October

#274 Umpqua Community College

01 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Roseburg, Oregon is about an hour away from me. Today, somebody brought a gun onto campus and started firing, killing at least a dozen people. This happens Way. Too. Often.

I’m not one for taking on much controversy via social media, but does it have to be controversial that stuff like this shouldn’t happen? I can’t buy the argument that the remedy for bad guys with guns is a good guy with a gun. Pragmatically, I can’t imagine that the scene of a shooting is made any better with bullets going in both directions. Spiritually, there is no one righteous enough. Not even one. The conversations about gun control go nasty so fast, that it doesn’t take much to convince me that violence lurks within human nature, even if its only expressed verbally. That instinct is there.

I also don’t believe you can legislate people into being good people, for that matter. But to be honest, I simply just want stuff like this to stop happening.

Prayers for Roseburg, and for our hearts and abilities to see a different way of handling things.

#275 Soufflé Night

02 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Deanna has been on a roll lately with her Julia Child cookbook. Tonight’s treat came courtesy of a Julia recipe for soufflé, coupled with another one for stuffed mushrooms.

This is what I love coming home to after a long and pretty crazy week. Here’s to much needed weekends, French cooking, and a wife who’s mastering the art of it.

$276 REI Den & Garage Sale

03 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

I’d never been to an REI den sale prior to this weekend. The wait can be Disneyland-esque sometimes, and there’s something ironic about people camping out to get discounts on camping gear, but I definitely see how fun this is.

From our weekend loot, I’d say Deanna and I did pretty well. Especially considering the fact that we didn’t really start shopping until noon and got to sleep in. We scored: a cooler, hiking boots and a dress for Dee, two blow up sleeping pads, and a bocce ball set. Plus, we hardly paid anything thanks to wedding gift cards.

#277 Kapringen

04 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

This is what a wonderful Sunday night at home relaxing and kicking back looks like: Some Vietnamese lettuce wraps and a Danish movie. Note on the lettuce wraps- vermicelli noodles are a way underrated ingredient.

Kapringen was something like a Captain Phillips type story, but with Scandinavian sensibilities, meaning it was a lot more grim and straightforward. I love watching foreign films to note the different expectations we have for our stories based on where we were born

#278 Forever The Road

05 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

You don’t have to hate this. What is amazing about life is it adapts. If you are alive, then you can adapt too. The world finds a place for all things The violent and the peaceful coexist. You could be part of this too.
—Anthony St. Clair

I met Anthony St. Clair at an author’s lunch here in Eugene and it turned out we had a lot of common interests. Writing was just one of them. So was travel, cooking, and beer tasting. He gave a lot of great tips for the business side of writing and was an all around fun guy to talk to. With all those things in common, I gave his book Forever the Road a read recently and loved it. I don’t read fantasy very often, but I’m sure I would if more were like this book. I loved the bits of the travel writing genre that crept into this story and the fictional setting was amazing.

#279 The Opposite of Loneliness

06 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

“It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four A.M. and no one goes to bed. That night with the guitar. That night we can’t remember. That time we did, we went , we saw, we laughed, we felt. The hats.”

– Marina Keegan

This book was one I brought as a honeymoon read and it was sweet and significant and lovely in all the right places. Shortly after penning a brilliant commencement piece at Yale, Keegan was killed in a car accident. This posthumously published collection of short stories and essays is written both maturely but sincerely, not coming across like somebody trying to sound much older. It contains notes that allude to the deception of invincibility that comes with a young age, but also its tendency to allow you to marvel at the simplest human interactions.

#280 Office Hours

07 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Spent some time in my office– no visitors! That allowed me to get a good deal of work done.

So far, I’ve enjoyed teaching this quarter, of the random collection of chores and errands on my slate this term, this has been one of the more enjoyable ones.

#281 On The Mack

08 October 2015 // Leaburg, Oregon

Rich got into town last night and that meant I set aside the early part of my day to go fishing. Spent the morning on the McKenzie.

Unfortunately that didn’t result in the abundance of fish that I’ve caught the past couple of times I’d gone out, but it was still nice getting to spend some time on the river. The current was crazy strong and it occasionally sent a little one my way.

#282 Deanna’s 26th

09 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Today was Deanna Lazaro’s first birthday! She turned 26, but it was her first one as Deanna Lazaro, so that counts as some sort of milestone of significance.

After coming home from work, and before we went out for dinner, she took on the great scavenger hunt to find my present- one that consisted entirely of emoji’s. (The scavenger hunt was emojis, not the present.) In the end, she found what she was seeking. Her pearl on a chain.

#283 Ducks vs. Washington State

10 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

The results of this game, along with the Ducks season, were quite disappointing. But let’s put that aside for a second. Check out this view! I never get seats this good.

We put up with quite a downpour in the third quarter, but we came prepared, and that soon gave berth to a beautiful quarter four. Beautiful in terms of the sky and weather. In terms of gameplay, not so much.

#284 Sunday Afternoons

11 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Sunday afternoons after excessively crazy weeks are the best, meant for doing absolutely nothing out of obligation.

This week’s? All about Netflix, reading, and spending most of the whole day in the apartment after some church and Panera. Expert combo.

#285 Salmon Hand Roll

12 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Sometimes after hectic days with a lot to juggle, and surprise setbacks, you have to remember that you can be spontaneous, and spontaneous self-treats are kind of the opposite of surprise setbacks.

A few challenges with my thesis research? Yeah, that happens sometimes. So do on-spot purchases of salmon hand rolls, so we’re breaking even.

#286 Sauce Shopping

13 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

The discovery and proximity of Sunrise Asian Market has been the MVP of most of my projects in the kitchen this year.

This evening’s dinner wasn’t too ambitious, just sweet chili shrimp and noodles, but it did call for another trip to Sunrise, and that’s always a good time.

#287 Burkina Faso Microloans

14 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Anybody have much experience giving out a micro loan? I’ve heard and studied so much about them, and yet, I’ve gotten no first hand experience.

I decided to go for it and see what happens– helping a mother purchase some chickens in Burkina Faso. Here’s hoping it works out for the two of us!

#288 Networking Night

15 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Had a networking night with my graduate school department, schmoozing and meeting professionals and what not. Also, eating lots and lots of the charcuterie board.

I met a couple of professionals, and they were professional for sure. Also, charcuterie.

#289 Waffles and Beer

16 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Rob threw a birthday party this evening celebrating some of the things that Belgians do best: waffles and beer. Had a really great time.

This was an excellent evening. For the next round, I move that we also include some Belgian fries.

#290 Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

17 October 2015 // Wheeler, Oregon

Work has been nuts lately, and the theme of the past week has been “being over it.” Good thing I married a girl who knows exactly what I’d need after a week like that.

Deanna planned out a whole weekend for us on the coast that started with a ride on the historic railroad in Neahem. Had a total blast every minute of it.

#291 Tillamook Cheese Factory

18 October 2015 // Tillamook, Oregon

Deanna surprised me with a really fun weekend outing. We ended up on the Oregon Coast and paid a visit to one of the country’s most beloved makers of cheese.

We took a tour of the Tillamook Cheese Factory and watched as big blocks of cheddar tumbled their way down conveyor belts and assembly lines. Best of all, we got to visit the factory café and feast on some fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches.

#292 Window to Fall

19 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

This is a nice part of my Mondays and Wednesdays, sneaking up to the top of the business school to get some work done by the window. I get to start nice and early and the view and the lighting is fantastic.

Plus it’s a sweet and simple time to read and get all set for the day.

#293 Grading Mayhem

20 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Here’s a more honest look at what this week has been like for me.

Keeping up with errands and lots and lots of exams to grade. It’s not always the most exhilarating thing, but I’ve got to remember not to take days like these for granted either.

#294 AA&A Hallway

21 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

It’s been a hectic week of work, and Wednesdays are right in the middle of the madness.

I’ve been spending a lot of time this quarter in the architecture building, that seems to not quite live up to what you might expect from an architecture building. Still, it comes with some interesting things to look at.

#295 Vitasoy

22 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Here’s a little something I’ve been into a lot lately– Vitasoy.

These boxes don’t contain the largest quantities of sweetened soy milk, so I end up having to restock quite often. But for whatever reason, I can’t stop drinking it, so weekly trips to the Asian Market will have to do!

#296 Fall Wins

23 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Spent just a bit of time on campus to recognize how pretty it was.

Oregon’s wet weather is back, but fall is still crazy gorgeous in my part of the state. I love it.

#297 Pumpkin Slingshots

24 October 2015 // Springfield, Oregon

Deanna and I went with Brianna and Anthony to a pumpkin patch in Springfield. I’ve been to several pumpkin patches by now and this one was unlike any of them.

To get to the pumpkin patch, you had to wait in a long line to be picked up by a hay truck, driven by an old guy who was having way too much fun. You were supposed to bring a bucket of tiny pumpkins with you, and he took off, speeding and swerving over mounds, under bridges, making sharp turns. Along the way, there are scarecrows with stacked plastic buckets for you to try and knock off with the small pumpkins as ammo. Of course, you don’t want to use up all your ammo on the way to the patch.

At the pumpkin patch, you’ll find some giant slingshots aimed towards even more scarecrow targets. It only took me a few tries before I nailed one dead on.

#298 Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Chicken Tenderloin

25 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Another Julia recipe by Deanna. Way to go!

Chicken tenderloin in a creamy onion sauce, plus a side garlicky mashed potatoes. Those were fantastic!

#299 Morning Waits

26 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Weekday morning. Fall crisp. Early sunlight.

This is such a good looking field to stare at while I wait for my bus ride to come. Great start to the day.

#300 Ninkasi Noir

27 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Got to share a large bottle of Noir with Deanna to kick back with on a Tuesday night.

I really enjoyed this Ninkasi special release… a milk stout brewed with cold brew coffee. The coffee extract came in nice and strong, but it had a really deep and striking taste going on. Liked it a lot!

#301 The Wedding Video

28 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Deanna and I were so thrilled to get our wedding video in the mail from Lei!

Still waiting for a moment where I can properly upload it, but man, it was a beautiful thing to behold.

#302 The Alexander Hamilton Mixtape

29 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Who would’ve thought but this is Sufjan Stevens’ biggest competition for my most listened to album of the year.

I have NOT been able to stop listening to the soundtrack from the Alexander Hamilton musical. Such a weird but well-executed concept and its songs are so friggin catchy I thought I would’ve been over them by now, but NOPE! The ten dollar founding father without a father will have been one of my most listened to albums of the year.

#303 Pumpkin Keg

30 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

The pumpkin keg is prepped and the ale is chilling in the fridge.

Tomorrow night is gonna be a really fun night.

#304 Murder High School, Class of 1985

31 October 2015 // Eugene, Oregon

Dear Mr. Vernon,

We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Halloween at a high school reunion for a murder, apparently. What the murderer did WAS wrong, but we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a mathlete… a class president… a jock… a reporter… and a murderer. Does that answer your question?

Sincerely yours, the Murder High School class of ’85.

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