January 31, 2012

Breakfast Club

I really like breakfast. I feel like most people do, especially people in Portland. I mean, we wait for an hour at some restaurant, sit around, chat and drink coffee, and then we sit down and eat and chat some more, and that is considered an excellent Sunday morning. So, inspired by a friend of Colleen's who has a regular brunch get-together, I decided that Sam and I should have one at our house.

Sam sent out a text on Friday afternoon that inspired gags from some of our friends who think we are a gross couple because we suggest things like Breakfast Club, and suddenly we were on. People were into it. Everyone loves breakfast and apparently people don't book Saturday mornings the way they do Friday nights and Tuesday evenings. Everyone wanted to come. I had replies from friends I hadn't seen in months.

The plan was to take the waffle maker on its maiden voyage (Christmas gift from my mom) and we requested that people bring toppings and fruit and other protein things for sides. Of course, Sam and I slept in a little later than we should have, so when people started arriving, coffee was still brewing and I was frantically trying to whip runny egg whites into mountainous peaks, but my parents arrived and my mom took over waffle-making helm while I turned my attention to whipping cream into mountainous peaks. It was a success. There were multiple berry topping options, tropical choices, quiche, sausages (brought by The Sausage King), bacon, scrambles, and mimosas. Pretty much a huge mess of delicious waffles and other breakfasty things. Plus, the day wasn't even half over and I had already had quality social time with friends and family. We spent the rest of the afternoon skating at Pier Park and pretty much had the perfect Saturday.

I can't wait for the next Breakfast Club. (Liz and Jesse, did you say that it's your turn?)

January 26, 2012

Now with more Pig Roast

Just to remind us that summer does exist in Oregon and it will come back some day, here are more photos from Pig Roast 2011.

From top: (1) Yes, it looks like a crime. A delicious crime. (2) Master BBQ-er. (3) Laurence, Kyle, and Sam went early to help set up. They were in charge of balloons, (4) and a sign for the road. (5) Down in the pasture discussing the likelihood of someone falling into the fire. (6) Liz made a beautiful pie (notice the pig on the spit).

January 17, 2012

How to Throw a Pig Roast

If I were a more responsible blogger, you would already know about this. The pig roast happened in August. But as it is, I always end up lagging on this stuff and posting whatever happens to fall into my lap, so it has taken a long time. But that's not because it wasn't extremely special.

Find Reinforcements: Last summer (that is, 2010), I asked my parents to throw a pig roast. They have this huge brick smoker, they have land, they are nice people; all the necessary ingredients are there. But it fell through due to timing and we let it go. Cut to 2011. I had backup. Somehow Kyle Arthur got involved and you know, once my parents have pressure coming from multiple angles, they just kind of give up and say yes. I feel like at some point I said, "But Kyle Arthur just can't wait for the pig roast!" So we set the date and started planning. Laurence was coming up from SLC, friends were being called, plans for setting up were in motion.

Make it Official: Nothing says official like real invitations made out of paper that are sent through the U.S. postal system. I sat in my garage for an afternoon and spray painted a pink pig stencil announcement while getting high on the fumes. Then I mailed them to people. Official.

Make it a Potluck: There was so much amazing food! People brought pies, salads, snacks, etc. There was no end to the goodness, and no one had to spend the entirety of that beautiful sunny day slaving in the kitchen. Plus, Sam managed to swing a beer hookup and we had a couple kegs. Things were really falling into place.

Entertain Them: There was a lot going on. My parents went out and got a vintage ping pong table (so cool), we got the croquet sets out, badminton was in full force, and Sam brought his bocce set. My mother (you never know what she'll come up with) set up a raffle system as well. All guests put their name in the hat and anyone who won a lawn game got to put their name in the hat again. Besides the lawn games, there was the pasture to explore, tents to set up (an aerobic feat of its own), and general wandering throughout an idyllic pastoral setting. And then the eating. And the socializing. And the drinking. And the karaoke. Yes. There was karaoke. The raffle took place near the end of the evening and most people received things of semi-value. Except for me. I went with the item that required batteries. It was a Christmas edition of Big Mouth Billy Bass.

