Tuesday, January 26, 2010

city love

as a kid growing up on whidbey island, going into the city of seattle was always a big deal. i remember being in the backseat of the car, looking out the window, straining to see the space needle the very second it came into view. i would get this big rush of a feeling, right in my chest, like i'd taken the deepest breath possible and was now ready to explode. seattle was interesting, it was different and new and had people and things and art like i'd never imagined. i always thought i would feel that way only about seattle, and for the most part that's true. however, i have another city that makes me feel much the same way, and that would be portland, or.

i had such a good time this weekend. when i cross the bridge and see the sign that says "entering portland" my chest gets that same feeling i used to have as a kid on my way into the "city," and i get excited about seeing my friends and doing new and different things. portland is in some ways more exciting to me, since i don't know it that well. getting to see my friends is also a huge part of why i love portland so much.

my first full day there, anne got her first tattoo, had her first shot of tequila, helped me try on wedding dresses, and organized a very surprising bachelorette party for me. if that's not the most awesome thing you've ever read, then you are dead inside. then later, after i'd had way more than my allotted share of tequila, i barfed in not one, but all three of the toilets in anne's house! puking makes me feel all shaky and panicy, so when it wouldn't stop (and it wouldn't!), i went upstairs thinking i'd drink some water and lay down on the couch. (my thinking at that point was, "if i'm going to die, i want to do it up there, where i'll be found sooner." i stay in the basement when i visit, because my friends are well aware of my mole-person tendencies.) the water didn't stay down, and i ventured up to the top floor of the house where i knew anne would pat me on the back and work her mom-magic. sometimes, when you're barfing, all you really need is a soothing voice telling you you're going to be fine, and here's a rubber band to pull your hair out of your face. we had a good chuckle too, in between my dry-heaves. evidently i am not as young or as much of a rock-star as i like to think.

and if you don't like to read about food after hearing about puking, then maybe you should stop now.

remember how i said i wanted to eat delicious things? well, that also happened. anne introduced me to bui natural tofu, which is epicly awesome. even if you don't think you like tofu, you will find something there to enjoy. we had the onion tofu, the lemongrass, the meatballs tucked into tofu pillows, and the salad rolls. there wasn't anything there that i didn't enjoy. the staff is also crazy nice and helpful. we had pie at bipartisan, then anne made a cherry and blueberry pie at home the next day. her crust really is the best. i shared my cheesey eggs one morning with henry, and then there was the Unfortunate Incident with The Burrito. the only one of us digested any part of it was aussie, the dog. aside from that, the portland eats were just as good as i hoped!

i came home tired, happy, and inspired to make and do new stuff. it was nice to get out of town for a bit, and it was nice to come home. i have photos of all this over on flickr, if you want to go check it out. there might be photos there of a certain blogger trying on wedding dresses...

Friday, January 22, 2010

things i want to do while in portland

  • eat something delicious. i'm pretty sure pie is on the menu (hell yeah it is!), and maybe something tasty and of the steamed bun variety?!
  • look at wedding dresses. i'm actually more and more excited about the idea, oddly enough. in general i've been worrying that it will be hard to find something i like, or that the whole thing will be a lot of disappointmet (like finding an awesome dress, only to have it be way to expensive), but this weekend i get to do it with friends, and that will soften any blow the wedding industry might have in store for me.
  • read comics with the boys.
  • maybe do a little yarn/craft shopping. specifically, i want to make this little shawlette, and i need to find some cool yarn to do it with! i've also been really good about not yarn shopping in portland, because i know i'll find a million things i want/need/covet.
  • i think it will be nice to get out of my house, out of my head a bit, and see people i never get to see! as my boy T puts it, "aunt amanda, a year between visits is too long." true that, little man. i used to go down to portland all the time! i miss it there. it's my kind of town.
  • ooh, and my little niece turns the big 4 weekend! so i need to get her a present that won't make her mama insane. right now i have this awesome laughing puppy toy for her, but it gets a bit obnoxious after a while, and i don't want to make my sister and her boyfriend crazy!
  • Thursday, January 21, 2010

