Dusting off the mothballs

It’s spring, and it feels so good to be throwing the windows open and letting in the fresh air! Well, fresh until the EPA is dismantled. While we were away, the world changed pretty dramatically. It’s great to have our platform back to air our frustrations and anger, but for today, I’m just going enjoy the fact that our dear nonfamous.com is back.

Also, it’s Jay’s birthday, and that makes me happy. I’ve know this sweet, generous, fascinating character for over 20 years, and I’m so grateful to have him and his wonderful family in my life. I love you, sweetie!

nonfamous is back!

So, it’s been quite a while since anything was new here. Post-GWB, there just didn’t seem to be quite the urgency. And the advent of Facebook (yes, this site started before Facebook) introduced new avenues for sharing with friends and family.

After a while, tumbleweeds set in, in the form of spam commenters and bitrot. Eventually, WordPress strained under the attempts of nefarious ne’er-do-wells, and the ISP moved it into maintenance mode to protect the server. After a while even the database failed and the site became barren, empty.

But now it’s a new era. Blogging feels relevant again, and even with the ephemeral sharing of the Twitters and the Facebooks a place to capture one’s thoughts for today and the future seems like what we need. So many many thanks to April for coming to the rescue by upgrading WordPress to a faster, responsive, and more secure version, and for recovering a dusty old backup we found on an old Mac Mini to restore the old content.

And most of all, today is Jay’s birthday. Happy Birthday, love! I hope the resurrection of nonfamous.com brings you much joy and a place to celebrate … or vent, as needs dictate!

Much love,

Culinary Communion is closed, but the miserable internet trolls live on…

And it sucks. CC was my second home. In the last four years, I’ve spent so much time learning to be a good cook there. I have so many friends because of CC and Gypsy. And it sucks that those are done.

What sucks more are the couple of people who are adding insult to injury here, though, by posting anonymously on the local blogs, nasty things about my friends and an institution they seem to have a grudge against. My guess is that most of them are from one or two people, and I can guess who they are, and they’re trying to make it look like there are a lot of them. Yesterday it was really upsetting me. Today, I realized that they are worthless pieces of shit, and I am not going to worry about them. I’m not going to bother reading the other blogs today, because it doesn’t matter what they say. Assholes are assholes, and you can only get so much out of calling them out on what they are.

One of them decided to come find me on this blog, today, and posted some random thing about me threatening him (uh, right, here’s what I posted about him:

anonymous trolls who post nasty and unsubstantiated attacks on people are probably the worst thing about the blogosphere.

CC was a great home for many of us. You apparently never bothered to become a part of that, which is certainly not our loss. But gloating over someone else’s misfortune is reprehensible.

Sound threatening? It made me realize that this person is just unhinged and out of touch with reality.

Anyway, this blog is my home, and anonymous and nasty comments will be deleted. I don’t have the stomach for these jerks that Jonathan Kauffman and Rebekeh Denn apparently do.


Said crazy apparently is reading my facebook posts and thinks that i am threatening him and have a vendetta against him, even though I’ve no idea who he is. Oh the wackjobs online.

How Ewing and Clark Construction betrayed our trust and cheated us out of tens of thousands of dollars

No pride here. Anything we write will be Googled and Googled against us. We trusted a company we shouldn’t have. Nobody should trust any company sharing their name. (Oh, and their logo!) For the record, these placements took me about 20 minutes of effort. As we say in the business, pretty good return on investment.

Confidential to all the Ewing and Clark staffers out there: someone using your name has fucked with the wrong faggots. We wrote checks when you asked for them, praised your work to all our friends, and will never, ever forgive what you did to our home.  I get paid considerable amounts of money to keep brands in the media spotlight, and it’s often hard to do… but I could do this job in my sleep. And where the court of public opinion leaves off, the courts of law just keep going and going. We have one hell of a shark on retainer… don’t go in the water!

That being said, this blog post, and the iceberg it is the tip of, can be permanently expunged for a mutually agreeable sum. Mutual nondisparagement and all that. Until you’re ready to have that discussion, the Ewing and Clark name will be popping up in all kinds of interesting places. If you doubt we can do it… just ask Virginia.

P.S. Friends of Casa Nonfamous… she has been rocking it old school since 1899 and you can’t keep a great house down. We WILL be celebrating Christmas in our home!

P.P.S. Lien releases, y’all. Get them from anybody paid to come to your house, except maybe the mail man and the pizza guy.

An important administrative change

Famous and Nonfamous Strangers has existed only under the Bush regime. Our musings on the world beyond our weddings, families and feasts have been pretty bleak. And all of our ruminations on politics have gone under the banner “politics (woe is us).” It just dawned on my (thanks again, Seamus) that we can and should lift our sights. The world is still a dark place, but we hope.

Henceforth, then… just “politics” thank you. (And actually, because I’m a bit lazy, I’m just changing the category code so all those all posts will be a little happier retroactively as well.)

Let’s keep working to keep the woe at bay!

Jesus saves his money at the Chase Manhattan Bank

(As goes the terribly blasphemous rugby song that I can’t seem to find a link to)… and now so do we. Like David, I’m wistful… I opened a WaMu account on my second or third day in town when I moved to Seattle back in 1999 and have always been 100% pleased with the customer service. Sad that it failed on the very date of its 119th anniversary. But the FDIC appears to have managed an awfully smooth transition… a run on the bank would have been really scary and much more damaging to the health and sanity of the market. We do have a lot of friends who work for WaMu and hope that their jobs are secure for as long as possible.

