WHY: Part I

Today I went back and read a post that I wrote some time ago. It was a bittersweet commentary on the trials of my weight loss journey, but also a heartwarming reminder of how far I’ve come. The reason I went back to it today was because of the fitness group I joined on Facebook. We were asked to write about our “why.” Why are we choosing to lose weight right now? What is our motivation to achieve our goals? Originally I shared the following piece only with the fitness group, but I decided I needed to get this to a bigger audience. Following is my “why.”
I’ve struggled with my weight and abandonment issues from my parent’s divorce my whole life, and because of that I find it hard to follow through with the things I really want to accomplish. I either give up and desert the project, or, more often, sabotage myself. This includes goals involving my passion for writing, my fervent need to be beautiful (AKA, skinny), and finding (and marrying) the love of my life.
For the longest time, even though my self-esteem wasn’t the greatest, I didn’t stress a whole lot about being fat because I never expected I could change it. When I did finally lose weight, it started a whole domino effect of anxiety because I had all this new pressure. Where before it never mattered because I had zero expectations, suddenly the world was at my fingertips and I was completely unprepared. It was really easy to blame others for my shortcomings, and for a while I thought, things haven’t changed a bit. Why not just stay how I am? My life is fantastic, even if I’m not living the dream of marrying Dr. Handsome and writing that bestseller. I’ve got great friends, a steady job…I have good dates here and there. I can hack it a little longer, getting by how I am. But that’s not how I want to live my life. I want to set meaningful goals and attain them, NOW (starting with being focused on them better). I want to be able to tell myself every day that I am worthy of a beautiful and healthy relationship. I want to break the chains of inadequacy that I’ve carried from a very young age—and that I’ve continued to carry all on my own, using them as an excuse to be average.
Doing all that takes a concerted effort, and a community. I’m so used to doing things for myself, being single for such a long time, but letting people in, and, God-forbid, letting others see my vulnerabilities, is so important. It’s not something I do lightly. It takes faith in my community, and love for myself.
I know that I have to let go of my past in order to be the future amazing Becky that’s always been inside. Grasping onto my communities’ outstretched hands is a great start. Spending time with people from all corners of my world is a very important part of that. I’ve got my running community, my writing peers, my dance family, my work buddies, fellow gamers and hikers and coffee-lovers, Blazer fans, my blood family. But it’s more than just spending time, and it’s more than just hoping a few of you will read my blog and empathize. Getting vulnerable with yourself and your “people” is not a one-stop deal. Clearly, you readers have seen that for the last two years that I’ve been writing this blog. Of course I hope to inspire others, but letting out my fears and emotions in this medium is a very important part of my process, and I thank you for being my audience and safety net. You, love, are a very big part of my success in this life, because we all need love to thrive.

All you need is love

All you need is love


This is the first piece in a miniseries called WHY. I look forward to sharing parts II and III very soon.

