Monday, February 16, 2015


Well hey, would ya look at that. Oregon is Genesis. Who knew? 

I may have been wrong about this spring -- it might not be a trick, after all. It seems real! I won't hold my breath. But at least the season of Awful Holidays for Single People is over. I like being single, but not at parties from Thanksgiving to Valentine's Day. No, thank you.

This year I spent about half of Valentine's Day in the garage digging into my sludge-encrusted, criminally neglected motorcycle, and the other half sipping red wine and watching romantic French movies. Both were pretty fun. I like messing around in the garage if I'm not in a hurry and it's not freezing cold. The poor bike is filthy down to the guts; some evil blackish brown stuff had oozed out of the bottom of one of the carbs, which I imagine isn't a great sign. But I have a theory (!) and will test it soon, maybe tomorrow -- today's portion of the project went faster than expected, although still glacial by normal human standards. I have zero natural instinct for mechanics, so I try to work very deliberately and follow all the instructions, hoping not to blow myself up or accidentally put everything back on upside down. There tends to be a lot of darting into the house to look at pictures on the internet, etc. But it's a good time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Irritating weather. It's not winter anymore but it isn't spring yet, either. All the plants are confused, trying to bloom but sure to get the smackdown any minute now.

(Or maybe not? Maybe this spring is real? Yeah, yeah. That old trick. I know better but I fall for it every year.)

Just in case, I put a couple of seeds in little pots in the kitchen window yesterday. So far nothing.


(Little-known fact: Toad yelling at the garden used to scare the crap out of me when I was a kid.)

I really need to spend some time in the garage and get my bike running, but it's pretty cold in there still.

Anyway. Here is Kelly Link reading an excerpt from her new book of stories. (I'm not obsessed! I just...I just really like her, okay?) I reviewed the collection but am annoyed with myself for not having made the review a little prettier before I sent it in. (The word "fact" appears at least three times in the first dang paragraph. Three!) I pick up these habits sometimes, little verbal tics, we all do it, and they creep in without my noticing, and then they turn invisible. And they stay invisible until a day or two later, at which point they practically glow in the dark but usually by then it's too late. Oh well. Can't overthink it. The stories are fantastic; all her stories are. And she's working on a novel now, too, I hear. Oh, and she did a Q&A for the Powell's blog*, which I haven't read yet but am about to (I just remembered to look for it). Holly Black is in there too -- I read her YA novel The Coldest Girl in Coldtown this week -- good fun vampire teen adventure love story.

Been seriously exploiting the Multnomah County Library lately. :)

In other news, I'm planning some springtime travel in the Rockies, for work. So get ready! More on that later.

* Update! The Q&A on the Powell's blog is awesome, as expected. I was especially happy to see this bit in Kelly's answer to a question about her writing routine, since as we know I am fascinated by all such talk:
I don't have a routine, and in fact I spend far more time avoiding writing than I spend writing. I can give you my routine for not getting started writing. It involves waking up and checking Twitter or Tumblr. Then I make coffee and do dishes. I brush my daughter's hair. After she's gone to school, I check Twitter again. Maybe I do some laundry. I do a lot of laundry. I make lists of all of the things that I need to do that don't involve writing. I check Twitter again. Often it's time for lunch, or more coffee by the time I've accomplished all of this. At some point I realize that time has passed and I am no longer in any danger of getting any writing done. A strange feeling of relief comes over me. I start to think about dinner. 
P.S. I have totally gorged on every season so far of The Vampire Diaries and it is entirely her fault but -- that show is Not Terrible. (Also Rebekah from the Originals is my spirit animal and Klaus is like a more affordable Tom Hardy.)

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

animal house

Each year, in the deepest darkest depths of winter when everything seems sort of gloomy and pointless (to me), I am rescued, wrecked and revived by my motorcycle club's annual retreat. This is when we load up on beer and liquor and fireworks and food and head out of town for a few days to plan the year and just hang out with each other, free of all rules and responsibilities so long as we don't directly endanger the security deposit on whatever house we've rented for the weekend. First there's a chaotic meeting, and then sometimes there's a semi-structured "cross-training" activity (ski bikes, trust falls, ax throwing, logging races). Other times we just kinda fart around and drink beer until something fun happens, which it always does. This year was sort of a mix of the two. I learned a lot (what happens when you put a light bulb in the microwave? how many bananas fit in a blender? do crawdads eat cat food?), lit a couple of fuses and had a damned good time. There's no better way to burn off a cold gray mood than by standing around a fire pit with 18 of my favorite fellas. They're fun!

Bring it on, 2015.

p.s. I didn't get a tattoo (regret!) and all pics are stolen from my bros.