Tall Bikes

Portland is such a bike-y city that there are subsets of cyclists in town. One of the subsets is people who never refer to themselves as cyclists. Another is people with tall bikes.

Tall bikes are cool. They are cool because you pretty much have to make your own tall bike, or be friends with someone who does. They are cool because you get to ride far above cars. They are cool because small children gleefully point when they see them. I would love to ride one.

I had the chance. One of the parents of a first grader at my school has a tall bike. I was exclaiming over it, and he offered to let me ride. I automatically said, “Oh, no. I couldn’t,” and then kicked myself later. Next time he offers, I won’t be so quick to say no.

This tall bike was locked up outside school on Friday. It’s being a tall bike makes it cool, but most of them are better crafted than this. Still, can you imagine riding one?

More fun comics

The reason my tattoos are not in a visible place. It’s going to be fun in the nursing home playing guess the tattoo. (Sorry it’s a little blurry)

Get Fuzzy is one of my favorite cartoons. When I describe it (a somewhat loser guy and a cat and a dog) people say, “You mean Garfield?” But Garfield isn’t funny and this is. This is from the week that Satchel was eating a lot of stuff. Darby Conley draws expressions so well.
ps. Who are these people who write entries on Wikipedia. Does the world need 9 paragraphs on Satchel. Do these people vote?

What I did on my Thanksgiving Break.

I had the entire week off, which was very welcome. I had great plans, and spent the week in a happy combination of work and sloth. A lot of little projects got finished around the house. The biggest one was painting a wall in the living room. It was pretty exciting to see how the color changed the room. I’ll get an entry about it up on the “ours” blog soon.

I spent Thanksgiving with the BroMAunts (Brother, Mother, Aunts.) I’ll get an entry up on the “ours” blog about that too. Thursday night, I stayed over at my mom’s house so we could go with the Aunts to the Rickreal Christmas Bazaar. The town of Rickreal is outside of Salem, so we had a nice drive there. The Bazaar was great, though had mostly nothing I wanted or needed. Do you have a need for crocheted booties to keep your feet warm? Do you long for booties in U of O or OSU colors? This was the bazaar for you! There were three or four booths with your choice of booties in a vast array of colors. There was also a huge booth with many, many, many decorative toilet seat covers. Do you long for a “roll in the hay”? Then the booth with the plastic bag with some hay and a toilet paper roll was for you.

In the car afterward, we were reviewing the highs and lows. They did have some nice stuff, especially some handspun yarn and more than a few quilts I would have liked to have. But there was some pretty bad stuff. The cruelest use of craft items? The room fresheners that were really cute craft teddy bears that some delusional woman had dipped in scented wax. The poor things were strange colors and just looked sad, all covered in wax like that. We laughed hard about them. I found the most useless item to be “Table Leggins.” which were decorative covers for your table legs. You could get them to match your table décor. They were the biggest waste of money that I have ever seen, aside from those poor bears.

Saturday and Sunday were mostly slothful. I walked to the library to return a boatload of books, and found “Friends” Season 6. I wasn’t sure what season that was, and you can’t tell from the case, but I got it anyway. While I was cooking my first ever brisket, I watched most of the whole season. I finished it the next day. It turned out to be the last season I watched in its entirety, but it was still funny. It’s the one that starts with Ross and Rachel getting married in Las Vegas and ends with Monica and Chandler’s proposal.

Because of my work/sloth combo, I was ready to go back to work on Monday. Yay for an entire week off!

Bizarro has been cracking me up.

Our paper has a darn good comic section. I read a lot of the comics on the 2-page spread, but last week Bizarro was funny.

This first one made me laugh because when I was young and Speak and Spells were popular, we had one. I was a bit hopeless at it, and had endless troubles with “Level One”

“Spell Angel.” It would say.

“A-N-G-L-E” I would type in every time.

“In-cor-rect.” If you had a Speak and Spell, you know what it sounded like. “Try a-gain.”

I would furrow my brow and type again. “A-N-G-L-E.”

The Speak and Spell never got tired of my continued misspelling of this word. It would just continue on, “In-cor-rect. The cor-rect spelling of Angel is. A-N-G-E-L.” And it would move on. After all these years, I still pause and visualize the word “angel,” or “angle” before I write them.

