Year in Review

There’s nothing like the end of the year to inspire a blogger to throw in the towel. It’s been a tough year, a challenging one too, but it also has me more optimistic about what I can do next year. A few projects that hung over my head much of the year were completed and a couple of others are so close that I may be soon done with those as well. The cycle can start up next year with new projects to start, abandon, complete etc… and of course this blog will occupy my time. Looking back over the year’s posts, I see I’ve documented some of what I experienced and it strikes me that my orbit seems a bit constricted now, revolving around the rain and a small, grungy slice of life that I tried to paint an image of in a Kerouac parody in my now infamous Turkey post. The backlog of subject matter that I plan to bring to life next year includes the Portland shoe art scene, my continued decal/sticker obsession and it looks like I’ll finally be able to write about art cars. I will also will be looking to utilize the skills of one of the world’s greatest copy editors I happen to live with. I might get a handle on my typo epidemic. With all that going on, I can only leave you with a couple of updates:

Perry’s Back!

Perry Me

It was probably 2014 when I wrote about the loss of the Perry Mason show on regular TV. For 48 years he held down a time slot in Portland until our local Fox affiliate axed him. You can now catch Perry Mason on ME TV. It’s on channel 2.3. I’m not sure exactly when TV channels started including a decimal point but it’s as good a reason as any to trade your cable cable for a set of rabbit ears. Digital TV offers great reception and great picture quality. Our local stations have sub channels that feature networks of nostalgia blasting old TV shows and movies you can catch while channel surfing. Nothing breaks the monotony of a lazy Sunday better than hearing the phrase “psychological thriller starting!” If your schedule coordinates you can watch Perry at 9am or 11:30pm on weekdays.

 

Perry Me confess 1

Hold on…about to…confess.

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Crap! I can’t believe Perry got me to say that.

Another World for Fabric World

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When I first addressed the sad, demise of Fabric World, I was happy, at least some readers were attracted to that post. Fabric World remains a lost world to me, but I got a sense of the place from people who had shopped there and responded to my writing. I snapped a photo late one afternoon when I noticed rumbles of activity going on with the old store front. We’re talking serious rumbles–what exactly is happening when half the walls need to be chopped out? A recent trip down Lombard revealed enlarged posters on the wooden barriers exclaiming “New Re-Development” so it’s clear to see that Fabric World has left the building. It’s hard to know what type of business will fit that space. It’s difficult, too, sometimes, to stop the car, park it and investigate what the giant signs are squawking about to clue us all in but in the middle of Christmas mania I did just that. See what you make of this sign.

Re-development

More will be revealed in the new year but it amazed me that 30 seconds into my annual Christmas trip to Powell’s Bookstore I witnessed two major infractions. The driver of a pick up truck at a stop light opened his door and dumped some fast food trash into the middle of the street. Then two fancy/expensive cars failed to use their turn signals. It reminded me that pollution makes both Indians and bloggers cry. It also leads me to believe I’ll be crankier than ever in the next year. The folks below sure have a way of calming me down and making me happy so I’ll leave with their image, along with some sweet peppermints.

christmas decorations 2 (1)

 

christmas decorations 1 (1)

Happy Holidays to each and everyone of you! See you on the other side in 2016.

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“Hey Lady, Up Yours”

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On day two of what had been called Stormpocalypse (a four-day forecast of heavy rain) by some around Portland, at least on Facebook, I started my day with enough optimism to forgo using my rain pants for my bike commute. The all night rain had dissipated, the morning was clear and the rain pants are bulky and unfashionable. I didn’t think to pack them for the ride home.

I watched the afternoon rain and knew I was in for a wet ride home. There was nothing I could do but grin and bear it. So I trudged onward with heavy, soaked pants. I kept my spirits up listening to the podcast Death, Sex and Money. I come back to this one and usually binge on multiple episodes. People talk about their lives, failures, trials and tribulations with a refreshing honesty. I thought I had problems, how about a woman who grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father. She went on to have a 40 year career on Sesame Street. It wasn’t exactly light subject matter to have swirling in my head but it did end up involving a kid’s show. On the other hand, there wasn’t anything from my work day that had me down. I was only dealing with the miserable commute. I was focused on getting home and drying off.

