Saturday, January 31, 2009

baby dumplin'

I woke up this morning just a little after 6am. I think it was some kind of strange body-memory thing, a bit of a subconscious nudge to remind me of that other early morning 25 years ago when this little dumpling came into our lives:

Her brother's delighted reaction after holding her for the first time and gazing into those big brown baby eyes? "Her look like Yoda!" (He was, after all, a big Star Wars fan like his Dad)

As she grew into a toddler, she became for a time the spitting image of her big brother.

And almost instantly (because it seems to me it was only yesterday that she entered our lives) she grew up and became the graceful, creative, funny and exotically beautiful young woman she is today.

Happy birthday, Caitie!
Love, Yo Mama

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

who ARE these people?

A random sampling of names and subject lines in my email spam folder:
  • Ajay Aguilar    Find your Russian soul-mate
  • Aldrich Berry    Delivery confirmation
  • Abdullah Chambers    Turn your bedroom life into a volcano of pleasure
  • Alexio Dawson    Your wife needs your attention? Solve all the problems with IT.

photo borrowed from here

And there are more:
  • Alic Abbott wants to know about my Hall of Shame. (Don't worry, Alic-when I get nominated, I'll send you an invitation)
  • Abdul Bennett wants me to impress my girlfriend tonight. (My girlfriends are already impressed that I actually know someone named Abdul)
  • Abbe Cortez wants to know if I'm the guy who cannot make love. (Nope, not me...I'm not even a guy)
  • Alfy Dawson says, "How about a Russian bride?" (No thanks, not today)
  • Abie Davis, Abrahan Barnes and Adamo Chapman  are offering Swiss-branded watches. (Sorry, fellas--I only wear Chinese watches)
  • Adolph Dennis  says I can choose my own price. (On what? Swiss watches?)
  • Christian Dating  wants to help me find the one. (Christian, honey--I've already found him.)
  • Faye Yan  says I can incerase my value with a University Dip1oma/Degree/Masteer MBA with NO STUDY and NO TEST! (Faye's spell check program seems to be on the fritz)

And then there's this guy:

Alden Ball
IT Consultant of Perfect Lovemaking Art

It just goes to show, there's a perfect job for everyone in this world.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I've always wanted to travel

As a self-employed freeloader freelancer, I have to keep on the lookout for my next job opportunity. Even if I'm up to my ears in work, I look for new work every day. 
So, the other morning I was perusing craigslist and caught this ad under "creative gigs":

Illustrator Needed (Portland OR)

Illustrator needed for a graphic novel about the Missoula Floods that took place at the end of the Pleistocene Era 18,000 years ago. Ability to portray many characters, natural cataclysms and landscapes necessary. Familiarity with Ice Age a plus. 100 pages or more. 600-800 frames. Book size of 9.5 by 7.5 inches. Color. Lettering ability a plus. Pay based upon experience. 5 day field expedition required (week of March 23), all expenses for trip paid. Trip will cover path of the ancient flood, Portland to Missoula, return through the Channeled Scablands. Please send cover letter and art samples. No phone calls please.

Location: Portland OR
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay


Friday, January 16, 2009

won't you join me?

A Winter Feast for the Soul

The vision:

We hold a vision of a world at peace that surpasses the imagined boundaries of creed, culture, and philosophical belief.

We hold a vision for individuals to find a way to access their own inner peace through a daily practice of meditation and prayer.

We hold a vision of a world where there is sufficient abundance to support all sentient beings.

The Goals:

To create an annual worldwide period of spiritual practice for people of all faiths to come together in prayer and meditation.

To support people around the world in finding inner peace in their lives through the creation of a daily spiritual practice.

To recognize that every person and every group is entitled to their own unique form of expression of these goals and is encouraged to practice them without discrimination.

To work toward a global consciousness of peace.

Won't you please join me?
Cactus Petunia

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

identity crisis, anyone?

I read an article in the Oregonian this morning about creative business titles--what people call themselves at work. (like manager, or secretary or president)  A receptionist at Umpqua Bank is "Director of Smiles", and Human Resources at the bank is known as the "Department of Cultural Enhancement". 

