Wednesday, January 31, 2007

FAMEfamefame fame..... FAME!

Because I'm concerned my coolness might intimidate my husband, I've been reading more of the Viola Listserve posts and taking a preliminary interest in viola society stuff. Just to, y'know, take the edge off.

Today on the Viola list somebody posted the Rebecca Clarke society newsletter. As you undoubtedly know, she's the modern (d. 1979) American violist/composer we obsessively love because she wrote pretty things for us to play. I like the Sonata because it sounds harder than it is. A lot of great viola music is the opposite; it should sound elegant, but is freaking hard. (See Schubert, Mozart, Stamitz, Brahms ((geeze, the E-flat!)), and anything written by anyone for a school orchestration assignment ever). It's not that I mind working hard, in fact I rather dig the triumph, it's just that I like sometimes not. As goes the viola, so goes the grammar and spelling... siiiigh.

So this newsletter, I went and took a look because there was promise of a Rebecca Clarke Recipe!

All this made me realize I have another secret to share, a particularly embarassing one. Sometimes as I go about the mundane tasks of the day, I'll wonder what would happen if I became insanely famous. For example, would the recipe I jot on a thank-you note to some friend become a treasure? Will the way I organize my pantry be emulated? Could the stack of books in my nightstand become recommended reading for the youth of America in hopes they too will accomplish feats as beneficial to the world as yours truly's?

So seeing that some society (albeit one hard-up for material as "copyright law has been invoked") has not only formed to study and disseminate the Clarke love, but they have, indeed, publicly fawned over a jotted note.

Moral: it could happen.

Here's the recipe~ you know I had to put it here, because it proves possible my own megalonarcissistic delusion. Yum!
Rebecca Clarke's Corn Pudding
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a fire-proof dish. Swish it round so as to grease the sides & bottom of the dish. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl; add 1 can cream-style corn & the melted butter. Salt & pepper. That's all. Bake in a moderate oven about 30 minutes in the fireproof dish. (Of course if you feel like it you can add a little chopped onion, cooked in the butter; or a little chopped pimento; or both. Good- but not necessary- the one I gave you the other evening didn't have either. But sometimes it's fun to try experiments.)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A lissst. A list. A-list.

I love when people come to visit because it's a great catalyst for me to get stuff done around the house. Plus, I suppose the visiting is kinda nice.

This mood takes me before big performances or auditions, too. In Baltimore I painted my apartment kitchen a seriously bright red before my first orchestra audition and that apartment had 14 foot ceilings. Simon didn't like me being so far up a ladder, so he sat whining to make clear to me his displeasure. He was that way about swings, too, but louder.

Anyway, I really like this manic-ish slightly caffeinated feeling.

Here's what I've got on my list before Wednesday:
1. Oh how I love a good list. Making one is an accomplishment, no?
2. Paint the guest bedroom Behr Caramel Sunday. I think I should have bought that $5 can of Cranberry Fizz oops paint at Home Despot for our bedroom. What a steal- I love the oops paint shelves. The only drawback to doing some painting is when your neck gets a horrible crick in it for like four days in a row. Owowowow.
3. Finish the guest bedroom throw pillows. Sewing makes me feel so adult. Maybe because fabric is crazy expensive.
4. Move the rugs even though J doesn't want me to. He'll like it, I bet. He's sick today, the poor thing. I can't decide if it's good or bad that it happened on the weekend. But it is, in general, very bad.
5. Move the bookcase & fill it with delicious books.
6. Hang the neat curve-outy shower rod in the guest bathroom so we become known as the Marriot to potentially visiting friends. Because that little curve will show them how posh we are and just how far we'll go to make sure they fell obligated to change a few diapers while they're here.
7. Introduce squash and chicken to Toby. Maybe mints. Definitely air freshener.
8. Paint toy box for the living room. My great-grandpa made it. Rad.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Just like chicken.

[now back to our regularly scheduled kid-centric programming]
This morning Toby's diaper was the heinousest yet. Usually I am a rock of impenetrability and J is a sensitive bud, but this morning I thought I might be killed dead. The fumes jammed the room even after the mess was in our bomb-shelter quality diaper garbage contraption, even after J kindly opened the window wide.

My one consolation was that there is usually but one large extrusion per diem.

