Saturday, July 30, 2005

Relay For Life Part II

Inital news reports are that this year's event raised over $520,000!!! Let's here it for Lane County! The event has happened every July for the last 5 years and this years totals are a record. We're $500,000+ closer to a cure.

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Here's our team's booth all lit up:
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Relay For Life

I made it to the Lane Community College campus last night to walk with my team for Relay For Life. This year, 150 teams participated in RFL and it sounds like that's a record. Final tallies aren't available yet (the event ends at noon today) but the goal is $500,000 in donations. As of July 20th, our team donated over $16,000.

I signed up to walk 2 hours and due to an injury earlier in the week, I was afraid I might not make it 20 minutes. I popped as many aspirin as I could, laced up my new sneakers and set off around the track a little after 8 pm. I was able to go till 10:15 (with just a couple minutes worth of breaks). I enjoyed walking this year as I'm healthier now than the past two years. I was even able to jog around the track several times. I lost track of how many miles I walked total did but it was probably in the range of 3-5 (I wished I had been able to do more, especially since I needed to work off a couple slices of Costco pizza!).

I think it's important to participate in RFL not only to remember those that have passed away and those that have survived, but also because it's crucial to take care of our own bodies and try to limit the risk of getting cancer. I was reminded of that as I sprinted around the track, my feet thumping on the ground, my breath pushing in and out of my body, sweat running down my forehead, the wind cooling my back and the calmness that I felt deep down.

I have some more pictures that I snapped after the sun went down so stay tuned…

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Let's hear it for the sun going down!

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Those of you not on the coast know what I'm talking about. It's hotter than holy hell in my house today. The dark night is such a welcomed sight and the cool breeze coming in feels perfect across my skin.

one man’s graffiti is another man’s art

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Shamrock Shack

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005


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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Punkin: 1, Evil Pink Frosted Cookies: 0

I came into work today and found those damn Lofthouse cookies sitting out for our department. It must have been a two for one sale at Albertson's grocery because we don't get treats like that very often. I hate those wicked cookies. They tempt me with their mile-high frosting and oodles of sprinkles. In the past, it was not uncommon for me to eat two in an evening. Ok, fine. I could eat three at a time….err, possibly more- during one sitting. I know what you’re all thinking. Oink, Oink. I admit it. Laugh if you want (if you read the customer “love letters” on the lofthouse website, the overindulgence of these cookies is apparently a very common thing). But wait till you hear this:

From 7:30 till 10:00 this morning, I walked 10 miles. And at a speed of nearly 4 miles an hour, I burned 1200 calories. TEN MILES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. I walked ten miles even before breakfast. And that’s not all. I walked 10 miles last Friday as well (but I cut that up into two excursions during the day to make it more manageable). I started this morning at the Eweb fountain (thanks to Tudeskii for dropping me off even though he would have preferred to stay in bed), walked all the way to the Owosso bike bridge, back over the Autzen footbridge bridge and then back to the car on 11th ave, way past Eweb (the Eugene Water and Electric Board headquarters for those of you not in my neck of the woods…..speaking of which, I recently discovered that I have a reader all the way from the UK. He’s been watching my blog since almost the beginning and for some strange reason, he’s still reading it. Hi Jon!). If any of you are looking for a good walk, I highly recommend the Willamette River Bikeway System. There’s a lot to see on the 12 mile round trip trek along the river- I caught sight of two hawks, several carp(?) and one pond turtle just this morning alone. And even with several homeless people in the area, there is rarely a time that another jogger or biker isn’t crossing your path, so I’d consider the area pretty safe.

I was really cooking out there on the path today. And I feel tremendous. So when I came in today and caught sight of those naughty cookies, it was only a split second of wavering between getting one (or two, ha!) and eating my carrots. Carrots suck, by the way. But at least if they’re organically grown, I know where they come from and what they have in them. Those lofthouse cookies contain ingredients such as Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate and Polysorbate 60. What the hell is that stuff? I’ll take a dirt covered sweet carrot over that crap from now on.

Cookies? I don’t need no stinkin’ cookies!

Sometimes You Gotta Look Up

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Monday, July 25, 2005

Union Station

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This is the train station in downtown Portland, known as Union Station. The building is nearly 110 years old. The Italian renaissance styled building was renovated 10 years ago and the interior is as exciting, if not more, than the exterior.

