Thursday, January 27, 2011


Have you guys seen Portlandia yet?  It's a 6-episode short-based comedy series which takes the audience to a dreamy and absurd rendering of Portland, Oregon.  And for the most part... it's totally true.  I'm not sure if it will be funny to those not living in Portland, but it's all us Portlanders can talk about.  I watched the first episode with friends last week and throughout the entire thing we were all laughing and saying, "Yes, that is so Portland!!"

It may seem over the top that the show features people asking their waitress details about the life of the free-range chicken they are about to eat, or people riding around on double-decker bikes and unicycles, extreme feminists, or adults who actually participate in an adult hide-and-seek league.  But it's real!  Portland truly is the "place where young people go to retire".  This show will give you a glimpse of how unique (and totally weird) Portland really is!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Rock Climbing

My friend Megan and I have decided to join in on one of Oregon's most popular activities: rock climbing. Megan experimented with outdoor rock climbing a bit when she lived in Kenya this past year.  The only experience I've ever had with the sport is climbing the Baylor rock wall once my freshman year of college. (Baylor actually has a great rock wall which stands at 52 feet.  I wish I had taken more advantage of it.  If you live in Waco, you should try it out.)

We found an awesome rock wall at a gym close to our work.  So we had a private climbing lesson, became belay certified, purchased a 10-time flash pass and invested in our own climbing shoes and harnesses.

We are going to try to climb once or twice a week so that we can build up skills and strength for outdoor climbing this summer.  Rock climbing is a physically demanding sport - my arms were so sore the first time I climbed that I could barely grip a pen the next day.  But climbing is a great challenge and actually a really fun activity to do with friends.  Climb on!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Yoga Ball Chair

I have to admit, sometimes I have a really hard time sitting at a desk for the majority of the day.  Sitting in a not-so-comfortable swivel desk chair can get pretty uncomfortable pretty quick.  I was reading an article about health on Monday and it mentioned the benefits of trading in your desk chair for an exercise ball.  I've heard of this before and always thought it was weird.  I mean seriously, who sits on a big neon bouncy ball (which is normally used for yoga, crunches and push ups) in a professional work environment?  But as I kept reading, I realized all of the wonderful benefits that come with trading a normal desk chair with an exercise ball: increased core strength, improved posture and decrease back pain, better circulation, burning up to 350 calories a day at the office!

So as of yesterday, I have replaced my lame desk chair with a bright green 65cm exercise ball... and I love it!  I'm never going back.  I talked up the idea to my coworkers on Monday and Tuesday.  I don't want to be "that one weird girl who sits on a bouncy ball at work", so I got several of them on board with me and now Megan and Mary Lee have ditched their old desk chairs for a stability ball, too.  Several coworkers have stopped by my office and said, "Hey Mary, why are you sitting on a ball?"  "Why not?!"  They tried it out and agreed that it's pretty comfortable (and even kind of fun).  I think I've started a new MTI office trend!

And I promise not to be this annoying coworker: