freedom friday

“Today is Freedom Friday,” my sweetie-niece informed me last week. We are lazing around by the hammock while my sister busily deadheads flowers in the garden.

“Wow! What’s Freedom Friday?”

“Well,” she explained. “Friday is my favorite day of the week. And I think you should have one day where you get to do whatever you want. It’s Freedom Friday. Invented!” she shouted, small fist punching the air. Muttering under her breath and beginning to look a little heated, I caught a quick eye roll from her mother, still working hard on the garden.

“I think it’s an amazing invention. What are you going to do for Freedom Friday?”

“Go to the pool! It’s a great day to go swimming,” she cooed, looking sideways at her mom.

“Well,” said my sister, viciously snapping at stems, “if it’s Freedom Friday, and we get to do whatever ‘we’ want to do, then maybe I don’t want to go to the pool.”

Freedom Friday. Keeping oppressed nine year-olds home from the pool on a weekly basis.

the sun goddess

My neighbors giggled down at me, leaning over their porch rail: “Can we lay out on your lounge chairs?”

Of course, I replied. No one else is using them, anyway. Consider them yours. After they were settled, and soaking up the rays, I couldn’t help but mention, even though I knew it would do no good, a little something about the dangers of the sun.

The girls managed to put serious faces on for a minute or two, echoing their agreement (“Oh we know it’s bad”) until they lapsed back into the lawn chairs, oiled up and ready for several hours of skin-crackling fun in the sun.

But I remember what it felt like to lay out in the sun.

Trundling after my older sister for an afternoon of sunbathing, we brought only the basics: an old quilt, a book designed for summer reading (not too “thinky;” just lots of sex and dysfunction), suntan oil and of course, lukewarm Tab sodas. Laying out was one of the ways I could show off my newfound maturity as a fifth-grader.

The blinding sun, the rolling green grass that went on forever and the memories of that time rest warmly on my heart.

And being a sun-worshipper stuck. It stuck with me for all the years I lived in Oregon as a kid, when the sun only dared to show its face in the summer months. It became a necessity when I moved to the Midwest and sunny days started in early spring. Eventually, my tanorexia became something that needed maintenance all year ‘round.

I know that I’m lucky, to have some good Norwegian genes that have so far kept most of the sun damage at bay. We also have some weird gene in our family that allows us to tan really quickly- a half-hour in the sun, and we look like we’ve been in South Carolina all week. And without making excuses, I have to say that we didn’t know as much then as we know now about sun-related health risks. Including, but not limited to, immunosupression, skin cancer and cataracts. Whew.

And I have to laugh at my dear friend Ann in Wisconsin, who like my neighbors, bundles up in 60 degree weather and sits outside in the sun to “get some color.” Living in Oregon again, with my web feet firmly planted on the ground, I’m even less inclined to work on my tan this summer. No, I won’t oil up, lay out or use the clock to decide when it’s time to turn over (yes, we really used to do that).

Instead, I’ll languish in my natural, semi-matte color. And fondly remember the dark days.

things to do in portland- oregon craft beer month

Until my brother starts reading my tweets, I’ll keep stealing his jubelale. In the meantime, I'll find other avenues for beer-succor at the Oregon Craft Beer Month. The Oregon brewers' annual celebration offers plenty of fresh brews for Portland beer, ale and lager connoisseurs throughout the month of July.

Learn more about Oregon Craft Beer Month events at local breweries in your area at the Oregon Brewers Guild.

rose city journal on twitter

the rose city journal blog finally broke down and started up on twitter. Follow at will.


A tip from a reader and a quick perusal of the web unearthed a maelstrom of accusations against an ex-boyfriend. If the rants are to be believed, he a. has multiple STDs b. is a deadbeat dad and c. has bad BO. All of this could be spot on for all I know, but I suspect that something else is going on.

Since most of the recent posts were clumped together, you know, unique posts but posted a few minutes or a day apart, I’m guessing that the same person posted the majority of them and that most likely, he either broke up with someone or had some kind of business deal gone bad. Either way. It probably could have been cleared up with a phone call, instead of trying to crucify him on the website.

