Sunday, December 31, 2006

It's been a great year, but there's an even greater year coming....

Packing, coughing and sleeping

I'm sick. I have a stupid cold and we need to pack up the entire kitchen and move it. How the hell do you pack a temporary kitchen, pack away a kitchen for 3 months from now, and purge a ton of crap? You watch your girlfriend do it. And lay on the couch and watch 4 hours of Real World Denver. Pitiful.

Last night we watched a Bollywood movie and I swear it was 4 hours long (actually it was 224 minutes). At least. It was great, though. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India is a classic Bollywood musical with great dance and music. But what really made it weird to watch was one of the lead acresses, the british woman, is the actress who plays Helena Peabody from The L Word. All I could see was a lesbian singing about being in love with the Indian guy. Blame it on the fever.

I'm going to drug up and actually be helpful today. Will we make it out to a party tonight? Knowing our track record for actually attending any New Years parties, no. But unless this cough calms down, I don't think anyone wants me hacking all over them.

Happy last day of the year ya'll.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

1980s Memory Lane continues...

What was with Sadie Hawkins dances and why was it couples were to dress alike? I don't know. But here you can see we used the opportunity to both wear our Vans:
Another Sadie Hawkins dance, circa 1983
Those are checkered laces people. And looking closely at those jeans, I know I pegged them to be so incredibly narrow at the bottom I could barely get my foot through them. It was all about the rockabilly look, despite the fact that my hair looked a little bit too close to a femmullet.

And here I give you the asymmetrical hairstyle. Look carefully and you'll see my permed and picked hair was shorter on one side and longer on the other.
Me and my faceless date, circa 1984
As for the fine photoshop work? AdRi did this for you, her first time ever using Photoshop. And yes, she very much enjoyed taking out the faces of the boys I dated. Issues? Never. Finally, as you can tell, different years but same props for the backdrop. Just moved around a bit. I'm fond of the second one where the guy has to straddle a pole. And just to clear everything up here? These two were just friends, people. FRIENDS.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The memories of my hair in the 80's

This time of year invites reflection. The best, the worst. The biggest, the baddest. Blah blah blah. Me? I'm fondly going down memory lane of high school photos. Would you like to come along? Oh I know you would.
Oh the memories of high school
This one I give you as demonstration of hair. Many of the pictures will be about demonstration of hair. But this one in particular is pretty good to kick us all off. This hair? This hair took work, people. Sebastian hair spray and wielding the hot and cold set button on my blowdryer helped me get this look for Sadie Hawkins. At Sadie Hawkins dances we dressed twinsies. As you can see here. Product placement for coke? Probably. But don't miss my watch. It was a little Volkswagen Beetle. That would be because my date there drove one. How sweet, huh? But back to the hair. That much hairspray left a layer of sticky residue all over the bathroom floor. Mom loved that. I'm sure she'll pipe in on this one, won't you mom?

Monday, December 25, 2006

A multi-cultural multi-religious holiday

This time of year does not belong to the Christians. It does not belong to the Jews. It does not belong to the Mexicans. It's a time filled with many traditions from all over the world and from many religions. And while there are plenty of folks shouting from the rooftops about putting the Christ back in Christmas, at our household this year we're celebrating a little bit of everything.

In celebration of Feliz Navidad and AdRi's heritage, we're making some Arroz con Leche for breakfast. This evening, we'll have a meal celebrating Christmas (with a classic stuffing and a salad), Hannukuh (pot roast), Joyous Celebration-celebrating my swiss heritage (raclette cheese melted at the table and eaten over broccoli), and Kwanza will be celebrated with Jamaican coffee brownies later tonight. And in honor of Festivus, there will be the airing of grievances. Finally, in honor of commercialism, we'll be attending the after-Christmas sales tomorrow.

And you thought I was kidding? Never, peeps. I wish you all the very best in this lovely holiday season, no matter where you may be from or what religion you may celebrate, or don't. Because the true spirit of this time of year is love for each other, and tolerance for our differences, something we all could use a little more of all year 'round.

Peace to you and yours.

The Santa sits alone


A photo from last year I stumbled across.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Now THIS has me in the holiday spirit

It's taken awhile, but now that I've seen this (warning: totally un-PC) I'm filled with the joy of the holiday spirit. Damn. Good stuff.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Holiday reminder Portland-style

The kindness of a stranger can make an impact on those not used to it. Example given is from yesterday. Parking in downtown Portland around 11th and Taylor, I approached the kiosk to punch in my time and credit card so as to receive the parking sticker to place on the car window. (Note to the city: thank you for the replacement machines that take credit card! Woot! Woot!) Another person parked nearby was returning to his car, and offered his sticker for the remaining time left. It was just enough time for us to take our visiting guest from out of the country to tour and visit Portland's amazing Central Library. I thanked the guy and put my credit card away, to put his sticker in my window, gracing us with almost two hours of parking time.

