Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Sweater Time

The days have turned misty and wet, and Mt Hood doesn't poke his head up past the clouds anymore. I might miss that big buy between now and March!

It's kind of fun being on the 14th floor downtown, though, because I can just look out the window and see the state of the weather. And, working in the same building, I can completely ignore it as I leave my coat on the rack and take the elevator downstairs to my office. But even so, it's sweater weather, and no one can ignore the coziness of being wrapped in warmth and the slight smell of armpit. (Because, really, who washes/dry cleans their sweaters every time? And if you do, kudos. You're a much better person than I am.)

So there was this sweater I saw in Anthropologie awhile ago that was super cute. It was in the front of the store (i.e., not on the sale rack) so I stroked it for awhile and imagined wearing attractive I would much better my life would be... then tore myself away. Jesse and I have decided that we each get a monthly "allowance" in our budget, that we can spend on whatever we want and the other person can't judge at all. So when he brings home another bike off craigslist, I can't say anything. Unforntunately, this sweater was my entire monthly allowance! And everyone knows you can't blow your allowance all at once--that just causes way more heartache later. So I left the sweater, and the store, and went back to work.

A few weeks later: I wandered back into Anthropologie with no real purpose (always dangerous). On my way in, I thought "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if that sweater was on the sale rack?" I meandered through, admiring on my way. I always head straight to the sale racks with only glances to the side. otherwise I get stuck in just such a sweater situation. When I get to the sale rack, though, THE SWEATER WAS THERE! It was on sale! Oh happy day! So I bought it. And the next day I wore it and got many compliments and thoroughly enjoyed the feel of it's drapey wool on my body. The end, what a good story.

Here it is. It's called the This-Way That-Way Cardigan, and it has what seems to be old rickety ships on it. I love it. It's cozy, and so far does not smell too much like armpit. I promise I will wash it and take good care of it.

Also, it's October 30....Happy Birthday, Daddy.  Don't worry, I love you more than this sweater.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

We are downtown folk now

So, we've moved into our new place! The official move was last Tuesday, but I haven't wanted to take any pictures until the boxes were a bit clearer. So for now you just get pictures of the view while we unpack a little bit more every night. But we're here!

It's weird to think of ourselves as "Downtown Folk." I actually really miss Southeast so far, more than I thought I would. There's a cozy sense of neighborhood over there, a sense that I feel is missing among these big buildings and busy streets. But, there's a neighborhood here, too. I just have to find it. We haven't gotten a chance to explore around much and find those little restaurants and shops that make a place. I know they're here, but it seems like they're not quite as quirky as in SE. They're trendy and chic and fancy. Which has it's place. But I'm not sure it's my place. We'll see.

It's a great building, though, and a great central location. A cool opportunity for us to hang out in downtown for awhile, and be trendy, young, and stylish. Check out our view:

The Brewery Blocks (and Henry's Tavern...mmm....)

And the east view:

Mt Hood is out there on clear days, past Big Pink.

I'll let you know what our explorations find, but so far I can say that we're 3 blocks from Stumptown Coffee, 4 blocks from Anthropologie, 2 blocks from an amazing sandwich place, and our nearest grocery store is Whole Foods, for better or for worse.

Life downtown should be exciting!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Autumn means cider and corn mazes

Last weekend seemed to be the official inauguration of fall here. Up until now it's just been sort-of fall. Now it's real. Mainly because I've had apple cider, been in a corn maze, and fondled a pumpkin.

We're still in the throes of moving here, but we've had some time to savor the finer things in life like frozen pizza and watching an old tv show on dvd. (It's Angel. I can't help it, I love Joss Whedon). Last week we bought a jug of apple cider, heated it up with a bag of Chai tea, and put a shot of rum in it (just because), and sipped to our hearts content. It was beautiful. I just love hot drinks so much, any kind, but I got a kick out of how clever we were with the Chai tea. Very clever indeed.

Then last week we went to the corn maze at Kruger's Farm on Sauvie Island. Of course the powers that be picked that day to drench Portland in a downpour, so the maze was muddy, to say the least. But it was a perfect opportunity for me to wear my rainboots, which is always fun.

We went to the "Haunted Maze," which was a bit of a disappointment in both areas. It was neither very haunted nor very much a maze. Well, half a disappointment. We were never lost, but I did scream about 10 times, and even ran away from a guy with a chainsaw once. So you could call that a haunted success. Jesse, on the other hand, was heartily unimpressed, as he was very manly and did not scream once.

But it was fun, sloshing around in a muddy cornfield with zombies running past you and cornstalks towering above you. Then we went home and had more cider.

Hello, Autumn.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bike Building

Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with bikes, but up until recently I had never built one from the ground up. A little over a month ago I finished my long drawn out build of my Rawland dSogn all-rounder bike. It was a long process because bike parts are expensive and I made the impractical decision to build my own wheels.

The finished product is a blast to ride and now I have the itch to build another bike so I have decided to build a fun city bike for Katrina. The requirements are it has to be rideable in any clothing so it has to be a mixte (step-through) frame. It has to be durable, but still efficient so nothing too heavy. It also has to be affordable, but that shouldn't be too hard since I'm a hoarder of bike parts and should have most of the necessary parts.

The frame on the left is the most likely candidate for Katrina's new baby. I won't however be building it up as a single-speed like the one in the picture. Katrina might kill me after a long ride in our hilly city once she regains her energy by consuming a bag of gummies.