A Confession Session

Last week in The Dancing Runner, I read a really fun post called Confession Session. I love Chelsea’s blog. Her writing is consistently upbeat and inspiring, particularly when it’s about two of my favorite things—running and dancing. This one, however, had a different twist and I decided to steal the idea. Here are some highlights from the past few weeks plus a couple of random facts you may not know about me. Thanks, Chelsea!
35 is the new 25! Okay, I actually read that on a fertility blog, but it still totally applies! I had the most wonderful birthday! I turned a spry 35 last Sunday and instead of going camping like I usually do, I opted to do something a little more accessible—brunch. To make it even more fun than brunch already is, I announced a theme. The theme was tutus! My friends never disappoint me. It was tutus all around. Oh, and did I mention my restaurant of choice had $5 bottomless mimosas? Yeah, that’s a no-brainer.
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I’m a Harriette. I’ve never written about this part of my life on the blog, but it’s a big part, so it should be mentioned! This group, the Hash House Harriers, is known to be “a drinking club with a running problem.”  Basically, it is very similar to a scavenger hunt, only instead of scrabbling around town, searching for a trinket or landmark, the harriers (runners) are scavenging on a flour-marked trail for beer hidden by the hares (trail-layers). I’ve been a member for two years now, and though I cannot keep up with the FRBs (Front Running Bastards), I have just as much fun as those who get to the beers first. The group makes it a point to label everything lasciviously (when you’re new you’re a virgin; when you lay trail for the first time, you’re de-floured), and hands out tawdry names to each member when they’ve done something “stupid enough” for the pack to agree on. For example, my hash name is Tainted Trench. (I could tell you how I earned it, but then I would also have to make you come to the hash yourself to experience the full Monty!) And if you think this is just a Portland thing, think again. This group started in Malaysia by a pack of Brits who wanted to get out from under their weekend hangovers in the 1930s. These days there are Hash House Harriers coast to coast in the United States, and on every continent! Yes, there are some timid folks who think that hashing is not for them; there is a lot of shit-talking as well as actual shit-on-trail—hashers prefer to barrel through blackberries and muddy creeks rather than take the path more often traveled: the clean, paved one. However, if you can get through your mental blocks and come to peace with the fact that you may get a little scratched up, you’ll experience one of the most fun physical activities on earth, and a vast accumulation of forever friends.
I found out that my dentist is circumcised. I’m sorry! I tried (admittedly not very hard), but I couldn’t keep that one to myself. It started out as banter about what we were doing over the weekend. He said, “I’m going to Ecuador” (as one often does on the weekends), and that sparked a chat about toilets in developing countries. When we got to the dreaded squat toilet part of the conversation, it got a little hairy (har har). Now, picture me listening to his story as he is hovering over my open mouth, the table leaning precariously toward his twig and berries. He says, “So, I was in Palestine this one time, and I’ll tell you there’s no privacy in those bathrooms. The attendant kept giving me the side eye, you know, because I’m circumcised. Jews are circumcised, and it’s not good to be a Jew in Palestine!” Okay okay, I get it! He continued with a whimsical description of the toilets in Korea, but I could not get the immature giggle out of my head. It almost bubbled out; it was so close. I mean, come on, this guy is my dad’s age. Politics and adventure aside, what other reaction could I have from his story than EWWWWWWWWWWW!
Oregon Wine Country. I love wine tasting (Who doesn’t?) but don’t do it nearly enough. This past weekend some girlfriends and I found a free afternoon, and took a lovely jaunt into Oregon’s wine country. We were lucky to find a Groupon for A Blooming Hill Vineyard. There are several deals for local wineries—I highly recommend you take advantage of it! It was absolutely gorgeous, and impossible to believe that we were only a short drive from Portland. The owners were a darling couple who had converted their home into a simple yet elegant winery which overlooks their vineyard in addition to a beautiful view of distant hills and valleys.
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Bird’s the word. I would never ever call myself a bird watcher. There is one time a year, though, that I pack my picnic basket and a blanket, and I make my way to Chapman Elementary School in NW Portland to wait for dusk, and the famed Vaux swifts. Up to 35,000 swifts, the biggest migrating group in the world, create an astounding vortex as they prepare to roost each night in the chimney. It is an amazing sight that words truly cannot convey. Saturday night I grabbed a group of friends and we sat on the soccer field, observing the bird tornado and several dozen children “sledding” down the dusty hill on cardboard sleighs. It was probably the largest group of birds I’ve ever seen since I’ve been here in Portland, and it never gets old.
No sleep ’til Brooklyn (and the rest of NYC)! I’m leaving for my first trip to New York City in t-minus two weeks! I’m incredibly excited but still collecting my travel research, so help me out! Send me recommendations for things I must see, do, and experience! Tell me a route I have to run! Let me know your favorite salsa club! Suggest big city travel tips! Give me advice on public transportation! I’m all ears.
This ends the inaugural Confession Session by Becky. Feel free to use the idea for your own blog, and please, leave a link in the comment section if you do, so I and my readers can enjoy it. Have a great Monday, friends!

Looking Out For the Littlest Happy Things

For the month of July, I made a concerted effort to live in the present and enjoy each moment. I stopped putting pressure on myself to have it all because I realized that it WILL come. When we cling only to what we know and let overwhelming fear in, it’s because we are trying to hold on too tight to control. I realized I had to stop chasing this controlled ending or I will lose precious time. No one knows what path their journey will take. Some of us want to try to guide it, but only the universe truly knows where it will go.
I did several things to help myself along: I withdrew my profile from the dating site I was on. I practiced gratitude often. I made an effort to unplug more consistently. I ate whole foods. I expressed myself honestly and confidently instead of holding back because I wanted to sugar-coat a statement. I spent productive time alone. I took myself out on dates.

Happy face on a hike

Happy face on a hike


I also decided to be more assertive in the pursuit of my passions. I want to see opportunities more easily when they are offered to me. We tend to have tunnel vision and close ourselves off to creativity when we are in a rut. These are a few ways I can lead myself away from that tendency.

