Friday, December 29, 2006

Cold, cold, cold, I have a yucky cold. Aa is sleeping on the couch to avoid contamination. And my eyes feel about the size of pebbles in my big, swollen, hurty face. whee!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

pizza...twice a day, every day

I'm in the south suburbs of Chicago for the mom's downstairs, starting to make stuffing for dinner tomorrow. I just finished another slice of (say it with me!) pizza. About to start wrapping presents and crack open another beer. Hell yeah.

Merry merry everybody.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

You know what's more fun than cleaning the Minty?

1. Listening to people "talk" about politics by summarizing what they read on or heard on Democracy Now.
2. Posting.
3. Flossing.
4. Cutting Zack's toenails.
5. Cutting Aa's toenails.
6. Staring at the wall.
7. Making lists.
8. Paying bills.
9.Reading The Five People You Meet In Heaven.
10.Watching K-PAX.

Ho Ho Ho

Merry Christmas!

(For like 70 other pictures of kids freaking out on Santa's lap, click here! Bonus points to anyone who can tell me why the overwhelming majority of these pictures come from the burbs of Chicago.)

(thanks, John!)

Friday, December 15, 2006

windy city

it's 2:27 am. Seattle time. and this is the windiest wind storm, short of the "almost" tornadoes of my central Illinois youth, that i have ever seen.

holy craparoni!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Update on our impending reality teevee stardom

So our friend the teevee producer tells us the reality teevee show we're supposed to be on will air in February or March. So ripping Kristin Cavallari's hair out at Tao will have to wait until late Spring or so.

(Also, just wondering...Not that I was ever into Camille Paglia that much to begin with, but Jesus, really?)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Fussy Butt Posts About Her Weekend

My Uncle Jack had a couple of letters to read to my grandma at her big 100th birthday party this weekend. One was from the White House.

Uncle Jack (after repeatedly asking all of us to shut up already so he could read the letter): Dear Genevieve...

Uncle Tom: We regret to inform you that you'll be leaving for Iraq on Monday.

The party was AWESOME. It would appear that my family is increasing exponentially. We're good at reproducing, man. Holy crap, the babies. Babies babies babies.

Not awesome part of the party: I had some totally gross virus which made me unable to stay warm and caused me to lose my breakfast and perhaps the dinner I had the night before while at the party. Did I mention that much of the party entailed passing large "family-style" plates of food around our table? That was like a nightmare, but also really kind of funny. I took many walks during that time. Also I felt weird hugging people with this totally gross virus. But I hugged them anyway because I really miss a lot of them. And I am selfish.

Oh, the least awesome part was when the waitress called me a "fussy-butt" because I told her I didn't want my salad. It made me really mad for some reason. So then I followed her into the kitchen, kissed her, threw up on her, and yelled, "THAT'S why I didn't want my salad, you miserable bitch! Ha-haaaaa!" Then I passed out.1 Aa told me the waitress made some other remark about me while I was out having another get-away-from-the-food walk, and my sister threw hot coffee on her.2 I love my sister.

I spent Monday and Tuesday in my house, monitoring every weird thing my digestive system did. I'll type up a list of everything and post it later.3 This afternoon I finally feel normal again. It's very exciting. So I'll probably go back to eating fatty foods and putting on the pounds. 4

1 Ok, none of that happened except for the "fussy-butt" part.

2 That's a lie too. But I guess she did say something back to her.

3 No I won't.

4 Yes I will.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

addicted to tv, but without the tv.


the HBO kicking my ass. it is like crack.

i have been bittorrenting the 3rd season.

i was up until 3am last night watching it on my laptop while the J and the Z slept quietly and unsuspecting as I slipped into a tv coma.

someone help me.

someone stop me.

i just can't quit.

Monday, December 11, 2006

busy weekend...papa starkey is 60, grandma yandel is 100, and alex has a crazyman beard

When you're a 100 years old you should be this lucky:

meet her ten kids!! and their spouses...AMAZING!...

and her grandkids!!!

and her GREATGrandkids...

Needless to say, coming from a family of about 6 people...
a gathering of this order was amazing.

Jeannie though..suffered with the stomach flu all day. :(

moving on...
. Papa Starkey's 60 birthday (40 more to go dad!!)
He didn't know we were coming. this is the true look of surprise:

blowing out a LOT of candles...

even though it was a lot of driving. it was 100% worth it to
see dad so surprised and happy. promised...Alex has a beard:

(hi! i play guitar!)

