Monday, February 26, 2007

I'm so efficient. It's almost like I'm an adult.

Taxes filed. Refunds will arrive post-haste.
FAFSA filed.

For 4 colleges because I just want to see sumthin. I'm possibly possibly, if everything lines up (oh and if I am accepted--important), attending the Oregon College of Art & Craft this fall. They have a 2-year book arts program that makes my mouth water. Okay, how could a program with both book and arts in it not be great? Come on.


One of the other colleges I listed on the FAFSA was Reed. It's just for laughs, though, because even if we could afford a $35,000/year!! tuition bill, I would be too intimidated by the other students:

Reed is a highly selective four-year college with a reputation for delivering a strong academic experience, for attracting a highly intellectual student body, and for generating an unusually high percentage of graduates who go on to earn Doctoral degrees. --Wikipedia

Still, I dream. In another life. That life where I earn my Ph.D.
Plus, their mascot is the griffin!!!! That's reason enough.

the majestic griffin

...back to regular programming...

So, maybe I can turn this book arts certificate (I don't need another degree and accompanying loans; see: Reed) into a way to escape the formal economy.
Photo skillz + book making skillz = ?

This plan, aka Operation Not Becoming a Working Stiff, has been the focus of our daydreaming lately. Both of us hating our jobs and all. We've concocted a 5-year plan henceforth referred to as Our List of Demands. Included on our LoD agenda is finding a new place to live, a new way to pay for things that require money, and a way to visit Mexico as often as possible. This is the More Mature & Responsible Plan which, Mom and Dad will be glad to hear, replaced our first plan of Total Expatriation.

The ease of going to Mexico often is (mostly) directly related to the distance we have to travel to get there. Plus we've come to a consensus (it takes two yes votes) that we need to live somewhere with more sunshine. I'm really liking the atmosphere of Portland (the city where everyone has a side project: the bartender-by-night/ artist-by-day schtick) and the proximity of nature-like settings, and the things that come with most larger cities as related to dietary concerns (Whole Paycheck, etc.), but the rain is the rain on our parade. It's not wrist-slitting bad (maybe because I'm medicated), but it does get old. And cold. And wet. And the dogs aren't big fans either.

So: more sunshine, closer to Mexico. We're not California types, despite being liberal vegetarian/vegan environmentalists---wow, why aren't we moving to CA?? No, no CA. I instantly thought of Arizona but I haven't been there other than our trip through Phoenix et al on our way down to Mexico last year and that was Less Than Pleasant to say the least. So I posted a plea for inspiration on the city-data forum and rec'd a list of places to check out including Flagstaff, AZ (eh), Bisbee, AZ (eh), Show Low, AZ (eh), and Silver City, NM (hmmm). The search continues.

On the job front, my replacement will begin training in the next couple of weeks so we're looking at March... Keith just got benefits @ his job and he's not digging it all that much, but I told him to at least take advantage of the insurance he's paying for. When I called and found out that my refill Rx was only going to be $10 because of the insurance Keith reminded me that we pay about $300/month to insure us both, so really--not saving money. But if he gets in there and racks up the dental/medical/acupuncture services we could make some progress. I think I will have to take the initiative and call some Dr.s for him. I do the legwork around here; he's The Closer.

On our dogwalk yesterday we saw this great car parked on the street north of Couch Park. Its rustiness was like a siren song.

It also reminded us of Fozzie's Studebaker (a bear in his natural habitat).

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up

My sister came to visit this weekend...

outside of our building

waiting for the bus; going to The Bins!!

The panorama wasn't used as much as promised. But I did get a couple good ones. (see above)

We did Voodoo Doughnut twice. Laughing Planet once (mmmmm burritos!). And The Bins!!!! Amanda is converted. She got about 30 small toys for her treasure chest in her classroom + 8 or 9 shirts for less than $10 all together. We hiked up to Washington Park/The Rose Garden. Another panorama opportunity. (see below)

a view of the city from Washington Park

Lazlo and Mia got good workouts both days. But they're still wrassling around like eeeeediots.

