Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rose Queen Tea, Senior Edition

Furry leopard print jacket, wig, tiara, and peep those nails!

The Royal Rosarians deliberating in the garden...
For the past 16 years, my company has put on a wonderful Rose Queen event  for the lovely ladies out in our (long term care) facilities, culminating with the crowning of the Queen of Queens.  This year's event was at the Oregon Golf Club in West Linn, and I was so lucky to be invited to attend.  My volunteer job was to get people from the main entrance into the tent, where the main event was.  People showed up in everything from Trimet Lift buses to limousines, and the outfits!  Oh.  My.  God.  They were awesome.  Each lady rolled up (literally... all but two were wheelchair riders) all dolled up, bejeweled and tiara-ed, ready to don a hot pink sash and take the stage.

One by one, each woman's bio was read aloud while photos from their lives were posted on big screens behind the stage.  Amazing stories of amazing lives.  Among the Queens was a former Senator (Idaho), a Civil Rights activist, a die-hard Trail Blazers fanatic (and life-long season ticket holder), and women from all walks of life.  Any tears I shed were happy ones, not sad, listening to their stories.  My company flew in family and friends from all over the country to watch their Grannies, Moms, Aunts, and Sisters be recognized.  It was awesome.

Here's the thing about old ladies:  they don't give a f*ck.  Pardon my language, but that's really what it boils down to.  It's a different attitude than old dudes have; there is a certain old lady mindset that is super fierce and staunchly independent, regardless of physical capacity or if they do need assistance in other aspects of daily living.  Great example of this was seen by one of my favorite Queens, who showed up in a sleeveless (it was not warm out), deep V-cut, hot red dress.  She was more comfortable not keeping her legs crossed for some reason, so we all got to see her hot red underpants, too.  And why?  Because old ladies don't give a f*ck.  She posted up in her tiara with her red undies and cleavage for days, not caring what anyone thought about that outfit. 

After the Royal Rosarians had made their decision and the Queen of Queens was being crowned and seated in her throne, someone said to her, in that baby voice people use to talk to old folks, "Why, don't you look so pretty today!"  She responded, "Um, I look pretty every day, thanks".  Ha!  'Cause old ladies don't give a... you know what.

It was a great event, the setting and decor was super classy and beautiful, and I really enjoyed seeing the photo collage boards each facility had made for their Queens.  I was so glad I got to finally witness this tradition, that kicks of Rose Festival season.  Oh, and Miss Teen Oregon was there as well, and gotta say... any one of those old ladies would have sassed her into next Tuesday, and despite her best efforts of keeping a fake smile on her face the whole time, was clearly not even in the same universe as the older gals were.  She wishes she was on their level!  So glad I went.

Warehouse Chic

On Thursday, attended a very nice event for the Portland Women's Crisis Line in a warehouse in NW Portland (under the I-405 on-ramp, at an old Norm Thompson building), that I hope was a huge success for them.  They did a great job transforming a completely empty space into a swanky, cool, posh setting, complete with chandeliers, a DJ Booth, a bar, fabulous food. 

I really liked how they did the official 'asking for the money', it was quick and fun and I hope they got a ton of pledges.  They broke down the pledge levels by a per-phone-call price ($7), which I think makes it more manageable for most people to think of in those terms.  They showed a moving video, white words scrolling on a black screen, read aloud by a single narrator.  It was quite sad, about the hopelessness that comes with domestic and sexual violence.  But then it reached the end, and the narrator changed her tone, the film played the words in the reverse order, and the whole thing was re-read to have the opposite effect, a message full of hope and optimistic for a world without violence. 

The PWCL serves five counties in the Portland Metro area, but countless people from all over call the toll-free number for help, 24/7.  Take the pledge today here, this organization is so awesome but they have very little funding.  They are currently seeking 700 people to pledge $7, the cost of just one of the 26,000 calls they take per year.  A great event, and I hope they raised some big bucks from the auction! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tea Party!

Today I am so lucky to get to attend the Old Ladies Rose Queen Tea Party (that is NOT the official name)!  It's at the Oregon Golf Club in West Linn, and I'm super excited.  My company puts on this event, and I've already gotten a preview of some of the decor and general look and feel of the event - absolutely lovely.  Most looking forward to their outfits, honestly.  I hope there are big hats involved. 

Googling "tea party" these days is dangerous, sheesh.  Took me like ten minutes and adding the words "West Linn", "Oregon", and finally "Rose Queen" individually before I got anything else beside links to pages of those tea party lunatics.  Will post photos if I can snap some good ones.   

