Wednesday, April 30, 2008



Papa Seed putting in the Marmoleum floor in our Utility Room

Another room pretty much up and running this evening, now with new floors. Papa Seed finished the floor up yesterday, he moved my old desk in today, and right now he is using his laptop in there while my clothes are spinning in the shiny big dryer that came with the place. In the last house, the broken down washer and dryer were in a dark, moldy, dusty basement where slivers of wood and cobwebs would gather on freshly washed clothes and rats would leave their rat poop while they were taunting us to be caught.

We still have to get a little table set up to fold clothes on. I found one on line via Ikea that I like. Folding clothes is my favorite household chore. In fact, it may be the only household chore I can even tolerate. Now I'll get to do it in a clean, bright, perfectly cheerful room. With Marmoleum floors.

Hell and Heaven

This morning was Day One of riding the bus to work. Papa Seed and I worked it out that he will walk the fluffy boys in the morning so I can just worry about getting to work. It went fairly smoothly, but I need to work out a few kinks. I have no patience for the I never ride the bus folks and I hope as gas prices soar that they become an endangered species, however I am not crazy about tacking on an extra 45 minutes to my commute.

Since I leave pretty darn early, I expected the bus to be empty. When I got to the bus stop there were already five folks there, and once we got on there were no seats left. Call me a Bourgeois Swine but I want a seat on the bus. It got more crowded before we hit the highway, and the temperature in the bus seemed to be 153 degrees with 97% humidity. I was carrying my work bag, a to-go mug, and wearing a coat. Tomorrow I will not be wearing a coat and I'm putting a thermos in my bag. That will free up one hand and hopefully reduce the sweat to a slow moist flow rather than a broken fire hydrant. I was hoping I could read. I can't read when I'm holding on for dear life, with one hand on a coffee mug, with sweat leaving the top of my head and heading towards my thighs in record speed. And the bus driver seemed to be reaching record speeds on the highway as well.

So in addition to the things I've learned to do tomorrow, I will get my iPod ready and hooked in my ears like the hipsters all do before I get on the bus. No coat, No to-go mug, iPod ready. Since I have probably listened to my iPod for all of an hour since getting it, and since I've added about 300 podcasts to the thing, this is taking advantage of my investment.

Once downtown, and I love being downtown in the morning and I love the feeling of freedom I have when I ride the bus, I waited for the novelty streetcar or SLUT, a perfectly ridiculous expense in the vastness of public transportation needs. It is not without charm, and shiny as well. The motorman was friendly, the seats way too tight but clean, and there is a canned articulate female voice announcing each stop along the mile or so it travels. Each stop is sponsored by a public agency or health institution, so I learned. It was cute in a Disneyland kind of way. As we all know, the difference between Disneyland and Hell is one week. I doubt I'll find the voice cute next Wednesday.

I got to work not only on time - perhaps a first - but early.

Not quite a hike up Mount Everest, but my adventure for the day. Work goes by quickly on Wednesday since it is a meeting day and a short day. During lunch I checked in on My Space where for the first time I joined a "conversation" in one of their forums - this one on gay parenting. I found it last night and couldn't resist in spite of knowing better. Mancub came in when I was typing something up and asked what I was doing, so I told him I was in an on-line discussion about gay parents and that some of the folks didn't think gay people should ever be parents. He asked what I said back, and I told him that I had posted "Y'all can kiss my ass! which he found funny. It wasn't what I really had done however, and so I confessed I hadn't. I said some of the folks were saying that it is wrong for the kids and that the kids don't have a say and don't get to pick their parents. He laughed even more and said I got to pick you guys! with a huge smile. I said, and that is actually what I wrote.

The responses I read during my lunch break were less than kind. I'm apparently being selfish and ruining his life. Foster kids aren't for experimenting. Blah, blah fuckin' blah. I need to crawl into a hole like these folks and ignore outside influences. Or stop expecting a civilized discussion in a My Space forum.

Ah, but the end of the day and the bus ride home was fine and I got to read. And this is what I get to home to each day. Heaven.