The look on our guests' face was classic. Shock, disbelief, and repeating that this would never happen in her country. I smiled and said that Portlanders were just like that. Her amazement continued for hours, and I know this story is one she'll carry with her back home. She said several times afterwards that people here are different.

I agree. They are. And it's a good reminder.

And as for the library? The look of amazement and awe around a room devoted to children's books, or the beautiful art on the stairs, or a periodical solely about African Violets!—I'm grateful to live in this city. Full of free books and the kindness of strangers to share their parking sticker.

Portland made me proud this weekend.

The neighbors

We are the grinches this year in our neighborhood. No lights, no swags of evergreen, no inflatables. Everyone around us has their electricity meter running in high mode while we, the grinches with the crazy garden, don't have a thing up. Bah humbug. And that's the way it will be this year.

AdRi brought home a wreath the other day, and it's lovely. But with the construction going on, it sits on the table taking up precious space. I don't know what to do with it but I'm afraid if I suggest giving it away, it would only make her sad.

We normally decorate, but I just can't justify putting the holiday decor up in a house such a-jumble. Should we cover the mound of dirt from the hole to the sewer line with the twinkle netting lights? Should I attempt to hang the wreath on the zipper of the big plastic sheets separating out the living room? Oh people, it's going to be a long three months. Yes. Three months. The schedule calls for this to be complete the last week of March.

As I force myself to sing "Look on the Sunny Side" from that great Oh Brother, Where Fore Art Though? soundtrack, I bring you a few pics from our neighborhood holiday decorator. Yes, just a few streets away can be found this amazing house covered with lights and decor. Happy holidays.
now THAT is christmas decorating
even in the windows

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Transition, Renovation, Vacation and other ations

There's a port-a-potty in my driveway. There's a hole dug on the side of the house 8 feet down to the sewer line. There's a huge plastic sheet with a zipper in the middle of my living room. Our furniture has been pushed together and covered with knick knacks. There's also the plastic zipper dividing the new living space in the basement. My guest room is demolished down to the studs. My stairs are covered in plastic and paper. And the kitchen doesn't even begin until after the new year. Complete demolition and redesign. And did I tell you our phoneline isn't working?

Tomorrow is my last day at work. AdRi's cousin from Mexico arrives tomorrow evening.

My home, my life, my career are all undergoing transition and renovation, and the planned little vacation may be a bit more stressful than planned. In fact, I think the next few months may be a bit more stressful than planned.

That's what I get for not celebrating the Virgin of Guadalupe on Tuesday. Pray for this household, please.

P.S. UPDATE: tonight's windstorm has taken down our beautiful custom garden fence. Broken posts and all, and 6 year old clematis. Pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Blogger Duck Bus Cancelled Due to Weather

Oh bah humbug. I was so looking forward to a SOLD OUT bus ride onto the Willamette River tonight, but the stupid weather would pretty much make it miserable, and I don't want any blogger barf coming over my shoulder due to wind and waves. Darn it! As I just sent out to everyone...
The weather genies are not our friends today, people, and it looks like the Christmas Ships with their twinkly lights on the river will most likely cancel tonight due to the predicted windstorm and sheets of rain.
The holidays are a crazy time to reschedule, so we're just going to postpone this event until another time next year. Portland Duck Bus wants to offer all of you RSVPs a special discount on tickets until January 14th, though: if you were scheduled to go on this trip, e mail me and I'll send you the info about the discount. Aren't they great?!?! They run year round and in JUST ABOUT any weather.
Finally, I just want to give mad props to the response and interest you've had: the influence of blogging as a source of information, networking and trends is fascinating, and businesses and organizations are beginning to see that. We'll pull it together another time.
Happy Holidays all,

We'll make it happen and maybe even make it weirder in the new year. Promise.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What happens when a bus full of bloggers drives into the Willamette River?

