Monday, March 31, 2008

Who let the bees out?

Bee in your bonnet
This is a part of that great mural out at Edgefield in Troutdale. Probably my favorite in the whole place. And probably because "I have a bee in my bonnet" is one of my favorite sayings. Here's to a bee bonnet free week. Good luck with that.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Is having a blog like having a cable access show? Or, one reason why I'm going to BlogHer this summer.

Breaking announcement
Have you seen this guy on cable access? I've seen him a few times but I have no idea what he's actually saying. He rambles on and on. Tonight I had him on and grabbed my camera in hopes someone might know something about him, what his story is. I did catch his grumbling about the world wide internet, but how that stuff is all fake, with fake names. And the YOUTUBE (I think that's how he pronounced it: all caps) stuff is 2-and-a-quarter-inch by 2-and-a-quarter-inch and how can anyone see that stuff? He didn't move much. Just stood there, with his disco ball on a can, his earphones, and his microphone clutched in a death grip. I would have kept watching him if AdRi hadn't insisted I change the channel.

But it got me wondering. Is blogging kinda like having a cable access show? Do blogs have more impact/reach than cable shows like this one? Have blogs already gone the way of the cable access show and I just don't know it?

Well, I intend to find out at BlogHer 08. Oh yes, my pretties. Recovering Straight Girl and I are traveling together to San Francisco this summer for a weekend full of enlightenment, connections, and girl fun. Also known as debauchery. You pick. I'm quite excited. If you're reading this blog, and you're thinking about going, YOU SHOULD. And if you're queer and reading this blog, you really should. Because the conference is at mecca. Hellooooooo.

I have no idea, really, what to expect. And I hope it's not a building full of "mama" bloggers (no offense, but I'm not into reading about breastfeeding and clogged nipples) or scrapbookers (no offense, again, but come on, environmental impact of all that paper!). Oh sigh. And if it doesn't work out, I can always get a cable access show, right? Anyone have a disco ball?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I can't stop watching this.

I'm overwhelmed with the desire to do the cabbage patch, followed by the worm. Ending with jazz hands, of course.

P.S. I think he might be G-A-Y.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Things I've seen in North Portland

Last summer I did a post on things I've seen while working in my North Portland garden. It's a good one.

But I think I should start a list of things I've seen in North Portland. So this is my first entry.


Today I saw a man crossing the street at N. Greeley and N. Rosa Parks Way. He was pushing a jogging stroller. But instead of a baby in the baby stroller, was a case of beer. I think it was Bud Light.

The end.

More will be added as time goes on, but feel free to add to the list, too.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Someone tells me today is a special day....

happy birthday rsg
Ah, man! It's RSG's birthday. And even though this photo is from two years ago, it's still quite fitting for the day, wouldn't you say? Go on and give her some love on her 29th birthday!
And for another blast from the past, here's an Easter portrait of our girls, two years ago, too. Oh, they grow up so fast!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Vernal Equinox

First day of Spring 2008
Today the sun passed over the earth's equator. Did you feel it? I thought I did. The equinox translates as "equal night" meaning the length of the daytime is equivalent to the length of night. And from today on, the days get longer than the night. Does that put a smile on your face like it does mine? Wiccan tradition celebrates Ostara today, focusing on creativity, fertility and spiritual renewal. It's a good time to seed both plants and personal projects, or personal growth. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

So what’s the big deal about art?

Artist: Age 3

I’ve always lived with art. Always. See? Here I am at age 3, paintbrush in hand. I’m a constant creator. Art is a huge transformational element. It’s creative expression. It’s a core element of me, and of my reinvention.

