Biology Girl

Recipe for a good month

I saw this birthday card recently that said the following: “Martin Luther King. Jr. gets one day where we celebrate his birthday. So calm down, Birthday Month People.” It sort of cracked me up.

I mention that only because I want to emphasize that I didn’t even set out to be a birthday month person this year, and yet, it just happened. This whole month has been super terrific happy times. These are among the things that have been making it grand.

1. Delium took me to see the Paul Taylor Dance Company who just so happened to be in town. They were so delicious and unitardy. I loved every minute of it.
2. Nordic Boy and I went to a fancypants restaurant and did a million-course tasting menu. The final course was brought out and the waiter explained what it was using not one word that either of us could define. It was also visually indecipherable. “You taste it first and tell me what it is,” I said after the server had gone. Nordic Boy took a big bite and said “Oh, you’ll like it. It tastes like a lemon muffin with Cool Whip!” Really, when eating fancy food you should take Nordic Boy with you for descriptive assistance.
3. Biogirl took me for a road trip down the Oregon coast for a weekend. In the car, she invented what might be the best mash up of all time: Demi Lovato’s “Give Your Heart A Break” mixed with “Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.”
4. My brother took me out to another fancy dinner and regaled me with stories about my nephew who recently, after scoring a goal during one of his soccer games, with no forethought whatsoever, busted out into the Gangnam style dance in joyous celebration which led to all his little friends joining right in. Trust me, I know you don’t know my nephew but this is hysterically adorable.
5. My coworkers made a really big deal about my birthday this year. I know that work-related birthdays are usually cheesy and excruciating but this one felt really genuine. I felt appreciated.
6.  I sent out a blanket invite to a bunch of friends to meet up with me at my local pub for a drink on my actual birthday and it was just the lovliest night. The weather was gorgeous, we sat outside, I got to soak in the awesomeness that is my life, and my friend Kevin actually brought me some Vernor’s so I could indulge my newfound love for the Detroit Cooler.
7. All of my favorite faraway people called me or texted me funny, thoughtful messages. My parents, Alli, her husband Chris who I also adore, Map, Palindrome, my brothers, my cousin R, just my small but steadfast group.
8. I have discovered that there is a thing called a pajancho. Yes, I am taking this fact as a personal birthday present to me. Not the item. The word. Don’t you just want to say it every day of your life? Pajancho, pajancho, pajancho.

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Consumables #68

Oh bloggie! I have plum forgotten about you. It’s been a slow week in news about my life because my job is trying, willfully and spitefully I believe, to kill me, which means I have been heading to bed in the 8pm-9pm range each night of the week.

However, to counteract this, I did go to a dinner party at Biogirl’s house where we sat around a table in the middle of her raised veggie garden beds and I got to know 5 more people than I knew before, and all 5 of them? Frigging delightful. Plus there were two pans of fresh cobbler and mango mojitos. It was one of those perfect summery evenings where the air smells sweet, everyone laughs a lot, and I remember that there are more awesome people out there that I have yet to meet.

That’s all that is new. I am leaving town in the next day or two so mayhaps there will be more adventures ahead. Until then, let’s talk about Consumables, shall we?

The Dark Knight Rises
I kind of think Batman is a bit of a snoozefest at times. I get impatient with all his gravelly angst. However, this time around I had a rip-roaring time of it. I think because really it wasn’t 100% bat stuff.