Well, we'll find out Thursday night with the Portland Duck Bus and its FREE holiday lights tour for bloggers. If you're reading this blog and you're in Portland, you probably already have an e mail from me inviting you to this crazy event I'm pulling together. I don't know, I got a wild hair I guess, but I'm intrigued about this somewhat new cool thing to do in P-Town. It's an amphibomobile, meaning it can drive on land and on water. And here in Portland it drives right on into our superfund site, the Willamette River. And do you know what's on the river in the evenings this time of year? The parade of ships decorated with holiday lights. Cray-zay!

Supah props to the 41 of you representing 16 blogs who said yes and are coming. I can't believe we'll actually get to meet. Does a busload full of bloggers talk to each other or just send IMs? I guess we'll find out.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What's a real dog?

Lelo and Old English Sheepdog
My dream dog comes from 1974. My family was volunteering at a retirement home, The Ivy House on Mission Drive in Camarillo, and for some reason, this Old English Sheepdog was there. I was entranced. Here was a dog almost as big as I was, and we bonded within moments.
From that point on, if I was ever to have a dog, it was to be an Old English Sheepdog. Big and shaggy. (I was also a cat person, don’t misread this as being pro-dog, by all means: most of my life has been cat, until recently the dog part).
So thus comes Wink. The shaggy little dog, and I look at her and she looks just like a miniature version of the dog I originally fell in love with. Funny how things come full circle, isn’t it?
Here’s Wink and her new friend, Armstrong. Armstrong is the sweetest, most HUGE dog we’ve ever met. Wink was quite intimidated by Armstrong (a Mastiff), and running to “safe places” too small for Armstrong to get to. But after a little while, they were able to relax and just be together.....and here’s what that looked like:
big dog little dog
How adorable is that? It's funny, isn't it? Wink looks like a miniature verson of "my dog" in 19 74.
Bonus photo: tongue. All tongue. Props to the ever-graceful Armstrong and his ability to put up with a teasing, high-pitched little dog, with complete grace. You go, Armstrong.
big tongue little tongue

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What do real people look like?

I work with photographers, and stock photography. Quite a bit. I take photos for projects too. But I'm constantly irritated with overstyled photos of beautiful people. It doesn't feel authentic. It doesn't look REAL. I want real stuff, real people, real stories. That's why I often take the photos. What do real people look like? This artist set out to find out, and look what he found....a wonderful cultural window to look through.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday's Self Portrait

Surprise. I'm surprised at who I am, who I've been, who I'm becoming. It's almost like I'm awakening from a long sound sleep, and able to hear my own voice again, and to see the world around me in a new way. It's surprising.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mama got macro

MMMMMMMmmmmm: macro. A macro lens is my new toy, and I have very little idea what I'm doing, but here are some of my very first shots.
grandpa's flower
paper drip
I think this one might make a nice holiday card:
feels like christmas
And oddly enough, I believe this is my favorite one so far...
ol' one eye

Thursday, November 30, 2006


So much to FUG about in the photo, I know, but if I had to, I'd pick the rainbow shorts. Fugalicious! Happy FUG Thursday!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


To change,
to breathe,
to become,
to step out of security and into new,
to cross borders,
to become self reliant,
to make it for myself,
to explore,
to grow
and to learn.

to leave something behind
to manifest something new

Today I quit my job.
My 13 years at one agency job.
(and I love what I do)
but it’s time for change
and all of the things I listed above.

I leave…
amazing clients
lovely coworkers
steady job
good pay.

I will find…
With all of this my heart overflows with love for my partner, whose belief in me, and support of me, is helping make this happen.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Today is the day

The next day. The next step. Change.
Stepping up. Stepping onward. Going for it.

Change always comes bearing gifts.
~Price Pritchett

We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.
~Lynn Hall

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.
~Pauline R. Kezer

We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it.
~John Steinbeck, America and Americans

Only in growth, reform, and change, paradoxically enough, is true security to be found.
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Sunday, November 26, 2006

My bedroom glows blue

The first non-rainy day after Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations are flying up all over the neighborhood. They were on roofs yesterday, carefully clipping drippy drips (icicle lights) and imported italian twinkle lights along rooflines, around bushes, and carefully lining walkways with candy canes. (No inflatables in the nearby vicinity. Phew.) I can't wait to see the house down the street where they wrap their window air conditioner up like a gift and a white picket fence pops up just for the holidays, draped in twinkly lights all along the sidewalk.

