Tuesday, May 31, 2005

These are a few of my favorite things

The new trailer for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is pretty cool; although, what is up with Johnny Depp's goofy smile and hairdo?

Coincidentally, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which is one of my all-time favorites, came out when I was three; but Mr. Na won't be seeing the new one for a few more years.

Today, The Guardian announced the Live 8 lineup in full detail. Hard to believe the first Live Aid was twenty years ago. I was going to summer school then to make up for the history class I failed because I cut too many classes in my junior year. Where were you?

No surprises as far as the lineup: Madonna, U2, Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, Duran Duran, Coldplay, Dave Matthews; but there will be no Concorde for anyone to hop the pond in a hurry.

I won't be going, but I'm sure VH-1 or someone will be broadcasting it and re-broadcasting it a million times for all to see. I am, however, looking forward to seeing Chris Isaak, Oasis and Kasabian, Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright, and Tears for Fears this summer.

Some more of my favorite summer things:
The smell of Play-Doh (it's a year-round thing but I just got some for Mr. Na so it stirred up memories of Lollipop Camp);
an afternoon thunderstorm;
hearing the ice cream truck outside;
daylight at 9 p.m;
bike rides;
swimming outside;
BBQ ribs;
corn on the cob;
outdoor concerts

Monday, May 30, 2005

Warm in Whistler

You know, when you drive 5 hours up north, up to 2100 feet in elevation, to where you can ski during the summer, you think, "ah, this trip will be all about the cooler weather..." Well, think again. I mean, we were prepared for warm temperatures prior to our trek--but Whistler was ROASTING and HUMID with daytime temperatures in the mid to upper 90s. Nonetheless, aside from Mr. Na's wicked heat rash, we had an awesome time.

I had been to Whistler before, but Na, Pa and FiFi had not. We were immediately thrilled by the fact that we were staying right in Whistler Village and that the entire place was just downright dog friendly. FiFi even got to shop at Lush with me and she helped me pick out Sonic Death Monkey among other tasty treats.

The only bummer about the whole trip was the stupid 5k race I entered on Sunday. It really would have been an awesome race if it had just been better organized. The starting line was not where it was supposed to be--and so 300 of us started in a parking lot. Then, while the trail around Lost Lake was properly marked with cones and friendly people for the first 2k, the remaining 1k was not and so I got LOST. I mean, REALLY LOST. And there's just something dreadfully ironic about getting lost on a trail that loops around Lost Lake; but the irony was lost on me on Sunday. I was just livid and by the time I got back to the Village, I gave the "organizers" an earful. But apparently I wasn't the only one who got lost. They were still on the radio trying to find some other wayward souls. Gadzooks! And to think I was on the trail, hopping over piles of fresh bear poop. It definitely wouldn't have been funny if I saw a runner's bib in one of those piles!

Anyway, one of the highlights of the trip was actually the car ride home. British Columbia has to be, by far, one of the prettiest spots in the world. I love the drive between Whistler and Vancouver, where the snow covered mountains meet the sea. Everything is so green and lush--it almost makes Western Washington look pale.

Well, almost.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Why I live in Seattle

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Photo is from Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times


And just in time to enjoy this gorgeous weather, Na, Pa and Ma are headed to Whistler for the weekend.  Have a nice holiday!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Things that make me sad

I'm a crier. Not, you know, the average crier watching sad movies like Steel Magnolias or The Notebook; I have been found crying over iMac commercials (I'm such a sucker for Kermit the Frog singing "It Ain't Easy Being Green") and the opening credits of "Winnie the Pooh" among other things.

Last night, we actually braved the crowds and saw Star Wars III (I know, I completely went back on my last blog entry...it's a long story) and halfway through it (I won't spoil it), I was crying. The dialogue SUCKED, the acting SUCKED, but all that yucky murder MADE ME CRY!

I just finished watching the season finale of The OC and it left me bawling like a baby. A lot of it, though, also had to do with the fact that I just read that the voices of Fred Flintstone and Tony the Tiger died. That made me sad, too.

An 11 year-old boy was hit by a car down at the bottom of our street yesterday. He was using a crosswalk. One car had stopped; another car attempted to whiz past in the next lane, oblivious to the stopped car in the other lane. All I kept thinking was: it could have been Na. So I spent this afternoon gently telling Na that he can never, ever, ever, ever cross the street without holding my hand. He wanted to know why I was crying. I told him I didn't ever want him to get a bad owie like the boy.

My naturopath called me a "Pusatilla"-- which is actually a wildflower. Women with "Pulsatilla" tendencies are criers. They also tend to be fair haired, fair skinned and blue eyed. After my sister's death and during our adoption turmoil, she gave me a tincture made of Pulsatilla. I took one or two of the smallest doses and cried for an entire day. I called her (in tears) to tell her it wasn't working. She told me that since homeopathic remedies contain trace amounts of "what ails ya" that I'd be feeling blue for one or two days. A few days later, amazingly, my melancholy lifted. It felt awesome, again, to be alive.

