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My Friend Passed Away

My friend Richard passed away a few days ago. I have not been around a lot of death so I am still processing that I will not see his sparkly kind happy blue eyes again, not see his smile, hear his voice, have interesting conversations or joke around with him. No more. ? He was a wonderful man and his passing was sudden and unfair.
I met Richard at work. We became good friends. I looked forward to seeing him walk through the door because he was fun to be around. He had lived an interesting life, quite known around Portland because he accomplished a lot. He was ALWAYS nice, a true gentleman.
The first time back to work after his passing was difficult. Just knowing that he was not sitting in his usual spot with a smile on his face was not an easy thing to accept. There were tears. Many of my coworkers are saddened by his passing.
Yesterday I went to The Grotto here in Portland and lit two candles. One of those candles was for Richard.
Walking through The Grotto I asked God and in case you wonder, I consider myself spiritual not religious....I asked God to please keep me if I get to go to a place after my life here on Earth is done. I do not want to come back here because there is too much suffering and misery on Earth and it makes me sad. I just want to be with Chhaya after I die. And all my other pets that I have loved. Family and true friends would be nice too. I just don't want to come back to Earth.



Today I lit a candle for my friend Richard here at work. The locomotives represent his passion in life. You are truly missed my friend. ❤️



And the unfair thing about this whole thing.....and this is my personal belief AND other peoples as well. Richard was healthy until he got the J&J vaccine. After that, things went downhill fast and he got several blood clots that in turn led to other complications. It makes me feel so sad, angry and helpless that a person with so much more life to live and so many things to look forward to had to live out his last days in mental agony and probably physical pain too, knowing that had he not taken that vaccine most likely he would had been here today. He thought he was doing the "right" thing....you know the "do your part thing" that we get bombarded with, pressured into.....yeah well it didn't work out so great for my friend did it?
The vaccine, the ones who got it and the ones who have not is a big controversy right now. There are several reports linking the J&J vaccine to blood clots. I guess these things don't really matter until somebody you personally know passes from complications. Do not be so harsh towards the ones that have not take the vaccine. I have not. I am not anti vaccine. But I am holding off. I am not judging the ones who got the vaccine. I get it. People want to do the right thing.

Måneskin

A large chunk of Europeans watch the yearly music event called the Eurovision Song Contest when one or several representatives from each European country competes with their song.
I would watch this when I lived in Sweden. It was a stay at home all evening event accompanied with chips and cheese puffs. Of course Sweden's most talked about and best win was ABBA's 1974 contribution with Waterloo. And who doesn't love ABBA? I know I do. Their music is still amazing. The Eurovision Song Contest has been around since 1956.
Anyhow.....since I left Sweden my interest in watching the Eurovision has dwindled until I saw something about an alleged cocaine issue and this years winning band - Måneskin. Like what?
Well, I could not care less whether the singer of Måneskin, Damiano David did in fact do coke or not and I believe him when he denied the accusations and said he would not be so dumb to do coke during a live taping of the show. Duh!
What I do care about is that.....WOW this band is AMAZING! I love the song, "Zitti E Buoni" and the band's live performance. The right song definitely won this year! Since I found out about them I have watched several of their music videos and performances and downloaded their songs to my Spotify list. Badass. And Damiano David is super hot. Like HOT. With a great voice. And more charisma than I have seen in a long time.
I am glad that a band won the contest cause learning how to play an instrument and perform live is way higher on the skill ladder than stumbling around on stage lip syncing with tits and ass hanging out (like much of the latest US "talent" lately). Yeay Italia! Good job. Rock'n Roll never dies.....
I used to listen to Eros Ramazzotti a lot back in the day and Italian is a beautiful language.
In fact my ABSOLUTE favorite song is "Caruso" performed by Pavarotti. I hope this band, Måneskin blows up. I am now a fan. Should I bombard Damiano David with love letters or what? ;-)

Alvord Hot Springs

After visiting Crystal Crane I continued South and went to the Alvord Desert.
Not my first time there. Me and Chhaya visited and spent the night in 2017.....if you put in "Alvord" in the search bar of the blog you can see my previous Alvord Desert entries. But I had not been to Alvord Hot Springs until exactly one week ago.
The Alvord Desert is a dry lake playa much like the Black Rock Desert playa where Burning Man takes place. In fact the Alvord Desert and Black Rock Desert are not too far from each other, only about 90 miles.
So being on the Alvord Desert playa feels just like being at Burning Man. I miss Burning Man!
This is the entrance to the Alvord Desert.



