“… fuck.”

The last thirty-six hours have been full of lots of little bits of delight I’ve been rather too tired to string together into my normal winsome anecdotes. Last night, travelling up to Olympia with Liights while Flo and I had a hen-cackle-fest in the van you probably cannot imagine, as bonus we elucidated the men (my husband and new drummer Steve, a boy man I’ve known since childhood old-school HQX) on various topics of film, cuisine, and vaginal upkeep; fun times. Flo told me she told her boyfriend how much she loved me because I was “just like [her], but white, with good manners.” This made me laugh pretty hard although I am very sad to be described as “good manners” (I’ve previously written on the subject) which is at odds with my occasional guilt over my crassness, my unmannered-ness, my tendency to love the word “fuck” so much I can’t stop wanting to say it regularly, and I rather do, especially with ladies like Flo, who are in general a delightful influence.

This was Steve’s (drummer) first show and he did really well. It was fabulous to hear some drums again (esp. loud ones). At one point he removed his shirt (yay!) only to put a different one on (sadkins). Ralph botched the videorecording so, oops. We also got to watch our friend (differently-spelled but also named) Steev in his one-man performance for the first time – incredibly fun. The “crowd” was something like two wives (hi!), the other bands, a few completely random drunk people who at least did not get violent. Let me just say that venue (second time playing there) sucks. It isn’t the worst show I’d been to (audience/venue-wise) but then again, I mean have you ever followed a band around, do I even need to explain how it works.

Today our kids raised themselves as per their usual lately and I somewhat sadly drifted around doing a minimum of cleaning and cooking. In the afternoon Ralph and I ran into friends visiting from their home in Hawaii. A total coincidence as they’d stopped to see us but we hadn’t been home; we saw them moments later while grocery shopping (I am glad I disrupted our stated flow of errands). Ralph and I had a late lunch out together (at the new Italian place which is still rather nice and classy, gotta eat there before the Grays Harbor infects it into something undesirable) then came home to the kids: Phoenix has a new girlfriend S. and we had this girl with us the last 24+ hours; staying the night Friday, drawing pictures, going to soccer this AM (Phoenix’s team won), teaching one another Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, playing at the not-really Lion’s Park (and getting incredibly muddy – I approve), then roller skating deep into tonight: in general running the town. What a wonderful thing for Phoenix. I remember friendships like that as a girl.

While the girls skated Ralph and Nels and I went to the 7th Street Theatre’s showing of Mamma Mia! In a surprise coup of awesomeness there were actually hundreds of people there and the atmosphere was lively. Nels got very affectionate toward the end of the film, feeling deeply moved by the subject matter and songs. He rested against Ralph and I under the starlit high ceiling until we came back home to a warm house, hot baths, waiting beds.

linky mcfuskerson

In a few hours I’m off to the City (not really: Olympia) to watch Ralph and Liights play sweet, sweet music (I will also be giving Flo a squeeze as I haven’t seen her in a while!). I’m also hoping to eat some spicy Thai or Vietnamese cuisine until my mouth explodes in a hedonistic flavor party. While I’m rocking I’ve got some links for you all to bask in the radness therein:

Mamma Mia! is playing at the 7th Street Theatre tonight and tomorrow. I might go tomorrow. Anyone want to come with me?

Tami Harris hits it out of the park at psychologytoday: “What’s so wrong with ‘sounding black?'”

Proof that a man can do Feminism right: “Silence, Ines Sainz and Offensive Lines” at postbourgie

Idzie published “Misconceptions About Unschooling” at her blog I’m Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write. It’s a great piece (of course). I get a huge, huge laugh of the people who occasionally come to this 19 year old’s (incredibly well-written) blog and tell her how if you unschool your child he/she won’t learn how to write! NO SERIOUSLY! This happens!

“On Birth Rape, Definitions, and Language Policing” by Cara at thecurvature; some day, I truly hope, we can begin supporting victims instead of re-victimizing them by denying them their lived experience.

“Cloth diapers for apartment dwellers” at hobomama. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. You know, I no longer use diapers but I seriously, seriously love how supportive, helpful, and awesome the parents/carers are who write these types of DIY primers!

“Kids Clothes Week Challenge (Fall 2010)” at elsiemarley. What do you think? Should I do it? What should I make?

This made me laugh until I had tears in my eyes: “The Inconsiderate Breastfeeding Woman” at citizenofthemonth.

I’m not exactly sure what category this post is in, because it’s funny but apt and brilliant and my favorite of all posted here today: “Kids and wheelchair manners” at badgermama.


