Monday, August 31, 2009

Harold & Maude

I love this movie so very much.

I love the scene where they are lying in the field of daisies, and when the camera pans out it turns out to be a cemetery, no silly, I don't love it because of the cemetery, I love the part when she tells Harold that at a distance all of the daisies look the same, but that each one is unique- who doesn't want to be a unique daisy?

I also love it when the rescue the tree on the motorcycle.
Oh, and I love the music, all of it.

If you want to sing out, sing out

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
'Cause there's a million things to be
You know that there are

And if you want to live high, live high
And if you want to live low, live low
'Cause there's a million ways to go
You know that there are

You can do what you want
The opportunity's on
And if you can find a new way
You can do it today
You can make it all true
And you can make it undo
you see ah ah ah
its easy ah ah ah
You only need to know

Well if you want to say yes, say yes
And if you want to say no, say no
'Cause there's a million ways to go
You know that there are

And if you want to be me, be me
And if you want to be you, be you
'Cause there's a million things to do
You know that there are


Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
'Cause there's a million things to be
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are

I may force my poor husband to sit through H&M tonight.

It is kinda that kind of night.

Well, Well, Well

Screaming on the inside.
This is my busy time of year.
My busiest week of the year and today was my busiest day.
I think I did a pretty good job of coping, multi-tasking and getting stuff done.
I see, however, that it may not be a very good idea for 41 year old women to go with that makeup free, with just a dash of red lipstick, look.
Who knew I was parading around Portland looking like the joker. I was letting some of my inner angst and frustration out to "well, well, well" by John Lennon, when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
Then to makes matters worse, I came home to Maxwell and his best friend, rough housing and "horsing around"
(never thought you would say that, did you? Ha! I am at the point in life where I start saying "horsing around")
In the 6 weeks since we saw this best friend, that we have know since both boys were 2, he has bleached his hair and taken on a sort of Mad Max meets the guy from the Matrix look & attitude.
me; "what's the blonde hair all about Z"
Z; "because I am so awesome"

Well, there you go.

Snark, right in my livingroom and me with no snappy comeback.

I knew this day would come, but some how I expected to be perceived as the cool mom and to be spared the attitude.

When I hear myself reminding them to use a coaster, wash their hands and drink some water, I know I will forever be barred from the ranks of cool.

Well, at least we will all be clean, neat and well hydrated.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pirates Cont' and have I mentioned that my computer totally SUCKs?

dancing, dancing, dancing

Maxwell in Pirate mode

I wanted this post and the one right after it to be one, but my computer in it's infinite wisdom made that impossible, by crashing, when I had the audacity to press "print" rather than "preview" while looking at photos.
The computer was so overwhelmed by the notion of printing, that is totally melted down, despite my having recognized my error immediately and pushed CANCEL within seconds.

It then took 15 minutes and many attempts at button pushing to get things back on track, at which point most of my post and the photos were lost.

It then took another 15 minutes and lots of grinding noises to produce these photo you see before you.
So here we are at a Captain Bogg & Salty concert in Sellwood park, along with what felt like the rest of Portland- or at least the Porltanders that have children.

No, I have no idea who that woman is, but a pity no one told her that her bra strap was showing!

For those of you not from Portland, Captain Bogg & Salty are a local punk band that also play pirate music for children, a sort of sober version of the Pogues, with fewer teeth missing.

They put on a great show, and the music is universally interesting, so that both four year olds and their parents can get their dance on.

Maxwell has loved this band since his pirate days in preschool, and now Miss F is getting in on the action!
Freyja exstacically dancing to "EAT A LIME"

swimming with a side of Pirtates

The kids have swimming lessons everyday for the this week and next.
It is the intensive schedule that I hope will jump start their love of the water.
I fully intended to get Miss F into the pool as a toddler, but then life sort of got away from me, and required a lot more of lying on the sofa than I ever imagined.

I did lessons with Maxwell on and off when he was younger, but he just never seemed to progress much, so by the time he was five or so, I sort of gave up.

He can dog paddle around, but not swim, which seems like a pretty essential life skill, so here we are doing this daily lesson thing with great hope for success.

Freyja is doing remarkably well for a child that is reduced to hysteria by hairwashing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

vomit inducing

I sat down to write something clever or cute,

but made the mistake of reading this story
which made me so sick, that I no longer feel inspired to be cute or clever.

