Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Wake Up When I Need To.

On Tuesday, we went to IHOP for dinner.  As we were waiting for our food, Dawne commented on how tan Luke was looking.
Dawne: You're almost as tan as I am.
Luke: Wait-a-minute! That's not all tan, those are freckles. You should have those checked out.
Dawne: They aren't freckles, and I don't need to have anything checked out.  They are age spots.  Everyone gets them as they get older.
Luke: Oh, Like bananas?

He then proceeded to pull out his wallet and whip out some medication like a magician, saying, "I can eat dairy tonight; I have protection."

After dinner, we went home to play some Skip-Bo.  Jordan continually asked about the discard pile.  Something about a game designer not being able to remember the rules of Skip-Bo was driving me Ca-Ray-Zee.  I can't remember the subject matter, but I made a "back in the day" comment. 

Jordan: Yes.  But that was when men were men and sheep were scared.
Dawne: That's disgusting. 
Jordan: It's a saying!
Dawne: A disgusting saying. 
Lucas: I don't get it.
Dawne: You explain it.
Jordan: You know, there are the birds and the bees...
Matty: ... and sheep.  

On Wednesday, I had a pretty awesome day.  First, I booked a ticket to come home for Christmas.  I actually accomplished a lot of work and writing.  I bought a new pair of shoes at lunch.  And then... I saved $240 dollars a month on car insurance.  I was thinking that my bill was high, but when I had asked them about it, they just said that because I had a new car, my insurance had to go up.  As I had never bought a new car, I just assumed that was an expense I hadn't planned on.  On Tuesday, I decided to ask some people if they thought what I was paying was high and everyone was pretty floored with the number I threw at them.  On Wednesday morning, I got an envelope in the mail, that not joke, said, "Are you paying too much for car insurance?" and I was like "YES!"  So I called, and the guy actually mocked me.  Hard.  I told him I already felt bad in between his, "What is wrong with you? You could be driving a Porsche for that!" Either, way, I saved some money and feel pretty good about that.   Oh! And I got to go to the dog park with Diana and Matty on Wednesday too!

Thursday evening, I squeezed in two events. At 6, I met Aunt Pat, Dawne and Jordan over at a Pet Partner's open house where we learned about how to get our pups registered to volunteer at hospitals and the like.  (How much fun would that be right?)  Then I picked up Becky and we met up with Laina and Shana for some Maria Bamford, where I laughed real hard. 

Co-worker: Um, Buddy pronounced Cortana, CorTANa.
Me: Maybe that's just his accent.
Co-Worker: That's not an accent, that's a problem.

And THEN I found out that all those weird accent things I have like not pronouncing my T's and mis-pronouncing my sister's name are all Midwestern accent traits.  Thanks Momela!

On Friday, I picked up the proper Skip-Bo (previously, I had been using Simpson UNO cards) and when I got home, I found the table set beautifully for the Sabbath AND Dawne had COOKED.  And it was delicious.  :)  Way better than the ghetto Sabbath celebration that Matty and I put together for Luke the week before.  Plus, the real Skip-Bo was way more balanced (imagine that!)

On Saturday, there was Yom Kippur, so I got some errands and chores done. 

Then, when folks had gotten back from services, we went to the Puyallup Fair.   It took about two hours to get there and park, then we spent 7 hours you know, fairing.   We also compared the fair to Disney far more than anyone should.  I know, I know, we're snobs.  But the lines, and the organization, and the way the fair handles money is so redonkadonk.  Despite everyone telling me every year how amazing the scones are, I don't think I had ever really tried them.  This year, after having a couple of fries, and feeling nauseous because I'm not used to fried food anymore, we opted for something not fried.  And the legend is true, those scones were amaze-balls.  My favorite part of the fair is always the animals.  This year one of the horses made me think of Roy Boy.

"Luminasia" was pretty - though the name reminded me a little too much of euthanasia, which is not pretty. 