The Bourne Legacy
The Bourne movies did something that I thought impossible, which is they started to turn my mind around about Matt Damon. I do not propose we get into why I didn’t like his stuff before and I shall not get into why, of all things, Jason Bourne made me change my mind, because frankly my reasoning will not make me look good. (And no, it has nothing to do with levels of hotness or not hotness, because I stand firm on that point regarding him across the years, and that is, if you will allow me to pontificate: ew). Anyway, that has nothing to do with this new movie but I felt the need to unburden myself about Matt Damon. As for this movie, I had several thoughts. One: look at Rachel Weisz getting all actiony! Do you think that Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig have ass-kicking competitions now that they are married? Like, instead of playing cribbage they get in a kick-boxing ring or something? Or at least Wii swordfighting? I want to believe this is true. Two: There is a motorcycle chase that I swear to Evil Kneivel goes on for 6,000 minutes. If you have to go to the bathroom during the movie, that’s a good time to go.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
An animated story about friendship, love, and a man who gives his life to books and the books that give back to him. I admit it, I cried, ok? I ADMIT IT.

Up Heartbreak Hill
This one got me too. Must have been a week for waterworks. This documentary follows the lives of teens from the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico who are on the high school’s long distance running team.

Dumb and Dumber
I had never seen this before. I thought it would be funnier. Why I thought that is really the unanswerable question.

Groundhog Day
Oh Bill Murray, I love how you just play the same thing over and over and yet remain so enjoyable. “Ned? Ned Ryerson?” I love it.

Harper Lee: Hey Boo
Did you know that she was working as a waitress (“in a cocktail bar, that much is true”) and she had these pals that were wealthy and they were all “we believe in your writing talent so here’s a year’s worth of your salary so you can quit your job now go forth and write your hiney off” (totally a direct quote). And she was all “okey dokey smokey” and she then pumped out To Kill a Mockingbird? I know there are many notable things about Harper Lee but I sort of couldn’t get over that one.

Dance Academy
CANNOT STOP WATCHING

The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
Is it blasphemy to say I liked the movie more? The book is great too, but so much of it deals with films and filmmaking that I thought that was better told as a movie. The illustrations in the book are not told in comic-like panels or anything, but they do sort of function like a storyboard, which is pretty cool.

The Emerald Atlas, by John Stephens
You’ve got orphans, you’ve got time travel, you’ve got a beautiful but evil witch, you’ve got a secret world not easily accessed unless you know where the portal is. You know why so many stories have this stuff? Because it works.

Later gators!

Summer wandering

Hey gang!

I had a professor in college who seemed like she was the feisty camp counselor in an 80s made-for-tv movie. She had red hair, curly like Mrs. Roper’s, and she started every lecture by snapping her gum and saying “Hey gang!” in a way that was at once jolly and sardonic. Every once in a while I try to bust out a “hey gang!” in her manner, even though no one knows what I am up to so I just end up looking weird. I would love to be jolly and sardonic, but I will settle for weird. Apparently.

Let’s catch up on the happenings around here. There is a regional “joke” in Seattle that says that summer really doesn’t kick in until July 4th. This year that was quite literal. It rained up a storm (ha ha, now THAT’S a joke, fellas) (oh dear lord) right up until July 3 and then on the 4th and ever since it has been super gorgeous. Sorry to rub that in the faces of all y’all reading this in other parts of the country, where I know that the weather has been crap on toast. I would send you all a little package of this heavenly stuff here if I could.

My July 4th was as low key as could be. My brain has just been running amok lately and so I think I just needed to max and relax as much as possible. I took myself to a quiet lunch by myself, and then Biogirl and I hiked it over to a lakeside park and sat in the grass for the entire afternoon and then strolled over to get gelato and strolled some more. Nordic Boy and I spent the rest of the night in, no fireworks, no barbecuing, no nothing. America was pretty mad at us I am sure.

Once the weekend rolled around I found myself, still due to the previous month’s madness, completely and totally without plans. I love a good activity-filled weekend, don’t get me wrong, but a gorgeous, sunny, summertime weekend with absolutely nothing that has to be done? GOLDEN.

This meant that I spent the whole weekend just thinking, in the moment, “Self? What would you like to do next?” What resulted was a sort of unremarkable weekend, but it was the kind of weekend that I hope I will remember for a very long time.

