rain and weights and love

April 6, 2013

First real spring rain bike ride. Meaning the rain is not so cold and it’s light out and things are blooming and budding and generally coming up from the ground. I made it home from work and my pants got only moderately wet. Now, I am slowly working through my weight routine. Curls. Extensions. Presses. Writing sentences between sets. I’ve been doing variations of this shit, on and off, since I was 19 and my pre-gym queen era, gym queen roommate taught me how to lift free wights. We’ll see if I get to any of the unsexy things on my to do list tonight, like putting away my laundry or changing the litter boxes. Mostly, I can’t stop thinking of Val and her people and the immense amount of love and devotion I’ve witnessed this last week .

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how i spent part of sunday

November 27, 2012

I rode my bike on Sunday after 3 days out of the saddle. Legs were a little heavy and tired, but in a pleasing way. And there was no need to go balls out, anyway. Just  pedal, I told myself. Just do the thing. Ended up at Lardo for lunch. My go to place for a fried egg sandwich.  It was kinda crowded, which is kinda my thing — being by myself in a group of strangers. I was waiting for my sandwich and texting with MTB and running through a snap shot reel of the weekend. At some point I had to turn away from the people standing in line by my table and lean my head up against the window because I was tearing up because everything had been so amazing the last several days. Plus, I felt like, potentially, I could  fall off the stool. I thought about the Tom Spanbauer book I am reading and this line that he keeps repeating: “You’re going this way and then shit happens and then you’re going that way.” I am so going that way.

Riding around a little before riding home, the sun came out. And 1000s of golden leaves were everywhere, making everything on the outside so bright. I rode under them and through them and made them fly up around my wheels a little.  I pedaled up my regular hill to feel my lungs tingle and make myself sweat, even though my feet were colder than I expected. But that was beside the point, because it seemed so fucking lucky out.

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election night and other things, like a bike ride and feeling lucky

November 7, 2012

I rode my bike home late last night after an election party. MTB offered me a ride, but the rain had let up  and my gear was mostly dry and it was clear out. Even if it was a little chilly and I didn’t realize that I’d lost my gloves in the bar until after they’d locked the door behind us, I still wanted to be on my bike. I could tell that I needed to be moving and to feel my legs and my lungs working. And my heart too. The literal one and the metaphorical. Also, I was a kind of buzzed, to be honest.

It was the first late night bike ride I’ve had this fall. Hardly anyone was on the street and and there were stars to look at in the sky and thin stripes of clouds and a beautiful half moon sitting low. That is one of the best parts of riding. The being out in it. I didn’t see the moon until I was maybe 7 blocks from my house and once I saw it I had to stop and pull over and stand there for a little bit to take it in. I even started crying. Which seemed kind of like a joyful thing that was about a lot of things, like being in a roomful of queers and watching Obama get re-elected and Claire McCaskill too. And Elizabeth Scott Warren winning in Mass. And texting with my sis and knowing my mom has my back. And how everybody at the bar was eating lots of waffle fries and being sweet and giddy with each other. And I got to do my loud dude whistle a bunch of times and exchange lots of hi-ives and talk to whole bunch of people I really like. It’s so nice to like people and hug them and have a kind and funny but sincere exchange, even a short one. I saw my friend S and she looked super hot and happy with her new date who was mega hot and seemed nice when I met her. And then being there with J and MTB.

And J.

And MTB.

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some really nice times and things to be grateful for

October 22, 2012

Woke up to blue sky, which waxed and waned and eventually gave way to the clouds in the afternoon. Should have worked in the yard but instead I rode my bike around and was glad to have my thin wool gloves and headband in my pannier, even if I looked like a complete dork when I ran into EKF on my way out of New Seasons, so much so that we almost didn’t recognize each other, which was funny. I am telling myself that I didn’t do yard work because I am transitioning into winter bike riding, but I don’t know if that’s true. I am also a little burnt out on the yard and am waiting for the final die down before cutting tons of stuff back.

