Friday, October 23, 2009
One of my favorite pictures of our Cannon Beach, Oregon, wedding. I think my friend Jill told Dan not to peek as I snuck up the stairs for some pre-nuptial primping. My sister, Karen, is keeping the train clean...I shocked a few of the guests by wearing a "Barbie's Dream-House-esque" dress. I think they expected me to show up wearing orange!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
*Warning: for those of you accustomed to my mostly sarcastic, humorous tone. This post will be serious.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
In true pioneer fashion, unwittingly aligned with his native Montanan-ness, my dad, Jerry,
recently discovered himself a new hobby: GOLD PANNING...because "There's gold in them hills...GOLD!" Well, at any rate, there might be...just...a little? Alright, alright, so a person is more likely to unearth gold from a bottle of Goldschlager than the barren hills and mountains of a once semi-gold-laden western paradise*, but shoot, it's worth a try!
To give this topic some much needed context, it's fun to note that Jerry has a history of highly successful hobbies. In no way, shape, or form is he all talk (unlike me with my gibber-jabber musings of "Oh, I'm totally going to start gardening herbs [pronounced "Hurb"], and "Hey, I'm going to lick this Sudoku yet!" Actually, for the record neither of these activities interests me in the least (my only "hobby" is drinking coffee a lot), but they could.
On the contrary, Jerry's hobbies, although perhaps atypical and underrepresented amongst my east coast city-dwelling friends, are commonplace and conventional Montanan activities.
Boating, fishing, skiing, hunting, wood carving...the list goes on (maybe later).
Even as a kid my dad enjoyed hobbies. From what he describes, foremost amongst these hobbies was hunting for Native American arrowheads with his dad. They scoured hillsides digging for these once common treasures and found a fair amount. I have a clear memory of a framed picture with some of the findings--a pattern of arrowheads in arrowhead form that hung in his room. Do you see what I'm talking about here? Can you dig (pan for) the gravity and import of what I am describing?
But back to gold panning, or prospecting, if you like. In point of fact, the Gold Prospectors Association of America, continues to ensure the prevalence of gold panning ("prospecting") via its stellar publication, Gold Prospector. However, if magazines aren't your cup of tea (or as they say in the trade, "pan of gold"), I recommend the following publication; it is excellent: The New Gold Panning Is Easy (Treasure Hunting Text) by Roy Lagal, available on Amazon for $9.95. When you return from your very first prospecting expedition, you will have already made at least 25 cents in profit, and thus will be well on your way to recovering your costs, although I think you would agree, dear reader, that one cannot put a price on adventure.
I can sense you are ready to experience this "prospective" hobby for yourself. A word on logistics: consult our friends at Wikipedia, a source that contains really great tips on everything from what to wear (pants!), what to bring (shovel, insect repellent), and even how to fulfil your inner MacGyver (waterproof wrist watch). Most importantly, you will uncover how NOT to get arrested (you need a permit, silly). This is, of course, assuming you've got the basic gear needed for the gold panning itself. It'll cost ya, but once again, can you really quantify adventure through the human invention of money? After all, as that wise Cree Indian proverb goes,
Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.
We have yet to find a palatable recipe for Gold brownies, either, but there's still time. Perhaps it can become...Jerry's new New Hobby.
*Gold was first discovered in Montana in 1852, but mining did not begin until 1862, when gold placers were discovered at Bannack, Montana in 1862. The resulting gold rush resulted in more placer discoveries, including those at Virginia City in 1863, and at Helena and Butte in 1864.
