Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday hanging out with Samantha and Sean

I don't know a whole lot of kids out here in the Pacific Northwest - not like in Michigan. So when Samantha and Sean asked me if I wanted to go holiday shopping with them, and then ride on a carousel, I was happy as a sock monkey could be! They were so fun when we went to to see the Seattle Storm basketball game, and together we could be more fun than a barrel of you-know-whats!

We did a little shopping and then headed straight for the carousel. There were some really nice people there, and they gave us free tickets to ride (I kept humming the Beatles song, but I think Samantha and Sean were too young to recognize it - or maybe I'm not a great hummer...). This is an annual event they have right next to the shopping - Kent Station. It's a beautiful carousel, with lovely horses. It was really fun. I had a great ride with Sean. He made sure that I did not fall off the horse.

After the ride, Samantha, Sean and I saw three other cool kids - Theodore, Simon, and Alvin. We posed for some pictures together. They didn't seem to want to do too much of anything, so we walked over to the other people there. Then I met this amazing pooch - his name was Moxie, and he was a one year old Chi-Pom. I don't what he thought of me, but I sure thought he was just plain awesome! He didn't have a lot to say either, and he seemed very toasty warm where he was!

It was getting a little cold, and I saw that people were getting cups of cider, hot cocoa or coffee. I went to the table, and these two very nice ladies were there from Umpqua Bank. They were sponsors of this tent where the carousel was, and they were in charge of helping folks get their hot beverages. Shawna and Rhonda were so nice because they helped me get my own cup of cocoa! They smiled a LOT and made me really happy.

Before we went back outside, Samantha and Sean gave Wendy her birthday present - a pair of sock monkey earmuffs! How cool was that? Actually, Wendy said they were pretty darn warm! She was giving me a ride so I could pretend I had two sock monkey friends with me. One of the bank ladies looked like I was giving HER a ride... but I wasn't!

Then I spied a Christmas tree, and I scampered up to see if I could get to one of the birdies out on a limb. The first few branches were a little hard, but it got easier. When I got to the branch with the bird and yelled, "Hey, Wendy! Lookee here!" Wendy was not happy with that, and she said, "It's time go, Ernie." 

When we got outside the tent, I saw some more trees, decorated with lights! They were so pretty! I zipped ahead and pretended I was an ornament in one tree. I don't think they saw me! Then I saw one more tree with all these lights on it, and with really really good branches that were screaming: "C'mon, Ernie! You can do it!" So I jumped up into it. That didn't turn out well, and Wendy caught me just before I hit the ground.

I was ready to go home after that. And so we did! It was nice to hang out with Samantha and Sean - and I cannot wait until the next adventure with them!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend with My Peeps

The nicest thing about the holidays is having the time to visit with friends, chill out, and have fun. Okay, I'm a sock monkey, so my entire existence is about having fun, when you get right down to it. This year, I decided to kick off the "official" season by spending quality time with folks who I enjoy.

On Thanksgiving Day, I asked Wendy & Ken if I could have a bunch of my sock monkey friends over. They were happy to see me have some pals over, and they said they were looking forward to meeting them. 

Ahda, the lovely lady with the bow on her head and apron on her body, is my best friend. She joined the family when in 2004, she was brought to cheer Wendy on in her Breast Cancer 3Day Walk, all the way from New York. Wendy's best friend is also named Ahda. How odd! My other friends who were visiting that day have just kind of arrived in my life, some old, some newer. But all really nice, fun, intelligent sock monkeys. And they like to be cozy! 
We watched the Thanksgiving parades on the television for a while. I don't understand why they don't have giant sock monkey balloons in these parades... We're so CUTE! The parades were fun, and when they were over, we just sat and chilled out in front of the fire for a while. It became obvious that Wendy and Ken were not going to cook a turkey, and pretty soon we all started getting a little hungry. 

After everyone left for their respective Thanksgiving plans, we were surprised by a visit by Santa Sock Monkey! Baby and Puppy were giddy with delight! We all posed for a picture before Santa went on his way to HIS Thanksgiving plans (I hope he was going to eat something, as he is pretty skinny!). This sure was a lot easier trip to see Santa than if we had to talk Wendy and Ken into driving us to the mall!

As afternoon started to turn to evening, I asked Puppy and Baby to join me in some quiet pre-holiday moments just looking at the fire. I am a really lucky and happy sock monkey, and I am really grateful for all of the fun this year - it's nice to be out of the basement box and into the real world with friends and family!

I'm looking forward to more holiday adventures... with some human friends, too!

I know it's only Rock and Roll... but I LIKE it!

