Thursday, November 30, 2006
Here are a couple of pictures from our trip out to the coast last weekend. We headed out to Oswald West, which is jsut south of Cannon Beach, OR. Rather pretty, wouldn't you say?
Not too much, really. My little sis and her husband came down for a visit and a friend of Candace's also came out. Which put 5 of us in the little apartment. It was cozy, for sure, and Marvin was somehow the only one I noticed going nuts from the lack of space.
Dinner was held here on Stark Street as our friends' house was not big enough for the 10 or so associated people we had backing us up. Cooking was a bit tough with so much to cook and so small a kitchen but we pulled it off. Despite the fact that this is a vegetarian house-hold we provided turkey for the meat-eaters among us (it was a chunk of pre-cooked turkey bought from the deli). Laughter reigned supreme while we ate, and somehow the conversation even took a raunchy turn as we lolled around with our fully ripened bellies.
But yet a change soon became necessary-we ran out of beer! This (and the continuing unpleasantness of overfull bellies) prompted us to get up and make the 20 minute walk over to J and H's house where the big ole' gang was gathered and welcomed us with open arms and shouting voices. Hooray for good fun!
Then we left and walked home. And slept.
The rest of the weekend involved lots of sleeping, more eating and good conversations. We headed out to the beach on Saturday and I should really download some of those pictures. I think I took some anyway. Let me go check...
And for the record, why is the week after a long weekend so darn painful? It doesn't seem right that I entered Monday more tired than when I left work the previous Wednesday afternoon. So it goes
Tomorrow is Friday
That is nice
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
This was good news to hear. But, does this mean I have to express goodwill towards Fox and Bill O'Reilly? Hmm, I'll have to consider. A quote from O'Reilly:
"I'm not going to watch the Simpson show or even look at the book. I'm not going to even look at it," O'Reilly said in a "Talking Points" commentary last week. "If any company sponsors the TV program, I will not buy anything that company sells. Ever. If every American walked away from the O.J. garbage, it wouldn't happen."
Monday, November 20, 2006
This past weekend I stayed in Friday night! It was great! I got a bunch of reading done and studied some Thai and went to bed at a reasonable hour. Saturday was a different sort of story. I was up and at the dock by 7:45am, from whence we paddled upriver (most of us paddled anyway. Some were more interested in looking around and not paddling) to a park. In an effort to contribute something to the community, rather than beer money to local bars (which is the community, in a way) we spent the next few hours planting trees and bushes with a group called "Friends of Trees". It was great fun and it felt good to do some manual labor rather than mouse manipulation. The paddle back down river was easy. Especially for me since I was tilling and not paddling. What fun it is to steer that boat!
After changing another flat tire on my bike I headed off to a buddy's to watch the University of Michigan lose to the Ohio State University. It's great fun to watch Michigan lose, especially when watching with a big fan. Hehe
Sunday I sat around.
Today is Monday. Work was uneventful and Thai class went pretty well. I am slowly, slowly learning. Now I'm sitting around reading a book called "Road Ecology". Good stuff but heavy in a way.
It's Thanksgiving week which means this is a short week and boy am I glad. I need more than a short weekend off. The guests start arriving tomorrow and by Saturday we will have 3 extras in the small apartment on Stark. Good times. I'm looking forward to it since 2 of the 3 are my sis and her husband (so weird still to say that).
No creativity is seeping thru my brain pan. Bummer.
You have an obligation to change it. You just do it
one step at a time."
-- Marion Wright Edelman
Friday, November 17, 2006
So, um, OJ Simpson has written a book entitled "If I did it, here's how it happened". It's being called "his confession" by his publisher Judith Regan.
Ms. Regan also had this to say about why she is publishing this book:
In a ``Say What?'' moment yesterday, Regan told CNN that she is publishing the book to help people like herself who had suffered from domestic violence, and for Simpson's children. Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's legal analyst, told news anchor Anderson Cooper that Regan's explanation was ``insane.''
