Monday, July 27, 2009

What I Did This Weekend

I harvested green beans, peas, and blueberries from the garden.

I watched Coco the Basement Cat get stuck in the handle of a paper bag.

Scotty and I, once again, rebelliously trespassed upon the nearby McMansionland walking trails. We are scofflaws.

What I Didn't Do This Weekend

The Seattle-area Marymoor FSA Grand Prix started this past Friday morning and went all weekend. Drew and Dean drove up Thursday evening. I stayed home to work. But here are some pictures that Drew took.

Dean and National Championship Team Sprint partner Kelyn Akuna National Pez Eating Champion Jamie Carney talking about chicks mapping out strategy.

The Thunderdrome Cycle of Violence? Why yes, it belongs to me.

The sprint podium. The second place guy had to get back to Portland for his job. (Jobs. Lame.)

Dean behind the motor and atop the Thunderdrome Cycle of Violence. It's metal.

Thighs that size take more rest than normal size thighs. And extra caffeine.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


ALERT: Not suitable to blast at high volume at work. Or near my mom.

Storm Large makes me want to go on a diet and grow 8 inches taller. Oh, and laugh. She also makes me laugh. Sing along, everybody!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Photo Dump July 2009

Drew and Tessa jumping up the stairs. It's totally fun, from what I hear.

The Great AVC Weekend of 2009 is in the bag. More friends and family than I knew we had. As usual, I worried so much I forgot to enjoy most of it, but I'm sure I'll look back on it fondly.

I also took some pictures during our Hopkins family reunion late in June. But most of them turned out to be of either Drew or scenery. You don't have to tell me what that means. I know.

Homey lake front cabin, needs some TLC, comes furnished with outdoor sofa and indoor raccoons.

Drew demonstrates the proper pointing technique for the beach.

Triathlon numbers. It turns out they don't wash off easily.
No, he didn't do the whole thing - he just did the bike leg of a team effort.

The TV in our room at the Sunriver condo was totally Space Age. This is going to sell for big, ironic bucks some day.

Join me next time for exciting garden shots!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Strippers in the Wild and Wine in the Hood on the Fruit Loop

So we cashed in our raincheck yesterday from the weekend when I got sick and we took off for the Fruit Loop, the Chamber of Commerce name for a scenic loop of highway through the Hood River Valley, which has beautiful views of Mt. Hood and miles and miles of adorable orchards. Pears, peaches, apples, and these days, ripe cherries.

It was one of those days. The sky was blue, the sailboards were shoulder-to-shoulder on the Columbia, the mountain was doing its best Majestic Cascade Lifestyle Magazine pose, the windows were rolled down, and the cherries were ripe.

But, um, practically speaking, with a back yard full of blueberries, rhubarb, zucchinis, salad, and baby green beans and peas, how much fruit do two people need? Luckily for all of us, there is also a healthy sprinkling of wineries on the Fruit Loop as well.

We stopped at four tasting rooms and managed to find something worthy at each one.

The White House, a multi-winery tasting room and fruit stand, is a little museum display its own self, as it was built in 19-oh-something and has the photographs to prove how a century ago the Hood River Valley was cleared from virgin primeval forest to the Disneyland of Fruit that it is today. Our choice (and here I must make a note to you red wine snobs that red wine gives me screaming headaches): White Salmon Vineyard 2004 Spicy White (a mix of mostly Chardonnay with a touch of Gevurtztraminer for spice).

We stopped at Mt. Hood Winery's new tasting room on the first day it was open. So firsties! It's quite a showroom of a tasting room. Beautiful carved multi-wood bar and Mt. Hood practically barging in the windows, somehow bigger and more impressive inside the room than outside. I hope the wedding they had planned for that afternoon went off okay. (Really? A wedding on the first day you're open for business? Ballsy.) Our choice: Mt. Hood Winery Estate Grown and Bottled 2008 Pinot Gris (grapes enjoy mountain views as well, so the label implies).

Cathedral Ridge Winery also has a lovely bar in their tasting room, a very nice pourer (pouresse?), glasses that reputedly explode upon onset of a peevish mood, and actual grapes on site. Important, I think, for credibility, if not for actual use. They will be honored to know they are this year's winner of Most Pretentious Yet Unintentionally Funny Back Label Sentence ("We are rich in fruit orchards, wild game and fish, and we vinify our wines to embrace these flavors of the region, and to be enjoyed with family and friends.") Mmmmmm, wild and fishy. Our choice: Cathedral Ridge 2007 Pinot Gris.

