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Jan. 29th, 2013

I feel like I'm sending a message in a bottle. Is there anyone out there who's still reading this?

I've made a new space for sharing my writing on the web at A Glimpse in the Glass. I post about once a week, mostly thoughts on my evolving faith, big philosophical questions, et cetera. I'd be honored to reconnect with Livejournal friends over there. :)

Also, if you want to see my random thoughts on the books I read, I'm keeping a much more casual record of that at It's My Pleasure Reading.

Love to all!
Anyone in the Midwest want to see me for a visit in late June? If I'm going to go to Alison's wedding I figure I might as well see some of y'all.

Hopefully things are not way farther away than I think they are...
I caught the new art show What You're Into today. A pretty clever idea: the artist surveyed 50 of his friends, asking them to list the top three things they were into at the moment, in orde, and then he drew pictures of the three being awarded gold, silver, and bronze. Here is an example from the show:

1. John Wayne
2. bears
3. pogo sticks

Here is my list at the moment:

1. Sourdough bread
2. Meditation
3. Argentine tango

What about you? I'm not promising any artwork, but I thought it'd be fun to share and catch up on our current obsessions.

Nov. 26th, 2009

Hi. I know it's been awhile. I still love you all. My life is just increasingly packed, in a good way for the most part, and I am loath to spend precious minutes writing "what I did today" type posts. I'm considering starting a more subject-based blog, probably a food one (nothing fancy, just to share recipes and food love). If I do, you can bet I'll share the link here.

In the meantime, I miss you. Who wants holiday cards this year? I don't know whether I'll be doing the paper kind or the e-kind, so email your most recent addresses of any and all kinds to greekgeekling at gmail dot com.

Please know that each and every one of you is a blessing in my life.
A few nights ago, I dreamed that I died suddenly. I was going to the movies with Buzzy and Steph, and after we'd sat down I noticed a woman in a many-layered outfit and sunglasses, carring several paper bags full of groceries. I thought to myself, "That woman looks almost like she's wearing a disguise. Maybe there's a bomb in one of those grocery bags." Then I thought, "Don't be so paranoid. Anyway, what would you do about it?" A few moments later, the woman took a bouquet of flowers from one of the bags, tossed it into the room and fled. The bouquet silently released some sort of noxious gases that instantly killed us all. My consciousness went on, and mostly I remember thinking how stupid a way to die it was, especially since I could theoretically have prevented it, and that I was not ready to die.

The night before last I had a better dream, though. I was on some sort of historical tour of Portland with a bunch of other adults. We wound up at the city library for a final lecture, and then they announced they were going to choose two lucky audience members to spend a day with famous Portland authors. I was one of the ones chosen, and I wondered who the authors would be. Chuck Palahniuk? That would be bad luck for me, since I've never read anything by him. My author turned out to be Beverly Cleary.

We walked the streets of Portland and talked. I told her in the most starstruck manner how important her books were to me as a child, how I'd practically memorized them and pretended to be Ramona. I told her I'd read her autobiography, the story of her Depression adolescence, so many times that the cover practically came off. I told her she'd provided my first knowledge of Portland, familiarized me with things like Mt. Hood for the first time. She told me warmly many times that she was happy to have inspired my love of the city. She also shared many secrets of her creativity. After having dinner together, we went to the coast, and she told me the ocean was very important to her. She said she would often write her stories out of order, and that whenever she had a story with no real beginning, she knew she had to go to the ocean. I woke up feeling refreshed by all she'd openly and warmly shared with me.

Upon waking, I wasn't sure whether Mrs. Cleary was even still alive, but Wikipedia tells me she is 93 years old. She gave an amazing interview at the age of 90. I wish I really could meet her, or at least let her know in some way how much her books have meant to me.


Jun. 15th, 2009

I made some vegan treats tonight for my coworkers, to advertise the vegan bake sale I'm helping with on Saturday. Nothing special, just some banana/chocolate chip muffins. But one of my coworkers gave me a slice of AMAZING vegan strawberry cheesecake this morning, and another of them has lent me several very good vegan cookbooks, and all of them together take care of a stray kitty who lives underneath our loading dock. They give her food and water every morning, and once they all chipped in to get one of her stray kitty friends an operation. So I'm guessing they're a good target audience for the bake sale.

