Simple Nourishing Pleasure

Eggs with lingonberry sauce

Asparagus covered in olive oil with salt & pepper

Simple Summer Dinner :)

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Sun&Fun

What a truly fantastic weekend! Every once in a while I’ll have an excellent weekend where I get to fulfill my need for social attention, creativity, adrenaline, and adventure. I began my weekend adventures by meeting a friend who had just returned from France for a year. We met at the Lucky Lab, which allows minors until a certain hour. There were quite a few other dancer friends there as well. The beer there was quite excellent, and I’m sure that with an ID I will return there again. Tragedy struck, however, once we were returning to our cars, and I realized that I had not only left the keys in the ignition, but I had also left the lights on and drained my battery down to about nothing. After a mild freaking-out moment, I came to see how awesome my friends are. Twenty five minutes later, those who are the slightest car savvy had somehow worked their magic to make my car work again, while the rest stood with me on the side lines for moral support.

With that behind me, two others joined me at the Hawthorne food carts, or “Cartopia.” Let me tell you, these food carts have been somewhat of a lifeline for those of us who are not quite old enough to partake of the true Portland night-life scene. They’re open to 3am, or something ridiculous like that, so most of my post-tango adventures usually involve stopping here. While I usually go for the Potato Champion cart, which has the best french fries (and poutine, chili fries, and the most delectable–and personal favorite–satay and raspberry jam combo), I was feeling the crepe cart, Perierra Creperie. I love the crepes, both savory and sweet, as well as their milkshakes. If you’re willing to spend on a food cart what you would at a real dinner, then I would more than recommend this fantastic cart. While I can’t quite ever seem to remember the name, it’s unmistakable with the techno blasting with possibly the most pretentious hipsters in all of Portland calling out names of the customers. I happened to order a crepe with peanut butter, honey, cinnamon, and banana, as well as a honey-lavender milkshake. Both were truly to die for. What I loved in particular about Friday night was the great company that accompanied me to the cart, and the late-night stroll through Ladd’s Addition that followed.

Saturday was filled with a picnic in the middle of beautiful Washington Park. The weather was 80 degrees and completely sunny, which was so pleasing. The perfect amount of people showed up, all bearing delicious home-made dishes that couldn’t taste any better on such a lovely day. We spent the time playing soccer and frisbee, gossiping, and indulging in the sweet concoctions prepared by everyone. Once realizing how sunburned we were, we left the soccer field and hiked up the hill to the Intl. Rose Garden. We meandered through the lovely roses, witnessed a wedding, and kept engaging conversation. I wished it wouldn’t end, but some people have other obligations to fulfill…

That night, an old high-school friend of mine was hosting a Peter-Pan themed costume 20th birthday party. The very closest thing I could muster up last minute was a blue ensemble to attempt to be Wendy, though it was obvious that I hadn’t seen the movie in such a long time. I appreciated the slightly juvenile aspect of dressing up in a childhood Disney character. I had also forgotten why this friend and I used to be so close, and a good time was had by all.

Finally, I woke up this morning slightly late for a coffee date with another RA friend that I just haven’t been able to hang out with recently. I loved that we both had so much to catch up on, and before I knew it, two hours had passed.

I just barely got back from watching Florence & The Machine perform at McMenamin’s Edgefield with my mom and sister. Florence is such a charismatic woman, with all of the usual charm of a British woman. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her perform live. I had never been out to Edgefield to watch a concert before, though overall I’d say it was a positive experience. I had forgotten to wear clothes that were warm, and spent the entire time under my sister’s blanket. It was worth it, though. The food was good, the music pleasing and entertaining, and the company good.

All I can say is: summer, you are wonderful.

