Of politicos and prose

What a week this has been.

I mean seriously, people.  Half the country will remember where they were yesterday for the rest of their lives, for starters.  For me, this week has been…Momentous.  Thrilling.  Moving.  Confusing.  Thought provoking.  Surprising.

So how many blog posts have you seen about the Inauguration?  I know, me too.  Tons.  And I kinda didn’t want to just add to the Obama mania noise with my piddly two cents.  So this is just an amalgamation of a couple things swirling around my head, including (I mean really, come on, I have to say something, right?) my little Obama plug.  Call it another house cleaning post.

 

So without furthur ado…OBAMA!

That's my president.  Isn't he shiny and new?

That's my president. Isn't he shiny and new?

I recorded the exact moment in his speech where I lost it.  It was right about 10 minutes, 17 or so seconds into it:

“…to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more. ”

…and queue tears. 

TIKVA. 

I’m resolving to get my carpentry on for Habitat for Humanity this year.  That’s what I’m doing, for starters.  What about you?

Also, check out my buddy @dieselboi’s post on OurPDX.  He was THERE. And he has PICTURES!

 

Et Tu, Sam?

Sam.  We're all disappointed.

Sam. We're all disappointed.

What the hell??  My twitter/FB community has been, well, a-twitter with the news of Sam Adams’ announcement, and the repurcussions.  So he slept with an 18 year old intern.  Big deal!!  (as long as he was, in fact, 18.)  He should not have lied about it.  Especially when he was asked directly.  He could have skirted the truth, but no, he flat out lied.  And asked Beau Breedlove (yeah, what a name, huh?) to lie about it as well.  Which says clearly, I’m afraid that people will use this against me because I’m gay.  So I’m gonna hide my gay (legal) indiscretions.  Sure, it may not demonstrate the best judgment in your personal life, but it’s your personal life.  Your record of service speaks for itself.  If you’re gonna be our out and proud mayor, Sam, be out and proud.  You broke no law.  But now, the city is clamoring for you to step down, because they feel betrayed.  I personally don’t think so you should step down, despite my disappointment. I think the city would be best served by you staying in office, especially now that you will do your damnedest to improve your reputation. 

Some fellow bloggers who feel the same:

http://develonizer.com/?p=1663
http://catherder.wordpress.com/2009/01/21/why-sam-adams-should-not-resign-as-mayor-of-portland/
http://inyourwater.wordpress.com/2009/01/21/leave-sam-adams-a-lone/

 

Nao fala portuguese!

I’ve been reminded just how much I love Portuguese.  Such a beautiful language.  I remember the first time I heard it.  I was at a friends house, and she was playing some music.  It was in a language that at first, I thought was French.  But soon realized it couldn’t be French, since I couldn’t make out a single word.  Spanish then?  No, again, don’t recognize any words as Spanish.  Yet I felt so sure that I should be able to understand what they were saying, it sounded so…familiar.  Thus began my love of the Portuguese language.  Mostly the Brazilian flavor.  

I was also introduced to Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet.  And I heard beautiful words, placed in such a way as to make my heart hum in rhythm with the sounds.  Pitter pat, pitter pat:

If I could tell the future and if I knew all secrets,
and if I had all knowledge,
and if I had enough faith to move mountains,
but if I didn’t have love,
I would be nothing.

Eu tenho saudade.

I think I need to do something with those lines.  Like, something that will go on my walls.  I know, I’ll paint them, right on my wall.  In big fancy letters.  Big swirly fancy letters, that go across my walls.  So I can be reminded every day of the essence of my heart. 

See #7 for the reason why.

 

Ok, so maybe working here ain’t so bad after all.

I did a really hard thing.  I told people that I had made something of a commitment to, that well, it doesn’t seem to be working out.  It was a possible break up, and I was interested in someone else.  Or at least, something else.  I had to do it several times.  No one freaked, and I didn’t get fired.  Everyone was supportive, and understanding.  It was not painless (I do develop loyalties tres quickly.  Tres.), but they were at least conversations I could walk away from with my head held high, and no hard feelings, and mutual positive spin.  And it wasn’t even really spin, really.  I learned a lot.  No really, my brain is full of stuff, and I’ll take that with me, and be better for it.  But I have to follow my passion.  And even better, I was told I *could* go back, if I wanted to.

