Tuesday, October 13, 2009

23 Days of Miyagi & Me: Dog Hands

In mid January Miyagi and Me were in that magical place between being together and BEING TOGETHER. We went to dinner at friends house and during a game of Apples to Apples we sneakily held hands under the table.

There are few things in this life as wonderful as holding the hand of the guy you like in a sneaky manner that the rest of the room is unaware of.

Anyway. Partway through the game one of the family dogs plopped it's not insubstantial self at my feet looked up at me with big "pet me!" eyes, and I relented. I'm generally not allergic to dogs, but this canine had a bid 'o the old mange and smelled like a wet bear skin rug. I could feel the itch creeping up my arm and into my eyes as I walked in the front door so I wasn't going to take any chances with prolonged exposure. So before Miyagi and I left (together I might add) I let go of his hand, and walked to the kitchen sink proclaiming loudly, "just a moment. I've got to wash the dog off my hand!"

The mutt's puppy dog eyes were nothing compared to the look Miyagi gave me. Quickly I tried to fumble out an explanation, "no, the dog. I mean, I was petting the dog . . . see THIS hand . . .not THIS hand . . .smells weird . . ."

Of course the rest of the group wanted to know what we were laughing about so hard, but we just giggled in that way that new couples are wont to do. This was the first in a long series of accidental insults that plauged our first week of dating. But I think story time is over for today.

24 Days of Miyagi & Me: The Frozen Pizza

It was late. We were hungry. There's no shame in a frozen pizza now and then.

We cooked up a couple pizzas and Miyagi pulled them out skillfully, using the giant wooden paddle that calls itself a pizza board. We set them on top of the stove and started to rummage around for the pizza slicer. Somehow in the following moments we managed to pull one of the pizzas off the stove top, and face down on the floor. After staring at it for a few dazed moments, we discussed our options in true Miyagi & Me fashion.

"Well . . . huh."

*shrug* "I don't know . . .?"

"I guess we could . . ."

" . . . I don't think it's bad . . ."

"should we just . . .?"

And then we promptly picked up the pizza, then picked up all the TOPPINGS from the pizza, plopped them back on and proceeded to eat the whole thing as if nothing had happened.

I was actually tastier than the intact pizza . . . maybe it's all that Italian seasoning I use to clean the floor.

25 Days of Miyagi & Me

It's been a quiet few months on the blog front here, but instead of giving you excuses I'm going to give you something better. A story! Hurrah!

I'm currently counting down the days to my wedding (literally, we're now at 25) and since a paper chain only results in scraps of construction paper on the floor, I've decided to count down the 25 days with 25 stories of Miyagi & Me. That sounds like a children's book doesn't it?

I realize that in announcing this that I could be dooming myself to failure, but I'm hopeful that instead this will just refuel my desire to share my innermost thoughts with the vast internet void.

Today's story takes place almost one year ago Oct. 31st 2008. For the first time in years I had planned a spectacular Halloween costume, complete with home-made dress (thanks mom!) and about an hour of custom makeup that left smudges on all the walls like Tobias in AD.

I went dressed as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and even though most people thought I was just a creepy rag doll I kept hoping that at least one person would understand how awesome my costume was. Amidst a sea of cats, witches and sparkly-Halloween-make-up girls I tried not sound too dejected when I told Miyagi that I was ACTUALLY Sally, and not just a homicidal Raggedy Anne. He felt so bad that he didn't figure that out for himself, and later, when he asked me to dance I was sure it was just his way of trying to make up for it.

I was thrilled that he actually knew who Sally was, but I continued to make myself feel better by forcing him to do a variety of silly dances which looked HILARIOUS in his gnome get up. And thus began the courtship of Sally and the Gnome. Wow. There's another children's book!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Anything For A Story

For awhile, the chic parent-concern was the negative influence of Harry Potter on children. Particularly the glamorization of witches, wizards and other sorcery stuffs. But I’ve found another, possibly more disturbing side effect of Potter-love that evidenced itself in my 10 year old niece, who took the time to sit down and interview Miyagi-san . . . as Rita Skeeter.