  • I will write more consistently (and publish more often). Writing has been my passion for as long as I can remember, and I tend to run away from it when I feel anxiety about the future. I should be doing the opposite! Some of us have natural talent, but practicing our craft is what make us great.
  • I will open my eyes to the creativity that the world gives freely, and use it. We don’t always take advantage of the gifts that are bestowed upon us every single day. We shouldn’t be wasting them.

The first thing I did to kick off the month was take myself out to a movie. ALONE. It was great!
In the first week of July, I gave myself a gift. I bought my plane ticket to New York. I had been hemming and hawing, not wanting to pull the trigger because I hadn’t yet planned everything out perfectly. No longer! The trip will fall into place in the next few months, and I am comfortable with that.
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Over the next few weeks, I did many things for myself. I chose new podcasts to listen to. I attended an overnight event with 100+ people I have never met (and a few that I know very well). I cherished quality friend and family time. I tried new activities, including an amazing class that combined belly dance, yoga, and aromatherapy. It turned out to be quite transformative. I attended a meetup without a wing man to provide comfort, forcing me to talk to strangers on my own merits. As much as I am a people person most of the time, there are moments when I am shy. Walking into a place knowing absolutely no one is one of those. Everyone was friendly of course, and I even left with some future salsa partners. I went camping for five days in Olympic National Park with two friends. Talk about adventure! There were challenging hikes, beautiful sights, and giggles galore over games of Canasta and Yahtzee. I tried new beers at Brewfest on the Portland waterfront. I treated myself to a massage and acupuncture, and it was totally worth it. I allowed myself to emotionally heal over some issues I’d been hiding from. It felt fantastic.
The best things, though, were the small things. I walked around the farmers market and enjoyed fresh fruits right out of the pint. I let the tinkle of a child’s laughter float over me and fill me with joy. I found heart shapes in nature and took pictures. I read books, listened to bands playing in the park, and took a day off work midweek just because I wanted to. What a fabulous month. In August, I intend to take the spirit of the last 31 days and keep the energy going. I have some great ideas but welcome more! Book or podcast suggestions, activity invitations and restaurant recommendations especially appreciated. I hope you are enjoying the summer as much as I am! Drop me a note here and tell me what special treats you are giving yourself during the sunny months.
 

Beautiful Lake Crescent

Beautiful Lake Crescent


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Heart-shaped rock


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Hearts in nature

A Hot Chocolate Race Recap

The Hot Chocolate 15k was held on a perplexing sunny and temperate but also frightfully cold weekend in Seattle. I was excited to get out of town for a long weekend, so I headed up on the Amtrak with two of my girlfriends early on Friday morning. We wanted enough time to frolic before we had to get our game faces on Sunday at the crack of dawn. Frolic we did! It was beautifully sunny the first two days of our visit. We walked all over town and shopped, ate, and people-watched to our hearts’ content.
Then, Sunday arrived…

Not my idea of a great race temp!

Not my idea of a great race temp!



There are only so many layers a girl can put on whilst facing a drenching, windy, and unfortunately, mostly uphill run, before recognizing that she’d rather be a little cold than unable to run at all, marshmallow-man style. I forced myself to stop at 10 layers (I kid, there were only about 3.5) and, in direct defiance of the ever-helpful bag check, left my tag right on my bib where it belonged. I don’t need no stinking bag check. Once my corral was called, I took off.

Trying to stave off pre-race nerves!

Trying to stave off pre-race nerves with selfies!


The race itself was a huge challenge for me. I’ve never completed a 15k before, and it was actually more difficult to train for than my previous half marathons, if you can believe it. I was lax in researching how many training and cross-training days a week I should be dedicating to the race, and therefore switched back and forth between running too much and running too little…unfortunately I’m pretty sure I was mostly running too little. Bad news: my runner’s self-esteem was pretty low heading up the Amtrak rails on Friday. Not to mention one of my girlfriends was singing the praises of her newfound love for CrossFit as a cross-training regimen. Nope, that wasn’t intimidating at all. The good news? I ran the entire race! I didn’t have to walk once! This was a huge and lovely surprise and a true gift to myself. This tells me that my running muscle memory is sharp!!
The after-party looked amazing. I wanted to stay and play but my whole body was soaking wet from the rain that began falling even harder once I crossed the finish line. Thank heaven for small favors that it wasn’t raining too hard during the race itself (although it was definitely rainy and windy throughout). I grabbed my “finishers medal” and met up with my friends. The chocolate fondue was fan-freaking-tastic. I was actually surprised at the quality of the chocolate. I expected it to be much less tasty, due only to the quantity that had to be served up. But there was no skimping! Everything–from the post-run snacks to the awesome tech hoodies that we took home–was fantastic.
The weather was really the only drawback of this race. RAM Racing has been putting on the Hot Chocolate Race for several years, and I could tell they have perfected their system. Everything was wonderfully executed, from the expo to the after party. That isn’t to say I don’t have suggestions, but honestly, the only thing I really noticed amiss was the lack of a vendor at the expo selling some sort of energy shots/bars/gooey stuff. Everything else was great.
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I can’t wait to go back next year for this run. I will say that if RAM Racing wants to bring it to Portland, I won’t complain in the least, but I really like picking destination races, and I love Seattle, so either way I will be a happy runner.
One last note – I very much enjoyed being a chocolate blogger for this race. I feel confident in saying I will do this or something like it again very soon. So check back often for offers on registration giveaways or swag!

