#244 Over The Rhine

01 September 2015 // Portland, Oregon

There have been two things I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. One of them was to see Over The Rhine perform live. They’ve consistently been one of my favorite musical duos for a long time, and their style suggested that their live show would be hauntingly good. The other thing I wanted to do was to see a show at the Doug Fir Lounge, since I’d heard nothing but great things.

At the beginning of the month, I got to do both these things when Over The Rhine played at Doug Fir. They put on a real solid show. And I got to have Meaghan and Menekse to join me at the show. Crazy to think that they’ve been touring and making music for as long as they have. Over The Rhine, that is.

#245 Wedding Albums

02 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Today was a real treat… the photo books we ordered of our wedding pictures came in the mail!

I’m making it a goal to make all of the photos I take that I want to curate into prints. I can only have so much trust for the digital world’s abilities to not lose all that I’ve taken. The wedding pictures were a good batch to start with, and I know these will be fun books to go over time and time again.

#246 This is the Story of a Happy Marriage

03 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

There are always those perfect times with the people we love, those moments of joy and equality that sustain us later on…These moments are the foundation upon which we build the house that will shelter us into our final years, so that when love calls out, “How far would you go for me?” you can look it in the eye and say truthfully, “Farther than you would ever have thought was possible.

– Ann Patchett.

One of the great discoveries of my year-long effort to diversify my reading list has been the discovery of Ann Patchett’s writing. I mean, the title of this book alone is one of my favorites for a long time, and the stories and essays inside it aren’t too bad either.

#247 A Year in Eugene

04 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Today marks one year since Deanna and I loaded up our car and moved into Eugene, not knowing a single person, not having a job for her.

I’d like to mention how far we’ve come, but it actually still feels like we’re just getting started. Moving at this point in our lives has brought its own set of challenges, but it’s been subtly rewarding at the same time. If anything, this will always be the place where we learn how to go from best friends to best friends who are married. And there are some really great views.

#248 Ducks Season Opener

05 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

I’m all for gracious winning and everything, but after that pretty dirty hit on Vernon Adams, there’s at least one Eastern Washington player who had earned a good old fashioned suck itttttt.

In other news, yesterday was a good one to spend at Autzen Stadium. Vernon’s got some huge cleats to fill, but he’s looking pretty good at QB.

#249 Paint at the Park

06 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon’

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Cool. Sunny. We probably don’t have too many more of those left this year in Eugene, so Deanna and I took to a park to spend some of it outside.

She spent her time working on a watercolor project and I read several chapters of The Girl in the Picture, which I am currently loving. It was an afternoon well spent. This is why I love Sundays.

#250 Salem’s Enchanted Forest

07 September 2015 // Salem, Oregon

Every time we’ve driven up to Portland, we’ve passed by roadside signs telling us to stop at the next exit just outside of Salem to visit what looked like an odd amusement park for kids.

On Labor Day, we decided to erase the mystery behind those freeway signs and went with our friends Brianna and Anthony to explore Salem’s oddity. And it was a blast. An odd storybook area with the “crooked man’s crooked house” and the old woman’s shoe that was actually an epic slide. And an interactive shooting range that was the best fifty cents ever spent.

#251 Sorta Sketchy

08 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

With the school year’s start getting closer and closer, I decided to stock up on one of the most important of school supplies… a sketchbook and some good drawing pens.

I’m finding that I miss drawing just for the sake of drawing and haven’t done that for a long time. Thinking about it, it’ll probably end up being a good way to unwind once school gets nuts.

#252 Recording for Syria

09 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Just wrapped up putting the finishing touches on a new podcast episode I recorded with Chris and Steven who was guest hosting this week. We covered a pretty serious topic- Syria’s refugees.

Syria’s been literally falling apart for years. I don’t know if we’ve ever really seen anything on this scale where half of everybody has had to leave their home. It gets mentioned in the news a bit, but nowhere near as much as it should. I mean, half a country, man. There’s no easy solution to deal with the displacement of eleven million, but the least we could do is to be attentive, ready and on the lookout for some way to help.

