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.