Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Release the past, but put a leash on it before it bites someone.

Yeah, yeah, it's that time of the year when you're supposed to evaluate what you're doing wrong so you can get it right next year. Well, good luck with that. I'm resolving NOT to resolve anything this year. Am I in the best shape? If I lie flat on the ground, I am. That's one instance when gravity is your friend. Did I save money? Hell no. The upside is when you don't put much into investments and they tank, you're not that bad off. Score: One, me. Zero, loss. Is my home as well organized as a RealSimple photo spread? Here's the problem: When things go in baskets, you can't find anything. So forget that. My vote is to accept life as it is, and have the happiest New Year's ever. 

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Awaken your inner shovel.

We've hit a snowfall record in Portland, Oregon at 15" of snow. It's that time of year when you're supposed to clear out all your crap anyway. So, get shoveling. Better yet, make this cocktail from the most excellent book, Atomic Cocktail (Chronicle Books) by Karen Brooks, Gideon Bosker and Reed Darmon:

Havana Moon Tea
1 tea bag orange pekoe tea
2/3 C boiling water
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. dark brown sugar
1/4C rum
1 fresh mint sprig

Make the tea. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, brown sugar and rum. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Strain the tea into a large mug and stir in the rum mixture. Garnish with the mint. 

You will LOVE it. Swear. Have a Merry Christmas, and thanks for reading a blog about absolutely nothing.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Release your inner snowman before he wants benefits.

When it's icy like this, one question comes to mind: In Chicago, do they still call those things that fit over shoes rubbers? Or, is there a more PC way of saying that? My friend in Chicago says they've resorted to "galoshes." Sounds old-fashioned. Maybe there's high-tech way to say that, like "ice-deflection system." I think I like "rubbers" better. If anything, it implies alertness is required.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hold the vision, but use oven mitts.

It's snowing in Portland, Oregon. People freak out when it snows here, despite the fact that so many people ski, snowboard and ice pick treacherous mountains. At the rate it's coming down, we'll be inside for days, and the oven will be in service. I'm no Betty Crocker, but even I can't resist baking cookies on days like this. It might ruin my mojo though. When I do stand-up, people think I'm a jaded, divorced, single mom. I actually got hit on the other night after stumbling through a five-minute set. Good thing my husband thought it was hilarious. But wait, was it hilarious because it was the first time I've been approached in over a decade or because someone found an over-40 mother of two attractive?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Be the change, and make it underwear.

Don't tell anyone, but I am the worst shopper in the history of mall shopping. To avoid it, I hit the internet, where my "Shopping Cart" drifted off somewhere and was no doubt taken to the checkout by someone else. So I had to start over. Rolling through the underwear department, I noticed the choices are dangerously slim for someone like me who is no longer single digit. Thong? Wrong. Boy? Right. I'd look like a manatee squeezing into a sausage casing. Come on, people. Work with me, the former gymnast mourning the loss of an hourglass figure gone hour-long buffet. Bikini low? How about Bikini-High-Gut-Tuck?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Walk a mile in my soul, then get new shoes. Really expensive ones.

Christmas is coming no matter what. And, as far as I can tell, people are spending money on crafty stuff. I went to this crafty sale yesterday and many vendors were reporting record sales this year. I don't sell my cards at sales like that, but maybe I should. If they find out I was once thrown out of a mom's group because I made fun of scrapbooking, would they kick me out? I can do the math - that would be like rejection...squared. 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Be present, unless it's more fun being absent.

There's nothing like waking up from a deep sleep dreaming about John Hamm from Mad Men with a six-year-old poking you, saying, "Where's the on-off button on this thing?" There goes that fantasy. Have a fantastic day. If you get a chance to leave your body, I say, by all means, go for it. Just make sure you don't run into anything.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Use your life for good purpose, if not for no good reason.

Last night, I did stand up at Airplay Cafe (E. Burnside in Portland) for the first time in over a decade. My friend Gary asked me if it was like riding a bike. Yep, it was. I feel like my "purpose" is to make people laugh, intentionally. Most of the time, I do that unintentionally. I was the only comic at open mic - everyone else played guitar - very well. So if I sucked, at least it wouldn't be by comparison. The last time I did comedy, the "stage" was an flour-covered concrete floor in a pizza parlor in front of five guys who only spoke Spanish. The fact that everyone last night understood English turned out to be a huge plus. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Open your heart to love and your mouth to chocolate.

Just so you don't think I've got some sugar problem - I'm visiting Sweets Etc. in Multnomah Village today to do a taste test...for my customers. I swear! I'm giving them treats this year, so don't tell them. My new psychic, the Magic 8 balls, says: "Definitely Yes," they'll love it. Sweets Etc. (7828 SW Capitol Hwy. Multnomah Village) rock candies my world. Tricia, the owner, handcrafts truffles and other chocolate delights in vintage jewelry showcases. She's got it all - ice cream, fudge, Swedish fish and surprises, like carmel-encased marshmallows and espresso malt balls. In the window: a chocolate Santa the size of my four-year-old. Tricia's raffling him off for charity. Would it scar my kids for life if I told them, Sorry, kids, Mommy ate Santa.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Become one with calories. Harness their destructive power.

