Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My family deserves basic fairness

How much do I love her?

This woman amazes me. Recovering Straight Girl is bringing her partner and her kids to the rally today (you're going to be there, right?). And they even have signs. And we're not talking homemade cardboard and paint. These babies are professional. Awesome!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hey, I learned something new

I can now take a photo on my cell phone and automatically have it upload to my blog. And no, while I did not do that for this blog post, I do plan to do it Wednesday from the rally for domestic partnerships. Rally?Do you work downtown? Come join us and be a part of the crowd to support rights for all couples to protect each other. It doesn't matter if you're gay or straight or bi or none of the above: this is about basic human rights, and about telling out-of-state influencers they can't come to Oregon to throw around their religious beliefs by holding up these rights in court. We'll be there: won't you come join us?

Anyone seen my dog?

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Story to Tell

I'm blogged out right now. Not a lotta content up there in ye olde' noggin' to blog about. Actually, plenty of content but family drama isn't really bloggable. HOWEVER, lucky for us all, Gretchen has an incredibly intriguing story for us, so head over to her place to read about it...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Meet'n'Greet, Coffee Clatch: Blogging Get Together

soon to be aprons
I'm looking forward to the coffee clatch Saturday morning with my fellow bloggers Wacky Mommy and Melissa Lion, and rumor has it that Dieselboi will also be in attendance (in kilt AND apron?!). There will be novels signed, books given away, and I'm whipping up a fresh batch of aprons in case anyone would like to buy one, or see them in person. But really, just think of it as an IM session, but in person. Please come and join the fun if you'd like to meet IRL, especially my North Portland peeps like Tom, Jess, know who you are. Wacky Mommy and Melissa probably said it here and here a lot better than I could about what we're doing, so go visit them for more info.

Oh, and for all you men asking about man aprons, they're in the works, see?
fabric for manaprons

Saturday, 10am-Noon
Ladybug Coffee
8438 N. Lombard

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Another farmer's market coming to North Portland?

Huge radishes!
Sounds like there's some organizing for a Farmer's Market in the St. Johns area, which could serve this whole end of the North Portland peninsula. Very exciting, I think. What about you? Weigh in and provide feedback and ideas over at our Commissioner Cogen's blog. Yeah!-both for the idea and time commitment people may be putting in to making this happen (lots o' work!), and for our Commissioner having a blog for community dialogue.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

This post has a soundtrack that goes with it

While these cupcakes are called Black Bottom Cupcakes, I was singing and humming a song while making them, substituting Black Bottom for Fat Bottom. Here are the lyrics by Queen to get you going before reading more.
Are you gonna take me home tonight
Ah down beside that red firelight
Are you gonna let it all hang out
Fat bottomed girls
You make the rockin world go round

Hey I was just a skinny lad
Never knew no good from bad
But I knew life before I left my nursery
Left alone with big fat fanny
She was such a naughty nanny
Heap big woman you made a bad boy out of me
Hey hey!

Ive been singing with my band
Across the wire across the land
I seen evry blue eyed floozy on the way
But their beauty and their style
Went kind of smooth after a while
Take me to them dirty ladies every time

Oh wont you take me home tonight?
Oh down beside your red firelight
Oh and you give it all you got
Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin world go round
Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin world go round

Hey listen here
Now your mortgages and homes
I got stiffness in the bones
Aint no beauty queens in this locality (I tell you)
Oh but I still get my pleasure
Still got my greatest treasure
Heap big woman you gonna make a big man out of me
Now get this

Oh you gonna take me home tonight (please)
Oh down beside your red firelight
Oh you gonna let it all hang out
Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin world go round
Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin world go round
Get on your bikes and ride

Oooh yeah them fat bottomed girls
Fat bottomed girls
Yeah yeah yeah
Fat bottomed girls
Yes yes
Oh, Queen. One of my most favorite bands ever. So those cupcakes. I've never made devil's food cake: it has vinegar in it. That's a weird concept, isn't it? It has to do with creating the red black color of the final cake and the science of combining it with soda. There are many varying theories and combinations, but on my first foray into making devil's food, I'd say it was a success. The reddish hue of the chocolate cake isn't quite so red, but it certainly was moist and delicious. It's one cupcake that I opted not to use the paper wrappers, and I think that made it work since these cupcakes tend to overflow a wee bit, creating the classic top o' the muffin shape. The good thing is that the whole cupcake is tasty, not just the top, and this is a cupcake that doesn't need frosting, making it super portable.

