Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man."

"A health to you, a wealth to you,
And the best that life can give to you."

"May you never lie, cheat, or drink.
But if you must lie, lie in each other's arms.
If you must cheat, cheat death.
And if you must drink, drink with all of us
because we love you."

"May you live as long as you want,
and never want as long as you live."

"Love to one, friendship to many, and good will to all."

Happy New Year, my friends. May the New Year always be better than the old.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I realized tonight that I hate being alone. Especially on Sundays.

Scott usually works on Sundays. I should be running errands, doing laundry, cleaning the house ... but I just want a day to relax and do nothing, especially before going back to work the next day. Today, it was all I could do to get in the shower and get dressed, much less get any kind of work done.

I think it's in part because we had such a nice, relaxed day together yesterday. Finally. We sat on the couch, cuddled with one of the dogs, watched movies, and just enjoyed being with each other. We made dinner together. We had, by its very definition, a "Matterday".

And, while looking through some old records, he found something I had taken back from my Dad's house after his funeral three years ago. It was worn, tattered, in danger of completely dissolving, so he scanned it and printed it out on sturdy photo paper, and gave it to me:

This is a calendar page from December, 1968, that had been hanging on the side of the refrigerator in my parents' house since then. Notes in my Mom's handwriting mark appointments and events such as "Matt really started to walk instead of crawl" on the 14th.

I started to cry, and Scott put it up on the side of our refrigerator, where it will stay.

I've been pretty melancholy lately, the holidays do that to me, especially because there's never any time or money to make the Norman Rockwell holiday that we're supposed to have. There's too much stress and worry of whether I'll have my job for much longer. The bad weather the last week didn't help - two of the gifts I bought for Scott online still haven't been delivered. And I talked to my brothers on Christmas for the first time in probably a year, and realized how much I miss them.

So having a day with Scott, to just be, to cuddle, made me feel better. I want more. I wanted that again today. I've been watching outside for his car since 5:00, but he called at 7 to say he wouldn't be home until after 8 ... so, I sit. And wait. And want so many things to come back. My Mom and Dad. My family. My childhood. December 1968.

I want Scott to come back home from work. I want another Matterday.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Very Matter and Scooter Christmas

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" ... yeah, right. We're living in a snow-covered nightmare. Sure is purty though:

I'm liking this red-ornament tree Scott's mom gave us:

Have I ever mentioned that I love the movie "A Christmas Story"? We have Leg Lamp lights in the kitchen ...

And a Leg Lamp nightlight in the bathroom.

And we've been collecting the "It's A Wonderful Life" village ... yeah, I'm a sap.

Kali is in the Christmas spirit ...

Awwww ... an ornament that one of Scott's co-workers gave him:

Every year I give Scott a Lenox ornament - here's this year's addition:

Your faithful blogger outside the front door:

Getting dinner started - just the two of us, but we made a full turkey dinner:

Sauteeing bacon, onions, apple, sage and thyme for the stuffing:

Scott was worried that Mr. Gobble was cold. I told him he'd warm up very, very soon:


Getting the gravy ready:

Scott's mom also gave us this little train-thing that protects the bottom of the tree from dogs - pretty cool! And kinda cute:

You can't end a Christmas evening without singing "Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra, ra-ra-ra-ra":

And I can't end a Christmas post without my Christmas Video:

Happy Holiday-Or-Non-Holiday of your choice. I'm glad you're all here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Whether you celebrate this holiday or another or none, Peace to you and all of us.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

MatterPics - With An Adventure

Seattle was under a Severe Winter Storm Warning for yesterday ... snow and high winds were forecast to start around 4 p.m., and who knows if the forecasts are ever going to be right. So around 11 a.m. we set out to the store in the Jeep to stock up, hoping to come home right afterwards and hunker down for the storm. After our errands, Scott wanted to drive around North Capitol Hill and take pictures of the mansions and the pretty snow.

The red-twig dogwood in our backyard before we left the house:

The Cascade Mountains on our way to the store:

I love this house - it will be ours:

The Seattle Asian Art Museum at Volunteer Park:

Someone made an incredibly beautiful snow angel on the wall of the stage:

The Volunteer Park Conservatory:

One of our favorite houses - we call it "Tara":

Happy Scott with Starbucks:

The view from Lakeview Cemetery overlooking Lake Washington:

Heading back downhill towards Montlake - the adventure begins:

Pretty - but steep - drive down the hill:

Prettier. And steeper:

Okay, now there are a few hours without pictures.

As we headed down the hill, we came across a steep road with a barricade saying "Snow Closure". Scott wasn't sure how to turn around there ... so he said, "Hey, we can make it! We're in a Jeep with four-wheel drive!"

No. We couldn't.

Slowly at first ... picking up a little speed ... hitting the curb ... turning 180 degrees ... sliding down the hill BACKWARDS picking up a little more speed. I swear we both peed a little. Maybe a lot.

We ended up surviving, finally stopped near the bottom of the hill, with a blown front tire.

And the spare was already damaged.

And the jack was broken.

Luckily, a very, very, VERY Good Samaritan was there and offered us his jack to take off the wheel, and a ride to the service station a few blocks away.

Whose Auto Center was closed. They told us to go to one near the University Village about a mile away.

Whose Auto Center was closed. They told us to go to a brake and muffler shop two blocks away.

Who didn't sell tires and couldn't repair ours, as the rupture was on the side due to hitting a curb. They told us to go to Les Schwab in Lake City. Which ended up being about three miles away.

