Thursday, July 26, 2007


last monday, the same night as the cmnw concert, i started swimming lessons. i purchased an ugly onesie (a.k.a. one-piece swimming suit) and brand new goggles for the experience. i already knew how to swim, but during all those summers of violin practicing & camps, i somehow forgot how to do it well. swimming has always been suggested to me as good therapy for my sprained trapezius muscle, the injury from playing the violin. so, i signed up for classes through the tualatin hills parks and recreation district. classes were 8:30-9am, MWF, and only $45 for 9 classes. my goal was to learn to do the different strokes well enough for lap swimming. one of the swim facilities is just a five minute drive from our house, so it turned out to be really convenient. i was nervous about the first class - would i sink? would i be the oldest one there? the youngest one? would i look gross in my new swimsuit? would the other kids like me?
the night before, i gathered all of my swimming things together. suit & towel laid out. i rinsed the new goggles out with cold water and left them on the counter on a towel to dry, carefully not touching the inside of the goggles to protect the anti-fog coating. when i woke up the next morning, bright & early for the 8:30am class, the glasses were missing! the towel was empty! uh-oh... VIINNNNNNYYY!!!!! i found the goggles in the bathroom down the hall, bite marks through the rubber seal around the eyes, clawmarks on the precious anti-fog coating. they were completely destroyed & unusable. stupid cat! actually, more like smart kitty, but also i'm-going-to-kill-you kitty.
my first day of school was ruined. well, not actually, but it meant i would have sore eyes. i did my best. i wasn't the oldest or the youngest; i did fine; didn't get yelled at or made fun of; and i didn't sink. i had a very good workout with a kickboard, and learned to breathe, & worked on fitting it in with the arm strokes. it was challenging for me to keep remembering to breathe IN through the mouth and constantly OUT through the nose so water wouldn't go up my nose. i'm used to breathing all the time through the nose, and slowly both ways, from running. needless to say, i had sore sinuses by the end of the class. when i went running the following day, i practiced my swimming breathing - breathing in quickly through the mouth, and slowly out through the nose, then immediately breathing in quickly again, and so on. this helped tremendously. i bought a new pair of goggles and a swimming cap, so the second day of school would be much more comfortable. no more water in the eyes, and much less water in the ears. i went to the pool early to practice during the lap swim. all my efforts helped so much that i got promoted to the deep end of the pool, and to another instructor. yeehaaw! i got promoted! i was SOOO happy! i couldn't wait to tell the hubby.
anyway, i've been going early every school day, practicing before class. i've pretty much gotten the freestyle & breast stroke down now, after 5 classes. yesterday i went about an hour before class, so i ended up leaving 15 min early because my legs were so tired from the breast stroke, and from swimming for an hour. i'm not used to using my inner thigh muscles so much, because running doesn't really use them. being in the water is fun... i hope i'll keep up the swimming after the school is over - it's just one more week - and i hope it will help the shoulder injury.

happy birthday!

yep, another random picture from the wedding thing last summer. and yet another birthday i'm recognizing late. my father in law's birthday was yesterday. d, so sorry i wasn't able to make it to the birthday dinner. (unfortunately wednesday is one of my late teaching nights.) hope you had a wonderful day, and i hope you enjoy the wine!

chamber music northwest

last week, i actually attended some concerts. it was the first time in a long time that i had seen live classical music. i went on monday to hear a concert of "german & slavic melodies." i chose to attend the specific concerts in which amy schwartz-moretti was playing. stupidly, i forgot that i had to teach that evening until 8:15. i had thought i would be done by 8, and would just have to miss the haydn flute trio (i really dislike flute music, and i feel i have a right to say it after having played the flute for many years). however, i missed both the haydn & got there after the prokofiev duo had started, so i had to listen through the door. amy was performing with robert mcduffie, and their sound blended really well together. it was a fine and polished performance, as was the second half of the concert, the dvorak a major piano quintet. it was enjoyable to hear playing on such a high level. i ran into amy's husband on the way out, and he took me backstage to say hello to her. i knew amy because she was the concertmaster of the oregon symphony, a position she gave up this year to teach at a new music school run by mr. mcduffie, but i first met her while attending c.i.m.
surprisingly, i cried on my way home. i'm still wrestling with my love/hate relationship with playing the violin. these days, my shoulder starts hurting after just 20 minutes of playing, so a performing career is not an option. after the 7 years in the oregon symphony, i grew sick of performing & i still have little desire to do so, but a very tiny part of me misses the concept of performing. i suppose eventually it will resolve itself, just as the injury will hopefully go away in 20 or so years (hopefully sooner). for now, though, i go through very mixed feelings when attending concerts, and i opt to not attend many.
j & i met a couple of friends at friday's concert, which held a new piece by svoboda - "prayer" for clarinet and strings, a kuhlau quintet for flute and strings, and mendelssohn's octet for strings. i was extremely disappointed in the level of playing, and was actually embarrassed that i had invited friends (one who could've gone into music on the violin), who were 8 months new to portland, to the concert series. the svoboda piece was well enough performed, although it wasn't my favorite composition by him. however, the kuhlau piece, aside from the whole unsavory "flute" aspect, sounded as if it were being sightread. energy was low. it sounded very predictable, and lacked polish. the mendelssohn was even worse! elmar olivera was playing the 1st violin part, which is a concerto unto itself. since he's basically a concert violinist, he should've been up to the task, but he was horrible. his sound was horrendous, especially in the last movement - no core to it whatsoever. it was shocking. he might have made it easier on himself, keeping the tempo steady instead of driving it faster & faster, yet he chose not to. i've heard him play before, as he's performed with the oregon symphony, and i enjoyed his playing then, unlike this time. amy would have done a much better job in the hot seat. the octet is a mountain of a piece. it demands constant energy, with lots of scrubbing involved. anytime you put 8 people together & try to play in sync, it's a big challenge. unfortunately, most of the participants seemed there only to just "get through it." it was incredibly disappointing. chamber music northwest is supposed to bring the best of the best players. i expected the same high level playing that evening as i had heard on monday, but was very much let down. cmnw seems like a "good old boys" club, amy being the one exception. i don't usually get so worked up about concerts, but this one in particular definitely set me off.

