The bus

Did I tell you I have a new job?

In October, I left my outpost in downtown Vancouver, Washington, where, from my cubicle, I could watch the bridge lift up and down over the Columbia River. I now spend my work week in a windowless cube under blue fluorescent lights in a “skyscraper” in downtown Portland.

(Or what counts as a skyscraper in Portland. The building has less than 30 floors.)

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My old view of the bridge during a lift. If you look closely, you can see some “skyscrapers” on the horizon. That’s downtown Portland.

 

Working in downtown Portland means I’ve been able to leave my car at home and take the bus or light rail to work, which makes me feel like I’m back home in New York (sort of). It has also meant that Martin could sell his troubled Toyota to a man who knocked on the door and offered cash for it, full well aware of the condition it was in.

Taking the bus has many perks. One less car insurance bill. Less gas. One less car on the road. My work subsidizes my pass, so it’s only $40 a month for unlimited rides. And I can lost in a book during my commute, play games on my phone or stare idly out the window and think about absolutely nothing.

It also has its drawbacks.

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Our honeymoon, in doodles

In November, Martin and I went to Hawaii to celebrate the fact that we put a ring on one another’s finger and agreed to put up with each other’s gas until we’re old and incredibly gassy.

(I jest. It was much more romantic than that.)

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These are the iPad doodles I drew from our trip. We began in Oahu, where we camped on the beach at Waimanalo Bay while we played in an ultimate frisbee tournament. (I know. I know. On our honeymoon. But it was only fitting! We met playing ultimate, so why not celebrate our marriage by playing ultimate?) Afterwards, we drove up to the North Shore, where my cousin got us a family discount to a fancy resort for a couple of nights.

Then we flew to Kauai and stayed in a rental house I found the night before on the Internet. It was perfect: Ten minutes up a single-lane road outside of a historic plantation town that’s outside of the slightly larger historic plantation town that’s outside of the tourist outpost of Popui (on the sunny side of the island). We had a majestic view of the ocean from our lanai, where we could see the private island Niihau on the horizon.

The trip was relaxing and wonderful, save for the moment I slipped off of a trail while hiking on the Napali Coast, rolled my ankle and somersaulted off the edge, catching onto a palm as I rolled to stop my fall. Nothing like hanging off the edge of a cliff to make you thankful to be with the one you love.

I drew most of these in Hawaii, without my stylus (which went missing right before we left). I drew the rooster and the cat when we got home—you can see the difference the stylus makes.

Our trip to Omaha, in doodles

Lately I’ve been documenting our adventures using my favorite iPad app, Paper by FiftyThree. It started with our honeymoon in Hawaii. I decided to sketch moments and memories, sometimes in real time, but most often after the fact using photographs. (I have a few more drawings to do for that sketchbook — but I’ll share it here when I’m finished.)

These sketches are from our recent trip to Omaha to see Martin’s family and watch Notre Dame in the BCS Bowl Game with them. (Nevermind the Fighting Irish’s dismal performance or the Manti Te’o fake dead girlfriend fiasco — we are still fans.)

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The high noon sun beat down on the Great Plains as we made our descent into Omaha.

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Grandma Gert has a new iPad. She uses it to play pinochle. Occasionally she attempts to use the internet.

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Martin’s Aunt Kathy and Uncle Jerry let us use their season tickets to the Creighton Bluejays at CenturyLink Center. My first NCAA basketball game!

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The Jays won, handedly.

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Grandma Gert gifted us a jar of her famous plum jelly, this batch made by Martin’s aunt.

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Martin’s parents bought him a new sweatshirt for the big game. This is the design on the front.

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Every time we come to Omaha, we make a pilgrimage to Upstream Brewing in Old Market.

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This is Old Market, my favorite part of Omaha. It’s all cobblestone and red brick. You can almost imagine how this former industrial/wholesale district must’ve been bustling with horses and buggies and Model T’s.

Our mothers do so much for us

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Two minutes after Martin’s mother dropped us off at the airport in Omaha, Martin realized he’d left his wallet (and his ID) at her house.

He called her and shortly thereafter she was zooming her way back home, a good 20-minute drive from the airport, to locate the wallet and bring it back to us. We checked my bag and printed our boarding passes and nervously kept our eye on the clock. We had only so much time before our flight.

Forty minutes later, she was back, and we zipped our way through security with plenty of time to board. In all, she’d spent one hour and twenty minutes that day driving to and from the airport.

“Our mothers do so much for us,” Martin said to me.

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Ice cubes on the shoreline

Just east of Portland is this amazing park called Thousand Acres. It’s a dog’s dream. There’s river access and miles of trails and marshland. On any given Sunday, hundreds of dogs romp through the brush there, sniffing butts and splashing through puddles and rolling in delicious smells.

Today was no different. We brought the dogs (including our 80-year-old neighbor’s puppy Golden Retriever-yellow Lab mix*) and they ran and ran and ran for hours.

It was a brisk day for Portland—high 30s, no cloud cover. Ice cubes lined the shore of the Columbia. Most non-polar bear mammals would consider this “too cold for swimming.” Not so for our dogs.

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So… this happened

We got married! The wedding was awesome in every way possible. Here is a small selection of the more than 900 wonderful photos our photographer took. Photo credit: Bryan Rupp Photography

Changing it up

It seems like a good time to change the look of my blog. It’s looked like this for… I don’t know, 4 or 5 years. Since before WordPress offered things like widgets and featured images. But every time I search for a new theme, I can’t find one that I like. They’re all so… bloggy. I like that my site is neat and clean and free from cheesy illustrations and flourishes.

old layout screenshotMartin says it’s time for a new nose in the header image, but I’m not so sure about that. This is My Dog is Chelsea, after all. Could I put Calla or River’s nose in there? I don’t know.

We’ll see. It may change. It may not. I hate making decisions.

[EDIT! I made a decision! At least for now. My only complaint is that I wish I could add a header image, but other than that, I’m liking MDIC’s new look.]