Our Creek

Monday, April 28, 2008


Actually it was less a howl than a cry, or a series of cries, but I'm pretty sure we just had our first aural "sighting" of the coyotes. It was one of those what is that? sounds, and then the furry boys stood up with tilted heads. I asked Papa Seed if he heard what I was hearing and he said Is that the coyotes? We ran to the door, but then the sirens started. He said he was having lunch at the same table as some guys (at the Taco Truck, where we also had dinner) who said they hear them whenever there are sirens.

Soon this will probably become commonplace, but not this evening.

Papa Seed spent the day putting the marmoleum floor in the Utility Room. We almost have that together. Right now he is using the studfinder to help him put up some shelves. Studfinder. Yep, the jokes just wrote themselves, and although we try to avoid the easy ones - we had to do a few witty moments of old school camp, because genetically we couldn't not.

And speaking of old, I'm now getting those cuts on my arm that appear from nowhere, bleed painlessly for a few hours, then leave a dried deep red memento. For his part, Papa Seed has started sporting the socks and sandals look - in fact he walked the Home Depot runway with it tonight. Oh the countless hours when we would laugh and smirk and howl, with pointed fingers and rolling eyes for that one. Now, there he is enjoying, as he puts it, the comfort that he never knew and now understands. Since he is over 40, as he also would be the first to tell you, he doesn't need to care.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Frites and Crumb

Mr. Gumball

Mancub made this in Wood Shop. We love it - made us laugh hysterically. We tried using Mr. Gumball for dog snacks, but they don't work out so well as it turns out. We will need to get some human snacks. Maybe gumballs, but now that I'm thinking about it I think maybe the coconut jelly beans I've been craving would work out nicely in Mr. Gumball. I used to hate jelly beans, but I don't anymore. Coconut jelly beans are a special kind of pleasure.

There is so much to do that I have kind of checked out and have been playing on the computer. I made a playlist on one of those sites where you do such things and then force your musical tastes on others who dare look at your profile in an on line community. I think folks should feel lucky to hear Frank Sinatra singing Cycles as I'm doing now, or Victor Jara or Silvio Rodriguez, which are the first two songs that come on. It was fun making a playlist. However, there were all kinds of errors on that site. Mislabeled songs and singers, misspelled words - that kind of thing.

Mancub's girlfriend (I have to come up with an online name for her, to protect the innocent) came over this morning and we dropped the two of them off at the ramen house they love. Then, after a couple of restaurant and parking situations that didn't work out, Papa Seed and I headed over to Cafe Presse, where we have only been once before but promised to go back. My blood sugar was dropping like concrete blocks from a bridge, so I started off grouchy but after getting in some good grub all was right. I felt like the dirty old man that I would be if I had more energy enjoying the pulchritudinous of our bearded waiter. Plus, the coffee there is great. I had a dish with gooey melted cheese and ham, plus we shared their pomme frites. Now those suckers are damn good. Crispy golden little sticks of bliss. I tried to eat slowly like the skinny hipsters at the other tables seemed to be doing, but I could have easily had buckets of those dropped in a trough and gone at them on all fours in seconds flat.

That jump-started me enough so that we could finally, finally make it to the Frye to see the next to last day of the R. Crumb exhibit. R. Crumb is of god status to me, and I wanted to get to this on opening day, but things kept happening. It was a really nice exhibit, and seeing the cross hatching and dried ink right there with the naked eye made the work all the more incredible (to me, one person wrote in the comment book that the exhibit was without any value whatsoever and the space would have been more appropriate for an artist with more talent and less money). He makes it look so easy. I'm eager to get my drawing table set up now. I probably won't be doing pictures of massive boobs and tremendous female thighs myself, but it sure is inspiring to see what that man has done.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Take Me Home

On Fridays I stay a little late at work, then I take the bus over to the University District where I meet Papa Seed at a favorite newsstand. I almost always get to the bus stop in time to see a bus drive past me, and today was no exception. I had a voice mail from the phone company so I used the time waiting for the next bus to call back and find out why I was getting a "courtesy call". Funny story - turns out we owe over $600! On a phone bill. I guess Papa Seed didn't pay last month - we had a lot going on, and this month we had already managed to do 400 bucks worth of damage. How 200 bucks of damage is even possible, I do not know - but 400 in a month?

