Friday, November 26, 2010

Happiness... not a warm gun (if you are a Beatles fan) or a warm puppy (if you are a Charles Shulz fan.) Happiness is an orderly broom closet, after spending three-plus years of cursing its disorder.
After I finished this project I kept walking by and opening the door, just to look in and feel happy. This was more exciting to me then getting the bedroom painted.

Bedroom Painting

Here is the before shot of one side of my room, pre-painting. I neglected to take a picture from the other direction, but imagine a bed and white walls and you've got it.

Mid paint. Notice the helpful kitty Sentinel sitting on his perch.

Chris and I worked bits of two days and voila! A freshly painted room. Here is my bed frame. I really like the white on the blue, but the way the mattress stacks up on the bed frame, I would have been better off buying a platform and saving my money.

As you can see here, all bed frame is obliterated. This is also stage I of a three stage paint job. Stage II is to install shelving along the dark blue line so the cats can hang out in the top part of the room. Also to set stuff on. Stage III is to stencil a star I liked that was used in decorative woodworking in Hungary. Those improvements are coming soon to a theater near you. Don't hold your breath waiting.

Here is the view from the other direction. As you can see, I have cleaned off the upper reaches of my desk, so I can better highlight the fabulous bottle brush lamp I got in a white elephant gift exchange. I use it every morning.

A close up of the lamp. Isn't it fun?
It has occurred to me that there remains only one room in the house with white walls. Unfortunately, it is the bathroom, full of difficult painting situations. But when I get that done, all the painting will be finished!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tomato "Harvest"

It was a horrible tomato season. Our summer was never warm enough to ripen the tomatoes. Before the rains started, I took my two promising plants filled with tons of green tomatoes and ripped them out of the ground, cages and all. I hung them in one of our sheds. They freaked out and ripened, eventually. Today was the final harvest. They aren't full of home grown tomato taste, but they taste similar to tomatoes in the grocery store, so I'm calling it a win. Such as it is.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter Party VII

Every time a Harry Potter movie is released, our friends Laurie and Burt host a Harry Potter Party. We go as a group to watch the movie, then return to their house for good food, kibbitzing about the movie, and the famous Harry Potter trivia game.

Memorable movie theater moment: we got in trouble for saving seats. Apparently you can only save seats for people who are in the building. Amazingly, many of our people were suddenly "in the building."

Also, the theater forgot to start the movie. After waiting an hour through a progression of nothing, a slide show with only five slides, the evil and hideous Regal "First Look" and previews we watched this screen for about five minutes before someone left the theater, alerted the proper authorities and the movie began.

Laurie made chocolate cauldrons and Marley and Willow made licorice broomsticks. There was also pumpkin curry soup as well as risotto and fish and chips. It was a delicious meal.
Matt headed up one of the trivia teams and I was on another. One team had to get by with neither Matt nor myself on it. Matt was delighted to beat the reigning trivia champions (Marley's team and Willow's team) which he wasn't expecting. As a member of Marley's team, I must point out that he only beat us by half a point, but I do concede victory.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Auction! (the musical)

Not really. But it would be fun to have a musical themed auction.

I was recruited to make a cake for the beginning of the live auction. I created this checkerboard cake, which I think turned out rather well. It brought in $65.00.

4/5 teachers Jo & Julie make their best 80's musical promotional poster.

You can get the staff together for a picture, but it's hard to get us to stop talking.

Until we do.

One of the parents bought all the teachers three strands of beads each for Heads or Tails. It was great fun.

John and one of the parents face off.

John and Tara face off.

Each classroom made an auction project to be auctioned. Sometimes it helps to increase the price if the teacher herself stands up there and indicates which direction the price should go.
Overall, it was a comfortably elegant evening.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Laundromat Ho!

I thought a project would be good for me on Veteran's Day, so I bundled up the slipcovers for the couch and the chase lounger, as well as all our heavy bedding, and trundled everything to the laundromat where I could use the much larger front loaders. There, I read a good book while things washed and dried.

The slipcovers had to air dry, unfortunately. It was a sunny day, so I hung them outside. The day turned cloudy and I checked the weather report which did not mention rain. "I'll just watch for the first drop of rain" I told the cats, as I put in a movie to watch. Unfortunately, I fell asleep and when I woke up, it was raining. I hurried out to bring in the covers and set them up in various places to dry. I think the rain more than undid whatever drying happened outside.

