Get Lost (Part 2)

portlandpic1                             There are signs…

               Dividing in…

                              That I couldn’t abide…

 I wouldn’t miss it again…

         Burning every bridge that I cross…

              To find some beautiful place…        

                                   To get lost…

First stop was Portland: 2 nights, 2 days

We pulled on to Division Street around ten at night, parked the car, unloaded the bare necessities, and made our way up the steps to the Bluebird Guesthouse. A beautiful craftsman home with all the charm it can possibly possess. We made our way through the living room, through the kitchen, and down the stairs to our room: The Elliot Smith Room. Out of the seven rooms ours is the only one named after a music artist; the rest named after famous authors: Garcia-Marquez, Beverly Cleary, Sherman Alexie, Ken Kesey, Raymond Carver, and Gao Xingjian.

In our room was a full sized bed, two nights stands ( I got the one with the lamp so I could read at night), a small vanity, a small shelving unit with towels, and a little closet with hangers. In the vanity drawer was a biography of Elliot Smith, paper, two pens, and an extra key. Everything in our small welcoming room was used at some point in the two days we were Continue reading “Get Lost (Part 2)”

Get Lost (Part 1)

Road trippin’ with my two favorite allies…

Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies…

It’s time to leave this town…

It’s time to steal away…

Let’s go get lost…

Anywhere in the U.S.A.

Let’s go get lost…                                                                  Let’s go get lost…

As a teenager I couldn’t wait to go on a road trip, but with a job at sixteen, schoolwork, and socializing I never got around to it. As my friends and I graduated, with some heading out into the work force, some going to university, and others getting started on the mommy track, it would be years before we would get our chance. I’ve been able to have a couple small adventures, but my friend Michelle and I decided to make our great escape at twenty-five to California.

We were able to call upon her family to watch her two girls and we put in motion a weeklong trip that would take us from Seattle to Portland to Napa to Redding and make a loop ending at my mom’s home in rural Oregon. Michelle would proceed on to her home in Washington and I would take the train back up after spending a couple days with my mom.

I spent almost a month prior to our little adventure doing research… can you tell I work at a library!? I needed to know how far we would travel, what destinations we wanted to hit, and make sure we had activities planned every day.

I immediately headed to Google Maps to check on the travel time between cities. This helped me plot out what locations we could hit in one day. I was also able to check on hotels, motels, and campgrounds near-by and potential attractions. With Microsoft Excel I created a daily itinerary and left myself room for notes, such as, addresses of attractions, places for the night, miles traveled, emergency contact numbers, and food nearby. Two of my favorite helpful guidebooks that I got from the library were:mobilguide

Mobil Travel Guide: Northern California, which had maps and a mileage chart. With my mom living in Oregon I felt more comfortable traveling within the state, but California was a whole new adventure for the two of us so I was constantly looking at the map to make sure we were headed in the right direction and make myself aware of the exits ahead. It’s a great companion to any navigator in the passenger seat.

funnortherncaliIn Fun with the Family in Northern California, even though we did not have Michelle’s little ones with us, we were able to find affordable and free entertainment. This book is especially helpful when traveling on a budget. With it we discovered Glass Beach, in quiet Fort Bragg on the Northern coast of California and Moaning Cavern located in Vallecito, California near the Motherlode!  It makes you aware of the roads less traveled, such as, Highway 121 the Silverado Trail which offers more of a back road view between Calistoga and Napa.

With a good friend and some snacks and supplies we let the library be our guide! (The journey continues next week).

Dynamic Duo

“I just want to make sure
                      that a million years from now
                                        I can still see you up close and
                                                         we’ll still have amazing things to say.”

Two of my favorite unconventional stars Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are coming together for a second time in the movie titled (500) Days of Summer, which will be released in August of this year. Their first film together Manic is not in our collection, but these titles that they star in separately are among my favorites:

alltherealgirlsIn All the Real Girls we meet Paul, played by Paul Schneider, a small town womanizer who’s slept with practically every girl in town, which hasn’t made him too popular. When his best friend Tip’s little sister, Noel, played by Zooey Deschanel, comes back home from boarding school it’s going to take a lot more than his boyishly good looks to win the girl. Paul learns some of life’s hardest lessons when it comes to dating a best friend’s sister and falling in love.

 Winter Passing reminds us that going back to the beginning can start the rest of your life. When you’re the daughter of two amazing yet unstable novelists you’ll find winterpassingany way to carve out a life for yourself. Independent actress Reese Holden, played by Zooey Deschanel, has just been asked to secure the love letters written between her two parents after her mother’s recent death, but going back home to get them will be harder than she can imagine. With a sheltered wannabe rocker and an ex-graduate English Rose occupying her father’s house, while her father lives in the garage, she sets off a dialogue years upon years in the making.

                                                                    

 “Until then, all I can do is wake up,
take a shower, with soap, and try to forgive myself.
If I can do that, then maybe others will  forgive
me too. 
I don’t know if that will happen, but I
guess
I’ll just have to work backwards
from there.”

