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What’s New on My Nightstand… Tuesday Book/Movie Review: “Eat, Pray, Love,” by Elizabeth Gilbert; “Under the Tuscan Sun,” by Frances Mayes; “You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness & Start Living an Awesome Life,” by Jen Sincero; “Brave Enough,” by Cheryl Strayed

April 11th, 2017

Chick books. More, mas, more, mas, more…

“Under the Tuscan Sun” (and the Diane Lane movie), book by Frances Mayes: Now, my girlfriends say we can’t count this one as a true “getting through divorce” book, because Mayes was technically already remarried when she ran off to Italy, got a cool new (trashed) place, complete with scorpions, etc., and started over. But I’m still counting it. It’s got that sisters are doing it for themselves vibe and all, and “i get by/with a little help/from my friends” is fine with me. In the movie, her character is single and blah-blah. Whatever. The book (and the recipes) and the movie are all good.

“Eat, Pray, Love” (and the Julia Roberts/Javier Bardem movie), book by Elizabeth Gilbert: So sexy. And all that pasta. All that meditation. All that good nooky when Javier Bardem shows up. Ahhhh… Good book, good movie, good God, can we all run off somewhere for awhile?

“Brave Enough,” by Cheryl Strayed: I’m finding this little book of affirmations to be helpful.

“You Are a Badass,” by Jen Sincero: My kid gave me this book for Christmas because she loves mommy. I’m not really big on self-help books (although you’d never know it, reading this post), but this is a cool book. Helpful, not preachy; funny, but sincere.

Bon appetit, babies.

xo

wm

Sunday book review, movie round-up & anything else i can throw in here. Happy 2015!

January 11th, 2015

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

“We are the night ocean filled
with glints of light. We are the space
between the fish and the moon,
while we sit here together.”

– Rumi

“Bottom line is we’re all flawed in this world. No one’s perfect,” film director Richard Linklater, accepting his Golden Globe award for directing, “I want to dedicate this to parents that are evolving everywhere and families that are just passing through this world and doing their best.”

I’ll see how many categories I can hit here… Ready? Ready-steady-go!

* Pacific Ocean: It’s beautiful. It makes me happy, i love my negative ions i get from the ocean, and the wildlife is so fun to watch. The sea lions in that picture are making what’s called a “raft.” They all hold onto each other and float around. Hippies :)

* Book review? Here’s what on my nightstand (and on the Kindle): Re-read “Wild,” re-reading “Torch,” re-reading Carol Shields magnum opus, “Unless,” reading “Quiet” and learning all kinds of stuff about introverts, extroverts, high reactives and the modern age, just finishing Dreiser’s “An American Tragedy,” genius, and… that’s all I can think of.

* Recipes:

Oven-Fried Spuds (excellent, best potato recipe ever)
Soup! (Steve’s recipe. This one clears up your head, fast)

1 onion, sliced thin
1 bulb garlic
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
6 cups water

Saute onion and garlic (I like whole cloves, but you can chop or press) on low until soft. Add bouillon cubes and squish. Add water and bring to boil. Can be garnished with fresh slices of jalapeno for an extra sinus kick. Wasabi would be good, too.

Reduce water and bouillon by half to thicken.

* Work… is going well. Super well. I love working at a school (computer lab again this year), I’m with the best staff and boss in the universe (no I’m not saying that because they might read this — they really are gifted, funny, smart, wonderful with the students and everything else I was hoping for) and I love that my students are willing to work on my Spanish with me. #yohabloespanolmasomenos

* My own kids… are great. Whoever said, “Eh, you think that when they’re little they really need you, but when they’re teenagers? That’s when they really need you,” that person was so smart. (Seriously, probably 20 people said that to me when the kids were toddlers, and I thought they were joking.)

* Nekkid Neighborsremember them?

