Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Relax..At Great Clips! Huh?

On a quick trip to Great Clips I saw their slogan on the wall, which seemed to be new since the last time we were there.  It reads "Relax..You're at Great Clips". As my head tilted to the side in wonder I couldn't help but think that is the LAST verb I would use for my experience at Great Clips.  Now here's a little disclaimer to this post.. the hair dressers at Great Clips..they are always REALLY nice but if I remember right so was Edward Scissor Hands.
Moving on, and moving passed the nice grins back to the slogan on the wall, I had to laugh as we rushed in to squeeze the boys hair cuts into our crammed day, knowing we could be in and out with no intention to "relax".  The second you sit in the chair the hopeful bit if any of actual  "relaxation" is immediately turned into anxiety as memories of the previous hair cut that caused the children at school to wonder who the new kid was, comes with severe flashbacks.  It's too late though you are strapped in.  My one son cries foul when he gets the same lady he had last time, but there's no turning back for him.  My other son lucked out with the new Male hairdresser that understands "the sporty look" only to realize later the back of his hair has a thick clump left over.   I sit down to "relax" and about 5 pages into my In Style Magazine I hear the man hairdresser say "MOM"? which I knew he was referring to me, but it felt awkward and strange coming from him.  That's when I get to inspect the hair-do as if I could really change any scissor happiness at this point, but inspections are necessary and relaxation is far from present in the room at the moment for either party.  Even if it looks terrible I can't really say "OH MY GOSH, It looks TERRIBLE!!!" Imagine the kid in that situation who gets to head back to school the next day, a school that allows no hats at anytime.  It's the hate if fake it scenario for all parties.    Thankfully, one of two cuts down and we're doing good so far.. and then I hear from older son "Mom, why does he have such a serious look on his face?" referring to my other son still strapped in the chair.  Now no head looks good with that tight smock snuggled around the neck.  I think it's the only way to make the person as closely resemble the practice head they use in beauty school.  He did look concerned though and for good reason, and definitely NOT relaxed.  "MOM, you come see" said the beautiful NICE Asian hairdresser.  My hate it and fake it came out in full swing as I see my new relaxed child.  Sigh..(poor guy).. nothing that a little gel can't fix.  In the car he says "Why did I have to get the Asian lady again.. she likes to cut  my bangs straight across... just because she likes her bangs that way doesn't mean I like mine that way... gosh!"  I encouraged him with the gel solution.  If I were in charge of slogans mine would say "Great Clips, It's Cheap you Suckers!"   If those coupons weren't so enticing!! I've tried to cut their hair before and it normally goes ok, but it takes hours!  Of course my husband will never forget the moment I was cutting his hair with the shaver without a protective attachment, using a comb only and I suddenly felt scalp.  "Oh Oh" is not something he wanted to hear but thankfully a little black shoe polish for a few weeks covered up the 2 inch wide bald spot. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Food Carts Make Me Happy

Food Cart Tour
32nd Division Portland

If you haven't heard yet, but probably have... Portland is famous for the number of food carts in the city.  When I was first married my husband would go to a taco truck nearby and the thought of that made me queasy back then.  I don't know if it was "worry about everything" syndrome, or the idea that how could someone actually cook in a cart and wash their hands?  But after numerous experiences of these restaurants on wheels, I have never gotten sick and have always been delighted with the food.  Two years ago on an errand downtown I found my new favorite Mexican Food Truck and the best Taco I have ever had, and thus the beginning of my freedom to try any food cart.   We've spent alot of time at the Hawthorne street corner on 12th where it's open late and serves a variety of choices.  My favorites of  course being the Frenchy Fry Cart called "Potato Champian" which always has a line, but worth the wait, and the crepe place Perierra Crêperie that you will also wait in line for but again, worth the wait.  A lot of these places only take cash so be ready for that, but some will take credit or have and ATM on site.  These are great places to take kids to try new things too and it's pretty reasonable.


