Thursday, June 21, 2007

Badoop Badoop Badoop

That's the sound that tivo makes when I fastforward through the commercials. Oh how I miss that sound. I've been 40 days without tivo now. I long for that little badoop.

I'm not sure how I made it so long. The loss was first felt when I missed all of the season finales of my favorite shows and had to watch them on my laptop. And, though my laptop has a large simply wasn't the same (and I still haven't seen the season finale of the don't anyone spoil it for me). Then, I was ok without tivo for a while, what with my new and exciting life in Portland. But then...SYTYCD started up it's third season. It's really the only show I'm watching this summer and even just one show is torture without tivo.

Here are the reasons why I hate tv without tivo:

1. I have to be home on the day and at the time that the show is on in order to watch it. WHAT?? I can't watch the show whenever it's convenient for me? This is especially an issue for SYTYCD because it's on two nights a week (and both episodes are crucial). I hate the idea of not doing something outside of the house or hurrying home in order to "catch my show."

2. I have to wait for a commercial to do things like go to the bathroom, make food, answer the phone, blow my nose, and talk to my roommates.

3. I can't rewind if I miss something. This leads to the next problem...

4. I am annoying (and annoyed) when watching tv because I don't want people to talk for fear of missing something...this makes tv watching far less social than I'm used to it being. Usually I'm pretty chill about the talking because you can always pause until the conversation is over, rewind to catch what you've missed, or just watch the whole thing later when things are less crazy.

5. I can't rewatch particularly great things (like Pasha and Jesse's contemporary Jazz dance or Jim's face when Dwight says something ridiculous) or paulse to laugh really hard at something that just happened (like GOB's falls on mother's tequilla) so we don't miss the scene that follows.

6. I can't fastforward through commercials or other really annoying things on tv like whatever dumb guest performer is on while the SYTYCD judges deliberate.

7. Watching tv takes a LOT more time than it used to...I have to multi-task in order not to feel lazy. I used to be able to blow through a tv show really quickly before heading to it takes up the whole night.

8. If I do happen to be home and bored and I want to watch tv, I can't sit down and watch something that I actually want to watch. I have to flip through the 13 channels we get (half of which are home shopping networks) in hopes that something good will be on (i.e. Seinfeld re-run or Jeopardy).

9. I can't tivo shows that look interesting but will likely be horrible (i.e. that new missing lyric show). I am not going to spend an evening at home, waiting to watch the show and then sitting through all the crap and commercials to see whether or not it's a good show. But, if I had tivo, I could record it, watch it, and decide if it was worth tivoing each week just for fun filler.

10. I miss the cute sounds it makes.

I know I'm being a snobby little brat right now. You might ask, "Why do you even still watch tv if you're so annoyed?" The answer...I still like tv. I'm an American...what can I say? I like my friends Cat, Mia and Nigel, and Izzy, and George, and Meredith, and Jim, and Pam, and Jack, and Hurley and Charlie (rest his soul) and even Sawyer and Kate and Michael. You might also ask, "Why don't you just buck up and by one for yourself you freeloader?" The answer...don't worry smarty pants, I will! I am moving to a new pad in August at which time I'll run to the nearest store and purchase the beloved machine.

The lack of tivo certainly has cut down on my tv watching...which is perhaps the greatest benefit. Despite how annoyed I get during commercial breaks when I reach for the remote and find it's missing those crucial buttons, I am just not willing to give up SYTYCD (and LOST, Grey's Anatomy, and the Office when the time comes). I even miss catching an episode of Heavy Petting in the City when nothing else is on. And, what in the world am I going to do when Project Runway starts up again? That not only requires tivo but also cable!!

I feel like my car has broken down and I've got to scrounge for change, hike up the freeway and find a payphone rather than whip out my cell phone and make a quick call. did we ever live like that? It's not that I won't make the hike...I mean, I'm stranded on the freeway for heaven's sake! But I'm sure I'd outline the top ten reasons for wishing I had a cell phone while peeling that quarter off the bottom of the car's sticky cup holder.