On Sunday, I got a ton of organizing done - which is always awesome.  And went to the dog park.  And went to Diana and Jason's for some football watching.  So basically, not all that interesting.  The fam met up with Elan to do a 5 hour walking tour of Ballard that turned out to be some awesome scavenger history hunt of Ballard that was super awesome and fun.   So, I missed out on that, but also didn't have to run around in a thunderstorm.  :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I had a dream last week that I got married.  I discovered after the wedding that my husband was pretty wealthy.  We arrived at his home, which I had never been to, and it was covered in toys.  Not just collectible toys, but bins of legos and action figures in the kitchen cabinets, and everywhere.  The kitchen table was the PeeWee Herman chair reclined so you could eat off of it. 
Dawne: How did you tell him to get rid of the toys?
Me: I didn’t.  I very lovingly, and supportively, told him that obviously these toys were important to him and as long as I could fit my things in the house that was fine.  With the stipulation that when we had kids, we might have to make room for their toys. 
Jordan: Man, this guy sounds AWESOME.  You should totally marry him in real life. 
When I told Kathi about the dream she said, “I dreamed that you and I were dancing.”

Even though, hands down, this summer was the nicest summer the PNW has had in ten years, I really didn’t feel like I enjoyed the summer.  There were highlights, for sure, but it never felt like summer to me.  I think knowing that the end of the summer was nigh, and fun had yet to be had, Kathi’s arrival could not have been better planned.  With her, Kathi brought new energy, excitement and a genuine PLAN on how she was going to spend her vacation.  This meant that we also got to spend her vacation with her doing things that we just wouldn’t normally do, and that was just plain awesome.   On Monday, we went and got some Fro Yo where we had the following conversations.

We were talking about running, and how much Kathi has been running lately, and how impressed we all were and then Lucas suggested a 5K that I was appalled at because most 5K’s are all raising money for a cause when we decided to create our own run.  Instead of a 5K that benefits people, we should have an Ugly American’s run, that people just pay us to run, and we’re all fat and out of shape, but with really designer, expensive clothing.  And at each stop we get Fiji water (that we’ll drink half of and throw on the ground) and cash prizes.  And instead of straight running, there would be games and entertainment throughout the run to encourage our lazy selves to complete the harrowing task of 5 kilometers. 

Dawne: So, Kathi, you and Nate will have to think of something to do tomorrow because everyone will be at work or school. 
Kathi: That’ll be easy.
Lucas: Yeah? You have something planned?
Kathi: No, but anything will be better than what you’re doing tomorrow, seeing as tomorrow is your first day of class. 

We were talking about spending money and how frugal Zach is compared to all of us (and the world.)
Lucas: I feel like you're the most Jewish of all of us.

Dawne: I think I left my phone at work.
Me: What are you going to do? How are you going to wake up in the morning?
Dawne: That’s what I have a husband for.  That and getting my jeep fixed.
Me: He got a set of keys for you?
Dawne: Yup, and he put the top on my Jeep too. 
Me: Once again, I gotta get me one of those. 

On Wednesday, Dawne, Kathi, Nater and I were sitting in the living room when Matty came in with a six pack.
Matty: I think I got it.
Kathi: I told Matty to get me the most girlie, I’m embarrassed to even be in the same room with this, beer. 
Matty: Take a look, I think it’s pretty embarrassing.

As we were enjoying our respective adult beverages, and discussing dinner plans, Nater mentioned that Zach was having friends over that evening.
Matty: I thought Zach was grounded from having friends over.
Dawne: Zach is grounded?
Matty: Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything…
Nater: What could ZACH have done to get grounded?
Zach (walking in): Hi guys!
Dawne: You’re grounded?
Zach: Well, dad said that I was grounded until I learn how to clean up after a party; but how does he know that I can clean up after a party unless I have one?

Dawne: We should find out if Lucas is on his way home.
Matty: Send him a text saying, “Don't text and drive.”

