Friday, November 14, 2008

I've been tagged

So, I've been tagged by Jamie. (The your tagger and list these rules on your blog. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.)

Fact 1 - I love to read. I probably read 3 to 5 book a month, plus magazines. Mostly I read fiction and I love thrillers, mysteries, and historical fiction, but I'll read just about anything if it looks halfway interesting. How do I have so much time to read you ask? I don't watch much TV and I always carry a book when I travel to help pass the downtime while in transit.

Fact 2 - I hate ranch flavored anything and everything. Ranch dressing is the devil's work. I don't what it is about ranch, but even the smell of it turns my stomach. So many people love it, but I would rather eat dirt than anything ranch flavored.

Fact 3 - I think I should have been an architect. I can't draw worth a damn, but I love buildings and looking at how materials, textures, colors, light, and space interact to create different types of environments. I took a couple of architecture and landscape architecture classes in college and really enjoyed. If you ever look at my photo albums, you'll notice I don't take many pictures of people, but lots of pictures of buildings. Who knows, maybe I will become an architect one of these days...

Fact 4 - I have really stretchy skin on the back of my neck and head. Maybe it's normal (not like I go around pulling on the skin on people's necks) but I can pull the skin really far away from my scalp in certain places. If hope I don't get weird drooping back-of-neck rolls when I'm older.

Fact 5 - I have never understood the appeal of Seinfeld. One of the dumbest shows ever.

Fact 6 - I played the viola for 5 or so years when I was a kid and was a member of the Spokane Junior Orchestra. I can play the cello a little bit as well although it's been years since I've touched either so I would probably totally suck at it now.

Fact 7 - I think I have really nice ears.

I don't think I even know seven people with blogs so I won't be tagging anyone else, but hope you're enjoyed some random facts about me.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


It's Sunday afternoon here in the small town of Selçuk, our base for touring the ruins of Ephesus, and it's hot. Must be in the 80's which is actually pretty nice unless you're walking around a lot and sweating. Good thing I brought my sunglasses and some sunscreen. We walked around Ephesus yesterday and it's an amazing site with ruins of old baths, the Library of Celsus, an old amphitheater, lots of temples and gates, and the marble road that runs through it all. I would have loved to see the city 1,500 years ago when it was all still standing. We also visited the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, but today only a single column remains so it's not much to look at.

We also visited a little village outside Selçuk where they produce wine. I didn't try any of the wine at the wineries, but I did have some homemade wine with my lunch. Let's just say it had an interesting taste - not quite wine, not quite juice, definitely homemade. Along with my wine I had an eggplant pancake - mashed eggplant wrapped in homemade flatbread and cooked over a wood fire. Then it was off to buy some soaps and knitted slippers before heading back to the hotel.

Today we visited the site of the Seven Sleepers and in a couple of hours we'll be heading back to the airport to catch a flight back to Istanbul.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Have been in Istanbul since Monday and have to say that this a great place to visit. So far I have seen the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Underground Cistern, the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market, the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent, and took a cruise up the Bosphorus. The mosques and old Ottoman buildings here are amazing, making Istanbul a must visit destination for anyone with an interest in history or architecture. Although it was raining a bit on Monday evening, the weather has been great ever since - sunny and warm. Perfect sightseeing weather.

Turkey is a Muslim country, but it's much more progressive than it's Middle Eastern counterparts. Women are not required a wear a head scarf, although some do, and many restaurants serve alcohol. I have noticed that women are more modestly dressed in public - not a lot of exposed legs, arms, or cleavage - but that seems to be a matter of personal choice. The vast majority of people here look similar, dark hair and eyes with slightly tanned skin, although some people look more European and other more Middle Eastern in terms of their facial features (mostly the nose really).

This afternoon I'll be catching a plane down to Izmir and heading out to Ephesus, sight of a many old Roman ruins, then coming back to Istanbul on Sunday to finish out my trip before returning to the US on Tuesday.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

'Nawlins, Part 2

Not feeling like a want to type too much right now, so here are some pictures from my trip. First pic is the signboard outside the House of Blues, second is Jackson Square in the French Quarter, third is some random statue I came across, and fourth is Aleesha (college friend) and Derek (her co-worker) as we were leaving Pat O'Brien's.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Having a great time in New Orleans. Staying in the French Quarter which is touristy, but I gotta say, I love the old brick buildings and all the balconies. I totally want a NO style house - all window and balconies and courtyards. Went to Audubon Park yesterday, it's like NO's Central Park. Then made the mistake of walking back to the French Quarter which was about a 3 hour walk back along Magazine Street. Great area for shops and restaurants if you are ever down here.

Turns out one of my friends from college lives down here, working for Lockheed, so I met up with her and her frends tonight and hit the local hangouts. So much fun. I don't know if I could ever live here, but it's a great place to visit if you like food and live music. Damn never every place has live music every night which is so great. You must go to Pat O'Brien's if you are in NO. Two copper plated pianos, a great staff, and a huge music selection. Not to be missed. Other suggestions:
  • Red Fish Grill - touristy restaurant in the FQ, but good food. The hickory smoked red fish with crab is fantastic and the bread pudding is something else. It's so rich, one is enough for a couple of people to share.
  • Coop's Place - dive bar a block from the vendor at the French market. The kitchen is in the courtyard and you can watch the employee's smoke and play cards while they cook. Awesome. They have rabbit jambalaya.
  • Pat O'Brien's - just off Bourbon Street. A must if you are in town.
  • Lafitte's - possibly the oldest bar in the US. They don't have electricity inside, just candles.
  • DBA - neat local bar just past the French Quarter. Lots of local bars in this area.

More to come...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

PDX Airport

Arrived at the airport about 6 am this morning and am now sitting at the gate waiting for my flight to New Orleans. Getting up at 4:30 am to head to the airport is not my idea of a fun Sunday, but what can you do? Unfortunately there are no direct flights from Portland to New Orleans so I have to connect in Denver and won't arrive in the Big Easy until around 5 tonight. And then I'll probably end up eating and heading straight to bed since I'm super tired from 2 nights of going out. A whole day wasted. But at least I'll have the rest of the week to explore the French Quarter and see what New Orleans has to offer.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Quick Update

After a long hiatus, here's a quick update on what I've been up to:

  • Finally got everything set up in my new place in SW Portland. Not totally loving the location, but it's an nice roomy place and I finally have a deck.
  • Heading to New Orleans on the 19th for a week long conference. The topic is stock plans so it'll be pretty dry, but I'm excited to visit New Orleans for the first time. I'll be staying at the W in the French Quarter which will be great.
  • Heading to Turkey on the 26th for a week and a half. Will be spending most of my time in Istanbul, but hopefully also a couple of days somewhere on the coast.
  • Going to Mazatlan in early December for a week of vacation. Will be a great time of year to get out of rainy Portland.