Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"a" is for "anonymous"

...and "asshole."

Thanks Zuhn for helping jolt my brain into reality by suggesting what should have been the obvious solution to my techno problem. I saw it in the settings thing, but wasn't sure exactly what a registered user might be. That's because I'm dumb sometimes. Anonymous might agree, but if he or she wants to comment to that effect, he or she will have to come up with a name of some kind to be allowed access to the comments. So there you go, jerk.

Anonymous came back tonight, but I removed the comment b/c I just don't need to give space for somebody's stupid shit. I put enough stupid shit of my own on here. If anonymous wants to write stupid shit, he or she can get his or her own stupid blog. The end.

dear world

Can I tell you a little story about things? Sure, ok. Last night at work, one of our usual, graveyard staff wasn't able to work. For some reason, the guy who does the scheduling picked somebody new to cover the shift. This made the Jolly Ox very mad. The Jolly Ox is our other regular graveyard staff. She's a big stubborn cow who is either laughing or arguing with someone, but either way, she's being stubborn and frustrating.

So the Jolly Ox was MAD because she doesn't like to have to do things like: train new people or count the narcotics. Regardless of whether I like counting the narcotics, it's something I have to do every night before I can leave to go home. Instead of counting the narcotics with me promptly, the Jolly Ox spent about fifteen minutes bitching at me about all the reasons why she shouldn't have to count the narcotics. I DON'T CARE, JOLLY OX! I JUST WANT TO GO HOME!

Of course, the Jolly Ox's little outburst meant that I missed the 12:06 bus. (What's that, Anonymous? You don't really care which bus I take?? Really?? That's funny, I don't really care what you have to say. Anonymous comments are for assholes and people who can't figure out how to post any other way.) I got home at 1, instead of 12:30, missed my Skype date with SK, and had a hard time falling asleep.

Just when I'd finally fallen asleep, at 2:45am, my phone rings. Wha?? It's the goddamn Jolly Ox!! She lost the key to the med cabinet!! She wanted to know if I took it home. NO I DIDN'T TAKE IT HOME, I GAVE IT TO YOU WHEN WE DID THE EFFING COUNT, REMEMBER!!! You just don't call people at 2:45 in the a.m., you know? You just don't do it.

So I couldn't fall back to sleep until it was light out. And that's fucking lame. I just called work to check on things and it turns out they never did find that key. Nice work, Jolly Ox. You suck. And now I'm cranky. And I woke up to some anonymous asshole comments on my blog. I can't figure out how to set it up so anonymous people can't comment. I've seen other blogs with little things that say "This blog does not accept anonymous comments." Any suggestions from the tech savvy among my readers?

At least the weather is gorgeous and hot today, just like I like it. That will cheer me up a little. Grrr.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

what the fuck is wrong with texas?

Just caught this disturbing story about a Texas mother who hung her four young daughters and then herself in the closet of her mobile home. What?? But what's worse, check this out, take from the article:

"Texas has seen a disturbing number of child killings by mothers in recent years.

Andrea Yates drowned her five children in the family's Houston bathtub in 2001. In 2003, Deanna Laney beat her two young sons to death with stones in East Texas, and Lisa Ann Diaz drowned her daughters in a Plano bathtub. Dena Schlosser fatally severed her 10-month-old daughter's arms with a kitchen knife in 2004."

Seriously. What's going on in Texas? Why are so many mothers gettin' all Antigone all over the place? Joolie? You're down there. Any ideas?

tuesday fantasy girlfriend is BACK

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... Portia de Rossi.

Portia de Rossi is possibly the hottest lesbian on the planet and the Portia/Ellen combo is almost more than my delicate circuitry can bear to think about. I mean, just look at them.
Doesn't that give you a warm feeling inside?

I typically don't find the blonde hair all that hot and am usually drawn to the dark-haired ladies. Portia de Rossi, however, is the major exception. I mean, look at that hair. And that fabulous smile! And those eyebrows... *sigh*

I first became aware of Portia when she was playing Nell on Ally Mcbeal (a show I admit I LOVED), but she was probably also good as Justin Bateman's twin sister in Arrested Development. I've only seen a couple episodes of that one, but I thought it was hilarious. And, of course, I thought Portia de Rossi was hot. One more picture? Can you handle it? Ok here you go:

Yum! Thanks, Portia de Rossi, for being this week's FANTASY GIRLFRIEND!

Monday, May 28, 2007

i always suspected...

Just in time for the Second Annual Dolly Parton Hoot Night (YEE-HAW!!!), here's a bizarre but brief article about the sweet queen of country and her lesbian fantasies(!?!?). I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I did always suspect she had some lesbionic tendencies...

true confessions

I used to LOVE this band.Who's this? Seriously, you don't recognize them??? It's Poison! Remember?? From, like, 1988!?!?

What in god's name was I thinking??? I aspired to play guitar like C.C. Deville (the one with the creepy white-blonde hair...). The first song I ever learned the chords for was "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."

See the way they write their name? All slanty and cool? I wrote "Poison" in all my notebooks, just like that, when I was in the 8th grade. I thought it was SO AWESOME.

Anyway, I just read today that they're releasing an album of covers and I think I actually shuddered. Yikes. I won't even pretend to be interested in the new album, though I wouldn't mind a recent photograph of these guys. Let's see if they ever woke up and washed the make-up off...

Sunday, May 27, 2007


I did a google image search for "malaise" and I found this. Looks more like "stomach flu," but whatever.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

down meme-ory lane...

Uh, yeah. Sorry about that. Anyway, I swiped a meme from somebody because I'm too lazy to write an original post today. Maybe later. For now, here's this meme about my SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL. B/c I know you're all dying to know about my senior year... and I'm pretty sure this was adapted from one of those lame myspace memes that my 26 year old brother keeps posting in his bulletins b/c he hasn't quite figured out that these myspace memes are meant for kids who are actually still in school. You'd think all the questions about homework and whether he's ever kissed a girl would tip him off.

Anyway, here you go. Enjoy.

1. Who was your best friend? Tam. And Shannon. And also I was secretly in lesbian-love with both of them. Woops.

2. What sports did you play? None senior year, but I played soccer when I was a sophomore. I sucked.

3. What kind of car did you drive? A 1963 Ford Falcon. It smelled (and ran) like a tractor, but I loved it. I think it got 8 miles to the gallon... sorry environment....

4. It's Friday night, where were you? Mostly I was home watching tv. But sometimes I was hanging out with my friend Donor doing cool stuff, like driving to Raleigh to hang out at Cup A Joe or trying to get in to see live bands even though we were under 21.

5. Were you a party animal? Hardly. I was proto-straight-edge... for some reason...

6. Were you considered a flirt? No way. I was a confused lesbian.

7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? No, but I did take music appreciation.

8. Were you a nerd? No. But I was weird. I was kinda like the Ally Sheedy character in Breakfast Club, w/o the dandruff.

9. Did you get suspended/expelled? No, but I remember going to detention one time. It was called "chill-out." Because that's how cool my school was. I can't remember what I went for, probably for skipping class and leaving campus.

10. Can you sing the fight song? I don't think we had a fight song.

11. Who was your favorite teacher? Ms. Wallace, my English teacher. I was platonically in love with her. She was great.

12. What was your school's full name? Smithfield-Selma High School.

13. School mascot? Spartan.

14. Did you go to Prom? Uh, no. No I didn't.

15. If you could go back and do it over, would you? Fuck no.

16. What do you remember most about graduation? Oh, graduation was great b/c it was superceded by an act of nature. We were all set up on the football field on a nice, balmy, May day in central North Carolina, when all of a sudden a summer thunderstorm with hurricane style winds blew in out of nowhere. It was AWESOME. All the decorations blew down and our caps and honor cords blew off and the principal interrupted the valedictorian's speech to say "Uh, due to the bad weather, uh, by the power vested in me as the principal, uh, you're all graduated! Congratulations! NOW QUICK! RUN INTO THE BUILDING! TAKE COVER!" And that was that. Our names weren't called, we didn't walk across a stage, we weren't handed a pretend diploma. We all ran into the gymnasium where we sat on the floor in our caps and gowns (while our families crowded into the bleachers) and we listened to interminable speeches in the sweltering heat, while the storm raged on outside. It was pretty unusual.

