Friday, August 29, 2008

Everyone Brought Everything

Minette Layne brought the photo to Flickr

I don't know who brought the humid, seventy degree weather. I was expecting rain, and cold once the sun went down, so I brought surgical drapes and blankets and a jacket for Jess and hand-knit socks worn inside sparkly wellies.

Willie brought what he always brings. Whiskey River, twice, and the most generous spirit of any performer I've ever seen. And I saw the Avett Brothers last night, who hop up and down and call the name of your city, and get 97% of the audience singing and tell the other 3% that they understand why they just might not want to sing, so I think that's saying something. But Willie smiles and throws the hat off his head and gives you a little wave that you swear to god was just for you, and then he walks from one end of the stage to the other, shaking hands and signing posters and hats and dolls and photos and ticket stubs and even the occasional guitar. We were still in our seats in Row C when we saw Chris Zasche stretching one long arm towards Willie, palm out in a gesture of love and trust, and we knew that hand would be taken, and we cheered when it was.

Driving there, I realized that I couldn't imagine any more what it was like to see Willie for the first time. But all day Jess had sent me glee-filled text anticipatory text messages and once we got there she hopped up and down in her seat and then afterwards, as we all crept out of the parking lot, she sent happy lovey text messages. Sitting next to me during the show, Kate looked at me with eyes wide and said "I can't believe I'm here!" Walking through the filed later, Jason put his arm around me and said "You've done a good thing in the universe," and all those things reminded me of the first time I saw Willie, at Beacon Theater in New York, with you, Ali! Way up in the balcony, where it was feverishly hot but still spine-tinglingly joyful, for me.

That was where I got the idea for tonight. A dozen tickets, all mine, to give away to people I love, who love Willie. Third row, right in the middle, most of us. I actually felt guilty because Chris Z and Tim and Lindsey and Jesse had to sit in row G, but that wore off once I saw them right up next to the stage for the last 4 or so songs.

Lindsey brought a big smile and long legs and that navy blue vest that I think looks so cute on her. Jessica brought enough twenties to cover me and Ryan, who brought a big fat camera and took photos I can't wait to see. Jenn brought an appreciation for and curiousity about my motley crew, and Jesse brought his birthday, which we will all keep sharing over the next few days, right on into the weekend when the Sunset will be invaded with all the people who want to tell him Happy Birthday right to his face. Kate brought Jason and together they snagged a hat that Willie threw from his head to the aisle next to our row. That hat's mine now, my new running hat. Nothing distinctive, just a black baseball hat that says Jones Soda on it, but I know where it came from and how it came to me, and that outta be enough to keep me going for at least twenty minutes at a time, don't you think?

Michael brought Old Granddad in a flask, a damn fine outfit and an even better smile. Zasche brought the best Willie outfit of all though, an old tour shirt and his tall good looks and I don't even know what else. He might have beat Ryan's headband and sneakers look, I'm not quite sure yet. Least but not least, Troy brought his good-looking self, a wry smile and some surprising musical insights.

All of which only goes to show that of all the things I brought, the most important thing of all was just exactly the right people.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hmmm... file under 'better late than never'

Look what came in the mail!
The August issue of Babytalk Magazine!
So much more interesting than Vogue or Vanity Fair!
Right up there with the New Yorker!

Let's check out the table of contents... hmm...
an article about breastfeeding twins?
Got my attention!
And... hmmm... that photograph looks like someone...
I'll have to turn to page 68 to check it out!

Oh my goodness, it's me and the boys!
How did that happen?

Months and months ago, we answered a castingcall for a mother nursing twins and voilá... here is the article. The niblets were only six or seven weeks old then. Look how tiny they are! Anyways, I only just got this and, if you'd like a copy, just run over to your local pediatricians' or OBGYNs' office and pick it up! It's free!

Wow, my nose looks big in that picture. Is it really that big?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Catching Up With Myself

I can't believe how dormant the blog habit is with me right now. I miss the idea of it, but I used to ACTUALLY miss it when I didn't write here, and lately that hasn't been the case. I'm hoping that's going to change, but in the mean time I'm thinking about habits in general, and how they change, and what comes next.

What comes next for two of the three cutie pies above is American school. Remember Ella of "Mummy! I don't WANT to walk!! I want to take a TAXI!!" fame? Love that girl. That's her above, and brother Wyatt, and finally brother Wren. They're back from Oxford and settling back in to their San Francisco home, so I flew down Saturday morning and spent one night and the last two days of summer with them.

That's what Kristin said when we were at the beach - "It's the last day of summer!" I protested, but since the kids were off to the first day of school in the morning, of course she was telling the truth.

Seattle confirmed this Sunday night, when everything was dark and shiny with rain. It's stayed that way every day since, so I guess that's where we are. I'm working on getting okay with that. This involves building outfits around those sparkly wellies I bought just as the weather turned sunny here, and stocking up on yarn for shawls and getting that DVD cue on the library web site all built up again. And writing. Lots of little bits and pieces of stories to work on, and two that are actually more than a bit, more than a piece.

