Tuesday, August 30, 2005

North Portland FINALLY gets a natural foods grocery store

New Seasons opens tomorrow! Wednesday 8am! It’s finally happening! And if you live in North Portland you know why all of those exclamation points are warranted. We’ve lived without quality stores for a while out there in North Portland, and yes, while we’re seeing changes like the new Safeway in St. Johns and the new Interstate Fred Meyer, a lot of us trek to New Seasons in Concordia to get our fix.

I’ve been watching the development on the corner of Portland and Interstate, and it’s like night and day. The new building is beautiful, and get this: ZERO storm water runoff from the property will go into the sewer system. Look when you walk in and you’ll see a garden above the entryway, absorbing runoff from the roof, and funneling the rest into bio-swales on the sides. Even the design of the building is to take advantage of natural light in order to counter need for excessive indoor lighting.

Like other New Seasons, they’ll have health classes, tours and lectures that are FREE, and, I know their tagline may sound dorky, but it’s totally true: the friendliest neighborhood store is no joke. The people at New Seasons are so dang helpful and nice it's unheard of. I once had an employee from the Orenco store drop off AT MY HOUSE an item I couldn't get at the Concordia store. What the? Who does something like that anymore?!

Sigh and exhale. Thank you, New Seasons, for investing in North Portland: there are a ton of us out there who want you and will support you and have been asking for you to be there for eons. I’ll be there tomorrow with bells on!
The goods:
New Seasons Arbor Lodge Opening
Wednesday, August 31st
Doors open 8am
Special ceremony at 10am
North Interstate and Portland Blvd
New 37,500-square-foot location
Creates 160 new jobs, primarily filled by employees from the neighborhood. And in their words…"Offering a product mix of essential groceries for everyday living, the Arbor Lodge store also features organic produce, natural meats, fresh seafood, an extensive wine and beer selection, and a certified organic bakery featuring artisan breads. It will also have New Seasons Market’s signature “hot wok” and full-service deli with an adjacent seating area. All New Seasons Market stores are committed to carrying local products and purchasing from local farms, ranches, dairies and fisheries.”

I feel like NoPo is truly arriving…

Monday, August 29, 2005

Follow up: Welcome back my friend the rain

Here are some photos to go with today's earlier post...
yes, the rain is back
rain is back

Welcome back my friend The Rain

We were at Peninsula Park yesterday enjoying a late summer afternoon. Weeks and weeks of Portland summer sunshine slowly went away and clouds filled the sky. Not menacing clouds. Just clouds. But I knew what they meant. As we left I put my nose to the air and said “Rain’s coming”. AdRi looked at me, “Oh yeah?” I thought that was funny: AdRi, the native Oregonian couldn’t smell it. I did though. Later she said it must be the farmer in me that can smell the weather. I think about my dad and his consistent measuring of our suburban Southern California rainfall. “Holy smokes! It rained 1/2 an inch last night!” He probably learned that from his father on the farm in Kansas. Weather runs lives and livelihoods: to know it, to study it, to predict it can be the difference between a successful year or failure.

This morning. I stepped outside and the smell of rain had returned. When was the last time I had smelled it? Weeks? Months? I love that smell and felt relieved. As much as I love the summer, I love our first rain. It cleanses. Leaves, roads, cars, sidewalks. It makes me slow down—first rains are notorious to cause pile ups on Portland streets. For a brief moment I wonder where my umbrella is, and then I remember I haven’t used one in years. I’m approaching 15 years of living in Oregon. I now welcome the rain instead of hide from it underneath umbrellas. I can smell it coming. And while I still crave a dark tan and the heat from sun that for a brief moment takes my breath away, I travel to get those moments.

Welcome back rain. And remember those words. Late August I welcome you. Come February I’ll be cursing you again. Such is the life of a transplant to Oregon.

Update: Saw this one coming: there's an accident on the Morrison Bridge from 2 cars slipping on the freshly rained upon metal grating. I'm surprised it didn't happen earlier than 9:45 am this morning.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Vengan todos hacer el chica boom: Get your salsa on


If you’re listening to the local Mexican radio station you know today is Salsa en la Calle.

