A Month of Coincidences

This is a story about Facebook, my siblings, college, and a bar in Seattle.

I'm researching my family tree last week and I come across this last name that I recognize. I've never noticed this name on my family tree before. The last name on this family tree is also the last name of a family of kids that my siblings and I went to grammar school with. They share the same birth order as my family. While I was in one grade with Joanna, the oldest sister, my oldest brother was in class with the older brother, Mark, and my sister was in class with the youngest brother, Andrew.

And two days after I review this family tree, this family tree that I haven't looked at in years, Joanna, whose last name happens to appear on my family tree, contacts me via Facebook. I haven't talked to her in nearly fifteen years.

She says she's coming to Seattle. Her brother Mark lives here. Her other brother Andrew is coming from Colorado. They're all going to be here all at once for the holidays. This family whose last name appears in my family tree. The last name I just noticed for the first time last week. This family that I haven't seen in fifteen years.

Joanna writes me suggest we go see some live music at the Seamonster Lounge, have we heard of it? And I write back.... um... yeah. We know the Seamonster Lounge. We spent every Friday night from 2003 to 2004 at the place. We know the DJ. We know the owner. They're both great guys. Andrew, the owner, just gave up ownership of the place about a year ago but, magically, he's back. So, yes, yes we will join you, family that I haven't seen in fifteen years, at our old favorite bar in Seattle, that we just found out is now back under the ownership of our friend Andrew.

Beforehand, we meet up for dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant, and we ask Joanna how she happened to pick the Seamonster for our entertainment tonight. Oh, well, it's all Mark, she says. He knows a guy who will be playing in the band. Oh, really, we ask? And how do you know him? Oh, Mark says, he used to live on my floor in college. You know how that goes. You just get to be good friends with people that live on your floor. Right. Right, we say, and we nod our heads. And what's your friend's name? Ari Zucker, he says.

And here CLH and I exchange googly-eyed glances. YOU know Ari Zucker? WE know Ari Zucker. And how do we know Ari Zucker? Well, we know Ari Zucker because of our friend Shoshi. Shoshi went to high school with Ari. Shoshi is from Seattle. She knew Ari before he went to college on the east coast with Mark. And the reason we know Shoshi is because of Becca. And I know Becca because I went to college with her in Massachusetts. Becca is from the Seattle area. But she went to school in Massachusetts, like me. And I went to high school with CLH. In New Jersey. And CLH and I started dating after I left the college where both Becca and I went to school. Becca eventually met CLH and Becca convinced us both that Seattle would be good for us, so we moved out here together ten years ago. And we met Shoshi. Who is Becca's friend. And we started frequenting the Sea Monster. Where Ari played quite a bit. Ari who knows Shoshi who knows Becca who knows me who knows Joanna whose brother used to live on the same floor as him.

Small fucking world.


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Forecast: Wind, Rain, and Chance of Mood Swings

It's grey and cold outside and I am indoors, in a sweater and a hat. I am questioning the reason I am here, in a sweater and a hat, indoors. I am trying to trace my steps back to the point where I decided that, despite my love affair with the sun, I agreed to live in a city that doesn't get much sun. I am trying to understand what keeps me here, doing the same thing, over and over again. Why, most of my days, I feel like I am running in place. And I feel like my days are wasted. And why that feeling is worsened whenever I see pictures of my friends with their kids. I think: all this time I have been working (and for what, again?) and I could have been doing other things... like raising a child or two, or traveling, or sailing around the world. Or writing books, or getting degrees. Or meeting people from all over the world.

What happened to that sense of wonder I used to have? Where is my sense of adventure and why haven't I overcome my fear of not having enough? Why do I hold myself back? Why is the decision to leap so intensely exhilarating, but so threatening and scary at the same time? This kind of stuff plagues me. I lie in bed at night and ask the question: what am I supposed to be doing with my life? And always the answer comes back: not this.

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Happy Black Friday! Brought To You By Crows, Harbingers of Messy Sidewalks

With all this focus on turkeys this time of year, I thought I'd bring you some news from other parts of the avian world.

These guys are getting their Christmas shopping done early. It's so easy with one-stop shopping! For mom, orange rinds. For dad, the crow who has everything: old shoelaces. And for that finicky Aunt Marion: a used wad of Saran wrap. It goes with everything!

Do you think they got the lid off the can themselves? Because sometimes crows, when rooting through old soup cans and newspapers, are freakishly strong.

And, in case you needed any reminders that sometimes Seattle looks like the set of of a Hitchcock film from about November thru April, I bring you this. Is it any wonder I want to swallow whole bottles of Vitamin D for breakfast?

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Thoughts and Thankfulness

On sitting still on the bridge in traffic: There had better be some major fucking construction going on up ahead because it has taken me a whole hour to drive 6 miles and I need to be home writing RIGHT NOW.

On passing the accident scene, seeing two cars with their front fenders smashed in, the airbags hanging limply from the dashboards, causing said traffic: I am such an asshole.

On my OLD dentist after my NEW dentist tells me I don't need a root canal: That sonofabtich.

On not needing a root canal after all: Um. Wow. My intuition was right. I am getting a second opinion on EVERYthing from now on.

On my impending credit card bill which will include the charges for my new boots, my fillings, my teeth cleaning, my cousin's birthday gift, my chiropractor's visits, my drugs for a now unnecessary root canal, and groceries for a month: Oh, crap.

On being able to still have a credit card in this economy: Shit. I have a credit card in this economy. And a job. I'm pretty lucky.

On being able to sleep in on Thanksgiving Day: Yessssssssssssssssssssss.

On having such amazing friends, people who have taught me what gratitude really is... And clients who challenge me in so many ways, and reward me with money so I can buy boots on a whim... And a wonderful man-friend who knows how to do laundry and gives me neck rubs when I want them and who has taught me infinite patience: WOW. I am REALLY fucking lucky. And grateful. Very grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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