10 December 2006

brief gazette

boy, the days certainly do fly like hummingbirds, don't they? i won't bore my two devoted readers by recounting the past few weeks or so, but here is a quick smackdown:
presented the final project for roadsharing for the Portland Traffic & Transportation class which ended last week, topped off by a fine time at Paddy's with Rick Gustafson as the host; organized a fundraiser at The Monkey & The Rat which went well; got the end-of-year appeal out the door finally; spent thanksgiving in sacramento with my CAL (Crazy Aunt Laurel) and fabulous cousins Pam, Chris, Andy and David; did the Junk to Funk fashion show which was AbFab (Ashlee was gorgeous and a great sport, and the costume got acolades from the other participants and from Sam Adams who officiated in a tux made from used bike tubes and coffee cups); working on the play "Private Lives" which opens feb. 22nd, and we are currently working on a Viewpoints Lab; the umbrella group is going to be called Umbrella, and boy are there some smart cookies working on it; got my stage epees back from Ricky; trying to figure out how to create a silkscreen emulsion; learned how to knit hats; saw the gospel choir perform with the oregon symphony; and am taking a Voluntary Simplicity class at David Evans organized by the Great Corey Schuster.
next on the to-do list: sing-your-own messiah, holiday crafts and shrinkie dinks; build vertical shelving for my room pending landlord approval; sew an apron; and need to find caroling opportunities. also hopefully volunteering with the CCC for their holiday bike drive.
okay, must sleep. hope you're well!

13 November 2006

the agony and ecstacy

yesterday marked the first rehearsal for "private lives", for which i was luckily cast (performance dates coming soon to a blog near you). it was 9a-12p and a rigorous exploration of impulse, cooperation and body language/cues. we all seemed pretty exhausted by the end of it (LOTS of running around). i am ashamed to say that for a few cynical moments i was remorseful that i had to go directly from that workshop to a bike move, but once i was actually on the road there was nothing but eager anticipation for Matt's Distinguished Tie Move (also known as "The Girl Next Door").
supreme kudos go to Matt for his very tall load and to Aaron who hauled a hide-a-bed couch over the Broadway Bridge. man, i feel like such a wimp sometimes!
just one more reason i love portland. hopefully i'll be able to steal some pictures soon.
usually i have moved by myself on mass transit (new york, changchun, dalian, bangkok, suratthani 1) or multiple bike trips (suratthani 2). i almost wish i could move just to enjoy the parade and find an excuse to cook for people.
after the bike move, i jumped back on my bike to head downtown just in time for the wind storm and, with shoes soaked and socks squished, headed to hang with my family. Colleen was in town from boston, and we had a grand old time together. i never notice how much more we seem to laugh than other families until we're in a public space. wouldn't have any other family in the world! they even agreed to not do presents this year. hip hip hooray!
this morning my body revolted, however. i could barely extend my legs because my calf muscles were so tight. wimps.
and now to homework.

11 November 2006


Ken and Don are off the streets!
Don called shortly after dragon boating practice to tell me that they had gotten their first social security check and had checked into a hotel for a few days until they could get a longer-term place on monday. i asked them what they did the first thing they got into their hotel room. they took a hot shower. got some dinner. took another hot shower. and they'll probably be taking showers straight on until monday morning! they were watching "The Dukes of Hazard" when they called. they also promised that they would have christmas with my family again this year, though they had mentioned moving back to vegas.
it's going to be strange not seeing them every morning on yamhill st., and now i'll have to make an appointment and hope to make it into their busy schedules. at least i get to see them on monday because the by-the-week rooms for some reason need some extra paperwork done, and i'm to help them with that.
we talked for so long on the phone that i was late meeting my friend Fillard for lunch. punctuality is important, but i've never had a better reason for being late (sorry, Fillard).
over the moon.
we'll miss you, fellas. drop us a line from time to time, will ya?

10 November 2006

thank you, BonB

just found this write-up about a recent transportation-related film extravaganza at the Bagdad in the Oregonian by Joe Rose and repost it here. the apples he mentions were leftover donations from BonB the day before. i don't remember having been quoted in an article before. what fun!

and here's a poster for Junk to Funk on december 2nd. Ashlee, my roommate, has graciously agreed to wear my design, which means i need to spend this weekend making it look a little better than it does. it is going to be great fun, and i can't wait!

