Cheap Thrills: Local Addition Edition

August 31, 2010 § 1 Comment

Okay, so when I started this whole Cheap Thrills bit, the goal was to keep things very non-Portland specific to allow for equal opportunity participation. However, tonight I’m making an exception to the rule for the purpose of plugging one perfectly perfect new Portland haunt.

People, you must go visit my favorite new spot, Palace of Industry. Close your eyes for a minute and imagine that Anthropologie suddenly became less corporate and spendy and is now all genuinely second-hand or handmade, and then imagine that they started selling delicious food and obtained a liquor license and became somehow just, well, cooler, and there -hold that thought! You have behind your eyelids the fantasticness that is Palace of Industry.


I keep hearing that the stretch of N Killingsworth near our house is going to be reborn, revitalized, and turn into one of the hip little Portland neighborhoods it looks up to and admires. Palace of Industry makes me believe. And with The Naked Sheep, a fairly decent yarn store, mere feet away from the door, it’s entirely possible that I might start spending ridiculous amounts of time there.

Palace of Industry wins the cheap thrill award today because I bought a very cute dress there for $5. They have a ton of super well-edited, spot on vintage clothes, and if you have a sewing machine, you can score something with a split seam or tiny hole for next to nothing and fix it up. I had my new dress in wearable shape within 10 minutes of bringing it in the house. There were plenty of $5 or less (fewer? The money thing always gets me…) items left on the shelves, so get to it already.

Palace’s FB page is here. If you want to just take my advice and go there, set your GPS to 5426 N Gay Ave. Portland, OR 97217.



In Other Words

August 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Today’s In Other Words is brought to you by Billy Collins and my favorite three-year-old of the week. I highly recommend experiencing the following poem by going here and watching it recited by this super cool kid who will probably have a hard time getting a date in high school and marry a supermodel shortly thereafter.

Seriously, click here.

Or you can be all traditional and just read it. It goes like this:

by Billy Collins

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley,
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman’s tea cup.
But don’t worry, I am not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and—somehow—the wine.

By the way, it’s cloudy and a little chilly and delightfully fall-like outside. I’m wishing you somebody wonderful to cozy up with. 😉


Last Thursday

August 26, 2010 § Leave a comment


tonight we will stand in the presence of wonder
swirled tightly into a sea of the masked and the painted
they will carve roads around us
brush us with their feathers
singe us with the tips of fire soaked swords

tonight strangers will dance with the ghosts of old friends
and the corners will smell of sweat and lost causes
dogs will lie down on the sidewalks
truths will be learned
lies will be carried

tonight we will bear witness to a thousand magical onces
we will feel the heat of the many and watch as they twirl
you and i will wander past fallen kings
and emerging artists
someone’s first kiss, someone’s child
the poet and his guitar
a drunk and a lover
the vain and the bleeding
the last and the first

the miracle being only
that among them
i will hold your hand



August 25, 2010 § 1 Comment

Dear Portland-

I know you are only a city. I know that you are only the sum of the living, breathing bodies that inhabit you – the things they build, the places they live, the doings they do. I know that, though we often speak of you as though you are one of us, you have no real pulse, no heartbeat, no soul, no energy of your own. I know you don’t really have a “heart.” But you have mine.

My dear friend Annie and I were talking yesterday about how today is her 5 year anniversary with you, which started me thinking that it’s also our 2 year celebration, you and me. I remember how vast you seemed when I first met you, how I stubbornly tried to learn a city built on a grid in tiny rings of concentric circles, how you patiently let me get lost and found a thousand times, how your people smiled me right on through. I noticed today, driving familiar streets, that you have become a collection of small places for me – a memory in every neighborhood, an adventure in every restaurant, an echo on every corner. You have both shrunken and grown, lovely city, and I am poised and ready to continue to explore you and the hundreds of other somewheres hiding within your walls and under your trees that I will slowly, methodically, patiently claim as my own.

Dear Portland, thank you for becoming home to me. Thank you for letting me be myself, for wrapping me up, for taking me in. Happy Anni(Annie!)versary.



Cheap Thrills: Felt It Up

August 24, 2010 § 1 Comment

Today’s Cheap Thrill is a craft project! Hooray!

I love felt. I love felt because it’s cheap and fairly sturdy and doesn’t unravel when you cut it. My beautiful friend Katherine got married a while back, and we used felt for all kinds of projects, not the least of which was this pretty little flower in her hair:



Here are your steps:

1. Admire how cute groom Chris looks over Kat’s right shoulder all smiley in the photo above. Happiness is adorable.

2. Go to the store and get some felt (should be about 30 cents a sheet… go buck wild!) in the colors you prefer, and some cheap buttons (or raid your button stash if you have that sort of thing, or use one of those spare buttons that came with a coat or something).

3. Go to this sweet little blog and acquire the template: Click Here!

4. Cut out your petals, stitch or glue them together, stick the whole shebang on a spare bobby pin, and tada! You are now a craft genius. Martha is shaking in her intimidatingly well chosen and sensible shoes. Of course, she’s making a five course dinner from scratch while she’s shaking, but whatever. Screw her.

5. Wear. Feel proud. Glow a little. Make more (cause felt is cheap!) and give them away.


In other words…

August 23, 2010 § 4 Comments

If you haven’t read Hyperbole and a Half, you may not actually be aware of how hard you can laugh. If you’d like to find out, I strongly encourage you to start with this recent post that may well be a contender for my new favorite. But they’re all good. Seriously. All of them.

Go here and read this!!!


Cartoon Friday

August 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

My sister sent me this sweet little video –


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