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Junk mail, I do not believe your promises

October 19th, 2007

You are a big liar, junk mail folder, with your one thousand e-mails in my junk mail trap every day of my life.

I do not believe there are four girls waiting to meet me.

I do not believe you will make my penis stronger. I do not have a penis.

I do not believe that your watches are “all that” or that Viagra is the answer to my problems (see above: no penis), or that you are “freaking cheap,” although I do believe you are a “freak.” I would not do ritalin and drink, although according to you I can and buy some lexapro for good measure and call it a day.

(Customer service girl at Fred Meyer store, after telling an out-of-state caller, No we don’t sell hard liquor here: “He just needs to get himself a hard lemonade and call it a night.”)

I do not want your meds program, your depression seroquel or your protonix side effects. I do not care about Zoloft, synthroid or ativan side effects.

I know the synthroid side effects, having been on it since I was a child of 14. Its side effect is: I’m alive and not going into cardiac arrest.

I do not want 100 milligrams of this or that or something COD or something for free or all the help I need right here right now.

I am tired of telling my children, “Don’t look, junk mail!” even though I have selected text only no pix so I no longer have to see the big dix. My daughter reads now, and my son is learning. I do not want them to meet you.

You go away now, junk mail, before I slap ya.

ps — All the testosterone I need? No thanks. It’s estrogen here and I’ve got plenty.

Recipe Club: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

October 19th, 2007

From Natalie at State of Confusion, who I found through Vixen!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c oil
3 c sugar
2 eggs
1 lg can pumpkin
2 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
1 t all spice/1 t cinnamon mixed
1/2 t ginger
5 c flour
1 t salt

Mix all together with milk chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes.

cats don’t go to Hell

October 17th, 2007

Hockey God, on his way out of the room, tells me, “I’ll see you in bed.”

Then says to Wacky Cat One, “I’ll see you in Hell.”

Magic 8 Ball Sez: Check Google Ads for Answers

October 17th, 2007

What should I do with my life? Let’s ask my Google ads, here they come now!

* Christian boarding school (uh. probably not)
* Teen counselor (a clue for who I’ll be calling in the future?)
* House values (sure. what are they if you don’t want to install new carpet, remodel the kitchen and upstairs bath and add patios?)
* Oregon house values (you know me so well, Google)
* Home appreciation rates (according to the realtors, you don’t have to have much money to buy a house in Portland! that’s news to the rest of us)

I Take Back Everything Bad I’ve Ever Said About the Florida Room

October 16th, 2007

I was mean about it when the Florida Room moved in. You know, I was all, just what Jefferson High School needs — a bar across the street.

They even had some protesters from Jeff and elsewhere in the neighborhood show up at one point. (The “Church of the Bloody Mary” sign did come down, which many of us appreciated.)

But when the shootings happened, after the Jeff football game, homecoming and dance on Friday? Who was the first out on the street? The EMT-trained kitchen staff from the Florida Room. (BlackFriend left a note in comments). She says, “They wanted to make sure the kids were all right.”

That touches the heart of even a bitchy cynic like myself.

Thanks, you guys.

BlogHer Ads never ever chooses me anymore

October 16th, 2007

Not reviewed today! But soon:

Is it the cussing? Am I dull as a butter knife and no one has known how to tell me? Pick me! (Jumping up and down, waving her arms around.)

Just for you:

* Last Friday (Oct. 12, 2007) there was another shooting outside of Jefferson High School. Two, in fact. No one was killed. Thanks, Jeebus. We appreciate your attention. (Please send good thoughts to the kids in my neighborhood, would you?)

* In spite of the violence, the tough schools, the white parents bringing their white privilege to the table (“We are here to save the neighborhood! To save you from yourselves! Do what we say!” etc.), the pitbulls, the jerks who look like an angry white mob, with red faces and bulging muscles in their necks at neighborhood meetings re: name change from Intercourse Ave. to Chavez Blvd. (my favorite line in the string of comments on that link was “Wacky Mommy, you ARE wacky.” Yeah, tell me something I don’t already know), in spite of the traffic, in spite of the meth labs and the police with their SWAT vehicles and all of that?

* In spite of all of that, when our (new & improved) realtor told us, “When people think of Interstate Ave. and North Mississippi, they have preconceived notions about prostitutes, drug use, gangs, and whatnot,” (she may not have said “whatnot,” it is just my favorite word lately) all I could think was, “What the fuck do you know, bitch?” and I really wanted to go all North Portland on her ass. Especially when she suggested that perhaps my neighborhood isn’t “all that” and perhaps we should wait until spring to put it on the market? After we remodel the kitchen?

* (I’m fucking not remodeling the kitchen. The kitchen is functional and the lighting is good. Go look here here and here to find out why pigs will need to zoom across the sky before I tackle another big project here. Edited to say: We have since found an awesome incredible painter and no, I won’t give out his number.)

* You know, when my realtor (who is a west sider, by the by) went off about hookers and guns I wanted to say something tactful at that point. Like, “Why don’t you stick it in my eye and then I’ll be able to see that you’re fucking me?”

* I do not feel that she was being positive enough.

* This is a great neighborhood, shootings and SWAT teams aside. Ten minutes from downtown Portland, 15 minutes from Vancouver, Wash. Several schools nearby that, while my husband and I may not always be so keen on them, are loved by a lot of parents, kids and teachers. These are schools, some private, some public, with waiting lists. We have the Mississippi and Alberta “arts districts,” with fancy restaurants, galleries and bars, right up the street. We have fancy-shmancy restaurants and coffee houses right in my neighborhood, up the street. A farmers market within walking distance. Several community centers. A fancy grocery store and a regular grocery store. Yadda yadda blip. And we have a nice house. I am sorry to be a jerk and brag, but it’s pretty, my house. And good-sized. It’s vintage, for pete’s sake — its celebrating its 100th birthday this year. We’ve babied it and it shows.

* It is “Old Portland,” whatever the hell that means. Some people are impressed by it, they’re all “oooooooooh, Old Portland.” But not our realtor.

* Anyway.

* We decided to fix her up even a little bit more, This Old House. Because we haven’t spent enough money here yet. New carpet, maybe some new landscaping, touch-up paint here and there, yadda yadda blip blip, and wait a couple of months “until the market isn’t so smooshy” to list it. My mellow was pretty harshed after we made this decision, especially since we’d already found a really decent house across town and of course in my mind I was there, in my new kitchen, drinking coffee, so I took myself out for coffee to get my mind off things.

* I was reading Andrew Merton’s bio/autobio of Princess Diana — so good, but so heartbreaking, of course — and drinking my boring little decaf. (It may have been caf. You will never know, will you?) These two idiots sit by me and one starts bragging loudly of how he screwed someone on this real estate deal. He wanted this house in my old neighborhood (Rose City/Madison South) and they offered them thousands under what they wanted, and the owner countered with how about this much, instead? and yadda yadda blip and, smugly, “We just out-waited ’em. They finally had to drop the price and ha ha ha! I want them to pay closing costs and ha ha ha!!! I am not fixing the whoozit, they need to pay for that, too…”

* At which point his friend, who may I say to his credit was not being all gleeful and smug, said, “Who much would it cost to fix the whoozit?”

* “Just two thousand, but fuck that! Ha ha ha.”

* At which point of course I rolled my eyes at him and was tempted to crack a chair across his head because next he started bragging about how huge the house was (3,200 square feet). And hello? You just ripped these people off, don’t gloat. Instant karma’s gonna get you, buddy. That’s a sweet deal you got in my old neighborhood. I don’t want my mom to have you as a neighbor, you jerk.

* Then he starts bragging about the East coast, and “Back there it would cost you…” And I’m thinking, dude, pay for the whoozit yourself, you scam artist.

* But I’m glad I ran into him because it made me realize that while I do like getting a killer deal (who doesn’t?) I do not enjoy the gleeful pride of knowing that I screwed someone over.

* So I do want to get a fair shake for our (beloved, beloved awesome pretty) house, and I don’t want to pay tens of thousands more than I should for our new house. But. I do not want anyone coming away from the deal feeling all, nyah, nyah.

*Because that is wrong.

* Really, really, really wrong.

* So now I feel more okay about the whole thing. We’re still selling, just not this weekend. Because that smug guy? The thief? He’s that way, but you and I are not that way, savvy? Are you with me on this, Internet? I know my readers, I know you’re decent people. The housing market is in a little slump here, and there are way too many “PayDay Loan”-type home foreclosures going on because some loaners are opportunists and jerks. People’s lives are getting ruined because of it. Which is messed up and not fair to anyone. Is that instant karma? No, not usually. It’s usually someone who desperately wants to own their own place, and housing prices here can be pretty intimidating, and even though they can’t afford it, the loaners are all, “Suuuuuuure you can, sign your life away right here and I’ll go ahead and keep two of your kids.”

