Author of the Queen City Boys books


worth a thousand words indeed

The living room is filled with crap. It’s the usual, end of the week, should have been cleaned and put away over the weekend crap combined with six large boxes that my mother sent. These boxes contain old yearbooks, favorite children’s books, oh so very many of my grandmother’s photographs, books I’m peculiarly unable to part with, a wide variety of knickknacks and keepsakes, and the box that I am currently staring down. A large box, wrapped carefully in a map of Berlin, both the top and bottom wrapped separately, so it can be opened at will. The question is, do I want to open it? I know what it contains, at least in theory. It is notes, cards and letters sent to me from high school through college. There are, I imagine, love letters, break up letters, meaningful and meaningless notes, personal birthday cards, and throwaway cards barely signed and without real sentiment. Do I want to go through this stuff? Should I shove it in a large envelope and file it away for someone to find after my death? Should I just burn it? Should I carefully sift through it a save out the pieces I may or may not be interested in reflecting in my old age? I’m leaning toward burning all the contents unread and unsifted.

Here is a photo I accidentally took this morning while messing with my camera:

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Really the photo is all you need to know about my last few days. Big time excitement, my friends, big bg big excitement.

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It’s the little things that count

Songs for today:

Cry – The V-Roys (click to download)

I’m Yours if You Want Me – Chris Thile (click to download)

I’m miserable today. No, I don’t want to talk about it. And it’s isn’t just me, a bunch of my friends have been sick or injured lately, a couple lost their jobs. Gas prices. The economy is grim. Blah blah blah blah.

So instead of me continuously dwelling on all that and my own current personal problems, let’s look at the good. (I am not Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm, butgodfuckingdamnit, I am going to look at the bright side if it kills me).

  • The weather in middle Tennessee is GORGEOUS right now. Perfect. Delicious for walking and running in. Beautiful for sitting in. This is the gift we get for the tortuous heat and the ugly winters. It is worth it.
  • We are getting a hammock. Porch sitting in a hammock. Does it get better than that?
  • I’m pushing forward, albeit somewhat slowly, but forward nonetheless, on the new websites. Fear me and the HCT/SROTS girls. We will be media moguls soon. Ruling the world here we come!
  • The art jewelry I’m making is getting closer and closer to perfect. It looks in real life like it does in my head! Hurrah. Working on getting much more made so I can be a rich fashion entreprenuer as well as media mogul.
  • I have dozens of episodes of Scrubs on the DVR to watch instead of feeling sorry for myself so that’s awesome.
  • Miss Sparkle and Ladybug are the best friends ever.  They bring me foodstuffs and ice creams and listen to me whine.  That’s what real love is, people.
  • I have the best momma ever.  And the best sister.  And my extended family is pretty freaking cool too.
  • My toenails are painted a pretty bizarre green color not found in nature.

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back in the saddle

Last night I fell asleep to the sound of the rain.  This morning I woke up to it again.  Joy!  We really need the water.  And so calming.  Even with the low thunder rolling periodically overhead now, it just feels very peaceful.

I’ve been in absentia from the internets for a while.  My sister was here for ten days and we’ve been running around ding all the fun things I can think of (which, really, isn’t a lot).  We shopped and touristed and hung out and saw movies.  We went to Knoxville for a couple days and visited with Rhi and her beautiful babygirl and husband.  She took us driving around in the mountains.

YIKES!  Okay, that thunder is not peaceful. Yow!

Anyway, my sister is the most amazing, awesome teenage girl ever and I miss her already.  Seriously the world would be a better place if there were many more of her in the world.

Now I am trying not to let overwhelmed by my own to-do list.  I’ve actually made sub-lists in it by subject.  It is large and really I’m not sure where to even start.

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It’s my town, yo!