    good morning

    most mornings are seriously quiet, and because i get up earlier than everyone else, i don't usually see anyone until the boychild wakes up, which is normally right before i leave. this morning D got up early as well, and when i got out of the shower he was in the kitchen, listening to NPR and puttering around. the boychild was getting ready to head to school, and it was almost time to wake up the girlchild. as i was sitting in the living room, putting on my shoes, the smell of coffee and the sound of the radio reminded me of mornings when i was a kid. pop would be at the kitchen table drinking coffee, mom would be doing her hair and makeup on the other side of the table, the radio between them (and pop sometimes talking back to political news he didn't care for), while my sister and i got ready for school. everyone up and quietly talking, listening to the news, drinking coffee or eating cereal, shaking off sleep. as a kid i always thought it must totally suck to be mom and dad and have to get up so damn early, but this morning i felt good to be that adult, up with D, drinking coffee and waking up. it's nice to have my own little family in the morning.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    bits and bobs

    i get to go out of town this weekend, which is pretty exciting. i don't think i've left town in far too long, and i'm looking forward to getting to see friends and just goofing off. it's also time to start to actually doing some wedding planning. crazy. the other day i realized i have 8 months to go and maybe i should start trying on dresses and picking out stationary and compiling addresses. D's mom is super excited about the planning, and since she recently helped one of his brothers plan and execute his wedding, she knows a lot about what's in the area. if i think about all the stuff i have to do before someone pronounces us man and wife, i hyperventilate a little, so i'm trying to parse it out into small things; this month i start with the dresses and paper, next month, who knows! food, and decorations. thank goodness we already know where we want to get married. which reminds me, i should really bring them some cash money, so we can indeed actually get hitched there. see! so much to do.

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    things that will automatically endear you to me

    or, i knew i liked you for a reason:
    1. you like to take naps. this applies to toddlers, cats and dogs, and friends. although with some folks, we don't nap together so much as we nap in the same room. my co-worker and i plot out our nap schedule early in the day, which is one reason we get along so well.
    2. you like to knit/sew/crochet/make stuff. maybe you like to make stuff i can't, like bicycles or souffles, or woodcut illustrations, which means i like you even more and hey? can you show me how to do that?
    3. you are a nerdy teenager with a questionable haircut. for some reason, i am a sucker for this. if you are a goth teenager, watch out, because i will try to hug you and make you listen to bauhaus cds with me. they bring out the weird mama-bear instinct in me. goth kids are like catnip!
    4. you like comics.
    5. you enjoy sneaking beers or cocktails into the movie theater. honestly, just about any and every movie ever made could benefit from a little whiskey or vodka poured into your soda. true story.
    6. do you wear red shoes? because those are my favorite shoes, and if you are wearing them, suddenly i find you a lot more likeable.

    there's more, of course, but today i was thinking about all the things that make me more likely to decide i like a person. i started thinking about it when i was explaining to someone else why i like my job so much (hint: it has nothing to do with the actual work i do, and more to do with being lucky enough to spend my days with someone pretty like-minded).

    WAIT! i forgot to add, if you like the joke, "that's what she said!" then we are automatically the best of friends. i can't believe i almost forgot.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    knitting burnout

    this is the largest knitting project that i've ever done; an afghan for D's folks for christmas. it's the mayfield afghan from the lion brand website (be warned, you have to create an account to log in and download the free patterns), and while it wasn't terribly hard, it did require a certain amount of patience and paying attention. it turned out nice (even though there are a few spots where i know i messed up), and they liked it, but since the holidays i haven't started anything i've been happy with. i made D a pair of socks with some yarn i'd bought specifically to make him a christmas present with, but that's it. everything else i've started i've already ripped out. i just can't seem to find a project that i'm excited about, or one that doesn't feel like something i've already made a hundred of. the other day i started a hat with some yarn i'd forgotten i had, but i got about five inches in and realized i pretty much have that hat already, just in a different color. i don't really need that many hats. it's not that cold where i live.

