rim job

December 14, 2007

That’s right I need a rim job. Tonight I was riding home from my neighborhood bike store where I’d gone to repair the 2nd flat my back tire has suffered in just two weeks when I was hit by a car. Its fucked up. It was the drivers’ fault, and she was nice considering she had just run into the back of my bike, bending my back tire rim to where it won’t even roll. That’s the obvious damage. I don’t want to go in to any other details here. Paranoia about insurance, injuries, etc. I just called my mom in tears. Right now I’m grateful to be alive and super aware of how fragile we bike riders are when matched with a couple tons of steel and some serious horse power.


the lesser of two evils

December 13, 2007

I was reading Ty’s commentary on Hillary Clinton. And frankly his comments got under my skin. I’m not saying I’m a Hillary fan, but calling her Bush light is a cheap shot (or at least not very nuanced), and echoes of the whole 2000 election rhetoric about there being no difference between Bush and Gore. Thinking about this I was reminded of an interview with Tony Kushner where he said something like the lesser of two evils is really less evil.

Me, I want a democrat president, imperfect, probably compromised, needing all of us to hold his or her feet to the fire, and certainly not ideal. But I’ll take anyone from election’s crop of democrat candidates. Tony convinced me.

I don’t see how anyone can read that history and then turn their back on the system — how anyone can think it’s not important who our justices are, who the president is, who’s in Congress . . . Listen, here’s the thing about politics: It’s not an expression of your moral purity and your ethics and your probity and your fond dreams of some utopian future. Progressive people constantly fail to get this . . . The system isn’t about ideals. The country doesn’t elect great leaders. It elects fucked-up people who for reasons of ego want to run the world. Then the citizenry makes them become great.

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a few of my favorite things

December 10, 2007

Some things I liked about 2007:

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two slices of bread

December 7, 2007

I thought I might try some posts about some of the best things I’ve come across this year, beginning with the best sandwich I’ve had in a long time. Actually Portland is home to a number of great sandwiches. For a while Cal’s bahn mi was my favorite. If you’ve never had bahn mi, run, don’t walk to a Vietnamese deli near you to try one for yourself. In NYC? Go to Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches. San Francisco? Saigon Kitchen rocks it. Chicago? Ba Le is supposed to be the place.

Before I discovered bahn mi, I loved a sandwich called the orchard from Otto’s Sausage Kitchen, a local institution that cures their own Oregon-grown meats, and churns pigs, cows, and chickens into summer sausage and frankfurters. The orchard is made up of summer sausage, havarti, sliced apples, honey mustard, mayo, cream cheese and lettuce. Plus, for you hops lovers Otto’s also carries about 50 different beers. Check it out next time you’re in Portland.

I didn’t think it could get any better than the orchard or bahn mi til about a month ago when I had the sandwich that tops all sandwiches. Navarre’s pate sandwich. It consists of house made pork belly pate with prune on Ken’s artisan country blond bread with mustard and house made pickles. My god it is good. So good, it’s just…perfect. A real pleasure to eat.


i guess i was wrong

December 6, 2007

To finish up talking about the big changes, I’ll end with what lately feels like the biggest one. Rachel and I broke up in February. Four years ago I thought I found the love of my life. I guess I was wrong.

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meet the new boss

December 5, 2007

Once I get a job I tend to stick around for a while. I worked at the Youth Shelter for 12 years, took a part time job for 2 years while I was finishing up school, moved out here, switched careers from social services to technology and then worked my next job for 7 years.

When that company lost its funding and I got laid off , you can imagine that I was a little outta practice with searching for a job. And I’d like to attribute the first job I landed to that inexperience. It was a programming job with an ad firm that I didn’t realize was over run with born again Christians, until a couple weeks into the gig, when the owner stood up at the holiday dinner and gave a long and enthusiastic “in Jesus name” prayer. Holiday my ass – it was definitely a Christmas party, and the look on Rachel’s face could have killed me. As soon as we left and got into the car she told me to quit. I did; it just me another 4 months to leave.

But the timing of my exit was great, because at the point I’d finally had enough of the obvious mismatch Rejuvenation was looking for a front end web programmer. Talk about night and day. I couldn’t have found a bitter fit. I love what I do, I really enjoy the folks I work with, and I feel good about the company. With any luck, Ill be around for another long spell.


these friendly skies

December 4, 2007

Right before I virtually dropped out I was supposed to fly home for David and Julie’s wedding, but I never made it. The night before I was scheduled to leave I freaked out so hard about flying that I couldn’t get my ass on the plane the next day. I stayed on the ground for the next year and half, undone by a toxic combination of fear and shame.

on the ground after 1st flight
on the ground after 1st flight

A number of things got me back up in the friendly skies. Rachel, my therapist, Buddhism, xanax, relaxation tapes, old friends, many trips to the aiport to watch planes take off and land, moms flying with their precious babies, and a strong desire to enlarge a world that was becoming dangerously small. Since that trip to San Francisco in March, 2005 (and that’s me at the end of the return flight to Portland) I’ve been to Indiana, New York, Mexico and Paris.

Sometimes I just can’t believe it. I struggled with flying for so long and after Dave’s wedding I pretty much gave up on the idea of ever traveling overseas. I look at the pictures of me in Paris and I feel amazed and grateful and so aware of how short life is.

So now I’m flying. In fact, just last month I had back to back weekend trips to San Francisco and New York city. It’s a big change. It’s still evolving. Can’t wait to see where I go next.


this time i mean it

December 3, 2007

After hacking a WordPress theme to make my own template, I’m off to the races for real this time. I think its been over a year since I’ve regularly posted, maybe more. It feels good to be back and sharing the company of other folks who’ve recently returned to the keyboard.

A number of things have changed for me during my hiatus, some changes more welcome than others, but I’ll save the details for future blogs. Suffice it to say, nothings been life altering, at least not in the big scheme of things and not when compared to certain other events that have occurred in larger Tanque community like having a baby, getting married, moving to another country or rebuilding after a hurricane. Life sure plays out large sometimes.

One change I’m still not used to, even after living here for almost 10 years, is the darkness. These days the sun is coming up after 7:30am and setting before 4:30pm. Add into the mix the gray and rainy skies of late, and sometimes its hard to turn down the volume on this recurrent melancholy thats been keeping me company these past 12 months. Even though I know I live a life of privilege and luxury, today I can’t shake the empty feeling. I guess its all good practice for not taking any of it too seriously. Everything changes, right?!

I’m up way too late tonight. The last several years I’ve been trying to transform from a night owl to an early bird, but its been a harder habit to break than quitting smoking, which is something I didn’t anticipate. I’ll blame it on the keyboard tonight. A bit of a siren’s call after being away for so long.

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