Thursday, November 30, 2006


I am becoming increasingly frustrated because I feel like I will offend friends and family who read my blog. I have never been one to sugarcoat the truth or my thoughts or opinions, so it worries me that I will create drama by writing truthfully and candidly about my thoughts, ideas and opinions.

On one hand, I use this blog as a kind of diary for my life. I do this so that people can keep up with my life without having to talk to me everyday. I don't know if that is the right approach, because it is one-sided: only a handful of my friends actually HAVE blogs AND keep up with them (and some of them aren't about their daily happenings, which I think is so great.) So everyone knows what's going on in my life, but I don't always know what's going on in theirs. (I also think this is kind of ok since it forces people to stay in touch by phone or in person which I MUCH prefer. Also- please leave comments!!)

On the other hand, if this blog/diary is for ME, then I should be able to vent if I need to or express whatever is on my mind and NOT restrain myself. Some worthwhile realizations come from the naked truth.... Whether its good or bad.

I guess the question then becomes, who is this blog FOR and who am I trying to please? Myself or my friends and family? WHO IS MY AUDIENCE? Is it worth publishing what I think at the risk of offending the people that I love? Can I just make these "potentially offensive" posts private instead of public? I suppose so, but what would be the point (really) of having a blog?

But I think most importantly, can I censor myself if I don't even believe in censorship? The answer is no. And the solution to my rejection of censorship (in general) is that if it offends you or if you don't like it or understand it, don't read it. Or listen to it. Or watch it. How's THAT for not sugarcoating?

So, I will now be writing without restraint. If you are easily offended or if you find that you disagree with me often, perhaps my blog is not for you. Or maybe this is a great opportunity for you to express YOUR views (in the comments section, by phone or in person) relative to the subject of any post. I'd love to hear from you!

This is already refreshing. Ahhhhh.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

10 Things I WOULD BE Very Thankful For

10 Things I WOULD BE very thankful for (in no order, and this ONLY 10 things)- not to say that I am NOT thankful for so many things that I do have.... I just thought I would do something different. Happy Thanksgiving.

1. Effective Oregon Driver's Education
2. Effective California Driver's Education (Hello Lindsay Lohan)
3. Effective Washington Driver's Education (I grew up in SD and never took driver's ed and I am a much better driver than west coasters)
4. People who donate to refugees who will be arriving on Portland in January (contact me if interested.)
5. If my mom came to visit me in Portland
6. Any family members and friends who visit me in Portland. I love hosting!
7. Rich people donating to a good cause, or to anything for that matter. I just volunteered for Loaves & Fishes this week. I stood outside of a grocery store and harassed (ok, politely asked people if they would be interested in donating a meal or two to a home-bound senior) and the men who drove up in their 2006 Mercedes and the women in their 2007 BMW SUVs all seemed to give the cold shoulder. Some of them didn't even acknowledge that my friend Cecelia and I were talking to them, they just ignored us. The young to middle-age and not-so-affluent people were the ones who were receptive and sometimes excited about paying just $2.90 (minimum, for ONE meal. You could buy a month for about $20 or an entire month for $87- probably a measly fraction of that doctor's income.) This doesn't make any sense to me.
8. If I could give my dad just one more hug. Or thank you. Or "I love you."
9. If there was a junction box in the ceiling of my studio so I could mount my ceiling fan that is halfway out of the box and occupying a significant amount of floor space in my place.
10. If I could meet a person who could show me (consciously or not) to realize what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Staying Dry

Today on, the poll question was, "Do real Portlanders use rain gear?"

Of course we use rain gear! (Though I'm not sure what a "real" Portlander is.) We are known nationwide for our rain. (Unfortunately seems to be the ONLY thing we are known for. Sad, since there is SOOOOO much more to Portland.)

People here ride their bicycles, scooters and motorcycles year-round. You don't see THEM without raingear. Hell, the other night when it was 45 degrees outside, there were people sitting at the outdoor tables at a coffee shop, and that is not uncommon. My old next door neighbors and I used to sit outside on our shared balcony with our beanies, blankets and beer conversing for hours on fall and winter nights. Even in the rain. It's almost like we refuse to let go of summer....

I do think there are some people who refuse to use rain gear. We are such a wet city in the fall and winter and our surroundings have been designed to accommodate that. Most bus stops and entries are covered. We have lots of hats. We own shoes and boots that have been waterproofed. These things make it tempting if not unnecessary for umbrellas or rain jackets. But I think it's safe to say that most Portlanders own a rain jacket and nearly everyone owns at least one umbrella.

The truth is, we have to be prepared for rain at any time. Once on a partly cloudy fall afternoon, I walked a few blocks to the local bookstore and by the time I was done shopping, the weather had changed drastically- it had started pouring rain. I admit that I should have brought my umbrella. I didn't anticipate the downpour and on my rather soaking walk home, a passerby asked me, "Where's your UMBRELLA?! Where is it? You're in Portland!!" Ok, so sometimes we FORGET our umbrellas or don't anticipate the rain....

