Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another Reason to Love Oregon...

Hand-picked blackberries for my afternoon snack. It was about that time of day where doing anything BUT falling asleep seems impossible. So I definitely needed to get up and move around, and an afternoon snack didn't sound too bad either.

So I went out to the river that runs alongside my office building (the Willamette River), and picked some blackberries for the eatin'. They were so delicious.

Last night I ate a couple of crabapples from a tree in my backyard. I plan to make a pie to take to a friend's dinner party tonight.

Kinda brings a whole new meaning to the word "organic."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I know I've mentioned before that I love the Eugene Public Library. Today is no different. After finishing Lullaby
by Chuck Palahniuk (who lives in Portland...maybe I should track him down), I decided it was time to return it and my overdue Putumayo and Cream CDs.

And then I checked out the entire fourth season of Six Feet Under. Oh, what a glorious world.

I just discovered that Chuck Palahniuk went to University of Oregon and lived in Eugene. This is inexplicably thrilling.

I recently joined a meetup group called for "charlas" (Chat sessions in Spanish) to regain my weak spanish skills.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I'm back in Texas for the weekend to celebrate my cousin's marriage and my sister's and Abbie's birthdays. I flew pretty much the WHOLE day today, waking up at 5 am (Pacific) and then driving up to Portland and flying to Albuquerque then Dallas. The whole flight process in and of itself deserves a novel to describe the experience.

Once I arrived we met up with my dad's oldest niece and her husband, my sister and Chad and CALLIE to eat a Babe's. I definitely got my fried food fix, and don't think I'll be frying anything for a LONG time.

I was so happy to see Katy and Lexie when we got home!! Both went kind of nuts. It's strange being back home....but nice.

Tomorrow the wedding is at 11 am, then after the reception I head over to Abbie's for a day of relaxation, chatting and margaritas topped off with a fun birthday night for her. I leave Monday, and although it seems like there's so much to do between now and then, I know the time will come all too soon.

PS: Parking is a huge pain in the ass at the Portland air port!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cooking For One?

my new blog...

Plating for One

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Who Do I Have to Hog Tie to Get a BBQ Sandwich Around Here??

One of my favorite things about Texas is the abundance of good, mediocre and downright bad barbecue. When you just need a simple fix, head on down the corner to that shady place run by the woman with her mullet tucked neatly behind her Nascar shirt. Actually, you may even be able to buy gas here. For something a little better, travel a bit further to that local restaurant where the manager leans on the counter and discusses sports or church politics (but never religion or real politics) with the customers. Chances are you'll run into someone from high school or see a familiar face from another hotspot. Drive home and enjoy your brisket, pickles and flavorful sauce.

If you really want to class things up, you gather a few of your best friends or closest family members and head to some of the meccas of bbq strung throughout Texas. My favorites are Dieter Bros. in Lindsay, Salt Lick in Driftwood, and that place in Sherman.

Oregon lacks this pleasantry. While Eugene has the equivalent situation in Vegetarian restaurants, it offers little and frequently failing barbecue happiness.

Today I drove by THREE places in search of a simple sandwich. One was closed, one should have been opened but was closed, and the last one had some sort of malfunction that would "hopefully be fixed soon." Driven by frustration, determination and my hunger I decided to make my own barbecue sandwich!

And boy oh boy am I glad I did. I made a pulled chicken barbecue sandwich with Stubb's (in Austin) spicy sauce. It was soooooo good. I even ate another one for dinner, and there's enough left from that chicken breast to have one tomorrow for lunch.

I guess that quest this afternoon was not in vain. It led me to a higher calling:


Saturday, July 19, 2008

David Sedaris? Hands off! He's mine!

I remember the first time I was aware of learning about David Sedaris. My sister told me about him, as she had borrowed a work friend's copy of Me Talk Pretty One Day. I eventually got around to reading the book, and instantly fell in love with this OCD, awkward, funny little gay man who reached into every corner of my sense of humor, brushing away cobwebs that had grown due to lack of activity. I felt like I had found a new best friend. I envisioned us gossiping, reliving separate childhood memories that were equally mortifying, going through our yearbooks and pointing out the jerks from high school that we hoped hadn't made it very far in life. He's the kind of person you can do these things with.

Then one afternoon I heard him on NPR, and I immediately recognized his voice as one that had made me riot with laughter many times before on the station.

My love affair with David grew, and I was unsurprised but very disappointed to learn that pretty much everyone and their gay best friend loved him, too. Although I delighted in sharing with my friends my favorite "david stories," I wished it could be between him and me. I was ecstatic for him that he had bestsellers and was touring the country. But...that made our relationship that much less special. It was on one of these book tours that my delusions came to a head. My good friends Kim and Zach decided to drive with me to a Barnes and Noble in Dallas for a book signing. I honestly didn't think that many people would go. Not because I doubted the strength of David's humor and popularity, but because I'm an expert at lying to myself and thinking that it'll be the four of us sipping coffee at a small table and having him regale us with tales from Paris.

