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

Friday, October 27, 2006

Is it feeling hairy in here or is it just me?

Oh sweet jesus. Happy Friday, and if you're all a goggle about my new header, get yourself on over to Hairy Mail and have some sweet fun hair removal fun and send it to your friends. Since we're in the thick of a political season I suggest that a political campaign jump in and use Hairy Mail as a political campaign tool...oh wait, perhaps it already is? Aaaahhhh, not political, but an awesome social marketing campaign. Can you spot it?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A conundrum and possible mea culpa

Had a wonderful dinner at Nostrano last night with some very good friends. Another couple who we don't see as much as we'd like, but who we really adore. We could talk forever, I'm sure, and we talk of movies and art and theater and gardening and gossip and everything in between. Sigh. Good times.

Afterwards we headed home in our separate cars and as I merged onto I-5 North, threw myself into a little temper tantrum at the idiot in front of me not merging and increasing speed but hesitating and coming to a complete stop. Aaaargh. This is a tricky merge, for sure. Two incoming ramps from Morrison dump pretty directly right onto I-5 in a narrow 2-lane section in the middle of the city. I know it well because I drive it every day, and I know the amount of accidents that occur here. Many of them due to drivers who get cold feet and instead of quickly merging freak out and come to a complete stop. The hauling ass mergers behind them come around the ramp and BAM, rear end them.

So here we were, stopped behind this car and I'm watching the carlights come up behind me and quickly turn into the freeway not to rear end me. And what am I doing? I'm honking like crazy and ranting like a mad woman to get your ass going and get on the freeway. It's not a little friendly honk. It's a laying on the horn multiple times honking.

Finally we all get our asses onto the freeway and as I haul past the car, I realize it's our friends. 10 and 2 she's looking straight ahead probably pissed as hell at the crazy person behind them honking their asses off while they were worried about how to merge with trucks zooming by etc. As I zoom by them, it's pretty inevitable they recognize our car. I'm mortified. I love these people. I was a total bitch.

So blog readers, what do I do? Call said friend and apologize profusely? Pretend it didn't happen? Send flowers and a card? Advice please.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My name is Lelo and I'm a public radio addict

You know you're addicted to public radio when you suggest that your local station offer tote bags as a premium, and call them "Nina Totenbags"*
You know you're addicted to public radio when a co-worker says they need to get some fresh air, and you reply that you like to listen to Terry Gross, too.

Oh dear. Find more here...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Friday evening walk about

Wink is calm
Wink has been with us for about a year. After an evening walk through our neighborhood last night, I commented to AdRi how nice it is to know so many of our neighbors now. The dialogue also included her perennial question "Why did we wait so long to get a dog?" and my perennial answer "Because you told me no for 10 years honey." But I'm getting off topic...

It's true about getting to know our neighborhood better since Wink has come to live with us. We now know two really sweet kids down the street who oohed and aaaahed over Wink for months, running to see us on every walk, and then showed up not so long ago at our doorstep with their very own little dog named King King. Sometimes we meet up for walks and talk about soccer, school, and just stuff: they're from Mexico and just recently learned AdRi's family is also from Mexico ("I thought you were English!").

Then there's the older gentleman down the street AdRi calls her friend. He's been recuperating from an illness, often taking in the sights from his front porch, and she'll stop and talk a spell with him. Mainly about the weather, neighborhood, how he's feeling, and of course he loves Wink. Last night a great neighbor, also a bit older, was standing out front with his little dog, Cleo. He always has a treat in his pocket and Wink knows this and just wiggles non stop. His american flag hat and suspenders make me like him even more, and our little chit chat about the dogs ended with talk of Halloween*. He said he hoped it would rain. Ha! Crankypants! AdRi and I just laughed to ourselves as we continued on.

In our walk-about, the diversity of our neighborhood is apparent: newly arrived immigrants including Hmong and Mexican, young couples with dogs like us, the scary overgrown house where I've never seen a person yet, the big old historic houses being remodeled, the 1990's infill house and the older folks who've lived here for years. A classic working class neighborhood in North Portland like this ranges from a crack house boarded up down on the corner, to the house whose owner has incredibly designed fountains and flower beds and other yard accoutrements.

Towards the end of our walk we passed a house where an elderly woman lives. Meticulously kept yard and house, I never see anyone come or go. Sometimes I see her in her window and I'll wave even though we've never met or spoken. Saw her last night and waved. She waved back. And then she came to her front steps. She wasn't sure if she knew who we were, and said "I don't know anyone in the neighborhood anymore!" Her name is Hazel and she has lived here for 50 years. I told her where we lived "Oh the one with all of those flowers?" and I nodded yes, that's us. I asked her if the neighborhood has changed, and of course it has. She went back inside and we met up with King King and his young owner and together, we walked back towards home. A simple, nice moment of community. Thanks, Wink.
*Regarding Halloween, yes, Wink has a costume. Yes, there will be photos. Yes, yes and yes. Just hold onto your pantalones.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Do not give these crayons to your children

Lelo's quarterly pleas for Morrison Bridge drivers

As I just witnessed yet another car accident on the Morrison Bridge, thought it was probably time to put another friendly reminder (my previous warning can be found here) to all you Portland drivers to slow your shit down going over the notoriously sketchy Morrison.

I'm watching the cars being towed away now, but about an hour ago I clearly watched a west-bound car slide clear across the center span metal grating and plow head on into an incoming car. It wasn't pretty, and I really hope all are okay.

So drivers on the Morrison Bridge? Be forewarned.

