A Very Northwest Life

Fueled by coffee & curiosity

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I failed in my first attempt to post photos from the show last Friday at Bunk Bar, so here are a couple after the fact. Kye Kye and Leagues - up close and personal. 

To be honest I always feel a bit uncomfortable being in the front row, but it was a small venue, so what’s a gal to do? I get this sense that I’m supposed to flirt with the musicians and clamor for their attention … maybe scream of my undying devotion and beg them to croon into my baby blues? 

A friend suggested that I throw my bra, but having me flail out of my underclothes is about as sexy as watching the Wiggles hop around in primary colored turtlenecks… so I opted for the eyes-closed and conservative dance moves instead. 

Hallelujah.

 

Filed under kye kye Leagues Bunk bar Portland

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As long as you stay positive, keep taking things one step at a time, and do what you can to connect with people in your chosen field, there are far more possibilities than first meets the eye.
Jess Lively

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There are so many things I love about living in the Pacific Northwest. One in particular is having access to phenomenal music. New/old/classic/edgy/fun/beautiful … whatever I’m in the mood for I can find a live performance of. This perk is by no means limited to the NW corner of the nation but it is one of the many things we do well here. 

It took me several years of living in Portland before I discovered the wonders of small music venues and burgeoning talent. I tend to always feel a few steps behind in knowing the latest up and comer - I’m in no way “hip” or a part of the “scene” but it doesn’t stop me from trying to keep up and tag along with the cool kids!

Since moving back from Prague I’ve been making more of an effort to see live shows on a frequent basis and seek out venues that I’ve never been to. I have a couple of favorites that I return to again and again, there are still so many I’ve yet to experience. 

This last weekend I went to see a fantastic band called Leagues at Bunk Bar - both were great! A sandwich and beer hot-spot by day, Bunk Bar transforms into a popular go-to locale for new musical talent by night. I’d been there before for tuna melts and drinks, but never a show. As for the band; I’m a new fan of Leagues so I had no expectations other than eager anticipation. I recently stumbled upon their album on Noisetrade a couple of months ago and was thrilled to discover that they would soon be playing in Portland - what luck! 

They did not disappoint, nor did their opener Kye Kye of which I became an instant fan. I can’t wait to see either of them in concert again - hopefully not too far in the distant future… In the mean time, I’ll be rockin’ out to their recorded tunes and beepoppin’ down the street like the dancing fool that I am. 

Filed under Leagues Kye Kye Bunk Bar Portland Music Monday Noisetrade

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I’m so lucky to live within easy distance of beautiful parks and green spaces. One of my favorites here in Portland, Laurelhurst Park, is just a short walk away and I try not to take it for granted. I’ve enjoyed many a walk and run throughout; sometimes in search of a clear head, other times seeking to connect with present company. No matter the season I find beauty and rest within the borders of the park. 

This last weekend my sister visited from Seattle and we strolled through the park oohing and ahhing at the luscious colors bursting from the autumn leaves. The sun shone through the trees ever so brightly; the colors, lighting, shadows… they all made for a photographers’ dreamland. 

Filed under Portland Laurelhurst Park Autumn

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Let it be known: I love dessert. 
It’s the only food group worth getting excited about. And no fruit does not count. Also, chocolate almost always must be included for it to be considered a bona fide “dessert”. Everything else falls into a “breakfast” or “snack” category. 
The only reason I’m not obese is because my level of vanity is greater than my passion for dessert… and then there is that whole being healthy and fit thing too. So I trudge up stairs instead of riding elevators, walk distances that most tend to drive, and occasionally practice a thing called self-discipline. 
My love of dessert can be traced back to the ancient days of childhood, as evidenced by family folklore. My sister especially loves to tell the tale involving a Baptist potluck and an ample sampling of dessert displayed on my plate. It was clear that I had bypassed the entire entree table opting instead for a hearty slice of each pie, cake, and cookie offered. 
Chastised for being greedy, I was forced to share the carefully chosen collection with my family, while indignantly justifying my decision. If I’m allowed to take a piece of each casserole, side dish, and soupy glop that cannot be named, then why can’t I do the same for the desserts?!
Oh the injustices imposed upon the young.
As an adult, I believe I’m supposed to see the error of my childish ways but…secretly (not-so-secretly) I’m still sticking with my logic from the Baptist potluck days. 
All of this to say, today was the kind that can make a grown woman pee her pants with glee. But for the record no I did not. 
There was a “Pumpkin Bake-off” at work. The rules were simple - bake something with pumpkin and there had to be enough to feed an army of “judges” which basically was anyone who wanted to taste and vote. 
I arrived eager but totally played it cool. What’s that over there? The pumpkin competition you say? I almost forgot! (Yeah right - I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks!) Plate in hand, I feigned restraint but didn’t protest too loudly when they demanded that I take a sampling of each offering. One of each? But I feel so gluttonous!  Bestillmydessertlovingheart. Please-don’t-make-me-put-it-back.One of our head surgeons opted out of the tasting and remarked on my plate-that-spillith-over. She called me brave. I believe the not so underlying message was that any self-respecting person should feel embarrassment. But she chose the wrong person. Self respect? Shame? Move along. None found here. 
I savored each sample in an aura of pure delight and even shared my plate with a coworker. Willingly. So apparently I’ve matured since back in the day. We were in agreement - our favorite was a pumpkin bread pudding with some kind of fancy bourbon sauce drizzled on top. Yummm. 
All the judges agreed and the bread pudding stole the show! At last. It feels good to know I’m contributing such valued skills to my workplace… 

Let it be known: I love dessert. 

