Wednesday, August 31, 2005

How high's the water, mama?

Oh, hush. I'm already going to hell for so many things, a black-witted post title won't make a difference.

I've never been to New Orleans, though I've much enjoyed the Mardi Gras episodes of "COPS." I did always think that the Big Easy would still be there when I got around to visiting...but that seems far more dubious, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The people on the Gulf Coast are in desperate, horrific straits. Send your thoughts, your prayers to whatever deity towards which you might be inclined. Better, send your cash if you've got some.

Seattle Red Cross-- I'd link to the national site, but it seems to be overwhelmed at the moment. Keep it coming.

Northwest Medical Teams--

United Way Hurricane Katrina Fund--

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The password is "RUDE"

Kim says:
hey, I'm just paying my phone bill online...and you know how they issue you a temporary password to get started?
Sis says:
yeah, I suppose
Kim says:
On this bill, mine is "FATILEG"
Sis says:
Kim says:
yeah. what are you trying to say, Qwest?
Sis says:
at least it's not worse
Sis says:
Kim says:
Sis says:
Kim says:
Sis says:
Kim says:
Sis says:
Kim says:

Friday, August 12, 2005

Hier kommt der Sohn

Dear Kai,

First, welcome, and congratulations on getting born! Your mama and daddy sent me your picture, you snoozing in your little blue knit outfit, and you look so fine and handsome and none the worse for wear, after what must be such an arduous journey that none of us, luckily, remember. You are not the least bit pointy-headed! Also, something about your forehead, that thing you are doing with your eyebrows, is entirely your mother and made me laugh aloud.

I have known your mama, Holly, since we were in junior high--we sat next to each other in Mr. Zukowski's sixth-grade homeroom, two gawky, greasy, lank-haired girls; I am sure that, by the time you reach that age, modern science will have done away with the prime horrors of adolescence...or, at the very least, yours will be more intriguingly exotic, in Germany. Anyway. Your mom and I have written lengthy tomes in each other's every yearbook; shared birthday parties, sleepovers, albums, M&Ms, New Year's Eves, spa days, and the flu; cut class (which you must never, ever do--be cool! stay in school!) to run to Ezell's in a torrential downpour for mashed potatoes and gravy. Together we have been camp counselors, gone to Prom, and attended our 10-year high-school reunion, all experiences we wish never to repeat. We lugged my 30-pound electric typewriter to her house and sat up all night typing one of her college application essays in shifts; 15 years later, I proofread her doctoral thesis. I signed your parents' marriage license as a witness. Your mom is the one person I know I could call, anytime, from anywhere, if things every got really really bad...and just by knowing that priviledge, Kai, I've never had to use it. For your mom, I'd take a bullet...or at least a lawn sprinkler straight to the face, as I wound up doing inadvertently during the wedding photos (ask her sometime).

And your daddy, Kai--he is the man your mother deserves, after a string of sub-par turkeys. Andreas is kind and smart and possessed of a dry wit so subtle, it took me a couple years to realize how funny he is. He knows everything about anything, and if he doesn't will research it exhaustively, so I am sure your house is now an impenetrable fortress of baby safety (and stocked with only the most edifying toys, to boot). Even when your mama and I explained "pep rallies" to him, he didn't hold our inferior American high-school educations against us...though he did chucklingly murmur "pep!" to himself, in wonder, for about a week. He also stuck up for me when, visiting, I mistakenly used your fancy German super-double-fat-plus cooking butter on my breakfast toast.

There is something so hopeful about a baby, Kai; you're a vessel of pure and limitless potential, a bundle of joy and of tangible proof that anything, anything at all, can happen. I read the e-mail announcing your birth, Wednesday morning, and while I was driving to work I was thinking, for some reason, about your mother and I, a decade ago. She was living in Portland, Oregon, then, just a few hours away, and I wondered why we didn't see more of each other. I had to push myself to remember us then--we were broke and had crappy jobs and cheap apartments and doltish boyfriends whose names I can barely remember. We were young and our lives were narrow and tough, at the time, and we had little chance to get together. But now look! We have houses and cars and happy grownup lives. Our communications fly around the world with the click of a button...and our selves can fly right after them, without much more effort. Your mama has your daddy, and now they have you, baby Kai...and let me tell you, the sight and the word and the very fact of you gives me new hope, as well. In you, Kai, the world is made over, and anything at all is possible.

I love you already and cannot wait to meet you.

Your "pseudo" Auntie Kim

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I went to Blue C Sushi with my mom, Monday night--it's kaiten sushi, a conveyor belt of delicacies trundling past your seat like an It's a Small World ride for raw fish. I found it both hypnotic and somehow overstimulating--I was sort of grabbing frenetically at things as if they wouldn't come right around again in a minute, and the big-screen anime and dreamy techno music blip-blooping in the background made me feel a bit like I was wandering through an arcade game. But it was fun, and I found that I did in fact have an "Enough Of" limit for California rolls, and I was all right until the morning's soy-sauce bloat set in.

Then I spent the day very fretful and fat and psychotically unstable. I wanted to throw the hott!! housepainter I've hired down on the front lawn and have my way with him, and then cry for an hour, and then eat a cake, and OH MY GOD WHAT WAS WRONG WITH MEEEEEEE?

Well. Since I've been menstruating regularly for nearly a quarter century, you might think that I've acquired a little more hormonal self-awareness, month to month. Alas, you would be wrong. But it is a relief to realize that, no, again, I had not suddenly lost my entire mind. Yet.