Snowpocalypse Recap

Hello from snowy freezing slushy Portland, Oregon! We’ve finally melted and all is pretty much back to normal here. At least the rains have finally come and washed away most of the snow banks. I never thought I’d hear myself say that I’m grateful for the rain, although I don’t have a severe hatred for it like some transplants. (I credit my running habit—once you start running in the rain for 3+ miles, you realize there are much worse things than getting a little wet.)
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However, my gracious attitude towards the rain does not lessen my love for what has been called the Snowpocalypse of 2013. I am very lucky to live and work close-in to downtown Portland, and therefore can easily get around on public transportation. So instead of getting stir crazy inside my apartment, rationing a dwindling supply of hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps, I frolicked. I played Uno Attack and went sledding with my awesome neighbors on Friday. Allison’s Uno victory dance and Danny’s smack talk were legendary; the Flexible Flyer that we took to the top of Fremont did us proud; we watched the Blazer game and ate pizza. It was pretty great.
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The next day I decided that I needed to hit the city, snowman style. I put on my ski pants, jacket, and trusty hat (plus two pairs of socks, 3 shirts, a neck buff, and gloves) and snow-hiked to the MAX train that took me downtown. I met up with several groups of friends during the day (even met some new ones!), walked all over town, gulped warm drinks and ate bad food, and not until 11 p.m. did I realize that the MAX had been shut down due to the freezing rain. Not a problem! I hiked back across town to find the one bus line that was going my way and waited…and waited…and waited. Luckily my friend Ruth had tagged along, trying to figure out if she would be able to get as far as 60th (Alas, the bus stopped at 25th. No matter, my living room and an air mattress were just fine for her.), and so we chatted as we watched for the bus that would take us across the river. When it finally sailed (lurched, skidded) to a stop on NE 15th, we decided we’d better get a drink to celebrate making it over the bridge, and hit up my neighborhood bar for one last drink (2 drinks and a shot).
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Sunday was more of a relaxed day. Did I get anything productive done? Nope. Do I regret it? Nah. Snowpocalypse weekend was all about feeling fancy free and not worrying about the little things. I had heat, I had food and drinks, and I had great friends and fantastic moments.

HOWEVER! Now that playtime is over, it’s time to get serious again. Up next on the roster is the Hot Chocolate Run in Seattle, and I have some pretty hardcore training to do in the next 2.5 weeks. Join me in a training run, wish me luck, or come to cheer me on in Seattle on March 2nd. If you’re less of a runner and more of a consumer, the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival are also coming up soon.
Who says winter has to be dreary? Come out and play!
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12 things

