So here goes...and this is the abbreviated version (believe it or not):
Late this last March, my brother Ken moved in with us. He had found himself in a bad spot down in San Diego and needed some saving, and we saved him. Since then we discovered kind of by accident that he has Asperger's syndrome, which is a mild form of autism that he's had since birth. My family always knew he was different, we just never had a name for it or any sort of way to deal with it. He has made tremendous progress and has now officially been diagnosed and is attending support group meetings. However, he can be difficult to live with so it has been a long journey of adjustment for all involved.
Matthew's brother Shawn had already been planning on coming to stay here while he looked for a place to live in Portland the day before Ken planned on arriving, so in short order we went from two people, two dogs and a cat in a 900 SF 2 BR 1 BA house (already a bit tight) to 4 people and all the forementioned creatures. Things went surprisingly well -- different work schedules, etc. Shawn found an apartment in a matter of about a week, and no one had to sleep in the basement anymore.
Shawn decided a month later that he didn't want to live in Portland and moved back to Washington. Ken found a job, lost the job, and settled at Walgreen's four blocks up the street. He's now been there for 5 months and went from part time to full time. He seems to be doing well there.
Shawn has been back a few times for work here for a week or so at a time, so we've been back up to four several times but generally holding at three humans.
Over the late spring and summer, Matthew and I traveled a lot. We went to the Sasquatch Festival at the Gorge Amphitheater in central Washington just so I could see Bjork. I highly recommend you go see a show there, regardless of your interest in the band(s) playing. Just watch out for the excessive second-hand potsmoker high. Matthew bought a Toyota RAV4 on eBay in LA so we flew down to pick that up and drove it back. We stopped in Sacramento (where I lived for a couple years back in the day) to meet up with our friend Lottie and see the sights. Turns out Sac has turned into a pretty cool place -- we went to a wine bar, a great restaurant, and then out to Faces (gay bar of my youth), which now inexplicably includes a pool. So we drove CA from south to north, including the dismal stretch of I-5 that I've seen more times than I care to remember but Matthew had never traveled. The following weekend it was down to visit Lottie in Tahoe/Truckee, so we flew into Reno and and then drove to San Francisco and went to see the True Colors tour in Berkeley. Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry, Erasure, Margaret Cho! We arrived horribly late and missed most of it but got to see everyone at the end anyway. BART can be a mystery to out-of-towners. Thus, traveling California from east to west, we had effectively seen the state. We spent some time in Tahoe/Truckee after that, rafting the Truckee River (Lottie and her pug Oliver almost died, seriously) and touring Lake Tahoe via boat. I still don't have any pictures of that though as I'm expecting them from someone (hint hint).
Having had enough of California, we stayed closer to home after that. We went camping with Jen and Annie and the girls and our dogs for five days on the Oregon coast. It was a challenge to keep the girls from aggravating the dogs too much and to keep the dogs from begging for food too much, but it worked for the most part. We also went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, which I had never been to and I now love. This is Annie, Rhi, and Chyanne in the ocean on an amazingly warm and beautiful day on the coast. I apologize for my videography skills.
Finally, I saw the JT in concert here in Portland this last Friday with my friend Amy. She's the one having twins WITH MY OTHER FRIEND (AND BOSS) HER HUSBAND RON. (I found out recently Ron apparently occasionally looks at my blog. Amy's blog is linked up above there.) Don't we look adorable?
It was good, but a little less than I wanted from it. All things considered, I managed to see Bjork and JT in one summer. I got to go a lot of fun places and see a lot of fun things. I got to spend time with my pseudo-nieces. No complaints.
In the interest of being abbreviated, Matthew and I have split up. If you want to know the details, you can contact whichever one of us you'd like to hear them from. We're working out all the minutiae of any divorce and it's painful and awful. I don't know what's going to happen and all I can do is the best I can with what life hands me on a daily basis. Lately life is handing some things I'd like to hand back to it. Hard choices all...