09 November 2006

donald and me

now that our secretary of defense is on his way out, i can safely post a picture of my office. if i had a nickel for every time since the beginning of this administration i heard, "hey, you stand at your desk, too? you know, so does Donald Rumsfled". i know i know i know. comparisons between me and our (SoB) SoD are obviously precisely the look i was going for.

thankfully he's losing his desk and will consider taking up different work habits that do not inspire comparison between us.
by the way, the computer desk is one that Dad and i made together when i first got my current position at Green Empowerment. it's made from melamine and soldered copper tubing and wire. we were going for a Brooklyn Bridge look on the keyboard portion. this is by far the best standing computer setup i've had (previous incarnations at other jobs have included basic pine and ikea assembly leftovers, recycled paper boxes, magazine file holders, etc.). this one actually LOOKS nice. next one will be adjustable. from now on only recycled materials - i felt a little tawdry buying melamine from a lumber store. eesh!

02 November 2006

lessons from Katrina - united in homelessness

first, brief random updates:
*my submission was selected for the Junk to Funk fashion show. yeay!
*i got callbacks to "Private Lives". yippee!
*did callbacks for "If You Take One Elf off the Shelf". hot diggity!
*started hard-core plans for Green Empowerment's Burma fundraiser at The Monkey and The Rat on Nov. 18th. meow!
*actually rented "V" for the weekend. thrilled!

okay, and now for the title event of the day . . .
this evening there was a panel lecture hosted by the Oregon chapter of the APA (American Planning Association) entitled "Lessons from Hurricane Katrina" (http://www.oregonapa.org/content/view/106/80/). the panelists included a FEMA volunteer, Gulf Coast Program Manager from Mercy Corps, NW Medical Teams volunteer, legal volunteer, and a PSU urban planning graduate student who did undergrad at Loyola in New Orleans and went back to volunteer after Katrina.

i am sorry to say the PSU student's name eludes me now, but let's call her Kaye for brevity. Kaye's story killed me. She talked about a fellow named George who was a handyman who traded his skilled labor for rent in his New Orleans apartment and, due to the fact that he didn't pay bills associated with his house and had lost his ID during the evacuation, couldn't receive FEMA aid for lack of residential proof. George and Kaye went through a labyrinth of bureaucratic hoops, including Kaye physically driving to New Orleans to get a copy of a form that in the end couldn't be printed due to their lack of printer, then finally giving FEMA the information they needed in a format they would accept only to have it lost later due to a data entry mistake. they have not been able to find George since the last letdown, and he is homeless somewhere without any way to locate him.

the panelists' stories reminded me a great deal of life shortly after the tsunami in southern Thailand. but sadly, they actually reminded me a little more of life in Portland. most of my friends and family have either met or known about Don and Ken, two really cool homeless guys that hang out between 1st and 2nd and yamhill in the mornings. they have been trying to get assistance for years from social security, since Ken has not been able to work since a train accident that made his arm nonfunctioning at best and a serious threat to his kidneys at worst. their prospects got a little more hopeful a number of months ago when Ken had to have his arm amputated, thereby eliminating all doubts as to his disability. and yet it's been months of waiting for them. we talked this morning (as we do most mornings), and we had all hoped for some final good news in the form of a social security check that would help get them off the streets. due to clerical error (tell me if you've heard this before), their processing has been delayed, and they'll have to wait a little longer. did anyone else feel how cold it was today? and wet? it certainly wasn't this cold in june when Ken's arm was amputated and they started the process. now it might not be until december. the whole time Kaye was talking about George and everyone was shaking their heads in wonderment, i just wondered whether the system ever actually worked in someone's favor. i am sure many social service workers try very hard and put their hearts into their jobs. there are many heroes among them, and nothing in this little rant is meant to say they are anything less than wonderful and well-meaning folks trying to make a difference (the ones that don'e make silly and frequent data entry mistakes, anyway). however, i struggle to see how efficacy and accountability can coexist in such a bureaucracy-laden society.

i won't start on post-tsunami aid or displaced persons and developers' ambitions. that is a travesty too often told and too often forgotten. and i've already ranted enough.