I can be a total geek at work again.  Joy!  Yeah yeah all you open source peeps out there, it’s .NET.  Yes, there is a bajillion hoops, some of them on fire, and politics and crap.  But I understand it.  I’ve maneuvered those roads, they’re familiar, and now that time has passed, they don’t seem so bad, in exchange for being able to be a code monkey again, and get PAID for it.

I haven’t decided for sure that I’m going back yet.  But I can, if I want to, and everyone knows I’m thinking about it, and it didn’t hurt (much) to tell everyone. 

I can even – maybe – be agile again.

Crabs are Friends, Not Food.

I totally had an awesome picture for this post, but then my iPhone crashed and I lost it.  Fiddlesticks.

A couple weeks ago, I walked from my house to the Bipartisan Cafe.  It’s a cozy little coffeeshop over on SE Stark and 79th, with great pie, minimal discernible ‘tude, Norman Rockwells on the wall and an inauguration day countdown on the door.

But that’s not what I want to talk about.

What I want to talk about, is crabs.  Those shuffly side-scootin pinchy little carrion-eaters of the deep.  Perhaps the mice to PETA’s sea kittens?

Side note:  Speaking of sea kittens…Did you see the recent Colbert Report where he says if fish are sea kittens, that means he gets to start eating Land Fish.  Yummy land fish!  Mmmm….

Lots of people I know like crab, to varying degree.  Crab cakes, crab dip, king crab, baked alaska…oh wait.  Baked alaska isn’t crab, is it.  Sounds crabby though, doesn’t it?

I don’t like crab.  Not really a big crab fan.  I just don’t find insectoid beings particularly appetizing.  I’ve dissected large insects, and that’s what I think of when it comes to crabs.  And lobsters too, but I’ve never killed a lobster.

I have killed a crab.  And it was GRUESOME.

I mean seriously, what the heck is wrong with me?  I ended up with a life-changing moral crisis after deep sea fishing in Mexico, so I no longer can really bring myself to go fishing.  And I liked to go fishing.  But the crab incident, while not as impactful as the Bahia de Banderas affair, also sticks in my mind.

So as I said before, walking through a sunny SE neighborhood on my way to Bipartisan Cafe, I come across a notice of a Crab Feed at the Ascension Catholic Church.

I assume when most people see something like that, they think of buttery crab legs and nutcrackers and stuff.

I, however, am graced with an image of my first and last experience going crabbing, and killing a crab.

We brought in a pretty good haul, about 8-10 or so that day, and this was a week long trip up to Blaine, Washington with the ex’s family.  The killing happened thus:  Take crab from large container.  Place crab on sheet of plywood on ground, on its back.  Place piece of broom handle along crabs chest, parallel to legs.  Press down until it cracks.  Simple, right?  Yep simple.  Except for the screaming, and the flailing of legs, trying to grasp the broom handle.  Did I mention the screaming?  Did you know crabs scream?  Yeah.  Not so fun.

I guess it all boils down to this for me:  If I’m going to kill something with the intention of eating it, there needs to be two requirements met.  First, I have to NEED the food.  As in, there’s no store for miles, I have no food, and if I don’t kill this animal, I may starve.  SECOND, I have to be prepared to actually EAT what I kill.  As in, I will eat this creature, and I either like the taste, or don’t care (see requirement #1).

And with that, I’m off to go have a Mcmenamin’s burger.  Yummy.  Perhaps I’ll get the Land Fish special?

House cleaning

This is a post about cleaning house. Not like, you know, vaccuuming and mopping and dusting, although that is where it starts; more like cleaning out all the random thoughts and stuff lingering around in my head that I’ve been wanting to share. Stuff that just didn’t warrant a blog post of its own.

One of the things that sold me on my house was the wood floors throughout nearly the entire thing. They’re so easy to clean, right? I mean, with carpet, you never know what can be lurking beneath the surface of those little fibers. They remind me of cilia. Or, you know, the ocean floor. And we all know what sort of beasties can hide under there, right?