Copied and pasted from and email from my father:

Fort Nashborough must be agreeing with you.  I was surprised to learn that the town was founded by Capt. John Donelson, as I remembered there is a Capt. John Donaldson/Donelson (both spellings are given) in our family tree, who was the progenitor of the Tennessee branch of the family, including Abram Rodgers, my dad’s great-great grandfather.  I checked a little further and the Nashville founder is one of the elder John Donelson’s children, but it was another son, William Donelson, that’s our direct ancestor.  Still, you ARE related to the founder of the town.

So there you go, when people ask why I love Tennessee so much, I can tell them it’s because it’s my town!

My sister is here.  So far it’s been like summer vacation (except where I have to work every night).  I think we’re either hitting up the pool or the museums today.  See?  Summer vacation.

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Amo mi familia de vidrio

So earlier I sent my sister a MySpace message to ask what mom was doing because I needed to call her.  Here is an edited (only took out the irrelevent parts) of my exchange with my awesome baby sister:

CrackerjackSis:  speaking of which, is it weird that i feel like Zooey is our family combined? I kept thinking it when I was reading that story

me: like Franny and Zooey?  Salinger?

CJSis: yeah

me (later): Mom just told me that she couldn’t ever understand what Seymour’s problem was, that she always wanted to live with the Glass family. I told her apparently she’d managed to make her own Glass family.

CJSis: Yeah. I read the two stories like 4 months between each other and I totally forgot the whole story (I don’t even remember if they explain Seymour in Franny) but for most of Buddy’s letter I thought Seymour was his boyfriend.

AHAHHAHA!  Seriously, she’s like the best teenager ever.  And she’ll be here in two weeks! I will be smarter when she leaves.  That’s just how it goes!

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I miss you, Grampa, even if you are always with me

A conversation I had last night with Whopperjaw prompted me to dig up this CD my mom gave me a few years ago. It’s a recording of my grandfather telling stories about his childhood to my cousin, T, who was 8 at the time (so I was probably about 19, I guess). The recording is probably 18+ years old and made just a couple years before my grandfather died. I’ve never listened to it, despite knowing the tapes existed for many years and having had the CD copy for several years. I’m torn. Like I really, really want to hear those stories told again, to hang onto that piece of my childhood, but at the same time, I’m not sure I can deal with actually hearing my grandfather talk. It just seems like it might be too upsetting. He’s been dead for 13 or so years. I’d expect my sadness at his loss to be lessened by now, but really if I think too much about it it still makes me cry. Like I am doing right now just typing this. I will, however, probably give the CD a try. Hopefully it is interesting enough to report back on. Maybe it will help me push the happy memories to the forefront and feel less sorry for myself about my loss.

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Come out of the closet, sure, but don’t tell your parents you are a bear

Tonight my mom took my sister and me to see John Waters speak.  I tried to take notes, to share all the brilliance with you all, but it was too hard to listen and take notes.

I can tell you that there was a high number of chicks with flamingo pink hair.  Some to good effect, some to very bad.  The price of admission was worth look on my mom’s face as she watched a fabulous drag queen walk past.  She checked his dress, his shoes, his amazing wig, and when he turned her face showed the same amount of shock we all felt and the amazing amount of back hair that the guy had.  My ma loves a good drag queen as much as I do, but really, he perhaps should have had a more concealing dress.

They showed the John Water’s no smoking in this theatre thing before he came on.  I do believe seeing that was my first ever encounter with John Water’s when I was a pre-teen, I saw it at the Harvard Exit before a film and I remember pretending I got it when everyone talked about how cool John Waters was.

Well, he is cool.  Damn fucking cool.  Here are some clever, utterly out of context bits from his talk tonight:

“Let them in for free, make them pay to leave.”

“S&M looks stupid at the beach.”

“I hate that I have to tell you this.  I know you thinking ‘my ears aren’t garbage cans, John’ but tonight they are.”

“I think I lead exactly the life you think I do.”

