Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Update. Announcement.

Well. There's a bit to catch up on- first the not great news:

When the previous owner of my car said that it had a 'little oil leak', what he really should have said was that 'this car leaks oil like a sive!' Alas. Lesson learned, more money spent.

Also, I've been dealing with a bit of dispair lately, by lately I mean in the past 3 days, and by dispair I mean the post-vacation blues.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. I am not notable for taking photos, and you might say that I am not so great at taking photos- and when I do, it's usually of bicycles, which is the only photo that I got this weekend. I could have taken a photo of my beatuifuly pregnant friend, her handsome dog and husband. I could have taken a photo of the wild turkeys that came to visit (in irony) on Thanksgiving morning. I could have taken a photo of the top of a hill (mountain?) overlooking the Umpqua valley with little old Elkton nestled below. I could have taken a photo of the elk that my Step-mother's nephew shot and her brother in law gutted.

In retrospect (and at times during these occasions), I had a great deal of photo-opportunites that I could very well have taken advantage of. Alas.

Also, now that the parents know, and have been very supportive, I feel free to announce to the blogosphere that I am moving to Bozeman (yep, that's in Montana) next summer with my handsome boyfriend. I've been spending a decent amount of time learning about the importance (and benefits) of outerware that is NOT waterproof. As an Oregonian, I never thought of purchasing a rain jacket that was not waterproof. Turns out that in climates that are dry and snowy, you don't get soaked, and so can run around in such luxeries as goose down. It is all very exciting, and yet far enough away that I think I am kidding myself sometimes. However, along with a move I plan on doing some re-evaluating of what I want out of life, and have been looking (half-heartedly) into such professions as teacher, wood-worker and firewoman. It turns out that a desk job is for suckers, which is a title that I want to fully avoid- especiall after experiencing it.

However, please do not tell my employer, as I am being officially hired at the beginning of the year- no more of this 'independant contractor' mumbo jumbo- bring on the health insurance and the vacation pay (okay, there are certainly benefits of a desk job)!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I bought a car!

This is a big deal. This is a really big deal.

I've not owned a car since the summer before I left for college... that's 6 years (!!). I told this to the man I bought my sporty little Subaru from and he then asked me if I even had a drivers licence, I suppose it is sort of anomalous for someone to not own a car for that period of time (is it?). Truth be told, I'm actually a really good driver, and have been quasi-consistently been driving throughout those 6 years of non-ownership.

I've gone through periods of moral superiority from not being a car owner (which went along well with being a self-righteous bike rider), I've also gone through periods of despair and wanderlust because I did not own a car and my options for getting out of the city were limited. Last year, when a friend let me use her extra car (she had to keep it insured due to some weird insurance payment plan- convenient for me!), I was finally able to take advantage of getting out of town, exploring the great NW and yes, being very lazy at times.

I guess it's the 'becoming an adult' thing. You get a job that has a decent commute. It's a job where you're not slinging food or temping downtown- both of which were easily accessible bike rides. Nope, this one is out in the 'burbs, and since it pays better than any job you have ever had you decide that you should also get a car, because you can afford it, and it would make transporting oneself there infinitly quicker and easier, or at least that is how you rationalize it.

Rationalizing is a tricky, tricky thing. If you're good you can rationalize anything. I'm trying to not let the carbon-emmission and killing-our-planet thing get me down. The car gets pretty good gas mileage... I do plenty of other things that offset my carbon footprint... oh hell- the car is sporty and fun to drive.

Anyway, proud, carbon-emiting car owners, I have joined your ranks. And I'm happy about that. Thrilled even.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Thank you, America.

Thanks for electing an intelligent, eloquent (who writes his own speeches!), inspiring president.

I celebrated by knitting a sock- I'm on the home stretch anyway. Mild flu-like symptoms kept me away from celebrations and festivities, but my ears were glued to the radio, and my eyes (when they weren't focused on knitting), were glued to my computer screen.

Knowing that we elected Barak Obama as President gives me a good feeling.

...A really good feeling.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Goose tastes like goose.

We ate the bird last night. There were only a few feathers still on the carcass. We had some of our favorite people over to help us with the feast. It was also a good excuse to get fancy.
I went to see the cheese monger, because I thought that eating something as fancy as a goose deserved fancy accompaniments like cheese and figs- which I usually don't buy, because I see paying $5 for a basket of 7ish fruits as somewhat frivolous. It's not, if you're being generous with your food and feeding some of your favorite people, at least that's how I rationalized it to myself. The cheese monger was very excited about our goose. He was also real friendly. I'd heard great things about Steve's Cheese, and am somewhat sorry that I hadn't visited sooner.

Nic spent the day prepping, cleaning and cooking. I really like the idea of having a house boyfriend, and only get envious when he sends me photos like this:

Notice the glass of wine. He sent these photos at 3pm. I could have really gone for a glass of wine at 3pm yesterday...