Ok ok maybe I’m exaggerating a touch. I don’t hate carpet. I quite like it in fact. But I digress. (I do that a lot, though. Oh look shiny! Anyway…)

So when I bought my house, I also bought myself a fancy shmancy vaccuum cleaner that claimed to do wonders with wood floors. I used it religiously for the first couple years. And then I quit. I don’t know what it is, but one time I just didn’t want to drag the whole thing out, deal with the cord leapfrog game, yell at my dog for attacking it, which 1. she’d been getting much better at, having figured out how to attack the switch that kept the bagless dust collector compartment attached and flipping it – I’m telling you, my dog’s a Freaking Genius, and 2. loudly, since of course the vaccuum is running, etc. I just whipped out the broom and swept. And discovered something interesting: sweeping is kinda cathartic. I find that my floors feel cleaner, since I know the broom didn’t spray crap out the back vent. I also start thinking about stuff while I sweep. Anyway. I swept my floors tonight, and starting thinking of all those little things I’d like to mention, such as…

What? It’s a new year?

Whoa, where did the year go? It’s been a year of lessons for me, emotional ones. A lot of growth, which is never bad. I may go into more detail at a later date on that. And I found out I’m going to get my very own nephew, complete with a Baby Decoder Ring and Binky accessories! How awesome is that? I’ve made some career decisions that may or may not have been good for me, but that remains to be seen. My dog somehow found herself on the news, Live @ 7 with Steph Stricklen, but then she is pretty damn cute. I bought an iPhone, restarted my blog after a 2 year or so hiatus, and met oodles and gobs of cool Portland tech and blog folk. Not a bad year. I wouldn’t put it on the top 10, but certainly the top….err..30. Ok ok 20.

Happy birthday to my adorable little pup!

im000103

Ahhh!! The cuteness! It burns!

Yes, the jessinator turned 3 this week. Happy birthday to this fuzzy little creature, my little life saver / loyal companion / partner in crime / exercise slave driver. You are one in a million! For her birthday, I took her to our doggy daycare, Dogs Dig It, and she got to pick out a free toy of her very own when I came to get her. She picked out a duck, which she’s been carrying around ever since. Well, as much as she carries around toys. It’s not quite like a ball, I guess. But she did carry it all the way out to the car before she forgot about it, and carried it all the way into the house before depositing it on the kitchen floor. It’s love, I tell you.

I had my mad skillz affirmededed

After much convincing from @djtv, (ok really not *that* much convincing), I signed up for a class on DJ Mixing at SPUN Academy. Taught by the one and only @MrBallistic, that veritable icon of old skool DJness and a fellow Twitterer along with @djtv, the class had us on turntables the first night. At first I was all, you know, thumbs. Or well, jerky. As in not smooth, and clueless. But by the end of the class I was mixin up some killer tunes and had the pitch control nearly figured out. Mad skillz, I tell ya. Mad. Skillz. Crap. Now I need a catchy DJ name. And Nita, if you read this, for the last time NO. Suggest that one more time and no mic for you!

And finally…

I enter this new year full of hope for the future, fearful of being disappointed once again, but determined to not let that stop me now, as ever. I leave you with a few words from those lovely English boys, the Chameleons, ever the thoughtful blokes:

It’s just coincidence / Well you can talk that way / But I have to say / I don’t believe in it / And with the chill of chance / I decided to dance / The days away… / But I wasn’t worried at all / Dreams are what you live for /

Here’s hoping dreams come true in spades this year.

This is a spacer post.

Kind of like cleansing the palate.  Clearing the air.  Cleaning up the…erm, yeah, nevermind.  I haven’t actually written a blog post since… 

(pause to check date on last post.  March 21st, 2007??!  Yeesh.) 

…March 21st, 2007.  Yeah, that is a long time.  You know, there was… stuff.  And things.  And general unblogginess happening.

But I’ve lately been sorta surrounding myself with bloggy people.  Not intentionally, it just kinda happened:

Neato person: “Hey you’re pretty cool. ”

Me: “Yeah you too.”

Neato person: “What kinda stuff do you like to do?”

Me: “Mostly, play with my dog, work around my house, traipse about town with friends and neighbors…you?”

Neato person: “Mmm, I dunno, blogging is fun.”

Me: “No way, really??  I used to have a blog…”

And THEN, I went to this event called beerandblog.  I mean really, what more convincing do you need?

