I’ll Have the Chicken

I have a friend in town that I haven’t seen in a long time. We’re going to dinner tonight and I was searching around online for some ideas for dinner. I found a no-star restaurant review from a guy who said his New Years Eve was ruined because the restaurant didn’t have valet parking.

That poor, poor man.

Our soccer team had a business luncheon and even though the price-per-plate was ridiculous, I told co-worker we should go because when would we ever get to go to an inaugural season soccer team business luncheon?

I thought it would produce a great story but not really. If you’ve ever been to a business luncheon, then just picture that: suits and ties, sweaty pitchers of ice water, polite clapping, chicken entrée. Only at this one, the topic everyone was rah-rah about was Portland Timbers.

Part of the deal was that you’d get a player or coaching staff at your table. A lot of the tables were sponsored by companies so I figured the bigger name players would go to those tables.

We lucked out because our player was Scot Thompson who was a big shot Timbers player for years and just retired. He’s working for the team as a community ambassador which means he does stuff with kids and sits at tables with fans eating chicken luncheon. The rest of the players were introduced as part of the luncheon but Scot sat down with us at the beginning. One of the people at our table said, “Ooh, we got someone GOOD.”

He was super chatty and had all kinds of inside scoop and told us what was happening with some of our favorite Div 2 team players that moved on. We had good people at our table, too. I was kind of worried there would be that loud mouthed guy who knows everything monopolizing the conversation.

It was worth it. First MLS game in Colorado March 19. I will be glued to the TV.

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Baby Pam

Look what came in the mail today.

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Sunday Evening Wrap-Up

All photos : downtown Portland.

I don’t have any good stories to tell, I just don’t want the story about my caveman photo to be at the top.

There’s a waterpark north of here called Great Wolf Lodge and I heard a commercial for it last week and it was like a parody of a radio commercial.

A bunch of chiming voices in a ridiculous chorus.

In the process of seeing if I could find it online using “terrible radio commercial” I pulled up what is apparently a terrible commercial for an Indian casino with such horribly racist comments it’s taken me a moment to catch my breath. What is wrong with people?

We saw Tracy Kidder for our lecture series last week. I enjoyed it but I’ve never read one of his books so I’m not sure I got the full meal deal.

Cadbury eggs are in the stores. I sprinted across the holiday promotional aisles on Friday so I could load up my cart. That’s a lot of sugar in one treat, even for me. But I still love them.

I can’t find the link right now and I can’t remember the exact details. Last week my food site was talking about dumbest questions about food which isn’t really what I want to talk about.

What I wanted to mention is that somehow everyone got fixated on lentils and tons of people mentioned that they’d never heard of lentils until deep into their lives.

I can’t believe there was a time when I didn’t eat lentils. But it doesn’t seem like a food Mom would have made. I bet I started eating them when I was a vegetarian way back in the 90’s. I still love them but my husband is not a huge fan so I mostly make them when he’s not going to be around.

Wow. I really failed at turning that into a post.


Today I finalized a story which is way different than just finishing and that used up about 99% of my brain juice so I’m just coasting until bedtime.

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We Are Timbers

It took me a long time to decide whether I wanted to write about this or not. I generally don’t mind writing about humiliating things but there are occasionally events that I can’t bear to revisit in public.

My soccer team has this ad campaign where they use fans.

They did a promotion where you could go to their store and they were going to have a professional photographer and you could get your picture taken like the ads. I can’t tell you how excited I was about this.

I wore my team jersey to work and I trotted down there right when the store opened. You could hold either an axe or a chainsaw. I picked axe.

Then I waited for a week, telling everyone that I got my Timbers photo taken and I couldn’t wait to put it on Facebook and my website.

This photo is copyright all rights reserved Portland Timbers which I think technically means I’m not supposed to use it except they said they wanted to see these photos everywhere like on FB or whatever.

Isn’t it adorable? Obviously, not mine.

And then I saw the photo.

I am not one of those people who says, “OMG! What a terrible photo of me” and I generally find unflattering photos of me pretty funny. But this photo is so terrible it put me in an existential funk for almost a week. I look like a cross-dressing caveman who has been going too heavy on whatever the opposite of botox is and just woke up on a park bench after a three day bender.

Now I’m sure you’re dying to say, “Oh come on, it can’t be that bad.”

My dear husband, who thinks I am the most beautiful woman alive, even 5 seconds after I get up in the morning said, “Well, if you look at those photos, a lot of those people look pretty bad.”

And my colleague, who I regularly mock for taking horrible photos, he shook his head and said, “I’d love to kick you when you’re down, but I just can’t.”

