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day 8: gone canoodling

November 8th, 2012

Steve’s post on our fall canoe trips. He scanned in our map! i (heart) my husband.



blog-a-day, day 4: stevie, me, and basketball makes three

November 4th, 2012

We’ve had some big changes around here. For example, the house is way messier than it used to be, and I don’t care. The kids are older and do their own thing and I am kind of blown away by this. I knew they were getting older, it’s just… 10 & 13 is a lot different than 7 & 10. Just sayin’.

I’m worried about the east coast, following Hurricane Sandy. I hope everyone recovers OK, and prayers and blessings for those who were lost, and their families.

Sick of the election brouhahas. Sniping and fighting and… just sick of it. I want everyone working and not talking.

“A little less conversation, a little more action, please.” — Elvis

Also, the NHL is in lockout, players vs. owners (I gotta go with the players on this one), therefore we can’t watch any hockey. Sure, we could drive all the way across town and spend a lot of $$$ on gas, parking, tickets, beers and pretzels (soda for me) and watch the Portland Winter Hawks play, but we’re lazy.

Also (the secrets, they just keep pouring out), I’ve always liked basketball more than hockey.

True that.

And two of my former students are now playing for the NBA. This rocks, especially for them. (ha.) (seriously, though, we are all so flippin’ proud of them. way to go, way to go Terrence and Terrence.)

Yeah, I think you’ve guessed where I’m going with this — Steve has watched a couple of basketball games with me. Will wonders never cease? Honestly, I am pretty psyched about it. It’s so much funner to watch than hockey. More skin and less blood, too. Little puck vs. big orange basketball, there you have it. The kids even watched the Blazer/Houston game with us tonight. (The Blazers are looking good this season and no, I don’t say that every year. Also got my eye on Houston, Toronto and L.A. — Clippers-not-Lakers.)

My dad is up in heaven right now, smiling at us. Watching basketball with my cousins and grandfathers. Smiling some more.


well, i wouldn’t mind blogging

July 3rd, 2011

Dang, summer gets busy, doesn’t it?

Happy Sunday to y’all. And to those of you patriotic types out there, happy Fourth of July. Try not to blow up anything right outside my bedroom window, okay? OK! Hey, I know I’ve been missing in action. But I also know that you don’t read blogs anymore, cuz you’re so busy with that little hussy, Facebook. I have a whole long essay I’d like to write, re: Facebook, but they did a switch-up and made it so you can easily cancel a friend request, if you so desire. And that makes me happy because, you know. Drunk Facebooking: Why It’s Bad.

Kidding! I stopped drinking two months ago! Just booze. I still drink water and iced tea, fyi.

So I cannot blame The Booze for anything anymore. But I never could, anyway. I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but I’ve lost some weight and my blood sugars seem to be not freaking out as much, and that’s good.

Oh. Here’s a social etiquette FB question for you: Let’s say you have a friend, and your friend changes her home number, her cell number, gets a new job, doesn’t give you any of the three new numbers… OK. That’s bad enough, right?

(“Grab a fucking clue!” — my drug-addicted friend’s drug addict boyfriend, when I called her before noon one time. She hung up, then when I called back, he yelled that in the background and she hung up again. Later, this happened. (Different guy.) Uh, yeah. I used to have the sweetest friends!)

Where was I? OK, the phone number thing, then she de-friends you on FB. But keeps your husband as a friend? I think not. She’s not even real-life friends with him! We were friends from, you know, back in the day, WTF? Steve is all, Cat fight, i’m out of here. hahaha. I sent her a friend request, then thought, What am I, nuts? (Grabbing clue, canceling friend request.) The Nice Girl inside of my head keeps saying, primly, I’m sure it was all a big mistake.


Here’s how kids cry in the suburbs: “Hu-waaaaaaaaah, hu-waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, hu-waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh…”

Here’s what the moms say: “If everyone can’t play together nicely, then everyone will have to go home.”

Kids: “Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!”

(verbatim dialogue from across the street.)

So my question is, I guess: Do I call her? Oh, wait… Alright, if she calls me, do I ask, WTF? Do I send her a message on FB, asking her if we’re still friends? (What am I, a teenager here?) We didn’t have a fight or anything, that I can recall. To the best of my recollection. She got pissed off about something, but that was a long time ago, and I thought we patched it up? (It wasn’t me, anyway — it was a third person, and was just lame.) (I wasn’t even there, alright? Long story, nevermind.)

(here’s some skateboarder dialogue from midnight, the other night. we live on a steep hill that the long-boarders loooooooooooooove. It’s like the Mountain Dew action tour, every frickin’ day):


1st skater: “Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!”

