Tag Archives: Writing

The First Anniversary Gift of Paper was Never More Appropriate

Words Become One turns one this Saturday, May 15, and I know what you’re thinking:  who cares?

The only reason you should care in the slightest is because many important things are turning one as well:

Seattle’s Quinn’s Pub, named one of the Top 50 new restaurants in the US by Travel + Leisure magazine.

Blakesley Sutter, pseudo-celebrity baby.

My little pink 8GB Zune that I got for $80 at a Microsoft employees sale…back when I was still an employee.

My cousin Amy and her husband Joel’s marriage — happy anniversary shout-out!

And while most of these things are growing and changing, so is WBO.  I am going to switch to a more frequent posting format (goodbye to our Wednesday lunch date, hello to random coffee dates), and I am going to do a redesign of the site as soon as I can find some pro bono HTML/C++ genius to do my dirty work (remember when I told you your computer science degree was lame?   I was totally kidding.  Can I buy you a drink?  Your hair has never looked better!).

I want to give myself a little more freedom, a little more wiggle room in this creative outlet.  I’ve been very strict in meeting my Wednesday deadline — I’ve only missed that deadline once in an entire year, and it was due to a canceled flight.

It’s been fantastic writing so consistently, but I’d love more variety in the length and frequency of posting.  Some shorter.  Some longer.  Some with just an image and a killer caption.  I know — it’s gonna get crazy in here!

The ogre of a risk in this change is failing to post at all.  I read friends’ and strangers’ blogs where posts are sometimes weeks or months between — a travesty in the blogosphere (I swore I would never use such geek-speak, but this is what happens after a year, people).  The fear of becoming one of those people makes me want to dip a quill pen into my own blood and scrawl my signature across a contract of consistency.  Hopefully Mike stops me before I get to that point.

So that is why I am risking being an impotent blogger; it’s worth it to see if I can become a sizzling blogger.  “She posted on a Monday at 2PM!?  Criz-azzy!”

Of course I would never do that.  That would mean I was blogging at work and only pink-slip-happy people blog at work.  Or about work.

Consider this my May Day gift to you: one less thing to do every Wednesday.  Now you can check on any other day ending with “Y” because you never know when a new post might appear.

Hang on to your hats, eager readers!


Filed under ForeWORD (Intro)

Designing Woman

I’ve always assumed that I have great taste, that picking out paint and a decent piece of furniture would be as natural to me as choosing something appetizing to eat.

It turns out that I can make a previously established space better, but when handed a blank slate I can only think of one statement and one question:  I want to cry.  Would the fetal position be too dramatic?

Perhaps it is this exact reaction that caused the previous owner of our home to do absolutely nothing with the place.  When we took over there was not one speck of paint, not one modification or change from the way the home was built.  It was just endless walls of cream.  In fact, in the three years she owned it, she only lived it in for one and a half years and then it sat empty.  Perhaps she just couldn’t face her own design failure.

It looked like this:

So much white.  I can’t explain the gold star, either.  Perhaps it was a realtor’s attempt to distract from the white-ness of it all.

Endless white.  It’s like one continual yawn.

A year and a half she went to sleep looking at these blank walls.

Before we even moved one piece of furniture in, we painted.  We couldn’t stand the thought of setting up residence with Mr. White-Bread Walls and his wife Mrs. Milk Carton Carpet.

So we painted the fireplace: instant warmth.

We splashed a rusty, reddish brown onto one wall in the entry way to help people make the right choice when they are deciding, “DO I want to come in?”

Finally, after literally nine swatches were painted on the wall for comparison, we painted the dining room.  This is where my commitment-phobia caused Mike to want to have me committed.  Nine swatches?  Of course.  It has to be the right green, after all.

Bye-bye, swatches!

Hello, gorgeous green.  Thank you for giving my guests back their appetite.

After those victories, everything came to a screeching halt.  Christmas, New Years, this excuse, that excuse…and now we’re facing The Den.  The den of wolves.  The den that threatens to be my undoing.

I am the type of person who only wants two choices.  I can (nearly) always make a two-choice decision; anything more than that and I’m immobilized.  For instance, when I’m at the grocery store and I see seventeen brands of toilet paper, the person on the intercom has to call out, “Clean up on aisle four.  We’ve got a commitment-phobe down.  I repeat, commitment-phobe down.”   They always come running with defibrillators.