#253 Jasmine & Jena

10 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Had the fun of hosting a couple of terrific friends for dinner tonight – Jasmine and Jena.

The two of them are taking a buddy road trip up the California Coast and into Oregon, both at kind of a transition point in life… it sounds like a familiar storyline to me! We played board games into the night and had a real good time. Love having friends stop by!

#254 Writing at the Bakery

11 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

i had to get my car worked on a little bit. Fortunately, I found a shop that’s within a short walking distance to my old neighborhood.

I ended up camped out for a few hours at New Day Bakery to get some writing done. I put a pretty decent dent in my thesis this week, and made some more progress on a long term project I’m ever slowly chipping away at.

#255 Multnomah Falls Visit

12 September 2015 // Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Decided to finally pay a visit to some of the Seven Wonders of Oregon, starting with the only one I’ve really already been to, the Columbia River Gorge. This included a revisit to Multnomah Falls, but hey, Multnomah Falls is fantastic so it’s well worth revisiting.

We had a great time hiking, hunting for swimming holes, and splashing around in waterfalls. Kind of a crazy weekend for the two of us, but it was one we were definitely happy to be able to spend together.

#256 Punchbowl Falls

13 September 2015 // Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

At the end of a long hike, this was waiting for us… Punchbowl Falls and the perfectly carved out, round, clear-watered swimming hole right where it poured into.

There were a lot of people hanging by the natural pool of water, but there weren’t many people in the water. When I decided to go for it, I found out why. Even on one of the year’s sunniest and warmest weekends, this water was frigid. It took forever to adjust. By the time it finay happened, I scraped up enough energy to sloppily swim up to the base of the waterfall, where I was alone. The sound of its crash drowned out the sound of other people, who were also obscured by the curves of the gorge. I found a rock large enough to stand on in the middle of the pool. It was such a crazy beautiful sight.

#257 Midas Mystery

14 September 2015 // Salem, Oregon

If you heard people complaining about traffic coming to a standstill on the I-5 last Sunday night, that was us! Our car mysteriously stopped working and stalled in the right lane of a two-lane highway with no shoulder because of construction.

We were towed to Midas and spent the night at a hotel in Salem. When we woke up the next morning, the car was mysteriously working. We asked the guys at Midas just to be safe to take a look and they found nothing wrong. Fingers crossed, I guess!

#258 Errands and Jewels

15 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

After a long, crazy weekend away, it was really nice to have a day to spend in Eugene working on random errands, grocery shopping, and taking it easier.

Made some good finds, too. Namely, a spot to get Deanna’s birthday present, and this awesome piece of street art just south of downtown.

#259 The Marketplace Courtyard

16 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

With Ben coming to town the next evening, and a crazy day ahead of us, I decided to get a few more errands out of the way at the 5th Street Public Market.

I haven’t been to this place since last spring and it looks way different now. Another piece of Eugene that’s seen a crazy remodel over the summer, and I didn’t even know.

#260 Dinner with the VanMeters

17 September 2015 // Portland, Oregon

Eliza was in Portland, BUT for 24 hours only. Still, we wouldn’t pass up the chance to see her and hang out.

We drove up to Portland just for the night. We all prepared a massive meal together like a bunch of Weasleys, then got our Salt & Straw fix for the night.

#261 Ben on Spencer’s Butte

18 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Had a blast while Ben was in town. Got to see a Ducks game, discover a new board game, and of course, climb to the top of Spencer’s Butte. We just so happened to run into the mayor while we were up there.

Ben is such a fun friend to hang out with, and finding fun stuff to do just comes real naturally. Thrilled to have been able to host him up for the weekend. It’s one of our favorite things to do.

#262 Ducks Game With Ben

19 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

The Ducks game against Georgia State was incredibly undramatic, but the good kind of dramatic at least, where we enter the second half with a huge lead, and only continue to build on it. We did get to enjoy the game with our friend Ben in town, and that made it a great afternoon.

