A successful second year! I think, in the end, I prefer 6 am/6 am to noon/noon.
Because now I don't have to stay up until noon.
So here's that bit of film. Now, it's not going to be the most interesting thing in the world, so don't you go saying I got your expectations up unfairly. Nothing but the greatest respect and admiration for Mr. Mothersbaugh as I use his composition to class up my stupid leetle home movie.LoFi
(and I do mean low)HigherFi
Thanks to the few, the proud, the people who read along, and commented, and stopped to chat. You made the whole thing doable. Again.
Off to dream, perchance to sleep.
the final question
So would I move to Portland? Yes, in a heartbeat. It has a real autumn (with maple
trees! that turn actual colors!), there appear to be jobs for both of us, and it's not crispified three quarters of the year. It's bigger than Sacramento, and so offers more, without being overwhelming like San Francisco. You don't have to drive through three hours of traffic to reach the ocean, and rents are about three hundred dollars cheaper. There's no imminent tripling of the auto registration fees, no sales tax, and no Davis and futile recall battle.
In other words, it's the city that we'd hoped Sacramento was three years ago, only better.
Diary - Wed 7:03 pm
Not far now. Stopped at the Olive Pit
for dinner (I was going to try to make it to the coveted Granzella's
, but didn't think I'd have enough gas). It was pretty tacky dining, but I got to pile as many onions on my veggie burger as I wanted, and the place was stuffed with olives of every imaginable kind. Not to mention olive oils, dishes, jams and jellies, and other gourmet-type stuff.
The radio is filled with news of the Davis recall election. I think itâ€™s just a money-waster at this point, but Iâ€™ll still vote him out now that I have the chance, I guess.
Will be glad to be home. Lots of nasty drivers on the road today. An SUV full of blond boy brats tried to play with D., but backed off when he pulled out the cell phone and made as if to dial.
I've finally reached that pivotal time of the morning when I worry less about falling asleep before six than I do about getting to sleep after six. Usually happens around two or three.
Finally lost D. He almost made it. Maybe next year.
Turns out recorded eps of MST3K are a good way to stay awake. Laughing = adrenalin. Or something.
D. is still awake. I don't think he's ever been up this late in all the time I've known him. Seriously.
Two more pics, one last diary entry, and then the, erm, "film." That's it!
Diary - Wed 11:48 am
On the road again. I admit to a little pouting over my breakfast omelet because of not wanting to leave or return to the searing heat (and now wildfires, apparently).
Driving along, it occurred to me that the Oregon pioneers were so exhausted by the time they settled here that they just couldn't bring themselves to conjure up new place names, and reused names from their former states (Portland, Milwaukie, Salem...).
Every now and again you'll see next to roadside fields a little sign that tells what crop is growing there. Informative and time-passing.
Favorite. Zoopic. Ever.
Malayan Sun Bear
The smallest of the bears
Okay, it's possible I may have overdone the caffeine. Nausea and headache have both settled in. Five hours, won't wuss out now. May wander off to read for a bit; I'm sure the screen isn't helping the headache.
The night is lovely, and I would spend some of it out on the patio with the laptop. If I weren't so afraid that one of those giant spiders living on the ceiling would web its way down to me.
Yes, away from the screen.
Diary - Tue 11:02 pm
Drove down I-5 for some putt-putt at a place called Bullwinkleâ€™s
. I won by two strokes, which, as you probably know by now defies all natural law. And of course we had to try out the air hockey in the double-level arcade (1 to 1).
D. was overjoyed to see the orange spire of Fryâ€™s
poking up from the treeline across the drive. "We can
Again, with Feeling
I felt sort of honored that he hung out with us as long as he did.
The wolves wouldn't show themselves until that loud group of children went away.
Smart animals, wolves are.
perhaps I should pass on the orange pixy stix
I was able to live in Milwaukee carless quite easily. It seems as though Portland is even more public transit-oriented. How happy would I be to ditch all automotive responsibility? Oh yeah.
Guess I probably won't
be doing the 'thon next year, after all. I honestly had no idea this was the official policy. It takes me so long to write an entry - decent or not - that I'd never be able to leave this chair. They'd have to catheterize me and install a caffeine drip. I'd sit here, glassy-eyed, not moving, not chatting, not surfing. Just frantically typing and re-typing.
Either that or you'd be reading baboon jargon.
