So Paul bought a car on Friday. It's a Suzuki Swift. It has a funny little decal on the side. Now we can go camping, go to the beach, go on road trips, and visit farms way out in the middle of nowhere.
It was Paul's 21st birthday on Thursday and we've had quite the weekend since then. For his birthday I got him a beer brewing kit put together by our favorite brewery/restaurant, Falling Sky. It included this glass barrel, and Paul was very pleased. It will be nice to be able to make beers from scratch to our liking!
As usual, we've been pretty into making things lately. Paul has been brewing dandelion wine for the past couple of weeks, and we finally thought it was good enough to bottle and distribute among family members. The general consensus is that it is very cute, but also very very sweet. We will work on the sweetness.
But it is very cute. I designed the labels and glued them on some recycled bottles. We used a "capper" from the beer brewing kit plus some bottle caps I had in my craft supply collection to make these professional little bottles. It's a bummer the bottles aren't clear, because the dandelion wine is the craziest neon yellow color.
I like Paul. I like him a whole lot. And making things with him is my favorite thing in the whole world. We have a good thing going, but we're not your average college students. We don't really party. Our version of a crazy night out is making (and eating) a batch of cookies and watching something on Netflix while maybe splitting a beer. While we may not be running down the street at night screaming "YOLO" I think we know how to have a good time. And just because we don't go out much doesn't mean we don't like a good beer, and I'm excited to make some ourselves.
Although this weekend things got a little crazy. We went up to Portland and Paul's whole family (including some who flew in from Texas) joined us for a night on the Brewcycle. It fits 14 people, they provide you with a driver, and from the power of the pedals, you hit up some of Portland's greatest breweries. You don't drink on the bike, but you stop at each brewery for about 20 minutes and then hop back on. It was a total blast.
And here's a (blurry) picture of the whole crew. It was a perfect night. We went to Lucky Lab, Rogue, and Bridgeport. It was in the high seventies, low eighties, and while that was a little hot for me, it was perfect for an event like this. After we finished the bike, we walked back to Bridgeport Brewery for some dinner, and besides a ridiculous squash and truffle oil pizza, Paul and I split a giant bowl of mac and cheese with a kettle chip crust. That's right, a crust made of smashed kettle chips. And by nine thirty, it was still warm enough to walk back to Paul's parents' condo in just a t-shirt.
Well this post is certainly a long time coming. As it turns out, the last term of my last year of college has been pretty busy. It's not exactly that I haven't been doing anything interesting, because I do have about two weeks worth of pictures to share today, but school and work have dominated and I haven't been doing anything that interesting. This first picture is a block from my house on the side of an insurance agency and faces the parking lot of a Mexican fast food place. This situation is quintessentially Eugene.
These next few pictures are from an evening walk that Paul and I took a little bit ago when we were too restless to do homework. I never tire of murals, so we obviously had to stop by this one. It's on the side of a restaurant that's a converted house in the middle of a neighborhood, and although we've never eaten there, it's pretty cute.
Now I'll give you some random updates on my life. I just finished a paper I've been working on all year that will be published and that I'm going to present at a conference this month. It's about my all-time favorite book, The God of Small Things. Paul will turn 21 this week and that makes me excited because when we go to Falling Sky, he can order his own beer instead of sneakily taking sips of mine. I am thankful for some lovely ladies in my life and am excited to graduate in our tiny Comparative Literature group alongside them. It's seriously tiny though. There are maybe 12 or 13 people graduating from UO with a major in Comparative Literature out of almost 21,000 undergrads.
In other news, Red Wagon and Party Downtown open May 7th on 55 West Broadway for anyone who's in the area and wants to experience the best food/ice cream in the whole world. I'm pretty excited. If you can't tell. Here's an article about the new place and the picture was taken on the ice cream side of the restaurant aka where I'm going to be spending my summer. We also scoop at the farmer's market and we've sold out all three weeks of the "summer" market so far. I'm excited/nervous/terrified/thrilled about how busy it's going to be once the storefront actually opens, so we'll see how that goes next week.
And here are some eggs. They come from the chickens belonging to Olivia, one of the aforementioned lovely Comparative Literature ladies. She's awesome. She's in a band. Her chickens lay blue eggs. Unfortunately the day before we got the eggs one of her chickens was killed by a raccoon. Raccoons are sneaky and scary. But these eggs were delicious.
If I haven't mentioned it already, Paul and I are big fans of Parks and Rec. We love that show. We love everything about it. And so I'm a believer of the ideology "treat yo self." That's kind of a lie, because I'm a giant cheapo and hardly ever treat myself to stuff that I want just because I want it. But considering I'm graduating college and everything is very stressful, I treated myself recently. First I bought these handmade dichroic glass earrings from Etsy. The stuff in that shop is beautiful and I really like these earrings. I was giddy when they arrived this morning in the mail. Also I bought myself a little succulent from the farmer's market because it makes me happy. Paul named him Frodo because this particular kind of succulent is known as "the hobbit." I also got myself these pair of Cheetos colored Keds because I thought they would be a practical ice cream scooping summer shoe. Also I like them and Keds does free shipping, so I couldn't say no.
It's been an extremely scatterbrained update, but that's how I'm feeling. Everything has been good, and if anything has been bad, it hasn't been that bad. The bad things are that I'm currently slightly sick and will probably go to the doctors tomorrow, but I think I'm okay. I am also nervous for it to be getting so hot. My phone says that this week will reach 82 degrees, which to be honest is about 10-15 degrees hotter than I like. I know everyone in the whole world looks forward to summer, and I was Ms. Grumpypants all winter biking around in 28 degree weather, but I'm very picky. I hate being cold, but I hate being hot. If this is my biggest complaint, life can't really be that bad.
