Monday, February 26, 2007

Commitment to Rain

As I thought, the glimpse of spring we caught a few weeks ago was a happy illusion. We got cold, cold rain and winds, and on the way home I saw snow on the ground in Beaverton. But when I went walking today, I caught a sweet whiff of flowers. At first I thought it was someone's perfume, but no- it was flowers, white sweet flowers that stood out from amongst the muddy wet ground.

I would blog about the Oscars, except I have not a thing to say that has not already been said: "When does it come out on DVD?"

And now, to the home front. Literally. I am saving up for a home- a daunting task, and one that seems withing reach- like ripes cherries on the very top branch of a tree! What makes it even more frustrating is that all the green, modern elements I would like in a home would cost me about double, double, of what I can (somewhat) afford! I adore kauffman designs- modern pre fab homes- but a lot, button up construction and purchasing the home would easily cost 400,000 dollars.

If only being enviromentally aware and green in home construction was affordable!

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Before the bus-

I love trimet, and I love trimet tracker, but please, tracker, track the right bus. Sometimes the tracker gives times for the wrong bus on the right route, and that is just not fair!

And another thing- change more of the engine to natural gas! When I was washing, I sore all that dirt is from exhaust fumes!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Chilled

14 February.


And so there was a lot of chocolate and candy and cakes at The Office today- it smelled the way Willy Wonka's factory would have smelled. No, I take that back, because some of the women were also trying out their new perfumes- so there was a heavy of sweet, heavy perfumes intermingled with rich desserts. The smell of love, or the beginnings of a migraine?

You be the judge!

And so now we have these tiny, sweet dear little crocus and narcissi coming out of the ground- so pretty, so cute! It really makes me think that this year will be a better, a good one, with auguries like this. Strange how just the sight of tiny little flowers can cheer, when the smell of artificial ones make you long for the cold breath of winter.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rainy shades of gray

Just as I thought- the odd balmy weather has given sway to cold, pouring rainy that comes in a dump, subsides and then starts again. I walked to the supermarket to make sunday dinner, and as I walked, I could see only the outline of the sun through the rolling gray clouds. It was not the familiar yellow of warmth, but a burning white. It seemed alien and cold. And then I remember, our Sun is Sol, the star millions of miles away.

But nothing much happened on this gray and white. There was the usual sense of depression that comes with such a day, when you wish for spring so badly, and it seems so long in the coming. But, it will come, none the less.

And so, I made a Sunday dinner that reminds me of green living things. Here it is:

Simple Shrimp Pasta with Sauteed Broccoli

4-6 servings

Boil 1/2 pound-3/4 pound of whole wheat linguine in 4 quarts of water with a teaspoon of salt added. Should be done in about 7-9 minutes. Meanwhile:

Parsley sauce:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Dash salt
Half bunch parsley, trimmed to 1 cup leaves
5 tablespoons good Olive Oil ( Virgin/Extra virgin)

Crush and chopped garlic, working into paste with salt. Add olive oil, and then add parsley leaves to coat. Set aside.

Sauteed Broccoli:

4 cups trimmed broccoli florets and stalks
2 tablespoon canola or olive oil, divided
1/4 cup water
1 garlic clove, sliced
a pinch of red pepper flakes
two tablespoons sliced almonds

Set a pan on medium high until hot. add tablespoon of oil, then broccoli, stirring quickly. Add water and cover for two minutes. Then add garlic clove, red pepper and almonds. Add remaining oil and cook for another two minutes, shaking and stirring, until bright green.

Simple Shrimp:

1 pound deveined, shelled shrimp
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tablespoon oil
1/2 lemon

Season shrimp with first 3 ingredients. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add shrimp. Cook until just opaque, 2-5 minutes. When done, squeeze juice of lemon over all.

To assemble:

Add parsley sauce to pasta. Toss well, adding more olive oil, salt and pepper as necessary. Serve with broccoli and shrimp on top. You will have a nutty, tender, sweet tasting dish that is very easy and comforting- and best of all, it augurs spring.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

On the blackness of Barak Obama

Here is a story:

When I was a little girl, I used to speak Spanish rather fluently. My mother is from Panama, and we would go out shopping and we would talk, back and forth in Spanish, about the fruit, the meat, how I did in school. Some of the folk would look at in surprise, which always surprised me. Haven't they never seen two people talking?

The thing is, they did not recognise two dark skinned people of African descent who spoke Spanish, who were brought to the New World hundreds of years ago, but dispatched to different empires. And so today, whenever a Mexican asks for help, and I give it in Spanish, there is always a nasty comment from someone- 'acking white' or 'who does she think she is?'. I thoughtit was just brother s and sisters who did not now any better, and just let it slide.

But now to blackness to Barack Obama. How utterly, completely small, petty and nasty Debra Dickerson and Stanley Crouch are. This is a brother and sister who should know better. Apparently, the cosmopolitan nature of the Africa Diaspora is an idea, for them, that is in theory only. It would seem that Mr Crouch and Ms. Dickerson have forgotten about the West Indians, the Haitians, the Puerto Ricans, the Colombians, The Nigerians, the Kenyans, Ethiopians, Somalians and why yes, the Panamanians, who came to country admiring and identifying with African- Americans and the glorious culture and spirit of determination that came in spite of slavery, cruelty and discrimination. And hey have certainly forgotten that those people who came became African Americans and contributed to their adopted country.

Blackness cannot be measured by puny labels that Crouch and Dickerson would have you believe. There is something about excellence, pride, pleasure in beauty and above all, acceptance and love that is wrapped up in the experience of being Black and American. And one can see it in Mr. Obama's life and career.

So, don't be distracted by questions of black enough. He is as black, and as American, as he needs to be.

What we have learned this week

1) No matter how much it hurts, it does not hurt enough to wear a diaper.

2) You can have fame. You can have celebrity. And it is still not enough.

We have had a strange balmy in the air, very humid and warmish. Things are started to bud, rather foolishly, and I even saw a sweet smelling flower. I think that it was a paper white or a narcissus, I am not sure which.

February always has like this sneaky sort of false spring, teasing you with the promise of true spring, cherry blossoms and longer days. And for a week you are lulled into thinking "OH, the rains won't last long at all!" But then, wham! Lots of rain. And if you are really lucky, plenty of hail, following by a break in sky, with rainbows.

And a chill, and a nice stuffy nose.

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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Oh look- the first post

Well!

Here is yet another journal in the ephrema that is the internet. There is a theme that will develop with the journal- contrarian opinions on our consumptive, strange daily life.

But for now, let me tell you about me:

I am 31, originally from Brooklyn, New York ( not fashionable Park Slope/Williamsburg) went to school in Wisconsin ( not Madison) and presently live in Portland, Oregon. There has been bad things, and good things- but mostly good. And why yes, I do have an opinion on everything- and it is rather well informed!

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