KOI Fusion Tacos!!! HELLO BLISS!
Our recent diversion from our original destination took us to SE Division street where we tried a couple new places and had heard about this great food called KOI Fusion which mixes Korean with Mexican.  I yelped when I saw that KOI Fusion was located here and even more excited when I saw the $2/taco price.  I just found my new favorite taco place as the flavors in this KoreaTaco are amazingly scrumptious.  It has such a sweet taste to it which complimented the pulled ribs and chicken flavors.   Koi Fusion has the original truck and also added two Kiosk locations in SW 2nd Yamill, and also in Tigard at Bridgeport!


For dessert we just had to go to the Pie Spot which also wins the cutest trailer award! The Pie Spot served these cute individual served pies that cost $3.50. I had this delicious Pecan Caramel and my husband chose the Marian berry which were both equally tasty in their own rights but I think I won this round. The crust was really perfectly tasty and textured. It looked like there other trailers and trucks that we'd like to try, although I'm always going to leave $2 handy for KOI Fusion! The Division Street and 32nd Carts located right across the popular Pok Pok which we originally were going to try dinner, but the hour long wait was not something we wanted to do and the wood stove burning fire and lovely white accent lights made the Food Cart area very inviting. After sitting in the fire pit area eating out fabulous food we were freezing out of minds because about 10 bodies were crowed around the flames, our bodies not being any of them.  The only thing I will give of a final tip is to BYOTB!! Yeah that means Bring Your Own Trash Bag, because we couldn't find one on the property that night, oh wait we found one but there was clear signage that read "THIS CAN ONLY FOR (blah blah) FOOD CART!!!! Which scared us enough to turn the other way and carry our trash home.



Cute Trailer Award!!

Cute Customer Award!!

BYOTB

Add your own comments on your favorite Food Carts in Portland So I can go check them out! I'm not a big fishy person so keep it real. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

TRUST- One Pasta Piece At a Time

Trust is a huge word for me right now.  A friend asked us to pick a word for our year 2013 and at first I was thinking "oh easy.. tired!".. oh wait I need to be serious.. so I picked "Trust".  I wanted this year to be a picture of me trusting God more that through hard times and uncertainty that I can trust that His higher ways are perfect and planned and HE knows what is best for me and my family.  

When TRUST is broken severely it becomes a process to trust again.  I've had things in my life where promises or broken, things change, plans fail, but normally when that happens it has been a result of uncontrollable circumstances rather than a complete disregard to the end result of deception. 

Deception hurts, it wounds,  it robs, it destroys, it causes doubt, anger, sadness, bitterness and it breaks bonds of healthy relationships or makes not so healthy relationships even worse. 

As parents we instill values in our children we hope and pray they hear and act upon and hold true and dear.  We hope that they choose things that are good for them.  We desire that they live in a way that makes their life better and pleasing to others and to the Lord.   It breaks our hearts to watch them have to learn from hard mistakes and consequences of bad choices.  It breaks our hearts to have to discipline them but knowing that in the end they will better off for the correction, is better than left alone.  Even worse, it breaks our hearts when the relationship is tense and we feel the loss of relationship because choices and sin have gotten the best of things.

Through this parenting process I see how I have this similar imperfect relationship to God.  He can see the big picture of my life and the way I should go because HE knows! He's given me the manual, He knows I KNOW.. but He let's me choose.   How often do I know the right way or the better way, but seek to do it on my own and have to suffer the hard way or pay the consequences.    Sometimes the discipline is heavier because without it, I can't be transformed into who God truly wants me to be.   There are so many times we parents offer grace to our kids and a second chance.  God also offers that same grace to me over and over again.

So where does that put Trust.   As we work on trust in our house, I got this picture of a Mason Jar that was empty.  The trust had been completely lost, but the lid was off waiting and ready to be filled back up with "trust", but it would take some time.   I poured a few pasta pieces in there and said to my child "this is how much trust I have, dropped 2 pasta pieces,  I want to add more and more to fill it up to the top, but it will take time.  When trust is challenged it gets emptied a little bit.. and then completely emptied if trust is completely broken based on what was expected and understood but selfishly ignored and hurtful."   You see, I want to completely trust you but it will take time.. a whole jar of time. 