I promise I haven't given up blogging, but the first two weeks of this term have taken me by surprise. I have homework, I had to buy my cap and gown a few days ago, and everything is going by so quickly that I haven't taken pictures of anything! But I am back. And some exciting things are happening.
Firstly, Paul and I have started quite the little urban farm around our flat. There are bunches of garlic, cilantro, lettuce, artichokes, and tomatoes on our roof top. And we have some pea plants that are already curling and grabbing for anything in reach. I also have some ceramic bunnies that I made last term that crack me up a little bit because they're so grumpy, so they are good friends for the pea plant.
We also started seed sprouts for cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, and basil in egg cartons and the cauliflower sprouted through the soil this morning! Paul also made this skateboard from scratch. But it's really a penny board because it's tiny. But to be honest it's even pretty tiny for a penny board. It's almost exactly the size of Paul's foot. I promise it looked prettier earlier, but within five minutes of riding it, he cracked it, glued it, and covered it in rubber bands. He's convinced it's wonderful. I'm glad he hasn't broken any bones. Yet.
I also dyed my hair! It's a nice penny color and perfect for spring.
Life's been pretty good around here. The summer farmer's market started last week. Red Wagon and Party Cart open their downtown store in less than a month. Paul turns 21 in less than a month and we are going to Portland to do the BrewCycle. I am graduating really soon. I'm taking three Spanish classes this term and it's surprisingly not completely overwhelming. I have a penny colored head, and I can't complain.
Although we were just at the beautiful Oregon coast two days ago, Paul and I were itching to get outside again. So today we took a little hike through Forest Park in Portland. At a fork in the trail there was this two story stone house thing. It's difficult to describe, but it very specifically reminds me of the the place in The Fellowship of the Ring where Boromir teaches Merry and Pippin to sword fight!
Speaking of The Lord of Rings, check out this New Zealand-esque field. Have I mentioned recently how much I love Oregon? Because I really do. You can't help but frolic in fields like these.
Today Paul and I went to the Oregon coast. It was beautiful, and we had so much fun. We got a nice and early start and ate breakfast at Camp 18, an old logging museum about 20 minutes from Canon Beach. By logging museum, they basically mean that there's a bunch of giant old logging equipment strewn about the property that you can explore and then they have a restaurant that serves giant cinnamon rolls. By giant I mean that our roll was as big as my face and it came with a steak knife. I liked it, and I don't even really like cinnamon rolls.
Then we were off to the beach! It was a beautiful day: in the sixties, sunny, and barely windy enough to fly a kite. We tried to fly my dinosaur kite, and were less than successful, but I managed to get a shot of Paul keeping it more than 6 feet off the sand with Haystack Rock in the background to boot!
I also gave Haystack Rock a head massage and managed to get in a few cartwheels. You can tell I was an Irish Dancer growing up; check out my pointed toes.
Then I took a quick nap by accident and when I woke up, Paul had decorated the sand around me and was documenting his masterpiece. When I got up out of my burrito-style blanket contraption, it looked like a weird giant thumbprint surrounding a coffin. A masterpiece, to be sure. Then we went to Hug Point, another beach a few miles down to search for tide pools. At first I found some barnacles and clams, and that was pretty exciting.
Then we found a cave that's entrance was blocked off by the tide when we tried to explore earlier. It was wet, full of echoes, and made me extremely claustrophobic. But it had such pretty walls, so that was pretty exciting.
And then we found starfish, and that was the most exciting of all! I had been hoping I'd see starfish all day and these guys didn't disappoint.
All in all, it was one long, wonderful day. We're lucky that from Portland, Canon Beach is only 1.5 hours away. This was probably the most "Spring Break" thing we will do all Spring Break, and I'm glad we took a little day trip to see the coast. Oregon is the most beautiful place I've ever seen and I think about how happy I am here almost every day.
See how much I love Oregon? I am totally peaceful in her sandy, circle hugs.
Things have been really good recently. Well, not all good because next week is finals week and school is a little insane right now. But outside of school, everything is good. First off, it's been nice outside! I biked home in just a t-shirt today. And a couple of weeks ago Paul and I scored some awesome stuff at Goodwill, including Chaco sandals for me (which retail for $100) for only $3.99.
Things have also been good lately for Eugene. Party Cart and Red Wagon are making some serious progress on the new restaurant. This past Sunday Paul and I spent seven or eight hours at the site stripping the old wood floors of glue so they can be recycled and put on the new bar. While Paul did heavy labor the whole time, I got to help make tiles for the bathroom floors out of pennies. As it turns out, tiling two bathrooms with pennies requires a lot of pennies. But it's going to look awesome. Party Cart also just came out with a new t-shirt which Paul bought right away. It's the tiny biscuits, honey butter, and bacon version of "The Great Wave." It's pretty cool. Also, a new cupcake shop just opened downtown called Larry's Cupcakes. It's run by a super cute couple who moved here from Ashland. They've only been open a week, but when we were there, they were already serving repeat customers. Downtown Eugene is going through a major revitalization and it's awesome.
Also I like this funky little gravel alley behind our house. The giant puddles never go away. I'm pretty sure the bright green building at the far right is a secret club. I always see teenagers walk back from that direction in the middle of the night and one time I saw a bouncer out front. I'm about to go write a couple of big essays, but life is pretty good right now and I can't complain.