Monday, December 30, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
these military threats are indicative of economic growing pains. these should be seen as bluffs. these should be seen as actions to secure power, intimidate. but i cannot see any evidence that china would follow through on its threats and that it would especially make a strike against more powerful western nations.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
iran has quickly agreed to allow the iaea access to some of the nuclear processing sites that had been previously mostly inaccessible. but let's remember: they still are not allowing anyone access to the contentious parchin site, where it is suspected "that Iran has been testing triggering devices for nuclear weapons."
Friday, November 8, 2013
Friday, November 1, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
sometimes my perspective gets foggy, the periphery of the past and future disappearing momentarily. when one lives in a city long enough, the trajectory of that place stretches out forward and back, obscuring any other history. one’s life becomes enmeshed.
an indian summer in portland is still rather chilly. but beautiful. and welcome. talking to the bartender at the red fox the other night, i told him i had expected this year to be particularly cold. i recalled a white winter five years ago. my friends had returned to alabama for the holidays and asked me to take care of their cats while they were away. i went to work everyday then returned home then trudged through the snow to feed those damned cats. that was my first year in portland and i lost much of my appreciation for the snow.
the bartender told me it had been the red fox’s first year, too. they opened their doors that snowy week in december. the toilet seat broke and that bartender found himself trekking through the snow to fred meyer to purchase a new seat for the throne.
adam and i went out for chinese food the other night. and found a chinese restaurant we actually liked, though it wasn’t the least expensive. before finding this restaurant, i had written chinese food off in portland, unable to find anything i liked. i had stopped craving chinese even.
birmingham seems to love chinese. good and bad, chinese food can be found all over town. i loved this little place in five points south called new chinatown. sesame tofu. i ate there once a week. the woman there was nice but would also made fun of me. i fell in love with a boy there who had ordered sesame tofu as well.
biking back from the chinese restaurant, adam said, “let’s live there!” and pointed to a cute apartment building checkered with warm glowing squares of lamp light, white arches over the louvered windows. sometimes it seems like everything fits, like portland is atlantis and that we’re all just coming home.
my cat, born in alabama, doesn’t mind the rainy winter in oregon. she hates that i’ve taken to wiping her paws whenever she enters the apartment to avoid the patter of paw prints. the rainy winters in oregon can be tough. but one can get used to them.
Monday, October 21, 2013
i loved our downtime together. i love how snarky she could be. and then with a flip of a switch, a smile, and some grace, she’d be clever and lovely. a hostess.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
and i wonder if i moved from portland who would write me still. who would send me emails? who would keep up with me, send me letters to fill me in and maintain all the jokes and turns of phrase that generate inside a relationship? i appreciate the time it takes to write a letter, to respond and reply and develop a new thread or thought. i appreciate the punchlines, carefully crafted and thought out because you know you will not be there to explain it to the other person. i appreciate the talk about the weather, comparing the still hot days of summer in birmingham or austin to the increasing chill here in portland.
Friday, September 20, 2013
despite their name, there's nothing expedient about the nightly bedtime ritual of the vaux swift. the community of birds that descends each year upon portland during september spends a couple hours each night swarming and swooping, funneling above the old chimney of an elementary school in which they take up residence during their migration south to mexico. they chirp, flap their wings, congress with their family, and take their sweet time tucking in as the last of the sunlight melts behind the west hills.
i wish i could fly to mexico each year to winter.
adam and i sat watching the show the other night with a chirruping gaggle of portlanders. i turned to him and said, "don't you sometimes think it would be nice if we lived in a small town where there was nothing to do each night except go to town gatherings like this everyday. like everyday in september we'd watch the swifts. and then in october the pumpkin festival. and november would bring the turkey convention."
there are certain things i do each night before bed. brush my teeth. wash my face. think about what i could do to prepare for the next day and then not do anything but strip naked and get under the covers.
each year has its rituals. christmas eve at embers. the ice cream social on north mississippi avenue. as many pilgrimages as possible to rooster rock during the summer. and so very soon: spookitinis, the party that rob throws yearly, same time, same place, and one of my favorite parties of the year.
the only flight i may take during the year is through the seasons. or through glasses of wine. and though i enjoy adventure, i somehow always look forward to the ritual event, the unfailing community. i want to be so comfortable and so predictable.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
the diplomatic compromise worked out by russian president vladimir putin (and john kerry) to destroy the chemical weapons held by the assad regime will probably just lead nowhere. the country is a morass of a civil war. according to experts and history (see qaddafi), the destruction of chemical weapons can be difficult even without a war and time-consuming. we haven't even started the process of negotiating with syrian president assad. we have not been able to actually negotiate the destruction of these weapons with the syrian government. this is just an idea floated by the russians. meanwhile the syrian civil war continues and maybe the assad regime will again use chemical weapons against its own people and half a year from now we will again find our president asking for permission to conduct strikes against the assad regime. we will find ourselves right back where we are and without even putting boots on the ground we will america sunk in this.