Adventures in photos in the public domain (thanks, Google!)

The view when I get out of elevator at work looks something like this:

mt. hood

Minus the orange leaves, of course. Also minus the skyscrapers—my view actually includes the Willamette River and Ross Island. But whatever. The point is for you to see Mt. Hood.

When it’s time to leave work, I often take a longcut to the bus. I do this because if I miss it when it stops at my hospital, I can walk across this nifty little sky bridge to the hospital next door and catch it when it arrives there.

Normally, I speed across this bridge. So focused on beating the bus, I rarely look out the windows. Which is why I was shocked the other day when I looked up and saw something that looked like this (minus the Fremont Bridge and plus some snow):

Something seemed off. I even stopped in my tracks and gasped. HOLY SHIT, HOOD BLEW ITS WAD! I thought to myself. WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

But no—I am just a moron. It’s actually Mount St. Helens, which blew its wad over 25 years ago. So much for me thinking I inherited my father’s sense of direction.

The arrow is Portland. The white dot to the SE is Hood. To the NE is Helens. To the right of Helens is Mount Adams (which I’ve never been able to see from Portland, but maybe it’s possible). The point: the elevator bank faces one direction, and the sky bridge view is about 90 degrees counterclockwise.

The view from my office looks like this:

HAHA! Not. That’s actually just a picture of a window that a friend sent me to remedy the fact that my office has no windows at all. To picture the view from my office, imagine yourself staring at a fluorescently-lit greyish wall (that was once white) with a small printout of the above window tacked to it. And that’s my view. Here’s a Photoshopped visual:

Ah… Oregon.

PS: In searching for a photo of Mt. Hood, I came across this Wikipedia entry for the dog that saved the lives of three hikers in February. One of those hikers, the guy who belongs to the dog, was on one of my frisbee teams last year. His dog watched many of our games. Now, this story made national news, and he and his dog were on TV programs seen all over this country (including Oprah, I think), but that seemed normal to me, given the James Kim tragedy and the other various backcountry incidents that happened this winter. But an entire Wikipedia entry devoted to your dog?! Granted, it’s a stub, but whatever! HOW COOL IS THAT??? I wish Chelsea had one of those—that is, one that I didn’t have to make myself. She does have this blog, after all.

Sigh, it’s only early November—SIX MONTHS of this left to go

Weather goddesses, this strikes me as being a tad excessive:

Nov 6
Heavy Rain / Wind
N/A/58° 100%

High not valid after 2pm
Nov 7
58°/48° 80%

Nov 8
51°/39° 40%
Nov 9
Partly Cloudy
49°/40° 10%
Nov 10
48°/40° 70%

Nov 11
47°/40° 70%
Nov 12
46°/41° 60%
Nov 13
47°/39° 60%

Nov 14
47°/38° 60%
Nov 15
Rain / Snow Showers
48°/45° 30%

UPDATE: Laundry debacle has been neatly folded and put to rest

I just found out that my neighbor’s guilt about replacing the sign got the best of her. Late last night, she went down to the basement, began fishing out the crumpled one she’d removed, and tried to rehang it next hers.

Suddenly, she heard footsteps on the basement stairs. Along came my other neighbor, poster of the original sign.

“I have a confession to make,” she said. “I took down your sign and but up a new one. I’m sorry, I was mad, it was rude of me to do it, but I just didn’t know what else to do.”

My neighbor didn’t mind. He explained that he’d been gone for awhile and he was sorry to tie up the laundry facility and everything would be A-okay.

Sounds like a Sesame Street plot, doesn’t it?

Unrelated: I planted two tomatoes very late in the season, and now that it’s late October, they’re dangling with green fruit. Due to the location of my garden, the changing of the seasons, the lowering of the sun in the sky and the impending time change, these little guys will not see anymore sunlight this year. I fear that they will never ripen, and given that the other night I watched my breath cut through the crisp air, the first frost is well on its way.

What to do with all of these pounds of green tomatoes? Sure, I can fry them, but I’d much rather they be red. Then I got this tip from the mother of my landlady:

Supposedly, you can wrap a green tomato in newspaper and leave in a windowsill for 24 hours and it will turn red.

