The Big Party!

Patricia and Matt were married on August 19, 2021, in Tacoma, Washington, and they are having a big party to celebrate!

Celebrations in the time of coronavirus…

…are tricky. We planned this party before the Delta variant started surging. Because it has, and because there is still a global pandemic going on, we will follow CDC guidelines and ask everyone to wear a mask indoors. 8/26 update! Oregon guidelines require masking outdoors if six feet of distance cannot be kept. Please wear your mask outdoors if that is the situation.

We’ve switched some activities planned as indoor activities to the back yard and we will change things up as things develop. We are fully vaccinated and hope that, if you are eligible, you are also fully vaccinated. With that said, let’s get into the details of the Big Party!

When: 9/11/21

Where: The Orange Door (Patricia and Matt’s house)

Time: 2:00 p.m. onward

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

We planned a big party on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11. Not ideal, but that’s what we did. As the New York Times said in 2005, “Sept. 11 is a strange, unclassifiable presence on the calendar. It is not an official holiday, and yet it is a day that arouses emotions far more powerful than the half-remembered sentiments behind Columbus or Labor Day.” September 11, 2001 was a big deal in the US, and we will have a way for people to share their memories of that day, if they want to.

Read on for the rest of the run of show!

The Prize Drawings

We have a party passport ready for every attendee. Each activity you take part in earns you a stamp in your passport and one ticket to enter into one of four different drawings for a gift card to one of our favorite Portland places. Plus, there are other opportunities to earn tickets. Gift card drawings will take place throughout the party. You need not be present to win.

  • $50 gift card to New Seasons. Drawing at 4:00 p.m.
  • $50 gift card to McMenamins. Drawing at 6:00 p.m.
  • $50 gift card to Powell’s City of Books. Drawing at 8:00 p.m.
  • $50 gift card to the Portland Game Store. Drawing at 10:00 p.m.

Activities

Ongoing Activities:

Available from 2:00 p.m. onward.

Trivia (indoors or outdoors)—Answer 20 questions written by Patricia and Matt about random (though mostly person-specific) minutia. Much like Patricia’s 10 Years in Portland Pub Quiz Party.

Art (indoors)—Make art with a variety of supplies. Much like Matt’s Graduation & Birthday Art Party and the Art Party.

Photo Scavenger Hunt (indoors and outdoors)—Search the Orange Door and the surrounding block to find and take pictures of a variety of items. Much like the scavenger hunt party Patricia had back around 2004 before she owned a digital camera, so there’s no record of it.

Hanging out (indoors and outdoors)—We’re not drill sergeants. You can just chill. You don’t even have to stand. We’ve got chairs and everything.

Time-based Activities

3:00 Bingo! (outdoors)—Bring your quarters! Use them to buy game boards (25¢ each) and play along as the numbers are called. You get a passport stamp for playing, and Bingo winners get an additional ticket. Much like Bingo at Rosefriend (predigital camera) and Patricia’s Birthday Bingo Party.

5:00 Bring a Song (indoors)—Are you ready to sing? Bring a song. Or a piece, if you are good at music and have a piece ready to perform. You can play your solo piece, sing a solo, sing a sing-along song, or sing with a group of people. Bring your own instrument, or we’ve got a digital piano and a TV that can pull up Karaoke songs on YouTube. If you need a CD player, tell us ahead of time and we’ll rustle something up. Much like our Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along Party, or Patricia’s 40th Birthday Karaoke Party (and all the karaoke gatherings since.)

6:00 Shakespeare (outdoors)—Either perform or watch Act V of Wm. Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. We will have scripts and links to access PDF copies of scripts for all performers/readers. Everyone watching gets a stamp, and everyone performing earns an additional ticket. Much like our Soup and Shakespeare Party.

7:00 Board Gaming (indoors)—We’ve got gamer games like Dead of Winter, Spirit Island, and Marvel Champions; social games like Medium, UNO, and Skip-Bo; and a few trivia games. You can also bring your own games, too. We will have multiple tables available for players. Much like the regular game night we’ve been hosting forever. Everyone who plays a game earns a stamp.

Other ways to earn tickets

  • Scavenger Hunt, find all things
  • Trivia 18/20 correct
  • Vote for which anniversary we should celebrate
  • Previous attendee of 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 past parties
  • Known Matt for 5, 10, 15, 20, years
  • Known Patricia for 5, 10, 15, 20 years

But What Will Sustain Us Through This Party?

It’s a long party, so we have choices.

Drinks

  • Tap water, and even ice to put in it! (I know! So fancy!) (Also, Patricia’s favorite beverage.)(Though she likes it without ice.)
  • A variety of sodas.
  • Homemade lemonade and limeade.
  • A selection of beer picked out by a New Seasons employee who is good at that.
  • Red and white wines.
  • A signature cocktail: the Whisky Buck.

Food

  • 2:00—We’ll have platters from New Seasons including the seasonal vegetable platter, the Mediterranean platter, the charcuterie platter, and the brie and fruit platter.
  • 5:00—Casa Maya will bring us all we need for a taco/burrito bar.
  • 8:00—If people are still hungry, we’ll order pizza from Fino.

