Wordless Wednesday: The Muse Concert In Portland

Muse Concert in Portland

SLC and PDX – A Glimpse Of Two Airports

Salt Lake City Airport (SLC)

pictures from SLC airport

Portland International Airport (PDX)

Pictures from the Portland Airport PDX
Although I’ve lived in Salt Lake City for more years of my life, I still consider Portland home. For my birthday this year, my husband let me take a solo trip home.

in the SLC airportSome people consider airports a necessary evil, but I happen to like most airports. Especially SLC and PDX. SLC is in major need of a makeover (and will be completely redone over the next decade). PDX is clean, modern, and spacious…with lots of natural light. There’s free wifi and places to recycle. There’s lots of shopping and dining options. SLC isn’t far behind, but PDX comes in second in my personal airport rankings, after Detroit (DTW).

The main catalyst was because Muse, one of my favorite bands, was coming to Portland within a week of my birthday. Muse isn’t going to Salt Lake City on their current tour, so I have been looking into options for other cities for a few months. We had tried to arrange our London trip to coincide with Muse performing at the O2, but we missed it by 2 days. I’ve been wanting to see them perform live again since 2010. I adore their latest album “The 2nd Law,” so I’m so glad to be seeing them perform tonight.

And now, a song for my city: “My Portland” from Portlandia

“When I see the sunlight glint upon your bridges, it makes me think of all the times that you and I have been together. You are my darling, girl. My beauty! My Portland!”

Wordless Wednesday: Multnomah Falls

multnomah falls oregon

 

From Youth to Thirty

I never thought I would get so nostalgic turning 30 this week…on Friday I’ll be just another 30-something. I feel so young at heart…and have so many great memories of my youth. Recently I’ve been going through boxes of pictures. And when I say BOXES, I mean literally thousands and thousands of pictures from the last 30 years. The awkward chubby phases, the dated hairstyles, the embarrassing dates, the classic family portraits. I just posted a my favorites into an album on Facebook, which you can view here.

I’ve been getting things together for a totally RAD Birthday party on Friday…old retro toys, original Nintendo games, cassette tapes of Roxette, Color Me Badd, New Kids on the Block, MC Hammer; Saved By The Bell posters….basically the finest in pop culture from my 3 decades of life. Fondue, Friends, Family, and Fun…I can’t wait. Want to come? Email me for details.

The Dainty Wildflower

The Dainty Wildflower*

When it comes to youthful affairs of the heart
Though my loves have been but a few
It doesn’t take prideful impressing by him
A sweet romance will always do

When I reflect upon the wildflowers
On the path on which I go
Makes me ponder much of simple times
When hearts would let young lovers know

“To determine the worth of a goodly man”
Said the lass with a delicate air
“A dozen long-stemmed roses from he
will determine the perfect pair”

One shan’t judge a book by its cover
but in roses the belief isn’t so thought
Crimson passion, pink child-life fashion,
Gold-flamed petals be eternally sought

If I were to discern a future fellow
by a flower yellow stained
For a life of selfless giving
Only a friend could I take his name

The most delicate rose, it’s white shining remains
the pure, untouched bloom could very well claim
Loving devotion for a righteous eternity’s bliss
Temple covenants pledged with no shame

Yet as I admire on this heavenly day
God’s creations well aged and fresh new
I yearn for devoted companionship
A worthy mate living life, loving true

My eyes don’t need sight of rare flowers
Money has only Earthly concern
I gaze at each delicate wildflower bud
Simplicity has caused my wild heart to turn

Sincerity’s flower will win my true heart
To a man whose devotion’s unmarred
As we walk down the path of the rest of our lives
He will pluck me up dainty wildflowers

July 1, 1996
Nicole Marie Watson

***
There is a very specific reason I chose a waterfall instead of a wildflower for this post. It was written when I was 16, while hiking around Silver Falls State Park in Silverton, Oregon. It was an incredibly gorgeous day, and despite all my jaunts to Silver Falls….I recall this day as the most beautiful. I walked off the beaten path a bit near South Falls, sat on a large mossy rock, pulled out my notebook, and was immediately touched with the inspiration for this poem.