    i know i said i wanted to try knitting with colors and making designs, but i should probably take a tiny break from knitting until i at least find something i'm stoked about. maybe i'll make myself a pair of socks, just to keep my skills up. i have to admit the pair of socks i made D after xmas turned out nice; i think i finally got my tension right where i want it, and all those other pairs of socks i've made were good practice. it's not like every pair of socks i've made before those were shitty, it's just these were decidedly not shitty, and actually pretty awesome. i guess that saying about practice making perfect isn't too far off the mark.

    it just felt really good to have a few fun projects to work on, and now when i sit on the couch i'm kind of at a loss! what to do with my hands?

    Friday, January 08, 2010

    we all need to get D to go along with this

    even if he won't okay it for all our guests, i can guarantee that my friends will be getting a save the date card with a red solo cup in one form or another on it.

    the end. (unless you want to read more about the wedding over here.)

    Wednesday, January 06, 2010

    one week in!

    i said i was going to blog more often, then i totally slouched.

    got a cold. my sinuses are packed with lord-knows-what and i'm pretty miserable.

    back to working full time, no more holiday vacations any time soon. today was my one year anniversary working with mri's, and forgoing my glamorous chicken-frying life. it feels like the time went by so quickly!

    the most exciting thing to happen this week, and thus far this year, is that my mother gave me my great-grandmother's engagement ring. i'd always liked it, but didn't want to take it from her, and wasn't sure if i'd look good in it, etc, but i have to say, i'm thrilled to have it now. secretly, i have always loved this ring and hoped someday i would get hitched and get to use it. true, i don't always wear yellow gold (meaning, i never do), and i'm ambivalent about diamonds, but the setting is so unique, and the diamond is an heirloom, and hopefully not the cause of some major bloodshed. knowing it was my great-grandmother's, then my grandmother's, and my mom's before it came to me feels amazing. it may sound hokey, but knowing i'm the fourth woman in my family (and, weirdly enough, the only without the name mary, or a variation thereof) makes me feel connected, and part of some tradition that until now i couldn't fully comprehend. all those women before me met a man that they decided to marry; all of them looked at a guy and thought, "yeah, i could wake up with him every day." all of them created new families, their own families, all of them lived and loved and worked alongside the men they had chosen. i know we've all had different experiences, and i know that marriage isn't going to make my life all unicorns and rainbows, but there's something to be said for going through the same thing they did.

    D's mom found out about the ring and offered us her parent's wedding bands. that she thought of us, and was excited to discover that i was (am) into family heirlooms, feels absolutely fantastic. it's touching. she likes me enough to offer me her mother's ring. i just want to hug and squeeze her until she pops! we're going to go look at them later this week, but i can already tell you the chances are good that i'll take the ring. having a set from both sides of the family would be pretty cool. how could i resist that?

    about eight months until i am actually, legally, seriously, married. when we started talking about this, october 2010 seemed a million years away. moving it up to september of this year seemed like nothing. now it's january and um, i have a lot to do. D and i are having a lot of discussions about what we want, how we want to do it, and i think part of the reason people get married is so they can figure out how to orchestrate a massive party with a whole lot of family members, and not go crazy or kill each other. this is a like a test, right? we learn how to compromise, i try not to pout too hard when D insists that i might not really need a $400 pair of fire-engine red fluevog boots, and he tries not to throttle me when i tell him that i think we should have someone other than ourselves cater the reception meal. yes, those boots would look fucking amazing on me, and yes, it does feel great to make a meal for your family that shows them how much you love them, but $400 is a lot of money, and i would actually like to hang out with my new husband at the reception, and not sling barbeque.

    the cold medicine is kicking back in. there goes what little lucidity i had left, i think it's time to crawl back into bed. happy first week of the new year, and i hope so far your 2010 is going swimmingly!