darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
*taps mic*

*peers out past the lights into the auditorium*

Is this thing on?

*clears throat*

I have missed personal blogging! My online life has dwindled to Twitter (@darkemeralds), where I get all my news, including fandom news. I think I'd like to expand back onto the internet again. Maybe.

Dipping a toe back in )

Okay, not exactly a mic drop. Just life. What's new with you?
darkemeralds: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
My electricity went out this morning as I was poised in front of my bathroom mirror with a makeup brush in hand. My phone was running on fumes--just enough juice for me to call the power company and learn that yes, I and twelve-thousand of my neighbors were in the same windy, wet, powerless boat.

It was not a bad representation of my state of mind, actually. Wild, uncertain, low on clarity and power, and lacking a sufficient mask to face the world. The notion that the universe was reflecting my reality was so charming that I cheered right up. The wind died down immediately.

I plugged my phone into my handy-dandy cheapo external charger (thankfully there was some reserve energy), stuffed my makeup into my purse, and got myself to work where the power never goes off. Electricity at home, according to the internet, was restored a couple of hours later.
darkemeralds: A falcon taking flight from a falconer's arm (Falcon)
volcanocam image of Mount Saint Helens against a clear blue sky
Image courtesy of the
USDA Forest Service Mt St Helens Johnston Ridge Observatory Volcanocam


The weather here tends to come from the direction of Mt St Helens, and that right there? It's coming here! I feel like every cell in my body is going \o/.

The Pedalpalooza folks were serving coffee and (very tasty gluten-free vegan) muffins at the foot of the Steel Bridge this morning, so I stopped and chatted with the hipsters for a while in the fog-just-beginning-to-clear incipient morning sunshine, and was, consequently, a few well-worth-it minutes late for work.

Happy weekend, everyone.
darkemeralds: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
The prospect around here:

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: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
O lumière! C'est le cri de tous les personnages placés, dans le drame antique, devant leur destin. Ce recours dernier était aussi le nôtre et je le savais maintenant. Au milieu de l'hiver, j'apprenais enfin qu'il y avait en moi un été invincible.*
--Albert Camus, Noces à Tipasa

(*O light! This is the cry of all the characters of ancient drama brought face to face with their fate. This last resort was ours, too, and I knew it now. In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.)

Or maybe a fairly hard to beat one. Or, you know, one that might, just maybe, survive another week of this endless PNW cloud cover and rain.

Sheesh. And to think I was worried about bike-commuting in the heat.
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: Photo of Downtown Portland, Oregon USA in twilight (Portland)
I've sat at my kitchen table, looking out my east-facing window, all day as the weather has gone by and the light has shifted.

I've been writing.

Here was my view. )
darkemeralds: Old French poster of bicycle with naked flame-haired woman. (Bike)
We had some sunny days this week, and everyone's been saying, "Yeah, but it's supposed to pour down rain from Wednesday onward." The local bike blog, BikePortland, Twittered this morning: "Forecast calls for massive rain. Remember your rain gear!"

Of course, I didn't see any of that until I was already at work--not in rain gear, and in fact in a cotton corduroy jacket.

I left the office around 6:30 tonight, sure I was going to be drenched on the ride home.

Not a drop. The streets were barely damp. It wasn't very cold.

The moral of the story is: IDEK. Weather prediction is crap? People will make a drama out of anything? It doesn't rain here nearly as much as we think it does? Global Climate Change? I'm not sure. But it's been great for bike riding.


Jan. 19th, 2010 12:02 pm
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
The temperature in Portland today is 55F/13C. I've slept with my bedroom window wide open for the last four nights. I've turned off my heat--in January.

There's a gusty east wind blowing, but unlike our usual east wind that cuts to the bone, this one feels like it's coming off the ocean. I don't know what ocean that would be, since our ocean is 80 miles to the west.

