Monthly Archives: April 2009

Pics and Poetry

Bus Stop on Division

Bus Stop on Division Ave.

Acquainted With the Night
By Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain–and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-by;
And further still at an unearthly height
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Doppler in bookbag

Doppler and the Book Bag

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Filed under Literature, Portland

100th Post – 50 Things I love About Portland and Oregon

This is my 100th post to this blog, and I have decided to use it by listing 50 things I love about Portland or Oregon. Here goes:

1. Chinese Gardens and Tao of Tea
2. Multnomah Falls
3. Cannon Beach (Cranky Sue’s Restaurant) & Seaside
4. Salt Water Taffy on the Boardwalk
5. Bridges (Especially Hawthorne and St. Johns)
6. Willamette River
7. Columbia River Gorge
8. Fresh Water
9. Wine Country
10. Washington Park
11. Mt. Tabor Park
12. Farmers Market at Portland State University
13. Coffee Shops (Palio, Vivace)
14. Ladd’s Addition
15. Hippies
16. Micro-Breweries
17. Clinton Corner Cafe
18. Bailey’s Downtown
19. Live Music
20. Shoebox Theater and The Northwest Classical Theatre Company (Shakespeare)
21. Victorian Houses
22. Naito Parkway
23. Keller Fountain Park
24. Bagdad Theatre
25. Ignite Portland
26. Beer & Blog
27. Powell’s Bookstore
28. Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC)
29. Oregon Historical Society Museum (“Oregon My Oregon”)
30. Green Living (Recycling)
31. Bicycle Riding
32. Portland Spirit River Cruise Dining
33. Fat Straw (Bubble Tea)
34. Mt. Hood
35. Mt. St. Helens
36. McMenamin’s Kennedy School
37. Northwest 23rd (“Trendy Third”)
38. Village Merchant’s Resale Shop
39. People’s Coop
40. Thai Food (Lots & Lots of Thai Food)
41. Public Transportation (Max, Bus, Street Car)
42. Pioneer Square and Pioneer Square Mall
43. Oregon Zoo
44. Central Library Downtown
45. Portland City Grill (Awesome Views & Incredible Mojitos)
46. Briggitine Monk’s Gourmet Confections (Fudge)
47. Pittock Mansion
48. Urban Iditarod
49. Clear Skies (No Smog or Ozone Alerts)
50. Utopia Cafe (Potato Cakes)

Here is a list of things that I can’t wait to see or participate in:
– Zombie Walk
– Pirate Festival
– Portland Rose Festival
– Sasquatch Music Festival
– Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland)
– Japanese Gardens
– Forest Park
– Skiing (Mt. Hood)
– Crater Lake
Tillamook (Cheese Factories)
– Back Fence PDX (storytelling)
– Kayaking
– Hiking
– Camping
Santacon

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Filed under Oregon, Portland

I Conquered Winter

The days in Portland are a lot less dreary lately. Honestly, the sunshine and warmer weather couldn’t have come at a better time. For most of the winter I was able to keep my spirits up by following a routine of job hunting and exploring, but the last few weeks of rain and clouds were beginning to have their affect on me. The trees have leaves, flowers are blooming, people are bicycling, and I’m wearing shorts again. I made it through my first winter in Portland, and I did it unemployed. I have a feeling that the future winters will not be quite so difficult because I will have jobs. I can’t really throw a personal pity party on the job front because Oregon’s unemployment rate is at 12.1%. If I threw a pity party, I think I would have thousands of people attend and party crash.

I am enjoying the spring, and can’t wait for my first Oregon summer. I have a feeling it will be beautiful, inspiring, and almost spiritual.

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Filed under Human Nature, Portland

Portland Art and Spring Pictures

Portland Art

Willamette River Harbor

Portland Art

Spring in Portland

Tall Bike (Portland

Spring in Portland 2

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Filed under Human Nature, pictures, Portland Art

Zines

I have a new hobby. As I have said before, Portland seems to be quite the hobby town, and it is encouraging my own creativity. Recently, I was turned on to the world of zines. You will find a good definition of a zine at Wikipedia.

