Monday, June 28, 2010

Isaac! Isaac! Isaac!


I am at the office now, and am sitting in silent AMAZEMENT at the carry-on going on in the small conference room. Nameless Agent is in there with a small family -- mom and dad and one small boy. You know how very thin all the walls and doors are here in this building, and how I can hear every single thing that anyone says in their rooms with the doors closed, right?

So I'm hearing the adults' conversation, which is going on without interruption, and then I can hear all the interruption which is not interrupting! All of it! Thumping, yelling, squealing, shrieking, laughing, CRASHING against the wall which vibrates the whole building -- and none of it is even slowing the adults, who are all three talking more or less at once. And then I hear Mom saying, "Isaac! Isaac! Isaac! Isaac! Isaac! Isaac!..." and so on, finally culminating in a shriek and a Mom-yell, "STOP IT!"

And then, 'Sorry, he just bit me."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Looking forward to my bed

Although once again I have not accomplished everything I hoped to this weekend, I did get a pie baked, and my shopping done and all the groceries put away and the house tidied and the dishes washed. That was all today, and I also had breakfast at Sully's, went to the Farmer's Market and to the Salvation Army, where I bought a mug and a Pyrex refrigerator dish and lid. Total -- $1.50

Now, I cannot remember, if ever I knew (although I'm sure I did know once) why it gets so much hotter at night, when the sun has gone down? Something to do with the changing of the movements of air? Because it certainly is hotter right now than it has been all day.

This evening I heard the far-off train whistle, and caught myself thinking, "There's that train whistle -- wonder why it hasn't been running lately?" At last I have become one of those people who doesn't hear the familiar sound because of its constancy. Even though I love the sound, and wish I heard it every day, as I used to do!

Feeling happy, sort of achy and tired -- looking forward to my bed and a day at the office tomorrow.

And it works for me!

It is a lovely, a beautiful, a fabulous day out there! I woke this morning, alone in my apartment, with the knowledge that the laundry was not only done, but folded and PUT AWAY -- any of you readers out there in TV Land who know me, know what a big deal that last is for me -- to the sound of rippling water and the occasional sleepy chirp of birds. I showered, dressed and walked over to Sully's -- how I do love that sweet little restaurant! -- and drank three cups of that excellent, rich and furry coffee with my half-an-omelet while reading the Sunday Oregonian. In the "O!" section, I found a lengthy article on local writers, which included Monica Drake, an acquaintance of mine, my cousin Mickey's lifelong friend, along with other famous writers -- pretty darn cool! Always gratifying to see someone you know and admire getting the recognition and the praise!

And then in the travel section, the front page article was all about the Cowboy Dinner Tree -- remember that place? The last sign of human life before we reached the camping place? Down near Silver Lake -- closer to the town than to the camp site.

Anyway, so the paper was created for me today (for me, for ME-E-EE, FOR MEEEEE! Been listening to Queen!) and I enjoyed that. As I walked back home I swung down to walk down the main street through town, looking in all the windows -- the empty ones as well as the occupied ones. It was completely deserted and nearly silent -- distant sounds of traffic, but none within blocks -- no people or dogs or even birds. And then as I crossed a street, I heard muted voices up ahead and saw people setting up their booths for the Farmer's Market. Mmm -- that will be nice, in about an hour, when I have digested some of my breakfast. See if there are ANY fresh vegetables that appeal to me -- and maybe buy some expensive but very real fruit!

Gotta bake a pie today -- should oughta do it now, before it gets too warm -- the blueberries are sitting on the counter and ready to go.

I'm not even slightly migraine-y and have that extra-special good feeling that follows a time of illness -- the everyday beauty of the world takes on a slightly fairy-tale quality. Or a movie-set quality -- anyway, posed and created to give the watcher/reader/audience a certain feeling. Beauty! Happiness! Joy! All potentially right here in this little town, folks! Why just step on in to the old-fashioned soda fountain, and see if our home-made lime ricky can't widen your smile!

Works for me!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Need more teeny-tiny men

It is funny -- not funny ha-ha, but funny-hmmm -- to look at the effect wind and the movement of air has on clouds, and see how similar it is to the effect that water has on sand. As I was driving in to work this morning, I was looking up at a large thin expanse of white, a thin, flat stretch of clouds, that looked very like a carded and stretched thin bit of cotton -- had the raggedy edges, but also had the design on its surface -- sort of a repeating deep narrow "V' design. Just like the sand would look when I took my morning walk down in Cannon Beach.