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Excitement, again

Rhonda and her husband are our clients. I just finished their construction documents the week before this footage and they are set to be on HGTV (Home and Garden TV) next year for their addition/remodel which will probably now be expeditited. Great timing for insurance purposes....

Sorry, I should have posted this last week when it happened. Lately I feel like things like this have been happening dangerously close to my life.... (see also "The Armed Robber Next Door"- July 12, 2006.) Or, maybe my life really is as exciting as you read about! You decide.

(You'll have to copy & paste the link below into your browser....unless someone can tell me how to make the movie window appear here.)

Monday, November 13, 2006

My "To Do" List

1. Try out some sort of Martial Art
2. Learn how to type. The real, official way- not with just SIX fingers like I do now.
3. TRAVEL!!! As much as I can!!
a. Africa. Specifically, see the Sahara Desert.
b. Hawaii
c. Greece
d. Morocco
e. Australia/New Zealand
f. more of Europe: Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Canary Islands, Majorca.
g. Mexico. Unbelieveable I know, but I've never been there.
h. South America- Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina (Andes!!) and Brazil
i. Thailand, Laos
j. India
4. Try out for a play or do some sort of acting
5. 'Create' things again
6. Sail
7. Learn how to fly (a plane preferably)
8. Go to the Roden Crater (
9. Go to the Lightning Field (
10. Help build a house in Guatemala.
11. Victoria Falls
12. (I will repost as this list changes and grows.....)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

After Election Day 2006

"Democrats Projected to Sweep Congress, "Democrats Win Control of Congress," "Sen. Burns Concedes Montana Race," "Dems Plan to Force Change in Iraq Policy," " Virginia Win Gives Democrats the Senate ," "Pelosi Says Democrats Are Ready to Lead." These headlines give me goosebumps. When I read the articles, I get a chill. This is a clear sign that America is not happy about how our country has been run. I heard a radio clip of a man in the south who said that he had voted republican since he was old enough to vote, but that this year he voted straight democrat. I did a double take yesterday when George Bush actually admitted that (he and) his administration have made mistakes.

I hope this is a sign that we will be moving in a different direction.

The elections are always very emotional for me. I can't stand listening to the opponent basking in his or her victory. On election night 2004 I was with a group of friends watching the results come in. We watched the results until about 11pm. By then, South Dakota Senator (democrat) Tom Daschle (who was Senate Majority Leader) had lost to John Thune and the map appeared to be mostly red. I remember waking up the day after election day with the television on (a bit hungover) and seeing that John Kerry had conceded. I went to work that morning and cried off and on all day. I started researching jobs abroad immediately. I did not want to be a part of this country at all.

Although the war and numerous scandals seemed to be the most important issue in this year's election (they ARE very important), the most important issue for me was abortion. I don't believe that the government can tell me what I can or can't do with my own body, what is right or wrong for me. South Dakota has rejected a measure that would have outlawed abortion under any circumstances.

Whether or not the initiative was rejected because of its "extreme" nature (it did not offer exceptions in instances of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger) is not important right now. Pro-Lifers expected an immediate appeal to an earlier abortion ban but that went wrong when activists got a petition to force the initiative onto the ballot. Pro-Lifers will have to come up with another strategy which will have to go before a now-democratic Congress. After the votes were counted, Pro-Lifers said that voters were confused because they thought they were voting "no" for the initiative when supporting it meant voting yes. Or, voters are smarter than they think and they really did reject it. Oregon and California also rejected measures for parental notification of teen girls' abortions.

Finally, it seems I am becoming proud of America again.... Until I read quotes like this one in an article from
"The church teaches it's wrong to kill no matter what," said 39-year-old Martha Fiegen, a Sioux Falls home maker who voted in favor of the ban. "I believe life is sacred and every life is worth living."
Interesting. She voted to potentially kill the mother. I wonder if she actually read her voter pamphlet. If her daughter became pregnant and her life was in danger, would she really CHOOSE to force her daughter to die?

Yesterday during lunchtime I spoke with my mom who claims and talks as if she is a staunch republican (which is ironic because my grandfather- who is democrat- ran for public office in the 1990s and she was his biggest supporter... it's something my grandfather and I can't explain.) She hadn't even heard any results from ANY elections. I cannot talk to her about politics because I get too emotional, defensive and angry which makes our conversations worthless. I guess when I haven't talked to my mother in a while, I would like to talk about my family instead of arguing about politics and then being all fired up. I also don't want to waste time talking to people who have not done their non-partisan research and questioned EVERYTHING about what they have heard, whether from the media or from their friends.

I would like my readers to know that I don't claim a political party. I identify with democrats because of issues like abortion, gay marriage and war. Because they don't preach religion or follow their leader blindly. They challenge authority and encourage change.