He talked about revolution and anarchy in the ways we thought of them in my youth and yes he’s right.  From John’s mouth to the country’s ears: Hey assholes, if you care so much about Bush being a bad president, don’t buy a watch that counts down the time ’till he leaves office, instead go tip over a car or start a riot.  Yeah.  We are all apathetic now.

It was awesome.  Cross another perfect icon of my youth off my list of people to see in person before one of us dies.

On the way home my ma asked if I was going to drive over [Capitol] hill, and I said no, around it.  She then wondered if I was going to take the “Red Robin Speedway” to get to the 520 bridge.   I swear, I have never heard it called that, but as soon as she said it I knew exactly what street she meant.  Driving on Eastlake, towards the U.Dist, it’s the last turn before the bridge.  My sister and I laughed so hard over the “Red Robin Speedway,” but alas, I suspect everyone who will find it as hilarious was in the car at that moment. It was an excellent reminder of why I love my ma and sis, and how funny we all are, at least to each other.

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greetings from the land of sneezes

It is BLOOM season here in Seattle.  It’s been mostly grey and little chill, but totally tolerable.  The flowers have been amazing.  So brilliantly colorful that they make up for the lack of sun.  My allergies however, are most certainly plotting my death.  If they have their way I’ll drown in my own snot or my head will explode from sinus pressure.  I suspect, though, that this is my punishment for not having any allergies in Nashville this season. My incredibly awesome, spectacular, surrogate grandpa, Major Mac, said today that allergies were just like hangovers: you are busy trying to feel good enough to die, and everyone else thinks it’s amusing.  He’s spot on.

Mac and his wife, Aunt C, came for lunch today and told us incredibly true adventures of their lives in the incredible way only they can do and then asked all about my life and were super supportive and interested and wonderful.

I am having a great time on this trip.  I got to see a ton of people last night which was fun.  I hope the sun comes out for me art least once more.  3 hours on the first day wasn’t really enough.

I had a bunch of stuff I’ve been meaning to write about, that I keep thinking of through out the day, but of course I’ve forgotten all of it, so instead I will go drink this pint of Duvel, and eat the salmon my ma is cooking and watch a movie with my dad.  Cheers!

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like funny ha ha!

Yesterday I had good mahi mahi tacos and excellent seviche for lunch in Leschi looking over Lake Washington.  Last night we went to the Dahlia Lounge, where I had perhaps the best crab cakes ever. We also had a bunch of delicious mini seafood appetizers.  I love Tom Douglas so much.  He really does not have a single restaurant that I don’t just LOVE the food at and the atmosphere is always excellent and I get the sense his restaurants are designed around the servers being able to get around comfortably.

At dinner my dad was the hilarious entertainment, and not always intentionally.

Dad: So I was telling my co-worker how I can never tell the international bathroom symbols apart. And she said, “think about it for a second.” So I did and then then next time I saw them I realized the men’s room one was definitely more, you know, upright.

me, ma, sis:  o.0

ma: the women’s one is wearing a skirt

dad: What? *looks at us like we are crazy* No, the male one is just more upright.

me, ma, sis: *wait until we are alone the next day to laugh about it*

And, as usual he managed to get a joke completely wrong (he’s a little hard of hearing) and make it even funnier.  In repeating it to each other, crackerjackSis and I could not stop laughing in the car this morning.

Dad: What do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhinocerous?  Hello Rhino!

Seriously!  I need a Hello Rhino! shirt.  (I’m pretty sure you all know the actual punchline to that joke is “Hell if I know.)

When we picked my sister up from school yesterday, the first thing she said when she got in the car was, “God, I hate PE.  It’s like I have to keep teaching them [Crackerjack Sis]’s first rule of feminism: Pass me the ball even though I can have babies.”

We saw the Indiana Jones movies yesterday afternoon.  I give it two thumbs up.  I wanted action, special effects, punchy dialogue and you know, Indy and I feel it completely delivered.

My momma compulsively folds her movie tickets, makes little origamis out of them (she also chews things, like toothpicks and stuff a lot). As we walked out of the theatre, my sister said, “I knew I was at the movies with Ma when I looked over and she had her little movie ticket paper airplane handing out of her mouth.”  Ma, completely unembarassed said, “my first thought when he handed all the tickets back to me was, ‘oh! I have four to fold!'”

Today we went for a long walk in the neighborhood, had amazing ginger spiced Ahi for lunch (looking over Lake Washington from the other direction) and now we are cooking dinner for our party then going shopping.

I will be posting all my pictures when I get home.

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Here I am in Seattle! 

Thank goodness.  The flight was uneventful, but I had a rough time getting to the airport.  My car broke and cost me way too much to get fixed.  And then I couldn’t pick it up  before I had to leave for the airport and so Ladybug has to take care of all it for me. Making her, for the 47,836th time, the absolute best friend ever.

Right off the plane I was whisked away to a lovely restaurant full of salmon and red wine.  My parents are still my parents only moreso.  Listening to them natter at each other while trying to find the restaurant was classic:

ma: turn left here
pop: left
ma: yeah. no, wait go straight. it’s the next intersection.
pop: this one?
ma: well, I don’t know until I can see the intersection.  Yes, turn right, then left.  It’s there by the feed store.
pop: there’s no parking
ma: you can park behind it
pop: how do I get behind it?
ma: turn right at this corner

ma: don’t park there. park up where the chickens are
pop: what chickens?
ma: they have chickens at the feed store.  sometimes they are the alley.
pop: I don’t see any chickens.
ma: well park up there where they would be.
pop: up where?
ma: there!

Oh family!  You are so amusing!  Also my sister made me a huge, sparkly poster that said welcome home that she held up in the airport!  Ma is getting me a poster tube to take it home in.  Yay!

At dinner my mom was going on about how crackerjackSister and I look exactly alike except she has her dad’s nose and I have my maternal grandfather’s nose. And then we extensively discussed my sister’s teeth (she just got her braces off).

This morning I’m scrounging around for coffee. Although I haven’t been a barista in years, apparently I can still make a great shot of espresso.  I make it and pour it in a cup.  When my mom comes in from dropping my sister off, I am digging around in the fridge looking for milk.

me: there’s no milk?
ma: *look of complete confusion* there’s not?
me: no
ma: well, use what I do.  It’s non-fat, sweetened, condesned milk.  No one else likes it so there’s always some left.
me: oh.  yum. *grimace*

Yes, I find, “no one else likes it” is always an award winning reccomendation for something.  The coffee is drinakble though, so whatever.

I had some other stuff to say aboutt he idiot on the plane behind me who wouldn’t shut up, the cute cowboys in the Denver airport and politics (from reading news mags on the plane) but instead I am off to quickly shower, dress and warmly as I can and go freeze while walking around with my momma. I genuinely tried, but I don’t think I packed at all correctly for the weather here.  I anticipate being very cold for the next few days.

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I have an absurd amount of stuff I need to get done today.  I should probably get going on that to-do list since so far I’ve accomplished: cup of coffee, tater tots, eggs and IMing with my sister.

People have been asking me all week if I’m excited about going back to Seattle.  Sure, yeah,  get to see a huge chunk of the people I love who aren’t in Tennessee.  But I haven’t really been excited.  Looking forward to it, yeah, but excitement has been buried under work stress and other stress and just ugh. So this morning I’m IMing with my sister and thinking about how awesome she is and how how much I miss mom is a given, but that my sister way super ultra cool and that I wished I talked to her more. And then! Mid conversation she busts out with this:

crackerjackSister:  okay i’ve got to go get ready for school
i’ll talk to you later, or see you later!
me:  YAY!
CJS:  haha oh yeah! all my friends that have senior brothers and sisters are like, i don’t get it, i’m so ready for them to leave, and i’m like, believe me, when they come back, you’ll be so excited

I’m almost tearing up rereading it.  She is such a good kid, such a smart kid, such a fun kid.  And man, it is so hard to be a teenager. I feel so ad for her all the time, struggling through high school.  She’s an excellent student, involved in all kinds of shit at school, moderately popular and still it’s so rough.

