Walking the Sea

Walking the Sea: August 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Capital in the Summertime

In the spring I did a photo shoot at the capital. The pink cherry blossoms were beautiful, great pictures. I really liked the shots of the petals and hail together on the sidewalks underneath the trees. (Yes, I got caught in a hail storm in April taking those photos!) This day was all blue sky! These are all part of a photo series I'm doing of the capital in the four different seasons. Taking pictures sure is fun!


Tap Dancing Workshop

Last week Stacey arranged for a teacher to come from Eugene for a workshop. Here are some of the photos I took.

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Stories from My Vacation in Eugene

I have been spending a lazy Sunday afternoon cuddled up to my laptop in my bedroom reading through a friend's blog. She is very real and I like that. Perhaps that is what blogs are - a place to be real. I think one of the reasons "reality" television is so popular, though it is hardly "real" at all, is because we are thirsty to genuinely know one another. Perhaps past our walls we put up as defenses, we really do want to know each other as we truly are. If we did, do you think we would be happy we did or would we run in the other direction? I think it would depend on what we focused on. The beautiful person each one of us is, or all the crap that could surround it. Rather like a peanut m&m where the peanut is surrounded by all that chocolate with a hard shell on the outside. It's a a great metaphor. I wish I could claim coming up with it.

As it is Labor Day weekend, I decided a mini vacation was long overdue. First, I had to relax before my vacation. When my roommate got home on Friday night, I challenged her to a game of Five Crowns. A popular card game in our household, we originally learned it from her young adult group. (I just go occasionally for game nights or beach trips.) It's played rather like rummy with different wilds and a different amount of cards in your hand for each round. I got pretty good at Five Crowns pretty quickly. I creamed the rest of the players my first time out. I told you I was competitive. The last two times Katie and I have played, I won. Not by a lot, but I won. She's quite good herself. The second time the rematch was my request. Go figure. So on Friday, it was her turn to cream me and she did it good and proper. I protested, gave her a hard time, we accused each other of cheating. Finally, she just looked at me and said, "Payback's a bitch isn't it?" So I told her I was going to put what she said on my blog... Yes, payback is indeed a bitch. So the moral of this story is: don't piss off a writer. Even if you didn't really piss her off, she can still skew the facts however she wants on her blog... :o)

So Saturday morning after sleeping in, I headed down to Eugene where my friend JD lives. JD and I met four years ago at a kariyoki night at a friend's house and then I helped take him to the airport when he moved to Japan three days later. That was the last time I saw or talked vocally to JD. For four years, we instant messaged each other off and on as he moved from Japan to Argentina and got married. Probably partly because it was online, we were honest with each other, how our days were going, problems we had and such. We encouraged each other and helped each other along when we both happened to be online with time to talk. At the end of four years, we were both in very different places than we had met. This last spring, he and his wife moved back to Oregon and just recently, to Eugene, within a hour and a half of me. Those kinds of friendships are awesome aren't they?

So, I had my destination along with a promise of salsa dancing in the evening. The afternoon, though, was my own. I have never spent a lot of time in Eugene as the university there is the arch rival of the university I attended for my bachelor's degree, but I was looking forward to a fun afternoon. My first stop was the Buffalo Exchange. No, this is not a western movie set, it is a national used clothing store. My friend Tricia recommend it to me as she knew I am into the urban look and I was eager to check it out. Think urban, hip, and why would you ever wear that kind of clothing store and you got it. I soon found out I really like the Buffalo Exchange and am looking forward to checking out their stores in Portland next time I get a chance. You can google it if you like. I am still figuring out how people put outfits together in this style, there doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to it so I am trying to create a style all my own.

Having seen a Saturday market down the street, I checked that out too. The folk in Eugene must be very clean because they sold a lot of soap there along with tie-dye t-shirts. It's Eugene! The jewelry was pretty too and I liked the music. People were friendly and for a while, I just sat watching them. Things like, "You think those pieces of clothing go together, how interesting." and "Oh, you are so gay." walked through my head as I checked out the hippies dancing the afternoon away. By the courthouse, there is a bunch of young women and men selling colored glass pipes in cushioned cases and if you don't know what those are for, you have obviously never been to Eugene. Ironically, I felt very comfortable amongst them. I'm not about to move there, but Broadway shows go through that town so it's tempting.

