Lisa gets married!

My friend Lisa (who accompanied me to a monastery back in March) ended up getting married over the weekend to who I imagine to be the perfect match for her!

I ended up flying into Nashville, and got to spend a bit of time hanging out with my old friend Carlos (who I knew back when I was at Texas). He’s now a professor at Vanderbilt and has a super sweet wife and dog.

I spent the remainder of the weekend hiking in and around Mammoth Cave National Park, visiting with friends, and making the drive to Bloomington to see the wedding.

Entrance to Mammoth Cave

Lisa was stunning. It was so nice to reconnect with everyone, and the reception took place in a gorgeous home on the outskirt of town.


God grant you many years Lisa&Phil!

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Black Prairie and the Portland symphony at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

I’ve long been a fan of the Decemberists since I heard them in 2006 at ACL back in my undergrad days. It turns out that two members of the Decemberists decided to venture out and form a quintet called Black Prairie comprised of a¬†primarily instrumental string band as a way to present music that didn’t really work with The Decemberists sound.

So when my coworker, Mike filled me in on the Black Prairie concert, I knew I had to go!



The concert was absolutely amazing, and I even got to hear my first listen of a Stroh violin. In addition to Black Prairie, I got to hear the soothing voice of Mirah, and was introduced to Holcombe Waller.

In particular, I find Holcome Waller’s song from ‘Into the Dark Unknown’ to be particularly fitting to my current sentiments:

Portland’s eclectic nature yields a similar musical vibe. I love it.

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First hike in the Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge is river canyon about 85 miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep. Carved by volcanic eruptions and Ice Age floods over millions of years, the Gorge is the only sea-level route through the Cascade Mountains. The cataclysmic floods also transformed flowing river tributaries into hanging waterfalls creating the largest concentration of waterfalls in North America.

Yesterday, I decided to go on a 5 mile hike through the Gorge (Triple Falls) to soak in the last few days of autumn and capture the foliage views.













I’m a sucker for waterfalls, especially ones you can walk behind! I still feel like I live in a fairy tale.

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Living in a cloud

I’ve been living in Portland now for a little over a month and have not found much time to post, much less to pause and reflect on life. Things are finally settling in and I am hoping to get back to regular posting.

The road trip to Portland was amazing. Yellowstone is absolutely stunning, and the Grand Tetons will forever be ingrained in my mind. I was able to move into my apartment smoothly, and I love my job. Not just in a ‘I like my work’, but the environment and people are also phenomenal. Some days I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not in a dream.

I wake up and I’m in a cloud, I’m in a fairy tale.

Morning view from my apartment window.

I’m still trying to get my bearings in line. Hopefully this dream starts to feel more like reality soon.



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Driving through the Great Plains

Waking up ridiculously early to leave Kansas city was necessary in order to make it to Cody, WY by nightfall. We drove through the great plains for what seemed like an eternity and greatly welcomed the change of scenery upon driving through the Badlands National Park.







We also decided to stop by Mt. Rushmore and Devil’s tower along the way. The drive was beautiful; I’ve never seen such a big sky.







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Beginnings of a road trip

We left Bowling Green on Wednesday and drove a bunch of miles or about 8 hours stopping in St. Louis, Missouri for dinner and continuing on until arriving in Kansas City, Missouri. Driving through the Midwest is unimpressive. Luckily, we had podcasts to get us through the stretch.





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A trip to Jackson’s Orchard

After moving out of my house and sending all of my belongings to Portland, I ended up renting out my home in Bloomington. Afterwords, I headed down to Bowling Green to spend a handful of days meeting up with friends and enjoying the outdoors. We went on an unforgettable canoeing trip, and I also got to check out an apple orchard!






Now, I am off to Portland.

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Totally Rad Goodbye Party

Since I’m moving to Portland for work, I decided to have a hipster-themed going-away party before I have to be a grown-up.

We put birds on people.

Put a bird on it.
Lydia directing the chef



Apparently Erkin doesn’t recycle.
Richard’s famous nachos
A setting sun
Wearing the same hat.

It is my last week in Bloomington. I want to eat cupcakes for lunch with you. Holler.



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Accepted offer: Moving to Portland, Oregon!

I have been spending the last couple of weeks in Texas visiting with family and friends. I made a weekend trip to Zavalla, Texas to visit my dear friend Lisa, stuffed my face with Tex-Mex, and continued to reflect on things that are most meaningful and important to me.

After much thought, I accepted an offer at Imtakt. The company makes HPLC columns with pretty cool chemistries and functionalities. I will be working as a bit of a catch-all: technical consulting, marketing, and sales. The company is young, has a handful of employees, but is growing rapidly, and everyone on the team is wonderful to talk with! I could not have found a position better suited for me, I will get to learn a ton and start my career on the trajectory that I’m most enthusiastic about.

Oh, even better, the job is located in the super hip city of Portland, Oregon.

So now I am in the process of packing everything up, finding a place to live, and prepping for a cross country move.

Wish me luck!

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