Concert

Faith No More

Last week Bell and I were flying solo! Michael spent a few days in Seattle visiting his friend and going to the Faith No More show in Seattle. Bella and I went for walks in the sunshine, rolled around in the grass and cuddled on the couch. ๐Ÿ™‚

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There were only a few times where Miss B moped at the window, wondering where daddy was. ๐Ÿ˜› She was a good cuddle partner while he was gone. Then Michael got back Friday and we went to see Faith No More in Portland!

It’s his favorite band. Like of all time. They haven’t toured in like 20 years or something like that, and Michael said he skipped the last tour because he hadn’t liked that current album and he said he’d regretted skipping it all these years. I was excited to go to the concert because I’m a casual FNM fan but I’ve heard they are amazing live and I knew it would be a fun experience.

I took a half day off from work Friday and went swimming and by the time I got home Michael was back from Seattle. We got ready to go and went out for dinner before the show. We ended up at Slow Bar and got a table outside in the gorgeous sunshine.

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Michael got the happy hour fried chicken and hush puppies and I got the curry chicken salad sandwich with a salad. My sandwich was great! It was so tasty. It had onions, grapes, raisins and currants in it. I was not a fan of the herb vinaigrette salad dressing, but I still ate the salad because I was craving greens. The toasted and spicy nuts on the side were a nice addition, too.

I’d been fighting off a cold or something for a few days and it was mostly a sore throat, which sucked, so I stuck with iced tea and didn’t have anything to drink. After eating we drove downtown and met up with some friends of Michael’s. Apparently he’d run into an old high-school buddy at the Seattle show who was also seeing the show in Portland, so we met up with their group. It was funny–Michael was running into SO many people he used to know and hadn’t seen in decades. It was kind of cool.

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The show was at The Keller and it was a really nice venue for the show. The acoustics were amazing and the band sounded great live! I love it when bands sound pretty much the same as their albums live.

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We were sitting with our good friends Mike & Susanna (whom we went to Hawaii with a few years ago). They’d gotten a babysitter for their two kids and were out on a date night! It was fun hanging out with them.

So the show…they played all the biggest hits and some of the new songs, but mostly they played the favorites. I posted a few short videos on my Instagram if you want to check it out. They played a bunch of my favorites (including “Easy”) and Mike Patton pulled up a pregnant woman from the audience up on stage and danced with her while he sang it. Then he made a joke at the end of the song that he might have gotten her pregnant during that song. LOL It was pretty cute and man, what a cool story for that lady! You can see the set list here. And you can see better pictures that mine here.

One thing I was bummed about…they didn’t play “our song” in Portland (but they did play it at the Seattle show and Michael texted me about it from the mosh pit LOL). It’s “This Guy’s in Love With You” (it’s a Burt Bacharach song) and we had the song play at our wedding when we cut the cake. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Mike Patton asked the audience what food cart was the best because he wanted to get some food. ๐Ÿ˜€ And when he was in Seattle they ate at Dick’s. Of course.

I can’t get over how amazing they sounded! It was such a good show! It ended around 11pm after they did a few encores and the four of us decided to go out for a bit.

We ended up at Luc Lac downtown. It’s a super popular Vietnamese restaurant that always has a line, which is why I’ve never been. I’ve wanted to, but you know me and standing in long lines for food… ๐Ÿ˜› It was nearly midnight and the place was packed. It’s kind of a weird place–you order and pay first, get a number and your drinks, then stand around and wait for a table. There’s really no where to stand, either, so it’s kind of annoying. They have a ton of rules around eating there–you can’t order until everyone in your party is there, there’s no saving seats, etc etc.

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It’s a cute little restaurant, though. Cool wallpaper, tons of parasols on the ceiling, hip music. It’s a neat place for sure and the food was outstanding.

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Mike and Susanna shared some Pho and a steak roll and Michael and I shared two appetizers–the steak roll and the crispy vegetarian rolls. Holy cow were those crispy rolls fantastic. I could have eaten a dozen of those babies!

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I think Mike and Susanna wanted to stay out late and party since they had a babysitter and I wish we could have but both Michael and I were ready for bed! I was sick and he had been staying up late in Seattle because of the show so we left after eating. Kind of a bummer, but hopefully next time we can party. We got home around 1am. Ouch!

My Day With the Dalai Lama

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The Dalai Lama came to Portland this past weekend and I had the opportunity to go hear him speak. Michael came with me and my cousin Anna brought a few of her friends as well. I saw the Dalai Lama the last time he came to Portland (over 10 years ago) and it was one of the most compelling and memorable experiences I’ve had.

I think he arrived in Portland on Wednesday. People were abuzz. It seemed like everywhere I went for the next few days, people were talking about it! I met a friend for dinner at the Tao of Tea on Thursday and every table in the place was discussing HH The Dalai Lama and his speaking events. It made me even more excited to see him on Saturday!

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Saturday morning I got up really early to get my workout done because the event was going to last pretty much all day. Michael and I met Anna and her friends at the Coliseum and we got in the monster security line. Security was very tight, rightly so, and it took extra time to get in and get to our seats.

