Tag Archives: bikes

A Very Special 5 Things!

Okay, blog-readers. I will let you in on a little secret. Normally, Mary and I exchange our 5 things via email to each other, so we can read through the day’s/week’s happenings and get a feel for the recent news before it goes live on the blog. Because this is a project we started together, I think this practice is nice and important.

But! It’s MARY’S BIRTHDAY today! So guess what, homies. This jawn is a surprise.

Thanksgiving themed fodder: Thanks for sticking with us. These are crazy times, indeed. I’m not “just saying that.” Look around you! Crazy times. We are all feeling it. I am especially feeling (and am thankful for) the listening, hugging and general “It’s going to be okay, we got this” vibe from friends and loved ones. Thanks.

5 things I could write about today:

  1. 5 things I appreciate about this week
  2. 5 things I have realized this month
  3. 5 things I look forward to in 2012
  4. 5 things I want Mary to have on her birthday
  5. 5 things I love about Mary

I think I’ll just stick with a Combo Deal: #s 4 & 5. Without further ado…

5 birthday-themed word-morsels (for Mary) • Saturday, December 3 • 2011

  1. Banana-times

    This is a picture I took the morning of one of the first bike rides Mary and I ever took together. We are headed to the Salt Lake Marina. Just before we parted ways for the day, we marveled at the fact that we had just spent 7+ hours biking and talking together with joy and ease. Mary (like me) has a certain piety for and devotion to riding bikes, no matter the distance, destination or purpose. For her birthday, may she receive at least one awesome, joyous bike ride this week, and many more to come (of course).

  2. Dog party

    Dogs all around, all the time! This is a photo of Sarge, Lucifer and Copper. They are dog-friends. They hung out together on this May day, a few weeks before Mary moved to Portland. I love this photo of camraderie and secret agendas. Sarge is obviously plotting something. Copper just wants to belong. And Lucifer appears to be off in his own world, wondering how he got smooshed (again) between two young hyperactive pups. For her birthday, may Mary receive at least one frolic (if not many) with Lucifer and other friend-pups.

  3. Nectar of the gods/goddesses/gender-neutral term for holy beings

    COFFEE. Road coffee, diner coffee, backyard coffee. Garbage coffee, garage coffee, cowboy coffee. Camp coffee, house coffee, field coffee. Early morning coffee, midnight coffee, all-day coffee. French press coffee, pour-over coffee, Italian coffee. Spendy coffee, cheap coffee, proletariat coffee. Whole bean coffee, ground coffee, broken coffee. Perfect coffee, bad coffee, just-right coffee. For her birthday, may she receive a great cup of coffee.

  4. Surrounded by goodness

    This is a picture of Mary writing out a Stereolab playlist (for her lucky girlfriend) while simultaneously eating a jalapeno-mango sausage hoagie. I think it’s pretty badass.  Wait, it would only be more badass if that glass next to her was filled with some gnarly beer. But we can pretend, right? Either way, for her birthday, may she receive Stereolab, loudly, and as many sophisticated, foodie, hot dog-esque creations as she’d like.

  5. Life Essentials 101

    Mary and I like to video chat. This is one of the first times we video-chatted. We both happened to be wearing grey hoodies with white drawstrings. We also both happened to be drinking stouts. It was this hilarious moment of unplanned synchronicity that I feel is important to document. We’ve had a lot of similar moments since then. For her birthday, may she receive beloved grey hoodies that are lost in Buffalo Exchanges and then miraculously found again, and the warmth that comes from said sweatshirts, not to mention from drinking chocolate stout.

Happy muthaflippin’ birthday, Mary. ♥

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Back from An Inexplicably Long Hiatus

Hello-o-ooo again (to Mary and everyone)!

I have so little plans today and this weekend except to enrich my brain, eat sweet potatoes, read more about corporations, bake something with a sh*tload of apples (I have about four pounds in my cupboard), maybe make phở with Food Club and draw pictures. ‘Tis lovely.

