Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On the kitchen counter

So I haven't been complaining abut Joe lately -- don't think I've even mentioned that he has moved back in with me. Temporarily, and all, but still.

However, if you were a young man who had moved back in with your mother, and were living in her office, with all your stuff in a corner there (having abandoned ALL your furniture -- ALL) and she was allowing you to live with her temporarily, as long as you followed certain rules strictly (these few rules were small and obvious {seemed so to her, at least} such as not turning the baseboard heat on, or leave the lights on or the water running or your clothes in the dryer. Somehow, though, every time you saw her she was grinding her teeth with all of them that you had broken, Every. Single. Day. ) and you had felt the need to smoke a little pot in her house, strictly against those few rules, and had carefully and quietly created a neat and tidy little bong out of materials she had lying around, and used it, greatly to your benefit and peace of mind, would you then leave for the night, with that tidy and carefully constructed little bong SITTING ON THE COUNTER IN THE KITCHEN??!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Long day, happy ending

Yesterday, besides being the Big Fat End of the World, was Calhoun's eleventh birthday, and was celebrated at the community center in Montavilla, which was just a block or two from where I lived for a few years as a baby, while my father was going to Multnomah School of the Bible. (Digression -- why on EARTH do you suppose they were pretentious enough to name it that?) You might ask why, when both Calhoun's father and his mother live in Milwaukie, we were celebrating his birthday on 82nd and NE Glisan -- far from the home stretch. I do not know the answer to this pertinent question. I did not really know the details of the arrangements when I said I would be glad to go and asked if I could bring any refreshments, or I might not have gone. It was a long day. But Mickey and Kevin and Ensai (Calhoun's sister) and I had fun talking in the kitchen while the boys played in the gymnasium, for hours. And when it was finally over we drove Ensai home and then got very lost in first Ladd's Addition and then Brooklyn, looking for 17th Avenue to take us back to Milwaukie. I had suggested taking Woodstock, but both Mickey and Kevin disagreed with me, so I sat back and watched. I was in the back seat, croaking "We'll never get out! Never!" as we wound around and around in Ladd's Addition, and Mickey was driving, but she was cheerful and patient and no one got mad!

Anyway, after dropping off Kevin and Calhoun, we went to the Hawaiian restaurant behind my house, and ordered some appetizers, and while we were waiting and chatting, a girl of about seven with white-blonde hair approached me. She addressed me, but was stammering and sort of milling about, vocally, as I was taking her in, and before she finished a sentence, I cried out, "Natalie!" And it was -- her sister Emily and their mother, whose name I cannot recall, came over too, and chatted briefly. Natalie was two years old, the last time I saw her, and Emily six --they were two of my daycare children. I got several tight hugs from Natalie, and a shy stiff one from Emily. So the day ended very well indeed!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Good thing I was wearing a robe

Remember when I first moved into this apartment, and I was interested in the large and silent house next door? The House Next Door! Sounds like a movie title, or no, maybe a pocket book. Empty or not empty? Did someone live there but never came into any of the rooms on the back? Never turned on any lights in the living dining room or master bedroom?

Well, for nearly a year now, we've known the answer to that question, and have lately been watching The Man turning it inside out in a rapid change of all its lines. Very like what they did to our old house, which is now gorgeous and brand new and absolutely like every other house on earth. This house as well, which had a long, wide glowingly green front lawn, surrounded by huge old rhodies and beds of daffodils and hyacinths and multi-colored tulips -- very Pacific Northwest -- was being tidied, and all its special edges cut off. Then the back yard, which was shorter, without any lawn because of the huge fir trees which keep it almost completely dry, but also pretty much sun-free, opened onto the creek. The first thing they did was to take a load of enormous rocks down there in a flatbed truck which they simply drove in right over and through the bushes on the side of the house, and laid them all in the water just outside the edge of the yard, and filled in between them and the yard with gravel.

It is now a very tidy water's edge, especially as the second step, a tall iron fence, kept the ducks and geese from just waddling in. They still fly in, if they want to, but it does take a lot of extra effort, and the ducks mostly don't bother. The geese do, though, especially this year's crop, which as I may have mentioned before are Hysterical. Really. In its true meaning, too, I don't mean funny. At least one of them is clinically hysterical and she/he infects the others with unending Honking Panic which can continue for half an hour at a time. Very, very annoying. So there is a lot of panic-stricken Escaping and Pursuit involving lots of Flight to the Rooftops and it is all scored with Blind Unreasoning Honking. And from the roof, if you are not a very smart bird, you flap down into the yard, before realizing that now you can't get out to the water without a great deal more flapping and honking to get back up onto the roof, or possibly clear the fence from the ground, which is not easy and really makes you honk, long after you have Escaped and Thwarted their Evil Plans.

Anyway. You see I got a little carried away there. I liked the geese until this year.

But as I was saying, now they have begun working on the house, either preparatory to selling it, which seems by far the most likely, or to moving in themselves, which could also be, since there is only ever one guy out here doing all the work, even though he has access to all kinds of large equipment. Hard to imagine any individual having that kind of spare cash, especially in today's recession. And you would also assume that his family would have moved in already as well, to save on whatever their rent must be wherever they would be living. No, it has to be a revamp company. Perhaps times are tight enough that they can only pay one guy, and also put him up in the house...?

Because this morning, when I got up and put the kettle on for my coffee and was standing at the window looking out at the rain-washed morning, in all its typical colors -- deep dark greens, vivid glowing greens, assorted pale greys, backdrop of blue -- so very recognizable and beautiful! -- I was looking down into the yard next door, at the mini-caterpillar tractor and the mini front-loader and the large pile of railroad ties (hmmm, that's new) lying next to the side of the house where all the holly trees -- sadly overgrown -- had all been dug out and disposed of yesterday. Also a pile of long black piping -- like a new septic tank system or a water feature (which would be a real waste of money, since the house is right on the water already) and all the places where the smaller bushes and clumps of flowering plants had been dug up or skinned off and loaded into the truck and carted away. Anyway, as I stood looking sleepily at all this, and wondering vaguely with my pre-caffienated brain what the overall plan was, I realized that, standing on the opposite deck with a large steaming mug in his hand and staring back at me in startlement, was the worker guy. Took me several seconds to realize that we were looking right at each other and move away. It's just a very, very good (and lucky) thing that I was wearing a robe.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tell me NOW!

What is the deal with hyacinth blossoms? I mean how the color drains down and out of them once you've picked them. Of course, this is the fourth day of this bouquet, and I'm really NOT complaining -- it was a gorgeous, fagrant, eye-rolling-back-in-the-head handful of Springtime. But I'm curious. This is the fourth day, and the top three-quarters of the stalk have faded to nearly white, while the lower fourth is much darker purple -- exactly as if the color is slowly draining down the stalk. What's up with that? Nobody online seems to know -- at least, no answers to this question have appeared -- I could spend longer doing some actual research, but I'm a victim of the minute-and-a-half mentality, as far as looking things up. Tell me NOW, or I'm not going to care!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Obvious computer note

Brief Note: It is very interesting to see how computer usage picks up in my neighborhood, according to time of day. This is Sunday morning, it's about ten am, and everyone is my building is either still asleep or making no sound. When I first sat down at the keyboard this morning, I was able to just whiz through things -- movies played with no problem, I was able to jump from screen to screen, just as if I were at work, on their modern and up-to-date server! And so it has been until now, about ten, when other people are up and at their computers. Slowing right down.

I've noticed this also right after dinnertime, when people have come home and are watching their shows or surfing Facebook or whatever. Everything slows way, way down.