Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013 Lights Out

Time for the annual thingamadoodle about my year. I suppose I could sum up by saying IT SUCKED HAIRY DINGO DINGUS and be done with it, but why break with tradition? Let’s do this.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Wow, this questionnaire is going to be awkward, isn’t it?

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last New Year’s seems like 2.3 million years ago. I seldom make resolutions though, so I am going to say nope and nope on this one.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No one here in Seattle, but some friends far away did, so I have yet to meet any of these new people. Yay babies!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Hmmm, let's see. Let me think. I know there was something. Oh yeah, I know I have BARELY MENTIONED IT, but yes.

5. What trips did you take?
A weekend in Portland, several trips to Michigan, and quick weekends to San Francisco, Chicago, and a Washington beach house. I wanted to go to New York so badly that it hurt my innards but it was not in the cards (or the pocketbook) this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
OMG, questionnaire. I am trying to not get too heavy with these answers and you are not making it easy, so I guess I should just give up. But I will hold out a little longer with lighter answers and just say...a trip to New York.

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Ok FINE. You’re making me go there. May 11, when I lost my sweet dad.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
My biggest achievement was the fact that I fully engaged with everything that was happening with me all year. I engaged in my own sadness, I reached out to people, I kept myself going, I was still a friend to others, I was still a good coworker. I could have shut down, but I didn’t. I let people take care of me, and when they couldn’t I took care of myself.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I can’t think of anything, although I am sure there’s something.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not of the physical kind, thank goodness.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
We redid our bathroom sink, cabinets, and tile which cost us some scratch, but now we brush our teeth in high style, like a Kardashian or something. Although they probably do not brush their own teeth.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Every last person who hung out with me, sent me good wishes, said something kind, made me laugh, got me out of the house, called me on the phone, sent me flowers, commented on the blog, all of it. In many ways it has felt like I have had more lonely days than in other years, but when I think about all the good stuff lumped together? Damn, there’s good stuff there.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Yeah, there was icky stuff too, but dwelling on it isn’t going to help anything. So: pass.

14. Where did most of your money go?
For once, the answer is NOT our house! This year, it was plane tickets. Last minute plane tickets will eat your money fast. Not complaining, of course.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Nordic Boy busted me out of work one weekend and we went to Portland and just had a freaking blast.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Graceless, by the National.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Sadder.
ii. thinner or fatter? Same.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer. Dang, question #17 is a bastard.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I really feel like this year I did just what I should.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Same answer as #18.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
We are invited to a game night at a friend’s, but I have a feeling I will be wrapped up in my house with my dude.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?
So much more.

23. How many one-night stands?
Can we just get rid of question #23 at this point?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
I finally got on The Good Wife bandwagon (late to the party), but damn that show is good. I also really liked Top of the Lake.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, by Mohsin Hamid would have been my favorite even if my year hadn’t looked like it did, but put my year on top of it, and that really locks it in.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Daughter was a band that was sort of a core shaker for me.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I cannot think of one that I can really say was a favorite, for the life of me. How about I just say something that is non-film but still entertainment? I adore the Judge John Hodgman podcast. It is the best.

29. What did you do on your birthday?
I went out to dinner with a small group of pals.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I have some friends who live far away that really made themselves available all year by phone, email, cards, and visits. I wish I could see those folks more often.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Same as always: I love dressing up.

32. What kept you sane?
Nordic Boy.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Kalinda on The Good Wife rocks my socks.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I was the least up on current issues than I have ever been in my adult life this year. So “stirred”? Relatively speaking, I was not stirred. (Or shaken).

35. Who did you miss?
My dad.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Biogirl has a new dude, and he is making her really happy, which is a sweet thing to see.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:
People are who they are, and love is accepting that and being kind. My dad was good at that one, and I am getting better.

38. A song lyric that sums up your year.
The thing that got me through the year is the the thing that gets me through any year: love. I have spent a lot of time thinking about the love my dad had for me, the love that my parents had for each other, and the love that Nordic Boy gives me every single day. That’s why this song makes me feel teary. It’s love and life and death, all in one. It’s joy. It makes me want to squeeze that dude of mine now, right now.

Life is short, goes the cliche. But it really is, you guys. We have each other for so fleeting a time. We are all going down, so let’s spend the time left on love.

