Saturday, August 2, 2008

Omigod I Love this Town

I spent my 0-18 years in a suburb outside of Rochester, New York called Pittsford. My mother is often telling me how great things are there, hinting ever so subtlely (or not) that perhaps I might like to move back some day. High school for me was basically a snobbish hell of rich girls driving their brand new BMWs and Mercedes the day they turned 16, and pre-frat boys being dicks. I did go to a really good high school where pretty much everyone goes to college, and most kids go to Ivy League or top tier schools, so I do have that to thank for a great education.

I have very little contact with folks that I went to high school with, and sometimes I forget (thankfully) how happy I am to not be there anymore. Recently, I joined Facebook (yes! I am so hip beyond my 32 years! take that generation millennium!) and have gotten back in touch with some HS alums. I was just invited to join this facebook group called "Bitch please...I'm from Pittsford", which is described as follows:

Essentially, this is for everyone from Pittsford who knows that we are better than everyone else because...

we've got Wegmans,
we've got garbage plates,
we've got more money,
we've got bigger houses,
we've got nicer houses,
we've got hamza and hilal,
we're smarter,
our moms don't dress their ages because they don't look it,
most of us drive better cars then our teachers,
we have high levels of awesomity,
we all have Ipods,
we know how to party,
we bring sexy back for real,
we need scaffolding to clean our chimneys,
we don't go in debt when we buy something from abercrombie,
we kick ass at everything we do,
we can afford to build a middle school and only use half of it,
we have ben and jerry's, coldstone and bill wahl's
we have great northern and pontillo's
we have pittsford farms dairy
we've got the one, the only, David Snyder,
we've got higher quality drugs,
basically all of us do crew,
we are amazing at hockey,
Pittsford is listed as one of 'Best Places to Live in the Country' by CNN,
the town is one of the wealthiest in the nation,
home to Oak Hill Country Club, which hosted the 1989 U.S. Open, 1995 Ryder Cup and the 2003 PGA Championship,
hosts to the NFL Buffalo Bills, who have their summer training camp at St. John Fisher,
The parents are mostly doctors/surgeons, lawyers, or successful businessmen,
A majority of the people have created their own business, earning up to as much as five million dollars a year,

and because we probably employ your parents
Thank you Portland for being a million, billion awesome things and NOT THIS. God, I hate my hometown.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

So I am training to walk the Portland Marathon in October. Training? Why would you need to train if you're only going to walk it? (my inner voice says)

Well, my dad is flying out from New York to walk it with me. He just turned 65 and he is a freaking fitness fiend. If I don't train, my father will smoke me. So, I've been walking. A lot. My goal is to finish in 7:15 or less.

There are good things about doing 3 hour walks. #1: I've discovered some fun audiobooks for my ipod. I'm currently switching back and forth between "Discover Your Inner Economist" and Stephen Colbert's "I Am America...And So Can You!". #2: Learning things about the neighborhood that I never knew. What? There's a Mormon church 4 blocks away? How did I never know this? I've chatted with some very friendly people and petted their very friendly cats. #3: That immense feeling of accomplishment when I'm finished. Holy crap - I just walked 12 miles. I am a superstar!

The bad things about 3 hour walks: #1: realizing at the end that I'm not even halfway through a marathon. crap. #2: sunburn. #3: swollen fingers and hands. mine start swelling up about 45 minutes in, and by the end of 3 hours they are ugly and bloated and terribly uncomfortable. #4: 3 hours is a long, long time. even with my funky music and audiobooks, sometimes I'm so bored. i like to dream up exotic meals that I will treat myself to after the marathon is complete. Lobster tails and butter and a lovely crisp sauvignon blanc and some kind of sauteed spinach with lots and lots of garlic. And pie for dessert.

Next week will be a 4 hour walk. Woo hoo! Stephen Colbert and Ira Glass better come through for me.

ps, I hope that whoever slashed the tire of my precious 1998 Corolla gets some bad karma. Who decided that is a fun activity?? It's not patchable, and $200 for 2 new tires was not an expense we were planning for. Ah well. I swear, most days I love my neighborhood. I just don't love finding broken 40's in our front lawn (Thank you Larsons!) and hearing some kid's lowered Honda screech down the street at 70 mph

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Empty Storefronts

Last year, the Oregon Legislature passed a law that limited the interest that check cashing/cash advance businesses could charge customers in Oregon. Essentially, this meant a lot of them packed up and left the state altogether (which, while I understand the short-term need, I think is a GOOD thing).

One such place was Cash Advance America on N. Lombard next to Encanto and Copy Pilot. The storefront has sat empty now for about 6 months. Every time I drove by, I thought please please don't let it be a...
- convenience store
- dive bar
- tobacco shop

Well, now I see a sign is in the window that says "Nails and Spa...Coming Soon." This isn't the totally best option possible, but it's not bad. I'm assuming it's going to be more downscale, like the Vogue Nails further down Lombard where you can get a manicure and pedicure for $40. Not like Trixies, which is more into the pampering experience. I will hope for the best - that it is clean, friendly, and attracts some good business.

(and yes, I've been gone for forever)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

NoPo memers

Aright, Lelo didn't tag me, but I accept anyway.

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
Getting ready to graduate from college, pack my life up, spend 6 miserable weeks in Houston getting a crash course in how to be a teacher, then move to rural North Carolina where I would start teaching 6th grade special education math, english, science and social studies, get incredibly depressed, lose 20 pounds, and move back in with my parents 4 months later.

At exactly this point 10 years ago, I was finishing my college thesis on how preschoolers learn language. I wish I remembered some of it - it was pretty interesting.

2. What are 5 things on your to-do list?
1. Make a Goodwill trip
2. Put fresh sheets on the bed
3. Update my resume
4. Weed and mulch the front gardenbed
5. Take the pup for a long hike

3. What are 5 snacks you enjoy?
1. Trader Joe's flaxseed & honey flatbread
2. part-skim mozzarella string cheese
3. baby carrots
4. greek yogurt with honey or berries
5. nutrigrain frozen waffles

4. Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire.
I actually would never ever want to be a millionaire. It's too much responsibility, and has too much potential to wreak havoc on your relationships and life. However, if I have no choice in the matter...I would give an awful lot of money to the humanitarian arm of PLAN (Plan Loving Adoptions Now) which is sending little girls in Liberia to school and building wells for impoverished communities. My other pet charities...Our House of Portland, Dove Lewis, Cat Adoption Team, Girls Inc. and Portland Actors Conservatory...would also receive a lot of it. I'd pay off all our family student loans & debt, and R & I would take a big long trip to Europe and (in my dream), Central America.

5. Name some places where you've lived.
- Rochester, NY
- Evanston, IL
- St. Louis
- Louisburg, NC
- Every quadrant of Portland + Beaverton

6. Name some bad habits you have
Leaving kleenex in the couch cushions, interrupting people when I think I know what they're going to say (VERY bad habit...must stop)

7. Name some jobs you've had
Student campus escort, counselor for kids with disabilities, special education teacher, child development researcher, women's clothing retail clerk, market researcher, policy analyst, babysitter, lifeguard, daycare worker

8. Name those whom you are tagging
Spread the love - not tagging

Monday, May 26, 2008

Dear Craigslist:

dear craigslist:

this weekend marks my 6th anniversary of living in portland, and once again i availed myself of your services to great success. so...just a note to let you know how much you've helped me over the past 6 years. over time, i have you to thank for:
  • a lightly-used dresser
  • a washer & dryer for our then-new house when we had practically NO cash to spare but really really needed to do our laundry
  • a short stint living in a fabulous house in NW portland with a bedroom-balcony great view of the sunrise over the Fremont bridge, my own gorgeous bathroom with beautiful restored clawfoot tub, and forest park at my back for a mere $350/month. although i eventually got booted out of the house for reasons that remain unclear, it was an awesome 6 months of living experience
  • our puppy, lucy
  • getting rid of a dining room table & chairs, boxspring, old dishes, and countless other items we didn't want to keep when we moved
  • most recently, the most fabulous practically-new red Dirt Devil vacuum that kicks ass on our dirty hardwood floors (see puppy, above) for a mere $60
  • guitar lessons
  • and many, many more things
So thank you CL, for your many blessings. Life just wouldn't be the same without you.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

What I've Been Doing

Oy. It's been so long since my last post. It's paddling season! That means practicing thrice-weekly with my team, the Wicked Wahinis. We had our first race of the season on Saturday up in Tacoma in Puget Sound. It was chaotic and hot and crazy, but so so much fun. We won the Women's "B" division (which is generally the recreational teams).

That's me, waiting to line up for our last race. Although I do not love the Thursday 6 am practice, I do LOVE paddling. It is so wonderful to be out there on the water, observing the city from a new vantage point. Even when it's hailing, sleeting, our just pouring down rain, there's something really connective about paddling your way through the conditions (although I am quite happy to have a car with heated seats after practice). Now that the weather is getting nicer, it's a treat to enjoy the beautiful scenery and sunshine.

Onto Rose Festival, Kent, Salem, Victoria, Waterfront and San Francisco races between now and October. Go Wicked!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Miss Janet, Don't be Nasty

Sitting in LRBC right now, having enjoyed my early-morning breakfast of honeyed yogurt and coffee, finishing my final geography paper on the American Community Survey (yay data!). It's all perfect except for...
...the couple sitting in the cafe "enjoying" their breakfast, while the girl continuously berates and mocks the guy for pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth. I think she thinks she's being funny, but she sounds pretty mean to me.

C'mon you guys, don't ruin a good morning! Good music on the stereo, delicious breakfast sandwiches and strong coffee. What more could you want?