Music: Playing music is one of the things that gives me energy for life! I’ve been lucky to have a lot wonderful musicians around since I was young, with their input I began playing guitar at 12. I played a lot of old folk and rock songs to start with, then pick up some blues and classical in my teens all of which I still mix together any which way I please read more
Design / Construction I’ve been working on Design/Build home remodeling projects since my late teens. In Colorado I had a construction business called “Top Shelf Construction” not long after moving to portland I started out on my own again. You can see some of the projects I’ve been involved with on at: www.collectiveconstructionpdx.com and check out my construction and design blog: The Portland Tradesman
Community Living I’m currently living in an urban intentional community house. We are currently 9 adults and 1 kids. We organized around the idea of wanting to reduce our impact on the planet through things like: bulk buying of ethically sourced foods, using space, physical resources and transportation collaboratively in an effort to minimize our square footage and per person resource demand. We have plans to buy a place where more of our food can be produced on site. We are also seeking to create a more satisfying and supportive social structure that allows us each to be who we are and spend as much of our time focusing on the activities and people that are important to us.
For me community works well because I’m the type of person that ends up being busy with a lot of focused projects and I sometimes run out of energy for creating the kind of social connection I want by the time I’m done with my projects. Having a built in group of people who I care about who I see on a regular basis even when I haven’t had the energy to plan ahead to create social dates for myself has lead to me feeling more peaceful and less disconnected. We also have weekly gatherings at the house that provide me with a good base level of human interaction. Resource wise I use way less packed foods and to go containers from restaurants and stores. We get most of our food in bulk through distributers or local farms. I’ve found it’s hard to organize efficiently as an individual to eat the way I like but as a group by purchasing in bulk and sharing the cooking I’m able to eat home cooked food made from simple well sourced ingredients with a minimum or packaging. We each spend a small amount of time preparing food and all get to eat well and cheaply through organizing as a group. Similarly other practical matters are easier as a group as a result of sharing the chores and expenses among more people. As a group we each have more tools and skills available to us than we would as an individual or smaller group.
Community Networking Much of my social life for a while has largely been connected in some way to a handful of community houses that exist here in portland. There’s a lot of social overlap among the community houses but I’ve always felt like the communities would benefit from being more connected to each other in an organized way, both for practical and social reasons. This is part of what lead me and two of my housemates to start The Grapevine Network which is a project to help link Portland’s intentional communities.