Sunday, January 31, 2010

Changes in Perspective.

I'm not sure how much to reveal, or not, on this-y here blog, but the new job is filled with interesting things. A little sleuthing over the next week or two may answer your questions about what it is...

My new co-workers and I are completely devoted to the work of our boss. So this is the huge change for me: not only am I learning new work, I am learning an entirely new industry. There is an enormous amount of actual work to do, but I've never been in an arena where we all toil so boldly and transparently in service to a single person. That may sound odd; it sort of felt odd.

Felt? Not feels? Well, as I learn both the tiny details and big picture of the gig, I keep reminding myself that my boss, and only 434 other people in the whole country, do what he does. (Or 534 depending on your inclusivity.) It is like a wave that keeps lapping at my toes... a cool reminder, again and again, that this is big.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My father's daughter.

Courtesy of returned tee shirts, and used books sold to Powell's, plus the inability to find anything in six or seven stores that I liked... well, only a true-blue daughter of the Baron could go shopping, and come back $20 richer.

But Powell's wanted neither "Man Gone Down" nor "The World is Flat"! If you want either, let me know.
(The Baron is my father's very apt nickname.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wilco Fans?

Hey, if you are a Wilco fan... they are coming to Portland on 2/9 and I have some tickets available thru a friend. It's an interesting situation where his tickets were lost/stolen, and so he has new ones, but a receipt for the old ones that the venue has informed him is a 80% guarantee of tickets. (Long story; email me for more info.) Importantly: it's a situation where if you show up, 80% sure you'll see them; and if you do, pay face value. If you don't see them, a drag, but you don't pay anything. Interested? Let me know!

What's on your silver platter?

If someone were to hand you something today, what do you dream it might be?

While I would love my Monday-morning silver platter to contain a winning lottery ticket, or a round-the-world trip in exchange for my journal of the experience, or the opportunity to direct a blockbuster... let's keep it a bit more realistic. No one from Hollywood is going to call me this morning, that's for sure.

So what's a within-the-boundaries-of-your-life opportunity or gift or event that you know, deep down, you'd be right for?

For me? I've been casting about for a career for, oh, ten years or so, and I've been interested in so many things... heck, even this blog can't find a focus!... that I have never been able to narrow it down and pick one (women's issues advocate, counseling, nursing, English professor, to name a few...).

So now, my storied past as a mediator with the state of Oregon, a hospice volunteer, a nanny, a waitress, a theater geek and a film-set taskmaster, plus my natural love of organization, planning, providing and helping are all coming together. It's the beginning of a new era, folks, with a new job. My first full-time office job and my entre to a world that can encompass all my many interests.

So greetings, politics. Away we go. (And more to come.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My naivete knows no bounds.

Even though it's up there with McGwire admitting he used steroids, I must say; my heart broke a little more this morning upon hearing John Edwards admit paternity of Rielle Hunter's child. He deserves every terrible thing said about him in regards to it, and the world gets a little darker from such arrogance and hunger-for-power.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The business of church.

I am edging toward some churchgoing in my life... and it's not an easy thing to implement. The going, yes, but the explaining, too, of the decision, and how the Unitarian Universalists are not Christian, even though some are, and how I'm trying to become more proactive in the ol' young liberal commie attitude of "being spiritual." But as an introduction, I have a big concern about the life of churches these days...

Everyone is old! What is going to happen to these church communities when the oldsters pass? This comes to mind for two reasons: 1, going to the downtown UU congregation, where I am a serious age-group minority; 2, working a memorial service at a big Episcopal church in downtown Portland. Lots of elderly folks and holy cow! The guts of that church are crazy! Huge industrial kitchen, two sextons on staff, loads of classrooms, big restrooms to take care of, event after event invitations posted, 12 step meetings going on, and more. Who funds all of that? It's a big business and I know I move in certain circles, but I know hardly anyone who goes to church AND tithes.

But I really like the old church people. And this is a slightly scattered post, but consider it a rough-draft introductory note, and a warning that there may be more Church Chat to come. (And maybe some of this kind too.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The neglect ends now.

(Of this blog.)

Far be it from me to withhold an opinion just because I happen to not be fully informed... I am really, really, really tired of hearing folks rip on "It's Complicated" (or any other Nancy Meyers film) because of her lavish attention to over-the-top domestic details. As in, kitchens stuffed with Le Creuset cookware and Reidel wine glasses, rich woodwork and detailed paint jobs; bathrooms with porcelain clawfoot tubs and L'Occitane products strewn about; bedrooms with billion-count sheets and lighting that nearly airbrushes.

Because it's an attack on domestic fantasy, a reduction of some peoples' harmless household imaginings. And is it coincidental that those fantasies tend to appeal more to women than men?

