Monthly Archives: May 2014

A-O River

Dipping my toes in the sand at Kelley Point Park.

I donned my tourist hat today and set out to conquer this fair town.

Well, I did this soon after galloping oh so gracefully around the golf course, running to the post office and returning stupid impulse buys from last weekend.

I saw stupid because they were useless. USELESS USELESS things that I deep down really wish I still had up in my closet. Being fiscally responsible sends me into a slump similar to being 16 and not being allowed to have the keys to your mom’s car for the evening.

But I digress… I didn’t need those sandals or lamp shade so moving on. They were useless.

I was on my own today as the Sweet Boy headed north to Seattle to visit his brothers. My options are endless when it’s just me. I could spend all day trying on shoes, eating seafood, looking at houses, eating at fancy sandwich joints, shopping for yarn, eating vegetarian food… notice a trend? You guessed it, lunch was one of my highlights.

I started things off at Grand Central Bakery. They have outdoor seating and today was just about as gorgeous as it could have been. One degree warmer would have been too warmer, and one degree cooler would have sent me inside. I noshed on a fancy sandwich (i.e., not just turkey and swiss), drank a fancy iced tea and watched fancy people walk their fancy dogs on fancy Fremont St. Afterwards, I spent a few minutes walking by all the fancy houses and lusting after their fancy yards.

It was my second encounter with a Grand Central sandwich and they do not disappoint.

I really like things between bread.

Especially with avocado smeared all over it.

And hot peppers.

Yum.

After lunch I spent a lot of the afternoon at Kelley Point Park in North Portland. This bit of land juts out where the Willamette and Columbia Rivers converge. It’s a sublime mix of the large tanker and cargo ships that move up and down the Columbia, coming in from the Pacific Ocean, and small sail boats and water skiers coming in off the Willamette. The sand is cool and soft and there are plenty of drift wood logs to park yourself on for an hour or so. For as full as the parking lot was, the stretch of beach was surprisingly not crowded. There were a couple of families and people playing with their dogs, but it was quiet and I was able to surround myself in my thoughts.

I thought a lot about the beauty that surrounded me right that very moment. I thought about what it took to find me in Portland. I thought a brief moment on how hard I worked to land in the job I have. I’m surrounded by great coworkers, funny people, supportive teams and one of the most desirable places to move to. I thought about how lucky I am to be so loved and to have a husband that didn’t hesitate to accompany me to Portland.

It was the most perfect thinking spot I’ve come across since moving here. I’m looking forward to going back… next time with a picnic, perhaps?

As I headed back across town, I stopped at a somewhat run down looking burger joint in a not overly populated area. I felt that a cherry milkshake was well deserved after so many calories were spent on brain things while sitting on the shore. I’m a little sad I didn’t find that place for lunch. Their onion rings surely would have sang the songs of angels had I let them and their burgers were truly worthy of their own episode on Food Network (at least, they looked like they were). The milkshake was quite tasty but I’m still thinking about those onion rings! They might have to wait until July, however. I’ll be working straight through the next two weekends and then heading south to Austin after that.

Ah well. The onion rings will be there when I get back.

The trees along the Sandy River stretch to the heavens

My last stop was along the banks of the Sandy River. This river is east of Portland, just before you get to the Columbia River Gorge. I didn’t spend as much time here as it was a bit more crowded than I wanted to deal with today. It’s clear, surrounded by trees so tall they skim the clouds and it’s calm enough for a nice, afternoon float. I’m looking forward to a hotter weekend day. I think I found my swimming hole.

The Sandy River (look past those pesky power lines)

Today was just what I needed before a long stretch in the office. I did my fair share of exploring when I moved out here, but started to repeat my activities the 2nd half of the year. It’s time to start branching out again. Who knows, rivers today and a hike to some hidden falls tomorrow?

That doesn’t sound half bad.

And One Thought More

Guys. I struggled through that last post. All day long I thought about sitting down tonight to write a blog post.

I’m not exaggerating. I thought about it all. Day. Long.

I was going to be so funny about my running attempts. I was going to talk about how I’m 97% certain that I look like a hippopotamus running on hind legs and clawing at the air to propel myself forward when plodding down the sidewalk.

Wait wait wait, I don’t say this because my belly is larger than it should be (although, it is, there is a reason I wanted to get in shape in the first place), I say it because that IS what I look like.

I was going to reminisce on how you’d be wasting your money to cross the Columbia into Washington for a dime bag of Vantucky’s finest weed (do dime bags exist? did I just call Vancouver Vantucky? Does that make me a local?) because a brisk run along the Waterfront Park in Portland provides you with enough 2nd hand smoke to leave you feeling pretty good and jonesin’ for a slice at Sizzle Pie.