It does require some sifting...

The black bottom just means you're making a tasty center batter made of cream cheese, egg and sugar. I used Neufchatel cheese instead, because it's what I had, and it's 1/3 less calories, so what the heck. You still singing that song? You first pour the chocolate batter in, and then top it with the cream cheese batter.

in the pan
This isn't a recipe with a surprise in the middle of the cupcake, but instead the two tones of batter sit right on top. Super easy to make and bake, I give it a thumbs up. Not everyone likes frosting, and I know a few who scrape it off: this is the perfect cupcake for them.
super moist
Recipe courtesy of David Lebovitz
Black-Bottom Cupcakes
(makes 12 cupcakes)
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 T natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process) Note: I have no idea what this means. I just used my Hershey's cocoa baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 T white or cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
First, make the filling by beating together the cream cheese, granulated sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces (I saved some for the batter as well).
Now, for that devil's food....Adjust the rack to the center of the oven, preheat 350 degrees. Spray or butter a 12-cup muffin tin.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the water, oil, venegar, and vanilla.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, stirring until just smooth. Stir any longer and you will over mix the batter and end up with less-than-tender cupcakes.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Spoon a few tablespoons of the filling into the center of each cupcake, dividing the filling evenly. This will fill the cups almost completely.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed.
Let cool, then carefully remove from the muffin tin. Enjoy the goodness, and if you're smart, share them with others. I think that makes them taste even better.
Oh wont you take me home tonight?
Oh down beside your red firelight
Oh and you give it all you got
Black bottom cupcakes you make the rockin world go round
Black bottom cupcakes you make the rockin world go round

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bundle up: it's cold out there

Bundle up
As for the content of that photo, it was all downhill from there. Chi chi chi chia!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A little story

AdRi and her father went out to dinner together last night. When they're together, they speak to each other in spanish. Last night, they talked a lot about several items and projects, in detail and probably in great length. Afterwards, her father left and a very nice older woman seated nearby approached AdRi. She asked where she was from, and AdRi had to think for a moment. She told the woman that her father was from Mexico, and the woman asked what language they were speaking. AdRi replied spanish, and the woman said, "Oh really? I thought you were speaking yiddish!"

I'm tempted to make matzo ball soup for dinner tonight, but I think that might be pushing it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A special blog

I read a lot of blogs. Some of them are listed over there in my Peeps I Visit sidebar. I've recently organized my Bloglines into different folders and playlists, so I can quickly scan who's updated recently, and for the different kinds of topics I subscribe to.

One blog I've been following is just lovely. No, it's truly lovely. It's the blog of artist Nancy Hiss, following her Iraq Names Project. On the blog she says:

On Memorial Day of this year, I knelt down in front of the Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Federal Building and wrote March 21, 2003 in chalk. As I was writing two guards walked out and watched over me. When I finished they asked, “March 21? What is that?” I responded, “That was the first day that a soldier died in the Iraq war.” I handed them a written description of the project and they walked away.

Then I wrote; Aubin, Beaupre, Cecil, Childers, Evans, Gutierrez and on and on. To date, I have written 2,445 names covering over 6 miles. The Iraq Names Project is a memorial, a demonstration, a personal cleansing; it is an act to honor sacrifice and to recognize interdependence.

The concept is so simple it can be explained by a five -year old. The act is so simple it can be shared by Girl Scouts, eighty year old women, students, friends, neighbors, passersby, draft age boys, survivors of Nazi Germany, veterans, everyone. Over 100 people have knelt down with me on the sidewalk to share in this experience. Some people chalk in one name. Some people come back week after week.

People are drawn to the aesthetic of the beautifully drawn names. Many are amazed that it spans 6 miles and I am only on March 2006. Many say that it is powerful. Some are moved to tears. Some stop to tell stories.

