Friday, May 21, 2010

Awesome Blossom!

What's better than heading to the coast for the weekend? Why spending it with three, fantastic, lovely, wonderful gay men. Awesome Blossom! Google this to see pictures of the Chili's appetizer - impressive. I have a weekend ahead in Lincoln City filled with well prepared snacks, chilled Prosecco, lots of chit chat and romantic comedies. Just threw a bunch of novels in my bag and I could not be more pleased.

My brother's reaction to my planned trip, which is for K's 30th birthday was: 3 gay men, I wonder why you're single? I agree with the sentiment but obviously, I'm not changing my plans. But it did lead to an interesting discussion with a casual friend. I told her the story of how my mom asked me once - one summer break from college - if you know, there was anything I wanted to tell her. I was pretty positive that she thought perhaps since I had not serious boyfriend yet, I might be a lesbian. I responded empathically that I had absolutely nothing to tell her. My friend understood this lament and it had been even worse for her. She had been married (to a man) 14 years then divorced and since she'd had no boyfriends for a decade there was a rumor in her family that she was a lesbian. Her respond was classic, "Please tell them I like penises."

And that's all I have to say for today, really. If I could will myself, I would. I would! Women are awesome creatures. I know so many wonderful, bright, funny, sharp, smart, loyal, interesting, lovely women. But I also like penises. Preferably on straight men.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Love Letter to Portland

The sky today isn't blue and it isn't pink. It's iridescent, near purple but not. Azure? I'm sure there is a Crayola Crayon for what this is. From my office I look over my backyard, with its high grass and a neighbor's huge tree branching over it. I don't know the name of this tree but it's old and it drops seedlings all over my yard and driveway. I couldn't care less. From my spot here, with A. sleeping in the other room and silence, all I see are bits of sky between a million dark leaves. But i have a feeling it's beautiful out, that the sky is a bright one already, at 5am.

Yesterday I went to the Mt. Tabor Art Walk with MD. You literally walk through people's houses in the neighborhood, they serve you snacks, usually cheese and crackers though I prefer small sugar cookies, which I found at one house and at another house they had those individually wrapped butterscotch things in a silver bunchy wrapper, I'll take what I can get.

The best part is spying on how other people live, and also how open or closed they are to having perfect strangers tromp through their homes. One waspy family, perfect, ironed summer clothes, sat on the front steps of their traditional, brick palace as if they were late for a tennis game, while visitors could explore artwork, mostly watercolors, displayed on wires on the porch and within a small open office type room. The rest of the house was off limits. Even the dog found this strange - a labradoodle who followed us from the inside as we poked our noses on glass window from the outside. Funny, the house, with its huge brick of a big screen TV, beige carpet, a silk plant, and a generic black office chair, was not all that.

The friend I was with, MD, was on the look out for apricot or salmon colored flowers, preferably roses, and on our walks we found many. We also saw the fattest irises, some new, some shriveled, but tall and on steroids, as well as an incredible rhododendron tree that was ancient, I mean maybe 100 years old. Gorgeous.

Anyway, the woman of the house I loved and MD loved, had many lovely watercolors, outstanding, and a beautiful room in front, all windows with screens so she could paint in there. Her son had designed and built it, and a backyard with a quiet deck and two matching, black and white, sleepy cats. And of course, more flowers in the yard. The house was old, but fixed up in a quiet way. Maybe it was the candy? But I had a certain feeling in the house, like if I lived there everything would be perfect.

After dinner with MD at Caldera, excellent conversation and just fun, white wine on the outside deck, my favorite Marionberry BBQ burger, I'm looking forward to summer.

Portland, I am no longer mad at you.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Shameless Promotion for Dogs Who Can't Type

This Saturday I'll be walking with A. in the Oregon Humane Society Doggie Dash. My team is The JabberWalkies. I've never been good at raising money for anything. I was a Brownie for about 2 hours, before deciding I wasn't cut out for actually knocking on doors and selling cookies. I'm not a salesperson, and so I quit the Brownies. Luckily, mom didn't care about that sort of silly shit. No offense to any former Brownies out there.