In other news, last night I received an email that included this passage:

Some days I feel as if I am standing inside a thick, heavy, almost greasy-feeling cloud of frustration, guilt, hopelessness and torment. It actually presses down on my shoulders physically (at least it feels like it). The moments that you share are like one of those industrial strength hurricane fans that they use in the movies. Once I begin reading, the fan begins to blow that cloud away. I can breathe again. I can be happy about something again. By the time I’m finished reading, I’m ready to take on the next challenge.

So… that was pretty wonderful to hear.

stuff we’ve been up to

My husband is making a drum machine. But not like you might think. Like a physical drum set that is beat upon by a robot. A robot he powers from a MIDI-sequencer and arduino and hand-built circuit and solenoids. I’m not even making this up. It took a while for his friends and admirers to catch on he’s actually building a goddamn amazing robot and after he’s done with this maybe I’ll tell him to build another one to terrify the hell out of you mere mortals.


Brilliant Man

I made a pair of pants for Phoenix that were PERFECT in every detail. Here’s a picture of the pocket bags. Yeah I know. You stitchers want to punch yourself in the crotch that this is the INSIDE of the pants and looks so good (I am feeling cocky and all about the CAPS LOCK tonight). You’ll be seeing the rest of the pants soon enough. For now, weep at the preview of awesomeness.

Pocket Bag

I cooked down all our extra CSA veggies yesterday (and we had a lot) and made a resultant slow-cooked organic veggie puree and froze it in batches and gave one batch to my mom and used a batch in tonight’s dinner and will be making up some soup this week (for my SOUPTAKER daughter) and have a little more besides. Tonight’s dinner was amazing, because I have finally hit on the perfect spaghetti and meatballs recipe and it’s good every time. We had my mom over to share and she baked brownies and covered them with Tillamook vanilla ice cream. I haven’t had any dessert yet because I’m still recovering from MEATBALLS AND RED PEPPERS.

August 8th, 2010

Our kittens found another place to perch, prairie-dog, and sleep. When the living room carpet is entirely dry from shampooing THIS rug will be rolled back out and they’ll have to take their shady business somewhere else.


Also: bike rides, friends over for music recording and talking and tea, lunch date with my husband, many snuggles, my son sneaking under the covers to the bottom of the bed last night to gently massage my feet and then pop his blonde head up and smile at me, my daughter opening her eyes first thing this morning and saying dreamily, “The nights go by so quickly…”

Good times this weekend.

rock stars and slow-cooked Italian fare

A Nice Life

(No, but seriously? Do you three have to have the Sweetest Ever Possible existence? of 100% cuddles every sleeping moment? And why are the kittens and the kids growing so fast and it seems all our money is going toward food at the most alarming rate?!)*

Today is a US holiday, the fourth of July. So far we’ve had friends and my mother over for a fabulous late lunch/dinner, after which Ralph & Liights played a wee show at The Building here in HQX. Our lunch guests the lovely and illustrious Ward/Hunt family accompanied us to the show, a little affair which was a rather funny event because I felt like, Oh wow, for 5:30 PM on a holiday there are actually a handful of people here! But the “handful” turned out to be members of the other two bands. Which I have been there so many times, I don’t know why I’m surprised when this happens. The second band that played, The Shade from NYC, had two dummers with a semi-shared double-set. That was pretty fun! I didn’t get to see the third band duchampion because before even the second set ended my kids were Not Interested (mostly due to the volume-level inside the building). We walked/biked home, and now Ralph is catching the final set as I type and escorting the two touring bands to my mother’s house where they’ll be staying tonight (I know!) before continuing their hard work getting their music out there.

Food awesomeness from the last couple days:

For The BoyChocolate-covered strawberrries from local berries. These were made yesterday because Nels was talking about them our entire trip to Portland last weekend. I also made he and Ralph special biscuits and eggs before getting started on dinner-party fare for this afternoon:

Spaghetti & Meatballs, Pt. 1Spaghetti and meatballs!

Yeah. So, That's Going To Taste Good

I also made this motherfucking tiramisu layer cake (no pictures, though) and an almost-totally-local salad of butter lettuce, red oak leaf lettuce, snap peas, green peas, carrots, and red cabbage – topped with homemade croutons and served alongside a modest red table wind (good ol’ Uncle Carlo).

It’s been a good day all-told.

Except for stuff like this:

BULLSHIT(My bullshitty kittens being all “patriotic” and stuff.)