I’ve gone back and looked at it a number of times, thinking that I’d get over it or that I’d misjudged and was just disappointed it didn’t come out better. Nope.

I thought about contacting them and asking them to burn it but ultimately decided that I would just pretend it never happened.

Meanwhile, they are using those photos for all kinds of ad campaigns. They’re have a checkerboard with 24 photos in the newspaper or whatever and every time I see one I am overcome with dread.

It seems like they’re picking the good ones so maybe I’ll escape further humiliation.

But now I can’t stand the sight of my jersey. I had to put it in the back of the closet.

Posted in doing it wrong, TIMBERS! | 4 Comments

No Hope For My Crevices

If you’re looking for Yamhill near PGE park. Follow the signs.

For the past several years, every time our vacuum cleaner has needed new bags, I always put off buying them.

Our vacuum is an inexpensive Kenmore canister Sears special. We’ve had it forever and really put it through the paces. I keep expecting it to fall apart. It’s all scuffed and pieces falling off. Duct taped. Every other time I take it out of the closet it seems to groan and not want to do its job. And I fiddle with it and jiggle all the cables. And it works.

I’m probably totally jinxing us by writing this.

That thing just keeps sucking. I’m not sure how old it is, but it’s already put in many good years of service.

I worry that the vacuum will die while I have a cupboard full of bags. I ate throwing away perfectly good stuff so I’d save the bags and then every time I cleaned out that closet I get all fretful about keeping stuff I don’t need or throwing away something that could be used. And then trying to donate it somewhere.

As if this entire exercise is a good use of my time.

This is on the sign for the Portland lightrail and it cracks me up every time I see it. We are Portlandia.

Our crevice tool splintered awhile back. It makes a high pitched whistle and does a terrible job of picking up the crud in my crevices. I really miss it. I looked around in a few stores, thinking that there must be bags of crevice tools available but I didn’t have much luck and didn’t feel like researching it further for the same reasons I hesitate to buy vacuum bags.

We need vacuum bags now. I’ve been putting off the purchase mission. But I’m getting low on See’s Candy and need to go to the mall anyway.

I have my priorities straight.

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Football Superstars

These photos are still from Thursday. It was pretty when the sun came out. The snow is about half gone now. The weather service says we might get more tonight and I will keeps my thoughts on that to myself this time.

Several weeks ago I found a reality TV show about soccer players trying out for a spot on a professional soccer team.

I don’t have a lot of patience for reality TV but I wanted to check out the show to see if would help me with a writing project. What I wanted to see was how the guys interact with each other.

Turns out its completely worthless for that. I think it’s a weakness of the show but I got sucked into it anyway.

Its an Australian show which I didn’t know until I started watching it. The players are young, I think the oldest is 19. They are so funny. Half of them are total smartasses and the other half are completely earnest and hardworking. We started with 15 and we’re down to 5. Guess which ones are left?

It is a very padded one hour. They do a lot of stupid challenges (drawing a topless model {can you imagine trying to do that on a US show?}, pole dancing, cheerleading) but they do intense training stuff and play tough games. A couple of them won a trip to meet Tim Cahill who is a really amazing Australian soccer player. When they were waiting they were really nervous and one of them said, “This is worse than waiting for a date.”

Now I’m stuck with it because I want to see who wins. I like all the last five but I have a couple of favorites.

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Well I guess that shows me.

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Cure for Grinding

Downtown Portland on Snow Day. We’re on Fifth looking south towards Morrison.

The weather people were all in a lather last night about this late winter snow sweeping in from the north today and tomorrow. They said we might get up to four (4!) inches maybe more the two days put together. One forecast I read said, “This is 100% happening, people.”

When we walked back from lunch this afternoon I said, “I’d like to point out that not only is it not snowing. It’s not even raining.” A few seconds later it started raining and it was suggested that I shut up.

*Now* they’re saying the snow is going to start after we go to bed but we probably won’t get more than two inches of accumulations. And it would help if your house is on a hill.

I understand that because of the various mountain ranges and the ocean and the gorge that it’s tough to predict weather with any sort of accuracy around here but I also think that commerce thrives when people are worked up about something.

We’ll see. I brought some work that I can do at home if the morning commute is farked up but I expect to be at my station tomorrow.

Lunch at Karam. After they brought the food we remembered that we ordered this last time and thought it was too much. Plus this time we ordered extra falafels. No problem. That’s what leftover boxes are for.

I spent a few minutes trying to artfully take a photo of my new mouthpiece. Now that I’m ancient I finally have a retainer. But it looks gross so I’m not posting a photo.