The elevator is broken. Again. And there was a fire alarm at midnight last night. The ambiguously gay Asian? man on the second floor had an altar of fruit m candles, and incense burning an a table blocking his door in the hallway under the fire sprinkler. We've had a handful of false alarms since we've moved in and never a real fire. So many that we will likely burn to a crisp one night thinking it's another false alarm. This morning there a container of salt on either side of his doorway. And rice all over the main entry way downstairs.

Probably this rice that he left in the hallway in December.

Amanda's off back to Coeur d'Alene tomorrow morning and Keith and I go back to the salt mines.

We bought tickets for Son Volt at the very cozy Crystal Ballroom!!!!! So excited. 3/28

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Other people cause me stress.

We decided to take the dogs on a good looooooong walk today. So we headed up to Forest Park/Lower Macleay Park. It's another large park (in addition to Washington Park) that is within walking distance and we'd never been there. It's at the end of Thurman, and with the blocks being named in alphabetic order Thurman-Burnside=18 blocks. Plus we serpentined. So it was even farther than that.

But I didn't know it's Forest Park's most used entrance. Everyone and their off leash dogs were there. Sprinkle in a few out of control toddlers and 2 dashes of (on leash) pit bull and you get Stress Soup. Mia is doing excellent with her Leave It training and only acted up a couple of times. It was close quarters on the trail and both of our dogs were the best behaved on the trail. Hello, people: Keep Your Dog On Leash means EVERYONE. It stresses our dogs out when they have to be on leash around dogs that aren't.

It was nice to be out in nature. We kind of took it for granite in Missoula where you could be in relative solitude within a few minutes. Here in the city it's not so easy.

We could hear water running and check out all the green lush plants. It was storybook Pacific Northwest up there. But it got a little congested so we turned around.

To the little boy running down the trail flapping your arms and then stopping right in front of our dogs: You look like a duck when you do that. Lazlo loves to chase ducks. If he could catch one he would probably break its neck. So don't do that. Okay, thanks.

Portland's Forest Park is the largest forested city park
in the United States covering 5,000 acres.

Our friend Bob (who we met in Mexico one year ago) just stopped by. He and his daughter Starlight are getting ready to spend 5 weeks in San Blas. We are so so jealous. He always shows up unannounced and he's always welcome.
Keith sent our old digital camera with Starlight to take photos. It's on its last leg, so if it makes it back GREAT, in not No Big Deal.

So our afternoon schedule was thrown a little off course. If we hurry we can still get a nap in.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

I missed Groundhog Day.

I thought it was at the end of February. Dang.


The weather's been so nice lately. But today it is raining.

My sister found out she is going to Washington, D.C. for spring break. Chaperoning a bunch of "leadership" kids in middle school. Nerds. She gets a free trip, all the tours, etc. So exciting. It's through this People to People program that Eisenhower created. I said, "Like the Interstates." (The Google.) She said, "Um, sure." Hilarious. (Sidenote: Today I found out that Portland's Sister City is Guadalajara and that Sister Cities International was another Eisenhower project.)

We were supposed to get the Jeep ready to sell this weekend. But now it's raining. I'm not getting my backside wet in the rain vaccuuming out a car.

Can you believe how much canned air is???? $7+/can! Come on, it's AIR. We're cleaning our desktop. And will soon be buying more memory so we can use the webcam. In its current state we get drops in processing due to meltdown. That or sun flares.

~~~~Some Neat Photos I've Seen Lately~~~~

massona, puja

There was a pit bull walk this afternoon. Don't know how many people are going to walk down the Eastbank Esplanade in the rain. Not us. We dropped out of the group, but we have an open invitation to participate in it. I'm not really that comfortable with it. After we had the biting incident(s) with Mia we had some very harsh comments from them. I don't need that.