An impressive line-up of salsa bands, great food from Andina, Salvador Molly’s and Fernando’s Hideaway, and free salsa lessons all sound good to me. Of course there’s the obligatory hands-on kids art tent and Mayor Potter will be there this afternoon: ooh la la. Salsa con el mayor!

Guess how much it costs? Nada. It’s free. So get your “pompis” to Portland’s free salsa festival today at the Eastbank Festival Plaza between 11 and 9pm. See ya there peeps.

Aye aye aye!!!!!!!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Awkward Childhood Photos

We all have them. Those dated glasses, shorts that don’t fit quite right, knobby knees…but my brother? He was ahead of his time with trucker hats. Check it peeps.

And check it: Ja’AmLo has a blog. And in 4 weeks, he’s going to be a daddy again.

Lovin’ you Ja’AmLo. And missin’ you, too.
Note: click on the above photo for fun notes about the photo in Flickr

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

It’s Queer Storytime

Time for some more lesbian pulp fiction, 1965.
Gay Girl, by Edna Britt
Gay Girl book cover
Marilyn Wheeler stood in the small galley of the houseboat, waiting for the coffee to perk, and didn’t hear Nan come up behind her. She jumped when Nan’s lips touched her neck.
“Don’t!” she said crisply. “I’m not in the mood!”
“Why not?” Nan’s hands touched her waist and crept up Marilyn’s silk dress. “I’m in love with you.”
“Please stop it!” Marilyn pushed the hands away. She turned and snapped, “Why do you always have to make a scene when we’re out among straights?”
Nan shrugged. “I’m not ashamed of what I am. And the smart ones know—“
“That’s…not true!” Marilyn stammered. Then she stared at Nan’s madras slacks, mannish white shirt and brown loafers. “Except…when you wear THAT kind of outfit.”
Aah. The madras slacks are always the give-away. But actually Marilyn, Nan’s right. The smart ones DO know. Wear the madras and loafers with confidence!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The challenge: halfway met? Maybe? Kinda? Sorta?

I was thrown a challenge by Tinymeat. It's a good challenge. I may still fulfill it. But in the meantime, here's one that may meet it part way. It's the homemade Oregon boysenberry ice cream post...

Aaah. AdRi brought home fresh berries. What to do. What to do. I've been itching to make ice cream.

Boysenberries, meet ice cream maker.

Core ingredient:

Add other tasty ingredients and tools:

This is where the magic happens:

Pour into bowl and set for a hard freeze:

People, you don't want to know how much sugar goes into ice cream to make it taste so good. Just count this as a once-in-awhile treat and you'll be okay.

And here's the trick: K.I.S.S.

As my first boss once very seriously told me, "That stands for Keep It Simple Stupid." Core ingredients for great ice cream are simple whole things.

I'll tell you: it tastes quite nice. But I'm very curious as to Blu's Green Tea Ice Cream.....

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Anyone seen any huckleberry stands lately?

I need to get some fresh huckleberries. Anyone been to any stands lately where you've seen them?

I've been jonesin' for a fresh huckleberry shake, for some strange reason and when a girl needs a fresh huckleberry shake (Oregon huckleberry preferred), she needs a fresh huckleberry shake. The closer to Portland, the better, please. Thanks!

Supremacists in Cascade Locks today: the location is ironic, isn’t it?

Aryan nation supremacists are havin’ a weinie roast and picnic in beautiful Cascade Locks today. They applied for a permit for what’s being billed as AryanFest '05, and got it.

Well, I doubt they’ll be singing kumbaya or makin’ s’mores, but I know I won’t be goin’ anywhere close to where those lameasses are. I haven’t heard if there’s going to be a protest, though today's Oregonian quotes Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler as saying, "Historically, they don't have problems at these gatherings. This is a group that beats up people in alleys and does not make a spectacle of themselves in public."

Looking at KGW’s website, it turns out they’ve been moved by officials to land that is slated for the new Warm Springs casino. So let me get this right: the second biggest skinhead concert of the year is going to be held on tribal land? That's a little weird, isn't it?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I feel so famous

I'll be giving autographs between 2 and 3 pm tomorrow, and interviews are available via my publicist.

Here's why.

