Oregon

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Good Friday afternoon to you, dear reader! How are you? I’ve got a belly full of dried cherries and am thusly content. Have I ever told you that cherries are my favorite fruit? Well, here we are again if I have. Yup,yup.

This was yesterday, happily eating a late lunch at The Sudra, just me and the kind and lovely-eyed guy behind the counter, which is how I like it. The sun was bright, the music was right, and the food topped it all (the small Chickpea Cutlet plate, vegan AND delicious). I could have stayed all afternoon, but I had things to do, itches to scratch.

First of which was calling my dad to wish him happy birthday! We rambled and ambled over a myriad of topics (books. history. movies. space travel), and oddly enough, spoke 1:16! On 1.16! Insert weeeird sound effect here.

I then grabbed my latest book, Philip K. Dick’s collected stories, The King of the Elves, intending to spend time before I picked the hubster up for date night. I parked and locked the car, but only made it ten feet before a little voice said, “Take pictures instead.” So I started for the West Hills to chase the light. I made it twenty blocks and was enveloped by a swift moving fog. There went that idea!

And then, I thought, the Pittock Mansion!

I arrived in time for sunset and a cinematic sweeping of fog.

The city below

utterly

and completely

shrouded!

Magic!

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friend

Ever grateful to be surrounded by kind, generous, loving, fun, and funny people I so admire. We fill our time immersed in the beautifully mundane, like sipping hot cider and smoothies, dreaming, shopping, and texting. We spend mornings together in sunlit offices, some thousand miles apart. We walk and ride and chat, on bikes and in cars. We eat, gape, and sigh. But, best of all, we share the finest, most vulnerable and tender parts of ourselves. It’s not just friendship, it’s love.

birds

table

Thanksgiving feast for two, complete with our first successful batch of home made hard cider from our own apples. Woot!!

Awaiting “breakfast for dinner” with friends. The fabulous cloth is vintage and from my Grandma, and the tall crystal glasses (used for smoothies!) inherited from the hubster’s family.

basement

out and about

The bottom photo was taken at Stickers, one of our long-time favorite restaurants. They have, hands down, the best scallion cakes, kung pao chicken, and bulgogi beef the hubster and I have ever tasted, and believe me, we’ve tried plenty. It’s cozy and fantastically decorated, too, with a friendly staff and quick kitchen. Since it is neither new nor trendy, we’ve never had to wait for a table — in other words, the best of the best!

L I G H T !

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Continuing my love affair with the Saint John’s Bridge…

and this city!

Warming up at the James John Cafe. Go for a wee biscuit and gravy! Mmm…

Happy 91st Birthday to you, Grandma! I love you…

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At the lovingly restored Hollywood Theatre to watch Enough Said a week ago this evening. For those not in the know, it was James Gandolfini’s final role, as a divorced father finding love again with Julia Louis Dreyfus. It’s one fantastic fil-um, mostly for the fact that it feels so real. These are flawed characters laid bare, beautiful, and funny, hoping for more than a glimpse of lasting love. See it!

The following day we gamboled around downtown, in eager anticipation of that evening’s show at the Crystal Ballroom. We enjoyed a super supper at Ristorante Roma, a postage stamp of a place lifted straight from twenty year old honeymoon memories, sweet sigh. Sadly no pictures were taken, as we wandered off the street and they squeezed us in between reservations. It was our job to eat, and so we did, the highlight a shaved fennel and orange salad. My gosh, FENNEL!

So that we might linger a bit and try another new-to-us place, we had dessert at Cheryl’s on 12th. For Denverites, it is highly reminiscent of The Market on Larimer, a tad smaller and lacking the patina of age. With cakes, candy, coffee, and deli cases chockablock with every manner of delicious looking food, it is a gem. We chose a Las Vegas Tuxedo cake and steaming lattes and were not disappointed, not at all.

That’s Laura Mvula singing in the second photo, and our initial reason for wanting to see the show. I discovered her this summer (this is the song that really did it for me), singing my praises to just about anyone that would listen. Then, when we looked to see if she would be traveling to our neck of the woods, I was beyond delighted to learn that she would be touring with Iron & Wine! Kismet!

And now, a blog intermission for a “Parent of the Year” award. Not only did this sweet boy get to hear Laura and Sam sing without ear protection at high decibels well past any reasonable bed time, he also got a contact high from the cute kids smoking pot right next to him. Huzzah!

And then there was Sam. Funny and genuine and so marvelously talented, the man blows my mind. He had this terrific rapport with the audience, too, asking us what we’d like to hear, chatting about beards and laziness and life. I think he spied the cute boy, too, because he recommended ears be covered during a song with more than one fuck in it. “It seemed like a good idea at the time,” he said.

Iron & Wine is generally known for a pared down sound, but for his latest album and tour, he went big, complete with this very tall trumpeter and a couple more on the saxophone. He did completely new arrangements to old favorites, too, which was a lot of fun. Gosh, I think I am gushing. It’s what I do when excited.

And then it was good night, and we went home happy.

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Tuesday

Tuesday was a good day. My friend Susan was feeling under the weather, so I chauffeured her to the DMV, where we discussed life, the horrid power of migraines, and chuckled about the inefficiencies and oddities of government offices, the people you don’t seem to see anywhere else. Then it was off to my favorite Indian place for lunch. I was reminded of the best signs of a fine friendship. No need for the fancy or the complicated. Let’s go to the DMV or the supermarket or sit on the front stoop and chat, the rest doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t.

After that, I wandered downtown, keen on finding the QUIN candy shop. It is tucked into Union Way (blink and you might miss it), which is reminiscent of a European style shopping arcade and very, very cool. The shop is about the size of my bathroom, but is jam packed with yumminess, nearly all of it made with locally sourced ingredients just blocks away, and without anything wince inducing like artificial flavors or corn syrup.  I had a grand time tasting and chatting with Caleb (Kaleb?), a most dapper and kind salesman if ever there was. I came home with out of this world Cherry Cola Gumdrops (a lot like gummies), Best of Oregon Caramels, and a chocolate bar with port wine in it. I love port wine!

To top it off, the hubster and I had dinner at Kelly’s Olympian, chockablock with neon!

A very fine day, indeed. Hoping the weekend is equally stellar for us all…

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