Thursday, December 15, 2011

Captain Obvious

Two news stories this week honestly have me sighing in frustration.

The media is expressing SURPRISE that 1 in 4 American women report having been sexually assaulted, harassed or stalked. Really? Have they ever had an intimate conversation with, say, 4 women during the course of their lives? Sheesh.

And then, my goodness, we find that Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona promoted, fostered and participated in a culture of bias against Latinos. You don't say!?!?

C'mon Christmas break, I'm ready!

Friday, December 9, 2011

One Liner

My lovely Zumba teacher R encourages us to be rowdy in class... lots of whoops, shouts, party-it-up howls. She says it helps us remember to breathe. She says it's a hallmark of Zumba classes. But yesterday, I liked her reason best of all.

"If you can't use your voice in a safe space like this," she sternly reminded us, "then what will you do when you're in a situation when you really need to use it?"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


In church this week, Reverend Bill talked about the season of Advent that the Christian calendar is now starting. Four Sundays, four weeks of waiting, four weeks of joy and light and decor and shopping (ha!, he laughed too) before the birthday celebration of Christmas.

But, he pointed out, Advent was not always a joyous time. In other traditions especially it was, and still is, a season of deep darkness. A season of waiting and of wanting, of hunger. A season of wondering if the light, the abundance, the spring, will ever return - when each morning dawns later and each night comes sooner, and we feel so, so tired.

Having three pregnant friends around me, I thought, it's also a season of not-knowing. (Yes, every season is one of not-knowing in this life, but especially when you're waiting for a baby to come and you can't say, oh, "three more weeks," or "one more Friday!" and instead you just have to wait. And wait. And wait. Or sometimes, it comes too soon, and that's anxiety-inducing as well.)

The waiting season is not always joyous. It's not always easy.

I find that I am bringing more lights and more holiday decoration and even sneaking a few more cookies into my home, as talismans against the dark; as hopeful offerings to the one who I hope will tip us back the other way on the night of the Solstice.

It's not easy to remain motivated at work, or energetic in Zumba class, or to get up and write at 6:30 AM each morning (guess which thing has been canceled until the Solstice takes place...)

So taking the wise council of Reverend B, I'm trying hard to embrace the dark season. This means I'm sleeping a little later, and heading to bed a little earlier. I'm making a little tea and toast (right now, in fact). I'm letting a few responsibilities slide, and I'm scheduling a little more time with friends - I'm pushing myself away from the solitude of my own little hearth (which is blazing with gas-powered fire every chilly, dark night!).

And while I hope, and believe, that the light will return soon, I'm letting myself be a little afraid, too, that it won't. For that's the real darkness, and I'm letting in a little, as part of a rounded, full year of this life.

Monday, November 28, 2011

News Round-Up, Version N.Y.T.

Good morning! It's news time.

I think my friend Nikola ghost-wrote this.

And they wrote this article solely for my friend Micheal, who already heats his bedroom with his supercomputer during the cold chunks of the year.

This one is for my cousin, for both the insight into GF food and the marketing of an international company.

I already sent this to Meg but it's really good, and Lemon would like it too.

There are two for Meggie - one that's op-ed and national and one that's news and local (47 kids in an algebra class!?!?).

And as this article sadly says, "Sometimes the story that science tells us isn’t the story we want to hear." My husband the pragmatist, my husband the unsentimental, my husband the striving pianist - this article is for him.

So I read a lot of news, but I think about everyone while I do it!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

At the end of a non-WW weekend...

Today, after four days of glorious eating, drinking, wine tasting, staying up too late, visiting with friends and going to gatherings... not to mention cooking and hosting my very-first full-on Thanksgiving dinner at home!... it is back on the wagon.

The Weight Watchers wagon.

But at the end of the weekend, while the homemade rolls (Rouse family easy bread recipe to the rescue!) were delicious slathered in butter, and the pumpkin pie made by my sisters-in-law was a triumph (all from scratch including real baking pumpkins) with ice cream AND whipped cream, and the smoked turkey that John masterfully BBQ'd (in the rain) on Thursday afternoon was the last word in moist turkey meat, the best part, the very BEST part was: the stuffing.

I love stuffing. But I don't love celery, and I don't love undercooked onions, I don't love bland bread and I don't like garlic in there. And so, for the very first time ever, I made stuffing precisely the way I like it, with all the parts from others' stuffings that I admire in one big dish... and I ended up with such a success that 2 hours of dishes didn't even matter, because now I know what my very own Thanksgiving stuffing will be, year after year!

So in case you're wondering: Mrs. Cubbison's cornbread stuffing with a lot of onion slo-o-owly sauteed in even more butter, with a big pile of fresh sage and dried thyme, and water chestnuts. It all marinated for 2 hours in the fridge and then I stirred in the liquid (just water, not chicken broth, for the non-meat eaters) and baked it for 40 minutes in my mini-casserole dish. Perfection!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Case of the Very Intense Friend

Me: Am I too hard on Person X? (Name has been removed to protect the innocent.)

John: What do you mean, too hard?

Me: I don't know... you know... too hard on them, with my opinions and ideas and stuff... you know, too hard on X so that they won't want tell me about their life, like, fully.

John: Well, no.

Me: (sigh) (of relief)

John: I mean, you're not any harder on X than you are on everyone else.

Me: (sigh) (of resignation)

John: And yet, they all do still tell you everything. It is a mystery.

Friday, November 25, 2011

At 9 PM

On a Friday night... John and I are both Googling and Wikipedia-ing...
  • Armie Hammer
  • Clyde Tolson
  • The Lindbergh Baby
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Helen Gandy
... so you know what we went and saw tonight!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Just another reason I adore my husband? When contemplating what we'd do if we won the big Powerball lottery, he said, with glee and absolute seriousness, "I'd become a professional student."

"Oh, yeah?" I replied. "You'd finally get that Ph.D. in economics?"


"From where?"

"Well, I'm a millionaire, so the London School of Economics to start." I laughed and he thought about the other degrees and area of study he could devote his life to.

Don't forget, marriage is about pros AND cons.

For example, I said I'd become professionally awesome, and a professional taker-of-my-friends-on-trips. But based out of London to start, of course!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Down, down, down we go...

So, a Weight Watchers update on me and John - for those looking to cheer*, to scold**, to take inspiration*** or derive jealousy**** from:

I'm down 23 pounds and John's down 42. (!!) As for the high point and the low point so far...

While I dearly love Ann Taylor LOFT for letting me fit into a size 2 skirt at the outlet malls last weekend (and for $13 I sort of had to buy it, so they are the real winner), I also know better that I'm about a 6 right now. And THAT feels as great as a 2 ever could, don't get me wrong! It's basically the size I was back at age 23, when I lived alone over the winter on Cape Cod and only had one friend and ran on the beach a few days a week AND didn't know how to cook yet.

As for the downside, I am now cold most of the time. It is a noticeable difference from last autumn. Sure, I've always had cold fingers and toes, but I have never been downright shivery for much of the day! I am surprised, and not pleased about this. But since I have to buy all new clothes anyway, I guess it's just time to implement a style based on layers and buy a second (or third) pair of fleece jammie pants.

* many, many friends are wonderfully supportive and take joy in our success;
** some friends tell me I shouldn't even care about losing weight, or about maintaining a silly number on the scale - and some hear the number 23 and say, don't lose any more!;
*** I think I can safely be held partially or wholly responsible for about 4.5 other people joining in the last few months;
**** well, yes, it's very rare but we're Americans and this is weight loss - pretending this doesn't exist is just a lie.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Briefly: November's Re-Read

I'm re-reading Little Women - for the first time ever. I read it at age 10 or 11, and never went back to it. I'm not sure why; I think it may have been a little religious for my taste?

The fun part so far is that I assumed everyone was a Jo, everyone loved Jo the most, and everyone wanted to hang out with Jo - but now, in my (ahem) old age, I'm seeing that in fact, no - Jo is not the only way to be. That's something new to contemplate. The ways I was Jo, or am, and the ways I'm not, or wasn't - it's the classic standby in literature for young women that divides a personality into characters, giving us a lens through which to grow. That never stops being enjoyable, no matter how old I get, and it's nice to get Alcott's lesson almost two decades after it was intended!

The other bonus is that I don't really remember what happens (other than a few major events), so it's a combination of nostalgia and discovery - a more pleasant November re-read, I can't imagine.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why do we have Netflix?

(This will not be a post bitching about Netflix pricing. I maintain that if the leap from $12 a month to $18 a month hurts your finances that much... then you, my friend, have bigger financial problems than your DVD/DVD+streaming/streaming subscription(s).)

No, instead, we have it so that I can start watching the old TV show thirtysomething! I remember my parents always watched it, and I thought, heck, I'm 30 now. Let's see what it was about in the 80s instead of in the 20teens. Two episodes in, I notice:
  • the clothes are amazing;
  • Timothy Busfield is shockingly less handsome as a young man than as an older man;
  • sound mixing has evolved leaps and bounds;
  • the conversations are more realistic, and about more universal subjects, than on any sitcom I've taken in in a long while. Hmm.

Monday, November 14, 2011

So, I got an iPhone...

... and some people may have noticed I am doing even LESS phone-calling than I was doing before. (Bill, I know you think this is impossible. Turns out it is not!) And I think the iPhone promotes this. It's such a handy little personal computer, such an intimate little screen all customized for you - that the actual phone call feels like nothing but an intrusion. Conspiracy? Or maybe Steve Jobs hated talking on the phone, too, and he just brought us all along with him. You never know.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

2 Things to Love

About Being an Adult.

