Tuesday, March 31, 2009


My month-long experiment of spending only $80 is nearly at its end!

This isn't totally accurate because I also bought a new alternator and a belt for my car for $450. But, the rest (the weird items are because I had food poisoning or a stomach virus):

$4 round-trip bus ticket
$9 groceries
$20 date with Ev at Crush
$16 groceries
$3 a coke and a package of Rolaids
$3 Ensure
$7 lunch while watching March Madness games

grand total: $18 left over!

Monday, March 30, 2009

I'm hanging out with these teenagers for a story. I think these shirts they made out of spray paint are so cool:




Sunday, March 29, 2009

Advertise on a car?

Near Ev's house, there's always this car with stick-on letters imploring people to advertise on it. I've been thinking about doing a story on it for the O but have never gotten around to it, so now, I bring it to you blog readers.


Why is it squared? I don't know. But here we have it:


Seems crazy, right? Who would advertise on it? But, dear reader, people do:



Thursday, March 26, 2009


Ten minutes before the long-awaited Big Money Announcement, everyone's laughing, crowding in and joking about the future. I'm reading the New Yorker: A gold exhibit won't happen because the gold seller was Madoff-esque fraud. Five minutes till kick-off, and the rustle is quieting. Then: "My utility bills keep going up, but we have to pay those bank bonuses." "My utilities are going up, too!" "Did you hear we already laid people off?"

There's complete silence for nearly a whole minute until someone says, "Awkward silence." The whole room can hear. Another person says (quieter), "Just give us the poison."

I'm sitting by one person I don't know and one I met briefly at a retirement party a year ago, before the buyouts. Coats line the backs of chairs. It's really hot. I'm the youngest person in the room.

Still waiting, people talk again, timidly. Then, Patrick:

"I've got some news, not all of it good."

There's a list of dead papers (The P.I., the Rocky Mountain News and, soon, the San Francisco Chronicle).

"We are in a crisis."

Everyone applauds when he says we'll still keep printing the Oregonian, but the people around me look increasingly tense as he lists off the cuts: lay-offs, pay-cuts, furloughs, pension freezes. They had all been individual rumors, but we're getting the combination platter. If it works, we'll be black by the end of the year.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009


Last week's $80 tally:

$19 - groceries (stuff to make black bean soup, chili, lunches)
$3 - Wendy's for an interview
$4 - groceries (no idea what I bought)
$1 - prunes (or should we say "dried plums")
$3.25 - Subway veggie sandwich
$9.65 - groceries to make lasagna
$1 - three Oregon apples from the farmer's market
$1.09 - lemonade from Taco Bell with source
$11 - Indian food at the grocery store in Beaverton
$14 - Trader Joe's (stuff to make gumbo and brie)

which leaves $13! That covers last week and actually still leaves me up $6!

I spent all my money on food!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What I did this winter

Spring's here, so let's look back. Mostly everything I did this winter in about five minutes:

Winter 2008/09 from Casey Parks on Vimeo.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Teensy in the news

My little brother, Dustin, was featured in a front-page story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today. It's a story about his being an Iraq veteran against the war. Read it!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Keys Open Doors

When I walked in Mississippi, I jangled with the metal of a dozen keys, the clanging ring of unlockers knocking against my hip. People always knew I was coming.

I had keys to offices, to rooms and bathrooms. I had keys to apartments and houses. I had gold keys and silver, keys with decorative caps from a museum. I knew how to swing the circle around exactly right to pull out my work key.

When I left, I gave the keys back gradually. My final keys -- to a car I was leaving there and to the house I had lived in for eight months -- barely made any sound at all.

The day I flew away, I sat in a booth in the city's only Vietnamese restaurant. Across from me, Ellen and Denise -- my housemates -- held their breath as I took their key off my ring. They were about to be parents. I was about to be an "adult" (though one with surprisingly less responsibility).

I held the key across the table. Only one final key swung around the loop.

For the next year, I didn't make any sound when I walked.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What do you want to be?