This fall I got a chance to hang out with my favorite rock and roll band - The Satin Peaches! One of the reasons they are my favorite band is that my favorite boy is in it - Jesse! Jesse and me go way back. He's Frannie's brother, and I have known him since he was born. He was a very good player when he was a kid, and I like Jesse a lot. Recently I was looking at old home movies, and it warmed my heart to see me in his crib... somewhat squashed by the antics of his sister, but there I was!

When Wendy and I were in Detroit in October, she took me to the Magic Stick to see Jesse play. Imagine my surprise when he said I could sit in on the set! I was so excited! I could do a solo! Maybe join in on the drums! Maybe sing along with Jesse, standing there sharing a mic! I could barely contain myself!

I did not realize he meant I would be literally sitting in on the the set. Jesse found a good place for me right behind him, up on an amp. Wow, it was fun to watch people as they listened to the band, bobbing their heads, dancing, clapping, woot-woot-wooting! Afterward, I had to keep saying, "What?" a lot. Those boys are L-O-U-D! Thanks, TSP, for letting me join you on my first rock and roll adventure!

Just a few weeks later, The Satin Peaches were on a national tour and came to Seattle. I was so happy to find out that Ken invited the boys to stay at our place! Wendy was back in Detroit, so it was just 3/4 of TSP, Ken and me hanging out. A bunch of hip and cool primates, hanging on a Monday. My kind of scene, man. When the final 1/4 of TSP showed up, the boys posed for a picture with me. I would like to be a roadie for them, but I have a hard time carrying things that are bigger than me.

As Chuck Berry and the Beatles sang profoundly:

Just let me hear some of that rock and roll music, any old way you choose it. It's got a back beat, you can't blues it, any old time you use it. It's gotta be rock and roll music, if you wanna dance with me. If you wanna dance with me. 

(Hey - check out Jesse's new project - Jesse and the Gnome!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

HOOP there it is!

Ken has figured out that I sure do like to go to ball games. We had a blast with the Tigers and the Mariners when we went this summer. In September, he offered me the chance to go with him to see the Seattle Storm (women's professional basketball) play in the series against Atlanta. I was pretty excited and nearly beside myself when the told me that we'd be going with Mark, two Wendys, Samantha, and my way cool buddy, Sean! I love his hair! If I had hair, I'd like it spiked into a Mohawk, too!

Sean helped me sign the spirit banner at a table outside of Key Arena. I thought he was being helpful... until I saw the picture! Bunny ears! Honestly! Monkey ears would have been more like it! Then he and I tried to push this GINORMOUS basketball - but it was tethered down. 

We had to wait in a long line before going into the arena. There was a very nice lady there who was checking backpacks. She even checked mine. The first thing that Sean and I checked out when we got into the arena was not our seats... no, it was what kind of food did they have there! HOT PRETZELS! Mmmmmm! My favorite!
Before we took our seats, we took someone else's! We went down to the floor and sat in the "big shot" chairs, right on the floor. I took it a little farther and sat right ON the floor! Those players are TALL!
On the way to our seats, Wendy took me to meet some Storm fans - they were tooooo cute! Then Ken asked a guy - Eric - from ESPN if I could look through the camera to see what I would see on TV at home. He let me sit on his shoulders, hold on to his headphones and look through the camera, and pretend to be his assistant - I could not help yelling, "I'm a TV guy! I'm a TV guy!" It's probably a good thing he had his headphones on... 
Finally, we got to our seats. They were pretty high up, but really very fun! Sean and I played "Smash Each Other With Thundersticks" (it's a game we made up!). Then we settled down to watch the game. 
A great time was had by all - especially the Storm! THEY WON! They even went on to win the championship - could it because they had me - an official rally monkey - at that first game? Could be!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

All's fair that ends fair...

I was so excited when Wendy and Ken told me that we were going to the fair! The Puyallup Fair happens every fall, and it's a way fun fair! I looked at our tickets and thought that it was the Pull-Your-Lip Fair, but they kept telling me that it's pronounced "Pu-WAHL-lip" - I think that's kind of silly. But you know how humans can be...

There was so much to do at the fair, so many places to be, and a lot of great surprises for this little sock monkey!