I don't mind being a crier, really. All things considered, I'd rather cry out my feelings than keep them bottled inside. And hey, I've got a personality of a flower!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Film Wars: Revenge of the SIFF

So while everyone and their uncle stands in line or squeezes themselves into the front row to watch Revenge of the Sith this weekend, I'm making my plans to go to The Seattle International Film Festival.

SIFF always happens right around the dreariest part of spring in Seattle, when the weather gets warmer but it stays gray and rainy. It's the perfect time for spending 8 hours (most of them daylight) in a darkened movie theater, munching on popcorn and being transported away to different countries.

I've seen some awesome films at SIFF, including Das Experiment, Dirty Pretty Things, and a short called D.E.B.S. which was later made into a full length feature. I think my all-time favorite screening at SIFF was My Dinner With Jimi. Afterwards, Howard Kaylan stood up on stage and did a very cool Q&A. (Of course, it was also pretty cool when princess kanomanom and I saw The Secret Lives of Dentists and Tom Robbins sat behind us). I also got to see Anthony Michael Hall after the screening of Pirates of the Silicon Valley (but secretly wished Noah Wylie was there).

There used to be a time--Pre-Na--when hubby and I would actually create a spreadsheet in Excel to map out all the movies we wanted to see at SIFF. We'd drop about $300 easily on the Festival and spend entire DAYS inside movie theaters, eating the Clif Bars we brought with us to keep our energy levels up. Sadly, those days are gone and now we must choose around babysitting schedules and Papa's travel schedule, so if we're lucky, we'll be able to catch a handful this year. Here's my (partial) wish list:
The Dying Gaul
Adam & Steve
and Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley. Sadly, the first showing of it is already sold out!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Ultimate Monkey Mix for Spring 2005

The spring music mix currently in my MP3 player:

Club Foot - Kasabian
Feel Good Inc - Gorillaz
Silver Rider - Low
Black and White Town - Doves
I Predict a Riot - Kaiser Chiefs
Losing My Edge - LCD Soundsystem
Let Go - Frou Frou
Somebody Told Me - The Killers
The Alphabet Lost and Found - They Might Be Giants

p.s. - Mary, your CD is in the mail although I may never forgive you for telling me who won the Apprentice this evening.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Two Angry Forces

I woke up this morning learning that two poingnant events took place 25 years ago today: Mount St. Helens erupted and Ian Curtis of Joy Division hung himself.

I was only 12 at the time--a seventh grader tucked away in a sleepy northern New Jersey town. Suffice it to say neither of those two events affected me at the time. Although I do remember seeing news reports of the blast, I lived 3,000 miles away from Washington State. And I can only assume Curtis's death barely made any news in the U.S., given the volcano's eruption. Even if it had, I didn't become a Joy Division fan for another four years, when New Order took off.

Today, I live within 100 miles of Mt. St. Helens and I'm listening to "Shadowplay" (although I guess I should be listening to Iggy Pop's The Idiot since that was what was on Curtis's turntable when his wife found him in the kitchen).

What a strange day it was.

Mt. St. Helens Photo from AP
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Ian Curtis photo from NME

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Sunday, May 15, 2005


Your Horoscope for May 15, 2005

You will find yourself in quite a few situations where you have to fight for what you believe. Fortunately, you are not the sort to let others walk all over you, but there is no need to stomp your opponents into the ground. It might also help if you were not quite so touchy about criticism. Just because someone disagrees with you does not make him your enemy.

To celebrate my 37th birthday, I rolled out of bed at 7 a.m. (on a Sunday, no less) and ran Nordstrom's "Beat The Bridge" 8k during a torrential downpour. It opened my sinuses and alleviated the nasty allergy haze I've been under for the past few weeks. Not a bad way to start the day!

So as of today, I am:

13,514 days old
1,167,609,600 seconds
324,336 hours
1,930 weeks (rounded down)

I'll admit I was dreading adding another candle onto my birthday cake; but today I feel like a million bucks!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Coffee Break!

I just finished reading The Nanny Diaries last night--a breath of fresh air compared to my bleak Holocaust repertoire. It was actually a lot better than I thought it would be and as I read it, I wondered how two people collaborated together to co-write a book. I would imagine it'd be difficult to have the same voice coming from two different writers; unless, of course, one writer writes the protagonist and the other the antagonist.

Hmm, that might actually be fun!

And now back to more somber reading...which is getting me in the mood to do more editing.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Happy Mother's Day...and now, back to work!

If it wasn't for the gloomy weather, Mother's Day would have been perfect. Na and Pa treated me to brunch at Palisade, overlooking Elliot Bay and a misty view of the Space Needle. We enjoyed the banana/macadamia nut pancakes, fresh fruit and pastries until we were stuffed beyond words.

Then Na and Pa gave me a present from my favorite clothing store, tastefully wrapped in paper colored by Mr. Na himself.