(hi! i orchestrated the cuban revolution, wrote
a number of french existentialist novels
and i watching you.)

more fun pics of the crazy beard are HERE.

Friday, December 08, 2006

chicago, my kinda town.

i'll do this in fast bullet points, as if i was giving a very important presentation:
  • plane was delayed out of seattle due to high winds in chicago. that's funny. think about it. hopefully not for too long.

  • it is very cold in chicago. like...really cold.

  • not so cold that we couldn't go out and get a beer at one of J's oldtime irish bars in Beverly.

  • it was fun. it was icy. it was dark. it was cold. perfect.

  • btw, the bar had popcorn. i always like a bar with popcorn.

  • i'd probably like a hospital room with popcorn for that matter.

  • popcorn. popcorn. popcorn.

  • we're headed south and west today because my pop is having a suprise 60th b-day party.

  • i'm not afraid to post that because i'm pretty darn sure he hasn't figured out how to read this here blog. which is funny and kinda weird too.

  • okay. time to put my socks on.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Zacker

This weekend Aa and I leave for Chicago for my Grandma's 100th birthday! Yay Grandma!

Then we come back. Then ten days later I leave again for Chicago for Christmas. But this post is not about how December is the most expensive month ever. Oh, no. This is about my friends S, D, and R, who are (respectively) hosting the Zacker while we're at the party, and then staying with the Zacker in the Minty over Christmas. (I love the idea of R hanging out with Zack at the Minty, by the way - although she's going to get sick of me calling every hour and asking what they're doing and if they're having fun.)

Last night, as I was sitting on the couch in front of the fire (with Zack sprawled across my lap, dead asleep) thinking about how much I love the little guy. It's weird, he's a dog, but because of him I feel like the three of us - me, him, Aa - are a little family.* It makes me sad every time we leave town and leave him behind. But it's really reassuring to know that Zack is going to be with other people who really care about him and like spending time with him while we're gone. This weekend he'll also have a playmate - S & D's astounding dog Ellie, who can leap like 8 feet in the air. I'm feeling pretty warm and fuzzy about all this, as you can plainly tell.

But the thing I was thinking about last night, aside from how immensely grateful I am to my friends for taking care of Zack, is how having Zack has affected our lives. Yes, it's kind of a pain in the ass sometimes. Yes, it sucks when Zack destroys another one of Aa's socks. Yes, it drives me insane when it's 3 am and he decides he needs to walk across my neck so he can wedge himself between Aa and me. But still. Because of him I'm part of this little unit **. And because of him the community we have has grown and in a lot of ways reinforced and changed for the's changed how I talk to people and how I interact with animals. I've had more nice conversations with people on the street who just want to know more about Zack than I would have ever guessed.

I didn't know how having this crazy little space alien of a dog was going to open up our lives and enrich them in so many ways. But it's so great. It's worth all the lousy stuff, including trailing him down the street as he sniffs while I beg him to poop already so I don't miss my bus.

*I know he's not a child. I know. If you have kids and you're reading this I'm sure you're thinking I have no idea what the whole family thing is like. You may be right but this feels pretty awesome right now.

**Seriously, I know he's not a child! I do.

Monday, December 04, 2006

car park

things i did this weekend:
1. moved the stereo speakers 1/2 inch closer to the wall.
2. moved the stereo speakers 1/2 inch away from the wall.
3. moved the stereo speakers 3/8 of inch closer to the wall.
4. moved the stereo speakers 3/4 of an inch away from the wall.
5. stopped to think: hmmm. maybe i need new speakers? maybe i need to move the speakers 1" closer to each other?

6. emptied garage by placing 498 boxes on the lawn to be recycled. our front yard looked sad.
7. big news:
parked my car in the garage for the very 1st time.
i am now a full grown man. way past 21.
whoo hoo.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

snowballs in hell

our house and snow.
zack watches all from his window perch.

the snowflakes were a foot in diameter....

seriously though, the snow was just plain cool!

zack still watches. he is watching you....

right now...

But it never snows here.

First things first...Thanksgiving was greatgreatgreat! We had 15 people total, and it was a perfect fit in the wee Minty. But I wish I'd taken more pictures for the blog. Still new to this whole "blogging" thing. Did you know that "blogging" is short for "web logging"? How interesting.

Uhh, anyway...particularly I wish we had pictures of the ice cream sandwiches I made for dessert! (they turned out sort of lumpy, but it was really satisfying to see them all laid out on a serving platter. Plus, they were dee-licious!) Also I wish we had pictures of the lovely and talented Sara assembling her yummy veggie terrine and calmly stepping in to teach Aa how to make gravy. (It smelled really good, and made me miss meat.)

