Cadbury Potency Springs Afresh in Fields Drenched in Conquered Choco-Bunny Blood

Previously On A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation: Our heroes faced the scourge of yeurgahuh?!? Seeping through the kitchen with a merciless abandoned that trounced all lore of spoiled durian, it sought The Incubator. Much was lost in a creamy haze of devastation, but one bottle - the one true bottle - spared. The Comcast leviathon reared its ornery head for the annual waltz of the chaffer. Upgraded but nonplussed, the (W)rights marked a service anniversary with well-gnashed teeth and several lost hours of their lives. Only Metal Yoga and a monster burrito could boost the trodden spirits. Medical mysteries abounded, and anticipation of looming Florimundian rarities roiled. 

Coming Up: 
The labyrinth of medical mysteries meets a minotaur, and boy does a full minotaur bladder harbinge havoc. Innards lain bare and barren of sphinx. Will our heroine discover secret easter eggs within that sacred space of all man's origins? Bread rent by phantom terrors and a goosepimple chill of pullulating peeps, as the Easter bunny choco-blood harvest draws nigh once more. Will the resistance prevail or will once again the innocents be culled for their chocolatey goodness? Yam cake awaits the ascendance of Papa T at the other end of an exotic spread of aliments and victuals set resplendent against a coruscant colloquy. Will any cake by left by the end of the holy day? And how many tums must a tummy take to slake the bums of too much cake?? 

Initial all your medical paperwork, check your office location, and dive headfirst for the sour cream confections in which the answers to all mysteries of the fertile freshness springing from a barren boreality. 

The Wanting Cadbury Egg And other tales of broken bread, (in-and-out)fertility rituals, and the pitter patter of a little faster cadence

I've waxed melodic on my morning weekend ritual previously. After our lengthy languor, desultory palaver, and associated caffeinated canoodling, there is breakfast. Oh how I love breakfast. It wafts through my dreams in the evening and lures me from bed each morning with its siren serenade. Breakfast is always the same and I enjoy that. Eggs and toast for Andrew. My weird microwave egg/flax/cumin/spices/peppers/onions/parsley patty and toast for me. Coffee for all. And - because it the weekend - we eat it at the table! It's reliably restorative to share this ritual, so long as no horrible work emergency (ahem, Screwpocalypse, I'm thinking of you) elbows its way into the foreground. 

Today was actually a tad atypical on the dependably consistent meal, seeing as some rift has spread through Ezekiel's holiest of whole wheats. My entire remaining loaf was split asunder, riven by forces beyond my contemplation! This made for some challenging toaster acrobatics. I attempted to prop up the detached quarter of each slice atop its foundational slab in the toasting slat, but to little avail. Fearing a fire, I kept the smaller piece untoasted, and just had a post-post-post-modern take on a breakfast polygon.

Every piece set asunder thusly

To celebrate the toaster-batics, Andrew and I then - as we often do - did a little jogajaunt around Padden for him and skirting-Padden-before-turning-back for me. Eighteen minutes of running, baby! I'm ready for the Olympics! Well, ready for watching reruns of the Olympics at home while icing my foot and doing more of those pesky balancing exercises my PT finds oh so amusing. I had to stop during "the run" to fix my heart rate strap (which popped like an adolescent's inadequate training bra mid-run), so I counted that as my "walk" interval. Otherwise, kind of straight running for the first time in a while! Knock on wood I might be on a path to recovery. Hopefully I manage not to trip over my own laces on the way. 

Intermission for the Faint of Medical Discussion

Happy Food says Hellooooo! 

Second Part: Ultra-sound the horns. Toot toot. I had that test I mentioned I was going to have. Well one of them. Although both the oh-so-pleasant pelvic ultrasound and the not-so-big-a-deal bone densometry tests are through the same facility, they require separate appoinments. Thought I'd get the more invasive one out of the way and scheduled that first. Aside from rushing to the entirely incorrect lab and then skeedaddling in febrile fluster all the way across town to the correct location (thank god they still took me), I survived my medical thingy with aplomb and a-hospital-gown. No sphynx cats or facehuggers were on view in the patient-view-monitor, but then again those images are obsequiously abstruse. I can see why there are professions devoted to interpreting them, although I also suspect that it is the same soothsaying skill that makes a fine radiologist as made a good reader of tea leaves or cast runes...

To my untrained eye, my innards look kind of unremarkable - blurry, cavernous, and amorphous. But apparently, I do have ovaries (deduction based on an apology for an uncomfortable positioning of little wand so as to "get a clear picture of the right ovary"), so that's a start. Would have been a shame to have misplaced them somewhere years ago. And gross. Very gross. Naturally, other than this startling "I have innards" revelation, I know nothing more except that there are towels in the bathroom and a bin to throw my towels and gown into on my way out the door. My doctor should hear the news about how I have innards "by Monday" so that's good. I'm sure he was starting to wonder if I was a simulant. 

All considered, it wasn't horrible. As with almost all medical procedures, I felt a bit like I'd been captured by aliens, probed lightly, left in an observation room and then cast back amid the crop circles when my DNA proved to taste like chicken. The fact that the issue is tangled into with a complex weave of female identity - and all the societal baggage associated with that - admittedly added a certain tang in the full throes of day 12 of prometrium pounding all-pmsing-all-the-time friability. But as the fight-or-flight adrenaline terminates its turgid transudence and the cortisol kicks back in, I'm feeling more evenly keeled. I guess I'm more comfortable right now transitioning from thinking of the anovularity as a secondary side effect to other issues (being underweight for instance) into just saying fertility is something I care about and I'm currently - for whatever reason and for however long - infertile. Funny how that sounds like such a big deal, like an imprecation or a dooming prognosis or just plain pejorative - but it's just a descriptive. And, while I'm far too much of a cart-after-the-horse-thank-you kinda gal, I wouldn't own to "trying" to become impregnated in this past year, but I certainly have stopped trying not to in a way that probably would technically fit the definition. Plus basic correlation: eggs are kinda a necessary ingredient for the making of a real real boy or girl unless you've got a skill woodcrafter and a magical blue fairy. 

