Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

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People often ask me, “Brooke, what is the best part about being an extreme journalist?” Oh wait, no one actually asks me that, but I am going to tell you anyway. It’s not the travel to exotic locations, or the fact that snowboarding is my job (and I don’t have to actually put myself in harms way). It is two simple words: free stuff! One of the great universal truths is that everyone loves free stuff, and I am only human.

I have the added benefit that I get free stuff from companies that are cool and make stuff I actually want to wear. I am not just writing this post to brag, but it seems only fair to highlight some of the items I received this past week.

First was a box from my friends at Eesa Lux Layering. Clearly had been threatening to send me socks for a while now, so I wasn’t surprised to see the box, but I was pleasantly surprised when I opened it up to find two tops, two pairs of socks and a bunch of stickers. Even with my status as an snowboard journalist and my recent first layer preview for TWbiz, I managed to not own a single piece of first layer. Now I have two shirts, that also happen to be quite nice to look at. Thanks guys!

I also got an email from Kelly at Nikita informing me it was “that time” to get some gear from the new line. I do some PR work for Nikita, so obviously they want to keep me looking fabulously stylish at all times. I went through the website and picked out a few must-have items and two days later a got a box stuffed full of colorful tops, dresses, hoodies and even a few pairs of underwear. You know life is good when you get free underwear. Today I am wearing the sweatshirt and I already got a compliment on it from the girl who runs the Vegan bakery downstairs. Yay!

If you know me, you know I am highly opposed to leaving the quadrant of South East Portland.  I don’t live far out, the rest of you do, and the only thing I find across the bridge is trouble parking. But a few weeks ago my friend Jason invited me to meet up with them for lunch at Sagittarius, located really deep, in North Portland. I have often felt that I needed to be more social, so I went to check it out, even though I wasn’t that hungry. Turns out Jason knew the waitress so my Mimosas were on super special and the menu looked pretty awesome. I figured it might even be worth the trip back.

Actually, I am being understated here. On the menu was bacon-wrapped meatloaf, which I had been thinking about ever since. Since I am eating meat for two (no, not really for two, but my significant other is one of those damn vegetarians) this was the perfect dish. I am also a big fan of loaves of meat to begin with, so yeah, I was going definitely going back. This weekend we finally headed north to eat a real meal at Sagittarius. Luckily they also have several vegetarian choices so my dude ordered the Veggie Sheppard’s Pie and I finally got my meatloaf.

First though, we started with chips and salsa (Blue corn with fresh tomato salsa, yum). Then salads and bread. They have a spicy red pepper ranch dressing that is delicious, but the best part of this course is the hunk of french bread that comes on the side. At first glance it doesn’t look that exciting, I sort of assumed it it would be too hard. But then I bit into it and not only is it soft, but perfectly warmed and fantastic.

After that warm up, I was almost too full for the main course, but I was definitely not going to give up without a fight when this was placed infront of me:

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The dish description is meatloaf, topped with pepper bacon and chipotle ketchup on top of garlic mashed potatoes.  Did it live up to my expectations? Well, the meatloaf itself was perfect. Moist, just the right mix of flavors with onion and bacon throughout. The tanginess of the ketchup was great, and when mixed with the creaminess of the mashed potatoes was like a party in my mouth. My only complaint would be the bacon, which wasn’t quite crispy enough to crumble with each bite, and pretty much fell off as soon as I started to eat. Don’t get me wrong, I ate the entire piece of bacon seperately and it tasted great, but I don’t think it necessarily added to the dish.

I really wish Sagittarius was about 15 minutes close to my house. But even with it’s desolate location, I will probably find my way back there soon. Anyone for lunch on Sunday?

