Wow, it's the 24th. This is terrible! I'll try to catch up from my last October entry....

We went on that Johnston Architects retreat that I mentioned last month. We stayed in cabins in the boonies of Washington - we could hear coyotes howling at night. We visited a lot of beautuful homes, including some designed by us. David Brooks discussed space with us - he has a giant telescope on his property - and I've been looking for Tim Adams wine ever since he served it to us. The weather was beautiful and we had a picnic on the hill of a client's site - we stocked up on booze in the little town - we had a big dinner and watched Deepak & Rashmi's slides of their travels to Japan and their traditional Indian wedding. Sean made a breakfast on the last morning - I was surprised at how much fun I had.
Sadly, I missed Chris & Truly's wedding reception in Tacoma that weekend.
The weekend before Halloween Sean went to a surprise birthday party for his grandmother in Arizona and California and I cleaned out the house. The whole house. I threw away about ten bags (big bags) of garbage and I have about ten bags of stuff to donate, as well. I removed some shelves in our bathroom closet, which finally gave me access to the crawlspace below the bathtub (we have a handicapped accessible house). Instead of hidden treasures, I found only a dusty, folded 1989 September issue of Hustler in the wood slats against the wall. I used tongs to grab it out. There are treasures in the attic, though.... chairs, photos, Christmas ornaments, all belonging to the original owners of the house - who passed away quite a few years ago. We leave them in the attic - they belong to the house as much as we do.
That same weekend we had a couple Halloween parties in our 6rms group - Josh and Emily's costume party on Friday, Jon and Amy's pumpkin decorating party on Saturday. Later that night, Alison, Osama, Marc, and I went to a party at an after hours club that I can't really tell you about because, well, it's an after hours club. But it was fun to people watch.
Soon after Chris and Truly got married, Chris got a good job and they decided to move to Tacoma. We planned a party at our house the following weekend.
During the week prior to Halloween, I had my suspicions that the refrigerator was not working. Sean verified my suspicions by Wednesday, and we informed our landlords of our dilemma on Thursday (Halloween night, actually). Since our landlords planned to get a new refrigerator for themselves and give us their old one (which is fine as it has an ice maker), it would take a few days. This meant that we'd be having Truly's going away party without a fridge, using bins of ice for everything.
No problem, right?
Friday night it's time to attack the fridge, which is still full of food that's been sitting in there for a week. We'd been afraid and avoided it, but now there's a party tomorrow night and we must do it.
You can imagine the speed of our work. Open tupperware containers, dump into disposal (running constantly).... veggies, fruits, unknowns, all down the drain. Unfortunately, you may remember Sean's birthday LAST MARCH with red beans and rice...? Well, a giant tub of that stuff was waiting for us, thawed and gelatine-like, in the freezer. Down and down it went and down and hey? Why isn't it going down?
Oh yes, that's right, Sean and I killed the garbage disposal with rotten foodstuffs and two gallons of red beans and rice. And now it's just hanging out in our sink.
Sean bought two big containers of Drano, poured it in and let it sit for a while, then plunged the sink like crazy to no avail. It was so nasty. And it was also the night before the party.
We tried everything. We took the pipes apart and let most of it dump into a garbage bag (mmmm.... inhaling Drano and red beans and rice) so it cleared out most of the sink, but it was still completely blocked. The party went on with no refrigerator or sink.
We finally got Roto-Rooter here at about 9 p.m. on Sunday (the day AFTER the party). The Rooter Guy hopped up on our roof above our kitchen, and proceded to saw the house in half (at least that's what it sounded like). Once the clog was cleared, and Rooter Guy scolded us for treating the disposal like a miracle worker, I was thrilled to finally start the dishwasher.
Alas, the kitchen filled with foam in seconds. I yelled to Rooter Guy "What did you do to my dishwasher?!?" And he yelled "I don't know!" and I grabbed a dustpan to scoop out the foam while Sean grabbed bath towels (me: "Why don't you use the skanky towels?" Sean: "We don't have any skanky towels" me: "Shit."). After only a few seconds, I could just feel my brain cells evaporating just as the Rooter Guy says "What's that smell? You guys didn't use Drano, did you?!" and I stepped back.
Turns out, if you plunge a sink full of Drano, it shoves it right into the dishwasher plumbing. Voila - a dishwasher full of Drano and soap suds. It took three runs of the dishwasher with Sean and I scooping the suds before it all rinsed away. So I removed the skin off my fingers and years of piano lessons, but lemme tell ya, our dishes, kitchen floor, and bath towels have never been so clean.
The following weekend Hot Hot Heat came to town (two nights in a row!) to rock my socks off. Thursday night Steve (the lead singer) had the flu and puked directly before and after their set. It was painful and just so obvious that he shouldn't have been on stage. Friday I made him a batch of homemade matzoh ball soup and brought it to his hotel room where he wolfed down the entire batch with shaving cream all over his face, and we chatted while the shaving cream dried. After that I rushed to dinner with the 6rms gang (I got a batch of extremely phallic mussels that were, ahem, larger than human, shall we say, and it was very difficult to eat them with my eyes open). We later walked to the Henry Art gallery for a cool exhibit called Out Of Site. After the exhibit I rushed back over to Graceland to see Hot Hot Heat's second show, and I ran into Jason, who I thought was already gone on tour, but he stayed an extra day so I hung out with him and Hot Hot Heat and Dismemberment Plan. It was a groupie's dream come true. And Steve even brought me my spoon in his jacket pocket! They performed much better that night and I was proud of my soup. It was great to watch them play from backstage and watch the audience.
Julie and Tim got in town Sunday evening to do business for Culver Duck for a few days. Sean and I were stunned to receive a "gift" from Aunt Nancy: a little toy baby in a bunny costume and a card suggesting that it's time to have a baby. It silenced us.
We had a great time with Tim and Julie, only I wish they could have stayed longer. It was dark and windy and rainy during their whole visit. We will see them in Florida with the rest of the Culver side this New Years.
School is going good. I really like it now that we are playing with Photoshop. Grandma has started sending me some old family photos that I look forward to working with. My teacher Greg has been helping me decide how I want to apply what I learn, and where to go after the certification.
Last weekend I cleaned out my garage - every box was sorted. I'm embarassed to tell you how much I threw away and donated. Alexandra came over Sunday to talk me into throwing away even more of it, and she helped me sort through every box. We moved everything, swept, put it all away in order, moved a bunch of stuff to the attic, and collapsed. Later Kolja joined us and the four of us had a lovely dinner. I'm so happy they are here!
The 6rms gang is also busy planning - we are adopting a family in Ballard for Christmas (donating Christmas gifts and groceries), and we are also all going to Vancouver for Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Thankfully we are taking the train so we won't have to deal with the traffic. I believe I am the administrator for both plans.
Last night a group went to see 007, including Sean (I avoid all of the Bond films). Even Sean said it sucked and was full of pathetic sexual innuendo one-liners. But we all met up at Six Arms (of all places) afterwards and talked for a long time, as our server was non-existent.
This Thursday is Thanksgiving dinner with Jon and Amy and Jon's family. We are in charge of sweet potato casserole, spinach and raspberry salad, chairs, and the table. Tie that in with school, both jobs, and Christmas shopping, and you can see what kind of week I have ahead of me.....
Please send Excedrin and Christmas money.