Sounds like an old wives’ tale to me, but I’m giving it ago. Tomorrow at 4 pm Pacific time I will post the result of my little experiment.

Ahh. It’s a beautiful day overcast as all hell in the neighborhood.

Here’s hoping he puts the toilet seat down

I have so much I want to say right now but I can’t! We’re in the midst of a roommate search—we finally decided on our top pick; now it’s up to me to make those dreaded “Sorry, you’re not the right person” phone calls. How on Earth to people do this regularly? I can see now that if I am ever in a position to hire someone, I will be the most crap interviewer—someone who ends up deciding not to hire anyone for fear of excluding the others.

It’s interesting to be on this side of the sitch. Usually it’s me sending out a résumé and not hearing back, or hearing back only to not hear back after that, or me having what seems like a great interview only to be told I’m not the right person. But you know what? It’s not that I’m not the right person—it’s that everyone is the right person.

This is what I mean: we received over 40 emails in the three days after first posting our ad on Craigslist, and without fail, each email sounded extremely promising. We responded to them all with a uniform letter saying something to the effect of: “Look, we’re a couple, and this is a small apartment, so even though the rent is cheap this isn’t exactly going to be renting utopia. There are some obvious drawbacks here.” Still, a good bulk of the initial respondents responded with “No problem! Doesn’t matter! That’s fine! I’m cool with anything! etc.”

So then we had to narrow it down from those second emails to find people to interview. It was sort of random, actually, because how else can you choose? We picked one guy because his subject line was “Roomie!” and I was a big fan of both the abbreviation and the exclamation mark. We picked another because he had a similar writing style to Asa’s. And another who promised to bring us chocolate. (Brilliant move, by the way. I will have to employ that trick someday.)

Finally, we’ve decided on the one person who’d be the most fun to live with, the least invasive, the most flexible, the best to share food with, the one person we’re willing to trust. It’s a crapshoot, really. And it’s hard to tell if we’ve made the right decision or not, because (almost) everyone has been quite awesome.

Basically, this experience taught me what I’ve always known but haven’t actually believed until now: that I am talented. That I do have something to offer. That my résumé is impressive. It’s just that I’m not the only one.

Scandal! I heart scandal

The Oregonian reported today that three of Oregon’s Republican representatives neglected to disclose an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii in 2004.

You see, it was a conference held by the Oregon Beer and Wine Distributors Association, which took place, of course, at a fancy resort in Maui. The point of the conference was to discuss things like, Hey, Mr. Representative, please don’t raise the beer and wine taxes for the people of Oregon because it will hurt our personal stake in the industry. You can see why members of the organization would foot the bill.

Problem is, in 2004, our representatives were supposed to report any kickback of more than $144. Lobbyists, on their part, were supposed to report their spending on a lawmaker if it exceeded $71.

An interesting detail that the Oregonian doesn’t pursue—or at least doesn’t hint at a connection—is that if the state ethics commission chooses to investigate this, the fine for this sort of omission is $1,000. And interestingly enough, separate from the $40,000 that the beer and wine association contributed to these representatives’ campaigns, each politician received exactly $1,000 just after returning from the—YEP! you guess it—fun little trip to paradise. Suspicious? I think so.

But the best part of this story is the quote from one of the red-handed reps: “If [the powerful beer and wine lobbyist Paul Romain] didn’t provide me something saying I exceed that [$144], I assumed was under limit.”

Um, yeah. Because trips to fancy resorts in Hawaii routinely cost less than $144.

EDIT!! This is hilarious: Salon’s George Allen Insult Generator.

It’s HOT!

Our kitchen sink has begun to resemble the Leaning Tower of Piza. The dish situation has become so dire that it is nearly impossible to cook—not that I really want to turn the oven on right now, as it is SO FREAKING HOT in Portland right now that our living room could put on its own water for tea. Part of the problem is that our kitchen window, located directly above the sink, faces south AND is only 20 feet east of the dumpster. So, doing dishes means standing in the hottest spot in our apartment while simultaneously catching a whiff of our neighbors’ trash. Obviously, neither Asa nor I have been willing to step up to the plate (or, rather, plates) in days.

I live in a temperate rainforest. So why does it feel like a desert?