My point being, there's a reason you might want to donate a little money, even five bucks, to this cause. There is a reason I'll be walking A., dragging her along at points, downtown this weekend, wishing I was reading a book or eating brunch. I found A. at a humane society in Vancouver, WA. While her story is a sweet one: she had a very short stay at the shelter, they played classical music for the dogs, and she was doted upon by the many, wonderful volunteers - this isn't always the case.

My true love story. Here it goes. I saw A. on the site and was intrigued. A terrier mix with a fuzzy face? I'd been wanting a dog a long, long time and with a recent break up, I felt ready. Plus, my brother kept gently nudging me by saying things like, "When are you going to get a dog already?" I put my hold on A., like a reservation at a restaurant. When I met her at the shelter she weighed 12 lbs less than now and was 9 months old. We went outside together and sat on a bench. I liked her immediately - with her fluffy white hair, tan spot, black eyes and white eyelashes, funky tail, who wouldn't?

But what I really loved about her was her spirit. I'd warned myself going into this endeavor not to select the saddest looking pup, not to go for the one with the toughest story or one who had physical ailments. Not unlike boyfriend shopping, I'd need to tell myself: pick a healthy one! I was a single woman and I needed to realistic about my own limitations.

A. and I hung out for a while outside until she spotted a squirrel. She leapt from the bench and into the air - front paws straight out in front, back paws in the other direction, like wheeeeeeee! And I knew she was mine. I told the volunteer I'd take her. She wasn't house-trained and her name was Princess, two hurdles that were fairly easy to overcome. When I picked her up a few days later, after being fixed, she was still sedated and went limp in my arms. Immediately, she hopped into the car, and stole the driver's side - as she still does now. Soon enough she would be at home with me and my housemates, rolling around in each of the three beds at some point. Shortly after the shelter experience, she developed pneumonia. She slept for four nights at Dove Lewis and each day I visited her in her oxygen tenet/cage, sometimes with a roommate, T., and A. was so excited to see us, she couldn't contain her wriggling self. I left my sweater for her and I never did get that back, but I didn't care because A. survived when the vet said she might not have.

I remember one time I called Dove Lewis to check her status, I told the guy on the phone I was A.'s owner and wanted to see how she was doing. He thought he put me on hold but he hadn't and I heard him call out, "A's mom is on Line 1. Again."

I was a mom. When I brought A. home I was instructed to perform percussion on her every day, twice a day, to help her cough up fluids. I'd need to create a steam-room out of the bathroom. Those mornings and evenings in the hot, steamy space together sealed a bond. She sat, quietly on my lap, without question, and allowed me to press and clap my hands along her back and all over. And soon she got better and discovered her neighborhood again. A band of friends at Laurelhurst Park, other neighbors at a nearby coffee-shop, my other roommate, J., took her too. A. met people I never did!

So, this is a shameless promotion, as I mention, because dogs can't type, they can't ask you to help them out in this way, but I can. And it's important.

Here is the Doggie Dash website:

Click on Sponsor a Friend and then select Team and please type JabberWalkies

Thank you! From both of us!

Nosh, Blog, Love

Okay, M.C., your initials are finally here, documenting beverages at Sapphire Hotel last night and also, your role in the title for this entry. Feel better? I have been remiss.
Not to repeat myself here, but I am getting old. I'm aging. Last night I had two lemon drops, licking all the sugar from the rim of the cocktail glass, let anything get wasted, and I woke at 2am with a slamming headache. I assume: cheap vodka. But tasty, sweet and tart. After 3 motrin and three huge glasses of water, something has got to kick in soon. I cannot stand to be sick.
I had lots of writing ideas last night, so excited by them I jotted them on a napkin. Where is that napkin now?
Who knows?
Someone is running around this town with my napkin? And that person is stealing my brilliant ideas?
Am I still drunk?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Man Repellent

Not to put myself down, but right now I feel like man repellent. The cute barista at the coffeeshop I go to on Wednesdays wasn't there today. I go for a writing workshop. I'm working on a collection of short stories. He's asked me about "my group" and I have admitted to "being nervous about reading my stuff." It's all very Victorian, crushy, and makes me want to use the word mirth.

I live in a bleak savannah that is man-less, free of males. It's of my own creation. I realize there have been many boyfriends and friends, all males who have at some point populated my life, and I have a brother and a father and surely they count. And both our dogs growing up were male too.

