bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)

I grew up in a small town in South-ish, Central-ish Willamette Valley. Then I moved to another small town and lived there for a long time. While Chase and I lived in Forest Grove I documented the places we went and the drives we took. Part of me always wanted for the WPA to happen again, or to figure out a grant for us to just drive and document.

Now, we get to (or, more properly, Chase gets to and I get to assist and document) be part of Project Dayshoot. July 15th will be the 30th anniversary of “over 90 photographers spen[ding] 24 hours capturing daily life throughout the state of Oregon.” There’s even a book, One Average Day, full of photos taken by photojounalists on a day when I was a couple of months old.

Some fave shots from 'One Average Day' from top left: two club folks at Quality Pie in Portland (Marv Bondarowicz), an aide and a patient at Oregon State Hospital in Pendleton (Robert Pennell), Vera Katz in Salem (Michael Lloyd), an articulated bus and mo

Nobody shot in the town I grew up in (or, more properly, that I grew up just outside), because it was just a little place with a mill. Not that it super matters, those photojournalists did a fabulous job documenting the “people, places and pastimes” of Oregon in the early 80s. It’s a costumer’s dream, because the smaller towns still dress late 1970s on the edges. But here is Project Dayshoot’s statement:

On July 15, 1983, over 90 photographers spent 24 hours capturing daily life throughout the state of Oregon. Project Dayshoot was the name of this venture, and it produced a book entitled One Average Day.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Project Dayshoot, the original photographers—plus new contributors—are being organized to capture images throughout Oregon on July 15, 2013. This page, in conjunction with the e-mail address below, is the location for all information related to the project.

Any proceeds from the sale of materials relating to this project will benefit the Oregon Historical Society.

Chase, being a professional photojournalist for the past eight (nearly nine) years, was asked to participate. And, because we already do stuff like this for fun, we have a plan. Other than two scheduled-ish places we’re going to hit, the only goals are the little nowhere towns on the way to and along the coast.

A lot of people, after Chase told Dayshoot where he was going, decided to hit the coast, interestingly enough. It doesn’t matter because we’re not going to stay and make love to the popular places, the biologists, or the noble logger. We’ll be on the move all day (starting at midnight tonight), finding and shooting the things we like to shoot.

And then, when the day is done at midnight on July 15th, we’re on a mini vacation. Not that we’ll stop taking pictures. You can’t break a combined thirty year habit of photographing everything you can.

Fair warning for those following me on social media, I’m cross-linking everything all day tomorrow. So you’ll be able to see what I can upload whenever I get a signal at:


And, if you feel so inclined, document your part of Oregon and hashtag it #dayshoot30. Be part of history and support the Oregon Historical Society! Just remember to note when, what and where you’re shooting.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 11:07pm on 31/03/2011 under , , , , , ,

So, I did not miraculously turn our apartment into a perfect, finished home in one month. I AM NOT MAGIC. All I have been told are lies.

However, it is pretty much at a point where people I know and love can come over and I know they aren’t judging me. I am not where I could host, like, craft night or something yet because I was raised a certain way. And that way means that a house with a pile of unshelved books and not enough hangers for the coats so a bunch are still in a box or whatever is something that you should be ashamed of. Ongoing house goal is to get it where I can have a birthday party. The Ikea trip for a million bookshelves will happen by then.

Living Room in Progress

But! I sewed the things I bought the fabric for!! Which is awesome. I did not meet some of my secondary sewing goals, but one of the whole points of this damned focus month exercise is to remind myself that I am not a machine. Just because I have more time in my day from not commuting does not mean every minute must be spent doing. I just sat and watched a show yesterday afternoon. On my day off! I wasn’t even like, sewing buttons at the same time.

ANYWAY. The house. The first room done was the bathroom, because a lot of time is spent in there and you are a captive audience for all the little things that are yet undone. (all these pictures click through to Flickr, where there are notes and more commentary and more images).

The new bathroom, it is blue

Then I sewed and installed the curtains. Which? Made all the difference in the living room. I like my curtains. They are sexy. Do not mock me.

Touches of frill

The kitchen is what I focused on next, since I realised the living room still had a ways to go. I like our kitchen a lot. I’ve been cooking in there like a person in a movie. Being in the kitchen does not fill me with hatred because there is no space!

It's not so overwhelmingly green when you're in it

So, things I didn’t get to, and will be poking at as I go over the next month:

  • Linen napkins, but not my fault, they were out of the fabric I ordered!
  • Reupholstering chairs, for both time reasons and because I keep losing my hammer.
  • Drapery over the bed, because we will have a princess bed, dammit, but I’m waffling over approach.
  • A holder thing for arm warmers. I have a lot of arm warmers.


So, really, I did good! I’ll post tomorrow with April’s focus. So excited.


Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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So. The grand experiment seems to be working. For the month of January I focused on writing, with a few specific goals, allowing myself to not worry about not doing All The Things (and therefore not getting distracted). Because of my stunning lack of real self-confidence I didn’t share my goals for the month beforehand, but here’s what I accomplished this month:

  • Posted four short stories that had been sitting gathering dust.
  • Wrote two short stories whose base themes had been scribbled down in my notebooks for at least half a year.
    • Got the feeling enough of one world that I’ll probably revisit it.
  • Finished the first section of a novella I’d been letting gather dust.
    • Forced it under the eyes of two people to give me legit feedback.
    • Have begun prepping it to post here.

Oh wait, what was that? Yeah, once I’ve finished its editing the story is going up here, on a probably once a week schedule. One of the plans for the focus months was that once I’ve dedicated a month to a thing I’m to work it back into life, seeing how I can integrate it while I’m working on the following months’ focuses. The schedule I’m looking at should give me several months to build up more backlog and that perfect terror of failure to finish something that posting ongoing work online does.

Out of a mixture of vanity and convenience I’ve also gathered all my work that fits into the pastoral post apocalyptic theme into one place: Pastoral Post Apoc (natch). All the Five Cities stories are there, as well as the first chunk of Slow Build, which had been unavailable online for a some time and will still have to wait awhile before being finished. The story from this month, Comparative, is also there. Other short stand-alones I write in that general theme will end up there also.

And! If you’d like to flatter my vanity, the Five Cities stories are available in a collected printed form, with one story that is not online (a lady needs a hook).

So, fiction writing focus month done! I know what I’m doing next month. Like I planned, about midway through the month two things kept popping up in my mind to work on and I was able to decide on which one to focus on just this week. I’ll post what February’s focus will be and its goals tomorrow.


Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 09:46pm on 27/11/2010 under , ,

There was much clamour for a dance remix of the answering machine message that I posted last. Nick, however, did one better:

(original vid source)

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 02:24pm on 13/10/2010 under , , , , , ,

After the total concert cockblock, we ended up going to Scissor Sisters the next week. It was an amazing show (I did a nail for it) and it answered the question that’s been in the back of my mind for ages, “Would I like clubbing?” Answer: YES. They made us work for the encore, came out with a costume change and right at the climax of the last song the ceiling exploded confetti and it was essentially magic. Drifting down, among the little tissue paper and mylar bits, were three dollar bills (ha) with a q-code on the back that goes to Perfection.

There’s been a kick to ramp up creating, making and being, which has been overwhelming but awesome. Chase has added a bunch of amazing stuff to his site. Things that have been sitting in my sketchbook for ages are getting done, like the Black Metal Eyelashes.

Black metal lashes: spikesouttake1

I’m embroidering again, and not being very good about documenting it, the latest big piece has a happy home and lots of snaps of my obsessive detail. The idea of showing my work at these things called “galleries” isn’t as hateful to me as it has been in the past, I’m dipping a toe in cautiously. The kitchen sink creature, in its tiny gross glory, packed itself down to Bloomington, Indiana, to be part of the opening show at Paper Crane Gallery.

I’m at a point where I feel like I can be “this is who I am,” not worrying so much about making others uncomfortable, or keeping things in my head. It is most probs because the people I share my heart with are all terrible, wonderful people who are in concert with me as to when a round of high-fives need to be served. And who totally approve of my leering about in padded bra and soft-packed pants in an attempt to present androgyny as a smorgasbord of choice.

Here’s something I did this week that made me proud:

I commute by bus and lightrail, about 1.5-2 hours, depending. As a small person I have to sometimes remain vigilant about my space. I don’t expect much, just, y’know, the space that I and my bag (slung in front so it doesn’t hit people unawares) take up. Some folks—let’s not call them yuppies, that would be mean—tend to exist only for themselves and will ooze into your standing or seated space with their elbows and bags and coats.

Due to some malfunction, my full train of commuters had to disembark and squeeze onto the next train behind. Which, sighs, but such is commuting life. So we all find space and stand and I luck out with a pole to hold onto instead of a strap, most of which are a little to high for me. Commuters continue to pack on at each stop.

I realise that the man next to me is taking up more space as time goes on, shifting about, resettling his bag so it swings into people, things that are hard to explain if you’ve never commuted on a full train. In short: being a dick. Resting my arm across the top of my bag, I go into my defensive commuting posture. I am not taking up more space, but attempts to take my space result in an elbow to the back. Which, totally happens. And the guy? Does not care. I was little more than a post to rest against. The drone of a bathroom remodel conversation continues.

