Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Roomie.

Pretty much the greatest match made in roommate heaven occurred this past January: Em moved in to the Gladstone Courts.  She showed up one night in the rain with a case of Top Ramen, and the rest is history.  But there's some background there, too, that should not be forgotten: we met many years ago-slingin' coffee and getting treated like dirt together at SBC was a pretty darn good time.  I had no idea back then that not only would we still be friends in oh-nine, but roommates, too.  A brief list of things about Emilie that are amazing:
  • Spot-on cat-choosing skills
  • Impressive understanding of old-timey insult phrases
  • CatchPhrase, Scattergories, Ten Thousand, Pictionary
  • Science GENIUS.  Splice my DNA anytime, babe.  
  • More love and support to her friends and family than most people are capable of
  • Extensive knowledge of Top 40 hits, specializing in late 80s-late 90s, but not forgetting the Motown, either  
  • Discernible palate for breakfast foods, esp. eggs benedict and corned beef hash
  • She is gorgeous.  Obvs.  
  • Even though I beg her not to, she always puts others first.  Always.  One more time:  always. 
Dearest:  I will never, ever forget one conversation we had, on the back porch last July.  It took me a couple of days to fully realize its impact, but you helped me bust out of a really deep and scary hole I was in during what was pretty much the darkest time I can remember.  I thank you eternally for that.  At the time, I never thought things were going to be ok.  Now I know I am so much better off and life is about a million times better than how I'd been living, stagnant, for all those years, and you are a huge part of that.

Here's to another year of awesome.  One of these days, we'll get out of our slum of an apartment, but in the meantime...  ROOMIES.  Think about it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tiny Tuesday: Crow's Feet

Tiny discovers a family of crows outside of Roomie's window, Arthur explains to her gently why they can't ever be friends.  

Daily Food 11/23/09
Breakfast: bagel with Tofutti
Lunch: lentil soup
Snack: almonds
Dinner: fondue with baguette, glass o' bubbly (that's a classy dinner right there) 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Best Day Ever, part III

Holy hell what a Sunday!  Woke up and had some excellent Tiny Time, headed to breakfast at Slappycakes, where I had a most delicious blood orange mimosa, then back to my apt where apparently there was a brunch planned that I had no part in whatsoever.  Keep in mind, this was around noon, and I'd already been up for six hours, thankyouverymuch.  Neighbor was texting me from across the courtyard to make him a bloody mary.  Roomie was texting me from the other room to make her a bloody mary.  Nothing else for me to do but comply sweetly and turn the Samantha Fox channel on Pandora up very, very loud.  This little brunch party quickly turned awesome after a couple of more friends showed up, CatchPhrase and Trivial Pursuit (Pop Culture Edition) made an appearance, and we watched several Chris Farley clips, including one of my favorite clips of all time:  Coffee Switch.  Oh, man, I could watch it ten times a day. I've already watched it twice today, and it's not even 8 am yet... 

I also made a disastrous dinner last night that started out well but ended up mostly weird.  Roasted Brussels sprouts, curried delicata squash soup, wheat baguette with failed fondue (it completely separated and turned into a science experiment), arugula salad.  The soup was so-so.  The salad was pretty much the only saving grace of the meal.  Spicy, farm fresh arugula straight from the farm in Canby...  delicious. 

Daily Food 11/22/09
Breakfast: roasted veg (chanterelle, zucchini, eggplant) eggs benedict, potatoes, mimosa
Snack: delicious scone from Grand Central Baking
Dinner:  see above
Misc: Sunday bubbly!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Back From SeaTac!

Yesterday, took the bus back up to Seattle from SeaTac (wild ride... apparently those buses are required to drive 95 miles an hour on the freeway), had just enough time to grab a quick bite at a quiet little Japanese restaurant near the train station, and we were back on the Amtrak just in time for another, "All aboooooard!"  We got settled into our sets, then broke out the magnetic travel chess set (and I broke out a little train bourbon).  After that massacre game wrapped, my traveling companion took a little rest and I tried to do anything possible to not listen to the dude in front of me, one of those super irritating college-y traveler types who begins every sentence with something like, "Well, when I was in Amsterdam..." or "Oh, yeah, well when I was in India..."  blah, blah, blah.  Guarantee you this dude didn't pay a cent for any of this world travel.  If that's presumptuous and judgmental of me, then so be it.