I suppose JP Morgan Chase is about as strong a bank as exists in these uncertain times, but I would have preferred Citi to have bought WaMu out… our Australian bank account is with Citi and at the rate things are going we might just need to make a transfer and cut our losses. Only, of course, if America goes all battered wife on us and re-elects the party that has given her 8 years of black eyes, red ink and moral bankruptcy. Here’s hoping Barack wins decisively against Grandpa Simpson tonight!

Second Cities and True Loves

Sorry for the shameful gap in posting. I am really going to try to work on that. I do have a reasonably good excuse for the past few months, which is what this post is about.

As many of you know, I’ve been working and living part time in Chicago since mid-April. The working part started first, but by June I was here a few days a week on average and it made sense to escape the horrors of hotels; I now have a place to leave some clothes, my favorite breakfast cereal, a few books and (perhaps most importantly in the Age of the Quart Size Plastic Bag) duplicates of a few indispensable toiletries.

The work has been hard – taking over the leadership of a team that needed some – but also extremely rewarding. I’m working with fantastic people, and it’s worth the effort because they have so much potential. It has been a bit like getting a rusted out classic Mercedes from your rich uncle… lots of work is required but you know it will be magnificent when it’s up and running. For a while I still had all of my Seattle responsibilities to manage too, but that has been rationalized a bit and I’m concentrating on fewer things to greater effect. My team back home, the new one here and all the managers scattered around have been really wonderful and I’ve really never felt out on a limb – I have known every step of the way that lots of people are backing me up.

But as is often the case with my work, the less said about it the better. The real challenge of being here is about where I’m not: home. Looming somewhere below the glimmering trite whiteness of clichés like “there’s no place like home” and “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” there’s this great iceberg of longing and loneliness that I had only ever imagined in the most childish of ways. It’s one thing – wrenching at the time to be sure – to be a homesick child, and I did have my share of that. But to willingly put myself away from family and friends, for work, realizing from 1,720 miles away exactly how much I love the life David and I are blessed to have built together… it’s crushing really. My father spent a lot of time on the road and living away for business, but for him it was necessity – literally how he kept our family fed – and he managed it without complaint. There’s a bit of vainglory in my assignment, given the queasy knowledge that I could say “enough” if I couldn’t stand it and go home with career and reputation largely intact. On a bad day, that lends the impression of a self-imposed exile.

I’ve had a couple of those. For only the second or third time since I claimed a Second City, it hasn’t made sense to go back to Seattle over a weekend. Work days here are invariably 12 or 14 hour affairs, and even when I’m back at the “Chi pad” I’m catching up on email, reviewing documents and generally able to anesthetize myself with the small details of a small life alone – laundry, perhaps a jaunt to Whole Foods, the occasional TV show watched in Tivo-less real time. In the context of that, a short call to David cheers me up more than it makes me miserable. Weekends, though, yawn like an abyss. It’s nice, in a sad way, to have 48 hours to collapse into and recover. There’s always a bit of work to do, more errands and in theory one of the world’s great cities at my doorstep to explore. And I have done a bit of that – and enjoy Chicago much more than I ever expected. (More, to be sure, on that happy topic later.)

But this weekend, as with all the time away, has revealed itself a terrible joy. What passes as our quiet domestic life in Seattle is, from this perspective, so clearly a miracle. David – surpassing in his wonders, surprise and above all patience – is simply so much better a match than my wildest dreams ever hoped for. The life we have built together, the friends whose love and companionship we enjoy together, our home (currently under rather ridiculous renovation!) and even the silly dogs are… perfection. When I’m home, time with our best friends is such a blessing too; when I’m away, it means so much to know that they love David almost as much as I do and take such good care of him. I’d like to think I have always appreciated these things as much as I do now, but it is simply not true.

In the day to day passing of “ordinary time,” it is easy to get caught in the trap of wanting more, of hoping for different, of pushing for the next thing. Distance has lent me perspective, and every time I’m home – which, really, is wherever David and I are together – the smallest, most common moments just knock me over. A Sunday sleeping in with the dogs snoring at our feet is heaven; if it happens to be one of those sun-kissed Seattle summer Sundays, I lie in bed awake smiling broadly, trying not to move and jar any part of it out of place. Against all the odds of place and time and the vagaries of attraction, we found each other… and I can’t keep from feeling like an ass each time the plane door closes to take me away.

I also can’t truly fathom how hard it has been for David, too – extra work to keep everything together, responsible for all the inscrutable needs of the dogs, and left with a big empty house when he comes home from his own long, hard days of the office grind. Though in my mind I imagine him enjoying a break from my chatter and ceaseless motion, I can hear in his voice how much he misses me too. We parted ways last Monday morning after a fantastic week and a half vacation – first in Houston for my cousin Clay’s wedding, then in Cancun with absolutely nothing planned or required of us. The margaritas were fine, but it was the time together that left me drunk. Saturday, the one day we were back in Seattle together, must have been the hangover — I was in a fuzz to about-to-be-gone-ness.

It’s just a few more days now until I’ll be home again through Labor Day, with a couple of weekends away together to look forward to. And I do. I suppose the end of all this rambling is simply how grateful I am to have someone I miss so much, who is patient and understanding enough to put up with this temporary arrangement, someone so manifestly good to come home to.

I should cut short this ramble and save something up for another post before too long, but I’ve been radio silent for too long. Thanks to everyone who has been putting up with my travels and travails lately. Most of all, darling David. I’m counting the hours until I see you again, at which point I’ll shift to savoring every simplest moment that passes.