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There were about 10,000 people at the Coliseum to hear him speak. The first half of the day was the panel of guests, HH The Dalai Lama, Andrea Durbin (the executive director of the Oregon Environmental Council), Governor John Kitzhaber, Dr. David Suzuki, David Miller from Think Out Loud and Darren Aronofsky (he directed Black Swan).

The subject was the environment but the discussed all topics from clean air and water to politics, economic reform, religion and consumerism. What I took away from the panel discussion was that there is much more we can all do and it comes down to laziness and convenience. It definitely takes more effort to make choices that are better for the environment. For the last year or so I’ve been trying to get away from eating processed foods. That alone has reduced a lot of the waste that we have but it doesn’t get rid of all of it. There are still things I can do personally to reduce my footprint. It just takes effort.

I did realize that Michael and I both try pretty hard to do better things for the environment, health, our bodies, our home. Michael commutes by bike. I COULD take public transportation but I hate it. (I know, I know.) We grow our own vegetables, we compost, recycle. Michael keeps reminding me to turn the lights off when I leave a room (I know, I’m terrible at this). The Dalai Lama said he does his part by not taking baths. ๐Ÿ™‚ He said he takes showers (twice a day) and joked that the two shower a day habit was probably just as bad as a bath.

If you’ve never heard the Dalai Lama speak, it’s pretty surprising. He’s so down to earth and FUNNY. Seriously, he’s hilarious. I was laughing through the whole presentation. Someone asked him about his thoughts on overpopulation and the effects on the environment. His response was that “all life is precious” but that “maybe have smaller number of precious life.” It was the perfect response and got a good laugh from the crowd.

I apologize for the terrible pictures but you couldn’t bring cameras in, so iPhone it was! Our “limited view” seats actually turned out to be awesome! We were right by the side of the stage.

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He stressed that the source of happiness is not consumption, but nature and nature is not free and unlimited. We are isolated from nature these days–even to the point of havingย artificialย plants in our houses–and he said that the way to happiness was a lifestyle change. Boy did I agree with that!

Somewhere along the line, the pursuit of happiness that all Americans expect became the pursuit of money and success. The result of this is less family time, less community involvement, less time in nature. When we’re on our deathbed, we won’t be thinking about a closet full of fancy clothes or what possessions we may own, we’ll be thinking about our family, friends and memories. Thatย is wealth.

He then said something that was pretty powerful for me. He reminded us all that Buddha was not born in a castle. He was born under a tree. And he didn’t find enlightenment in aย monastery, but under a tree once again. So much of our history is tied into our nomadic ancestors that traveled around the world according to the seasons and what food they could find in season. Sure we’ve made progress and can go to the grocery store any time of the day or night, but I think something is getting lost in that convenience. I think that we’re out of touch with where our food comes from, what is healthy, how the body should work for it’s food and what happiness is as a result.

The conference broke for lunch and we had two hours before the second half started. The five of us ended up walking to the Queen of Sheba Ethiopian restaurant, which wasn’t too far from the venue.

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It’s one of my favorite Portland restaurants and it’s been way too long since I’ve been there. We ordered: mustard greens, chickpea stew, a vegetarian dish with potatoes, cabbage and carrots, lamb in a spicy Berbere sauce, chicken in a curry sauce, spicy beef tips and one other vegetarian dish I can’t remember now. We ate it with the injera bread and pretty much devoured everything like a pack of wild dogs.

We left the restaurant with satisfied bellies and walked back to the Coliseum. It was hot out, about 87 degrees, and the sun felt nice.

When the conference resumed, the Dalai Lama was presented with some Portland swag by the Portland Trailblazers. He joked that he had “no use for the jersey” but that he loved the hat and he wore it the rest of the day!

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The afternoon portion was just the Dalai Lama speaking to the crowd. There was no panel, it was just him and his translator who would pipe in once in awhile if HH couldn’t think of the word he was trying to say.

What I love most about the Dalai Lama is that he’s very grounded and realistic. He doesn’t have that “out of touch” kind of view that a lot of important people tend to have. Even our managers at work can be out of touch with the reality and the practice of day to day life and doings. How many of us have come across someone of importance who just seemed clueless about reality? Yeah, the Dalai Lama is not like that. “Buddhist practice is based on reality,” he said. “Reality teaches us. Ultimately, we are part of nature.” He also said that the solution to fixing theย environmentย issues was NOT prayer, but education. Education was his answer to a lot of issues people brought up.

The conference was drawing to a close. Before HH The Dalai Lama left, though, he gave everyone a gift. We’d all received a rolled up scarf when we got back from lunch. He told us all to stand up and we put the scarf on. He explained that the Khata scarfย was a blessing and a gift that symbolized unity and compassion and to symbolize that we are all one.

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There was something truly amazing and emotional about 10,000 people putting on a Tibetan prayer khata and being blessed by the Dalai Lama. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I’m so glad I was able to see him again.

The conference was over and …. totally bizarre…. the Red Hot Chili Peppers played a concert after the Dalai Lama left. I wish they’d explained how the RHCP happened to go on tour with his Holiness, because it was totally odd. But the Chili Peppers were pretty darn good live! I’ve never seen them live, I was a big fan when I was 15 years old but haven’t been lately, and I enjoyed the show.

The rest of the day will be in another post. Sorry if this ended up being a super heavy post for a Monday!