Wednesday, September 24, 2008

85 years young!

A big Happy Birthday to my Grandma Louise! Hopefully she is celebrating in style at a Vegas restaurant right now with my Daddio!!! Isn't she beautiful? This pic is from my cousin Alix's wedding last year. She still looks great! You do too Uncle Ry!
I wish we were able to celebrate together! Please know that you are loved and missed Grandma! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

derby girls

I got a chance to see what the roller derby was all about. The derby concept seems so Portlandesque to me. Even though these ladies all wear the same colors and general uniform pieces, each girl has her own look accented by her choice in tights, tank top, helmet decoration, and of course panties. For this sport, panties are worn on the outside of all layers of clothing. When I wasn't trying to follow the team scoring strategy, I was checking out the costumes and identities of all the derby girls. A few of their names for your reading pleasure; Blood Clottia, Vominatrix, Scratcher in the eye, Firecrotch and my favorite Viagrrra Falls. I even went so far as to make up a little name for myself..... Don't Mess Tess.

Derby girl about to eat floor....

So those of you that have seen my competitive side know that I would love to give this sport a try. That was until I saw ***Smack-ya Sideways***. The first time I saw this large, slightly androgynous, amazing skater, football tackler of a derby girl, I realized that this probably wasn't my sport. I had the same feeling I did the first time I saw the bully in "The Christmas Story".... fear. We moved to the floor for the second half of the derby and I was terrified that we would be accidentally tackled by the Smack-ya lady. EEEKKK! Luckily that never happened. In the pic below, she is the skater in all black in the middle.
The sport itself is pretty cool. There are always 5 girls from each team on the floor at one time. Only one girl from each team can score. They are called the 'Jammer' and they wear a star on their helmet like the ladies in the following pic.

The goal is for the 'jammer' to get through the pack after starting in the back and lap the girls before the two minute period is up. The rink is pretty small, but this does not discourage the ladies from picking up a great deal of speed!
If you have a chance, attend one of these super-charged events. Good times.

I also encourage and almost demand that if you are in the Portland area that you check out my favorite local restaurant- Fire on the Mountain! Buffalo chicken wings and Rainier beer on tap... I love buffalo anything and at this joint you have your choice of over 10 different sauces.

Below, one of my favorites, buffalo chicken salad. Also in the top right hand corner of the picture- a fried pickle. Sounds disgusting, but tastes like a dream!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I have smart friends...

If you have about 20 minutes, a warm cup of coffee or tea(it is freezing in Portland this morning!) and an appetite for some fantastic eco-writing you must read my friend Jesse's blog entry. He is, or was an Oregon transplant from the Northeast, but moved to the Midwest for a few years while his ladyfriend Jamie(my old employee) finishes her graduate degree.

Check it out-

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sport of the Day: Golf

A group of us decided to hit the driving range today to get some practice swings in. First of all, I love golf and wish I had the finances to really work on my game. It is absolutely one of those sports that demands persistent practice and relentless commitment. For now, hitting a bucket of balls every other week will have to do.

My original goal was to post a short history of golf, but it turns out that several versions of golf have been played in many different countries for the past 900 years, starting in China! Who would have thunk it? It was generally agreed that the Golf we know today came to be in Scotland in the 15th century. I decided that interesting golf facts were less laborious to research and summarize.

Here are a few golf facts for you-

  • The World's Longest Golf Course is the International Golf Club in Massachusetts, a long par 77, 8325-yards, from the tiger tees.
  • The World's Highest Golf Course is the Tactu Golf Club in Morococha, Peru, which sits 14,335 feet above sea level at its lowest point.
  • The Longest Hole in the World is the 7th hole (par 7) of the Sano Course at the Satsuki Golf Club in Japan. It measures a long 909 yards.
  • The World's Largest Bunker is Hell's Half Acre on the 585-yard 7th hole of the Pine Valley Course in New Jersey.
  • The World's Largest Green is that of the 695-yard, 5th hole, a par 6 at the International Golf Club in Massachusetts, with an area in excess of 28,000 square feet.

Also a few photos from our afternoon. Tim swung like a pro for not playing in 12 years! Heather and her bf Matt taking a snuggle break.
Oh geez, you can't take me anywhere!Heather about to smack the ball.
.... And of course, what is golf with out post-game beer at our favorite organic brewery, Roots!