At the last Ignite Portland, I felt a bit disconnected from a lot of the talks. I asked myself if I was “getting” this thing? Robots? But the talk that really peaked my interest was by Adrienne Fritze, a woman who transformed her life from an advertising executive into a new life as an artist. To tell her story, some of it personal and raw, up on a stage, to a packed crowd (with a lot of tech-based folks!) at The Bagdad, just kicked ass. Turns out she runs an artist’s collective…

And this month’s audio show, DIY, Portland, “a revolutionary arts show about DIY projects" by Julie Sabatier, has an interview with Adrienne and her work. Adrienne works with incarcerated women through art therapy. (Sidenote: Did you know glitter is considered contraband in prison?) In fact, the whole show/podcast is about the Art of Survival. How does art transform us? Provide us sustenance? Allow us to explore issues through it? Adrienne says “It changes people: it’s incredible.” I couldn’t agree more. And Adrienne’s own story of transformation through art is beautiful. Awesome woman.

If you’re looking for a new podcast or to be inspired, take a moment to listen to this great show. It’s online and waiting for you now.

About DIY, Portland
This two-year-old show has grown up from Portland's grassroots to become a full-fledged documentary series, featuring recorded field sound, in-studio interviews and personal narration blended with music from Pacific Northwest artists. In 25 episodes, the show has covered a diverse range of topics from zines to underground restaurants to home funerals. In addition to on-line, the show airs on KBOO Community Radio in Portland (10am the third Thursday of every month), and is syndicated on stations such as KUGS in Bellingham, Washington and KRFP in Moscow, Idaho.

Thanks, Julie, for doing the work you do. Love it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Two links that have brought me great joy in the past day

Okay joy is the wrong word. But when someone sends me a link and I look at it more than once, then I guess it just takes it to a whole new level. So I share them with you now.

First link, is the Flock of Mullets. Hat tip to Rynosoft.

Second link? An organist touched by Jesus. Hat tip to my brother.

Enjoy. Or be mortified. Your pick.

And here's a bonus, courtesy of PAgent. He's been pondering a trike. I suggested a Big Wheel. And he offers this. Touche, PAgent. Touche.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm such a tease

I really couldn't help it cupcakes
So since I've posted about cutting back on meat and eating a bit more healthy, I'm happy to report that I've taken in the meat parade at Brazilian Grill, and I've posted about apple pies and now, cupcakes. What. The. Hell. I know. So let's cut the guilt and just get to the cupcakes pictured above, shall we? We shall. And let's also just clear it up and say, these weren't for me. Nope, these were for one of my most favoritist of peoples, our 11-year-old neighbor. And her birthday party. At the bowling alley. With pizza. And friends. And grandma. And I bowled a 53. Suck it. I need a little practice in the bowling arena, obviously. But it was fun and I smiled the whole time and the girls told me about Hanna Montana and Rianna and I don't know who else. Good times, peeps. Good times.

These cupcakes were made with my new favorite recipe from the book Southern Cakes, and the recipe is called Helen Hudson Whiting's Celestial Chocolate Cake. The frosting is a la Amy Sedaris, and is her buttercream frosting. And the pink color? No Red #4 here. Nope. That there is beet juice. All natural red food coloring. That counterbalances all the butter and sugar, right? Right.

Friday, March 14, 2008

KISS Apple Pie: Yes, that stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid

Happy Pi Day
Happy Pi Day, people, or in this case, Pie Day!

Here's my story and I'm sticking to it. The other half loves pie. If she could have birthday pie instead of birthday cake, she would. And actually, she does. AdRi is a pie aficionado. There are several rules in the pie playbook at Casa de Lelo y AdRi:
• Pies must be made from scratch. Storebought pie crust? Why even bother.
• Pies must not be super sweet. If making a pie from a recipe, cut the sugar short. You want to taste the fruit, not the sugar.
• Which brings us to fillings: no chocolate cream butterscotch pies. Good pie is about the fruit. Which brings us to…
• Fresh local fruit in season makes the best pie. Peach pie in August? You betcha. Blueberry pie in June? Delish. Apple pie in September or October? Devine. Which brings us to the eternal question…
• Who uses canned fruit pie fillings? Yuck.
• Freezing above described local fruit is perfect for winter pies.
You may be scoffing at the rules. Alas, they are ours and ours only. But that means there’s been plenty of focus on perfecting fruit pies, to our own tastes, and I like to think we’ve got it down.