Daily Food 4/20/10
Breakfast: piece of toast, wasabi cracker that nearly killed me
Lunch: black bean/corn/peppers/avocado salad, corn chips/salsa, mixed grilled veggies
Dinner: Soycurls enchiladas @ Taqueria Los Gorditos
Misc: 2 diet Cokes, I got super hopped up. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tiny Tuesday: Face of Evil

This is what evil looks like, folks.  And about 7 seconds after I took this pic, she looked me right in the eye and knocked my glasses in the trash, on purpose. 

Daily Food 4/19/10
Breakfast: Larabar, 2 clementines, peanuts
Lunch: spinach salad w/ strawberries, potatoes, ginger seitan
Dinner: braised mixed greens (collards, mustard, spinach, kale), stewed tomatoes and sweet peppers, Tofurkey Italian sausage; ginger ale.  

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Eagle has Landed!

 Papa.. papa... paaaa-paaa-razzzi! 

Or, rather... has flown!  Yesterday, watched the release of a super-badass-lookin' Bald Eagle back into the wild from George Roger's Park in Lake Oswego.  The nine-pound bird was in a fight back in February, badly damaging a leg and nerves, and has been in rehab at the Audubon Society ever since.  But he's all better now and ready to rock.

Nesting Bald Eagles started showing up in LO back in 2001, according to Bob Salinger, the Conservation Director who spoke and released the bird yesterday.  For decades, they were at risk for extinction, due to this country's use of the pesticide DDT, but in June 2007, were officially taken off of the endangered species list.  They are still protected by several other Acts.

The main image of many of our national emblems since 1782, these dudes are super, super burly.  When Bob walked him close enough that I could actually look into the bird's eyes, I may have jumped a little.  Cute and cuddly, they certainly are not.  A six-foot wingspan!  They can fly up to 45 miles per hour!  They will bite the face off of pretty much any prey!

My first bird release and my first trip ever to Lake Oswego.  That park was amazing (26 acres!) and the weather simply could not have been any nicer.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wheels of Justice Hand Charm City Their Asses.

Sorry to be so crass with my choice of words in the title, but really that's what happened last night, folks.  Rose City's own WOJ pummeled those poor girls from Baltimore, who hardly knew what hit 'em.  As the bout started, and the first jam of the night kicked off, they made it around the track at least four times before a lead jammer emerged.  At that point, I thought, "Hmmm... maybe this is going to be a tough match up", but no.  That thought was *poof* gone a moment later as Portland emerged victorious.

It was actually kind of a messy game, regulations-wise.  Half the time I had no idea what was happening, why people were in the penalty box, or where in the holy hell the pack was. 

WOJ were totally on fire last night, so quick, so focused, looked like they were having an awesome time beginning to end.  The 'mascot' from Charm City (a banana... WTF?) tried to tell me that Baltimore is one of the leading producers of greenhouse bananas in the world, right behind Turkestan.  What a lunatic.  But then our Rose City Unicorn tried to tell me that Portland is one of the leading breeders of unicorns... in the universe.  So, in summary, all of us derby-lovers must just be nuts.

Final score 135 to 67.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rat, Gopher, Frog, Chicken?

Out and about walking the neighborhood last night, taking landscaping photos, stumbled upon this strange lil tea party in front of someone's home.  Interesting.  Are they supposed to look like they are eating the chicken? 

Also found something very rare, don't think I have ever seen in SE Portland, that's for sure: an outdoor pool.  Uncovered but clean.  Fully functional.  It is near SE 28th and Holgate, belonging to what may be the ugliest apartment complex I have ever seen in my life.  Completely hidden, it's below street level and appeared to have veins that go right up into people's patios.  You don't see that every day. 

Daily Food 4/15/10
Breakfast: pumpkin "mookie" from Cravin Raven, banana
Lunch: special from DC Vegetarian - seitan, grilled onions/peppers, avocado, Yumm! sauce on rye toast, Veggie Chips, diet Coke
Snack: apple
Dinner: Caesar salad, butternut squash sticks, shared some bread pudding with Granny Smith apples
Misc: Manhattan

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Where the trail meets the bike corridor. 
Not sure what building this is, but its backside is painted with the official bird of Portland, The Great Blue Heron
Last stop!  Oaks Amusement Park is one of the oldest in the nation, founded in 1905

Headed out in the car the other day with no destination in mind.  Didn't make it too far from the apartment as I pulled the car over mere moments after departing when I saw the sign for Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge on Milwaukie Ave.  Driven past a thousand times, never stopped.  Rediscover Portland Tour 2010 continues.