Your love is bright as ever/Even in the shadows
Baby kiss me/Before they turn the lights out
Your heart is glowing/And I'm crashing into you
Baby kiss me/Before they turn the lights out

In the darkest night hour/I'll search through the crowd
Your face is all that I see/I'll give you everything
Baby love me lights out

We don't have forever/Baby daylight's wasting
You better kiss me/Before our time is run out

Nobody sees what we see/They're just hopelessly gazing
Baby take me/Before they turn the lights out
Before time is run out/Baby love me lights out

I love it like XO
You love me like XO
You kill me boy XO
You love me like XO
All that I see
Give me everything
Baby love me lights out

Friday, December 20, 2013

Jeepers Creepers

Happy Friday! Let's all put our silk pajammers on and creep into the weekend.

Oh-ah, oh-ah, oh-ah.

Creep, TLC

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


This morning, I was running super late. I grabbed my stuff, got my coat, and hurried out the door. As I walked down my front stairs to the sidewalk, there, on the bottom of the stoop, on sidewalk level, was a pair of Nike sneakers. I could tell that they had been worn, but they were still pretty nice. The style was a little bit Grandpa-ish. They were perfectly placed, side by side, at the bottom of my outside stairs. Facing my house. I was in such a rush I just walked by them, looking over my shoulder as I walked away, thinking "is someone coming back for those?" It felt like a scene in an arty movie. Like there was some sort of meaning there that was just beyond my understanding.

When I am confused, sometimes I say "What the aitch?" When things are super duper confusing, Nordic Boy will up the ante and say "What the Preparation aitch?" This was definitely a What the Preparation Aitch sort of moment. Any ideas on what that was all about, people?

Also, at lunch today, I was in a deli, and there was this businessman in there who looked like he was dripping money. His coat was thick cashmere and his shoes looked expensive and on point. He even had a sort of silky ascot on. Thurston Howell the Third, he was. I was behind him waiting to throw out my garbage after eating, and he stood in front of the garbage receptacles- one for recycling, one for composting, and one for landfill. All were clearly labeled and had photos of what things go in which. He stood there, looking at the receptacles, and then angrily dumped all of his stuff into the landfill bin, not separating anything out. He looked at me dead in my eyes and huffed "I guess I'm supposed to go HUG A TREE or something." And he stormed out.

What the Preparation aitch, people.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Don we now our Christmas pantaloons

This weekend, it was time for me to put on my Christmas pants. I mean this in a figurative sense of course, because I don't own pants (well, I have one pair of jeans), although what would Christmas pants look like? I am thinking either a bedazzled Christmas scene sort of like a Christmas sweater, or maybe they are red velvet with white bottoms like Santa pants? Either way, I donned them this weekend, figuratively.

First up, Nordic Boy, Biogirl, Biogirl's dude, and I went to dinner at a fancy restaurant that was lovely, but I must be old and crusty because all I could think when I was in there was THIS IS TOO LOUD. It wasn't like we went to a club or something- it was a wine bar. But the way the room was set up caused the sound to bounce off the walls everywhere. So we ate and drank and yelled at each other, which I guess a lot of people do for the holidays anyway, so Merry Yelly Christmas.

After we got shouty with our Chardonnay, we went to this garden in the burbs that does a crazy ass Griswald style light display every year. There is no other way to describe it other than amazingly gaudy. It is a spectacle of gaudy. There was a chimpanzee made entirely of Christmas lights, you guys. Because, why? No one knows.

Saturday evening the four of us met up for dinner (this time at a delicious and appropriately-volumed establishment) and ate a gorgeous meal. We followed this by seeing some musical theater. Oliver! to be exact. I had never seen that show before, although I did have good nostalgic feelings about it because when I was a kid I was in this fancy choir and every year when the latest auditionees got the news that they had made it into the choir, we sang them "Consider Yourself" from Oliver! to welcome them. Is that not the most twee thing you have ever heard? I know. Anyway, I had good feelings about it going in. But you guys. That show is super weird! I mean, it opens with workhouse orphans who are starving, and they sing a chipper song about food. It's like We're starving! (jazz hands) Misery! (shuffle ball change) Life sucks! (But at least we are cute). On the up side, the lady who played Nancy had some powerful pipes so she blew the roof off for a minute there.

The final highlight of the weekend was hanging out with our dear Delium. Love that guy.