So, yes I am now excited to go back.  My momma and my sister are definitely worth traveling to ends of the earth for.

But now I must go take my car to th shop, do laundry, clean house, pack, finish making presents, edit reviews, package stuff to ship, re-pack, bathe, get ready for a houseguest, eat and entertain him, make him work, do work myself, sleep and get on a plane.  AUGH!!


incredible adventures, but not mine

I got an email from my aunt this morning, with pictures from her recent rip.  She was married to my father's brother.  Interestingly she's the person I probably have the most contact, the most connection with on that side of the family (including my father) even though I guess I'm not really related to her since she is no longer married to my uncle.  Anyway, her recent trip was to Nepal, for a 20 day meditation retreat and then a week a touristing around.  Now she's back home, which for her is Thailand, where she's been living and teaching for the last few years.  I am always astounded when I look at the pictures of her travels.  She goes to such amazing and beautiful places and always seems to make connections with families and children in those places. She has been all over SE Asia and the South Pacific Islands in recent years and not really as tourist, but staying in people's homes and becoming involved in life in small villages and such.

I can't decided if she's braver than I am, more driven, or just lucky.  I know she went some huge upheaval when she divorced my uncle and really needed new direction in her life.  Through a series of somewhat incredible circumstances Thailand is where she ended up.  I'm not sure I'd want her life, but talking to her always seems to put my own life in perspective and make me itchy to go do something more fantastical and incredible than live an average life.

Not today though, because today I feel like hell.  Everyone around me has been stricken with plague-like flu.  Though I don't have a fever (98.3, I checked this morning), I went to bed with an awful headache, which got worse during the night and I slept fitfully and uncomfortably.  Woke up sore all over, with my head still tight and pounding. And so here I am at work, wondering why my life isn't a fantastical adventure of living in the Pyrenees and teaching in village school while all the children teach me Catalan.  Given the current state of some things in my life, perhaps I should just advertise on Crag's List Barcelona or something.  I'm sure someone over there would hire or marry me.  Then you could all come visit any time you wanted. 

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it’s over, bring on the new year

My family is now on their way to the airport.  They are all about quick goodbyes and no drama, although my sister started crying, which made me cry. And my mom hugged me a little too long.  Ugh, if I think about it too much I’ll start crying again.

We had a pretty good visit, with minimal fighting and lecturing etc.  It was maybe a day too long of a visit, only because of my exhaustion from trying to keep them entertained though, not because they were awful or anything.

Christmas went well, I made dinner and it turned out alright: roast duck, carrots, potatoes and salad.  I’m pretty please with how the duck came out.  The carrots I made with the recipe we use at the Wash and that came out perfectly. It was a surprisingly easy/low-key event, doing all the cooking.

I believe everyone very much liked the gifts I gave.  Budgeting makes me more thoughtful and I think it worked out for me.  My parents weren’t budgeting at all and got me both a new digital camera and a new laptop, which I am gleefully typing on right now.  Everything on it all works so well!  So shiny and fast and awesome.  I’m a nerd, I know, but man, nothing is really quite so happy making as a new computer.  I’m reformatting and cleaning up the old one, such as it is, to give to Jami to use basically as an internet machine.  Hopefully it has enough life left it in it to be useful to her for a bit.

The camera is a 7.1 megapixel Canon PowerShot and wow does it take great pictures for such a little guy.  I might try and get most of my jewelry photographed and up online this weekend (although I might just clean up a little then sit and stare for hours because my family’s visit took a lot out of me).  I am very excited to play with though.  Also I figured out how to make it chirp like a bird instead of beep.  So cute!

