Friday, March 28, 2008

cutest thing ever.

Last night, Luna cuddled up to Ollie on the couch. She pressed her back into him and comfortably dangled her legs and tucked her head against his chest. She slept and snored, and he looked up at me like, "Aren't I lucky?" They sure are a cute couple, even if they are step-siblings.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

mood of the night

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

quotes of the day

Had a lovely weekend celebrating Mom's birthday. It was filled with yummy meals out, friendship, good conversations, shopping and bopping, some movie-watching, and my very own attempt at making (from scratch) butternut squash mac-n-cheese (which turned out quite good, if I do say so myself). Magic and good energy just crackled through the air.

Congratulations, Marieke, on your upcoming marriage. You and Andy are such dolls, and I can't wait to be a part of the celebration, camping, and connection.

Here are some quotes for you all to ponder:

"If I had the influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over
the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in
the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last
throughout life, an unfailing antidote against the boredom and
disenchantment of later years, sterile preoccupations with things that are
artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength."

- Rachel Carson, *The Sense of Wonder*


"Poetry is a rich, full-bodied whistle, cracked ice crunching in pails, the
night that numbs the leaf, the duel of two nightingales, the sweet pea
that has run wild, Creation's tears in shoulder blades." - Boris Pasternak

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Scott Heim

You should all check out his new book. I'm reading it right now.

Here's Scott speaking about Mysterious Skin, In Awe, and -- his most recent -- We Disappear.

Friday, March 21, 2008

great article

I found this article to be really provocative. Made me think, in part, about my writing and the kinds of things I try to understand and work through my system in my fiction:

p.s. Happy Spring Equinox! (And Happy Full Moon today)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

quote(s) of the day

I get lots of this awesome stuff from Rob Brezny's astrology newsletter (you can sign up at or check out Rob Brezny online:


"Our longing for the eternal kindles our imagination to bless. Regardless of
how we configure the eternal, the human heart continues to dream of a
state of wholeness, that place where everything comes together, where
loss will be made good, where blindness will transform into vision, where
damage will be made whole, where the clenched question will open in the
house of surprise, where the travails of life's journey will enjoy a
homecoming. To invoke a blessing is to call some of that wholeness upon
a person now."

- John O'Donohue, *To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings*



Bonobo apes and humans share 98 percent of the same genes, leading
some biologists to suggest that they, along with chimpanzees, should be
reclassified as members of the human genus. While their gestures,
postures, walk, and facial expressions have remarkable similarities to ours,
however, their social behavior is quite different.

Bonobos live in a peaceful matriarchy characterized by egalitarian
relationships. Power and status are of minimal concern. They build and
maintain social rapport with frequent erotic exchanges of every variety,
from intercourse to mutual masturbation to oral sex. Homosexual and
cross-generational contact is common.

"Bonobos use sex to appease, to bond, to make up after a fight, to ease
tensions, to cement alliances," writes Natalie Angier in The New York
Times. Because it's their social glue, says primatologist Dr. Frans de Waal,
author of *Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape,* sex is casual and free of
elaborate taboos. Unlike humans, bonobos are not obsessed with orgasm.
Their reproductive rate is similar to that of other primates.

"All of this has relevance for understanding the roots of human nature,"
concludes Angier. "De Waal corrects the image of humanity's ancestors
as driven by aggression, hierarchical machinations, hunting, warfare, and
male dominance."

(Source: Natalie Angier, *The New York Times,* April 22, 1997)



"Aborigines openly and unaffectedly converse with everything in their
surroundings -- trees, tools, animals, rocks -- as if all things have an
intelligence deserving of respect."

- Robert Lawlor, *Voices of the First Day*

(Nathan side note: No wonder I've always wanted to travel to Australia! You all know I love to name my list goes on....and that I can often be found conversing with a nearby tree or a feisty stapler.)



"Why is it so hard to find a soulmate?" asks psychologist Carolyn
Godschild Miller in her book *Soulmates: Following Inner Guidance to the
Relationship of Your Dreams.*

Her answer: "Because most of us are actually searching for egomates
instead. We place the most limited and unloving aspect of our minds in
charge of our search for love, and then wonder why we aren't succeeding.
To the degree that we identify with this false sense of self, and operate
on the basis of its limited point of view, we aren't looking for someone to
love so much as recruiting fellow actors to take on supporting roles in a
favorite melodrama."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

current obsessions (or, nine frenzies and then some)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rain creations

I went on a super-duper power-walk yesterday. The kind where you just keep going and going like a deranged Energizer rabbit from hell....I allowed myself to get lost in various alleys and side streets that I hadn't gone down before, and the rain & sun just couldn't make up their minds on who was the victor all day. Seriously, in the course of my one-hour walk, I think it went from bright blue sky to cloudy, drizzly rain and back again about four times. While I was walking down one alley, I noted that a huge puddle of water had formed in the shape of a cartoon paper heart, the kind you make when you fold construction paper in half and draw/cut the heart on each side of the crease. The heart-puddle was aimed right at this cute home with a gay pride flag on their porch and a Human Rights Campaign bumper sticker on their car....Not much farther down, the rain had drenched this concrete slab for a piece of above-ground property, and somehow the rain missed a section of the concrete on the side, and the dry patch resembled an owl, one of the kinds that has pointed ears at the top of its head. I mean it -- it looked JUST like an owl, without any second-guessing. Needless to say, I had an amazing walk.