So what would that say to someone who was looking to apply some truths or extract some truths, or something, to (from) our physical world? Would it imply that water and air are related, are fundamentally the same? That because they act the same way upon the other entities they encounter, that this implies some similarity? Or would it just impy that they are both moving forces in our earth system, with the same outer forces working on both of them -- gravity, etc?

Clearly I am unable even to explain what I mean, because my knowledge of meteorological terminology is buried in some unused part of my brain. I can't spend long enough on this little blog entry to manage to get everything in the way of them moved in time! Need more teeny-tiny men in matching white suits with goggles....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So what is up with that?

Yesterday morning, at just about this time, a firetruck screamed past, turning on 99th. And this morning, seconds ago, a firetruck screamed past on 99th. So what is up with that? Is this a locality for fires? For fire-starters? Or for other emergencies that the firemen are just responding to because they can and they wanna?

Another grey and lovely morning -- different this morning because Joe was awake when I got up, and claimed to have been awake all night. Since I saw him still up at three-thirty this morning, I don't doubt it. He showered and dressed, and complained about it, and I drove him over to Hannah's, on my way to work. He wants me to find him a doctor and make him an appointment, because he needs sleeping pills and mood-altering pills and anger-controlling pills. He does seem to feel that he is at the mercy of this huge thing, ANGER, that he is like the Hulk, it takes him over and he can't do anything about it, and so if I don't want him to kill people, I had better snap to. I have reminded him of the doctor's appointments that he blew off, and the doctor that he stopped going to for no reason other than it was just a drag to go -- and he acknowledges that, but says that this is different because he wants to go to see this doctor. Sigh.

Yesterday, a young man carrying a box from a print shop came in to the office and gave me a handful of menus from a new Mexican cafe opening up just a block away or so. He wasn't a definitely-obviously Hispanic young man, but an oh-I-see-he's-Hispanic. And the restaurant is called -- I kid you not -- McKlovios. McKlovios Mexican Grill and Tacqueria. So what is up with that?

Oh, and Mickey's grandmother died yesterday morning. Inevitable but still sad. Sad for Mickey and Nick and Uncle Ken, I mean. I was expecting (in so much as I was expecting anything) her to live for far longer and gradually lose her marbles, instead of dying suddenly with everything still working. She was 87 when she died -- she had seen a lot of things get invented, whole ways of life cease to be, all kinds of massive changes happening. Grandpa Vickoren was 95, and I used to ponder on what that meant, on what sort of life he had had. Horse and wagon to model-T to family cars to small planes to corporate jets to stealth bombers to rocket ships to space stations. All in his lifetime.

I have just learned how to use a website that allows virtual house-for-sale advertisements to be sent to someone's cell phone (speaking of amazing changes)by them texting a number. So you're driving along and you see a house for sale and think, "Oooh, that looks cool," and you text the number on the sign and blooop! You can look at forty photos of the house, immediately, and see how much it costs, where the nearest schools are, and what grocery store nearby sells organic coffee. All without even turning off your engine, or coming to a complete stop.

Remarkable! Cuz here I am remarking on it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Y'all

Sunday morning, and the rain is sprinkling away -- I just got dampened on my way in from the parking lot. This volcano is upsetting a lot of people but not ME! I love this weather. It is simply gorgeous and makes me so very happy!

This morning as I was drinking my cup of coffee, I saw a large, white heron -- or possibly an egret, I don't know -- but completely white, sitting on a low branch over the water. I stared at it for some time as it sat perfectly still, and then I carefully picked up my camera, and moving very slowly, went out on the deck to see if I could get a picture. But just as I came around the corner, it flapped away, with big, clumsy-looking wings.

It's about one o'clock, and I am just home from a visit to April and Austin and Tony and Emma, and then breakfast at Sully's. It is Father's Day, and I had momentarily forgotten that when I pulled the car over and headed in to Sully's, but I hit at a slow moment, and went right to a table. And once you are sitting down, the fullness of the restaurant does not matter! It's not as though I were in any kind of a hurry. It made it more interesting, in fact, to see all these family groups come in, all with Dad. Some of them, clearly, groups that didn't see each other that often, and some of them easy, comfortable families.

