Joe Abbott's Weblog

Letters home to mom

All but invisible

Posted by joeabbott on February 27, 2011

WordpressOver the past few months my blogging routine has been: daily submissions of my cat cartoon project and stuff we’ve been doing on the weekends. Unfortunately, it’s been a couple Saturdays since I’ve been on. What’s happened to Joe?

Well, as usual lots and little.

I’ve been feeling ill a bit, found the joys of playing Xbox over Live with my brother-in-law, Steve, and running around with Suzanne.

The illness isn’t really blogworthy but more of a common head cold that I’m just not able to shake. I don’t often take aspirin, preferring to get a good night’s sleep and enjoy some rest instead … but that’s been reasonably ineffective. I’ve watched my caffeine intake, made sure I’m getting my veggies, but probably not been getting as much sleep as I should. But, I’m the sorta chap who wakes up and is up! So, that conspires against me. Along with needy cats who want eats or to sleep on my face when it gets chilly.

Alas, but I’ve said enough on that subject.Crackdown 2

As for playing games with my bro-in-law Steve … it’s just been a hoot! I bought Crackdown 2 in the summer of last year, played it a few times, and set it aside. Recently I saw Steve online playing it and decided to see if he’d enjoy playing that game with me over Xbox Live. He was up for it and I’ve been having a blast since. Playing too long, too late, and making more noise in the house than I should.

The game is fun because you play a superman-type cartoon character who can leap tall buildings, has super-strength, and is nearly indestructible. That doesn’t stop Steve or I from taking the occasional potshot at one another … which is part of the fun. What I like most is that Steve is super-helpful and not just going after his own goals but will often say, “what do you want to do next”. It’s fantastic because I’m more than happy to go after things he’d like but enjoy getting in my own agenda sometimes, too. And, when you play with strangers (and, seemingly, especially young kids), someone else’s agenda usually rules the day.

So, I’ve been playing Crackdown 2 with Steve, hunting out achievements, and having a lot of fun doing it.

imageAnd, speaking of “fun”, while not feeling miserable (or miserable for myself while I convalesce), I’ve been enjoying time with Suz.

Whether we’ve just went out for a big breakfast somewhere, headed to the feed store, or, like yesterday, took in the Northwest Flower and Garden show and the play, Next to Normal, we’ve had busy days together.

I’ve talked about “big breakfasts” before … no surprises that I’m a fan of these. There’s nothing about breakfast that I don’t like: eggs, breakfast meats, oat meal, grits, hashed brown potatoes, and even an assortment of fruits. Toss in cheeses, some tea, and toast of any sort … or pancakes, croissants, waffles, blintzes, or English muffins … well, I’ll be pulling up to the table! I’m more than happy to bring home the leftovers and have them for lunch or a special at-the-office breakfast (heck, on Friday I had four blintzes as a treat!) … but I love those big breakfasts!

We seldom go out for breakfast but do a presentable job at home, so I get my big breakfasts with small regularity.

imageThe feed store trip is a rarer event … something we do every few months: some bedding for the chickens, maybe some minerals or egg cartons, and a 40# bag of organic feed to supplement their scratching in the yard.

For our hens, the wintery conditions here have been a hardship. I’ve heard and read a lot about chickens needing light to lay eggs and that cold weather shouldn’t be a big problem. Well, as Seattle has endured extended wintery conditions, the hens have stopped laying! Now, these are birds that in the last year have given us nearly 600 eggs … and in the last two weeks have given just TWO eggs!

Suzy’s watching their health and diet and ensuring they’re getting warmth and light, but our egg supply has been cut off. Last year at this time I was building the coop and now? Well, now there’s snow on the ground and you can’t get the paper from the driveway without risking a slip. And the two eggs we got were unusually pale and store-bought-like. They’re just relying too much on chicken feed and not getting enough food from the yard. Even now when I look out, they’re huddled in the coop shelter.

But, Suzy and I are getting out even if the chickens stay in!

Northwest Flower and Garden ShowEvery year Suzy attends the NW Flower and Garden show on a weekday. She saves a vacation day to get out, show up at opening, and come home late: her head full of ideas and her arms full of bulbs, samples, and gardening necessities. If you’ve been to her blog, you know she likes gardening and does wonderful things with our backyard, so her annual pilgrimage is the start of the year. This year we have a bit of a delay due to weather, but we’re already talking about what’s in store.

For me, I get a lot less out of the Garden Show. I look at the pretty displays, ask about neat looking plants, and walk the vendor booths … only to forget all but the most passing of impressions of the day. So, while she attended this past Wednesday, I joined her for a return trip on Saturday. We picked up a yard ornament or two and a crab apple tree. Simple niceties for the backyard.

The 5th Avenue TheaterAfter we dumped our parcels in the car, we walked down to the 5th Avenue Theater and enjoyed Next to Normal. I loved it. While I enjoy the Oklahoma and A Christmas Story, sort of plays (shows purely for entertainment), I love the work of artists who tell a deeper story and ask that we explore truths and realities that might not be part of our daily vernacular.

Next to NormalNext to Normal is a play about a woman (a wife and mother) who suffers from biplolar disorder and details the affects on her and her family. It’s a “rock musical” that’s funny, jarring, and poignant. Some of the tunes are catchy (I’m Alive) and some parts laugh-out-loud funny (when the doctor appears as a rock star), but there’s a lot of painful truths and deeply emotional material here. Again, I loved it. Not something I’d normally see or enjoy … but maybe something next to normal.

And that’s been the last few weeks: busy, slothful, fun, and miserable all wrapped into a bunch of day-in, day-out days. This afternoon we’ll meet our friends the Becks for dim sum and chat, then shop for the week, come home and prepare the house for company next week (Suzy is having her work staff over), and then to bed early to shake the last of this cold and onto March!

Maybe I’ll be less “invisible” next weekend.

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One Response to “All but invisible”

  1. […] last weekend I wrote about Next to Normal and this weekend we had Vanities, a new musical to […]

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