November 2018, Part II

The kids are starting to get excited about Christmas already. Chilkat wrote a series of letters arguing, essentially, that they needed to open the Christmas presents early, or they would explode. The first was one was “signed” by the mailman. We haven’t let them open any presents, and they haven’t exploded…yet.

Chilkat and Chilkoot put on a fashion show of sorts, with a medley of Thanksgiving themed costumes created by Chilkoot with construction paper.

I dressed Chilkoot in my old sweater, gave him my old blanket, had him hold my old teddy bear, and suck on his first two fingers to pose for pictures as me.

Thanksgiving. KrisDi made most of the usual stuff (she cut out a few things, but still made enough food to feed the full complement of guests about six times over). Turkey turned out extremely well; everything was very tasty. KrisDi’s parents came, Mom came, P-Dubs came, E-Dubs + family came, we ate a lot, and we got tired.

Then our Medford friends came to visit. We really didn’t do a whole lot, aside from eat, drink, and shoot the breeze. It was fun. They brought excellent beers up from their area, we sent down excellent beers from our area; we went to Chuck’s Hop Shop and we went back to the Central American restaurant we visited on our parents day recently.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, our friends went home, and I had three guests arrive from Japan. I took them to a Cuban restaurant for dinner, while KrisDi went down to Tacoma to hang out with the False Alarms while the father took the two eldest to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra. She says it was, “Good. Loud, because when you scream it sounds like you’re whispering.” Chilkoot hung around and played Uno with Bella.

My Japanese guests came in one wave of three, but are departing in two waves. Two of them left on Thursday after three days of meetings. The third one is leaving on Wednesday this week. Meetings have been good, basically, and I think we’ve been able to take them to some ne experiences. I took them out for American breakfast, where between the four of us, we split two breakfasts and a cinnamon roll between three people, and it was too much food.

We had my company party at McMenamin’s Schoolhouse. It was fun. We didn’t mingle a lot, but we spent most of the evening chattering with people I don’t usually spend a lot of time talking to. The food was fine, and the beer was pretty good.

The fire department came through our neighborhood with Santa. I think they were collecting donations or something, but the kids were delighted.

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November Part I

Mom came down to our house to visit for her birthday and to enjoy birthday presents (tickets to go to two shows with us, described below). KrisDi also made her a chocolate cake saturated in caramel.

The first show we took her to was Cirque du Soleil: Volta. As you would probably expect, there were lots of amazing feats performed by people who have spent an incredible amount of time perfecting completely useless skills. Chilkat, in her typical upbeat fashion, declared at one point, “Why are you torturing me?! I love this so much I want it to never end, but I know that it will!” Chilkoot, in utter awe, declared several time, “Awesome!” For whatever reason, Chilkoot and I dressed as twins for this show. Prior to the show, we took Mom to La Isla, a fantastic Puerto Rican restaurant that scared us with their sign declaring permanent closure the following day. Asking into it, they’re closing that location permanently, and reopening in a new location in a couple months. We’ll go.

The next day, we went to the next show (which is probably more for the kids that for Mom): Disney on Ice. I don’t have much to say about it. I was reading the Lies of Locke Lamora.

KrisDi and I took a vacation day while the kids were at school. We went out to breakfast (Porkchop & Co, excellent), then we went to Chuck’s for beer (fantastic), then we went to a Honduran restaurant (La CabaƱa, quite good), then we went to a Scandinavian bakery (Byen Bakeri, good but definitely not cheap), then Urban Family for sours (they have the bell curve of beers…most are OK, some are bad, and some are good). We were going to go to Fremont’s White Heron Project, but we were so damn full we just went home.

Chilkoot went to a science-themed birthday party for one of his classmates. What does he remember about it? “Making that slime, and getting the Pokemon toy for Delilah from one of the cupcakes, and that’s all I can remember.”

Chilkoot got a haircut. You can see the before and after pictures in the album linked above. Chilkoot looks really upset in the “before” picture, but I don’t know why.

We had family night for before/after school care — food and a dance party, mostly. We won an award for the best pajamas — we all wore matching Christmas pajamas. Our award was a Huskies blanket, even though they’re the rivals of the only school either of us has attended in Washington (WSU Cougars). We saw the other award winner with a Cougars blanket, wearing Huskies pajamas…she wanted to switch, and we were fine with switching, but red is her son’s favorite color, and he was having none of it.

