Powells City Of Books – Portland, Oregon


My latest post on Pinhole Obscura! Posted a couple of weeks ago. This is about one of my favorite places. Sometimes referred to (by me) as Nirvana.

Pinhole Obscura

img011 The gate to Nirvana. Exposure time: 5 seconds

It is Winter here in the Pacific Northwest, which leaves me with limited photography options. It occurred to me that I can show you one of my favorite places to visit in the winter, Powells Bookstore in Portland.

To say that I love this place is an understatement. For Powells, my love is turned up a notch, to 11. I mean really. Books. ALL OF THE BOOKS.  Do I really need to say more?

img008 10 minutes in the Art Section.

The first time I visited Powells was before I lived here. We were in town to visit my husband’s brother. He was showing us around late into the evening. At one point he said, “I’ve got to take you someplace. Monica, you will love this.” He took us to Powells. When I walked in the door I heard a chorus of…

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The Tree in Black and White


The tree in B&W

Last month I visited Portland’s Japanese Garden with a roll of black and white film in my pinhole camera and thought I’d try pinholing The Tree. Here is the result.

Today I pinholed it again, but in color, with expired slide film that I will cross process. I was there with my fellow Pinhole Obscura blogger, Jeff. And I got to meet another pinhole photographer, Souhade of Pinholistically Yours. They are in town for WPPD on Sunday! Exciting stuff. I’ve had a great time seeing the photos from my internet friends converging on Portland this weekend. It reminds me of the anticipation and excitement I had when I went to Amsterdam last year. I am missing a little of that excitement this year since Portland is home and I’m not going anywhere. Seeing the excitement of my friends makes up for that. 🙂

Geeky Bits

Camera: Schlem P6*6
Film: Acros 100
Exposure Time: 22 seconds

My sweet little Crackers – a dream.



I had a dream about my sweet childhood dog last night and I can’t stop thinking about her today. She was so precious to me. We got her when I was in Kindergarten and she lived well into my adulthood. I was around 24 when she died.

I remember this dream in such minute detail that I feel like I should write it down. I am pretty good about figuring out the symbolism of my own dreams but I can’t quite put my finger on what my dog symbolizes for me here.

It is night and I am a passenger in a mini-van with my dad, who is driving, and my younger brother who is in the section of seats behind me. I am laying across the middle seat. Crackers, our dog, is in the front seat (as far as I know, I am the same age in the dream as I am now). We are driving along a winding road and there is snow on the ground.

Every so often I call Crackers and she comes when I call her, hopping over the seat, wagging her tail and smiling, letting me give her a pet. She immediately goes to my brother and says, “hi” to him too. Then she jumps back in the front seat right away (she doesn’t hang around begging to be petted forever and ever, like most dogs do). When she jumped over the seat to say, “hi” to me it filled me with such joy and happiness. After awhile I kind of tested it. I would call her and she always, without question, jumped over the seat, and she was always very joyous and happy about it (as dogs are). She seemed to enjoy our little game.

We made a pitstop at Zips Drive-in (a popular hamburger joint in the Spokane area). My brother and Dad went in to get something to eat but I was reluctant about eating. I stayed behind. At this point the car was filled with dogs that we owned. When I opened the mini-van door I had to hold them back to prevent them from all rushing out. Crackers ran out, unfortunately. For some reason I wasn’t super worried about it. I was worried but not freaking out.

I walked up to the restaurant, deciding that I might eat and someone was talking about dogs and I turned around and saw that this someone was cradling  my sweet Crackers to their  chest. I said, “Hey, that’s my dog!” and he handed her to me. I held her to me and asked what happened. She was hurt and I became distraught with emotion over it. The guys said that she was hit by a car. She’d run into the street and someone found her laying there so he picked her up. He told me, “Be careful, I think she broke her ribs and hip.” I held her tightly to my chest. I felt so sad that she was hurt.

This part is significant because I really am recalling the feeling that I had in my dream when I held her. I could feel her fur and smell her distinct smell and all of this felt like home to me. I felt such a deep and profound feeling  of love when I held her. For some reason this feeling makes me tear up when I think about it. Even now, wide awake, I am feeling very emotional about it. So I am holding her tightly to my chest, feeling very maternal and very protective. I start heading back to the car and as we walk she is struggling in my arms. She is wiggling to become free because we are walking near the highway and she is afraid of the highway. I had to really hold on tight to her so she doesn’t wiggle free. As I do this I am trying to calm her down by telling her that I won’t let anything happen to her.

We walk and walk and I find myself lost and in an unfamiliar place. I’d taken the wrong route to the car.

I wake up.



Oatman Mine

I fell in love with the desert when I visited my dad last month. It’s beautiful. I was trying to put my finger on what I loved about it. I think what I loved is that it reminded me of home. Spokane lives on the edge of the high desert of Eastern Washington. For most of my life we drove through it to get to Portland and other destinations on the Western side of the state. Each time (even now), after passing through the lush, wet, greenery of the Westside, the dry, stark Eastside seemed like nothing. It’s home, though. And the climate feels like home, too.

The California/Arizona high desert is equally as stark, but there is a quiet, peaceful beauty to it.

Someday I will post more photos from my trip (if I ever develop the film). Today, I give you a photo of an abandoned mine from the ghost town, Oatman Arizona.


Geeky bits:
Camera: Zero 2000
Film: Portra 160
Exposure time: 5 seconds

How to become a poet


I have been remiss this month! It is National Poetry Month and I haven’t even mentioned it. I am going to remedy that right now. Here is wonderful poem that my colleague and I are performing tomorrow night at a poetry reading. It’s called “Reply To The Question: ‘How Can You  Become A Poet.'” Written by Eve Merriam. You can read it in its entirety here.