Friday, January 08, 2010

Watch this space

What? There's a new post on this blog? Unthinkable!

You have a couple of days to wrap your mind around the concept ... then I will be launching a new, slightly ambitious blog project for 2010.

Please, hold your applause.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What I did this summer, by Karen M.

Me doing a 'perfect form' squat. Dork!
OK, wow. I didn't realize just how long it'd been since I blogged. Sorry. I blame Twitter.

If you follow me on Twitter/Facebook, or if you've talked to me recently, you've already heard about the madness I engaged in this summer. The madness has a name, and it is Portland Fitcamp.

I was looking for something new and intense to help me get in shape, lose some weight and replace fat with muscle. I read about Fitcamp in Portland Picks, saw that they had a 6:30 a.m. class near my house, and decided to go for it.

The week before the first class, the trainer, Dana, called to introduce herself. I confessed that I had some misgivings because a) I am not a morning person at all and b) I hate to run. She laughed and said, "Oh, there's running." She also said she wasn't a morning person either, but that I'd be surprised how easy it is to get up with the sun during the long summer days.

She was right. What started out as a one-month experiment evolved into a summer-long lifestyle change for me. I spent three months doing intense, one-hour long workouts four days a week -- all at 6:30 in the morning, and, yes, there was running. I wouldn't say I like running now, but I'm definitely better at it. (And I'm slightly more responsive to the morning alarm.)

Dana led our group of 6-12 women through the most challenging, varied and effective workouts I've ever encountered. This woman has an amazing knack for getting the most out of every muscle group ... that translates into having different sore spots almost every day, but it was a good pain. Basically, Fitcamp was like having a personal trainer, but with a small, motivating group -- and at a great savings.

After three months of Portland Fitcamp, I shaved about three minutes off my mile time (which was very slow to start with, but still) and -- with the help of my trusty food log, -- I lost 20 pounds (and counting). All that, and I feel strong, energized and ... gosh darn it ... proud!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Portland neon

It's an idea Chris and I have been batting around for a few years now: photographing the best neon signs in Portland, Ore., while they're still here to shoot. As we ease into 2009, we've resolved to actually finish the project this year — but we need help finding the best and brightest (ha!) signs in the city and surroundings.

You can see a few of Chris' neon shots at Besides these, we've shot several other locations (to be clear, Chris is the photographer; I'm the ... let's say ... "creative assistant"), but we want to make sure we're not missing any good ones.

If you have favorite neons around town, please post them in the comments section. No sign is too small; we're interested in any good-looking or iconic sign, even if it's just inside a window. One note: we are focusing on night-time shots, so we're especially looking for neon that does what neon is meant to do — lights up!

UPDATE: Chris just posted some more photos and details on the project. Enjoy!