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