Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fashion and Identity

It's been commonly stated by many a fashionista and subculture adherent that what you wear says a very specific message to the world about who you are or what you're feeling. And while it may be true that fashion can be considered it's own form of language - with syntactic structure and rigid grammar rules - that language (just like spoken human language) is in constant flux.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

PMHM: Dog Days of Summer

Here's a quick rundown of how I survive the baking temperatures of the Midwest during summertime.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Day....F**k this, Portland Sucked and We Left Early

We spent a total of one and a half days in Portland, Oregon. That was long enough to know that the city's aura did not get along with mine. Every city has it's own energy and vibe, and in Portland I felt anxious and attacked - no matter where we went or what we did.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Day 11: Miss Piggy

See the little pink house on the right there? That's where I am as I type this up. This adorable little guesthouse with a loft bedroom sits in N Beech St in Portland, OR. Which means we've arrived at our final vacation destination.

We left just before noon, said goodbye to our Astoria hosts (which were lovely people) and headed out on US-26 through all the crazy mountain terrain - again, lovely.

We stopped in Seaside to eat at Bigfoot's Bar and Grill - deep fried clams are quite yummy, who knew? actually rained. For the first time since we've come out west, it finally rained. We even had a spot of thunder here in the city. Not gonna lie, I'm slightly amazed. I mean...all the forecasts said it was going to be hot and sunny. But no, right now it's cool, breezy, and rained in.

I'm really comfortable.

Day 9 and 10: Scenic Astoria

So Astoria is a cute little town - lots of convoluted hilly streets, the GPS hates it but I quite enjoyed it. 


Friday, July 11, 2014

Day 8: The After Party

We did have a great deal of fun in Merchant's Cafe. Choosing a high table near the bar, we ordered some drinks (Catie had a Bloody Mary and then we both tried Pyramid's apricot ale) and some light food (chicken nuggets and fries, anyone?) while having random conversation, researching the ghostly history of the bar, and taking some funny and ill-timed photos.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day 6 and 7: Chilling with Catie

So yesterday we spent the day in the apartment. Both of us were suffering from heat exhaustion + major sunburn so we stayed out of the sun as much as possible.

After Catie got back from work, we ordered pizza and then went out to watch the sunset over the Seattle skyline. That was pretty nice - she's got a great view from here.

Then today we went back into town for Tea and Crumpets (yes, always capitalized because of awesome) and the strolled around back towards the greatest retro and rockabilly shop ever. It's called Divas and Dames or Diva Dollz - either is accurate I guess. They only have one branch here in Seattle, one more in New Orleans and they're thinking about opening an outlet in Aspen.

Plus their website should officially be up and running within the year and then I can order online. In the meantime though, I did get two lovely dresses from the shop. The girls who work there are SO lovely and nice, I had a good time.

If I moved to Seattle, I would be totally cool with applying to work there as a part-timer. :)

Tonight we're going out with Catie to Merchant's Cafe. It's Seattle's oldest restaurant and also has a very violent history, so there are a TON of rumors that it's haunted. I guess glasses will fly off the bar and stuff once in a while. I kind of hope to see something while I'm there. It would be MAKE MY TRIP. :D

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day 5: Alki Beach and Sunburn

Yesterday the boy and I drove over to West Seattle to visit Alki beach, which is one of the few "sandy" beaches in the area. We lucked out with another beautiful sunny day and spent a good chunk of time wandering along the Alki Trail and then sitting on the beach and enjoy the sea breeze and waves.

This little house on the left was covered in a cool rock facade.

A lovely view of the city skyline.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Day 4: Another romp around Seattle

So yesterday we were up at the butt-crack of dawn because our hosts were upstairs tromping around and chattering quite loudly in Punjabi. I imagine none of their guests have ever alerted them to how little sound insulation they have in these prefab home structures...

We decided to go on the Underground Tour with Catie yesterday because she hadn't done it yet and I thought it would be really interesting to see. I took a ton of photos (see yesterday's photo dump) hoping to get an orb or some ghostly apparition, but outside of the first underground area we visited, I didn't feel anything particularly odd or charged about the place.

Maybe too much living energy present....

After that we stumbled around a bit more and wound up in the international district which was awesome. They have a Kinokuniya bookstore there and this large Asian market called Uwajimaya. I wanted to buy like....everything. I NEED to live somewhere with a large asian market. No lie.

We also ate at one of the little food vendors in the market - I had a Vietnamese sandwich, which was a seasoned pork with cilantro and pickled veggies on it all snuggled up tight in a loaf of french bread. Good stuff.

We were all still pretty pooped out from the previous day's romp through downtown, so the boy drove us all back to Catie's new apartment - which is a renovated space underneath a house but it's very spacious and comfy, with a nice little backyard/courtyard deal that has a strange fruit tree. We couldn't figure out what the fruit was, but seeing as it's really early in the year for that sort of thing, maybe it'll become more apparent when it ripens.

Her cat Odin also joined us in the backyard and had some fun with the grass and the birds twittering at him from the tree. The neighbor dogs make him a bit jumpy though and he can't figure out the loud engine noises of the planes overhead, but he seemed pretty chill otherwise.

Before all that we hung out inside with a bunny that Catie was babysitting. She was a cute floppy eared thing the color of cinnamon so of course her name was Cinnabun. Too cute!

