Sunday, November 29, 2009

OK, if I know you, you've probably been privy to this gem. I mean, it rules. it's the best.

...except, I because of an inside joke created today, I found myself discovering this.

whoa. genius is genius.

(It's gold. like, seriously. If you must only watch a portion, maybe start around the 2 minute mark, but only after watching the beginning to get into the mood. if you're a real winner, you'll trust me and watch it all. just sayin'....)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 09: Feeding the homeless

One drunken night, we decided that it would be fun to volunteer this Thanksgiving and it was such a good idea that the next day, we still wanted to do it! Jen found a place that was accepting volunteers (most were already maxed out) and we made our plans to drive to Vancouver at 6:30 on Thanksgiving morning. Once we arrived and got our mostly mis-spelled name tags, we got our assignments. John and Jen were assigned to the clothes table, where they were to make sure that people didn't take too much and if needed, assist them in finding the most fashionable warm item for their needs. A couple weeks ago, we had a donation happy hour where we took donations of warm clothes, so many of the items available were from the big box of donatables we had shown up with. Other Jen and I got to witness some of this for our first post at the dessert table, where we watched one guy try on and love the new coat that he picked from our pile.
Our glorious, easy job of managing the dessert table didn't last long and we were banished to the basement to strip the turkeys of their meat. This was gross. Not all the turkeys were completely done and so we had to try to get what we could without tainting the good meat with parts that may or may not have been completely cooked. The turkey stripping was a long and messy job. It will be a while before any one of the 4 of us wants to eat it again.
Also, the people running the event weren't super nice to us once they got us in the basement. There were a lot of things that we would have done differenlty if we had organized such an event and this was definitely a learning experience. We were disturbed by some of the things we witnessed. Oddly enough, the disturbing things were not associated with the homeless and less fortunate who came to the meal, they all seemed happy and fairly together. However, the people that put together the event seemed to be quick to look down and talk down to others and even quicker to pat themselves on the back for their generosity. We were a little turned off. We were still super glad that we did it. It was an interesting look at a lot of different types of people and on top of that, we have a ton of new jokes from our shared experiences of the day. After our volunteer shift, we came back to Portland and jogged around the waterfront and then landed in a warm, cozy bar where we had delish spanish coffees and hot toddies and snacks. Then we headed back to the Jens' house and John cooked us delicious quesadillas and we had more hot toddies and played games. We also had a drawing contest to commemorate our respective memories of the morning of volunteering.... Clearly, it was a 4 way tie. (warning: you may not find these to be politically correct. If you'd like to hear more of the stories associated with the drawings to put them in context, I would be happy to share them)

The whole day was perfect. We have lovely friends and are grateful for everything in our very full, and I feel, very balanced, life. Mostly, as you might guess, I'm thankful that I get to do everything with this guy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I guess I don't get it...

In the movie store the other day, JJ showed me a pillow with that new young dude from the vampire movies. Apparently he is such the teenie bopper dream that he can make money by selling pillows of his face. I just don't get the whole vampire obsession. Don't you know? They suck your blood! I mean, it can't feel good when they bite into your neck... and then, you're a vampire. you sleep in a coffin and you can never get tan. and they always look cold. I guess it's just not the life for me. Then today, someone who should be totally above this little fad, Evie, told me that she was going to go see a matinee of New Moon. I thought that was about vampires too, but she said she was going to see the cute young boys who turned into werewolves. I'm so confused.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sparkle Mary

After I dropped Mama Longstocking off at the airport on Saturday, I hurried home to my wonderful husband and after some hugs and thank yous for being so patient sharing his space and time with wife and mother-in-law for a week, we took off to downtown for a reunion date. We had some pizza and beers and then some wine and while taking a shortcut through Ross, John was stopped in his tracks by the most fabulous donkey riding virgin we had ever seen! $7.99 later, we walked out of the store to start a pictorial adventure with our new friend and savior baby mama, Sparkle Mary:
Not only is her entire skirt bedazzled, she also has rhinestones around her head scarf. This chick is fabulous. Sparkle Mary would have never asked for a room at the Inn, she would've gone straight to the bar and demanded that she have the best room in town (and maybe a shot of tequila) for the birth of this baby. Not that she isn't humble; I mean, we rode the bus.
Then Mary made us stop at the strip club for one more drink before going home. Or so she said, I think she actually had three....
Sticking to her modest roots, she wanted to pay us back for the drinks.
She made enough for a taco snack afterwards too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

not this time. my mom is here. words are everywhere.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Something kind of oooh...