I'm not at all tired. A little bit hyper (and a little bit rock 'n roll). Maybe a bit bored. Sorry. But these
super-talented folks and their legions of ardent followers are having fun, you should check them out. Shoo, now! And don't come back until you've been down with the mp3, dig?
Diary - Tue 4:51 pm
to the Zoo
. The underground tunnel
at Washington Park
is amazing â€“ my ears actually popped on our rapid elevator ride through three hundred some feet of solid basalt.
Zoo was a zoo. Many, many childrenâ€™s day camps. All your typical animals, though the Lorikeet Landing
was an interesting twist. I wish we could have explored more of the park, especially the gardens, but D. was in pain and even I was groggy from a nice sunburn on my chest.
Decided to ride MAX out to Central Beaverton
. I wanted to ride out to Hillsboro
, too, but it seemed too far. But turns out there is nothing in Central Beaverton. Central Beaverton is a depressing strip of old shops and no trees. So we rode back to town for some Quiznoâ€™s and a nap.
The Oregon Zoo has a Lorikeet Aviary
, where you can feed and hold the birds. Lovely charming little chirpers.
If you've been around awhile, you knew there were animal pics coming. That's our MO. A few more where this one came from...
We can't leave Internet behind on our trips anymore. D. has paying donators
to coddle, after all, and I just like to have it around for the roombound bits. And of course we need the laptop to download photos from the camera anyhow (until I get my hands on some more storage cards, at least).
It really is amazing what five years of broadband can do to your dialup patience. Boy howdy.
Don't know that I want to attempt this again next year without some sort of mobile internet device. I'm getting antsy.
Diary - Tue 7:55 am
Thereâ€™s no food after ten in SE Downtown! At least on weekdays. Our search brought us again to the riverside, where AGFA
was showing â€œWizard of Ozâ€� on the green. Neat. Reminds me very much of a similar screening among the skyscrapers of Milwaukee.
Was awoken this morning by a man yelling something completely unintelligible over and over again down on Clay. The occupant of the next room yelled â€œShut the f*** up!!!â€� And that was the end of that, though too late for me to sleep again. At least weâ€™ll make it to breakfast downstairs on time this morning.
relative but unrelated
My sister has a thing for Orlando Bloom. Mostly as Legolas. It's always gush, gush, gush for the pointy ears and tights. And you can be sure the last of LotR will bring a new geyser to the fore.
I prefer Aragorn, but who am I to judge? Last week I sent him
right to her door, as an early Christmas present.
She likes him in her bedroom. Where the kitties
reportedly like him on the floor.
This is the view from across the Williamette behind OMSI.
I was pronouncing it WILL-ahm-ett, but I heard it as Wy-AHM-ett on the news in Portland. Or something like that. Any native ruling on this? Anyone?
The foods and drinks that I'm depending on get me through the night:
Diet Vanilla Coke
Snack Sized Microwave Popcorn
But what's ten hours? Nahthink, dahling.
Like any good city, Portland has successfully mixed architectural elements old and new. Both make me happy.
oh well, next time
Things I most wish we'd had another day for:The GrottoJapanese GardenWorld Forestry CenterColumbia River Gorge
Diary - Mon 9:01 pm
Today was pretty much a wash, aside from a bit of scouting to the south and east of town. Which gave me the chance to play an ulcerous game of impromptu navigator, in which I gnaw my nails to nubs while frantically studying the map and praying that my decisions are good ones before driver vs. backseat driver makes a really crappy day. But thatâ€™s probably just my inner starving person talking. Need food.Lake Oswego
was the most appealing spot weâ€™ve seen. And some of the apartment communities weâ€™ve seen advertised there are very woodsy and priced unbelievably well (compared to this $1000 bull in Sacramento, at least).
And T3 was better than all the negative hype. Not by much, but it was.
More fun at Toy Bliss! This is, oddly enough, the only pic you're going to see of me.
As seen at Toy Bliss
, hidden way back behind the G.I. Joes! Squee!
I'm making a film of video clips and photos for the Big Finale. Don't expect too much, but I'm having fun. Windows Movie Maker
is awesome. I have absolutely no experience with film editing, but WMM makes it fairly intuitive and quick.
Hard to believe we're almost halfway there. It's really gone by in a flash.
