Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nerd Girlfriend Entry #11: Mrs. King (of Scarecrow & Mrs. King)

It was really hard finding a picture of just Mrs. King. Man, Mrs. King can't keep her hands off of Scarecrow:

The vegetables seem so random in this one, sort of like they tried to bring a little dutch northern Renaissance still life into the picture, or hint at the masculinity of Scarecrow while simultaneously reminding us of Mrs. King's domestic nature:

I have no idea what she's holding in this picture. So I'll just leave it alone.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Man, I've been feeling so lucky lately I should buy a lottery ticket! I remind myself of the things I'm thankful for almost daily, usually as I'm waking up and thinking about how nice and comfortable my bed is and that it's in this really safe, good house; then I think about all the other things I'm fortunate for. . . I have amazing friends, all of them kind and smart and funny; I can't believe how amazing they are. I have a great Dad. He's also one of the kindest, smartest, funniest people I know and we are having the best time hanging out together this week! So nice to have finally grown out of that young-adult-frustrated-with-your-parents stage where you butt heads and stuff. We really understand each other and get along so well and he's such a unique person that I feel so lucky to know him and have been raised by him. He really sacrificed a lot to raise me all by himself, plus he can design/build/fix anything on the planet!

And the rest of my family's pretty great too! (with a few exceptions, hehe)

Other things on my list are:

*Bicycle, and Portland's Bicycling culture
*Gainful Employment!
*Baking (especially Tassajara Bread)
*Cat, she's funny and doesn't pee on stuff
*Large computer monitor
*My new storm door
*Books, libraries, librarians
*Social workers
*Music and karaoke
*Carl Sagan
*Homegrown produce
*Winter Squash
*Hand embroidered wool slippers from Poland
*Fancy underwear on sale at Marshall's
*Iced green tea
*SAS shoes
*Flannel sheets

I could go on for a while longer, but I have a pie to bake!

Hope you're all having a great Thanksgiving! I'm also thankful that all of you seem so happy and safe and well this year too!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Great Helicopters of the 80's

Red Dawn:

Magnum P.I:


Of Course there was Airwolf:

There were also lots of helicopters on Simon and Simon, the A-team, Heart to Heart, Charlies Angels, Miami Vice. . .the list goes on and on, in fact, I think you'd be hard pressed to find an 80's tv show that DIDN'T have gratuitous use of helicopters. I, for one, miss excessive helicopter use on TV, maybe I'd watch more TV if there were more helicopters. . .

Sunday, November 1, 2009


also, I bought a whole cookbook dedicated to squash. my cookbook collection is getting out of hand.

Jeez, look at that Moon!

The Moon looks really lovely tonight. I had a great time riding my bike back from the grocery store, and I thought, "Man, when I get home, I need to write a blog entry about how much I like riding my bike this time of year." Then the thought struck me that I've written blog entries like this about the spring, summer nights, Christmastime (I like riding around and taking pictures of Christmas lights with my old cameras) and like, as recently as the beginning of September (some cultures view the end of summer/beginning of fall as it's own fifth season!). So I started thinking, is there a time of year that I'm not totally stoked for bike riding? And the answer is "yes", the period of time between when people take down their christmas lights and when the first flowers of spring come up; so like most of January, February, and Some of March, and yeah, dark, cold, rainy nights suck pretty much year round, but right now is pretty awesome! The moon is out, the leaves are full-on gold and orange and yellow and people are making themselves ready for the long nights home with soup and flannel.

Also, someday I'm gonna have to own one of these bikes:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Borders

Heard the best quote today on 'The World in Words' podcast:

"Languages are just dialects with an army and a navy"

Also, I think it was John Lennon's birthday last weekend. Dudes, take a moment and imagine peace!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

80's Sophisticated Work Dramas

So I've made up this genre of movies for myself that I call "The 80's New York Financial Drama". Like Oliver Stone's "Wall Street" and "Working Girl" and. . . well those are the only two movies I can think of or have seen, but I know there are more out there! So I'm posting this blog as a plea for suggestions for more films that fit this description. I'm also willing to include "80's New York Legal Dramas", or "80's Los Angeles Real Estate Development Dramas". . . or basically any combination therein, and basically an 80's movie with power-brokering and fine tailored suits, with deals done on racket ball courts or in mahogany paneled locker-rooms, and only two types of women; cold, hard, sophisticated ones who stay up late at night studying to be better than the boys because she has to be (Melanie Griffith Johnson Bauer Johnson Banderas), and sexy, floaty, arty ones who deep down are really just as hard and heartless and gold-digging as their male counter-parts (ahem, Daryl Hannah).