About 10 years ago, when Nordic Boy and I lived next door to our friends Neighbor B and Neighbor J, there was this one summer evening where we were grumpy and tired and hot, and the Neighbors invited us over for watermelon. And we sat in their living room, which had a view of Lake Washington, and ate this watermelon, and it seemed the sweetest, tastiest shit ever, and we were laughing and talking and looking out the window to the lake in the distance. There was nothing about that day that was memorable, yet I have never forgotten it. I felt content, and happy, and just inside a cocoon of friendship and love, if you want to get right down into hokey-town. Just so ordinary, but so beautiful. I love those days the best. The ordinary and beautiful ones.

I got to have two of those this weekend, and here’s some of what went down.

Nordic Boy and I wandered to a little Italian restaurant where I had some sparkly white wine that made me hiccup all the way home.

I met up with Biogirl and one of her high school besties and his wife who were visiting from California, and we wandered around Pike Place Market, eating ice cream and listening to the seagulls over Elliott Bay.

I saw Moonrise Kingdom, which seemed so appropriate for summer. If you want to see it, see it in summertime.

I had brunch with Biogirl at our favorite haunt.

Nordic Boy and I drove to Snohomish, which is known for its antique stores, and wandered around a bunch of them aimlessly, digging up World War II aviator goggles and 1970s McDonald’s collectible juice glasses and cut glass grandma-style bowls.

On the way back from Snohomish, instead of hopping onto the freeway, we got onto some curvy backroads that cut through farmland and looked at blue sky, and wide green fields, and white-topped mountains on the horizon.

I sat on my front stoop and talked to my mom and dad on the phone, and we laughed a lot, and I missed them, so very very hard.

I opened up all of the windows in the house, put my feet onto Nordic Boy’s lap, and read a book from beginning to end all in one sitting.

I wore summer dresses all day every day (which are hard to take self-portraits of, by the way).

Thanks, July. I needed that.

This and That

By this point in my week, my thoughts are no longer cohesive. So, you get Weird Lady Brain Potpourri today! Aren’t you so excited?

I saw the security at a drug store totally nab a shoplifter today! They chased this guy out onto the street (there were TWO officers! Like Chips! Only nothing like Chips!), and tackled his ass, and then cuffed him, and then pulled up his shirt and bam! There was a shiny new Bic pen pack tucked in the guy’s waistband. Bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do when they come for you? And your Bic pen pack?

Yesterday, I made the executive decision to eat ice cream for lunch. The perks of being a grown up! I can decide to eat ice cream for lunch! And then well. I felt shitty for the rest of the afternoon. Grown-up-ness: proving less than awesome once again.

I have had a week full of bad hair days and I am not above telling you that this seriously bums me out.

I bought new glasses, and although I loved them in the store, I now have a fear that I went straight into Velma from Scooby Doo land. Jinkies!

I bought plane tickets for an end-of-summer vacation, using mileage that made the entire thing free. Is there any better feeling than that? I do not know of one.

Biogirl made up a totally disgusting sexual term called “dental spelunking.” I love that girl.

Speaking of disgusting, my office chair at work has started doing this thing where every time I swivel, it makes a farty noise. Class out the ass, people.

Last weekend Biogirl and I went to Bellingham for the afternoon. It was the prettiness.

Birthday, Bainbridge, Bloedel, Biogirl

Gah! I am still being kicked in the arse by worky time, so you’ll have to endure more photos from me today rather than my usual ramblings. This weekend was Biogirl’s birthday and to celebrate I did three of my favorite things. Walked, ate, and got arty. One place we traipsed was aboard the ferry to the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. Here’s some photogometry to like, prove it.

(matchy shoes for ferry riding)
(which one of us is Katherine Hepburn and which one of us is Henry Fonda?)
(why Mr. Carson, what are YOO doing heah?)
Happy birthday, Biogirl! You are the lovliness.