* Sex? Not at work, people, keep that in mind, always. Or with the Nekkid Neighbors. Just a bad idea, aight? Lol. We’ve been watching Californication on Netflix, and swear to God, every time I watch it, I feel like I’ve been in an orgy, and it was kind of great, but equally horrible. Yeah.

* Speaking of pop culturemovies. We saw “Wild,” loved it, “Nebraska,” also great, “Boyhood,” one of the best movies I’ve ever seen in my life. Seriously.

* Holidays: How can 2015 be a real year? It’s so space-age sounding.

* And in the category of Pets, Stupid… Our sweet, loving, funny Wacky Cat 2 passed away last month. I keep looking for him, thinking I see him, missing him. It just sucks.

* Houses & Homes: We’re cleaning & rearranging & opposite-of-hoarding like mad right now because we’re moving again.

In five years.

But, as one of my 80-something-year-old neighbors told me after New Year’s, “Every year, I don’t know what it is. The days go slower and the years go faster.” Then he gave me a big smile, I smiled back, and he pedaled off on his bike. I know just what he means.

All for now, xo,

wm

“Everyone”

June 17th, 2014

Open letter to Seth MacFarlane and the Onion

February 25th, 2013

Hey smarmy Seth MacFarlane and idiots from the Onion,

You want to fight? Sure. How about you go out in the street and practice falling down for awhile, first.

Like we used to say in my old neighborhood: Two hits. Me hitting you and you hitting the floor. It wouldn’t even take a hit. I could tap you with my finger and you’d fall down go boom. Or you’d call me a name, let’s say, the “c” word.

Abby: Did you call me?
Roy: What?
Abby: I heard dumb bitch. I assumed you were talking to me.
Roy: I was talking to her.
Abby: Your name is dumb bitch TOO? No wonder I keep getting all of your mail! You know, we could be related. There are a lot of us dumb bitches here in LA.

– “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”

You’d be all, “C word!” and I’d turn around and say, Perdon? and you would… dissipate. Spontaneously combust, or maybe just implode. There would be a little pile of lint, that’s all that would be left of you.

You’re wussies, that’s why. Not just those garden-variety wussies, either. You’re the next level of wuss, my friends. Remember that trucker from “Thelma and Louise”? Now, he was your garden-variety wussie boy.

Thelma: I mean really! That business with your tongue. What is that? That’s disgusting!

Louise: And, oh my God, that other thing, that pointing to your lap? What’s that supposed to mean exactly? Does that mean pull over, I want to show you what a big fat slob I am or…

Thelma: Does that mean suck my dick?

Trucker: You women are crazy!

Louise: You got that right.

You’re the kind of wussies who make certain people (moms, women, little girls, men who aren’t wussies) totally lose their shit. “Oh, what, you don’t have a sense of humor?”

Yeah, I like jokes.

When they’re funny.

1) You guys aren’t funny. You’re assholes and…

2) You can run, son, but you can’t hide.

Here’s a New Yorker article, because it’s all on the damn record now, isn’t it?

And then the Culture Vulture weighs in.

Also, a thoughtful post from Happy (or whatever).

On the one hand, I would like to pretend, like I have so very many times before, that this was just another bad date. You called me a slut, I went on my way, but you know what? We need to have this conversation, right here, right now. On the record. Because I’m not going anywhere.

But you are.

You guys said what you said, and acted like you acted, and it was bullshit. Old boys’ network and bwah-ha-ha and jokes about Jack Nicholson’s house and women’s “boobs” and calling a sweet little girl a horrible name… And really? Fucking really? More of this shit?

The difference this time is…

Everyone knows. And your way (the old way) is on the way out.

And that gives me, and my sisters, and our daughters, and all of those guys who aren’t wussies like you, a really good gift…

Hope.

And a big smile.

So head on out to the street now, would you?

love,

nancy

QOTD: repo man

January 30th, 2013

Duke: “The lights are growing dim, Otto. I know a life of crime has led me to this sorry fate, and yet, I blame society. Society made me what I am.”
Otto: “That’s bullshit. You’re a white suburban punk just like me.”
Duke: “Yeah, but it still hurts.”

