Saturday, April 21, 2007

Stay put.

Ah, the weekend, how I love thee.

Laid down to take a nap and it's been raining the whole time. The trip to our friends' house for dinner may involve raingear/provisions. And I need to make some cookies!

My first week at work wrapped up smoothly--one more week of "training" and then we get our very own cubicle corners. Hooray. Or something. By Friday I was so low on clothes (been a laundry drought 'round these parts) that I wore the skirt I got at the bins--and it turned out to be one of the most comfortable things I own! I could totally be a Pentacostal! har

Last week our Vietnamese neighbor (who set off the fire alarm with the incense in the hallway--found out his name is Austin) asked Keith to help him move some things this weekend. Keith ended up coming back from the guy's apartment to get me.... We are seriously considering checking into moving into his apartment when he moves back to Vietnam in October. His apartment was laid out differently than ours: the bedroom is bigger with 2! full closets, more windows (that face into the center of the building, not noisy ol' Burnside!) and best of all: a small patio. Now, not really a patio. Just you can straddle the window to climb out into an area that is like an atrium with no roof... plants, hammock!, etc. out there. A good place to sit outside and talk in the summer. And basically private. Right now an older black woman lives on the other side, but I don't see her crawling out the window to get out there. Also, hopefully cheaper rent. He said he pays $100/month less than we do. Moving down two floors instead of across town, maybe cheaper rent, these things might help us save up more/quicker for the move.

A couple of hours after we'd helped him carry huge brass incense burners and other brass stuff downstairs (in the elevator) we were sleeping when I heard a knock on the door. It was Austin. He brought us a package of Vietnamese sausages and a Vietnamese broom to thank us for helping him.

Keith just told me we're supposed to be at our friends' @ 7! That leaves me no time to make cookies! Grrrr...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I have a crush on my new job.

(I'm just going to call it Initech to keep things simple and to keep myself from getting Dooced.)

Really, pretty good benefits. In addition medical/dental/vision/life insurance, sick and vacation time, and all of those standards I haven't had in so long, I get: to pick my own schedule (weekends off!), various discounts (Costco, car rental, Dell, Microsoft, etc.), paid time off for perfect attendance (4 hrs a month)...

Plus, in the cafeteria/breakroom/lounge: a pool table, foosball, 2 pinball machines and a Ms. Pacman ($.50), 2 XBoxi, cable TV, internet (for personal email, etc.).

Casual dress code: Chacos, jeans and Tshirts oh my.

30 min on the MAX + a 5-10 min walk on either end.

One of the downsides: no photos. [Insert sad face.] Cameras, cell phones, text messaging, all banned. All of the other things above, though, pretty much outweigh not being able to get work pics. Also a downside: cubicle--4 to a box, each of us facing a corner. I'm thinking of making a sign for my area that says Travis "Cue" Bickle. Do you think anyone will get it? Also, I am going to print out a poster (Rasterbator) of Mia & Lazlo. Yay, I love decorating. (not really)

Also, I can change departments every 6 mos. This, I am not so sure about. There is at least one other department I would want to work for (Adobe Tech Support), but over there you have to bid for your preferred shift and that would mean working a weekend day likely. The pro to that department is that you can borrow software (including PhotoShop, InDesign, Illustrator, DreamWeaver, etc.) and install them on your home computer. !! Might be worth working on the weekend for 6 months and then transfer back.

So my new job is: reviewing internet ads. Advertisers pay to have their ads come up in the "sponsored sites" areas...

new job

We have to check each ad, make sure there are no misspellings, grammatical errors, that the links are good, that there is no "objectionable" content. Etc. So yeah: surfing the internet all day and keeping track of it in a spreadsheet. All while listening to whatever I want on my mp3 player... What a great job. Can you see why I have a crush on it?

PLUS: I have seen more diversity at Initech than I've seen in all of Portland so far. There is even a transgendered person in my training group. A great variety of minorities, people with disabilities, people of all sizes and ages. It seems like a pretty good place to work.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday Adventure

As happens quite often on Team Blankenship, we had to break for lunch and reconfigure our plans after several hitches in our get-alongs threatened to derail the whole day.