Open Your Eyes…

This definitely caught my eye as I was perusing my blog feed. This seems to perfectly sum up my worries about my own life right about now. I know that I’m worried about wasting my life away, and that someday I’ll look back and wonder why I didn’t do such-and-such. I wish that our mindset as a civilization could change, and people would do what they wanted, enjoyed the little things, learned to love and laugh and experience, and not spend the whole of their lives preparing for the ”next” thing.

thejumbledmind

An excellent sign…

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Just a little tango happiness

Tonight was another night where I realized why I fell in love with tango in the first place. A majority of the super good dancers are currently in Seattle at the TangoMagic festival. I almost prefer it that way; that way I’m getting more dances with friends. Plus, people who are my level, which is somewhere in between intermediate and advanced, are more available to dance. Tonight was simply wonderful. I didn’t have a single bad dance, the music was pretty good, and the floor wasn’t too crowded with egotism. I was able to just relax, dance, and have a good time–which is what tango should always be about.

I also walked away with a nice little gift :)

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Summer=Good (fresh) food

I just realized that I’ve really fallen behind on posting regularly. The past week has been pretty busy with some job interviews, some fun time, music, and dancing. The summer life is pretty good.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve decided that I not only need to learn how to cook, but to cook well. It’s rather annoying to have to constantly rely on the dining hall for a good meal–it’s just not going to happen. So I’ve taken to stocking fruit in my room, which has actually been a bit of challenge. I’ve already had to deal with fruit flies and some other kind of annoying pest. But I think that I got it under control now. I’m just hoping that my suite-mate doesn’t mind having so much stuff in the kitchen (and that she doesn’t eat it either!).

Tonight for dinner I made myself a half of a sandwich with a delicious bun, turkey, avocado, pickled peppers, a little mayo and mustard, topped off with some brie. Redundantly, it was delicious. To go with it on the side, I indulged in a banana and cooked some simple asparagus with olive oil and the classic salt and pepper.

Obviously, I’m no chef, but what I made was rather scrumptious, and I don’t feel bad giving myself a little pat on the back for a decent effort and final product.

I ate almost all of the asparagus and all of the banana before I remembered to take the picture…

I really love the summer time. It’s amazing how much fresher everything is, and how good everything tastes. For me, one of my all-time favorites is a classic BLT–which is always so much more delectable during the summer. But more than that, I love how easy it is to bring together friends over food during the summertime. I think the warm (but not too warm) Portland weather is enough for everyone to crawl out of their caves and become their best social creatures.

Moonlight Milonga

Last night was probably one of the most enjoyable nights that I’ve had at tango in a long while. My friend Dirk’s family owns some land outside of Battleground, WA with horse stables and their own private tango setup. It kind of looks like a large gazebo (without the fancy white trimmings and everything), with a mirror on one of the walls. They had put up Christmas lights around the perimeter of the dance hall to truly give it a more magical feeling.

What I love about this milonga is that the people know before showing up that it will be laid-back, that there is no need for impressing people. It’s really an evening to share with friends. Of course, some regular tango rules apply: cabaceo, line of dance, dancing full tandas, etc. But no one will look and wonder why you are spending more time socializing than dancing.

Towards the end of the night

Last night was particularly enjoyable because of the company. I brought along one of my good friends who I’ve known since we were both in kindergarten together, his girlfriend, a couple of close friends, and then one of their friends who I had never met. Turns out the addition was a perfect compliment to those of us who were already close. I truly love meeting new people and hearing their stories. It just makes life more interesting. It also makes for good dancing.

Dancing with Peter

There is something to be said about dancing outside with the moon shining down upon everyone, especially with the glow of the hanging Christmas lights, a little Pugliese or D’Arienzo wafting through the night air, and the constant soft murmur of people uniting, reuniting, or just meeting for the first time.

Bajofondo – Pa’ Bailar (Bailarin En El Tren)

Here is one of the my all-time favorite alternative tango songs. It’s frequently played here in the Portland tango scene by various DJ’s. I first found this song as one of Starbucks’ song-of-the-week giveaways, and I thought the video was charming. It wasn’t until I started tango and began frequenting the alternative night on Wednesdays that I reheard the song and began to appreciate it for what it’s worth. So watch this video, but if you ever get a chance, listen to the version with Julieta Venegas; it’s brilliant.

