Monday, December 31, 2007

Hat Wearing Kitteh Not Clear on Concept

Dave and Norrene:

Thought you'd like to know that Coco has a new favorite hat to wear. Unfortunately she wears it on the wrong end.

I dare you to take it away from her.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

He's Living the Life

The Littlest Sprinter who is Almost Sure that He Can is alive and well on the other side of the World, celebrating New Years Tasmanian style, which seems to require some degree of liver failure.

He's walking hard.

2007: The Year of Writing Poorly

Thank God! It's time for the lazy journalist's favorite year-end space-waster: the end-of-year retrospective! In this case, a year of mangled sentences that defy the most intrepid grammatician. A year of ivy, weddings, apathy (fanatical and canine), Prius-induced smugness, collie hair, and weather.

Let's get this over with.

01/06/07. In which my diet turns dark: next time I'm coming at you with a kiddie badge, low blood sugar, and a sharpened piece of bok choy, and you're going down.

02/18/07. In which we have that one sunny day in February and we get a little goofy: The sun gets so mobbed by all the sun-starved Pacific Northwesterners, it doesn't come back for four months.

02/21/07. In which I venture to the zoo solo: Today the sun was out, so I TOOK OFF. Actually I worried for an hour about the drive and my gas gauge, left the garage, got about six blocks and wondered how I was going to manage to eat expensive and awful zoo food for lunch, turned around, ate a sandwich, changed my coat (because the first one seemed too, non-zoo-like), and then TOOK OFF.

02/28/07. In which too much TV on Oscar Night produced some unnecessary babble: Penelope Cruz: Why does it take such high tech engineering to make a dress stay on her body? It looks like she's wearing a suspension bridge with feathers…..and …somebody sewed sleeves onto the sides of Naomi Watts' strapless bumblebee outfit. I'm glad she realized they were sleeves and not just odd tubes hanging off the side of her dress at underarm level. Because that would have just been silly.

03/24/07. In which I relive a moment from my less-than-stellar basketball cheerleader career and post a highly entertaining set of Duck basketball pictures contrasting shorts styles over the years: (Oh, hi, Kathi. Hi, Julie. Nice scrunchi. When does the game start? What, this is half time? Oops. Sorry.)

04/27/07. In which I explain the Read To The Dogs program: It's some program where they allow kids to read to dogs, because dogs won't correct them or make fun of their poor reading skills. But I certainly will.

05/03/07. In which I obsess about the TV show Jericho, and helpfully provide them with a pledge: I, state your name, pledge to the town of Jericho that I will fight to the death as long as the viewers don't get too attached to me, in which case I will fight until I get a sexy-looking cut on my face, and that I promise to be cuter than the New Bern residents so the viewers know who to root for. One town, under CBS, in sweeps week, with access to the town salt mine for all.

05/25/07. In which I buy a Prius and not only get really smug, but correctly predict a mild hurricane season: So if you don't get killed in a global-warming-caused hurricane this summer, you can thank me come next fall, 'cause I probably saved your ass.

05/31/07. In which I prove my abilities to bore with work stories and explain the County Auditor’s office: if you enter the Ministry, you must take a number and sit down along with many people with various issues, including, apparently, loss of such things as bathing rights, voice modulation, and child rearing skills, and then wait for the privilege of getting to take another, better number. Time is money and odors are, apparently, free.

06/06/07. In which Dean gets to go to the US Olympic Training Center: So, sorry about your kid not being as awesome as mine and all.

06/27/07. In which I try to work the above into some conversations: “Hi, I'm sorry my son couldn't come with me today. He's at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Working out with the National Team. What? I know he has never come to work with me before. I'm just saying. If he wanted to come with me, he couldn't. He's really, really training.”

07/09/07. In which I give a belated graduation speech and impress only myself: So get up early again. Go to practice again. Study more. Volunteer more. Give more. It's all sacrifice, and everything comes of sacrifice, and nothing comes of no sacrifice. I think God likes the smell of sweat.

07/21/07. In which we return to the garden store for another pine after Drew manages to make an ex-pine of one purchased earlier: It was like Drew was shopping for a second puppy because the first one wouldn't wake up after he squeezed it too hard.

07/27/07. In which I succumb to the make-up ladies at Origins in preparation for the upcoming wedding festivities: She had just never seen make-up try to escape a face before.

08/06/07. Dean and Jenny get married on 08/04/07, host a kick-ass wedding, and I post some pictures, but I don’t really have anything original to say. So we’ll move on.

08/21/07. In which God smacks the Smug out of me (temporarily) for all that “my Prius is going to solve that global-warming-caused hurricane problem” by naming the one deadly hurricane of the season “Dean.”

