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Saturday, January 3, 2015

15 goals for 2015

I've posted lists here in the past. I'm aiming for measurable and attainable goals this time.
This is inspired by my handsome friend Patrick's 30 by 30 list. Some of these goals I just straight up stole from him. Because they are good ones. 
1. Learn to knit. Complete 3 projects.
2. Read 12 new books.
3. Pay off 2 credit cards.
4. Complete the training plan created for me by my badass fitness coach friend, Echo.
5. Cook one recipe from each of my cook books.
6. Go on 12 hikes.
7. Finally visit Crater Lake.
8. Visit the Portland Art Museum.
9. Complete 200 workouts of at least 45 minutes each.
10. Empty my T-shirt drawer by upcycling or tossing them all out.
11. Learn 4 new line dances and/or partner dances.
12. Go roller skating at Oaks Park.
13. Re-learn how to play chess.
14. Complete 12 blog entries on this here blog. I promise myself to write more every year, and then I don't. One per month seems reasonable. This one doesn't count.
15.Stay within the budget Pat and I have set.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Buttons and lids

I came across this article today and thought it was really on point and interesting. The author laments the impossible button placement on vintage clothing- clothing constructed at a time when it was expected that a woman would have someone to help her dress- her mother, husband, room mate. Women didn't live alone so there would always be someone to button that damned button right in the middle of their backs. 

I so loved living alone in my beautiful studio when I first moved to Portland. I was canned-green-beans-for-dinner poor but I was by myself and it was pretty great. Until I couldn't open a jar of pickles. That jar of pickles nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. I was single and my friends lived alone in their own tiny apartments and there was nobody to help me. It seems ridiculous but I was in tears over it. (Probably because I hadn't had anything but canned green beans for 3 days.)

I don't really have a point here besides saying that the author has a point. Now I have Pat to help me open pickle jars and button my buttons but the article struck a chord with me and I thought I'd share. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Notebook as told by Pat

Today Pat and I somehow got onto the subject of The Notebook. Probably because there's this funny little thingy floating around the internet. It's the clip where Noah is yelling at Allie next to her car "What do you WANT?" and it says something like "me every time my girlfriend tries to decide where to eat." Or something. ANYWAY.
He's only seen the movie once, half asleep. Apparently he thought it was boring and based on a couple things he said I got the impression he might have missed some key plot points. So I asked him to tell me what happens in the movie:
"Ryan Gosling is the right guy, but she picks the wrong guy. I don't know his name. Then they get old and somehow end up running into each other or something. And she picked the wrong guy so she gets all confused and upset."
This is as good a reason as any to re-watch The Notebook in the very near future.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bathroom musings

My office is inside the main lodge of The Oregon Garden Resort and I use the same rest room as our restaurant and hotel guests. We also have lots of groups come through for conferences, etc. Basically, I hear lots of different women having conversations that should probably be private. They figure because they are in a hotel where nobody knows them it's fine. And they're right. I don't care about their husbands, their diets, or really gross surgeries.
Usually the most interesting/weird things are things they say to themselves. They think they are alone or they don't care that they aren't. I'm not sure. A couple recent favorites:
A very elderly lady walked into our bathroom and said out loud "MY, this is basic." This is such a bizarre thing to say about a bathroom. Of course it's basic, it's a bathroom. We don't have chaise lounges but we have toilets, stalls, sinks, and sometimes flowers on the counter. I'm not really sure what she expected. Bathroom attendant? Rose petal showers upon entry? We are in Silverton. Also, who was she telling? Me? While I peed?
In the same day, a woman came into the bathroom, entered the stall, grunted and whispered "supper time." It was terrifying. There's just nothing else to say about that.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

That one time I was in a Rom Com

So I had this dream last night that I was walking along and I saw a guy playing a Jason Mraz song with a bunch of other guys listening. I went over to listen and they were all staring at me. Eventually someone (who looked a lot like Nick Miller from New Girl) that this was a men's club. No women. 
I was taken aback because this was in a park and plus- men only? Where are we?

Anyway, I left and ran into the wives, who told me a bit about this strange men's club. As I was talking to the wives, the men came over (must have finished their Jason Mraz jam party?) and heard me making fun of their little club. Nick Miller got all Nick-Miller-grumpy with me and then asked if I could do better. I said I could and they made me their social director.

