Spent time yesterday enjoying the garden, which won't exist beyond a whole lot of dandelions, along with a few peas, asparagus, blueberries and strawberries this year. And grapes. But those are mostly things we planted two years ago. Hooray perennials! We also noticed this very huge, obscenely rotund thing in the garden bed where we had radishes last spring-- it's this gigantic purple radish... we named it King Farouk.

I took yesterday off; it was delightful. Slept for half the day. Puttered in the yard, did one load of laundry, most of all I did NOTHING. Aaaahhh... I highly recommend it.


Astryd deMichele is my dance instructor. She has been in Egypt for 3 months, got back to Eugene on Monday night. She kicked our soggy Oregon asses in class last night.
I am so sore. I really really missed her.
Went walking at noon. The sun was out and the sky was bright, some big clouds. Halfway across the bike bridge that spans the river the sky grew dark. It spat a bit, little wispy trails of water hardly worthy of the title rain, and I thought, "AH, SPRING!" Not cold, nice for walking. Ducks and the river rolling, sounds of a distant train. Smells of magnolia trees and cherry blossoms. Nice.

But then it started to hail.
It made me laugh. My rain coat kept me dry, but my pants were soaking wet in a matter of seconds and I got hail chunks in my shoes. Worse than pea-gravel because they melted right away, made my socks soggy.
As soon as it started, it ended.
Now the sun is out again and there is a rainbow to the north.

Made me curious. I understand the recent sandstorm in Iraq, which is partly to blame for the US soldiers' failure to advance closer to Baghdad in the past two days, was the biggest sandstorm EVER.

I thought God was on our side.
I will shut up now.
S went to the peace protest at the Federal building this last Saturday, and was disappointed by all the personal agendas set up by some sects of the crowd there. The self-proclaimed anarchists got shot at with rubber bullets for blocking off a street and chanting, "Whose streets! our streets!" They're really not anarchists. They have a leader. They're primitivist sociopathic nihilists. I used to sympathise because I thought the police unfairly picked on them, but now I realize they're just a bunch of stupid kids who ran away from home and who are pissing on the society they want to overtake. Yeah, things would be so much better if the anarchists ran the place. Dumpster-igniting window-breaking thieves. Anyway.

Combine the nihilists with a bunch of eco-yuppy new age hippy vegans congratulating themselves on having ridden their bikes to the rally. No wonder we're screwed.

S said the only good thing about the rally was one elderly gentleman who was wearing a pin that said, "Who would Jesus bomb?"
There is a Percy Bysshe Shelley poem:

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said-- "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert... Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look upon my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

Our leaders can ignore history all they want. Shall we be called Ozymandias?
[2/13/2003 9:28:11 PM ]
S persevered and we went out to dinner last night. I had been certain there was a frozen pizza with my name on it but I was wrong. There's a new Russain restaurant/shop in the little strip mall near Fred Meyers on West 11th. I don't recall the name, which is Russian, but the translation is "The Golden Rooster" according to our waiter.

We had Kvas malt non-beer, mushroom & potato blintzes, and S had these delicious pork dumpling things. Like pot stickers only bite-size. Kvas was interesting. Sort of like root beer but bitter. Among the ingredients listed it said "bread crumbs." It also said, "Product of Canada" which I read out loud when the waiter was coming to our table, and his eyebrows went up. I hope I didn't offend him. He said, "Yes, made in Canada. But the recipe is Russian."

He was flattered when I asked for a translation of the name of the restaurant, though. He gave me a piece of candy also called "The Golden Rooster"-- chocolate exterior with marshmallow and cherry inside.

S & I both wanted dessert, and discussed our desires; the waiter asked if he could bring us anything & S said, "Well, I want those chocolate covered potato pastries and she wants anchovies so we need to reach an agreement." Our waiter was surprised and tickled and laughed a short "Ha!" Now, I had seen in the front display they had smoked fish, and it looked quite tasty. No I am not pregnant, I just like fish. All kinds of fish, and I have never tried fish that looked like those, but they looked good and salty so I told S I wanted anchovies. He thought it was funny I wanted anchovies for dessert. I didn't mean for dessert, I meant with cheese and crackers and wine when we got home. We ended up with Taramosalata, which is Greek, yummy carp roe with lemon, MMMMmmm, excellent with sesame crackers, and also chocolate potato pastries.

So I guess we agreed to disagree, and both ended up happy.
[2/7/2003 12:37:08 AM]
In spite of the terrible tragedy of the Columbia, I must say what's even worse is the knowledge lost with it. And by that I mean, they can't build it again.

"They" lost the plans, and this country no longer manufactures or can manufacture the materials needed to build it again. Just like we could never build the Panama Canal again-- we lack the means and the engineering skill to do it. It urks me greatly when kids (why does that word refer baby goats and to children?) tell me "people are smarter now than ever before because of technology!"

We have forgotten much more than we know. We are losing knowledge faster than we acquire it. We are coming to a dark age.

Sheesh what a damned depressing thing is that to write? And it's sunny and warm and I am headed to the store to buy a bottle of wine (there's $10 extra in the checking! hooray! necessities! wine and mushrooms!). Eat, drink, and be merry. Rave on.

[2/6/2003 9:27:35 PM ]
When I was a child I had some black shoes my Dad called "elf shoes" because of their somewhat pointy toe and high sides, like old boxing shoes. Except they were heavy leather with a good solid sole, sort of like paddock boots. I could run, jump, dance, skip, etc in those shoes.

The only problem were the laces, which were cheap thin cotton, and kept breaking. When I ran they would flutter like black wings, and they looked kind of cool except they got caught on everything, gathered stickers and brambles and burrs, and broke all the time. Their disintegration was noticed by my Grandma, who took me in her Dutch no-nonsense manner to the cobble-smith downtown by the river, near the train station. She often would take her purses to him for repair.

He was a kindly old man who smelled like pipe tobacco, with big bushy eyebrows and quick, clever, gnarled, discolored hands. He used a sharp knife to cut the tattered laces from my black shoes, and then pulled from a spool some dark grey, waxy thin cord. He held it over the counter to me, and as I touched it, he leaned forward and said, "This, young lady, is made from camel hair. I bought it from a man in Egypt about five years ago. I can't find the stuff anywhere anymore. It makes the best laces."
He clipped little metal tags on the end (no plastic shoelace end for camel-hair shoelaces!) and laced my shoes.

I swear those shoes with their camel hair laces made me feel like I had crossed the Sahara, seen the pyramids, slept in an oasis under palm trees and a desert moon.