A short walk to the hot springs.



The hot spring is divided into two pools. One completely outside with gorgeous views and one enclosed so you can have shade.







You can somewhat regulate the water flow and temperature.



I stayed the night and slept in my car. There is a camp host and it cost me $20 to spend the night with access to the hot springs. I would like to visit this place again, plus driving around on the Alvord Desert playa is a lot of fun and the scenery is amazing.





Crystal Crane Hot Springs

I took a road trip this past weekend. My first stop was Crystal Crane Hot Springs, a place I have driven by a few times but not had the time to stop at. Crystal Crane is a bit South East of Burns Oregon.



Crystal Crane is a very nice developed hot spring resort, there is lodging.....even teepees and you can have a private soaking tub, there are showers, changing rooms, a place where you can cook your food, coffee in the morning and a small store. The hot spring is open 24/7 so you can soak under a sky full of stars. I was marveling at the beautiful night sky. I forget about that sometimes, to really look around and appreciate the splendid beauty of nature.







Of course some pictures of me and the pool. Hair up.



Hair down.



It's about the water!



I really liked Crystal Crane and I want to go back and stay for at least two days and nights next time.
I want a place with my own private hot spring, where I can live. And an RV to travel around in. That would be something!



Back At Work

Well I am back at work after one week of not working due to COVID closures. It is nice to get some time off but I don't mind working either.
There are several clubs in Portland, plus some other places that fall into the category "lingerie modeling" that are open 24/. Although I doubt it is the same kind of lingerie modeling that the Victoria's Secret catalogue offers or lingerie modeling as when I worked a full day in Vegas showing off the latest bras and panties from JC Penney in a room full of ladies making orders for various stores.
I work in a fun club where all of us get along, many people that come in are regular visitors. It's very comfortable.
We don't have a DJ so I pick my own songs that I have in a Spotify library. I only dance to Barry Manilow. ;-)



Still the most frequent questions I get besides where I am from and marriage proposals are - how tall are you (I am a viking warrior princess so I am statuesque), how long have you been growing your hair and is it real (since birth of course and yes it is real, well I am lying now....I color my grey areas with demi-permanent color) and are those real (yes I am 100% natural). I don't know HOW people can mistake my boobs for not real, they are not even big but whatever.
Now you know.
As far as marriage proposals go.....since Bill Gates is available now I am putting everybody else on pause. I am all about making the world a better place.....altruism is my thing. Especially helping animals in need. And Bill Gates supposedly donates part of his vast wealth to different causes.





So yes I'm still standing (like Elton John sings) in more ways than one. No crutches needed yet, I will let you know when I start using those.
EDIT (Sunday May 9).
I need to add this picture to this post.....
You KNOW you work in a great club when one of the dancers (a very HOT woman) sells crystals and rocks there too. No not the kind of crystals and rocks some people smoke.....these kinds of crystals and rocks. We are an enlightened bunch of dancers at "my" club.



Flowers

Julia is in town for a visit. I took her to Council Crest yesterday. Soon all the beautiful cherry blossoms flowers will be on the ground. It is making me a little sad. The flowers are so very pretty.
"The transience of the blossoms, the exquisite beauty and volatility, has often been associated with mortality and graceful and readily acceptance of destiny and karma; for this reason, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic, and have been utilized often in Japanese art, manga, anime, and film, as well as at musical performances for ambient effect." (Wikipedia).
A cute cherry blossom baby.



