05 November 2008

Yes, we can.

We're all familiar with the endings of dramatic movies.
A sea of awe-struck people, tears brimming in their eyes,
grinning ear to ear as they listen carefully to a leader.
The words of a powerful man spreading words of hope.

And as the lights come up, and the volume turns down,
we all experience that time-warp moment where we snap back into reality.
Back into the "real world" where we have to let go of the fantasy.
But tonight, there wasn't any sliding back because it was real.
Tonight, Barack Obama received a landslide of love from us all.
This night marks the beginning of a journey for our country to again become something positive; something to be proud of and grow with.

I have never been more hopeful that I might find myself living in a place that I can understand. The prospect of living in a country free of the religious right's fear driven policies against women having the right over their own bodies, or gay couples being told how to live and love. The founding fathers built this country on beautiful ideals that have been vanishing over the years in sight of corporate greed and blood soaked war. Well, NO MORE!
We're getting this show back on the road.

"Democracy, opportunity, and unyielding hope!"
-Barack Obama.-

24 September 2008

outside my door is great

Smatt got out of the city and deep into the great outdoors over the weekend. While the plan was to summit South Sister and see the glacier resting up top, the weather dictated otherwise. So, we hiked into an old growth forest and to see waterfalls and an old mining camp called "Jawbone" instead!

While Portland incorporates nature as much as any metro area ever could, it was still really neat to see Oregon's flora and fauna outside city limits. Luckily, EJ loaned me a waterproof jacket for our rainy walk. I learned that just because it's "hardly sprinkling" doesn't mean you won't eventually find yourself soaking wet. This was a sound lesson if I plan to become a 'pacific northwesterner' full-time in the future.

(I plan to become a pacific northwesterner)

16 September 2008

California is a great place to live if you're an orange

I was in LA when Marvin Gaye died. At least, that's what my mom told me. Seeing as I was only a year old, I don't remember anything about the famous block of land stretching down our west coast. All I had was hear-say, and the mental picture I conjured up over the years seemed to prove (as usual) quite a bit different from reality.

My reality is only what I know, and what I know is FL and OR. So, to me; Northern California is like putting Florida and Oregon in a mixing bowl.

Similar to Portland, OR: There are hills and mountain, there is a "green movement", much cooler weather, much better local produce, and simply that fresh west coast vibe that keeps people moving forward.

Similar to WPB, Florida: There is a lot of urban sprawl, with a lot of really rich people...so, things cost quite a bit more and they spend the money buying weird things like expensive cars...

My mom's boyfriend John did a great job of showing us as much as we could possibly take in for one weekend. From great views down trails, beaches, a farmer's market, San Fran, his home town, wonderful meals, and more. In an attempt to capture it all between the glass of our camera lenses we took a bunch of photos.

We had a great time and look forward to getting to know California better in the future. :) Until then, we have these photos to remember it by.


08 September 2008

Le Parc

I think Matt has a new addiction, and it's not a cheap one.

Yesterday on Matt's day off, we went to the park with a spread of incredible, edible snacks. The meats, cheese, olives, and a few grapes we brought with us were thanks to our favorite local markets.

Among the mix was the 'jamon imberico' from Spain Matt has been itching to try. At a whopping $95 per lb. we could only afford a few slices of the cured wild pig leg but, it was worth our hard earned dough. Matt says he has a new love. And soon he'll be saying such things in french.

Smatt is learning to speak french. For an hour each day, we have french lessons and then spend the rest of the day trying to implement what we've learned. The system we're using is very different from the french class I took in college. Rather then also worrying about how to write it and read it, we're simply learning to speak it. And rather then start with colors and numbers, we've started with phrases we will actually use such as "Where would you like to go to dinner tonight?"

So, after our lavish lunch, we laid in the grass and spoke french to the tree tops looming above us. Having our lessons on an iPod is far more convenient then lugging around textbooks anyway. We're having fun with it, to say the least.

02 September 2008


Labor day brought us to yet another near-by park. Matt and I played some more wiffleball and ate more food over the long weekend with his kitchen crew again. I brought along the camera and we snapped a few photos.

Here we are our way down to the Lucky Lab afterwards.
We competitively rolled this tire down Quimby.

Portland is still super awesome and Matt is still super cute. :)

29 August 2008

Sew... I've been jugglin'

I juggle many roles: photographer, girlfriend, small business owner, daughter, roommate, internet researcher, runner, artist, lover, hater, procrastinator... And now, I also juggle balls.

EJ taught me to use his sewing machine last night, and for our first project I made a set of juggling balls. We made them out of a fabric similar to that of airplane seats so they make me think of traveling. Perhaps, they'll even accompany me on my travels.

For now, I'm just enjoying learning to throw them one...er, three... at a time.
Matt and I squeezed in a little practice between work and lunch in the park.

25 August 2008

Catch a whiff

Yesterday, a bunch of the guys from Matt's kitchen set up a game of wiffleball. This is just like baseball, except everything is made from plastic. And by everything, I mean the ball and bat. The only other thing needed was a baseball diamond, so we met at a park in the NE with sandwiches, hot dogs, and a variety of beverages.

I hadn't played baseball since I was a kid, and even then I don't have a clear recollection of my batting-home-run days so I can't be sure if they ever really happened. But I do remember watching Iain play, so I had a clear enough idea of the rules.

As it turns out, I love wiffleball. It was so much fun to get outside and play like a little kid (with adult beverages). Even the Portland rain couldn't stop us. Smatt is officially a fan of the wiff-b. :)

24 August 2008


I just had to pick up the camera today. And without models knocking on my door the way they seem to do in the southern states, I had to settle for what was available: Me.
My self-portrait is a direct reflection for how I felt about Portland today. It's right there, bright and beautiful, but I'm feeling a bit stuck inside. I haven't found my place in the PDX photo scene just yet. Actually, I haven't found any scene. I still don't know many people here. But, what I do know is that my photography opportunities will come; it just takes time and perseverance. I haven't given up yet. So, until I book some gigs and make some new friends, I have Fiona to keep me company.

"I still only travel by foot and by foot, it's a slow climb,
But I'm good at being uncomfortable, so
I can't stop changing all the time

I notice that my opponent is always on the go and
Won't go slow, so's not to focus, and I notice
He'll hitch a ride with any guide, as long as
They go fast from whence he came
But he's no good at being uncomfortable, so
He can't stop staying exactly the same

If there was a better way to go, then it would find me
I can't help it, the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me, or treat me mean
I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine"
-Fiona Apple.-

22 August 2008

Walk walk walk

This afternoon, I walked Matt to work. We, as most people here, do quite a bit of walking. As a conservative average, I'd say 20 miles per week.

The weather today is beautiful: bright, clear, and not too warm. So, I took my newly functioning camera along for the ride. The following are pictures from our walk, the things we see most typically here.

This is our community. We live in the center building.

This was taken from up on our hill. Mt.Hood to the right.

As well as walk, a lot of people bike here.

More bikes outside our of favorite book store (also known as Goodwill) ;)

On my way home, I noticed another horse. How I never spotted him before is beyond me. I suppose we're never really as aware as we'd like to think.

Anyway, we're still ridiculously happy here. I can't believe 3 weeks have already passed. I'm finally beginning to feel the muscles in my legs grow stronger. I'm hoping to return to Florida buff. :)

17 August 2008

Keep Portland Weird

The people here work hard to "Keep Portland Weird", and by work hard I mean they drink really great beer, eat delicious food, & organize unique, fun, free events. The people here seem to be very true to themselves, something I've not noticed in a lot of floridian characters. When you're in a town where the people really get a kick of things that are different, it's more encouraging not to conform. Without a genuine sense of humor, this place would be a nightmare. For an artist by nature like me, it's heavenly.

So many ridiculously fabulous things have happened (& have been eaten) since I last blogged. Rather then try to recount it all verbally, I'll fall back on my medium of choice and share my adventures visually. The following are highlights from the past week or so.

Mt.Hood, taken from our balcony

Desserts from Zupan's, courtesy of EJ. *mmm*

Amanda came to visit, we've been taking the bus a lot

Playing shuffle board with Amanda & EJ after Montage last week

Rogue in the Pearl: we went on the distillery tour
sampled the rum, drank the beer *two thumbs up*

We also took Amanda to sushi go 'round.
Her fish impression is pretty spot on.

More photos from the Adult Soap Box Derby. AMAZING! I can't wait for next year. Monster Truck Jam has a run for it's money the title 'Favorite event of the year'

The best pizza EVER. Apizza Scholls! THANK YOU Anthony Bourdain for having a great program that sent us in the right direction.

Also, Matt got a job at a top-of-the-line restaurant on 23rd! All in all, things are still great (& weird). :)

09 August 2008


We felt like a slow, casual Saturday so Matt and I wandered down to 23rd (dubbed trendy-third for it's boutiques and a few fancy-schmancy restaurants) to eat some non-fancy-schmancy food. We found a fantastic slice of pizza and spinning sushi.

'Escape from New York' provided a classic slice of cheese pizza. Fantastic! Matt is really into authentic NYC-style pizza but, I was also pleased. I'm sure to be back before the trip is through.

The creatively named Sushi Merry Go Round features small plates of sushi that go around and around and around as you eat. The sushi chefs inside the spinning conveyor belt prepare rolls and put two or three pieces on color-coded plates. The colors signify price, and the prices are nice and low. Green is $1.25, Pink $1.75, and so on up to big money blue at a whopping $3.25 (but could be as much as a 5 pc. spider roll!).

I like this a lot because I can try a lot of different things and if I don't like them, it's not such a big deal. Each diner collects a nice little stack of plates and that is how the bill is tallied. We learned the key is to go when it's busy, so there are more rolls coming out at once.

On our way home we picked up some chicken for dinner from our most frequented, of the 6 or so conveniently located food marts, Trader Joe's. A talented cashier painted some really neat signs for outside to encourage recycling. This is our favorite.

Also, I FINALLY saw a horse today! I had read about a street art project of sorts, before we came here, where people have tied toy plastic horses to the old horse rings in the streets to remind people of the history of the city. To finally see one was exciting. :)

We really like our location, regardless of the steep hike back home. NW Trendy-third, and especially trendy-first, have become my favorite parts of PDX so I'm still very happy to be in the northwest. Here's another view from where we live. :)