26 March 2014

"I married a girl with a purse!"

I don't like purses. I think I've talked about it before.  I just find them annoying.  I don't like carrying things, I don't like things around my neck or shoulders, and I just can't think of a reason that I would need to carry something with me all.the.time.  Granted, I'm not a mother or hold a profession that would require me to constantly have something with me.

What do I carry with me? you ask.  I carry my phone and keys in my hand or pocket.  If I have to carry my debit card I usually put it in my pocket or carry a little bag that holds my id and stuff, that also fits in my pocket.

Normally I have a little backpack that holds my stuff.  It stays in the 4Runner or desk drawer just in case I need something.  For a long while I had a miniature doctor bag that I loved so much that I used it until it just wore out.  I've not found another one since.

I looked on Amazon from time to time or browsed in the stores to find a replacement but nothing. Finally I found a doctor bag style on Amazon that claimed to be small and will "Easily hold your phone, wallet, and small make-up bag"  It sounded perfect.

It was a purse. Sigh...

I can fit all my stuff, a book, glasses, water bottle, wallet, keys, phone, and any number of things in this bag. It's a purse.

And I do. Look at that.  It's appalling. 

To be fair, this is on a Friday after a week of stuffing everything I own in it.
The two black things are our checkbook and my phone cover.  There are the two gloves that I've since put away because it's Spring dammit. The white thing is my brace.  The brown next to it is a Clif bar that I keep on me always. A brush.  A random binder clip. A sheet of coupons that I only need one of. The white & multi-color bag is make-up and medicine. (it's the size of a mans wallet) The pink bag is the little bag that holds my id and stuff.  The white paper is a combo wad of paper consisting of a bank and grocery receipt. Oh, look: there are two Clif bars.  The last item I brought home from work because it was a pamphlet from the Church next door that uses C.S. Lewis quotes or stories for Lent & Easter.

Kevin just teased me.  "That's a PURSE! You have a Purse! I married a GIRL! A girl with a PURSE." Yes, you're very cute and funny Kevin. Now shut up.

So, obviously this purse is too big. (and it is, after all, a purse)  I need only half of that crap.  Clearly, if I have the space: I will fill it.

25 March 2014

Focus on the Glimmer

Once again the lovely Pacific Northwest has made the national news.  We're getting pretty weary of this.

This post is not about the tragedy per se but about other things surrounding it.

Kevin was working on Saturday when I noticed on the twitter that there was a slide blocking a highway that his work uses and one of his crew lives near.  I texted him on his work phone and asked if Rhonda was at work or home.  He said she was at home and that they didn't have trucks out there today.

I kept an eye on twitter and things began to post quickly and gained urgency.  I turned on the news then called Kevin.  He was just about to phone me to let me know that it was really bad.

Kevin's work provides truck and sand when there is flooding in the area.  He's been called into work before to work when the water is high.  So, this was our thought - selfishly - was that he was going to have to go to work.

Then the news started giving footage and stats of the disaster and we felt awful.  Awful because the massive loss and because we were worried about Kevin having to work.

A frustrating thing that we experienced is that we kept wanting to listen to the news so when we went to dinner we were distracted.  The people we were with knew what had happened, that it effected Kevin's work and that one of Kevin's crew lived up there.  They seemed annoyed that we kept checking the news, like we were distracted by a football game or reality television show.  I just felt like raising my voice and saying "You realize this is bad, right?  You realize that you're eye-rolling because we want to know what's going on and if there is anything we can do."  But I didn't. Oh boy did I think it though.

This tragedy also showed where social media has become essential in an emergency.  Twitter gave real time, boots on the ground, updates.  Because of the bridge falling, I began following Washington State Department of Transportation and one of the news channels. It's amazing the amount of information a simple tweet can disperse.

The officials have actually had to ask people to stop giving, stop volunteering, just stand down.  Most of these people are residents of Darrington (because, frankly, Oso where the slide occurred, no longer exists)  The officials also requested only Darrington residents to be search volunteers because they know the terrain, the people, and have the skills.  They also requested local loggers because of the previously stated reasons.

Rhonda is on Kevin's crew. She grew up and continues to live in Darrington.  She is a damn tough woman who hunts, fishes, takes care of her own house & vehicle and depends on no one.  I think she is an awesome human being.

She told Kevin that once news reached Darrington, the locals gathered and went to the slide.  They took four-wheelers, trucks, horses, whatever it took to get there.  Immediately, without thought of their own well-being, they began crawling through the wreckage.  Because of their actions, a mom and baby were rescued.  Doesn't that just give you the chills?  Neighbors going all Red Dawn and coming, literally, out of the woods & mountains to save their neighbors and friends.

Because of these folks, it turns out that a dog was also rescued from one of the houses.  Rhonda was there and video'd the rescue.  Like I said, tough as effing nails.  It is her brother that brings the dog out.

So, awfulness continues but it feels like everyone is trying to focus on the small little glimmers of hope and humanity.

Give a shout out to whoever or whatever you believe in for this tiny little community.