17. Where were you on senior skip day? I skipped a lot as a senior. I'm not aware of there being a special day set aside for it. Tam and I used to sneak off campus and drive down to taco bell. We called it our "5th period Spanish supplement."

18. Did you have a job your senior year? You're damn right I did. I was a cashier at Food Lion, a grocery store on the East coast.

19. Where did you go most often for lunch? If I ate lunch, it was at taco bell with Tam. I didn't step foot one single time into the cafeteria at my high school. I don't know how I managed it, but I did.

20. Have you gained weight since then? No, I've always fluctuated between 125 and 135, even then.

21. What did you do after graduation? Well, I only know the answer to this question b/c my dad gave me a video camera for my graduation present, so I videotaped good portions of this. My friends Donor and Paul (who had graduated the year before) came over to my house and then we went to Blockbuster and rented something and... that's all I have on tape, so that's all I know. It looked like we were having fun, but it sounds boring.

22. When did you graduate? 1993

23. Who was your Senior prom date? Duh, I said I didn't go.

24. Are you going to your 10 year reunion? I missed it. I was planning to go, but for some reason it was scheduled for October and I had just started law school in September and couldn't go. Oh well.

25. Who was your home room teacher? Mrs. Fritz, the Spanish teacher. She was kinda bizarre, but in a good way.

26. Who will repost this after you? I tag everybody who's feeling nostalgic. :-) Anybody? Anybody?

Friday, May 25, 2007

just so you know

Here's that gorgeously arcing Fremont Bridge I mentioned in my last post. If you wanted a visual. So pretty with the morning sun shining on it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

my very long day

I'm very much in love with: 1.) Portland, and 2.) my job lately. Not sure why, though I have some theories I won't bother to try and articulate right now. As the bus glides down Russel towards Interstate, and the full arc of the Fremont Bridge suddenly looms on the horizon, I get such a happy feeling. Even yesterday, at 12:55, when I was on my way back downtown, back to my job, where I'd been since 8am and where I'd remain until midnight. Even then I felt happy.

But why was I in service of the Oasis from 8am to midnight yesterday? It's like this. And technically we should back up, because the story isn't complete unless you also realize that it starts Tuesday night, getting off work at midnight, rushing to the bus to get home as early as possible to try and get as much sleep as I could before I had to wake up at 6:30am for a shower. Because the shower was non-negotiable.

So the story starts with five and a half hours of sleep. I knew I'd be running like mad all day, so I took care of myself in the morning. I made myself a yummy fried egg and cheese sandwich on a whole-grain english muffin to carry me a little while. Then I headed off (in my car) to the Oasis for a mandatory medication training. I've had this particular med training about seven-hundred times because I've worked at the Oasis for so long, but it's always a manageable experience.

Two-and-a-half hours later, glazed and groggy, I stumbled down out of the loft (where we have all our meetings) and headed to the basement for the banana boxes. Why banana boxes? Because that's how we transport the Safeway bread donation. Why bread? Because that's what people at the Oasis eat between meals. I recently succumbed to guilt and volunteered to start picking up our Wednesday bread donation because, due to staff switches, we no longer have anybody working dayshift on Wednesdays with a car. And the bread donation cannot be picked up on a bicycle. Or a Friday.

So I dragged the big, empty banana boxes up from the basement, collared a coworker, Dree, and shoved them all in my car and off we went to Safeway. To pick up the bread donation, you drive to the back end of the Safeway downtown, and you push a little black button by the receiving dock. Then you wait. Legend has it, some folks have had to wait on the receiving dock for up to a half an hour before the little manager woman waddles down the stairs and lets you in the security door. So far, that little woman has shown up within two minutes of buzzing every time. Which has been twice. So I'm crossing my fingers that this promptness continues.

The little waddling lady takes us up the stairs and directs us to an array of shopping carts, all filled with the too-old-to-sell bread, and that's when we swing into action, packing it up in the banana boxes, as much as we can cram. Not just bread, but also cakes and pies and pastries. Whatever the bakery people are getting rid of, that's what we can take. Then we sign some forms and off we go. And this is where it's helpful to have a helper, because two people can carry all the bread to the car in one trip and the little waddling lady doesn't have to keep letting you in and out the security door. Done like this, it doesn't take more than a half an hour, from leaving the Oasis, to getting back. And that ain't so bad. It's just a shame that it has to happen during a part of the day when I'm not usually at work...

So, by 11:00 we were back at the Oasis, unpacking the bread into the fridges downstairs. Quicklike. Then I headed off to the goddamn Dollar Tree at the Lloyd Center Mall for bingo prizes. I have a love-hate relationship with my Wednesday night bingo games at the Oasis. Mostly I hate going to the dollar store for prizes. The dollar store is, in my opinion, the epitome of everything that is bad about America. A surplus of cheap shit, much of which is completely worthless. But guess what, you can buy it! Yay!

Bingo prize favorites include: microwave popcorn (by far the most popular, I buy a ton of it), followed closely by Little Debbie type snack cakes (very popular indeed), then waaaaaaay below these two are things like sunglasses, bottles of conditioner, flashlights w/ batteries, notebooks. It's really a gamble with the non-edible prizes. I can never really tell what people are going to like and what they're going to pick over and ignore. And I'm just waiting for one of the shady cashiers (because it seems that only really shady people want to work at the dollar store) to look me up and down and say "girl, you must really like you some damn Swiss Cake Rolls," as he's scanning the fifth box, so I can say, "Oh, this shit isn't for me. It's bingo prizes for homeless people." Although, I'm not sure if that will help my cause at all.

Anyway, I hate the dollar store, but there I was, I did my thing and then, my shameful admission, I went to Wendy's and got myself a crispy chicken sandwich off the dollar menu for lunch. And fries. And a chocolate frosty. Because who's got time to cook on a day like that? Not me.

I ate my fast-food-nation lunch in my car listening to the '80s station and watching the traffic on MLK go by. That was picturesque. Then I took the bingo prizes back to the Oasis and drove my car back home. I had a solid half hour to relax in the comfort of my own home before I had to head to the bus to go back downtown to begin my new case management duties by 1:00.

What's this? Case management? Yeah, for five hours a week, three of us lowly peons at the Oasis are doing some interim case management until they find a replacement for Kiwi who used to be a stellar case manager and who is now our (probably stellar also) boss. I did three hours of case management yesterday, from 1 until 4, and that's when I got the great news that one of my coworkers (the notoriously worthless Fat Tony) had called in sick! Why not? He's leaving next week to go work on the great American novel, why should he bother showing up to any of his last shifts??

We couldn't find coverage for his shift, so my very dependable coworker KT and I ended up working the shift alone. Kiwi felt so bad for us, that she gave us twenty bucks out of petty cash to order a pizza since we wouldn't be able to take breaks and go get food. And you know what I realized? I realized that working with free pizza is better than working with Fat Tony.

Turns out KT had also been working since 8am, and we were both really exhausted. As a special treat, in honor of our very long day and our exhaustion, the Oasis was a'buzz with the kind of fucked up energy that is usually associated with the full moon. Everybody was loud, people were angry with each other, there were tons of near-fights and the place was crazy with middle-school drama. And we had Wednesday night bingo. Rad.

By midnight, I was practically delirious with exhaustion. I drifted to the bus stop, nearly fell asleep with my head against the cool brick of the bank building which I tend to lean against while I'm waiting for the number 8 to roll up. Then I had this long, dreamy sort of hallucination throughout the busride. I thought about my first days in Portland and how much I love this little city. And then I got loose and dreamy and started looking far out the windows, wondering who was awake out there, who was on the passing MAX train, where were they going, what would it be like to be them...

I barely remember my walk from the bus stop to my house. I just remember it was slow, like I was floating. And then I went to sleep. And I had really weird dreams. And then I woke up and wrote a really long blog post which will probably not be read in it's entirety by anyone except me and possibly SK. The end.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

lesbian teen sets climbing record!

