Revisiting July

KrisDi pointed out that I missed something important in this post: Their drama group did a kids’ version of Twelfth Night, performed on Chilkoot’s actual birthday. Chilkat and Chilkoot played the twins Viola and Sebastian (respectively). KrisDi curled Chilkat’s hair and pinned it up to look more like Chilkoot, and it was amazingly successful. It was the first time they did an actual, physical performance on a stage (outside behind a local church).

The kids got to invent a secret twins handshake and perform it on stage in the scene where they were reunited. The group messed up the order of a scene and then had to recover on the fly, which including backing up and redoing a fight scene, which was hilarious.

I think the kids really enjoyed it. I enjoyed watching it. Here’s a video recording of it, in two parts:

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September 2021 Part II

Click here or on the mannequins above for more photos

Apparently September was a quiet month, or we didn’t take many photos, or both. This post covers the rest of the month.

One result of playing in the lake while we were out camping is that Chilkoot came home wanting to learn how to swim! So we signed him up for swimming lessons at a local gym. His first lesson, they said he was ready to go to the next level. Their levels are very small increments, and he was way older than the other kids in this first class. But, Chilkoot was excited, and he’s still doing the lessons.

Since Monocular Ben and family (I guess we’ll call them the Monocles?) moved back, we can hang out with them! Pope hosted a pizza night at his house and we all got to chat. It was nice. And all of the children survived.

Kettleworks started a new cycle. The kids got some one-on-one coaching to prep for auditions, and then the Friday before the auditions, I was in a one-on-one with someone, and I heard someone come into the house sobbing. I bailed on the meeting and discovered that Chilkat had been sent home because a “close contact” at school had tested positive for covid-19. This required staying home for three full days and returning to school only after receiving a negative test result. So, Chilkat was terrified of catching covid-19 and terrified of the test, and terrified that she wasn’t going to be able to go to the Kettleworks auditions she’d been working toward because of the exposure.

We got her tested that day (the actual exposure had been several days prior), and she was negative, so she was clear for the audition (thankfully). Sunday, the kids had auditions, and she got tested again per the timing requirement for the school, and she was negative again. So, she went back to school on Tuesday. Just a scare. Sometime after that, I started feeling kind of crappy and got tested, but I was also negative.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m more than a little into beer, and many people know that I’m active on A portion of the website is dedicated to beer trading (no selling allowed) — finding someone who might be in a very different part of the world who has beer that you want, and who wants beer that you have, and arranging a mutually agreeable trade, usually executed by shipping the beer or occasionally meeting face to face. I learned that some subset of this subset of people arrange occasional “Beer It Forward” events, where a group of people join and are assigned a target (kind of like Secret Santa, I think). I decided to participate in one, and it started mid-September, with delivery supposed to occur in mid-October. My target was a guy in Massachusetts who goes by WunderLlama on the website. Later, I found out my sender was MacMalt, a guy in New Jersey. Participating has been a blast…but not a cheap hobby. Between NYC, fresh hop season, Oktoberfest season, and Beer It Forward shenanigans, my beer inventory has skyrocketed.

KrisDi and I have been fans of Less Than Jake since before we met, but neither of us had ever had a chance to see them play live. We found out they were coming to Seattle, and we got tickets to go see them. L & D watched the kids, and we went out for dinner at a gluten free brewery (Ghostfish) near the venue (Showbox SoDo), then walked over to the show, where we met with Miss K and her husband. We drank and enjoyed and it was lots of fun.

The cousins had a birthday which was very noise.

Actual Zwanze Day occurred. We gave tickets to some friends and met with them. We spent most of the day there and drank lots of delicious sour, wild, and spontaneous beer.

I met with my trucker friend from Oregon one evening, and we went to a distillery near where he parks overnight, JP Trodden, and tried their whiskey. It was fun.

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September 2021 Part I

Chilkat wanted to have photos taken with Danielle. Not sure why? I think they just wanted to have some cute photos together. So, she came over, they played and acted goofy, and KrisDi took some pictures of them.

KrisDi and I took a day off on short notice to hang out at E9 to buy Zwanze Day tickets. They announced on Thursday that they were selling something like 100 tickets the next day. This is KrisDi’s beer event of the year, and it didn’t happen in the US last year. Previous years, I have waited in line to buy tickets as much as seven hours in advance. This time, we went out there a few hours in advance, and no one was there. So we went to Pint Defiance and had a beer (and I bought some of my first fresh hop beers of the year!) and went back, and we were still the first people in line! And E9 decided to be super nice about the line — they let us come inside and sit at a table and order a beer (even though they didn’t technically open for another hour or two). We were also able to buy extra tickets to share with friends.

Woodland Park Zoo had a dino exhibit, with life-sized animatronic dinosaurs. The kids really wanted to see it, so we did. Of course, we also walked around the zoo, and we went to the new Windy City pie location that is walking distance from the zoo for lunch afterwards. We learned that Chilkoot likes deep dish now.

Both kids got haircuts. There are before and after photos in there. Most notably, Chilkoot decided he wanted his hair to be fairly short. Cutting all those curls off nearly broke KrisDi’s heart.

The kitchen remodel was ongoing at this point. I’ll write a post just on that topic some time, but right now I’m obviously still pretty far behind on regular posts.

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August 2021 Part III

Click here or on the photo above for the rest of the pictures

Actually a lot happened in the second half of August.

