Family


Fifteen years.

So much has happened since our lives began together. I have collected boxes of our own historical ephemera: concert stubs, movie tickets, fortune cookie aphorisms, and several scrapbooks. There are thousands of photographs on my hard drive and countless mentions on various social media platforms. We’ve attended funerals and had the honour of witnessing the little folk in our lives mature. We’ve changed so much and yet remained the same.

Throughout it all, you’ve been there for me. We have been there for each other.  You know when to give me space and when to smother me with hugs. You have made me laugh more than you have made me cry. You have fabricated worlds for me to frolic and spun stories that left me (and our friends) rapt. You can make me feel better even when I desperately want to simmer in my sulk and you posses this (irritatingly) uncanny way to see through my bullshit, even when I think I’m being slick.

Our conversations have seen sunrises and sunsets, sometimes in the same day. We have lost track of time on road trips to nowhere particular and everywhere special. You are my DJ, my navi, my companion, my love, and above all, my best friend. Not a day passes when I don’t pause to give thanks for all the privileges we enjoy.

I love you, Andy, and I’m looking forward to fifteen more years of conversation and more.

(I hope these words illuminate a fraction of my feels because I loves you, like a LOT.)

Image credits: Wow, Robin Hood, and mix tape.

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GC’s paternal unit + 1 has come and gone. It was a painless visit. No arguments over the native flora and fauna or what to do. They washed clothing, hung out, went to see some live show, ate good food, and then made their way back down South.

Painless.

Here’s some random photos of the trip + random captions.

We took them to the fat happy olive place. I chose the pasta + puttanesca sauce and smoked salmon. I remember the first time I learned where the name came from. I’ve always had a fondness of it ever since. Who doesn’t love a good pasta the way a whore would make it? GC opted for a pasta with rabbit or elk sausage, I can’t really remember. Now that I’ve uploaded this photos, it’s hard to discern them from each other though they tasted nothing alike.

My pasta.

His pasta.

After our Italian meal, we drove around to give them a tour of Seattle at night. Mostly also to kill some time until everyone was ready for dessert. We decided to take them to 13 Coins downtown for coffee + something sweet. I chose poorly, a Zabaglione that in theory should have been good but was not. It really was unappetizing.

GC, however, chose wisely. He chose a strawberry shortcake that looked so inviting. I tasted it and ended up ordering one after the waiter cleared the offending custard away.

Blech.

Mmmm.

The day before, we took them on a road trip to the Mukilteo’s Ivar’s. We walked down to the beach afterwards and it was a good day to be outside. GC did an impression of a sea turtle returning from shore. It was cute. I love a smart-ass that can make me laugh 🙂

Sea turtle.

On their way out of town, we all stopped for a quick meal at our neighbourhood Chinese place. GC’s dad picked up the check, possibly from the chiding he had received from his girlfriend about not doing so previously.

Visitors.

It’s good to have the house back to just us and the Nubbin.

Seeya on the flip side 😉
– GermanCityIchigoGirl

Currently listening to my mum finishing up a story about relatives. Ahh, the wonder of bluetooth headsets.

Meal: I have a ciabatta here so it might be a cold antipasto with salad + bread. Nice and simple.

We have hit a wall in the unpacking.

As in not doing any at all today or yesterday.

I have instead enjoyed taking the brief sojourn down to the Library and availing myself of their DVD library. Today I chose eight titles:

2 Poirot titles – Death on the Nile and Dumb Witness, The Forsyte Saga, Series I, Gilda, The Lost Weekend, Small Time Crooks, Mr. Skeffington, and Of Human Bondage.

I’ve finished the two Poirots and am about to start on Small Time Crooks. I think part of my supreme laziness has been because the world situation with oil and avian flu and Ahmadinejad and the whole immigration issue has just made me want to turn into a fucking ostrich for a few days instead of the current events diva that I usually am. I just wanted to order delivery food and watch DVDs til I could not do so any more.

For the first time in my life, I don’t live in a state that borders Mexico so I can’t tell you if the boycott made a difference here in Seattle. But images like this:

make you realise that it’s not just something that is easy to solve or can be changed overnight. I’m dealing with conflict on the whole immigration issue and had a really long talk with my mum earlier on the subject.