With Mama Longstocking in town, posting may be light this week. We have important things to do. Like, go out for coffee and scones and shop. We'll be going to yoga having lunches and drinking some beers and deciding what to wear to shop for earrings. Since my words will be scarce, you should watch my awesome class doing this dance. They're fantastic.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A beautiful day in the neighborhood...

I don't know why when I'm the busiest is when I decide to do the things on my list that I usually never make time for, like get new windshield wiper blades. But this week, I got a big Pasty order that I wanted to ship by today so that I would have time to clean my house and my fish tanks before I drive to Olympia in the morning to pick up Mama Longstocking, who is visiting for a week. I think it's the satisfaction of creating a logistically perfect trip and accomplishing as many things in one outing as possible. The other day, en route to JoAnn's and the grocery store, I just popped right into Baxter and purchased those wiper blades! I smiled pretty and put my wedding ringed hand in my pocket and asked the nice young lad behind that conter if he would install them for me because I don't know how. As fate would have it, it started raining as soon as I got out of JoAnn's and I drove home with a clear, clean view of the road to craft pasties and bake chicken. Today, I had two aprons to finish sewing for my order and needed Stress Coat for the fish tank cleaning and wanted a mocha and a scone to.. well, because they're delicious. So, plan. Drive to Les Schwab to have the leak in my tire (that has been there since the Jurassic period) fixed! I simply refuse to wait for things like that. Usually I combine a trip like that with a jog, but I hurt myself this week and have given myself two days in time out to heal. So anyway, I packed for Les Schwab. I brought the two aprons to finish and my laptop, to finish cropping old scanned photos for the best thing I ever purchsed, ever. While I was sitting there sewing my aprons, a cute little old lady came up and asked if I was sewing an apron. Yes, I said, and showed it to her. She put her hand on my shoulder and said that she grew up wearing aprons and that it was very cute and she was so glad to see that young gals today still wore them. I told her thank you and went back to my sewing. Pretty soon, she was back and asking if I'd ever been to JoAnn's (oh woman, you have no idea...) and asked if she could see again because she'd like to make them for her 4 granddaughters who were going to be helping her cook for Christmas. I went through my design with her and showed her how I did it and we talked about hand sewing vs. sewing machine with regards to apron making and then she said she'd let me get back to finishing it. A minute or two later, she came over again, and said that she promises not to bother me by talking but could she share my table? I assured her that her talking was fine and she was certainly welcome to join me. She sat there in silence until my name was called and I was packing up to leave. Then she said "I wanted to tell you earlier, but I told you I wouldn't talk... I wish you were my neighbor."

On a day when I had a hundred things to do and went through the planning to make sure they all went smoothly, never in a million years could I have planned such a sweet encounter. I'm stressed about not having a job right now and have put my faith in the universe that the right thing will happen. Today, with this (now cherished) story, I feel like the universe patted me on the head and said "everything's going to be ok."

I hope that little old lady's aprons turn out perfectly and that her granddaughters love them. I never did tell her about mine having matching pasties :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Product Placement!


Jen loaned me her video and I spent my morning in my living room, in my underwear and tennis shoes, and had a kick ass workout in 40 minutes. I'm fussy, and this didn't waste one minute of my time. Not only that, but I sweated and maybe even cussed at the tv once. And it makes me happy that I do a lot of the stuff in the video in Tease and Tone. and lastly, I wonder if she's secretly Bret Michael's sister. It's OK Jillian, I wouldn't admit it either.

