Friday, March 24, 2017

Hello (in Adele's deep-throated voice)

It's been a day.

A day where I feel l proud about all the phone calls and emails (mostly non-snarky) I've made about the so-called American Health Care Act, which by last night had been stripped down to the Amurican Crap Act.

A day when I'm angry that  the GOP thought it could push a comprehensive do-over of American health care in 2 weeks. That, my friends, was a joke.

A day where Paul Ryan falls on a sword handily provided by this guy in the Blight House named Trump. And a day where Trump said Dems  defeated the bill when, in fact, 34 House GOPs walked away from bad legislation, effectively killing the bill.

So many lies and distortions.

We have a sort-of comprehensive health care plan in place. Can we improve it? Sure. As a Dem, I want to learn more about what moderate Republicans like the Tuesday Group have to say.

It's time to talk.

..

Monday, December 12, 2016

Ch-ch-changes

Sigh. Has it really been since May that I shared post that was truly legit? What a wanker I am.

Well, of course, there are excuses. The election. Trump. An ongoing war with my mom's accountant. The election. Trump. Crap like that. You get the picture. But there have been changes too. Let me re-cap. In no order of priority or gravity.

1. I have a teeny-tiny job!



Well, not so teeny-tiny right now since we're hip deep into the holidays and my teeny-tiny job involves a spice shop. A very nice spice shop where I've shopped for years. By the way, spice shops sell LOTS of spices this time of year.

I sort of applied on a whim. The shop was looking for a "Saturday person" which fit quite nicely on my dance card of life. My date and I tend to bunker down on the weekends and do all our fun stuff during the week so I said to self, "Why not?" And, damned if I didn't get the job.

It certainly wasn't because of my vast retail experience -- at the prime age of 63, I have learned to use a cash register for the first time if life. Let's just say it was my winning personality.

No remarks from the peanut gallery, please.

2. This guy!

This guy -- and his parents too -- have moved to Portland! The Number One Son accepted a job as outdoor education director at a prep school here in the City of Roses. They landed here in July and now live about 15 minutes away. The joy of having a grandchild -- and kids -- in the same town simply cannot be described.

Every moment, whether it's time here on The Lane, trips to the zoo, gym class or other adventures, is precious. It's good to remember this when it's so easy to cross over to the dark side these days.

3. And Ben.

Photo credit: Cindy Shaver Photography
Our beloved squirrel-herding, bathroom-hiding, beach-combing Australian shepherd left us in early July. He was 15 1/2-years-old, loyal and loving to his last breath. I will stop here because I am crying. We miss him so.

****

So, those are my excuses. Mostly good -- and full of fodder for future posts.

I promise. It feels good to get these old fingers banging on the laptop keyboard.





Friday, September 23, 2016

I''m back -- only because Cardio Blast was a bee-yatch

I'm back. It's been a ridiculous summer. And a ridiculous day. Starting with my version of Cardio Blast old-folks style. Except these are young folks. But this is how it rolls:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa7SqyjZucw

















Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The bikers of Bald Peak State Park


Last Sunday was a ridiculously beautiful day in Portland -- the type of day where law enforcement officials should be out arresting people holed up in their homes watching FOX News. (Oh wait. Those people should probably be arrested regardless.)

That being said, my date suggested we take a drive in the country, specifically to explore Bald Peak State Park.

(Note: I just took a look at this website. It's actually called Bald Peak Scenic Viewpoint. . . if you consider a cracked, circular parking lot and picnic table as "scenic". . . . apparently the state parks department does. Sigh. Hang in here with me.)

We first got wind of Bald Peak during a visit to Raptor Ridge Winery last fall. It, too, was a glorious day (it happens here on occasion -- really) and we were captivated by the tasting room's view of the tippy tops of Mt. Hood, Mount St. Helens, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams. The pinot gris isn't bad either.

The tasting room guy  said, "You ain't seen nothin' yet" -- in a far more articulate way, of course -- and pointed us in the direction of Bald Peak, noting that the view from there is downright breathtaking. We were intrigued.

