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summer to-do list

June 4th, 2012

This is from last year (June 20th, 2011) and oh yeah that’s right, we’re going for it again this summer!

— wm

i’m copying everyone else, cuz they’re coming up with such good ideas. I’ll cross them off as we do them.

* celebrate last day of school with dinner out, ice cream, a trip to Powell’s and staying up all night (grown-ups will sleep)

* eat fudgsicles

* swim!

* swim

* did I mention swimming?

* trip to Denver to see grandma ??? (maybe she will visit us here instead)

* trip to Iowa Central Oregon to see grandpa and grandma

* house party!

* eat the first fresh strawberry from the garden

* go for walks in the neighborhood and look for deer, hawks, snakes, frogs and… ???

* picnics at the park

* read on the chaise lounge

* drink iced tea and lemonade and iced tea with lemonade

* go to the drive-in

* farmers market!

* go see live theater outdoors. somewhere. where???

* visit the zoo

* go camping

* go to the beach

* finish proofreading my novel finish writing new novel I started (Young Adult)

* get it published

* start next book (cookbook) then start writing another book!

* celebrate my daughter’s birthday, my birthday and our wedding anniversary

yay to summer.

— wm

ps the comments are from last year. hi girls! i can’t figure out how to allow comments on this post again, so sorry.


January 21st, 2012

local wetland

same spot as here, but on New Year’s Eve instead of summertime.

(Photo by Steve Rawley)


August 2nd, 2011

Yesterday my son and I were driving home down busy Allen Boulevard in busy, busy Beaverton. I heard a loud crack a second after I saw a blur whoosh from the corner of my eye. It was a senior citizen, down on the sidewalk. As I’m thinking, stroke? heart attack? a bad spot in the concrete that made her trip? i hope she’s okay I hope she’s okay… we pulled the car around and drove back. Of course I was thinking about my grandma, who fell at the store and broke her hip. And decided, while in rehab, that that was it for her. Even though the hip was healing, even though her heart condition was under control, even though her diabetes responded so well to diet. No, no, no, she said. That was it, she was done.

So she stopped eating and we lost her.

Sometimes life is sweet and sometimes life is bitter and sometimes life is just scary.

My son was worried. I told him other people had probably stopped, too, but we had to make sure she didn’t need us to wait with her. That all we could do was call 911, if needed, and wait with her. Was thinking of Miss Zoot and what a sweetie she is.

A lot can go through your head in the one minute it takes you to turn the car around.

By the time we got to her, five other people had stopped.


Shoot. And they say people don’t give a shit, nowadays.

As we drove off, I saw the truck from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue speeding down the street. I’m sure the EMTs are good looking and hunky wherever you live, too, but TVF&R? The girls and guys are exceptionally telegenic.

I don’t know how this story ends, but I hope the lady is okay. I hope that she has hope. And I hope she didn’t go into extra-shock, knowing that so many people cared enough to stop.

Portland Monthly mag — check it out

October 17th, 2009

Kudos to my old colleague from Thee O, Randy Gragg, on doing a stellar job in his new gig as editor of Portland Monthly magazine. They’re on Facebook, too. (Isn’t everyone? Dang.)

Last month’s cover story was “Explore Hidden Oregon”; this month’s is “Best Restaurants 2009.” The magazine has a stable of good writers and photographers, and Randy does a nice job with his editor’s notes. (His fondness for architecture, photography and food shines through.) Good profiles, too, including last month’s story on John Haines, executive director of Mercy Corps Northwest, who is getting loans to people who need it most. Also thought the graphic novel-style article on the Trail Blazers, “Game On!” in this month’s issue was funny.

Not crazy about the teeny-tiny print in the listings sections. My eyes! Dammit, I hate needing progressive lenses, alright? But honestly — I just want everyone, newspapers and magazines alike, to stick with the same point size so my brain doesn’t have TO switch BACK AND FORTH everyotherpage.

Other than that teeny little gripe, nice job, y’all. Keep up the good work.

The Neat Sheet, Courtesy of the Fashionable and Elegant Karen Vitt

September 5th, 2009

My girl Karen V. started herself a fancy little blog, what do you know? It’s all about fashion and beauty, coming to you live from Portland, Ore.

It’s called the Neat Sheet and is rilly, rilly super-neat. Lots of tips and contests and insider info. Go stop by and tell her I said, “Hello.”

(PS, Karen here’s a tip — Debi Mazar is coming out with her own line of Italian olive oil beauty products next spring. Nice! Looking forward to those.)

ever wonder what Portland, Orygun is like?

September 5th, 2009

Yeah, that’s not it. Why? Cuz I don’t believe I saw any hockey in that clip. We (heart) hockey. Hawkeytown!

(ps — it really is pretty here, isn’t it? It’s raining right now — poured so hard last night that it woke me up. I had to close all the windows! Everything was blowing. Really gorgeous now — the garden and flowers are so lush and green.)

(have a good weekend, y’all.)



summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime

August 31st, 2009

Sleeping with the windows open, a nice breeze blowing through, the sounds of the cars, the bus, the MAX train, the dogs barking in chorus, the neighbor’s doberman/rotti beast throwing himself THUNK against her front door and barking maniacally every blessed time someone walks by, the train whistles from the other trains, the cats fighting, drunken fights or sometimes just loud conversations (“She said it was mine! And I believed her!” “Dude.”) as the guys walk home from the bar, the neighbors drunk in their yard (“YAHTZEE!”), car doors slamming, someone serenading us with an acoustic version of “Sweet Home Alabama” on the sidewalk outside our bedroom window…


you ain’t a-woofin’

August 19th, 2009

Sign seen by the Burnside Bridge: “Perfection has its price.”

Don’t I know it.

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.

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.

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