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when i tell people what i am doing this weekend they generally say something like:

“ooh, sorry.” or “that’s kind of a drag.”

but they could not be more wronger.

what i’m doing this weekend is going up to my cousin’s property and camping with my extended family. this, is excellent times. we all really enjoy one another, and the activities usually include some or all of the following:

  • drinking. lots. part of why we camp.
  • laughing. also lots.
  • fires. tall ones.
  • copious amounts of amazing delicious foods.
  • horsey rides.
  • shooting.
  • rambling walks through the national forest located up the road.
  • fever pitch political/religious/social/psychological debates
  • intoxicants of a more exotic variety.
  • singing.
  • mountain climbing.
  • feats of strength.

oh, these times, they will be good.

newly added to the list of things i really like but am not that good at: Golf.

at least i look the part

at least i look the part

i went out with my friend Darrin last week and played my first round of big girl golf. up til then it was all par 3’s and pub courses and the driving range.

at the first tee i had a misleadingly good start: swung and connected first thing. ball flew straight and reasonably far. i was all cocky for a minute. then, well, my moment of luck passed, not to be seen again in that round. ah well.

i did really enjoy the scenery. the evening was sunny but cool enough to be pleasant. the greens were lovely. we had some drinks… so the golf cart part was fun. all in all a really nice evening and something i cant wait to do again.

i have the gin & tonic portion of golf DOWN!

i have the gin & tonic portion of golf DOWN!

in Portland every year there is a fundraiser hosted by Providence Health Systems. it essentially involves all of the bridges across the Willamette being closed or modified to traffic so that the bikers can descend and ride over them. i’ve been meaning to do it for years, but this was the first time it all worked out. TBIL hooked me up with some of his coworkers who were doing the 8 bridge course and we were off.

this process was not only really fun and rewarding, it was instructional. i learned the following things:

  • you can appear to have all the trappings of a semi-serious cyclist and still have a gigantic ass
  • getting into a traffic jam with bike is just as annoying and actually more scary than in a car
  • the more derisively you yell “ON YOUR LEFT” the less i want to move aside
  • the sense of superiority you achieve by yelling “ON YOUR LEFT” with such derision is illusory. everyone else thinks you are a fucktard.
  • just because an event is hosted by a health care system does not mean first aid will be available when and where you might need it. (poor Gindy)
  • riding all the way to the top of the app roach to the St John’s without stopping is ALMOST enough to make me pass out, and IS enough to make me see stars.
  • there may be no greater pleasure in life than getting OFF one’s bike.
  • when you send someone a text that reads “sweet holy baby jesus, my ass hurts” it is helpful if they have the context that you were riding 30 miles on your bike that day because otherwise they might assume you are just mentioning consequences from the party they hosted the previous evening.

feeling proud of myself, if still sore and tired. next weekend: climb mountain. time with family. can’t decide which is more daunting…

🙂

by E.L. Doctorow

this book suffered mightily from me having previously read Caleb Carr’s excellent novel The Alienist. These two books hearken back to roughly the same time and place, and even share a plot structure of a newspaperman’s recollection of a mystery long since solved, but Carr’s story is so much more finely crafted, engaging, and dramatic that The Waterworks fares pretty poorly in comparison.
The disappearance of a freelance writer occasions little notice apart from his editor who embarks on the trail to discover his fate. this leads him through a strange warren of crackpot medicine, social darwinsim, and the quest for eternal youth.
The mystery lacks a certain momentum and urgency. i felt myself skimming pages and still feeling totally capable of grasping exactly what was happening later on. no great surprises in store at the end, and the resolution seemed to linger longer than it needed to.
for all of that Doctorow seems to be a capable enough storyteller with a decent command of language. while i cannot recommend it outright, i think its a fine quick read for someone less picky than myself.
( )

by Louise Erdrich

somehow, with this book, i felt the setting most particularly a character. the spare and arid emotional lives of these people are played out in a setting that is flat and lonesome and empty, yet still sustains life.

our main character Delphine is a woman out of her place, yet contented there in strange and compelling ways. whip smart, driven, and capable, she inhabits a world where these traits seem few and far between. her emotional life is complex and rich, but seems only to reveal an inherent longing that is clearly unquenchable.

