Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Self Portrait: Introductions & 50 Things About Moi

End of the month self portrait

Hi, my name is not LeLo, but it is my blog name.

Lean in.

I have something to tell you.

I don’t think I could tell you 100 things about myself. And if I did, wouldn’t it be boring? Let’s start with 50.

1. Today I’ve been in two states: Oregon and Washington. Sometimes I’m in more than two states a day. Last week I was in Washington DC. I’ll be there again next week.

2. I visit every day. The pictures make me happy, just like a little girl combing the hair on her toy kitty. And I’ve learned great words like snorggle.

3. I like to snorggle my puppy, Wink.

4. I have thousands of photos in my iPhoto. Thousands. I’m addicted to taking digital photos. I document my work, my dog, my garden, my vacations, my family, myself. I’ve incorporated it into my professional life.

5. I began playing piano at age 4. I haven’t played since January.

6. My favorite song in junior high was Blue Oyster Cult’s “I’m Burnin’ For You.” I’ll let you guess how old that makes me.

7. I’m married to a cop. Okay, we were married, but the state of Oregon deemed our marriage invalid and returned our money. We still have the marriage certificate and until they pry it from my cold, dead fingers they’re not going to get it back.

8. Did you know that getting married immediately grants you over 1,500 protections? We don’t get those.

9. Can you tell I’m still bitter about the last election?

10. My passion is gardening. I inherited it, even though as a child I vowed to never ever never ever never touch the dirty soil or grow things like tomatoes. My parental unit likes to laugh at that.

11. I have a sister who lives in Western Australia and a brother who lives in Texas.

12. We grew up in the suburbs of Southern California. Avocado trees in the front, lemon trees in the back. 15 minutes from the beach.

13. I moved to Portland because I won a radio contest. By accident.

14. I believe in fate.

15. I believe in the power of saying it loud and manifesting my destiny.

16. Sometimes that power scares me.

17. I’m horrible about remembering birthdays and special days.

18. I can be a flake: I overcommit myself and in the end, need my space. Alone.

19. I speak Spanglish on a daily basis.

20. I am a hardcore liberal and I work in the realm of social action, using creative process to connect on an emotional level to move people, spark change and create a better world. I know: what does that really mean? Sorry. I believe in separation of work and blog. Or I used to. If you're really that curious as to what I do for a living, you can visit my professional website here.

21. My partner is my best friend and is incredibly opposite of me: however, when we laugh together, there’s little that can stop us. We have fun together.

22. I’m a hopeless romantic using sarcasm as a weapon of self protection.

23. I’m really trying to not be an overly negative person, and to find good things in my daily life. With that said, I hate blogs that just bitch: about the city they live in, the organizations they disagree with, or what’s wrong with this world. If you hate so much, why don’t you do something about it and get involved? Get out from behind your soapbox and DO SOMETHING.

24. The old school old boy network drives me crazy: to see it within blogging astounds me. Blecht.

25. I’ve met some of the coolest people from blogging: you know who you are.

26. I’ve been to Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, Bali and Western Australia. I’ve never been to me. ($5 to the first person who can name the artist of that god-forsaken song.)

27. My very first friend was Marchand Storch.

28. When I was a little girl I was mistaken as being one of the Mexican kids. That stayed with me, and haunted me my entire life. I didn’t know why, or what that meant. Today, I know the questions people have of my ethnicity are all over the place: it’s often assumed I am something. I’m not. That I know of. Just a white girl who often has places at the table with people of color who trust me. I’m lucky and I hold that carefully.

29. I thoroughly enjoy watching strangers who make assumptions about me or about my relationship with AdRi, and their squirming when they realize we are partners. “Yes, that’s correct. We just need one bed in our hotel room. One.” A personal favorite is the telemarketer asking for the man of the house, or if my husband is available. Assumptions, assumptions, assumptions. Remember, there’s an ASS in that word.

30. One of my first bosses excused himself from our first meeting stating he needed to go to the head. He was also the same boss who clearly articulated his greatest advice to me: K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid. I don’t think I ever wrote that down.

31. The children in my family were all born 7 years apart, almost to the month: January, February, January. I come from planners.

32. I once thought I was going to be a piano teacher.

33. I once came home from high school and announced I was going to be a nun.

34. I once announced to my friends that I had decided to become single for the rest of my life.

35. I once was a seamstress in college. I sewed the bows on crotchless underwear. I was paid 5 cents a piece.

36. I graduated from what was once voted the #1 party school in the nation.

37. I have never been “skinny.”

38. I was a total paddlehead in college.

39. I was named after my grandfather who died when I was 6 months old.

40. I love to cook: especially from Rick Bayless cookbooks. Or from Cooking Light. Or from recipes I cut out in the Food Day section of The Oregonian.

41. I could be a better recycler.

42. I was once hired to teach English in Korea and at the last minute, I turned down the job. They still published my name and photo in their brochure for years, saying I was a teacher there.

43. In both 7th and 8th grades I won the John Phillip Sousa Award in band. Tenor saxophone.

44. My mom and I were members of the Chumash Tribe of the Indian Maidens, a mother daughter group through the YWCA. Our Indian names were Sunshine and Rainbow. I’ll let you guess which one I was.

