Friday, December 30, 2011

Wounded Knee

If you know me in real life, you know that i am passionate about justice, about raising a voice for those who have been silenced, about fighting white privilege. Yesterday i couldn't find the words to talk about this subject----the massacre at wounded knee--because my heart was heavy, full, laden with grief over the hatred of those who conquered the americas.

Here are some Lakota stories of this incident:

My friend Layli wrote a brief blog about this as well:

As always, history is written by those in power---and the truth so rarely is reflected in these histories. For example:
"There is nothing to conceal or apologize for in the Wounded Knee Battle - beyond the killing of a wounded buck by a hysterical recruit. The firing was begun by the Indians and continued until they stopped - with the one exception noted above."
"That women and children were casualties was unfortunate but unavoidable, and most must have been [killed] from Indian bullets...The Indians at Wounded Knee brought their own destruction as surely as any people ever did. Their attack on the troops was as treacherous as any in the history of Indian warfare, and that they were under a strange religious hallucination is only an explanation not an excuse."

...excerpts from an official investigation of Wounded Knee initiated at the behest of Congress, written by General E. D. Scott

So today i ask you all to do what our forefathers could not bring themselves to do in the first place: honor our Indian brothers and sisters, send prayers for the souls of those who have gone before, those who lost their lives to the racism of the descendants of Europeans, those who were stripped of their culture, placed in boarding schools, beaten for speaking their native tongue and lost their heritage, and those who continue to battle the ramifications of alcoholism and racism on the reservations and throughout this land they so honor and cherish.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

a non-whiny post about the dog

Neah was gifted two wonderful toys over the xmas holidays. It took her 1.5 hours to destroy each of them.

The first was a tennis ball with arms and legs---like the one on the right of this photo. She grabbed it by the foot, shook it furiously, smacking herself in the head with its various appendages.  It took her no time at all to dismantle the tennis ball in the middle. Then she devoured a foot, dismantled the string legs and got the rest confiscated.

Dismembering toys....oh my!

The second was from her grandparents and was a different color version of the ball on the left. She loved it. Shook it, threw it, pounced on it, and was protectively hiding it when i went to bed last night. However, this morning, there was a heap of felt pieces where the ball used to be and a slightly shamed but mostly proud looking Neah standing over the carnage pile. Oye Vey!

So, Neah thanks you for the presents. She doesn't apologize for destroying them, but is grateful she had something new to tear up because the gutted raccoon and skunk are getting boring.

Mostly though, this is a post about how crappily dog toys are made. Some we have literally have not survived for more than a few minutes. As it turns out, Maya (Raina's doggie) destroyed her version of the first toy in no time, too. I've come to the conclusion that either dog toy makers are brilliant capitalists---they know we can't resist and purchase pretty fun things for our dogs who destroy them, instantly requiring new toys--or they are evil brilliant capitalists--deliberately making crappy toys that fall apart instantaneously for the sake of being brilliant capitalists.

Either way, if one of you knows something my little shredder can't destroy, please please send along its name and i will buy like 50 of them.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

whirlwind tours

Note to self: if there are people around who remember BWC phone pass codes, your cell is not safe and you may end up with pictures of a bendy doll version of a famous female Alaskan as your background. I can't post it here, but if you want it, let me know and i will email it to you.

Our whirlwind tour to Seattle was just that. Adam at one point joked that clearly this trip we were going for quantity rather than quality---since an hour and a half seemed to be the longest bonding time we got with anyone. As we ran up and down from Auburn to La Conner, WA, we were grateful for many things. Here is a small list of our gratitude-s:

  1. Wonderful parents who shower us with love and drive us to the airport on no notice.
  2. Adam's grandparents (3 of 4 are still with us), who share such love, great stories, family history and jokes!
  3. Cousins.
  4. Rooein, his car and his apartment, and Kara for kidnapping him so we could have his car and apartment.
  5. Getting to spend time with A's siblings and fabulous nephew and nieces.
  6. Party mix (aka Chex mix, aka Adam's favorite part of xmas)
  7. Amazing friends who we miss terribly. Please move to alaska. please.
  8. Will the Corgi.
meanwhile---if anyone is a travel agent who can swing sweet deals.....hit me up.