And thus, with the help of The Lady inside My Phone Who Talks to Me, we found ourselves pulling into Bald Peak State Park Scenic Viewpoint Sunday afternoon. . . along with about 150 bikers milling around at the top of the park scenic viewpoint, their "hogs" shimmering like so many jewels in the May sunlight.

Uncertain as to where the brilliant views were to be seen, we inched our way up toward the bikers, me helpfully advising my date to not "pull a Pee Wee Herman."

Despite being trussed up in copious amounts leather, with record-setting tattoos to boot, the bikers were a congenial group and waved us through with whoops and whistles. No view, though.

And so we parked. By the picnic table pictured on the BPSVP website as you would have it. From there, an older lady and gentleman (also a biker) pointed us in the direction of a large stump, and sure enough, there were all four -- not just the tippy tops, but the whole gosh darn mountains. Pretty dang impressive.

But the best was yet to come.

There are no hiking trails at BPSVP per se, but our older biker friends told us about a footpath that takes you a short way down the other, non-mountain-view side of the peak. The biker gentleman then sent us on our way with a psychiatrist joke. And a pretty good one, at that. I think he practiced on the ride out toe Bald Peak.

The footpath is indeed short. And there we joined more bikers -- all completely geeking out about the view: Below us all was one of the best, panoramic views of the Willamette Valley I've ever seen, a giant green patchwork quilt of orchards and vineyards, farms and grazing meadows, creeks and ponds. I think we were all quite pleased to be sharing this treasure on such a fine day.

If you haven't seen some leather-encrusted, mustachioed, top-to-bottom pierced/tattooed biker
get all giddy about Nature, you haven't lived. Just sayin'.
And with that, the bikers gathered up their copious leather items, flexed their colorfully impressive tattoos and, in small groups, so as not to shatter our non-biker ear drums, headed off for their next destination (all mapped out on Facebook -- who knew?) which I believe was somewhere on the coast.


A few even popped a farewell wheelie in our honor. Or so I like to think.

Safe travels, friends.









Friday, March 11, 2016

The lady inside my phone who talks to me



Over the last few weeks, I've made several triumphant trips back and forth to the east side of Portland from The Beav.

I say "triumphant" only because, even though I spent some 20 years of my early life living in various parts of northeast Portland, I am now hopelessly confused by the new and emerging landscapes in this part of town. (The fact that I didn't get my driver's license till I was 21 and was living in The Beav may have contributed to this. Those Multnomah County DMVs are h.a.r.s.h.)

Enter The Lady Inside My Phone Who Talks to Me. We shall call her Gabby.

Gabby is my new travel BFF in PDX.

Gabby now sits proudly in the passenger seat with my destination in her hands any time we stray out of the west side of town. She knows all my secrets, all my fears, all my joys. (Well, not really. She's a phone app, after all.)

BUT she does know how to get me places.

We've gotten into a pleasant routine -- me the pilot and Gabby, the patient yet firm navigator.

"In a quarter of a mile, turn right."

Tick. Tick. Tick.

"In 500 feet, turn right."

Tick. Tick. Tick.

"Turn right."

She's so calm, so assured. And she never says, "Don't be such a tool. Just turn right."

Under other circumstances, i.e., traveling with certain family members, it often is a pitched verbal debate:

CFM: "Are you sure we should turn right!??"

Me: "YES!"

CFM: "I really think we should turn left!! It feels like it should be over on the left!!??"

Me: ''TURN RIGHT!"

CFM: "I'm turning LEFT! Trust me."

Me: 'TURN RI-III-GHTTTT!!!!"

Gabby also gracefully recalibrates. This is a somewhat unnerving habit but always with my best interest in mind. I tend to listen carefully.

For example, on a recent jaunt over to southeast Portland just before rush hour (always a treat), her original directions, which I read first, had me going over the Marquam Bridge to Portland's Central Eastside.

Minutes before the exit, Gabby changed her mind.

"In 500 feet, take the Market St. exit."

