Sunday, May 25, 2008

For Love of the Game: Part I

When I lived in greater Cincinnati, I went to Reds games all the time. I could walk to the stadium from my place in Northern Kentucky. When I worked for someone else, I was in marketing and I often got the company seats for games. A few people that I worked with or were friends with had season tickets but couldn’t go to every game. In addition, I’d occasionally be glad-handed by clients, and then there was always the general “we have one extra ticket” that comes from friends.

Somehow, I ended up being the recipient of free tickets to baseball games from just about anyone who had extra tickets, ever. Kind of funny, now that I think about it. I can’t remember my personal best for the number of Reds games attended in one week. I think it was six. And I have no recollection of ever paying for a ticket. Ever.

I love baseball. Love it. And it’s just, IMO, a great way to spend an afternoon or an evening with friends and family. My brother has season tickets to Giants games. He and his friends are doing that thing that people do where they visit all of the stadiums. One time, they flew from San Francisco to Boston for one game, and flew back the same day. Cool. It’s on my list, you know? Calling my brother to talk about an upcoming trip to the Bay area quickly ran into a “well, when do you have tickets?” discussion. Because as long as I am there… we might as well go.

My brother and I call each other from sporting events. I don’t know why. I think he started it. But now, whenever I am at a game, be it major league baseball or college football, I have to call him and tell him about the seats, the terrible calls and where I am sitting (when I was at Reds games and thought he might see me on TV).

People back east keep asking me why there’s no MLB in Portland. My response: Well. Did we all FORGET what a BIG FREAKING DEAL it was to get a new stadium? How many people had BIG HUGE conniptions over the costs of TWO stadiums? And you can’t understand why a town like Portland that has never had a MLB stadium can’t get behind getting one stadium built?

It costs $200 to watch MLB from most markets on TV through Comcast, the local cable company. I really only want to watch Cincinnati, San Francisco, the Cubs and maybe the Indians. Cubs games pop up on WGN fairly frequently. Indians not so much. Cincinnati and San Francisco, not at all. $200! I don't know if I can justify that expense. But I didn’t realize how much I would miss watching the games.

I have been trying to get on board with Seattle. But I just can’t get any enthusiasm for their team. So meanwhile, I am trying to get interested in the local Triple-A team, the Beavers. Maybe it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Portland needs an MLB baseball stadium.

Build it, and they will come. Yeah, I know. That’s pretty hokey. But there are so, so many benefits to having a major league baseball team in the rose city. I’m going to have to keep reading to learn more about the purported pros and cons to find out exactly where Portland stands on building an MLB stadium. It’s right up there with trying to figure out why there hasn’t been enough riverfront development here. Meanwhile, sigh. I’ll catch the Mariners-Yankees game on TV today. And keep planning that trip to San Francisco.

I know this topic will continue to perpetuate the blog. The longer that I live in Portland, the more that I’ll learn about the MLB stadium backstory. So for now, this is just Part I of what is sure to become a regular blog kvetch on the rose city journal.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Recycled Vintage Jewelry: Kathy Shea Designs

I attended Kathy Shea's one-year anniversary reception today and picked up three pieces of repurposed vintage jewelry: a sweet little citrine tennis bracelet, the insanely gorgeous, hugely oversized architectural necklace shown here and a third piece for Cheryl's birthday, that I can't show you or tell you about. She claims to read the blog (total bullshit) but others that we know do read so I have to keep it a secret. Suffice to say it's one-of-a-kind jewelry for a one-of-a-kind friend.

I am always impressed by the spirit of entrepreneurship. I love. love. love. self employed people. We are working hard to compete in a world where there are no boundaries for what people will accept as "decent" payment, and it sometimes feels like pretty stiff competition. People who take a risk... who believe in themselves, well. They're to be lauded.

Kathy Shea's work is laudable, practical, and wearable. I know a number of people who just don't cotton to the recycling of vintage jewelry but I am all for it. I think it's smart, timely and, when done well, sexy. Kathy's jewelry designs are statement pieces and not for the faint of heart. She has shows here and there and occasionally consigns to local stores but mostly, you can just email her if you are interested in one-of-a-kind jewelry for a special occasion.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

maybe I do, maybe I don’t

All of my friends know that it’s pretty easy to talk me into doing things. Typical conversation between Lisa and a friend:

Cheryl: “Let’s go here and do this.”

Me: “I don’t think that’s such a good idea.”

Cheryl: “Come on. You know you want to.”

Me: “No! No way am I doing that.”

Cheryl: “Come on, Lisa.”

Me: “Oh… Okay.”

The thing is, most of the time I want to do whatever it was that I was asked to do in the first place.

I just feel like I shouldn’t want to do it.

I want to not want to do it.

You know?

Letting go of old habits… It’s hard. It’s the one thing about growing up that has been a struggle for me. If you knew me in person you’d think I was cool and collected. Well. If you didn’t know me very well that’s what you’d probably think. My friends know better. They know too much.

Over the years, I’ve usually ended up doing the “right” thing. And I love the idea that I might be living my life by example today. I really do want to do that. But sometimes, being an adult, and doing the right thing, just feels so… cumbersome. Like the coat I have to shrug on to walk to my car. I’ll take it off again as soon as I get behind the wheel. Otherwise it makes me crazy. It just gets in the way. But for a few moments, I have to have it on my shoulders. That’s how I feel about being grown up sometimes.

And I don’t want to relive my teenage years. Like most kids, when I was in high school I wanted nothing more than to grow up. I’m comfortable in my skin. More so than in my teens or my 20’s, yes, I’m just in a really good place now. Cheryl and I were talking about that over dinner this weekend- just being this age, in this place of discovery and wonderment, forever.

But growth is important. Increasing your base of knowledge. Continuing to change and learn and to try new things. Not becoming complacent. Learning to let go of old habits. But sometimes, when it comes to growing up, it feels like you’re giving up, too.

I hate that.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

blog crush: overheard in PDX

My blog has a crush on Overheard in PDX. Rich Brueckner posts random comments from random conversations all over the city. Making you feel like you’re a part of things, no matter where you live or what you’re doing. One of the funniest blogs I’ve come across in a really long time.

I was going to send Overheard in PDX a post about my friend Chris, who told a lady working at the make-up counter yesterday that her "special plans for the evening" included seeing friends for the first time since completing rehab.

Sweet old lady at Estee Lauder counter: “Why were you in rehab, dear?”

Chris: “Meth and Heroin.”

Not “Because I wanted to make some changes.”

Not “Because I had some struggles.”

Not even “None of your beeswax.”

No. Balls-out Chris has to tell her, “Meth and Heroin.”

I wanted to send it to Overheard in PDX but some of my friends are getting pissy about seeing their stories posted on the blog. They might get even more worked up about seeing them somewhere else.

Blog crush: Overheard in PDX
Rated: Addictive

Planning Calendar: 2008 da Vinci Days in Corvallis

One time I was couching at my place in Mansion Hill after a night out and I watched an entire TV show on cable access with nothing but a guy flipping cards from a card deck. 30 minutes. Flipping cards from a deck. It’s the perfect commentary on the value of television watching in general, don'tcha think? But that’s just one more embarrassing Lisa-addiction: late-night local television.

I was visiting my brother in Portland a few years ago, and insomniac-me woke up at 3 am and turned on the TV to check out the local cable access talent. I’m flipping through channels and who do I see but my brother-in-law, being interviewed by an esteemed member of the cable access channel's news team. The man is somewhat famous for his legendary affiliation with Corvallis’ big summer festival, da Vinci Days- I think he’s participated every year since the beginning of the festival. I was so surprised to see him on TV that I barely caught the questions he was asked. The interview had to do with the kinetic sculpture his team had created- and raced- during da Vinci Days that year.

Yup, I said racing kinetic sculptures. Each year during the Corvallis, Oregon da Vinci Days summer festival, teams create kinetic sculptures which must be able to go on and off road, through sand, through water… and through mud. Pedal-powered only, of course. The da Vinci Days festival claims to have “Oregon’s oldest” kinetic sculpture race. It’s rollicking fun for everyone involved and a colorful tribute to the laid-back town of Corvallis.