Diary - Mon 1:55 pm
Yesterday afternoon we did take out the car and drove across the river to OMSI
. Lots of fun hands-on exhibits. The human development room featured waxy, alienesque fetuses (just like Chicago
). Decided to forego the Planetarium and IMAX.
Itâ€™s been in the low 90â€™s, which was disappointing, but Iâ€™m not going to complain too much when I know itâ€™s hovering around 110 in Sacramento.
I truly had no idea that Graves was responsible for the Portland Building
North Park Bronze Elephants
In a little park across the street from Powell's Technical. More here
. There are little parks everywhere!
pump service continued
I realize now that ADA advocates take issue with giving this law the axe. But areas that Iâ€™ve lived in have plenty of stations that offer full service as an option. Thereâ€™s even one I can think of in my Michigan hometown that offers nothing but
I know this isnâ€™t the huge issue Iâ€™m making of it here. But itâ€™s just so difficult to understand how something Iâ€™ve been doing myself quite successfully for years, with no idea that things could be otherwise, will probably no longer be an option that Iâ€™ll be able to decide upon.
Not that I'd be doing much driving if I lived in Portland.
Diary - Mon 9:37 am
There is NO SELF-SERVE GAS IN OREGON. New Jersey and Oregon, brothers forever in the most idiotic law in the world. I could probably get used to it quickly enough, but Iâ€™m not sure about D., who railed and railed.
I read online that the original legislation was drafted in 1951 to prevent the unemployment of thousands of pump jockeys. The gas companies and station owners have apparently been lobbying to get it thrown out, but, stubbornly, it sticks. Maybe because of the motor clubs and safety groups that lobby to keep it. Donâ€™t know. There are apparently folks who enjoy this service, and handing their credit card over to leave their immediate sight. Gah.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Does anyone else find that such protracted stints in front of the computer make you eat more? I had a mini-lunch a bit back, but I found myself grumbling again, so I'm eating a veggie pocket on the living room floor with the wireless (nice to stretch for a moment while I type this). The smaller screen isn't the best for all the windows I've got open, but I may watch some TV with it for awhile, anyhow.
Night View from Our Room
Even with our fancy Canon's night view setting, I still can't get a decent night picture to save my soul. I should've brought the mini-tripod along, that may have helped.
Powell's would be kind of an interesting place to work, at least. All of the information desk clerks had settled in for a good read. I could easily get used to that life, for a bit.
As a customer, used book stores in general never fail to disappoint me post-Amazon. Why pay that price for a used book when I can get it new and easily for a couple bucks more? And now that I've been able to get to the public library again, they seem even more superfluous.
I've just been chatting about this with Paula
. Book owner sentimentality is definitely on the lag, for very practical reasons - space, money, and moving. When we visited Powell's, there was a crowd lined up with piles of books, waiting to sell them to the store. I told D. we should've brought our own piles! Not something you would've heard me utter a few years ago.
Diary - Sun 1:06 pm
Mmm, pecan pancakes with boysenberry syrup and whipped butter downstairs at the Grill. It's terribly convenient, even if it does put the "ho" in hostess and the "wait" in waitress (not nice but true, and I'm extremely tolerant, so that's saying something).
Then off to Powell's
. After I found a used hardcover copy of "Golden Compass" for a completely unjustifiable forty bucks, it was difficult to take the place seriously, humongous or not. Picked out a handful of postcards and walked up the street to Powell's Technical
, where I was hoping they'd have my Illustrator course books used, but no such luck.
Checked out Pioneer Place
mall on the way back to the hotel. We found the best little toy store
there, with lots of old-timey games and Futurama paraphernalia.
Strange thing happened when we made to leave. I began to step on the escalator down from the fourth level... and I couldn't. My acrophobia paired with a strange shake in the floor wouldn't let me move my feet. It was the first time something like that's happened to me. Luckily there weren't many people around, and there was an elevator right across the hall for a quick getaway.
View from Our Room
There was plenty of traffic and action below on Clay. Some of it loud and late, like skaters, or loud and early, like yodeling madmen. Definitely not boring.
now that I've eaten lunch
Two gross things happened while we were gone.
All the fish in our tank died, their remains covered in a centimeter of white fuzz. Their vacation tablet had succumbed to the same fate, which may be what killed them. In all the years I've had tanks and left tablets, this has never happened. Disturbing and sad.
There were yellow fungus fingers growing atop the soil of one of our houseplants. Another first. It makes me wonder what variety of spores we have floating around our apartment.
