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“one time, one night” Los Lobos

July 19th, 2008

My neighbor loves me. She does. Cuz she got us tickets to Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys about three months ago or something (they played at the amphitheater at the zoo) and I have been counting it down on my fingers and toes ever since I heard we were going. I’ve seen them I don’t even know how many times, 7, 8, 10 — a lot. They’ve been loyal about coming to Portland since they first started touring. They used to sleep on my friend Fred’s floor when they first started playing here cuz they were broke. And they liked Fred. Because, who wouldn’t? (Who else crashed with him? X. Fishbone. Everyone.) He’s a great guy, plus he looks a lot like Joey Ramone. Even though he has always been too hip for the room, he still let me hang out with him, which I appreciated. Also, Los Lobos weren’t the only ones who were broke. Fred is the one who got me on the guest lists and got me listening to Los Lobos.

I love all of their songs. I can only say that of Tom Petty and of Los Lobos: I love every single song they play. But the song I linked to is the one that undoes me every time. It’s my absolute favorite. Next to “I Got Loaded,” which we won’t talk about because the wine last night, it was good.

Too good.

Bad wine, bad. I can’t drink anymore, people. My metabolism won’t metabolize for me. It bites.

“A quiet voice is singing something to me
An age old song about the home of the brave
In this land here of the free
One time one night in America”

One thing that bugs me about zoo concerts. Well, besides the parking, the pandemonium, the kids chucking frisbees at my head. Only white people there.

My neighbor went to hear the Neville Brothers there and they called out, “Where are all the brothers?”

Yeah, I’m asking the same question.

Great show. Los Lonely Boys is fun, too, but you know. They’re not Los Lobos. Sweeties, I’m sorry. Although midway through the wine, it occurred to me that we could be their grandmothers.

“If they were newborns!” my neighbor scoffed. “We could be their mothers, though.”



July 19th, 2008

(I found this scribbled on a scrap of paper, from our trip to L.A. and San Diego last February.)

The land of milk and honey, sunshine and oranges, super-sized bags of Cheetos and Cokes in commemorative Buzz Lightyear cups…

(That’s as far as I got. Add on if you’d like…)

Wink Brought Me Good Luck!

July 18th, 2008

You know Miss Wink-Wink, Miss Winky-Binky-Boo, Lelo’s dog? I love her so. Especially when I get to see her in person and ‘nuggle her, and when my kids get to lug her around. She’s luggable and lovable!

Also, she got me a job! Yes, that’s right. (The old one was on contract only, this one is permanent, permanent, as in a regular check and benefits………………….. wooooooooooooooooo…….. benefits, how I love you! And union representation, thank you union. Or would you preferred to be called Union? Thank you, Union!)

Wink brought me The Luck and just a few hours after I saw her, I got The Call.

I am now, for real, Marian the Librarian. Well, Marian the Library Assistant, at any rate.

Yay, Winky. Tell your mommy and RSG to have fun at BlogHer, and everyone else who’s there — have a fun time for me, wouldja?

Happy weekend, y’all. I’ll be celebrating.


Breast Cancer Site — click away!

July 16th, 2008

Don’t forget to click here daily to help fund mammograms for those in need.


July 15th, 2008

“God is not a second-rate novelist.”

— Richard Price, writer on “The Wire”

sense of entitlement

July 14th, 2008

Awesome post by Leslie.

“Oh, Evolve!”

July 14th, 2008

Heh heh heh. Just got a note from one of the producers at Oregon Public Broadcasting about… “those moments people have in public when they decide to confront a stranger about behavior they find objectionable. I figure this is something that happens to parents at least once or twice in their parenting careers and thought you might have some interesting stories to share about either being scolded or doing the scolding. (more…)

my husband made a movie

July 14th, 2008

No, not of that. Damn. Of his favorite love next to me and the kids… BIG SHIPS! I love how the little boats go zipping around, like the Roadrunner on water or something.

(The song is funny, too, you’ll like it.)

(Who the hell knew he could make movies? Huh.)

Streusel Coffee Cake

July 14th, 2008

From Family Fun Cooking with Kids…

for Miss Nan, who is vacationing Down de Islands.

We love this kids’ cookbook best of all (and we have a fairly sizable collection, so we are Quite the Experts over here). My daughter went through and put stickies on every recipe she wanted to make. Would have been faster for her to mark the ones she wasn’t interested in. Heh heh. (Homemade ravioli was excellent, as were Pizza Mummies and “grilled cheese sandwiches” made out of toasted slices of poundcake and frosting tinted yellow. Up next are Popovers, Skillet Lasagna and — I’m hoping, anyway — Asparagus Salad with Sweet Pepper Confetti. Oh, wait. That one isn’t marked).