Sing Something: So, Huy brought out the karaoke system and we all started going off on that. My dad had poo-pooed the whole thing (oh bah, karaoke) but shockingly enough, he and his friend brought the house down with their rendition of Whiskey Bar by the Doors, complete with synchronized dancing. We ended the night with a cathartic Bohemian Rhapsody frenzy, with everyone present standing in a huge huddle and screaming along.

Don't Fall in the Fire: I was a little worried someone would break something navigating the steep hill down to the fire pit, or even fall into the fire, but no one did, and we sat around the fire and told stories and whatever else you do around a campfire late at night.

Save Some Beer for Cleanup: As long as there's some beer left in the keg, there will be some people willing to stay around the next morning to cleanup and breakdown camp.

Basically, this was a magical event and it went off without a hitch. I hope everyone who attended will come again, as my dad has already planned his karaoke song for next time. I also hope it happens again because I did a really bad job of taking photos. So many photo opportunities, so few taken.

From top: (1) Balloons make it better, (2-4) Carl took like five pictures of us, just sitting there, (5) Sam wearing my french hat, (6) Colleen and Jocelyn in the old arena, (7) Captain Carl in the sunset, (8) Pancake breakfast, (9) Most Haggard Award.

January 16, 2012

White Stuff

An illustration of us in all that snow.

Finally! It's been tough to be a snowboarder in Oregon. Opening weekend was apparently this epic day filled with light, fluffy, bottomless powder. I say apparently because I didn't go. I'm not sure why. I guess I didn't really believe it was going to be good. But I was sure we would see more snow soon. But I was wrong. That marked the beginning of a dry spell that seemed to last For----ever. The last couple weeks of Thanksgiving were dry. The entirety of December was dry. The mountain alternated between frozen ice block, slushy spring-like conditions, and rain. All the while the snow pack was whittling away and all the rocks and trees and grass (yes, grass) were showing through. Tragic times. January is usually known to be a dry month, but with an entire month of nothing preceding it, I really couldn't believe it. But now, finally, a storm has rolled in and we're seeing feet of snow stacking up. Sam and I drove up together, experiencing a rather harrowing ride, but once we were there we met up with Carin, Jocelyn, and Huy and saw nothing but powdery goodness all day. There wasn't a crappy run on the mountain. So fun.

January 13, 2012


Hot tip of the day: Graveyard, a rocking psychedelic band from Sweden, will be at the Doug Fir on the 31st. I will be there.

Uncomfortably Numb by Graveyard on Grooveshark

January 12, 2012

Friends in Past Lives

Today I'm meeting a friend from middle school for a drink. We were really close in middle school but grew apart in high school. I haven't seen her since then, but we recently connected on Linkedin. I'm really excited about it.

I find the way that friendships ebb, change, end, and begin to be extremely fascinating. There is just so much variation. Sam grew up with a bunch of cousins his age who were his automatic best friends, so he has these friends that he has known since before he was actually a sentient being. He is also very close to friends from high school. I don't really share this and only keep in touch with a few people from high school. Speaking of hometowns, I am also friends with a group of people who lived in Corvallis. While they weren't all close when living there, they have grown together and become closer friends as they've gotten older. I think that's really nice. It's also odd, because Corvallis continues to be this strange theme in my life. I'm always meeting people from Corvallis. I personally maintain friendships with only a few people from my hometown. I've never really used Facebook as a tool to catch up with those people and I'm not really interested in doing so. I don't necessarily expect our shared youth or shared hometown to mean that we need to maintain a connection. People change and grow.

But that doesn't mean I'm totally unwilling to make some effort. I mean, Charissa and I were in the same 4-H group. We were called the Spirit Catchers, which at the time, was a name that we thought completely magical. One of the Spirit Catchers' highest achievements was creating a float for the Newberg Old Fashioned Festival Parade. The float was a plywood barn on the back of a flatbed. As we rolled along we popped open little doors (painted to look like stall doors and decorated with our misshapen portraits of our horses) and chucked candy at people. While you would think this shared experience would automatically bind us all for life, there was a time when I lost touch with Charissa. Thankfully, we both moved back to Portland the same year and Charissa lost her phone during Arctic Blast 2009, prompting an email request for phone numbers. We reunited and have been friends ever since.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to catching up with this old friend of mine. It could be that we have nothing in common anymore, or it could be that we could pick up where we left off, and become friends again as new people with shared experiences. New frontiers, even friendship ones, are always exciting.

