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Pas de deux.

 

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When the autumn rains start, I spend a lot of time looking down at the ground, looking for droplets on fallen leaves, watching out for slugs and worms.

Sometimes I’ll talk myself out of a photograph because it doesn’t seem interesting enough, and then I’ll stop right in the middle of a parking lot and turn around, go back, crouch down and snap a photo.

I’m constantly arguing with myself:

Don’t add more pointless fluff to the world.

But what if the world needs a little pointless fluff to even out all of the heavy stuff?

Well, here it is, whatever it is. I need to stop stopping myself, and just post.

Day 365 of Project 365: Penultimate.

2016 had one last stomach bug to throw my way. Earlier this afternoon I was feeling dizzy so I went outside for some fresh air and saw this lichen-spotted sign.

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Writing from: my living-room in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: an episode of "Travelers" on Netflix. It had promise but ultimately suffered from the same issues that plague all shows about time travel.

Day 356 of Project 365: Winterbloom.

I had lofty goals to come home and get all of my chores done and pack and take a nice hot bath with custom-made bath salts that a friend gave me … and then I was delayed at work, and all that melted like so much Portland snow. I’m still packing! But in twenty-four hours I’ll be reunited with FunkyPlaid.

When I arrived home, this confused camellia bud greeted me. Happy Solstice!

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Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: a podcast called “LifeAfter” that I am not quite enjoying.

Day 342 of Project 365: First frost. 

It was quite frosty this morning, and an ice storm is headed our way tonight. Wish me luck getting to and from work tomorrow!

Writing from: my living-room in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: the wind rattling the panes.

Day 308 of Project 365: Secret duck.

I just finished the second of three evening shifts in a row and feeling run-down. How quickly I turned into a morning lark!

Thankfully, I’ve been doing this project long enough that I thought to take a photo earlier in the day instead of scrambling at the last minute. Here is a duck I spied on my dinner break.

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Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: my own yawns.

Day 284 of Project 365: Leaves afire.

En route to the bus, I snapped a quick photo of some of our lovely autumn foliage.

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Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: “The Wind” by Doe Paoro (feat. Adam Rhodes).

https://open.spotify.com/track/5yHovMCC2QiZJYfk1C0BGl

 

Day 279 of Project 365: Moss and bark.

Today’s photo is a bit abstract, since I wasn’t willing to risk dunking my phone (or my whole self) in the creek to get a closer snap. My commute isn’t all urban; I am treated to texturally delectable sights like this one every day. I have to remember that when I’m feeling cranky about all that time on the bus.

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The ending of “The Bone Clocks” took a bleak turn, and I’m struggling to finish the very last pages. But David Mitchell is unarguably talented, and I’ll keep reading his books.

Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: “Sol” by Solar Fields.

https://open.spotify.com/track/78s9ENMqB5MBgV8nhP3ogF

Day 274 of Project 365: Morning dew.

I am so grateful to Past-Cygnoir for taking a photo early this morning so Present-Cygnoir didn’t have to scramble blearily around the house for a last-minute snap.

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Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: “Whipped Cream Rag” by Fred van Eps.

Day 264 of Project 365: Pithy title.

Nope, not even that.

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FunkyPlaid and I finished watching the first season of ”Stranger Things” tonight. My feelings are mixed: I reveled in the abject ‘80s nostalgia that is the series’ trademark, but not even the most adorable kids ever could make up for the inconsistent writing.

But let’s get back to those ridiculously cute kids.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbqiN9hHyJo

Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: the “Stranger Things” soundtrack.

Day 262 of Project 365: Autumn's arrival.

My favorite podcast, which I know I have mentioned here before, is Judge John Hodgman. In September 7th’s episode “Mommy Nearest”, Judge Hodgman shared this aphorism: “Welcome to how it goes.” He explains that saying it reminds him that “there’s no use complaining or being frustrated with a problem – you’ve just got to decide how to proceed, and do it, because otherwise you’re just idling.”

Thanks, Your Honor.

Weather report! Last week may have been summery, but this weekend has turned autumnal. We’ve got proper rain and leaves are starting to turn and fall. I’m loving it.

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Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: “Death. Taxes. Hillary.” by Stephen Colbert.

Days 253-259 of Project 365: Myriad mundanities.

Sometimes you sit at home in a world that only exists in a collective imagination. (Credits below.)

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Sometimes you go out into the real world and inhabit what a joyful fever-dream of a Kevin Costner-obsessed, seven-foot-tall clown who will never speak, only sing and grunt and command people to eat cupcakes while he sings “Under Pressure” at them.