I met a bunch of cows and some of their families. They were very big and seemed to be tired, since most of them were lying down. I tried to make friends with them, and with the little goats too, but they were not interested in me either. They were more interested in their food. I can understand that, since I love to eat, but I had hoped to become friends with them...
One of the nice things about this Pull-yer-lip Fair was the parade! A rodeo is a big part of the fair, and I loved the rodeo parade! There were cowboys and cowgirls and horses and tractors full of more cowboys... it was so cool! I waved "hi!" to them and many of them waved back!
There some interesting people at the fair, and they wanted to be friends with me. One was a really pretty lady who saw me, started smiling, and said her sister just LOVED sock monkeys. I was very happy to hear that! She wanted to be friends with me too, and I liked her a lot. I also met these two funny guys - Laurel and Hardy! They made me laugh!
After a lot of walking, I was happy to see that the folks who run the fair know that all this walking around might make your little tootsies hurt, so they actually have these foot massage machines! I am quite used to sitting in the palm of big hands, so I scampered up on top of one of the hands... only to find out that my feet didn't hit the massage part. There were enough hands to go around for Wendy and Ken too, but they said, "I'm good..." in unison. Well, I liked it, and it was nice to rest in a big, giant hand! I was glad it did not reach around and pull my lip. 

I could not believe my big sock monkey eyes when we got to the next part of the fair! I had hoped I would find something silly, and I found a whole town full of silly! There was so much to do in this part - a carousel, a little farm where there was very tall corn stalks, and it made me so very excited!

The petting farm was the best... except that I was afraid that the sheep and goats might take a bite out of me, after watching those little goats chow down earlier! I could not believe my eyes when we got to the chickens area! How funny was it that they had SILLY chickens in SILLYVILLE! I kept asking Wendy to take a picture while I was laughing so hard. She did and then asked what exactly was so funny. When I told her, she asked me to read the sign a little slower... they were SILKY chickens. Well, I still think they were pretty silly looking!

I was getting pretty tired and I wanted to know if we were almost done. Ken suggested we go to the midway, and I suggested I was more than midway done with the fair. It was pretty sunny, and I was getting a headache from all the fun in the sun. Ken saw a booth where they were selling sunglasses and thought I might want to try some on. He had a good idea! It was very fun to try on sunglasses that made me look very romantic and then very sporty... and then I was ready to go to the midway!
There were so many rides at the fair. I wanted to go on The Scream - it reminded me of the Seattle Space Needle and it went about a million miles into the sky! You sit on a kind of a chair on a kind of a bench with a bunch of people you don't know, and they pull the bench into the sky, and then they drop the bench! I thought it would be fun! Wendy and Ken did not want to go (they are silly chickens, if you want to know the truth!), and I said I would go by myself. I found a sign that showed how tall you have to be to go on this ride. Well, that ended THAT conversation!

It was really getting time to get home, but we had not hit the midway yet. We had not played any games. Once we got there, we found out that there were not a lot of games for sock monkeys to play. I saw lots of kids walking around with prizes, and I asked Ken to win a new friend for me. 

The first game we went to was a ring toss on bottle-neck game. Ken said it was a very hard game, and it looked like it was because there were only a few GIANT prizes there, not lots of little prizes. Well, it must have been my - and Ken's - lucky day, because he WON a GIANT tiger! Us being from Detroit and major Detroit Tiger fans, well, we thought this was perfect! People were high-fiving Ken (I don't have five fingers) as we walked along, and staring at us, and we were so happy! This tiger is so GIANT that it almost didn't fit in the car!
I LOVED the Puyallup fair - next time I hope I can go on some rides and maybe even eat a corndog!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

On the Waterfront... and then some...

We had such a good time downtown last week that we decided to spend another Saturday sightseeing in Seattle. Our first stop was to be the Seattle Waterfront.

Walking there, we passed a very cool weather vane that is actually a giant metal umbrella that moves with the wind. Wendy was about to snap a picture of it, and I jumped up in the air to pretend I was holding it! Oh, it is so fun to be a sock monkey! I crack myself up sometimes!

We went a little farther and decided to walk behind Pike Place Market because it was already very crowded there. I thought the sign would make a good hat, so I asked Ken to take a picture of me so I could pretend I bought a souvenir there.