I don't think I'd mind all that much playing the role of the house girlfriend... but we like to shake up tradition (or whatever you want to call it) here and there.

Anyway. When I got home the apartment smelled divine and Nic was just hanging up the 4-point deer rack that I scored last weekend. Now we have a 'rack wall' complete with coat rack, bike rack, and deer rack. What other kinds of racks can we fit on the wall. Maybe I'll take to calling our bookshelf a book rack.

The meal itself was wonderful. The menu went something like this:

Appetizers: Bread with olive oil and parmasean cheese
Fresh toasted pumpkin seeds and Oregon hazelnuts

Main Course: Mixed greens with parmasean, candied hazelnuts, Pear and red onion with a balsamic vinigarette
Herbed mashed potatoes with goose gravy
Pumpkin, leek, hazelnut and chevre gratin
Brined Goose, roasted in its own juices with olive oil, butter and stuffed with local heirloom carrots, dried cherries and apples.

Desset: Brown Turkish Figs paired with Spanish Bleu Cheese drizzled with Honey
Apple pie (1/2 lattice) with fresh whipped cream

Bon Apetit!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cast & Blast

If anyone reading this has talked to me in the past week, you may be aware of my new favorite concept: Cast & Blast. Cast & Blast is where you go fishing, but bring a gun along with you, in case you don't catch any fish and still want dinner that evening.

I've never though of myself as a hunter- because I'm not. I've never field-dressed a deer, or gone hunting for that elusive 4x5 buck. I couldn't even bring myself to shoot at squirrels with a BB-gun when I was a kid. I was a through-and-through nature lover. I have fairly recently come to the conclusion that you can love and respect nature, and still enjoy its bounty. This train of thought is arguably more ethical than eating meat that you find at the grocery store that existed on feed lots and factory farms.

Nic and I went to Elkton this weekend. A bit of an impromptu we've-been-together-1-year celebration vacation... to see my family. I like my family, and they like my boyfriend, so it works out. My mother's long-time boyfriend, Ron, (who, for all intensive purpose is my step-father, except that they're not married) had the drift boat out on the river, and when asked, we said, 'Sure! We'd love to get up at 6:30."

We didn't catch any salmon. The fish were rolling, but they certainly weren't biting. Nic had asked about ducks in the area, and Ron brought along the shotgun just in case we saw any. After not hitting any mallards, Ron winged a southbound Canada Goose. Nic got in a good a head shot. Ron retrieved the bird, mumbling something about how his dog would never speak to him again, wrung it's neck and handed it to me to stow at the bow of the boat.

I had never had the opportunity to examine a Canada Goose from so close. they have pretty amazing plumage, which was further reinforced when we were plucking it. I couldn't help but wonder how many geese go into one down sleeping bag. But we've got goose for dinner this week. I'm sure it will taste like goose. We're planning on having some people over to help us figure out what goose tastes like. In the meantime, I'm going to assume it tastes a little like how our refrigerator smells.

I leave you with a photo of geese decoys and Tasha, the dog that missed out on all the fun (but got to play with goose wings that afternoon).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lazy Sunday

It does seem like the only time I have these days to blog is the weekend. It is also the only time that I do other things, like sleep in, force myself to relax, see my favorite people (see previous post) and prepare my meals for the following week. I also sometimes take photos of my balcony. I would take more, but the amount of daylight that remains when I get home from work leaves something to be desired (more of it).

The weekend started out pretty well. I passed my Microsoft Dynamics Axapta Financials test. This is big news due to the amount of time I've spent studying for it (I would say a good deal of the past 3 months). It was proctored by a strange (to me) testing facility in Beaverton. I have been spending an inordinate amount of time to the west of Portland, I almost bought a car on Thursday- which is kind of a big deal, seeing a how I haven't owned a car for 6 years, or since I left home. I test drove it out in Hillsboro, and it was then that I discovered how beautiful Hillsboro is. I have talked a lot of shit about NW Portland (where I now live), but I also talk a lot of shit about the suburbs, which Hillsboro is included. It is difficult to remember sometimes that where there are now strip malls and chain stores, was once pristine wilderness, grass and meadows and trees and untouched beauty. I actually find that the wilderness is even harder for me to visualize than the farmland that proceeded the wilderness, and preceded the suburban sprawl. So. I talked a lot of shit about the suburbs- but I have come to the decision that I will stop judging people who live there- especially people my age. I believe that people will do what is comfortable for them. Some people who grew up in the suburbs will most likely choose to live there due to familiarity and comfort- which I can relate to, as I am drawn back to the appeal of the rural life which I knew for most of my life. People are products of their environment, which some choose to reject, but I certainly can't blame people who choose to embrace it, especially when I find myself doing the same.

So, aside from that revelation, I did go back to the Hillsboro area on Saturday- a beautiful sunny fall drive in the rural areas south west of the city. I insisted on taking roads that I didn't know, having faith that I wouldn't get too lost, and that they would take me on a much needed escape from the city. I love it when I can breath. It happens to me every time I leave the confines of Portland, I might also even stand up a little taller. I certainly breathe easier.

