October 2009

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Okay, so it’s another cubic zirconia day, but I am noticing is is kind of pretty and definitely sparkly under our moisture laden Portland sky, which is certainly progress.  I spent a lot of time in bed this morning, thinking about ways that I sabotage myself with old, underlying beliefs that are not in the least bit based in reality.  It was a good exercise, making me both laugh and cry at the ways I look at the ebb and flow that is my life: loving, loathing, embracing, and condemning.  As well, I followed this mental work with a bit of physical exercise, too, getting sweaty on the rowing machine in the basement.  Like I quoted Isak Dinesen in a previous post – “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.”  I definitely got the first two.  Yessiree.

Maybe I’ll make an addendum to her quotation to add Ella and Louis to the salt water, for boy do they ever make it an exquisite glass of thirty-year-old port, one to be savored over the whole of the evening.  Delicious!  Never have I been in such a state of lowness that I couldn’t be cajoled into smiling, dancing, singing, and crying a few tears upon hearing their lovely voices.  Not sad tears, mind you, only the oh my gosh are these people talented variety.  Simply put, my admiration for each is heightened when they sing (they were pretty neat to begin with), especially together.  Every note and phrase fine.  Lightning in a bottle – medicinal, magical.  Get it here!

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270

Minor things can become moments of great revelation when encountered for the first time.

Margot Fonteyn

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We just got our highly anticipated list of Willamette Week’s 100 favorite restaurants, their yearly focus on yummy goodness in all five quadrants and beyond (yeah, I said five – we’ve got the Keep Portland Weird bumper stickers for a reason).  Of the 100, we’ve eaten at 53.  Yikes!  Do we really eat out that much?  Yet, why haven’t we tried all of these?

In this same spirit, here is our list of favorite restaurants and some of our favorite dishes.  Places we go often, places we itch to go more frequently but must restrain ourselves for fear of bankruptcy or obesity.  What are your favorites?

Asian:

August Moon – Sesame Chicken and Szechuan green beans

Chaba Thai – Som Tum Salad, Pad Kee Mao, Red Curry with Pineapple

Stickers – Anything on a skewer, Scallion Cakes, and Kung Pao Chicken

Latin Flavor:

El Tapatio – Eddie is the sweetest server ever, but I would not eat him.  That would be wrong.

Pambiche – Ropa Vieja, Maduros, Tostones, anything with ham.

Pata Negra – scrumptious tapas of every stripe, but go when it is warm – this place can be downright chilly.

Viva Italia!:

La Buca – Abituale (number nine, number nine…), Caesar salad, Fettuccine Alfredo with a side of red sauce.

Vincente’s

Southern:

Clay’s

Cannon’s

Screen Door – Peanut Butter Pie!

The Country Cat – The Whole Hog

Sip:

Bubble Bubble – Ginger or Coconut Bubble Tea

Bipartisan Cafe – Coffee and Pie – you can’t go wrong.

The Observatory – The food is good too.  Smoked whitefish – delish.

The Maiden – Absinthe!

Very Portland:

Caldera – Stroganoff

Clyde Common

Higgins Bar

Laurelhurst Market

Navarre

Toast – Hippies Use Front Door Granola, the Burger

Bistro:

Broder – I’m a big fan of the bords.

Savoy – Fried Cheese Curds, Macaroni and Cheese.  I like cheese (and Christmas).

Carafe

Everett Street Bistro

Indian:

Chennai Masala – definitely worth the drive to Hillsboro.

India Oven

Sandwich:

Pause – Reuben (house smoked meat) and the huge cheesy-beefy appetizer thingies, yowza!

Sweetness – All Day Breakfast Sandwich

Ethiopian:

Queen of Sheeba – Mushrooms

Jarra’s – Lamb shank

All American:

Burgerville

Diane’s – Biscuits and Gravy

Mike’s Drive-In – the Portobello Burger is my current fave, but nearly any burger will do.

Tabor Hill Cafe – Chicken Caesar Salad

p.s.  The pizza is my own.  I already order like Sally Albright.  I don’t need to add picture taking of my food to the list of idiosyncrasies.

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Hello all.  I hope you’re having a good day.  This chum is feeling a little glum, can’t really say why either.  I felt pretty and inspired by this outfit and took a photo that I like;  I’ve been dancing up a storm with Yoga Trance Dance and Nia; and the weather’s been mighty fine too, a nice combination of sun and rain (rainbows, too), good for walking and raking and being inside for my Monday top-to-bottom housecleaning and laundry extravaganza, followed by my 4:00 appointment on the sofa, switching between The Newshour and Oprah at the Texas State Fair.  Darn it all, if this weren’t the week the hubster and I are eating vegan, as well as wheat, sugar, and alcohol-free, I’d be chowing on a corn dog and frying up some PBJ sammies with a whiskey chaser.  Mmm-hmm.

