Okay, my exceedingly ambitious goal is to make this a nice long juicy update. The fact of the matter is that I'll probably fall asleep in about 100 words or so. But I have to pick up R at work in two and a half hours, and I've got nothing to do until then but sit here and listen to my new Nic Jones cd's (M&R, you'll be pleased to note that not one, not two, but THREE years after you first played me Nic at Young People's '03, I've finally gotten around to procuring "Unearthed" and "In Search Of" from Neil Pearson's excellent Fish Records... I'd been putting it off because of the cost and the overseas shipping, but I just splurged on a totally unnecessary but god-it's-environmentally-friendly organic hemp shower curtain for us, and there's just no way you can even pretend to be a thrifty human being with a beast like that hanging in your bathroom... so I bit the bullet and bought me some Nic) so I might as well get crackin on some semblance of a post.
Starting at today and working backwards, we took a classic red-eye home from Seattle last night... think of the stupidest hour you can possibly imagine to fly out of a city, and the stupidest hour you can possibly imagine to land in another one, and you can probably re-create our itinerary to a disturbing degree of accuracy. That's right - 11:45pm departure, 6:15am arrival. Now mind you, we weren't doing anything fantastic like flying overseas and landing in, say, Vienna at 6:15 in the morning. We were flying home. From a weekend in the contiguous United States. How depressing.
We got home at 7:30, squeezed in a 3-hour nap, and then it was up again and back to work. I'd put in some extra hours at NARAL on Wednesday, so I was able to roll into the office at noon today and get out of there by 2:00. At the preschool I was on total muscle memory, taking kids to go potty, feeding them snack, and breaking up wrestling matches like a pro while managing not to actually pay attention to anything. My gem of a co-teacher took pity on me and told me to leave early (it's our standard procedure when one or the other of us looks more dead than alive)... and yet in spite of working a grand total of 4.5 hours today, I still managed to be exhausted enough to come home and send out an important email announcement to over 450 people in which I spelled "funeral" f-u-n-d-e-r. ("Funder"??? What the deuce is "funder"??? That's not even close!!!)
So Thanksgiving. In spite of poorly-planned flight reservations, it was a pretty terrific long weekend. In the process of finding God and becoming a grandfather, R's dad has somehow mellowed into a really enjoyable person (still far from garrulous, but now closer to "stoic" than "scary"... how can you be frightened of a man who brings home a box of Krispy Kremes for the family on his way home from a solo hike, calls up his daughter-in-law on his days off to ask if she wants help with the babies, and pauses in the middle of his $5.99 Extreme Grand Slam breakfast platter from Denny's to shake his head and remark wonderingly "I don't know how they make money off of this"?), and his mother is still as fabulously eccentric as ever. On Thursday Charlie & Melissa and the twins came over and we had a standard Thanksgiving dinner... I was sorry not to get any of the Korean sides R had promised we'd have, but Melissa (who can be a very forcible person when she wants to be...) insisted upon good ol' American fare.
NB: The indomitable Mrs. Lee did manage to slip in a giant platter of, um, reddish jello containing chopped vegetables and shrimp which terrified us all, Americans and Koreans alike.
On Friday R&I did a short hike and then visited the nephs at Charlie & Melissa's house. Whoa. They live in a CRAZY awful brand-shiny-new sprawling rich-people's housing development (Remember Breckenridge, Cita? It's back, in Issaquah form!), the kind of place in which they've already gotten two letters of complaint from the Homeowner's Association about the state of their front lawn (which, literally, might not be big enough for me to lie down in comfortably), there are always cars driving around but somehow never any people, and the whole mess is planted square in the middle of vast empty fields in which you can already see the spectres of more identical million-dollar houses that will most assuredly be there the next time we visit them. C&M paid $750,000 for their place. What a terrifying thought.
On Saturday R&I met up with Sandy and her parents and trucked down to the Tacoma Museum of Glass. It's a neat museum, and they have live glassblowing demonstrations going on all day, which was very cool. After dropping the three of them back at the ferry, we made a brief stop to tour the amazing Seattle library. (A quick search of their homepage for pictures yielded the following mission statement, which has absolutely no bearing on my story whatsoever but is a little too amazing not to include: "Our mission is to become the best public library in the world by being so tuned in to the people we serve and so supportive of each other's efforts that we are able to provide highly responsive service.") What a job they've done... it's definitely more of a museum than a library. I don't expect any of you will want to scroll through their whole 70-image slideshow (the real thing is way better anyhow), but if you want to get an idea, you can go here.
On Sunday we went to church, hit up the aforementioned Denny's, dropped off R's dad at work, did some packing, and then brought takeout over to C&M's to spend some last quality time with the fam. It snowed on and off throughout the day, with a fair amount of it sticking to the ground and trees in Issaquah, which made the whole ridiculous development look even more picture-perfect than usual. I MISS SNOW!!!! Austin is at 70 degrees and 80% humidity at the moment... stupid Texas.
And for those of you who've made it thus far, allow me to take a moment to reward you with photos.
Well, that post killed two hours, no prob. Now I'm off to pick up Richard, call Rebecca, and then fall promptly into bed.