First of all, props go to Shuna at eggbeater for introducing her piecrust technique and recipe. It's a keeper. I swear by it now, and have written about it here on the blog before, along with step by step photos. Super simple ingredients, but freezing everything, along with the bowl you make your piecrust in, is ingenius and effective. Butter, flour, salt, sugar and ice water: the best, flakiest and easiest piecrust I’ve come across, it’s all about the technique.

And for the Keep It Simple, Stupid Apple Pie? Also known as KISS Apple Pie? It’s all about keeping it simple and using the best ingredients. And this is perfect for mixing those delicious Hood River valley heirloom apples like Elstar, Gravenstein, Lubsk Queen and Spitzenberg, with a little bit of spices and sugar, and baking up a pie full of perfection.

Follow the links above for the crust. As to the filling:
8 cups of sliced, peeled apples (once sliced squeeze half of a lemon over them to keep them from turning brown)
Mix together…
½ cup sugar
1 T cinnamon, ½ tsp ginger, a shake of nutmeg or allspice and a smidgen of cardamom
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Then mix into the apples, tossing to coat. Prick the bottom crust of your pie with a fork, then pour in your apple mixture. Add your top crust, pinch the edges and cut a few vents for steam to escape, then bake in a 425 degree oven for one hour. After 40 minutes, check the pie and if the edges are darkening, throw a few pieces of foil over just the crust edges to prevent them from burning.

About the pan: I love my stone pie pans. I’m confident that my bottom crusts will be cooked through when I use them.

Thank you, Alana, for inspiring Pi Day! Go check out the other pie recipes and while you're there, poke around her site. Lots of great recipes and ideas. Happy pie!

Update: Welcome to all of my visitors from Serious Eats, and thank you for recognizing my photo as Photo of the Day!
And check out where else my photo shows up today!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

That moment of The First Spring Day

a perfect moment of spring
Last year I clearly remember the day. The day I wore short sleeves and jeans with flip flops. My winter skin was exposed to the spring sunshine. The feel of breeze on the hair on my arms was a sense I hadn’t felt in months. On that first sunny warm spring day of 2007, I hung laundry to dry from our laundry tree* in the backyard. I was happy. I realized I had been in a winter funk of darkness, and maybe even a little depression. But then The First Spring Day came and I was happy, carefree, myself again.

I just had that moment for this year, 2008. Not so much of an emergence from a dark place. There was no long winter living through house construction, no lack of winter travel or anemia making me exhausted. This year I planned for winter. And I saw a doctor last summer who diagnosed my iron deficiency and under-functioning thyroid. We booked a 10-day vacation to Mexico for the very worst month, February, and I was heading into Year 2 of running my own business from home, this time, without construction making my life a living hell. Needless to say, it’s been a much better winter. But I still had the emerging spring moment, and it was this Sunday on the first day of Daylight Savings Time.

I had planted some pansies in the front pots, and cleaned up the chairs and table on the front porch. One of my favorite radio shows was on public broadcasting, and I seized the moment. The windows were open to let the breeze through, the radio drifted out to the front porch, and there I was, sitting in the sun with my pile of seed and plant catalogs, my list and pen, a wine spritzer with ice and a straw. The cats rolled in the sun a few feet away, and Wink hung out taking in the view of those walking by on the sidewalk.
hangin' out on the front porch
The sun warmed my skin and I squinted my eyes as I wrote my list of the dahlias I couldn’t live without, sedum chocolate, the crazy deco mix ornamental cucumber I’d grow in my patch of freaks I hope to cultivate this year. …alongside the yard long red noodle beans I’d grow on the arbor. Others on my list…
  • Pizza pepper
  • Black Pearl and Candlelight ornamental peppers
  • Chocolate cherry tomatoes
  • Purple tomatillos
  • Swiss sunset basil (in celebration of my swiss heritage)
  • BBQ Rosemary to make skewers of rosemary infused veggies with this summer
  • Pony tails amaranth
  • Black peony poppy
  • Whirligig and Zowie! Yellow Flame zinnias
  • And contemplating the golden Anne raspberries.
I didn’t get through the whole stack of catalogs, but I’ve got a good step in the right direction. And with a little more warmth from the sun, I know this is going to be a very good gardening season. Don’t you?