Unfortunately, this is only one of two shots I captured. Our class would have spent a little more time studying the building, but just off camera there was a scuffle going on between Portland police and a transient. It involved a tazer gun and I'll let you figure out who won. I’ve never seen someone get shocked before. It looks highly painful. You’d think the guy would have learned his lesson but he didn’t. We left the building rather quickly and stood outside the entrance, planning our day, when soon enough the scuffle spilled outdoors. The transient was being hauled off to jail but not before he lunged at officers once more and got zapped again. Whatever was upsetting him was enough for him to take a couple of rounds of shocks to calm him down. We left before we could see the resolution. Nothing like a little excitement on our first day in Portland!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

When I walk with nature, I never walk alone.

After such an exhausting first half of the year in school, I found myself wanting to get the most out of summer. I spent so many days cooped up inside from January to June, completely slaving over the computer until wee hours of the morning. I’ve lost track of how many nights I went without sleep as I wrote several papers on architecture, planning, and art history. My camera started to collect dust and the blog entries became few and far between (I apologize profusely to the faithful that checked in every once in awhile during that time and I thank you for hanging in there). My laborious efforts paid off as I completed two full semesters with good grades. But something was not balanced in my life. I gained back a few pounds that I’d lost last year, and I’d also forgotten how to enjoy a quiet moments during my day (that did not include television, the radio or the internet in some way). Knitting helped me a great deal as the craft demands a certain quiet patience. But I still needed something else.

I took to walking in early May, mainly to jumpstart the weight loss. First, I walked a little in the evening after supper and a few times in the early morning before dawn. I walked around the neighborhood, remembering how it was last summer, when I feverishly walked for hours at a time, even wearing out my tennis shoes at one point. Pretty early on, I noticed all the little things about walking outdoors that I’d missed out on earlier this year. I love the stillness of the morning, before most humans are awake. Birds stir as early at 4 am, animals scurry for food, and the air is crisp and full of possibilities. Every single morning, a whole other world is working outside beyond our Pop-tart breakfasts, beauty routines and the morning news. I began to observe the world around me once again with my photographic eye. Water on rose petals, rays of sunlight pouring over the landscape, butterflies pausing on leaves with wings that slowly open and close as if they were rhythmical breathing- everything was as I remembered and yet entirely new at the same time. Naturally, my camera became my constant companion once again (and you all get to see what I’ve been seeing lately).

This summer, especially in the last six weeks, I’ve made it a priority to get out for a walk almost every day. I started walking from school to work which I estimate to be at 3 or so miles. Then, I realized that I had allocated too much time for my morning commutes and I bumped up my walks to more than 4 miles. Every week, I’ve been adding more steps. This past Friday, I walked 11 miles for the day. I fear I may have calves of steel come September and who thinks rock-hard calves are sexy on a woman? But I guess it’s a small price to pay to start my day in such a peaceful way. There is a lot of head clearing that goes on during such a long walk. I think it’s a form of meditation. I’ve never been the praying type. But something amazing happens when I’m out there on the track, walking past the blackberry plants, listening to the Willamette gurgle past river boulders, and occasionally greeting other walkers and joggers. I can get in touch with myself and the environment.

Recently, a friend asked me if I use a walkman when I exercise. Unequivocally and quite happily I said no. Why drown out the world around me with some mindless pop songs? I do that in the car all the time (and I do enjoy it a great deal in that setting…. I’m the dork who sings along totally off-key with the radio… the kind that you laugh at when you’re both stopped at a red light). There is too much to miss on a walk with a walkman strapped on. Earlier this year, I found an ipod in a gutter in downtown Eugene. I quickly traded it for a low quality digital camera. Why do such a foolish thing? An ipod lets me take music that someone has created and shared with me, everywhere I go. But a camera lets me create art everywhere I go and share it here. For me, there’s no contest. I can pick flowers and take them home without killing them. I can share the beauty I see everywhere. I can capture moments that would otherwise be lost.

For an interesting article about walking, check out the July 14th Eugene Weekly cover story. The UofO English professor that wrote it is definitely on to something. I recommend trying to walk once a week around your environment. I guarantee that you’ll notice things that you’ve never noticed before. Don’t be surprised if you notice something new within yourself as well.

