Friday, November 18, 2005


Things I'm thankful for tonight:


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Rack of Lamb

Last night was dinner party night (hooray!) with Jan, Althea, Mitch, one of Mitch's housemates, Tyler, and another friend of theirs, Kari. I made french bread and potato leek soup, which I transported in a large Ziplock bag, much to everybody's amusement. They had all been wondering how I was going to manage to bring a large quantity of soup all the way over there on the bus, and they were very impressed. :) My soup and bread were good, but completely overshadowed by Mitch's main course - rack of lamb with a fabulous red wine and mushroom sauce. How many 24-year-old men do you know that make rack of lamb for a dinner party of 24-year-olds? I decided not to mention the fact that I'm normally pretty much vegetarian. I mean, how many opportunities do I have to eat like that? It was good. Oh, yeah, and he had some really nice wine, too (from his 150-bottle wine cellar), and cheesecake for dessert (made with six - count them, six - blocks of cream cheese). :) We're aiming to make these dinner parties semi-regular events, which would be fabulous. They're fun people to hang out with, and it's nice to meet other people who like to cook, especially people my age!

Also out of last evening I may have found somebody to pass my apartment to when I have to move next quarter. Tyler is also a student at PSU (unlike everybody else at the dinner party, who graduated from Reed around the time I should have graduated from Stanford), and will be looking for a place to live in March, when Mitch leaves for a year of sailing around the world with his dad and they can no longer keep the house they're renting. Since I have a quarter to move out after I graduate, and since this apartment is such a good deal and so convenient that I'll probably stick around for as much of that quarter as I can, I will probably be moving out around the time Tyler will be looking to move in somewhere. So hopefully I can just pass my apartment on to him the way Paul passed it to me, and the way the previous resident passed it to Paul. I like the way we can work the system like that. :)

Current Magnetic Poetry:

two sparks fly
crazy to burn
to turn a flicker
into a blazing fire

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Awareness and Intention

Okay, it's time for me to slow down. I need to do things with a little bit more awareness and intention, and really pay attention to what's going on. Since the events of the past weekend obviously weren't enough to tip me off that something needed to change in my life, I locked my keys in my room on my way out to class this morning. I knew as soon as I shut the door that my keys were placidly lying right on the corner of my desk where I'd left them the night before, and decided right there that I needed to pay more attention. Not that locking myself out is a huge deal; all I had to do was go to the front desk of the Montgomery building and get an RA to come let me in. (Fortunately, the guy knew me and didn't request ID, since I do not currently own a valid piece of identification.) So I didn't panic or anything. I just acknowledged to the universe that I had not been living with as much awareness and awakeness as I should, and that I would attempt to do better. For a start, I'm going to open my mind to inspiration and see if I can easily finish (well, start, really) this paper outline that's due in an hour and a half.

Oh yeah, and my angel card this morning was "Surrender."

Monday, November 07, 2005


So, after that last glum and dreary post I get to tell you about the highlight of the weekend: my wallet was stolen from my backpack during the ball rehearsal. Yeah. Apparently (according to campus security) there's a guy who goes around campus stealing wallets, buying bus passes with the credit cards to sell downtown, and then trashing the wallets. So he came in and took my entire wallet just to buy one $66 bus pass and throw the whole thing away. Grrrrrr. And, of course, I didn't follow my instincts when I had an inkling something was wrong (my backpack was zipped differently than I normally zip it), so I didn't really start worrying about it until I was in bed trying to go to sleep after the Ball was over. So I got up and got on the phone, staying up till about 1:00 (which is far too late for me) calling my bank and my credit card company and sorting things out. I really was not entirely coherent, and had a very hard time remembering basic things like my social security number, but more because I was tired and already emotionally drained than because I was distraught about the wallet. I mean, I am distraught, but in a rather passive sort of way, if that's possible. I was just extremely glad that I had taken Paul's advice earlier this year and made a Word document with all of my card numbers, account numbers, and phone numbers to call for each if my wallet ever got stolen. He's a smart cookie.