*Instead of a clothesline we have a tree, just steps from the basement door, with branches at the perfect height to hang clotheshangers from.
This is also posted on Sassy Gardener.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Congratulations Oregon! Oklahoma has Sally Kern, and we have Senator Gary George

This is not a proud Oregon moment. This won't make the lists of "Best places to live" or "Best states to travel to." Oh no. This will help land us in the most bigoted state catagory. These lovely quotes come from an elected Oregon official:

"If I discriminate in favor of you it automatically requires I discriminate against someone else. I was hoping with your generation we can stop calling each other 'asian-american,' or 'latino-american...' ...I have dear dear friends in the legislature who are black but sometimes I really get tired of hearing about their color."
Do you try yawning everytime they talk? See how that goes, Senator. Let me know.

"My advice to the gay community is SHUT UP, just don't talk about it. If you walk around talking about what you do in the bedroom, you should be on the pervert channel."

Hmm. I wonder what channel the pervert channel is on. Someone call Comcast, stat!

But here's my favorite...
"If you do feel like you've been discriminated against as a gay, you have hard feelings. I remember when I was heavy and wore glasses as a child and I was picked on. We all know the gay person that nobody notices - I think that is where we need to head. Everybody knows where the line is, so when I see I'm offending someone, I have to back away from that. We have to adjust our behavior so as to not be offensive. If you push anyone too hard, they will react.

My plea to the gay community would be, hey, mature."

Okay, Senator George, thanks for those pearls of wisdom. We need to mature, even as gay teens are being murdered and you want to support the firing of gays in the workplace. That's inspiring! Go Oregon!

For more of this amazing interview—and hats off to the newest reporter at Just Out, Stephen Marc Beaudoin for capturing these hateful words during his nearly hour long interview with this fine, elected official—to to Blog Out.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Isn't it ironic that on the same day New York Governor Spitzer comes out with being involved in a prostitution ring (nice!), the Vatican releases this important list and information. Study up, kids: there might be a pop quiz.

Had any hamburgers lately?

I have. Or should I say, hamburguesa? And it wasn't good. But the scenery was divine.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Feelin' sass-say

Feels like spring
There's some sassy blogging going on out there! Sass-say! Loving it. I think. But then I was reading my new favorite blog and was relieved to see Sarah Silverman there. I hate her. I totally don't get her. Not funny. Stupid. Actually offensive, from a whiny white girl. But then I saw #25 and hung my head: damn. I guess I am white.

But I've always been sassy, just not so much so in my most recent column. Hmmm. But if you're interested in growing a caprese salad, salsa or even the makings for ratatouille all in a pot, head on over to Sassy Gardener in Just Out for info. And a warning: my next column takes on that stupid overpriced AeroGrow and even makes a jab at Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade. Oh, and men who play with fire. Oh yeah, baby: I'm gettin' my sassy back.

In the meantime, there should be enough links in this post to keep you busy. Have fun.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Motivation for some hummus

There's nothing like putting your white pasty plump body in a swimsuit in Winter and exposing yourself to the beaches of Mexico to motivate a little weight loss. Or at least a check-in on the food intake and putting the cupcakes and risotto on the backburner and getting in a whole lot of fresh salads and vegetables instead. I'm also quite inspired by this new site, and the dialogue she's developing about food, food issues and facing facts. And then there's the whole cutting back on meat thing over at Casa de Lelo. The inhumane practices of the meat industry have just rattled me so much, I'm really examining where our meat comes from, how it's raised and cared for, and cooking with it much, much less. It has sparked some interesting dialogue between AdRi and I, and I think it's a good change I'm willing to spearhead. I'm intrigued that another blogger is pondering going veg, too.

So I whipped up some hummus this week and have been nibbling on it for days. Never, ever, never, ever will I buy hummus again when I can make it myself. It's so much better, and super easy. So here is how I make hummus. I'm looking forward to trying lots of different variations and explorations with it, but in its most simplest form, it's quite delicious.

Get out your food processer (or a blender could work too). Into it, drop......
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained (reserve the liquid)
4 cloves garlic (less if you don't want such egregious garlic breath)
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon or so of tahini
With food processor on, pour in 1/4 cup or so of olive oil. Whirl with wild abandon, adding more olive oil and/or the reserved garbanzo bean liquid to get it to the consistency you prefer. Salt and pepper to taste. If you like, garnish with some italian parsley.

Now pass me an altoid!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

What are your dreams for women?

I dream of a time when girls aren't belittled by being called lesbos.

I dream of a time when women won't call each other pussies, bitches or cunts as put downs.

What do you dream for?

More information here.

Even though Jesus isn't blogging anymore... least he's shown up on Twitter. Thank you TweetJeeebus!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Is this like having a dinner party and then dragging out the slide carousel of vacation photos?

pyramid at chichen itza
It might be. But the good thing at this dinner party is that you don't have to click through unless you want to see photos taken of the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, and Tulum...
ruins meet the ocean in tulum
...and Mexican street scenes...
...and of course crazy blue water...
from the ruins at tulum
...or to see some of the art we brought back...
folk art we bought
And in case you're interested in seeing more, I've made a set here on flickr.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

It must be springtime...

...because the crocus are up and my dog is sitting on them.
It must be Springtime

I love being around other people's kids

Last night brought a wonderful time with a wonderful group of girls and women: this gorgeous family not only took care of Wink while we were on vacation, but also delivered her back to Portland last night, brought me some really lovely birthday gifts—including a Webkinz!!!!!!!—and then took AdRi and I out to dinner to celebrate. And can I just say the manners on these girls are incredible? They have table manners, and they push in their chairs when they get up from the table. I was really impressed. They're all such fun to be around, and I'm still filled with the happy time we had. Thank you, RSG, and your whole lovely family. You guys are the best.

P.S. I was also given this portrait made of me by a very talented artist. I absolutely love it. Don't you?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sun, hedonism and celebrating a February birthday far from Portland, Oregon

Do you ever have those moments laying in the sun when a wave of warmth makes you catch your breath? I love that. I don't experience it much here in Portland. It's the intense change or warming, fueled by the suns rays, and it connects with your body (and your internal organs, I swear) and lifts it to a higher temperature. It causes me to double breathe. It comes even moreso when laying on a hot rock. Especially a hot rock on the Feather River in Northern California in July. That's really hot. But I digress...

I've found I do better with my birthday by being on vacation. Preferably somewhere warm with lots of sun where I can reintroduce my toes to that glowing orb in the sky. And this was a major birthday. Major. I'll leave it at that.

Having a birthday in late February in Portland, Oregon is most often a grey, wet, cold, rainy affair. Usually combined with a pity party and generally emotional moments of whining and crying. But not in Mexico. No sirree. And this birthday was spent on the coast of the Caribbean, an ocean I've never visited. Shades of turquoise, layers of blue, see?
Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico
All day long on my birthday was spent at the most amazing natural water park, snorkeling, swimming, sunning. This comes with all-you-can drink and eat. Pure hedonism. Yes, on my birthday I snorkeled through an ancient Mayan cave, followed by several pina coladas and some salsa verde pork. Now THAT'S the way to do it. Seriously, this place was amazing.

Last night I downloaded some of the photos, and found a little movie AdRi made on a walk she took on the beach in Tulum. I love it so much, and think you will too. Enjoy a little time at the Caribbean with AdRi here:

I'm back, and have some great clarity to focus on life, goals, hopes and dreams. Vacations do that to me. And here's a little something my mom wrote to me in my birthday card:
Let's see, 40 years ago today I put a roast in the oven, planted a loquat tree, called Dr. Loft after dinner, met him at the hospital and you were born at 9:30 pm.
Love this. I bet she had a task list for herself on that day. That reminds me, I have a list to get to today...