Imagine my joy when I opened up the Yahoo! this morning and saw a picture of a cute little lesbian who had just broken some kind of World Moutain Climbing Record. Good for her!

I wasn't absolutely positive she was a lesbian (though my gaydar was a'ringin), but then I read *this* and all doubt vanished:

'"I was really happy to be there and I was happy to be going down too," Larson said about her thoughts when she reached the 29,035-foot summit of Everest on May 17.'

You go girl! She climbed Mt. Everest *and* had a girl waiting at the top. I guess that must have been the record she broke...

(Thank you. That was your juvenile humor of the morning. Carry on.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

tuesday fantasy girlfriend: RAINCHECK

Sorry, I'm just not in the mood for it today. I know, hard to believe. But instead of a fantasy girlfriend, here's a zombie quiz. Once again, I mostly just chose to post this b/c I think the badge is cool looking. 60%Mingle2What's your score?

i was a portland slacker

I realized last night, around 2am in the bathroom of Billy Ray's Neighborhood Dive over on MLK, that I have a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde personality problem. My Dr. Jekyll is really serious, meticulous, careful, intelligent and ambitious. Dr. Jekyll went to law school. Dr. Jekyll makes sure the bathroom floor never has water on it. I'm pretty sure Dr. Jekyll is starting a Proust reading group next month. Dr. Jekyll might actually be able to land a real law job.

Mr. Hyde however is an altogether different character. Mr. Hyde first showed up as a shop-rat at a tattoo shop in my little college town. Mr. Hyde is certainly the one who first landed in Portland. Mr. Hyde is the one who put a crate on the back of my bicycle and called it the "Pabst mobile" -- who rode that bike down the street to the shady convenience store for a half-rack of Pabst which he then sat and drank alone in a gloomy house on San Rafael. Mr. Hyde has spent so much time in dive bars, drinking nearly-clear-beer and playing pin-ball, Mr. Hyde might as well OWN a dive bar.

When I first came to town, I idenitified pretty heavilly with my Mr. Hyde life. Beer and pinball and hanging out (and being depressed, let's not forget that one.) Mr. Hyde as a Portland slacker also *loved* working with the homeless, b/c he got to dress like a homeless guy and be slack at his job too. Dr. Jekyll took over during law school and has been in charge going on four years. But now I think he's on vacation? Because Mr. Hyde seems to be coming back with a vengeance.

I think I need to get them both in a room and see if I can't get them to come to some kind of agreement, b/c I don't think I'm going to be able to get rid of either of them. I just need them to cooperate.

Monday, May 21, 2007


In my last post, I mentioned that I sometimes got the movies "Drugstore Cowboy" and "Rhinestone Cowboy" mixed up. Well let me be the first to tell you, there is no movie called "Rhinestone Cowboy."

"Rhinestone Cowboy" is a song by Glen Campbell. A real classic. And the movie I was thinking of is called "Rhinestone." It's been a long time, but I *think* the premise is this: Dolly Parton is hanging out in a tavern and she bets somebody that she can make the next person who walks in the door into a Country/Western star. The next person who walks through the door is a New York cabbie played by Sylvester Stallone. Hilarity ensues...

... if you think it's hilarious to watch Dolly Parton and Sylvester Stallone argue a lot and eventually fall in love. If you think it's hilarious to watch Sylvester Stallone put on a rhinestone cowboy outfit, which he obviously hates, and try to sing country music, which he sucks at. If you think it's hilarious to slam your hand in a car door or get splinters under your fingernails.

But I digress... Anyway, there's my correction and that saves you guys from having to do the research and correct me yourself.

You're welcome.

the film that didn't suck

Drugstore Cowboy had always been in the back of my mind as one of those classic movies I'd have to see one day, even though I had no idea what it was actually about. (And, frankly, I think there may have been times when I confused Drugstore Cowboy with Rhinestone Cowboy... a very different movie...)

But then one day, walking down Irving St. in the NW quadrant of Portland, heading towards SK's temporary abode with our friend Dr. Dutch, I noticed a placard on an enormous apartment building. Not your standard brick walk-up type apartment building, but a crazy-huge, wooden behemoth, built in a U shape, with porches along the bottom and top floors, all the way around. A really striking building with a much more Southern architectural style than most Portland buildings.

So the placard on the gate to this building said, and I'm paraphrasing: "Hey, this is where they filmed some of the scenes in Drugstore Cowboy!" Until then, I had no idea it had been filmed in Portland and hadn't even put it together in my mind that Gus Van Sant directed it.

Well, I finally watched it last night, and let me tell you: it's a good, depressing, uplifting movie. The shots of all the Portlandia were less satisfying than those in The Hunted. Drugstore Cowboy came out in 1989, so things looked slightly different and even though a lot of it seemed to be shot in the Old Town area where I work, I still wasn't absolutely sure I knew what I was looking at. Things just looked tantalizingly familiar. And I swear to god, there are shots of my workplace in there. I swear, but I can't prove it.

Other than the Portlandia, it's a good movie. If you don't already know, it's about junkies who rob drugstores for... you know... drugs. There's only one actual drug store robbery in the film, but there are lots of scenes of the ferocious foursome shooting up or in the throes of one or another drug. Mostly they prefer downers, like heroin, and there are great scenes of Matt Dillon with glazed eyes and a half smile, while little cowboy hats and farm animals and trees sort of dance across the screen and over his face in superimposed ghost images. If that's what heroin is like, I'm kinda glad I never tried it.

There's another great scene right after they've traded some of their loot to this local, small time dealer, wanna be hustler kid for some chrystal meth. They're all jacked up on meth and Matt Dillon does a very convincing jaw thrust, a common tick among folks on meth. I see it, unfortunately, a lot at work. I thought that was a nice touch.

Another nice touch was William S. Burroughs, who plays the role of a defrocked priest, kicked out of the church for being a junkie. He turns out to be living in the same shitty SRO downtown as Matt Dillon after Dillon leaves the gang to try and get clean. There are a couple of scenes where Burroughs practically looks directly at the camera and gives what I can only imagine is a completely ad-libbed speech made up of his own beliefs about the demonization of narcotics, including a very prescient prediction that the government will use fighting drugs as a way to erode civil liberties. Or at least that's what I think he was talking about.

Even though the drug lifestyle is really depressing, especially if you've actually seen it up close, the movie arcs upwards and as the credits rolled, I was surprised to find a little mist in my eyes. It was a good one. You should check it out.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

i was here just three short months ago!

Courtesy of Overheard In New York, my favorite website:

"Where Lawyers Come From

Spazzed customer: Yo, dude, I need something to help me concentrate. I have to take a really big test and then I can forget it all. I have to take the bar -- have you heard of that? It's for being a lawyer.
Employee: Um, well, we have this herbal product to increase the blood flow to your brain.
Spazzed customer: Can I smoke pot with it?
Employee: Uh, sure.
Spazzed customer: Great. You take credit cards?
Employee: Yeah.
Spazzed customer: Great, thanks [leaves the store without buying anything]."

i saw a movie and boy did it suck

I checked out two movies from the library this weekend that were filmed in Portland: Drugstore Cowboy and The Hunted. I haven't watched Drugstore Cowboy yet b/c I'm saving the good one for last. I'd heard The Hunted was really bad, but they were filming it when I first came to town I've wanted to see it ever since.

Oh sweet jesus did it suck. It was really bad. But thoroughly entertaining due to all the Portlandia and also due to the crazy inconsistencies. I really wish I'd been watching it with someone who could have appreciated all my exclamations and gesticulations as I laughed my ass off at the folly of it all. Here are some of my favorites:

(If you're not a Portlander, you might not enjoy this part very much...)

1.) Portland is a big town or a small city, it is not a bustling urban metropolis. There's a great scene in The Hunted in which Benecio del Toro has once again slipped away from the array of law enforcement officers who are chasing him. In this scene, he climbs up out of a manhole in the middle of a downtown street and then disappears into a crowd -- a CROWD -- walking quickly down the sidewalk a'la midtown Manhattan. Whence this crowd? Since when are downtown Portland sidewalks awash in pedestrians? This isn't New York, you'd be hard pressed to walk down a sidewalk here with ten other people on your block, much less the thronging masses into which Benecio del Toro slipped unnoticed in this scene. They must have paid a LOT of extras for that shot...

