Friday, June 30, 2006

If more people traveled, there would be more peace in the world

Wow: a YouTube clip I watched every single part of, mesmerized and with a smile on my face. Lovely. Enjoy. And Happy Friday...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Word blathering

Heat. Stress. Summer. Slip'n'Slide. Memories. Reality. Heat. Stress. Work. More work. Vacation? Ha. Remodel. Remodel. Planning. Calls. Measurements. Minimize. Stuff. Garage sale. Heat. Stress. Friends. Sombrero. Lengue. Familia. Boda. Importante. Work. Travel. Wink. Hot. Water. Hose. Garden? Soaker hose. Vacation? Ha. Schedule. Lists. Make time. Be nice. Conscious choice. Reflect. Needs. Need. Need. Call. E-mail. Camera. Computer. Crash. iPhoto. Lose. Gone. Forever. Airport. Neighbor. Call. Phone. Meeting. Schedule. Breathe? Breathe. Wink. Frida. Picasso. Stress! Time. Tiempo. Schedule. Calendar. Phone. Message. Forget. Inexplicable.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Self Portrait: It's out of control

I brought my camera to the hair salon people. Okay, actually, I had it with me because of work. But I got it out and used it while my hair was in foil. Yes, yes I did. My life's exciting, isn't it?
The making of my hair

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I've been staring at this image for the past three days (when I'm at work at my desk). Reflect...
...on self
...on my needs
...before I speak
...on meaning
...and intent
...on the power of words
...and critical thinking
...and being kind.

I don't think I do enough of this.

But what if I reflect...
...on how strong I am
...on my strengths
...on my capabilities
...ability to love
...and to LIVE and BREATHE

And what if I reflect on... I can bring to others what I may have challenges with myself and thus, provide what I need more of in the end anyway? This makes me think of a moment to calm down, to be kind to each other, to laugh, and to smile. And a time out to take care of each other.

...Deep thoughts with Lelo, huh?...
So Monday was a facial. Tuesday was getting my hair done (and I even have a self portrait). What will Wednesday be? Hmm. Maybe a nice long walk with the girl I love and the cute little furry thing we call Wink, on a beautiful day here in Portland, the first day of summer. Viva la summer!

Reflection is a good thing.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Big gay weekend

Pridefully wonderful Sunday...but I didn't take even one single photo. Good thing Brett and Anna did....
at the end of the rainbow
Look who rode with me in the parade! Welcome to P-town, Rigo !
Rigo and Lelo

Even Wink had a good time...
Wink gets her pride on!

Pride was fun and reaffirmed by strong belief in community. Portland is such a great city. 50,000 people are estimated to have turned out for the parade. That just kicks ass.

So. This week? I'm taking care of myself, my stress and my mental health. I've fried myself out, and my hair, skin, eye twitch and general demeanor show it. Having blueberries every morning, detoxing with pom juice and flax seed, taking ultimate vitamins, walking twice a day and drinking as much water as I can. Gave myself a facial with my super favorite Papaya Enzyme Peel this morning, and I'm already feeling better. That eye twitch is a true physical sign of my body telling me PAY ATTENTION TO ME. I got the message! I'm taking care of myself this week. Repeat three times.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tired yawn tired tired yawn

I've been coming home and feeling like this lately. Travel travel work work travel work work late meetings work travel. I'm tired. But enough of that: how much do you like that picture? Gawd, I love Cute Overload. Going there just makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

So it's Pride time, and activities and such are in full swing. Hoping to go to this tomorrow night and participate in this on Sunday. Last year I wrote something hereabout Pride, and I'm again thinking about that post and the person who introduced me to Pride. This year, for the first time, I'm going to be IN the parade. Ooh la la. Wink will be there too. Though she does need a bath and a brush out before Sunday. Dirty dog!