30 October 2006

ballots and bullets

yesterday was a 6 1/2 hour ballot measure smackdown at Fillard's house for which i'm eternally grateful. hoping to share the love this sunday with a little cinematic snack thereafter. anyone want to come?

25 October 2006

My Quilted Subscription

2 december marks the first annual Junk to Funk Fashion Show in portland. many other places have versions of this celebration of recycled couture, but i feel sure that our fair city whose patron saint seems to be the God(dess) of Sustainability, is ready to leap onto the stage with great fanfare. these are a few pictures of my submission. only 25 folks are chosen, so who knows, but it was great fun to make, and it is a fantabulous exercise in the whimsical. the skirt and tank top are made entirely from my subscription to "the economist" magazine, grocery bags and duct tape. i still haven't made the hat or the purse yet, and there are some bits of frippery on the tank top and skirt yet to be completed, but i look forward to making these. my roommate modelled them, but sadly the camera's memory card was on the fritz, and she is now housesitting and unavailable for another session. but there it is. what a wonderful event it is likely to be!

in other news, i auditioned for integrity production's upcoming show of "private lives" by Noel Coward. such fun! i could take up auditioning as a sort of pasttime. i met Morgan and Chloe, my auditioning partner and the play's stage manager respectively, and had a bundle of laughs playing Amanda an Sibyl. in truth, i'd had hopes of reading for the maid, Louise, but this was not to be. who knows if callbacks are in the future, but good people, good company, and a grateful opportunity. also, this morning's inbox was greeted with a timeframe for callback auditions for Francesca Sander's latest. also got a coffee brewing donor for Breakfast on the Bridges which is pretty swell (and what's more important is that we'll have the opportunity to publicize
JAMES BEAN COFFEE on 2nd & SW Taylor
which is owned by a great couple who are not only golden-hearted but can speak Chinese to boot!).

22 October 2006

monthly gazette

so much to recall since the last posting! portland is a whirlwind of wondrous activity, leaving it difficult to participate and still allow time to sleep. here are some basic updates:

we've started up the arduous yet hopefully successful venture to gain sponsorship, which could take us to china and hawaii. i only have eyes for china, myself, for reasons that are not difficult to ascertain. thoughts of visiting Rebecca wherever she is (and since her daughter is marrying a man with a different passport, so this could be anywhere) fill idle timed thoughts. more soon. in the interim, we've taken to asking everyone for bios which i get to collect and, oh yes, READ! you think you know a person after paddling in the same boat with them for a year . . .

the bus project met their goal of registering 15,000 young voters. they did over 16,000 young and over 20,000 cumulative. way to go! it took thankless tasks like pub crawls, post-concert sifting, line hustling, pioneer couthouse square trawling, and a host of innovative questing i can't keep track of. just before the 5pm tuesday deadline, i hustled the street where i work downtown. 10 voters in 25 minutes. very cool, and yet quite sad. i wonder at a mail-in ballot system that disenfranchises the often-moving youth vote and negates the cultural aspects of the voting process even as it increases overall voting participation (and when the average age in the last primary was 62?)
Alex and i went out on the sunday before the tuesday deadline and headed up the:

Voting Bike Brunch Brigade - sunday morning a few folks met at Bus Project HQ and whirled out to southeast p-town to attack the unsuspecting, unregistered brunch-munching hopefuls on belmont. Alex and i registered at least 10 in a couple of hours with time to stop for coffee in between. today (tuesday, 17 october) is the last day to register voters. deadline 5pm. just thought i’d mention.

