Michael

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May 3, 2008

I stop for coffee this afternoon at the Goldrush Coffee Bar because it’s near my house and an all-time favorite song pops into my head whenever I enter: Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush.” (Prophetic lyrics here.) Coffee black for me, but “Tutley’s Triumph” catches my eye on the chalkboard menu. I’m told it’s a […]

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Rippling Over Time

May 3, 2008

News flash: A Civil War cannonball kills a relic collector 140 years after it was fired near Richmond, Virginia. Analysis: Wars don’t end when peace is declared; the weapons fight on. Would the soldier who lit the cannon’s fuse done so had he recognized the potential consequences rippling out over Time . . . consequences […]

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Treadmill Ghost

May 2, 2008

At the gym today, I saw the ghost of me. His image materialized six feet in front of me on the window overlooking the squash courts. I was striding in place on an elliptical machine. Cast in shades of gray, he appeared to occupy a space between two worlds, mine and one of shadows. He […]

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Never the Same Again

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May 1, 2008

Two Austrian brothers marvel at the alien but wondrous world we take for granted. It was hidden from them. Until now their world was a cellar, a makeshift prison. The warden? Their father. One of the boys, 5-year-old Felix Fritzl, asks upon seeing the moon for the first time: Is that God up there? How […]

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From My Window

May 1, 2008

Twenty children clutching flowers stroll the sidewalk beneath my window. No older than six and with teachers in tow, they stop, wave, and smile at me, the gray-haired crank a half-century older. I open the window, and they all call out “Happy May Day!” The sidewalk and street are dusted with wind-blown petals, whites and […]

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Stopping Time

April 30, 2008

Suzame, Atticus, and I wait for our food in the dinner-crowd din at Ken’s Artisan Pizza on SE 28th. I gaze out the window. People awash in early evening light pass on the sidewalk. A young man comes into view. Hip-looking in that Portland style that anyone on the eastside under 30 wears like skin. […]

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Love NPR, Hate NPR

April 30, 2008

It’s hard to imagine not having NPR on most of the time during the week. I don’t watch TV news, unless a huge news event occurs — 9/11, Katrina, and so forth. NPR‘s news is generally even-handed and not as entertainment-driven as most broadcast media have become. I like the interviews, like hearing music I […]

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Obama Didn’t Sleep Here

April 28, 2008

A Barack Obama campaign worker was our overnight guest Sunday, part of a volunteer-your-home program Suzame and I signed up for. Then she was off to Salem this morning, two big suitcases in tow — “all my stuff,” she said. “I go where they send me.” It’s been that way for nearly a year. She […]

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Dear Tulip Thief

April 27, 2008

For a few weeks, we watched the dozen green tulip buds grow taller and fatten. They cloaked themselves in a hint of red. I planted them three years ago in a small corner garden at the intersection where we live in Northeast Portland. The tulips were on the verge of opening, an event we and […]

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Balloon Man’s lament

April 27, 2008

From a distance, Balloon Man looks happy. Little children line up next to him beneath an elm beginning to unfurl new leaves. The sights and sounds of the Portland Farmers Market surround them. The children watch in awe as his hands move in a blur, creating made-to-order pirate swords, three-corner hats, bugs, and dinosaurs. “Three […]

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Dapper Cadavers

April 26, 2008

Blue sky and a breath of warm air do wonders for Portland, especially on a Saturday in the midst of a cold spring. Among the throngs at the downtown Farmers Market are people with eyes closed, faces turned reverently toward the sun. Strolling past baked goods and rows of vegetable starts for the garden, I […]

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What Hillary Said

April 25, 2008

News item: Hillary Clinton says as president she would “totally obliterate” Iran if it attacked Israel with nuclear weapons. Clinton made the comment as people in Pennsylvania voted in the Democratic primary. I’ve become painfully accustomed to Clinton saying and doing anything to defeat Barack Obama. That her supporters seem all the more fervent as […]

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Cracked Up

April 24, 2008

I’m a hypocrite. I rant about people yapping on their cell phones while they drive, especially on city streets. Well, I wasn’t yapping but asking an operator for a phone number while driving through our Northeast Portland neighborhood. Suzame was sitting next to me. At the time my call seemed important enough for me to […]

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