In my rain-stained, fogged up glasses, podcast blaring in my head, my pants wetter than if I wore them swimming, I had to navigate the bike/walking path going through Kenton Park. A woman seemed to be walking in the middle of the path. I was moving toward her and trying to figure out how I was going to get around her. As sad and soggy as I was slowing down was not a consideration. From what I could see, she seemed to be thinking I was going to run her over. She gave me a look of disgust and indignant rage. I could only think such a minor inconvenience wouldn’t have been an issue if she followed common sense rules for traffic patterns which at the very least favor walking/driving/biking on one side of the road or even the other. She might have side-stepped me or made a decision to move out of my way but neither of us could navigate this bike/pedestrian dance. I didn’t break my stride either, but the look she gave me annoyed me to my deepest core as I swerved around her.

As I rode on, I realized something needed to be said. Returning from my day working at a school, I realized there was one more lesson to teach. I thought quick and wondered if I needed to chase her down and get in her face or yell at her from where I had stopped my bike which was now about 100 yards away. I wanted her to consider that when it’s raining and nasty outside rain-soaked bike commuters need a break. I decided on my second choice and found myself yelling, “Hey lady, up yours!”

Pathetic. I know. I’m not even sure it felt good, especially since the lady didn’t turn around or appear to hear me. My improvised insult may have been the direct result of listening to a podcast about Sonia Manzano from Sesame Street which might have inspired me to keep it clean. Besides who really needs to be cussing in the park. I felt stupid, angry, aggressive, but at least gave myself credit for trying. A day of work followed by a watery slog home and a feeling that I received a lack of compassion from a fellow citizen created a need for me to let off some steam that could not even be heard in a downpour.

Sometimes you have to try to make your point even when it’s pointless.

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Uncredited image jacked from the internet.

TriMet Tales: The Final Chapter Part 1

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The go-to blog post subject matter when you’re desperate, out of time, suffering from a hectic, unending work week–with my sixth straight work day spent proctoring an LSAT exam at the law school—has me turning to the subject matter of public transportation which has a never ending supply of tragicomic, people watching opportunities.

Two people having a discussion is usually fine. Two people having a one-sided heated discussion on a crowded Max train becomes exasperating. I listened to a woman trash the good name of her man for what seemed like hours in uncomfortable lecture time but was probably only ten or fifteen minutes. This was talk of a personal nature when the lady managed to list her significant other’s faults, berate him up one end and down the other all while complaining about her health and talking about a seizure condition. It made me wonder it people just don’t understand that anyone within earshot can listen to their personal conversation or diatribe, in this case, if it’s delivered in a public space. There’s also the consideration that maybe we want the option of not listening. I know it’s times like these that call for ear buds and filling my head with any other sound possible.

There was a point when the woman decided to move to the center of the train. I appreciated this break from her talking until moments later the woman began having a seizure. I have no idea if her getting riled up caused the seizure but I appreciated the people who rushed into action. Someone contacted the train operator while someone else called 911. I was equally impressed and annoyed by the commotion. The train remained at the next stop. We waited.

I kept thinking if the woman had opted for a nice quiet train ride, she might have controlled her rage. She could have taken time to outline her talking points to better take her mate to task in the privacy of their living quarters and possibly avoided her stress and maybe even the seizure. After this experience, I came across some first aid information that explained that not all seizures require medical attention. Seizures can be scary for those having them and those observing them alike, and not being a doctor or even that good at first aid, I would not be in the position to make the call or not make the call for help. Ultimately I was not delayed for long. Ambulance services were quick to respond. Soon the train was on its way and I chalked this medical melodrama up to another side note in my history of riding the TriMet rails.

2010 mid summer 017

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