2.) In keeping with the 'urban jungle' atmosphere the filmmakers were shooting for, I noticed that every single downtown scene featured copious wafts of steam billowing up out from the streets. Whence all that steam?? I have never once in all my six years of living here ever seen steam pouring out of the streets into the air. I guess the steam made the scenes all look grittier.

3.) Kudos to the filmmakers for actually using our local news station KOIN 6 and their real anchorman Jeff Gianola in the scene where del Toro has wrecked the van and escaped. Unless I'm blind and crazy, that guy in the movie is the real Jeff Gianola, whose name appears soon after on the side of the MAX train that will make up the rest of my complaints about this ridiculous movie.

4.) Ok, the MAX train. Let me count the ways they misused the MAX train in this movie. A.) The MAX crosses the Willamette river over the Steel Bridge, yet they call it the Hawthorne Bridge in the movie. I guess "Steel Bridge" didn't have the same ring... B.) In the movie, the MAX appears to be barrelling across the bridge at breakneck speeds when those of us who've ridden the MAX know that it barely hits five miles an hour on the bridge. It's SLOW. C.) The part of the MAX that extends from the roof and touches the cables, in order to maintain power, etc, is shown in the movie to be CONSTANTLY GIVING OFF A CASCADE OF ELECTRICAL SPARKS! As if the MAX is really just this traveling pyrotechnic show, all the time shooting fire off its roof. Give me a break. D.) All the bullshit climbing onto, breaking into, fighting on and chasing through the MAX that occurs as the train crosses the bridge takes FOREVER when it generally only takes the MAX about a minute, tops, to cross the river. E.) There are cops blocking the exit of the bridge, pointing their guns at the MAX, demanding it stop. AND IT DOES! ON A DIME! And we all know, as the signs inside the MAX warn us, it takes the MAX a full three blocks to come to a complete stop. YOU CAN'T JUST THROW SOME COPS IN FRONT OF THE MAX TO STOP IT!

Ok, that's all I'm going to say. It was ridiculous but I'm glad I saw it. I was excited to see Mary's Club (a notoriously tacky strip club downtown) in one shot and I was extremely excited to see my little workplace, The Oasis, in another scene. It was worth it all just to laugh so hard and see my sweet little city in a movie.

But if you're not from Portland, you should avoid this movie like the plague. It sucked.

Friday, May 18, 2007

mmmm coffee

I'm mostly posting this b/c i like the shiny, brown coffee image. And b/c I wanted to prove to the world that I am still addicted to coffee, even if I can't handle the caffeine anymore. It's more of an emotional addiction, but whatever... What about you?

my work (and why i love it)

If you're new to this blog, let me tell you about my "job." For the six glorious years I have lived here in Portland, I have worked at a transitional housing facility for the homeless mentally ill. I am a Residential Counselor.

What does all that mean? It means: I work in a big old building downtown that houses a program with ~thirty single-room apartments, twenty dorm/shelter beds, and a Drop In Center where people hang out. If I were Zuhn, I'd make a cool pie-chart to show how I allocate my time, but since I'm not Zuhn I'll just tell you: I spend a lot of time pushing the door buzzer to let people in. I also spend a good deal of time giving out medication. I answer the phone, I take messages, I run up and down the stairs letting people into their rooms when they've locked themselves out, etc.

Fortunately, I spend less time (but still *some* time) breaking up screaming matches, investigating mysterious loud noises, calling 911, talking people out of killing themselves, disposing of illegal drugs and paraphernalia that people find laying around (usually it's crack pipes and syringes, but one night it was a whole little bindle of crack which I considered taking and selling for ten bucks but then I realized I like my life like it is and I don't really need ten bucks that bad). Etc, etc.

But, when I'm not doing any of that stuff, what I'm doing is playing Skip-bo. This, for some reason, is everybody's favorite game at the Oasis. (FYI: the Oasis is the pseudonym of my workplace as seen in our Writing Group blog which can be found in my links list: The In Between Places.) Skip-bo has taken over and for close to a year now, Skip-bo has been the activity du jour for all our clients. So popular has this little card game become, we've gone through several decks and we now have at least three full decks at all times to accomodate the inexplicable demand for the game.

I spend most nights taking or avoiding offers to play Skip-Bo. Last night in particular was really busy, I was running around doing all sorts of stuff, and everywhere I went, someone was asking me if I wanted to play Skip-Bo. I was literally scheduling people for games and it became a kind of chore at some point.

But here's why I love my job: have you ever played a card game with people with schizophrenia? It's really, really interesting. I played last night with two people who are miraculously able to both pay attention to this complicated game of chance and strategy *and* attend to, what we call in the biz, internal stimuli, ie: "the voices."

The person to my left, in a very "REDRUM" sort of quiet, growly voice, kept up what might have been an unbroken narration of an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, breaking from this monologue whenever it was his or her turn. (I'm obscuring gender to better protect client confidentiality, thank you very much.) He or she carefully and cleverly took each turn, then returned to the creepy monologue.

The person to my right, deeply engrossed in something in his or her head, yet less vocal about it, took turns with only slight latencies. Watching him or her, it was obvious that he or she was listening to something very unpleasant that the rest of us couldn't hear. And before he or she could take each turn, he or she had to listen long enough to satisfy that myseterious voice. No matter how many gentle prompts I gave ("ok, your turn"), he or she had a process to go through before being able to snap out of it.

I can't explain it. I just sat there with those two and realized (for the hundredth time) that having schizophrenia is really fucked up, really painful, really complicated... and yet... here they are. Real people living real lives, playing cards, engaging socially, balancing something difficult and complicated and isolating (what can be more isolating than hearing voices in your head that no one else can hear?), against the simple tasks of daily life, simple interactions, games, etc. I love my job.

And then, on a completely unrelated note, I love my coworkers. Yesterday, I went into the med room to pick something up from the nurse, and she CHALLENGED ME TO AN ARM WRESTLING MATCH! AND SHE WON! She's fifty-four years old and suffers from some kind of chronic pain disorder, but by god, she beat me at arm wrestling. I had the audacity to try and show off my "guns" -- I should call them my "pea shooters" I guess b/c they obviously aren't that big yet. And she just said, "All right missy, come here." She literally flung some files off into the floor to make room on a stool for our elbows, and next thing I know, I'm having my ass handed to me by a woman who's older than my mother. But she's still strong. Stronger than your average 54 year old nurse, I'm sure.

I obviously need to keep lifting weights. Or just give it up. One or the other.

And last of all, I just found out that Gus Van Sant filmed a movie in our building called Mala Noche in, like, 1985. The guy who brought us Good Will Hunting and Drugstore Cowboy made a movie right there in my building where I work. I thought it was cool, I don't know about you. Almost as cool as that scene in Foxfire where Angalina Jolie climbs on top of the Broadway Bridge. If you're a Portlander, you will stop being annoyed with all the local inconsistencies in filming just for a moment during that scene and you'll think "Wow... I wish I could climb on top of the Broadway Bridge..." -- and then you will remember that it's totally not possible and you'll get annoyed with the film all over again. Yay!

Ok, the end.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

meme whore

So when you hold yourself out to the world as a meme-whore, you get tagged for stuff. Melinda, over at Cult of Melinda hit me with one of those vague, ambiguous memes. Ten things about me. Ten things? Isn't my blog always some things about me? I think a little too much "me" sometimes.

But here goes. I will try to think of ten things.

1.) I'm Southern, but I don't have an accent unless I've had at least two beers or I'm hanging out with my friend Leo, and then Leo's accent is SOOOOOO strong, mine doesn't seem like an accent at all, just the barest little lilt.

2.) SK used to always tell me I had spaghetti arms, so now I'm lifting weights to make my arms into, at least, fettucini.

3.) I used to be into bdsm, but I'm not really anymore, although I still love black leather and all the accoutrements. (TMI? Sorry.)

4.) When I was a kid, I was medically diagnosed as lazy. My grandmother thought I was anemic, because all I did was lay around all summer, so she took me to the doctor. It was very optimistic of her, but no. Not anemic. Just lazy.