We're still hoping for more days of summer here. That's inevitable. And knowing Seattle, we'll probably get them. But it's a little like that point in a relationship where you've seen the end of it, and no matter how many good days you manage to wrestle out of it, you still can't un-see the end.

And that's when you gotta' figure out what comes next. I can do that, though, don't you think?


Monday, August 25, 2008


Back before Euge and I got married and bought the house in Vermont, we used to spend a lot of time at our friends, HK and Thor's, house in Stoneridge, NY. It was close to climbing (ah, those were the days!), there's a pool and - most importantly - the company was excellent and so were the mint juleps.

Well, times change, and not long ago the boys and I headed up with HK and her daughter Ada, in the family Westfalia, for a weekend of fun and relaxation.

There was some goofing off...

Thomas and his new favorite accessories.

Some eating....

Mmmm, ice cream for breakfast...

Mmm, oatmeal and breast milk facial for breakfast...

Mmmm... baby cake!

There was walking

Ada finds new uses for old monkey bars


Max says 'Wheee! Press the emergency button NOW!'

Monkey wrangling

Thomas wonders, 'Will you be my buddy if I pull your tail?'


Max tries to steal Liza from her son Luke, by drooling on her

Thomas tries the same trick with HK

Allison ignores babies and stares lovingly at the camera...

And some awesome napping

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where does the time go?

Laying on the lawn at Stoneridge

We've had an eventful couple of weeks with trips to the country (our friends HK & Thor's house), trips to IKEA (to FINALLY furnish the boys' room) and loads of other events big and small.

But, of course it's midnight and the responsible mommy should be in bed... so I'll just post this picture of the boys that sort of shocked me.

I mean, they look like BOYS... not my babies!

Mmmmmm.... belly...

They aren't even six months old yet!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In Lieu of a Thousand Words

A little tired for blogging right now, but I'm home, and there are many more word substitutes here. It was a gorgeous week at the ranch.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Home Again

Back to the ranch at 6AM tomorrow. I've never had a home away from home before, but now, there's the ranch, the family of dogs, the community of women I write with, and those things count. The story I'm taking to workshop is half-baked, not ready to go, overdue, but hey - fun to work on, hopeful, at least. We'll make do with that.

I loved the last story too much, that's the truth. As a short-story writer, I'm easily derailed. Love the last story too much? Hard to commit to the next one. Discouraged by the failure of the last story? Still hard to commit to the next. 

Same as love, really. Just like love.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

More of What We Wanted

Lindsey wanted to make a good mix CD. Dena wanted to make the list that would keep us from regretting anything and Kate wanted to make sure that Swiffer would get fed while we were gone, especially since the front porch was gone, making it harder than usual for her roommate to get in the house to feed the cat.

Swiffer is Kate's long-haired, cross-eyed cat. Two days before we left for Missooula, Pendleton, Soap Lake, all that, the four of us did that thing we call band practice. Kate made dinner while I ate ice cream, Dena poured wine and Lindsey tried to get Swiffer to chase one of the new toys she and Tim had bought for him. It was a feather on a string on a pole, and when Swiffer looked at it to chase it, he only went more blind and thudded into the doorjamb, three times in a row.

"Oh! Swiffer!" Kate said, and picked him up. He flattened like he always does, as close against her as possible, chin on her shoulder, tail switching from side to side. Then the hair chewing started. He chews her hair.

"He's a lover!" Kate says, by way of explanation, "He just wants love all the time." He makes himself as flat as he can, like she's wearing him, and then there's the hair chewing, like whispering in your ear, or a constant promising or praying, or some other act of earnest devotion. Kate says "He's a lover!" and we are all utterly convinced.

That doesn't stop Lindsey from spraying catnip spray on the kitchen floor so that Swiffer will try to eat the floor instead of her boots. He is a devourer, all desire, want cloaked in serious, clingy fluff. Fluff that commits itself to you, from which you do not part, that goes where you go, when you go.

Which is why in the parking lot at Albertson's in Sandy, Utah, Kate says out loud what she keeps wondering, whether Swiffer is getting fed. It isn't until halfway to Missoula that we hear he is but once we do, suddenly everyone is a little more satisfied, because we love to love the lovers.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Silly Baby Pictures

The boys were five month old yesterday and to celebrate they slept five whole blissful hours in a row!


While I was sleeping! I feel like a whole new person so, of course, I must mock them...

Here's Max smoking a bowl....

And Thomas doing impersonations...

Marlon Brando

and Robert Deniro... 'You talkin' to me?'

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Prepare to pee your pantalones...

Eugene's co-workers asked what he looked like with hair. He told them to use their imagination.

And they did...