I am a certifiable hopeless romantic. I can’t remember ANY time in my life where I wasn’t “in love” or had a crush. I idealize relationships, foolishly look past faults, and let my heart grow attached very quickly. I love seeing people in love…the tender glances, the affection, the chivalry, the exploding smiles and blushing cheeks. When I played kissing tag in elementary school, kissing wasn’t gross to me…I liked it because it gave me the chance to be kissed. I love to be “in love.” I am completely in love my husband, but that does not diminish the emotion that I have felt in the past for other men. While some girls grow up dreaming of their ideal fairy-tale weddings, I didn’t really put much thought into the actual wedding. I just wanted a man to love and cherish me for the rest of my life.

I wrote this poem intending to give it to my future husband on my wedding day. But the notebook got tucked away in a box at some point, and I forgot about it. I quickly married in my first year of college, and five years later it ended in divorce. All the hopes and dreams of eternity that I’d idealized for years were splintered, and I wondered if I’d ever find a man that would make me as happy as those dreams.

Around the time I met Taylor, I found the poem and let him read it. His response was so generic….something to the effect of “Yeah, that’s pretty good.” Taylor’s sweet and romantic in his own way, like the numerous love mix CDs he made while we were dating, but it wasn’t the response I expected. He probably didn’t realize how important this poem was to me. I was upset, so back into a box it went until I uncovered it again this week.

I think I now dedicate this poem to the IDEA of the love I wanted for my future; the idea that inspired me to hold fast to my chastity. There have been many bumps along the road, many selfish jerks and users. I’ve been a selfish user. I’ve had my heart broken and I’ve broken hearts. As an adult, I believe that the sum of all the love from those broken hearts has given me the capacity to love more.Tennyson said, ” ‘Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all.” To this thought, I heartily agree.

Post 499: MIA?, Portland Trip, and non-revving nightmare

Thank you to all those who checked up on me to see if I was okay. “A week without blogging? Are you seriously ill?”, several people asked. No..I’m not ill – just in need of a break from the rigors of creativity and daily blogging.

The Portland trip was exciting and exhausting. Rosie and I flew in Friday night and stayed in Tualatin with the Grahams, a family that my family has known for decades. Saturday was fun, start to finish. I had breakfast with Coral, a middle school friend, at Rose’s in West Linn. We had the cinnamon roll french toast (to DIE for) and got caught up on all we’ve missed in the last 12 years. Next, we drove back to Tualatin by way of the Wanker’s Corner general store (where we got drinks and snacks.) Our original purpose for going to Portland was to attend a wedding reception for Rosie’s cousin…but we didn’t realize we’d put the wrong date down until after we got their gift. We met Carisa, an elementary school friend, for drinks at Starbucks. She’s getting married this year, and it was fun to hear all about her fiance.

For lunch, we went to Newport Bay Restaurant with my aunt Laurie and cousin Christi. We hadn’t seen each other in 7 years at Grandpa Gene’s funeral, so it was lovely to have some family time with relatives I rarely get to see. We did a little shopping around Washington Square Mall, then I followed Laurie over to Auntie Dona and Uncle Bob’s house. Their daughter Margi found out I was over and she immediately joined us. We caught up and reminisced for the afternoon. Aterwards, I dropped by my cousin Jillian’s apartment. Her husband just graduated medical school, and they’re off to Colorado at the end of the month for Ben’s pathology residency. They gave us a McCormick and Schmick’s gift card, so we had a free super-fresh seafood dinner there after pics at the Portland Temple. We arrived back at the Grahams’ around 9, visited until my eyelids could no longer stay open, and set my alarm for 3:40 am.

We woke up, packed our bags, and went out to our rental car. Once inside, we realized that things were missing…my Blackberry and Ipod chargers, some papers and food items. It didn’t look like the car had been broken into, so I’m guessing the rental car’s alarm clicker wasn’t working. Luckily the chargers can be replaced. We drove to the airport, grabbed some breakfast, dropped off the car, and waited through a horrid security line at PDX. I complained over the 40 minute wait…but little did I know the non-revving disaster I was about to encounter.

