We're on our way to Sunriver, where I'll test my luck at skiing. Crossing my fingers there'll be no broken bones this year!
Monday, December 27, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
(If you haven’t seen Christmas Vacation, you’re probably lost. But my family’s chuckling.)
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
This week I’m really getting into the deck-the-halls, hang-the-stockings spirit. (I don’t have a place to hang any stockings, but that doesn't crush my good mood.) Saturday and Sunday were busy with holiday parties—a sixty-person shindig at my aunt’s house in Gresham, and a smaller group at Jeff’s parents’ house in Lake Oswego, both with visits from Santa and gifts for the whole clan—plus a trip to the airport to get Christyn.
She flew home from Houston on Saturday, nearly missing the first leg of her flight. She says the freeway was closed, forcing her to take a detour, and she didn’t get in line at security until thirty minutes before the plane was scheduled to take off. When several security guards told her they couldn’t help her, that she’d have to stand in line and wait just like everybody else, some good Samaritans let her take their place in line, and she quickly climbed her way to the front. (If Christyn were like my dad or me? She would have been at the gate with two hours to spare—coffee in one hand and a good book in the other—detour or no detour.)
As she pushed her way through the line and forced her feet back into her winter boots after they’d been scrutinized under the x-ray machine, a little girl about eight or nine years old yelled, “Run! Run like the wind!”
And she did.
She fled to the gate with the Home Alone soundtrack ringing in her ears, images of the McCallisters racing through the Chicago airport flashing through her head.
She made the flight. And when she arrived at PDX, Mom, Dad, Jeff and I were waiting for her with a balloon that read “Welcome Back!” (Not quite the same sentiment as “Welcome Home,” Mom pointed out, but it worked.)
And now the whole family is home, and it’s time to deck the halls and hang the stockings and attend another Christmas party. (Jeff and I are hosting one for our families tomorrow. I'm staying home to cook and prep the apartment for fifteen people.)
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I would know.
Because that's how I spent my morning.
Luckily, my trusty roommate came to the rescue. Like any great roommate, he journeyed the half-hour home from work and drove me around the block, searching for my Jeep one last time. When I was positive it had been stolen, he called the City of Portland and confirmed it had only been towed. (Only.)
And now that my car is home, safe and sound, and I'm in my pajamas (at 7:30 p.m.), I think I'll whip up two cups of delicious hot chocolate and a batch of tasty popcorn treats for my roommate and me, just for fun.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
But not to Jeff.
He sees flaws in each that I choose, until we spot the crème de la crème.
After cutting it down—it’s Jeff’s first time with a saw—and tying it to the roof of an old Toyota Camry, and then untying it at Jeff’s parents’ house for a lesson in tree-blowing, and then tying it to the car again, and then stopping at Fred Meyer for a tree stand, and then adjusting the rope because the tree almost flies off on the freeway, and then untying it when we get to our building (finally), and then sawing another inch off the trunk (on a sidewalk on bustling Mississippi Avenue), and then lugging it upstairs via elevator, and then realizing we don’t have enough twinkling lights to strand around it, and then throwing our hands in the air and going to the Blazer game, then journeying to Fred Meyer at 9:30 p.m. for lights, and then decorating it until 12:30 a.m.—it's drop-dead stunning.
And well worth the hassle.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
I didn't go to the game, but I sure did watch it on ABC. At 12:30 p.m., Jeff and I arrived at a friend's house in Northwest Portland with champagne, orange juice, chips and dip, and for four hours we sat on the couch in our jerseys rooting for Darron Thomas and "Big Balls Chip" to lead our team to victory.
Later that night, fans wearing green and yellow swarmed the city. And at Gypsy, a 23-year-old took the opportunity to show his undying pride for the Ducks during his karaoke number: He shouted "Go Ducks" over and over again instead of singing the song he'd picked.
And the audience loved it.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
That’s what Mom whips up on Thursday, anyway.
Christyn, Caitlin and I spend the day helping prep appetizers and side dishes while trying to keep Freddie away from my parents’ cats. The cats are ten years old and outrageously obese, and they hiss and howl at young Fred (their guest!) all weekend long. It's a weekend of education: Fred learns to fend for himself, and I learn that it’s just as much work to cook a Thanksgiving meal for six as it is for twenty. (We have only six people, and this is Mom’s lesson of the day.)
On Friday, still stuffed from turkey and the rest, I kick-start my day with an extra-big coffee and a two-hour drive to Eugene. Jeff and I watch the Ducks pummel Arizona—from the front row at Autzen stadium. The win is fun and all, but the best part? A relentless downpour warrants my flaunting an enormous yellow poncho with little green ducks on it.
