Biology Girl

Cold gray Januar-ay

The thermometer says it’s not really that cold, but my body disagrees. It feels colder than the thermometer says. I know, talking about the weather is ceaselessly entertaining. I have been trying not to hole up in my house too much. To that end, I did the following.

1. Brunched out with pals twice.
2. Shopped (ok I just went and touched the clothes) at Horseshoe.
3. Supported Biogirl’s pie problem by tagging along with her to A La Mode.
4. Did some rounds around Green Lake.
5. “Helped” Nordic Boy plant a new terrarium (hey, I watched him with waves of encouragement emanating out of me. That’s totally helping).
6. Ok, I’m not going to lie there was also lots of holing up and staying in, but effort was made.

New Year Meme 2011

Once again, I’m doing this tired old thing. Don’t tell me that I never recycle anything.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Went to a baseball game. The food sucked monkey balls and cost like it came from the mothereffing Ritz. But the game was fun, and the friends, and the sweet, sweet sunshine. Also, I went to see roller derby. Look at me, so sporty!

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year I did a whole list of things I want to keep up, rather than things I wanted to change. I should write a post about whether I did all of it or whether I was full of shit. Perhaps I will. But not right now. As for 2012 ones, I doubt it. I haven’t decided yet.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! It was another year of babies all around! Cuteness levels WAY UP in 2011.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Well, he was close to Nordic Boy, which is as close to me as you can get. It was horrible.

5. What countries did you visit? 
You know what? I am changing this question to “what trips did you take?” so I don’t have to keep saying the same mess every year about not travelling abroad.
New York, New York, it’s a wonderful town! (I love singing the line from that song). Also, Dungeness Spit, the Olympic Peninsula, Portland, Michigan.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
More healthiness for all my loved ones. Or all of everyone. Just…health to all.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why
I have so many, but I will say July 4, because I went to a really fun party and saw fireworks and it was good times.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Keeping it positive on the work tip, yo. Also, resolving some friendship stuff that needed resolving on a couple of fronts. The friendship situations just about killed me this year. It’s good to care that much and love people as much as I do, and I wouldn’t change that about myself even if I could, but sometimes it opens me up to heartbreak too. Thankee Jebus that I still have some good homies to count on.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I honestly can’t think of one. Apparently I have a high opinion of myself. There was that time I lost my new camera, which made me feel like a first class a-hole.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a serious case of gut bug for the first time ever. It was terrible but I did get to lie on the bathroom floor like a frigging rock star. GLAM.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My plane tickets to New York.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I have so many people I could mention for this, which is awesomesauce. I will just say Alli and Map, for coming to see me just because I missed them so bad. And BioGirl, for carrying out friendship duties with panache.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I don’t even want to talk about it, because my being appalled doesn’t change a goddamn thing.

14. Where did most of your money go?
A gas line and a new furnace to match. The furnace company was all “make it rain, suckers!” and we did. It poured.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to Portland Fashion Week with my bestie.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
It’s not even a song from this year, but I listened to it a lot this year, because I can be dumb and dramatic sometimes. “Every Heartbeat” by Robyn. I’ll put a clip of it at the end of the post.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Both
ii. thinner or fatter? Same
iii. richer or poorer? Same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Reading and spending time with my peeps and going to arty things. You know, the stuff I want to be doing all the time.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Working

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Already happened! My dude, movies, reading, laughing, eating.

22. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Every frigging day.

23. How many one-night stands?
Zip.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Parks and Rec. Ron Swanson for President.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. To quote Michael Jackson, I’m a lover not a fighter. Also, shamone.

26. What was the best book you read?
I quite enjoyed two books I read by Aravind Adiga: Last Man in Tower and The White Tiger.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I like Craft Spells a lot.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Harry Potter, Muppets. Because I am 10 years old?

31. What did you do on your birthday?
I dropped Nordic Boy off at the airport so he could see his cousin in the hospital, I had lunch with Biogirl, got my beloved new camera, and got ready to go to Portland Fashion Week. It was a day full of super highs and super lows, like last year.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Less activity around hospitals overall.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
I love clothes and I cannot lie, you other brothers can’t deny. However, I went to New York this year and was on a budget and did not buy one thing. ONE THING. Restraint, people.