We subbed plain yogurt for the sour cream, and buttermilk for the plain milk and yum. We left out the nuts, cos while we are nuts, we do not care for nuts. It turned out super-fine. Bon appetit!

From their helpful website (honestly, whatever did I do before Thee Internet?)…

Streusel Coffee CaKe

Moist, buttery, and packed inside and out with brown sugar streusel, this coffee cake is as versatile as it is delicious. You can keep individually wrapped slices in the freezer ready to pop in a brown bag lunch for school, a hike, or a holiday road trip. The recipe itself is short and sweet, but it’s still a great one for aspiring bakers, with lots of measuring, mixing, and other fun cooking jobs.

Cinnamon Crunch Topping
1 1/2 cups pecans or walnuts
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Sour Cream Cake
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk

Sweet Glaze
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1. Butter a 9- by 13-inch cake pan. Dust the pan with flour and remove the excess by turning the pan upside down and tapping the bottom. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. To prepare the Cinnamon Crunch Topping, first coarsely chop the nuts, or have your child put them in a sealable plastic bag and lightly tap them with a rolling pin to break them into pieces. Then combine the nuts, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl, using clean hands to mix the ingredients. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. To make the Sour Cream Cake, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set it aside. Using an electric mixer, preferably a large stand mixer, cream the butter on medium-high speed, gradually adding the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and blend briefly.

4. Whisk together the sour cream and milk. Mix about a third of the mixture into the creamed ingredients until smooth. Then blend in about a third of the flour mixture. Continue alternately beating in the liquid and dry ingredients by thirds.

5. Spread half the batter in the prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle half the topping on it, pressing it lightly into the batter. Spread the remaining batter evenly over the topping. Then cover that layer with the remaining topping. Bake the coffee cake on the center oven rack for about 40 minutes, until nicely browned. A toothpick inserted at the center should come out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the cake cool completely.

6. For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and milk in a large bowl and whisk until smooth and suitable to drizzle. If needed, you can make the glaze thinner or thicker by adding a little more milk or sugar, respectively. Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze on the cooled coffee cake. Makes 12 or more servings.

i gardened. again.

July 11th, 2008

I cannot get enough of gardening this year! I watered everything, had fresh blueberries and raspberries for breakfast. Wacky Girl made me an iced coffee. I hung out laundry. And more laundry. Then we grabbed rakes and cleaned up underneath one of the rhodys, around (what’s left of) the upright fuchsia, the champagne bush, around one of our ferns. We pulled up weeds and cleared out a messy corner, pruned down suckers from the hazelnut tree, went crazy! We filled up our ginormous yard debris bin the city left, plus our two regular bins, and STILL had a huge pile left over.

After all that excitement, Wacky Girl and her Wacky Brother dragged a blanket under the champagne bush and hid out. (I don’t know what it’s called, this bush, but they grow like crazy. Ours drips long clusters full of white blossoms; my neighbor has one with pink blossoms that look just like pink bubbly. So pretty. And they thrive on neglect — my favorite kind of plant.) They needed a good place to hide. Did you have places to hide, growing up? I did. My favorite spot was right next to my grandparents’ front porch. They had these hedges (a type of laurel? I think) growing up tall and sheltering the porch. It was dry, cool and shady and the perfect spot for me, my two baby dolls, and a handful of books. I spent hours out there.

My other favorite spot (this was at my Dad’s folks place, too) was under the apple tree, sitting perched on a rock. It was the best spot for thinking. Ah, memories.

More from today: Folded laundry, WATCHED GENERAL HOSPITAL (BlackFriend and Laura — finally, some good storylines coming on), baked a fruit tart (with peaches, nectarines and plums), had Indian take-out for dinner (al fresco, the only way we dine around here in the summer) and then… glazed the coffee cake and had dessert outside. This was an A+ day. A+++.

“How much butter?” my husband asked, putting another forkful of cake into his mouth.

Me: “Just a couple tablespoons.”

Our daughter: “Try a couple sticks.”

Oh. My God. So good, with a little lemon extract and vanilla extract, powdered sugar glaze on top…

It was so good that we’re never making it again. No, I’m not including the recipe. You’d make it, eat it and regret it like we are.

Two cubes of butter! Damn. I just lost 10 pounds and I want it to stay lost, not find its way home.

The yard looks great. We’re plotting ways to turn that last empty corner of the yard into a hidey place for the kids. A teepee? A clubhouse? Tents? Trellises, to make a canopy to hide under? We don’t know yet. And we’re missing our fairies! No signs of them so far this year. Maybe they’ll be back soon?

Happy weekend, y’all.


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