"If we're backin' up, it's just to get a running start..." said Willie Nelson.

I'd planned to go press the flesh at the Expo Center. The plan was: print out some postcards/photos to hand out to people at the swap meet if their work was out of the ordinary or would make good photos. So then I would trade them: I get the photos for my portfolio and they would get a free CD of photos of their stuff. Good way to build up samples, etc. Get references. Et cetera.

But, long story short: after several trips to Walgreens, resending files and printing one at a time, we decided to just bag it and have the photos printed for tomorrow morning. Do the expo center early and get some photocards handed out. Then meet with the guys about the Sunday Art Mart booth in the afternoon.

So we fended off a nearly fatal attack of falling blood sugar by heading to lunch @ nearby Taco Del Mar.

way too much food; what was I thinking??

And we had until 3:30 on our bus transfers, so we decided to slum it and go to City Liquidators. This is down by where Keith works, old rail warehouse district. Pretty cool stuff. So I'd never been there before, but I will definitely be going back! Here's just a sampling of things we put on our Wish List for Our House and other assorted oddities...

Keith outside City Liquidators

Walk/Don't Walk sign, Motion Picture like in a Chinese restaurant, $5 muppet chairs
Want, Hilarious/Maybe, No

huge Color sign, diorama, old timey fridge
so wanted but not for sale, weird, definitely must have

Keith is saying, "Take the #$%&* picture because there's people coming and my pants have a huge hole in the crotch." And me laughing. huge old timey camera, old store displays
hahaha, want but impractical, and no

mailboxes, maniquix, and a lot of cool mirrors everywhere
want even though it's impractical, never need one, eventually

Then we swung by the skatepark under the Burnside Bridge.

Then we walked over Burnside Bridge.
In this photo there's at least 3 other bridges.

from the bridge, looking south:

a really nice day even though it's overcast

Stopped to check out the Saturday market.

Rode the MAX home.
The end.

Friday, April 13, 2007


The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute estimates that more than 17 million people are affected by a fear of this day. Seriously, look it up. However, the 13th day of the month is slightly more likely to be on a Friday than on any other day of the week. So those people are maybe a little paranoid. Nothing bad enough to be burned into my memory has ever happened to me on a Friday The 13th. But there's hope for the future: The asteroid (99942) Apophis will make its close encounter on Friday, April 13, 2029 (impact probability estimated at 1 in 45,000)! Mark your calendars, paraskavedekatriaphobics!

Today is technically my last day unemployed (this time around) because we don't count the weekend. New job starts Monday, 7am. Ugh. Which means getting on the MAX around 6ish. Eek! I think the pups are going to be a little disappointed when I'm not here to take them out mid-day...

I was wondering what happened to the corner of that rug!

I'm perfecting my vegan no-bake dark chocolate toasted coconut cookies. Basically, it's the same recipe the rest of you would eat, but with vegan margarine.

I get to try them out on the public in a couple weeks when we go to a housewarming party for some friends. I'm expecting to win over some carnivores.

The Fan Van was cruising the neighborhood a bit ago. Baseball season opens tonight @ PGE Park. [Hearing the bullhorn reminded me of Mexico--- the vendors drive around with bullhorns announcing whatever they sell: water, produce, gas (propane).]

Larry Lightbulb & the Fan Van

The Portland Beavers
vs. The Fresno Grizzlies. In the tradition of betting on the teams' mascots, I have to go against the hometown-ers and say Grizzlies are definitely going to whup some Beaver tail. I mean, what can Beavers do? Slap you with the tail is about it. Ooohh, maybe bite; they have those super sharp teeth. But you'd have to get close enough to one for it to bite you. And if you're a Grizzly and you're that close, you've already won.

Also, big doin's this weekend with the Portland Swap Meet, "the largest auto parts swap meet on the west coast with approximately 4,200 vendor stalls and over 50,000 shoppers." I'm going to print some postcard-size adverts to handout/drop off. I don't know that I will get anything out of it, but it won't hurt.

