Friday, November 30, 2007

I Wasn't Going To Tell!!

But it is so cute and wee, I cannot keep my secret any longer!
Look what I made!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My New TV Crush*

We are just ships passing in the night and I may never see him again but, for the moment, Gable Painter is my new TV crush.

He's not a glamorous star, a man of adventure or mystery. I can't even show you his picture because I couldn't find one on the internets. Any where. But I can show you his work.

He has a company called BP Restoration in Richmond, Virginia. They have no website! Don't you love that? Basically, he - and his work - were the subject of a one-hour one-off program called "Flip it Back" where he took a dilapitated crackhouse and restored it to it's folk victorian glory.

From this

To this

You know that I love a capable man! And watching the show I was so impressed by his workmanship, his dedication, and his sense of humor. He had all of the corbels re-made to match the originals! He had all of the turned posts for the porch, with their bric-a-brac remade in Canada! He replaced the doors with period doors throughout! He used real wood siding!

And if I could find a picture of him you could see how very cute he is too.

They may never make another episode and I may never see him again, but I applaud his skill.

And his hotness.

*This is what becomes of you when you come home from work every day to retire your considerable hugeness to the couch. You become very discerning regarding your reality shows. There may also be some nesting/pregnancy hormones involved in this post...

Things (part three)

Hugo House graffiti - Hey! Check out Write-O-Rama this Saturday at the House, all day!

With the hounds in Creede, CO

Beach with kite, Ocean Shores, WA

Taylor in Sonoma, CA

At Pete's and Regan's rehearsal dinner, Whidbey Island, WA

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Things I Like to Take Pictures Of (part two)

All those foot photos yesterday made me realize how often my toenails are painted red. Not right now, though. It's winter, and they are in handknit socks, healing from some harsh treatment they received over the summer. Those white plastic Marc Jacobs flats are all fun and games until someone spends three hours walking through the galleries of Chelsea. In retrospect, a taxi home would have been a good idea.
A taxi would have been a good idea on Monday night too. Or the bus even. But we've talked about this before, how if I get it in my head that I'm going to have my walk, it's pretty hard to deter me. That was Monday night.

That was the night it got dark before I left work, like it does these days, and then poured rain on me all the way from work to home. It was all very dramatic, with one of my hands (the one holding the phone) going numb from the cold, and my new black wool pants getting soaked to the knee, and the monorail looming and traffic lifting the dirty water from the gutters onto the sidewalks. Okay, I know the black wool pants are not that dramatic, but that does bring me to my next point.

Another thing I realized yesterday? I am no Tolstoy. No Virginia Woolf. Okay. I didn't actually realize that yesterday, I was just thinking about it more. It was the walk, which reminded me of those scenes Virginia does so well, where all the drama takes place in the mind of a character, just walking, running errands, contemplating a hat. I think of Tolstoy this way too, as being a master of the transformative small moment, though of course there's the whole War thing, that's pretty dramatic, I guess. Ha. Am I cracking you up yet?

I'm thinking about it though, thinking about the Tolstoy, the Woolf, what is underneath the veneer of "Fine." as an answer to the question about how your day was. I still don't feel like I have a way to talk about that walk home, how it was to be in the rain and cold after four bright days, how it felt melancholy and miserable and cranky and deep-down happy all at the same time.

I thought about how I might write that, not as a sentence with a bunch of adjectives, but as a long walk, with the short guy walking next to me, who said "I should be able to walk faster than you, I have longer legs", or the woman in the big white Escalade who made me cranky by pulling so far into the intersection that she blocked the crosswalk, and how when the walk signal went, she looked in her rearview mirror to try to pull back out of the intersection. There was no way, so instead, she rolled down her window, blinking hard against the rain and called to me "I'm sorry! I went too far!" I had just been thinking how dumb she and her Escalade were, especially after that last intersection, where for some incomprehensible reason, people were stopping at the red light, waiting a moment, and then just pulling right through. Somehow those other people made her seem even worse, until she apologized, and I found myself shrugging and just... not cranky anymore.