One: I can stay out late on a school night, ahem, work night, and sure, I might be tired the next day, but no one yells at me for staying out, no one tells me I can't go to bed at 8 the next night, and the bartender will happily serve you till whenever! (Take a cab, friends. Last night was not truly late enough to need one but you know those nights. Last night was just a reminder that I get to do what I want!)

Two: I love being able to say, "You know what, BFF, we should go to New York City someday! We should go out to eat, see the sights, spend too much money, try to learn the Subway lines and watch the leaves fall in Central Park."

And then your bestie, who is also an adult, says, "Yeah! We should! How about this fall?"

And then you get on a plane and take the trip. It's the kind of thing I dreamed about doing when I was a teenager and said to myself, "I"ll be the kind of adult who does this." And now I am. Hello, Big Apple!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


So here's a funny one. When you are on Weight Watchers, you have NSVs... non-scale victories. This would be something like losing inches, fitting into an old shirt you loved, or truly feeling satisfied with a very small dessert.

An NSV in our house this week? I had to get rid of two belts.

And now they fit John.

Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Last week, my phone rang at 5 AM sharp. It was one of my oldest friends, from high school, whom I just celebrated my 30th with in Texas on a girls' trip (four of us met up, from all across the country and time zones - yeah Class of 99!). This friend has three small children, and sometimes crosses wires about said time zone changes, understandably. I immediately thought, it's 8 AM there and she just dropped the kids at preschool. I know they start at 8:15 and go until 11:15 AM. She probably forgot it's only 5 here.

So I hit the silent button, and stopped John from putting on his gym clothes and heading to our elliptical machine. "That was my phone, not your alarm, babe," and he confusedly went back to sleep. I sent her a text, "its 5 am you woke us up". I was thinking about the olden days of ten or twelve years ago, when a drunken phone call was not uncommon from my friends or myself, and hilarious voice messages or conversations ensued.

She texted back immediately: "[name of her brother] died".

I leapt out of bed and called back, profusely apologizing and hearing the story of a car accident that happened 3/4 of the way across the country only a few hours earlier. "I'm sorry I called so early, I was sitting here waiting, and I just couldn't wait anymore."

So this is a reminder to answer my damn phone when it rings.

And it's been a reminder all week that you can't live every day like it is your last - you can't say goodbye to those you love like you'll never see them again after every cup of coffee, every dinner out, every phone conversation - but you can be present with them each and every time you see or speak to them, and be sure you never miss an opportunity to listen to them, to love them, to be right there with them and not halfway on to the next thing.

Friday, September 16, 2011

In the age of technology...

Some things, like handwritten letters, are nearly extinct. But, there are new things to enjoy - you do get really awesome text messages for your birthday instead! Including these top two:

  • Kaa! Kaa! Swoop! Here comes the thirty bird!
  • Ever since I've met you, you've been the perfect age. True story.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

No bounds.

As you know, I hate throwing out consumables - namely, food. Anything that can be used up entirely SHOULD be used up entirely. And tossing a little sour milk, wilted veggie or uneaten leftover causes in me a level of anxiety inappropriate to the amount of food being thrown out.

So, it is with a laugh I share with you my delight at discovering that our bottle of Robitussin Adult Nighttime Cough, Cold & Flu has about 3 doses left in the bottle - AND it expires 11/11! It makes me so happy, even as I am sick, to know that we'll use this up before it expires, and won't have to throw out a single drop.

(And hey - I was raised by a father who put a little water in the ketchup or salad dressing bottle, to get out every last bit. At least I'm not that far gone (yet) since the gross memories of watery Ranch dressing still linger.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Where did the series go?

The series of pre-30 posts was walloped... by a cold! I have to say, though, if what M says is true - which is "No good, no bad, all wonderful", then the thing that is wonderful about this really badly-timed head cold is that I'm thinking, 30? Sure, whatevs. I just want to be back to health!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The countdown begins.

This is the first in a series of "I'm about to turn 30!" posts.

I need a pair of jeans that fits... and I have a great pair from a ladies clothing swap, a.k.a. Naked Lady Party. They're awesome, but getting way too big. So I went to the Levi's store in the fancy part of town and realized, oh hmmm, they don't make women's jeans in the numbers-style anymore (you know - 501s, 550s, etc).

But I had parked, I was there, and so I thought I'd let the salesgirl help me out with their new Levi's styles.

Alas, my friends, I am getting old. The jeans were all either skinny-leg-style (which doesn't look good on anyone who can vote; sorry! I'll tell you they look good when you ask me, but they don't) or were so low at the waist to be obscene in the back AND the front.

Plus, they give you extra things in the dressing room to possibly try on. I hate this. I hate it at Nordstrom and I hate it at Levi's.

And a $64 sweatshirt with a screenprint of a wolf on it is not for me. I was there the first time those were cool, and THAT is the real sign of aging in our pop-driven world.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Coda #2 - ! ! ! ! ! !

Ok, the plot thickens.

We've now found out this group of kids pulled a dine-and-dash this week at the 1 of (only) 3 restaurants in my neighborhood.

And the ballroom where I dance? There is a church group that meets there on Wednesday nights. They were stolen from by the same group.

It is on.

Coda #1 - ! ! !

A coda to the theft story... as I was thunderclouding my way back home that night, I was stuck at a very long light waiting for the crosswalk to clear, with another woman. I realized I was thunderclouding her, and that wasn't very nice, so I gave a slight smile. She shivered and said, "It's cold!" I said, "I know! August, it's crazy!"

"Gonna be hot this weekend though."

"Yup, it will be nice."

"Last one probably, of the summer."


Aaaaand we're still waiting on the crosswalk signal. We're leaning on the sandwich board fro the Zumba class.

"You know," I said, as I tapped the sandwich board, "I was just in this dance class, and four kids came in to join, and one of them stole $20 from the teacher!"

"Well, people need money."

"Excuse me? And stealing is the way to get it?"

"I'm just saying, working people don't have enough. You have to do stuff."

"What?! And stealing is the way to go about it?!"

As she turned the corner out of the crosswalk one way, and I went the other, she gave me a shrug, and a "well...."

I shouted something as I walked away, and I was so upset I can't even remember what.

So maybe these kids were sent by a relative, parent or guardian to thieve.

And in the sputters of my anger, I should have turned around and said, "Need money? Maybe you could try teaching dance classes for money. Or sure, just tell teenagers it is OK to steal. You know what lady, you deserve the bad day it looks like you're having and I'm sorry you're such a miserable asshole."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tell me how to heal this.

At Zumba class tonight, 4 kids showed up a bit after it began, and stood in the back of the room. One was little, 7 or 8, with her older sister, maybe 14. They were tapping their toes. The teacher invited them in to be in the ballroom with us.

The older sister seemed to have a very sweet boy with her, who was crushing on her enough to dance Zumba with us! And the 4th one - maybe 13?, maybe 14? hard to say with boys that age - sat in the back, in the lone chair in the ballroom. Which is right behind the computer where the music is played from.

He watched, he laughed when we tried to get him come dance. I admit, my inner control freak wanted to give them the boot - what if they got hurt and hadn't signed a waiver? What about how they didn't pay, which is a loss to our amazing teacher? But I let the part of me win who respects authority - and I let the teacher, or more senior folks in the class, make the decision.

They left as we did our cool-down stretches.

I got a round of high-five's from my classmates on the 15-pound weight loss I'm now up to, combining Weight Watchers and Zumba.

And then I walked out, and picked up a water bottle that had fallen on the ground.

And another woman picked up a wallet that had fallen on the ground. She flipped it open, "Whose is this?"

And I looked at the ID. "That's R's. That's our teacher's wallet."

Sure enough, the kid in the back kept his eyes on us while he fished out her wallet and stole $20. He left her ID, her credit cards, her health insurance card - which is pretty important for a cancer survivor turned Zumba instructor.

I am enraged. This foments distrust in my neighborhood. This foments fear of teenagers, roamin' around in packs like they do. This encourages a really nice teacher, who was embracing the experience of letting some kids come dance with us - one of whom could certainly benefit from a good cardio class even at a young age, as she was rather heavy, and see that working out can be fun - to become hardened and wary.

Look, I don't care if he needed the money (and I don't believe for a second he did). I don't care if he has parents at home who ignore him or no parents at all. I don't care if he is teased for being a slow reader, a bad football player or too feminine. He came into our little fun workout world and stole money. And for the cost of $20, he sent home a room full of women with negative feelings, increased distrust and a reminder to not be kind, open, loving, or soft with the rules once in a goddamn while.

And don't you dare tell me our teacher could have made a better decision and not let them in, or made them sign their names, or not let him sit in the chair. She could have. But that comes awfully, awfully close to victim-blaming. And to use a more typical victim-blaming line: a short skirt did not a rape create. This kid stole. End of story.

So tell me. How do I heal that hurt? Sure, we students could pay our teacher back - but that's not the real loss, that's not her real pain, and if I come across that kid in my neighborhood, he better be fucking ready.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A first time for everything.

I am a person who wears her hair in a ponytail, or bun, or sloppy bun, every day. Every. Day. On my wedding day I did not; on M.A.'s 30th birthday I did not. If requested for an event, I will straighten and wear it down. I will then take a lot, a lot, a LOT of photos on these occasions, to trick you - and everyone on Facebook - into thinking I wear it down regularly.

