Tag Archives: Seattle

Perils, Parties and Propositions

Hi. My name is Niki and I am an inconsistent blogger.
(Hello, Niki.)
But I suppose there are worse things to be.

I’ve had stories to tell, and happenings to disclose, and opinions to share, and ideas to bounce off the universe, but 2013 has been something of a challenge in nearly all areas of my personal life – and the time or energy for sharing has been minimal. And since there’s a ton on my plate at present, yet I’d really like to get back into the writing swing, pardon me while I babble about my week.

I’m throwing three parties in the next nine days. Two of them for children. Correction, one of them for children, one for preteens – an entirely different species. I’m doing this because I’m a crazy person. Oh, and I’m drawing invitations and 6 ft. banners by hand, and painting, and possibly building a Space Needle out of foam board, because (it’s so much fun, and I’m rockin’ it) I need professional help with my crazy.

tumblr_mus2w2wvjE1qafr64o1_500Party one is a farewell affair for my best guy pal in town (I already lost a best gal pal last month to Chicago – this year can seriously suck it). He’s moving to Seattle to pursue love and happiness with his boyfriend. Since Seatown is my hometown, I volunteered to host a party in his honor and I’ve been having a blast with the decorations. I’ve suspended umbrellas from my ceiling and shaped shiny blue, fringed wire garland to hang from them like streams of rain. I practiced drawing an orca whale, Mt. Rainer, the Space Needle and spent four hours incorporating them into a sketch for my giant banner. And, though my aging, aching, withering right hand currently detests me, I’m tossing around the idea of launching construction on a 2 ft. tall Space Needle centerpiece. Foam board or perhaps paper mache; not sure. I’ve never worked with either, because I don’t usually do shit like this.

Sketch of Banner. Unfinished.  Hand on Strike.

Sketch of Banner. Unfinished.
Hand on Strike.

Why the sudden burst of creativity? There are lots of answers to that, the simplest being: my little one is in preschool and (in a forever furloughed/sequestered/government-shuttin’-down military/border patrol dependent town) I have not been able to find a decent job. This leaves me with free time, for the first time in five years. And you know what that means, don’t you? Aww yeah. It’s bout to get crafty up in this bitch!

Party two and three are Halloween-related. My eldest had asked for a costume party, I’d agreed, and then the little one said, “Will I have to stay in my room for her party?” *GASP* Heart cracked in two! See, my girls are seven years apart, and more and more the activities one will partake in is neither age appropriate nor age appealing to the other. A spooky, creepy, scary (possible haunted house in my garage) event designed for 11 year olds would not necessarily go over well with 4 year olds, or their parents. Or Child Protective Services. So I told my littlest one, “No, baby. You’re going to have your own party!”

YAAAAAAAY! Everybody wins! And gets a party! And mommy didn’t need to sleep or eat, anyway.

I also have some sewing to do this week. I don’t own a sewing machine – and, in fact, never learned to operate one – so it takes a while. I know it’s a simple skill to pick up, I just haven’t gotten around to it…in 36 years. My mom tried to teach me when I was a girl, but much like her attempt to teach me to cook, and craft, and fold a fitted sheet properly, her efforts met with my surly teenage obstinance. “OMG! I’m NOT going to be housewife! Ever. Ugh.” Just kidding. We didn’t say “OMG” back then. We said “Oh my God.” It was a dark, barbaric, internet-less time.images

By refusing to learn “women’s work” (I really must have thought Future Niki was going to have servants) everything is hard now. Thanks, Younger Impractical Feminist Niki.

Funny side bit about the sewing project, though; the other night I was asked out on a date in a fabric store. I had to walk through the mall to get to this store, and I remember briefly making and breaking eye contact with a fellow (standing? walking? don’t recall) just outside the entrance. He followed me into the store and called to me with a “Hey!” I turned as he approached me, holding out tickets in his hand, and he said, “Uh, do you want to go on a date? I have these movie tickets and…..” he trails off, looking at me…hopefully.

