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Excuse me, Satan worshippers

August 30th, 2007

Sorry, if previous post offended any Satan worshippers who don’t want to be associated with church. Alternately, if it offended any church-goers who didn’t want to read about sex toys and “Weeds.” Alternately, any government officials who don’t want their right to kill grandparents, domestically or internationally, taken away from them.

I can only blame that post on the fever I’ve been running for over two days now. What is the deal, fever? No stomach bug, no cough or anything. Just this fever that keeps going back and forth between 101 and 103.

Edited on Friday a.m. to say — fever wavering between normal and 100. Better than 103, anyway. Happy Labor Day, everyone! We’ll be celebrating Wacky Girl’s 8th birthday and our 9th anniversary.

to my husband, I say: happy anniversary, my love. Te amo.

xx wm

Thursday Thirteen #108: Thirteen Reasons I Became a Sunday School Teacher

August 29th, 2007

Thursday 13ers and Usual Suspects,

Are you thinking to yourself, “You know what WM needs to do? The girl needs to become a Sunday School teacher!”??? Were you really? Because I was, too. Spooky!

13 reasons i became a sunday school teacher
by Wacky Mommy

1) I couldn’t find a “real” job

2) If you saw how disorganized I truly am (well, maybe you have a clue, given how random this blog is), you’d realize I really need to throw some stability into my paperwork and life. Lesson plans! A set schedule! A need to wear grown-up clothes!

3) My husband thinks it’s sexy. Meow.

4) I pawned off my children on my unsuspecting mother today, so I was free. FREE! Freeeeeeeeeeee… Mom, thank you, you rock, Mom. I bought myself some take-out for lunch, then I watched a little of “One Life to Live” and a little of “General Hospital.” (Both dull, I am sorry to report. Can we sex it up a little, soaps? Because, damn.)

I was looking through the Good Vibrations sex toys catalog, after I watched “Weeds” on DVD, after I got bored with the soaps. Then I had an iced coffee.

When your children are away for the day, it is good to multi-task.

Then I went to Teacher Training tonight at church! People, it is the little quirks and turns in life that make it beautiful.

5) Also, the church staff asked (read: begged) for volunteers, cuz we were way short on teachers. They needed me!

6) Teaching is stressful, it turns out, and you know what a little stress biscuit I am. High on Stress! (I used to have a T-shirt that said that.)

7) Who needs sex on Sunday mornings when you can go teach 20 little wildcats all about music, love, Zen principles and Earth Day?!?

8) That’s right. I go to a hippie church. An all-inclusive, extremely accepting, gay-friendly, “fudge-packin’, crack-smokin’, Satan-worshippin’ motherfucker” church. (That’s from Nirvana, remember them? Their “good boy” T-shirt said “flower sniffin’, kitty pettin’, baby kissin’ corporate rock whores.”)

Because where else would I fit in? When you see the church-folk marching at the peace rallies here, right behind the No War Drum Corps, that is my church. I love my church. And I would like to say thank you to the drum corps, if they’re reading, for fricking rippin’ it up all the time. (They start off with the drums, we start marching, my daughter asks, “Mommy, why are all those police there?” and points to the 200 cops on bikes. I say, “To escort us!” and off we go.)

9) I like kids. I think they deserve love, peace and no wars. I think that little kids, Iraqi kids especially, deserve for their grandparents to not be killed by the U.S. government. I think the U.S. government should get behind this sentiment. “War Kills Grandmas” was a slogan Wacky Girl came up with, all on her own. I was very proud, the day she dreamed that one up.

I know I gripe about kids all the time, and puzzle over their crazy antics, but at the heart of it? I like kids. I want them to be happy, and know we care about them.

10) We do fun stuff at church, too, not just political and educational stuff. We make art. Read. Have potlucks and picnics. Give each other flowers. Do the baby tree dance around the courtyard.

11) I like the other teachers, they’re kooky.

12) One word: snacks and juice.

13) God loves me.