Part two of this story: I am trying to live more in tune with my intuition. On items big and small, I'm trying to stop and check in with the soul, the spirit, the perfect little human voice inside me (that we all have), and hear what it is I should do next. Do I sense someone is in a bad mood and I should leave my question until after lunch? Done. Should I watch this documentary rather than read ten more New York Times articles, and allow some comfort and cuddle in my life, rather that sitting at a screen for even more hours? Done.

Or this week... should I go get my hair cut? On the way home from work? On a whim? Without worrying it to death for weeks? Perhaps at a walk-in salon on the way home, on this fine sunny Tuesday? I think I should. I think today is the day that I explain what I find so challenging about my hair, and explain that I wear it up everyday because I get too hot and sweaty, and because it gets too triangle-y and poufy, and then trust a professional to cut it as they wish. Let a little control go.

And guess what? I have worn my hair down, with the new cut, for two days IN A ROW. And I mean: all day. From leaving the house before 8 AM all the way until bedtime - through work, through cooking, through driving with the windows down. This, my friends, is a good haircut. Quite possibly my first one.

And no, I can't post a picture now; it is currently post-Zumba-workout hair and won't do justice to Ellie at Bishops salon on Alberta. Who was unknowingly a wonderful part of my let-it-go-and-let-intuition-guide-the-day day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Like starting up a cold car, I am chugging back to the blog with great deliberation. The slow turnover of the engine... trying to roll down the windows, which are in half-frozen slow-motion...

Yes, like any great piece of procrastination art, the hardest part is over: I'm here on The Blog Home Page. But it is too late to do more than let the engine run for a few minutes. I'll think of something especially funny or interesting on the next post! Thanks for stopping by, I'm just warming up.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What did you learn today?

Growing up, sometimes my parents asked that question, rather than the old standby, "How was your day?"

So what did you learn today, or this week? In the last week I have learned:
  • A new alternator, transmission pan and unrelated flat tire cost about $426 to fix.
  • You should always, ALWAYS wait until the last week of the month to re-new your car registration. Otherwise, you might do it at the start of the month, for $124, and then end up with a $426 bill on top of that just three days later, and realize, shit. This is what John means when he talks about "sunk costs" and it is just TIME to get a new(ish) car. (Especially when said car has an $1800 problem that gets worse every day and there is no WAY you're ever going to fix that!)
  • Car salesmen really need to make a sale these days.
  • Car salesmen now use text messaging, phone calls and emails to hound you.
  • Car salesmen do not have the thick skins they say they do, and when called out on their pricing, with a better deal at another dealership, they are not happy.
What has John learned in the last week? The first is a guess, and the second was his answer to that query at the dinner table.
  • He is married to someone who wants more car than she can afford, and she has a very hard time figuring what should be compromised and what should be stuck to. She may well stick to desired color, logic be darned.
  • "I learned that I hate cat people like conservatives hate socialists."

Thursday, July 21, 2011


What things weigh ten pounds? Well, I almost did, when I was born. I believe I was 9 pounds 8 ounces (and I am sure my mother will set me straight in the comments!).

A big bag of sugar weighs ten pounds. A bowling ball - a small one - weighs ten pounds. Some dogs and cats weigh ten pounds, and Google says a gallon of water weighs ten pounds.

But what weighs ten pounds less? Me! Less than I did on May 21st at least, the day I started Weight Watchers!

I have put off writing about the program because it has a silly name, because some days I absolutely hate it, because it has made me deeply address my relationship to food and alcohol on a daily basis (as in, how they is my daily (or thrice daily) reward to self), because John and I are doing it together, and because it sort of feels temporary. Could I stay 10 pounds down? Could I maintain this? Could I feel more positive about my body at any given moment than negative? (This is the biggest change; looking in the mirror and saying something nice to myself. It's like living on a new planet.)

My goal, for those wonderful readers who remember a post from a couple years ago (that I am too tired to find the link for, sorry!), is to lose 20 pounds. Two years ago a doctor recommended I lose 15 to 20 pounds, and I thought, gah! What? How? Eat less and exercise?! Please! Like I can do that!

It turns out, I can! After 5 pounds were gone, my clothes started to fit and feel better. And now at 10 pounds gone, some things are really too loose to wear. And so while some weeks are going better than others, it's an overall downward weight trend, so maybe I can go back to that Doogie Howser lookin' doctor in another couple months and say, look! I did it!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I like to talk and ruminate on what I call our "customized living". If you have a perfect piece of customized living, please share in the comments!! I'm always taking new ideas.

For example, I have a Bose wave radio that I *love* in my kitchen/living room/dining room area. I listen to it morning, noon and night, mostly NPR, in lieu of TV news and entertainment. It's right there, with a remote by the couch, but I also have an On/Off/Mute remote button that is on a magnet, attached to the fridge. So when I am cooking and it gets noisy, I can turn it up. When the phone rings, I can mute it for a moment. I don't have to walk allllll the way to the remote by the couch, dripping water/grease/cake batter. This is the customized life.

Today, I realized how ridiculous this is... and I realized another one... I hate dust pans. I don't mind sweeping; it can be very satisfying. But using a dust pan? That is like 10,000 year old technology that doesn't fully work. So I've customized a hilarious and wonderful solution. I sweep all my little piles up, then put the broom away, and instead, zip past with the best-$50-I-ever-spent - also known as my Dirt Devil handheld vacuum, also known to Gen X as a Dustbuster. It lives tucked under the shit table* and my dirt piles are 100% gone! Better than a dust pan! Conveniently located! Tah-dah! Customized.

*Shit Table: A household necessity. A table that is large enough to hold mail, keys, coupons, change, sunglasses, phone chargers and a small amount of "other" items but NOT large enough to hold too much. That's the key. And, it is right by the front door, to keep counters and dining room tables clean, avoiding the dread All Horizontal Surfaces Covered in Papers & More (TM) household illness.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


In Portland, every restaurant serves things local, sustainable and seasonal. Even the local fast food chain! (Remind me to go get some Walla Walla onion rings, by the way...)

But sometimes, even in the middle of berries and green garlic and new fingerling potato side dishes, you want a Brussels sprout. So learn from me - it's not just the tomato in January that is awful. It is the Brussels sprout in July, too, that is all food porn: looks good but never delivers; the right color but you can't touch it without getting in trouble.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Did I write recently about re-watching "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" and what a grand disappointment it was? Lesson: don't take a movie you loved when you were nine and watch it when you are twenty-nine. In all likelihood, it won't stand up.

However, what about taking a movie you loved at fourteen? It's a risk, I tell ya, but sometimes, it pays off.

In this case, Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. Run out and re-watch it! Or, use Netflix streaming on whim, as I did.

It absolutely stands up - the Nurse, Mercutio and Father Lawrence (yup, renamed in this version) are especially wonderful with both Elizabethan language and modern filmmaking. It breathes life into the bawdy jokes and it still pretty hip, 15 years on.

But upon re-viewing it, you get the true added bonus -- now you know who Leonardo DiCaprio is going to become. And so you get to see the very last traces of boyhood, the last bits of baby fat in his cheeks, and the end of adolescent angst right in front of you. If they shot this movie even two months later, he'd have been too old. But he was dead-on-perfect. And Claire Danes is all soft innocence, except for how perfectly she captures the singular obsession with sex - and sex with love, let's be fair - that Juliet and, ahem, some, teenage girls have.

The music is still good, the sets still interesting, and the angel wings/fireworks/watery kisses/morning bedsheets are as sexy as they were when I watched it in 10th grade on a date with Brandon at the Campus Square 8 in my hometown - twice!

I'll be on the hunt for more of these film gems that shine - and movie duds that stink, because frankly, they are probably more fun to write about.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer is Here

OK, no more lazing. Summer is here! Sauvie Island begs to be visited, the patio furniture has been BOUGHT and we had our first al fresco dinner last night on it!, the first houseguests have come and gone, my first trip is done and John has one concert under his belt. So, a few things for you and I to blog and chat about:
  • A pile of shoes by the front door of a home; does this indicate shoes-off-house? Yea or nay? Do you do shoes-off? Did you grow up with shoes-off?
  • I have kept two secrets from you over the last month: I started doing Zumba and I am in Week 7 of Weight Watchers. (More on this to come, don't fear!)
  • The crazy neighbor has not stopped. He is making ME crazy and I am accepting any and all suggestions on how to deal with a honestly mentally-unbalanced neighbor who is loud all the time... not the kind of neighbor you go chat with about the noise.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Thing on Facebook that is incredibly weird: a profile photo of you, in your wedding dress, standing next to your dad. Putting that on Facebook is fine. Having it as your profile is creepy. I am unsure if that's groom or parent.

Thing on Facebook that is terribly good: all you people who have not set up your privacy settings! I love to see a person from high school who tortured me and is now fat and living in Idaho! I am terribly mean, it's true, but it's also true that you should set up privacy settings if you do not want to be on the receiving end of such schadenfreude. Privacy settings are good even if you were nice in high school, and no matter how thin you may be or far from Idaho may you live now.

Thing on Facebook that is terribly bad: the people who I am friends with that prompt a reaction in me of utter negativity. Whether it is an ex or an acquaintance that I can't seem to de-friend or someone who uses it solely for self-promotion and never, ever, has a dialogue, I manage to seek them out when I am feeling blue and trolling their profile just immediately turns my azure into navy. Boo. When will I learn to stay away?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lazy summer.

