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no more distractions

March 21st, 2008

“At this moment, in this election, we can come together and say: ‘Not this time.’ This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children, and white children, and Asian children, and Hispanic children and Native American children.

“This time, we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that ‘these’ kids can’t learn. That ‘those’ kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not ‘those kids,’ they are ‘our kids’ and we will not let them fall behind in the 21st century economy.

“Not this time.”

— U.S. Presidential candidate Barack Obama, in Philadelphia, Pa. at Constitution Center, March 18, 2008

another QOTD

March 21st, 2008

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”

— Mother Teresa

QOTD, Rain & Hormones

March 21st, 2008

“Sweep first before your own door before you sweep the doorsteps of your neighbors.”
— Swedish proverb

I think we can all learn a little something from that quote, don’t you? It’s raining here. It won’t stop until July. Stupid Portland, Oregon, why do I love and hate you in equal portions?

Internets, my kids are getting older. They’re not really liking my spilling my guts to the Internets. This poses a problem because… I blog. I stress, therefore I blog. Also it clears my head. Also you guys always are supportive and have good ideas, or at least offer to crack heads for me. Or bring me some crack. Or at least commit to getting up at the crack of dawn to see if I’ve posted.

That goes a long way with me.

People I attend meetings with, in real life, are not willing to go so far. They are willing to insult my knitting, though. Who would insult someone’s knitting, for pete’s sake? I knit nicely. It’s pretty, my knitting. Do not be rude, you meeting people. You could try bringing me candy, and saying, “Nice scarf!” and “Wow, you teach kids to knit every week? And the customers and owners of the Naked Sheep Knit Shop donate a ton of stuff to the kids? Fantastic! That is so cool of them! Can I learn, too?”

It’s a nice fantasy world, up there in my head. Some people have been really sweet about my knitting classes. Almost everyone, in fact. Just the handful that were rude stand out. I will now shove their comments out the door, sweep them off my steps, and be done with them. I will only remember the people who said, “Excellent work.”

The glow of working outside the home has worn off, by the by. I do not care for meetings so much, it turns out. And yes, Lelo, I’ve turned into a “Meeting Knitter.” Because I can, that’s why. Also, I ate the Girl Scout cookies I was saving for you. (See: Stress, meetings, parenthood, weather, above.) I’ll bake something for you to make up for it. It had to be done, my apologies.

Also, I do not have to worry about getting dooced here because, contrary to public opinion, I AM NOT GETTING PAID. Maybe someday.

So… let’s say someone at your house has started getting insanely hormonal and random, and let’s say that for a change, that someone is not me. (Not that I’m calm and non-hormonal, oh no, I’m just not as hormonal as someone else here is.)

The advice I was given was:

“Hormones are normal and they get worse then better, then worse, then better. This goes on for several years, like 20. I suggest that you start drinking heavily now or abusing prescription drugs like Xanax, Valium, Ativan, or the like. Painkillers work well, and especially work well mixed with alcohol–but DON’T mix them with alcohol AND any of the aforementioned drugs and anti-depressants or you could end up like Heath Ledger.

Just sayin’.”

Can you top that? I don’t think so, but please try, anyway. Ativan makes me puke, but I will consider the other combos. JUST KIDDING in case my mom is reading this.

Happy Friday to y’all.

Thursday Thirteen Ed. #137: 13 Fun Facts About Fannie Farmer and Frances Farmer

March 19th, 2008

I was going to write this post two weeks ago, but I got distracted by someone’s smut talk. That’s right. It was her. No, I cannot find the exact post I’m referring to, because I cannot figure out her archives is why. (Blame it on Mac blogs.) Anywho, lots of sex talk, smut talk, shoe talk, California talk over there. Don’t go all crazy.

Thirteeners and Usual Suspects, I am back. And this week, I will make a stunning and daring attempt to visit 50 — yes, fifty — Thursday Thirteen blog posts after I am done here. Wish me luck, because you know how it challenges me when I try to “concentrate” on something for more than 20 minutes at a shot.

Hmmm. Why is this so? I have no idea. All I know is that both Mallory and Rockstar Mommy have given up blogging and I am not so happy about that. It leaves me less than inspired about my own blogging! They inspired me! I am not giving you links to them because what would be the point?

To quote Lewis Grizzard: “Elvis is dead and I don’t feel so good myself.”

Without further kvetching, I present…

Thirteen Fun Facts About Fannie Farmer and Frances Farmer:

1) They are not the same person. They are entirely different chicks.

2) Fannie was a Unitarian, thus my Sunday School lesson on her a couple of weeks back.

