Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"off!" - woman at the dog park

Here is what I have to say to certain dog owners. Well, just to one who goes to the same dog park I do:

Please train your dog. If he does not listen to you, it is your job to train him. If he jumps up on every single other person there, it's your job to train him not to. If he barks at all the other dogs, growls in their face, and snaps at two of them, he might need some different socialization before coming to the regular dog park.

Please, Ms. Dog Owner, Train your dog!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

just in case you need to be reminded about the achievement gap:

I would like to point out that of the UW's 5,000 incoming freshmen, 131 are black.

This is 2.6% of the class.

"I didn't tell her it was me until after we were married." - grandpa

Grandpa was telling me how he would walk Grandma home from work and try and think of ways to prolong the walk so he could spend more time with her.

They courted for 6 months, and then got married.

He sent his mother a letter saying he'd met the girl he wanted to marry, and she sent him back a telegram saying "Come home. Immediately."

Somewhere in that 6 months of time, he started writing her love letters, using the pseudonym "Jean-Pierre." He said she'd get riled up whenever she got one, wondering who in the heck this Jean-Pierre guy was.

He didn't tell her it was him all along until after they got married.

He said he thought she would be mad, and he wanted to make sure she married him first.

Monday, September 28, 2009

raise your right you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth....

My grandmother gave me her mother's engagement ring on my 16th birthday.

I put it away and told myself I'd take it out and wear it on my right hand when I was 25.

Well, 25 came and went, and the other day when I was visiting Gramps, I decided I'd put it on. I was overwhelmed with school approaching and life happening and feeling a bit off in general. Feeling like there was too much to do and needing to just slow down and breathe and pay attention to what was trying to be told if I'd just open my ears to listen.

I'd just read about Jen Crusie adopting 2 new dogs, and I wanted that, all of a sudden - a house in the middle of nowhere, with 5 dogs and a barn cat, a big garden with squash and eggplant and sunflowers that grow taller than my dad, and lots of kids running all over the place, enough for a baseball team at least.

And I was sad about Gramps - he's getting slower and slower and his mind is still here, but his body's wearing out fast. I hope he at least makes it to Dale and Princess Consuela's wedding.

Anyway, the ring felt right sitting there, and I thought, damn, I'm gonna wear this ring.

Various stories have made the rounds about my great-grandmother. She married young, a fellow Swedish immigrant. While in love with him at first, she rejected him in the end....she moved in with my grandparents and lived with them until she died. My mom once found great-grandma smoking in her closet. For real. She adored my father, his sisters still talk about how he was her favorite. When I was born, she cradled my head and declared my ears were lovely. And she told my mom about some things that happened in her life that aren't really my story to tell here, but suffice to say the woman was honest.

I want to be that kind of honest, the kind that tells the truth regardless of the consequences. But I don't want to wait til the end of my life to tell it, I want to tell it now.

So I haven't fallen prey to the Women of the World, Raise your Right Hand ad campaign, and I don't think diamonds are the way to go, but I'm wearing this ring in my great-grandmother's memory. I do believe she's gonna help me get through school the next two years. And that's the truth I see tonight.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Why does everyone want to date HER?" - Lily

Preface to this story:

Veronica = Cool, funny, sweet, and pretty cute.

Jackie = Anal, angular, obnoxiously high voice, impossible to please.

Now that you've met the characters, here we go.

A while ago, Veronica and Logan were hanging out a lot, and they decided not to date, but Veronica still liked him a little bit. Not a lot, not the kind of liking where your heart beats and you can't breathe and you don't know what to say sort of liking, more along the lines of, you're a good friend and I wish you were the kind of friend who wanted to touch me all the time sort of liking. Which in the long run might be better than the first kind, now that I think about it.

Anyway, a while after that, Veronica and Wallace were hanging out a lot, and then Wallace told Veronica he wanted to date Jackie.

Veronica was sad and disappointed, because she liked Wallace.

Then she moved on. And Wallace and Jackie didn't date forever.

Well, turns out now Logan likes Jackie.

Seriously, what is with her? She is SO not as cool as Veronica.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

" you guys are back! (pause) oh, you're back!" - Waitress at ringo's favorite restaurant

Funny story:

On Monday, Ringo took a man to her favorite restaurant and told him she didn't want to see him anymore.

On Tuesday, she took a new man to the same place, and the waitress got confused, thinking the Monday couple was back again...

Tonight we did not go to the favorite restaurant, nor to the Cuban party, which we knew would be fun, or to the birthday/housewarming, which I'm sure was also going to be fun. Instead we all stayed in and made the best fall dinner ever:

First Course:

Butternut Squash and Apples, Roasted
Green Beans with Garlic and Almonds

Second Course:

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Third Course

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Along with, at various points: wine, water, milk, and tea.

Wow, it was good. We made the cake after eating the squash and green beans. YUM.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

splendid summer g-chats

evs: Um, love this:

hughes: ♫ Baked Orzo -

k8: hold your own / know your name / go your own way

wunsch: Seattle + September = Splendid

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

i heart metro

and the bus drivers.

The#2 drivers are clearly the best, but there's a lot of good ones out there. Westneat's story on Sunday reminded me I shouldn't assume so much about people I don't often do much more than glance at.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"top ten sports movies of all time. now. go." - brendan

Brendan used to spout off top ten list questions whenever there was a lull in conversation...And the thing of it was, he'd always have an answer prepared for every one. Top 10 baseball players. Top 10 teacher movies. Top 10 foods. Top 10 novels. He thought in lists. Or at least talked in them.