The pre-summer (and now, officially-summer) laze has hit me. (Laze is too a noun! Such as: the laze, it hit me.) And this blog is bearing the brunt.

I do have things to write about - funny things John said, a fantastic and boozy dinner party we went to, more tales From The Bus (the #6 even, just like Jenny from the Block rode), work tidbits both profound and inane - but I'm too distracted. No matter how old we get, we want to spend all morning in our pj's in the summer.

Remember that feeling? It's warm and sunshiney outside, and the lovely hours out in it are longer than you even have enough energy for. You have to go to bed before the sun fully sets - too tired out from playing Pickle or swimming or catching fireflies. (No, they don't have fireflies in Montana. But they have them in Cape Cod and the best laze can only be had in an Old Cape Cod sort of summer.)

So I'll get back to it. The days will stop feeling so heady, tempting and deeply beautiful. I'll get back to the grind and update thoughtfully - soon - I promise!

(And in the meantime, c'mon, listen to the whole song. It's vintage and adorable and Cape-y!)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In brief: 2 Tuesday observations.

#1: Just when I thought we got rid of the circular saw to the left of our house, now we have one behind us! I don't know what they are building, but they were freaking building it when I left for the bus-that-has-shown-up-14-minutes-late two days in a row now at 7:50 this morning, and they are freaking building it right now. It's been two weeks. Work smarter, people!

#2: Waiting at said bus stop, I had a nice conversation (OK, I listened kindly but contributed very little to her monologue) with a woman who was carrying a lot of cans to recycle, talked about all the gang activity in recent weeks in NE Portland, then let me know she was waiting for the teenagers at the Urban Educational Center on the corner to leave before she did "this" - which was smoking a joint at 8:05 AM - on the way to her babysitting gig.

Monday, June 13, 2011

In brief: 2 Monday observations.

#1: A large crumb (or a small chunk?) of chocolate chip cookie on top of the toilet paper holder in the public bathroom of my office building. You have to make up a good back story, am I right?

#2: Woman X in pilates class says, "What did you do today?" and Woman Z replies, "Oh, you know, made more yogurt." Long pause. "And I spent a long time in the yard." Stretching resumed...

Sunday, June 12, 2011


At the New York Times' website and in articles, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, JD, and former presidential candidate is referred to as Mrs. Clinton. At the same site, citizen, former Governor and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is referred to as Ms. Palin.

Why is Clinton a Mrs.? And Palin is a Ms.? Both took the name of their husband when they married, and both are still married to same husband. So, is Ms. now reserved for women who'd rather their marital status not be on display AND women who are more well-known than their husbands? If I were more creative I might have an answer. Instead, it's Sunday night, and I'm just pissed.

Maybe you can explain this to me?

Monday, June 6, 2011


In a world filled with goldfish-length attention spans and 140 character tweets, I do get a kick out of our very, very first reactions to things - to news items, to gossip tidbits (and in this case, the latter pretending to be the former).

Gleefully full of schadenfreude and tuned into today's Anthony Weiner press conference, I was still shocked, however, when two people in the room, awaiting the good Congressman's turn at the podium, repeatedly said, "His wife is so beautiful, though," as if that had something to do with it!

As for my first reaction? A little shock, I admit, last week - he's Jon Stewart's friend after all! And then laughter today, and then a Wikipedia visit to find out he has been married for NEARLY ELEVEN MONTHS. Time for a vow renewal, I suppose?

Friday, June 3, 2011


I would like to be smart enough to have said this, but I am not, so I must give credit to N where credit is due.

We saw Meek's Cutoff the other day, which I recommend highly - she liked it, I liked it AND John liked it! It's by a NW filmmaker, who made Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy and it has a similar feel to it, while being a grand Western like you've never seen before.

N said of the film, and the filmmaker, "If her movies were in French, she would be hailed as a master of existentialism and as an auteur of grand scope... a cinematic genius! But since her movies are in English, people think eww, they're boring." Nail. On. The. Head.

Go see Meek's Cutoff! Give Kelly Reichardt some of your intellectual love!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Oh, dear.

I was browsing healthy eating and exercising tips online the other night, divided into "Your Stage of Life!" What do we have?
  • New to College?
  • Bride to Be!
  • New Mommy
  • 40+
Well, there ya go. Easy as pie - pun intended.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In the spirit of factuality:

Please allow me a geographic correction to the previous post. My husband set me straight: the portion of water we were in was, in fact, the Wind River. Paradise Creek flowed into it nearby, but we were on the River itself, despite the name of the campground. Thank you for allowing this brief interruption.

Monday, May 30, 2011

This happened.

Prologue: This is how I remember this past Saturday night; I was not the only person involved of course, and my memory is only mine. I understand that others likely experienced it a bit differently, and with just as much truth. But this did happen, and it struck me that until I share it with you, my friends, it won't feel like it DID happen. Only by asking you to witness it does it start to take a full, real shape in my past.

We're letting the fire die, because it's about midnight, and we've been up early - as we always are when we go camping. It was a beautiful day - lots of full sunshine, a surprise in this rainy May - and we've been marveling that we can see the stars even now. After Friday's night rainstorm, this day and night have been a joy and it seems like tempting fate to think tomorrow will be dry, too. It'll be cold tonight, though. And I wonder, is it clear in Portland, too? We're about 90 minutes away, in a pocket of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in WA that has no cell service.

Our group has two campsites, #22 and #25, next to each other on Paradise Creek. The creek flows into the Wind River just a little way downstream, and it is a lovely, rushing water sound in the background dark. During the day, it's a calendar-worthy vista of water, flowing over rocks and logs, downed trees and moss, wild and scenic. Louder than we think too; those having a normal conversation at the parked cars couldn't be heard earlier today by those just 30 feet away, near the creek.

Last night was the partying night, in the loud rain; tonight was a mellow evening of fireside chatting. We're gathering up flashlights and folding up chairs, turning in for the night. I head into my tent; John went to bed an hour earlier. Me and K are the others to now turn in at site #22, where John's snoozing already; MC, ML, B, H and the Pup head back to walk to site #25.

I've taken off my shoes, and I've turned on the tent heater (after about 20 tries, and on my last one, it ignites!) just to take off the chill while I get into bed.

I've just taken off my gloves and folded back the sleeping bag when I hear B and H come back to our site. They're looking for the Pup; she is 17 years old (not an exaggeration; this ol' girl is a 17 year old dog - complete with some of the dulled senses you'd expect at that age).

H has had the Pup since she was a 7-year-old girl. At 23, the Pup is H's constant companion, and B is her partner and fellow 'mom' to the Pup. This is a fine old dog that's easy to love, even in her sore old age; one of those dogs who is either ready to come back next as a human, or who sacrificed well in her previous life and was rewarded this go-round.

I think, should I go help? Nah, they'll find her. They'll be fine. Then in tandem I hear H say, "Do you hear that?" as I do indeed hear it.

It: the sound of a howling, screaming dog in the distance. "It's her!" screams H.

H takes off, calling the Pup's name, and B is behind her. I keep my flashlight around my neck, step out of the tent, put my shoes on, and don't bother to wake John. I leave the tent heater on. I think, that damn dog has gotten her leg broken in the bracken and downed trees, the moss, ferns and tangled roots in this campground. And B and H are going to be too upset to handle it - I better get out there and offer a steady hand.

I am running after B. She is running after H. B is yelling, "If you can still hear her, it's ok, then she's still alive!" and "Wait for me! Stop! Stop! Just wait! H, let me get to you!"

H is silent. And fast - because I hear her bellow from well ahead of B and I: "I see her!"

I hear the Pup still howling. B and I arrive at a long, large log on the riverbank. It looks dry and wide. B turns to me, without a flashlight. She's been relying on my small light from behind her. She says, "You have a light, you go first."

I step onto the log, and I remember no more sounds. I know H is in the river, in front of me. But I don't hear her, the Pup, the rushing water, or anything else.

My left foot slips and drops into the water to my knee, and I would tell you it was cold but I didn't feel it. It was a shock, it was a slap, and what had been thoughts (if you can even call them thoughts) of, "I have to get to H and keep her from doing something stupid," became a sole fixation on the threat of hypothermia.

I pull my foot up onto the log, I say "fuck," and I drop to a crawl. I turn back to B and deeply threaten her, "You stay here. You fucking stay right here and I'm getting H."

I put the small flashlight in my teeth and crawl to the end of the log. I shine it, I see H up to her armpits in water, up against a second downed log. Flashlight: back into my mouth.

I hop into the water; it's moving fast, though only knee-deep. But each step takes me deeper. Sometime around when my waist slipped under the water line, I feel my shoe come off. My thoughts are ten times faster than it takes for you to read them, but they were: "Fuck, I have to reach down, I have to get that shoe. Wait, no, I don't! This is no joke. Shoe be damned."

I take the next step and the water gives me a jolt. I don't know if both feet come off the rocky riverbed; I think they do. My sweatpants and long underwear start getting pulled off; the rush of water gripping the cotton. I am facing the downed log and holding on, having dipped about to my armpits. My heart stopped with the jolt, the tug. It seems to get darker around me. I am against the log - this is the same log H is up against. I move my grip on it when the tug relents, to right myself. Which means my left side faces upriver, my right side is against the log, both feet are on the ground, and my face is now on H. I've forgotten about the lost shoe and I don't feel my clothing.