09/05/07. In which God re-smacks the Smug out of me by allowing it to be hit by a Ford F-250: LOOK WHERE YOU'RE GOING, DUMBASS! And don't use my FAVORITE CAR AS A BRAKE!

09/23/07. In which I try to explain collie training: Training a collie is like training your college roommate. If you tell them to do something, they'll ask you why. If you ask them to do something for a reward, they will decide that apathy is the best reward. If you punish them for not doing what you say, they will become deeply offended, and ignore you until the Resident Assistant agrees to give them a new room assignment.

10/22/07. In which I react to Drew’s painful illness: He may have to get tubes put in his ears to reduce the constant cold-to-ear-infection cycle he goes through every year, which is several kinds of funny.

11/02/07. In which I elicit long-distance coffee-spewing by relating the following conversation from the Humane Society:

Elderly Lady, bringing in a cat that she obviously loves but can't keep: "...and I have papers that say she's been spayed."
Clerk: "Oh, good, because otherwise we would have to guess."
Elderly Lady: "What do you mean you would have to gas her?"
Clerk: "No, GUESS. We would have had to GUESS."

12/15/07: In which I let out a little anxiety about Dean’s trip to New Zealand-Tasmania-New Zealand: So pray for him. Or chant for him. Or send your vibrations of Celestine oscillations in his general direction. Or use whatever positive rays "The Secret" teaches you to shoot. Or just raise your Jesus antennae and let them wave.

12/22/07: In which I used the phrase “the shizzle.”

Let’s end this on that high note and hope 2008 brings better writing to all, especially me.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

In Which I Declare This Internet Fad to be Over

It has finally happened. Eleven or so years after I began surfing, I think I've finally seen every web page I care to see. Case in point: I just now declined to read this list of Golden Girls trivia.

So I guess it's over. See you at the Grange hall.

Oh, and P.S. to the silver mini-van that tried to kill me this morning: please stay to the right of the yellow line. It's common courtesy.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Short Respite From Wet, Soggy Reality

It's like the forty-leventh day of cold rain. The dogs are always wet. My boots are always wet. The sun has been setting about 20 minutes after what passes for dawn. And the heating bills are shocking. As expected.

But last night was all candles, food, champagne, Christmas music, wine, lights, beer, funny presents, cookies and good friends. At least the ones not coughing, sniffing or puking (the norovirus is back! and just in time for Christmas!).

We made Becca & Brian regale us with stories of their Grand Adventures. Tessa fulfilled her obligations as Token Child adorably. The dogs refrained from eating the cookies (with a few well-timed reminders). We are now the proud new owners of a Halloween pumpkin the size of a Volkswagen Beetle and two pieces of millinery confectionery worthy of Jackie Kennedy's cousin Erma. And we managed to make it through the majority of the vat of jambalaya I prepared (it turns out that, despite the laws of physics, if you double a batch of jambalaya that serves 6, you get an amount of jambalaya that could easily serve every member of the US House of Representatives, including William Jefferson, who wraps his and freezes it for later).

My headache is fading and the Seahawks game is on. And I have three pieces of fudge left. Later.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Par-tay at the Piglet's.

We've invited over a small gob of firefighters, cops, cyclists and ne'er-do-wells (some may fit several categories) for a shindig tonight. I fully expect property loss, misdemeanors, offended sensibilities, and small arms fire.

Dean, I'm sorry I said par-tay. I don't know what got into me. Drew has been off work this week, so I probably have just been hanging around Mr. Last Week's Catch Phrase a little too much.

But this party will be the shizzle (laughing and running to avoid damage from evil eye).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Aim Your God Beams South

And Dean, the Littlest Sprinter who is Not Sure That He Can, is on a plane today, heading back to New Zealand and then to Tasmania to race for the US National Team.

So pray for him. Or chant for him. Or send your vibrations of Celestine oscillations in his general direction. Or use whatever positive rays "The Secret" teaches you to shoot. Or just raise your Jesus antennae and let them wave.

Because every little bit helps. And I worry some.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Totally True Conversation We Actually Had

Being from Vancouver, Washington, we know our place in the world: a distant second fiddle to Portland, which plays second fiddle to Seattle, which plays second fiddle to Vancouver, BC, which plays second fiddle to San Francisco. However, we can claim a mighty superiority over Amboy, Washougal, and Vernonia.

However, it did not occur to us how little we matter to the true Pearls of Portland. But we have had our eyes de-closed for us by a twenty-something hipster as something of a public service, I suppose.