– from the movie “Repo Man”

Nutriaville

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

i miss blogging.

October 27th, 2012

i miss other bloggers. i miss the community, sharing ideas, throwing everything around and turning it upside down on its head.

i miss writing and having people leave comments and the dish-dish back and forth.

facebook isn’t the same thing.

twitter isn’t the same thing.

walled gardens and people being defriended and all. of. the. frickin’. politics.

it’s a rainy Saturday night here in Portland, Oregon. We’re watching “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” for what I swear is the 30th time but Steve swears is only the fourth time.

Possibly the fifth.

i kinda love the scene with the mashed potatoes.

“Don’t you think I’m taking this very well?” — Teri Garr’s character in “Close Encounters”

That’s all. Happy Saturday.

– wm

#freepussyriot, my 30th high school reunion and movies! movies! movies!

September 23rd, 2012

(Pretty much everything in this post I swiped from the People column in yesterday’s Oregonian. Oh yes I did.)

Item one: John Travolta says he feels for Kate Middleton, who apparently had her nipples photographed when she was sunbathing topless in France. a) if you’re a princess, don’t show your ta-tas in public. Kate, did you learn nothing in charm school? b) well, it is France, after all. c) Travolta says he wants his privacy. Even though he allegedly likes to be topless — and pantless — with masseurs, and allegedly requests R&Ts (see: a Rub & Tug) from them. d) people who live in glass houses…

Item two: Steve and I went to my 30th high school reunion last night. The 30th, for those of you who aren’t there just yet, is the one where you walk in and think, Dang, everyone looks so old. But I’m sure I look just the same. (see: delusions of the middle-aged.) It was so fun. And I’m teasing — everyone looked great, and it was good to catch up.

Item three: But we couldn’t stay for the whole thing. They were having a revival showing of Roman Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby,” my top-favorite movie of all time, at the Hollywood Theatre in Northeast Portland. It’s right up there with “Harold and Maude” (which, like “Rosemary’s Baby” also features Ruth Gordon), “White Christmas” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” And “Muppets from Space.” Those are my top five. (see: devil, suicide, Xmas, Xmas, muppets.) (What is the meaning of this, d’ya think?) I say, the quality of the restored print was quite good, and I noticed all kinds of things I never noticed the first fifty times I watched “Rosemary’s Baby.” ie — Polanski’s use of the color yellow throughout the film. (I say, I have to add some Cary Grant movies to my list. see: “North by Northwest,” “The Philadelphia Story” and “Bringing Up Baby.” I say, I must thank my late theater teacher from high school for turning me on to these old movies. see: “The Women,” “Auntie Mame” and “The King & I.”)

Item four: When you don’t drink alcohol, and everyone is getting toasted, well. I can’t see the allure. Also, you know they’re not going to remember any of the conversations they had, so why bother? (see: man, people really like to get hammered at high school reunions.)

Item five: J.K. Rowling’s house in Edinburgh is for sale for 2.25 million pounds. I don’t have 2.25 million pounds, but if I did…

Item six: A picture in the People column of Yoko Ono and the USA executive director of Amnesty International giving the LennonOno Grant for Peace to the husband and daughter of a “Russian band member” who has been jailed. What’s the name of her band, Oregonian? Pussy Riot! Just say it! Pussy Riot! #freepussyriot

Item seven: Back to the reunion for a minute… I went to the same K-8 for nine years, and the same high school for four years. So that means I can go in the way-back machine to 1969 with some of these people! How cool is that? Yeah, 43 years ago, we were 5-year-old kindergarten babies, and now…. Whoa. I don’t write about school politics anymore. (“It’s so… tedious,” as Beth untactfully put it one time.) Yeah, I guess it is boring, but I’m glad that I grew up in a time when most of us in the neighborhood all attended the same school. It made us closer. There was usually someone around to watch over me, and that was good.

