Sleeping with the windows open, a nice breeze blowing through, the sounds of the cars, the bus, the MAX train, the dogs barking in chorus, the neighbor’s doberman/rotti beast throwing himself THUNK against her front door and barking maniacally every blessed time someone walks by, the train whistles from the other trains, the cats fighting, drunken fights or sometimes just loud conversations (“She said it was mine! And I believed her!” “Dude.”) as the guys walk home from the bar, the neighbors drunk in their yard (“YAHTZEE!”), car doors slamming, someone serenading us with an acoustic version of “Sweet Home Alabama” on the sidewalk outside our bedroom window…
Is it any surprise that this was my Dad’s favorite movie? This could be the theme movie for my entire family. It was his best friend’s favorite movie, too. It happens to be one of my favorites, too, but not for the same reasons as theirs.
The neighbor kid was just listening to Van Halen out in his driveway and I was cracking up laughing over here. Then he cranked “Stairway to Heaven.” It’s 1980 all over again.
Yeah, Eddie and Diamond Dave were always all lovey-dovey like that. Except when they were trying to strangle each other. A few thoughts:
1) Why did my sister and I feel compelled to wait 12 hours outside the Memorial Coliseum so we could get great seats for Van Halen? We ended up with okay seats, as I recall. And I ended up with a diamond-shaped sunburn on my back. I had this sexy blue sundress with a diamond pattern cut out of the back. Cuz I was “all that.” Ha.
2) Aren’t you glad for me that when I walked to the store, and happened to walk by the hotel where the freaks, aka VH, were staying, when Dave waved me over like, c’mon, c’mon, I just kept on walking? Girls were diving under the fence. Seriously. David Lee Roth and some of his crew, aka the bozos, were out by the pool. There was a chain link fence around it, bent in one corner. He was wearing those goddawful yellow and black bumble bee pants and holding up the fence so the girls could scoot under. Dave, I was jailbait. You were gross. Thanks, anywho!
3) My then-boyfriend, who was from Des Moines, not Iowa City, so he was nowhere near as cool as my later-husband, who I am happy to say is my now-husband, Steve… That sentence is too long, I’ll start over. He and his sister were the biggest rockers, I guess they just live for rock ‘n’ roll in Death Moans. When the album “Women and Children First” came out, Mr. Death Moans thought it was the rockingest album in the rockin’ world and listened to it approximately 7,454 times in the first month he owned it. He was staying with his dad, who was also a rocker. He introduced me to the fine musical stylings of Toots & the Maytals, and for that I will thank him. Well. I would thank him, but he’s dead. We drank grape Kool-aid mixed with Thunderbird at his wake, it was fitting.
He was a rocker, a father, and a painter. He only copied other people’s paintings, that was his thing. Like this one. That was his biggest hit painting. He told my then-boyfriend, “When your mom calls from Iowa to check on you, I’m going to be all,” (mimics screaming into the phone), “HAVE YOU SEEN JUNIOR’S GRADES!” Then he laughed maniacally. Rest in peace, my friend. It was good to know you.
4) Here are some interesting Wiki-facts for you:
“This is the first Van Halen album to feature all original band compositions. The opening track, “And the Cradle Will Rock…”, begins with what sounds like guitar chords, but is, in fact, a phase shifter-effected Wurlitzer electric piano played through Van Halen’s 1960′s model 100-watt Marshall Plexi amplifier.
“Could This Be Magic?” contains the only female backing vocal ever recorded for a Van Halen song — Nicolette Larson sings during some of the choruses. The rain sound in the background is not an effect. It was raining outside, and they decided to record the sound in stereo using 2 Neuman KM84 microphones, and add it to the track.”
4) Hmm. I don’t know, really, where I’m going with this. It’s just when it’s a hot summer day, and the kid next door is rocking out so hard, and here comes your youth, slappin’ ya upside the head… while you have a kid who’s been throwing up all day and summer is coming to an end… what can you do but smile? Life is a trip. I’m glad I married the other Iowa boy, not the VH fan. No offense to him, it just was not meant to be. Nor was “A Night with Diamond Dave.” hahahahahahahahaha.
Any concert stories, y’all? Brushes with fame? You know I love ‘em.
I planted purple clematis from my neighbor L out in the yard, let’s hope it takes.
hung out laundry, brought in laundry, folded laundry, kids put away half of it, I put away other half, Steve said, More laundry? Rinse and repeat. Entire summer has pretty much equalled this = laundry. Everything’s always wet, dirty and/or muddy over here.
had our awesome friends and their cool little kid over for dinner. They brought me us a bottle of the best damn rose ever — Juno Cape Maidens, from South Africa. “A refreshingly crisp, deep salmon pink wine with hints of pomegranate, green toffee-apple and cherry,” sez the review. Yes, that’s just how I was going to describe it! Thank you, you two. It was very sweet of you. Come back anytime.
Steve did the cooking cuz he’s in charge if we’re going vegan for dinner. (I offered up cheese enchiladas but we decided against those.) The guy knows his way around the kitchen. Also is a slut in the bedroom so this is just a win-win for Wacky Mommy.
“Be a duchess in the drawing room, a chef in the kitchen and a slut in the bedroom.” Let’s all remember that, ‘k?
Roasted potatoes with garlic; a pot of brown rice; his world-famous cholle, aka chana masala, aka garbonzo stew that was so spicy and good; salad with lettuce, tomatoes and nasturtiums; a little dish of chopped onion and jalapenos to garnish; a pot of mac and cheese for the younger diners; for dessert, watermelon (which we forgot to serve) and those yummy chocolate toffee cookies from New Seasons. I loved every single bite of this dinner, but I really should cook all the dinners the rest of the week to make it up to my man for knocking himself out tonight. Grilled cheese for all my friends! And tater tots!
I am happy and full. Good night.
ps I am back at work, so if I disappear, do not fear! But you know me, I’m never gone for long.
Mayor Sam Adams, Amy Stephens from the Mayor’s office and everyone else who was involved, THANK YOU for helping to get 1,000 hungry kids fed Monday through Friday, now through the start of the school year. They pulled this one together and they pulled it together fast. (And they’re also working on a plan for next year, I hear.)
The free lunch in the parks program (funded with federal dollars, run locally) doesn’t start until two weeks after school ends, and ends three weeks before school starts! Did you know that? I did not like that math. That is a lot of hungry kids, for a lot of hungry weeks. And we’re not even talking about weekends. It is tough in Portland right now. It is tough a lot of places, and I know we can hang on and get through it, but it’s discouraging. We have a lot of people here who are out of work, and a lot of Oregonians are going hungry. That is heartbreaking, but especially when you’re talking about the littlest residents of the state.
Thanks to Luis Palau, Imago Dei and the Table, the Parkrose and Centennial School Districts, the Water Bureau and everyone else who is working with the Mayor’s office to bridge the gap so kids get fed. One thousand kids fed, five days a week, right up until school starts. Sam and everyone else came through. Indeed, yeah, I’ll say it — “Portland is better together.”
If you or your group is helping work on this, please leave me a note in comments or on Facebook so I can tell you thanks. It means a lot to me — but it means a lot more to the kids.