Note. If you clicked on that Speak and Spell link, you may have been as delighted as I was to see the box. “Makes spelling what it should be–fun!” What an hopeful slogan that was. Advertisers. So jaded on the inside and optimistic on the outside.

The humor of this comic depends on if you have a “Friendly Retired Guy” in your life:
I actually laughed out loud on the train when I read this. My father was a friendly retired guy long before he was retired. I have several memories of him going out on a walk after dinner and returning ninety minutes later to report that he’d been talking with the guy 15 minutes down the street for an hour or so. He can start a conversation with anyone, anywhere.

MPR’s Select a Candidate Survey

Don’t know who to vote for? Minnesota Public Radio wants to help you figure it out. They offer a quiz to help you select a presidential candidate. I took it and my results are below. (MPR doesn’t have the fancy “post your results” feature that many surveys have. You have to type the results in yourself, if you want people to see them.)

  • Chris Dodd (29)
  • Dennis Kucinich (24)
  • Hillary Clinton (23)
  • John Edwards (23)
  • Barack Obama (22)
  • Bill Richardson (20)
  • Joe Biden (17)
  • Mike Gravel (17)
  • Ron Paul (11)
  • Rudy Giuliani (10)
  • Mike Huckabee (4)
  • John McCain (3)
  • Mitt Romney (2)
  • Dunchan Hunter (1)
  • Fred Thompson (1)
  • Tom Tancredo (0)

You too can take this informative quiz. Wouldn’t it be fun to post your results (or at least your top five) in the comment section? I think so!

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/projects/ongoing/select_a_candidate/poll.php?race_id=13

Red Sox memories.

I lived in Massachusetts from 1996-2001, and spent the majority of those years living in South Boston and Somerville. Before arriving in the Bay State, I had no idea that the Red Sox were living under a curse.

At the library in college, I came across some graffiti on a desk asking “What dumb $%^& blew the 1986 World Series?” The answer was scratched in the desk along with more choice words about the player.

I asked my then-boyfriend the trivia question and the sentence was barely out of my mouth when he spit out the answer. “Bill Buckner.”

“How do you know that?” I was amazed, this being a decade after that particular series was over.

“It was one of the worst plays in Red Sox history,” he explained to me, as if I should know this. “The Red Sox are the worst team ever. They always loose. They haven’t won a World Series since 1918”

“The Cubs haven’t won a series since 1908. What makes Boston worse than them?” I asked.

He sighed and said, “The Red Sox come so close to winning and then lose in the most painful way. It’s torture.”

And thus I was introduced to the sad/happy loser culture that was being a fan of the Red Sox.

A few years later, I was living in Boston and watching the evening news. The Red Sox had just lost some important game and were not going to advance. There were man-on-the-street interviews. One of them was a middle aged man, nicely dressed and very angry. “My father,” he spit out, “My father, is eighty-three years old! When is he going to see us win a series?”

I laughed, but I thought of that man every September and wondered, in 2004, if the poor man’s father was still alive to see them win.

NPR tonight had a story about younger fans having escaped this sad/happy state of loserdom. “The Boston Red Sox are the greatest team evah!” one teenager said. One of the parents commented about his child’s confidence in his team, “I know that eventually, the Red Sox will let him down.”

And thus, a new generation will be born.

Random pictures from the last two months

I’ve been carrying my camera around, but haven’t been downloading pictures as much. Here are 7 random pictures from the last two months.

Caveman run this place. Today special? Sandwich. That all.
Actually, I walked by about two hours later and the message had been fleshed out to read: today special half sandwich and soup. More intelligible, but not as funny.

