Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Making sin out of nothing at all

As I sat down to write this, I glanced outside and saw Widower Peter standing in front of his house across the street.  He walked down to the sidewalk, opened the cover of his water meter, spit in it, then walked away smoking his wonderfully curvy pipe. 

Can anyone tell me why he would do such a thing?  Can't he just spit on someones car -- or try to land his spit on a quickly-moving bug just for a challenge -- or spit up in the air to see who it lands on like us normal people on this side of the street?

Seattle Mom and I went to see the band Stars last week.  There are few things more enjoyable than sitting in a live music venue with a beer in your hand and loud music rattling your bones.  I can't hear anything for days afterwards, which is a bonus considering the volume of my daily life (I'm looking at you, Lucien and Alex and men constantly hammering on my house).

The show went from fun to sexy when I went to the bathroom and saw these signs on the wall --

Let's rephrase so there's no confusion.  What they really mean is this --

Stars is a good band.  I liked them more when they first appeared on my radar nearly a decade ago but they're still worth the time spent.  They seem to align with me politically as well; I lost count how many times they gave Washington props for legalizing both gay marriage and weed on the same day. They called Washingtonians "an inspiration to civilization" for recognizing both those things for what they are -- not scary.

I recapped the show for Contractor God the following morning and in my description expressed relief Seattle Mom and I were not the oldest people at the show.  That's a legitimate concern when you reach your late thirties. 

Contractor God then told me of the time he and a friend, both in their late forties, went to see one of their old favorite British punk bands.  He said it was quite depressing to look around the crowd, realize how old the fanbase had become and admit they were, in fact, their peers. 

Come the first song, the fans tried hard to pogo with the same enthusiasm they'd had twenty-five years earlier.  But after about half a song, everyone hobbled away from the front of the stage rubbing their lower backs to order a beer, put ice packs on their aching muscles and wonder where the years had gone. 

We were at Seattle Mom and Dad's house for dinner recently when Seattle daughter and Lucien brought us a picture they'd drawn together.  I immediately got upset.

"Sin?  SIN??  With arrows pointing at the important bits?  Who is teaching our children their bodies are sinful?  I don't even believe in 'sin,' just use your common sense and don't hurt anybody, duh."

Seattle Mom and I called the children over, concerned about the messages they were receiving from somewhere and wanting to set them straight.  When we asked Seattle Daughter what she meant by "sin," she looked at us like we were dumb and said, "That doesn't say "sin," that says "NICE."

Seattle Mom then remembered Seattle Daughter has a tendency to write words backwards. She actually sounded it out pretty well.  English is hard. 

It's winter, the skies have gotten gray and rainy and most Seattle residents are stir-crazy and itching for change.  But for some reason, I'm currently involved in a full-on love affair with my city.  Everywhere I look, I love things.

Love my Seattle boy running on the waterfront

Love my girl owning that lollipop under the viaduct

Love those brick walls

Love that neighborhood theatre sign

Love the picture Contractor God took from up on our roof

 Love my funny friends

I wasn't born in Seattle and it's far from the most exotic or interesting place I've been, but as my boyfriend, hip-hop artist Macklemore, says about it:

"The skyline is etched in my veins, you can never put that out no matter how hard it rains."

Break it down for the town...

Not really sure where I was going with all that but there it is,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Basmati phone and the ultimate playlist

Well hello there.

I've missed you, blog, but I've been distracted lately.  It all began a few weeks ago when I dropped my iPhone in the toilet.  I was in a bad mood already because we woke up late and Lucien was about to miss his school bus.  Seeing my beloved iPhone in the toilet did not improve the mood situation.

I ran into the kitchen cradling my wet and hygienically compromised phone.  Remembering a bit of folkloric wisdom, I ripped open a bag of rice. Rice flew all over the kitchen, decorating even its most remote corners.  It was kind of festive, like a frantic kitchen wedding with one particularly out of control guest spewing f-bombs while her kid makes armpit farts and wears his shoes on the wrong feet.

