The Rose-Colored Glasses I’m Not Looking Through


Earlier this week while working on the Sunday New York Times Crossword puzzle [1]I realized that there is something missing from my life:  more opportunities to use words like credenza.

 I knew someone in high school who would have helped me find such opportunities, or who would have helped me create them if credenza-using opportunities did not present themselves.  This was the person alluded to in last week’s post.

Steve Glasser was, along with moiself, the instigator of the term “minty,” a rather benign adjective which, for a brief, shining moment, became something of fame-infamy moment for Steve and I in Santa Ana High School.

Steve was the youngest brother of my older sister’s best friend.  Although I cannot recall the specifics of our first meeting (probably via our sisters; I’m thinking, at a LA Dodgers game?) we both had one of those recognition-of-kindred-spirit moments and became best buddies.  Steve was a hilarious, creative, wily trickster, who shared with me a fondness for tweaking the noses of the high school staff who just didn’t seem to know what to do with us. [2]

Among Steve’s many talents, he was a budding and imaginative filmmaker (he later worked in the film/TV industry). I never did get to see the footage from when we – Steven, moiself, his sister, my older sister and younger sister – drove up to LAX to film the Dodgers returning home after a road trip. While awaiting the arrival of the Dodger’s plane we managed to find an empty corridor and, with the help of a borrowed (ahem) airport wheelchair, Steve filmed the improvised-on-the-spot-and-yet-authentically-heartwarming story of a wheelchair-bound girl (yours truly) who was cured of her lameness by a flamboyant faith healer and who then tap-danced ecstatically in rapturous gratitude.

It’s one of my earliest un-PC memories: being pushed in wheelchair past an airport security guard, trying to look authentically crippled (“Give me pathetic, sad, and disappointed,” director Steve suggested).

But I digress.

After the LAX filming incident, on our way back from LA to Santa Ana, we decided to stop at a Norms  restaurant for ice cream.  Although Norms’ motto at the time had nothing to do with the quality of their food or service – or, thankfully, the fact that you could spew your and crackers on their carpet and no one would ever notice as the resulting effluence would sooo match the décor – “We Never Close” was good enough for us. [3]

Steve and I split an order of Norms mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Although it was not as delicious as we anticipated, it was indeed, “minty” and…well…you know how those you had to be there things go….

Steve and I started using minty as a descriptor, whenever and wherever possible. I had a position of enough power in student government that I could write the bulletin announcements that were read over the intercom by the activities director.  With Steve’s help, over the next few weeks I found a way to insert minty into almost every high school announcement.  Minty became a buzzword of sorts, with certain students thinking (read: pretending) to be in the know as to the true meaning of minty.  Prime example, and the one that got Steve and I called before the Activities Director and the Vice Principal: the upcoming Color Day [4] game and dance, as the announcement read, “is promised to be a truly minty affair.”  That, apparently, was the last straw for some teacher (Steve and I were denied both the name of and the opportunity to face our accuser) who said that Steve and I had hoodwinked the administration and for several weeks had been propagating a known “homosexual slang term.”

The announcements were kaput.  But the spirit of minty lingered on.

Steve died around the time my son was born…has it been twenty years, now? I am thankful for the memories.  Knowing Steve was truly a minty affair.

*   *   *

Food Fetish Break: Dinner in the Round (aka, I love it when it’s CSA pickup day), featuring
blackberry rustic pies (the gluten-free crust makes them look rather geologic)
and a zucchini-basil-tomato-feta tian

*   *   *

MH won tickets to a Portland Thorns game, and Belle, K, MH & I attended on Wednesday eve.  ‘Twas my first time attending a professional soccer game.  I enjoyed it, despite having that petty American inside of me, the one who which wishes for more goal scoring and less  deedle-deedle-deedle-dee-dee-doodle-de-deedle-de-do, which, in case you were wondering, is the sound of soccer players running back and forth and up and down and in circles and swiftly and sometimes frantically scurrying about the field in a manner that reminds me of the birds I refer to as the “deet deets”,[5] shorebirds that take turn chasing and then being chased by the waves at the beach.

