Thursday, May 31, 2007

FBIC VOD: Signs of North Portland

Ah, another adventure into the signs of North Portland. This here is what used to be known as Fabric World. As you can tell, they've lost a few letters. This is on the other side of the corner that gentrification forgot....The corner that gentrification forgot
I used to really hate this place, but I have to say it's grown on me, in a weird way. So many of North Portland's old places are being bought up and remodeled and made into coffee shops and cool retail places, and they're looking so much better. But then there are those stalwarts that just hold onto their buildings without keeping them up, letting letters fall off their signs, dirty storefronts, you just know they can't be making much money. Alas, they hang on. And FBIC VOD is hangin' on. You go FBIC VOD!

Monday, May 28, 2007

What a sweet, sweet weekend

Aaaaahhhhh. That's the sound of a little rest and relaxation after a busy but fun weekend. Now that the remodel is done, we're entertaining a bit, and it's getting fun. Here are a few pic's from late this afternoon, watering the garden as they say heat is coming our way. Ginger and Wink were too cute to not grab the camera. I'm glad I did...
On the front steps, Ginger was "on guard" but mainly supervising.
Ginger on the front steps
She even posed for a portrait in the garden. (Doesn't she look like a little chewbaca? I saw a guy in the grocery store with a t-shirt that said: Party Like Chewbaca. Wished I had the camera for that.)
I'm ready for my portrait
Aah, the sisters hangin' out in the gravel path.
It's a dog day afternoon in the garden

Saturday, May 26, 2007

We've hit the big time people

Located off the western coast of Africa, Cape Verde was colonized by Portugal in the fifteenth century. Flying there from Portland, one would fly to Newark to Lisbon and then on to Praia, on the island of Santiago. Here, let's take a look.

That there are the Cape Verde islands. This evening, AdRi and I were honored to entertain the American consul to Cape Verde in our home. Here is a picture of the momentus occasion.
Oh okay. (this is where the record screeches) I'll cut the formality. Here's the reality, but she IS the American consul to Cape Verde! Safe travels KiTho! Woot! Woot!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Cue MC Hammer

It's Maltipoo Time!
It's Maltipoo Time!
Yes, Wink's sister, Ginger, is visiting for the long weekend and it's all maltipoo, all the maltipoo time. These fluffy wiggly little teddy bears are the best. The best! So much fun. Here's to a great, long, weekend. Viva la summer!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Signs of North Portland: Ott's Friction Supply

Ott's Friction Supply
In case you find yourself low on friction supply items, Ott's can take care of you. I tend to like odd numbers of tagline words, so here in their sign it says Brakes, Clutches, and I always think they need to add another sign that says Lube. It just would round it all up into one kick-ass sign package, wouldn't it?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Snarky commentary on the finale of American Idol**Updated: It's Over. Phew.***

Oh looky looky. They're all dressed up for the finale. But as the finalists came on the stage, I believe that was a close call for Jordin's heels. Now THAT would have been fun!

Gwenn Stefani is awesome. That dress? Like a pretty swirly cupcake with pink buttercream. Mmmmmmm.....

Surprises? Hawt. I read a rumor earlier this week that Britney would be making an appearance. Last year's appearance of Prince on the finale is pretty hard to outdo. I mean, come on. Prince! Love him! Oh, and by the way, AdRi just said she thinks Blake wears boxers "'cuz his pants are always bunched up near his thighs." Gee honey, glad you're watchin' Blake's thighs. Phew!

Kelly Clarkson. Hmm. I hear a little Melissa Ethridge. More AdRi side commentary, "Whatever happened to Justin?" Good question. What did happen to him? He didn't win. I think Kelly is shouting the song. Or at least that's what Randy would say.

Margaret Fowler: did they really need to play that music? Oh god. If this is the opening I wonder if it could get any worse. This is really not funny. B.A.D.

AdRi hates Phil. Everytime he comes on the screen she makes a face and turns away. "I can't stand his bald head." This is deep TV people. But damn: Smokey Robinson looks and sounds great. AdRi says, "He hasn't had any work done. The man is 72 fuckin' years old. Look at him." I get the feeling there's so much botox in there he can't make facial expressions.

Oh god. Another Golden Idol. Whoever thought of these should be shot. Sholandric. Now that name rocks. What a good sport. We just made fun of you, now here's your award.

Gladys, you rock, but if I could reach through the tv and fix your hair in front I would.

Audience shot! Justin! The Hoff! Woot! Woot!

AdRi update: it's 8:43 pm and she appears to now be asleep. Oh wait. She woke up for the commercials. And on Tony Bennett, she says he looks age appropriate. But she's holdin' out for Kenny Rogers.

