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August 2005

Quickness

Determined to show the world that I am not completely incompetent, I finished staining my bench last night. Read that again, people. FINISHED. So maybe I didn't do it exactly right, with the way I stained one side and propped it up against the garage wall to stain the other side, maybe that's not the way a staining professional would have done it, but I AM FINISHED WITH THE STAINING. And I only managed to get a tiny bit of stain on the light switch upstairs and that came off with nail polish remover. Ta da!

Tonight I start the top coat. The professionals recommend three top coats. Our local professional told us to top coat all the sides of all the pieces tonight to make sure everything is sealed (and who cares if the side no one sees gets a little smudged). And then finish the last two top coats on only the visible-to-the-public sides on Wednesday night and Thursday night. This means we might have this whole process done by Friday, but it will be rather difficult putting it together when we're also supposed to be having six people over for dinner. Well, I suppose we're just carrying on in the tradition of scheduling Projects to coincide with Hosting Guests.

So anyway. Potential crisis averted. We sent the divorce lawyers home.

While I'm thinking about it, I want to extend my deepest sympathy to the person who found this website by googling "HOW MANY COATS DOES IT TAKE OF BEHR CHERRY COBBLER". (By the way, I found the camera last night. Stay tuned for pictures of red bathrooms and mahogany stained hands.)


When you go out to the woods today

Internet, prepare yourselves. My husband and I have started a new Project. (I KNOW. WHAT ARE WE THINKING?)

The new Project involves an unfinished pine storage bench that took four weeks to arrive and now needs to be sanded, pre-conditioned, stained, top-coatted and, finally, put together. We picked up our bench on Saturday and started staining yesterday afternoon in hopes of having it finished by this weekend when we have overnight guests. The prognosis does not look so good. If there was some way to suspend all the pieces from the ceiling so that I could stain it all at once and let it dry without having to touch or move it, THEN it might be done by Saturday. As it looks now, we might get to start the top coat a week from today.

I blame two of the founding members of the Original Thursday Night TV Gang as they are constantly doing things like a) tearing up carpet b) painting the trim on the outside of their house c) retiling the bathroom shower d) staining all of their living room furniture e) installing new countertops, backsplash, tile and APPLIANCES in their kitchen and f) making the rest of us look bad. When you have friends who are debating whether or not to enter the House Flipping business, deciding to stain a little ole bench doesn't seem like such a big deal. Until you actually start and then you realize for the millionth time that you are a CITY GIRL and how are you supposed to know that if you rinse the brush under the faucet outside it might splash and get stain on your HOUSE?

We could have started this staining business on Saturday, but I was called away on urgent business at an event we shall call the Annual [Teddy Bear] Picnic. Now. Replace 'Teddy Bear' with the name of the minority political party in my crunchy green candelight-peace-vigil city and you have an event which must be held an hour away from downtown for fear of members of the majority party walking by and spitting on the attendees.

I am not a card carrying Teddy Bear nor do I make it a habit to attend such functions, but I went to wear a t-shirt and pass out stickers in support of a particular local candidate whom I occasionally assist with such complicated tasks as mail merges. (I may have to glue my fingers together to keep from expounding on the previous sentence. Oh the blog fodder he could provide... But I mustn't! I mustn't!)

I do need to mention, though, that my local candidate is not a Teddy Bear, nor is he endorsed by Teddy Bears or even welcome at their picnic. He himself prefers to think that Teddy Bears only exist in small communities in that part of the country he tries to forget is still American. He did, however, want their votes and I was brought along to help fend off the cooties. So there I was wearing my t-shirt and passing out flyers and answering this question over and over: "Here's the only thing I need to know, honey. Is he a Teddy Bear?"

I thought this was a VERY forward question from someone who is, in my opinion, a member of an endangered species in the Pacific Northwest. I took the cue from my uber-Teddy Bear (and super cute and super blond) fellow volunteer and stressed his "pro-business" resume etc. etc. Gag. I started to be super annoyed by the kinds of people who attend things like the Annual Teddy Bear Picnic. (Including those of you who are not registered to vote in our county. What are you doing at the COUNTY Teddy Bear Picnic? GO AWAY! WHY AM I WASTING MY STICKERS ON YOU?)