A very pink rhododendron.



Today we walked around a bit along NW 23rd Ave. Found a place with yummies.
I got an iced lavender coconut milk tea latte and Julia got a Fruit Loops Smoothie with Boba. I will definitely go back for more. There is a lot of good stuff on the menu here - Tea Social on 23rd Ave in Portland.



Saw this interesting sign. The street sign is interesting as well.....



So several counties, 15 to be exact (including the one I reside in) in Oregon were put in the extreme risk category again as of last Friday. Which means no more indoor dining, no indoor bars and strict capacity limit on other businesses.
Last time this happened we were in the extreme risk category for three months.
I am not sure how long it will last this time. So from what I am reading over 300 hospital beds throughout Oregon are occupied. I am not sure if the hospital beds are occupied by COVID patients or with a mix of COVID and other reasons for hospitalization patients. And a variant of COVID-19 called B.1.1.7 is now the dominant strain here from what I read. This variant is supposedly more contagious than regular COVID. Over 3 million people in Oregon are vaccinated now (the population in Oregon is 4.27 million) but not all of the people vaccinated are fully vaccinated yet. As in, they have not received the second dose yet.
I have not been vaccinated. And as of now I am taking a step back and waiting. I am not saying that I won't get the vaccine ever, I am saying that I won't get the vaccine for now. Perhaps I should have Putin (my Volodya) send me over a dose of Sputnik V?
It is turning serious the who got the vaccine and who hasn't. I sometimes feel borderline interrogated by people asking whether I got the vaccine and when I am planning on getting it. So far my choice of not getting the vaccine has not interfered with any of my activities and yes of course I wear masks where I have to and I make sure to not be gross like cough in my hands or sneeze into my hands etc (things that I learned not to do as a child by the way).
Interesting though that a large number of people are vaccinated in Oregon yet several counties are back in the extreme risk category. I feel that there is a lot we do not know yet about COVID and the different variants. Reading cdc.gov is actually quite interesting, there is plenty to go through on there like Emerging Infectious Diseases and Data & Statistics.

Portland Is Pink

Portland is pink right now. The cherry blossom trees are in bloom and some streets are covered in pink. It is so pretty. I feel bad for walking on the petals.



I went up to Council Crest today where you get a good view of the city and also the sunset and the moonrise, which I was hoping to get a glimpse of. The moon is full tomorrow and this full moon is called the Pink Moon. But I did not see the moon come up, it did of course but behind the clouds.
Look at all these cherry blossom trees......everything is so nice right now. I am in love with nature.





Earth Day

April 22 is officially Earth Day although really.....EVERY day is Earth Day. I spent a few hours downtown Portland this afternoon picking litter with SOLVE, an organization founded in 1969 that gets groups of people together to pick litter. I quickly got into litter picking mode, time flew and before I knew it I had to head back and turn in my litter bag. I picked up lots of cigarette butts, face masks, plastic bags, plastic cups and lids plus other random items. I pick litter on a daily basis but more randomly like picking up stuff I see out of place here and there.....today I spent hours being a litter picking machine and it was fun.



Not everything I picked up was litter. I even made a small profit.



What else have I been doing? Well the weather has been great.....warm and sunny. My favorite flower LILAC is currently on full bloom in my yard, I have a large lilac tree growing there. Lucky me! It smells sooooooo good.





Last week I had tea with a friend......



At a Russian place called KACHKA which means duck, same in Polish but slightly different spelling. Yes, I can speak, read and write in Polish as well. And because of that I understand some Russian. There is a small store there too and they sell rosehip tea which I drank so much of when I was little. Full of vitamin C.







I made nachos the other day, I love salsa. And I got a whole strawberry rhubarb pie.
That is a bit of what I have been doing lately.