Props to Carrie Underwood. But why is it that her hair looks like it belongs on a 45 year old? I mean it's pretty and everything, but it always just looks like Wigs By Joanne threw something on top of her noggin'. Ah, okay. She's pretty cool: I take back snarky comments about Carrie. She looked beautiful and was very down to earth. Jesus take that wheel! Or give the girl a corndog!

Sanjaya? With Joe Perry? Aerosmith? This is not public television people. Oh god the crying girl is in the audience. He's singing to her. And the egg lady is behind her. Is this where the show jumps the shark?

AdRi just asked me if it's true that a 60 year old woman had twins today. I checked. Yep, it's true.

Jordin and the velvet teddybear. Yawn. AdRi is out again. As are the cats and dog. Am I the only one awake in this house?! Come on people: where's the big surprise guest? There's got to be more than this. Will she wake up for Bette Midler? Love Bette. But on American Idol? Weird. Ditch the black leather skirt Bette. Oh my god. I think her song made Jerry Springer cry. Why so sad Jerry?

I'd forgotten Taylor Hicks makes those weird constipated faces. Um, and isn't there 5 minutes left in this show and they still haven't anounced the winner? Enough with the Underwood! AdRi just woke up and said "Oh my god it's 9:57." I know, honey. I know. Also, where's Gaiken? Nowhere in sight. I believe American Idol has distanced the show from him and his little, well, issues.

Finally it's over. I'm going to bed.

P.S. Congratulations Jordin.

Sometimes my computer scares me

green self portrait

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I saw a hookeri

with an extensive root system. And this is what it looked like:
The funny thing on this one? Putting the camera in odd places and angles, and just taking the picture can sometimes yield quite lovely results. I didn't even look through the viewfinder on this one. So warm and glowy.
Happy photo taking.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Signs of North Portland

I groove on good signs. Cultural indicators, history, style...some of my favorites are the reader board signs where people can give shout outs like "Lordy Lordy Mike is Forty!" or where business owners test out saavy sayings. And then there's the signs with awesome type, style. Think of the beautiful Vegas style signs on North Interstate. I thought I might start taking some photos of my favorite signs. So here's my first entry...
Dancin' Bare
In case you're not sure what Dancin' Bare is all about, we're fortunate that it's all written out clearly on their sign.
Dancin' Bare sign
I kinda think I'd pay more to see that bear dance. Oh, I could just go up the street to Urge for that.
No waitig!
Thank god there's no waitig. By the way, this place is PACKED on the weekend, and always in front, up on the curb, is a monster truck. The perfect addition to the signs. It's like a magnet. Hawt!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It's another one of those days...

Dear lord, shoot me now. It's another Sweet Home Alabama day here in North Portland. Actually, don't shoot me. There's been a little bit too much of that lately. It's making me on edge. Just down the street was a SERT team situation Monday, with helicopters flying overhead and streets roped off. In addition, that morning a man was found bludgeoned to death behind the quick mart. And to cap it off, when you're married to a cop, you never know what kind of day it's going to be, and yesterday was a nervous one, with a shoot out and all of the drama that goes with it. Phew. The violence is bringin' me down. It's like the sun comes out in Oregon and people get edgy. You can feel it on warmer evenings here in NoPo: there's a tension in the air, more cops on the street. I think it's one of those times to just be a little careful. And gentle.

But back to where we started. In case you need them, here are the lyrics to the song that is being repeated over, and over, and over and over...
Big wheels keep on turning
Carry me home to see my kin
Singing songs about the Southland
I miss Alabamy once again
And I think its a sin, yes

Well I heard mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A Southern man don't need him around anyhow

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you

In Birmingham they love the governor
Now we all did what we could do
Now Watergate does not bother me
Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the truth

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you
Here I come Alabama

Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers
And they've been known to pick a song or two
Lord they get me off so much
They pick me up when I'm feeling blue
Now how about you?

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you

Sweet home Alabama
Oh sweet home baby
Where the skies are so blue
And the governor's true
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you
Yea, yea Montgomery's got the answer

Monday, May 14, 2007

Cue the theme song from CHiPs

My ponch
You know she's going to kill me for the comparison, but it's not the first time.

Had a super lovely weekend away in San Diego. Family, beach, sun: I should know better to protect my forehead in sun this early in the season. Ouch. I had forgotten the things I love so much about Southern California. That weather is just the best. Hot sun, cool ocean breeze. Blooming things that smell good. It was nice to get away. And what an easy flight: the San Diego airport is a breeze. Did they finish the final elements of the remodel while we were gone? Of course not. But that is for another post. Here are a few more pictures, these from Balboa Park...
Architecture at Balboa Park

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Answering the eternal question, "Why do I blog?" I've been tagged.