I wish I was less of a chicken.
If I didn't have kids I would be more actively fighting against these sickos. I think I would, but honestly I have been arrested in protests, and I have little desire to be shot by some wack-o channeling the demented agenda of sarah pallin, while standing in a crowd at pro-choice rally.
I know, I know.
Lame excuses.
I reread The handmaid's tale a couple of years ago, and it felt so haunting, much more real than it did when I first read it in college.
I am rambling here, and I need to take the kids to swimming lessons, so I will just close by saying that the rightwinger nutballs, scare the shit out of me and make me want to move to Sweden.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pasta feast for six

After the shameful events of Thursday, involving ground beef and green beans, I seem to have recovered my cooking mojo and energy enough to make a grand Italian feast for the fam, plus Rolf's friend K.
It all started earlyish in the afternoon, with marinating artichoke hearts, and cooking eggplant & peppers for caponata.
boiling eggs, for stuffed eggs with capers & dill.
and finally mixing up the dough for fettuccine
Maxwell pooped out fairly quickly, but Freyja had a lot of stamina for cranking out the noodles (doesn't everyone make pasta in the nude?)
I also made a polenta cake with peaches & bluberries.
using the wooden spoon as a microphone!
we rounded things out with marinated fingerling potatoes, Caprese salad, marinated tuna & shrimp, and arugula.
then whipped cream, cake and coffee!

social anxiety

I managed to have dinner with friends, Thursday, despite my usual total social anxiety -the anxiety was there, but I ignored it long enough to have a really lovely time and drink wayyy too much wine.
I was considering cancelling right up until 6:15, when it would have been overtly rude, since they were coming at 7:00.
I did something I never do- I had no dinner prepared and wound up serving the most shameful mish mash of things I found in the cupboard, and only felt mildly guilty for it.
I also left dishes in the sink and chatted rather than washing them.
I am calling it Progress.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I've had no inspiration for writing the past few days.
I promised myself I would write every day, but I don't know if it is better to only write when inspired, or to push myself? I have used the "pushing yourself" model for most of my life, and now I may be in slacker mode.

Monday, August 17, 2009


It was the kind of day that makes you say to yourself
" what am I doing all of this for, again?"

and then no real clear answer pops up, to bolster your spirits.
Nope, bleak, is pretty much the is the way it is.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

it's all fun until you stick a wooden spoon in the blender!

I managed to break a $400 blender! This is what a really tired, blender breaker looks like. Defeated, puffy, wearing ill fitting puffy jammies in the evening... not a pretty sight

Rolf sawing a coconut in half
The finished product

We prepared a big cuban feast tonight, which is always delightful...

The kids were grumbling

"when's dinner?"

"Is is ready yet?"

In my haste to move things along, I stuck a wooden spoon a little too far down into the VitaMix and broke it.


I am so irritated with myself I can hardly stand it!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

home again

After three weeks away from the family, living it up at grandma & grandpa's, Maxwell ( and Otto his trusty soft toy) is HOME!

This year school doesn't start until September 8th, which puts me in a bit of a childcare pickle... because the last two weeks of August are my busiest time.

I think Mr. M will just have to wind up coming to work with me.
Bwahahaha! I really am, so mean!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

lust for lusterware

I had another amazing thrifting day this week!
I found two beautiful, PERFECT lusterware cups with plates (hand painted in Germany) as well as this sweet little vase.
If I decide I don't want to keep them I can easily sell them on e-bay for 10x what I paid.
The cup sets are so lovely, though, I imagine cheese spread in them (how about bleu cheese balls with walnuts and dried cranberries?) with crackers fanned out on the little plates, as appetizers for Thanksgiving.

I also found a Columbia Sportswear parka for Maxwell, in perfect condition, as well as a really nice Ralph Lauren pull over and khaki's! NICE!

don't let the sun go down on your grievances

What a week!

We watched the documentary of "grey gardens" the amazing and tragic/pathetic story of two super eccentric relatives of Jackie O! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

and as if that wasn't enough dysfunction for my dysfunction loving soul, I just found out that

Sublime stitching is doing a series of embroidery transfers from the art of Daniel Johnston!

If you are not familiar with Daniel, you just have to go and check him out, because there is no way for me to explain him.

I have loved his music for almost 20 years, but I always seem to miss him when he plays Portland.

And last but not least, I finished Augusten Burroughs book of essays Possible side effects
I loved "running with scissors" but hated all his other work, so this book was really refreshing!
I liked almost all the stories a lot and laughed out loud at several. Makes my shitty family seem almost ideal by comparison.
When he writes about his love for his dogs, there is a pureness and authenticity that makes you want to put up with all his other affectation and phoniness.
A really good read.

no rest for the wicked

I have been doing a little work on our new building.
It felt like a lot of work, but because the building is ginormous, the actual effect of my efforts, is small.
We are lazuring all of the new classrooms, and so far it all looks stunning, if I do say so myself.

Friday, August 7, 2009

some of these things belong together...