Dessert

Patricia loves cakes! So much so that she’s making three of them. Patricia doesn’t love wedding cake traditions involving two-person slicing and feeding/shoving, so there will be none of that.

Here’s what we’ll be slicing up:

  • 4:00—The Pink Cake. Chocolate cake with raspberry-tinted buttercream frosting
  • 6:00—Watergate Cake with Impeachment Frosting. Pistachio cake, pistachio buttercream, and candied pistachios.
  • 8:00—Goober Cake. Peanut butter cake with peanut butter frosting, plus a few layers of chocolate ganache.

Should I RSVP?

Yes!

Yes, you should!

It will help a lot!

You can RSVP by posting a comment on this post (Patricia will need to approve the comment, so you won’t see your RSVP instantaneously), phoning, messaging, texting, or emailing Matt or Patricia, or mentioning that you are coming the next time you see either of us.

Are you registered?

We have no registry. We own a lot of stuff already. If you are coming to the party, your presence is present enough. If you are not coming to the party, good wishes (sent via vibes, text, email, or the USPS) are also wonderful.

If you are a person who really likes to celebrate things with money, you could make a donation to:

Are you coming to the party? Cool! We can’t wait to see you. Don’t forget to RSVP!

Are you sending us good wishes! That’s awesome! Thanks so much!

Random Song: Hope The High Road

KINK Sunday Brunch is my favorite block of radio. From 7:00 am to noon, Peggy La Point plays a variety of interesting songs, old and new. A good 80% of them hit my sweet spot. Like this one. Which I cannot recall, but know that I liked because I had google search it and then took a screenshot of the name.

I’m listening now and am still liking it. YouTube seems to not be giving me access in the way I’m used to, but maybe this link will work?

A Forest Grove Walk

I got up early and headed out to a coffee shop to get some breakfast. On my way, I caught the sun coming up in this reflection.

And here is the sunrise from the other direction.

The coffee shop’s website said it opened at 6 a.m. and when I walked by the previous evening, so did the hours posted on the door. I got there at 6 a.m., though and no one was about. Employees unlocked the door at 7 a.m. While I understand that there might be some barrier to updating a website, I think posting a sign with current hours on the door is something that was doable. At least there was a chair outside for me to sit in while I waited.

However, the breakfast sandwich I ate was delicious (as was the tea) and all was forgiven.

I ate my breakfast in the Magic Flute room, one of my favorite at McMenamins. I also caught up on correspondence.

I’m nearly to the end of this batch of notecards, which is too bad, because I love them so much. They were a very good find at Scrap. It’s fun to see how many things have changed. On the right side of this drawing, you can see the Armory is still painted white. It hadn’t yet been taken over by Portland Center Stage.

9:15 a.m. was my soaking pool time. I had to reserve the time before I arrived. This was a great soaking pool experience, because no other people appeared. My reservation for 8:00 p.m. the night before, I skipped. I went down at my appointed time, but there were much too many people and too many people without masks. Today it was just me. I swam. It was a head-above-water breaststroke, but swimming nonetheless.

The chickens and I chatted for a bit before I went on a walk.

The movie theater is closed, which was to be expected. I took a closer look at the posters.

From the future, I can tell you that Free Guy was really released on August 13, 2021, not July 3, 2020.

Onward probably did play at this theater, because it was one of the last big releases before everything shut down. The Woman in the Window was released on Netflix on May 14, 2021.

I wondered if these two Forest Grove High School graduates knew each other. Were they neighbors who ignored each other or best friends? There’s a YA novel in this photo.

Here’s a Mondrian-style truck and camper. Very cool.

Aside from the fact I forgot to start my activity tracker until after I’d already walked an hour, this was a lovely walk.

I Spend My Stimulus Money

I squished in a mini-vacation to celebrate my new job and used my $600 stimulus check to pay for it.

As you can see, my transportation to McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove was first class. Two trains and a bus and I was there! This is also my first time on public transportation since September and my third time on public transportation since everything shut down in March last year. That’s three public transportation trips in about a year. I think the last time I had so few public transportation trips was in 1995.

I am wearing official swag from my employer. You can’t really see the logo because my jacket is fuzzy, but the logo is there.

The crocuses were up at Grand Lodge.

I caught some great cloud cover.

Part of spending money was taking advantage of the services at Ruby’s Spa at Grand Lodge. I got a massage and a body wrap. It was my first-ever body wrap. I liked how it left my skin so very soft. If the government keeps sending me money, I might just book another one.

The website said the movie theater was closed, but I smelled movie theater popcorn. It turned out the theater was open. Alas, it was showing Tom & Jerry, a movie I had no desire to see. I stopped by the movie theater bar to get a pint of cider, and while there, I inquired about the popcorn. I decided not to buy, but the bartender sent me off with a pint cup of popcorn. Very fun.

Books Read in February 2020

Young Adult

This is My Brain in Love
I.W. Gregorio
Read for Librarian Book Group

This book gets all up in the emotions of its two protagonists. It’s also a solid love story with realistic complications. Win!

