Happy 2nd Birthday, Coronavirus Pandemic

Today we mark the 2nd anniversary of when the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Hooray?

To celebrate, we made a Coronavirus Birthday Cake. Originally it was going to be a hemisphere with candles sticking out all over, but due to time constraints and the fact the first two layers turned out so perfect it seemed a shame to mess up, we transitioned to just a regular layer cake:

Coronavirus Cake
Coronavirus Cake 2

It’s a lemon poppyseed cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. The poppyseeds were perfect little coronaviruses. Continue Reading >>

Welcome to puberty, kid

Today B found his first zit. He said, “I guess I’m in puberty now.” Yeah, that and the need for deodorant are a good clue.

Then he asked when I had my first zit, and I honestly have no idea. Then: “When did you have your last zit?” Me: “Uh, right now?!” Welcome to having that “youthful” skin, kiddo.

I still maintain that the biggest lie my mom ever told me was when 16-year-old Katie moaned, “How long will I have to live with zits like this?” and she said, “Oh, don’t worry, you’ll be done by your 20s.” I should’ve known something was up, because she still got zits at that point. Continue Reading >>

A tale of two packages

In the interest of continuing to confirm regularly that I’m alive (for definitions of the word exclusively referring to physical, not emotional, life), I thought I’d try to occasionally share some photos here until I started having independent thoughts again.

These photos actually have an amusing “apartment living” story to go with them. Here goes.

A while ago, I dropped my beloved 2014 Kindle Voyage, a device that had worked flawlessly that entire time. When the screen cracked, at first I thought I could live with it, but it turns out the touchscreen functionality broke, leaving me able to only page back and forth in the book I already had open. (Bright side, I finished that book on the broken Kindle just fine!) Continue Reading >>

Benji in a pot

I know I’ve posted infrequently lately. It’s not because nothing is happening. Au contraire, so much has happened, I am barely beginning to process it. Every time I try to talk about something else, all this pain just gushes out like blood from an arterial puncture. I haven’t wanted to get bloodstains on my blog, so I’ve been keeping it offline. I’ll continue to do that, but I did want to put up a post to say hi, and I’m still alive, and maybe at some point I’ll get back to posting regularly. Continue Reading >>

Thoughts on the ending of Lord of the Rings

When I’m sick, I listen to the BBC dramatization of Lord of the Rings. I’ve listened to it so many times, I can fall asleep and wake up later and not miss anything. So, as is my tradition, I started listening again when I felt terrible after getting my COVID booster shot on December 31, and I’ve listened on and off in free moments since then.

When I was younger, I always wished the story ended with Aragorn getting crowned. I wanted the happy ending, with no baggage or lingering pain. It bothered me that Frodo wasn’t happy after getting rid of the ring, that the Shire was damaged, that the elves’ magic had to fade away, and that in the end Frodo and Bilbo and all the elves had to leave Middle Earth. It’s not how I wanted the story to end! Where’s the unalloyed triumph and happiness? Continue Reading >>

Pictures from January

I started to write a post that turned out so much like reading a blow-by-blow of a train wreck that I think we’ll just go with a few pictures from the last few weeks.

I didn’t take pictures of the zilllions of days of dismal 35-degree fog; let’s go with some optimism here.

Sunset in Kirkland 1/26/2022
Seattle at sunset from the Kirkland waterfront.
Marina and Bellevue from Lake Washington Boulevard in Seattle.
Flooded picnic bench at Marymoor Park.
Mt. Rainier at sunset seen from Kirkland.
Downtown Seattle and Mt. Rainier from Magnolia Bluff.

Failure and opportunity

Over the last few years, I’ve come to firmly believe that mistakes are only failures if I don’t learn from them. Yes, I make mistakes, of course, and I suffer the consequences sometimes. But if I also take away a solid lesson – even if it’s as mundane as “Don’t leave a cast iron skillet unattended on an induction stovetop” or “Plug in the car every night” – I don’t consider the experience a failure.

In the past, I thought of a divorce as a “failed marriage.” Now that my marriage has become a statistic, I’m realizing that my no-failure-if-I-learned philosophy applies here, too. Continue Reading >>