Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Perfect Vacation

My mom and I planned it all out a few months ago. We would drive to Bridal Veil Oregon stay for three nights at The Bridal Veil Bed and Breakfast, visit Portland and the falls, and drive back. Little did we realize how wonderful it would be. The drive down was beautifully sunny. We arrived in the evening as the sun was setting. The view was spectacular and as we were starving we stopped in at the Montnoma Restaurant and Lodge for dinner. It was beautiful but expensive. At that point we didn't care and luxuriated in the warmth of a fireside table. The Lodge was built in the beginning of the 1900s and is gloriously grandiose. The ceilings were high and the walls were stonework or wooden paneling. It looked exactly like a medieval lodge. Apparently there was another dinning room which was glassed in so you could look up at the falls above as you ate but since it was dark when we got there we wouldn't have appreciated it as much as the fire.

The scenic highway was all designed and build around the same time as the lodge and the workmanship must have been exceptional because its obviously the same road and bridges that they built only resurfaced. There were waterfalls everywhere and the whole aria was lush with plants.

The first morning we spent walking up what we thought was a short hike around the Horsetail falls. Apparently we were more out of shape than we thought and my mom and I came back to the car with sore feet and weary muscle's three hours later. So we spent a nice time at the bed and breakfast napping before going for a leisurely walk on the bridal veil walk (much less vigorous) and looking at the Camus before driving over to The bridge of the gods for dinner. I don't remember the name of the restaurant but it had good enough food and a spectacular view of the river and the bridge.

We slept very well that night and awoke the next day to rain. We decided to drive to Portland and see Powell's Books. Which we had never done. Unbeknownsed to us the Bridal veil falls was not the end of the highway as we had thought and we end up driving through windy tree lined road with surprising glimpses of waterfalls before coming to the point. Which had a building that most of is underground as I discovered to my delight when I went inside. The view was spectacular and because most people just stop at Montnoma Falls there were not that many people even though they had a gift shop and the best view.

When we got into Portland we immediately got lost and spent ten minutes parked trying to figure out 1st of all where we were and then how to get to Powell's. Thankfully the rain had let up and we made it to Downtown with little more difficulty found parking and Spent three joyous hours overwhelmed at the shear size and amount of books. They even had a coffee shop. Thank goodness cause caffeine is the only thing that keeps my mother alive and we spent a good time sifting through our bounty and partaking of a rather fine Mocha and Ham and cream cheese croissant before finding the french section.
Powell's has a mighty fine French section. One whole isle devoted to it. I found all kinds of kids books at my reading level. Age 2-3. And my mom found that they had most of the Roale Dhal books translated and happily picked out a few to read. Which is her level.
Then we made our way back though the POURING rain. I cant believe how fast people were driving. The speed limit is 65 and they are driving 75 at least and you cant even see them for all the rain pouring own cause they don't even have there headlights on. I was slightly stressed when we made it back to the bed and breakfast so I sat around and read Sideshow by Sherry S Tepper. Lovely book. Well perhaps lovey glosses over some gore but still very engaging.
Then we went to the same restaurant for dinner the night before. We weren't up for anything new. And came back to sleep very soundly.
The next morning we were sad to be leaving yet also happy to be heading home we took one last turn round The Bridal falls after a breakfast of Crepes. And hopped in the car to drive forever and a day back to Pullman. It was a lovely drive and we skipped the Tr-Citys. We weren't impressed with them on the way through the other direction.
Home coming was wonderful. My dad had brought us back our kitty and left food to eat so we didn't have to go find some and we settled down to enjoy being home.
All in all a wonderful trip.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Green Tea

I have discovered a green tea I like. Of course I drink it with sugar but this is a new thing for me. Most of the time I will try a tea and find that it tastes remarkably like grass. Or brewed grass in water. I am not fond of this flavor and can not seem to get past it. But this tea is made of dried and crushed whole green tea leaves. (don't sneeze this stuff will choke you) You put an eighth of a teaspoon into a glass pout in hot but not boiling water and you have a lovely but very green cup of tea. Its not bitter, not grass tasting and apparently doesn't have that much caffeine. It gives me a bit of a lift though.