45. I used to smoke a pack a day, and I quit cold turkey when I thought my mom had cancer. I think that was 5 years or so ago. I haven’t smoked since.

46. Form or function? I demand both.

47. Yes, I believe in no white shoes until after memorial day. I haven’t worn any yet but hope to soon. If it gets sunny again.

48. I know I need spirituality more in my life but I’m frozen in figuring out what that means: organized religion has made me mad.

49. I have always loved the color purple, and in junior high I was suspended for writing PURPLE RULES! in purple marker on the freshly painted lockers. My parents made me remove everything purple from my closet, including my purple Cherokee wedges and Chemin de Fer jeans, not giving them back for weeks. Or even months? I was so busted.

50. I take photos as a creative outlet and a form of exploration. I take photos of myself because I really don’t know what I look like.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Thursday, May 25, 2006

My luggage, something I am powerless to and the ground I stand on

Ah, yes. Stuff Portrait Friday. I haven't played in eons. Alas, I must have fallen off the wagon. But here I am, fulfilling the Stuff Portrait Friday prophecy and answering the three questions. Here we go...

My luggage;
Lucky you. You not only get a picture of my luggage but also my luggage in action as I'm currently traveling. There it is, in all of its glory. Shall I hand you a kleenex? Keep it together, people.
stuff portrait friday: my luggage

The ground I stand on:
This is a picture from last summer. I love it. My toes. My flip flops. My wonderful dahlia. My backyard on a hot summer day. I bet I ran through the sprinkler that day.
stuff portrait friday: the ground i stand on

Something I'm powerless to:
The power of the garden gnome. Can you feel the magic?
stuff portrait friday: something I'm powerless to

Shout out to Kristine and Stuff Portrait Friday, even if she's random and odd.

Thinking of my sister

Embassy of Australia
Originally uploaded by Lelonopo.
It's been 5 years since I've seen my sister. I miss her.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I know who won American Idol

Aah, yet another perk of traveling for business: eastern time zone means I know who won American Idol! Yeah, I saw it. And you know, the finale show was actually really good: Mary J. Blige, Dionne Warwick and a purple-suited secret guest at the end? It actually kicked ass. I laughed, I cried (stop scoffing people! it's talent!) and in the end, I'm pleased with the outcome. Yeah!

Now back to work.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

An incoherent post and a self portrait

Three photos that really have nothing to do with each other: just recent takes all here for your viewing pleasure.

#1: When Wink grows up, she wants to be Benson. Her new friend. She copies big dogs. "Okay, we lie down now. Okay, stick out tongue and pant. Pant. Pant. Pant."
Wink has a friend

#2: Self Portrait: it's been awhile, hasn't it? What? You don't see me? I'm there. In the reflection. Smile, darn ya, smile!
self portrait reflection: smile

#3: Can you guess where I am today?
do you know where I am?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The St Johns Parade Told in 36 Photos

St Johns Parade Mosaic
Portland is home to many great neighborhood events, but the St Johns parade is one of my most favorite. Here's the play-by-play as told in photos: click through to the Flickr set to read my commentary. Don't miss the Chess Team contingent, Santa-on-a-Harley or the guy marching with his edger (by himself). Remember: we all walk (and march) to the beat of our own drum. Go Shriners!

My pick of top pics: while it may not be the most exciting photo, it did capture the most amazing cape. This cape is covered in yellow, tree-shaped auto deoderizers. "Honey, get me my cape. Today's the St. Johns Parade!"
my cape smells good

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Franz Franz Squishy White Bread

Premium White
AdRi is completely and totally entranced with a story in today’s Oregonian about Franz bakery. Portland classic, they’ve been churning out bread for 100 years, and AdRi has fond childhood memories of the Franz bread man in rural Washington County. At NE 11th and Davis Street, they’ve made 5 city blocks their home with a bread factory extraordinaire. AdRi is reading me some facts: in 1906 they renamed it to Franz Bakery. Prior to that it was Ann Arbor Bakery. (Don’t ask. I don’t want to ask.) In 1930 Franz began selling its bread in wax paper. (Oh oh. Have I told you how much of a fan AdRi is of wax paper?) Here’s a fact AdRi wants you to know….6000 buns or rolls are baked in 8 minutes at the Franz Bakery. The typical American consumes 53 lbs of bread per year. (She finished that fact sharing with the statement: so take that and smoke it. That’s my girl!)

If you want to see that sign go round and round and round, here's the thrilling movie....

We're ready

ready to go outside
Originally uploaded by Lelonopo.
See? We're ready to go. Patient. Waiting. Here on the rug. But look out there. It's perfect! Maybe if we behave really really good. Okay, Wink, don't sniff my butt and I won't hiss at you. We'll show her how good we are. And then she'll open the door. We're ready!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Shout out to my mother!