5.) I actually campaigned for Ross Perot when I was in high school. I guess I didn't technically campaign for him, I collected signatures (at the Ham and Yam Festival, no less) to get him on the ballot in North Carolina back in '92. I'm not really sure why I thought he was so great. I think it was just that I hated (and continue to hate) the two-party system and prefer to vote for third party candidates.

6.) I've been playing the guitar for 19 years.

7.) I use a neti-pot every single day, for sinus health. And also because I'm addicted. Thanks Joolie!

8.) I was the eighth grade badminton champ, which means that, in the eighth grade, in my PE class, I beat every single challenger, male or female, in badminton and Ms. Piper, the dykey gym teacher,said "you're the badminton champ!" And I was very proud.

9.) I used to live in Columbus, Ohio. I moved there for no good reason and I liked it very much.

10.) My picture has been in tattoo magazines two different times. Not because I have awesome tattoos (I mean, I think they're nice, but they aren't winning any medals), but because a group of used to go to tattoo conventions with our friend/tattoo artist Cain, to help him promote himself in the tattoo community. He'd whore us all out to tattoo magazine photographers to try and get himself some publicity. It was pretty fun. Pics of us from a Pittsburgh convention and from a New Orleans convention ended up in magazines. So I am, officially, a badass.

The end. I won't actually tag anyone because I realize that, while I do enjoy being tagged, the novelty has worn off for others. Though, everyone is welcome to scurry off to your own blogs and write your ten things. I'm definitely interested.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

tuesday fantasy girlfriend! REDUX

Well, my friends. Once again, my big ideas are foiled by technical difficulties. All the hottest pics I chose of today's fantasy girlfriend, Carrie Anne Moss (aka: TRINITY) were jynxed and wouldn't show up for anyone else but me. WHY, WHY, WHY deprive the world of really hot pictures of this week's fantasy girlfriend??

So, I'll try once more, with a limited selection, and see if it works. Ready? Can you see this?

Yes? Maybe? Ok, good. Can you see this?

Yes? Really? Ok, wonderful. That's all I'm even going to try. I can't handle the disappointment of yet another failure. I'll quit while I'm ahead. Oh yeah, and, just so you know, Carrie Anne Moss, in addition to being a totally hot badass in an otherwise unbearable fantasy series (you might have heard of it, the Matrix?), is also Canadian. Which gives her plus points, as all my Canadian blogfriends should know. Canadians are hot. And thank you Trinity, I mean, Carrie Anne Moss, for being my FANTASY GIRLFRIEND!

Monday, May 14, 2007

the interview!

I don't know if you've noticed, but there's been a rash of "interview meme's" going on around the blogosphere and I am psyched to be participating in (another) one. I may (or may not) have actually *begged* to be interviewed... who can say for sure? Either way, the esteemed Roro, over at Creampuff Revolution has sent me some very important questions, and I'm going to answer them. Ready? GO!

1. Whom would you consider an imprudent poet?

Good question. First, let me explain my weird moniker to those who didn't catch it the first time I explained it awhile back. It's a rip off of some legalese and it seemed pretty clever to me when I chose it. In tort law, when determining negligence, courts generally use the "reasonably prudent person" standard (or just the "prudent person" standard if you're lazy). When I started the blog and needed a moniker, this was the first thing that popped into my head and it stuck.

So who is an imprudent poet? I'd have to say, Sylvia Plath was imprudent. Not very prudent to stick your head in the oven while your kids are just there in the other room, is it? Not so much.

2. If you could go back and deliver a message to your 15 year old self, what would it be?

This is a funny question, because, when I was a young person, I was *constantly* leaving notes for my "older" self. I saw it as a way to connect two particular points in time directly via these weird little notes I'd leave hidden in my room to find later. In fact, I have a sealed envelope on my desk that says "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL NOVEMBER 2004" that I found in a shoebox a couple weeks ago while cleaning out my closet. I turned 30 in November of 2004, so I guess (at, like, age 16) I wrote my 30 year old self a note. I didn't get to it in time, back in 2004, and I haven't yet brought myself to open it now and see what it says. Kinda strange, really. I wonder what my 16 year old self wants from my 30 year old self? And can my 32 year old self provide it?

Anyway, back to the question. The message would be: as soon as possible, take as much money as you can, and buy microsoft stock. Trust me.

3. The aliens land and we're fucked. Lawyering will get you nowhere. What survival skill will you offer the ragtag band of survivors you fall in with as you flee the advancing hordes?

Are you kidding me? I've been waiting all my life for a survival scenerio such as this one to manifest! Have you seen the movie Red Dawn? Oh yeah. Hiding in the woods, living in huts and plotting to kill the commies. Awesome. So, first of all, I love guns, so I'd bring my superior marksmanship, etc to my 'ragtag band of survivors.' Second, I'm good under pressure, so I'll bring my coolheadedness to our struggle for survival. And third, you know I've been lifting weights recently. So, I'll bring my brute strength. (SK, please stop laughing. Seriously.)

4. Who were you in your past lives?

I don't know, but if you ask my mom, I'm sure she's got some theories. That's really her department. I used to wish I'd been Jack Kerouac. I also used to think maybe I'd been Anne Sexton (another imprudent poet who killed herself a month before I was born). Now I don't think so much about it.

5. What children's book most captured your imagination?

Ok, I loved the Chronicles of Narnia, of course. And I loved another series by Lloyd Alexander called the Chronicles of Prydain. Those books were awesome. But the ONE SINGLE book that most captured my little imagination was a book called My Side of the Mountain by a woman named Jean Craighead George. It's about this little boy who runs away from home and goes to live in the woods up in the Catskills on some land owned by a distant uncle. The land is totally isolated and undeveloped and the boy does everything for himself to survive. He hollows out a giant tree stump to live in and he tames and trains a falcon to catch his food. When his old clothes start to fall apart, he makes new clothes from deer hide and he even starts cultivating berries and growing rudimentary crops. The book is part story, part survival manual, complete with sketches which illustrate how he made fish hooks, or what his house looked like. I was in the fourth grade when I read that book and it made me want to run away to live in the woods (by the way, this is something else I bring to question 3). The excitement that book inspired stuck with me over the years, I never forgot it, and just a couple years ago I went on Amazon and bought it. I read it again and it was just as awesome as I remembered. Yay for books.

And yay for interview memes. And yay for Roro! So the rules of the interview meme are these: if you want to be interviewed, you have to post me a comment and ask for it. I'll send you the questions I make up out of my own little head, and then you have to update your blog with answers to my questions. Got it? Got it. Good. So let's go.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

and now for... the *rest* of the story

After that last post about going to French movies with Donor at the art museum, I felt like I was cheating you by not giving you the full story. The full story was that, at that time, Donor and I hadn't hammered out our perfectly platonic relationship yet (as I hadn't hammered out my perfectly lesbian identity yet...) so that night at the French movie was actually a weird, bumbling date.

Donor was a good enough guy, and things went very, very well once we'd abandoned the idea that we were going on dates. However, we had to go through at *least* two more date nights before we gave it up. I'll never forget the slick moves he put on me in the parking lot after the movie. *shivers* We were sitting in the car, waiting for a long line of cars to go past behind us so we could pull out of our parking space. I was in the passenger seat with my head turned far away from his, watching all the cars behind us.

Then he said, "hey." And because "hey" didn't really register on me, because I was lost in thought, he had to say "hey," again before I turned around and found his big head with his floppy lips right there waiting to kiss me. Ewww. I had a couple dates in my day with cute boys who were good kissers. Donor wasn't one of them.

I will never forget that my very slick, sophisticated night at the museum ended in the car with Donor saying "hey." How smooth. How romantic.

Anyway, I can't remember how it happened, but we gave up dating each other pretty soon and settled into a nice, steady friendship. We did all sorts of things together, like going to more French movies, or seeing the Cure together on their crappy "Wish" tour, and we even started a band together, called the Spinning Jennies. But eventually we had a falling out over a girl.

