blog challenge. the sequel. summer.

August 13, 2013

Ok. It’s been a while. As in an “almost 3 months” while. Ugh. It was not my intention to take such a long break. Oh well, I guess. It feels hard to write in the summer. All the sunshine. All the the stuff going on. And this year summer started early because we had an excellent summer fake out back in May, which I filled with things like wearing shorts and flip-flops and shooting hoops and taking long bike rides and building backyard campfires and going to Burgerville for the express purpose of getting a chocolate shake. I was going to write about some of that, but I didn’t. And then June came around and I had a birthday and JJ had a birthday and Tony had a birthday and there was the T*Party and Pride and softball games on Saturdays and MTB and JJ did a tri and MTB and I went to Vegas and Val’s family and friends gathered for her memorial, which was beautiful, and later a bunch of us helped cleaned out her apartment and that was kind of brutal. And then June was over. Just like that. And I hadn’t written a thing. And July picked up where June left off. MTB and I and her dogs went camping on the 4th at Cove Palisades and there were more softball games and Colleen came to town and RU came to town and MTB and JJ and I watched 3 on 3 basketball tournament and MTB had her garden party and I saw the movie the Life of Pi outside at Irving park and MTB and I went to the Washington Country fair and Radio had a birthday and Venae had a birthday and RU had a birthday and Nat and Ally had one too. And I didn’t write down a thing here about any of that either, even though I thought about it. And now its August and I am planning a trip to Indy with MTB.

Every weekend it seems like there are 1000 things to do. And I’ve done so much already. I’ve made ice cream twice this summer and had s’mores and cooked hotdogs over an open fire and I’ve picked blueberries out of my own yard and made kale salads and lettuce salads and taco salads and tuna salads and I’ve been to a handful of cook-outs and a basement show and gone swimming at the pool and swimming at the river and I’ve scored some finds at estate sales and I’ve become obsessed with my Klean Kanteen insulated water bottle and I’ve ridden both of my bikes all over town. I am tan. My thighs have a little more definition. I am wearing cut off t-shirts again. And I don’t wan it to stop. I want to go backpacking and see a movie at the drive-in and make a pie and take a short road trip and hit some golf balls. So until the end of September, I am going to do my best to pretend the days are not getting shorter and that grey skies in morning don’t mean anything and that its always a good idea to leave a towel and a blanket in the car and there’s no good reason to turn down a milkshake.


it is after midnight and i am posting to my blog

September 1, 2012

I am really going to miss late night summer bike rides. They are kind of magical, which is not a word I use very often and so you know it really means something when I say it. My watch or something in my room keeps beeping at 5  til the hour. It makes me feel a little crazy. It just beeped, so I feel like I have to say something. Like a kind of virtual, did you hear that?

Anyway, tonight I rode my bike  at dusk to a queer dance party on the roof top of a hotel by the convention center and then I rode home at midnight. The dance party was a strange scene that kind of felt like queers had invaded someone’s bar mitzvah, but in a good and interesting way. Like that kid was being bar mitzvahed hadchanged locations at the last minute, so it was totally ok that queers took over. At the dance party, I saw my old, as in from Indiana, as in 16 years ago friend, SB, and my new good friend, Nancy. And of course unbeknownst to me, the two of them have met and have become friends, because Portland is a small town, but also I know a bunch of different people even though I am an introvert. And then I also got to hang out and talk with a bunch of people I don’t know super well, but who I like and who I am always happy to see – Peggy, Dexter, Morgan and Maria. And then kind of like a magic trick, Carrot also appeared by my side a couple times tonight and inside I was like “yay, Carrot,” because I like Carrot and I knew that I could tell him that this party was weird but good and he would understand what I meant.

Maybe I am imagining that I connected with Carrot or anyone else, like Peggy or Maria. Although I hope I did. I did have some drinks, which I don’t often do, and it does lessen my inhibitions and make me more expressive and happy. i also kind of bite my lip when I am buzzed. But the good will and affection I felt and I feel, feel very real, though, and I am going to go with that — good will, affection, big heartedness, and hell yeah queers.

I kind of wished I would have danced,  but I just wasn’t in the sweaty dancing mood, even though I’ve been wanting to be in that mood at various times this summer. It’s just never quite right for me. I don’t know why and I can’t will it into being. Why is that? Oh well . It will happen and it will be fun and magical too.