I recorded this last night. I forgot to put my mic on, so it sounds awful, but it was fun to learn. I want to do more of these, though more succinctly and better-sounding:

What do you want to be? from Casey Parks on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


My $80/week goal did not go as well this week. I spent $107! Even using my $20 saved from last week, I'm still over. Here's the run-down:

$1 - coffee
$2.50 - beer
$2 - tea
$20.50 - groceries
$6 - burrito
$1 - coke
$1 - coffee
$25 - stuff to make Pimm's Cups for a dinner party (Pimm's, ginger ale, mint, cucumber, lime)
$11 - a little more than a pound of coffee beans
$30 - haircut
$7 - groceries

Next week, I better shape up!

Friday, March 13, 2009

By the tracks

Ryan and I took Holga pictures. I haven't seen them developed yet, but here's Ryan getting ready to take one:


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I want to buy a new car (by the way, anyone have any tips on that?) so I'm trying to spend less money. That said, I'm limiting myself to $80 a week, minus gas and bills. That probably seems like a lot still, but I was buying so much clothing and video equipment!

Last week's tally:

- $4, Helvetica letter stickers
- $10, groceries [milk, bread, fruit, vegetables, canned tomatoes]
- $3, PBR + tip at the E Room
- $3.50, two coffees to drink while Anna and I wait for two tow trucks
- $3, mango smoothie
- $5.50, stuff to make smoothies from Trader Joe's
- $3, two coffees for breakfast for me and Ev
- $13, sushi
- $15, Indian food

Grand total: $60

That leaves $20 to put toward a new pair of shoes (or, ahem, the car)

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I got a remote for my camera and gave Q a haircut. Those pigtails I'm holding used to be his. (Well, he didn't wear them as pigtails)



Saturday, March 7, 2009

Things seen in Pioneer Square

3:30 p.m. on Saturday while it hailed:

- man playing a sitar
- a different man playing a tiny electric guitar
- a different man playing "Brown Eyed Girl" on a washboard with a harmonica who stopped to say, "free lessons!"
- hundreds of people swing-dancing, ironically not to any of the aforementioned instruments
- man walking five Shih-tsus, two of which were very small puppies
- a young preacher yelling about sexual purity
- Two homeless men talking on a stopped Yellow Line train, talking about the Romans. One says, "Everybody has to get off." "Yeah," the other says. "Doesn't matter if you're gay, straight or a prostitute. You gotta get off! It's your body!" "No," the first guy said. "The train. Everybody has to get off the train. It's the last stop."

Friday, March 6, 2009

My stuff: Edna Henderson

Edna talks about her stuff

Click a thumbnail to see a larger image.

Edna explains:

1. Duncan - He loves me. He's 15 years old, and if I go to the bathroom, he does, too. He follows me everywhere.

2. Lactose-free ice cream - It tastes just like the real thing.

3. RV - So many years of my life were spent in motorhomes -- from 1968 until 1999.

4. Recliner - It sits good.

5. Crossword puzzle - It passes time and makes me curious to learn stuff.

6. Basket - Everything I need is within reach in it: emery boards, pain cream, scissors.

7. Necklace - It's made from all the rings my husband gave me over the years. My fingers got too little, and I kept slinging my rings off.

8. Hammer - I hammer the spine of my crossword book so the pages will stay open.

9. Soy protein - It makes me feel good.

10. Wood carving - My husband would sit around and talk to me and whittle.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Swiftly into the chimney

I recorded this about six months ago but never could figure out what to do with it. I had like 20 minutes of shaky camera footage of birds flying into a chimney. Finally, I decided to speed it up (well, parts of it) and boil it down to about a minute. Ladies and gents, I present to you, the swifts:

Swifts fly into a chimney from Casey Parks on Vimeo.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Testing 1-2-3

I'm really trying to learn how to use my video camera, so I've been reading a lot on the Internet lately and trying to test out different settings. Last night, after the sunset, I experimented a little with getting a better look and shallower depth of field. Anyone have any suggestions on things to do to improve? I really want to be better:

hv20 / test from Casey Parks on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New shoes

Ev's Christmas present to me finally came in: Limited edition Panatone shoes: