About Me

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I'm a Great Northwesterner that is now loving life in the Midwest. I am a world class napper. I'm very bossy. I clearly love a good glass of Scotch. I wear aprons every chance I get.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Playing possum

Now...I'm all for using new materials and not wasting but I'm not sure what's going on over at the New Zealand Nature Store where they sell plenty of goods made of possum wool. Locals say it's lighter and warmer than sheep's wool...and it's one of the most flame retardant fabrics around. Think about it - have you ever seen a possum burst into flames?

An open letter to: You know who you are...

Today is a great day - the Binghams have moved to Oregon. Hillsboro, specifically. I've seen pictures of their new place and driven by, but cannot wait until the movers have worked their magic and gotten them all settled in.

This move marks the beginning of a new era - and now we'll all have dinners and go to movies and hang out and have book clubs and festive gatherings and slumber parties and road trips and take classes together and have friendship bracelets. And we'll be awesome here in the Great NW...because that's how we roll. I wonder what fun, exciting, thought-provoking, life-changing thing we're going to do first?!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Welcome Home! It's hard to imagine where these last two years went, but they flew by and you are home now. I am thrilled. We love you.

Early Hiatus...

I am so sad that some of my favorite shows won't be returning until the Fall. Like Chuck and Pushing Daisies. 30 Rock will be back in April along with The Office and Reaper. And Psych is done for the season - and will return in the summer...but I've said that before. But I am currently enjoying Eli Stone...and other shows that I watch that I will not discuss here.

Just crazy enough to work...

From my Google Reader - came this gem via Serious Eats - orignally at not martha.
Dude. She made bacon bowls. AWESOME.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A soup exchange...

Okay...raise your hand if you like soup.


Okay...now raise your hand if you would want to be part of a soup exchange party?


The folks over at Whipped are having their second annual soup exchange, and I'm just wondering how many folks would want to participate? You can read all of the details over at Whipped. Comment or e-mail me if you'd wanna join. And if you're not local - you should totally organize one in your neighborhood. People love soup.

A great idea...

This cool new book is a collection of six word memoirs...famous people and ordinary people somehow summing up their lives in just six words. I can't wait to read it.

When you boil you down, what six words are left?

Holy Bajolies!!

Has it really been almost a whole week since I was posting around here?! I've been reading a lot, both on the Internet and in actual paper books.

Bad news on the Spelling Bee front...Lexi is SO smart that she can spell words AND is a mathlete. And the competitions for both are on the SAME day. I'm pretty sure she'll be headed to Corvallis with her math team - at which I cannot cheer or bring an air horn. So, what's the point?! I will cheer her on and hope there are many other opportunities to root for her in person!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Executive Decision...

All those interested in the NW Book Club...listen up!

We will be reading Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. There are copies at libraries and at Powell's Books and just about every other bookseller...

And one of the major rules of this book club will be that you must have read the book by the time the club meets. There will be none of this "Well, I'm halfway through..." business.

We will be meeting some time during the fourth week of March. Location and the exact meeting date and time are yet to be determined - although I'm thinking this will be a great opportunity to see the inside of this home in Hillsboro...

Happy Reading!

Spring is ready - and so am I!

The sun has come out here in Portland - and things are starting to warm up...so it's time to get ready for Spring...here's what I'm thinking:

This new bag

and these new sunglasses. I have to get new sunglasses because my others broke. And yes - it's sad that they broke, but I did find them in a camp van last summer...so I'm not out the investment, if you know what I mean.

A litereary week...

So many of my recent posts have been about books and reading - and this one will fall right along with that. I am most excited! I was one of the first 50 folks to e-mail in one of the Sk*rt giveaways - and so I'm getting a free copy of The Bright Side of Disaster! Holy Cow!! Part of getting the book is then reading it, and posting about it on my blog and then "be invited to join the virtual book club that will take place in April (date to be announced soon) with a live podcast hosted by Sk*rt- with author Katherine Center herself… where readers can ask questions, give comments and chat with the author about the story, what it’s like to be a novelist...." You get the idea. I'm a super nerd and am so excited to get a new book and all that comes along with it!!

