June 2012

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This is the light of morning, after an early rise Wednesday, thirsty after a late night date with Carson Daly. It was a good show that one, with music from The Naked and Famous, “Punching in a Dream” and “Young Blood,” and a beyond beautiful looking movie from director Benh Zeitlin called Beasts of the Southern Wild (review here). The fil-um is in the queue and the sounds are on the hi-fi. Sho-nuff and many thanks, Mr. Daly.

It was the first warm day for what seemed like ages, dry and sunny, and I wore a dress and sandals, no cardigan required. Hello summer, I’m so glad you could join us.

I drove downtown to pick up the hubster from work, and we headed northwest to Cafe Nell. All the windows were open, happily wrapping us in the breeze. I hit the jackpot with their drink called the Williamsburg – whiskey and absinthe, big and strong like ox! It’s a good thing I was not driving home because I couldn’t even finish one. I told you – I am a cheap date.

We ate delicious food worthy of kings: clams and frites! asparagus! trout! spring pea risotto!

A molten lava cake!

Just look at that spoon, eager to dive back in.

We also very much enjoyed the company of our servers, a whole host of handsome fellas in Levi’s, save the one black sheep with a brand I didn’t know, whose pillow perm was a perfect match to his sweet smile. We talked of music, being the black sheep (I am old hat at that), art, writing, and stylish spectacles. A very fine evening.

Here’s hoping the weekend, yours and mine, is equally grand…

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Don’t forget love; it will bring all the madness you need to unfurl yourself across the universe.





Small Price

For twenty-two dollars I can wear the scent that is my grandfather.

Silky lotion in a black tube.

Arsenic, a drop of poison returns me to childhood and a certain morning light.

Of summer and sleepovers and waking to the bubble and hiss of the percolator.

There is milk with coffee and sugar, brimming in a dainty cup scattered with roses.

There is tobacco from a tin and pipe smoke, heady, sweet, and fruity.

An ocean of traffic, wave after wave in our ears.

We are there, together and separate, cosy on flowered cushions.

A plaid robe and pink nightgown, slippers and bare toes.

No words spoken, no words needed, hearts filled with love.

Colleen Sohn



Next to a Portland rail yard on Friday evening,

and under the hum of the Fremont,

I swung on a trapeze!

A mostly indoor picnic with Jamee and her adorable little one on Saturday. It was sweet and fun and so very good to catch up.

Little Big Burger after the wind shield wipers went whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. Mmm…

And Ruby Jewel after that. A Meyer Lemon Ginger cone for me and a Caramel with Salted Chocolate for him. Double mmm…

You light up my life!

Many a curiosity at Paxton Gate, but only one Jackalope.

Tin Can Siding

and Gothic Glass at the Portland Garden Cottages.

The barista at the Albina blew me a latte kiss.

My handsome bearded reader.

 Home made pizza on a Sunday afternoon.

Happy Birthday, Alan and Chaz!


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Marilyn and Jules had met about eight years ago at a rooftop margarita tasting. Their mutual friend Jill had originally arranged the tasting in hopes of setting Julies up with her new co-worker, Nina. Nina had been emboldened at the prospect of a new romance and a brand new box of hair dye she’d bought on impulse earlier that day. She applied her “Golden Gaia” while flipping through a magazine, dozing off for not the recommended thirty-five minutes, but forty five. Unfortunately for Nina, Jules had little interest in women who found hair-dye to be a practical expense and, upon being introduced to her, looked no further than her brutally white-blond strands before deeming her entirely un-dateable.

Disappointed early in the night, Jules took to the tasting table. As she re-salted her third rim she bumped hands with Marilyn who, set against the balmy sunset, a few gray hairs proudly crowning her head, cheeks glowing pink (Marilyn was salting her fourth), struck her as a figurehead of raw and unbridled feminine beauty.

Marilyn and Jules spent the night inseparable. Jules, who was a chatty drunk, did most of the talking, gesturing passionately about those who do yoga just because it’s trendy (Nina) versus those who truly connect with the spiritual practice (Jules). Marilyn listened little but found her gesturing intoxicating, often becoming distracted by the striking appearance of Joann’s sun-bleached hair, eyebrows and eyelashes against her golden colored skin. This especially attracted Marylin as it kept reminding her to think about really, seriously, finally trying out that box of blond hair dye nearing its expiration date in the back of her medicine cabinet. (This box, in addition to Marylin’s newly purchased yogaerobics DVDs, were swiftly discarded after that night of Jules’ many fervent rants about women today).

Seven months after Jules met Marilyn at the rooftop tasting, she slipped a copy of her key underneath Marilyn’s slice of toast one morning, asking her to move into her one bedroom.

Not quite two years after that, Marilyn and Jules were married in a tasteful yet practical commitment ceremony, (no white involved), before twenty of their closest friends and family.

Life was beyond ideal for the two and almost daily people would remark at how lucky they were to have found each other. For, not only were Marilyn and Jules an unbelievable match…

…Marilyn and Jules were also mummies.

Art & Letters is a collaboration:

It’s a switcheroo!

Story by Maren Jensen

Drawing by Colleen Sohn


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