Friday, October 30, 2009


After his obligatory show as an anti-Halloweenite, Todd folded like a house of cards when the kids asked to go to Roloff Farms this year. For those who don't know, the Roloff family has been featured on TLC's Little People, Big World for about three years and Quinn and Reilly and I have adopted them as our substitute when Jon & Kate Plus Eight isn't airing, or is fraught with whatever controversy is getting it axed. We've seen them on lecture circuits, getting surgeries to correct the malformations in their bones, we've seen Jacob (not pictured) get his head stitched up 12 times, and we no longer even distinguish them as little people. So we headed up today to get some pumpkins, pictures, and maybe trip and fall over the same gourd twice, once in the picture being taken by five Japanese tourists snapping a shot nearby. Awesome. Plus it was muddy. Awesomer.

Zachary Roloff:

His twin brother Jeremy Roloff:

We arrived too late to take the tour wherein we would presumably leer into their windows and gawk at them, which is totally awkward, so we were fine just seeing the farm, meeting the twins, who were really friendly, and scoring some mighty handsome pumpkins. And learning once and for all not to walk backwards to get a better picture in a pumpkin field. Duh.

For those of you who shared my curiosity as to what is more awkward, Matt Roloff or 60 rainbow balloons, I couldn't tell you because I refused to climb a mountain to see him. So having actual experience with 60 rainbow balloons, I'm going with those.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the cat's meow

Reilly asked to attend the Halloween party at the Humane Society this afternoon, and despite Todd's initial objection (he's anti-Halloween), he relented because it was clear that the driving force behind her desire to go was to see the animals, donate money, and see if by some miracle her Kevin is there. (Missing 17 days now I think.) I swear there could be a haggis eating contest at the Humane Society and she'd go. Except Quinn would sooner hobble her than let her get anywhere near the verboten haggis. Anyway, I am wholly unaccustomed to dealing with costumes, but since it wasn't that important to her, she raked some random shit out from under her bed in five seconds and with a little eyeliner, we were pleased with the result. (Of course we were missing the ears for an epic ten minutes just as her ride was pulling in--I mean what such experience isn't complete without that?)

Fun stuff.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

summer lovin'...happened so fast

Remember that week that was summer? Or was it a week and a half? In any case, I decided to post some of the things Quinn and Reilly did, and in sifting through pictures, clips, etc., I realized we packed a hell of a lot into the most fleeting summer in my memory. Sadly the joys of the season were tempered by the fact that our media card broke, rendering the entire camera inoperable, rendering us at the mercy of a libra who just today settled on which camera to buy, arming us with a mere cell phone camera ALL SUMMER! Oh how I wished I had a well-to-do relative whose fancy camera I could steal and pass off as my own so I could post better pictures, but alas, I only steal from stores. D'oh! I should have stolen a camera! Dammit! But Todd might have noticed.

Somewhat sequentially:

The patio Todd built (in one day):

Oh the confessions one can elicit at 3am on a cool patio...

A visit from my ma's best friend Cathy, who tried to steal my children, except it wasn't really stealing since they wanted to go. She was up from CA. So so love you Cath:

Our campfire on the beach in Waldport, waiting for the fireworks:

Todd suiting up in his leather hell to ride his motorcycle. So not jealous:

Quinn driving his papa's Jeep at the coast (which explains the ocean, duh):

Reilly's class at Camp Paw Paw (she's bottom right), a program through the Humane Society that teaches really important skills for handling all types of animals, which your children then come home and beg for (like a horse--not kidding), swearing they can take care of it. It was actually a pretty cool class and Reilly met some nice girls who only live 27,000 miles away and have sleepovers everyday:

Quinn grew four inches from June until now, so he slept A LOT. Seriously, it was a big part of his summer. Hello size 18 Levi's:

My mom found like 28937985 track and field programs for Reilly this summer, and she did them all. She raked in twenty blue ribbons out South, trophies at Bush Park, the kid just tore up the track everywhere she went despite never having competed before. She did not love third place, even out of 109 kids, so that's why she wouldn't look at the camera in the still photo. In the clip, she had just run the brutal two mile run at Bush Park, and placed third again. That was slightly less offensive to her because well over 250 kids turned out for it. I'm just glad this snippet doesn't feature me screaming and sobbing with pride. A lot of them do:

This is how it's done:

This is the t-shirt Rei competes in to support the 10-year-old triathlete we met at our third event. Her name is Winter. Her dad died of cancer, we follow her events (she races nationally) contribute to her cause, and the girls love rock climbing omg:

When I found out one of my best friends from high school, who now has a very successful burlesque act in NYC, was performing in Seattle, I said hells yeah. Quinn wasted no time in showing me this really awesome Comic Con Geek-Out Convention in Seattle this very same day, and wouldn't it be special if we went to each other's events? Man I had no problem dressing him in drag or whatever to get him into Amelia's show but I'd rather die than have Microsoft dorks sign my shirt. Thank the lord Todd and his friend Todd (like my brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl, only he has like twelve) and his boys took the kids. They had matching custom nerd shirts and Quinn even, omg omg omg, took off his hat! Apparently it was amazing and everyone went insane over their shirts (my brother made them), and I didn't have to find fish nets for my son. That's a trifle weird, even for me. But I would have. Instead:

Slacks and everything...GEEEEEK! He applied for a job at Burgerville on the way home and they gave him an application, lol;

Ugh! The hat is back on!

Sometimes Reilly wasn't running. She was on her bike. Her good friend Andrea is on the right, and all the other girls are sisters with some form of the same name, which is totally creepy, not because of the name but because it is so unimaginative confusing as hell. If memory serves, Emily, Emma, and Emmy? I'd have sooner let George Foreman name me. Anyway:

Meanwhile Quinn and Israel coerced me into buying them Slurpees like every single day, and stayed inside reading really obscure survival guides and wry humour(less) books and having long hair, long pants, and effing hats (!!!) and even socks when it was 100 degrees. Holy shit, I gave up. But can you believe Israel is 13 and Quinn is 10:

Obviously it is vital to keep up with one's grooming, especially during the summer, and we did lots of manicures and pedicures. (Reilly paid him a dollar, in case you're wondering.):

Can't take the pirate out of the girl:

Following the first day of art class, these guys immediately banded together and I forced them to make a pyramid. They were laughing so hard they almost died but I told them to take one for the team. These are "the co-op kids," so named because we were all in a co-op when they were younger. Wherever we go, they always feel more at ease seeing one or five other co-op kids. They don't really remember not knowing each other. A really great group of kids. Chay finally grew from four to eight!:

Sometimes friends who have endured unspeakable losses during the summer derive some strength from daring me to do things that range from silly: slightly embarrassing and clinky at the jam-packed Olive Garden. The dare was to eat my entire meal using two butter knives as chopsticks without laughing. Seriously, I am apparently gifted at using random objects as chopsticks. The no laughing, yeah I kind of failed, about one second second after she took this: the seemingly reasonable and very well-deserved drink, which inspired a dare which inspired lore of which I can never speak. the most unimaginable dare of all time, of which there had better be no video/audio/artist rendering/memory/etc. on this earth or I will kill someone. Isn't it funny that despite humiliating myself to the point of you-know-what, I will not post the picture of me wearing that entire pack of headbands? Why are you so unsafe? Ha ha ha. I am so glad you don't drink fine wine.

I inexplicably continue to entrust my kids to Deborah, and she took Quinn to Home School Day at the Oregon Garden. Quinn and Shannon make great friends because they're always hella wearing sweaters and black and everything when it's freaking summer. I let him go because Sam and her kids were there too. Don't tell Deborah:

Can someone toss him a blanket? Can't you see he's freezing?

One night some friends came over and somehow Reilly decided she wanted ten inches of her hair cut off so Susannah, in her perfect work clothes (and I in my cap, and like some paint-stained yoga pants and some other awful garment up top, I hope), said she could totally cut Reilly's hair, and like fifteen seconds later (ten minutes) Rei emerged with the best haircut she has ever had. I am soooo glad to see that five-hours-to-dry-everyday burden transformed into this sassy bob that suits my girl oh so well:

"Are you sure?" "Yep."

"Here we go."

The easier to kiss your neck my dear...

We bid summer adieu with Quinn, um, driving, standing at almost 5'6" (aged 10), with Reilly in a more streamline (gorgeous) haircut that suits her track stardom, the proud owner of like seven zillion blue ribbons and trophies that elicit tears of pride as well as OCD. They've made new friends, re-bonded with old ones, gone on really cool trips with people who are apparently unaware that I require documentation of their every step, hence, no pictures. Reilly eats vegetables now, which means my mom is either magic or formerly in charge of Abu Ghraib. This is a big deal. Quinn and Todd were moved by the spirit of Lance Armstrong or something to ride bikes for hundreds of miles, with me calling Todd, whose favourite experience is for me to call, asking if Quinn has died of heat stroke yet. I loved it because, no, not because it's great exercise and bonding time, but because Quinn had to take his goddamned hat off. Todd's garden got all famous, and everywhere I went people lunged at me with pleas for cucumbers, peas, potatoes, cherry tomatoes (my mortal enemy and my lover), and in Deborah's case, corn husks, to feed her Guinea Pigs. When I took them to her house, Ken asked if they were for the pigs or the kids. I will not mention that he is a pediatrician. I survived the coast a few times, though that last jaunt was extra special, let a friend have carte blanche with my hair in an impossible-to-explain effort to help him reunite with his girlfriend. Ha ha ha, it's so fortuitous that I'm not really vain, omg omg omg.