My mom and I went to this weekends craft fair at the Colosseum on Friday. I like to go just after it opens at 10 so there aren't that many people. On the weekend it can get very crowded. And we bought it from this couple they have a website. www.groundgreentea.com

We also got more soap from the sumptuous soap lady who is a love. And her soaps are wonderful. She has this one Flax seed and Buttermilk which is the only thing that I can use on my face without drying it out and making flakes (eew).

There was a lady selling these wonderful e-z reader things. Which holds your book open for you and you can turn the page one handed. We got two. One for me and one for my mom. I'm such a wuss any more. My wrists complain about any kind of stress. Thees things work though. No pain at all.

Craft fairs are great. I'm looking forward to the local farmers markets. I read in this latest issue of Mother Jones about this lady buying local tomatoes and caning tomato paste and sauce for the winter. I think I might try it cause my mom and I eat a lot of tomato products and apparently it really is better for the environment to buy local.

I would also like to mention that there have been a few people who haven commented on my web page and I am very happy about it. It makes me happy to get feedback and know that people are reading what I write, even if I haven't been writing as much the last few weeks.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Friends

Friends

I am sitting hear looking at my cat, Max. He is adorable with his half mustash and beard of black. Everyonce in awhile he will looks at me and we will squint our eyes at eachother before looking away. And I can tell it maks him feel as loved as it dose me. This is the first time I feel that I've gotten it right with a cat. There was Mr Kitty who adored me, or so I am told by my mom, but for some reason was an utter butthead to me most of his life. There was Orbit who peed on me as I slept and there was little Luna who was a nervious littlle girl and never seemd quite content. I wonder if perhaps this is like a code I'v cracked and now if I ever get another cat I will be able to bond again.

Up until I met my friend Emily I had never had friends. Oh I thought I'd had them but I haden't. The one person I thought had been I got in touch with and he had completely forgoten me. There was the boy who had promised to marry me and then promptly threw me in a juniper bush when his other more popular friend told him to.

There was the girl who was frinds with me for a year or two but again when someone popular came along ditched me and made fun of me to gain favor. There was the cleptomaiac who my parents had to turn out her pockets befor she could leave our house. There was the girl who bullied me. There were a lot of people who weren't really my friends. At least not in the way that I define a friend now. Of course I defined it diferntly then, but after having a true friend I cant call them that.

Emily was the first person who would return the books I loned her, and would be happy to see me after summer break. Who never stabbed me in the back and gabbed my "secrets" to others. I say "secrets" cause I never had any but I did have things I wouldent really want told to compleat strangers. She made an effort to call me and we hung out outside of school. We had arguments and differnces of opintions but somehow it diden't make us loose respect for one another or drift apart.

After having a real friend I got a little strict about how my friends should treat me. I even told someone off cause of that once. Not the best decision I ever made yet I get the impression thease kinds of thing have to happen to alow one to grow up and know what not to do. Now I've leared that frindship is much like any kind of love. There are lots of differnt ways to love, just as many as there are people. I have friends that I truly care about but I don’t see very often or talk to much. I consider them friends cause they care about me. Sure they don't do the horrible things that my old 'friends' used to do but that’s not why I know they are my friends. Its because of the feeling I get when I'm with them and the feeling that I give them. Its more than just knowing someone. Its likeing them too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

US News

It's that time again to catch up on the weekly rag. I have had a bit of trouble making myself read it this week.

To diet or not to diet, that is the question. And if you diet what should one cut out of your system? Fat or carbohydrates? Looks like it doesn't matter much.Cutting out carbohydrates works better. But not much better. Most of what people lost was water wight. The problem is dieting isn't fun or comfortable and human were not born with a lot of willpower. In fact you might go so far as to say that people are remarkably disinclined to change. Barbra Shar says that it is a survival instinct. I'm inclined to agree. Change can be dangerous and our body's know that even if our brains ignore it. My mom has an interesting theory about the wight loss thing. When you look at cow meat, as we often do, they are very fatty. But all they eat is grass, there is no fat in there diet at all. Now lets pick a meat eating critter such as a cat, they eat all meat, and yet the body fat of a cat is something like 4%. Seems sort of backwards in our eat lots of fruits and veggies low fat exercise obsessed society doesn't it?