P.S. Here's a picture of me and Mat...he came to Portland last weekend and I never had a chance to blog about our visit. Love this kid...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thou shalt be as a little child

Number of Subarus on my drive home: 68

As I finished reading la dolce's blog entry about the ever present reluctance of adults to grow up, I sat pondering the ways in which I attempt to remain like a child. I was surprised to discover, in those first few minutes of reflection, that I could come up with no concrete examples. I thought to myself, "hmmm...could it have happened? Have I become a grown up?" Those thoughts danced around in my head for less than 18 hours (7 of which were spent sleeping) until I headed off to play a game of kickball with a bunch of hipsters that live on the East Side.

I realize that kickball is epxeriencing a major revival these days among 20/30 somethings...especially the young professionals in urban cities. Which only proves la dolce's point that we refuse to grow up! So much so that we form teams and leagues and go to Nationals playing sports that were all the rage in 5th grade.

Luckily, the hipsters I was playing with were not part of any organized league or team nor did they have any aspirations for Nationals. If they did, I would have highly discouraged said aspirations in light of the fact that the Kickball scene is hard-core...especially in Washington DC. And when I say hard-core, I mean hard-core. What began as an excuse to get together and drink beer and yell at each other while acting like children has turned into a serious and skilled competition involving drinking beer while yelling at each other and acting like children (emphasis on drinking beer). Here is an excerpt from the DCKickball website explaining "Why DCKickball?"

Playing around at the park when you were a kid?
Playing flash light tag?
Playing kickball during recess?

When you got to college…
Playing quarters?
Playing flip cup?
Playing beer pong?

Now imagine those two worlds, separated by time, coming together….what would you have?
The answer: DCKickball

They are obviously hard-core not only about the game of kickball, but also about drinking beer...a dichotomy that perfectly epitomizes the subject of la dolce's question: Why are we Americans so eager yet so reluctant to grow up?

I only bring up the DC teams because, as my friend Alan sadly realized, any team that is part of an organized league that happens to make it to Nationals will get their trashed kicked by these hard-core DCKickballers. It's best to just stay out of their path. The East Side hipsters I played with this weekend were less serious about the game of kickball, as well as drinking beer, though both were still present. They were so much less serious about the game that, instead of wearing the usual kickball attire (as pictured below), they were dressed like the hipsters that they are (also pictured below). A fact that led to some serious FOLLACI come true for me.


Monday, June 18, 2007

My Progress

Subarus counted on the way home from work: 39 (not nearly as high as I expected...I'll do better tomorrow).

Number of naps I took today between 6:30 am and 6:30 pm: 2.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I like to count things. Not in an OCD kind of way (not usually anyway) but in a this-drive-is-really-long-and-I-need-to-occupy-my-time kind of way. It started when I lived in LA and it took me over an hour to drive the 15 miles from my place in Hollywood to my job in Santa Monica. As you might imagine, there are a lot of Mercedes-Benz in LA, especially in Beverly Hills. And, as luck would have it, my commute took me right through Beverly Hills on occasion. So, I began counting Mercedes on the drive. I once counted upwards of 70 on a five mile stretch from Beverly Hills to mid-Hollywood. Mercedes were an easy target because 1) They were plentiful, but not so much that it became difficult to catch them all (like VWs or Hondas) and 2) They have a very distinctive grill and the nice hood ornament which made them easy to pick out (thus avoiding the awkward explanation to the police officer as to why I crashed into the car in front of me...I was counting?). It was a fun driving passtime, similar to the alphabet game or slug bug (which I would also sometimes play...though much less thrilling when you're playing by yourself). And, because I'm ridiculously competitive, even with myself, a tiny little bubble of excitement would well up in my throat as I approached higher and higher numbers. Ted can tell you about evenings spent crusing LA's various neigborhoods counting Mercedes, wife-beaters, and hasidic Jews (please don't judge me).