Then my dream got all Rom Com movie trailer montage on me ( A girl as a men's club social director? How quirky!). Me and a bunch of guys on splash mountain (I think? I've never been), me and a bunch of guys playing paintball, me and a bunch of guys playing in a waterfall (they were all really awkward in the beginning of the dream but they were better looking by the time we got to the waterfall) and obviously me and Nick Miller falling in love (sorry, honey. It's Nick Miller!). It probably ends with the guys letting their wives be in the club because me and Nick Miller are having so much fun. But I don't know, I woke up.

Sometimes my dreams are movie trailers?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Grin and bare it

What's more fun than public nudity with 8,000 of your closest friends? Almost nothing, that's what.

Two weeks ago I participated in the World Naked Bike Ride in Portland. The event started years ago as a protest to draw attention to the vulnerability of bicyclists in our roadways and also to celebrate people-powered transportation. Portland regularly sets the record for the biggest turnout. No surprise as Portland has also been named the most bike friendly city in the US.

I hadn't been on my bike in over a year. I'm not an avid cyclist. To be honest, I was totally in it for the nakedness/Portland rite of passage.

I was terrified leading up to the ride- not because I was worried about being naked. Naked schmaked. I was worried my rickety ass bike would betray me or I might fall while riding in this pack of thousands of people. No such disasters! The only thing that betrayed me was my thighs- I need to do more squats because lordy the hills killed me.

I met up with Jason and a few of his friends to ride over to the starting location in the Park Blocks downtown. Even fully clothed, people guessing where we were going began cheering us on our way over. Portland loves naked people almost as much as it loves bikes.

When we got there, it was naked people and glitter and body paint and glow sticks and lights as far as the eye could see. Can you imagine 8,000 naked people hanging out? I can. And it's awesome. I was there for about 10 minutes before going full nakes. Just my tennis shoes and earrings.

It's crazy how quickly the naked becomes normal. Standing in the middle of all of those naked people, you feel uncomfortable in your clothes. You feel like an intruder on all of the naked happiness. Of course, there are folks who don't go totally bare. Lots of ladies wore panties or tutus. The variety of pasties on display was impressive. But there was no judgement- naked, mostly naked, painted, glittered, etc. Nobody cared. By showing up in all of your naked glory you were agreeing not to be an asshole. "Awesome nipple rings!" - totally acceptable. "Nice rack!"- definitely not. People were respectful and any perviness came from the clothed people lined up as spectators. People who came for the orgy must have been really disappointed.

And man, there were a lot of spectators. I should have expected this but I was totally surprised by both the level of disrespect and overwhelming support and positivity coming from those who lined up along the route. Because of the huge crowds, we didn't start moving till about 10:30pm. So we were moving very slowly towards the road, everyone packed in like sardines when a group of guys posted up in the middle of the crowd and began taking photos and commencing in general douchebaggery. Jason got into it with them a bit and it almost got pretty ugly. There were similar groups throughout the ride, but outnumbering them were people cheering, high-fiving, dancing, BBQing naked, moshing naked, and just generally being incredible.

When we finally got moving and I was riding down the street naked with one of my best friends and people cheering for us- that was one of the coolest things I've ever experienced. Want to feel like a super hero? Do the naked bike ride.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Engagement

I'm nearly positive that everyone who reads this knows all about how Pat and I got engaged but just in case, I thought I'd share. Fair warning this will be a long post.

Pat and I had planned to take a road trip the weekend before Valentine's day this year to Baker City, OR. Pat found this amazing hotel call the Geiser Grand Hotel and there is a brewery there that he really wanted to check out. You might recall from our ghost town road trip an adorable little school house in Friend, Oregon. We decided to stop there for a picnic on the way there since we loved it so much the first time. 

I kinda knew it was coming. Call it spidey sense or whatever you want but I had an inkling. And here is why I am a jerk- I went out the night before and got completely destroyed. I walked home over 4 miles by myself at 3 in the morning. Pat was so furious with me for not calling him for a ride. This was not the first time. I am completely forboden from walking home like that again. BUT I got up at 7 or whenever we had to get up to leave and pulled myself together. Pat kept looking at the sorry state I was in and shaking his head. Probably was rethinking the entire thing- do I really want to marry this mess?