To celebrate my minimally invasive medical procedure, Andrew took the day off work to play with a putatively adorable child (never crossed paths, but the remnants of her handiwork are strewn about our house, and if she was cute enough for Andrew to notice, we can only imagine). The child was attended by Andrew's childhood friend and a few people related to said child in unspecified ways. I did not cross paths with them either. But they were grateful to use our washer-dryer, and Andrew was happy to see them. 

 Apparently a single six year old girl is a little less terrifying than three boys ranging from eight to two. Apparently... 

Anyways, almost Easter and the only eggs I am thinking about right now are of the Cadbury variety! Whatever the origins, I love this holiday and all its vernal fixation on death, rebirth and new life. It's been an inspiration to me in several manifestations through several selves, and continues to be. At the moment, for instance, I'm inspired to hunt and devour a Peep. 

Nibble nibble! 

We Look for The Resurrection of The Peep and the Life of the Bunny to Come Hunker down for the "Easter grass" jokes in Washington State

It's Easter! It's also 4/20!! Which is a heeeelarious happenstance if you're a college student, or have been one in the last several years. If you live where it's legal and you're so inclined, celebrate "appropriately". That advice applies to pretty much any form of celebration today, regardless of intersection between the rites of spring (in the words of Stravinsky, DUN DUN DUN DUUUUN DUN DUN DUN) and every one's favorite stoner holiday. I'd suggest pillaging the Easter sales candy (breakneck holiday sales schedule had Easter on deep discount yesterday, so that - at least as I dreamt it last night - they could start stalking up with Halloween Candy in the Seasonal aisles) and watching Harold and Kumar whilst bunny eared. But personal preferences may vary.

 If you choose (in your legal way, of course) to get high and go to church, don't blame me when you (1) are carried out of church for unruly behavior, (2) see god and have some kind of bizarre epiphanic experience. That's between you and your "appropriate" deity. I assume no liability for my exhortation to celebrate. A reasonable person would understand my frolic and banter, and consider the attendant risks and rewards of any chosen behavior for the day. 

But chocolate! Whatever else, there shall be chocolate (unless it was manufactured in a factory that also processes nuts and you have some kind of allergy and maybe there's gluten involved somewhere too and it's possibly GMO or non-organic somehow and... then whatever pretend chocolate substitute thingy you enjoy, please have at it)!! Probably of the bunny-egg variety. 

Easter must have been earlier last year, because I know the bike-and-chain and I weren't married yet. I do remember that I stole my mom's bunny suit and woke him up giggling like a mad woman. I'm not sure he quite understood either what was funny or what was standing over him. It took him a few minutes to even make a confused face. This year, I'm keeping the bunnies to my feet, because I'm all grown up and murried now. But really because we were kind of busy yesterday so I didn't have the idle time required to fully invest in one of my holiday caprices. 

Having successfully hobbled around part of Lake Padden, I sent Andrew off to the mountains (Evohe!! To the Mountains!) and braved the terrors of Fred Meyer's. I'd lost my TASER so had to do with ear plugs and a mantra of "slowly breathe OMMMMM" to make it through the harried holidaze shopping. Upon return, I debouched again from our little cave to pop in SWAT style on my father, whose birthday was yesterday (the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington, which was the day after Paul Revere's Ride, which I thought was a really cool mnemonic when I was nine, confirming an early diagnosis of NERD NERD NERD and forfeiting all future lunch monies to bullies not otherwise specified). He was celebrating by cleaning the house. 

Our delightful birthday chat devolved quickly into a Thompsonesque brood about the persecution of religious faiths through the world, genocide, and geopolitical horrors, so you can see that it was a true Papa T birthday reverie of succulent excitement. There was much putting of popped balloons into a very Useful Pot. But there were also Birthday Cake M&M's, which actually do have a slight cake flavor and are a pretty decent manifestation of the "birthday cake themed candy" that has been accomplished with more or less eclat. The choice to focus solely on flavor instead of the ubiquitous sprinkles was a sage one in this instance, although I'm always disappointed when pretty much anything lacks sprinkles. 

Much of the remainder of the day was spent thumbing through old Glamours at Midas while the Pathfinder's muffler was sorted out. Of course burrowing through magazines remains a grandly bonding couples activity for us. It was perhaps a little alienating to the other people in the waiting room, especially when the odd swear word or "adult concept" was visibly caught by the little girl waiting with her father... Mr. (W)right learned to enunciate and project in drama school and he's sticking with it regardless of the theater size and acoustics. 

In between there were the very torrid affairs of laundry (oooooh the way those sheets twisted and writhed in the dryer!), dishes, and staring at what turned out to be a gorgeous sunset after a torrential day.

Now, time for morning coffee with decapitated bunnies and a little Easter luncheon with Papa T and the Mariz family. There will be cake. By god there will be cake. But only after Andrew goes off on another death-cycle and I make some contribution to the holiday table (cadbury quiche?)

Happy Holidaze! 

Passing of the Peeps and the Spring-a-Hop to Summer Lindt Ball Challenge Piled in Bunnies

It is Easter Monday! If you're more traditionally religious or less from the US than us hereabouts, that probably means a little more than "the Monday in which our bellies roil and rumble from the great Peep and Cadbury repast of the preceding day". Today is probably best marked in the United States as "the day that a bunch of people try to offload their excessive diet-killing-insulin-bursting-oh-so-not-gluten-or-anything-free confections of the prior day's bacchanalia on unsuspecting office mates, before eating it all themselves from whatever common area they left said confections!" And or "the day of tired returns from family trips that seemed like a good idea at the time." 

Here in (W)rightlandia, it's mostly just Monday. I've confiscated the Easter pelf, of which we received more than our share yesterday afternoon at our Easter get-together. It is hiding and shall be judiciously meted and woven into Mr. (W)right's lunches over the course of a few weeks. This is the course of holiday candies. Andrew still gets Halloween candy that was leftover from an overly optimistic bulk purchase from 2013.