Over at Rogue Brewery, they get even farther out: one of the co-founders is known as "Chief Wisdom Officer", and brewpub managers are called "Directors of Culture, Commerce and Tourism" (except for the manager of the Eugene pub, who prefers "Director of Hoppy Goodness".) The business card of Linda Barclay, merchandising manager at Rogue, who's in charge of T-shirt, mug and all non-beer sales, sports the moniker "Queen of Trash and Flash".

Or how about the publicist who calls himself an "Ego Enhancement Consultant"?

Here are a few titles I'd like to see added to some famous business cards:

George W. Bush
Lame Duck

Dick Cheney
Lame Duck Hunter, 
Buckshot Division

Howard Stern
Pontificator of Pompous Trivialities

Bill O'Reilly
 Liberal Baiting Specialist

Martha Stewart
Despot of Decorating Dogma
Ben Bernanke
Spare Change Distributor

Joel Osteen
Spiritual Capitalist

Bill Clinton
Chief Inspector, 
Women's Anatomy Division

Sarah Palin
Archaic Paradigm Facilitator

Caroline Kennedy
Princess, Camelot Group

I could keep going on this subject all night! Got any good ones? What would yours be? 
And mine? Considering my overall job description here at Camp Cactus, it'd probably read:

Cactus Petunia
Benevolent Dictator

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

forest dream

(photo borrowed from this guy)

When the girl awoke, she found herself in a snowy forest. Surprisingly warm and unafraid, she wandered among the trees, listening to the birds, catching glimpses of the foxes and squirrels and sensing the occasional rustle of deer foraging in the brush. 

Hearing a faint whimper, she turned in the direction of an enormous tree, the rugged bark of its massive trunk dusted with snow. The ancient fir towered over the smaller trees around it. This sentinel of the forest and protector of  innocent and vulnerable creatures was harboring something. She moved toward it, her feet making crunching sounds in the snow.

It was a young boy, crouched in the sheltering roots of the old tree. Eyes closed, he was sniffling and shivering. "Who are you?" she asked. No reply. Just the chattering of teeth. His head was lowered, and fear stiffened his limbs. "Are you lost?" she said gently. He looked up into her eyes, and she saw in them a darkness of such depth she had never before seen. He was so frightened he couldn't speak at first. When he realized she was not going to hurt him, he whispered haltingly, "I don't know. It's all so strange. I'm so lost and afraid. Everything is dark and I don't know what to do." She gathered him up in a warm embrace to comfort him, and he slowly relaxed in her arms with a deep sigh.

"Aren't you afraid?" he asked. "Why are you so calm?" 
"Being afraid is like digging a hole for yourself, climbing in, and then covering yourself with dirt so evil cannot find you," she explained. "But neither will good. You must open your heart to the world and notice everything, the good and the evil. For you cannot have good without evil, success without failure, noise without quiet, kindness without cruelty. By burying yourself in fear, you have only fear. There is no chance for happiness or love or peace to find you."
"You must be here now, in this moment, in this life," she continued, "For this moment will pass soon enough, and a new moment will be born. This is life. This is all there is. There is bad, yes--but there is also always good." 

She smiled, and said, "Come on, let's see what the foxes are up to in the meadow."

Just then the sun broke through the clouds, sending rays across the sparkling snow, and with that, she took his hand and led him out of the forest. 

Friday, January 2, 2009

winter wonderland

Wow. It's about 1 am and I was really trying to go along with one of my resolutions (to go to bed earlier and get up earlier in the morning) but as I let the pups out to pee one last time, the rain suddenly turned into these giant, soft snowflakes resembling shredded kleenex. Abbie and Cooper came back in the house covered in flakes, looking like reverse Dalmations. Black dogs with white spots. It's falling very quickly now, the flakes heavy with moisture. In fifteen minutes, the roofs and streets and trees are covered with a soft white coating of snow--making the world suddenly clean again, and quiet. I feel as if the neighborhood and all its inhabitants are props in a giant snow globe that's just been shaken furiously by a winter-loving child. I love it!

(Sorry, no pictures. My computer crashed hard yesterday, and I'm on Dave's tonight. Can't even turn mine on.)