Candidates Gone Wild - Ben, Corey, Lauren, Adam and i sat in the audience for this little ditty, an evening of discussing the dense (of either meaning) ballot measures and heckling gubernatorial candidates. sadly, the republican abd democratic candidates felt unable to make an appearance (boo hiss), so we were treated to lambasting Saxton and Kulo's absenteeism as well as a better spotlight on the other candidates. Joe Keating is a wonderful fellow who's talent show entry included a headstand on a yoga mat.

i met with Mark Lear for an hour this past wednesday to discuss my "road user's manual" project, and he suggested as an alternative to research delivery truck and intra-city freight trainings which drivers are required to take every few years. this would be a great way to learn how the hell insurance companies work to ameliorate their liability risk. personally, however, i have to admit that individual drivers are less-than-adequately trained with ped and bike roadsharing laws almost nil, and these are the roadusers who are at highest risk of plowing into traffic that's not enveloped in tank-like cradles.

yesterday we went to our professor, Rick Gustafson's, house, and he took us on a tour of traffic calming installation in the portland metro area. fascinating! and there are some great people in the class, i tell you! we went back to his house afterwards where his wife had kindly laid oiut some nibblins for us, and we drank beer on his porch and kibbitzed for longer than we politely should have. he's going to sagrada familia in barcelona next week, which arouses a tinge of jealousy. gaudi! what a guy what a guy.

a group of us are exploring the possibility of starting an umbrella nonprofit. don't want to say any more than this because the nuances of such a potential organization is rife with differing vision and questions. a good group of people and an interesting process.

Africa Women’s Bicycle Initiative at Mississippi Pizza saturday evening - i actually got there a little early because i was supposed to meet a friend whose sickness prevailed in the end and couldn’t attend. all the better for eavesdropping, my dear! the folks who were organizing the event sat next to me in the parlor and talked about last minute details. as with many events, there is an equal fear of just too many and too few people turning up. but it was definitely a baby bear event with the attendance “just right”. some bike helmets in the audience, small packs of “the youth”, some world travelers - a healthy mix. great music. i didn’t stick around for the auction and wonder how they did.

that's all i have time for today! trying to get a junk to funk submission ready and don't know whether i'll be able.

thank you, two devoted readers.

04 October 2006

PTT: statement

just about to swing out to our second Portland Traffic and Transportation class, a joint venture by p.s.u. and the p.d.o.t. wonderful!
last week we got to meet Sam Adams, portland's transportation commissioner, who spoke for about an hour about the responsibilities, limitations and current proposals presented by his office. we have the greatest transportation manager on the planet!
our homework for today was to provide a statement of a possible final project we want to pursue. here's mine:

(nonbinding, preliminary, quite possibly logistically impervious)

Project Statement


I would like to focus on road-sharing education, primarily between bicycles and motorists. Laws affecting bicycle/motorist usage are changing with far greater rapidity in the State of Oregon than most road-users can track. Misunderstandings in regard to rules of the road are one of the most frequent causes for frustration and collision between bicyclists and drivers. By promoting legal transportation education, we can create safer streets.


Driver and bicycle user manuals are two independent DMV publications with very little commonality, and I would seek to change that. We can provide an updated, integrated road manual offered by the DMV that can be used by all users of roadways in order to create mutual awareness of road-sharing rules. This could also involve developing an easily implementable system for continuing education, and here is the wishlist:

*integrated DMV Road-User Manual to replace Bicycle and Driver Manuals

*bicycle rule integration into DMV tests;

*requisite bike legal clinic attendance for all parties in bike-car collision cases;

*optional fine waives/reductions for bike-borne fines in return for bike legal clinic attendance;

*law change updates provided to media to be mentioned during traffic reports.

hmmmm . . . a little too bold? dependent on swiftly moving bureaucracy? and again i say hmmmm . . .

