darkemeralds: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
...it is only a test. If this were the actual end of the world, I would be worried about other things than getting a bag of sugar home without it dissolving in the rain.

It feels a bit world-endy, though. I committed to a car-free way of life on the grounds that Portland's famous bad weather is really just mild, damp and gray--not All-Summer-In-A-Day-levels of unbroken heavy rainfall for weeks on end.

Still, that's what we've got. Monsoons of rain. Typhoons of rain. Buffoons, spittoons, doubloons and poltroons of rain. Looney Toons of rain. It is, in a word, wet. In two words: very wet.

Wet wet wet wet wet wet wet )

Ah well. The stock pot is simmering, Hungarian mushroom soup is in the works, and hey, so far, the power's still on, so there's that.
darkemeralds: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
Animated gif of heavy rainfall seen through my living room window

I think at least an inch just fell. Smells wonderful. Not sure where the cats hide when it does this, poor boo-boos. This was very sudden.
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
I spent my lunch hour today with my sister and Mary Stewart, an architect at Alta Planning + Design. Alta is the firm responsible for the bike-share systems in Washington, New York, Minneapolis, a bunch of other US cities, and soon, Portland (yay!).

Through a comment conversation on BikePortland, I was invited to view Alta's array of amazing bike-parking racks, one of which can accommodate my big Dutch bike.

Bikey day )
darkemeralds: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
Portland has 222 non-sunny days per year. So far in 2011, I think we've already had a hundred of 'em. And not just non-sunny: rainy. And cold. I don't suffer particularly from seasonal affective disorder, but I'm having trouble keeping my spirits up as spring refuses to come.

Come again some other day. I want to go out and play. )
darkemeralds: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
The prospect around here:
Weather

The silver lining: it looks as if I'll be visiting the UK in late summer!

I did my taxes yesterday, was pleasantly surprised by the result, and an am now plotting to spend several days in London and points south, and then a lovely visit to [personal profile] kis in Scotland.

I hope I can figure out how to meet with several of my online UK friends whom I've not met in person. If you're among that number and might conceivably be in or able to get to London during (probably) the last week of August or thereabouts, let me know.

Whee! Screw this rain. I have travel plans!
darkemeralds: Screencap from Where The Hell Is Matt (joy)
I tried that this morning. It wasn't successful. I was about a quarter-mile into my ride to work, already quite late, and just...turned around and came home. No lung power. So tired--even after almost twelve hours of sleep--that I just couldn't go the remaining 3.75 miles.

(And no, St Patrick's Day was not involved. St Paddy's is also my mother's birthday, and we are a family of recovering alcoholics and addicts, so there is never any booze about, or even junk food for that matter, and, in short, it was a pleasant and abstemious little evening.)

It's probably the walkin' noooo-monia, to which I am more susceptible than to most things. A bit lungish, that's me.

So, doff helmet and raincoat, change out of somewhat constraining work attire (though Assets by Sara Blakely are awesome as misogynistic torture garments of the "you are not good enough as you are" kind go), don comfy cardigan and fuzzy slippers, and make a massive pot of tea.

And here I am. I think today would be a good day to start that new novel.
darkemeralds: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
I would imagine that if I were to review all six of the Februaries and all six of the Marches that have found me recording my life online, I'd find posts in all of them about the unseasonable, the extraordinary, the truly epic rain we were having that season.

This will be the seventh. God damn, I'm tired of the rain. This is the time of year when even a native webfoot like me says "Screw this, let's go to the desert." Since I'm not easily able to get out of town right now, let's have a little trip down memory lane to the last time I actually did so. Joshua Tree National Park. It's hot and dry. It is the opposite of here.

I'm so sick of being rain-bespattered (not to say occasionally drenched) that I'm considering riding the bus to work tomorrow and forgoing my 400-calorie-burning bike ride.

Sigh. There's not enough vitamin D in the world.

Must

Feb. 12th, 2011 06:43 pm
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (clothes)
The Holy Grail garment into which I intend to fit again one day is an espresso-brown, classic leather bomber jacket. It's a men's model and therefore extremely well made (complete with inside breast pocket), and it used to fit me when I was around a size 10-12.

(To quantify, I will have to be ten inches smaller about the "high hip" before it hangs properly on me again.)

I bought it in 1993 for approximately half a month's wages, wore it on every possible occasion until I could no longer shut it around the aforementioned "high hip," and finally, tired of its constant reproach but unable to jettison it, two or three years ago I laid it to rest in my basement.

My mistake.

The experts at Oregon Leather Company assure that there is no way to get the musty smell of mold out of a lined leather jacket. The internet, however, begs to differ.

I swabbed it (the jacket, not the internet) all over with an alcohol-water mix, then hung it to dry for a week over my ozone-generating air purifier.

Better. But still musty.

So today I basically soaked it in alcohol. Then I hung it to dry outdoors in the wind.

Wet leather jacket suspended upside down from a clothesline with 24 clothespins.
Wet leather jacket weighs a ton.

I don't dare hang it near a heater because it reeks of isopropyl alcohol and would probably catch fire, but maybe by tomorrow I can move it indoors.

I've got heavy-duty conditioner standing by--supposing that the leather survives its radical demustification.
darkemeralds: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
Boy am I glad I have a sound roof over my head today. It's pouring and hasn't stopped for close to twelve hours. From what family members tell me, the local TV news people are having a field day with terms like "biblical proportions". I can attest that water pouring off my roof is making a steady pounding noise in the downspout nearest the corner where I record, and preventing me from making any podfic today.