So April is doing very well. Austin is also growing up quite beautifully, although he was, of course, cuter before he got his big new teeth! He is eight now, and about to go into the third grade. And he is friendly and very well-behaved and a nice young man. Tony is also both more friendly and less, well -- less beaming. Which is better for me, since being beamed at was always slightly uncomfortable. Their house is very comfortable and welcoming, and I had a good time. Much better than I had at the shower, which was partly because Emma was there! A very cheerful and laughing and smiley baby. And very, very cute! It was hard to imagine a baby that was a mix of April and Tony, but she very clearly is, and it works very well for her. Large blue eyes, (both of them) with a slant to them (Tony) and a wide forehead, (Tony), and a dimple in the chin (April) and big dimples in the cheeks (April) with an indefinable air of Austin about her, as well.

And also because April was quite friendly and Austin was, too. I mean, he hid from me when I first arrived, but after a few moments of talking, he was eager to tell me all about his friends and his school and who it was fun to play dodge ball with, and who it was NOT.

Well, my Dad is up at the Retirement Home, but he does have a cell phone nowadays, so I'm going to see if I can get through and wish him a Happy Father's Day. And the same to all of you, out there in TV Land -- Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Saving Like Mad, Right?

Hey, I just had a thought. An obvious thought, and one which no doubt everyone has already had, long before me. If I were smart, I would just shut up and pretend that of course I've had this thought, long, long ago. Gotta maintain my reputation as One Who Knows Everything! But anyway, it is this: Since I have been paying my loan off at $500 a month (and will be for the next four years or so) I could have been saving that much money, even out of my little paycheck. Out of my little paycheck, I could have already saved $4,000! That is a sobering thought, and also one of great promise. So when I am fifty, or thereabouts, I will be saving like mad, won't I?


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

And today is class day!

It is only nine-thirty in the morning, and already this day is shot! Crumple it up and throw it away and give us a new one out of the box! Nice and fresh and clean. Sigh...

See, here's how it happened. This morning, as I was wrapping up my early-morning housecleaning, I made a second cup of coffee to carry to work with me in my thermos cup. And slipped it into my shoulder bag, instead of carrying it in my hand, because I had a lot of other stuff to carry downstairs to the parking lot. A bag of throwaway food (which was REALLY REALLY heavy)and a stack of three boxes, all too large and too close to the same size to slip inside one another, so it was a stack of boxes. Empty, so quite light, but awkward, and requiring both hands. And I had my purse, and my shoulder bag, and the bag containing my lunch foods, as well as the bag of throwaway food (really really heavy!)

However, I made it down the stairs, made it to the Dumpster and got the bag in, made it to the trunk of the car, and got the boxes in, and then sat in the front seat and swung the three bags I was wearing into the opposite seat. AHA! Yes, that was my mistake.

Because my shoulder bag contained a library book, in fact, a brand new library book, just published last month, and the book which I am currently doing a read on, for Small Demons. And the corner of this book, stiff and sharp, poked the little pop-down button which opens the thermos coffee cup, full of steaming hot coffee. It didn't spill all over the car seat, because of the position it was wedged in, but when I got to the office, and set the bags on the seat of my chair while making coffee and emptying wastebaskets, it was glug-glugging out into the shoulder bag, all over the brand new library book, and soaking through the bottom of the bag and into the SEAT OF MY CHAIR.

So, I came back into my office area and set the bags on the floor and sat down in my chair, and reached into the shoulder bag for the coffee. I realized it was open and nearly empty, drew out the book, saw that it was ruined (at least for a library book)and then began to feel hot and wet in the seat of my pants. ARG!!!

And today is class day!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Movie News

When I was a girl, I was not allowed to watch movies, and we did not have a television, so I grew up fairly ignorant of shows, actors' names, movies and so on. The very first movie I ever watched, the summer I was eighteen, was (of all things) Uncommon Valor, a movie about a man's son left behind in a prison camp in Vietnam. Not a good movie to be your first, I had to leave the room and throw up, and then shake and cry in the bathroom for awhile -- could not stand the suspense of the battle scene, or the deaths.

I don't know if people who have watched movies their whole life can even begin to understand this, but if you haven't watched them, you do not have any callous over your feelings, no understanding of the distance between you and the screen, and certainly no understanding of all the people standing around holding clipboards and talking on telephones as it is being shot. I used to comfort Joe, when he was small enough to frightened by scenes, by saying, "Right there beyond the edge of the screen, is a guy with a ponytail and a boom mike! And see where the main guy is looking? He's looking right at the man with the camera..." and it really worked.