We pay for cell phones for the two Dads, the son, and two of the GreatNeffs. The teenagers now all have unlimited texting, and almost all of what they do is text, although the youngest of the three just got unlimited a week ago, a week after getting his first girlfriend. Those are related fun facts. Mancub texts his girlfriend about once every 25 seconds, but rarely calls her and usually that is for a brief time or at night when it is free. I hate talking on the phone, and only do so when I know it is Mancub or Papa Seed, both of whom are on my "plan" so it shouldn't cost me a thing.

I called Papa Seed from the bus stop in a bit of shock and panic. He went ahead and paid the bill and said "we" (which I assume doesn't include me, since I hate talking on the phone and last night even ordered pizza on line to avoid a human voice) will need to be more strict about phone usage.

My Dad would be rolling over in his grave if he knew there was such a thing as a $600 phone bill.

Shaking, I got on the bus and sat near the front and got one of those talkative bus drivers I normally don't mind, but today I wasn't quite in the mood. He complained about the things bus drivers usually complain about - people trying to pay their fare at the wrong time, bridges being up, being off schedule. He wished everyone a good weekend, which is something you don't get in other cities. I'm not such a curmudgeon that I don't find this very warm and comforting. I like that we acknowledge one another here. Humans should do that.

I bought my stack - a little Utne, a little New Yorker, a little Mother Jones, all of which I used to subscribe to and should again, and all of which I tossed out years of back issues during the move. Also Film Comment which I buy every issue, but for some reason have no interest in subscribing to, nor did I toss out the back issues of that one (yet, it could happen). The new person behind the coffee counter messed up our order and offered to remake Papa Seed's drink, but he politely told her it was okay and it was Friday and everyone was a little tired. I didn't realize that she also messed up my Friday afternoon cappuccino, quite possibly the coffee beverage I most look forward to all week. It wasn't until we got in the van that I realized it was some kind of mild latte, heavy as a brick and nothing more than a slightly bitter milk drink. To top it off, the snickerdoodle was hard. Life is to short to ever eat a hard cookie.

Then we made our way to the highway that was backed up as far as the naked eye could see. We joined in the fun. As the time went by, and our empty gas tank set off a little red light, we made it to the stadiums where apparently some kind of sports event was happening. That is why traffic was backed up so much. Nothing says "Peaceful" like being stuck in a sports traffic jam, and nothing pleases Papa Seed and me quite as much as knowing that a group of overpaid sports fans can tie up the entire city to go watch some adults play a game because the city thinks the best place to build not one, but two stadiums is right downtown. And let the fun begin during rush hour. On a Friday afternoon. Of course if people take to the streets for 30 minutes to protest against a war, or to speak out against injustice or for the environment, every editorial page for miles will be full of righteous anger against these thoughtless hoodlums hijacking the right to get to the gym in a timely manner after work. But a game where people toss cash at the filthy rich? Oh Please Sir, make the city come to a complete stop now!

I introduced myself to another neighbor when we got home, but she seemed a little confused as to why I was doing that, until she said "OH, you live over there now!", but she didn't offer her name and said I'd probably end up telling her mine again because she didn't remember names.

The house sure is nice to come home to, however.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Walking In Rhythm

One of my coworkers answered my call (well, email) to come and get some roses. Papa Seed only does native plants in the garden, and he wants to donate those foreigners to more appreciative soil. Since roses make my eyes water and my throat scratchy and my skin itch, I'm more than glad to have them gone. S~ didn't just take the roses, he offered her any of the other non-natives and she got a carful.

