Wednesday, July 30, 2008

patience butterfly

Today I was reminded of how important it is to practice patience. I had a full day planned which included; my morning job search, a 3 mile run, a freestyle swimming lesson, helping Heather move into her new apartment and meeting with a friend for dinner before she moves cross-country in 4 days. There was little-to-no room for goofing off today. When the sensor function on my cell phone was dysfunctional, I figured it was time to go and get a new one with my warranty before the entire cell phone died. As I was walking out the door on my way to the nearest Verizon store, I stopped and thought consciously about writing down the numbers I wouldn't be able to replace. I have been using my phone as a Rolodex, which I'm sure most of us do. I had contacts in there from countless networking meetings I have had over the past 6 months. I think you might know where this is going.

So I got to the store hoping they could just transfer the info and send me out the door and on my way with a new phone. After inspecting the phone, the lady gave me the song and dance about how they might not be able to replace my phone for free since the water spot indicated damage. This was annoying to me since I knew my phone had never been in water! I told her that the only moisture was probably from sweat in my back pocket on a hot day and that there was NO water damage. She told me the sensor button probably would work if I had a software upgrade. She started to talk about cost and I told her that was lame. Seriously? Software? What happened to simple cell phones? Usually I try to be nicer in these situations, but the store was packed and I felt irritated that she was trying to tell me my extended warranty was useless. She sensed my panic and went to her boss. They would plug the phone into the software upgrade machine and if it was fried in the process, they would replace the phone for free. They would also be able to save my numbers in this process. Yeah.... Success.... I waited for about 15 minutes while I thought the software upload was occurring. She came back to me with an apologetic look on her face and informed me that the phone wouldn't even boot up and that I wouldn't be able to retrieve my numbers. First thing I thought was, "I should have written down those numbers!" I knew this was going to happen. I was visually disturbed and the manager came around to try and appease me by getting me a new phone and out the door.

So I left and tried to get over my losses. I needed to somehow get a few numbers so I could set up dinner plans for the evening. I dialed someone at my work and came to find out that they were unable to hear me when I used my NEW phone. Yep. It was broken. Back to the Verizon store I went with my friend Temojai (she was giving me the lesson) and we would resolve this before heading to the pool. Back to the zoo of a store. I swear something about cell phone stores makes my skin crawl... almost like buying a car at a dealership or something. Anyways, after determining the phone was broken, they proceeded to try 2 other phones that also did not work. It was actually starting to be amusing at that point and there were others in the store laughing at the situation. This model was no longer clicking with me and frankly I was SO relieved when one of the workers said she would get me the new and improved model. After she worked out the details, I went home with a SUPER COOL new phone. No numbers, but a much sturdier, improved design, silverish black phone that actually seemed worth the trouble. Or at least that is what I am telling myself now. Yay for patience!

My new chocolate-

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

in need of...

a bit of solitude.

I have been feeling very blah lately.

I'm pretty sure it is related to my transitional stage and my inability to secure a full-time job. I am very excited to be done with school, but my new degree has made it more difficult to find a job that suits me. I know I want to do anything with dementia, especially research and training around dementia care delivery. There are no jobs for this. I need to create a job, or a business and I know I can make this happen. In the meantime, I NEED a day job to pay the bills. I know something will come my way and I'm doing my best to remain positive.

Please send positive job thoughts my way!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

don't judge...

A yearly tradition continues. Every summer my Buddha kitty gets a haircut. I get a lot of flack from my cat lover friends about 'robbing' my cat of his coat. But, hear me out- there are some good reasons for this little ritual.

First, Buddha has a serious hairball problem. About every April, after a full winter of cleaning himself regularly, he vomits hairballs all over my apartment every other day. I have tried all the vet's recommendations; medicines, digestive cat food, etc. and nothing has worked. Once his coat is shaved, he literally has nothing to expel. I'm a fan. Second, Buddha runs around like a teenager streaking for the first time when I liberate him from his heavy coat on a hot Oregon day. He literally gallops around and even taunts Baby with more confidence. Third, he actually enjoys getting shaved. I think he is part metrosexual because he loves loves to be groomed. He used to hate it, but now I think he believes it is a massage.

No matter what I say, it still seems a bit peculiar.. me shaving my cat... Luckily for me, I find comfort in the fact that I did not initiate this act by myself, and there was another person who was equally guilty in subjecting my kitty to baldness for the first time.

This year I tried something a little different... the 'Mohawk' cut. I have been super busy, so I was unable to pick up the studded leather collar to complete the look. Maybe next year.

I love my Buddha and I think he loves looking like a stud. If you have any hairdo suggestions for kitties, send them my way!

Friday, July 25, 2008

work together, play together....

