Drinking With the Dog

At first glance this video appears to be an irresponsible, drunk post. I was drinking with the dog. But just wait until the end.

By the way, Blue makes that sound all the time. He likes to come up to me in bed while I am sleeping and do that in my face to get me up.

Delightful, no?

Here are some pictures from Christmas, which I decided was one great-big failure. The pictures are for my dad and step-mom. And for Tabby.

I want her to know that little Chicky is very, very happy without her. And he loves his new sweater.

Notice the correct grammar. Not “fail” people. Failure. I’ll get off my high horse now.

Speaking of failures, my dad and I commiserated over a rather lackluster Christmas. I blame Frank Lloyd Wright.

My grandparents built a very famous house when my dad was just a child.


Before this house came along, they had regular Christmases in a regular house. But after they moved, the house took the front and center and Christmas became too messy.

This article, BTW, is so ironic. It’s about how my grandparents’ house can teach you a thing or two about relaxation.

My grandmother, while a dynamo, a visionary, a creative force, was anything but relaxing and this house was her life.

Me and my grandmother

Me and my grandmother. I made my outfit, Issey Miyake made hers.

The house was beautiful, stately, avant-garde artistic and appeared serene, but it was most definitely not relaxing.

That house was its own entity whose needs always came first, whose every furnishing and surface was to be protected at all costs.

It was not a place to let your hair down and relax. Never.

This was not a table to put your elbows on.

This was not a table to put your elbows on. This, BTW, is a shitty picture.

I loved visiting my grandparents and being in this house. It was exotic and beautiful and my grandmother was doting in her exhausting way, but there was always the pressure to be just right, to never set that glass down without a coaster.

I loved visiting but would not want to live there. It wasn’t a great house for a kid to be a kid.

To be fair to my grandmother, I have a spectacular story about her putting a person first, but it will mess up the rhythm of this post so I’ll save it for later.

Anyway, the traditions that make Christmas special went out the window and my father was raised largely without a sense of what to do.

Couple that with my mother, a native Vietnamese who had no way of knowing how it was supposed to go, and that tradition of cluelessness was passed on to me.


No blame here, we were just trying to get to the bottom of why I suck at doing Christmas.

I took this up with Goodwood today, who rules at Christmas. He and his wife and son are like family to us. I intend to do better next year and with his help, hopefully I will.

I want to figure out a way to make Christmas a day to look forward to all year. Not because of the presents, but because of the fun stuff that we do only on that day and with people we love.

I promise to cut the crap next week, I have plenty.

13 thoughts on “Drinking With the Dog

  1. Look at you! in that pic w/your grandma from probably like 20 years ago, right? You were so cute. She makes you look really tall. Is that a Frank Lloyd Wright house? Seems I remember hearing something to that effect. BTW, I always appreciate your correct grammar, but I don’t get what’s up with that usage. Are people starting to use “fail” as a noun or something?

    • Yep, about 20 years ago. I remember making that dress. Mama Mary was tiny, maybe 5’2.

      There is nothing like the beauty of youth, so lush and ripe. I miss that quality, yet it was so wasted on meat that time. Beautiful and stupid.

    • Yep. Mary and William Palmer. They were close to FLW, my grandmother charmed him into designing the house and giving her a bigger kitchen, my grandfather talked him into changing the orientation, so he could see the moon from the bed room.

  2. Palmer’s of Palmer house. That is fascinating . My friend had a best friend that collects Wright houses but never lives in them, considers them unlivable.

    • This one is quite livable but it was built for small people. FLW was a very small man, but so were my folks.

      This house is known as being the best maintained and original owner occupied FLW. Unlike many others, it was very well built. It is testament to my grandparents’ dedication and love.

      • I studied it and all of the others when I designed the house you saw at our wedding. Jim convinced me to consider the bungalows of Green and Green so I went that direction. Jim worked in the proctor and gamble offices which Wright designed. Jim said Wright didn’t believe people should gather informally so he made the halls super narrow . I think his friend has 6 or 8 houses. I’ll ask him tomorrow.
        Palmer House was my favorite . I’ll look in my books for it again.
        I can imagine how uptight it felt though.
        You look wonderful!

        • Yes, narrow halls and very acute angles in the shower. Seriously, the shower head is crammed into a corner that can’t have been more than 45 degrees. But it was beautiful and felt airy and organic, it just wasn’t terribly practical for me or either of my 6 foot plus husbands. FLW must have been 5’8 like my grandfather.

          It is a gorgeous house and I’m tickled that I can visit it still.

  3. I love the photo of you and your grandmother! What a great story. I am little, so I have always dreamed of having a house built with that in mind. I can never even reach the 3rd shelf in a kitchen. May next years Christmas be full of more fun and fulfilling frivolity!

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