Ended up getting a jar of green "dirty" olives and olive spread for the televison that no one wanted on craigslist. I think I was asking sixty five bucks for it, but the coworker who ended up taking it in exchange for the delicious items did us a favor, just as the rose transplanter did. This weekend two more coworkers are picking up the dining room table and chairs. I exchanged those for some homedid huckleberry jam. Tried to get $150 for 'em on craigslist, but just ended up being hooked into that scam. So while we haven't exactly gotten rich off our belongings, we have gone some tasty treats and I don't have to wake up to allergies during blooming season. You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find...

Bought one of those newfangled stick in the iPod AM/FM systems and spent most of Super Nanny, a show I love and haven't seen in at least three weeks and I was really, really looking forward to watching last night, trying to program the alarm clock. With the help of Mancub and Papa Seed and some choice phrases borrowed from the French (non-native), got the alarm clock set so I could start my early to rise pattern to give me enough time to walk the pups before showering in the morning.

Ended up waking up about five minutes before the "alarm" (carefully preset to NPR) was set to go off. Watched those digital numbers (how I hate digital numbers) change and no alarm went off. Waited another five minutes in case there was a time difference between the bed and the dresser next to the bed, but nope. No alarm. I feel so old. I guess I'll have to ask a 12 year old to program it for me.

I did manage to go for a short walk. I really don't have any excuses since there is a FOREST behind the house now. Baby Boy has been leaving us surprises almost daily. A mix of anxiety and not getting out for exercise and a complete change in his routine and house. The Wise One needs his exercise too, as does their Daddy. Baby Boy did his usual watering of plants every five feet. The Wise One did his numerous poops. All was good and right again, and today there were no surprises when we got home.

Since this will be the first day we can all watch Survivor on the new big screen, we are going to order pizza. Alas, my comrades of West Seattle at work have let me know that it is pretty difficult to find a pizza delivery place in this area. I think we found one - but no idea what we will be getting.

Papa Seed is repainting the Utility Room. We need to get some of these rooms finished so we can stop walking around boxes. I've been putting books on shelves, a rather dusty chore that involves creating both genre sections and visual excitement with my televison home improvement learned skill of putting the large books at the ends of each shelf and the smallest in the center. It is simple pleasures like this that busy my mind and hands.

I found an online station yesterday that I've been enjoying - DEEPINSIDE - Souful House Station. It has been a nice break from podcasts and experimental or folk music. Makes me feel about 25 years younger, and about 200 pounds lighter and the ghosts of the beautiful ones are all around. Thump thump thump. Not that the music is old, although a few of the songs are. I suspect most of this is rather new, but I haven't followed this kind of music since I had a waist line. The only times I even hear this kind of stuff is when I rent Queer As Folk. WOW, just as I'm singing the praises of the station, they start to play a version of Ashford and Simpson's "It Seems To Hang On", one of my all time favorite songs. This is certainly not the original. Faster, yet smoother. Something called "Full Intention Presents Deep Down". Is that a Producer, an album, a group? Really beautiful, whatever it is. I'm swaying, I'm singing, I'm back with my friends. Let's go backwards when forward fails.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Taco Trucks & Libraries

This evening we had dinner at a Taco Truck. A very simple sentence that can not quite convey how exciting that experience is to me. Five years ago, you couldn't find a taco truck in this town to save your life. Ten years ago you couldn't find a taco. Now there are Taco Trucks sprouting up like Teriyaki Joints and we are all the better for it. And now there is a real one, an authentic Taco Truck, less than a mile from our house.

Life doesn't get any better than that. You keep heading south and the word is there are even more. I think I'm gonna like it here.

We had to stop at the Department of Licensing on the way home so we could register Mancub's vehicle. That was an experience. Papa Seed wanted to go to the one in our old neighborhood, but I didn't want to go there. I wanted to head towards home this evening. Things are different in the new neck of the woods. I'll just say it was full of fascinating characters.

We headed out to buy a few more toys this evening - a new laptop for Papa Seed and a new monitor for Mancub. I think this will end the toy portion of our month long shopping spree. I think we have to stop now. All of us boys have our playthings now and we can start collecting coke cans for change.

