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thermometer said 111…

July 27th, 2009

…but actually it was only 100. At almost 7 o’clock at night. All of you people who now live in Portland and are actually from someplace else, someplace where they had lots of heat and “humididity,” who run around saying, Oh, I just LOVE this heat I just LOVE the sun I just LOVE this weather Portland is SOOOO PERFECT… really, stop saying that.

We Portlanders are just big wusses and don’t do well with anything over, hmm, dunno. Eighty-two degrees? Seventy-eight, mebbe? Ditto all you Portlanders who brag and smugly say, We don’t even need air-conditioning here, it hardly ever gets over 90 and it is only hot about two days out of the whole year the rest of the time it is just gorgeous… really. You need to stop saying that, too. I am the biggest baby in the heat, I hate love everybody especially you.

Steve, just now, “Let’s check the temp outside, then see if it’s time for another round of drinks.”

Oh, he is a pretty nice guy. Vodka lemonades on ice it is.


OMFG, as my son would say. Yes, my seven-year-old says OMFG. Don’t judge me — embrace me. No, don’t. I’m too sweaty.

We still can’t open up the house — it’s 10 degrees hotter outside than in. Why do I not have air, you ask?

“YOU’RE KILLING THE POLAR BEARS.” — my children, in unison

No, for real — it’s because our lameass furnace wouldn’t “support” an air-conditioner and we’d need a whole new one. To the tune of how ever many thousands of bucks I don’t happen to have. Window units? We’d need to re-wire, our wiring is that old. Yep. Embrace that.

Just got back from Night at the Museum 2, All Hell Breaks Loose at the Smithsonian, featuring more monkey slappin’, Amy Adams’ ass, The Thinker’s ass, and Hank Azaria’s large, beefy arms.

Not featuring Carla Gugino, aka the History Hottie, aka the Ben Stiller Love Interest, from the first movie. Apparently she’s too busy with her gig on Entourage to bother. Amy Adams was pretty good though, what with the voluptuous behind and all.

Ben Stiller kinda phoned it in. My kids didn’t seem to notice. The actor who plays his kid in the film should have had a bigger role, he’s a cool kid.

We had dentist appointments, all three of us. Air-conditioning. Then Flying Pie pizza, also air-conditioned. (And my solution to the whole “cooking issue.” This is Steve’s solution. Cheaper than mine, per usual.) Then the movies. Tomorrow we might just melt, but that’s the way it goes here, the land where it just never gets that hot.

food, food, food

July 25th, 2009

What we had for dinner this week:

Sunday: Roasted beets (not purple) and carrots (purple) plus basil from the garden, garlic, new potatoes and onions over brown rice; whole wheat biscuits with butter and honey; cherries.

Monday: Pizza Fino! Garlic knots, Caesar salad, focaccia with bean-pesto dip, cheese pizza, pasta Alfredo, pasta with penne, calzone with red peppers and onions. Bonus points: happy hour menu, so it was all cheap, with leftovers, even.

Tuesday: And, because we just cannot get enough pasta over here… Cheese tortellini with alfredo sauce (five-ingredient recipe), greens, cantaloupe slices. The way I did the greens was sooooo good. Oh my gosh, good. I sauteed diced onions with a couple of teaspoons of spice mix my in-laws found for us — Moroccan Spice Mix, with cilantro, lemon, cumin, paprika, onion, garlic, ginger, pepper, mint, cinnamon, raisins, salt and red chiles. Would you like their website? Cocinadelmundospices.com. I washed and chopped rainbow chard, layered that on top of the onions and spices, poured some water on top, simmered, stirred, covered. Once everything was looking right, I took the lid off and let it all kind of braise. Perfect.

Wednesday: Life fell apart. Again. Thai take-out. (Tsunami Thai, home of the best entree ever known to woman — delicious, salty-sweet mango and salmon over rice.)

Thursday: Have no idea.

Friday: Um. Pizza Fino again.

Saturday: Tsunami Thai. Again.

People, my family and I cannot live on take-out! I have to start cooking! Please advise? It’s supposed to be 100 degrees just about every day next week, I have no air-conditioning and do not feel like heating up the kitchen, my kids refuse to eat anything that isn’t macaroni and cheese. Help? Gazpacho? Our tomatoes aren’t ready yet, but I could buy some.

Also, I am still bummed out about my Grandma and missing her so much. It hasn’t even been three months, but you know our society — “Get over it now, would you? Cuz you’re bumming me out.” Grief just kicks my ass. I am tired and need a flipping break. But the cooking cannot be avoided. Nor can the laundry. Everything else? Too bad, you’ll just have to wait.



ps I finally finished my 663-page textbook I’ve been working on forever. One more test + term paper = done.

pss even though I’m not at BlogHer, i did manage to grab dinner out with my girlfriend, and it was so nice. See? Left the house! Also took the kids to OMSI last week. See? Left the house! Today we launched model rockets. Fun.