Three kitties living in harmony

The first week Squeak visits is fraught with kitty negotiations. While Sentinel is a "live and let live" kitty, Antares spends a lot of time following Squeak around and trapping him in corners. I spend a lot of time saying things like, "Antares! What a cute kitty, let me pick you up!" so he will vacate his stalking and Squeak can go about his business. I think Antares has the cat version of short man syndrome.

After the first week, they've usually got everything all figured out. Then they can all find a spot on the bed and hang out together, albeit separately. Such cute kitties!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Live Wire!

"Why the heck would I want to pay to see a taping of Live Wire! when I can hear it on the radio for free?"

I've asked myself that question many times, but I finally paid to see a taping of Live Wire! and discovered that it's incredibly fun and well worth the money.

Waiting for Matt outside after my walk to the Alberta Rose Theater, I took a picture of the poster.

The empty stage. The whiteboard has the Audience Haiku of the Day topic.
Our topic? High school fashion: the upside. Both Matt and I submitted our haikus to the Haiku Hotties, who were the Sweetpea Ladies Auxiliary. They would be a team of women cyclocross racers. They were all dressed in their racing gear.

Pre-show self portrait.

We were sitting right by the producers' table which was awesome. Here, Robyn Tenenbaum (co-executive producer) and Courtenay Hameister (host, also producer/founder-type person) discuss some last minute details.

This guy (whose name is Drew Fint and who is the production manager & lighting designer) was doing something funny with his fingers. I figured out that he was screening the audience haikus and counting the correct amount of syllables.

Much to my delight (and surprise, as Matt didn't tell me) Erin McKeown was one of the musical guests.

We heard an interview with Andy Blubaugh, who is an independent filmmaker. He sat in front of us. "Who is this guy who is rocking the nebbish, hip, nerdy look?" I thought to myself when he sat down. It turns out he's a nebbish, hip, nerdy director.

On that computer screen, Live Wire! house poet Scott Poole (not seen because he was blocked by the woman) was writing a poem about the show, right during the show. Scott Poole's bio in the program says in part: "In his spare time he enjoys being a matador, weight lifting, bear wrestling, alligator dentistry, spitting contests, eating beef jerky and watching French cinema with the sound off so he can hear the soft reverberation of his own tears falling upon the velveteen carpet of his soul." Scott Poole's bio made me laugh hard.More Erin McKeown. She's so delightful.

The Alberta Rose theater sold these delicious Australian Hand Pies, which were incredibly good.

Like really, really good.

See that round thing blocking the view of the actors on stage? That's Earl Blumenauer's head! Our own US Representative, sitting right in front of us!

Nathanial Boggess told a story about high school.

More radio acting fun. The woman on the left is the sound "guy"

Our US Representative gets interviewed.

The Upsidedown played. They had a lot of musicians. Three guitars plus and a bass guitar, a keyboard and two, count them two, drummers. It was kind of a wall of sound, but not in a Phil Spector way, more of a "you crashing into the wall of sound repeatedly" sort of way. Their interview was pretty funny. When asked the question, "What do the Hollywood people look for when they are choosing songs for tv shows?" the guitarist quickly answered, "I think they are looking for the most awesome band ever. And they found it, in our case." Indeed. They have had songs featured on two television shows.

Then it came time for the Audience Haiku. Matt and I had already suffered the disappointing news that our excellent Audience Haikus had not been chosen as the winner. Some other woman was the lucky winner and was going to read her haiku on stage. But before she read hers, first, each of the three radio actors read their favorite. We heard the first one and laughed. Sean McGrath began to read the second haiku and Matt suddenly was overtaken by a very quiet fit: "That's my haiku! Mine! Me me me! My haiku! They are reading mine!!" This fit was accompanied by arm flailing and pointing and general excitement. I actually didn't get to hear the haiku because of Matt's excitement. Luckily he remembers it:
Despite your new clothes
The cool kids still won't like you
So wear what you like

Because his haiku was read, he got a CD. Here he is, waiting for his CD with the woman who got to read her haiku aloud.

And here they pose together.

This is actually the second time one of Matt's haikus has been read aloud. At a Portland Community Land Trust event a few years ago, there was haiku performance (it was awesome) and they read some audience haikus. Matt's was read at that event too. He still remembers it:
Our painting party
Greek food for our friend's labor
Tom Sawyer would laugh

Matt wishes to inform you that you can hear his Live Wire! Audience Haiku being read on the Live Wire! broadcast date 11/14. You can find it on iTunes. The Audience Haiku is at the end of the show.