I marched out of the library yesterday with a fresh stack of books and DVDs. Libraries in this city are awesome. I just had my home branch changed, and now it is two blocks from the Creek House. I simply get on line, find the books and DVDs I want, place a hold on them, wait for notification, and go to my closest branch to pick them up. And it is two blocks away. That is two blocks shy of a mile, which is where the Taco Truck is. Library. Taco Truck. Creek. Pinch me somebody.

In less refreshing news, I fear that the latest on line community I joined is full of hard headed Christians and Libertarians. I guess I could simply stop checking it out, but it is that traffic accident compulsion at this point. I almost feel a need to have some kind of blood pressure rising influence in my life. It can't all be Taco Trucks and Libraries.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Amazing Finally Final Finale

Papa Seed promised to buy me coffee after he picked me up from work if I would let him make one last trip to the old house. He said he had left the rent check and the keys there earlier in the day, after fixing one of the holes in the wall one of our furry boys made when greeting the mailperson each day. He wanted to grab a few more plants from the garden. I agreed, in part because I'll do anything for a cup of coffee, in part because he was driving.

He dug up his native species to add to the Creek House while a couple of neighbors swung by. Someone had cut out a heart and placed it on the door earlier, saying that "the best neighbors in the world had moved on to spread their love." I sat in the backyard one last time and remembered moments of the last eight years, a lot of them featuring the kids who are no longer the little kids they were. One of the neighbors who came by had her three month old baby whom we met for the first time this evening. There is now a whole new crew of young 'uns that will be growing up on that street, somehow managing to do it without us watching. And life goes on.

Got in the car and the waterworks started. Thanks to being raised male in a repressive society, and with the addition of medication, I don't cry easily or often. But I couldn't stop. I thought I had gotten past this - I thought I had already said good-bye and didn't expect to be going back. It all hit me at once - the GreatNeffs growing up, the death of my Mama, the painful days of moving in that house and the hard work of making it work, the amazing neighbors who became our family, the addition of a son in our world.

I hate that I wear contacts at a time like that. Especially since I was now the one behind the wheel of the car. I pulled over, unlike someone who might be talking on their cell phone while driving. I let it go.

And now that chapter really is over. Done. We now live in the most amazing home with the most amazing creek with the most amazing son in a really amazing part of the city that we have yet to fully explore. Life is amazing right now. Amazing.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Combos Sutra

Best Housewarming Gift EVER arrived in the mail yesterday, tucked in with two CDs of Reiko Kudo, photos of quite possibly the two cutest little girls on the face of the planet and one of the sweetest letters I've ever gotten misty eyed reading. All from my friends - S&S - who live clear on the other side of the country. It was the nicest surprise.

SugarNeff spent the weekend with us and helped us with the final stages of emptying the old home. Then he and Mancub played on the Xbox 360 until they crashed long after Papa Seed and I had gone to bed. Papa Seed and Mancub are doing the FINAL clean-up at the old house. I decided to stay home since I have a dust-induced headache and we actually have plenty to do at the Creek House to keep me busy. I can't make another trip over there. I've been pretty emotionally distant from the whole process until the last two trips. We spent eight years in that place. The neighbors started dropping by and a lot of tears started to flow, and I looked out of windows I won't look out of anymore.

Snow fell on Friday. The sun was out an hour ago. Clouds started to move in. Now I'm watching bees going after the blossoms on the tree outside the window.

I joined yet another on line community that I'll probably lose interest in within two days. I join those things and get excited doing the profile, then I become disillusioned quickly and move on. This one is geared towards folks who are a bit older - people of "my generation" I suppose. That seemed like a great idea, except wandering around on line I realize I don't really relate to "my generation" anymore than I do the younger ones. Those people seem old.