(note, this does NOT include 80's Political Dramas from any locale)

Please, if you know of some good ones, drop me a line!

Crap! How'd it get to be 3:00 a.m.???!!! I promise, this blog is not influenced by the late hour, it's something I've been thinking about for a little while now. So really, only fault the shoddy writing on the late hour, not the idea itself.

Hope you're all having good Friday/Saturday nights!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

If You're Crazy in a Forest; Are You Really Crazy?

So last night was "French Movie Night". My friend Megan and I noshed on brie and strawberry jam on crackers, had an amazing salad nicoise and finished up with some pastry and ice cream. The movie we watched was "Ma Mere" (there's an accent in there, but I don't know how to add one), which was based on a book by George Bataille. If you know anything about George Bataille, you'll know that he writes about really perverse and messed up stuff. And this movie was an intense and perverse journey through, uh, I-don't-know-what, but a whole group of people were participating in it, not just one crazy individual. Now, when it comes to commenting on George Bataille and his writings, honestly, I'm just speechless; but today as I was sitting on some stairs, eating my sandwich for lunch, I was struck with this idea that I think was facilitated by watching a very decidedly 'fucked up movie', and that idea is this: Maybe madness is merely a matter of relativity or subjectivity.

I mean, is it just a matter of sameness? Whether or not our behaviors align with what our culture deems 'normal' or not?

What if we discovered an island where everyone there hallucinated all the time. To each other that'd be normal; to us they'd be crazy.

Or what if there was a person living all alone in a forest, crazy as a loon, doing all manner of weird things, totally talking to invisible entities, etc. but no one else was there to judge this person and label him 'crazy'? Is someone mad if no one is there to tell them they are so?

Just what I was thinking about for a little bit at lunch; the relativity of insanity, yep, that's it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Go Go's

What's not to love? This music video is amazing.

EMI won't let me embed this one, but I had to at least post the link... almost makes me want to move back to L.A. to cruise around Hollywood in a junky convertable:

Our Lips Are Sealed

Nerd Girlfriend Entry #7: Paula Poundstone

Erin, I have to be honest. This one was kinda tough. I'm not that familiar with Paul Poundstone and this was the only picture I could find that I liked...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nighttime Bike Ride!

Have I written an ode to nighttime bike riding yet? Right now is the perfect time! Not too hot, not too cold, you can smell jasmine and roses and tomatoes and bbq and whatever else is happening in the neighborhood. In fact, I feel like there's been a few times this month where I've smelled something interesting first, then turned a corner and found a block party or a market, or an ice cream truck. . .

There are tons of people out riding their bikes right now in the dark. They are all kinda trying to check each other out, but the light isn't so good on side streets, so it's harder to not be obvious about it.

It's also sort of fun to look into the houses of people who don't close their curtains. You get a random glimpse of some one at a computer in a home office, or watching TV, having a dinner party, or a fight. It's so different than biking around in the day. In the daytime the houses are quiet entities unto themselves, at night it's about the people in the houses.

But despite this, it's much quieter. There are less cars, less stereos blaring, less people running around on the sidewalk. And you are more aware of the air around you and the sound it makes going past your ears; and that's probably my favorite part. . .

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Tonight I feel so grateful and happy for so many things. I'm so excited to climb into my soft bed, get between the soft, satiny bamboo sheets and put my head on my pillow, then curl up into a ball and breathe deep.

Good night. . .

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

I just finished reading 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' by Marukami and my head is still reeling from the experience. For me, I think the central theme of the book was how to move from a place of numb indifference to that of real feeling and all the trade-offs associated with that, like a more conscious awareness of your own mortality, pain, etc. . . If you look at how the main character, Mr. Okata (I don't even remember his first name, I think it only gets mentioned once or twice. In fact you barely know anything about him at all, he seems to be merely the emptiest of proxies for the reader) starts off with a sort of simple, natural but dispassionate relationship with his wife, Kumiko, where rather than arguing with her, he checks the calendar and calmly calculates when her period is due and acts accordingly and correctly. . . and then contrast that with his relationship with May Kasahara, who is constantly questioning the unpredictability of life, is an unpredictable character herself, and who actually tries and succeeds at eliciting extreme and real emotions and feelings. You go from really hating her when she covers the well and traps Mr. Okata down there, to totally adoring her through her letters from the wig factory. In fact, it's May Kasahara I think about the most when I reflect on the book.

