Friday, May 29, 2009

Who Needs Some Pudding?

Monica came to visit last weekend. If you recall, I had some angst about the state of my house going in. I had succeeded in taking the day off on Friday (except there was a work-related project MAB begged me to do and I had to take The Child to the doctor for some lab work (routine, nothing scary) so I didn't even get home until 11:30 in the morning. So much for a "day" off. But I started to make some headway in the house and even in the gardens, which was more than I'd expected. Likewise, I did more of the same on Saturday. But come Sunday, the day of Monica's arrival, I still wasn't satisfied. (Yes, it really was that bad). Plus, she has allergies and we have pets and she knew about the pets but I wanted to make sure that whatever allergens I could control were thusly dealt with just so she wouldn't swell and die because I happen to think that having a guest swell and die on you is extremely bad form for a hostess.

Come Sunday I was also weary of my house. And Monica wasn't coming in until 9pm so I thought I'd take some time with my game. You know, just relax for crying out loud. And I believe I mentioned that the game is addicting. Addicting in the "where did the time go?" sort of way. But I still wasn't worried because, as I said, Monica was arriving at 9pm. Then my cell rang and it was her and she was in the cab and on her way because she'd caught an earlier train.

Said The Spouse, "And cue the freakout in five, four, three"... But I didn't really freakout. Much. Some final tweaks and it was going to have to do because there was the taxi and inside it was Monica. Who is more adorable than I expected.

We had wine and ate a delicious grilled chicken dinner that The Spouse put together then played "Guitar Hero". Good times.

As anyone who has visited us from elsewhere will tell you, we're not tremendous tour guides. Mon had never been here before so I knew I had to give her the nickel tour but I'm not a 2-hours-at-EMP-then-up-to-the-top-of-the-Space-Needle-followed-by-the-Underground-Tour-and-a-visit-to-the-zoo sorta tour guide. It's more along the lines of "there's our movie theater, there's my church, this is a nice neighborhood" sort of thing. But I did give her a little taste of Seattle. We went to the Market, had breakfast at Lowell's and talked about New York.

We cruised the stalls and found little tiny avocados and beautiful flowers.

I showed her the original Starbucks and then it was up to Queen Anne for the money shot of Seattle.

Monica was easily pleased, thought Seattle was beautiful and made me laugh. She is also prone to apropos-of-nothing comments like, "Could you go for a milkshake right about now?" The place with the best milkshakes was closed for the holiday but that was ok because, really, she needed to be able to say she'd been to Dick's Drive-in anyway.

We drove around some more; I pointed out some sights, Monica mused about moving to Seattle because it was so beautiful and felt like a place when real people lived (rather than Portland, which feels to her like a place where people go to "hang") then we took the lake drive back to the house. It was a beautiful day and the water was all sparkly and stuff.

The afternoon was spent playing a wicked fun card game called "Phase 10" with The Child, during which Monica and I endeavored to teach The Child essential life lessons that she simply must have to function in the world. (Like, learn to hold 10 cards in your hand at the same time). Then there was another random Monica moment involving pudding so while she and The Child walked to the co-op for said treat I made dessert (fresh nectarine tart with pastry cream on puff pastry). The Neighbor joined us for dinner and then Monica gamely joined The Child and I for the season premiere of "Jon and Kate Plus 8" (don't get me started).

And that was pretty much it. Low key, fun, comfortable.

Tuesday morning I drove Monica to the train station, gave her a hug and told her to come back any damn time.

Until Sunday Monica and I hadn't even spoken by phone. It was as virtual a relationship as they come. But, once again, making her real was just as easy a thing as it could be. I'm firmly convinced that it is impossible to put on too much if you are a blogger. You might have a schtick, you might create an on-line presence that focuses only on what you want to share. But if you read someone for any length of time you still get a pretty good sense of the kind of person they truly are. And sure enough, Monica is a smart, sassy, funny, kind and easy going person. It was a delight to hang with her and I can't wait until she comes up again.

For today's Jukebox, I'm playing a tune from a band Monica turned me on to while she was here. They are a band who, as she puts it, "wear their influences on their sleeve". One minute you're all, "this is mid-career Beatles" and then its "hey, this sounds like The Band". But they manage to put it all together in a way that is uniquely their own. Good stuff.

Dr. Dog "Hang On"

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Blogger Anne opined...

Oh man, I really need to come back to Seattle.

Sounds like a wonderful time.

love the freak-out count-down.... hehe

May 29, 2009 8:16 AM  
Blogger sageweb opined...

I like that Monica...very cool that you got to meet her. I need to catch up with her..I am not sure I can hold 10 cards at once. I feel like peanut butter.

Oh did you know everytime I leave you a comment I get an email saying it was undeliverable?
Very strange. ..not really

May 29, 2009 8:20 AM  
Blogger Mom opined...

Blogland is a wonderful place. Maybe one day we can have a real party and everyone can come.

May 29, 2009 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Cute, cute, cute. And you look good too.

Next time I visit I want the underground tour.

May 29, 2009 10:34 AM  
Blogger Eric opined...

As I recall, JP, you got it last time you were here. remember going to buy shiny things for Lorraine?

May 29, 2009 1:36 PM  
Blogger Bad Alice opined...

You really host! When my friend came to town recently we took him to a bar and he peed in the parking garage. We have a photo somewhere. That's about my level.

May 29, 2009 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha

Yay! Glad your house is all clean.

Wanna come do mine?

Oh well.



May 29, 2009 5:24 PM  
Blogger Monica opined...

i am as "bad" a tour guide as you are which is why i don't think you are bad. i really would rather look at all of the stuff and then decide later what i want to actually go to. when i come back i think i will do that dang underground tour because everyone keeps asking me if i did.

life lesson #86 always buy your hosts a tub of pudding ;)

May 29, 2009 7:19 PM  
Blogger Sling opined...

The good thing about friends is that they don't visit with time to kill,but with time to live.
I'm pinching Monica's adorable little cheeks as we speak. :)

May 30, 2009 12:35 PM  
Blogger Miss Healthypants opined...

Monica is too cute! :)

Glad you had fun! :)

May 31, 2009 3:48 PM  

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