Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'm Here, Where Are You?

Turns out it only takes ten and a half hours to drive home to Seattle from Pam's house in Davis. Good thing too, since I didn't hit the road until 1:30 this afternoon. I couldn't tear myself away without one more breakfast at Cindy's Diner. The first morning in Davis, Pam, Marc and I all went there for breakfast and I felt like I was on a road trip with mom and dad circa 1979. Cindy's has those round swivel chairs that are actually attached to a counter, and of course the naugahyde booths and a counter with a glass case where they have candy bars and gum, in case you want to buy one on your way out as you pay the bill. The great thing is that the food there is actually good and the juice is fresh-squeezed. This morning I had a small grapefruit juice and the skillet #3 (two eggs over easy with cheese, potatoes, green onions, avocado and bacon with flour tortillas) plus green chiles. I highly recommend starting a road trip this way, if you ever find your road trip starting in Davis, California.

California treated me so well this time around. There was a lot of what you see in the photo above - lazing around in the grass, soaking up sunshine. We kept referring to the conference as Summer Camp and that really was what it felt like, what with our stash of snacks in our three-girl cabin, all the meals in the dining hall and various other things. I came home with the writers conference equivalent of a yearbook - a stack of novels signed by some great authors and generally charming human beings, including Pete Fromm, Jack Driscoll and Howard Norman. Heather McHugh left too early for me to catch her, but she was just outrageously smart and I found myself feeling a little smug for having read her way back in 1987. I have one Jodi Reed to thank for that.

Hope things are going well in New York, Allison. You know you better cough up some Halloween photos. I think Ginger McDonald is going to be making an appearance in Seattle again this year, if only I can find where I put those pills...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sometimes There's Only TIme For a Few Photos

Driving to Calistoga for dinner with Tami

Tami works her magic so that I can eat Rice Crispy Treats for breakfast for the next few days


Taylor and I spent quality time on the grass, gazing deep into each other's eyes

This afternoon, Pam and I are heading up the coast for the Tomales Bay Workshops, where everything will be very very photogenic! More updates here and on Flickr soon.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hello From the Crush

Tami fends off the paparazzi

We're having a beautiful couple of days here in California, lots of sun, bushes full of pink roses in Tami's back yard and the air is filled with the unmistakable smell of grapes being crushed. I'm being a lazy slug and have not yet changed out of my pajamas. Instead, I'm sitting on Tami's big couch doing my reading for my Howard Norman workshop.

Tami and Dixon have been very good to, as Amber and Seth were in Portland on Friday night. I'm lucky to have friends with guest rooms who also know how to make things like egg bites for breakfast and the best meatloaf ever for dinner. Seriously, I love meat loaf. I am not the worst house guest either, since I come bearing knitted gifts.

Yesterday Tami and I went into the city (San Francisco, in case you forgot) and copied this. Tami wrote some great ones while we were sitting in the window of the most amazing chocolate shop, drinking spicy hot cocoa. After our cocoa, we wandered out into the sunshine and left a trail of happy little notes in the pockets of cute coats at all the boutiques we stopped in.

Of course we couldn't leave the fancy chocolate shop without fancy chocolates. This box is considerably emptier now. Don't you love the way the orange theme of the box matches Tami's sweater? We went for a green theme for Pam's box.

Now Tami's off at work and my new best friend Taylor is keeping me company. Check it out, Tami, she's giving us her cheerleader face!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Huh? A Turtle?

It was rainy here this morning, rainy enough that I discovered that my nice clear plastic umbrella isn't really big enough to keep my whole little self dry. I still love walking to work, but I have to admit that I'm pretty happy that the week is almost over. Love the new job, etc, but two whole weeks of work can be hard on a seasoned dilettante.

Luckily! Tomorrow afternoon I go back to being a dilettante. I'm taking off for the Bay Area where I will eat oysters, drink port, distribute knitted goods, and participate in the Tomales Bay Workshops again. Hope you have something good planned for the weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Do I really look like a turtle?

You would offer this nice lady a seat on the subway, wouldn't you?

Sorry for the weird photo - but the self-timer on my camera at work is unfamiliar territory. Nonetheless, you can see that I now look like I've swallowed a watermelon. Or a koala - whichever works for you!

When we went to go see our doctor on Monday, she was concerned about my weight gain (6 pounds since our last visit!) and was quizzing me about my diet and was making those sounds that indicate 'we are going to have a serious talk at the end of this exam young lady!'