For those of you not in the know, here’s a summary of Rita Skeeter’s profile via the wisdom of Wikipedia: Rita Skeeter is a reporter for the Daily Prophet and a correspondent for the Witch Weekly, who specializes in yellow journalism, for which she is armed with such magical devices as the Quick-Quotes Quill. Rita is an unregistered Animagus, capable of transforming into a beetle to spy on unsuspecting victims for her stories. As a reporter who fabricates information in order to write an appealing story, she is an antagonist to Harry and his friends throughout Goblet of Fire, and brief but reluctant ally in Order of the Phoenix.

Note in particular the phrase “fabricates information in order to write an appealing story”


In a sparsely furnished family room JANAY and MIYAGI sit watching the last minutes of FIEVEL GOES WEST. Enter RITA SKEETER, a ten year old would-be journalist, looking for her next story for the family newsletter and touting her grandparents’ digital camera. Rita stands in the shadows, casually lifting the camera and snapping pictures slyly as if catching the lovers in flagrante. After several shots Rita frowns, lowering the camera and saying:

You look really weird in these pictures.

Sorry for being a weird looking guy.

Plopping herself down in the chair opposite him, Rita pulls out a pen and paper and beings her assault on her newest victim.

So, can I ask you a few questions? Good. What is your favorite color?

Um, blue.

Ok, what is your favorite movie?

Umm, I don’t know. I like a lot of movies.

Well, what’s your favorite book? What about music? What do you LOOOOOVE?

Miyagi laughs nervously and looks to Janay for help. But Janay is as surprised as he is, and secretly envious of her niece’s ability to ask the tough questions. Hoping for an entertaining answer, Janay just shrugs and watches him squirm.

Ok, so how long have the two of you been together?

More nervous laugher and “oh, kids these days” looks.

Uh, just over a month.

And do you meet often?

Meet? Well, we see each other most days . . .

Ok “Glued at the hip”

In an effort to shift the focus Miyagi-san makes a comment about James Horner, the musical composer in Fievel Goes West. Janay revels in the glory of a boyfriend who appreciates the intricacies and subtle humor of such a classic movie.

James Horner, huh? “Is really interested in actresses.”
Well, James Horner isn’t an actor. He composed the music.

Oh, ok. “Is really interested in composers.”

Not really, I was just interested that it was James Horner.

“Really loves James Horner.”

I don’t really care about James Horner it was just interesting . . .

“Is completely indifferent to James Horner.”

Well I wouldn’t say that . . .
Ok. I think we’ve got our piece.

I’d kind of figured that this was the end of it. That after putting Miyagi through the ringer, my nieces would be done for the day. But, not to be out done by her sister, mini-Rita waited until that night when Miyagi got off the phone to ask, “Was that your other girlfriend? How would Janay feel if you had another girlfriend?”

The family newsletter seems to be quickly becoming the family tabloid. And sales have never been higher.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Come What? May.

I just found out that one of my favorite authors is coming to Seattle and it’s almost guaranteed I’ll be able to go! Given that my last opportunity to see her went down in a fiery ball of disappointment (although the fault was really due to an impromptu trip to Hawaii so . . . ) I’m uber-excited this time. May is turning into an exciting month for me. Please to enjoy all the glory to come broken down into easily readable tidbits.

May 13th: Flight of the Conchords live in Seattle! Add bonus points for the fact that my new gentlemen friend (hereafter known as Miyagi) bought us tickets to this show three months in the future without even considering whether we’d still be together then! Subtract points for my mindless exclamation upon hearing the news that it was “terribly optimistic” of him. Don’t think THAT hasn’t come back to bite me. (Extra bonus points for Miyagi for NOT taking it the wrong way.)