We tried for the 6:00 am ATL flight – we were part of the 9 that didn’t make it on. Then we tried for the SLC flight – denied again. Tried for a MSP NWA flight – nope. Tried for another ATL and SLC flight – was told our best option was to get an ID-90 pass from Horizon, fly to Seattle, and get a SEA-ATL non-stop flight. We waited till we didn’t get on another MSP flight, went out of security, purchased the passes, walked across the airport again to Horizon’s gates, where the gate agent said our luck was pretty bleak to get on a SEA flight standby. So we went back across the airport to try for the last SLC flight – denied again. Finally, we made it on a MSP flight at the last second, and we had to check our bags. Once we were in Minneapolis, we were too late to make it on any outgoing flights. Taylor Priceline’d an “airport hotel” that didn’t have a shuttle and was nowhere near the airport. We paid so much in cab fare that we could have gotten a really nice hotel. We got about 5 hours sleep before the 3:30 am alarm woke us up, the cab took us back to the airport, and we were crossing our fingers for the 5:15 am ATL flight. We were top of the list, made it on, and were able to sit together. We touched down in ATL just before 9:00 am – which meant I was late for work.

It was a bittersweet trip: wonderful visits and horrible trip home. Was it worth it? I say yes cautiously : this experience has put the fear of the flight Gods back into me. I don’t think I’m going to tempt fate like this again when flight loads aren’t wide open. The next time I fly will be on a confirmed positive space ticket.

Spring Break

Tomorrow evening I’m planning to take a little spring break trip with Rosie to Portland (Taylor and Rosie went to LA last week, lucky ducks!) Rosie’s cousin is having his wedding reception this weekend, I’ll meet up with some extended family and old jr. high friends, get some Burgerville USA sweet potato fries, and enjoy the green, green beauty of the Northwest.

This is my 498th post. I’m in draft mode on my 500th post, but it may take a while to put together. And I still need to do my bio on Mary. So if my blogging is sparse for a while, please forgive me. Enjoy your weekend!

2008 Year in Review

I will not lie. 2008 was probably the most difficult of my life, right up there with 2003 (when my ex-husband went psychotic and we got divorced). To save you from reading my 249 blog entries of 2008, I have prepared my longest blog post ever to truncate the insanity of the year. Here’s the rundown on what happened to me in 2008:

Jan 1, 6:00 am – Began driving cross-country to move to Canton, Michigan with my brother Jacob
Jan 4 – Moved in with the Pearce Family for two weeks awaiting our move-in date at our apartment
Jan 9 – While enrolled in 17 credits for school, began searching for full-time work
Jan 11 – Received a call that my father had been in a horrific car crash in Utah. He was taken in to a nine-hour surgery as I packed my bags and non-revved to SLC on the next available flight
Jan 12 – Appointed to by the family representative to make medical decisions for my dad
Jan 13 – Started his accident blog to keep family and friends notified (this link shows the extent of his injuries). Also told by Elder Dickson of the Quorum of the Seventy that the First Presidency of the Church was personally praying for his recovery.Word spread like wildfire and we had people all over the world praying for him.
Jan 14 – Called together a family counsel meeting with all family members, some extended family and our bishop to make a plan to run the family (groceries, paying bills, housework, etc)
Jan 16– Flew back to Detroit to prepare to move into my new apartment. Dad is trached and goes in for his third surgery. Still sedated and on life support
Jan 19 – Dad begins to breathe on his own without the ventilator, comes off much of the sedation. Rosie and I need a break, and go to California for 2 days to attend John and April’s wedding reception.
Jan 21 – Dad’s left leg is amputated just above the knee due to widespread necrosis. His right leg is injured, but not in as critical condition as the left.
Jan 22 – Flew back to SLC and tried to not get depressed with dad’s ICU psychosis
Jan 24 – Dad is transferred out of the ICU to the 11th floor with the amazing mountain view
Jan 25 – I wait in the surgery waiting room for his “full amputation surgery” where the stump was shortened, revised and closed with sutures
Jan 26 – My friend Kathryn, a concert violist from California, gave my dad a personal concert in the hospital, and then we went out for some non-hospital girl time at the Tavernacle and Melting Pot
Jan 27 – My dear prophet, Gordon B Hinckley, passes away from incidents of old age