Monday, November 9, 2009


I have a pasty project that I'm working on this week and I got everything gathered and flipped on the ol' country music station on comcast and the first song they played was what we used in our wedding instead of "Here comes the bride"
What a happy way to start the week.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Our friends, Justin and Kerstin, have decided to take up sailing! (First, if you don't know Justin and Kerstin, they are some of our oldest friends. Like, they knew us before we were John and Shannon and when we were just John. and Shannon. We have years and years of shared experiences and the incriminating stories and photos to accompany them. So much so, that I could have a whole blog and just put one of those stories up every day for a year, easy. hmmm, maybe I should, I don't think either one of them read this blog :)) Anyway, Justin was looking for volunteers who were free during the day to come out and sail with him so that he can perfect his skills as captain. I guess a good thing about not having a job is the ability to take advantage of some of that stuff, so I did it. It was a super windy day and we didn't know for sure if we'd be able to go, but it turned out OK, and Justin and I are brave, so we did it. We got the boat all set up, he got inside and gave me my instructions for unhooking it as he backed away from the dock. Just as I unhooked it, a gust came and pushed the boat more quickly than I anticipated and I ended up like this. I hung there for a minute and tried to pull the boat in, to no avail, and then went through my options. I had two. Let go and belly flop into the water, or hold on tight and jump my feet into the water and hang on to the boat and try to pull myself in. Choosing the option with the most dryness, I opted to hold on and let go of the dock with my feet. So then I was like this (but with a cute hat). The worst thing is that I couldn't even swing my leg high enough to get onto the boat and my arms were so sore from the massive workouts of the week that I couldn't pull myself up. Justin came over and reached down to help pull my foot up and I finally got into the boat. Now, in retrospect, both Justin and I should have been clever enough to photo document this, but the story will have to suffice. Once I was in, we had a brilliant time. It was windy, and we sailed more downstream than upstream, but it was an awesome day. We got pretty good with our switching choreography (OK, that might not be quite the right lingo) when the sail had to switch sides and we saw a huge barge up close and watched some serious pro sailors out taking advantage of the big winds. It was cool.

We joked that it will be a while before someone beats me as "quickest person overboard" so this morning he sent me this:

Thursday, November 5, 2009


but I trust the universe. I guess this one wasn't meant to be.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My gym....

I have put in a lot of miles up here....
You have to make sure you're dressed right and sometimes you get rained on. I do sit-ups and push-ups under a tree and run stairs from one level to the next....
and up and down hills to all the different lookouts towards different parts of the city. It's amazing and inspiring and invigorating.
I love Portland.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 09

I figure it's only fair to finish last week's Halloween theme with a follow-up from the actual Hallo-day. We were going to our friends Justin and Kerstin's for a zombie block party. They got the permit to close the street and with their neighbors, made a cool little maze of scary stuff for the kids to go through. Those of us who were zombie volunteers wandered around to scare the little bastards. (I mean, cute, adorable little munchkins, of course) Here I am at the beginning of the night, rising from the dead...
Totally scary.
Here is Zombie Preacher Husband. He likes feet and beer.
mmm. feet.
My favorite thing turned out to be hiding near the candy and as the kids were rounding the corner or concentrating on getting their candy, I'd creep up behind them and say "bbbbrraaaaiiinnnnnnssssssss...." It scared most of them. One of them, obviously fearing for her actual brain kept saying "you don't scare me, you don't scare me..." One, when I made the noise that would simulate me sucking his brain out through his ear, looked at me and said "it's not working, please stop doing that...." and then there were a few (demonstrated below by the defiantly crossed arms of my victim) who insted "um, you're not scary."
oh well, we had the best time ever and I think Justin may have started a tradition... Plan to bring your kids to 52nd and Gladstone next year for the Alien Invasion!!
We better start thinking about it now because the costume ideas are endless.