We came back to our host's place after 9 and the door was locked (doubly so) so he had to come unlock it for us. Then it was sleep time, which was, yet again, disturbed by the very same phenomena I described at the top of this post.


Photo Dump: Seattle + Underground Tour

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 3: Seattle, The City Itself

We left our room at the Ramada Inn around 8:40 am and headed west for Seattle. We drove through some desert like terrain and absolutely HAD TO STOP and take some pretty photos. It was breathtaking and the air was so fresh!

Once in the city, we meandered through ridiculous traffic conditions to our home away from home. We tried calling their cell a few times and no one answered to we wandered around the neighborhood for a bit (we saw at least two homeless people in the park across the street and a thug looking dude started to follow us from a bus stop) before calling up my friend Catie and making plans to meet downtown.

We did get a call back from our host though, so we unloaded stuff in our room (which I still need to get pics of, but later!) and then ventured back into traffic and through the crazy winding one-way streets near Pioneer Square.

There we met up with Catie and wandered around. We ate in a little diner inside Pike Place - teriyaki salmon burgers are lovely, btw, and then wandered around some more. We checked out the waterfront area and, strolled down some streets, and finally checked out the Seattle Center - which is where Chihuly Gardens and the Space Needle.

Then we took the monorail back towards Pike and inside a random mall I found.....a Daiso shop! I didn't even know one existed in Washington. So of course I bought some random food items. :)

We walked around a bit more and then parted ways since Catie had some place to be later and we were tired and hungry. It took us awhile to get back our guest room, but now we're here and we're resting.

My feet are so sore I don't know if I can walk tomorrow much. And a bit hungry, but it's likely a better idea to stay in and rest for the remainder of the day so maybe noshing Poptarts is a good plan.

Day 2: Montana to Washington

We left the hotel about 9:15 am and set out across Montana. We stopped for gas right away and then we were off. Montana is absolutely gorgeous - lots of badlands scenery and rocky mountain sides. I even saw a small juniper tree growing out of the middle of a giant rock - I kid you not! It was really cool looking.

All the rivers and lakes we drove by looked so blue and clear - it really made me itch to go swimming but that urge has mostly passed now.

The only downside was ALL THE DAMNED CONSTRUCTION going through the mountain passes. As if those winding roads aren’t dangerous enough, they go and cut off a lane of traffic here or there for a few miles. All of the rerouting and “reduce speed ahead” nonsense probably added at least an hour to our travel time.

Going through Idaho was sketchy - we needed gas and had to pull off on some dirt road in a little industrial town. They only had one gas station. With one pump, but the cashier was really friendly and the bathrooms were clean so… win.

Finally passing into Washington felt like a blessing. The boy kept oohing and aahing over all the stuff we passed in Spokane. He’s officially in love with this state already. I’m glad. I really like it so far too - the air smells fantastic and the terrain is lovely.

There were even fireworks as we passed by a couple of towns. All in all, not a bad way to spend America’s Independence Day. And now it’s time to sleep.

July 4, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Day 1: Minnesota to North Dakota

It's 8 am and I'm sitting in a dingy motel room. Last night was insane.

We left home around 4 pm, and had to take a detour around the next town to get onto I-94. But then we were on our way. We didn't stop until we got close to Moorhead/Fargo to fill up on gas and use the restroom. Then it was back to the road again.

North Dakota is empty. Except for Valley City (yeah, I'm sure you're imagining that correctly) the terrain was flat, mostly brown, and never-ending.

It was probably pushing 10:30 or 11 pm when we stopped for more gas in New Salem. I got myself a delicious Vanilla Mocha BLAST coffee to stay awake and good thing, because about an hour later traffic (what little of it there was) had come to a screeching halt on the freeway.

Police car blocked both lanes and was directing people to the nearest exit. He told us to take it, go north until we reach Hebron and then take 10 until we came back around to I-94.

So after about 30 minutes of winding around some dirt roads in middle of nowhere (and following the tail lights in front of us) we finally got back on the interstate. Turns out there was a gas leak or something and part of the freeway was blocked off. Good thing we made it back safely would suck to be lost in the middle of ND at night.

Then we passed into Mountain Time and decided to get a room for the night. So now we're in Beach, ND - close to the Montana border and as soon as the boy wakes up and gets moving...we'll be on our way again.

We should be in Seattle by later today if driving is smooth and there are no mountain road closures or such. Crossing my fingers here. Wish us luck!

Oh yeah, Happy Shoot Fireworks and Burn Your Neighbor's House Down Day.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pre-Vacation: The Last Minutes

After the boy gets off work tomorrow, we're heading out. We cleaned out the car and vacuumed it, put Rain-X on all the windows. We've got snacks and food items ready to go. I'm fully packed, but now I've gotta get the boy's stuff ready. Poor thing has no clue what to stuff in his bag. :)

I can't really think at the moment of what we might be missing, but I'm sure tomorrow morning I'll be running around like a headless chicken making sure all the last minute stuff is secure. And even then, I'll probably forget something minor (although crucial). Oh well....

So after we get going, we'll hop on the interstate and head towards Fargo. Then it's through North Dakota, past Billings, Montana, across a tiny stretch of Idaho and at least....beautiful Washington. I'm really quite excited, I can only imagine the different types of scenery and terrain we'll encounter. And places along the way we'll stop.

I'll be posting photos and such every couple of days, so stay tuned for updates on our location and activity!