Today after work we all got together for drinks and appetizers to send off our beloved ex-employee, Jamie. She will be headed to the mid-west for a Master's program in Environmental education and while we are all excited to see her pursue her passion, she will be greatly missed. We started off by catching up at a downtown bar and ended up singing Kareoke in the SE region of Portland. It was a blast!! The goal was to sing a few songs and be home by 10:30pm. Our plans went about 2 hours over and tomorrow is surely going to be a longer Friday than usual. Erica is singing in the pic below. We all had to join her on the floor to get our groove on.

I can't wait till the other Erica in my life moves up here from CA so we can kareoke just like we used to in Corvallis. I'm counting the days E!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

hobo beach camping

Last weekend we set out for some good old car camping. We headed for the coast with our comfy sleeping bags, whole foods deli items, smores makings, and surf stuff. Our goal was to score a great spot on the Nehalem River and commute to the coast on Saturday for surfing. Of course it never works out like you plan and usually turns into an adventure.
By the time we finally left town and ended up at the river, there were no spots left. Actually let me rephrase that..... The hobo camping spot was left. We camped right next to where the bridge has washed away and the combination of transient garbage and the bullet hole beer cans gave our camping spot that 'lived in feel'. Luckily Heather and I were accompanied by our friend Tim so we didn't feel completely vulnerable.The next day we headed for the coast and managed to get a campsite at the Nehalem Bay campground. Unfortunately, it was freezing and Very windy making the surf terrible. We made the best of it by keeping ourselves busy at the campground.

Thomas, Heather and Amye joined us after playing in Portland's 3-on-3 street b-ball tourney.

Burma belongs to Tim. This white pitbull Boxer mix has a lot of energy and played ostrich in the sand. He is such a cutie and thinks that my pumpkin is a cutie too. We had to make sure he was not in 'humping' distance. He is also deaf, making him difficult to redirect. Interesting fact- most white pitbulls are deaf.

Heather and Tim looking cute at the beach.

Monday, July 14, 2008

good friends

My friend Jamie was in town for the STP (Seattle to Portland bike ride) and I met him and some of his friends out for a few games of pool. First off, I need to start out by saying that this man is the kind of friend that will drop what he is doing and help you out under any circumstance. He is such a good friend. He bought me a University of Delaware shirt the minute I found out I was moving back east. He also helped me move out of my Alki apartment and move into my Corvallis apartment. Yep. I had my first Corvallis meal at the Fox and the Firkin with Jamie, where he pointed out that Mike Reilly had just walked past our table after doing the live football radio show inside the restaurant. He is a jem and I am thankful to have him as a friend.
His friends Jared and Mike were also down for the event and we had food and drink before playing several games of pool. Pool is a favorite pastime for Jamie and myself. We used to meet at Jillian's in Tacoma back in the day.

In this pic (right to left): Jared, Jamie, me and MikeAs the night went on, picture taking kind of dominated the entertainment. I think photography is very contagious and when you have a decent camera and other people into taking 'out of the ordinary' shots, it can be entertaining.
One of Mike's shots-
It was a great night and the goal is to hopefully join them in the STP madness next year. That's 200 miles in two days. I better start training soon!

Yesterday I was a biker chick

Yesterday I finally went for a ride with my friend Ned. I have known Ned for almost as long as I have lived in my insy tinsy apartment in Milwaukie. He hangs out at the Milwaukie Starbucks where I worked on my dissertation for several hours every week for many months. He is that guy that knows everyone. He is a straight up Harley Biker who has been riding for many many decades. I have been meaning to join him for a ride, but haven't been in town on a weekend for a while now, so this past weekend we finally hit the pavement.

We rode the backroads down to corvallis, but first we made a stop at Paradise Harley in Tigard. They serve free pancakes every Sunday, which were very tasty. I sat on a few bikes and then I sat on the V-ROD which made me drool all over myself. Enough drooling..... We got on the road and headed south. It was a beautiful ride on River Road which I had never travelled before. It was about 94 degrees, so it was a little hot, but tolerable. Once in Corvallis, we had lunch at the New Morning Bakery.... Chicken enchilada casserole.... uhmm. yummy.

Ned posing for a lunchtime picture-We took 99 back to Portland and ended the day with a cold drink from Starbucks. Did I mention I love this Starbucks? This particular coffee shop attracts the same crowd of older adults full of great stories. I always find myself hanging out with much older people?? What's the deal? With that- off to get a coffee now.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Free Slurpee Day!

Beth Johanson ROCKS!!!

Today she sent out a text message informing myself and probably many others of the free slurpee day that was taking place at EVERY 7-Eleven. I just want her to know that thanks to her message, my entire program (nearly 20 clients) were able to partake in a refreshing summer treat. We loaded up our busses and had a field trip to the nearest 7-Eleven. It made their day!
If you are like me, the Slurpee is probably your favorite beverage. The following link gives some Slurpee history. It is pretty cheesy, but worth one look.