One of the few remaining marshland areas in Portland, it is a 140-acre floodplain right off of the Willamette.  A quick, brisk walk down toward the river will put you right on the Springwater Corridor.  This is the spot for bird watching!  I'm not sure I've ever heard so many different songs at once.  They've also got a huge tadpool pond, if you're into that kind of thing.  All sorts of people were out and about enjoying the weather... we came across big kids, little kids, people smoking doobies, dogs... everyone loves a nature trail. 

Once we jumped onto the Corridor, we decided to walk all the way to Oaks Bottom Amusement Park (where we'd just been the night before for the derby match).  And guess who was in the Hangar.  The baby derby girls!  After a quick peek around the park, the roller rink, and a holler at the Rosebuds, headed back up the path and through the Wildlife area again, stopping a few times along the way to watch a couple of heron, which I learned is the official city bird of Portland.

A great walk, will definitely be back soon.

Tiny Tuesday: Princess and the Pea

Daily Food 4/12/10
Breakfast: Nu-Go bar, banana
Lunch: Tofurkey/soy cheese on sourdough, spinach/strawberry salad, mashed potato
Dinner: Housemade veggie burger, salad, tomato toast @ Slingshot; Spire cider

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April Annihilation!

Well, well, well, our beloved Guns N Rollers lost the bout last night to the Heartless Heathers, but a good time had by all nonetheless.  I was decked head to toe in very tight denim, black, and hot pink, right down to my fingernails.  Purchased a super sweet new necklace and got a $2 bill back in change! 

It was a really good bout, those teams were matched well.  But where oh where was Cadillac last night?!  Scratcher In the Eye of the Heathers was on fire last night.  ON FIRE.  Unstoppable.  Next bout's this Friday - Wheels of Justice vs. Baltimore's Charm City Rollers, followed by Breakneck Betties vs. High Rollers on Saturday.  Details here.

Oh, yeah and we all got a jar of Baconnaise!  I think I've posted about Baconnaise before (but perhaps on a now-defunct site), a strange product that contains no actual bacon.  It caught my eye a few years ago, they have a campaign to get Bacon Salt to soldiers overseas.  Now, I'm all for sending any kind of gifts to soldiers overseas, but Bacon Salt?  Is that really the 'back home' product they're craving?  Interesting.  

Afterward, headed to C Bar, which is turning into somewhat of a post-derby tradition, with a couple of folks who hadn't been there before, and had a bunch of snacks (no one had eaten since breakfast).  I think we ended up sharing darn near the entire appetizer menu: cheese plate, caesar salad, butternut squash sticks, hummus plate...  plus one of their amazing Manhattans.  I actually could not finish it.  A crime, I know.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

America's Favorite Pastime

Hard to believe it's already that time of year again!  On Thursday, headed down to our adorable little PGE Park to catch the 2010 Season Opener of the Portland Beavers minor league baseball season, vs the Sacramento Rivercats.  I adore watching minor league baseball.  There's something about it that really amuses me, like little league for grown ups.  No one cares who wins.  No pressure, everyone is relaxed and having a good time. 

We were in the second row, just to the left of home plate and upon arrival were greeted as such by an old-timer working there, "Good evening, I'm Paul, and I'm your Club level Ambassador for the evening".  Ha!  How funny is that?  We noted that most of the staff surrounding us were indeed old-timers, not a gentlemen under the age of 70, that's for sure.  They just love baseball, and I love that about them. 

We were seated next to two gals who were clearly the Portland Beavers superfans.  It was like a constant audio Wikipedia entry for nine straight innings.  Not only did they know every player's names, stats, origins, but also the other teams', PGE Park politics, and damn near every random fact you'd ever need to know about the Portland Beavers.  These ladies are in love, and I don't doubt for a damn second they are stalking the team.  Informed?  Yes.  Slightly crazy?  Double yes. 

Beavers didn't win, but it was a great time. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Elite Event: Yelp Ball at The Jupiter Hotel

Oh, hello fancy tent with chandeliers, raised DJ table, and multiple rooms full of free samples.  Last night, we got to head into the Yelp Ball an hour before the masses to sample some very tasty food (cornflake-coated fried green tomatoes!  Thanks, Doug Fir!), drinks (I passed on most of those as many were vodka), and talk to a Mercy Corps representative and some other reps there with various companies.  Got to meet many folks in person for the first time, which is always fun.  