Today, another sleep in, a fritatta for breakfast,

a sock that is finally finished, a walk in forest park,

and a blog entry. Not bad for a day's leisure.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Awesome Weekend.

I am fortunate enough to have the best friends ever. I was even more fortunate to see my favorite people this weekend (if I didn't see you this weekend, and you are also one of my favorites, it was probably because I saw you earlier in the week, you were busy, out of town, or don't live around here- it doesn't mean that you're not included in my favorites).

Being the new Friday, my weekend began on Thursday. My good friends, and proprietors of Rainy Peak Cyclery seamstress, but it also preggers! Randi and Eric fondly refer to their fetus as 'the polliwog.' came to town for the Oregon Manifest. Randi is (among other things) an incredible seamstress, and she quickly set about turning our living room into a production line. Seeing how we like to support friends' businesses, we ordered a fancy indoor bike rack to help unclutter our living area.

Drinking for free

The Manifest was one of the funnest things I've done in a while. I used to be *somewhat* involved in the Portland bike scene, but have taken a hiatus... whatever that means. I suggested to Nic that we should volunteer, that way we would gain admittance to the show for free, AND get free beer. Deal. Turns out there were several more beer tickets floating around (Randi, obviously, is not drinking), and I was drunk by mid-afternoon. Several awkward conversations ensued.


One of the less awkward conversations I had was with JB (John Bergschnider) of Goodtimes Bicycles. Not only are they beautiful bikes with hella sick dropouts, but JB might be my new favorite person. If I had money to buy a custom frame right now, it would be a Goodtimes. Who says frame builders are pretentious?... Not me (not saying they aren't out there...).

Along this story line is one of my many scores of the weekend. A score for me... not the other guy. Randi, as previously mentioned, is an amazing seamstress. And had made a grip of wool cycling jerseys for JB and his bike gang, the Scorpzanos (Scorps for short). Randi has the future owner of said jerseys take their own measurements... which usually works out... unless it doesn't. For one particular fellow, it didn't. I now have my very own Goodtimes wool bicycling jersey. I couldn't be more proud.


The aforementioned jersey wasn't the only wool that I acquired this weekend. Due to REI's fall sale and their members 20% discount on one full-priced item, I had to get myself a Smartwool sweater. As an Oregonian, I am somewhat ill prepared for the elements on a fairly regular basis. It is my goal to change that little character imperfection, and the best way to start was to acquire a wool base layer. What's next? Wool leggings??? I shall keep you posted.


I managed to fanagle a crew on Sunday to drive the 1/2 hr to a cyclocross race in beautiful Wilsonville, OR. The Fascinating thing about this particular 'cross course was that it was situated right up against a new housing development that goes by the name of Villebois. Amusingly, the course was arranged to include excavated land, roads that end abruptly, gravel and what might have been grassland. There were obstacles (for spectators) that included scrap metal, pieces of rebar, large cement culverts, and large pieces of machinery. It was quite an entertaining time, nonetheless. Someday I shall race 'cross... someday....


The last part about my weekend was the hulling of acorns. I have a mild acorn obsession at the moment. It all started at work. There was a multitude of squirrels hanging around during the summer, and then the fall hit, acorns started dropping from the trees and the little squirrels became even more neurotic. I became aware of why that was. My office building is lined on two sides by oak trees, which were dropping acorns like it was their job (it is their job). I became curious about the mighty oak and the tiny acorn, so I did some research.

Acorns are naturally very high in tannins, which is why they are only palatable to pigs, squirrels and birds. That being said, they are not inedible, they just need some processing. Ex-roommate and other favorite person, Elsie McIver helped me with the not altogether unpleasant task of hulling acorns, which I had started doing the evening before (I get a little crazy on Friday nights, as is evident by my mad foraging skills). After hulling said acorns, they need to be leached of their tannins, which can be done by blending them (I love my Kitchenaid Immersion Blender), and running water over them until they don't taste awful... Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

C'mon Fall!

Really?! Another day of mid-80's weather?! That's absurd. It's October, and you don't want me to be wearing socks? Or a sweater... or even a scarf?!

Remember how everyone said that summer sucked last year because it rained all the time and spring seemed to be meddling with Summer. Well, I don't want anyone meddling with my Fall, dammit.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm your huckleberry.

It could be the last sunny weekend of the year, and I came down with a heinous cold. What's worse, is that I was supposed to be camping out amongst the pines of the cascades, sipping tea, knitting and gazing across a pristine high-altitude lake with the grand reflection of Mt. Hood hanging impossibly close beyond.


Perhaps it has been a hidden blessing, what with me sitting at home, relaxing (which is something that I find extremely difficult).