With the light still in my mouth, I grab H. (Her hand? Her arm? I don't remember.) She looks at me, and I don't know if she says anything. I think she does, but my brain, which had only been able to process two single things -- get to H, don't get hypothermia -- has now let go of the first, and is planning the next single action alongside the thought don't get hypothermia. It comes upon me; when it does, the sound around me comes rushing back too, like in a film's special effect. The next step was decided. I had to shout it because the sound of the water was now fully upon me, and it seemed unrealistically loud.

I shout at H: "We have to get up onto those rocks! Now! See them? We're going to get up on there! Go!" I turn her away from me, and up she goes; from chest deep water to a dry rock bed in the middle of the creek. Three small steps. I come behind her, and I use my hands like a child crawling up stairs. I use all four limbs to take those three steps. As soon as I don't feel water pulling around me, I do some pulling of my own - pulling drenched bottoms up over my bare ass, which is hanging out in the night air.

Standing together on the rocks, I have total clarity. I have no past beyond the last four minutes, and I have no future. I am the physical manifestation of every single lesson on hypothermia ever taught to me as a child growing up in Montana (and there were many). I continue to know only two things: don't get hypothermia, and now, get back across the river. I left the tent heater on. Ee need to get back there. We need to do it now.

I think H and I exchange verbally. Do we say hi? Does she say thank you? Something might be said and then she points to a black-wet, vicious root ball that is probably 3.5 feet wide with water rushing over part of it - a few wispy, tiny whitewater ruffles in the water.

"I saw her. I saw the Pup, right there." I look and I see nothing. The first thoughts come. I think, "I can't tear H away from here. She is going to want to look for that dog, and we're going to die if we don't get dry right fucking now."

So I say, "We can come back. We can come back and look all night. But we HAVE to get dry. We HAVE to get back to other side and we have to get out of these wet clothes. We'll come back." I am lying to her and I know it. I need to get her safe.

She stares at me, pale, in shock. She says, with no hysteria and with total confidence, "She drowned. She drowned." And I say, "She did." Then we hug. She is like a bird. She is like a little girl, with her narrow shoulders and slight frame; I must be entirely blocking her from B's view across the water, with her slim hips hidden by my bulk. She has no shoes on and bold, striped socks. I, at least, have one Champion sneaker left.

Just as before, now on the rocks and out of the water, the focus on the next step is absolute. We DO have to get back; we DO have to get dry. I feel an internal clock, counting down to our deaths, as if we'll fall down dead in 90, 89, 88, 87... This clock is ticking to instant death because I know it's wrong that I feel no cold, I am not shivering, my socked foot has no pain. The clock reminds me what's waiting down the line if I don't keep going.

H says, "I can't think." I say, "You don't have to. You just have to do what I say." (I may have said, "You don't have to do. You just have to follow me.")

I look back the way we came and it flashes: the tug. The water's control over me for the splittest of split seconds. The only moment of fear I've had so far in this was the tug of that water, against that log, in the blank and indifferent way only nature can tug at you. That was the moment I could have been in serious trouble, because nature has no heart and no awareness if she destroys you.

I know we can't risk that crossing. I look across the bank. I think I see B, but she didn't have a flashlight, did she? In my memory, though, she is a dim light across the bank. And further upstream, on the same, home side of the river, is a floodlight.

It looks like a floodlight but I realize it is the very bright headlamp of K, who went to bed at the same time as me, must have heard us take off, and came down to the bank.

I forget B; she has stayed where I told her to. I shout instead, "K, is that you?" I see the headlamp move. K shouts at me, and I can't hear. I yell, "I can't hear you!" She yells back. Nothing. I cup my hands around my mouth, "I can't hear you! I need you to tell me where it is shallow on that side!"

She yells, and it's a bit clearer, but I can't hear well over the water. I think K is telling me to come across where she is standing. I shout, "Is it shallow?" The tone of her voice is affirmative and reassuring; I can't hear the words but I follow that tone. It's shallow directly across from here, here, further up the rock outcropping. If it was deep water, her tone would have been negative, angry, a warning. The headlamp would be moving elsewhere.

So I grip H by the hand and we begin to walk. I feel wholly steady and sure; the water never reaches much past my knees in depth. Right at the bank, B and K are there. The bank, and their feet, are higher than my head; it's a mud-cut bank six feet high, but there's another large downed tree trunk here. I guide H in front of me, and say, "You guys have to pull her up." She is obedient and pliable; she tries once and falls back down. There is a large tree root one step up from us, and I shout at H to use it. K and B pull on her arms and I push hard with both hands on her rear, getting her up to the log and onto ground.

"You need to pull me up now!" I step on the same root, and now understand why H couldn't do it; it limply falls away from me. The arm pull fails in the same way my foot fails on the root. I reach up again, and K grabs my hand; I give a hop and throw my right leg up and around the downed tree. (I realize within the next ten or fifteen minutes that I do not have the core/ab strength to do this in a normal state; the memory of this allows me understand the power of adrenaline.)

Now I crawl off the log with K as a guide. Hard ground. The home side of the water.

H is sobbing in B's arms and I start a vicious round of yelling; I still see the clock counting down in my mind, and I don't have a sense of how far we are from the tent. It turns out we are quite close, even if it feels far. We arrive with a little more rushing, pushing and yelling from me. Outside the tent, I strip down to bare feet, underwear and a camisole. I tell K to help H get all her clothes off. I go into the tent and wake up John, giving him the barest description of events as I take off my undies and put on dry sweats and socks. I realize H still isn't in the tent and run out; she is in her underwear, camisole and socks. K is pulling off the third pair of socks (H likes layers), and I ask, "Where is B?"

K replies, "She went to look for the Pup more." I yell, "Jesus Christ!" and hustle H into the tent. "Off! Underwear off!" I hand her dry jeans. She is sobbing and shaking, and then I yell, "Take that camisole off!" I give her a big hoodie, I sit her down, and I put fuzzy socks on her feet, which I've saved for her, having taken the lesser socks. She shakes and I realize I'm still wearing a wet camisole.

I toss it out of the tent, put on a dry shirt, and my coat, and step outside with my other pair of shoes on (I almost brought only one pair on this trip). I say to K, "We have to go find B. But we need to find her fast, so we have to get MC and ML."

We clip down to site #25. K is worried about my toes and the cold, and I tell her it's good for me to keep moving, and I feel fine, I'm not cold. I wake MC up from outside his tent. I hear ML from her tent, totally awake, having heard B and H leave earlier for the Pup. "Em?"

I walk over, "Yes." She says, from inside, "Is the Pup OK?"

"No. She's gone."

"What? Oh my god, oh my god... we have to get her... we have to go..."

"No! She's dead. She drowned. She's gone. And I was in the water, and so was H, and now B is gone and you have to come help look for her."

The four of us take off, and start shouting for B. I remember the sound of the river as we looked, and shouting at ML: "Stop yelling! She can't hear anything! Just shine your flashlights!"

We shine our lights together in frenzied loops, and ML shouts, "There's a light by the river!"

We guide that little light up to us, and it's B. I want to scold her, but I think I send her into the tent to comfort H. The sound of their sobs far exceeds the sound of the whirring tent heater.

John joins those of us not directly bereaved around the fire coals - myself, K, ML and MC. We stir them up. We put a log on there. And we stand. Everyone together, in my earshot and eyesight, dry. No more mental countdown clocks blazing in my mind.

Epilogue: We stayed up, rebuilt the fire, and talked for the next couple hours or so, until nearly 3 AM. I experienced the downhill side of an adrenaline rush, nearly puked, cried some. I slept badly and woke up in a panic numerous times.

MC and ML and John and K allowed me to say the same things over and over, allowed me play out some of the things that didn't go wrong that could have, allowed me to be scared after the fact, let me cry, said it was OK if I puked, and didn't call me crazy for feeling awful about my actions.

H and B have just begun their grieving, and they sat on the riverbank to say goodbye the next morning. It was not a serene and meditative goodbye; it turned out to be a vicious and wrenching and gruesome goodbye. A single paw was visible from the backside of the dark-wet root ball in the river and John fought them over an attempt to retrieve the corpse of the Pup.

They relented on that plan, and instead sent her to doggie heaven from the bank with prayers and tears and communion, but with no physical closure. Instead of cremation, the water will slowly return the Pup to the earth throughout this high-water spring, as part of the fish, the bugs, the sandy riverbed beneath the rocks, as part of the water droplets that flow from Paradise Creek to the Wind River to the mighty Columbia River, and then under the great bridge at Astoria, and into the Pacific Ocean.

There is probably more to say, and I may say it here on the blog to some degree... but for now, thanks for reading this, and when we see each other, I won't have to tell the story from scratch. If you're interested in talking about it, we can and we will, but I am grateful this weekend to not have to tell it again by voice.

Please pardon any grammatical errors and/or cliched writing. Thank you.

Friday, May 27, 2011

And now, on a nice note.