In fact, the whole Thanksgiving weekend was awesome. Our friend Vivien came up from Portland (hi Viv!) and stayed till Saturday. And we met her new "friend" Joel. He's cool and is a spaz about his dog too. Excellent to find others like us. And then Sunday suddenly turned into The Best Day Ever -- the snow started to fall, so we got the fireplace going and sat on the couch watching the snow fall, eating leftovers, drinking tea, and cuddling. This was the day Zack discovered how much he loves the fireplace. He lay in front of it all afternoon, occasionally shifting to try to get his face closer to the heat.

Ok, and not to turn this into a diatribe about how insane it is that the city of Seattle shuts down whenever snow falls, but IT'S INSANE THAT THE CITY OF SEATTLE SHUTS DOWN WHENEVER SNOW FALLS. Monday night, I found myself trapped in the U-District because my bus "stopped running". Uh, what? Yesterday morning I walked most of the way to work b/c once again no buses showed up. OK, and I get that there are hills, and it gets icy, and that's really awful for drivers and buses alike. But I've been here for almost six years now, and can think of three times snow has fallen and caused the city to basically shut down. So this whole argument native Seattleites keep lobbing at me about how "it never snows here!" just doesn't work anymore. IT'S NOT ACCEPTABLE TO SHUT A WHOLE CITY TRANSIT SYSTEM DOWN BECAUSE OF A HALF INCH OF SNOW. IF IT HAPPENS EVERY TWO YEARS THAT'S FREQUENT ENOUGH TO MAYBE PLAN BETTER. GET MORE THAN TWO SNOWPLOWS. HIRE MORE PEOPLE TO DRIVE SALT TRUCKS.

Ok, done. The crazy dysfunction of the city's transit aside, I do like me this weather. And I admit that I also like the fact that I'm not facing three more months of this weather. It's a really welcome respite from the rain, that's for sure.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Brine It Baby!!! much to love. so much to learn.

won't you take a look?

do it now or i'll hit you in the mouth.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

dishwasher day two...candles in the wind.

this is how tight the fit was. Tom had to do careful sawing with his sawsall, jigsaw, and i think he may have even had to use his teeth in order to get this just right. the fear? that the tile counter top would collapse...

see the shiny new electrical cable? it's rad. it's shiny. it's ours.

this is the circuit breaker box. it's even more rad.

sometimes i sit in the basement and say prayers to it in pig latin.


AND finally....the happy couple with the happy dishwasher!

(note: zack was holding up the camera with his tail)

Monday, November 20, 2006

dogs and windows

news flash: zack has a new perch.

watch him watch...

appliance defiance (no frackin' dishwasher will get the best of me!)

picture the following:
Lazy saturday afternoon sunshine bursting through the windows of the the Minty Fresh.
birds are chirping.
zack is staring at the wall.
Our breakfasts are settling in our tummys.
And Tom, the ultimate handyman, arrives at our door with a belt full of tools and more than saws that i have guitars.
The Minty is going to get a dishwasher today.

And so it began, our picture perfect 50's era plywood cabinet (and some of our precious storage space...) was cut away to make room for our sleek and sexy german engineered dish washing cylon!.

hopefully it won't rise up against us.

As we moved forward with the install...i'd like to remind you of three points:
**start big time movie style WWII music**
1. the 1958 era kitchen was not designed for a modern dishwasher.
2. the 2006 dishwasher was not designed for a 1958 kitchen.
3. i was born sometime between the two.
**end big time movie style WWII music**

at the end of day 1...
it became apparent that this was not going to be a "trivial" experience.

Friday, November 17, 2006

zack finally made the leap to myspace...

next to the lobster costume, this is the dorkiest thing i've ever done:

please be his friend.

especially if you're a pig bone or a squirrel.

glue, screws, and folk songs

not much to report this week:

i fixed our dining room table.

i have not hooked up our stereo.

the clown wall paper still freaks me out.

zack likes to eat the bones of other animals.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My dog gets annoyed when I treat him like a stuffed animal. He doesn't like it when I kiss him on his little wrinkled forehead, or when I hug him. He is aloof and catlike, a fancy little horse, and I believe he sees these actions as an affront to his dignity. I believe (and sadly Aa and I have discussed this) that he sees himself as this large, tough-ass wild animal. Not the adorable little fuzzbucket Aa and I see.