I am also officially halfway done taking notes on my Pharmacy Tech Exam textbook. 7 chapters down, 7 to go! And I did all the dishes, and finished Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett. As usual, very highly recommended.

And I printed out a Red Cross volunteer application. They're okay with you volunteering just once a month, which should work out well with my work schedule since I have to work one Saturday/take one weekday off per month anyway.

Now if only I had been able to hang out with friends or talk to Buzzy today. Oh well, I value my alone time too.

Jun. 13th, 2009

Last Sunday evening, my dad called me up; we had spoken earlier that day, so I was a little surprised to hear from him again so soon.

Me: Hey, Dad! What's up?
Dad: I just realized I forgot to tell you something earlier!
Me: Oh yeah?
Dad: I have a new imaginary friend!
Me: ... Wow, congratulations.
Dad: And it's Snoop Dogg!


Jun. 12th, 2009

Sucktastic day at work. I don't want to talk about the specifics, because I cannot deny it was due to my own mistakes and in every case I really should have known better. None of it was that big of a deal, I don't think, but still, I'm pretty sure I made a negative impression on several of my coworkers today, and I haven't been in such a bad mood for months. I managed to keep my perspective both in public and alone, however. I have ever-so-gradually learned to say, "Well, this sucks, and maybe it's even my fault, but I just have to get through it with as much grace as possible and keep trying." As anyone who knows me must know, for me that is a triumph in itself.

It's strange how bad doing badly at work can make me feel, no matter what the job is, whether my mistakes are important in the long run or not. I always try hard and want to do a good job. What breaks my heart is that even despite all that, often the outcome is not what I would hope. I feel like I am running on all cylinders, yet accomplishing so little. Yet another thing I have learned over time is that I do tend to struggle with new experiences at the beginning for what seems to me like an interminably long time, then rapidly get a whole lot better. That is good to know, because I do want to exploit this situation for awhile. I love riding my bike to work through some of the most beautiful streets in Portland, stopping at the farmer's market on the way home, picnicking in the park on my lunch break. For now, working for the man does not diminish the pleasures of my small and beautiful life.

I'm sure some people think I'm not very ambitious these days, but for me, "just living" is an adventure and a challenge. And being self-sufficient and happy is something not everyone in my family has achieved; it's not a given for me. No, this isn't the kind of life I want to live forever, but at the same time, I think it is an experience worth having. In some ways, living in Portland is much like living in Athens or Panama. Everywhere I go is a foreign country to me, with similar frustrations and exhilarations.

Jun. 7th, 2009

I gave blood this morning, and as I was chatting with the woman doing my health history, I mentioned that I was possibly interested in becoming a medical interpreter, and she practically shouted, "Oh my god, we need people like you! And we are going to more and more."

And then I picked up a brochure about volunteering at the Red Cross headquarters in Portland and saw that they are recruiting Spanish interpreters. That could be a cool opportunity, if it fits with my schedule.

I have been thinking about it for awhile anyway. Being a translator/interpreter of some kind is the other big possibility in my brain at the moment aside from teaching.

Jun. 2nd, 2009

This is what my summer looks like so far.

5th Say goodbye to Rob. :(
6th Give blood.
19th Get visited by Debbie.
20th Dance in a bellydance show.
20th Bake things for a vegan bake sale that benefits a kitty shelter (how much Portlandier can you get than that?).
21st Celebrate Father's Day
22nd Celebrate Debra's birthday

1st-8th TRIP TO WASHINGTON DC WITH BUZZY. Spend time with Lasa and Saira, see amazing museums, have the time of my life, etc.
10th-19th Visit from Katrina and Joanna.
12thish Country Fair!
19th Marina and Zack's wedding
24th Indigo Girls concert
29th Ditty Bops concert