And the splashy sporting event is but one of the many things to do over the da Vinci Days festival weekend: You’ll also find a wealth of science and technology exhibits, tours and lectures; a film festival, live music and yes, art exhibits and projects will be on display throughout the celebration. This is the 20th annual Corvallis da Vinci Days summer festival, so it promises to be extra special. Check out the website to read the plea for volunteers and to get involved, find information about getting to the festival and more.

da Vinci Days summer festival in Corvallis
July 18- July 20, 2008
Festival Venues are located Everywhere, but mostly on or around the OSU campus

Friday, May 16, 2008

IMing Part I

Transitioning from being in love to not being in love has to be one of the hardest things we have to deal with in life.

Especially since our parents didn't prepare us for this eventuality.

Even if they divorced,

Usually it's "a" divorce.

Not like how things are for us.

Not that this is their fault;

Or their responsibility~

Just interesting to think about.

Our parents never told us we'd have to go through several painful break-ups during the course of our lives, because it was different for them.

It sucks. I mean, who ever thought we’d be going through this shit at this age? I thought I’d have my future wrapped up when I was 24.

That’s what I thought when I was 12, anyway.

And the people who did wrap it up all seem to be on the verge. Telling me they are unhappy. Talking about when they will be divorced. Cheating. Or they are already divorced. I only know of a handful of people who really seem to have found what they needed. And made it stick.

It never ends.

Or does it?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

get smart

Not too long before I moved, I was out with friends at Molly Malone’s, the tavern wench’s new favorite bar. Inevitably, the more black and tans we drank, the more intense the conversation became. It got a little sparky though, when for some reason, this question was asked (maybe by me): “So, who’s the smartest one at the table?”

“I’m sorry,” said Jo, facing me head-on. “But you’re not in contention for this at all.”

What!? Sputtering and smacking my hand down on the table, I listed several qualifications that I thought put me in contention for the elite title.

“Yes,” she replied. “You are all of those things. But Lisa, you’re too trusting. You let people take advantage of your good nature.”

Interesting. I never thought of that as something that would take points off of my IQ. But then again, my vote for the smartest person at the table (and the third smartest person I know) went to a woman who is incredibly pragmatic, with exceptional street smarts, even bordering on psychic abilities: Patty.

Typical conversation with Patty:

I met someone recently and was debating whether to ask him out.

“Why don’t you do it?” was the puzzled question from Patty.

“Well. He’s not really my type.”

“Maybe you should try going out with someone who isn’t your type, Lisa.”

Woah. I did not see that one coming.

Patty often leaves me with my mouth hanging open. And of course, thinking about her shrewd comments for days afterward, much to her never-ending aggravation (think of someone who repeatedly asks the same question, beating it into the ground long after everyone else has lost interest).

Even my new landlord got into the act. “I can tell, Lisa, you’re smart about work but you don’t pick the right mens,” she pontificated, her lovely accent emphasizing every word. I like deeply charismatic men, I explained. They aren’t always very nice to me. “You probably need to figure that out,” she said seriously.

No kidding.

I know there’s some truth to what they were trying to tell me. The fact that I tend to date men who borrow money (often without paying it back), borrow my truck (and don’t fill up the tank) or who in general seem to take advantage of my good nature is something that I acknowledge and that I am trying to get past. I want to grow up, start dating adults and find someone who’s right for me. I really do want to do that.

But the thing is, no one starts out by being a jerk.

In the beginning, it’s holding hands. Taking naps together. Generally walking on air. No one asks if you can lend them fifty bucks on the first date. There’s no indication that at some point, they’re going to turn into a rude, ranting drunk. No. That happens later.

And you can never go back to holding hands.

I remember that one from high school sex ed. And there’s some truth in that statement. Sometimes, the more complex our relationships become, the more the sweetness seems to drain away. Instead of talking for hours on the phone, getting and sending flirty emails and sexy text messages and rejoicing in little romantic gestures, the relationship becomes a drawn-out, difficult battle of wits that always leaves me feeling worn out.