And P.S.? When I woke up this morning, my boots were still wet. I wore them anyway. I had to! They're the best for walking. And I wanted a walk. I had things to think about.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Things I Like to Take Pictures Of (part one)

My feet.In the sand, Dillon Beach, CA

In the woods, Ali's place, VT

In the hood, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA

In the clogs, Ocean Shores, WA

In hot water, Lava Hot Springs, ID

In the fancy seats (sunburned), Willie's 4th of July, The Gorge, WA

In the Key, Seattle, WA

In the grass at Tami's, Sonoma CA

In the snow, Creede, CO

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Some of the Many Things I Am Thankful For This Year

Baby B

Baby A

My little turkeys

I suppose this comes under the better-late-than-never-category, but I am so very very lucky this year and I thought you should know that I know it! In particular, the things I am thankful for are...
  • My little niblets, who are 24 weeks and 2 days today! 24 weeks, being considered a major milestone for viability. They are also kicking up a storm - to the point where I can see my belly poking out in the spot where they are kicking.
  • That you are coming to help me sort out all of this baby stuff that needs sorting out! I am so excited for you to see my crazy baby bump in person and to get your help figuring out what colors and whatnot I should be shopping for. I just can't wrap the few braincells I seem to have left around it.
  • Our new apartment (fingers crossed). The idea of living someplace with so much space (comparatively speaking) is crazy!
  • That Stephanie (Ernie's daughter) cooked Thanksgiving dinner - and gave us the leftovers! And that my husband was good enough to help with all the dishes.
  • Which brings me to being thankful that Eugene is picking up a lot of the slack of doing stuff that I don't really have the energy or desire to do. And he's as excited and entranced by the babies as I am.
  • And also to the fact that I am very grateful for Tums. God bless whoever developed Tums.
Mostly, I am grateful that we are all so very lucky - in our circumstances, in our health, in all of the ways that people can be lucky I think that we've got it pretty well sewn up. When I say 'we' I mean you and me and Mom and Dad and our friends and loved ones.

I feel thankful for these things every day, but this is probably the best day to express that.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Can you see how delicious the dinner above was? It was made by one of Andy's dads, and it was not only elegant but extremely tasty. There was a starter too, and homemade pie for dessert and lovely wine with each course. When I was in the Bay area for my writing workshop, I had about 15 minutes free, at the exact moment when Andy and Bobby were in the city visiting the dads. The boys had been drinking all day and were um, very cheerful when I picked them up. I thought we were just going to grab a quick cocktail or something, but they kidnapped me and took me to dinner, where I was surprised with this feast.

I loved it all, of course, the mischevious boys, the delicious food, and of course getting a little more insight into where Andy is coming from. It was the most fun kind of family dinner, from a very untraditional family. I felt most thankful to be invited.

I hope you all have a great family dinner of one kind or another for this holiday, with whatever traditions you like best. I won't even go into the whole historical thing, but I will say that I feel pretty sure that it is always always good to be thankful.

And I think you know by now, that I am mostly definitely that.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday in the city*

I know HK looks all casual in this photo, but her heart is actually about to explode with sqee-ing delight over how adorable Ada looks in her crazy knit onesie.

That's HK and Ada, sitting in the dining/living area of their awesome Washington Heights apartment. You should check out HK's Ada Today blog. I think it's cute as all get out.

They are taking pity on me today, because Eugene had to go out to Long Island to close up his Mom's Hampton's house for the winter. Hopefully, he'll be back tonight but - in the meantime - I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to check out some strollers and car seats and HK is willing to come along and use Ada to test drive them.

Actually, HK is being extra sweet and is picking me up in her Prius so that I don't have to haul my rather large belly all over the subway system to get to Buy Buy Baby - where apparently all of the strollers in creation reside.

I would like to resist the call of the Big Box Store - and I find their 3-d animated baby logo super creepy - but I need to see twin strollers and there just aren't that many places that keep a wide variety on hand. I need to be able to actually handle them - because for the most part they are huge and unwieldy so I am trying to find the exception to the rule.

And it also needs to fit in our new elevator - which is not huge.

I am saving all of the boutique-ie decor and fun baby shopping for your visit though! We can hold little layettes up to my belly! We can find non-sex-specific bedding with cute animals or something on it. I saw that Christina Agulera (sp?) got some Petunia Pickle Bottom stuff which is unbelievably adorable... but also $$$$.

We shall aspire to that level of cuteness... but on a more economical scale.

And I am sorry if I have defiled our blog by posting something about Christina Agulera her. Mea culpa. But Nicole Richie hasn't publicized what sort of bedding she is getting. I take what I can get.

In case you are wondering how big the bump is these days, here you go!

32 Weeks on a normal person = 23 weeks on me!

I just realized that, in this photo my ta-tas look kind of ginormous, but they are pretty much the same size as before. I think the huge belly is propping them up.

* Hoping I don't get sued for using this title - apparently anything ending in 'in the city' is trademarked by the Sex in the City people - because, you know, New York was NOTHING before they made Sex and the City. NOTHING!

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Friday, November 16, 2007

This is our new building - we hope...