So off we trundled to Cosco with our shiny new proof-of-assimilation card and a small pile of Sweet Potato Star Puffs. I thought I'd grab some cheapy chicken (GET it?!) to add to his Heiny's growing list of edibles but as I neared that area of the meat department a scent with which I am sadly familiar assailed my nasal fortress. Rotting chicken bacterial slime. I posted once about how that sickly smell made me so glad I don't eat chicken. SOOO glad. But I can't find the post and I'll still make chicken for you if you like. But who wants to buy $26.78 worth of stinky unappetizingly cloying shiny plump organic chicken breasts?

So we left with only a billion dollars of bulk daily items and no chicken. As I loaded these sundries in the jeep, I realized again there was an unpleasantness wafting and that Toby was distinctly squishy. I owe you an apology, Cosco QC.

The washing machine is a lovely invention. He woke up from his nap reslimed.

How can one little pot belly fit so much evil? How?

AND! It's sunny & 53 degrees.

This has been a killer week.
I had an EXcellent lesson with a Symphony colleague. I'd forgotten how much I love a good lesson. Nothing like it, really. My favorite moment in this one was when he said, "See- play it like I just did, but without the sucking." Musician humor! Ha!

I miss learning, and felt I was spinning my wheels trying to maintain my playing without the connections of school, a contract gig or even the free time and cash to go to all the great concerts coming to PDX. (I even missed my precious Takacs.)

Freelancing sounds so romantic, doesn't it? Design your own schedule, choose only the gigs you enjoy so you can respect yourself while playing them. La-dee-dah-do-dee. Thing is, if you say no to stuff they stop calling you. And just when you feel all comfy and can play with a section the exact way the conductor prefers, they go and hire more players so they need fewer subs. And every time you play a new gig, it's a whole new group of ears you would like to have like you. I'm not a particularly insecure person, but these thoughts do percolate.

The symphony here has yearly sub auditions, which is great when you're the new kid and you can instantly get in on some jobs. This unusual fairness means that there are no years off from that audition, though. And there could always be a newer kid.

Anyway, the lesson was good and I got a glimmer of that lovely feeling. The one where I don't care what approval I get, I just know what I want from my playing and the path is clear before me.

And then my parents came up and painted our bathrooms with me. It was like, if your coolest college friends just happened to stop by and were completely smitten with every move your toddler makes and brought paint supplies and Starbucks with them. Like that, but better.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Nuh. uh.

In our experience, this would not work.

Maybe he's drinking too much. Maybe he's got high pressure in there somewhere.

In any case, I can't believe people are paying for this. I have a portable, versatile, washable Peepee Teepee for the Sprinkling Weewees(tm) better known as my very own custom made hand, and other than the years of conservatory training it was completely free of charge.

Monday, January 22, 2007

T and C

I love this picture of my sister and Toby. J took a whole series like this, and in almost every one their expressions match perfectly.

Take THAT, blue Monday.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


I wasn't prepared for just how much I would enjoy feeding Toby food. Yeah, we've been giving him some stuff to sustain those cheeks, but I mean foood food. I get such a kick from watching him crunch into a wee banana flavored puffed rice star he's shoved into his maw with both chubby hands.

Breastfeeding exclusively should be cause for an award. Not because I fulfilled some hippie overachiever mom agenda, but because it's hella time-consuming and demanding on a person.

Certain aspects of boobing a kid are easier than fooding him, sure. Solid food requires preparation, containment and cleanup. (...and cleanup.) Breastfeeding, on the other hand, requires breasts. Specific ones that only belong to my frontal area so that my presence (or frozen remnants) has been required all day every day. It's not like J is free to just roam the country all willy-nilly anymore either, but there is a weighty responsibility knowing you are expected to produce somebody's sustainance. Speaking of weighty, breastfeeding hormones are wierd and I hope that's why I've been such a sugar ho despite all sorts of attempts to lay off that particular strain of crack. I hope the weight just "falls off" like it did for a certain MIL whose name rhymes with Schmebbie.

And now let's tuck into the nut of it (so to speak- NUT, get it, it's an ALLERGEN, see?). It wasn't hard for me to breastfeed him exclusively for one simple reason: my family. My parents achieved a superhuman blend of supportiveness, endless capacity for Toby examination, and space for us to fall for Toby on our own. They also never minded futsing with frozen fluids or devising new ways to distract the hungry monkey from our delicious meals. Plus they gave me the easy moo-cow gene juju.

Also, I'd like to thank J. He's so hot, you guys. It's inspiring to me.

So here are the pics we waited twelve (or twenty-one, depending on how you're counting) months to take. Watch your fingers! He's a little nippy.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ooooh. Shiny.

I love this frame. Isn't this an excellent product photo?

