About Me

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Lapsed anthropologist-turned-burlesque performer and post-modern punk housewife/homesteader living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a hunky husband, gorgeous daughter, adorable corgi, fluffy rabbit, and three clucking fabulous chickens.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Ring and a Napkin

A few weeks ago, Mr. Bear surprised me by suggesting a trip to San Juan Island to visit his relatives. We'd been there twice last year, and I loved it. Sadly, all our pictures from those trips were stolen along with my laptop last August. We agreed we'd take the opportunity to try and recreate some of them. The ones we remembered, anyway.

Being a sneaky Miss Bird, I decided to take the opportunity to create some brand new ones, too. This is the story of my surprise proposal to Mr. Bear.

I knew we'd be recreating our hike up to the communication station at Cattle Point, and chose that as the site for my sneaky love attack.

Looks like a good place to pop the question, no?

All I needed was a creative way to ask. I already had his ring. I decided to print my proposal onto a cloth napkin, fold the ring up into it orgami-style, and present him with the ring-in-a-napkin at a romantic picnic on the beach.

The hike started out innocently enough. Mr. Bear had no idea. Last year, when we hiked down to the beach, we found a rock cropping onto which someone had set up many beach rocks, and we added one of our own.

There were several driftwood structures people had built on the beach that we took advantage of.

This driftwood raft would figure prominently in my picnic proposal.

Tony was super excited to climb into this rickety driftwood hut. I was excited to take pictures of his rear as he disappeared into it.

All the while, he had no idea that I was a birdy with a secret...

Of course, Mr. Bear had to climb this outcropping, just as he had done last year.

And we simply had to recreate our pictures making faces at each other from across the rocks.

Just like last time, I was too scared to hoist myself up on that log.

Mr. Bear knows no fear.

I was coaxed onto another log spanning a drop, and Mr. Bear was coaxed into taking some beautiful shots. So we both played against type.

We found the same strange makeshift stone altar on the rocks below the station. We hiked up to the station, whose once beautifully crumbling foundation has been shorn up by ugly plywood, and then set off across the sand dunes covered in grass and seashore lupines.

This fence was one of my favorite photos from the trip last year. I'm glad we found it again.

We hiked back to our starting point, got the picnic basket out of the Highlander, and hiked back down to the beach. I suggested using the driftwood raft from earlier as a bench for lunch.

Tucked in the corner of the basket, under the sandwiches, was the napkin onto which I had printed my proposal. I forced myself to let Mr. Bear finish his lunch before handing it to him, but in my haste, I still had a huge mouthful of sandwich when I gave him the ring-napkin, so it was a good thing the proposal was written out for him, as I was incapable of speech.

Of course he said yes(well, actually, he said "Of course!"), or else I wouldn't be putting this entry up at all! I felt like I was going to pass out, I was so nervous. We found a passer-by to take our picture to remember the moment by.

And then my patient, long-suffering, indulgent Mr. Bear let me take back the ring I had just placed on his finger so that I could go take some glamour shots of his ring and my temporary ring together.

Mr. Bear said he wished he had a camera to take pictures of me taking pictures of our rings. Apparently I get more focused on what I'm photographing than how silly I look doing it.

I gave the ring back to him, eventually. The bow ring I wear was a gift from my grandmother, and I will wear it as my engagement ring until Mr. Bear proposes to me with a ring he finds for me. We had been discussing getting married for months, and being a modern couple we decided that we both wanted to come up with unique proposals for each other. I simply got there first!

If you're curious as to what exactly was printed on the napkin, it was this:

It took me about five tries to get it to print on the napkin without shifting so much as to be illegible. I spent the entire morning before we departed for the island freaking out about it and yelling at him to not come in the room as I was making it. He completely forgot all about that until I handed it to him on the beach. Thankfully my insane behavior in the days leading up to the trip didn't sour him on the proposal. Because he's my match.
The napkin is still not perfect, by Mr. Bear declared it beautiful and has been carrying it in his pocket ever since. It will eventually be framed and hung on our wall.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Matt's Amazeballs Blanket Fort Birthday!

