A semi-daily chronicle of my life as a musician, a family man, and a citizen of Oregon.

May 24, 2009

Brianna's Birthday Party

This year we had an at-home birthday party, complete with sleep over.  Brianna had a great time and we had lots of friends over.  On the list of events we had:


Three ships and a mermaid:


A cake walk:

A pinata:


Presents, and of course, the cake.

And here's a great pic of the kids all watching a movie at the end of the night.

May 3, 2009

Canvassing for Portland School Board

Today I donated some time in the afternoon to canvass for Scott Bailey, who is running for Portland Public School board, in the Westmoreland area of SE Portland.  This was in relation to the work I've been doing for Stand for Children.  I was actually on the committee that interviewed and then subsequently endorsed Scott.  It's been a pretty cool experience just to see this whole side of the process occur from beginning to end.
Canvassing is an inherently difficult task.  First off, almost everybody whose door you knock on thinks you're trying to sell them something.  It's amazing how many folks are closed off to what I was talking about before I ever opened my mouth. I know that I've been the same way in my life and I know there's some sort of karma at work there, although to my credit I remember being very excited when the last canvasser for Obama came to my door and the guy being a little taken aback by our enthusiasm.
It's been years since I've gone door to door for any candidate, and I was reminded that if nothing else an afternoon spent canvassing will reveal some pretty interesting stories. For example, some of the interesting stories from today:

  • Elderly gentlemen who answered the door in his bath robe and boxer shorts.  There was gape-age.  I averted my eyes as I offered a flyer.
  • After I got through my spiel a gentlemen in his forties asks me if I noticed the "No Solicitors" sign by his front door.  The following exchange occurs -
Homeowner: "See here?  It says no solicitors."
Me: "Well, I'm not selling anything.  I just want to share some information about the school board election."
Homeowner: "I am apolitical."
Me: "It's a non-partisan election"
Homeowner: "Get off my porch, jackass".
Door shuts.
Me (to self): "I'm going to mark you as hostile." (in a TAKE THAT manner)
  • Lady starts shaking her head back and forth almost as soon as I start speaking.  She interrupts me to say "No."  I just barely got in "I'm here about the school board election" as she shut the door.
This is definitely the kind of thing that I see as a challenge for myself - way outside of my comfort zone - but I'm glad I did it.  I don't know if I could ever run for an office knowing how many doors I'd have to knock on in order to do so, but I'm proud of myself for getting out there to do it.
Oh, and also... if you live in Portland, vote for Scott Bailey for Portland School Board.  (Along with Martin Gonzalez and Trudy Sargent).

May 2, 2009

Andrew's Fencing Classes


Andrew has been taking fencing lessons for almost a year now.  He's now taking classes twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and he's gotten quite into it.  He goes to the Studio of American Fencing with his friend Frank, and it seems to be a sport he can really get into.  No surprise - it involves swords!