I just realized last night when I kissed Zack for the 800th time that he was getting annoyed. How do I know he was he annoyed? He sighed and pushed me away with his front paws. "Dammit woman, I'm trying to sleep after a full day of frolicking and looking impossibly adorable. I know I'm all precious and cuddled up but THAT'S ENOUGH".

That's kind of messed up, that I can love on my *dog* so much that he pushes me away.

Monday, November 13, 2006

house vs. home vs. property vs. me vs. you and your stupid fucking grizzly bear.

few random thoughts here late on a Monday afternoon.

another weekend in the minty with the J and the Zacker and the multitude of H2O molecules that have decided to call a part of our basement their new home. lots of stuff accomplished, lots more to do. how different from the water are we? a lot actually. we've got hair. water doesn't have hair. of course if you're bald, then does that make you water? probably not. i am probably wrong. anyway...

boxes were emptied; books were shelved. have to wonder how many times I've moved some of my books...and to what end? am i happier because I've kept my 13 year old copy of Electricity and Magnetism? should i be happier? or should i have ditched it years ago? you tell me.

(and what a funny thing to keep around right? it's the LAWS OF PHYSICS. why do i need my own unique copy? shouldn't i be able to derive them from F=ma or perhaps from looking out the window?)

other things...other things.

as noted in J's earlier post...dishwasher should be in this weekend...along with some other electrical outside light...few grounded outlets. safety first kids. unless you're buying chocolate flavored meth from the guy down the street, and then well, you're on your own, right?

i like posting. it's fun.


the double A.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

New appliances are *very* exciting.

We bought a fridge. It's the nicest goddamn fridge I've ever had in a place I've lived ever in my whole life. The freezer's on the bottom and it's a drawer. We had it installed on Thurs and I've spent time every day opening the refrigerator door, looking around inside, and then closing the door. Then I open the freezer drawer, look around inside, and close it. It's...freaking...awesome.

We also bought a dishwasher, and miracle of miracles, just met an electrician today who will help us install it next Saturday (thank Jeebus before Thanksgiving). I am almost speechless-excited about not having to wash dishes anymore. Currently, I'm trying to convince Aa to turn our little broom closet into a bar (inspiration from this awesome place!) And I'm sitting in the bedroom staring at our big closet, thinkin' about some redesign ideas there too. Boy oh boy!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Good Saturday

Finally, all of the teevee-fixing work is done. We now get to really start unpacking and settling into this place -- no more sleeping elsewhere to let the floors be re-done, to let re-painting happen. Yesterday, we both had the day off from work and we started cleaning out the basement, getting rid of crap we've been carting around with us since Chicago, since before Chicago. It felt almost giddy it was so liberating.

Today, I'm lying in bed cuddling with the dog, listening to Aa do dishes in the kitchen. It's really nice. We're home.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The rain is gone in more ways than one

So our basement definitely leaks. Not a lot, but enough. And any leaking is too much in a basement. So that will be an expensive pain in the ass. Thankfully, the rain has stopped. In fact fittingly the sun was out this morning. Nice work, God.

Yes, it's exciting that the Democrats have won so many races across the country and have taken control of the House -- possibly the Senate. The question on many analysts, voters, and pundits' lips now is: what are they going to do next? I have a suggestion: they should fix our leaky basement. I don't want the government in my bedroom or body, but they can totally get all in my basement.

One more thing about the elections and then this blog will return to its actual topic, which is The Minty: I know many people who are just plain old thrilled about the election results, and downright gleeful about Rumsfeld stepping down. But I would like to offer this: despite the fact that Democrats won all over the country, this election was still about the Republicans. The next election will also be about the Republicans unless the Democrats get an actual identity real quick-like. This is not a Democratic victory. It is a not-Republican victory. Democrats are still not framing any political discourse in this country. Still. Fucking STILL. That better change or this euphoria so many of my friends are feeling? So, so short-lived.


12 years too long.

now the dems need to actually do something.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

boxes are death

so it ends up that we have a lot of stuff. some might call it crap. i might call it crap. in fact, i'm calling it crap. things that were moved here from chicago to seattle. wallingford to fremont, and now, fremont to ballard.

we keep moving west. i can't wait to live in korea. should be nice. i love the food.

anyway, as to my point: we have stuff that we don't need, don't want and it's wearing us down.

SO...this friday we will rent a van and load it up with everything we don't need anymore (sans the guitars and a few books and more than a few uncle tupelo tshirts...) and drop it all of at good will. screw craigslist...i'm sure we could make more than a few dollars with our old stuff...but so be it. it's better to get rid of it than to try and "sell" it.

i will, however, be keeping all of my old ATM receipts neatly tucked away in random plastic bags hidden stochastically around the house.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Let's get on building that ark now

So when we were thinking about buying The Minty, we noticed there was a crack in the basement. All of the documentation said that there was really only leaking during heavy rains. "Heavy rains" are really not that frequent here, and while we knew that fixing the crack was important, we also figured we probably had a little time. We negotiated to get some money to fix the crack, but then the teevee show happened. So we haven't fixed it yet. Most of our stuff is in the basement right now too; repainting and redoing floors has meant we haven't been able to unpack much.

And now, BEHOLD! Rains unlike the Seattle area has seen for the last decade. Yay!

In other, but related, news: I've decided it's time to buy a raincoat, after 5+ years of living in the Northwest. Maybe we can use Aa's old raincoat, which is what I've been wearing, to seal up that crack in the basement.

And finally today, I've discovered the most miserable part of my day is dragging my extremely rain-averse dog outside in the morning, yanking him along on his leash, begging him to poop. Regardless of the outcome it sucks. Doing it feels pathetic and cruel, but not making him poop and leaving him all day feels petty and cruel. So it's a real win-win for me.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


So Aa was the one who was there this AM when the painters and the carpenter came. It sounds like they were kind of grumpy and mean. They said we were the first people they had to do corrective work for. (We wouldn't have asked if it hadn't been repeatedly offered.) The carpenter called the shelves his "babies" and wouldn't let us keep them (we just wanted to reconfigure them to be a little more practical).

Now, why does this bother me so much, that they were crappy to Aa? Because I like people to like me. And I like people to like Aa. And this means that those guys were probably talking shit about us. And even though I totally talk shit about other people (I would say "I try not to" but it is kind of fun), these dudes talked shit about us.

But actually, now that I admit that I like talking about other people, why shouldn't they have a little fun talking about us? Huh. I feel better now. Wow. Thanks, blog.
argh the painter guy is coming today to change some of the things the teevee ppl did but we've been living with stuff for a while and now we kind of like it, argh argh argh [pouds head against desk]

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

[secret to Kristy: I like the green too! But not on *all* the walls.]

Puff The Magic Earl Gray Lover

Tomorrow the painter guy comes back to paint over some of the crazier stuff (mainly the metallic ceilings). Also the shelving thingie is coming down, which I must admit I'm sort of bummed about. It's kind of cool. But as Aa keeps saying, way impractical. And we don't have the room for impractical coolness, not on that scale. Sigh.

In other news: I have gone off coffee for the second time in my life. (I am sucking down tea thing that sucks down a great deal of tea. Perhaps an imaginary thing. A unicorn. A unicorn that really, really loves tea.) Today is day 1. I have a headache and my eyes water periodically and I basically hate my coffee-drinking colleagues. How much coffee gets drunk in a public radio newsroom in the Pacific Northwest? I bet you know the answer to that question.

zack the lobster (or how i crossed the line...)

J and I crossed the line of dog ownership. or rather, i crossed the line when i walked into the pet store and asked "do you have any dog costumes?"

someone should have stopped me.

but without further ado...i give thee...


Friday, October 27, 2006

My baby's growing up

Zack peed in the backyard this morning! OMG he peed in the backyard! we didn't even have to go back there with him, he just trotted on back there and went for it! He's becoming a man-dog (as much as a fixed dog can, anyway). I'm so proud.

laundry chute

i'd just like to point out that having a laundry chute is going to save me thousands, if not millions, of dollars in uneaten Smart Wool socks. too bad for zack. good times for my feet.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Unpacking is haaarrrrd

So, we've been unpacking a lot. And you know what? It kind of sucks! It's really hard!

You know what's not hard? Losing perspective. Seriously. So we have to unpack and get rid of a lot of stuff. So be it. But professional people packed and moved us? For free? We're really lucky.

Also, Zack update: he won't even pee in the backyard now. And he sticks to us like glue. Man. I think he's really freaked out by the change. He follows me everywhere. He even sits in the bathroom with me when I shower in the morning! Poor little man.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Kermit the Asshole

So on the day we taped the part of the teevee show where we're shown the pile of stuff that "goes in storage for a year" (read: goes in our basement), Aa spent some time talking about his Kermit the Frog doll and how much he liked it. And, well, look at the color of our living room. Roger the Ruddy painted it Kermit green. Huh.

Also, there's been some concern that Aa and I are going to look like big old jerks on this show once it airs. Which, uh, we may. As my sister told me the night of the reveal when I called her to tell her how upset we were, "Just so you know, nobody likes the people who hate the house on those shows". Which was really blunt but probably true (she's gifted like that).

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sleeping in the place we pay for

The last couple of nights we've slept in the Minty (we couldn't sleep there till Saturday night b/c the paint fumes were so bad). Zack's taken an inaugural pee in the backyard. (I applauded. It's a long story that I can bore you with sometime over some beers, but suffice it to say that our dog is kind of a little fussbudget and doesn't like peeing just anywhere.) This morning I used our cutey little Italian espresso maker. The colors are sort of growing on us. The bordello mirror is down and the Zackskin rug is out of the bedroom. We've unpacked the bathroom and kitchen. We do laundry all the time. And for two nights in a row now, we've stood in the middle of the floor and jumped up and down with our shoes on -- because we have no downstairs neighbor to worry about.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

and now for the pics........

this is what it looks like now...
(with pictures of zack!!!)
-- AA

Friday, October 20, 2006

My Superbowl Shuffle will set you free

Here's the greatest part of the whole reality teevee experience. The host of Move This House is really good friends with Willie Gault, formerly of the Chicago Bears, and quite possibly my favorite football player of all time. He took ballet! By his own admission, he practices all day and dances all night! He was the most graceful runner EVER! So she called him and let me talk to him. HOLY SHIT! I called him "Mr. Gault" and got choked up but refrained from telling him I named my Chicago Bears teddy bear after him when I was little. Yeah.

So, I have now been rendered stupid by three celeb interactions in my life.

1. Salman Rushdie
2. Jeff Tweedy
3. Speedy Fucking Willie

Zackskin rug

Pictures will be posted by tomorrow. Promise! For now though, let me say that once I saw the house, I realized why I felt dread. And then I was like, oh duh, of course. They don't design for people. They design for television! This explains the garish, inspired-by-highlighter colors and almost funny-huge chandelier dangling in our wee dining room. (So small they crammed our big stupid dining room table in there BUT DIDN'T HAVE ROOM FOR CHAIRS.)

Particularly gruesome -- the cowhide rug looked almost exactly like they skinned a large version of my dog and laid it on the bedroom floor. Hey!

(update: Roger the Ruddy apologized for the rug. That was nice.)

Best quote:

Roger the Ruddy: "I wanted to make it rock, since you're in a rock band"
Aa: "I'm not in this kind of rock band."

horribly wrong

those are the only two words to describe what has happened to our nice cute little house.

we didn't even get to sleep in our house for the 1st night because of the fumes from the oil based paint. OIL BASED PAINT! crazy.

cow skinned rug?

mirror'd wall?

green living room?

copper ceiling?

silver ceiling?

who the fuck paints the ceiling metallic colors? not me. NOT ME.

where do I start? oh yeah. I already did.

what was going to be fun has become very very dumb.

over and out and very upset.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Next stop, The Surreal Life

So today is "the big reveal". Aa and I go to the Minty and check out what the designer dude has done. Last night Aa said he woke up in a cold sweat, fearful that the teevee people painted the ceilings (which we DO NOT want). I have used the word "weird" to describe this whole television thing so many times. But I don't know how else to describe it! It's really fucking weird.

I'll write more about how strange Tuesday was later. That's when we were first taped and had to interact with the tiny, beautiful, heavily be-makeupped host and the designer, who I've been calling Roger the Ruddy. But here's the main takeaway: I thought this whole thing was about us, and I was relieved of that misconception during the taping on Tuesday. This is so totally not about us. This is about Roger the Ruddy and Tanya the Be-makeupped. Aa and I are essentially talking props that Roger and Tanya react to. We just go where we're told and then say some things and make some faces. It doesn't matter too much what we do or what faces we make, either.

Tonight we sleep for the first time in this house we bought. I do wonder if it'll feel like we're guests in someone else's place though. I bet it will.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Yesterday, the television people called me and said they didn't need to film me. But they did need me to unpack some of the books and paintings and decorative-thingies I'd already packed and put them out, to create the illusion that we hadn't been packing and that we lived there all normal and non-packing-like. So I did, and cleaned a lot, and then got the hell out of there for a few hours. But I did get to briefly meet the extraordinarily brawny and ruddy Roger Hazard, who is designing our house. Zack the dog met him too, and did exactly what he does with everyone he meets: he sniffed Roger's knees and then stared up at him for a while. Tomorrow they film me, and I've been told they're going to try and gin up some conflict b/t me and Roger. I know how to fake-cry, so I intend to use that skill if necessary.

Today's a strange day. I feel a little like a kid before Christmas, but I also feel some dread and kind of groundless. For the next four days, I'm staying at a friend's. Last night was my last night in that wonderful, dumpy apartment we loved so much. Aa spent his last night there before leaving for tour without even really realizing it. And since the television is packing and moving us, I have no sense of closure or anything at our apartment. It's a weird sort of limbo I'm in today.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

DEFCON hot for teacher

There's gonna be footage of Aa on the road in this. Just found out today. KICK. ASS.

You know what I actually forgot about in all this other madness (aside from teevee stuff, I work at a public radio station and we're in pledge drive which means crazier than ever work hours)? We bought a house. We have, like, a mortgage and stuff now. Weird.

Also weird (and totally off-topic for this blog): this article about an acting teacher at the college I went to. I never had him for an acting class, but of course I knew him. And Aa had him and really liked / respected him. What's weird is not necessarily the actions of the professor, but the reaction. Of course he made out with some college boys. Teachers and students messed around in the theater program I was in. I suspect this is not unique to my college experience either. I thought it was just part of the curriculum - read too much Sam Shepard, read FAR too much David Mamet, surround yourself with other deluded kids and make VERY IMPORTANT ART together, drink as much as your little body can take, do as many drugs as you can get your hands on, and get a little inappropriate with a professor at a party or a bar (or after class or...whenever). All of these stupid actions, all of this drama, all of these hangovers, were supposed to be the "real world experience" that allowed us to become adults and, uh, prepare us to go out in the actual world.

So, college man-boy who got one planted on him, think about this whole experience as an opportunity. You can grow and learn about yourself and become stronger from this whole sad episode. And someday when you work at State Farm, you'll have an awesome story to tell your buddies over smothered chicken and beers at Bennigan's.

Friday, October 13, 2006

DEFCON uh...

Just talked to Aa, who's on the road w/ the band. He asked me to wear his band t-shirt during filming because that's what the girlfriend of the lead singer of The Shins did when she was a finalist on America's Next Top Model. Then Chutes Too Narrow came out. Then The Shins became America's Most-Loved Band.

It's worth pointing out that since I am *not* a finalist on America's Next Top Model, nobody is going to be staring at my boobs to figure out what the shirt covering them says. It's also worth pointing out that I don't think a home-improvement reality show on the poor man's Bravo gets the audience that America's Next Top Model does. Nonetheless, I will wear the shirt because I love Aa and he asked me to. And it's a cute shirt. And average-looking girls should try to use teevee to promote their boyfriends' bands too. Maybe I will make a little one for Zack the dog and he can wear one too.

IN OTHER NEWS: met w/ the moving guy yesterday. He seems really nice and responsible. And his company packs and moves everything. Everything! Even all the crap in our basement that we haven't looked at in three years. Hehe.

Filming starts Sunday. That's two days from today for those of you not keeping track.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I'm kind of ready to be in the house now. I'm tired of waiting for the next stage.

I'm also tired of people asking me to take care of one more thing.

I'm also tired of sarcasm.

Monday, October 09, 2006


So yesterday I watched an episode of the teevee show Aa and I are going to be on. And I had a complete...panic...attack. Seriously. I was totally freaked out. The episode, see, featured this lady who had a lot of stuff. And the big bear designer guy called her out for having a bunch of junk. He basically accused her of neglecting her daughter and her homelife in order to collect all the crap she had. This bothered me. The show has to have some conflict in it, and the conflict will easily come from the part in the show where bear designer tells the people what of their stuff is being banished to storage.

I don't want to be called out on teevee for having a lot of stuff. And also it bothers me that I will be expected to defend Aa's stuff, since he'll still be gone. I probably overreacted a little -- I yelled at my friend R who was over, and then called my parents and yelled at them for a while -- but I'm now nervous in a way I wasn't before. And I'm a tad bit obsessed with trying to figure out a way to game this and control the outcome to get what I want. It's amazing - 48 hours ago I was crowing about not having to pack or move our stuff. Now I want more. I want them to re-landscape the backyard and get us a snazzy new couch and build us a loft! And I want to not look like a total idiot on this show. And I want ten million dollars. And some diamonds. And a pony.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"And watch, here's the part where the dog stares at the host for a full minute!"

So it would seem that we're now definitively, irrevocably Americans. We're going to be on a reality television show. In this show, all our stuff will be packed. And moved from the apartment to the Minty. And a designer dude will, uh, design some rooms in the new house. And also go through our stuff and tell us what we can keep and put the rest in storage. This knowledge, that we're going to be on television (well, cable) has been rattling around in my head since I found out yesterday. And although I am still somewhat skeptical of the whole thing (I know teevee lies; please see Gene Hackman entry, below), I really only have one thing to say about this whole weird turn of events. And that one thing is, holy shit.

Friday, September 29, 2006

sanding takes me away...

well...the floors are underway. sanders are sanding. it's weird to pay someone to sand the floors. i don't know why it's weird, but it's weird. post sanding...i'll touch up the paint on the BLUE WALL. i love blue and i love having a huge blue wall going through the middle of the house. i think it's rad. J does too. (or at least she's saying so until i'm on tour and then she'll paint it red or pink or something. and then she'll blame it on zack.)

anyways...there are more house things brewing...but i can't tell ya just yet... ;-)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Disturbing / weird realization as I sent out the "please help me move" email...I know very few dudes here. Like, more than half the dudes I know are going to be on tour with Aa when the move actually happens. And that's only three other dudes. So the "I know very few dudes" assertion still stands.


OK. A lot of the tough interior work is done on the minty. Our awesome friend J is going to refinish our floors (using some hippie greenie kind of finish, yay!). Move-in date has been set and plans are being made. Aa's dad is on his way home after working his butt off for a week getting our new place in shape. So, kick ass.

However. Aa leaves for tour in four short days. We have about a bajillion times as much stuff as any two people would ever need in any imaginable situation, ever. We've been packing and packing and Sunday we moved some stuff. But we've barely made a dent. Dear god, barely a dent. So while the minty is looking peachy, the process of getting into the minty is looking increasingly yucky. So we're at DEFCON House 3. But we're definitely at DEFCON Move 1. (got any good moving boxes we can have?)

the little elves and the mess they've made...

minty fresh out of the box

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gene Hackman, you promised. And you didn't deliver.

Two nights ago, we went to a big-box home improvement store. We bought paint. There were two guys working the paint counter- both were older. One had those wire-rimmed square-ish older man glasses on (the ones where the lenses probably get dark if they're exposed to the sun) and really seemed to be into talking about paint. The other one really didn't seem to care. We got the apathetic one. I watched longingly as another couple laughed with Square-Glasses and pored over paint chips.

It's a rare day when I go to a big-box store for anything. (This is not so much b/c of any politicial whatever. I don't have a car and don't live near a big-box deal.) But one thing I do do is watch a lot of teevee. And I've seen those commercials for the big-box home improvement stores, the ones where everyone is smiling and the employees of said big-box stores look plain old thrilled to be talking to customers about caulk. I'm not saying I expected that experience....I mean, I know commercials lie to me. But I was kind of hoping. I sort of felt like I could trust the place. They hired Gene Hackman as the voiceover guy for their commercials! Come on. Plus, we were buying paint, for God's sake. It was sort of exciting. I've never painted my own place before. And getting the dude who just didn't give a shit while watching the big-box home improvement store commercial happen to somebody else right next to me? Kind of sucky.

Then there was the part where Aa, Aa's dad, and I got in a fight about paint finishes over by the lighting fixtures. It's hard to storm away from someone when you're basically in a warehouse and are scared you'll get lost and left behind.

We are currently at DEFCON House 1.

Monday, September 18, 2006

DEFCON House 1

Welcome to DEFCON House. So, we bought a funny little house with not a ton of planning. See, here in Seattle it's getting harder and harder to rent (thanks, condo conversions!) Our wonderful apartment got sold. And we have this crazy little dog who could use a yard. So we started looking and found a mint-green house, built in 1959. The same lovely couple has lived in it since the 60's. The husband passed away some time ago, and the wife is now at an assisted living facility. The house, in short, looks very much like an old couple lived there for a *long* time. Which is really neat and charming. But not so much...a place where we'd live. There is much to do to make this place more "us".

We just got the keys on Friday. Right now Aa's dad is here, staying at the house as he rips up the seafoam green carpet and rips down the scary wallpaper (all except the freaking AWESOME clown wallpaper in the downstairs bathroom -- that is staying!). Tonight we buy paint colors. It's just the beginning. For that reason, we are currently at DEFCON House 1.

Saturday, September 16, 2006