Dec 18, 2008


SEATTLE, Washington – The yam-lentil stew simmers and earring-sized ornaments dangle from the live 12-inch tree. I gave it a ginormous terracotta pot, because, in time, it too shall become ginormous. My 2004 evergreen – lofty at 3.5ft – lives in a whiskey barrel on the back deck now: too heavy to drag inside. "You'll have to liberate it soon," my mother Ellen warns, "before it falls on that nice family below. Along with your overloaded bookcases."

She may have a point about the structural integrity of the writer's garret. But until I hear ominous creaking, I'll position heavy items over joists and hope for the best.

Tonight I missed my fifth holiday party, thanks to several inches of snow (so far flu&storms 5/ Castleman 0). Much fury has unleashed on the "weather wimps" of the NW. Yet America's northernmost major city generally enjoys a mild maritime climate. So, um, how exactly should we learn to cope with icy hills when they only slush seriously twice a decade? OK, freezing education yesterday with nary a flake in sight was pure hysteria. But Seattle sure schooled those slacker families today, making 'em schuss in for – what? – three hours.


  1. A tip: pretend you're a Canadian. And you, too, will conquer the Arctic climate.

  2. I don't think I'm tough enough to even PRETEND to be Canadian.