Wednesday, November 29, 2006

the irony is not lost on me.

How many times did I complain about the snow while we lived in Maine? Um, the answer to that would be ... a lot. Like here. And here. And here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here...

One of the biggest reasons we moved home to Seattle was because I hated, hated, hated the winters in Maine. Hated. The snow, the cold, the wet, never being warm...all of it.

Well, apparently God is playing a joke on me this week with the weather we've had. We had a decent amount of snow on Sunday night and Monday, enough to make Monday's commute home and Tuesday's commute to work nothing short of hellacious. All that snow melted and then froze over again, making today treacherous in terms of walking to/from the bus but otherwise not really that bad.

Of all the time I lived in the Pacific Northwest before, even in my years growing up in Portland, Oregon, I can't remember a time when it's snowed as much or been as cold as it has been here during the past several days.

(Aside: Ok, this is not that bad in terms of some of the snowstorms I've experienced, really. The ones in Maine were much worse. However, the key difference here is the lack of preparation on the part of the city, and the fact that no one seems to have heard of ice-melt, let alone think to use it.)

The weather people kept saying how we were supposed to get more today, and all day the sky had that gray, heavy look that seems to indicate snow is imminent. But it never snowed, even though it never broke 32 degrees. I kind of figured it was all a bunch of hype and that it wouldn't really snow.

Um. Yeah. I? Was very, very wrong.

I just took these photos outside our front door about 15 minutes ago. It is snowing so thick and fast...the snow is just piling up. The flakes are HUGE, really, the biggest I've ever seen. (I caught several on my tongue! FUN!)


Anyway, it's all supposed to freeze over tonight, which will make for an interesting commute in the morning. But in the meantime, Brett is calling me from bed, so I should go join him there since it's late and I'll probably wind up getting up early to try to catch an earlier bus.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

hi, my name's Kathleen...

...and, oh, yeah, I have a blog.

I can't believe it's almost been a month since I posted. I was talking to Brett the other night on the train, on our way back from our Thanksgiving trip to Portland (more about that later...lots of thoughts swimming around in my head about family, and loyalty, and becoming a grownup) and I was telling him about how I need to update my blog more.

It's hard, though, (I said) becuase I don't have time at work and don't feel right about doing it at work, and when I get home, either we usually have somewhere to be, I start making dinner, or Brett is on the computer and I don't get a chance to do anything but maybe if I am very very lucky check my email.

Anyway. All two of you who still check it will be, I am sure, shaking your heads and mumbling, "Excuses, excuses." Which, yes, true. Excuses.

I was emailing with a friend with whom I used to work at the newspaper in Maine, about being a writer and about how I really miss writing a lot more than I thought I would. She said this, "You're a writer, Kathleen, you always will be. Whether or not you get paid for it or are doing it everyday, you will always be a writer ... Keep writing, in whatever capacity you can. Make your blog your Gazette. I know its different because the pressure of employment isn't there, but in some way, it is your livelihood."

And she's right. I need to make this blog like my newspaper was to me in Maine. I need to write in here often. I need to hone my language, my vocabulary, my style.

So...I'm not going to make any vague promises to post more (because it's been done before and, well, just look how well that turned out. But I am going to say that I want to post more, and that I am going to work at building time into my schedule to post more, if for no other reason than to exercise my writing muscle, as it were.

Ok, I do need to get going -- so I'm sorry this is abrupt...but I'd rather it be abrupt and have a post there, I guess, than have it be the most beautifully-crafted entry I'd prefer to write.

Friday, November 03, 2006

updates, and thoughts on friendship

The people upstairs are gone, praise the Lord! They moved out on Wednesday and all has been quiet here since. I didn't wear my earplugs to bed Wednesday night or Thursday night and it was great.

Brett is in Portland this weekend, doing family-like things, so I am just hanging with the girls. Tonight, Marci and I went to Prost! and had some beer (I had the Drinken Acker Dukel and also the Optimator, both of which were heavenly, and both of which have combined to give me a verrry nice beery buzz) (yay beery buzz!) and a really great, really deep conversation about everything from marriage to God to sex to the devil to kids to art. It was awesome. We left with both of us saying that we need to hang out more. It's true, too. (We met Caleb and Marci in Maine, and they were our only Christian couple friends for a while, [our only friends period for a while] until they moved to Seattle. Brett and Caleb are really good friends, too. It's so great to be in the same city again, and so rare that wives and husbands would both get along really, really well. We need to take advantage of that.) Anyway, it felt really good to talk and to be understood and to be heard, and in turn, to listen and understand, on a deep level.

And, not only did Marci and I have a great talk, but I had another great talk (on the phone) tonight with one of my dearest friends, Daisy. It was just one of those conversations that flowed, which is how every conversation we have is, even if it's been months in between phone calls or visits. She is one of the only people in my life that I can share with on every single level. I'm so glad that we are friends. It still amazes me that we were just randomly (randomly! ha! It was sooo God) paired together as roommates back in the day.

Plus, tomorrow night, Bree and I are going to have a girly sleepover night! Woo hoo! I'm looking forward to that. Ice cream, cable tv, girly movies...yay. I need some fun!

I usually hate it when Brett goes out of town; I feel all lost and lonely and sad. Hoever, this time it's proving to be wonderful, at least so far, with all the female relationship-building that's going on. I feel really surrounded by female, Christian friendship through Marci and Daisy tonight...and that is such a wonderful and refreshing feeling. I feel very blessed to have these ladies in my life.

I missed this so much while we were in Maine. With the exception of Marci (who moved here to Seattle a little less than a year after we met) and Becca, I didn't have very many close friends in Maine. There were others who lived farther away from us, with whom I wanted to be closer but but because of our physical distance, I didn't get to see very often. I regret now that I didn't try harder to build those friendships.

Especially before we found Missio Dei, I didn't have girlfriends...and I missed that so very keenly the first couple of years we were there. I remember one time specifically, about nine months or so after we moved to Maine, probably just after Caleb and Marci moved to Seattle, where I saw two female acquaintances of ours who happened to be good friends hanging out together, and they were both just laughing, so hard, at something, just like I had once done with people like Bree and Daisy. And I just stood there and watched them laugh together, and felt so very lonely at that moment because I had no one to laugh like that with. So, of course, having that lonely experience behind me made tonight all the richer, and made me realize how much of a blessing (and necessity, at least for me) it is to have female friends who will listen and love and talk and laugh and tell it like it is.

What really wound up being a savior for me while I was in Maine was the Snarkies, especially one or two. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: when I didn't have any real, physical, female community, they were there, supporting, loving, challenging, and caring -- all of them. It still blows my mind that I know them, and that nearly three years later, the group is still active. It's so amazing, and such a blessing.

I also had a really great unburdening email conversation this week with C. It felt good to get it all out and to be able to say things I'd been thinking in secret for months, and to have those feelings validated and understood.

Anyway. I hadn't had a deep, in-person conversation like the two (two! how awesome is that? not to mention my email conversation with C!) I had tonight in a very long time, and it just felt so good to unburden, to open up, to share in a way that I don't do very often. I feel very much lighter and free-er. (Yeah, I know free-er isn't a word, and that it should be more free, but it's late and I am tired and remember -- I have a beery buzz. And the more I think about grammar right now, the more that beery buzz is leaving me. So I'm just going to let that one slide.)

I should go to bed before I ramble on any more. But let me leave this on the table: I'm so thankful for my friends, each and every one of you. Thanks for encouraging me, for praying for me, for loving me, for listening to me, and for just being there. I'm truly blessed to have you all in my life.

I like that idea!

A couple of my friends have taken similar quizzes recently, so I thought I'd take one as well. I could certainly live with these results!








What City Best Fits you??




PARISYou are a very relaxed person, you rather go to a place were everyone is polite and private. You like to be by yourself alot with not many people around you you are a very elegant and romantic person, thats why paris is a very good place for you since everyone respects eachother and doesn't get in your way.
Take this quiz!






*singing* Oh, Champs Elysees (bah-dah-dah-dah-dah) OHHHH, Champs Elysees! (bah-DAH-DAH-bah-dah) Au soleil, sur la pluie, a midi ou a minuit, il y a tous que vous voulez au Champs Elysees.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

soap

Aside from the fact that Brett is completely discouraged about not having a job, it seems he has waaaay too much time on his hands.

He's been using his time well, for the most part, working on a website to show his art (which is up and running, although very basic at this point) and trying to get one of his mopeds running. (Both of them broke down last week.)

So anyway, yesterday, I get this call from Brett as I'm riding home on the bus.

Me: [whispering, because I haaate people talking on their cell phones on the bus] Hello?

Him: Hey.

Me: What's up? I'm on the bus.

Him: Um, well, there's something wrong with the dishwasher.

Me: What's wrong?

Him: Um, well, there are bubbles coming out of it.

Me: [thinking, Ohhh, shit.] Did you put the wrong soap in it?!?!

Him: I think maybe I did.

Me: [cracking up, having lost most of my quietness] Well, TURN IT OFF!!!

Him: Ok...

So we laughed, talked about what to do about it, and got off the phone.

Later, I was asking him about it.

Me: So why did you put the dish soap in there?

Him: Well, it cuts grease really well...

Me: [aghast, as the realization hits] You didn't put MOPED PARTS in there?!?!?

Him: Well, my engine was all greasy.

I got kind of upset at that point because he has a (very annoying) habit of using my kitchen things for moped work, so I'll stop this recap...but it was pretty funny, especially because a few years back, I had a traumatic experience with dish soap in a dishwasher.

It was in college, and I was living in a house with, like 8 other girls for the summer, because it was cheap and I was going to France and wouldn't need a place for much more than a few weeks on either end of the France trip. (Note to self: never, never live in a place with, like 8 girls and one shower. Especially when the landlord decides to rip out the shower and take ninety jillion years to repair it, and will only come work if you agree to babysit his terror of a three-year-old son.)

I was preparing for my trip to France with meticulous care. Having never traveled abroad before, I was packing and re-packing my newly-purchased backpack almost daily, trying to fit everything in. I had it on the floor of my basement room, with all the other crap I was bringing in my carry on -- books, extra clothes, toiletries, CDs -- stacked around it.

A couple of mornings before I left, I woke up to extremely loud laughter and banging coming from the kitchen over my head. I didn't think much of it, until I heard my friend Bree's voice yelling and laughing, too. A few minutes later, she and Katy came running down the stairs to my room, cracking up.

"What's going on?" I asked, still groggy from sleep.

"I was running the dishwasher," Katy explained through her laughter, "and something's wrong! All the sudden it just started shooting bubbles and water out!"

Bree and Katy and I spent the next few minutes cracking up at all of the water and bubbles on the kitchen floor.

And then? I heard the dripping.

You see, my bag -- my meticulously packed bag, full of clean clothing and new books -- was right. under. the. dishwasher.

And what was dripping but soapy, nasty water, right through the floorboards and onto my brand new bag.

Katy denied that she'd put the wrong kind of soap in, but both Bree and I thought privately that she had, and that was confirmed when the landlord came out and couldn't find anything wrong with the dishwasher.

It was traumatic at the time, and I remember kind of flipping out, but everything turned out fine, and while I've lost touch with Katy, Bree and I still look back in fondness and laugh at that morning.

In fact, I called Bree to tell her about Brett's experience just after I got off the bus yesterday.

"Hi Bree, It's Leen."

"Hey Leen!"

"Um, so guess what just happened. I was on the bus, and Brett called, and he said there was a problem with the dishwasher."

"Uh, oh," she said, as she started to laugh, knowing exactly where I was going.

"Yeah," I said, "He put the wrong kind of soap in."

We spent the next few minutes cracking up all over again about the incident that happened five years ago, and the water and bubbles taht were all over my France bag.

Who knew that five years later we'd still be laughing?

So, let this be a lesson: Never, EVER, put regular dish soap in the dishwasher. Bad -- yet funny and memorable -- things are sure to occur.