Consumables #60

A co-worker came to my office on Friday and simply said: “There’s a little bit of sun peeking through out there right now! If you want to see any, go now! GO NOW!” And I dropped what I was doing, put my coat on, and went outside. It was still butt cold and windy, but I got that sun while it was here. I got you, sun! I got you! HA HA HA HA HAAAAA.
This is the state of mind I had when entering my weekend.
It turned out pretty dang good- I had not one solid plan for the whole weekend which felt really lovely. I usually like to have a plan or two in the hopper but this time around I really needed to just freeball it. And ew, sorry I just said freeball it.
Freeballing (and is it just me or can that term not be used without a paralyzing desire to sing Tom Petty? Now I’m FREE! FREEBALLIN’!) consisted of lots of take-out food and couch time, two brunches out (one with Biogirl and the other with Biogirl, Nordic Boy and Delium), a teatime meet up with Jenny where she accidentally shot a pony tail holder at a man at the next table, and that’s really about the perfect level of excitement that I needed.
That’s about all I have to say, so let’s talk about what’s happening with me and the pop cultures lately.
Project Runway All Stars
It hurts me when Mondo acts like a whiney buttmunch. Stop it Mondo! Go back to being adorbs.
Being Elmo
Documentary about the muppeteer who plays Elmo. I think it must be my generation but I am enthralled by most things muppet. I don’t think this was the best documentary ever in terms of how it was put together and there were things that I wished they would have asked Clash about and they didn’t, but still, I was all over it.
Staying Alive
I was in a grumpy mood last week and so I fired up this puppy, and man, did it do me right. Stallone directs Travolta in the sequel to Saturday Night Fever! Travolta gets oiled up and puts on a headband and a speedo-sized dance belt and does horrifying contempo jazzercise moves! There are smoke machines, and cage dancing! Oh it’s masterful.
My Week with Marilyn
As a person who has watched classic movies over and over again, including everything Marilyn Monroe was ever in, I was super excited to see this. The Prince and the Showgirl (which is the movie that is featured within this movie) is interesting to begin with not because it’s a great movie- I don’t think it is although that can be argued for sure- but because it brings together Olivier and Monroe. The behind the scenes stories about this collaboration are legendary by now, and so trying to make My Week with Marilyn seems like such a daunting thing to do, and so I want to give it a pass on what I thought were some weak points. I thought Kenneth Branagh as Olivier was awesome, and I wanted to believe Michelle Williams as Monroe and sometimes I did, but other times I didn’t, but maybe I was being a dick about that, I can’t decide. Also, I think they overplayed Monroe’s insecurities. Not that I think that she didn’t have them and ultimately was probably ruled by them, but I wished they would have explored that in a less obvious way. Wow, this is getting dangerously close to a sort of review of the movie and we all know I don’t really do that, so I’ll stop. Oh, one more thing, and now you know I am getting way nitpicky, but Marilyn Monroe was not that skinny. I know we don’t seem to have anything but waifs on the screen anymore, but seeing tiny Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe seemed really odd to me.
Kingdom Keepers #1, by Ridley Pearson
The first in a series about a group of kids who can turn themselves into holograms (sort of) and transport themselves into Disneyland at night after it has closed, where they battle the evil Disney characters who come alive. It’s better than it sounds. I admit it did not appeal to me as an adult lady but I can see the kid appeal for sure, especially if they have been to Disneyland or Disneyworld or whatever.
Parade’s End, by Ford Madox Ford
This book is about 7.4 million pages long with tiny font so technically I have not finished it yet, and I will likely read it in chunks throughout the year, but I have read enough of it to talk about it now. It is a book written for my inner old man (there is a part of my reading taste that is 80 years old) so if you have that part of you you will like this, I think. It’s set during World War I in England, and there are class divides and political upheavals and some romance too, although it’s not romantic. Think of it like Downton Abbey but less soap opera-ish and with lots more long-winded discussions of Tories and the disintegration of moral codes and the like. It’s going to be made into an HBO/BBC tv series soon, so if you don’t want 7.4 million pages, wait for that.
Fashion lectures
For the past couple of months Biogirl and I have been spending every other Thursday night attending a series of fashion lectures at the University of Washington museum (the Henry Gallery). The lectures were focused on the first half of the 20th century, so we got to hear about everything from the decline of corsets to the rise of the little black dress. The lectures were more philosophical and historical than anything, and I wished the lecturer would have blitzed us with a ton more slides (people who are interested in clothes want to hear about clothes, yes, but really we want to see lots of clothes more than anything). I don’t have much to say on this other than to plug the idea of doing something like this on a topic that interests you. It’s worth the time to try it.
Have a good week, everyone! Seattleites, take heart. Marvember will not be here much longer.

