Author Archives: Traci Dinwiddie

Dear Portland,

Dear Portland,

Dear Portland

I know we’ve only just met, but I felt compelled to tell you that… I like you. I’m sure you hear this all of the time, but you’re gorgeous. I knew you were cool the moment I arrived and the only available car to rent was a Subaru. (And, only because all of the Prius were booked). I feel like I’ve met a kindred spirit. I don’t mean to be so forward, but your bicycle-friendly streets & bridges had me longing to explore your mountainous terrain. What a breath of fresh air you are! Literally.

Oh, how I like you. Let me count the ways…


You are sexy.
With a statue depicting a woman of strength and grace, perched upon the Portland building as a welcoming beacon, I must bow to you.

You make me laugh.
You gave us “Portlandia” the web series! I couldn’t resist driving by the “Feminist Bookstore”, In Other Words,  where many hilarious episodes have been filmed. I’m going to tell you a secret. Please keep this between us. I got a little fan-girlie over coming across the set of “Portlandia” while stopping by Laughing Planet for my new favorite Thai Bowl. I would cartwheel across St. John’s Bridge if I could work on this web series for even one episode.

You smell good.
So many coffee houses. So little time.
Coffee House-Five, Barista, Stumptown = Yes.
Your Rose Garden made me blush. So much beauty.
And, Forest Park, with over 5,000 acres of forest for hiking & biking & play. I got my Zen fix walking through the Japanese Garden. How many gardens do you have, anyway? I know Multnomah Falls isn’t exactly your territory, but it’s such an easy visit. I hiked a mile up for a spectacular view of the Gorge and was back to you in twenty minutes.

Rose Garden sniff

You taste good.
Your food was delicious. You knocked my knee socks off with Veritable Quandary. I can’t remember the last time I had such an exciting, exquisite meal. Loved the patio seating, too. Tasty n Alder had a sweet, family vibe. The large tables with tons of small plate options was a sure friend-maker. And, Peteunia’s gluten-free, sugar-free bakery. Need I say “yum”? A true success story of food cart to full store-front. Although, I’ve always heard of you as having vegetarian-friendly restaurants, I did notice that many of your menus boasted of bacon. You even had a new restaurant called “Lardo“, which seems to be all about consuming bovine, swine, & beer. Not really my thing, but I won’t hold it against you.

You are so gay.
Happy and righteous hipster lesbians (being walked by their dogs) sporting Icebreaker, knee-high socks, Doc Martens or clogs. You hosted this year’s Women’s Lesbian Softball “World Series”. Delta Park had five softball fields packed with us. What a treat!

Rose City Rollers 1

You’re feisty, diverse, and smart. You know how to play.
From Roller Derby to the Portland Art Museum to a demonstration on the front walk of City Hall, your city is full of spunk, politics, and forward-thinkers. While strolling your Pearl District with the best Stumptown coffee in hand after a fine breakfast at Kenny & Zukes, my heart nearly skipped a beat on the intersection of 11th and Burnside St. There, I stood between Icebreaker store and Powell’s books. Add to that a nearby bike shop with its own espresso bar (West End Bikes). Is there anything you haven’t thought of? I was impressed with the Rose City Rollers, btw. Those gals give good game. And a teammate named JK Rolling? Brilliant! Insane!

You’ve got personality. Multiple personalities, in fact.
I should tell you a little about myself to make clear what an impression you’ve made upon me. I’m an artsy, outdoorsy, get-gussied-up & act classy type. It doesn’t always mix well, but with you it was a breeze. I was also pleased to know that no matter where I bedded down, you managed to impress me with your dynamic character.
*Funky, musical, & hip with a touch of scandalous: McMenamins Crystal Hotel Resting at The Crystal
*Arsty, communal, & whimsical with a touch of eery: McMenamins Kennedy School
*Classy, upscale, intelligent, with a touch of modern: Hotel Modera
Please know that I don’t normally sleep around, but how can a gal really know her fit without a little experimentation?

I want more of you.
Rows of charming Tudor homes on Mississippi Ave. had me dreaming about a life with you. I promised myself that no matter how much I liked you I would not Uhaul it this time. But, I must admit I’m already planning my return. There is so much more of you to explore. I long to feel your fall & winter vibe. After all, I wouldn’t know you as Portland without a little rain, right?

