Excellent Blog
2007 Inspiring Blog
Rockin' Girl Blogger


January 20th, 2012

what a difference two years makes.

Baby sez, I’ll bite ya! (photo by Steve Rawley)

Hello, Kitty

on the coffee table: “Following Ezra,” “Tender is the Night” and “Paradise Lost”

January 19th, 2012

“Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism and Love from His Extraordinary Son” is a great read for any parent, not just parents of special needs children. Nice work, Mr. Tom Fields-Meyer.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Tender is the Night” is where it’s at for me this week. I re-read “The Great Gatsby” awhile back, but I must say that “Tender is the Night” is closer to my heart. Also it’s funny, in the middle of all the pathos.

“Abe North was talking to her about his moral code: ‘Of course I’ve got one,’ he insisted, ‘– a man can’t live without a moral code. Mine is that I’m against the burning of witches. Whenever they burn a witch I get all hot under the collar.”

I’m grappling with John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” still. I can’t say “again,” because I remember loving this poem and flying through it in college. Wrote an amazing paper (no doubt) (ha), did cartwheels all around Satan, Adam and Eve. (sigh.) I’m reading it for book group, I have to finish it. (argh.)

Also reading Mikal Gilmore’s insightful and well-written profile of David Bowie, “The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust: How David Bowie Changed the World,” in the Feb. 2, 2012 issue of the Rolling Stone. I wish we were discussing that in book group, instead of “Paradise Lost.”

“…There were too many suicides (in my family) for my liking… as long as I could put those psychological excesses into my music and into my work, I could always be throwing it off.” — David Bowie, in 1993

round-up, round-up… books! Vivian Maier, plus Carol Shields: “The Stone Diaries” and “Swann”

January 16th, 2012

I just ordered a copy of Vivian Maier: Street Photography and am counting the minutes until it gets here. Maier was a photographer who passed away in 2009. I had never heard of her or seen her work until this week’s New Yorker showed up. But then, many people hadn’t. She supported herself by working as a nanny in Chicago and New York. She took photos, and when she died, left a collection of more than 100,000 negatives and more than 3,000 prints. None were published or exhibited during her lifetime. Two shows are up now in New York, exhibiting her work: one at the Howard Greenberg Gallery and one at the Steven Kasher Gallery.

It thrills me that her work is getting the recognition it deserves. Finally.

Another under-appreciated artist is Carol Shields, an American-born Canadian author, and winner of the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for her book “The Stone Diaries.” (Carol Shields’s friend, Margaret Atwood, agrees that Shields is not as well-known as she deserves to be.) I know, I know. “Pulitzer Prize” does not equal “under-appreciated,” and plenty of people read “The Stone Diaries” for various book groups after it won. But whenever I’m asked who my favorite authors are, I always mention her and usually people are unfamiliar with her work.

Her final book was “Unless.” It’s fantastic. And oh, how I love “The Republic of Love.” But my favorite is “Swann,” a creepy, gripping, provocative book about a rural Canadian poet who is “discovered” just hours before she is killed.

Enjoy your books!

— wm

The Wacky Mommy Book Review That Will Not Be: “Wildwood,” “The Marriage Plot” and… that other one. That great book I just read and took back to the library and what was the name of it???? Gah. Oh, right. “STORI Telling” (Tori Spelling’s memoir) (one of ’em)

January 12th, 2012

Man, I loved Tori Spelling’s memoir. Yeah, she had a writer help her with it, but it’s her voice, her stories, all Tori, all the time. I love that girl. Yes, I was a big 90210 and Melrose Place fan, back in the olden days before there was high-def TV. Her dad was just a crazy writing, producing, Hollywood machine gun of a guy, and her mom is named Candy and loves to buy shit and… The Spellings are as close as we have to royalty in this country we call the U.S. of A., no? Steve and I think her husband, Dean McDermott, is funny as hell, too, cuz he played Stan Ryckman in one of our favorite TV shows ever, The Tournament. (It’s a Canadian show about hockey, it’s as if they designed it just for us.) I love those two, and their kids, and their other kids (their goats) and that’s all. xoxoxoxoxox to you and your family, Tori. Next?

Oh, yes. Next is the bad news. I tried to read Jeffrey Eugenides’s (“The Virgin Suicides”) latest, “The Marriage Plot.” Made it through the first 71 pages. Yeah, you take a pee. Whatever. (This is an “adult” book.) You do not “pee with taurine force” (p. 59.) (Yeah, your guess is correct. “Like a bull.”) You have breasts. You may even have pale breasts. But a “pale, quiet, Episcopalian breast”? (p. 71.) Now you’re just trying to show off wif your writing, boy. Eh.