It’s the only food group worth getting excited about. And no fruit does not count. Also, chocolate almost always must be included for it to be considered a bona fide “dessert”. Everything else falls into a “breakfast” or “snack” category. 

The only reason I’m not obese is because my level of vanity is greater than my passion for dessert… and then there is that whole being healthy and fit thing too. So I trudge up stairs instead of riding elevators, walk distances that most tend to drive, and occasionally practice a thing called self-discipline. 

My love of dessert can be traced back to the ancient days of childhood, as evidenced by family folklore. My sister especially loves to tell the tale involving a Baptist potluck and an ample sampling of dessert displayed on my plate. It was clear that I had bypassed the entire entree table opting instead for a hearty slice of each pie, cake, and cookie offered. 

Chastised for being greedy, I was forced to share the carefully chosen collection with my family, while indignantly justifying my decision. If I’m allowed to take a piece of each casserole, side dish, and soupy glop that cannot be named, then why can’t I do the same for the desserts?!

Oh the injustices imposed upon the young.

As an adult, I believe I’m supposed to see the error of my childish ways but…secretly (not-so-secretly) I’m still sticking with my logic from the Baptist potluck days. 

All of this to say, today was the kind that can make a grown woman pee her pants with glee. But for the record no I did not. 

There was a “Pumpkin Bake-off” at work. The rules were simple - bake something with pumpkin and there had to be enough to feed an army of “judges” which basically was anyone who wanted to taste and vote. 

I arrived eager but totally played it cool. What’s that over there? The pumpkin competition you say? I almost forgot! (Yeah right - I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks!) Plate in hand, I feigned restraint but didn’t protest too loudly when they demanded that I take a sampling of each offering. One of each? But I feel so gluttonous!  Bestillmydessertlovingheart. Please-don’t-make-me-put-it-back.One of our head surgeons opted out of the tasting and remarked on my plate-that-spillith-over. She called me brave. I believe the not so underlying message was that any self-respecting person should feel embarrassment. But she chose the wrong person. Self respect? Shame? Move along. None found here. 

I savored each sample in an aura of pure delight and even shared my plate with a coworker. WillinglySo apparently I’ve matured since back in the day. We were in agreement - our favorite was a pumpkin bread pudding with some kind of fancy bourbon sauce drizzled on top. Yummm

All the judges agreed and the bread pudding stole the show! At last. It feels good to know I’m contributing such valued skills to my workplace… 

Filed under Pumpkin bake off competition portland for love of dessert

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For weeks now, I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to read my Letter from Paris. This morning all the necessary components aligned… With eager anticipation, and steaming coffee in hand, I snuggled a bit deeper below the down comforter. Slowly I opened the letter and read to the rhythm of rain beating against the window pane. 

Pure bliss. 

Every month, I receive a Letter from Paris, written by a woman named Janice MacLeod. She is a North American transplant living in Paris who paints and writes and has found a way to make it all possible by creating a business of letter writing to loyal subscribers. 

My sister discovered Janice through Etsy, and kindly bought me a subscription for my birthday. It was perhaps the best gift I’ve ever received - so fitting to what I cherish in life and it brings such great joy each month. 

I’m very particular as to the environment in which I read the letter. I refuse to be in a rush, or feel pressed for time. I must feel relaxed enough to make coffee and sit down to savor both the cup and letter. Time for reflection post letter reading is an added bonus. Needless to say, no matter what day the letter arrives, I impatiently wait for the weekend before opening it. 

This last month has been a blur of travel and weekend trips - a mixture of good and bad with a hint of ugly. My weekends have not been slow or restful so despite carrying the letter everywhere with me, the perfect moment had not shown itself… Until this morning. 

Living vicariously through the life of someone writing from the most romantic city in the world - All from the comfort of my own bed on a stormy Sunday morning… is my version of heaven. 

It’s the little things in life … Non?

For weeks now, I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to read my Letter from Paris. This morning all the necessary components aligned… With eager anticipation, and steaming coffee in hand, I snuggled a bit deeper below the down comforter. Slowly I opened the letter and read to the rhythm of rain beating against the window pane.

Pure bliss.

Every month, I receive a Letter from Paris, written by a woman named Janice MacLeod. She is a North American transplant living in Paris who paints and writes and has found a way to make it all possible by creating a business of letter writing to loyal subscribers.

My sister discovered Janice through Etsy, and kindly bought me a subscription for my birthday. It was perhaps the best gift I’ve ever received - so fitting to what I cherish in life and it brings such great joy each month.

I’m very particular as to the environment in which I read the letter. I refuse to be in a rush, or feel pressed for time. I must feel relaxed enough to make coffee and sit down to savor both the cup and letter. Time for reflection post letter reading is an added bonus. Needless to say, no matter what day the letter arrives, I impatiently wait for the weekend before opening it.

This last month has been a blur of travel and weekend trips - a mixture of good and bad with a hint of ugly. My weekends have not been slow or restful so despite carrying the letter everywhere with me, the perfect moment had not shown itself… Until this morning.

Living vicariously through the life of someone writing from the most romantic city in the world - All from the comfort of my own bed on a stormy Sunday morning… is my version of heaven.

It’s the little things in life … Non?

Filed under letters from Paris Janice MacLeod