2007-10-29

with a palm full of stars...

with a palm full of stars
I gaze into the distance
the soft glow making pools on my face

I feel safe here
in the cosmos

there is a presence
a power

grace

home decoration :)

We've finally gotten our butts in gear and started framing and placing some of the art we've been buying over the last few months... here are a few pictures, with more to come as we continue to get more stuff up. Unfortunately a number of pieces are slated for our bedroom, but won't be able to go up until we get it painted. Let's hope that happens soon.

Apartment

2007-10-22

Portland, Oregon

Today the weather in Portland is beautiful and I went and took some nice pictures, they are included in this album, along with a lot of other pictures I've taken around Portland at different times:

Miscellaneous Portland Pictures


And in case you want to see more pictures of Portland, you can also look at this album:

Portland Historic Places

2007-10-19

weird...

so, sorry to anyone who saw my post titled "whee :)" and there was some weird picture of a guy there. It should have been an image from the film The Wolf Man (which it was originally and is again now), but I was linking to an image elsewhere on the internet, and apparently at some point, they replaced the image from The Wolf Man (using the same filename) with an image of the guy, who apparently is a pro wrestler. anyway, I've solved the problem by linking to an image I put up, so it shouldn't change anymore. that was more than a little disturbing.

2007-10-18

poetry book...

my first book of poetry is almost finished! it will be called "My Heart When It Rains," and will contain 63 poems, most of which were written in the last few years, though I think there are a few that were written quite a while ago, but anyway... I will be sure to let you all know when it's finished :)

last night's dinner

Last night we made a Hungarian dish call csirkepaprik√°s (paprika chicken), with little galushka dumplings. It's wonderful autumn/winter food, as a lot of eastern european ethnic food is. I don't have any pictures, but I can give what I remember of how it's made, it's really simple.


  1. Take one large or two small onions, diced, cook them until just light brown/yellow in a few tablespoons of lard (we used bacon grease).

  2. Take about 2 pounds of chicken, chopped into small chunks (we like to use chicken thighs, because they get nice and tender when simmered), add to the tomatoes and onions and cook until the chicken is almost finished cooking.

  3. Take two large tomatos chopped (we used a couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes cut in half), add it to the onions.

  4. Add sweet paprika (I think it was about 3 tbsp) and mix so the chicken gets nice and coated.

  5. Add 1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable broth.

  6. Let everything simmer until the chicken is cooked.

  7. Mix about 1 1/4 cups sour cream with 1/4 cup flour until it's mixed together well.

  8. Add the flour and sour cream mixture to the pot and mix it all up together well.

  9. You can add more broth to thin the sauce if you'd like.



for the dumplings:

  1. Take about 4 1/4 cups of flour, sift it into a large mixing bowl.

  2. Make a hollow in the middle of the flour.

  3. Crack one large or two small eggs into the hollow, and beat them with a wooden spoon.

  4. Add a bit of salt, and kind of fold the eggs into the flour, and add small amounts of water at a time while mixing with the wooden spoon until all the flour is mixed in and you have a pretty sticky, gooey ball of dough. The dough should pretty easily come off of the wooden spoon.

  5. Put a large pot of water on to boil.

  6. Once water is at a rolling boil, pull small pieces of dough off (dumplings can be anywhere between a half inch to an inch across), and drop them in the water.

  7. Once the dumplings start floating, scoop them out and let them drain. (you may need to nudge them with a spoon, as sometimes they stick to the bottom of the pot.)

  8. Once they are finished boiling, heat up a couple tbsp. of lard (or bacon grease) in a pan, and lightly fry the dumplings, so they are slightly crispy on the outside.



Once everything is finished, put the dumplings on a plate or in a bowl, and scoop the paprika chicken over them.

Best of all, it makes a lot, so you'll probably have leftovers, which you can eat the next day for lunch, like I'm doing today :) Whee!

2007-10-16

this weekend...

