Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

Just Some More Weekend Photos

I think Kate might be the official photo muse of this blog these days. She's a tolerant subject, doesn't get all self-conscious in front of the camera, or make photo faces. She stays Kate. She took a couple photos of me this weekend, and wow, I can't say the same about myself. I'm so much happier on the other side of the camera.

So, the Friday adventure was a trip out to Whidbey Island for a poetry festival, where we volunteered as stage managers. I was so happy to be on a ferry again, happy to be back on Whidbey. We had beautiful weather, and a ridiculously delicious meal late Friday night. A dozen little kumamoto oysters, sauteed fiddlehead ferns, lamb chops with this polenta that had been fried with honey and lavender, nicoise salad, and panna cotta and clafoutis for dessert.

On Saturday, we sat out on the lawn at Greenbank Farm with cheese and crackers, wine, lattes, and a whole lot of poets. By the end of the day, I was a little overwhelmed by all the poetry, actually. Audio overload.

The overload didn't stop me from buying a stack of books from the Copper Canyon Press table, though. I haven't been keeping up with my goal of a poetry book a week, but I caught up a little by buying six all in one go.

One of the poets who read during the part of the day I volunteered for was Washington State's (first!) Poet Laureate, Sam Green. He's one of those men who just has a nice humble presence, and he said the sweetest thing - he was telling the story of reading a love poem he had written for his wife of many years, and he said "Anyone who married my wife would have written love poems."

I loved that.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Can't Believe I Told Him That Thing About The Difference Between Seductive & Lovable

Oh, Jessica. Jessica. Such a bad influence. You can see it in her face, can't you? Devilish. She sent texts from my phone last night. Letting her take my phone was pretty much asking for it, wasn't it? I know. If you got one of those texts, well... no, you still can't come over and watch a movie. As for the rest of you, I would tell you what they said, but I'm sorry to say they can't be quoted here, because this is (now, apparently) a family blog.

Which makes it, really, a bit hard to post about last night. I will say, drinking Stoli vanilla & coke in your honor, Allison, was not a good idea. Terrible drink. Tasted like cola with a soupcon of nail polish remover, sprayed with an overcoat of vanilla air freshener. The kind you hang from your rear view mirror. But the hangover isn't as bad as with whiskey (don't start with the it's spelled "whisky" nonsense, I'm talking about bourbon, people. Duh!) even if the misbehavior is pretty much the same. Oh, and drinking Radiant Flowers in honor of Evan, before drinking aforementioned SVKs, well...

We had fun. I can't speak for the people who crossed our paths, though. We might have frightened Ryan, and I might have told people to Stay Away From Me (hey, it was just good advice, trust me) and maybe I touched the shirt of a girl I've never met because I liked the green polka dot trim. Sorry polka dot trim girl. It was a cute shirt! You looked cute!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

"She Has a Young Face, But She Could Be 35!"

Three girls, lots o snacks and an island. The photo below pretty much sums it up. More later. Maldives tonight, and Regan's last hurrah.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Kate & Kev - the Karaoke Afterparty

Oh no. I have discovered the video upload feature.

If you had seen all the work that went into the Eat Read Hugo benefit for Richard Hugo House last night, you would find it very hard to believe that this video of Kate was taken after the event, around 12:30, I think. The HH dinner was great, I was so glad to be part of it, and the best thing was knowing how happy the staff are going to be once it sinks in just how much love the city showed for them last night.

Meanwhile, across town, the Maldives were part of a night at the Tractor called "Goin to California", so I took off my satin heels and crystal chandelier earrings and headed off with Kate to check it out. We made it there just in time to hear them play two songs, including California Stars. Afterwards there was a lot of outdoor milling around, during which time I got this sweet footage. If you watch all the way to the last 30 seconds, I think you'll agree with the guy who is commenting in the background - this is Pure Gold.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

We're wiped out!

Thomas and Max with their new buddies.

It's been a busy week here!

As you may recall, last Thursday we took the boys to see Howard Schatz to get their photos taken. I haven't seen the fruits of that shoot yet, but the boys were very adorable and very nekked. I meant to take photos of the shoot in progress, but I was so busy baby-wrangling, breast feeding, and cleaning up the random golden showers that nekked baby boys are bound to produce that I just didn't get a chance.

It was a pretty neat experience nonetheless, and everyone agreed that the boys were genius - especially after witnessing Thomas's patented hold on his bottle.