So aparently there are some excellent careers this year, if you are so inclined, I omited the mearly good and fair ones. Try being a Fundraiser, Occupational Therapist, Physitans Assistant, Registerd Nurse, School Psychologest, Sytems Analyst. I actually enjoyed reading about what thease people actually do. They should have more articals like this one in magizines for teens and children.

Clique on to Penguin- the new website for kids. Or no so new. there is some consern that the website takes kids abway frome haging out hear in the real world. I think if the real world were more interesting or plesent it probably wouldn't.

Those were the ones interesting to write about. However, there is a new issue (or two) and I think I'm going to have to skip a week or two sence. I cant seem to read and write about them in a resonable amount of time.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Sleepers

A friend loaned my mom and me this DVD about Russen spies in Briten after the cold war.

In some ways it was rather typical of stuff I've seen from the 90's yet it was interesting how different the attitudes of the Russians and the British and the Americans really were. They were all grossly over drawn of course yet there is always an element of truth to what makes us laugh. And laugh I did. The friendship was interesting because they were two Russians. So they should get along yet because of how they had been living for 25 years as two very different classes of human beings they didn't. They had become other people so thoroughly they were those other people.

I suppose that theme has been explored by other people in other stories yet it is an interesting question, are we who we are or are we what other people see us as? There's a very interesting scene where the police get very mad at one of the spy's when he turns himself in because of his accent. If he hadn't had a very good English accent they would have been quite happy to throw him in prison.

Voice is so important and so it was good that the two main guys actually had really good British accents, specific to the classes that they were supposed to be. Of course since it was probably someone British who wrote the show rather than Russian they knew that. But the Russian accents were good too. I think some of them were real. And it was hard for me to fallow them a lot. Because they are so thick and they don’t use the TH sound.

There is a story my mom tells me from A Hundred Years of Solitude. I haven't read it yet, but it goes like this. There is a village and they have these lovely white cottages. When the revolutions happens the revolutionaries come through and make the village paint their houses red to show their support. Meanwhile things go on as they have in the village. Then someone else comes through and makes the village paint their houses blue to show support for the new regime. This time though the color can't show up on the red and they are left an ugly shade of brown. Yet again a change is made, which makes more work for the village yet basically leaves them completely unchanged.

I think about that story when I think of the Russians. I have only read stories and watched movies about there history but it seems to me they work very hard at making big sweeping changes, revolution, Stalin, socialism, communism. Yet the pour people's lives remain the same or are even poorer. I feel like perhaps the solution lies not in more big change but in buckling down and working on the small details in the system that they have. They seem very unhappy and from what I understand of the poverty they have a reason too be but I think there unhappiness dose is blind them to what choices they do have and greed by people in power blinds them to what they could do. I think there is no quick easy fix for an unhappiness that is so deeply engrained in the hearts and minds of a people. People in America have been slow to change too. We are in a shift in mentality but who knows where it will lead. Such a shift in Russia will take time patience, persistence and perhaps a bit luck.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Cataloging

There has been a lot of debate in the library field about the benefit of having subject headings on records. Look hear, for an interesting speech about it. Subject headings make it possible for you to type in Einstein and come up with all of the books about Einstein or Rabbit and come up with all of the books with rabbits in them. Very handy. But in the library world they want to stream line and so there are only a certain number of words that library people actually use when they catalogue. It makes sense but it makes it hard for people who don't know what the words are. This is why at libraries they have something called a Red Book. Reference librarians have deemed it unnecessary but it is helpful and if you go to a library it is there. If however you are online, there is no read book so you have to keep punching in different words until you hit the right one. Now in the library world a lot of people think this is frustrating patrons and driving them away, (I say put in a red book) they say, get rid of subject headings and use key words, like the have on the Internet. So you can type in any word and come up with all the records. Nice in theory but in practice there are over a million records already catalogued which don't have key words and if you instigate key words now a lot and I mean a lot of work is going to fall though the cracks. For example- one person decides to use the key word rabbits and another used bunny's, half of the records will be under rabbits and half under bunny's. Thus the patron who types in rabbits is not going to get there records under bunny's. Under the old system of only putting records under rabbits, when the patron typed in bunny they wouldn't get anything. I think it might make things easier if they did something like what dictionary's do and bring up a suggestion to see rabbits, but from what I understand of the people in charge such a simple idea would not go over well.


