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Spooky shit (again!)

Tonight I was on the love seat, working on my show on my laptop, Andy was on the couch, not feeling too well. Big was on TV when we hear a loud thud. I thought it came from outside but Andy was sure it came from inside. He went upstairs and shortly after called me up. I went upstairs and yep, the thud was coming from inside the house. The spare TV was moved, again to the sort of center of the room and on it's face instead of upright where it was.


The TV was sitting upright next to the desk...


Thing is, that TV is an old hand-me-down flat screen. It's not exactly light. From where I left it and where I found it, it's about a difference of 3 feet or so. I took a picture, put the TV away and we headed back downstairs. 

Snow and Spooky Stuff

So as I mentioned in my previous post, there was a snow day on Monday this week. I woke up Monday at 6am as usual and the first thing I did was check my work email to see if there was a notice about a closure. There was not. So I shrugged and accepted it. "I guess we're doing this" So I got dressed and bundled up for the almost mile walk to Holman Road to catch a D or the rerouted 15x, whichever came first.

There was a fair amount of snow. The walk was a workout with the snow but the roads were quiet and peaceful. The D was the first bus to arrive when I got the bus stop so I took it. 15th was plowed and salted but the bus's tires still spun in vain after each stop for just long enough to five the riders a little fright. I usually have a nap on my way into work but I was more alert, probably because of the brisk walk in the cold, and I enjoyed the sights out the window. Fisherman's Terminal was gorgeous under pristine snow. The trees on the side of Queen Anne hill were beautiful.

We got into downtown and I got off in Belltown and walked the few blocks to the building only to find that the building was locked, the Seattle site was closed. I could see the lights were on in the Pres Suite. But remember, I didn't have a phone at the time. So I just headed back. I walked back to my bus stop. I got back on a D and headed back to Ballard. Then I walked again the almost mile through the snow before my feet were frozen and I finally got home.

I checked my email. the notice went out at 6:20 am. If I had checked my email one more time before I would have left the house, I would have seen it and could have spent those two and a half hours sleeping in my warm bed.

I kept my work email open and worked from home for a littlle, and I did get a bit of a nap in in the afternoon but mostly I just transferred my blog over to its new home. That's still a work in progress by the way. My show is next week so it's on pause it'll take some time.

On Wednesday, Andy and I got home from having dinner out to hear Sparky howling in the living room. I didn't hear this but Andy did. This seemed odd. I also noticed that the door to the stairwell was closed but unlatched. Andy went upstairs to find our lightweight spare chairs in this position.

It's kinda hard to see at this angle but it leaning precariously on the very edge of the first step into the other room.
It's been a long time since there's been any spooky shit. I think this qualifies. 
In the last week we've spent a ridiculous amount of time on the phone with customer service agents. On Friday I was at work, listening to Audible on my phone while it was charging when my phone suddenly just shut off. I tried to turn it back on but it was stuck in an endless boot-up loop. I looked it up and apparently, this is a well-known issue with the LG4s. So when I got home Andy and I spent time on the phone with Verizon about the problem. (I had called them from work but, apparently, I was not authorized to do stuff as the account is in Andy's name).

The tech guy for Verizon was actually quite helpful and nice. We went through a series of attempts to get the phone past the bootup screens and stay working but to no avail. Because this was a known issue with this phone, I was approved for a replacement phone. They were going to send it out free of charge but I can't be without a phone for too long so we sprung for the expedited shipping. The nice Verizon guy gave us an order number with FedEx for the shipment of our phone. We were nervous about the phone delivery. Everything was free, but the catch was, if I didn't return the old phone within 5 days, we'd get charged $500!

There's been a lot of mail theft in our neighborhood and we wanted to ensure that we got the new phone safely so we had some special instructions for FedEx on the delivery of the phone. What we learned was the FedEx couldn't give a fuck about whether or not recipients receive their parcels, in fact, recipients don't even have a say on the delivery of their packages. When we learned that the parcel would have to be signed for we tried to change the address to my work since no one would be home at 10:30 am. We had to call Verizon and have them change the destination, which, they did. (Or we'll take their word that they did, we were given a confirmation number for it). Well, when we tracked the package the destination was still our home address. GRRRR.