But the best Mother's Day present of all was later at home, when Na laid his head on my lap as I stroked his head. I'm nuts about that kid and I couldn't picture my life without him in it. Hard to believe he's been "here" for half his little life already. Time has flown.

Pa's back out on the road again, leaving me and Na to hold down the fort until Friday. I've been editing my second chapter. All I can say is that this process is S-L-O-W. At the rate I'm going, Na will be off to college by the time I'm finished!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

One woman's luck is another woman's misfortune

This day started out positively shitty. Actually, let me back up and start from yesterday when I accidentally locked the dog in my husband's office for a few hours; and then forgot to close the garage door.

We live on a fairly busy street in a nice, middle class neighborhood; however, I'd be lying if I didn't mention the prostitutes who conduct business less than a mile from here or the transients who come by late at night and knock on the door, offering to mow our lawn for money. This is a city and that's our reality. We still love it here.

So needless to say, when I discovered my garage door having been left open all night, I panicked. Not only are our bikes stowed there, but my husband has a woodshop with many tools.

It could have been worse--luckily only one bike was stolen; but it was my bike and I was PISSED. I was mad at everyone, including hubby because he wasn't home. And, since I didn't want to take my anger out on my son, I called his father:

PA: Hello?


PA: How?


PA: Oh, shit! Did they take anything else?


PA: Ok, well, I need you to calm down and...


NA: Mommy? I wanna go bye bye!

MA: Not now, honey, Mommy's yelling at Papa.

NA: Why?

PA: Yeah, why are you yelling at me?


PA: This would have happened regardless if I was home or not.


I'll spare you the rest of the conversation. Especially because he was right. But after finding out we had a $500 deductible for theft loss, I was livid.

Fast forward to a few hours later, as I'm entering my neighborhood. Less than a block from my house, out of the corner of my eye, I spot a bike laying on the sidewalk. I stepped on the brakes.

NA: Mama, what was that?

MA: Is that my bike?

Sure enough, it was. I got out of the car, picked up the bike and put (as much as I could of) it in my trunk. A woman on her front porch waved to me.

WOMAN: Is that your bike?

MA: Yes, it was stolen from my garage last night, which I accidentally left open.

WOMAN: Oh, well, whoever stole it, stole my car!

MA: You're kidding?

WOMAN: Yep, right in front of my house.

MA: Was it unlocked?

WOMAN (blushing): Well, see, I have a baby...

MA: Say no more, my friend. I completely understand.

Anyway, I'm happy I have my bike but sad for my neighbor. Hopefully, the police can lift some fingerprints off of the bike.

On the plus side, it's nice to know I'm not the only one with "mommy memory".

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Alone again, naturally...

I'm feeling incredibly ancient today. Maybe it's the ache in my knees and lower back, along with the sore throat. It's probably also my 2-1/2 year-old sucking the very life out of me. He's different when Papa isn't around. He tests me more and he's clingier--though the funny thing is, he doesn't ask for Papa.

Anyway, have I mentioned before how much it sucks being a single parent? I don't know how people do it, but hats off to them who do!

On top of feeling icky, I'm also tired of being alone. I've been used to being alone for hours on end all my life, but there comes a point in time where having a conversation with yourself in your head gets pretty boring. Oh, sure, sure, I have someone here to talk with 24/7, but my daily dialogue consists of this:

"Eat your food."
"Do you have to go pee?"
"Why didn't you tell me you had to go pee pee?"
"I dunno"
"If you don't listen to me, you're getting a time out."
"Leave the dog alone."
"Tell FiFi to leave my toys alone."
"I'm going to count to three..."
(usually triggers an action, not a verbal response)
"Eat with your spoon."
(is usually followed by picking up the spoon).

I don't have a lot of Mommy friends and come to think of it, I don't have a lot of friends here, period. All of my close friends are really far away--and the funny thing is, if we lived in the same town, we'd all hang out together because we're all parents. So needless to say, my husband is my social stratum. Pretty sad, eh? Well, a lot of my childless friends have kinda disappeared--and probably because my kid is firmly attached to me whenever they see me anymore. So I spend endless hours alone, though not necessarily alone. It's not like I can use this "alone" time to write since my hands are usually filled with wet wipes/food/choo choos--you name it.

At the end of the day, though, I still wouldn't trade my life for anything.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Selling A Vowell

I'm bummed I missed Sarah Vowell at the Elliot Bay Book Company last week. Her acerbic wit, coupled with her voice make for great reading and seeing her live at Bumbershoot with Dave Eggers was a memorable pee-in-your-pants experience.

I rented The Incredibles over the weekend and the bonus disc contains an essay from Vowell who plays Violet in the movie. I thought it was a clever cross promotion for her because she somehow managed to tie her experiences of playing a superhero teenage daughter to her latest book Assasination Vacation. I'll have to remember that little marketing tip for when I star in a film and the DVD release coincides with my book hitting the stands.

In any event, I haven't picked up Assasination Vacation yet, but the historical aspect has got me looking forward to reading it soon.