Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bachelor Weekend & Cleme Update

This weekend was my first time alone in over 10 months. Allie and Clementine left me Saturday afternoon to spend the weekend with girlfriends at the coast. It was almost eerie having the house to myself that Saturday evening, Sunday, and Monday morning. I made Allie send me a photo on Sunday which was my first full day away from Clementine ever.


During my time alone I attached four bookshelves to the wall (to protect our standing/climbing baby), mowed the lawn, did yard work and cleaning, played Magic, hung out with friends, blasted country music albums on my record player, ate lots of tacos, and watched Youth in Revolt.

The previous Monday or so Clementine finally sprouted her first tooth—on the bottom middle—and when she and Allie came back from the coast she had another—one of her upper canines! Clementine got to play in the sand for the first time and visited Tillamook Cheese Factory where she enjoyed the free cheese samples and got a rubber toy of Tillie the Tillamook Cheese cow. Apparently, she grabbed it and immediately put her mouth on the toy cow udder! The girls finally got back around noon Monday to my great relief.

Clementine is really growing into a toddler. I keep saying, "She's so grown up!" She has stood freely on her own a few times (not holding onto anything), and has started walking while holding onto things. Last night she stood up, moved down the coffee table and grabbed a large, glass mug. She expertly put the lip of the mug to her mouth and tilted the cup back. Unfortunately (for her not us) the glass was empty. Still I was so impressed with her coordination.

Last night she pulled the screen shammy out of Allie's kindle case and was playing with it for 10 minutes or so. I kept talking to her about the shammy, the first time she's heard the word I would imagine. When she finally lost track of it and dropped it, I said "Clementine, where's your shammy?" She turned her little body around and looked back and forth until she spotted the thing, grabbing it in response to my query. I was so impressed that she had already learned the word—I know she is learning like crazy but since she doesn't speak back, it can be hard to judge how much she's actually picking up.

Clementine also reached a milestone on May 29. She turned 42 weeks and 5 days old. Meaning she has officially been out in the world for as long as she was in her mother's womb. She'll be ten months old on the 4th of June!

Xiu Xiu Live!

Tuesday night I went out with my friend John I. to see one of my favorite modern bands – Xiu Xiu! I took the bus and got there at 10PM in time for the second opening band. Xiu Xiu played a great set, speeding up the tempo on a lot of the songs. Jamie Stewart played tons of guitar. I was especially excited to see them perform New Order/Joy Division's "Ceremony," their recorded version of which is one of my faves. For the encore, they did an amazing, intense cover of "Frankie Teardrop" by Suicide. I had never heard the original until after the next day. It's a great song, but very sad and disturbing. I think it is worth noting that 1 out of every 7 people who have watched the song via youtube do not like it.



John took this photo at the show:



The show was at Doug Fir on 8th and E. Burnside. That's pretty far from our house and I was worried about the trek home. Luckily I was able to catch both of my buses. It took 80 minutes to get home. I made it halfway through George Orwell's Animal Farm during the journey. I spent half an hour sitting outside a Popeye's Chicken on NE 82nd. A shack across the street advertising live nude girls was the only thing open. I got home at 1:45 AM, showered, and climbed into bed with my family at 2:00 AM. It was a great night!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Red Carpet Family

Last night, there was a big retirement party for a lady at my work. The theme was "Oscar Night." I stayed at work late and Allie and Clementine met me there. Cleme enjoyed the deluxe appetizers- mozzarella balls, goat cheese, dates, chocolate-dipped strawberries. Everyone was very complimentary of our little cutie. At the end of the night we posed in front of a green screen for this glamour shot.

Plus Minus, 5/20/12

Oh no! My first week coming out even. The problem is I finally started spending a bit of our tax refund money. Allie and I got rid of our matching Lava Lamps. Both of our mothers bought the same lava lamp when we were 17 or 18. We thought this was cute when we started dating, but finally had to let them go. We've been getting rid of tons of other stuff, but I'm not listing it since it's more Allie's stuff than mine--some of the bigger stuff includes a treadmill, an exercise bike, and a screen projector.

MINUS
1.      LAVA LAMPS
2.      PILLOW CASE
3.      EXTRA VEGETABLE PEELER
4.      KITCHEN RUG
5.      CINERAMA CD
6.      HOT CHIP CD
7.      DARTH VADER NIGHT LIGHT
8.      GUAPO SHELVING UNIT

PLUS
1.      DO IT AGAIN: A TRIBUTE TO PET SOUNDS CD
2.      BRIAN WILSON IMAGINATION DVD
3.      BEACH BOYS FAQ BOOK
4.      SQUEEZE: SWEETS FROM A STRANGER (RECORD)
5.      THE VENTURES: WHERE THE ACTION IS (RECORD)
6.      RON WOOD: I'VE GOT MY OWN ALBUM TO DO (RECORD)
7.      THE MONKEES: INSTANT REPLAY BOX SET
8.      NEIL DIAMOND: HOME BEFORE DARK CD

PLUS MINUS, 5-13-12

I was really disappointed in Peter Kuper's quasi memoir STOP FORGETTING TO REMEMBER and had to get rid of it after reading it. The computerized coloring and color scheme, the narration, and the computerized lettering (only in the black boxes) were all so unappealing I couldn't keep the book. Plus I feel like I read a lot of those stories in different versions in his older books. I got rid of GRACE (which I snatched from the Guapo inventory) when I realized I would NEVER get into Jeff Buckley's album (outside of "Hallelujah").

MINUS
1.      STOP FORGETTING TO REMEMBER GN
2.      JEFF BUCKLEY'S GRACE (33 1/3 BOOK)
3.      BIG BAG OF SHEETS AND BLANKETS
4.      THREE PAINTINGS

PLUS
1.      JOHNNY CASH'S AMERICAN RECORDINGS (33 1/3 BOOK)
2.      BEACH BOYS ISSUE OF MOJO, WITH PET SOUNDS TRIBUTE CD!
3.      CS LEWIS BOOK

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Plus Minus, 5-6-12

I skipped last week's "Plus Minus" because I didn't buy anything. However, the next week I went nuts. In my defense, items 3-8 all came in our once-a-month Guapo order, where I get myself comics at wholesale cost. We used our tax refund to get the new couch and computer. Our old laptop busted the very weekend in April during which we finished our taxes (thankfully all of our data is tracked in and an online software.
 
MINUS
 
1.      SPIDER-MAN: NEGATIVE EXPOSURE TP BY BRIAN K. VAUGHN
2.      REED COLLEGE MAGAZINE (I wouldn't normally count this, since I never keep the magazine, but I've been saving this one for a year so I could read a particular article in it. I finally got off my butt and read it!
3.      MONKEES: OUR FAVORITE EPISODES DVD
4.      THE CITY BY DERF
5.      CD
6.      RETURN BEACH BOYS RECORD TO DAD (after 4 years or so of borrowing)
7.      RETURN DONOVAN RECORD TO DAD (after 10 years or so of borrowing)
8.      RETURN DOORS RECORD TO DAD (after 14 years or so of borrowing)
9.      RETURN ELECTRIC PRUNES RECORD TO DAD (after 10 years or so of borrowing)
10.  RETURN LOVE RECORD TO DAD (after 4 years or so of borrowing)
11.  RETURN OUTLAWS RECORDS TO DAD (after 14 years or so of borrowing)
12.  GOT RID OF BOX FULL OF HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS (Who needs 'em? We're going as natural as possible.)
13.  RECYCLED OLD RABBIT CAGE, THREE OLD LITTER TRAYS, TWO OLD GARBAGE CANS, ONE OLD LAUNDRY HAMPER
14.  OLD COUCH
 
PLUS

1.      BEACH BOYS: 50 ANNIVERSARY ZINEPAK/CD
2.      ROD STEWART: ATLANTIC CROSSING CD
3.      HARVEY PEKAR'S CLEVELAND
4.      JERUSALEM GN BY GUY DELISLE
5.      NEW MUTANTS CLASSIC VOL 4
6.      RESET #1 BY PETER BAGGE
7.      SAGA #2 BY BRIAN K. VAUGHN
8.      PRESIDENTIAL PEZ BOX SET
9.      NEW COUCH
10.  NEW COMPUTER
11.  MAGIC AVACYN DECK plus more cards