Staring into space with loathing for my fellow man, I realise the jerk’s bag is open. And I did not spit in it, though I thought about it. Instead, tucking arms in and trying not to fall as the train hit curves, I pulled a pen and paper from my pockets and wrote a note—”Just because you’re white, male and middle class doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of the space you take up on public transit.” I folded the note and slipped it into his bag, where it nestled next to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

So I’m learning to be comfortable in my happiness. But I will not be complacent.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 09:42pm on 01/03/2010 under , , , ,

A friend of mine is doing a project called “Secret Chicago”, which now has a wider-ranging LJ group.  They’re ultra-short vignettes that open little mind-doors of (often dark) magical realism into whatever place the writer is from or holds dear.  Some places have strong existences, once you’ve lived there a while and you go past that shop that has been closed for years or take public transit daily it can start your memory reeling into possibilities of whys and what ifs.  Secret Cities is a fascinating project, expanding pocket worlds from chance impressions.

I’ve played with the idea of writing a couple myself, but I think what magical realism I’ve found in the Portland metro area is already being tapped in a couple of ways.  The area in and around where I live I photograph.  Yes, rural suburbia is weird, but in a way I mostly enjoy by living in it.  The city I work in I have a love-hate relationship with and I’ve already got the place drawn up in a different genre of writing experiment.

Besides, the magical realism aspects of the city are, for me, incredibly tied up in someone else’s work.

If I’m waiting for a bus and start a cigarette, I think of Jo in Anvil (#6).  Ghost bikes have a new dimension.  More or less, when I’m looking at the city I’m either wondering what it would look like if the plants went un-battled or if that’s the Safeway in book eight.

It’s a kind of nepotism, I guess.  I am of course fond of my own ideas and I know the writer of City of Roses, who is damned charming—except maybe for how his saga totally overwhelms my impression of the city and keeps me waiting for the next instalment like my own personal narcotic.

Which is still rather charming.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 10:25pm on 25/12/2009 under , , , ,
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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 09:53pm on 16/12/2009 under , ,
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We had this couch.  It was a great fucking couch.  Chase could stretch his full six-foot-plus length on it.  It loved when you napped on it, but was just uncomfortable enough to stop you from sacking out too long.  The nap couch.

We tried to get it up the stairs to our new place, but the stairs had too many sharp turns (a side effect of an old house being split into apartments), so we had to find it a new home.  So, like most people in the Portland metro area we took it to Goodwill.

First, a little back-story: Most of our favourite furniture and clothing came from a place called Saint Vincent De Paul.  They were like Salvation Army, big on helping in the community, they took most donations, decently priced things, had a great system of price lowering things that had been there too long, etc.  That one store in Hillsboro probably supplied most of the working poor, students and really pretty much everybody with clothes, furniture and whatnots for at least a generation or two.  It’s where the nap couch came from, in the beginning.  But it went out of business years ago.  It was such a big part of most folks’ lives that you still hear people bitching about it.  All there is now in the FG-Cornelius-Hillsboro area is Goodwill.

So, the couch is in pretty good shape.  There is one tear in the back cushion, it looks used and no longer has the liner on the bottom, because it tore years ago and was since removed, since the vacuum liked to eat the liner bits that hung down.  Other than that, the same condition it was bought for ten dollars in.

Onto the truck it goes and we pulled up to the donations area.  A little bell goes off as we pull up, like at a gas station.  We wait.  And wait.  And finally I saw a woman coming up through the windows in the swinging doors.  Already her face was beginning to screw up into practice denial expressions.  She’s barely out the door when she tells us they cannot accept something in this condition.  All she had seen and will see of the couch was the underside, with the liner missing, the two cushions tucked next to it under a rope.  She gives us no reasons beyond its “condition”.  Chase and I, innumerable swears and curses boiling below a layer of shocked silence, climbed into the truck and gunned out of there.

We’re pissed, because it’s a decent couch.  We don’t shop at Goodwill, because despite their cause, they’re still a big corporation that prices things with name brands higher, like assholes.  However, we went there because we want someone else to get some use out of the couch.  We don’t really have time or space to list the couch on Craigslist (for free, because we just want it to go to a home), so we turn to the dump.

They’ve raised the prices at the dump.  It is now $50 for our size vehicle.  We are not going to pay half a hundred dollars to waste something that is still useful.

Luckily, Chase remembers something as we drive away.  The ReStore.  The one in FG* just moved to a better spot and Chase had covered the story, so it was in his mind.  All we had to say to the guy was that we’d tried to move the couch into our new place and it didn’t fit.  That was the pedigree it needed.  So our couch gets to go help somebody else take awesome naps.

Super bonus level:  Later last night when looking for ice cream we turned around in a parking lot of what used to be this super sketch things-that-fell-off-the-truck warehouse.  It is now a Salvation Army!  Or will be on June 4th.  I know nothing will be as great as St Vincent De Paul at taking donations and pricing things as they should be, but I don’t think the Salvation Army is as mercenary as Goodwill. Which, in an area like this, really will help the people that live around it.

* PDX folks, the one in your area is a feeding frenzy.  If you can handle the frightening forty minute drive into the ‘burbs, it is worth coming to the one in FG, because not as many people go.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

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posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 10:21pm on 16/05/2009 under , , , , , ,


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