Thursday, December 27, 2007


It was a good Christmas after all. I was a little worried. All our friends left town. It was just the two of us. I was worried it'd be no different than most other days off, we'd sleep in, take a walk, read a little, make dinner, play poker and go to bed. True, there would be the half an hour of presents in the morning, which would be very very awesome, but other than that, what would make it compare to the many day hoop-la I'm used to at home? Somehow it compared. Somehow it still felt like Christmas.
We continued some traditions that I grew up with: a midnight Christmas Eve church service, then Christmas morn Zeb wasn't allowed to get out of bed until the Christmas music played. Then we had to clean up the whole house before we could open presents. I heard my eternal childhood question echoed in Zeb's voice when, after ten minutes he said "Is the house clean enough yet?"
We made presents stretch out as long as we could, examining each one for at least ten minutes before we moved on to the next. Zeb was in kit heaven. I had sent out a sly email saying what a sucker he was for kits and hot sauces, my family took me very seriously. He received a hot sauce making kit (just add garlic, peppers, oil etc), a fudge kit (just add butter), a beer making kit (just add water - this won't be the best of beer), a put up your feet and relax man kit (just add chips), a golf ball monogramming kit (add golf balls), a cigar kit and another five or so other bottles of fancy hot sauces. As I said, he was in heaven.
I received many wonderful things, my favorite being a beautiful new, long, warm coat from my husband. I had been eyeing it for quite some time on the J Crew website. Zeb says it makes me look like a ninja which is his highest compliment (I translate it to movie-star in my head). I loved it so much that we had to take a walk right away and we spent a nice hour down by the water.
By this time it was mid afternoon so the west coast was finally up and the virtual Christmas began! First there was a flurry of texts to an from everyone we knew. Then we were put on speakerphone while my family opened the gifts from us. An hour later we received a video of those same gifts being opened, and we could even hear ourselves on the phone. The best part, the video camera turned toward the computer and we could see and hear Valerie live in Germany on Skype! We sent pictures of ourselves and our gifts to Oregon, and it actually felt like we had all participated in Christmas together.
We finished the evening, of course, with steak and poker and our new Alison Krauss Robert Plant CD. We watched 'The Nativity Story' in bed and we said, 'That actually felt like Christmas!' A new kind of Christmas, but it was still filled with family, cozy pjs, thoughtful gifts, good food, and the birth of Jesus. To answer Camille's question, yeah, it was a good Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Whoa Baby!

Welcome Caleb Henry Temple!!!!!!!

Link: "What's Wrong With The American Essay"

I used to feel guilty about my apathy toward essays. Now I feel vindicated. Spineless essays are evidence of a greater malady.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Way Too Excited About Our Christmas Tree

It seems like such a big step, like owning your first car, or inviting another couple over for your first stab at entertaining, or buying life insurance. It's not a little table-top Christmas tree to get by until we get to mom and dad's where there's a real one, it's large and sappy and it makes this little third story flat feel like a legitimate household, and me feel like a legitimate adult with responsibilities, like, say, watering the tree every few days.
I'm pretty proud of the decorations. They all, in total, cost $10 from the Dollar Tree. They only go half way around the tree but really, if I hadn't told you you'd never know. Who snoops around the back of a Christmas tree anyway?
Josiah (or was that Natalie and Joanna?) and mom have asked for pictures of the apartment, my excuse for taking a few too many pictures of the Christmas tree is that I need it from every angle to give you more views of the room. When the dining room, bedroom, and kitchen get anything near as cool as a Christmas tree I'll take pictures of them too.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Five Plus One

Anniversary Day at the Turner exhibit - Zeb's favorite artist, now perhaps challenging Klimt as mine.


Zeb and a "Nude Woman"

S and Z Forever

Friday, December 7, 2007

The good, the bad, and the good.

There is quite a bit of news this week. In the good news - Zeb started a new job on Monday. A huge weight was lifted immediately. He's working at a real estate development company that handles all the government housing projects in Baltimore. He, of course, has a lot to learn but he thinks he will enjoy it. Perhaps not start a career enjoy, but definitely make a year or two interesting enjoy. It snowed! It's pretty. Zeb finished his final paper meaning he's pretty much done for the semester!
In the bad news- I lost my job. The restaurant is closing for an extensive remodel until the spring. We have three weeks to either file for unemployment or find new jobs, which is not as easy in this town as it might seem. That pesky weight came back again. You can whip out the prayers if you want.
In the good news- I got a promotion right before I lost my job. All sorts of benefits that would have started in January right as we're now closing. Ironic. But nice to be appreciated. Best of all the Culvers turn six months old on Sunday. And, as the boy texted the other day "It is impossible to be in love and to be poor...and we love each other."

Monday, December 3, 2007

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Oregon anymore!

Overheard: "Our subdivision doesn't want us to cut down trees and I hated to do it but I just had to make room for our pool, I just had to. I told the guy helping me to hurry and get that wood outta there before anyone saw how healthy it was."