Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stump Yard to Poop Box in One Day

This weekend, Phase One of Operation De-Fug the Yard began, and unfortunately I am learning that before it gets better, it is going to get worse.

First thing that needed to happen was getting rid of the stumps that abound in the front yard. So pretty, so classy, my front yard is probably 40% stumps. And 50% weeds. And 10% broken up concrete pavers that will trip you like elderly Underbutler Stevens in Remains of the Day. Don't you try to walk around in your tuxedo carrying a silver tray of tea in MY yard! (Outdated, boring reference, wut-wut!)

In case you were wondering, paying someone to come to your house with a machine that will grind up your stump (dirty!) will cost you approximately 3 million dollars. Rather than participating in that high class hookery, we rented a stump grinder, which didn't cost us much, except for being a humongous pain the rump roast.

First of all, we had to somehow get this super heavy machine up the front stairs of our house onto the yard. Nordic Boy made this high tech ramp made of two-by-fours and chicken wire.

Once it was up on the yard, you have to turn the machine on and sort of move it back and forth over the stumps (omg, filthy!). Our dear Delium came over to lend a hand, and it took all damn day.

Good news: the stumps are history.
Ok news: much of our front yard is now covered in mulch, which is better than what it was covered in before. Although it still is pretty dang ugly. Sorry, neighbors.
Bad news: hi neighborhood cats! A GIANT YARD OF NATURAL KITTY LITTER. It's a vast cat Disneyland of poop real estate.

Phase One complete.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Oh hai. How about let's talk about some fabulous things that have been happening while I have been under a rock doing a grand imitation of Russell "Sad Sack" Terziak this past month?

1. Not one, not two, but THREE awesome families I know have birthed le petite babies! Triple Word Baby Score!

2. One of my cutie nephews turned 12. TWELVE. One dozen annual commemorative days of birth. I have no idea how that happened. I swear he was just, like, an itty bitty three minutes ago. I just turned around for a second, I could have sworn. We have these super grown up conversations now and it blows my frigging mind.

3. Grad school just birthed an educator, and that is my dear blog friend @_lovechild. She will be your teacher, preacher, anything you have in mind. Wait, ew. Shut up, George Michael. Just the teacher part.

4. I finally got to spend some quality time with my new sister-in-law in California, who recently wed my bro-ham and who I hadn't hung out with thus far, and she is frigging delightful.

5. I am going to Chicago for work next week and I get to see some lovely pals there and pal around with our pal selves.

6.We hired a landscape architect and she's making us a plan for Operation Du-Fug the Yard. So. Excited.

I'm still sad, but good things are still happening, and I'm still paying attention to those.

That's where I'm at. Also where I'm at? This clip. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


This weekend, I went to San Francisco to see my brother and release my Dad's ashes into the Pacific Ocean, the ocean that connects my Dad's countries of birth and death.

I held the urn in my hands. It was surreal to think that my Dad's body, the body that took him through his life-which was an extraordinary life, so full of adventures and accomplishments and love- was now distilled down to this small thing that I could hold in my two hands. I thought about his parents, holding him as a baby in their hands in this way, helping him into his life.

When my Dad was a child, growing up in a tiny village, walking shoeless to a schoolhouse several miles away each day, I think of how his parents encouraged him. Go, they must have told him. Even though it's far. You should go.

I think about how, at that time in Fiji under British colonialism, there weren't universities there for smart kids like my Dad. Instead there was a system where, if you were the top student (not A top student, I'm talking THE top student, as in valedictorian of the whole damn country), you were awarded a scholarship to head overseas to go to college. Just one kid each year was chosen. My Dad was that kid. He had to leave his village, get on a boat, leave everything he had ever known behind (with no phone calls home available, no holidays, no people he knew), and leave if he wanted the opportunity. How scared must he have been? He had to have been. But he told himself: go. I have to go.

After his studies were over, he came back, moved to a city, and met and married my mom, a trailblazer in her own right. Soon after, a year came along where non-white people could finally run for office for the first time in Fiji's colonial history. My Dad was elected mayor of his town that year, the first non-white person to hold that office. My Dad was not a politician by nature, but after being part of a disenfranchised majority for that long? He felt honored to go and do it. That makes me super proud. Go, Dad, go!

When my siblings were born, my parents thought about what they wanted for them, so they made the decision to leave everything behind and head to America. This meant they had to start all over in too many ways to describe. My Dad had to go to the east coast while my mom stayed on the west coast. They missed each other terribly and my Dad worried that it would be too hard on all of them. My mom encouraged him. Go, she said. We'll be ok. You go.

When they settled in the Midwest, I was born. I was brought up with the assumption that life was an adventure, to be lived without fear. When I was accepted to a faraway dance school at twelve years old, my Dad said, as he said to me about anything I wanted to do in life: of course you're going. I'm so proud of you. Go!

I thought about all of these things while on the boat in California, holding my Dad in my two hands. It was amazing to me, when I scattered the ashes, how quickly they disappeared. They touched the water for the smallest of moments before vanishing. Particles didn't float. Remnants didn't hang in the air. In the time it took for a few heartbeats to pass, all that my Dad physically was- the solidness of him, the sheer there-ness of him, was just gone.

Go, my sweet Pops. Go.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Peggy Huey Parton

Hey peoples! Random list of thinky thoughts time!

I wore an outfit yesterday that at first made me feel super competent because it looked like something Peggy Olson might wear. Then somehow it morphed into making me feel like a lady Baby Huey instead. How does that happen?

I have a beef with my favorite take out taco place. Twice I have ordered a bean item and they have given me a beef item, which I only discover when I get home. I guess you can say I have a beef beef with them.

I am not much of a crying type lady. Except these days, when I cry like 12 times a day. I know that I won't always cry this much all the time, but there is a part of me that is worried. What if I stay Crying Lady forever?

Bonus: when I cry really hard? Nordic Boy feels so bad for me he cries too. He is, like, the biggest sympathy crier when it comes to me. We are SO FUN THESE DAYS YOU GUYS.

I saw the new Star Trek movie and someone asked me how it was and I seriously could have talked about it for hours. The parts I liked, the parts I didn't, the references to the old series, the ways I miss Picard and the gang. But I didn't. I kept that extreme geekfest to myself. I am a model of nerd restraint. Nerdstraint.

One thing that has happened this super sad month is that my brain has totally shut out the ability to read books. Just, I read the words and nothing goes in. Trouble in librarian land! So, you know what I am doing about it? I have decided to join a group of friends who are reading Infinite Jest this summer. Yep, I can't seem to be able to understand a 3 page New Yorker article so the obvious thing to do is commit to reading over a thousand pages of complicated weirdo business. Totally makes sense.

I followed up my Peggy/Huey outfit yesterday by wearing an orange doily dress to work today. I kept calling myself Doily Parton. No one seemed to get it. Come on! DOILY PARTON. Anyone? Sigh.

That's what's in my brain meats.