We were walking around downtown Bend, Oregon, yesterday when we spotted a full-on, old-time candy store called Powell's Sweet Shoppe. (If you're from Portland, you're probably wondering how they can call it that- maybe because there wasn't a book in sight.) Candy is everywhere. Candy you see all the time and some you haven't seen since you were like born, like the ancient Sky Bar. Blow-molded dispensers of every color of M&Ms. I had to stop myself from emptying one straight into my pie hole. Towers with lollipops jutting out everywhere - we might as well have strapped feed bags filled with sugar to each child. One kid walks out with two pounds of jelly beans; the other one has a heart-shaped lollipop bigger than Saturn. My husband Brian opts for some nasty food-flavored jelly beans, like popcorn. I left with nothing! That's right, I went to Starbucks and sucked down some espresso latte thing that probably cost me more calories than all the jelly beans and lollipops combined. Good thing we didn't pig out on Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Look radiant even if you feel radial.

Sturkies find going to the store this time of year challenging. Here's how it goes at the deli counter:

Me: "Hi, I'm here to pick up my turkey."

Deli guy: "Last name?"

Me: "Sturkie."

Deli guy: "You're kidding, right?"

Me: "No, I'm here to pick up my turkey for Sturkie."

Deli guy: (Collapses behind counter laughing) "Mind if I put this over the loud speaker?"

This year, I've skirted the "turkey for Sturkie" issue and pulled a ready made ham out of the cooler. So there! That's one less tradition we have to worry about. Hope you enjoy all your traditions. Have a swell Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My happy place relocated. Again.

When did Starbucks become the library and the library become Starbucks? Walk into the library with two fired up kids, no one looks up. Try Starbucks and you'll get twenty pairs of stink eyes peering at you over their lattes. Okay, maybe house blends. Lattes are expensive. But anyway, I've finally found the best of both worlds - Airplay Cafe. It's a little bit rompy; it's a little bit rock n' roll. Perfect. Cereal grab bags for the kids; espresso or pints for parents. Kid entertainment during the day; parental events at night. 

Saturday, I took my little girl to a playdate there with a friend and her mom. There were loads of parents there getting the breakfast on and kids jumping on these big orange bean bag things. We missed the music portion of the entertainment, but that didn't stop my kid and her friend. Soon, they jumped on the stage and became the entertainment. (Check out the end table turned bongo.) Meanwhile, I sat there with my friend sipping tea and having an actual conversation about turkeys. I'd like to spend every Saturday morning like that.

Here's the 411: Airplay Cafe, 701 E. Burnside (down the street from Hippo). There's an actual parking lot too. 503.808.7908. That's Patti, the owner up there working the steam. Get on her e-mailing list rocks because there's always something going on in there. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let your life unfold, not laundry.

Today, I'm facing five baskets of laundry I spent all day doing yesterday. Now there's folding, sorting for four people, you know the drill. My theory is that laundry is sexually active. I find homes for each article of clothing, only to discover more spring up in the basket. Shirts, socks, skivvies - they might as well be horny little bunnies. Why does that make me angry? Because laundry gets more action than I do. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Embrace the light, even if it's fluorescent.

The sun is out, and I just got invited to participate in a holiday trunk show. Perfect timing because Brian (my man) and I are getting ready to sell custom-designed olive picks. Why olive picks? One year, I got invited to this swanky holiday party in Atlanta swirling with martinis and cigar smoke. So I tip back my martini, get the olive toothpick stuck on my lip and douse everyone with extra-chilled vodka. Oh yeah, I'm cool. Ten years later, Brian designs an olive pick that doesn't swim in the glass - it stays put. It's brushed metal and looks like architecture on the glass. Now if he could only design something to make me regain my mojo.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My happy place relocated

Why, hello. My name is Jacki. I a mom of two small children who runs a greeting card business called Sass Mouth Cards (www.sassmouth.com) and a retail design firm (www.foundry3d.com). The cards are funny, but not selling right now. No really, I even tried to give them away and stores wouldn't take them. And I thought getting rejected from selling a book was bad. Now, the cards are getting the boot? It's making me wonder why I chose writing as a profession. I should have been a firefighter. Do they show up at a burning house and get turned away because their engine isn't red enough? 

Anyway, if you visit again, I'll be in a much better mood. I swear. And I'll give you something - my take on daily affirmations. Why? Because I can't help it, that's why. They're so easy to have fun with. Have yourself a nice day, with 55% less rejection.