Want more info? Talk to my publicist:
Frida en El Jardin

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Awful Plastic Surgery-update at end of post

I'm fascinated with the Awful Plastic Surgery site.
Check out Pete Burns from one of my favorite 90's bands, Dead or Alive. People. What is with plastic surgery?

It's so obvious when it's done, and what's particularly scary, is that so many women, as they age, are all beginning to look alike.

And what really defines the perfect beauty? Do the clients of plastic surgeons look alike because they have the same surgeon whose idea of the perfect nose is applied to all of them?

Has anyone told Pete here that his lips look frake-ay? Does he not have any honest friends? People. Tell your friends when their surgery has gone overboard: friends don't let friends over-surgerize.

UPDATE: Check out Ja'AmLo's photos and plastic surgery update

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

News alert: President Bush has a summer reading list

Get out. It’s true. HE READS. And evidently there are three books on his list.

P.S. I read Auntie Mame and Shadow of the Wind on my vacation: I wonder if those are on his list too? We could have a book group!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Got me some Tinymeat

Shout out to Tinymeat for my new awesomeoso wallet, and supah props to Superinky Fixxations and Brett who I met IN REAL LIFE at the Mississippi Street Fair. Which, by the way, was hands down the best street fair I've ever been to. Seriously. It was way good. They were there pimpin' Tinymeat merchandise, which is even better in real life than on the website. I love my new wallet: and the inside is pink paint chips! Totally cool meeting Superinky and Brett. Thanks ya'll: you're the best.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Top 10 Songs I'm Into Right Now, This Very Second, Now, Yes, Right Now

I was tagged again.
You're it!
Here are the top 10 songs I'm into right. Now. Song name and artist. Strangest combination ever, I'm sure. But hey, I cross the genres when it comes to music. Enjoy. And I will do ya'll a favor and not tag anyone. Except I would like Ja'AmLo's response to this question. Since we are related.
So Rigo, here you go mi amor.
Saturday Night by Ozomatli
Instant Pleasure by Rufus Wainwright
Under Pressure by Queen
Not Tonight by Tegan and Sara
Joystick by the Dazz Band
La Camisa Negra by Juanes
Wicked Little Town by The Breeders
Chinito Chinito by Ry Cooder
Tambourine by Tift Merritt
Home Again by Oingo Boingo

Miscellaneous Linky Links-More

I can't wait to see the movie Grizzly Man. Rozanne has a great post up. Fascinations can be dangerous. And in Timothy Treadwell's case, it's definitely true. How can someone be so blinded by reality, danger and nature? Check out the trailer.

LaLaTu alias L alias Lisa sent this gem in:I'm not quite sure what the lesson is but the commercial itself is pretty cool.

Went to a great show last night at the Oregon Zoo: Ozomatli and Los Lonely Boys. It's always interesting when you like the opening band more than the headliner. If you don't know Ozo, check 'em. They kick some ass. (Rigo, this will be on my list you tagged me for: stay tuned for that. In the meantime, you, jefe, need to definitely check 'em!)

And finally, thank god for NASA and the giant space mirrors. What would we do without our federal government? Thanks Ja'AmLo, for sending them goods.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Mrs. Garrett, Blair has something to say.

And so does Tootie. Just as soon as she takes off her rollerskates.

This one's for you, Bryan.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Ice Cream Yummers

A couple of times of year, I make ice cream. I get a wild hair and it’s time to make some. Sometimes I only make it once a year. But when it’s time, it’s time. And people, I feel it comin’ on. I’ve made flavors like lavender honey, vanilla bean, tequila, mango, almond cherry, peach, among others. The lavender honey was damn good.

But fresh back from Hawaii, I’m thinking it may be pineapple, or coconut. But then again we have some fresh lemon verbena I could pick from the garden and make a nice sorbet or sherbet….Does anyone know the difference between gelato and ice cream? The recipes in today’s Food Day show gelato has cream, but perhaps not near as much as ice cream? Is that the only main difference?

So here’s the inside secret…I may be a homemade ice cream aficionado, but when it comes to store-bought, my hands down favorite comes in the Safeway brand ice cream box/block. And it’s pink. Peppermint. The best kind of ice cream there is.