I hope you have a wonderful three-day weekend (whether you get three days off your tasks or not), and instead of leaving this page with a rant for the long weekend, I leave it with a shout out for the book Little Bee by Chris Cleave. This description is all you need, and the recommendation of someone you trust. No doubt, this will get made into a really bad movie, but if you have time this weekend, pick it up! I read it in two days and you can, too. It has a number of things going for it:
  • A protagonist who isn't always perfect;
  • An antagonist who isn't always bad/mean;
  • Plot points that you probably won't predict and will surprise you;
  • A male author writing in the voice of two women, and doing so quite well;
  • A small child who is not inherently likable, but is a real seeming 4 year old boy.
Plus, it's a great title. Little Bee! It's British, it's about a refugee and a fancy magazine lady, and if the devastation, political upheaval, 1967 borders, flooding, pain and suffering in the news feel really giant right now, try out Little Bee to remind yourself that behind every single day are 6 billion 700 million or so people who have their own little story that's worth hearing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A simple test

You know prescription drugs? The pain killing kind? Maybe you had them when you had your wisdom teeth out, or when you broke a finger playing flag football? There's percocet, there's hydrocodone. You know what I'm talking about right, right?

Well, I have a simple test to find out if you're a fucking moron. (Yes, I'm angry.)

There's a common, brand-name drug in this family, and if you call it OxyCotton, instead of the proper name of OxyContin, then congratulations! You missed the letter N! You've annoyed me to a TEN on the 0-to-10 scale! You're a moron! I assume you can barely read, much less critically think, and you've failed my simple test! Woohoo!

*This message brought to you by the medical marijuana advocates and opponents on OPB's
"Think Out Loud" who BOTH mispronounced it.
And a hearty thank you to Emily Harris who pronounced it right,
marking a rarely-seen pro in her majorly tilted-toward-con column.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I love a list, and I keep lists of things short-term, long-term, undone, already-done, to buy for me, to buy for others, a bucket list, a work list (or three), and more. I even make a list of all of the above sometimes at night to purge the thoughts that threaten to keep me awake.

I also love to finish things that can stay finished; namely, finishing a book. The laundry, for example, is never finished. It starts piling up again immediately. Cooking dinner is never done, for another appetite is coming in a few hours. But with three days coming up away from internet and phones and civilization (and laundry!), I am forcing myself to make a list of the books I have started, but not finished, in the hopes that at least a few will be brought along, and a few will be crossed off that list:

Hawaii, by James Michener
The Forever War, by Dexter Filkins
Nothing to be Frightened Of, by Julian Barnes
Practicing Peace in Times of War, by Pema Chodron
Path Between the Seas, by David McCullough
Embracing Uncertainty, by Susan Jeffers
The Outermost House, by Henry Beston

Stay tuned for the results!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

An actually-real Thursday-evening quiz

I think everyone has an environmental albatross. There's this thing... this action, this item... that weighs on you. And yet, it's everywhere. Or a-lot-of-where.

I know someone, who shall remain nameless, whose albatross is toilet paper. Yup. They feel really, really guilty about toilet paper in the waste water system, about killing the trees, about the bleach used on those dead trees, about the metaphor of throwing our shit into our water, day after day, without thought.

I know someone, who shall also remain nameless, whose albatross might be closer to yours... plastic bags. They hate even having them in hand, because it's just a reminder of dead baby marine mammals and littered beaches.

Mine is wasted food. Any bit of tossed out food (with the exception of mushroom stems, say, or browned bits of lettuce leaf) equates with a stricken, internal panic over wasted food. Which equals wasted money. Which equals... well, you can guess. And so on, and so on.

But the moral of the story actually is this... my poor husband can be quite put-upon to help with the leftovers. I love leftovers. He does not. And yet, he recently ate seven-day-old quinoa because I felt too guilty to throw it out and also didn't really like the taste. And he paid for it, digestivesystemthankyouverymuch. So I try to prevent that from becoming a recurring event, and in the meantime... quiz time... what's your albatross?

Monday, May 16, 2011

A not-real Monday-morning quiz

Which is worse?

This article? (Including the fact that it is posted in Fashion and Style?)

Or that the little girl in the ice cream shop yesterday was named July?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A warning

John, the other night, to me, with a very grave face: "Baby, I have to warn you."

Me, thinking, oh shit. "What??"

"I think I may be developing into an Oxfordian."

Well, NOW WHAT?!

I kid, I kid. This is just a peek into the excitement of marriage. And heck, he would be in the company of such gentlemen and scholars as Keanu Reeves, John Paul Stevens, David McCullough, Jeremy Irons and good ol' Freud.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

More about why science is amazing.

At very high altitudes and very low temperatures, water sometimes is not frozen, nor is it rain or snow. It just hovers. HOVERS! And, then when it is run into by something solid... say, an airplane... it freezes upon that contact and clings to the object as ice.

If there is anything more awesome than that, I don't know what it is. (That we have been able to discover this, I mean.)

And it is from one of the finest pieces of journalism I've read in a long time, found here, and if there was a way I could block Meggie from reading the link I would. If you are afraid to fly: Don't Click!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mind Games

First: science is awesome. I love articles about brain science and the discoveries scientists are making about our internal chemistry behind falling in love, worrying, depression, happiness, etc, etc.

Second: in your brain, gratitude and happiness are basically indistinguishable. Think about that! Being grateful for something is the same as being happy about something. That whole idea of listing 1 or 3 or 5 things a day you are grateful for? It's just a way of being happy for a minute or two. Awesome!

This has been floating around in my mind the past few months, and I have been doing it backwards, so to speak... that is, I find myself giving thanks for something, and then I think, "Ah-ha! This is also happiness. OK. Brain: I am happy in this moment."

And let's be clear: I am not usually being thankful for grand, epic things. It is far more likely that I sit at night and admire my cozy, clean house and think how lovely the rain is when you have a place to get OUT of it. Gratitude for a home = happy on a quiet evening. Or I get in my car after work and become aware how much easier my life is because I can drive whenever I want to, and sure, I can choose to walk, or take a bus, but none are the lone option. Having choice and flexibility makes me grateful = happy commutes home. Or I sit down to mushrooms fried in butter and some steamed curly kale and think, I am so thankful to have this healthy food available to buy - and grateful I was taught how to cook it! - which then = a happy heart over a meal.

It's not as easy for me to think of something I am grateful for and then "be happy". It's easier to let the thanks flow in, and then let my intellect step in and be bossy, and remind my whole self that this gratitude is real happiness. Intellect gets to be superior, but everybody wins.

So after enjoying this for a few months, I have a new mind game I'd like to share. I'm calling it reverse worrying.

I've been trying this for a couple weeks... start by picking a worry, any worry. My husband might leave me, I might get fired, there could be a terrible earthquake, we could lose our house, my car might explode, what if I developed a chronic or terminal illness, what if I became allergic to gluten or garlic or scallops, someone in my family could pass away unexpectedly, the debt ceiling could be failed to be raised and we could stop being an industrialized nation on July 2nd... you name it, and I am sure to worry about it.

So instead of focusing on the worry, I turn it around on itself and find the thing that I'm afraid of losing - health, love, home, family, stability, choice, economic growth - and put energy into being grateful for what I have now, and think lightly that yes, this could be the most health/money/stability/freedom I will ever have, so just enjoy it! Or remind my brain: better not to worry about losing it, because that wastes time.

If you're curious, this reverse worrying developed largely from working with refugees at my job. These are folks who often had middle- or upper-class lives in their home countries before [fillintheblank] happened. And they ended up fleeing, living in displacement, and eventually relocated by well-meaning governments to little Portland, Oregon. When I meet them, they are dealing with a labryinthine immigration system, not to mention learning English and a new culture. They may be trying to visit a relative in another country, but that takes ten steps when you still don't have citizenship and a US Passport. But are they happy to be alive? Are they trying to adjust and live, and thrive? You bet. So I can shelve my worries, at least for today. And if I become a refugee, I'll be OK, and if I don't, the time will have been better spent finding gratitude instead of nursing worries.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Nope, not a surprise.

Despite this article calling it a surprising trend, it is in fact NOT a surprising trend to anyone who lives in the central city of Portland... nor to any of the comics visiting during the Bridgetown Fest. Is this a surprise to you?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

(Non) Judgmental (?)

Alright, stand-up comedy. I get you now, in a way I did not before.

On a base level, I see an outer shell made up of neurotic people-pleasing, masturbation jokes and a supposed-or-stated lack of self-confidence.

I see a next layer composed of searing human observations, confessing to one's own foibles and/or finding universality in a highly specific situation.

And then I see a next layer, only in the minority of comics, that draws in the audience, one at a time, into different jokes, to total immersion with the performer... whether it's in laughing at ourselves, illustrating an injustice/prejudice, or just feeling like s/he is your oldest, bestest friend up there on stage, telling a story you were there for, and how you absolutely love reliving it.

That likability is a double-edged sword - and I enjoyed walking the sharp edge. As an audience member, I want every comic to be great. I want to like them and walk into their world, whatever it might be. (It's of value to me to "like" someone... by which I do not mean I always must agree or be of a similar disposition as the other person. It is, rather, an appreciation that they are authentically themselves, and I like nearly everyone who can be authentic. It's the fronting I hate, and so perhaps I will find myself drawn to more stand-up; after all, it doesn't really work well to fake it all on stage. The performer has to be as fallible, funny, lazy, ambitious and complex as me and mine.)

So I don't aim to be judgmental; I aim to be open to whatever they've got. But, well, I AM me, I am human, and I am paying good money to be entertained or thought-provoked. So of course I'm judgmental in my seat, with a piercing gaze for great callbacks, new takes on the common themes, and that amorphous, floating, undefinable ability to meet the exact vibe of the room.

I went to shows last week with 500+ in the audience, and one as small as 25 in the audience. To subtly adjust to the time of night, the drunkenness of the crowd, the comic who went just before, even to the shape of the room and volume of the mic, was fantastic to observe. Scratch that; it wasn't wholly observing. I, too, was part of the balance. In one room, I was one of only two women in the audience; my tittering laughter in the third row, in a clearly female voice, was one small ingredient in the show.

