Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thai one on...

Today has been a series of ups and downs. This morning I had the great pleasure to talk architecture with a reporter from the Austin-American Statesman working on a story about a building I wrote a National Register nomination for eight years ago. He found my name through my blog so that was cool. Not cool was getting to the confrence 10 minutes early, only to find 1) that almost all of the breakfast food was gone and 2) that both the sessions I was interested in were full. Portland has a strict policy that if a breakout room is full there is no standing room..I ended up coming back to the room and worked on some emails and course stuff. I tried to go to the second session of the morning only to be foiled again.. Full...

At 2:00 central I gave a long-distance lecture to my tourism class using a webcam. That worked out pretty well, and I had just enough time to catch lunch at the conference..WRoNG! They were out of lunches when I got there. They were about 50 short.. talk about mutiny. There is nothing so bad as 5o interpreters who are hungry and waiting on food...I finally was able to eat and did actually get to attend a pretty good session over technology and interpretation- using iphones, gps, and ipods to do tours at museums and nature sites.

Afterwards I met up with my good pals from High School and got to hang out at their awesome home. The highlight was a fabulous 4 course meal at a rocking Thai place. Pad Thai, Drunken Noodle, Tom Kha soup and spring good company and the most adorable little boys ever..

Unfortunately as the evening has worn on, I am working on a raging sore throat and earache..I'm hoping that it will be gone by morning..I've got a bookstore and a whole street full of vintage clothing shops calling my name.

It's a new day

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and best of all- I'm going to get to see Kealy this weekend! Woo-HOO!!

I had a hard time sleeping last night because I kept thinking of all those books.. just sitting in that enormous bookstore, calling my name. I'm taking a tour of Portland's China town tomorrow, but hopefully I can steal away for a few more hours at Powell's. It must be love...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I'm here in Portland, and guess what? It's raining! Last night, after a full day of travel, I wasn't so sure that I was happy to be here. I gave my presentation to a packed room today and I think it went okay. I had a few questions from the audience and no one threw organic tomatos or recycled plastic ware. A few thought on Portland:

1) It's beautiful. There are gorgeous trees with leaves every shade of red, orange and yellow.

2) It prides itself on its sustainability. I ate dinner at a Burgerville last night. The menu featured sweet potato fries or regular, organic pumpkin shakes and non-hormone crazed beef..

3)People are generally very friendly and pretty talky.

Tonight I ate at this crazy restaurant called Sushiland. It had a conveyor belt resplindent with sushi, nigiri, edamame and more. I had a spicy crunchy tuna, miso soup, edamame, a veggie roll and a tempura shrimp roll plus a Black Butte Porter for $11.50. Can you believe it? Next stop was Powell's books. Apparently it is the world's largest independent bookstore. At 68,000 square feet of heaven, I can't imagine anything any bigger. I was there an hour and didn't make it out of the children's section.

I'm hoping to catch up with Kealy over the weekend and tomorrow night some friends from high school are taking me out for Thai food. I miss my family - Red Menance, the Snapper, Scotty and of course Jingo too.. as you can see, I'm salving my wounds with GOOD FOOD!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

remembering October

I've gotta tell you. I am ready for a change. Not the political kind, although I gotta say that is pretty exciting, but a change from feeling the damp cloud of sadness that came with the month of October this year.

At the beginning of the month we lost my mother's sister.. my aunt Bettye. My aunt had been ill since a stoke nearly two years ago. She was ready to go, even though the rest of us weren't ready to let her go. Her death was a surprise to me, though it shouldn't have been. My uncle, who had been her partner for over 44 years, held up remarkably well at her funeral. I offered to write the obituary, but he decided against an obituary. As it turned out, I ended up writing the eulogy, which the minister read verbatim over her grave at the funeral. It wasn't written to be a complete eulogy, and I left out some of the things I remember about my aunt: that she would always kiss our hands, close them and say "lock it up, lock it up" when we would leave their house in Dallas. That she used cameo soap. That she liked to have her feet rubbed. She never had children, and my sister and I were her closest neices to my knowlege.

I had been thinking of her, missing her most of the month when we lost our dog Pogo. So many people have sent cards, sent kind thoughts and said comforting words to us. One of the sweetest cards said that "one day we will be able to remember his antics and laugh." I know it is true..we had so many good times with him.

So as you can see, I'm ready for a change. I'm ready to get going with November.