It doesn’t feel very good to read bad stuff about yourself online. As I’ve mentioned previously on the blog, there were some very pointed things written for my benefit online last year, and they were very hurtful. I didn’t deserve it. But sometimes, there are ways of doing things where you don’t encourage that kind of behavior. The thing about this ex is that he has a habit of making people… mad. Really, really mad.

He even made me mad. Me, who never really gets flustered about anything. Well. I’m pretty unflappable most of the time.

“I want to call him up and tell him exactly how I feel,” I remember telling the third smartest person I know. “Don’t do it,” she wisely advised. “Take the high road, instead.” I did take the high road and chose to let it go. Others, not so much.

In addition to the recent spate of online activity, there have been other posts about him in the past. And when we were dating, it was hang-up calls, late-night phone calls from his ex screaming obscenities and on one memorable night, she stopped by at midnight to pick up some of her belongings.

After months and months of showing no interest in them at all, she suddenly decided, upon seeing us arrive home late one night, that she needed to pick up her stuff. Much hilarity ensued, including but not limited to, her shrieking at him, me staying inside the house and several neighbors coming over to see what was happening.

So now, when I see the posts about my ex online, I’ve got to think that he’s pissed yet another person off. Someone who isn’t willing to just walk quietly away. I feel very bad for him. It’s extremely unpleasant to read, and the majority of what’s out there seems unfounded. But I also know that most of what we sow comes from stuff that we reap.

~ Reading over this blog post, I have to laugh because one of the first things that I wrote was that I’ve had pointed things written for my benefit online, too. In the “for what it’s worth” category, that wasn’t my fault… I just picked the wrong person to befriend. It’s not a mistake that I plan to make again.

the tattoo

Like tattoos on our mindsets, old hurts seem to stick around forever.

Residual pain sears into our skin. And it doesn’t matter what he says or how he says it, when he says the words you can’t bear to hear, you feel like you’re jumping out of your skin. Her words drip with malice or maybe jealousy (you never could decide) until you want to disown her. Worst of all are the tattoos left from the painful things you did. When you were the one that hurt someone, deliberately or otherwise, with your words.

But that man can no longer hurt you. He’s gone weak and ineffectual with time.

The sting is gone from her words. Her future was always her destiny and that’s punishment enough.

And the words we gave, the stupid, hurtful things we said and never ever meant to say are gone now, too.

If we choose to let them go.

Choosing to free yourself from your past mistakes and choosing to give up the ache caused by others isn’t easy. The process can be painful… Like removing a tattoo.

But the burns will fade.

The scars will heal.

And a ghost of a memory can’t hurt you anymore.

It can’t hurt you ever again.

North American Organic Brewers Festival

Because we don’t have enough festivals that celebrate local beers, the North American Organic Brewers Festival (NAOBF) comes back to Portland on June 26th, 27th and 28th. The beer festival will be held at Overlook Park and runs daily throughout the weekend. Of the many beers I plan to taste, Pinkus Munster Alt from Germany’s Pinkus Mueller, Au Naturale Blonde Ale from Grand Teton Brewing Co. in Idaho and Crannog Ale’s Red Branch Irish Ale from Sorrento, BC are at the top of my list.

If you see me at the beer festival, please come up and say "hi!" I could however, do without the drunk guy yelling, "hey, blogger girl! Yeah, you- bloggerrrrr girrrrl!"

North American Organic Brewers Festival (NAOBF)
Friday, June 26th 12-9
Saturday, June 27th 12-9
Sunday, June 28th 12-5
Overlook Park
Cost: Free
$6 for a “reusable, compostable, cornstarch tasting glass;” samples are $1 a token, a full glass is 4 tokens. Strong beers and certain imported beers may cost more.

swine and pearls

My nephew is currently attending my alma mater. I wanted to look something up about his major, urban planning, and accidentally pulled the Urban Dictionary entry for Miami University.

I was so surprised, I blurted out in my best Miami voice, "Oh. My. Gawwwd," which made me laugh even harder.