But then she did the ultrasound and - OOPS! - remembered that I am expecting twins.

So apparently it's fine if I turn into a total blimp.... and with (hopefully) at least four months left to go... I think I'm going to go have some ice cream!

We are 19 weeks tomorrow.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Something that will make ME happy when it is grey

Um, Kate Moss is totally biting my style with her bangs and all black outfit.

But no way can she replicate my belly, which is now apparently measuring the same as a 28 week pregnancy. I'm only 18 weeks.


Friday, October 12, 2007

A Public Service Announcement

It's been foggy in Seattle the last two days. Something that sounds like a foghorn keeps sounding off, and something that sounds like a ferry keeps answering back. That's how things are right now - me, feeling my way into some new kind of life, and the way it's all mysterious and hazy only makes it more gorgeous.

Still, this isn't the easiest time of the year. I'll admit, it is a bit of an adjustment for me to be at a desk for the better part of 40 hours a week. I get up and make myself a cup of tea more than I should, probably. Right now, I wake up to a sunset over the water, and when I walk home at night, it's still light, but I know the days are getting shorter, and Mack Strong is not coming back. The Pacific Northwest dark is hard on a lot of people I love, though mostly I seem to manage okay. I've been thinking a lot about why that is, exactly, what gets me through these days. So, just in case you find yourself in need of a little anti-depressant, try out one from my list of faves:

- walking to work
- Paris style macaron cookies from Whole Foods, three blocks from the new office
- Leonard Weaver aka The Bishop
- those days where everything seems to be the color of a pumpkin
- clear plastic umbrellas
- the Get Joey To Australia show, and the whole story behind it
- the new Rilo Kiley album
- getting a latte from Josie at Old Ballard Fiore on Sunday
- skee ball at Kings Hardware, with Evan if you can manage it
- that Maldives song where they do the clapping thing (check them out this Monday at the High Dive)
- ANTM (most effective when taken in a double dose, with Susan)
- the Hugo House Lit Series (check it out November 12th)
- something handknit by someone who loves you (email me if I owe you)
- text messaging
- fresh eggs from the Farmers Market
- music from Kozy Shack, good stuff like Gospel Aretha
- the arboretum
- rubber chickens
- Sunday night two-stepping at the Hen
- photo booth photos
- my License to Ill, made by Hx B
- emails from Dave with top 5 lists
- wondering what your sister is going to name her twins
- and of course, coffee from two of my favorite human anti-depressants, Bobby and Andy, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at Caffe Fiore on Queen Anne

Just one of the many amusing sights on my walk to work


I got a new haircut!

I was feeling a little bored and, since I have a limited number of months when I can selfishly take the time to blow dry my hair, I decided now was the time for a change!

And I have a new show that I love: Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane.

We should all find a bit of that fabulosity in ourselves.

I gots it in my bangs!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

This Time Last Year

Roany and Deseo mow the front lawn

So, I think it's an odd coincidence that October 8th 2006 was my first day at the ranch, and October 8th 2007 was my first day at my new job. I like it, of course, there's a nice symmetry to it. Whenever I say that I've taken the last 8 months off, Elvis makes fun of me and tells me that it's really been the last year because those two weeks I went back to my old job don't count. Well, it was certainly longer than two weeks, but in a way he's right. Those two October 8ths are the bookends on a remarkable time in my life.

My first day at Children's was great. We spent the day in a basement filling out paperwork and eating hospital food. Sounds good, huh? But it was. I'm serious! That room was filled with good energy, and people who all seemed to be truly excited to be starting work there. One woman kept saying "This is my dream job!" and I knew how she felt.

I have a funny feeling today, a little relief, a little feeling of return, of something coming back to me. I missed this part of my self, my competent, composed, working self. I missed setting aside my personal life for eight hours a day in favor of something that I believed would be helpful to other humans somewhere in the world, even if I never met any of them. It just felt worthwhile. It still does.

Thanks to all of you who called or sent a text or wrote or made a comment wishing me well and checking in. I'm so lucky to have you all. I'll talk to you soon!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Goodbye To All That

Let's all light a candle for the old days

Well. It's a Sunday here, finally. After 8 months of no school nights, tonight is, at last, a school night. I was never good at Sundays. The morning part, sure. Anyone can do brunch. But after that, it gets a little squirrelly. I get a little squirrelly. I think I'm doing pretty well at the moment. I'm not precisely sure what I'm wearing tomorrow, but there's a pair of black wool pants hanging in the bathroom, and with a good pair of black wool pants, the rest of it can't be that hard. And I'm in bed, sort-of, and it's only 8:48. I am a little nervous about the sleeping too, that's another thing I'm not always so good at. Maybe a little reading in bed will help, right?

