Saturday, April 30, 2011

seven years

The Canby Spring Garden Faire is this weekend. I bought eight Lucifer Crocosiums, three Spanish Lavenders, two Beefsteak tomatoes, one Golden Keriea and one Clair de Lune Clematis. I'm not certain of all the names, but, like my sainted mother, I'm willing to make up what I don't know for sure. There was so much to choose from, so many unusual plants and garden art. The art was mostly sharp and rusty. Some pieces looked like they should come with a voucher for a tetanus shot. Let me be clear: I'm not against rust, just sharp ugly rust. And dishes stacked and pasted together in a wobbly ornament of some kind. Not really sure if there is a use for these things or if they are of purely ornamental value. If I had some extra dishes, and I do, I'd just give them to the kids, or Goodwill, or, like my pig neighbors on the corner of 27th and Clinton, stack them on the sidewalk, put a free sign on them and be freegan/slothful/slobbish.

Today, all but the tomatoes are in the ground. Each year I plant and plant and plant. Some thrive, some fail. I keep trying. I don't care how much it costs.

Today is our seventh anniversary. We had dinner and fun last night at Montage, a great Cajun joint under the Morrison bridge. I usually have the flat iron steak and save room for Gooey Butter Cake. My husband of seven years has pasta, some spicy thing with shrimp in it. They wrap leftovers in foil sculptures and yell alot. Kurt orders oyster shooters just to hear them yell. Everyone sits family style so you get to know your neighbors. Its a rowdy, SE Portland kinda place. This morning we had breakfast down the street at Sub Rosa, a small, friendly Italian place who finally caught a clue and started having breakfast on weekends. The sausage is excellent and the eggs benedict was good.

This blog has chronicled our romance -- with the exception of the first twenty-five years. I have no wisdom to offer other than it is important to marry the right person. I'm grateful I did. I gave him a little glass box with seven copper beads in it. He gave me roses.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

easter campfires

If you read this sad little column (put a bird on it ,Portlandia) and you skip the comments section, well, you really are missing the best in life. Those of us who thrive here in the blogosphere, or who once-thrived and now make guest appearances due to interlopers such as facebook stealing our thunder which wasn't so much thunder as rumbling in the distance, grumbling, more like it -- there remains a "campfire-ness" about us, around which we tell our timeless and irreverent stories, dropping in and out of topic and tantrum, past and present.

Ken Kesey said it would be like this. I saw him once in Ashland, learned at his feet. I signed up to learn about writing, which, some 60K in hindsight, cannot be so much taught as chased after and subdued (ruined). What I learned is that Kesey was a great storyteller, a great liar -- as I am, as any fiction writer is -- and when he referred to the internet as a campfire, I couldn't imagine the psychosocial detachedment that would make it seem so.

I know campfires like the back of my hand: the stink of old charcoal and of bootleather left too close to the campfire to dry. I own camping implements in triplicate. I love sleeping beyond the lights of the city, in campgrounds of likeminded souls who want to be alone, together. Except for those who bring radios. I hate them.

So, on this Easter Day, as I celebrate a passe faith with coconut anglefood cake, ham and chocolate bunnies, I am grateful for campfires, and for those who sit around them with me, wherever you are.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

the news from clinton street

entropy and anomie live together in perfect harmony.

I've been deathly ill for a week now. Well, three years, but let's not quibble. I've been in my spot overlooking my street for many days in a row, now. since last Friday, really. I am so sick. I've been so sick for so long that I really think I'm going to not so much change doctors as investigate additional ideas.

I donated about a quart of blood this morning to find out what is wrong with me. One thing is that I am too fat. The other is that I get little exercise. I know these things. But when I feel bad I want ice cream -- mint chocolate chip is my current weakness and, as luck would have it they now make Klondike bars in mint chocolate chip -- and when I feel bad I don't want to exercise. Bad combination. I think this is true of most people, but most people are able to rise above their - well, their cozy little sofas and teaspoons -- and just do it.

The sun is out and I'm not planting flowers. That's how crappy I feel. If the Canby Master Gardner's Faire was today, I wouldn't go. That's bad. I think/hope its next week. It is usually the first weekend in May.

Addendum: one week later: I planted 47.00 worth of flowers today. More to come. On the mend.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

livewire among other things

Let me apologize in advance for the apparent loss of the paragraph function in my blog. Not sure what's up or how to fix it. I like run-on sentences, but run-on paragraphs are a big fat blur to me. Well it was pretty fun to sit with my friend Athena in the OPB audience and clap when the sign was lifted. I've always wanted to see a live radio show like Prairie Home Companion, but Garrison Keillor is losing his edge (or so he says and I think when he says it he is kidding but in my opinion Lutherans have lost their comedic edge) and Livewire is up and coming Portland entertainment. I bought tickets because Anne Lamott was on the schedule. I haven't seen her in years. her schtick hasn't changed, but her dreds are gray now, and she is still an unconvincing Christian, whom I emulate. Her book "Bird by Bird" is still an important book for beginning writers. She's fun to listen to, but she was clearly very tired, on a book tour, and the annoying factor is that on my way home I noticed the marquee at the Bagdad and it said, "Anne Lamott, 6:00. Shit. I could have saved my money, walked down to the Bagdad and seen her for three bucks, earlier, when she wasn't so tired. Still, she is kind of my idol, and I really was happy to see her. I give a copy of her book to newer writers when I have one lying around. The mayor was there, and was giving a proclamation of some sort. He was a little funny, which helps, because he seems like a complete dick to me, at least someone with poor judgment. God, I can't stand people with poor judgment. Work remains difficult, challenging in a couple of important ways, and I am happy to have a job and money to spend on spring flowers.

Friday, April 08, 2011


I dumped all of the dirt out of many of my many pots because tomorrow is FUSCHIA SATURDAY AT FRED MEYER!!!!!!!!!! FREE DIRT. I'll stop yelling now. It is a great thing they do. I take all of my pots and plant the heck out of their little fuschia starts. I like "dark eyes" and "lena" and "pink marshmallow." but each year, I get what I can and I think that some years the fuschia elves go in the middle of the night and switch all the little signage sticks so you pretty much get a crap shoot of colors. But that's okay. My need for order is slowly giving way to the entropy of life in SE Portland. We (the royal we) are building a fence so the dogs have somewhere to roam. I'm glad about it. I want the front yard back. I'm tired of looking at chickenwire, sawdust and dogshit. Sue me. Even entropic living has its limits. Also, the fence will serve as a barrier for Duffy's enthusiasm to meet and greet passersby, which looks more like a desire to tear the throat out of passing dogs. Not that he could, or would, but his act is pretty convincing. I'm just wondering if the neighbors will care about the fence. They don't seem to care about much of anything. They are roommates that shift and change with the seasons; they all look alike and some of them come and go, so its hard to tell sometimes. My husband used to live in the house nextdoor, so he takes the "Toddler Property Laws" view of things. Look 'em up. Nevermind. I did it for you. Toddlers' Property Laws 1. If I like it, it's mine. 2. If it's in my hand, it's mine. 3. If I can take it from you, it's mine. 4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine. 5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way. 6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine. 7. If it looks like mine, it is mine. 8. If I saw it first, it's mine. 9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine. 10 If it's broken, it's yours.