Eugene scratching his head, thinking about how long his new commute will be

Well, the weather is definitely getting wintery. I pulled out my Burberry trench this morning, belted it over the bump (empire-waisted Burberry! Tres chic!) and marveled that I probably only have a couple of weeks left to wear it. Usually I would wrap and tie it like a bathrobe. Not so much now. We are straining at the buttons now.

Luckily, I have my crazy monkey-fur coat (no real monkeys were harmed in the making of it... only a bunch of polyesters) and that vintage houndstooth coat to hopefully see me through until February. I'll be like Cruella de Ville with a baby bump.

Otherwise the twins will freeze!

Just kidding.

Any hoo... we turned in the monstrous pile of paper known as our co-op application today... signed, notarized and footnoted to the horizon. I was very excited to get it completed because, quite frankly, it was more complicated than my college applications and only slightly less so than our taxes - and that's why I have an accountant to do the taxes.

There should be a person to complete co-op applications too! Actually, there probably is but I didn't think to look into it until just this very moment.


It's very exciting to think about moving to a new neighborhood. To a new apartment. With doors that close.

And bizarre to think that, if everything works out, shortly after we move we will have TWO BABIES! OF OUR OWN! FOREVER!


We will also have loads more space, lots of windows, a dishwasher and washer and dryer, an elevator and a big park right next door. Which are all really really good things. Especially if you have TWO BABIES! FOREVER! ALL YOURS!

The babies thing is actually starting to sink in a bit more.

Could you tell?

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's Gone All to Rain Here

... and still I'm walking to work most days. Monday was the first bad time, when I arrived at work all cold and soaked, bedraggled, bits of wet leaf stuck to my stockings. I drank hot things all day but never warmed up all the way through. Still, the days I drive, everything just seems to happen too fast, and I wish for the walk home, and then home. Home is changing these days. There are clean towels and you could sit at the table in the kitchen and eat dinner if you wanted to. You could even open the fridge and make dinner, just from what's there already. I've made myself tea two nights in a row and yesterday I burned a candle and I think the bills are all paid.

The walks home have done some of this. I'm so happy to get here at the end of the day. I'm ready to come home and stay here, and that's a change for me. Things are getting to be a little more habitual, and while there are many things I miss about my time off, this is really what I was hoping the return to work would mean. A settling down, digging in kind of thing. Now that it's here, it feels really really good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Like REI, Only with... Ummm... Dead Animals

Look! It's a fake mountain of taxidermied animals in the background! Good times...

Oh I've been a bad blogger, a very bad blogger. There's a special place in h-e-double hockey sticks for bad bloggers like me.

But I know you won't send me there. I know that you know that I have a grillion stupid little reasons for not being a better blogger... and I will only bore everyone with the top five:
  1. I am ginormous (measuring 32 weeks today!) and get exhausted easily and only have three brain cells - one for me and one for each of the babies... that's my pregnancy excuse.
  2. I've been negotiating us into a contract to buy this apartment and then I had to spend many evenings collecting the 150 pages of financial documentation and fill out the 30+ page co-op application... that's my apartment #1 excuse.
  3. I've also been spending a significant amount of time, and mental energy (which I obviously don't have!) negotiating a buyout for our current apartment. I'm a graphic designer. We don't do financial negotiations. This has been like one of the levels of h-e-double hockey sticks for me already - perhaps punishment for the non-blogging? That's my apartment #2 excuse.
  4. I can't post from work because of our firewall... so frequently, when I actually have an idea, it evaporates before I can actually make it to a computer. That's my work excuse.
  5. I'm distracted by all the kicking going on in my abdomen right now. It's like Homer on The Simpsons: shiny! Shiny! Hmmm... I guess that's pregnancy excuse #2. Whoops.
Any hoo, aside from my excuses there's not much going on except my daily exponential growth, I mean I actually measure ten weeks larger than I am.

But you will note, as proven by the photo above, that I am still trying to keep things cute around here - even when attending the grand opening of a Cabelas hunting fishing and outfitting store.

I am wearing my very cute sweater from Isabella Oliver, which my wonderful sister got me - oh! That's you! And I have received many compliments on it!

It was a momentous day - and not just because of the sweater. Euge got to feel the babies kicking for the first time!

In Cabelas.

Which worries me a bit.

We also went to Cracker Barrel for brunch and I got blueberry pancakes, because that was what the kicking twins wanted. Needless to say, the entire morning to afternoon was an experience in observing just how very large and varied the asses of the great American public are.

Except mine, of course. But only because it was concealed by the sweater.