Weekend round up, over and out.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Weekend views


Thursday, December 12, 2013


To me, grief is like a fog. For the past six months, it's been hard to focus, concentrate, see things in front of me. I would listen to my friends and family talk, and I would hear them, but it was like I was underwater. I can hear you, but there is a roar in my ears, a scrim between us. I am trying to listen, I hope you know I'm trying to listen. I did all the normal things, I went to work, I met friends for dinner, I smiled, and the smiles were genuine, but they were labored, under that thick, blankety fog. I've wondered, these past months, what the purpose of this fog is, where it comes from in the brain. It's effect, it seems to me, is to make one feel a bit numb, which makes sense, I guess. I can see why a little emotional anasthetic might be helpful in times like these. "Can people tell that I'm having trouble?" I would ask Nordic Boy. "No, I don't think so. I can't believe you're pulling it off, but you seem ok out there." I went to work, I kept up with people, with things. When I was particularly spaced out, Nordic Boy would catch my eye and just look at me with that lovely groundedness of his and it would help me re-focus. Being a cheerful girl by nature, this sadness felt confusing to me. What do I do here? How do I do this? I was lucky enough to have a dad for my whole life who was truly unconditional, who did nothing for me except love and support me, who gave me the gift of understanding, from how he treated me, what simple, uncomplicated, open, supportive love was. He loved me, and that was all, no qualifiers, no hard parts, no hidden hurts. It sounds stupid, maybe, but I felt frustrated for feeling so sad, for not being able to live in the gratitude of it and feel thankful after he died. I wanted to think "thank you, thank you, thank you for that love," but instead all I could think was "this sucks, this is devastating, how am I going to do this without you?" My attempts to reach through the fog to people in my life have been less successful than I would have wanted, but I'm starting to feel resolved about that. Sometimes we don't get what we need from people and sometimes we do- that's the way life goes and there's no use fighting it. And that doesn't mean we're not loved. That fog is a powerful thing whether you're in it looking out or outside looking in.

Nordic Boy makes me lunch to take to work every day to make sure I don't forget to eat something, and when I walk up the front stoop, he's watching for me to come home and opens the door before I get the key in the lock so I literally walk into a hug when I step into the house. He looks at me with kindness and calls me "sweetness" or "my love" which is not a new thing but I hear it anew now and something feels less broken every time he says it. He's pretty much been carrying me, every minute, without a lot of help, through our year.

Each morning, when I come into consciousness, my first thought starts to be "no, no, not another day already," but before I can completely think it, before I have opened my eyes to the day, Nordic Boy is saying "I love you, I love you, I love you," just like that, several times over, as if he knows about the fog and is pulling me back toward him. When he says this, I hear so many things in it. I hear You're ok, I'm here, We're together, I will take care of you, Our beautiful life, My sweetheart. All in this whispered morning mantra: I love you, I love you, I love you. And so there it is again: unconditional, simple, uncomplicated, open love. No qualifiers, no hard parts, no hidden hurts. In my lovely partner, I recognize it. I know what that is.

When I smile at that Nordic Boy, it feels like a real smile, a joyful smile, a me smile, and there is no fog between us.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013


Hey you want to talk about my hair some more? Because we're gonna. So, I recovered from bad Haircuttageddon 2013 and I went to Michigan to visit my mom. While there all sorts of things happened, and one of them was that I took a box of my Dad's things and mailed the box back to Seattle. When I packed it, I thought, hey, as long as I am mailing this box, if there is room in here I might as well pack some of my heavier items that would have gone in my suitcase, because Nordic Boy and I packed super tight (one week, one small carry on suitcase between the two of us LIGHT PACKERS AWARD) so why not take advantage of this mailed box and stuff some shit in there, thus alleviating the suitcase burden? I put in a book, and my boots, and a sweater, and my hair dryer. I was not thinking about the fact that it would take a week to get to Seattle. More than a week because of the holiday, actually. Which left me Hairdryerless In Seattle. Which meant that even though I had a good haircut again, I now had ugly non-blowdried hair for days.

I am so sorry to discover this about myself. That I am such an effing pain in my own ass about my hair. But I am so vain that that song is totally about me, you guys. Ugh. WORST.

I am vain, but not vain enough to go out and buy another hair dryer for a week and a half, so that says something, I guess. I will say that I did a happy jig when that damn box was delivered today though.

You know what else happened? I was paying my automo-bills (Destiny's Child, wut wut) over the weekend and I discovered that while we were in Michigan someone here in Seattle was running amok with our credit card number. SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS WORTH OF AMOK. It's that sort of discovery that makes you not worry about your hair for a minute. It seems like our credit card people are going to be cool about it, but that was a jolt to the old ticker, I tell you.

Oh yeah, and there was that whole Giving of the Thanky Feelings Day that happened too. We had Delium and Biogirl over for the vittle times for that. The rest of the weekend was spent going to a movie (Hunka Hunka Burning Shirtless Thor 2), snuggling up at home, and turning up the furnace.

I solemnly lemon pledge to you that we will not talk about my hair again for a very long time.