Thursday, October 30, 2008


Day 303/366: A Typical Portland Street Scene

I am all nerved up about this election, so much so that I'm having difficulty concentrating on work. I'm especially worried that people who want to vote aren't going to be able to cast their ballots. They'll show up at their polling place after work and there will be lines. Long lines. Longer than they've ever been before. Some people may decide that their one little vote doesn't matter and go home. Others may stick it out but not be able to get in before the polls close.

I know some states are allowing early voting. That's great in theory, but this little story from my brother in Illinois only fueled my fears.

"L and I tried to vote early last Saturday morning. The wait was over 2.5 hours. To make matters worse, the waiting line was in a narrow hallway lined with radiators making the temperature unbearable."

So they didn't stay. My brother is now going to wait until Election Day and is planning on voting before work. He'd better not leave this time. I don't care if he ends up sweating out half his body weight and doesn't make it to work until noon. I hope no one lets a line discourage them from voting. Have some patience and keep focused on the big picture, for crissake. This election is just way too important.

Oregonians, of course, get their ballots several weeks before Election Day and can mail them in or drop them in drop boxes at any time before the polls close on Election Day. A very sensible way of doing it. Plus, there's absolutely no excuse not to vote early, but plenty of people still wait until the last possible minute or end up not getting their ballots in on time. I don't get it.

Since I'm so jittery about all this, I am going to be out on the streets of Portland on Saturday and probably on Monday hounding* these folks who haven't turned in their ballots yet.


*In the nicest possible way, of course. Believe me, I'd rather not have to do this--it's way out of my comfort zone to have to knock on the doors of strangers--but I also want to do everything I can to make sure that every potential vote gets cast and counted.



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Where Was I?

Day 302/366: Where Was I?
Originally uploaded by Rozanne.
I started knitting this cardigan last winter. In early summer, I put all the pieces away and forgot all about it. I pulled them out sometime last week and had no idea what was what. It took me some time to figure out that this little bit of Saxon Braid was meant to be the cuff of one of the sleeves. This is the progress I've made on the sleeve here and there over the past week--about 4 inches of stockinette. I am such a fast knitter--NOT. Fortunately, this sleeve is the last piece that needs to be knitted. Then all I have to do is put the pieces together and install a zipper--something I'm totally fearing...big time.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Beautiful and the Bizarre

Day 299/366: Maple Leaf Snared by a Monkey Puzzle

The branches of the beautiful and bizarre* monkey puzzle tree are ideal for snagging maple leaves that happen to be dropping in their vicinity. This monkey puzzle had dozens of maple leaves neatly slotted between its prickly pointed leaves.

I love autumn!

*As characterized by the Iowa State University Extension News.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Civilization and Beer

Early Evening Glow

If I wasn't teetering on the edge of having a migraine and not having one right now, I'd post in some detail about the great weekend I had and how I befriended some lost tourists "hiking" in the wilds of the Tualatin Mountains* and led them back (about a half mile or so) to civilization and beer. To thank me, they insisted on buying me a beer at the New Old Lompoc,** which I gladly accepted. After they got a little bit squiffy (it didn't take much), they even invited me to dinner at their hostel, which I sadly had to decline owing to the fact that B was stuck at home with a wretched cold and was in need of a fresh box of tissues. I'd been dispatched to get those tissues, and I'd been gone several hours beyond my ETA at home. Oops.

Day 293/366: I Love Where I Live

I might also write about the glorious solo hike I took on Sunday, and how many times*** I found myself giving thanks for whatever turns and twists of fate have made it possible for me to live in Portland, Oregon, but instead, I'll just take the easy way out. Look at the slideshow.
*Otherwise known as the West Hills near the Pittock Mansion.
**They had a seasonal fresh hop ale on tap, so I had that (if you must know)--crisp, refreshing, and delicious.
***At least a hundred.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shootout on the Burnside Bridge

Day 288/366: Shootout on the Burnside Bridge

Someone glued these plastic cowboys and Indians to the Burnside Bridge. I love guerrilla art like this--especially since it's for pedestrians only. The figures are only an inch tall, so no one in a car or even on a bike would ever notice them.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Night at the Movies

A Tad Icky

The past three Mondays B and I have gone to the movies. Not to see schlocky multiplex-in-a-mall blockbusters with phony-looking CGI (how I hate CGI and multiplexes), but to see indy films that are sadly ignored. B tracks these small films, waiting for them to hit Portland; otherwise I'd probably never know about them either.

A few weeks ago we saw a documentary called Man on Wire about a guy--a French guy--who managed to string a cable between the World Trade Towers in New York City and then walk across the cable from one tower to the other. This was back in the early '70s, shortly after the twin towers were built. He walked back and forth between them a number of times before police, responding to a complaint officially registered as "man on wire," finally were able to convince him to get off the wire. They promptly arrested him for, I think, disturbing the peace or for disorderly conduct. They had no sense of humor or wonder about the whole thing. As the guy himself (sorry I don't remember his name right now*) said what he did was "impossible." It really was. He was something like 1400 feet up. There was no net. Just imagine how strong the wind was up there at the top of the twin towers and how unsteady the cable must have been. The amount of planning and intrigue and subterfuge involved is mind-boggling, too. A truly fascinating study of a guy who absolutely marched to the beat of a different drummer. Even as a kid he rode all around Paris on a unicycle wearing a top hat and dressed all in black. That's the type of guy he was.

Last week we saw Frozen River, which may have won some awards at Sundance or some similar film festival.** I recommend it very highly. It's not a documentary, but I have a feeling it hits pretty close to the truth of what it's like to live below the poverty line and, for example, to have to buy gas for the car two dollars at a time, because that's all the cash you have at the moment. Without giving too much away, it's about a middle-aged white woman with two children who lives in a broken-down trailer near the Canadian border. She has a dead-end job at a dollar store. Then an opportunity presents itself for her to make some pretty big money working, somewhat acrimoniously, with a young Mohawk woman, doing something dangerous and illegal. I won't say what it is. I know I haven't made it sound very intriguing, but take my word for it--it's excellent and possibly the best movie I've see this year. And see it on the big screen if you can. OK. I think all movies should be on seen on the big screen, but this one especially. It's still playing in Portland at the Laurelhurst and maybe the Academy, too.

We're off to see Tell No One tonight, a French thriller. I know nothing else about it except that it's supposed to be good and that it's playing at the Hollywood Theatre--one of Portland's theatres that is dear to my heart, despite the fact that most of the seats are a tad icky (you have to watch out for sprung springs and unidentifiable schmutz on the floor [and sometimes on the seats themselves--see photo above]). But no matter. The screens are huge, the audience is small, the price is right ($4), and they get movies that play nowhere else and that often don't get released on DVD.

But first we must walk down to the Laurelwood Public House or a pint of hoppy ale and some pretty good nachos.

I must say going to the movies (and drinking beer either before, during, or after) makes Mondays a lot more palatable.***

*I could look it up, I guess, but I'm that lazy.
**I could look this up, too.
***Sorry this is such a hasty and poorly crafted post.



Sunday, October 05, 2008

Distant Relations?

Barack Obama Poster

I've been seeing this Barack Obama poster here and there in Portland for months now. A few weeks ago I started seeing the poster below for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, which is winding up this weekend.

H.P. Lovecraft Poster

Is it just me or is everything about these posters almost completely identical, except for the fact that H.P. Lovecraft appears to be wearing a G.O.P. button on his lapel?

What's the deal?

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