world domination summit

Oh, Portland!  You’re such a mixed up place.

Fancy dinners and aggressive panhandlers.  Gloomy ‘n sparkly.  The hip and the tragic all rolled up in one.

It was time to visit that crazy-fun city again.

Reason: the World Domination Summit, Chris Guillebeau’s big event for non-conformists who want to live remarkable lives.

That sounds like me, so I signed up and counted down the months. (I also wanted to see if Portland was anything like Portlandia.)

jetting to portland

I’m all about living sweat-free so I assumed that I’d be basking in nice drizzly gloom like the last time I was there.  NOT.  Mother Nature decided to crank up the heat to a sweltering 95 degrees.  This is the opposite of how I want to roll.  It meant that I’d be changing up my wardrobe to prevent a meltdown.

I normally don’t do dresses but was forced to stalk around the city in the girliest girl crap.  Which, sadly, led to me getting propositioned by some ranting homeless men and lonely hipsters.  (I rarely get hit on so this was perplexing. I thought I had perfected my “Karl Lagerfeld don’t talk to me grimace” to a T.  Was it the dresses?  The fact that I was wandering around by myself and appeared like I needed company? Who knows?)

One of my side missions on this journey was to visit my old friend from high school and spend time with her French Bulldog.  (I’m crazy about little dogs and really want one.) I thought this might give me a taste of how cool it would be to have a pup instead of these controlling cats I currently share my quarters with.  That taste turned sour after less than an hour of in-your-face hyper tail wagging.  Although Onyx was cute as can be, I am a Type B personality and not well suited for the demands of a lively little dog.  Lesson learned: stick with these lazy curs at home.

onyx french bulldog

After I wiped the doggie slobber off my person, we headed to Castagna for what may quite possibly be the best meal of my life.  If you like fancy schmancy and trendy food, this is the place to be.  Onion terrariums, teeny buttermilk merinques filled with trout tartare (pictured below), hearty rye rolls with pork fat, and wee blackberry sorbets with whipped cream.  Oh what a feast!  (You can see more pics on my Instagram feed.)  This was the meal of my dreams and worth the price of the plane ticket alone.  I would seriously go back to Portland JUST to experience this again.  (Any excuse to eat well with my favorite old pal from back in the day is a good one.)

castagna restaurant

The next day was all about meeting online friends and getting into the World Domination  Summit.

WDS is both inspiring and overwhelming.  You’ll walk out of the experience ready to take on the world and conquer your fears – and needing a nap at the same time.  The energy of the room was intense and the speakers were top notch.


The attendees were treated to motivating speeches from Gavin Aung Than, Scott Berkun, Elise Blaha Cripe, John Francis, Michael Hyatt, A.J. Jacobs (hilarious guy), John Jantsch, Saki Mafundikwa, Jadah Sellner and Dee Williams.  Every single one of these people had me on my feet, clapping. This was exactly the sort of message I needed to pump my biz (and life) up to the next level.  (I also learned a lot about how to do public speaking right.  This crew was polished and entertaining at the same time.  I took notes on that.)

One of the scheduled speakers was unable to make it due to an accident but the person who filled in turned out to be my favorite speaker of the event, Shannon Galpin.  Shannon is doing incredible work empowering women and combating apathy.  Her presentation touched me deeply and I’ve been learning more about her work since I returned.

Some former attendees also took the stage and there were some real standouts. I was moved by Esmé Wang, who delivered a powerful mini-talk on mental illness, and Ryan Haack of Living One Handed.  He’s compassionate and hilarious – and lo ‘n behold, he hails from Wisconsin!  (One of the main speakers, John Francis, teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The World Domination Summit proves it’s a pretty small world after all.)

The event had plenty of other offerings besides the main stage speakers.  There were lots of classes and fun things scheduled but I took a pass on that.  I get really energetically slammed when I am in an audience of that size, so I preferred time alone exploring the city, naps in my room, and intimate gatherings with friends.

One of the best parts about this event was meeting many of the lovely faces I knew from the internet.  I swear this turned into a big ole hug fest.  I was constantly running into people I “knew”, which made me feel right at home.

I was also eating very, very well.  I grabbed sushi with Annika Martins (this was some of the freshest sushi I’ve ever had), hit a Thai place with Catherine Just, Gemma Stone, Pace ‘n Kyeli Smith, Amanda Farough, and Alexandra Franzen, met Rachelle Mee-Chapman for a yummy lunch, hooked up with my tarot gals, Jaymi Elford and Traci Goodrich for an amazing dinner, and also got to experience Pok Pok and the best ice cream ever at Salt ‘n Straw with Kari Chapin.  I was in good company constantly and every meal was a foodie’s paradise.  (Although I eat quite well here at home, Portland really impressed me.)

duck confit hash

After this culinary adventure, I’ve decided that Portland needs a new motto: Portland – Always A Good Meal.

I left Portland with a full mind and belly – and ready to make my world even more remarkable.  Thank you to the mighty fine people behind WDS, the stellar chefs of Portland, and my incredible new (and old) friends.  Portland – I will be seeing you again.

bot joy

That little guy above comes from artist Gary Hirsch of Bot Joy.  Every WDS attendee got one.  The Brave Bots are “programmed” to help you overcome your fears and be brave.  I LOVE my little guy (I’m using him to help remind me to move forward with my book).

Other stuff:

Apparently, the Koch Brothers are investing in education.  Teaching young people how to be business dicks.  Scary.

And in other political news, Todd Akin puts his foot in his mouth again.  Who is listening to this dude?  Seriously.

Role Reboot has this great post on 10 Simple Words Every Girl Should Learn.  YES to this!

I’m always discussing Game of Thrones with my husband (or any poor soul who gets stuck with me for any length of time).  This theory about Jon Snow has been big time GoT fodder around here this week.

Although I loved Portland, New York is still my fave city in the world (well, that and San Francisco).  Digging Humans of New York.

One of my favorite business blogs is Jessica Kupferman’s Lady Business.  Her post on your rep is one to read ‘n heed.  It’s all about delivering what you say you will. Best read of my week, yo.

Karl Lagerfeld’s cat has a makeup collection.  And yes, I will buy this.  Because cats + Lagerfeld + makeup is my idea of awesome!

Loved this letter on love from John Steinbeck to his son.

My Naked Truth from Robin Korth.  This is a brave post.  How would you feel if a man was disgusted by your aging body?  I would do exactly what she did.  Kick his ass to the curb and love myself as is.

A selfie toaster?  LOL Just what any good narcissist needs!

The most romantic couple I know just published this fun ebook: Great Dates: How to Plan Fabulous Outings for Romantic Partners, Friends & Family by Barbara Moore and Lisa Novak.  You’ll never struggle when you need to create a fun + memorable date again!

This book is on my to-read list: The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help by Jackson Katz.

I love scented candles! Diptyque Santal Candle-6.5 oz are the best!

Need a good coach?  Pace Smith may be the one for you.  Check out her fab new site, yo!


What I’m Grateful For:

Being home

Rose scented hand lotion

Connecting with new people


Salted caramels

Sleeping in

Freshly paved roads

Silly friends

Soundtrack for 7/19/14:  “We Used to be Friends” by The Dandy Warhols – keeping that Portland vibe going strong!

Here’s to a yummy week for all!


© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2014

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