Saturday, February 17, 2007


Portland is just a smart town. Its situation at the top end of the Willamette valley, where that river flows northward into the mighty Columbia, set its destiny as a major port city. But that's not what I mean by smart: Back in the '70s, the city's officials set urban growth boundaries (which have been challenged constantly) that aimed to prevent sprawl. Now, 30 years later, our downtown is downright bustling -- I know it's a cliche, shut up. Great restaurants and shops, beatiful views, charming infrastructure -- and it's no fluke that the privately-owned and local Powell's Books is a city landmark. Smart town.

It's the weekend. Jude and I usually spend an hour or two on Friday night or Saturday morning rationalizing the doing of no work on the house and, instead, the going to downtown. Often, the best we can come up with is, "Well, we're gonna need some breakfast." We head through the pantry, full of Grape Nuts and pancake mix, out the back door to the car and downtown to Mother's.

Mother's has the best breakfast I've ever experienced anywhere. As a fan of truck stops, diners, B&Bs, omelet shops, sidewalk crepe stands, and even some microwave gas station cuisine, I'm easy to please -- but the field is that much wider in the competition for absolute best. Mother's wins. They're always busy, with sort of a French countryside decor, but in an early 20th century ironfront structure. They may not know your name when you walk through the door, but when you put it on the list (somehow it's always about a 20 minute wait, no matter how many people are there) all of the staff make an effort to call you by name. It's pleasant, like when they call you darlin' at a truck stop. Go ahead and use an alias if you want, Brad and Angelina. And the food is just unbelievable. We try to order something different each time, but my favorite is the bagels with lox. Sounds common enough, but the bagels are FedEx'd daily from Greenwich Village and the lox are fresh, wild, Alaskan salmon. Cup of coffee and a mimosa. Catch me, Jesus.

After a two-hour most important meal of the day, Jude says, "I need to return item X to store Y." This is to indicate that we're not going shopping, just reversing a transaction; not spending, but recovering money; we're working here, checking an errand off a nonexistent list. She is full of shit, and we were born for each other.

We tra-la through the afternoon, and I get some reading done from the novel I happen to have in my pocket. Around twilight I'm usually the one who mentions a movie review I saw (by the way, go see
Pan's Labyrinth) and that seals it -- we are just lazy consumers. We get home around midnight, sleepily determined to get up early and work on the house all day Sunday, no matter what. Jude places a bag from Target by the front door, with a pair of 30-inch waist Levi's inside ...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Protected Habitat

We took Mason and Maddy to see Happy Feet back in December. The other day we were watching them for Lacey and found that Mason is doing his part to save the penguin habitat. He's growing his own glacier for his pet penguin, Pengo (Lego®-Penguin). First he froze some water (that's the recipe for ice) in a plastic mug. Then, when he judged the conditions were right, he introduced Pengo into the artificial environment. See the fishsticks on the shelf below? Mason has one fish stick he keeps in the freezer door, and every day he breaks a little off to feed Pengo.

Maddy is focussing her conservation efforts on walking around with ice stuck to her face. "Rook!" she says.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Please Lord, If I Live I'll Blog Every Day! Once a week!

The following missive was received at FlapScrap Headquarters:

>From: Mom
>To: FlapScrap World Nexus
>Subject: Banned
>Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2007 20:35:07 -0500
>You have been banned from the United Bloggers Union of the United States of America for lack of blogging.

It's been a busy week; ineptitude and psychopathology have been crowding my attention, causing me to neglect my distractions. Alas, to describe them further could threaten my funding sources.

Suffice it to say, though: this ban is unjust, and it shall not stand.

--Editor, F&S

Friday, February 2, 2007

From a Fan

Postscript on the Batman: a fan of the site, NAMBLA666, wrote in to suggest:

Michael Chertoff, as (relatively new character) Black Mask

Very tidy -- thanks, NAMBLA666!


Thursday, February 1, 2007

DC Comics

I was listening to a radio show called The Young Turks and they were tossing around the idea of Dick Cheney playing the Penguin in the next Batman movie. So I got to thinking:

John Edwards, as millionaire Bruce Wayne
"I'm Batman"

Dennis Kucinich, Robin, the Boy Wonder
"Holy war on Islam, Batman!"

Dick Cheney, The Penguin
"Nyaaaaat. Nyat nyat."

Donald Rumsfeld, ? The Riddler ?
"There are known knowns. These are things that we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, these are things that we know that we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we don't know we don't know."

Karl Rove, The Joker
"Let's put a dead hooker in there somewhere."

Tony Snow's a good Two-Face ...
"I need to get a more precise definition."
--asked to define civil rights after he said banning gay marriage was a civil rights issue

... but central casting is really pushing Victor Yushenko for that role.
(Two-Face a.k.a. Too-Easy)

Nouri al-Malaki, Commissioner Gordon
"Send up the Bat Signal!"

Al Gore, Alfred

Condi Rice, Catwoman (sorry Halle)

Barack Obama, Mr. Clean
(not actually a Batman character, but it's topical)

George W Bush, King Tut
"I'm Tut! Master of Thieves, King of the Nile. And that's just on Mama's side of the family."

[Ed. note: we chose King Tut because he was a minor villian, but we are also considering casting Mr. Bush as Henchman #2]

and Arnold Schwarztnegger returns, as Mr. Freeze

"We have to make sure everone in California has a great job. A fantastic job!" --on unemployment

"The public doesn't care about figures." --on economics

"Don't worry about that." --on the environment

Balls O'Fire

Lisa and Jeremiah's roof is leaking.