Check out Manual Furniture Design
. Click on those tiny grey boxes under the pic to see more stuff. They (he?) did the sweet industrial art style furniture at Bridgeport. Mmmmmm. Steeeeel.

*ps. Blogger and I are not speaking. How do you line up your photos without having the text wrap around all funny? Other than, y'know, republishing like forty times while wishing you were all tucked in to a bed like the above beauty? How?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Our child, the light eater.

T minus two days. Toby's first (intentional) solid foods will be rice cereal and bananas. Yay!

I think we'll put them in front of him and let him mostly just mash them into his hair and ears and such. And then J can give him a bath- too bad Simon's not around to help with cleanup duty, he'd have loved it and would've come in handy.

Crossing Miriam

I realized this morning that I am morphing into an old shaky-voiced lady.

For one thing, I am totally and completely smitten with crossword puzzles. Before you try to tell me that crosswords are not inherently old and geeky (and you KNOW you were about to jump all over that pope-mobile), consider the predominance of pre-1950's celebrity clues. I'm thinking of boning up on my swing-band leaders and Socialist Republics just to improve my performance. The hipper puzzles display their "current" news by including obscure Nixoniana.

Having kids makes you instantly older. By like, 15 years. Not just emotionally and physically, but in the perception of all the members of the world without children. Think about it- who are you more likely to call (shudder) Ma'am, rather than the much perkier and less saggy Miss? A hunch-backed purse-lipped woman wrangling a squirmy and gently slobbering yet adorable boy or a perky, fast-walking woman who has had time to style her own hair and is emerging from the corner coffeeshop without a care in the world?

Then there's how being a wife makes you sound older: incessant nagging and shrewery. I'm working on some sort of system for this, because my delicate voice can only take so much whinging.

Also, I don't understand where fashion is headed. And I can't figure out what to do with my drabsville hair because I'd like it not to look trailer-parky. Kids these days...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


First, let me say that I would never want to be a weatherman. Ever. I did love the movie, though.

Then, let me show you the forcast for today:

Now, let's see what apocalyptic event has befallen Portland.

The police are going about on ATVs. ODOT is trying to *require* chains for 3 inches of accumulation. I just watched a weatherman brush the snow off a big... rock. He himself admitted it was the dumbest thing ever shown on television. Then he made a snow angel. And I stared, slackjawed, at every single second of his broadcast. I hope nobody gets hurt, but I am LOVING this. Except that the symphony cancelled rehearsal, and my parents are missing crucial Toby-spoiling time. But otherwise, warm up the Tivo, cook up some pizza, let's get 24 on tap. I missed Jack for last night's rehearsal: thank you, snow snow snow.

**Can you beLIEVE these first two nights of 24? How could I have missed the first 4 seasons of this show? Don't you want to marry TiVo and have its children? (Its children are box set dvds of 24, Six Feet Under and Heroes.)

Join hands, people.

I'm praying for T, F and J that they'll get the badass brick victorian home that seems to suit them very well. It's lovely and a rare find and here's hoping!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Friday, January 12, 2007

Total recall

I worry.

We are shopping for the next carseat for Toby as he's eating his way out of his current one. That means reading lots of boring stuff in consumer reports and at, and then- exactly as in those lame insurance ads- there will be some anecdote about somebody's kid getting hurt, maybe worse. Or they'll throw in a sentence about how in their test of the Evenflo Discovery the seat separated from the base and flew 30 feet from the vehicle in their lab. They are actually having to argue with the NHTSA about recalling that monumental piece of engineering. Screw you, Evenflo. (I am doing all sorts of spitting this week. I'm on a kick.)

My questions: Is carseat design really rocket science? Isn't the WHOLE enchilada about things staying put and generally not flying, ever? Don't the designers all start off with the same degrees and the same materials? Why is the US behind Europe here?

I mean, snowboarders and bunji jumpers are wallowing in all kinds of safety gear these days. You can hardly get into any extreme sport without finding tons of brilliant inventions protecting your shrivelled, fearless little noggin. I believe the children are our future... Gah, that'll be in my head for a while.

I would like to propose a big, ugly carseat with its own rollcage and possibly lightshow. I bet it would sell because if you have any income at all and have spawned a helpless little tiny baby you feel compelled to do the right thing just in case.

If you love something...[updated!]

...lose it for a few days. Get fuzzy on the details of the last place it was seen (lpiws), which you will daydream about as you obsess on trying to figure it out. If it's truly yours... home insurance might cover it?

