Proof!

After much delay, I would like to present three videos of me riding a horse who is jumping (not very high jumps).  I was going to say these were videos of me jumping, but, as John has pointed out before, I am not the one doing the jumping. Olive is doing all the work.

These were all taken the morning of July 4th.

We raised the second jump in each set for this last one.

Guys, it is SO much fun.  Even on a day like today when Olive veered right and caught my toe on one of the uprights so that it half twisted me out of the saddle and the upright crashed down behind us and Olive freaked and started to run out and I was scrambling to hang on, calm her down, and NOT fall off.

I was successful at all of those things, so yeah – SO much fun.

My perception may be skewed

We went to the Oregon Country Fair on Saturday, and we had a great time, but this was one of those events that had been over-hyped to us.

You HAVE to go.

You’ve never see ANYthing like it.

It’s where all the weird in Oregon goes to let their freak flags fly.

It’s SO WEIRD.

You have to see it to understand.

Yeah, not so much.  I mean, it’s a little weird, but it’s barely weirder than a renaissance festival, and that’s basically what it is, minus the renaissance trappings.  More hippie than history.  It’s a giant arts/music/crafts festival out in a permanent location in the woods.  I mean GIANT – this place was enormous and easy to get lost in.  There’s a ton of handmade stuff, lots of fair food, music everywhere, and people dressed as anything you can imagine: themselves (like us), fairy-type stuff (lots of headbands with horns, flower crowns, masks, face-painting), people on stilts (we saw a group dressed up as characters from the Wizard of Oz all on stilts), a couple of hippie marching bands (tie-dye shirts and flowers), and a few topless women and men wearing barely anything, which I suppose is what people were trying to tell us when they kept saying how weird it is.

It wasn’t that weird, and it’s an alcohol- and drug-free zone, so it wasn’t likely to get crazy, either.

I liked it very much – I don’t mean to sound like it wasn’t a really good time or that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy all the people watching, but it makes me wonder about everyone else’s definition of weird.  Or maybe it’s my own definition I should worry about.

Making friends

Today, I played a short game of tag with an 8-year-old who guessed I was 44.

I beat him.

Of course, I mean that I took no pity on him during this game of tag and outraced him handily even though he kept trying to live on the gravel pile that was home base.

His second guess at my age was 29 (27? upper 20s), and his third guess was 19, so he either realized his mistake at guessing 44 in the first place and was trying to fix it the best way he knew how or he’s just really really bad at guessing.

Last week, we discussed dogs.  Maybe next week I’ll get his name.

Now I’ll actually tell you about the flash mob

I realized this morning that while I wrote about the flash mob yesterday, I didn’t actually tell you about the flash mob, and THAT is because I was typing with the debate on in the background and I was trying to keep my head from exploding.  I’m definitely not going to write about the debate (see above re: head exploding), but that explains why I said “oh, we saw a flash mob!” and then didn’t tell you anything about it.  It’s not because I’m mean.

So, this flash mob.  We were at Blairally Vintage Arcade, which doesn’t have a website but does have a Facebook page, and  – yeah, hold on, I have to stop there.  My hate for the name burns with the heat of a thousand suns, and I can’t continue without explaining why (although some of you may have worked it out already because you’re smart like that).  The place is on Blair Blvd, with its door facing an alley that runs through the block.  Blair Alley, right?  So why is it “Blairally”?  WHY?!?

Okay.  We were at the arcade, which is also a bar, which also has a DJ sometimes, and I was kicking ass at 4-player Pacman (which is neither here nor there).  That evening one of the bartenders, a very nice woman named Rio, was talking to me about gin.  She wears a sailor hat like this:

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That is also neither here nor there.

The DJ was playing 80s and 90s music and had already refused to take any requests unless they were Prince songs.  Elena, Kirsten, and I were dancing, and this other woman came over and asked us if we knew the dance to Thriller because they’re doing it at 8:30.  We’d been warned.  Invited, but also warned.  So Thriller started, and the dance floor, which was small to begin with, completely filled up.  There were at least 40 people, all completely into the zombie dance thing.  Very fun to watch.

