ridiculously sublime


It being Tessa’s birthday, I wanted to surprise her with a few gifts (some of which she will get this morning, after I’m already at the airport). The main present was a porch swing, something we’ve all coveted since we started renting this house in Venice.

I found one with a high back for comfort, then ordered it to my cousin’s place in Arcadia (one valley over) so I could do a whitewash pickling stain and then varnish the hell out of it. Somewhere along this journey, the instructions got lost, so I had to make it up as I went along, meaning I had about twelve screws and forty washers left unused. OH WELL!

Rushing home, I was presented with this:


That, my friends, is the opening moments of Los Angeles’ worst fire in fifty years. I took movies of the billowing smoke as it wrapped around all of us on Interstate 5, but they don’t do it justice. Even as I write this, the fire is only 50% contained, and just destroyed a quarter of Griffith Park.

On the radio, one of the police chiefs just said that he had spent every morning jogging around the park and that there’s usually hundreds of Sierra Club folks traversing the paths. It’s LA’s “backyard,” so they say. What true Angelenos really know is that this is a huge hit to the gay cruising scene – the easiest way to get laid in Southern California (or so I’m told) used to be the dirt trails criss-crossing the golf course and tennis center. Most of that is gone now, so I have no idea what Plan B might be.

Anyway, back in Heterosexualville, I managed to get the porch swing beast home, then waited for Tessa to go to bed so I could crawl into the ancient attic eaves of the house and find studs to screw. [Insert desperately unfunny joke here.]

After struggles with some nuts and washers [insert another soul-crushingly boring joke here], the porch swing was mounted by 3am, and I collapsed on it, weary and exhausted. I think she was pleased today, though. Happy birthday, honey!


I love my wife – she’s kinda awesome

17 thoughts on “ridiculously sublime

  1. Anne D.

    Happy (belated) Birthday to Tessa! She looks absolutely perfect on that porch swing. I am envious — of her loveliness and of the swing. :-) You are one dedicated husband to do all that assembling and bolt-securing into the wee hours.
    The Today Show led off with the news of weird weather (first tropical storm already near Florida/Carolinas) and fires on both coasts … Florida is suffering, too. Is Mother Nature making a last-ditch effort to get our attention? :-(

  2. LFMD

    Happy birthday to Tessa! Excellent birthday gift.
    You know, I learn something new each day on your blog. Now I know about the LA dirt trails cruising scene. . . certainly more scenic than the rest stops along the Turnpike in my home state of NJ.
    Speaking of cruising, I am reading Dina Matos McGreevey’s new book. Interesting counterpart to Jim McGreevey’s book, which I read last year.

  3. kjf

    Happy Birthday Tessa! That porch swing makes me think of the movie to kill a mockingbird. i have always wanted one of those too!
    as for that fire – my daughter lives in la by the park and she had to evacuate because of the fire. she said it was incredible (and scary)

  4. jordi

    it’s pretty great to see a picture of such calm loveliness taken in the very same town from whence all of the other images we’re seeing at the moment are of such awful devastation. and happy birthday to a wonderful lady!

  5. Annie

    Yay Tessa!!! Happy Birthday, girl! I love porch swings–though no room for one at 100 High–but we always had one at my Mom’s and I would sit for hours in the afternoon, reading.
    Needless to say, LOVING the decorative effect of the hoops on their tidy little hook!

  6. killian

    Awesome gift, awesome birthday girl!! LOVE the swing and the thought and effort behind it. what a fabulous family!

  7. Sean M

    Happy birthday, Tessa!
    Love the swing. Reminds me of one that my grandparents had when I was a kid. Spent many happy hours watching an afternoon go by on it…

  8. Rebecca

    First, Happy birthday Tessa!
    Damn, I feel inadequate. My husband’s birthday was a few days ago and I got him nothing. Nada. Zip. In my defense I will say that we went skiing last month and bought ourselves new outerwear and called that our birthday presents, but still, my kids were shocked that Dad didn’t have anything to open on his birthday.
    The swing looks comfy. I’m sure it will be well-loved by all 3 of you. I hope the fire is contained soon and that the smoke is not trapping you in the house. Let me know if you need to escape to the OC for some fresh air. You’re all welcome here anytime!!

  9. Rebecca

    2 additional comments:
    My “OC fresh air” comment was meant to be sarcastic, because it’s no better here than in LA. (Although you are welcome here!)
    When can we expect to see a YouTube hoopin’ video of the Blake-Williamses?


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