Monday, February 8, 2016

TV Memories

I had to be at work by eight am today, but I still had time to watch an episode of The Mod Squad before work.  Probably since I washed my hair yesterday -- I wore my purple shower cap this morning, and saved myself nearly an hour.
I haven't watched Mod Squad before this, I only know of its existence from a short period in my childhood when we were watching the Brady Bunch on Friday nights, and we would see ads for it.  I was in maybe the second grade.  Although as I think back to that time period, I realize that I am conflating it with a show called -- I think -- Room 222, which was about high school, or maybe college.  They occupy the same drawer in my memory chest of drawers, since they both had similar characters, clothes, colors, music and intros.  Hawaii Five-O is in that same drawer.  Lots of long straight hair for girls, strange sideways partings for guys, lots of "solid" and "square" and "Daddy-O," lots of mini dresses and Nehru jackets.  I don't think I actually saw any of The Mod Squad,  back in those days -- never saw any of Room  222, either, except for its into -- it must have followed a show that we were watching -- but I can almost hear the theme song from Room 222 playing in my inner ear.   Guitars and flute!
In any case, I was unpleasantly surprised, this morning, while watching this cutting-edge drama, showing young and with-it people, both black and white, male and female, very forward-thinking -- to hear the young female lead say, when asked if she would like Chinese food, "Ah, so!" in a ridiculously phony Chinese accent, protruding her teeth like a Japanese general in WWII propaganda. 
It is always surprising -- jarring, really -- to see the places where people's awareness has not yet reached.  You have to wonder --what's mine going to turn out to be? 
I was thinking this same thought just recently, while re-reading a paper I wrote for Humanities class at Warner Pacific -- this is back in the mid-nineties sometime -- about philosophers attempting to break down their awareness of the world to its very basic state.  "I think, therefore I am," type of thing.  And still being unaware that they were discriminating completely against women.  What must that degree of blindness be like?  What is it going to be, for me?  Scary.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Ham and Cheese

So -- yesterday I stopped in at St Honore's, the bakery on my corner.  I haven't been there for awhile -- been poor and fat, you know -- but I had just been paid and I realized I hadn't eaten any food that day, so I thought I would whip in and get a ham and cheese sandwich.  They do them quite well, on tough little baguettes so that they require some firm chewing, with sharp little mini gherkins all through.  Yum.  

So when my turn came, I stepped up to the counter and smiled at the young girl behind it -- someone I had not seen before. 
"Hi,"  I said.  "I'd like a ham-and-cheese, and one of the chocolate gateaux, please.  To go."

She replied, "I don't know what you mean by ham and cheese.  Are you referring to the jambon parisienne sur une baguette?"

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Rainy Sunday at the Library

It is pouring rain today.  I mean POURING.  Sitting in my car in the library parking lot was both delightful and cozy, and oddly menacing.  I felt a few times as though I ought to be feeling anxious about the sheer quantity of water streaming down my windshield and completely obscuring the remainder of the view.  Where was the high ground?  Shouldn't we be making for it?

But then the library doors opened, and I completely lost that uneasy feeling, being completely protected from the torrential rain.  Facebook is much more important than survival, no?  Humans!   Gives me an idea for part of a post-apocalyptic movie -- keep the humans in their little homes by maintaining their programming, with no news to scare anybody, and then they can all be gassed, or plugged into the Matrix, or made into Soylent Green, or whatever it is you were planning to do with them -- they won't even know it's happening.

Whew -- a young man in a nearly visible cloud of cheap cologne has just seated himself behind me.  Arg -- that is a wretchedly awful smell - and so thick and chokingly pervasive.  Okay, I gotta go.  Can feel my allergic reactions gearing up to react!  That rainy atmosphere will clear my head -- clean and shiny rain-washed air is very appealing now!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


I just saw an odd skirt walk by, with its wearer and two little dogs.  It is raining and the wind is blowing, so the skirt was doing some whipping around, and took several seconds of good hard staring before I was sure what I was looking at.  It was a full-length skirt, and not very wide, so it was very likely to need a slit up the back, for the ease of the walker within.  That or very stretchy material.  But this one had a fairly wide but not very tall rectangle cut out of the material, at the back.  Shades of Hayley Mills and The Parent Trap!  But it looked to be working just fine, although odd-looking, as I mentioned.