 In the movie The Lookout Chris, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has a decision to make: to give in or to finally fight back. the_lookout_dvdChris Pratt had everything going for him…the girl, the social network, and he was the star of the high school hockey team, but after a tragic joy ride on a dark back road he is left with a brain injury that leaves all he has worked for behind. Now he works a menial job as a janitor at a local bank and goes to therapy to get his brain to process his memory until then he writes everything down in his notebook.  Coerced by an old school mate and the seductive Luvee Lemons, played by Isla Fisher, he gets sucked into a scheme to rob the bank of its fortunes.

brick1A modern day twist on film noir,  Brick tells the story of love, sex, drugs, and murder in the language the genre was original born in. Before finding his ex-girlfriend Emily dead, Brendan Frye, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is given four words that will lead him to the truth about her death and expose an underworld that Emily had found herself playing a part in: Brick, Tug, Frisco, and Pin.  Set in a high school setting Brendan must crawl through the social class system and discover how seedy high school can truly be.

Not Your Average Detective Story

Tragedy blows through your life like a tornado, uprooting everything, creating chaos. You wait for the dust to settle, and then you choose. You can live in the wreckage and pretend it’s still the mansion you remember. Or you can crawl from the rubble and slowly rebuild. Because after disaster strikes, the important thing is that you move on. But if you’re like me, you just keep chasing the storm. 

I was and guess will forever remain a die-hard Veronica Mars fan. That angst ridden teenager on the quest for solving unsolvable cases everywhere held fast to my ever growing need to get the bad guys. If you like a little quirkiness with your mystery, here are a few books and a movie in our collection that although will never replace Veronica Mars, they can sure get you through the withdrawals.

whatwaslostIn What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn, we meet feisty yet withdrawn 10-year-old Kate Meaney who spends her time doing surveillance work at the Green Oaks shopping mall with her sock monkey side kick Mickey. Eager to find a case to solve, she looks for and documents any unusual happenings, but she may have found more than she bargained for. Now it’s 20 years after Kate Meaney has gone missing with no trace as to where, and one possible suspect on the run. Stranger still when Lisa, a manager at Your Music, finds Kate’s monkey behind pipes in a hallway and Kurt, a mall security guard, begins to see glimpses of a little girl on the mall security cameras. These seemingly strangers, the living Continue reading “Not Your Average Detective Story”

Reminds Me Of Garden State

“Maybe that’s all family really is a group of people who miss the same imaginary place.”

Ever since Garden State came out I’ve been trying to recreate the sensation I got when I saw that movie for the very first time. You know the laughing, crying, not wanting the story to end. Here are just a couple items in our collection that call that to mind:

bookofjoeShortly after graduating from High School Joe Goffman leaves and never looks back, but you can’t always run away from your past and fifteen years later its time for Joe to come back home. There will be no welcome banners or a welcome home parade because when you write a best selling novel putting down everyone and everything in your home town people aren’t too enthusiastic about your return home. It doesn’t matter that your dad is in the hospital after suffering from a stroke, no one cares that you’ve hit writer’s block with your possible next novel, the bullies in high school are still going to beat you up and even your own brother doesn’t want to see you.  Not to mention the copies of your book strewn all over the lawn of your childhood home by none other than the neighborhood book club! The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper, slated to become a movie in 2010, will have you laughing, crying, and reminiscing about your own past regrets.

In My Blueberry Nights we meet Elizabeth, played by Norah Jones, who is myblueberrynights2suffering from heartbreak after she has discovered her boyfriend has cheated on her. She finds solace in the small New York City diner where she learned of her ex’s indescresions and soon after gets to know the guy behind the counter Jeremy, played by Jude Law, and his blueberry pie. At the diner she finds comfort, but it’s  memories soon become too great and she decides to leave New York. She ends up in Memphis working at a diner and bartending at night then it’s a off to Vegas all the while sending postcards to Jeremy. Along her journey she meets plenty of characters who help her grow and understand the bigger picture: you can’t runaway forever especially when what you need has been there all along.

The novel Hunting and Gathering by Anne Gavalda takes us to Paris, the city of Light, but you’d be surprised how many broken people occupy a place hunting-and-gatheringknown for romance. You have Camille an artist unaware of how truly talented she is hiding in a freezing hovel wasting away and working nights cleaning office buildings, Franck who has no time to visit the grandmother who raised him, but rather slaves away in a restaurant that is not his and lacks the intimacy in his one nights stands to create a real relationship, Philou, Franck’s roomate, who disguises his anxiety by memorizing the factoids and histories of France and can recite his entire family tree, and Paulette, Franck’s lonely grandmother, covering up the bruises so no one will notice she is falling apart. When these four strangers’ lives begin to intertwine they heal in ways they never imagined. This novel was also made into a French film titled Ensemble, C’est Tout starring Audrey Tautou.