After his long weekend and rousing romps with old friends and cute children, the bike and chain is back at Screwpocalypse 2014. Apparently the client is concerned enough about some of their current setbacks that they are sending out managerial type representatives to "check on" the progress. I'm being optimistic and telling him that the guy coming to babysit him today will be a really nifty guy, who will be totally reassured by Andrew's competence and creativity and they'll end the day by playing ball in the parking lot and exchanging a slow motion high five at the end of an Eye-of-the-Tiger engineering montage. Or maybe he'll just ask a lot of questions and make it a little harder for Andrew to concentrate on his redesign tasks. But I prefer my version. 

I'm in denial about what the week holds for me. Other than Easter leftovers and a pilates class later in the day, that is. Those can stay. We had a delightful linner with my dad and our family friends, George and Linda. I brought an Adella can't stop futzing and adding to this until everything she likes it mixed together in an aromatic olio of grain, green, and garlic" salad with kamut, black rice, wild rice, hemp seeds, peppers, craisins, avocados, mushrooms, lemon juice, cherry juice, garlic, onion, parsley, apple cider vinegar, liquified peeps, blood of a virginal phoenix two days after resurrection... ok you get the idea salad. My dad discovered "kalerabi", which he claims to be a broccoli-kale hybrid. It tasted quite fine steamed over a vinaigrette. There was also wild rice in grapeseed oil, some kind of indulgent fish dish, a loaf of perfectly crunchy and soft Great Harvest bread. And there was, of course, YAM CAKE. 

Yam cake, in this incarnation is a variation on carrot cake with garnet sweet potatoes instead of carrots. The base-cake is laden with cream cheese and a small tree's worth of pecans. It weighs more than a baby and is ten times sweeter. It's my dad's annual birthday present from Linda. And he will always salivate as April approaches in anticipation of this thoroughly indulgent treat.

 Despite loving it as fanatically as my father, Andrew exercised restraint and only ate a few slabs. Possibly because he'd already eaten two bowls of nuts, a few hunks of well-buttered bread, two gluten free pastries from Dutch Mothers, some vanilla coconut ice cream, some caramel chocolate gelato, and two plates of the other previously mentioned entrees. In fairness to his appetite, he spent Easter morning on a three hour road ride... 

The Paschal season signifies the official end of my prior Lindt Ball challenge. I have to admit I never fully formed the parameters, but the general idea of "giving something up for forty days to increase mindfulness" coalesced around my symbiosis with the wide wired world. I took two affirmative steps. The first was turning off notifications on my phone. This was so easy to do. I manually muted notifications for email and things like that, and then I turned on block-mode to keep the little blue light from hassling me. The second step was adding an extra hour of unwired time to every day. 

Turning on block for notifications is great. I don't think I'll go back. It's just as easy to check my phone on my own time. If something's crucially time-sensitive, I will receive a call. I will likely see any texts, emails, etc. in a 24 hour time period and this is more than sufficient for most purposes. I feel far less easily sucked into the smart-phone vortex, and less anxious generally about "people who might be trying to contact me."

The extra hour of unwired time wasn't always easy and I might have fudged it on Good Friday due to some scheduling complications. Typically, I've been turning my phone off right after work and not booting up any phone/computer devices for at least an hour. This isn't generally that hard. Although having my phone off at the grocery store sometimes requires me to wrestle with my weak arithmetic skills in the absence of a handy calculator when I want to compare  unit prices.  With Andrew's work schedule heating up earlier in the month, it was a bit harder to coordinate dinner without the possibility of constant chat updates as to just how sideways the day was going. But I managed to breathe through those times and things worked out. I'm not sure I'll continue to turn it all entirely off or full a full hour, but I think it's a nice ritual to shut the phone off as I leave work. 

I'm still a little bit more of a manic multi-tasker than I'd like to be at work, but I am still trying to pull out tabs for singular focus when it matters. 

Like work. I'm about to work. I think I'll separate out my work tabs and ignore the rest except for more focused and interspersed breaks!

And then I shall focus, by god... on the tragedy of the bunnypocalypse and the diabetic sugar rush of treacly tumid todayness that comes on its heels. 

Yeurgahuh?!? The yoghueoirty chambers and the incubator of doom (and Florimundian sphynxes)

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation: Pandora's medical box released its havoc on the world, shutting out the plaintive coo-coo of an infantile hope still torpid from its suspended slumber. Fairies frolicked and tulips tumesced throughout the traffic of Skagit. Food flung left and right at high pitched imbalance, as sinestrality subsumed dexterity. Through perils of infinite rooms within rooms, Andrew battled back the liver-stabbers, though Adella fell to her fate and the mercy of the Medical Matryoshka! 

Coming Up: The box contains puzzles of endless jest and contourless complexity, seeping into yummies and roiling tumid bladders. Medical invasions loom! Will our heroine. staggered as she is from the ashen sewer of yeurgahuh yogiyayagherelin fend off these advances? Will Comcast cast its nets yet again upon our helpless hapless internetters? Will Our secret starship's unrecorded medical scans reveal the true origins of Prince Florimund amid this year's latest fashion fads and manias? Will the metaphorical bag drop and fall before the literal bag bungees itself first? And what happened to Ahhhhhndrew??

Grab a red lobster baggie to thrown in your buxomest backpack, fill up your bladder and delve into the very innards of those perplexing puzzles!

Yummy Yips and the Case of the Yeurgahuh Yogurt NPR said it was so easy!