I was going to give you a play by play account of the tall bike jousting I happened upon one sunny afternoon. I’ll give you a hint, it’s better than any jousting you’ve seen at Midieval Times.

I thought ALL DAY about this. And then I failed on my delivery.

I just didn’t have it in me. I tried… you have to believe me when I say “I tried”.

I left the post and immediately went over to Facebook and left droplets of entertaining quips all over the place. I felt bad and had to come explain myself. I’ll do better next time.

Scouts honor.

Just One Step More

One of my favorite views from my almost daily run (Willamette River in Portland)

Guess what?!?

I’m still running.

No really… I am! I did close to 18 minutes without stopping a few days ago and tonight barely made it to 15 but at least I was out there. Guys, let me tell you that I am THIS excited about this accomplishment. When I started out, just a minute would absolutely kill me. I had to repeat the first week of my couch to 5K plan because I couldn’t fathom upping the amount of time I plodded quickly along the trail. Now I’m not seeing my run as a series of minutes, but rather distance.

I’m finally up to the point where I can say “that was a good mile and a half” and I’ll take that as a win.

The last few months have seen many trips around the 2 mile trail at a near by golf course, laps and laps around my neighborhood and just recently, traversing down the Willamette River crossing some of my favorite bridges in the process. All are nice but the river is my favorite. The people watching alone is worth the trek. I’m sure I’m one of those people to someone else but hey, you give some, you take some.

My grand plan was to run in a 5K. There are ridiculous amounts of runs in the Portland area. There are the obligatory color/color vibe/neon runs. Have an ugly sweater? Put it on and join in on the ugly sweater run. Prefer bacon to knitwear? There’s a run for that too. I was leaning towards a color run. They are super friendly to first timers and make for a fun set of Facebook pictures. I was waiting to sign up until I could actually run a 5K. I figured that a fall run would be perfect.

Then I was talked into something crazy.

That crazy is a 10K called Pints to Pasta. Hey, if I can get to a 5K, surely I can get to a 10K… right?

RIGHT?!?

Please tell me I’m right.

Heck, if I don’t make it, at least I can walk across the finish line and still get my beer and pasta.

Priorities people, priorities.

A post to title and no title to post

Quite often, when I set out to write a post, I’ve given it some thought for at least half an hour. If I sit down to write with nothing to write about, I find myself lost in a sea of words. My fingers trip over the keys of my laptop searching out some fancy words or a clever quip as I fumble to build paragraphs.

Or at least phrases that make sense once typed out.

We all know paragraphs are overrated when you’re trying to get your voice across on a computer screen.

Tonight is different though. Tonight I needed to get words out more than I wanted to get an idea across. Tonight I just need to journal, I suppose. When I first started a blog, that’s exactly what I did. Journaled. It was emotive (notice I didn’t say emo), it was full of college girl issues and drama, it was interlaced with song lyrics that I hoped would help me convey my mood or at least appeal to that imaginary man that was out there not waiting to run into me in some ideal location in a very romantic way.

I found myself digging into Spotify tonight to listen to “War on Drugs” by Barenaked Ladies. Some part of me wanted to lay on the couch and listen to it on repeat (I’m on number 9 or 10 at this point). I can’t remember the last time I listened to that song although I quite often belt out BNL songs at the top of my lungs while hanging out in traffic on the way to work. I remember this song was a staple post-breakup my last year of college. It was emotional, Steven Page’s voice was my favorite, and it was less bouncy than other songs of the time. Maybe I thought I was deep because I listened to it.

Or maybe I just liked it.

What’s most interesting to me is not that I was found longing for this not-very-significant song from my past, but rather that a few repeats of the tune pushed me to pick up my laptop and write. If I really wanted to recreate the years 2001-2004, I’d take a web cam selfie (although, not considered a selfie back then) and add some song lyrics and italics before jumping into the meat of the post. I’m not going to lie. I did search through the lyrics hoping for just the perfect song.

But it’s fairly sad and I’m not feeling sad so it doesn’t really make sense to do so.

Sometimes I’m feeling pretty funny and clever and those are the times when I am really proud of what I’ve posted on my blog. However, more often than not I merely feel the need to remove words from my head in some semi-permanent way. I’m glad I did that way back when and I’ll be glad I did that tonight.

Go ahead, take a look back at my first blog… built with love on tripod (beware the popups) – Ramblings of a Generic Female I started the thing in 2001 and deleted a great deal of it for whatever reason in 2004. I did print the deleted posts, thankfully, so it is around here somewhere. Maybe I’ll share some of those posts with you someday.

And because I can’t help myself…
Won’t it be dull when we rid ourselves
Of all these demons haunting us
To keep us company?
~War on Drugs, Barenaked Ladies