3) Throughout the class, I was nervous that I was going to say “Frances” when I meant “Fannie.” Frances was accused of being both an atheist and a Communist. Hmm.

4) Perhaps I should have worked this quote into my lesson? “It was pretty sad, because [after the publication of God Dies] for the first time I found how stupid people could be. It sort of made me feel alone in the world. The more people pointed at me in scorn the more stubborn I got and when they began calling me the Bad Girl of West Seattle High, I tried to live up to it.”

5) Sadly, I did not share that quote with the children. Instead, we made muffin mix:

Mae’s Muffins
Adapted from a recipe by Fannie Farmer, the “Mother of Level Measurements.”

1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour (or 1 cup of each)
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 400°. Grease bottoms only of 12 medium muffin cups, 2 1/2 X 1 1/4 inches, or line with paper baking cups. Beat milk, oil, vanilla and egg. Stir in flour, sugar, baking powder and salt mixture all at once just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy).

Possible add-ins: 1 cup fresh or drained canned blueberries or 3/4 cup frozen blueberries, thawed and well-drained; chocolate chips or nuts; shredded or chopped apples.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan.

We measured the dry ingredients only into gallon zip-lock bags. The kids thought this was excellent. We accidentally added a half-teaspoon of extra salt into the mix we brought home. No matter! We added shredded, unsweetened coconut for our “add-in,” along with some extra sugar, and it turned out great! We made a pan of it, due to the fact that I couldn’t find our muffin tin. It baked at 350 degrees (then 325 degrees, for the last 20 minutes) for about an hour total. Dee-licious.

6) Fannie Farmer worked as a “mother’s helper” for Little Marcia Shaw (this is how she is named in my book) and taught her to cook! Then she wrote down the recipes for her, and that eventually became the “Boston Cooking School Cook Book.”

7) She taught at the school for many, many years.

8) How many? I have no idea!

9) She also wrote a book called “Food and Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent.” She considered this her most important book. When I am sick, all I want is Pad Thai with shrimps and Tom Kha Gai soup. I am seriously doubting that her Food and Cookery book contains these recipes, so I have no plans for purchasing it. I am sorry, Fannie. Also I have no plans for actually cooking Tom Kha or Pad Thai, cuz we have a number of excellent Thai restaurants in my neighborhood where we can go for take-out.

10) Hmm. More on Frances? She supposedly never had a lobotomy, according to Wikipedia. And Wikipedia, as you know, is next to God. Just ask Michael Scott.

“Western State Hospital recorded all the lobotomies performed during Farmer’s period there. Since lobotomies were considered ground-breaking medical procedure, the hospital did not attempt to conceal its work. Although nearly 300 patients received the procedure, no evidence supports a claim that Farmer was among them.”

Newspaper interviews: In 1983 Seattle newspapers interviewed former hospital staff members, including all the lobotomy ward nurses who were on duty during Farmer’s years at Western State. They confirmed that Farmer did not receive a lobotomy. Nurse Beverly Tibbetts stated, “I worked on all the patients who had lobotomies, and Frances Farmer never came to that ward.” Freeman’s private patient records contained no references to Farmer. Dr. Charles Jones, Psychiatric Resident at Western State during Farmer’s stays, also stated that Farmer was never given a lobotomy.”

11) Fannie? She taught people to measure “exactly” and is known as the “Mother of Modern Measurements.” She and my granny would not get along one bit because my granny does not measure anything. Ever. She uses a measuring cup to dip in the flour, but only if she doesn’t have a coffee cup handy. I have followed in her footsteps, I am happy to say.

12) Frances Farmer’s films include: “Come and Get It,” “The Toast of New York” and “South of Pago Pago.”

13) If I had to choose between dinner with Fannie Farmer and Frances Farmer, I think I’d go for Frances. We could get Thai take-out and discuss our medical histories, amongst other things.

Happy Thursday, y’all!

Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road

March 19th, 2008

My daughter, complaining about her brother at the dinner table: “Dad! Dad!!! He just said the black beans smell like dead beetles and now I’m not hungry!”

Yeah, and neither am I, because I just remembered our most recent road trip.

My husband enjoys spending his time as a passenger trying to identify the dead things along the road. I do not enjoy this so much.

“Coyote. Or dog. Yeah, dog.”



“Raccoon. Or cat. Big cat. No, raccoon.”

me: “Please. You really need to stop.”

As for live things… between Redding, Calif., and Portland, Ore., on the drive north on I-5, I counted 17 herds of sheep and 10 hawks.

Post-A-Vistas #7: RECOVERING STRAIGHT GIRL!!! how we love her

March 18th, 2008

Post-a-vista No. 7: Our girl, RECOVERING STRAIGHT GIRL!!!

