Now with More Kitchen Sink

Today is crappy movie day on Showtime. Out of Omaha a.k.a. California Dreaming just concluded and is some version of the original National Lampoon's crossed with RV. Arizona Summer--a cross between Hey Dude from Nickelodeon and the acting in some instructional video you watched in middle school--has just started. Its one not to be missed so set your DVR. . . oh, and since writing this add Crash Landing to the list. In even sadder news, the other day, I was passenger in a car enroute to a shoot. A bold squirrel decided that the day in question was the day he'd stand up to the noisy monsters that scream past his little bit of heaven on NE 125th in North Seattle. Running from the warmth of a little knob in his tree, he jumped in front of us and appeared to put up his little squirrel paws as if to box. As the Scion square car thing came at him, I said, 'oh, watch out for that squirrel.'

The driver made an attempt to avoid the little guy, but as we moved to one side, Mr. Squirrel went the opposite way, then darted back the same way we'd gone and I was sure he'd been squashed. I looked back over the area we'd just passed, and through the rear view window I caught a glimpse of the little guy running away, and my heart smiled. But in a split second, a car came and instantly turned him into a tumbling pioneer hat, one like Davy Crockett or Daniel Boone would've worn.

Imagine a pioneer driving a convertible, and due to a gust of wind he just lost his cap as he sped down the street. Then he damned the modern day hustle and bustle as a Mitsubishi truck took it under wheel. It literally looked just like that. . . a rolling coonskin cap.

It was sad. In lighter news, here's a scan to illustrate some recent events:

First, the yellow legal pad with the scrawl on it is one of my best inductive arguments in years. It was written as evidence for a mitigation hearing I had disputing a speed trap I'd been caught in back in November. The photo illustrates the steep grade of the hill I was traveling down. Next, got a replacement Jogr for the broken one I had, only this one is 8gb whereas the one before was only 2gb. Got the 8 gigger as it was the price I paid for the 2 gigger less than a year ago. That little rectangular gray box is my Trafficgauge. Got it free by following this link for a study UW is putting on about traffic congestion in Seattle. Last, the little blue envelope with the kitty cats on it is from my Grandmother on the occasion of my 29th birthday in early January.

Which leads me to why I started this post: My parents' 30th anniversary that we celebrated while I was home in December. The animation below is a photo of them on that day. As a gift, I took the only photo they had from that special day and did some retouch work on it (bear in mind, the gif kind of eats up a lot of the work):

So, since this past Thanksgiving my brother, Benjamin, and I had been cooking up this surprise 30th Anniversary party for my parents. As their courting story goes, my dad was lodging at a hotel in Ohio, and due to a faulty shower head, he ran down the stairs cursing, the night porter, a young Ecuadorian lady on duty, later became my mother.

According to them, my mother was dating some guy that lived with his mom replete with outhouse on property. Seeing the other options available to her in the male persuasion, she opted to go set up camp with my dad and the rest is history. They were married in Tullahoma, Tennessee in 1977, and roughly a year later, yours truly was born.

My brother and I had worked tirelessly to convince them both to come out and pick me up at the airport. During their 6-7:30 absence from the house on Wednesday, Ben had previously instructed our 20 or so guests to arrive during that time frame and he'd park their cars 'round the corner at the neighbor's so that when we rolled up, they'd assume nothing. To make the illusion even more complete, I drove like a mad man on the way back, replete with random braking and a smattering of road rage which is a usual stress for my Mom and it left my Dad to state "I'm tired from last night. . . I'm just going to take a little nap."

Completely disarmed.

When we came into town, I noticed that Mom had failed to put gas in her car, so we had to stop and get petrol at the local Jiffy Mart, and in so doing, I was able to call my brother and deliver this coded message:

"Hey, we're at Jiffy getting gas. When we come in through the garage door, I want a big plate of cajun turkey waiting for me. . ." That means roughly: 'we're three minutes away, when I open the garage door remotely, make sure no one is standing in plain view so that when we round the corner of the kitchen, Mom and Dad have no idea we're about to surprise the hell out of them.'

We walk in 'round the corner of the kitchen and the table is full of food and Dad is like 'what is all this about? . . .' We walk a little further and I'm waiting for the surprise and my Mom says 'what's happening, Michael? . . .' Then finally, 'Surprise!' they all say, flanking us on the back of the route we'd just taken. I've put some photos below, describing a bit of the happenings and those pictured:

First, this was back in Seattle, leaving the day of the party. It was right before Christmas, so this lady on the piano was rocking out. Babies were dancing at her feet, planes flying, etc.

Beefed up on this meal from the Chinese place in Seatac. Biscuits, Gravy and Eggs: a precursor of things to soon come.

[wp_caption id="attachment_161" align="alignnone" width="419" caption="The Actual Moment of Suprise"]The Actual Moment of Suprise[/wp_caption]

This is what it looked like. I know, not all that fantastic, but that is what surprise moments can look like.

[wp_caption id="attachment_158" align="alignnone" width="419" caption="The Other Side of Suprise"]The Other Side of Suprise[/wp_caption]

Now that's surprise! Or at least they're holding it extra long for me to shoot one off of them.

Unbeknown to me, Ricky Clem, my dad's good friend and his best man at the wedding, showed up with a whole boatload of photos my parents had long thought disappeared. Its great, 'cuz now I can start working on those for their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

I should mention, my mom is 4'11" so she's super cute and buzzes around like a butterfly or bee or hummingbird: very fast like.

Here's my dad. He's very prone to get misty about sentimental things, so looking at these photos he starts recalling all the emotions he was having about the big day. Remembers his buddies saying 'Fuzz (my dad's nickname), there's still time, man. . . I got a car running outside.'

My Dad with his Mom, my Grandmother, Nelle Pittman.

My Mom with her friends: (from left) Carolyn, Mom, Kay and Angie.

My Dad with Ricky Clem, his friend and essentially my Uncle and/or Godfather. I have NO IDEA why my dad has this crazy smile on his face. Looking at it now makes me think what a great set of chompers he's got.

Dad in middle with my brother, Ben and I.

This is the damage I inflict on Cajun-fried Turkey Legs at Midnight, Central Standard Time.

This is the next morning. Dad doesn't emerge until well after 10am. The dog, Lucy, is essentially 'my sister' and goes any and everywhere my Dad goes, unless they enforce strict 'No Dogs Allowed' rules. Though, in the South, a dog is a necessary accessory to every pickup truck.

Here's Mom, the next morning. Notice the styling coffee mug with her name on it. Cordless phone in front her. . . that's my Mom.

And this is Mom with my broheme, Ben.

And when I got back to Seattle, I gave Jenna this giant Golden Lollipop Tennis Racket. No, its really a splatter guard to protect her ceramic cooktop from my culinary genius I'm oft inclined to perform in the kitchen.

Okay, so I'm pooped. No mas. . . for now.

Heart,

Michael