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thursday thirteen!!! only 2 days late… and a loving tribute to Cocoon Silk, the most beautiful wedding dresses on the West Coast

October 31st, 2009

i thought it was gone, but it’s not — thursday 13, alive & kickin’… so i’d better write one, eh? In honor of Halloween and my baby sister’s impending nuptials, I present:

The Wacky Mommy Thursday Thirteen, Halloween Edition, with an emphasis on WEDDING DRESSES

1) my sister, when we were in the middle of wedding dress shopping today, “You know who hates shopping more than us? Mom. Mom hates shopping more than we do.”

2) she does. our mom hates shopping. my sister isn’t keen on shopping and i’m not, either. especially since i have more boob, hip and BUTT now. Awwwwwww, it’s the New Old Wacky Mommy Body.

3) Did I tell you Happy Halloween yet? No? Happy Halloween! We’re celebrating by eating miniature candy bars, chocolate chip cooky bars, and later, we will have some kind of non-chocolate related feast for dinner. Steve is drinking a Red Stripe and I’m enjoying my 2nd nice glass of white wine. Abymes Vin de Savoie, 2008, from France. me: “mmm, this is nice!” steve: “honey. it’s cheap white French table wine. you need to branch out from the pinot grigio.” he’s right, i do.

4) My other new favorite: Trevisiol Prosecco Venteto, Extra Dry, from Small Vineyards, Seattle, Wash. We drink it with a splash of grapefruit juice, with a sugar cube dropped in, in a sugared-rim martini glass. (that idea was from Brian Boitano. i love his show, “What Would Brian Boitano Make?” on the Food Network. This Amaretto Prosecco Sour also sounds good.)

5) i believe my mom and sister are coming over to have Halloween dinner with us and take the kids out tricker treating. fun!

6) Do you celebrate Halloween? Day of the Dead? Some kind of harvest festival? Please advise.

7) OK, back to wedding dresses. My sister, just six weeks shy of her wedding date, has been a little nervous about the whole “wedding dress” portion of the occasion. I was, too, after we visited a stuck-up shop (i will not include their name here). (oh, what the hell of course I will. Tower Bridal, not to be confused with Tower Records, at the Water Tower at John’s Landing. Really should have read the reviews first, which included this gem, under the heading, “Don’t Shop Here” — “I will never ever recommend this place to anyone. When I went here looking for a dress they were nothing but rude to me. I didnt have a crap load of money to spend which can become a problem when looking at dresses. Some bridal shops dont like dealing with people on a budget and this is definately one.” I do not care if she can’t spell, that is one zinger of a review.)

8) So. They were rude there. I especially loved when the sales associate sized me up with her eyes, glanced over at the maid of honor dresses, glanced back at me and gave me a look like, “It’ll never work.” Here’s the thing: I’m not a size 2. I’m not even a size 10. The point is, I still like to look good. Who doesn’t? And it’s my sister’s wedding! Outfit us, alright? We went to a vintage place in Northwest Portland. I found two great purses, one for me, one for my sis. Then we went to another vintage place. Neither place carried wedding dresses. “It is kind of a niche,” we were told. A niche. Would it kill you to have a rack with a couple of dozen wedding dresses? Apparently it would. It would kill them, and then they would be dead and they couldn’t sell their moldy fake-fur coats and ’70s retro Marimekko knock-offs.

9) Discouraged and with no prospects, we went to Sushiville and had a delicious lunch. (For those of you keeping score: Tower Bridal: two thumbs down; vintage shops, thumbs akimbo (cuz of the purses); Sushiville: BIG thumbs up.)

10) wandered down 23rd Avenue. saw a wedding dress hanging in a window of a boutique, Cocoon Silk. “Wanna check it out?” “OK.” Full selection of dresses, scarves, shoes, prom dresses, party dresses, dresses for little girls, big girls, mothers of the bride… jewelry… Oh. my God. “Do you have this in my size?” my sister asks, about gorgeous dress after gorgeous dress, each one more spectacular than the last. “Well…” the salesclerk tells us, “Those are samples. We custom-make the dresses for you. It will take about three weeks? That’s how we do it in Cambodia, you make the dress to fit.”