Now on Monday Seattle had a snow day. The city pretty much shuts down when there's more than an inch of snow. So we spent part of our morning trying to figure things out with FedEx. Every time we called and gave our tracking order, they were quick to give excuses before we even mentioned what our issue was. "Ma'am there's a weather situation in Seattle..." "Yeah I know, I understand, I live here. I'm not expecting my parcel today, I want to arrange when it shows up tomorrow." We tried to arrange to have the package dropped off in the 5pm - 8pm window. The first time we called they said we had to do that on line. We said that wasn't an option. they said you had to be the sender to make those kinds of changes. We tried back later and the woman said she noted the changes and that we were good to go but I think that was a flat out lie to just get rid of us.

Tuesday was a crazy busy day for BOTH of us at work, making up for lost time due to the snow. Andy had a minute to check the tracking number and saw that they attempted to deliver at 10:30 at our home. Son of a bitch! Andy arranged to pick me up from work at the end of the day (which meant he had to leave work early) and we'd drive down to SODO to the FedEx hub to pick it up ourselves. When we got there the truck hadn't arrived from its route yet so we'd have to wait.

While we were waiting at FedEx, Andy got texts from Bank of America alerting him to identity theft on his accounts. Some punk ass in Oregon tried to take hundreds of dollars from his checking and savings account from an ATM and partially succeeded. We went back to the car and Andy called BofA. This was a good customer service experience. "Ebony in Deleware" was very helpful and sympathetic to Andy's plight. She reversed the charges where she could and filed the claims for the other charges. The town this charge came from was the one we stayed at in August on our way back from the Bay Area. We stayed at a hotel and went to a Sherries for late night dinner. It's a bit suspect that the ATM that was used in the fraud was across the street from the restaurant and block away from the hotel. Supposedly the culprit(s) are on camera. We hope they get caught.

Once that was all settled we went back into FedEx and waited some more. We waited and waited. We got some more excuses about the snow gumming up the FedEx works from the workers. As soon as Andy started going into what a clusterfuck this whole ordeal had been with FedEx, the guy all the sudden interrupted Andy with "oh! Looks like your package arrived. I'll go get that for you!" It might just be a coincidence, but the timing sure seemed like something out of a sitcom or comedy sketch.

I got my phone and saw that it didn't have a back and just to check and make sure, I called Verizon once again to make sure everything was kosher. Again, the girl was nice and understanding. "You don't want to accidently run into that phone return charge, I get it" she said.

Oh yeah, the icing on the cake with FedEx. When we checked the tracking # online it read "delivery attempted; see delivery slip for instructions." When we got home, the FedEx guy didn't even bother with a "we missed you" slip. I doubt he ever even came to our house. Fuckers.

I don't know what the moral of the story is. Verizon and BofA get good marks for treating us like paying customers and human beings with valid frustrations. FedEx can go fuck themselves. I know that 2 out of 3 ain't all that bad, but the shittier the service the more frustrating the ordeal.  I suppose but if I ever have to speak to a customer service rep or listen to hold music again it'll be too soon.

Sunrise, sunset...

I have started this blog so many times and failed to finish. I have tried to use writing to process my thoughts and feelings and reaction to the state of things since the inauguration. However, so much keeps happening so fast that I get overwhelmed, I literally can't keep up with it all.

Along the way, I've made the decision to make the move to another blog home. I know that there are few of us left over here and now I'm jumping ship, too. But I have my reasons. It's a slow process getting all my back entries (well most, man I took a lot of surveys back in the day) up on my new home. So I might have a new post or two, but I don't want to get into politics too much on this forum and I feel like it's going to come up a lot.

For whatever reason, an automated dump of entries from here to my new home only posted up to 2007 and so I've got a decade's worth of posts to transfer over manually *ugh.* It's interesting, though, going back through those old posts. I've got as far as finishing 2008. Now I remember 2007-2008 as being really great years. It was the years of The Grils(tm) and rad parties. It's weird to see some of my stresses and drama that I had forgotten about or flat out don't remember at all (no context theatre posts are kinda annoying when you look back). It's also weird to see what a drunk I was in my younger life and how much I've mellowed out. I want to say "calm down, Mir."  Ah, what I was able to do before my hangovers were akin to a death sentence. I also can now appreciate how skinny I was at the time, which makes me depressed about my current physicality.

Earlier this week, Raye and I (along with Dani, Cory, Rob and Derek) went to bid farewell to The Clever Dunnes. The Dunnes was our second living room. It was where so much happened. It's where I spent plenty a birthday or just an evening out. Going back to those old blogs I was reminded how important that place was to me (it was on my x-mas list for crying out loud) and like I said, I've been reminded how much I could drink in the day. This week, returning it as a 30-soming while wearing my professional clothes and drinking beer instead of multiple double whiskey diet cokes it all felt very real. But then, it wasn't necessarily bad either. I don't frequent the Hill anymore so it's not like I've been there in a while. It was my past. It's sad that it's going away but I've moved on. Maybe this zen-like acceptance of growing up was also aided by Dani's who kept playing the "what guy in the bar would 20-something Mir fancy"? Perhaps there's solace in knowing that I didn't have that pressure anymore and that the person who I chose would be home for me when I got there (and with sandwiches as it turns out!).

It was the first time I had hung out socially since the wedding and it was just what I needed, even if there was this heavy cloud over everyone, not with the Dunnes closing, but with the state of the nation/world.

Raye & Rob's Wedding

The whirlwind that is Ray & Rob's wedding in behind us, now and I can say it was a fun and successful wedding!

Cathy arrived in town on Thursday and she crashed at ours, which was great because I got to have to quality Cathy time during this trip. We ran around and did errands for the bride and groom on Friday which also meant we were driving around, talking, having lunch, etc. Though she and I are good about making skype dates to keep up with each other's lives, just hanging out with one of your best friends is totally different.

It's worthy of note that in this wedding the bridal party brought the reunion of The Girls(tm). That's correct, me, Cathy and Christine were all the bride's maids (matrons if you're gonna be a semantic dick about it) for Raye. Actually, this was the first wedding of one of The Grils(tm) where all the girls were present. It was a pleasant reunion where all parties got along and I think enjoyed eachother's company. It seems kind of fitting because, this being 2017 now, it marks the 10-year anniversary of The Girls(tm) becoming The Grils(tm). Crazy to realize that.

Anyway, Friday Cathy Raye and I went and got our nails did, had a drink at the Two Bells then went to the Schmee for helping setup & the rehearsal. Seeing Raye's dad tear up while we rehearsed made me a bit teary and I knew that my eyeliner was not up to the task of my best friend's wedding. Seeing the schedule reminded me (whoops) that I had a speech to make the next day. So after I got home and Cathy went to bed I took to my laptop and wrote a draft of speech which then Andy helped me edit and punch up for more fluid public speaking. Just writing it and practicing it I kept welling up....yep deffinitly gonna need expensive eyeliner.

The morning of the wedding Cathy and I went out to breakfast in Ballard then got our stuff together and took a Lyft down to the Schmee. There was tons of running around, I had to get super water resistant eye liner because I knew I was going to cry like crazy. There was loads of hustle and bustle as we put everything together and people started showing up. There was a lot of that nervous energy that comes with getting the show on the road.

Eventually we lined up and walked down the aisle. The wedding party walked to David Bowie/Queen's "Under Pressure" of which I highly approve. Raye went down the aisle to a NIN song. Rob was insistent to not see the dress until Raye was walking down the aisle, that shit was kept under wraps and so the big reveal was in that moment.

Dani officiated and I did the lion share of my wedding crying while on the stage in front of everyone. Tears were just streaming down my face as I watched my dear friends exchange their vows to one another. It was a super quick ceremony. Rob and his Best Man who flew in from the UK, also named Ray, funny and confusingly enough, did play a little joke on the crowd, pretending to have forgotten the ring but in Raye's vows she got Rob back with a jab about his misguided dislike of the oxford comma.

After the ceremony people streamed out of the theatre and into the lobby for drinks and nibbles. The 'I Do Brew' was flowing.  I made sure not to drink too much because I knew that the next day we had a lot of cleaning to do and putting the theatre back together. However, the wedding beer was tasty and strong enough to give a nice little buzz below the adrenaline. For desert, there was yummy cheesecake.

The bride and groom took some pics off site. Then there were some pics of the bridal party back in the theatre. Then Cory, who was emceeing, got everyone to come back into the theatre for the speeches and toasts. Raye and Rob did a thank to you everyone for coming and Rob was saying at one point that he thanks "fate or whatever deity that brought us together." From the sidelines, I looked over at Christine, pointed to myself and mouthed "that would be me" to which she laughed out loud and brought attention to herself. So, in turn, she said, "That would be Miranda" and that turned into this whole "All Hail Miranda" running joke. Everyone toasted me and I was suddenly burdened with more attention than my little joke, and certainly my modesty, warranted.

Raye's dad made a short speech then it was my turn. I was trembling as I gave it but I didn't get too weepy and I crushed it. Then the best man made his speech and was terribly charming and made good use of the fact that Rob married someone with the same name as his best mate. Cory then got his guitar out and sang a silly song he wrote for the occasion. He too, crushed it.

Then Cory opened up the floor for anyone to make a toast. The first one up was Dorothy who made, quite frankly, an incredibly awkward toast on the fly riddled with f-bombs and somehow included her mentioning her peeing into a yogurt cup. No matter how much Ray, Cory and crushed it, it will be forever overshadowed by a yogurt cup. *sigh* There was also this girl who didn't come up to speak but kept shouting "oi" over and over again that was seriously grating on my and Christine's nerves. My dad was the last one to give a speech that was quite sweet.

After that, the dance music started and the party resumed. We introduced my folks to Adam so they could chat about NOLA and they ended up chatting for a while, actually. When the night was winding down, Cathy went with Adam and Sarah A. to the Mercury (goth club) because...why the hell not? Who knows when she would have the chance again? Eventually, the party died down and we were the last ones out to lock up the Schmee.

Andy and I picked up drive through eats and went home. We were talking into the night when Cathy came home from the Merc. We talked to her for a while before she went to bed and she was cracking us up with her stories about the Merc and her Uber ride home and being genuinely adorable tipsy Cathy.

On Sunday a group convened at the theatre to clean up. I was worried that there weren't going to be many people but we actually had a great turn out and with the teamwork, got the place in ship shape in a mere 45 minutes. That was a huge relief! Cathy showed up right as we were finished and we still expected the Bride and Groom to meet up with us but we told them to meet us at Two Bells instead of the theatre. The Webbs, Dani, Andy, Cathy and me all went out for drinks and lunch and were later greeted by Raye and Rob, who we gave a round of applause to when they walked in. Later my folks also joined us. It was a good, impromptu post-wedding pow-wow where we exchanged stories and settled rumors about the night before...and of course laughing about yogurt cups.

It was a successful, lovely wedding that was hard won after everything they worked for to make it happen. 

My MoH Speech at Raye & Rob's Wedding

 Back in the mid- to late-2000s I was in my mid- to late-20s. When I met Raye back in December of 2005, I remember liking her right away. So it was of little surprise when she and I  decided to move in together just six months later. There are so many ways that scenario could have played out. For us, it was life-changing start of a beautiful friendship.

Those five years of being roommates at Melrose delivered so many memories, catch phrases and inside jokes. Wayward towels. Petrified sausages. “Maybe it’s in the pants pile.” Snatch snaps and crotch clasps and feta fights. We knew the value of a sturdy coffee table on which to dance. We made one poor life choice after another together—you know, things like, “Hey, let's make multiple manhattans on Wednesday night…it’ll be classy!”  We learned genius life hacks like, if you want diet coke and cannot be bothered to walk to 7-11, just order a pizza and they’ll deliver a 2 liter... for free. Take that Buzzfeed.

With this girl, my fellow bridesmaids and I had the most bitchin’ birthday bashes. We could take over a room when “Mr. Brightside” was played. And we literally wrote the book on dating and relationships. No, really … we seriously co-wrote a book! And now, with Raye’s nuptials, all of The Girls™ have secured outstanding mates. I guess that means we really did know what we were talking about all along. We were pioneers in the field, and I’ll be mailing the manuscript to Oprah’s book club next week.

On a serious note, Raye has stood up for me in ways I can’t even describe here. She has always had my back. She gave Andy a thorough grilling and bit of a scare the night we first met. Most importantly she’s always been supportive…even when my dream was to move thousands of miles away. As we already knew, we were excellent traveling companions. So, long before I had even moved to London, we were already planning her trip to come visit me across the pond. Not kidding.

My first impression of Rob, when we were in school together at Goldsmiths was, “who is this guy who keeps making astute observations about Cormac McCarthy in this brawny northern accent?” It wasn’t until the last day of classes of the first term—my birthday it just so happened—that Rob joined our rag tag group of hopeful writers for drink after class. That group included Charlotte, James, Luke, and others. Soon after, Rob's presence at our favorite pubs and water houses was an almost daily occurrence. He and I shared in shenanigans, dance offs, long-form pub chats about writing, and he always took care of me and made sure I was safe. Rob’s character is a perfect mixture of silly, smart and sweet, and I found myself lucky to count him among my best of friends.

One day, over a pint at the Amersham Arms, I was telling Rob about my life and friends in Seattle, including my former roommate, Raye. “I think you and Raye would get along well,” I said. Then I paused, and thought about it some more. “Yeah, you and Raye would really get along well, actually.”

Just a month later, Raye came to visit me in London. Indeed, she and Rob hit it off right away, and I got to hear Rob's now-infamous words,  “Miranda … Raye kissed my face!”

I know it’s been a long road for both of you with all of the trials, miles and tedious bureaucracy you've had to endure to be together. But, here we all are! This is your day!

I couldn’t be happier for the both of you. I am so proud of you two for pushing through life's sometimes frustrating roadblocks to make this day happen. And, I am so honored to be, not just part of your big day, but a part of your lives.

Raye you’ve always been family to me, an honorary Staley, Sparky’s auntie Raye, and part of the Schmee family. Rob, for that special year in my life we were the “urban family” in London and I am so happy to finally call you part of the “Seattle family” now. I love you both and I wish you a long and happy marriage.

A toast to Raye and Rob! 

Bachelorette Party

Saturday was Raye's Bachelorette party. As MoH it was my job, with considerable help of Christine and Dani, to make sure the bride had a bitchin' time. I got us a large suite at the Grand Hyatt downtown, we had a stripper coming and then we had plans to get to South Lake Union where we had VIP seats for Jello Wrestling. After that, the plan was to have drinks till the night was over.

A Room with a View
I went downtown on my own to check into the room. For some reason even though I was the one who booked it, I thought we were at the Hyatt at Olive 8 instead of the Grand Hyatt which was kinda embarrassing. Luckily the two are only half a block apart. For the rest of the night, I made sure to reiterate that we were at the Grand Hyatt on Pine, not Olive 8 Hyatt. even though I think I was the only person to make that mistake. LOL.

The room on the 28th floor was fabulous with amazing views. I wish I took pictures of the room itself but I ended up only taking pictures of the view while I was alone.

Looking up Capitol Hill

Looking at the building I thought we were staying in.

A sliver of the Puget Sound

There was a bit of a snag. The Seahawks are in the playoffs and there was a game that evening that Raye wanted to see. The idea was to have her watch at the hotel bar while we got the room set up but the hotel bar at the Grand Hyatt (remember I thought we were at Olive 8 Hyatt) was Ruth Chris Steakhouse which is pricey and it was full anyway. So Christine and Dani didn't get to witness the reveal of the room .to Raye Raye stayed in the bedroom and watched the football game while we set up.

Raye with football and bubbly

Party favors

Those balloons were ridiculously difficult to inflate.

Cherry
We had Raye, Dani, Christine, Sara C. Angie, Dorothy, LInsdey, Kristen and Sarah A. We had to pull Raye away from the Seahawks when our stripper, Cherry, arrived. Christine found Cherry and she was a perfect fit for Raye all cute and tattooed. She says this was her first party for girls but maybe she says that to all the girls but she seemed to really enjoy herself and we enjoyed her but most importantly Raye did too. I need not get into the details but I will say that probably the funniest part of the night was when Sarah A. arrived late and got a lap dance and the way she reacted "what am I supposed to do here? Can I touch you? What's that in your but?" had me laughing until I was crying. That is until she got a little too into it.

After the Cherry portion of the night was over there was very difficult cat hearding to get everyone into cabs or Ubers to the gym where Jell-o wrestling was happening.

Jello-o Wrestling
We managed to get to SLU in two vehicles. Kristen and Sarah A. didn't join us. We had VIP seats ringside for the ladies jello wrestling. I should not that our entertainment was provided by women, the stripper service was women-owned and the jello-wrestling was women produced. Jello wrestling was fun, messy but fun. Raye and I were called up on stage at Jello wrestling, it was so slippery I amost fell in front of over a hundered people. I've never been in a boxing ring before, i never realized how bouncy they were. The emcee asked us some questions and we were given the weakest whipping by the co-emcee. We stayed to the end and the girl I was rooting for was the champion. Oh naturally there were jelloshots to imbibe there. Kristen brought jello shots made with vodka to the room so imagine my surprise to get to the wrestling place and take a jello shot that was made with tequilla and rum. Ofta This is where my hangover came the next day. I was trying to stay together and not drink too much but I had now had mixed my alcohols and had a bit of everything.
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The Champion wears the victory belt!

Drinks & Afterparty
After wrestling we went to the Victory Lounge which was kind of sweet because, back when that space was the Lobo Saloon, that was one of the first bars Raye and I ever hung out with together. Awww


The service was terrible though and people were getting hungry so we hopped in an uber (we lost Sara C and Dorothy at this point) and headed to Belltown where we got Seattle dogs from a street vendor before stopping in at the last bar for the evening, the Screwdriver which is my new favourite bar. We were only there for a couple of drinks before it was chucking out time, didn't even get to hear my songs on the jukebox. But that was okay. Raye, Lindsey, Christine and I headed back to the hotel where we were drunk and silly for a little while longer before it was time for bed.

The next morning my hangover was no joke. I didn't even get legless but I can't drink like I used to. We cleaned up the room and headed back to Ballard.

I think Raye had a very special night for her bachelorette. I'm pretty proud of the night we planned. There were a lot of memories born that night, though I can't get in to all of them here. When I reunited with Andy at home he told me stories about his night at the bachelor party and I stories about our night.

This weekend is the wedding. Cathy lands in town tomorrow (squee!) and I have 4 days off, 3 of which will be very busy with wedding stuff. Here we go! 

Merry New Year!

I was going to write some sort of retrospective on 2016 but fuck it. The past is behind us and I've already really hit the ground running in 2017. Raye's bachelorette party is tomorrow, the wedding is a week from tomorrow. With the holidays and being in vacation mode I needed a bit of reminding to light a fire under my ass on the planning but once the new year came around it's been full on plan, plan, plan for the party. I hope it goes smoothly and that Raye has a good time.

Then next week is the wedding. I'm excited to see Cathy in the flesh. I am looking forward to the service and the party at the Schmee.

Then it will be a short reprieve before it's time for me to start bustin' my ass on QC again.

Looking further ahead what would I like to see in 2017?

I'd like to get back into writing and I don't mean just journaling/blogging. I'd like to write a short story again. I've been reading more and more this year and ideas are starting to come to me I just need to set aside the time and make the effort. I realized on New Years Eve when Ryan asked if I had written anything that my answer to that question has been 'no' for too long.

I plan to start saving. Between overspending for Christmass and R&R's wedding I've dug myself into a bit of a hole I need to get out of but once that's sorted I plan to start squirreling away money so hopefully we can some day have a down payment on a house. Last year we were told in no uncertain terms how much we'd need to come up with and under the circumstances coming up with that kind of money is about as likely as spitting out a magical frog. Now that I've got a promotion with a bit more money I can live on what I was living on and put that excess into savings. That's the goal. Plus I've been enrolled in a 4013b at work so I'm putting a little away for retirement (even though my generation doesn't really expect to retire). Maybe once my 1k+ a month on student loans is behind me I can put that amount of $$ into retirement and maybe by the time I'm 70 I can chill (if I make it that long).

Speaking of making it that long I need to loose weight. I have a mental block where I still think of myself as looking like I did when I was in London when I was walking 5-10 miles a day, when in reality I sit at a desk for 8-9 hours a day. It's only when I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror (which I purposefully avert my eyes from 98% of the time) or when I need to buy clothes that I am hit with the reality of what everyone else sees when they look at me and I'm disgusted and want to cry. I need to amend that.

I need to get my wisdom teeth removed this year. I needed to do it last year but I didn't make the appointment and then my dental insurance changed and I gotta start all over with a specific dentist which sucks. I've also toyed with the idea of just trying to quit smoking when I get the surgery because I can't smoke after it for a while. I don't know. We'll see.

No travel plans for 2017. Don't think we can afford it if we want to save money.  Maybe we can do little trips. Go to Vancouver with Andy, perhaps. Andy's looked at cabin rental in the Cascades for the summer. Maybe just go back to Port Townsend sometime. We'll see. I'm sure I'll get wanderlust but at the moment I'm accepting it because I'm so stoked for my folks to finally go to New Orleans and that means more to me than me taking a trip in 2017.

Giftmass

We were really looking forward to Christmas day this year because we had a big surprise in store for my parents. We bought them a trip to New Orleans. Andy came up with a way to present their gift that we put together. We had to come up with a lie about them going to Las Vegas to get their names as on their IDs and make sure that my mom could take the time off from work. Ever since, I was looking forward to shouting "it's all been a clever ruse!" Andy's idea was to take these pictures that allude to New Orleans but don't outright say New Orleans by themselves. We would have the pictures framed and numbered and have a tape recorder they play which goes through them all and tells a little story.

 The reveal on Christmas morning went well. Everything went to plan.



I was also looking forward to giving Andy a surprise present. I had pictures and mementos from the World Series Mets game we went to in 2015 framed.



Andy got a little teary when he opened it, so I did well. I also got him a PS4 that he knew was coming so this was a big ticket item that was actually a surprise. 

Tags:

Happy Birthday to ME! Catching up.

It has been so busy since essentially Thanksgiving. The calendar has been full. I'll try to update as best I can.


Beer Making
Andy's wedding gift to Raye and Rob was to make beer. Andy has a co-worker who does this a lot and he took Andy out to try it a while back and Andy thought this would be the kind of thing that Rob, Cory, Dani and Raye would really enjoy (Ray couldn't go because of her work schedule). So on the 30th we went up to Edmonds to the beer-making place and made beer. Andy & Rob made the beer for the wedding (coined by Cory 'I Do Brew'). They made an IPA. Cory and Dani made a pilsner and I made cider. The cider was pretty easy so mostly I just wandered around and took pictures of the others making their beer.



SCIENCE!


This week we returned (sans Dani) to bottle. We went on Tuesday but I learned that my cider wasn't ready so Andy and I had to come back the next day. The boys have got their beer and me my cider (which is nice, I made it fruity but also dry. I wasn't sure if it was going to work but I like it.)


I want to help Rob & Raye with labels for the 'I Do Brew' but I want to talk to them about it first. More wedding crafts to come.

Questionable Content
Dec. 10th was QC at the Pocket in Greenwood. This was the last show of the year so I wanted to do the annual year-in-review show. David was out for medical reasons so Phill hosted for us and Ray was also out. Sarah put together a great group of panelists super quickly which was rad. This one really took a lot out of me. Part of that was because I caught a cold at the begining of the work week leading up to it and that really slowed me down. Part of it was that I really wanted to the content to be good but I was feeling really uninspired because I was sick and foggy on DayQiill but also pushing through at work. I know I was bitchy to Andy that week even though he was just trying to break the stress with things like impromptu snowball fights at 11:30 at night. (Oh yeah and it snowed that Eventually I just started on the Powerpoint and it started coming together but I was working up to it all the way to a couple of hours before the show. I still managed to fuck up on the powerpoint on the numberings on a couple of slides which Andy missed and now I'm never gonna hear the end of.



The show was good though. I think the games all worked and that folks enjoyed it. Folks laughed. The jokes worked. At 10pm it was a more lively crowd (weird to be back in late night slot) who were a bit more but most importantly people showed up. I aim to get the video of the show when they offer it to me.




Even though it was a good show, i was so relieved when it was over. Now, with that show behind me, my next responsibility is to be the best Maid of Honor I can be for Raye.

Holiday-ing up the joint
On Sunday, now that QC was done I could clean up the house and get it ready for xams time. We went to out place where we've been getting our tree the last couple of years and they were almost completely sold out. We got the last good tree on the lot. On Sunday Andy was full on sick and napped and I did 6 loads of laundry and decorated the tree.




Birthday
For my birthday Andy got me an NES! There was discussion about this because I wanted the little mini NES that Nintendo was putting out but apparently those are super hard to come by. (What are you doing Nintendo? You're sitting a goldmine of 30-something nostalgia and you're fucking it up!) My parents never allowed me to have a gaming counsol. I was allowed an old school Game Boy (which I still have somewehre) but that was it. So this is my first NES.
It came the weekend before QC so I think I deserve mad props for managing to abstain from it for a week to work on the show.

Raye got me my first grownup make up that was not purchased in a drug store. I got a nice urban Decay pallent of eye shadows! It's beautiful and so vibrant!

I'm headed out for happy hour with folks in just a little bit here. 34 is nothing too special so I didn't want to make a big deal but I was told that this was wrong so now I'm meeting up with Raye, Rob, Dani, Sam and the Webbs for a cocktail.

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