He was trying to scheme on a very pretty girl, even moved seats to be across from her, though he had no chance whatsoever.  A1, she had a boyfriend, to whom a very passionate goodbye kiss was given just before getting on the train.  B2, she made it very clear to him before we even pulled out of the station that she had a paper she really needed to read, which she did, as he talked non-stop the entire three hours.  It was less of a conversation and more of a one-man show, with 100% of the things coming out of his mouth being totally assinine.  I was pulling for her for awhile, hoping this dude would leave her alone, but as soon as she started whining about how it was sooo difficult to be a middle-class white girl (relating to getting financial aid for college), I bailed on that hope.  She called it "reverse discrimination".  Brilliant.
Roomie picked us up from Union Station, then over to Fire On The Mountain, where JT totally tricked me into eating the super hot El Jefe sauce.  Add that to the list of things that will never, ever be in my mouth ever again.  I don't even want to be in the same room with it.  It was insanity.  And people routinely take the El Jefe challenge at FOTM, including a friend of ours!  They eat upwards of twenty, thirty-plus wings coated in that devil juice!  I had just one little dip and I nearly passed out, with tears running down my face. 

Daily Food 11/21/09
Breakfast: egg, spinach, mushroom, jack, potato scramble
Lunch: vegetable tempura, miso soup, rice, some strange (pickled?) bean sprout salad, green tea
Dinner: green salad with balsamic dressing, meatless chicken nugget-type things with peanut dipping sauce, some kind of microbrew that I cannot remember now.  El Jefe sauce got into my brain.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Amtrak Love, part I.

That train ride yesterday was tops!  Here's how excited I was about getting in the train in Portland:  I bought a trashy celeb smut magazine, raced out to get on the train, sat down just as they were yelling, "All aboard!" and realized I'd left the mag right on the shop counter.  Despite not having any trash to read, it was a delightful trip!  The headphone jack at my seat was broken, so no movie for me, but I had a wonderful time eating my train snacks and staring out the window.  We happened upon a family of deer approaching the Vancouver stop, right before we were stopped on the bridge halfway over the Columbia river... sweet view. 

I'd take a job on a train in a heartbeat.  I love it.  I love it so much.  The sounds, the motion, the sights, the ticket-checkers coming around every so often, the low-tech organization (handwritten seat assignment cards, hello!).  I wonder what those people who work the Bistro Car make... enough to keep living in my slum apartment?  That's really all I need.   

Daily Food 11/19/09
Breakfast: onion bagel with Tofutti, orange juice
Lunch: green salad with black beans, corn, peppers, and cotija
Train Snacks: almonds, sesame honey sticks
Misc: waiting for me at the hotel- my fav bubbly, pre-chilled, plus my fav cheese and crackers, more train snacks  

Thursday, November 19, 2009

But Can My Cat Be A Stowaway?

I'm off to work for a few hours and then it's all aboard the Amtrak to Seattle!  So excited.  I love, love, love riding the train and everything about the train stations.  Haven't actually packed yet as I was up late writing letters with some bedtime bourbon, but I'll get my act together shortly here.  I wish I had an old-timey traveling outfit and a hatbox (and a hat to put in it), but alas, my sweatpants and crummy suitcase will have to suffice.  Practically counting down the minutes.

In other news, passed the CPR class yesterday and learned a lot!  It was a little dicey returning to the office with dilated eyes yesterday and I did not wear the super dorky inserts they gave me to wedge between my glasses and my face.  But if for some reason I'm in the midst of giving someone CPR and my glasses get knocked off of my face (and everyone knows I can't see an inch without them), I think I can feel my way through it.  Got pretty well acquainted with my dummy, who I referred to as "Gordon" for no reason whatsoever.  Am now fully capable of working the AED and practiced yelling, "Clear!" just like on ER.  