11) That is how we all three, my sister, my daughter and I, all are completely won over by Sovanna Yun, whose family is now sewing our dresses. Black cocktail dress for me, with a blue shawl, decorated with peacocks, sequins and fringe; for my daughter, a blue dress with a matching silk ruffle bolero jacket; and my sister will be the one in white (it is a secret, thus I cannot describe it). The Red-Headed Guy is wearing a vintage suit; my husband and son will be in black.

12) That’s Cocoon Silk, and they have two locations in Portland. You can also just send them your measurements and some cash and they, in turn, will send you a stunning dress. You know how he made me feel about my body? He made me feel beautiful about my body. It’s a good body. It’s not perfect, it’s scarred, it’s too curvy — but it’s what I’ve got.

13) So… no attitude from this place. Just beauty. Go figure.

Happy Thirteen and Happy Halloween, y’all! Best wishes to my sis and her guy.

happy twick or tweet

October 31st, 2009

My favorite Halloween post ever. have a good Halloween, y’all.

— wm

thursday morning

October 29th, 2009

“Any World (That I’m Welcome To)”

“If I had my way
I would move to another lifetime
I’d quit my job
Ride the train through the misty nighttime
I’ll be ready when my feet touch ground
Wherever I come down
And if the folks will have me
Then they’ll have me…”

— Steely Dan (from “Katy Lied”)

My son is worried I’ll die during surgery. Because he knows that when they give dogs a shot and “make them go to sleep” they stay asleep. They die. I won’t die, I’ll be okay, baby. There’s no other option here. My daughter is worried about garbage. Too much garbage, all piling up.

“What do you think it will be like when we’re grown up, the whole world, piled up with all the garbage? Cars and garbage?”

me: “Have you been reading Blake Nelson?”

her: “No, just thinking.”

I wish that Steve, the kids and I were going on a big road trip over the holidays. We like to go to L.A. for Christmas, and San Diego. We have friends and family there — all we have to spring for is gas and admission to Disneyland. Sometimes they’re running a “locals only” deal at Disneyland and our family gets us in for cheap.

Ah, que sera, sera, huh?

Need to work out now, then locate Steve and the kids. They’re in nests upstairs, hibernating. Did I tell you that my sister is getting married in December? (surgery is a few days after. yes, my mom did ask me to resked the surgery until “later.” I wish. it’s not me going on the honeymoon, the calendar is just fine, thanks. wish I could resked but… you know.)

i’m just going to try to think about how nice it is that she’s getting married not only to one of the coolest guys in the world, but one of steve’s best friends, to boot. The Red-Headed Guy. She’s a great girl, he’s a great guy. Mazel tov to them. let’s just think about that and daydream for awhile.

my uterus is broken

October 28th, 2009

OK, some of you have been reading my blog for a long time. Remember this little post, from four years ago? Yeah. I’m having surgery for Christmas. Because a girl should treat herself once in awhile, don’t you think?

send. good. thoughts.

stupid uterus. it’s just like with my thyroid — broken. had to go. all broken parts must go, especially once they start torturing me. am being tortured by my own damn body. everyone i’ve talked with keeps saying “night and day.” “Afterward, it’s just like night and day, the difference. You will not regret it.”

but still, i feel like a dog who is about to be spayed. that is just a horrible thought, I need to get that thought out of my head. This has nothing to do with my female-ness. My qi. It will be okay. Giving up white sugar, white flour, stress, you know what? It wouldn’t change things. My body just grows strange growths, that’s all. It’s a little trick it likes to play. I have de-stressed a lot, but life just includes some stress. even a hermit in a cave somewhere has stress. (“Cold in here. Out of food. Damn. And I have cramps again. Damn.”) The cramps go with you wherever you go is the thing.

okay i have to go to work now. and my son is playing Wii-Fit Plus (which rocks, by the way — lots of new games, and you can customize the work-outs so you don’t have to start and stop all the time). It’s the woot-doot-doot-do-do-doot music that is making me a little distracted here. that, and surgery. at least we have insurance. stupid America.



baking up a storm

October 25th, 2009

the holiday baking has begun over here. it started innocently enough, with some pumpkin bread, and oatmeal cookies. now we’re planning out our strategies for the next couple of months. requests have been made:

1) please don’t bake so much
2) maybe fewer Christmas cookies this year?

requests have been considered.

now along comes Zootie, who has taken up cooking and baking with a vengeance. I’ve read the Pioneer Woman Cooks from time to time, always entertaining over there. But I had never read Bakerella until Zoot mentioned her mini-pumpkin pie bites.

