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In richness and in poorness (poorness is underlined)

One year ago today, Jason and I got tired of shacking up and made it legal with a crazy dance party and the best people in the world. I had friends fly across the country to be there…even one of the friends I met in Taiwan from Australia happened to be in the area that weekend and was able to attend. At the time the party happened, I was so freaking stressed out over every last detail that I lost track of the big picture…but now when I look at photos or listen to our jammin’ playlist, I feel nothing but grateful to everyone who helped me celebrate an important life event and so very incredibly lucky to have so many special people in my life. The last year went by so fast, and it was all the better for having a committed partner by my side who is down for any adventure I want to undertake. Married life is awesome. It makes me want to live forever.

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newspaper All above photos ©Brilliant Imagery Photography (Hire her, she’s great!)

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Bonus bridal shower picture because it was so damn pretty and girly.

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Ladybug Ladybug Fly Away Home

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The garden store near our house advertised that they had ladybugs for sale on their roadside sign, and I practically squealed the tires of our old Saturn in my rush to acquire some for our garden. They package them some 1800 per bag, and once released, they’ll happily set up shop in our backyard and munch aphids and other pests so we can reduce/eliminate the pesticides we’d otherwise use AND reduce the number of times I shout “GET OFFA MY CROPS” and scare the everliving daylights out of the neighbors. The only downside is that so many were crawling on my arms and legs and even in my hair that hours later I’m imagining every little tickle is an insect crawling on me. How long until I start slapping myself due to imaginary infestation? Place your bets!

What’s older: older than the hills or old as shit?

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It’s my birthday! Now that I’m old and boring and can’t seem to put a party together to save my life, let’s look back at some of the better birthday parties I’ve had:

Mellzah’s Midnight Carnival

Redneck Fabulous

Buffetitties/Boobieffet

Mad Scientists of the Future

I just now realized there was never a post about Sparkle Party, my 30th, where we did it up in Vegas, and apparently there never will be because I’ve somehow misplaced the photos. Rest assured, everyone was eye-searingly sparkilicious.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go shake a cane and yell at teenagers and I am not even joking.

No talking like a grizzled 1890s prospector…consarn it!

In Oregon, there is a mine where the general public can prospect for the state’s official gemstone, the Oregon Sunstone. Although a number of stones from other places are called sunstones, Oregon claims it is the only proven location where you can find red labradorite, a plagioclase feldspar. These stones have an optical effect when turned due to reflections of the red copper inclusions inside.

Although we haven’t been able to make it down to Spectrum Mine ourselves for free (or fee, in the more ore-rich areas) digging, we were able to order a bucket of ore to the house and play prospector in the backyard.

To separate the sunstones from the crap, we used a grocery basket that we temporarily liberated from (and later returned to) a nearby Fred Meyer. We used the highly scientific method of pouring a bunch of ore in the basket, wetting it, swishing it around, and picking through it for bits that glimmered in the sun, alternating between who did the wetting/swishing and who did the picking since we only had one basket.

 

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We actually got a surprising amount of sunstones in our bucket of ore, the photo below shows only a small handful of the stones we found. We haven’t really done anything with them yet, they’re just sitting in a bowl in the gallery o’ minerals in our living room, but eventually we’re going to try and rock tumble a few of them to see how pretty they are when polished. If it’s awesomely pretty, we may end up making a trip to Spectrum Mines ourselves to dig out more. Thanks in advance for the baskets, Fred Meyer.

 

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I’m the king of ding-a-lings.

When I was a kid, you could have asked me what I wanted for Christmas at any time during the year and I would have been able to provide you with an exacting list with annotations and illustrations, along with more information than you ever cared to know about why this new My Little Pony was superior in every way to the bin of My Little Ponies already in my closet: “This one changes color in the sun and smells like strawberries, duh!” I was ALWAYS ready to tell anyone at any time what would have made me happiest in the moment, even if the desire was impractical or fleeting. (Seriously, a unicycle? I was barely able to master two wheels and I wanted to cut that number in half?). As an adult, I dread the question.