I think that I’m pretty good judge of character. But I also know that I often choose to ignore the red flags that are waving all over the place, saying that this isn’t the right person for me.

I want to be smarter about who I allow into my life. Make intelligent decisions. Be the brightest one at the table.

But I also don’t want to lose my wide-eyed optimism... Even if it does make me stupid.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

letter from mayor potter to portland homeless protestors

I haven't yet heard the outcome of the meeting that went down between homeless protesters and Mayor Potter this afternoon. Here's the letter from Mayor Potter to the homeless that outlined the meeting agenda, with a few caveats:

To the Protest Committee,

Thank you for your invitation to continue our discussions. As you have suggested, I will meet with five representatives of your group at 3 p.m. Tuesday (5/13) in the Mayor's Conference Room.

I understand that there are a number of issues you wish to address. I also want to make you aware of my concerns as we begin our conversation:

I will not tolerate illegal behavior on public property. I believe this reflects your concerns as well. As you know, the organizers of this protest approached my office with reports of drug activity and other illegal behavior last week, and the sale of heroin was verified Friday night (5/9). Drug activity is not only illegal, it attracts people who prey on those who are most vulnerable.

I will not tolerate behavior that raises public health concerns for both the protesters and the public. The bathrooms in City Hall have been opened for almost 10 months with few reported problems. However, since the protest began there have been conditions in the bathrooms that endanger both the protesters and public. The safety of those charged with cleaning the restrooms is an issue, and if this behavior continues I will shut down the bathrooms to outside use.

I strongly support your right to protest. However, the City has the right to make reasonable time, place, and manner rules for the conduct of protests in public spaces, and can also act to protect the public from unnecessary obstructions as well as health, sanitation, and safety problems. Protests must comply with the City's camping and sidewalk obstruction ordinances.

I understand these illegal actions represent the work of a minority, but it concerns me that the leadership of this protest appears unable to prevent these illegal acts. And while I believe in your right to express your views, I also believe that every right comes with a corresponding responsibility to respect the law.

The meeting in my office is not open to the public.

donate used prom dresses in Portland

Abby’s Closet in Portland accepts donations of used prom dresses, bridesmaid gowns, formal gowns and accessories that are new or gently used, clean and in good condition. In addition to formal wear, the organization also accepts monetary donations. Donated prom dresses are provided to high school age girls throughout the greater Portland area who would otherwise be unable to afford a gown for a special occasion. Formal and prom dress donations are tax deductible.

For more information about donating used bridesmaid’s gowns and formal wear to Abby’s Closet in Portland or to get a dress for a special occasion, visit their website. Abby’s Closet accepts formal gown donations at multiple locations throughout Portland and in outlying areas including Eugene and the Coast.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

more updates: homeless protest in Portland + a letter from protestors to Mayor Potter

Some more details from Danielle Kidd, one of the student supporters of the Portland homeless + students protesting at Portland city hall this week:

"There have been new developments... the police posted warnings of an upcoming sweep on Tuesday night, so the group has sent a letter to Mayor Potter requesting a meeting open to the public where they can discuss the issues before the sweep. They have given him a deadline of noon tomorrow to respond and inform them of a meeting time. So we are planning on staying out there tomorrow night (Monday) to show our solidarity."

update: homeless protest in portland

an update on the protest happening this week at Portland city hall from one of the student supporters:

Hi friends, I wanted to give you the update on last Wednesday and let you know what we have in the works for this coming Tuesday and Wednesday.

About 10 of us went out to the camp with the folks outside Portland City hall who are protesting their rights to affordable housing and/or a safe place to stay outside. We met people of all ages, genders, some of whom have been homeless for a few weeks and others for 30 years, and many with jobs. They all have compelling and unique stories of triumph and loss. I assure you, if you could take the time to listen to their stories for a few minutes, an hour even, you could see some reflections of your life in theirs. My evening spent sleeping on the hard cold cement with trucks and buses bustling by was one filled with love and solidarity.

I asked Larry, (an organizer and spokesperson) what we as students could do to help and he replied to please come and listen to their stories, to show compassion, love, and support. They want to know that they haven't been forgotten, they want their voices to be heard.

