The Year of Flora

 

Heading to Whidbey

Heading to Whidbey

Flora Zhou:  The 2014-2015 school year we had an extra girl living with us, 16-year-old Flora, from Chongqing, China. This month’s blog has pictures from the year. Goodbye, Flora, and hope to see you back in the U.S.A.!

Halloween!

Halloween!

Mexico (November)

Mexico (November)

Flava!

Flava!

Snow with Gia!

Snow with Gia!

Christmas

Christmas

Chelan

Chelan

Spring

Spring

Summer

Summer

Vince

Vince

Last Day!  我们会很想你,周灿!一路拼敢!

Last Day! 我们会很想你,周灿!一路平安!

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Sharks!

Sharks

Sharks (Gia in front, Middle – Elise, M’Kenzie, Elayna, Maia – Back – Alexandra, Hazel, Ava

 

Hungry Sharks

Hungry Sharks

Hornets Become Sharks:  This winter David Hollow and I coached the Hornets (the girls wanted to be Sharks in spring), a 4th grade girls team (Under 10 years old), and we won the league with a 9-0 record thanks to the spirited effort and play of all.

More of the same?  Spring rolled around, and I went to register for basketball. They said the league would be a 4th and 3rd grade league. This would be problematic, as except for the championship game, we won every game with 30+ points and our opponents scoring 10 or less. To add 3rd graders would dilute the competition

View from the pizzeria

View from the pizzeria

5th & 6th graders:  So I asked if we could bump up a league, to 5th & 6th graders (Under 12). They let us do it.

What happened?  We had close games with every game in question going into the 4th quarter. Including one with us down 6-9 with three minutes to go, but we scored the last 5 to win 11-9. We went 6-1, had the best record, but…

One loss?  The one loss was difficult and we were missing Elise, one of our best all around players. The team that beat us lost 3 games, so we won the league, but we would have loved a rematch. Next year. Bottom line, the girls improved, 4th graders (and one 3rd grader, my daughter Gia) outplayed older girls. Way to go Sharks!

Family trip to Leavenworth:

P1000862

 

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The House Rules

Spring on Penn Cove

Mom and girls having “fun” on Penn Cove.

House rules:  Whenever my daughters want to invite a friend over I insist on these rules.

Kaya & Kasia

Kaya & Kasia disobeying the rules

1.  No smiling!

2.  No laughing!

3.  No fun!

4.  Only speak Chinese!

Fair. But what do you think happens as soon as I lay down the wall? That’s right, girls start laughing, having fun, and filling the house with English.

Movie News:  Our film, I Think You’re Totally Wrong, w/James Franco, David Shields, and I, played 3 times in Seattle (May 30, 31, June 1), and was written up by The Stranger.

Video of Gia the Gymnast:

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April Shots

Mother & Daughter

Mother & Daughter

Dad’s got  a great sense of humor:  My daughters get silly mad over stuff like “who gets the bigger cookie.” Recently, Kaya bawled because dad forgot to give her a “whipped cream smiley face” on her waffle. Gia rages when Kaya plays with a long forgotten toy, Ava stomps into her room because dad points out that 1/4 + 2/3 is not 3/12. It’s hard being a fourth grader.

How does dad handle? With humor. Namely, I go  on “humor patrol,” looking for their lost sense of humor in armpits, knees, or under the chin. (notice that deft switch from third to first person?) Unfortunately, this only seems to get them angrier.

Enjoying spring w/Uncle Sanjay, Grandmama & Grandpapa

Enjoying spring w/Uncle Sanjay, Grandmama & Grandpapa

Doctor Time:  Ava had her yearly checkup. The doctor said all’s well and asked, “Any other concerns?” I said, “Yes, actually, Ava’s been grumpy. I think she ‘s lost her sense of humor. Do you have humor shots?” The doctor, indeed, happened to have an especially big needle and would be happy to give Ava a shot of humor.