Feb 2
– Michigan receives a huge dumping of snow and Rosie’s school is canceled. We travel into Ann Arbor for a day of frolicking and for two Fox Elipsus shows
Feb 3 – President Hinckley’s funeral, and a special fast is held for my dad’s recovery
Feb 4 – Thomas S. Monson is appointed the new president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and dad passes his swallow test and celebrates with a chocolate milkshake
Feb 5 – I celebrate my 28th birthday with lunch at Chili’s with Taylor and a homemade cake. As the greatest gift imaginable, my dad was transferred from the hospital to Aspen Ridge Transitional Rehab, which will become his home for the next 4 months. Also have a super-fun birthday with Taylor’s pilot friends and a few neighbors a few days later.
Feb 10 – Rosie and I go back to SLC for 5 days to spend with dad at Aspen Ridge. Dad gets to visit home for the first time since the accident. Taylor’s beloved car, The Silver Bullet (’97 Accord) bites the dust, and he replaces it with a green 2002 Civic
Feb 19 – I go to California for 4 days of ME time. Disneyland with Grant and Hollie, Disneyland with Clint, Liz time, and a lovely day with friends with Nathan McEuen in Ventura
Feb 22 – Dad has his 6th surgery, this time on his right knee. The damage is much worse than originally expected, and the long-term prognosis for the leg’s usefulness is realized.

March 3
– Have two awesome interviews at University of Michigan Medical Center, and we celebrate as a family with Turkey O’Toole’s at Bennigan’s
March 7 – I get offers for both jobs at U of M, and accept the postion in Thoracic Surgery
March 8 – Rosie and I take an impromptu weekend celebratory trip to Providence, Boston, and New Haven to see 3 more Fox Elipsus shows
March 13 – I ship off to Boston for 5 days of Irish fun with my Irish Princess friend Nicole, and we spend the next few days with Terawrizt, Lethal Dialect, The Bawston Strangla, and Shaymin. I come down with a nasty illness that will plague me for the next month
March 18 – Drop Cola off at the airport, and drive to Nantasket Beach to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean, before returning to Boston for a few more hours of sightseeing and flight back to Detroit
March 20 – In an impulsive moment, I agree to head up the planning committee for my 10 Year High School Reunion
March 25 – Take one last trip to SLC before taking on the shackles of full-time employment. Nathan McEuen gives my dad a concert at Aspen Ridge
March 31 – I start my job at U of M, and New Kids on the Block officially announce their reunion tour

April 16
– Saw Ben Folds in concert at Adrian College with Mike and Erin
April 20 – Went to the ER for an grapefruit-sized ovarian cyst rupture. Diagnosed with PCOS.
April 25 – Assist Utah does an evaluation of my parents’ home in Murray, and decide that the renovations to the house are too extensive to warrant a renovation. They will need to find a new home.

May 5
– Began my parent-dentist relationship with Dr. Kam, who received thousands from me in the next 7 months. He did a great job, unlike my CA dentist
May 15 – Complete the most difficult school semester of my life, and have to take an incomplete on my first class ever. Flew to California for two days for Chris and Mary‘s wedding, a trip to the Huntington with Liz, and to celebrate Syttende Mai with Brett
May 23 – Take a two-day trip to Palmyra, NY and Niagara Falls, by way of Ontario, Canada. We stayed with Alan, my old HS boyfriend, in Rochester. He treated us to Dinosaur BBQ. Yum!

June
– My summertime slump. Thank you Prozac for fixing me.

July
– Attended Grandpa Dale Bullock’s funeral, dealt with a bad month of Taylor’s schedule, cut 7 inches off my hair, Lissy’s twins Sarah and Phoebe were born, spent a weekend in Northern KY with my old Ricks College roommate Stacey, and I went insane planning my HS reunion. Dad is done with Aspen Ridge My parents move out of their home of 15 year on Green Oaks Drive in Murray, and move into the Brigham Apartments in downtown SLC

Aug 2
– MHS X, the high school reunion, came off much better than all the nightmares that plagued me about it for weeks. I already knew everything going on with the people that attended because I read their blogs. I relinquish the responsibility back to the class officers for the next reunion
Aug 8 – Enjoyed the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I was a total Phelps Phan.
Mid-August – . Grandma Joyce in Portland decides to sell her house and move to SLC. My parents house goes on the market. I also reconnected with a bunch of my old Balmoral ladies through blogging
Aug 30 – My coworker Kay gives me the hook-up through a friend for tickets to the Utah – Michigan football game at the Big House. We wear red. Utah wins.
Aug 31 – Receive a random, smug message from Tim, the guy I dated right after my divorce, that temporarily sends me into an emotional tailspin. (History: I was madly in love with him, we were planning our wedding, and then he suddenly breaks up with me in a email. No contact for almost 5 years, then a message at 3 am after finding my blog) Actually, this is the year that EVERY man I ever dated got in touch with me through my blog or Facebook. Even Niko from Finland. Kinda creepy. Rosie and I drive to Lansing on a whim to meet up with Taylor for the night at his crew hotel.

