Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Flip Flop Feet


Update 8/21 – 8/27


Hi Friend!


On Wednesday, I took Percy over to the Vet for a shot, and also to check out some bumps.  The vet ended up draining a cyst (and I think he was pretty grossed out about it.  Baby.)  He then told me that Percy is in perfect health, like really perfect coat, in shape, everything. And, “He’s adorable!”  I already knew this, but it’s nice having a professional confirm it.  He went home with a “Cone of Shame.”  I took some pics of him, and then swapped it out for the cozy donut (which he has been whining about ever since. Just a soft, poor me whine that is extremely pathetic.)  5 days down, 9 to go. 


On a conference call today:

  • I got a little aquarium for my desk and got this little Pea puffer which has been beating up all the other creatures in the tank.  (continues to describe all of the interactions between the pea puffer and the snails and shrimp.)
  • Me: The Drama of the tank!
  • Mine was grabbing the other fish, dragging it to the other side of the tank, spitting it out so it thinks it’s safe, and then traumatizing it all over again when it feels safe.  It’s like game of thrones!
  • Me: My sister had a beta fish that was eating all the other fish, so she started feeding it fish.  His name was Puff Daddy, btw, may he rest in peace.
  • On that same theme, my pea puffer’s name is Tupac!  It was pac man, but had to rename him because he was too gangster.


I, for one, am thankful for a call that doesn’t start with talking about smoke or the pandemic.  I would have been happy to chat about fish tanks for the whole 30 min, tbh.


We had some rainy days, and it got a lil chillier so I decided I needed to find an alternative to flip flops (you know, for emergencies.)  So I got me a pair of cute uggs with lil bows on the back.  Will I be mocked in Washington?  Probably.  Will I be showing my New Yorker? Yes.  Do I care?  Not in the least. 


               I guess I should flash back to last year when I told Dr. Rach that my feet were in excruciating pain after wearing normal supportive shoes for a couple of days.  I told her I didn’t want to bother her, because I assumed that she has been overwhelmed these days with people coming in with what I can only imagine the medical term to be: Flip Flop Feet.  You know, where you’ve been wearing flip flips for many many months and then they protest when they have to be in real supportive shoes.  So, I figured, I would just keep wearing the shoes until my feet got used to them.  Sure I was in pain, but no pain, no gain, you know?  Dr. Rach was, what’s the word?  Appalled by my reasoning.  Apparently, “Flip Flop Feet” is not a thing, and most people feel better when they put real shoes on, and get this: My mom wasn’t right, and wearing supportive shoes in this instance would just cause more and more pain.  I can’t remember how I solved it last year, although, wearing flip flops well into the December might have been a possibility.   

 Oooh! Sean and Stacey sent me flowers just because they missed me! How amazing are they!?

Hung out in Becky’s garage on Friday.  We listened to Maureen on her high school’s radio station as she talked everyone through a selection of songs that told the story of her life.  It was so lovely to hear her share so much with us – plus the tuneage was amazing.  Becky and I were rocking the Snoop Dogg wine (Criminal 19) because apparently we are unpaid promoters now.  Becky told me she installed an amazon echo inside her front door so that she could have Alexa announce her arrival.  Additionally, she was able to open the door and say, “Alex announce that I want Brownies” and moments later, Jared had brought her brownies.  (Okay she might have said please, but that’s not how I heard it.) 



I got to chat with Kathi for a bit last week, and I’m getting very excited for a new baby in the fam!  Time really does fly when you’re not the one pregnant!  



On Saturday, I met up with Dawne, Jordan and Lucas at UVillage.  I love doing anything that even remotely resembles normal.  Sure, I still avoided actual stores, and sure everyone was masked and 6 ft a part in lines outside waiting to be allowed into stores, but we were outside, and I walking around a “mall” window shopping, and that was lovely.  At one point, a couple of ladies stopped to talk to Percy.  They saw his donut and wanted to offer their sympathies.  Before I got to pre-emptively apologize for his avalier attitude, I heard one of the ladies say, “Who’s a good boy!?” and what do you know, Percy perked right up, ran over and said, “I’m a good boy!! How did you know?!”


