Monthly Archives: July 2008


Some of the very best drinks I’ve ever had were at Bryant’s. You had to know how to get there, if you weren’t familiar with that part of town (hint: turn left at Tony’s House of Columbian Hair) and it looks just like a house in the neighborhood, but then you walked in, and sat at a round naugahyde booth, and ordered a drink.

If it was during the week, Shirley’d bring you a bowl of cheese popcorn too. And you didn’t just order a drink, you’d order a flavor or a combination of flavors, and no matter what you came up with, Shirley would tell you its name.

It was so dark in there, when you’d go outside at 1 a.m., you’d cringe a bit because the light was so bright outside. Truthfully.

Shirley used to serve Brian’s parents when they were our age, and after we “discovered” it, they were very amused that we went there, and pleased to hear that Shirley still worked there.

A good number of drinks would arrive at the table lit on fire, which helped you see the people you were with. All of them were awesome, and at the time, only $5, so you knew how to plan for your drink budget.

I just heard they closed for a while, I’m actually happy I didn’t know that before they re-opened under new ownership. Usually when I hear that someone has bought a place I loved, I am certain that it won’t be the same or they’ll ruin it. Reading the article, my heart was sinking a bit as I continued to think about it. However, it sounds like the new owner gets why Bryant’s was so cool. And it looks like he’s going to keep all its mystique. Here’s to people doing stuff right, and oh, if any of you in the Milwaukee area go, can you let me know how much a Black Magic costs now?


Brian in the forest on Powell Butte.

Yesterday while running errands we went and finally tried Kenny and Zuke’s, which is an awesome deli by Powell’s downtown. Brian had a reuben, and I had the grilled cheese. The bread and cheese were great and the french fries were awesome too – although with the amount of butter and salt I had at one meal, I needed to make up for it later by walking for 2 1/2 miles. Also not a huge amount of vegetarian (makes sense, it *is* a traditional deli after all) so it will remain on my good list but probably not some place I can go every week because I’d have to get the same things over and over. But really really good, and you carnivores that hang out with us will likely be treated to it at some point.

We walked along the river from near the Hawthorn bridge to the Steel bridge, over the Willamette river, past the Oregon Brewers’ Festival (can you believe we didn’t stop in?) and back over the Hawthorn bridge. It was fun and good; Brian hadn’t done that walk yet.

Today we wandered over to Powell Butte again for a good hike. We did the part in the shade (through the forest) and also hiked down the side of the butte to street level and back up again. I brought blackberries, blueberries and walnuts to eat on the way, but it only made us hungrier. We stopped at Burgerville on the way back to get Walla Walla onion rings which are amazingly good. Brian almost can’t resist them, it’s funny. I accused him of thinking Walla Walla onion season was the best season of all – he didn’t really disagree.

We’re thinking tennis tonight, but I may just be too tired from the hike and need to mellow.

Curious and curiouser

Heh, Brian is on the phone with our insurance agent, and I just heard him describe our new home as a “curious house.”

It really is, it seems like a house that you could get to Narnia from one of the little doors or crawl spaces or hidden nooks. Some houses that have strange turns and entries are creepy, but ours is interesting and comforting somehow.

I can tell most of my posts on here are likely to be dreaming about the house until we are finally in it.

Only other interesting thing right now is that I’m going to go get dinner with my former babysitter. Yeah, obviously not someone I hired to watch a child, but someone who was hired to watch me. Laurie and I have figured out that it’s been about 30 years since we’ve seen each other. I can’t wait to hear what she’s been doing. When I was a teenager, my family stayed at her mom’s house, and I copied all of her cassette tapes. I was “in” with all the new music I found, it was great.

Packing for the move

Mostly just packing like crazy and working on finalizing our financing. Takes a lot of concentration to keep track of everything you need to, and doing it while you are packing is a little mad because twice I’ve packed papers we need to complete our financing, heh.

If you are waiting for an email from me, I’m having some difficulties with my mail client right now, and answering things on the iPhone is tedious at best. I’m trying to get to things from my webmail, but it’s much slower for me. I’m hoping to take a second or two this weekend and straighten out whatever is not letting me send from my mail client (probably a blocked port is my guess, but who knows).

Picture above is our new office. The upstairs has some beautiful old growth Douglas Fir – the first owner did wood working and added a lot of nice features to the house. It’s not paneling, it is doug fir planks. Neat-o. Our inspector showed Brian how old it was by how tight the line are in it.


Pictures soon, I promise.

I was going to write up the adventures we had with Gretchen, Jay and the kids, but I’m going to wait on that in favor of other things.

Specifically, the news that Brian and I put an offer on a house in Portland, and it was accepted! We will be moving exactly 14 blocks closer to downtown. YAY! The house is completely lovely, and about $9,000 more than we said we wanted to spend, but we’ll make up for that by loving the house even more.

We completely had expected to find a fixer-upper, and we didn’t mind that. Brian and I have worked on so many houses together at this point, it’s kind of in our blood to be fixing things (yet another reason renting has been hard). However, the place we bought is lovely inside, and entirely wood floors. It’s way too big for the two of us, but with the amount of out-of-state guests we have, it’ll be completely fine, I think. It has a nice private backyard, and a lovely sunroom, and they’ve preserved the original coal chute with some coal in it because they thought it was cool, and root cellar. I’ve always wanted a root cellar. Can anyone chime in here and let me know how to use one?

Now, I’m packing like a madwoman (Brian is swamped with work, so I’ve offered to do the packing) and thinking that perhaps now that we have a house on the way, maaaaaybe I should get around to getting a job. Heh. If anyone has suggestions on that, pipe up, please!

The only other thing I wanted to mention today is that marionberries are finally in the grocery stores, so I splurged on some today. I’m not sure that they are going to make it until tonight. Marionberries are like much better blackberries for those of you who haven’t been lucky enough to try some before. They are amazing and my favorite berry, right up there with Oregonian strawberries.

To bring me even further back to my childhood, Tillamook’s limited flavor right now is Bubble Gum ice cream. Brian had never heard of such a thing, so was this only a west coast phenomena in the 70s? Whether in California, Washington, Nevada or Oregon, I always ordered it in any ice cream shop. Then, it was filled with those round bubble gums that you only seem to get in candy machines at a grocery store. You’d suck all the ice cream from around the gum, and then spit the gum unchewed onto a napkin. Then, at the end, you’d gather all the gumballs up and chew on them, in a huge wad of gum that’d make your jaws ache. A terrible idea, truly. However as a kid, it was the best thing ever because not only did you get ice cream, but you’d follow up with candy! How perfect could life be? Sadly, Tillamook went with just flavoring from what I understand, so no gum chewing for me.

Life is good.

The coast with my family

Great time at the coast with Gretchen and the kids. We stayed at Inn at Otter Crest again, and while we really think with the exception of the bellhop and one other guy, the service is completely lousy (making me think twice about buying a unit), the room was quite nice and I love being able to walk down to the Devil’s Punchbowl.

We played frisby on the beach. I tried to do cartwheels and discovered I am no longer able (I think I’m a bit more top-heavy than the last time I tried. I know. I’m working on it.) so I will stretch much more and watch my diet closer and hopefully be able to do it this time next year.

We went swimming, even Brian. I don’t remember the last time he went swimming with me, it was sooooo much fun. Maggie ask him to throw her, and she went sailing halfway across the pool, it was soooooo awesome!! Matt asked for the same, but I think Brian realized his strength at that point, so he didn’t throw as far. I hope I can continue to talk him into at least occasionally swimming with me / us, it was really neat to see him swimming again. Even if he could standing in the deepend unlike the rest of us.

We ate at the Flying Dutchman, which was good. The next day we ate Mo’s (of course) and then went to Rogue for pizza and beer (root beer in the case of Maggie and Matt). Mmmmm. Otherwise we really just read, listened to the ocean, wrote in journals, swam and walked on the beach.

O! We did make it to some terrific tidepools on Devil’s Punchbowl’s beach (the marine garden side, not the surfer side). It was a negative tide and even though we were a little late to it, we got waaay out. The highlights were seeing a new anenome (pictured above, I usually see the light green ones on the coast, and the pink tipped ones just in aquariums) and an octopus!! I was so excited by the latter, I haven’t seen an octopus in a tidepool since I was a kid.

It was also nice to see these tidepools recover – the last time we had done any serious tidepooling there, they had been overcome by urchins, which is usually a sign of an unhealthy tidepool. Also saw two new crabs, which I took pictures of for my flickr pool so that I could identify them.

That’s the coast update. Maggie and Matt realized that other than family, I love the Oregon coast best.

Catching up

We went to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to visit family. It’s heart stopping beautiful there, but somehow I’m always distracted and never get any good pictures. Anyways, we went downtown for the first time that I remember, and walked along the boardwalk over Lake Coeur d’Alene. At the end of it is a park that apparently has a great hike which I’d like to go back and do with Brian.

Ack! My niece, nephew and sister came upstairs, more another time!