This weekend, I failed in my initial attempts to make yogurt... Or so I thought. The recipe seemed so simple - heat milk to a given temp, let it fall back to a different given temp, add yogurt, sit that mix somewhere warm in a jar or several for 8-12 hours. Eventually remember it is there and perishable and hopefully throw it in the fridge before too many days have elapsed. Ta da! Yogurt! As an avid consumer of full-fat plain (and thus shockingly difficult to find) yogurt (and/or yoghurt, yoghourt, or yo-yo-ma-gert), the ability to home brew a batch seemed appealing. Of course, I put it off for some time due to not having the correct quantity of milk, not having any starter yogurt, not recalling the location of my capriciously purchased food thermometer, and/or not having any available containers. But on Sunday I started up some yogurt and set it in the oven to incubate while I frolicked with the fairies through the tulip traffic

Having recently utilized most of my storage jars for leftovers and farraginous food prep, I had to ad lib, and poured my proto-yogurt into several different little mason jars.When I got home on Sunday evening, I didn't dare sample, just throwing the yogurt jars in the fridge and hoping for the best. 

 While I had been informed that my yogurt may be varying degrees of tartness, I was not prepared for the rather off-putting aftertaste that my first two jars exuded upon Monday sampling. It was hard to place, but "Tart" was not the word for it. "Yeurgahuh?" was a better word. Almost ok in its initial scamper across the tongue, but suddenly curdling mid-palate and writhing in an agony of gut-churning contradictions. A waft of the sewery stench of a cheap cigar was best as I could identify in the heat of ungustatory passion. Determined not to waste my milk/yogurt, I drowned a bowl in cinnamon and flavoring, but nothing could shake that yeurgahuh yogurty yuck and the rescue cinnamon and fruit were abandoned to the abbadon of our handy dishwasher. 

After some fretting, I declared that four cups of wasted milk had cost me  only  a dollar and a few minutes of my time; further, that not being consigned to slurp through yeurgahuh yogurt for another unbearable week was priceless. I tossed the first two jars, but left the third. There was a familiar - almost savory - something to the flavor that seemed redeemable if removed from its initial context. I kept the jar, in case culinary inspiration hit like a mac truck on a bender.

I threw the discharged jars in the dishwasher, left the unopened jar in the back of the fridge, and bought some commercial yogurt (er yoghurt) on the way home from work on Tuesday. Upon unloading the dishwasher, some untraceable happenstance rejuvenated the redolence of that yergahuh! Spreading?? Oh no! Not the curse of the yeurgahuh yogurty yuck!! It's worse than durian!

Prepanic,  I donned my pensive posture and started to think what that smell might resemble if my tastebuds were not anticipating the tingle of a tart yogurt... It all seemed so obvious after the fact. As it turns out, the lids to my mason jars retain scent quite pointedly. Particularly the scents of garlic, parsley, peppers, cilantro and onion. And, while this is a lovely scent when baking up with a little oil on a hot stove, that particular sachet does not mix splendidly with tart yogurt, cinnamon, chocolate, and banana.

 Ennervated with discovery, I sampled the remaining not-so-vile vial of yogurt. This had been incubated in a brand-new mason jar. Tart, yes, mildly so. A bit runny. Most definitely in want of a grecian strain. But smoke-free and silkily seductive to the taste. 

Moral being: special jars for yogurt. Reserve the smelly jars for their original onioney purpose. Do not despair of your yogurt making chops prematurely! And, it's probably still easier just to buy the damned stuff so long as Haggen's carries the one brand that makes plain full fat yo-yo-ma-ma-ghurt.

The Maundering Mexi-Burger Date Night and Our Annual Comcast Cavil Grumble grumble munch munch

As we pass through several anniversaries - wedding, lease, Andrew's first day at work (4/15) - we've reached a very special commemoration: the week where I despairingly and flailingly search for anything but Comcast for my internet services. Let me not mince words: I hate Comcast in that codependent visceral way of an addict in full rock-bottom delirium. I dislike everything they stand for and make no bones about that being irrational and primal in its aversion. Comcast - with its excessively recondite and labyrinthine pricing schemes, promotional deals, and spotty customer service - is the oleaginous used-car salesman of the internet as far as I'm concerned.

I want internet and only internet. I want semi-fast internet. I don't need wharp speed. I just need a connection that works reliably. I want to know the price upfront. I want that price to be consistent and reliable. I don't want to have to talk to my services provider unless absolutely necessary. 

What I don't want includes: (1) multi-phased pricing, (2) bundles (I've got my own robes and blankies, thank you, and if I wanted television you can be sure I'd be going with digital satellite), (3) "deals" that sound great until you read the five reams of small print, (4) multiple promotional offers sent to my email and my phone, (5) annual fake-out price increases to bump me up to a new bundle deal blow out (that is initially cheaper than what I'm paying for crappy internet at the time), (6) having to call Comcast and actually talk to a clueless but motivated sales rep salivating over commissions.

I don't haggle. I don't want to haggle. I'm glad Andrew's a little more willing, but all this crap is such a waste of time. If I knew of any other service that did a halfway decent job in my neighborhood, I'd drop Comcast. It's that simple. I can't imagine they aren't aware of that. 

This is the week that we got our first ridiculously high post-12-month-contract bill. The same day, Andrew got a call from some sales guy offering "an upgrade" who lost his commission by being wholly inflexible when Andrew indicated that he might need time to consider it and review the fine print a little more closely before committing. I suspect we'll end up ushered into some horrid "upgrade" or other, after several hours of eliminating the rust-coating and velour dice. No, no, really I don't need to watch Game of Thrones two hours before it's even been filmed. Really. You're already extorting Netflix to make it actually play at home... most of the time. That's enough. 

In the meantime, I'll do my annual harried hie and hoe through all other available internet alternatives in a desperate attempt to break free. It will likely turn up nothing (as always), but doesn't hurt to look. Other than my heart at the prospect of being tied to Comcast once again and shilled into their weird pricing shuffle. 

May I say that I found it particularly amusing that I couldn't actually load my xfinity user account for a long time last night and subsequently couldn't actually navigate the upgrades page because... my internet was too slow for the site?? 

In merrier (marryer, bwahaha) news, Andrew has his car back again after having dropped it off at the shop on Monday. He took it in for some whinging noises and concerns about the muffler. He now has the power window fixed. I guess the whinnies of what is either the alternator or the a/c will get far worse before there is a problem, some other thing is on order, and the shop he went to doesn't do muffler work. But considering that his driver side window hasn't worked (at all) for eons, I call it a win. 