Monday, in an attempt to gain some culture, we crossed the river to Portland, where all the culture lives. Kind of like yogurt. We were browsing in a trendy Pearl outpost (we could tell by the teeny-tiny size of the beige-on-brown sign) when we had this conversation with a shopkeeper:

Hipster Shopkeeper: So where're you guys from?

Drew: Vancouver.

HS: Really? Cool. I should get up there more often.

Me (jokingly): You kind of need a reason to go. It's not much of a destination.

HS: Oh, but there's great skiing up there.

Drew: Ah, you mean Vancouver, B.C. We're from Vancouver, Washington.

Me (helpfully): You know, right across the river...

HS: Oh, yeah. So, were you guys affected a lot from the highway shutdown?

(Here we both cock our heads like dogs hearing a funny sound, then realize that he is talking about the I-5 flooding 100 miles north of us in Chehalis. Hipster Shopkeeper apparently has no idea that there is a city named Vancouver directly across the Columbia River from where he is living.)

Drew: Um, no.

Countries of Origin on Tags in a Major Big Box Store Today. least the ones I read before I became disgusted and left:

  • Thailand
  • China
  • Vietnam
  • El Salvador
  • Turkmenistan
  • Indonesia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Lesotho
Tags that read "Made in the USA": None.

Go check out the Church of Stop Shopping, and see the movie What Would Jesus Buy?. It will do you ( and us) good.

And if you really NEED stuff, you can google "made in USA", and can find some stuff to buy made by your neighbors, whose bosses pay taxes, social security, and living wages. THAT's the way to be patriotic, if you ask me.

In Which Christopher Moore Makes Me Want To Give Up

Why write anything when Christopher Moore is out there, tossing off some crap as a guest blogger for Powell's that is funnier and more succinct then anything I've ever attempted?

I guess that's why he gets paid the big bucks. And I'm taking up valuable space in the ether tubes.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Pink and Red

I have been cursed with an artistic temperament from birth, it seems. It has allowed me to (1) forget to concentrate on the value of money, thus allowing me to never be rich, (2) paint some seriously paint-heavy paintings, and (3) experiment with colors in my day-to-day life.

My color experiments began as a young child, when I was roundly beaten by my big sister for attempting to wear pink with red. "Pink and red don't go together! Ever."

Okay. I lived by that rule until the day I found a little top-and-shorts outfit that boasted pink polka-dots on a red, red background. Or was it red polka-dots on pink? A little of both, more likely, taking into consideration the blinding textile trends of the late sixties and early seventies. No matter.

I wore that outfit in happy (and slightly uneasy) defiance. I'm sure my big sister had long forgotten her momentary fashion decree, but that did not dilute my pixie-topped feelings of mutiny.

I have no photographic evidence of the insurgent outfit. It's probably just as well. It sounds perfectly hideous.

Letter to The World


There's this guy I know. He's the best kind of human - generous, kind, energetic, and committed to helping others, even at his own expense.

Do not piss on him anymore. Do not send him any more humans that will say one thing and do another. Or that use him and discard him. You might think that a guy who lives a Real Man's Life would not feel a stab to the heart like other people, but you would be wrong.

I know, I could ease his pain by telling him all the things I wrote in the second sentence of this letter. But I won't.

His friends could say, "She's an idiot," or, "You can do better," but that's not saying what we really mean. What we mean is, "We were hoping she was the one, and that she could make you happy, because you deserve it." But that doesn't seem like a helpful thing to say.

So the only helpful thing I can think of is: quitting pissing on him, World. You owe him some "happily ever after," so get on it.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

For The Record

Here are some more jobs I will not be applying for:

  • Power line fixer guy
  • Storm water management guy
  • Garbage collector
  • Sanitation Dude
  • Official White House Press Official
  • Slaughterhouse Worker
  • Pelt Skinner
Then again, its all about touching the stuff nobody else wants to handle, isn't it?

Monday, December 03, 2007

I Feel Like Singing "There's Got To Be a Morning After"

The storm came.

The storm stayed way too long.

The storm finally passed.

Sorry, Annie and I just got back from reading to preschoolers, so it may take awhile for my big-girl words to come back.

Man, I had plans for this weekend. I was going to solve all my Christmas shopping woes by going to a big Christmas Bazaar. Then I was going to play Christmas music, and skip around with a magic Christmas wand, leaving Christmas sparkle wherever I go, and decorating the tree with three waves and a nose twitch.

What actually happened was that it snowed, then it rained, then it rained sideways. Then I sneezed, and my nose ran, then it ran faster, then my head hurt, and I collapsed on the couch in a puddle of snot.

Today the rain is no longer sideways (but still ever so present), and my cold is on the mend (I can tell because the phlegm running down the back of my throat is all gummy).

I'm sure I'll find my magic wand by next weekend.