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June 29th, 2009

Not “hmmm” or “mmm” and certainly not “mmmmmmmmmmm…”

“The writing has been an exercise in trying to work my way towards clarity. Get out the pen and try to face the beast yourself. And what’s bothering you, right? Well, that’s not exactly it. It’s very hard peeling the layers off your own onion. When you get to the truth, do I want to say that in public?”
— Joni Mitchell in an 2003 PBS interview

Reading Michelle Mercer’s biography of Joni Mitchell, “Will You Take Me As I Am.” It’s excellent.

I’ve been doing the Wii-Fit every damn day practically since God spoke to Moses and have I lost weight? No. First I did, oh yes, I did. Seven pounds. But now it’s back. I blame it on the cupcakes, cheesecake and adult beverages we’ve been enjoying since my mother-in-law has been in town. And the pizza.


Maybe I’m lucky it’s just the back and forth seven pounds and not, say, twenty.

Goodbye, pizza. You are no friend to me. Desserts? You’re next. Get to steppin’. It was my birthday I wanted cake. Aiiiii. (In the words of our friend Ilsa, “More cake.”)

How goes the healthy eating for you? Doesn’t it seem like it should be easier in the summer, what with all the carrots and fresh fruit and everything?

I’ve been thinking about this whole Farrah and Michael thing and here’s what I’m thinking — why do I care? Sure, the Jackson Five was the first album I ever owned, and I loved Charlie’s Angels, but I didn’t know them. I didn’t give birth to them. They didn’t belong to my family or go out for coffee with me or bring me food that time when I was sick. We never did a neighborhood clean-up together, broke bread together, talked gardening, yelled to each other during a parade or any of the things that count in my version of “real” world.

As Steve put it, “They represent the ’70s. There goes our childhood.” True, that.

I guess why their deaths bummed me out was 1) Unrealized potential. 2) Unrealized happiness. Or maybe it’s because it’s only been two months today since we lost my Dear Granny. It is still too fresh. In my mind I can hear her say, “Ol’ Elvis, that poor boy had too much, too soon” and “Patsy. Now Patsy had her a hard life.”

The same can be said for MJ. Poor guy really did have too much, too soon. And Farrah had her an exceptionally hard life. Hair, teeth, talent, skin, looks, ambition, money, money, money. None of it matters, does it? Not if you’re choosing to be with people who abuse you, or you can’t get away from your demons. All the money in the world can’t save you from your own self.

My Grandpa, my Dear Granny’s beloved husband, installed draperies, raised cattle, played with his grandkids, loved his wife, loved to laugh at the everyday foibles of the world. He was such an Arkansas boy. Hard working, minded his own business, didn’t cheat or bullshit. He would shoot the breeze, but would never bullshit. Would rather wear the same pair of jeans, patched twenty times, than buy a new pair. I used to ride along with him sometimes to jobs, if he was working out of town. Such a chatterbox — my Granny and Mom knew that he wouldn’t fall asleep on the long drive home, exhausted after a day of physical labor, if he had me riding shotgun.

We were working in this big, beautiful, brand-new house once in Sun River, over in Central Oregon — OK, he was working, I was perched on a window seat upstairs, writing in my journal and reading my book. I said, Man, Grandpa, this is a nice house. I want a house like this when I grow up.

He tells me, “The lady who owns this house is dying of cancer. She won’t be around much longer.”

I’m all, awww, that is sad!

He says, “Honey, things are not always what they appear to be.”

Work hard, play hard, have fun. Be good to yourself and fight those demons cuz you’re the only one who can.

much love,


rest in peace, Michael Jackson & Farrah Fawcett

June 25th, 2009

Say yes to Cesar Chavez Blvd.

June 25th, 2009

Almost two years later, I’m still blown away by this quote from a mom in my neighborhood:

“Rosa Parks was a law-breaker.”

I’m re-posting that link because in Portland, Ore. we’re still talking (arguing) about whether or not to re-name one of our streets after American hero Cesar Chavez. This time, 39th Avenue is under consideration.

Easy: Re-name it “Cesar Chavez Blvd./39th Avenue” and call it a day. You’re a business owner, you don’t want to buy new stationery or new business cards? Don’t then. You can keep calling it 39th.

People, can we be welcoming to non-whites in this town?