The rays of sun illuminated every speck of insidious dust in my effing house, but they illuminated so much more than that too. The kids have become blissfully adroit at cleaning the house, and I have become adroit at keeping all things insidious away from me and my family.

And then we blinked and it is fall.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

brandi bestowed

I met with a good friend tonight who blew my mind by giving me this, the new, third, album by my lyrical idol and sometimes girlfriend, Brandi Carlile. I had no idea she even had a new album out and I am so excited to hear that familiar voice and listen to it 2986345982365983565 times tomorrow.

Lately everywhere I turn people are giving me the most incredible presents. The universe is clearly breaking of me of my gift receipt apprehension. Pretty tasty medicine I must say.

Thank you, this was so perfect:

boys of summer

We just said goodbye to Todd's best friend Sonny (translation for Gail: Harold), who just moved back to the mainland after 19 years on Maui, and is Colorado-bound. Why the hell do all of our best people move to Colorado? Search me. He and Todd moved to Hawaii together in 1992. Todd lasted a few years, whereas Sonny became an honorary bra'. He is known as the Mayor of Maui. He's a hell of a great guy, and even though Colorado may as well still be Jupiter, Todd is so glad he's back, as am I because this reduces my risk of airplane travel significantly. In anticipation of his extended stay, Todd used his super magical used vehicle mojo to find Sonny a car, and when they set out last week to look at four, I couldn't help but laugh at Sonny driving back in a Jeep identical to Todd's. They spent all Saturday Jeeping and being boys and buffing or whatever the hell in the driveway, as Todd wasn't about to let Sonny go without analyzing/polishing/replacing/over-thinking every single belt, bolt, etc. One morning last weekend I awoke to find an array of other island drop-outs in my house, all of whom live within 30 miles, planning an impromptu father-son retreat, and when I took the garbage out, I noticed that there were six identical white Jeeps in the driveway. Another friend dropped by and was laughing, asking if it was some sort of Jeep convention. There is definitely a shared mentality in this brotherhood. Tonight we bid Sonny farewell, which is always tough on him and Todd. But much like BFF necklaces, they have their Jeeps by which to remember each other. See you soon bra'.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

wash out

In the midst of our epic company-up-to-here marathon, our washing machine broke yesterday, it's so exciting. I reached in to extract my delicates, which are fussy bitches that demand to be hung with care. They weighed 100 lbs. and were totally sopping wet. I reset the spin cycle and each of 15 times my hope was dashed by the same lifeless wet heap. So I said fuck. A lot. Then we paid our guy to come today and tell us to buy a new set. Then Todd said fuck. Well, translated precisely it's more of a sigh, but it means fuck, trust me.

Can I just say? Much like running out of milk derails every culinary need you could possibly have, having no washing machine essentially relegates a household to something like a third world country. The clothes are still too wet to hang, and now I feel we must all wear only our skivvies until the new set can be fetched, somewhere in between my cleaning job, art classes, Todd's and Quinn's camping trip, and the aforementioned 20+ towels used each day by our beloved guest. I seriously don't want to wear anything, because, in this holocaust of washerlessness, I can only imagine a greater need arising for each and every garment I consider. So I'm rationing, wearing shitty clothes first, and will work my way up so that if Barack Obama calls, there's a better chance of having something.

Gail suggested I go to a laundromat. We are no longer friends.

I also feel like I can't wash dishes or dust or whatever because I don't want to add to the bins, which are rising ominously. And of course I had just stripped all the sheets and prepared to put that machine through the paces before it got the last laugh and croaked, knowing I planned to wash everything in the house before our impossible weekend.

So if you drop by, or shall I say when you drop by, since Todd keeps promising vegetables to everyone and forgetting to tell me, and Sonny likes to invite people over (mind you he's on Maui time, so folks are swinging by at 11pm), please be prepared for semi-nudity because I have basically sealed off the laundry room with crime scene tape and threatened anyone who dares to throw something in.

Oh, well don't cry for me Argentina, Todd just said he's getting the new set tomorrow. Truth be told though, I'll probably be in my underwear anyway.