Books are cool...

Wouldn't you just love to have these stairs and all the great books that are in them?! Of course - it's a good idea to have the stairs be plain wood - or you'd have people sitting on the stairs reading all the time if there was cushy carpet...
The image on the left is from the bottom of the stairs looking up - and from the top down on the right...genius, no!?


Yes - the tee is in support of Psych ...which I am sad to say has ended it's season until the Summer. But thank goodness it is on a wonky schedule and it wasn't effected by the Writer's Strike...and will return again this year!

I had forgotten about Lobsterbob Lobsterpants...I guess it's possible this shirt COULD do double duty...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Sometimes there are things in this world that you just have to have. Often they include air and water. And in this case, for me, it includes a talking Kenneth the Page bobble head doll.

He says awesome things like " Frankly, La Donica, you have not been real helpful." And "It's gonna get raw in here like sushi so haters to the left." or "To the wig shop!" or "Yes, sir!" He has twelve awesome things he says that would brighten the gloomiest of days...

In other ways of showing how much I love my stories...can you guess what show I love if I'm wearing this tee?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Upcoming Events!

There are plenty of fun things filling my calendar these days - haircut, dinner with friends, watching DVDs, an Oscar party, book club - but I'm very excited about the upcoming regional spelling bee! Our friend Lexi qualified to be among the 45 regional finalsts. And if she wins - she gets to go to the NATIONAL SPELLING BEE! So, on March 8 at 10:00 a.m. - I'm going to be at the Hollywood Theater to cheer her on.

Book Report...

Last week I read the following books:

The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
Several years ago I read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and I really enjoyed it. But this novel took way too long to capture my full attention. I must first blame the ugly cover as a distraction to wanting to read this book. Even though everyone SAYS we shouldn't judge books by their cover - I do. It seems that books that people really like will create great covers to capture my attention and make me want to read the book and perhaps discover the meaning in the cover artwork. But TYPU had unattractive colors and made it difficult for me to want to read it.

Once I was hooked into the story and stopped being confused by all the characters and shifting time (between memories and the present) I really did enjoy the story and learning about this culture. So - I can't give this book a glowing review, but I can say that after forcing myself to carry on - I was not disappointed in finishing the book.

'A" is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
I started this series at the recommendation of my friend Reyna - and I'm sure enjoying the books. As you can see by the column on the right of the blog - I'm already enjoying the second book - and should be done with that by close of business today.

Our heroine, Kinsey Millhone, is a wonderful character and inhabits a world that is interesting and unique without being so far fetched I can't buy into the story. And while I don't want to BE Kinsey Millhone - I would love to have dinner with her.

The Scarecrow and His Servant by Phillip Pullman
This is the newest book from the author of The Golden Compass and other children's fantasy books. And yes, I, read juvenile fiction. Wanna fight about it?

This is such a fun book - the titular characters are so well developed in so few words. I love how brave and bold the Scarecrow is and I love how clever his servant is. The servant, Jack, has so many wonderful qualities - but his ability to adapt to every new situation makes him a hero for children and adults alike. I highly recommend this book to folks reading chapter books with young readers - or folks who like a fun fairy tales with great characters and plenty of adventures. But you don't have to take my word for it! Ba-dum-BUM!

The cover images come from the author websites, to which I will link once I'm at my home computer.

Friday, February 15, 2008


So - with all the reading I've been doing - I'm remembering a:) how much I love reading and b:) how highly suggestible I am. I finally finished reading The Yiddish Policeman's Union this week - and I won't give anything away by saying the book is set in Alaska...and I've been cold all while reading the book. The next book I read this week was A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton - which is set in 1980's Southern California...so I've been much warmer and coughing from the smog. It's been a while since I was reading books back to back like this - and it was very jarring to go from the artcic tundra to the lovely beaches of California. Weird.