A couple weeks ago I helped an old friend of mine sell a few cars to a current friend of mine.  The fun part is my old friend is now American German (hasn't lived in the States since 1988)  and my current friend is Scottish Canadian.  Thank goodness they weren't together when we were communicating or I'm sure hilarity would have ensued.

My friend Mark was worried about being able to find my old hometown from the Canadian Border and then find his way around once he arrived.  I sent a screenshot map of the town and said "Not even."  This is the screenshot:

This the heart of the "city" Any excluded streets are more "roads", much less populated, and all lead out of town
As it turns out, he arrived before I did, he found it so easily.  Mark commented on what a nice little town it is.  "Welcome to my hometown" I told him.  (sorta, technically where I lived is twenty minutes away but the majority of my formative years were spent in this town)

It was interesting to see it through stranger's eyes.  The Cascade Range as a backdrop is normal and not really noticed if you live there.  Gorgeous and dramatic if you're not though. The quiet was unusual as well, I'd forgotten how quiet that town is. There really isn't a "bad part of town" as even the run down houses have charm and are few and far between.

It is a little redneck town full of lots of trucks, loggers, hunters, and camo.  But it's full of familiar faces and streets.  It's full of people that stop to ask if you need help or just because they're curious about what you're doing.

It really is a nice little town once you removed your own personal filter.

Being in his old house was a little strange.  It's been updated so doesn't have a time capsule feel  but more of a fever dream feel.  I've spent so much time in that house, that driveway, that garage yet it's been twenty-five years. Just the thought of that amount of time passed is enough to disoriented.

Then fast forward a few days and through the magic of the facebook I found the last remaining person of our high school group.  We messaged back and forth and he mentioned that it was "a good place to be from" which surprised me because he got the eff out of town as soon as we graduated.

Again, perspective has removed any filters.  Everyone has grown up and moved on and most of us are past all the childhood b.s. that has happened.  Sure there is always that guy or girl but most of my adult experiences in that town have been good.

Sometimes I think us humans just see things through certain lenses and never notice that things change or we change.  Or that the lenses need cleaning.

15 March 2014

Wouldn't It Be Nice

One of my favorite songs as a child was "Wouldn't it be nice" by the Beach Boys. I just always looked forward to when I would be old enough to be with someone like that.

This morning Kevin wanted to go to the Hardware Store. Bellingham has an EPIC hardware store that a person can literally get lost in.  I love going there too.  There is no just stopping in for a minute in this store.

Before we left we took Lucy to the coffee stand, like we do every weekend.  She gets spoiled by the girls with lots of treats and scritches.

Then off to town we went.  Sidebar: does everyone say they're "going to town?" or is that a regional thing? or a country thing?  Or am I the only one that says it?

We went to the hardware store then to lunch.  We went to a local's place in downtown that we like.  We noticed it was a little busier than usual but we also saw someone with a marathon number on their shirt so I assumed there was a jog-athon or something. 

Nope, it was a parade.  A St Patrick's Day parade. We had accidentally happened upon a parade. (Kevin said "And you know like one guy is actually Irish", which made me laugh)   The restaurant was right at the beginning of the route and we had front row seats. It wasn't a big parade but it had the requisite fire trucks, marching bands and costumed folks. 

The best part of it was watching a man with Down Syndrome who saluted all the fire trucks and fist pumped or drummed to the marching bands.  It was just so sweet to watch.  He patted Kevin on the shoulder and said hello when they passed on the sidewalk. (Kevin has that invisible sign that tells people he's a good guy)

Afterward we went home because you can't top happening upon a parade (and we were done, but whatever).  I went inside to finish chores and Kevin went out to the shop to play with his new toys.  As I was puttering around in the house, that song popped in my head.  It occurred to me that the wish had come true.  I'm hanging out with my best friend all the time. 

13 March 2014

Screen Time

I've been on a movie watching binge.  Not purposefully, just had the opportunity lately because I had a snow day, a comp day, and a few quiet weekends. I'm not complaining, it just feels a little strange. After being immobile for so long, I felt like I had to move it, move it, once I was well.  Now I'm trying to find a balance.

I finally watched Les Miserables.  Now I see why everyone loved it.  I've watched it, in parts and all the way through, numerous times and I'm always mesmerized.  I read the book in high school and liked it but remember very little of it.  Thankfully, some of it I recalled as the movie went on.  And seriously, you can't go wrong with Eddie Redmayne.  Hugh Jackman as well.  I'm not a Anne Hathaway fan so I was relieved she was in it only a bit.

To offset that Academy Award Winning Movie, I watched the last two Twilight movies.  What is it about those movies in the fact that they're total nonsense yet captivating?  A person ends up just sitting there mindlessly and helplessly watching it. I really hope that Robert Pattinson keeps acting because I think he's got more to offer than these movies. The other one: ugh. Just go away forever.

I also watched Rust and Bone, another Academy Award movie.  I didn't realize that it was subtitled so when I started it at 7:00 in the morning, all I could think was "Ain't nobody got time for that" but I decided to keep watching. I am glad that I did.  There is a difference between European movies and American ones in that they go further into detail than American film makers so I admit that I did hit fast-forward a few times.