Stand in the place where you live

Even when I have what I would consider an extremely relaxing weekend, I get certain things done. Laundry and a meal plan for the week with grocery shopping thrown in are the bare minimum tasks. Bare minimum. My CSA box doesn’t get here until Tuesday so I have to at the very least have food for Monday. If I don’t get those two things done, my week gets jacked up with not enough clean drawers in my drawers and no lunch ready to go for Monday. The only reason that this would not get done would be some sort of emergency, or going out of town, or my being sick.

There was no emergency, no going out of town, and no illness, but man was there a festival of LAZY going on at my house this weekend. With the exception of three fun out-of-the-house things, I sat on my ass with a remote and a book and a phone and did nothing. I called my mom and dad each day. I drank gallons of tea. I continued my irritating quest to get through more Felicity episodes (I am into Season Two where everyone’s hair gets smaller. Noel cuts his hair, Ben cuts his hair, and Felicity not only cuts her hair but she then dates a dude with the exact same haircut that she has). I spent hours making a google map of an imaginary road trip across the country that I have no plans to take. I texted my friends with silly texts. I dozed. I stared out my window with a blanket over my legs like an old timey rich lady who is at the sanatorium.

Although it was quite nice while it was happening, I have more data now that points to the fact that my week will start off shitty if I do that. This is the equivalent of the one-night-stand at this stage in my life. If you have never had a one-night-stand (that term cracks me up, by the way. A stand. I am taking a STAND about it being only one night!), it is emotionally an equivalent feeling. This is an awesome idea (while it’s happening) which turns into why the HELL did I do that, stupid, stupid, stupid (after the fact). At least that’s how some one night stands go. Others are fine even after the fact, but that doesn’t fit in with my metaphor so I am ignoring those kind. Just note that I understand that all one-night-stands or all no-chores-days are bad. Sometimes they are just fine.

On the upside, I did get myself out of the house to go see an exhibit on the art and design of George Nelson, which was fabulous. There was a loud entitled old lady at the exhibit that almost made Biogirl challenge her to a rumble which was almost as entertaining as the exhibit itself. I can’t make too much fun of her since I went to a movie that I was so, so, so amped to see (more on that in Consumables) and I sat in front of a lady that was having the most rustle-oriented relationship with her snack food that I have ever heard. I don’t know if it was popcorn or she was getting her Milk Dud on, but RUSTLE ME TIMBERS, lady.

So to recap. Me kicking it sanatorium style, having a no-chore-stand, an art exhibit and a movie with etiquette issues at both and that’s really about it. I am choosing the “blogging some shite is better than no blogging” approach. You’re welcome.

Giant cowboy around here somewhere

It happens every year, usually in February: all of a sudden it is spring! It’s like nature knows that we are shriveling up into a disgusting wet corn flakes mush and so it does us a quick solid by giving us a freaking gorgeous few days just so we don’t run amok and dissolve. The fake out will not last long, and we’ll be back to drizzle fo shizzle (oh yes I did just say that) but for now, I am not going to think about that. For now it’s just SUN! SUN! SUN!
 
