Ms. Bathtub

Musings from Carye Bye of Portland, Ore.

My Photo
Location: Portland, Ore., United States

I may be Ms. Bathtub, but I hardly ever take baths.. I do shower that is, so don't worry!

I am the director of the Bathtub Art Museum and also run my own printing card & novelties business under the name Red Bat Press. I live in the great bike fun-friendly city of Portland.

I'm always up for a good adventure; however anything goes here.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Winning Obsession

If you happened to be listening to Portland's Radio Station KNRK 94.7 '90s at Noon' yesterday than you already know. But I assume most of you were not. On Wednesday, I was on a letterpress printing marathon at the IPRC, the radio keeping me company, when a trivia question regarding the year 1998 was asked over the air -

What pre-fabricated band debuted in the UK in Scotland in 1998 to a crowd of 90... (huge number)?

Aha! Luckily I had the radio's phone number still stored in my cell phone from trying to win U2 tickets last year -- ring ring, the dj picked up - "Spice Girls!" I exclaimed. She said, 'You're the winning caller.' Of course my prize is nothing to brag about - a 90s compilation CD that the radio station does not even have yet, and they will call me when it comes in, then I can come by and pick it up... (uh, if it's that much trouble, I might leave it there - especially if it's full of bad ska & grunge). But the bottom line is I'm a winner! And it was announced over the air. I even got an email from someone who heard my name! And most importantly, I worked for my prize.

The tangents from this post could go oh so many ways - All the times I've won from the radio in the past (I had a hey-day in the 90s actually, mostly winning tickets to local shows and free CDs), OR the fact that I paid to go to the Spice Girl Concert in 1998 in Minneapolis, own all three SG albums (on tape!), and saw Spice World (their clever-mocking-themselves movie) on opening night at the Mall of America (You know you want to know the whole story!), OR how in my youth my older sister always won bigger prizes than me - such as at the Halloween costume contest in Stone Mountain, Georgia (Where I lived from age 5 to 8.). I only won a Spanish children's record (Wait, did my parenents buy it for me?), while Sarah won this glorious Ernie in a Bathtub Radio with a removable rubber ducky - I sulked I'm sure for weeks about it. Of course today I have the radio in my possession (though, the years have not been kind to this plastic 80s toy) but being the one obsessed with collecting bathtubs, I've rightful claimed the Bathtub Radio as mine! Does that make me a winner even though I cheated?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Tennis Girl

Check out this tennis pendent, now in my possession. Joanna Dyer found it for SCRAP for little ol' me. Which is perfect since it's now tennis season again. And once again I need to get out there on the court. Last year I think I only played three games - including the Bike to Tennis I lead for Pedalpalooza last June and two games with Bruce Orr. And I was bad then, just as I'm still bad - but every time I have fun. I am reminded of a funny story, The last time I played with Bruce I forgot to bring any balls - I only noticed this oversight after we had waited 20 minutes for the Peninsula Park court to clear. OH crap - what to do. We started rooting around for lost balls in the vicinity. Ah Ha - I spied one and ran after it, just as one of the guys who left came back looking for it (I think, just in case I hid it). I have to say I kind of enjoyed one-ball tennis. It made me play better since I didn't want to have to go run and pick it up.

I also have a thing for tennis outfits - and this I have Joanna to blame as well. A year and half ago she had her annual January birthday party- the theme was dress the year you were born. I was born in 1975 - and decided that I wanted to dress as 70s tennis player. I gathered a white tennis skirt and top, old racket, headband.. then an ice storm hit and I missed the party. The outfit debuted a few weeks later at a Spies & Ninja Birthday party for Lauren instead. No one would suspect a tennis player to be a spy! But the outfit needed a coming out party on the courts, so I planned a Bike to Tennis ride. Originally Susie Phillips was going to dress up with me, but plans changed, so good old Joanna came through and won "Cutest on the Court" for her tennis ensemble complete with oversized sunglasses (which are now in vogue again recently). Well maybe this summer I might actually play more tennis than talk about it.

By the way another tennis story from my youth: When I was in junior high I took tennis one summer at Round Lake Park in Eden Prairie, Minnesota and it happened to be during the Tennis champions at Wimbledon. So we had a little contest to guess the winners. I knew a few players, but for some reason I chose, unknown at the time, Steffi Graf to win the women's comp. And she did! I even won a water bottle a prize. It's funny that now Steffi Graf is married to Andre Agassi - who I loved in the mid 1980s. In fact here's a little unknown fact - I was in the Agassi fan club for about a year, had a Andre Agassi poster wall in my bedroom and went to see him play at one of those all star game promotions - I even got more expensive tickets than my family so I could be a little closer - though he's just a speck in all my 'le clic' camera shots. Anyway I soon tired of the mullet and hot pink shorts, but I still like to watch tennis on the tube - mens or womens doesn't matter. This year I'll try to make an effort to get to the park to play tennis, unfortunately it takes two and I only have one good racket.