I got it for a teeth grinding issue and I already think it’s great. I talked about it for a long time with my old dentist but I kept putting it off. I really like my new dentist so I finally went for it. Plus I think I got the impression that this was going to be a magic mouthpiece that would rejuvenate my entire head. I might end up disappointed further down the road.

I haven’t even worn it two weeks yet and already I’ve had two dreams where the mouthpiece was crumbling and I had to spit out the pieces and put them on the nightstand. Then I wake up and it’s fine.

Tomato sproutlets keep growing. I’m going to have to thin down to one sprout per container. I never thought they’d all do so well.

I’ve been putting off my garden stuff. Last weekend we had some clear but cold weather. I kept thinking I should get out and do something but now I have the excuse of the coming freezing weather. That stuff has to wait until after all the freezing is past.

I can’t remember if I already posted this but last fall I learned about a kind of pumpkin called a Baby Pam which obviously I am growing this year. I’ve been thinking of trying some other news things, too. I’m always so ambitious until the work starts and then my attention span shrinks.

This weekend is supposed to stay cold so I have a little more time with excuses.

Posted in doing it wrong, garden | 2 Comments

Best Windshield Wipers Ever

Mt. St. Helens

A couple of weeks ago I was driving around in a part of town I don’t know very well. It was night and rainy.

All my windshield wipers did was spread the water back and forth across the windshield.

“How did my windshield wipers go to hell so badly without me noticing?” is what I was thinking as I white-knuckled it home, following a red smear of taillights.

I checked my service records and it’s been almost a year since I took my car in. I don’t drive much and mostly short daytime trips so it would make sense that I didn’t notice the wipers were failing.

Signs of Spring

I figured I’d get the oil changed along with the windshield wipers and by the time I drove out they’d also replaced every possible thing they didn’t replace during the 90K service last year.

$600 windshield wipers.

I did a little bit of homework to see if I wanted to get a newer car this year but I like not having a car payment. Plus dealing with car salespeople takes about 10 years off my life.

I had to walk through the new car lot when I went back to the dealer to pick up my car. When they pulled mine up, I had to admit, it looked a little dingy next to the new shiny cars.

But now I can see when it rains. I love my new windshield wipers.

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Fine Pork Sandwiches

I have so many notes sitting on my desk for things I wanted to write about. And photos. I am simply not able to bring my intentions into being.

Last week we tried The Peoples’ Pig food cart for the first time. When he handed over the sandwiches to the guys before us, one of them looked so deliriously enraptured I almost took his picture. It’s that kind of pork sandwich.

I got the arugula and lemon porchetta sandwich.

I was a little nervous because I have the digestive system of a woman twice my age and it generally does not embrace much pork product. The sandwich smelled incredible. I wish I could post smells.

It tasted amazing but was pretty greasy and I took my time and quit before I finished it. My digestive system cleared its throat once but otherwise did not complain so I wil be back to try it again.

The building where I work. (The pink one.)

Here’s a random collection of stories.

We were upgraded to Office 2010 at work which made me really grumpy. We’d previously used Office 1988 and at home I use Office 1972 for Mac. This was not a fun transition.

I have a lot to do at work and didn’t really want to take a time out for learning. I wanted to be able to just figure it out and I’m here to tell you that wasn’t always possible.

At home we have a subscription to lynda.com which I have mostly used for Photoshop and Illustrator. They had a 1 hour transitioning from Office 1988 to Office 2010 which was awesome and fixed about 90% of my frustration.


I was telling co-worker a story and made a side remark about people who save and reuse aluminum foil. He asked: Do you save foil? I said: uh, uh, uh.

He gave me a scornful look that could cut marble.

I don’t save it all the time but if it’s a big flat piece that could easily be reused, why not?


I’ve written before about my renewed interest in gymnastics, even collegiate. This week I taped Florida (#1) at Georgia (#4). I made Bob watch the opening of it because I wanted him to see how crazy it is. The Gym Dogs came bursting out in a dazzle of light. Attendance was 9,800. They have cheerleaders. It is insane.

Bob agreed it was insane. And he even watched the first two rotations with me and thought it was fun to watch.

Yes, I am the same person who wrote a couple of days ago about making more time to write. Whatever. Go ahead, judge me.


There are so many ads for ab machines during gymnastics. Some of those gadgets are so ridiculous. There’s one where you make a circle that looks crazy. During gymnastics all the machines were crunch machines. I thought crunches were out and the new thing is planks and crazy variations like on a stability ball. Also does anyone really think rippled veiny abs are so great? Fortunately, not a problem for me.

I have the abs of a person who eats pork sandwiches.

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