Oh yeah, Halloween happened!

Pioneer Murderess Juli and Cool Mummy Isabelle

5 Things – November 1 – 2011

  1. Woke up around 6 a.m. to slight pat-pat-pat rain on the roof above our back stairs. I hear this early in the morning and it usually means weather is on its way. I’d heard it was supposed to get rainy-snowy later on Tuesday but I had high hopes that perhaps I could get on the bike early enough to escape the worst of it. Not so! It was full-on raining when I finally got out of bed to make coffee. Then as I was bundling up in the front room, I looked outside and big white flakes began to fall. It’s always kind of a magical, bizarre thing to see, the first snowfall, but it’s not surprising or early or anything. So I put on my “GIDDYAP” attitude and saddled up to a very slushy, chilly, exhilarating ride into work. My feet got completely soaked and were slightly numb, as were my hands, but my face/ears/neck were bundled, and my waterproof pants and jacket did their job(s). Fortunately we have a big heat dish at work and I plugged it in immediately to dry out my cycling shoes + sox. Getting ready for winter riding! Max Baer posted something on SaltCycle to the effect of “Sometimes when I am putting on all of my gear to go out riding in the winter I feel like I’m preparing for battle,” which is a very accurate analogy, I think.
  2. I actually arrived at work on time despite the crazy winter ride. Passed the probably freezing cold Occupiers and sent a “Bless you.” their way, to myself. I will admit that I’ve been spending more and more time lately listening to NPR podcasts, Radio Lab, reading stories about our economy, OWS, corporations, elections, ballot initiatives, “personhood” laws and their bogusness, and “Move Your Money” aka National Leave Your Bank Day. I feel like there’s so much going on right now, politically and internationally, with the protests and activists, that I’m distracted and what’s worse can justify it because I believe in the causes for which others are so bravely sacrificing warmth, security and the comforts of home. I say, At the very least I can be an informed, intelligent, independent-thinking citizen who is aware of her rights in this country. I downloaded the first 50 or so pages of this Study Group on challenging corporate personhood and revoking corporate welfare. IT’S SO GOOD. And free! Free information that we should be providing our kids in school instead of the inaccurate depiction of how the Constitution was this awesome democratic document (did you know that the word “democracy” never once appears in our Constitution?) written by sovereign, working class folks. Not! It was written by rich, privileged white men who created it with basically the sole interest of protecting their PROPERTY from England/other challengers. They wanted the freedom to exploit the riches of the Americas by themselves. I am fired up about this. Fired. Up.

    From OWS

  3. I’m listening to the new Laura Veirs album! It’s called Tumble Bee and it’s for kiddos. Some of the songs are kind of WOAH SILLY and some have been really enjoyable, as “an adult” listening. You can stream the whole thing on NPR.org in the First Listen section. I do love this woman’s voice. It’s interesting to hear new projects of hers, and think about what musicians start to write once they have children and might be easing out of their rock-and-roll lifestyles. I can/can’t believe you saw Laura Veirs at the grocery store. Of course you did!
  4. Called Mary around 3pm to check in. I still find it incredible that her consciousness knew she should head to the farm on Monday, something was coming up for her and she didn’t question it. That’s some powerful intuition. Although the family saw it coming, and may have been preparing for it, that obviously never makes it easier or less crazy to hear that someone is “gone,” and like Mary has said, there’s never a “timeline” with this sort of thing. Sending lots of hugs and warmth and love that way.
  5. I had dinner with Mom & Dad tonight and was feeling in general really grateful for the presence of both of them in my life, and my ability to hang out with my parents, NBD, kind of amazes me each time. I’ve gone through a lot of different feelings about it; when I first moved here I still needed my own time and space apart from them and living with them at first made me totally crazy. I created all sorts of stories like “This is unhealthy, I’m __ years old, I can’t live with my parents, I need my own place,” yadda yadda yadda. Now that I’ve spent four years living so close to them, going over for dinner, taking weekend trips with them, helping them when they need it, taking care of their house, car, dog(s) and cat(s)… I’m really lucky. I love having them in my life so frequently. I know it will be something I miss, deeper than I can even predict now, as it’s not reality yet, but living in another state will be difficult for me, the same way Charlotte has experienced living in (ahem) Mozambique for so long and now, NYC, which feels like another planet. But maybe it’s time for me to switch out of my role as the parent-guide, parent-caretaker, parent-liaison, parent-charmer and parent-friend sibling. Thinking about this a lot.

    Mom playing the melodica last spring.

  6. I was telling my parents about the RadioLab podcast “Loops” (HAVE YOU HEARD IT) and the story about the woman and her older mother getting Transient Global Amnesia, the kind of amnesia that’s pretty inexplicable medically, occurs suddenly and only within a 24-hour period (short-term), then the sufferer regains all normal memory functions. It has been known to happen after strenuous activities in adults ages 55-75, like SEX for instance, and I told my mom this and she was like “Help me! Who is this strange man on top of me!!!!!” burst out laughing. Then I burst out laughing. Dad changed the subject.   it was AMAZING
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Creature Comforts

5 things Monday September 26, 2011
  1. It’s so nice to be in Jeremy and Meredith’s house.  This morning, while I was making coffee, Sam came into the kitchen with amazing bedhead.  Right after he said he was going to go out for coffee at a coffeeshop as opposed to making it at home, he cut his finger slicing a bagel.  I gave him a sympathetic frown, all while thinking “that could have been me, that could have been me, without coffee, that would’ve been me“.  Was also informed that there is a pedestrian bridge that makes it a lot easier to cross Powell and zip over to the esplanade making getting to school very fast and rewarding.  (Thanks, Jeremy, for that information.)  The whole morning got me thinking about space and environment, and how something could be comfortable, open and giving, and other space can feel so creepy or controlled or toxic.  I wonder what my space feels like to other people.  My space is usually filled with dog hair.  People with pet allergies usually avoid my space.
  2. Ma class de Français!  I was worried about this class, having taking first year French in Salt Lake City, then transferring from semesters to quarters.  I was apprehensive because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be in line with where the first year PSU Frenchies were going to be.  My professor is a nervous kid taking on a role as an adjunct professor.  Initially, I thought he was a fellow student. He is from France, and only spoke in French to us, most of which I kind of understood…a pleasant surprise since I have not studied all summer.  He went over the syllabus and how to use the book (which was similar to the book we used in SLC) and had us all go around and introduce ourselves and where we were from.  After the class I tried to go talk to him about placement, and he didn’t understand what I was asking.  Meaning French is his first language.  Meaning, he doesn’t really understand English which weirdly made me feel some kind of illogical affection for him.  As we struggled with the language barrier, a girl who had also stayed behind interjected and asked me, “Did you understand class today?”  “About 80% of it, “ I said.  “Then you should stay in this class,” and she explained her reasons a bit.   For validation, I texted mon ami dans SLC Jeff, who told me that the textbooks are the same for his semester back home!  So I felt a lot better about dropping $170 bones on a single textbook to further my education.
