True Lady Detective

Dear Housewives,

A week later I’m still recovering from the season finale of True Detective. If you haven’t watched the smash hit set in the stunning Louisianan landscape, never fear, I won’t spoil the mystery for you. Let’s just say that it takes you places that JB Fletcher never did. Even in that episode when she went to New Orleans. Which was probably written just so they could have black people on the show. Because Cabot Cove, Maine wasn’t known for its racial diversity. But they did have lobsters. And an incredibly high murder rate.

Luckily for you, housewives, I happen to have the inside scoop on the second season of True Detective. You’re not going to believe what’s going to happen. SPOILER ALERT! The gay mafia has given me the goods.

Season 2 of True Detective takes us between the worlds of the city of Philadelphia and the Amish country of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. An Amish widow and her son are in Philadelphia traveling by train to visit a relative. While in the train station washroom, the young son witnesses a murder. The ruggedly handsome cop assigned to the case questions the boy, who identifies the murderer’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a corrupt narcotics officer. Stuff happens, and handsome cop is wounded, but he manages to deliver the boy and his mother to their Amish community in Lancaster County. However, handsome cop’s wounds overcome him, and he needs to be nursed by the Amish family . One thing leads to another, and it turns out that the Amish widow is a lesbian.


Portman Doe

Three Act Tragedy

Dear Housewives,

Portman Doe is a planner. Portman Doe makes meals from scratch. Portman Doe has a regular schedule of cleaning activities. Portman Doe has OCD.

As a housewife might imagine, the culmination of these activities and traits can lead to quite the hustle and bustle in the home. For example, this morning I sent Kit out the door to the office and before even settling down to my morning coffee and screwdriver, I got working on a never-fail, excellent-to-freeze tomato bisque. I made chicken stock a couple of days ago with the carcass of a rotisserie chicken and so this bisque had excellent homemade beginnings.

As the giant stockpot came to a cool, I busied myself with other household chores. I then settled to lunch with some freshly made hummus, a salad, and a mug of the tomato bisque. The bisque tasted off. It was odd. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Maybe it was the pairing with my hummus? Odd. Very odd. I couldn’t finish my mug.

After lunch I took on my next task, cleaning the fridge and freezer. It was then I began to worry. In my fridge I found a tall plastic storage container with contents that smelled and looked like chicken stock. Indeed, it WAS chicken stock. Where did it come from? Was this old chicken stock in the fridge? No. Couldn’t be. OCD. Wouldn’t happen. Surely, this was the chicken stock that I thought I had put in my bisque. What had I put in the bisque? Had I poisoned myself?

And then it came to me. Mango juice. I had mango juice in an identical container. It had disappeared from the fridge.

Let this tale be a lesson to you. Never underestimate the importance of beverages in the undertakings of housewifery.

Portman Doe



The sweet smell of bush

Dear Housewives,

A popular and true notion, as one heads into a future of Botox and Rejuvenex, exfoliation is the stop-gap measure for the appearance of a smoother forehead. Recently, there’s been much ado about scrubbing in the news. Housewives should take note! We need a product that is natural and environmentally friendly.

Conveniently for me, there’s a Canadian maker of soaps and beauty accoutrement (shampoo, facial masks, bathtub explosives, etc) with a store in town. They make a damned fine vodka-infused salt scrub. I can’t name the store here, but we’ll call it, um, . . . Bush.

I recently went into Bush to procure my favourite salt scrub, and I was overcome by the intensity of scentage. I am, of course, very delicate, and within minutes inside Bush my eyes were watering and my head hurt. The soaps and scents where bombarding me. Then a light bulb went off. I realized that Bush has quite the health and safety issues in store.

As you know, Ms. Portman Doe is on the front lines of social justice, not the working man’s man but more the salesgirl’s queer housewife. History has proven itself. Labour conditions cannot be ignored. Miners developed black lung. Mill workers developed brown lung. Bush workers are no doubt in danger of developing lavender lung.

The best thing to do is unionize and to limit how much you breathe in while inside Bush.

Or just order it online.

Portman Doe

*I would like to apologize if you encountered an earlier version of this post which contained a link to an incredibly offensive youtube video. That video was linked in error and does not represent the feelings or politics of Portman Doe. Oops.


Dear Housewives,

I, Portman Doe, am a terrible person.

I have a younger sister, and like many older sisters and younger sisters, we haven’t always gotten along. Sometimes I would call her Ratface.

I feel particularly bad about this now because my sister does not look like a rat. Not at all. In fact, if I had to pick a mammal (other than human) that she resembled, I would say a bear. I realize that this is perfect because if I call her Bearface, then she’ll think that I’m saying Bareface, and then just put on more mascara.

I bring this up now because there are people of the rodential persuasion. One of Kit’s good friends looks so much like a rat that I’ve had to hide his status updates on my Facebook timeline. Every single selfie he posts causes me revulsion as I fear contagion from his plagued facial features.