Daily Food 11/18/09
Breakfast: onion bagel with Tofutti
Lunch: beans, avocado, salsa, pepperjack, corn tortillas, zucchini
Snacks at CPR class: veggies/dip, crackers
Dinner: lasagna and a piece of garlic bread, courtesy Moon ladies 
misc: bedtime bourbon

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What a Waste of Spray Paint.

Woke up this morning to a clip on the news showing that overnight, the Keller auditorium has been tagged all over with such enlightening phrases as "Change the system, not your light bulbs".  Not that tonight's Keller visitor, Al Gore, is going to be perusing the perimeter of that building or anything... he probably won't even see it.  And this after Portland PETA people already made a fuss over challenging him to be meat-free for 30 days.  While I think that's a reasonable request from a group like that to a figure like Al ('tis a responsible, green way to eat, with the least impact on our climate crisis after all), he didn't really bite. In any event, while I reserve no opinion on whether or not the 'tags' were relevant, it's just stupid to do that, in that way... and gives actual graffiti people a bad name, too.  Now we all get to pay for the Keller to be scrubbed off and our humble town comes off looking like fifth-graders.    

In other news, I am getting CPR-certified today and I've just found out via email that there will be class snacks involved:  cheese plate, fruit tray, veggie tray.  My office really knows how to feed people.  I am getting my eyes dilated in a few hours though, and I hope I can mouth-to-mouth my dummy ok while cross-eyed.  

Daily Food 11/17/09
Breakfast: Tofurkey slices, pepperjack, wheat bun, V8
Lunch: leftover squash risotto
Snack: almonds, hot chocolate
Dinner: pinto beans with salsa, avocado, corn tortillas
Misc: popcorn and some Dots at the movies

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tiny Tuesday: Totally On Edge

She was pretty freaked out by the wind storm, but so was I as the tree branches outside my bedroom window were smacking up against them and my roof all night long.  

Daily Food 11/16/09
Breakfast: veg sausage/pepperjack/whole wheat bun, V8, trail mix
Lunch: leftover risotto, green salad with pears/walnuts, quinoa salad
Snack: almonds, sesame sticks, fruit leather, hot apple cider
Dinner:  nothing

Monday, November 16, 2009

Whatever Happened to This Guy?

I've had this song stuck in my head as of late... there are a lot of things I really enjoy about this video, including the small child dangerously kickin' it on the railroad tracks in the very beginning. Also, I think this kid was about 17 when this song came out... exactly what clubs was he getting into? I would also like to point out that one should never, ever take one's shoes off in the club: that is very dangerous.

Happy Monday.

Daily Food 11/15/09
Breakfast: cornmeal pancakes, eggwhites, veg sausage
Snacks: Cafe Twists, sesame sticks, almonds, Gala apples, cheese
Dinner: so many delicious pizzas from Tastebud Farms (including Delicata squash/ricotta/arugula, pesto/porcini), salads
Misc: bubbly with roomie/neighbor, Caldera IPA with pizza

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Night Recap

Another lovely weekend that was too short.  The following things happened at some point over the course of the last couple of days:
  • Gladstone Pizza for Hoot's birthday, including a special bottle of bubbly that the owner pulled out of storage for me  
  • Surprise visit from a couple of unexpected pals, complete with drunken group hug at the end of the night 
  • Several rounds of Catch Phrase
  • Ladies-only time spent in Snuggies (including Tiny Small Cat), in front of the fireplace, watching docu-soaps
  • Pancake breakfast!  
  • Completely ditching my new neighbor's housewarming party while hanging out on our shared porch, ending with a visit from the crazy lady who lives across the courtyard 
  • A game of chess that turned into a spectator sport
  • Totally awesome, family-style, all-you-can-eat pizza at Tastebud Farms:  WOW.  Just... wow.  
Daily Food 11/15/09
Breakfast:  apple, half of a pumpkin Clif Bar
Brunch:  scrambled eggs with pesto and cheese, corn tortillas, bosc pear, campari tomatoes, potatoes
Dinner:  roasted beets and the greens, butternut squash risotto with mascarpone, mixed green salad, seeded baguette with roasted tomatoes
Misc: Cava and special olives from Spain, bedtime bourbon

