With so many things.

Summer vacation is not one of them.  I do not like, not one bit, all of this down time.  But that's the subject of another post.  One excellent gift of summer, though, is the opportunity to catch up on my non school, non anti-oppressive practice, non counseling, non social work, non trauma reading.

And now, right now, I am in love with Jose Saramago.  {I think Shoes will give me a pass.}

Specifically, I am in love with the following gorgeous passages from "All The Names" {kudos, kudos, kudos, to the translator that took on the task of translating these beautiful words from Portugese}:

" ... I'll begin by asking you if you know how many people there are in a marriage, Two, a man and a woman, No, there are three people in a marriage, there's the woman, there's the man, and there's what I call the third person, the most important, the person who is composed of the man and woman together, I've never thought of that, For example, if one of the two commits adultery, the person who is most hurt, who receives the deepest cut, however incredible it may seem, is not the other person, but that other "other" which is the couple, not one person, but two, And can you really live with that person made up of two people ..."  (p. 48)

And this?

"... although we know it is the search that gives meaning to any find and that one often has to travel a long way in order to arrive at what is near.  The clarify of this thought, whether the former or the latter, the special thought or the habitual one, the truth that, once you've arrived, it matters little how you arrived there, was so dazzling ..." (p. 53).
{Of course, as a counselor in training, I do so whole heartedly believe that it matters greatly how you arrive at your thoughts.  Never the less, a clever little phrase indeed.}

What's it about?  I have no idea.  I'm only on page 65. But, here's the Blurb from the Back:

"Senhor Jose is a low-grade clerk in the Central Registry of an unnamed city, a department where the living and the dead share the same shelf space.  A middle-aged bachelor, he has no interest in life beyond his daily routine of issuing certificates of birth, marriage and death.  But one day, when he chances upon the records of an anonymous young woman, something happens to him.  Senhor Jose, newly obsessed, sets of to follow the thread that may lead him to the woman. But as he gets closer, he discovers more about her - and about himself - than he would ever have wished."
I do so also love stories about the soul waking up.

Also, I am a dork, and while I can cite anything - really, almost anything - in APA in my sleep, I had to return to Bedford for MLA:

Saramago, Jose.  All The Names.  San Diego:  Harcourt, Inc, 1997.


Did you guys know the world is ending in 2012?  Where have I been?  The Mayan Calendar is ending.  The poles are going to switch.  The sun is going to implode.  (Or explode?  I'm never really sure how that one works).  Old Faithful's going to vomit dust and ash, block out the sun and freeze us all out.

I went out with the two girls at work I love most dearly, and while we were sitting in North Portland at a trendy little Mexican restaurant (it may have been a tequila bar), Amber drops the World-is-ending-in-2012 bomb on me.(Stay away from the Habanero Blueberry Sorbet by the way. Your mouth will burn for hours).

Thanks for the memo.  As if I don't have enough to accomplish in the next two years in wrapping up school and finding the job of my dreams, now I'll have to get EVERYTHING on my list accomplished.

Shoes will not be pleased by this sudden turn of events.  I am fairly sure (or absolutely confident - either one)  he does not want to have children yet.  I'm pretty sure (or absolutely confident) I need to get married first.

Good thing for me, there's been a little ring talk lately.

Nope, that's all you get.  Secrets are (mostly) secrets with me.  And unless you want to drive to Portland to have a little Lisa time (sure, I'll take you to the tequila bar, or, if tequila's not your thing, I have lots of other ideas), you may get the details.

Ok, I will say this, if only because I adore Shoes and having him as my "upgrade" is the most amazing blessing ever.  I have NO idea why this smart, smart, smart, uber witty, supremely loving man is dating me.  I'm gushing, I know, which he would hate, but it's true. 

True LOVE that is.

Back to my point: I will say that it's possible that over the 4th of July weekend when I flew up to Eastern Washington to be with Shoe's family, I MAY have gone out to lunch with Shoes' mom, who MAY have asked some pretty pointed questions about ring cut (following a conversation I had with Shoes that left him a little befuddled).  She MAY have gone back to Shoes and told him to spend 3 months salary on the ring.  (Thanks, Gretchen!!)

All of that's just icing.

The ridiculously sweet dessert (and I'm not referring to Habenero Blueberry Sorbet) is that I get to talk ring cuts, future, babies, house, suburban, dog, life with this man.

So, if the Mayans help move that along ... more power to them.

I kind of hope they're wrong, though.

There's something about sitting in a little Patesserie in North Portland, right near the section that opens to the outside with the gentle breeze, watching the prolific number of bicyclists brave rush hour traffic as only us Portlanders can do, drinking a Rosemary Mocha, eating a lemon tart, discussing these books and connecting with these women  (whom I adore)  ....

...these fill me up like few things do.

Very few.

Is it the fact that I'm working only 20 hours at a week at The Very Large Hospital completing extremely menial tasks (and am therefore, mostly, wholly unchallenged)?

Is it that I'm now living on my own again?  (I doubt it - I'm really very talented at this.)

Is it that I really only get to have adult, thought provoking conversations for 45 minutes every night when Shoes calls?  Note:  I have thought provoking conversations with all of my friends; but we're really not single 20 somethings anymore, with the time to just drop by each other's homes and visit.  I, howeve, do have this time.  At least this summer.