Salmon Street Fountain
It was warm enough that jumping in sounded like an excellent idea. One of those rare moments when I truly envy children their youth.
cheap and cheaperThis
is the reader we ended up getting, quick and painless as an external drive. Well-spent twenty bucks.
When my family used to tour the Upper Peninsula over summers, we didnâ€™t have a lot of disposable cash, being a one-income blue collar family. So we stayed in the cheapest motels we could find, and had that much more to spend on attractions.
This philosophy sticks. Weâ€™re saving for a house, so why spend upwards of $100 for one nightâ€™s rent if we donâ€™t have to? True, itâ€™d be nice to stay in a bit of glamour now and again, but a plain room certainly doesnâ€™t make or break a trip. Weâ€™re definitely not hotel snobs.
benefactors and mentors
I'd like to take this quiet moment to thank my gracious sponsors to the right over there. They're all terribly smart and nice (really!) and you should go visit them.
Special thanks to Darin, who pushed the orange button at 9:30 for me while I took a nice cold shower. And taught me nearly everything I know about things web, knowledge without which I probably wouldn't be here today. I really hadn't a clue in 1997, aside from that teeny bit of Pascal that was my B.S. language requirement.
Diary - Sun 6:30 am
Ow! Rock hard bed! And one teensy little pillow. Stupid, when I always tell myself that if weâ€™re driving, thereâ€™s no good reason not to bring my own giant hypoallergenic pillow, but again I forget it. Gah, bargain hotels
. Slept surprisingly well for all that, anyhow.
Now Iâ€™m trying to download yesterdayâ€™s media from the Canon while D. sleeps, but the stupid laptop doesnâ€™t want to play nice. Might just be time for that USB card reader, after all.
jiggy with the PhotoshopAlhena
is making a digital quilt of pieces that 'thonners have been given to color. I sent my piece in; can't wait to see the results tomorrow.
It's our pet name for objects as this. I enjoy public art as much as the next guy. And Portland is chock-full of wonderful statues, mobiles, and murals. It's like a big outdoor museum. But sometimes... well, really.
How could I resist this one? Monarch McGriddle's looking none too enthused, though.
of cabbages and kings
There were so very many homeless folks in downtown Portland. I thought we had tons in Sacramento because the warmth and dryness would make it possible to be outside for most of the year. But there are more in Portland.
And they generally seemed more aggressive about asking for money. I'm no slouch when it comes to parting with my cash for those in need. I like to do it, and it's good preparation for the Libertarian takeover of America when taxes will be abolished and all sources of aid are privatized (dream on). But I give it directly to the shelters and agencies. Being asked on the street makes me very uncomfortable. Whatever kind of person that makes me.
Being a girl doesn't help matters. In Vegas, if I got antsy in the hotel room and D. didn't feel like playing, I could safely wander the indoor city by myself. Not so easy in your typical urban downtown. There were a couple times after dark that I wished myself able to transmogrify into a big, burly man so I could go exploring without getting the heebies. Or mugged.
Diary - Sat 10:28 pm
Arrived in Portland by 5:30 â€“ better time than I expected! Even with very specific directions to the hotel, we managed not to follow them per usual. Luckily downtown is very navigable and logical, so not a big deal this time.
We walked around a bit. The temps were high but not quite what weâ€™d left behind, so being outside was doable. As we passed an interesting Peruvian restaurant, one of my favorite walking sandals finally gave out; the leather heel strap popped right out of the footbed. Ross was only two blocks behind us, so I limped there to find a serviceable replacement.
The banks of the Williamette River
were cool and breezy. We had no idea it would be so much larger than either the Sacramento or American Rivers. Too bad we wonâ€™t be checking out the Columbia River Gorge this trip, but thereâ€™s plenty to cram into three days as it is.
D. needed a watch battery, so we ducked into a Rite Aid. As we were entering we were accosted by a guy who wanted money to â€œbuy a radio.â€� He got a little pissy when we refused, muttering with some venom even as the store doors closed behind us. Small damper on an otherwise positive day.
Nope, I have no idea what this unassuming little guy at the foot of Shasta is named. But it looked neat so we shot it.