I also answered another ad on craigslist and met a former curator who gives advice in exchange for art. He called me yesterday and wanted to know if I was interested in meeting a friend of his and possibly going halvsies on a booth with him at the Sunday Art Mart, which is open July-October. So we're meeting this Sunday @ Stumptown to discuss. We'll see where that goes... I feel like I have a lot of momentum with this right now, so I'm just going with it.

Monday, April 9, 2007


playing under the freeway

Saturday, April 7, 2007

I'm turning into a tin foil head.

Keith and I are on the Global Warming Watch Committee of W. Burnside. (We are the only 2 members.) We get disturbing news updates telling us things that make us think of bomb shelters, learning to grow your own food, and a dismantled federal government. After Katrina (etc.), do you trust the federal government to take care of you? I don't.

Meanwhile, in the United States of ADHD, where we are too arrogant to think that we should curb any of our desires, even if it means helping the world (us!) last a little longer. After all, this is the land of Manifest Destiny, take all you can while the gettin's good. Where we (the Royal We) still operate under the principle that God told Adam he had dominion over all of the animals. Uh, humans are late-comers to the animal kingdom; we do not rule the earth---the Earth rules us. We are about to find this out. How well are humans going to adapt to global warming?

Last week a report was released, predicting the future basically, but hey they're scientists, so they probably have the best guess of any of us. "The 1,572-page report, finished...on Friday, was prepared by more than 200 scientists, and a 21-page summary was endorsed by officials from more than 120 countries, including the United States." (The Ledger from here on out). "...the panel predicted widening droughts in southern Europe and the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, the American Southwest and Mexico, and flooding that could imperil low-lying islands and the crowded river deltas of southern Asia."

So much for moving to Mexico.

"Essentially there’s going to be a mass extinction within the next 100 years unless climate change is limited,” added Dr. Hare, a visiting scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.

Back again?

Keith and I have been discussing revising our List of Demands. We've been thinking about time, how no one is guaranteed a certain amount of it, and that if being happy is proportionately related to being around people you love, maybe Kamiah deserves a second look on our Map of Potential Places to Relocate.

There are pro's and con's, but in Keith's Dream World he would have coffee with Gary on the front porch in the morning. Every morning. Well, maybe 5 out of 7 mornings.

My parents want to know if I will be happy in Kamiah. I told them I have never lived in Kamiah and been a happy person. Therefore I can't be objective about a future event where the circumstances will be different (post-Rx, etc.)... I hope so. I hope that I could overlook the trivial annoyances of small town life and learn to love the benefits of small town life. I think that's a delicate balance. And I think that if Keith and I could incorporate certain things into our List of Demands that would make small town life easier, it would be quite do-able. I'm thinking self-employment...

I think one of the perks, though, of living in a small town like Kamiah is reading the Law Enforcement Dispatch Log in the local paper, excerpted here (bolds and italics mine):

Tuesday, March 27

9:16 – Winchester man fears he may have been scammed after giving a down payment for an adjustable bed that is priced at $5,287.

18:25 – Nezperce woman wants to file a report against a neighbor who, every time she is in her kitchen, he steps into his carport, grabs himself inappropriately then attempts to gratify himself. This has been going on for about three months and she would like something done about it.

Wednesday, March 28

11:07 – Tree fallers report the discovery of 19 old sticks of dynamite while working on a project near the Greer Grade Road.

Thursday, March 29

21:09 – Kamiah man reports that his next-door neighbors have been riding their ATVs around his house all day long and he is tired of it.

Saturday, March 30

11:25 – Report of suspicious and possibly violent man seen standing behind some dumpsters in Craigmont, drinking a cup of coffee and, when he bent over, his pants fell down.

Tuesday, March 27

19:31 – Report of a suspected prowler after a Kamiah woman returned home to discover a guy on her property. She wants an officer to come over and shine a light on him.

Come on, doesn't that sound like a fun place to live??

Recovery Saturday

I think it was after 4 am when I last looked at PGE's clock, right before sleep.

Go Griz!

