Thursday, September 30, 2010


I've had an epiphany:

Ha! No shit, right. So I guess its not really so much of an epiphany, as something that I am learning to accept.

For most of my life I've had a general direction. And that direction, for the most part was upward and the focus has been on education, and getting my bachelors degree.

Well, now I have it (and I did it well, I must say). I have to figure out what to do next. And unlike in school there's no clear cut path to getting to wherever that is.

Probably the hardest part about all of it: there is no right or wrong. There are about a million different directions, and none of it is good or bad necessarily. I just have to choose one.

And then find a route to go about getting there. I no longer have a large collection of professors at my disposal. I have to be innovative in the ways that I educate myself.

So yeah, being an adult is hard. Being an adult artist, I think, is even harder. So I am reading this book now (its a "program to recover your creativity from a variety of blocks"). Please, keep your fingers crossed that it does me some good. Cause this artist could use some real guidance.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I have been so busy. Too busy to make it to the bank and deposit my last three paychecks. Too busy to finish a couple simple documents for the website I'm building. Too busy to do the dishes (well, that and I don't want to).

But somehow there's always time to bake.

This week it was pumpkin muffins. They were delicious.

I got the recipe from Penzey's Spices (more on that later). It was a sweet potato recipe, but I modified it to meet my needs.

Whole wheat flour was used, so they're pretty healthy, and totally deserving of some cinnamon and sugar on top.

Pumpkin Muffins
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • for topping: 2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375.
Cream the butter. Add sugar, beating on medium speed.
Add eggs, beating well after each one.
Stir in pumpkin and milk.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Add the dry mixture to the wet, stirring until just moistened.
Spoon batter into lined muffin cups.
Top with cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bake for 25-27 minutes.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


One of my favorite classes in college was printmaking. Not just cause we got to be around all sorts of rad chemicals (acid!!!!!), but I just love the feeling of carving out a block of linoleum or wood, and then the way the colors lay down on the page. The whole process is very satisfying.

So in this weeks burst of creative energy I got out my Speedball cutter, bought a block of lino, and started carving that shit up.

This block isn't even close to done, but I got anxious and really wanted to put some ink on paper, so I tried a couple out on some printer paper. Yeah, printer paper doesn't take so well. But I still think it looks kinda cool...

Friday, September 24, 2010


OMSI After Dark! Whats that? Its good, clean fun, and something I've been wanting to do since I can remember.

Its where adults wander around the science museum, free of wee ones and play with exhibits...

...and read things about Einstein...

...and pretend to be an astronaut picking their nose...

...all while drinking beer or wine, sampling spirits from New Deal Distillery, and yummy food like fondue and ice cream sandwiches. Yes, really!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I have been busy. Crazy busy. And exhausted. Work work work. Allergies. And all the bicycling in between it all. I'm tired and it shows.

Examine Specimen A: Multiple stray hairs. Tired eyes. Groceries in backpack strewn on messy bed.

...but at least my nails are pretty! Aren't they? That's cause I went to Beauty Bar with my friend Michelle last night and had some great girl time. Mani and martini for $10? Yes please!!! And thank you.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Now that summer's over, I've finished sewing my summer nightgown. I've got fantastic timing.

Pretty though, isn't it?

Benefit of sewing your own clothing: being able to make adjustments so that the garment actually fits properly. Like making it about 4 inches longer than the pattern. And using cute dot fabric. And the overall sense of accomplishment when you've finished sewing something you can actually wear. All by hand. It feels good.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


So, we've already established that I'm now a Portlander. Officially. And in order for me to actually find satisfaction in that I am going to need to do one very important thing: embrace this damn weather. Not that you won't hear me bitching about it some (I mean, really, 6 days of rain in the forecast!?!), but I do need to at least learn to live with it.

See, I went into my kitchen and looked out the window this morning and look what I saw:

Do you see those red trees in the distance? Yep. Fall. And those overcast skies. That's Portland.

I also listened to the rain all night. It was kind of romantic.

So, on to this embracing business. I warmed up my itty bitty apartment by making chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and drinking about twice my usual amount of tea. I feel cozy now.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

3/4 cup butter softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1//2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
shake of nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.
Put butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Beat in flour.
Stir in oats, then chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are light brown.
Stir in

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


So while we're on the subject of tours, why don't I tell you about the other tour I did this weekend? The food cart and beer tour. This one was also on bikes. And it was also with friends. Lots of 'em. Friends are rad.

Here's how it went:
Stop 1 : Flavour Spot - Corner of Mississippi and NE Fremont
Waffle (dutch) tacos. Try the raspberry and nutella or cheese and ham.
Stop 2: Amnesia Brewing - Corner of Mississippi and N Beech
Fantastic IPAs and lots of picnic tables that encourage socializing.
Stop 3: Grilled Cheese Grill - Corner of Alberta and 11th
One favorite: the Apple, Bacon and Brie on Rye.
Stop 4: Radio Room - Corner of Alberta and 11th
Great ambience... better bloody mary bar. Very Portland.
Stop 5: North Station Food Cart Pod - Corner of Killingsworth and Greeley
Steamed burgers... Korean street food... homemade mac n cheese...
Stop 6: Yorgo's Greeley Avenue Bar & Grill - Corner of Killingsworth & Greeley
Standard Portland dive bar. 2 PBRs (draft) = $2.50
Stop 7: Mississippi Market - Corner of Mississippi and Skidmore
Some of Portland's more unique carts, with many vegan options.
Stop 8: Prost - Corner of Mississippi and Skidmore
Like drinking in Germany, only surrounded by Portland hipsters.