Oh, yumskamie. Here’s what I say to baking!

Sorry, Steve. If we just work out more, I’m sure it will even out???

facebook is stupid

October 24th, 2009

i was liking facebook. kind of had become a facebook addict, actually. now? love affair over. moving on, facebook. (i left twitter in the dust a long time ago. my blog updates over there, but that’s about it.)

they’re tinkering with the site (as those of you who are FB addicts out there have no doubt noticed) and now up pops everything. Ev-er-y-th-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-ng in painstaking little details. So and so and so and so are friends with so and so. So and so joined another group/cause/fan club and wants YOU to join, too. Do it! Just do it! Join the Nike/Adidas/Converse/your local credit union/Arbor Day Awareness Club, too! Do it!

The pressure… it is stupid. (“Stupid is a strong word!” says my daughter.) (Mis-quoting me, cuz I am fond of telling the kids, “Hate is a strong word!”) Stupid is not a strong enuf word, cutie.

I have enough real pressures in my life without the “kooky” pressures of Facebook (Twitter, MySpace, etc.). also there are other issues which i don’t really feel like going into.

social networking is re-wiring my brain and i do not like it. Seriously. I have no access to Facebook at work and for that, I thank my employer because it has made me realize how many times a day




i go and check out Facebook.

this weekend, I’m going cold-turkey.



QOTD: The Dalai Lama

October 22nd, 2009

“Many people think that to be patient is a sign of weakness. I think that is a mistake. It is anger that is a sign of weakness.”

— HH The Dalai Lama

Dear, dear Terry Olson, rest in peace

October 18th, 2009

Our political associate and friend Terry Olson passed away on Oct. 15th. His notice ran today. I am so sad over this. That should read, I am so sad inside of this. Terry was the coolest dude — great husband, father, grandfather, teacher, activist, dog-dad and friend. He fought cancer for so long, so hard. I have never seen anyone fight a disease the way Terry fought his.

Here is my first “real” post that I ever wrote about school politics — the inequities, the unfairness of it all, the effects of poverty as they relate to education. Honestly, I didn’t know what I was doing, I just knew I wasn’t happy with the status quo.

Terry was always quietly supportive of Steve and me. He would also bang on the table with his fists, as necessary. He loved that post, and sent me a note that said, in effect, forget about the recipes and all that, just focus on being renegade. So I did. (OK, I only wrote about food half as much after that.)

He also loved this post, and that thrilled me, that he stamped my work with a big gold star. (For the longest time, when you did a search on “wacky mommy,” Terry’s post popped up at the top of the list: “What Set Wacky Off?” haha.)

Terry was, first and foremost, an excellent teacher. I learned so much from him. (I learned to forgive people, for one thing.)

Love and peace to you, Terry. Love you. I am sorry I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to you, but I didn’t want to say goodbye. Peace to your family, besos y abrazos. You lost a great guy. I am so sorry.

ps — Terry, thanks for outing me, all those years ago, on your blog. Someone needed to do it. (hugs.)

Portland Monthly mag — check it out

October 17th, 2009

Kudos to my old colleague from Thee O, Randy Gragg, on doing a stellar job in his new gig as editor of Portland Monthly magazine. They’re on Facebook, too. (Isn’t everyone? Dang.)

Last month’s cover story was “Explore Hidden Oregon”; this month’s is “Best Restaurants 2009.” The magazine has a stable of good writers and photographers, and Randy does a nice job with his editor’s notes. (His fondness for architecture, photography and food shines through.) Good profiles, too, including last month’s story on John Haines, executive director of Mercy Corps Northwest, who is getting loans to people who need it most. Also thought the graphic novel-style article on the Trail Blazers, “Game On!” in this month’s issue was funny.

Not crazy about the teeny-tiny print in the listings sections. My eyes! Dammit, I hate needing progressive lenses, alright? But honestly — I just want everyone, newspapers and magazines alike, to stick with the same point size so my brain doesn’t have TO switch BACK AND FORTH everyotherpage.

Other than that teeny little gripe, nice job, y’all. Keep up the good work.

worst junkmail ever…

October 15th, 2009

…just showed up in my in-box:

“in mood for flirting?”

i’m all, no, i’m in mood for smacking ya upside the head though. come a little closer, spammers…



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