But still, it's not so bad. Nobody is eating my leftovers in the fridge. No unemployed boy on the couch, collecting dust in his goatee. But still, without these so-called men, what to post?

I've been mulling over what I can whip up here, aside from the earth-shattering ceramics romp or a burger binge, and I've considered relating past tales of love gone wrong. So here's a little something...

A while back I dated a guy I met at Starbuck's (don't judge) . He was a Latino Jew (a rarity, but Jews - we are everywhere - this is true). He adored me, but repeatedly bit my bottom lip, on purpose, I let this go until it happened again multiple times and by the third date, I'd had enough - I wanted my lip back. It wasn't just a biting. It was so painful my lip was swollen and bruised. I'd not known a lip could bruise, but believe me, it can. When I saw myself in the mirror that next morning, I broke up with him over brunch, waiting until after he paid the bill.

To his credit he offered me a lovely, sweet gesture. Yes, he was disappointed that I'd ended our romantical, storybook affair, the one we might tell our fictional future children, but if I ever wished to have causal sex, I should give him a call. He promised not to get all needy or call me all the time. Somehow, I didn't believe him. We parted ways on a sidewalk on Hawthorne, but right before he gave me what I believe to be the most poignant compliment to date. He called me ruthlessly hot.

Did I mention the part where he called me ruthlessly hot? Sadly, I do not have his number in my cell any longer. And, no proverbial black book.

Where are all the hot Latino-Jews in this town? And when did all the men turn to turds?

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Continuing to report on on exciting events around here. This weekend, post-Friday night: mowed my backyard with the push mower. Got a blister. Scared A. who was keeping me company then cried to go inside. This may have been when I got mad at the crappy lawnmower.

Butternut squash soup - self-explanatory, made from scratch, though I refuse to buy whole squash and kill myself while slicing it. Better to buy it already in pieces.

Last but not least....ceramics! Yes, ceramics. There's an annual show here in Portland and I'm going today. I may see Monster Man, James De Rosso, who crafts monster sculptures and who had a tiny crush on me a while back. While attractive, I must wonder: a grown man who sculpts monsters? Why must I attract all the stable, uber-successful, straight arrow types?

If you're looking for a thrilling video, take a peek at this video clip from the 2009 ceramics show. It will rock your world:

If you're hankering for a small monster titled Screaming Hug or something, take a look at James's site. Apparently, a lot of women buy them for men in their lives. I wonder why?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Still Here in This Quiet Room

What's a nice Jewish girl doing out on a Friday night in Portland, Oregon? Why going to see Nightmare on Elm Street at the Lloyd Center of course? But beforehand it's time to hang out in the back of a mini-van with N. and his mom, J. and smoke and watch the Max ride by from the windows while listening to Ladyhawk.

That much is obvious.

What more can I say? The evening was lovely, relaxed, and with my eyes hidden for half the movie, I liked Nightmare on Elm Street. I LIKED NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET! Me. I read Lorrie Moore and Shirley Hazzard and The New Yorker and The New York Times. I like everything I am supposed to like.

Plus, people in Portland often cite the lack of diversity here - it's such a white city. But I'll tell you, N., J., and I were some of the few white people at this theater and it was impressive. The crowd - unlike a bunch of white people - was enthusiastic, supplying commentary and cheers at the screen.

So I liked the movie. These kids are all dying in their sleep because Freddy kills them there, so the self-induced insomnia tied in with the human need of sleep, got me. All of their parents lied to them about their connection & their twisted past. Plus, we learn the backstory of Freddy: why he's so pissed, why his face is melty, and most important, where he got that fetching striped sweater.

I made up that last part. But still. Solid story structure. Lots of rakey, stabby type deaths and gore, but at the heart of it, it was a movie about repressed memories and standing up for yourself. When Nancy finally does this, she kills Freddy, which is really killing that dark part of her own self.

Deep, I know. And to stay on topic, this night was better than dates or flings or disappointment or even thinking about suitors. Enjoying my life in these snippets. And as I heard Ladyhawk advocate in the mini-van: Stop Playing with my Delirium.