Friday, December 23, 2011

an ongoing series of unfortunate events--pt.1

my mom loves lemmonysnikets (sp). and i kind of feel like that line is how our house hunting is going. this is a story about me not being the grumpier of the two of us. also, i think it might be part of a series.

we started looking in earnest last weekend, driving along icy roads with our hopes clinging to the hood of the car. we found two properties we really liked...and quite a few that would not be worth getting out of 480 sq feet for. one was a cute stand alone house with slate floors in the kitchen and bathroom, an immaculately landscaped back yard and general feeling of awesomeness (aside from the fact that there was a giant pair of antlers in it and the skin that must have come from the antler's owner over the edge of the bed). it had a regulation horseshoe pit, established veggie plantings, and a greenhouse

The other was a larger zero lot line, read: townhouse, with a huge backyard and separate laundry room and spacious bathroom. it's open floor plan made you feel like it was a proper house.

After getting excited, we lost a bidding war for house number one on monday (see the post about the mortgage). we turned around and offered on the other one. After what felt like an interminable amount of time (12 hrs), i noticed the status had gone to pending on the website. anticipation filled my heart....were we really home owners!

nope. the other one was already pending sale. that meant we had seen a house with a bid already on it. at this point, somehow, i became the calmer of the two of us as adam became very frustrated. having both we really liked slip through our fingers was painful at best. last night it snowed seven inches. i'm thinking that the housing gods were trying to bury our disappointment.

not to be melo-dramatic (i see you all snickering out there) but it is really exhausting putting so much emotional energy into finding a house. looking to see if you can make compromises, decide if it is really what you want, and then lose it from between your fingers. well, that and having to look at houses where tenants leave half eaten food all over and dirty underwear on the floor.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Moose versus Dog

Stolen off youtube....obviously.

It was late in the evening last night and i heard a distinct barking, the kind of bark that only means one thing: moose. I ran to the window and peered out to see. The wet snow had been falling pretty hard for about half an hour and the parking lot looked like it had a fresh coating.....except for where the moose and the dog were. Because i can't remember the boxer/pitt/lab mix's name, we are going to call him "Dog" for ease. Moose shall henceforth be known as "Big Girl". The owner, who will eventually appear, shall be called....nevermind i can't come up with an appropriate name that isn't sarcastic, rude or foul.

Dog and Big Girl were in the middle of the parking lot. Big Girl stood at least 8 feet tall and dog is a Medium large creature about 45-50lbs, We have met Dog before and Neah played with him. Dog is about the same age as Neah. So Dog was barking and puffing, acting tough and charging the moose. I watched this dance between Big Girl and Dog for a good 60 seconds before I began to wonder where on earth Dog's owner was. There's was no one calling for Dog. (Neah by this point had smelled the moose and begun to flip her ish in solidarity with Dog). I watched as Dog chased Big Girl across the parking lot and into the trees, a sort of two steps/bounds/hops forward three back affair, until they eventually disappeared into the yard that leads to the illegal gambling ring house.

Realizing i had stuck gold for the blog, i stayed at the window....still wondering where the hell owner was. Finally, about a minute or two after Dog chased Big Girl into the trees (they weren't far because i could still clearly hear the barking), owner sauntered up the sidewalk and strolled over to see where Dog had gone. Mind you, Dog is snarling and barking and clearly moving farther away. Owner yelled "Come" repeatedly---which i assume in dog language means "you go get that moose Dog!!" before yelling DAMMIT DOG COME HERE, tying his shoes and trekking into the woods after them--all of this in a truly laisse faire, i am sure the dog will mind me and come back here, non-chalant kind of way.

What ensued was 15 minutes of yelling, barking, and the sound of the yelling and barking getting more distant.

I began to fret that there would be no ending for this epic story---i mean, clearly i had to figure out what was going to happen so i would have a decent story to tell all of you. i remained glued to the window, peering between the slats like the creepy old lady who spies on the neighborhood children. Another 15 minutes of relative silence and then i saw a shadow come down the street.....holding its hat and muttering. It was owner and owner was NOT followed, although he kept lookin over his shoulder like he thought it would magically be there, by either Big Girl or Dog.

So far, no lost dog listing on i am hoping they found him.

Monday, December 19, 2011

one revolution around the sun

a year ago, i had just graduated from law school. i was in my sweatpants, chatting with early guests, watching heidi save the cupcakes, loving how layli took such good care of me as i got ready, hugging mona for the first time that weekend, fighting back tears because my whole tribe was in one place--coming from as far away as london, beijing, and kuwait.

it was the only sunny day in december, perfect and peaceful.

it is hard for me to realize i have been away from the people i adore for a year. i am a nostalgic creature by nature---and i find myself rolling around in the pictures of that day, lost, wading, searching for hugs from two dimensional arms and listening to silent laughter.

i've learned a lot this last year.
here are ten things i don't mind sharing publicly.

  1. think twice about a pet when you have only been married a week.
  2. think twice about staying in a 500sq ft apt for an entire year.
  3. think twice about not getting snow might result in both cars getting into accidents in the same week.
  4. i am not a patient person....and that is no one's fault or responsibility but mine.
  5. my overplanning causes underplanning by my spouse....conversely, when i refuse to plan, he gets super organized....hmmmm.
  6. the secret to happiness may just be not going to bed at the same time....or getting another xbox remote....or adam being able to shoot things. choose your own best answer.
  7. no marriage is perfect, but if you chose the perfect partner you always keep growing.and love each other at least equally with how crazy the other person drives you and that matters most. :)
  8. think twice about a pet when you have only been married a week
  9. if one of you is a nomad, living at the end of the universe might not be the best plan ever....or make sure you have a large travel fund.
  10. heidi's mom was right-----kindness is always better than rightness.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

fishy fishy.

when we were little kids, we always had a tropical fish tank. i think this was the parental solution/prevention of more gerbils (read: rapidly procreating rodents). invariably, there was always at least one fish that had "ick" which is apparently a technical term for some kind of fish-sickness. we each had our designated fish, the most notable of which was a silver dollar fish named "silvery" that belonged to Anna. Silvery, much like neah the dog, was afraid of everything. now, i'm going to ask you to put your psycho-analysis of what kind of horrible person i am for doing this on hold, but.....i decided that it was really funny to flail my hands at the tank and watch this flat silver fish swim with all its might to the opposite corner and bang into the edge of the aquarium. needless to say anna was not impressed with her older sibling's antics.

anyways, that whole, long story was just to tell you we had fish that we were attached to as kids and didn't eat much fish. They had faces. Nemo can't be eaten. Silvery didn't deserve panic attacks. what that meant was that i have been struggling for the last 20 something years to learn to like consume fish. at this point, i've gotten to where i am okay with white fish (you know the flounder, tilapia and halibut of the world) because they don't taste like fish and i can convince myself its something else.

in an effort to broaden our diet, i've been trying to make more fish. this week's attempt was a success, however!! Creamed leek and tilapia over brown rice with corn bread. Also...not at all related to fish, i've started making my own chili seasonings, which are much better than McCormicks if i do say so myself. a light kind of went off in the last week and i stopped really adhering to recipes and started just throwing stuff in and tasting.

adam, of course, is taking full advantage of telling me how amazing my cooking is---not because he actually likes it but because he doesn't want to have to cook. i guess i told him the ill fated story of how my father ended up doing all the cooking in our house and he's trying to avoid it like the plague.

so, to all the fishys of the universe....i will cook you. beware.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

another martha's a big girl story.

I'm about to tell you another martha-teresa-big-girl story. you know, the ones where i attempt to assert myself on the universe Adam is either epically embarrased by whatever it isi have done or completely oblivious. This time it is the former and not the latter.

we went to meet with a mortgage broker yesterday. i was scared. let me rephrase, i was overly optimistic prior to hearing her go "i think the best i can do for you is $$$", which truly might as well have been $5 because it sure wasn't the cool million i was thinking it would be in my head. anyways, i had created a magical delusion in my head by which school loans would be in some other mythical category than other debt. i had tricked myself into believing they would see "attorney-at-law" and allow us to have up to what we thought we could afford rather than what THEY think we can afford. hah. my jedi mind tricks don't work on mortgage brokers.

She politely told us something about the magic debt-to-income ratio for a mortgage and i really should not have picked up the credit report because the combination of the two and the uncomfortable chair created a magic portal into the twilight zone, where Adam's credit score ended up higher than mine. anyone who knows us knows that only ONE of us is a planner, is meticulous about HER credit, and pays all bills in advance just to make sure that there is absolutely no bad things on HER credit report. Where the hell was the Chesire Cat, because clearly we were down the rabbit hole here.
and there it was, not only did adam have better credit than me (by like 20 points on one out of three reports, not that i'm counting), but my dream of instantly moving into a colassal alaskan home with southern exposure, scenic mountain views, a sauna, wood paneling and moose that roam freely between the master house and the adjoining smaller in-law/parent house dissapated. Well, figuring that out sent me from quietly in shock to creeping toward hell hath no fury like the women in my family.  I could have sworn i thought about escaping, but when i came back to i was sitting in front of a very kind lady who surely did not deserve my surliness.

apparently adam thought about kicking me, when i said "are you serious" in that tone that means, "screw you." I managed to get it back together eventually, but there's an important lesson here for future forays to funders: keep m&ms nearby in case of emergency.
you see, sometimes my heart just feels too full--like a dementor attack--hence the chocolate. as the nice showed adam all the cardboard boxes under bridges we could get for the $$$, i had a flashback to a conversation with Heidi over the weekend, where i found myself repeatedly saying that this growing up thing REALLY is for the birds (in words that can't be repeated on this blog). The realities of adulthood snuck up on me this week---friends and acquaintances losing children, concern for parental well-being, the attempt to buy a house, etc. At the same time, there is such joy too.  New babies, watching pee-wee hockey and laughing for half an hour, the unconditional love of a pet, stolen glances with spouses, the creation of dreams, new marriages, and love letters from far away.

for a moment i felt like Q, needing speed to slow down. and then it was over. we stood, shook hands, smiled politely, and walked out into the snow on the hunt for the perfect cardboard box--with me mulling over my bad behavior, equally confused between what happened to me and how adam turned into the planner about this house thing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

my own FAIL blog

I was having a good morning, mostly, for like ten minutes.
It started off a little rough---i took a shower and came back to find this:

Yup. evicted from my own spot on the bed. at least it is her head and not her other end on my pillow.

Instill in dog a sense of Mar's space on bed = FAIL

Then i went out to the car. Seems the ice might have hurt the plastic underneath the car a little last night. Read: the ice almost acted like a fulcrum. i tried kicking the ice first with my boots, but that only managed to hurt my foot. So i thought i would wack at it with the ice scraper to try and break down the ice-wall preventing me from backing out of the parking spot. this seemed like a genius plan---surely my industrial Alaskan ice scraper was up to the challenge. and, for a moment, i was a hacking diva, little chards of ice flying away from the car until....
I broke the scraper in half--yes.
Remove Ice by hitting ice wall with scraper like hitting a hoe in dirt = FAIL. 

then i got to work---where for a second i thought i had a monster stroke of genius and solved the problem that has been perplexing me for weeks. At least, i was sure enough that i went around telling everyone i am a genius. I drafted pages on the theory---and then as if on cue at 3pm, I discovered the legislature thwarted me with its wording. Read: i can't read english right.

Solve complicated contract/elections law question (aka read english) = FAIL

i'm thinking maybe no cooking dinner tonight.