Portland’s Emergency System Worries Me

So I heard something a tad worrying today.  It seems that my city tested its emergency alert system but things didn’t go well at all.  What was meant to happen – didn’t.  As they say, man plans and God laughs and it seems that in the case of Portland’s emergency system that’s exactly what happened.

So, a message was meant to be received by the city’s 300,000 residents at 11:00am.  Well, neither me nor Daniel nor Amanda or her husband received it. And apparently we weren’t exactly in the minority either.  Indeed, I heard later on that a mere 1 percent of Portlanders received the message!  Not very good…and a bit worrying truthfully.

The mess up is being blamed on the First Call company (from Louisiana) as it was unable to deliver.  But now the city has said that if the company fails to sort this out, their contract will be reevaluated.  If you ask me I hope they’re nixed.

Auto Show Comes to Portland

 

O-oh. So now perhaps I am getting a sense of why these flowers showed up yesterday.  Today marks the beginning of the Portland International Auto Show, at the Oregon Convention Center and Daniel is nowhere in the house to be found. Hmm…so now I’m getting suspicious. What is he thinking?  That he’ll buy something there?  With what kind of money?  Oh I hope he doesn’t do anything stupid.

The truth is, we have a great car now (a 2004 Honda Civic) but at some point we will need to change it. I love the Honda for its reliability.  And apparently at the show there will be some hybrids there too. Being real Portlandiers (is there such a term?) it is something we are serious about investigating…but in the future. Still, it’s not like we have the money for it now but I bet that was why I got the flowers yesterday…he’s so sneaky!  You can tell he used to be a lawyer!

Hopefully he just went there for fun…

Is Daniel Guilty?

So listen to this and tell me what you think.  Daniel like never buys me flowers.  He claims that I told him I hate flowers.  Now, it’s true that one time I said I can’t bear the fact that someone buys me flowers and then I have to deal with the whole thing and it becomes a task:  I need to cut the stems, find a vase and then, once they are dead, take them out of smelly, dirty water and wash the vase.  Plus, there are only a few types of flowers I like – for example I hate carnations.

Anyway, I digress. I probably have – since then, when we first got married nearly 7 years ago – complained that he never gets me flowers.  But that hasn’t affected his non-flower-buying behavior.  Until yesterday that is.  All of a sudden, there’s a knock at the door and this gorgeous bunch of large white calla lilies from Sammy’s Flowers arrives.  Now, Sammy’s Flowers is not just any flower store; it’s probably the best one in the whole of Portland.   

And it gets better.  The flowers arrived a gorgeous, simple, glass vase – just my style – so I didn’t have to do anything with them!  Now the test is whether or not Daniel will clear them away once they have died.

But, back to my original issue; I’m still wondering if Daniel is guilty of something.  I mean, why else do  men buy flowers?  Or, more to the point, why else would my husband, all of a sudden, after nearly 7 years of marriage, buy me some flowers when he knows I have all these issues with them?  All I can think of is that perhaps we are approaching the 7-year itch and now I’m paranoid he is hiding something (although you should know I totally trust him).  Watch this space.

Chinese Celebrating the Year of the Dragon

It’s true, some Chinese citizens have been living in Portland for decades.  But still, tradition is tradition.  And those with Chinese origins went all out in their celebrations of the Year of the Dragon yesterday.  Amanda has a friend of Chinese origin who does it.  She wakes up to a bowl of vegetarian dumplings, symbolically hoping the Year of the Dragon will bring prosperity.

While I have no Chinese blood running through my veins, I nonetheless decided to join in too, so I bought a bunch of tangerines.  Well, I figured that the kids love them; I know they’re healthy and it doesn’t hurt that tangerines just happen to be a symbol of good luck in Chinese culture! Now, I won’t go so far as to hang them on the front door (although for sure one of my neighbors has done that in the past on a Dragon New Year), but it’s nice to take a few fun symbols from another culture and hope – somewhere in the back of my mind – that it’ll bring us good luck!  Hell, we could all do with some extra prosperity no matter in what form it comes!

Apparently, I read somewhere that are close to 40,000 Oregonians of Chinese descent!  (Out of a 3.8m populace that’s quite significant). So there are bound to be a lot of celebrations going on around my neighborhood. I thought it might be a nice idea to educate the kids about it as well, so I’ll be speaking to them about people, cultures and their differences to try and encourage acceptance and diversity in my home.  Oof, now I’m beginning to sound somewhat PC!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year of the Dragon!

Hello American Pie

The weather in Portland has been a bit gruesome for a while. That definitely makes things a bit tougher with the kids as we have to find more indoor activities to do with them, especially over the weekend when there is no preschool.  Still, at least yesterday it was only drizzling – the rain wasn’t too bad – so we managed to do some stuff. 

Since I’d been reading last week about the cool event taking place at Baker & Spice in the Hillsdale neighborhood of Portland, I decided yesterday that we should brave the weather.  On both Saturday and Sunday, the store was celebrating its annual Pie Day, marking the store’s birthday!  How cool is that!  Each year they have Pie Day during which over the weekend, people can come along and eat as much pie as they want (or can!).  This year apparently the store is turning 7-years-old (so I had Jayden saying the whole time “but I want to be 7 too,” which kinda makes sense as the way he counts now he omits 5 and 6, so given that he’s 4, his next birthday – in his logic – would be 7. Still I digress.

I ordered a slice of Mocha Almond and Super Duper (mega-chocolatey) and by then, truly I was done.  Daniel of course has a way sterner stomach than me so he managed a slice of: Pink Cake, Black and White and Vanilla Dream.  And Jayden shared a slice of the store’s Birthday Cake with Ethan which they both really loved by the look of their faces when the plate was clean.  Since Jayden made my birthday cake with Daniel a few weeks ago, he’s talked about nothing else.

Anyway it was a fun afternoon and what made me feel a bit better about my gorging was learning that the store will be donating a quarter of its pie sales to Neighborhood House’s emergency food box program – an organization that “helps neighbors help themselves.” I thereafter explained the charitable organization to Jayden, and he was so cute, he asked if he could give them half of his cake too!  What an adorable child.  I love him so much.