My jar with God is about 3/4 full.  I have a hard time with the extra 1/4 and giving all my trust over.  I still let worry and concern get in there.  I do know that He could never do anything to lose my Trust in Him completely.  After all, who am I that I should expect things to work out exactly how I want them to work out in a sinful fallen world.. and then I'm back in the ugliness of doing things my way not His.  I have to trust or ugly control takes it's place.

Our trust jar sits on the kitchen table with a few pasta pieces in it.  It's a good reminder of what we are working towards. To allow trust to grow you have to let go and let a person try it.  I can't tell you the PIT in my stomach as I let go... a pit of worry, concern, overwhelming as I let my child test their will and own desire to do what was right after trust had been broken.  Thankfully, we  were able to add some more pasta pieces and move on to another day of new mercies and grace and trying to navigate life and building trust one day at a time. 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Jog Blog Chronicals -Not a Good Day People

Not A Good Day People...

Feel Free to leave comments and offerings of good will in the comment section. 

This jogging (or at this stage of the game perhaps Wogging) is going to be long journey..

My Other Jog Blog Video Post

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Night With the Grammy's

Grammy’s 2012

Wow what a great night of music entertainment  at the 2012 Grammy’s.   I absolutely loved how classy this show was even though they failed to have my favorite duo the Civil Wars sing for more than 60 seconds.. someone needs to be fired in production.    LL Cool J opening with prayer was interesting, as the camera panned the audience where many were bowed in reverence others blatantly looking around with their chins held high as to say “no way am I going to get caught bowing”. Needless to say, God only knows the true heart and we can pray with our eyes open, but I still couldn’t get the flashback of 1987 during LL praying as the lyrics from his album “Bigger and Deffer” came rushing back and the picture of my mom’s face when she found lyrics I copied on a sheet of paper from his Album.   I’m sure she was ready to get the suitcase and send me to live with nuns for the rest of my high school after reading those, but thankfully I got to stay but  LL had to go.   
"The Non Nominee"

The first thing I noticed at the Grammy’s was the hair!  From Katy Perry to Alecia Keys, Bonnie Rait’s grey swoop in the middle (which I know is signature) to the sweaty hair pile outside at the Foo Fighter concert, it was all about the hair for a while.   I don’t even know what Lady Gaga’s hair looked like because she was pinned behind some cage like contraption that looked like she just got pried out from jaws of life and the crow bar through her shoulder that was keeping her from snapping.. all while carrying a scepter.  Ok then!  How much did I love that Adel beat Gaga in the Best Pop Solo and Album category! 

A few highlights for me were Tony Bennet's and Carrie Underwoods' duet of "It Had To Be Me" although I could have done without the "Thank you Mr. Bennett" in Carrie's baby voice at the end, as if Tony just showed up from the care home and she was the highlight, it was Tony as the highlight in that duo in my opinion.  The other noticable highlight was when Bon Iver thanked all the people that would never get a chance to be on that stage "the non nominees" that are singer/songwriters but will never be there.. I kind of felt part of that group for a moment as tears came to my eyes and I had to take a pill.. thanks for that Iver. 
Taylor Swift comes out in rags with her hobo friends and banjo singing her song  “Mean”, which I was so thankful she sounded great live, finally.  I have heard her on these shows before and either nerves or a bad ear piece normally creates for a end of the song  “oh poor girl” comment.  THIS time however,  she got a standing O, which she seemed very shocked by, and one that didn’t come with the ending of Katy Perry’s strange space age routine other than the 40 people crammed in the mosh pit, that HAD to stand the whole time.   Could the music scene be getting tired of smut?   I don’t know maybe the night was just “Houstinfied” and the prayer helped to get things started off in the right spirit.  I'm choosing to block out the horror of Nicki Minaj ending song..I mean rap.. I mean oh.. who knows what that was.  Her and Gaga just need to cat fight it out.
Adel’s performance was stunning and graceful.  I have never seen her perform in human form only have seen her on the front of the CD cover 21 which I own.  The very first time I heard the lyrics I felt really sorry for this woman!  But to see her strength and beauty doing a performance after throat surgery was quite memorable.   I know that the British accent, to most of us, oozes instant classiness but Adele owned it in her words unlike some other Brits we’ve seen lately.   In the end she gets the Best Artist Award and her graciousness and snot flying crying was just great.    I’m a new fan, even though I’m currently writing a parody of “Rolling in the Deep”.