01 October 2006

linfield debut

friday was one heck of a crazy day! i woke up at about 5am, and Sparky and i snookered our way to downtown in just enough time to get hot water for Breakfast on the Bridges, voter registration cards, and signs made such as "exercise . . . your right to vote" and "are you registered to vote at your current address? reg. cards available here!". on the way to work, Sparky and i telepathized to finally name our lovely bambina trailer. so next time you see that three of us, kindly tell Minerva what a cute trailer she is. she likes that.
so anyway, we got to the bridge, broke out some hot water and plums that Joan our FABULOUS volunteer brought to the office, registered folks to vote, then busted away to prepare for Green Empowerment's Board of Director's meeting. five minutes before the meeting, i called Gwen Leonard to say that my voice still wasn't back (curses!), and she informed me that i was already on the program for the dedication to the Vivian Bull Music Building at linfield. this is my fault, as i didn't call her the day before. luckily, Gwen suggested that i could sing a little chinese ditty, which is about all my voice could handle.
just after the Board meeting, mom called and agreed to drive us to mcminnville. we arrived just in time for the earlier concert to hear the glorious personages of Brian Bartley and Joe Theissen sing (they're performing in ragtime until oct. 25th, and they are not to be missed). one person couldn't make it through the parking lot of dundee in time for the concert, so i pinch hit. it turned out much better than i was fearing! i asked for the audience's forgiveness and offered in trade an introduction to the songs in chinese. thankfully made it through "Yue Liang Dai Biao Wode Xin" and "Mai Tang Yuan" without too garish a passaggio.
everyone was there! it was a reunion of about an entire town that i had been missing! Wynn and others from the first baptist church, Donna Root, two Susans, Tiff, Tom Gressler and the Marshalls (sounds like a great band), a number of other professors, a lot of alumni with whom i share fond memories, they were all there. i think i hugged everyone on the planet. after the dedication and second concert, Gwen took any performers who could stay out to sushi. what a great conversation. what an utterly fantastic day! mom and i were glowing all the way home, and i couldn't stop gleaming all saturday.
more about saturday soon, but i don't want to bore my two readers any longer.

29 September 2006

SSS - six string samurai

if you are ever in a position to need a macguyver-concocted roadside entertainment system, consider the following triumvirate: "Organic" Brian Scrivener, "Tall" Steve Kirkendall, Aaron "Transportation Diplomat" Tarfman.
thanks to them, the sidewalk on 24th and alberta was home to a showing of "six-string samurai" at this month's last thursday. more to come, with any luck!

28 September 2006

last paddle hurrah in san fran

last weekend marked the final dragonboat competition of the year. held in san francisco, there were over 100 paddling teams that helped compose the weekend encampment on treasure island. i can't recall whether i've mentioned it before, but dragonboat competitions look not unlike a modern depiction of a medieval military campaign. there are a number of tents, each sporting its own banner and hosting its own distinctly-attired cadre bent on thwarting the other groups' dreams of victory by employing time-honored devices. races involve a closely-contained covey of odiferous folks who employ a lot of muscle and war cries to propel them to the finish line. the space between the finish line and a lot of expensive yachts was rather slender on treasure island, so we had to hold the boat quickly after crossing. i was in the 2nd bench for most of the races, so i had an intimate understanding of how imminently our potential rendezvous with yacht gunnels (and very possibly personal bankruptcy) was. a weekend of such close encounters rendered me unable to phonate as i repeatedly and loudly encouraged teammates to hold the boat. tee hee.

so that was the actual competition. now to san francisco. ahhh! Corey and i enjoyed beds in a chi-chi (sp?) hotel on market street secured by Debbye (thanks, Debbye!). Linda, Corey and i were hotel-mates for the weekend, and hilarity ensued. Corey got me a most humbling and treasured gift - travel scrabble. two of our three nights in san francisco were spent drinking wine and playing scrabble. it was delightful! a guilty squandering of a beautiful city's myriad opportunities, but we just couldn't help ourselves.
what did we do? we visited citylights books, walked around a lot, ate cheap pizza, walked around some more. the last day, i walked in the haight and golden gate park areas and returned to the waterfront to - you guessed it - walk around some more.
next to playing scrabble and paddling, the greatest pasttime was to be found in and around chinatown. it has been so long since i've spoken chinese with such wild abandon! most folks i met could speak mandarin, which is rare in portland (most speak cantonese). i shopped for cds that no one seemed to have. i continued my quest for portable chopsticks to replace mine, and no one had even heard of the idea before. i hunted for a restaurant with a chef from changchun or beijing to no avail. and i was unsuccesful every time, but completely in chinese which gave me the chance to speak mandarin some more with the next person or shop who didn't know or didn't have. it was fabulous!!! i went a few whole hours without speaking english. our last night in san fran, a group of castaways deigned to follow me in the winding route from our hotel to a restaurant that had been recommended by two different music store vendors, and we got to order a bunch off the menu (stir-fried eggplant and hot and spicy tofu . . . yumm). it was great! i have missed china, and san francisco is the nearest thing nearest to portland. what a find.

the only downside to the weekend was that i returned to portland with absolutely no voice (i will never yell that much again lest my voice leave and never return) and screaming muscles on the entire right side of my torso (i paddled all the races port-side, which will also never be repeated).