Saturday, November 14, 2009

AB Does A Spin Class, Hell Officially Freezes Over

A certain special fitness nut got me to not only go to the gym at 9 am on a Saturday (after a night that included several popped bottles, by the way...) but to attend AN HOUR LONG SPIN CLASS.  Ever since a guy at my office, a really fit guy, had a heart attack in Spinning and nearly died, I vowed to never set foot in such an insane "recreational" class.  But never say never, right?  Let me break this down for you... I was terrified.  Absolutely terrified.  My athletic prowess is nil, and while I do work out and lift weights on the regular, I'm not much of a group exerciser.  Before we'd even walked in the door, I planned out my emergency exit strategy just in case.  Pre-class conversation this morning, in the car on the way to the gym:

me: What if I think I am going to die?
JT: Then think about something else.
me: What if I have a panic attack?  I can leave, right?
JT:  Nope, they lock the door.
me:  Sweet baby Jesus, just kill me now, then. 

Upon arrival, I picked out a bike far from my partner due to nervousness, embarrassment, a little bit of vanity, and general malaise about the whole thing.  The instructor seemed harmless enough, and the guy next to me was tattooed.  We got started right at 9, warming up a bit to some eerie techno-ish music.  Then, we got into the meat and potatoes of the ride, increasing the resistance and standing up (WTF? Why would I stand on a bike, good lord!) to tackle the imaginary hills we were climbing.  By 9:08, my heart was pounding out of my chest and I was eyeing the door, ready to do my walk of shame.  I've done way worse walks of shame, so I was ok with that.

By 9:22, I was scrolling through a mental inventory of my worldly posessions and net worth, hoping my roommate would clean my room before my mother came to go through my belongings to display at my funeral.  By 9:48, the intense crotch/ass pain from the seat was searing enough that I feared I would fall off of the bike.  By 10:00, it was over.  I did it.  I actually did a Spin class.  Albeit not at the intended intensity level that everyone else in there seemed to be able to handle, but by golly I survived!

Daily Food 11/13/09
Breakfast: trail mix, banana
Lunch: Tofurkey/Pepperjack on a whole wheat bun, zucchini slices
Dinner:  Margherita pizza from Gladstone, Caesar salad
Misc: bubbly

Friday, November 13, 2009

This Day is Going to be Awesome.

Friday, YES!  Woke up at the crack of dawn, as usual, with a Tiny Small Cat biting my face and earlobes.  Is there a better alarm noise than a roaring purr?  I think not.  It's going to be a whirlwind day at work, and I'm already counting down the hours to pizza tonight and some quality hangout time to kick off the weekend.  It's raining, love it.  Fridge shelves are stacked with bubbly.  My bathroom is still all ripped up, maintenance people haven't even been here in days and it's officially been more than two weeks since they first starting "fixing" it, but I don't even care.  Because This Day Is Going to be Awesome.

Daily Food 11/12/09
Breakfast: V8, banana
Lunch: tomato soup, whole wheat roll, pumpkin seeds
Dinner: salad- romaine, tomato, Tofurkey slices, garbanzo beans, Caesar dressing, roll
Misc: green tea with lemon, Halloween-sized box of grape Nerds (WTF?!  no idea why I thought that was something that was ok to put in my mouth, gross)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Elite Event: Food Porn Art Party

Oh, hello! Elite Event last night was a good one! Way too many people were packed into Urban Studio (been to the Pearl twice in one week, dang) for a night of excellent cocktails (sponsored by Maker's Mark), super delicious smoked cheddar fondue, a dessert contest, and a food porn photo contest. Those drinks were lethal! Luckily the lines to get one were so long, that deferred me from having too many. Great time with great people. There were some fantastic photos and I took second place in the dessert contest.