Somehow, the first 5 minutes of The Newsroom tells more truth than anyone wants to hear

Ok, so I might have been a little late in catching onto this show. People have been driving me crazy with constant Facebook posts about how great this show was, and about how everyone should go watch it, blah blah blah… I’m always a little leery when it comes to recommended shows, mostly because I don’t appreciate anything that resembles reality TV unless it involves watching it with some girlfriends, eating a carton of ice cream while trying to make ourselves feel better about some life drama. But as I was thinking about this, I remembered that HBO doesn’t tend to air trashy TV, and decided to give it a chance.

Within the first 5 minutes, I knew that I would be watching more of this series, and at least give it a shot. The very first episode opens with some kind of forum with a democrat, and republican, and a news anchor (Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels). There is some kind of emotional drama happening for a couple of minutes, but then the panel are asked by a woman who appears to be in college “Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?” Will McAvoy answers with basically with what is dictated below:

All too true

I was immediately struck by this two minute rant, and could not help but keep my eyes glued for the next hour and 10 minutes. If anything, I would seriously recommend just watching the first 10 minutes of this episode. The truth spoken here is all too true, and the continuation of his explanation that follows this point cannot be argued. Something that I find so irritating is how people simply choose a political party, and bandwagon-it just so that they can say that they think they know what is happening in politics. Now, I would never say that I’m completely aware of what’s what,  or to understand how everything works, but I do know that before I vote for something or someone that I check up on what it is that I’m really doing. There is nothing that I hate more than someone who will join a party or a stance on something, and then not even be able to explain or argue their case more than “because I said so,”  “because it’s just the right/logical thing to do,” or worse yet “because I’m a republican/democrat/socialist/etc.”

The same logic applies to the question asked on this episode. In America, many of us tend to have this view that because we are American we are better. Yet all around the world, we see equal if not better standards of living, happiness, education, healthcare, economies… the list continues. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wish that people would use their rationale to come up with views, instead of being lazy and taking the easy (and often unconsciously obtuse) option.

What I mostly appreciated from the first ten minutes of The Newsroom was its brutal honesty, and total bashing of ignorance.

And then I’m reminded why I’m not studying and working towards being a politician: I would always be angry.

I need a job

This week, I’ve been overly frustrated with my failed attempts to even land a job interview. I know that I need a job this summer, so that I can have some source of steady income, reduce my student debt, and hopefully start saving to study abroad for next summer. Why is the Portland job market so bad? If  I’ve never had any experience with food, cash/tills, or professional customer service, then where am I supposed to start? I am always beat out by people who have had much more experience than me.

On Monday, I was called by Starbucks, who said that I could show up to a job fair the following day to be interviewed (alongside every other person who has applied online). I, however, have had RA summer training all this week until 1pm, and had to deny the offer. I was annoyed.

Then, that same day, I was in TartBerry, which is a fro-yo place up by Director Park. I happened to ask if they were hiring, and they said that they were, in fact, hiring for a newer store located on campus, and that I could drop a resume off at the store to be considered. I did just that. I walked into that store and handed over my resume to the owner, trying to show that I was very interested and friendly, and she said to call back within a day or so to see what the status was. I called back two days later, and she pretended like she didn’t know that I had turned in my resume, and then proceeded to tell me “no, we’re not hiring right now. But I’ll keep your resume on my desk–maybe something will pop up in the future.” In my disappointment, I looked to the PSU job database, and found… job openings for TartBerry! While the thought “what the hell” kept running in my head, I debated calling that lady back, or walking to the store and asking her if she had mistaken my resume. This would not have been a wise choice though, and I’m glad I just kept my disdain to myself.

I just don’t understand how I can’t even land a minimum wage job! My resume, while lacking in excessive professional experience, does have a good GPA shown, an almost annoying amount of leadership qualities and responsibilities, and through the number and variety of activities and skills demonstrates my ability to adapt, learn, and thrive when given the chance. I just wish there was a way that I could convey that to someone who would pay me for a real part-time job.