Stuff That Bothers Me

Does stuff bother you? I know ignorance is bliss - that is the TRUTH if there are any universal truths....unfortunately I can't just ignore, so stuff does bother me and here is some of it.
Leftover food that gets thrown away. I finish almost all my food. To me it is borderline disrespectful to humanity to throw away food. I feel lucky to be able to eat basically what I want every day but I know that there are people that don't have that luxury so to throw away food is like a transgression. Here is an example of a plate of food that got thrown away.



Potatoes that were picked to end up on that plate, bread that was baked AND an innocent animal that DIED to be discarded. That is how I see it. Had that been my food (I do not eat meat), I would had taken the food home and finished it later. Again....I finish my food and food scraps like banana peels, vegetable and fruit peels etc I put out in nature. You can dig banana peels into the ground or get a compost going. You do not have to waste food, so if you do - please stop.



Making the outside a personal ashtray. WTF is that about? I do not get it. Please discard of gross stinky toxic cigarettes appropriately.



And this....I saw this in a public park the other week. After enjoying the sunshine, sitting in the grass and having some beverages instead of throwing the bottles and plastic cups away people just leave their trash there. Why? I pick other people's trash all the time.
Other stuff that bothers me (that I can think of now).....when people go to the grocery store and don't put away the grocery carts. It is really not that difficult to walk that extra 30 seconds to put away the grocery cart where it belongs. I will give you an excuse if you are old, injured or handicapped but if you are just too lazy then fuck you ok.
Face masks laying around on the ground. They injure animals.
THINK of how you dispose of your trash. Do YOUR part. Please. This Thursday I am picking trash downtown Portland together with SOLVE. Only for four hours but I am looking forward to it. I can't stand littering and I try to do my part in doing what I can to lessen my negative impact on the planet.

Spending Time

Most Sundays (all Sundays of 2021 so far except one if I recall it right) I am spending time with the Pet Pack. Today was a great day! My friend Mario is back in Portland after spending the winter in California. He is fun to talk to and joke around with. I have made all kinds of friends (well more like weekly acquaintance ) during Pet Pack, both four legged and two legged, I look forward to seeing them all on Sundays. Today after I picked up our donations from the kind people at Mud Bay I was heading to Zupan's to get a latte when I saw a man and his dog walk downtown. I noticed that there was maybe a need for dog food judging from what I saw and I pulled over and ran after them and YES my offer of dog food was happily accepted. The very friendly and sweet boy pitbull got a bowl of kibble and some water and a bag of kibble to go. I told them that I was on my way to the Pet Pack location where they could get more dog food and also human food from Potluck In The Park, gave them the address and later on I saw them there which made me happy.
I have to tell you about the stroller too.... A few weeks ago I picked up a free stroller from a storage unit. I found the stroller listed on Craig's List and thought somebody could use it, either to push groceries, belongings or a pet. So I went and got it. Two weeks ago at Pet Pack a man asked if we were giving away the stroller so I gave it to him. I later noticed that he was driving a large newer truck and he put the stroller underneath a tarp in the flat bed. Well.....I would had liked to give the stroller to somebody more in need (when I see a large expensive gas guzzler I think that it must be expensive) and I have been thinking about that stroller since then wishing I would had given it to someone else. Today I saw the man again, getting food from Potluck In The Park with his partner. I approached them and asked nicely if he had a chance to use the stroller yet and he told me it was still under the tarp where he had put it. So I asked if he would be willing to give the stroller back so a person with a greater need than him could use it. That did not sit well with him at first, the got really grumpy but his female partner saw my point and I told them that they could think about it and decide on what to do. About ten minutes later they gave the stroller back and shortly after that a homeless lady with a small chihuahua got it. And she in fact moved her stuff from a metal shopping cart (for personal use not the grocery store kind) she was pushing her things in, into the stroller and gave me the shopping cart, which I in turn gave to someone else. I felt good about how that situation unfolded. Everybody was happy. Helping others makes me happy. I think that is what I am supposed to do. Well....we are all supposed to help each other. ♥️
Check out our supplies! All donated. Feeding cats and dogs. We also have blankets, toys, medication, collars, leashes, harnesses etc.