I would also, at times, count UPS trucks. That was an exciting venture because it was less about getting a cumulative count on the duration of the drive and more about counting how many I could have in my perview at the exact same time. Between the hours of 9 and 10 am UPS trucks would decend on the stretch of the 10 freeway between La Brea and the PCH en masse. There were times that I could see more than 10 UPS trucks at once (including those I could see in my rear view mirror). You might not think that sounds like a lot, but if you figure you've got about a mile "visibility" while driving on a slightly curvy freeway in rush hour traffic, getting 10 UPS trucks is like hitting the jackpot! Where were they all coming from?? I was determined to discover where the UPS depot was located, in hopes of attaining the thrill of seeing UPS trucks by the hundreds...all at the same time! I was pleasantly surprised to find, when I moved into my new apartment on the corner of Missouri and Overland, that one of the UPS depots was located just a block away! Only they weren't stored there by the somehow UPS is this perfectly timed machine wherein trucks from all over the city coordinate their entry onto the freeway in such a way that it is like a swarm of big brown boxy bugs taking over the freeway. But I digress...

Now that I'm in Portland, I have a similarly long commute, though this time I cover a much longer stretch of freeway. On my drive home today, I was getting a bit sleepy, so I decided to start counting...only this time it's Subarus, which appear to be the state car. I began playing the game quite late on my drive, but counted 30 in the 5 mile stretch from around Wilsonville to my house (including the Winco parking lot). Subarus, I fear, are going to be much harder than Mercedes, and definitely harder than UPS trucks. They have no distinctive hood ornament, and blend in with the many other all terrain vehicles that dot the freeways in this state. This could make it a much riskier game than I'm used to, but I think I'm up for the challenge (though don't tell Emily, as she seems to be appalled by distracted drivers these days). Perhaps I'll need to stop looking at the exterior of the car and focus on the interior which is quite distinctive in that they are ONLY ever occupied by bearded outdoorsy men or lesbians. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Chump Change

Today was a spectacular day of deals! I haven't been to the market this week (yes, I've decided to start calling it "the market". It's not an Oregon thing...but I like the way it sounds and it makes me feel like my life is quaint). Anyway, because I haven't been to the market, I had to go out to lunch today. This can be difficult in Salem, as there aren't a lot of good eats around my office (there isn't much of anything around my office honestly). My choices were costco pizza (always delicious), Dairy Queen or the Burger Basket. As I'm trying to eat more vegetables these days, none of these options were working for me. A co-worker suggested a Mexican place down the street...Muchas Gracias (not just an expression of appreciation, but the actual name of the place). It was this little shack of a place (always promising with Mexican food...the shackier, the better). I was also pleasantly surprised to find they had a drive-thru! Yes, I'm a lazy American and I hate getting out of my car for much of I had a patient to see so I didn't have much time for eating. Anyhoo...the abovementioned co-worker clued me in to the fact that the portions at this place are HUGE. And while I AM a lazy American, I'm trying to prevent myself from also becoming a fat American. So, I opted for the kids meal, bean and cheese burrito (Ted will appreciate this, especially in light of my attempt to eat more veggies), rice and a small drink for $2.60. That's right, TWO dollars and sixty cents. And...because there is no sales tax in Oregon, it was ACTUALLY $2.60. I was so thrilled with this deal that I paid in change (mostly dimes in fact).

The second deal came on my way home from work. I stopped at Costco to get gas and was pleasantly surprised that gas has dropped below the $3.00 mark! Whoopie!!! Who thought I would EVER be excited about gas being $2.95? That sad reality is here folks. I remember the day gas went over $1.00. I was shocked and appalled (but not nearly as much as my dad who, whenever this subject comes up, tells about the days that gas was 30 cents and he could fill his tank for $3.00). I've never been so lucky. I once paid 79 cents for gas in Goldthwait, TX on our way back from spring break in South Padre Island in 1998. That was back in the days when gas was starting to creep up near $1.50 and we were so thrilled to have such good karma on our road trip. We took a picture that day as well. I'm starting to sound way too much like a 90-year old grandpa recounting the good ol' days. Just know that cheap (?) gas is a comodity for me considering I drive 90 miles a day (round trip) to work...I think I'm going to become bf's with the gas station attendent at Costco.

