Last night, as far as I can tell apropos of nothing, I dreamed that a friend of my ancient childhood showed up out of the blue and proposed a road trip to North Carolina. The reasons were simple: we had friends there, and both of us really like eating beef jerky in the car. 

In light of our mutual utter humanism, which in neither of us is disinclined to roar pure feminist rage when fiercely beleaguered and truly vexed, also well known current cultural climate in NC, I was skeptical. In spite of road jerky.

Nonsense, old friend said, we’ll just walk over their hateful little faces with our lovely lady shoes. And we were off.

I sadly have no blissful memories of dream road jerky, or splendid stories about our misdeeds in the South, where I am sure they have the most amazing old cars and hand mixers and melamine. My brain apparently just decided at that point that it would be better to think about rebranding Sweet Hearts in a retro 90s style running heavily to jewel tones. I’M SORRY.

Thank you to all of the people, lovely lady shoe wearing and otherwise, who never fail to make me feel, when the issue comes up, that to boldly go is the way to go.

Sometimes the goings-on of the world are just deafening and the content so sincerely gruesome that my heart shatters and my skeleton sort of wizens and I conclude that it is a world of fear and madness. Then I think it would be better probably to go lay on a train track and look at the stars, because we are all of us humans gravely terrible and we make the world suck. Then one or another of you will come along, even in a dream, and remind me, no way man. There’s us. We paint murals and dance congas and make cakes and pet cats and tilt at windmills. We can wear that if we want to. We can try that if we want to. We can go to North Carolina if we want to. And train tracks are for putting pennies on.

splash twist

I am


your mom of mayhem

April 26, 2016

This morning as I was scuttling around the house getting ready for work I noticed my cat sitting on top of the back fence. This is not unusual but it is always noteworthy, because (like all perfect cats of her age and breed) she is remarkably graceful for someone with such a competitive girth. I was considering taking a picture of her to share so you could all appreciate her incredible personal blend of poise, balance, and bulk, but then I noticed that there was an actual legitimate standoff going on.

Lucky stood at one end of the fence, intensity radiating from every emphatic line, glaring narrowly.

Several yards down the fence, two squirrels crouched together, aggressive, with icky little yellow teeth out.

Between the antagonists, sporting brand new itty bitty fat red bulbs, sat my strawberry plant. Territory had been established, and was being challenged. My mind exploded.

All logic left me and forgetting to take an amazing picture of this experience to show you, I ran yelling out into the yard and the squirrels each took a flying leap into the pine tree. Lucky shrugged and returned to her breakfast. I took the strawberry planter off the fence, noted sundry empty stalk and receptacles, and lost my temper with myself a bit. I moved the planter to the roof overhang where no squirrel, lithe he or limber he ever so well, will be able to reach it. And I thought to myself, but did not say to anyone else, that apparently Jason is right again. Feeding squirrels in winter will only lead to sorrow in the spring. Survival is a brutal affair.

I am

PS. I may not have the presence of mind to provide you with a visual representation of this story, however, when the dust had cleared and the plant had been moved and my rage was fragmenting slowly into self reproach, I happened to notice a witness to the entire performance, and I took a picture of him. You can tell by his expression that the whole thing was pretty epic.


Every time I watch Jeopardy I get this stuck in my head, a’la OingoBoingo,

it’s a jee-oh party, who could ask for more…

I report this fact with a dual intent. Firstly confession is good for the soul and nobody knew about this before now since I never actually sing when I get it stuck in my head; the reason for this, and secondly, is that I cannot think of any good lyrics to substitute for leaving your body at the door. Nothing real sweet and satisfactory like an mlt when the mutton is nice and juicy.


I am

Yesterday Prince died.

I feel way more cut up about it than about anyone else who has died recently, except Robin Williams, which just makes my heart ache the way it does in Serenity when Wash dies. That is a loss like a crack in a mirror. It’s just not to be stood, you have to squirm away from it whenever it crosses your mind.

