09 October 2015

Meeting Bloggers In Real Life | The Gypsy Kramer Crew

If my sister gets tired of working at the library, I figure she can get a job as a blogger matchmaker. A few months ago, she told me about Nina and Bill from GypsyKramer. She thought I would like their blog because it is about boat stuff. Whenever my sister says boat stuff, she always has a certain perplexed tone to her voice. Why people can get excited about boats, let alone write entire blogs about them, is utterly and completely beyond her. In her mind, I think it ranks right up there with cleaning out the lint from the dryer.

While she looks at the pictures, I'm not sure she has read too much of Nina and Bill's blog because it is about boat stuff. But she knew I would like them and their blog, not just because of all of the boat stuff, but because they're interesting and fun and, much more importantly, they're library people. She works with Nina and Bill at the library and one day (in between shelving books, helping people find reference materials about garden slug poetry, reminding the heroin junkies that shooting up in the stacks really isn't appreciated or whatever else it is that library people do), she told them about my boat, they told her about their boat, a bloggy match was made and I started following their blog.

Here's what I learned about Nina and Bill from their blog - they're insane little nutter-butters. You'd have to be a bit crazy to do the kind of refit that they're doing on their Cascade 36 sailboat, S/V Gypsy. Their boat was made in Portland, Oregon 41 years ago, so it was time for an overhaul. I'm older than their boat, so I can relate to the whole overhaul idea. They're addressing some structural issues, making some cosmetic changes and doing some modifications to the cabin (like adding a bookshelf, which isn't a huge surprise as they're library people). 

Every spare minute and every spare dime they have is being spent on transforming their boat into something magical. Not only is it magical, it's sparkly and shiny! I should know because my sister and I got to see Gypsy at Nina and Bill's boat launch party when I was out in Portland. Gypsy was hauled out 37 weeks ago at Becker Enterprises in St Helens, where work began. Two weeks ago, Nina and Bill splashed Gypsy and brought her back to her slip at the Rose City Yacht Club and invited folks around to ooh and aah at the transformation to date. It was so much fun to see all Gypsy's new magic, sparkle and shine and hear about Nina and Bill's plans for the refit down below.

But what was even more fun was getting to know Nina and Bill in real life. And my sister was right - they're great folk. I can't wait to meet up with them on the water one day once they retire and set off cruising full-time!

Rose City Yacht Club on the Columbia River
S/V Gypsy looking pretty in the water!

Such a shiny portlight!
Fresh paint everywhere!
These are the poshest fender covers I have ever seen. All they need are gold tassels to complete the look.

Even the engine is sparkly and clean.

They've still got a bit of work to do down below, but it is going to look amazing when it's done!
I'll leave you with some library jokes in honor of Nina, Bill and my sister.
  • Why didn't the thief burgle the library? Because he was afraid the librarian would give him a long sentence. 
  • What did one book say to the other? I want to see if we're on the same page.
  • What do you do if your pet starts eating a library book? Take the words right out of their mouth.

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07 October 2015

Random Nonsense From Portland

My mom asked what today's blog post was going to be about. When I told her that I hadn't written one, she seemed vaguely disappointed. You shouldn't disappoint your mother, especially when she had a bag full of Hershey Kisses and you want some. So, in exchange for some of her chocolate, I put together this blog post of some random nonsense from my time in Portland just for her.

Cats. It's all about cats when you visit my family. This is my mom's cat Kashi. I got her for my mom a few years ago from the Pixie Project. You would think Kashi would be more grateful that I rescued her and got her a nice home to live in with my mom. A pleasant meow might be nice. Instead, she usually either hides from me or glares at me. I don't think she likes it when my mom pays attention to me instead of her.

My sister got the most adorable kitten last week from the Oregon Humane Society. She's so cute! I want to take her back with me to live on our boat.

My sister's other cat, Francesca, thinks the new kitten is way less than adorable. I told her she should get another kitten so that they can play with each other and leave Francesca alone, but my sister is worried that if she has three cats that it would make her an official Crazy Cat Lady. I can think of worse things to be. Like allergic to chocolate. {For all you sailors out there, notice what Francesca is reading?}

Just in case you were worried we spend all our time focused on the cats, we have been going out on little outings. Of course, they're interesting weird little outings. The type of outings that Crazy Cat Ladies go on. Like to Vancouver, Washington to check out their library. My sister is a library person, so she likes to walk around other libraries and see how they do things. Apparently, they have good signs on their stacks. I didn't really get it, but library people get excited about things like the Dewey Decimal System.

They'll give you a library card even if you're only one minute old. It's never too early to instill a love of books in the little ones. If you live in Vancouver, you're pretty darn lucky to have such an amazing library.

My mom and I went to Powell's City of Books the other day. It's the largest independent bookstore in the world and a Portland institution. Like most places looking to make a buck, they sell lots of useless gift items. Need any tiny bottles of Portland rain water and jars of unicorn snot? I couldn't really see the point in shelling out $7.50 for a bottle of rain water when I could just stand outside instead and get my own. Although, I have to confess that the unicorn snot was tempting, but I was strong and resisted their sparkly allure.

Of course, the highlight of my time in Portland was a visit to the River View cemetery. My family is big on walking around cemeteries, as I imagine most Crazy Cat Ladies are. I'd never actually been to this one before. If you're into history, you can go on a walking tour and see where the founding families of Portland are buried, visit Virgil Earp's grave and check out the memorial to the Spanish-American War. They also offer environmentally friendly funerals. You get get buried in a wicker basket with flowers on it. This seems like a really Portland thing to do. I bet they feature this on an upcoming episode of Portlandia.

There, now my mom has something to read later when this blog post gets delivered to her by email. If you want to subscribe by email too, all you have to do is enter your email address on the sidebar where it says Follow Us by Email. Imagine getting random nonsense delivered to your inbox two to three times a week!

Well, it's back to our boat in Florida tomorrow for me. Hopefully, it hasn't sunk and is still floating in the water.

PS Mom - I miss you already!

PPS Sis - In case you can't find your kitten, she may have "accidentally" jumped into my bag and headed back to the boat with me.

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