* I have karma on the brain today. Then when I got home, my favorite guy next to Hockey God stopped by: the UPS Guy! He brought me Sharon Stiteler’s book, “Disapproving Rabbits.” It’s all pictures of rabbits! With funny captions! Man, oh man, did I need this book today. And he also brought…

* Richard Avedon’s “The Kennedys: Portrait of a Family,” with seventy-five images from the Smithsonian Collections. I just glanced through it — it’s spectacular.

* So more later on those three books.

* Let’s not crack open any heads out there, okay people?



honest to pete — where did they come from? oh, wait. I think I know.

October 15th, 2007

Gets to be 4 o’clock, I’m more than happy to let the kids watch PBS Kids. Am I a failure? Shouldn’t we be at the park, or library or something? We do plenty of that — orthodontist appointments, playing at the park, then walking home when it’s nearly dinnertime, running by the library or the store. Some days I just am toast and so are they.

I don’t know what the line-up is now for afternoon PBS kids’ programming, they changed the sked. It used to be something like “Arthur,” “Maya and Miguel,” “Cyberchase” and… something. “Ruff Ruffman”? They are ga-ga mad for Ruff Ruffman. I kind of like him, too. His corny jokes and all. Now it gets to be 6 o’clock, PBS Kids is over and still, no word from my kids. Being a neglectful mother, I’m thinking, good, more time for me to get dinner ready, or have another glass of wine. (Sad, really, me giving up booze re: heart issues. I like a glass of wine.)

A couple of weeks ago I popped into the office. They were in front of the TV, absorbed, and wouldn’t tell me what they were watching.

“Just sit down,” Wacky Boy says.

“What’s the show?” I ask.

“It’s the one show,” Wacky Girl says, eyes glued to the set. “With the two guys. You know.” (Irritated.)

Me: “No, I don’t know.”

“Shhh!” (both kids, in unison.)

You know which show it was? Are you guessing?

That’s right. It’s This Old House. (Which I thought was canceled, but in the 1907-2007 time warp that is My Old House, it’s still on.)

“Oh, this is the good part,” Wacky Boy murmurs. They’re demolishing a kitchen. He’s right, it is the good part. I am a sucker for a good demo, just ask my husband. (Who hissed at me at one point, “No. More. Demo’ing while I’m at work. Got it?”)

My husband walked in at this point.

“What are you guys watching?”

“Just sit down, Dad,” Wacky Boy says.

“Is it…” he starts.

Wacky Boy, gesturing madly, “No talking.”

This afternoon they were both watching PBS Kids again; Wacky Boy was home sick with a cold, which didn’t deter him much from being a maniac. The rest does him good — it means he’s not using the couches as trampolines.

“Good,” his sister tells him. “It’s Monday.”

“‘This Old House,'” he says. “Ready?”

Ready? We’ll be doing some modest landscaping in the front, more radical in the back, patio, two retaining walls, so this family can really enjoy their home, now let’s take a look at this bush out front. No, let’s not. It’s a beautiful bush — lush and green.

“They’re going to chop it down!” I say, horrified. (But not, because, you know. I’ve watched the show before. And I’ve been talking with realtors for the last week. We are now in negotiations because they want to sell our house for $12 and I think it’s worth more. I think it’s worth $15, minimum. “The market is so smooshy right now! You’ll be lucky to get $12 for it.” Argh.)

You think it looks healthy, from the outside, this bush, but the inside, look. (Obviously, it is healthy, it’s huge and verdant.) (They rip the bush apart.) All. Dead. Wood. (I think if you click on that link above you will see the bush in question.) It blocks the house! You can’t see anything out front but the bush! It must go.

“It’s not dead, it’s frickin’ healthy,” I say. “What do they know?”

Wacky Boy, satisfied, “Yep. They’re taking it down.”

Honestly, people who don’t know gardening have no busy selling houses or doing big exterior remodeling jobs. I spit on them.

on hurricanes and reason #45 why i love my husband

October 14th, 2007

We started packing up our house and paring down after Hurricane Katrina. Because you just never know when a hurricane is going to tear through, even in placid Portland, Ore.

Naw, it was because my girlfriend R, an old friend of my sister’s and mine, lost her house in New Orleans and almost everything in it. She, her husband and her kids were okay, and sometimes, that’s enough. But they lost all their stuff, see? No stuff! So I packed up roughly half of my house and sent it to them. I had too much stuff, anyway.

R’s sister, C, wrote Diary from Louisiana entries about their experiences for my blog, so their friends would have a place to find them and know what was going on in their world. You’ll find the posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here and also here.

Me at the post office, mailing another three boxes: “You got a rate for ‘We’re in Deep Shit, Louisiana, please help’?”
Post office guy: “Nope. I wish we did.”
Me: “Gimme book rate.”

I mailed them towels, dishes, toys, toothpaste, toiletries, videos, books, sheets. Basically anything that would fit into a box, didn’t weigh too much, and that I could tape shut and not have the box break open. My sister and our friends mailed them some stuff, too, and some people kicked in a little money.

That is what you call “love in a box,” my friend.

They shared it all out, then they sent us a King Cake for Mardi Gras, and a thank you note. A thank you note! This undid me. I love Southern girls. They are thoughtful, even in the time of a crisis. I have not heard from them in awhile and I miss them. They are nice girls, you’d like them.

So what I’m saying is, how can I have so much junk to pack? We are anti-junk here. We’re not compulsive shoppers, we share the love, we don’t have any excessive habits. I am a little intimidated by how much we have to pack — dishes, towels, plastic dohickeys, toys, clothes, books…

Hockey God, on packing: “I’m not opposed to throwing it all in boxes and just taking it to the new place. I’ve done it before.”

That was just what I needed to hear. So if I’m not blogging much? It’s cuz I’m packing.

We’re Moving. Hopefully Soon.

October 13th, 2007

Do you want to talk about ugly dropped ceilings? Soffits? My overgrown garden and yard? How to fix up a house and sell it? How to make an offer on a new house, way across town, even when you haven’t sold the old house yet? Oh, let’s talk about that here and now. (For the rest, head over to my new post on Grasshopper, “Where You See Corn, Your Realtor Will See Weeds.”)

We put a contingent offer on a house today. A big house, a fancy house that is way across town where I have never lived before. It has woods and greenspaces nearby, and is 10 minutes from my husband’s work.

Ten minutes. It takes him an hour and a half sometimes to get home now. (Usually it’s a mere 45 minutes.) (I count the minutes.) (The kids count the minutes, and fall apart.) (Usually because I’m attempting to make dinner and be a good little homemaker, to make his commute worth his while.) (I should make him martinis, don’t you agree?)

Ten minutes away? We could have nooners.

That is, f we weren’t too busy unpacking all 847 boxes of our junk.

We could have a nooner right now (it’s 2:10 p.m., but whatever) if we weren’t shell-shocked by the four-page list our realtor laid on us of everything we need to do. It includes, but is certainly not limited to:

* Ripping out the carpet in our room, Wacky Boy’s room, the stairs and the hallway.
* Cleaning. “Sparkly clean! Really, really sparkly clean!” (Will ponder this.)
* Clean up garden, tear down cornstalks, prune, weed, edge.
* Put up “light, airy” curtains and valances.
* Relocate the neighbor and her appliances which she is fond of leaving in her driveway.
* Relocate the cats because They Stink.
* “Sparkly clean!” This means you, windows.
* Re-do grout on sinks and shower.
* Buy a new doormat.
* Buy a new door.
* Install the new door. (Hockey God hates hanging doors. Hockey God just checked with the neighbor, who is a whiz at installing doors. Neighbor will install door.)

Gotta motor, more later…


Miss Sparkly Clean

do you wonder what’s up here?

October 12th, 2007

* Planet Nomad is BACK and enjoying her new house.

* We’re next.

* I am getting excited about moving, but not so excited about weeding the yard and cleaning.

* When people say, “You need to put a little elbow grease into it,” do you think, “Perdon?” I do.

* I mean, “elbow grease”? What the heck?

* I’m taking the kids to my mom’s for the day, they are ecstatic. So is she. Move across town means longer drive to Grandma’s. My mom lives 20 minutes away right now, we’re pretty spoiled. She and my sister came over for dinner last night — we had Thai take-out so we could keep packing and working on projects. It will be a big change living across town from them — we’ve always lived nearby each other, with a few short exceptions here and there. My sister, “We’ll drive over, don’t worry.” (Yeah, cuz I’ll be holding her niece and nephew hostage, heh heh.)

* Webkins is fun for hours and hours and hours if you are a 5 or 8 year old.

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