AdRi recently took the ice cream quiz. She’s strawberry. I took it:
You Are Rocky Road Ice Cream
Unpredictable and wild, you know how to have fun.
You're also a trendsetter who takes risks with new things.
You know about the latest and greatest - and may have invented it.
You are most compatible with vanilla ice cream.

I just took this quiz and I’m Chocolate Chip
If you're a Chocolate Chip ice cream type, you're a creative force to be reckoned with. No doubt you've got a competitive streak a mile wide. The good news is that it brings out the best in you by forcing you to live up to your own demanding standards. Still, you can be rather unforgiving at times with those who don't share your vision and drive. Friends value your magnetism, charm and originality. When it comes to romance and relationships, Chocolate Chips are best off with high-achieving Butter Pecans and empathetic, insightful Chocolates. Fun fact: Chocolate chip ice cream lovers tend to also indulge in other “chunky” flavors, such as Cookie Dough, Mint Chip and Rocky Road.

Here’s a great idea for a blog or job: This would be a very fun job: ice cream tasting . Do you think they spit after tasting the ice cream or do they swallow? And if they swallow, how many extra miles do they have to do on the treadmill to work off that job? That’s hurting my brain just thinking about it. For some reason I’m playing over and over in my head the scene from Sideways where the guy wigs out and drinks like a madman from the spittoon at a wine tasting. Eeeww. Grossed out now. Back to happy places…

Did you know Philadelphia is nicknamed the ice cream capital of the country? Yep, and at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876, and according to that fine web site, “the confectioners combined candy with ice cream to create goblets, cups, saucers, and bowls that resembled Bohemian glass, ice cream ships on spun-sugar waves, ice cream chicks inside spun-sugar nests filled with ice cream eggs, log cabins constructed of ice cream and ladyfingers, and an ice cream Mount Vesuvius, that was actually set ablaze before it was served.” Shout out to AnSch, one of Philly’s newest residents. Have some ice cream for me, will ya?!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

10 Years of My Life

So I was tagged by Blu for this one. Could I get tagged for something short and sweet? Of course not. This is a huge one!!! I’ll give it a whirl and probably divulge the most I ever have divulged on my blog. Holy crap, Blu! Okay, peeps, here we go….

10 years ago: I was just finishing the “summer of lesbian love and pie-making.” The first summer with AdRi, and I had found she loved homemade pies. I mastered the art of piemaking that summer, and fell head over heels in love. Incredibly romantic, sweet and wonderful. I was in a new job, wasn’t making much money/selling Cds for cash, renting an old farmhouse in Sellwood, doing art installations and taking portrait photos on the side.

5 years ago: August 2000- It’s a blur. AdRi and I had bought a house together (wow! That’s a commitment!), I was working my way up in the same company, and we were beginning to build a crazy big garden at our house. I was pretty focused on my career, but that summer we were probably hosting Camp R, in our backyard for AdRi’s nieces and nephews: a 2-day intensive summer camp complete with secret handshakes, bike rides, and ghost stories in the tent.

1 year ago: We were in our post-wedding bliss, having been married in March, with a huge family and friend party in our garden last July. People from all over the country had come to help us celebrate, and we had a big, catered, live music, Mexican fiesta in the garden. It was one of the most amazing times for us: love and acceptance by our families. And come August last year, I was prepared to fight for our marriage by fighting Oregon’s Measure 36.

Yesterday: I swam in the pool here in Maui, sat in the sun and gazed out at the sea, finished reading Auntie Mame (great book!), took a walk at sunset, and had Pina Coladas at Don the Beachcomber. I’m very happy right now, and AdRi and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary last month.

Today: Doing the sun and beach thing again, but taking a sunset dinner cruise this evening.

Tomorrow: Snorkeling and hanging out on the beach.

5 snacks I enjoy:
• homegrown tomatoes, basil and mozzarella
• carrots and Toby’s tofu pate
• pita chips
• cottage cheese with pineapple
• kettle corn popcorn

5 bands that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs:
• The Eagles
• Depeche Mode
• Billy Joel
• Journey
• I can't believe the names on this list: hello Junior High.

