Friday, December 26, 2014

Postcards from Graceland (via Texas) and Minnesota

This is from Heather, who picked out this card because the back also had a picture of the Graceland Kitchen.  Which is fab, I agree.  I'm not eating one of those sandwiches, though.  Nuh-uh.  You can't make me.

This is from Sara, who got it while Christmas shopping at the Kate Spade store. It's pretty, especially for an advertisement postcard.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

What to do when you spill kombucha all over your library book.

After you stop swearing and rushing about to move other things out of harm's way and wipe up the spill, of course.  
If you multitudes of pens handy (which we do thanks to Matt's absentminded kleptomania) you can space the pages out so they can dry.  It works pretty well.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Postcard from Graceland, by way of Texas.

This is from Heather, who bought it for me because she thought I would like the informational part and I did!  Graceland is at 3764 Elvis Presley Blvd in Memphis.  He bought 13.75 acres in 1957 for $102,500.  Amazing!  That might have been right after he got out of the army?

Three sentence movie reviews: Force Majeure

This is a quality movie in that it's pretty, the acting is quite good and the plot (husband runs away from family when he thinks an avalanche is going to sweep over them) very interesting.  However, it is a very slow and deliberate movie, giving the viewer a lot of time to take in all details in a scene.  Aside from multiple scenes of teeth being brushed, I had ample time to contemplate the many ways of transporting skiers at fancy Alpine resorts.

Cost:  $8.00
Where watched:  Living Room Theaters, with mom.

poster from:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Why yes, I'm making six loaves of bread today.

But I only have two bread pans!  So staggered baking it is.
At the time of this picture, I had two loaves rising, and had prepped the wet ingredients for the other four. When it was time, I poured the milk/water combo into a pot and heated it, then poured some of the warm milk/water back into the jar to loosen the honey.  Then I stirred in the butter--melted in the microwave--and that made it easier to pour the liquid into the dry ingredients while the mixer was going.

The bread turned out great.  But alas,  no pictures.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Postcard from Singapore

This is from the lovely Kathleen, whose blog I enjoy so.  

She remembered that I loved the Vanishing Trades stamp and so she sent me a new one in the series.  Apparently the postage went up, so there are more vanishing trades for us.
This is a picture of the Garland Maker.

Santa comes early!

I've been longing for a piano for years and was very happy my co-worker lent me her keyboard. 

City of Roses Motel: Metal and Wood. (Plus wall going up.)

Hey, it's a picture in daylight!  You can see the bottom floor (I assume there will be additional stories) is almost totally framed up. (Is framed up a term?)

What interests me is that the second half of the lot is not being framed with wood, but instead these metal poles are appearing.  I think the wood-framed part will be two-story townhouses and the metal posts are the first part in a larger building, maybe four to six stories?  It's kind of fun not having a picture of the completed project posted on the fencing. This way the construction is a guessing game for me.

And here is a wall going up!  After I took these pictures I turned to walk the rest of the way to the Max stop and found that a flagger was watching me with an amused expression on her face.

Three sentence movie reviews: Sherlock Season 1

Gleefully delightful update with Sherlock cast as a mostly insufferable (but incredibly watchable) Asperger-y Consulting Detective* and Dr. Watson a recently invalided Army doctor home from Afghanistan.  The first episode, especially (there are three 90 minute episodes in the first season) is quite funny as our two main heroes meet and get to know each other.  All three mysteries were gripping and discussable and I look forward to catching up with all seasons of this drama.

Cost:  Free from library
Where watched: at home.  Then re-watched episodes 1 & 3 with Matt.

*He made it up.  He's the only one.

poster from the Wikipedia page.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

This couch will forever be Jan's couch.

Waiting to exchange doors at Ikea, I slumped on this couch.  Which Jan had in (I believe) purple once upon a time.  Thus it will always be known as "Jan's couch" and not its offical name, whatever it is.

Random Song: Bold as Love

Crazy 60s lyrics, guitar that just builds and builds? We're all bold as love.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Gone from Burnside. Car lot.

When Matt lived in Southeast off of Sandy, and I lived downtown I used to walk to his house on a regular basis, mostly crossing the Burnside Bridge.  Today I had to run an errand after school and it was quicker to walk back.  So I noticed that the used car lot at the corner of Burnside and MLK has gone away.  I wonder when that happened?

Best Oregonian headline of the year?

I think so!

The movie review that went with it was pretty funny too.  I liked that the review was amusing, while still pointing out who would enjoy the film.

City of Roses Motel: More framing.

They've been making progress.  I'm not sure what will happen first. Will it be light in the morning when I walk to the train, or they will finish this building?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Not seen in other workplaces.

When was the last time you could sign up for Cave Deconstruction at your workplace?