(That's actually a wedding I would like to attend.)

I buried my toilet phone in a bowl of delicious basmati rice for two days and it magically came back to life.  I couldn't believe it worked.  Contractor God was with me when I thought I heard my phone ring for the first time post-toilet.  I frantically ran to my Le Creuset, dug my phone out of a large pile of rice and began hopping around the kitchen weeping with joy. Contractor God's eyebrows raised, then knitted, but no questions were asked.  He's used to my crap by now.

Then Ohio Mom came to visit me.  Ohio Mom and I were the best of friends in high school.   All our high school memories are the same because it was a rare moment we weren't together.   I hadn't seen her since Al and I got married eleven years ago.  A reunion was long overdue.

She's exactly the same.  Maybe not exactly -- as happens to all of us as we get older, she's become more intensely what she always was.  She was always super organized, super precise, super in control of her body.  She's become more so.

Ohio Mom makes me feel like a flailing tornado with attention problems because I am none of the things she is.  I control very little about myself, much as I'd like to.  I wonder if she thinks I've become more like me as I've gotten older?  I forgot to ask her because I still distract easily.

Ohio Mom and I have always gotten along so well because we're yin and yang.  A well-balanced pair.  I like to laugh really hard while she tells angry stories about people who frustrate her and waves her arms all over the place.  Sometimes I fall over I'm laughing so hard but she doesn't care, just keeps going because those people really ticked her off.  Ours is just a relationship that works.

We're still so on the same wavelength, we wore similar outfits to go see Wicked --

Wicked is a good show but I identified numerous inconsistencies and plot holes.  It is therefore my opinion that when you see a show involving the Wizard of Oz, it is best to suspend your disbelief.

Also, the Paramount Theater sign looks like a penis --

The first night Ohio Mom was here we went out to dinner and then out with a few of my ladies.  It became a very late night for Ohio Mom, whose body was still in Ohio's time zone, when we decided to go to Photographer Mom's studio, drink champagne and take strange pictures of each other.

freight elevator to heaven

Photographer Mom is a popular boudoir photographer and has an awesome studio in the historical Pioneer Square district of Seattle.  Luckily she has helpful things in her studio such as a sexy bed, upon which jetlagged Ohio Mom promptly laid down and fell asleep.  Ohio Mom is a very, very good sport.  We covered her with a blanket, smoothed her hair, and then the rest of the ladies dressed me as a mummy bride and themselves as bridesmaids with baskets on their heads.

picture of a picture on a computer, both taken by the talented and friendly Christina Mallet

It 's very high concept so don't feel bad if you don't "get" it.  I don't get it and I was there.

If I get more photos from Photographer Mom of that night, I'll post them randomly forevermore. They are likely blogworthy and best without context.

I spent the next large chunk of my life planning a Halloween party.  We threw a Halloween fete at Banister Abbey for adults only.  No kids, dammit.  It quickly became apparent from the ecstatically enthusiastic responses that the event was about to become an episode of Parents With Babysitters Gone Wild.  That really should be a show because no one gets more out of control more quickly than parents with small children left at home.

Costumes were required.  There was a hanging cocoon man as part of the decoration.  There was also an orange-colored champagne punch created by my butler friend, Cavanaugh.  We hired a creative caterer who made things like wontons shaped like pumpkins and pastry-wrapped sausages shaped like mummies.  And most importantly, there was a five-hour playlist crafted by myself to include only songs related to Halloween and scariness.

It took me weeks to create that playlist.  Do you know how hard it is to find five hours of Halloween-related music?  I got so desperate I used M.C. Hammer's "Addams Family" for the love of God!  I agonized over that playlist, worked hard to get the flow just right.  It had to start spooky, turn kitschy, go into dancey and finally get-out-of-my-house-I'm-tired-y.

Contractor God would walk into the house and roll his eyes for weeks as I sat at my desk listening to Marilyn Manson and gazing thoughtfully into the middle distance.  "The playlist??  Still?  You're pathetic!  Get a life, woman!"  (He actually said all those things.  Very, very hurtful.)