Before the Spinning Jennies, Donor dated this hot chick named Jodi. Like most of Donor's relationships, this one didn't last long and quickly dissolved into "just-friend"ship. This chick was out of the picture for several months until she resurfaced to become the singer in our band. I hadn't really known her when she and Donor were going out, so the night she came to our band practice was the first time I really met her. Can I just tell you now that I was totally in love with her the minute she opened her mouth and sang something that sounded halfway decent? Can I tell you, anyway, that I have a terrible weakness for women who can sing? And, back then I had a terrible weakness for any women at all as, by that time, I was starting to come to my lesbian senses.

I think we were working on that Pixies classic "Where is My Mind" -- we had a chorus effect on the mic so she could sing that high, ethereal part that wafts through the song -- and you could've knocked me over with a feather. Yum.

Fast-forward several months, Jodi and I have gotten to be really good friends although, much to my disappointment, Jodi has started a relationship with our other guitarist Paul even though Jodi and I had a long heart-to-heart in which Jodi admitted liking women. Whew, it's like a soap opera. Meanwhile, we're all off at different colleges by now and hardly see each other.

Spring break, 1994: we're all back in Smithfield and we decide to have band practice. "Band practice" at that point just meant that we hung out in the attic of Donor's dad's barn and smoked pot and had instruments nearby, just in case. Donor's mom was so sweet and so cool, she'd always let us friends of Donor's sleep over after band practice, just as long as the girls slept in one room and boys slept in another...

That night, in Donor's bedroom, despite the fact that I had a girlfriend back at college and Jodi had a boyfriend right out there in the living room with Donor... Jodi and I had... let's just say... special moments together. Hours of special moments. Really, really special moments. Moments I will never forget. *Sigh*

We kept those special moments a secret, but one day, a couple years later, I accidentally let something slip to Donor. I don't know what I was thinking, I guess I just forgot how loaded it all was. And poor Donor... it was almost more than his circuits could bear. Two girls he'd separately dated had "special moments" in his bed. Without him. Jodi cheated on his best friend Paul while Paul was right there in the other room. Two girls Donor still had secret crushes on. In his bed. He wasn't invited. Cheated on Paul. Two girls. AUGH! It was enough to bust a fuse in his little brain.

Anyway, he was mad at me for awhile and even after we "made up," he still carried some resentment and eventually it was over between us. Now I haven't seen him in years, though last I heard he was singing in a band somewhere. Good for him. And Jodi's a successful painter, I googled her a few months ago and found gorgeous paintings of hers on a gallery website. Good for her! But I'm not in touch with any of them anymore. Oh well.

I guess that's the *rest* of the story...


I just finished watching Time Regained, a French film based on a portion of Proust's behemoth novel I'll be trying to read this summer. In the spirit of a film/novel about the power of memory, I found myself transported as I watched, back to my first experience of French films and what I thought was culture.

I grew up in a shitty town called Smithfield, North Carolina and the closest thing we had in our town to culture was the annual Ham and Yam Festival. We were rural, boring and very mundane. Those of us who didn't fit in had to go elsewhere for our education and entertainment.

Raleigh was the closest big town and that's where we'd go. My friend Donor found out that the art museum in Raleigh was screening French films and he asked me if I wanted to go with him. I was seventeen, he was eighteen, and seeing a French film at the art museum seemed like the most highbrow thing we could do. We even dressed better than usual and took ourselves very seriously that night.

When we got there, the place was full of middle-aged white people who all looked like college professors and who regarded us kids warmly. I guess we seemed novel. There was a reception in the lobby and everyone inside was milling around, chatting, drinking wine. This was the first time I'd ever seen a table laid out with wine for the taking. Donor and I stood over in a corner under a potted tree and debated the merits of trying to get ourselves some wine. We decided against it. It seemed uncouth.

Soon, we were let into the auditorium. There were red velvet curtains and it smelled of wood polish. Once we were all in, a man gave a brief talk about the film we were about to see. I think the film that night was Rouge Baiser (The Red Kiss) -- about the communist underground in Paris in the 50s. I loved the whole thing, the museum, the feeling of the reception, the people who seemed so kind and intelligent, the talk, the film. I loved learning something new, I loved the atmosphere, I loved what I thought of as "culture."

That night gave me a glimpse of a kind of life I hadn't seen before. I tentatively aspired to it, but I lost track of that aspiration somewhere along the way. I'd like to meditate on that night and get back to that old aspiration. I think it still has some value in it, especially as I sit here feeling shiftless and uncertain at 32. Maybe I can still be steered by an inspiration from so long ago? We'll see.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

mystery caller

For over a week, I've been getting mysterious calls on my cell phone. They are always from slightly different numbers, with area codes I don't recognize, and whomever is calling never leaves a message. I don't usually answer my phone if I don't recognize the number, preferring to wait and check the message. I thought for awhile it might be the student loan people because my loans were a week late. But I paid my bill and the calls kept coming, and anyway, the student loan people are never shy about leaving messages. Finally today I answered. Why not? Let's solve the mystery. And do you know who it was? Nobody. There was silence. So I waited. And waited. And waited. Nothing. WTF? Then, a few minutes ago, while I was in the bathroom, the phone rang. THEM AGAIN!?!? WHO IS IT?? WHAT DO THEY WANT FROM ME?? I may never know.

Friday, May 11, 2007

tips for bloggers

Hiya kids! If you want to DOUBLE the traffic on your blog, here's a tip: write a post with the words "real sex" and then add a vaguely erotic picture with some blurry naked people in the background and people will come flocking to your site in DROVES! You'll get dozens of hits every day from folks here in America, and you'll even get hits from oppressive countries like Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia! They might leave disappointed, but they will come PUMP UP YOUR VOLUME!

Dude, seriously. After that review of Shortbus, my stats are through the roof. It's nuts.

Meanwhile, I finally learned what "MILF" stands for. I'm just not as porn savvy as I used to be. Oh well.

(Sitting back and waiting for the hits for "MILF" to start rolling in...)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

holy crap! late fantasy girlfriend!

One week into my new feature, Tuesday Fantasy Girlfriend, and I've already FORGOTTEN about it!! What is wrong with me?? I literally fell asleep Monday night trying to imagine who my next fantasy girlfriend would be, and by the time I woke up Tuesday morning, it had all completely left my head! That's just sad.

Anyway, today's make-up fantasy girlfriend is: TINA FEY!

She's funny, she's smart and she's REALLY, REALLY HOT. She's the head-writer on Saturday Night Live, which is a more-or-less terrible show these days, but whatever. She appears in the very clever Weekend Update with Amy Poehler, as seen here:

As a four-eyed, glasses wearer myself, I'm happy to say that Tina Fey is smokin' hot with glasses:

And smokin' hot without:

In short, Tina Fey is one of the hottest chicks on the planet and she's my second FANTASY GIRLFRIEND!

** P.S. I haven't watched Saturday Night Live in about three years, so I don't really know if Tina Fey still writes for them or even appears in the Weekend Update segment anymore. Sorry if my info is all outdated... Either way, she's still hot.

who'd a thunk it?

I wrote awhile back about my insatiable thirst for daunting literature. You know me, always insatiably thirsting for *something.* I'm a solid third of the way into War and Peace, and that's working out pretty good for me. And I was wondering how I'd top War and Peace in terms of daunting literature. I pretended to debate the merits of In Search of Lost Time versus Ulysses, but honestly, I wouldn't touch Ulysses with a ten foot pole, I just wanted to make it interesting.

I've wanted to read Proust for years, since the days when I was reading Henry Miller and Anais Nin, who both cited Proust as an influence, along with Dostoevsky, on their own work. That inspired me. Then last year I read Allison Bechdel's awesome graphic memoir Fun Home, in which she has woven scenes and images from In Search of Lost Time. That also sparked my interest.

I didn't know much about Proust's behemoth at that point and I remember the night we saw Allison Bechdel read at Powell's when she talked a little bit about Proust and his influence on her. I thought, "I'll have to check out this Proust fella," so on my way out that night, I cruised through the literature section looking for In Search of Lost Time. I imagined it would be fat, even dense and hard to read, but it never occurred to me that it would be SEVEN VOLUMES LONG.