It’s not that I don’t want things; if anything else, moving house recently taught me that I maybe like things a little too much. But I’ll generally buy the things I really want/need for myself unless they’re wildly expensive/impractical, which means I certainly couldn’t ask others for them. This doesn’t make buying a gift for me a Herculean task, however–I have a wide variety of interests, I’m thrilled by the unexpected and ridiculous, and, like I said before, I like stuff. I just don’t want to give an exacting list of things that I might like to anyone: for me, the biggest component of a gift is being seen by the giver, knowing that they put some thought and effort into choosing something just for me. Anyone can buy off of a list.

Lately, if I see something that I might like or need at some point down the line, I’ve been adding it to my amazon wishlist. Sometimes I’ll revisit the list and order something, most often I revisit the list, say “What was I thinking?” and delete ten things.  It’s full of “miracle” hair products, stuff that I might need for future costumes, and various doodads that I’ll read about and want to consider trying later.

This year, I finished with Jason’s Christmas shopping early–almost before Thanksgiving. Jason, in turn, noted that he needed to get cracking, and a few days later, a bunch of packages arrived from Amazon. “I hope he hasn’t been buying stuff from my wishlist” I thought. A few days later, a package from  Alpha Chemicals arrived that left no doubt in my mind: Jason was buying all of my Christmas presents from the aforementioned “I’m not sure I actually want, need, or could ever use this” list.

I had two choices: Say something and ruin Christmas, or say nothing and ruin Christmas. As I work from home and don’t get a lot of human interaction during the day, not talking about it proved to be too difficult, so I went ahead and ruined Christmas the bigmouth way. After a solid argument about why I was being intentionally difficult in not giving a list, and misleading in that I maintained a list full of things I didn’t actually want, we came to a mutual understanding about why surprises are important to me and what makes Christmas fun.

Last night, Jason went to wrap some gifts and came upstairs with an ornament of King Moonracer and told me he was going to make a diorama of “the island of unwanted christmas gifts” but thought it might be too mean. I probably deserve it, so I decided to run with it.

 

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We’re on the island of misfit gifts

Here, we don’t want to stay

We want to travel with Santa Claus

In his magic sleigh

A packful of toys means a sackful of joys

If the Christmas spirit Mellzah didn’t destroy

When Christmas Day is here

The most wonderful day of the year!

A bottle of emu oil is here to say

“Wake up, I’ll help make your stretch marks go away!”

When Christmas Day is here

The most wonderful day of the year!

Spiral vegetable cutter

Might as well be in the gutter

It won’t set the heart aflutter

It just says “Hey, make me some dinner!”

A new toy for Jason, toothpaste for you

The kind that even does some whitening, too.

When Christmas Day is here

The most wonderful day of the year.

“How would you like to be two pounds of aluminum powder?”

“Or a TCA chemical peel that may or may not remove tattoos?”

“Or faux rust finish?”

“We’re all misfits!”

If we’re on the island of unwanted gifts

We’ll miss all the fun when Mellzah throws a fit

When Christmas day is here

The most wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful day of the year!

 

Titanic 2: THE REVENGE

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Billionaire Clive Palmer is struggling with ideas for how to spend his fortune (hint: I will happily accept gifts of both cash and extravagant homes) and is thus building Titanic II, where you can experience cruising in a ship exactly like the original, down to the menu served and costumes worn, but hopefully without that whole sinking and dying thing, or rats, or lice, or Celine Dion.

On one hand, I think this is kind of disrespectful. On the other hand, it sounds like exactly the sort of trainwreckshipwreck that would be straight up my alley, so sign me up! On my third hand…I’m only going if I can go first class, none of that belowdecks sleeping in a pile of humanity business for me. Plus, if it does sink, given that it’s a replica, I want first crack at the lifeboats.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for me.

In addition to all of the things we bought for Napoleon for Cthulhumas this year because he’s spoiled rotten, we bought him one thing that was solely for our entertainment: dog booties.