What’s the story behind this van, do you think? It was parked downtown.
When Matt and I went to visit my Dad and Barb in Arizona, we saw a lot of this in front yards. This, however, is an Oregon specimen, from my neighborhood. Impressive!
On the way to the Max stop is a very button-down security firm. It’s a nondescript office building with a parking lot. Boring, boring, boring. What fun to walk by one day and see these two ladies outside. I’m not sure what the protocol is when finding chickens. They don’t have collars, so it’s hard to figure out where they came from. I’m not sure how this story ended.
This is a bad picture of the beautiful moon in September. It was so beautiful that, while stopped at a light, the guy in the car next to me (I was on my bike) beeped his horn to get my attention so he could exclaim “Look at the moon!” while pointing out his sunroof. “I know!” I said. And stopped to take a picture.
Tis the season. We don’t really have fog here like I experienced living in South Boston, or even Boise. Our fog is more like very small particles of slow-falling rain. This day, a spider had spun a web on a real estate sign and the fog just made it pop.
Heh-heh. Ah, Halloween decorations. This made me chuckle. People don’t go all out in this neighborhood with the decorations, but they do decorate. I’ve got another house I need to walk by in the daylight because it is very funny.
So ends the random pictures.

Robert Slack has had enough.

I found this sign on the door of an apartment building downtown. It made me laugh. I can relate to the huffy nature of this memo. Get it together, people!


It says:
Attention all residents
If you have lost your fob it is not Mary’s responsibility to let you in the building. I have told her not to let anyone in that doesn’t have a fob. You will need to contact one of your friends if you need to be let in or purchase a new fob for $10.00. Kevin will not be letting people in that doesn’t have a fob either. If you need to have your fob replaced please see me in the office and you must have the $10.00 at the time of purchase.

In case you were wondering, today IS my birthday.

I love my birthday. It’s not about the presents, or the cake, but about it being MY birthday. (And Henry’s, a first grader from school, and Meridith’s, from my youth group, and Hillary Clinton’s) I like people to wish me happy birthday on my birthday. I like their delight when they discover it is my birthday. When people find out it’s your birthday, even strangers you meet throughout the day, they gasp, straighten up, throw back their shoulders, a smile comes to their face and the cheerfully exclaim, “Happy Birthday!” I love that.

Worst birthday ever? The year I did inventory the night before at Bread & Circus and neglected to plan something for the day itself. I spent the entire day alone.

Best birthday ever? Last year. Why? Elementary school children get birthdays. Last year I had cards from two classes, several whole-class choruses of “Happy Birthday” and seemingly every single child wishing me happy birthday. I also put a huge sticker on that said “Today is my birthday” so all the parents could wish me happy birthday too. Which they did. And I got a crown which I wore all day and home on the bus. Best birthday ever!

In the afternoon, Kristen, the K/1 teacher informed me that Henry, the student in her class who I share a birthday with, had invited me to share his Wishing Ceremony. It was great. I got to sit in the rocking chair and we all covered our eyes and thought of a birthday wish for me. I was thinking about my Wishing Ceremony yesterday and realized that my birthday wish was to own a house. Which, of course, came true! I think all those K/1 birthday wishes helped. One of them that I remember is the wish that I would find “Pirate Treasure.” And I did in a way. I would count the Land Trust as Pirate Treasure.

Sadly, this year there is no school on my birthday. I protested heartily when it came up as a potential day off, but I lost out. Even more sadly, leap year next year propels my birthday right over Saturday to Sunday. Lame. So it will be awhile before I have such a great birthday again. The glow from last year will have to last until 2009.

8 Random Things

Over at Pike Schemes, Shawn and Sara have listed their 8 Random Things. Here are mine.

1. I was named after my mother’s sisters, Patricia & Carol. Around age 20, I realized that my brother could have been named after my father’s sisters, Frances & Merle. Alas, he was named Chris.
2. I am 1 year and 11/12’s older than my brother to the day. I am 3 1/3 years older than my boyfriend to the day. 26 is a good number in my life.
3. I have a phobia about plastic shower curtains
4. I consider myself a homemaker, though I don’t want children or a husband. I am happiest when I am cooking, canning, gardening and doing handyman projects.
5. I read varaciously, though mostly things that don’t tax my mind. When I finally finished Little Women, it was a bigger accomplishment than walking the Portland Marathon.
6. I’ve lived in all 4 continental time zones.
7. I don’t spell well, and suspect I have some sort of undiagnosed learning disorder, but have never been able to prove that.
8. My favorite two movies of all time are Singing in the Rain and Almost Famous.

Feel free to leave your 8 things in the comments section.

Did I mention I love comments? I do.