I did try to get fava bean seeds at Portland Nursery earlier in the day, with no luck for the seeds, but instead a serendipitous run in with H + M and the their twins O + G. I walked back with them to their house for a short visit, wherein baby O and I stared at each other and made each other laugh for almost an hour. It was incredibly sweet and I didn’t even mind when she spit up on me. H also didn’t mind that I accidentally tried to steal the caramel apple M bought for her and had toted home on top of O in the stroller, which made for a funny photo opp, as in big ass candy apple on a little baby. So of course we all took pics. Seeing  H+ M and the the twins was the perfect end to a weekend that began perfectly and then stayed full of friend connections and eating some really good food.


i am officially ok, not that i wasn’t before

October 16, 2012

Grey and warm. Windy and rainy. Fall for sure. I am fighting off or adapting to a headache that’s lasted 2 days. It’s more like a dull, distant chainsaw buzz now than the temple throbbing thing it was last night and this morning. Strange, as headaches aren’t my usual thing. Or at least they weren’t until the last couple years. Kinda like how not sleeping wasn’t my thing either until the more recent past.

I had the pleasure of an unexpected visit with friends tonight, wherein I forgot to take the sparkling water I had promised to bring because I didn’t have anything else to offer at the last minute and then I forgot it because I kept changing my shirt (I think the shirt changing is a  sign of narcissism for sure (ha)). Friends and food and and the dog, who laid next to me, were all lovely  and I was forgiven for forgetting.

Also, I wrote an entirely new song. Not a new melody to old lyrics. But a whole new song, which puts an end to a 3 year dry spell that I had just about given up on caring if it had even had an ending. Like, I had been saying to myself, “Oh, this is the year I quit playing.” I guess I’m stretching out my 36 year streak. Anyway, this new song is kinda countryish. Not sad, but a little wistful. Feels like a perfect fit for the weather today and definitely perfect for this fall. A nice little bit of luck, part heart and part practicing almost every day for the last 3 weeks and then sticking with it, as in working through the idea. The creative process is so fascinating to me because so much of it is work and I love not having it be a mysterious thing, wherein (a word I am enjoying using tonight) the muse visits me and bestows on me this gift and I’m like “whoa.” The thing I have to remember is if I am doing the work, something is bound to happen.

Also, my friend Frannie wrote this amazing and mind blowing and beautiful post.

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saying yes

September 16, 2012

This is it. This is being alive. Eating my secret version of breakfast pizza and drinking tea and listening to music, Johnny Cash covering Glen Campbell at a second ago and now Bon Iver. I got up to feed the cats when it was still dark, but now the sun is shining and the sky is blue and Remy’s left the house to go hiking. I’ve got the back door open and Phil is laying in the warm spots on the deck. I can see some tomatoes need to be picked. Probably some green beans too. I am doubting the pumpkins, which sprouted up on their own this summer, have turned any oranger, but I can’t see them from here and my approach with them, all along, has been curious and kind of hands off, anyway. Last night my friend told me that I am “a catch” and that made me smile. I also wrote a poem, last night, and I think might work out, as in something I keep. And I finally slept better than I have all week. Not great but better and I will take that. Because not sleeping was starting to drive me nuts.  I started working on cleaning the windows at eight this morning and I put a load of laundry in too. I need to water the garden today. I might cut my hair. If all goes well, I am going to make a pie.

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oh joy

September 6, 2012

It is so beautiful out these days. I stand in my yard or look out the windows of my house or at work and I marvel at this burst of everything that is so amazing about Portland. Tonight, riding my bike home from my writing group, the air felt so perfect and I felt all this joy that my lungs work well and my legs have gotten more powerful over the course of riding so much this summer. It was one of those  “wow, I am alive and wow, I love this world” bike rides to the post office and then home

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gratitude roll call

August 25, 2012

Today is one of those “fuck yeah, Portland” days. It’s absolutely beautiful outside. Not a cloud in the sky. Temperature in mid-80’s and it’s not a work day. Right now I’m in love with everything I love about Portland.