David came out to dinner with my family last night which was great because a) they already know and like him and b) it took some of the pressure off me.  They came down to the Wash as I was getting off shift and ate, drank and laughed a lot.  Met everyone I work with and, I think, generally had a great time.  David gave me a little, green, carved soapstone hippo with squeazles painted on it.  It’s so cute I don’t even want to put it with the other hippos in the collection, I just want to carry it in my pocket all the time.

There’s lots to say about my family’s visit, our tour of Nashville, visit to Memphis, how grown up my sister is, and all but I’m so tired and I have so much else to do today (much of which includes staring off into space and pretending I have no responsibilities–right now that’s very important).

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merry xmas

Gift giving went swimmingly.  Family seems happy.  I made Xmas dinner almost all by myself: roast duck, fingerling potatoes roasted with olive oil, carrots and shallots cooked in white wine, butter and thyme and salad, baby greens with almonds, blue cheese, warm poached pears and basalmic vinegar.  Mom made the salad.  It was all delicious.  Especially the carrots.  And the duck.  The skin was perfect.

I got a new digital camera for xmas, so I took pictures.  Will upload once I've actually figured the thing out. 

Tomorrow is apparently shopping day.  Only my family would decide to go shopping the day after Xmas.

Visit is, so far going very well.  Am sitting around the living room right now with the whole family watching Love Actually.   We watched A Christmas Story last night (family tradition) and Saved! earlier. Before that we walked all around Vanderbilt and Centennial park and drove all around town. And before that was breakfast and opening of presents.  Not a bad Xmas day so far.

Two days into their visit and I've only been subjected to a very teeny tiny (acceptable) bit of prying into my private life and one short lecture about my career and what I should be doing with my life.

I am so tired I can barely think of a smart thing to type.  Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.

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two left feet, two right shoes

This morning, whether we like it or not we are braving the mall.  This is utterly necessary because my dad brought two right shoes with him instead of a match pair. I refrained from actually laughing at him, because while he is hilarious, this is one of his unintentional hilarities. It is quite funny.  Though not as funny as hearing him say, in a carefully measured way, "Say, what are you talking about, Willis?"  Which makes my sister cringe and insist that he can't say it like that.  My dad in turn assures us it's the proper Scandinavian way of expressing the sentiment.  Teenageness seems to have made my sister slightly embarrassed by dad about half the time.  Which is good, I guess, since it's not 100% of the time.  Mostly she thinks he's funny too.

The big downside of going to the mall is that Dad will drive.  Even though he doesn't know his way around the city.  I will 'navigate' and my mom will 'help.'  This is extra fun because Dad is a little hard of hearing and mom just doesn't listen and thinks she's knows something, but doesn't so often gives incorrect directions. At the most crucial point my my sister will interrupt to tell us we are all annoying, and cause Dad to miss an important instruction and make, most likely, an illegal u-turn and starting the whole process all over again. I know the way, where we are going, which lane to be in etc.  but no driving for me, presumably because I am not The Dad.  Maybe I can change all that on this trip since I guarantee Dad won't like Nashville drivers.

Am generally looking forward to their visit.  I expect to spend the whole day shopping.  Hopefully that will divert from the other stuff.  Mom is already making pointed comments about people with southern accents (Ma, we are IN the South) and Dad is complaining about wine prices (Pop, it's room service is a $200 a night hotel, of course there's a mark up).

Now, I am off to Jami's to shower.  Luckily the plumber is here now, so hopefully I will have my own hot water soon.  And bless the plumber for coming, I wish I had a present for him.

Merry Christmas to those celebrating.  I hope you have at least a little joy in your hearts.  I have a lot so I'll share if you need.

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the waiting IS the hardest part

My family's flight is still delayed in St. Louis. Ugh.  My sister was complaining on the phone, my dad says the airport there is so nice he doesn't mind staying, in fact he might just move there.  To the airport.  Yeah, I don't know either.

So everything is ready for their impending arrival, and I'm just puttering around the empty house, waiting.