I loved her letter in which she describes putting rice pudding mix in the microwave and getting macaroni gratin instead when the bell rings. That life is sometimes really like that. That things don't have to make sense and can be ever-changing and why not accept that state of reality as more normal than getting rice pudding in return every time. This part of the book blew my mind a little because I've been having so many thoughts along the same lines recently. Like I really wouldn't be surprised at all to get macaroni gratin; and every once in awhile I find myself in a place/situation/state of being that isn't the usual derivative of the person I consider myself to be, or the decisions I usually make, but I find comfort in it. I tend to find myself thinking, "thank goodness the universe is still a surprise." Even if maybe it's not the most positive place/situation/state of being, I'd rather have some of those highs and lows, and an ever changing, multi-dimensional way of looking at my life instead of one ruled by absolutes and formulaic outcomes. . . right?

At this point I was going to launch into a whole spiel about the trade-offs between knowledge and pain; or self-awareness, feeling and mortality, but I'm afraid I have long-winded, complicated and ever-changing ideas about these concepts and it's way too late in the day for me to get started on them, so I'll save them for another time!

Also, on a more superficial note, reading 'The Wind-UP Bird Chronicle' and 'Kafka on the Shore' has made me want to go to Japan more than ever! If you have any advice on how to score a cheap plane ticket, when to go, etc. let me know.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

One whole year without a car!

I've almost arrived at one whole year without a car. It wasn't hard at all, and I never even rode the bus, not once! I'm pretty sure I will never own a car again, unless I run across a champagne Porsche 928 from the 80's. . .

(couldn't find a picture of a champagne colored one, boo.)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Nerd Girlfriend Entry #3: Blair Warner

When I was 7, I wanted nothing more than to have Blair's hair. Damn.

I'm sure that if I end up sticking with this nerdgirlfriend thing, anyone who's ever appeared on the Facts of Life will end up here. . .

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cucumber Season: Yet Another Reason to Love Scandinavia; Also, Quantum Entanglement

So I've never actually been to Scandinavia, but I'm sure I'd love it. I have long fostered a deep love of Scandinavian folk art, Icelandic knitwear, havarti, and Pipi Longstocking. . . I pretty much love all things Scandinavian. (and all things Eastern European as well, but I think I'm genetically biased there) There aren't as many books as you'd think about Scandinavian folk art, so I've bought every one I've come across, but anyway, I'm getting off topic, I wanted to talk about Cucumber Season...

Today I found out that in Norway they call this time of year 'Cucumber Season' because things slow down so much in Scandinavia, with everyone on holiday and out of the country or up in little mountain cabins or tooling around the seaside in little boats, that the newspapers have nothing to print, so the cover stories are usually about who has grown the largest cucumbers. . . Isn't that just so damn charming? Don't you want to grab Norway and pinch it's cheeks and coo about how cute it is? I hope that someday I get to spend a leisurely summer munching on cucumbers in a little red house in Sweden, but for now my porch is pretty good and today my friend Judith just happened to give me some cucumbers from her garden to eat, sort of serendipitous.


Later on in the day I was talking to a friend about how I want to write a romance novel that also somehow involves the theory of Quantum Entanglement... For a lengthy explanation of Quantum Entanglement check out the wikipedia entry here. Einstein called it "spooky action at a distance". But a new age website defines it thusly:

Imagine you have two individual particles. You do something to somehow link the two together, or “entangle” them, so that a change in one automatically affects the other. Even when you separate the two objects, they somehow still remain correlated no matter what the distance.

This is the basis of quantum entanglement. The idea is that if you take two entangled particles and you “jiggle” this particle over here, you’ll automatically “jiggle” that particle over there simultaneously.

I also found an NPR story about Quantum Entanglement and love:

After running 36 couples through this test, the researchers found that when one person focused his thoughts on his partner, the partner's blood flow and perspiration dramatically changed within two seconds. The odds of this happening by chance were 1 in 11,000. Three dozen double blind, randomized studies by such institutions as the University of Washington and the University of Edinburgh have reported similar results. (

So you see, I think this idea is ripe for a romance novel! Don't steal my idea! I have my pen name all picked out too. It's real cute.

Anyway, I hope you all are enjoying Cucumber Season and that your particles are jiggling along in good company...