In person I think he may look look less rat-like. I’m not sure. On the occasions when Kit and I hang out with him, I can’t look him in the ratface.

Portman Doe

*Update: Kit just read this post and stood up for her friend. She says, “He does NOT look like a rat! He looks like a mouse.”

Reminiscing on Il Postino

Dear Housewives,

I do love a good Italian film, especially if it gives me the opportunity to be pretentious.

I recall a Friday evening some time ago when our TV Guide channel announced that Il Postino was scheduled as the midnight movie on a local Vancouver television station. How exciting! It was back before the days of Netflix, and what a stroke of luck to have such a lovely little film about a postman’s love affair with Pablo Neruda  a woman whom he woos with the help of an exiled Pablo Neruda.  And who doesn’t adore Pablo Neruda? A quick glance at OKCupid’s dating profiles show that 72% of women list the love poems of Pablo Neruda as the last thing they read.

Anyway, Il Postino was slated to start at 12:05 am, and I mentally prepared myself for a late, late night. I sat in the armchair, cozied up with some cocoa, and warm in a blanket. Il Postino is announced on screen as the midnight movie. And then…


Why was Kevin Costner on my screen?

The local station put on The Postman, the post-apocalyptic 177-minute long Kevin Costner feature film, rather than my ridiculous little Italian film.  I thought I’d give The Postman a try. Field of Dreams and Bull Durham were both good. After an hour of mind-numbing watching I thought I’d stick through it. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Let’s just say that The Postman didn’t deliver. And I can’t decide exactly what happened at our local station that caused the mix-up. Was it a cruel joke on Italian film-lovers? Was an imbecile who thought they were playing the right film? Or was it a die hard Costner fan?

We’ll never know, casalinghe.

Portman Doe



Bamboozled or Bamglühweined?

Dear Housewives,

Nelson Mandela has passed away. You may have heard. It’s all over the twitters and quite the controversy, too. Some people are talking about how Mandela was a great pacifist. Yeah, he was so down with apartheid that he thought that fighting over it was stupid.

As our way to avoid historical revisionism, Kit and I braved the arctic winds and went with some friends over to the Vancouver Christmas Market. Turns out the Market was a great place to go because MULLED WINE! And on the side of one of the buildings there was a tribute to Mandela.


Oh. Wait. Turns out that’s not Nelson Mandela. It’s a white man covered in chocolate. My bad.

Blackface isn’t something that happens in Canada, and Europe doesn’t have any blackface Christmas traditions.  I now realize the error of my ways. A German Christmas Market wouldn’t have a Mandela tribute on display. Silly Portman!

In case you’re not familiar with blackface since it’s never in the news, sometimes people intentionally put on thick makeup to appear like a black person. I can only imagine that this is terrible for one’s pores. What on earth are people thinking? White skin can be very sensitive.

And often people cover their face with chocolate to display their love for high quality confectionary. Don’t worry, they don’t mean to be racist. They can’t help that a history of minstrelsy is what makes their darkened faces culturally legible and delightful.

Now that I look at the image, I see that this chocolate-covered CEO doesn’t  look anything like blackface. Look at the original image from the chocolatier’s website and compare it to one of Al Jolson from his days in actual blackface. If you study them both carefully like I did, you can see they look nothing alike. Not at all!  Al Jolson has a full head of hair. And one’s greasepaint and one’s chocloate. It’s also helpful that you can totally see the difference in the intent of these two dudes in covering their faces.


Really all I can say is that it’s a good thing that the cocoa labourers and the chocolate factory workers aren’t people of colour. That would just be the icing on the chocolate cake. Mmmm… Chocolate cake.


Portman Doe


*Jolson is noted to have used burnt-cork make-up early in his blackface shows; it’s the make-up traditionally used to blacken faces in minstrel shows. The picture above is from later in his career, and it looked like greasepaint to me, though perhaps it’s burnt-cork.

Murder most fall

wear a muffDear Housewives,

Whew, what a fall it has been! Positively autumnal! I have been very busy, as always, and I am in recovery from the near-death experience of my beloved fiancée, Kit. (By the way, Google, nice job on the hetero definition of fiancée, but back to the tragic near demise of my lady love...*)

It was a lovely and rare sunny fall day here in the Lower Mainland. Kit and I were walking along the tree-lined street on the way to meet with our friend Melody. We had all planned to take a leisurely walk  to the library. Kit and I had almost reached Melody’s apartment building when, suddenly, Kit’s steps fell behind mine, and I heard her barely whisper the words, “Portman, help.”

On sunny fall days in Vancouver, the temperature drops. Something about the absence of any cloud cover to keep in the heat. Blah, blah, blah, I’m not a meteorologist. Kit had appropriately dressed for the weather and the occasion: skinny jeans, a purple sweater (as you already know, Housewives, purple is a very important colour for the gays). To keep her neck warm, she donned a long brightly coloured scarf under her trench. However well-appointed her outfit selection, it also was the bane of her existence.

