Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dove Vivi - Where you live

A few summers ago, my friend Natalie and I embarked on a pizza tour of Portland while she and her husband were living here. We'd meet up every week and go somewhere new - yelp suggestions mostly - and went all over town in search of the perfect slice. And find the perfect slice we did*!

The restaurant is Dove Vivi on NE 28th & Glisan, and with its cornmeal crust and delightful concoctions of toppings, it was our hands down favorite stop. I think it is safe to say that every time Natalie and her little family come up North to visit her in-laws we have reunited for a meal at Dove Vivi, (except for that one time we went to The Cheesecake Factory, yuck - why do people like this place? Besides the cheesecake, they have nothing going for them,) and one of our little reunions occurred last Monday night. We got a half pepperoni & mushroom/half corn pizza. The corn is my favorite - corn, caramelized onions, and chives. My cousin says that the corn pizza is like crack, and I don't think she is wrong. It is such a great pizza, that even though I go to that neighborhood a lot, I am not allowed to go there without Natalie. I try not to even drive down Glisan, lest my car and I go in to auto-pilot and oops, I've accidentally ordered a par baked pizza to go. (This has never happened, but I'm very sure it is capable of happening, so I prefer to be safe rather than sorry.)

I think I am mostly dreaming/drooling over Dove Vivi because my naturopath and I have decided that dairy and I should not hang out for awhile** - which is cool, I think dairy is super weird anyway ... weird and delicious - and my last supper of sorts was my friend date with my delightful friend over an amazing pizza. If you're ever in the neighborhood and want the best pizza, do stop in to Dove Vivi, just don't tell me about it, lest I become spitefully jealous of you.

*Pizza Schmizza's rustic pie pizza came in second.
**Natalie's husband Michael ordered Dove Vivi's vegan cashew pizza on our first outing there. I'm sure that is a viable alternative, but knowing how great the non-vegan is, I'm not sure I could even begin to enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Have you Heard: The Civil Wars

 My friend Shara called me and said, "Have you heard of The Civil Wars? Have you heard their cover of Billie Jean?"

Game changer.

I love inter-genre covers. I feel like that is the easiest way to ensure a successful cover: take a popular (and awesome) song, and then completely change the tempo and styling, and you'll have a winner. (See examples below.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Birthday, Rachie Poo!

So my dear friend Rachel's birthday is today, and she's been having a very fun countdown over on the FBook to usher in the occasion. (She is THE reason I've been getting on the FBook everyday for the past month, by the way) She's been posting a picture of herself from every year of her life along with a quippy comment about how silly she looked at age 8 etc. (Except her age 8 photo, aka mini Judith Light, brings me more joy than I've ever found on the interweb before.) (I really like parentheses.)  A few days of this countdown have inspired several funny quips from not only Rachel, but her friends too, and I am going to miss this sense of community and fun we've all had this month.

My favorites were age 16 --

Rachel: 14 days left. Sweet 16 - that was a memorable year! My family was so focused on my sister's wedding that they all forgot my birthday. Then my grandparents showed up with a strange foreign exchange student and I gave a loser my panties at a party. It all worked out in the end, though. The guy of my dreams showed up after the wedding to celebrate my birthday with cake and a special birthday kiss.
Jasmine: Same thing happened at my sweet 16!! Minus the sister getting married...
[Then several people I don't know made comments like "that sounds like a movie" or "Jake Ryan!"]
Me: I often confuse your sixteenth birthday for the time I went to the prom on my own- in a superbly ugly pink dress I made from two less ugly pink dresses- after a rich kid asked and then jilted me and I got into a fight with my best bud, Jon Cryer. But it all worked out, and the rich kid and I kissed in the parking lot.
Cecily: Wasn't that the year you went on vacation in the Catskills and fell in love with that hunky dancer? Or was that someone else?
Rachel: Yes, Cecily, that was the same year! Man, I had the time of my life...
Me: I've always known that you shouldn't be put in to a corner. Now I know why. So, you still up for stealing your dad's Ferrari and doing a lip-sync in a parade tonight?
Rachel: Of course! Although I might ride a lawn mower instead and wear my mom's white leather outfit. You know, the one with all the fringe that cost $1,000 that I didn't have so I pretended that the neighbor boy was my boyfriend so he would give me the money to replace it? That one.
Annette: I am up for that as long as it isn't Saturday because I unfortunately have detention in the library that day. Not looking forward to the other losers that might be there. I would never be friends with them. But maybe I will bring sushi for lunch. Hm?
Rachel: I hate detention. It makes me angry, like that one time I was an outcast but got asked to prom by this cute guy and we were crowned prom king & queen but that was just a ploy to get me on stage so they could pour pigs blood all over me, but I showed them, I burnt the whole place down, went home and killed my mom and then myself. That was a bad day.
Me: I was crowned prom queen too, not in high school, but when I went back to high school as an undercover reporter. That was when I met the love of my life, and first real kiss, a man who could channel Gordie Howe on the ice as a kid.

