Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Many months later.....

First, we have Molly, near a pedestal, during a sunny happy day spent wandering in downtown Salem. When we lived in Portland, everyone sneered at Salem, but now that I'm here I'm surprised at the liveliness of the downtown- on this day, the mall at the capital was lined with flowering cherry trees, and the grassy center- several blocks long, was filled with picnickers, wedding parties, volleyball games, and plain old dog walkers like me.

Then, there's Molly where she

really belongs--on a pedestal.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gone to Ground

It's been a long time by I finally feel like I can stick my head up and look around. After coming home from Costa Rica (short version: fall, sprained ankle, sick on the bus from Peruvian ceviche, hill town spanish classes, rappelling down waterfalls, beach with the family, zipline, beach, scorpion sighting, beach, home), I went straight to work in Salem with the hair-raising one hour commute. There wasn't a single day I didn't see an accident or more on the highway. My knuckles were white most days, and I didn't have enough energy to go round after I got home.

Moved to Salem a week ago, little apartment that backs up to a park and is up the block from a big off-lead park for Molly. With only a 7 minute drive home, Molly is getting lots of park time.

It's also close enough to see Lysse, but too far to drop in on her unannounced. We went to see Wicked this weekend and in the spirit of celebration, went to IKEA afterwards- we needed stuff. Lots of stuff.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Costa Rica Day 1

Arrival: fantastica, all goes well. Day in San Jose, (or is it Juan¿) I walk into town, see many cool thngs. Heck, and oƧthe plane ride I saw volconos, massive mountain ranges adn both the Pacific and the Carribean.

The Museo de Oro: fabulous gold pre-columbian artifacts.T iny litttle frogs made me laugh out loud, they were so cute. Gold people, monsters, birds, lizards, and all possible combinations of same, tiny and precious, all that remains after the looting.

Walk back through the city, they have made a major thouroughfare in the center of town a pedestrians only route, and it was great. Everything you could imagine for sale, all in spanish, with spanglish lowercase, and the trees FULL of conures (little parrots), screeching at the top of their lungs as the sun set. the girl in the tienda said they screem all day long.

Triwed to relax at the student guest house, but too tired to rest.

Out to a nearby resturant, highly reccomended by both my guide book and my driver. Machu Picu.

A Peruvian resturant in Costa Rica, playing Polish music (Roll out the barrel)done by a Mariachi Band. The world is a very small place.

The most fabulous ceviche to start, worth the trip in itself, with the hottest hot sauce I have ever partially avoided. They placed a piece of steamed sweet potato on the plate, not the greatest match with the ceviche, but I understood it´s meaning after I sampled the volcanic hot sauce.

Pisco sours, two of them, a revalation, like unto the oysters that I had for the first time at age 50++---Why did I wait so loooong? I considered a third, but thought; I have to walk home.

And the walk home, through a less than savory neighborhood, terrific, feeling good, till an irregulatity in the sidewalk caused a fairly significant left ankle sprain
and rIGHT knee scrape: fall, cursing, shades of the Portland Fiasco. So now I´m bleeding, Swelling, aND WISHING i HAD A THIRD pISCO sOUR. At least I didn´t bust a disc, right? Right.

¿Also, did I mention a funky keyboard'?

Pictures to follow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hitting the Road

I spent today in Salem, getting lost, and signing papers at my new office. Salem, though it has it's detractors, does seem like a nice enough place. The apartment I looked at was beautiful, the back wall was floor to ceiling windows directly over the Willamette River. It was a bit on the costy side, so I doubt Molly and I will be calling it home, but, man, it was nice.

I leave tomorrow at midnight for a week in Costa Rica, to spend a week at language school, and then a week at the beach with the family. Because I really don't like people that much, spending the first week on a homestay in a little mountain town makes me a little anxious. I can't make small talk on a good day, let alone in another language. Most of my past Spanish experiences involve asking about flujo, or locating the cause of an itch. I keep telling myself I can do anything for a week. Right?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Walking the dog

I'm walking in Forest Park and the Hoyt Arboretum whenever I get the chance- the main trail, the Wildwood Trail, travels forty miles through wooded areas weaving in and out of the city. You can be in the wild, and then come upon a road with a city bus stop. The first photo is of a Monkey puzzle tree, on the Bristlecone Pine Trail.
This is the city, bathed in light, and the Willamette River, from the Wildwood trail near Pittock Mansion.

Heavy moss and lush green in January- Wildwood Trail, again, near the Sequoia collection. I have a goal of walking every trail at the Arboretum, and I'm completed about 2/3 of them so far. None of them are very long, but they wind around with switchbacks and loops, so you feel you've gone a long way though it's over a small area.
And there's the dog herself! Looking very sporty in a new trim, and quite slim, because she walks two miles to my one.

It's a new day

What a wonderful thing it is to see that even while we remain at war and haven't been able to overcome our most atavistic impulses, that we can still have a peaceful change of government in spite of the radically different tenor of the new administration.

Congratulations to all of us!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

new addictive game

With more than enough time on my hands, I got hooked on an online crayon physics game- hours went by while I tried to move the little ball towards the little flag. Now that I have completed all the levels, I have enough time to add this post.

Games at - Magic Pen
Magic Pen

Collect the flags with the red ball to complete each level.

Play this free game now!!

There; go forth and play, I promise it'll make your brain grow. You can get very creative, and there's no down beat music when you fail. I appreciate that as I fail quite a bit.

Today (between games) I went to PT for my wasting away left foot, went tanning for my upcoming trip to Costa Rica, had a manicure- the girl was new and she had nothing to do, so I said ok, and then got a haircut. This may have been my most active day since I came out here. Pretty pathetic, but I work tomorrow and Friday at the family practice job, and I leave next Friday for a week doing a medical spanish class in Turrialba, Costa Rica, and then a week at the beach with the family. For a life in which everything has gone wrong of late, it's still pretty good.

And, Lysse just called, and she's bringing home Thai for dinner.. What more could I ask for?