Enough rambling for now. Go get some cute overload and read my story about Pride. Til next time...LATER.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Praise the Lowered

Another t-shirt self portrait. It's summer. It's t-shirt time.
Another t-shirt self portrait

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence (and that is) activism and overwork....The rush and pressure of modern life are a form of violence.
To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence.
The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
Thomas Merton, Trappist Monk, 1915-1968

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Winks 'n' Links

Wink mosaic
Spent a nice day with the Winkster. What a perfect day for a walk. Visited with our pug neighbors and got to know Phoebe and Elliot, and walked through the New Columbia to see what's going on...looks like a locally based coffee shop is going to go in, along with Big City Produce. Yeah! I'm so happy to have a coffee shop we can walk to, and a shop like Big City. I've missed Wink this week, and can I just say how incredibly wonderful it was to get back into Portland yesterday to this nice cool weather? I've officially become an Oregonian, I think, since I prefer the cooler weather. It's summer, I know it's crazy, but it's true. It feels good to be home. Wink agrees.

My brother has been taking some pretty cool photos lately. Check out my adorable niece...

Speaking of my brother, here's a recent selection of enjoyable links, courtesy of Ja'AmLo
Finally I see the light: God is a DJ
The most romantic wedding photos ever
What? You say you need more Hasselhoff?!
Cooking with Jesus!
When cooking with Jesus...
Thank you, Ja'AmLo!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

How I came to Oregon, Part 2

The story continues...
They called me for an interview for the job applied for. I couldn’t believe it. I needed to go to Portland, so I tracked down a friend from school who I thought had moved north. She and her husband shlogged to the airport at 3:45 am to pick me up, and over the course of the weekend, I fell in love with the place.

Rainy, damp, old: this was a city, more than the little college town I was visiting from. Bridges, dingy old town (this was pre-Pearl), parks and things so green. I saw the Columbia River Gorge and it took my breath away. We had the best beer and rustic pesto bread at the downtown Widmer bakery and brewpub (it’s now Southpark). The music scene was beginning to buzz with the grunge scene of the early 1990s, and we saw live music, visited Saturday Market, had the best coffee at a place called Coffee People and we rode the MAX to most of the places we went. This was a really cool city.

The interview went well. While at my friends apartment, I received a call. It was a voice from a long time ago, my friend Sally. We grew up together, with shared memories from first grade through her marriage in Scotland—which was the last time we had spoken… I had called her on her wedding day at the Scottish pub where they were celebrating, her thick accent surprising me, but like old friends do, the miles between us flew away and we laughed and giggled and enjoyed the moment.

It was Sally’s voice now that I heard on the other line of that phone on my second day visiting Portland, and she said she had called my parents in Southern California just now, hoping to reconnect with me. She wasn’t in Scotland anymore.

“Where are you now?” I asked, imagining New York or California or London. “I’m in Portland, Oregon,” she answered “and I work downtown near Saturday Market. I couldn’t stop thinking about you today and needed to track you down.” Of course I had been at Saturday Market that day, oogling at all of the hand made items, especially the spoon man and all those things he could make from spoons.

I had to sit down. It was a bit much of a coincidence. It had been months, or years since we had last spoken, and to think she tracked me down while I was visiting Portland for the very first time. Of course, we met up while I was visiting (over coffee, duh!), and her love of the place was infectious. By now I saw all of the pieces falling into place and the obvious direction I was being pointed towards. I was meant to live in this place, and if I got the job, I knew I would return.

A week back in Chico, I got the call of a job offer. They even paid for my move. I was moving to the place I was meant to be, in Portland, Oregon.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My new t-shirt

this week's self portrait
It was a gift from my g-friend. I kinda dig it. Zoe at Gaymo has a "special shirt": this isn't it, but I imagine that it looks something like it. Pride's coming up: I believe I'll be wearing this a lot this month. Speaking of Pride, nothin' really says Happy Pride like all of the wingnuts blathering on and on about the sanctity of marriage and how it must be protected: Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) announced "Marriage today is under assault." Yeah, that's me and AdRi. We assault marriage. Whatever.

