Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Monster Mash

This picture captured a moment from one of those epic nights in high school when every detail was so exciting that it would be etched in your memory forever. We decked ourselves out in Kentwood colors, even going so far as to paint our faces for the big football game. After the game, students flocked to the most popular haunted house, where we all gladfully waited for over an hour in what seemed like 20 degree weather to get into the creepiest house ever. I can't remember if we won the game that night, but every year when Halloween rolls around, I think of that night and how great it was to be young. No responsibilities, Mom's car, hot boys, 4th period (goof-off period), dreams of college life, varsity sports...... It was a great year.

The picture below is an up-to-date photo from a local haunted house we conquered this evening. All the screams, ghosts and goblins were there to scare the bejesus out of us and I loved it! Oh the drama...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

from broken down to crackin' up

My day started out not so good. Woke up with a headache, but figured I would drink an extra cup of coffee at work and the caffeine would take care of it. It eventually did when I had my first cup at 11Am. I was late to work because today my motorcycle broke down. It did not run out of gas, nor did the battery die. It slowly 'puttered' intermittently as I made my way through the morning rush. The putters became more frequent. I decided NOT to get on the freeway and that was when she died..... on the sidewalk... right off of 4th in Downtown Portland. I seriously thought the putters were because it was about 38 degrees this morning and my stubbornness has kept me riding to work despite the freezing of fingers and facial parts. I realized when it didn't start that my troubles were far greater than a chilly engine. Long story short- I popped the clutch and jump started it 3 times on my way back to Milwaukie and my motorcycle mechanic. Unfortunately, my jumpstarts were on the sidewalk because it was peak morning traffic time. I'm sure those in bumper-to-bumper traffic were trying to figure out what the heck I was doing. All is well now. My beloved Shadow is at the chopper shop and hopefully the repair costs will be low.

Now for some good news..... I love period photos and it was last year on Halloween that I had my hair and make-up done 40's style(pic on the top right hand corner). Little did I know I could have saved my money and just inserted my face into different yearbook shots. I was laughing out loud to myself and the animals.... almost as much laughter as when I watch America's Funniest Home Videos (yes, I'm one of those people....). Anywho, I have posted my pics with some remarks below. You would probably enjoy these more if you go to and pasted in your own face.
1950- love it

1952- little orphan Annie

1954- oh dear... not my best look

1956- yeah

1960- dig it.. reminds me of my junior high homeEc teacher

1962- wins the award for 'highest maintenance'

1964- remove the glasses and I look very much like my Madre! I wish I had her cheekbones!

1966- love this look and would need a bottle of product to get that body!

1968- this is my June Carter-Cash look

1970- not a fan of this one

1972- again... I look like a man dressed up as a woman.. no good.

1976- Kimberly Drummond- sister on Different Strokes?? 'Whatchutalkinbout Willis?'

1978- yEah- Gettin' down with my bad self!

1980- "Nobody puts Baby in the corner"
1982- this picture definitely cracked me up the most! I look like a mushroom head.

1986- Lionel Richie?

1990- Okay, this is probably the most realistic picture of all of these. I admit that I tried to make my hair as poofy as my sister's, but only ever managed to create what looked like over-hairsprayed dog ears. Being a teenager is tough.....

1994- D.J. from Full House?

1996- Acid washed vest? Very Cool!

2000- look at those bangs. not my cup of tea, but interesting nonetheless.

Seriously, when you need a pick-me-up, insert your face into other people's heads. Too much fun!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Forgot I was in Portland....

Erica invited me along to the Japanese Garden in NW Portland and I can honestly say that this garden was so authentic that I felt like I was in Japan all over again! It was amazing! Various rock bridges, waterfalls, Zen rock garden's, statues, and of course the Japanese Maples with their red leaves. I'm seriously considering a yearly pass because this garden naturally enduces a calm feeling, at least for me it did. We brought green tea and enjoyed the view from one of the many benches. I couldn't help myself, I had to take TON of pics. Hope you enjoy them-

Sunday, October 26, 2008

long time- no blog

I haven't posted in a while. I think it because I had hoped to blog again with good news.... news about a job with the county. But it wasn't meant to be. The truth is none of the jobs I have interviewed for have been close to my 'dream job', so I guess this may all be happening for a reason. The problem is that I need health insurance and piece of mind. So in the meantime, smaller jobs will become real options and I have decided that there is one positive thing to come from recent events- I will be snowboarding a lot this winter.

