2015.06.21 – GSG Summer Picnic 2015

None of us wanted to get up this morning so we took our time. We definitely wanted to get some breakfast before heading to the picnic though since food would be served as a late lunch or early dinner. Andrew messaged Tom Christiansen to see if he wanted to join us at Zenith. Andrew and I ate there on our trip here in January and it was great. Tom is vegetarian so it would be perfect. We met in the lobby and ran into several other GSGrs. The new DBA Brandon joined us and since we still had our rental car we drove everyone over. We got seated right away and had a great brunch. I got Tom and Brandon talking about unicode since I need more help understanding it. Fascinating.

After brunch we dropped off Tom and Brandon and drove out to Avis to return the car. Andrew summoned a Lyft to bring us back and he showed up in like three minutes. Always a great experience using Lyft.

We met up with more of Andrew’s co-workers in the lobby and then made our way out to where the buses were picking us up. We piled on and off we went to the usual venue for the picnic. It was nice to see everyone and to see all of the kids a year older. The food was pretty good and this year they had vegan cupcakes! Two kinds! My mind was blown 🙂

Lauren messaged me to let me know that Sean had crashed on his practice run and messed his leg up pretty badly. She was scared about the race and he was unsure if he was going to race. She messaged me a while later to let me know he did in fact race, crashed again and possibly broke his wrist. Ugh! She was taking him to urgent care. She messaged me even later to let me know it was definitely fractured and that he would have to see a specialist. He might be out of this race circuit for the year. Bummer. On a positive note he came in 7th!

After the picnic we headed back and the three of us were going to just take a short little nap but we ended up sleeping until nearly 23:00. So much for dinner or socializing. I thought we’d all have trouble sleeping after such long naps but we didn’t.

Today I learned that some languages don’t use spaces between words. Wha?!?

2015.06.20 – What an Adventure!

Well today didn’t go quite as planned. We were up early and Taylor was nice enough to drive us to the airport. Our flight was at 07:00 so he dropped us off about an hour early. Security was a breeze as usual and our flight was uneventful. We had a connection at Dulles so we landed and grabbed some lunch. We went back to the same burger place we ate at last week but this time I forgot to tell them we wanted black bean patties! Well we had so-so ‘burgers’ with no burger. Oooops! It was fine though because we’d be landing at PGH in time to go get dinner. We decided on some wood fired pizza from Proper Brick Oven. They always do a great job with vegan pizza for us. Our next flight boarded and we taxied out to the tarmac where we were informed that there was some sort of delay. No problem. This happened last week and we were only a little bit late getting home.

Weeeeeell it didn’t quite work out the same way.  We sat in the plane for an hour and a half before they took us back to the terminal. We sat there for a bit and then were informed that the flight was canceled! Oh, they rebooked us for 22:30 the next day! This was not going to work at all. Lots of other flights were getting canceled due to weather. It was pouring rain, lightning was intense, flash flood and tornado warnings. Soooo we decided to rent a car and drive the four hours to Pittsburgh. We found our bags, scooped up a car and hit the road. The radio was going nuts telling us to take cover and stay off the roads but we were headed west and the storm was moving east. We should be good right? It was awful! Poor Wayne drove and did a fantastic job.

We finally got to some clear weather and decided we should find some food before everything was closed. I had no idea where we were but I found a place on Yelp that sounded good and was open late. We ended up at Pistarro’s in Frederick Maryland. Funny we still got our vegan wood fired pizza and it was excellent! Too bad we’ll never find reason to be back in that city because I’d totally eat there again.

After we were sufficiently fed and Wayne filled up on caffeine we hit the road. It was a ridiculous drive with lots of torrential downpours along the way but we made it and rolled into town at about 02:00. Bleh!

Today I learned that plan b can be both fun and terrifying.

2015.05.31 – Busy Day

Today was just a lot of running around. Andrew and I walked to The Arbor Lodge coffee shop which I had been wanting to try since we moved here two years ago. I wish I had gone sooner. Their chai is home brewed from a spice mix and not a pre-made syrup. It was every bit as good as Spella! Andrew said his espresso was really good too so that’s saying a lot. We stopped in New Seasons for a couple of things and then meandered home stopping to chat with a neighbor who makes his own wine. Nice guy!

Andrew did a run through of his talk he is giving at YAPC and I gave him some suggestions and then we had to run up to Vancouver to see about getting our posters framed. That was a pain in the ass. Way too many choices! We got it all figured out and paid for though so there’s that.

We came home for a short time and then had to drive out to Beaverton which is really only about 8 miles away but feels really far, and meet Dave for dinner and general hanging out. He had just returned from Lake Havasu where he was helping his mom pack her house and move in with them. We went to an Indian restaurant right by their house and sat outside. The weather was perfect! We sat out there for quite some time before giving up our table so others could enjoy it. We walked to Dave’s house and found Alena and the kids outside with the neighbors and their kids. We all stood around and talked for a while before noticing how late it was. These summer nights are deceiving.

Today I learned that a 92 year old became the oldest woman to finish a marathon!

