Lint Progress: What’s Upstairs

I still had time to kill after “Seams to Fit” so I wandered up 23rd Ave. for some window shopping. On my way I came across another consignment store called “What’s Upstairs.” It’s located at 736 NW 23rd Ave. I climbed up the stairs to find out what was there.

It was a store I didn’t like at all. The person working there was not really very friendly. Though I realize that the person could be unfriendly for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with me, the first thing I think is that I shouldn’t be shopping there. So that was the first strike against them.

As stated before, I don’t really like to shop. This means that I like things to be divided by size, so I can avoid looking through the smaller sizes. This shop was divided not by size, but by color. All the black pants were together, and all the black shirts, black sweaters, black jackets. On another wall were all the white things. In another room were all the colored things. All sizes, mixed up together. It was my shopping nightmare.

Clearly, some people like this store. Someone on Citysearch would “move to PDX FOR THIS SHOP.” I’m glad she’s happy. I won’t be going back.

Lint Progress: Seams to Fit

After a doctor appointment, I stopped by “Seams to Fit” to see if anything fit me. The store is located at 2264 NW Raleigh and, according to it’s website, “offers an upscale retail environment for consignment of your quality articles.” It is a very nice environment and the clothing was very high quality. It was also very expensive. I’m not really an Armani-suit wearing person, but if I were, I would shop here.

I had a lot of time to kill, so I tried a lot of things on. Including super fancy clothing that I had no intention of buying, even if it did fit. Clothing that costs over $40.00 makes me a bit nervous to wear. Some of the dresses I was trying on were $80.00 to $100.00. Used.

Nothing, sadly, fit. I’m being very picky about fit and nothing fit the bill. Still, I left in good spirits. This won’t be a main clothing store for me, but I’ll probably stop in once in awhile.

Comeback: A Mother & Daughter’s Journey Through Hell and Back

Claire & Mia Fontaine
One day, Mia Fontaine, the seemingly normal 14 year old daughter of Claire Fontaine, just up and ran away. When Claire found her, she was using drugs. This book, written by both mother and daughter, follows their story as Claire works to get Mia into a treatment program she can’t run away from. It was very gripping for the majority of the book, though the time Mia spent in treatment did drag on a bit. It was interesting to see how Mia’s drug use changed her mother and herself, for good.

Bike Project Day 23: The Missing Children’s Arboretum

In which I attempt to ride all the yellow, green, blue & purple streets on the Bike There Bike Map while increasing strength, stamina, aerobic capacity and exploring Portland’s nooks and crannies.

Day 23

Weather: Sunny & Cold

Ride Average Speed: 10.2 mph
Time: 59.43
Distance: 10.6 mi
Average Heart Rate: 132

The Ride:
N Lombard & N Denver
Go to Interstate and turn left
L on Ainsworth
L on Williams to Vancouver
R on Schmeer (hooks around)
R on 6th Dr.
Right into Children’s Arboretum
Come back out
L on 6th Dr.
L on Vancouver Way
L on Gertz Rd.
L on 13th
L on Marine Dr. to Bridgton
L on Gantenbein Ave.
R on Marine Dr.
At turnoff for Delta Park cut though park
Back to Denver.

Route comments:
Good route, though the whole Schmeer/6th Dr. was very heavily trafficked because a lot of industrial businesses don’t have President’s Day off. It would probably be better to ride there on a weekend.

The Columbia Children’s Arboretum is not well marked. I rode up and down that street looking for it and never found it.

How did I do?
It was clearly the first bike ride in a very long time. I had a longer route planned, but 10 miles was the limit for me, so I cut it short. I rode very slowly and it was nice to be out.

Glorious Bicycling Moments/Neat Things:
Mount St. Helens was out.

NE 13th Ave. was a mishmash of houses. There were older houses that felt free enough to do whatever they wanted, say paint large flowers on their garages.
There were gated communities. This made me laugh. That flimsy gate isn’t keeping anyone out who doesn’t want to come in, and anyway, a gated community in this area? You’ve got to be kidding.
There were also McMansions next to very modestly built houses. If you’ve got to locate your McMansion next to a run down 60s ranch, you still haven’t made it.
NE Bridgetown Rd turned out to be interesting. The road has been in the news lately
because the US Army Corps of Engineers wants to cut down all their trees. Bridgetown Road is a levee and the Corps doesn’t like trees on the levees. I was under the impression that the trees had all been cut down, but this picture clearly shows trees.
I was also surprised to see that Bridgetown Road had fancy condos on it.
From newspaper reports I expected a bunch of houses like this.

There are a lot of house boats in the neighborhood. It was a fun place to ride.

Walk to Lowes

I needed to walk to Lowe’s today and because I didn’t have church this morning, decided to take a longer way to see how it connected to my usual route. What I foudnd was a bit of a surprise.

Oregon does this thing I love called “One Percent for Art.” Whenever there is a large construction project, Oregon law requires, “not less than 1% of the direct construction funds of new or remodeled state buildings with construction budgets of $100,000 or greater for the acquisition of art work which may be an integral part of the building, attached thereto, or capable of display in other State Buildings” What this means is that whenever there is a big construction project, we get pubic art. The Max lines are a great place to see art.