There was this update going around Facebook a few weeks ago, asking people to list [#] of things about yourself. I went back and forth about doing it. I thought it was the type of thing that would bore me after reading so many, but it turns out, the exact opposite was the case. It made me see those people as very brave, unleashing their most vulnerable sides. It was fascinating finding out people’s random pieces of trivia. My friend from high school, Julie, gave me the number twelve, which I thought was a ridiculously large list, but I figured that once I got the ball rolling, it wouldn’t be too difficult to get the rest of them on paper. The opposite turned out to be the case. It took me almost a week to make this list. Have you read any of these on Facebook? Did you write a list yourself?
Here goes mine…
1) There was a boy that I had a giant crush on in middle school. He taunted me relentlessly about my big butt and always sang “Baby Got Back” to me. To this day I can’t tell if he was being cruel or secretly had a crush on me.
2) I am terrified of having a daughter because I think I will screw her up.
3) My sister and I were born in the same minute, but we couldn’t be more different in our life choices. Get us around each other, though, and it’s creepy how alike our mannerisms and voices are.
4) I can’t believe I’m a runner. I’ve been doing it for three years and it still amazes me that I can do such astounding physical feats with this body. The same goes for belly dancing. I can tell you right now not one person who knew me in high school would ever have predicted I’d become a belly dancer.
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5) I believe in karma and the law of attraction. What goes around certainly comes around, and I feel very strongly that the power of manifestation is real.
6) I love both of my parents very much, but I have completely different relationships with each of them. There are things I can tell my dad but not my mom, and vice versa.
7) Spiders are both my biggest fear and my biggest asset. How does that work? The physical manifestation of the spider can make my heart race. My mother tried to wean me off this fear when I was a child, saying, “You see a spider? Just invite it to tea! You’ll make friends with him.” In a word, dear mother:  NO. In two words:  HELL NO. Then a strange thing happened. A few years ago I discovered Native American animal totems. My cousin and I spent a weekend immersed in this cultural tradition and that weekend I learned about the nine animals that protect my spirit. One of them was the spider. I cringed when I spoke it aloud. Then I looked at the spider’s meaning. The spider is the story teller. Of course. This is the totem that encourages me in my writing, only one of the most important things in my life. So there you have it.
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8) I was born a Quaker (Also known as the Religious Society of Friends) and became an adult member of my meeting (church) when I was 21. Curious? Just ask!
9) I love watching basketball. It is the only sport I truly understand.

So...maybe it's also the eye candy.

So…maybe it’s also the eye candy.


10) I can be a self-saboteur (but I’m working very hard at releasing this habit).
11) I love experiencing the four seasons. I don’t know if I could ever live anywhere that was sunny all the time.
12) I write a Christmas newsletter every year marking the highlights of the past 12 months. It is something I grew up with, and I love carrying on that tradition.

and the winner is…!

I sat with anticipation, a little nervous to click on the random number generator. Who would be the big winner? Who would collect the spoils of my very first giveaway?!?

Today's the day!

Today’s the day!


Would it be someone I know, or one of the complete strangers? (Gasp! Yes! There were actual strangers that entered! *fist pump*)
Well, it turns out it’s my coworker, Brooke! I’m thrilled for her – she has been enthusiastic about the Hot Chocolate Run since I brought it up a few weeks ago.
But just because someone else won, it does not make you a loser! You can STILL register with my promo code CURIOUSMUG for the Seattle race and be the recipient of extra fabulous Chocolate Run goodies!
So here’s a challenge for you Portland runners: let’s see how many PDXers we can bring to Seattle! Better yet, let’s show ’em that we deserve our own race in 2015! Who’s with me?!
See you at the race!
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The Other Side

Today it was dark. Rainy. Thickly clouded and cool with a light penumbra of humidity. The sun was nowhere to be found for most of the day.
Autumn is approaching. Labor Day weekend (also my birthday weekend) is generally the start of the turning point towards fall, though technically the equinox isn’t until the end of September. Sure, we’ve got another couple of hit and miss weeks, but fall is coming. And I love it. I love the colors, the burnt oranges, rich reds, plush purples, corporeal browns. I love the new, swift breezes, the overcast mornings, and even the rain. Autumn is my spring. It’s full of new beginnings and fresh promises. Maybe it’s because I associate it with “back to school” time or my birthday, but regardless of the reason, it is most definitely my favorite season, and a time to start anew.
These past three weeks, while I have been recovering from my car accident, have allowed me to reflect on all that is amazing in my life. It has also allowed me the displeasure of sinking far into the Dark Void. At first glance, it has been a huge drag. I can’t dance, can’t run, can’t party. What do I have left when I my body won’t let me frolic in free physicality? Everything else, of course. What, exactly, is everything else?
At first it didn’t look like much, but when I took a breath, was patient and allowed the universe to bestow its knowledge on me, I realized it was actually a whole other world that I had almost forgotten. It’s what’s in between. It’s the pauses in life, the breaths we hold onto when singing a song, a millisecond of complete silence inside of a piercing glance. There is as much, if not more, to appreciate, in these gaps.
I’m finally seeing the true gift of it, and, just in time for the turning of the leaves and, yes, the rain, I welcome this new season and change of heart.