This announcement has been brought to you by the girl whose office overlooks the Morrison bridge: I've got my eye on all of you!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

We must be approaching a holiday because the inflatables are out

I don't get it. Halloween comes and people want to fill their yards with giant inflatable ghosts and pumpkins and pumpkin globes. Call me a grinch(or a ghoul), but I don't find them scary. Isn't Halloween decor about being scary? Haunted? Ghostly? You know the houses with the homemade cemetery headstones with funny sayings: love those. A few years back I even thought the witches that looked like they ran into the telephone poles were great. But the inflatables? They're driving me crazy.

Oh, it's going to be a long few months to Christmas.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I'm so geeking out

The rain has returned to Portland and I'm geeking out. Won't you come into my workshop and take a peak around at some of my projects?

Friday, October 13, 2006

This little light of mine

I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine.
I'm gonna let it shine.
Let it shine
Let it shine
Let it shine.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Kansas homecoming: yes there's more

My previous post was about the football game. But the afternoon of homecoming, there's the parade. What are the things you need in a parade? They're just about all here.

There's the football players on the truck...
Life on a flatbed truck
There's the cheerleaders on the truck with the football players...
Life on a flatbed truck with cheerleaders
And then there's the chick on the front of the truck...
the busty chick on the front of the flatbed truck
The school mascot, of course...
bluejay mascot
The homecoming nominees...
homecoming nominee (it should be noted that my aunt and I were quite relieved later that evening when our pick for queen won. She was the only one who did not list "getting married and raising a Christian family" on her self description of goals. Our pick said she'd go to college and decide then what to do with her life. phew.)

And yes, Rozanne, there was a band. Why is it the tuba player looks just what I imagine a tuba player to look like? Amazing.
quintessential tuba player

Monday, October 09, 2006

We're thinking Wink needs a new friend

What do you think?

I'll take it as a compliment that I'm vulgar, spontaneous and dark

your humor style:

Your sense of humor is off-the-cuff and kind of gross. Is it is also
sinister, cynical, and vaguely threatening to the purer folks of this
world. You probably get off on that. You would cut a greasy fart, then blame it on your mom, and then just shrug when someone pointed out that she's dead.

Yours is hands-down the most outrageous sense of humor; you like things
trangressive and hardcore. It's highly likely (a) you have no limits (b) you have no scruples and (c) you have no job. Ironically, it's your type of humor that can make the biggest bucks in show business.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Howard Stern - Adam Sandler - Roseanne Barr

The 3-Variable Funny Test!

- it rules -

If you're interested, try my best friend's best test:
The Genghis Khan Genetic Fitness Masterpiece

the Shock Jock

(57% dark, 57% spontaneous, 47% vulgar)

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 76% on darkness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 71% on spontaneity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 71% on vulgarity

Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

The funny thing? My brother scored with the same outcome: I'm just not near as vulgar as he is. Hmm. Like that's surprising....

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Friday night football

If you haven't noticed yet, I'm not much of a sports enthusiast. But I am fond of the nostalgia of it all. Baseball on a warm summer evening, AYSO soccer shorts and small town football when the whole town shows to the games, whether or not they have kids in high school or not. Got to experience last month the homecoming game at my parent's alma mater, small town in northeastern Kansas. The stands were packed and it was a breath taking evening. Kids in the stands were hyper with excitement, and I realized I hadn't been to a football game since, well, high school. It was hard to watch the game since I was so busy watching everything else: the parents, the kids, the mascot. I'm just like that when it comes to sports. I watch everything BUT the sport. Here are some of the things I saw that night...
dusk and the flag
kansas sky above the field
excitedly awaiting the running of the team
sabetha bluejays

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Paris gets a taste of reality

Jean-Paul Gaultier has finally redeemed himself as the notorious designer of Madonna’s cone boobed bustier: he sent big girls down the Paris runway as well as a model in her 50s. Wow, what a concept. Real women who wear real clothes. Brilliant! With the brou-ha-ha over anorexic looking models this year (oh they’re not anorexic they’re skinny!—gah, have a sandwich!) I love that he did this. The outfit? The hair? Well, I didn’t say I’d buy it, did I?….

Speaking of runway. America’s Next Top Model has once again grasped me in its claws. Anyone see Miss Jay’s girl scout outfit last week? Love her. And the nod to Tyra being all drag queen, hello! She’s so drag! But I love her more every season. Don’t make me imitate the girls when they get Tyra Mail….(yelling screaming jumping up and down would ensue).

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Reason #323 why I love Portland

Under the Autumn Moon Festival lanterns
Festivals. Especially celebrating redevelopment or revitalization. Went to the Festival of the Autumn Moon Sunday, celebrating the monster planning and construction in Portland's Oldtown/Chinatown. AdRi and I participated in the community involvement process years back, looking at design and plans, giving feedback and requests. It was exciting to see it full circle and to attend a festival that was completely packed: word was 20,000 people came just on Saturday. Wow.
Under the Autumn Moon Festival
What's so cool about the redevelopment of the area is that several streets were designed with cobblestones and without sidewalks, specifically so they could be closed for street festivals. The thoughtfulness in design extended into one of the areas I voted for priority, street trees.
Thoughtful planning
There was a specific plan for just the street trees. Having worked at one time in this area, the cherry blossom trees in spring were always a highlight: I'm so pleased to see the thoughtfulness for this area.
DarcelleVagabond Opera
In true Portland odd fashion, the stage at the festival featured a cross section of culture representing Oldtown/Chinatown. Flanked with asian style art, the fabulous Darcelle in full drag queen regalia MC'd, and Vagabond Opera, klezmer music sung in Italian, put on a fantastic show.
Coconut milk
I was quite pleased to enjoy fresh coconut milk straight from the coconut.