Tuesday, March 31, 2009

axis and emma

rebekah (chip's g/f) and i learned a valuable lesson this weekend.
boys who have trounced their significant others in 3 turns or less through ipc victory while playing the axis in this: ...are much more easily pacified into watching movies like this.
they deserved it. mean old boys kept telling us to invest in weapons research.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


we spent a splendiferous 24 hours in cannon beach (thursday night - friday night) ... ostensibly celebrating our 5th engagement anniversary, but actually taking advantage of free lodging and the chance to hang out at the beach with each other and family. this time "family" was just my parents, as chip&co (co, in this case = bekah and jared) had too much homework to stay friday.

as always, pop taught at ecola bible school, on the grounds of cannon beach conference center. we've made the same trip every year since i can remember, so the school is laden with memories, and the trip with ritual.
we managed to catch the last teaching session. (which is always the best!)
the weather definitely fit my definition of cooperation. (aka: no snow, hail, tsunami warnings, and enough space in between the rainstorms to enjoy a few beach walks.) we arrived just in time for a gorgeous thursday night sunset, and on friday, commandeered a leftover beach fire to ward of the -14 degree wind chill. :P

of course, this is us on vacation ... so the trip involved plenty of this ...
and, for pop, this...
(i took a photo of mom nursing her headache but i think she'd kill me if i posted it.)

our ritual haunts include the psycho-bug, a foam festooned volkswagon which we pay homage to on every visit. this time, however, the psycho-bug had been replaced with a rather flighty newcomer!
bruce's candy kitchen - not so ritual, but definitely the place to go for some out-of-this-world sea foam!
and, of course, how could i leave out bella. my happy place.

we capped off the drive home with a 10:30 dinner at mcmenamins edgefield ... because neither of us really wanted that last can of tuna.

click on any photo to view larger

Friday, March 27, 2009

today, five years ago...

joel picked me up from my parents house, and we drove to classical millenium on burnside. we bought a recording by the rachmaninov trio, and popped it in the cd player of his blue honda.

we headed to quizno's, and had to sit in the parking lot for 20 minutes finishing the piano trio in d minor - it was that good! (incidentally, the first gift i ever gave joel was a recording of the d minor piano trio.)

we shared a chicken carbonara, and drove across the river to a park in vancouver. we walked along the river, hopped on logs, talked, watched the city lights on the water ...

and then he proposed, and i said yes.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

7.5 month faces

life just changes so fast when you're 7 months old ...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

the "quick quaker oats" incident

and henceforth, let it be remembered in the land that upon this date, the twenty-first of march, two thousand and nine, there was great wailing, gnashing of teeth, and gails of laughter. we mourn the loss of so great a quantity of "quick quaker oats" (intended for use in an apple crisp recipe) but we know that they live on in our hearts, memories, drawers, burners, medicine cabinet, blender, behind the kitchen counters, and (randomly) joel's jeans pockets.

the million dollar question: will tim and heidi thomas ever let my husband back in their kitchen again???

currently reading ...

to learn with love: a companion for suzuki parents
status: a quarter note from the end. ;)
why: stepping stones in my quest to become a suzuki method piano teacher. and suzuki educational philosophy is brilliant. (other musicians: don't dis it til you've studied it.)
urban spacemen and wayfaring strangers: overlooked innovators and eccentric visionaries of '60s rock
status: halfway through the introduction.
why: '60s rock ... well ... rocks!

home comforts: the art and science of keeping house
status: about 150 pages into its voluminous contents
why: my mother-in-law sent me this wonderful resource when we were first married. i used it a handful of times as a reference (what's the right way to clean blinds?), but never attempted to read straight through 896 pages of housekeeping advice. (that's like a whole harry potter book!) i am now though, having come to a point of realization that i suck at housework, and don't want to always suck at housework.

dmt: the spirit molecule
status: several chapters.
why: uh ... because the next best thing to doing psychedelic drugs is reading analyses of scientific studies on them?
because the human brain is just about the coolest thing ever, and we're learning some pretty trippy stuff about it.

bono: in conversation with michka assayas
status: 3/4 through
why: cuz i loves me some antiquated, self-aggrandizing, ostentatious rock stars! oh, and i wanted to understand one of the most brilliant musical and political minds of the past 50 years. that too.

if this list feels incoherent, then so do i.
happy wednesday!