Maybe that wasn’t really a flash mob, now that I think about it.  I mean, they were people at a bar with music and dancing, who all did the one dance together.  It’s not like they were wandering the neighborhood and broke into a dance randomly.  When they do it for Halloween, maybe it’ll be more flash mob-like.

I have to stop saying flash mob.  It sounds dumber every time.  Flash mob.  You’re a mob.

The show where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter

Last night’s show was SO MUCH FUN.  I can’t overstate it.  My whole face hurt from laughing so hard.  Nearly two hours of Whose Line Is It Anyway games, all improvised by Ryan Stiles and Greg Proops, who’ve been on the TV show FOREVER, Jeff Davis, who was vaguely familiar to us from later seasons of the show, and Joel Murray, who was a complete surprise to us.  He’s funny?  Yes, he is!  (I mean, we know who he is, but we didn’t expect him to be up for improv.)

We had great seats in the fifth row – close enough to be able to see everything, just barely far enough away to be safe from being picked to go on stage.  It was surreal being 20 feet away from these people we’ve seen on TV for years.

Also totally weird to remember (again – this is one of those facts I keep forgetting) that Joel Murray is Bill Murray’s youngest brother).  He said something last night that was dead-on Bill Murray.  And his impression of Dan Aykroyd was pretty good, too.

I’m not going to bother trying to tell you any of the funny things that happened because they won’t translate (and I suck at telling stories, as you all know).  I wish you could have been there.

The show is still touring, but they’re going to CO and then CA only, so they’re a bit out of reach for most of you (and us – I’d see it again in a heartbeat).  We’ll just have to content ourselves with YouTube.

It was so great.  And weirdly, it continued the pattern of reliving the 90s in Eugene.  I started watching the show in 1994, maybe 1995, after my academic team friends introduced me to it.  (Yes, I know, super nerdy.  To make it nerdier, it was at an academic team party, and we were playing games from the show.)  It was on Comedy Central all the time.  Seeing it live last night, with two of the comedians who were on it then, was oddly flashback-y.  And totally awesome.

The right kind of Saturday

Rough outline of today:

  • Slept in all the way until 9!  Of course, it was 2am when we went to bed.
  • Rode our bikes about 4 miles to a good bagel place.
  • Spent 2-3 hours sitting outside said bagel place with bagels and coffee, reading our books.
  • Rode 4 miles back home.
  • John worked on fun computer things, and I ran (outside again!).
  • Heading out to drink and play video games at an arcade and local bars for Will’s birthday.

We’re walking over to meet everyone (it’s about a mile and a half away, and we don’t want to have to drive home), so we have to get moving, but I plan to have time to write tomorrow.  I hope everyone else’s Saturday has been as pleasant as ours!

Crater Lake is SO freakin’ BLUE

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I usually get annoyed when I skip a day on the ol’ blog here, but I can’t be mad about skipping yesterday.  I didn’t plan to skip – I thought I’d be back home in time to get it done – but it was late because we were out having adventures and doing fun things and taking LOTS of pictures.  I can forgive myself for that.

None of the pictures you’re about to see have been edited, mostly because I don’t really know how to do that, and I’m too lazy to bother with it.  The signs all over Crater Lake National Park say that the water is so blue because it’s all rain and snowmelt and because it’s the deepest freshwater lake in the country. It was incredible.  I didn’t want to look away.  Of course, I did look away because who would believe we were there if we didn’t take pictures?  I love being a tourist.

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I can’t help but like this one, even though we could be ANYwhere since you can’t really see the lake.

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It was hard to leave, even after our hike.  Oh yes – we hiked.  In our infinite wisdom, we chose one of the strenuous hikes, meant to take 2-3 hours and gain over 1000 feet in elevation.  In our defense, there were only two hiking trails within walking distance of where we parked, and the other one was easy and seemed to follow the road we’d just driven down.  BOR-ing.

