Music Must: Listen Up

As I’ve said (and will probably keep saying), I have many favorite memories of our wedding. But a big one was having The Local Strangers play. They not only learned a new song for our ceremony (Joshua Radin’s “Today”) for when we all walked down the aisle, they played their cover of Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” as we exited, AND played a set of their music for the cocktail reception. We missed the majority of it since we were off taking more photos but from our guests we’ve only heard rave reviews. I imagined as much would happen since these two are AMAZING. We danced our first dance to their song “Letter to My Lover” which is just the most fitting & perfect song for us.

Aubrey & Matt being awesome.

Today their first full-length album is out and I’m so excited for them. They are so gracious, humble, generous, and incredibly talented. I’m lucky to know them and we’re all blessed to get to listen to their beautiful music. Do yourself a favor and buy their album!

Big thanks to Aubrey & Matt for lending their voices to our special day and huge congratulations on this monumental accomplishment.
 

The Rock Star Keeps Rockin’

Mr. Darcy landed himself a job.

APPLAUSE! APPLAUSE!

It’s a good paying gig at a company he is very familiar with and (bonus!) where all his friends work and (double bonus!) he’s risen in the ranks from Concept Artist to Art Director.

Not a bad way to start off a week.

Mr. Darcy is a Rock Star

This isn’t really my story to tell but I’m going to share what I can from my perspective.

Last summer, right before we were leaving for our trip back east, Mr. Darcy  made a huge decision. (Well, besides the one where he decided to move in with me.)  He left the job he’d moved all the way out to Seattle from New Jersey for- a place where he had given years of time and toil to, a place where all his friends worked, a place where he was very successful and had made a name for himself (among nerds and non-nerds alike). It was a long time coming but sometimes push does come to shove and you just have to act.

He wasn’t left with a lot of options. Less than 2 weeks before we were set to leave for our trip back East (a trip long since planned and paid for) they told him they were denying his vacation request. A request he was required to submit 90 days prior. 90 DAYS! This is just a small window into the unethical, crazy shit they would pull.

And so he left and quickly found another job, this time as a concept artist for a fledgling video game company. It wasn’t ideal- the pay was pretty crappy but the atmosphere was relaxed. And hey, it was a foot in the door to the video game world which can be pretty lucrative. Mr. Darcy has a really stellar work ethic and gave the job his all even though he wasn’t that excited about what they were working on nor did he have a lot of faith that this game they were working on would ever actually get picked up and shipped.

During all those months, he’s been picking up side gigs for extra money. He’s been rather inundated with requests actually because he is a fantastically talented artist. But working a full-time job AND coming home to do more work was wearing on him (and us). He kept his eye out for a  better paying job so that he could focus on one job that pays him well, not multiple jobs to make ends meet.

Then he got contacted by a recruiter for a Very Prestigious Video Game Company (hint: angels are known to wear these on their heads) and got a phone interview then an in person interview then was asked to take an art test which basically meant he spent 20 hours reworking one their pre-existing concepts and drawing some sort of weapon (I am not so good with retaining weaponry words or most video game-related thingies, please forgive me). He submitted it early after staying up til 2am for two nights in a row because not only is he really good, he also prides himself on being really fast. We thought we’d hear soon and so we sat on pins and needles with our fingers crossed. Three days went by, no word. The weekend hit so he tried to put it out of his mind (good luck with that, right?). Then Monday came, then Tuesday. WHEN THE HELL ARE THEY GOING TO TELL US!?

Finally, Mr. Darcy got an email from the recruiter that asked him to call him. Mr. Darcy being the pessimist that he is immediately decided that he did not get the job. He told the recruiter he would call him at 1pm on his lunch break (it was 9am). I wanted to pop him over the head for putting it off. He’d only been agonizing over this for a week and now he has the chance to know the result and he says he will call at 1pm? GAH! I say that Mr. Darcy is stubbornly impatient while I am more of an impetuous impatient person. He begs to differ which is his prerogative even though I am clearly right. (Ahem.)

I’m dragging this out, aren’t I?

So the recruiter guy writes back and says, “It will be quick. I want to make you an offer.”

WOO HOO! Insert bells, whistles, confetti and happy dancing here.

This was a very long way of telling you that my man, my Mr. Darcy, has done got himself a really good job at a really good company and I am so insanely proud of him.

Way to go, my love.

I snapped this picture of us on Saturday during our celebration date.

 

Shine On

I want to tell you about my friend Rae Rae. Because tomorrow is her birthday. Because she is one of my favorite people.

We met through our mutual friend, the infamous Bird, probably over six years ago now. Bird used to rave about her to me. “Jonesy, you are going to LOVE Rae Rae! You two are going to be friends. I just know it!” * And she was so right. I immediately fell in girl crush love with Rae Rae.

