May 30 2011

Conflicted.

Yesterday I pulled 49 books (mostly hardbacks) from my belongings and donated them to a nonprofit.  I’ve done it dozens and dozens of times.  And just as many times I have sworn to get a library card and vowed to read more books.  You, too?

I did pretty much give up TV over a year ago with this goal somewhat in mind.  Business reading and facebook, however, quickly filled the freed hours. And today where I am?   Undeniably drawn to two books, reviewed in The Week. One The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman and the other The Subtle Body:  The Story of Yoga in America by Stefanie Syman.

It is a holiday.  The library is most likely closed but not Amazon.com and Powell Bookstore (the largest privately-held bookstore in the country and just minutes walk away). I could use the walk and fresh air.  Then again, maybe a better choice might be to stash the review away for another year and start the running program I’ve been thinking about this weekend or suggest both books to more compulsive book buyers or …

I am a conflicted human being. Choices, though, are sure nice to have, don’t you think?

Make the best of what you pick! Trix


May 17 2010

Good questions.

May 15, 2010

I picked him up in a parking lot.

That’s the story John and I tell when people ask how a fellow from LA (Glendale to be exact) and a woman visiting Portland from Tulsa got to be friends after the briefest of chance encounters one night in late September 2008.

Actually it was a valet parking/taxi line.   Once upon a time there was an elegant south Waterfront restaurant known as Lucier until a wicked restaurant critic wrote a poison pen review that closed its doors.

John is like a big brother, the best kind: Caring, wise, confident. He’s the kind of person you wish you could pop in your pocket and take everywhere.  From the lobby of the Wyatt, as I watched him getting out of his car on Northwest 12th Avenue,  I thought how I like everything about him, everything except maybe his choice in dogs (basset hounds) but I got used (even attached) to cats this year living with Judith during Tulsa visits.  All in all, John is pretty perfect.

One of the first things I learned about him is he has a practice of meeting at least 10 people a day, from which he’s sure to get a respectable quantity of quality contacts.  Want to go to the Oscars, looking for a hotel recommendation in Seattle?  You should have John’s number on speed dial.

“Were you falling short?  It was pretty late that Saturday night when I struck up our conversation. Had you not met your quota for the day?” I’ve asked him, when referring to why he emailed the following day.

After a couple of decades as a hospital administer, John now owns a search company, traveling the country interviewing executives for open management positions at hospitals.  Naturally, he is in the business of asking good (revealing) questions.  He even does it in a way that makes you feel you’ve found the answer without being asked the question.   I have an epiphany following each of our chats.

Late in April we were having breakfast at Lovejoy Bakery.

“I ask but I don’t know the answer.  They die on me.”  John said.  “But I have seen couples handle it lots of ways. Some make a firm rule:  no contact for six months.”

What John wasn’t saying is, “I’ve not really seen your approach before.”

John is happily into his second decade with a partner that still curls his toes, someone in many ways different from him… think classical music meets show tunes, scholar meets life of the party, pianist meets rower type pairing.   His is a “happily ever after” following the death of his first great love.

John was gently, but pointedly asking me about the wisdom of regular, social exchanges with Joel, and doubly so, but to a lesser degree, Jake.  Was it keeping me tethered to the past?  Was it having a negative effect on “moving forward?”  Friends come and go.  Many reconnect periodically.  I have never been involved in severing a relationship. I believe I’m still on good terms with everyone but the mean-spirited, incompetent school director that made Clay’s fourth grade experience a living hell for all three of us. Even we made no plan to never set eyes on each other again.  I’d actually like to see her once and slap her.  I can forgive injustices done to myself, never my child.

Acceptance, responsibility, appreciation and forgiveness.  When your brain and heart work together through these emotions I find anger gets crowded out.  And isn’t that the emotion that dictates harsh endings?

I have always recoiled at hearing a couple “spilt.”  With the intention of remaining whole versus fractured, maybe I have actually prolonged the healing process – removing the bandage slowly.   If I’d walked away sooner what moments would I have skipped?   Would important things have gone unsaid?

Thursday night after a closing tour of “Disquieted” at Portland Art Museum, I visited the gift shop.  There I came across a book titled “Dear Old Love.”  Compiled by Andy Selsberg from postings to his site of the same name http://dearoldlove.com ), the book features anonymous notes to former crushes, sweethearts, husbands, wives and ones that got away.

What has been left unsaid in your past?  Post it here. Maybe it will get read by the person it is intended for, maybe not.  I bet you’ll benefit from writing it.