As the hubster would say, “Some days are diamonds, some are cubic zirconias.”  I seem to be making a cubic zirconia bracelet.  Maybe it’s the hormones.  I’d like to blame everything on them.  I’m still taking a high dose and have every side effect listed on the warnings: zits, headaches, dizziness, sleeplessness, drowsiness (don’t ask me how both are possible – it’s scientific!), weight gain, moodiness, and confusion.  I’ve been getting lost in the middle of a sentence.  I also have occasional night sweats, too.  I wake up soaked through, but not hot or cold.  Weird.

The upside: now that the I have recovered from my surgery, I am in hog heaven.  I can’t remember the last time I went this long without being in dire pain in the lower regions, probably twenty-five years.  This is good news and reason to smile.  I’m smiling, at least.

In other news, I had an awesome bird sighting in our back yard.  I was going downstairs and as I walked past the window I saw something bigger than my usual bird friends on the move.  I stopped and realized it was a hawk,  just a bit larger than a crow, with a red breast and a beautiful striped tail.  With the help of my friend at the bird shop, we determined it was a young Cooper’s Hawk (aptly named – we’re big Cooper fans around here).  I wanted to take a photo of it, but the batteries in the camera were dead at the time.  Thankfully, I had the good sense to stop and just enjoy the moment rather than run around like a nut and miss this special visitor.

Finally, some ethereal visitors, growing in the side yard with the kinnikinnick.  We got up early on Saturday and raked leaves in the brisk morning air.  These were glowing magically in the light.  Pretty neat, huh?  Gosh, with all of this in mind, maybe it’s a diamond day after all.  I think I’ll take a bath and think about it!

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I am a woman with very few regrets.  Frankly, I don’t see the point.  I am glad about everything that has happened to me.  Every event shapes me and my world view and presents me with opportunities to learn and grow.  Take, for instance, a certain boy who was in my seventh grade P.E. class.  I thought he was funny and had great hair.  It was something I wanted to tell him, but I thought it too trivial, and furthermore, was a bit shy.  He committed suicide shorty after this.  Now, I don’t know that it would have made much of a difference to him and his reasons for taking such a drastic measure, but I certainly always appreciate a kind word, especially an unexpected one.  As you might imagine, with that bit of knowledge, that I really never do know when I will see someone again, I hedge my bets and speak the truth.

It is with this same mind set that I write this post.  I love The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, especially now that it comes on at 4:00, and I can have an intellectual afternoon break in front of the television.  That being said, I do sometimes switch to Oprah if I’ve had enough of a topic.  Don’t forget – I am a Gemini, we’re a tricky lot.

So, to The Newshour. Gosh, do I love this program.  To my mind, it is serious news without taking itself too seriously (watch on Friday for Shields and Brooks, there’s almost always a laugh there).  It is such a fine production, covering diverse topics, and with a depth that other news outlets lack.  Since it is an hour broadcast, there is ample time to really delve into the news of the day, as well as the opportunity to present opposing view points about a topic, allowing me to make up my own mind.  This was especially so during the presidential primaries last year.  Every Republican and Democratic contender was invited to speak and given ample opportunity to do so.  Unlike the mainstream news who only showcased who they believed to be the front runners.  I don’t like being told what I should think; I can do it on my own thankyouverymuch.

My favorite aspect, however, are the correspondents.  They really shine here.  Each is a consummate professional: poised, highly knowledgeable, polite (some say too much so, but I disagree), and quick on their feet.  They are asking the great questions before I can even think of them.  I so appreciate this.  As well, given the pacing of the show, I really understand a topic by the time the segment is over, rather than feeling like I’ve gotten a snippet of information that only leaves me with more questions than answers.

Another highlight is the Honor Roll, displaying, in silence, a photograph, name, rank, and hometown of deceased U.S. service personnel in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Though it always breaks my heart to see,  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  My discomfort is a small price to pay for their sacrifice in my country’s name.

As well, as someone who appreciates art, there are many interesting interviews with writers, actors, filmmakers, and artists of every stripe.  I hope to one day be showcased among them.

There’s just so much goodness in one hour!  Thanks Ray, Margaret, Jim, Judy, Gwen, Jeffrey, Paul, Kwame, Betty Ann, and all the others I can’t recall at the moment.  Your program is very fine, and I would certainly be at a loss without it.

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