There was a sort of confusion and disbelief as I scanned the shelves and couldn't quite understand why I wasn't finding a single book called "In Search of Lost Time" and why, instead, I was seeing something that looked like a mini-encyclopedia. When it finally clicked I was disappointed. My impulse to buy a book would not be satisfied and this Proust fella was going to stay a mystery.

Now that I've had lots of time for the idea of reading a seven volume novel to sink in, I'm ready to give it a go! But I have to say, it's still a little nerve wracking. So I decided to get help. I'm starting a PROUST BOOK CLUB! I know, dorky, but what can I do about it? At least it combines reading (which I love and usually do alone) with socializing (which I'm trying to do more of) -- it's a win-win situation.

Last weekend I posted a couple of craigslist ads to see if there was any interest in a "Proust Support Group" -- I imagined I would have to post the ad over and over again before I'd hear anything, but holy shit! I've had at least ten people write me so far and express interest. I never would've guessed there'd be such interest. Even my friend Waspy might join us, if she can tear herself away from the clutches of her demanding job and family for a little while.

The details on the club aren't hammered out yet, but it's pretty exciting. I think. :-) And it's more fun than trying to get a job, by far.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

pomp and circumstance

First of all, thanks to everyone who put a congrats at the end of my last message. You guys are sweet and I'm very thankful for you.

Second: here's how it all went. I got up this morning and did it all like a big girl. Had a shower, put product in my hair, blow-dried it, made myself look as presentable as possible. This kind of excessive preparation is a daily routine for a lot of people but, personally, I'd like to limit it to special occasions. Like, perhaps once a year...? I guess we'll have to see what happens.

Then I drove out to Lake Oswego to meet up with a lawschool friend we'll call BeeGee, the sweetest, tallest, gangliest guy you'll ever meet, who suggested we carpool. Turns out, BeeGee's whole office was planning to go down to the swearing in, even the secretary and paralegal, just for the heck of it. So we all hopped into an obscenely huge SUV and headed off to Salem.

The ceremony itself was completely not memorable. All I remember is that we were at the back of the auditorium and the sound of children (of the 3 and under variety) was all I could really hear. They seemed to be calling to each other from across the room, their little cries and mews echoing off the walls. The whole place sounded like a daycare center.

Anyway, then there was the oath. All I remember is something about upholding the constitution, the rest is just a blur. I was so focused on hearing what he said and repeating it back that I didn't have a chance to really think about what I was saying. For all I know, I swore to turn over my firstborn child to the Oregon State Bar... fortunately that won't be a problem.

Then we filed our information cards with the bar and got our temporary certificates of admission to the bar, which is exciting, and then we all headed over to the flimsy reception. No champagne, no wine, no beer -- not even coffee or tea. Iced water. That was it. And some snacks. In my opinion, disappointing, though I'm sure I would've loved it if I was still a Mormon.

One thing I can say: BeeGee's office people were really nice and fun and even though I ate lunch out with them and drank two margaritas with them after we came back to town, I somehow magically didn't pay a dime. Hanging out with lawyers can be good sometimes. That's especially nice when you're still technically a social worker making peanuts at the old job you love but will have to leave.

So, that was it. Any questions? Anyone need a lawyer?

it's official

I'm a lawyer.

...more to come.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

dressing like a grownup

It's hard to think seriously about finding a day job when the weather is so distractingly gorgeous, but my life as an adult is about to catch up with me. Tomorrow I'm going to Salem for my big swearing-in and I have to wear a suit.

Ok, I don't *have* to wear a suit, but *ought* to wear a suit, so I will. The last time I had to dress like a lawyer for any length of time was during the spring of 2005 when I participated in my school's legal clinic. I accumulated a handful of different outfits and I have taken those outfits for granted ever since. They hang in my closet and give me a false sense that I have grown-up clothes to wear when the time comes.

But do you want to know something about those outfits? THEY ALL SUCK! Even my suit. I am finally ready to come to terms with the truth: I dress like I come from another planet. You know the Harry Potter books? And how, when the magical people try to mingle with the non-magical people, they do a terrible job dressing themselves properly? They have no sense of fashion or how things ought to go together, they just think: pants, shirt, shoes, socks, I'm set! Well... that's me.

I got out my "suit" today and tried it on. The jacket is nice, but the pants that came with the jacket were dorky so I got rid of them. The pants I use now match the jacket's color, but the texture of the fabric is just slightly different. And the legs are just a tad too short. And there's a hole near the waist that is held together by a conspicuous safety pin which means that, when I wear these pants, I *have* to keep my jacket on at all times.

My shoes aren't good either and the shirt I've picked out is so-so. I have no good accessories (except for a lovely, black Kenneth Cole shoulder bag that I'm very happy about), and I just look like a girl in boy-drag. I don't even look like a cute boy, I look like a "Don't" picture from a magazine.

I need to go suit shopping, but not before tomorrow. Tomorrow I will just have to walk around like a big dork all day. At least, after 1:30pm, I'll be a dork who is also an active member of the Oregon bar. Not all dorks are so fancy.

five reasons the star e rose is my new favorite coffeeshop

First of all, ignore the x-mas stuff all over this picture and instead pretend that the sky is bright blue and the tree is full of bushy, luminous green leaves shading all the happy people who are NOT bundled for winter but are instead lounging in tank tops and sandals. That's what it was like today. And now here are my reasons:

1.) The inside is full of bright colors and everything looks old and salvaged! That's the best. The walls are yellow and red and blue and there's colorful art on the walls and along the whole front of the shop, along the top wall next to the ceiling, are a row of stained glass windows, ALL IN PRIMARY COLORS. I love primary colors. When I sat down in there this weekend, in a dismal funk, I could literally feel my mood changing as I sat there and absorbed all the colors.


3.) Unlike the other coffeeshops that are full of young, white hipsters and wanna be yuppies, this joint still reflects the diversity of the neighborhood, ie: old black guys sit out front and chat while the white hippies mingle around with their dogs and everybody seems happy and friendly. (Notice the difference too between hipsters at the other coffeeshops and hippies at this one... I guess, when push comes to shove, I prefer hippies. Oh well.)

4.) That tree out front is awesome. It's bushy and shady and green and lush. I was just as happy looking at it from inside this weekend as I was sitting under it today. I love trees. I also love plants, and reason number sub-4 is that this place has plants inside. Not a ton, but the ones they have are huge and gorgeous.

5.) They play good music. This weekend they were playing old Paul Simon and today they played the Pixies. For cool girls of a certain age (like me) the Pixies are the just the trick.

And, of course, there's good people-watching and cute girls. And dogs. And very few children. And so far I have no reason to believe the wretched CB will show up and ruin everything again. Yay, I have a new coffeeshop!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

technical difficulties

I apologize to anyone who checked this site earlier today and left wondering what the hell was so adoreable. I tried to post a cute little picture of the Queen with a maniacal grin on her face, but for reasons that are too boring to explain, the picture was visible on MY computer, but not on anyone else's. Sorry.

In other news, I saw a raccoon at the park! She stared me down as she moved from one tree to another this afternoon while I lay in the grass reading and enjoying the gorgeous day. Raccoons are cool, when they aren't menacing your cats or digging through your garbage.

Now I have to go eat lunch and go to work. My busy life just won't give me a break. :-)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

i am shocked

According to a Newsweek poll, Georgie's approval rating has hit an all time low of 28%. Guess what America: HE'S STILL THE PRESIDENT! Why didn't you guys wake up to his suckitude by, say, November of 2004?? Then your fucking opinion would've been worth something.

note to self

When in doubt, go to the forest anyway. You won't regret it and you'll feel better after, even if you're feeling really, really surly.


This movie is GREAT. It's brought to us by the creator of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, John Cameron Mitchell, and it's just as good as Hedwig, if not better.

Yes, it involves a lot of real sex. By real sex, I mean, a lot of real people actually having real sex that you can actually see with your actual, real eyes. Real sex. And the first scene, a montage that introduces you to all the main characters, culminates in a lot of male ejaculate. Which, you know, makes some of my female compatriots gag. But, I swear, if you can get past those first ten minutes, it's worth it.

