Write Your Own Adventure

When we were in Montreal, I found this little comic book in a old book sale in a church. The date on the back is 1972.

According to Internet, Blek is the leader of a group of trappers during the American Revolutionary War. Most of the panels have NDNs in them and I had this brilliant idea that I was going to white out the words and replace with my own and it would be hilarious. Still might someday.

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tl;dr Found Ted Chaing, Still Haven’t Finished

Remember when I couldn’t find Ted Chaing? I’ve been reading Stories of Your Life and Others, which is a collection of stories, forever. The movie Arrival is based on Stories of Your Life — both are really really good. My highest recommendation.

His stories are amazing but also take a little extra brain juice so for me, not good reading when I’m on the bus or right before bed after a long day and a glass of wine. Every time I see it I get a pang because I still haven’t made a point of finishing it.

I’m doing a terrible job telling this story.

I thought I lost the book, either I left it at the office and someone took it (incredibly unlikely) or I left it in Orleans.

What really happened is that I had a box of books, including a stack of books I wrote, to bring to my mom and I forgot it when I left. When I got home I shoved the box in the living room closet to wait until my next trip. Then the next trip came and I pulled out the box and there was Ted Chaing. So he went back in the to read pile.

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Carrot Salad Lovers of the World Unite

I think this is the history museum in St. Louis, Missouri. I wish I could tell you I was getting better at organizing my photos but I’m not.

If I were more on the ball I would include a photo of the giant bundle of carrots I picked when I cleaned out the garden. I kept finding one more and one more. Some of them were blown out and I threw into compost but we have a large collection scrubbed and ready for snacking.

When I lived in the dorm at UCSB there was always a GIANT bowl of this shredded carrot salad with raisins in it at every lunch and dinner. It was always there. I’m not a fan of shredded carrot salad. I’m sure I tried it once.

Who was eating it? Was it the same carrot salad the entire time with just a few new carrots shredded on the top? Is this a popular way to eat carrots and I was too snooty to enjoy it? Maybe it was super cheap and they kept putting it out to fulfill a certain vegetable requirement?

I’m still thinking of it 30 years later.

This isn’t a completely accurate representation because I’m writing some bits out of order, which I don’t like but that’s the way it’s coming out so I’m going with it. I don’t count the words until I have a more or less complete section or chapter and I know where it fits in.

Crooked Rock #3:

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Not My Sweets

Sometimes I’m mystified by how sweet certain dishes are. Especially when it comes to vegetables.

Like you go to a restaurant and they have a citrus vinaigrette and it tastes like orange syrup.

But then the salad also has sugar coated dried cherries and sugar roasted walnuts.

I like sweets but my vegetables can taste like vegetables.

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The Underground Route

I’ve finally finished The Handmaid’s Tale which is amazing. The acting/writing/directing is phenomenal. And the show is harrowing to watch. I’ve had to force myself to get through it.

An old episode of Will and Grace or Parks and Recreation is always more inviting.

I recently closed our main bank account. I am trying to become a person who does not rely so much on cash. I can’t live without cash. It causes me anxiety not to carry cash.

My online bank gives me access to those ATMs you see in liquor stores and big box stores. There’s a mall in downtown Portland and my app told me I could get cash there.

I went and got my cash and my usual exit is via the food court. But the food court is being remodeled and is closed. There was a sign for a detour and I followed along.

I went down one long, empty tiled corridor after the other. There were lots of signs with giant black arrows to reassure me I was headed in the right direction. But I had a pocket filled with cash and there were no people anywhere. And it went on and on and on. There were doors. There were rodent traps. But if I was a someone looking to beat up a middle aged lady who still likes to carry cash, this is where I’d lay in wait. My heart was pounding and I walked faster and faster, chuckling to myself because if I’m going to die on surveillance I want people to remember my good humor.

After all that there was an elevator and it spit me out exactly where the escalator from the food court would have.

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I’ll Take that Bag for You

I spotted this when we were having all the fires and ash everywhere. I think this is a raccoon print. I think our yard is on the raccoon circuit. We spot them sometimes if we’re up really early.

Confession: I’m writing most of these posts in bursts and then scheduling for the different days. Sorry — I just can’t reliably post every day.

I am writing this almost the same day as I’m posting.

I finally got outside and did a bunch of raking. I put the leaves in the garden areas where I want to keep the cats out. I piled leaves around Percy (fig tree that is now three sticks and no leaves) and the blueberries. The lady at the nursery said we didn’t need to worry but landscaper Vu thought we should pile him with leaves.

The garden is about 90% put to bed. I yanked the last tomato plant and harvested any tomatoes I thought might have a chance. I found a couple pounds of carrots and a million pounds of beets out there. Oh, and potatoes.
There are always potatoes.

Everything has been cleaned and prepped. Next weekend I hope to make borscht and do a quick refrigerator pickled beets.

And I’m doing my Thanksgiving menu — this always sneaks up on me. It’s summer. Summer winds down. Then it’s the holidays.

I have been searching for a new backpack. It’s like buying a car. So many kinds and options. I found one I liked but the first three reviews all said it was no good in the rain. So then I tried filtering by rain-proof backpacks and found all these ugly bags for bike messengers. Then I found the perfect backpack and bookmarked to buy later and when I checked the store was closed. Finally, I checked Waterfield where I have purchased a fantastic laptop bag plus three laptop sleeves. It was a spendy backpack but I treated myself. I admired it when it arrived then I handed it to Bob to give to me for Xmas.

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Spending Money on Vanity

Downtown Portland in the snow. Last winter.

When I was a young person every time I tried something experimental with my looks it was always a fail.

I once had my make up done at a beauty school and looked like a Vegas showgirl crossed with a circus clown.

I got a perm, I’m not sure what I was envisioning, maybe easier styling? Instead my hair, no matter what I did, looked like I passed out under a bench in the park.

I got feathered bangs that always stuck out funny.

That means that these day I have little incentive to even try plastic surgery, assuming I had the money to burn. Either you wouldn’t be able to tell or I’d look like I’d pressed my face against glass and it got stuck that way.

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Ten Minutes to Wapner

Downtown Orleans, CA

I like to revisit movies I haven’t seen in a long time to see what I think of them now.

I recently re-watched Rain Main (1988).

For the most part, the movie holds up.

The soundtrack has some genuinely awful moments

There’s a bit with someone smoking in a restaurant that feels like a character affectation that we didn’t need. It’s so weird now to think about people smoking everywhere. Now it even seems weird walking past someone smoking on the street. I always think it’s so old fashioned.

The performances in the movie are great — both Hoffman and Cruise are really good.

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NDN Veterans

Long time readers will remember I used to work for my uncle. I made him a webpage that still exists in its retro glory.

LWW 2 is a Vietnam Veteran.

He was named after his uncle, LeRoy Wayne, who died in WWII (photo above, I don’t know what he’s doing with the plant). I thought I had an article about him bookmarked somewhere but I’m not finding it right now. One time we were clearing the cemetery on Memorial Day and the living LWW said it was unnerving cleaning off a grave with his name on it.

Here it is again, a real statistic: throughout US history Indians serve in the military in greater numbers than any other ethnic group.

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Tired of Being Admired

I always expected that it would take longer to notice getting older. I’ve been dismayed about certain changes.

One of them is the way I get tired. It’s not like, oh I’m started to get tired. I should start thinking about wrapping up what I’m doing because I’m feeling tired.

No. It’s like I’m tired right this second. Whatever I’m doing needs to be wrapped up immediately.

I have left 7 minutes of a show on the DVR because I have to go to bed. I have left the last 5 pages of my book unread. If I’m tired I’m finished. Immediately.

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