So fun! 20 points to the first person who can name all of our references.

-- and 21.

Rachel: 9 days - we are down to single digits people! So, this is my actual 21st birthday and I was at BYU-Idaho (note the cinder block walls). I'm pretty sure that summer I was asked more than once if I needed help finding my EFY group...
Cecily: So what are we doing to celebrate this epic birthday of yours? HM??? Explosives? Underwater deep sea diving? Underwater deep sea diving with explosives?
Rachel: Ok Cecily, you are officially on the party planning committee!!!
Me: Oh if I had a dollar for how many times I got confused for an efy goer- I'd have several dollars. And Cecily sounds like the greatest event planner I've ever heard of! One request: can we have Rachel jump through a flaming ring over a shark's tank to light the fuse for the explosives? I've seen it done on the tv, and it looks super fun! Plus she could get another use out of that rhinestone covered polyester jumpsuit she bought herself for Christmas during her "old Elvis" phase.
Rachel's mom: I'm sure I've seen a better picture of you on your 21st. I'm remembering a glittering tiara and purple boa...
Rachel: Mom - the picture you are referring to is not for public viewing. Molly - I've ALWAYS wanted to jump the shark!
Me: I have always lived by the mantra: if it's good enough for the Fonz, it's good enough for me! This explains my propensity for denim, leather and Scott Baio. (I DO want Charles in Charge of me.) As your friend I feel the need to share my Truth with you.

I still love the idea of someone going through an "Old Elvis" phase - especially Rachel who is the least likely exhibitionist I've ever met.

Happy Birthday, my friend. Now what are you going to do to keep me on FBook?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Outnumbered and the art of writing sitcoms

Remember back in 2003, when I was running around telling everyone I met, "there's this new show called Arrested Development and it's the greatest thing ever." (Truth be told, almost 8 years after watching it for the first time, I still talk about it relentlessly.)  I submit for your approval a show from BBC1 called, "Outnumbered." I will champion as loudly and obnoxiously for this show as I did for Arrested, because it is hilarious and so well written and acted.

I have grown pretty tired of the classic sitcom formula of "setup setup [sarcastic jab]/punchline" which is utilized by so many comedy shows. I love shows like Arrested, Modern Family, and now Outnumbered because they are restructuring the sitcom. But the latter is different from both of the former because it is written so subtly. Modern and Arrested are very obviously (and skillfully) written. Anytime I can say the phrase "hijinks ensue" I feel like it is pretty contrived - I'm talking to you Mitch and Claire stuck in your old backyard treehouse. If I were a writer on either of these shows, I would show off too. (I really am not trying to take anything away from either of these exceptional television shows. I love them.) But Outnumbered has such a realistic portrayal of children, and such an obvious understanding of speech patterns that the dialog is expertly written. I think it is the greatest thing I've seen in quite some time. The writing and the acting combine to make it amazingly realistic.

The premise is two parents, Pete and Sue,  hardworking and good people doing the best they can, have three precocious albeit unruly children: Jake, Ben and Karen. I could never choose favorites between Ben and Karen, because they are both amazingly funny, and the best child actors I have ever seen. (If Jodie Foster had been younger in Taxi Driver, then maybe we could talk about her. But Olsen Twins, Jonathan from Who's the Boss, or that Raven Symone someone, puh-lease.) But here are two clips with Karen, a few episodes apart, as she discusses her religion.