Under the Tuscan Gun: Linguine with Langostini

July 22nd, 2009

Debi & Gabriele are my two favoritest bloggers right now (along with my girl Lelo, of course. Go look at pix of her glorious garden).

The new episode they posted on Under the Tuscan Gun includes a great recipe, a tour of Roman ruins and a rousing rendition of “Dante’s Inferno.” Right on.

last night at dinner…

July 21st, 2009

Wacky Boy: “I could eat the hell outta some cheese pizza.”

Rocket Man

July 20th, 2009

My husband’s earliest memory: Watching the Apollo 11 moon landing, July 20th, 1969. Happy 40th anniversary, rocket men.

The Story of My Kids’ Births

July 19th, 2009

Just got back from bike ride — Sunday Parkways. It was hot and kicked my butt. Fun flying down Alameda Ridge. We’re out in the yard with the kids now, getting all goofy, telling them about their births. (What brought this up? I have no idea.)

me: “You were ten pounds plus (my girl), you were nine and a half (my boy). You were so huge, you were like preschoolers. You just walked on out and started playing.”

Hockey God: “Yeah, son, you were all, ‘I want sprinkles on my sundae’ and she was all, ‘Where the hell’s the whipped cream?'”


(ps there’s one more Sunday Parkways, those of you who are in Portland and want to go.)

Roux, buh-bye

July 18th, 2009

Some people loved Roux.

Your girl Wacky Mommy is not one of those people and I am glad to see Roux go. They didn’t play well with others. We had dinner there a few times. It was way too expensive, but it wasn’t just that. They were not the sweetest people if you weren’t One of Them.

We spent a hundred bucks once, for vegetables. (Seriously. All sides, and we spent a hundred bucks. Most of my family is vegetarian, so we had sweet potatoes, hushpuppies, salads and brussels sprouts.) I liked the soft-shell crab sandwich, the crawfish potpie, the hushpuppies. But mostly I didn’t like the parking hassles, the numerous wrecks (mostly fender-benders, as far as I know) that were caused by the cars parked up and down both sides of the street, the way the owner was a prick when I called to ask him if they could work with the neighbors to deal with the parking situation. (They had no lot, I understand. But did he have to be so rude?) The city finally put in a crosswalk, but it was still a bitch, how rude their diners were, with their super-sized Hummers and Mercedes and all. We’re not so much a Mercedes neighborhood.

Also, when the O first did a review of the place, they made a snarky comment about “in a neighborhood where people grow corn in their front yards…” Well, everyone’s growing corn in their front yards now, so who’s a trendsetter, bitch?

I know, I know, everyone gushed about their brunches. Who the hell can afford brunch? If you can afford brunch you need to be donating more money to the Oregon Food Bank, fixing yourself a nice frittatta at home and calling it a day.

I liked the drapery ladies who were there before. They were nicer and said hi when you walked by. They gave us bags of remnants, rick-rick and fringe when they moved to the west side. (Paramount Drapery — they knew my grandpa, who installed draperies for Goodell’s for a long time.)

Mostly, I didn’t like the crowd. I didn’t mind the place so much at first — they were serving coffee for awhile in the mornings, and lunch. (Which I can sometimes afford if I can’t afford dinner.) They did a little corner deli store-type thing for awhile, but never got enthusiastic about it. I liked the girl from New Orleans who was with them, Michelle?, but then she split. If you’re moving into a primarily blue-collar neighborhood, you have to serve lunch, or do something nice for the neighbors, get some buy-in. Don’t try to be a “destination spot” that thumbs its nose at everybody who surrounds it. Cuz you will get taken down. Or the neighborhood will gentrify along with you, and you will leave a lot of bummed out, dislocated people in your wake, and that sucks, too. (Witness: locked-up liquor store on Interstate Avenue, boarded up houses sealed off with chain-link fence. My daughter, asking, “Where did they go, Mom? Did they have other houses to go to?” I hope so.)

I don’t like walking into a restaurant that is half-empty and having them give me the stink-eye and ask me, “Is there something I can help you with?” Yeah, got any tables I can bus? Hahaha. (This happened to me a couple of times at Roux, so I finally got the hint and stopped going.)