Meeting JD and his wife was not as awkward as I expected it to be. His wife is learning English so JD did a lot of translation for us. We got to catch up and I discovered that wedding photos need no translation at all. One of my more memorable attempts to communicate was when JD was on the phone and I was trying to explain my niche as a "fringe Christian". Finally, I came up with the idea of saying how I believe God is SOOOO big, (stretching out my arms), and many Christians put God in a box of right and wrong, who is saved, how to get "saved", and who is going to hell, (cupped hands), but I believe God is SOOOOO big, that I am on the fringes and I like it there. I'm not sure she understood, but I thought it was a good way to say it.

That evening, we were riding in one of their friend's vans talking. This may not seem that interesting to you, but you should know we were conversing in three languages at once. This made it very interesting. JD, his wife, and their friend spoke Spanish fluently and I know a bit. JD, their friend, and I all speak English, pretty well, and his wife speaks a little. We could all converse some in varying degrees in Japanese. So we are talking using all three languages jumbled together in something that resembled a tossed green salad spilled onto the floor with the four of us sitting on the linoleum with forks.

The salsa dancing was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. At one point I was sitting down to give my stomach a chance to settle. (I think it was the moving lights that did it) when a woman about my age sat next to me to rest and chat. She was one of the people I had been watching dance and up close, I realized she was strikingly beautiful, the kind you just want to stare at but try hard not to. I have been called cute, but honestly, beautiful is not how you would describe spiky hair and glasses. This doesn't bother me a whole lot as I just want to be myself, but this comparative thought roamed my mind as I caught a glimpse of our faces together in the restroom mirror. Outside, as we left, I told JD about her, and not knowing what I had been thinking earlier, he told me that his wife had commented earlier that afternoon, in Spanish, how beautiful I was. It was one of those times when I just looked at God and found him staring back at me with his eyebrows raised in expectation. "Well?" was all he said.

One more good story. After the dancing, we went back to JD's house to "hang". There was a group of about nine men and women. One woman, at the insistence of JD, played a game where she had four pens and we had to guess what number she was thinking of as she laid the pens out in front of her. Several times, she laid out the pens until one by one, people understood, and they knew the number. I was the last one left, feeling a little foolish but stubborn, I wanted to figure it out on my own. Finally, I got it, but I didn't tell them. Instead, I got up to get another slice of pizza when a guy who understood the game but didn't like it much, said to me at the sink, "You got it didn't you?" and I answered, "Yeah, but I don't think I'm going to tell them." So, with this idea for some fun, I went back in, sat down, and they again tried to help me to "get it". After a few times of me intentionally guessing wrong, they started throwing the pens around the room. I couldn't help but grin but they still had no idea I was putting them on. (I'm sassy too!) The guy at this point, crossed the room when I was taking a sip of juice, and said, "I don't like this game usually expect for right now." I lost it at this point in fits of giggles with a mouthful of juice and pizza. It wouldn't have been pretty except I still had my cup in hand. I let the ruse go on for a while, enjoying myself immensely, until the two of us finally broke down and told them I had understood the game for quite some time. The moral of this story is: If you are going to frustrate me, be prepared to get a little frustrated yourself.

I hope you are all enjoying your three-day weekends if you have one, hope you enjoyed my stories. I'll be posting pictures from the summer at the capital photo shoot soon. Now back to that blog...

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Friday, August 29, 2008

100 Things About Me

My friend has a list of a hundred things about her on her blog. (Which I am really enjoying reading by the way.) It sounds like fun so here’s mine:

1. My middle name, Katreen, was my great-grandmother’s middle name. I have never met anyone else with it and I love it!
2. I still live in the town I was born in with several years away for college.
3. Though I wear a lot of color, my room at home is decorated in white with dark blue and deep red accents with a little bit of green. The theme is lighthouses and I created it to be a restful place for me. I am proud to say I did very well at it.
4. Needless to say, my favorite colors are deep blue (for that inner calm, for water) and deep red (for passion and fire).
5. It bugs me when people say “good” when they should use the word “well” as in “I am doing well.”
6. I love watching snow fall to the ground.
7. I love rainy nights with hot chocolate and a quilt.
8. I also answer to Roana (medieval reenactment) and Trina, a nickname.
9. I will sit down for any movie with Barbra Streisand or Shirley Temple in it.
10. I can write in Japanese, both Hidagana, Katakana, and some Kanji.
11. I can write and read Hebrew. (I’m still working on understanding it.)
12. I was born cross-eyed and have had two surgeries at Dornbecher as a child to correct it. If you know what to look for, you can still see it.
13. Because of my memories from the second surgery, I hated Portland until I was in my late teens.
14. I went through ten years of speech therapy to learn to speak without a Bronx accent (no one knows where it came from) and then, to learn to say my “r’s”. Sometimes, I will still say something like, “that wascally wabbit!”
15. I LOVE math! I thought statistics self-study was fun and I enjoyed helping my classmates when I took calculus in college.
16. I have a strong competitive streak. It’s a good thing they didn’t post grades at seminary.
17. I am stubborn, to a fault.
18. I fractured my leg jumping down from a fence right before starting the 8th grade.
19. I have been certified as an activity director and as a flagger, though I never worked as a flagger.
20. I am registered as an independent because I don’t like labels.
21. I look good in hats.
22. I wore overalls a lot as a child and I still do on occassion.
23. I had a cat named Emily who came to me when I was four years old and who died when I was nineteen. I still grieve for her.
24. I have three sisters and one brother.
25. I like cooking when I’m in the mood and I’m even decent at it but being single, noodles and sauce is usually dinner enough.
26. I love to read and have for a loooooooong time.
27. I started writing poetry in junior high, mostly as an outlet.
28. I have two published poetry books and one devotional.
29. I don’t really like reading much poetry though this may be changing.
30. I have three piercings. Two in my ears, one in my nose.
31. I have dyed my hair dark brown, red, and black and they all look natural.
32. I am Jewish by birth and enjoy being such.
33. I am also Quaker though I also like Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Protestantism, etc… Quaker is where I fit. Figure that one out. Oh, I also really feel akin to Native American spirituality as I’m Canadian Crow.
34. My favorite bookstores are Catholic and Eastern Orthodox.
35. I don’t like scary and/or violent movies. Harry and the Hendersons gave me a nightmare I will never forget.
36. I have a big, sassy mouth that gets me in trouble, repeatedly.
37. I have little patience for people who don’t tell the truth and who twist reality to their own ends.
38. I have little patience for people who use other people and who don’t choose to help themselves.
39. I like red wine.
40. I am fiercely loyal, to the end and also to a fault.
41. I have lots of get up and go.
42. I am a night person who wishes she was a morning person.
43. I would rather attend the theatre and eat ramen noodles than eat well and stay at home.
44. My “island home” is on Fox Island in Washington with my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins.
45. I tap dance as well as enjoy Irish and Israeli dancing.
46. I am not very good about being on time…
47. I love to-do lists. Completing them can be another story.
48. I am very independent!
49. My trust is placed very carefully and even then…
50. I am an extrovert who is learning to be more at ease with people.
51. My favorite book as a child was “The Three Bernstein Bears and the Spooky Old Tree”. I believe that should have told my mom something. I’m not sure what that is, but I’m sure there was some personality hint, or shout, in that choice.
52. I am a first generation college graduate on both sides of my family. This would go as well for my masters.
53. Writing makes my soul sing.
54. I would love to get into acting someday.
55. I can throw pottery on a wheel. Many of my family and friends have proof of this.
56. I am a tree climber. Nuff’ said.
57. I enjoy taking pictures and I have a talent for it.
58. I do not have a talent for bowling. I SUCK AT IT!!! (Even with the bumpers I am sorry to say.)
59. I don’t care to watch football or basketball or any such activity unless the person I’m with is someone I want to spend time with or I know one of the players. Like my cousin Chris who ROCKS!
60. I do like ice skating.
61. I have never been arrested but did have my ID checked in a graveyard.
62. I was 21 when I got my driver’s license.
63. I went for a week in England with a broken hand until it was time to fly home. Only then, did I get a cast.
64. When I broke my toe on a friend’s coffee table, I was so stubborn, she was sitting right there and never knew about it. Still doesn’t.
65. I love to sing and I have a good, strong, even pretty, voice.
66. I LOVE being on the stage.
67. I believe, “You can do anything you set your mind to.”
68. I want to jump out of a plane someday soon.
69. My general attitude is, “Sure, why not?”
70. I like wearing beautiful gowns.
71. I like wearing jeans and t-shirts.
72. My first miserable night after drinking alcohol was when I was 12 or 13 years old.
73. I melt when a friend I like uses a term of endearment.
74. Food is great! Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is great too!
75. There is a self-proclaimed cookie dough tax in my household. My roommate usually goes along with this.
76. I LOVE where I live. It is my first home in the truest sense of the word that I remember.
77. I have a fun sense of humor that surprises people because I usually come across as sweet until they get to know me.
78. I like holding babies and I don’t mind if they cry.
79. I am not observant. I am REALLY NOT observant.
80. I like surprises. (#79 and #80 go well together.)
81. My rebellious streak is long and loud.
82. I am a mystic.
83. I like looking up words in the dictionary to find out what it says they really mean.
84. I have tried a lot of things but never put the effort into them to be better – cross-stitch, crochet, beading, archery, pottery, make-up, piano, and violin.
85. I love the dark, it’s comforting. Except when I scare myself and run to the door.
86. I am happy having no pets of my own. They are too much work. Though I would gladly sing a different tune for Emily.
87. The most courageous thing I think I’ve ever done is facing my pain. It was also one of the most painful.
88. I used to day dream a lot but don’t let myself dream much anymore. (This is looking up a bit.)
89. I would love to live in a different country, Ireland, England, Europe, or some place in Africa would be fantastic.
90. I get grumpy and tired when I’m hungry.
91. My faith has been my own since I was a child.
92. I was placed in school a year early due to intelligence testing.
93. I give advice better than I take it.
94. I try to be an optimist.
95. I am shocked at how screwed up people can be.
96. I am so glad God does not leave me to be screwed up.
97. I am not afraid of heights but I do have issue, though not serious, with tightly enclosed spaces. I think I’ll get stuck.
98. I smile a lot.
99. If I ever did get a tattoo or another piercing, I already know what I would get.
100. I love Broadway!