34. What kept you sane?
My peeps, hands down.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don’t know. I hate this question. I know that every die-hard Gilmore Girls fan was feeling that strange happy/possessive feeling about Melissa McCarthy this year. You know, the so-glad-she-is-successful mixed with I-totally-knew-about-her-awesomeness-before-everyone else. Let’s all collectively get over that, because I wasn’t the only one watching the Gilmore Girls and neither were you. It just feels that way.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Japanese tsunami, Arab Spring, and the Penn State disgustingness.

37. Who did you miss?
Mom, Dad, Allison, Map, Julia, Nan, Rosita… so many people to miss. Sigh.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
My new coworkers are pretty rad.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
I’ve learned it before but I had to learn it again and it was just as hard as ever: letting go is all there is to do sometimes.

40. A song lyric that sums up your year.
I’ll do that sad one I mentioned before, but then end on a happy one, because both are totally appropriate, and I am feeling hopeful about 2012 and I want to end on that. May you feel the same about the coming year.

Goodbye 2011:
Maybe we could make it all right
We could make it better sometime
Maybe we could make it happen, baby

We could keep trying but things will never change, so I don’t look back
Still I’m dying with every step I take, but I don’t look back

And it hurts with every heartbeat
And it hurts with every heartbeat


Hello 2012:
You don’t have a clue
What it is like to be next to you
I’m here to tell you
That it is good
That it is true

Birds singing a song
Old paint is peeling
This is that fresh
That fresh feeling

Words can’t be that strong
My heart is reeling
This is that fresh
That fresh feeling

Try
Try to forget what’s in the past
Tomorrow is here
Love,
Orange sky above lighting your way
There’s nothing to fear

Birds singing a song
Old paint is peeling
This is that fresh
That fresh feeling

Words can’t be that strong
My heart is reeling
This is that fresh
That fresh feeling


Some people are good
Babe in the ‘hood
So pure and so free
I’d make a safe bet
You’re gonna get whatever you need

Yuletide Yodel

I am thinking about last weekend right now. It was a good one, but dang it seems like years ago now. I realized that I usually do a weekend roundup type dealie, and I didn’t this time, so Ima do it now. I just KNOW you were all antsy in your pantsies about not knowing how my weekend was last weekend, right? I know. It was tearing you up inside.

First of all, I met up with some homies at a local drinky station. Both Nordic Boy and I were seriously dragging our asses and were perfectly primed for the last minute bail, but we pulled through and showed our faces. I am still on a grand quest to find my signature drink, and I am sorry to say that I did not find it yet. This time I sampled a Mamie Taylor. Actually I can’t remember what it was I had. Which maybe is a sign that I really liked it or I really didn’t. The other thing that happened was that Nordic Boy got ripped. He can hold his liquor really well so the last time I saw him in such a state was circa 1995. When we got home he ran around our house for a good half an hour singing the opening yodel from “Tonight I’m Lovin’ You” by Enrique Iglesias, or as Nordic Boy insisted upon calling him: Julio Ing-Ling-ias Junior. So actually, it wasn’t that different from non-drunk Nordic Boy.

Also, we stayed out that night until midnight or so. Alert the media!

Thanksgiving was a day of cooking, and eating, and watching really bad movies. Just like the pilgrims.

I rounded out the rest of the weekend by cloistering myself in my house pretty much the whole time, with one break to go over to Biogirl’s house to help her put up her tree and otherwise get her yule decoration on. Although I am not a Christmas tree or decor person I do like that I know people who are and that I can participate in it to some extent. I rather like it in short bursts. Like, for an afternoon is perfect.

And now it’s December, which, yikes.

Happy Friday, all. Please start it off with yodel along with Mr. Ing-Ling-ias.

Thanksgiving 2011

Remember when I said I was going to do NaBloPoMo? And then I didn’t post for two weeks? Ha ha, wasn’t that a good one? I love that story.
Well, since then, Thanksgiving has come and gone. Food was eaten, movies were watched, asses were expanded. Pretty much what one might expect.
More than any other holiday, Thanksgiving makes me think about family. What family means and who in my life is in the circle. Lucky for me, I have quite a crowded circle. I am a loyal sort of person and so once you’re in the circle, I am not leaving you no matter what. Ok, maybe not no matter what. If you turn into a jerk or leave me first, I let you go. But that’s pretty much the only two reasons that I will stop paying attention to you. Otherwise you are in love lockdown, buster. And not in a Kanye way, in a good way, so don’t be frightened. Unfortunately there have been many people that have succumbed to those two reasons, which is super sad. But there are many who haven’t, year after year, through so many nutty times. They continue to love me, and be there for me, and stay present, and not let the lack of time, or the size of distance, or the changing of circumstance get in the way. Considering the craziness of all of our lives, that is quite a feat. And it’s those people I think about and feel so full of thankful for on thanksfullness day. Some of these folks are related to me by blood, and most of them are not, but they are all my family.
Because everyone is so far-flung in my life, many of my peeps are not in enough proximity for us to stuff our faces while in the same room. Kind of sucks. On the bright side, I do have some most-favorite of peeps right here in the vicinity and we did get together for a full meal throwdown. At our little table this year, my relationships with these three folks adds up to 53 years of love and commitment. Come on. That’s amazing.
I really have amazing people in my life. I aspire to be as awesome as they are, to not turn into a jerk, and to not leave anyone behind. With peeps like I got, they make the first one hard but the last two easy.