The weekend started off by us having a meeting about death, because, you know, we are badasses. Not really. Part of our beginning of the year stuff that we do is to go over our financial plans for the future, including updating our retirement plans, insurance policies, etc. WOO! We’re a couple of party animals, I know. Anyway, our financial guy (I still find it so weird that we have one of those) was going over some things with us and it always throws me, having these conversations, because I feel like he should start our meeting by saying “It’s about to get REAL, YO.” Because that guy can break it down. He’s all “so, statistically, we have to plan for you” he points at Nordic Boy “to die at about 84, and you” he points at me “to die around 96.” Um, sure. Yes. I suppose we do. And we’ll be damn lucky to have it happen that way. And we’re being so responsible and adult to map this out and make sure we are taken care of. And our plan is a good solid plan. Good on us. And also, by the way, and I probably should have said this up front, but GAHHHHHHHHH.
 
I mean, yikes-o-rama, you guys.
 
Anyway after that I proceeded to spend the rest of the day in the sunshine having giggly girl fun with Biogirl. Because I kind of had to, after that.  First off, we drove southward to see the boots and hat in Ox Bow Park. Those are sculptures, for those of you who don’t know. I have to make that clear since it would not be out of the ordinary for us to take a field trip to look at actual boots and a hat. Anyway. Turns out, nothing will make you forget about your own mortality like a giant pair of cowboy boots as big as a house. We took silly photos and laughed our heads off, in that way where you don’t even really know what is even so funny, but dang, it’s just HIGH LARRY US. We then went to have tea at a little tea shop that boasts over a hundred tea varieties. I am a serious tea lover but somehow I ordered one that pretty much tasted like dirt (this is where I cannot help but hear Nordic Boy’s mom’s voice in my head saying the ever-wise “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt, honey”). I think I got lucky at that choice though because our tea menu was talking about a whole line of teas called Poo Air. So at least I didn’t drink that up.
 
Sunday I decided to get my ass out the door to check out the Jason Wu collection at Target. Listen, some people have the Superbowl and others have Jason Wu at Target. Priorities. By the time I got myself there it was seriously picked clean. There were like three pieces left, I am not even lying. Ok, so I got there at lunch time. I am ridiculous enough to make a date on my calendar to show up to Wu opening day but not ridiculous enough to go wait in line first thing in the morning. Everyone draws a line somewhere. But really, folks,* I am not kidding when I said there were three items left.
 
Nordic Boy and I rounded out the weekend by making a big Indian dinner (well, ok he made it) and watching old Deadwood episodes. What could be better? And no, neither of us watched the Superbowl, but I did learn something about football and the Superbowl this week and I am going to share it with you. I have learned that no one needs to hear the following phrases regarding the Superbowl ever ever again, and they are: “I only watch it for the commercials,” or “I don’t watch the Superbowl. I don’t even know who’s playing.” I have to shamefully admit that I was, twice this week, that person. The one who says those things. Getting my passive aggressive smugly on, people. So classy! It seems that I too have an inner hipster doofus that longs to be freed and turned into a Portlandia skit. At least I haven’t gone to the “the half time show sucked! they should just not even have one!” place, because that place is truly unbearable. Anyway, as soon as the “I don’t even know who’s playing” exited my mouth the second time (or actually my fingers, since I was typing), I wanted to call it back in, but I couldn’t. So I am hereby using the power of my blog to recall that sentiment. Just go back in time, erase erase erase, and done. You didn’t know my blog had that power, did you? I know, pretty cool. I should probably use it for something more concrete, like going back in time to convince 9th grade me to stop tucking my pants into my socks, but I thought I would start with this one.
 
I’m going to go run around in the sunshine now.

*Sorry I called you folks.
 

Occupie This

The snow has melted off faster than it got here, and the weekend was covered in a mud-flavored Slush Puppie. Are Slush Puppies still a thing? I have fond memories of getting one of those (cherry flavored, not mud) with a pack of grape Now and Laters at the Kmart cafeteria when I was a kid. Oh yes, our Kmart had a cafeteria. Class out the ass, people.