This was fun!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I WON!!! I WON!!! I WON!!!

Can you believe it? I think I squealed with delight when I saw it! The local newspaper for Salem is holding a photography contest for photos people have taken at the State Fair and I decided to enter. Each day, a winner is selected and then people get to vote on the final winner at the end. You are looking at August 26's winner! YAAAAAAYYY!!! I am going to be campaigning for my photo from here on out. How cool is that? The photo is one of the ones I have in my blog entry below for the State Fair. Here is the link, go check it out...


YAY! I have to go find a copy of the paper to save it. My photo got published in it! My first time having a photo published! I am on cloud nine... Maybe ten...

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Long and Short Photos

In years past, I used to be much more involved in the Society of Creative Anachronism, an international medieveal renactment group. I still enjoy going on occasion and so this weekend, attended Long and Short in Lebanon, Oregon. It was so much fun to see and catch up with my friends there, to them I'm called Roana, and to watch the fighting and archery. Alas, my bow and quiver of arrows is still being borrowed by a friend but I'm looking forward to getting back to the range sometime soon. Here are some of my favorite photos I took while there. Incedentally, the little boy is the same little boy who fell asleep in my arms two years ago at the same event when he was very small. It was a special moment for me. The man with him is his daddy, truly a man of honor and a good friend of mine.

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Oregon State Fair Photos

I thought last years photos from the fair would be hard to beat. I had a great one of the ferris wheel and two more of the piglets that are absolutely priceless. However, after finishing up at the author's table for the night, I was walking through the midway in the rain back to my car when my photographer's eyes started shining. The fair was about to close but the concert hadn't let out yet so all the lights were still on and there were hardly any people around. Oh, WOW! So off came the flip-flops because they were hurting my feet by this point, and I proceeded to run through the rain around the midway, straight through the puddles in bare feet, taking lots of pictures and talking to those who were working the games and rides showing them my photos along the way. It was so much fun! (And wet, but mostly fun.) Here are some of my favorites including a picture of all the authors from the author's table.
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Carson's 1st Birthday Party Photos

Some time ago, I was put under strict orders to bring my camera to all family gatherings. After buying my Nikon D40x camera, it didn't take them long to realize I took good photos. Sunday afternoon was particularly fun at my second cousin's 1st birthday party. Carson sure enjoyed his cake and it was fun to take pictures of all the people I am blessed to be related to. Here are some of my favorite shots. (My cousin and aunt think I should hire myself out to other families for their parties, I am considering the idea.)