2nd skater: “Dude!”

1st skater: “Dude, seriously. I just fucked up my leg.” (Thirty-second pause.) “It’s okay, it’s just fractured, not broken.”

(thoughts from Dr. Mom: Really? Without an x-ray you just diagnosed that in less than one minute? Wow, you are good!)

2nd skater: “Which direction did your board go?” (we live in the suburbs — it’s like the country out here, at night — dark and everyone asleep in the barn.)

1st skater: “That way. Aiiiiiiiiiiiiii why did I think I could pull that one off?”


What else? Steve and the kids made me the best birthday dinner last night. (The guys were out of town last week, so we had a belated celebration.) Homemade Cheese Ravioli (thank you, Wacky Girl — your pasta-making skills astound me) and Cake Poppers, a la Zoot. (Thank you, Wacky Boy, for your willingness to smush together cake and frosting and turn it into art). (More pix over here.)

What? It’s not your birthday?

Frances (from “A Birthday for Frances”): “That is how it is, Alice. Your birthday is always the one that is not now.”

i (heart) my family for a lot of reasons, and especially because they always make my birthday special.

Now they’re at a family barbecue, and I am not. Which means I need to get back to editing, already.

hugs and kisses, little fishes,


i love ski bums

March 25th, 2011

Hot Wax

— sign outside the rentals shack at SkiBowl

you know what i would like? if i had time to 1) clean the house 2) finish writing my book 3) write a post about skiing in Oregon (“It’s either rain or ice, or sweet, sweet powder and spring skiing, do you have a preference?”) that gives the subject its just desserts. If i only had one of those timepieces like Hermione, I could twist twist and get it all done, but alas, alack, etc.

My daughter loves to ski, we just found out. (Lie. We’ve been knowing it.) she’s been begging to go skiing for a few years — she’s eleven now — and Steve finally got around to taking her for the first time last year? She loved it loved it, nothing above it, she’s our little hotdog. “We’ll go again next weekend.” Next weekend turned out to be… yesterday!


okay, we’ve been busy. Do i ski? not anymore. my entire family used to ski (mom’s side), my boyfriend growing up was a total maniac (him: “You can’t go, you wouldn’t be able to keep up.” me: “Screw you, anyway.”) So i started skiing with other friends, friends who didn’t insult me, WHEN I WAS 16. (that’s old for skiing, around here.) Downhill, cross-country, tore the shit out of my ACL (that sweet little bit of cartilage that holds your knee together), refused to have surgery because I Am Stud.

me, spring skiing, age… whatever. (a long time ago.) wearing a tank top, bibs, my goggles, happy as hell getting a tan and flying as fast as I could go. Guy next to me starts singing, I wish I was in/Tijuana/having sex with an iguana… and goes hurtling down the mountain.

Pure bliss. Good times.

Then one day, i was skiing at Mt. Hood Meadows, crappy conditions, and I was standing balanced way up at the top of this icy, icy run, pointing my skis straight down, teeter-tooter, teeter, and i thought, I could be swimming somewhere warm right now. Or doing yoga and drinking mint tea. What the hell am I doing at the top of this damn mountain? And how am I going to get down it? (step/slide/step/slide/glide glide glide was how.)

Unlike some people, I’ve never looked at a mountain (climb it, why? because it was there) and thought, Need to conquer. No. I look at mountains and think (tiny voice), You don’t scare me, cussing mountain. OK, let’s go drink at the lodge now! (Hot Apple Pies, mmmmmmmm…)

Steve telemarks. Do you know what that is? No, I don’t, either. Maybe he’ll be sweet (“you wouldn’t be able to keep up”) and leave a note in comments. I think it involves downhill/cross-country/total insanity/back-country and having the need to carry an ice ax with you, in case you need to build an ice cave and hide out ’til spring.

My ex-boyfriend was a studly jock and all, but Steve? Steve is from Iowa (no mountains) and Colorado (all the mountains) so he knows how to paint a barn and ski Loveland AND A-Basin AND Cooper, wooooooooot.

For vacations, I’ve been to Sun Valley, Denver, Banff, Vail. (when I asked my sister-in-law if I was dressed fancy enough for Vail, she said, all casual, “Eh, it’s not Telluride.” Steve was all, “Or Aspen, God. It’s not Aspen.” Everybody, Ha, ha, ha…)

Oh, God, of course, what was I thinking. It’s not Aspen.

Seriously, i am not snow bunny, so i find the whole thing kind of hilarious. But I do enjoy the apres ski, yes, I do.

