Thursday, July 29, 2010

best cocktail EVAH!

Oh. My. Goodness.

the kids are at my mom's.

 Mark and I went out for dinner at  The Observatory and had the best cocktail in the history of my cocktail drinking life (which is not that extensive, since I never drink cocktails, because they never live up to my expectations and I usually only ever, ever drink red wine). 

Their Blood Orange Negroni was fabulous, and bitter and herby and a brilliant color.

If you are in PDX and have a hankerin' for some fancy food, for lowish price and some fancy top drawer drinks, I highly recommend heading over to this lovely little Monta Villa spot!

don't buy this book

Man, am I ever irritated by Lousie Erdich's "red convertible".   The whole thing is just a remix of chapters from her other books. 
I liked the other books, but I am not interested in reading them again, under one cover -the cover art sucks on this copy, to add insult to injury.  I feel like a damn fool every time I pick that book up, with it's stupid photo of a red car.

have I mentioned the raccoon?

Last Thursday there was a giant raccoon sitting on the ledge of our deck.

It saw me and just sort of sat there looking at me for a minute, then hopped onto the neighbor's arborvitae hedge, climbed onto her roof and disappeared.

I was afraid it might carry off the poodle for a midnight snack, or fight with the cat, so I called animal control, but they don't deal with wild animals.  Then I called the wild animal people, and left a message and never got a call back.

I hope the raccoon is not rabid.  I have a hard time seeing myself getting all Atticus Finch and shooting it.

the notion of productivity

Our bathroom is horrible. 

Old, rundown and just horrible. 

For years the biggest issue was the fan- the funky odd sized, outdated fan.   Then our friend John fixed the fan by welding a bunch of random parts together and creating a functional franken fan for us. 


My plan was to paint the bathroom today, to make it slightly less hideous, since a real remodel is pretty much out of the question, unless we win the lottery.

I started washing the walls, and peeling off the peeling paint, but the poor design made it impossible to get the ladder into the corner where the toilet sits, so washing that part (or painting) was out.

Damn it to hell.

I have rarely felt as defeated as I did when I realized the ladder was never going to fit, and that the ugly bathroom would continue on for the foreseeable future being horrible and ugly and making me upset multiple times each day.

The reality is that the walls need to be properly repaired and resurfaced, anyway, so hiring someone that knows what he is doing makes a lot of sense, however, knowing that doesn't make me feel less annoyed and let down.

They should not let poor, unskilled, unhandy people purchase 100 year old houses. 

It should be against the law.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

another hot one!

I stayed up until 1:00M reading Beat The Reaper another absolutely original and delightfully entertaining novel... man, I am on a hot streak,after a long run of duds.  this one has all of my favorite elements... vengeful orphans, mafia badguys, a tall protagonist with a trench coat and a gun, even a shark tank.  Just OUTSTANDING!

Like True Confections, the story flows so nicely and is so unique, that you don't want to put it down, until you have finished. 

I am also reading The Brother's K which I read in my early 20's and adored. 

It is a little John Irving meets the Glass family, set in Camas, Washington a paper mill town.

I loved it a lot more when I was younger, but I am still enjoying the story a lot this time round. 

Mark picked it up for me at the library, the week my friend Dom was in town, and we laughed and laughed because I shared the book with her after I had finished it and it wound up going through our whole circle of friends as well as her mom (who comes from small town Washington) and her brother, who loved all the baseball analogies.  I think it is a remarkable writer, that can make me love a book about baseball and fishing!

Want to know what I am not enjoying?  Augsten Burroughs book about his father.  It totally sucks. 

I loved Running with scissors so much, but everything since has just be dreck. 

I want to like it but I don't. The writing is poor, the story derivative- the whole thing could have been condensed down to a one page essay, and served the reader much better.

Speaking of dreck, I am also reading James Frey's Bright shining morning  (the link is to a scathing blog review that I think is overly harsh).  The stories are quite good, but the writing is gimmicky and adolescent, it feels as if it were written by a person who has not experienced much but has a romantic idea of how relationships are.  I still enjoyed it.  I am not burning through it like I do when I love a book, but I will finish it and I would give it to a friend.  Not a writer friend perhaps, but  my dad, or my friend Dom, who has little patience for artists and writerly sensibilities.  I think that anyone who is still pissed at James Frey for his "memoir" is a since I could tell in the first chapter that it was a fake, (and someplace, in the archives of my parenting board, there is a thread, where I say "this is totally fake!")  silly goose and anyone with any sense should have been able to tell that too, so a lot of the negative reviews of this novel feel like sour grapes.

I am now using Rolf's fancy new computer for blogging, and the spell check is different, so if you notice my shitty spelling has excellerated in it's extreme shittiness, then you know why.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

mice and other things

I just returned from putting Freyja on a plane to San Francisco.

I was worried that she might not get on the plane, right up to the time we pulled into the airport, given her capricious nature, and tendency for drama, but she was a total champ.

We wound up cutting it pretty close, do to a last minute trip downtown to the Pearl Bakery for a pistole to go.
 It was Rolf's idea, to calm her down with bread products, but we didn't anticipate

A. The Morrison bridge being UP! (when is the bridge ever up, other than at Rose Festival?)

B. 10 MILES of construction on I-84

We raced in to the looooong check in line, about 50 minutes before her flight was to leave (totally not my style), while Rolf & Maxwell parked the car.  I was sweating bullets by the time we finally got to the counter, 15 minutes later, only to discover that her flight was delayed a half hour (hooray!). 

Bootiful Princess insisted on pulling her own hot pink hardshell suitcase ( a gift from Grandpa for this trip) and carrying Eunice the pillow pet unicorn, while wearing a giant pink backpack stuffed with tiny travel toys, granola bars and a smaller auxiliary unicorn named Eudora. This is Eudora's first trip away from her mom unicorn, Ursula, so she was a little nervous.