My cousin Joe called me.  The whole rest of my family is at his parent's house right now drinking and being rowdy.  My aunt got the leg lamp from A Christmas Story in the family gift exchange.  She asked me if I thought she was going to hell for putting it in the Nativity. I love my family. Really a lot.

My sister just texted to tell me they made it on to a plane, but the plane has been sitting on the runway for 30 minutes and they don't know why. Ugh.  At least they are on a plane.  That makes it less likely that they will not be spending the night in St. Louis.

Here are pictures of my Shrinky Dinks from today.  The first is pre-shrinking, though unfortunately that one didn't turn out (I didn't heat it long enough and when I went to seal it the art smudged. Boo.)  The second one didn't smudge but was all warped.  I liked it anyway and I know the recipient will too (Dinos in love!) The second came out better, it's a Victorian pattern drawn on the front, shrunk, and then the back was painted red.  It actually looks really cool in real life.  Neither photographed very well.  I am very happy with my tiny dinosaurs though.  They are cute as can be.

The Shrinky Dink learning curve isn't very big, so I expect to be making some damn groovy stuff out of it soon. I have an awesome idea for charm bracelets, we'll see how it goes.  I'd go to the craft store right now if it was open.  Would definitely be better than just sitting around here.

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because it isn’t a holiday without some disaster

So we got up today to finish cleaning the house for the impeding arrival of my parents and discovered that we had no hot water. One sad call to the landlord later and it looks like we are getting a new hot water heater tomorrow.  But really? On a Sunday is bad enough, the day before Xmas eve is even worse.  So luckily my parents are staying in a hotel and I can shower at Jami's.  But UGH.

The house is clean.  I was crafty all day mostly finished the rest of the presents I had to make. My new crafting venture? Shrinky Dinks!!  Yes, you heard me.  Most awesome necklace pendants ever.  Oh yes there will be pictures!!

Now off to take miss Hols to port of air, make hotel reservations for New Year's and go meet my folks.

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It's miserable here.  Rainy and dark and grim.  I nearly died coming back to work on the interstate at lunch.  HOWEVER.

I am filled with joy and xmas spirit and happiness.  Holiday shopping nearly done.  Think I did a good job.  Am now excited about my parents' impending visit. (And not just because Dad said he was too lazy to ship stuff and thus was taking me shopping instead which could mean fabulous, expensive, new cowboy boots for me, woo!)  And my mom got me the desk I wanted, shipped to my house in a clearly marked box, so I might put that together today so it looks extra nice in the house when the familia arrives.

Anyhooo, have given over stressing about xmas and am just excited now. Giddy, bouncing like Tigger.  I also resisted buying myself stuff while shopping.  Except Ghiradelli mint dark chocolates.  But I feel that's my necessary reward for shopping so frugally and well. GO ME!

But let's just see how I am after another night of xmas music at the restaurant tonight. The Charlie Brown Christmas stuff was great, the rest? Not so tolerable. Especially when played rock musicians who think they funny or clever.  I love them dearly, but I am full of fear at the xmas "xtravaganza" planned for this evening.  All I can say is the customers better be full of the joy of the season and tipping like it's going out of style.

The only question now is, do I walk out in the rain, half a block down to my car, and get those mint chocolates out of the trunk?

Also today is Timmy Mac’s birthday.  Which makes it a great day, because he is great and we should all celebrate his existence in the world.

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I see the utterly awesome necklace is still for sale.  I'm just sayin' if you were perhaps at loss for ideas for me…

For my own part, I can not figure out what to get for my dad.  His Amazon list is lackluster and my mom has bought most of it anyway.  I got cool stuff for the rest of the family, but I'm stumped here.  He likes wine and golf and chocolate and college football.  Honestly I don't know enough about any of those things to get him anything good or that he doesn't already have.  Right now I'm leaning towards Tennessee wines, a CD off his wishlist and uh, I dunno.  Something else? ACK!

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