Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Things

Spring has sprung. Nothing big or crazy has happened lately, but there have been lots of little things, and I have pictures of some of those moments. First off, my friend Sam got some baby chickens and they are so cute. Also, shout out to Sam for being an awesome lady and an awesome friend. 

Next up, I got a haircut. Also, Falling Sky turned two years old. We live across the street from this gastropub and they're pretty awesome neighbors. Good beer, good food, and the entire waitstaff is so nice. Also I won this UO shirt at trivia night on campus. It's pretty much the only piece of school spirit that I own. I'm not one for school spirit really (I'm fairly critical of the sports culture that goes on here at UO) but I'm all for free clothing and I'm all for trivia. My trivia team wins every time (well, we got second once because we lost the tie break for first) and it's something I look forward to every month.        

Paul and I went snowshoe camping for part of our spring break. It was 50% good and 50% horrible. The hike to the camp site was beautiful and sunny. We had a fire, we ate soup and trail mix, I read a book, I got to use an ax to try and chop some wood, and we were surrounded by some pretty extreme natural beauty. But we were in a three walled open shelter. It was below freezing. I strained my hip flexor muscle snowshoeing, so the two hour hike back to the car the next day was excruciating, and I woke up in the middle of the night crying hysterically and inconsolably that a Ted Bundy-esque serial killer was going to kill us. I think I also had a fever. It was an interesting start to spring break.

It was beautiful though. And the snowshoeing itself provided a hardcore workout. I was under the impression it was relaxing. Snowshoeing was not relaxing. Snowshoeing was sweaty. But at least I got to feel like I was on spring break and wear a tanktop for about five minutes when we got to the shelter before reality set in. Also, check out my awesome snow bib Paul got me for my birthday. I was so excited to have an opportunity to wear it. 

This was a bit of a random post, so I'll conclude with some random tidbits of the last month. 

1. Joey: what an interesting beast she's turning out to be. She's affectionate, feisty, moody, and a total drama queen. One of her favorite things to do is follow me whenever I get up, bite my ankle, and then throw herself on the ground in front of me, purring. In these pictures, she's preparing to attack the camera. You can see her power stance, with the one paw in the air. 

2. One of my favorite memories of March: it was a sunny day and we had nothing to do so Paul and I got some burritos to go from a kind of sketchy 24 hour Mexican food place, grabbed a blanket, and had a picnic at the park a few blocks away. It was fast and cheap date, and right up my alley. 

3. Paul and I brewed a new beer, and I've designed its label. I'll have to do a whole blog post about the beer making/bottling/labeling process because it's super rewarding. The labeling is the most fun for me. In another life I would be a graphic designer/product designer. On the topic of design, I'm also working on a few biological illustration pieces to be sold at auction at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists conference in Calgary in a few weeks. So that's pretty exciting. I'm going to make myself some business cards. Maybe a career in design isn't so far off after all.  

4. I made my own moisturizer out of essential oils and I've become really nerdy about natural DIY skincare. I'm kind of a hippie, although that's really not new. 

5. I'm a TV addict, which is also nothing new. Lately I've been loving The X-Files, Twin Peaks, and Hannibal. And I wonder why I woke up crying about serial killers when sleeping in the woods?   

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Twenty Two

Yesterday I turned 22 years old. My birthday kind of snuck up on me! But it happened, and it was low key, and it was just right. I spent most of the day in the kitchen. I'm very cheap so I used what I had on hand and I baked for myself instead of buying something at the store. I made chocolate cinnamon beer cake with peanut butter buttercream, and then I made blueberry goat cheese ice cream. I was going for an " adult peanut butter and jelly sandwich" theme. 