Bird, Rae Rae & Me

Rae Rae is a rare gem. She’s one of the truest people I know- loyal and loving, fierce and tender, wicked smart, wildly inappropriate at times (like me!), hilarious, thoughtful and giving, and totally beautiful.I mean check out those eyes!

She is a fighter and a survivor even if sometimes she forgets that she is. She beat cancer. She works tirelessly to help at risk youth to succeed in college, often going above and beyond the call of duty. When Rae Rae cares, she CARES, and you know it. She probably beats herself up more than I do and we often commiserate on our hours of therapy, internal processing,the challenges of personal growth and reading of many self-help books. We’re both in recovery for people pleasing so we can call each other out. Can you imagine? Two people pleasers calling each other out?  It’s kind of comical but we try. She is one of those people I can completely be myself around. When I’m with her I laugh more, think deeper, and feel more settled into myself. I only wish she and her partner, Run Run, lived in Seattle.

If there was one thing in the whole wide world I could give her it’s this: the ability to look at herself and see what I see- a woman of beauty, truth, strength, and love. She really has no concept of how wonderful she is and I wish she did.

Every year around this time I come across a paragraph in The Book of Awakening that reminds me of her:

“Having an honest friend- one before whom you can dump all your heart’s pockets and still feel that you are worth something- is a form of wealth that will buy you nothing but will give you everything. And mysteriously and rightly, to find such a friend, we must be such a friend.” – Mark Nepo

Thank you, Rae Rae, for being that friend. I love you with all my heart. Happy Birthday.

*A lot of people call me Jonesy but Bird started it. And yes, Jones is my actual for serious last name. Original, eh?

Of Note

I’m still not sure how this happened.

I am on the Top 50 Women’s Blogs thanks to Access Communications.

I’m flattered to say the least. Floored and flattered. I got the email and was so busy with last minute work stuff that I didn’t even check the list. Then a friend Twittered me about it and I was all WHAT THE?!

Being at the bottom of a list has never felt so good.

And with that, I’m off to catch a jet plane to Jersey. Because I am classy like that.

See you lovelies in a week.

Be good.

xo,

Sizz

You Say It’s Your Birthday

This is my friend, Putzy.

I made him wear my scarf for the emo effect.

I made him wear my scarf for the emo effect.

Today is his birthday. (Welcome to 36, my friend.)

Those who have been around for a while here might remember him from when I first moved to Seattle. Putzy holds the title as my First Seattle Friend. And if you can believe it, we met on My Space of all places. Over the past three years, our friendship has waxed and waned but in the last few months we’ve been hanging out a lot- both newly single and up for some fun.

Total hams, the two of us.

We're total hams. Later this night, totally drunk, I tripped and fell because I am classy like that. I must have made Putz look at my busted lip five times. "Is it bleeding?!"

Putzy makes me laugh. Like deep in my belly. He’s very silly and a total prankster. In my old apartment I had on-going issues with my Comcast internet service. It was so terrible that I got to know the service guy by name. He had a friend that worked at Comcast at the time so he snagged a bunch of those “comcastic” stickers and came over to my place. While I was making dinner, he slyly hid the stickers all around my house. I found those fuckers for months. He was very full of himself for what he’d pulled off.

I think one of his best pranks was on a best friend of his who hates bunnies. Yes, you read that right, the dude hates rabbits. Putz works with kids so he had them make hundreds of cut outs of bunnies and then put them on sticks. He and his friends went over to this bunny-hating friend’s house while he was gone and covered the front lawn with them. P went to meet with his friend and grabbed a ride back to the bunny-laden-lawn-house so that he could see the reaction first hand. As the car turned up the driveway and the headlights lit the lawn, his friend saw what they had done and told him to get out of the car. You just know that with shit like that, Putzy was at the helm. The guy is very creative.

P found this heart-shaped rock for me & I made a necklace out of it.

P found this heart-shaped rock for me & I made a necklace out of it.

He’s incredibly talented. He’s played guitar since he was 15 and owns upwards of thirteen guitars, a mandolin and a ukulele. He’s the one that’s teaching me to play my acoustic. He’s artistic- he’s constantly holed up in his apartment making jewelery or painting or doing some new mosaic piece. He’s a horrible typist, hates mushrooms and has a really dirty mind (but I like that about him). He drives me up the g-damn wall when he goes into hermit mode. He can be sporadic about which messages he chooses to respond to which I think is total bullshit since he has an iPhone and I’m pretty sure it’s written in the fine print of the contract: You can not miss any calls, texts or emails when owning an iPhone because when you hold an iPhone, you hold the Universe in your hands. (Or something like that. I’m paraphrasing.) His litany of excuses amuse (and irritate) me. My favorite is “I was putting out my bosses PMS fires all week.” By my calculations, his boss is constantly suffering from PMS. Poor lady!

I cut his forehead off on purpose. Really!