The lpiws for my lost item seems to be my Aumsville, though searchers in the area report no signs thereof.

It's too horrible to tell you what I can't find, internet.
Let me tell you.

I finally got an iPod, from j for Chistmas- he's an accomplished gifter, generous huh. It was the red one so I have something to whip out and bond over when Bono asks me to record with U2. I put the shiny red iPod in its neat plastic case in my camera case. Where my camera and 3 lenses and a flash unit also live.

And...(excuse me while I fashion a flog from kitchen utensils and get to work on my back) some of...(thwack-AHHHH, thwack-AHHHH) Toby's Christmas cash that was supposed to be his first investment.

Yes, that's right. I appear to have lost my infant son's entire life savings along with my photos of his first Christmas on earth. In addition to the tidy mountain of other important and dear stuff crammed into that missing case.

I am posting this because a part of me is hoping that will make the case show up (thwack..thwack) like, tomorrow. Like magic, wholesome Christian internet magic.


See? It's a flog camera...

And I found it in the back of a closet we already searched twice. I FOUND IT! Halleluja abracadabra.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Knock it OFF!

Hey! Stoopid advertisers.

Stop scaring the CRAP out of your potential customers, VW and Allstate. I am completely turned OFF by these gotcha ads, where a violent car wreck interrupts a conversation and they cut to their logo, implying only their services will keep you alive.

The latest, an Allstate one, is a mom driving her kid with creepy happy kid music in the car and everything. Screw this playing on my emotional response- I am repulsed by your campaign and refuse to be manipulated.

You're hitting the bottom of the ad barrel here: pull yourself up and get back to selling what you've got instead of scaring us into hating your guts.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Toby and I were parking downtown today when a funny thing happened. I put my signal on & very slowly pulled up alongside the spot. I started to turn & back in, but noticed a Honda SUV had pulled up too closely behind me, so I honked lightly.

The guy looked sheepish, did that friendly wave thing and started to back up, surprising a bicyclist stopped close alongside his back bumper. The biker pulled his handlebars out of the way and no one was hurt. The driver gave him the sorry wave, too.

Here's where I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry:
The biker spat on the car.

Ewwww, no? And also, the car guy didn't like, fly backward at 50 miles per hour or anything. It just seemed like such a nasty violentesque thing to do. I'm not sure the other driver noticed, though he did pause for a sec before driving off and I was afraid I was going to witness a fight. That would have bummed me out- I didn't have a camera.

Seriously though, I wondered what J would do if he saw somebody spit on the Jeep, what my dad would do. I have never really gotten the whole urge-to-spit thing. I understand what it signifies in movies and such, but when they add that to a scene I'm always momentarily pulled out of the story to think, "oh, that actor just spit on that other actor's face. Ew. Wonder if they get hazard pay for that, or if there's a stunt spit-reciever..." And I swear I'm normally quite good at suspending disbelief. I liked the Matrix part three, for pete's sake.

People are wierd. And full of fluids.
Why not let's all just keep them to ourselves now, mmkay?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Gratuitous link to famous Fussy

Here's a linky-mabobber to the already very famous and likely on your daily reading list Fussy! She's nicely summarized some summaries for your time-wasting net-wandering pleasure. If you are female or have a female in any corner of your world you should also get one of her shirts because they are boobtastic yet comfy, which is a persona we all need more of in these troubled times.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The American Imperitave

My sister is about to take a sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands, which she very hiply refers to as "BVI" because she is in the know and has rad boat-captain friends. (HI, John!) She even tried to take me along, and I would be all over that except for getting knocked up lo these 21 months ago. And also except for having bought my viola-by-mercedes which I am totally in lust with still.
Ahhhh, geek lust + student loans= no regard for mooolah whatsoever.

A-nyway. We have been shopping for two days now and can I just say, spending other people's money totally turns me on. Give me something to search out and I will so go all over town to four different malls with you to find it. J would wither and die a painful slow death, but me I'm right there in the dressing room putting the clothes back on their hangars and negotiating the perpetually crabby anti-theft woman posted at the door with her pointless number cards, insulting 6-item limit and her skeptical eye. Ha! I laugh at you, Marshalls- I scoff, TJMaxx- we will find the best of everything for cheap and leave having won against the house. The American Dream lives in the strip mall of today. Bring me your Corporacoffee, your random shoe conglomerate, your discounter of designer goods. I will vanquish, emerge with the $5 shirt, $8 skirt, the shoes for $4.99.

Take me. Take me shopping with you. I'll buy the coffee, I'll even drive.