I didn’t like the fancy cars and the fancy people, giggling like mad as they rushed across Killingsworth, being “naughty” in the “‘hood.” You know what we do over here? Work. Grow corn in our front yards. Play with our kids. Go for walks. Have block parties. Yeah, we’re all running wit’ da gangs over here, constantly. It’s exhausting, really, with all the gunplay.

In all seriousness, it wrecks us when someone is killed or hurt because of gang violence in my neighborhood. Someone’s baby, never coming home. I was with the kids one time, leaving the library, and here comes trouble, all 100 pounds of him, lifting his shirt to show the girls in front of us his gun. (They were shielding my kids, so the kids didn’t see. But I did.)

“Where is he? You tell him I’m looking for his shit.”

Struts off. Me, to the kids, “Get in the car right now.” (I tell them, in certain situations, you just have to say goodbye fast as you’re walking down the stairs and leaving. In other situations, you just get the hell out of there.)

Later that night, a mess. Patti from the Florida Room is a good neighbor.

It is not funny at all, or “hip,” or “naughty” when bad shit happens. It is heartbreak is what it is and it means my friends and neighbors have one more funeral to go to. As someone posted on Facebook today, there are a whole lotta folks saying goodbye lately.

I do not take it lightly.

Pause is a great neighborhood place. They never get reviewed all big-time, but who cares about crap like that. They don’t. The owners are sweet as hell, funny, the waiters and waitresses are consistent and good. They smoke their own meats over there, and they know I love a Caesar salad and a big bowl of homemade clam chowder and a vodka lemonade in a tall glass with ice.

They know how to run a damn business, the guys at Pause. (The Low Brow Lounge is theirs, too.) I know, the kids sometimes take over the lawn and drive us all nuts, but whatever, it’s fine.

It kinda tickles me that Beaterville is steady as always, and DiPrima Dolci is just fine, thanks, along with George’s Bar, the taco cart, Pause… but Roux is gone.

You know who else is good neighbors? Us, and my neighbors. We’re good in the neighborhood. Bye, Roux.

Internet, I’m cheating on you

July 15th, 2009

With Facebook. And my textbook. And the new Harry Potter movie which took up approximately five hours of my life today. (Two and a half hours to view; approximately two and a half hours — or more — to dissect with my daughter, son, husband and other fans.) I’m sorry. I still love you, I’m just not in love with you. It’s not you, it’s me. It’s not you, it’s us. Distractions have got me by the throat. Just sayin’.

And we just found out we have family in town tomorrow, just for the day and night. So more distractions! Sorry. I’ll be back soon, okay?



new favorite snack, Under the Tuscan Gun, plus Drama & Andy

July 13th, 2009

Pretzels dipped in Nutella. Nom, nom. (PS — Food? Go check out Under the Tuscan Gun. Gabriele and Debi are just too frickin’ sweet for words, and I love their recipes and their style of cooking.)

Lawn is mowed, weeds are (mostly) weeded, Steve tied up all the beans, tomatoes, honeysuckle and whatever else was running wild in the garden yesterday… We are… happy over here. Plants are happy, kids are happy, I am happy because I just started Season 5 of “Weeds” and Season 6 of “Entourage” and yes, I’m going to study later. Don’t worry, I will complete this class, even if I have to spend my entire summer doing it.

Andy on “Weeds” and Drama on “Entourage” just get better every season, I’m telling you.



“Is infinity a number?”

July 13th, 2009

I love being a mama because I get the hard questions. At 9 a.m.

“Is infinity a number?”

Um, yes. (Oh, wait. It’s an abstract concept, so it’s not a number?)

Didn’t realize I was settling a bet between two 7-year-olds.

Thank you, Wiki Answers.

“No, infinity is not a number, in the mathematical sense. It is a symbol for “unlimited”. As such it has uses in various theories in math and in physics. The simplest proof is adding a real value, such as 1, to infinity. Just as zero times any number is still zero, infinity plus any value will remain “infinity”.

What is the biggest number other than infinity?
In: Math

Protected question
This question can not be answered for the following two reasons:

1. In the modern real number system, there is no limit to how large a number can be. Whatever number is presented to you, you may add 1 or more to it to make it even bigger than it was originally.
2. Infinity is not a number. Infinity is a concept that in the number system there is no definite end to the positive or negative value a number may have.


If you are just looking for a very large number, a ‘googol’ is the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes, and that is one of the largest numbers that actually has a name.

A centillion is the largest standard named number.

A googleplex is a 1 followed by a google number of zeroes, which is larger yet.

Skewes number is much larger still.”

Wacky Boy, “See?”

His buddy, “Huh.”

Wacky Boy, “He thought you could make any number bigger by saying ‘pizza’ after it.”

I need another cup of coffee. That’s the answer.

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