Star Wars Holiday Special… Live From Hell!

I’m attempting to make it through the rifftrax version of the Star Wars Holiday Special. My LORD, is it difficult! This is a punishingly bad horror of television. An abomination. If Paris Hilton directed the remake of Casablanca, starring the cast of Full House nude, it would be an Oscar worthy effort compared to this dreck.

The awful wookie family… the irritating and unfunny “holonet” that we somehow watch inside the show itself, like some meta-torture… Art Carney. It’s just too much.

I’m so glad I didn’t see this as an impressionable youngster. It would have forever tainted the joy of Star Wars for me.

I will hold fast to the original trilogy and cast out the evil of all superfluous Star Wars evil.


Black Friday and Fallout

We actually went out and shopped for the first time in our lives on the day after thanksgiving.

It caps a nice couple of days for us. We got the old apartment totally emptied, we had an awesome dinner over at Herc and Sarah’s, complete with pie and mst3k.

So today we enjoyed the Seattle mist while we purchased practical gifts for school and work.

Okay, Jaime’s was practical. Mine is simply a toy. But oh such a fun toy.

J got herself a new computer, replacing the old model. We basically rotate computers every five years, what with new software or features or whatever. The new macbooks are nice, and considering we use the computer ten times a day I don’t mind getting one that really meets our needs.

The itouch, of course, is just a toy for me. Mostly it’s for me while I wait in the car or by the bed with sleeping children.

Then me and the kids walked around Ballard with Herc and Sarah, not shopping but just looking at stores and getting ideas for Taviri’s christmas presents. These we will actually wrap up and place under the tree, unlike ours which are in use immediately. The fun thing is Taviri loves the ultra low tech presents, the puppets and wooden “food” he makes on a cardboard stove. We try to encourage this; I guess our own technological excess won’t be multiplied by the next generation, even if we do pass it on to some degree. I love that I spend a few hours a day playing puppet theater with him. (Although my hands are killing me; if I’m going to play puppets I’m going to do it well!)

I’m looking forward to christmas this year. Taviri is just getting a few simple gifts, Arkaedi will get something little, and me and J have ours already. It’ll mostly be about being together and eating a huge feast prepared by J for our friends. Which is what holidays should always be about.

(Well, food at least. Everyone can get their own Jaime to cook for them, this one’s mine!)

Day at Beach, with Rainier Looming

Another bizarrely perfect day today. Chilly, but great. I took the kids to Golden Gardens and we watched the trains. Well, me and Viri watched the trains, and Arkaedi was obsessed with the ocean. To the point of saying “WA! WA!” which is incredible interest from an 11 month old baby girl. This nice weather may actually carry me through the winter now. I can possibly hold out until May!

It got me thinking of what my friend texted me about being parents: our kids do get such a range of experiences, and it’s great when we can really bring them something that expands their world. Living here, I have the opportunity for mountains, rivers, the ocean. In the natural environment alone there is a daily reminder of the beauty and power of life. I’ll never forget my first time seeing the ocean. Due to geographic and financial circumstances it was tough to get there, but my kids can see it every day. Easy to take these kinds of things for granted, and we do. But it’s wonderful to be reminded of these things.

After that we came home and Viri and I played puppet shows with Arkaedi. I really am enjoying this stage of my life immensely. I make some mistakes, I get irritated and fail my kids in little ways, true. But I still make sure they get a quality of life that is very good. They learn, play, and grow. I hope I am doing my part to guide them to their destiny.

One amazing aspect of this recent weather is that we get to see Mt. Rainier every day. It’s incredible. I do wish they had kept the native name, Tacoma or Tahoma. I forget what it means. I think it’s “One who comes here to loom menacingly over the horizon and make glaciers, and is all out of glaciers.”

I may be mistaken. Still, having Tahoma standing watching you would be better than Rainier.

Sausages, Springsteen, Arkaedi and an Aloe Plant

In the spirit of disjointed narratives everywhere, I bring you the Ulysses of blog posts.

Arkaedi, the girl who will not go to sleep before 11, hung out in my room late last night while the boy and mama slept. She enjoyed playing with my sparkling water bottle. Sparkling water is a big weakness of mine, after the strangest of starts.

Jaime and I traveled in Europe after I graduated college. We had an amazing time, possibly the greatest trip of our lives. The one odd thing was, everytime I ordered water I got sparkling water. I thought I got pretty good at saying, in various languages, no sparkling water. (Italian is goofy: no one can say “Acqua senza gas” and not feel ridiculous. Although it did teach me how to order vegan. “Senza frommagio” is invaluable.)

But the odd thing was, after days of this, I got to enjoy it. Now I love it. It has to be done right, of course. A little ice, a small thick glass. Like scotch. But done right, I love it.