The book has hit the Top 25 and it's not even out yet. That, to me, might be the most disgusting part about this. Because OJ will make money off of the book. Sure, why not reward a guy who if he is guilty, is flaunting the fact that he got away with a grisly murder.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Friday night was a wonder. Happy hour was me and a couple guys from work. Months late having birthday beers with them, totally my fault. Hard to meet for happy hour when events make up virtually every afternoon/evening. No matter. Happy was fun and I returned home to a hot dinner. There was threat of wimping out, but me and Candace and her visiting friend headed off to Lola's at the Crystal Ballroom for an event the likes of which I've never seen, but will be seeing quite often in the future. Not only was this small bar/dance place playing 80s music, but they also had a huge screen playing the music videos! It was awesome! But wait, it gets better. The floor....it's springy! And if you remember dancing in the 80s (I don't really, but I'm extrapolating from the various 80s nights I've been to since that glorious decade thankfully ended) it involves lots of jumping and bouncing to and fro. The result of which was great fun. I have never danced so long and so hard in my life and my quads were left whimpering the entire next day. But what a time! A few other friends met up with us and we would have caused a ruckus but we were lost amongst all the other revelers.
Saturday was slower. Practice in the AM which was a bit interesting. The Willamette is flowing rather high and rapidly these days and we almost missed the entrance to the dock on the way back thanks to the fast moving current. But our hard paddling andf Kerry's expert tilling brought us, thankfully, out of the main body of the river and to the dock.
The Farmer's Market made much money off of us, as did the Saturday Market where I very quickly plowed thru a burrito and a falafel sandwich, and we returned home and now have a stocked fridge. Which is very exciting.
Nap. For 2 hours. That came next. And not much else.
On Sunday we headed into the Columbia River Gorge and went for a spectacular hike. The leaves were a medley of golden delights and if they were quavering in the trees they were lining the path in all their sprawling slickeryied glory. It was amazing. The waterfalls were not nearly low on water (thank you, Pine-damn-apple Express) and the paths were empty! A popular route close to the city and we passed less than a dozen people the entire hike. Bliss! It felt so good to get up into the trees and hike around. I need to do that more. Wise, I am, waiting for the rainy winter season to embark upon this. I never learn.
Today was a bit hectic as well. Had to do some work for a class presentation tomorrow and also study for my Thai class tonight. Which went much better than last week as I can identify a lot more symbols so reading is coming to me. I am actually learning! I think. Don't worry, I also got some work done. AND, I had a good talk with one of my bosses about changes I want to make in my career and different paths I want to go down. He is extremely supportive and with his guidance and help I think I can make it happen. Hopefully good things will be coming. Patience, I must remember patience...
The rain didn't really start today (when I was outside) until I headed off to class. No worries. I had my rain gear on and was feeling good. A nice hard ride up and over some decent hills and there I was. Leaving my wet clothes on the porch simplified getting settled into the tutors small living room, but putting the cold wet clothes and shoes back on made for a chilly ride home. Taking the hills by storm kept me warm and I think I made it back before a chill could set in. Yah!
Tomorrow will be another orgy of activity. I'm making up for lost time, it seems.
Our "Voluntary Simplicity" discussion group meets again this week and I have the readings done! They are quite nice and I am quite glad the group came together. Continuing to fill these groups will hopefully not be a problem.
One of these days, really soon, I need to update my links. There are so many good ones that must be shared....
Thursday, November 09, 2006
before we came into it ourselves, is to be always
Monday, November 06, 2006
It has nothing to do with the fasting I had to do last night before getting blood drawn this morning to check for lowered (we hope!) cholesterol. Nor is it related to the bike ride to work after losing this blood, the long hectic day of work, the inability to get hydrated, not eating dinner until 9pm, or the long bike ride to class in the rain. No. Well, ok maybe some of that factors in, but not the bulk of it.
This exhaustion stems from the intense 2-hour class. Holy shite did she expect me to know more than I do! Reading Thai is not that easy, especially when you don't know all the 44 consonants and 32 vowels! Nor when you don't speak any Thai. I spent 2 hours struggling to keep up and wishing I had done a little more prep work (as semi-instructed). Not only that, but I was the only one there learning. Unlike most of my time in classes, I could not hide in the back and attempt to be invisible. Oh no, I had no down time and no break. An intense learning experience this most certainly is.