How many six-week-old babies do you know that can hold their own bottle?

Any hoo, afterwards we went to one of Auntie Heather's favorite places - Purl - in SoHo, so that Grandma Carolyn could get a crotchet hook. Apparently Purl is pricey! $2.79 for a crotchet hook that should cost $ .79. Oh well.

Of course, I had to take a picture...

I only let them roast in the sun for a moment...

Interesting fact - did you know that you can't put sunscreen on babies under six months? No beach for us this summer!

Friday morning we headed up to Vermont for the boys first weekend there. It was 70 degrees all weekend, but there was still snow at the mountains, so we headed out for some tailgaiting whilst Daddy hit the slopes...

Momma boozing it up in the parking lot...

Aren't we a class act? And this is before the barbeque came out!

This week, we've been running errands all over the neighborhood and we've been going out to the park every day and receiving lots of visitors at home... so today we are taking it easy.

Tomorrow night we head back to Vermont, where there is a kayaking festival this weekend - Daddy will be paddling and Momma will be walking the bike path along the river with the boys.

Next week we have another photo shoot for Babytalk Magazine - they are doing a story on breastfeeding twins. You may get to see my tatas in a national publication! I've been promised that it will be discrete, but still... heehee!

I'm excited since it seems that I take many pictures of the boys... and many pictures of other people with the boys... but nobody takes pictures of ME with the boys!

Any hoo - that's what's up with us. I think I'll go join the boys in a nap now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Mighty Pleasant Armful

One of the banes of my existence is my hatred of flash. And the way bars are just always too dark for non-flash photos. The truth is, I don't really have a photo for this post, but I can't in good conscious present you with a clump of words and nothing to look at, so I give you Ryan.

Why am I giving you Ryan? It's about the Cowboy Cha-Cha, really. I took my camera with me tonight when I took off for the Little Red Hen, but when I got there, I had to just put it in the glove box, because the Hen, in addition to being completely lacking in natural light, is really about something you just can't see. It's true that I love to sit on a bar stool there and see things. The interactions between people, the light way a woman rests her hand on a man's palm as he leads her out onto the parquet squares, the way she curves her fingers over his shoulder as they start to dance. I love to watch the movement on the floor, check out the footwork, the way one person kicks up their heel on the second quick step, or the way some people just glide along, no discernible steps, while others seem to sort-of nibble up the floor with the little moves they make on the balls of their feet. But the fun of that just doesn't compare to having someone take your hand, and being led out there yourself.

That's the part you can't see, the best part, the head-spinning twirl of it, the way something clicks and the dance that you had to count out at the beginning of the night is just there, in your feet, going in time with the music, without your mind having to work on it at all.

Ryan's been my dance lesson partner for the last two Sundays, and knowing me, I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that I love him a little bit. Don't get me wrong, this one is sweet, but I think it's partly that sweetness that makes him Trouble for the ladies, and, this week, I'm old enough to know better about that. I've been thinking of him as, like, my cute younger cousin or something else that means I have to watch it to keep myself from being too bossy with him. I can get that way, you know.

When I was a regular at the Hen before, the guy I did lessons with was someone who had been a regular for a while before I was, so I never really saw a man learn how to lead. Seeing it now in Ryan, I have to tell you, there's a special kind of pleasure in it. From the beginning, he's been super earnest, totally immersing himself in the whole thing, talking to the instructor, asking advice from the older woman who took him out on the floor saying "You need to dance with a lot of different people!" In between songs, he'll pull me aside, saying "Okay, let's practice for a sec..." and persuade me to work on the footwork in a corner, talking through the steps and laughing when we screw it up.

The first time we went out, he took his beer out on the floor and the instructor took one look at him and stopped the whole thing, calling out - "Oh! Major Party Foul!!" A few seconds before, I had made a small comment about beer on the dance floor, but he didn't quite get that I was serious about it. So when she corrected him, I laughed and said "I told you!" He was horrified in the most charming way, said "Sorry, sorry!" and scurried off the dance floor to set his beer back on the bar. I think he sort-of became a pet of hers after that, especially because later he asked her to dance, and tonight when we walked in, she gave him a big smile and said "You're back!" She's the kind of teacher who loves to see her students soaking up the lessons.

He's been like that, and he takes correction well. He listens when you tell him where it is customary to make eye contact, stands up a little straighter when you tell him that he has certain natural talents, a nice way of holding his arms, or good definition to his steps. Tonight was the second time we learned the schottische and it was a completely different Ryan out there on the dance floor. The first time we went, I told him that the third lesson would be the one where he really got it, but I was wrong. Maybe it's because he's a drummer, but for him, it all came together at this second lesson. At first, it was just that he was getting the moves right, step scuff, etc. But once the music came on, it was clear that something else had happened. He wasn't just lifting his arm over my head as I turned, he was turning me with that lift, keeping me on track with the pressure of his palm on mine. I could have been anyone who knew the dance a little, instead of the older cousin who was trying to help him along as he learned.

Have I mentioned that I've been crabby lately? I have. With some time off from crabbiness for the LA trip, but once back in Seattle, the crabbiness was right back on me again. This whole Hen thing, though, it's been counteracting that, thank god. Dance lesson nights, Tuesday and Sunday, stand out in my mind, like stepping stones to a better mood.

The only thing I'm left wondering is - where the heck is Dakota?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The CD That Starts With Something By Brenton Wood

The genius of Tami - word is getting out

Pool-side brunch - one of the great pleasures in life.

90 degrees with palm trees

These days, it almost feels as though this blog has a split personality. It's funny to see my weekend gallivanting and nocturnal shenanigans right up next to the whole New Life, Baby Love thing. I'm hoping that there isn't an inherent conflict here, since I would very much like to think that one sister can be the happy baby mama and the other sister can be the happy single girl, that somehow that will be just fine, a blogging illustration of just two of the options for what to do with the female life.

Last weekend I was off for another adventure. I did a shamefully terrible job packing at 4AM (at least I remembered the bikini) and then Beyonce did the usual airport run for me so that I could hop a plane to LA to meet up with Pam and see my friend Tami's short stories performed at the Beverly Hills Public Library.

I'll admit it, I've always bad-mouthed LA. You all know about my allegiance to NYC, and somehow LA has always seemed antithetical to all that. But then there's the sunshine thing, and the fact that, really, I love outrageousness, and LA is the capital of both, isn't it?

So, I'll admit it now. LA was fab. Loved it! My rental car was a little white Miata so even the trip from the airport in LA traffic was fun. I met Tami at her friend Kelley's house, where I started the weekend off by being waited on hand and foot. Breakfast? Yes please, egg in toast, please! Orange juice? Yes please! Nice big towel for pool lounging? Yes please! Iced tea? Yes please! With a little sugar? Yes please! It was good. Good, good. Tami and I gossiped by the pool and then after a while we made our way over to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where we had a little bite in the cafe. I was hoping to see at least one Rothko, and my wish was granted, as you see above. In spite of getting lost every single time we got in a car, it was a weekend built for the satisfaction of small desires.

I meant to check in early at the fancy hotel room I was sharing with Pam, but at LACMA I kept being magnetically drawn to the Diebenkorns, and then there was one room I did not want to leave at the Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement exhibit. Eventually I tore myself away, in time to catch one of the Bachelors from the Bachelor walking into the hotel bar as I arrived. That's right, I recognized him. Hey, it was the first season guy, doesn't everyone remember him?

Hearing Tami's stories read by a series of actors was fantastic. I wish you could have been there. We got funny, crushing, and inspiring all in the same hour. I can't wait to walk into a book store and buy them all, bound together in something I can keep on my nightstand. One of these days.

Pam and I lounged away most of Saturday, swimming "laps" in the swanky pool and beckoning the young waiters who were there to bring us breakfast and then grapefruit juice and then sparkling water and then espresso with gelato. We took a late check-out and then were even 15 minutes later than that. It was 90 degrees and I have tan lines, however faint. When I gave B a peak at where my bikini tied around my neck, he laughed at me. Not all of us can be all bronze and six-packey like him.

All that sun had me ready to move down there, so I entertained this fantasy about how if I lived there I would buy a little two-seater Mercedes and live in a crappy studio apartment to pay for my sunglass addiction. Since part of my terrible packing involved forgetting every pair of sunglasses I already own in Seattle, I was pretty happy when it turned out that my first intro to Evan's GF Barbary was going to involve accompanying her on her quest to purchase these shoes.