My mother’s family left post-Marcos Philippines to have a better life in America. The degreed relatives re-qualified in their fields and began to assimilate into the American culture. The ones with less education did jobs that no one else wanted to do because they knew they could get work as a chicken fryer at Church’s or as a janitor at Wal-Mart because they’d be willing to work for less just to get a foot in the door. They did what they had to do and learned English quickly because there was no bilingual education for Tagalog-speakers …

It was hard for my cousins who came here in the 90s. The eldest was a girl with her five brothers and like most immigrants, arrived with the promise of a better life. Anything other than what they left behind. The boys were given no choice but to hit the pavement running, learn English as fast as they could … because schoolwork were not included in their native tongue. The last time I saw them all over the holidays, I marveled at their assimilation, speaking several languages in addition to English and Tagalog.

Do I feel that English should be mandatory? Do I feel that there should be registering? Do I think that our borders should be locked down or that there should be more stringent entry requirements? I have no idea because I’m still mulling it all over …

On one of the boards I frequent, one of the members went off on a rant about Mexicans but “stopping before he says something he’ll regret” … but not before he launched into a non-thinly veiled diatribe about immigrants. It really rubbed me the wrong way … you know like when someone says “I like him, he’s pretty cool for a gay guy.” or “she’s not bad for a black girl.” What the fuck kind of mixed signal bullshit is that statement? If you are going to be a racist, just come right out and say it … don’t try to wrap it all up like you have a black friend and a gay friend AND and an insert nationality here friend. People like that also like to wrap their arguments up in the American flag (or Bible) and whinge about this and that. This country was built on the backs of immigrants who did the jobs that no one else wanted to do. The Chinese and the railroads in the West or the Irish manual labourers in the East, not to mention the countless illegals who pick our food, mow lawns or …

you know what? Fuck it. I did not mean to rant disjointedly all over the page here and quite frankly sitting in this position makes my back hurt and it’s utter crap for typing. I don’t know how I feel but I know that my perceptions and views are coloured by the fact that I myself am a first generation American, with a mother who was educated and literate. She was the one who taught me how to read before I went to school and the one who quizzed me on spelling words so I could win bees and become the Spelling Nazi I am today. Because of the emphasis my parents and grandparents placed on education and learning, they’ve turned me into the literate bitch I am today.

However that may be, this literate bitch that has opted to pause her ravings and return to her Woody Allen film now.

Seeya on the flip side 😉
– GermanCityGirl who will blog again when she’s in a better frame of mind which in this place, will undoubtedly be soon.

Ciao for now kiddies and sorry for the surly.

Currently watching some Woody Allen and deciding if some hot tea + flan might make me less grumpy :P.

(I am pre-dating this blog entry because it was written on Tuesday though I did not get to paste it over here … )

To get my mind off my letter from the IRS, the monkey and I embarked out into the world of sun and breeze. We began at our neighbourhood favourite and learned that Kyung works lunchtimes so we’ll prolly stick to lunches here, since she’s so sweet!

Me – pork curry katsu, rice, and salad.
GC – chicken bento and all that implies.

Since we were the last lunch patrons, Kyung locked up while we finished. I took this opportunity to take some pictures of the place. They have a great little traditional room where we want to take guests when they visit. I love the cubbies underneath for shoes and the extra-long shoehorn that you can see to the right of the doorframe. There’s a little Tengu that I enjoy eating under and if you are remotely curious, go here. On the sushi bar itself, a traditional Japanese couple relaxing after a warm day! It just struck me as amusing – the way they are camped out in front of the fan like when everyone leaves, he turns it on for her with his left foot. Yeah, I’m silly, I know.

We finished our last cup of green tea, we headed out into the world to do some shopping for the house. Lately, it’s either unpacking, buying stuff for the house, or eating out. I suppose I should not complain or anything, it’s not like I have to wake up early and wrestle with some harsh-ass commute.