Princess Diana, ten years after

August 28th, 2007

“To the fury of hard-core Diana fans, London-based Australian feminist and academic Germaine Greer has been leading the charge against the glorification of Diana. On Sunday, the acid-tongued Greer described Diana as “the slowest of the four Spencer children”, a child given to “preposterous fibs”, “sly malevolence”, “devious” and intent on building a false image of herself for an adoring world. To the dismay of Diana-lovers, Greer backed up most of her accusations with facts culled from the Princess’s life, illustrating the cunning stupidity she claimed to be Diana’s defining characteristic.”

— The Times of India, 8/29/07

Well. I think that’s what serves all women best, don’t you? When we gang up on each other, back-bite, and call names. (more…)

Lemon Groves, we love you and we miss you.

August 27th, 2007

Lemon, rest in peace now. You were a great girl — we loved you. I still crack up about “the special rolling technique” all the time. You brought light and laughter — that still remains.

wm (& hg)

willamette week story

(ps — Gordon Smith, thank you for your help.)

Oaks Amusement Park: Nasty Enough

August 26th, 2007

Eh, it’s like my old roommate told me, after seeing the Mona Lisa on free day at the Louvre: “Talk about your unwashed masses, babe.” Yeah, that’s pretty much Oaks Amusement Park in Southeast Portland on one of the last days of summer before school starts. (Would you like e-mails from Chipper, the park’s mascot? Sign up here!)

I have never particularly liked Oaks. The rides, the cotton candy, the dirty boys who work there, the roller skating. Not my trip. We are ice skaters here, you know that, right? The organ music is enough to give me a screeching migraine. The only good part about Oaks is that we usually go for Salvadorian food after at El Palenque. (If you get the enchiladas or taco salad there, you will be happy. Especially if you get a strawberry margarita, Negra Modelo or horchata, too. But you will be missing out on the fried plantains, black beans and sweet cream, and the loroco pupusas with fresh slaw and salsa. Dear God, I miss living by El Palenque.)

I liked the Willamette River below Oaks Park plenty when I was a teenager. Because, as you probably have already guessed, I was a teenage girl. (more…)

Kwik Jones’s Studio 20 Entertainment — “The Code”

August 26th, 2007

Did you know it’s our anniversary next week? Nine years of happily married life!

My sister babysat for the kids last night — we went to clarklewis for dinner, it was a little fancy, but we sat at the bar to compensate. More on that later… The big news of the night was we made it to the theater — the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, right in the neighborhood. We saw Kwik Jones’s new play, “The Code.” It was fantastic. (He’s a Jefferson high graduate — say yes to local artists.)

For those of you in Portland, the final show is 3 p.m. today (Sunday, Aug. 26th). If you can, go; if you can’t, try to catch this show when it plays again, or get on the mailing list to find out about the company’s other shows. It was tremendous, moving, and extremely well-acted.

Here’s a synopsis of the show. You can read a Trib story about IFCC and Studio 20 here. And you better have IFCC’s address, so you can get on their mailing list.

Mr. Jones was there last night, and on our way out I wanted to stop and say something, but what is protocol, people? I always feel a little starstruck around playwrights and actors. Do you stop and say, “Great show, I loved it”? or what? If you don’t say something, will they think you didn’t like it? Live theater can be an emotional experience — sometimes it takes me a bit to come back to reality after seeing a really good show, like this one. The actors, directors and playwrights know this, right?

Please advise.

Meeting Tony Soprano

August 25th, 2007

An interview with our neighbor’s friend’s kid, E, who recently moved from New York to Seattle.

WM: When did you move to Seattle?

E: I moved to Seattle in June 2nd of 2007. This year. Before that, I lived in New York, in Astoria, Queens.

WM: So, did you ever meet the guys from “Entourage”?

E: Answer: No. (more…)

Book Review: Mommy Tracked, Husbandry, Tales from the Teachers’ Lounge

August 25th, 2007

Reviewed today:

(I have a new post up at Grasshopper New Media — it’s about family reunions. Check it out. wm)

So, so, so.