More web sites about subject headings

http://www.librarian.net/stax/1396/
http://www.guild2910.org/searching.htm


There has also been a lot of conversation about weather it is even necessary to catalogue books now that we have the Internet. I know that the Internet makes everything seem easy, and people seem to thing that because its easy there is no work involved. Yet Google has lots of unpaid people who volunteer their time to make sure that when you type something in you get the right search results. In fact the Internet being easy is quite deceptive. Every page you read probably took someone quite some time to design and put up. Easy for you sure, but for them? Not so much.

Library's are much the same. All those books aren't going to organize themselves. Someone has to figure out what the book is about and put that information into the database in a way that the reader can find it, then someone puts the right label on, so that someone else can physically carry the book down to the correct place in the library and put it on the shelf so that when a reader finds it on the computer they can actually physically find it in the library without too much trouble. The Internet doesn't change the fact that you need people in library's. Yet the big thing in library's right now is to get rid of all of the people who do that kind of work. This would save them lots of money they think and then you could just have machines do the work. Recently a friend of mine received an e-mail, saying that the library of Congress and Google had pledged to work together to have a machine do all of there cataloging. Check out the ALA website.

The Library of Congress is the authority library in the US, which means that they do most of the cataloging for all of the little local library's, like your town library. If they mess up every library who depends on their cataloging, because they don't have the funds to do it themselves, will have a mess. It would be a big disaster. Hopefully Google is doing better on their cataloging than they are with there search engine because I have defiantly noticed a slip in quality over the last year.

Romance

Despite my avowal not to marry. I do have a little soft spot in my heart for reading romance. The idea of two people meeting and despite knowing all the intimate little things about each other, loving one another makes me happy in a way that no other story can. The best of all romance authors has to be Jennifer Crusie. Funny and very real her characters have true flaws that could actually destroy a relationship. Yet in a magic way don't. I even spent 16 dollars on a new copy of Manhunting. Which is her first novel re-published which she wrote at 30. So I still have time to write mine. I'm only 26. Besides I wrote my first novel. Its crap, but I wrote it, and next November I will try to write another one.

But back to Jennifer. I forgot where I was going with this. Except, read her, shes awesome. Especially Faking It which was actually recommended to me by a wonderful lady at the Minneapolis Airport bookstore when I was desperate for something to keep me sane after flying across the Atlantic with nothing except in flight magazines to read. I will never fly again without a book.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Leaky Gut Syndrome

In a book by Frank Lipman that I found my mom reading he describes a list of symptoms

Abdominal pain and indigestion
Diarrhea and occasional constipation
Gas and bloating
Food allergies and sensitivities
Fatigue and malaise
Chronic joint and muscle pain
Brain fog, confusion, poor memory
Nervousness mood swings anxiety and aggressive behavior
Skin rashes, hives, acne
Recurrent vaginal and bladder infections
Decreased immunity
Poor exercise tolerance
Shortness of breath
Feelings of toxicity
Fevers of unknown origin

So I read this list and went hot and cold. Am I paranoid is this a list that every one will identify with? Seriously, its eerie how many of these things describe me. I read further and discover what these symptoms are matched to, (apparently you don't have to have all of them) Leaky Gut Syndrome. Good grief, that sounds as bad as anal leakage. But apparently it's is not as disgusting as it sounds, well at least what it dose is inside and not outside of your body, no leaking.

As I understand it the immune system starts to over-react to things in your intestines and attack them causing the semi permeable lining of your intestines to become more permeable and leak stuff into your bloodstream (hence the name leaky). Your liver and spleen already have enough to do without filtering food particles out of your veins and eventually they shut down(in extreme cases) but before that you have all kinds of random symptoms all seemingly unrelated because basically they are. Weird or what?