Yes, it's about sex, but it's not a sexy movie. Ok, sometimes it's sexy. But really it's about people facing their own deepest, hardest things, digging into their shameful places, their damaged places, and reaching out from those places and making real, genuine connections with each other. It's about community and relationship and growth. Its a really sweet movie. A really loving movie. And, at the same time, clever, light-hearted and hip.

Plus there are hot people. And they spend some quality time naked. I'm adding it to my very short list of favorite movies. Yay.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

have you watched the british version of the office?

Ricky Gervais
Circa 2004.

Circa 1983.

welcome to your rebel colony, no hard feelings

I don't think I'm quite becoming an anglophile just yet (having an English girlfriend and liking some English television shows probably doesn't qualify me) but I have to say, I think the Queen is really adorable.

Maybe it's just because Helen Mirren portrayed her as such a proper badass in "The Queen." Or maybe it's just my deep and abiding love of powdery little old ladies (which, itself, stems from my deep and abiding love of my own two grandmothers). Whatever it is, I find I have a funny little warm-spot in my heart for this little old lady who happens to be the Queen of England.

Doesn't she look so cheeky?? Maybe I'm projecting, but I think she looks quite mischevious in this picture. She's here in America for the Kentucky Derby and I hope we don't embarrass ourselves too much. I remember this one time when she came to America and toured a housing project for some reason, a woman ran up and gave her a big, fat bear-hug. And, uh, that's not really how you're supposed to greet the Queen. Ever. No matter who you are.

Anyway, I'm just rambling. How do you Canucks who read my blog (and you couple of Aussies too while I'm at it) feel about Her Majesty?? I mean, to me she's just a cute lady from another country, but she's actually *your* Queen. That's pretty incredible.

Friday, May 04, 2007

this is not pathetic

I came home from work, bought a "cook-it-yourself" pizza from Papa Murphey's (they were on sale for "customer appreciation days") and now I'm at home watching the second season of South Park on dvd. Should I add "alone?" No. I shouldn't. I think that goes without saying.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I was getting myself all geared up for a walk down to Wild Oats for some supplies, but it looks like some apocolyptic style weather has just settled in outside, so I guess I'll just sit here with my computer in my lap some more, while my remaining potted plants are ravaged by hailstones the size of... well... bb's. But they probably still hurt. The plants.

Anyway, my girlfriend has been gone exactly three weeks now and I don't think I've whined about it at all! Not publicly at least. Not on this blog. She's mostly staying in a town called Bedford with her sister, but right now she's back in London for a few days to see friends and stuff. When she checks my blog from Bedford, my sitemeter says her city is: Weston Under Lizard. Which is funny.

In other news, I tried to read another book denouncing religion (not just Christianity this time) but after about ten pages, I just couldn't see the point in it, so I stopped. The bottom line is that religious belief is not an intellectual endeavor and attempts to debunk belief with intellectual arguments will only be interesting to people without religious belief. I have a lot of churning thoughts on the subject that I will leave to churn awhile longer before trying to articulate them.

Until then, I switched from the anti-religion book to War and Peace. Telling people you're reading War and Peace is like telling them that, after work, you're planning to climb Mt. Everest or work on the cure for cancer. For some reason people at work laugh like I'm crazy. Last night, when I said I was going to take my break in the loft and read, they started speculating on how many half-hour breaks it would take me to finish it. Like I'm only planning to read it on my breaks at work! They're imbeciles.

Anyway, since I can't seem to feel the least bit interested in pursuing the legal career I am now trained, qualified and nearly licensed for, I have been upping the ante on my literature ambitions. I was reading Dostoevsky. I just finished Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady, and now War and Peace. After this 1500 page tome, I'm not sure what to tackle next. I could go in one of two directions: I could go for the totally opaque Ulysses, by James Joyce, or I could go for the unbearably long (seven volumes) Remembrance of Things Past (a.k.a. In Search of Lost Time) by Marcel Proust. I'm leaning towards Proust. Why didn't I pursue a literature degree like I'd originally intended?

Ok. That's all for now. My 1500 page tome is waiting for me and since the weather is still frightening, I'm not going to the store any time soon. I'll just have to try and survive a whole day without whole-wheat English muffins and kale. I think I can do it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

NEW FEATURE: tuesday fantasy girlfriend!!!

So, this chick Kristie over on this blog called Spacebeer (sorry, too lazy to work out a link right now) does this Wednesday secret boyfriend thing, which I think is very clever, and I have decided to completely copy her idea, only I'll do it on Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays and I'll do, you know, girls instead of boys.

In honor of my first ever fantasy girlfriend feature, I have decided to dig back into the deep recesses of my tiny little heart/libido and bring out my very first, hardcore, real, true girlcrush. I present to you: Julia Roberts, circa 1988, in the movie Mystic Pizza.Wasn't she so young and cute? To be honest, when I first saw that movie (which I loved and saw so many times, I can still speak along with most of the dialogue... do I own the dvd? Yes I do.)... uh, where was I? Oh, when I first saw that movie, I was actually more moved by Annabeth Gish, who was the dopey innocent one. Julia was also pretty moving to me, but it was the Annabeth/Julia combo that *really* got me, in the scene where Annabeth is on the bed crying and Julia comes in and wraps her arms around her and they hug and hug and... wow... for a youngster, that gave me a sort of melty feeling that wouldn't go away. (Meanwhile, how did I miss the very awesome Lily Taylor?? Who knows. It's like I hardly noticed her at all.)

Anyway, it wasn't until this godawful movie that I finally started loving Julia and Julia alone. That's right: Pretty Woman.After that, I was hooked. I don't know what it was, but I was about 15 and I was just totally smitten. It was so bad that my mom would actually buy me magazines with articles about her, MY MOM, who never did ANYTHING particularly nice. And I had a whole section of wall covered in cut-out pictures of her. I even carried a picture of her around in my wallet, for chrissakes.
But times changed, I grew up, we grew apart, she had a lot of husbands and I had a lot of girlfriends. Now she has babies and pigtails and looks so sweet and motherly. I still have a warm spot in my heart for her, but the passion just isn't there anymore. That's ok, though. You just can't hold onto these things forever. We'll always have Mystic, Connecticut, Julia. Don't worry. I'll never forget you. You'll always be my first FANTASY GIRLFRIEND.

nancy drew and the case of the missing...

...sickly iris? Or big chunks of my brain??

So, here's the story. A couple weeks ago, while tending to the lovely potted flowers on the steps outside my door, I noticed a suspicious circle in the cement. The kind of water mark that a potted plant might leave if said plant had been there a long time and was suddenly removed.

I scratched my little chin and thought, "hmmm.... am I missing a plant...???" Then, looking up and down at the plants in front of me, I easilly concluded that I wasn't missing anything. All plants present and accounted for.

Now, just last night as I was walking to my house from the bus stop, like a bolt of lightening from a clear blue sky, I remembered this plant I used to have. A sickly iris that I had grown from a chunk of root I found laying on the sidewalk last summer. I'd walked by that discarded root for three days, then I couldn't resist. I picked it up, brought it home and put it in a glass of water. Pretty soon, the root had rootlets and was sending up leaf shoots and then I had a full-blown plant. Some kind of iris.

Well, that little iris hit a point in it's growth when it stopped looking so healthy and started to wan a little. I probably should've repotted it, but at the time I thought it just needed more light than my dark, basement hovel affords, so I put it outside on my front steps where I continued to monitor it's progress.

I guess I didn't monitor it closely enough, though, because it's GONE! Totally, completely gone.

So there are two mysteries here:

1.) Who would walk off with a sickly little iris, especially when there are much cooler, prettier potted plants nearby?? It just doesn't make any sense. I don't really mind that it's gone, I just want to know the story. Why?? Who??? When.... ? Which leads to mystery number...

2.) What the fuck is wrong with me that it has taken me probably WEEKS, if not MONTHS, to notice this plant was missing??? And how was it that I stood there looking at the water mark on the cement, scratched my chin and then concluded that nothing was missing?? Am I brain damaged?? I nursed that plant to life from a tiny chunk of root and I just woke up one day and didn't even notice that it was gone??? Should I be worried about my grey matter?? Jesus.