Just Patty
Jean Webster

Given that for my first 21 years, I was called Patty, I grabbed this Little Free Library find for the title. I found a delightful collection of stories about three friends attending St. Ursula’s, a progressive girls boarding school.

The book was published in 1911, and my copy was from 1911, so I got to delight in typography that has gone out of fashion (so many spaces!) and also thick paper and illustrations. I wonder if Maud Hart Lovelace was inspired by this book when she wrote her Betsy-Tacy series?

Given its age, there are surprisingly few moments to wince at. A chapter about the Irish-American family next door with oodles of children and a father that drinks too much was firmly ensconced in stereotype. And there’s another chapter where the girls dress as “gypsies” and are very mysterious. But other than that, it was teenagers being teenagers, back before they called them teenagers.

I’ll see if I can track down the other book Jean Webster wrote featuring Patty.

All the Days Past, All the Days to Come
Mildred D. Taylor
Read for Librarian Book Group

Just as long as its title suggests, this meander of a story is not a young adult book. The main character is finished with college, for gosh sakes, and the book covers her 20s and 30s.

This is a (kinda) character-driven novel, but mostly it takes many asides so the author can explain who a historical figure is or give us details about a historical event. There was no reason for it to end when it did or to go on for as long as it did.

I gather that this continues the story of a character or characters in books I haven’t read. Perhaps it would have been a more satisfying read from that standpoint. As it was, this was a long slog.

Everything Sad is Untrue
Daniel Nayeri
Read for Librarian Book Group

A YA book* destined to be shelved in the wrong area and never found by the readers who need it the most, Nayeri’s tale of life in America and Iran dazzles with matter-of-fact recounting.

*Just because the narrator is twelve doesn’t mean it belongs in the middle grade section! The themes are too mature for middle grade readers! This means that most kids who do find this book won’t be old enough for it, and older teenagers will pass it by.

They Went Left
Monica Hesse
Read for Librarian Book Group

We know many stories of the people imprisoned in concentration camps during World War II, but what happened after?

Zophia’s quest to find her brother sheds light on one story.

If These Wings Could Fly
Kyrie McCauley
Read for Librarian Book Group

As a resident of a town where crows have flocked, I loved how McCauley wove the birds’ appearance with the escalating abusive situation in this novel. I found the magical realism to be less successful.

It was nice to see toxic masculinity defeated by something other than toxic masculinity.

Never Look Back
Lilliam Rivera
Read for Librarian Book Group

Duel narrator retelling of a myth I’m not overly familiar with Great magical realism elements.

Legendborn
Tracy Deonn
Read for Librarian Book Group

When a fantasy novel can capture this reluctant fantasy reader, you know it was written by a gifted author. Bree’s discovery of odd things afoot at her Early College program is just the beginning of a wild ride. I’m looking forward to a big long series about her journey.

There’s a small Twilight callout that had me chuckling.

Young Nonfiction

Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom.
Carole Boston Weatherford & Michele Wood
Read for Librarian Book Group

Poetry and pictures bio of the enslaved man who mailed himself to freedom.

How We Got to the Moon
John Rocco
Read for Librarian Book Group

Having lived in the long, long shadow of the baby boomers for more than four decades, I felt I had absorbed more than enough about the moon landing. But then: this book.

John Rocco looks at the cornucopia of problems the US needed to solve to get to the moon and he lays out a solution for each problem. His big picture viewpoint highlights many people behind the scenes including the seamstresses who made the parachutes that deployed after the astronauts reentered earth’s atmosphere.

Rocco uses illustrations rather than photographs, and I thought this was a brilliant decision. The illustrations convey the many small details about the bits and bobs of the infrastructure that was part of the US Space Program. Highly recommended.

The Cat I Never Named
Anna Sabic-el-Rayes with Laura L. Sullivan
Read for Librarian Book Group

Like most of the rest of the world, I didn’t pay much attention to the war happening in what we used to call the former Yugoslavia. Even though I knew two people from the area. So it is a gift to have Anna’s story of her time in the Bosnian town of Bihać during the war.

The horrors of the war are not glossed over, but they aren’t so explicit that a reader will check out. The humanity of everyone involved is shown again and again.

Catherine’s War
Julia Billet & Claire Fowel
Read for Librarian Book Group

A graphic novel about one of the many Jewish children hidden in plain sight in Vichy France.

Itzak: A Boy Who Loved the Violin
Tracy Newman & Abigail Halpin
Read for Librarian Book Group

Picture book that caused me to wonder if this is the only picture book I’ve seen depicting a child with polio.

I liked the colors.

SKS Postcard: What’s the Buzz??!

Sara spruced up this postcard that I think was designed so someone could color it. But neither the sender nor the receiver enjoys coloring. Good job with the gold ink, SKS!

Sara asks about our snowstorm (thoroughly covered on this platform!) and tells me about Northern California winters which have a lot of rain and a sunny day to lighten the gray days. No snow for them, though.

The stamp on the card is one of the ones from the snowy day series. Very on brand!