I am not a reader. This has become recently quite clear to me- especially now that I am co-habitating with someone who has an in-exhaustible huger for words, both fiction and non. I do envy this hunger, but always find that reading is a very passive activity, one which I choose once all other, more active, options have been ruled out (of which there are many).

However, when one is sick, and ones body shouldn't be eating sugar or dairy (which rules out baking), one shouldn't be out running about (which renders one housebound), and one is resolved to moping on either the couch or bed (both of which are ideal for reading).
The fact is that I have two excellent books on my night table (and more on my list that Nic has been making in his head and which is apparent by every time we go to Powells he suggests yet Another book. It's really quite sweet).

Thankfully, he left me and went camping. Thankfully for his sake. I am a miserable, miserable sick person who believes that life is ending and she cannot think of a worse fate than spending a weekend feeling like her sinuses will explode and only being able to breath through her mouth. Yep, just a common cold. No puking or aching hair follicles (flu) or bleeding out of orifices (Ebola). Nope could have been worse.
So, the end of this part of the story is that I was alone in my house all weekend and read some. I also knit and attempted to embroider another dish towel, but the stripes of the cloth and the poor quality of the iron-on transfer prevented me from doing so. But socks- I'm making progress (I'm crafty!).

I've also been netti-potting like crazy. It's satisfying in that somewhat disgusting way, similar to cleaning your ears, or your dogs' ears.

But now to the subject of this post. My dear friend Audrey offered to come over and bring Tombstone. I mentioned that I had a frozen pizza in the freezer, but that, alas, it was an Amy's frozen pizza, and not a Tombstone frozen pizza. Both the movie and the pizza were fantastic. The mean mustache that Kurt Russel brings to the screen was really no match for Val Kilmer's delicately waxed 'stache, southern wit and sensibility and unappealing pallor from TB that he wears throughout the movie. Definitely check it out (again, if applicable).

Lastly, and in tangential news, M4K PDX is in preliminary planning stages. Another one of my dear friends, Chrissy, and I organized Portland's chapter of Mustaches for Kids last year, and we're back for another round of fun shenanigans in mustachery. Check out out progress at

I think I'm going to go read now. Or knit. Or embroider.

Monday, September 22, 2008


About 5 years ago, when I came home from college for a holiday, I went to visit a dear friend of mine with whom I had grown up with. I was living in dorm room with 2 other girls with barely enough room for all of our clothing, let along anything that resembled furniture that was not standard dormitory: desk, chair and bed.

This friend of mine was 19, living on her own and had just bought a sofa set (couch, chair and ottoman), and also a washer and dryer. The part that blew me away was that all of these items were purchased New! Despite being a little blown away by her independence (she also owned a newer car, which is only relevant because the car that I owned before I sold it and went to college was a 1977 Dodge Colt purchased for $400), I was shocked by her materialism and even more that she seemed to be nesting. Who nests at the age of 19?! I couldn't grasp the concept. I was busy being independant in my own way... the kind in which you accru debt to your insitute of higher education in order to be an independant thinker and Student of Life. The nicest thing I owned was my laptop computer that was actually too nice for what I needed (My brother, a gamer, decided I needed a higher resolution and massive amounts of memory to run MS office... but just in case I decided I wanted to take up playing Warcraft or something).

Anyway, after 5 years I'm beginning to get hip to the nesting phenomenon. While It certainly makes sense to create a home in which you are comfortable and surround yourself with nice surroundings, I still can't really relate to purchasing brand new things on lines of credit. Our table from Ikea came to a grand total of $130 (thanks mom!). Perhaps I am nesting without illusions of permanence (easy to do when renting). Regardless, thoughts of making my home just that much more cozy or pleasant or livable are at the forefront of my mind. Part of me is worried about these constant thoughts that manifest them around materialism, but is overridden by the fact that I am supremely happy about my living situation. I suppose if material things bring this kind of happiness, the happiness of creating a home, it certainly can't be all bad. Especially when my only debt is to an insitute of higher education.

Also- one of the highlights of my weekend was having a discussion about non-euclidean geometry over margaritas on Saturday night.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Musings.

Today is Friday. After an exhausting day of doing nothing but sit in meetings, sitting at my desk while the rest of the office is out wine-tasting and I'm reviewing the Advanced Payment features of the software program I'm learning (So, it's been almost 3 months, and I'm still beginning to figure out where I stand).
That being said, The best part of my day today was when I got to sign an e-mail to a client, "Better than a temp, Sarah"
The worst part of my day followed shortly afterwards when I realized that if someone were to come into my office with a gun, I would most likely be shot first.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Yes, those are shotgun shells in my back pocket, yes my calves are a little burnt, and in case you're wondering, I'm not a bad shot for a beginner.
Can I tell you how much I love Montana? Love, love, love! I was there for 5 days with my boyfriend and his mom, step-dad and Aunt Jo. We ate a lot of meat, chased some Icelandic sheep (that look an awful lot like goats and don't herd...) had a pig roast, tooled around on four-wheelers, drank wine, fly-fished (in a pond, but nonetheless), and gazed at the sky.
I love Montana.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Home Office

My new job is weird, as it turns out. Today marks my 2 week stint with this company, and I''m just starting to figure out where I stand.