Here's the cave before destruction.  One of the K/1 classes built it for their final representation of their "Rocks" project. 

One letter's journey to the wrong side of the country.

This arrived at work.  It was sent from New Jersey.  

Josias Campusano-Polanco?  Doesn't work at my school.
105 Clark St?  105 is the street number of my building, but we're not located on Clark Street.
Roselle, NJ 07203-2504?  None of those come close to matching the city, state and zip. (the 7,  2, & 0 match in that digit order, but nothing else)

So this letter traveled from New Jersey to my work in Portland, Oregon just because our street address is 105.  Weird.  I was so amused I wrote the recipient a note on the back of the envelope before sending it on its way.

City of Roses Motel: wood frames rising.

We have the beginnings of a wall.  You can see that the back side of the building wall is mostly framed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Crazy Basketball Player and Crazy Statement

Ten years from now we will all be amused by this hair, (facial and otherwise).

This is from an article about Green Zebra Grocery Store. It's a tiny grocery store that has the aesthetic of a natural foods store and the size of a convenience store. The owner is looking to expand to other neighborhoods and is drumming up investors.
Here she says, "The Kenton neighborhood is part of an urban renewal neighborhood, and they didn't have a grocery store."

But the paragraph above says, "When the store opened in Kenton, the nearest full-service grocery store was the Interstate Avenue Fred Meyer, about a mile away." 

I live in the Kenton Neighborhood and I think Sedlar doesn't have a good grip on the Kenton geography.  The Interstate Fred Meyer is four blocks away from me.  And about six blocks past that is a New Seasons.  I feel very well served by grocery stores.  Also, even if the Fred Meyer is a mile away from the furthest reaches of the Kenton neighborhood, that's pretty darn close.  Walkable in 20 minutes.  I'm thinking of my friend who lives in Cully.  Now that's an undeserved neighborhood for grocery stores.  

I'm all for putting fancy convenience stores in food deserts, but I think maybe the neighborhood should be a food desert.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Can you read this?

What has this first grader chosen for his top three morning movement choices?

Did you read it?

It says:
1. Soccer Skills
2. Jump Rope
3. YogaFlow

Hopefully in 30 years this will seem ridiculous.

Can you imagine paying $43,016 per year to become a dentist?  That is an insane amount of debt to take on, even if dentists do make a lot of money from the get-go.  What's even crazier is the jump from $15,000 to $43,000 in just ten years.

I'm hoping our student-loan-saddled generation can make things better for the next one, because something has got to give.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Three sentence movie reviews: Wild

It's a good year for book-to-movie adaptations and Wild joins Gone Girl in the pantheon of engrossing books that became excellent films.  The movie manages to make a long hike (which is, when you get down to it, a lot of walking and internal processing) engaging cinema. I think they did a particularly nice job of capturing the circular nature of thoughts when one spends large amounts of time alone as well as the vulnerability some women feel being out on their own.*

Cost: $8.25 (bought advanced tickets)
Where watched: Cinema 21 (Theater 3) with Kelly.

*Which, by the way, really sucks.  Thanks, asshole guys, for making women feel unsafe.

Also!  The scene that caused much brouhaha when it was filmed last year outside my school was in the movie!  It did not land on the cutting room floor.  Predictably, the scene itself was layered with music, so there was no need to have people ask the children to be quiet during recess.  Annoyance aside, it looks really cool, like a real snowstorm in Minneapolis, not a balmy November day in Portland.

Also, also!  This is the second film in a row I've seen Gaby Hoffmann be the friend to a woman who needs an abortion.  She seems to be carving out a pro-choice niche.

poster from:

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy Poetry in Motion?

I do!  And there are new ones coming out like this one.  Such good decor for a bus stop.

City of Roses Update. Hard concrete.

It's hard enough that I see guys walking on it in the mornings.
Now the building begins.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Postcard from Texas (by way of California)

This is from regular commenter Jan, who bought this when she visited Austin for a wedding.  She tells me it's her favorite postcard of Austin that she has ever seen.  
Me too!  It was particularly great picking it out of the rest of the mail because I really had to study it to get it in the right direction and the cognitive dissonance while that happened was very fun.

For the love of all that is holy, it's a conversation, not a Mother May I game!

Stone Soup is usually pretty normal in their family relations. However, we've started a plot where Val, the redhead is having upheaval because of confusion about the direction her relationship with her longtime boyfriend Phil is headed.  They were both happily plunked in "not getting married" but now the waters have been muddied.
What drives me crazy is her reaction.  She doesn't know what her feelings are about marriage, which is fine.  But she reverts to the classic "he must ask me" stance that is not in keeping with the tone of the rest of the strip.  

Val, all you have to say is something like, "Let's have a chat about where we are now with the whole marrying thing."  And boom!  You and your partner can come to a conclusion together. 

