Braniel Music

The home recording studio is serving us well. In between (and sometimes during) dinners, yardwork, streaming TV series, weekends and cats we manage to record songs together. Our songs are often short as that’s as far as our abilities currently take us. But it’s worth the effort as it serves as our version of family activity. We don’t have a swimming pool or a trampoline. We haven’t been doing game night this year (we should probably start that up again), but we have been sitting down to talk about lyrics, arranging tunes and singing in the mic together. I typically record most the music, although Brangien has picked up the flute again and handed off a few song ideas in vocal form which I will build an entire song. I’ve also been inviting Davis Martin over to replace temporary drum loops with real drums.

The goal is to put out an album that we’re proud of and is downloaded by at least 50 friends, family and acquaintances.

Here’s an early shorty from Braniel:

A rough draft of a potential tune:

Two songs we sang on last year:

A song I plan to remix w/ Michael Cozzi:


The expanding yard … and so much more

We have more yard than we bargained for (can’t complain) and this slideshow shows the progress so far. Oh, and we found a mummified adult cat in the furnace along with the 6 dead mice. A mystery stench had plagued us since we took possession of the new place. We had the vents professionally cleaned, searched for dead animals, removed 4 mice from the air filter and had 3 heating techs over before I finally talked the last guy into pulling the furnace apart. We collectively freaked. I took pictures, he removed the poor cat in total disgust then took a well-deserved cigarette break. Drop me a line if you’re interested in seeing a mummy kitty in the heat exchange coils. Think Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! meets the gopher from Caddyshack.

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The Courtyard

We’ve been looking at houses for about 18 months. Both of us are very deliberate decision makers when it comes to the big stuff (see: neither married until age 41). In fact, our mortgage banker called us “creepy” (as in overly conservative) when we revealed all our financial bits to him. Let’s just say we’re comfortable being comfortable when it comes to finances and housing, which doesn’t really square with this adventure we’ve embarked on.

The first time I saw this house I thought we’d love it. Sure, it stank. Bad. It was cluttered. Horribly. It was overgrown and underloved. But there was something about the courtyard in the middle of the house that screamed “Braniel!” So, we bid and bought it… and neither of us has slept particularly well since the bidding and purchasing occurred. It’s going to be a lot of work. But after 7 days of ownership things are already beginning to turn around: the floors are refinished, the plans for the master bed/bath and guest bath are almost complete. And most important, tomorrow the heating duct cleaners come to (hopefully) remove the stank from the place. A funny thing, if mice die in your heating ducts and then you turn on the heater it spreads a nearly unbearable scent throughout the house. Fingers crossed for the duct cleaning tomorrow!

We’ll post pictures of the progress (or look in the right column photo strip).


Honeymoon is almost over

The weather forecast had all sorts of rain and clouds and rain (NW weather people are naturally pessimistic). However, we’ve been met with incredible fall sun. Our path …

Mon/Tue: Cave B Winery in Quincy, WA

Wed: The Edgefield in Troutdale, OR

Thu: Portland, OR

Fri/Sat: Coast Cabins in Manzanita, OR

Along the way we’ve made use of our new bike rack, bringing bikes along for 2-wheeled outings in Quincy, Portland and on the beach in Manzanita. We’ve posted pictures¬†here. Thank you honeyfund givers … you’ve filled the gas tank and helped us stay in a couple fancy places. We appreciate it.


Thanks! We’re off to …

… our honeymoon. But I can’t reveal where as Brangien still doesn’t know where we’re headed. All I can say is that it’s a road trip in the camper van, and we’re staying in the Northwest to keep drive times in check. In the meantime, here are the unedited pictures from the magic photo mirror at the wedding (the light was low and the results are murky, but interesting…we’re choosing to think of them as arty).

Many, many thanks are due to specific folks for helping out. I’ll start listing people here later today … (after we pack).

But here are the haikus!

Brangien’s Haiku:
Ours has never been
a flowery affair, but
so sweet. I pick you.

Daniel’s Haiku:
Life without you would
Be okay … but just okay
Forever Braniel


Wedding Events

It’s wedding week. Here’s the scoop …

Friday 9/25 – Rehearsal Dinner
The Garage
8pm – Everyone welcome
6-8pm – Wedding party
Come ready to drink, bowl and play pool!

Saturday 9/26 – Wedding 6pm
Olympic Sculpture Park
ceremony and reception in the PACCAR Pavillion building (the only building in the park) on the NW corner of Western & Broad Street.

There are 50 parking spaces below the PACCAR building. Entrance for parking is on Broad Street and is $8 through Republic Parking. First come, first serve … we suggest walking, cabbing or carpooling.

Sunday 9/27 – Brunch 9:30am
Greg & Ellie Spils’ house on Bainbridge Island
Here are maps, a ferry schedule & directions to Greg’s place


Three Weeks and Counting

Greetings all! We are three weeks away from the big day, and thankfully our plans are falling into place nicely. Please check back here closer to the 26th for any and all late-breaking news.

Lately we’ve been getting a lot of questions about WHAT TO WEAR, and more specifically, WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE? Sadly, we can’t answer the latter, except to say: Layers are always a good idea in Seattle. It could be a scorcher or it could be cold or it could be raining or it could be gorgeous. This is the exciting part about fall in Seattle! Once again: layers.

As to how fancy said layers should be, that’s up to you. One of us will be wearing a tux, and the other will be wearing an ivory dress. Since it’s Seattle, pretty much anything goes for guest attire,¬†but something a little spiffy would be delightful. As long as it’s comfortable for dancing!


Hell hath frozen over

That was the title Brangien aptly applied to our post-engagement photo, and it’s true. We’re getting hitched! Sooner than later. And to tell the truth, it took a romance this hot to melt our icy singles hearts. We are truly excited and happy. Brangien and I plan to get married, combine households (we each have our own pad) and continue building our new life together. In the meantime we’ll try to figure out the details of the wedding. Stay tuned …