I cannot narrow down my top 10 novels, but I can narrow down my top 2 love stories:

They are Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett, and Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver. Prodigal Summer is not my favorite Kingsolver book, actually, that one is Animal Dreams, but Prodigal Summer is tied with Bel Canto for favorite love story. Prodigal Summer might actually tip the scales slightly higher. Bel Canto makes me believe in the possibility of great love, love you could drown in. It also leaves me feeling desperately sad. Prodigal Summer seems a little more ordinary, but leaves me wanting nothing more than to be in love, as if it's the natural way of things.

But I'm re-reading Bel Canto right now, and in the best parts - the middle, where you hope this great big love Gen and Carmen find themselves in works and lasts and they figure out some way out of the Vice President's house:

"A kiss in so much loneliness was like a hand pulling you up out of the water, scooping you up from a place of drowning and into the reckless abundance of air..." (page 207)

And then there's Simon and Edith Thibault, so fantastically tender and lovely:

"Had she been like this and he had never known?....Without these particular circumstances, this specific and horrible place, he might never have realized that the only true love of this life was his wife." (page 36)

That sentence alone is worth reading the book for.

Dammit, I forgot Lord Peter and Harriet Vane. Okay, top 3 love stories: Dorothy Sayers' Gaudy Night must be mentioned.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"once upon a time there were 4 little rabbits" - Beatrix Potter

I don't know that I would recommend the movie Ms. Potter, but I have to say I recommend Beatrix Potter as an amazing woman. She defied convention, insisted on preserving farmland and donated all her land to the public, was a scientist, and published over 20 amazing books.


But I am struck by the love stories she had. There were two, mostly... First, her publisher. Her parents weren't happy since he was in trade and thought Beatrix would be marrying down. She insisted on it anyway, and sadly didn't get the chance to marry him - he died before they could be married.

And two, a lawyer, whom she marries at 47. At this point, she has all the money she needs, and certainly isn't marrying for social gain....which makes me think it must be love, and that makes me happy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

and now for a series of love stories

I was driving to work yesterday morning and heard this 4 minute story about Basheer and Amani, who have been engaged for 3 years, separated when Hamas gained control of the Gaza strip.

I am not ashamed to say that

1) I cried.


2) It made me believe in love again.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

we interrupt the love updates

to bring you a man who has not found love. Listen up.

I can't decide which is my favorite: "Maybe you're on medication," or "You should look that up, passive aggressive personality disorder."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"spread love like butter"

My corps members this summer wrote me a funny fake lesson plan before I left Institute that is adorable.

In the guided practice section, it says "Spread love like butter."

On this first day of school here in Seattle, this is what I would like to remind teachers of, to love their kids.

That's all, folks.

Monday, September 7, 2009

the 9th thing: love

I won't make it to the 10 things, but that's okay.

Last Sunday when we went up to look for Wallace, P.J. said, "If this were a Disney movie, he'd run right up to us. Right now."

He didn't. We left.

Holly called yesterday morning to say that Wallace was standing in her driveway, and she called him, but he ran away.

So when we went up yesterday to find him, we went to her address, and knocked on her door, but she didn't answer. Then I turned around, and saw Wallace. Through the trees. Mom couldn't see him, but I walked slowly over, talking softly all the way, and about 20 feet away from him, he ran right to me.

the 8th thing: hope

Hope grows between the cracks in the asphalt... - John Mark McMillan

The 8th thing that happens is that you become amazingly grateful for the people in the world who call about your dog, and you think that there are some pretty great people in the world, after all.

Over the course of this past week, so many people called to tell me they'd seen Wallace, I seriously thought I might have to move to Lake Bosworth, since it's obviously a community where people care about each other...Viola Hudson, who must be about75 years old, called just to let me know that one of our posters was falling down and she'd taped it back up, and she hoped we found him. And Charlie and Peggy called to tell me Wallace was getting into their neighbor's garbage but ran away when they tried to get close to him. And Rod, and Carol, and so many others....I want to send them all thank you notes with hugs inside, just for being great people.

Hope, peeps. That's about hope.

the 7th thing that happens when your dog is lost: peace

is that some of your best friends from college come into town to have sunday breakfast, and as you eat blueberry pancakes together, you are reminded of who you once were and who you will become all at once.

It is a lovely gift, to be able to hang out with people who love you so well.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

6 things that happen when your dog is lost

1) You cry a lot. Every day, actually. For a non-cryer, this is kind of a record.

2) You get pissed off WAY more easily than normal. For example, while driving to work, someone cuts you off and instead of your normal one or two expletive laced response, you let loose a string worthy of a 17th century pirate or of that "fuck" scene in the Wire, Season One, with Bunk and McNulty.

3) You eat two bowls of rocky road ice cream every night. Sadly, it doesn't help.

4) k8 asks why you stopped blogging. you say, "I'm wallowing in my effing misery and I don't have anything to write about because I'm so depressed and angry about my dog being gone. " It sounds like a country song.

5) When your girlfriends make you dinner two nights in a row and you drink a bottle of wine both nights, you decide that drinking a bottle of wine every night might be a great lifelong coping strategy. This could technically mean you become a raving alcoholic....

6) You really, really, really, really appreciate the friends who call and say things like, "I'm sorry about Wallace. Are you okay?" Or the friends who write you a card. An actual card. That was mailed. Wow. Also, the ones who call and offer to go looking for him with you or put up signs with you. It shows 1) how great of a person they are and 2) how much they care about you. It is really amazing to have such great friends. All women, I should note. Women, people. Women should run the world. It would be such a better place. On the flip side, because you have temporarily turned into an irrational crazy person, you wonder if the people who aren't calling you really do care about you, and you decide they don't.