5 things I would do with $100,000,000:
• Make some huge ass donations.
• Give to our family
• Travel
• Invest
• Live simply and experience the world

5 locations I'd like to run away to:
• Australia
• Switzerland
• Cook Islands
• Belize
• Cuba

5 bad habits I have:
• chewing ice
• being negative/sarcastic
• not putting away the laundry
• flaking out
• not making time for my health

5 things I like doing:
• imagining: is that a word?
• working in the garden
• napping
• cooking
• creating/making things: I have a ton of hobbies

5 things I would never wear:
• fur
• belly shirt
• spandex
• stilettos
• plastic pants

5 TV shows I like:
• 30 Days
• Daily Show
• Law & Order SVU
• America’s Next Top Model
• American Idol

5 movies I like:
• Moulin Rouge
• Grease
• Frida
• Wizard of Oz
• Motorcycle Diaries

5 famous people I'd like to meet:
• Jack LaLaine
• Frida Kahlo
• Hillary Clinton
• Dorothy Allison
• Sting

5 biggest joys at the moment:
• I’m just finishing up one of the best vacations ever
• I feel incredibly relaxed and calm
• I’m more in love with AdRi now than I was ten years ago
• I’m wearing my hair long, in a braid, with plumeria flowers woven through it: how much does that kick ass?!
• I love what I’ve learned about gardening and realize there’s a ton I don’t know: such great potential!

Goodnight Maui, and Mahalo


Friday, August 05, 2005


Time to look, time to see, time to think, time to listen, time to dream, time to imagine, time to be together, time to be alone, time to not think. Time to just be.

This trip is bringing me some peace. I had a moment yesterday. Relaxing in the sun, breeze blowing strong, gazing out at the late afternoon sky reflecting on the ocean, listening to the iPod (Marc Broussard to be specific). I was at peace. It took me 6 days to get to that moment, but I got there.

Here are some pictures from a walk at sunset…

And here’s one from a little later. AdRi in Don the Beachcomber. Classic old school tiki bar. Aloha Friday, peeps.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I Want the Vacation Package President Bush Has

Photo taken at CafĂ© O’Lei, Lahaina, Maui

Seems like The Shrub is joining me in having a little vacation time this week. Not literally joining me (thank god), but enjoying vacation. I feel like I squeak in vacation time as I can, but not The Shrub.

Today’s Honolulu Advertiser reports:
President Bush is getting the kind of break most Americans can only dream of – nearly five weeks away from the office, loaded with vacation time.

The president departed yesterday for his longest stretch yet away from the White House, arriving at his Crawford ranch in the evening. By historical standards, it is the longest presidential retreat in at least 36 years.

The August getaway is Bush’s 49th trip to his ranch since taking office and the 319th day that Bush has spent, entirely or partially, in Crawford – nearly 20 percent of his presidency to date.
Wow, now that’s some perks!

P.S. Today’s count for U.S. soldiers killed in the Iraq war: 1,800

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Droppin' Old Skool

Props to this hottie for his awesome mix delights and providing us with the best old skool playlist*.…
1. It Must Be Magic by Teena Marie
2. Call Me by Skyy
3. Candy Man by Mary Jane Girls
4. I’ve Just Begun to Love You by Dynasty
5. Joystick by Dazz Band
6. Got To Be Enough by Con Funk Shun
7. What People Do For Money by Divine Sounds
8. Backstrokin’ by FatBack
9. Wet My Whistle by Midnight Star
10. Let’s Get Crackin’ by Shock
11. Free World by Jesse Johnson
12. Square Biz by Teena Marie
13. Call It What You Want by Bill Summers

You know this list kicks ass!

*And yes, these are today's sounds in Maui. You knew I had to get that into this post, didn't you?

Monday, August 01, 2005

No tiki gods, spiders or weird men in a cave so far

Hawaii is not the Brady Bunch version. It's so much better.
View from yesterday:

This island is gorgeous. Got a wee bit too much sun on the back yesterday (darn it! darn it! darn it!). It's a good thing today is cool and windy. Haven't seen any freaky spiders or picked up any tiki gods. Have ridden public transport, had fresh fish and a lunch plate with macaroni salad, enjoyed several mai tais, as well as "long walks on the beach."
Aloha, and mahalo!