To celebrate thematically, we attempted to go to Boomer's Drive Inn for dinner. It was, of course, stuffed like a T-day turkey, so we followed the usual post-Boomers route: Fiamma Burger to Casa Que Pasa. Had Casa been slightly more crowded, we might have tried Avenue Bread, except that was obviously closed, so I guess we would have had to improvise or eat mud! Lots of mud around yesterday with the pluvial PNW resurgence, so plenty of delectable delicacies for the sploshing. 

Fortunately, we managed to find a nook in Casa unoccupied by the rowdy restaurant riff-raff where we could almost even hear each other. Since there's a certain distance and mumbling involved in enjoying one's viands, we mostly admired the scads of community posters on the adjoining wall. My favorite was the one advertising Metal Yoga, which is a thing in Bellingham (I looked it up afterwards and it is basically yoga class in a bar to moderately heavy metal music. 4:30 at the Shakedown if anyone's interested!

And now I am at work, phoning it in just a little bit more in my sartorial snazz today. I left my work pants at the office when I changed for a post-work pilates class, so I figured instead of continuing to wear new pants into the office, I'd just come in my workout clothes so that I could make the appropriate swap there. Of course, I then decided that actually my workout clothes are great forwork and I doubt I shall ever fully endue myself in the trappings of professionalism again. Give me a few more weeks and I'll be trudging to court in flannel onesies and adorable penguin slippers. 

Andrew is more dressed for work (his work, meaning he gets to wear Carharts and one of fifty shades of EI t-shirts he owns), although I have no idea if he's actually there. He was contacted by an old friend a few weeks ago. Said friend was planning to be in the area "around the 16th". Andrew seems to have taken this as "I will take the day off on the 16... no maybe the 17th... no maybe the 18th..." as the friend's scheduling answers remain equivocal. We know he got in. We know that he was talking about "plans" with the family yesterday. We know that he texted Andrew at 10:00 p.m. yesterday asking if it was too late to call. After that I couldn't say. 

His google calendar has not been updated, so I can only assume he did go to work and will be doing a "road ride" this evening. But things have a way of changing. Those capricious little frolicking fates!

Five a Bag and The Freaky Friday You're sticking what where??

Count this as my usual and my special edition #fivedayquest   (I have been drafted by +Moggy Bee invoking the almighty google plus tag to which no sporting gentlewoman can turn unseeing oiellades). To the right (or, starburst as I'm sure they say in nautical terms... or is that Starbucks... mmmm Starbucks... odeon of unchic ubiquitously reliable coffee) splays my dayjob daypack. I have yet to doff the student's penchant for backpack as carrying device. Andrew prefers messenger bags, but this is largely a cyclist's bias. My mom prefers two bulging purses because her boytoy once made a "comment" about backpacks making their elder carriers look like hobos. Or because she really does have an amorous adoration for purses and coats of all colors, stripes, and straps. I stick with the double strap hiking pack to supplement my quotidian questing for equity and fairness in bests interests of children the wide world strewn. 

My current backpack is usually underutilized and woefully unbalanced. I wore my prior Brenthaven bag into the ground over roughly twenty years of use. When the holes got big enough to be a problem, I finally and reluctantly upgraded. This pack is undeniably superior, but I've yet to break myself in with the new configuration of available pockets and zippers. As such, (1) I tend to lose anything placed within its inner chambers in a flurry of zippers and riffling, (2) I gravitate towards the front pocket for far more storage than is logical. In the very front, I tend to keep my tablet, any leftovers intended to supplement lunch or jars emptied of such prandial-delights, and other odds and ends. The back area has a special compartment for laptops. I use it once a month, maybe. I mostly keep my running shoes and workout gear in the back compartment, but being uber-light-weight by design, they do little to fill out the unevenness. My backpack is front-heavier than the buxomest of Barbies, and has more pratfalls in it than Chaplin and Keaton combined. 

When I need to consolidate, my purse does fit quite nicely in the back compartment, although this doesn't ballast the back sufficiently wither. Nor do the inevitable hoard of reusable shopping sacks that wend their way into the back compartment (usually en route to an Odyssean "I should put these in the car" journey of never quite putting them back in the car). 

And to the left (or Starship-Troopersian in nautical terms, I believe), is home sweet home. My big blue bouncy ball! Being a person at odds with chairs of all sorts, I'm glad to have something that I can sit on during those occasions which call for sitting (and since our dinner table barely breaches my mid-thigh (oh my!), this is something of a necessity for culinary endeavors. The bouncing around keeps me occupied and sufficiently distracted from more mischievous impulses. I do also use the ball for its rowdier athletic purposes (like basketball! No, not really, just golf). 

Now that I'm far beyond the boundaries of the "read more" shield of casual browsing and botting, I'm getting my very own ultrasound today. As I'm quick to point out to anyone who doesn't know the current looby lady orange barracuda saga, no no this is not one of those ultrasounds. It's more of a "well we've pumped you full of hormones for several months, so lets see what that's been doing to your internal incubators. Is my womb, peradventure, making yogurt, for instance? Baby peeps (hopefully the chocolate covered kind - that radioactive sugar coating makes me nauseous) for Easter? Ooooh Cadbury eggs? Or, well, endometrial lining (all the rage at Paris fashion week this year). 

I'm scheduled to undergo this internal inventory mid-afternoon today. My instructions inform me that I must arrive with a sloshingly full bladder. For a procedure that is slated to take an hour. This is likely to be the first of several uncomfortable aspects, but probably the one on which I'm most likely to fixate. I am regrettably not allowed to bring "video recording or photography" equipment. Or children! 

