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

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Snoop Dog Wine


Update 8/24 – 8/30


Hi Friend!


Last week was fraught with “adulting” which in my world, is rarely a good thing.  I am trying to be very Pollyanna about things, so let me put my rose colored glasses on and see how it goes!  First, my toilet broke early last week, but the really great news is I was able to identify the problem, order the right part, and fix it myself all without having to pay for a professional.  And then, my car was burglarized.  Emergency cash, a ziplock bag of hand sanitizer and Percy travel back pack were taken.  Truthfully, I had been using the emergency cash for people in need when I’m driving around, and I have plenty of hand sanitizer so I can chuck it up to “They probably needed it more than I do.”  The Percy bag was a bigger blow because it had an emergency key to my house, and they don’t make that bag anymore, and it’s a bag I use all the time because it’s what Percy feels comfortable traveling in.  But I had found an extra one on ebay recently, so this just means I go back to the old version, and will have to keep an eye out for another that isn’t falling apart.  I watched a movie this past weekend that has the young lady from Moana and Carol Burnett.  I stepped out of my “only watch or read things that you know make you happy” comfort zone for this one.  And then I ended up crying for a good 45 min.  It was a little Pollyanna in the story telling.  At one point, this girl with no home, sleeping on a park bench with her tiny dog, has her bag stolen with all of her money it (it is also where she kept her pup.)  It was devastating for her, and just reminded me how fortunate I am to have the same things (basically) stolen, and it’s not at all devastating.  My car was out in front of my house, and since there was a spare key in the bag, my other adulting was replacing my door locks.  Again, I did this all by myself, despite the fact that the previous owner managed to strip screws on every thing I try to replace or fix in my place. 


Quick update: I got an email yesterday saying that someone had found the bag (Percy’s travel papers were inside, hence my contact info).  I’m going to find a friend to go with me to try to get it back.  Really hoping that there are awesome people in the world and less murder-y ones!)


I’m not sure how excited Percy actually is about my walking kick.  Sometimes I do two walks if I can get the people to go with me (or in many cases, I find someone to walk and talk over the phone for some seriously distanced social distancing.)  I was walking with Erika at one point and she delighted me with this story.  Apparently, Daphne was trying to have an online class, which she must have touched something that made the video screen disappear.  Erika went up to Daphne’s room, irritated and very razzlefrazzle and some minor swearing.  Her eldest, Toby, came in, and fixed the issue and then turned to Erika and said, “I need some help in my room after this.” Erika follows Toby into his room, and Toby suggests that Erika take a seat and then explains, “Okay, Mom. I want you to know, that when we were in front of Daphne’s screen the video and sound were still on and probably heard everything you said, and saw your face.” Oh man, I love this kid!

Friday evening I took a bottle or two of Snoop Dogg wine over to my next door neighbors to enjoy her fire.  I’m getting kind of excited about having a friendly neighbor!  And bummed that I had my first outdoor hang just as the summer is coming to a close.  After I changed the locks, in Saturday I met up with Becky and Jared at the park (it had been far too long!)  Sunday, I went to hang out with D&J.  We had a lovely boat ride and also watched Midnight in Paris in the pool.   Every weekend feels like it could be the last great summer weekend – but I keep hoping the weather holds up and we have a very mild winter so my outdoor excursions can continue. 


That’s about the summary – hope you all are enjoying life!



I spent the week in Anaheim at Halo Outpost, soaking up the universe I spend so much time in, and meeting a lot of really awesome fans. 



I also went to see Zack Brown Band with Dr. Rach!  Below you’ll find pictures of Percy picking a fight with an obnoxious “No Barking” sign, a coned Casper sleeping with his lil tongue out, and an HP funny.  This was also when Casper had emergency surgery, and the doctors were able to work a miracle and save him.  We also found out he had cancer, and they gave him about a month to live so we loved up on this dog harder than any dog has been loved.  We got many more months more than one, but this was the week that we went from enjoying our good boy, to cherishing every moment we had with him. 





We all hung outside checking out the solar eclipse while listening to things like “Black Hole Sun.”



Momela: Your father was responding to a text from June 10 2013 and wants you to know that he does respond to messages.


Frita:  I thought about taking your mom’s wallet but didn’t think she’d appreciate that.


Much Love,