After a few failed attempts (cooking with booze is trickier than it sounds!), I pulled it together about 30 minutes before leaving for the event, ending up with Bourbon-poached pears atop Bourbon caramel and sweet mascarpone in filo cups. Totally scored with my prize bag, too: bottle of Maker's with a wax-dipped cup, bottle of wine, big bottle of Ninkasi, a Maker's shirt, a book about Oregon wine country, and the best prize of them all was a ridiculous t-shirt emblazoned with a pic of a kitten wearing jewelry and a puppy wearing a hat. It says "XL", but that must be child's sizing as I'm unsure if I can get it over my head, but I will make it work somehow.

And did I mention my plus-one was wearing a pink button-up? Everyone knows how I feel about that: HOT. I donned a short little number I picked up on Tuesday for $6.97. My ladies looked lovely, as did Neighbor Neal and Matt E. We ditched out on the after party and hit up the SE Hawthorne foodcarts instead... new pizza cart there totally rules. What a fun night.

Daily Food 11/11/09
Breakfast: banana
Lunch: minestrone, whole wheat roll
Snacks at event: fondue with bread, dessert tasting (one mini chocolate cupcake, piece of Hoot's cake), Maker's Mark Manhattan
Dinner: pizza from Pyro
Misc: bedtime bourbon

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dessert Prep Disasters!

Here's what happens when you are distracted but too many fun things happening in your kitchen: you cook the crap out of the caramel and ruin a whole batch. But with one more day left to prepare for the Maker's Mark dessert contest tonight, last night was spent trying to create a whole new dish since the first couple were not that great. Wish me luck!

Daily Food 11/10/09
Breakfast: trail mix, banana
Lunch: super good veggie sandwich from Great Harvest, Sun Chips
Dinner: popcorn at Laurelhurst Theater (I realize popcorn does not a dinner make)
Misc: bedtime bourbon

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tiny Tuesday: Snuggie Sprawl

This beast has commandeered Arthur's Snuggie (mine's leopard print, thankyouverymuch) and will only sleep in it or our Pictionary box lately. She's recently figured out that my feather bed holds heat pretty well, but prefers one of the first two options to contain her hot body.

Daily Food 11/9/09
Breakfast: trail mix, spicy V8
Lunch: veggie sub on jalepeno bread, baked BBQ Lays from BTH
Dinner: tomato soup topped with portabello slices (sauteed with garlic and sherry) and creme fraiche, hunk o' Dave's Killer Peace Bomb
Misc: diet Coke, hot apple cider

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Hoot!

Snap-happy, Cannon Beach, OR.

While searching for a good photo to use for this post that wasn't already on FB or someone's blog, I realized they are all like the one above. Hoot behind a lens. And I realized that sums up a lot about her as she has got to be one of the most observant and aware people I've ever met. She doesn't miss a beat! She'll remember something I said months ago and weave it into concise and articulate commentary. She might seem quiet in groups sometimes... she's not shy, she's just listening intently to every word. She is a fine writer, a fine purveyor of cupcakes, and an all-around solid gal. The first time we officially met, she was wearing electric blue tights - a woman after my own heart. It took me about 37 seconds to realize this lady and I were to be fast friends. Oh, and do not even try to challenge her extensive knowledge of burritos in this city. She could write the book, with a special taco index.

Happy Birthday, Squawker. Hope this is the best year ever. Cheers to Day Drinking in the Park, Burger King crowns, Cardboard Bond, cupcake parties, Rainier with a straw, swimming at midnight, IM pizza analysis, pretending to text in awkward situations, poppin' bottles at Blazer games, and late-night food cart runs.

Daily Food 11/8/09
Breakfast: oatmeal, bagel with almond butter, apple
Lunch: Gardenburger and eggs
Dinner: nothing.
Misc: bedtime bourbon

Sunday, November 8, 2009

So Much Bubbly, So Little Time.

Typical Sunday night round up - best weekend ever! I say that nearly every weekend. But it's always true. I really am this happy, all the time. My face hurts today from smiling and laughing so much this weekend.

Friday night, had a super time at C Bar for Matt E's birthday, including some sweet pinball action and finding the secret VIP private booth. I'd love to see video of me walking home on Friday. And promptly putting Pandora on the Phyllis Dylan channel. Saturday was a lovely birthday dinner at Everett St. Bistro with the entourage. While I was tempted by the $26 bottle of Prosecco, I had just a single cocktail. I made my plus-one order it for me like this: "The lady will have a Manhattan, please." Classy. Followed by bubbly at home post-dinner, of course.