Anyhow. I meant to talk about Prince but I find although I have a lot of feelings I don’t have a lot of words. Everything about him is movement to me. Sitting still and thinking about him doesn’t conjure himself. Or myself, while experiencing his music. I just think of sitting in wall to wall traffic on I84 one summer evening, chain smoking with the convertible top down, head thrashing, mind exploding…because someone had just given me the Prince’s greatest hits cd and it was amazing. I had never heard anything like it. I remember my young eyes getting wide and my face cracking in a laugh when the meaning of some of his lyrics really registered in the middle of my singing them. We can definitely count Prince as part of my sex education. Bless that man. It is just super fun music that moves you, goes through you, shines like sun and rains like purple on you, and we will always have it. As long as we still have our senses of humor and style, and our greatest hits cd.

I remember Prince vs Michael Jackson at Berbati’s, and how we always debated back and forth before the vote but always actually went for Prince. I wish like mad I still had one of those Prince face cutouts on a popsicle stick, now that he and Berbati’s are both gone. Also I wish I had that painting that hung in Berbati’s; one of the first pieces of art I truly loved like a friend. If I ever see it again anywhere I will cry two huge lines of tears out my eyeballs. I remember the jaw dropping Prince impersonator Berbati’s always had, and how no matter how they changed it up, the poor Michael Jackson never had a chance.

Marie and I walked across the Morrison bridge last night and dropped in purple flowers, and poured in flat white wine from tiny purse bottles of Woodridge, and laughed boistrously and had good long silences. There were some people hanging out with a sound system on the waterfront and we stayed there for awhile and I offered a sad lady a purple flower to throw in the river, but she said no thanks, she had already planted all purple flowers in her garden that day, so she was good. I really think the amount of purple the planet is currently experiencing is a great thing. Purple, so serene and vivid and soft and wild.

Goodbye, go well. Go in through the out door.


I am

In which the elevator brings us down. To half mast. This once.

Farewell, sweet Prince. We always voted for you on New Year’s Eve.

berbatis prince

I only want to see you

glow upon the wall

April 20, 2016

I have the craziest job.

Just now I googled ‘pine trees north carolina’ because I am choosing a painting for a group of my coworkers to learn to paint during an upcoming teambuilding event in NC, and this one with pine trees and stars looks really cool, but maybe pine trees are not a North Carolina thing, and it would be like having a bunch of Portlanders go paint palm trees. Which actually is not that farfetched and probably already happens all the time and anyway most likely everyone is always totally fine painting a tree, because whatever, trees. Every tree is a gift.

In case anyone was wondering, eight types of pine trees are in fact indigenous to North Carolina. We are good all around. I love my job.

It keeps me on my creative toes all the time, which is good for me because left too long to my own devices I get lazy and stop having inventive thoughts and just eat popcorn for every meal and watch reruns of TNG till suddenly one day I realize that my entire brain has turned to gas and whisped quietly away through my ears.

And unlike many humans, pets, squirrels, and inanimate objects that totally do not know what I’m talking about, they have never had that emotion in their life thank you very much, my job actually enjoys my penchant for rampant oversensitivity to everybody’s feelings. My job is to cradle your feelings, and stroll you round the grounds until you feel at home, listen to your ideas, and support you in implementing them. Also send you flowers when anything bad happens to you and snacks whenever anything good happens to you. Also to bully you into community involvement and then when you give in and do something helpy, brag about your excellence as loudly and widely as possible.

Wow I just freaked myself out. I love my job. It is like perfect for me.

Also I bet if I had any sort of rhythm whatsoever and any capacity to speak of for physical humor beyond accidentally breaking one’s wineglass for emphasis, I would be a super sports mascot. I see me as a bird. A bird with a belly. 

stars over the pines

I am

I found new Fern Gulley on tv today. 

We have not watched very far yet but we suspect that it may not hold up.

I am