May 18 2011

Work of art in progress.

At a certain age you get honest with yourself and decisions become easier.

Never would I stick with wearing a retainer for the rest of my nights.  A month, tops – maybe.  I survived gagging on the dentist’s mold goop only to find out braces alone wouldn’t give me a Hollywood smile.  It worked for our son, born with the same narrow jaw, high smile line…  an off Broadway set of ivories. I resisted asking if it had anything to do with my age.

To improve my looks at 52, I shut my mouth and picked two alternates that didn’t come with more long-term debt.  I am writing about them because you might want to consider one or both or share details with a woman in your life because every woman deserves to feel pretty, something my mom said I’d never be.  “Handsome,” she told me, “people will describe you as handsome.”   Her timing wasn’t great. I was a teenager already enrolled in modeling school to distract me from wondering why I had to be taller than 99.9% of the boys at school.

This time ‘round I grew eyelashes and fingernails – a makeover for about $120 – thanks to Gel Nails and Latisse. And I think I’m am walking taller, too. Afterall, the man who stopped me as I was walking out of a recent production of Chorus Line (ever so quietly humming to myself,”Dance 10, Looks 3″), was pretty right when he said, “Tall IS gorgeous.”

Get yourself to the salon and an ophthalmologist!

My favorite: Oasis Foot Spa 1030 Northwest 12th Avenue No. 3, Portland, OR 97209-2838(503) 223-3632

Sep 26 2010



The seasons are changing again. In the past week Portland weather has dallied with fall, winter and summer but never quite the freshness of spring, the flirtatious nature of our most fickle time of year.  Instead the mood has been more the ripening, maturing, the rhythm of established and emerging patterns, routines.

Today it’s a rainy, quiet Sunday.  It’s the kind of day you start slowly over breakfast, reading a book or scanning a newspaper.  A burst of energy follows to set the household in order.  The laundry room hums, kitchen counters are scrubbed, a vacuum is given a spin around the house, trash is collected, pillows fluffed, dogs walked.  Then an eye is cast toward the week ahead.

Noon approaches. In the past I would be right where I am today, in my office.  I would be tidying up stacks of reading, invoices, media proposals, art production elements – doing all the things to ensure a running start on Monday morning and the piece of mind to savor an unrushed, lazy, restorative Sunday night.  This time a year ago Joel would have gone to the gym and returned from the market with armloads of vegetables, salty snacks and bottles of wine.  The TV or the CD player would be turned on in the other room and voices would mingle with the sounds of chopping and cooking, the scent of garlic would meander through the flat.  A rich stew would soon be in the pot, simmering for our evening meal.

A glass of wine deposited on my desk would announce the countdown to lunch and a movie – often a classic, sometimes a thrilling new mystery or a light-hearted comedy, if the week had been somewhat draining.

This sentimental journey of mine began today with dusting.  Every object in my home has a story, a memory.   A bit like my father, I early on assumed the role of Norvell family archivist.  Unlike him, I’ve learned to part with photos, cards… redundant or unused clothing and household items.  Still, even in less than half the space of my former Tulsa house, my collection of material items weighs in at TONS, not merely pounds – ask North American Van Lines. The objects are books, tables, art…  Everything is in its place though none of it selected or chosen to decorate but to amuse, to delight, to commemorate.

When Joel moved out and later when he moved back to Tulsa he took only essentials, leaving even his music collection.

I still qualify as a newcomer to Portland.  My belongings have logged nearly two years here, as have the Whippets; I myself only roughly half that time as business takes me to Tulsa monthly.  Here people do not know of my childhood overseas, they do not know of the over 19,000 hours I devoted to volunteer work for Tulsa arts and nonprofits.  They’ve not witnessed my knack for arranging furniture, events, life… To a degree this helps with the practice of “living in the moment” but I am the sum of many moments, of many encounters, many influences.

“It is important when people enter your home they immediately have a sense of who you are,” Joel said when I asked him why we weren’t dividing up household processions when we separated.

On rainy days, and Portland has its share, I smile as I survey the lush evergreens of the west hills beyond my office window, inhale the cooking scents of a mixture of nearby restaurants, enjoy the feel of the breeze blowing in through open windows and doors that are rarely closed because of the temperate climate, and pause to listen to the sounds of a lively, urban neighborhood 11 stories below.

This city that I am growing to cherish lacks but one thing:  the presence of friends who know me simply by the sound of my voice, the color of my eyes and our shared, intangible memories.

Jul 19 2010

Before we dress.

Before we move on to dressing and countless other things, let’s linger just a moment longer on some bare facts relating to art and food, both shared in response to Insatiable (July 2010).

Two readers sent items to post. Steve offered up his recipe for Naked Pasta and Bud visited The Pearl Gallery (Tulsa, OK) installation of Nudity & Whimsy.

Bud sent along Floral Chakras by Allie Jensen. (below)** as well as writing, “…(describing owner Doug Edwards’ work hanging on the wall behind Flower Child by Clayton Keyes -see photo left) as I recall, his work reflects the ropes that bind women, relative to what the ‘perfect body’ is supposed to be among other issues.  Fascinating!” **

As for food… Beef may be “what’s for dinner” but it and the other white meat pale next to Naked Pasta!

Steve writes, “I got my inspiration for this dish from my favorite chef, Jamie Oliver. It’s been tweaked for my own personal taste and is easily modified to work for anybody. I start with my favorites; mushrooms, fresh garlic and green olives. Then it’s simply a cruise through the produce section of your local grocery store, where I normally pick up squash and/or zucchini and maybe some peppers and fresh parsley.”

Cook your pasta (I prefer angel hair) as you normally would and set aside.
Add a tablespoon of butter and a bit of olive oil to a pan and turn on the heat.
Chop/slice your veggies as thick or thin as you like. Thicker seems to work better so that after you sauté the veggies for awhile, they don’t turn to mush.
Add veggies to your pan and cook until your preferred degree of “doneness.”
Be sure to add the garlic. I like to use a garlic press for most of the garlic, but last night adding some sliced garlic seemed to work well too. I’d use 4-5 cloves

This dish seems to be best with a bit of spice to it, so I like adding red pepper flakes, but a fresh hot pepper would be best.

Once your veggies are finished cooking, add your pasta to the pan and give the mixture a good toss. If it seems a bit dry, add more olive oil.  Serve immediately and top with fresh chopped parsley and fresh Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Now let’s mix it up a wee bit more (mixology and the Teardrop lounge) and then get dressed.

As always, Trix