I'm also so excited for the formation of the NW Book Club that will be meeting for the first time in early March here in the greater Portland area. We don't have a lot of firm details yet, but if you are interested in joining the book club, send me an e-mail and I'll let you know more about what will be involved.

Let's go out to the lobby...

For those of you who are lucky enough to live near an AMC movie house, you should totally check out the marathon they are having on Saturday, February 23! If you haven't been to the show in a while, perhaps you've missed seeing all of the films nominated for best picture. To help with the dilemma, AMC is holding a movie marathon where you can see all five of the Best Picture nominees for just $30.00...and a whole day spent in a movie theater! Sadly - the nearest AMC house is up near Seattle - so, no official marathon for me. But if YOU live near one, get yourself over there!


This week I have been a full time temp at a Portland electrical engineering firm. I wish I could say that it's been the best week ever - because it hasn't BUT it has been a very quiet week.

Last Friday my annoying head cold became a combination of black lung and tuberculosis. It was not pretty. And as a rule - I cannot abide coughing - even my own. I am tremendously improved now, a week later - but still have a special cough that gets going when I laugh. And it's a good thing this job is so...quiet...because then there is no chance of me heading into a coughing jag.

This company needs a temp receptionist while their newly hired bookkeeper learns her job and doesn't have to worry about interruptions, etc. As a temp receptionist my main job is to answer the phone. In doing so - I screen the calls and then transfer the caller to their desired party. I play operator. But the phone only rings about three or four times in an hour. HUH. Then the mail usually arrives and I get to sort that, opening items that might be checks or bills, and then distribute the mail to its intended recipient. There is very little foot traffic, even from the six guys who work here. But sometimes messengers deliver things or the FedEx guy comes in. And then it's lunch time.

I do get an hour break for lunch which is nice - and I bring my lunch, so I drive down to a water front park that is near the office and listen to the radio, eat my lunch and watch the people. Then after that hour of serenity - it's back to the office for phone patrol. One day this week I made some copies. Another day I made a simple Excel spreadsheet. Seriously. The days are very long because there is SO little to do. So I read a lot. I read actual books and on the interwebs. But wow. That's been my week. And I'm here for another week, at least. I'm not sure how long this "gig" will last...and it's hard to know what to wish for. The boredom isn't that painful - but I'm more exhausted when I leave here than I am after a full day as a sub!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Even though I will not feel the effects of the writers going back to work for a few weeks - I'm still happy to know that the writers are back at work in the morning....or whenever writers normally show up...

HOORAY for the WGA! HOORAY for television!

Dear Diary...

I love this format - created and inspired by Marta at m. writes...
I love the smell of: Chanel No. 5...and yes, I do wear it every day.

I love the sound of: coughing. Just kidding - I cannot stand the sound of coughing...even when it's me! I've currently got a great deal of crud in my lungs, that has become very attached...boo.

I dreaming of the taste of: a BLTA croissant sandwich and steak fries at lunch with my BFF.

I love the sight of: the writers strike coming to an end...on the horizon!

I love the feel of: the satin sleep mask that I got for Christmas. I use it every night. And for most naps. So smooth and soft and perfect.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Simply organized...

There are so many great organizing tools in the world - but this one is a super cool wall organizer. It's got magnet tins and everything. Hooray for Etsy shops - go check this one out!

For those about to come to Oregon, I salute you

Don't you think you need this? It's at Target.


While out at Serious Eats I saw these blow your mind cute cupcakes by Hello Naomi. Cute, no? And they are interchangeable, too!

Friday, February 8, 2008

The sweetest thing EVER!

So - the Oeuf line of children's clothing is super cute and all about Fair Trade and allows artisans from Bolivia to create some super cute stuff...but these mittens made my heart melt!
These sweet mittens are built for walking hand in hand with your little peeps. I lurve them.

Image from DesignMom

Warm and cozy...

While trying to select a swimming cap over at SwimOutlet.com - I found these:
Since I own two pair of the Croc flip-flop - I think a cool weather shoe might be in order. The liner is, of course, removable and washable! And it would be awesome to have Crocs what don't get your feet wet. It's rainy in Oregon...FYI.

