Friday, June 30, 2006

This is what I live with

I'll set the scene: KOPB, the local public radio station (which I tend to listen to, umm, slightly obsessively) was having technical difficulties with with the usual mid-day news-light show, and so they had switched to some classical music as the Captain and I drove home from a more-frightening-than-usual look at the deevolution of our species, more commonly known as a trip to Costco.

I was jabbering on about something funny that Mo Rocca had said, when the Captain, looking even more jaw-clenched than usual (he often has a similarly violent "bad reaction" to classical music as I can experience with country music) said:

"I am about to fall asleep in the most hostile way."

True story.

It's a free country

So I guess you're free to drive around in an old jeep with a Yosemite Sam "Back Off!" spare tire cover in the left lane going five miles an hour under the speed limit.

Or loot a recently "liberated" middle eastern country.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Let's call it a day

It’s my Designated Blog Day, but my brain is feeling limp and empty from writing a letter to an old friend who could use a miracle and deserves one.

I feel like curling up and spending the rest of the evening in front of some soft, crappy TV.

Hug your honey, your friend and your doggy. You can hug your cat if you want, but she will just punish you for it later.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

What I Did on my Summer Vacation

This is a picture of the wildflowers currently growing in Fort Rock, outside of Fort Rock, Oregon (population maybe 30) until the heat kills them, probably tomorrow. Fort Rock is a volcanic formation that got worn down by an ice age lake to look like a, well, a fort. (I could get much more geological all over your ass, but I'll spare you. You can google it if you're as fascinated as I was.) I paid for this picture, for which I scaled the side of the fort, with a bruise the size of a grapefruit. Yes, there were wildflowers on the ground level. That wasn't the point.
This is Smith Rocks outside of Terrebonne, Oregon (population maybe 1,000). We hiked to the top, crossed over to the other side and hiked down. It kicked ass. A postcard view from every angle. Smith Rocks is world renowned as a rock climbing destination. Even on a Tuesday there must have been two dozen climbing groups, none within hollering distance of the other there are so many places to climb. If you're into that kind of thing. Seems kind of silly when there is a perfectly good hiking trail to the top.
This is one of the views from the top of Smith Rocks. Cascade mountains in the distance.
This is Storm Saxon in the world non-famous geological-slash-hiking-slash-partying-in-a-cool-place-on-a-hot-day destination Crack In The Ground. Yes, that is its proper name, located outside of Christmas Valley, Oregon (population maybe 500), and it also kicks ass. It's like a big fissure in the ground (insert more geological stuff here) that you can hike along for maybe a mile. You used to be able to go further, but the rocks continue to fall into the crack, obstructing the route. In a state not quite so packed with scenery, this would be a major attraction. In Oregon, we had to ask directions and follow a rutted dirt road and then assume that the wide spot in the road with the outhouse nearby was the trail head. Yes - we had the place to ourselves. But surprisingly, by the time we hiked out, there were two other vehicles pulling up. Guess the secret's out now.
Here's the Captain pretending his knee doesn't hurt as we follow Crooked River back to the trail head after hiking up and down Smith Rocks. You can just see Monkey Face rock pillar in the background.

Not pictured here:
  • Kayaking on the Deschutes River. Rocked.
  • Meeting the folks at the Lava Cast Forest (that's where lava flowed into a forest, ate the trees in its fiery belly, but left impressions of them after it cooled). More geology and postcard views.
  • Hiking past the Balancing Rocks (which we needed directions to, as it is another well-kept secret, mainly for keeping the yahoos from using them for target practice), finding other, double-secret balancing rocks, and finally finding the real balancing rocks on the way back.
  • Tootling around Sunriver Resort, north of Bend, Oregon (population growing too fast to count) on bikes and feet.
  • Birthday champagne, chocolates and risotto.

I'm so relaxed it will take me weeks to get my snarky back on.

No, I don't hate Ghana now.

In case you haven't heard, Ghana sent the US soccer team packing. Better luck (and speed, skill and endurance) next time, fellas.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Jenny Dilemma

I have a rule, which I am about to break, that I do not blog about friends or relatives, with the exception of my husband and son, who are used to my abuse, and thus do not hold a grudge when I liken them to minor superheroes with personal hygiene issues.

However, I am making an exception today, as this post may come in handy to others who are dealing with the same sort of thing – namely, the too-popular name. In our extended family, it is “Jenny.” You can’t tell someone that “Jenny is coming over tomorrow” in our family without then saying something like, “No, not that Jenny, the other Jenny. No, not that one. The other, other one.”

At lunch today, I, the woman who gets all red-faced and militantly feminist when anyone mentions sending their 7-year-old girl to “cheerleading camp” (don’t get me started), blithely said, “we have Dean’s Jenny, Drew’s Jenny and Eric’s Jenny.” What? They are the property of their boyfriends, brothers or husbands? Ewwwww.

We could append their first name with the first initial of their last name (Jenny L., say), but I'm sure all the Jennys out there remember having to put up with that all through school.

I say we let them pick new names. I think they deserve it after putting up with all the name-sharing confusion for all these years.

