Apr 15, 2014

New Series: Coffee Conversations ft. Ayleen Crotty

There is a lot of new stuff going on today. I thought I'd throw everything at you at once. I know you can handle it. 

Please feel free to check out the new site and give me your feedback! 

Now on to the NEW SERIES. "Coffee Conversations." As I have gotten more involved in the Portland community, I  realized there are SO many interesting people in this city. I wanted to get the inside scoop on people who have an amazing story to tell and bring it to you.  So let's start this series! 

For my debut Conversation I met with Ayleen Crotty. She is the founder of Filmed by Bike. The 12th annual Filmed by Bike Festival shows bike- themed movies from all over the world. The festival has grown into something that contributes to the creative fabric of the Portland Community. The festival was founded in 2003 by Ayleen and has been growing and flourishing ever since.  More information at the end of this post about how to get tickets

I met with Ayleen at Radio Room, and we quickly got to chatting I was so interested in Filmed by Bike and how all of this began. 

Q. What is your coffee drink of choice
A. I have two coffee drinks of choice I love Americanos. Although, sometimes I drink a cappuccino and it brings me back to my college days and traveling. It makes me think of these free times in life. When life wasn't so crazy. But Americano is the day-to day. I love it. 

Q. So, what's your story? How did you end up here?
A. I wound up in Portland because a friend I met on a bike ride in Illinois once told me that the streets in Portland were paved with a bicyclist's gold. I wanted to move to a town that was open minded and creative but also not as large as Chicago where I was from. I was also involved in community radio back in Illinois. I got started in radio at age 17. It really helped me find my voice and gave me a lot of confidence. I knew at the time Portland had a really strong community radio at the time. So I spent many years working in community radio when I first moved here. I wanted to live in a town where I could find a creative interest, have an interesting job, and meet interesting people and that was Portland. 
Filmed by Bike came along because a friend of mine was hosting a one day bike festival- she needed funding because it was grassroots event- we decided to host events leading up to it to raise money. At the time there was one guy in town who was making bike movies. This was back in 2003. So I thought, "People probably want to see his movies and if he is making movies here in Portland- someone else might have bike movies as well." We scrounged up some VHS tapes and we held it at a micro-theater that no longer exists and I was hoping for 40 people. People came in droves- there was standing room only. People were paying knowing that they wouldn't be able to physically see the screen, but they still wanted to support the cause. Nothing else like that was happening- so we are switching VHS tapes- fast forwarding and rewinding- totally ridiculous. Quickly I realized I was on to something. The next year we were at another micro theater and that was very well attended also. The third year was when we we jumped to the Clinton St. Theater. I feel like that year solidified we were a film festival and we were here to stay. 

Q. Who is your role model and why?
A. My parents are certainly my role models. I know it's so cliché to say that, but when I talk to people and they complain about their families or hard childhoods- I just think my parents have always said, "As long as you're happy." That was my mom's mantra, "as long as you are happy." It doesn't really matter if I'm leading an alternative lifestyle- they don't judge me- they never judged me. 

Q. Who is your celebrity crush
A. Glen Hansard- He was in that movie ONCE. I usually am not a celebrity person, but after seeing ONCE I changed my computer background and I obsessed for days on him. 

Q. If you had a time machine that only worked once, where in history or the future are you going?
A. I would go back to college- because in that time period I did things without thinking. Not in a bad way or making bad decisions- I was just fearless. Some of these crazy things I did without thinking them through. I also did a lot back then. I had friends who would say, tomorrow let's drive to memphis- Who does that? 

Q. What are your favorite activities to do in your free time?
A. I have a dog, he's a cattle dog mix that I love to hangout with, Otis. He is very trainable- so we go places together. Photography. I love to ride my bike- especially bike tours. Hitting the road for a few days- exploring. The way you see things on a bike, it's not the same when you are in a car. Also the interactivity with people along the way- it's pretty amazing. My favorite tour was down the west coast of Ireland. It was life changing. You could just ride your bike along these gravel paths and stop- lean you bike up against a castle- go in and look around come out and keep going. 

Q. What is your proudest achievement?
A. I'd have to say Filmed by Bike. It's a lot of work. It's like having a child. It gets more mature, it's changing, it's a lot to handle- but I really do love it. 

Q. Your house is burning down, what three items do you grab?
A. I like to think there is not a whole lot I am that attached too. My dog....It's pretty awesome to think I'm not too attached to anything. I do have a small table from my grandma- it's the only thing I have from her and when she passed her furniture got divided up and everyone got a piece. It is exquisite. She took very good care of her furniture. It's beautiful. It's the one sentimental family thing I have. 

Q. What are your vices?
A. I love pastries- I think Grand Central does an amazing job. I love cheeses and I love good french fries. 

