my belt…

In 1977 in a 7th grade shop class a boy made a leather belt.  It was a popular color of light golden brown.  On it he pressed stars and music notes and a simple sentence…  a sentence that could have kept him from getting laid ever.  Ever.


And then I don’t think he ever wore it.  He was smart enough to learn to play an instrument which most chicks find much hotter than a guy who makes a belt proclaiming the greatness of Sci-Fi.  Most chicks.

But at the moment he was making that belt, working his hardest in shop class there was one chick who would feel differently.  Someday.  I mean when she was done figuring out what this whole world was about.  You know… what her thumbs were and what those crazy people were always babbling about when they bent over her bassinet cooing at her like idiots.

The point is people, that chick would be me someday.  And that leather belt making guy?  That was Mike.

And this?

Photo 307

This is my favorite belt made the year I was born by the man that I love.  It’s still in pristine condition because I don’t think anyone has ever worn it but me.  I’d like to think as he made it he imagined the day  he’d have a hot younger wife with a love of Sci-Fi.  To be fair though, he was probably thinking about Star Wars or purple haired girls in silver go go boots on the moon.

Whatever.  It’s mine now.

and I do…

8 years ago today it rained.  Not a huge downpour, but one of those consistently overcast days where the rain comes in waves.  Where the air smells fresh and clean and the sky is that lovely pale dove gray with patches of white clouds.

We were living out in Banks then and the 45 minute drive into Portland seemed to take forever.  I looked over at Mike, holding his right hand as he kept his left on the steering wheel and concentrated on the road.  We smiled.  We laughed.  I worried (just a little) that we were running late.

“Cami, stop worrying… the boat can’t leave without us”

I breathed a deep sigh of relief.  He was right of course, this was one time that the party couldn’t start without our say so.  The entire event was waiting on us.  We made it to the eastside and parked the car as close to the dock as we could and then we hurried down to the waiting riverboat.

The photographer was there waiting, so were our families but most of our friends had yet to arrive.  As I lifted the hem of my long white dress off the ground to keep it from getting wet and dirty on the dock I smiled to myself.  I needed to keep my white dress clean but the giant black boots I wore underneath were perfectly suited to stomping in giant puddles and walking in the rain.  Mike and I got to the boat and from then on most of the day was a blur.  We were pushed and prodded by family into photos, we answered questions, met the ship’s captain and tried to steal a moment to ourselves but then it was time.

Mike disappeared and I fixed my lipstick and adjusted my veil before my father took me by the hand.  We walked up the narrow stairs single file before I bent my arm around his and he walked me down the aisle.

8 years ago today Mike and I said simple vows in front of a riverboat captain and a gathering of our family and friends.

I was never nervous.  I was never scared.  I was in love and overwhelmed by the joy I felt.  Not for the moment, which passed quickly, but for the life that we were sharing.

persona non grata

My kitties are now persona non grata.  Seriously.  Officially.  The tests results are in and Mike is allergic to them.  So I had Mike’s doctor draw up all the documents to declare them unwelcome.  Doctors can do that right?  I mean really, if a ship’s captain can marry people I don’t see why a doctor shouldn’t be able to declare someone unwelcome.

It’s sad but the kitties are out.  Gone.  Bye bye.  So long Ripper and Spike.

ripperDid you believe any of that?  Because we are totally saying no to cats… Except not really because I am NOT getting rid of them.  Besides, Mike has had cats his entire life.   He LOVES cats.  Our cats especially (even though one of them scratches things up and the other one pees on things).  So even though our cats stop him from breathing, we’re going to keep them.

Why?  How?  What?  Am I choosing my cats over my husband?  No.  The cats are officially kicked out of the bedroom.  Until now the only time we didn’t allow the cats in our room was when we were getting it on.  We’d kick them out for a few hours, I’d get laid and bask in afterglow and then eventually we’d let them back in.

I swear they knew what was going on in there and it was creepy.  Now they’re going to think we’re doing it ALL THE TIME.

They’re already upset about it (about the being locked out of the bedroom, not about Mike and I having sex).  When I got home from dropping K off at school this morning they swarmed around my feet.  They stared at me as I cleaned the kitchen.  They mewed at me as I looked out the window.  They followed me when I went downstairs to check on the laundry.

And when I sat down to work on my laptop at the table?  Forget about it.  Two cats trying to curl up on my lap at the same time..  If they could make themselves hypoallergenic I think they’d do it.

Also?  Mike is allergic to grass…  do you think I could convince the city of Portland to outlaw lawns?  Maybe?  I hear yard maintenance is much easier without it.

three by the sea…

beachThis Summer vacation has been filled to the brim with NOT being on vacation.  We’ve been swarmed with busies.  Engulfed by the things to do.  Inundated with important tasks… Well this weekend we said NO MORE!

It’s been a tough week.  Mike’s grandmother continues her trek to the end of things and that weighs heavily on all of us, though at the same time it reminds us that life is here to be lived.  After a visit with her on Saturday we took off and got out of the city for a bit.  What started as a trip to the Girl Scout GirlFest ended up being a trip to the Air museum in McMinnville.  We were so close to the coast we could taste it.  It would have taken us less time to get to the beach than to get home, but responsibility and love called us home to visit with Grandma again.  We made a decision in the car though… Sunday we were heading for the beach.

And that we did.  We were out of the house well before noon and with this family that’s a minor miracle.  We made it to Mo’s in time for lunch and then spent hours walking in the ocean and along the beach.  K and I let the water lick at our toes or ran into embrace it while Mike stayed just out of reach of the foamy waves.  Then it was time to head home, but not before a trip through town to see the little shops and find some salt water taffy.

The short time out of the city reminded us how much summer vacation we need to pack into the next month… and with our schedules it’ll take some doing… but hey, I’m a doer.

What?  I can be a doer if I’m not too busy doing nothing.

CamiKaos goes to the movies…

I don’t get to go to the movies nearly as often as I’d like.  It’s a form of escapism I love to indulge in but time is not necessarily on my side with this activity.

But Star Trek… there was a new Star Trek movie and I needed to see it.  And even though it was seemingly impossible for me to see it until next Sunday, a way presented itself.  And Mike took me to the movies.

Tee hee hee.  Allow me a moment.  I’m such a girl but I still get all giggly when my husband and I go out on a date.  We ate popcorn and shared a soda (a strict no no and big treat for me) and as we waited for the movie to start in our one screen locally owned and operated theater we listened to Nat King Cole and snuggled.

Yes.  We did.  So you see even before the movie got started it was a good time.  As a matter of fact the movie could have sucked and we would have still been happy there.  Happily heckling a bad movie, but still happy.

As it happens though the movie did not suck.  It was pretty fricken awesome in fact.  There were a couple of scenes that disappointed a bit but the movie as a whole was strong and entertaining.  I laughed and cried.  Those aren’t just words.  I really laughed and cried.  I actually cried before I laughed now that I think of it.

The time passed quickly with us holding hands and enjoying not just the movie but our unexpected time alone (and the popcorn and soda yum yum) and then with a bang the movie was over and it was time to go.

We put on our sunglasses and began to stroll down the street hand in hand.  We stopped at the corner and waited for the walk sign to light up and lead us across the street.  We checked to make sure that the cars were all obeying the traffic laws and then we stepped into the street.

Then a bitch in a huge white SUV turned onto the street without looking and tried to mow my husband down without looking.

I don’t call her a bitch lightly.  I would just say she was distracted and not paying attention but then the dumb bitch FLIPPED MIKE OFF for almost getting hit by her car.

Oh the joy of going to the movies.

in just a moment…

Do you see over there ——> (okay up there) where it says “…the life, trials and smiles of CamiKaos and family…”

See it?  Well not if you’re an RSS reader or something, but anyway that’s the tag line for this blog.  It was when I first started the blog a few years ago, then I got rid of it because I hated the thought that someone might consider me a *gasp* mommy blogger.  I kind of got over that fear when I realized that this blog is exactly what I make it.  If someone reads it and it fits their definition of a mommy blog because I talk about my family then so be it.

But the blog is about me.  And I talk about my family because?  Hello?  What do I do with my everyday life?  That’s right.  family stuff is right there at the very top of all that I do.  This week my life has been very heavy on the …and family… part.  K’s was home sick three days, Mike’s been a husband, I’ve been sick.  It’s all been home life, sleeping, snuggling, watching movies I’ve seen 700 times (except The Karate Dog, we watched that once, only once… never, again okay?).

Yes this week has been the week of my tiny little family being normal as they can be when one person works a full time + job, and two persons are sick and very nearly crazy.

But Friday is here and the sun is shining on our little pocket of Portland.  K has been ushered off to school with a cleanish bill of health, Mike is getting ready to head out the door to work, and I?  I’m just sitting here waiting for that moment just after he drives off and the 60 minutes following it.

In that time I won’t do anything, at least not anything productive.  I’ll sit and eat a leisurely breakfast, watch something on hulu and bask in the little bit of quiet that has been afforded me on this lovely Friday.

As soon as Mike is finished brushing his teeth.

in the twilight zone

Something is just not right here folks.  Something strange is afoot (and not just at the circle K).

Mike is home from work for a few days since we have a foreign exchange Podcaster staying with us.  We can’t just keep him locked up in the house, we need to take him to see some of the sights and sounds of Portland.  Tonight that includes going to Backfence PDX.

This is all a set up for the twilight zone bit… you needed to know those things.  Lets review the important facts:

-Mike is off work for 3 days (5 if you count the weekend)

-Podcasting friend Erk is in town

-We’re all going out tonight.

Now I get down to it.  I was looking in my closet earlier today feeling thoroughly momish… and not hot momish.  Not milfish.  Plain ol tired needing to do something fun for me momish.  I was dismayed that I had nothing to wear tonight.  Pouty.  Sad even.  I went through my closet twice and still found nothing that struck my fancy.  I tweeted that I had nothing to wear.  I thought about.  I said something about it.  I pained over it.

Yes, I know.  Sometimes I am just so totally a girl that nothing can be done about it.