Love, love and peace to everybody,


first of all, it’s my birthday. second of all, “Are you that Crazy Mama?”

June 24th, 2009

Woot. IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!!! Second of all, my husband and I celebrated by going to Willamette Week’s big ol’ rooftop party gala extravaganza in honor of their new magazine. Why were we invited? I have no idea. It was not on the rooftop of the Hotel Deluxe (aka formerly the Mallory, where we went on our wedding night), but rather was on the rooftop of the Mallory Hotel Deluxe’s parking garage across the street. We ran into Byron and Juan (I love you Juan! OK, Byron, I love you, too, you know it. But mostly I LOVE JUAN, go Basic Rights Oregon) (ps — they could use some donations, y’all, if you have some change to spare)… Byron and my husband compared play-off beards. They both look extremely virile and handsome is my take on it.

We drank a lot of beer. In fact, we just parked it next to the keg line because that way we’d see everybody. Who did we know? No one. Because we’re old and don’t know who all these crazy 20-somethings are, rampaging around. We did see MS, and he and Steve only talked school politics for thankfully a short time. And we saw my delicious girlfriend K and her perfect, flawless boyfriend J. (Suits her, as she is perfect and flawless, too.) (Seriously.)

Also, there was the cutest woof-woof there, begging chips off of everyone. And a tiny Chi-hua-hua, too. (Say it: Chi-hoo-a-hoo-a. That is how it is pronounced.)

OK, back to Byron. He wanted to know, “Nancy, are you that Crazy Mama?” I’m all, Byron, you know I’ve had my blog for like five years now, duh. I am The Crazy Mama.

Then he wanted to know why I hate The Mayor. I don’t care what the man does in bed, just don’t be a big liar like my gay ex-boyfriend is my deal.

me: “You know why I have issues with this.”

Byron: “Mm-hmm.” (because hello, he was my next door neighbor — he totally knows why I have issues with this.)

me: “People think I am having a certain set of issues but I am having a whole different set of issues.”

Byron: “Mm-hmm.” (snaps my picture)

Then, we visited, ate some too-spicy mango habanero salsa which made steam come out my ears, so I had to drink all of Steve’s beer plus some of my fancy, glamorous bottled water. Then I had to pee of course. And I won’t use porta-potties because damn. Why would I? So we ran over to the Hotel Glamorous Deluxe Mallory, where I took a pee in their Deluxe Glamorous bathroom. Then I made reservations for us to stay there in September, to celebrate our whatever anniversary that will be.

A lot is what it will be.

A lot of years, Internets. Poor Steve.

Then (isn’t it just like you’re right there with me?) we had a drink at the Driftwood Bar, where I spent untold hours drinking with my favorite uncle in the world, my dear departed Uncle Chuck, my daddy’s brother, and I’m all — This is not the same bar, while I sipped at my vodka tonic.

“It used to be in the restaurant, right? Not separate like this?”

The dog from the party was there. At the bar. What? OK. Then Steve says, “The girl sitting at the table right next to us is like two years older than our daughter.”

And you know what, Internets? She really was. (OK, now I know Leslie and Zip will be all, Where were the children, Nancy? At grandma’s is where. For the night.)

So we had to leave. Our friends Peg and Mike gave us a lift home and we drank more beers. (I know, I didn’t think it was possible either.)

The End

happy monday

June 22nd, 2009

Sunday Parkways was a blast yesterday — Steve had a good Father’s Day, I think. We never did run into my Mom and her friend — there were a lot of people out there! We saw a bunch of neighbors and friends we haven’t seen in awhile, that’s always nice. The kids got to play and we hit most of the parks along the way (Peninsula, Arbor Lodge, Trenton, Kenton… fun).

There’s another one planned for July 19 in Northeast, and Aug. 16th in Southeast, so if you’re in the area, go for it. It’s fun to walk it but it’s funner to bike it.

Mother-in-law arrives Thursday for a visit. Must clean (we got most of it done this weekend, but really, when is housework ever “done”? “The house is clean!” is such a lie), need to study, the kids are looking forward to watching a movie later and playing all day long…

All for now. Oh!!! MamaToo had a boy, yay! She hasn’t posted yet. She’s prolly a little busy, huh?



halfway to dead with guest star Sam Adams, Mayor of Portland

June 19th, 2009

Yes, it’s my 45th birthday next week, which makes me officially halfway to dead. “If you’re lucky,” Steve sez. (My response: ???. I think, before it’s too late, he needs to take some “hints” from our Facebook friends on how to talk to ladies. Sheesh.) In honor of the big day, we went out for a little birthday dinner tonight at Pizza Fino, over in beautiful historic downtown Kenton, North Portland, U.S.A.