After our late lunch, we decided to take a drive with no particular place to go. We wound our way through neighbourhoods, giving a running critique of this house and that – our usual repartee to bolster whatever we are discussing at the moment. We saw some amazing bamboo in someone’s yard, as thick as a soft drink can – pale with striations of green. It was so beautiful that I had to circle the block to look at it again. I hope with GC’s mom visiting this week, we can get some bamboo planted but I’m not pushing – I know she’s here to soak up the area and check it all out.

We found ourselves back at Carkeek and as we walked around, we heard the distinctive sound of a train in the distance. We stood on the bridge that spans the tracks and saw one parked. We could see another one coming on the empty track. It dawned on me that my camera was in the car so I went back down and then back up again to get some pictures of the train.

Standing there on the bridge, vibrating from the sheer force of the hurtling train below … I immediately thought of the old movies where the gangs of scalawag bandits jumped on while it was moving. I saw Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson brawling … and then realised that trains from way back when went way slower than nowadays … and that movies make things like that look so easy. In reality? You would so get hurt!

After our sojourn to the park to sigh and marvel where we live (no real clue on when this will end), we decided to head to Lowes and return some organisational baskety things that were too tall for our needs. On our way there, I made a stop at a cemetery I have noticed on my way in and out of Seattle. The impressive rows of symmetrical white headstones reminded me of Arlington so since we had some time, I wanted to stop.

The first thing we saw driving around the windy roads of the cemetery was a rather large statue depicting a WWI “Doughboy.” The inscription is a truncated history of the statue. I found this afterwards when I wanted to learn more.

And as logic would dictate, I thought of my father and the stalwart love he had for this country, flaws and all. How tall he would stand when he sang the National Anthem or how he joined the Navy because he just inherently knew it was the right thing to do. How he’d mist up when watching Mister Roberts after laughing the whole way through or how reflective his face would get when he’s tell me about his Navy days especially towards the end. I felt the warmth in my cheeks, the involuntary downward tug at the corners of my mouth, the tears flow … and there on a Spring day in Seattle – I let the feeling wash over me amidst those stark white markers. It wasn’t one of those “I-miss-my-father” moments that sneak up on me now and again, more of this clear and present reminder of what others have sacrificed to give me the freedom I enjoy.

I could not capture all of them so I just end this with the ones that I did photograph.

Seeya on the flip side,
– GermanCityGirl 😉

Currently Listening: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me by the Cure.

Meal: Quickie black bean + cheddar nachos with green onion.

Home. Home on the range. Where the deer and the antelope are gay. Robert Preston ruined that song for me …

I had a crap experience with my cabbie when I arrived home. I was so tired from the day earlier that I did not notice that he never switched on the meter. So we arrive home, he exits the cab and starts to place my luggage on the ground. I hand him the folded bills. He stops unloading so he can examine the cash. He mumbles to me something like I did not give him enough. I respond that I’ve taken many cabs to and from the airport and they have never exceeded $10 and that is with a decent tip. He kept shaking his head and I see past his slightly menacing form, my beloved computer bag with laptop inside. Thankfully like some psychic connection, my roommate comes walking out, and asks me if there is a problem. He looked slightly surly because it was past his bedtime. I was glad of it because this guy seemed like he was considering holding my computer bag ransom for more cash. When J. came out and the cabbie turned his head, I side-stepped him and reached inside the trunk, hurling the strap across my torso.

Creeptastic asshat. I was too tired to think about getting a license number but seriously, have you ever tried to complain about a driver? *shakes head here* Yeah, right … like THAT works.

I know our cat was glad to see me because the moment I arrived home, it was like I had velcro on my shoulders, legs … anywhere N. could get a spot to perch *bam* there he was. I’ve missed this little guy and he is sitting on the arm of the sofa with a dreamy look on his face that seemingly says, “Ahhh, yes. Mom is home.”

Not much to report tonight, GC comes home tomorrow so there will be much reunion and squeezin’. The cat will be in the heaven of the hog when we’re all reunited. And finally, the image for the night, what I am looking at right now:

See you on the flip side, wondering how people surf with dial-up 😉
– GermanCityGirl

Currently listening: Pink Panther’s Penthouse Party.

Meal: A bowl of Honey-Nut Cheerios + vanilla soy.