It was a great experience. Will I do it again? Ask me when I'm not so tired! But it served as a reminder that I do best in immersion. To see over fifty sets in three days was the way to go for me; I often say I do things, I say yes to things, purely to add a notch to my Experience List. So I have a new line item on Things Experienced, and in case you have the chance to see the following folks, don't miss 'em!
  • Ron Funches (he's a Portlander and killed both sets I saw).
  • Moshe Kasher (I saw him thrice, and every time was grand).
  • The brilliant Chicagoan (and Thunder Cat!) Cameron Esposito.
  • Zach Sherwin/MC Mr. Napkins (the aggressive bee!!)
  • My regret is only seeing him at 1:40 AM... but he still brought the house down at that hour, Mr. Kyle Kinane.
  • And Andy Peters, who should not have been funny to me by all rights, but I was holding my face because it ached from laughter.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Laughing muscles: now in shape.

Day three: about nine hours of comedy over twelve hours at the festival!

(See why it won? It was on the first 70-degree-sunshiney-Saturday in Oregon for 2011, and it was twelve hours of high energy conversation, marching up and down SE Hawthorne, eating Indian food, drinking champagne, sipping rum, refueling with diet Cokes, spilling pizza in my purse on purpose (YES), fortifying with red wine, and blearily making it home at 2:40 AM.)

30 comics on this day alone! Whew. (Give or take; and about 5 were repeats.)

New themes: why liberals are wimps, why stand-up comics can't maintain romantic relationships, recreational Cialis use, psychadelic mushrooms, bicycle riding, bicycle accidents, bicycle jerks, taking mass transit and Portland's superiority over Seattle (and from a Seattlite once!).

Also, a rap song about a bee - an aggressive bee - who acted aggressively - that included a riff on "Roxanne" by Sting (see the connection?) that caused me to loudly "WHOOP!!" on a podcast, for which the song was being performed live.

Wrap up thoughts on this whole form of entertainment are coming in the next post... but my preview comment? There is nothing quite like immersing oneself in something new to get a real sense of it; it was without a doubt the right choice to just leap into the Fest!

Monday, April 25, 2011

What I missed

Gay and Jewish (not necessarily together, but sometimes) emerged as the two most widespread topics on night one of the comedy fest. On night two, it became laughable that I had missed what emerged as the far-and-away, at least ten-to-one winner subject of stand-up this week: masturbation.

And, let's be honest, I'm talking about male masturbation. Fun kinds, gross kinds, shameful kinds (LOTS of this), mutual kinds, current kinds, teenage kinds... and on, and on, and on.

The guys who made it funny were great; but most of it ranged from unfunny to moderately chuckleable (and yes, that rhymes with fuckable, which ryhmes with Huxtable and if you think that those two last words weren't woven into a Cosby-themed sketch about sex, then well... you may underestimate the sheer insane amount of topics that over 185 comics can cover!)

The second day of the fest brought fifteen more sets by fifteen more comics (and the first three women!), plus a sketch comedy troupe we walked out on.

Other themes? Text message mishaps, revenge poop stories, pot smoking, and loads of making fun of Portland with good-natured gibes about bikes, hipsters, Iron & Wine music, more pot, and the whiteness of the audiences. There was a great Muppet bit (because you're NEVER too old for a Muppet bit, as this entire 21+ event illustrates) and a great rant about the causes of ADD.

Which I feel like I am developing ... so many comics, so tough to plan! I mean, check out the schedule for just one day here!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Belly laughs.

In late March, a co-worker of mine was buying the all-access pass ($65 including fees) to the third annual Bridgetown Comedy Festival here in Portland. The day he was doing this was the same day I had closed my Chase bank accounts, in favor of a local credit union. Since I had $63 burning a hole in my pocket, and before I could change my mind, I said, "I'll go with you! Four days of stand up comedy? Sure!"

I have seen a fair amount of stand-up on TV, but that's like saying you've been on a BluRay tour of Paris; it's not the same as walking the rues of the City of Lights. I've only been to 2 or 3 stand-up shows and I though, why not? In for a penny, in for a pound and I might as well go whole hog.

Well the festival is here! And in the interest of full disclosure, I can say that it has won, and I have lost. That is: I am skipping the fourth day out of sheer exhaustion, but after three nights/days of comedy, I have a handful of observations to mete out.

After the first night of two shows - the first featuring one comedian at length with a small panel of four comedians as the peanut gallery, and the second featuring six comics and one band - I observed two main themes:
  • People who are gay, or might be gay, or are called gay, and/or how dumb people are who gay-bash.
  • What it is like to be Jewish in America.
Stay tuned for other themes as they develop(ed).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

You go first.

For the years I have been with John - and we met when he was 23 and I was 22 - he has the wonderful habit of always going first when having the next birthday. Today he is... dum dum dum... 30! Happy birthday, love!

As for me, I have not feared 30, or dreaded 30, or done much of anything but think (as Lin put it), "Whew." It will be a load off to turn 30 this fall, and just keep on living - without the pressure of being a young genius/writer/career woman/mother/whatever it is that is supposed to be cool when you are a young prodigy at it.

But, now that his birthday celebrations are passing quietly into evening... a lovely low-key day of brunch, gardening, cooking, eating, computering and laughing... I remember how it goes every single year.

The new, impending age is no big deal when HE has to do it. But now there's nothin' but my turn, up next...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What kind are you?

My parents tell me that by the time I was old enough to walk over to the neighbor's house and play (they had 4 daughters!!), I was walking away. This pattern has not abated in the past couple decades; I am a highly social creature, who is lucky to have a lot of friends, and lucky to spend a lot of time with those friends.

And the kinds of friends I have! I have friends great for coming over and chatting by the first for hours. I have friends great for calling up at the last-minute and going out on the town. I have friends great for falling apart in front of (they're good at helping putting me back together). I have friends to gossip with, and ones to debate politics with, and ones to mull over life plans with. I have movie friends, happy hour friends, camping friends, travel friends, phone-only friends, blog friends, work friends, former-work friends, and friends who used to be enemies.

But there is a highly specific type of friend that not everyone is lucky to have, but I do... and that's the friend you can ask to take you to the airport. I'm blessed with at least two of these! And so a hearty thanks on this day to B... and sorry to add that the blog will most likely be on hiatus for a week or so... for B has taken me and John to the airport, and we're off to the 50th state!


The other night, a friend asked, "So this is your first spring in the new house, right? Any surprises?" She meant, any plant/tree/vegetation surprises. John answered, "Garlic!" And I simultaneously said, "Ants!"

Ah, ants. Apparently something many Oregonian homeowners battle, and I've joined the army with true fervor.

And though there are, oh, 5,000 reasons on the list I won't ever be a loving-kindness-breathing Buddhist compassion role model, reason 5,001 is the glee I take in watching the ants eat the poison I've put out, and the happiness I get in imagining them taking that poison back to the home nest.

And like all the people on the internet, I can attest it is true: Terro is the ONLY ant killin' brand that works!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Sometimes people ask, why do you go to church? Or, why do you go to that church? It's not an easy question to answer. I don't want to sell it, or over-explain it, or assume they agree with my standard of liberal spiritualism, but I also don't want to let the pitch go by - I want to share a little about myself and my journey, and see what kind of journey the asker is on. So for some Friday Fun... the light answer to why do I go to the church I go to.

In the hymnal for UUism in America, the songs are divided into sections. You've got Christmas, Epiphany, Palm Sunday, Pesach, Hannukah. Then you've got The Interdependent Web section, and the Words from Sacred Traditions section. You've got each of the four seasons in a section, and Solstice, Transience, Harvest/Thanksgiving, Exemplars and Pioneers.

But the other Sunday, we sang a song out of the section The Life of Integrity. And I laughed, because I am not without humor about hippie-dippiness - but I also smiled steadily. The Life of Integrity is a real and deep goal, a goal in which the only reward is in the living. And that's why I go; it's a touchstone for my personal integrity.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

YouTube Thursday: 1 min, 33 sec.

Have you seen this? If you have not seen this clip of Bill O'Reilly misunderstanding the phrase "play us out" in the context of a television show wrapping up, and then TOTALLY losing it, you must.


Because the next time we hang out, I might shout "Do it live!" or "Fucking thing Sucks!" or "Fuck it, do it live!" in response to a totally unrelated question or comment, and you will want to know why.
(This is, clearly, NSFW and NSFChildren.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

2011 Book List: Entry One

Over at The Short Years, books read and books hoped-to-be-read are tracked, and I think posting it to my friends (and possibly to any readers who aren't personal friends?) will help me both accountable for the quality of my reading and help boost the quantity of it.

So for 2011, I give you the books I have read and what I think of them in two sentences or less! Expect the next installment in another two months (or so).

New York: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd. A guilty pleasure badly hidden in a historical novel; long, worth the read, but perhaps only if you have been to or love New York City.

Endurance by Alfred Lansing. I mentioned this earlier in the year and if you have not read it, you should go get it today. One of the best books I've read in the last ten years, hands down.

Four Fish by Paul Greenberg. This book tries to answer the unanswerable question: what seafood is OK to eat if I don't want to harm the ocean, or myself? Salmon, sea bass, cod and tuna are covered. If you want to stop eating tuna but can't seem to, read this book; it is wonderful and educational to boot.