I cut his forehead off on purpose. Really!

Putz is my go-to guy. He’s usually up for anything and he’s pretty unflappable. It’s well known that I am a control freak and when I mentioned this to him he seemed to have no awareness of it. Either he’s playing dumb to play safe or he really doesn’t notice it. But that certainly didn’t stop him from giving me shit about it for the rest of the evening. “Oh, are you trying to control me now?” he’ll say trying to suppress a smile. Just shut it, Putz. Except I’m laughing while exasperated. He gives good tease. I’ll admit it- it’s good for me to be around him. He’s like the yin to my yang. I suppose that’s what happens when you put an Aries and a Libra together. He’s not an emotional basket case which sometimes is unnerving for me. He does claim to have cried before so my previous claim that he is a robot masquerading as a man is unfounded. Kind of a bummer because having a robot friend could be kind of cool.

You can take the boy out of California but you can't take California out of the boy.

You can take the boy out of California but you can't take California out of the boy.

This is all just to say Happy Birthday to my very good friend in celebration of his 36th year and thanks for being in my life. Have fun in California! Say hello to the ocean for me.

Where I Call “Home”

This week marks two years that I have been a resident of Seattle. Last year I commemorated the anniversary with a post so I thought it only fitting that I keep the tradition alive. From the very first time I visited this amazing city many years ago, I knew there was something special calling me to this place. I took my time getting here or maybe, life unfolded as it should, but I eventually arrived and I have not regretted leaving Santa Cruz, CA for this urban mecca for one second. This is where I belong.

Living here is always a never-ending adventure. There are many things I could share with you about this great city but here are just ten observations about Seattle life you may or may not be aware of . . .

1. The Space Needle is not as tall as it appears in Grey’s Anatomy. It’s all about the angle of the picture but in reality, it’s dwarfed by downtown skyscrapers. It’s still a sight to behold, don’t get me wrong, but if you are driving in from the airport and you happen to spot a speck to the left of the urban metropolis, yeah, that’s the Needle. Surprise! Don’t believe everything you see on television.

2. Everyone is supposed to stop for pedestrians whether there is a sidewalk or not. I swear if some jaywalker decided to cross the damn freeway everyone would politely stop. That kind of ridiculousness would never fly in California. Seattle drivers drive slow and seem to be unable to operate their car in the rain regardless of the 9 months of practice they get EVERY YEAR. I am confounded by this mystery.

3. You better know how to parallel park lest you make an ass out of yourself holding up traffic while on your third attempt at backing your car in. Here’s a tip: Say hello to your neighbor* (pull up next to the car in front of the space you want- your cars should be lined up), back up the car while turning the wheel to angle your car into the space, then when your shoulders line up with the back of that car turn the wheel the other way, then you are backed into the space. Hopefully. Or just take the bus. We might all be safer that way.

*Double B, my BIL, taught me that trick.

4. Don’t bother driving downtown. The parking fees alone are worth the cab fare (if you live in Capital Hill like me at least) or be a good Seattleite and take public transportation. Seattleites love the bus or hoofing it around town.

5. Which brings me to my next point: There is a reason that Seattle is ranked one of the “most athletic” cities in the U.S. If you had to live under the oppressive gray skies we call home 9 months out of the year, wouldn’t you lace up your running shoes the moment it stopped raining? Wouldn’t you have to exercise to combat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)? Yes. Yes you would. Trust me.

6. You can never be bored here. If you live here and you are bored, try leaving your house. In one day you could get a delicious brunch at one of the many tasty restaurants, go for a day hike at a park, see an author read from their book at a local bookstore, see a theater/musical performance, check out a new bar and eat a cupcake. For example. There is ALWAYS something to do here.

7. It’s rather imperative that you learn the difference between North, South, East and West because that’s how they describe things here. “Head north on 12th Ave. and then turn east at Pine.” Why can’t you just say turn RIGHT on 12th and LEFT on Pine?! I have gotten better about this but it seriously messed with my head the first year I tried to navigate around town. I felt like an idiot.

8. Washington requires only 20 day notice when moving out. Rentals move pretty fast here. And while we seem to be a very dog friendly town, it’s hard to find an apartment that will rent to dogs. Moving from California where I had to give 30 days notice to here where I couldn’t start looking until after the 10th was nerve wracking for this Type A girl. Thankfully, my sister was here to help- pick me up from the bathroom floor when I had a breakdown from the stress of apartment hunting and to do some leg work for me before I got here.

9. People don’t dress up here. Fleece and jeans are pretty standard. That stereotype is rather true. I purchased my first fleece within a few months of moving here but I am usually more dressed up than most people. Maybe that is because I work in the non-profit field and we are pretty relaxed when it comes to attire? I’d rather be a tad over-dressed than under-dressed though.