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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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day five, wherein i took a walk and thought about writing

August 25, 2012

Today, I did not write first thing after work. Nope, I took a walk  first, and then I cleaned out the fridge with Remy.

On the walk I tried to think of things I wanted to blog about – like how I wish I was more open hearted and what I’m growing in my garden and whether or not I had anything I wanted to say right now about being butch. Those lines of thinking lasted for maybe 5 blocks. The other 35 I spent thinking about things I’m not writing about on my blog, like these poems I’m working on: one is about self delusion, one is about mobile devices, headphones and the end of the word and one is about the stages of funny falling in love. I also thought about a character in a short story that I’m writing. Or more like not writing because I  got so stuck in an endless cycle of rewriting page one over and over that I stopped working on the story and started writing poems like the ones I just mentioned. I’m curious if thinking about the character will loosen up the cycle’s grip enough to try working on the story again. I’d already given the character a name, Connie. And last night I decided Connie knits and cans and probably makes her own soap or at least has tried.  Today I decided she sometimes shoots bb guns at tins cans in her back yard and that she also has a fire pit back there and twice a year she makes a big fire just to burn down for coals so she can bake a cobbler in a buried dutch oven.  She thrift stores, but she’s not really into vintage clothes as look in and of itself. She’s into fashion, actually, but she doesn’t talk about it. Also, she’s a vegetarian but when she’s drunk she’ll eat bacon. Now that I’ve written all that down I can’t decide if I just made Connie too Portland and maybe too easy to make fun of, at least in my own mind. I don’t want a caricature or a stereotype. Well, we’ll see how ti works out on paper.

I looked outside an it’s 9pm and it’s dark. Street light dark. I think that means that summer, or at least high summer, is really done and over.



an experiment and some links

August 24, 2012

I’m experimenting. Instead of staying up and posting at 10:30 at night, which means I’m actually up writing until 11:30, I’m trying posting first thing after getting home from work. Well, it’s not really first thing because I had to feed the cats, who will not be put off, and there were some dirty dishes to take care of and the trash can to bring up from the curb. But I haven’t even open up Facecrack yet, which is my new name for both Facebook and the nature of my relationship with it. Anyway, I’m hoping that writing right away might be a way of having a meta conversation with myself about making writing as important to me as I claim it is. Instead of just professing how much I want to write

I do believe that the end of summer has begun. Dusk is happening closer to 8pm than 9 and dawn closer to 6:30am instead of 5:30. Already, I am nostalgic for last week’s heat wave. I know the sunny days might stretch into fall; we ight get an Indian summer. But the days will still get shorter and probably won’t be 100 again. I go through this every year – my end of summer lamentation. If you regularly read my blog, you’ve been putting up with it for years. Let me just preemptively say, I will miss you summer. I wish you would be regular date.

Where did the term “Indian Summer” come from anyway? I just looked it up and it’s a longer story than I want to post here. I thought I might get some clever quips from that, but no you’ll have to read it yourself. In the spirit of linking, though, I will pass on some links to some other things I’ve enjoyed reading and listening to lately.


lovely sunset day

August 21, 2012

I am giving myself a 10 day challenge to write a blog entry every day for 10 days in a row.

It is a lovely sunset day. I am sitting in my house and looking at clouds that are lit up all pink and orange in the west edge of the sky. I even made Remy look out the windows upstairs because it sunsets are fleeting and I wanted to let her know this is a good time of the year to watch them and also that this house is great for sunset watching.

Beautiful sunsets never get old. They never seem trite or cliche either, which makes me happy. I am really glad that sunsets and thunderstorms and rainbows and mountain meadows and sunflower fields and big waves and old trees and all the other small and stunningly large parts of nature seem immune from becoming corny or routine or stale. I say bring on the obvious and the beautiful and the impermanent.

I am working on some new poems, one is about self delusion and one is about cell phones and the end of the world and another is about being butch. We’ll see  what I end up with. In the midst of the the poems, I’m looking for titles in the body of email exchanges I’ve had over the last several year. It’s possible something you once wrote  me may get title-ized.


like a heat wave (like how it sounds in that song by martha and the vandellas)

August 17, 2012

Holy moly it’s hot. And I’m not complaining, because I have been craving a heat wave, which is maybe both selfish and thoughtless, considering the drought and extreme temps in big chunks of the rest of the country.