No idea how I came up with that outfit.  I raced home from work, ran inside, tossed off my work clothes and somehow came up with a complete outfit in about 3 minutes, just in time for my ride to pull up.  Upon entry into the "Dream Tent", the first person I saw, Joe, said, "You look like a creepy nun", haha.  And throughout the night, seven more people said I looked like a nun.  Must have been the black hood.  Matt E said I looked more like a Bond girl, but I'll take what I can get.  I'd be a great nun.

Our Yelp Boss, Don B, gave multiple shout-outs to our Mercy Corps Yelper, Kody L.  All well-intentioned, of course, but I don't think anyone told him Kody actually hasn't left for Sudan yet.  But once his Visa goes through, he's headed out for 18 months.  Many, many kudos to him.

I've learned my lesson of work-night Yelp events and steered clear of the booze and tried to keep it cool with just a couple of beers.  The distillery row they'd set up was mighty cool, though, and they were sampling out some interesting booze and cocktails.  I tried one that was a chocolate-infused vodka (sounds gross, right?), with a touch of bourbon and an orange slice that was surprisingly good.

Great time, as always.  Total cost?  Zero dollars. 

Daily Food 4/7/10
Breakfast: Tofurkey and cream cheese on toast, apple
Lunch: 1/2 curried egg salad sandwich on whole grain, quinoa salad, green beans, cookie
Snacks at event: sliver of Pizzacato, mini vegan cupcake, a fried green tomato slice; Ninkasi IPA
Dinner: sun-dried tomato/basil pizza

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tiny Tuesday: Fill-In

I am plumb out of Tiny Tuesday photos.  So, today we have a fill-in cat!  A sub, if you will.  This is Masha, the bar kitty at Leisure Public House, one of my favorite bars in all the city.  I especially enjoy this photo because her tongue is halfway out of her mouth, she was mid-smackin'.  We stopped into LPH as part of a St Jeezy Bar Crawl tour the weekend before last - bocce, booze, and beats.  I'd brought a sweet little ipod plug-in speaker set I scored from Tuesday Morning's clearance bin, so we had our own custom paylist rockin' the whole time.  Love that place, love that patio. 

Daily Food 4/5/10
Breakfast: toast, apple
Snack: ginger Larabar, banana
Lunch: vegan potato salad, baked tofu, red pepper slices
Dinner: vegan platter @ Dot's (black beans, brown rice, salad, tortilla, tofu, avocado, salsa), iced tea
Misc: Bob's Red Mill Cookie, which I was forced to eat by the Red Cross lady, who told me if I didn't eat it, it would go to waste as I was the last donor of the day.  Delicious?  Yes.  Necessary?  No.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Jazz, Rain, and Bourbon: Heck of a Sunday!

Gorgeous fruit at City Market NW

Yesterday, had a most lovely Sunday/Easter brunch with my lovelies at Brasserie Montmartre, which we recently rediscovered on our downtown walking tour last weekend.  Dark and musty no longer, they really redid that place beautifully.  The food was ok, but the music!  It was wonderful.  Roomie one-upped us all, showing up in her 'mannequin' outfit (yep, she pulled a Pretty Woman recently and said, "I'll take that", pointing at a fully clothed mannequin, head to toe) with Easter baskets for us!  The woman keeps me in nail polish like it's going out of style.

Eagar and I then set out on foot for a full tour of Nob Hill area.  I spent a lot of time up there when I first moved here, but don't get up there very often anymore.  We were pretty soaked, traipsing about in the rain, in and out of all the shops, and loved every second of it.  It was so slow for business, all of the people working in the shops were extra friendly, I think they were just glad to have some company.  Noted many vacant storefronts on some popular corners.  Guess the rents just went up too much. That neighborhood may be do for a revision soon, I suspect... 

Wrapped up the day stopping into Pope House Bourbon Lounge to dry off.  I like what they've done with the place, though I will forever think of it as the Brazen Bean, where I may or may not have fallen down the stairs once upon a time.  Just like most of the shops, bartender there was happy to have some company.  Rainy, sleepy Sunday, meandering around town... best day ever. 

Daily Food 4/4/10
Easter brunch: veggie benedict (mushroom, red pepper), potatoes, grits, bloody mary
Dinner: vegan potato salad, big green salad, whole grain roll from Bob's Red Mill, tempeh
Misc: Hot Toddy at the Pope House, piece of Easter chocolate

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Who Needs Easter Baskets?

When you have wonderful friends who keep you outfitted with the most beautiful flowers, year round?