art

A Lot

Well, I think we tried to pack in as much as we could in one weekend. Sheesh. Friday night we got home from work and frantically cleaned and prepped for friends to come over for dinner. We made nachos. Yum!

Ground turkey meat cooked with taco seasoning, then of course cheese, black olives and red onions. Our friends made guacamole (it was really good) and we ate dinner, caught up on stuff and then played Cards Against Humanity. Randomly Michael decided to call the 1-800 number for the game and it was the funniest thing ever. If you’ve never called the number, you should. It was actually worth going through the phone tree. 😉

Logan fell asleep reading his current favorite book and it was too cute not to share:

On Saturday I went to the gym and then the three of us went out to lunch before naptime. Nap time was definitely needed! A bunch of chores and errands later…it was time for Saturday dinner and another pair of friends came over. Sam and John got married in August and they came over to our place Saturday to tell us all about their amazing honeymoon to London and Paris!

They took a cooking class when they were in Paris and I am so ridiculously jealous! 🙂 It sounded amazing. Anyways, I poured us all a glass of the Sokol Blosser sparkling rose to celebrate and we had the chicken that Michael smoked.

Sam made a really delicious slaw (fennel, granny smith apples, red cabbage and carrots) –seriously so good! And I made a Trader Joe’s harvest mix–it was red quinoa, Israeli couscous and baby garbanzo beans. Then I mixed in diced green onions, chopped almonds and dried cranberries. It all went really well together.

Dinner was delicious. Dessert was freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Sunday Michael took Bella to the vet to get her stitches out. She’s thankfully feeling better and back to her normal self! While they did that, Logan and I did some art. 🙂

My brother got Logan a finger painting kit for Christmas and I figured it was a good time to test it out. He had a great time and then realized he could clap his paint-covered hands together and make splatter like Jackson Pollock. The entire kitchen had splatter. Guess who got a bath immediately afterward?

Oh my god. So dirty! It looked like a crime scene. There was paint splatter EVERYWHERE.

After that I went swimming, had lunch and then met an artist I’ve been following on instagram for awhile. Her name is Caroline Allen, you can check out her instagram or website. I drove out to her studio in the Estacada area and got to check out her space. It was really cool! She has a yurt in the woods set up as her studio. I bought a painting that she’s going to matte and frame for me. I can’t wait to pick it up and hang it at home.

Finally, for dinner Sunday night Michael did a pulled pork in the Traeger!

The pork was perfectly cooked! It tasted so good. We made pulled pork sandwiches with sweet potato “chips.”

Overall it was a good weekend, just way too busy. I hope next weekend we can find some time to chill!

Creepy Art and Biker Bars

I started my holiday weekend with a girl’s night out with my cousin Anna. We met for a happy hour at a bar near my office, had horrible food but an okay beer, and then we walked what felt like a million blocks (ok maybe it was only a few) to the Portland Art Museum. I love museums; I’ve been to the Portland Art Museum many times but I still have not seen everything there. I visited one of my favorite paintings–

"Nature's Fan" - William Adolph Bouguereau

And then we saw the photography exhibit we went there specifically for (and were disappointed by). We finished our evening with an absolutely amazing exhibit by the artist John Frame. There was also a Rothko exhibit but that didn’t hold my interest. I was blown away by the John Frame pieces. His sculptures (puppets, really) were disturbing and odd, dark and nightmarish, but also creative and sometimes cute. Words cannot fully describe just how inventive his pieces were.

He would carve out these sculptures, sometimes tiny pieces with incredible detail, and make short films of them or take photos of the creations to tell the story. It was so cool. If this exhibit travels to your city, I urge you to take a look!

Saturday morning I went to the gym to workout. I’d hoped to go for a hike but the weather was “iffy” on Saturday so the gym it was. I had a really good 3 mile run (so ready to make the move to running outside) and an intense weight lifting session that had my muscles twitching. While I am satisfied with my progress and happy that I’ve increased my strength tremendously, I’m a bit disappointed that I haven’t been seeing any physical changes yet. Perhaps I have reached a plateau with strength training and need to change things up?

After the gym, Michael and I saw “Dark Shadows.” As a teen, I watched the whole Dark Shadows TV show. I’d rented the VHS tapes from the library. 🙂 I remember it being very soap-operaish. I loved it back then. How was the movie? It was surprisingly good. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and it was much more serious than the previews made it out to be. It wasn’t as campy or silly as the previews were. In fact. we both felt like the humor about Barnabas being a “fish out of water” in a new era was very subtle. Still good and funny!

Saturday evening I met my friend Erika for dinner at Nicholas Restaurant. I’d had a Groupon deal for it and tried to use it several times but was discouraged both times by the long line waiting to be seated. There is almost always a line of at least 20 people waiting to eat at Nicholas. I don’t know about you, but that discourages me from going to a restaurant. Who wants to wait over an hour to be seated?

Luckily, Erika and I got there pretty early to avoid the crowds and the wait was about 5 minutes. The place was packed and noisy, but the service was fast. They brought the special bread out (similar to naan bread or like pita bread) with a dipping sauce while we waited for dinner. We only had about half of it before our dinners came out.

Erika and I both ordered the lamb gyros. They are my favorite at the local Lebanese restaurants I go to. My gyro came out with homemade pita chips and a tzatziki sauce. The gyro was fantastic and so filling. I don’t think I ate a ton of food but I was stuffed!

We finished up dinner and it was still early so we decided to walk up the street to the East End bar for a beer. Erika and I sat outside on the picnic table in the sunny evening catching up and drinking our beers (I had a Ninkasi Total Domination IPA). For about an hour I watched as a very black cloud slowly made it’s way in our direction. Half the sky was black and the other half was clear blue.

Suddenly I started seeing flashes of lightning in the distance. The air was still warm and I thought the storm was far away. I watched as it got closer. The lightning was more frequent, the thunder rolling in the distance. The sun had dimmed behind the clouds and those black clouds were now over us. A wind picked up and we both realized at the same time that the storm would be starting in seconds.

And it did. With booming thunder, flashing lighting, the sky opened up and it was a torrential downpour I haven’t seen in Portland since the dead of winter. It was shocking.

The metal band that had been unpacking their music equipment and bringing it into the biker bar to perform took refuge inside the doorway of the bar.

Erika and I joined the sea of black leather, army-booted, bullet-belted, long-haired metal dudes in the bar to wait out the storm. Someone commented on when the frogs would start raining down and Erika and I decided we’d order another beer to wait out the storm! It wasn’t quite the way I saw my weekend going, I would have preferred sunny skies and BBQ’s but I still had a great time.

QUESTION: How was the weather in your neck of the woods? Any grilling or camping?