Photo credit: Padraic, via Flickr

Photo credit: Padraic, via Flickr

Time Flies When You're a Busy Bee

I’m sorry I haven’t written. I have a million excuses; you don’t need to hear them. But perhaps you want to SEE what I’ve been doing! A post in pictures…
Sahara Sunday at Marino’s. Three of us performed our choreography created by Claudia at a small cafe on Southeast Division:

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Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. I walked for my friend Alice, who almost lost her baby to complications in her pregnancy related to preeclampsia:
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Camping in Central Oregon. We stayed at Cove Palisades State Park on the Deschutes River. I LOVE CENTRAL OREGON:
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Hope for Andrew benefit. A salsa buddy asked me to perform at a fundraiser for a little boy with cancer. It was a beautiful event:
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Oh, and I’m cooking dinner for 40 people tonight. Stay tuned for my next 5 minute window and maybe I’ll actually be able to write a whole post! I hope you are enjoying the beginning of summer.

The P-List

I am just glowing in Portland pride right now. This city is so awesome, and weird, and diverse, and beautiful! So I’ve decided to make a list of the Portland experiences that absolutely must be crossed off my list in short order. And yes, I will be writing a post about each one when the time comes. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know which one(s) you want to know more about! Dare to join me?
1) Freakybuttrue Pecularium:  The name kind of says it all, right? I dissolve into giggles just thinking about this place, a self-described store and gallery of the strange, that is home to the Insectarian Club, where the most brave of souls from near and far devour bug sundaes (or bug chili dogs) in hopes of stardom and fame! At the very least, they get their picture posted on the Pecularium’s website, and perhaps if they’re lucky, a groupie or two.

Yummy!

Yummy!


B) The Portland Aquarium (Ok, this is technically in Milwaukie.): I’ve got kind of a reputation for not being a pet person. Now, I’m not saying I dislike animals, but personally, pets are just not my thing. I can barely keep a succulent alive in my apartment, and that is because it only needs to be watered once a quarter. I’m rarely home! However, animals, the ones you can visit temporarily and not have to clean up after, those are pretty cool. The aquarium has plenty of those. Plus they have great family and evening events like Sleeping with the Sharks! Sold!
III) I am ashamed to say this, but I haven’t made it to the Japanese Gardens yet.  I know, I know…I honestly have no excuse. I’ve seen the Chinese Garden, the Rose Test Garden, Crystal Springs…I’ve been to the Redwoods for crying out loud! I just haven’t taken the time to go and take in the Zen of Portland’s beautiful Japanese Gardens. It’s about time.
4-or) Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Clinton Street Theater. This is a long-running tradition in Portland. I cannot believe I’ve never made it to this show. I absolutely love Frank-N-Furter, Magenta, Brad (Damn it, Janet!) and the rest of the cast of RHPS! I haven’t yet decided if I will go all gussied up in a costume like the hard core fans, but I certainly must “lose my virginity” and see the show sometime soon! Come with me, and don’t forget the toast!
A classic!

A classic!


cinco) Glowing Greens Putt-Putt:  Doesn’t blacklight indoor miniature golf with a pirate theme sound amazing? I’ll let you know!
seix) The HUMP! Film Festival: This festival piques my curiosity and my sassy side with home-movie erotica, amateur sex cinema, and locally produced pornography. Local sexpert Dan Savage is the master of ceremonies. I’ve heard many different adjectives describing this festival. I’m sure I’ll have a few choice words myself when I walk out of the theater.
vii) I want to attend a service at a Unitarian Universalist church. This particular congregation meets in a stately church downtown. I’ve been intrigued since the summer of 2003, when I worked at a Quaker summer camp that seemed to be overrun with Unitarians. I had never heard of this religion before, and being a Unitarian at a Quaker camp seemed to be quite popular that summer. It seems our religions have some things in common, but I never had the chance to really delve into the mystery. Here in Portland there are several churches to choose from. My only real challenge is when to go.
∞) OMSI After Dark:  Adult-only science fun? Yes please!
nein!) And because this is named the P-List…(You assumed it stood for Portland, didn’t you? Don’t you know that assuming makes an ass out of U and ME!? Har har, that’s an apt phrase, considering what’s coming next…) I am going to make my last entry be the best place to pee in Portland! Through much internet research, it seems clear that Rimsky-Korsakoffee House has the coolest loo in town. I will admit something to you guys: I have been here before. Indeed, I remember the awesomeness of the bathroom. Why, then, is it on my list? Go, see for yourself. It merits a second, third, and fourth visit.
Rimsky's Bathroom Ceiling

Rimsky’s Bathroom Ceiling