Inside the bus at Grilled Cheese Grill:

The Pops: grilled cheese sandwich with jalapenos, cream cheese, and fritos.

North Station Food Cart Pod had a band. Rad.

Boiled cheeseburgers:

Monday, September 13, 2010


Last Friday I finally found a couple of new friends that were up for doing something I've wanted to do FOREVER (really, forever): a wine tasting bike ride!

We did this ride through my the Willamette Valley. We started in Newberg, rode over to Yamhill, swung through my hometown of Carlton, then down to Lafayette, then back up to Newberg, about 45 miles total. Check out the totally awesome route.

First wine tasting stop: Seven of Hearts in Carlton. They've got some really great Pinots that they pair with their in-house-homemade chocolates from Honest Chocolates.
Wine + Chocolate = Heaven on Earth.

Thats Lisa and Tim. They're from Seattle and totally rad.

This is Tim turning into Anne Amie. We're about to get our asses handed to us on the crazy hill climb up to the vineyard.

This is our group at Anne Amie. They've got crazy beautiful views and crazy delicious wine. Crazy.

This ride was pretty dang awesome. I really just can't wait to do it again. Would you like to join me?

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Applying for job after job. Waiting tables. Not making a living wage. Trying to keep my teeny tiny apartment clean enough to live and work in it.

It gets exhausting.

I try to stay posi most of the time, but good lord, sometimes I feel like I'm losing it. Creatively mostly. I seem to lose all zeal for even the simple and fun creative tasks, like coming up with a color palette or finding fonts.

So... days like today... everyone gets them.

I decided to deal with this particular brain fart by getting out of the house for a couple hours. I went down to the library because I had a book on hold. And thats where I stumbled upon this great book that I am now completely engrossed in: The Wild Things by Dave Eggers. This is definitely one of those books that's a mini vacation every time you pick it up. Mini vacation into the mind of a small boy. Fun, not gross. Just fun.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Some people choose their wine based on reviews, reputation, origin, year, etc.

I like to buy wine that has good packaging. I'm a graphic designer. It's like I'm giving my industry a big high five: "Good job, team. We made this one look real nice."

I stumbled upon one such bottle the other day at Fred Meyer's. It's called Bear Flag.

This packaging pretty much breaks all the rules. Big tear down the middle of the name:

Lots of flashy colors and graphics:

And nice, non-straight edges. Beautiful.

And this wine tasted great! Win!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Aye mateys. I've been scouring the internet this morning and discovering many treasures.

Here's a few:

These maps show what parts of a city have been photographed by tourists vs. locals. The red spots = tourists. Blue spots = locals. Yellow = unknown.

At least until about $75,000 a year. Sounds like an ideal number to me. This article on NPR explains more. Very thought provoking.

Have you been given ridiculous quantities of summer squash too? What to do with it all? These are some great starter recipes.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Another whirlwind weekend. It was peachy though. I even made peach cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting. It was a great accompaniment to homemade beer, fried turkey, sweet corn pancakes. Yeah, and having to get up and go to work early the next morning after a marathon of eating = terrible idea. For real.

Check out this batter with all the peach chunks. Why not just eat a few spoonfuls like that? I do that sometimes. Or rub it on someone you like and lick it off. Ew. I don't do that.

These things were pretty darn delightful. Didn't capture the frosting, but take my word for it, it was good.

Friday, September 3, 2010


All that traveling business. It made me want to spend long periods of time locked in my apartment, not changing out of my pajamas and baking. Something homey. Like banana bread.

Or Banana Carrot Oatmeal Bread, cause I've got to watch my girlish figure. And seeing how I won't be going on any long bike rides in the near future...

This recipe is great. In addition to using whole wheat flour, there's also lots of spice in it. Cinnamon, allspice, ginger... oh man.

It made me feel good about life.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


It was a long weekend. I want to write more about it, but I'm still just too exhausted from it. And its Thursday.

I began by taking an early train from Portland to Seattle. It took only 3.5 hours. And with comfy seats with plenty of leg room, an outlet to plug in my laptop, and great views, it made me wish the ride was longer.

I got to Seattle around noon. I brought my bike (only $5 extra!), and rode it up to my friend Erik's place in Ballard. We went to lunch, then rolled on over to the Fremont neighborhood. Here we had a beer at Norm's, a dog friendly bar. I tried the Mac & Jacks, a locally brewed African Amber. Quite tasty!

Man's best friend at every booth. Except ours...

Later that afternoon I met up with Cory, who had just finished up a backpacking trip. He showered before picking me up, which is good because I had planned on putting his stinky ass in the back.

We headed east to Spokane. This is where I got lazy. I would really love to show you photos of the several mammoth churches (seriously, these things were huge! and everywhere!) and the really awesome downtown park, but thanks to a bout of the 'fuckits', I just decided I'd rather not photograph anything.

So just take my word for it. Spokane is the land of really big churches and really awesome downtown waterfront park.

The drive back to Portland was pretty incredible. Beautiful rolling hills, vineyards, canyons...

...and windmills... gotta love those windmills.