I'll get back to organizing books on shelves. Except for the dust and bending over, it is a nice little task to do. A place for everything and all. Listening to Harold Budd's Avalon Sutra, one of the most beautiful pieces of sound I've ever heard.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pretty Cowboys

Yet another day of "vacation" so that we can once and for all be done with the other house. It is almost eleven and we haven't made it over there. Papa Seed is doing some much delayed work on his laptop, and I'm moving things from the living room to the "Guest Room". The "Guest Room" being the last room on the list to put together, so for now it will be the storage closet.

I'm running into a few problems with swapping, selling and giving away via the internet and I've also played both sides of that and have been a slacker on following up when I've been the interested party. I got caught up in the oldest scam in the book on craigslist when I tried to sell my wonderful Rustic Mexican Pine Dining Table, but caught on before I had lost any money. Still, at that point it was too much to try to find another buyer so I am giving it to two coworkers who are moving into a new home. The problem is that they haven't moved yet, and it is a CHUNK of table and so now we get to move it here and find a place for it until they can take it. Then there is the freecyle person who wanted moving boxes but must not want them enough to come and get them. And I lost the email address of the magazine dealer who took my last printed booty.

I ordered some movie posters to go in the TV room. Two large ones of Brokeback Mountain and a small Dead Man, Midnight Cowboy, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, and Jeremiah Johnson. Aside from all being perfect movies, and personal favorites, there is a theme there although for some reason I can't quite name it as obvious as it seems to be. Homoerotic Anti-Western Westerns about Loners and Masculinity and the Meaning of Life or something like that. Or maybe Men in Hats.

Papa Seed hooked up the DVD and I watched a couple of minutes of Eno's 14 Video Paintings just so I could see what the new TV did. There wasn't enough time to actually sit and watch. Also have my eyetv hooked up now but also only did a quick playtime with it. Once we get settled in, these will be my toys. The cable guy is coming back out on Thursday to hook us up. Long story, the short of which is he had to come back out to hook us up after the first two visits.

This morning I just pulled out a drawer of our new Ikea dresser and took out some underwear with amazing ease. I'm starting to understand how the rich get spoiled. I've always had furniture that required a stern jiggling of the drawer, holding down on the right corner, pulling the left side out a 1/4 inch, standing on one foot, giving it a tug while on the other foot giving it three hard taps to the base and then reaching in the 6 inch opening to find some shoved in garment that you can't really see and hope has the fewest holes of the options. At some point we stop with all the new and the toys and the shiny and we start to really, really buck up and become hunters and gatherers, but I'm certainly seeing a certain appeal to having pretty things.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Making Home

Finally got back on line last night after a week plus of only catching a few minutes on the rare days when I made it into work. Still between houses, although finally the end is in sight. Cleaned out almost all of the kitchen at the old house this evening - at least Papa Seed did. I was upstairs going through stacks of dust and art supplies, mixed in with plastic cowboys, stale Japanese candy, nude centerfolds, and music magazines.

The last two weeks are a blur of Ikea, boxes, CD shelves, back aches, fast food and endless pitstops at Uptown and other like fine purveyors of legal liquid drugs. My twitching eye stopped for a few days, but is back now to join the last three weeks of fun facial movements.

Creek House however is beautiful. Beautiful with boxes and boxes and boxes and large garbage bags taking up space on the floor. But at least one room, the "library", is well on the way to being functional and quite nice. My new Mac has a 24" screen which is ridiculous and makes me shiver like a little rich girl at a pony party. Instead of "speakers", I bought "sound sticks" which give the desk a "Young Frankenstein" kind of feel - not unpleasant at all. I am modern. Hear my subwoofers roar.

Mancub's room came out the color of Mountain Dew. The Cottage TV Lounge is earthy and warm, and also without cable at this point. Although far from complete, in anticipation I purchased The Films Of Alejandro Jodorowsky Box Set this afternoon for a later Christening, or Pandering as I'd prefer.

Papa Seed has been making his way through the cardboard towers each night to strum a bit on the guitar before crawling in bed. The furry boys are confused, but I think are realizing that this is now home. A duck couple do a daily walk in front of the house, by the creek. A Steller Jay has been gathering nest material for our viewing pleasure. Slowly we are making progress in putting things away.