My sense of humor, wry sarcasm and general sassiness comes thanks to my mom. I can see it now, not so much when I was younger.
Growing up it was so easy to take for granted everything my mom did for me. I think about the activities, programs, lessons and sports I participated in, and it meant my mom committed her time to making sure I was there and able to do those things, too. I took dance classes, painting classes, piano classes, gymnastics: I remember going with my mom to her yoga class at the community center. We were involved. And I had a sister seven years older and a brother seven years younger. I wasn’t the only one she made sure was exposed to arts, culture and sports.
My mom is incredibly creative: my own creativity stems directly from her passion of learning and creating beauty. And a love of these things: seeking out projects and opportunity for self expression. Thanks mom, and Happy Mother’s Day. I wish we were together: I'd put you to work in the garden with me today. The roses are just beginning to bloom.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Go St. Johns: 44th Parade this Saturday

Woo hoo. Love a parade, especially small ancient neighborhood ones. And this Saturday is the St. Johns parade, the harbinger of Portland's Rose Festival, really. The parade steps off at noon, and has 90 entrants. Am quite tempted to load Wink into the big yellow gardening cart (The Hummer) and march in the parade, but I think we'll save that for Pride.

I blogged about it last year, check out the Shriners!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


lowrider babe
All my friends know the low rider
The low rider is a little higher
Low rider drives a little slower
Low rider is a real goer
Low rider knows every street yeah!
Low rider is the one to meet yeah!
Low rider don't use no gas now
Low rider don't drive too fast
Take a little trip
Take a little trip
Take a little trip and see
Take a little trip
Take a little trip
Take a little trip with me
AdRi took a trip to SoCal last week and brought me back this picture. Sigh. That girl knows me too well. Love this!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Big hair is better hair

Do you ever cringe when you see old pictures of yourself with a frightening hairstyle? I wonder if the lady shown here looks at this picture and thinks her hair looks good. But even more wonderous is how a stylist could have done this to someone and let them walk out the door. Do you think they laughed themselves to smithereens as soon as she was gone?

What exactly is the rationale or purpose for hair this large? Is it the manifestation of her aura? Is it hiding small animals or objects? Does it flip completely to one side as one complete piece when the wind catches it from underneath? What does she do when that happens?

When it's teased and sprayed that much, doesn't it hurt when you finally brush it all out?

What hairspray did she use to attain this architectural wonder? I bet it was Sebastian in the super huge white can.

I love the big hair quandary: don't see a whole lot of it here in Portland. But I start my day every morning drinking from the big hair coffee cup...
big hairbigger hairjust right hair

Deep thinking for a Sunday morning.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Friday, May 05, 2006

Hey, I've been to the real Cinco de Mayo!

Fuerte de Loreto
Here are some pics from the birthplace of Cinco de Mayo: Fuerte de Loreto in Puebla, Mexico. No, folks, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day, but there was an important battle here against the French, and actually, it's a pretty cool story.
Cinco de Mayo's history has its roots in the French Occupation of Mexico. The French occupation took shape in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War of 1846-48. With this war, Mexico entered a period of national crisis during the 1850's. Years of not only fighting the Americans but also a Civil War, had left Mexico devastated and bankrupt. On July 17, 1861, President Benito Juarez issued a moratorium in which all foreign debt payments would be suspended for a brief period of two years, with the promise that after this period, payments would resume.
At the Fuerte de Loreto
The English, Spanish and French refused to allow president Juarez to do this, and instead decided to invade Mexico and get payments by whatever means necessary. The Spanish and English eventually withdrew, but the French refused to leave. Their intention was to create an Empire in Mexico under Napoleon III. Some have argued that the true French occupation was a response to growing American power and to the Monroe Doctrine (America for the Americans). Napoleon III believed that if the United States was allowed to prosper indescriminantly, it would eventually become a power in and of itself. In 1862, the French army began its advance. Under General Ignacio Zaragoza, 5,000 ill-equipped Mestizo and Zapotec Indians defeated the French army in what came to be known as the "Batalla de Puebla" on the fifth of May.

Here's AdRi at the fort, ready to fight!
At the fort

The city of Puebla itself is really lovely. Very colonial, an amazing old church in the middle of town (see the picture of ironwork in front of church below), and Puebla is well known for its culinary attributes: famous mole. (Click on any of the photos to see them larger.) Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Viva Mexico!
Iglesia in PueblaTile walls in PueblaStreetscape in PueblaLots of Jesus in PueblaColonial architectureThe main square in PueblaStreetscape 2 in PueblaThe home of mole!

P.S. I can't believe no one has complained about the constant playing of the white boy rapper piece everytime you load the main page of this blog. I think it's a nice juxtoposition to hear while viewing pictures from Puebla, Mexico. Art, people, art!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The real story behind May 5 celebration...

...also known as Mexico's great mayonnaise debacle....

Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York. This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day. The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Theory on Weather in Portland

Portlanders love spring and summer so much, or, at least days like today (high 70's and sunny) because we have so many grey and rainy days. We love it when we get it, and right now, we got it. For how long? Who knows. But in the meantime, we're enjoying it. Here's some proof...
Hangin' in the garden
fetch means sit and chew, right?
All of this running tires a girl out. I need a little R&R now...
A little back yard R & R