Lots of words - and no pictures.

So - I've been tagged by my cousin, MKB, on her blog which is so exclusive - you must be a member in order to view the goods...so I could have just pretended like I didn't see it and wouldn't have to complete the list. But I'm a sucker for surveys and lists...so here we go:

A. Attached or single? Single.

B. Best Friends? Huh. I guess I'll say this: if you get a Valentine from me this year, you're on the list.

C. Cake or pie? WELL. I love them both! I love creme pies and fruit pies. I love pies with one crust or two. I also love cake - cherry chip and chocolate and pound cakes...but not cheese cake. I will also say this: keep your nuts out of my dessert. I do not desire pecan pie or walnuts crumbled on top of a chocolate cake (funeral cake).

D. Day of choice? Tuesday - and you may remember that I have posted about that here.

E. Essential items? My laptop and WiFi; Soft cheeks (Mary Kay's extra emollient night cream); Aveda hair products; TiVo; gum or hard candy; mood music

F. Favorite color? Red. But if the color is breath-taking and unique and unexpected - I really can get behind most colors. Except yellow. Yellow may be a primary color (and it may be for "service from morn until night") but it just bugs.

G. Gummy bears or worms? Worms - because they are bigger and you get more bang for your buck...that's just good shopping sense!

H. Hometown? Portland, Oregon

I. Favorite Indulgence? People: I am nothing if not indulgent. I love rich foods and sweet treats and taking days off and napping and watching one more story on the TiVo even when I should be getting some work done...but my favorite indulgence must be massages and pedicures. I lost my regular pedi partner at the first of the year, because she had to move to be with the love of her life. So right now my feet and I mourn the loss and will not be able to soak in a tub for a few more weeks. How long is the mourning period for something like this?

J. January or July? July...in the air conditioning. Or in the evening in the backyard smelling the jasmine and listening to the waterfall and frog chorus.

K. Kids? Nope...but subbing has given me a lot of practice of being with kids. But this could also be bad...because I get a fifteen minute break every four hours...and I just walk away. That would be a bad habit for a Mom to just leave her kids, right?

L. Life isn't complete without? Ferrer Rocher.

M. Marriage Date? Oh...where is my calendar...?

N. Number of brothers and sisters? One brother

O. Oranges or apples? Oranges are so much work and too much of a gamble. After all the peeling - you could really end up with a flavorless treat. Boo. Too much risk. But I do love little "Cutie" clementines. I also love Pink Lady apples.

P. Phobias or fears? Big crowds freak me right out. A mob mentality or stampede of people would be so awful. I need clear and unfettered access to the exits. I'm not kidding. Also - getting Rabis from a bat.

Q. Quote? $14.00...the hard way.

R. Reason to smile? Going to the salon and getting my hair washed, cut and styled...usually straight! I wish there was a candle that smelled like "done hair" - and I know there are candles that smell like hair product - but I want that "done hair" smell all the time.

S. Season of choice? Spring - plenty of blooming and the clouds roll by a little faster and it's still rainy - but stuff is growing and needs the rain. Late Spring is the best as it's just warm enough for a tangerine frappaccino and sitting outside.

T. Tag three friends or family. Or what? Listen, if you'd like to share these things about yourself on your blog or website - please feel free. I would love to know little details about you...especially if we are not close, geographically. That would be super awesome.

U. Unknown fact about me? I am so bugged by people who interrupt me when I am reading. For me - reading IS my chosen activity - not just a filler of time until something interesting comes up. So don't walk up to me if you see I'm reading and start chatting with me...unless you're feeling really lucky.

V. Vegetable: POTATO, suckers!

W. Worst habit. Playing just "one more" round of online mahjong. Don't judge me.

X. X-ray or Ultrasound? X-ray...vision.

Y. Your favorite food: Homemade egg noodles cooked in roast broth and served as gravy over mashed potatoes; orange dreamsicle Jell-O; cherry tomatoes by the bushel; Sonic Cherry Limeade; meats at the Malley's; extra-sharp Tillamook cheddar and summer sausage; thoughtful treats prepared just for me.