But it worked.  My friends danced.  I've never seen some of them dance so it's obvious all those hours spent with my headphones on, neglecting my children who were feeding themselves moldy leftovers out of the fridge and crying, "Mommy! I'm hungry and this tastes like feet," were well worth it.

Photographer Mom did a photo booth at the party.  There were many props used and many indecent poses struck.  I haven't seen the photos yet.  I should really track Photographer Mom down and give her some money.  

Our friends came up with some great costumes.  Among my favorites were the friend who came as Romney's "Binder of Women" and her husband who came as Seattle hip hop artist, Macklemore, complete with thrift shop leopard print faux fur coat (explanation embedded below, best video ever).

I also liked the friends who came as Prince Harry and Kate Middleton.  They were both pretty much naked, save for their skin tight flesh-colored suits.  Harry carried a pool cue and Kate wore a tiara; that's how we knew they were something other than nudists.

Perhaps favorite of mine was the friend who came as a Mormon, complete with backpack and bike helmet hanging off it, nicely combed hair and authentic name tag, who followed other guests around and tried to talk to them about their relationship with Jesus Christ.  He wasn't the most popular guest but he showed real commitment.

I was Lucille Ball.  I became accustomed to people yelling, "LUCY, YOU GOT SOME SPLAININ' TO DO" in my face, occasionally spilling their drinks on me in the process.

This is me as Lucille Ball but with Macklemore's face --

I'm with Seattle Mom who dressed as a Catholic school girl.  When Seattle Mom stood next to my friend dressed as a nurse, all the men in the room got sexy looks on their faces.  What is it about that, sickos?

Thankfully, no one's ever had a sex fantasy involving Lucille Ball so I was free to dance like a moron without ruining anyone's sexy dream.

Al and I did not costume ourselves as a couple.  Alex did not dress as Desi.  Better, he dressed as the Will Farrell character, Gene, in the Saturday Night Live "More Cowbell" skit. He carried a cowbell and banged it loudly and repeatedly.  This caused Contractor God to pull me aside and ask if it was wise to give my husband, the loudest man at the party, the loudest prop at the party?  At one point in the evening Alex's cowbell was flung by an unidentified guest into the middle of our yard.

Some people got a little too drunk on the champagne punch and threw up in our bathroom.  Others passed out in our guest room.  One woman staggered and slurred her way to my side, threw her arms around me and told me how long it had been since she had sex (eight years, tragic...)  Damn it was fun.  Suffice it to say, the Banister Abbey Halloween Party is going to be an annual event.  If you live in Seattle, send me your email and we'll see you next year.

I forgot to take pictures until late into the night.  Here are some of our hardier guests, the ones who didn't get too carried away with the champagne punch so were still upright when the playlist was nearing its end.

One more thing before I go.  No, two more things.  First, I am renewing my vow to the blog and swear I'll again write at least once a week.  Until I don't.

Second, I saw a sign hanging at Seattle University recently asking people to donate blood. Instead of stressing the fact they could save a life, the sign said in large bold print, "Giving blood burns up to 650 calories!!!"  It made me realize that we, as a culture, have taken a wrong turn somewhere.

I got Obama, married gays, and weed all in one night.  It's a liberal's jackpot in Seattle.

(Lucien's school held a mock election and while 95% of his school voted for Obama, he voted for Romney because, in his words, "he's more handsome, combs his hair better, and wants everyone to have guns.")

(Lucien also asked why I was crying when gay marriage was passed in Washington State.  I said, "Because I believe it's OK for a boy to love a boy or a girl to love a girl."  Lucien then shrugged and said, "Well, I bet Mitt Romney thinks it's most important to love your mommy and no one can argue with that.")

(Perhaps that should have been Mitt's platform.)

Macklemore!  Go home, you're drunk!


This one's for you, Washington State.

This post just keeps going forever and ever.