Saturday, August 29, 2009

Water, water everywhere...

I need books. No, seriously.

It's been nine months since I taught my last college class. And let me reiterate: I feel really good about that. I'm loving what I'm doing and I don't miss the adjunct lifestyle in any way. But. Recently I've noticed that I go around proposing to my friends that we gather for movie nights. And read all the current criticism on said movies. And give presentations on said criticism. Maybe we could write some papers too... I'm missing shared reading.

And there's this: About a year ago, with the unfinished draft of Edwin Drood, I finished the final word of Dickens's writing. Austen succumbed long before, of course, and the Brontes. And George Elliot. What have I got left? I've been rereading, and god knows that's worthwhile, but I need something more. I can't spend the next fifty years rereading.

Tell me what to read.

Make me reading lists, dear friends and family. I don't care what's on them. I'm not necessarily looking for literary merit. And if I've already read them, no problem, then we can talk about them. Your five favorite books, or five books you think I'd like, or five books you would make everyone read if you had control of the human curriculum. Mom and Dad, you are not exempt from this. It's a few years since you've given me any homework.

Come on guys. It's only you between me and a lifetime of slipping further and further away from the 21st century. (Although, of course, if you have any recommendations from the 18th and 19th, I'm really stoked.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Refurbished Bins Find

I have a thing about footstools and ottomans. I don't really like to use them but I am always deeply charmed by them. I found this sweet but mangled piece at The Bins. For you non-Portlanders, The Bins are a place of pure chaos and potential, the Goodwill outlet stores. The myriad items rejected by Goodwill as simply too tatty or mysterious in function end up being sold at The Bins by the pound. Its name refers to the giant wheeled carts full of miscellany that are periodically brought up to the starting line where shoppers gather, ready to pounce. This guy cost $5. It took a few minutes to recover, and I'm pleased with the results.

The top? There's just something about ticking and doilies.

So now we have this lovely little ottoman to go with our wonderful couch (and cat).

PS: The corners are not really lumpy. It's a trick of the light. I swear. Here's proof.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Anniversary

This day was two years ago. Remember everybody? We got married. You were there. It was everything I had imagined it would be, which is saying something.

For some reason I can no longer recall, I was absolutely terrified all the way up to the altar. Scott, too, I think. It seems so wildly brash to attempt this project together. Lifelong. That's saying something. But as soon as we were wed, all of my fear evaporated. It has felt absolutely right ever since. Not that it doesn't still take a certain amount of courage, this thing that is love.

And now it's been two years of waking up together married. It is different from the five years of waking up together unmarried that came before. Better. Closer. I didn't know what it would mean, but I can feel it now, outside of words, in our bodies and in that other ineffable soul place.

I love working near Scott. I am constantly inspired and baffled by the breadth of his knowledge and interest. My artistic vision is wider than some, perhaps, but the varied nature of his is something altogether different. He gathers facts, images, buildings, words, and they are archived neatly in the spaces my different magpie habits leave. We are still, always, working on our project of a life together. It is one of my greatest joys to work in the next room from him, wondering through occasionally to discover how our projects overlap. We find beauty in such different places that together our dose is doubled.

One day we were brainstorming for a cityscape tattoo that has long been in the works. We were discussing what should be included, a bridge, a cathedral, a train... And then I got a little carried away suggesting raccoons painting in the alleys, giant dandelions breaking out through the windows, morning glory crushing the rooftops, swallows nesting in the debris, snippets of poetry spray-painted on each wall. "Well, that's the city you live in," he said. And then he began to dreamily describe the freeway he would include. My raccoon has been invited into his alleys, and my swallow onto his telephone wires, and they find more nooks to explore and love every day. We live in overlapping cities, my love, and I am privileged to see into and through yours.

Thank you for collaborating with me. And for bearing up under all the bits of thread. Let's make more!