So who wants to play me?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

In Print... Again!

Okay this is just for fun...
Make your Own!

As Cited in the Bathroom Companion

Who knew I'd become a definition in a fact book about Bathrooms! Read the full story (listed under 5/8/2006) in the Bathtub Art Museum News

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Advice on marrying a Minnesota Girl

Last week in the Oregonian there was an interview with Garrison Keillor aka Minnesota's favorite son. When asked "If we'd met 30 years ago, and I told you I was about to marry a woman from Minnesota, what advice would you have given me?" Garrison replied, "Develop a fondness fo Jell-O. Jell-O with little slices of mandarin orange in it." I had a good laugh -- Last year at several party functions (as a former Minnesota girl myself) I pushed my Minnesota Jell-O salad - one even had mandarin slices in it. On both occasions very little was eaten. Ah more for me! Now if I had brought my jell-O salad to a party in Minnesota. oh Ya, You bet there wouldn't be any leftovers there.

I, Benjamin Franklin, Printer Stamp

Check it out. See my January post about Ben & Printing. Order your own today

Monday, May 08, 2006

Pretty in Pink

(Photo by Dat Nguyen. See all his Photos)
As I arrived to my own Pretty Dress Bicycle Ride event during a small break in a day-long rain, a ravishing lady in pink stepped out of her car, and said, "You must be Carye". Marilyn introduced herself as an avid cyclist - commuter or tourer - and she had come all the way from Beaverton determined to ride her recumbent bike in a mini pink prom dress, fashionable sexy tights, and toe-clip shoes. Atop her helmet she had added fluffy fine pink & white feathers. (She noted that because of her low rider, she had special undergarments!) I told her I wasn't sure we'd ride, as it was hard to know if the rain would start up again. The back up plan was to eat Italian gelato at a cafe on the corner of Tanner Springs Park where we were gathering. I originally announced that the ride would be cancelled if raining, because who wants to ride in a pretty dress in the rain.

In the distance, I saw Emily Wilson arrive in a fleece/long john/skirt ensemble. She unzipped her fleece to show off a lovely fancy pink bow-tied dress. Kudos go out to Emily as she is the only person to attend all three pretty dress rides (See Photos 2004 & 2005). Next, a tall guy named Mark showed up not in a dress - wondering if we were riding, or if he should put his dress on. Over on the mini boardwalk in the park Dat Nguyen was taking photos also not in a dress. So I ushered Emily and Marilyn and our bikes over to get our photo taken before gelato. Then Shawn G, Ken, and Meghan rode into the park from the South, and 'cowboy' Ben joined us from the North and struggled to put on his printed frock. Picture Shawn in a rayon mini and pearls, Ken in a black spaghetti strap prom dress with matching shawl, and Meghan looking elegant in a vintage peacock blue fitted dress and sequined headband hat. Mark soon joined us again transformed: his hair in pig-tails, giant sun glasses, and lovely black & white dress with a silver-threaded sweater. Now only Dat was without a pretty dress, lucky for him & peer pressure, Shawn had an extra. So Dat could dazzle as well.

I told the newcomers that we probably wouldn't ride, and Ken & Shawn loudly protested. "What!! We ARE going to ride, we didn't get dressed up for nothing!" Well now that we had 9 bicyclist in dresses - 5 Men & 4 Women, and the rain was still holding off, how could I say no. I, by the way, was wearing my Kate Maresh SCRAP Vanna dress - over a striped long-sleeved shirt (for warmth). Before riding off Ben broke out a blueberry pie to share - not wanting to lose it on the ride, we ate it up happily.

Instead of the longer "Portland Parks & Plazas" planned ride, I thought it would be best to stay close in, in case the weather turned ugly. So we paraded ourselves (waving, and ringing our bells to random passerbyers) by Union Station, the South Park Blocks, up Couch into the Pearl, then down 12th. As we neared the home base, it was decided we needed some more pretty dress parading, so we hiked up to 23rd zigzagged to 21st, before Emily suggested a stop at Saint Cupcake - which was perfect since it's one cafe I wanted to have the ride go but the idea was cut in the final plan. MMMM.. hot tea & mini cupcakes with our pinkies up. I enjoyed the spontaneity and intimate small group on this ride - The people who really wanted to be on this ride, despite the inauspicious weather were present. The ride reminded me of the first St. Johns ride that had its own magical quality with 9 riders - though only one male. The bigger rides are great too, but I don't often have the chance to get to visit with anyone new - such as Ms. Pretty in Pink, Marilyn

Velvet isn't just for Jackets

Portland is blessed to have the likes of Caren & Carl. They are my kind of people - obsessive collectors* who delight in the odd, roadside attractions, outside art, and let the public in on their more brag-able collection - Some 1000 Velvet Paintings - Perhaps 100 or so on display at one time at their 5 month old museum Velveteria. (photo: Devon in velvet jacket at Portland's Velveteria)