Not much, huh? But it means the world to them.

So here's the plan: Wednesday morning at 9:30 am 4 of the main organizers for the movement will be going into city hall to put forth their requests at the city council meeting. Here are two links, one with the agenda and the other explaining how city council works: c=26997&a=196476

We are trying to mobilize at least 200 people (you know what Saul Alinsky says, you've got to have the numbers) to be out there before 9 am supporting them as they go into city hall to let Mayor Potter know that we are paying attention, and that we care what happens to these people. And if you are feeling real ambitious, you could spend the night with us Tuesday night adding to the numbers of blue tarps and signage on the sidewalks, making it more difficult for others to turn their heads. I feel like this is our chance to give breath to the voices that are going unheard and overlooked.

In their own words:

Why are we protesting at City Hall?*

Our Civil rights are being violated in that we are asked to be on the move continuously, never able to stop and rest. This is cruel and unusual punishment for a crime not committed. Being homeless is not a crime, and Portland is our home. We are human and we are your neighbors. WE are trying to live our diverse lives with dignity and respect. We have nowhere to go, no houses, some of us have been living under bridges and have been swept out, and that is why you see us here in front of City Hall; it is the only safe place to sleep in Portland.

We are not allowed to camp within city limits and shelters are not an answer to our houselessness, only a band-aid that continues to keep us dependent on the system that needs us to survive. WE are tired and weary: we are not looking for a hand out: we are looking for creative solutions that involve our entire community. This is not just a homeless issue; this is a community issue.

*What Do We Want?*

Short-term – the immediate repeal of sit/lie ordinances and the decriminalization of homelessness
Long-term- affordable and safe housing in Downtown Portland REAL dialogue where we can share and listen to each others' creative ideas and solutions

*Want to Support Us?*

Housed and houseless UNITE! Many have already come to sleep with us on the sidewalks; but we need more allies to spend a few hours, a day or a night, or three in our shoes, hear our stories, and then spread the word far and wide.

Tell the Mayor's office at 503-823-3597 as well as your neighbors, co-workers and friends that we want open participatory communication, not just forums for talking to one another!

Make Wednesday morning’s city council meeting standing room only. On May 14th, 2008 at 9:15 in the council chambers, stand in solidarity as we collectively demand that our unalienable rights to life, justice and equality are upheld by OUR representatives.

Additional Links:
- Call City hall and express your concern:
* Mayor Potter's 24-Hour Opinion Line: 503-823-4127
* Mayor's Office Front Desk: 503-823-4120
- Write a letter to Mayer Potter (this week!)
- Find out more about the issues and post so we can get a well rounded idea of the issues at hand, and share them with folks in your community. Here are a few links:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Planning Calendar: The 2008 Oregon Country Fair

From an earlier post:

The Oregon Country Fair remains uncommercialized. Still held on private land. Still has plenty of available drugs. Beautiful hippie girls going topless with painted breasts. Music that makes you want to gig. They camped overnight and found what they needed behind the canopy of an old tree.

It's almost time for that most-demented, weirdest, strangest and most enjoyable freakfest, ever: The Burning-Man-Wishes-He-Could-Be-the-Oregon-Country-Fair is, as always, during the second weekend of July. And this year, well, this year promises to be extra special: Yes. I am going!

It will be the first time I’ve been back in many years. I’m excited about camping out under the stars and at the prospect of catching up with old friends from Eugene- there’s no better place to find old friends than the Oregon Country Fair. Family members, too, because when you have a big fan-damily and you is from uh small town like You-jeene, youze go to the country fair, man. It’s the apex of the counter-culture that still exists in Eugene and definitely not everyone’s scene. Some people in my family and some of my friends have just flat-out outgrown it. Luckily a lot of my friends are still really immature. Ha.

There have been years when I felt like I’d outgrown the Oregon Country Fair... And Eugene. But it’s been just long enough since my last visit to make me want to go again. See if it really is still uncommercialized. See if all the sights, sounds and smells really do bring it all back for me. I checked the fair's website and since video cameras are banned, I’m guessing that not much has changed. We’ll see.

My niece and I were talking the other day about growing up in Eugene. I have a love/hate relationship with the town. It’s small. I often felt like I couldn’t make a move without having it reported back to someone in my family. On the other hand, no matter what you do, people in a small town will always forgive you. They’ve known you since kindergarten. They don’t know what else to do but forgive you. And when you have a big family, well, quite literally, no one is a stranger, in a small town. But towns like that will suck you in.

My neighbor told me that he thinks Portland is like a bubble. I can’t imagine what he would think if he ever lived in Eugene. My friends that stayed, I worry about them. But they’ve selected their paths and they seem to be surviving. And yet… And yet: When a child of a family friend recently passed away, 500 people showed up for the funeral in Eugene. When our favorite cashier, who had worked at the Payless drug store for as long as I can remember, passed away my mom hung the obituary on the fridge. It’s a town that cares, quite deeply, about its people. And like so many things that are really, really important to us, I love it- and hate it- all at the same time.

I can’t wait. If you see me there, be sure to say hi.

2008 Oregon Country Fair
July 11 – 13
Location: Just outside Eugene, man. Look for the handpainted signs, VW buses and hitchhikin hippies.

Friday, May 9, 2008


verse for verse, an email I sent today to my beloved friends back east:

Dusk comes softly to Portland. Lilacs lay heavily on crisp, clean sidewalks. Flowering blooms make gray concrete a thick pink shag carpet and I skip and kick, laughing at this crazy, flowering zoo. My hand trips over pink blossoms that make ugly old broken down fences beautiful. Smile and nod at the man with the dog, he is a different man and a different dog than I have seen over the last few days, but still, I bend to rub the pet’s adoring face.

And I climb the tall stairs for the tenth day in a row. Today, I barely feel the burn. Not until I reach the very top, more than 70 steps in the sky, where I laugh and wave at the passing tram overhead. I turn, and see the neighborhood spread out before me. I am here.

Greetings, dear friends. If we haven’t talked, don’t feel slighted. No, it’s not just because I am busy. But many trips (3 hours each way) to my parents’ place, unpacking and organizing and the rest of it, yes, have meant a busy three weeks.

Actually, the biggest reason I haven’t called has to do with the three-hour time change. By the time I feel like talking, it’s 10, 11 or 12 your time. So for now, an email.

But things are good here. I am dodging pedestrians who step off of sidewalks whenever the mood strikes them, knowing that they always have the right of way. I am also terrified of the day I cut off a streetcar, though I know it’s inevitable. I am, without a doubt, completely enamored of Portland. I feel like the changing season is changing within me, too, and I have shed my sweaters too early, since the nights are cool, even after a day that reached 70 degrees.

I am busy with writing and optimization work and more work is on the way. Oddly, new business opportunities continue to enter my life and at this point I just embrace them. The worst I can do is fail… No. The worst thing would be not taking a risk. Not trying something new.

And I have to laugh at all the pretentious pups carrying messenger bags in Portland. Am dumbfounded at the endless march of bicyclists on every street, alley and sidewalk. Still in a slight culture shock over the dearth of a really good G&T (or a really smooth Kentucky bourbon), OTB instead of racetracks and the total lack of sophistication in every prime rib and steak joint here. Vegans and almost-vegans, like my neighbor, rule the day, and they are rapidly becoming influential to my diet, too. Today I ate sushi off of a moving train. My niece, slightly awed, asked me in an undertone if I’d ever eaten at a moving sushi restaurant before. I laughed it off but felt slightly in awe myself, of something I’ve only seen in movies.

So far, so good.



Locally Owned Businesses in Oregon: South Beach Fish Market

The South Beach Fish Market on the south side of Newport is a family favorite for dining in and taking out an array of fresh seafood. From the time my folks relocated full-time to the coast, visiting them became an easy excuse to enjoy the bountiful seafood Oregon has to offer. The seafood restaurant offers halibut and chips that are among the best on the Oregon Coast, but their crab cakes and chips are pretty darn good, too. My favorite, of course, are the extra-small oysters, which they cheerfully pack in ice for visitors heading back to Portland at no extra charge.