It's fantastic bike-riding weather--no wool base-layer, no coat...heck, no socks--and I love not having to heat the house, but it's kind of unsettling, especially coupled with the unbelievable amounts of water falling on southern California. Feels vaguely apocalyptic.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
In a feat of perfect timing, it started snowing today after [livejournal.com profile] roseambr and I had enjoyed a vacation-day lunch and she got back home to the wilds of rural southwest Washington. Also after I made a grocery foray on Clyde.

So, since I have supplies, and I have nowhere to be, and since it's supposed to be back to good old reliable rain tomorrow, I guess I'm not going to test riding Clyde in snow. Yet. My sis, however, might be stranded at her workplace overnight.

But why did we not know it was going to snow? Why do we never know when it's going to snow here? Apparently, Mayor Sam had the same question, so it was posed on Oregon Media Central today, and one of our local meteorologists replied as follows:

Early this morning I kept seeing signs of snow, and I'm really glad that I went with it. There are a million reasons why it's difficult to forecast snow around here...different topography, gorge outflow, nearby ocean etc. As I write this, I'm thinking back to yesterday, and it seemed to me that most areas would be too warm for snow in the Valleys. However this morning I remember thinking all signs were pointing to snow, and I'm super glad I went with it in my forecast.

And I'm super-glad I didn't bother watching your TV station, dude, because yay, you were right, and if I'd known, I'd have been worried. Now, are you right about it going back to the low 40s and rain tomorrow?
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Today's massive deluge was brought to you by Global Climate Change™.

The rain was so heavy and the skies were so dark that I could barely see highway signs. The roads were like rivers, except where they were more like lakes. One massive, car-shaking crack of thunder rocked the part of Clark County I was driving in, and I had to speak sternly to myself about the unlikelihood of lightning striking my particular car.

By the time I got where I was going, at least half an hour late, I was all out of sorts. Thankfully, it was lunch with [livejournal.com profile] roseambr and we made up for stress with tasty food, great conversation and a little shopping. (I bought eyeshadow! Whee!)

The more I ride my bike, the less I can tolerate driving my car, and on days like today the best answer of all is just to stay home and drink hot tea.

Which I shall now proceed to do.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
The national weather service said it got up to 111F today somewhere in Portland. Last night I hung out for a good long while in the Bathtub Of Resuscitation, and when I got out and went to bed, I left it full of tepid water.

When I woke up at some point in the night sweating and miserable, I went and climbed back into the BTOR and fell asleep in there sitting up. Eventually I must have gone back to bed, 'cause that's where I woke up. Spend another quarter hour or so in the same room-temp water (i.e., about 80 degrees) before dragging myself to work.

I'm off to WriterCon tomorrow morning. It's under 80 in Minneapolis this weekend, and cool at night. I can hardly wait.
darkemeralds: Photo of Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon, USA (Haystack)
[livejournal.com profile] lamentables just posted her five reasons to be cheerful, and it cheered me up no end, so I thought I'd do the same.

Five reasons I'm feeling pretty cheerful today )
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Can they even FIT any more raindrops into the weather-widget picture??

Oh, happy New Year, everybody. Aught-Nine is gonna be a good one.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
...and I have no fire, and no central heating, so it's fairly frightful in here too. My 102 year old house is made of wood and glass and space heaters, and not a lot of insulation. It's currently 22 degrees out and snowing sideways, not what we are accustomed to or built for in the upper laft-hand corner of the US.

I do not actually complain. I have a comfy couch, a nice warm computer on my lap, electricity for the moment, and a hot whiskey toddy. Two down comforters on my bed and fuzzy slippers plus wool socks. And? Not at work. Always a plus.

Though if the power goes out in the 'hood tomorrow, I'm going downtown to the World's Tallest Basement, which, while disagreeable on many levels, has the twin advantages of heat and internet that are generally unaffected by ice storms.

Note to self: never watch that Ang Lee movie again ever.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Whether gray is my favorite color because I live in the Pacific Northwest, or I live in the Pacific Northwest because gray is my favorite color is up for grabs. Suffice it to say that gray began this week, and I feel good.