So here is The Den now:

It’s acting as storage until we make it into a workable space.  And the white, orb-like cone plugged into the wall?  That’s a vacuum cleaner my sweet mother-in-law gave us that I use far more than I ever thought I would.

The idea is for this to be my writing room; the place where my creativity flows and words spill out of my fingertips.

It’s also where I’ll pay the bills.  But that’s not as glamorous as creativity.

I’m dreaming of taking everything out, wallpapering one wall, hanging a cool chandelier, adding an extra chair and an attractive houseplant to liven the place.

But that’s where you come in.  Send me your ideas.  Give me your insight.  Tell me your genius design plan.  I promise to put it all to work and show you the results in a future post.

We’ll see what works, what doesn’t, and what causes me an anxiety attack.  Mostly, we’ll just see if the medics can restart my heart in time for me to make a decision.


Filed under UpWORD (Beauty)

Better than Apple Jacks

Not all men can be Shakespeare, and it’s probably best that most don’t try to be.

One of Mike’s most fantastic qualities is that he is utterly accepting of this fact.  Case in point:  he once promised me that he would never attempt to write me a poem; he thinks they are ridiculous, especially when written by the average adult male.

Since I am a woman who loves to write (though not poems), I don’t need my spouse to try to please me through my own medium — I’m happy to accept affection in other forms (unexpected gifts and vacations, natch).

Given all of this, one can imagine my shock last week when we got together with our friends Stephen and Jessica, and they said they had found a poem by Mike in their storage of high school mementos.


Yes, a poem.  Mike’s face turned pink as soon as they mentioned it.  Then he burst out laughing.

“It’s horrible!” he said between laughs.  “It’s so bad you won’t even believe it was published.”


He clarified quickly.  “We had an assignment to write a love poem, so of course I thought it was the stupidest assignment and I decided to be so over-the-top that they wouldn’t publish mine in the class book.  But they did anyway, and so it reads like I’m being completely serious.”

I considered for a moment whether he was just saying that to cover up whatever horrors lie in those stanzas.  The next day they emailed it to us, and I didn’t have to wonder — he was most definitely being ridiculous for the asinine assignment.

But judge for yourself.  And ladies, try not to swoon; this guy’s already taken:

How do you describe it?
Does it make you overjoyed?
Can you feel your heartbeat?
Does it make you do crazy things?

How do you describe it?
How do you describe love?
I think it’s a completely selfless expression
To put another first in everything.

It’s finding someone tastier than Red Vines.
And Hot Tamales.
Someone better than Apple Jacks.
Or peanut butter M&M’s.

It’s finding someone worth spending even just a
moment with, yet after you’ve searched
a lifetime to find.

Someone who when you look into their eyes
You find yourself closest to heaven.
Someone who if they died,
You would continue to love until the rest of YOUR life.
That is true love.

– Michael Reph

Believe me, there was some serious negotiating before I was allowed to share this with anyone outside of our home.  But I pointed out that I have shared my own humiliating moments (here, here and here) so what’s a poem between friends?

What’s funniest about this isn’t that he’s joking, or that it’s cheesy, or that it uses such silly references to candy.  What’s funniest is that it inspired the use of humor in his vows to me.  A sample:

“If there were no more chips and salsa or Mirror Pond in the world, I’d still be happy if I was with you.”

People laughed out loud at our wedding when he read that to me.  It was a total departure from what was otherwise a very serious vow statement.  Little did people know it was Michael Reph quoting Michael Reph.  He really should give himself more credit.

So honey, since Sunday is the two year anniversary of you saying those vows, I can say without a doubt that the poem you wrote at 16 turned out to be spot on.  You have proven to be tastier than Hot Tamales and you’ve made me feel my heartbeat.   You’ve shown me love as a completely selfless expression, and you’ve put me first in so many things.  Fortunately for me, you didn’t take a lifetime to find.

I know that I’ve made you do crazy things, but I hope, for your sake, that I turned out to be better than Apple Jacks.

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Filed under AwkWORD (Humor)