The first thing we saw on the waterfront was one of the cruise ships that leaves for Alaska from here. I hope I get to go on a cruise ship someday. And I hope I get to Alaska so I can see my friends Louise and Tom!
We took a few minutes to look at the map. I kept pointing and saying, "We are HERE!" over and over. Wendy and Ken agreed that we were in fact here, and Wendy said it was time to go somewhere else. I looked up and saw the Alaskan Way Viaduct and got very excited. Actually, it was Wendy who got very excited. This is the highway that drives her nuts when she has to drive on it. All because one night on TV, she saw a National Geographic show "Monster Quake" and the computer animation of what will happen to the road RIGHT HERE in "the big one" is pretty dramatic. In fact, Wendy said, where we were standing, according to to the simulation, would be UNDERWATER in an INSTANT! I told Wendy that sometimes a little education is not a good thing, and that now was the time for HER to move on and go somewhere else. Ken smiled at me, nodded, and said, "Good one, Ernie!"
We were on Pier 59, right next to the Seattle Aquarium. I was certain that there would be some sea monkeys there, and I wanted to go inside, but Ken said we had to keep moving because we had to "be somewhere" at Noon. There were SO many things to see right there on the waterfront that going inside wasn't very upsetting. First we saw a big, noisy fountain! It was a wishing fountain! Wendy gave me a penny to wish on. I stood there, closed my eyes, made a wish, and THREW my penny into the fountain! But then I realized I had a better wish I could make, and I tried to get my penny back. Ken grabbed me by the tail JUST in time!
Oh, what we saw next was AMAZING! There is art EVERYWHERE in Seattle, and here on the boardwalk next to the aquarium was a very, very tall deep sea sculpture! What a great playground for me! First I scampered up the seaweed and I hid as best as I could. I started yelling, "KELP ME! KELP ME!" Oh, it was a HOOT! Then I scooted down to the octopus and pretended he got me in a very tight grip with one of his arms. I did my best Smokey Robinson impression, singing, "You really got a hold on me...." (I so love Motown!). 
Then I scooted over to look at this big fish who was staring at me. He looked so familiar. I realized exactly what I was supposed to do. I played "On the Waterfront" with him! He was Brando as Terry, and I was Rod Steiger as his brother Charlie. We acted out the backseat of the car scene. The fish was so good - he did a really good Brando and said, "You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it." I couldn't remember what I was supposed to say next because I was laughing so hard!"
In fact, I laughed so hard I fell off the kelp! When I stood up, I could not believe my eyes! DOUBLOONS! TREASURE! JEWELS! GOLD! I thought I was supposed to take some, but it was not real. They should know better than to try to fool little sock monkeys like that. I got sad. I looked up to see this giant weird fish, and I told him I was sad. So he SLURPED me! Well, that made me feel better!
Next we went to see some of the businesses. A gift shop window had a display of some sock fish! Who ever heard of sock fish? And they even have signs so you can let people know if Bigfoot lives nearby. I thought Bigfoot looked a little like one of my uncles.
There were lots of fishermen on this waterfront. A GIANT fisherman has his own restaurant and he greeted me at the corner. Then there were some of his friends on top of the restaurant, and I pretended to be part of the crew! Inside there was a restaurant named The Crab Pot. I was so upset! There was a fisherman with a crab in a cage who was caught! I found a way into the trap and tried to help the crab... but he tried to pinch my tush! I got out of there FAST!
I was pretty happy that we found another carousel! It was pretty, like the one at Comerica
On the way back to the car, I found a newspaper that made me think. It's called "The Stranger" and I thought I could be a good cover monkey, because I'm pretty strange. Right before we got to the car, we were walking down Pike Place and we passed the very first Starbucks ever in the universe. I wanted to go in, and I stopped for a picture, but I knew not to ask because we had to be somewhere at Noon.
Well, it was pretty exciting where we had to be! We met our friends Wendy (ANOTHER Wendy!) and Mark at Safeco Field! We were going to see the Mariners play baseball! WOOOO HOOOOO! Another baseball game! And they are the MARINERS! So it was like we were still at the waterfront! Ken was so nice - he brought my hat and glove. I sat in the seats with Wendy and Wendy, holding up my glove saying, "I've got it! I've got it!" It was so cool! We could see how they changed the the scoreboard! A little man was waiting to change the scores... but the Mariners and the Twins didn't get too many runs. We even got to see the Rookie of the Minnesota Twins wearing his Rookie Back Pack! His looked like a MONKEY! I yelled, "HEY ROOKIE! I HAVE A BACK PACK, TOO!" I don't think he heard me.
We wandered around a little because I was getting antsy. Am I glad we did! A TRAIN actually choo-choos right past the field! It is so LOUD and I was waving to the people in the train as it zoomed by. Then I saw a BRIDE! I mean a real BRIDE at the ballpark! I was going to get to see a WEDDING! Wendy told me she looked like a bride, but that it was actually a bachelorette party, where this almost-bride Michele and her girlfriends had a party at the ballpark. I think if I ever get married, I want to get married at Comerica Park.
Well, it was a long day, and it turned out pretty sunny. They didn't have to close the roof at Safeco, and sitting in the sun made me tired. I cuddled up with Wendy (my Wendy, not Mark's Wendy) and I took a nap. When I got up, we were home, and we decided to sit out on the porch and have some snacks. 
I finally got my cup of coffee from Starbucks! Well, actually, it was a cup from Starbucks, but Ken said I wouldn't like coffee. So I just had milk and a doughnut. Life is pretty good.