Sunday, September 09, 2007

Summer Weekend

This weekend has been just the right mix of relaxing, socializing and squeezing the last juicy bits out of the summer. Saturday we biked to the Equinox for a scrumptious breakfast with T & L. After that, it was off to northwest for a quick stop at the picnic put on by Jess's coworkers. I got to meet her boss, who thinks we're insane for riding around Crater Lake, having visited just after we did. And there were a number of cute babies from one month to one year. We spent some time chasing after the one year old, who had just learned to walk and got some baby cheek and baby tummy--always a delicacy.

We had a nice built in excuse to leave early, since we had to report for volunteer duty at the Bike Film Festival. We're attempting to start doing more stuff on-the-cheap and I have a feeling we'll be doing a lot of volunteering this winter. We showed up for our bike parking shift, but there was a surplus of volunteers and not a lot of bikes, so Nate invited us to go in and watch the 1:00 show. We saw a series of short, amusing films and two longer films about people collecting bikes to send to villages in Africa, where simple two-wheeled transportation can radically change the quality of life.

When our program was over we checked back in, but the bike parking was still under control so we helped out with Will Call and selling tickets during the brief rush before program 5. The volunteer coordinator gave us free popcorn and we got an unexpected $1.50 in tips! Then we went back in to watch the film I really wanted to see which was Klunkerz. It's a documentary of the origins of mountain biking, invented unknowingly by crazy guys and one girl in Marin county who kept modifying old bike frames from the 30's to ride down Mt Tamalpais. It was interesting to see the development, especially since I've been recently converted into a MTB enthusiast. Jess just kept saying throughout the movie, "Don't get any ideas."

After the movie, we had some time to kill before meeting up with T, another friend of Jess's and T's girlfriend for dinner. We used the time to walk up and down 21st and scout out possible places to eat. We actually managed to find a few reasonably priced options. NW is such an eclectic mix of bohemian hipp and upscale urbanite that it makes for great people watching.

As we passed by the Blue Moon bar, a guy yelled out to me, "Hey, you were singing that time!"

"Which time?" I asked. Well, it turns out he was one of the three people going by 200 Market St last week when I sat in with Steph. He complimented me, then proceeded to hit on both of us and invite us to join him for a beer. We're pretty sure he was hoping for a threesome and hastily excused ourselves and kept walking. From then on, I kept making reference to my 'adoring fan.'

Further down the street we saw this VW Bug with a green house built into the side, a bathtub strapped on the front, a bed on top and a bike strapped to the back. It was just. so. Portland. Click the photo to see more close up pictures.

We had a nice Indian dinner at Swagats, with T & D, despite a few stories that took me down flashback lane. D is also a nurse and shared a lot of work stories, including a woman who came in because of a fall, but eventually it came out that she has breast cancer that has come back and spread to her lungs and liver. "When the doctor said he'd check it in three months, she and the family just nodded as if that made perfect sense, but she'll probably be dead by then. There was just this total..."

"Denial?" I put in. "Yeah, I'm familiar." Which necessitated an explanation and I was surprised how calm I was. After that D & Jess took off sharing work gripes about nursing in general and their hospital system in particular. I told T, we're obviously going to have to figure out what we have in common so we'll have something to talk about when our girls go off on a rant.

It was just getting dark and the evening temperature was perfect for our uphill ride home, which we took at a leisurely pace and then spent the evening watching the rest of our season two episodes of Weeds.

Today we headed down to the Muddy Boot organic festival to see Dirty Martini and Stolen Sweets perform. It was a Lara double feature as she traded her guitar for a microphone and came right back on stage for her set with the Sweets. We haven't seen them in a while and they're still in fine form. They're gearing up for a European tour next March and I'm sooo jealous. We toured the booths and saw all kinds of sustainable practices from water purifiers to earth floors, organic produce delivery, cargo bikes and more. The festival strived to be a no-waste event. Compost and recycle bins were staffed by volunteers to make sure things went in the right bins and every material used by vendors was made of recycled materials, right down to the spoons and cups made of corn starch. I love Portland.

As the Sweets wrapped up their set, I turned to Jess. "Well baby, what do you want to do after this?"

"Oh, just look around a bit and take off. What do you want to do?"


"It's really hot today."

She started to laugh. "Which ice cream shop are you wanting to visit today?"

Yeah, I've been an open book in this relationship since about the third week. So we left and climbed the hill up Harrison ever so slowly in our granny gear at 4 mph. The reward was Cold Stone ice cream. I went for something new and tried the 'All lovin', no oven' combo which included cake batter ice cream, cookie dough and whip cream. Man, was it good.

The heat and the wind, which had been relentless all day, totally sapped us. We took our time pedaling home and then napped on the couch for a while, then grilled chopped veggies and corn on the cob on the back deck.

Tomorrow: fence building: part 2.

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