Saturday, July 25, 2009


We found our own Fail right here in Corvallis. Jerry's Precision Muffler doesn't seem to have any precision on his spelling. Seems almost like something I would write...except in huge letters on a building. Sigh. Let's see if posts it. (If you haven't found the incredibly addictive website of, be warned it is incredibly funny and time consuming)

Also, this seems like a similar statement. Flawless Imports. When will people learn.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Christmas in July!

The last time I bought a bike, I was in 6th grade. In what was probably my first real effort at "saving up for something big" I squirreled away my pennies until I could pay for 1/3 of the fancy new mountain bike which I certainly could not live without (mom and dad each pitched in a third to help me out). I still remember picking out my bright teal 18-speed Nishiki - I could even tell you what I was wearing (but I won't because the outfit was purchased in the 80's and nobody needs reminding of what tween girls were purchasing in the 80's). It was 1990, and I had a rad bike.

Flash forward to 2009. Lots of things have changed, but I'm still riding my rad 90's bike. For real! I have been riding the same bike for the last 19 years! Of course I'm on my third seat, second set of tires, new handgrips, several tune ups (which even included some mockery by the mechanic at a certain local shop which I am too polite to name, but will no longer frequent)...and I never have to worry about parking the bike on campus. Who's going to steal the rad 90's bike?

Back in October I took a bike tour of Chicago with my grad school friends. Not only was it a great way to see the city, but it started my love affair with the old-school cruiser bike. Loyal readers may recall me adding a cruiser to my Christmas list, and specifically requesting - via the blogosphere - that Santa deliver one to my stocking. Apparently we cannot count Santa among our readership because there was no Cruiser under my tree last December.

So I took matters into my own hands. Yesterday I became the proud owner of a cruiser of my very own!
It's a shiny red and black 7-speed Schwinn, complete with fenders and a bell that makes that delightful brrrrrrriiing brrrrrrinnng! I took the liberty of adding the granny-basket from my old bike, and was ready to cruise off into the sunset. My commute just got FUN!
Doesn't SoundGuy look like he belongs on a boardwalk somewhere? It's the plaid shorts. You should have seen it when he was still wearing his summer fedora).

So there, Santa! I'm having Christmas in July! Brrringgg Brrrringgg!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


In keeping with my "I can't think of anything to post, so I'll swipe something off Facebook" are some firsts:

1. Who was your FIRST prom date?
Andy Holder. He went to the "other" high school so we bounced back and forth between two proms in one night. We had a pretty good time. A few months later he also became my first big heart-break. Punk.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?
My first love was a chocolate lab named Maya. (Puppy love, get it?!)

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?
Little sips of dad's beer when I was a kiddo. Funny that I don't really care for beer as an adult. Nice reverse-psychology, Pop! My first legal drink was a Bahama Mama at the RAM (after a three-hour rehearsal of a horrible contemporary opera). Honey and Jessie were good sports to join me, but we were so worn out that we hardly even finished our drinks. Heck of a 21er!

4. What was your FIRST job?
"The Corn Popper" - a gourmet popcorn shop in Missoula. I made about forty different kinds of flavored popcorn (from Creme de Menthe to Huckleberry, and beyond). Then they added ice cream and espresso and I really hit the big time.

5. What was your FIRST car?
A 1982 Ford Mustang (purchased for a mere $600) which my dad repainted while I was away at camp. It was shiny black with red interior and a faux wood dash. It died every time I came to the bottom of our hill, and was flooded by the leaky sunroof when I moved to Oregon. Man, I loved that car.

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?

7. Who was the FIRST person you thought of today?

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher?
Mrs. Gingrich, and she was awesome. On your birthday, she would let you sit in her wheeled desk chair. Then she'd push you fast around the room, and twirl you around a few times while the whole class laughed and shouted. Nobody ever threw up. Increasing Mrs. G's awesomeness factor was her collection of scratch-and-sniff stickers.

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?
The first airplane ride I remember was when I was 5. We flew to Kansas City for my grandmother's funeral. The flight attendant gave me a pair of those little wings.

10. Who was your FIRST best friend and do you still talk?
My first best friend was Jeremy Porter. His mom was my babysitter so we spent a lot of time together. Ironically, Jeremy ended up being my dad's Pharmacist! Now we're FB friends, so I guess we do still talk. Because I liked Jeremy so much, I shared my scratch-and-sniff stickers with him.

11. Where was your FIRST sleepover?
I don't remember! Probably Jeremy's house...

12. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today?

13. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time?
My Aunt Timi & Uncle Dennis were very sweet about including all their neices/nephews in their wedding. My Cousin Dirt and I shared two super-important jobs: we rolled the white runner down the aisle, and gave out bags of birdseed after the ceremony. We thought we were SOOOO fancy. So much so, that those are the only two aspects of the wedding I actually remember! Oh, to be 9 again...

14. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning?
Stood in front of my closet, wondering whatever happened to having fun cute clothes. Briefly contemplated wearing my pajamas to work.

15. What was the FIRST concert that you ever went to?
First concert ever? Probably something my mother was cooking up. First "real" concert (as in: paid too much for the ticket, overwhelmed by the stacks and stacks of speakers, and felt out of place for not screaming my head off?) was Moody Blues. It's a long story.

16. FIRST tatoo?
That's just crazy talk.

17. FIRST piercing?
Ears. First and only piercing. I watched other people's belly-button piercings do very strange things, and that cured me of ever wanting anything else pierced!

18. FIRST foreign country were in?
Canada. That sounds so boring. My second foreign country was France. Isn't that better?

19. FIRST movie you remember seeing?
Fantasia (the first version) and it scared the snot out of me! Creepy dancing brooms, and waves attacking poor Mickey. What kind of messed up kids movie is that? I still dislike it to this day.

20. When was your FIRST detention?
Detention? I'm not that kind of girl, thank you very much.

21. What was the FIRST state you lived in?
"My home's in Montana, I wear a bandana, my spurs are of silver, my pony is gray. While riding the ranges, my luck never changes. With foot in the stirrup I gallop away!" Everybody now! Wait - you don't all know the unofficial state song of Montana? It's a lovely partner with Home on the Range...nice around the campfire... No? Nothing? Fine. But if you'd been raised by a music educator in Montana you would TOTALLY know this stuff.

22. Who was your FIRST roommate?
Shauna McCaslin - freshman year at Willamette. When her mom dropped off that first care package bursting with snacks and treats I knew we'd be A-OK ;)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Soundguy Brags

Sometimes you get your ego stroked and you just have to share the good news. Yesterday I was very lucky to audition for the National Lutheran Choir and made it in. Now some of you are looking at that name and rolling your eyes. Oh, there are the Lutherans again. Yes, I do live in the Mecca of Lutherland. I even work for the church and of course the only thing I hear about is Olie's, Cobbers and everyone wondering if I went to PLU.

The choral tradition out here is Sick. Everyone goes to Luther, Concordia Moorhead, St. Olaf, etc. etc. 6 degree's of separation must only exist on the West Cost cause out here, it's closer to 2 or 3. These people singing in choirs started under Christiansen, Clausen, Noble, Warland, Shaw and the like. Of course, these names were just names to me until I get out here in Lutherland. The little red rings with a C in the middle was just a cool ring on people's fingers until I realized that anyone who's a Cobber wears the ring.

Bottom line is that I get to rub elbows and make beautiful music with one of the best Choirs in the Cities next year. I will be standing next to people who are continuing the choral tradition from people who STARTED the tradition. I'm in heaven.

Wanna Hear more? Check out NLCA on iTunes.

If you don't know about the Dale Warland Singers, I'd also suggest checking them out on iTunes.

Thank you for letting me brag.


Friday, July 3, 2009

3rd-of-July Party

I just spent a fun evening at the annual 3rd-of-July party with the Thompson family. My good friend Frankel and her adorable munchkin, Addison.
Addi did have a really cute denim skirt to match her patriotic outfit, but it was just too hot to bother with troublesome things like skirts.

She's a very smiley and photogenic baby - how convenient! Frankel was quick to point out that her first tooth is beginning to show. Being a dentist, Frankel also taught us that adult teeth are numbered, but baby teeth are lettered. If you look really hard you can see Addi's "O" tooth just beginning to peek through.
Addi's dad, Jonathan, whipped up a little dinner which he presented as "a vintage 2009 bottle":
I'm pretty sure Addi knows her dad is full of it.
She's on to ya, Jonathan ;)


To kick the July 4th festivities into gear a little early, Megan and I headed to St. Paul (OR, not MN) to take in the rodeo. We try to catch at least one rodeo each summer, considering it a tribute to our country roots. It's the one time a year we can legitimately holler "YeeeEEEEHaaaaww" without drawing attention, and actually enjoy a Coors Light! (I swear - they only taste good at a rodeo. Any other time I wouldn't touch it. Go figure).

For a town of 300 people, St. Paul has a pretty impressive rodeo, and we had a great time taking it all in. Queens and Princesses from rodeos all over the area showed off their fringe and Aqua Net at the grand entry. There is still a place for big hair in this world.
Our friend and fellow Master Chorus member, Mary Ann Zielinski, sang the national anthem. She did an awesome job - even keeping her cool when the flag bearer whipped right by her at top speed.
This rodeo has all the good "classic" events...bareback riding, bull riding, roping, barrel-racing, saddle broncs. You name it. Lucky us, we arrived on the night that Miss Rodeo Oregon was being crowned. Snicker, snicker...Buckle pink wranglers...cracks me up =)

The special entertainment for the night was Oklahoma's "One Armed Bandit." Apparently this one-armed show rider is pretty famous. Part of his schtick involves a couple of trained bison who do some tricks. Mr. Bandit may not have counted on the fact that the St. Paul rodeo organizers plant their signature arbor vitae around the edge of the ring. The plants are about 4 feet tall and spaced about 25 feet apart around the perimeter of the ring. When the Bandit's Bison were released into the ring, they immediately zeroed in on those little 4 foot snacks and went after them.
The bison rammed the arbor vitae with their heads, chomping on the greenery, and dragging them out of the ground. Meanwhile the Bandit is still riding around the ring - his music blaring, and the prepared narration being read - but he can't even get the attention of this "trick" Bison. Snack-time took precedence.

Finally, after rooting up five of the plants, dragging them around the ring, and devouring them, the Bison turned their attention back to their performance. By then, the Bandits music and narration had run out and he was improvising. He did manage to get the whole crew up on top of his trailer for the grand finale.
All in all we had a great time - I'd recommend the St. Paul Rodeo if you're looking for something fun to do this weekend. Yeeeehaawww!