Friday, November 27, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

"That's Gretzky's life, right there, choosing between a vegan or a pothead, and she picks a dog instead." - NJ

Last night I took Wallace out the front door to go out one last time for the night. My friend LKT stopped her car in the middle of the road and insisted on playing this song for me, the whole thing:

She had it on her car radio, just to clarify, not on youtube. And all I have to say about Norah Jones is that people who were born on March 30th are pretty amazing.

But it's true. Given the choice of Male A (handsome debonair bigshot in fastfood company) or Male B (Microsoft techie guy obsessed with speeches), I pretty much always roll with Male C.

C in my case happens to be a beautiful chocolate border collie named Wallace, who has made me cry once, when he got lost. Pretty much every other day, he makes me laugh.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

warm food

when it's getting chilly and nippy outside, foods that are nice to make and have at a potluck to celebrate finishing a big grad school project include:

mac n cheese (grill 1/2 an onion and some crimini mushrooms for 10 ish minutes and add before baking.)
cheesy olive bread (gotta love the pioneer woman)
stuffed baked pumpkin (wow. this was leeny's contribution, and it was AMAZING.)


We did also have salad in case you were worried about our lack of fiber. It was good too.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"but will you come to MY birthday party?" - Lito

Lito is almost 3. I was leaving his older sister's birthday party last weekend, had gone out the front door and down the steps, when he opened the door, laid down above the steps, and asked if I would come back for his birthday, which falls in a couple weeks.

It's one of my most favorite things that's happened to me in a while. When kids ask you to be part of something, you know they really mean it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"they will come home." - bruce ramsey

Last Wednesday, Ramsey wrote a piece about Afghanistan that seemed pertinent. I didn't post it then, but I'm posting it now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

stars and puppets g-chats


yes a heart will always go one step too far.

"But one thing is certain," says Talcott. "If you're not outside on November 17, you'll miss the whole show.


breathe. just breathe. don't freak out. breathe .

people w/out g-chat status updates: 10.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

watch the stars tonight

peeps, there's a show in our backyard tonight. the leonid meteors are roaming around these days, and tonight's supposed to be the 'em.

it'll be a perfect end to the grad school project that has caused a few sleepless nights lately....done today at 3:30!

Monday, November 16, 2009

"i just want to hold you in my gaze for awhile so i can remember every line around your smile..."

Over the Rhine, When I Go lyrics...

Wow. Last night's OtR concert was kind of hard. I mean, I know they're melancholy, but every song? 7 in a row? of sadness? They seemed wistful. Like someone close was missing. I guess if you're really alive, someone close to you is missing.

There's a little sad season somewhere among the golden leaves and jacket wearing weather. I mean, All Saint's day, and day of the dead are here to help us remember those who've passed remind us of love and also to remind us that one day we too will shuffle off.

And then so many songs of sadness last night...Winter's coming, the hard season. Cold and flus running around, mothers telling kids to wash their hands and bundle up, harking back to previous times pre-antibiotics, when a runny nose could mean the beginning of some serious illness and even death.

During this song I started thinking about Thomas. And Matt. And Stephen. And Marian and Pat and all the others we've loved so much who've left us here. And I started thinking about all the people who loved them, and wanted them to stay so badly.

That's all really. That there's a time to laugh. And a time to mourn. And it was a good weekend to remember people I've loved.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"No," says Grampy...

sounding disappointed with himself. "Back then I didn't know women liked flowers. But one time, when she got sick, I bought her a box of oranges. You know, Vitamin C. None of the other fellas did that. I guess that made an impression."

from Learning to Float...

Oranges would be nice.

Friday, November 13, 2009

"He told you you were transparent? Can we beat him up?" - k8, March 2001

Sometimes it is bizarre to go through old journals. Well, I guess it's always bizarre. To see who you were in another life, before events conspired to shape you into who you are today. But other times it's painfully funny. I was so convinced I was spending the rest of my life with the guy k8's talking about, and simply devastated when I realized that would not be the case. Now I only have a hazy view in my head of what he looks like. Thank God for good friends.

K8 and I have been trading boy stories for about 10 years now. We've also moved on to other subjects, including cooking, music, weird things that people we love do or experience, and what to do with this crazy thing called life. I wonder what we'll be talking about 10 years from now.

I'm holding my breath lately because I think she might be coming back to the Pacific Northwest, and that would be just so cool, to have one of the 3 best amigos close by...It's hard sometimes, when the people who know you best aren't close by, around for just hanging out and shooting the breeze. Although skype-ing and cell phones help a lot, I miss them terribly. Sometimes there's nothing better than a face to face conversation. So here's to 2010 and good friends coming home.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

When you come home / and all the world's asleep /

I'll close my eyes / and breathe with sweet relief"....

- OtR, from "Snowed in with You"

Over the Rhine is coming to Seattle this weekend, and I've been preparing by listening to their albums over and over and over and over again. Even Snow Angels has made an appearance, and I usually can't stand Christmas music before December. But that album, wow, I love it.

And I felt like this poem Linford's got below, before I went away last weekend. Even though I went to a city, I needed to get out of the one I was in...


I have to leave the city now, she said,
Or dash my soul against my will instead.

I do not wish to have the quiet part of me
That once could rest (the part
That could just be) tossed
Aside and left somewhere
For dead.

Tonight it seems to me
That what some friends call energy
Is nothing more than a phenomenon of nature known as
"Incurable Whirling Disease."

Please, take me far from here, she said,
The buildings sting and echo
With the fumy cries of yellowjacket cars.

I took her hand in mine and said,
I'm thinking of a place now
Where I used to have to tell myself
Those are not clouds,
They're stars.