Which was packed with people trying to get chains and snow tires. We were told it would take four hours. (I'm thinking, "Shit - we'll have to ask this complete stranger to drive us home, and take Joe Jetta back up here after the storm is supposed to hit).

As we walked in to give our information, I noticed that they were only open until 5:00. It was almost 2:00 now. And they are closed on Sunday. So we wouldn't be able to get the new tire until Monday. Scott has to work Sunday, and his car is sitting on someone's jack two miles from our house ... with the hazard lights blinking.

We said no, and got back into Mr. Samaritan's minivan.

Scott called Sears, south of downtown (we were up north at this point), and they said they could replace the tire within an hour. Mr. Samaritan - who actually lives quite close to us - said he'd take us home so we could get my car, and we could drop off the jack later.

We were almost in tears at this point, and frantically thanking Mr. Samaritan (his name was Kirk) left and right. Really, he was incredible. I don't think we'll ever forget him and his infinite kindness.

So we get home, run in to pee (apparently we hadn't peed enough while sliding backwards down the hill) and grab my keys. Off to Sears ... by which time it had started to snow.

There, we found a lady whose car was dead across the street. Scott went over to help, and it turns out she just had a loose battery cable, so he got her van started right away. Then she couldn't get it out of "Park", so back to help her again. She was so grateful and nice, honking and waving and shouting "Merry Christmas!" as she left ... we felt good. We'd played our Karma cards, and our ordeal was almost over.

Picked up the new tire ($215 later!) and headed back up to Montlake to rescue the Jeep.

And realized that, while I'd picked up the keys to the Jetta, I'd left the keys to the Jeep at home.

Back up the hill to our house, in heavy snow, grabbed the keys, and drove back - me white-knuckling it the whole way.

Got the new tire on. And found that the battery had died after the hours with the hazard lights on.

Jump-started the Jeep, which wouldn't stay running due to the cold. Finally got it going, and I followed Scott back home, up the hill, in the heavy snow, going about 5 mph.

Scott kept the Jeep running to charge the battery, then drove over to Kirk Samaritan's house to return his jack. He also brought them a brand new Calphalon wok as a thank-you gift.

After getting back home, he found his tire iron in the back of the car. Back to Kirk's house - he left it in their mailbox rather than bothering them AGAIN - Kirk was an angel, and we'd taken up more than enough of his time ... he probably never wanted to see us again (although he was infinitely patient and funny and nice, and kept telling us it was all no problem at all).

Home, finally.

And then we decided, "Hey - let's get pizza for dinner!" Because, you know, we hadn't driven enough that day. We wrote out a nice Christmas card for Kirk and headed out, dropping the card at the post office on the way.

Broadway in the snow, by Pagliacci Pizza:

Stoli came with:

Matt with pizza:

This morning, we woke up to about 9 inches of snow:

And Scott had to go to work. Damn retail. Getting his coffee for the trip:

Luckily we stocked up for when he gets home:

And how was YOUR weekend???

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Seattle closed it's schools yesterday due to the threat of snow. How embarrassing. It snowed up north, and down south, and to the east - but not a single flake in Seattle.

Today, however, we got our snow. As the front moved into the city around 5 a.m., there was lightning and thunder that shook the house and rumbled for a long, LONG time. Not just rumbled ... it sounded like something hitting, exploding, and screeching. We seriously thought it was meteors hitting the earth or a plane going down. So, I was wide awake after that.

There was about 3 inches of snow in our neighborhood, and it looked soft and fluffy and white. So I brushed off Joe Jetta and maneuvered out of our neighborhood - to roads that were solid ice, covered with snow.

Now, I only work a couple of miles from home, so I drive on surface streets the whole way. Which hadn't been sanded or plowed by the three snowplows that Seattle owns (and two are in the shop). I quickly realized that it was really dangerous (and dumb) to be out driving on the steep hills here. (Sizzle will have some idea of how I nearly pissed myself trying to manuever down Denny Way from Olive Street, towards I-5).

Made it to work - almost an hour later. The snow was supposed to end by 10 a.m. or so. They announced that our office would close at 3:00 p.m., before the worst of rush hour. But the snow didn't stop. I felt like I was in a snow globe.

I left work at about 1:45, realizing that the snow wasn't ending, it was getting colder, and my short commute up very steep hills was likely to be disastrous if I waited much longer. I (slowly) drove through a pretty scarce downtown (empty except for the many people standing at bus stops for buses that wouldn't be coming for a long, long time) and took a LONG way home that wasn't quite as steep. My neighborhood was buried in about 6-7 inches of snow (yes, this is a big thing to us who live in ultra-hilly Seattle, people!). And it continued to snow. Very, very pretty - but I'm not looking forward to tomorrow morning's commute ...

On to the pretty pictures:

The parking lot accross from my office, about 9:00:

The pretty trees by REI, across the other street:

Looking towards Capitol Hill, around 11:00:

Driving by the King County Courthouse, around 2:00 (I know, the snow doesn't look like much, but the HILLS ... ):

Getting into my neck of the woods in the Central District, with 23rd Avenue being a packed-down icy mess:

Snow at the Quincy Jones Performance Center, part of Garfield High School, three blocks from our house:

Our street, snowy:

Planters that were moved to our upper deck - also snowy:

The backyard from the kitchen door:

I hope y'all are warm, safe and dry!