Trust me, you’d get the connection if you heard me do the deedle-deedle-deedle-dee-dee-doodle-de-deedle-de-do sound.

And, really; can you tell them apart?



Cats do weird things, as we all know and as I have documented here.  But yesterday morning took the cake…or took something not even closely resembling a cake, minty or otherwise.

When I was preparing to feed the two kitties that dine upstairs (in “the kids’ and cats’ bathroom”), I removed my favorite reading glasses and placed them on the counter.  Later, sitting down to my own cat food –free breakfast, I picked up our pile of newspapers [6] and remembered that I’d left my glasses upstairs.  No problem, as I have reading glasses stashed every six feet around the house.  When I went upstairs to brush my teeth I intended to fetch my glasses from the kid’s bathroom counter, but they had disappeared (the glasses, not the kids. Or the counter. Or my teeth.).

The glasses turned up.  In the litter box. Still neatly folded, as I’d left them on the counter.

K’s comment, after he realized I intended to retrieve and wear my favorite specs: [7] “When you put on those glasses and look around you’re going to think, ‘Wow, everything looks like shit.’ ”

And the hijinks ensued.

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!

[1] Alert for those of you who haven’t yet finished it: some really, really, groan-worthy puns await you.

[2] Mischievous, sly (but never malicious) pranksters who were heavily involved in student government and activities and were straight A students – we were difficult to discipline)

[3] And much better than the equally truthful alternative: “Worst food on the planet, but it’s always available.”

[4] Our high school basketball equivalent of Homecoming.

[5] Plovers and sandpipers and the like

[6] Yes, plural.  The Oregonian and the New York Times, and some mornings they play dog pile with their red-headed stepchildren, the Hillsboro Argus and the Hillsboro Tribune.

[7] after thoroughly washing them, of course and ahem.

The Door I’m Not Opening

Comments Off on The Door I’m Not Opening

Last weekend while working at the zoo, Belle dropped her iphone in the toilet. Her Facebook account of the eventIn these trying times, please, send your prayers and keep us in mind.

I had to remind her that whenever the Lord closes a toilet lid he opens a port-o-potty door.

*   *   *

MH and I went Tree hugging last weekend, with, apparently, a Guinness World record setting number of fellow huggers, ion an event organized by Hoyt Arboretum.  I normally avoid those kind of affairs [1] (“most false moustaches worn by a crowd in the city plaza”), several of Hillsboro’s The Committee In Charge of Spontaneous Wacky Fun Planning city has organized the past couple of years to do once a year (let’s set the record for most false noses….”), as I find the forced jocularity of it all rather discomforting.  Hey, but this was for the trees – and for the editor of a Journal That Shall Not Be Named, who, many years ago, requested an author’s photo from contributors with the specific stipulation that the photo not be of the author “hugging a tree.”

There was much organizing at the meeting spot, with participants allotted into groups of 50 or so. We hiked a ways up in the arboretum; our fearless leader led us to the designated section for the “L” group.  Which was a slope.  A steep one.  The more accessible trees on the slope were quickly claimed, and it was quite the climb for MH & I to find an unoccupied, hug-worthy tree (we gave up our spot on a lower tree to a couple who were having a hard time ascending the slope).  On my way up, grasping at nearby stumps and praising the traction of my Keen sandals, I saw something bright shiny cobalt blue amidst the pine needles and underbrush.  It was a condom wrapper, intact.  “I am so relieved,” I said to our leader and MH, “to see that we’re going to practice safe tree hugging.”

We huggers assumed our position, a signal rang out, and we had to hug our trees for one minute, during which the groups’ leaders had to scurry about their sections and video all members in their group. The resulting documentation would be turned over to some dweeb resentful summer intern responsible person at Guinness for world record verification.  Oh, and for the record, the tree and I were just good friends.