It's not really raining. Just overcast, with some pale sunshine in between little showers. It's not cold yet, just cool. The world seems filled with crows. There's a wild, sort of north-south-east-west wind blowing around. When you open the doors and windows, it cleans the whole house. When you go out in it, it gets in your hair, and your ears, and your mouth, and cleans you, too.

I think I like the fall weather here for the same reason I like black and white photographs: in a world stripped of color, you can see structures more clearly. Against the backdrop of all the shades of gray that this place is capable of, what is vivid becomes more important--someone smiling at you, the bright vine maple leaves on the sidewalk outside Jeff's house, the raucous sound of crows, the smell of coffee, the heavy feel of a big green apple in your hand.

Some gray things I like:
Sidewalk, silverware, weathered cedar shingles, driftwood, whales, my hair, my bedlinens, sand, storms, the ocean, foam on the ocean, clouds, my hair, that one jacket Dean Winchester wears, brushed nickel bathroom fixtures, the moon, my surround sound speakers, Icelandic lopi wool, galvanized buckets, my first car, streets, dolphins, puddles, ice cubes, the charcoal sketch of the goddess Diana that my brother did for me years ago, my brushed steel water bottle, the huge English walnut tree in my yard, Monsoon (in memory), my laptop, my current LJ theme, quarters, knives, my phone, twilight...
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
I stumbled into the welcome warmth of the building lobby. A co-worker dressed in a quilted jacket with a faux-fur lined hood saw me still clutching the collar of my wool sweater around my neck.

"They're calling it June-uary," she said.

I laughed till I cried.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
[from last night. Internet is back now.]

Just at sunset, the sky turned orange, and then the lightning started up.

Long count, crack of thunder.

Flash. Shorter count. Roll of thunder. Typical T-storm for this valley.

Flash. Six seconds. Thunder circling the sky for 20 seconds. So atypical for this valley that we have to go outside and see if it's really thunder, or a jet taking off.

Flash in the east. Flash in the south. Thunder like a car rolling slowly across the city with the bass cranked all the way up and no treble.

Rain like the Amazon, pouring straight down. Not a breath of wind.

[livejournal.com profile] avventura1234 and I finally just put chairs on the porch and enjoy it for half an hour. Storms close in and converge, one from the east and one from the south, and we're in a bowl of lightning.

Flash. My power goes out and comes back on. Flash. Boom. I frantically unplug my computer. Flash like daylight. My windows rattle.

There's a tingling in my head, a pressure behind my eyes, a built-in barometer that says, "low, low, LOW!"

The whole south sky lights up and the thunder follows it. I can hear the storm rolling away down the valley. (It's taken the internet with it, apparently. Sigh...)
darkemeralds: Photo of Downtown Portland, Oregon USA in twilight (Portland)
I had to go home at lunchtime today, and decided to walk.

Emerald Sedai and the Blustery Day )

And now for some nice hot coffee.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
We had a little 2.9 earthquake on Friday night, epicentered--get this--15 kilometers below the intersection of West Burnside and NW 31st. I mean, specific, or what? And urban. And, you know, right on that massive faultline that creates Portland's West Hills and that is tentatively scheduled for The Big One in my lifetime.

On top of that, we continue to have massive amounts of rain. Build-your-ark-and-start-collecting-animals quantities of rain.

And last night there was a windstorm--including still more rain--that knocked over trees whose roots were sitting kind of loosely in the saturated soil. There were minor earthslides in those same West Hills, and power lines down, and the long and short of it is that here in The World's Tallest Basement, we're on emergency power while PGE fixes things.

So I've got a computer, and a phone, and a desk lamp, but the overhead lights and the heat are off.

And it rains, and rains, and rains, and it just feels like the end of the world.

Strangely enough, I'm in a great mood. Why is that?

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