I tried to rename myself a while back after the name “Janice” was tainted beyond its already lace-doily-like prissy-ness through its nasal and annoying use in the TV show Friends. At first I tried Jane, because it was like my old name, but with a more urban, thick-black-bangs-across-the-forehead tint and yet a nice old-school Tarzan sheen to it as well. Unfortunately, that was a nonstarter. I guess I couldn’t pull that one off.

Then I tried Jan, but that was too close to Janice, and so the rest of the doily-name just kept rolling off my and everyone else’s tongue.

Since then I have renamed myself Storm Saxon. I just haven’t mentioned it to anyone else. And that seems to be working for me.

For our Jenny L., I suggest she change her name and start using it right away while she is still young, so that everyone gets the hang of it.

She could totally pull off Jane.

Bon voyage, Jenny. Or Jane. Or....Xena!

There's hope for me as an artist yet...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Is your town this cool?

I just read a blog post in which the townspeople of his particular suburbish berg were acting like car-honking hooligans as the World Cup heats up (real hooligans don't live in suburbs and don't own cars, so we'll have to think up a new word - maybe sub-hooligans).

Of course, most of the US would be ignoring the World Cup if they were aware of its existence.

Here in New Bohemia (Portland, OR), we have a euro-awareness of a somewhat more genteel nature. For instance, your waitress might approach your table and say, "Anyone here for Ghana?" And you, being a Portlander of the appropriate coolness level, will reply, "Oh, yes! What's the score?" Because, as a Portlander of the appropriate level of cool, you will know that she is referring to the tiny country of Ghana, who, at that moment, is taking on the relative powerhouse of Italy on the futbol pitch, and of course, as a proper Portlander, you are rooting for the underdog (yes, of course, they lost).

Anyone who asks if Ghana is the Chai tea-of-the-day will be outed as a pretender.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

You looking for a rant? I got yer rant, right here.

WHO in the HELL invented grass? And why is it even LEGAL to plant it without first installing automatic sprinklers? I have spent all day repositioning this little sprinkler, and I'm not even DONE YET.

Over my years in the burbs, I have gone through so many lame sprinklers with names like TURBO on them, only to have them start dribbling like little old men with big old prostates within a week, that now I'm back to my original two-dollar plastic squirty ring that I bought when I couldn't afford the two bucks. It, of course, will never die because it has no moving parts and, more importantly, only irrigates one small, round patch of ground at a time.

Damn this grass. If I wasn't so concerned about what my neighbors thought, I would let it die. But I don't think I have the constitution for it. Watching the stuff go crispy and brown would be worse than spending my days pulling a hose around like a midget firefighter in ten-year-old Calvin Klein shorts.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Yes, That Was Me. Quit Laughing.

If you happened to be tootling along in your car on McCann Road at around 6 pm tonight and had to slow down in order to avoid a woman with her nose inches off the ground and her feet making a valiant yet comical attempt to get back underneath her while pulling along two amused (yet sure they were going to get blamed for this somehow) collies, yes, that was me.

No, I don't know what catapulted me into flight-or-flat-on-the-asphalt mode.

Yes, I stopped and pretended to remove some random pinecone or whatnot from the bottom of my shoe in an attempt to look like I don't just lose control of my neuro-muscular system every now and then.

Yes, the dogs looked worried the rest of the way home. It was probably their fault.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Oh, and by the way,

If you like Hugh Laurie in House, you will see him in a completely different (and better written) light if you can find the DVD of the BBC TV series Blackadder, most especially Blackadder the Third. This picture is from Blackadder the Third, the season when he played Prince Regent George.

Now I've just given away two of the extra credit questions from below. Ah well. I'm just too easy on you.

Fun Game!

This past week, all my free time and energy has been taken up with the bottling and packing away of some barely controlled rage targeted at persons who really don't completely deserve it. Hormones may have played a part. Hard to gauge, really.

Lets move on.

Since my mind has not been percolating with super cool new and fun ideas, I will divert your attention to some old ideas that may bring a smile (if you, too, are of a certain age). Here's a game. Name the comic who made each of these catch phrases into household words:


  • I'm a wild and crazy guy!
  • or, for you late 70's aficionados: die, you gravy sucking pigs!
  • We shall now consume mass quantities
  • but noooooo....
  • Choppin' broccoli
  • Alllllrighty then
  • I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay
  • Laces out, Dan
  • Pinin' fer the fjords???
  • Disappointed!
  • (or) Don't call me stupid!
  • Luxury!
  • Newman!
  • Albatross! It's bleedin' albatross flavoured!
  • One meeeeellion dollars.
  • Obsess much?
  • This one goes to eleven.
  • None more black.
  • Incontheivable!
  • No kitty! Bad kitty!
  • I spit in your general direction.
  • Road trip!
  • It's a Cinderella story...
  • Thank you very little.
  • He's so hot right now.
  • It's not a toomah.

and for extra credit...

  • Normal view!
  • Thick as a whale omelet
  • or anything about "enormous trousers" or "floppily doppilies"
  • and finally...
  • Lord & Lady Douchebag

Thank you for playing.

Back later with some actual original thoughts. One hopes.