WTF. But far be it for me to argue with The Lady Inside My Phone.

I took the exit. And with that, Gabby guided me through downtown and onto the Hawthorne Bridge -- a far more efficient (and apparently less congested way) to get to my destination. She also got me home. . . in the dark.

Sometimes, I wish I could change Gabby's flat, calm voice. Maybe something classic and just a little imperious -- like Lady Violet of "Downton Abbey" fame. . . or bright and brassy, peppered with an F Bomb here and there. Bette Midler maybe?.

But that's not to be. It's OK. Gabby's my go-to gal and erstwhile travel companion.

I like her just the way she is. As long as she doesn't call me a tool.




Friday, February 26, 2016

Oath of office

Let's see. Supreme Court nomination process - check.
What other Constitutional rights can I piss on?
Do you ever wake up in the middle night absolutely seething about the current state of affairs in the U.S.? That was me around 3 a.m. last night. Perhaps it was the chili I ate for dinner. . . or that I watched the first  20 minutes of the Republican debate before assuming the fetal position, covering my ears and chanting "La la la la la la." I don't know for sure. But I do know I've really got my knickers in a knot about this whole SCOTUS nomination debacle in the Senate.

While I try to keep this blog focused on happy things like rainbows, unicorns and salt water taffy, I really need to vent.

Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley and their yahoo partners in crime took an oath of office to defend the U.S. Constitution when joining the U.S Senate.  Instead, by obstructing the SCOTUS nomination process, they're wiping their feet on this revered document as if it were my backdoor welcome mat. I am almost certain the Constitution's fathers are spinning in their statesman-like graves.

So, fueled with a couple gallons of caffeine, I fired this off this morning. Anybody care to wager whether it actually makes it to Mitch McConnell's mailbox?

Sen. McConnell:

When you took your oath of office for the Senate you solemnly swore/affirmed that "I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

By blatantly announcing that Senate will not meet with nor consider a Supreme Court nominee until a new president is elected, you have broken this oath and should be ashamed. It confirms to me that you are no longer (never were?) a statesman, but an ideological puppet and obstructionist.

It is the President's AND Senate's constitutional responsibility to fill a vacant seat on the Supreme Court as soon as possible, and according to the SCOTUS Blog, the "historical record does not reveal any instances since at least 1900 of the president failing to nominate and/or the Senate failing to confirm a nomination nominee in a presidential election year because of the impending election."

Failure to do so impedes and delays the work of the Court, potentially affecting the lives of hundreds to thousands of Americans. It is our right as American citizens to have a fully functioning judiciary. Shame on you.

Live up to your oath. Don't hide behind statements Joe Biden made many years in the past; members of your own party have done the same. It's time to unravel the mess you've created with your dysfunctional, partisan "leadership." Guide the Senate through the Supreme Court confirmation process as our Constitution directs.

So there. I feel better now.

I think.

Seriously, folks, we need to care about this.

A lot.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sofa wars

About a month ago, it looked like we might lose our dog Ben. Almost 15-years-old, Ben's hips are going, and one night in December, they completely gave out, leaving Ben panicked in pain.

We rushed to the emergency animal hospital, where Ben collected himself, took a few tentative steps and then peed on a bush. We took him home, thinking it might be the end that week.

But it wasn't. He got better. And better still. To the point where he is now sneaking up on the no-fly-zone living room sofa any chance he can get.

You talkin' to me?
Sneaking is the operative word. If we are in another room, and the sofa is open, he makes a break for it. If we are gone for awhile and forget to "protect" this apparently tantalizing piece of furniture, we are greeted with a guilty canine slinking off the sofa. Sometimes he looks faintly annoyed that we dared return to the house.

This is a dog we now have to lift into the car. And who often labors up the front steps returning from a walk (more likely because he doesn't want to the walk to end). And who looks like he may never get up from his blanket because it's "so hard."

But when he hears the siren song of the sofa, it's game over.


This is a dog who apparently believes the command "Down!" now applies to his head.