Finally, the most memorable moment of this year’s Grammy’s for me, and will always be, was when Jennifer Hudson took the stage.  I hadn’t heard she was going to sing Whitney’s song “I Will Always Love You” and as I heard the intro and saw her I was thinking “wow that is gutsy” considering the legacy Whitney left.   Jennifer nailed it!  I was impressed by her own rendition of the song and her actually "holding it together" for such an emotional moment.  I was doing the fanning of my eyes and would have COMPLETLEY lost it if Jenn would have taken it the next octave but she stayed in the mellow register as if to leave that octave to the one an only.   So many Whitney songs come to mind when remembering her but I always go back to the 1987 song “All at Once” which was dedicated to the boy I liked that didn’t like me but liked the other girl who introduced me to the Whitney song.. such a small world.   I still remember  sitting in the bleachers, we were playing basketball at Parkrose High School, I had my yellow walkman with my cassette tape of Whitney piping in my ears,  as I glared at her and thought of love lost and how he was in someone else’s arms just like Whitney was saying!   I mean How will I know if he really loves me,  I believe children are our future.. I just wanna dance with somebody!
Here’s a short list of the winner/s  good thing for the dance album category that Adele didn’t bust a move on “Rolling in the Deep”.  

As for me I’m going to start working on my Grammy for 2013 in the “Best Mexican Or Tejano Album!
adios!

Record of the Year – “Rolling In The Deep” Adele
Album of the Year- “21” Adele
Song of The Year – “Rolling In the Deep”  Adele
Best New Artist- Bon Iver
Best Pop Solo -  “Someone Like You” Adele
Best Pop Album- “21” Adele
Best Rock Performance  Foo Fighters 
Best Rock Song “Walk”  Foo Fighters
Best Rock Album  “Wasting Light” Foo Fighters
Best Country Duo/Perf  “Barton Hallow”  The Civil Wars  
J
Best Contemporary Christian Album – “And If our God is With Us” Chris Thomlin
Best Contemporary Christian Song -  “Blessings” Laura Story
For more listings go to
http://www.grammy.com/nominees









Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Place To Be Cafe

I along with fellow artist Dave Gauthier will be performing this Friday Night at The Place To Be Cafe in Canby Oregon.
Show time 6-8p 
There is great food and coffee and other beverages to enjoy.
The Place to Be is a great hang out spot especially on a rainy Friday night. So come on out with your friends, play board games and listen to some of my songs as well as main stream music you will recognize.

The Place to Be Canby
190 NW 2nd

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


The 45 Cycling Uniforms Must Go!

Today marked a monumental day in the history of our marriage.

photo by Loren Javier
There was a day when we were first dating where I heard a pebble hit my window. Like any love struck twenty something that moment lead to numerous flashbacks of movie scenes, could it really be? The boy outside waiting for the curtain to swing open revealing his true love perched at the upstairs window, only by share of the $475/month rent did not give me an upstairs window that flew romantically open rather a metal single framed slider window that stuck. Regardless as I ran to my window swung open the curtains awaiting the song or poem defining our true love, I wiped the condensation off the window to see a figure dressed like Tron. I knew of this Tron character thanks to the many hours in the arcade 10 years earlier. He didn't realize he was dressed like Tron he just was out for his normal bike ride donned in his cycling outfit! Well this Tron like behavior has continued to be very prevalent in our marriage. Thankfully, this is what he uses to de-stress from work, my cooking flops, and being blogged about (click here to finish story)