21 September 2006

famous for a week

i'm blushing, positively blushing!


Stephanie Routh: Tour de Vote victor of the week!

Stephanie was a continually awesome presence in Building Votes office last week. On Monday, she showed up at the office with registration cards. On Wednesday, she helped-out with our captain training. And on Sunday, Stephanie ran into BV staff member, Alex, at Red and Black Café and handed him three more registration cards!

It was absolutely wonderful! For all her hard and persistent work we are happy to award Stephanie with a $25 gift certificate to Coventry Cycle Works on Hawthorne Blvd.

HAVE YOU JOINED THE TOUR? Register now to let us know you're participating -- and get to work! Opportunities abound. Register your friends and neighbors.

11 September 2006

dragonboat sellwood

the varnish on my paddle dried just in time to use the New and Improved paddle on the waters during this weekend's sellwood race. the Castaways sported both a women's and a mixed team this year, and what a workout for the ladies! our first race was almost unbearably sluggish (were some of the men holding the back of the boat at the dock just so that we would appreciate them more during the mixed races?). our second race was almost 30 seconds faster, and we ended up with respectable times considering we had practiced as a group only twice before the competition.
the double duty definitely had a number of us huffing. a few times we stepped off the boat of one race and turned around and marshelled straight into the next one. no one can ever call us whimps! the stars of the day were, of course, Captain Darrell and Coach Fev, both sporting huge hearts and winning smiles straight through to a drinking foray at the Black Cat.
wanted to die sunday evening. very nearly did.

08 September 2006

weekend craze

why i am a silly chiquita who doesn't know how to say "no":

this morning i went to work, delivered hot water for breakfast on the bridges and “birthday” flyers on both hawthorne and broadway, greeted bikers for two hours, went to work, am going to buy marine varnish to varnish my paddle before the race tomorrow, going to a movie with friends or disco dancing with other friends at a ballroom, then a midnight mystery ride, sleeping somewhere between the midnight ride and our 8am race tomorrow morning, registering folks to vote between races, meeting up with my family at some point, hanging with the team at the end of the evening before going to a friend’s birthday party, then more racing on sunday followed by a picnic for Shift (biking nonprofit) with more voter registering followed by (if i’m not too tired) a get-together with my friend Nicole.

doable? my head (and muscles) hurt already.

05 September 2006

a near miss

the following is an emailed rampage i unleashed on two of my hapless friends, Corey and Nicole, after a near miss between my beloved Sparky and a car in northwest portland. a few edits have been made to protect innocent eyes. it is a testament to Nicole and Corey's copacetic nature that they are still speaking to me at all. i am also ashamed to say that i posted something FAR more benign on bikeportland.org after some guilt and shame caught up with me.
here we go:

okay, i must vent.
i was on my way to REI (they have a clearance sale, and i needed a floor pump), and there was a road closure in front a few blocks. a subaru came up and drove past me on my left (i was in a bike lane) and then turned right in front of me and then stopped directly in the bike lane. i mean dead stop for absolutely no reason. i skidded to a stop just before flying into her rear window.
i was so angry i slammed my hand on her rear window before riding around her (she was STILL parked in the bike lane, by the way). she rolled her window down and told me "that's what blinkers are for. you should be more careful". i replied that it's hard to see the blinker when the person's coming from behind and cutting you off in your lane, and she snottily made a few comments and then said, and here's the clincher:
"you give bikers a bad name". i was speechless, mesmerized by her audacity and her unbridled assurance that her driving was completely flawless (when in fact had she done the same with a car she would have a great deal to answer for). that speechlessness, of course, lasted about a nanosecond. needless to say, i pointedly invited her to get out of her car, but she was already starting to drive off.