I digress.

Book club:  The Children of Men, PD James.  It received thumbs up all around.  Blurb from the cover:  "The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult.  Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide and despare become commonplace.  Oxford historian Theodore Faron, apathetic toward a future without a future, spends most of his time reminiscing.  Then he is approached by Julian, a bright, attractive woman who wants him to help get her an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England.  She and her band of unlikely revolutionaries may just awaken his desire to live ... and they may also hold the key to survival for the human race."

Sounds pretty dark, right?  I suppose that's accurate.  While Julian and her "band of unlikely revolutionaries" have hope and passion, it appears as though the rest of the human race has lost both.  No ambition.  Nothing to look forward to.    The disscusion of our book group centered around apathy, the patterns of power and failure that humans seem to follow, and what constitutes true love.
While the blurb may make it difficult for one to believe that this book may be about romantic love, it is one of the major themes we drew out of it.  What constitutes love?  How do we choose partners?  How do relationships end?  What is family?   How do we decide to have children?

As women in our early 30s, we think about these things.  As professional, graduate students with bucket-fulls of student loans, we think about these things.

I just love these women.  Perhaps because I am narcissistic and selfish and grab at meaning in my own personal life out of the experiences of others.  Perhaps. 

Perhaps I just love the thinking and the analyzing and the freedom to draw whatever conclusions I wish from our conversations.

Book for August:  The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan.  Queue's updated.

Wishing you all a chance to get to your local North Bakery, get lost in a book and sip some tea ....

Shoes had been offering to take me to the driving range since we started dating; but, in the midst of our long distance mayhem, it was one activity that fell to the wayside.

Until a couple of weeks ago.

Shoes is an excellent golfer.  I mean, tournament winning excellent (and he would be upset to read that; however, since he doesn't read this blog ... ;)).  Right before the 4th of July, we went to the East Moreland Golf Course here in Portland so he could teach the basic of the basics.

And basically, I stunk.  So badly.  As in, I kept hitting the ball low and to the right.  And almost hitting people.  That's when I asked Shoes to trade me places.  I thought he would be more apt to forgive me for a ball injury.  Luckily, it never happened.  It awoke the terrible perfectionist in me, however, and I wanted to try again and again and again ... I think Shoes bought 3 big bucket of balls that day without questioning.  And without complaint.

Over the 4th, we went to the golf course with his dad, which consisted of me picking up my ball and walking (and continually asking why the snack cart lady had the 4th off).

On Shoes' last visit, we went back to the driving range, and it finally felt like something started to click.  Nothing spectacular - my goals are very reasonable - but I started to hit the balls in a beautiful straight line past the 75 yard mark (nothing spectacular!).  Shoes gathered a bunch of his old clubs for me, got me one of their old golf bags, loaded me up with golf balls and tees and smiled gently at all my effort.  This one?  I just adore him.

I think this is good.  I think I need a hobby like this.  My days are filled with hospital politics (gulp), my classes had titles such as "End of Life and Palliative Care" and Social Policy (I'm going to a suicide prevention training on 9/10 that I think will be excellent ..).  These are good, altruistic, fascinating things for me.  Really.

And they're also so very heavy.  And I'm a very serious person who's just now, at 32, coming to grips with the fact that I am way too serious.


I took a golf lesson last week.  Remember the movie "Office Space?"  I don't remember the character's name, but there's a guy on there who is a perpetual mumbler.  The golf instructor?  That guy.  Could barely understand a word he was saying.  But he was patient.  And what he said made sense, only, it completely makes no sense when I try to follow his instructions.

But that's ok.  I'm ready to stink for a loooooong time.

Another golf story?

Shoes is playing in a Vineyard town game with a bunch of the guys from the County.  A former supervisor (of mine) from when I used to work in juvenile detention thought it would be the funniest thing to put a guy I dated for about 6 weeks on Shoes' foursome. 


This is why I NEED Shoes to move here so we never, never have to return to the Vineyard Town as a couple.  I told him I would pay for him to move here to be my personal golf pro, but he declined (probably because I offered to pay him in snuggles and affirmations).  Shoes says, "Give me 700 days and I'll move there."

Oy.  These days ...

So.  I'll keep golfing and Shoes will keep helping me and at some point, I'll learn how to really follow through to get that *&;^% ball where I want it to go.

I could not even begin to tell you how bone tiring busy it's been.  Or how extremely fulfilling.

New apartment, big move, more hours at the Very Large Hospital, new job responsibilities, a trip to the zoo with Sarah and Malaika, a 4th of July in Eastern Washington with Shoes' family, a new hobby I'm addicted to,  a lovely summer evening bbq with my Goddaughter and family and registering for fall classes.

Well, here:

Malaika and Lisa go to the zoo, Sarah too!, and have lunch.

Sarah buys Malaika a pair of binoculars, and she looks at *everything* with them.
Sometimes through the wrong end.

A 4th of July hike up Kamiak Butte.

It seeps into everything.  Including the rural American 4th of July parade.

An updated, 4th of July picture of us.

My goddaughter, Rebekah, shows off the latest summer eyewear fashion, available here in Elmo, near Papa's raspberry bushes.

So obviously I can't take a picture of me registering for classes, although I'm sure that would be what people most want to see.  Shoes is teaching me how to golf, and I am absolutely addicted.