Then, I went back to my place for a bit, b/c it was pool time and Percy can’t go right now. We still had time for some play time at the house, followed by a lil puzzle, dinner and watched Enola Holmes (so good!)


I’m not a huge fan of baths. I want to love baths. I hear about other people taking baths and it sounds heavenly. But every time I try it’s a bit of a disaster. Last night I decided to take a bath. I was like, this is it. It’s going to be glorious. I got the fancy milk bath stuff out, and the makes your skin feel like a baby stuff, and the bath and body works vampire candle out (not strictly a bath scent, but it’s nearly October!) I picked out a fun book and put my Nora Jones / Etta James station on. It was going to be epic. (Perhaps my expectations are the biggest failure in my bath equations?) I’d say it was fairly pleasant, for the 5 to 6 minutes I lasted in the bath. Feeling fairly accomplished, I got out and just as I was reaching back in to drain the tub, I slipped on my freshly coconut oiled feet, bringing down the shower curtain. Which I then had to put back up (why is putting up a shower curtain to annoy?) By the time I wrapped that all up, and snuggled into bed with my book and my dog and my bruised knee, I regretted the whole endeavor. Can’t wait to forget about this and try again in a year.


And here are somethings I found funny this week:


Much love!



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

All the Holidays


Update 9/21 – 9/27


Hi Friend!


The smoke stayed all the way until Friday night, so last week was a whole lot of hunkering down and never opening the doors or windows, and never leaving the house.  I did a lot of pacing around my tiny place while in the phone to get my hour walks in.  At one point, my dinky air purifiers proved that they had been working, b/c they started to not work and I started coughing and getting a major headache.  Luckily there was only a 24 hour period until the real air purifier showed up and had to work extra hard to make up for the time.  When I woke up to clean bill of air health, I was so excited to get outside, walk and just breathe in the fresh air!  I met up with Dawne, Jordan & Lucas at the park, and wore shoes for the first time since February.  Terrible idea. My feet hated it, and I promptly took them off as soon as I got back to the car. 


Helped (by watching) Dawne put up Halloween decorations.  I thought it was brilliant that the Christmas lights had made it until September because then you wouldn’t have to put them back up for the holidays, and Dawne had the opposite feeling because she told Zach he had to take them down so that they wouldn’t take away from Halloween.  Since they were still up, I have a feeling that Zach agreed with me. 


Sunday, we went to the park again (this time in my trusty flip flops) with D&J, Nater and Lindsay and Lucas.  Afterward, we came back to the house, watched some Gilmore Girls, ordered pizza and played a new game.  I have been rewatching GG for the umpteenth time, but this time, I keep wanting to have full on discussions with my cousins who have also watched it a million times – but I’m bringing up the conversations as if something just happened with dear dear friends – and I guess that’s kind of true at this point.  While we were playing the game, Lucas brought up an issue.


Lucas: I have had a headache for the last couple of days so I’m wondering if I should get tested for covid.

Me: Nope.  We have all had the same headache.

Lucas: No, but I’ve had it for a while and its really bad.

Me: I know, we’ve all had the same headache.  It’s the combo of smoke and weather and allergies. 

Lucas: But I have a headache right now.

Me: I know, we all do.  We’re all just trying to be as kind as possible even though we are all miserable.

Lindsay: Are we really trying that hard tho?


Maybe not, but I’m hoping this week is better! Other than that, the highlight of my week was getting a Christmas present from my mom and dad! 

Me: I got my first Christmas present this week!

Dawne: Me too!

Me: what?  Did my mom send you a present too?

Dawne: Oh no, I BOUGHT my first present.

Me: Oh, okay.  I was gonna say, if getting a present in September isn’t unprecedented… I don’t even know. 




In 2019, Ryan and I went to see Elton John.  It was the first time I think I’ve seen a concert at the Tacoma dome, and man, was that place poorly planned.  Most of the audience was well into their 70’s or older, and we had to wait in this big long line to get in / go through the metal detector – all outside.  In the rain.  There was mutual mocking between Ryan and I because he was totally unprepared to pay cash for parking, but I had emergency money squirreled away (which he thought was hilarious, and I thought was brilliant.)  And then I also had two rain coats, which again, he thought was a lil much, and I thought was super convenient.  Either way, my preparedness equaled short dry walks and waiting.  Had I also had the power of follow through, I would have written to the folks at the Tacoma Dome and told them to get some covering seeing as it rains here 9 months out of the year.  Concert was awesome, and then someone backed into my car on the way out – partially because he totally didn’t look, and partially b/c I never honk my horn so it took me a while to remember that was an option.  He got out of his car and said, “we good?”  I did not think we were good, but he definitely did.  We exchanged numbers quickly and he sped off b/c the reason we were in the parking long to begin with was to try to get ahead of the crowd.  Such fun!


In 2018 I was in Chicago for work on the Arcade game, got to make a quick trip to see Aunt Mo, Uncle Bill & Aunt Audrye.  Casper made a new friend at the park, got to go to the fair with Emmett, and got some cool pictures of my other godson, Kevin. Pretty exciting, all in all!





Bailey was in town for her evacuation vacation.  We saw some salmon “running”, checked out the ice caves, made Bailey cook rosh hashana dinner complete with brisket and potato latkes, and went up to Leavenworth!


Zach: What are you studying?

Bails: Bio Chem

Zach: That’s smarter than what I thought you were going to say.


The following day, Lucas, Bails and Dawne did the ducks while I went to work and when they got back, Bails told me that Lucas spend the day listing off Chemistry facts that he knew.


We went to brunch one day at Portage Bay, and after a lil bit of a wait, Lucas told me, “When I hear someone say, “I like Brunch” what I hear is, “I like headaches.”


Arda came over one night and we watched Ghost, and made homemade ice cream – each person made their own with their own flavors and milk choices.  Arda, however, did not seal the ice / salt bag well enough, and accidentally got a very very salty flavored ice cream. Sad face.  We were on a mission to educate Bailey with as many movies and tv shows as possible, so another night Lucas stayed over after watching Notting Hill – another classic! Dawne took Bailey for massages. We also tried to make as many literary puns as possible and then watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall. 


As I said, Bailey and Dawne made dinner for the high holiday’s.  We said maybe we could do a cooking show called “Two Catholics in the Kitchen.” 


We tried to make potato pancakes from scratch once and we lit the kitchen on fire.

I did that in my apartment.

Did it stay lit for 8 days?


Bails: Apples and Honey?

Lucas: Your Catholic is showing.


Random quotes:


I’m surprised most people have kidneys.


What’s in the middle?

Corn Starch. 




Hope your week is going swimmingly!


Much love,


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Smoke a lil Smoke


Update 9/7 – 9/13


Hi Friend!


My co-working mentioned to me that she thought we were still in Aug until this week, and I promptly mentioned that it was actually mid-September already and we both had a mini-brain melt.  I don’t know what it is about 2020, but I am constantly being reminded to be grateful for conditions just weeks or months prior.  Moments, when, at the time, I was feeling very “ugh” to be honest, are now things I miss.  A perfect example of this, is I legit was remembering fondly of the time in the pandemic when, sure we were quarantined, but we were still allowed to open the windows.  We could even walk outside without inhaling a couple of packs worth of cigarettes. And, what’s even more wild, is every time I think I might want to whine about something, I have to stop and realize that I am so fortunate.  Like, sure, I am stuck inside, but at least I have a house (that’s not on fire!!) that I can stay inside. At least I’m not being hit by a hurricane! At least I don’t have to work outside right now. Super grateful to have a mask handy, now just to go in my backyard to let Percy out.  Gratitude just has a whole new meaning these days.  I am also praying for rain, even though, I know that getting that rain means the beginning of 9 months of rain, so THAT’s fun. 


I was watching a tik tok that was a play on current 2020 self, telling an earlier 2020 self what’s new! I probably should have saved it to share – but part of the news was about life on Venus (seriously who had aliens on their 2020 bingo card?) and Covid replicating brain cells and then killing healthy cells (I had to look both of these ones up, but then I had to stop reading the New York Times article before the end b/c it was really flipping me out.)  This year is really a trip. 


Long story short, this week was filled with me pacing inside my house in order to get my steps in. And then, I have been stopping and re-organizing weird spaces like book shelves, and drawers and tackling areas that I have been trying to ignore for months (maybe even years) even though they annoy me daily.  It’s been pretty great.  I always imagine my cleaning people seeing these improvements and getting a gold star from them.  Sure this is all in my head, but it’s really all I have.  Additionally, my Pottery Barn Teen Harry Potter order arrived and I spent some time trying to figure out where I would put these cool secret cabinets.  And I did that thing where I shared options with friends and fam and still have no idea what I’m going to do.


On Sunday, Dawne called because Jordan was wondering when I was planning on arriving to entertain her.  They pulled out this Cinderella puzzle that we have attempted several times but have gotten frustrated by the fact that it’s almost entirely the same shade of blue.  The good news is that we finally finished it… only to find out we were missing a piece.  So we took a picture and promptly threw it in the trash.  I had donated to the Wisconsin Democratic party so that we could enjoy the live reading of the Princess Bride.  It was amazing!  They said ALL surviving cast members so at one point I was like, is Fred Savage dead? or a Republican?  and then looked up on Twitter to see that’s what everyone else was asking... turns out: Republican. #deadtousapparently





Becky and I saw Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey and I was definitely disappointed that she didn’t sing All I want for Christmas is you.  And then Bailey came to visit to get away from Hurricane Irma.  She said,  “I’m here indefinitely!” and for some reason I thought that was hilarious and would continue to use that concept for the duration of her stay.  First stop?  We took her to the fair of course and then encouraged her to try many fried things. 


Bailey: I was making Morgan feel bad about not entering her guinea pig into a competition and she said, “Wait.  Do they take her?!”




I had some notes from this week – but I don’t know if I can really accurately discern them. 


I offended Arda because I said the disco ball was more impressive than the eclipse.


I think fires were happening all at this time, though not as extreme as 2020, because someone mentioned fire and Lucas said, “That’s super insensitive.”

I hope I don’t get a nose bleed.  (This feels like it’s in reference to our seats at the concert, but I don’t remember us being up that high?)


Lucas decided he was going to a Synthesizer Convention, to which I asked him if he was going to be entertained for an entire weekend, and he asked “Why wouldn’t I be?” but only I thought his answer was funny.



Maybe next week, when I’m allowed to walk outside (hopefully!) I’ll have more news to report, but in the mean time – hope you all are staying safe!


Much love,



Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Happy Cousin's Day!


Update 8/31 – 9/6


Hi Friend!


There is a furry friend that lives next door.  He pops his head up in this spot, which is inches from the window in my place, and it puts Percy into a tailspin (pun totally intended).  He doesn’t particularly love it when he sees him on our way into the house either.  No matter Percy’s reaction, this friendly fellow just looks on curiously. 


To follow up on the saga of the robbery / Percy bag: My co-workers, T-Pat and Ryan offered to run over to pick up the bag while I was in a meeting.  (I had asked T-Pat to go with me and just have 911 on speed dial but they had time when I was in a meeting and they are super awesome people.)  I had Ryan share his location so I could watch them progress towards the target while on a conference call.  When they arrived to the house was when I was at peak terror, and then I got a text saying that it was lovely elderly couple and they had the bag.  They had also picked up some of the items that had been emptied out including some paperwork, THE KEY TO THE HOUSE, many Percy bow ties, and his favorite toy.  I guess my method of taping a key to a piece of paper in hiding it in with other papers worked! The moral of the story is that there are many many awesome people in the world! 



My parents have one less resident in their home, so I suppose this means they are ready for me to visit for a couple of months (right Momela?!) I made some changes at my house too.  When I say *I*, I obviously mean that I paid 4 people to work 9 hours to “trim” this English Laurel that is supposed to be the size of a bush but actually turned into a massive tree in my back yard.  The results are miraculous.  I cannot believe I had been living so long without the glorious rays of sunshine brightening up my home.  Even as I type, I have yet to have to put the lights on – and usually I have to put them all on first thing!  Very very exciting.  Now, I just have to wait until the rainy season arrives and I’ll get my grass seed down.  

I got to see a lot of my cousins this week.  Thursday, I went over to Ray and Michele’s for a socially distanced dinner.  I haven’t seen them since February, so it was great getting some 1 on 4 time. 😊  And then on Saturday, they packed up and moved into the lil blue house at Dawne’s.  We established the social distance rules right away (basically keep a mask on, stay outside as much as possible, and stay 6 ft a part while eating.)  And, it worked out really well!  Saturday was a lil over cast and cooler, and the pool heater broke.  So, when I agreed to go in with Ashley, it was an act of pure love.  We also got to see D&J’s new office space, and generally had a chill time.  Saturday and Sunday, I decided not to go on the boat, but I had Dawne take Percy with him b/c he loves the boat.  What he loves more, though, is to stay by my side so he ran back up to hang.  Instead, on Sunday, we went in the pool again (once again, showing my love by getting into a chilly pool).  Buddy, Raymond and Michele’s dog, followed Percy where ever he went.  At one point, Percy runs down by the water, and Buddy runs over to me to tell on him.  I tried to apologize/explain that Percy gets to do whatever he wants, but Buddy still seemed to need an explanation for the pipsqueaks behavior.  I was very pleased that Buddy and Percy were getting along because this meant that Percy finally forgave Buddy for systematically destroying every squeaker in ever toy in the house the one time we left the pups together when we went for dinner.  (Percy was so appalled that day that he took me to each toy in the house and had to show me  the destruction.)  Luckily, Percy is over it, and also took Buddy down to the water with him.  The Buddy kept following him up and down the stairs until one point when Percy popped up and Buddy did not.  That’s when we found Buddy, soaking wet, on a pier two doors down.  Adventure time for everyone, I guess!


 Sunday, I saw on Facebook that one of my cousins on the other side of the fam was wish us a Happy Cousin’s Day.  What an awesome coincidence, since I was with a bunch of cousin’s! Happy Cousin’s Day to all! That is until Raymond questions the validity of the date, and I actually looked it up, and it was a different date.  We decided that it was much more fun to celebrate right then and there, and started texting cousins!  Raymond tried to ruin the day by wishing Sean a non-cousin’s day – but I feel like by the end of the best cousin’s weekend ever, he was on our side about embracing the joy!


Let’s see what else?  At one point, Zach and I were unwittingly a part of a Trump parade as many boats passed by the house, and I got a bit of Journey stuck in my head while I made some friendship bracelets.  We also had a nice bon fire on Saturday night (before the crazy wind shift for the fires.)  We got down to the fire pit, arranged chairs so we could safely consume s’mores and then Dawne was like “We forgot the music?”  We asked if she wanted us to play something on our phones and she said, “No! Call Lucas and tell him to bring his guitar!” And he did.  He and his friend Izzy were our own personal juke box (even though he specifically told us, “I’m not a Karaoke machine!!”  He managed to learn each song we wanted within minutes of our requests (although, in that minute or two, as we started humming along he would promptly yell, “DON’T GET ATTACH TO THAT KEY!”)  It was pretty magical.  At one point Nikki and Ashley were looking around for something.


N&A: We can’t find the moon!

Dawne: Hmm that is weird.

N&A: Do you not get the moon over here?

Dawne: What if we can’t find it?  Who should we call? The Police?

Zach: Naw… definitely the fire department – they have the ladders!

Jordan: Oh no! The Jewish holiday’s are going to be really messed up if we don’t find the moon.

Lucas: How will we know it’s Cousin Day?  It’s clearly a lunar holiday!


Monday was more gorgeous weather. Michelle and Ashley went on a bike ride, Nikki and Dawne (and Percy!) went on a paddle board ride. Lucas and I jumped in the lake before he left to hang with Arda, and I pulled out the big blue mat.  It seemed like the perfect day to try to play with all the toys, so next we had a lovely boat ride.  Percy was super happy!






Last week a year ago two very exciting things happened – I became a Harlem Globetrotter (please see official jersey as proof.) And, I managed to take Ryan and Joe through California Adventures and Disneyland, including reservations at the fancy new Star Wars bar, all before 5PM.  Which also meant that I was showered and taking a nap by 5:30! I don’t know if I have ever felt such sheer joy in an accomplishment before. 





In 2018, I went to see Zac Brown Band with Dr. Rach – another native from Georgia!




And in 2017, I went to a music festival with Nick and Shana and we got to see the Roots and Lorde.  Not. Too. Shabby.


 And here are things I found funny this week: 

Alright – that’s about it! Hope you are all falling into Fall nicely!


Love you!  T O’B