Archive | October, 2010

I love cheese.

Were it not for cheese (and my first love, cake) I would be thin. It’s something I always tell people. And it’s true I think, were also not for pasta and carbohydrates and other things.

But right now, let’s blame the cheese. The wonderful, glorious cheese.

Incidentally, I once knew a girl who also counted Italian Specialties as one of her fortes.

Incidentally, I once knew a girl who also listed”Italian Specialties” on her resume.

When Rand and I were in Oregon, late last month, we decided to finally visit the Rogue Creamery. Home of award-winning cheeses, Rand and I actually picked our wedding caterer based on her access to Rogue creamery’s award-winning blue cheese (the distribution list is supposedly very exclusive). Said caterer later proved to be bat-shit crazy (We should have known when we met her in the middle of a field in rural Oregon and she was wearing skintight black leather and stilettos) but she knew her cheese.

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… is kind of lame.

There. I said it. Sigh.

Notice that World Famous! is in quotes.

Notice that "World Famous!" is in quotes.

Here’s the thing: I love kitsch. I love dorkiness. I love things that would make other people cringe with embarrassment, roll their eyes, and otherwise want to storm out of the theater/museum/restaurant. It brings me such gleeful joy. Like children on leashes and chocolate cigarettes, I think not of the negative connotations and assume that they exist only to make me happy.

So when I heard about the Oregon Vortex and House of Mystery, I was overjoyed. Delighted. Thrown into a state of dorky ecstasy that I hadn’t experienced since … well, since we saw John Stamos on Broadway (I mean, seriously, I DARE YOU TO NAME SOMETHING MORE MAGICAL). And yet, when we finally got there?

Like a rain-soaked bottle rocket, it was a complete and utter dud.

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I woke up this morning with absolutely no clue where I was. I had yet to open my eyes, but as I lay in bed, a dozen or so thoughts flashed through my brain, and among them, “Are we in California? No … that’s not right … and not New York. What time zone is it again?”

And I might have jumped out of bed because I thought I had to go rummage sale shopping with my uncle … in San Diego.

Sigh.

Because my brain is clearly too addled to come up with a segue and has reverted to a Tarzan-like level of communications … Here. LINKS. Good. You like.

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Apparently a California college student (and US citizen) found a weird recording device / GPS tracker on his car … but he didn’t realize exactly what it was until the FBI showed up, asking for it back.

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I may have sustained a serious bump on my head during our last stay at a Kimpton hotel, because the French doors in our room decided to plot against me (note: always be wary of the French). And I might have gotten into a slight skirmish with the packaging on my vanity kit, because I don’t like it when toiletry items tell me what to do. And I might have freaked out slightly when I encountered this in the shower …

GAH! KILL IT WITH FIRE.

GAH! KILL IT WITH FIRE.

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Yes, I put a dime next to it to illustrate juts how long it was. But you know what? Whatever. Like I said, this stuff falls into the “unexpected joys of travel.” Things are occasionally a little off, even if you are in a nice hotel. Hell, things are more than a little off in my own home, and no one seems to mind that (or if they do, they say nothing. Thank you, all of you).

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Rand and I were walking near Lithia Park in Ashland a few weeks back, when we saw this.

It is an entirely black bee. A quick internet search revealed that what we saw wasn’t entirely that unusual. Depending on species and abnormalities, bees can be entirely black, brown, or sometimes even have tones of red. Nevertheless, we absolutely freaked out when we saw this little guy in the bushes, as I don’t think either of us had really ever noticed one without the distinctive yellow stripes (note: we are city kids. Feel free to ridicule us later, and remember – zombies always strike rural areas first. It’s a historical fact). I think what we saw might have been a Carpenter bee, which are native all along our coast, and apparently FRIGGING HUGE (seriously – click on that link only if you are not afraid of bees at all).

Common or no, this little dude looked the stealth version of a regular bee – awesome and kind of badass, and just a little creepy. The moral of the story? A little bit of yellow goes a long way, unless you are a spy.

Dear lord, Portland is a strange place. It’s somewhat reminiscent of Seattle, but smaller and stranger. My cousin describes it as what Seattle was in the eighties – a Pacific Northwest town full of artists and slackers and dreamers and lots and lots of rain. It reminds me so much of my home, but varies in ways both slight and profound. It isn’t nearly as pretty as Seattle, but there’s more of an art scene, and better restaurants. The people are more hippie and less stodgy, clad in flannel more than fleece.

These difference might make little sense to someone unfamiliar with each of these cities, but if you live in one, you understand me perfectly. And if not? Well, these photos might give you an idea of what Portland is like …

1. Magnets? An internet search provided me with no answers as to what this storefront was getting at. It looked virtually empty inside. Is it really a warehouse full of magnets? The world may never know.

Please. Make more sense.

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I want to say thank you to everyone who, either on the blog, in person, or via email, expressed their sympathies about our fiasco at the Plaza Inn and Suites in Ashland. Your sympathies were much appreciated, but as I look through the pictures, I wonder if all the attention you’ve given me is undeserved. Because in the end, I think I may have had a fantastic time.

Don’t get me wrong: our stay at the Plaza was pure hell and I hate that hotel more than I do mayonnaise and the work of Andrew Calder (and those who know me well know exactly how much that is). But the rest of the trip? It was, like most free moments spent with my husband, pretty damn wonderful. Somewhere in the midst of moving rooms for the third time, I forgot that. I managed to convince you all, and myself for that matter, that our entire anniversary trip was terrible. This was, in no small part because I wanted the entire trip to be perfect for my husband.

And that’s the irony of the matter: the one person who never wavered in his conviction that our trip was fantastic was Rand. He just shrugged everything off, even when he was clearly frustrated. Looking through the photos from the trip, it’s hard to find one where he isn’t smiling – or at the very least happy. Come to think of it, in very many of them, so am I. I was so worried about whether or not he was having fun, I didn’t realize that he – and I – often were. It was a good reminder that even when my brain thinks I’m miserable, my heart knows that I’m not.

Like all trips to Ashland, we started out in Portland, visiting Matt and Kim. For those of you following along at home, Matt and Kim are on my list of things I love about Ashland, even though, like I said, they live in Portland. What? I suck at geography. You should know this already. The point is, no matter how terrible any hotel stay is, Matt and Kim are around. And they are lovely (edit: Kim is lovely. Matt’s kind of a goober. Still, you understand what I’m getting at.)

I didn’t take a picture of them, though. Nor did I take a picture of a brownie that we ate that was drenched in foie gras. Yes. You read that correctly. It was awesome. Here is our reaction to it:

Not pictured: Matt, Kim, foie gras brownie

Not pictured: Matt, Kim, foie gras brownie

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Kids, I am not feeling so hot.

I have one wicked cold, a by-product of all travel and lack of sleep I’ve experienced as of late. I’ve loaded up on echinacea (which, I can only assume is made of echidnas), multi-vitamins, and consumed so much tea that my I’m beginning to wonder if man’s purpose in life is simply to redistribute water around the globe.

And if none of this is making sense, blame the NyQuil.

But, still, I post. Why? Because the internet is an awesome place. Especially when you are too sick to pay attention to the complexities of 22 minutes of television. Let’s talk about the awesome (and not-awesome-ness) of this week, both travel-related and otherwise.

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The Flintstones turned 50 yesterday. The real question, though, is how old were you when you realized that Fred was kind of an asshole? On that note, don’t forget to check out this old commercial of him and Barney smoking.

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