So the manly men neighbors were out and about putting their decor up, carefully laying out their lights on their carefully raked grass. I said to AdRi it must mean it's time for us to put away our Halloween decorations. And then I heard the whir of a chainsaw. A chainsaw? But there aren't even any trees next door to warrant a chainsaw. I pulled a Mrs. Cravitz and peaked out the window. And there was the neighbor, with his chainsaw, "cleaning up" our butterfly bush which had gotten a wee bit too big for him. ("Impairing his sightline" is what he's called it in the past.) Nothing serious or drastic and I laughed to myself. A chainsaw on a butterfly bush? I had never even thought of that. I know he hates that thing, and probably scoffs at the crazy garden we have.

Vegetable garden in the front and massive amounts of roses and flowers and vines. During other times of the year it looks lovely. But now? Ha. It's a mess. And it will continue to be a mess for the birds this winter, but I don't think it goes along with the perfectly coiffed, edged yards with a house fronted with a picture display window. And that picture display window this year is lit up with a huge plug-in snowman. Wink and I went for a walk last night and she freaked out about it, wanting to charge and bark at it. (It's okay, Wink, it's just a plug-in snowman. Now go potty, here, on this nice grass.)

But the creme de la creme? I turned off the lights in our bedroom last night and a bright blue glow permeated the room. It reflected onto the ceiling. It glowed bright through the drapes. It illuminated everything in the room with a true blue glow. The neighbors blue lights, perfectly placed along his one-story roofline, are directly outside our second-story bedroom.

Perhaps I need a chainsaw.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Could it be true?

Or is it just another overly dramatic weather forecast? The thought of this possibility is making me tingly all over.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Drats! And other stories of the hole in the garden...

We’ve done so much work on our house and garden since we moved here 8 1/2 years ago. Mainly in the garden. Before we bought it, our house was on a double lot with a lovely large old fashioned garden, clothesline, and patio. But we bought just the house, and the one lot it was on: the second lot was sold to someone else.* Such is the ways of urban areas protecting from sprawl (think Houston): instead of growing a population out and away from around a city and taking over farmland, you grow inside a city, on extra lots, vacant land and increasing the amount of people who can live on that land. In Portland we have plenty of “skinny houses” on narrow lots and here in North Portland, lots of condos being built precisely for this reason (and for the money).

Our back yard had a lovely bed lined with bricks, quite likely original to the house, or soon thereafter. Filled with lavender, peonies, and a little bay tree, the back bed also was home to a perch quite popular with our kitties. We often would find either Toonces or Picasso perched along the brick edge, staring deep down into the flowerbed. I soon discovered why while pruning or pulling weeds. There was a hole in the ground there. Not a huge hole, but a hole. And it appeared to be or go deep.

Time passed, but you never really forget about a hole like that. We had another hole in the front of the house which we discovered was home to a bevy of wasps. So mad once they flew out of the hole and stung AdRi in the head. We stayed a long ways away from that hole after that. But the hole in the back was filled in with dirt. If it appeared again I’d fill it back in, and once I think I even let the summer garden hose go for awhile just pouring into it. “Take that whatever your are!” The back bed was torn out, the bricks hauled away, and the area transformed into the rest of patio with pavers and herbs planted in between. The hole was officially gone.

Until today. Nestled near the back door in a fallen raincoat was a furry creature making odd sounds. Wink was intrigued and was quickly taken away for a walk. I was left to deal with the creature. (Did I get a camera? Of course not.) It was squeaking and burrowing and trying as hard as it could to be invisible. But my broom handle moved the coat and the big brown rat looked straight up at me with its freckled face and headed straight for the hole. The hole that hasn’t been for years was once again open and the rat squeezed it’s huge furry body through it and down, its long worm-like tail slipping behind it.

There’s no real ending to this story except here’s a picture I tried to take when it had the gall to come back while we were trying to get some gutter work done during a brief respite from the rain. I followed it around as it tittered through the garden, this time with my camera. I know you can’t see its freckles, but I swear it has them.
And then there’s the hole. AdRi now calls it the place where Lelo’s friend lives. I’m going to fill it with gravel. And hot sauce. And sharp pokey things. But until then, the cats are **so not** going out back. They might come face to face with freckle face and by the size of him, I’d guess it wouldn’t be pretty.
*That someone else built himself a house over the course of a year. Mainly on the weekends. Beginning at 6am in the morning.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Let the holiday drama, begin!

Looks like the good ol' family fights are already starting at this household:

Aah, the holidays!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's the day before Thanksgiving....

....and the President is wearing silk. I hope there are no white shoes involved, because it's after Labor Day. But really, this photo is killing me. I love it so much, almost as much as The Famous Holiday Cheese Salad....