Speaking of which...While I'm on the topic of gas (because really, how often does that happen?)...I'm going to make a side note about not being able to pump your own gas in Oregon (so much for keeping my blogs short...and what's with all of the parenthetical statements in this post??). So, getting gas has gotten a lot more awkward than it used to be. When you pull up to the pump you hand over your card and say "fill it up with regular please" (quaint yes, but not in a market kind of way). What do you do while the attendent is pumping your gas, or cleaning your windshield? I mean, I know it's really nice and more convenient and fits with my love of not getting out of my car, but I still feel a little weird about it. The first time I got gas by myself I tried to busy myself in my purse to avoid just staring at the 60-year old dude squeegie-ing away at my window. Thank goodness for ipods with which to fidget! My trips to the gas station are made more awkward by the fact that my gas tank lock is controlled only by a double turn of the key in the car door lock. This normally wouldn't be a problem because I generally just unlock all of the doors by this method whenever I get into my car. However, my passenger side front door lock has stopped working with the double turn, so to prevent having to lean over and lock the door whenever I get out of the car, I just don't unlock all of the doors with the double turn. But, this means that the gas tank also remains locked. So, when I unexpectedly go to the gas station, the attendent tries to open the gas tank, finds it locked, and then asks me to open it. And, instead of the smooth push of a button that would occur with newer, sleeker cars, I have to get out of my car and shut the door and then stick the key in the lock and give it the double turn. It evokes serious FOLLACI (see la dolce vespa for definition). My friends all say that not pumping your own gas has lots of perks (especially in the rainy season) but I'll have to wait to discover said perks. For now, I just feel awkward (which should be read in a sing-songy voice ala Ted).

Here's to another ridiculously long post! And to two fun quirky things about sales tax and not pumping your own gas (and to parenthetical statements). Hip hip!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

On A Need to Know Basis

I like to know stuff. This is the case in school, in life, at work. I can't handle not knowing things. Those who have ever tried to tell a secret in my presence, or simply say something quietly, know that I have this need to know because the whispering will usually be followed by a "hmmm, what?" from me, accompanied by raised eyebrows and an excited inquisitive look. This need to know has served me well most of my life. It usually makes me a good friend, an excellent listener, and has probably contributed to my career choice. Being a good therapist is really just all about getting people to tell you stuff. In life, I don't ever want to do anything with the information...I just want to know it. This is a picture of me contemplating the world and everything I know in a bonzai garden. I think being a giant makes contemplation better you greater perspective.

I've realized recently that my need to know has gotten a little out of hand. Last week, it took me a full 20 minutes to recover from the fact that a good friend of mine had been dating someone for well over 2 months and I had NO IDEA! I have talked to this person numerous times on the phone. I have blabbed on and on about my new life in Portland and I think I've even asked about hers. I even once had a conversation with her while I was at the University of Oregon for a track meet...and she failed to mention that she was dating someone who happened to be a track star at the U of O. It threw me for a loop that I was so far out of the loop, so much so that I was a bit speechless. I still haven't figured out quite where these feelings were coming from. I wasn't necessarily hurt that she hadn't told me...I don't think she was trying to keep it a secret. It was just that I was so used to being her go-to girl and knowing everything about her life, that it knocked me off kilter a little to realize that there were things happening in her life that I didn't know about. I realize this is TOTALLY selfish and egocentric (in the literal sense of the word). And it just emphasized to me that I'm ridiculous and my need to know has gotten out of hand.

I was reminded of this again in a reverse fashion today. As you might have figured out by now...I'm a little verbose (just a wee bit). My blog entries tend to be tomes, containing endless details and fluffy words. I guess that since I have such a need to know, I assume everyone else wants to know everything about me as well (again ridiculous and egocentric). Cobb mentioned having read an entry last week and I asked, "did it make sense? what about this part and that?" to which she responded "honestly...I skimmed." Ouch! Ok, first indicator that the blog entries are too friends are skimming. Then today I was talking to Gamine and she said that she and Jo had carried on a whole conversation about how my blog entries were really long ("novels" I think she called them) but they were afraid to tell me because they thought it would take the steam out of my blogging.