Remember that great old Sesame Street song?
Well, clearly Ripley St. Jude, doesn't belong in a posting about oatcake, or chutney, but he looked so cute with his new haircut, that I had to include him anyway.
I was overcome by the urge to bake, last night at 7:30pm, so I went with my old standby, the vegan applesauce cake, which lends itself to infinite variation. I had some elderly marrionberries in the fridge, so we threw those on top.
I also had a big, giant pile of golden plums, that needed to be dealt with, so I made some chutney out of the lion's share, using the recipe from the Joy of cooking, as remembered by me, being far to lazy to go so far as to open up the book and make sure my memory was right. I think it turned out well.
All I had on hand was 1 red pepper, and since I wanted to share with folks at work, I left out garlic and onion, since they don't eat those items.
It could benefit from something spicier, like a hot pepper, or fresh ginger.

I made some whipped cream to put on the cake, and I added some sliced candied ginger to the whipped cream, and boy was that ever good! WOW!
This cake:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 oil
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup oatbran
1 teaspoon vanilla
topped with fresh berries
bake at 350 until done, like an hourish if you are making it in a 9x9 pan, less if you are making it in small heartshaped ramekins or cupcakes.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Daddy's HOME!

After working something like 12 days in a row, Mark was able to take a couple days off last week.

Unfortunately, it was during the hideous HEAT WAVE, you may remember me complaining incessantly about.
Ring a bell?
Since being at home felt like a living HELL, we headed downtown (NW really, but you all aren't that picky, right?) to Jamison Square, where one of the only decent things to come out of the gentrification of NW Portland, is- A big-ass fountain,
in a super, duper yuppie 'hood, complete with cute little lawn chairs THAT AREN'T EVEN CHAINED DOWN!

Talk about how the other half lives!


So we drove our trashy, SE ,sweaty bodies across town and waded in the cool water for a while, before retreating back across town to swelter & play Playmobile Pirate.


You may ask is Mark eating an apple in every photo?
The answer is I don't really know.
He and Maxwell have what appears to be an endless appetite for eating apples, so there you go. Nature's toothbrush, and all that.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Don't take that tone with me!

I am an excellent judge of character.



despite my rather lengthy list of bad relationships,
my ability to call it, is uncanny.

I can almost always sum people up correctly, right off, even though I often am attracted to louts, eccentrics and nuts anyway.

I can sniff out judgmental people particularly well.

I am a very judgemental person myself, but I am also very compassionate, so the two usually even each other out,

I think,

I hope, anyway.

I can often pick up on some hidden judgment, in a person's tone of voice, or inflection-

For me, that kind of tone is a real Tell, like one of the signs people do subconsciously in poker, that give their secret away, something like biting their lip every time they have a good hand...

Usually when I pick up on that sort of subtle undertone, regarding my kids, I talk way more than I usually do, about "big feelings" and dealing with children from their perspective, dragging out all of my tricks from my facilitator training.

As often as not, the adult involved, will ignore all of this and dismiss me, because her heart is already set on not liking the child.
She will be nice and professional to the child and family.
That is the way it works, no one will be out of line, this is all below the surface.

One of the reason's I feel particularly sensitive to these issue, is that I happen to have a couple of very quirky kids.


Nearly freaks, for some teachers,

brilliant and lovely free spirits, to others.

It really is a matter of taste.

I was never in danger of that kind of judgement as a child.

I was the compliant, quiet child every teacher coveted, however, I have become the annoying high needs adult, that some people hate, so I can relate AND I have these children that illicit strong sentiment in their adult care-givers.

As I prepared to leave Bootiful Princess at preschool, for nap time, so I could get some work done at home, one of the teacher's said to Freyja, but for my benefit

"I hope you can leave your nap things on your cot today"

in a deeply patronizing voice.

She then rolled her eyes and told me with a heavy sigh, how every day, Freyja pulls all of her nap things off of her cot.

She said it in the same manner, that you would tell someone

"Then she pulled the nap things off the cot, balled them up, doused them with lighter fluid and set them ablaze in the middle of the room!"

The tone of her voice said "I don't like your child and I think she is behaving badly, and I think this is all a result of your bad parenting", which made me like the teacher considerably less and for about two seconds, rage inside my head

"Do you know who I am, HERE? *&^% YOU!"

I smiled sweetly, ignored her and walked out.
This gal is young and full of herself.

She has no idea what it feels like to have a child you would both kill and die for.
Her tone is a joke to me, I don't even need to get upset.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Panic in the streets


I was up most of the night with another severe panic attack, which involved a lot of physical discomfort in addition to the mental kookiness.

Mark stayed up with me as long as he could, but when it became apparent that things were not going to settle down, I dispatched him off to bed in Maxwell's room, since one of us had to be sane enough to parent in the morning.

I finished off a lackluster novel, the clothes on their backs- thank goodness it was a library read, and not something I paid for. It was very superficial, although the subject was of interest to me. It worked well enough for something to read while you think the world might be ending and you don't want too much distraction.