put me in the back of a car with an "attendant" like nothing is really wrong. And they don't check for things like - if I still have my phone. I pull it from my pocket and try to call Noland. No answer. I can't speak so I send a text message, but I'm not sure if it gets through. We've been driving around for a while and I think they've been intentionally going a winding back route to confuse me - because I'm not exactly sure where we are when we pull over to get supplies. I feign sleep so they leave me in the car - I dial 911 and am able to give the operator a few words before they return to the car - but I leave the phone open so that if they say anything that might help the 911 operator find me, they can overhear it. They weren't to bright though and they put me on hold because all of a sudden there was elevator music playing out of my phone and I'm busted. They tell me to throw it out the window and I argue with them. They're going to have to make me.

Suddenly a song comes on the radio that we all like and start singing along... 'Merican by The Descendants... they're impressed that I know the song, so I relent and tell them that I remembered last time. That I wasn't sedated - but that even though I knew what was going on I didn't tell anyone and they can trust me.

I think I might have 'em convinced.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Gilligan's Island and Pumpkin Pants


But now I owe Spencer beer...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Ultimate in Klutzy

I’m not sure when I became a klutz. Maybe the extra 100 lbs I’m carting around has something to do with it – but I used to be graceful. I used to be a dancer. For like 12 years! Of course – I’ve also gave myself a skull fracture twice before the age of 17 by running into walls – so maybe I’ve always been a klutz…it was just in disguise.

These days I manage to do things like land on my ass in the middle of the street while doing nothing more than walking from the car to the mailbox. Land on my ass and sprain my ankle and skin my knee while doing nothing more than walking from the house to my car. Land on my ass walking through the grocery store while doing nothing more than – walking through the grocery store. Land on my ass and twist my ankle while walking to get water while camping – walking down a cleared path.

And keep in mind – I no longer live in a place that gets icy and snowy for 4 months of the year! Landing on my ass, twisting my ankle and banging my knee while walking the dogs after a freak snowstorm doesn’t count – everyone fell down that day and I was being pulled by a 100lb dog.

But now – now I have achieved the ultimate glory in klutziness. Last night – I fell down and landed on my ass…. while doing nothing more than sitting.

Yup – that’s right, I fell down while sitting.

Ok, ok, stop laughing! I did have a little help. We were at the NW Lucky Lab – Noland and I were on one side of the picnic table, Spencer and Julie on the other side, Sarah and Colin at the table next to us. Julie got up to go inside and asked me to hold her dog Andy’s leash. Then Spencer got up to go inside as well. We’re sitting there chatting and suddenly Andy sees something that needs his attention at the table behind us – I had only a loose hold on the leash before, so when he pulls – I tighten my grip – but he’s a small dog, so I don’t really pull back. My mistake. He may only weigh 19 lbs – but he really wanted to go – so he pulled, then suddenly in slow motion…..

…with no counter weight on the other side of the table…and both Noland and I on one side… I’m pulled back with Andy… the bench/table start to tip….beers start to slide … Noland tries to stand up… we both slide off the bench... tipping the table, but not tipping it over… 2 pitchers (one empty, one half full) and 1 or 2 partially full pints follow us… and Noland and I go home with beer butt. (Thanks Betsy!)

OMG – it was so ridiculous – broken glass and beer everywhere, my tailbone is a bit sore today and Noland got a nice bump on his elbow and a few small cuts, but luckily neither of us (or Andy!) were really hurt – but man – we were both just soaked! We drove home quickly and quietly – we hadn’t had much to drink at all, but cops from miles away could probably smell us coming.

Just call me grace!

Monday, October 08, 2007

A Travel Tip From Me To You

Just because your hotel room is up on the 10th floor or so doesn't mean that no one can see you standing naked on your balcony. You may be on vacation - but we're in the offices across the parking lot.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Horray for Iowa!

So there was bad news from one of my home states last week – but good news from my other home state today.

A Polk County judge on Thursday struck down Iowa's law banning gay marriage.

The ruling by Judge Robert Hanson concluded that the state's prohibition on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and he ordered Polk County Recorder Julie Haggerty to issue marriage licenses to several gay couples.

I’m sure that this won’t be the end – there will be challenges, there will be debates and it may get reversed again before it’s all over. But every time something like this happens we get closer and closer to extending this wonderful thing called marriage to ANYONE who wants it.

Go Iowa!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

21 Days and Cooking

My mom was not a big cook. I think she probably could cook ok, but it was never anything she really seemed to enjoy doing and she worked a lot – so a home cooked meal in our house most often consisted of things like:
• Macaroni & Cheese (Kraft from a box of course) with hotdogs
• Tacos – I actually remember that she usually only used a half packet of seasoning mix because otherwise it was too spicy – and the toppings consisted of cheese, lettuce and tomatoes – no salsa or hot sauce or sour cream or guacamole
• Basic meat and potatoes: pan fried pork chops and boiled potatoes, pot roast and potatoes, etc.
• Hot dish – tuna and noodles and a can of creamed soup, ground beef and noodles and a can of tomato sauce (we actually called that spaghetti)

They were all fine meals – and I do actually like most of them – but there was little variety, very few spices, nothing remotely ethnic and nothing very unique.
• I honestly didn’t know until I was about 17 that you could make a piecrust.
• My dad doesn’t like many vegetables so my mom never made them – so we never had them – so I just decided without ever trying most of them that they were gross. I was in my 20s and had a roommate that cooked before I started to eat them and decided that most were pretty good.
• My dad also doesn’t like Chinese food, so maybe we got it from him – but my brothers and I used to refer to any dish we didn’t thin looked good as ‘Chinese food’ it was synonymous for ‘bad.’ When I was a senior in high school my friend made me go to a Chinese restaurant…..OMG it was so good!

So because of this upbringing – I never really learned how to cook. When I went to college – I fended for myself. I could do the very basics – mac & cheese, sandwiches, frozen dinners, but I even remember calling my mom once asking how to bake a potato, because I’d had it in the oven for almost an hour and it wasn’t done and I thought maybe I was doing it wrong. I lived by myself or with a roommate often on opposing schedules – so it was almost always cooking for one – not worth learning to cook. I joked about it and I didn’t care. If I wanted something more exotic – that’s what restaurants are for!

Well that was 10-15 years ago. I have since learned to cook – and I think I’m pretty good at it. I’m always nervous it’s going to be rotten, but most of the time my stuff turns out pretty good. Usually because Noland is there and he is an awesome cook! One of my former co-workers (who is a fabulous cook) and I used to sit in our cubes and share recipes and discuss ‘foodie’ things through our shared window all day long. She would tell me things like she loved getting my recipes because they are always so good. And when we throw a party or bring something to a friend’s party – we usually cook up something pretty fantastic. The last 4 or 5 years I’ve even been reading cooking magazines and having all kinds of fun learning how to do some cool stuff.

So this brings me all to the current thought that keeps running through my brain. It seems that every time I’ve talked to my mother on the phone recently it’s been near dinnertime and I’ve mentioned something about that. This past week we’d been out all weekend, didn’t have much to work with at home, so Sunday evening I was making some basic mac and cheese. Some rotelli, 2 kinds of cheese, milk, a dab of sour cream, and some red pepper flakes for kick – toss it all in a dish and bake. Simple – but nice. My mother’s comment “ew – the icky kind – Kraft is the only good kind you know.” Her other comment “aren’t you done yet, aren’t you cooking it on high, aren’t you the girl who says that everything should be cooked on high?”

Sure – when I was 18 and you yelled at me for boiling noodles on too high a temp.

Nearly every time I’ve told her about a dinner we’ve made, or a party we’ve had or gone to – she tells me that what I’ve just described sounds “icky” or asks me who made it for me. They are coming to visit in a few weeks and I said that I was going to cook for them every meal and they’d see that I am a good cook…and she told me that she’d bring a bag of her own food and hide it in the closet.

So thanks mom. Way to make me feel like I’m 16 again. Way to make me excited about the visit.

So I’m warning the rest of you now.
I may be a bitch for the next 3 weeks.
And then I may need a lot of drinks.

Either that or I’m going to get my parents to eat Thai food.

Friday, August 24, 2007

If they weren't so powerful I'd have to laugh

The things that I hear coming from my home state often mortify me. While I haven’t lived there in nearly 2 decades – it is where I grew up and it is where my family all still lives. So in a small way it is still home.

My friends here often joke about the fact that we don’t believe in gravity – referring to the anti-evolution stand the Kansas education department keeps pulling out of their butts. But now I learn that Brownback – one of the worst senators to come from Kansas in decades – and a Republican Presidential hopeful – has co-sponsored a bill that will help remove the free or extremely discounted contraceptives from the hands of the women who need it the most. Because of Planned Parenthood’s stand on abortion they are the targets of these morons who don’t understand that all they’re doing is increasing the number of women who will need abortions.

First Missouri passes a bill that makes it so that Planned Parenthood can’t provide sex education information to schools – even though they are undeniably the most qualified to do so – and now Brownback is trying to take away their funding to provide condoms and birth control pills to women who can’t afford them. Sure – some of these contraceptives are going to teenagers – and that is offensive to these people – but hey – at least the teenagers are smart enough to try and not get pregnant! But a good percentage of them are going to married women, to adults, to people who may have a couple kids already and know they shouldn’t have any more.

I know there are some wonky old-school Catholics and Mormons out there who still believe that “every sperm is sacred’ but for the most part even the Pope realizes that is a fight that is not going to be won in US. But since all these puritanical nut jobs can afford to buy their own pills – they don’t understand why telling these adult, maybe even married women “if you don’t want a baby – don’t have sex” isn’t really kosher. And I’m sure that as crazy as Brownback, McCain, Tancredo and Romney (all who support the bill,) are – that none of them believe that too – but they’re willing to sacrifice that right for others – for the poor, the minorities, the teenagers… to slowly and surely knock out agencies like Planned Parenthood in a subtle and sneaky way of ultimately trying to end the right to choose.

And they're the ones upholding the morals of America.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Warning - Sappy Post

Friendships are a strange thing. I have always considered my close friends to be family. I love my family but I love my friends just as much. Some of my friends and some of my family have had a hard time understanding that. Some understand completely.

There are those friends that you knew the day you met you'd be friends for life. And I love that there are some of you out there reading from places across the country that fall into that category! Even though we don't talk as much we did when we lived in the same place when we are together we can instantly fall back into that same comfortable place. And the fact that you read- I really appreciate. Even when I'm bad at writing or calling - I love the comments I get from Iowa, Baltimore, Kansas or other places.

Then there are those people you think fall into that category - but as time goes by you realize that there's just nothing in common any more except the past. And the people that fall into that category - I know don't read this. And this can apply to people who live both near and far.

But then there are also just the opposite - the great people that you may never have figured to be a good friend - just a casual acquaintance - but then over time you realize how important and special they are to you.

I've been thinking of all this lately because of two incidents:

Last week my best friend from high school came out for a family visit and we got to spend a couple of hours together one night. This was only the second time we'd seen each other or spoken in more than 4 years. When Noland and I were getting married she was going through some personal stuff and didn't come out for the wedding. I was hurt more than words could ever say. We've never talked about it - but we did have a nice little cry before she left this time and while it may take some time to get back to the comfort level we had before - for the first time since then I feel like we're going to make it back.

Then there's my friend here in town - the first friend I had in Portland actually (not counting the one I brought with me :) I invite her to do things, she either can't come out or if she does it's for a very short time or she just sits silently being cranky. Then she stops responding to invitations at all. Eventually I give up because it can't be a one sided effort. Then I hear from another friend that she thinks I'm mad at her and not talking to her. It's hard to not talk to someone who doesn't return calls or initiate them. She was a good friend for that period of my life - but I'm done. It's just not worth the effort.

So I guess this is my sappy message to those of you out there reading - that you are so important to me - friends are family.

And Amy - we talked when we were kids about our plans as adults. We never thought even then that we'd live in the same city. You were going to have a house in a small town on a lake where I'd come and spend 4th of July... and I was going to live downtown in a big city where you would come and spend New Years Eve. So we're not exactly in those situations - but you are still close to home and I am far away - and maybe one day we'll spend one of those holidays together. As family.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Blame it on the Cardigan

Following my Metblogs post on the Laurelwood - which as many commentors pointed out is truly more about the obnoxious parents than the children - I learn that it's all the fault of Mr. Rogers.

That sweater and tennis shoes thing was always a little weird.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Name That Ass

Since I wrote about the weekend here and Noland wrote about it here...for this post we're simply going to play a little game:



Name That Ass!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Favorite Day of the Year

My mom sent me one of those "get to know your friends" internet chain mail items that we were all sick of by about 2001, but it's mom - and she's not to handy on the internet (unlike dad who's probably reading this!) - so I filled it out and sent it back to her, my sister in law and my aunts who were all on her original list.

One of the questions on the survey was "what is your favorite day of the year?" I don't really have a favorite day - so I answered that January 4 - my birthday - was.

But I was totally wrong. The best day of the year is today - May 24th - the day that my, maybe not perfect - but perfect for me, husband was born. Without the events of this day 37 years ago my life would be incomplete.

Happy Birthday Babe - I Love You!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

First Concert Follow-Up

So - I blogged on Portland Metblogs yesterday about a guy that I worked with who has never been to a concert.

It was still freaking me out today when I went to work, so we were talking about - and it turns out he's not mid-30s like I thought - but only 28. Married and has 3 kids - and I the oldest one is 8 or 9. One drink after work on a Friday is a crazy night out. Wow - see when I meet people like that - it's what helps me from ever feeling old.

A co-worker's husband was turning 29 last week and she mentioned that he said it was his last good birthday because after that he would be old. When I lived in Des Moines, my good friend Laurie turned 30 she was freaking out a bit - she is several years older than me, so when I told her I didn't get it - she told me to just wait. When I turned 30 - I definitely didn't feel old (and those of you who helped me celebrate that night can certainly attest to that!) And I still don't.

I feel very young for my age in fact. When my mother was my age - Steve was 12, I was 9 and James was 7. I was old enough to remember her - both my parents at this age - and I am much younger than they were. My sister-in-law is only a year older than me and she has a 15 and 13 year old. And not that the kids make you old - but for some people it does - I do have other friends with kids (yo Crafties!) who still go out, who still know how to have non-PTA fun - but not these folks. And all of that has worked for them - but it definitely does keep me feeling young.

Until today.

We were at work discussing a call to out office in London - the same co-worker who started the 'first concert' discussion started singing 'London Calling' - I laughed and said I always think of that too - the other two guys gave us blank stares. I looked and them and said 'you know - The Clash?' More blank stares. Followed up with - 'Was that a band or something?'

After threatening them with bodily harm - one guy then called another in our office and asked him - "have you ever heard of 'The Clash'?"

Two of these 3 were the ones who earlier in the year had commented that they weren't yet born when Micheal Jackson's Thriller came out.

The kids with the kids keep me feeling young - but when they don't even know the music - that makes me feel old.

Monday, April 23, 2007

And Noland Wonders Why I Don't Think Doctors Can Really Help...

I don't go to the doctor often. In fact I don't understand the whole hypochondriac thing - 'cause I'm the total opposite. Noland has to practically force me to go even when I am sick. So it frustrates me that the few times I do go - nothing ever works the way it's supposed to.

I take two really basic and simple prescriptions - nothing unusual, nothing narcotic that I could get any money for on the streets, nothing that has any severe or dangerous side effects - and I've been taking both for years now without any changes.

So because of Noland being laid off and me recently changing jobs - we had to switch or insurance provider as well - we never lapsed in coverage - but it's a different plan and the doctor we used to go to isn't in the preferred list of the new plan. She was also located out in Beaverton since that was where we both worked - but since neither of us do anymore - that's not very convenient either.

Of course the timing worked out so that both of my prescriptions expired - as in the 12 months of referrals are up - this month. So you have to get approval from the doctor to get a refill. I know this - so I refill a week in advance so there is time for the processing - I submit my refill to Walgreens - then I call the doc's office immediately after so that I can explain to them that I will not be able to come in for an exam prior to getting a refill - that I have to switch doctors due to insurance - but can they authorize one more refill so that I have time to make an appointment with the new doc? I was pro-active. I gave them full information. I did it a week early - they have signs all over their office saying they need at least 5 days. So on Thursday of last week, they leave a message - on Noland's phone (which is another issue I have with them - I have told them to call ME every time I've gone in or done anything - they always call him) saying I need to make an appointment to come in. I look online and see that according to Walgreens my prescription has been filled - so I assume that the doc was following up about the appointment since they did refill it - that's what they always do when they refill without seeing you. But I didn't try to pick them up until the weekend - and of course - they're not there.

But to add to the confusion - Noland again gets a call from a different Walgreens saying that they have my prescription. Again we're not sure why they called Noland's phone - he's never even used Walgreens. So I call Walgreens - they say they have nothing - but have faxed the doctor a request twice. I call the doc again this morning - explaining the situation again - and ask them to call ME - giving them my phone number again.

Noland calls me shortly after that saying that the doc called him and they've sent my prescription over. I call Walgreens - nope. Nothing. I ask them to check the other location. They say there's nothing. I call the doc - they say they've sent it over. To the wrong one. But of course the one they've sent isn't the one that I've been out of since last Friday now - it's the one I'm still good on through this Sat.

So MAYBE they'll get it refilled in the next 70 minutes so that I can pick it up tonight. Otherwise MAYBE they can get it done tomorrow - by which point I'll be - oh let's see - Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues of not taking it - nice medical practice. They tell you not to just stop taking your medication - yet despite all my best efforts they have forced me to stop taking it for at least 4 days now - maybe longer.

I never had these kinds of issues with the person I went to before - so although I kinda liked the doc out there - but I think I'm glad I'm switching to another office.

Maybe they won't be as retarded.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I Still Love Portland, But They Could Never Pull Off SXSW

Portland is an impressive music town - we have some great live music venues - everybody knows somebody in a band, we get lots of good touring acts - both big and small - but after spending the weekend in Austin they absolutely have us beat.

Now I get that during SXSW of course it's going to look like a lot more - 1200+ bands in one city for a weekend wold do that anywhere, but a group of us had a long discussion on why SXSW works so well there - and why NXNW flopped so badly and turned into the very sad NW Musicfest. And some of those reasons are reasons that we love about Portland - so it's not necessarily a bad thing - just different.

First off - they shut down several major streets through downtown for several days - I guess it would be close to the equivalent of shutting down Hawthorne, Belmont and the side streets in between from about 30th to 39th. For 4 days straight. I just can't see that happening here.

Secondly - on those streets - nearly every business is a bar or restaurant - now there were a few retail shops scattered in between - but not many. Hawthorne/Belmont is the closest, but Portland just doesn't have an area that has that high of a concentration of that type of business. And that's ok - I love that we have all of neighborhoods that have their own scattered bars, eateries, shops, etc. - that we don't have the one strip where EVERYONE goes on a Friday night. But for something like SXSW - it makes it very convenient. More than 50 different venues in about 10 blocks of space made it easy to hop from one show to the next and see a huge variety and number of bands. Now compare that to having to get across town from the Tonic to Dantes or Ash Street and then down to the Crystal...

And finally - in those bars and restaurants - they were super flexible with their space.
- A cajun restaurant that I don't think normally has any kind of music - had tables pushed aside and a temporary stage set up - where we got to hear Jello Biafra lead the crowd in chants of "F*ck George Bush!" and talk in his funny little voice about why we need a real liberal - not just Hilary 'I support censorship' Clinton - before launching into some great rock at the Alternative Tentacles showcase.
- a tiny parking lot off an alley behind a bar was turned into a second outdoor stage for that bar where we saw....um....someone with a Hawaiian lead singer/guitar that Mike knew.... who were simply amazing.
- The patio of another restaurant/bar was converted into a second outdoor stage so that the Woggles could play inside while the Cynics played outside at the 'Get Hip' stage. Many places did this - any patio space, parking lots, alleyways, divided rooms - they all became second stages. No matter where you were, you heard music coming from somewhere - but it never overwhelmed the band that you were actually watching.

So thanks Austin - and especially all the bartenders, doormen, waitstaff, cabbies, foodcart vendors - who'd been working their asses off for a week - and still moved fast, lines for drinks or food were never very long - were friendly and seemed to be really having fun with it all. Portland is still very proud of it's music scene - but you guys are impressive!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Herman - Meet Gresham Troglodyte

Thank You. Mr-God-damn-mother-fucking-shit-ass-Gresham-hick-troglodyte-son-of-a-bitch who doesn't know how to back a piece of shit SUV out of practically empty parking lot with really wide aisles without running into my less than one month-old under 700 miles brand new car.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Goodbye Felix....Hello Herman!

Random Ramblings After a Long Absence

So between the new job and me being really lazy – I've been rather lack in posting here – although I will say that I have been active on Metblogs – so just read me there if you're sick of seeing nothing here!

I am really loving the new job – I'm doing what I did before – but I there is actually some rhyme and reason to what I'm doing now and I have a lot more personal responsibility to do what I think needs to be done. And of course I LOVE being downtown…
- my commute has been shortened from 45-60 minutes to about 15-20
- can walk from my office to get a soda, coffee, lunch, mail something, buy something, etc.
- have numerous options for food that don't include McDonalds, Taco Bell, Red Robin and the like
- can actually read The Mercury or Willamette Week hard copy if I want to
- don't ever have to go to Beaverton for any reason anymore (except occasionally to visit a friend and drink tequila!) That is the best reason ever – in the 3 months since Centric closed – I have been to Beaverton a total of 3 times. A birthday party for Toni, a Christmas gathering at Cole's, and one time when Noland and I were out meandering around on a Sat – ended up down in Tualatin and then remembered he had a prescription to pick up at the Target by his work – so we headed out to get it.

I am trying to decide if I'm going to do the OMTAAMB again this year – and the fact that I'd have to go out there weekly for practice is one small reason that I may not. Most of last year I was very cranky about being part of it – the routines that Tom creates are either incredibly dull because he recycles everything from year to year so that the slow people don't have to learn anything new – or he tries to be super complex as if we were on field for a DCI show – but those types of flowing off count moves don't translate well onto the street and we just end up looking bad. He is just not a good choreographer - and he is a very poor instructor – he never has anything written down by counts, doesn't demonstrate well, or understand the concept of teach a little move on, teach a little move on – then all together….it makes it very frustrating. And the field show – that is the worst thing ever – because again – he tries to do it as if we were a DCI group – we need to do things in counts of 4 and always hit yard markets or halfway between, no flowing lines, arches or off beats – we don't have the time (or in many people the ability) to do more than that. So again – it ends up looking terrible and everyone yelling at one another. Fun pastime eh?

So I don't know – I may just have to pass this year…..we'll see….

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's been quite a month!

First Noland had an accident on the highway - he slid on the highway going into work one morning when it was a little icy - he bounced off the cement barriers between the east and west bound lanes and slid all the way across 4 lanes of traffic to the shoulder where he was able to come to a stop. It happened at about 7:45 am on a pretty busy section of road - but somehow no one else managed to hit him or get hit by him and he was ok - luckily insurance covers most of the bill so while it still sucks to pay at all .

That happened about mid-November - 'cause we took the rental car back before Thanksgiving so that we didn't have to pay for a 4 day weekend where he didn't need it and we could just drive my car everywhere.

Of course then a week later - Monday Dec. 4 I'm driving home from work and my radio starts betting all staticy, then it seems like my lights are dimming - it reminds me exactly of what my old car Gus did on a highway late at night in Iowa in the middle of snow onc - when I ended up needing a new alternator - then my car died in the middle of an intersection - luckily some nice people (who were also stuck behind me until I moved:-) helped me push it into the parking lot of a church that was there on the corner - and luckily this happened after I had finished the highway portion of my commute, was back on my side of the river and not too terribly far from home. We tried replacing just the battery - and that worked for a few days - but then it died again - so we had to replace the alternator - Noland and Spencer did it - but it will took a few days for the right parts to gt ordered from the Auto Parts store - so I was carless for a few days. And we only "hope" this will fix the problem!

All this time though I'm freaking out about having to pay bills - 'cause we've speculated for a few months that my company might not be lasting much longer - but since Thanksgiving or so - it's really seemed that may be the case, and this week that my car is dying is also the week of our final show - it was almost for sure due to all the clues coming from our GM and President. So sure enough Friday morning the 8th they call us into a meeting about 10 am after the last person in the offices shows up (we are only 12 people at this point) and tells us that effective immediately we are no longer in business. They paid us or one additional week and we would be "on call" in case they needed anything from us to help close the office down and gave us 2 weeks severance pay plus any PTO we had left but we were to pack our stuff and leave right then and there.

So needless to say we all headed straight to our favorite after work bar - where the bartender asked "how did you guys all get off work so early today?" and drank there for a few hours before heading to Toni and Warren's place - who live near there - and continued drinking until we had done so for about 12 hours - 10:30am - 10:30pm!

Oh yeah - to top it all off the following week someone stole Noland's stereo (although I must say I was pissed at him at the time - how many times do I have to tell him that he doesn't love in the country anymore and our neighborhood, while not the total hood - it not the best either and he needs to lock the car?! My car was locked and my stereo wasn't stolen, so I don't think they would have broken the window - they would have just passed right on by had it not been unlocked.) But now I know I was just being cranky :-)

But - then after all that on the bright side....a girl that used to work at our company called me after she heard we were closed and that they might have a position....so I went in on my birthday for an interview and they called with an offer the next day! It sounds like a great job and a great company, it's an increase in salary - and the best part is that I don't have to drive to the suburbs anymore - it's actually downtown! I was going to start today- but they called yesterday and pushed it back a week because they need to get some stuff in order first - so basically I ended up with a 6 week Christmas vacation!

I do still need a new car - the new alternator helped, but I just failed DEQ so without sinking more money into repairs I can't renew my tags - so I get to go car shopping (YEAH! - a good thing now that I have a job again!)

Really - everyone that reads this knows all this - but I haven't blogged here in so long I felt I need to actually give some news.

Next time - back to the fantasy!