What Is The Evergrey?

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It’s not this.

-Seattle singles meetup for people over 60

-University of Washington meteorology-psychology blog about weather and depression

-Craft cocktail bar located in the heart of Georgetown and sister to Pioneer Square’s ‘Damn the Weather’

-Seattle’s first built-green community and bold new approach to apartment micro-living in partnership with Amazon’s real estate arm, Amazoned

-Seattle’s on-the-rise gothic metal band singing everyone’s favorite hits from the Nineties and beyond

-A new CW series following the Tech Rich Kids of Instagram — featuring the extravagant lifestyles of the Evergrey twins, who will stop at nothing in their rise to the top

-Favorite ice cream flavor of The Queen of England: two-parts Earl Grey tea, one-part orange blossom, one-part vanilla bean

-Subreddit group dedicated to The Nothing in a Netflix original documentary about fanatics of The Neverending Story

-Popular Instagram account for people rocking grey hair at any age

-A fictional disease on Game of Thrones

-A comprehensive daily Seattle newsletter written by two kickass women about staying connected to a city that’s currently on steroids

If you guessed the last one, you’re correct; if you guessed any of the others, how will you look at yourself in the mirror from this day forward?

To anyone coming from The Evergrey today, or perhaps my Facebook announcement, I shout hello through this series of complicated tubes *shakes fist at Al Gore* and look forward to shouting in person.

I’m excited to be facilitating The Everygrey’s newly-announced writing group, beginning January 2017. The application deadline is December 31, 2016 — my wedding anniversary, in fact, where we will be out and about having legendary adventures in every corner of Seattle*.

*or: pizza, pajamas, a Westworld marathon, sawing logs the size of Ents before midnight

For those who came here wondering what my deal is before applying, take the leap! What do you have to lose besides four limbs, a car, and part of your Roth IRA? At the very least, connections will be made and you’ll get some time to workshop your writing. At best, we’ll create a nude writing group calendar for charity and Ellen will invite us on her show and we’ll get famous for like four minutes and then you know she’ll give someone a car (pleasebeme). Ellen’s always trying to out-Oprah herself. I’d like to be there when she finally succeeds.

My leadership qualifications include: I read the first two chapters of Infinite Jest and know all the words to Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’. A strong voice. An open mind. Dated a guy who ran for high school president and won.

As for the structure of our writing group, I’m thinking something like The Voice in that it’s exactly like The Voice. Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Country Guy, and I will sit in our rotating plastic Tron chairs and judge you. Finally, a job that plays to my strengths.

I look forward to working with a great group of people, whatever circus parade we decide on! Let’s stay in touch like we met five weeks ago at miniature horse camp:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | what’s a newspaper

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If Honeyfunds Were Realistic

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Sometimes life has other plans

Dining

(1) $200 for their first anniversary at a very special restaurant

(1) $100 for their second anniversary at a pretty nice restaurant

(1) $50 for a romantic anniversary dinner cooked at home

(6) $30 gift certificates to that pizza place in their neighborhood he doesn’t love “but at least they deliver” for the next six anniversaries

(1) $7.67 – Lactaid Fast Act Chewables (her)

(1) $6.79 – Beano (him)

Beverages

(1) $250 bottle of Champagne to celebrate their 20th anniversary

(12) $50 vouchers for Monthly Beer Club so he can have some much-needed Dude Time

(1,000) $30 vouchers for Taco Tuesday Happy Hour with the $4 margaritas

Accommodations

(30) $150 overnights at a local hotel in his hometown every Christmas after staying with his parents one year and realizing how much Fox News they really watch

Sightseeing Tours

(1) $130 for five Ride the Ducks tickets and (1) $150 gift card to Red Lobster for when his brother, wife, and three awful kids drop by unannounced for a five-day visit and she just wants them out of her goddamn house

(3) $100 wine-tasting tours for the only child-free weekends she will have with her girlfriends in her entire lifetime

(1) $100 in singles for the stripper-friendly bachelor party weekend they have a huge fight about that he goes to anyway*

*plus $50 so he can send flowers for the bachelor party fight even though he spent most of those singles on beer, Scout’s honor

Shopping

(Unlimited) $20 bottles of wine – or $200/case – for when she realizes she deserves more in life but will settle for alcohol

(1) $3,000 for the shoe addiction she said she had under control

(2) $500 for a suit he will wear to every wedding and funeral they attend until he gains 40 pounds in 10 years and she makes him get another one

(Unlimited) $50 XBox games and expansion packs to be played at 3AM in his man cave

(1) $100 trip to the sex toy store when she thinks they need to spice up their sex life

Airfare*

(2) Out-of-state tickets for a family emergency

(2) Spontaneous babymoon tickets to somewhere tropical after realizing they’re actually having a baby and may never have fun again

