In the morning I am Don Quixote, a three foot wide leaf rake in hand, slaying spiders and dismantling their finely spun condos in my path. It is late summer on Clinton Street and the baby garden spiders of April have once again become monsters in my path. Their alleged purpose is unclear to me.
Grass is turning crisp and brown, like walking on cookies. Portland has dried up and begs for rain. I water to little avail. I can hear my fuchsias gasping as they drink. More more more, their pretty little ballerina dresses sagging in the oppressive heat. We've used up the green and Portland is turning to dust.
Ah, it is sprinkling as I type.... the first edge of damp moves in across the city desert.
Speaking of condos: fuck the urban planning league or whomever is responsible for wrecking my life. You know how much I love my neighborhood most all the time. I know its been a coon's age since I've blogged anything but cancer whining, but in my absence, while my head (and breasts) were turned, Division, the narrow, funky industrial zone of a street, dotted with coffee shops and the occasional thai food restaurant, has become, in the words of Sunset Magazine, some kind of urban mecca. The line for twenty dollar blackforestham and bleu cheese ice cream cones from Salt&Straw winds its way past my living room window. Gargantuan neon-orange or lime and gray condos rise from smallish lots once occupied by ordinary wooden houses. The urban leaguers seem to think none of the occupants of these multi-hipster dwellings, drive cars. Maybe they don't, but there is nowhere to park in front of my house. Ever.
Since last week, a large food cart operation has sprung up half a block from my door, smoke wafting through the house from every imaginable cuisine. There is even a double-decker boutique dress shop. Jesus. It is exactly like living on NW23rd, for the shoppers in my readership who even bother to stop by anymore.
I can't let this post go by without noting the passing of Robin Williams. Shit. NanuNanu.
So, work. I can't yet articulate how I feel about being in charge of the wandering gentiles again. Mostly gentiles, I think. It's in Sherwood and very clannish everyone has the same shaped blue eyes kind of place. I am spending the weekend getting a more distant view of my responsibilities. It is impossible to work in the current level of disorganization, and is a physical illustration of the old managerial saying: When you're up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the primary objective was to drain the swamp.
That being said, I love it. I'm back, redux. The weekend receptionist is a sweet, lovely girl named Katrina. She is probably just nineteen and has worked there, like most of the staff, about five minutes. I asked her what I thought was a simple question: "Is it long distance to Woodburn?" she looked at me as though trying to determine how far away Woodburn is. I rephrased the question. "Do I need to dial 1 to reach this number in Woodburn?"
She smiled and said, "You know, its so strange. Some of these numbers work if you push a "one" first and some of them don't." She shrugged. "Wierd."
I am so old.