I'm a day late writing this one, but here we go anyway :)

This weekend, we did lots of fun and interesting things! :)

Saturday we woke up really early to a beautiful, cold, foggy morning, and we went with our friend Theresa to the Oregon City School District sale:







We got a ton of stuff for really cheap. For details, see here.

After the sale, Trina and I went to the Original Hotcake And Steak House for breakfast and had yummy food and very mediocre coffee:





Then, Saturday evening, we went to dinner with my parents to Ohana Hawaiian Cafe and then went and saw the film Once at the Roseway Theater in Portland, and independent theater built in the 1920's that is family owned. As much as I love supporting those theaters, and love going to them here in Portland, I have to say, I don't recommend this one. The tickets are $6.50 (as opposed to $3 at the Bagdad, Laurelhurst and Academy) and it was pretty dark, run down and smelled bad. But the film was REALLY good, I highly recommend seeing it.

Sunday, Trina and Theresa went out running some errands, and then we all went out for brunch to the Cup and Saucer Cafe:



After that, we went to Goodwill and got some other fun stuff, which was also mentioned in that link above.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend, but it went WAY too fast.

2007-10-10

re-use of old things

So, for Blog Action Day, we're writing about environmental issues. I decided to go for re-use of old things as my subject for the post. I have to admit, the day snuck up on me, and I am now writing my post right in the middle of the day, but hey, that's how these things go.

So, about re-use of old things. Particularly here in America, we live in such a disposable society. Things are made to be discarded, we tend to be extremely wasteful with materials and we have this insatiable craving to have the newest, latest, most hi-tech stuff. All of this results in environmental crisis, because so many things just get thrown away long before their usefulness is really spent.

This seems to run really deep in our culture. Having new things is a mark of being successful. So what happens? Our couches start looking worn around the edges and we take them to the dump, and buy a new one. Our PDA is replaced by a faster model, so we toss it and buy the new one. A new car comes out with lots of cool features, so we get rid of ours and buy it.

Not only does this cycling of things create a lot of waste that then often just goes to landfills and sits there, but it also uses a lot of energy, both to create the new products and to dispose of or even recycle the discarded ones. Besides that, it creates an atmosphere in our society that says that people who are able to afford the newest and shiniest things are better, more successful, etc.

So, here's my proposition. What if we made a point of re-using old things? What if we tried to change our perspective so that having the newest and most expensive things was not the model for society to look up to? What if instead of throwing away old things, we made a point of finding someone else who would use it? What if we looked for older things we could modify slightly to fit our needs rather than just assuming we would have to buy something new? Even older clothing can be modified to be something new, rather than simply discarding the entire thing. What if instead of using new lumber for building projects, we used reclaimed lumber that is still in good condition, or already existing sinks, cabinets, dressers, etc for home renovation?

I think this would have a number of potential impacts. First, we will save energy. There wouldn't be quite such a push to mass-produce the newest items, and there also wouldn't be the need to recycle as much, so we would save energy in both of those areas. Since the means for producing most of our energy causes pollution, this is a good thing. We wouldn't be filling landfills nearly as fast with non-recyclable (or too lazy to recycle, I do it too) items. We wouldn't be depleting natural resources as quickly by cutting down new trees and other things, we wouldn't have as much need to mass-produce cotton and wool and other textiles. I think there would be positive social change as well. It would help to lessen the wealth is worth mentality as well as saving energy and reducing pollution.

And who knows, you might actually begin to really like the older stuff that you end up with. The effort to modify it and make it just what you want might just make it special to you, in a way that something new and mass-manufactured wouldn't ever be. The older things might just last longer and wear better as well too. Try it out, see what happens :)

2007-10-09

in pursuit of.... something I can't define and never stays around

I was just thinking about happiness... actually I've thought about it a lot over the years, in my own thoughts and in reading I've done, and the conclusion I've come to is this: happiness can never be an end in and of itself. It can mean different things for different people, and even different things for the same person at different points in their life. Secondly, it is simply a state, and humans are inconstant, we never stay in one state long. You are sad, someone cute smiles at you on the street, now you're happy. Five minutes later you remember that you hurt someone's feelings last night, now you're sad. Then someone drives by and soaks you with a puddle. Now you're angry. You see what I mean. To attempt to always remain in a state of happiness is both impossible and, I imagine, highly frustrating, especially if you feel like you should be able to do it - and we certainly are pressured from different parts of society to at least present ourselves as always happy.