The Barnes and Noble was packed, and I became fevered with disappointment. After waiting in line about an hour, the three of us decided to call it a day. We had heard him read live, and that was good enough.

My sister called me last night to let me know he was going to be on David Letterman, promoting his new book When You Are Engulfed in Flames, which I of course already have. I have YouTubed video clips of David on the Letterman Show, but seeing him live on the tv set chatting David to David and doing a reading made me finally realize my hopes for our relationship will never come to be.

I guess now I'll have to focus all of my energy on Larry David.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

DDR, stargazing and summer fun

Although the past week has been uneventful (filled with Six Feet Under watching, some cooking, working and reading), the last two days have been pretty fun. After work on Thursday, I went over to a friend's house because she was having some people over. It was nice to hang out with a fairly diverse group of people. I think most of the people were transplants to Eugene, and it was interesting to hear how THEY arrived here. We also played Dance Dance Revolution, which I haven't played since college.

Work was a typical Friday. We did celebrate my boss's recent engagement! Working in such a small office, it's very easy to feel more connected with people and their lives, so these events are celebrated more than they would be in another work setting. My boss actually had invited me over to a "Young Women's BBQ" at her house. A friend of her's from high school and a girl she met at a women's leadership conference were both there. The friend from high school had her 14-month-old son there, and he was really cute playing with the dogs.

After that I went home to spend some quality time with Luna, and then I headed off to the monthly star watching party put on by the Eugene Astronomical Society. There's evidently a HUGE reservoir really close to my house, and next to (or on top of..not sure) it is a giant cement platform. Every month members of the society come out and bring their enormously awesome telescopes and talk about ...stars! I went with several of the people I had met the night before. It was VERY cool. I was able to see the "equatorial lines" on Jupiter, or the different colors. Below are some of the things I was able to see:

Jupiter and its moons. I tried to find a picture that actually looks like what I saw, and this is about right.

"Ring Nebula" - also very close to what I saw through the telescope.

The "swan's eye" and its partner star. I was able to see the colors like this. One star is easy to see with the plain eye, and the other is much more difficult.

"Messier 13" (M13) - This is a large mass of stars, outside of the Milky Way. Things like this really boggle my mind and hurt my brain as I think of the endless possibilities something like this could mean.

This was actually a really cool night. I learned a lot of new things, saw many interesting constellations, stars and telescopes and I got to enjoy yet another lovely evening in Oregon.

I think Luna and I are going to the coast today. I haven't made up my mind yet if I'll go today or tomorrow.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


As I don't have much to say, I thought I would dedicate this post to my Blogroll (found on the right-hand side of the page). This is a list of blogs I either frequent or have enjoyed the few times I've visited.

in reverse alphabetical order
1. Your Memory is a Monster: A blog created by a friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous. Rarely updated, but well written.

2. The Prevention Researcher: The Prevention Researcher is the quarterly journal I am now working with. We just started blogging, and the entries are currently written by employees.

3. The Hills Blog: This is dedicated to the embarrassingly addictive show The Hills on MTV. Unless you know what I'm talking about and have enjoyed gossiping about this show, I wouldn't waste my time reading the blog.

4. Ruth, Chad, and Callie B: My sister blogs about events in her family's life. Often updated with amusing pictures or videos of my niece, Callie. Also--a great music playlist. Turn up your speakers.

5. Mom : My mother recently discontinued her blog and returned to her journaling. But the few entries are worth a read.

6. Larry David : Larry David, my all time favorite comedian/writer (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) shares his thoughts on the world. This is VERY rarely updated and only has a few entries on it. Although some of the entries are outdated, they are still definitely worth a read or..listen. That's right, you can actually hear him read some.

7. Indie Rock Cafe : This is a music blog featuring many artists I love, look for and don't yet know about.

8. Gorilla vs. Bear : A Dallas-based music blog. The three contributors have varying music tastes, sure to appeal to some part of everyone's musical repertoire. I found out about this blog on Blogradio on Sirius Satellite's Left of Center radio station.

9. Go Green, Travel Green : My good friend Kim and her partner Liz's blog about being eco-friendly while still enjoying the many adventures the world has to offer. At only 24 years of age, these two ladies are definitely seasoned travelers and have a lot of advice to offer.

10. Ditto, the Beagle : The life of Ditto, the Beagle, told through his own eyes. Adorable Beagle pictures.

11. Craigslist blog : Craigslist, the international resource for jobs, rentals, groups, free crap, personals and more, has its own blog highlighting success, humor and whatever else happens in the CL world.

