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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.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hey Tuesday, let's start over.

So remember how I had a tongue nubbin? Well now I have a hand nubbin. Or a palm nubbin. Me and nubbins go way way back. I had one in middle school in my middle finger but I got rid of that shit by climbing trees. My pain tolerance and gross out tolerance have both since declined so that's not an option this time around.

The new one is right in the middle of my palm. And it hurts when I drive and stuff. It's basically a nuisance so I made a doctors appointment to go get it checked out before I get kicked off my parents insurance in 2 months. But thennnn I forgot and slept through my appointment because I'm a responsible adult.

So I made a new appointment for this morning. I set an alarm like a grown ass woman and left my house with 40 minutes to get there when google told me it would only take 20. Then I sat on Powell for 30 minutes trying to get to the freeway. Not the best, Tuesday. SO I called to reschedule and Melinda was totally mean to me. It's Kaiser so I know that even if I showed up 15 minutes late they would get me in and it would totally screw up their whole day so I thought I'll call and reschedule so I don't ruin someone else's Tuesday.
But Melinda was just super mean. Maybe she hadn't had any coffee yet or maybe she's just a really unpleasant person in general. If you know someone who works at the Beaverton Kaiser, tell them Melinda needs a hug.

I flipped a Uey (how do you even spell that?) and headed to work all jazzed because I was going to be way earlier than usual, only to get stuck on 213 twice-20 minutes each time. I know fixing roads is important and things but isn't there a way to do it that doesn't inconvenience ME? And/or if I'm going to be inconvenienced could someone get on the potholes on that weird hill you have to use to get onto Ross Island?

Then I'm almost to work and realize I straight up forgot to put makeup on today. Like, any. I'm naked. And my eyelashes are blonde so when I forget mascara it's a big deal. So I went to the store and bought some foundation and mascara because I actually have a meeting today and I can't look like some kind of haggard eyelash-less disaster.

So, Tuesday, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to get some coffee and put on some Justin Timberlake Pandora and we're going to pretend like none of this ever happened.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Smoothie lovin

Smoothie with failed friendship bracelet attempt in background.
Here's the thing- your wedding/the year of your wedding is the most photographed time in your life. At least, it's the most professionally photographed time. Going through college with smart phones and facebook- I'm pretty positive that "drunk" is actually the most photographed time in my life. 

That being said, our engagement photos are in a couple months-ish and so I'm trying to get in shape. Not like I'm going to stop eating or anything. I'd be terrible at that. More like I made a smoothie for breakfast instead of just eating half the bag of sour cream and onion potato chips that we have left over from camping. (Potato chips make a perfectly delicious breakfast though, don't get me wrong. Especially smushed in between two pieces of bread with mustard and cheddar cheese...)

I made this smoothie for my late breakfast today while working from home. It is one of my favorite things I've ever made . I think it's at least minimally good for you and it comes in around 285 calories. Super filling and some protein for this vegetarian lady.

1 cup Almond Milk
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 banana
1/2 a container of raspberry greek yogurt (about 3 oz)

Blend until all of the banana chunks are gone. Then put it in your mouth and be full for hours. I'm actually struggling to finish mine.

Update: I am eating a mustard, cheese, pickle, and sour cream & onion chips sandwich for lunch and I don't even feel bad about it because I killed it at the gym. Then again, I never feel bad about mustard and cheese sandwiches. 


Resolution fail, you guys. I had serious intentions of writing daily. I did. And then I didn't, which sucks because I love having this place to record, remember, and revisit the things that happen in my life.
So this is me re-promising myself to write more.
In honor of that, I thought I'd revisit my goals for this year.

1. Remember to write. Find something hilarious or weird or true to write down once a day. 
We've been over this. I'll try to be better.

2. Take voice lessons. I've wanted to do this since I was a little girl. No grand ambitions, just want to know how to sing properly.

I have not made this happen. I did, however, perform what I can only assume was a beautiful version of "Cups" with Jason walking down Hawthorne the other night around 3am. 

3. Participate in the Urban Iditarod. For the last two years my boyfriend and our friends have created awesome shopping-cart structures and donned costumes for a day of drinking and general portlandy awesomeness. I have been unable to join them. This year, I will make it happen. 
Guess what, they CANCELLED it this year. So, this one is actually not my fault. The naked bike ride is this weekend though and it's totally on my bucket list. Stay tuned. 

4. Juice fast. Only like 5 days. I am sometimes not very nice to my body. I put bad things in it. It's time for a re-set. 
4A. Buy a new juicer.
Pat's mom got us a Juicer for his birthday. I did a 3 day fast and I am so sorry to anyone who encountered me during this very trying time. Pat was way better at it than me. He is also being much better about remembering to juice. 

5. Pay off 2 credit cards. This is credit card debt mostly from 3 years ago. Time to get rid of it and start being nicer to my credit score.
Not even close. My 2012 bonus is a big part of this plan. It hasn't arrived yet. Sigh. Also, likely all extra money this year will go to the wedding (oooooh yeah I'm getting married. More on that later.)

6. Run a 5k. I did this a couple years ago but know I couldn't do it again right now. 
Currently training/working up to it. Thinking Electric Run or maybe Zombie Run.

7. Squat 150 lbs. (3 sets of 10)
Working on it. Currently at 75 ,3 sets of 10.

8. Bench 100 lbs. (3 sets of 10)
Working on this too. Currently at 65, 3 sets of 10.

9. Complete two more series at Night Flight. Make time and room in my budget.
There is just no way this is going to happen. See: no money.

10. Finish my tattoo by the end of February.
Another bonus-based dream. New goal: Finish tattoo by end of summer. 

11. Get a savings account. Actually put money in it. 

12. Read 12 new books. 
I would probably be further along on this if I hadn't decided to re-read the Harry Potter series. But I've read 3.5 new books this year so far.

13. Kick ass at my job. 
This is totally debatable. Brewfest was a logistical success this year but didn't make as much money as we hoped. So there is definitely room for improvement.