We decided to get some Panera, and on our way to the car Matty yelled, “Middle!” and on our way back from Panera when Nate sat in the middle seat, he said, “Aw man! I wanted Middle.”  

On Thursday, I was invited to Rosh Hashanah dinner at Mort and Judy’s.  I was told to bring apples and honey, but bought like 4 different kinds of apples because I didn’t want the Catholic girl messing up “Apples and Honey.”  When we arrived at Mort and Judy’s apartment (which was gorgeous) we got a quick tour.  Lucas showed me the pool.
Me: Says here that the capacity if ten. 
Lucas: But there is another sign that says no lifeguards on duty, so I think we can break that rule.

Jordan’s brother in law arrived, saying, “Where’s the bathroom? I brought one shirt for driving and eating and one for the picture.”

Honestly, everything was absolutely lovely.  Dawne was telling this lovely story about my grandparents, their love, their faith and their commitment, which made me totally tear up.  When she went to tell the story to my Uncle, Lucas got up and said, “I can’t cry again over this story.”  So we both got up and returned when the sweetness was over.   I also agreed to keep the Sabbath with Lucas, so on Friday, as the rest of the family headed out for Pizza, I waited for Lucas to get home.  Lucas came in with the Challah bread, and after dinner, we lit the candles, said the prayers, ate the bread, and played some Skip-Bo.  We weren’t perfect, because we had to have Lucas text us the prayer, but we did our best. 

Lucas: I met this girl over the summer who goes to a private school.  She was pontificating about diversity and how uncomfortable people are when you bring up the subject of diversity.  She went on and on until I couldn’t take it anymore.  I finally said, “Asking someone about penile length is uncomfortable. Talking about diversity is NOT uncomfortable.”

Aunt Pat: Shorty at the fish.
Dawne (looking at the fish sitting on the counter): Shorty ate the fish?  I could see Percy getting up there…
Aunt Pat: No, the salmon that was in the dish on the floor.
Dawne: Ah! That makes sense.
Me: Yeah, I mean even if Percy had eaten the fish, I would have just said, “you shouldn’t have put it somewhere he could get to.”

Matty (looking for a match): There IS a tiny Harley Davidson hat if you need it. 
Me: I’ve totally put that on my dog. 
Lucas: We should get one more dog and dress them all as the village people for Halloween! Or I’ll be the cop – and they can bet the other villagers. 

On Saturday, we got up and met Tim at the French Bakery, before he came over to try to fix the projector.  And then we went to the dog park where Percy become King of the Hill of Mulch.  Saturday night was more hanging out followed by Sunday breakfast at the Original Pancake House with Nater before he had to go back to Chicago.  Then Diana and Becky came over and we hung out in the pool and went out on the boat just like it was still summer. 

Finally, my cousin just launched a Kickstarter.  So, if you want to donate to a good cause, here it is:

Have an awesome rest of the week!

Monday, September 9, 2013


Update 8/26 - 9/1

Last week was a whirlwind.  I returned from Disney on Tuesday morning and headed directly into work for some catch up and meetings.  I came home to find two Germans and Canadian in the house who desperately longed for some dumplings.  At 8PM on a Tuesday night, we waited over an hour to get into this dumpling place - but the wait was totally worth it.  These things were D-Lish, but I was so sleepy, I had to leave a little early and ask Dawne to drive home.  Kathi went up to Canada with her sister and Cori's boyfriend.  In the meantime, I had a summit at work and then had a bunch of catch up post 1-day vacation and summiting. On Friday, I worked a bit at PAX, more meetings and more catch up.  Meanwhile, Kathi took a bus back from Canada - a bus that got caught up in customs and also got a flat tire.  By the time she got back to the house, it was definitely "Beer-thirty."  We took some time to catch up on the deck - which was lovely.

Saturday, the fam went to PAX, and I honestly can't remember what I did.  Oh wait! No, that’s not true.  I unpacked more, uncovering an unopened xbox that I had bought in December, and decided to hook it up to the TV in the brown house.  Naturally, Xbox Live didn't cooperate, so I took a nap.  I woke up to texts from Becky, so she came over and we went in the pool. 

On Sunday, we woke up bright and early to caravan it to the Ferry on our way to the Olympic Peninsula.  I was promised the rainforest and a drive in movie theater.  We did neither of these things.  What is it about the OP that every time I go, we underestimate how big this place is and end up not getting to the rainforest?

Zach: I just listened to a German comedian.
Kathi: There is such a thing?
Zach: He just says facts.

We drove to Callum Bay and grabbed some lunch.  Kathi & Zach were in my car.

Me: What music were you guys listening to?  We were all about 90's on 9 & Margaritaville.
Ranen: Ugh, I hate Jimmy Buffet.
Jordan: But his songs have everything! From Cheeseburgers to Let's Get Drunk and Screw! What more could you want out of a singer?
Ranen said a bunch of derogatory and negative things about Mr. Buffet that I can even remember.
Jordan: He also has his own beer.  I'm pretty sure if you drink Landshark, you sweat SPF so you don't have to worry about getting sunburned.
Ranen said some additional mumblings.
Nate: As long as you admit that you're wrong, you can keep your opinion.

There was some talk about PAX as well.
Lucas: We met a guy who told us that his game was revolutionary, educational, patent pending, would change the way you think about games.  It's just not that fun, yet.

Following lunch, we went for a tiny hike to the western most part of the continental US.  Saw some caves and pretty sites.  I took a picture of us all taking pictures of the sites, because I'm weird.

After that, we headed to the hot springs, which, as you might remember my experience in the Szechenyi Baths, I wasn't going to even pretend that I wanted to experience the hot springs.  While that was happening, Zach and I took a much appreciated nap.  We had reservations at Crescent Bay for dinner so we headed back in that direction.  As were waiting for our table, I informed Lucas that Kathi and I discovered "The Blend" station, which was fascinatingly awesome.  Here are some highlights from dinner.

Lucas: I want to be able to see the sunset and sunrise from my house.  The new plan is to make a house out of glass with a sign that says, "Don’t throw stones," in case people aren't aware of the popular idiom.

Lucas: Can you call a pay phone?
Nate: Don't you know what dad did with the “I live bees” campaign? 
Lucas: Well, now I do.

Lucas: Tiffany! If we wear a jacket, we can see the stars tonight!
Me: I'm pretty sure they'll be there if we don't wear a jacket... but yes, we can put the top down on the car on the way to the hotel.

It was pretty cool that the dogs were allowed at the hotel.  It was even cooler that Dawne and Jordan got up really early and picked up Starbucks and breakfast before we got on our way to the ferry.  We were up on the top deck of the ferry, admiring the view and reminiscing. 

Lucas: Remember when Nate used to have to me stand against a wall and he'd say, "Stand here while I throw this at you."
Nater: I was trying to teach you how to play dodge ball.
Lucas:  I think both people have balls in dodge ball.

There had been a discussion earlier in the trip about fog, clouds, and whether or not clouds could be lower than mountains.  Lucas found an example of a cloud below the tip of a mountain and pointed it out to Zach saying, "Do you see that cloud? That's where the gods live."

When we got back on Sunday, it was gorgeous, so Kathi and I decided to make the most of our last day of summer with some pool and reading time.  And of course, Percy also needed to swim.  He basically jumps in the pool, swims to the stairs, splashes, gets out, and then repeated the process for a ridiculously long time. 

This doesn’t really have anything to do with anything, but it’s too adorable not to share.  Here’s Evivova’s baby Fred, wearing the onsie I got him.  I’m not sure he’s ready for his future profession. 

And lastly, for Matty, I need to submit a correction to last week's tales.  Matty was watching Expendables 2 (not the original.)  I'm glad we cleared that up. 

Til next time...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Happy Camper

Uncle Ray had some surgery to improve his sight that left stitches where his eyebrows had been.  He forgot about this when he went to Costco.  He saw a small child crying on and giving his father a hard time.  Uncle Ray's response was to say to the father, "I'll give you 50 cents for him."  The small child was immediately terrified, stopped crying and ran to his father as his mother tried to contain her laughter in the next aisle over. 

The fam got back from Gen Con on Tuesday, flying on an airline that was sub-par.  After the complaints started to die down, Lucas said, "I'm just going to stop flying. I'm just going to row everywhere.  You know, next time I go to Europe.  Wait, that sounds exhausting."

We continued to catch up on the couch as Jordan and a German talked shop and Zach flitted in and out of the kitchen. 

Me: So, I packed all of my stuff up.
Lucas: Isn't this so exciting!?
Me: Um, not really.
Me: Yeah, I'm not really looking forward getting an apartment and dying alone.
Lucas: I knew a guy, his name was Jesus, and he died at 33.
Me: Oooh this WILL be a big year!

Lucas: This year I'm going to learn French real good.
Me (laughing): You should learn English well first. 
Lucas: That's the conversation I had with Mike, but and he said the same thing. Only he didn't think it was funny so I was just like "Ugh!" because he doesn't understand our jokes yet.

My mom was dog sitting the other day, when my sister's dog Bella got her leash all tangled up.
Momela: You know, if you had even a little bit of German in you, you could figure this out.
At which point, my nephew Kyle looked up at his grandmother in perplexed horror.
Momela: Don't worry, Kyle.  You have a little German in you.
Looking over at my dad struggling with some task in the yard.
Momela: Now that guy over there, he doesn't have a drop of German in him. 

Yeah, in case you didn't get the memo, I had been posting on FB for what might have been months, to just Shana.  I had accidentally set my posts to go to my "Wells Expeditions" group, only I think Shana was the one in that group.  Without any validation, I had thought I had lost my touch, so while I had wasted a lot of brain power, the good news is, I'm still funny. 

Oh! And I learned how to jump into the jeep from the back, SO much easier.   Just in time to put the roof up!  When we got back from dinner one night, Matty was watching the Expendables. 
Lucas: I'm not saying that this move is bad... but this movie has made me more interested in "girls camera". (Girls Camera is an app that Arda told Lucas about that is like Instagram only the filters also add leopard prints and glittery bits to the photos.)

Co-Worker, Ryan, as we were leaving the building for lunch, "I wonder what would happen if I pulled one of those breakers down."  I'll let you know, if he ever gives into the urge.

On Saturday morning, I flew to San Diego to meet Sean, Stacey and the girls.  As I was checking in, I was given an option to upgrade to first class.  I thought, hmm let's see, I could pay an extra 350 dollars to sit in a middle seat, or pay 390 to fly first class... Hello, Luxury.  Sean and the fam picked me up from the airport and took us immediately over to Midway to see the big Sailor and his Gal statue (I think that's the official name.)  The first thing Jackie did was pose under the heel of the Gal's shoe.  I love that girl!  Then we went shopping and Morgan found an antique:

And Stacey informed the group that we were not on a cruise ship, and we would not be getting ice cream twice a day.  I thought that was kind of harsh.  :) When we arrived at the Hotel Del Coronado, I looked up the story of the ghost in residence.  When Morgan, Jackie and I went to check out the room, we discovered that the room was also a handicapped room.  I still think it is super sweet how appalled and concerned Morgan was that this room was a handicapped room - which meant the hotel was putting guests that couldn't get away easily, in the room with the ghost. 

I delivered my belated birthday gift to Morgan.  I had Dawne wrap it, because I wanted to make sure that the dooney and burke Disneyland purse (to celebrate her first time at Disneyland) felt special.  That and I'm terrible at wrapping things.  I also got her a necklace with her name on it, which I think went over much better than the purse did.  Before Morgan opened anything, my brother said, "Hey, that looks like Fannie May!"

We put on our swim suits, dipped our toes in the Pacific Ocean and then lounged by the pool.  
Stacey: So what are we doing tomorrow?
Me: We're going to the zoo.
Stacey: Is it bigger than the Bronx Zoo?
Me: It's the world famous San Diego Zoo! You can't compare everything to home, you'll never enjoy anything!
Stacey: So... it is bigger than the Bronx Zoo.
Me: YES! Let me look it up.

Turns out that the SD Zoo is 100 Acres! And the Bronx Zoo is 250 Acres.  The Bronx zoo also has 300 more animals and 50+ more species.
Stacey: So we'll finish that up in an hour. 

Later that night we got to hang out with Uncle Jack and Aunt Shirley for dinner, which was lovely.  Before going to the zoo on Sunday we went to a bakery and Starbucks.

Sean: You wants some napkins?
Morgan, answered in a fashion, by dropping water and then her boxes cinnamon roll immediately after that.
Sean: Yeah, you do.

We got a little bit lost getting to the zoo, having to take a detour through some neighborhoods.
Sean: Would you look at this! These are amazing!  We never would have seen this if we didn't take the detour!
Stacey: They are bushes.

After the zoo, we went to see the seals, had lunch and then went back to the hotel for some more pool time.  For whatever reason, everyone had to get out of the pool for 5 minutes.  When they were allowed back in, Morgan jumped in first and egged Jackie on a bit calling her a chimp and a wimp.

Me: You gonna take that? She's pretty tiny to be talking to you that way.
Jackie: Sometimes the best weapon is to do nothing and wait for your mother to take care of it.

We all woke up at 4 am on Monday, to no water in the hotel.  I don't know if I mentioned it, but I brought a bunch of buttons for people to wear every day that said things like loose cannon and song bird.  Stacey, unable to take a shower that morning, chose "Tree Hugger."  We got on the road, and made it to the Grand Californian by 7 am.  Sean suggested we try to squeeze in a character breakfast at the hotel.  We had just arrived, chatted with one wolf guy, when the fire alarm went off and the entire hotel had to be evacuated into California Adventures.  Not before Sean acquired two cups of coffee.  I asked the girls how they liked their first impression of Disney before we were escorted out of CA into the streets of downtown Disney.  We grabbed some food at the Bakery and started rock the socks off of California Adventures. 

We were waiting in line for one of the rides.
Bailey: You're going to hit the people in front of you, be careful.
Morgan (to Jackie): And then you get to use the fancy exit doors. Do it!!

Later, Dawne would ask me what my favorite part of the trip was, and the answer was easy: The Teacups.  Not because I have great love for the teacup ride, but because the enormous amount of unadulterated joy that oozed from Bailey when we got onto the teacups made me so happy.  Thanks Disney.  :)

We also got to go to the Blue Bayou for lunch, and basically saw both parks in one day, with time to come back to the hotel and shower for an hour.  We went back out to the parks, thinking we would grab dinner but just ended up going on more rides - rides that the Seattle fam don't let me go on at Disney like this gem:

We ended up grabbing some food at the hotel and bringing it up to our room (did I mention how amazing the Grand Californian was!?) We were talking about the day and Sean was asking about what I recommended that they do the next day. 

Me: Well, if you can get into Disneyland at 8, you can probably knock out 7-8 rides before 9.
Sean: And if we get to the buffet at 7, we can do a character breakfast before the park.
Jackie: At what point does this place turn into the most exhausting place on earth? It's 10:15, and you're just feeding me dinner, breakfast at the buffet at 7 and then the park at 8 so we can do 7 rides in an hour?
Stacey: Where's the attitude coming from?
Jackie: I already took off my pin.

"Happy Camper." 

All in all, another successful trip to Disney, and a super fun adventure with the fam! More to come soon...