There is a common saying along the lines of ‘life is a series of moments’. Some moments stick out more vividly than others, while some grow more clearer the further we are away from them. In January, my aim is to take a photo a day that captures a moment. I’m no photographer, and my photos may mean nothing to anyone but me, but it’s my little project and I hope you’ll find it interesting as well.
January 31, 2014. As I close out my goal of taking a photo each day, I will wrap up with this one – of Jacob and Dogan playing with each other on a sunny day in the park. We bundled up and headed out with basketball and dog in tow for a stroll around the park. Dogan has a hilarious fetish for large balls – he wants nothing more than to pop them (which made for some unhappy kickball folks some years ago). But overall, this photo captures what I love most day in and day out – simple things like a walk on a sunny day with a basketball.
January 30, 2014. For the last three months, my company had been planning out our Annual Launch Party. It wasn’t a launch in the traditional sense – but more a celebration of the year past and the year to come. This particular work event is bittersweet as I recently accepted an offer too good to pass up, making this my first and last Launch Party as an official staff member.
January 29, 2014. When I first moved to Portland, I moved in with a loud, Mid-western, same-age guy who bought a house in NE Portland. For the next 3 years, I ran around the neighborhoods of the house, exploring, repeating routes, making new neighborhood discoveries. I miss that part of town, the random hills, the economic difference of houses just one street separated and the familiar runs. I recently returned to that neighborhood prior to boot camp and ran my way past familiar spots. This view is one after a grueling run up an old hill I once used to know.
January 28, 2014. A closet bookworm, I am. January has been the month of books for me. With an influx of recently available titles from the library, I find myself sneaking in as much time between the pages of other people’s stories. Jacob and I share one bed lamp, we don’t really see the need for more. On nights that he’s fallen asleep, I cast the light downward by my bedside and read in the shadows.
January 27, 2014. There is a road that runs along a bluff in North Portland called Willamette Blvd. It’s a popular route for motorists and cyclists alike as there is just 1 stop light and no stop signs from Rosa Parks all the way to St Johns. It curves along the bluff with residential houses to the right and the riverbank industrial skyline down below with Forest Hills rising to the west. The industrial lights may seem unsightly for some, but I think they are beautiful against the night sky.
January 26, 2014. In January, as most people do, I joined a “gym” – more like boot camp classes versus your typical gym, but a fitness regime nonetheless. Unlike gyms, however, this place kicks my ass in an hour or less. On early mornings when my friend, Jane and I arrive above the rest, the space feels momentous to me. It’s the quiet before the storm.
January 25, 2014. There’s a house along my walking route that I pass by often. I have noticed that an elderly couple live there and on nights when their curtains are drawn open, their living room is illuminated to the outside. Inside, I can glance at an adorable couple who favor reading in their favorite armchairs than starring into the glow of a t.v. I wonder when they met, how long they’ve lived in this little house, what they read day in and day out and how far back they’re experiences go.
January 24, 2014. Portland boasts two professional sporting teams – The Timbers went MLS in 2013 and the Portland Trailblazers, who are having a very good season thus far. The Timbers football club is called the Timbers Army and practically deserves it’s own major-league status. Noisy, boisterous, die-hard fans come win or lose – the Timbers Army takes the experience of attending a Timbers game to a whole new level. The Timbers lost in the playoffs against Real Salt Lake, but they had an epic season. Against the back of the field is the Multnomah Athletic Club, a swanky club in NW. Their patrons get a unique view of the field during game time and for the first time, I was able to get a taste. Nah, I prefer the ruckus of the Army, please. Looking forward to 2014.
January 23, 2014. An early morning at a work event, hosted at the Oregon Zoo. I had hoped to sneak off into the zoo on this quiet chilled morning to snap a photo of a mountain goat, an elephant or a bear – but I didn’t want to violate Zoo rules. An average day at TAO typically consists of an event, one focused on technology with 30+ attendees all working to keep current with the latest trends, technologies and processes. I’m a friendly greeter, it comes naturally to me, and despite the early hour I rather enjoy greeting attendees and handing out badges.
January 22, 2014. Scattered throughout neighborhoods in Portland are mini-libraries – standing erect in front of houses that choose to host them. I think it’s a great idea – providing books and literature to passers who may not be able to get a library account or doesn’t have the means to get there. Books are donated by fellow neighbors and people can take and return at will.
January 21, 2014. I don’t go to the post office very much anymore. The long lines and 1 teller dissuade me from ever having to send a package again. Point in case: it took me 1 month past Christmas to ship my family’s presents. When I did get to the post office (which didn’t open until 9:00), I was 30 minutes early and waited by the mailboxes for them to open. There’s something historically beautiful about these mailboxes. They have stood the test of time and need, they still require a key to open and are often intricately designed. Simply put, they fascinate me – their history, the stories they contain inside, the difference between the people on either side, slipping in envelopes and taking them out.
January 20, 2014. This is what a typical night can look like in the house… the three of us cozied up on the couch, Dogan taking up a good portion of the couch asleep knowing his two people are safe by his side.