i hate drivers sometimes. not all, not most, actually. just brunette former cheerleaders who think that the tonnage around them gives them license to drive whatever way they choose regardless of traffic law (and had she stuck around i . . . well, first i would have rearranged her pert little nose . . . but THEN i would have graciously offered her my copy of "pedal power" with all traffic regulations regarding bicycles therein for her perusal and, one hopes, her ultimate enlightenment).
but i got to REI. and i got my pump at 25% off. it's orange. and makes me happy. or will make me happy after i'm done with murderous rage.
give bicyclists a bad name. the impertinence!


okay, so there was the rage-stricken biker that you see on the news (i can still work up into a lather when i think about it for too long). just would like to follow up with a tale of coming together through adversity that happened the following monday morning. Sparky and i were waltzing around ladd's circle on our way to work when a silver economy car turned in front of me. i veered as much as i could without hitting the parked cars and ended up getting hooked by her passenger-side rear-view mirror and taken along the front of her hood for a few yards (still riding my bike). she stopped, i landed on the pavement, then got up to check on Sparky and my paddle, expecting another lambast from another haughty motorist, to be honest. instead i heard a bashful, "i'm so sorry. i didn't see you there." the driver was out of her car and shaking a little with her hands out to me. she asked if i was alright, and we ended up hugging each other a lot and asking if the other was okay. we talked a bit about how it's difficult to see bikes, that the laws are always changing and so it's difficult to know where to look or what to do, that we'll both be more careful next time. she didn't even LOOK at her car for damage until she was about ready to get back in. i don't know who that woman was, but i hope good luck is strewn before her like rose petals for the rest of her life! it was such a reversal from the near-hit the week before that i was able to appreciate her candor and generosity of spirit even more.

02 September 2006

this is a test

it is only a test.
the postings predating this one have lived in other venues and in varying formats.
the strings of words above these trifles make their debut on the computer stage via the portal from which you are currently discerning.
if this had been a real post, you would have probably witnessed a foppish attempt at poeticisms before you realized the day had gotten long in the tooth and it was high time you attended to other matters.

28 August 2006

a fabulous bike move (and PDX100)

sunday was a duo-cyclical romp through the ins and outs of portlandia. to begin, we had the first ever portland century bike ride. folks could pedal their way to the 40, 60, or 100 mile mark, depending on their ambition and pain tolerance. i chose the 60-miler, which i term the "metric century" because it makes me sound slightly less wimpy. i didn't feel less wimpy, mind, but in repeating the phrase every half hour or so, i hope that history will treat me kindly. . . or overlook me completely, which seems slightly more likely (and i have only you to thank, my glorious two readers, for some passing notice. grateful and more grateful).

i rode for most of the way with Fillard Rhyne, who had the perfect bike and the perfect hair for the occasion. i felt as though the two of us were a peculiar sight, as neither of us were sporting spandex for the event. Fillard, if you don't know him yet, is a rather tall fellow with what could only be described as rich tresses, which was lucky for me since it was easy to spot him in a crowd. we set out from PSU a little before 9am after having wrestled with the other registrants. there were about 3 times as many participants as they were expecting, and the limited resources (water, gatorade, snacks, etc.) were an often sought and rarely found commodity, but i imagine such is to be expected on the first ride of its kind. i heard later that one of the big reasons for the massive over-registration was that many more people registered at bike shops than had been expected, and those forms didn't get to HQ until a few days before the event. next year will assuredly be more luxurious, but it was great to be among the pioneers of the pdx 100!

i got back to the finish line about 3pm and wound my way to the office to pick up my brand spankin' new bike trailer in time to help my friend my friend move her apartment. there were about 12 of us (?) with trailers and panniers and joy in our heart to be invited for the great Stuff on Bikes parade. our new little trailer (who does not have a name yet, but we are considering "Pluck" or "Minerva") had a big first week with a BTA bike move followed by delivering hot water for breakfast on the bridges with Elly's move as dessert! every one of the movers demonstrated awe-inspiring prowess at bungee-cording, stacking and scrunching every worldly possession she owns onto a team of eager bikes. the trip was incredibly short and followed by a long stretch of multi-course delicious concoctions created by Meisterkoch John.

at the end of the evening i was a tired, tired bicyclettist and endured a rather bad movie just because it meant sitting for 2 uninterrupted hours in air conditioning. sometimes even when the movie's terrible one is able to stay for comfort.