I know what you are going to say, Katherine, but my new sunglasses are Gucci, and I needed them. Besides, I saved on food, because Barbary took us to lunch at the restaurant on the fifth floor of Barneys, Barney Greengrass, where I ate blintzes, as though I was making a secret pledge of allegiance to New York. We sat on the terrace, and I made little sighing sounds as I tried to decide which was prettier, the view of the hills, the berries on my plate or Evan's eyelashes. After lunch I tried on more sunglasses until Evan and I got distracted by seeing Lindsay Lohan hanging in the aisle with her little entourage. I never saw her looking at a single piece of merchandise, but when we left the building there were so many photographers that no one would have blame her for lingering in the quiet store, fake shopping.

Then again, she could have at least bought another pair of sunglasses. I'm pretty sure I've seen her in those aviators at least twice now.

Cutest EVER!

Max in puppies and Thomas in planes

So we are taking the boys to be photographed by Howard Schatz today, and I just had to take a photo of how scrumptious they are. He'll have them all nekked and cute, but I thought their outfits (courtesy of HK) deserved props.

I am partial, of course.

I should also mention that this is their first time wearing pants that weren't attached to their shirts.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The New Style, Yo

Once upon a time, the boys were just wee little baby boys..
and they fit into these wonderful hats made by their Auntie Heather....

Max... sucking it up...

Thomas making kissy face.... kiss, kiss kiss!

Now the hats that fit them were made by Mom's friend Margie...
Here's Thomas thinking and scratching his head...

And Max sleeping off the boob juice.

And just for fun, photo documentation of
Thomas's new skill as a thumbsucker.
Aren't we talented?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Turkey Belly

The funny thing about these babies is how they grow. See the photo above? That is from two weeks ago. Now the babies are almost too big for those outfits, which were swimming on them at the time.

And, yes, their special Aunti-Heather-knitted hats are woefully too small now.

This is what they did in utero too. They grew and grew and grew. Remember when I looked like this?


And I am here to tell you that it does not all bounce back. Nope, it does not. We were at a family event last night and one of Euge's friends from growing up was there - six months pregnant with one baby - and I still look more pregnant than her.

Granted, it's gotten better. And there are corsety options I haven't embraced yet. But when I look at my post pregnancy belly in the mirror these days, it mostly reminds me of the tail end of a de-feathered turkey.

I don't have permission to start working out for another week, and I know that I need to consume calories for the never-ending breastfeeding. And sometimes - to paraphrase J-Lo in her People interview - I like to poke my jiggly belly. It makes me laugh, mija...

And, of course, the boys are worth the sacrifice of my skin texture and Earl low-rise jeans... but I think that I'll be doing some crunches starting this time next week, because turkey butt just isn't my thing.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

One Night of luuuuuv!

Maldives love!

When I heard about the Maldives playing a Roslyn show, I knew I had to go. Yes, I've seen them a few times recently. What, you say, how many? Uh, a few, okay? A FEW!! God!

But Roslyn has that appeal that weird little towns have for me, and I love the drive over there on 90. Most importantly, though, I knew, I just knew, that there would be a man in that bar who could two-step. I was so right. He was a robust white-haired gent, wearing a red-t-shirt and overalls with red stars on them. We had a twirl or two, and I resolved to get back to the Hen for some more lessons. I was a little rusty on the Cowboy Cha-Cha, heartbreaking!

There was pizza for dinner at Village Pizza, topped with kielbasa and sauerkraut? Much better than you would imagine, and that was before all the whisky. Ryan read us Trivial Pursuit cards and the next day, he was game master again when he taught us how to play shuffleboard after an avalanche closed I-90. Being trapped at The Brick for a few more hours than we had been planning to spare was Courtney's favorite part of the trip. If I didn't love two-stepping to the Maldives so much, I might agree with him.

Jason + Kate
Ryan's got game

Cute Courtney

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

One Month of luuuuuuuuuuuuuv!

Thomas is kicking kicking kicking! Max is sleeping sleeping sleeping!

I feel like I should be writing something other than how enchanting the boys are, because - really - how much of that can people take?

The problem is that they are the big story in my life right now (and for a while I imagine) and they really are that interesting - to me at least!

My biggest trips from the apartment have been walks to Fort Tryon Park and driving Mom to the airport. The most distracting entertainment I have had - aside from the babies and parental visits - has been watching movies from Netflix (Dan in Real Life was good! And Mom introduced me to the Duchess of Duke Street!).

So I am a bit boring.

