Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Driving a blue sedan

Last night I closed the sliding glass door. It has been open for several months, but last night, as I shivered while going around turning off lights preparatory to going to bed, I closed it. Is the Summer over? The Summer, meaning this period of still, hot, merciless weather is over, I do believe, and hallelujah! I like my blue skies to be bracketed between little showers in the night, and to have the occasional breeze moving across them. I like my temperatures to nudge the thermometer up around eighty, and that is hot weather, not 95 and onward. I like a cool, temperate summer, which is why I live in the PNW.

This morning, as I was driving to work, my eye was caught by a flash and I looked up the road, as I was slowing on Hwy 224 before turning down the circular descending on-ramp to I-205. It was a large black SUV, which had been several cars ahead of me as we made our way up the highway, and had just passed the on-ramp when it braked, slid over to the side of the road while all its red-and-blue flashers came on. I caught the tiniest corner-of-the-eye glimpse of it turning, or backing, or something, as I disappeared around the corner onto the ramp.

Then, I moved from lane to lane until I got into the farthest left, and began to speed up to catch up with traffic, which was really moving that morning. When suddenly: zziiiiip! a small black car, very low and speedy zipped horizontally across all four lanes into the fast lane and came right up on my tail. Very, very close. I sped up, then looked to see if I could get over to the right (I was doing about 70, and can't go much faster, the car starts to wobble) but could not, momentarily, and the little black car was hanging right there on my tail. Several seconds passed and then zziiiippp! all its previously unsuspected red-and-blue lights came whirling on and there it went, once again, rapidly, horizontally across four lanes, and right up on the tail of another car, which -- you know, looked a lot like mine. So they were all out there looking for someone, and he was driving a blue sedan.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Are any women missing?

There is definitely something about hot weather that affects my sleeping patterns. It's not even as hot as it was, but still, even with fans blowing on me, it's pretty warm. And although I turned off the light before eleven, and settled down to the book-on-tape with just a sheet over me, I still woke up, rolled over and turned the CD back on two times. And here it is quarter past six and I am up with a hot cup of coffee, typing away in the silent morning. The occasional squawk of a duck is the only sound there is. I'm going to want a nap later on, though.

The man next door is building a large, two level deck. It is an ambitious project, and one which he is trying to do well. I have watched him working on it for a few weeks now, and it is still only a frame, both because of its size, his onliness, and the fact that he keeps making it more --well, elaborate is a word which implies excess, so I don't mean that, although I guess it could be. I don't really know what is required for the floor of a deck, but this is as carefully criss-crossed and squared up as if it were the floor of a house.

Today I need to mail a book or two, wash the dishes and take a walk. Those are the only things I need to do today. Wow. And last night I finished the good (great! excellent!) book I was reading, so that will not be pulling at me, either. Although I did promise myself a re-read of certain parts. I love you, Lev Grossman! So a trip to the library is indicated as well.

Hey, last night I was in the office after hours, since I had had to stay past five (if I have to stay past five, I wait until after six to leave, cuz otherwise, traffic). Doug had gone home, and so had all the agents, and I was just playing some computer game or something, when Nameless Agent came in. He has always looked slightly disreputable to me, since he is untidy, overweight and his hair is just a little too long to be controlled. But last night he was worse than ever, with a large purple area on his face, (which could be the symptom of some health issue, or could be a large bruise)and a reddened and infected-looking set of scratches on his lower jaw. He was surprised to see me, and said something fairly unintelligible about why he was there -- something about Tiffany, so perhaps he is leaving -- and then I left. I've been wondering, since, if he was in a fight or attacked someone or something that I should have reported? Not that the police department would welcome the report if I called it in: "Hey, I saw a guy with some scratches on his face -- you got any missing women?"

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wax on...

So -- if I were to wax my car with turtle wax in the little can -- you know what I mean -- would it be possible to remove/cover-up/lessen the look of some scratches in the paint? The liquid wax they spray on at the car wash does not seem to have any effect on these -- but then wax-on/wax-off wax does have some sort of mild abrasive in it, that should do something towards that, wouldn't you think? Commentary, anybody?