Inka puppy update

I blogged about Heather's puppy (Inka) about 5 weeks ago shortly after she brought her home. I am happy to report that Inka is growing big and healthy, although Heather says she is smaller than her brothers and sisters. She is the runt! The following pic was taken of her at 5 weeks.This pic was taken at 10 weeks. She is growing up fast!

Soon she will be staying with Auntie Beth and Cousin Baby for some human/doggy socialization. I'm looking forward to it! She is a sweety!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Carrie!

Today is my sister's Birthday. She is celebrating in style with a meal prepared by her 'amazing cook of a husband' Darren.

My sister is a woman of many talents. I tell everyone how she was a police officer and that even though I'm way bigger than her, she could have me on the ground in a finger hold in about 3 seconds. She is hardcore! I am glad that she is no longer a police officer and now she is pursuing a safer career in nursing. This is fitting because she is always looking after the best interests of everyone in the family. I would say she is also a professional student of life. Her passion for learning is infectious and sometimes I wish she could bottle up that passion and send it my way. She will be reading and learning every day for the rest of her life and I really look up to her for that!!

Happy Birthday Sis!

S-u-N-n-Y s-A-t-U-r-D-a-Y

Saturday was another busy, but fun weekend day. My surfing buddy Sophie and I headed to the coast again to get some time on the waves. I rented a fish board to see how it compared to my big boat of a 9' board. The board was 6'8" in length, it was more narrow and it had a raised table top making it difficult to grip and jump up. While I was learning this new board, Sophie was doing great on my board. We both managed to get up several times, which was an accomplishment since the surf was relatively flat and powerless. I think we may be able to get out next weekend, only I'm going to rent the fish I had originally wanted for this past weekend.
We rushed home (not without getting the customary dipped cone from DQ) so I could turn in my board by the assigned 6pm time.
I also had plans to go out for a birthday celebration with new and old friends. J. Grube is very good friend who lives in Philomath and who I do not get to see enough. Her best friend Tiffani celebrated a birthday the day before and we planned to hit the town. We started out at the Portland City grill and below is Tiffani's Pork Tenderloin. I went small with a spicy tuna sushi roll.
My goodness the restaurant was swanky and I felt like half the people there were speaking Japanese, which provided me with several eavesdropping practice opportunities.
We managed to find our way to some great spots. In the pic below, Me, Christina and Tiffani(the b-day girl).
And of course the obligatory Jen and Beth pic. Seriously, Jenny is so much fun to go out with and she is also one of the most compassionate and genuine people I know. We could go years without seeing each other and then sit down for immediate meaningful conversation. I always learn a lot from her and her outlook on life. Did I mention that she has the cutest family you have ever seen? Love her!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

friday night music

My friend Tim introduced me to a Seattle artist named Damien Jurado. His music is introspective and mellow, sometimes tragic. I don't listen to it all the time, but I have definitely had many reflective moments while listening to his music. He's rad.

He finally came to Portland on Friday night. He played at the Doug Fir (very cool venue!) off of Burnside in SE Portland. I'm an instant fan of the atmosphere at the Doug Fir and I will be making an effort to see more shows there.

The opening act, Jennifer O'Connor, was also wonderful! Check her out-


Enough was enough. I finally did something about my lack of workout motivation and signed up for a fitness bootcamp. I know this seems extreme, but my inability to kick my own A back into shape was really wearing on me, so I signed up for a M-F 4-week fitness bootcamp run by a personal trainer and gym owner in Sellwood. The last bootcamp class was this past friday. It was exactly what I needed. The group met at a large church in Clackamas every morning from 6:30 to 7:30.

The workouts included tons of strength training circuits with weights, running, stair climbing, etc. When it wasn't raining, we exercised outdoors. I enjoyed this camp immensely because I could count on experiencing pain every morning. I haven't had time to get to the gym for measurements yet, but I can report that in the before and after push-up test I completed nearly the same amount of push-ups, only the first time around they were from the knee push-ups. I'm feeling strong again and loving it!

On the last day, the trainer pulled me aside and said that if I did the bear crawl for nearly a quarter mile under 9 minutes without standing or slowing, he would comp my next camp. Out of all those at the bootcamp, I was definitely the most financially needy and wanted to get the most bang for my buck! I pushed myself consistently from day 1 to day 20. He knew how much I would appreciate the opportunity to come back on his bill. So, my fellow campers snapped cell phone shots while I made my way around the loop. The experience has been awesome and I'm looking back to starting up again in late October!My goal now is to continue getting up early for morning runs and weight training. Hopefully this jump start will continue to fuel my motivation!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today is 9/11. A day of mourning. It happened 7 years ago and yet it still feels like yesterday to me.