  3. Went to the PSU Bike Hub and procured a free map of the downtown vicinity, because even though I have lived in Portland on and off for over six years, I still get fucking lost all the time downtown, especially as I am moonlighting as someone who lives in SE right now.  I’ve spent only a short stint in SE, which calls for new ways, routes and systems and bridges that I’ve rarely ever used.  I am making good use of the esplanade today, which is lovely with the brown choppy waters juxtaposed against the pale grey sky and the jagged skyline of downtown buildings and the huge pylons that are holding the bridges up.  It’s so beautiful here, albeit moody.  Maybe that’s why I like it.  You know what else I like?  That the little scraps of paper for use in the Millar Library are old cards from a card catalog.   The first time I went there I stole a whole stack of them, thinking I would send them all out like little birds to friends.  People make those things out of nostalgia, recreate them on printing presses and here they are just for the taking.  I want to do something with them, but right now they are all just bundled with some old SLC postcards that I bought when I first moved back to SLC and never wrote or sent.  I still think I will, but maybe not to people in SLC.  I keep thinking about Pete and Steph in Milwaukee, and Susy in NYC.
  4. Went to Fidelity Investments where I had to stand on this electric floor mat that would automatically log me off of my session if I stepped off of it.  Or shuffled my feet.  I told the guy in the suit that I couldn’t verify my account at home even though they sent me new a link for it.  AS IT TURNS OUT, whoever entered my information entered my birthday WRONG, which felt bad for some reason.  Like they have money of mine, but I couldn’t access it because of their lack of attention to detail.  NBD, it turns out since in this process I am quite aware that I am basically considered to be at poverty level.  C’est la vie. I have resigned myself to the idea that I will always be poor-ish, but really my problems are still relatively first-world problems, and that I still need to suck it up and be grateful, damn it.
  5. Women’s Studies class is going to be awesome.  My teacher is a beautiful, large, dreadlocked black lady who kind of had the same no-nonsense that reminded me of Libby with more of a sense of humor.  The class is kind of large, but everyone was extremely present and diverse and on point.  Seriously, Utah is so much more white and self-righteous in comparison.  Jeremy: “How was school?” Me: “You know what the weirdest thing was for me at school today?” Jeremy: “What’s that?” Me:  “People actually make eye contact and smile”.  He laughed, but it’s true!  I hope that all of my posts don’t revolve around school.  I’m gonna have to mentally check it.  BUT, before I change any subjects, I got texts from so many rad people wishing me luck today!  Including my girl, who I luv.
  6. Meredith has chronic back pain, and today she was hurting pretty bad.  To stave off the boredom that Meredith has been coping with all day they decided to watch a movie, so I joined them for part of “Wall Street:Money Never Sleeps” and it was god-awful.  Probably the most redeeming thing about it is watching Carey Mulligan (who I find just adorable) and the fact that I was watching it with the Peanut Gallery.  Seriously, between me, Jeremy, Meredith and Sam, we were cracking ourselves up, pointing out that the blood-thirsty actors playing blood- thirsty investors/traders don’t pay taxes anyway and that most of Shia LaDouche’s dialogue was probably overdubbed among other things, but it was one of those “you had to be there” kind of moments.  Plus, Lucifer was being really cute and laying on the floor close to Meredith, which I think she likes.  She told me earlier today that Luc is good company-I was glad that he could be that for her while she’s been so laid out.