So, much like the spacer gifs you use to create a bit of space between elements on a page, (whoa!  Narrowly averted a geek moment there.  Sorry, non techie readers!), this post is intended to create a bit of space between the OLD and the NEW.  However, unlike a spacer gif, this post is pretty visible.  Example:

Spacer gif: [                                              ]

See?  Spacer gif, not so visible.  This post…visible.

Why do I not just start over, start from scratch, toss the old posts into Ye Rounde Fyle?  Well, I need my legacy, even if I’m the only one who’s gonna be looking at it.  Those old posts, they are all about me still, and my PDX Experience.  Oh, I’ve cleaned out the private and lame ones, and left just the cream of the crop, so it would be in keeping with the NEW, but…in other words, cuz I wanted to.

So.  Unlike my spacer gif example, I certainly hope that my future posts will be equally as visible as this one.  Here’s hoping.  Staytooooned…

 

Spacer gif: [                                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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native tourist

Today was my day to play tourist in Boston.  It’s kind of strange, being a tourist in a place that you sort of considered your home at one point.  Not that I lived here, but I lived close enough that it had some familiar places, ones I remember from my childhood.  I got to visit those places today.

I hopped on the Green Line from Boston College to Government Center.  On the way, I passed Boston University, and wondered what my life would’ve been like if I’d gone to BU instead of Syracuse.  Would I still be living here?  BU was high on my list; I did get accepted, but opted for Syracuse (aka hell) because it was further away from home.  I was in a big rush to get as far away as possible.  Apparently NY state wasn’t far enough either 😀

Once off the train, I walked around and got my bearings.  The station drops you off right at City Hall, which is right near the Old State Building and tons of history.  In fact the whole city is just dripping with it.  I took LOTS of pictures.  I was fascinated with how there was such a blend of old and new architecture; everything from the classic roman styles of the 1700’s, to the Art Nouveau styles of the 1800-1900’s, to the skyscrapers of today.  In one single shot I could encompass that entire spectrum – it was pretty cool.  Not to mention the fantastic details on some of the buildings, and of course all the neat old stuff.  So yeah, lots of pics.  Anyway…

I first went to Fanieul Hall, the place I loved to go to all the time.  It’s the Boston version of Pike Place in Seattle, without all the fish.  There’s even a Cheers bar there, where I stopped and had a pint of Sam Adams Boston Lager.  And I bought a mug.

Trucked around there for a while, bought some food here and there (no, no chowdah!) and got a little boat in a bottle kit with a replica of the Bounty (as in Mutiny on the…)  Then I decided it was time to do the most ultra-touristy thing I always wanted to do and never did when I lived around here:  Walk the Freedom Trail!  Actually I only did a little piece of it, the part that goes south from Fanieul Hall.  It includes the Old State House, the Old Meeting House, the First Public School Site, and the Kings’ Chapel and Burying Ground.  There were some tombstones there from the 1600’s!  Wow.  Hard to read tho 😀  I missed the Boston Massacre site (it’s easy to miss, since as I recall it was in the middle of an intersection), and all the stuff north of Fanieul Hall, such as Paul Revere’s House and the USS Constitution.  But still, it was fun, and I took tons of pics. 

Tomorrow I go home.  I don’t get back until 11pm or so, so I won’t see my puppy until the day after, which is my birthday, and also the day my license expires 😛  Good thing I’m waking up on Boston time now, I’ll have time to take care of that before work (hopefully).

RedEye

You may have noticed on my previous blog about my flight to Boston that I referred to the first leg of my flight as disturbing:  Previous Blog Posting

Now for the why. 

I sat on one of the aisle seats.  There were 3 seats on each side; a window, middle and aisle seat.  When I got to my seat, 6D, there was already someone sitting in the middle seat.  A somewhat attractive young man, probably in his early to mid 20’s, middle eastern, with an extremely straggly beard that he had obviously never shaved. In other words, a nice young (quite possibly) Muslim guy.  Now I do my best to not let prejudices bother me, but this guy was just creepy, once you sat next to him for any period of time.  He looked eXTREMEly nervous.  His eyes where kinda shifty.  He did not smile, or anything.  The one word he spoke to the flight attendant later, “Water”, was the only word he spoke the entire flight (out loud) and that with an accent.  Taken on their own, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but in one package?  Oy.  Maybe if I’d told him my father was Muslim (not really, he just told people that) he would’ve relaxed.  Until I told him my mother was Jewish, ha!  However I, always trying to assume good intent, chalked it up to perhaps he was afraid of flying. I hope.