I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson. It's a crime to not love Bill Bryson, and this book is as funny as Notes from a Small Island - maybe more so.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sick Day.

I took a sick day this week, to nip a sore throat in the bud before it bloomed into a full-scale cold or flu. And a future post will be dedicated to how difficult it is to even take a sick day... and my belief they should all be called flex days, so that the many Puritan Americans like myself can be free to take one when needed (mental health, physical health, or just a "day").

But that day is not today.

Today I just wanted to note what I had around me while sick, for maximum comfort:
  • One radio remote, to turn NPR on and off the fancy Bose wave radio.
  • One Kindle with two books in which I am currently mid-read.
  • One iPod and sound dock at hand, with accompanying remote. (Sound dock is not the radio aforementioned.)
  • One laptop.
  • One iPad.
  • One personal cell phone.
  • One work BlackBerry to keep a partial eye on the vital emails flowing in all day.
And so excuse me if I am less than worried about possible radiation while in Hawaii, starting two weeks from yesterday!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pass! Pass?!

Are you familiar with the Bechdel Test? It is a test by which you can look at a movie's treatment of women. In my experience, women talk more than men most days. (Science has proved this too.) And women talk to men, but they dearly love to talk with other women. And they talk about their fathers, brothers, husbands, sons and male coworkers... but that's not ALL they talk about.

So, the Bechdel Test requires that a movie have:
  • Two female characters - with names!
  • The two women must talk TO each other directly...
  • and at least one of their conversations CANNOT be about a man.
  • (Read more here. The Bechdel Test is a not a test that proves a good movie, it's just one way to look at films' success at imitating life, and women in them purporting to live said lives.)
It is way tougher than you think, and John and I have amused ourselves lately thinking of movies we adore that don't pass the Test. (And some that do.)

So to prove that this is just a fun way of looking at the world from a perspective different than that of generations of screenwriters, movie executives, and the Industry of Cool leaders that permeates our lives, and not a guarantee of something high-quality...

... the other night I had a serious bad movie craving. I wanted to watch a totally awful popcorn flick. An old roommate of John and mine left behind a random collection of DVDs, and I sorted through them... Sherry Baby? No. Half Nelson? No way. Blue Crush? Getting closer. Bring It On? Closer still. But even worse? And the winner?

Coyote Ugly!

And to my shock, it passes the Bechdel Test! Not once, but TWICE!

There are two conversations, between two different pairs of named female characters, about life experiences they are planning or in the midst of, that do not mention men. Color me stunned... but heck, I should remember that Tyra can do anything. Fierce.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

4-6 Weeks

That's the estimated time to be back to some normal function from breaking a finger... or fracturing the proximal phalanx with damage to the proximal interphalangeal joint.

Well, Saturday was 6 weeks and those doctors aren't kidding! I've turned a huge corner, including typing at work this week all day - and not having to take a break with the left index finger aching. So I'll do my best to be back to blogging, and even though I can't lift anything for a couple more weeks, and I only have about 60% of my flexibility back, it sure is nice to have turned the corner.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I borrowed the DVD for Moonstruck from good friends about two years ago... and finally watched it tonight! My review, in a word: excellent!

And then John came wandering in at the end, since he'd already seen it, and I said happily, "You know, the whole world wants to visit a little bit of France. But the whole world thinks of themselves as being a little bit Italian!"

He thought for a moment and replied, "Well at one point, the whole Western world was inhabited by Romans. But not by the French."

Match made in heaven.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#1 of 5

With no hesitation...
it is typing.

I'm not forgetting to email you, I'm not letting texts pile up. I'm saving myself a frustration level through the roof and saving my husband yet another cranky remark by not typing. CALL ME. Otherwise, I'll respond after March 2nd when this damn thing comes off.

#2 of 5

Opening a ziploc baggie. Try it. Tell me how fun it is. See how long it takes before you're frustrated with one hand behind your back.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#3 of 5

The number three? Using a q-tip in the opposite ear of the functioning hand. (Yeah, yeah, I know, you shouldn't use q-tips in your ear canals.)

#4 of 5

Fourth most annoying thing about being one handed? Blowing one's nose. It is infinitely less satisfying with one hand. Go on, give it a try...

Monday, February 14, 2011

#5 of 5

Fifth most annoying thing about being virtually one handed for 2.5 more weeks: squeezing toothpaste onto your toothbrush.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Report: from yesterday

  • Two separate parties of skiers triggered avalanches near Frazier Lake in the northern Bridger Range. The first group of three skinned to the top of long and popular east facing chute (>45 degrees). The first skier triggered a slide that broke 18” deep about 1⁄2 way down the run, but managed to ski out of it. This slide likely broke on the weak interface between the old and new snow.
  • A second group decided to ski a nearby steep slope (also >45 degrees) slightly to the north. They were unaware of the previous avalanche. The first skier safely descended the run. The second skier had the slope break on his first turn. He tumbled over 1,000 feet through rocks and was almost fully buried. By wiggling his head and using his free arm he was able to dig himself out. His femur was broken, but luckily it was not an open fracture. His partner shouted to the other group who returned to help. A cell phone call to Gallatin County Search and Rescue got rescuers and a helicopter to the scene. He was evacuated with only minutes of daylight to spare.
The second skier was my big brother, who, being a preeminent big brother, can survive anything in my mind.

This now includes 1,000 feet in an avalanche slide that also included an enormous drop over a cliff. It now includes a broken femur, and a dig - with help, though not explicitly mentioned above - out of the snow, and a 200 yard drag to a better helicopter landing site.

It also makes him a bionic big brother, who has a titanium rod in his thigh... who also took his first steps today, less than 24 hours out of surgery.

There will be notes about it in the posts to come, but in the meantime, thanks for your thoughts and thanks to the universe for missed rocks, muscle memory and big brothers (mine and the fellow rescuers).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pillow Talk

Before bed last week:

Me, reading "Endurance" about the epic Antarctic Shackleton expedition in 1914-16, to John: "They kill seals! With their bare hands almost! Now they're killing the dogs! Ahh, they haven't changed their underwear in five months! Whoa, they are using ice for toilet paper!"

John, reading "The Universe in a Nutshell" by Stephen Hawking, to no one in particular as he picks up the book with a sigh: "Oh Hawking, you incomprehensible genius."

Monday, January 31, 2011


While I'm using Google to frantically search "nonarticulated fracture" and "interphalangeal joint" to understand my x-ray results... to understand them more than "CHRIST, MY FINGER IS BROKEN" and then shuddering violently at the idea of hand surgery... ugh, shudder... violently... I must say it is not very nice, Mr. Radiologist Lab Dude, to tell me - in writing! - that the rest of my metacarpals are "unremarkable."

You, sir, did not see all the football catches I made in practice before the one I missed broke the proximal phalanx of my left index finger. They were great, and rather remarkable, if I do say so myself.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Healing Lessons

Many things learned from a broken index finger, so far, not the least of which is that typing takes a while...

Also, in the way your gramma told you put on clean underwear in case you're hit by a bus, I'm telling you you should do the dishes before leaving the house. Because if you break a finger with a sink full of dishes waiting at home, your spouse will be too busy taking you for x-rays and making you meals (adding to the dish pile...) and thus not have the time or the fortitude to wash the ever-more-intimidating pile.

Friday, January 28, 2011


In an article about home improvement stores trying to cater to 50% of their customers - women - this line was included:
  • True Value recently opened a corporate-owned store near Chicago that had wider aisles, better lighting and clear signs, part of an effort to attract women.
Wait, are we handicapped? Have bad vision?

Enter the Feminist.

I am really tired of having to soften my feminist views. So, instead of being tired of it, I'm giving it up. I no longer fear being called a Feminazi, and I'm no longer letting it slide by when something sexist or purposely/offensively heteronormative (or cisgender, if I want to be even more sensitive) gets tossed out there. I'm calling bullshit on it, and I don't have to have a sense of humor anymore.

When I was younger, I had no sense of humor about it and it was annoying. Because I was 19 and didn't know much about the world. But ten years of trying to be friendly and palatable about feminism is enough. I've seen a little more of the world now, and if something isn't funny or creative or thoughtful, I am not going to be the one who softens it with niceties.

Why all the ire? Did someone discriminate against me recently? Nope, not at all. I went to the annual Planned Parenthood Lunch in Portland this week, for the regional PP provider, and it fired me up.

There are a couple gems from the keynote that I want to share, but I'll start with the most-quoted line from it, regarding the protesters who claim PP targets black women and black babies, thus (in the theory of the great keynote speaker) associating donations to PP with racism, and driving away support:

These people are the pimples on the ass of time.

Man, she was great.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Do you Twitter?

I do not. However, it is worth your time to read the "feed" of "Rahm Emanuel". Those are not misplaced quotes a la this hilarious grammar-nerd blog, but properly placed, since the Twitter account is not, of course, that of Chicago mayor contender Rahm Emanuel.

However, with tweets like this from the Bears-Packers championship game when the third string quarterback was sent in:

  • Jesus fucking Christ. They're just pulling people out of the fucking stands to be quarterback at this point, aren't they?

And then tweets like this, from his TV viewing of half State of the Union, half "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" marathon:

  • I thought the speech was pretty great. I mean, it's a tough situat... HOW THE FUCK DOES SHE NOT KNOW SHE'S FUCKING PREGANT?!

it is a gem.
And not for those who don't like swearing, clearly. Enjoy it here: