Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday celebration: the conclusion.

Our friends Mark & Amanda were having a "fill out your ballot" party. In Oregon, we vote by mail so everyone gets their ballot a few weeks before the election. Then you fill it out at your leisure and either mail it or drop it in an official ballot drop box. Matt had voted already, but I was happy for the opportunity to discuss some measures and candidates that I was unsure about. As we Oregonians have settled in to voting by mail, it is common for people to have parties such as Mark & Amanda did. In fact, the Oregonian featured one such party on the front page of the paper today.

While some people imply that this is a way of "selling votes," that the people attending the party will vote the way the host wants them to, I disagree. This is no different than the sessions we used to have in college where we would get together and discuss the issues we would be voting on. The only difference is at these parties we actually can vote at that moment if we chose to.

Another nice thing about voting by mail: a glass of wine while you make your decisions.After finishing voting and socializing and eating soup Matt and I continued on to Pix for a bit of birthday scrumptiousness. I had the Ichabod Crane as well as a dark chocolate salted caramel. Matt had a fruity dessert. Even though it was Sunday night, the place was packed and it turned out the guy at the table next to our was celebrating his birthday too!
One last stop. Here I am casting my ballot. Here's to hoping.

Birthday project: cat perch & scratcher

To celebrate my birthday, and in preparation for the cat I hope we are getting soon, I decided to work on a project on my birthday. I got this wooden file box and bought a 4X4 post at the local reclaimed wood place. I wanted the perch to have a lot of cut outs, so I sat down, listened to "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" on NPR while I planned where the decorative holes would be.
I borrowed a jigsaw and a good drill from the North Portland Tool Lending Library and got to cutting. It turns out that big circles are not that hard and squares are easy, but circles say 1.5 inches across? Not so doable with the jigsaw. That rectangle there started life as three small circles.
A big old circle.
More circles.
Now to assemble! But that will be another day.

Birthday morning.

I've been experimenting with whole wheat sourdough cooking. Thus far, bread has not been a success, but pancakes are going swimmingly. I made a batch for birthday breakfast.
Matt made me a cake, too. It was waiting for me on our whiteboard when I got up.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Patricia's Birthday Celebration.

If it were possible to make my birthday a week long festival I would. As it was, I managed to stretch it to four days. My actual birthday is on Sunday this year, but the celebration started on Thursday night when Matt and I watched an episode of The Office, Season 4. Friday there was a small celebration at school and more episodes of the office. On Saturday I went to see Portland Center Stage's production of Guys and Dolls with my Mom and my Aunt Pat. Aunt Carol was sick, so she missed a very good performance. After that we all retired to my mom's house for a delicious dinner.

Here you see the mashed potatoes and biscuits my brother made along with my favorite chicken dish that my mother made and a delicious broccoli that my Aunt Pat made. It was very, very good. I love it when other people make me dinner.
While our food was digesting, I opened my presents. First off, my Aunt Pat returned some tupperware I left at her house. I warmed up for posing with my presents using the tupperware.
Matt takes a self portrait.
We've had a warm and dry beginning of autumn, and my Aunt Pat still had raspberries!
This present was from my mom. All the pictures of the unwrapped present feature me with a double chin, so you will have to trust me when I say it was a lovely white bowl with blue stripes.
And the ribbon made a handy hair ribbon.
My brother expertly wrapped my present in an REI mailing. I had done the same thing just days earlier!
He got me a variety of drill bits which would come in handy for the birthday weekend project.
The MAunts went in on one big present for me. My Aunt Carol wrapped it. Notice the coordinating bow.
Yipee! It's a convection toaster oven!
Esmeralda watches the festivities, annoyed that her regular routine is being interrupted, but will acquiesce to letting someone pet her.
Next came a game of Zombie Fluxx. It's a fun game because the rules change all the time.
Matt explains a rule.
My Aunt places candles on the cake she made me. I wanted 34 candles and a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I got all of the above.
With 34 candles you need more than one person lighting.
Once again my large lung capacity comes in handy as I easily blow out the candles in one huge breath. The big bad wolf has nothing on me!
An inner view of the Martha Washington cake.
What a good birthday! But the celebration continues....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Greek Festival

Recently, we attended the Polish Festival which involved food, a bit of polka and me forgetting to take the camera. Having gotten in touch with Matt's roots, this week we got in touch with mine by attending the Greek Festival. It involved food and a bit of "sorry, pardon me, excuse me, pardon me..."

Matt decided to purchase the whole Greek dinner. This involved waiting in a long line for a table. It was a fun line, and Jeff Merkley, who is trying to unseat Senator Gordon Smith, walked by. We didn't do anything more than say, "Hey, was that just Jeff Merkley?" and he wasn't working our line, so we didn't talk to him, but it was the highlight of that line. We eventually arrived in the gymnasium/auditorium/tables (which reminded me a lot of the multipurpose room at McKinley in Boise where I ate lunch every day for six years. It was only missing the tables and benches that store in the wall. ) Here we were seated next to other people.
Matt did not wait to eat his dessert, but started with it. As my dad always says, "You should start with dessert in case there is a fire during dinner." Matt was happy to follow that advice.
There was a salad course and the gentleman next to me "didn't eat salad" (!) so I got his. It had a nice hunk of feta cheese in it, so I was a happy girl. Then dinner arrived for Matt and he was a happy boy.
I neglected to take a picture before he started eating, but here's a close up of the meal halfway finished.
After Matt finished his dinner we "Excuse me, pardon me, excuse me, I'm so sorry" our way back to the main food area where I got some spanokopita. Then, a bit claustrophobic, we pardoned our way out of the festival. I bought three raffle tickets along the way, as I love a good raffle, but I didn't win. Although winning isn't the point, if you ask me.
Having honored both of our heritages, we returned to life as usual.