Just before I left to get K from school for the day I told Mike I was going to stop into my favorite little consignment shop, The Silver Lining, on my way home.   He thought for a moment and then asked if he could go with me to pick up K and get some coffee.  Never one to throw away a chance to stroll down the street with my lovely man (you may gag if you wish… I love a nice walk with my husband) I quickly agreed.  We wandered down the street, stopped for coffee (for him) and tea (for me) and went to get our little sweetie from school.  When we were almost home Mike stopped on the street corner and said “I thought we were going to go look at some clothes, didn’t you need something to wear tonight?”

Umm…. yeah…  I was befuddled.  Baffled.  Confused even.  He was trying to get me to go look at clothes????  I told him I didn’t think he would have wanted to go with me.  I was baffled but I took my little family the few blocks over to the store where I browsed clothing, pulling out lovely black thing after black thing.  I tired them all on and showed him the choices and he smiled and made lusty faces at me.  I giggled and announced that I was heading to the back room to look at shoes.  Oh shoes… I do love you so.

I didn’t find any shoes that worked for me… nothing I was even inspired to try on…  But then I saw it.  The purse I had ogled the last time I was there.  the pretty little clutch of faux snakeskin….

I coveted.  I loved it.  I casually showed it to Mike.

To my surprise instead of reminding me how many purses I have, he said it was really nice… and then he asked me how much it was.

It wasn’t much… less than $15.

and now?  It’s MINE!!!


Do you think my husband has been replaced by aliens?

bad with names

Every one has their flaws, I have many.  One of them is that I’m bad with names.  I can meet you 6 times and forget your name, and then the grace period where I should know your name has passed and I’m too shy to ask who you are…

Also, I’m not always good at putting faces I know with names I know.  It’s happened more than once that someone I SHOULD know who they are has stopped to talk to me and I’ve looked into their eyes, examined their face, told myself that, yes yes that person looks familiar, but I still have to say “And you are?”

I’m going to cut myself some slack because those are usually people I know from these grand internets or from some tech article I read or from some one’s flickr stream.  I bonk myself on the head and laugh about it apologetically, but I can pretty much guarantee it will happen again and again.  Maybe I need a handler?

This doesn’t just apply to people though.  My mind also goes blank when it comes to movies, art pieces and music.

This morning I was reading tweets when one caught my eye.  WyattWerner tweeted “kicking off the day with Watermelon in Easter Hay.”

What an odd way to start the day, I thought.  And then it rolled around in my mind a bit.  Something about it sounded strangely familiar.  Oddly relevant.  It seemed like something that I should know… or something that I should find out about.  So I asked “@WyattWerner am I supposed to understand what watermelon in Easter hay is? Is that code for something?”

It turns out it was something I should know.  Something that was relevant.  It’s a song at the end of Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage album.  Not just any song though, a beautiful haunting instrumental that Mike included (an edited version) in the play list at our wedding.  I remember listening to it as I leaned against him.  I remember smiling at him, handsome in his black suit and short spiky hair.  I remember thinking it was a perfect moment.

I never knew the name of the song.  Now it’s something I won’t be able to forget.

And yeah… I totally turned a stream of tweets into a romantic memory and a blog post…  yay me.

really, 9 years

9 years ago while I was sitting drinking a martini, just after I had a really nice steak, a friend of my friend’s walked into a bar to meet us.

He smelled good.  Actually he smelled great.  And then I was in love with him.

With my track record that could have been THE END.

Instead it was just the beginning.

the smell of music

It was a perfect situation…  I got Mike tickets to see Al DiMeola for his birthday.  He’s a hard guy to shop for but when I know one of his favorite musicians is playing just a mile or 2 from our house it’s really not hard to know what to do.  He’d been waiting patiently for the show ever since he saw “AL DIMEOLA” on the Aladdin’s Marquee.

I’d been waiting too, I love his music and I love seeing shows at the Aladdin… partly it’s the proximity to our house, partly because there doesn’t seem to be a bad seat to be had, except last night that is…

We got there just after the doors opened and hurried inside with the long line of people already gathered there.  Mike got in the beer line and I headed upstairs to grab a seat in the balcony (I love balconies because there are less people and I can see EVERYTHING that’s going on).  I grabbed two satisfactory seats on an aisle and waited quietly for Mike, entertaining myself with Twitter.

When he joined me 20 minutes later (it was a long ass beer line) we settled back in, we snuggled, we giggled and we waited excitedly.  When the music started I thought all was well and right with the world… and with the world of music it was pretty darn right.  The show was great, the performers amazing and even charming from time to time…. but some of our fellow audience members?

Not so much.

The 3 most notable offenders where the girl who knocked me in the head, not once but twice… the first time with her big heavy purse (which I can forgive because she probably didn’t notice) and the second time with her ASS.  Who knocks you on the head with their ass and doesn’t say excuse me???  Then there was the beer spilling guy.  He didn’t spill beer on me, he spilled it right down Mike’s back… and last but not least?  Unidentified farting person.

Someone had such horrible gas that all we could smell for the second half of the show was ass gas.

The sound of music last night, was lovely.  The smell on the other hand left something to be desired.