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The stats are going up in record numbers

Oh my. Those in preparation of Thanksgiving meals are driving my stats up here on LeloNopo. They’ve landed here searching for frog eye salad, cranberry salad, orange dream whip congealed salad cream cheese pecans, cranberry mini marshmallow salad, cranberries with jello, blueberry pie recipe using blueberry in a can, rhubarb salad recipe, jello salad recipe with celery, Tupperware raspberry jello whipping cream recipe, thanksgiving jello salad recipes, and lime jello cottage cheese salad recipes, to name just a few. And they’re all going here and here . (some of my favorite posts here on this blog)

Alas, it’s that time of year for the jello salad recipes. I didn’t make the Famous Holiday Cheese Salad last year. This year? Hells to the yeahs it’s on my table. And it’s going to be enjoyed, whether you want to or not…..bring on the holiday drama!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Of course religion and politics are separate! Right?

Do you know what the top ten abuses of religion in politics during the 2006 campaign season are? The Interfaith Alliance has released the list, and it's impressive. And shocking. I don't understand what part of our founding documents aren't clear about the separation of church and state. The Interfaith Alliance's President, Rev. Welton Gaddy said, "This year has been one of the worst on record for the abuse of religion in politics. We have a lot of work to do before 2008." Yes, yes we do. Read 'em and weep.

I'd love to know which one of these my readers find to be the most egregious. I thought the politican with the ten commandments on the back of his business card to be quite amusing. But then again, I just about spit up when I read this pastor's quote: "Sound an alarm. A Holy Ghost invasion is taking place. Man your battle stations, ready your weapons, lock and load."

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Ginger's moms picked her up this afternoon. Since then, Wink has not moved. She's out. Sleeping like a rock. It's now 10pm and she's slept for the last five hours. Wow. That little Ginger has completely wiped her out. This weekend? That's a wrap!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's holiday sweater time

Holiday sweaters least for these sisters. Yes, Ginger has been visiting and it has been way too much fun. Maltipoo galore! I've mastered the art of getting them to both jump on their hind legs at the same time and the sight of it cracks me up. And then there's the photo taking. I took a few. Enjoy them here, set to the classic delights of Rosemary Clooney....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A study in color

There are things my eye is tuned to. Color, composition, emotive connection, type....I had this blink in time a few weeks ago when the sun was sitting just so in the sky, and all of a sudden everything in my house just glowed. It was Autumn. The colors of fall. The way the sun casts light. I grabbed my camera and slowly looked around. This is what I saw...
light glows
light casts
autumn fruit
nature's lights
apple martini

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The cutting room floor

Alas, this was left on the cutting room floor. If you saw this, then you need to see this....

Monday, November 13, 2006

Videocast: The Interview with Nipple Man

Do not miss this one. Head over to Purple Twinkie and you can take in the whole interview done via the amazing technology of the world wide web and Apple. Yes, I interviewed nipple man. And yes, I wore a purple wig while doing so. Lelo in Nopo interviews Purple Twinkie

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Phew! I just flew in tonight into PDX and I don't think I needed a plane. It was probably the most turbulent descent I've ever encountered, with lots of side-to-side action. At one point I thought I was going to fly out of my seat. I wonder how many more flights they'll let come in/go out tonight. Everyone, batten down the hatches. It's crazy out there!

P.S. One of the best parts of coming home was seeing Ginger! Yeah! Ginger's in da howze!


Change is in the air. Shake it up some, explore some, discover some, create some, re-emerge some. I can feel it. It's coming.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Re-Gaining Unconsciousness

First they put away the dealers, keep our kids safe and off the street
Then they put away the prostitutes, keep married men cloistered at home
Then they shooed away the bums, then they beat and bashed the queers
Turned away asylum seekers, fed us suspicions and fears
We didn’t raise our voice, we didn’t make a fuss
It’s funny there was no one left to notice when they came for us

Looks like witches are in season, you better fly your flag and be aware
Of anyone who might fit the description, diversity is now our biggest fear
Now with our conversations tapped and our differences exposed
How ya supposed to love your neighbor, without minds and curtains closed
We used to worry about big brother, now we got a big father and an even bigger mother
And you still believe, this aristocracy gives a fuck about you
They put the mock, in demockracy and you swallowed every hook
The sad truth is you would rather follow the school into the net
Cuz swimming alone at sea is not the kind of freedom you actually want
So go back to your crib and suck on a tit and go bask in the warmth of your diaper
You’re sitting in shit and piss while sucking a huge pacifier a country of adult infants
A legion of mental midgets a country of adult infants a country of adult infants
All re-gaining their unconsciousness.
By Mike Burkett, NOFX

Friday, November 10, 2006

Self portrait: thinking

self portrait
This conference is giving me so much to think about. Almost information overload. And the people I'm meeting and talking with. Amazing. So much work is going on across the country for equality. So much more I could write. But I am incredibly tired. (The presentation went great.)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Who would you rather do?

Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?
Just kidding. Kidding on the question part.

But if you're like me, you've heard and answered this question in the past 6 months: Who do you think has a better chance of winning if they run for president on the Democratic ticket? I've been going back and forth on this. I adore Hillary but does the rest of America? I get the feeling a huge contingent of people despise her. The question comes down to, is America ready for a president of color, or for a woman president? Or neither?

Oh, and tack on this interesting note. A friend recently noted among her conversations on this topic, people of color think America is ready for a woman president, and white folks think America is more ready for a president of color. Go figure.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This election brings hope

Wow. I almost feel hopeful again. Hopeful like I felt a long time ago during the early Clinton years. Hopeful of change, of progression, of growth, of care. Hopeful of equality, fairness, "a place for all at the table." I was so cautious this election to not get overly committed to any one race or issue, having felt so burned after Measure 36's passage here in Oregon. But a woman speaker of the house? Wow. Change is in the air. Gives me even more reason to be excited to be here right now and in the coming four days, hearing and connecting with many of the nation's leaders in the glbtq community. And yes, peeps, I'm even a presenter. Creating change, indeed.

The best photo from election night

No really, it is the best.

Oh, the Santorums. It was a tough night, wasn't it? (Nice matching dress on that doll, BTW).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Why I don't vote

Oh I don't vote. I figure whatever happens, happens.....I just don't believe in it.

Did anyone else hear that interview on NPR last week with the folks going door to door to get out the vote when they came upon this one? I think my jaw dropped when I heard this woman say she doesn't vote. To think she's so disconnected to not want to vote? And then I realized, there are a lot of people who think this way. Look at voter turnout.

Me? I don't get it. Of course I vote. And I'm so glad to live in Oregon where we vote by mail. You don't have to haul your ass to some elementary school basement where you are greeted by 80 year old volunteers wearing SUPPORT OUR TROOPS ribbons. We don't have to stand in some rinky dink booth with red white and blue drapes providing security while we line up some machine to hopefully punch holes in the right place. We have it easy. Make some drinks, gather up the massive amounts of campaign mailers we've received, and get to it. That's voting night at our household. Good times, good times.

Shout out to all the voters out there: if you voted, leave a comment. Feel free to delurk or just say you did it. Props to you: your voice is heard.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Basement flooding alert issued!

The news media is reporting emergency warnings being issued all over the Portland area and beyond due to our current typhoon-like weather. Rivers are overflowing, buildings are being swept off their foundations, and cars are hydroplaning all over the place. Weatherman Bruce Sussman says:
"Today's storm is an incredible mix: part of the rain we'll have is what's left of Typhoon Cimaron, which hammered the Phillipines last week. Thousands of miles later, here comes rain from that thing, headed right at us"
"And this series of systems has also tapped into warm, moist air down near Hawaii. It's kind of like there's this invisible fire hose in the sky that stretches from the islands to Oregon. And right now, we're at the end where all the water comes out."

That description is quite good. But I'd like to suggest that adding to the river alerts we include basement flooding alerts. Do you know how many coworkers I spoke with today who are battling water in the basement? I currently have the dehumidifier running on high in the basement of our 1911 house, keeping fingers crossed that the wee little trickle will disappear shortly. We had our basement finished this summer and it's like a nice big modern apartment down there complete with nice lighting and carpet, paint, and all new walls. It was a huge undertaking and a hefty investment. Every day this past week we've gone downstairs warily to take it in and make sure it's still nice and dry. Today? There's that wee darn trickle.

Sidenote: Did you know that after traveling for years in their leather clothes, the explorers Lewis and Clark found that their clothes actually rotted on them here in the Northwest because of the chronic and relentless rain? I know that's romantic. Here's a taste of rain from my back door this afternoon...


Typos bug the crap out of me

I'm one of those irritating friends who see typos everywhere. And I point them out. Incorrect use of punctuation? Dreadful. I once purchased a book, found two typos within the first chapter and promptly returned the book. Can't handle that. A published book!