I work well with deadlines, tasks, projects, and being good at what I do. I have been having some anxiety about my job, and not knowing what is expected of me. My first assignments were to re-do the company website (let it be known that I do not have any experience in web-design) and also to write a couple of summaries on several multi-million dollar contracts. In retrospect these tasks seem like tests. Seeing as how I work for a consulting firm that implements business solutions, usually in the way of a new software system (ERP- Enterprise Resource Planning) and helps the client do business more efficiently. This job lends itself to people who are really tech-savvy, you know, computer science majors... um, people who have taken accounting classes... let's just say that my boss took a gamble on me and my anthropology degree, and I really, really hate to disappoint.

Oh. And I've been working from home for the most part. This in itself is absurd- and I haven't quite decided if I like it or not. Seems ideal, right? Well, it was only this week, 2 days ago, that a few people were nice to me. Not that anyone was mean, but I wasn't really being paid attention to, and felt that I wasn't getting the direction that I needed. Turns out I am going to be trained in a software program (Microsoft Dynamics Axapta)- and that training is spread out over the next 3 months. This is good. I like deadlines. I also like being certified in things.

The only thing that puts me off about working in the office is the commute. It's about 15 miles from my house to the office. I've never done the car commute before... it's a bit strange, but there is a strange feeling of solidarity when you're out there with the masses. Granted, I theoretically could be riding my bike, and probably will when my schedule gets a little more stable and I start spending more time in the office.

... We'll see how it goes...

Friday, June 6, 2008


A house down the street from us caught fire last night.

We had seen an ambulence go by, but I didn't think much of it until I walked outside to return a movie. Housefire smoke has a specific smell- just as campfires do. It's the burning of things that aren't supposed to be burned- not just dangerous chemicals and plastics and vinyl, but also of things that are loved and cherished. Posessions. A charred dwelling, a place that is a person's highest sanctuary, security and comfort is both disorienting and frusterating to the highest degrees when destroyed, or badly damaged.

My house burned down when I was in the first grade. My family had been living there for about a year. A short time for my mother, brother and I, but my father had grown up in that house. My grandparents had both recently passed away and we had up-rooted form Australia to take up residence.

It was winter. It was also the last day of school before Christmas break. It was also a Friday, and a home High School basketball game was on. Being from the tiny town that I am, the Fire Department is made up of volunteers- who also happened to be at that evening's event.

I remeber sitting on my sister's lap, having been passed-off by my parents. My older brother was competing in that evening's match- and would go on to be part of the 1-A state championship team a few years later. Over the PA came a page: "Would all volunteer fire fighters please report to the stage."

Here my memory lapses- I was 6. I remember standing in front of our burning house. The snow that had fallen had been melted in a radius from the heat of the fire- as was the paint of my brother's 70-something Toyota Corolla. I was not old enough to comprehend what this meant for the familiy. In an evening we were displaced. It is an interesting phenomonon to know that you are unable to go home. That your home no longer exists. The mind of child Sarah did not realize this. My 6 year-old self was very upset with the loss of her paint-by-number that she had recieved from the gift exchange that afternoon. Even if a fire doesn't touch anything, smoke can do just as much damage.

Only later in life am I pining over the mementos and family history that was destroyed that day: family photos, antique furniture, quilts, and memories. Then I remind myself that I am thankful for the things I DO have- family, friends and a home of my own.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My dental history

I am 24 years old, have had 2 root canals and as many crowns. I have a fair share of fillings and my jaw pops when I open my mouth wide enough.

When I was in grade school, it was decided that I needed braces. At the time I didn't think that my teeth were that bad, and I guess that it's up for debate as to if they were. I was in fifth grade, probably my most heious year in school, period. Not only did I think that it was a good idea to wear pajama pants (which my mother encouraged by making some for me), but my class of 20 all thought I was a lesbian and I had head and neck gear (which I did wear to school).

In more recent years I'm fairly convinced that my orthodontist was a bit on the sketchy side. I believe that he fairly took my parents' money and left my teeth straight, but my mouth and jaw in shambles. My dentist is on my side. He maintains that there the most likely reason why I had to get my first root canal was because my bite wasn't realigned after all my teeth were. Because of this, my teeth hit each other unevenly, and eventually a nerve in my number 2 molar became inflamed and was hell-bent on dying.

We decided to try and save the tooth.

This meant that I would go to the dentist every 4 weeks to get my bite re-adjusted and take the pressure off the tooth that was doing the best it could to let me know that it was not going to be saved. It did this by reacting to everything I ate on the left side of my face. It didn't like pressure. Or cold liquid. Or hot liquid. Basically I could eat wonder bread that was room temperature and not get a reaction.