I'm at the library, with music playing in my headphones.  Thijs van Leer. It is barely raining at the moment, but it is that familiar sort of Portland rain, in which there is much more light than one would expect.  As though the overcast layer of clouds, instead of blocking the sunlight from reaching us, is instead magnifying it as it diffuses it, so very white light, without any surface brightness, if that makes sense -- nothing to make you squint.  And then there are all the tiny raindrops fastened to everything, which are reflecting and increasing the magnitude of the light.  I'm sure a meteorologist would know the one word definition of this state, and I do not, because I'm not a meteorologist, Jim -- I'm just a pluviophile who has lived here all her life. 
Next stop on this train of thought: last night I was driving home in the rainy dark with no windshield wipers (long story) and I was having to be much more invested in the moment-to-moment act of driving -- aware of every shift in the pools of fragmented light from headlights and streetlights and neon signs, because each one, as it passed over my windshield, gave me a moment of reflection through which I could not really see.  At first this kept panicking me, and I was bobbing around in my seat, trying to find some angle through which I could see, but not being able to see, and feeling like slamming on the brakes, and then the reflection would pass on over my head and I could see again.  Until the next time. 

But soon I realized that I just needed to take note, each time this happened, of the street in front of me, so I could be aware of what I was going to be passing over in that split-second of non-seeing, and the panic died away.  Until I found that I was singing loudly along with the radio as I drove.  So I had passed through difficulty, panic, problem-solving, and gotten all the way to acceptance, to the point where I was performing the new method of driving so easily that I could spare enough of my brain to belt out, "Diamonds on the Soles of My Shoes," with all the fancy bits.  The human brain is an amazing thing.  And I've been thinking about that a lot lately, since I re-watched Lucy twice this past weekend.
Okay!  So that is what I am thinking about just now.  Aren't you glad you asked?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

...and I feel fine!

Hey, I'm the first and only person in the library!  Odd.

If it weren't full of staff people, I'd wonder if the Cylons attacked or something.  The Rapture.  Or possibly Winter Came.  The Pax!  Ice-Nine!  Or what was the name of the flu in The Stand...?  One of those things.

So the weather is once again behaving itself, like a well-trained dog, instead of the out-of-control-gorilla it occasionally morphs into.  Just to remind us -- and itself, probably -- of what it is actually capable of!  But cars are once more charging around as though the earth exploded into being millions of years ago just in order to provide them with lanes to travel in. What a piece of work is man!

Speaking of oddities of this sort (kind of), yesterday was a day of regular mail delivery, and yet no one in the whole apartment building got any mail yesterday.  I was sitting and watching the mail carrier go up and down the street -- pushing her little cart and going up and down people's steps -- and when she got to our steps she paused for a few moments, and then rolled on by.  !!!   Nobody, of the sixteen people who live there, got so much as an ad for pizza addressed to Resident.  Bizarre!

In spite of these obvious signs of the end of the world, unless the third sign occurs (because things like this always happen in threes, right?) I'm going to go on about my tiny little life and enjoy my day off in my beloved city!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


This is perfect weather.  I want to just sit at the window and watch!  I keep finding myself standing in doorways, taking deep breaths.  It's gorgeous! 
The sky is a thick pale grey, but the air is warm.  There is a constant, gusting breeze, but it's from the southwest.  Rain is falling steadily, but the water is so warm, and in such tiny droplets, that you can't even feel it on your skin! 

I did my grocery shopping this morning, and got back to the apartment house around noon.  That was a very busy time of day for our street, so I could find no place to park close enough to unload my groceries, even though I drove around and around the block, watching closely, and waiting for someone to leave.  Finally I gave up and drove over to park in the library lot.  In the three trips I made back over to the apartment with my bags, I got some up close and personal experience with this rain.  It was lovely.  My hair sprang into wiggles, it always does when it's damp -- I just wish it would do it enough, so that I could have curly hair, instead of merely untidy and lumpy hair, going in all directions. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Damp Days

Lovely, lovely day!  Leaves a delicate tracery of gold, copper, and bronze against a pale grey sky, all gaily dancing in the breeze -- light but muscular, and tossing my hair around my face -- ahhh!   Smiling weather.

Buses whooooshing by, broooom-jingle-scrunch!  Cars a lighter, smoother hisssss of the pavement, still wet from last night's rain.  Motorcycle -- which should not be out in this weather -- blap-blap-blap-brunnnngle-blap-blap-blap.

I don't even care that my car is in the shop, having its brakes examined, and new tires put on -- can't afford that, but what can you do?  Smile and keep walking.