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Portland, OR

To celebrate our 11th anniversary a_akimbo & I got tickets to see/hear Philip Glass' "Orphée" performed by the Portland Opera. We flew up early Saturday morning and spent the day roaming the city, saw the show, went out for dinner/drinks, roamed more on Sunday and flew back Sunday evening. It was a really great weekend. I highly recommend Portland for a romantic relaxing getaway.
DAY 1 PORTLAND
1. Tin Shed - (breakfast) great food, vague service (basically d/t customers who were slow to vacate tables), a small variety of self serve coffees
2. Powell's Books - the country's largest bookstore. Very well organized. An absolute pleasure to browse
3. Johnny Sole - chic shoes
4. Clogs-N-More - hip shoes
5. Other Worlds Games -ok game store
6. Guardian Games - perhaps the best games store I've ever patronized. good selection, well organized, not claustrophobic like most stores and lots of room to play in house.
7. Excalibur Comics - great back issue library. very well organized graphic novels.
8. Hot Lips Pizza - (lunch) yummy. NY style pizza. waste bins labeled 'cans & bottles', 'recycling', 'compost', 'landfill' with the last being the smallest.
9. ALOFT Hotel - modern minimalist rooms at an affordable rate
10. Orphée @ The Portland Opera - classic myth adapted and set in a contemporary French apartment. Based on the Jean Cocteau film.
11. Invasion Cafe - Cool retro bar but not much in the way of actual food. Go for cocktails, not a meal.
12. Greek Cusina - (dinner) Great mediterranean fare from pasta to kababs to, of course, greek salad.
13. Zaytoon - smooth well mixed Long Island Tea, hip mellow ambiance

DAY 2 PORTLAND
1. Crush - hip industrial style bar which serves brunch on weekends. great food here too.
2. China Design Now @ Portland Art Museum - an unexpected treat! This exhibition featured innovative designs that have come up since China economic awakening in the 1990s. The show focused on print and product design in Shenzhen, fashion and product design in Shanghai and architecture in Beijing. More on this show later.
3. Under U 4 Men - hip store for form flattering foundation garments
4. Tonalli's Doughnuts - yummy doughnuts and (per Jon) ice cream.
5. Z Games - a late day side trip up to Vancouver, WA revealed our GPS to be daft and the store to be defunct. The GPS instructed us to take Western Australian 14 for WA-14.
6. IKEA Portland - stopped in just for the heck of it en route to the airport. Saw some new things which might find their way home from the Burbank store.
7. Gustav's Pub & Grill - a local eatery with a location inside the PDX terminal. More great food. Your choice of handmade sausage served with the best sauerkraut ever (neither sour nor gassy), warm German potato salad and a variety of mustards to accompany the sausage. Another smooth well mixed Long Island Tea.

CHECK OUT MY FACE BOOK PAGE TO SEE PICS OF OUR TRIP

Halloween

Jon and I went  to Paddy's in Ventura for Halloween as soldiers (on leave of course). Most notable costumes of the night were Stuey (from Family Guy), Dr. House, The Joker in nurse drag, a m/f couple made up as the earth and the sun (because his life revolves around her :-)) and m/m couple as the Tin Woodsman and Cowardly Lion. Seemed to be a big year for French maids.  

This is not where I was going.

This is not where I was going. I intended to have a life, a career, buuilt around art, culture and design. I was supposed to be a metropolitan queer who gets invited to all the right parties and attends theater and gallery openings. Instead I ease the suffering of sick people, and cater to the tantrums of self important doctors and family members. Instead I play DnD and go to gaming conventions. Instead I go to Vegas twice a year with my partner for his bowling league. And I like doing these things, but well, it’s not where I though I was going…

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Where Have All the Young Men Gone?

It is official. I'm old. (well at least middle aged). HX out of print?!?!? The Limelight a shopping mall?!?!?! How crass. A generation of fabulous sequined beautiful people are spinning (and not on stationary bikes) wondering if they've been forgotten. Or if they made it through, are making their repasse by their suburban backyard pools or meticulously restored Victorians. We're here, we're queer, and we've home prices to worry about darling, so take down that tacky flag before the neighbor's see it. 