January 10, 2012

On shortening up

How do you guys feel about getting your haircut?

In high school I had long, thick hair. It was even longer than it is now, and it didn't have a lot of style to it. I wore it back all the time because it was so unruly. I had bleached one section and always dyed it hot pink or red. That was my style. During my senior year, I ended up doing work study and I worked at a camera shop.One day in the spring I decided to cut my hair. My coworker took photos of me as I chopped it all off at chin length with a pair of blunt scissors. From that day on, I cut my own hair. I always kept it above my shoulders, cut random chunks out of it, and sometimes dyed it black. You could call the style "messy mop". Eventually I decided to grow it out and that's when I realized I needed to bring in an expert. While randomly chopping works well for a short cut, on a long cut it turns into a disaster. I spent about a year in denial, with awkward hair.

When I moved back to Portland I gave in to the idea of professional haircuts and began to go to my stylist Karyn. She's totally awesome and I have always been happy with her haircuts. You can visit her at Gold + Arrow, which is totally, totally awesome. It's a newish salon over in SW and it's impeccably decorated. Macrame rope art, heavy wooden tables, the sweetest wallpaper I've ever seen, and a glass of wine with your cut. You will feel special and stylish. I certainly did.

But here's the thing. I kind of hate getting haircuts. Even though my hair was totally fried and frazzled and needed a cut like no other, it's never quite right when it's freshly cut. After I went home and washed and styled how I usually do (which is to say, not at all. I'm a big proponent of air drying), it just looks weird, and feels unpredictable, like my hair is taking over my head. The good thing is, this feeling always happens after I get a cut and then it goes away. In two weeks' time, I will be so happy I got my hair cut. I just have to wait it out.

January 4, 2012

The worst

There is really nothing worse than a bad orange. I mean, on the scale of disappointments it's probably worse to not get the big job or win second place in the pie-eating contest, but really, when an orange is bad, it's just so bad. And you spent all that time peeling it. And it was going to be your one snack. And there isn't even one way an orange can be bad. The flavor can be sour or stale or that weird not-orangey overripe flavor (the flavor of disappointment) or it can be desert-dry inside, with the tiny segments inside the segments actually separating due to lack of juice. And they always look so good. It's not like a banana. You look at a banana and you know. It's either overripe or perfectly green. An apple you can tell by the season, the type, and by poking a little bit and judging the softness. There's just no telling with an orange. They're like attractive jerks.

January 3, 2012


Well, the flight from Chicago to Portland was pretty rough but 2012 is off to a good start.

I went out to Kankakee for a surprise visit to Sam's family. This was a very last-minute thing completely orchestrated by Sam's mother and a total surprise to Sam and everyone else in his family. It was pretty great. When I walked into the kitchen Sam didn't actually look pleased for at least 30 seconds. He just continued to stare at me with his mouth open like an alien had walked in the door. Eventually though, he did the proper thing and smiled and gave me a hug. We went ice skating (outside!) in Chicago, spent some quality family time at the Grant house, did some amazing last-minute thrifting at his cousin Megan's vintage shop Fancy Pants (I finally found a black leather jacket!), and then I attended a New Year's Eve wedding at which he was best man, and we danced, hugged, and toasted, and then I got up the next morning and got on a plane back to Portland. Again, the flight was not the best I've had, but well worth it. Surprises are fun.

Now, last year I kind of dismissed resolutions but there are a lot of things that I would like to happen this year. Things that I would like to make happen. So I guess I don't have resolutions but I have a lot of goals. It's good to have goals. One of my big goals is to do more creative things, art, writing, and otherwise. More crafting, making, constructing, and doing. More outdoor activities, random walks, and being confident in my creative abilities. More sewing, painting, and drawing. Sitting down and editing all my first drafts. I'm really looking forward to a productive 2012.

What are your goals for new year?