After the boots of summer have gone

Monday. Blah. Here’s my list of what’s in my brain today.

1. I kind of want to do NaBloPoMoBloJoHo (I just like to add that last part on there because I am juvenile), and started to do it last week, but that didn’t last very long. I guess I am still trying, if it even makes sense to do that. Just set your expectations way way low on that one though. Dial it all the way down.

2. The weather has turned. The best we can hope for is some blue sky every once in a while, but we know those days are numbered as well. This weekend, Nordic Boy started wearing his winter work boots while doing up his carpentry rigamarole in his shop. “The days for summer boots are gone,” he said. Then we sang the chorus of Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” with the words “boots of summer” inserted, because that’s how we do around here.

3. I have a new phone. I now need a new phone holder thing. I am having trouble finding one that meets my own personal design specifications. I came back from a shopping trip and Nordic Boy asked me if I found a phone case, and I said I didn’t see any that I liked, and he said “I think we’re starting up another pencil cup situation here.” Because I spent three years looking for a pencil cup that met my aesthetic needs. And I never found one. So I just decided that I didn’t need a pencil cup. And Nordic Boy never once said to me “IT IS JUST A PENCIL CUP GET OVER IT.” Because he knows a battle that can’t be won, plus he is nice to me like, all the time. Anyway, maybe I can just be really careful with my new phone?

4. I spent part of my weekend browsing some stores for wintery clothes. I have trouble with wintery clothes, mainly because I am not a fan of bulk, but I am also not a fan of being cold. My solution to this problem has been to just wear summer/spring/fall clothes which solves the bulk issue but doesn’t solve the being cold issue. Between this and the pencil cup thing and the phone case thing I really find myself unbearable sometimes. It does save me money though, since impulse buying is sort of out.

5. Biogirl and I had a full on therapy session over the weekend about the remakes of Dirty Dancing and Footloose. In the conversation the following phrase was said: “YOU SIR, are no Kevin Bacon!” I think we can all adopt that phrase in a multitude of situations.

6. Biogirl, who has been coveting the Norm-in-Cheers status of “regular” for many years, finally got her wish at the brunch joint we frequent. We go there almost weekly, so it’s about bloody time they recognize us. They knew her name! And what she wanted to order! It was a grand day in her life. I was glad to be there to witness.

7. We had dinner with our friends HVDM and her husband J. Afterward, we came over to my house and played Outburst. I was seriously off my game and this was evidenced by the following. I could not name all ten Robert Redford movies on the dang card, and I couldn’t name off ten Shakespeare plays. What the eff, me? I might as well have forgotten the alphabet as far as I am concerned.

8. I finally signed up for pinterest. Let me know if you’re on it too and I’ll follow you.

9. It was Alli’s birthday yesterday. There are a few things that make me feel melancholy around this time of year, and not being there for Alli’s birthday is always one of them. We always did birthday shenanigans when we were kids! How dare she grow up and move away! Wait, that was me that moved away. I hate it when I have to blame myself for my own whining.

10. YOU SIR are no Kevin Bacon! I just wanted to say that again.

Hallowon’t

Here is what I have decided about Halloween. I love it when I can make decisions on things.

What I have decided is that I love costumes. Love them. On other people. I feel like I want to love them for me, but I really actually don’t love them for me though, which for a long time now I have been fighting with myself about. Costumes bring together many things that I love in my life: art, creativity, humor, spooky aesthetics! I should, in theory, be all over this holiday. But yet, every year I find myself doing something lame like wearing a regular everyday 60s-ish wrap-dress, slapping on a fake nametag and calling it a flight attendant costume. I go to costume parties dressed pretty much like myself but trying to call it something else. I am so that person. I don’t know why, but coming up with a costume idea is torture for me, let alone dedicating time to getting something together.

My friends go all out for Halloween, and throw the type of parties that are not costume-optional. You wear a costume, mandatory. Bossy friends I have, I know, but thems the breaks. So this year, you know what I did? I stayed home. It was kind of sad that I missed the fun (omg can you believe I just tried to pull that? To make you feel sorry for me on that stupid crap?), but I just couldn’t be Half-Ass Halloweener this year. Throw in the fact that getting Nordic Boy into a costume can only be described as an annual “being a good sport but honestly could so totally do without this shit” situation and really. What is the point.

So, this Saturday we eschewed all invites (and the count on Halloween parties was really high this year so we felt extra Scroogey) and stayed home and watched movies. GOD WE ARE OLD FOGEYS.

Other fun activities this weekend included attending a Diwali party, hanging out with Delium, helping our friend A move her furniture to her new digs, and spending lots of cozy time (it is getting to be a tit bit nippley outside, dudes, winter is coming) under a blanket on the couch with my dude.

Oh, and the highlight of it all was going to the Nordic Heritage Museum to see their Nordic Fashion Exhibit. I have many things I could say about this exhibit but I shall limit to three things. One: the clothes were awesome. Go Nordics! Two: there are other exhibits that are also awesome, having to do with Nordic immigration to this country. However, those exhibits had lots of mannequins in sort of diorama-type situations (is it still called a diorama if it is life-size?) which made me really really glad that I did not have to spend the night inside the museum Ben Stiller style because those dioramas coming to life? GAH. Creepfest. Three: we got there and the ticket lady told us we were more than welcome to take photos which made me grumpy that I hadn’t brought my camera to play with, so here are some phone camera shots instead.

Unbirthday

This weekend, I went to a super fun dinner party where we ate soup and told scary stories and played a rousing game of Celebrity (which our team, named Syphilitic Spam because apparently we are disgusting people, totes won). I have been a little out of the party loop lately (my policy of saying “yes” to invitations was getting sloppy, I admit it, but I have a new furnace and my house is co-zizzy these days) but the upside of hibernating for a short while is to show up at something and remember all over again how awesome my pals are. Look at that! Cool people! If only I remember to leave my house! My say yes policy has been refreshed. Plus I got to do a Bruce Lee in charades whereby I kicked my leg up and maybe showed the party goers my bloomers. So that’s always fun.
On Saturday and Sunday I was treated to not one but two brunches by different friends. I also spent Saturday having a full hangout day with Biogirl, which is one of my most favorite things evah. We browsed DSW and went for gelato and looked at purses and jewelries and got stuck in traffic (yes, even the traffic part was fun) and then joined Nordic Boy for dinner where he told us a long involved story about bad home improvement that had us in stitches. That dude is funny, you guys. Sunday Nordic Boy and I hung out with our dear Delium. Delium is delightful and I shall provide an example. He told me that he had been at our house the day before, eating lunch with Nordic Boy. During the lunch, he said that he had, along with his sandwich, a dill pickle EVENT. The event was that we didn’t have his favorite brand of dill pickles. We had some other brand. And our brand? Was totally acceptable! I am totally delighted by the fact that this story was (a) drawn out into an actual story and (b) was labeled an EVENT. He is not one to shy away from making! everything! exciting! I love it.

I had sort of let go of the idea of birthdayness this year, happily so. There were too many other more important things going on that needed attention, and cheerleading for my own birthday has gotten a little tiresome in the past few years (I try not to be annoyed by my own self, but it’s hard). But even without me pushing the idea of overt birthdayness, it was a good month. Biogirl went all out for me, which was delightful, but she always goes all out for me. Overall, nothing was a big departure from non-birthday months, but that is totally the beauty of it. I felt loved this month, the same as I do other months. I’ll stick with that plan over the long haul, if I’m lucky.

Reunited

We can Peaches and Herb it, y’all! My camera and I were REUNITED on Thursday evening! It was at a restaurant I had been at a few days before. I still feel like a fecking eejit about it so let’s just pretend it never happened, ok? That would be wunderbar.

Let’s looky at some photos of the day that Alli, Map, Biogirl and I went to Whidbey Island. We saw sand, and dang it was windy, and there was pie, and we came upon a group of crazy-serious older gents who were way into their remote control toy sailboats. Oh my it was eventful.