Check out all of the great self portrait shots over at Self Portrait Challenge: I, of course, did not play this month's theme of Pop Art, but I like to think my t shirt graphic kinda counts.

Now I interrupt this blog with a snarky post

A few weeks ago we received a promotional flyer for a Portland realtor in the mail. "Blah blah blah I'm the best realtor for you, I give personal service blah blah blah." But the real clincher was the names of who it was addressed to. It was to me, and the name of a woman I know nothing of. I showed AdRi and made a funny joke it was my other girlfriend. But seriously. What the heck was that? I thought bad move, whatever.

So this past week a postcard came in the mail, from the creative/mailing firm responsible for that mailing. A half assed apology ensued, assuring us the mistake was a one-time error and did not reflect on the realtor herself. Really, it was a bit sassy. I thought to myself, wow, that sucks to make that kind of mistake, and I can imagine the conversations that brought this supposed excuse of a postcard to my mailbox. Ouch. But then I noticed the addresses. There was my name, and AdRi's first name, but this time, she had a completely different last name. They fucked up again.

I eagerly await the follow up postcard to this one.

P.S. Happy 6-6-06 day everybody!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Winning a radio contest: all roads lead to Oregon

As a follow up from my last post, seemed there was some interest in my tidbit about moving to Portland by winning a contest. Here's the story...

I was living in Chico, a year or so after graduating from college . It was a warm weekend day and I was working and playing in my first garden as an adult. The pink stucco California house had been transformed with help from my sister, with a garden full of pink daylilies, impatiens, and the beginning of a wild and raucous trumpet vine. The side window held the air conditioner, wedged up there and hooked up to the garden hose. This old house didn’t have central AC, but the charm made up for coping with 120-degree heat and the unique scent of moist air blowing through the swamp cooler.

I had the radio on, and between songs, a voice came on that I recognized. Stopping my watering, I listened carefully. Who was that? Was it Bret? It was! My friend Bret, also a communications major but specializing in radio, had obviously landed a job beyond the campus radio station and was announcing on commercial radio. He sounded great, and I rushed in to call the station to tell him I was listening.

The line was busy.

I hit redial. Still busy. Redialed and there was a ring. The familiar voice answered but instead of a standard phone greeting, he said “Congratulations! You’re the 12th caller!” I stumbled a bit and said “Bret, it’s me, Lelo!” Turns out I was a qualifier for the big summer give-away prize, meaning my name would be put in a hat along with a kajillion others. Yeah right! Bret and I caught up and chit chatted: good times.**

A few weeks went by when one morning, a friend calls me to tell me they’re saying my name on the radio. Another friend calls, too. You know what’s coming here, right? Ends up I won the big summer giveaway prize: a whitewater rafting trip for 4 to Inn of the Seventh Mountain in beautiful, Bend, Oregon. Bend, Oregon. Hmmm. I was a total paddlehead and loved rafting, and this was the perfect opportunity for a group of us to go together. And I had never rafted that far north. Nor had I been to Oregon.

The trip was fun, and I quickly fell in love with this place, Oregon*. I was at a point in my life where I needed to move on, and I wasn’t sure where I would land. So many friends had gone to the bay area, but I didn’t have that calling. And I didn’t have the gumption to bite the bullet and move to Chicago, despite my mentor suggesting I would thrive there. Too far, too much snow, I love the West Coast. As for Oregon, I figured the main city was somewhere up north from Bend, Portland, right? I picked up a Sunday Oregonian on our way out of town and perused the job listings. Lo and behold, there was a listing for a job very similar to what I was currently doing. It wasn’t that common of a job. What the heck, I thought I should apply…

(To be continued)

*I’m still laughing about Stephen Colbert’s recent quip referring to Oregon as Washington’s Mexico and California’s Canada.
**Of course, Bret is still in radio and a successful San Francisco reporter.