Moving Joys

We're getting ready to move pretty soon, into our fancy new building. It's really exciting, but kind of exhausting to think of packing everything up and shoving it all into a new place. We counted--this is the third time we're moving in a year. Ridiculous! I hope we're done now! Of course, the new apartment totally blows away anywhere else we've lived.
We're packing everything away, and trying to give away everything else (anyone want a table? some random dishes? clothes?). It's ironic--every time we move we get a bigger place, and we get rid of more stuff. So our first tiny apartment was packed with a crazy amount of stuff, and we're slowly simplifying and improving. At least we're going in the right direction!

There's something satisfying about having just the stuff you need. I heard somewhere that people only use 1/3 of the stuff they have. Then we have to get a bigger place to fit all our unused stuff. Then we have to get a storage unit to fit even more. Then we have to buy a 3 bedroom house, then... crazy. I like the idea of simplifying to the point where I really use everything I have. I have what I need, and no more (It's just that I NEED a lot of clothing choices... I do...).

                                             Suki helping us pack. Sort of.

We're weeding out, but I'm not sure I can convince Jesse to part with any one of his eight guitars, so some things will just have to stay. But it's exciting to think of new spaces, and new decorating, and new views.

We just have to move in first. One more week!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A little LEED

Because our building is Platinum LEED certified, the management decided it's a good idea for us to learn what that actually means. So for the next five Thursdays we'll be getting up the crack of dawn to sit in on a 7:30 LEED course. What fun.
It's actually really interesting, though, learning the process that buildings go through to get certified, and what kind of requirements it takes. The levels are Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, so ours is the best! Yes.... It also rocks for us, because utility bills are estimated to be about $7-10. Score.

To get a building LEED certified, you have to get a certain amount of credits, out of 100. There are all sorts of things you can do that will give you credits. For example, locating the building within 1/4 mile of 2 bus lines gives you one credit. Installing bicycle storage and changing rooms gives you another credit. Painting your roof white reduces the heat of the building, so that gives you another one. If you put plants on the roof to soak up rainwater (so it doesn't overflow the sewers), that gives you more.

To get Platinum Certified, a building needs at least 80 credits, all little things adding up to one big eco-friendly building. Hooray!

In the Indigo, the native plants on the roof hold rainwater, then we harvest that and actually use it to flush the toilets in the offices downstairs. There's a sign on the toilets that says: "Rainwater. Do Not Drink." Thanks, I'll remember that the next time I'm dipping my water bottle in a toilet...

So far I've been to two sessions of the course. Some people can use the information to take the LEED Green Associates Exam, but that seems like a whole lot of work for something that might not actually help me lease apartments. So for now, I'll just soak up some information and enjoy.
And maybe get a little greener in the process...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sewing with a Cat

 Sewing in a small space is already difficult, with the problems of stuff piling up everywhere. But add a needy cat into the mix, and it gets harder than ever. I've been trying to work on a cute button-up shirt (more on that later), but every time I sit down Suki thinks she needs to be on my lap. Or she jumps on the table, sits on the fabric I'm pinning together, and waits for me to give her proper petting.

If I attempt to move her, she lets out pathetic yowls of frustration. In nicer weather I can open the window, and she's satisfied hanging out on the sill, but now that it's cold the window stays shut, and she stays on my lap. If I succeed in moving her, she just comes just back. A person might pick up that they are unwanted, but Suki just charges back in. At least she's cute.

It's difficult to sew with a cat.

About that shirt...I tried making it with a scrap of cute blue cotton with small white dots, but I ran out, and had to make the lapels white. So now it looks like a tie between a bowling shirt and a maid's uniform. Not cute.
I'm going to try the same shirt pattern in a silky pink fabric, maybe with ruffles. Then it'll at least look like a fancy maid's uniform.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hard Hats Required

  First week of work. I'm exhausted! This full time stuff is way more demanding than my 17 hours a week before...

  But I'm enjoying every minute of it. I have a great co-worker, demanding but flexible management, and a totally awesome building to work in. We've spent the past few days frantically learning the building, showing a couple tours, looking for our new digs (hooray!), and trying not to look too stupid. It's overwhelming how much stuff there is to learn, but I'm slowly getting it. Luckily, my boss is super understanding and flexible, so if I ever have a problem I feel completely comfortable telling him!

  The tours have been interesting. The building is still under construction (heavy construction!), so we have to wear hard hats, long pants and closed-toes shoes. Such a fashion statement.

  Also, we share the one working elevator with the construction men and all their supplies, which is always fun, and we're constantly stepping around wet cement, fresh paint, and new caulking.

  The work is scheduled to be done before November, and people are moving in October 18. Coming up soon! I can't wait to live in the building, and be able to just walk downstairs to work. The unit that we might pick is a big one bedroom: bamboo floors, 10 1/2 ft high exposed cement ceiling, a balcony, an awesome kitchen, and a sliding bedroom door. Our craigslist couch is not going to fit in.

I know I've only worked three days, but I'm still so pumped by this job. I'm so excited to be a part of something again, and especially something awesome and cool. I'm free to suggest ways to do my job better, and I get amazing benefits from it all. That said, I am working HARD. This is my day off, and already I had a meeting this morning from 7:30-9:00, then I have to go back at 4:30 for an event tonight. My next day off is Tuesday. Whew!

Of course, I did get to buy new clothes, so that's a plus...

a little ridiculous, old-school, and oh so stylish