But then he discovered his Love Of Hockey and stopped skiing. And my mom’s family stopped skiing years ago, when it got too fancy and all.

Me? I still long for the Caribbean but whatever. I live here and I can’t fly anymore (inner ear problems).

Anyway, back to Wacky Girl. We all had a blast, even tho she was the only one who skiied, and it did us all good to take a fast vacation. Stayed the night at an inn in Government Camp, hiked and played in the snow, had dinner at a the Rat’s Cellar and watched the snow fall, bought candy bars at the little store and watched American Idol… Then got up and skiied and played in the lodge for all morning.

Blew out of there, had lunch at the Elusive Trout in Sandy (my other favorite mountain restaurant/pub), drove through Boring (“the town that lives up to its name) (HA! KIDDING) (not really).

my favorite sign on the way home


Are you looking for a boring-ass city, somewhere in Oregon? C’mon over this way…

We were home by 3.

And we have the rest of the weekend left.

Maybe we should head back up tomorrow?

Question for the day is: Do you ski? Do you like it? Does it scare you? How about water skiing? How about lying at the beach? That I can handle.


— wm

How Swimming Lessons Went for Me When I Was a Child

July 29th, 2010

They had lessons at one of the neighborhood high schools, so my mom signed me up. They wouldn’t let the parents in the building. This aggravated her. They yelled at us a lot, then they made us all go off the diving board before we were ready.

“Sink or swim!” — credo of the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s

I was terrified. So they stuck out a long metal pole and told me to hold onto it and jump. I don’t remember what happened after that. I might have drowned for all I know. Oh, wait… here I am. I might have sunk to the bottom like a stone and needed mouth-to-mouth. I might have swam like a fish and learned my side-breathing. Oh, wait… I still can’t stick my face into the water and do the side-breathing and swim laps, no, it freaks me out. I love water aerobics, cuz the ladies all wear funny swim caps and it’s good exercise. I can swim okay, but don’t try getting me near a diving board. Also my dad had a sad, horrible death that involved water and honestly? I am proud of myself for even being near water, alrighty? Alrighty!

I write this today because here is the thing you never find out about parenthood ’til it’s too late — you can really be traumatized by it. Seriously. Both of my kids are swimming great, doing their side-breathing, one of them is flinging her body off the diving board and from the end of the pool into 12-foot water with so much reckless abandon that it takes my breath away. She also got invited into Black Belt Club with taekwondo, which doesn’t mean she’s a black belt yet, but means they want her out there sparring cuz she has that certain je nais se quoi. (And yes I spelled that almost exactly right without even looking. See? Talents of my own.) My reaction to her invite was, Wow, okay, Mommy needs to have a nice stiff drink then we’ll talk about that, okay? (and I wrote out a check to the studio for her sparring gear.) (her teacher: “I’ll custom build it myself, it will rock, she’ll love it.”)

Meanwhile, I’m by the side of the pool, hyperventilating. And when they ask me, after each and every lesson, Mom, did you see that? I’m all, Yes! goodjobsweetieniceworkwhewwwww…

Seriously. Seriously!!! Everything I know about parenting you could stick on the head of a pin and still have room left over for the Pledge of Allegiance.


— wm

edited later to say: Just had a little chat with my girl.

me: “Black belt does not mean weapons, you know.” (I saw the note on the board at school last night that said, Black belts purchase your swords now!)

Wacky Girl, cheerful and full of glee: “No, but it means you can have weapons.”


“…and we SHUT THEM DOWN because we CAN!”

July 18th, 2010

Ooooooh, that Rizzo. (wiping tears from eyes.) I find that pep talk highly… peppy, whether it’s Herb Brooks giving it or Rizzo. And now, an update on grad school:

I’ve been meaning to do my grad work for… 21 years. Since I finished my undergrad work, if you want to get specific. Which I don’t, so let’s move along. I still don’t know if I have a job for next year, but I love working with kids, I love my library work, turns out teaching is a good fit for me. I like the order of it, the volatility and unpredictability of it, the way the kids blossom and grow and it’s like time-lapse photography or something, watching it. It is breath-taking. I don’t like to get into the specifics of it here because you know — it’s my students’ lives we are talking about, I’m just a bit player in their production.

But I will say this — when you can get an entire class of 7th grade boys reading, that is more than just a beautiful thing. That is exquisite, and it makes me feel like a superhero. Like a librarian superhero. And I can say, yes, this is why I’m here.

But I have been working as a classified employee (clerk) and that’s what I’ve done my whole life, pretty much. Gotten paid half as much as everyone else (except the other clerks, and man have we grumbled about it together) for doing the same work. Or sometimes for doing more work, when you run into people who want to lord it over you.