The window seat was empty, so I felt a bit concerned that I would be sitting alone with him at this point.  It wasn’t until the very last that another lady sat in the window seat, which made me feel a bit better.

So we start taxiing down the runway, and young muslim dude starts muttering to himself.  Or maybe he was praying.  He was obviously very disturbed about something, because he kept it up for a solid half hour or so.  Are you getting a picture of this now?  Young, unfriendly, muslim, nervous, on plane, with accent, talking/praying/muttering to himself?  Good.  Let’s continue…

I was pretty desperate to get some sleep on this flight.  It was only about 4.5 hours, and I wouldn’t really have any chance to get any decent sleep afterwards; this was my only shot.  I did stay up long enough to get my little shuteye kit, since it had ear plugs and a sleeping mask, which was a big help.  I also wanted to get some soup to warm me up.  Once I got that all settled (they initially claimed to not have any soup, but they ‘found one in the back’.  I didn’t ask) I slapped on my mask, attempted to squeeze the earplugs in despite the fact that they did not remain rolled up for longer than a nanosecond no matter how much you rolled and squeezed, and tried to get some sleep.  Muslim boy apparently had the same idea, which was all good with me.  He had found a blanket somewhere and was doing something underneath it, but I tried really hard not to think about that.  I mean, he did have his mask on too…

I woke up about an hour later.  Muslim boy had his elbow clearly in my personal space, pushing on me a little with it, but the hand at the end of that elbow was caressing my leg.  And squeezing.  And stuff.  I shifted and tried to move away (ha! I might as well be a sardine!).  But nothing, he just squeezed and stroked my leg.  I looked at him and he appeared to be asleep.  And the hand seemed to be getting more into it, squeezing harder and more of my leg.  I just sat there, totally dumbfounded, for at *least* 10 seconds before I shot up out of my seat and stalked to the bathroom.  And stayed there a good 5 minutes, taking my time.  So much for my attempt to get as much sleep as possible, since I had lover muslim boy next to me.  I mean, cute can only take you so far, and everything else was just…creepy.  I sat in there trying to figure out what if anything I should do.  I mean, it’s entirely likely that he *was* still sleeping, and was….sleep…fondling?  Brother.

I went back to my seat.  Sat down.  Muslim boy had shifted away…good.  I slapped the mask back on and went back to sleep, thankfully for the majority of the rest of the flight. 

Fun stuff.

Day Two. Viva Las Vegas!

I am SO exhausted (see current mood).  So I’m gonna blog about today, tomorrow.  Or yesterday, later today to be exact.

/yawn.

gnite!

PS  Apparently computer geeks are a really good catch, cuz 98% of them are married.  And the rest have girlfriends or boyfriends..  THbththbhbhthhttttbbbtbtbtb.

Day One – Vegas

I got to Vegas without much ado, and now I sit here in front of my laptop for which I paid TWELVE DOLLARS!!! to access the internet for 24 hours!  I agree, that’s highway robbery!  Anyway, my mom picked me up at the airport and took me to the Luxor to check in.  There was a HUGE line at the registration desk, so that took quite a while, but it was my very first chance to flash my government visa!  We went to have brunch afterwards at Paris, and then my mom dragged me all over the hotels trying to cash in all her player points for a show or two.  We finally got two tickets to the Improv at Harrah’s.  The show didn’t start till 8:30, so during the 3 or so hours we had to kill we had some drinks at the Carnaval Court, which is an outdoor bar next to Harrah’s with cute bartenders with “Flair”.  Think Cocktail but without the attitude, cuz they drop the bottles sometimes and don’t seem to care.  There’s a live band doing a bunch of covers, mostly U2 and 70’s rock.  I think the lead singer thought he sounded like Bono because he dressed like him and had his hair like him and they did do alot of U2 covers…but I thought he was just ok.  /shrug

Anyway after that got boring (although how boring can cute funny bottle-flipping bartenders get?) we went back inside to the karaoke bar.  That was satisfyingly disturbing, as karaoke always is.  You could tell that the drunk people where starting to come out!  We went to the Improv then, which was fun.  The comedians where pretty funny…not as funny as some others I’ve seen in portland, but then they where doing portland-specific stuff sometimes, and its always funnier when you have personal experience.  The headliner guy was Dat Phan, that vietnamese comedian who won the Last Comic Standing thing.  All in all a good night.  I got to back to my hotel and collapsed.

