image image And matching purse. Visit Bourj Hammoud to see a different style.

image image SE Hawthorne and about 36th, Portland. I lived in this neighborhood in 1985, and it does not look to have changed much (unlike NE Alberta!). If we were all in our 20s then, and the locals are all in their 20s now, what has kept it constant? Could it be the utility poles? If only their layers were intact, what a record it would be. Probably a couple of meters growth in diameter in 25 years.

image image image Decorated dumpster, multiple artists, near SE Hawthorne, Portland.

image image Beautiful hoopoe in life, still elegant in death.


image image image image Or so it appeared.

image Milk Duds explode if improperly packed. One box was missed by TSA to disastrous results. It did maintain its quality as candy despite the trauma.

image If you ever happen to see that your plane is surrounded by fire trucks, expect a delay before departure. Welcome a change of equipment.

image image image ToonCamera at its finest. Credit to the flowers too.

image image My child daughter, but not her oxymoronic sister (my adult child), already started school and has homework, and in art class at that. I did not have homework until I was in college, and never for no art neither. Times change.

Her assignment was to spend an hour drawing a shoe. She did not express much confidence, claiming she had never had drawing before. I thought to help her a little, because her aspirations as a foodie had taken a severe blow last week at “castagna” in Portland (good food, but wear ear plugs inside or risk tinnitus). I suggested she should try an oyster, as a foodie has to appreciate all food and especially the fancy stuff. She was brave, but said after the first and only, “Oh yuck! That’s gross.” Maybe in a couple of years. I know I will never be a real foodie, because I have seen some things that I will not eat: chicken feet, goose tongue, and Chinese blood pudding. Strangely, pig’s feet, calf’s tongue, and blutwurst are fine. Never insects, except the ones in the blackberries we picked.

My drawing advice: use her sport shoe that has clear lines, not my dark leather shoe, and look at how ToonCamera does it. Without forgetting it is a three-dimensional object, use one eye and see it as a two-dimensional image.

Whether or not she took all my advice, she did much better than I would. Who cares about slimy oysters anyway? And retying the laces was smart.

image I am having a rough time with jet lag, despite doing things right. We had a 24-hour return travel leaving morning Sunday, arriving late afternoon Monday, and flying through time 10 hours east. I stayed awake the whole time, almost, reading and watching movies. A rare window seat did not have much of a view, but there is something of the feeling of sleep deprivation communicated in this image, or it could just be a personal association: I rarely fly without being exhausted. Not much notable in the way of movies, except one had an opening scene using “Another Girl, Another Planet” by The Only Ones, 1978. Wow. I had not heard the song in 30 years, and it brought back such a strong sense of the late ’70s – early ’80s that I experienced time travel through decades. Fantastic guitar, intriguing lyrics, and such distinct, if difficult to describe, emotions.

I managed to stay up until bedtime and slept until the dawn call-to-prayer (courtesy of our local muezzin, his recording, and his megaphones). It used to wake me up every morning, then I got used to it, then its volume rose with the political situation after the July War, then it reduced, and finally, it now most often helps me fall back asleep. Such is progress. Sometimes the recording changes, and my sleep is disrupted for a week.

I did well, staying awake that evening until bedtime, but the period from late afternoon until early evening was a grim struggle, what with it being morning in Oregon. By 9 pm, I was through to the other side and nearly wide awake, and I eventually pretended to sleep until I did. I may have to record that call-to-prayer as a soporific.

A couple more days of this, and I was getting very behind on sleep, and my circadian setting was not readjusting. I was falling asleep past midnight and waking at the fajr. Every early evening, I was nearly narcoleptic.

Friday came, and I decided on a radical and dangerous pharmacologic intervention: I had tea at breakfast and then an espresso at work. I normally avoid caffeine as much as is possible with my chocolate habit, and the last time I had an espresso at work, there were some regretted emails. My rationale was that the caffeine would remind my brain it was a waking period.

Everything went fine, and I exercised great caution with emails, despite more outrages than I want to remember. I came home early evening unsure what to do with my very unusual Friday night home alone, as everyone else was gone until some time Saturday.

I ate dinner and drowsiness overwhelmed. I succumbed to temptation: I lay on top of the bed about 5:30 pm for just a short nap. No one was there to stop me. As a last act, I found “Another Girl, Another Planet” on YouTube on the iPad and found it as a playlist of many punk and punkish songs of the ’70s and let it play. Many interesting songs were on the list, and I learned of new songs, groups, and genres. Proto-punk, post-punk, and some very difficult to type. In particular, while drifting, I realized that songs I heard played fewer times or in specific settings (or owned) presented very clear and specific associations and memories (The Only Ones, The Ramones, The Clash), and in contrast, those I had heard repeatedly in many situations (The Cars, “Just What I Needed” on every radio for years) gave so many different associations that it gave me muddy emotions and nearly delirious nostalgia. I should remember this when I read Proust, which my daughter has made me promise. I never would have expected The Cars in a collection of other than mainstream pop rock, but it does have some interesting aspects.

When I awoke, the sun was filling my bedroom with light, my bladder was bursting, I could hear the school children on their way to school, and my iPad said it was 6:30. As I stumbled to the toilet, I could not believe that I slept through the night, more than 12 hours straight, dressed, in the same position, and no toilet break. Jet Lag vanquished! Better living through chemistry!

My triumphal return to bed came with some disappointments. I had been looking forward to having an entire Friday evening with absolutely nothing to do, and it was gone. My only solace was the defeat of jet lag and the wonderful, rare state of having slept to satiety.

Except that I was still exhausted and very drowsy, so drowsy that I felt semi-conscious. I then wondered why I heard school children on Saturday morning. The bright sunlight was fading and coming from the west. I checked my iPad clock again: 6:30 pm Friday.

So, I have my Friday evening back, but unfortunately time traveling is just as exhausting as flying.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 190 other followers