Category Archives: pop culture

the office

When I’m not photographing and writing I work as a historical landscape architect for MIG. The firm, which has offices in seven west coast cities including the mother ship in Berkeley, gets the whole gang together once a year for a two-day workshop where we share ideas related to the multi-disciplinary work we do – everything from the how, to the why, to the what. This year I taught a course on new media and social networking and how to apply those tools to the work we do.

It’s a high intensity, jam-packed two days where we get to connect with each other and add some energy and new ideas to the work we do. Fortunately those of us in the Portland office also got to soak up a little of Berkeley’s warm sunshine on the side. Sunlight feeds the soul!

Leading up to the workshop each office was asked to take a group photograph. We brainstormed a “Made in Oregon” theme based on the famous neon sign that graces our city’s skyline and decided to take the photo next to the infamous bench that we observe from our second floor studio each day. The bench’s infamy stems from its center stage role in daily urban dramas including make-out sessions, break-ups, drug deals, fights, lunch meetings, and impromptu band jams just to name a few. Add “group office photo” to that list and you can see this bench is quite the place to be and be seen in the City of Portland (now affectionally becoming known as Portlandia).

Here is the final shot and some outtakes from our photo shoot.

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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?

surprise!




Thank God I didn’t wear sweats to the office is all I could think about when I arrived at Ted and Tara’s house on Friday night under the ruse that we were going to enjoy a “quiet” night at home cooking dinner and playing Scrabble. I should have guessed something was afoot when I saw Ted’s cheetah inspired platform boots.

Only moments later I learned we were going out! At this point I’m still thinking it’s just the three of us. But then as the night went on Ivy showed up, and then Jay and Sarah, and then Renne all the way from Sequim, Washington, and finally Lee, Guido and their three boys. We commandeered a large corner table at Por Que No (not an easy feat to be sure) and then proceeded to eat yummy tacos, drink margaritas and be entertained by Ted who had the Rahr boys captivated and us in stitches.

About halfway through the night I was given day glow jewelry that could only mean one thing – 80s night at the Crystal Ballroom! It was like old times! And when I say old times I mean the early 90s when Ted, Renne and I frequented Portland’s dance clubs and shut many of them down every single weekend, especially Sunday night disco at the Lotus. We were all young artists who didn’t need to be in an office on Monday morning so what better way to end our weekends!

Anyway, the Crystal Ballroom was packed and so we danced ’til midnight to some choice 80s music – including many one-hit wonders (Safety Dance anyone?!?). I couldn’t have planned a better beginning to my 40th birthday celebration weekend.

spring tennis fashion

Here are some of the highlights! I’m loving the bold colors and fun details, especially the corset, contrast piping, and plaids. I only wish they’d premiered some of these at Indian Wells so I could have seen them in person.

disneyland

Apparently you’re never too old to visit the Magic Kingdom – the happiest place on earth!


Yes, I’m deathly afraid of heights, but yes I did indeed take a ride on California Screamin’. This is no ordinary roller coaster. It goes from 0 to 55 mph in 4 seconds at the ride’s inception and includes one complete inversion about halfway through. I truly felt the limits of my fear and amazingly enough came out the other side.


My brother and mom – the true fans of Disneyland!


strollers strollers everywhere – they even get priority parking spaces near all the rides!


Wheeee!

the thrill of victory… the agony of defeat

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is ABC’s Wide World of Sports!

I don’t know about you, but these words still touch a deep emotional cord. I was reminded of that show after Queen Latifah who is in Vancouver supporting Team USA, said, “I wish I could see every event. Ever since I was a little kid, since I watched Wide World of Sports on ABC, I always wanted to see the ski jump. I want to see someone fly down that hill, go up in the air and then land and nail it.”

Like her, I began my love affair with sports watching Jim McKay “span the globe” to bring celebrations of the human spirit into my home. It’s no wonder that I am glued to the competitions of the Olympic games, Wimbledon and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships (just to name a few) since these were all featured on that groundbreaking program. In fact, Wide World of Sports was the first to cover Wimbledon and March Madness.

So here’s to Queen Latifah and all the fans (like my friends Nate and Molly) who are in Vancouver to support our athletes. The Queen said it best, “It’s international. It’s us. It’s America. It’s the world. It’s Canada doing a great job representing their country, and giving us a great show, and welcoming us.” I’m right there with you in spirit.