What I would propose is this: what if we became comfortable with the fact that we go through hundreds of changes in state during every day, from happy to sad to angry and back again and all kinds of combinations... and what if we were able to find creative ways to channel those emotions into healthy outlets, such as art, music, gardening, sewing, working on cars - find what you love doing, and use it as a way to express the states you go through in a day, to acknowledge them, process them, and then be able to move on to whatever is next. Also, what if we became comfortable with the fact that other people have these state changes too, and if we were able to understand that those changes have reasons and complications and that they are most often not personal or predatory, they simply are. What if we were able to see past the fleeting changes in mood and temperament and see, touch, hang on to the person who really is inside there, and doesn't change every 5 minutes.

This is hard, I know. I'm not that good at it. I'm getting better at expressing myself in healthy ways. I'm still not that good at being comfortable with other peoples' changing moods.

new song...

well, seeing as Tiana was the only one to comment on my post about my new song... I'm taking her idea for the name... and calling it "The Moment Before Sunrise." Thanks Tiana, and hope you all like it :) Cheers!

whee :)

I know it's silly, but I'm really excited to go here:



And see this:



tomorrow evening :) Happy Tuesday everyone!

2007-10-08

columbus day...

here's to a very confused sailor who found the Caribbean islands and thought he was in India, and the subsequent massacre, torture, plundering and general mistreatment of the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas that followed. whee!

October 08, 2007

Today it's lovely cold and foggy in Portland... the perfect way to start out a new week, with everything damp from the overnight rain, smelling fresh and beautiful with an invigorating chill. Happy Monday everyone!

2007-10-07

sunday, october 7th

today was a wonderful day... when we got up this morning, this lovely bowl of things from our garden was sitting on the stove:







we started the day off by making a crab and shrimp quiche with some crab that our friend Theresa's parents caught the other day at the coast.



I cracked the crab and Trina went to the store to get the other ingredients, and we set to work.



Unfortunately, the crust burned a bit, but the rest of the quiche was quite wonderful, and we are currently eating it with tea and watching The Importance of Being Earnest with said Theresa.





After that, Trina went to volunteer at a craft swap, and I went out wandering around Portland taking photos, which I have added to my Portland Historical Places album online:

Portland Historic Places


Hope your Sunday evenings are wonderful!

2007-10-06

movie night!

Last night we went to see Stardust at the Academy Theater, which originally opened in 1948, and was just re-opened last year, and has been completely restored on the inside. They play mostly second run and art films, for $3. Here are a couple of pictures :)





Stardust was a wonderfully romantic fairy tale, and had us both all in a twitter at the end. I highly recommend seeing it :)

Cheers!

2007-10-04

portland historic places...

So, I'm making it a goal to take pictures of as many of the buildings in Portland that are on the National Historic Register as I can. I'm putting the photos online, and you can see them here:

Portland Historic Places


You can also add the album to a news feed (rss) reader if you want or whatever. Anyway, enjoy!

2007-10-02

RAIN!!!

Tonight, it looks like this outside:



...and even though we have the windows closed, it sounds like there is a waterfall just outside.

I love autumn :)

a very brief tour of Portland's Old Town...

Portland 2007.10.01

2007-10-01

unconditional...

I have to admit I'm not used
to anything unconditional
the world shapes us otherwise

so I find it hard, sometimes,
to believe you really
would stay with me, despite me

yet I look in myself and find
no desire for anyone but you
unconditionally.

thinking it might really be possible
makes me want to cry
my heart is so un-used to it

but it is slowly softening
becoming warmer, redder
from love without condition

thank you.