Eventually I decided that a root canal was what needed to happen.


I went in, expecting the worst. My dentist even prescribed some anti-anxiety meds for me. I have a weird thing about surgery. The idea of opening up someone's body (yes, even if it's just a tooth), extracting or fixing something, closing you up and sending you on your way is sort of messed up in my mind. It's certainly become a lot safer and normalized, but if you really think about it, it's bizarre.

The root canal was fine. some opening up of the enamel, digging out the pulp, cauterizing the nerve, and filling it up with putty.

Then I got a gold crown- which just happened to be cheaper than ceramic. It's sort of a comforting thought that if I'm ever in dire straights that I will be able to pull one (or two) little chunks of gold out of their little hiding place and sell them to the highest bidder (or nearest pawn shop).

Besides having bling in my mouth, a perk of having a root canal when you are in somewhat chronic pain, is that only when it is gone do you realize how much pain you were in before, and especially how you body compensates to avoid said pain.

Lastly, a big hurrah to health care, without which, I would be in a great deal of debt.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Getting Old.

I would like to think of myself as someone who will age gracefully.

I have had wrinkles for years (yes years. Some people tell me they are simply 'laugh lines' but that's just a nicer way of putting it). It's just one of those things that everyone has to deal with as they age- no one is immune. I think I'm doing a pretty good job. I certainly don't freak out about them too much, however, I do wonder what I will look like when I am 40... that is, if I make it that far.

I have demanded a lot from my body in the past. A varsity athlete, I also participated in some fairly rough sports in college; there was lacrosse, and, of course, roller derby.

Roller derby was what made me rethink my immortality- notably, the famed posterior cruciate ligament tear of '07. I was under the impression that my body would be eternally resilient up until that point. The first thing that happened was denial. Then there was the anger- you know, the typical stages of grief (the other three being bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance). What made me think of my knee, and then remember its anniversary, was the impending arrival of summer (though some doubt if it will ever arrive) and how I felt robbed last year of bike rides and summer strolls and tossin' the 'ol pigskin and everything that is summer to me (I actually don't play football all that often... but somehow I associate football with summer... even though it really should be fall).

I refuse to let this summer go by idly, as it did last year. I am bound and determined to make up for last years afternoons that were spent in my knee brace and crutches on the porch or patio. While my friends and roommates went on bike rides,I tried desperately not to take as a personal offence.

While I have made these resolutions in my head, I am constantly reminded that my knee did suffer an injury that has not been 'fixed,' but has merely been compensated for by my muscles and physical therapy. I am broken.

I suppose that the moral of the story is that the human body is incredibly resilient. My knee still bothers me on occasion, and I'm pretty sure that well before I hit 40 I shall be predicting changing weather patterns. However, one year and 2 days after a personal tragedy, I hiked 7.3-ish miles up and down a mountain- something of a personal victory.

New Beginings.

A reassessment of what blogging not only has the potential to mean to me, but the people who just seem to keep leaving this state and becoming more difficult to keep in touch with. I propose this as an open letter to friends, family and everyone on the spectrum in between.

I am (recently) constantly reminded of just how good I have it. I not only live in a beautiful house in a really great part of a pretty rad city, but I live there with amazing and beautiful women. I have a wonderful boyfriend who, conveniently, lives 2 doors down. I have family who I am trying to be more in communication with, because after people raise you, I feel that I owe them more than a phone call every other week. I have my health and my sanity. I am very fortunate to have really, really great friends.

Last summer our house was the home base for many fabulously raucous, festive and fun parties. In looking forward to this summer, I have noticed that many of our 'old standbys' have pack up and jumped ship to new adventures, greener pastures and exciting endeavors. While my phone list of 'people to call' for dinner party invites has shrunk, I sometimes forget that my social network has not shrunk in size, it has simply increased in area. So.

In case anyone ever wonders what I'm up to, I shall try to keep up with my adventures, which shall soon include the mysteries and wonder of Beaverton.


I quit. I quit my job. 1.5 years is an eternity as far as employment goes when you're me, and don't want anything tying you down, especially not some lousy job that you're too smart for- but that's the majority of jobs you get when you're in your twenties, right?

I will disclose more about my job description when I find out more myself, but as it stands, I'm pretty focused on my impromptu vacation. Being unemployeed can be enjoyable... for about a week. Then the stress of finding a source of stable income really sets in. However, jumping from job to job without taking even a little time for relaxation and reflection is also pretty silly. I was under the impression that I was in the latter group... Until I read my contract.

A whole week to myself! Stress-free! I'll sleep in and maybe even lounge around and read. Who knows?! After that I shall work for two days, and then fly to Montana for 5 days!

I think June is shaping up to be a really good month.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Day 13: The End

It was a fresh out of the oven snicker doodle cookie that did it.

Audrey an I had a serious conversation about the allowance of things that we knew we shouldn't be depriving ourselves of- red wine, dark chocolate and butter (to name three).

