Monday, December 28th, 2009
The second leg of our holiday adventure has begun. We got into Las Vegas last night and are readying ourselves for four days full of gluttony (as if we need more) and gambling.
My in-laws, Rick and Louise, are taking us on the trip. I definitely lucked out with my mother and father-in-law. They are very generous people and extremely easy going. For instance, the last time we visited Las Vegas with them, Grey and I went a little too crazy at the Black Jack table and ended up getting separated (I think we came to the mutual decision we were each other’s “unlucky charm”). Sometime in the wee hours of the morning I called my in-laws’ room, crying about being lost “somewhere in the Luxor” without a room key or my spouse. Without complaint my father-in-law stumbled down in his pajamas and retrieved me, the newest and most intoxicated member of his family. Fortunately, they didn’t seem to hold this idiotic behavior against me and even agreed for another round of Vegas fun with us — even bringing my sister and brother-in-law (although this time we’ll undoubtedly be more tame with a one-year-old in tow!).
So long San Diego! Viva Las Vegas!! (The guy who took this picture cut out Ollie in the stroller -- he also told us to smile and say, " Victoria's Secret!" instead of "Cheese" -- so go figure)
Saturday, December 26th, 2009
By and large I would describe myself as a pretty respectful concert goer. I try not to sing along loudly or smoke enormous amounts of marijuana in other patrons’ visages. So it’s surprising that the one concert I was almost kicked out of for disturbing the peace was a Josh Groban concert. I don’t know what excited my friends and I so, causing us to take vodka shots and vomit all over the Verizon Center. Was it when Josh hit the high note in “You Raise Me Up,” or perhaps when he brought a tear to the eyes of the crowd with his moving version of “Weeping” with Ladysmith Black Mambazo And Vusi Mahlasela.
Since then, I have really had a deep affection for Josh, especially his Christmas album. The man is like an angel trapped in the body of a hobgoblin. His voice is from the heavens! I have been listening to it non-stop since mid-November, even putting his entire Noel album on my marathon playlist. Most people would want to run to something upbeat, maybe something that doesn’t fall under “adult-contemporary classic,” but not me. I ran miles 18-21 listening to Josh croon “Jesus, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” and “What Child is This.” And I haven’t stopped listening since.
99 percent of the reason I listen to Josh is because his voice is poperatic bliss, the other one percent is because he is the nicest man alive. I was lucky enough to interview him once and instead of telling me to suck it, like John Cougar Melonhead did, he answered my trillions of questions with so much feeling I almost cried. The only thing better would have been if he sung the answers.
As I write this there are exactly nine minutes left of Christmas and I might start to lose my marbles and wrap myself in leftover ribbons and mistletoe as a protest. But I had a fantastic Christmas, just me, my loved ones, and the Grobanator. What more could a girl ask for?
To some people Josh might look like a friendly silken-voiced hobbit, but to me he's like Brad Pitt in his glory days! A hunk of crooning man!
Friday, December 25th, 2009
In my twenty-nine years of attending Catholic church services I have never once fallen asleep. So when my head hit Craig’s shoulder with a large thud during midnight mass an hour ago, I felt a tsunami of guilt. Catholic guilt! And it wasn’t during some reading I had heard a zillion times, it was during Archbishop Donald Wuerl’s touching…or so I imagine, sermon. The man is just a few steps from God and all I can do is kickback and take a short snooze. There were a million other very interesting things going on in church: the grown woman dressed like an ice skater sandwiched next to me, a collection of the most ugly Christmas ties I have ever seen, or the rather attractive Gregorian Scholars singing angelically. But no. All that just wasn’t enough to keep me awake .
Despite my ill-timed slumber, midnight mass is the only way I ever want to begin Christmas day. Bunched in a cathedral with zillions of exhausted strangers belting carols in the name of the man upstairs. In a few hours, I will actually be heading to church again, but I always feel like the 10 o’clock service attendees, like my parents, are taking the easy way out. I prefer to plod along with the Christmas marathoners.
While I was napping in St. Matt’s pew like I owned the place, I did take a moment or two to make a few false promises, like never speaking ill of my fellow man or using the words “heinous bridge troll” to describe people. But I also thought about all the things I’m thankful for, one of them being this wonderfully silly little blog. It’s 2:46 am on Christmas, I’m click clacking on my computer and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Merry merry Christmas.
St. Matthews is where John F. Kennedy's funeral was held and where I go to remember that Christmas is not just celebrating the gift of jewelry or tartan underwear.
Thursday, December 24th, 2009
My brother Ken is my only sibling, and save the period where I was a heinously annoying tween who made out with cardboard cutouts of boy bands, we have always been really close. Anything I do, no matter how minute, Ken is always there cheering me on like a Texas cheerleader trapped in the body of an East Village hipster. This really is big of him because of the two Tanabe children, I am by far the most annoying.
One of the reasons we always got along was because every summer of our childhood we were shipped off to Belgium and had no choice but to play with each other or be forced to speak broken Flemish with old people. So we invented some really great games like running around in a circle until we threw up or sitting in a refrigerator box until we fell asleep. Ken always made sure I was happy as a lark and comforted me when I lost my marbles over not having peanut butter in northern Europe. But that’s his way.