I sponsored a few folks, I did. For various reasons - I wanted to support their charity, their gimmick looked neat, they really needed a sponsor. Or just plain blog nepotism ;-) In any case, I'll be watching, and you can check them out too:Style With Substance
- Global Fund For WomenShaghaghi.net
- AvertPet Rock Stars
- Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation Something
- Amnesty International The Yellow Darts
- Modest Needs Stupid Evil Bastard
- Association for International Cancer Research
I've still got a bit of dough allocated for sponsoring, so woo/wow me and I may just toss it your way :-)
So strange to see such a beauty popping up out of relative nothing. D. of course thought immediately of this
baby you can drive my car
I drove to Lake Shasta before my nerves gave out. I'm not much the driver in any case, but those sharp turns and 6% inclines in the passes really leave me scrambling not to panic.
D. says he gets motion sickness if he's not driving, but I think he just doesn't much trust me with his car. Which, aside from the fact that I think I'm a pretty decent highway driver, is not a big problem for me since I don't like doing it all that much when there's semi traffic, which there absolutely was on Saturday.
My driving CD (a tradition now) was mostly thumpy dance pop. I was just in that kind of mood when I burned it, I guess. Don't know how much I'll actually listen to it now.
Diary - Sat 3:11 pm
We're just now entering Roseburg
, so a couple hours away from Portland. Very uneventful trip so far; the most excitement has been seeing Mount Shasta
. Though the sudden appearance of the rocky crags towering over southbound I-5 was more dramatic because it wasn't expected. We stopped at a "vista point" to get a pic of Shasta, but the view was so poorly placed that D. had to stand on a guardrail post to catch it above the trees.
We just stopped for late lunch and gas. Weren't allowed to pump the gas ourselves; apparently only blue-shirted high school students can handle that responsibility here. Fervently hoping that's not a statewide standard.
D. has been ribbing me from mile one about my inability to adore the McGriddles
sandwich. Even though I continue to explain that I can't do salty and sweet simultaneously. Must find something equally irritating to counter with. Yes, we are just that mature.
more preliminary babble
Portland. We've been drooling over it for months, egged on by the encroaching Sacramento summer. As it turns out, we're just little heat wussies after all. So where to go from here? We like living near the West Coast. SF and Seattle are too big. Nothing south was remotely appealing. So Portland.
This week we made our first trip. I had the whole thing worked up to such a fever pitch in my mind that I'm afraid I was nearly expecting some kind of semi-urban utopia. Which of course, it being a city in the Real World, is not. But it's close enough.
How this is going down: every couple hours I'll pop up a travel diary entry, padded out with my photos and observations/commentary/afterthoughts. You can chat with me on AIM @ Jen Pelky, though I've still got a lot of diary typing to do (not having done all my homework), so I'll probably be in and out.
And now off to brew that big pot of coffee. If I'd been thinking ahead, I would've set it up last night to start just before I got up.
and they're... zzzzz
Even though I went to bed fairly early last night, I'm a zombie right now. Getting up early to stay up 24 hours might just be what does me in in the end! Guess I'm really not 21 anymore. Sigh.
Anyhoo. Welcome to my really long Portland travelogue. A few pics, my travel diary, lots of dreaming.
Just set up the webcam down there in the corner, so now, at least temporarily, you can look at my unshowered mop. I promise I'll be squeaky clean on-air tomorrow.
And so begins the diary data entry, photo-editing, snack shopping, and last-minute tweaking.
Yeah, I changed my gimmick. See here
Thanks to all my sponsors to date! This is gonna be smashing, I can tell. Darin has even said that he may try to stay up with me this year.
There will be a cam again this round. I don't promise to look nice after 24 hours, so don't say you weren't warned.
Since we'll be returning from Portland a few days before the 'thon, I'll be saving up a bunch of travel diary entries and photos for that. Voila! Instant and not-entirely-boring content.
It's been more difficult to come up with 24 young adult books that:
a) I can write about with authority (recall main characters, plot, etc.)
b) everyone and his brother hasn't already read (you won't find Harry Potter among my reviews, for instance)
c) are varied enough (as I tend to lean to historical and fantasy fiction more than not)
I don't read mysteries at all, but Darin has agreed to do a guest report on the Three Investigators
series. If you'd like to write a guest report on other books of that genre or adventure titles that have been important to you, let me know. I could sure use the help!
This is where I'll be, 7/26/03 6 am 'til 7/27/03 6 am (times Pacific), blogging for Book Aid
. See you then!