RSG, this is everyone. Everyone, this is the RSG! There! It’s done. Now we all know each other. (I highly recommend reading through her archives — so much “there” there. I love spying on people via their archives, don’t you?)

So, Post-a-vistas!!!

If the system makes you want to “tweak,” then maybe you need tweaking!!!

Time will tell!!!

In the meantime, RSG lives with her amazingly hott girlfriend (I’ve seen pictures so I know) and RSG’s three beautiful daughters in a suburb not so very far away from moi. She goes to a lot of soccer and softball games! She has people drop by specifically because they want to fix meals for her!!! She is politically savvy and also an English major! So let’s hear what SHE has to say!!!

1. Describe your family:

My family consists of my amazing partner in life, HG and my three daughter’s who are 9, almost 11, and 13.

2. Name one thing America is doing right for parents (I, personally, would find this question “challenging.” wm):

I think the Family Medical Leave Act of the early 90’s was a good start. I believe that Oregon has just expanded this to include some paid time off but I’m not certain of the particulars. I don’t know, that $400.00 Bush sent me in 2001 was nice . . . (please note heavy sarcasm here.) I was pleased with the recent law that requires employers to provide a spot for mothers to nurse or pump their milk for their babies (that is NOT a bathroom.)

3. Name one thing America is not doing right for parents:

Let me get my list.

First: Women need to have true and honest access to information about their birth options and should be able to exercise their birth options with support from their healthcare provider; women should be active participants in their birth experiences, this is the first act of parenting. Parents need paid time off for having babies, mother’s need to be supported to breastfeed at LEAST through the first year of their babies life and hopefully beyond. All children (and people) have a right to quality healthcare. Women need to have viable options in regards to working part-time/flex-time/work from home so that they can be there for their children. Parents should be able to send their children to college without mortgaging their homes or going into debt.

4. What’s one parenting issue that really “riles you up,” makes you ready to work for change:

The birth issue is probably my biggest issue. Women are so mis-treated during their birth experiences — most of the time they don’t even realize that they are being mis-treated. It’s abusive and wrong and women need to be given back their power to birth their children the way that they want to, not the way the medical establishment thinks that they should. It’s patronizing and archaic and depleting to a woman’s self-esteem. It’s her first lesson in advocating for her child, and our society strips this from her. (Hear, hear! wm)

5. Who’s gonna get your vote for President ’08 & why? (feel free to ignore this question):

I honestly have not decided. I’ve been torn from the beginning. The “girl power” thing is what keeps me from committing to Obama — but it hasn’t been enough for me to commit to Ms. Clinton.

6. Name one thing Post-a-Vistas could do to be a better place?:

Show more boob shots, definitely. (She promises to send a boob shot later. wm)

7. What’s your fave thing about parenting?:

I don’t really like anything about it; I don’t really like kids that much. Just kidding. I love snuggling with my girls and when they tell me how much they love me. I love teaching them things and seeing them experience different parts of life for the first time. Even my oldest at 13, learns things every single day, just like she did when she was three, only the lessons are way different.

8. Anything else you think we should know about you?:

I’m a pretty passionate person who gets heavily involved in whatever project is in front of me at the time. Right now I would say that my issue is equal rights and protections for all people because for the first time in my life I am being treated like a second class citizen based solely on who I love. This isn’t right and I’m not going to take it sitting down.

Thanks for playing, RSG!!! Keep coming back, it works!

Demo Men & Women — Unstoppable

March 15th, 2008

Dateline: Eugene, Oregon:

The guys won. The girls won. Two 5A state basketball championship titles for Jefferson High School, out of North Portland. Congrats, players. You rule.

Also must give a shout-out to the Grant Generals, who won their title as well, in 6A. My dad would be so happy, Paul H. is happy, and I’m happy as hell, too, for all of the kids from my neighborhood and the next neighborhood over.

Saturday Evening Book Review: “The Sky Isn’t Visible From Here: Scenes from a Life,” “Glamour, Interrupted: How I Became the Best-Dressed Patient in Hollywood” and “Mommies!”

March 15th, 2008

Reviewed today:

Two memoirs, and a baby book. Happy Saturday to you.


WM (more…)

Amanda Fritz for President

March 14th, 2008

Wait… she’s running for City Council, not President. I am endorsing Amanda Fritz, so you will please vote for her. She is rational, level-headed, and looking out for others. She is a sincere person. Sincerely. Thank you.


heh heh heh

March 14th, 2008

“Mommy, what about me? What am I, the next-door neighbor?”

— one of my friend’s kids, giving her grief

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