Aug. 26th, 2009

We went to see jazz vocalist/pianist Diana Krall to celebrate my birthday. She performed at the Hollywood Bowl, which claims to be the world's largest natural outdoor amphitheater, seating 18,000 (very tightly packed) people. We go to one or two concerts at the bowl every year. It's always a special event, with people picnicing, drinking wine,and enjoying a pleasant summer's evening. Today was no different.

The concert opened with the L.A. Philharmonic performing several works with a Latin jazz flavor. They opened with Conga del Fuego Nuevo followed by Danzón No. 2 both by Mexican composer Arturo Márquez, Duke Ellington's Caravan, and Malagueña by Spanish composer Ernesto Lecuona

For the second half (more like second 2/3) Krall came out and wowed the audience with her interpretations of jazz and American song book standards like Pick Yourself Up, Let's Fall in Love, and From this Moment On. She performed sometimes backed by the Philharmonic, but really shined when accompanied by her jazz combo of bass, guitar & drums. 

Krall performed several Brazilian Bossanova standards that would be familiar to most people as well. These included The Boy from Ipenema and Quiet Nights. One highlight of the evening was her longing interpretation of I've Grown Accustomed to His Face, which she confesses reminds her of her husband (Elvis Costello) while she's on the road touring. She begins with a wistful piano intro of Wouldn't It Be Lovely before switching to the more mournful ballad made famous in My Fair Lady.

Napoleonic Roulette

 2 games of Napoleonic Wars today w/ Rob & Jason

Game 1: Me playing Britain, Rob playing France, Jason playing Russia/Austria.
Irish revolt in turn 1. Britannia rules the waves. French loose Napoleon to Kutuzov. Britain puts down Irish revolt. Austria flags Marseilles. Britain flags Rome, Brussels, but gives up Lisbon to Spain.
Turn 2 France takes heavy losses in northern Italy & Austria. Russia breaks Franco-Spanish pact. Britain enters France through Marseilles & flags Lyon  w/ Moore (from Gibraltar) and Vendee w/ Wellington (from Kent). Kutuzov takes Munich, Zurich, Nassau. Moore flags  Toulouse and joins Wellington in Orleans. Wellington routs Sault in Orleans in an even up fight. Wellington destroys Napoleon's forces in Paris (15:9 fight in Napoleon's favor). Austria takes Brussels w/ Charles. France overrun by coalition forces & game ends in interphase 1807. Russia/Austria wins the game.

Game 2: Me playing Russia/Austria, Rob playing France, Jason playing Britain.
Napoleon stabs into Vienna, Russo-Austrian alliance bogged down defending Vienna. France takes 3 Austrian keys and wins on the 1st Peace die roll in 1805.

Food Journal

What I ate yesterday:
0800 - 2 Shredded Wheat biscuits sprinkled liberally w/ Splenda & 8 oz low fat milk
12:00 - 4 Snack Wells cookies & 8 oz glass of Crystal Light Lemonade
15:00 - 8 oz Nutrilite zero carb energy drink 
16:30 - Boston Market meatloaf dinner w/ sweet potatoes, green beans, corn bread & 20 oz diet Coke
22:30 - El Pollo Loco chicken carnitas burrito & 20 oz lemonade (regular, not diet, which I didn't finish)

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Food journal

 What I ate yesterday:
0800 - large bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal - was bought cheap (3 boxes for $5?) and seems to be defective - no sugar on it.
1100 - 1400 - 1 package (4 cookies) of snack wells vanilla cookies
1630 - 20 oz diet Arizona green tea
1900 - 2 chicken carnitas tacos, 20 oz diet Coke, individual serving mac & cheese and a small (16 oz) vanilla shake
2300 - Nutrilite Lemon Twist meal replacement bar (The client I saw Monday night sells Nutrilite/Amway and I came away with some samples that look interesting.)

What I ate today:
0900 - 1 package (4 cookies) of Snack Wells vanilla cookies, 20 oz diet Arizona green tea (consumed through the day)
1430 - 4 oz homemade 7 layer dip, blue corn tortilla chips
2100 - fist sized BBQ'd chicken breast, bowl of homemade baked beans, more 7 layer dip w/ regular tortilla chips, 16 oz Crystal Light lemonade


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May. 2nd, 2009

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