Devon & I had a gander this past Saturday (at last! I've known for months about the museum). The little two-room museum is located at 518 NE 28th Ave in Portland. On the block North of Glisan. When we showed up there was a little note on the door, "Be back at 3" - Ah! I'd be mad, but Caren & Carl had a good excuse - which I'll relay later. So to kill time Devon and I had our own strange NE Sandy mini adventure - Barb-Q guy decorated cookies, "Interesting" Jesus art at Teen Challenge Thrift Shop, and a church rummage sale with nothing good. Finally back at the Museum, Carl was back - we paid our 3 bucks and were whisked into a Velvet Painting Extravaganza - Floor to Ceiling - Velvet Jesus-es, Smoking old ladies, South Seascapes, Wrestlers, Elvis, Willie Nelson, Banditos, and more covered the first room. The special exhibit on currently was Jesus Paintings. And starting May 20th, it will be.... Poodletopia! Which is especially exciting since it is Year of the Poodle (see previous post). Carl and later Caren gave us an extensive personal tour, though left us alone as we walked past the curtains into the Naked Lady back gallery! Little notes were taped on a few paintings, like "Courtney Love" here and there. One farmer man painting hangs in the back gallery - which is very clever - you always need a voyeur in this kind of gallery! After an afternoon well-spent in the midst of some fine velvet paintings (including local namesake Juanita!), I could go on and on, but why because you just need to go yourself. Oh and the excuse for being closed -- Apparently a safari man's estate was up for sale, and C & C could not resist getting their hands on a stuffed warthog head. While I'm not a fan of stuffed dead animals - I do respect a good story and sense of must-have that these two have -- as I can totally relate to the hunt of a collector.

*C & C are 0bessive collectors that have a sense of humor about themselves - as far as I can tell are 'healthy obessive' -- meaning they are NOT crazy, unsocialized hoarders who must rant, make you feel uncomfortable, or corner you with their obsession. You know who I'm talking about. I consider myself 'healthy obessive' as well - I have the things I collect and want to tell you about, but only for those who want to listen.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bunnies on Bikes take over P-town

On April 16, 2006 - about 125 Bunnies on Bikes were seen riding through downtown Portland - and I have to claim complete responsibility.

(Bunny Cheerleader photo by Jonathan Maus)

The third Annual Bunny on a Bike ride was the biggest one ever, particularly do to great coverage (color photos!) in the Oregonian and weeklies. I started this ride two years ago to bring to life the
'Bunny on a Bike' illustrated wood-cut from my Red Bat Press postcard line. This year I planned a surprise costume inspired by the latest
"Wallace & Gromit" stop-animated movie. Four months before the ride, the secret outfit was designed and sewn in Eden Prairie, Minnesota in collaboration with my mother while I visited for a snowy Christmas.

On the iffy-weathered Easter Sunday I emerged as Ms. Carrot -- laughing at a vision of Bunnies on Bikes chasing a giant carrot on a bike. I prayed, please do not pour buckets of rain on us like last year -- and be it faith or luck -- the weather cleared minutes after the ride started and sunny skies cheered us on during our 2 hour loop ride. This year the theme was "Bunnies on the Bridges" and over three bridges we did cross in honor of our third year.

(Bunnies on Steel Bridge by Ethan)

Wes & Timo of Trash Mountain Boys made their live debut of the "Bunny on a Bike Ballad" - The song was composed by Wes and includes just about every Red Bat Press character or card in print (This amazes me!). Dan & the Peninsula Commons created a special Bunny on a Bike cheer which they performed to my delight throughout the ride - the end of the cheer was "munch the carrot, munch munch the carrot!" Which was particularly funny because of the circumstances. While we rode, bunny/Easter themed songs compiled by Greg P rang out of a boombox strapped to the back of my bike. At our snack break - mini vegan carrot cake muffins were passed around in a basket, making the littlest bunnies extra happy. The last stage of the ride after we leisurely cruised along the Willamette River took us into downtown down 4th Avenue and through the Chinatown gates, a glorious homecoming. Five minutes after our return - a huge black cloud moved over us - and hailed. The few remaining bunnies on bikes waited out the rain under shelter at Union Station, before we decided to take over the Fancy Portland City Grill (in the Big Pink Tower - see earlier post) as it was one of the only places open on Easter Sunday.

This year did not happen alone - I hope I didn't forget anyone who helped along the way and day of: Thank you to Matt, Wes, Dan & the Peninsula Commons, Timo, Greg P., Mom, Kate, N. PDX Bike Works, Ayleen, Elly, Shawna, Ian, Steph, Greg M., eLiz, Kiran, Bethany, Melissa, Kirsty, Dat, Jonathan, Carl, John F., Shawn G. & All the riders of course!
(Carrot Carye Photo by Jonathan Maus)

And even luckier am I, that I have 5 links to photographs/ride reports of the ride. Dat (The Unofficial Official photographer), Jonathan of, Ethan of Stickeen Photography, The Blue Peep Ms. Debbie, & a fabulous online collage by A J Zelda.