When it comes to my own blog I misspell things left and right. Proper punctuation and capitalization flies out the window. Run on sentences? Everywhere. Incomplete sentences? I call it my true blogging voice. This is not a news site (I know this is shocking news to you) nor is this my professional website. I could give a rats ass if I blow typos all over this place like autumn leaves being pounded out of the trees by buckets and buckets of spewing rain (sound familiar Portlanders?).

But if you're going to be a place of serious news, you best run your spellchecker. Especially on the headlines.


Sunday, November 05, 2006


fog and smoke
I awoke to the low slow whine of sirens. And another. And then another. Not the fast repeated tones of a police car racing to a crime, but the slow steady whine of fire trucks. And then another. I looked outside through the fogged up windows and didn’t see anything. Light just beginning outside as I went downstairs in the dark morning. Yesterday’s downpours have finally stopped, but replacing them is a thick fog. I opened the back door and smelled smoke. And then there was the fire truck heading up the street a block away and a few people on the sidewalk.

There was a fire in my neighborhood this morning. I gathered Wink and my raincoat and headed towards the flares blocking the road. As I turned the corner, neighbors were rustling and one stood at his gate. Thick yellow firehoses snaked up the street and the police officer at the corner told me I could only walk to the yellow crime scene tape. “Of course” I said. I walked towards the scene to join a neighbor in her robe and a few girls who I come to find, live next door to the house. Chainsaws are whirring and I know firefighters must be on a roof, and sure enough, there they were, allowing for huge billows of black smoke to pour through.

But then I see it. A gurney on the sidewalk, and just across the street from where I’m standing, an ambulance. In it, I’m told, is one of the people they’ve pulled from the house. “They’re in there workin’ on him” my neighbor says. No one knows if there’s another, and the gurney sits empty out front.

I can’t even count the fire trucks and police cars. The whole block is cordoned off and neighbors warily stand out front. The house with the fire is a big old house, now made into a duplex, probably built between 1907-1920. There are plenty like it in my neighborhood, and less than 6 years ago another old house, only two blocks from this one, suffered an extreme fire and just recently was repaired and inhabited again.

I hope the people in that house are okay, but I’m not so sure. Wink and I head back, and stop to talk to the officer stationed at our corner. They were told there were two people in the house, yet they’ve only pulled one. We don’t talk about what that means.
Updated: The story is on, but the man in the ambulance has died. Another man was injured when he jumped from the second story to escape the fire. The house had no electricity and they think candles started the fire.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Lyrics that just hit you in the gut

You know those songs that are so powerful they wake you from your sleep, you watch the video, and you find you have tears falling down your face? Powerful awesome music. This is not one of them.

Happy Saturday

Aaah, they all seem to fall, don't they?

Friday, November 03, 2006

It's only Day 3

And I'm already feeling the pressure of posting something of substance. I suppose my podcast of Aloha Friday doesn't count, huh? Speaking of, is anyone actually able to hear my podcasts? I'll just open it up right here and right now: AdRi and I spent some time this evening playing around with the microphone and possible podcasts, but are floundering a bit for topics. If you have a topic for us, just let us know and we'll respond. Within reason, people.

I'm really really looking forward to the weekend. A baby shower for some friends who are having twins...TWINS! I can't even imagine...other than that? Some walks, some organization, and some relaxation. ... The rains have started again here in the Northwest, and I have to admit, I welcome them. Things smell so good and the rich rich greens are returning to the landscapes. Wink doesn't like it much, nor does my hair. But now that I've located my umbrella, I think we'll all be okay.

It's been a long hard week

Time for some Aloha Friday!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

That knock at the door

There are few times when I know I'm face to face with someone who thinks I'm going straight to hell in a handbasket. I live in Portland, Oregon, and work in a pretty progressive environment. I've referred to it as a bubble. I love my bubble. And I think most people don't care about other people's sexual orientation. Gay? So what.

But when Jehovah's Witnesses come to my door, I know I am face to face with someone who belongs to a religion that believes I'm going to hell and in whose church there is no place for me. I can get mad about this. The young Mormon boys I enjoy smiling at them, their smiling back at me, until their faces twist into very uncomfortable contortions when I tell them they're at a gay household and probably should just move on. They don't really know what to do, lower their heads, and head on back to the sidewalk.

This weekend's Jehovah's Witness schlepped along her daughter with her to spread the word. She didn't back away when I told her she was at a gay household and should move on. She continued smiling and talking. This actually made me more mad. Does she think she's going to convert me or something? When I told her I don't appreciate prostelitizing from my doorstep and they should move on, all the while smiling, I saw her daughter's eyes look down and away. And I shut the door while her mom continued talking.

