Category Archives: lists

seven link challenge

I love things that bring people – that bring communities together. It’s one of the main reasons I love sports.

There are few things in this world that can bring diverse or even divided communities together, but sports are one of those things. I saw it in high school when our championship basketball team united a fairly cliquish school. I saw it in grad school when our whole campus would converge on Autzen Stadium or Mac Court for game days. And I lived it in Boston when I saw a city whose divisions date back to the 18th century (British soldiers vs. Colonists, Brahmins vs. Irish Catholics, Southie vs. Roxbury) all still to listen and root for the same team when their beloved Red Sox, Celtics or Patriots are in the playoffs.

For a seemingly disparate group, the blogging community – a constellation of souls spread around the world – come together quite often (in a technological sense of course). It seems counterintuitive, but there’s an amazingly well connected online community that blogs “together” from time to time. I participated in sfgirlbybay’s blog it forward mash-up project last spring. And now Darren Rowse’s seven link challenge has caught my eye. He chose the categories and I’ve chosen the posts. As I come up on my 3rd year anniversary with this blog it was fun to read through past posts. Enjoy!

first post: the last days of disco

post I enjoyed writing the most: snowy memories

post which had a great discussion: inspiration knows best

post on someone else’s blog I wish I’d written: how to fall in love with you

most helpful post: be the change you want to see in the world

post with a title I’m proud of: two peas in a pod

post I wish more people had read: behind the curtain

loving Jesse St. James

We interupt this otherwise intelligent blog for a brief moment of teenage-like hysteria.

I love Glee and so yes I’m a Gleek! It doesn’t help (or perhaps it does) that I share a design studio with other Gleeks and that we listen to their music nearly every afternoon. Our colleagues from the other side of the office (no we don’t call them the Others) often come in and think we’re crazy for listening to the likes of Journey, Lionel Ritchie and Olivia Newton-John, but we don’t care. It’s Glee!

So you can imagine I was hooked long before Jesse St. James (nee Jonathan Groff) appeared at McKinley High, but now that he’s enrolled it’s a whole new world. So here are my top ten reasons for loving Jesse St. James.

1. he’s got great pipes
2. he nails a mean ballet dance number (in the tradition of Ethan Stiefel from Center Stage)
3. he picks up “lifestyle tips” from celebrity bios
4. he challenges Finn to a sing-off in the parking lot when they are vying for Rachel’s affections
5. he can nail a look that’s “so optimistic in can cure cancer”
6. he understands Rachel’s The Way We Were reference
7. that hair, those dimples, those eyes
9. he uses words like melancholia, epic, fastidiously, and arabesques
10. he’s mischevious… or is he?

opening ceremonies

I may not have been able to see them live (even though they took place in my own timezone – NBC you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do) or in person… but here’s my take on the highlights and lowlights of the opening ceremonies.

Best scarf – Canada

Most French – Great Britain

Most fashionable – Italy

Best knits – Andorra followed by United States (hat)

Best hat – Cayman Islands and Iceland

Most innovative use of the recent paisley fashion trend – Azerbaijan

Preppiest – Bermuda followed by Monaco

Most tragic use of prints – Finland  followed by Czech Republic

Best jackets – Peru

Biggest flashback to the 80s – Germany and Poland followed (with love) by Bryan Adams

Best use of trendy colors (yellow and turquoise) – Sweden

Best sweater and belt combination – United States

Best mittens – Canada


Best performance – Beat Poet Shane Koyczan

Most mesmerizing – Orcas swimming through the ocean

Best song – Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now followed by k.d. lang’s Hallelujah

Coolest graphics – Native American motifs

Most surprising – Donald Sutherland is Canadian

Least surprising but biggest no-brainer – Wayne Gretzky lighting the torch

images: courtesy

fall in oregon

apple crisp :: stumptown coffee :: caravans to duck games :: early sunsets and late sunrises :: pumpkins :: crimsons, golds and greens :: butternut squash :: cashmere scarves :: raindrops :: windstorms :: hearth fires :: baseball playoffs :: the last tomatoes

john hughes – favorite moments

1. duckie’s lip synch in pretty in pink
2. going into labor scene (to the soundtrack of kate bush’s “this woman’s work”) from she’s having a baby
3. cameron talking to ed rooney in ferris bueller’s day off
4. making the “perfect woman” in weird science
5. putting lipstick on with no hands from the breakfast club
6. having birthday cake with jake ryan in a bridesmaid dress from sixteen candles
7. “black and white would just capture the moment” line from sixteen candles
8. geek stuck under the glass table from sixteen candles
9. lunch scene (especially the captain crunch-pixie stick sandwich) from the breakfast club
10. getting diamond earrings from your best friend who’s just realized he’s in love with you from some kind of wonderful

oregon road trip

4 days
1425 miles
20 counties
17 rivers
200 photos
2 campfires
1 thunder and lightning storm
5 state parks
4 mountain ranges
1 flat tire
4 new tires
1 national park
7 national forests
1 ocean

= 1 incredible state

headwaters of the mckenzie river

wheat farm in the wallowa valley

road in the catlow valley at the base of the steens mountains

trail in the willamette national forest

warehouse at the confluence of the columbia river and pacific ocean

portland and boston

Since I moved back to Portland I’ve been wondering how it compares with Boston in terms of space and population. So I did a little comparison. (Click on the image above for a more detailed look)

Yes, I realize that makes me a complete landscape architecture nerd, but so be it! The city limits of Portland encompass Boston and eight nearby towns, including Cambridge, Brookline, Somerville, Arlington, Belmont, Watertown, Newton, and Malden (which are outlined in red). Put another way, you could fit all of those cities and towns within the geographic boundaries of the City of Portland.

However, when you compare population between the City of Portland (green bar) and the equivalent geographic area around Boston, Massachusetts (red bar) of approximately 145 square miles, the Boston area contains twice as many people – 1.1 million to Portland’s 529,000 (based on the 2000 census).

Next… a comparison of walking distances between what I currently do now and what I did on a daily basis in Boston. I know! I know! You’re on the edge of your seat.