On our way….

I’m a bit vain about my packing. I do it very well. My red suitcase, which I bought at a Salvation Army store in Somerville for $3.00, holds all the clothes I need for two weeks in Europe. My backpack holds the rest.
And I’m ready to go. Aside from clothing I’ve brought along six books, 14 envelopes and 14 stationary (I’ll write myself a letter per day), an art kit, my water bottle, toiletries kit and my trusty travel pillow. Or what I hope will become my trusty travel pillow–I just bought it.
Group photo at the airport. Brittany and Derek are missing because they were flying standby and didn’t make their flight. But other than that, here were are.
And nine long hours later in Amsterdam. We flew Northwest/KLA. Our flight attendants were gruff and grumpy, but we each had our own movie screen and could choose from 30+ movies. I watched “Definitely, Maybe” and read an entire book. I slept 40 minutes. I attempted to use the travel pillow, but it was too poofy. Most of us did not sleep very much. We weren’t in Amsterdam very long, but long enough to notice that the KLA flight attendants have the coolest uniforms. They are powder blue skirt and jacket set. Very 1965. I loved them.
Sleep did happen for me on the flight from Amsterdam to Budapest. And for Eric and Christine on the shuttle from the airport.

Review of Prayers for Rain

Prayers for Rain (Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro Novels) Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
And we come to the end (for now?) of the Kenzie/Gennaro saga. In this book Patrick Kenzie takes on a simple stalker case that turns out to be so much more. Bubba is great in this book, for all the Bubba fans.

This book was a perfect flying companion. I absorbed it for much of my flight from Portland to Amsterdam. I am eagerly awaiting the next novel in the series, but I gather it will be awhile, if ever. I’ll just have to re-read the series.

View all my reviews.

Catching up.

For those of you without a reader–I don’t use one–there are five new posts in April. And that will be it for posts for the next two week. I’m off to Hungary and Romania. I don’t believe in emailing or posting or phoning or interacting with any part of my normal life while on vacation, so look for pictures when I get back. Those of you I have addresses for will get a postcard. 🙂


Before today, I really liked Goodreads. It gives me “shelves” on which I put all my books in various categories. It has solved the problem of the ever started and ever disappearing “to read” list, as I now have that list as a shelf. It lets me see what my friends are reading, which is great because then I can get recommendations from them.

But now I really really like Goodreads. Why? The never-ending book quiz. All Goodreads members can submit trivia questions about books which then can be answered by other Goodreads members. In my short time playing, I’ve answered 98 questions (1.2%) and my average is 73.5 % correct. That puts me 3896 out of 30215 people.

Want to do better? Sign up for Goodreads today.


The Story of Stuff

This is an introduction to the video we watched at the Sustainable Living on a Budget class I attended on June 18. When it first came on, I found it’s presentation a bit cutsey, but by the time the 20 minute segment was over I was both charmed and intrigued. In the days following the class, I found myself thinking a lot about the topic.

You can watch the whole thing in bits on YouTube or go to The Story of Stuff and download the whole thing. (It’s 50 MB, though.)

Sunday Parkways.

Sunday Parkways happened only once this year. For this Sunday only, a loop of 6 miles in North Portland was closed to automobile traffic. People could walk, bike, roller blade, or somersault their way through the loop. There were bands and performances and food vendors. It was very fun.

I rode the loop soon after it opened at 8 a.m. It was a slow start, but that meant I could ride fairly quickly. They day was gray, cold and a bit rainy and there weren’t many people out. This didn’t stop these two fundraisers.
Here Batman and the Fairy Princess pour lemonade for me. Who could resist?
After completing the loop, I headed downtown for a meeting. When I came back, the sun had come out and many, many people had made their way to the loop. It was a bit crowded. Thus, slower for me.
Coming off the Failing Street Overpass.
Crossing Interstate. It was cool because people on the Parkways had the right of way.
Matt got up late and decided to go jogging. I suggested that he could run the loop. He did, in the last hour it was open. He was thrilled that he could go faster than the bicyclists on the overpasses, because they had to walk their bikes and he could run. When he got back, we compared favorite bumper stickers. His was this:
Mine was, “Inside every old person their is a young person wondering what the hell happened.”

Events like these are yet another reason I’m glad I live in Portland.

Letters written June 11-20.

Sara once again received the largess of letters this month, but what can I say? She writes me. I write back.

11 June. Thank you notes. 3 students and 4 student teachers.
12 June. Sara.
13 June. Sara.
**Letter back: Sara
14 June. Kelly, postcard.
**Letter back: Sara, Diane (LEX), Gerry (LEX)
15 June. Sara.
16 June. Sara.
17 June. Sara.
18 June. No one.
19 June. LEX Melody
20 June. No one.

Review of Darkness Take My Hand

Darkness, Take My Hand Darkness, Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro are back in this novel. I am fast falling in with these two characters. They take a case of a professor who is concerned her son is being stalked. While they initially find nothing, they are drawn into a serial killer’s web and chaos and confusion ensues. This was signficantly more bloody than “A Drink Before the War.”

View all my reviews.

5 ways

5 ways I am a traitor to my generation: (born in 1974)

  • I don’t own a cell phone
  • I never was that fond of Nirvana or Pearl Jam
  • I not only do not own, but am opposed to, ipods
  • I cook the majority of food I eat
  • I’ve only carried credit card debt for four months–and that was in 2000

5 ways I am the epitome of my generation:

  • There are two people in my household–and three computers
  • My job is a means to the end–and if I could ever figure out a different way to the end, I would
  • I volunteer on a regular basis for a variety of organizations
    I would be hard pressed to do anything without an internet connection
  • I am worried about the state of the world we live in now and the state previous generations have left it, but I am confident we can tackle and solve the problems