happy anniversary!!!

happy 41st anniverary (late), mom & dad! it was on monday. i seem to be late with everything these days. it's a busy month! i hope you get to celebrate soon!

last weekend - concerts, parties, doughnuts, oh my!

last friday, we met up with some friends for a concert in the chamber music northwest series. i'll write more on that in another post. after the concert, we met up at vault martini bar, and then j & i ended up at the voodoo doughnut shop. the selection was limited, so i was a little disappointed with what we got, but the visit definitely took care of my doughnut craving. because we ended up at the doughnut place around 1am, the next day, saturday, was a sleep-in-stay-at-home-get-errands-done kind of day. i never quite ended up waking completely up. i made some quiches for the week...took a nap or two... we watched a good movie - "12 and holding" -which was twisted, but with a well-resolved ending. sunday was busy - i went running while j went mountain biking with friends in the morning. we went to a housewarming party in the afternoon, and then saw the decemberists play at mcmenamins' edgefield location in the evening. i guess the summer concert series is a new thing, and i really liked the venue. the concert was sold out, but it wasn't crowded, and i didn't feel claustrophobic as i normally do in large groups of people. we arrived late because we had the party beforehand, and still ended up with v.i.p. parking close to the entrance. the people we parked next to were having a little tailgate party, and they gave us some free pbr. nothing like a chugged pabst - whoowhee! some friends of ours had some extra tickets, which is why we ended up at the concert in the first place. we weren't familiar with the band, so probably didn't get as much out of the concert as most people there, but it was fun to be outside, with lots of people, listening to music, smelling the summer air. we didn't get rained on, despite the week's rainy & cloudy weather, so it was a good time, and a fine ending to a full weekend.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


sorry it's a day late... yesterday was busy.

Friday, July 20, 2007

choi bikemaster

my friend, j c, on her new bike.

congratulations!!! now, be careful!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


sunday was fairly low-key. we slept in, made a trip to rei to buy swimming goggles for my "first day of school" swimming class on monday, went grocery shopping, and saw spiderman at the mission theater. good afternoon movie. and grocery shopping is fun after two pints of beer!

p's deportation extravaganza

p's special cake. thanks, costco! i never actually had some - i was more interested in the doughnuts...

p's deportation extravaganza

this photo captures the presentation of the "special" doughnut to p. his friends just went way out - cheerleader outfits & everything!

p's deportation extravaganza

the evening included a "roast," complete with sound system & powerpoint presentation. j was the master of ceremony for the evening & totally rocked!

p's deportation extravaganza

i didn't go on the rafting trip. i did it two years ago and didn't enjoy all the waterfights, so i stayed home this year and helped with the party preparations. we used as many things with maple leafs on them as possible to decorate.

p's deportation extravaganza

a picture of the doughnuts from voodoo doughnuts which someone brought. you can see the signature doughnut, the voodoo doll, in the middle of the platter. their doughnuts are sooooooo good!!!
there was also a "special" doughnut for p, but i thought a picture of it might offend some people.

p's deportation extravaganza

last saturday, after everyone returned from the rafting trip, we threw our friend p a "deportation extravaganza." he's moving to calgary to be closer to his girlfriend, so we all threw him a surprise party/roast. here's a picture of his entrance, and then a picture of him examining the t-shirts we donned. they had a picture of his head, with a quote of one of his favorite sayings, "well she said..." below. very fun.

rafting weekend

last friday, j left with friends for maupin, the deschutes river white water rafting mecca. 15 or so friends all congregated at the rainbow tavern in downtown maupin on rafting-eve. this year's theme was "white trash." all had a great time, and all emerged from the river unscathed.