Today? Today I played a game of chess. I have been wanting to play chess for months, ever since I visited my brother in Colorado, who is really good and will play chess for days on end. Very excited to learn this game and considering fashioning my own set.

Daily Food 11/7/09
Breakfast: bagel/cream cheese
Lunch: black bean omelet, toast, potatoes, Bloody Mary at Bar Carlo
Dinner: Caesar salad, bread, grilled artichoke, gnocchi with roasted butternut squash sauce, coupla bites of fancy Mac and Cheese, coupla bites of desserts, swig of pink wine. Food coma.

Friday, November 6, 2009

These Boots Were Not Made for Walking.

Scored these yesterday at Savvy for $11. The salesperson really tried to talk me out of it (worst salesperson ever, right?). They are ridiculous, impractical, incredibly painful, but BOY, they sure are HOT!

Rockin' Stilettos on Gladstone St.,

Daily Food 11/5/09
Breakfast: bagel/veggie cream cheese
Lunch: radicchio/arugula salad, Tofurkey slices, Goldfish crackers
Dinner: so many great things from Lincoln: baked eggs, fritters, pasta... review here.
Misc: a drink called "The Don Draper", a lil bubbly, digestif at the restaurant.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Update on Gladstone St.

This week is flying by, yet somehow at the same time, I can't believe it's only Thursday. Been operating on virtually no sleep for several days straight... borderline zombie. But a great week so far, including a really awesome seminar at the MAC Club.

My bathroom/shower is completely ripped up and we're going to be without for several more days. While it has been fun scampering across the courtyard to use Neighbor Neal's shower, that free pass is running out soon. A little peeved at my landlord, but trying to make the best of it. New neighbor moving in next door, seems like a lovely gal who already invited us to her housewarming party next week. She's a friend of the new gentlemen who moved into the main house a few weeks ago. Gladstone Court Apts/Melrose place plot thickens. Neighbor Neal and I have been spying on the new guys for a while now... trying to determine whose team they are on. Happy to report that when we met the new gal the other night, she was listening to Dolly Parton records. Yes.

Daily Food 11/4/09
Breakfast: nothing
Lunch: leftover tomato/potato/white bean stew, V8, raw veggies
Snack: pumpkin seeds from my Jack-O-Lantern!
Dinner: nothing
Misc: bedtime bourbon

Missing not one but TWO meals: not good.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

St Frankie Lee @ Berbati's Pan

Watch out, world, they have finally released the CD - "Let's Get It On". Last night, attended St Frankie Lee's CD release party at Berbati's Pan, great time, as always. Have to say, the sound was really excellent in there. The Pan's not such a bad spot after all, it turns out. I hadn't seen a show there in years, unless I'm forgetting something... I believe the last time I'd been there was to see Prefuse 73 with Prof K.

Kudos to the band, you all looked hot as ever.

Daily Food 11/3/09
Breakfast: free at the seminar! scrambled eggs, potatoes/peppers, pumpkin muffin
Lunch: super good sandwich on Dave's Killer from the coffee shop
Dinner: Caesar salad, tomato/white bean/potato stew

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tiny Tuesday: Lip Smackin'

I know you are, but what am I?

I am several days behind on posting, due to having the Best Weekend Ever (which spilled into Monday a little bit) and not spending any part of it sitting on my computer nerding out. Will catch up soon - lots of great stuff, but in the meantime, please enjoy this gem of a photo that Arthur (quickly becoming the official photographer for Tiny Tuesday) captured over the weekend.

Daily Food 11/2/09
Breakfast: Spicy Hot V8
Lunch: disaster- tortillas were moldy, avocado was rotten, apple was bad. All things I'd brought to make an awesome meal out of. Ended up with some kind of wrap with Tofurkey and hummus, some black eyed pea/veggie salad, Wheat Thins.
Dinner: tortellini with spicy tomato sauce, salad with greens straight from the farm, grapes.