Maybe I was imagining it but I could feel him getting nervous as we got closer to Friend. It's something like a four hour drive. When we pulled up Pat pulled out a beer and damn near chugged it. We walked around a bit and played with the dogs. The weather was really beautiful and we sat on the steps and had a cheese and cracker picnic like we did the first time. 

At one point Pat went to his car and grabbed a big red box. Here we go, I thought. So I opened the box, a bit nervous, and inside were two bottles of wonderful cider. I have a think for cider and one of them I had been dying to try. I was kinda rooting around in the box is there a ring in here or? I was totally stoked on the cider, I was just confused. I started thinking maybe my spidey sense was broken and I totally misread the whole situation.

So we finished our picnic and were just sitting on the step watching the sunset and the dogs and the birds and the seriously beautiful scenery. We've tried to take good photos before but they really don't do it justice. 
At some point I start to get cold but Pat is clearly stalling. We are sitting on the steps and he somehow transitions so he is crouching in front of me below the steps, holding my hands. At this point, I'm pretty sure I know what's going to happen. But then it doesn't. We keep watching the sunset and the dogs and the birds. Then a few minutes later he transitions to the one knee. Again, I brace. But then we keep watching the sunset and the dogs and the birds. After probably 5-7 minutes of just hanging out, my hands in his and him on one knee, he starts trying to make his speech. He said some really lovely things but had the hardest time getting his words out and in the right order. It was pretty cute. Then he says "So I got you something" HA, and then he reaches into the wrong pocket, switches pockets, and pulls out my ring. He opens the box and shows it to me. I don't think he knew or could remember at that moment which hand/finger he needed from me. And since he hadn't yet asked me to marry him or any other variation of that phrase, I was hesitant. I was 99.99999999% sure I knew what he wanted but can you imagine the idea of handing someone your right finger only to realize that they were just being really dramatic about giving you jewelery? It would be the first jewelery I had received from him, so in my nervous brain this was a possibility. 

Either I bit the bullet or he remembered which appendage he was supposed to put the ring on and all of a sudden I was wearing an engagement ring. I kinda stared at him like "soooooooo did you have something you wanted to ask me?" Call me old fashioned but I wanted the question. Finally he asked, and I said yes.  I mean, it would have been pretty awkward if I said no after he put the ring on. 

It was pretty surreal. Even knowing it was coming and knowing that I would say yes, realizing that you straight up just promised to marry someone is jarring in a way that I didn't expect it to be- it's the cheesiest thing in the world but I felt floaty. We both just kept smiling silly smiles and of course I spent the whole weekend staring at my ring. 

We decided to take the weekend to adjust to the news ourselves before telling our loved ones. So we went to Barley Brown's that night for dinner and checked into our wonderful hotel and explored Baker City as a secretly newly engaged couple. There were a few people who had a good idea- I had told them my suspicions or Pat had been consulting friends about his plans- but it was really nice to have a weekend away to enjoy the newness and excitement of the whole thing. Our hotel was so beautiful- I would recommend it to anyone. It is a fully restored hotel built in 1889. The rooms have amazing high ceilings with chandeliers and a beautiful stained glass ceiling in the center of the hotel and it makes you feel like you've stepped into the past (or a movie set). Also, its pet friendly! 

On our way back home, we stopped at pFriem Brewing in Hood River to eat and I wanted to call my parents and tell them the news. I was so incredibly nervous and I have no idea why. But after I got off the phone, the server had overheard and asked us if we had just got engaged. We told her yes and I got to show off my ring and she gushed and it was so fun to have this stranger so happy for us. She sent us home with a growler and some glassware as a congratulations gift. Our first wedding gift, and very fitting. 

Now here we are almost 4 months later and it's old news. 

The ring: It's circa 1930, came from Gilt in Portland. I took pictures of it in the bathroom because for some reason the overhead light in there makes it sparkle like crazy. I had thought I didn't want a diamond. I wanted a colored stone. But once I saw this ring I knew it was perfect. He did an amazing job. The filigree includes some rose gold, which I love. It's so beautiful on its own I don't think I'll be adding a band or anything to it.