The rest of my day was nice. Rain has come to Portland and has not slowed much all day. No matter, it was a beautiful day! It may be raining but it's warm (at least until the sun goes down. Then when you ride home wet, in the dark, with an empty stomach and assailed brain it gets chilly). Riding was awesome! On my way from work to home to class I played in and around traffic with my partially effective rear brakes (the fronts are still disconnected) occasionally slowing me down. Puddles reigned supreme and I ended up going thru one that reached up and over my feet! Cars were having trouble slogging thru this puddle so I mounted the curb and raced ahead of them. I tell ya, rain coming to Portland is almost as bad as snow hitting Denver. Only with traffic slowed and clueless rather than maintaining speed and crashing/ sliding into the ditches.
And I just finished filling in my ballot! Did everyone vote?
Marvin was pissed at my being gone all day. He's sulking on top of the power cord for my laptop and facing the other way. Silly feline. He can pout all he wants. I'm going to make some more food.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Pause (of a couple of days). Just had what had to be an earthquake. The house did a little rhumba but now it seems to have stopped. That was entertaining. It's been raining all day, and looks to continue all week. Flooding has been ensuing, the rivers are supposed to be high....what the hey?
Back to the tale at hand, the amazing day (which was last Thursday. Today is Sunday. Oops) last week.
The best part of the day came in a Baptist Church that evening. I felt quite odd being in a church and half expected some variety of divine intervention to intercede and punish me for my transgression upon holy ground. This did not happen. Instead, I was treated to one of the most powerful discussions I've heard in a long time. The speaker's name was Van Jones. He is one of the founders and the executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. As you can probably tell from its name, this organization is focused around human rights, with a heavy slant towards poor minority neighborhoods in California (they are based in the Bay area). Check out their website, they are awesome. To pique your interest here are the names of some of their ongoing projects: Books not Bars; Reclaim the Future; Silence the Violence; Bay Area Police Watch. Some good stuff.
This talk was sponsored in part by the Oregon Natural Step, whose main priority is sustainability. They are a rad organization. So why did an enviro group invite a guy from a human rights organization to come speak? Well, aside from the humanity aspect (equality is good), it may also in part because of some ideas he's formulating. Such as, the enviro and human rights groups should not have strict lines drawn between them, working for on their own agendas without much of a glance over across the way. Van's talk was all about how these groups should most definitely be working together. That there is a huge benefit in collaboration.
He threw out phrases such as "eco-apocalypse", "eco-apartheid" and "eco-equity".
If I had the energy I had the other night I'd go on and on (as I have to several people already), but I don't have the brain power right now to do so coherently. Instead I will post links and highly encourage you to check them out. There is some amazing stuff to be found on these sights. I've only skimmed the surface and I'm rarin' to go.
To go and do what, I'm not yet sure. That will come in time. Let's just say that after the....oh yeah. I forgot the other exciting news of the day! An email came in from a huge project my company has, and this email contained a request from the PM to me and Jennifer (in a roundabout way. More directly to her, less so for me) to put together a Sustainability section as part of the Scope of Work. Yeah! This was exactly the opportunity for which we had been hoping! The talk by Van Jones added even more fuel (ideas) to the fire and I can't wait to find some time this week to do some brainstorming and see what we can come up with for this SOW. Very exciting. Very very exciting.
All I need to do in the meantime is get some blood taken out of me tomorrow morning (cross your fingers my stupid cholesterol has gone down) and get a lot of work done before Tuesday afternoon. And go to classes, study and work on 2 as of yet untouched projects. Ach. It's going to be a busy week. Again.
But it's good. My busyness is primarily due to things that are energizing me.
Here are some great websites:
The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability
Sure, the specifics of which allegations are true has not been verified. But come on. If you claim that gay marriage would destroy the values of this country and the institution of marriage, what about meth? You would have a hard time convincing me that meth is less evil than gay marriage (which I don't believe is bad at all).
Is it wrong to find my funny bone tickled when "leaders" hold such staunch views but don't adhere to them? Kinda like the old joke about men buying large trucks to compensate for something...