Does the weather out here make me  meteorologically privileged? If so it seems like a temporary state, given the relentless nature of Portland springs (which last at least 5 months) and the fact that I was wearing a wool sweater a little more than a month ago. During so much of the year, I dream of this kind of crazy summer heat weather. Day dream about it, to be more specific. I’ll be riding my bike wearing gloves and a rain jacket and a headband over my ears, and I’ll fantasize about the impossibility of riding my bike wearing just a t-shirt and shorts. Every year it seems unreal that it ever happened — that it was this hot, that I slept under only a thin sheet, that I put a fan in the window, that I watered my garden wearing my boxers, that I didn’t have to always carry rain gear and extra ear warmers in my pannier. And last year it kinda didn’t happen. It got warm, but there wasn’t an actual heat wave. I think the same is true of the summer before. But I get desperate for it.

I think I talk about the weather much more than I did when I lived in Indiana. I said something to a friend a couple weeks ago about being bummed when we were having all this overcast grey bullshit and he said “you do know we live in a rain forest.” I think he meant it as a be here now statement, and I am open to that reminder. But he’s also from Alaska and he will probably never long for midwest summer heat or small country roads or little clumps of trees or all the things I’ve gone on and on about over the last several years. Sometimes when I talk about the weather I am talking about something else deeper or more poignant but I don’t want to appear vulnerable or silly or expose whatever is going on the inside, so I go on about rain or cloudy skies or sunshine. I want to meet someone named Sunshine so I can say her name over and over and trick myself into feeling better when all it does it spit and rain.

I listened to Bill McKibben last night.  I was driving some where, which made me feel kinda jerkish given it was McKibben talking, and it was getting near dusk and it was really beautiful out and he was talking about the end of the world as we know it, more or less.. And part of me wanted to turn him off, not because I don’t believe him, but because I really wish it weren’t true, i.e. global warming and impending catastrophe; plus I have a strong ass streak of avoidance. Also, it was so beautiful out and thinking that this beauty won’t exist anymore was absolutely-please make it impossible-heartbreaking. It made me think that turning back global warming is like fighting human nature, not just because its hard to get people to change and big oil has more money than God and politics are corrupt and China and India are buying our coal and we’re always trying to figure out how to add more lanes to our highways and we fly every where and there’s whole herds of people chanting “drill, baby, drill.” Not just because of all that and all the other variations of things like that, that are causing the world to irreversibly heat up, but because global warming is pretty much like death and us humans aren’t so good at dealing with death. We have an intellectual understanding of it, at best, or at least that’s true for the vast majority of people, and even with an intellectual understanding, it’s still pretty abstract and something that happens in the future. Death, and the finality and changeableness of it, doesn’t seem to really sink in until we are actually dying or dead. Even as we are drowning it’s unbelievable that we will actually drown; so even as the globe warms up, it’s unreal that it will actually get fried. Sometimes I think the problem with common naysayers (common meaning folks who aren’t big oil or auto lobbyists or work for big oil or the auto industry or similar kinds of people) is that that they have a much deeper streak avoidance that I do and they are just super entrenched in the unreality that we can kill the planet.

All this to say I don’t know to love this heat wave and not feel sad about what all these hot temperatures mean.

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July 2, 2011

And so summer. Finally.



take a picture

August 9, 2010

Took the train down to Eugene this weekend to visit my sister. I think this is the first time I’ve made that trip on Amtrak in the summer and the whole ride was kind of magical. I could have filmed everything I saw outside the window on the way down there. It was one of those days where everything you see seems like it has artistic potential. I took a ton of photos on my phone trying to capture it all – the sun, the lines, the colors, and the things you see because of the way train slips behind everyday life or runs along side it. I felt like I was in another world. Kinda of poetic is the only way I can describe it.I was going to read on the train trip home. It wasn’t sunny and I wasn’t expecting any more poetry. Plus, I was tired. So I bought a New York Times. But almost every time I looked up from reading I saw something that seemed to me cinematic and I ended up taking a bunch more photos.

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like a heat wave

July 25, 2010

Hot. Summer. Sun. Puts me to sleep. I laid in the hammock out back this afternoon, but could not get through more than 3 or 4 paragraphs of  something in my New Yorker without dozing off. I’m not complaining though, just taking note. We’re having a little heat wave here. It’s impressive. I should probably drink more water. This blue sky is like some kind of perfect jewel. I can’t stop staring at it. It’s so amazingly bright out. Shiney even.

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