After the video, we gave him a treat and took him for a walk so he doesn’t just associate the booties with mocking laughter.

“This tree was cut down and tarted up like a dime-a-dance floozy!”

Since we’re not traveling anywhere for Christmas, this year we can put up decorations and not have it seem like a waste of time because we won’t be around to enjoy them.

We also bought a full size tree, so the mini tree has been relegated to the Lovecraftian Horror Dining Room. It was initially called the Eldritch Tree, but I’ve taken to calling it the “My Intellectual Property” tree.

In the living room, we’ve got more twinkle lights than a college dorm room and a barn wedding combined. Instead of topping our tree with a traditional (boring) angel, we went for a dinosaur.

Hark! A bright star in the east! …or a meteor come to destroy life as you know it, dino. One or the other.

There are a few schools of thought when it comes to tree decoration. One is to build ornament collections slowly over the years, amassing ones that are particularly cool or meaningful. Another is to have a tree that fits a strict theme. Still another is to buy as much crap as you can, as quickly as possible. My family always had two trees–one in the family room where the crappy children’s ornaments were hung, and a Victorian themed one in the living room that no one other than my mother was allowed to touch. (The whole room was pretty hands-off in general: white couch, stiff furniture, delicate antiques, a piano that I was supposed to play but never felt like playing until late night when no one else wanted me to play…the only time anyone ever really spent any time in that room at all was at Christmas when we exchanged family gifts and were cautioned to stay as far away from the tree as possible. Gifts from Santa arrived under the children’s tree so my mom wouldn’t have to worry about my brother shattering any glass angels in his present-induced frenzy.) I’ve got my Cthulhu themed tree, and I was hoping with the large tree to build up ornaments over time, but Jason’s mom clearly subscribes to the third method as a huge bag of ornaments I never would’ve chosen showed up on our doorstep last week. In an act of passive aggression (I’m a true Pacific Northwesterner now!), I altered one to be more us:

True story!

For the season, our T-Rex is known as “Santa Jaws”. We’ve got kind of a festive dino thing going on this year.

Actually, scratch that: we’ve got a festive reptile thing going on this year. Introducing Gibralter:

I saw him at an awesome Seattle shop, The Belfry, and when I saw his joyful smile, I knew I couldn’t leave him behind. So many taxidermied animals look blank or sad…but not Gibralter! His constant upbeat attitude is an inspiration to us all. “Did you just fart? GREAT!” “Oh boy, I can’t wait to handle raw chicken!” “Thank you so much for coming to my door and waking me up to share your faith with me!” “When you won’t swallow your pill and I have to wrestle you like an alligator, force open your jaws, and shove it down your throat….that’s my FAVORITE!” and my personal favorite “This meal is wonderful and I have no complaints about it whatsoever!” when in reality it could probably be used to spackle a fist-size hole and tastes that way, too.

In the spirit of Gibralter, Merry Cthulhumas, and in his path of destruction, may you be eaten first.

“If I don’t save the wee turtles, who will? BAH! Save me from the wee turtles!”

Before I left Wisconsin, my grandparents basically had me lay a claim on anything I wanted in the house “before we die and your awful Aunt Julie comes in here and takes everything, you know how she is.”

Yes, yes I do know that the second they die she’ll have the house stripped of everything of value, razed, and sold before their bodies are even cold. It still doesn’t mitigate the awkwardness of walking through someone else’s life to pick out the things that I like–the 1970s zodiac barometer, the ridiculously heavy statue that it takes two people tag-teaming to lift, the china even though I’m not sure it’s a pattern I’d choose for myself but because grandma is so anxious for me to have it–because it acknowledges death in a way that I’m completely and utterly uncomfortable with.

Grandpa, bless his heart, tried to mitigate this awkwardness by pressing some metal turtles into my hands. “There’s a boy and a girl. Want to know how to tell them apart? Turn them over.”

I’d seen these sitting on the bookshelf near the Encyclopedia Britannica for YEARS and never suspected a thing. Yes, I brought them home. Apparently dick jokes are not just my stock and trade, they’re my legacy.