21 August 2006

paddling in victoria

this post is scrawny and far inferior to the glory that was our trip to victoria, but it's a reminding placeholder.

14 March 2006

bibledash in seattle

just your average weekend in seattle. you know, biodiesel homebrewing guides, wedding crashing, the time warp, VegFest, the experience music project a la my man Frank Gehry, chinese food, and ikea with contingents from the east and west coasts.

oh yeah, and Bibledash.

consider six people sitting in a hotel room still buzzing from dancing the conga and time warp at a wedding to which only 2 of the 6 were invited (Mel was gorgeous, and Andy's dance moves are beyond compare!). imagine, if you will, a desire to play a game together. but which game? ahh, one cries out, balderdash. everyone grows excited at the thought. hearts a-quiver, the search for a wortebuch commences. sadly and finally, however, scavenging and treasure hunting fail to produce the almighty, the requisite, the everliving dictionary. well, posits another, what book do we have that might take its place? more scavenging. tossing. pondering. eyes flitting in oscillating hope and perturbation. and then, a light!
what one book does every hotel room in america possess?

that's right. the Gideon's Bible.

thus was Bibledash formed.
how Bibledash works: at random (and random, as any balderdasher knows, is quite relative and of lesser priority than whimsicality), each person takes turns finding a book, chapter and verse. others coin what they think could pass for a biblical phrase. books referenced during Bibledash's maiden voyage included Genesis, Lamentations, Acts, 2nd Chronicles, and (what game would be complete without) the Song of Solomon.highly recommended regardless of your liturgical prowess. watch out, King James!

11 February 2006

Random: the deity


this week's randomness quota (for i must do one random thing per week) was filled by snowshoeing. never done it before, never actively pursued the idea of doing it, had no idea who my fellow snowshoers would be, had no idea what modern snowshoes looked like and assumed that they resembled the backs of wingback wicker chairs hailing from the heyday of the 70s, etc. had no idea. also spent most of the 45 seconds it took me to respond to the www.cnrg.org posting contemplating just how surefooted i am not. i mean truly. the last time i went hiking it was on the slippery, damp leaf-carpeted grounds of southern thailand rainforest area, and i almost died once. the short version of that story (though not the focus of this entry, so i hope the telling of it will not over-weary my two readers with tangential data) involved me climbing up a slippery slope with sheer rock faces on either side, no purchase to speak of, sharp rock licked by the andaman sea below, a slip, a slide and a last-minute catch of my foot on a root. every day since has been a gift.

so it was with these thoughts that i rented my snowshoes and met the 13 others at "the daily grind" this morning. we set out for mt. hood with the guidance of Christine and Pat.

i'm already hooked on snowshoeing. it's fabulous. claws secure purchase, toes dig to surety. the journey is ponderous and hushed with snow. crunch shhhhh clack crunch. crunch shhhh clack crunch. the sounds of every character Jack London ever immortalized can be heard to clatter their teeth or spit ice with every snowshoeing step.

all hail, deity of Randomness!

03 January 2006

my favo(u)rite soup

well, you literally asked for it this time! as requested, following is the recipe for the soup i made last time at Izzi, Matt and Ted's house:

dilled broccoli soup
(from Lorna Sass' "cmplete vegetarian kitchen")
serves 5-6

1 lg bunch broccoli (2lbs)., cut into small florets
4 c. vegetable stock
1 lg. onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 c. steel cut oats (the original recipe is for old-fashioned, but steel cut are better)
sea salt or blond miso to taste
3/4 c. tightly packed minced fresh dill (you can substitute 2T dried dill, but don't whimp out and go for dried!)

1. throw everything into a pot and bring to a boil
2. cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer about 15-20 minutes, until the broccoli is soft and the oats cooked
3. add miso to taste and serve

(3a) the recipe calls to puree the soup, then add miso and serve with dill garnish, but i prefer this soup chunkinated. you be the judge.

and there you have it - 6 ingredients, quick as a wink, easy as whistling, and good as Gideon's!