November 1998 Archives

For the love of a chair

Amy and I restored the seat of a chair she bought at a thrift store.

We simply weaved strips of fabric from side to side and front to back until the seat was a seat again.

It has been sitting in the corner for weeks, waiting for us to get to work. We have been ignoring it.

It is now finished, and it is beautiful.


There are clouds in my ears and windstorms settling into the small of my back.

The rain is gone for now. I expect that the evening will cool and the clouds will open again. So it will be a wet ride home.

It has been far too long since I stepped into the woods. My heart is sore for what is beyond the city, and my head aches because I have been listening to urban moans without rest for months.

So there are plans to snowshoe this Friday, plans to spend the rest of the weekend in hiking boots.

For now, the rain falling on my fleece hat is my inspiration.

I close my eyes and cover my ears. I dream I am near the ocean; I dream I am on the mountain.

My imagination will have to do.

This blows

The wind is back, and everything is, incredibly, still standing.

We have been told by the people who know these things that the wind will reach speeds of sixty miles per hour or better.

Across the street from my office window, a puddle of water continues to collect on an awning.

The wind will pick it up and throw it fifty feet, across another street, into people moving along the sidewalk.

I am preparing to bicycle home.

Roll over

I woke up Tuesday at 5am halfway through the following thought: meteor showers are no good when the sky is filled with one huge cloud.

I set my alarm early, considering that this specific meteor shower visits only once every quarter-century or so. I woke up before it went off and sat in bed looking at my ceiling. (The view was roughly the same as laying on the grass looking up at Portland's November sky.)

Somewhere between waking early and waking for work, I reached over and grabbed my alarm, turned it off, and set it next to me in bed.

As it turns out, right when I should have been waking up, I rolled over and my alarm stuck me in the back good and hard.

Not exactly what it was built to do, but it worked.

The wind is incredible today.

Last week, the golden trees were gripping their leaves tightly, and though the streets were blanketed with the leaves they'd let go, the trees themselves were still sufficiently colored.

This is no longer true.

And so the barren look of winter is upon us.


So it was sunny and hot at Smith Rocks this weekend, and every person that went climbing had a wonderful time.

I stayed home.

A lot of things were accomplished, though, and I found some important time with my parents.

Tonight, Amy and I (and a pile of other people) are going to see the Trinity Irish Dance Company.

I was encouraged when a reviewer said something like, "Irish dance has been hyped heavily by the likes of Lord of the Dance and Riverdance, but the Trinity Irish Dance Company is the birthplace of the style used in both productions, called 'progressive Irish stepdance'."

And, considering more than one connection to the word Trinity, I am very excited about this evening.

I expect something wonderful.

The rain as decision maker

It is wet in Madras, Oregon and our weekend plans are ruined. We were headed to Smith Rocks for a weekend of climbing.

But the rain is a special kind of gift.

My mother is celebrating her new job and my father is celebrating his new house.

I was trapped tightly between climbing with Lars and Anne for probably the last time (we have been planning this trip for months now) and sharing in these celebrations. I can be nothing if not both disappointed and pleased by the rain's sure decision.

The rain has decided for me.

So I will celebrate with my mother as she once again is given the title "reverend".

I will go to my father's new house to bless his recent marriage.

And when I find a quiet moment, I expect that I will turn my face southeast, toward volcanic towers and a small powerful river.

A fresh start

I am officially affected by the weather.

Not that this statement should come as any kind of surprise to those of you who have been keeping up with my journal, when I do get around to writing and then posting my thoughts.

There are distinct implications of weathered unhappiness.

Truth is, it's a bit more complicated than that.

I'm actually very happy most of the time.

But I can't shake the feeling that my body is dead weight; if I didn't have to drag the damned thing with me everywhere I go, maybe I'd have more energy.

And I've been unusually hypersensitive about my writing. Like I suddenly got my hands on some honest-to-goodness literary taste.

I think it's time to set aside whatever crappy thing is keeping me from writing about the everyday parts of my ordinary life.


I did three loads of laundry over the weekend. My room smells like someone kicked over a bucket of Surf, and I love it. It makes me feel better.

And when I went downstairs, no one was using the machines.

The last time I tried to do laundry, I waited two hours before removing someone else's clothes from the washing machines (which hadn't been running for any of that time). Then I waited another hour for those clothes to finish drying, because the residents who left them in the washing machines for so long finally got a clue and came downstairs to put their wet clothes in the dryers.

As you can imagine, I was very unhappy.

But this weekend, not a minute of waiting. And like a good apartment-dweller, I pulled my clothes out of the dryers as soon as they were finished, folded them carefully, and disappeared.

Recovering from the camera episode

So after a day with a camera, I'm back to normal old reclusive me.

Which is good.

It was fun while it lasted, though.

I am right in the middle of helping Lars with a huge project.

We are building a telescope that can be remotely controlled from the web. My job is to provide web-related advice and to create the final design.

I can't really describe how excited I am about it. We are building something on the web that has a measure of practical use.

I woke up late today, walked to work in a strange kind of halfsleepy mood.

It is beginning to rain.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 1998 listed from newest to oldest.

October 1998 is the previous archive.

December 1998 is the next archive.

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