Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways…

I’m in love.

I’ve been in love for years and years.  Totally, madly, head over heels in love.

With Oregon.  

And my love, my dearest most precious state, she turns 150 years old.  On Valentine’s Day!

So I’ll be counting the ways I love Oregon, all 150 years of her, on February 14th.   Won’t you join me?

eTown PDX, or How I Nearly Got Ejected From the Schnitz.

If you know me, you know that my personal muse is Sarah McLachlan.  I regularly abase myself at her feet and quiver with inspiration and yes, lust.  Figuratively speaking, of course.  Oh if only…  Seriously, to my knowledge I have been to her show every time she has graced our beloved P-Town in the past 6-8 years or so.  I never miss a chance. 

So imagine my amazement and excitement, listening to NPR in late October/early November, when I hear that she’s going to be in town at some radio show taping PRACTICALLY ON MY BIRTHDAY.  omgomgomgomgomg!!!! 

After I peeled myself off the ceiling (you have to understand, I haven’t seen her in quite a while, I’ve been overdue!) I looked into the details.  She was going to be one of the guest performers on eTown, a radio show syndicated on NPR (I wake up to NPR these days, although I’m thinking of switching back to 94.7.  Gotta switch it up, right?).  Whatever, I thought.  eTown shmeTown.  It’s Sarah, and I’m goin.

So a friend and I got tickets, and showed up at the appointed hour, for a live taping of this eTown show.  Turns out it’s normally taped in Boulder, Colorado, but they occasionally go on the road and do live tapings in other cities.   Their mission statement is as follows: “etown’s mission is to educate, entertain and inspire a diverse audience, through music and conversation, to create a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable world.” Ok, cool. Nifty.  Very Portlandy, in fact.

I had no idea just how Portlandy.  Apparently they give out an award called an e-chievement award during each show.  Listeners from all over the country send in tales of individuals making a difference in their communites, and from these inspirational people they select one each show to win this award.  At this particular taping, they invited all the prior Portland winners of this national award to attend, and stand up as they were named.  I swear, half the audience were winners.  The hosts, Nick and Helen Forster, informed us that there are more e-cheivement award winners in the greater PDX area than ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY.  Yeah.  Portland Rocks.  I knew I loved it here for a reason!  The winner during that particular broadcast was Ed Kerns, who started the Lents Springwater Habitat Restoration Project.  The man is wheelchair bound, and he has single-handedly organized and fostered this fabulous effort, and one which impacts not just my city, but my neighborhood, in a truly meaningful way.  I love the Springwater Corrider Trail, and I bike it often during the summertime.

But back to Sarah and me nearly getting kicked from the Shnitz.  I mean…hello, iPhone right?  You expect me to sit in the presence of my muse, one of the elite few who musically inspire me, and not take pictures?  Me, amateur photog girl?  Shyeah.  Not gonna happen.  I gotta try.  A few fruits of my labor:

Sarah rockin' out!

Sarah rockin' out!

I've seen her so many times, I am familiar with her expressions.  This is my favorite.  No I am not a stalker.

I've seen her so many times, I am familiar with her expressions. This is my favorite. No I am not a stalker.

The whole cast.  Sarah's on the far right, tickling those ivories.

The whole cast. Sarah's on the far right, tickling those ivories.

So, here I am taking these amazing shots, from the very farthest back row no less.  Along comes Ms. Usher, who informs me in no uncertain terms that if I do not cease and desist immediately, I will be ‘asked to leave’.  Ah, the dreaded asked to leave line.  So I wrapped up the iPhone and my friends camera.  Sorry Sarah.  Sorry eTown.  Sorry Schnitz.  But you know what?  The pictures I took that night will mean way more to me than any professional swag I could ever hope to purchase.
The show is going to be broadcast during the week of Jan 21-Jan 27.  Listen for it.  I was there.
Coming up next: Hebrew 101, or How to Survive Hanging Out with Crazy Israelis.


Today was the official FIRST SIGHTING of the Annual Greek Festival announcement! This is always a turning point for me every year…it means, first and foremost, that the Greek Fest is coming soon! Few things put a smile on my face faster than that! Second, it heralds the end of summer, which of course kinda sucks. But fall in the PNW isn’t so bad…it means dried leaves, caramel apples and end-of-summer parties, bike rides to the MAiZE out on Sauvie Island with a little rum in your pocket, and of course, the Greek fest!

This year marks the 55th Annual Greek Fest. It’s all about the food, first of all, gyros and souvlaki, spanakopita and dolmathes. And that’s just the starters…then comes the baklava, kadaifi, rolla, karithopita…and my absolute favorite, the Loukoumades! Man I love those.

Of course the dancing is always fun to watch, once you’ve had your fill of loukoumades and beer. They usually have a stage set up, and have kids from 5 to 18 showing of their greek folk dancing stuff. If you have time to plan, you can opt for the full dinner, which has just tons of stuff – I prefer to graze at the tents though. You can take a walk through the church, if you’re not wearing shorts, and there are crafts and other things to peruse while you walk off your last trip to the food tents. All in all, it’s something I look forward to every year, and makes the end of summer just a little bit easier to welcome.

Time to round up the gang and make plans to go!