May 19th: The glory and grace of Jen Lancaster in my very own Third Place Books! Highlights include the fact that she’s cool enough to pick the most awesome of independent book retailers in the area, and with a pub inside the store she’ll likely get a little smashed and I’ll have my chance to prove my worth as her witty, yet sober, friend whom she simply must include in her writerly-social circles. The trick is to make sure THEY’RE the drunken ones.

May 22-25th: FOLKLIFE. FolklifeFolklifeFolklife. Again, last year’s Folklife experience was snatched from me at the hands of an awesome graduation gift (did I mention I got a tan?) and I can feel my hippie-soul crying out for release. I’m already practicing my drum circle routines and saving up for loads of head scarves, ceramic mugs, piroshkies, and at least one caricature of myself and Miyagi. Preferably where I don’t have freckles on my nose (just big pores thankyouverymuch Mr. Makemeselfconcious-artist-man.)

May1st/May 8th: Nerd-tastic movie releases of Wolverine AND Star Trek. For once in my life I will not have to barter with/threaten roommates to accompany me because Miyagi-san not only appreciates both franchises, he REVELS in them. Much like myself. I admit I’m somewhat more partial to Wolverine, if only for the high nerd-factor in comparing the history of Wolverine with the original comics. Also, in true Yanaj fashion, I’m most excited to see Liev Schriber in such a bad-@$$ role. What about Hugh Jackman you ask? Meh. He’ll do.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bacon Gives Me Gas

December marked the end of an era for me.

My journey began in a class I crashed with Haras where her teacher showed a clip from Apollo-13. I whispered that I’d never seen the movie and she, burning with the insistence of a thousand suns, replied in a yelled-whisper, “but it’s got Kevin Bacon in it!”

To this day neither of us is sure what that was meant to imply, considering that I’d never expressed any inclination towards Kevin Bacon, or his work. Not to say that I had any strong desire to avoid him . . . until then. After giving it a bit of consideration I realized it was entirely possible that I’d never seen a single movie of his! Once I confirmed my suspicions on IMDB, my objective became obvious. I’d managed to go my whole life without seeing Kevin Bacon (in all his six-degree glory) and I wasn’t about to change that now.

The next few years passed somewhat uneventfully in relation to my Kevin Bacon-avoidance quest. The only real benefit was a ready answer for the “I’ve never” game, which I used on many occasions. And any inclination I had to see Footloose or Tremors were quickly dispelled by a feverish commitment to my new-found quest.
But then.

December 31st, 20008. Innocently I agreed to a day at the movies with my friend Werdna. Having already seen Doubt and Slumdog Millionaire we decided to round out the evening with another film we were sure was headed for the Oscars. Enter Frost/Nixon. I’ve never encountered such a difficult moral dilemma in my life.

When the shady character on the street said, “you want to try some drugs, man?” I replied, “No thanks, I get high on life.” (Yes I was thinking of you Irak)

When the kid in chemistry class offered me the answers to the exam, I beat him away with my For the Strength of the Youth pamphlet.

But when I was sitting in that dark theater, watching the opening credits, and saw the big, white letters spell out “Kevin Bacon” I froze. “Trickery!” I screamed. After a moment of disbelief I turned to Werdna with desperation in my eyes, pleading for direction. “I don’t know if I can see this! It’s got Kevin Bacon in it!” “Yeah I know,” he said, “he’s really good.”

Then I knew I couldn’t rely on him, the cinematic experience had already begun to numb his instincts and I could feel their power taking hold of me. For a few, vain, moments I struggled, looking around frantically, weighing the cost of the ticket against my pride, and wondering if I could recover by hiding my eyes every time he came on screen.

I’m ashamed to say that I gave into the peer pressure and tried my best to enjoy the show anyway.

“I’ve never seen a Kevin Bacon movie” Not anymore. Now I’m reduced to saying “I’ve never seen a quintessential 80’s movie in which Kevin Bacon plays the lead and/or dances rebelliously.”

How many degrees of separation between me and a Kevin Bacon movie? Just one. Just one.