Monday, July 16, 2007

pitch n putt

i've been on this course before (just not actually playing), but never saw this little red shack. it's so cute! and so small. they sell little cups of peanuts & you can throw the shells on the floor. j & i had a little peanut shell fight.

pitch n putt

halfway through the course we came upon this little cute stage with this duo playing twangy music. the good kind. :)

pitch n putt

on our actual anniversary, we went to mcmenamins edgefield location to play their pitch n putt golf course. last year, the day before the wedding, we took our closest friends/wedding party to this very same course before the rehearsal dinner. unfortunately, i was sick the whole week and had to stay home trying to get better for the big event. which never happened. until the honeymoon.
(i haven't quite gotten over that yet.)
anyway, i finally got to play the whole course and it was lots of fun. we drank lots of beer. good beer. and enjoyed a good little dinner after the 17 holes. yes, mr-i-took-golf-in-college kicked my bum. and that's ok.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

CNN Gets Blitzed by Michael Moore

this is soooo hilarious, yet quite sad at the same time.
let's hear your apology, wolf!

Sunday, July 08, 2007


today is our 1st anniversary of the wedding that took place on july 8, 2006. we cooked dinner & celebrated last night, although i guess the whole weekend has a sort of festive feeling to it. we began yesterday with a little shopping at r.e.i., getting some new approach shoes for j at climbmax, and some climbing out at broughton's bluff. yes, folks, i actually did climb a route. it's probably been over a year... anyway, after a quick stop, we returned home to start cooking. we enjoyed salad rolls from beau thai, and cooked up a green curry with noodles & scallops & shrimp. very tasty, as was the raspberry lemon poppyseed cake in the picture.


friday night after work, we barbequed some pork skewers & veggies & enjoyed eating outside. the kids (our kittens) kept crying through the screen door asking to be let out to explore. we finally gave in, letting one out at a time, so that we could keep her/him from running away. we prefer to keep our kittens indoors only, so that they stay bug free & don't get hit by cars. anyway, persia looked like a sailboat in the wind, because her hair is so long & light & it just follows the wind. i just had to take a picture! after dinner, we took a long long walk down to the grocery store & bought some gelato to eat on the walk back. we were really bad & stopped inside the local mcmenamins on the way back & had a pint. unfortunately, as usual, service was incredibly slow (despite sitting right at the bar!!!), and we missed seeing the sunset. when we got back, we watched the movie "hard candy." i highly recommend it. it's not pleasant to watch - fairly violent- but has lots of twists to it. j was particularly uncomfortable watching it, more so than i. would love to describe it more but i'd give too much away. if you can't handle violence, skip it.

j's birthday

after the day of wine tasting & movie watching & a good nap, we joined our friends at the bombay cricket club for some indian food, to help celebrate our friend j's birthday (NOT the hubby). j & his wife d are the two in the middle of the bunch in the picture to the left. i meant to get a picture of all the food, but forgot. :( anyway, it was good enough, but not amazing cuisine, and the wait staff wasn't particularly hospitable. my stomach was still wrestling with the combination of wine & sake, so i was eating slowly & carefully. ah, the downside of wine tasting! after dining, we regrouped back in beaverton on j & d's back porch. it was a beautiful night with a huge moon. j & d's dog jack, joined us. he's a mix between a jack russell terrier & something else... a hound dog? a beagle? anyway, he's really low key & sweet, and if you start petting him, he will not leave you alone! he'll keep bumping your leg, nudging your hand (if it's in his range) trying to get the love to continue. so cute. he's a very good dog.