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So I went to see 21 last night. I know, I know, opening night. I must have been really excited! Actually, now that I have a DVR, I find that I have no idea what movies come out or when they do, so this one I probably wouldn’t have known was opening if not for Jared talking about it for a week prior and making me get there a half hour early “so we could get good seats.” Well the theater didn’t fill up, but I did see about 15 Lexus ads and one for Skittles that was pretty funny. I think the most notable thing of my pre-movie experience though, was being denied student price for the first time, ever. Yeah, so my ID is expired and broken in half, but usually for their $8 an hour, the movie theater employees don’t really give a shit and I get my $2 discount. Last night though, I happened upon the one dude on a power trip who actually looked at my ID and said “this says valid until 2001.” Now obviously I thought to say “a lot of people go to college for seven years” after I was already in the theater, but that would have been funny.

Ok, about the film. I had read the book it was LOOSELY based on, Bringing Down the House, awhile back so I knew the basic premise. MIT smartie pants count cards; win big! But the movie of course included a lot more than that, such as a romance with Kate Bosworth’s ridiculously flat bob, and some twists in loyalty of the other characters. Basically they added a “story line.” Unfortunately, the story included some major lapses and was at times confusing (such as, how does the girl who just sits at a table and bets the minimum gets comped a high roller suite?) Maybe I am nitpicking, but there were a few other instances that required a bit too much suspension of my imaginary puissance for my taste. Also I couldn’t help but wonder how the real professor that led their group felt about how he was portrayed. I won’t ruin it for you, but you know, it wasn’t that nice.

Overall, the movie was entertaining, the cast was attractive, and if I wasn’t so damn cynical, I probably would have found in quite enjoyable. Actually, I think the fact that I got denied my student discount tainted the whole experience for me. Damn you Eastport Cinema!

It’s amazing how much fun snowboard trips can be when they are good. Or just snowboarding on one of those days when everything is perfect. But more amazing is how such a great activity can have the magic sucked out of it when the wrong people are in involved. I’d really like to stop dwelling on my recent trip, but it’s not working out. I have been having dreams, no, nightmares, where I am right back there. I know I just need to move on, and I am working on it. Being in a beautiful place like Portland is helping. The rain is much less depressing when everything is in bloom.

I’m also working on a story about the antithesis of a lot of what I dislike about snowboarding. I don’t want to say much more about it (you can wait until it comes out in Future) but the interviews have made me laugh, and getting an email from Temple Cummins this morning, well that’s just amazing. I also got a Myspace friend request from Artboard Magazine this morning. I’ll admit I am quick to deny requests, particularly from random media companies, but I checked this one out. Holy shit! Everything about this magazine rules. Nearly 300 pages of insane photos and stories about people I cared about when I cared about snowboarding, if you know what I mean. It’s out of Salt Lake, and honestly I am embarrassed I haven’t heard of it sooner or through a cooler channel than Myspace (where were you on this one Pretty Pat?)  Anyway, don’t blow it, go check it out.

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Also through Myspace I ended up watching a World Quarters video on Snorev.com. Drunk Joe Carter interviewing the Raugh brothers definitely just made my morning. So go watch that too.

Losing it

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The first few days back from a trip are always weird. Maybe it’s the jet lag (but seriously, it was only three hours of time difference) or the fact that I almost have to get re-accustomed to sleeping in the insane comfort that is my own bed. Maybe I just get out of the habit of getting up, going into the office, and working. Whatever it is, it taking longer than usual this time.

When I am out of town for awhile I forget about what I have to do. I always have several projects going at once, and since I am usually traveling for one at a time that one takes precidance and the rest are nearly forgotten.  This morning I got an email asking about text for one of the forgotten projects. Crap! It’s never good to admit you aren’t working on something so the drill is: Make up excuse. Give a date you’ll have it done. Do it. Everyone is happy. But silly me, I said I’d have it done by the end of the week. Oh yeah, Top Chef was on last night (yes I track time by TV Shows), it’s Thursday. The end of the week is TOMORROW!

I’m also working on several other things– I need a t-shirt slogan for the new Alliance Wakeskate site (it’s not going well.) I have to track down old, illusive pro snowboarders to get quotes for a story.  I am supposed to be writing a profile, of course the subject isn’t returning my emails anymore. I am planning a magazine trip, and I have two photographers who think they are going. I have to break the bad news to one of them.

Mostly though, I have to get my head straight. I don’t know if it’s going to help, but I have been browsing the world wide web. I came across this. It’s good. Also my cats rule. Here is a picture.

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I was doing so good with the blogging for awhile there. I guess I was busier, which generally leads to increased productivity. Not that I haven’t been busy. In fact I was on the road, so I had no free time. Of course my trip turned out to be less than productive, thanks to crummy weather, and some unmotivated riders. Actually, it inspired me to retire from snowboard photography. Well, I’m not going to entirely retire, but I think I’ll stick to trips where I am getting paid and mostly responsible for the story, not making medicore shredding look good. Reality is so much more subjective in written words.

Now I am back in Portland. It’s so nice to see flowers and green grass, although it’s a bit chilly and today it’s raining and the vegans downstairs are listening to Death Cab, which makes things even more depressing. I just booked a ticket for my first wake trip of the year though– Toe Jam in Orlando mid April.  Aside from working on my tan and being warm, the thing I am most excited about is I got a direct flight on Alaska Airlines from PDX to MCO. Seriously, the world makes sense again.

Oh snow!

Posted by admin in Snow - (2 Comments)

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Things are, well, going up here in Canada. The weather is not really cooperating, and there’s so much snow everywhere we have to dig for 2 hours before anything gets hit and the angles sort of suck. Also my boots are still wet from yesterday. The good news is I got new boots at Walmart for $3, but they would not be so good for shooting.

Anyway, there’s going to be a a lot of artsy black and white photos coming from this trip. Tonight we are off to Quebec City, and hopefully it will be better weather.

Oh Canada!

Posted by admin in Snow - (3 Comments)

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Yum, poutine! 

I was all set to go back to spring in Oregon yesterday, but I got an email from Josh Sherman inviting me on a jib trip to Quebec to shoot photos, and well, it’s definitely not spring here. We are currently in Trois-Rivieres, a paper mill town about an hour east of Montreal. It smells kind of funny, but there is more snow than I have ever seen anywhere east of the Rockies. I mean, it doesn’t compare to how Snowqualmie Pass looked, but there are seriously giant snow banks and about a foot of slush every where you try to walk.

Today we are going to hit a couple rails in this town. Apparently you have to dig them out, rather than build up snow, so this should be interesting. Hopefully I don’t blow it. These dudes seem to think I am a real photographer!

Oh yeah, I finally posted up my Grand Prix videos on Future. There is supposed to be a gallery as well, but I don’t think its happening now, and it’s all B shots anyway. No loss. Go watch the videos. 

Today was a very long day. The Grand Prix did not run any faster to make up for it. I got this photo that I am very psyched on:

You can read the story here.

The videos will be done tomorrow.

I am in Vermont for the Grand Prix. I am making a statement by coming for this event, and leaving before the open, or something. Anyway, my parents live here so it’s an excuse to come home. Yesterday I watched the pipe qualifiers (I may have missed most of the men’s and instead sat though sixty runs of women) then got dinner with my parents at Applebee’s. It’s not that I am too cool for a show by the Shiny Toy Guns (who I am sure I should have heard of) I just really like my Applebees, and my parents.

I trekked back up to Killington (although I will admit I was tempted by watching the webcast and reporting on that instead) where fog was making it a little difficult to have a contest. A lot of waiting around and they finally called it– today at 2 instead (i am going to say the earliest it will actually start if 4.) They had a best trick contest though, and I got some cool photos. I drove home and wrote my story, posted by midnight, f yeah! Of course I have no idea who any of the kids I’d never heard of are in the pictures (man there are a lot of young ripping kids these days) and I already got called out for it. Such is life!

Check out the story here.