I was especially annoyed by the Young Upstart assisting the Queen of the Picnic, following her around with his little clipboard and his trendy sunglasses and telling everyone what to do. He was arrogant and obnoxious and utterly repulsed by the fact that a non-Teddy Bear was littering the grounds of his holy picnic. (Well, until Cute Blond Fellow Volunteer started working her magic and then, poof! Maybe our candidate isn't THAT bad... Seriously, people. You want this girl working your campaign.) To summarize: Meh. Not impressed.

It was the old guys who provided the amusement. (The old guys were just as arrogant and knee-jerky, but I'll have a lot more grace for you if you're 90.) There was one guy who marched up to me with a map of my state and said, "Have you seen the witch! Have you seen the witch of Washington?"

Me: "Ummmm, no?"

Cute Blond Volunteer: "Aw hi Mister! Whatcha got there?"

Old Dude: "Here she is. See her hat? See her legs?" Points to the land formations in the Puget Sound where there is, surprisingly, a definite outline of a witch wearing a pointy hat and flying a broomstick. If you have the Old Dude's map, I guess. I don't know.

Me: "Oh, I see her now."

CBV: "That is So! Cool! Do you want a sticker?!"

Old Dude: "Right. There she is. You see her? That's the WITCH OF WASHINGTON. And her name is Christine and she stole votes in three counties to get into office!"

Me: "Har har."

CBV: "Yer awesome, OLD DUDE!"

Yeah. It's cute if you're 90.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled obsessive hurricane watch. Be thankful you are not 487th in line for the bathroom inside a gigantic dark football stadium wondering if all your furniture floated away.


Oh no, what if it gets my nose and that's IT?!

The latest weird thing I've been thinking about is this: when I have a baby, he or she is most definitely not going to look like me.

Okay, wait. The thought process doesn't start out that way. It's more like when I think about having a baby, I picture a white baby. More specifically, I picture a baby who looks like my baby pictures. (Which are WAY adorable I'll have you know.) Pale skin, dark hair, light eyes.

I have to physically re-think and re-picture my baby as some mixture of half German-Italian-Eastern-European-Peasant-Jew and half Chinese. I can barely picture this baby even though I am completely obsessed with all the half-Caucasian half-Asian babies at church. You'd think that I'd be, oh, I don't know, used to the idea by now. But I don't picture a white baby on purpose. It's a reflex. I think I just naturally assume I'll have a baby that looks like me.

Will it look anything like me? A friend of mine says her half-white half-Chinese niece doesn't look Asian at all, but who knows what our genes will mix up? I have to say that most of the mixed babies I see definitely look more like their Asian parent, but maybe I see that because I'm not Asian. Don't get all het up about me not wanting an Asian-looking baby either because that's so not it. I've just always wondered what physical traits I would pass on to my kids. I'm surprised that I seem to automatically be conjuring up the white baby. (Which is a recent thing, actually. When I first started to think about kids with Phillip I was pretty thrilled because EVERYONE knows that mixed babies are the CUTEST. And you cannot argue with me on that point. Well, except for this kid. He's pretty cute.) Are Phillip and I so radically different looking that our kid won't look like either of us? Will other people see our family walking around town and wonder where that interracial couple got those Hispanic kids? Will people see me out with my child and wonder if she's adopted?  Would I be thinking this if I were married to a white man?

And adoption... I am very hopeful that one day we can go adopt all the babies from the Hepzihbah orphanage in Xi'an. Well, maybe not all of them. But with that hope in mind, there's a very good chance that I will look like a foreigner in my own family. I've thought about the picture my parents will want of all their grandchildren and time will tell, but mine might look pretty different. My kids will be minorities and I will have no idea what to tell them about that because I am not. I HAVE thought of some woman at the grocery store coming up to me to ask where my kid is from.

I think I'm okay with that. What am I saying. I am VERY okay with that- as far as I can wrap my mind around it right now. I write all this more as a "hey, isn't this funny?" anecdote than anything else. I am truly surprised at myself for conjuring a white baby every time. I just don't know what it says about my subconcious. I have a feeling that when I have my baby this will all probably be moot- because my baby will be my baby.

So yeah. This could be the first post that gets me hate mail- were I so popular as to receive any mail at all! There are a million disclaimers I should write, but I'm not going to. Except to say that I think I am the spitting image of my dad and all my mom deigned to pass on was stick straight hair.


A smattering

Wanting to take advantage of their very first nothing-to-do-no-obligations summer weekend AND both having left work rather early on Friday, the new homeowners spent their entire weekend fixing up the new house. There are actual pictures hung on the wall. There are real books sitting on a real bookshelf in our living room, along with a rather expensive piece of Art presiding over the couch. The red bathroom is entirely devoid of blue tape, plastic, rags, tools and the bad aura left over from the many expletives uttered in its presence. The red bathroom has a rug and pictures and a toilet paper holder drilled into the right place. Of course there are no pictures of the red bathroom because I am lame. Also because I can't find the camera.

I also finally got rid of all the extra pillows and sheets hanging out in the second bedroom and Put Things Away. I set up the piano and brought all the music upstairs and supervised while Phillip hung a shelf. It was perfect. Then my sister called and said she needed to spend the night- so I put the piano away and pulled out the futon and got out all the sheets and pillows and made the bed.

I still want my red couches and I think a rug would make the echo-iness of the living room go away, but it's starting to look like a Real Live House. Yay!

That's really the only exciting thing I have to say today. Oh, we also went grocery shopping. It just gets better and better.

Yesterday at church we had a Guest Priest who talked exactly like Milton from Office Space. Yes, the guy with the stapler. And he was there to RAISE MONEY. He's a Maryknoll priest working with immigrant laborers in Hong Kong and visiting our parish to ask us to become "Maryknoll Benefactors". I can't help but think his purpose was severely compromised by the mumbling. I mean, I'm especially interested in missionary work in China and he could barely hold MY attention. Well, any attention that was not entirely fixated on the fact that he sounded exactly like Milton. I am not exaggerating.

Also during church, for some reason, I experienced a deep craving for bubble tea. Who knows why. Right as transubstantiation was taking place, I turned to my husband and hissed: "I WANT BUBBLE TEA." I probably added another 10 years to my time in purgatory, but I really really wanted peach milk tea with the little tapioca balls. YUM. But when we drove into the U District to satisfy my demands, all three bubble tea shops were closed. I get that the student clientele were probably sleeping until noon and that's why none of the stores were going to open until 1, but the scope of my disappointment was vast. Wah.

So I went home to play the piano. I used to play the piano a lot in high school. I was never Good, but I was Decent. (A fact driven home almost daily when I was best friends with the Piano Prodigy in 9th grade, who played AND sang, who was beautiful and perfect in every way. We shared a piano teacher, however, and the teacher once told my mother that she preferred teaching me rather than the Prodigy, possibly because I was not a Big Fat Freak about how fast and amazing I could play that one scary Mozart song, possibly because I could not even sight-read the scary Mozart song. ANYWAY.) I busted out the Gershwin and transferred my bubble tea melancholy to "The Man I Love." One day he'll come along.... peach bubble tea... and he'll be sweet and strong... peach bubble tea...

Obviously I did not get enough sleep last night.


This is on my bulletin board

God was all-complete, all-blessed in Himself, but it was His will to create a world for His glory. He is Almighty, and might have done all things Himself, but it has been His will to bring about His purposes by the beings He has created. We are all created to His glory--we are created to do His will. I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created; I have a place in God's counsels, in God's world, which no one else has; whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man, God knows me and calls me by my name.

God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission--I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his--if indeed, I fail, He can raise another, as He could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work: I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.

Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me--still He knows what He is about.

O my God, I give myself to Thee. I trust Thee wholly. Thou art wiser than I--more loving to me than I myself. Deign to fulfill Thy high purposes in me whatever they be; work in and through me. I am born to serve Thee, to be Thine, to be Thy instrument. Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see, I ask not to know--I ask simply to be used.

-Cardinal Newman


I can't believe I referenced Star Trek in this

***UPDATE!*** there are FIVE NEW WEDDING PICTURES! The dress! The helmet hair! Yeah, okay, maybe it's not THAT exciting...

I went to a new doctor a few weeks ago.  My old one sent me a letter last winter explaining that she'd been called to the greener pastures of Dermatology and would no longer be seeing her regular old family practice patients. Unless we all developed massive breakouts, maybe. So I had to find a new doctor and overall I think I picked a good one. But we had to do the whole getting-to-know-you-thing which, when conducted between doctor and patient, is mostly the doctor flinging a barrage of health-related guilt-inducing questions at a someone who is afraid she's going to give the wrong answers. Yes, I exercise, but no, not nearly enough, no I don't take vitamins, yes I eat green vegetables, but no I don't necessarily enjoy them. (What is worse is that the doctor is wearing her normal clothes and you are wearing only a sumo wrestler-sized poncho. There is absolutely no dignity in this question-answer period.)

Anyway, my doctor asked me if I used sunscreen. This caught me a bit off guard, as I was fully prepared to tackled the weight/exercise/nutrition questions, but nothing about getting a tan. "No," I said guiltily. "Sometimes on my face, but that's it."

"Well," said my doctor giving me the you-are-probably-going-to-keel-over-tomorrow face, "just something to think about!"

I am thinking about this because I did not use sunscreen yesterday and now my face feels like the dry leathery skin you see on the decolletage of old European women who have spent 99% of their lives on the French Riviera.

There are many many pictures of me and my brothers and sisters with lovely bronzy brown skin. We are very young and standing in front of places like The Painted Desert and The Grand Canyon and Marina di Ragusa. I used to brag about how I'd never had a sunburn. Until a few years ago. When I got a sunburn. And... ouch. The redness, the peeling, it is so not attractive.

Yesterday my office had a "strategy meeting" at a Mariners-Royals game. I didn't bring sunscreen with me yesterday because Channel 13 said the weather was going to be cloudy and cool with a strong chance of showers. I didn't bring sunscreen because I thought the roof was going to be CLOSED. You know. On account of the RAIN. I wore jeans and 5 sweaters and socks and sturdy shoes because last week I had to volunteer at a golf tournament and I nearly caught my death of cold on Hole #3. But yesterday's weather? Was gorgeous and sunny and we were sitting in center field with full on sun exposure. I had to take off my shoes and socks and roll up my jeans. And my face is now a lovely shade of burnt pink. And it hurts.

(My co-workers all felt bad for me and one of them bought me some cheapo sunglasses to get through the afternoon. But I couldn't wear them because 1. who wants raccoon eyes? and 2. they were the ugliest pair of sunglasses in the stadium. Think a double-layered Geordi LaForge. They even had a little Mariners sticker right in the middle of my eyebrows.)

Anyway, I am trying to fulfill my professional obligations as best I can with a face that no longer stretches. I have six new freckles. I am running to the bathroom every 10 minutes to check for wrinkles. I am blaming my 9 yawns per minute on heat exhaustion. I am wondering when (if?) I'm going to turn all brown and lovely.

Perhaps I should go see my old doctor.


I'll be Lindsey, Becca will be Tam and Katie will be the Monkey Girl

Right now I would like to say this site is undergoing a Big Major Re-Design, except I can't, because I have just spent an hour squinting at CSS tutorials and, if anything, I am getting DUMBER. Seriously. This is not good. There are changes, but they are subtle. Oh, if only I was a REAL nerd. One day this site will be all pretty and sparkle-fied and when it is, someone better send me the Tiara of Internet Godessness.

This is pretty much the last hot weekend in Seattle- the whole city agrees- and instead of taking advantage of the sun and heat and opportunity to brown my skin, I was either in the car (yesterday) or in the 5th Avenue Theatre (today). My sisters and I attended the National! Debut! of Princesses which was totally and completely awesome. Was it deep and reflective? No. Was it powerful and moving? No. Was it loud and pink and full of high school girl stereotypes prancing around and belting their little hearts out? YES. And it was DIVINE.

Readers of this website are aware of my fondness for all things high school drama- just look at my television programs of choice. At the top of my TiVo priority list are Gilmore Girls, Everwood, The O.C., and this year, Veronica Mars (and how did I manage to not catch on to this show's extreme awesomeness for so long? ) The Real World isn't exactly my thing, but I CANNOT miss an episode of Laguna Beach. Maybe I'm making up for a high school career tainted by basketball, student council and teacher's pet-itis, I don't know, but I LOVE THIS STUFF. So a play? Better yet, a MUSICAL? About seventeen-year-old girls? It's like they made the whole show to my specifications.

Becca will tell you that the boyfriend was stupid and that one scene with the dad and the teacher made her cringe, but I lapped it up. So there's this girl Miranda who gets sent to a boarding school because her movie star father doesn't want her around her movie star boyfriend (who happens to be her father's competition.) The music teacher at Miranda's school is all "Woe! There is no more funding for the arts! Oh dear me!" and decides to put on a production of The Little Princess as a last hurrah. Anyone who has seen the Shirley Temple version of A Little Princess is way ahead of the rest of us here- you will spend the entire second half thinking, "Did Shirley wear a dress like that? That's totally how Shirley said it. Doesn't the dad in the Shirley movie look like that too?" (Also, points for the Big Obvious Deadbeat Dad Metaphor.)

Miranda's dad shows up to placate his daughter and ends up directing the show- until he's called back to Hollywood to star in his next movie. Cue "Success Is The Best Revenge", the song I have had in my head ALL AFTERNOON. There is much dancing. There is much yammering from the Mean Popular Girl. There is an AWESOME song by the three girls who play the two men and the monkey- yes, monkey- in the A Little Princess, about how they never get to play girls.

I was ready to leap on stage at the end. One of the directors stood up before the play started and told us that as the show was brand new, there were other directors and producers sitting amongst us to check out our reactions, collecting information for future tweakage. I hope some of those directors or producers were sitting next to my sisters and me, three veterans of the high school drama department. We laughed at the right places, we laughed in some of the places where no one else was laughing, we had definite opinions about the Justin Timberlake rip-off who passed for the boyfriend and we definitely knew which role WE wanted. Also, we love pink. I swear, could they have FOUND better people to test-watch their play? I THINK NOT. Attention directors: I am still accepting free tickets.

Now it's Monday morning. I did not sleep well at ALL. I am really tired and my face has that tight dry sunburnt feeling. Yuck. Back to teaching myself (ha ha!) Movable Type.


In which I turn all philosophical about a friggin PERSONAL WEBSITE

So, I'm starting to think about turning this thing into a blog format, meaning more than one entry on the page. Sometimes I don't update here because I haven't thought of a full-length post (and sometimes I just go ahead and post that anyway!) and isn't that worse? When there is no new post? I can't STAND it when my favorite blogs don't update. Not that I am anyone's favorite, but you understand. I tend to write more about the one thing that happened to me today or a memory that came back or a transcript of the evening's dialogue- this isn't a very link-heavy site and I'm not particularly interested in the political and social commentary type of blog. I read them, definitely, but I'm positive the world wide web does not need my brand of political and social commentary which would mostly consist of Dude, the President should really consider Botox and Gosh, I wish they'd really just bring the soldiers home already and then then we can all just party with the Haitians.

There are times, though, when I would like to just post a link and say "Hey, this is cool" and sneak off for a bit. I'd like to post the thoughts I've been storing up in a notebook in my bag, even though none of them are longer than 5 sentences. I'd keep up the longer entries (because we all know there will be more painting disasters and where shall I turn for comfort?) I like the silly things but I'm also thinking about other things I might like to write about, like the fact that What's So Amazing About Grace is giving me a stomachache. (Lest you be tricked yourselves, "grace" is actually a code word for "forgiveness". I KNOW! Ugh!) I'm always going to write about what I like writing about, but reader responses are always exciting. Sometimes I get reactions from posts that I thought were so throw-away. I don't know. I say this website is for my own entertainment (and OH, it IS) but I love hearing from you too.

Anyway, this is just to say I'm thinking about reorganizing this site, to the extent that my unencumbered-by-HTML-or-CSS-or-anything-about-Movable-Type brain can handle.

I'm looking forward to the weekend, even though it seems we will be out of town for most of it, like the last couple of weekends. The Bride and Groom are having a West Coast reception tomorrow afternoon and then we're stopping by A's house for dinner on the way home. Did you know A's parents own a winery? They MAKE WINE. A is, like, a wine PROFESSIONAL. Never EVER turn down a dinner invitation from A. And then, because I bought expensive makeup at a department store, I was given some scratch tickets to possibly win a free ticket to a new show in town, Princesses. Unbelievably, I won a free ticket. The others were all $20 off a ticket. Maybe they were all like that, maybe I shouldn't be so self-congratulatory, but this is a MUSICAL. About HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS. Naturally my sisters and I are attending the Sunday matinee.

Also, the Bride hooked me up with some more official looking pictures, the ones with the official dresses, and I still have to post those. There is an especially dorky one of Phillip and me that I intend to title: Maggie and Phillip Go To Prom.

You know what else is happening this weekend? The de-taping and de-plasticking of the Red Bathroom. Oh you KNOW I will have pictures of that.

happy friday everyone


Vignettes

Mornin' kiddos.

Last night some friends came for dinner and we talked about blogs. Blogs! One of my friends is going to start her own. You have no idea how thrilling this was for me. Other people! Who think the internet is cool! She's deciding what kind of service to use and what it will say and because I am feeling all internet-friendly, I'm going to send you all over to Amalah because she has some excellent advice on starting up your own blog in her Wednesday Advice Smackdown.

(Advice that I have not taken, because commenting? Freaks me out. Would much rather be a nerd on my own site than somebody else's. Anyway.)

So we were talking about what to call her site and after batting around some alliterative titles (a'la "mighty maggie"), the subject changed and Phillip was talking about the boarded up brothel next door to us and called it a "den of iniquity". Now, I think this is an AWESOME name for a website, don't you think? Maybe not for a girl who is a full-fledged missionary and thinks typing "wtf?!?!" is the same as saying all the words out loud. But still. Awwwwwesome.

*****

instant message from Phillip:

"hey! you there?"

I take great interest in that lone exclamation point, a piece of punctuation he rarely uses. Potentially this is exciting news. Maybe some long lost friend sent him an email! Maybe he got a raise! MAYBE WE WON A MILLION DOLLARS!

"i'm here!"

"did you order something from blahblahblah.com?"

Well. THIS is not exciting.

"yes, for grandma. remember?"

"oh yeah."

"she wrote us a check the same day."

"yeah, i remember now."

"i thought you were going to say something exciting. you used an exclamation point."

"no, i just didn't know what blahblahblah.com was. thought the credit card company made a mistake."

"oh."

"it's better than me saying that someone stole our credit card and bought something from blahblahblah.com."

Therein lies the difference between us.

*****

Tuesday night I went to Home Depot and bought another can of red satin paint. Gallon #3.

PAINT GUY: Now I'm going to ask you this because the computer is going to tell me to ask you- have you heard of tinted primer?

MAGGIE: What now?

PAINT GUY: Tinted primer. It helps when you're painting these dark deep colors. Gives it a good base.

MAGGIE: Tinted primer? Are you kidding me?

PAINT GUY: Yes, a gray primer really helps with red-

MAGGIE: THIS IS MY THIRD @#$&$@* GALLON OF PAINT FOR THE TINIEST BATHROOM IN THE WORLD AND YOU'RE TELLING ME IF I'D BOUGHT TINTED @#($*@# PRIMER I'D BE DONE INSTEAD OF WORKING ON MY SEVENTH COAT?!?!

PAINT GUY: Uhhh, I guess we didn't tell you. Sorry about that.

MAGGIE: You'll be sorry when I write to the Home Depot President and get your entire paint department FIRED!

Ha ha. If only. What really happened was:

PAINT GUY: Now I'm going to ask you this because the computer is going to tell me to ask you- have you heard of tinted primer?

MAGGIE: This is my third gallon of red paint.

PAINT GUY: We must not have told you. I'm really sorry about that.

MAGGIE: Oh no, they told me. I just didn't listen. Bashes head against the counter.

*****

Phillip finished the sixth or seventh coat Wednesday night (we lost count) and I think we can say the bathroom is finished. It is not perfect. Mainly because I did most of the first two coats myself and my painting technique is obviously amateur next to Phillip's sections of the wall, even under six or seven coats. Also because it is really frickin hard to paint around a mirror glued to the wall, the sealant along the sink and all the little knobs and pipes behind the sink and toilet. It is very red. It is very dark. And I LOVE IT. We have a sparking white pedestal sink, bright white trim around the windows and floors and the door, and satin-finish silver fixtures. IT IS SO PRETTY. I'm going to get a little white table to put in the corner and something cute to put on the window sill and it will finally be worthy of the "powder room" moniker. I'm going to hang some pictures over the less than perfect parts and all guests using the powder room will be dumbstruck by it's beautiful red deliciousness. OH THEY WILL.

However. BEWARE ALL YE WHO DARE TO PURCHASE RED PAINT! I thought priming was for old previously-painted walls. A good look around the internet would have told me otherwise (the internet has yet to fail me!), but I was stubborn and lazy and not interested in doing more work than necessary. A disastrous choice you'll agree, dear readers. The bathroom is pretty now, but I could have saved myself TWO meltdowns and an entire month of a useless bathroom, paint supplies all over the floor and a poor husband who disappeared for hours at a time into the red hell. 

*****

I spent all day yesterday volunteering at the annual BaneOfMyExistenceOrganization Annual Golf Tournament. I got a free lunch and didn't have to be at the office, but it was miserable cold and I didn't really believe that just being in the cold all day made you sick, but now I am stuffed up and headachey and mad at the world. Golf, by the way, is a ridiculous "sport" dreamed up by old fat white men who should never wear shorts, who just want to have a good thwack at something and not really have to chase after it. Unless you are the golfers who wore the orange plaid pants on purpose and didn't know that you were supposed to use a 9 iron on that particular hole and laughed when the ball went into the tree and when you said you hit a birdie you meant a REAL BIRD- OR you are Tiger Woods- I am really not interested in chatting. Why are you allowed to drink bloody marys and drive a golf cart? Why are you allowed to smoke cigars and then leave the butts in the tee box? And NO, I AM NOT GOOD LUCK.

Ugh!

*****

God bless the people who make Veronica Mars. I've been TiVoing the summer reruns on the advice of my sisters and finally got a chance to watch some this week. Summer television doldrums are saved!

*****

Okay. That's all I have to yammer about today. See you tomorrow.


Leaving on a jet plane

I spent the whole weekend with my folks because they're going back to Italy on Tuesday. (Well, not exactly. First they're visiting the baby again, then they're going back to Italy. But for all intents and purposes, Colorado may as well be Italy, right?)

I am not very good at this 'leaving' stuff.

Ani DiFranco has a song called 'The Arrivals Gate' that I just love because it's about the other end of leaving, the better part. Sometimes my aunt met my family at the airport when we came back in the summers. Sometimes I'm able to be there when my sisters fly back to town or a friend needs to be picked up. But sometimes no one is there and you have to find your own way home, or you're brand new and feeling your way out of the airport in your new town.  I can't count how many flights I've been on, how many times people went to see us off, all the airports I've bawled my way through. Heading down to the flightline was an annual event in high school. Inevitably somebody you knew and maybe loved was moving away. All the friends would gather in the little waiting room in the military airport and wait until she PCSed with her family for the fourth or fourteenth time. The last time I did this was with my friend V. We'd graduated by then. It was August, we were going to college, and not many of us were left. Then it was time to board and she disappeared and I wandered outside onto the hot flat strip of asphalt and thought about how unlikely it was that I'd see her again.

When my family moved away for the first time, I fidgeted in my vinyl airport chair, overcome with a heavy sense of importance. My grandparents were there, my aunts and uncles. Soon we would get on a plane and fly many many hours to the other side of the world. It was terribly exciting and just plain terrible at the same time. As we made our way to the stuffy tunnel to board, I turned around and saw my grandpa solemnly waving his handkerchief. Sometimes I wonder if he knew he wouldn't see us again.

Last night after putting up her curtain rods and unrolling her new Pottery Barn rug, K and I poured ourselves a glass of wine and talked about families who live far away. Her parents are in Thailand and want her to come home. My parents are in Italy and I want them to come home- although now they've been there 10 years and own a house and are quite accustomed to a cappuccino in the bar every evening. Isn't that home?

I'm fairly certain the reason Phillip and I never made it to China last year was because we didn't want to leave home. That's a sobering thing for someone like me to admit. I thought I was pretty good at picking up and moving. The thought of staying in one place very long reeked of the boring and mundane and Lord knows I wasn't going to have a boring life! My Army brat roommate and I would talk about that itch that happened every couple years, and the day we realized we'd been in Seattle longer than we had cognizantly been anywhere else. There were days when, yes, it was definitely time to be somewhere new.

But we didn't go. I didn't want to leave my grandma for a whole year, for one thing. And who would record Gilmore Girls for Rebecca if she was going to be out?  I was just married. I had an apartment filled with stuff and I liked being in the middle of it. I knew how to get from my house to Capitol Hill to Magnolia to Northgate, a complete 180 from the day I was dropped off on the UW campus and couldn't find my way to my dorm. When people asked me where I was from, I stopped sighing dramatically before launching into my "Well first there was Comiso and then there was Lajes..." story and started saying "Now I'm from Seattle." I had no idea how wonderful it was to be from somewhere. And I really really didn't want to leave.

I guess I can't complain about the free place to crash in Europe, but I really miss my mom and dad. I hate saying goodbye to them every summer. I hated crying in the Venice airport every time I flew back to school. I hate that I've never seen one of their big school plays or met the kids they talk about. I hate how my dad stands outside and watches me drive away because doesn't he know that if you are driving you should also not be crying???

(Think happy thoughts for their trip because, for all their appearances of world-traveler-ness, they dread airplanes and positively loathe the airlines. And we don't wish a week of listening to travel-industry-lambasting on my brother and sister-in-law, do we? Seriously.)