The wit that is contained in the 12 Bottle Bar

I purchased the 12 Bottle Bar book because I'm interested in building a home bar and doing it with only 12 bottles seems like a grand idea.  I had no idea the authors would be so amusing.  They also feature other amusing authors, such as Sam Greenspan, who tells us about "11 Drinks Not to Order for the Opposite Sex."  This paragraph in particular amused me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It's winter. I don't care what the calendar says.

This much rain, this cold?  You are looking at full-on winter in Portland Oregon.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Postcard from the Czech Republic

It seems Hafidha wasn't the only one in Prague this autumn.  I received this card from my dad and his wife.  This is the Dancing House.  Very fun!

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Deborah and I visited Zoolights to see the choir she is usually a member of perform.  They sang Christmas songs and songs from their repertoire.

Then we walked around and took in the lights.  (And the animals.  We saw the baby elephant! He was, predictably, quite cute.)

This is a river with alligators and hippopotamus and other animals.

I grabbed a photo of this kid because he looked too young to have a Letterman jacket.  He struck me as maybe a freshman, maybe.  I looked a little closer and guessed from the early 1990's dates on the patches on the jacket that it was perhaps first his father's jacket.
(Letterman jacket side note.  I was checking the spelling and found this Portland Oregon store that made me want to get my own Letterman jacket. I want the all-wool with the sailor collar.)

Self portrait with Deborah. (And lights)

We sat and people watched and chatted under this great dragon.
It was a fun night.

Kombucha update.

Brewing is going well.  I've established a rhythm. I brew on Sundays, transfer the scoby to the new jar and drop chopped up ginger in the finished brew.  The new batch goes in the oven with the light on and the finished brew gets a lid and sits for four days to absorb the ginger flavor.  Then I strain out the ginger (and the bits) and pop the finished kombucha in the fridge.  It's delicious, and so much cheaper than buying bottles for $3.29.
This is a new batch on the right and a finished batch on the left.  The scoby's grow "mothers" which are baby scobys you can give away or use to start more batches.  I've given one away and used one to start a new batch.  You can sort of see the scoby in the jar on the right.  It's that grayish looking thing floating on the top.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A bit of downtown.

This is the window of John Helmer, Haberdasher, where I would purchase all my hats, were I of the male persuasion.

But mostly I took these pictures so I could remember these great candy cane  hanging ornaments.

While I was waiting on friend, I watched this ballerina get her photo taken.

City of Roses Motel. More concrete.

Now we don't just have vertical concrete, we have horizontal concrete.

Three sentence movie reviews: The Homesman

Recasting the Western with a feminist slant (as written and directed by men) this was an engrossing movie.  Great acting, compelling characters and the movie balanced funny with tragic.  However, there was a thing that happened in Act 3 that I didn't at all find believable,* and which sunk the whole film.

Cost: free due to gift card
Where watched: Regal Fox Tower with S. North.

*If you've seen it, let me know, we'll talk.

poster from:
(I went with version three because it had Hilary Swank in front.)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Random Song: Unbelivers by Vampire Weekend.

 Vampire Weekend is my gin and tonic, my motivation to clean the house, my pep-me-up music.  Listening to them, I transform into a carefree girl spending the summer on the Cape with nothing but leisure before me.  


As an unbeliever myself, I particularly love this song.

Wallet and Chain United!

The new chain has been removed and is just hanging out being a chain.  The old chain has been attached to the new wallet and all is right with the world.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Quoted on Filmspotting #516

Segment starts at ~31:42, my quote is at 38:00.

Postcard from the Czech Republic

Sent by Hafidha, who just did a fabulous tour of Europe with her daughter.  She wondered if I had been here with the youth from church and alas, we went to Hungary and Romania, but not the Czech Republic.

Three sentence movie reviews: Wet Hot American Summer

There are many, many amusing scenes of teenage summer camp life as portrayed by actors who are a decade (or more) removed from actually being teenagers.  An incredibly star-studded cast all have great fun with silly tropes from teen movies.  Paul Rudd is hilarious as a hot teenage boy.*

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home with Olivia, who recommended it.

*He was 32 when this was filmed.
(Also! Vinnie VanLowe is in this!  Vinnie sighting!)

poster from:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Afternoon walk on N. Mississippi

I took a walk up Mississippi to my volunteer shift at the library.  Here are a few things I saw.

Supposedly, if this billboard is to be believed, this very skinny building will be constructed.  I find it interesting because the land to the right of the supposed building is the large expanse of open space where the ghost stairs I documented in this post. Apparently this piece of land was separate from the ghost stairs land.

I'm quite glad I wasn't sitting under this deck/porch/cover when it collapsed.

That post just snapped.  I'm betting this wasn't built to code.

Really pretty art on the side of a building.

Full picture.