Friday, May 30, 2008

Hooky Friday

We rode our bikes through the Tualatin Nature Park today and stopped on a sunny bench for lunch. We were almost attacked by a squirrel and nearly run over by a man on a Segway.

Also, the laptop LIVES! Old Town Computers reinstalled our operating system and wiped 'er clean. Lost 3 months of data (mostly photos), but I am re-practicing my Buddhist impermanence tolerance on that one.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Useful information

from Doug Fine's blog;
one of the
blogs in my feed reader

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's all about timing

Keith and I have many little scripts we run through in our everyday conversations---snippets of movies, TV shows, websites—phrases we both understand even though nothing’s really been said at all. We’re both just autistic enough that it usually works and we don’t really have to communicate, we just pretend. Another reason I could never be married to someone else. Our combined repertoire of in-jokes is too substantial to transfer to another relationship.


Person 1 says: What’s the most important part of comedy?

And Person 2 interrupts with: Timing.

I think that was on The Aristocrats.

More recently we’ve been recycling George’s Thoroughgood’s One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer: "But I'm tired, I've been walkin' all day.” When I got home Tuesday night, Keith told me he got a divorce from the warehouse-- a pink slip and 2 weeks’ severance pay. Here’s hoping we don’t make it to the next verse: “Now next Friday come I didn't have the rent, And out the door I went.”

Unfortunately our landlord/apt. manager was not sympathetic to our situation and assured us that getting out of the lease early was not happening. Good try. So we’re still paying through mid-July and now only one of is employed and that one tenuously at best (a story for a different time perhaps, but it has to do with my undying paranoia of getting fired, I'm going to suggest I get diagnosed with Imposter Syndrome).

I’m still waiting on the Krauts* to pay me for a photo I sold them for a coffee table book about Mercedes. 100 Euros for lifetime permission to reproduce my photo. While I need the money and I’m gladly taking the money if it ever shows up in my bank account, I am also saying that $155 give-or-take is not really a fair amount to pay someone if you plan on selling their photo forEVER. But every little bit helps the ol’ bank account.

*I use “Kraut” in the The Big Lebowski vernacular-connotation, not in a derogatory sense for all of your Germans reading this. See: using snippets of movies to communicate.

Meanwhile my visits to my shrink are one of the non-essentials that will be sacrificed in this time of economic uncertainty. Also, I was thinking that for $200+/month I could be getting some pretty sweet ink. Not to say my doc isn’t worth it, but tattoos as therapy is an idea I’d like to explore. At least with a tattoo you have something concrete to show for it, externally, and not just a sense of being able to cope better in the world (important, but harder to display). What if you could get a tattoo and therapy at the same time?? I’m bringing this up to my doc on my next (and maybe last) visit. Maybe he’s interested in a dual career.

In other Things-I-Can’t-Control News: the laptop, elle est morte. Dead. Xs for eyes and all that. Like this toy raccoon. We got the Blue Screen of Death last week. Multiple re-rebootings, chants, incense burning rituals, and sacrifices did not help. I made a backup CD of Windows XP to try to reboot from the CD-drive with the hope it would be restored, magically. Nope. We’d finally gotten smart enough to buy an external hard drive so most of the pictures and music and random files were saved, but we lost everything from the past couple months. Depressing. Not as depressing as when IT DID THE EXACT SAME THING a couple years ago and we lost most of our Mexico photos. But still, not happy.

Overall, it’s been a strange week for Team Blankenship. But morale remains fairly steady due to the love of our 2 therapy dogs (pictured below) (with an increasingly voracious appetite for couch cushions, which does not help their standing in the pack I might add), various medications, and the blind optimism of knowing that in a few short months we’ll be in a place where this will seem trivial. It’s just dealing with it NOW that sucks. Mom and dad are thinking (Keith, too) that it might be most economical to leave here after I'm out of school even though we have to pay through July. So that's the consensus, but I want to see pencil to paper before I make any concrete commitments.

Next weekend the woman who fostered Mia before we adopted her is meeting us to take a family picture... She's going back to New Orleans to volunteer @ ARNO and she wants to take them a photo of us to show them Mia's new life.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Getting our ducks in a row

hardy har har

These are the ducks that live by the creek at my work. They spend most of their time in the yellow circled areas, which is just over the bank from our parking lot. Mostly swamp with some litter thrown in. How else would you know humans had been here?

I go watch them when I feel sorry for myself, working in a cubicle under florescent lighting staring at Excel sheets. The life I imagine for ducks is pretty romantic. I'm sure it's not at all like that and they have their own set of problems, one of them being living so g.d. close to all this concrete and asphalt. But they have wings, so I figure they can escape if/when it gets too bad. There are geese with goslings now, too. This is the first picture I got of them...

Oh yeah, getting our ducks in a row. Well, our lease runs through mid-July so that's the time we're eyeballing as Drop Out Day (even though there's no specific day just yet). Just a couple of months away and there's a lot to do.

Keith ordered Bob Flowerdew's Organic Bible and said he stopped highlighting once he realized he was highlighting everything. Mom and Dad said they'd plant a garden for us this year and we'll be there in plenty of time to harvest and can/freeze/eat everything. I've been doing what I do best: internet research. Compiling a list of bookmarks longer than my arm on ideas/inspiration for our new life.

The last weekend in April the weather was fantastically sunny and warm so we took our bikes on the MAX to the Zoo stop and then rode down the hill, probably around 4 miles total. See: Google Maps as visual aid.

If you ride this route fast and on a very tiny bike, it's called Zoobombing. Unfortunately I was scarred at a young age, physically and psychically, by a bike wreck that involved a gravel road, my sister, and a banana seat bike. Therefore: I go slow. Keith zooms a little despite his crashing last year. But anyway, we stopped several times along the way, charging our Vitamin D reserves. (Yes, Mom, I wear sunscreen!)

@ the archery range
on our left, your right

trust me

don't let those orange-ish leaves fool you
it really is spring
see the grass is nice and lush

almost home
stopped at the park

in the shade

We get down on living in the city, on the pavement and asphalt, and with all of the noise. But, in reality, we live very close to some nature. Sure, that nature is usually being enjoyed by others, but we can find quiet places to chill out when we need to. I think this will be KEY to staying sane over the next couple of months.

And of course the dogs are enjoying getting out more as well. When it's so sunny and warm out that we're climbing the walls, there's no way we can leave the dogs inside (not without a crapload of guilt anyway). They LOVE LOVE LOVE being outside, which makes me even happier to think about their lives once we Drop Out.

Mia needs to rest on the cool concrete
on the way home from a walk