I suppose that if this guy just disposes of wallets on campus or downtown somewhere, there's a chance it could be recovered, but I'm not holding out much hope. So it's on to replacing things like library cards, drivers license, and the very-nearly-full frequent buyer card for one of my favorite thrift stores. Unfortunately, there were a couple of photographs in the wallet which I am very sad to lose, but I have more. John was very sweet; he offered to take me down to Saturday Market yesterday (it's also open on Sundays) to look for a new wallet, but I didn't have time. I also don't know how I would go about selecting a new wallet. I mean, I've used Graham's old wallets for years now, and have had the last one for I don't know how long. (I was talking to Paul and likened that wallet to my desk - it's old and dilapidated and falling apart, but I've had it for so long that my life is organized in it, everything fits perfectly, I know exactly where everything is, and I can't imagine using any other.) Upon hearing my dilemma John said, "Well, it's settled then. I'm giving you my wallet." No amount of protest could change his mind, so it looks like I have a new wallet. Silly boy. But sweet.

In more uplifting news, two women from Iron Mountain Sword at the Ball independently asked me if I wanted to start rapper dancing with them. I can't do it for the rest of the quarter, because things are starting to get crazy, but I'm definitely thinking about it come January.... :)

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Tonight is the Porland English Country Ball, conveniently held in the Smith Memorial Student Union ballroom, which happens to be right across the Park Blocks from my apartment building. :) Jim is playing for the Ball, so he flew up yesterday and came to dinner (spicy pad thai, mmmmm....), then we went to the pre-ball English dance (not a rehearsal). There were a number of people there that I knew from either morris dancing or the Revels, and it was fun to see them again. It kind of made me sad in a way, though, to see how genuinely surprised everybody seemed to see me there. It was almost as if they had never expected to see me again, and possibly didn't really care if they didn't. Everybody seemed happy to see me, of course, but much more surprised - shocked, even - than I would have expected. I mean, it's not like I'm a regular English country dancer who hasn't shown up for a while - a lot of people just come for this once-a-year event. And I'm not in the Revels this year, so I don't naturally see those people (though they were less surprised than the morris folks to see me). It was like they thought I'd disappeared off the face of the earth and they never expected to see me again, so they'd given up on me. This despite the fact that I've been to see one of them several times at the library where she works, and sent two of them happy-birthday-how-are-you-let's-catch-up emails that were never returned. I don't know if there's some larger social phenomenon going on here (read: Hugo), or if they would have given me up for lost on their own.

This “reappearing act” was a strikingly different experience for me than what I normally encounter in the other dance situation in which I occasionally reappear from nowhere: namely, Stanford. In that case, I really did kind of disappear from the face of the earth (or at least, from the Stanford bubble) when I moved to Portland, and people didn’t expect to see me show up at dances. But when I do show up once or twice a year, people are genuinely thrilled to see me – they’re surprised, yes, but in a more pleased way. … Or something. I can’t quite put my finger on it. They don’t expect to see me because they know I live far away, so it’s a treat for me to show up (and no, I don’t think I’m massaging my ego here). Here, on the other hand, it’s feeling like everybody has moved away from me, even though I’ve been in Portland the whole time, and they don’t expect to see me because they’ve given up on our friendship. I’ve pretty much been shut out from a community I used to love, which is hard. I know that this is in large part my fault, because I pretty much did disappear from the whole morris social scene rather abruptly, though under circumstances in which I didn’t feel I had much choice. But it still feels weird. At the moment I feel like I’m trying to rebuild bridges, but that those on the other side of the river would rather stay there.

In any case this weekend is proving to be an interesting lesson in stepping back and letting things be the way they will be. In happy news, I’ve met several very nice people in the last two days at the dance and Ball workshop, and I am still determined to enjoy myself tonight. I don’t have to disappear forever just because people think I have.

