August 15th, 2010


[links] Link salad is gonna help build the wall

Is false hope better than no hope?Anonymous Doc on end-of-life treatments.

Two-Handed Quick Draw — Wow. Just wow.

Layered Hills in Arabia Terra on Mars — Mmm, crunchy APOD goodness.

Thou shalt not breed: Anglicans Wading into the population debate, the General Synod of the Anglican Church has warned that current rates of population growth are unsustainable and potentially out of step with church doctrine - including the eighth commandment, ''Thou shall not steal''. Huh. (Thanks to danjite.)

?otD: Mother, do you think they'll drop the bomb?

Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (revisions and WRPA)
Body movement: hiking to come
Hours slept: 9.0 (solid)
This morning's weigh-in: 241.2
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 4/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: Defender by C.J. Cherryh


[personal] Miscellaneous updatery

Did something last night in my sleep I've never done before. I woke myself up laughing at a wisecrack I'd made in a dream. I was at a meeting with a mix of Day Jobbe folks and genre writing folks (including zellandyne). Someone made a comment about the scope and scale of a project. I said, "Size matters, but only if you can tell the difference." Which, awake in the sober light of morning, isn't actually that humorous, but was deliriously funny in my sleep. I woke up, laughed, went back to sleep and returned to the dream, which transformed into a frustration dream as I tried to leave the meeting and couldn't find my clothes (they kept falling off), my car keys, my car, et cetera.

Today I'll be doing something I haven't done in a year, which is to go hiking. tillyjane, the_child, calendula_witch and I are hitting the Leif Erickson trail in NW Portland this morning. I have very modest expectations of myself, but I'm damned glad to at least be making the effort.

In other news, things I may have failed to mention about last week include breaking my glasses (and a subsequent rather tedious trip to Costco Optical for repairs), the "air bag" idiot light in the Genre car coming on and staying on, and my knees really being troubled by several days of walking. That last is the most concerning, and I'm virtually certain it's from me having an improper gait due to the numbness in my feet induced by peripheral neuropathy. So I'll be monitoring myself carefully on today's hike. Sometimes I feel like my life is a country and western song — if I had a dog, it would have died, and if I had a pickup, it would be upside down in a ditch by now.

Of course, I have overslept horribly again. Nine hours last night. But that is probably due to spending several late afternoon hours driving around with the_child in yesterday's 100 degree heat, looking for things to photograph and just yakking. I am still frustrated by the amount of sleep my body needs, even now almost two months post-chemo. With what's coming up in the near future, I'll be almost another year before I have a hope of getting back to my normal sleep schedule.

Which in turn leads me to mentioning the thought I'm still wrestling into shape for a blog post of its own. With respect to my ongoing and apparently endless course of cancer, I have refused to accept the limits it places on me, but I am functioning within the limitations. I know what I mean when I say that, but it sounds almost nonsensical. Working on explaining it...

Anyway, today is about hiking, and re-reading Endurance. While I'm out in the real and imaginary worlds, y'all play nice.


[food] I may have a new favorite restaurant...mmm nom nom ZOMG

the_child, calendula_witch, tillyjane and I went hiking this morning. At the last minute we redirected from the Leif Erikson Trail to Kelly Point, where the Willamette flows into the Columbia. We spent an hour and change out there, then dropped tillyjane off at her place. After that, the_child and calendula_witch briefly hit a couple of resale shops while I loitered in the Genre car. Then we headed over to Foti's on East Burnside for a gyros-and-fries lunch.

One problem. Foti's isn't open on Sunday.

Right across the street was a pub we'd never heard of, the EastBurn. Not wanting to drive further for lunch, we wandered in.


The decor is hip with an emphasis on interesting rather than self-involved. (The basket chairs at the front of the main dining area fascinated the_child and gave me a serious 70's flashback.) The menu is innovative, strikingly so, nouveau American with a northern European inflection. The service was pitch perfect, just the right amount of waiterly attention without being up in our grill.

We ordered Brie tempura with marionberry jam and sliced apples for an appetizer. That may have been the best fried cheese I've ever eaten. (It could have come with half a dozen more baguette slices, but this is a quibble.) the_child and calendula_witch both had steak salads, which included cranberries and diced apples amid the copious greens, very nicely dressed. I ordered the "Über Sondvich": char-grilled Carlton pork medallion, potato pancake, scallion sour cream, caramelized onions and bourbon-apple chutney on grilled ciabatta. With their trinity fries on the side (sweet potatoes, russets and leeks fried together).

This is what people in Texas call "granny-slapping good", meaning food so good you'd slap your own granny away from the plate. I think that was the best sandwich I've ever had.

The rest of the menu ranges from quirky to fascinating, including items on the Happy Hour menu such as pork-and-elk meatballs, and spaetzle sautéed in duck fat with pancetta, shallots and fontina. Loads of regional microbrews, for them what drinks, an ambitious wine list, and some rocking lemonade for those of us currently eschewing alcohol. All priced quite reasonably, only slightly more than a burger-and-fries at your neighborhood bar.

We are so going back. If you're anywhere in greater Portlandia, I suggest you make haste to the EastBurn. I know I am in restaurant love.