Even if we don’t hang out all the time, we keep in touch (thank you, Facebook). Some people live in their parents’ old houses and are still in the neighborhood. Some (like us, and a few of the people I talked with last night) moved away specifically to be shut of the Portland school district. It was nice to catch up with everyone, especially my theater geek friends. Ahhh, now I need a nap. Cuz I’m old is why.

Item eight: Performer Chris Brown, on his “controversial” tattoo that some say resembles a battered woman (perhaps his ex, Rihanna): “I’m an artist and this is art.” No, it’s not. And how about you try not to be a dick, Chris Brown? Thankyouverymuch.

Have a great week.

xo

wm

Loud & Proud: “An American Family” + Honey Boo Boo Child

September 6th, 2012

Watching this week:

“Television ate my family.” — Lance Loud

We came up with the best way ever to spend our wedding anniversary this year: watching the Loud family implode on PBS’s “An American Family.” Me to Steve: “Don’t get any ideas.” His response: “Don’t even worry.”

I remember my ma telling me that she and my dad spent hour after hour, week after week, watching the documentary (the first “reality” TV program) when it first aired in 1973. I didn’t know what to expect, really, but I wanted to watch “Cinema Verite” (with Diane Lane and Tim Robbins as Pat and Bill Loud, and James Gandolfini as the series’s producer, Craig Gilbert). Didn’t feel like it was fair to the Louds to watch the fictional filming of their documentary, or the “behind-the-scenes-making-of” film of the film of the documentary (it all gets a little wiggy) without watching their documentary — the real one, which began shooting in 1971 — first. Now I want to give them all a hug, especially Lance, who I just adore, but he is gone now.

Also we’ve been watching non-stop “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” over here and Lord, does my head hurt now. It’s all good TV, people. Have you watched any of these films/shows? If so, what did you think? Gimme the Louds over the Kardashians any day, and gimme Honey Boo Boo any day over “Survivor,” woooooooooooooo-hoooooooooooo :) We love that little firecracker, she’s a pistol. She fractures me, I am not even kidding.

No, I’m not getting much writing done, but I need that once in awhile.

OK, I have to go to bed. More on all of this later. Much.

Movies that Delight Me and/or Are Making Me Weep

July 4th, 2012

“Could she be gaslighting you?”
“What’s gaslighting?”

– “Darjeeling Limited,” Wes Anderson

I’m sure you would like it if I would write tidy little reviews of all of these movies, but you know what? I’m not going to. Because then I’ll start sobbing again and I’m all out of tissues.

Off to enjoy some more of summer now! Happy Independence Day to those of you who celebrate it. Have a great week to those of you who don’t.

xo

Wacky Mommy

Monday morning, RIP Nora Ephron and Ruthie’s Bread and Butter Pudding

July 2nd, 2012

Nora Ephron is gone and I am so sad I don’t even want to write.

Here is her friend’s recipe, from “I Remember Nothing”:

Ruthie’s Bread and Butter Pudding

5 large eggs
4 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 quart whole milk
1 cup heavy cream, plus 1 cup for serving
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Twelve 1/2 inch slices brioche, crusts removed, buttered generously on one side
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

“Preheat oven to 375. Butter a shallow two-quart baking dish. Gently beat the eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, and salt until blended. Scald the milk and cream in a saucepan over high heat; do not boil. When you tip the pan and the mixture spits or makes a sizzling noise, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. STIR GENTLY, don’t beat, into the egg mixture until blended.

Overlap the bread, butter side up, in the prepared baking dish and pour the egg mixture over the bread. Set in a large pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the side of the dish. Bake for about 45 minutes, or the bread is golden brown and a sharp knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. The bread should be golden and the pudding puffed up. This can be done early in the day. Do not chill.

Before serving, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and place under the broiler. Don’t walk away. This takes only a minute or two. Or you can use one of the crème brûlée gadgets to brown the sugar.

Serve with a pitcher of heavy cream.”

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