Friday, October 9, 2009
It's a long story (like most, I suppose), but my mom lives in a residence that is in the middle of six Smurf Village "cottages" known as the Hidden Villa Cottages (http://www.hiddenvillacottages.com/). The place is over 50 years old and the heat and hot water basically imploded over 2 years ago. Even though she is a descendant of Jacob Astor and Aunt to Bill Gates, Linda prefers not to flaunt her wealth by living simply. In a recent interview, I asked Linda what she did about activities like washing dishes or her hands for that matter. Her answer was quite candid. "Well, Suz", she said, "I boil water once in a while and pour it into the sink to wash the dishes...but truthfully, I just avoid using dishes as much as possible and rarely cook." As for the hand washing? "Well, I am a firm believer in the power of germs to toughen a person up, so although I wash my hands with soap in the cold water, I believe that any lingering germs are my friends and deserve to lead a full, long, life like the rest of us."
Oh, Linda. Que Linda! (She hates it when I say that...but when your mom is akin to being an animist, a person has to call it as she sees it.)
And for now, October 12th, 2009 at 9:46 EST, that's All the Suz That's Fit to Print!
Keep your eyes open for my newest post on "Jerry's New Hobby: I Ain't Sayin' He's a Gold Panner..."
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
But now...it is late again, and after a weekend of actually going to bed before the witching hour, as the days grow closer to Halloween I find myself engaged in that most fruitless of habits--staying up late! You see, I am not in school anymore. I am not a worker of the graveyard shift--no, I am not even a late-night Cannon Beach party girl at the moment (and, by they way, if I were, the party would have ended at 9). I am merely a simple maker of beds; a yoga pose-ster; a dreamer-of-dreams. If I didn't know better, I would proclaim myself an insomniac, but I do know better, so I won't.
I will simply leave you with this tidbit written by Walt Whitman (A.K.A. "Uncle Walt"):
"If I had gone directly to the people, read my poems, faced the crowds, got into immediate touch with Tom, Dick, and Harry instead of waiting to be interpreted, I'd have had my audience at once."
Thursday, October 1, 2009
But first, in keeping with the spirit of my verbal stories (re: disastrous!), I will first go on a tangent.
*Ok, so the gym I was going to in Cannon Beach closed in August because the place was way "in the red" as they say, so I didn't mope for more than a minute, but I also started to go nuts getting creative with trail runs and beach jaunts and yoga in a cottage with a ceiling so short I touch it with my upstretched arms. But...I totally sprained my left big toe back in March and it never healed properly so I've been going to a physical therapist (yes, for my toe...and he doesn't even make fun of me!) who said I should lay off the back-and-forth motions with said toe, which means I shouldn't really be pounding the 'ol toe on an uneven trail for a few weeks. So...I broke down and got a one-month membership to the gym in Seaside, the town one over from Cannon Beach; the town I refer to as Meth Village.
To return. I saw this little girl at the gym today on my way to spin class...
*Sorry...it's just that I'm sure you're wondering what I'm doing in a spin class. I don't know, it sounded like a fun-yet-challenging activity that wouldn't involve my toe too much...and I ate a LOT of cheese last weekend so I needed to do something about that. I'm going again tomorrow, by the way. It's fun.
The little girl was coming into the women's locker room to use the bathroom by herself and I was in there changing. Suddenly I had this total flashback to the many times I went to the gym back in Great Falls, Montana, with my dad (who mostly went there to use the sauna, by the way) and I had to wait for him outside of the locker room. The flashback created the sensation of being her--of being this little girl--not a memory of a similar experience of what it was like to be her, but more like I was actually her and the person playing me was a woman from the 80s back in my former experience. All of the awkwardness rushed back. The feeling of being invisible to those older women, yet totally vulnerable at the thought that I was somewhere I should not be; a place I did not belong.
It's not that deep, really, since this sort of deja-vuness happens all the time whether we chose to identify it or not. The distinction I am trying to make here, however, is subtle, and in this case was accompanied by the thought, "Now it's me...I'm the "old woman" in the locker room and I've taken someone's place". The changing of the guard involved no pomp or ceremony; just a towel and a sports bra and a little girl's voice.
****** ****** ****** ****** ******
Phrase of the day: brought to you by Ram Dass:
"You're it...you're just busy thinking you're not."