Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hotel Virgin

It's been a week of momentous events:

1. Saw Kate Bornstein at USM
2. In seeing Kate Bornstein at USM, was able to be out of the house, alone, after dark,
just for the enjoyment of it, for the first time in a season (o joy!)
3. Started a batch of apple wine
4. Bottled a batch of beer
5. Taught a workshop on beer-making (see #4)
6. Spoke to a large group of strangers and friends about Winter Cache (see #4, #5)
7. Wore a tuxedo-printed t-shirt in public
8. Tried Northern Spy, Empire, Snow, and Gala apples for the first time
9. Rented a hotel room for the first time

Regarding #9: I find it hard to believe that I have reached my third decade and not ever reserved a hotel room for myself, but it's true. Or rather, it was true. I'm just not really a traveler, and I'm also really poor, so my occasional overnight accomodations have tended to be of the couch or tent variety.

But I'm planning a weekend visit to Northampton to visit my school mentor to talk about my novel, and I'm taking the opportunity to make it a road trip with a friend and explore that city a little. I've never been there either, but people keep saying that I'll like it, so I probably will.

Friday, October 19, 2007


We've gotten some attention here in Portland because of the national flap about offering birth control pills to middle schoolers.

I have some opinions about that. See if you can spot me talking about them.

Superstar. That's right.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Right Brain, Apparently

The way you see this optical illusion is supposed to tell you whether you are "right-brained" or "left-brained" (via kottke). I, apparently, and to my surprise, am right-brained, i.e.
uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking
This goes against everything I have ever believed about myself. Shit, now I need to reprioritize my life and start all over. And I better learn to talk about those feelings. And become impetuous. Suggestions?

EDIT 10/25: Apparently, I am so opposed to this idea that I insisted in incorrectly typing "left" when I meant "right." Right. Right. Right. I will remember someday. It's corrected for now.

Friday, October 05, 2007

League Musings

Although I'm generally unimpressed** by The League, I am really glad that they put out this voting guide. There is a lot of information out there, and I get overwhelmed by it all. The voting guide lays it all out, and even if I don't agree with all of their endorsements they've summed up the major issues and made it easier to make a decision.

**Things I don't like about The League:
  • Name change removing the words Pissed Off
  • Weird corporate feel (there is a national office that designs all of the various states' League websites and material)
  • Too-cool-for-school events
  • Since when are 30-year-olds young voters?
  • Cutesy use of slang in materials
  • Soft-mouthed Green/Democratic political style that is not hard-line enough
I do like some things about them, like the voting guide, and the fact that they're at least liberal and are getting "young" people interested in politics. When the League first appeared I was kind of excited that there were some pissed-off people looking to create change in the fucked up system. But I fear that as the organization ages it's becoming more conservative in order to broaden its appeal (and its financial support).

I've decided that the only kind of pure activism is volunteer work. Once your rent and supper (and maybe the rent and supper of other people, if there's a staff) depend on your activism, it's easier to compromise the work for the sake of, you know, eating and being warm and stuff.

And, um, OK, if I should be entirely truthful here and confess that I really did want to be one of Portland's coolest kids (although it's a stretch to call me a kid at this point), and there are a lot of other people who could have been too. And I'm not cool enough for The League. I guess that's important to mention. Sigh. Junior high never really does go away, does it? It just lives inside like a festering wound...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Old Home Week

This is a penny postcard from the turn of the century from the town next to my hometown. My sister's house is now on the street to the left, I think. Lots more postcards here. See, the internet is good for something.


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