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)