Maybe these from the book http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Dear-Old-Love/Andy-Selsberg/e/9780761156055/ will inspire you:

Touchdown:  I root for the Giants because of you.  My husband has no idea.

Rocky Road: I got fat after we broke up, but don’t let that swell your head.  It was more because I was working at the ice cream store.

Near Miss:  I wish I missed you, so I could do that instead of just feeling empty.

Go Figaro:  Thanks to the tragedy of our breakup, I now love opera.  But I cannot find anyone who will go with me.

Pet Peeved:  I don’t care that you miss my dog.  When you cheated on me, you cheated on him, too.

Nude For Nothing:  Your tepid response to my naked pictures means we are never speaking again.

Not Quite A Regret:  On one hand, I should have kissed you.  On the other hand, I’ve had thirty good years imagining that kiss.

Whatever has gone unsaid, don’t leave today unlived.  As always, Trix


Apr 21 2010

Social junkie.

I am in serious trouble.

It is approaching midnight in Portland.  Aside from a few dog walks and 15-minutes each for  lunch and dinner at nontraditional hours of the day, I’ve been at my computer with an iPhone ear bud in my right ear -ALL DAY. The skin on my face feels warm from the bright glare of the screen.  And I have another long night ahead after ending yesterday’s efforts somewhere close to three this morning.

I am woman hear me whine!

Clearly I’m not practicing good time management skills.  I am being too chatty, too social with client vendors and business colleagues.  And  thanks to facebook, I am in touch with people who otherwise would have been part of my past, people who are part of my present and people I am just getting to know who are sure to be pivotal in my future.  Social networks and technology may be the death of me but most days I cannot get enough of it.

Which would you rather say at the end of a day:  my files are pristine, my desk is neat or I yakked with a ton of interesting people today, creating some good will for my clients and it never seemed like work plus I reminded a handful of personal friends I was thinking of them?  Stopping to smell the roses is good advise.  Making the time to listen ranks right up there with it.

Enjoy the small talk!

xo, Trix

Here are some fun things I found in my net travels today:

http://www.pcpa.com Wonderful art event page.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGkz2qCkMZ4&feature=related

A song video sure to make you smile.

http://www.bookdaily.com/book/683650 A funny read by a talented, talented Broadway star.


Mar 29 2010

Men’s book list.

March 29th, 2010

If you are looking for “manly” must-reads, this 100-book list should get you started!

http://artofmanliness.com/2008/05/14/100-must-read-books-the-essential-mans-library/


Mar 25 2010

Book smart.

March 24th, 2010

What is on your nightstand, bedside table?

Reading wise.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo seems to top a lot of lists – sort of the way Noble House and The Thornbirds did in the early 1980’s and The Pelican Brief did in the early 1990’s.  Remember those fun reads?

There have been similar blockbusters since then.  Forget the NY Times list, just take a gander at what people are reading in airports and on planes.  Speaking of which, Kindles are taking off. Do you have one?  On a flight to Dallas I sat next to a free spirit, retired from overseeing the food service of the Pennsylvania prison system.  He liked reading on the (clothing optional) beaches of his Carribean island. Over a glass of wine in the DFW airport I learned from him Kindles are a challenge in bright light conditions.

Switch for me was an easy pick up at Powell’s Bookstore this week since change is inevitable in both professional and personal arenas.  I read Fast Company and I cannot sit still, inspired by so many people doing neat things.  Travel guides for Oregon and Washington also creep into my stack.  It is very easy to work, walk the Whippets and want for nothing living in the Pearl – mixed urban land use at its best, delivering EVERYTHING within 6 short blocks of my front door.  I know I must expand my geographical horizons or face disapproving looks from visitors this summer, to say nothing of bluffing my way through conversations with locals when they speak of any ‘hood outside easy walking distance.

The magazine More came recommended by friends in Tulsa and Portland.  I found it a bit light on content and suggest you’ll do as well with a visit to their website.  On a wild hair I picked up the college day rag choice of many TU female students, Cosmopolitan, and of course, who can resist the marketing machine of Oprah, to say nothing of the cover hook:  REAL LOVE?

I leave you with two items for comment:

Somewhere in the sea of online literature this week I stumbled on a study that concluded 6 minutes a day spent reading boosted your mood.  As willing as I was to embrace this over a recommendation of 6 minutes on a treadmill, I found it rather vague.  Is subject matter important? Time of day? What do you think?

Oh, and here’s a thought-provoking, potentially scary observation: lots of fellows on match.com are reading Five Love Languages.  Are their motives for wanting to understand women honorable?

As always, Trix

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