Saturday’s highlights: breakfast at The Big Egg, a food cart just down the street from our apartment on Mississippi, and Skyping with family in Ireland. (The Big Egg? Makes the best breakfast sandwich of all time.)
And Sunday calls for champagne. I meet two girlfriends for bottomless mimosas and brunch at the Sapphire Hotel on Hawthorne, a quirky breakfast joint that was once a brothel. In one word: delicious. When I get home, Jeff and I continue the mid-afternoon party with more bubbly and OJ before leaving for another Thanksgiving celebration, this time at his aunt’s house in Portland: a super-fun way to wrap up our Turkey-Day Weekend!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Revitalized and still stuffed from my massive dinner, I met Jenn and Maijken on Saturday afternoon. We walked up and down San Francisco’s hilly streets and enjoyed the crisp fall air against the warm sunshine before heading to dinner at a trendy yet cozy restaurant called Home in the Castro. Stormy weather rolled in with the fog, which left Jenn’s apartment without power for a few hours!
Friday, November 19, 2010
We adopted him on Halloween. In the spirit of the holiday, we were determined to call him something spooky yet outrageously adorable. (Jeff wanted spooky. I wanted outrageously adorable.) The list included Magic, Pumpkin, Moon, Ghost, and so on. My first choice was Pumpkin, but Jeff didn't go for it. "I can't tell my friends I have a kitten named Pumpkin," he said.
With the help of a friend, we arrived at Freddie, and it stuck. His middle name is Pumpkin, even though Jeff claims it’s—get this—James. (Fredrick James.)
Despite our kitten’s unconfirmed moniker—sometimes it’s Fredrick James, other times it’s Freddie Pumpkin, but most of the time it’s Fred, Punkie, Krueger, Sweets, Snookers, or Snotty—he’s made proud parents of Jeff and me!
Oh! And I’ve vowed to start blogging again. I’m making it my end-of-year resolution. (If I were you, I wouldn’t believe me either.) Stay tuned...
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
* * *
“Do all musicians double-book themselves? His name was on the invitation.”
* * *
“This could quite possibly be the shortest dress I’ve ever put on. And heels? Don’t help it look more appropriate. Aha! I’ll wear flats and a jacket to the bus stop.”
* * *
“Why is everyone looking at me like I belong on a street corner? And why did I get on this bus?"
* * *
“I get it. The dress is short. And yes, I have a date. Where is he? None of your beeswax.”
* * *
“Jeff, where the hell are you? The ceremony was supposed to start five minutes ago.”
* * *
* * *
“Ooo! Pretty table settings. I wonder what’s for dinner.”
* * *
“Okayyy. It’s 6:25 p.m. Ceremony’s starting. Music’s playing. Bride’s walking. I’ll sit in the back. Hopefully he can sneak in unnoticed.”
* * *
* * *
Guests, watching Jeff’s gold Camry speed toward the venue on a noisy gravel road: “Looks like someone’s a little late! Wow he’s really hustling!”
* * *
Just in time, he slithered in unnoticed—by the bride, anyway.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Point? Irish folks love to party.
On Saturday night, though, I learned they don’t like to party nearly as much as Persians do.
It’s one of those evenings that only July knows. The air is hot and arid and smells like freshly watered grass sprinkled with efflorescence. I pull up to Kolbeh, a Persian restaurant in Lake Oswego, just as the tree-lined horizon meets the last few minutes of sunset. I’m bedecked in a new shirt and a bright blonde hairdo, and although I’m not sure whether to wear flats or heels, I decide on stilettos because I’m sure the event won’t require too much standing or dancing. It’s an engagement celebration, not a college frat party.
When the belly dancer shows up half-naked and barefoot, and the lights dim and the disco ball starts spinning, I realize I’ve never been more off the mark.
The groom’s father hands drink ticket after drink ticket to each of the 200 guests as they walk in the door, hugging and kissing them on both cheeks—regardless of whether or not he’s met them—before chuckling, purely and happily and loudly. I decide it’s simply the chuckle of a nervous yet blissful Persian man whose son is about to get married.
“I want to be Persian!” I whine over the music. “Why haven’t my parents ever thought to order a belly dancer?” It seems like such an obvious thing to do. My head bounces awkwardly along with the drums and keyboards, my eyes closed.
Aubrey nods sympathetically while scanning the scene, but then she smiles, knowing this is what comes with the territory when acquiring a Persian brother-in-law. Her family functions may be this way forever.
Hopefully she’ll invite me to more of them.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
(Don't let Jeff tell you otherwise.)