* Did you know a picture almost exactly like this was cited as TOO CHILD-PORNY to be in my profile of an online sewing group I was a part of? I am still completely bitter at this save-ass ridiculousness – and yes, after arguing with the mod and getting nowhere I left the group – but shall spare you my multifaceted rant.

outdoor weasel therapy

This morning we were recovering from a late night. Ralph’s show in Olympia was a challenging one; the organizer didn’t put the first band on until well after midnight when what crowd was available, many of them smudgy and drunky, was petering out. And Ralph and Liights were on fourth. So the band, myself and our well-meaning and loyal and awesome friends and fans had to sit around until after 1:30 until Liights went on. This was kind of annoying but do-able: worse of all the set list had to be cut short (bar curfew), as in cut nearly in half.

Now that? Was just: Ass.

I mean the band played well enough but I think Ralph, Flo and Geoff were rattled. And me – just speaking for myself – I’m pissed because the whole thing shook out that way thanks to an inexperienced?/naive?/flaky? show organizer (who also didn’t get them paid, surprise factor: zero percent).  Now I’ve been with Ralph thirteen years and attended all his shows and involved with all his music projects and sadly this kind of thing happens. This person is probably a “nice” person and just doesn’t know what they’re doing. And not getting paid? Well that’s not that much of a big deal to us as far as I know, it’s just kind of icing on the shit-cake. The thing that bothers me is that my husband – who works so hard, puts in so much support for the bands he plays with, makes posters and distributes them and brings fans (who bought the show organizer’s album incidentally) and does everything he can to support other acts – my husband is sitting here today asking himself if he should be doing anything differently. I tell him look, we’ve done this, some shows just end up sucking. He’s still down about it though and I know he feels he let down his bandmates.  < le sigh! >

Hogaboom regroup.

Today we were gifted with perfect outdoor weather, warm but subdued and a bit ominous, so in the evening we took a walk in the Bowerman Basin nature preserve. It’s a lovely boardwalk, something around these parts that hasn’t been swallowed up by our cold swamp.

Bowerman Basin

The kids are incredible. They are never bored, seriously finding so much fun in hunting for and devouring berries, spotting and comparing slugs, jumping over little culverts and balancing themselves on driftwood and dozens of other joyful diversions.

Lurve 4

(Here’s a picture of the same two in the same spot, about two years ago – on a sunnier afternoon!)

Kids, RunningIt was perfect walking weather.

Lovely Flora


Walking back Ralph had the camera and snapped a picture of me making a VERY IMPORTANT DISCOVERY:

A STOAT! (with her dinner):
This little lady ran past us, bold as brass, tidily carrying her lunch. She clearly preferred using the boardwalk to making her way through the long grass and underbrush. I was pretty excited about this. I kept saying in loud stenorous tones, “That is the cutest goddamn thing I have ever seen.

Later I ran across a slug but that wasn’t quite as exciting. Hey slug, wassup?
Well, Hello

A good Father’s Day hike. I almost forgot here and there how much I miss my own father, gone almost two years now.

But still. It was a lovely day.


ISO a starfish

Ruby Beach, today

My son’s been obsessed with sea life lately; twice in the last week he’s taken me to the Swansons boat launch in HQX to find a “fish skeleton” he saw there once with his father. Ralph later told me this incident was over a year ago. After yesterday’s most recent failed search Nels suggested we go to a “real beach” and find a starfish. So we decided to make that our mission today.

All four of us love roadtrips; the children always request we parents get up early and “snuffle them out to the car”. This means as they sleep we pack up the food and clothes and supplies and then slip our (still-sleeping) babies in blankets out to the warm car, with breakfast on the road. I literally do not know who likes this ritual more, the children or Ralph and I.
Footwear For The Damp

Roadtrip Toes

Breakfast On The Road

It’s been a year since our last trip to Ruby Beach but the weather is similar: warm and lovely with some soft rain. Once again we have the dog and once again we do our best not to get wet but get wet anyway. Ralph builds a massive driftwood bridge over a freshwater outlet that would otherwise not be crossable unless you’re able to wade knee-deep.
Ralph's Damn Bridge


While Ralph and Phoenix build the bridge (with fake-shivery dog in tow) Nels and I search for our starfish; we nearly get beached on a few seastacks (I can’t tell if the tide is going out or coming in which compounds this issue). Nels seriously loves nothing more than to get “caught” along with me. He knows it’s dangerous but since I’m with him he’s happy to do it anyway.