This is posting a couple of days later, but that is the glory of this thing.  It’s whatever we want it to be in the moment, and it will probably continue to change.  That being said, I think I have to drop out of school already but that will be detailed in another post.  FIN. À bientôt, mes amis.

posted by Mary

 

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School starts on Monday.

5 things!  Saturday September 24th

  1. Unplanned, I keep waking up early.  I think it is slightly stress induced but I can’t be sure.  I’ve heard that people start waking up early when they age.  Is this true?  In any case, I wake up knowing Todd is going to be coming back from his surfing trip tomorrow (Sunday) so I best be cleaning up his place soon.  Walk dog, drink coffee.  Typical morning routine right there, save for the waking up early part.  Listened to Fiery Furnaces on the dog walk and it reminded me of the Carpenters for some reason.
  2. I went to Warren’s house to pick up his motorcycle as previously arranged.   Warren runs a little record store out of his garage on Saturdays, but he’s not really been open much all summer, as he has been busy going to the river and riding his motorcycle.  I can’t remember the name of his shop but it has something to do with the ax that is fastened over the garage door, next to a record.  Ax records?  Anyway.  He asked me if I could help him with a couple of distro jobs in the next few days and he also said he’s going on tour for a month and would I like to babysit the motorbike to which I replied nonverbally by clapping my hands repeatedly while grinning like a loon.  As he gave me his keys, I asked about my helmet options, seeing as how the one he normally lends me is so large I have to wear a hat and a hoodie (hood up) in order to keep the helmet from slipping off of my head altogether.  SO DANGEROUS.  He had a new-used white full-faced number that fit my smallish head perfectly.
  3. Rode Warren’s little red Yamaha 400 to Kristi’s house.  I wasn’t sure what/who to expect on this impromptu ride she had invited me on, seeing as how I barely know Kristi, but it was Mar and Liza’s old house and so it was nice and familiar.  There is even a cat there that looks like Booty (M&L’s long lean man-cat).  Kristi has two bikes: an effing sweet Honda 350-Four with cropped café style bars and a little old Honda Dream that she’s been fixing up.  She explained that she having an awful time with her carburators which gave me a headache just listening (I have the same problem with the carbs on my old BMW which is still in SLC).  Honda Dreams are hard to work on anyways, because the parts are rare and hard to find.  Finn came over and then we rode (Finn riding on the back of Kristi’s 350) , met up with a few other queers and  rode out to Sauvie’s Island.  There were five bikes in all, and it was awesome.  I forgot how fun it can be to ride with a group, everyone taking on a stagger formation.  It reminded me a lot of when my old Portland motorbike buddy named JJ joined an old Norton bike club, and they would do monthly rides and even though they were old old Nortons and BSAs, anyone was welcome, and these old seasoned dudes would chide me on my german bike, but then they’d wink and grin with weathered wrinkled faces and take off down MLK.  Good lord it was so fun.  Laughing in my helmet fun.  Short story long, it was awesome to ride around with these ladies.  We rode to the beach at Sauvie’s and passed all of the pumpkin patches with their huge scarecrows propped up high above the already tall Halloween corn mazes.  At the beach we all sat in a row along a driftwood log and shared Dill Pickle flavored potato chips  and talked about the underground tunnels and sports teams and school and whatever.  Every now and again we’d hear the song “Under the Sea” from the Little Mermaid drifting through the air from down the Willamette, which was confusing.  It turned out to be an ICE CREAM BOAT, and Finn and Kristi desperately flagged it down like they were shipwrecked and the ice cream boat would save them, which could be a metaphor for so many other things.
  4. After the ride I went and dropped the bike back off to Warren who was in his record store/garage still, watching a soccer match on his laptop.  He told me he likes soccer, but prefers basketball, but with the NBA still on strike, he’s scratching the sports itch, which is funny coming from a guy that wears beatle-boots and white v-neck tees.  We chatted for a while, about nothing of particular interest, which is so nice.  I like when two people can sit and chat about nothing, but just be in good company to each other.  As I was leaving I saw a Klaus Nomi record so I picked it up.  I told Warren that Klaus Nomi reminds me of when my mother was sick and I brought over a documentary about him from the library and we watched it together. After watching that, my mom became obsessed with him and read everything she could find online about him, and looked for his albums.   Then I picked up a Françoise Hardy record.  “She is so Hot.”  I stated.  Warren nodded solemnly.  “Yes.  Yes she is.”
  5. Met up with Clint who is in town on bike tour.  We bought a six pack of porter and drank it out at the Skidmore Bluffs, and then met up with Mark and his friend Matt downtown.  DOWNTOWN on a SATURDAY NIGHT.  I didn’t feel like I was in Portland anymore, it was such a whirlwind of people and lights and shiny exciting nightlife.  We started at one bar called “SCANDALS” which was very typically gay in style and music (diva + techno/house+ really good haircuts), but then went over to a place that Matt recommended which was actually very classy and lovely and mellow called HOBO’S.  I don’t know why they would call it that, as it was beautiful dark wood bar and tables and nice ambiance and was playing classier things like Diana Ross’ “Love Hangover”.  After that I don’t feel like anything happened.  We drank some more, and then I felt bloated and went home which felt like the right decision.  Oh, also I listened to Fugazi all day.