I managed to tap away my enormous food cravings last night after a week of significant work stress (augmented, frankly, by the endless rain), and opted for a long magnesium-rich bath in the BToR instead. Watched Misfits while in there. (Kelly rules, especially now that I'm beginning to understand what she says, and I'm so glad I wasn't a complete perv when I thought that Simon was kind of hot even in his creepy oddness because, yowza.)

Cut for exponential smoothing and other Quantified Self geekery )

In other news, [personal profile] kis just this minute emailed me with a brilliant (I mean, brilliant) suggestion for cracking the impenetrable wall that Restraint Chapter 42 has been presenting to me for more than a week now. I'm so excited that I could almost start writing.
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
Grilled sharp cheddar cheese, avocado and apricot fruit paste on Udi's gluten-free bread.

Yum.

I'm winding up my last day of vacation by saying nanny-nanny-boo-boo to my coworkers in my mind relaxing at home, doing prep work on my Podbang 2010 entry (which is either going to be epic or a complete bust because far be it from me to do something simple), banging away (as it were, yuk-yuk) on Chapter 39, and looking out at the rain--which will probably be here for a while (like, till July 2011).

It's been a wholly memorable, productive, fun, wonderful vacation--restorative and uplifting and completely divorced from the job. I haven't done that in years.

Now I just need to crank my internal clock back around to office hours before Monday morning.
darkemeralds: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
After WEEKS of really lovely weather, today--when [personal profile] kis and Mr Kis are due to arrive, the sky opened up and started pouring rain.

I leave for the airport in a couple of hours, and after rushing around for the past couple of days to make sure everything's in place, I'm just kind of sitting here, listening to it rain and killing time (and eating the gluten-free peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I baked for the Kises and trying not to mess up the perfectly-clean kitchen).

I guess I could cart my suitcase and pillow over to my sister's house (i.e., move out), but it's all rainy out there.

So, White Collar season finale and maybe one more cookie. Then airport!
darkemeralds: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
Pictures can't cover it.



Rainmageddon. Now playing in a downspout near me.
darkemeralds: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
Does anyone remember that story by Ray Bradbury?

All summer in a day. The sun has been out for, like, two hours since the middle of May, and I've been stuck in the World's Tallest Basement for most of those moments.

It's too rainy to start work on my leaking mudroom roof. It's too rainy to garden. It's too rainy to get out of fucking bed in the morning. Hell, it's almost too rainy for me to ride my bike. Almost.

I take back everything I ever said about not minding the rain. This is driving me bugshit crazy.
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
This is the story of riding in the rain.

It's an illustrated story. )

...but I could do with a little sunshine.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Dear Friends List,

Most of you are in the Northern Hemisphere, so happy Longest Night! And to my one or two Southern Hemisphere friends, happy Longest Day! I hope the snows clear, and in the meantime, I hope you're enjoying some quiet time.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, it's doing what it does best: raining and being mild. There are very short days of rain, and very long nights of rain, but it's little, intermittent rain and doesn't prevent a person from going outdoors and doing stuff. It will rain for Christmas and probably rain for New Year's, and that's okay with me and Clyde.

I have a confession to make: Feedly, which I've been using--and fawning over greatly--as my reading aggregator, has a flaw. LJ doesn't feed friendslocked posts to it. I knew that. No feed reader gets flocked LJ posts. But Feedly is so pretty that I forgot.

So for about ten days now, I haven't seen a single flocked post. I'm sorry! Journals on my flist that are mostly or entirely flocked, I've missed you altogether. I'm playing catchup now.

Good Yule to everybody!
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Well, I tweeted too soon. Of course.

Me, yesterday: Amazing how often it doesn't actually rain in Portland. I've cycled every day & been drenched only once. The weather is great from a bike! 12:59 PM Dec 14th from TwitterGadget

Ah-ha-ha-ha.

Make that drenched twice now. And just keep counting, twice more for every workday between now and Xmas, because it's pissing it down out there in that endless Pacific Northwest way that caused the Journals of Lewis and Clark to begin many a day in 1805 with "Cloudy windey morning wind from the East" and end it with "began to rain hard at Sun Set and Continued".

Merino wool is my new best friend! I found Minus33, a source of washable merino wool sport garments IN MY SIZE. I wore my new thin wool leggings and socks today, and though I was pretty soaked, I was warm and comfy. I wrote a fan letter to Minus33 to thank them for acknowledging that yes, big women do go outdoors in the wintertime.

Seriously, how much of the vaunted inactivity of large people is owing to their ghettoization by the American bullshit notion that activity=competitive sports and fitness=Olympic training? You don't need special gear to go outside and move around, but you DO need climate-appropriate clothes. The acrylic and polyester that fills up the plus-size shops is not adequate...but the sporting-specific shops look at you with a kind of pity when you wander over to their clothing racks.

So, thank you Minus33! If you had anything other than black, I'd buy one of every color!

Drenched

Nov. 9th, 2009 07:58 pm
darkemeralds: Old French poster of bicycle with naked flame-haired woman. (Bike)
As a native Portlander, I have a philosophy about rain, to wit: It's Only Water, also sometimes articulated as "I don't need no stinkin' umbrella."

Turns out, that's easy to say when you only have to wait for a bus, or walk a few blocks. When you're riding a bicycle four miles, rain is really, really wet. Your back gets wet. Your thighs get wet. Your feet get wet. Your hands get wet. Rain gets in through the vent holes in your helmet and your hair gets wet.

My living room and bathroom are draped with soggy garments.

Lest you think I complain: no! I had the bike lanes to myself, I proved that I can ride in a downpour, and I feel fantastic! It's only water, after all.

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