Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Love Visitors - Emily Edition

I think I've mentioned it before, but I've had more visitors in the year I've lived in Portland than I did in the entire 4 years I was in LA. Maybe even more than LA plus the 3 years I was in DC! I'm telling you...Portland is the new vacation destination! Come and check it out for yourself!! In light of this, I'm instituting "I Love Visitors" as a new spot on the blog. (watch, this will jinx me and I won't get any more).

Little Miss Emily came for a visit to Portland a few weeks ago! It was SO great to see her!! She did a pretty good job of outlining the trip on her blog. I went down to Eugene to pick her up and spent a lovely evening with her aunt and uncle who were very fun and hospitable. We had a great dinner, slept in, looked at her uncle's new koi pond, and then had a nice drive up to Portland. We spent our time shopping, eating, touring historical sites, watching great movies, and hiking in the rain. We even did a bunch of things I've never done before like happy hour at Jake's Famous Crawfish, The Chinese Gardens, and a great hike in Northwest. These things will definitely be added to the Portland visitors' itinerary. It was such a fun trip, and mostly just great to hang out with Em. Thanks for coming Emily!! I hope you come back soon!

A Year in the Life

This week I hit my one-year anniversary in the Great Northwest, Portland Oregon. As with most anniversaries, I have this "Didn't I just move here?" and "Man, I feel like I've been here for WAY over a year" combination of feelings. Since A Year in the Life of Miss Renee has been adequately documented on this hear blog, I won't do the full recap. But, I just have to say that it's been an amazing year. I've been completely happy with my move and have loved being here from the moment my big toe entered this fine state. I have made some incredible friends, have had a lot of fun exploring the city, and have been really happy. It has been a great place for me to be and I've learned a lot since moving here. It will be fun to see what the next year has in store for me :)

Friday, May 9, 2008


I'd like to preface this post by saying that I'm not typically afraid of spiders, bugs or snakes. I don't particularly love them in my house, but they do not generally evoke any fear or anxiety. In fact, I once had a little bee friend when I was in school at CSU. He would come and hang out with me on the quad when I would study/nap between classes (and let's be honest, there was definitely more napping than studying). But me and the bee - no fear, just friends.

I was taking a sleepy shower this morning (my term for trying to get a few extra minutes of shut-eye by taking a shower with my eyes closed) when, through a tiny open slit, I saw this:
Yes, this GIGANTIC spider was perched on the wall just above the shower head. This not so little guy tore me from my sleepy state and had me at full attention for the rest of my shower. He was HUGE and brought flashbacks of that scene in Arachnophobia where the spider lands on the showering girl's face and she dies (she died, right? It's been a while.). At any rate, standing naked and wet in an enclosed space with a possibly deadly spider left me feeling a little vulnerable. But, I was only on step one of my 5 step showering process (you can ask me later) and all 5 steps were necessary on this particular day. I spent the entire shower in a state of near panic and even bruised my heels when spidey momentarily lost his grip on the increasingly misty wall and almost plummeted into the bathtub with me. Luckily he caught himself, but it didn't stop him from trudging on in his pursuit of the ceiling. When it came time to rinse out my conditioner, I positioned the shower head nearly horizontal to the ground and had to back bend into the stream of water so I could keep one eye on him at all times. I didn't need him slipping down (or intentionally jumping) onto my face and killing me with his poison bite.

After the traumatic showering I was trying to figure out how to dispose of spidey so I didn't find him waiting for me in my bed when I came home tonight. Luckily, as I was devising my plan, I heard a big thud and realized he'd fallen from the ceiling and was awaiting his death-by-drowning on the bottom of the tub. With a quick flick of the nozzle, I was able to whisk him away in a perfectly safe (for me) and humane (I'm assuming) death down the bathtub drain. Phew! I'm so glad that's over. Now I can return to my 20 minutes of snoozing-while-pretending-to-get-clean in the mornings.