Portland seems to be crazy about zines. Most bookstores seem to have a section for them, and there are at least three bookstores that include a great deal of zines in their merchandise. I first became interested in zines when I stumbled across the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC). I joined the IPRC and began taking classes and reading through their extensive zine library.

As I continued to research zines, I came across a topic that I am using to write my first zine. I am writing teaching tips for teachers. I am taking all of my experience and trying to condense it down into a detailed, readable, and funky zine. I’m giving advice on substitute teaching (always carry Bandaids), curriculum development (real and relevant), classroom management, and parent/teacher conferences just to name a few of the chapters. I am limiting it to 10 pages front and back (4 zine pages per page), and I plan on hand stitching it with waxed linen thread. I took a class on this stitching method, and I am very excited to use it on my own work.

What will I do with the product? I don’t know. Part of the fun for me has just been the process. It was almost therapeutic to put my thoughts and ideas down on paper. I may see if the local bookstores will market it, and I may use it in interviews where I can show evidence of my educational beliefs and ability to use the computer and self-publishing concepts in the classroom.
I have to admit, I’m not really that concerned about what I do with it now. For me, it was all about the writing of the book.

I have already learned several things about myself and the self-publishing process. Some of the the things I have learned are below:

  • I learned to use the Paint computer program to make graphics. Next time, I want to use something different.
  • My first rough draft was very readable, sterile, and boring. Zines are supposed to be somewhat funky. I ended up experimenting with borders, fonts, and graphics in order to add a little whimsy to my zine
  • I learned that I know a lot more about teaching than I give myself credit for knowing.

I am already thinking of ideas for my next zine. It may be about living on the farm in junior high, or it may be about the crazy Oregon Trail that I took from Tulsa to Oregon. I have not decided yet, but I am already excited about the possibilities.

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Filed under Education, Writing

Springtime in Portland

Downtown Portland

Waterfront Park, Portland

IMG00407(2)

Blooms, Portland

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Filed under Nature, NW Entertainment, pictures, Portland

Religious Intolerance

I decided not to go to church this morning and instead sit on the back deck and drink in the sunshine. It is Palm Sunday today in the Catholic tradition, and for some reason I am thinking about religious intolerance. Odd topic for such a beautiful, sunny morning, but it is what is on my mind.

Basically, I don’t think that anyone should ever talk bad about someones belief system. Buddhism, Hinduism, or Christianity may not be what you believe, but I don’t believe that gives anyone the right to talk bad about these religions. Some more fanatic believers will say that we must convert all people to the same religion or the same belief. I think that has disastrous possibilities. What is more likely to happen is that the person may give up their belief, adopt a new belief that they eventually find lacking in someway, and stop believing in anything. I also believe that people have the right not to not believe in a higher power. In other words, people have the right to be agnostic or atheist. Once again, we shouldn’t criticize this decision. Faith is a personal choice.

For so many people, it is their faith that helps them get through the day. Face it, it is tough out there in the world. Faith is what motivates some people to get out of bed, get in the car, drive on the freeway, go to their 30th floor office in an elevator suspended from cables, etc. It is that little extra confidence that they need so that they don’t get hopelessly depressed over illness, joblessness, financial troubles, racial discrimination, political unrest, and death. For some people, it is their faith in a consciousness after death that allows them to peacefully exit this world without going stark raving mad.

If we truly cared about the people who live on this earth with us, we wouldn’t try to take away something that is so much a part of what gets them through the day. We wouldn’t try to make them all conform to one thought or one idea of what faith should look like. Faith, or the choice to not have faith, is a very personal issue, and it is something that is decided by each person every single day of their life.

Just some thoughts on faith. Have a great day!

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Filed under Human Nature