10. There really is coffee EVERYWHERE.

If you have never visited Seattle you are missing out. But if you hate the rain, try planning your trip for August or September. And then just try not to fall in love with the Emerald City. I double dog dare you not to! (It’s rather impossible.) (Yes, I am biased.)

This Post Is Brought To You By the Letter “P”

finn in hat“Hey, Al Bundy? What’s with the hand down the pants?”

He looks up at me. Caught.

“Do you need to go potty?” I ask, using my hand to make the sign simultaneously.

He shakes his head up and down.

“Do you want to go potty in the bathroom?”

He shakes his head yes and walks into the bathroom.

Huh. I don’t know what I am doing. I’ve never potty trained anyone except pets. I guess I’ll just roll with it.

“Do you want to sit on your toilet and go potty?”

Yes his head shake tells me.

Ok then. I’m sure this will be easy enough. I’ll just take off his pants and diaper, position him on his little potty training toilet and hope for the best. We sit. Him on his potty. Me on the edge of the bath tub.

“Are you going potty?” I suppose I’m anxious. Is he really going to pee in there? I shouldn’t ask him so frequently about his peeing. Just let the boy pee in his own time. Sheesh!

He shakes his head yes again. This kid is serious about going potty in the kid toilet.

I get up and grab a diaper then ask him if he is all done, using the sign for it as I say it.

Again with the head shaking and yes.

We get him up and low and behold- He went potty! Sure it was just a mini shot glass of pee but WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO my nephew used the potty. We did a high five, fastened his diaper on then put on his pants while we talked about flushing the pee down the big people toilet and washing our hands. The kid loves washing his hands.

I called my sis. Apparently he’s peed in the potty twice before. You’d think he’d won the Nobel Prize the way I was cheering him on but seriously, I was totally excited and proud of the little man.

I never thought I’d get this excited over pee in a potty.

Life’s funny that way.

“Oh, be the music in my head/The air around my bed/Oh, be my rest/Replace the small disgraces of the times and places/That I never really left/Did you leave the darkness without me?/You’re always miles ahead/And you’re standing in tomorrow on the runway/Oh, I want to fly, fly forward into the light/Be alive, to come alive/On the leaf-bright Friday drive/Sudden horses at the red light/Turn around, see clearer ways to go now. . .”Tomorrow On The Runway, The Innocence Mission

2 for 2

That’s what the text said underneath a picture of them with their beaming smiles and fancy outfits. She was holding a bouquet.

Wait. A. Second.

A bouquet!?

Helopementoly crap did my friends just get MARRIED!?

When I called them, ecstatic with tears of joy falling down my face, they confirmed my hope. Of course, Mikey was quick to correct me that they had “eloped”- whatever, Mikey! You have a wife!

So here’s the back story because up ’til now you probably don’t give a hoot that my friends got hitched. But you should. For my sake. Because 3.5 years ago, I fixed them up. AND because they are awesome people.

Mikey was once my boyfriend. One of THE best boyfriends I ever landed, honestly. (I can count the good ones on one hand.) We’d long since been broken up but had managed to stay close friends when he was once again single and looking to date. I had met Meagan from a mutual friend- her housemate, my coworker- who, last year married the man that she met through me. (Hence the whole “2 for 2” bit.)

Something just clicked when I met her. She was just his type- beautiful but unassuming, a shoo in for Natalie Wood with big brown eyes, super smart, a tad shy, bookish andhot stuff couple incredibly sweet. I had no idea what her “type” was but she said she was game when I asked if I could fix her up. (Hmm, did I actually ask? Do I ever ask first?!) Since I could personally vouch that Mikey was a catch, maybe that calmed any trepidations she might have had. Basically, Mikey was stoked she is hawt. (I kid. He also liked that she could read.)

I introduced them over email. “Mikey, this is Meagan. She’s this and that and the other and she likes yadda yadda and yadda. Meagan, this is Mikey. He’s this and that and the other and he likes yadda yadda and yadda.” They met for coffee. They dated. And dated some more. I moved to Seattle, thus freeing him from being my housemate. They moved in together. They got engaged (unbeknownst to me- AHEM!). Then they went and got married!being silly

I sincerely could not be happier. They are one of those couples that makes you believe that something that special could happen for you too. I love them both to pieces and wish them every happiness. The only part I’m sad about is that I didn’t get to embarrass them with a toast at their reception. I’ll find a way somehow. You can bet on it. (Maybe this blog post is it?)

Congratulations to two of my favorite people in the whole wide world. When I say you two deserve each other- I mean it in the best way possible!

“Fly me to the moon/Let me sing among those stars/Let me see what spring is like/On Jupiter and Mars/In other words, hold my hand/In other words, baby kiss me/Fill my heart with song/Let me sing for ever more/You are all I long for/All I worship and adore/In other words, please be true/In other words, I love you.” -Fly Me to the Moon, Frank Sinatra