Monday, March 23, 2009

if the eyes don't melt your heart, the bokeh will...

bokeh: a japanese term for the subjective aesthetic quality of out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. [www.dictionary.com]

personally, i prefer the in-focus areas to the out-of-focus areas, ;) but my goodness, does the 50 prime lens deliver some yummy bokeh!

joel is **all done** with his 2nd term of a&p and chemistry! only one more term of these classes to go. (and spring term always seems to fly.) there are plenty of home projects on the spring break to do list, but i have a hunch that spending time with those we love and miss will edge most of them out ... we'll see.

these photos were taken at our "special spot" on the sandy river ... which i recently found out isn't on the sandy river at all, but the bull run river!

i believe this is the "photoshoot over" face...

Thursday, March 19, 2009


i did a couple calculations today, and realized that i spend approximately 53.332% of my waking hours, 1/3 of my weekday hours, and 23.81% total hours in my week (not including sunday mornings) at work.

however, so far in 2009, my work has only been a prominent feature in approximately 7% of my blogs. this blog here kicks it up to 11.91%. (it's more fun to share work stuff when i've got pictures!)

this is our easter invitation, which i finished today after a crazy week of ... craziness. crazy.
click to view larger

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

20 blogs for the uninspired: the version for the rest of us

feeling rather dull today, i clicked on a blog post that popped up on my twitter called 20 Blog Topics To Get You Unstuck. it has all sorts of useful questions to answer - like "what challenges are your potential customers facing?" and stuff like that.

and by "useful" i mean "useful if your blog is one of those snazzy ones with all the ads on the side and readers who routinely make comments that include words like 'marketing,' '2.0,' and 'bootstrapping'." so, what about those of us who are just making a feeble attempt to share our quest to survive???

here's my version - for those of us writing to friends, not customers, who are sharing, not marketing, who are friending/parenting/spouse-ing/working/etc.-ing, instead of bootstrapping.
  1. what was the last insect, hoard of insects, or arachnid you saw inside your house, and how did the experience affect you?
  2. lists, people! lists are easily organized and easy to read! how about...
    "10 ways my progeny have misbehaved in the last 2 hours"
    "20 breeds of tropical fish i have owned and the gruesome ways they died"
    "5 ways my spouse makes me laugh"
    "7 things i have learned from [name your most distasteful chore]"
    "10 people who shaped my life in _____ way"
    "35 methods i have used so far to potty train my 13 year old that have not worked"
    (ok, maybe you wouldn't want to blog about that one...)
  3. share your favorite recipe .... and a delicious memory that you associate with it.
  4. when was the last time you hauled yourself out of the house/workplace and into nature? what made you laugh/cry when you got there?
  5. have an idea that is cheap/easy/effective/fun/just stupid but funny?
  6. what's your favorite room in your house? use all five senses to describe why it's wonderful.
  7. in what areas would you like some advice (that you don't mind sharing with, you know, the whole world)?
  8. "how [some part of your life] is like [anything else]."
  9. summarize something:
    "my history with venomous snakes"
    "my children's affinity for the emergency room through their lives"
    "my husband's escalating clumsiness"
  10. if you can laugh about an embarrassing moment, you can write a funny blog about it. pictures are a bonus.
  11. speaking of pictures, everybody loves to see old photos! scanner + 80's hair = instablog!
  12. what is your favorite power tool or appliance, and why couldn't you live without it? (write a poem about it if you like.)
  13. "a day in the life of [your spouse/kid/dog/purse/minivan...]"
  14. borrow a well-known literary form or paradigm to tell a story.
    ____ and the terrible, horrible, awful, no-good, very-bad day
    'twas the night before ____
  15. how are you exactly like your mother/your son exactly like you/your husband just like his father?
  16. "the [your surname] guide to [city you live in]"
    best restaurants, parks, stuff to do with kids, stuff to do without kids, prettiest views, coolest graffiti, awesomest local bands ... (your readers will love this!)
  17. share an issue that you've worked through - your readers will identify and appreciate the openness! (if you can't bring yourself to throw in some self-deprecating humor, pick a different issue for the blog and reassess the "worked through" part.)
  18. what are you really bad at? play up your weaknesses.
  19. be uncool. what's the worst that can happen? and when you're free to be uncool, the inspiration starts pouring! like fairies. what cool person would write a blog about fairies? cool people are so boring.
  20. ask your child/spouse a totally random and weird question and post their answer.
    me: where does the tooth fairy get her quarters?
    joel: she steals them from fountains and vending machines.
    (this would be funner with an imaginative 5 year old than a scientific 29 year old.)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