We applauded ourselves for being so strong, but agreed that we were tired, and we had a void that could only be filled by the foods we were denying ourself of. The detox promised to clear my head and give me more energy. I think it did those things, to an extent. Mostly... mostly it was a test of endurance and willpower. I really could have gone on for another week- it's not that I couldn't, it's that I didn't want to. Check. I learned that I am above temptation (even with a candy bowl staring me in the face every day).

So. Now that is behind me, I am in need of a new project. I have been meaning to get my sewing machine fixed... and would like to attempt a quilt. I tried once before in middle school- alas. That was middle school. I completed 7 squares. I am older, wiser and more dedicated and am able to beat the pants off my 13 year old self.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Day 8:

True, I've been away.

Even the best laid plans, right?

Anywho. That was the weekend. And I've noticed something- it has to do with routine.
You see, I am a sucker for a good routine. Packing lunches is SO satisfying. I know what I can eat, when I can eat in portioned amounts, no less. It's great, and it lets me stay organized- because something I enjoy just a little bit more than a good routine, is staying organized.

This weekend had its challenges:

Drinking Water. Drinking water is a little bit easier to do when you are at a desk and you really don't have anything better to do than drink water. I (would like to think that I) have better things to do on the weekend than sit around and drink water. True. I had to remind myself to drink water. That's another funny thing. I drink water best out of a bottle. A cheap, plastic, small-mouthed bottle of water is what I prefer to drink out of. Don't worry, I'm not sure why myself.

Eating. Much like drinking water (see above), eating is something that I am able to somehow handle better during the week. On the weekend there is no set 'breakfast time'- which is usually at 6:35am on weekdays. Wow. Only now, writing that, does that seem ridiculously early. I have inadvertently reverted back to my days in HS, when I had to catch the bus at 7:30... Never mind, earlier than high school. You get my point. My point is that I am much more incline to graze all day than to eat at pre-determined points during the day.

That is about it. I mean, there is more variance to my weekends than just my eating habits.

On the whole: Detox is going fabulous. Salt seems to be the biggest hurdle. And bread. Other than that, my willpower of steel is going strong. It's not that I never knew I had it, it was just that I was lazy. Candy bowl in front of me, ain't no thing. You want to give me a free wine tasting, sorry, I'll just browse your shelves.

Lastly: I have lost a little bit of weight- just enough to make the classy high-waisted Italian wool skirt fit perfectly for my first day as a receptionist in the main office (though I'm still not convinced about what color it is- dark dark blue, or black).

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Day Four- Fantastic.

It probably doesn't hurt that the weather is effing Amazing right now. Yesterday afternoon I got home and immediately headed back out for a run on Mt. Tabor. Two laps around the lower reservoir.

On running: It is something that I have always wanted to enjoy. It usually ended up feeling tedious, not to mention quite painful. However, since my knee injury I've been looking for ways to keep in shape that isn't roller skating...
I also have this problem that is me being in competition with myself- so even if I start out at a nice leisurely pace, I will end up going harder and faster than I really should be.
But last night- It was great. I took it easy (I wasn't sure if my diet as of recently would affect my energy levels- it did a bit). It was great.

I came home and took an Epsom salt bath, which made my whole body heavy. I could have gone to sleep then, but I had to eat dinner.

I did end up getting an excellent nights' sleep, and this day is even more bright and sunny than yesterday.

I also don't feel as hungry as I have been. However, this evening poses a new challenge- going to a bar and Not Drinking. I feel confident, though. I've got a teammate to back me up, to be held accountable to. It also turns out that I have a pretty amazing will power. I think that I am usually just lazy and choose not to use it. I haven't really felt tempted by forbidden foods, yet.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Day 3: Musings

The boredom has (already set in). It probably doesn't help that this might just be the most boring week of work ever.

I've been spending time pondering the spacial concept of a porta-potty. For those of you who are unaware, I work out of a trailer on a construction site. There is no indoor plumbing. My own (women only) porta-potty is right next to the garage entrance of the building. It has a lock on it, and where it sits now will be turned into additional parking for the apartments across the street. This brings up an interesting thought: the strange 4'x4' plastic-walled room designates that space as a place to urinate and defecate. I can't help but think (when I'm sitting in there) of how taboo it would be if miraculously the plastic room disappeared. Completely inappropriate. Just a little bit of plastic an blue liquid can make absolutely any location into a socially acceptable place to defecate.

That thought really doesn't cease to baffle me- just a little bit.

Also: I am gaining a new appreciation for Jimmy Buffet.

Back to Detox:

I suffered through a horrendous headache-filled afternoon yesterday. It carried into this morning. I was able to shut it up with a large cup of Jasmine tea- which is, apparently an acceptable amount of caffeine. That, and the amount of caffeine in the tea is counter-weighed by the health benefits of green tea. Yeah!