The greatest sadness of all, of course, is that while black and white keepsake pictures will be given for obstetrical exams, I don't get one for mine, even if it is "Endovaginal (with dopplers if needed to assess for torsion)" Dopplers? Torsion? What am I, the Millenium Falcon? Random aside, the Doppler effect was first proposed by Christian Doppler in Prague, our future honeymoon destination. If I were schizophrenic, still knee deep in Infinite Jest, or on way more than half-caff coffee I'd make something of that. But yes I do actually know what dopplers mean in this context, lest my sciency or parturiently-gifted friends feel the need to intervene at my feeble stabs and flails at humor. 

But also actually, yes, yes I am a starcraft. I am sure this test will confirm that. And explain a lot. 

Back to the photos. I mentioned to my father how very jealous I was that I too did not get a photo of my innards for wanton and abundant overshare. He suggested that I demand one and then photoshop a picture of Prince Florimund into it! To that image, I'm adding Prince Florimund (lest ye forget, that's Andrew's and my imaginary child-replacement sphinx cat) should be wearing a hawaiian shirt and a floral headpiece with a gucci bag resized for kitty.And, yes, I would definitely share that on facebook. 

Happy Friday all! You're welcome for leaving you with that image and the contemporaneous goose-pimples!

I spare you the really terrifying photos
 I could have concocted

The Aesculapian Hydra Tottering Atop the Tulips

Previously on A&A's Adeventures in Cohabitation: Larb Gar Ahoy me mateys! Out of the tequila hot-tubs of datenights yore, the White Thai Whale loomed with a lashing of its tail. And what a tale of woe and tepid veggies it was, until the triumphant return of home and the in-house date-night retrieval. The soup was definitely off. And dead as the (mountain bike) Bible cast aside once more in a seasonal ritual of tooth-gnashing and calendar purgation. Adella grabbed hold of her countertops, barely resisting the vortext of becoming brood-vortext betrayed by her boyfrianceband. 

Coming Up: Tipsy top go the respective limbs, as imbalances weigh lightly and avocado daubs the walls. Will union 'twixt the adroit and the sinister ere be achieved or will we all hobble on, entrenched in our imbalances? Truculent tulip traffic tangles the way home from fairy land. Will Puck relent from his impish pirouettes and clear the pullulating pollen of love's sweetest and most insidious of blossoms, delirium? Pandora pries at the Diagnostic Box. Will her solicitous curiosity unleash new matroyshkas of endless infinite waiting rooms besot with hungry hydras haranguing the mind with their endless inconclusives? Will Andrew's liver avoid another stabbing? Will arms be lost in the investment fray? 

Hop aboard your dominant leg, strap on your pointe shoes, and tie those patient smocks tightly to delve the depths of answerless de-onioning below!

Life and the Grand Imbalancing Act - 

I've been remarking on the dissonances between expected strengths and weaknesses of my not-100%-right side since this recent arch injury and recovery. I'm naturally right-dominant. This dominance is something that can be encouraged/entrenched in partner dancing. While the central hinging connection is at the follow's left side, most weight-bearing dips and tricks rely heavily on the right leg. I spent a lot of time in some kind of wiggle tango corte of eternal damnation with amateur leads who thought that perching one's follow in a single legged squat and then steering her through a series of back bends constituted blues dancing. All in all I figured that my rights leg is stronger and more deft than my left, as is true with my right arm. 

 Turns out that my right leg is the finicky collicky leg, while my left is the workhorse. Put me on one of those balancing torture devices for a few seconds and this becomes shockingly apparently. Of course, that had me re-thinking my initial assumptions. Come to think of it, since there's a hinge at the left and I step with my right foot, I did spend a decent amount of time balancing on my left foot.  

As Andrew reflected in his own experience, I tend to reserve my right side for tasks that require dexterity and fine-tuning. This often leaves my left side holding the (heavy and unwieldy) bag. 

It's fascinating to realize how thoroughly unbalanced the human body becomes over time. Discounting specialized training, we are mostly side-dominant (pity the left-side dominant person in elementary school). For various reasons, that ennate dominance may be futzed with or diminished. My mom speaks of a sudden childhood panic that she might someday break her right arm, prompting her to dablle in ambidexterity. I went through a phase of travel-journalling in Morocco, where - after much of what I had to say was covered - I simply practiced my left-handed penmanship (an unsophisticated script for my more naif moments, I suppose). By the end of that trip, my journal resembled Jack's very dull boy opus in The Shining, but I did grasp some limited fluency. Very limited. 

In our distracted world, I often eat with my left hand. This is actually because it enables me to keep my right hand free for crosswords, single handed swyping, and page turning on the kindle. Since the advance-forward motion requires tapping on the right side of the screen, I've found that one handed kindling only works in the right hand. I can handle chopsticks as masterfully in my left as with my right hand. Still for the initial stirrings and final scooping of a dish, I may switch utensils to my right (and still more agile) hand. Being aware of it now, I've noticed in the kitchen that I almost universally hold with the left hand and chop/stir/spread/slice/etc. with my right. Naturally, I'm now attempting the mirror image to high hijinks and a new kitchen redecoration scheme ("avocado" walls are even more fun when they're literally so!). I do hold with my right and pour with my left, when it comes to coffee, which I suspect was developed in reaction to the relationship of the coffee pot and the sink over which I prefer to pour. 

Several years ago, my mother switched her computer mouse to the left side. She did so for a variety of reasons only sometimes having to do with a mix of self-challenge and remaining primal terror of being monodextrous. I picked up that habit. While I switch back and forth from time to time I'm now more comfortable using my left hand to mouse.  

I could go on. It is somewhat baffling to realize the myriad internal preferences and physical specializations. My right quad is brobdignagian, and my strength is typically a bit higher, but - as I mentioned before - the muscles on the outer right glute are significantly weaker. Same for the internal muscles supporting the right ankle. My right hamstring always gets tighter. Further North, my right shoulder is prone to more clicking. My body - in deference to dance - seems offset just a bit and twisted on its line. The lower hips twist slightly left, while the upper body twists slightly right, as if I'm trying to unscrew myself at the torso. 