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Sometimes you are at work and an echo of your past heart walks in as your throat closes and you half-kneel, half-crouch, bargaining with time so maybe this moment could last a little longer than it surely will, bargaining with your shoddy memory which deftly picks exactly now to tell you that this isn’t your beloved but rather someone else’s beloved and can’t you see that all the details are wrong and it doesn’t matter but you won’t cry, no you won’t, not at work, not at a new job, and so you make all of your adult body stand up and smile and walk away.

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And the rest of the week? You simply take pictures of the things that fill up other spaces in your brain, colors and shapes in pleasant arrangements, nothing too dangerous, nothing too bizarre: myriad mundanities that somehow add up to a life.

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Credits for Second Life snap (vaguely left-to-right):

 

  • Studio Skye – Enchanted Woods v2 – 4 (clearing) [resized]
  • Trompe Loeil – Garden Bard Abode (no gardens)
  • Schadenfreude Gunmetal Distressed Bethlem Apothecary Cabinet
  • Schadenfreude Dark Angel Dress Form RARE
  • .random.Matter. - Ire Cabinet - Rose
  • Ex Machina Terrarium 1
  • *HEXtraordinary* Chameleon Companion - Green Rainbow - RARE
  • Apple Fall Books
  • Concept} 07. Retro Radio - Cere - RARE
  • Concept}  Retro Radio - Books
  • DIGS - Heritage Armchair - FLF Limited [MESH]
  • junk. battered leather couch. brown. pg.
  • Trompe Loeil - Antique Floor Lamp with projection lighting
  • MIASNOW Home - RUG LOTUS 10 ~black to brown

 

{ Visit Chez Cygnoir in Second Life! }

Writing from: my study in Portland. Listening to: “Wasted Time” by Eagles.

Day 248 of Project 365: Bittersweet nightshade.

Work today was rather instructive: I researched a plant that grows outside the library which turned out to be Solanum dulcamara, also known as bittersweet nightshade. It isn’t as toxic as deadly nightshade, but still isn’t anything you want to be snacking on in a parking lot.

Pretty, though, isn’t it?

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Writing from: my non-toxic study in Portland. Listening to: so much “Prison Break”. It’s over soon, and I’m glad; Season 4 consists mainly of gratuitous vengeance interspersed with structural engineering puzzles. Only not as exciting as I just described it.

Day 233 of Project 365: Yachats.

We escaped the oppressive heat in Portland for a brief coastal sojourn with friends in Florence, Oregon. On the way we stopped in Yachats for lunch. The day was sunny and a veil of mist draped over the coast. It was at least 30 degrees cooler than what we had left behind.

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Writing from: my study. Listening to: “Music for Pieces of Wood” by Steve Reich, Smoke and Mirrors Percussion Ensemble.

https://open.spotify.com/track/6IQILcYkN2S2eSu5IHoPEH

Day 212 of Project 365: Squirrel patrol.

A squirrel launched itself at the side of our house today. Twice. It made the sound of a Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary being flung at the wall, which is not how I generally use a Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary so it made me sit up and pay attention.

I took this photo after I peered out the window the first time, when I was worried that it had hurt itself. But after self-appointed squirrel patrol all day, I think it is all right.

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I also think it may be pregnant, and had started setting up a nest in a hole in our roof which we had patched up. It was launching itself at the hole but meeting the mesh face-first. Which of course I feel horrible about now, but squirrels aren’t the first wild animals that have burrowed into this house. (Raccoons, before we lived here.)

When I checked on the squirrel later, it had disappeared. I read that grey squirrels tend to have more than one nest so I hope it has found a different one.

Nature happened to me! Exciting.

Writing from: Squirrel Patrol HQ. Listening to: “Only Trying to Tell You” by Jacob Allen.

https://open.spotify.com/track/2qH0rp46A6HXRX29SyDtZw

Day 174 of Project 365: Walkability.

I enjoy unwinding from an intense day filled with “how do I do this thing that I normally know how to do but don’t yet know how to do in this context” with this walk to the bus.

I didn’t see any ROUSes, but while I was distracted by hummingbirds I was almost mowed down by a cyclist listening to loud country music. Ah, nature.

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Writing from: my study. Listening to: my hard-drive chug as it converts PDFs to ebooks.

Day 171 of Project 365: Carpe rosa.

I didn’t get to much of what I had planned for the weekend, but that’s okay. I’m still figuring out how much free time I have now. And I’m realizing just how tired I can get by nine o’clock in the evening. What happened to me?

I did take some time to enjoy our garden, and found this tiny inhabitant.