When Paul got home in the afternoon, he took me out for an early Thai dinner. There was a kid in the booth next to us who got an ice cream scoop with a candle in it, and I made Paul ask the waiter if free birthday ice cream was just for kids. It wasn't, and I also received an ice cream scoop. It was taro root ice cream, and it was fantastic. Then later in the evening, some friends came over and ate the treats and played Apples to Apples. All in all, pretty mellow. But I'm pretty mellow. But I saw my friends, I ate lots of ice cream, I got to wear my new dress, and I'm another year older, so that's pretty good in my book.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Almost every morning Paul and I drink our coffee together. It's nice to have daily routines. Some days we wake up, drink coffee, make smoothies, and do a 10 minute yoga video. Some days we drink coffee on the couch and chat, like we did today. And today I pulled a book off the shelf called 500 Cupcakes. I used to blog about baking a lot. These days I'm still baking a lot, but I blog less and I always have nighttime sweets cravings, and in the winter time, this means terrible terrible lighting for pictures. But today I pulled the book off the shelf, settled on a mixed berry crumble muffin, turned it into a cake, added an orange juice glaze, and we had ourselves some brunch.

The cake turned out amazing. Paul said it's one of the best things I've ever made. But admittedly he says that almost every time I bake. I just like sweet things and will not settle for baking sub par sweet things. Because I made brunch cake, Paul made me brunch tacos. Tacos have been one of our favorite meals since we came back to Mexico. We make them at least twice a week, although we never used to. Before Mexico, my image of a taco was something filled with shredded lettuce and pico de gallo, kind of white washed and not all that interesting. But this could not be further from the truth of the Mexican taco. Tacos there were creative, simple, and full of vegetables. One of my favorites we had there was a simple corn tortilla filled with caramelized carrots. So good! So simple! So that's kind of what Paul did, with some fried garlic and lots of cheese, of course. 

Joey likes brunch too. If we're sitting at the kitchen table, she's sitting on the kitchen table. If we're sitting on the couch, she's on the coffee table. If I'm at home doing work, you can bet she's napping at my feet. She's my little fluffy shadow and she's turning out to be quite the interesting little cat. Well, big cat. Remember, when we rescued her, she was just a pound. Anyway, brunch is good, Joey is good, Paul is good, and I've been good lately, too.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bend, Oregon

For my Christmas present, Paul promised me a weekend trip to Bend. The last three days have been filled with car troubles, mountains, snow, beer, and donuts. Just your typical road trip, really. We started out at 6am on Friday with a flat tire (it had been stabbed). Then we had engine troubles, but we finally got to Bend four hours later than expected. 

We stayed at the Old St. Francis McMenamins, which is a historic hotel in an old Catholic school house. It was really lovely. On the property there were several pubs, the main hotel, a few big guest houses, a small "living room" style movie theater, and a fantastic soaking tub. The soaking room was tiled, floor to ceiling in all shades of blue. There was a giant fountain in the middle of the pool which was directly beneath an open roof. All of the fog you see in the picture is actual fog from the 19 degree Bend morning at 7am. But the water was hot, and it was a strange/good sensation. 

Our weekend was pretty action packed. On Friday, we just had a heck of a time getting there. On Saturday we went inner tubing and then drove two hours away to see the Painted Hills. Finally on Sunday, we went snowboarding (my third time ever, and very successfully) and then drove home through a bit of a snow storm! In between activities, we were eating and drinking our way through Bend. One of our favorite stops (visited twice) was a food cart called Glazed and Confused, which created made to order donuts the size of your face. This was called the Fluffanut (ordered twice) and had peanut butter, honey, crushed Nilla wafers, and toasted marshmallow fluff.

We tried to complete the Bend Ale Trail, which is where you try a beer at every Bend brewery to get a prize. We didn't make it to all 12 breweries, but we hit our fair share. Our favorite by far was Crux Fermentation Project. They make the best beer I've ever had, and one of the greatest sandwiches I've ever had, too. They were also very, very good at making barrels into other things, like tables and this sampler tray. 

Food and beer aside, we had a great time at the Painted Hills. They are an unusual natural phenomenon two hours outside of Bend in the John Day Fossil Beds. They're all different colors! The colors were just as vibrant in person as I'd seen in pictures on the internet! 

