stormy weather

Rained Out

Our engagement photo shoot was canceled, again. I knew the weather wasn’t going to be great but as Saturday got closer and closer, there were weather advisories out that it was going to be a truly nasty weekend. Apparently the typhoon that had been in Japan had made it’s way to Oregon and the weather reports promised 4 inches of rain and a windstorm on the day we planned on doing the photos. Awesome, huh?

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It’s kind of hard to tell but the above pictures were the wind storm and pouring rain at our house. Wish the photos could have done the storm justice, but my wind chime might illustrate it better than the trees. It was truly nasty outside. We could HEAR the wind while we were inside and I’m pretty sure our yard is now one big puddle.

Normally I’d just move the pictures inside. We had a few ideas for some indoor locations but in all honesty, I had my heart set on a few iconic Portland shots and was really disappointed that I wouldn’t be getting those pictures. So rescheduled again. The only upside to this cancellation is that maybe in a few weeks when we try again the leaves will have changed (and maybe Bella can be in the photos too!).

Friday afternoon Michael I went caterering-tasting (stay tuned!) and then got massages. It was so so so needed. We were both big knots of stress and ready to pop.┬áSelf-care, people, self-care. I hadn’t realized just how stressed out I was until 20 minutes into the massage and I fell dead asleep.

Anyway, instead of getting glammed up, we spent the weekend preparing to bring Bella home (doggy proofing things, cleaning, etc) and catching up on TV show. We finally finished the last few episodes of Dexter (not quite sure I liked it) teetering back and forth between mocking the dialogue and plot points and enjoying some of the suspense. Fat Kitty wasn’t into it either. ­čÖé

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I basically took it easy most of Saturday and Sunday. I was pretty sore from Saturday’s weight lifting session and that in combination with the nasty storm outside, didn’t make me too motivated to do much.

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Dinner Saturday night was good–an old familiar. Michael seared some scallops in brown butter and garlic and we did Brussels Sprouts with bacon and brown rice. It was around 600 calories total (plus the two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc wine I had–another 200 calories).

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Then on Sunday we met some friends for dinner. We met them at the Sunshine Tavern in SE Portland. Apparently the chef opened another popular restaurant here, Lincoln, and was also on Top Chef Masters recently.

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Michael got the burger–which according to reviews was one of their specialties. Unfortunately, he said it wasn’t the greatest burger he’s ever had. It was overdone and just nothing special. Disappointing. I ordered the pork terrine banh mi sandwich.

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The fries were superb. I don’t know if they were cooked in duck fat or something else but they were perfectly crispy, perfectly salty and excellently flavored. It was incredible. The sandwich? It was pretty good. It was a tad on the dry side but the pork belly was excellent and I liked the flavors of the veggies in it.

The space was cool — open and modern — and they had a shuffleboard in the middle of it that you could use. The restaurant had a cool vibe. I’d be willing to go back and try some other things on the menu, but overall I wasn’t wow’ed.

How was your weekend? Hope you all were drier than us!

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┬áhave 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. ­čÖé 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┬átzatziki 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?