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Writing from: my study. Listening to: The Talk Show live from WWDC 2016

Day 168 of Project 365: Arrival.

Hello, beauty. We’ve been waiting for you.

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Writing from: the living room. Listening to: Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Day 167 of Project 365: Please do not feed.

So I spotted this sign on my new commute today.

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Aren’t nutria basically Rodents of Unusual Size from “The Princess Bride”?

Thanks, creepy old sign from a horror movie, but I already wasn’t about to feed any giant bite-happy water-rats.

Writing from: my study. Listening to: FunkyPlaid playing XCOM 2.

Day 159 of Project 365: Slow like a bunny.

FunkyPlaid and I took my mom to Edgefield today, where she and I received hour-long massages at their spa. We were left languid and dreamy, and as we wandered the grounds in search of FunkyPlaid, we encountered this tiny bunny. The rabbit was in no rush at all, savoring the niblets of green he was stealing from the herb garden. 

Writing from: the bedroom, which is bearable tonight after days of unseasonable heat. Listening to: the absence of Maxine the refrigerator’s loud voice … she finally has a new fan and is nearly silent!

Day 155 of Project 365: Rose City redux. 

Someday I will get tired of posting pictures of roses in Portland. 

Today is not that day. 

And now I have new contact lenses after way too long, so I see everything

Writing from: the living-room. Listening to: the “Hamilton” soundtrack in my head, as usual. 

Days 140-152 of Project 365: Spring chaos.

Hello again, patient Project 365 friends! The end of May zipped so quickly that I fell far behind with these posts. I kept snapping every day, though, so I have something to show for my long absence.

Down the leftmost column:

  • a mass of shopping carts at IKEA;
  • fun blurbs that Lonesome's Pizza tucks inside their pizza boxes;
  • my Second Life avatar playing with a virtual pet cat;
  • a non-virtual kitten that I got to snuggle thanks to new friends;
  • my kombucha-in-progress.

Down the middle column:

  • a couple of ducks who were strolling across my front yard when Courtney dropped me off at home;
  • a surreptitious snap from an evening of music videos aired on MTV in the year 1986 as part of an event called Rerun Theater at the Hollywood (but I dearly wish I had taken a better pic because that frame looks vaguely naughty);
  • a particularly artful and delicious sushi roll at Yama;
  • homemade cashew cheese, which tastes much better than it sounds.

And down the right column:

  • a bevy of WordPress stickers at Saturday's WP birthday picnic in Laurelhurst Park;
  • my Midori Traveler's Notebook across from Alberto's laptop during our Sunday coworking session at Heart;
  • my wonderful Zen cat savoring the sunshine;
  • a ladybird atop one of the backyard grape leaves.

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Writing from: my study, currently in chaos as I am reviewing every single book I own in order to decide which ones I will keep. Traumatic. Listening to: episodes of “30 Rock” in the background for comic relief.

Day 133 of Project 365: Rose City.

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Today’s photo is yet another beautiful specimen from Rose City, which is certainly living up to the nickname this week. Before my dad and I said goodbye tonight, we took one last wander around the neighborhood and stopped to smell the roses.

I had a whole rumination on our far-flung lives and how relieved I am to be at least on the same continent as my own family again … but my iPad ate it. For all my iPad appreciation, I still have not figured out how to use it to post here without losing text. Any tips from those of you posting to WordPress with your own tablets?

Writing from: the living-room. Listening to: the latest episode of “The Catch”. I can’t decide if I like it or not.

Day 125 of Project 365: Dianthus.

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Our backyard is quite photogenic in springtime. Here is a bloom from one of our dianthus plants.

I wish I had the wherewithal to write a proper post tonight. I’ll leave you with a Zen update: she now climbs up the stairs all by herself. I thought yesterday might have been a fluke, but she did it again tonight. I think this new development is a result of the joint supplements she is on and her enthusiasm for the nighttime meal she knows she will receive upstairs. Whatever the reason, now she goes up and down the stairs on her own, and I’m thrilled.

Writing from: my study. Listening to: “Late Date” by The Ben Webster Quintet.

Day 108 of Project 365: Wahclella Falls.

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Today FunkyPlaid and I got out of Portland for a bit and hiked to Wahclella Falls with Courtney and Robert. They had been there before, and it was good to go with people who knew what level of hike we were undertaking, especially since I am so out of shape. It is definitely past time to reboot my exercise regimen.

I took photos of the falls but they didn’t turn out as well as this one. You get the idea of how ridiculously photogenic the place is. Soon I will return with a proper camera!

Writing from: my makeshift study in the dining-room. Listening to: trains in the distance.

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.