For the statistical pregnancy update... I am 22 weeks 4 days, but I do indeed measure 32 weeks. I have gained 29 pound, but my pants still fit so I am convinced that it's not in my ass and I refuse to hear otherwise. The babies each weigh about a pound now and are about ten inches long. They are both head down We still don't know the sex and won't if we can help it. Isn't it fun this not knowing?

We haven't yet purchased a single baby item yet, which is starting to seem perverse. I considered buying something at Cabelas, but they didn't have any infant items so, sadly, I could not. Boohoo - really.

And here is a final item for your amusement:

Euge is convinced that this is what's going on when the twins are kicking.
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Monday, November 12, 2007

I Don't Always Know What I'm Doing Here

... and sometimes that's the best way to start a blog post. Mostly because those times, it's really the only way. Ordinarily, I have a general sense of what I'm going to write about, often I've even worked out some words, during a walk, or a long drive, so I know what the whole piece is going to rotate around. Other times, like tonight, I think, well damn, I liked that last post but that was two days ago, and let's at least give folks something new to look at, right? So we take a little tour through iphoto and there's a shot that isn't too attached to anything, not too loaded with meaning, or requiring explanation, really it's just a pile of leaves, a chain link fence, could be any of these fall days, so off we go into whatever blog post will coagulate in the little window where we write these.

I was just a little off all weekend, that's the truth. Strange things happened, like the power being off at Kingfish when we went for my birthday dinner. We ate fried chicken, mashed potatoes and greens by candlelight, and we were ready to move on to a giant slice of chocolate cake when the lights went on and everyone cheered. After all that time in the dark, having the dim lights on was the thing that seemed off.

There were other off things this weekend too, like how I didn't watch a second of football, and how I actually bought an ironing board. Furthermore, I bought things to clean my kitchen floor with. And in addition, I did laundry (though I have yet to fold one of the two loads) and there was a meal cooked in my kitchen tonight, after which all the dishes except the dessert plate were cleaned. My apartment was nice and cozy tonight, with Julie London playing and white Christmas lights on over the dinner table. It made me think of visitors and comfort and being happy to be home.

So, yeah, all a little off. Like how that chain-link fence looked surprisingly beautiful to me when I decided to photograph it. Off, but only in the nicest way.

Hope you had a good weekend!


Oh, AND! I think I rule because I got to level 47 on Free Rice. FORTY-SEVEN!!! I know some words, yo! As you would say, Ali.

Friday, November 09, 2007

We Were All A Little Blurry

The Man. The Cheap Wine and Poetry Man.

But what did you expect from a night of cheap wine and poetry? It wasn't the wine for me, though, it was definitely the poetry, the crowd, and probably that chocolate cake I ate instead of dinner. And while we are on the subject of chocolate cake, I wanna let you in on a little insider tip. Something they don't tell you about Hugo House when you come in the door with your little notebook and paper, or your copy of White Noise for that mind-bending Don DeLillo class you are taking (oh, sorry, you wish you were taking). Ready? Here it is: If you should find yourself at Hugo House, and someone sets food in front of you, and at that same time, Brian's girlfriend is somewhere on the vicinity, maybe scooting upstairs mysteriously from time to time? Well, you need to eat that food. She made that food, and knowing that, you know that you should eat it. Now I've told you, now you know.

Last night that food was chocolate cake. And while the chocolate cake itself was pretty and all, a big round birthday-looking (Happy Birthday Brian!) chocolate thing, a classic cake shape, not that big square Safeway baloney you get from co-workers who don't really like you all that much, even though this cake was not that cake, it still did not get eaten with the fervor which I believe it deserved. It's not your fault, you just didn't know. But I have to tell you, that was some goooood cake! I still don't believe her that it was vegan. That's crazy talk.

Mmmmmh! Dayum, that cake was gooood!

What did get eaten, voraciously, with loud mouth-noises and even some snorting, was the poetry. The crowd was big, and the crowd was thirsty and the thirsty ones drank and this only made them more hungry. Thank god, or in this case, Brian, there was both cake and of course, poetry. When we left, we were full.

What I filled up other than cake, and other than the pleasure of sitting next to Kate's man Jason, the kind of man who puts his arm around you and says "Where you been?" like he's gonna' beat up whoever has taken you away, but in a nice way, like the most friendly ass-whupping ever, maybe like he's just gonna open a can of Maldives songs whup-ass on someone, you know, just sing or even headbang them into whuppedness, the kind of man who you hope your boyfriend will understand, who will understand your boyfriend, if you ever happen to have one, because he is the I'm-looking-out-for-you-advice-giving type if there ever was one, but where was I? Right... what I filled up on other than the pleasure of sitting next to him, was poetry.

