Wed 31 Dec 2008
Half of the holidays was seeing my family and the other half was dominated by the wedding of Josh’s brother. This was sort of a last minute wedding, planned after Josh’s father offered to take us all to the Oregon coast for the weekend after Christmas. Josh’s bro and long term gf (and mother of his 2 kids) suggested they get married, everyone was thrilled, and then the wedding sort of spiraled into a Huge Thing.
A Huge Thing meaning we ended up with the wedding cake in the trunk. We barely got the wedding cake, since the owners of the small mom and pop bakery barely made it to the slushy, snow covered, Hawthorne street their store is located on. Cake was suppose to be picked up by 8am…we didn’t get it until 10:30am. Then the three of us (Josh, his sister, and I) all turned into morons and could not manage to get out of Portland and onto the appropriate coast bound highway. Wedding was at 2, we needed to be there by 1:30. After going round and round in circles we finally left the city by 11am. We had grand notions of stopping at Burgerville in Tigard but that never happened. Going to the bathroom was also not an option. On Highway 6 we hit snow and semis chaining up outside of the pass. The car jostled all over the place with Josh’s sister freaking out about the state of the cake. At 1:30 on the nose we rolled into Pacific City. Then the bride made us wait for 2 and a half hours…with 7 children all dressed up and no where to go in a small room off of a restaurant. I almost cried. Here’s a pic of me trying to hold it together with my (much calmer) sister-in-law:
The important thing is that the wedding finally happened, only one serving tray of pizza was knocked over by a small child, and we finally got to eat. The cake made it barely unscathed–only a slight crack in the frosting on one side. I helped stick a whole bunch of roses around the cake, sprinkled petals around the base, and then carefully faced the uncracked part toward the front of the cake table. Here’s a much happier pic of me with my hubby:
Stay tuned for details and pics from the scandalous after-party at a local Lincoln City dive bar.
Wed 31 Dec 2008
Posted by MS under FamilyNo Comments
Tue 30 Dec 2008
When we arrived at my parent’s house the day before Christmas Eve they didn’t have a tree. The weather had prevented them from their usual trek out to the Christmas tree farm so everything was delayed. I found this so distressing that my dad called up the tree farm out in rural Vancouver to confirm that they were indeed open. The kindly old couple confirmed they were open but…good luck trying to get to them in the weather. Snow had been falling all morning but my dad had put chains on his suburu station wagon and was feeling confident. Gina, Josh, Dad, and I all bundled up and prepared to trek out to the country to chop down a tree (sort of like a touchy-feely after school Christmas special).
We didn’t make it very far before I started noticing abandoned cars, their snouts buried in the blackberry bushes along the side of Fruit Valley road. Some of the cars were at frightening angles, almost upside down, and many of them were blanketed in snow. Then the row of cars we had been following stopped. Someone ahead of us had been sucked into the wall of snow at the side of the road. Folks started turning around, tires spinning in the snow, we followed suit and hauled the suburu around. The car in front of us slid and soon we were slipping parallel to the road next to them. AAAAAAH! Several slips and twists later my dad maneuvered around several cars and we were on our way. After some discussion (my Dad insisted he could find an alternate route to the tree farm–my sister and I loudly protested), Josh suggested those who felt nervous could be dropped off at home and then find a pre-cut tree. This idea was met with hesitation (my dad REALLY wanted to cut down a tree) but Gina and I had thrown in the towel. When we got home my Mom backed us up and my Dad settled for a tree found at Home Depot. (This was after visiting multiple places that were sold out of trees).
Incidentally, on the off chance we couldn’t find a tree, my Mom cut a large branch from the fir tree out back and stuck it in a bucket of a water.
Mon 29 Dec 2008
As per usual, I have to break down the holiday in parts. The horrendous weather put us a little on edge; luckily the trip down south was fine. We arrived just in time to ‘check in’ and attend the infamous cookie decorating party at Ben’s house, (if you look real close you can spot the naughty cookies):
Mon 22 Dec 2008
Posted by MS under HobbesNo Comments
Hobbes and the snowy flip flop:
Mon 22 Dec 2008
During the longest White Elephant gift exchange I’ve ever experienced (I swear, those exchanges are like playing the board game Monopoly: it always seems like a good idea until everyone grows tired and grouchy of the whole thing), I scored three records. Well, the gift was defaulted to me since I was the only one around who has a record player. The records are old, probably found in the dollar bin: The Best of Leonard Bernstein, The Best of Lily Tomlin, and The Greatest TV Soundtracks (as played by the philharmonic). I’ve been playing the first 2 at top volume whenever I need a shift in my sensory overload.
Because what else do you do during a snowstorm? You can only read so many books until the neighbor’s bass starts up again. It’s times like this that I wish lived closer to my friends. I realized that all those dear to me are spread across the city in a far away map of obstacles: freeways, hills, and bridges. The price I suppose of living in the big city, I suppose. Granted, one is probably suppose to make additional friends in their own neighborhood. But that would upset the gentle balance of gentrification…my block is very specific in its color coordination. Oh sure, I caught my Ethiopian neighbor peeking out her window while Josh and I shoveled our walk. I waved. It was 8pm at night, dark, cold, and we were trying to burn off some energy. She waved back and then ducked her head back inside. I understand, I spy on their family all the time. If we had a real snow shovel (instead of the garden ho we were hacking at our snow with) I might have offered to shovel their walk too. Maybe.
The ball of nerves over having to drive down south on Tuesday has been unwinding a little bit. No major snow storm is predicted and I feel confident in my husband’s driving. Before the second big storm hit, Josh and I actually went all the way to the U-District in the Suburu. We squeezed in last minute Christmas shopping, got Josh’s haircut, and split the infamous Washington burrito (steak, potatoes and salsa; an unlikely choice for me but perfect when I need to get my fill of iron). We also visited Gina at the bookstore where she works:
Sun 21 Dec 2008
A bowl of ‘cuties,’ the little mandarin oranges that always pop up around this time of the year, are sitting in the living room. My husband devours them all day long. I suppose it’s better then the chocolate bar with almonds from Trader Joe’s that sits on the counter as well. Time seems to swirl around; I divide my time into ridiculous housewifely stations: baking, sewing, cleaning the kitchen, wrapping presents, and getting worked up about the neighbors.
The bass started a week ago…I don’t blame him. (I know who it is because I became obsessive and started spying). It sucks to be snowed in, I would probably be cranking up the Mexican love songs too if I had some laying around. Last Wednesday, the day when the Big Storm was predicted (but nothing happened) I knocked on the door of what I respectfully refer to as the Latino Day Labor house across the street. The crooning Spanish singing was so loud, my knocks fell on deaf ears. In frustration I decided to go take a walk around the block (this was back when that was still possible with some ease). But before I left I went home, wrote out a polite note (“I appreciate your love of music but the bass is vibrating my home, please lower the volume, etc.), put it in a waterproof ziploc, and slipped in a few gingerbread cookies. I put the whole thing on the fellow’s car. Everyone I told agreed that you would have to be a monster to ignore my note, what with the goodwill gesture of the cookies and all. And it seemed to work…for the most part. Oh sure, now the shitty two bedroom rental house down the street likes to chime in with their own shitty sub woofer after 10pm now and then…and the music across the street still wails occasionally. We’re all prisoners in our house now…locked in a weird limbo of wanting to go outside but being afraid of ill-fated drivers sliding across the many hills.
Because schools closed down on Wednesday I find myself in the luxerious position of having a ton of time off. “I should really take advantage of all this TIME,” I think to myself while flipping through Hulu. Josh rigged our Xbox up so that we can watch Hulu videos on our TV downstairs. 1,000 of episodes of SNL, Simpsons, and Matlock are at my fingertips. It isn’t perfect; I tried watching the Muppet Christmas Special all day until Josh finally fixed it. (It wasn’t very good).
Then I found a Hulu stash: the entire first and second seasons of Beverly Hills 90210. OMG! I sat through the “Brenda and Dylan Fall in Love” episode…the one where Dylan get’s all upset about his dad and smashes the flower pot on the ground and Brenda yells, “You’re scaring me!’ Then Dylan CRIES, all out cries…that get’s the ladies every time. Josh pointed out, “You know when this episode was shot, Shannon Dougherty was 17 and Luke Perry was, like, 27 or something.” He’s right. We both just read Tori Spelling’s autobiography and she mentions how damn old most of the cast was. (She also reveals that the entire cast slept with each other on a rotational basis like some sort of sexual revolving door).
Creativity sort of slowly seeps away…lost without the pressure of deadlines and the allure of quickly stealing away a few moments. I try to hang onto it by making things…biscotti, Christmas cards, my bed. It would be very easy to turn into a sloth…stuck on the couch, finger pressing furiously on the Xbox remote, growing more and more irritated with the neighbor’s bass. When I do get off my butt my life revolving around the NPR schedule, (oh, I can’t work on anything that involves NPR in the background in the late afternoon because I can’t listen to 2 hours of Tavis Smiley). I fight down the constant feeling of crankiness, rationalizing that I’m just experiencing Cabin Fever. (So is Josh, although he’s fighting it by playing hours and hours of Gears of War upstairs).
Fri 19 Dec 2008
While riding the bus toward downtown with my sister, I looked up and this is what I saw:
That’s two buses dangling over I-5 off a Capitol Hill street.
Sun 14 Dec 2008
This afternoon, left over snow crusted on the steep hill prompted me to turn around and go home. Ice lay beneath the cheerful facade of snow and I had a bad feeling. I used to drive my Civic in snowstorms but those days are gone. It’s true that driving in one inch of snow in Seattle is far more treacherous then six inches in Fort Collins, CO. The FC lacked hills, moisture, and size. Seattle is a cautious, curious, wasteland when it comes to snow. The trees are speckled but confused, birds call out briefly, the urban setting seems disrupted somehow. People skitter across the road, on feet or in car. Last night an excited young Capitol Hill resident tossed the most cheerful snowball at our car, high and soaring, before plopping wetly on our hood. We laughed, the Christmas lights from million dollar homes twinkling through our windshield.
Today, my husband makes me raspberry pancakes–guilty pleasure since the berries are most certainly out-of-season and from Mexico. But we ignore this and eat the thick heavy cakes with syrup and hot coffee. I decide we must make gingerbread men and we lapse into our routine: Josh makes the batter and I undertake the tedious job of rolling out the dough and assembling the men. (Lately, this has been a delightful way of getting my husband to bake: He does the mixing and I do the actual baking). Our cat prances outside, all shake and haste–only to quickly return with freezing cold paws. I make mental lists of things to do, my back hunched over my sewing machine, the smell of gingerbread wafting.
Sat 13 Dec 2008
Yes, I’m wearing a shag rug collar and the reindeer are constructed using pale, white sequins, and yes, Josh’s sweater looks homemade. After several stressful weeks, it was nice to kick back in a Belltown condo, eat meatballs, and be surrounded by friends wearing equally hideous sweaters. (Josh’s sweater actually became a finalist in the top 4). Bad Sweater pics can be found here.
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