Tag Archives: Portland

Happy National College Colors Day!

national college colors dayHello!

Portland State happens to be the largest public university in the state by a mile but it’s far from well-known. That seems like a paradox, you might suggest, but it happens to be sucked into a dark pit of apathy stemming mainly from the city and overall attitude that it’s nestled in. I’ll be honest, I’m pretty apathetic about my school too but it actually seems like being an active participant in the usual ‘college’ activities at PSU is out of the ordinary. Pretty sad, actually. While most other colleges or universities are in ‘college towns’ we are plopped right in the middle of hustling, bustling downtown Portland where no one knows your name or cares to. We don’t own our own stadiums, of any kind as far as I know, and that cuts out the biggest amount of buzz that could be generated because no one cheers for us. I’m not a sports fan anyway but there’s no way I’m going to go to a 20 person tailgater and then watch our team lose in an empty stadium. The dorms, which usually signify the place to experience the real ‘college experience’ are far from it with dead hallways, bolted doors, and an extreme lack of connection. Greek life parties? Forget it – with a dismal Greek community and no houses there isn’t anything going on; or if there is, most people aren’t inclined to go. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things that I do really like about my school but they are almost entirely tied into ‘school’ not ‘atmosphere’; aka. academics. I have some incredibly talented peers who inspire me, amazing faculty who have stretched me (with some bad apples thrown in, like anywhere else), and there have been a lot of opportunities that I’m pleased to have experienced. However, you won’t see me repping my one free PSU shirt and lanyard very often. I’ll get my degree, snag a rewarding job in my field, and move on in life thinking fondly of some memories but probably not hooting about my alma mater. Do I own a pair of viking horns, you ask? I’ll stop you right there.

Carrie

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Happy National Caviar Day!

photo (17)Hello!

I’m going to be honest, I’ve had caviar and it’s really not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s just suuuper salty and pretty darn posh. Besides those two factors I didn’t really think there were any other words to describe it. This beautiful dish, on the other hand, cannot be explained in all of its glory. I ran up to Portland today to have one last adventure with my best Portland pal Nick before I get sucked into wedding stuff, his girlfriend gets back from Canada, and, ultimately, he drives off into the distance to further his studies in Texas. We went to a somewhat infamous place in Portland, the Waffle Window, and I ordered the Banana… Well, I don’t remember what it was called but it was loaded with bananas. Rich, fluffy whipped cream doused in banana caramel, crunchy almonds, sweet raisins, and plenty of banana chunks on top of a fresh, rich waffle? Oh yeah – that definitely beats dumb caviar any day! Happy holidays – enjoy some fancy caviar or a mouthwatering waffle… you know which one I fell for!

Carrie

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Happy National Donut Day!

Hello

“We go nuts for donuts!” That’s my (un)official slogan for today’s holiday! You may remember some other posts in the past when I showcased the beautiful treats that I grabbed from Bluestar Donuts in downtown Portland. I’m not a huge donut fan but there’s something special and kind of grown up about the ones that they serve and I can’t get enough of it. Hence the unquestionable trip over there this morning. Nick and Jason went with me to celebrate the holiday and it was a lovely way to start the day. I don’t know if I’ve introduced the blog to Jason yet, probably not, he’s a clarinetist and a grad student at PSU and it’s a pleasure playing with him in my ensembles. We chatted for an extra minute or two this morning before we set off walking north to the donut shop because Nick slept through his alarm, like a silly guy.

The one donut that I’ve gotten every single time and has never disappointed me is the blueberry bourbon basil. It’s just so refreshing and elegant. Two toned flavor with the sweet and savory… You just can’t go wrong. I also opted to try a lemon poppy donut because it sounded interesting and the lemon frosting was to die for. Heaven in my mouth. The donuts were really fresh, still warm even, so the ‘shell’ of the donut collapsed under the pressure to pick it up and the frosting just oozed all over your fingers. It was scrumptious! Sure, a little messy to eat on the walk back to class, but worth every finger licking moment. Nick said he wasn’t too much of a fan of his maple bacon donut but I warned him that maple bacon is only good for the trend value. Even a high class place can’t magically solve innate imperfection.

Another momentous event, besides the amazing holiday, is the fact that it’s the last school day of the term! Technically, I’ve finished all of my classes for Spring term and now I’m just off to the dress rehearsal for our Orchestra concert tonight, I’m moving out this weekend, and then driving back up for three days of finals next week. On one hand I can’t believe that Eric and I can finally be finished with two excruciating years of long distance but it’s also a little sad to think that the friends I’ve made here won’t be around in the fall, like Nick who’s going off to Texas to be successful. Psshh. I just can’t imagine wind symphony without Allison making faces at me or Sam and Sarah in the hall. Crazy. Life moves on, though, right? I guess… Luckily I won’t be starting completely at square one next year, there will be some familiar faces, but considering how tiny my social circle is right now I’m basically at square one. – But we won’t think about that right now. Instead, we’ll munch on a sweet donut and think of simpler times. Happy holidays!