Shout outs of gratitude for some highlights of my week. First, to Heather and Martin and the incredibly cute Olive and Gus. Good lord cute babies are really cute, especially starey, smiley, fake fist bumping ones who makes little noises and move their legs around like they are pumping bicycles. And Heather and Martin are rocking the parent thing. An amazing family times visit that I hope to repeat soon.

Second shout out to Remy who not only cleaned the fridge with me, but also made savory corn fritters with ancho chili spiced honey syrup and then used a bunch of our fresh veggies to  make a ratatouille that smelled delicious. Hello Sunday night dinner! All of this while having lots of great and interesting conversations, which makes home a little sweeter and ups the joy factor in the house for sure.

Third shout out to Tony and Ronald for the fresh veggies and the catching up times. It kind of felt like an old fashioned visit, in the the best way, with good conversation and drinks and some ice cream. Except in an old fashioned visit the visitor usually brings something, which I did not do, as opposed to taking something away, which is what I did do, leaving at the end of the night with my pannier full of fresh veggies and pears. Their garden, or mini farm as I like to call it, is heroic. Seriously. I am in deep admiration and envy of their hard work and cultivation skills. And I am going to mark it on my calendar to plant some fava bean seeds in my own back yard in October and see what happens in June.

Fourth and final shout out to Nancy for an awesome Saturday morning breakfast visit and breakfast. Nancy spontaneously made a fresh peach tart from scratch just to show me how easy it was to do this. I think that right there says a lot about Nancy and is also one of the many reason why being friends with Nancy rocks. My secret plan is to get Nancy over to my house where me, her and Remy will cook up an awesome feast for some lucky guests, who will practically have to roll themselves out to their cars or bikes when its time to go home.

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post thanksgiving post

November 25, 2011

The sun is out. I’m riding Amtrak back home from spending Thanksgiving down in Eugene with my sister and niece. I just ate a sandwich of left over turkey and had a piece of pie. All around me is the Oregon landscape preserved by urban growth boundaries. There are a 1000 things to be thankful for. RU, family, good health, food, shelter, a good job, love, little debt, friends, 50 degree weather, two seats to myself on the train, a subscription to the New Yorker, quiet, drinking water, friendly neighbors who watch my house and feed my cats when I’m out of town, flocks of birds, colorful leaves, sheep, backyards, the time to notice these things . . .


wrap it up

January 5, 2011

When the year ends, I’m not much for projecting out into the future. No grand pronouncements or prognostications here. It’s never been my thing. I do like to reflect back though, to take account of the things I’m grateful for and note any trends.

For me, 2010 seemed mostly to be about relationships – making new ones, catching up with old ones, deepening existing ones and very sadly, ending others.  I don’t like to talk much about those things here, good stuff or not so good. It feels too private for public airing. Still, when I think about where I spent a lot of  my time and energy this last year, I think  of people, which seemed kind of impossible this time last year as I was still in the thick of the numbing grief of losing my dad. And especially in light of that, I want to say “thank you” people of 2010. I think of all of you more than I tell you and I will try to be better at that.

There’s a whole bunch of stuff that happened in 2010 that I’m grateful for, like finding a new job, putting up a hammock on our deck this summer and having a birthday party that people came to, learning to ride the tram, learning to cut my hair, and graduating from the IPRC’s writing certificate program, going on vacation to San Francisco, Palm Springs, Indiana and New York, putting together my chap book, The Animal Keeper, doing my first reading, and helping my friend A.M. teach a writing class, taking 6 hours to drive back from the Oregon country Fair, spending a couple weekends on the Oregon coast and traveling around almost a whole week in the Oregon outback. And not just because I want to contradict myself and talk about people, but more because I want to be true to my heart, I’ll add a short list of names here: RU, Lowen, Katherine, Maggie, Martha and Mom.

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