We got caught in a slow security line, behind a  young soldier dressed in full uniform, including boots, that was slowly being shaken down one article of clothing at a time by security screeners, then an elderly lady with one of those machines for people that have sleep apnea.

Clearly they both posed a high level of threat to security.

I wondered if the boy in uniform perhaps had some kind of metal plate or leg that was setting off the detector, as most of his clothing and the contents of his pockets had been removed.

We had to wait at the gate for a while, which Freyja spent rolling around on the floor, and forgetting that she was wearing a dress, and that when you roll around on the floor, with a dress on your underpants are likely to be seen by the people sitting on the seats around you, which leads to revelations like

O H      M Y     G O O D N E S S  ! 
My UNDERPANTS are showing!
shrieked at top volume.

When the time came, she marched off with the flight attendant, as if she had been flying alone her whole life. 
On the drive home Maxwell informed me that the cat had brought a mouse into the house earlier, but he didn't tell me because he was getting out of the shower and didn't want to walk out the deck, where I was sitting, because he was naked. 

You saw a dead mouse in the house and didn't tell me?

Yes, except it wasn't dead.

You saw a LIVE mouse in our house and didn't tell me? 

When I came home I walked down to the basement to do laundry, and nearly tripped over what appeared to be a dead mouse.  

Thank goodness!  

The mouse is no longer at large.

When I bent to pick it up to remove it, it sprang to life, nearly giving me a heart attack.

Then it sort of collapsed and I called Rolf to come and take it outside.  


Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

There is a rental house a few houses down, that seems attract irresponsible pet owners. 

Six years ago when I was pregnant, I went for a walk with my friend Karen and Maxwell.  We were accosted  by the giant, drooling, wet, dirty dog, that lived in the rental house, and ran the streets with no supervision, scaring children and jumping on pregnant women. 
On that morning, he jumped on me, knocked Maxwell over and proceeded to follow us to my house and pee on my front porch!  Which made me furious, so I grabbed the dog by the collar and dragged him up to his house, banged on the door for a long time with no response.  I then opened the door, pushed the nasty dog inside and walked home. 
Those people left, but the new folks are just as bad.
they have a white male cat that is not neutered. 
The cat runs up and down the street spraying houses and gardens, and attacking other cats. 

What on earth would make a person NOT neuter a cat?  I mean this is not a prize show cat, this is an ordinary white housecat. 

Last night he attacked my cat, and after we brought Moonshadow inside, he continued to menace her by yowling at our front door, for over an hour, which totally enraged me, because I like to keep my front door open for fresh air. 

I am ready to do complain to the owners, but Mark made me promise not to do anything while he is gone, and I suspect that this might  be considered doing something.  

Thursday, July 15, 2010

a slight modification

I bought a entertainment center at Goodwill today for $15.

Really just an cupboard, with shelves.

The space for our TV is very narrow, and I have not been able to find a suitable storage device anyplace- they are all giant, for giant TVs.

So up until today, the TV was sitting on a wooden box that I had slipcovered, and the TV itself has a matching slipcover, that I am very proud of.  It truly was one of my best inventions.  Rolf made a little pine riser for the DVD player to sit on so the whole thing was pretty ok, but not perfect.

This new piece of furniture is hardly perfect, but it is narrow enough and I hope will fit the Wii and all the other crap in, and keep it out of my sight, which is my biggest objective.  I hate all of that electronic shit staring at me.

The problem was that the TV has this giant back part, the motor I assume?  This giant jutting out part in the back, of an otherwise narrow, slim TV.

So I had to cut a hole in the back of the entertainment center.

I was already feeling pretty proud of myself for getting the thing into the station wagon, and driving it home sort of sticking out the back, without crashing into anything, or losing it along the way, but cutting that giant hole in the back with a minimum of splintering, that will make me happy for days!

So out in our driveway sits a little oak entertainment center with a big squarish hole in the back.  If the computer would let me I would post a picture, but it wont so feel free to use your imagination.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

mama said there'd be days like this

My computer continues to be a thorn in my side.

So much so, that I am now reduced to using my 11 year old son's laptop (thanks honey, mama loves you a lot).

I raged a lot and made my poor husband even more stressed out than usual.  

After all the Internet and this blog is like my only lifeline to sanity.   In the end there just isn't a whole lot to be done. 

Our phone lines suck. 

Our computer is old. 

No  amount of tantrum throwing by me is going to change that.

Mark's whole focus for the next two weeks will be comic con, then some star wars thingy in Florida.

I can writhe around on the floor, I can froth at the god damned

 mouth and nothing will change.

Maxwell says I should end this with


Friday, July 2, 2010

El condor pasa

is the only thing I know about Peru.

I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail.
Yes I would.
If I could,
I surely would.
I'd rather be a hammer than a nail.
Yes I would.
If I only could,
I surely would.

 tonight we went wayyyyy the heck out to Gresham for dinner in a teeny Peruvian cafe, El Inka and boy and I glad. 

The service was terrible.  
One young fellow totally overwhelmed, but also totally earnest -a few of us customers pitched in to help things get back on track, serving waters, putting set ups on tables and tidying up and by the time a giant party of eight crowed into the last few inches of space in the tiny dining room, our food came up.    

We had deep fried yucca smothered in a fiery, garlic mayo type sauce
a cauldron of  buttery potato and quinoa porridge
some chicken and steak sauteed in a vinegar sauce with fries that were soaked in the sauce (it worked!) 
a lamb shank with rice and beans in a fiery pepper sauce.

It was all good. 

The meat eaters were happy

The veg eaters were happy.

Everyone was happy. 

We brought three container home. 

There were at least ten items on the menu I would like to try, the next time we go!