This evening- Soup.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Day 2: Coffee

I maintain that I don't have an addictive personality. Nope. Those vices that hook some people, while I can't claim that I am immune to their addictive properties, I manage to get away without too much of an effort.

Then there is coffee.

I wasn't too scared about getting rid of coffee from my day to day life for a while. It is one of those routine morning comforts that help you get through the first half of your day. This had been somewhat of a necessity due to my tendency to go to bed late, and get up early. I'd gone without coffee on occasion, and it didnt' cause my any pain or strife.

During day 1, I got a slight, weird headache at exactaly 2pm. It lasted 1/2 hour and dissapated. Weird. I thought nothing of it. Day 2, the headache retuned at 2pm but this time lasted through the evening. It's a strange thing, knowing exactaly how to cure your headache, and being acutely aware of what has caused it- but restraining from taking measures to remedy it. I suppose I have to admit it to myself then, I am addicted to caffiene.

Like they do in AA, I'm taking this detox one day at a time. I really think that's the way to accomplish things. If I think about no booze, baked goods or salty things for 3 whole weeks I start to get a little panicky feeling in my tummy. However, if I tell myself that, today I will go without, somehow that seems much more managable. This (new) dicipline could perhaps be translated or channeled into different aspects of my life. Maybe.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Day 1

I mentioned that my dear roommate, Audrey, began detoxing yesterday. I suppose you could say that I eased into it. Following a breakfast of huevos rancheros and an endless cup of coffee which subsequently upset my stomach, I ate gingerly for the rest of the day; juice, Girl Scout cookies, brussel spouts sauteed up in garlic and olive oil with a splash of brags liquid aminos, a dash of Cayenne pepper over barley that was toasted and then cooked.

Dessert was the last of my Greek yogurt with my dad's home canned peaches.

*Sigh* Those I will miss.

Anyway. After doing some fairly thorough research yesterday (i.e. Reading the book) and a grocery shop which included several items that were all but foreign to me- Epsom salts, essential oil (lavender- though I should have gotten rosemary or grapefruit upon further research), and a bag of ground flax seed.

I felt better about myself already- just for purchasing said items.

After a good night's sleep, I awoke and pounded the 'first drink of the day' - a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water, to, um, stimulate my system? Nope. It's to help maintain the correct acid-alkaline balance in my body- this stuff goes back to Hippocrates- someone who I'm certainly not inclined to argue with.

Following the 'first drink of my day' was a breakfast of wheat-free 8-grain hot cereal with honey and cinnamon topped with almond milk was quite delicious- though it certainly would have been better accompanied with a cup of coffee.

Anyway. This really isn't supposed to be a blow-by-blow about what I ate. It should be more of a meditation on my detox. I will try to refrain from going into unnecessary detail- about bowel movements and such. This isn't that kind of blog.

So far I feel pretty damn good. I did get a weird headache at about 2pm today, and it certainly wasn't due to dehydration. Maybe caffeine? I think sleep is going to be important. My social life will most likely suffer a little bit, but nothing that a good book and perhaps a full season of some situational comedy couldn't fix. Oh right, and all this time I'll most likely spend blogging.

I think I might have to resolve to eat because I need to, not because I want to. This could be a very interesting shift in how I live my life. I eat because I love food. I know that I am one of the lucky few (respectively) who is able to afford to eat (just about) whatever she wants to. I know that things will probably eventually start to taste good without salt- but that time is not now. Salt and bread seem to be taking the lead of things I want to eat right now.

Diary of a Detox


I've been wanting to do a detox for a while. A few friends did it a few years back, and I was not only amazed at their discipline, but their energy levels and just how god-damned healthy they were being.

While I admired these people and their seemingly will power of steel, I rationalized my inability to commit to 3 weeks of a focused diet and told myself that I didn't want to restrict my diet (also the reasoning behind my lack of subscription to vegetarianism). I was healthy, and I ate (reasonably) well.

But I was, nevertheless, curious about the benefits of a 3-week detox. I even bought a book; Teach Yourself: Detox. The book sat on my shelf for a year and a half, my roommate borrowed it to teach herself (to) detox, and guide her through the tricky dietary aspects of a life without wheat, dairy, meat, refined sugar, (added) salt, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine (if applicable). See what I mean, it's intimidating!

Long story short, my lovely roommate, Audrey, mentioned that her and our neighbor, Katie were going to start the detox- soon. I was informed, I believe, on Friday. Audrey was to start Sunday and Katie, when she got a little bit more money (detoxing gets expensive). It was relatively late notice to prepare my mind for such an endeavor, but I jumped on the veritable bandwagon enthusiastically- I was ready.

... Am I ready? I mean, I don't think I've EVER gone a full 3 weeks without the aforementioned items of food- all at one time. But then again I do like a good challenge, and I especially like teammates who I can go to for support.

AND it's an excellent excuse to blog- which I've been meaning to do for some time. So, stay tuned for the life of a woman on a detox.