Copyright 2007, Linford Detweiler

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"I do know the sorrow of being ordinary...

and that much of our life is spend doing the crazy mental arithmetic of how, at any given moment, we might improve, or at least disguise or present our defects and screw-ups in either more charming or more intimidating ways."

Anne Lamott, in Grace (Eventuallly)

Oh, Anne. How true.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, the perception thing. Of how we perceive others and they perceive us. Of how we're all just really faking it, to a certain extent.

And how beautiful those people are who can be nothing less than real, than themselves.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

i left my heart in San Francisco.....

which was gorgeous last weekend.....I went to Piedmont, in Oakland, which I guess is technically not San Fran, but it was still beautiful. We walked to the Farmer's Market by Grand Lake and sat in the sun and ate spinach and bread and cheese and apples. And we walked to Mountain View Cemetery to Millionaire's row, where the Ghirardelli family's got a huge crypt, along with other famous folks....and we made butternut squash soup, and mushroom crepes, and transferred a jade plant in the garden, and it was all lovely. It's nice having cousins who grow up to be people you'd like to spend time with, instead of people you have to spend time with.

Monday, November 9, 2009

if I were an elephant

I might try and escape from the circus, too. This conjured up memories of Dumbo's mom, weeping in that storm scene. And of course, the classic, "Baby Mine"...

If you're looking for a good book in which an elephant figures prominently - well, actually becomes a central character - check out Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants. It's beautiful.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

phone message from k8

"Hey Gretzky, it's k8. I need to update you on my Saturday evening. I'll leave it on your voice mail so you have a record of it.

I met a man named Joshua. He saw me across the room and walked over to me. He said, "You have the most beautiful smile. I'd like to get to know you." He's from Kenya, he's been here a month. I said, "What brought you to America?" He said, "I came to find my bride, and I just found her."

That's right. Me."

So don't underestimate the power of your smile, peeps.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

but don't write your novel like these guys

Or do.

They're funny.

Joel Stickley: how to write badly well and Joel with his friend Luke: who writes this crap?

(via argh ink, via the dish)

I want to write a funny blog with my friends. About dates. Because really, what's more funny than two people trying to decide if they'd like to, you know, get to know each other better, when they make said decision in approximately 45 minutes over lukewarm, usually bad, coffee?

Who's in? Oh, wait. Can we wait til 2011 when I'm finished with school? Except if I'm still going on crappy dates in 2011, I might resort to drastic measures and hibernate in a cave forever. I recognize that would be counter-productive to the eventual goal, but goals in dating are over-rated.

I mean, at this point, my goals for a date include the following:

1) To have a reasonably non-awkward conversation with a straight, single male under 40. Who is gainfully employed and knows how to wash dishes. For approximately 45 minutes to an hour. If the date's going well, maybe for 2 hours, but that's really pushing it.

2) To not bring up education. It's the kiss of death for them, really. I'm too passionate about it and invariably we start arguing, they don't know what they're talking about, and argue poorly about why charter schools are a bad idea or something along those lines and I get irritated and then when they call, I don't want to answer, because I'm thinking about what a moron they are. (For the record, if they could argue well about why charter schools are a bad idea, I would listen. It's just the crappy arguments that annoy me. And for the record, I also think it's a bad idea to argue on a first date. I don't think that bodes well. )

3) In said conversation, discern if this person would be worth hanging out more with. Evidence collected by the following:

A. If said person can only talk about one topic, it's a no. For example, late 60's British comic books superheroes. I mean, that's interesting for a bit, but it only goes so far...
B. If said person brings up habits of illegal drugs, pornography, theft, various felonies, etc., it's a no.
C. If said person makes racist comments, it's a no.
D. If said person is rude to old people or the waitstaff, it's a no.

And another thing: I recently learned of a family tradition of which I had been blissfully unaware...Apparently there is a tradition (on dad's side) of first dates turning into first nights. For real, this tradition goes back two generations before me, and it's good my parents don't read this blog or I would be in deep crapola right now. So am I doomed to repeat this? Or not to repeat it? Well, I haven't embraced this tradition so far. Does that mean I haven't met the right guy? Or am I just over-analyzing? Probably over-analyzing, let's be honest.

Whew. Mom always tells me how picky I am, and I guess she's right.

Friday, November 6, 2009

you should be writing a novel

this means you.

November is National Novel Writing Month.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

phone message from mom

Gretzky, this is your mom. I saw a lot of flu today, so wash your hands. I'm just delivering good hygiene tips. You're exposed en masse at UW, you know.

And on the plane, when you go to San Francisco this weekend, don't touch anything on the plane.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

crocodile smart phone g-chats

They want the Crocodile song, I DON'T KNOW THE CROCODILE SONG!

didn't realize until after leaving the DMV that they made a mistake on her license. According to the District of Columbia, she is 5'0" and, apparently, morbidly obese.

somebody get this freakin' duck away from me!

johnny v:

Mr. Boy Eggplant Parm -

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

you're never on your own

sij's kids are the cutest. go listen here.

funny how kids get community in ways grown-ups don't.

Monday, November 2, 2009

why would my wife buy me a parachuting trip unless she wanted to get rid of me? - Eoin Colfer

Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, and Eoin Colfer are all hilarious.

If you didn't know, Barry (humor writer) and Pearson (psycho killers writer) teamed up to write about what happened before Captain Hook was Captain Hook. What emerged was this. It's pretty spectacular.

Eoin Colfer is the Artemis Fowl guy, also spectacular. All three were in town last week. I took a couple kids with me and went to hear them. The kids had forgotten their books at home, and Eoin Colfer asked the oldest which was her favorite. She said "Airman," and he said, "I'm getting this book for you." She said, "But I have it." And he said, "this'll be a signed copy."

So he signed the book for all the kids and they happily took it home.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

more baldwin

For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.

- James Baldwin, Nothing Personal