    I took pictures of the motorcycle ride but can't upload them, so in the meantime, here is a picture of my dog at the beach.

posted by Mary

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The Temporal/The Corporeal

5 things for Thursday September 22

  1.  I was a gaping bottomless hunger pit today, and grumpy about it.  I keep hoping to hear from the people who magically make food stamps happen (I somehow equate this with a Wizard of Oz type of scenario for some reason).  The government man who, in his dingy office, gives me a card that somehow equates to me being able to eat on a regular basis.  It is like a strange kind of magic.  Hopefully this can happen soon.  I also know that I am premenstrual, and quitting smoking and drinking as of late is probably adding to the desire of hand-to-mouth behavior, and general hormonal craziness.
  2. Luc has been bundles and spurts of energy lately on our walks.  We walked to Woodlawn Park again, and he was doing sprints of running across the field, which is more running than a 14 year old dog-man should be doing.  My heart bursts in affection for him when he flops on the grass and wriggles around, bending his body in half and kicking his skinny, seemingly fragile legs up into the air in powerful circular kicking motions.  I used to think that he was rolling in something gross (which often might still be the case) but really I think his fur is so thick that rolling in grass must feel really good…like a rewarding back scratch, like Baloo in the Disney Jungle Book cartoon.  Also at the park, a large fountain erupting, and a toddler with no grasp of verbal language, gesturing wildly at it shrieking “UH! UH! UH! UH! UH!” while its mother recorded with her mobile device.  The kid’s eyes were like saucers, pointing and looking in amazement from the fountain to its mother back to the fountain like it was the most mind-blowing, amazing thing it had ever seen in its life, which is possibly true.  Moments like this make me feel grateful and jaded all at once.
  3. Dropped my car off at Alamo Auto Repair, which consists three older mechanics who have carved a serious niche in the Volvo mechanic service of Portland.  These dudes are gems, the stuff of legend.  I took the car in for an oil change, but got new window switches!  A new rubber pad for my clutch pedal!  And my defrost hose adjusted!  And a list of things I should eventually fix.  All for no extra charge.  I will always suggest them for new business, but they never answer the phone because they are so busy.  Job security!  The lot that they work on is a crazy tetris puzzle of Volvos in all shapes sizes and states of broken-ness and disarray but nothing gets those guys down, I swear.
  4. After dropping my car off I bike the 7 + miles to PSU to print off some resumes and check out their job fair.  It was a lovely ride, really.  Being in Portland, it’s so nice to see all the thruways so clearly marked and easy to navigate.  And now that it’s turning fall, everything feels so temporal and corporeal.  As I passed 21st and Ankeny, I saw my friend Erin who often is known by the name “Chach”.  I stopped and hugged her and asked her about a trip she’d recently returned from.  She was heading to PSU too.  “I have my car, or I would bike with you,” she said.  She told me she got a tutoring job with Portland Schools.  Then she told me that there were something like 350 applicants and they chose HER.  This information kind of set me off on a hopeless moody trajectory.  I am stoked for her, but one can’t help but feel a little helpless at that kind of news.  I think reality is really hitting me, after months of care-free living.
  5. The PSU thing turned out to be a shit show.  Discouraged, I ended up talking to my dear friend Katie G., who cheered me on, and then called in some names for me to take resumes to, all of which I did.  Every day is a new challenge for sure, but I just keep going a day at a time, knowing that it will all work out eventually.  It seems crazy to think though, that 6 months ago, I was laying in my bed in Salt Lake City and literally thought to myself: “I AM SO HAPPY.  I AM SO HAPPY THAT I CAN’T IMAGINE THAT I WILL EVER BE THIS HAPPY AGAIN”.  But I will be.  Bring on the corporeal, bring on the temporal, now.

posted by Mary

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