Go visit her blog. See her drawings. View the names. Such simple, powerful stuff. It's too easy for us to forget we are a country at war, and that people are dying every single day because of it. Thank you Nancy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Inspector Picasso
Hear that buzz? That's my busy-ness. And business. That would be busy business. Which is a good thing. Working from home means the convergence of work + pets + life. Been doing some photography and evidently, I have a supervisor.
Or two.
Frida is supervising
Frida and Picasso keep me company, along with Wink. But yes I've been busy. And, I've sold all of my aprons, and my etsy store is empty. Bad me! I've got plans to whip up some more, and this time, will be including a guy's apron in the mix as well, for all you men seeking manly aprons and Poor Man's Breakfast. Sheesh! Who woulda thought that name would have gotten so much response? I love it! And now I know it actually has a name, "migas", though AdRi looked at me with a blank look on her face and said "I don't know what it's called, it's just what I've always had."

Alas, I have not been blogging all of the roasted cauliflower, soups, oatmeal and beans I've been making. They all just don't seem as sexy and decadent, you know? I mention these things in case you think this household subsists on cupcakes, poor girls breakfast and risotto. Ha!

Okay, back to my busy business. Buzz on!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My favorite breakfast: Poor Girls Breakfast

I'm not sure how this dish was named Poor Girls Breakfast but it's what we call it. It's a stovetop version of my very favorite breakfast, chilaquilles, but this one is a variation of AdRi's childhood breakfast. In a household fed on homemade tortillas and a lot of beans, tortillas were the base for most meals. This breakfast is easy to make, but I've learned there's a specific technique for it when I've tried to make it. It's super simple but you can add or delete to it as you need. First, you thinly slice (1/2 inch wide strips x 2 or 3-inches long) a small stack of corn tortillas.
You do the same with some cheddar cheese. If you want meat in your Poor Girls, you can saute a little chicken chorizo (we like the chicken chorizo from New Seasons), drain it, and set it aside on paper towels for a bit. Next, in the same saute pan, add the tortillas. Pressing them firmly with the back of your spatula, you don't want to toss them around, but cook them a little more like a mass, just until they start to crisp up. Add back the chorizo. In a bowl, whisk several eggs and pour them into your pan.
adding the eggs
Cook over medium heat, allowing the eggs to set up and bind the tortilla strips together. Add your cheddar cheese and cook until it melts. You may need to put a lid on to help melt the cheese and ensure the eggs are cooked through.
Serve with plenty of salsa and garnish with avocado if you have it. You can also add cilantro, green onions, tomato for your garnishes, but then you can't really call it Poor Girls Breakfast anymore, can you? Super delish, and my favorite weekend breakfast.
Poor Girls Breakfast

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What if history was never captured, written down, or passed along?

That's what it's like for lots of minority groups. And gay history, or LGBTQ history, is no different. Yet time marches on and stories are lost, or hopefully passed along through friends, family and organizations. So this brings me to, how well do you know your Portland area LGBTQ history? I recently realized I don't know diddly. And we have a history. Here, test yourself...
Who was the first Oregon legislator to introduce a gay rights bill?

Would you like to learn more about some of the questions on this quiz? Q Center is hosting two really excellent events this weekend: a screening of the skin-tingling film, Ballot Measure 9. Oregon has long been a hotbed of political LGBTQ issues. This movie will shock you: I'm inspired by how far we've come since this movie. It's a don't miss. And then Saturday night, a panel of 20+ people will be there, sharing their stories from the front lines. Living history. I'll be there: I hope you'll be there too! For more information, visit Q Center.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy Birthday to my brother today

Happy birthday to my brother
And no, I did not teach him to a ride a horse like that. Nice ass, Ja'AmLo.


Previously you saw this. And now...
chi chi chi chi update
Alternate view:
chi chi chi chi butt update
For some reason, I'm craving a salad.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

A post full of links and miscellaneous sundry items

Oh my. I've been called a domestic goddess. You know you're going to pay for that. But read through all the fabulously queer Portland blogger interviews and you'll find an interview with me. I feel pretty and witty and gay! (I hope you just sung that line out loud. If you didn't, feel free to do it now.)

Jesus has been found in a potato. I wish he was still blogging.