January 19, 2014. Sun in Portland, finally. I took advantage of the glowing orb with a 5 mile neighborhood run. One of the best apps I use for running is the Nike Running App. With the new Coach+ feature, I’ve become a bit addicted to staying on track with training.
January 18, 2014. We planned, we prepared, we woke up early and got ready… we were going to escape the Portland fog – the depressing gray – for sunnier skies in (almost always) sunny Hood River. The hike was Coyote Ridge, a beautiful exposed hike along the Gorge on the Washington side. Only problem? Today wasn’t sunny in Hood River… but it was sunny back in PDX. Nonetheless, we trekked onwards.
January 14, 2014. As I look back at half a month’s worth of photos, I realize that they capture the life of an average person – a commute, a desktop, a dinner, a workout, a pet. So many moments come and go and yet nothing remarkable or significant is captured. Unlike Facebook or Instagram that highlights big moments… this month has captured the small ones. This photo, for instance, is a scene I encounter every day. I’ve become familiar with it like the feel of an old sweater. This is ordinary and extraordinary all at the same time.
January 13, 2014. Portland doesn’t have big skies. We can have beautiful sunsets or startling landscapes of snow-capped volcanic mountains but when it comes to interesting skies, it’s normally either sunny & clear or overcast and gray. So when the sky does open up, or clouds form in the distance, I always stop and take it in. It’s a beautiful thing, this weather. Portland lays in the distance.
January 12, 2014. As a resolution to all things better, healthier and more fit in this new year, a friend and I recently joined Fulcrum Fitness – an hour long boot camp class that kicks all sort of ass – including mine. I love this place. As the class starts, we all are quiet and focused but as the sweat starts to pour mates encourage others on. “You got this” and “Nice work” come from perfect strangers suddenly conspirators in athleticism. Today’s work out:
January 11, 2014. From Vermont, I will forever be a New Englander sports fan for life (yes, that means Boston). The Patriots faced off against the Colts in a playoff game and came out victorious. Jacob and I watched the 2nd half of the game from living room of Leisure in North Portland over a creamy tomato soup and grilled cheese. #gopats
January 10, 2014. My parents always ask how the weather is, with anticipation that I will reply, “we’re drowning in rain over here!”. Ironically, Portland rain is less obtrusive than you would think. As of late, we’ve been getting some whacky weather – as though the weather god can’t decide if she prefers rain, sun, wind, storm, cloud or cold. A weather-confused morning commute.
January 9, 2014. A new year brings about attempts at a new lifestyle for most people – whether it’s a cleanse, an attempt at forming a good habit, exercise, etc. I’m guilty of trying to pile all aforementioned into my crazy lifestyle. I recently ate at Harlow PDX, a health-conscious restaurant on Hawthorne. Their bowls are amazing and make licking your bowl just about as guilt free as it could be. I attempted my own health bowl at home. Result was tasty but fell short of Harlow PDX. [Quinoa, tofu, peanut sauce, kale, shittake mushrooms and greek yogurt]
January 8, 2014. Coffee is a huge part of the Portland culture. Everyone has their favorite – a corner to work in, good WiFi, best tasting coffee, location, etc. I’ve recently become a fan of Grendel’s on NE Burnside. Small and inconspicuous, they serve a light menu of food and some tasty lattes.
January 7, 2014. The coziest of nights is this – warmed underneath covers with the last remaining pages of a good book and my bear, Dogan, splayed out on his back in total relaxation. These moments count.
January 6, 2014. Not to say I spend copious amounts of time starring into my own eyes – but like any normal person, I suppose I do take moments to see myself. How I’ve aged, whether there are lines, whether my eyes look the same as they did 10 years ago. How they look when they are crying, when they are smiling, when they just opened up. It’s not what you see, but how you see it.
January 4, 2014. This 31 foot Paul Bunyan statue was built in 1959 to commemorate Oregon’s statehood. I imagine that when it was built, it was quite the attraction to see. Poor Paul now stares at early morning commuters waiting for the MAX line into town and car traffic veer in and out of the North Portland neighborhood. Stand proud Paul, stand proud.
January 2, 2014 It’s a rare thing, such a beautiful sunset in winter. In summertime, people make an habit of sitting out on a bluff to watch the sun set behind the West Hills, lighting up the sky with beautiful reds and yellows, but in the winter the sun rarely provides such a show. I had started my walk with Dogan and the further we went, the brighter and more vibrant the colors became. By the time we trotted home, it was night, but I was able to capture a bit of the beauty.
January 1, 2014 As he grows older, my 8 (or 9ish) year old golden has become increasingly more panicky on car rides. Often he pushes his way to the front passenger seat and tries to crawl on my lap. He shakes, pants and can never seem to just settle down no matter how comfortable we try to make him. After a 3-hour drive back from New Years, the poor guy was tuckered out and passed out in is common sleeping position – on his back taking up 2/3rds of the couch. We let him be, he deserved it.