They have a right to their religion, but I sure don't want to speak with someone who smiles at me on the outside but on the inside believes I'm an abomination. I'd rather face the venom and ugliness instead of the smile and small talk. I really should know better than to even answer the door.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It's Day of the Dead

Here are some pics from my favorite altars seen in Tlaquepaque, Mexico last year.
altar 2
That is all cut paper by hand as decorations, and the floor and levels are covered with flower petals and beans placed in designs or formations.

Here you can listen to our podcast about Day of the Dead (and other sundry items).

And here's a link to a post about our visit to an ancient cemetery in Guadalajara, Mexico.

And finally if you still want more, you can see all of our photos from Day of the Dead in and around Guadalajara and Tlaquepaque here.

Leave out a glass of water tonight for someone who's gone: they say that when they come back on Dia de los Muertos, they're very very thirsty.

Here's to a new month

(Warning: the next paragraph is going to use the extremely pompous and irritating royal "we".)
Doesn't it seem appropriate for LeLo in NoPo to participate in NaBloPoMo? We think so.*
Okay. Enough of the royal we. I can't do more than that. So as to the topic at hand...welcome to a new month, and for those of you familiar with my completely irritating game, PINCH AND A PUNCH IT'S THE FIRST OF THE MONTH. And with that, we'll be joining the ranks of other bloggers and writing a post every fricking day this month as part of National Blog Posting Month. See how I'm aleady jumping all over the place with topics and free associations and such? Nice. Let's see if I have any readers at the end of the month. Things I foresee blogging about in the coming month....a trip, a visit from Ginger (Wink's sister), the kick off to a pretty large home renovation project (yeah! no kitchen for 4 months!), Thanksgiving, Day of the Dead, and I might throw in some self portraits (it's just been too long, hasn't it?). Other than that? Well, you'll have to check in to see what twattle I pull out, and props to Rozanne for the link to the project and to the use of the word twattle. About NaBloPoMo:
NaBloPoMo is an alternative to November's NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, the program wherein you crank out a novel in thirty days. Some of us lack the imagination, stamina, and self-destructive impulses required to write a novel that quickly, but, by Grabthar's Hammer, we can update our blogs every day for a month!
*What is with the royal we? Have you read other bloggers using it? I don't get it. Is it like in reference to their house of blog instead of just to themselves? Does it bug you as much as it bugs me? Am I just weird about that?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

128 children later and the lights are out

happy halloween
They came in vans, with their parents, in packs with their friends, just with their best friend, with their aunt, in strollers, but man, they came. 128 kids came to our front door tonight and patiently answered my question if I couldn't tell, "What are you?" We had witches and goblins and skeletons galore, but also in there we had a very proud "Spanish Dancer", a panda, a prisoner, a blind referee and a cheerleader. We also had one little girl with her hat and feather boa, was simply "fabulous." The mask from Scream seemed to be very popular, and one wearer of it even had a skeleton chest revealed to pump blood over it. We screamed (to his delight). Even those without costumes got treats at our household, because, well, in this neighborhood, I'm not so sure everyone has money or parents to ensure they get costumes. And that's okay. I still asked and if they made something up (which several did), I said "good answer!" and their faces lit up with smiles and off they went. Almost all of them said thank you, and all of our candy is gone. Well, almost all gone. I think there's a few Twix bars still left...
Happy Haunting!

Yes, my dog has a costume

Don't mess with my golden lasso
Wink is ready for Halloween and don't even think about messing with her: she has a golden lasso. The question is, does she wear it to work with me and risk the smirks in the parking garage elevator in downtown Portland or do we put it on when we get there? Happy Halloween everyone: be safe out there!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Anatomy of a Walk

Anatomy of a Walk in Fall
Went for a walk at Cathedral Park last weekend and took my tiny old cybershot with me to just hold up and snap a few as we went. It's a pretty time here in Portland with the trees in full turn, the grass green again with the arrival of some rain, and the sun sitting differently in the sky, throwing rays through the leaves and across water.

Growing up in Southern California there wasn't much of a change to see in Fall and it wasn't until I moved to Portland I fully appreciated the turning of the seasons. My mom used to document what she could of fall, collecting leaves and pressing them. When AdRi and I walk and I look at plants and leaves, I know do so with my mother's eye. So mom, here's my favorite photo from our walk, for you. Enjoy.
Anatomy of a Walk: red tree