I had a couple of reality checks today, like the phone call I got from one of the guys in Paulie's band. He's in town playing a show with another one of his bands and left me a message saying that he was going to put me on the guest list, but guess what? Sunday night, midnight show? Not for me.

It's like I'm pregnant now, only without the babies.

Just kidding. Still, I imagine that I am weirded out right now in a way that is not completely unlike the way you must be weirded out, Allison. Do you have that feeling like you have all this stuff to do and now you don't have any time to do it in? Or like you are in the middle of one of those dreams where you are locked out of your house without your pants on, and maybe, like, forgot to pay all your library fines and now they are coming to take you to JAIL for those fines? Today Bobby asked me if I was nervous about tomorrow and I told him no, because I didn't really think I was. In a way, it was true. When I think about actually being at orientation, and then, later in the week, being in an office, MY new office, and doing actual work, meeting people and thinking about things other than my own silly life, well, that all feels pretty good actually.

But what I'm nervous about is the rest of my life. Like how I never did really spend any time with Evan this week, and I haven't seen Lil in ages and I've been missing her, and that's just a start. I never went in to the Ballard Fiore to see Kevin or Josie, and now I'm never going to see them because I used to go in on weekdays, in the afternoon, after time at my writing studio. And my writing studio! Poor writing studio.

I know, you have no sympathy for me. I can't blame you. I don't have any sympathy for myself either. In fact, I'm kind of tired of myself. Eight months of me time is a lot of ME. I learned that I love being on guest lists and getting VIP passes enough for it to be sort-of obnoxious to the people who have to hear about it later, that sometimes I take a joke too far and that even with all the time in the world, my apartment is still going to be messy and I am going to feel like a lazy writer and I probably won't get the oil changed in my car as often as I should.

On the bright side, I didn't turn into a lush or... well, I didn't turn into a lush.

Tonight I told the other Heather (who was the latest beneficent soul to feed my passion for VIP passes, thank you Hx B!) that all of this was surreal, and she said "It'll sink in after your morning latte." and you know what? I'm counting on her to be right. I'll always have the lattes.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Practicing being useless in anticipation of my uptown lifestyle

What do you think? Should we buy? Is TWO maid's rooms excessive?

So we are in Vermont for the weekend. Only a month or two from now we won't be able to come up - per doctor's orders - so it's a mad scramble trying to get everything done and in tip-top shape before that happens.

Sadly, Eugene has to take care of most of it. I've tried helping with the wood stacking, but after 15 minutes I am wiped out. I am stuck with the inside duties - laundry, cooking, lazing about reading back issues of Elle Decor (hey - I could use a renewal on that and Metropolitan Home, if you are still wondering what to get me for my birthday!).

It's weird to be so.. umm.. weak.

I even had a hard time getting the cap off a new bottle of cranberry juice earlier. Megh.

At least the scenery is lovely - the trees are almost in full color. And it's exactly three years since we closed on this place. Which brings me to the next article of business.

We have put an offer in on an apartment. It's kind of a low offer (8% below asking) but we can only afford so much - ya know? And it has been on the market. So we're sitting here on tenterhooks (sp? that's a weird word, right? what is a tenterhook anyways?) waiting to hear a response.

I try to remind myself that, when we bought this place, there were other places we wanted first and despaired over losing. But things turned out beautifully in the end and we ended up with the best place for us. I have to have faith that the same will hold true with the apartment situation.

Life is full of disappointments, but I think in the end we end up where we are meant to be.

Plus, just thinking about the lifestyle change that will come with a new mortgage really sobers a girl up quick. We'll have to have a budget, people! A BUDGET!

Also, we aren't homeless or desperate. Which always helps to keep your brain straight when you're trying to remain rational about your housing situation. But the twins don't love to walk-up so much any more.

In the meantime the Elle Decors might be giving me too much fodder for my over-active imagination. Down girl! Down!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Yeah, There Are Other Changes in the Works Too

Like the fact that this is no longer my office.

I had a funny night last night. I say that a lot, I suppose, but it's often true. Sometimes funny means fall-off-the-couch, stitch-in-your side laughing, sometimes it's just odd. Or interesting. Mostly to me, not necessarily anyone else. Last night was like that. I went to see Kevin's band, Widower, which I, predictably, loved. That pedal steel just gets me every time. Still, by the end of the night, I was really ready to be home and done.