By the time she gasped for me, Kit’s scarf was choking her to death. One of the scarf’s ends had caught between her thighs as she walked and quickly began to tighten around Kit’s neck, strangling her. The scarf being under her long buttoned-up coat, Kit couldn’t manage both to maintain any slack around her neck and to pull the scarf from her crotch.

Thank goodness I was there! I saved my fiancée’s life, and better yet, I can now tell people how Kit’s crotch nearly killed her on the streets of Vancouver.

Portman Doe


*Update: When I posted this entry on Dec. 4, 2013, the definition read “a woman who is engaged to be married to a man.” Within 36 hours of posting, the definition had been changed to “a woman who is engaged to be married.” Much more accurate now, Google.

We be jammin’

Dear Housewives,

When my best friend Edna asked me if I’d like to come over to make jam, I immediately said yes. After all, having already learned a bit about making cheese, crafting my own shoes, and baking bread, canning would be the perfect addition to my domestic repertoire.

I was very worried that canning jam would be hard. Boiling water, hot glass, tongs. Sounds just like my dad’s meth lab.

Instead, canning with Edna was more like this:

Just kidding. It was a different kind of glamorous. I wore my workout clothes, rather then something more feathered, in case anything got too sticky or if we needed to run away quickly.


First, Edna got all the ingredients ready.


Then Edna mashed the blueberries.


After that, Edna added the other ingredients and heated it up till it it was ready to put in the  jars.



Then Edna put the jars in the hot water for ten minutes.

Finally, Edna took the jars out, and they all popped like virgins on prom night.

All in all, I have to say that watching Edna make jam was far easier than I thought it would be.


Portman Doe

The Miracle Worker

 Dear Housewives,

Yesterday was full of excitement, drama, and a possible career opportunity in the field of healthcare.

I need a new pair of glasses. When I told Kit this last week, she decided I needed an eye exam by an actual doctor, and she called up her ophthalmologist and made me an appointment.

I’m used just to heading down the street and getting a pair of glasses at the place where a rotating cast of 14 year-old doctors tend to my optical needs. Granted, there have been times when I doubted Doogie’s prescription. When I questioned my lens strength, I was assured that the headache and dizziness caused by my new Rx would go away eventually as I got used to my stronger prescription. They *kind of* went away, but, swayed by the hipster-fashion of the chunky frames, I wore them despite the mild headache and occasional vomiting.

Kit took the afternoon off from work to escort me to her eye doctor, whose office is located in Canada’s second largest mall. (Apparently, I cannot be trusted in a mall by myself. One day I’ll write about the Great Cheetah Leggings Incident of 2011.)  We took a bus and then a train to the next city over, finally arriving at the bright and shining mall. Kit led me through the maze of atriums and chain stores.

The doctor was an older, quite affable man in his fifties who was efficient with all of the tests and drops and such, but he also took his time to ask about my eye-health history. After the exam the doctor had some news.

“Well, it seems like your old prescription is far stronger than you need. Either your eyesight has improved, which doesn’t happen or—”

I cut in, “What? It’s improved?! I AM A MIRACLE. I have healed my vision.”

The doctor’s jaw dropped. And he stood there frozen.

And that’s how I outed myself as a faith healer.


Portman Doe

F is the loneliest number

 Dear Housewives,

I’ve been recovering from having to explain the birds and the bees to young children. By “the birds and the bees,” I mean the sex.

The players:
Cora, aged 9
Maude, Cora’s little sister, aged 7
Portman, timeless
Alexandra and Brian, Portman and Kit’s friends and Cora & Maude’s parents

The scene:
Alexandra and Brian are out on a much needed date, leaving Portman to watch their two daughters and put them to bed. Portman, Cora and Maude are in the kitchen, the two girls perched at the counter. It is almost bedtime, and they are chatting about their science camp. Maude’s also been working on ridding herself of her adorable lisp, and Cora was showing off how Maude could now clearly say the letter F.

Cora: Say “fuck,” Maude.

[Maude is silent and looks sheepish.]

Portman: We don’t need to say that word, Cora. It’s not a nice word.

[Portman actually uses that word all the time because she swears like a sailor.]

Cora: She can say it, Portman. She can say the F word no problem. No lisp or anything. C’mon. Say it, Maude.

Portman: Cora. [eyebrows raised, evil-eye given]

[Maude looks completely embarrassed.]

Cora: Whaaaaaaaaat? Fuck. Fuck. Ffffuuuuuck. I bet you won’t tell us what it means.”

[Portman is not fooled by use of reverse psychology but does nearly shit her pants. What the fuck do you say to this?]

Portman: Cora, if you say that word again, you are are going to bed immediately.

[Cora knows this is not an empty threat.]

After they went to bed, I settled onto the sofa and read and then their mom Alexandra texted me.


I have been relieved of any future baby-sitting duties, and Maude is considering becoming a lesbian. My work here is done.

Portman Doe