Carrie

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Happy National Hot Air Balloon Day!

photo

Hello!

I’ve been watching the skies carefully and there are no hot air balloons to be seen. Nothing. Natta. Zip. Zilch. In Albany you see lots of balloons out and about, usually flying right over our house, and we even have the Art and Air festival each summer where you get to see loads of them but I can only imagine their panic trying to maneuver over downtown Portland. Oh, you’re going down, are you? Let’s see, you can land on the Freeway or a lot of tall buildings. Aim for the park blocks maybe? Don’t expect anyone to move for you, though, that would be too polite of them. I’ve never flown a hot air balloon or even have ridden in one but it’s doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it’s best to land somewhere open and soft, like a grass field. At least it’s sunny and beautiful! I’ll just have to imagine the deafening’ gushhh’ of flames heating the balloon high above my head. Maybe I’ll open my snapchat and enjoy the balloon decal when you slide up the page where your sending your message. Alright, new holiday challenge: have a snap chat? Find the hot air balloon and celebrate!

Carrie

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Happy Earth Day!

photo (1)Hello!

Welcome to Earth Day! Aka, Armageddon in Portland. I always try to kind of sketch out my blog during the day while I’m dozing off in class so that I have a head start on the creative process (although I forget most of it anyway) and as I was walking back from my observation time at a local high school I took a lovely picture of the green, lush park blocks and thought about how I would mention the beauty of Oregon’s landscape and how we need to preserve it… And then things took a turn for the worse. Our oboe chamber group was practicing and all of a sudden it got super dark and the sky was just thrashing rain down onto those poor trees in the park blocks that I mentioned previously. It was nuts! … And sudden too. By the time I left to walk home for a quick break half of the sky had cleared up, leaving this amazing spectacle on the slower side. Really crazy, huh? The Earth is a magical place and we need to take care of it so that these little harmless phenomena are as bad as it gets.

I’m also feeling a little under the weather, although under this weird weather right now I’m not sure where that phrase leaves me. I think Eric passed along his cold with our quick Easter meeting this past weekend or something because my throat feels like it’s swelling shut and I’m swallowing fiery daggers – not fun! What with so much going on right now (opera 7-11 every night after a full day of classes) I can’t exactly stay home and sleep. I can, however, drink tea with honey (6 parts honey to 1 part tea of course) and suck on cough drops all day. I’ll make it through but I can’t promise it will be pretty.

Carrie

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Happy National Scrabble Day!

scrabbleHello!

Our 3 year anniversary weekend is coming to a close soon and Eric will be on the bus back home in a couple hours but we’re making the most of the morning that we have right now. Coffee date and donuts from Blue Star Donuts were a total hit for breakfast! I heard about this downtown donut company on the Food Network and we went there once before; coming back was another definite success! The flavors today were Blueberry Bourbon Basil, Maple Bacon, and Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar. All delicious and almost too much goodness to handle. Then we raced over to Target for Scrabble because I don’t have that one in my Portland board game collection. Scrabble is one of those games that I always end of cheating in. I have a perfect word but no where to put it? I’m squeezing it in and if there happens to be an extra letter on the end sue me! I just can’t take it seriously and although it is a fun game I know I’m no fun to play with. Words with Friends isn’t even a worthy substitute.

Carrie

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Happy National Bachelor’s Day!

Snapshot_20140301_2

Hello!

This cute little bachelor is off the market ladies! Technically he doesn’t have a ring on it, yet, but that doesn’t mean he has free reign. Of course he spent his day of freedom with me, like a gentleman. : )

We had a really great Portland day today and I let a little bit of my ‘money scrooge’ self go away and we splurged on city fun. We started our day off with some amazing donuts at Blue Star Donuts aka. Donuts for Grownups. I actually found out about them on a Food Network Channel donut episode and then realized they’re only a 20 minute walk away! Blueberry bourbon basil, crème brulée, and hard apple cider fritter were great choices! donutsNothing disappointed and we’re thinking about going back tomorrow morning before he catches the bus home. Then we had a gnarly concoction of tater tots, cheese, and country gravy at a really interesting bar/diner/hang-out place called The Roxy. Definitely not my scene but Eric enjoyed it quite a bit. Ryker, Eric’s long-time friend, happened to be in PDX today so we met up with him, helped him find a burrito from a food cart, and had a lovely walk around the Oregon Historical Society Museum. Coffee at the Park Avenue Cafe and then we sent him off on the MAX. It really is one of the first times that I’ve explored Portland and tried some new stuff. I know I still haven’t really left downtown but I don’t feel like I need to because there’s so much stuff even in this small, dense area. Plus, I can’t afford to do this any more than on just very special occasions! Mini-golfing with Lindsey and David tonight to top it all off. Today’s your day bachelors – so make the most of it being wild and free or spend it with some special lady instead if that’s more your idea of a good time.

Carrie

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P.S. We’re officially into march holidays now, yay! I currently get my holiday calendar from BrownieLocks but Holistory is another great place to find it. With information about all of the upcoming famous, and not so famous, holidays you’ll be ready to celebrate right along with me!

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