I'm off to have my third free Slurpee of the day. I'm not ashamed.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My 4th of July

My friend Betty and I decided to embark on a backpacking trip over the 4th of July weekend. We took our shopping trip to Winco and headed to REI where our friend Matt told us about all the places he was 'stoked' about. We decided to take his advice and we are so glad we did!

Our trip took us to the gorge, not far from Portland. We parked our car at the base of a closed forest road and started what was an incredibly long climb up the gorge wall. We had a topo map, but I told Betty I'd rather not calculate and just walk. So we did. We were high on the wilderness, taking pictures of everything and oblivious to the exertion that was going on and would continue for several hours. Our first day included beautiful creeks, waterfalls, views and a climb of 3200'. After hiking roughly 6 miles straight up with full packs (and a bit of wine-hehe) we finally reached our sign for Dublin Lake. We hiked 200' down into this serene slice of heaven. Initially it appeared that the lake was frozen and we would be melting snow for drinking water, but that wasn't the case. We set up camp and started our relaxation.

Betty and a big tree. Our camp was literally on the bank of the lake. We stayed for three nights and had to share on the first night, but had the lake to ourselves the rest of the weekend.
Home sweet home. I packed my fishing pole with no expectations of actually catching fish. My first cast in and this is what I caught!
Because I wasn't expecting there to actually be big fish, I didn't pack my frying pan and so Betty and I went into improvisation mode. This rock served as our cooking platform and I had some damn good trout burritos. This fish made my weekend!!!Day 2 was really our relaxing day. Along with catching fish, we played cards, napped during a rainstorm, read books, played with fire and just relaxed and took in the nature. It was also nice to hear very active Elk at about 6am that morning.On day 3 we planned a day hike to Tanner Butte. This was an 8 mile round trip hike with only around a 1200' elevation gain. It was cake compared to our hike in. The morning fog and trees were stunning.We hiked through several meadows full of wildflowers on our way to the top. Once at the top, the cloud cover was pretty heavy. Luckily the rocks were warm and we brought lunch. We both napped up top and sure enough the clouds burned off while we were eating.
Tanner creek lake from the Butte.
It was beautiful.
Mt. Hood in all it's glory.On our way back, we found this in the middle of the path. It was a big pile of poo and it certainly wasn't there when we left for the butte. Our suspicions were that it was bear poo and after googling it, I think it was. Eeeek! We also followed some very fresh elk tracks for about a mile down the path on the way back to camp. On Day 4 we fished a bit before leaving. The weather was perfect and we were looking forward to the views on the way out. We were also excited about going down and not up.
My Pumpkin!I ended up catching a releasing about 5 rainbows. They were so hungry!
We went out of our way to Wahna Peak and it was worth the mile and a half. The view of Mt Adams was stunning. It was also quite high and gave me that uneasy feeling when you are looking over a cliff. It was very cool.

One thing was for sure, the hike down actually seemed longer than the hike up. It must have been the adrenaline and excitement of being out there on the first day that made the ascent tolerable. All and all this trip was an absolute success. Highlights from the trip include, but are not limited to: wildlife, views, FISH, Mountainhouse dinners and wine, TRAILMIX, watching my nature dog in action, my sleeping bag and pad, salamanders, rummy with Betty, snow..... Gosh, too much to list. Another great trip in the books.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'm really done now!

Just a quick post today because I am EXHAUSTED!! This morning I drove down to Corvallis to make final revisions to my dissertation. This tedious task involved reformatting, filling out paper work, printing a final copy and basically just wrapping up the academic requirements of the degree. Now I just need to pay my fees that have been accumulating for the last two years and I will be set!

After 8 hours of intense work, I called my friend Chris who I have not seen in a while. She is finishing her Thesis, so we had something to celebrate. It is always great to catch up and discuss the local happenings. She looks great and I'm so happy we had a chance to visit. A goofy picture to document the silliness....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


It's official. Milwaukie, Oregon is now home to my new favorite restaurant. I saw an ad for Canby Asparagus Farm Casa de Tamales in the newspaper and enjoyed the most tasty chicken and asparagus tamale ever! For those of you in the Portland area, this restaurant is worth heading south to Milwaukie for. Don't forget to call me so I can meet you there!

The Tamale was $6 and for an additional $2.95 you can purchase rice and beans. I was plenty satisfied with only my tamale, which had spicy fresh salsa and sour cream. They also have Chiles Relenos, Nacatamal (a Nicaraguan style tamale), burritos, grilled asparagus with shrimp and tons of other tasty treats. Loved it. Recommend it!

Check out there website:

Happy Eats!