The South Beach Fish Market has just about everything you can think of in their freezer cases, including Dungeness crab, too many types of fish to count and plenty of delicacies for people who love seafood, including several smoked and canned fish. The seafood restaurant and Newport mainstay is a must-stop if you’re in the Central Oregon Coast area, but take-out is often your best bet. The front room is small and lunchtime seating is tricky if you don’t get in very early or well after the noon hour.

My dad claims the entire back room of the South Beach Fish Market is filled with computers, I can’t verify that but I do know that Jim and his crew ship their fresh seafood all over through their website. Parking is easily missed and rests on the side of the building, closer to downtown Newport. The parking spaces in the front of the building are mostly for the convenience/grocery store located adjacent to the seafood restaurant. I forget this on every other stop and often have to do a quick turnaround on 101 to get where I need to go.

While you’re waiting for your take out seafood order, take note: On top of the display cases are a sheaf of Xeroxed papers that detail the restaurant’s many types of shellfish and fish. Look through them to see what recipes Jim is sharing for the week. I grabbed his recipe for Oysters Rockefeller and plan to try it in the next couple of days.

South Beach Fish Market
3640 S. Coast Highway
South Beach, Oregon 97366

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Getting Around Portland: Smart Trips

Just after getting settled in, I found a postcard in my mailbox from the Portland Office of Transportation. The card directed me to a website, where I was able to order a ton, I mean a ton of free stuff pertaining to getting around my neighborhood and Portland in general. The packet also included a lot of information about wellness and conservation.

The Portland Office of Transportation is providing the kits free of charge to encourage people to rideshare, walk, bike or take the bus instead of driving everywhere in our big honking SUVs. There are different versions of the kit depending upon which Portland neighborhood you live in, but my kit includes:

Tote bag
Umbrella (this would have come in handy the other day when it rained and hailed at the same time!)
Calendar of 2008 SmartTrips Events, which include a series of walks, bike rides, classes and clinics related to bicycling
SW Portland Walking Map with Bike Map and transit routes
Portland Bikeway Maps, more detailed information on bicycle classes for women and bike clinics
TriMet bus schedules that I selected online
Lots more info on TriMet and the MAX streetcar, too
zipcar rental information
Tips to save on gas and decrease global warming
Free wellness classes
Local businesses in the SW area worth walking to
Information about swimming pools and parks in Portland
The Portland By Cycle kit
Two free water conservation kits, with adapters for the hose and the bathroom + more
Information about laws pertaining to bicycling and pedestrians, who rule the roads here

And so, so much more. The tote bag was to be delivered by a volunteer on bicycle and I was hoping to get a pic, but unfortunately I wasn’t home when he/she dropped by. There are limits on the numbers they have to give away, so order your free kit from the Portland Office of Transportation very soon.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

the whole story

Relating highly personal information to strangers is never a comfortable feeling. If you’re a regular reader of the rose city journal, then you already know that strangers have a propensity to tell me all about themselves. However, I’ve never felt like this needs to go both ways. In fact, I’m a fairly private person (believe it or not) and I am not likely to share any information with anyone unless they are in the Lisa circle of trust.

But sometimes, telling someone else too much information is unavoidable. When you need something right away. When you (me) are yacking away about something inconsequential and you accidentally spill private information. When you’re feeling down, and someone just happens to look inside of you… for a brief moment you feel a kinship with them, and you let your guard down.

These aren’t necessarily bad things. It’s just, when you’ve always been very private it can feel awkward to give out information about yourself. Actually, I don’t usually feel awkward until after I’ve said whatever it was that I needed to say. It isn’t until a minute or two later- sometimes hours later- that I begin to feel the burn.

Or sometimes it just makes me laugh. Typical Lisa conversation with too much information offered out of desperation:

I am on the phone with Darla, the receptionist at the waxing place, trying to schedule a Brazilian. It is Saturday afternoon.

“How about next Tuesday? I can fit you in at 2:30,” she chirps.

“Um, I was hoping to get in today.”