And here's a scene when Pete and Sue decide to have a Sunday free of television and full of family bonding time.

It's not available on region 1 dvd, so don't think it is the Outnumbered that is on Netflix, but it is worth scouting out if you can. My PBS station is airing it right now, and if you want to come over to my house to watch some episodes off of the DVR, please feel free. But the sad news is, Fox is planning on adapting it on this side of the pond, and we all know how well that works out. (Office, you jumped the shark years ago, please, let it die. You're past the days when Richie was the only cast member missing, now it's like the super terrible spin off Joanie Loves Chachi.Seriously, how did you think that show would work?)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Letters from Yesterday

My journal takes many forms. Yesterday, I wrote a series of letters, and since I won't cut them out and mail them, I thought I should post them here so their recipients might actually read them.

Dear Analee,
One of my favorite things about you is that you are crazy fun and will do anything! Even when that means you go over to the unknown guy with the quasi-pompadour and ask him if I can touch his hair - the opposite of what I was hoping you would do. (If I thought there were ANY hope, I would have done it myself.) And then when you two come back it is excessively awkward. I'm not saying I don't want you as a wing man, but let's just save that for men I'm actually interested in, and not just the ones whose hair I want to touch.
Much love,

Dear Nathan*,
That was your name, right? I can't remember. That sure was awkward, wasn't it? Maybe next time, we can both be as charming as we actually are - or at least I am.
 The girl who liked your hair.

Dear Sister [shall remain nameless on this blog],
Thanks for mentioning that men were visual and that we all need to lose weight, shower everyday and wear more makeup. Thanks for also telling us that we need to simultaneously lower our standards and not settle. Those are all things I'm sure none of the 300 single twenty something women had considered before. And thanks for really reemphasizing that marriage is the end all be all of our existence and the happy ending we're all waiting for. That is exactly the mindset we're trying to propagate. 
Sorry for being sarcastic. Maybe that should be on your list for next time?
A passive aggressive member of the congregation.

Dear girl who said that there's a Stripling Warrior in Heaven for those of us who don't get married,
I feel like you need to re-read that story. None of them died, so presumably they all got married and had families. Just saying.
A stranger who was judging you.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Men in short-sleeved white buttondowns

I may or may not be writing this from Sunday School at our regional YSA conference. (I think it is a given that I'm going to Hell, so I feel like I should just be honest with you.)
I have seen a higher number of men wearing short-sleeved white button down shirts this weekend than I have ever in my life. I would just like to encourage all men who are not on missions in tropical places or Homer Simpson to get rid of these unflattering things. It is infinitely more attractive to roll up long sleeves than to wear a short-sleeved shirt. I'm just trying to help.
Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dear July,

I'm sure you know you haven't ever held a special place in my heart as far as months go, but I feel like we need to have a little conversation. In the past I haven't liked you very much because you've been sweltering hot - but I feel you're over compensating now. (Just because you're not my favorite month doesn't mean everyone else doesn't love you!) A high of 72 today and it was cloudy, breezy and rainy? That's not you. Are you feeling ok? Are you depressed? WebMD has a depression quiz online. I'm not saying medication is right for everybody, but this whole rainy and cloudy business in the middle of you is just not normal, and it really has got to stop. Some of us have things to do outside. Not the least of which is frolic about like Hot Hot Heat. 

Mostly, I want you to get back to your old self, and I'd love for Portland to see the sun for longer than two days at a time. We get so much rain, that we depend upon you July for vitamin D to carry us through the rest of the year. Please, get help July. We need you back to your old self, pronto.

Best regards,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Progress thy name is moulding.

Have you ever talked to someone about what you are doing with your life, and just knew they were judging and pitying you and your choices? This happened to me twice today. It reminded me of when I would tell people that I was a film major, and then they'd inevitably ask, "what are you going to do with a degree in film?" And I'd respond full of vinegar and bitterness, "A whole lot more than you'd do with it!" (That is absolutely what I was thinking every time, but I don't think I ever actually said it. Although with my lack of niceness and tact, I'm kind of surprised I never did.) (Also, I'm pretty sure I was the only person who ever read the NYT article on media literacy and film majors. Certainly all of the people who haven't hired me haven't read it. Perhaps I should put it on the back of my résumé?)