Z. Zodiac sign. Leo

Four things you may or may not know about me - in no particular order.

4 jobs I have had in my life
1. Stage manager
2. Community Preparedness Specialist
3. AmeriCorps volunteer (this does count as a job)
4. Porsche Customer Service Rep.

4 Movies I could watch over and over again
1. All the Harry Potter films
2. The Birdcage
3. The Wedding Singer
4. The Indiana Jones films

4 places I have lived
1. Portland, Oregon
2. A hobbit hole in Provo, Utah
3. Monrovia, California
4. Logan, Utah

4 TV shows I watch
1. Top Gear
2. The Office
3. 30 Rock
4. Psych

4 places I have been
1. New York
2. Mississippi
3. Orlando
4. London

4 places I'd rather be right now
1. The international space station
2. On a tropical island in a really comfortable, self-swinging hammock
3. Layton, Utah
4. At an English country estate

4 things I am looking forward to this year
1. seeing how plans unfold
2. talking to Geoffrey on May 11 and December 25.
3. deciding on what to do with my hair
4. learning to play a musical instrument

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My ol' man's Macgyver...

My ol' man's Macgyver - now whaddya think of that?
He wears his Macgyver raincoat, he wears his Macgyver hat.
He wears his Macgyver tee-shirt, he wears his Macgyver shoes.
And every Saturday morning he reads the Macgyver news!
And someday-ay-ay, if I can-an-an,
I'm gonna be Macgyver, just like my ol' man!

Today is my father's birthday...he's not old...but I certainly expect him to get old. My Dad is not only the best father I've encountered - but he's also one of the best men I have ever known. I have learned a lot from him - here is just a sampling:

I have learned:

that the best way to nap is back to back.

that if I'm butting heads with him, I'm butting heads with the wrong guy.

that if I take care of my car and my feet, they will take care of me.

to be where I'm supposed to be and to be doing what I know I should be doing.

to never ask him to "make you a sandwich" because the response will be: "POOF! You're a sandwich." (the underlying lesson, of course, is to choose your words wisely.)

to take one for the team - because around our house - he usually has to take one for the team.

to be curious about the world around me and to learn all that I can from the people I meet and situations in which I can find myself.

the he will support me in ANYTHING that I do: from school to crazy projects - he will do whatever he can to make it happen.

that having a flair for the dramatic will always come in handy - even if it's just using your arms as giraffes above your head.

to be comfortable - and if you're not - figure out how to be comfortable wherever you are.

that a Dad's job is to be silly and make bad jokes and know how to fix anything or know someone who can fix anything.

that we each need our own relationship with the Savior, and while we can learn from others, it's still our own responsibility to have a testimony of Christ.

that knowing your limits is just as important as knowing your strengths.

to give my imaginiation plenty of fuel.

that I have a long way to go in perfecting my own pantomime skills.

to play along and go with the flow.

I have many more tidbits of wisdom from my ol' man - and I can't wait to enjoy dinner and the evening with him! I love you, Dad.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I guess we all win!

There is a great website called Tee vs. Tee - where you get to vote for tee-shirts. I'm a big fan of tee-shirts with funny things or great designs on them. This website is great for killing time and finding some great tees...like the following:

You should head over - and vote for a while - and then the shirts you like - you can buy from all over the Internet! Nice.

Goals for a lifetime...

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument? I have...of course, my dream for heaven is to play the piano well enough be able to be a rehearsal accompanist...because they are GOOD. But that will just have to be a musical gift given by a magic wand. I have also desired to play the cello. I don't think I have the stamina for the viola, but I do think that I could learn to play the cello and this starter cello kit looks like a great deal - and such a great way to get started!

What is your musical dream?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

Team shirts, anyone?

Just in case you need a team shirt or matching shirts for family portraits... this is the one! And while you're there - check out all the other awesome designs.