I fell asleep thinking about a bunch of things, but primarily about how convenient it is that I am just now getting tired of being 23 again. I've noticed this the last couple times I've gone out - around 12:30 I am just done, ready to go home, the magic spell has worn off and I am content to turn into a 35 year old pumpkin again.

On Monday I will be a working pumpkin again. That's right, I've been holding out on you all. I am once again gainfully employed, and I have to tell you, I'm pretty excited about it. I'd be even more excited about it if the fall clothing that's out in stores right now wasn't a mixture of maternity looking gear and faux mod retro. Boo to all that! I'm sticking with the pencil skirts.

Here are the things I'm excited for: being a morning regular at the coffee shop again, instead of an all-day regular, being able to walk to work if I want to, wearing pencil skirts and cashmere, working with scientists, and being part of an organization that is working to prevent, treat and eliminate pediatric diseases.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I was such a young bride... four long years ago

Haha just kidding, it's Euge's cousin/niece Olivia at her confirmation party...
she was one of our flower girls. Remember the clippity-clop?

Yes, it's that time of year.

Now I must reflect on being married and just how very far we've come and how old we seem to be getting. I must wax poetic on the joys of marriage and the wonder of our togetherness.


This is the beginning of a whole new part of our lives and, even more so than those moments before Dad walked me down the aisle, I feel like we are at the top of the rollercoaster. Everything is about to speed up to a million miles an hour, turn upside down and inside out. My heart will leave my body. Twice

Luckily, I'm past the nausea part.

We are really enjoying this time, before we are parents (though, I suppose we are parents already - right?) I had a super fun birthday...

Me, Patty and Margaret at B-flat for my birthday - I stayed out 'til one AM!
Seltzer and lime juice - yu-mm-mee.

Saturday, we went to the Guinness and Oyster festival - which of course made me think of Dad... Guinness and oysters are good for babies right? Gwynnie drank Guinness when she was pregnant!

I kid, I kid.

Check it, he still likes to feel me up.

Then, on Sunday, we went apartment hunting.


There is so much that is changing, that is going to change and, while I am totally excited for it, I have to admit that sometimes it seems to bend my mind inside-out. So, for right now, sometimes it's fun to just enjoy what we have right now because when these babies come it's all over.

No, I'm kidding, that's just what people tell me. I don't really believe that it will all be over.

It will just be different.

Babies like Guinness and oysters, right?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Finally the Birthday Blog!

Shameless Self-Promoters, circa 1980

Dear dear Allison.

Okay, now that we are all done hailing the bump, it's my turn. I've been looking forward to saying Happy Birthday to you. It seems like one of those birthdays that will be, in spite of the random number (34, your secret's out) quite the milestone. Life pre and post twins!

But let me just tell you one thing - if you think that I'm going to let you leave behind your wild ways, well, you can forget about that. In fact, I predict that the twins will only make you more wild. I mean, it is going to take some work to keep those kids entertained, right, and you're going to have to impress them.

So, here are some things I'd suggest.

You could tell them about your days as a jazz singer, or your excellent performance as a ribbon girl for some very elite horse shows, about your modeling career, those days of being a barista in Seattle (that's rock-star-like, no?) about art school,your days at Marvel Comics, or Spin, or about that party where JLo or Prince or someone was there, or climbing in Mexico, or going to Europe with Dakota and Asa, or any of a million other things that I can't remember just now.

It's a funny thing, being someone's kid. The kinds of things I have listed above are the kinds of things they just won't know unless you tell them. So don't worry, I will tell them. I have notes, and I'm not afraid to use them. Not to mention photos, heh heh! I have to admit that I hope you have girls, if only so that I can utter the words- "Your mom won't let you what? Oh please... you should have seen when she..." though I'm sure I'll figure out what to say if the twins turn out to be boys. What would be the boy equivalent of wearing green eyeshadow up to your eyelid, anyway?

One thing I'm pretty sure about, though, is that I will never have to tell your twins any of the following about you:

- your mom is a big softie with a thoroughly generous heart
- your mom is hilariously funny
- your mom is tremendously, stubbornly loyal
- your mom is smart and creative and accomplished
- your mom is the most fun. Ever.

I'm not gonna have to tell them any of that, because all of it will always and every day be obvious to them.

Love you lots,