to blog or not to blog

October 28, 2011

The last several days I’ve thought of some great opening lines for new pieces of writing and then gotten distracted and forgotten them before I could write them down. In one instance I was falling asleep and I told myself I’d remember the line in the morning. But of course I didn’t. What’s so frustrating is that I always carry around in my pockets a pen and a small notebook. Plus, I keep paper and pen by my bed. I am my own worst enemy

For me a good first line is like a hook in a tune. It’s the way into whatever “story” I’m trying to tell. Even if it the line gets moved around and it does’t end up being the first line, it feels crucial to making the writing compelling or at least interesting or at least worth writing. Hopefully worth reading.

I’ve been reflecting back on how this hasn’t been a very prolific year for me with regard to blogging, something I find kind of disappointing because part of the reason why I haven’t posted is I waste so much time online reading taste and trend blogs like hypebeast and uncrate or looking at Facebook photos of friends of friends. It’s like I’ve replaced my junior high penchant for watching TV with being online. Ugh. But the other issue is I’ve run into so many things this year that I don’t want to blog about or don’t know how to blog about. For instance I’ve spent a lot of time this year thinking about aging and gender and relationships and I don’t want to explore any of it publicly. And then there’s the state of the world, which has seemed so extremely shitty and exhausting this year and has left me speechless. I don’t know how to find the write word to talk about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan or the famine in Africa or the Norweigan massacre or the uprisings in Egypt or Syria or any individual country involved in the Arab or the debt ceiling crisis or the killing of Osama Bin Laden or the tornadoes in the Midwest or Hurricane Irene or the collapse or the Euro. The whole world seems to be in upheaval in 2011.

1 Comment »


October 25, 2011

Blue skies. And sun shine. Even if it was mostly experienced from the inside of a window, the window was big and I got to ride my bike home in all of its glory. I know when it’s clear, it’s colder, but that’s ok with me right now. I don’t mind.

A woman chatted with me on the tram this morning. That almost never happens – prolonged chatting. I was as just telling RU about it. How the woman was from Jersey but had lived in Florida. And how she offered me a tissue when I was sniffing and asked me if I rode my bike all the time and I told her yes and I asked her if she rode and she said “are your kidding” and then told me she was premenopausal and that made her feel more fearful. RU said she couldn’t believe I knew so much about a stranger, which is funny because I only told RU half of what the woman shared me, which made for a pleasant tram ride, especially because the tram was jam packed today, like a subway car.

Depending on which way the tram is going it has to ascend or descend up and over this big ass tower. And either way it creates a front to back swinging motion, the severity of which depends on how fast the tram is going. Severe is maybe not the best word; pronounced is probably better. Sometimes the swing throws people off, especially new riders, but most often in the morning when I’m riding, which is around 7:20 or so, the tram is full of people going to work or class and they are oblivious to the motion. But last week a woman sitting in one of the four little jumps that line the side of the cabin yelled “oh lord, oh lord, oh lord” as we were cresting the tower and then repeated the phrase when the cabin dipped in it’s first swing. Some good humored words of encouragement floated through the crowd and I thought to myself, good for her, to just get it out there in the open. I was silently saying as much to myself this time last year.

No Comments »

reading and fall

October 24, 2011

I just finished reading The Corrections. It was a good read and once I got into it I couldn’t put it down, but overall I wanted to like it better than I did. Maybe it’s because I read Freedom, first. I don’t know. I can’t quite but my finger on it. Still, if you’re looking for something and haven’t read it yet, I would recommend The Corrections, without hesitation.

Not sure what I’m going to tackle next.  I was contemplating trying again to read Anna Karenina, but then I heard an interview with Jeffrey Eugenides last week and he gave away the whole plot. Bastard, Jeffrey. Seriously. Maybe, I’ll try Catch 22. It is the 50 year anniversary of its publication and RU thinks that I’ll love it. Hmm . . . we’ll see.

I’ve never been a big fall fan. Can’t embrace the whole crisp air and brilliant skies (which is a joke out here) with everything around me dying. Still, I’m not minding fall as much as I thought might. And yet I can’t believe it is so unequivocally here.  This was the second year in a row that Portland had such an abbreviated summer and this year we didn’t even get a week’s worth of a heat wave. The rest of the country must have hogged up all the unbearable hottnes without even a week to spare! Or the heat couldn’t rise over the mighty Cascades to make us suffer through 100 degree days like every one else. I thought we’d get more of an Indian summer or something like that. Maybe we did and I missed it while I was in NYC. Anyway, I’m getting off track. These short days say fall like nothing else, even more so than the rain. And there’s 100 things to do in my yard and I want to keep riding my bike and I’ve already had my first cold and I don’t want to turn on the heat.

I’m practicing getting back in the habit of blogging. Like everything else, I’m always starting over.





October 11, 2011

After 10 days in NYC we boarded Amtrak and headed south, down to DC. The train ride was nice but the way Penn station manages boarding is nuts. They don’t announce the departure gate until about 10 minutes before the train departs, which kicks off a mad dash of folks racing each other to on the escalator that leads down to the platform. A bottleneck developes very quickly because there is only one agent checking tickets and only one very narrow escalator for each gate. And so people push and elbow and step on each other feet on accident and it just doesn’t seem like it should have to be so unpleasant to get on a train.

Because we weren’t on an express train the trip took about 3 hours. We stopped in Newark and Trenton and Philly and Baltimore. I may be leaving out another stop in New jersey, but I can’t remember and I can’t figure it out on the Amtrak site either. Union Station in DC was grand, as in grandeur, and it reminded me how travel was once considered this grand and luxurious thing to  do.

I had forgotten how close the east coast cites are to each other. Or to be more precise I had forgotten the experience of how close the cites are. It seems remarkable that so many people live so close to together, especially after living out here for 12 years where we are surrounded by vast stretches where hardly anyone lives, if anyone’s living there at all.

We did touristy things in DC, like walked the tidal basin, saw the new MLK monument, went to the National Portrait Gallery and the Women in the Arts Museum and did a night time drive around the city. But mostly we just wanted to spend time with our friend D. And that’s what we did. We ate some good meals together and laughed about our new car and the way Rachel did this funny thing at dinner and made coffee and shopped online for good socks and looked for parking spaces and went to some movies and took some walks and checked out the Dupont circle farmers market. We were all sad that it had to end.

No Comments »