“Well, what about Monday evening? Chelsea has an opening at 6:30.”

“Today would really be great.”

“Well… You’re really supposed to call ahead…”

This was my opportunity to say, I am a regular and I know Chelsea will fit me in, but it never occurred to me. Instead:

“Darla. We have third date emergency here. I didn’t know it would happen so fast, but I’m not kidding, I HAVE to get in today.”

(Conspiratorial whisper) “Got it. Can you be here in 30 minutes?”

I didn’t think I could feel more stupid until I arrived… and two passing waxers gave me two big smiles and Chelsea asked who I was going out with.

Sometimes, giving up too much information is what you have to do to get what you want. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

small spaces

Since I arrived in Portland, I’ve been ruminating about my small-sized apartment. It has two bedrooms, but they’re tiny! I’m literally at the point where if I want to buy anything new, I’ll have to get rid of something first. Before I moved to the rose city, a number of people asked me if I’d get a roommate. A roommate?! Hell, I can barely stand to be around myself, let alone anyone else.

But the high costs of living in an apartment in Portland often make doubling up a necessity. I’m actually the only one in my building without a roommate. In fact, the band that lives upstairs has three people living in their apartment. Three people! Clearly, space is at a premium in Portland.

And I can’t help but wonder. When you have multiple people living in a confined space, what do you do when you need some... privacy?

In addition to the already close quarters of our building, one band member gave me this food for thought when I moved in: “You know, these walls are paper thin. You can hear everything.” I quickly found out he was right. And I’m a little embarrassed to know so much about some of my neighbors after just a week or two of living here.

Clearly, I’m going to have to do my “everything” somewhere else.

I’ve been trying to work up the nerve to ask the boys in the band how they handle the need for private moments, and I’m a little worried that I’ll find out on my own in the meantime. The blog hasn’t worked its way into the conversation yet, so I’m not really sure how to broach the question without sounding overly interested, ha. ~

Susan Marthen’s Moving to Portland website was very helpful when I was trying to figure out where I wanted to live in the rose city from 2500 miles away. I have a number of similar websites that I used, actually finding some really good ones after filtering out of all the spammy Portland apartment / city living websites. I will post them in the links on the rose city journal blog as I think of it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Locally Owned Businesses in Portland: The Wax Shack

I firmly believe that when you visit a new wax place for the first time, you don’t ever start out by getting a Brazilian. Always start with something smaller. You never ever want to walk in cold to a new waxer and get strip-slapped below the waist. I took my own advice when I visited The Wax Shack in NW Portland and started with something a lot less… extreme.

Angie of The Wax Shack gives great wax: she’s extremely charismatic and engaging so the honey took away the sting. And would you believe her prices are almost half of what I’ve paid elsewhere? The Wax Shack was just a Crazy. Good. Find. The petite blonde told me that she couldn’t justify charging such high prices for waxing when it doesn’t take her long to do. Plus, she gets a good deal on rent, and it’s just her, so she can pass along the savings to her customers.

That’s something that everyone can understand- and appreciate.

On a side note, it took me a while to find someone who specialized in Brazilian waxes in Portland. Which I thought was pretty apropos considering the following:

I had a waxer named Lori in Cincinnati that I just loved but alas, she met a guy through MySpace and threw us over for him. She even moved to Salem to be with him. I never did friend her on MySpace and now of course, I can’t remember her last name. However, last I heard from her ex co-workers, Lori was going to be moving back to Cincinnati. Oooh, I breathed. Didn’t MySpace Guy work out?

Oh they’re fine, laughed Chelsea. It’s just that women in Oregon just aren’t… as into waxing. Oh, ha… I guess that explains why few salons in Portland wax and of the ones that do, none really claim to “specialize in Brazilians.” The Wax Shack’s Angie told me that her Brazilian is almost pain-free. I tend to believe her.

The Wax Shack
1722 NW Raleigh Suite 315
Portland, Oregon 97209

Next on the list is finding a hair stylist. If someone has a recommendation for someone who gives good hair in Portland, please feel free to post here. I’m in Lair Hill so any area of Portland is fine.