(1) Ticket to the Pacific Coast Trail after she watches the Gilmore Girls revival and sees Lorelei’s attempt at Cheryl Strayed’s Wild

*Inquire with administrator for pricing

Marriage Extensions

(1) One year of marriage counseling (Market Price but you will also be an integral part of the therapist vetting process)

(1) $545 Day of Beauty Spa Apology Package for when he forgets her 33rd birthday

(1) $600 Las Vegas Stay and Play Hotel & Golf Consolation Package for when she yells the hot neighbor’s name during sex

(2) $1,000 for surprise weekends away when they realize they’re just roommates with children and need to reconnect

Miscellaneous

(1) $10/month for a Netflix unlimited screening membership, which they will use for date nights, movie nights, avoiding each other, battling insomnia, battling depression, distracting the children, entertaining friends, and escapism from the life they chose and love, most of the time

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Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Destined for Sotheby’s: A fingerprint calendar I made in 1983

Like many adult-children who assume their parents will live forever, I hoped my parents would also be my personal storage space for Everything I’ve Ever Made, Loved, or Owned. I saw the writing on the wall when my old bedroom became my mother’s “project room,” and they started sounding like Japanese organization consultants, but still — I resisted.

Now when I go to my parents’ house, they give me bundles of old things to bring home and nostalgically cry over or burn to the ground. After Thanksgiving dinner this year, my dad handed me a large folder filled with my school projects and old notes I wrote and the weird doodles I drew. Going through that folder was like taking a long, sweet walk with myself in 1984.

One special thing, a red spiral notebook, was from my 5th grade Composition class with Mr. Storkman. Among the written gems of this budding writer: a directive on how to get a guy to go out with you (even if he has a girlfriend), a short composition about cow stomachs, and a friendly monster with razor-sharp ears that are as big as my torso. I laughed so much going through that notebook; deep, satisfying belly laughs straight from Discovery Elementary in Gig Harbor, Washington.

My favorite composition was titled “How To Write A Great Paragraph”:

Here I am going to tell you how to write a great paragraph. First and most important of all is INDENT. Always remember to indent. Indents are important. But probably even more important than indents are punctuation. Like exclamation marks! And question marks? And periods. Make sure you write from margin to margin without going outside of them. There are many ways to make a paragraph great. And that’s how you

MIC DROP.

Teacher’s remarks at the bottom of the page: “You forgot to end your paragraph about how to write a great paragraph.” I think the handwriting looked sarcastic but I can’t be sure.

Whatever, Former Me. Keep writing and moving forward. Read good literature, journal every day. Someday you’ll write a political blog post that consists of just emojis and make all those former teachers proud.

 

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On Being A Turkey

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I’m currently in the middle of my favorite annual meltdown: Thanksgiving Dinner perfectionism. My chef brother makes the actual dinner – along with my mother, also a former chef – so there’s no performance pressure there. Thanksgiving is like my brother’s Olympics, SuperBowl, Christmas and birthday rolled into one giant meal for 20 people, so he generally pulls out all the stops. Keeps it somewhat traditional but mixes it up; his cranberry compote has bacon in it, for example, and one year he did three different stuffings (one was straight-up Stove Top for Yours Truly – I WON’T APOLOGIZE FOR THE BUTTERY PROCESSED CRAP IN MY LIFE).

There’s a finesse to freaking out about nothing, but after 40 years of practice, I’m at the top of my game. While the hate crimes pile up in this country and children go hungry and cats fight dogs in the street, I’ve been on Pinterest, agonizing over recipes I will never make at parties we will never throw. Welcome to Thanksgiving Privilege 2016, Population: Me.

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Take Me To There

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“We are a plague on the Earth.” -David Attenborough

All night I thought, “Marika, get your ass up, turn on your computer, and write DoYoReHoBloMo: Day 18!” but I couldn’t because of fleece sheets and David Attenborough and reasons.

Of course I mean Sir David Attenborough, international sex symbol and notable human treasure, the narrative voice for the world around us and for those who cannot speak — like rivers, tomatoes, volcanoes, and cats, among other incredible things. I started watching Planet Earth Part 2 last night and could. not. stop.

I’ve been a superfan of every Attenborough globe-trotting project throughout the years. I remember watching The Private Life of Plants with my parents and realizing how little I knew about everything on the planet — and that one was just about plants. I watched episodes of Planet Earth back-to-back, immersed in the world we live in but one that’s brighter, more beautiful, and terribly savage. If we’d watched stuff like that in school, I think it would have been inspiring (at least inspirational enough for me to go). Instead, it was always some bullshit afterschool special where you always knew the answer: Don’t be a bully like Travis, a pushover like Nancy, a bad girl like Rhonda. Later on in life, Travis probably comes out of the closet, poor Nancy joins a cult, and Rhonda becomes your favorite stoner friend who gets you discounts at the yoga studio.

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