If you squint, you can see the Crater Lake Lodge in the upper center part of this picture, which is where we started.  I think we were about halfway when I took this one.

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The temperature was in the 70s, and we were working hard, so we were plenty warm, but there was SNOW on the ground.  Not everywhere, certainly, but we had to climb through a slippery melting snowbank to get to the top.  That was the scariest part.  Well, coming back down through the snowbank was the scariest part.

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We did reach the top, though.  Here we are on Garfield Peak, 8000 feet above sea level.  I don’t know how many feet we were above lake level.

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And here’s another terrible selfie (it was really bright out, okay?).

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I think I might have to make that one my profile picture for ALL of my accounts.

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John wants to run down this meadow.  I’m willing to bet it’s steeper than it looks.

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I think I took this next one on the way back down.

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Here we are, tired and happy and soon to be very hungry.

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We left about 6pm (we got there around after noon, close to 1, I think), but it’s 2 and a half hours away, so it was nearly 9 before we got back to Cottage Grove, and after 9 before we ate.  Almost midnight when we got home, still had to shower (covered in sweat and sunscreen – totally gross), and we’re only a little bit sore today.  Our gym has a hot tub.  We may be heading there this afternoon.

Field trip

Today (Saturday), we are off to the coast.  I think.  We’re certainly going to head in that direction, and then we’ll see what we see.  We decided to make a day of it instead of a weekend because it’s not going to get over 60 degrees, and that is not what I consider beach weather.  If we make it to the coast (and I believe we will), maybe we’ll pretend we’re posh New Englanders who roam the beach in oversize cable knit sweaters and Dockers rolled above our ankles. Except for the oversize cable knit sweaters and the Dockers rolled above our ankles.

By the time you read this, we’ll have already gone to wherever we’re going.  How mysterious.  How vague and always true.  Unless you’re standing over my shoulder reading it as I type.  But even then, you’re behind me, I’m ahead of you, you’re in my past, and I’m wherever it is I was going to go.

I’ve been listening to Welcome to Night Vale almost every day.  It may be influencing my thoughts.

I should know better

Tip for Future Me: Don’t go out carousing the night Daylight Saving Time starts.  You lose an hour of sleep and it hurts WAY more than it would any other weekend.

Jess and I went out last night.  The plan was to have dinner out, call it an earlyish night, and get up early this morning to meet at her favorite bakery for a light breakfast.  Some of that happened.

We were walking back from dinner (at Level, which was SO good) and it was only 10 something, so we decided to see if anyone was playing the piano at the upstairs piano bar at Middleton’s Tavern.  We didn’t make it upstairs right away, though, because there was a band playing downstairs, and they were really good.  People were dancing, and that’s all the invitation I need, so we joined the crowd and sang and danced.  When the band took a break, the party moved upstairs.  There was a guy on the piano, sort of half-pianist/singer, half-DJ (it was kind of strange), and he was really good and everyone was really happy, so the singing and dancing continued upstairs until he played two songs in a row we didn’t know/didn’t like.  Back downstairs we went, back to the band (who played REALLY good stuff), with more dancing and singing (with the strangers who were following the same upstairs/downstairs patterns as us) right up until the band’s last set ended.  I don’t know if the bar was closing, but it was certainly time for us to close, so we left then and headed home.  It was maybe 1:45 when I walked in the door, and just a few minutes later, it was after 3am because I FORGOT ABOUT THE TIME CHANGE.  Damn it.

Morning came early, but not as early as we’d planned.  I still woke up just before 8am (EDT), feeling better than I had any right to feel, and I decided to suck it up and run over to meet Jess.  She’s right about this bakery – I had a latte (forgot to order decaf) and a sugary delicious bun of some kind.  Yummy.  And then we took a 4-mile walk.

I may not have made great decisions last night, but this morning’s decisions have been okay (and I feel better for them).  And to reward myself (and also get in one last visit before we move), we’re going to Ray’s for dinner.  I am going to have the best steak in the world.  And all the mashed potatoes.  I could demolish some mashed potatoes right now.