Paul gets an A+ in Christmas present giving. He knows just what I like.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Spencer Butte Done Right

So far 2014 has been absolutely lovely. Paul and I have been waking up early everyday, doing yoga, and making smoothies. Who are we? I know the whole "new year, new you" thing is a total social construction, but man that stuff can be powerful. To go along with the "new us," Paul and I have been social recently. We have dinner with friends. We make plans. I had a girl's day where a friend and I went shopping and rented books from the library about taxidermy. And today we went hiking with the same group of friends we played king's cup with last night. It's almost as if Paul and I are normal 21-year-olds.   

Today we hiked Spencer Butte. The last time we did that, we did it wrong. We biked there, which is not wrong, because there is a nice path which exists that takes you all the way out there. We did not know this and instead biked up Willamette Street to get there, which goes straight uphill the entire time for 15 miles, meaning we walked our bikes uphill in the scorching summer heat for 15 miles, before we hiked up a giant mountain. At the end of the day I was impressed with the amount of abuse my body could take, but it was pretty awful. Today we drove and it was pretty wonderful. 

There were about 478473894392 people on the top of the butte today because it was so sunny you could wear a t-shirt in January on a mountain. I'm not sure what else 2014 has in store, but I like it so far.

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Rewind

This year has been really good to me, and I thought I'd recap some of my favorite moments. In 2013 Paul and I fell even more in love with Eugene. Downtown was revitalized. Red Wagon opened a shop. We found new murals, and I don't think we ever missed a farmer's market.

In 2013 I turned 21. I got glasses. I fell in love with beer, and I learned how to make it. 

During spring break we went to the beach. I took a nap. And Paul turned me into art.

We went to Sasquatch, and I saw Andrew Bird. He was beautiful.

The weekend before I graduated we went camping at Crater Lake. It was my first time, and it was beautiful.

Speaking of graduating, I graduated college cum laude in three years with a major in Comparative Literature and minors in Spanish and Creative Writing with a focus on poetry. I'm pretty proud of that. 

In 2013 we adopted a feral kitten, named her Joey, and she changed our lives.

We took a road trip to San Francisco.

I saw a cow and was so happy.

In 2013 I found my calling. I started working in the Primate Osteology Lab. I spent a lot of time around bones. I applied to grad schools to get my PhD in Biological Anthropology. It was scary. But I also made some great pies.

This was a year of snow that Eugene didn't know what to do with.

And to top it off, I went to Mexico for the first time and saw lots of whales and it was the best thing ever. Yep. This year was pretty great. Top that, 2014.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sayulita, Mexico Part 3

Towards the end of the trip, Paul and Ian went on a hike and saw this iguana. Apparently it was huge! Paul took my camera with him and wanted to surprise me with the iguana picture from the end of the hike. But he forgot when you turn on the camera to view the pictures, the most recent picture pops up first. Surprise ruined! Also, one time after coming back from surfing, before telling me about the waves, Paul first told me about all of the cute dead puffer fish he saw, because Paul knows me very well. This trip was jam packed with all sorts of animals: two geckos, a frog, WHALES, and about a million peopleless beach dogs that just broke my heart. 

On his hike, Paul also saw some nature art! I'm not one for defacing rocks and trees unless it looks really cool, and admittedly these look really cool. The last few days of Mexico were great. Smoothies! Empanadas! Buying handmade blankets! Fireworks on the beach! Making friends with beach dogs and being secretly ecstatic when they follow you around town! 

On one of our last days, my friend Willie, who was also coincidentally in Mexico one or two towns up from us, came and joined us for brunch and then beers on the beach! Willie and I did the Kidd Tutorial for poetry together and now he's in grad school for poetry because he's awesome and can write really good poems about dead things, which is my favorite kind of poem. 

I also love this puffer fish because he's just the cutest thing.