Musings about music, writing, Portland, my new house, my travels, my family, politics, whatever.....

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Neighborhood Obama update

So the Obama campaign office three blocks from my house re-opened. Nice to have that there. :) I have some young friends who were pretty excited about it when it was there before the primary.

Also just signed up for free Obama buttons from OK, I actually gave a little extra money to get more buttons to give out. You can get yours, too, and give a few extra bucks if you feel inclined. While you're at it, go to the main page and sign a the petitions there. It's an easy way to support their important work.

My grandmother, Happie, is now volunteering for Obama in Seattle 2-3 times a week, mostly making phone calls. She's still a little slow from falling on her hip a few months ago, but you can never accuse her of not doing her part.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

July adventures

I'm finally emerging from my allergy-induced haze, and also a two-week visit from my dad, who lives in Germany, followed by a few days with my friends Kate and Jen, from DC. Here are some pictures, first from the day I took my dad to the coast (Ecola Park, Cannon Beach).

We went to the Oregon Country Fair with Holly, Scott, Amelia, Josie, Prema, Steve and River. Much fun was had. Wish I'd had some wings...

My dad and I went to Seattle to visit Happie, also had brunch with my cousin Ben.

My friends Kate and Jen came to visit. With any luck they'll move here in a few years... :) If they don't, it's not because they didn't have the best tour guide ever.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pseudoephedrine rocks

So apparently pollen levels in Portland were the highest in the country today. And I believe it, because I was feeling it. I got some Claritin, I got some homeopathic stuff, got out my neti pot, I have allergy eye drops (which do help a bit), but I still felt like a wreck. I couldn't breathe last night so I had to take some Nyquil (which I don't enjoy the side effects of). This morning I couldn't breathe at all through my nose, my eyes were a red watery mess, and I felt like my head was going to explode out my ears. It wasn't pretty.

So, I did a little Googling of allergy symptoms and drugs. It seems that I somehow missed the fact that on
July 30th, 2005 the Oregon Senate approved a bill requiring prescriptions for all medicines containing pseudoephedrine aka Sudafed. Because
pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient used to make meth, and Oregon has had a big meth problem. But a bit of research showed me that pseudoephedrine is really the strongest most effective decongestant out there. There are others, so you can look at the shelves full of allergy and cough/flu drugs and feel like you have tons of options, but they're not as good. So now we are the only state where you can't get the most effective decongestant over the counter. Sudafed PE (while easier to find a picture of it at this point) is not the same thing.

There was some debate about this in the press at the time. Because lower income people and/or those without health insurance are unlikely to have access to prescriptions, and even if they do, the prescription cost will be much higher. So populations with less access will just have to suffer, or hope something else works for them. I did enjoy this blog post and this one about the issue.

A bunch of other states, including Washington, have restricted sales of
pseudoephedrine to behind the counter. Meaning it's only sold in pharmacies and you have to have ID, sign your name, and not get more than two at a time. But you still don't need a prescription.

Lucky for me, Washington is a short drive across the river from my house. So today, my dad (who is visiting from Germany) and I got in the car and drove to the Target in Hazel Dell, WA. He was all excited because they just don't have stores like that in Germany. So much stuff to choose from!

Me, I am excited because I feel close(r) to fine now, I feel a thousand times better. Totally clear nasal passage and my eyes are less of a mess too. I really want to say nice things about homeopathy and herbal remedies, but
pseudoephedrine rocks.

Update: Two days later... I think this stuff is keeping me awake at night. It works amazingly, but that's a bit of an issue. Anyone know anything about that?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Vintage 60s RCA stereo console....

Vintage RCA Stereo Console

Earlier this year, one of my mom's old friends sent me a stack of her old records in the mail. I was excited, except that I didn't have a way to play them and the only person I knew who owned a record player was my friend Willa, who is five and has a plastic Snoopy one that her super cool parents got her. She did end up loving some of the records of my childhood, like the Annie soundtrack and Free to Be You and Me. So I left all my records with her and kept my eyes out for a cheap record player for myself.

And then, then other day, I found this at the awesome thrift store near my house (Rerun - NE 7th and Fremont). Only $20. The record player and radio both work great, the speakers sound really good. I asked why it was so cheap and they said they don't like to sell these, they take up too much room, they just wanted it gone. So Willa and her mom, Kate, came with their truck and helped me pick it up yesterday. It fits perfectly in my dining room. I am so excited to have it.

It's an RCA solid state, The Moncaya, Model VQT62. Can't find any of that online anywhere, so if you know how to figure out what year it is (or the value), let me know. I'm guessing early 60s-ish, based on the similar stuff I did find. (Click the link above for more pictures.)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A weird quilt of artsy gardening things

My friend Holly, who writes for the Oregonian, wrote an article about my super cool neighbors and the things they are doing on the lot on the other side of their house. The article is even better with the picture of them throwing their daughter in the air, but it's still totally worth reading online.

For now, vacant lot is neighbors' domain

Thursday, July 03, 2008
Holly Carpenter
Special to The Oregonian

Goings-on at a vacant lot in Northeast may be best described by Maryetta Jacques-Bietz: "It's just kind of a weird quilt of artsy gardening things over there."

The owners, Jacques-Bietz and her husband, Matt Bietz, who live next door with their 23-month-old daughter, Sophia, have opened the lot to the community. Portland State University students used the lot -- on Northeast 15th, just south of Alberta Street -- for gatherings this spring. Neighbors have gardened on it for a few years and are now invited to sow 14 new plots.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

More tea shops and space for rent

Its soon to post about another tea shop, but the other day Prema called and said she was having the best bubble tea ever. So later I met her at this tea shop in NW Portland, which I had actually been to before but just to eat (the food is really good). They have very good bubble tea at Townshend's, and it turns out that Coconut Mate is very good iced, but the blended bubble tea at the Tea Zone was even more delicious. The one both Prem and I got was called something like the Rose Garden (?) and was green tea with rosewater iced and blended with tapioca pearls. If you haven't have bubble tea is might sound weird, but it was great. Try it. They also have wifi, of course, and live music most nights. They need to work on their web site though.

In other news, I am trying to rent some space in my house to massage therapists/healers/artists/etc. Please see my Craigslist post and pass it on to anyone you know who might be interested. It's already taken on Mondays by a very sweet French man named Didier Noblia who does Reiki, numerology, past-life regression therapy, sound healing, Qi Gong, and other intuitive healing work. Thanks for connecting us, Carrie.

Speaking of Craigslist, I got a really great chair this morning. My furniture budget is very low, but I have a lot of house now, so I needed something else comfy to sit on. And since it was close by, the guy was willing to tie it to the top of his car and drive it over here. God bless Craigslist. Where would I be without it?

Now I am back home with all my windows closed suffering from the worst allergies of the season so far. Runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing all over the place. I'm a mess. I need to go watch a movie in a dark room.