I have always been intrigued by his innate kindness. It wouldn’t befuddle me so if we didn’t have such similar DNA. Since I could say “get the #!$)*@#! out of my way!” I have been so competitive that helping my fellow man often falls way behind getting to stand on a podium and have a piece of tin with the words “Number One!” placed in my greedy little hand. But not Ken. He always puts the happiness of others ahead of his own (crazy talk I say) and has the patience of Job.
I’ve never spent a Christmas away from my family and luckily Ken came down from New York again this year. While we used to sleep under the Christmas tree with our eyes open waiting like two speeded out ravers for Christmas morning, we now exhibit a bit more control. But it wouldn’t be Christmas if I couldn’t scream “MINE!” and grab all the biggest presents while my brother waited patiently to open his. 24 hours! Let the countdown begin.
The caring older brother. Due to my knee socks, therapeutic booties, and the fact that I weigh roughly 100 pounds, this photo looks like it's from 1857. But what matters is that despite my childhood obesity, my brother still loves me.
Ah, the matching bowl haircut phase. Thank you mom and dad for placing salad mixers on our heads and getting out the scissors. As I was looking through photos, I realized that I look like a chubby gremlin in casual wear as a child. My brother on the other hand was svelte even in his horizontal stripes.
These days my brother is into things like making the most ridiculous Halloween costumes ever. Here is a recent creation. My relation is in there somewhere.
Friday, December 18th, 2009
Stockings are SO 2008 (and 2007, 2006, 2005…) This year, decorate your holiday mantle with a personal touch from the supplies you stole from your office, to those fruitcakes you planned on re-gifting, or even with thank you cards and the word NAKED in a nod to your daily blog. That’s what our friend, Washington D.C-based star interior designer Christopher Boutlier, did for our website last week.
Using supplies from Michael’s, Pottery Barn, Martha Stewart, and the Paper Source, Chris turned a run-of-the-mill fireplace into a shrine to the art of letter writing with no detail overlooked. Tiny versions of the notes hang from the mantle disguised as gift tags while the three of us hammed it up in 1950s fashion to salute the era when the thank you note was a must!
The fact that Chris took the time to do this for us (um, we’re not his typical client, ahem, Vice Prez Joe Biden?!), makes us so happy. He literally stayed up for days making paper chains, arranging tulips, covering wooden letters in patterned paper and shrinking down every thank you we had written until it was perfect and designer friendly. We marveled at his creative genius as we put on so much bronzer that we looked like we were playing in the oven again.
Chris you have redefined the fireplace and made the words we write like vomit, poop, cunnilingus, and orgy, look beautiful hanging from a mantle. Many many many (naked) thanks.
- Our little polygamous 1950s family
- Bearing the gift of gratitude…albeit for things Emily Post may not have approved (public sex, sudsy bubbles, hot sauce?), but we’re appreciative just the same…
- Camparific! There should be plaid pants, hair flips, and floral aprons at every occasion.
- GLOVE! That’s gay love for you folks at home. We heart our weird housewife lesbian moment.
Sunday, December 6th, 2009
Friday night my unmentionable friend presented me with a challenge: “who can have sex in the historic Smithsonian castle with their boyfriend first.” We were both attending a Christmas party on the first floor of the National Historic Landmark, and the unmentionable gal thought it might make it a more memorable affair if we landed in prison for lewd and unlawful behavior. What’s wrong with making the front page of the Washington Post anyway or having your parents disown you?
So while I downed holiday cocktails trying to build the courage to get naked in a building with security cameras and alarms, the unmentionables casually sauntered into a stairwell with not a care in the world and went at it like wild gorillas in Holiday attire. Yes, their inspiration had me in the stairwell once it was all clear of copulating couples, but I was petrified that angry men with large guns would put an end to my fun.
I salute them for their no fear attitudes, sex-friendly evening wear, and ability to look picture perfect on the dance floor after a roll in the hay.
To some the Smithsonian castle might be a "look don't touch" institution. But to more creative folks, it doubles as a bedroom. How multifunctional!
Monday, November 30th, 2009
I happen to have an unhealthy obsession with Christmas. Scented candles, trees the size of redwoods, the Harry Connick Jr. Christmas album, you name the annoying red and green thing and I just love it. So naturally I am the type of gal who buys her Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving.
On Saturday, while hopping around Homestead Farm in Poolesville, Maryland, I chose a Christmas tree so large that it took about an hour to saw it down (pre-cut is for pansies!). It was also too wide for the netting machines and had to be tied to the roof of the car by farm hands/Noble prize-winning mechanical engineers. Yes, there were slightly more anorexic looking trees that could have been mine, but I had to choose the one and only obese ball of pine. The portliest most unwieldy tree of all. I think there is still a bird living in it and maybe a few refugee children, but it is now dwelling happily in my living room where unimportant things like the couch used to fit.
Not the tallest tree in the world, but most definitely the fattest. It's shape really reminds me of this girl I went to college with who I kindly called "Meg the Keg."
I basically had to break my door frame to get my round tree in the door. Next year I'll just throw tinsel on a bonsai tree.
Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
I don’t know what it is about the monogram that I like so much. Is it the sense of ownership it brings me? The pillows are already on my bed, do I really have to go the extra mile to tell the world that they are mine all mine and no one elses? Heck, I won’t question my instincts. What I do know is that the pages of Pottery Barn are my favorite form of aspirational living and that one day, instead of putting pillows on milk crates and declaring it a couch, I will dwell in Pottery Barn perfection.
I have an obsession with monogramming. I would monogram bread if I could.