This is my favorite art on the Yellow Line. Due to my not-so-fabulous picture, you might not be able to see, but along this bridge between Kenton and Delta park, there are these great flaming comets. They remind me of pinballs and it is fun to see the trains shoot through the pinballs and makes the bridge look like a large public pinball machine. The artist was inspired by 50s car culture. Back in the day, the people who lived in Vanport, a housing project built during the war for shipbuilders, used to race their cars on the back roads in this area of North Portland. Eventually Portland International Raceway was located in North Portland. My normal walk to Lowe’s involves bypassing this sign and walking all the way up to that brown sign in the distance. Then I take a right and another right and voila! There is Lowe’s. Sort of. I still have to walk though a few parking lots to get there. Today I took a right at the sign and figured the road would loop about before I hooked up with Hayden Meadows Drive and Lowe’s.

I turned out to be entirely wrong and for a very rare reason: I had the street running the wrong direction in my mental map. In my mind, Schmeer Road ran East/West, or perpendicular to the freeway. By taking this route, I realized that it actually is a North/South street and runs parallel to the freeway. It was incredibly disorienting, but once I realigned my directions, I realized that this route was about 10 minutes shorter than my previous one.
Schmeer Road looks like many places located next to a freeway. Big box stores, gas stations, chain restaurants, auto parts places. It’s not pretty, but I have no neighborhood hardware store, so I have to wade through all of this to get to a big box hardware store.
Schmeer Road also has Portland Meadows, the horse racing track and also the place where my brother saw a Grateful Dead concert in the 90’s.
I love walking by the Burrito House. It puts a smile on my face because to me “Burrito House” and “Fine Mexican Food” don’t really exist in the same place. Maybe “Good Mexican Food” and “Burrito House”, but anything with “House” in its name doesn’t get to use the word “fine” in my book.
I’m not sure what this building is being used for, but it is very well taken care of. It is always a highlight of my walks when I head North.

Resolution 2008 Update. Letters written Feb 1-10

  • Feb 1. Erin. Congratulations on her new house.
  • Feb 2. Commissioner Randy Leonard about his dumb idea to ban duct taping spots for the Rose Festival Parade. Stirring up trouble where there was none, that’s what he’s doing.
  • Feb 3. Chris. Thank you.
  • Feb 4. State Senator Margaret Carter. No on UO Basketball Arena financing plan.
  • Feb 5. Rose Quarter Ticket Sales. Good service.
  • Feb 6. State Representative Tina Kotek. No on UO arena.
  • Feb 7. Chelsea Cain. Because I love her books and her weekly feature in the Oregonian.
  • Feb 8. Felicia.
  • Feb 9. The Editors of the Oregonians HGNW. I suggested a story idea.
  • Feb 10. Dr. Cottrell.

I’ve also started keeping track of who wrote me back. I’ll have a report next time.

Requiem for an apron.

I don’t normally steal things, but when I knew I was quitting Bread & Circus, Whole Foods Market, I did take home this apron. Though part of working at B&C was a low point in my life, another part of it was something I look back on with nostalgia. One of the better parts was the uniform. I liked wearing the chef coats and the crisp white aprons.
I cooked with this apron for years, but my whitening powers are weak and it quickly faded into a grubby gray, then got even dingier and I had to stop using it, for fear that no one would eat anything I made while wearing it. It sat in my closet for a few years because I didn’t want to just throw it away. Today I did, but not without taking a picture.

Lint Progress: Savvy Plus

I love Savvy Plus. One of the things I hate about shopping is that it is so uncomfortable. In retail stores, I tend to feel grubby and worried that I “shouldn’t” be shopping there. It’s mostly all “me” stuff, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Being on the top end of normal clothing stores isn’t fun, either. I tend to feel huge in normal retail stores. Savvy Plus is the solution. It’s a clothing store for sizes 12 and up with resale and some new items. Both are reasonably priced.

And, it is run by Gaya who completes the package. She’s very nice and full of good energy and also has my favorite combination of leaving me alone to navigate the store, but also providing more attentive service if I want it. She let me take her picture, even though I could tell she doesn’t like to have her picture taken. Who wouldn’t want to buy clothing from someone so great? It’s also the kind of store where people pipe up with their opinion if something looks great on someone. The whole experience is shopping without all the baggage.
I hit the pants first. Gaya nicely told me to leave whatever didn’t work in the dressing room. I appreciated that, as it is one of those things I’m often not sure about. I tried on six pairs of pants, but nothing worked there. I wandered around the store looking for a new black sweater that fits. I found a sweater-like thing that ties in the front. It was 50% off so only $7.00. When I got home I banished the “bit too small” sweater from my closet to the donate pile. That was a nice feeling.
I also found this jacket which fits very well and has both black, white and gray in it. It was 30% off and came to $16.80.
Savvy Plus. If you are female, size 12 or larger and live anywhere near Portland you must go there. Don’t delay.

I’ve just realized that I might not need any more blazers/jackets/sweaters. I think I need to do step two of Ready to Wear before I shop again. That would be figuring out how many outfits I have in my closet and generating a list of what I need. I’ll do that tomorrow.