I'm here to tell you (in another really long blog entry) that I'm making an attempt to change my ways. I've been trying to figure out a way to turn this blog from a laundry list of the things I do to a more interesting "this is what I'm thinking about" or "this is a funny thing that I noticed" sort of blog. I can't say it will happen all at once. I'm sure there will be adventures that I'll want to report on. So, bear with me. And, as I attempt to be more concise and less long-winded (I just needlessly added 5 words to that sentence...this is going to take a while) I hope you will keep reading, even if you skim.

Taking Time to Smell the Roses

This weekend we went to the Royal Rosarian Gardens (fancy-schmance talk for the Rose Garden in Portland). It was lovely! A perfect evening to stroll around and smell all of the beautiful roses. Kaydi tried tasting one that smelled just delicious, like honey and oranges...but it tasted more like bitter rose leaves. Amy has my favorite smelling's like a full body smell that starts crouched over toward the flower and ends with the body fully extended and head thrown's wonderful. She truly takes time to smell the roses! We were obsessed with taking pictures of the flowers and I'm hoping to make some cute little greeting cards out of the pix...expect to hear from me soon (if I actually get on the ball and follow through with this crafty inspiration. If you're curious about my abilities to procrastinate crafty ideas...ask cobb, she can tell you a number of doozies).
Our lovely evening at the Rose Garden was followed up by a trip to the Rose Festival Fair which started with a ride on the Kamakazi and ended with a ride on the "BIG SLING". Essentially it is a two person chair connected by bungee cords to a huge tower which launches you hundreds of feet up in the air. You then freefall and then you bounce around for a while...good times. We stood at the base for a bit, debating whether it was worth the $25 each. And, though we calculated that these carnies make roughly $1000 an hour for operating this contraption, we caved to our thrill seeking sides. It was worth every moment of the one minute and fourty second adrenaline pumping launch. I hope my mom isn't reading this. I've almost never seen her so disappointed in me as the time I went bungee jumping without her permission. I wonder how she'd feel about this carnie operated death-trap? I love the fair!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Happy National Trail Day!!

In celebration of what now might be my favorite holiday (National Trail Day, June 2nd) my roommate and two friends and I went and hiked Dog Mountain which is up the Columbia River Gorge about 40 miles East of Portland (on the Washington Side). We actually didn't know that it was National Trail Day, but were pleasantly surprised when we found out and realized that it meant we didn't have to pay for parking at the trailhead!! The hike basically kicked my trash...but it was amazing! It's about a 7-8 mile loop (3.8 miles to the summit) with a 2850 ft elevation gain. It made me realize just how out of shape I really am. I inched my way up some of those switch backs all the while chanting in my head, just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you can make it! All of the huffing and puffing was well worth it for the amazing view of the Columbia River and the beautiful wildflower meadows. As if I needed more reason to love living in Oregon!! It was simply breathtaking (in more ways than one). It was also fun to hang out with the girls and get to know them better. I think that's one reason that I love hiking so much...there's nothing to do but walk and talk and it always leads to interesting conversations.

This is me and my roommate Jill. She's rad.

This weekend was also the start of the famous Rose Festival in Portland. I haven't had a chance to check out a lot of the festivities, but on Friday night, some friends and I went downtown to see the fireworks. I don't know if everyone knows this about me, but I LOVE fireworks! They make me so happy...sitting on the grass with good friends, watching the beautiful display of lights in the air, usually to the tune of some classic rock song or a good ol' American pride ditty, feeling the boom as the fireworks go off and waiting in anticipation to see if they'll be as big as they sound. I just love 'em. This display was no disappointment. They were shot off over one of the many bridges in Portland it was a great show.

This is a picture of the river with all of the boats on it before the fireworks started.

This is me and my roommate Amy at the fireworks. She's also rad, and totally responsible for my thriving social life.

These are some of the Portland peeps. From left to right, top row: tom and shannon (my new bumble connection), second row: brooke, kaydi (who's decided to stay...yippeee!) and me, third row: korie (also responsible for my fun filled life), cindy and amy (roomie).