an absorbing character study as well as a reflection on the cultural evolution between the two world wars, this novel had much to offer in its depiction of a simple life with extraordinary moments scattered throughout. beautiful evocative language, lovely altogether.

recommended.
Harper Perennial (2005), Paperback, 416 pages

i ask myself this question quite a bit. i talk too much and have no filter. so, i do and say embarassing crap all the time, it just turns out i don’t seem to care that much, mostly.

this time, i’m blushing.

patient in the clinic is setting an appointment. the following exchange ensues:

me: would you like an appointment card?

he: yes please. my short term memory isn’t so great.

me: (slyly) too many drugs in your youth?

he: no. too many IED’s in Iraq.

me: (momentarily dumbfounded…) i’m sorry. that’s WAY less fun!

oh. my. god. another patient in the clinic came up after and expressed his sympathies.

“I mean, you never know when something like that’s going to come up.”

seriously? its less that i attempted the lame joke in the first place, or even that it went so very wrong, but that THEN i went ahead and said something EVEN MORE ASSININE to try and smooth things over.

can it be the weekend now, please?

“This is the story of the boys who loved you
Who love you now and loved you then
And some were sweet, some were cold and snuffed you
And some just laid around in bed.

Some had crumbled you straight to your knees
Did it cruel, did it tenderly
Some had crawled their way into your heart
To rend your ventricles apart
This is the story of the boys who loved you
This is the story of your red right ankle.”

From Red Right Ankle Her Majesty The Decemberists

for i am feeling rent, and crumbled.

it was a wild one, no doubt.

hodie-related drama friday night cut short plans for evening. made it out for shoe admiration and drinks with Lyza but no karaoke. sad.

on the whole, it might have been for the best, since i woke up in the wee hours for my race. it went really well, though it turned out that the swimming was better than i feared, and the running was harder than i’d imagined. i think the momentum of exhaustion just built up. but! i ran the entire course and didn’t wuss out and walk at all. hooray me!

this medal is the hottest accessory EVER!

this medal is the hottest accessory EVER!

brewfest was less than thrilling. dusty, hot, crowded, and spendy. i saw some peeps i like and heard some juicy gossip, so that was fun anyway. got a bit drunker than planned due to low food intake coupled with heat and alcohol. staggered a little on the way home. designated driver fetched me out for an additional party later that evening. announced my arrival with bellowing belch. as usual.

sunday morning

whackin balls

dawned with golf on the agenda. met up with pops and went out to the course and hit some balls at the driving range.

which, being only the second time i ever picked up a club, went pretty well! then i hit a hole in one on a par three. so… strange luck that i have. that was pretty cool. steakburgers after. yum.

after the golf-stravaganza, i went off to ann taylor to get the dress for the wedding i am going to be in come march. it’s GORGEOUS and AWESOME and it was KILLER to walk into ann taylor and a) get to buy something b) put on a size 4 and have it be too big on me. ha. i heart shopping.

mike & les are going back to the mitten state and we had a little farewell feast for them at madison’s last night. drinks and food, wee bit o’ crying on my part because i am a sentimental slob. nice way to say goodbye.

premier of Mad Men was last night and went to Lyza’s to enjoy with wine and her lovely friends. the new motto of the moment is: take off your hat. on behalf of womanhood: thank you, Don Draper. thank you.

on the whole a capital weekend! hoo-rah.

i must say, spring was singularly uninspiring in the sense of having much going on. so far, summer has been making up for this in spades. awesome things i have going on this weekend:

  • acquisition of domain name, blog improvement plans, & shoe-admiration with Lyza
  • birthday celebration for friend Darrin including (but not limited to) brewfest, dinner, karaoke, strippers…
  • triathalon (mini, yes, but still)
  • more brewfest w/ different friends. don’t want to deprive anyone of the opportunity to see me drunk after all, spectacle that it is. besides, i heart beer.
  • golf with daddy. as long as he doesn’t spend the whole time cursing at me for wrecking his game, this should be enjoyable.
  • shopping for bridesmaid dress with friend Danielle, other girlyness likely to ensue

ocean viewing weekend component missing, as well as smooching, but apart from that, all elements of amazing weekend are in place. can’t wait to take 952 pictures of shenanigans so as to properly recall said shenanigans later free from alcohol haze.

🙂