TCM has a show about the Academy Awards that they've been playing.  It's about the movies, the actors, and the awards.  I was surprised at just how many I've seen and equally how many I've not seen.  I think if I ever get an attention span long enough to build a Bucket List, I'm going to have one of the items be "Watch all the Academy Award Winning Movies"

My new favorite movie is Beautiful Creatures.  It tried to capitalize on the supernatural movie trend but I don't think it did very well in the box office.  I don't know why.  It has Emma Thompson, Viola Davis, and Jeremy Irons and it features a few character actors that everyone will recognize. The main characters are two teens that are unknown actors though and perhaps that's why it wasn't more popular. The soundtrack is great as well.  It is the anti-Twilight.  The girl lead character has actual facial expressions and talent.

I've been testing out the new sitcoms as well.  So far, Mixology is the only one that I've liked.  I feel like I should like Brooklyn Nine Nine but I'm just not an Andy Samberg fan.

But really, I don't need more television to watch. Which is exactly what I'm binge-watching Veronica Mars now.

A Wandering Post About Writing

I read a post the other day about blogs becoming a thing of the past.  It talked about the ethereal nature of them and just how very few of them have staying power.  Also it talked how popular some of the blogs have become, even becoming a regular source of income which is a completely new and viable industry.

It made me feel a little badly because I've been so lax about writing here.  I am often thinking about it, it's just that follow-through and opportunity that I have lacked.  I have an actual list of items to talk about and an older list of random words written on a wrinkled old subscription card that must have meant something when I wrote it.

Some of the lack is simple time.  I come home tired still, which is just stupid.  I almost wonder if it's become a habit then I remember "Two plates, eight screws, five broken bones, nine percent disability, duh."

Also I have The Puppy.  She requires playing and love and attention that Missy Jo rarely demanded.  Y'all saw: she was standing on my desk while I was writing.  (Kevin said "Well, SOMEONE let her up there.")  There is also something about having a warm puppy laying on you that takes away any need or want to get up, ever.

I realized also that I just got weary of writing about how the Nephew was sick or my job sucks or this is what's wrong right now that 2013 brought us.  Other than the ongoing vehicle drama, 2014 seems more positive by far. *KNOCK WOOD EVERYWHERE*  With that though also takes away go-to subjects to write about.

You guys can only stand so many puppy pictures and I really don't want to be that girl anyway.

Related: While I was proofing another post, I realized that I still have a blog roll on this blog.  I know, I know, I need to update.  At least three of them aren't active anymore.  It's sad really.  Three of the writers just got too busy and couldn't devote any more time so have all but disappeared from my life. One is a far-away friend that I still keep up with.  A few are facebook friends now and I love that.

I have difficulty letting go for the names and links, even though they're not active anymore.  I will do it though.  I'm a little embarrassed at how long it has been since I've updated anything.

Writer burnout has become a real thing.  It used to be simply writers block and it was only for novelists and reporters.  Now there's this new niche of bloggers where the "rules" aren't defined and we're clearly making it up as we go along.  Many people just burnout but then eventually return.  This is always my hope when I click on an old link.

A thousand years ago when I was in college, a professor talked about choosing a career.  He made a point that "Do what you love" might not be the greatest advice.  His premise was that if you do what you love as a hobby then the pleasure is taken out of that hobby.  I was a little ambivalent about that premise at the time, actually thinking "Well, that's depressing."   Now I kind of see his point.

I write for a living now (argument could be had that I do that anyway so let's clarify: I get paid now) and by the time I get home, I'm exhaustified of looking at a screen and hovering over a keyboard.  I imagine that is the case for many writers.

I've never been worried about being on trend or even on task, really, and I'm not going to begin now.  I'll probably still be here typing away this just a bunch of silliness for quite a while and happily reading the friends that still do write.  :)

07 March 2014

Just Turn It & See if it Fits

We've lived in this house almost eight years.  I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I just realized that our garbage can fits under the sink horizontally instead of vertically.  I figured it out completely by accident.  I was trying to fit something behind it and voila! it fit.

This discovery is one of those "life hacks" that you see on the interwebs that changes your life.  It's one of those simple changes that makes you wonder who in the hell decided you got to be an adult.

Nerd vs. Geek

The biggest kid nephew had a birthday the other day.  He's TWELVE.  Twelve, going on twenty. He can sit with the adults and hold his own in conversation, he is kind of a nerd, and loves to write & read.  (you'd think we shared genes but we don't)

His mom mentioned that he took a test to determine if he was a geek or a nerd.  He was hoping for nerd, we don't know why.  I asked him about it and also asked "What's the difference between a geek and a nerd?"

He paused for about a minute, long enough that we were all "umm? dude?"

Finally he kind of sighs and says, (I SWEAR THIS IS TRUE) "It's kind of hard to explain because you need, like, charts and stuff..."

Enough said, young man, you've explained it perfectly.

Yes I Would Love a Cookie

Photo by Kevin's Mom...who probably gave her a cookie