Mom moved to New Mexico. She had gone through the laborious process of divesting herself of most of her possessions, packing and arranging most of the rest to be transported and stored in NM, and planning her own drive in Trent. She had, I think, two different friends volunteer to drive with her and then have to cancel, so somewhat last minute, she was looking for a road trip buddy. Les actually volunteered to do it because he’s super nice, but I was able to take a day off and go with her. But it was not a casual sight-seeing road trip: I planned to drive to Salt Lake City on day one (~830 miles), and the rest of the way on day two (~600 miles), and then fly home on day three. Mom posted her own version.

I’m me, so I planned breweries to stop at pretty much every meal (except breakfast). This worked well in terms of overall planning: Stop in Boise for lunch and visit Payette brewing (order food from nearby restaurants), stop in Salt Lake City for the night / dinner and visit Templin Family Brewing. We had planned to eat dinner at The Red Iguana, but it was 7 or 8 PM, the line was out the door and down the block, and Mom was overstimulated and melting down. So we got a quick meal at a burger joint and took it back to the AirBnB, Mom and I ate together, and Mom tried to recuperate while I went out to Templin Family Brewing myself.

We stopped at Three Rivers Brewing in Farmington, NM for lunch, where the food was surprisingly good and there were some surprisingly good aspects to their beer (unfortunately, Colorado breweries I wanted to have lunch at were closed when we drove through the area, so I did not get to visit four breweries in four states in two days as I had hoped). We made it to Albuquerque in time to have dinner with Donna, and then as I noticed my eyes rolling backward while the old ladies jabbered about people I never met and gossip from before my birth I begged leave to run away to visit La Cumbre brewing.

As far as the drive itself: I’m sure Mom and I annoyed each other equally. My refusal to stop at random locations; her wheedling that she wanted to stop and pick weeds or stare at rocks; my insistence that meals needed to be accompanied by beer (more accurately: stopping for beer is a good opportunity to get food); her whining about it without a material complaint; Mom’s constant referral to an arcane tome of directions which amounted to a printout of Google Maps; my dismissal of said tome in favor of just using Google Maps (and accompanying lack of real planning and confidence that technology would get us there and solve any problems that cropped up). Things balanced out, we made it, and we both survived.

Mechanically, the drive went really well. We had an issue with the AirBnB in SLC — we arrived and it was obviously not cleaned from the last tenant; they sent us to a new one and were scrambling to get it cleaned as we arrived. Weather on Saturday morning in the dark through the mountains in Utah was exciting. Many parts of the drive were beautiful (at 80 miles an hour). I got an Uber or Lyft or something early the next morning and flew home with a suitcase full of beer from Idaho, Utah, and New Mexico.

One of the reasons for the compressed drive is that we had a family camping trip to Moran State Park on Orcas Island on Monday. We went with Les & D and P Dubs & T-Dog. We had to take a ferry to the island (which was somewhat stressful). Our campsite was right on the water with a little beach included (which was pretty sweet). The kids actually played in the water (and Chilkoot came home wanting to resume swimming lessons!). It was another “burn ban” camping trip so we borrowed the same gas fire pit from the same friends. Again, we ate ridiculous food. Amazingly, we used no bug spray and got no mosquito bites! I was up earlier than everyone else, so I spent a morning trying to snap photos of bats (the reason there were no mosquitoes?) as they flitted over the water in the pre-dawn. That was a challenging photographic endeavor. I found a new way to hurt myself with stilts: I burned my finger. One stilt twisted out from under my foot and I slid down the stilt to the ground, getting a friction burn on the inside of my middle finger. We went up to the Mt. Constitution summit and looked over the water in the direction of Lummi Island.

The last day of the month was the first day of school. Chilkoot has Chilkat’s old teacher. So far, it’s been 100% in-person, with masks and contact tracing and notification.

Other stuff…

  • Had dinner with my Oregon trucker friend at the new Stoup location in Bothell. Also went across the street to visit 192 brewing. There are a couple other breweries in the location, but they were closed at the time.
  • Les’s birthday occurred while I was driving to NM with Mom.
  • The kids’ summer camp gave all the kids t-shirts with their name printed on them; ours were spelled wrong. I marked them up with a sharpie.
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August 2021 Part II

Click here or the scene above for more photos

D’s cousin and her husband came out to visit from Florida. KrisDi made them a cake, and they all went on a hike at Mt. Rainier without me.

We had a mole come back and wreak total havoc on the yard. I killed it five days later.

KrisDi and I went to Whiskey and Wild Bites at the Woodland Park Zoo. This is an event where they have five or six big name chefs prepare some kind of an appetizer and five or six distilleries with samples at the zoo. The food is basically all you can eat (limited by long lines), and the whiskey is a sample per ticket, but you can buy more tickets. Mostly local places that were so-so, one Australian place that was so-so, and Benriach, which was good. We tried all the food and all the whiskey, and then were going to spend the remaining time wandering the zoo. But we stumbled across another ticket and ran back for more Benriach 12! Then we started back for the zoo and stumbled across another ticket and ran back for more Benriach 12! And that was the end of the night. Les was our driver. If I remember correctly, he went out for a beer and some fish and chips while we were at the event.

The kids’ drama group performed their Mischief and Mayhem production. Specifically, I remember them doing a zombie themed song and dance. I think this is the first time they had choreography. I think it turned out quite well.

Chilkoot had a hike with his scout troop where the trail was littered (decorated?) with gnomes.

KrisDi and I did Bacon, Eggs, and Kegs with our friends, Chilkat’s friend’s parents, Jenn and Clint. It was a beer festival that started in the morning and included a make-your-own bloody mary bar. We drank a lot of beer and did some silly things, and watched some wacky stuff like drunk people trying to remove two golf balls tied together from a tree. KrisDi’s parents watched all three of the kids. D also tried to do some yardwork but fell down the back yard.

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