I posted an eerie pic taken from atop one of the towers in August of 2001 on my as i see it photo page. I used to visit Manhattan often when I lived in Delaware. I never did go back after that tragic day.

a view from the top-

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I thought this day would never come....


I have been re-united with Erica. I know this sounds a bit melodramatic, but this chick single-handedly helped me get through the toughest year of my life,this last year, with hours and hours of phone conversation about my dissertation, trashy tv and life in general. To me she is clutch.

She has lived away from Oregon for too long, travelling between Ohio and California. Now it is her turn to write her dissertation and I will be there to help her however I can.

Another sweet surprise is the presence of her husband Dave. He too is a grad student and has his comps and dissertation in the not so distant future.
For our first reunification Portland date we had some very tasty sushi in the Hawthorne district where they are looking for their future home. After eating sushi we rushed to my place to enjoy a guilty pleasure..... a scandalous obsession..... gossipgirl..... Yeah, I know it is 8th grade, but I'm addicted.
Portland just became a better place! I'm so happy you are back E!!!! I missed you!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008


I planned to hang around Portland this weekend to spend time with my boss Ellen and her family. One of Ellen's daughters recently started her senior year and she is trying to get some good shots for her senior photos. So on Friday night we ran around downtown Portland trying to capture Portland's scenic spots with Sophia's pretty face. It was fun, but it also introduced me to a more goal-oriented approach to photography rather than, "oh, I have my camera, why not snap a few shots? and that's great that I like them too!". The pressure of producing emotion evoking shots on command was not a challenge I adapted to immediately. Luckily, as we both got used to other's stares and glares, we realized that it was more like a game of dress-up. It became fun and I think we had a good first go at it.

My personal favorite shot:

Our second goal for the weekend was to get Sophie out into the ocean for her first surf adventure. She has been waiting patiently to surf the Oregon Coast and Sunday this past weekend was The Perfect day to learn. The waves were beautiful and the weather was hot! We turned it into a family trip. This first pic was mostly a celebration because we had just managed to get the wetsuit on Sophia. I purchased this wetsuit second hand and it is a bit on the old side, meaning that the suit itself is not very stretchy and consequently very difficult to get on. I wore it in the past and I almost feel like it is the rite of passage suit. If you can get this suit on for your first time surfing and you still want to surf again, well then you really like surfing. Plus, upgrading to a newer suit will be like transitioning from an old beetle to a new Audi A4.

Ellen put together an Amazing meal that she cooked on the beach! We had Coal fired Chicken sandwiches with a bruschetta mixture on Naan bread. We also had Sweet Potatoes cooked with butter- Yummy!Here was her homemade fire pit where the magic happened! Here I am stuffing my face between surf outings. It hit the spot!The waves were great on Sunday and we surfed for several hours. Sophie surfed like a champ on her first day, managing to catch her first wave immediately. I think I have found myself a new surf partner.....I didn't think the day could get much better... but it did. We finished off the day with SMORES!!! Ellen rocks! Sophie was getting here SMORE On in this pic-The day was great and I was sad to leave. I managed to snap a shot of one of the more experienced surfers. I wish I was riding the wave like this guy, but I have a few more trips (more like a million) to the coast before that can happen. I think that is why I love surfing so much. The best surfers out there are the old guys who have developed a deep understanding of the wave patterns and how to manipulate their bodies on an object, on a moving wave. There is a lot going on there. Love it....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

This is a mistake....

..........blogging while watching the keynote speaker for the Republican National Convention. I will keep this brief, because I try to know fully what I'm going to say before it leaves my mouth. Although I do have one very strong opinion that I need to get out.....

I do not like Rudy Guiliani.

He makes my skin crawl. His below-the-belt attacks, claptrap and witch-like crackle are too much for me!!

He stated that Obama has never lead anything..... He is wrong. Obama is leading the nation towards change and away from the Republican ticket.

Eeewww. I wish he would just stop talking already!!!


Well I just finished watching Palin speak. She is a far better speaker than Guiliani, although still on the crass side. Two things have become apparent to me after listening to her speech:

1) I hate politics

2) I am definitely NOT republican

And so the circus will continue.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

4-wheeling fun!

I want to start out by prefacing this blog with the fact that I have posted MANY pics of my nephew Will. Why? Because he is too cute! I love this little long-eye-lashed boy! If you like to see pictures of cute little blonde 3 year old boys- keep reading.

