Sunday, August 24, 2008

Framing Kansas, the Seven Dwarves, and sundry annoyances

Got a beautiful, artistic topographical map of Oregon, so I wanted to get it framed. The woman had to trim a couple inches off the side, but she apparently had difficulties because she couldn't make the state look 'square.' Apparently she'd prefer to only frame maps of Kansas.

Anyway, people were staring at me like I was a complete nut. Framing a map?
One woman asked if I were a teacher doing this for a project.
"No, I like maps."
"Oh." Blank stare.
I tried again. "I like to know the area where I live. For example, that mountain over there," I waved my hand south. "What's its name?"
From the Yamhill County website

She looked at me with gentle pity. "Mount Hood," she said.
Mount Hood is east of Portland. Has been for years. Plus it's about 10,000 feet taller.

"Um, no. If you go south toward Newberg, you climb over a mountain.* Do you know its name?"
Another blank stare. At her side, the saleslady also frowned, deep in thought. Then they both shrugged and went back to framing the thirteen identical pictures of the woman's toddler.

Maybe it is strange, but knowing the names of places makes me feel that I'm not living in a void. Names give a landscape solidity. That's not quite the right word, but they act like anchors to ground you in the world around you.

Seems strange to me that people could live in a valley, drive around it every day, and not feel part of the place. It's a vague backdrop that fades into insignificance compared to important matters, such as what's on television that night.

Becoming 5 of the 7 Dwarves

At last count, I am Bashful, Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, and Wheezy.**
Not Happy, though I did go to see Doc. She said the coughing et al. sounds like asthma, take this, and that, get seven samples of blood drawn and take three more tests at different doctors' office.

I'll say this for her, she's thorough.

One of the tests I have to take is at the office of Dr. Watson, which immediately made me think of how many times this man has had to hear Sherlock Holmes jokes since he got his degree.

It's nice to be able to apply a label to the coughing and shortness of breath, and it's a lot better than some of the possibilities that it could have been, but I'm still miffed. How am I supposed to exercise if I can't breathe good? Hopefully the drugs will help so that I can get out and do things instead of being a couch potato.

*If you drive from Hillsboro to Newberg, you cross over the Chehalem mountains.

**Wikipedia and Walt Disney are in a conspiracy to make people think the 7th dwarf is named 'Sneezy,' but I like my version better. Artistic license.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Decisions, decisions

Tough Choices

Three choices. I can either:

a) Tackle the jungle of weeds in the front yard.
Actually, this looks much nicer than my front yard

b) Sit on the front porch, sip lemonade, and watch the blue angels flying in formation overhead with pink and blue whatsits streaming out of their back ends. (I can almost see my father the ex-pilot shaking his head at my technical terminology.)
I couldn't quite catch them (they move too fast) so this photo is from flickr.

c) Sit indoors and blog about being indecisive.
Should I be indecisive? Or not? I can't tell.

Gotta love the little ones
Two little children, about 4 or 5, across the street taunting each other:
"You're bi-polar!"
"No, you're bi-polar!"
"No, you are!"

I suppose they both could be bi-polar.

Note to self: maybe hold off on introducing myself to their parents.

Resolution of the week
Tomorrow I'm going to use the bicycle instead of the evilSUV. I've found that I can control the effects of the coughing spells with ibuprofen, so it is probably the result of some sort of inflammation issue. (On a coughing day, I start coughing a little bit, then cough some more, then end up coughing quite a lot, until my ribs feel tired and it feels like the area around my lungs is swollen. Yes, maybe I should see the doctor, but it's getting better, so maybe I'll hold off and see if it goes away. I hate trying to describe symptoms that come and go.)