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an extremely short round-up: Sunday Book & Film Review — “Au Revoir, les enfants,” “The BFG” & “The Year of the Flood”

February 28th, 2010

Reading & watching this week:

I saw “Au Revoir, Les Enfants” in the theater when it first came out in 1987. Written, directed and produced by Louis Malle, it tells his story of attending a Roman Catholic boarding school during World War II. It’s one of the most gripping films I’ve ever seen. Steve had never watched it, so we saw it together this week. It is a quiet, intense movie, well-acted and beautifully written, and I am as moved by it now as I was twenty-three years ago. Appropriate for mature pre-teens and teenagers.

I had never read Roald Dahl’s “The BFG” (Big Friendly Giant, or “Big Effin’ Giant,” as my son prefers to call it). We’ve been reading it as a family and it’s great, especially as a read-aloud. Dahl always has a way with dialogue, in this one in particular. Good for all ages, unless your littles are prone to scary dreams.

Atwood, my hero. I love Atwood all the way back to “The Edible Woman,” her first novel. OK, I tried to read “Oryx & Crake” and it just absolutely terrified me. No, I don’t know why, it just flipped me out and I could barely start it, much less finish it. Any and all dystopian society books just scare me, alright? They hit too close to the bone. So when the second book in the trilogy, “The Year of the Flood,” came out, I wasn’t sure if I’d be into it, petrified by it, lost in translation, what. I picked it up and haven’t been able to put it down — I’m almost finished with it. It’s one of those books I am savoring, because I won’t want to say goodbye to it once it’s done.

Lucky for me, the third book will come out at some point, and I’m ready to delve into “Oryx & Crake” again. I am that brave now.

“The Year of the Flood” is fantastic, and stands on its own, even if you haven’t read the first book.

Happy Sunday, y’all.

— wm

love this one…

February 23rd, 2010

“Experts have / their expert fun / ex cathedra / telling one / just how nothing / can be done.” — Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996)

homework, the bane of our very existence

February 22nd, 2010

me to the kids in the car on the way home: “I want to make you as miserable every day about doing your homework as you make me miserable every frickin’ day about not doing your homework, see?”

the kids (silently to each other): Don’t make eye contact with that woman, we’ll be fine.

i rock at motherhood.


Starbase & Portland Public Schools

February 19th, 2010

Noted anti-war activist S. Brian Willson spells out why the school board should stop selling the US military access to elementary school students.

Wednesday Recipe Club: Donut Puffs

February 17th, 2010

my favorite donut recipe… ever.


2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 T butter

Crisco or oil for deep frying

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon or…

powdered sugar

Mix ingredients, dip batter by spoonful into oil, fry ’em. Let cool on paper towels.

Roll in sugar/nutmeg, sugar/cinnamon or powdered sugar.

“Mmm… donuts…” — Homer Simpson

it’s c-c-cold in Florida!

February 16th, 2010

The Beechers are so nice.

happy VD, clap, everybody, clap!

February 14th, 2010

(because you knew i had to say it.)

steve took me out for a bite to eat. and vodka, cuz we’re moving and it was the middle of the afternoon and I was having an “episode.”

steve, looking around the bar (because where else would you go, in North Portland, in the middle of the afternoon on Valentine’s Day?): “I won’t miss the ironic North Portland hipsters.”

me: “yes you will.”

then i eyed four sets of lesbians making out at the bar. four sets. that’s sixteen breasts, for those of you who are counting. i gave a little sigh.

“I’ll miss that.”

i was thinking, i’ve lived in North/Northeast Portland my entire life, right? Then steve asks, Didn’t you live in New York? (my son, suddenly impressed): “You lived in New York?” me: “yeah, for awhile.)

and i lived in Southeast (off Hawthorne, and in Ladd’s Addition, in an old church; also in a heinous apartment complex in Southwest for awhile; and in chi-chi Multnomah Village — Southwest PDX — and in chi-chi Westmoreland — Southeast PDX).

I’ve lived other places.

i’ll be fine.

house on market asap; will keep y’all posted. It stinks like cleaning products in here, gives me headache and sneezes. am glad i’m not frantic mad housekeeper; it can’t be good for your brain cells.


your little hunny,


my blog turns 5 this Sunday, woot!

February 10th, 2010

Steve’s blogs are having their birthdays this month, too. (Go tell him to write about peace on his blog, would you? Tell him to give peace a chance.) (Again.)

Would you like some February “greatest hits” from over the years? Sure, why not?

Feb. 2005

Feb. 2006

Feb. 2007

Feb. 2008

Feb. 2009

Bon appetit!

— wm

a note from Mrs. Dwight Yoakam

February 8th, 2010

There is very little that bugs me about my husband, Hockey God. (Yes, he claims he’s on sabbatical.) (“There’s no crying in baseball!” — Tom Hanks in “A League of Their Own”) (Yeah, whatever, Mr. I’m-So-Busy, Mr. Sabbatical.)

Anyway. He rocks. He’s a great cook, father, lover, husband and gardener. He pretty much always gives me my way, even when I don’t cry. (“There is crying in marriage.” — Wacky Mommy) He watches “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “White Christmas,” “North by Northwest,” “Vertigo” and “Rear Window” with me, over and over and over. (Is there anything sexier than Grace Kelly telling Jimmy Stewart, “Preview of coming attractions…”? No, there is not.)

He’s buying me a new house because I’ve been ready to go for a long time now.

But one thing about him drives me nuts. OK, two. 1) He can’t stand when I talk during movies, but hello, sometimes I need to ask him what’s happening with the plot, especially if it’s one of those suspense/intrigue type of movies and 2) He thinks he knows the words to Dwight Yoakam’s “Guitars, Cadillacs” and he just doesn’t. Also he thinks he can sing like Dwight (“He sings like Fozzy Bear, it’s not that hard!”) and he just can’t.

Other than that, he’s perfect.

Happy Valentine’s Day, lover. Here’s to many more.

some thoughts on family life

February 7th, 2010

gosh, you can really use up a lot of geedee boxes when you’ve been squirreling away possessions like a family of squirrels hoarding nuts for ten years.


finding all kinds of crazy stuff: lost earrings, stuffed animals, favorite sweaters, shirts and panties (bedazzled!), the “6” date for the magnetic calendar. But the best thing has been 10 years’ worth of pix of the kids and journals.

from the preschool days: my daughter made up a dance and called it “the African Fresh Melon Dance.” It was wild, you should have seen it — all gyrating limbs and a lot of hopping.

She also wrote her first book: “The Dinosaurs of You.”

She’s still writing, and dancing. So are we.

“I don’t dance anymore!” — Wacky Girl



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