Today I ordered room service!  OMG it was 24 dollars for breakfast!?!?!?!  Yeah.  Not gonna do that again.  It was good tho.  I hauled myself down to the Mandalay Bay convention area, which is totally like a two mile walk.  Next door my ass!  The first workshop was really good (I won’t bore you with the details, my non-techie friends!) and the lunch was nice.  Catered.  In a HUGE ballroom.  The second one was a little less interesting, so I ducked out an hour early to go back to my hotel.  I tried to take a shortcut which ended up being a non-shortcut  and had to walk all the way back to where I started, so by the time I got back to my hotel I was TIRED.  And my feet hurt cuz I was trying to wear cute shoes with heels (Yes I have some).  Tonight I’m having dinner with some guildies from world of warcraft who live here (translation: they are friends of mine, who I game with, and we are all in a ‘guild’ in the game together and do lots of stuff in the game together, but I’ve never actually met them in person.  Kinda like myspace friends!).  Until then, I’m gonna relax and read my book.  Hopefully I’ll find some time to hit the pool…wednesday looks like it might be a light day for me, not alot of presentations I’m interested in, but all the other days are gonna be tight.

Miss you all, miss my home, and miss my babies.

PS – speaking of babies, there’s a pet store I pass between mandalay bay and the luxor.  It’s the kind of pet store you’d see paris hilton in…certainly caters to accessory dogs.  But I think I might have to buy some stuff for jessie there.  They have a shirt that has a doggie buddha that says rub my belly!  And pink doggie goggles!  Help me, please!!!)

Vegas Busted.

I’m goin to Vegas next week.  No, no, I have to go for work.  Yes, work.  No really, it’s a convention.  Of course I won’t be working 24-7, so there is the potential for some partying to occur, if it weren’t for one, eensy teensy little wrinkle:  I’m broke.  Really broke.  I haven’t been this broke in a long time.  I’ve depleted all my stashes that I feel comfortable depleting, and some of the ones I don’t feel comfortable depleting.  It really, really sucks.  Especially when I’m going to Vegas.  I’m going to Vegas with no money at all to spend on fun.  And I’m gonna be there for a week!  A week of no money to spend on fun things in Vegas!  Damn.

This sucks!

In with absolutely, positively no bang at all.

Ok.  I was planning on having this fabulous renewal, reentry, reclamation of my blogging existence.  I started with a bang, or so I thought.  Until the next day rolled around, and my video card went poopy dead.  Not completely, not yet, but more than enough to make doing anything on my computer painful.  Like trying to read something upside down through a tank of water.  You can do it, but really why go through the trouble?  Sheesh.

I forgot I had this handy little notebook, which has become my ‘backup’ notebook, lying around gettin dusty.  So I dusted it off and I’m gonna ride it hard like the bitch it is.  At least until I have enough dough for a new fancy dancy super hopped up on electrons-type video card.  The kind of card that makes gamers drool, in multiple orifices.  Yes I do the gamer thang.  Not as hard core as I used to, and not as hard core as some kids I know (and play with oy!), but I do like me some monster killin now and again. 

Anyway back to the card and notebook thing.  You’re prolly wondering why I don’t just ditch with the desktop and go with the laptop; but this laptop was purchased strictly for work, so it just can’t put out the way my gaming system can (or did until a few days ago).  The resolution is for crap.  The colors are wonky.  And the gamma is super dark.  In consideration for all of you who are read that and heard something that sounds like charlie brown’s teacher’s, suffice to say it’s just not powerful enough, especially in the visual category.  Plus I just spent 10 minutes hunting for my delete key

But I can certainly post a blog or three!  Let the revolution continue…and it will be televised!  Or at least internetized