In My Fashion

Many fabulous things happened on my birthday weekend. One, Nordic Boy and my parents chipped in to buy me a new, fancy (well, fancy to me) camera. I AM IN HOT SWEATY LOVE WITH IT.

Unfortunate downside is that I have become a person who only looks at other people or myself like this.

Thusly, now I will likely run off at the mouth AND at the lens at you. Aren’t you so excited?
Another downside is that I may think it would be really fun to take America’s Next Top Model style photo shoots where I practice my Kim Kardashian poses, and I may force you to play along with me. And then I may fuck up the whole thing by not yet understanding how to work the damn fancy camera.
All of the coerced posing and silly blue steel faces! For what? For a nice clear look at a table top surface. Clearly I am a photographic genius.
The second awesome thing about the weekend was that Biogirl swept me off my feet to Portland and we went to the final runway show of Portland Fashion Week. What’s that you say? Do I have photos? Oh mais oui.
The whole thing was in a shipyard. I kept looking for Frank Sebotka everywhere.

If you haven’t ever been to a runway show before, here’s my advice. Before they open the doors to seating, try to position yourself somewhere where you can see the models practicing their walks. Catching a glimpse of designer’s assistants (often nerdy looking dudes) coaching them a la Miss J is worth the price of admission.

My other advice is that there are basically two places you can be for the best view. One is the front row. You have to be a high roller for that though, or be some sort of celebrity, or both. At this show, the most fascinating character we spotted was this Sam-Elliot-in-The-Big-Lebowski guy sitting front row center. He was surrounded on both sides, as well as in the row behind him, by young fashionista ladies. They were fawning all over him. Who was that guy? 
Biogirl and I concocted a whole backstory about him. We’d like to think that he is a high end leather wholesaler and that he is close personal friends with Stella Who Loves Leathah from Project Runway.
The second best place to be is the cheap seats. I am totally not just saying that because that’s where you will definitely find me. I am saying it because it’s really the best place to see everything. The”cheap seats” will get you the privilege of standing behind the back row of chairs, smooshed in where there is hardly any room at all and you will have to watch yourself or you may just fall off the back of the riser upon which you are precariously standing. Whoever said fashion is not comfort was someone who was standing in the back row. But truly it is the best because you can see right over everyone’s head.
Anyway, here are some shots.

The whole thing was just delicious, I can’t even tell you. Biogirl: birthday saver. As well as a mean catwalker herself.

One more serious one and then I am done I swear

So after the sad events I wrote about yesterday, I’ve been thinking, and I have to tell you guys something. I have a fear about my blog and it is this: I am afraid that the way I seem to react to Bad Stuff happening will make people think I am a horrible person. Like, remember last year on my birthday when my dad had to go to the hospital, and there really wasn’t anything I could do about it, so after I talked to my family and we all agreed on that much, I went ahead and attended my birthday party anyway? When I told you guys about that, I was afraid that I sounded callous. Who goes to a party and has fun when their dad is in the hospital? I do. And I worry that people will think less of me for it. I know I am doing what feels right to me. But that still doesn’t allay my fear that other people won’t get that. Still being able to see my pals, go to work, genuinely smile soon after some serious shit has gone down? Who does that? A crazy person? A terrible person? Hopefully not. Hopefully it’s just a person who’s trying to cope.

All of this is to say that after Nordic Boy left yesterday and a morning of me being weepy, I took a breath and went about my day, and it was a good day in my awesome life, and I still want to tell you about that. I went out to a lunch with Biogirl where we talked for two hours, and cried in the restaurant (sorry for freaking you out, waitstaff), and peed ourselves laughing too. And then I went into work last night and had an super sweet time watching hundreds of teenagers screaming for their favorite author, who we hosted, and come on, what could be more joyful than seeing teens go bonkers for reading? And today Biogirl and I are heading out of town for the weekend, to try to salvage birthdayness for me. What is happening with Nordic Boy and Joel is going to be in my mind the whole time, but I have developed, over a long time of working on it, a way to simultaneously feel joy too. Am I horrible for soldiering on with birthday nonsense when heartbreaking circumstances are occurring? When I get back on Monday and show you guys pictures and such of the awesome, are you all going to be like “hey wow, she was talking about someone dying on Friday and she’s talking about this ridiculousness not two days later?”
I have a huge fear that you’ll think that. And I guess I can’t control it if you do. But even if you do, somewhere in your mind, even as you think it, please try to be generous with me as well. I’m not selfish and terrible, I promise you. I’m just trying to deal.