Michael

Self-service airline

July 23, 2008

A Southwest Airlines pilot goes the self-service route at Boise Airport for my flight home to Portland on Tuesday. Whatever it takes for the clearest possible view works for me.

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More than music

July 22, 2008

Being there is everything. Not just attending small venue concerts to hear musicians I’m enthralled with but making sure I’m pressed next to the stage. I want to see what’s written on their faces, to witness the up-close interplay with their band mates, to judge how they play off the audience. I want to imagine […]

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It’s oddly comforting to walk along my street and see the Gnome. He’s always there, sheltered inside the hollowed-out base of a tree. He’s been there longer than the five years I’ve been walking past. His expression never changes, even when vandals spray-painted him black and broke his arm, or passersby deposited flowers at his […]

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One word, many meanings

July 18, 2008

When I spotted this trash can with a message today on Northeast 28th and Couch, I immediately thought of its broad theme: Portland’s intense recycling and reuse ethos. Now I realize it might be a so-obvious-it’s-subtle hint: look inside, stupid, and get rich. Or maybe part of a treasure map, and the long shadow points […]

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Fanciful stories

July 17, 2008

Not fully grasping an intriguing story appeals to me. Take Lisa Barcy’s arresting animation and Andrew Bird‘s somber yet whimsical song “Lull” that accompanies it (click the image). The story instantly captured me. With each viewing, I see more in the drawings, hear more in the sounds, comprehend more meaning in this odd, fanciful tale. […]

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I’m hardly an art critic. And I don’t abide by the cliché, “I know good art when I see it.” Like many people, I gravitate to images that trigger an emotional and visceral reaction that lingers. That’s the experience I had last night, stumbling upon Steampunk wallpapers while cruising boingboing.

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Pirate of memories

July 14, 2008

I’m stealing a memory. It belongs to my youngest brother. The memory is about Gertrude, a row boat that Bill found submerged in our lake in Florida when we were kids. He and a friend somehow hauled her to shore, patched a hole in the bottom, and retrofitted her into a floating fort.

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More than one thousand bicyclists crowd beneath the Broadway Bridge, waiting for the annual Night Ride to start. Some sway to the sound of fifteen young people pounding away on drums and cymbals. When the din ends, bike bells ring in applause. Red and white bike lights are flashing, mine included. Bewildered Amtrak passengers leaving […]

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Frat boy farewell

July 12, 2008

Choose your most admired U.S. president. Imagine him saying this: Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter. Now imagine him grinning widely and punching the air. And saying it while leaving a meeting of world leaders who had gathered in Japan to discuss combating climate change. According to a British newspaper, those present, including Gordon Brown […]

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Bridges to nowhere

July 10, 2008

Is there a direction and meaning in lives beyond the individual’s own will? That, Thornton Wilder said, was the underlying question of his acclaimed 1927 novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey. The book explores the lives of five people who fall to their deaths when a rope bridge in Peru collapses. I don’t think […]

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Boy and the bug

July 9, 2008

This morning at breakfast, my little boy Atticus freaked out when a big fly buzzed on a window near him. It seemed like an overreaction for someone who dug worms and fed them to the goldfish in our little pond before he could walk. (Easy for me to judge.) Maybe this stunning photo will make […]

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Where did all the creeks go? That’s what I’m wondering, thanks to a Google terrain map of my Northeast Portland neighborhood. Zoomed in as close as I can get, I see unlabeled squiggly lines in several parts of Irvington that typically indicate water’s fickle flow. One crosses my street a few houses to the south. […]

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Faded away

July 8, 2008

How will Atticus, my son of nearly three, see his past at my age, more than a half-century hence? At his fingertips he’ll have countless digital photographs and videos chronicling his life. Hundreds are already burned onto hard drives and into his brain: the boy loves to sit on my lap and watch them. The […]

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