And finally, we come to the smallest and ugliest of the tasting rooms, one lovingly crafted from the corner of their tin shed, that of Hood River Vineyards. And yet, here we meet most of the characters from my next screenplay, Sideways and Upside Down On a Pole, the story of a young, tanned, surgically-enhanced-to-the-point-where-I-doubt-that-she-could-swing-a-golf-club stripper in a crocheted dress with enhanced boob-viewing capabilities, who meets a gullible young Hummer driver with daddy cash, who finds herself, implausibly, in a tiny wine tasting room with a veteran oenophile at the pour, who is tasked with finding a wine that she can learn to enjoy. I'm sorry we didn't stay long enough to see if the final option, the bing cherry dessert wine, was to her liking. But it was getting crowded in there. Oh, and our wine choice? a Hood River Vineyards 2005 dry Oregon Riesling (only they spell it "Reisling" on the label - for reals. This is backyard wine making at its best).

Oh, yes, I am writing that baby up and mailing it to myself, so don't think about ripping it off, bitches. It's got everything. Alcohol, sex and spelling. See you in Hollywood.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Reason #2 Why I'm Not Signing My Dogs Up for Any IQ Tests

Annie is walking like she is walking on a carpet of Legos, which is how she walks when her arthritis acts up, which is what it does when she goes on a bender, running like a happy fool through the neighborhood. Scotty, the beta-dog jester, followed loyally behind, as always.

The fence gate was left open this morning. I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure that it was closed last night, evidenced by the fact that the dogs did not get out last night. So some time during the night, the gate was opened.

Thinking of someone fiddling with our gate in the night and the aftermath of Annie's flight-or-more-flight tendencies makes me simultaneously glad that I have big dogs while wanting to drive them straight back to the reject bin I rescued them out of for putting me through this every time the gate is left open.

They were found maybe two miles away (as the collie flies), at the neighborhood sewage treatment plant. Luckily not IN the sewage treatment plant, but at the administration building, where a nice man tracked me down by their dog tags.

So Annie is a big hurt burger, and Scotty came back so hot he was unable for a while even to chew on some ice, which is his usual treat on a warm day, and with burrs clumping up his ruff, his tail, his hindquarters, and his front leg hairs. I got most of the burrs out, but I keep finding more, so this may be an ongoing clean-up job.

I'm not sure whether this means I have to check the damn gate every morning, but I will be for a while. And checking the locks on the doors and windows.

UPDATE (INCLUDES CONFESSION!): Drew says he's pretty sure that he left the gate open the day before while he was loading some yard waste into his truck. The dogs are just so, um, brainily challenged that they did not notice until the next morning.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Notes On Birthday XLVII

I've been away for a while. It was in your best interest. You don't want to read thoughts that are either jumbled, vacant, or snide. Why? Pick a reason. My pants were tight. The lawn needed to be mowed. The grapevines needed to be cut back. My eyes itched. I was in NO MOOD. The air felt soggy.

Do I have something to say now? Not really. But here are some thoughts on my birthday back on June 22 that I didn't get around to posting at the time.

  • I got an iPhone 3GS for my birthday. Yeah, it IS that cool.
  • Not only did Drew buy me the iPhone, he gave up HIS upgrade so we could get it at the discounted price. I gave him the Blackberry I bought last year. He's having much more fun with it than I ever did, so it's all working out.
  • Most under-appreciated birthday gift this year: we still have the Prius. Drew, who still gets a little discombobulated driving around in a robot car, left it running (maybe running is the wrong word since it runs on battery when parked) on street parking in downtown Portland while we stood in line at the Apple store. Ironically, Drew worried about somebody stealing his cell phone out of the car while we were gone. When we got back to the car, the radio was still playing and the battery was on red. But it was still there! Thank you Portland, for not stumbling upon our doofy mistake! (We're still not sure whether it could have been driven off. There were no keys in the car. That's the weird thing about this car - the keys do not have to be in the ignition. They just have to be in the vicinity of the sensor in the dashboard.) I'm not sure whether the car was supposed to stay running like that but it did. Maybe I should re-peruse that owner's manual.
  • While waiting in line at the Apple Store (while our car was patiently playing its radio and waiting for us to return), I saw somebody shake someone's bike helmet, like they were shaking their hand, because the bike helmet person didn't have a free hand. Very awkward moment when the hand-shaker realized that he had actually just shook someone's helmet, and he couldn't really get that moment back.
  • Did we go out to a fancy restaurant on my birthday? Um, no. I got a craving for Burgerville at lunch time, and had no room for fancy food at dinner. So we had birthday cake for dinner. Hey, we're adults.
  • I'm pretty sure I don't look a day over 50 (which is a relief, since I'm not 50).