Next? “Wildwood,” by Colin Meloy (from the band the Decemberists, and that one episode of the TV show “Portlandia”) and his lovely wolf, Carson Ellis. Was it named for Wildwood restaurant, the fancy-shmancy place in Northwest Portland? Maybe they like to eat there or something. I do not know. Oh! It’s named for the Wildwood Trail in Forest Park, no doubt. There you go.

I do love Ellis’s art — she has done illustrations for Lemony Snicket and Florence Parry Heide and (one of my favorites) Trenton Lee Stewart (“The Mysterious Benedict Society”). She, Meloy and their kid, who is, I’m sure, adorable, as kids usually are, live in Portland, Ore. They are referred to as “hipsters.” (Ellis-Meloy, that is.) Their young adult novel has been getting rave reviews and lots o’ press and wow, what a book, etc. Babies, all I could think about was “Portlandia,” and a ways into the book, I became convinced that Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, who I know, I know, a lot of you find as adorable as the Ellis-Meloy kid is, no doubt… I started thinking that they wrote the book, even though of course they didn’t, it’s Mr. Meloy and Ms. Ellis’s book and chicken people, no, crows, crow people and St. Johns in North Portland oh-my-gawd it’s so hip I could die, and gah…

gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc.

I’m telling you. Hell hath no fury like a native-born and -grown Portland girl who can’t live there anymore cuz it’s not her people anymore and…

Where was I? Oh, yeah. “What right do you have to even review books? Who are you, anyway, Little Miss Astor Butt?”

I. Love. Books. I have a B.A. in English, I write and edit, my kids and husband are all big readers, I come from a family of big readers on both sides, mom’s and dad’s, and… right. I’m a librarian, too, in my free time. You know what a book needs to do? Move me. And these last two just didn’t, fancy words, gushing accolades, pretty covers, what have you. So gimme Tori Spelling. She’s funny, she’s real, and she’s not trying to impress me. She’s self-deprecating as hell. She does something kooky, things don’t turn out well, and she says, Surprise, surprise…

You can keep your hip references and wordy-wordiness, alright? Please, for the love of Mike, don’t be pretentious.

(PS — I purchased “Wildwood” for my kids. They do like Portlandia, but refuse to read this book that I plunked down $17.99 for. The other two I checked out from the library. No disclaimer needed. Although I did get hungry for apple pie, reading “The Marriage Plot.” Two of the characters are discussing when pie used to arrive with a slice of cheddar on top, yeah, I remember that, one of the characters says, followed by no, actually I don’t. So I put the books aside and baked a pie. It was delicious. So there’s my disclaimer.)

all for now,


crazy cat people

January 10th, 2012


January 6th, 2012

Listen. I invented this, not you, Real Simple. hahahaha…

(photo by Steve Rawley)

Doe, a deer...

pacifist to a point

January 4th, 2012

i’m a peace-loving girl, right up to the point where two freaks break into the house and try to come after my family.

after that? all bets are off.

This is one crazy story. Glad she and the baby are both okay. (A fund is being established for Mrs. McKinley and her son, if you are so inclined…)

from Publishers Lunch

January 4th, 2012

The Best of the Best Books of 2011: Overall Top 10

1. The Tiger’s Wife, Tea Obreht
2. The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides
3. 1Q84, Haruki Murakami
4. State of Wonder, Ann Patchett
5. The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
6. In The Garden Of Beasts, Erik Larson
7. Blood, Bones & Butter, Gabrielle Hamilton
8. Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson

6 books tied in 9th:
The Sisters Brothers, Patrick DeWitt
The Tragedy of Arthur, Arthur Phillips
The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
Open City, Teju Cole
The Stranger’s Child, Alan Hollinghurst
Bossypants, Tina Fey

(just found Zandria’s list, too. happy reading, everyone!)

top 10 searches that get people here

January 3rd, 2012

skinny bitch recipes
chili with wine
rockstar mommy
funny family mottos
wacky mommy
wacky sex
chili wine
chocolate volcano cake
rockstar mommy blog
skinny bitch in the kitch recipes

yes, am skinny bitch, bitches! welcome! happy New Year! happy Year of the Dragon! hope your holidays were merry and bright, and that the fates allowed everything u wanted ’em to.

— wm

« Previous Page