I am writing this instead of doing what I should be doing, which is packing for my Quickie to Palo Alto, an overnight trip I scheduled when I recently reconnected with friend JK.  JK and Belmont friend LH and I are meeting for dinner at the Flea Street Café .  I was delighted to find the café is still in business, and still with the coolest chef/founder with arguably the coolest chef name ever .[2]  The Flea Street Café was a favorite special occasion/splurge spot for JK and I, back in our days as co-workers in a medical practice.  Also, San Francisco buddy LMW and I had a couple of marvelous meals with the Fleas, toasting each other and commiserating re how much we hated Valentine’s Day…and then MH had to go and propose, on Valentine’s Day, at the Flea Street Café, which put an end to that particular celebration.

The trip was scheduled too quickly to schedule TMQ “events”, or so I was told, so I’m schlepping a copy of The Mighty Quinn plus sell sheets [3] from Scarletta Press to give to three bookstores.  You gotta love Palo Alto – and I do, even though I left it 22 years ago for Oregon – if for no other reason than, as independent, fiction-stocking bookstores across the country are struggling and/or closing, within a 1.4 mile radius of downtown Palo Alto the city has three excellent ones: the venerable Kepler’s Books (no longer hosting Joan Baez and the Grateful Dead gigs,[4] but still hip),  Books, Inc. and Bell’s Books .

*   *   *

The Return of the Lone Asshat

No, it’s not yet another over budget, overblown, underwhelming Disneyfied movie (although if I had a paquillion bucks lying around I’d pay Johnny Depp to star in it).  There have been so many worthy nominees among those occupying the current events venue, I’ll just go for the one I find most entertaining:  summer isn’t over yet, there is still time to get your legs in beach viewing shape with Rep. Steve King (R, Iowa) and his Drug Mule workout.

As per this article from The Atlantic Wire, the colorful conservative politician has this colorful comment re immigration reform:

“In a recent interview with the conservative site Newsmax, King said that sure, some kids who would be able to stay in America under the DREAM Act are upstanding citizens brought into the country by their parents — but just not enough to make the law worth it. “Some of them are valedictorians, and their parents brought them in,” King said. “For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Calves the size of cantaloupes.
Binders full of women.

There are some images that are made to last.  Rep. King, may this Asshat be a perfect fit for your (melon-sized?) head.

*   *   *

Apropos of nothing: I love this song.

Still do.  It meant a lot to me in the 70s, and I played the album over and over.  My friend Steve Glasser (RIP my dearest, “minty” buddy) [5] also confessed – and for a guy, it was a confession – to loving Helen Reddy’s entire album (we both especially enjoyed the under-rated track, “Peaceful“).

And not exactly apropos of nothing; there was a catalyst. Scarletta Press was preparing to nominate The Might Quinn for an Amelia Bloomer Project booklist, [6] and their publicist asked for my input on this question on the ABP application: Please explain why this nomination represents significant feminist content.

My kneejerk reaction: Because I am woman (hear me roar).

Happy weekend to y’all, and may the roaring never end [7] and the hijinks ensue.

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!

[1] My city has, for some reason, really gotten into in the past few years, with attempts at setting the “Most Groucho Nose & glasses masks work by a crowd” and other such records,  Hillsboro, you’re trying too hard.

[2] Jesse Ziff Cool

[3] A sell sheet is a one-page document providing all the details about your book – an announcement from the publisher, comparable to a blurb you see on the back of a book, but with illustrations and info about  sales and marketing aspects of your book’s release.

[4] The store was founded in 1955 by peace activist Roy Kepler.

[5] “minty” – of course, there is a story behind that adjective.  Tune in next  week.

[6] If you don’t know about this list, you should. The ABP creates an annual booklist of the best feminist books for young readers, ages birth through 18.

[7] I never have a footnote at the very end, do I?