There was rain in the night, the edges of a small thunder-and-lightening indulgence (which I caused by asking for it! Really!) and my windshield was covered with small round drops of water, very round since they were touching as little of the waxed surface as they could manage (hot lava!) and when I began driving fast, they started flying up the windshield and off into the ether. Very pleasing to me, as I drove through the fresh cool morning, looking at the lavendar-backed clouds covering the sky...sigh! Happiness.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

...Let it run all over me...

The rain began last night at eleven. I was already in bed, but jumped out and went to the window. It was too dark to see anything, so I hurried out and into the living room and out on the deck and leaned on the rail. It was definitely raining. Lightly, but the air was so still that it was still falling straight down. No breeze at all -- usually there is a cooler air coming in right ahead of the rain, but not this time. Rained most of the night, though! Or at least the times I woke up, it was still raining.

And now the air coming through the window has a washed feeling. The temperature has dropped, it almost feels cool, and the way air in Portland ought to feel. That is, of course, merely my opinion, but then this is where I voice my opinion, isn't it?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Made Glorious Summer

Now this is weather! This is the sort of summer day I think of when I think of a summer day. Not this 90-95 degree horror like we have been having, brassy blue sky, pitiless sun -- but the sort of day the Pacific Northwest is famous for, and will continue to be, ceteris paribus, world without end, amen. 78 degrees -- pale blue sky -- fluffy white clouds here and there -- grey skies when I got up this morning, and even a hint of rain warnings, although none fell -- THAT is a summer's day! Ahhh.....

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Made it out again this morning! 45 minutes. I'm hurting (all over) slightly less. But boy, oh boy, that was really some kind of crippling pain, and to have it all over me! I can still press on myself almost anywhere and have it hurt. Wondering if it were a result of the massage I got last Sunday? Half an hour, and she was really working on me. But that was only on my back.... Seems unlikely.

One more day of access to historical records! Gotta get a lot done by then.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What Will I Eat When I Get Home?

Oh, dear, it is to laugh.

Last night, as I washed out the large Tupperware bin that had held my bean-and-Polish-sausage soup, I thought, "I don't want to get up and make a sandwich tomorrow -- or, no! I'll get sushi for lunch!" And went happily to bed, and got happily up, and happily left the house, where my wallet was not in my purse, but was sitting on the desk beside the computer screen. So -- I have no cash, no bank card, no identification. I could not purchase anything from anybody. Ruling out sushi, hamburgers, clam chowder, or, really, anything else.

I get nothing for lunch!

Not that it will hurt me, although, as the clock hand inches toward one pm, my stomach is gearing up to begin complaining. I look forward to a couple hours of grumblings and carry-on.

So what will I eat when I get home...?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Keeping this up!

Another walk this morning -- slightly longer and more sweat-producing. I enjoyed it, though. Need to come up with something quick to make and eat, but also satisfactory -- no cold cereal, for example. Cuz I am going to be hungry in the mornings, if I keep this up. And I WILL!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Endorphins = Nap

It is a delicately lovely sunny Sunday, still cool at two in the afternoon, even with a golden sun shining down. I am trying to talk myself out of a nap, and into a trip to the library. Don't know yet which of me will win.

I had a massage this morning over at the Farmer's Market -- two hours ago -- and I have been trying earnestly to convince myself ever since that I am NOT DRUNK. Not drunk and not stoned, because my head and body are trying hard to believe that I am. I guess it is a result of all the resultant endorphins that are created during a massage, which probably tickle up the same parts of one's brain. In any case, I am feeling good. Might have to take that nap, though...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Step Three in Rugs

Last night I stayed up until midnight so that my next post would be on its own, not connected to the one before, and I made it, and then COMPLETELY forgot what I had been intending to write about. All I could think of was Gordon's gin, and how interesting that was, and how good it tasted. Wrote a couple of paragraphs about it as I was waiting for whatever it was to come back to me, but it did not, and I finally went to bed.

This morning, however, I got out of bed and walked out into the kitchen to put the water on for coffee, and as soon as I stepped into the hall, I remembered. Why yes! Step Three of the Great Rug Project has been completed! I have found and purchased the hallway runner!