Current Magnetic Poetry:

smile like a rose
prisoner of a beautiful morning
the scent
of a delicious sensual perfume
surrounding your heart
disappear into the sacred flower

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

An Unexpected Evening

When John knocked on my door around 6:00 this evening and asked if I was ready for some physical exercise, I thought he meant the run we'd planned for the evening. But instead he said, "Great. We're helping an old lady move." Apparently his friend Adam had called him up and asked if he could help out moving this woman in a desperate situation: the place she was living (he called it an old folks home, but it didn't really seem like it, and she wasn't really that old) was being torn down and turned into regular apartments. She was supposed to be out by October 30, but has been sick for the last week or so and was granted a few extra days, only to find out that the demolition crew is coming tomorrow to start tearing down the interior. So, Adam's parents asked if he would help her move (they live right around the corner from her), and he called, John, and John called me, and off we went.

It was quite an adventure. She really was not ready to move. Her living room was absolutely full of boxes, as were most of the rest of the rooms. Some things were going to storage, some to the new apartment. Hardly any of the boxes had tops, and if they did, they didn't close. The poor woman was really scattered and concerned about every last box, but I finally sort of took over upstairs and did some packing up of my own, running boxes down the stairs to the guys, who loaded them up. Of course, I ended up doing a lot of rearranging of their packing jobs in the cars and truck cab to make more efficient use of space. I think they were kind of impressed; I made room for three additional large boxes plus a whole bunch of clothes in the back of the truck after they said it was full. :P

As we were driving up to the new apartment, I said to Adam and John, "So, how much smaller do you think this space is going to be than her old place, and how much of this stuff do you think is not going to fit in it?" Adam took the first load up, and when I was passing him on the stairs he muttered, "You called it." Her entire apartment was already full! It was crazy. I don't know how she thinks she's going to get everything in there, because we left the old house pretty darn full as well. It's amazing how much more stuff you seem to have when you move. I know that one. :{ Anyway, we only made the one trip because she needed to spend a bunch more time packing before our time would really be useful, so Adam is going to go over and help her again in the morning. I hope she makes it!

After all that, we walked back over to Adam's house, where I met the rest of his family. John had assumed, and told me, that this woman was a friend of Adam's parents, but we found out afterwards that they didn't actually know her at all. She had just knocked on their door and said she had noticed that there were young men living in the house and asked if any of them would be willing to help her out. Wow. I'm so glad she asked for help. And I'm so glad we were able to be there; it really felt good to have a little community pull together to help her out. Though I must admit, the neighbor of a friend of a friend is probably the most random person I have ever helped to move. And I've helped a lot of people move. :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Not so Scary After All

I am officially done with midterms! Hooray! I spent basically the entire weekend studying for my human variability midterm and psyching myself up for how hard it was going to be. I only spent an hour or two yesterday afternoon on the material for my urban planning midterm, but that was alright. And the scary midterm turned out to be not so scary after all. Compared to how hard I thought it was going to be, I positively breezed through it! What really caught me by surprise, though, was that some of the questions (the multiple choice options) were actually funny! I guess I didn't know she had it in her not to be serious and hard-nosed. It was a pleasant surprise. My favorite question on the exam went something like this:

You meet a human-like being with short stature and large, furry feet with well-groomed nails. Reflecting on what you know of genetics and human variability, you conclude that:
a. This phenotype results from sexual selection for giving one's mate a good back scratch
b. This phenotype results from a breeding isolate
c. I must be in Middle Earth!
d. This phenotype results from selection for the ability to climb rough mountainous terrain in cold weather
e. Any of the above

She actually had to announce to the class that this question was a joke, and that we were supposed to answer (e). I think she was a little embarrassed. :P There were several other answer options for other questions on the test that made me chuckle, but that was the best one. And all in all, I think I did pretty well. I was amazed; I actually came out of that exam feeling energized rather than drained, because it was so much easier than I had expected. Yay!

There wasn't anything particularly interesting or exciting about my urban planning midterm, but I'm glad that one's over as well. And now, on to the next task at hand - a bibliography of at least 25 sources, 8 of which must be annotated, for my hunter-gatherer paper on curated technology. Fortunately, he's pushed the due date from Thursday to Tuesday, so I have a bit more time. Another yay! I like today. :)