As seen on Offbeat Home!

I've always been a big fan of blanket forts, having built dozens of them in my grandparents' house with my cousins growing up. On school trips in my teen years, I would always try to convince my friends to help me build them in our hotel rooms, a request that was universally met with disdain. My outlook has always been, to paraphrase XKCD, "I'm an adult and its my turn to decide what that means."
For me and my amazingly awesome friends, that means blanket forts. Really big ones.

Recently my friend Jewels, who had the awesome silent birthday party in my previous post, decided to throw her husband a birthday party inspired by the epic blanket fort Fluffytown, of Community fame. Matt is a big fan of the show, and the blanket fort episode in particular, so she secretly recruited about a dozen of us to bring all of our extra blankets and pillows over to their apartment and recreate it.

The living room was not large enough to accomodate the fort and the couch, so the couch was moved outside onto the lawn. She used a huge orange and white parachute purchased from an Army surplus store as the main ceiling in the living room, which had the advantage of being very light and easy to attach to the ceiling and walls. She used tape, but tacks would work, too. The entry hall had a low blanket ceiling, which forced everyone arriving to crawl on their hands and knees down the passage before emerging under the parachute tent. All of our extra pillows were scattered across the floor so people could nest as they pleased.

The quilt in the back is partially covering the front door.

We hung a barrier blanket between the living room and the kitchen to help keep the heat out of the rest of the fort. No blankets were hung in the kitchen, for safety reasons(that were ignored later in the evening, but we'll get to that...). Jewels made his favorite food, hot dogs, and created a hot dogs toppings bar along the countertop where guests could load up on condiments, diced onions, sauerkraut, etc. The sheets and blankets were hung low in the hallway that led to the bathroom and bedrooms to encourage crawling everywhere.

The kitchen is behind that maroon sheet.

Matt entered the fort crawling on hands and knees. Jewels had given him a headlamp to wear with a cryptic note saying he'd need it when he got home(it was pretty dark in the fort). We watched circus movies and ate tons of carnival candy and hot dogs, gave Matt his presents, and then Jewels brought out two large bowls of homemade birthday cake ice cream. The pillows proved a perfect surface beneath us as everyone slipped into food comas following the cake ice cream, which was served in plastic keg cups with spoons.

Yes, we did put candles in it and light them, under a blanket fort. We're very responsible adults.

The following morning, all the blankets were taken down,the couch brought back inside, the pillows carted off home with their respective owners, leaving nary a trace that mere hours before there had been a big kids' wonderland in there.

Silent Party

Last Friday we celebrated the birth of The Divine Jewels, creator and director of my burlesque troop. Fittingly, her party was colorful, dark, and strange. It began with a silent dinner, in which you could load up your own plate, but had to get someone else to feed you. All without speaking a syllable.

Yes, those are non pareils on her lips.

Mr. Bear and I started off with each other...

...but eventually there was partner-swapping.

And food fights.

And a delicious delicious candy bar. After the silent dinner, we were permitted to speak again as The Divine Jewels was presented with her gifts.

She was pretty stoked about all the swag she got.

We were pretty stoked about the cake.

Mr. Bear and I collaborated on our gift for Jewels. It wasn't ready until last night. As she is also a dj and has been needing her own pair of awesome headphones, Mr. Bear thoughtfully bought her a pair, and he had the brilliant idea that I should glam them up. Here's what I came up with:

They look like a mermaid found them in a pimp pirate's chest at the bottom of the ocean. If Henry VIII had been a dj, he would have worn these.

First, a few coats of spray paint.

Then about 8 coats of glitter glue.

Then some feathers and rhinestones. These things are amazeballs under the lights.


PnP performed at Volume this past week. Volume is an annual showcase of local music and performers put on by local weekly paper, The Inlander. We did three numbers and it was a blast! As usual, we left in our wake a trail of rainbow carnage. Of glitter.

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