Sept 2
– Rosie begins 2nd grade
Sept 13 – We spend Rosie’s birthday in SLC, and have a wonderful family turn out for her
baptism
Sept 21 – After months of deliberation, Taylor decides to take the CRJ-900 upgrade in Atlanta. He puts in his bid for January, he gets assigned for training in October.
Sept 22 – Taylor turns 29. One more year till 30!

Early October
– Begin revising resume and applying for jobs, and enjoy the most beautiful autumn that I’ve ever remembered
Oct 8 – Taylor and I celebrate our Four Year Anniversary We spend the weekend in Atlanta checking out neighborhoods and apartments, and prepare for Taylor’s move to ATL.
Oct 17 – Spend a family day in HELL, MICHIGAN and go to the Christmas Store in Frankenmuth
Oct 22 – Taylor leaves for Memphis and Montreal for 10 days of upgrade training. The pilot widow lifestyle resumes…
Oct 25 – Rosie and I attend the New Kids on the Block reunion concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Best concert of the year
Oct 31 – Rosie and I fly to LAX to spend a warm Halloween Holiday in Cali.

Nov 7
– Have a phone interview with Emory for a position type-cast for me. A few days later I go to Altanta to have an in-person interview. Best one I’ve ever had.
Mid-November – I give my notice at work for mid December, and everything goes downhill fast
Nov 21 – Have a Girls Night Out with Hillary and Erin to see Twilight
Nov 25 – Start a Twitter account. Post 211 tweets in the next 5 weeks.
Thanksgiving – Road trip to Atlanta. A feast at Golden Corral, and a late dinner at Waffle House

Dec 1
– Accidentally inhaled an industrial chemical at work, and am sent to the ER for breathing treatments. Two weeks of asthma follow.
Dec 5 – I receive the job offer from Emory. Also, I blog about other significant December 5ths in my life
Dec 12 – Last day of work at University of Misery. Begin packing for 16 day trip in carry-on bags
Dec 13-15 – Snowy visit in Portland with Grandma Joyce
Dec 16-21 – Visit with family in SLC. Another ER visit. Attended Grandma Mary Taylor’s funeral in Spanish Fork. Get upgraded to First Class while non-revving to LAX
Dec 22-28 – Visit with family and friends in Cali
Dec 29 – Pack up my apartment in Michigan
Dec 30-31 – Drive with a loaded car from Detroit to Atlanta, overnighting in Knoxville
Dec 31 – Ring in the new year with Taylor, Rosie, Hank, and Marissa in Atlanta

Good ol’ Oregon Sunshine: frozen variety

Just dropping in for a moment to say hi from Tualatin, OR. Grandma doesn’t have wireless internet, and I feel bad hogging her computer. Today the Pacific Northwest was hit with a doozy of a winter storm. There’s currently about 5 inches on the ground here. Church was cancelled at the end of sacrament meeting to ensure everyone could drive home carefully. The big family party at my aunt and uncle’s in Portland was cancelled because chains are required to make it to their house. So today, Rosie and I are snowed in with grandma. We watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas broadcast, and are now going to do some cooking. Hopefully this storm will blow over, and won’t turn to ice, so I can enjoy my Portland plans for tomorrow.

Gypsy Lifestyle

Yesterday at work, I let my boss know that my last day would be December 12th (instead of the 19th, which I’d told her in October). I still don’t have a firm job offer, but there’s too much going on this month to be focused at work. I decided that I want to do some extensive traveling on the west coast, and return to Detroit the last week of December.

If all goes as planned, Rosie and I will be living the gypsy lifestyle out of carry-on bags for a couple weeks. We’ll be braving the airport crowds, and pleading with gate agents to board flights on our timetable. This is our preferred itinerary:

Dec 13-16 Portland, OR
Dec 16-20 Salt Lake City, UT
Dec-20-27 Los Angeles, CA
Dec 27-29 Detroit, MI (to pack, clean, finish up dental work)
Dec 30 Drive from Detroit to Atlanta with a jam-packed car
Dec 31 Pensacola, FL for a New Years Party
Jan 4, ’09 Begin new job