We enrolled Chilkoot in a Karate class a couple weeks ago. They had their first competition last weekend, and I took lots of photos and KrisDi took a couple videos (below). It was cute, and Chilkoot enjoyed winning medals. Chilkoot’s the one in the white helmet.

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October 2018, Part II

We went to Bob’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin farm to buy pumpkins. Crowd was bigger than ever before. We brought Mom along. I waited 45 minutes for donuts. Everything was expensive. It was fine. I played with the camera, and got a couple pictures of an apple being fired out of the apple cannon.

We painted pumpkins. Chilkat painted Harry Potter, and Chilkoot painted Hedwig, and KrisDi painted Hermione, and I painted Ron Weasley. Can you guess what theme it was? My work had a jack-o-lantern contest; I waffled about for a bit before deciding to make a floating ghost pumpkin. Chilkoot helped me make a stand for the actual contest. For display at home, I hung it from the patio ceiling. The carving itself probably took 30 minutes, building the stand probably took an hour. Figuring out how to hang the pumpkin and implementing the idea probably took another 30 minutes.

KrisDi had a girls’ weekend in Hood River with three of her best friends from high school / college (celebrating ~40th birthday for everyone). They drank and ate and hiked. I wasn’t there, so I couldn’t tell you much about it. I was home with the kids.

The Popes’ eldest, Popita, had her 6th birthday party at Pump It Up. KrisDi and Chilkat left it early to go to another kids birthday party at a farm, with horses and cider making.

And of course Halloween. The kids decided to dress as Apple Bear. They actually enjoyed trick or treating this year (last year, they complained almost immediately that they wanted to go home) . There was a lull in the rain for almost the whole time we were out.

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October 2018, Part I

I started off the month in Japan. A supertyphoon arrived about midnight after I got to my hotel. It woke me up with debris thumping and wind shaking the hotel. Morning after was sunny and nice, just a little breezy (with a lot of branches and leaves all over the place and the trains staying closed early in the morning).

The first dinner was fun. My boss and I went to a restaurant we both know and love (nameless yakitori place), but we know the servers don’t speak English, they don’t have an English menu or a picture menu. So, between his and my broken Japanese, awkward gestures, and Google image searches, we had a delicious but somewhat disjointed dinner.

The second or third night, we had an earthquake. Something like a 4.1. It wouldn’t have woken me up, except that the public earthquake warning system woke me so I wouldn’t miss the experience.

The last night I was there, my Japanese friends took me out to dinner in a “normal” restaurant. Until this meal, I hadn’t noticed that 99% of my meals in Japan are in restaurants occupied solely by adults. This one was cheaper, louder, less tasteful, and filled with families. It was fun to be reminded that kids are kids and parents are parents no matter where you are or what language they speak. Kids were crawling over clench-jawed parents growling at them to sit the fuck down and eat their god damn sushi (however you say it in Japanese, I’m confident I got the translation correct). The restaurant also had a rewards system; after 5 small plates, you had a chance to win a prize. I got one tiny little toy sushi.

Meanwhile, KrisDi returned from California. Apparently, while they were there, Chilkoot contracted salmonella, most likely from a lizard encountered at a brewery. So, Chilkoot threw up in bed (which sent Chilkat scrambling for her own bed), rolled around in the vomit while KrisDi tried to clean him up, and proceeded to vomit periodically for the next 10-12 hours. Then he was fine.

I went to Guam after Japan. We went snorkeling twice, and on about a half dozen mild hikes. We drank a lot. We ate a lot. I slipped and hurt my knee (enough to ache and complain the rest of the day, but not seriously hurt). I really enjoyed my visit. I didn’t really enjoy the heat and humidity. It is really nice to get in the water on a sunny hot day out there. It doesn’t take anything more strenuous than breathing to start sweating. My favorite specific sights were the moray eel and the blue squamosa clam. I took a lot of pictures (when my lens wasn’t too foggy).

Les moved to Washington. E and P dubs traveled out to help him put things in a moving truck, and then helped him move stuff out. D still lives in the Chicago area (with her sister), working and trying to get a transfer and considering flat out retiring. They got everything out of their old house and completed its sale. Great Grandma moved into a Polish speaking assisted living place.

The Friday after I got back, we took Miss K out for dinner again. This time we went to La Isla followed by Molly Moon.

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