Made it to the Bagdad last night, a little fault for apparently turning off the alarm although I don't remember doing that. They sell advance tickets to people with tables, so luckily Jon (friend from Keith's work) and his friends Jesse & Katie were there already and added us to their tab, so we were sure to get in...there was talk of the movie selling out, but it didn't seem as full as Office Space's showing last month. Then we found Patricio (another co-worker of Keith's, from Chile) inside. He made a point of telling Keith that he was there at TEN.

We finally all got seats inside and proceeded to laugh, clap, holler our way through the first 1/3 of the movie. Then it was time for the second reel and the whole theater was confused (not at first, though) when the image on the screen was upside down and running backwards. It kept running like that for about 10 minutes. (Keith said he's only ever seen that in a theater one other time...) Then they put on the house lights and said the movie was canceled because the reel was wrapped wrong. Not a popular announcement. There were many people there under varying degrees of mind-altering substances (alcohol included) and these good people were expecting another good hour or so to come around, so now they are told that it's over and they have to go outside and deal with the world. Keith said the kid sitting down on the bench by the men's bathroom rocking back and forth softly while stroking his own legs from thigh to calf was probably not going to fare well out on the streets.

But Jon, Patricio, Keith, Jesse, Katie and I stood out in the lobby and talked about when we should get together next. Just met Jesse & Katie tonight and they were inviting us to their house for dinner. Good people. Also childfree. Also with 2 dogs. Just moved here from PA, so they are much enjoying the spring weather here. It's nice to meet people, especially other couples, that are easy to talk to, on the same level, etc...

Keith is out getting orange juice. It's looking like an ├╝berlazy weekend. We might take a bus for our Sunday adventure tomorrow. Our Buzznet friend Steve just moved over to the St. Johns area and said it's super nice. Wildlife, etc. And, of course, the St. Johns Bridge.

St. Johns is named in honor of settler James John, who laid out the original eight block town site in 1865. He reportedly was a recluse, which inspired the population to address him as "Saint" John. (An alternate version of the story says that he never visited the local brothel, and that's why he was called "Saint" John.) The site eventually became a rival to other Willamette River townsites vying to become the Head of Navigation on the upper Willamette. St. Johns was originally a separate incorporated city, annexed by Portland in 1915. (Wikipedia)

Also, another 72-hour photo project is underway. I got a late start, but it's ON!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Hunter Thompson Friday

Ether: “It makes you behave like the village drunkard in some early Irish novel. Total loss of all basic motor skills. Blurred vision, no balance, numb tongue… The mind recoils in horror. Unable to communicate with the spinal column. Which is interesting because you can actually watch yourself behaving in this terrible way, but you can‘t control it.” --Fear & Loathing

Get out your ether rags boys and girls, it's time to see Fear & Loathing again! Tonight it will be viewed at the Bagdad Theater at midnight. Be prepared for bad craziness.

Some thoughts to get out

set to music...

powered by ODEO
(a catchy new song I heard on the Hype Machine and have been singing ever since)

Had an interview today; was hired on the spot. Start a week from Monday. Boring cubicle jockey job proofreading internet ads. Hmm. FT with benefits. Okay. So I'm really wanting to get a little spy cam like Keith's so I can subvertphoto my new workplace. I get a badge. I think that's a bad thing. Pros: no new clothes to go out and buy (casual dress, that's me), I don't have to talk to people on the phone, it's on the MAX line, 2 days off in a row for sure, still get to go to the coast in June. Cons: probably not Sat/Sun off (Keith thinks this is a Deal Breaker with his current employer and he may soon be job-transient), 45+or- minute commute (click to see route--check out this new Google Maps feature) 2x daily (also a pro--reading time!). Today the fare checkers were on the MAX. Luckily I had bought an all-day'er. Dude almost wrote this kid a $100 ticket for no proof of fare. Harsh!

...waiting for the MAX...

Keith's shucking the nicotine monkey and therefore has sometimes been unpleasant to live with these past few days. These moments are rare and far between (see: sarcasm), but they are unpredictable and hilarious because whatever it is that he gets mad about seems insignificant to me. But he's serious about it. I volunteered to make him an acupuncture appt. And then I told him he should get rolf'ed. He said maybe.

civic progress (from the backside)