Happy Making




Twilight: the good kind

Twilight: the good kind

[kon-floo-uh ns]
1. a flowing together of two or more streams, rivers,or the like: the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippirivers.
2. their place of junction: St. Louis is at the confluence of the Missouri andMississippi rivers.
3. a body of water formed by the flowing together oftwo or more streams, rivers, or the like.
4. a coming together of people or things; concourse.
5. a crowd or throng; assemblage.


“Everything hits at once. What we needs is just what we wants.” ~ Spoon

It is true unto the point of being tiresome cliché that events never pause, nor helpfully spread themselves into manageable intervals. In many cases this is exhausting, overwhelming, and awful. No breath-catching, no respite, no moment to reflect and choose to see an upside; merely a never ending swell of the sea relentlessly pounding the shore.

On rare occasions, it happens that some of the things happening cast all the other things into a brilliant new focus. Or by delightful happenstance, suddenly make everything easier, more beautiful, and full of new possibility.

For a fairly long stretch of time it has been the latter case, and I have been waiting with as much patience as possible either for a quiet moment in which to rest, or for something uplifting to counterbalance the relentlessness of it all.

I pause in this moment to once again acknowledge that my most focused intent always seems to yield the most spectacular results. The longer the outcome takes to manifest, the more marvelous it seems to be when it finally does appear.

So then, in this moment where the sun is being eclipsed by a super moon on the first day of spring, I say my gracious thanks for all of the things that are happening right this very moment.

So, it’s Friday.

I accepted a new job back in January. Having relinquished my pseudo-gypsy lifestyle in favor of a new car and health insurance has generally been a positive change, but the difference between 24 and 40 hours a week is substantial.

I always knew I was a bit spoiled; even when I was working 3 jobs at a time, it was still the case that I’d work one day, and then have a day off. I’d work another day, and then have one off. I’d work one more day, and then I’d have two off. It was the life. True, I was broke all the time, but good god the glorious time to accomplish things. 

Suffice it to say, now that I go to work every weekday, things have changed. I like my new job, I am just feeling the no-longer-abundant proportion of free time somewhat keenly. Apart from the lack of time to get chores, tasks, and projects done there is also a considerable dearth of time to just do not a goddamned thing which I could not have predicted I would miss so much. Oh, were one to know the glorious indulgence of being bored when one was it. 

Perhaps it makes what I am about to assert seem rather obvious; now that I have so much less free time, the bit I do is much more precious to me. I think about how to spend it more carefully, and do my level best to fill it – at least with a little not a goddamned thing – but also with people and activities I love best.

Which is why I’m up for a jam-packed weekend of doing things I adore. Out to White Salmon for a Naramore Acres moviefest and Blerch* Dash. Back to Portland for niece Billie’s birthday party. Finally a day devoted to laying around until the last possible moment before getting up and doing all my chores in a frenzied whirlwind of vacuuming, laundry, and mattress flipping.

I can hardly wait.


*All due acknowledgement to The Oatmeal here. Les and I were beside ourselves with excitement when the Beat the Blerch was announced last year. We didn’t move fast enough and registration filled with lightning speed. There’s another race scheduled for mid-September this year, and we are avowedly in training, till then. We’re gonna have to get some cake.

[hahy-ey-tuh s]
noun, plural hiatuses, hiatus.
1. A break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.
2. A missing part; gap or lacuna: Scholars attempted to account for the hiatus in the medieval manuscript.
3. Any gap or opening.
4. Grammar, Prosody. the coming together, with or without break or slight pause, and without contraction, of two vowels in successive words or syllables, as in see easily.
5. Anatomy. a natural fissure, cleft, or foramen in a bone or other structure.

It seems to be an unintentional but reliable tendency of mine to periodically cease all efforts at creative output. The tides and vagaries of life being what they are, it is perhaps understandable, but considering I know self-expression to be high on the list of happiness-making items, I’ll admit to the occasional exasperated sigh heaved in my own direction in the face of a lapse in industry.

Distractions abound and certainly, it’s been an eventful year, but to have some more tangible record of all that passed in the last twelvemonth would be gratifying. Even if occasionally difficult, it would afford me the opportunity to review the time with a more objective eye. The material changes being only the most apparent products of events unfolded and played through, they are substantial. Internal conditions have undergone even more radical alteration; a veritable revolution, that.