Nels Runs

My son and I find mussels and barnacles and limpets and kelp and a neon-orange sea snail – but no starfish. I remember toward the end of our searchings that he’d found last year’s starfish in the open water (likely dead or injured although it had been impossible to tell). We play and play and play, spending over two hours in the warmth and damp. The ocean is gentle and tender but ferocious and unrelenting. My son talks to me joyously and musically and almost non-stop, but listens to every rejoinder I make. Alone with my children I am often prone to silence, rather like my departed father (this is odd becasue with grownups I am quite talkative).

Phoenix is a stormy presence, alternatively cheerful and open and then snapping at Ralph or I. She wades through the warm water and stirs it with sticks; she tenderly shepherds the dog and in her ministrations calms his decrepit timidity.

Nels says: “I want to live here!”

Back at the car we get the kids into dry clothes* and feed them from the large basket of food Ralph had prepared. Driving home they both fall asleep, their sea-kissed faces flushed and happy. At home I knead dough and wash dishes; I launder our wet clothes and wash the dog and clip him and dry him and clean out the tub. Ralph spirits off to band practice, afterward bringing home bandmate and friend F. We drink red table wine and eat homemade pizza and smoke on the porch and F. and I talk circles around Ralph about our favorite movies and a variety of hodgepodge subjects and before we know it it’s 10:30 and another wonderful weekend draws to a close.
Oregon Trail


Carried Away

* We got wet and no other beachgoers did: seriously? Every. Single. Other. Beachcomber was all decked out in REI and North Face wicking-gear and driving newer Hondas, VWs, Subarus; most carried huge, expensive cameras (and only one other group had kids!). We four were trudging in our soaking-wet cotton and Ralph had split the ass out of his pants (for reals). And yes, people were giving us side-eye.

rock out with your c*ck out

I want every day to include a rock concert where I get to watch my husband perform his own stuff, and he’s so awesome, and it’s so much fun, and I love his music so much, and he’s so awesome, and it’s so much fun…

Pre-Show Jitters

Only a fraction of the people who said they’d turn out to his band’s performance tonight actually did. But that’s okay because I know people are busy and also, sadly some people seriously do not know the level of Fucking Awesome that Ralph and Flo bring.  The band got hosed via their scheduled slot (first band on Thursday night; obviously the later positions, especially Friday’s, are better for audience participation), but even given that I would not say they had the potential to be crowd favorites (although they certainly garnered lusty cheers from the smallish audience assembled).  I honestly think Aberdeen and Hoquiam are still more interested in the grunge snorefest of rather unoriginal, plodding guitar-lick laden stuff.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of grunge.  Some of my best friends are… um, grunge?  No seriously. I can belt out the Pearl Jam like no one’s business.  Just ask all those poor victims at the Paylor’s summer barbecue event last year.

And I’m not saying the other bands that played were snore-inducing. Shit. I’m just talking myself into a corner here. What I am saying: Ralph’s group is hard-pressed to find their screaming fanbase in this locale. Good enough?
Powerful Stuff Korg, Glock, Rock FLO ON GLOCK
This was the second show with Flo and she and Ralph were amazing together. They used “hired gun” Geoff on drums (an old friend of Ralph’s; they were in a previous effort together). The three of them brought it.

The kids and I sat with a small group of vocal and awesome friends who cheered the group on with much gusto. I couldn’t stop aggressively tapping my foot and singing. I don’t know where we’re going to get the scratch to record another album but I know it must happen as it’s too good not to.

Sophie wore her new nightgown as she loved it very much. She wasn’t sure of the propriety of doing so; she worried she’d get it messy (I told her I would happily wash it – and she didn’t muss it anyway as it turned out) or that people would make fun of her (I validated this concern; she also knows what I think of such potential opinions). Gee, I am sensing a need to further help her deprogram from some absurd social concepts. She was a doll at the show, helping look after her younger friend E. and supporting her father as a loving daughter does.

Nels of course was dying to be involved stage-wise (Ralph schedules all-ages shows whenever possible so The Boy can stage-dance). He’s so suave he totally got past a “SECURITY” fellow standing at the stage curtain; a few minutes later when I went in to retrieve The Boy the same “SECURITY” fellow stopped me and wouldn’t let me pass. I gave it up, figuring it was his ass when my son Phantom of the Opera’d down from some rigging.
Backstage Pass

Ralph, Sophie, and neighbor-kid/friend Little P. stuck around a bit longer to support some of the other bands; Ralph came home early enough to deliver Little P. home to his family (school night and all).
Ralph Watches The Competition

Tonight was their last show as Redbird Fever, as the band has changed membership since that moniker was agreed upon. Their future shows and recordings will be as LiiGHTS.

I like it.