Now, it is not perfect -- not my imaginary rug, which was going to be shades of brown and blue, and a minimum of ten feet long, and not more than two feet wide. This one is shades of brown and red -- sort of a deeper, darker maroon red, with a patterned edge. And it is shorter -- maybe eight feet, and wider -- maybe two and a half feet.

But it triumphs all OVER the place in one regard, and that is the price! I paid five dollars for it at the Silly Army! Cheapest yet! So very cheap, that if the perfect hallway runner should ever turn up, I will not hesitate to buy it, since five extra dollars is nothing! I am very happy with this one, however, and smile every time I set my foot on it, or even think of it!


Friday, August 5, 2011


Mischief managed again this morning! Well, not mischief exactly -- but I got up at six and went for a walk around town, got some coffee, and got home half an hour later. So half an hour of steady walking -- that's good, right? Right, indeed. I will never be a thin person bursting with energy -- all my life, I have never been that -- but I can and will be a healthy middle-aged woman, not a heart-attack-victim-in-waiting.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

It's the third day of August, and I am back in the office after a week of vacation. I have piles, PILES of work to catch up on. Piles. Three large ones! But I am finding it hard to settle down and trudge on through. So I am taking a few minutes to think about this past week, and remember its gloriousness, in hopes that when I am done I can sigh briefly and turn to.

My beloved sister Ruth arrived on Saturday morning at the train station, which I still think is one of the greatest buildings in the city, in spite of its modernization. I did not recognize her for a moment, and she also looked right past me, even though we were both looking eagerly about for one another. In my case, it's because I am so much fatter than when she saw me last, and have cut off my hair. In her case, it must have been because I'm unobservant, cuz she certainly looks just like herself. I took her home to my sweet little apartment and was very gratified to find that she likes it almost as much as I do, and was walking around exclaiming in a very heart-warming way. Especially liked the deck, which was surrounded by fluffy green leafy branches and very pleasant to sit on in the warm afternoon. We drank lemonade and ate sour-cream-blueberry coffee cake and talked and talked. The next day, Sunday, we had breakfast at Sully's, outside on the sidewalk, which was also very pleasant and enjoyable. Then walked over to the Farmer's Market, where Ruthie got a chair massage and I bought some marionberries to make a pie for the trip to Ocean Park. Cousin Mickey came over and spent the afternoon making us laugh. Thai food finished off the day. I was very full when I trundled off to bed, or to couch, for accuracy's sake.

The drive up there was the shortest yet -- I was still looking for the third mountain range when we came down the slope into Astoria -- surprise! Nice to have someone in the car who isn't driving, so she can tell you what things say, sing along with the music in harmony, and respond to your remarks. We got to Ocean Park about fifteen minutes early and did a little shopping at Jack's to give Mom and Dad time to brush their teeth and comb their hair. They were very happy to see us, especially Ruthie, as they see me every month. (Of course they like me best, though.)

We went to the beach that afternoon, and I signally overdid it on the walk, which is still having its effect on me, a week later. I strained my calves in walking through dry sand, always a bete noir of mine, and my back somehow as well. Too bad, because that kept me from being able to be very active the whole week. My calves are still sore enough to make me groan when I stand up, and I can't turn my head all the way to the left. Unfortunate! I had been planning on this week meeting all my exercise needs for the whole year! I was still very able to enjoy talking with Ruthie at night (we shared a room) and eating meals with my parents and with Ruth's husband Tom and son Sam who drove up on Thursday. I made three pies while I was up there, and directed Sam through one as well. On our last night there, Dad and Sam made Sidewalk Tacos, which were absolutely delicious and I ate three. Sam is sixteen now, and is six foot two. The tallest person in the room!

I read many of my mother's collection of paperbacks, drank lots of tea, ate the best pie in the state, watched a couple of movies with the gang and talked and talked and talked. To everyone, but mostly to my sister Ruthie, who is my best and dearest friend. It was very restful. I got pink and freckly and my hair is a shade lighter than it was when I went up there. Only one day was rainy, though several were overcast, but for the most part it was sunny and bright, but not hot. SO perfect!

And now -- I turn with a tiny stifled sigh to the first of these large piles of paperwork.