The two conversations today were each with super nice acquaintances, playing a game of catch-up, who I think were just doubting what I am doing with my life - not unlike myself. But because I'm needy and require validation, I will share here what I have been up to for the past couple of days.  (And for my dear friends who claim I don't share enough of my projects on here, here you go: proof that I am productive.)

A few weeks ago, Shara and Adam helped me cut up a ton of MDF (4 sheets actually) with my dad's table saw - we took a few sheets of 1/8th inch MDF and cut strip after strip to a few different widths. How many strips? LOTS! Then using a router, I made some more baseboards. I spent about 9 hours hanging the mouldings, (my nail gun and I went through about 1,000 finish nails. um. wow.) and then another day and a half priming and painting.

It all needs another coat of paint, and then a potentially-super-awesome-and-colorful treatment for the wall above the moulding.  And I need to paint out the window frames and doors also, but progress has been made. While I may not know what I'm doing with my life, I do know what I'm doing with the next couple of days.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Have You Heard: Pigeon John

The summer has been in full swing for the past two days, finally, around Ptown. And whenever summer happens, I love songs with a driving beat. If they happen to embody sex, drugs and rock and roll, all the better.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Found: My Precious Child*

I was on my way to my naturopath last Friday, when I saw this sign on the side of the road. Thinking it was the most awkward thing ever, after my appointment, I walked over to take the picture.

Yikes, right? On the way back, this sign appeared. Taken within the context of the first picture, I'm kind of worried about what's going on on this block.

*I realize that the name of this post and the photo don't match - I didn't want to get any mean spirited emails from the people I am making fun of.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bake Something: Orange Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I have long been a lover of the combination of orange and carrot. How it took me so long to combine the two flavors in to a baked good, I'll NEVER know. I recently had ten pounds of carrots in the fridge, and when I wasn't going through them as quickly as I should, and there was a finger food party on the agenda, I decided that carrot cake cupcakes it was. But why not add in orange? They were so delightful and well-received that later that week when our Relief Society Presidency went out to meet some new sisters, I decided to make them again to deliver. I've been asked for the recipe several times, and since I made it up, I thought I'd better share. Here it is.

Orange Carrot Cake Cupcakes:
For the cakes:
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups raisins, soaked
  • 1 pound carrots, grated
  • Zest of one large orange
  • Juice of one large orange
  • 1 teaspoon orange flavor

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon orange flavor

First, before anything else, start soaking the raisins, (you can do this hours before hand, to really make them plump up.) then resume your mise en place and preheating your oven to 350 F. Sift together all of the dry ingredients into a bowl. In a separate bowl, whip oil, eggs and sugar together, then add vanilla. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients. Last, toss in the grated carrots, and using an ice cream scoop, fill muffin tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. When they are completely cooled, spread or pipe the frosting that you whipped together - whipping it for 5-8 minutes, or until it is lighter and fluffier than any you've seen before. Cream cheese and butter make for an artery clogging experience, so if you incorporate more air, it is less terrible for you, right?

Friday, July 1, 2011


I received this little card in the mail yesterday from my favorite and my best Ashley. She just got back from a globetrotting excursion all over Asia. When I saw this card, I initially thought that Ashley must have had a run in with some elephants, kind of like Analee and I had in South Africa last year. (Did I forget to tell you all about that? Well, we made it out alive, and that was a feat.) When I opened the card, I read and discovered the reason for the elephants on the front of the card. Her life was not jeopardized by elephants this time, thank goodness. In that she and her card made me giggle insensibly, I thought I should share what a clever, clever girl she is.

Her message read:

My dearest Molly, 
It is for you, my dear friend, that I bestow this wondrous gift. Why is it so wonderful you ask? It's just recycled paper you say. But AU CONTRAIRE!! It is made from elephant dung. That is right. I am writing to you on recycled poop. Now some people may dedicate their lives to engineering new cures for cancer or other life threatening diseases. But THANK HEAVENS for the good people of Thailand who have discovered this incredible feat! Without it, I wouldn't be able to express my sheer fondness of you. Fondness that can only be expressed...scatologically. 
Love, Shlee

I love this girl!