Prose too, I guess, since Ryan Boudinot delighted me with "An Essay and A Short Story About Motley Crue". I never knew about that time Motley Crue's tour bus broke down in Conway Washington, or about the burrito thing either, though maybe I didn't need to know that. Anyway, I'm glad I know now, because I am going to get that au jus recipe from Vince Neil myself, when I finally meet him.

And you know I can't end this without a word about Brian. I love that guy, and the truth is I love listening to him even when he's telling me to stuff envelopes. In fact, sometimes I get in trouble for how much I love how he sounds. Every once in a while, he'll say something I like, and I'll find myself, without thinking about it, repeating it, kinda chewing it over, only with my mouth open, which is not so polite because it means that Brian can see that I am swallowing all the R's when I chew, just like he does. "Are you makin funna me?" he says. But of course I'm not, I just love the taste of those words.

When he reads poetry, it's even better. I heard a laugh sound come out of Kate's mouth that I swear I've never heard her make before. That whole birthday weekend, I never heard that sound. And the crowd started out all hungry and rowdy at the beginning but by the end they were buzzing and satiated. My favorite? The one called "The First Pair of Panties I Seen In a While." It was about buying a house. For real!

Hell yes I ate some cake!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What You Might Want To Do Tomorrow

Every morning I have a little debate with myself. The walk to work is long enough to make eeven a light bag seem heavy, so I look in the purse and I ask myself what can be removed to make things a little easier that day. The umbrella always makes the cut on days when it isn't actually raining. When it is raining, the little umbrella is removed from the bag and one of the big umbrellas is carried. There are several, one black with colored rings on it, one clear. The small umbrella that fits in the bag in fair weather is also black, but with the blue sky lining of the NY MoMA umbrellas. Because it came, of course, from NY MoMA, an excellent place to get an umbrella. With all this walking, I will no doubt be buying more umbrellas. I am like that, you know.

But the item that is the subject of the most debate (me vs. me) is the camera. I walk the same way every day, and I will walk that way every day for a long time to come, so I think "Well, there probably isn't anything new to take a picture of, and if there is, I can always take it next time," but of course you know how this goes, every time I leave the camera home, I regret it.

I took it this morning, and maybe that's why these poetry stones jumped out at me. I'm not sure how long they've been there, though from the looks of the plantings around them, not long. I love them. Just the fact of them, not necessarily the poems themselves, but that they are there, big pieces of rock with lots of poem fragments on them. There's a whole little cluster of them.

And they are appropriate for today, since I'm thinking about poetry, and tomorrow is the long-awaited Cheap Wine and Poetry night, 7:00 at Richard Hugo House. Come join us! I'm looking forward to seeing Brian read, and being at the House for the second night this week. That's how it's going these days, two nights a week at Hugo House. Just don't ask me how the actual writing is going. I think this is my time to read.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Another Very Happy Birthday

I went to Pt Townsend for the weekend for my birthday. It was so gorgeously fall, bright and cold, a trip with a ferry ride the first night, the sleepover ferry, lets call it, because of all the kids in their pajamas trying to get the hot chocolate machine to work. It worked for me too, and I felt all of that good continuity I always feel during my best times in the PNW, like over the course of my life I might have a day on that ferry with every human I love. The twins will have pajamas with feet and grubby fingers on the window. The ferry ride back in the sunshine was just as good.

And then there was Fort Worden, which I love, partly because it lets me imagine that there is no military left, that it's just something we remember, like heroes. I love the big old buildings being used for knitting retreats and poetry presses, the officer's quarters being rented out to groups of families who will let their kids stay up late with sparkling cider to shout Happy New year in the snow on the big lawn where you can fly a kite on a windy day.

I walked until my camera batteries died, and then I kicked the leaves and listened to Wilco singing Say You Miss Me, and Son Volt's Windfall. I saw a green Schwinn with a basket and a little kid who made the helmet she was wearing look like a bucket somehow, opening and closing the gate to the tennis courts, tottering in that butt padding and working her little fingers like she had just figured out they were there. Someone's little white dog really wanted to meet me and I wondered which of the houses was the one where I got busted for making out with one of the ASB officers in 11th grade.

And then I went back to the little cabin and was overwhelmed with all your well-wishes, text messages and phone calls and emails. I don't know that there has been a day in my life when I felt more loved. I've said it before, but it's worth repeating. I am such a lucky girl.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Walk to Work, Through the Center of Seattle

Cold and beautiful these days. I love the foggy needle, and the abandoned carnival rides. I wonder which ones we were on as kids. They won't be there much longer, but I promise I'll ride the ones I like a time or two before they go.

Have a good weekend!