But the fun of watching the babies suck their fingers, kissing their kissy lips and chubby cheeks, changing their cheesy/poopy diapers and trying to sooth them to sleep at 2AM is entertainment enough for me!

With only about 4-5 hours of sleep, I don't have the attention span for anything more entertaining and though hanging out at the apartment isn't as cosmopolitan as going for cocktails at the Blue Owl, it's been a fun opportunity to really connect with Mom and Dad and Lucia during their visits.

Plus, Dad did a lot of cooking - yum! Thanks for the salmon fettucini Alfredo and the chinese stir-fry!

Anyways. A month into this parenting thing and I am just as captivated by the boys, by getting to know them and their funny ways - Max likes to fall asleep with his head spilling over your arm (see the baby Lucia is holding in the photo below?) and Thomas is an unrepentant finger-sucker and bink-a-holic.

Happy belated one-month-birthday boys! We've decided to keep you!

Gotta go now - we just received a shipment of 200 diapers - which should last us about a week...

There's Max - draping his head right off Grandma Lucia's arm - just the way he likes it!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Away Again

I'm sorry I just could not look at those dancers one more day

Barb asked in comments last time if I ever sleep, or ever just relax at home alone. While it is true that I am not the best sleeper, I do, of course, relax at home alone. How else would I get all my knitting done? Still, this was one of those weekends where there was too much to do, therefore I am only relaxing at home alone this morning, and still I am missing out on some very appealing things.

Tonight the Starlings play an early show at the Tractor, and I would have loved to be there. But what I'm doing instead is good too - going to the historic Brick in Roslyn with Kate to see the Maldives. For the past few months people have been sending me clippings about the pending extinction of Polaroid film, so I think I'll take mine along with me for the weekend. Road trip to a little town with one of Seattle's best bands? Ideal conditions for the Polaroid. Almost cliche, really. Can we call it paradigmatic instead?

I love packing for a road trip, and am off now to take a bath and ruminate on what to pack. This will no doubt include velvet pants, knitting and a little book of poetry.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

On No Longer Being Able To Spell

This is how close we were! So close! Too close.

Every time I think I'm tired, I just think about the twins, and realize... I can still hold my head up, right? Must mean I'm not so tired. On the other hand, I just looked at the word "mean" and wondered if that is really the way you spell it... I am tired. I just am.

I can't blame it on anything but fun stuff though. Tonight it was courtside tickets to see two of the worst teams in the NBA. God that was fun. I don't care how bad the teams are, I like getting to go in the fancy back entrance and parading through the elaborate spread they've got going for the big spenders. Did you know about that? It felt all top secret. It's free! Licorice ropes! Chocolate covered strawberries! Cracker Jack! Roast beef! It's crazy.

I went with Peter, using the company tickets from the company I worked for before I ran away to the ranch. When Peter and I worked together, I used to get on his case for always looking like he dressed out of the hamper. "Look at you!" I would say, "Is this how a VP dresses? There are holes in those jeans!" And then he would giggle his mad scientist giggle and we would head out to his car, a big Mercedes sedan that often refused to go into first gear. There was a little Japanese restaurant where we would eat lunch, Peter usually getting some weird special because he likes to try new things and asking the waitress about her personal life. I like that about Peter. Always up for an adventure, and always curious. That's how he gets all my secrets out of me. He just pesters me until I tell all.

One thing that's important to know about Peter is that he has a completely naive way of delivering a line. He says everything without a trace of irony, all earnest and goofy. Tonight was no different - he was a little mischevious about the dancers, asking me, "Heather, how come they are all the same color? How do they do that?" and then when I told him it was probably spray tan, he said "Heather! Ask them what color the paint is!" Then the mad giggle again. When they came out and sat in the seats right next to us, he said "I really want to talk to them. I think I'm gonna!" and then leaned over me and started asking whether it was a full time job, and then whether any of the dancers were also scientists. He observed that the dancer he was talking to had an "outie" and asked me if I have an innie (how the hell do you spell THAT?) or an outtie. I refused to tell him, on principle. He managed to get it out of me in the third quarters, though. Then he told me which one of the Clippers he thought was the best looking. "He could be in a magazine!" he said. But when I asked him which dancer was the best looking, he said he couldn't decide because he couldn't tell the difference between them.

Then afterwards he let me drive his new car, a Porsche 911. It went into first gear. It went into first gear juuust fine!