There's a benefit and an eventual cost to specialization in most cases, as in here. Efficiency is a double edged sword, as it can lead to imbalances that eventually lead to injuries. But it's also... efficient. Damned efficient. Speedy, accident reducing, and just far less of a huge mess. Regardless, there may be some more spilled milk and mis-spread toast for a while as I inevitably play with balance. Anything to avoid the actual balancing exercises for my PT and that darned spikey circus ball! 

Trudging Through the Tulips with Petulant Pixies An Ariose Date Afternoon in the Big City
Before I weave my silver tapestry of lovely Sundays past, I should note that something or somebody doesn't really want me at work today. The latter "-body" may simply be me, but I stolidly asseverate that greater forces are at play. I woke up late this morning and have been just that extra bit gravitationally challenged for the experience. While the drive only hinted at blazing automobile crashes, the old Towers heaved a sigh to see me, steeled its framework and clamped its locks.

My key would not work in the side door lock at all, which I suspect may be related to the fact that the lock orientation had shifted to downward dog. As such, I had to go to the glass doors of the main entrance. These require a sort of kneeling prayer stance to unclasp. The first prayer fell on deaf ears. I eventually jiggered my jangles through on the third lock I had tried and fell forward into the building. I can't say why the building was so reticent at the thought of my company. Nothing was awry inside, and the keys worked fine internally. 

My office rejoined the chorus of "go away go away," the office light going super nova on me before receding to a blank vapidity. It's light enough outside to accommodate, but I still maintain this is a positive sign that I am not destined to be here today. 

Perhaps I am destined to take a hop, jump and skip back into the heady reverie of a nostalgic retelling instead: Yesterday the boyfrianceband and I had tickets to the PNB's Midsummer Night's Dream. Feeling the frisky adventurousness of spring, I bought us tickets to the Experience Music Project as well, so that we might take advantage of a gorgeous day in Seattle by being indoors as many places as possible. 

We started with a splendid drive. Perhaps to rev myself up for the fairyland ballet, I read Peter Pan and Wendy on the way down. Do note, I was the passenger so this wasn't a hugely perilous undertaking on my account. We had lunch at Bamboo Gardens, as is our wont. Then off we went to the throbbing bass and bluster of the Experience Music Project's amorphous acoustical walls. I admit we actually spent far more time in the Sci Fi and Horror sections - seeing several pretty spectacular props from any imaginable movie including a full scale alien and a face hugger from Aliens, several items I had assumed were CG from the Matrix (including Neo's jacket which emphasizes that Keanu Reeves is actually a fairly tall guy), your ubiquitous Star Trek/Wars and Dr. Who detritus, and (my personal favorite) Shawn of the Dead's shirt. 

From one fantasy land to another, we were blasted with the sauna of McCaw Hall in short shrift. I really do not recall McCaw hall being so uncomfortably stuffy when I go to the opera there, but the last three ballets have been double-tylenol headaching affairs. I think when I attend Giselle in June, I shall be bringing a pocket fan and an ice pack. The lady seated next to me and I had a tacit arrangement of alternating program-fanning during most of the first act. But infernal torment granted a vision of Edenic bliss on the stage itself. 

Midsummer Night's dream is a Balanchine conception. He took Mendelssohn's incidental music, added some more Mendelssohn and worked the entire contents of the play quite handily into an hour and ten minutes of Act I. It's lightly peppered with the pantomime of traditional story ballet, but at an exuberant pace. While the plot is lucent, it never stumbles into the way of the dancing itself. Balanchine particularly used several pas de deux to showcase his choreography. Hermia and Demetrius are codependently clasping and collapsing in to each other in caricature when they first dance. Followed by the violent clinging of Helena against the rejection of Lysander - a common tension as various love petals throw various suitors towards the wrong women. Titania dances amorously only with Donkey-headed Bottom, who is more interested in the pile of grass she uses to lure him. 

Only in the second Act, where love wins - admittedly through dodgy and questionable fairy intervention - that the traditional pas de deux really lets loose (and most of that is from a nameless couple providing the divertissement). The other obviously shining choreographic and performance role is that of Puck, the impish lacky and major driver of the protean love triangles created in the first act. The sets and stages were splendid - utterly glittering and blazing at times with just the right twilight euphoria. 

And most blessedly of all, it was a tidy two hour affair. Much shorter if not for the ubiquitous intermission after the heavy weight of the first act left us waiting for the narrative free dance extravaganza of "every one is happy and married and we'll get ourselves to that 'If we shadows have offended...' part" 

The traffic on the way home was less blessedly tidy. Apparently tulips are a huge deal in Skagit County, which is having its annual Tulip festival field viewing nonsense. While I think the tulip fields are lovely, I'm not sure they are worth the anomie wreaked on the freeway between King and Whatcom County for everyone else. What is typically a ten minute drive took about 45 in stop and go conditions due to the damned bulbs. I'm used to that sort of traffic in Everett (accursed land), but this far north is a surreality usually reserved for gruesome accidents and collapsing bridges. 

Regardless, the fairies flew us home in Andrew's screeching little mouse of a Pathfinder (it's about time for him to take it in and discover the source of its stringent cavils - that or turn the radio up another twenty decibels). 

And now I'm back. To a dingy office that doesn't want me, but shall have me by gosh and golly!

Monday, you may not be ready for me, but I'm here and I'm ready to take you by storm! Or by chocolate and coffee and dried fruits...

Medico-a-go-go - Following the follow-up of the follow-up The Aesculapian snake devours its own tale

This morning I had a(nother) doctor's appointment! I know. You're all quite jealous. Being a lush DINK lady, I have several "doctors" and attendant medical professionals. This one, my OB-GYN, talks ten times normal speed, and gives me as much advice about my running/training athletic plan as my PT. My PCP is chatty in a desultory and baffling way, usually hitting the themes that my chosen profession is a mongrel-dog and various cavils about the average patient. I could go on. My nutritionist is a nice lady with a lovely house who thinks I should eat several thousand calories a day. My dentist is a gentle fellow whose first passion is photography followed by proper flossing. I have a few medical professionals to spare. I guess they're community doctors now, but in reality I have all the doctors and my husband has none. 