Aunt Tracy, Ava, Gia, and Cousin Elliott

Aunt Tracy, Ava, Gia, and Cousin Elliott


Ava’s Response: 
 Did Ava laugh? No. She crossed her arms, rolled eyes, and groaned, Kaya and Gia (they came too) started laughing, and then I told the doctor all three daughters could use a sense of humor. Boy, talk about girls with no sense of humor.

April Fools:  On March 31st Kaya lost a front tooth and stuck it under the pillow. Turned out the tooth fairy didn’t need any humor shots, because the next day Kaya turned over the pillow to find…a banana peel. Poor Kaya picked up the peel with quite the sad face. (Dad bought it from Kaya for a dollar)

Toothless Kaya

Toothless Kaya

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No More Periods

2015 Sno-King Champs - Hornets Undefeated at 9-0

2015 Sno-King Champs – Hornets Undefeated at 9-0

Young Entrepreneurs

Young Entrepreneurs

No More Periods:  Lately my wife has acted really possessive, as well as riddled with contractions. I asked her why, and she said she no longer has periods; they have been replaced with apostrophes.

Happy Sixth Birthday Kaya!

Happy Sixth Birthday Kaya!

Birthday Rainbow

Birthday Rainbow

Lemony Snicket:  Recently I was in Portland for LiveWire, also featuring Daniel Handler, author of the Lemony Snicket series. So my wife and I bought Ava the first book, she loves reading the travails and capers of two orphans. This got Ava thinking, and she said, “Dad, don’t be offended, but where would we live if you died?” “Probably with Grandy.” “Well, could we still go to Edmonds Elementary, I don’t want to change schools, and can I still have play dates with Annabelle?” Yeesh. What about her poor dead parents?

Princess Kaya

Princess Kaya

Movie Trailer:  Just out – a sneak preview of I Think You’re Totally Wrong:  A Quarrel, here’s the trailer. Film will premiere May 3rd in Vancouver at the Vancity Theatre.

Don't Mess With These Girls

Don’t Mess With These Girls

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Super February

Super Bowl

Super Bowl

February:  Short post, pictures of Super Bowl party and Lake Chelan.

Lake Chelan

Wapato

Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan

Outside a winery

Outside a winery

Ice Skating at Wapato

Ice Skating at Wapato

My Lovely Wife

My Lovely Wife

Super Bowl Party

Super Bowl Party

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Married to a Writer and Reptile Night

Kaya enjoying a fine summer day in January

Kaya basking on a fine summer day in January

Ava the Crocodile Head

Ava the Crocodile Head

Married to Reptile Night?  Is my wife also married to reptile night? No, that’s just a writer’s blip. Grandpa Jim invited the gang over to his club to check out some snakes, lizards, turtles, and other cold-blooded critters, a show put on courtesy of the Reptile Zoo in nearby Monroe.

Married to a writer:  This month saw the launch of I Think You’re Totally Wrong:  A Quarrel, and this sent me to Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, the first time my wife’s stayed home. So what’s it like for her supporting a stay-at-home father/writer?

Gai and the snake

Gia and the snake

Glass half-full:  I like riffing on glass half full/empty analogies. Take the way my wife looks at my writing career. My wife sees writing as a half full glass – namely, half empty, half full of piss. Or she sees a half full glass as ninety percent empty. She’s had to put up with my distractions and absent-mindedness as I focus on writing, sometimes at the expense of family, so I’ll give her that. Writing can be empty.

Sorry Sanjay, but it looks like Tracy's found a more handsome reptile

Move over Sanjay, Tracy’s found a more handsome reptile

The Profits of Writing:  Over the last five plus years my biggest writing victories have been publication in the small press. When I get something accepted, my wife often asks, “How much do they pay?” And I say, “Well, I’ll get a couple contributor copies, maybe a subscription, and a discount on additional copies.” My wife says, “So let’s see, when you go to the supermarket and fill up your basket with food and check out, what does the clerk say when you hand him contributor copies?”

A Page Half Full:  Okay, so I can’t say I have a literary career yet, but we do have a movie premiering this spring (more later).

Preview Video:  From the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Gettin' ready for reptiles

Gettin’ ready for reptiles

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