Portland Beauty

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I'm still working up the courage to ask strangers if I can take their pictures. But this gorgeous woman walked by me during lunch at the Pioneer Courthouse Square and I just had to act fast as well as discreet so I quietly snapped my camera in her direction. She and her family were dressed head to toe in some exquisite fabrics. Her dark, smooth skin complimented the bright colors of her dressing quite well. Out of the hundreds of people at the square that day, I thought she had the most grace and beauty.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Time to pick a new profile picture!

I started the blog a year ago this week. I began photographing my world shortly after. I decided that my profile picture needs some updating. Nothing is wrong with it, other than nowadays I have a much more vivacious spirit and little bit more wisdom. And I hope that is coming thru in my photos.


Friday, July 22, 2005

Newport Bridge

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Nature of Usefulness

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Thirty spokes will converge in the hub of a wheel
but the use of the cart
will depend on the part of the hub that is void.

With a wall all around a clay bowl is molded
but the use of the bowl
will depend on the part of the bowl that is void.

Cut out the windows and doors in the House as you build
but the use of the House
will depend on the space of the walls that is void.

So advantage is had, from whatever is there
but usefulness rises
from whatever is not.

-From Chapter 11 of the Tao Te Ching, The Nature of Usefulness

My week long urban field studies class ended today. For the last four days, our group has visited several urban sites including Broadway Place in Eugene, and many places in Portland such as Old Town, China Town, the Pearl District, Lauralhurst, Fairview Village, the Albina neighborhood, New Columbia, Hillsboro and Orenco Station, as well as much of Florence. The one thought that stuck with me, especially when it came to the brand new developments of Fairview Village and New Columbia is that developers and architects are very quick to dub their creations a success- simply based on how much money and buzz they generate at the start of a project.

One thing that I have come to realize in the last few months, (especially when I completed a paper titled Rethinking the Right Angle: Women and Gender Issues in the Architectural Field which discussed the struggle not only for professional women architects but the design aspects and problems that arise in both masculine and feminine design), is that my designs are never to be considered successful before they are completed. My designs will never be successful in my own eyes. It seems to me that the success of a space, whether it be a small 900 square foot house or a 10 acre urban community cannot be judged by its creators. It can only be judged by those who experience the space every day and the quality of interactions that are developed within the space. My true success as an architect will come from what is not on the blueprints. It will come from that which I cannot fully plan for- the void between the walls. If I am destined to be an architect of design, then I must learn to be an architect of the human soul.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Take me out to the ballgame!

All Photographs © Punkin Dunkin Productions

Okay, so I lied…but just a little. I really am going to put the blog on vacation but first I decided to post some pics from the Eugene Emerald's game last night. I was dragged to the ballpark to see what I consider one of the most insipid sports ever created. I'm not sure which is more boring- playing the game or watching it. I just can’t imagine ever becoming a fan of this game. Of course I had to take my camera along, if only to stay awake during the lengthy nine innings. I asked Tudeskii how long we would be staying and he stated “Well, there are nine innings so…” and I replied “I know how many innings there are, I want to know how long we’ll be here!” I finally dragged him out of the park at the bottom of the seventh, with the promise of Dairy Queen. Checking the scores this morning, it looks like we missed the only exciting part- Boise came back strong in the 9th and won 12 to 7.

It seems like every hometown sport has its hardcore fans. This guy was all decked out head to toe in Ems gear and whenever the team took to the field, he waved his flag with such gusto and yelled so loudly that you'd think he felt personally responsible for the team's performance. It's as if his enthusiasm had some sort of weight for the outcome of the game. I'm thankful I wasn’t there to see his reaction to the final score.

We had general admission tickets and arrived to the park a little later than we thought so I didn't get the best pictures I could have. I spent half the night drooling over this media guy's setup and his position on the field.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

One Foot Forward

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I had enough time to fit in a five mile walk again this morning, visit the Knit Shop in south Eugene and get pulled over by a EPD cop before I got to work today.