12. Blog of the Nation: Sponsored by NPR this blog is a written commentary of issues and interesting items in our nation.

So now you know what all those links in the Blogroll are. I hope you are able to find something which suits your interest and explore more of the world.

I finished the second season of Six Feet Under. I'm going to take a break from it for a couple of days. Today I need to go to the library and return some books. I recently joined a bookclub, and I think we've officially voted to read A History of Love, so I've gotta see if the old biblioteca's got it. Then I'm off to get Luna a new ID tag, seeing as her previous one magically disappeared. Tonight I'm making chicken kebabs again! YUM!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Six Feet Under at 426 ft.

When I moved to Houston and found myself getting bored, I joined Netflix. I particularly enjoyed watching TV series on discs. Here, despite walking Luna, reading, going to state parks and more, I STILL get bored. There's a Blockbuster less than a mile away, so I joined their program where you can get as many movies (one at a time) in a month for a set membership cost. Well, I was determined to get more than my money's worth, and I think I have accomplished that pretty well.

I recently started watching Six Feet Under. I had watched the first episode my junior year in college when Liz recommended it. Well I was distracted that day, and I never watched it again.

I really, really love the show. It's got Michael C. Hall, who is one of my favorite actors after having been captivated by his role as Dexter Morgan on Showtime. It's about a family who owns an independent funeral home. Their father has recently died, and this very distant, introverted family has to learn to deal with the loss and how to deal with each other. The casting is incredible. Lauren Ambrose plays the youngest child, a junior or senior in high school. I historically have not liked Lauren Ambrose (mostly in Can't Hardly Wait, but she's great for this role. The characters all have their flaws, and although I might find them annoying in real life, watching their progress and way of grappling everyday life issues is amazing, and I can't help but love them. Having recently lost my father, it is difficult at times to watch it, but in a way it's also cathartic in a way.

Well Luna and I just got back from walking to Blockbuster, so I could pick up the 3rd disc of Season 2. I guess now is as good a time as any to watch it!

Happy Fourth of July!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I've seen this on a couple of blogs, and while I swore this blog was going to be solely about my adventures in Oregon, watching movies happens to be an adventure sometimes.
We all have movies that we'll drop everything for. For me, this usually involves not doing laundry, going to the grocery store, walking Luna, whatever. Well the following movies are the ones that do it for me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Weekend Hiking

One of the reasons I moved to Oregon was the plentiful and beautiful nature here. I have thoroughly enjoyed my drives through both city and rural areas, but I know I can make the most of it by visiting state parks. This past weekend I went hiking in Champoeg State Park (north of Salem) and Silver Falls State Park (east of Salem). It was a great weekend of driving, hiking, and nature viewing.

Champoeg reminded me a lot of Garner State Park in Texas, one of my favorites. The park is actually historic as it's one of the first places settlers convened. The day I went was a record-setting day for heat in Oregon, with temperatures in the high nineties. But as a GRIT (Girl Raised in Texas), this only presented itself as a minor inconvenience as opposed to an insurmountable obstacle. Luna and hiked around and walked down to the river, although she was having nothing to do with the water. The Willamette river flows through the park, but people are not allowed to swim because of jet skis and ski boats. Several families were having reunions and gatherings, and the camping section was filled up. I let go of Luna's leash for most of the hike, and she surprisingly stayed close and followed my commands 90% of the time. That 10% she didn't ended with me stomping on her leash before she got too carried away, which caused her to bite her tongue and bleed. It was about that point that we turned around.

Sunday was a day for waterfalls, I decided. So I packed up and headed to Silver Falls State Park, the site of 10 waterfalls and many different hiking trails. I choose the Canyon Trail for most of the trip, and instead of doing the full 8.7 miles (after learning that was a 6 hour hike), I opted for the 5 mile trip. Luna could not come, as dogs are not allowed on some of the trails. It was truly an enjoyable day. The waterfalls were beautiful, the tranquility of the park was breathtaking, and the cool humidity of the canyon served as a surprisingly perfect climate for hiking. About halfway through the trip, low rumbles of thunder sounded through the park. Shortly thereafter a short and cool rain fell. As crazy as this sounds, I loved it. It was perfect. The last leg of the trip was the Rim Trail, and although this does not pass any waterfalls, it was my favorite part of the hike.

I ended up back at the South Lodge and civilization. I got a Tree Spirit and a State Park year pass in the gift shop. After walking around for about 45 more minutes, I FINALLY found my car and set back for the scenic drive home. I am looking forward to going back and doing the full Canyon Trail!

You can see all of my pictures from the hikes here. Below are some of my favorite shots.