what i learned.

  1. the oreck vacuum (my lovely christmas present) [see figure a] is more powerful than the swiffer sweeper-vac. (which i used until last christmas and which works beautifully on hard floors when your real vacuum "bites the dust.") [see figure b]
  2. ha ha! get it?! "bites the dust!" ahem ... moving on.
  3. the power of the oreck vacuum is displayed remarkably when the vacuum is navigated over a sound system speaker cord. [see figure c]
  4. the number of times a sound system speaker cord can wrap around the twirly-brush mechanism (its technical name) of an oreck vacuum in the time it takes the absent minded operator to shut off power to the vacuum is approximately 94. (thereby gutting the sound system of what initially appears to be most of its cord, but is actually only .07%, since sound system cords reproduce rapidly and indiscriminately whenever they are not in use.)
  5. sony sound system cords react unfavorably to being run over by oreck vacuums. (i haven't tested other brands of sound systems and vacuums, but i would highly recommend this experiment as a potential senior project or youtube video.)
  6. the word "vacuum" is spelled with one "c" and two "u"s, according to google, yahoo answers, and dictionary.com, although "vaccuum" (spelled with two "c"s and two "u"s) appears to be a common misspelling.
  7. if you google "vacuum spelling," most of the entries are on a short lived webcomic called "spelling the vacuum" - about how (according to tvtropes.org) "an inexplicable accident of chance creates a sentient vacuum with an attitude. his name is spelling."
  8. i have nothing else to say about vacuums, but remind me to tell you about the ants. [see figure d]
    figure afigure b

figure c
figure d

Friday, March 13, 2009

a few of my favorite things

favorite thing #1

+ favorite thing #2

= thankful me!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


i've been gardening a lot the past few days.

i've learned that in gardening there is a season of preparing, a season of planting, a season of tending ... and finally, the season of enjoying.
in between, there's a whole lot of waiting. waiting for the little plants to do what can't be rushed.

oh believe me, i tried to rush ... and ended up with a bed of painfully frozen flowers. fail.

my life seems to mimic the seasons of gardening. (and if this metaphor is new to you, i suggest reading more.) oh, they overlap in different areas - i may be tending over there while planting over here - but the idea holds truer than i realized before ever, well, actually gardening.

right now, i seem to be in the waiting-to-see-some-evidence-however-small-of-any-one-of-the-millions-of-little-seeds-i've-been-planting-recently season. i don't like this season. i know the dumb seeds are in there; i planted them, darnit! but as our 4th month of snow rolls around, it doesn't seem that the flowers will ever come. and so i rush, and get my little backside frozen off, and retreat back into the freezing dirt.

lesson learned?

i'll keep waiting.

Monday, March 9, 2009

weather 1, me 0

i am ready for spring.

dismayed by predictions of snow on my second favorite day of the year ("spring forward" daylight savings day - second only to christmas), i spent saturday planting tulips, daffodils, and irises in a desperate attempt to ward off the evil snow spirits. the atmosphere might be against me, but i, i was determined to force spring into my little corner of the world.

this morning, i came out of the house to this:

apparently passive aggressiveness has limited effect on weather.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

portland state university

... is where joel is spending much of his time these days. the frenetic eclecticism of the campus is set in an atmosphere of stately urban beauty. a fun place to observe on a cold afternoon ...

this one's cooler large - just click on the photo.