Here's a little shout-out to the nice policeman that pulled me over:
Yes, I know you have a job to do and I applaud you for it. Yes, I know that I broke the law by doing a rolling stop through the stop sign (according to you). Yes, you could have written a $237 ticket to me for that infraction, thanks for just warning me instead. Just one question, why are you watching for relatively minor traffic violations on a relatively minor road in South Eugene when I see people breaking the law all over town? You could have been on I-5 or the beltline when some jackass weaves in and out of traffic lanes dangerously close to other drivers for what seems like the umpteenth time this week. You could have been on 7th Avenue and watched some F.O.P. (read Fucking Old Person) nearly cause several accidents with his 10 mile per hour driving speed and inexplicable need to slam on his breaks every quarter of a mile (I don't know if it's against the law to be a scary/dangerous/overly cautious driver...but it should be. Are these people getting their licenses from Cracker Jack boxes??). You could have even been in Jefferson Park and watched a couple of teenage hoodlums accost several innocent bikers and walkers just trying to enjoy their morning. But thanks again for choosing to stop me. Lord knows I learned my lesson. At least until you were out of range and I could continue on my merry way, rolling through quiet and seldom used intersections.

I am not a law breaker. Let me rephrase that: I am not someone who gets caught often breaking the law. I’ve been stopped a few times in my life but only once have a received a ticket. I think it’s my sweet smile and fucking lovely disposition that gets me off most of the time. ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


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I walked at least 5 miles today (with a few minutes of jogging here and there) between the Greenway Bridge and the Autzen Bridge. At least I think it's 5 miles round trip between the two. I'm not a 100% positive. Anyone reading this know for sure?

Now I just need to train the feet to do 5 miles every day. I'll be set for the summer.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Did I Mention That I Love Fairy Wings?

Laurel in Sunshine

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My stunningly brilliant and globally conscious cousin was in Oregon this past month. She is biking down the West Coast from BC to San Diego in just 5 short weeks this summer! Hazzah!

I have a hard time expressing in words how proud I am of her.

Laurie, you are one of the smartest people I know. You use your intelligence and your talents to better your life and the lives of people around you. I am constantly amazed by your tenacious spirit and determination to forge ahead in any task or challenge that drops in your lap. I applaud you for standing up for what you believe in and learning to live the life that you find the most meaningful. I am lucky to know you and even luckier to say that we are family. Perhaps your limitless beauty, character and cleverness will rub off on me someday. I love you, cousin.

People are like stained-glass windows.
They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when the darkness sets in,
their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.
-Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Monday, July 11, 2005

Trapeze Artist

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This monkey stood still for what seemed like forever. He stuck his feet between the bars of his cage and hung on just above where I was standing. He was captivated by all the cooing from the crowd. I wonder if we look just as funny to them as they do to us? Finally he got bored and left his post so I snapped the picture.

It's another one of those photos that would have looked awesome if not for the hideous cage between us.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Hippy Christmas!


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It was Hippy Christmas at the Oregon Country Fair this past weekend.

Lot's of goblins, drooling kids with dirty feet, long hair on everybody (mmmmm...), horned devils, grilled tempura and falafel, tie-dye crafts galore, and tons of fairy dust in the air. I can't say that I felt at home in all the weirdness, but I definitely felt welcomed. Just as we were trying to figure our way home, this band- Kan'Nal was playing on the main stage. I loved the alternative belly-dancing groove they've got going. Next year, I shall be up front dancing with the crowd. Next year, I'll get some fairy wings of my own.

Favorite bumper sticker of the day:
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons
for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Four Eyes

I spent a great deal of money on my new glasses. They are the first pair that I've worn outside of the house since I got contacts at age 15, not to mention the very first that I modeled for my blog ;)

I also spent a little chunk of change at the salon today (well for my student budget). I figured I better get a little use out of the hair cut and style before my hair returns to its natural and unruly state in the morning.

Here is my best impression of a librarian who's a little stuck up. Shush! No talking!

This photo didn't come out; I look like a zombie but hey, the glasses look great!

Call me four eyes if you want. At least I'm stylin'. Can you say that about yourself?

the above pics would not be possible without my supa fly assistant Tudeski
I've learned that he can't have his picture taken without doing something goofy.

A Place In Heaven

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Friday, July 08, 2005

Portland Zoo

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Mile High

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