He couldn’t have been a day over 25, clean-cut, average looks, on the short side, not my type (but considering no one I’ve dated looks like anyone else I’ve ever dated, I’m not sure I have a type – rather, my type is funny and smart), and, naturally, it wouldn’t have mattered if he was my type, being that I’m a happily married lady who has no interest in any gross cougary business. So I said, “Oh! If I weren’t married, I would. I’m sorry. Good luck!”

Which was a lie. I wouldn’t. Not if I were single, and not even if I were single and his age, because my sense of stranger danger is (possibly overactive) very acute. “Hey! Uh…do you want to go on a date? I have these movie tickets…and…oh yeah? You do! Great! My name’s Ted, but all my friends call me Bundy. Real quick, do you mind if we stop by my nondescript, windowless van first? I left my wallet in there.”

He was probably just a lonely kid working on a new dating tactic, or maybe the pre-bought-tickets/scout-the-mall-for-chicks thing had worked for him in the past. Or maybe he indeed lures 30-something women toward a grisly death in his van of terror. Beats me. But I do wish I’d found out which movie he’d preselected. Was it “Machete Kills”? Or maybe “Cloudy with a Chance of Freakballs”? Alas, we shall never know.



A dear friend of mine went with me in search of Seattle’s gothy/new wave jams (I doubt I’m allowed to call them “jams”) and we ended our night, successful, at 2 AM on Capitol Hill. While traversing the blocks to our parked car, we met a man she knew waiting at a corner. He was tall, white, head shaven, older than me, head-to-toe in what I remember as a floor length black tunic (so far, he could be my husband, similarity-wise, except), he wore an eye patch over his left eye and clutched some sort of walking cane. He was very gentlemanly and engaged in conversation with my friend.

At his waist, dancing in and out of the street, was a black girl, dressed in all black herself, in glasses and curls, bobbing left and right, and sometimes in between the two chatterers – saying only, “sushi.” I guessed her age to be about 8. The conversing pals paid her no mind, as she wandered away, wandered forward again, sometimes twirled, and uttered only, “sushi.”

“Objects in drawing are slightly more cartoonish than they appear in real life.”

She went remarkably unobserved for what felt like quite awhile. Her Rain Man repetition of the word “sushi” left me certain that she was a mentally deficient homeless child, and I seriously began to worry about her wellbeing. Bob, weave, twirl, “sushi!”

In 2006 you could still walk over the border into Mexico without a passport. I did so with my husband, from Arizona into Naco. Within the first block the kids came begging, pouring out of seemingly empty alleys – some selling, some just asking, some in Spanish, some in English. All a little heartbreaking. That’s where I learned the borders of Mexico weren’t exactly Puerto Vallarta. It’s also where my husband flashed back to 2003 in Iraq, recalling the children that would chase his Humvee in the street pleading for candy, “Mista! Mista! Choc-o-lawt?”

I’ve seen a lot of wandering, begging children in my day. Naturally, I had every reason to think this girl, this mentally handicapped, homeless, 8 year old girl was….well….. a mentally handicapped, homeless, 8 year old girl. One that was out at 2 AM in the mean streets of the city, was apparently desperate for sushi, and was being completely ignored by society.

After at least two minutes of “sushi”, wander, swivel, pace, ballet pirouette, “sushi!” (if you’re familiar with the episode of “The Big Bang Theory” where Dr. Sheldon Cooper pops in and out of the ball pit with only a hasty “Bazinga……..bazinga….”, it was like that) I felt compelled to do something. I approached this poor, retarded little girl and said, with all heartfelt sincerity, “Sweetie? Where are your parents?!”

She turned to me, looking at me for the first time, and with absolutely no malice, just a touch of shock, she replied, “I’m 26.”

And my friend laughed and said, “Yeah Nik, didn’t you see her in the club?”

And the Gothic Pirate said, “She’s just really drunk.”

Now, you know how sometimes, when you say a stupid thing, an avalanche of other stupid things come roaring out of your hapless mountain of a mouth? No? Never happens to you? Oh yeah. Well, me either. That’s why the next thing I said totally wasn’t, “Oh! I’m so sorry. It’s just that my ten year old daughter is taller than you.”


“I mean I have giant babies, is all.”


“I mean I breed with giants.”

There was laughter. In the end. And I discovered who the mentally deficient one was.
And that’s good, at least.