 The boyfrianceband and I recently discussed his doctorless status. This arose in relation to our HSA, particularly how it can also be considered a retirement/saving account and whether or not to tap that sweet fund until it can't walk straight. Being the person who uses medical preventative care, I was against paying medical costs out of pocket when we had an HSA regardless of savings potential. Eventually, Andrew encountered a tale of the armless man who wished he had his arms back instead of the 8 million dollar settlement the city paid to him for the loss (that's a Kipling one, right?). That settled that conversation. 

While we agreed that it was best to leave our HSA for health savings lest we someday lose our metaphorical arms, that discussion meandered us back to the occasional topic of seeing a doctor and whatnot with the characteristic quarterly declaration of "I should find a doctor". He has a very ambivalent attitude about resuming preventative medical care. The fella had some weird liver tests several years back, which were initially interpreted as hepatitis-something-awful. It's been diagnosed in all kinds of interesting and tentative ways since, with several prickly pointy interventions in the interim. All for a conclusory shrug of the shoulders and indeterminate answers. A whirlwind tour through begrudging vegetarianism, a liver biopsy (they stabbed me in the liver! as he druggedly decried in full Shakespearian eclat), and a phase of taking zinc pills that made him nauseous. He's somewhat burned out on medical stuff.

Since he made the move to EI(e-i-e-i-ooooo), and thus new insurance, he hasn't seen a doctor. Which is mostly his business. But of course in the quarterly conversation about  how he "*should* get a doctor" (in a tone implying that he need never actually do so) I may occasionally kibbitz. If for no other reason than I must compulsively point out "the other side" to any statement in that psittacistic way we sharks and minnows of the legal profession do with no regard for conversational concinnity.

 But I kibbitz also because I am blazing through our HSA account on my own account, and sometimes feel a little guilty. Not that my expenses are particularly excessive, but the physical therapy for my arch combined with the ongoing question marks surrounding my lack of long walks on white beaches (we call them "lady problems" or lack thereof in euphemistic condescension to spare all you squeamish sorts) certainly add up quickly. Add to that the fact that I do see the dentist and probably am due for yet another check up and regular blood work... 

While I tend to argue for the medical profession and regular preventative care, I must admit that I understand the fear of cracking ajar Pandora's Diagnostic Box. Like Andrew and his liver, I think the tenebrous uncertainty about my loobyless lady issues is both baffling and non-plussing. It seems like having a child would change absolutely everything in a number of key life-planning arenas (like in basically throwing any plans straight into the garbage bin and leaping without a parachute into the abyss of parenthood). Knowing that it just wasn't going to happen or that I had some control over whether it did would deeply satisfy my inner life planner and fill out a thousand variables.

 I'm willing to be patient on that one, despite my equally shark-and-minnow desire to control everything with scads of contingency plans and pretty calendars. The additional uncertainty of an idiopathic absence of something expected has the usual "what ifs" attendant. Let us not forget that the minor competitive streak in me feels quite indignant that several rather unhealthy people are not only capable but prone to a physical state that remains elusive for me. As my nephew Ian would be quick to decry: it's just not fair! (then he would change the rules, sprout lasers from his feet, award himself ten extra invincibility points and probably hit his little brother with gamma rays to steal his powers too)

But those more existential anxieties aside, the medical hokey pokey involved is pretty exhausting. I have stunned sympathy for those with fibro, debilitating migraines, clinic depression, etc. I don't know how you/they do it! This is an issue that really doesn't impact my day to day functioning, except that it requires a whole lot of patience and a bit of medical experimentation that may ultimately lead to just another huge "huh".

 I am a fan of induced patience in that I know human nature would jump to have every available test and intervention piled on at once in an extraordinarily inefficient manner. But I'm also not a fan of the frequent losses of mornings or afternoons for one little snippet of information that usually serves to cross off one of a billion issues that get us statistically no closer to an answer, but yet another fifty steps to go in some further inquiry. Shuffling from one waiting room to the next like nesting dolls in a grand medical matryoshka. 

Just a year after seeing my PCP for amenorrhea, I've reached the point of my first physical tests being ordered. Simple ones. In many regards we're still waiting to see the effects of the weight and dietary changes, and the hormones. But to rule out a few more concerns. I may eventually be travelling down to Seattle for a super-specialist. Road trip! I've already been down that way to meet with my (extremely helpful) nutritionist.  I'm also ok with that. Regardless of fertility, I can't imagine that the lack of a fairly definitive aspect of life as a young adult female is completely free of related concerns. 

Accepting as I begrudgingly am, I can see how I might have been wary to start this process if I fully grocked how involved it might be. Well, no that's a lie. I think since I over-anticipate, I likely did (and hence was anxious to start the conversation long before the actual decision of "do we want children" but delayed so as not to throw too many life-changing issues in the way of the fella), but still. I do actually completely get why the husband still hasn't made a definitive step towards another frolic on the ferris wheel of sanitized rooms and endless waiting rooms. 

Then again, he's taken his Pathfinder in to be checked out twice since we married (another instance of puzzles within puzzles and grand reveal of magnificent ecosystem). He argues that the problems with the Pathfinder are readily apparent, while he feels physically fine. I respond that this is because he is hyper aware of the little rattles and complaints of his car, while he discounts several physical things as any variety of "normal effects of ___xyz". I think I'd probably rather take myself to the doctor than take my car in, although I can't say why. 

But back to my medical menagerie. One appointment leads to another like a hydra's de-lopped heads, so I'll be back in the medical area to get an ultrasound (oh boy!) and a bone density test on Friday. Followed by a follow up to the follow up some time in a few months. In the meantime, I'll be keeping it orange with my looby lady pills, which do at least make me sleep like an infant on days 15-30 of the month!

And getting back to work! Our pilates instructor was merciless yesterday, but I'm feeling very little latent muscle soreness today, so I suppose it's time to flex my attorney muscle and test those sinews a touch.