It is difficult to communicate to family and friends how freeing snowboarding is for me. I think that the universe does continue to work it's magic, because my inability to find a full-time job is hard, but it is difficult to frown for long when I think about spending multiple days a week on a mountain this coming season. It isn't just scenically stunning, but mentally and physically challenging. So- I will catch up on my blogging starting this evening and sleep peacefully with the knowledge that a job will come my way when it is meant to be and while I'm waiting I will get to be close to nature with a board strapped to my feet.

In the spirit of snowboard blog entries, I have to mention a FREE activity I attended this past Thursday(I've become dynamite at finding free Portland activities lately). Burton sponsored an event at the newly remodeled and very swanky Grand Central Bowling and Entertainment Center. The event included the premiere of Burton's newest snowboard movie, a free drink, free food, and free bowling with professional snowboarders. The place was packed and we waited our turn to bowl with a Pro. I thought bowling with the pros was cool, but because I don't pay too much attention to them I was more excited to bowl. I didn't recognize any of the pros because honestly I spend most of my snowboard energy on the slopes. I had no clue which guy was our pro so I spoke to him as if he was just another person enjoying some free bowling.

Well, it turns out I had something in common with my assigned pro. His name was Jussi Oksanen and he rocks. A LONG time ago, he made a board with Lamar and I ended up buying this very board in '98 and spent at least 6 seasons on this board. It traveled with me to Europe to the Alps, and has been down several slopes in North America from Whistler, to Vermont, to Utah, and to Idaho. This board has been good to me. Currently, my friend Heather is using it and now after hanging with Jussi himself, I will not get rid of this board. A cell phone pic with Jussi shows just how much fun was had that evening! Who would have thunk that of all the pros, I would be bowling with the guy who made my board!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


So despite my best efforts to apply and interview for all the jobs within my scope of interest in the Portland area (approximately 3 available positions, all requiring two less degrees than I have. The job market is terrible!), I have yet to get a full-time job and it is very frustrating. I have to engage in relaxing and free activities that help balance my nervous mood. A couple of days ago, Erica and I worked a bit on her dissertation research over bubble tea and then we walked through the Hawthorne neighborhood back to her place. We had a mini photo shoot while we were walking and these were some of my favorite shots: (did I mention how much I love taking pictures?)

front yard flower garden architecture
local produce stand
action photothrift store treasures
my friend 'the model'
If you want to see more photos, please click the 'as I see it' link on the right of this page.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday at the beach

Yesterday Betty and I spent a relaxing day at Cape Lookout on the Oregon Coast. We did some hiking, beach combing, contemplating, kite flying, picture taking and of course eating! I had never been to Cape Lookout and it was a surprising treat. To get to the beach, you have to hike down about 2 miles.

When we set foot on the sand, there was really only two other people there and they were surfers. This was the first time I had been to the beach all summer when I wasn't surfing and I think this really allowed me to appreciate the beauty of the beach. I also took a ton of pictures and we found treasures, a few of which came home with us.

kite flying Betty (she secretly had fun using me and my camera as a dive bombing target!)
beach foliage
Fossilized tree branch that came home with me because I am obsessed with it's beauty!
Betty and her new friend Yoda. This dog couldn't get enough of her!

Somehow good clam chowder has come up in our conversations on many occasions, so last night we started our quest to find the best clam chowder on the Oregon Coast. Schooner's in Netarts was first on the list.
Clam chowder, green salad and a Diet Pepsi... The presentation was impeccable. The garden salad was Amazing. The chowder was okay. They brought it out luke warm, which really seemed like it was going to ruin the experience. Our first impression of the luke warm chowder was that it was too creamy thick, with not enough flavor. We asked them to heat it up and within minutes they brought out fresh bowls. This made a huge difference and after some salt and pepper, the chowder was better. I would say it was pretty good, but definitely not the best. I guess the search will have to continue!

Friday, October 10, 2008

lucky me....

Have you ever noticed when you experience something repeatedly without explanation? Last night while I was waiting for a light to change in the evening traffic rush, I was next to that guy.... the guy who picks his nose. I know people pick their noses, but for some reason I have been lucky enough to stop next to the nosepicker at least once every other week for what seems like several months. I usually look just long enough to recognize that they are digging for gold, but last night I was so entranced by the fact that I have had so many nosepicking observer episodes that I didn't look away immediately. While I was recounting my unfortunate sightings the small Asian gentleman turned his head and caught me staring with my mouth open. Ooopsies! It was incredibly awkward and even worse when I let a little giggle out. I felt really bad for laughing at him and I'm pretty sure I have never sat so low in my seat.

Maybe I always have nosepicking on the mind and this why either I see it when it is in a 20 foot radius, or I attract nosepicking energy? Not sure if I will ever know.

What kind of lucky uninvited experiences do others have?

Monday, October 6, 2008

veggie chili recipe

A friend requested the veggie chili recipe, so here it is:

*I usually double the recipe when I want to to eat it for while.

1 tbl olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1-2 Serrano chili's, diced (2 if you like it hot!)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbl chili powder
1-2 tbl Cayenne pepper
2 tsp of Cumin
1 (15 oz) can tomatoes, diced
1 cup of tomato juice
1 (28 oz) can black beans
1 can of corn or fresh corn from one ear, not cooked
Salt and Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, chopped
1 large spoonful of ff sour cream (optional)

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, carrots, garlic and cook until tender, about 5 min, stirring often. Add dry spices and stir to coat. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more until the spice smell grows stronger. Add tomatoes(don't drain), tomato juice, black beans(don't drain) and corn to stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and add sour cream and cilantro.
Nutritional Info:
8 servings
~200 calories
3 grams of fat
10.5 grams of fiber!
(optional) Corona Light- 109 calories

Eat up!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sweet ride Betty!!!

Today I spent the day with Betty in Beaverton, Oregon. Many months ago the ladies and I planned a trip, which included climbing the South Sister today, October 4th. Unfortunately, the bad weather, a nasty cold, lack of cash flow and a summer full of weekend trips kept us from taking our last planned trip. Even though we didn't climb the South Sisters today, Betty and I still accomplished a huge task. Betty bought a car. A Very Nice Car!

I should first start out with a before picture. Meet the Cavalier. It doesn't run anymore. It was a very good car, but it was tired.

Now meet the 'Coconut'. Betty had her eye on this car for the last week since it was advertised at such a low price. We finally took it for a test drive but, unfortunately it had a nice shimmy when driving at 65 mph, providing an explanation for why it hadn't sold. This was concerning enough to not buy the car. They offered to have their service staff look at it and after they re-aligned the brand new tires they just put on the car, the problem was completely resolved. Betty had found a great deal! It's interim name is the 'Coconut' because the CarFax report stated the car was purchased and licensed in Hawaii. While we were thoroughly inspecting the trunk area, we came across some non-Oregonesque sand that was full of small shell pieces. Betty's car came complete with a Hawaiian Sandbox!

Congrats Betty on your New Car! I love this car and I have to admit that it was difficult to get back into my lovely Ford SUV after driving her sporty new, gas saving, SUV around Beaverton! Yay for Coconuts!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

oh my goodness

oh my goodness have I been sick! I have been fighting this off for at least 2 weeks, but late Friday night it really started to get icky. Sore throat, sneezy, runny nose, stuffy head, headache...whoa this is starting to sound like a commercial. Well you know the drill. It is hard to get out of bed and even harder to maintain the early AM workout schedule, which I had done until today Darnit!

The one really good thing is that I managed to make a batch of my veggie chili before I started to feel really bad. Started out like this
and Voila- now it looks like this!
It is the perfect way to start out the fall season, which I can say I am looking forward to! Hopefully my symptoms will fade soon and I can get back to feeling productive.