I called my brother Dave to see if he was going to be around for the Labor day weekend. To my surprise, he was home and he had an extra ATV in the garage. I had a taste of ATV riding about a month ago, but wasn't able to really appreciate the power while wearing a skirt and flip-flops. Dave took us across the street to his hidden paradise and I had a blast!

Below, Will watching his hero get the 4 wheelers ready.
Inside the house Mom, Angie and Baby Mathew hung out. Mathew is a big boy!
We had to have a pre-ride pic.
So my brother rides the ATV like a champ! I don't have a picture of it, but he took us to this cliff-like hill side where he proceeded to ride up and down it at a speed I still am unable to comprehend. Below he is catching some dukes of hazard air! I also want to take this opportunity to say that my brother is the toughest man I know. While navigating the ATV's out of the trail area, the ATV rolled back onto his body and he didn't even flinch. Apparently this is not uncommon for ATV riders. I have to think long and hard before I continue on with this scary sport!
In the following pic I'm getting my donut on. Ohhh the adrenaline!!!
How cute is my nephew? We had a mini photo shoot.....Taking a walk up the hill. This was actually a funny story. We were out there for a while and I had to excuse myself to the bushes after many cups of morning coffee with my Grandma. Will asked where I was going and I told him I had to talk to a man about a horse. He said, "ha. okay". Well later we had to go and try to find the man I spoke to about a horse.The following disturbing pic was of a woman's boot in the waterhole. It was a little shady and like a car accident, I had to have a long look and a photo. Oh beth....
Before returning to the house..... of course we had to pick grass from the waterhole and marvel at how big the roots were! "Cool Auntie Beth!"
I love these boys! Thanks for the wonderful afternoon Dave!!! I'm hoping to someday get an invite for a day at the dunes for some ATVing in this great state of Oregon! (hint hint...)

my G-ma

I have been in Seattle a lot this summer and have yet to really hang out with my Grandma Junette. I surprised her this past Sunday by showing up for church. Doesn't she look great?!?
After church we went to the Testy Chef for some home cooked eggs and bacon. This small hole-in-the-wall breakfast joint is one of those places where you wait in line for 20 minutes and do so gladly to have the opportunity to indulge in a scrumptious, perfectly griddled, greasy plate of food.

Over breakfast I spoke with Grandma about how inspirational she has been in my educational pursuits. When my Grandma was in her 20's, she lost her first husband in the war and found herself without any work skills. Grandma was able to get a job at what locals called back then, "the boeings" and she was a Rosie the Riveter! How cool is that? Grandma learned from her experiences and insisted that her daughters had every opportunity to pursue their own educational pursuits so they would be able to take care of themselves in the absence of a man. HA! That message has definitely influenced my life and I thank Grandma for that. It was a Sunday morning well spent!

Ohhh to be a Coug....

The Cougs played Oklahoma State in Seattle on Saturday and I made the trek home to see the game. Of course, the Cougs lost. They didn't even Coug it (meaning they were winning and messed it up). They sucked offensively from the very beginning. What can you do? I really didn't go to see a win, although it is always nice. I went to the game to be surrounded by other Cougs. I love love being a Coug and proudly share with everyone that I'm 3RD Generation Coug.

There were oodles of little ones at the game and I found myself taking pictures of kiddos all day long. Andy and I went to the game together and we managed to find some new friends at one of the many tailgate parties. Everyone was so generous and we managed to meet Cougs who live in Vancouver, WA. They told me about all the Cougar hangouts just north of Portland! Very excited about that! Looks like the Palouse Cowboys also came to Seattle for the game.
Since the Cougs played like poo, Andy and I were forced to entertain ourselves with two things: photo taking and of course food! Below, Andy piled his fried clam and french fries on my cheesy nachos. Yummmyyyy!!!
I would say the most unfortunate thing about seeing a football game at Qwest field was the Garlic with fries on the side. Everyone- and I mean everyone was eating these stinky potato creations. I love garlic.... in moderation.... This particular dish made my eyes water and that was when they were about 10 feet away from me. I won't be eating chopped garlic for a while.
The game was a blast. It was a perfect weather day, nice people, good company and at half time, I saw Mark Rypien get inducted into the hall of fame. This famous Superbowl MVP for the Redskins started his career at Wazzu and I saw him play in the 80's when my Daddio drove the fam to a snow-filled stadium in Pullman back in the day. Good times. It's great to be a Coug!