There have been some awe inspiring posts in support of domestic partnerships this week. If you haven't read them, make sure to check these links out...props to Radio Gretchen and PAGent, among many others, for writing some really lovely stories and viewpoints. And props to all those who came out to the vigil. You are awesome. Oh wait, I said I was going to ease up on the use of that word.

There have also been a few idiotic comments to posts. I'm just at a loss of what to say to those who say domestic partnerships should be open to everyone, not just gays, and who claim it's not fair. People, you have the option of marriage, and with that, you will get three times the benefits, protections and rights that my domestic partnership could get, IF they were available in this state. Blecht. We voted on marriage, and the majority said no. So now we're trying to get the protections for our families that we need, by cobbling them together in domestic partnerships. The hardships are real, the inequities are real.

Speaking of idiotic comments, evidently I made one this week and pissed off a bunch of people. Oops! Really sorry. Such a great example of how tone and intent can be completely misconstrued in blogging, and reminder to me to be mindful of what I write.

Sunny thoughts. Sunny thoughts. I'm doing a countdown until I'm here next month. Snorkeling. Sun. Sand. Siesta. Sweet. I. Can't. Wait.

Two books I received for Christmas I'm thoroughly enjoying. Lileks is hysterical. I swear we were separated at birth with our sense of humor. And Alice Waters, I can't believe this is my first cookbook of hers: it's lovely. Speaking of cookbooks, look what Maggie found this week and I am dreaming of ways to use. So cool. A eating local Portland cookbook perhaps?

Photography every day this year? That is so inspirational. Kudos to Fleur de Lisa for just finishing up a complete year of photos, and good luck to Rozanne who is just starting up in '08.

Had a burger lately? We did.

Kiss My Ass Cakes are available for purchase, and I even deliver! Here's a recent delivery at the intersection of N. Greely and Rosa Parks Way. Aren't they the cutest couple?
Kiss My Ass Cakes delivery at Greeley and Rosa Parks Way

Friday, January 04, 2008

Portland Storm Team Watchers: video

Reporting live from North Portland, home of the University of Portland Women's Soccer Champion Pilots, it's windy. Blustery. Stormy. Here's the proof.

Shout out to my fellow Twittering storm team watchers.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

What does a year look like in photos?

I take photos. Almost every day I take photos. I take photos to capture things I see, how I live, what I think is beautiful. In many ways, I take photos to document my life.

A few days ago I thought I’d pull together a representation of photos for the year, and it was then I discovered that I took 5,364 photos over the course of the year (more if you count the ones I edited out along the way).

And wow, what a year it’s been. Many of these photos have been seen here on this blog, but I’m sure of the 200 or so I pulled together for this little slideshow (don’t worry, they’re each up for only 1.5 seconds) there are plenty you haven’t seen. Editing these brought back the joys of living through major construction in our house, a gutted kitchen, not a room left untouched, our temporary kitchen in the basement and the amazing items pulled from the walls of a 95-year-old house. So many photos of Wink, Picasso and Frida. Some of our outings, including roller derby, farmers market, the Oregon coast and San Diego. And since we lived for 5 months without a kitchen, I’m still making up for it with all of the explorations in our new kitchen. I look at these photos of fresh homegrown tomatoes with basil and mozzarella and laugh that at one time, I said I was maxed out on having that to eat anymore (oh what I’d give for those tomatoes now!). The year shows explorations with new lenses, visiting gardens, my work with Q Center, my parents, Pride, Safety Pup, and visiting farms of lavender, blueberries, raspberries and apples. A new baby nephew, and a blogger get together. I’ll stop listing it now, you can watch it for yourself.

But I did want to follow up on a question I posed recently about blogging every day this year, and whether or not I should do it. I have to give props to those of you who said you would, and I fully support you doing so. Thank you for your feedback! I’m going to opt out, though. During the month of NaBloPoMo when I posted every day, many of my posts were humorous, sarcastic or just pass-alongs of weird things on the web. I’ve decided I want to be just a little more intentional with the things I say here, and sometimes that takes a few days to form.

So here, watch some pretty pictures and get a glimpse into my life in 2007. I can only imagine what I'll capture in 2008! Happy New Year!