I try to think about Elvis
Oprah in the afternoon
I try to think about palm trees
Fig leaves
The creature from the black lagoon
I try to think about high heels
And good deals
Anything to get me through
I just can’t concentrate
You’re all I think about these days

— “I Try to Think About Elvis”
Patty Loveless

I have a stack of books here as high as my left hipbone for review, and I just have not had the time to write any reviews. (Although I have been finding time to read.) Also, my concentration is shot. What with end of summer. Worrying about my granny. Getting back up to speed after a lazy, relaxing vacation. The season finale of “America’s Got Talent.” Excuses, excuses.

Generally, if I don’t like a book I don’t review it. (Stash under “Things My Dad Told Me”: If you can’t say something nice/don’t say anything at all.) But I’ll make two exceptions here.

Robert Wilder’s new book, “Tales from the Teachers’ Lounge,” (Delacorte Press, $23, 307 pages) lost me at “Here, I’ll start out by making fun of the special ed kids. Har! Har!” Rob, it’s not funny. Also, I only sort of liked his other book “Daddy Needs a Drink,” although I gave it a decent review here.

Second, “Husbandry: Sex, Love & Dirty Laundry,” by Stephen Fried (Bantam Books, $18, 177 pages) lost me at the first sentence:

“Let’s start with my socks.”

No, let’s not. And let’s not get into the politics of housework, how women are “genetically programmed” to be quicker-picker-uppers and how “the things that you stress about are not the things I stress about” and how if you’re rude to your wife you won’t get laid, etc.

Oh, and the whole “I would have gotten around to picking up my dirty clothes eventually, it’s just more important to you than it is to me.” As long as men keep leaving the shitwork for women, we will continue to be subjugated and our real work won’t matter (or get done) because we’re kept so busy with the shitwork. Excuse me — your shitwork.

So fucking pick up your socks and shut up.

Now — a book I loved. When I first glanced at Whitney Gaskell’s new book, “Mommy Tracked,” (Bantam Books, $12, 349 pages) I cringed a little. More about Jimmy Choos, right? Manolo Blahnik’s, and the new nanny, and the mojitos and yadda yadda. I cannot relate to those books, I really can’t. (Except for the mojitos.)

It’s not that book. Meet Chloe, Anna, Grace and Juliet, and their crazy, mundane, complicated lives under pressure in Orange Cove, Florida. I read the first chapter, then put it down to call the Pink-Haired Housewife, who I’d given my other review copy to.

“It’s like reading a really juicy grown-up Judy Blume book! Go read it!” Then I hung up and finished the book. The characters were believable, and engaging. One shoplifts compulsively, one is struggling to lose weight, one (a single mom) is scared of dating, one wants to have an affair on her husband, then doesn’t want to, then does want to… will she? It’s a soap opera, but, like any good soap, it’s trickier than just the drama.

You’ve got to have believable characters. We have to be able to relate to them. They don’t have to be perfect, but you have to care about them. Check, check and check. They moved me, these women. They were rich. They made me feel like I’m not alone out here.

And great news! Gaskell has written four other novels: “Pushing 30,” “True Love (and Other Lies),” “She, Myself & I” and “Testing Kate.” Yay!

You Just Never Know What’s Going to Happen in Vail

August 24th, 2007

(More from the travel files — wm)

“Please God, make this a stress-free day!”
My former roommate, praying loudly at the breakfast table, circa 1992

Today is actually… I have no idea. I believe it’s Tuesday, Aug. 14th, 2007, but I could be wrong. The altitude has me a little discombobulated. I do know we’re still in Colorado. (more…)

My Granny

August 23rd, 2007

I write about my Granny sometimes, how crazy, funny and smart she is and how much everyone is nuts about her. Or because of her. And I run her recipes sometimes, too.

Today it’s not funny, or crazy, just sad. (more…)

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