I blog in the same way that cultural geography was my favorite class in college—even though I was a communications major. I'm intrigued with how people communicate, creative exploration (outside traditional and formal writing), and how people interact with each other (social interaction). I'm also intrigued with technology, and blogging was something tangible and immediate I could learn and make. And finally, I've always wanted to be a succesful diary keeper, and never quite attained that goal.

I started blogging twice before I kicked it into gear here at Lelo in Nopo. My other blogs both began in the first few days of the year, once in 2002, and again in 2003. I think my first blog was called "Are you there God, it's me Margaret." But they fizzled out and didn't really stick. (And ladies, who among us didn't read that transformative Judy Bloom book as a girl?!)

Through Lelo (which, by the way, I assume you all know that's not my real name)I've met some really fantastic people, and even made some great friends in real life. I would never have met them otherwise, as our paths just wouldn't cross. I think of the fantastically witty writer who works from home here in Portland, the suburban lesbian with three kids and the cutest dog ever, and the talented chef and wonderfully deep friend in Las Vegas. I never thought my blog would connect me to new people in real life, but funny how it has. It also has given a window of my life to my parents, who visit my blog several times a week, and I'm glad this transparency is open to them: they can see their lesbian daughter is pretty normal and has the sense of humor and sarcasm they recognize as their own.

So I've had other blogs, including a gardening blog over at OregonLive (which like many of the blogs there are dying a slow and painful death). And I have a new blog in the works, as part of my new professional website. My "voice" here on Lelo sometimes sneaks into my other writing, or in my "speak" with people. It will be interesting to see how it combines with my professional voice, or doesn't.

Thanks for the tag on this meme! Go pay my new friend there a visit and check out his blog. As all memes ask, I'll tag the requisite five people to answer this question as well. You've been tagged:
1. Witchtrivets (one half of the amazingly brave lesbian couple who moved from the deep south to Portland this past year)
2. Jesus H. Christ (why does he blog? isn't that the eternal question?)
3. Purple Twinkie (because he needs some good topics and if he hasn't already answered this question he should)
4. Maggie (finding her way in Montana with wit, humor and a whole lotta patience)
5. Neva Miss Feva (our strange coincidence of living in the same town while being from the same hometown and her bravery in living with lupus inspires me)

So these are many of the reasons and stories behind why I blog. Why do you blog?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Learning how to work from home while listening to the opening of Sweet Home Alabama over and over and over and over and over again

Five months ago I ventured out into a new life and a new job. I'm doing the same kind of work I was doing before, but now I'm my own boss. But instead of being a part of a large agency, I work from home, network in coffee shops, and do lots of client meetings over the phone (when they're in other parts of the country). I'm a consultant. This has been a big change. I'd been at one agency for 13 years, and while I loved the work and loved the company, it was just time. Plus, I had lined up some great clients and it would be a safe jump.

About this same time, we embarked on the over-blogged house renovation. Noise and dirt and upheaval and people, I worked nonstop here in my office, secluded away. It was a long dark winter. Working from home wasn't all that sexy with construction going on.

But now, the construction is over, the house is lovely, and the weather is drop dead gorgeous. Windows are thrown open, I'm taking business calls from the back patio in the sun, and Wink, Frida and Picasso are all enjoying hanging out with me. I can do laundry, have a homemade salad for lunch, run an errand, but I keep hearing the same song. Over and over and over and over. The neighbor is learning electric guitar, and is playing the opening of Sweet Home Alabama. Over and over and over and over. And over and over and over. And over and over. It never kicks in to the whole song. Just that opening guitar part. Oh dear lord. Tell me this is not going to happen all summer long. I guess I'll need to just turn the stereo on a bit louder.....

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What do you look like when you're totally exhausted? (like this)

nappy nap
A whole day of gardening and work has left Wink tired. As you can tell. She may be a little dog, but she's pretty low key. She'd sleep all day if she could. Last night she was exhausted. Today, she's still exhausted. So exhausted, that she's actually sleeping on top of the cat.
i'll just stretch out here on top of Frida
You know there's a total powerplay going on here. Over who gets the chair. Evidently they have differing opinions on that. And by the looks of this picture, I don't think Frida is too happy.
what kind of pose is this anyway?!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A May Day Posie

May day
We spent the entire day in the garden today (after I had a networky chitty chat two-hour breakfast at Gravy: so fun!) and I'm so tired I can barely move (from the gardening, not the two-hour breakfast). At one point we came home after a trip to the nursery and this was on our front door. Our lovely little girl neighbor blessed us with a May Day gift. Is that the sweetest thing ever? In exchange I showed her the baby birds in the birdhouse, from afar, of course.

I made May Day baskets when I was a little girl. Ribbon woven through green plastic strawberry baskets. I loved them. But today's May Day basket was special. :) Happy May Day peeps!