Crisp new snow for a couple of days had us running around outside like nutcases, but the slushy mess had us sticking close to home for most of the weekend, other than a trip to work for me. And then, oh yeah, we also went to this party where there was nothing to eat but miles of pie.

For those of you who may not know, today is National Pie Day. (To which, the obvious reply is: isn’t every day National Pie Day? And yes, you may have a point there). In its honor, Biogirl threw a party whereby she served pie and more pie. And also, asked guests to bring pie. Is this not the most genius party idea ever conceived? Methinks it is.

Our friend Heather has a little girl who is 4. Throughout her young life, we have gone to their house on a myriad of days. Sometimes just to hang out, sometimes for a meal, sometimes for a party. She, on the other hand, has only been to Biogirl’s house when there has been some sort of party going on. And so in her eyes, Biogirl’s house is the Land of a Thousand Vittles. Biogirl’s parties always have a nice spread happening, so to a 4 year old? Yummy goodness as FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE. And since she hasn’t seen Biogirl’s house in its non-party state, I think that perhaps in her mind, she is all “I don’t know what is UP with that crazy lady’s house full of food everywhere you look, but I’m LIKIN’ IT.” This time, when it was all pies? I am sure it took the magic to a whole new level.

I think maybe I am transferring my wonder at the pie party concept onto a 4 year old. Probably.

Anyway, there was mushroom quiche, and spinach quiche, and sweet fruit pies, and samosa pies, and pizza pies, and pumpkin pie, and tomato pie, and pot pies…well. You get the picture. In case you don’t get the picture, here are some pictures.

And also the people were nice and the conversation good and the laughs were plentiful. Yadda yadda. PIE.

(Ok, I feel the need to explain that last one. Biogirl’s dad once had a painter paint a portrait of her when she was little. It is universally acknowledged that the result is creepy. In fact, I don’t think the creepy nature of the portrait quite comes through here. Anyway, most of the time the portrait lives in storage. But when Biogirl throws a party, the portrait comes out, usually with something to say. I love that portrait).

True

This weekend we celebrated Nordic Boy’s birthday. It was quiet, full of love and sweetness, just like him. It snowed a bunch, and we took walks in the silent neighborhood, sometimes turning a corner to find squealing kids sledding down empty streets. We ventured out to a show downtown, and we ate some fancy meals in low lit restaurants that were mostly empty due to the weather. His mom and sisters called him up, and so did my folks, all to tell him they love him. I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, and he said he just wanted to see me and his two besties, so we had Biogirl and Delium over and ate and laughed. Biogirl made us waffles one morning and I went to a fancy bakery to find us some cake. He bought himself a present that only he would be super excited about: a dust vac that hooks right up to his power tools so the sawdust is collected before it hits the ground. Who buys themselves a dust vac for their birthday, I ask you?

The same sort of dude who thinks knots are way cool, that’s who. When I first met Nordic Boy when he was just a kid, we would go to the local bookstore and he would pore over this big book, about knots. I have teased him about it for years and years. This honker is gigantic- it’s got to be a 10 pounder of a book, at least it seems so. Paying for it would have kept us in Taco Bell burritos for literally two months, so buying it was out of the question. Even now, when we can afford that book, he has never bought it. It’s something he’ll go look at in the store every once in a while, even all these years later. He’s had a long and true yearning for that book, and the fascination has never waned. This year, I bought it for him. The delight that this purchase brought him will make me smile for just as many years, I’m pretty sure.

I also took our old deck of cards out of the closet. This deck of cards has been with us for almost two decades. The first thing that Nordic Boy and I ever did together was play cards with that deck, in my very first little apartment back in Illinois. I love that deck. So I wrote out, on each card, one thing that is awesome about that dude of mine. It was hard to limit to 52.

Happy birthday, sweet soul. You rock my socks.