Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy T-Day

Seattle, Day One

1. Watching the sunset from the top of the Space Needle is pretty cool.

2. In reference to item 1, okay, it was spectacular.

3. Anyone who thinks fondue is dead should go to The Melting Pot and find out how sadly mistaken they are. Fondue is alive and well and melty and delicious. And fun. 

4. Michael and Liz, otherwise known as my Beamish Boy and my Darling Dilly, have a ridiculously fluffly and adorable puppy named Gimli.

5. The Kirkland Arts Center has some terrific art that you can actually buy.

6. In reference to item 5, you can also take classes there and learn how to create art. And it's located in an awesome historical building. Oh, and Liz works there so we got a private tour.

7. Lunch at Google* is delicious and totally freaking free. As is the coffee and snacks. I want to move in there.

8. In reference to item 7, this is only true if you work there or are a guest of someone who works there. Which Michael does.

9. If it hasn't become obvious to you yet, Google has a very friendly vibe and I want to work there despite not possessing skills that would qualify me for employment.

10. Under the right circumstances, the phrase FISH SANDWICH! can be pretty fucking hilarious.

*I tried to post a link to Google but it simply redirects you to the Google search page. Not that anyone needs to have Google explained to them. Well, I sort of do but that's beside the point. And a link to Wikipedia that explains what Google is seemed just plain silly.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Banjo Schematic

What Reid does at the bar when he's bored. Waiting for me to drink my pint of water after I've consumed a pint of beer.

Smartypants Status: Verified

You're unbelievably intelligent! Your friends are impressed with your amazing treasure trove of knowledge. You know the answers to just about any question, and you're always on hand with a helpful remark. Your IQ is just as high as the smartest people who've ever lived! You're a true genius! Share your results on Facebook now, and show your friends how high your IQ is!

I really must stop with the quizzes and vacuum. And pack. And clean out the refrigerator. And continue to apologize to Newton for abandoning him to a pet sitter for the next ten days.

Thoughts This Sunday Morning

I saw and shared this essay by Lorelle Saxena on Facebook this morning. What she expresses is what so many of the privileged need to hear. Are you one of the privileged? I feel that I am, and if you stop to contemplate whether or not you are privileged then you probably are, too. 

I'm done with polite, apolitical vaguebooking right now. There are so many smugly hateful messages on my Facebook feed, and I'm not going to get into it with each and every one of you, but here is the bottom line:
There is no reason, not one single reason, why I deserve shelter, food, stability, safety, health, or your regard any more than any given Syrian refugee. Not one reason. My home, my education, my business; the way I look, the way I talk; the fact that I come home to a safe, whole, healthy family every day--every one of those things is a privilege that I fell into by the random circumstance of being born in this country to parents who valued academic achievement. I, or you, could have just as easily been born in Syria, or Burkina Faso, or Afghanistan. Do you really think that you're a different kind of human being than the refugees? Do you think your privilege is earned?
I know: you've worked hard for what you have. I have, too. But have we worked harder than the refugees worked for the lives that were destroyed? Do we love our children more than they do; would we grieve harder if a civil war took them away from us? And how long do you believe it would take for a bomb to destroy everything safe about your life?
Compared to most people in the world, you and I are rich with privilege, much of it just because we were lucky enough to be born in a country fat with it. I woke up early this morning and made organic, whole-grain muffins for my son, then dressed him in warm clothes, put sunscreen on his little face, strapped and buckled him into his bike seat and rode along peaceful streets to deliver him at his warm, nurturing preschool. There were so many levels on which I was able to protect him. Every breath of this morning was a privilege. Meanwhile millions of children who months ago had bedrooms and dinner tables and doctors and schools are sleeping directly on the ground, their parents unable to secure shelter or food for them, much less healthcare or education.
And no, that is not your fault. But that's not the same as it not being our responsibility. We have everything we need and then so much on top of that, and we can choose to exemplify to our own children one of two courses of action: we can open our clutched fists and share with our fellow humans all the abundance that exists here--or we can hoard it, greedy and bloated and fearful.
These are families like yours. Thinking they might have connections to terrorist factions is as rational as thinking you might be a terrorist because Timothy McVeigh was American. Half of the refugees are children. What is it in you that can close your eyes to other human beings, especially human beings that are small and hungry and cold?
I'm not asking you to give half of everything you have to help them, or to turn your backyard into a tent city, or to donate to causes that support efforts to protect these very vulnerable people. I'm asking you not to hate them because they need something you have. I'm asking you to recognize that the fear being built around the refugees is less about American security and more about American greed. I'm asking you to be a human being that understands every human being has basic needs and that the lucky among us can afford to share our luck to ease suffering. I'm asking you to stop thinking, posting, politicizing around the idea that we just can't help before we've taken care of our own.
Because there is no such thing as "our own." Every human is our own. Every hungry child, grieving mother, frightened husband, weary grandmother is our own. Nobody gets to pretend our world is a different world from the world that creates civil wars and bombs and hunger. We are all toeing this same precarious, shifting tightrope of a life. Anyone can fall at any time. All there is to catch us is each other.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


While weeding through Michael's stuff in an effort to determine what should make the trip with us I found this. In 1994, when he was all of six years old, he received a pre-approved application in the mail for a Citibank Visa credit card. I thought it would be fun to send it in. So he filled out the brief application form and signed it in a large, scrawly fashion, rather typical for a first grader. Some weeks later this was the reply he received.

He dealt with the rejection quite well. I think it would have been fun to go shopping. It's never too early to start building a good credit history.

Another Butter Battle