Of course our poor, beleaguered, misunderstood and sometimes, allegedly, drinkin’, drivin’ and cryin’ Mayor of Portland, Ore., Sam Adams, was there with three of his associates, constituents, friends, what have you.

That sentence was too long, I’ll start over.

I’m assuming the associates were picking up the tab, since between lawyer bills and all he can’t afford to make his mortgage payments. (“Portland: We’re So Broke Our Mayor Can’t Afford A Grown-up Boyfriend OR His Mortgage.”)

The staff was playing, as always, a lot of really sucky music that I believe the kids refer to as “techno.” That, combined with the fact that we had to wait an hour for our food, combined with the fact that the mayor was there, combined with the fact that our waitress was so absolutely beautiful and sweet that I couldn’t even hold the whole “food never arriving thing” against her, gave me what I refer to as “fucking headache behind my left eye.” Then, out of nowhere, they played ZZ Top, I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide, I’m assuming in honor of my birthday and the mayor.

Only he isn’t and I am.

“We going downtown in the middle of the night
We laughing and Im jokin and we feelin alright”

You know how old Wacky Mommy was when that song came out? That’s right. I was a freshman in high school and already getting into bars and never getting carded when I bought booze at the store. You poor kids nowadays, I feel for you. Don’t drink and drink, though! That’s bad.

Then they played a bunch more techno crap, I drank a lot of water, tried to figure out if that was our friend Babe across the way, I think it was, why couldn’t they have seated Babe next to us instead of the damn mayor, I love Babe… Finally the food showed up and my son ate an entire large cheese pizza all by himself, Wacky Girl split her pasta with pesto with me and we just chilled.

More techno.

Then again out of nowhere, they played “Low Rider.” Which I’m assuming Steve took as a hint to buy me the ’64 Impala with hi-jackers that I’ve only been wanting my entire goddamn life how many hints do I have to drop?

“I’m dropping hints/
candy for candy-coated tongue”
— Violent Femmes

That Impala, it was born the same year as me. I’m telling you — as soon as we get a garage I’m getting an Impala to put in it. You heard it here first.

Then I heard the lady at the table next to me tell her husband, sotto voce, “She’s 44.” Husband grunts. Wife continues, “She looks old for her age.” I’m sure she wasn’t talking about moi, as I am not just incredibly yummy and hot, but also Bad and not just limited to Nationwide — I’m international, mama. And the mortgage, she is getting paid.

Cakes and Kids

June 19th, 2009


Reading this Week — Kid Books: “The Name of This Book is Secret,” “Love, Stargirl,” “Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go,” “Rapacia: The Second Circle of Heck,” “3 Willows,” “Mudshark,” “Alvin Ho,” “The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School,” “The Frost Child,” “Friend or Fiend? with the Pain and the Great One,” AND “Oracles of Delphi Keep”

June 19th, 2009

Whew! That’s right. A ginormous box of books arrived today… SUMMER READING. (more…)

Today’s rain brought to you by…

June 19th, 2009

…me. Hanging out three loads of laundry. Woo-hooooooo.

Yeah, you’re welcome.

Hoping Sunday Parkways bike ride/walk/skateboard extravaganza doesn’t get rained out this weekend…

Meanwhile, we were worried that our little Killer African Dwarf Frog was getting lonely, with no lovin’ (his friend died yesterday. or the day before. Possibly Tuesday, I have to tell you — I don’t always keep the closest eye on the frogs. They’re a little aloof.)

“He’s lonely now cuz they used to do it,” says Wacky Boy, smiling wickedly and running out of the room.

Yes, sex ed begins at home.

So we got him a little friend, and more plants so they can hide when they do it.

Like they care about modesty.

Wednesday Review: “Grizzly Dad,” “Baby Bliss in a Box” and “The Grandparent Book”

June 17th, 2009

MamaToo is gonna be MamaThree any minute now, and look what I found for her for presents… (more…)

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