Until we meet againThank you for the memories.
Your admirer,

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Still in the closet after all these years…

Still in the closet after all these years…


Okay, I think it’s time I come out with this…

Some of you may have already known this about me, but I feel like it’s time for me to shout it from the rooftops. (or in cyber world, from my website.)

Here goes…

I am a Voice Actress!!!  Oooh, that felt good.  Ya know what else?  I love it.  I mean, really REALLY dig it.  No make up.  No costumes.  Just imagination and vocals.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  There is body.  If you take a moment and watch this little video, you’ll see just how much body it sometimes takes to create a MONSTER TRANSFORMATION (and in a teensy tiny closet, no less!) 😉

So happy to share my closet moment with you!

If you would like to check out some of my upcoming Voice work (***specifically on MAY 4, 2012), please like Shut Up! Cartoons! and then, go subscribe to Youtube/Shut Up! Cartoons! Then, watch “Zombies Vs. Ninjas”!  Then, LIKE that.  Then, comment on how much ya like it.  Then, tell ALL of your friends that they should do the exact same thing YOU did!  Then, I will be VOICE working a heck of a lot MORE.  Maybe even OUT of the closet!





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Pearl Jam Seeps Into My Bones!

Pearl Jam Seeps Into My Bones!


We have an upcoming Cabaret show at my Circus school so, I took some time to practice my technique on the Trapeze bar in search of a performance.  I’d been attempting a few different variations of moves for about 30 minutes, taping each of my attempts to see what looked interesting.  Nothing was working.  I just couldn’t FEEL it. My body was bored with the repetition.  My heart was too.

I moved into the front studio and stepped up to a new bar thinking that a geographical change might help.  What I was not expecting was the perfect timing of an old, beloved Pearl Jam song to start playing on my last round.  Something happened!  I was inspired.  As you watch the vid below, you’ll see when the music starts to seep into my bones and technique falls away.  My body instinctively began to dance.  It was, by far, NOT perfect.  I made tons of mistakes; however, they became my little found treasures as I continued to explore the flow.  I was alive, and my mantra was “YES and…”!  You may also notice while watching this vid that as soon as someone came to grab their ipod from the music box, the party was quickly over. 😉

Each day I write a gratitude list to try and keep myself in a good, gracious state.  Music often makes top of my list.  This time, Pearl Jam got the gold gratitude star!


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Getting UnStrung: Lessons From a Rope

Getting UnStrung: Lessons From a Rope

It was a normal morning for me as I climbed 20 feet into the air on the rope in my Trapeze class.  I was trying a new technique in which one straddle pikes into the air and locks the opposite leg by hooking it onto the rope in order to pull the torso upright and continue the climb on the other side.  No problem.  Two more sets and I’m to the tippy top.  I got this…

Suddenly, I realize that I used the wrong leg to lock the rope and I’m 100% stuck in mid~air, tangled, with nothing to release me from the lock.  My coach is nearly 20 feet below me and gives me this look that says “UH OH!”… The grip from the tangled rope is getting tighter and tighter as I start to panic and quickly feel muscle exhaustion set in.  Did I also mention that I’m terribly afraid of heights?  I am terribly afraid of heights.  My first thought was “Oh GOD! I can’t do this!” My second thought; however, was…”You can do hard things!” In a flash, I muster every bit of strength I have in me to curl my torso toward the ceiling and pull myself upright and beyond until the rope loosens it’s seemingly deadly grip.  Once I got my trembling body safely on the ground, I had the biggest rush of gratitude along with a great analogy.

That challenging and terrifying moment was my growth spurt.  I didn’t initially think I had it in me to pull myself out of it, and yet, I did.  It could be compared to any challenge in my life.  I’m remembering so many times when I have been stopped in my tracks by an extremely difficult circumstance, and had to pull from a strength only given to me by reaching beyond my little self to the big SELF.  I like to call them spiritual sit-ups!  It’s that last and final heave of effort and practice of FAITH that really creates the breakthrough!  Here’s to more spiritual sit-ups & MANY more breakthoughs!  xoxo, ~t

BTW, here is what a “successful” straddle pike climb looks like!

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Shape Online features celebrities who have tried Trapeze! Guess who claims the 5th spot!

Shape Online features celebrities who have tried Trapeze! Guess who claims the 5th spot!



Photo by Jeff Fasano



Big thanks to Shape Magazine Online for covering a super fun & empowering way to stay fit!

P.S. I forgive you for spelling my first name incorrectly. 😉  Love, ~Traci

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