My other guilty pleasure is tofurky’s beer brats.
Even typing the sentence I feel dumber. (More dumb?) But it is a simple meal I delight to prepare. Fried in my cast iron, they are crisp and juicy, the perfect evening light meal. I partake gratefully before my chocolate and tea dessert. Another nightly pleasure I don’t even feel guilty about anymore, since it is such a part of me. I’d just as soon feel guilty about having a pinky toe. Tea and chocolate are integral to my function as a person. (Which, come to think of it, makes them more important than my pinky. So, nevermind.)

The move is commencing to continue. Our plants are looking lovely in the new place. I can’t describe the feel of this new place, but it is very cozy. Definitely a hobbit kind of house. The one quantifiable statement I can make is: I sleep really well here.

Though I was listening to Springsteen, there is nothing else about him here in this post.

The Nature of People

“I have to speculate
That God Himself did make
us into corresponding shapes
like puzzle pieces.”
-iron and wine, ‘such great heights’

I’m hesitant to quote songs. But I really liked that line, and it fits into my recent thoughts on relationships and people. I’ve been disappointed lately in how things have worked out in certain relationships in my life, and that always leads to thoughts on regret of the past. I think a lot of people I have known, and the could have beens and might have beens there. And once I contemplate I see again that I was meant to be with Jaime. Every turn of my life she provides me with energy and perspective that I need, that other people in my life would have been (or have been) unable or unwilling to provide.

I wonder how many people also had this corresponding shape, and they didn’t understand it until it was too late. Or never understood it. Not that I think I made some great leap; it was luck and fate as well as work. But it was work too, to know myself better, to listen to my heart and make a good choice. Good choices, really, because we choose it every day.

I wonder how differently my life would be if I hadn’t chosen this path. I think I would be, as J often puts it, cold and hungry. I’d certainly not be the father and husband I am today. I see myself living under a bridge. Not a good thing; I’m scruffy enough WITH indoor plumbing.

Then again, I don’t feel like I could be anywhere else. This is who I am, where I need to be.

I’m not sure where I’ll be in ten years; I haven’t really set up my life to be anywhere. I’ve spent a lot of energy being me, building my relationship with j, my friendships. I’m glad I did, it has served me well. I like who I am, which is what I wanted to be able to say years ago when I thought of my future self. I was in a position as a young man to see very little material gain, and I am thankful for that. It shaped my goals.

Seeing people who are desperate to look good, or have financial security, I understand again why I never sought those things. I’m content with the choices I have made, something I wished for myself when I was still a teenager in West-By-God.

I sought J, I sought my family, and I found them.

Seattle Day

Today was an amazing day. Lovely, cool but not cold. It’s the kind of fall day that makes Seattle great. Don’t talk to me in January, sure. But I love these nice fall days.

This time of year makes me want to buy a farm in Carnation. But then I’d miss the fun city aspects of Seattle. I’m not sure what it is about this city, but I went from hating it a lot to enjoying it a lot. Again don’t talk to me in January. But for now…

I took the kids to the library, and to Ken’s Market. I love that even in little corner markets here you can get organic food and hummus. They didn’t have bulk teas though; I’m going to take Cathy’s advice and check out Greenwood Market. At least I can walk there.

I think one reason I’m enjoying the city more is the change in myself over the past few months. Events that have occurred have made me less concerned with ideological differences and more interested in the present moment. I’m not offended by abstractions as easily. Despite problems with this place, it is a good city, with good food and nice people; it doesn’t have to fit an image I construct in my mind.

Living in my current neighborhood helps with that. It’s a family place, and fits well with the practical realities of my situation. This is where I am with my life, and I’m comfortable with that. I like working with kids, I like raising my kids. I’m not interested in creating my past or future anymore. I’m content with just being who I am, where I am. I’ve seen firsthand the dangers of living in one’s imagination, and I am beginning to understand it now.

That reminds me of one of my favorite poems:

The Rain

All night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain.

What am I to myself
that must be remembered,
insisted upon
so often? Is it

that never the ease,
even the hardness,
of rain falling
will have for me

something other than this,
something not so insistent—
am I to be locked in this
final uneasiness.

Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,
the getting out

of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
with a decent happiness.

I’m not sure why, but that seems fitting.

Exploring Greenwood

I have taken a little time to walk around today, with the kids in tow. Being able to walk to multiple coffee shops, the library, and several places offering me falafel is dangerous, certainly. But rewarding. I’m really impressed so far with how awesome Makeda Coffee is, and look forward to really taste testing some of their blends. The service was awesome, at least, which honestly is nine tenths of a Seattle coffeehouse– you know the coffee will be decent.

My next task is to check out Ken’s Market for healthy options. And tea. If it has tea then I am a returning customer. Good tea, that is. I need tea within walking distance. I take my beverages seriously. I’m guessing it has some decent options, once again this is Seattle and standards for beverages are pretty high.

Greenwood is shaping up to be a great place to live.