Friday was just a lovely day for so many reasons. I had informal conferences with my students at Powell's downtown right after I got done teaching, and two of my students, A and C, joined me. We ended up chit-chatting for the better part of an hour and a half, about writing and school and hometowns and comics and more, and it was just a delight. I received a thoughtful present from A -- she'd taken a Tic-Tac box and decorated it (she wants to be a comic book illustrator) with a white rabbit (she even wrote "White Rabbit" at the top of it). Inside, she'd tucked dozens of little origami stars she'd made, with "Eat Me" written on each one of them. She proceeded to tell me that Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" is one of her favorite songs. I responded by saying it was also one of mine, and was part of the Holy Trinity of karaoke songs I like to sing, alongside BOC's "Don't Fear the Reaper" and Martika's "Toy Soldiers". When I got home from teaching, there was a lovely package from Karin in the mail -- I'd won the Oscar ballot contest she held, and she'd decorated the box with cool pictures from all the nominees. Inside the care package were lots of goodies, including candy to sneak into the theatre with and a scary-looking lamb Pez dispenser. Good ol' Karin. It was nice to chat with her yesterday....She and I are both going to see Snow Angels in theatres and then compare notes (she and I both have a love of indie drama-thrillers and Sam Rockwell, so I'm excited to chat with her post-viewing).

I'm off now to write; now that the short story is done, I'm back to working on the novel full force.

I've been busy but happy. Working at my new job -- and still teaching -- keeps me in more than chicken-with-head-cut-off status, but at least this chicken is a happy camper, albeit a decapitated one.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tear-Stained Scott Towels

Life is good.

Just sent an email to Christina....She lent me Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis (a graphic novel about a young girl growing up in Iran in the '80s), and the ending just totally broke my heart in all the right places. Here I am, Mr. Crazy Early Bird, and I'm waking up the whole neighborhood because I keep blowing my nose into paper towels....Okay, I'm better. Just wiped my eyes a few times and I can see more clearly!

Started my new job at Our House of Portland this week (, a residential facility for people affected by HIV/AIDS. What a lovely crew of folks! I feel blessed to be a part of the team there, and the energy in OHOP just crackles with life and vivaciousness and compassion and humor and love. What an honor, seriously. I am working 20 hours a week as a Volunteer Coordinator alongside Kathryn, and 20 hours as a Development Associate alongside Sally, Jen, and John (Angie, we'll miss you! Y'all come back now, ya hear?). My work then, will be split between helping recruit volunteers and getting them settled into routines at OHOP (similar to what I did at VOA) while also helping with the silent auction and the Dinner Series, where community members can host parties/galas/events at the locale of their choice, with the proceeds benefiting Our House. It's such a great job!

Miss you, Alison.

I finished my short story I've been working on (and will be submitting it soon to the contest I've told some of you about).

Am about to start reading Madeleine L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time Quintet (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, An Acceptable Time). Have read the first four MANY years ago....

Re-watching Felicity and falling in love all over again.

Saw A Fine Frenzy in concert last week with Mom. We had a perfect Thursday of dinner at the White Eagle (go Pepperjack mac-n-cheese!) followed by a divine time at the Doug Fir Lounge. Elaine -- it was such a pleasure to meet you. You have terrific taste in music.

Last Thursday I also took a drive by myself to the Columbia Gorge and over the Bridge of the Gods....I came back to PDX on the Washington side and stopped at Beacon Rock. Hiked up to the top, sat for a while and read Christopher Rice's Blind Fall, then hiked back down. On the drive there and back, I blasted Charlotte Martin b-sides and sang (screeched?) at the top of my lungs. I love that feeling of thinking the whole world can hear what you hear....that life is one giant soundtrack!

Just thinking that my two dogs are SO darn cute I can't even stand it!

Having bizarre dreams with cobble-stoned streets all slick with fresh rain.

Received a beautiful and touching email from Gretchen, whom I think is simply the Queen Bee of the Marathon Knee.

p.s. Have any of you seen The Nines? Rent it. Now. Don't even read the back. Just Netflix it or whatever and plunk it in your player and hit play. Tara and I loved it with all our hearts. T-girl, you and Gretchen may just have to cat-fight one another (or is it bee-fight?) for that miraculous knee status!