How clever, to wiggle out of work and dump it on someone who makes half as much money as you. What a smart, smart person you are to figure that one out. Yuck.

I finished my grad school application last week and mailed it Monday. Went to an information night at my institution of higher learning (as RSG, my little academic all-star friend, calls it) on Wednesday. Yesterday I took the first of many tests I will have to take on the road to becoming a certified language arts (English) teacher (for middle school/high school), a reading specialist (or English Language Learners specialist) and a media specialist (librarian). It will take me about three years to finish all of that, and I’ll be… (I don’t want to say how old) when I finish. (It’s like Dear Abby used to ask, How old are you going to be if you don’t do it?)

I passed my test. It made me feel like a huge success. This week I have my final interview, and the powers-that-be will decide if this cohort is a good fit for me, if they want me, basically. I think we’re all good, but it’s still a little nerve-wracking. Especially when I think of working part- or full-time, taking care of my own kids and my students, paying some attention to my husband (which I’m sure he would appreciate, occasionally, although he’s not a demanding type of guy), cleaning, cooking… oh, wait. I don’t do much of those last two things, anyway. I think it will be fine, but it does seem a little daunting.

But if I don’t do it? I know right now that I would regret it.

No regrets, they get in the way.

Wish me luck.

— wm

my daughter’s response to my telling her that I signed her up for swimming lessons…

July 8th, 2010

…she carefully, precisely, tried to break my desk in half.

Like she would a board in taekwondo class. Not with any malice or anything. It’s just when you know you can break stuff in half, using just your foot or hand, it sort of changes your entire life.

That’s right, she likes martial arts. But you know what? Swimming is critical, too. It’s critical that we know how to kick hard and swim well. All good survival skills.

We’ll swim in the mornings, go to TKD in the evenings, wooooooot, happy summer, y’all!

“We’re having a heat wave/
a tropical heat wave/
the temperature’s rising/
it isn’t surprising/
she certainly can/

i owe you something

May 10th, 2010

i owe you a lot, dear readers. cuz you keep coming back, even though I’m rarely updating, and when i do, it’s YouTube or something you’ve probably already heard before.

my apologies. this move, losing my (current) job (“unassigned does not mean laid off!” etc.), getting the kids, my husband and myself settled, trying to deal gracefully with (gulp) menopause… argh, “changes,” make that… it’s been a little much.

ordinarily, i write notes on my hands (and arms, iffen i run out of room on my hands) when i can’t remember stuff. my students think this is “hilarious” and offer to be my “secretaries.” (ie — write on my body for me.) thing is, they want to use indelible Sharpies. No, no, nopey, no, no.

Lately, though, I have been running so wild and ragged that i haven’t even been scribbling notes on my body. What does that mean? Time to settle down, man. Make some lists, make some changes.

I’m working through/reading/making a project out of two books: “The Clutter Diet” and “The Happiness Project.” Really liking both books, and both styles. i have two “motivational partners” to e with and talk stuff over. Goal-setting, etc. Also, i’m back to working out every day (or at least doing a weigh-in and some stretches). today, por ejemplo, I burned many calories on the Wii-Fit and all the yoga i did worked those g.d. cricks right out of my neck.

ahhhhhhhh! bliss. ahhhhhhhhhhh! just sayin’.

and today, I wrote on my hand again. it sez:

3 blocks

which translates to:

tape hockey (Pens v. Canadiens, game 6 of the series, in Montreal, home of the Canadiens, obviously ;), Channel 590, program 3 blocks cuz they might go into overtime…

hey, it’s not much. but it’s a start.

have a great week, yins. GO PENS!

— wm

steve has new sk8s

January 15th, 2010

Little hockey player to Hockey God at the rink, checking out his new skates:

“Did you get those for Christmas?”

“Yes! My wife bought them for me!”

My husband is pretty easy to keep happy.

did i mention that hockey season started?

November 21st, 2009

Oh, how we love our Winter Hawks. The lack of shooting. The lack of scoring. The lack of winning. The fact that they’re housed on “Winning Way” makes it just that much more painful. Oh, wait just a minute here — we’re ranked 2nd in our division at this point???? Gooooooo, team!

Bart: “Hey Mom, did you save the love letters Dad sent you?”

Marge: “Of course I saved them. Although actually there’s only one. And it’s more a love post card from some brewery he visited.”

Homer Simpson: “Maybe it’s the beer talking Marge, but you’ve got a butt that won’t quit. They’ve got these big chewy pretzels here that are [unintelligible] Five dollars? Get outta here.”

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