sicko, & wine tasting

j returned from his business trip on a friday afternoon, and i had one day to spend with him before he left for a climbing trip. i was supposed to go with him on that climbing trip up to squamish in british columbia, but a number of things happened. first of all, the girlfriend of j's climbing partner p, who was supposed to be my play date, cancelled. next, the forecast for squamish was totally rainy, and rock cannot be climbed when wet, so the boys decided to go elsewhere. elsewhere turned out to be leavenworth, washington, which is a place i had been to last summer. there's not much there besides rock climbing, aside from the touristy silly bavarian village stuff, so i opted to just stay home, as i'm not big on rock climbing.
so, for my one day with the hubby, we began our day by seeing the movie "sicko." it was depressing, while having humorous moments. i was unaware that so many people had problems with insurance companies, and unaware of what those companies are willing to go through to not pay for things. so sad. i hope everybody sees this movie & demands lawmakers to come up with a better alternative. after seeing the movie, we grabbed a quick lunch of noodles before heading out for some wine tasting. we know someone who works at elk cove vineyards, and we had never been there before, so we drove to gaston to check it out. we really liked a pinot gris, but the others weren't particularly impressive. kramer vineyards were nearby, just up the road, so we went there, too. j had been there before, but i had to stay home from that trip because i had harry potter music to learn for an thanksgiving weekend pops concert with the oregon symphony. so i got to experience kramer for myself. it was a really touristy joint... one of those tasting rooms that sells lots of wine knick-knacks besides the wine. in my opinion, if a place sells all that crap, the wine probably isn't amazing. and that was true in this case. however, several kinds were quite drinkable and very affordable, so we purchased a few bottles anyway. on our drive back, we passed the sake establishment sake one, and had never been in before, so we stopped & checked it out. very interesting. i'm not a big fan of sake - i think it's the taste of the rice that turns me off - and i usually prefer the hot kind (versus the chilled), which is usually really bad cheap sake. i think the hot temperature tones down the rice taste for me. anyway, they had about 5 or 6 different types they were tasting, and we ended up purchasing one. i think j will be drinking most of it....

new asics

yay! new running shoes!!! yay!
my knees will be soo happy. i usually purchase new shoes twice a year, but it had been over a whole year this time. they feel so good!

beacon rock

the day after we returned from camping at paulina lake, j left for a week-long business trip in new jersey. i usually have mondays free from teaching, so my mom & i went for a hike in the columbia gorge. we picked beacon rock as the day's hike. it's the core of an ancient volcano, with a mile long trail to the top, which offers beautiful views of the columbia gorge. it's a good site for rock climbing, one of j's favorite places to spend a day. certain sides of the rock are closed periodically throughout the year due to nesting raptors. after making our way to the top & down, we checked out the bonneville dam. my mom was really excited to see the fish ladders, especially the part of the exhibit where you go underground & see the large salmon swimming by the windows, fighting their way through the current.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

july 4th

happy 4th of july!!! i'll be spending it with my family this evening. i'm going berry picking this morning...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

metolius river

on our drive back to portland, we stopped off to check out the beginning of the metolius river. it's a river that begins from a spring coming straight from the mountain. you can barely see the water at the mouth of the spring, but as it grows, the river becomes quite visible.

paulina lake camping

here are the guys after the run, plus c. they made it around the lake in record time, especially considering that the path was rocky & uneven. they showed up just as we were finishing our hike.
after we got all packed up & extinguished the fire, we drove back to bend & stopped for lunch at the old st. francis pub, bend's mcmenamins establishment, before heading back to portland.

paulina lake camping

while the guys were on their run, c & i hiked to the top of the little crater. here's a picture from the top, just to prove we didn't sit on our duffs the whole time the guys were trying to outrun each other. (they really get quite competitive.)

paulina lake camping

the boys, before their 7 mile run around the lake.

paulina lake camping

campsite, beautiful campsite. it was freakin cold! i forgot that it got so cold up there, and failed to bring thermals, hand warmers, etc. i ended up wearing everything i had brought, which meant two layers of pants and 8 layers of shirts/jackets. it was still a fun time. hot dogs, marshmallows...woohoo! thanks to the boys, the campfire was kept going strong. good times.

paulina lake camping

j's havin fun with the camera again, giving a canadian p thumbs up. we're on our way back to the campsite from the hot springs.

paulina lake camping

here's a picture from the lake level of paulina peak.

paulina lake camping

here we are getting ready to soak our feet in the hot spring. as you can see, a tiny little area has been created, with logs for benches & everything. the little pool, fed by the hot spring, was around a couple feet deep.

paulina lake camping

here you can see paulina lake on the left, the big obsidian flow on the lower right, and east lake in the center. this is one of my favorite places to car camp.

paulina lake camping

a picture of paulina lake, from paulina peak. it's 7,985 feet in elevation. the newberry national volcanic monument is located within the deschutes national forest. it's a 17 square mile caldera at the summit of a 500 square mile volcano. newberry is both seismically & geothermically active. there are hot springs located along the shores of paulina lake.

paulina lake camping

while we waited for c & b to show up, j set up a slack line for a little balance practice. this is a popular thing among rock climbers, and actually other crazy people in general. the crazy people, when they get really good at walking on the line, they do it over canyons & stuff without any safety devices.

paulina lake camping

a self portrait... j was having fun with the camera. we drove down to bend two weekends ago, and spent friday night with jeff's brother b & his wife c. the next day, we picked up groceries & headed to paulina lake, located in the caldera of the newberry national volcanic monument, about 45 min from bend. we grabbed a campsite & waited for b & c.

Sunday, July 01, 2007