2015.05.30 – Starlight Parade

Andrew and I went downtown and stood in line so that we could get a signed copy of a Bridges of Portland poster. The artist, Michael Bear, was very nice and happy to see such a large turnout. We grabbed lunch afterward at a Mexican place nearby. I totally felt as though I were cheating on Los Gorditos. The weather was beautiful and there were people everywhere. The Starlight Parade was later in the evening so there were already people camping out and groups of chairs taped off in order to reserve front row seating. We happened upon a store that we had walked past many times but it was always closed. This time it was open so we wandered around and found a pretty cool poster of the Portland neighborhoods. I guess we were in a map buying mood so we bought it. I figured it might tie in nicely with the bridges poster. Great! Now we had two posters that would need to be framed. I found a place in Vancouver that claimed to be affordable so made an appointment for the next day. We’ll see.

Andrew, Wayne, Natale and I headed down to the parade around 19:00 so we could get dinner first. We of course went to Los Gorditos and it was much better than our lunch choice. Some of the parade floats were staging outside of the restaurant so we got a bit of a preview while we ate. Roberto and Frankie met us for dinner and we went together to watch the parade. Eddie from Los Gorditos met us once he got off work but he ended up missing most of the parade. It was fun anyway although Andrew was so over walking and standing. He had run to Cathedral Park this morning and then we stood watching the parade for about 3 hours. He got in 30k steps for today.

Today I learned that this parade has been happening since the early 1900’s and this year the PDX carpet ‘PeeDee’, was the Grand Marshal. Oh Portland 🙂

2015.05.29 – Laser Tag!

Today was the hunger banquet at Trillium. Jayde’s middle school advising class was putting it on. I didn’t know what it was exactly but sure found out when I got there. As we entered the cafeteria we were each handed a slip of paper. Mine had my income level (low) and a short bio about my character. I was instructed to take a seat on the floor with some others. There were other people, not many, being seated at a nice table and others being seated in chairs. We were split into three income levels and got to hear about what each demographic experiences day to day. When it came time to eat the group at the table was served a nice meal, the middle income group had rice and beans and our group had rice and water. I didn’t realize that about half the world population is undernourished and that about 9500 children die each day from starvation. Most of the students didn’t seem to care too much about this but it was eye opening for me.

We were celebrating Jayde’s birthday today by having some of her friends come over for burritos and cake (she wanted the rice cooker chocolate cake again) and then we drove back down to Milwaukee for laser tag. I was just going to sit in the lobby while they played but Lauren, Sean, Jason and Wayne were going to play as well so I decided to join. Andrew went with us but he wasn’t feeling well so he read his book while we played. We had a group of ten and played our first game against ten little kids who kicked our asses. Little jerks! The second game was just us so five against five. It was SO much fun! Would play again!

Today I learned that laser tag is a lot of fun!

2015.05.09 – Plant Shopping

Andrew woke with the beginnings of one of his weird headaches but he conveniently had a doctor appointment early in the morning. His doctor is wonderful and went over lots of things to try. I also asked for an order to get an MRI just to rule anything out. Andrew went right back to bed when we got home. Wayne and I had plans to go to breakfast with Alice and then pick up her mom and hit the nurseries for some plant shopping. We decided to go to Cup and Saucer on Killingsworth so we could get their yummy pesto and sun dried tomato scramble. There was no line which is always nice and surprising for Portland. Our food was great but the service wasn’t the best.

We wound our way over to Alice’s mom’s place. Her mom is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and is living in an assisted living facility. The place is really nice! I got a bit of a tour before we left. We ended up going to two nurseries and got all sorts of stuff to plant. Lots of vegetables and herbs. I was hoping they had some tarragon plants but they didn’t. We did find more hot pepper plants for Andrew though. The weather is so nice out which made the nurseries extra busy. Lee and I sat in the shade and did some people watching while Alice and Wayne shopped.

We made a quick dinner of soba noodles with edamame, snap peas and carrots. I spent the rest of my evening putting all of my Kindle books in collections. Saturday night excitement for sure!

Today I learned (too late) that it used to be possible to jailbreak my Kindle and then use Calibre to manage books. That would have been handy to know before this last update to the OS!


2015.05.08 – Thanks Obama

Andrew went downtown today since Obama was leaving and the traffic was back to normal. Well, for the Max anyway. Wayne and I ran some errands and got some Thai food for lunch at a food cart near Hippo Hardware. I think I’m turning into a real Pacific Northwesterner because I ordered my food medium spicy and it was SO hot! I couldn’t eat it but the spring rolls were delicious. We picked our lights up and they look great! We have a lot of light fixtures now and all of them are hanging in the upstairs hallway for safe keeping. People are so confused when they go upstairs and see our mini lighting gallery.

I worked on the Mozilla tooltip bug but I couldn’t figure out why my JavaScript wasn’t working. Starring and unstarring events still works but now none of the tooltips work. When I inspect the element it claims to be undefined so there is just something I don’t understand about the syntax. I’ll have to mess with it more a different day.

Lauren, Sean, Andrew, Wayne, Natale, Jayde and I went to Teote for dinner and it was excellent! They only had a couple of vegan options but the bowl I had was so good I’d want it again anyway.

