The location of my work is near several live music venues, with one of them large enough to get moderately famous acts able to have a painted truck and a fancy tour bus. Sometimes when walking to work from the train I see the various tour buses and vans that make up the gypsy train that is modern music touring. Once in awhile, when I am on recess duty in the park across the street from my school, a van with a tow-trailer will pull up and park and out will tumble a pack of grungy musician-looking people. I once saw someone brushing his teeth right there at the edge of the park.

I’m guessing I will always remember that guy brushing his teeth. As I believe I’ve mentioned before, back in the day I wanted to be one of those modern-day minstrels. I knew I wasn’t good enough to actually be a band member, but I had hopes of moving equipment in fifty different states and around the world. In my current life, the roadie lifestyle is my idea of hell. Charles Cross’s Heavier Than Heaven painted a very clear picture of life on the road: selling enough t-shirts to get to the next town, choosing between food and gas, sleeping in horrible motels and no time to yourself. The kind of things that would make brushing your teeth at a city park in the middle of the day an entirely normal act.

Though I will never experience that lifestyle, I love that I wander by it during my daily routine.

Administrative Professional’s Day

Did you remember to thank your Administrative Professional? My co-workers did. It was a great day.
Flowers from gardens, cards, an itunes gift card, a shrinky dink Buddha, and KALE! What more could a girl ask for?
Not much, but that incredible generosity was compounded in the afternoon when FES, the parent group at school brought in this jaw dropping flower arrangement.
Thanks to everyone. It was a magical day.

Three sentence movie reviews–Adventureland.

I have a problem with a movie “hearkening back” to a year which I was actually an adolescent, but other than that, this was a charming story of the awkward post-college transition period that no one tells you about. The characters are flawed, but not fatally so, and there is a lot of humor sprinkled throughout. If you spent some of your post-college years not at all living the life you thought you would, this movie is for you.

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Three sentence movie reviews–I Love You, Man

Someday in the future, some film studies student will write a thesis with a title such as “Tentative reachings, men expressing their love for each other (in a strictly platonic way): early 21st century explorations of the bonds of men friendships.” Seriously, there is a lot of this going on in cinema right now. It helps that I really like all the main actors in this movie, but I think most people (under the age of 50 and aware that men are kind of gross when left to themselves) will find this a sweet, funny picture.

Bechedel score: Two women: yes. That talk to each other: yes. About something beside a man: alas, no. But we knew that was coming, no?

ps. People who have endured boyfriends/friends who are fans of Rush should see this picture. Trust me. A whole level of hilarity will ensue for you. People unaware of the “awesomeness” of Rush will miss this entirely.

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Test results are in!

It had been more than four weeks since my Praxis test, so yesterday I called to see if the reports had been mailed. They were mailed on Tuesday from New Jersey. I was thinking I would see it Friday at the earliest, but today they was waiting for me. I was thinking I needed a 169 to pass the test in Oregon, so I was thrilled to see that I got a 176 (of 200 possible). But it turned out I only needed a 156. So I hit the ball out of the park. Or at least had a double play.

No more frantic studying in addition to my math classes! Good job me!

Included in my test results were the other Praxis tests I’ve taken. I was thinking this was my seventh Praxis test, it turns out to be my ninth. Thanks Praxis, for making me a highly qualified teacher. Even if I’ve never taught a day for pay in my life.

Watching a block in N. Portland. April.

So we last checked in with our block in September and not much has happened. Construction projects always interest me that way. Something must have happened to have not much happen, but I don’t have the research skills to figure out what. At this point, this block has been sitting boarded up for at least nine months. Is the project on hold? I wish that if it was, they would let people grow things in the abandoned yards. There is a particularly nice empty lot that I have had my eye on since before the houses were emptied.

So one house has been moved. I know it was moved, rather than torn down because it was jacked up for about a month or so before it disappeared completely. That is another thing I don’t understand. When moving houses, why do they leave them up in the air for such a long time? I would think it would be essential for the house to spend very little time in the air, but it seems to be standard practice to let everything settle on its temporary foundations, even if those foundations are eight feet in the air. And where did the house go? Again, my research skills fail me. I’m sure there is a permit on file somewhere where I can see, but I don’t know how to find it.

At any rate, we have no “in the air” pictures because I haven’t been Ms. Carpe Diem when it comes to taking pictures of late. The problem is that the camera is in the zippered pocket of the bag, which is on the back of the bike so taking a picture means not only stopping the bike, but getting off the bike, unhooking the bungee that keeps the bag attached to the rack and I just never got around to it. I have plans to make a cute canvas camera holder for the front basket which will provide easy access, but so far it only exists in my mind.

Here was the house before:
And here is what you see now:
The smashed steps are a nice effect.

Bus tip. Throw away your garbage…

In the proper receptacle. Like the handy trash can sitting not 10 feet from this bench.

Look. It’s like this: at your home, you can throw your waxy q-tips wherever you choose. But here, at the platform where many, many people wait for trains, please take the time to deposit your detritus in the trash can provided.

I could write a separate post about not cleaning your ears in public, but I think you might be too far gone to understand why personal grooming is best done in private.

Three sentence movie reviews–Must Love Dogs.

I spent a lot of time during this movie contemplating if John Cusack was playing Lloyd Dobler all grown up and I concluded he was. Though predictable, this was a funny and delightful movie that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. More good roles should be written for Diane Lane.

Bechdel score: Two women: yes. That talk to each other: yes. About something besides a man: alas, no. It’s that last one that is the uncrossable hurdle. Every single time.

ps. In googling “Lloyd Dobler” I found a funny article about Lloyd Love from 2006. You can read it too:

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Things I love right now

It is still cold here and my toes freeze a bit in the evenings. Enter the hot water bottle! It looks exactly like the one we had when I was growing up and it is a low-tech way to keep my poor toes tosty warm before I fall asleep. Though it kind of reminds me of chin hairs and nursing home smells, I still like it.
These jars have changed my life! They are normal 4 oz jelly jars that are available at every Fred Meyer in Portland that I’ve been to, but they have transformed my brown bagging experience. I take breakfast and lunch to work with me every day and I tend to have a variety of different things. These tiny–actually they are normal serving sized, but they don’t seem it because our collective portion size is so bloated right now–jars let me take a bit of this or that. I eat less and still get all my options. They come with the rings and lids on the right, or you can buy the plastic lids that screw on both these and the half pint and pint jars.