Anyway. Back in those days, when I was first starting to see movies, I saw Footloose. It had been out for a year or so, but this was still early in its life -- about 1985 or so. It was very fun for me to see a movie about a Christian family who forbade things to their kids -- even to their whole town! -- right when I was starting to pull away from the whole Christian thing.

So I guess this movie is twenty-five/twenty-six years old. Which does not seem old enough to be eligible for a remake! But they are remaking it! As we speak! It will be released next year!

Lori Singer, who played Ariel in the original is going to be in it, too -- playing whom I don't know, but still in it!

Man -- I am getting old fast. Next thing you know, they are going to remake Night of the Living Dead! -- oh, wait. They already did!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday, Rainy Sunday

Man alive, what is UP with this rain? Yesterday was a warm and sunny day, still air, heavy warmth -- everyone sighing with relief and laughing to think that the rain was finally over and we were going to have summer at last. And then in the night, it started up again, and now, at 8:28 on Sunday morning, it is POURING. Thundering down like it was on deadline.

Beautiful, though, I have to say -- far prettier than a sunny day would be.

And the birds have discovered my feeder! At least one blue jay and one junco and one sparrow have! They are making a bit of a mess with the seed spillage, but hey, I can sweep that up.

So, my plan for today is to go and vacuum the office, and empty the garbage cans, and dust the desks and shelves and clean the bathrooms and the kitchen. Then I will get the Sunday paper and look at the coupons, and if there are any for anything I need, I will swing by FM and get them. And I expect to get a call from Kevin sometime today, wanting a driver for a similar shopping trip of his own. Was expecting one yesterday, but it never came.

And before I do any of these things, I will need to trim my hair, get dressed, and fill the car with gas.

Friday, June 4, 2010

No lights does not equal no brakes

On my way in to work this morning, I was following a small Toyota pickup, with a camper on the back. We were on Hwy 224, everyone doing about 50, when for some reason, the whole herd braked abruptly, and slowed to under twenty in a moment. In the wet grey smother of spray from the tires, rain from the heavens and low-hanging fog, the flashes of red were very brilliant. But not my little Toyota buddy! He managed to slow to half his speed wihtout even touching the brakes! Not a single red flash! I was thinking admiringly about downshifting, and how I know nothing whatever about that, and stories people have told me about how dramatically they can bring a stick-shift car close to a stop with just the stick -- and, as I mentioned before, how completely ignorant of that ability I am. And then I realized that we had come to a complete stop, and still no brake lights -- and then I realized that my little Toyota buddy just did not have his brake lights hooked up.

So what is up with this weather, man? Even rain-lovers such as myself are starting to wonder. I'm still quite cheerful about it, personally -- I love the sound it makes, I love falling asleep to the drumming on the roof, or the rustling rattle in the branches outside the window -- but there is the possibility of the ground getting too soft to support things! Trees are already falling like crazy along Hwy 26! So then, what if my house starts slipping into the pond below?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

With or Without Whipped Cream

Baking, specifically pie-baking, is something I do well and really enjoy. And every time that I finally get myself in gear and start putting together a pie, I am always pleased and surprised (yes, really) at how my body just takes over. I made a strawberry-rhubarb pie on Memorial Day, and I was listening to a book on tape while I did it, and several times during the course of it, I would "wake up" and see where I was and what my hands were doing without my mind's commands! It is so very simple and easy, that I want to gather up all the women who think it is "too hard" and force them to take a class from me.

Man, the smell of that baking pie...! When I was younger and had more faith in myself, I would not even set a timer, but would just smell the air to know when something was approaching doneness (to be perfectly fair, I did this more with bread, and not pie. But occasionally pie, as well ) and would then start keeping an eye on the last few minutes, which are, as the world in general knows, the most important in a baking project.

I have finally grown up enough (or gotten old enough -- this is an elderly thing!) to think that a perfect slice of pie is made even more perfect, if that were possible (which obviously it isn't!) by a scoop of good vanilla ice cream, or failing that, some whipped cream. Some form of faintly sweetened cream to go with the pastry, whihc now seems to fill my mouth with too much crumb. Isn't that amazing? I used to LOOOOOVE pie pastry, and make lots of pastry cookies, and eat them without any difficulty. Now, however, the last few bites of pastry make me reach repeatedly for the milk.

Although, sitting here thinking about pastry cookies....yummy. A little orange marmalade, a little powdered sugar...mmm.