Today I learned that all seven of our blueberry bushes have fruit on them. Some have just a few handfuls but they are all happy this year.

2015.04.19 – MOMA

Our flight wasn’t leaving until 16:30 so we had a good amount of the day to fit in some sight seeing. Nick suggested we go to the Museum of Modern Art. Andrew and I had never been so we were pretty excited for the opportunity. We made our way there and it wasn’t terribly crowded yet. Nick took us straight to the Bjork retrospective. I’m not an art aficionado by any stretch of the imagination and I’ve never really listened to Bjork so I wasn’t sure I would be able to appreciate much. I was wrong. Her retrospective was super cool!  The music, the costumes!

After that we went to Terrace 5 and had a light brunch. Delicious! We were left with about an hour to rush around through the rest of the museum to see this and that but then we slowed down again so Andrew and I could look closely at One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series. We rushed through the video games installation, breezed through the conceptual art taking just enough time for me to make fun of it. Sorry but a string of light-bulbs is art??? Really? The museum is beautiful though and I definitely plan on going back when I can spend a lot more time.

We were getting close to being out of time so headed back to Champs so we could get sandwiches to take on our long flight home. They were PACKED but I figured a to-go order wouldn’t’ take too long. I was wrong and now it was past the time we had wanted to be leaving for the airport. On the up side I had a tasty cinnamon roll while we waited for our food. We still had to get our stuff from Nick’s apartment and figure out how to get to JFK from Bushwick. Nick printed out directions for us but it was really easy. J train towards Queens, get off at Sutphin and take the Air Train. If we hadn’t been late we could have taken the L to the bus and then to the Air Train and saved the $5 fee per person but we didn’t want to chance the longer trip time. I was worried we would miss our flight but on the train I decided to just come to terms with missing it so I could be pleasantly surprised if we didn’t. We got to our gate with 30 minutes to spare! Security was thankfully light and fast. Also someone left a pile of pennies in their bin and the TSA guy said I could have them. A whole pile of luck! I guess the TSA isn’t all bad. The flight to San Francisco was super bumpy nearly the whole way but our food was delicious and it’s Virgin America so even a bumpy flight is a comfortable flight. We didn’t have much of a wait in San Francisco and our flight home to Portland was just over an hour. Wayne and Jordan were waiting for us and it was SO nice to see their smiling faces. Home is good! Ahhhhhh 🙂

Today I learned that Van Gogh’s Starry Night is at MOMA. I’m so outta the art loop.

2015.04.18 – Hello New York!

We got up and dressed, packed our stuff and had breakfast while Michael took the boys to gymnastics. I got in as much time as possible with the baby before I had to say goodbye. It’s amazing how quickly one can fall in love with a tiny human.

When gymnastics were finished the whole family drove Andrew and I to New Haven where we caught a train to Grand Central. The ride was totally uneventful. I read a book and looked at the passing scenery. Our friend Nick met us at Grand Central and we lugged our stuff to his apartment in Bushwick. When we got off the train we walked downstairs and then I noticed that the trains run on raised platforms in his area. I should have taken more pictures but completely failed at that on this trip. His apartment that he shares with three others is really nice.

We got our stuff dropped off and I had to change my shirt since it was really warm there and I wasn’t expecting that. Nick took us over to the food co-op he is now running in his spare time??? Yeah, that’s Nick. It’s very small but they had all sorts of vegan stuff I hadn’t seen before. We got a couple of dessert type things and ate them on the patio then took some groceries back to his place. After that we walked somewhere. I don’t even know where. Nick knows the city so we just followed him and ended up at a coffee shop in a different neighborhood where we met up with his friend Ivory. She was awesome! The four of us then decided on a place for dinner and chose Champs Diner. It is totally my kind of vegan food. Crap! It was delicious. I had a chicken pesto sandwich and we all shared a slice of chocolate mousse cake.

After a heavy comfort food meal we were all pretty tired so Ivory headed home and the three of us made a quick trip to Target so Nick could get some sheets for his bed. We had walked a LOT and Nick’s back was really hurting even though he said it was fine. He broke his back not too long ago so I know he wasn’t really fine so we took a cab back to his place. It was Andrew’s first time riding in a cab in NY. I had ridden in one before with Spencer and John but that’s a whole different story!

Today I learned that there is a TON of amazing obscure street graffiti in some very random places. But in keeping with the theme of this trip, no pictures.

2015.04.17 – A Quiet Day

Yup, Andrew is sick but he still had to get in a day of work so he stayed in the guest room and I checked on him now and then. I went with Michael to drop the kids off at their schools/daycare, did our laundry and then Michael and I went to get Andrew some Sudafed. Apparently I haven’t purchased any since meth users made it nearly impossible. The pharmacy tech was super nice and apologetic but it took forever for her to input every single detail off of my license. It did help him feel better so success!

It was Michael’s birthday so I offered to watch the kids while he and Josh went out to dinner but they wanted to spend time with us so we ordered pizza and had a night in. Northampton is really nice and quiet. The scenery is beautiful. I love to visit them.

Today I learned that Big Hero 6 is a great movie!