A special Seafair love letter to my Jordanian niece

My good friend Paulie and I made this video for my niece Laila who lives in Jordan and couldn’t be in Seattle for Seafair Torchlight this year. Last year (2014), she had the time of her life zipping around the parade staging area and Seattle Center on a golf carts with us, even hitting the McDonalds drive-thru for ice cream cones.

I have been a Seattle Seafair Commodore since 2007, but for some reason I am enjoying it more and more now. Usually people get burned out a bit on volunteer and civic organizations. Maybe once the kid left the house I finally felt free to have fun myself. Sustained fun, not one-date-night-every-few-weeks kind of fun.

Enjoy! Oh, and #seizesummer

Happy Torchlight Laila! from Jen Gonyer on Vimeo.

Created by Auntie Jen. Starring Uncle Paulie. Cameos by Gary, Carla, Neal, Charlene, two Joes, Lynn O, Art, Greg, and our other Seafair friends. #seizesummer

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Conclusion of Week Three of Empty Nest Syndrome

cheers

Cheers to you, little man. Miss you!

The end of our third week of Empty Nest happens to coincide with my birthday — so happy birthday to me?!

Seriously, I think I can talk about the situation now. It’s not as raw and I have some perspective. So here it is:

My kid is smart. Super whip smart. Certified smart in test after test. I mean, so smart it created problems from second grade through graduation because he didn’t fit in any school district box (and children shouldn’t have to! another post…).

He is also a serious dumbass. I think it’s safe to say he suffers from Teen-Lack-of-Frontal-Lobes Syndrome (if I suffer from a syndrome, so shall he). Continue reading

In Memoriam in the age of Facebook

The infamous Spaghetti Factory birthday dinner.

The infamous Spaghetti Factory birthday dinner.

Today would have been my cousin Tami‘s 43rd birthday. I try not to dwell on the what-could-have-beens, or the sad realization that her longest-running and goofiest retort in any argument (“I’m two months older than you so there”) was no longer true as of my birthday last year. I have been thinking about her a LOT lately… but not reminiscing much with others. I was hoping to go to her favorite restaurant Spaghetti Factory to at least relive her through a plate of myzithra pasta, but the kid had a date tonight and the (gluten-intolerant) husband worked very late. Alas and alack. I only got to replay in my mind the last time she and I went there, for her 39th birthday, and she made the waitress cry by insisting she was going to be dead within a month and that was her very last birthday dinner. Oooh, thank you for the double spumoni ice cream! (For the record, Tami loved to tell people this to see their reactions, and she celebrated birthdays #40 and 41, too. Poor waitress. My kid just sat there rolling his eyes.) Continue reading