If the reason you're not seeing a Nancy Meyers film is that she wrote "The Holiday" then you have my full support. But if the reason for not seeing it is that her depiction of domestic bliss is unrealistically expensive/indulgent, then I hope similar bans are placed upon Bruce Wayne and his Batmobile, Megan Fox taped into her tiny costumes while blowing ish up, and Seth Rogen getting the girl.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


It's the little things in life that bring us happiness, and one measure of success in life for me is logging into Facebook, and when I view my own profile, having at least 4 of the 6 randomly displayed friends NOT be from high school. Oh, the glamour of my days...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What I've been working on...

If you have not seen it yet, here's the teaser for the still-in-production web series I've been working on. Enjoy, and depending on your workplace, maybe NSFW? Nah, probably SFW. It's safe for MY work/office. :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I will indoctrinate you...

... to the charms of Jezebel. I will!

First, watch this video and behold the racism.

Then behold the wit and joy that is comments on by laughing at these two follow-up statements:
  • I would say, "Who are the ad-wizards who came up with that?" but I'm pretty sure it was the Grand Wizard by the look of it.
  • It's like they don't even KNOW black people. I know them. I have a black friend.

The Phantom Squirrel.

This is not a kid-friendly post.

My downstairs neighbors get high a lot. There are two of them, and one does not appear to ever work, and they get really really high on their back patio - the smoke rises into my dining area - and then they laugh. (They laugh the most annoying laughs on the planet, but that's another story for another day.)

So, they get high, they run around the house having what sound like tickle fights, and they have a lot of friends over. But it's an apartment, and they keep the noise largely to end of the building where bedrooms are not, so I try to keep my cool.

The property manager stopped in last week, and asked about the squirrel in the attic.

Pardon. What?

She said, "Oh yes, S and R downstairs say there is a squirrel in the walls and ceiling, and we need to get into your apartment, to access the crawl space, to set a trap for the animal."

Folks, I work from home. I hear everything that goes on 'round The Terrace on weekdays. I would be very, very surprised to learn if there was an energetic and winter-avoiding squirrel camped out above me. But hey, I'm a renter, it doesn't cost me money to let the maintenance crew in. And if the weed-smokin' twins downstairs heard something while high as a kite one night, let's get an answer to it. So I was asked to fill out a work order, with a detailed description. I wrote:

Our downstairs neighbors believe there is a squirrel in the walls. We have not heard any noises and do not there is one. We give permission for maintenance to access the crawl space through our apartment, even if we are not home.

We were gone on 12/31 when the kindly maintenance crew visited. They left a note, and honestly, I wish I could find this gentleman "Rale" out there, to let him know how dearly I appreciated his missive upon returning from the coast. Lugging leftover food and drink, dirty clothes, blankets, mail and a big stockpot up the stairs, we reached the landing to find:

"I went into your attic to find rodentia, to no avail. Alas, I shall not return."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

No offense, Mike.

Returning from the coastal New Year's weekend, I got to thinking about what we all *did* on our weekend away. A trip to the casino (to be detailed later), a screening of the Rose Bowl game, a dip in the hot tub, a windy/wet/freezing/awesome walk on the beach, an interaction with the Lincoln County sheriff (to share, or not to share?), and a TON of food and drink.

A little side note... In a big group, you can usually depend on someone to bail on their meal duty - lack of funds, lack of preparation, lack of sleep. But this group? No way. We ate 17 meals in 36 hours and it was glorious. We were a group who takes pride in culinary endeavors, showing off for our own. Pumpkin spice pancakes with sugar and lemon, 15 pounds of grilled pork loin, Thai shrimp bisque, raw oysters on the half shell, sausage chili, spinach pie and roasted potatoes, drinking chocolate, I can go on and on. (Really, it was about 36 hours all told.)

But what did we REALLY do?

We established a wonderful set of new in-jokes, specific to our little band of Bella Beach warriors. It's a virtual guarantee that the exact same set of folks won't celebrate again, but in the time we spent together, we created a little community - complete with catch phrases and family roles. And as I drove up into Salem on Sunday, that's what I settled on. We told stories, we lived new ones, and we banded ourselves together for a bit. And it made me sigh with happiness. It's not about the cost of the rental house, or the wear and tear on the cars. It's about the stories. What else is there is life? What else do we live to do but write more of them? For me, it doesn't get better than that.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Weekend Zero.

My friend Torry has this theory called Day Zero. It is nothing short of brilliant. She points out that after a raucous and amazing New Year's Eve, it really isn't fair of the new year to go and show up the very next morning. It's downright rude.

So, there ought to be a Day Zero. This next day needs to be one of laziness, recovery, making plans, sorting resolutions and eating, eating, eating. After that? The new year can start, on Day One.

This year, we (I) had a Weekend Zero... Friday, Saturday and Sunday - the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of the new year - were spent in near-total hedonism. Lots of eating, napping, chatting, staying up too late and discussing resolutions that will come to pass once Weekend Zero is over.

And alas, even I have to admit 2010 has begun; it's the Monday to beat all Mondays. Work life is about to undergo a serious change, and all kinds of excellent (but flexible) resolutions are shaping up. Stay tuned.