Tuesday, February 24, 2009


A few notable things-

1. North Portland is very (Very) accessible from my apartment. Thanks to cars and interstates, it takes me about 10 minutes to get there.

2. Pix Patisserie serves chocolate stout chocolate beer floats.

3. I watched Xanadu for the first time. Roller skating, choreography, Olivia Newton John and Electric Light Orchestra! Yes please!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I spent all day knitting. Took a break to grocery shop and cook dinner, but basically I spent my day with my yarn and needles (and NPR). I knit continental, and I think I feel the early onset of arthritis... or I suppose what WILL be arthritis in my left index finger if I keep knitting (a good bet). I can only blame myself- as my father told me repeatedly to not pop my knuckles as a child (and I still do... oh so satisfying). There's something deeply troubling in an acute ache- just one more indicator that my body will fail me (and has).

And so I knit through the pain and ended up with these wonderfully textural mitts- a gift... but I'll probably wear them to work tomorrow... for quality assurance purposes.

Nic gifted me Vogue Knitting's Stitchionary: Knit & Purl directly after which I spent attempting to knit lace. It's really incredible how different stitches and textures can open up a world of new knitting possibilities. I'm definitly hooked, if I wasn't before.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. As I like to think that I'm not all that much of a sap when it comes to romantic holidays, I told Nic that we were celebrating Oregon's Sesquicentennial. Which was great. We appreciated Oregon's 150th birthday by going to the Chinese gardens and eating Washington farmed mussels cooked in butter and wine for dinner (new favorite food), and then lemon cupcakes for dessert. Yum!

On the Scrabble front- I think I'm getting better. Nic is all about strategy and points. While I'm fully aware that that is the point of Scrabble, I'm also concerned with aesthetics and symmetry- sometimes to my detriment. I like to open the board up, even if it opens up a triple word square for my opponent. Still, I beat Nic 252-222. I made a 60 point play by playing 'quiver' over a triple word score.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Spring in February.

Today I had big plans. I had intended to get up early and get out of the city. I did, however end up staying very much in town and sleeping in. Everything turned out for the best, really. Driving every day to work turns me into a crazy person. I've even started talking to (scolding)
other cars. I instead thought it best to stay out of a vehicle today.

I've sort of been on a bit of a work-out kick. I've been informed that I cannot say that I'm 'going for a run' when I run on a treadmill. This makes sense to me. 'Going on a run' implies that you are, in fact, going somewhere, putting distance between yourself and your point of origin. When on a treadmill, one is essentially running in place. So now I use the common nomenclature, 'working out'.

The neighborhood community center has a gym that I actually feel comfortable working out in. It's not a meat market, there's no contract, it's usually not crowded and the clientèle isn't intimidating. Oh, and it's 5 blocks from my house. Anyway. It's been about 2 years since I've been running because of Roller Derby and my PCL. That's probably a story for another day. So. I've really been enjoying running. And wailing on my pecks. But that's besides the point.

My point IS that I was jonesin' for some activity today. Turns out it was the perfect day for a bike ride. After tossing around destinations like Sauvie Island or Smith and Bybee Lakes. Nic said that he didn't really feel like riding on hwy 30, and I didn't want to get in my car today. thus, we settled on what we called 'The Willamette Loop."
A cormorant? on a pylon? On the west side of the Willamette. As you can see by the lack of greenery on the trees in the background, it is wintertime. However, it is also absurdly sunny. I was in short sleeves at one point in this bike ride! In February!
This self portrait also illustrates just how sunny it was today. We took a detour on Power's Marine Park, which is a car-free park that runs parallel to Macadam Avenue and a railroad. We did some off-roading. It was fun. I didn't fall over.

After lunch in Sellwood, we continued on to OMSI, where strangers gave us tickets and we learned about Leonardo DaVinci. He was 6'6" tall! He invented ball bearings!

Overall, it was only about a 14 mile day. Decent, but not my best. Especially since it took about 5 hours to cover that distance (includes stops for lunch, wrong turns, OMSI and photographs).
Any day that I encouter pro-bike and robot graffiti is a good day in my book.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Sometimes, I get really excited about things that other people don't find as exciting as I do. That's okay. I'm sort of an excitable person.

For example- I recently checked out the Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremonies from the library. A one, Ms. Audrey Dilling asked me if I was browsing the DVD selection of the library, or if I had the opening ceremonies in mind when I went to the Multnomah County Library website. It was the latter. I had heard amazing things about the opening ceremonies - the scale, the magnitude, the precision. And so, I was pleased when I found that I could watch it on my own time- a good 6 months after the fact.

If you haven't seen them, I highly recommend it, even if you're not feeling the world-wide togetherness that perhaps you felt last summer when the Olympics occured.

Life without television is a wonderful thing- especially if you have internet and a dvd player- then you can more or less watch what you want, when you want. There are drawbacks, though. Occupying ones time takes a little more effort that switching on the tube. I've sort-of recently decided to expand my collection of quality board-games. I already have Backgammon, which is great. But who wants to play backgammon every day- I need more options- chess, cribbage, and Scrabble are at the top of my list of games I aspire to own. I might add that I'm fairly horrible at chess and cribbage- also, I don't remember ever finishing a game of Scrabble. The thing about all of these games, is that I admire the patience and strategy that it takes to play these games. Strategy is something that I do not posess... Yet?

Last week I decided it was time to get a Scrabble board. I figured ordering one from Amazon.com was an excellent way to go about such a thing. That was, until I read a review of the newest edition of Scrabble:

I love Scrabble and bought this item to replace an older set. I'd give it five stars, and it probably should still get five since the game is the same, but.... Here are my aesthetic 'issues' with this newer release of the flat board and wood tile version:
1) the playing area is not centered in the folding board; very displeasing

2) the tiles are made of lighter wood (pine instead of oak? I don't know my woods, but this one is light)

3) the tile trays are less rounded and more squared-off in profile (yes, this is very picky)

This game has previously been produced by both Milton-Bradley and Shelchow & Righter, and both did a better job than Hasbro with this one. Consider the small travel version with a plastic grid and small, thick wood tiles -- even for home use, that's how disappointing this one is.

I've never really liked Hasbro anyway. It was after reading this review, that I took my business elsewhere, to ebay, specifically. I bid on, and won, a never-been-opened 1989 Milton-Bradley Scrabble Board. The board is beautifully matte and centered, the wood tiles substantial (for how tiny they are) and the tile trays give the tiles a very nice angle. The box itself was sealed and pictures a perfectly nuclear family straight from the 80's on the back. For under the cost of what a new, crappier Scrabble board would have set me back, I got better quality. I could only be happier if I had won last night's Scrabble Battle.

Final Score: 177-184, Nic.