So I stand on this shore, with previously unbeheld vistas to consider; the far landscape hinting of a familiar but departed past. At my feet a collection of belongings, intentions, and dreams I held dear enough to retain, some all newly acquired. Sunk into the sea over the horizon, a host of ways and means cast onto the water to sink away into darkness, having far outlived whatever usefulness it once demonstrated.
So all unburdened and newly equipped, I set out again, for the first time.

I was lucky enough to be front row for Neko Case last night. I had originally decided not to attend; between my crowdfear and general distaste for “festival” concerts, I resolved to skip seeing her this time.  Then, as it turned out a friend of mine was  working the show and offered to get me in the side gate and backstage. Obviously I wasn’t going to pass on that chance.

I arrived early and after some consideration, decided to position myself as close to the stage as possible. I knew this would put my dislike for being surrounded on all sides to the test, but happily a Neko crowd isn’t exactly super pushy or aggressive so I had a decent personal space bubble to work with.

 I am pleased to say it went very well, and I was as close as I have ever been to the artist I admire most deeply. In many ways doing so was an act of challenging the limits I have placed on myself both consciously and by default. I am well, and I know that with the reserves of good cheer and mental resilliance I currently possess now is the best possible time to press beyond my boundaries and achieve growth. Getting up next to the stage was an exercise in weighing the value of the reward against the intensity of the anxiety. A good practice for me, in all respects. 

It was a surpassingly beautiful evening, the opening act was fantastic, and Neko was in rare form on her 43rd birthday. It was a priviledge I was most cognizant of to be there to enjoy it.

Her latest album is called “The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You”  The record itself doesn’t really dwell that much on the motif, but the title just explicates with such poetry a common theme in so many dysfunctional relationships – certainly some of mine. 

In the past I’ve gotten sucked into believing that the amount of effort expended in a relationship increases its value, rather than that the more valuable the relationship the more worthy of effort it is. It’s a common logical fallacy to think it works both ways… 

I walked away thinking about the greater significance of the moment; my very good fortune to be in the place I am in my life at this moment, the opportunities that have been afforded me of late, and the virtually limitless potential that lies yet ahead.

So, with the sound of her voice echoing in my ears and this sentiment percolating through my mind – here’s to the redoubled efforts to nurture those things that sustain us – and relinquish with grace those that drain us. 

Been mulling this one for a long time indeed. I have wanted a running buddy, frisbee friend, camping partner, and general adventuremate. 

This is Jenkins. He’s a 1.5 year old Red Heeler mix. I can’t quite decide what I think he’s mixed with; almost seems shepard-like, but the floppy ears are a bit of a mystery. He’s much taller than your average cattle-dog and not quite as stout. His tail is also quite long and curvy. I’m sure I’ll eventually figure it out; a trip to the vet is in the offing, so that’ll be something to ask about.

He’s high energy, very smart, and while he’s breed-typically willful, he’s also reasonably compliant and quite sweet. He’s lean and fast. We tried running this morning, but since he came from Clatsop County originally, I think the ultra urban setting was a little distracting/disconcerting. He did great in the park last night, so I think we need to stick to a quieter atmosphere while we’re working on leash manners.

He’s a happy boy and not aggressive in the least; great around dogs and kids. I noticed bikes whizzing past seemed to make him nervous. Traffic noises also seemed to disturb him a bit, but I’m confident with gentle exposure and experience, he’ll mellow right out. He does have an odd relationship with stairs; bolts up them at full speed almost in a panic. He’s already bonked his noggin on the wall of the landing at home trying to get upstairs at about 56 m.p.h.

He’s pretty affectionate when the mood strikes and seems to love to climb into laps, despite being way too big to fit comfortably. He wants desperately to sleep in the bed with me, which for now at least, is a big no-no. After encouraging him to get comfy on the floor, he scooted under the bed and rested there with his snout poked out from under the blanket. Adorable.

Much like a new baby, he kept me awake most of the night being restless, but I am happy to say he is both house-broken and very rarely vocalizes. 

I’m very excited about the new member of the household, and feel like with consistency, gentle correction, and patience, he’s going to be the best go-pal ever.



Sing it, Mavis! Testify!!

This is what tonight looked like. A serenade…




Who wants to arm wrestle?

By Mother Mother


This. Now. Always.


My new standard, motto, and most ardent hope.

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