This weekend was so much fun. Perfect blend between going out and doing fun things and also sitting around to relax. Just what was needed prior to the week that followed.

#263 Ben & The Roses

20 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

One more day of Ben’s fantastic visit up to Eugene consisted of church in the morning, stopping to smell the roses of the rose garden, and then eating and roaming the newly revamped Fifth Street Public Market.

Then, we almost mistook his arrival time in California and his departure time in Oregon, so we had to get him going to the airport as soon as we had finished snacking on figs. Overall, we’re glad he made his flight, but we wouldn’t have minded having him around a bit longer.

#264 McKenzie River Trail

21 September 2015 // McKenzie Bridge, Oregon

Went on an orientation retreat with one of my graduate programs. I’m not a first year, but since I added my degree in Nonprofit Management only midway through last year, I missed this the first time around. This time around, I decided to bond with the new cohort by going on an overnight retreat at a lodge somewhere up the McKenzie River.

I met a LOT of people. Lot’s of cool people, and in high volume. We got the chance to enjoy a nice hike, which happened to lead us into some gorgeous territory. Will have to come back soon.

#265 McKenzie Bridge

22 September 2015 // McKenzie Bridge, Oregon

The orientation retreat I went on with my department turned out to be something like summer camp for adults, mostly in good ways. A pretty good setting to meet some new faces.

Plus the place where they had us staying was a gorgeous one way up the McKenzie. Pretty good start to year two of grad school.

#266 Morning Bus

23 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

I’m a big believer in public transportation– that said, I was pretty lazy all last year about getting to know Eugene’s bus system, mostly because I lived close enough to bike most places from where I lived.

But, it’s a new year, and I’ve got a new house. One that’s much, much further away from the campus and city center. Thankfully the bus stops right in front of our complex, and the ride into town is a nice and smooth one. Not to mention, totally free for me!

#267 New Rooftops

24 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

I’d been off campus for quite a while this summer, but since school has pretty much started back up, it was a good time to get reacquainted with the university.

This includes discovering new sections of new buildings, and an easily accessible rooftop. This will have to host a board game party sometime soon.

#268 Housesitting for Pam

25 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

This weekend we got to housesit for Pam and take care of her wonderful animals. This is a job we can never really say no to. We love the gang of critters.

Plus, getting to enjoy a little movie night and hang out in a palace of a place is a pretty nice arrangement too.

#269 Ducks vs. Utah

26 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Well, I don’t have very many words for this game. Not many printable ones, at least.

The past few years have been pretty kind to Ducks fans. This game will be one glaring exception. I know we’re spoiled, but hopefully there aren’t too many more games like this one. They played terribly.

#270 Personal Library

27 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Housesitting means getting to spend a bit of time exploring one of the coolest personal libraries I’ve seen. It also means getting to hang out with wonderful dogs and horses all weekend. Why would you ever not wanna house sit?

It also meant getting a really great viewpoint for the blood moon when it finally decided to come out. Win of a Sunday.

#271 Year Two, Day One

28 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

It was the first day of school of my last year of school, sort of. It was at least the first day of school for me in a long, long time and the end to a very long and very lovely summer vacation.

I’ll miss this summer, but it also feels good to be back! This year’s got a lot going on, but so far it’s been in the good way.

#272 National Coffee Day

29 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Don’t you love those unofficial holidays you’d never know existed were it not for Instagram and hashtags and all kinds of little reminders that didn’t exist in 1997?

I do, especially when it gives me the excuse to treat myself to an Irish Cream Latte instead of a regular old cup. Gotta love Espresso Roma.

#273 Lillis Hall

30 September 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Got to the university early so I could get right to getting some work done. This year so far has me spending a lot more time than usual on campus, but there’s a huge upside to being able to get in the zone and get my work all done over here. Once I get back home in the evening, there’s nothing left that needs to be done.

I’m actually loving the different zones between work and home and having those spaces clearly delineated helps me keep from pouring too much of myself into work. Plus, getting a good looking mix of places where I can get work done isn’t such a bad deal either.

Philippe Lazaro365