Q. What was the best thing to happen to you this week?
A. I started a new job I am so excited about. I am a writer and I just started a job at MetroFiets, the local cargo bike makers- where I am the resident story teller. Every few weeks we are turning out stories of Metrofiets customers, the workshop, the company. They also have a lot of interesting vendors they work with- impeccable craftsmen. So I spent the day in the shop- we had the doors open and it was a lovely spring day hanging out with the guys making the bikes. My dog was there and I just took photos all afternoon. To know that will be part of my work life is a dream come true. 

Q. What's in your fridge?
A. Okay um...I have some cooked lentils. I really like to eat well. I always have greek yogurt. I usually have spinach hummus. I always have a huge bag of kale. Tart Cherry Jam from Hood River. When I run out, I use it as an excuse to go back to Hood River. An avocado....I have tons of condiments. I am a condiment hoarder. My favorite is probably hoisin sauce. 

Q. You can invite 8 people to a dinner party. Who is on your list? And who is your first alternate guest?
A. Gary Fisher- Inventor of mountain bikes because he's a character - I've met him before.
Naomi Pomeroy- She might be able to help cook
Glen Hansard- Beautiful signer and easy on the eyes
Jimmy Fallon- He is SO funny, creative and also easy on the eyes
Martin Luther King- So inspiring. You relax put your feet up, Naomi will make you whatever you want to eat. 

Q. Describe yourself in 3 words
A. Independent, Driven, Creative

Q. What is one of your best qualities?
A. I like to think about things and not just fall into things. I take open minded approaches. I don't let people tell me how things should be done. I like to figure that out for myself.

Q. What is your favorite meal/ dish?
A. I love food, let's see...Shrimp and grits, just like they make it at Screen Door

Q. What is one piece of advice/ quote that you try to live by? Or your favorite.
A. I believe that we only have one shot at life- so make the most of it. I pack a million things into each day because I might die tomorrow. I try to live day to day and live the most of each day. 


It was a great conversation and I am so happy that Ayleen agreed to meet with me. I hope to see you all at Filmed by Bike this weekend. It will be an amazing festival! 

Details :
  • Showtimes: available on the website at FilmedbyBike.org
  • Cost: $8-$10 per show, $27 for an unlimited entry festival pass that includes a free DVD.
  • Age restrictions: All ages with the exception of Saturday 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. showtimes.
  • Tickets: Tickets are for sale at the event while supplies last.
  • Contact Info: FilmedbyBike.org or 971-221-7228

To find out more about Ayleen and Filmed by Bike. Check out their website. 
Find them on Facebook- Twitter- Instagram- Vimeo. 

Apr 9, 2014

On My Mind Post | Relationships | New Chapters | Winston

I love these on my mind posts. They are really helpful for a good self reflection moment.

There has been a lot going on lately. First and foremost, Drew was here for three weeks instead of two (thank you baby Jesus.) I owe Drew a lot, I have done a lot of growing up since we started. Being in a relationship teaches me to constantly compromise. Sometimes things aren't going to go my way, but sometimes being with him makes that okay. I have also learned to be more kind. I know he does his best to treat me the best he can, but sometimes moments arise where I want to be mean, get mad, yell, scream, fight, etc hahaha oops... But I have gotten a lot better at taking a second and realizing he isn't perfect, but he wants the best for me.  Which helps quell the anger ha. He also amazes me daily. I feel like I know him...pretty wellllll at this point and then he will do something simple and my love grows more and more. I am so glad to have him in my life. 

Okay enough of the mushy.

Let's talk about Winston or Winnie since learning of her updated sex hahaha read more here.
She is so good!!! I am slightly turning into a pet person. I'll admit I cried a little when I had to leave her for the first time. She also has started sleeping with me. Drew approved of letting her on the bed. Omgosh seriously, I love her. Here are some of the few...okay several pictures from the last couple weeks...okay days...

Finally, talking about new beginnings. In hindsight, it is always interesting to see chapters of your life begin and end. I have a lot of appreciation for the people who have shaped me into the person I am becoming. In terms of friendships/relationships big changes are scary. Break ups are sad, losing friends feels lonely. Coming out on the other side with a more positive outlook for the future is helpful in those dark moments. I have also found new friends within the blogging community. It's funny what brings people together. Sometimes it's embarrassing, "how did you meet." "Umm we blog." And sometimes it's awkward, but I am okay with that, because the people I have met are amazing. 

Jane listens to me ramble about beauty products and takes me on walks with Lola 
Erin wants to try all the restaurants I want to try and will always join
Michelle inspires me to be a better blogger
Brooke is one of the most honestly funny people I've met. 
Sara makes me jealous of her "flossy" lifestyle 

The list could go on. To all of my new blogger friends. I adore you. Thank you.

Can't wait for all the adventures that await us 

Love, Rachel xo


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