Lost In Mediationland at the Tip of the Unicorn's Horn: The Year of the Mediation Begins With a ... Huh

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation: Dragons undulated to the sigh of bandoneons. Heart-breaks healed and mediation skills were retracted while supervisor's departures pended perilously atop a calendar of upheavals. And circus bears raged through with tutus ruffled, growling promises of anomie to come!


Next Up: The Year of the Mediation Commences with explosions and blow-ups betwixt implausible cases of past incompetence. Will the resulting flurrying papers behead any beloved characters? Drills come out and smiles break glass as our heroine flees work for a moment of unlikely respite. Court looms in the land of Turkey. Will the clowns ride their horses to victory? And first-husband (W)right begins his Odyssean maunders from home. Will his plucky Penelope fend off the single-lady blues with a healthy heaping of Tour de France and a spatula full of foods?


Strap on your silliest helmet, dye your sheep crimson, and get ready to calendar hop through time to find the answers to this and more...





Strapped in and Ready to Ride the Wiley Workhorse Time for that Dentist's Appointment Yet??

I once again throw my hands to the skies with white flags unfurled: I have no idea what day it is and the day-of-the-week metric is officially useless for the next fortnight or so. Especially with Mr. (W)right's impending Friday-Saturday absence, and related shuffling, There is no anchor reference for my calendar week. 

 Theoretically yesterday was Tuesday. It did, in fact, conform to certain expectations of Tuesday in that I went to the DRC in the afternoon. In other regards, it lived up to the more relevant expectations of "The Falconers must be coming soon, because things are amping up again" late-July bedlam (ooooh bed). A routine consult turned into a tag-team attorney hunt through the paper trails of two separate cause numbers and administrative hearings - all with some pretty shocking but just-credible levels of incompetence and other flagrant violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct - to sort out what the heck happened and why did your ex wife's brother's pet goat get custody of your daughter??? before even addressing the major emergencies that needed triage.

At the same time, a never-routine mediation turned into a last minute blitz of "well, if that's all you can give us, then why are we having this mediation?" scuffling and shuffling. Sometimes mediation just doesn't make sense. Like when the other side (1) gets in a mediation letter after hours the day before a morning mediation, (2) insists that the first issue to be addressed is one that nobody agreed to mediate, (3) ignores the slurry of documentation, responses, answers, and queries that have been supplied over an eight week period of unresponsive radio silence from that other side, and (4) includes a client's emailed response document to a tangential issue that could have been provided at any time in the last six weeks and isn't relevant to mediation... all with none of the requested documentation or any answers in sight (perhaps the letter was intended to come with a decoder ring and relevant answers properly encrypted to protect against unwarranted google/facebook/NSA/KGB data caching! Maybe the damned letter was in Cherokee translated into Pig Latin).  

The cancellation and follow up discussions between attorneys and attorneys, attorneys and clients, everyone and the mediator, interjected itself at random intervals during the tag-team emergency consult. A few minor characters and cameos may have been decapitated by all that flying paper.


 ...All of which, fortunately was not interrupted by mom-boss' scheduled consult, who'd written down the time wrong and was on her way in an hour late. 

... And my mom had a four-way in the afternoon. So kind of one of those days. 


I also spent the morning in intensive focus mode to draft a declaration that I'd written down as being due on Friday, but which actually - by any rational count - would not be due until late next week. Ah well. I swear somebody told me to do it by the 25th! I swear. And, hey, at least it's done. Or started. It's a rough draft, after all. 

Today, we interrupt our regularly scheduled Wednesday for a dentist's appointment! Yep, they like to reassure me that my dental hygiene is stellar, but there's just nothing to be done about childhood sealants sometimes. So off to numb my face and stare into space for a spell (over lunch time, which is not really how I'd prefer to stuff my face about that hour). I'm looking forward to it. My dentist is preternaturally pleasant and is essentially a model for any client-service based metric. Seriously. I am not being paid to endorse Dr. Lemperes. Though I do not write off some kind of strange mind-control or happy drugs in the well maintained tea/coffee station. I don't know how he does it, but no matter how horrid the procedure, one comes out with a smile (good advertisement for a dentist, I suppose). 

The only thing I'd like to amend (other than perhaps bringing back my pediatric dentists' practice of giving me a small toy at the end of each visit... dinosaurs!!) would be that in addition to their office iPod for patients during longer procedures, they invest in some google glass with a kindle app. Seriously, this - to me - is the absolute best theoretical lure of google glass: being able to read when I am in positions that make it impossible to hold a book or device. Laying back during procedures, cooking, out in the rain... talking with boring people... Just think! I joke on that last one. While I'm thoroughly distractible by devices and crosswords when conversations seep around my little happy headspace (drowning out my happy elevator music sometimes even), I get plum irritable if I'm pulled away from an actual tome and have found it best not to attempt reading in mid-colloquy. 


"Thursday," my DRC shift is all inverted so I can tag along to the small claims court (where we trowel for mediable cases, of course). I anticipate taking the morning off work, running, doing Pilates, purdying myself back up, and jaunting over to court. And since Andrew's going to be gone this weekend, we are thinking of going out to eat with mom-boss and boytoy one day early.  

"Friday," Andrew isn't coming home, and it's cycling related. So it's virtually Monday!

"Saturday", Andrew still isn't coming home, at least  until pretty darned late. I'm estimating 9 or 10 p.m. at the earliest. Since Thursday's half eaten, I am thinking about coming into work to catch up/start up. Although all the weekend household things I want to do still need to be done regardless of whether husband is around or not.

"Sunday," Andrew may still be alive and I may find him zonked in the bed beside me. No promises on that one. If so, we've of course got the Tour and a little running. And then, on the sacred no-fly-zone of Sunday afternoon to evening, we have a wedding in Darrington to attend. So surely it cannot actually be Sunday.

And, of course, Monday, Andrew is currently planning to go track racing. Obviously this is a thoroughly sane conceit after a 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. bike race, travelling all weekend, and staying out a bit late on Sunday. Especially with another race far afoot and twenty miles long coming up the next weekend (and work promising to heat up in the meantime).  Obviously. You can see why I'm auditioning for replacements here. Even the old bike-and-chain can only take so much battering! And my future second husband is still terrifically underage and on the cusp of that yucky awkward period of adolescence that makes me pretty firm in my plan to defer on that one for at least fifteen more years. 

But enough about people other than me, whatever flyballs fall into field, I've got my mit on and am game to chase after them, even if it means smacking right into the fence or toppling over a base. 

...Or to just leap onto the counter and battle with the several floodlights we have in our kitchen of bizarre electrical choices!

Happy Whateverday!







Tip O'The Unicorn's Horn on a Gray Thursday Morn 

First off, today's tippee toe post is dedicated to my friend Ms. Woo, who has stated her intent (via internet meme) to become a unicorn due to her weariness with the inherent complications of being human.  I don't want to stand in the way of anyone's dreams, but I've got to warn her and any others of you that are seduced by said internet meme that the idyllic picture painted of the uni-life is distorted.

 It's hard out there for a pimp, but doubly so for a unicorn. There are poachers and alchemists always after your horn.  Dragons every which way to be conquered. And that whole laying one's head in virgin's laps thing... (1) confusing because how the heck do  you distinguish? (2) a trick! There are hunters nearby. But if you can get past these things, I really do believe you'll make an excellent unicorn and I support your efforts. 

Well, darn, I've decided that Pilates would be  a bit of a tight (read last dregs of a thoroughly emaciated toothpaste tube tight) squeeze between (1) the work I wanted to get done this morning, (2) the time required to change and arrive at small claims court after Pilates, and (3) the limited scope of my desire to slosh about a lot in that drizzle of an answer to my supplications for Pacific Northwest Weather to return. We's gots ourselves a rainstorm. Worthy of a steamy November even. I'm loving it more than those people on TV purportedly love McDonald's, but I don't need to have soggy feet all morning either. 

So instead. I'm at work for another short spell, having finished up most of the aforementioned priority work. And tuning in to realize I have missed the beginning excitement for today's final Tour de France blast through the Pyrenees. Those little avatars are changing place with some rapaciousness today! Almost exciting. 

Last night was our last date night before Mr. (W)right's crazy double header weekend nonsense. We enjoyed it by spending some quality time together, and terrorizing local restaurant, The Black Pearl. No, we weren't absolutely appalling, but I can't say we get in A+ in terms of desirable customer ratings. 

First, for whatever reason, the heat was on (THE HEAT IS ON! No, literally, they had the heater on in the restaurant). It was rainy and cool last night, so I understand, but the downtown incarnation of Black Pearl is a little sweat box, and I admit to avoiding it during nice weather because it turns into a bit more of an authentic Southeast Asian experience than I'd like in there. We were initially seated at a nice table right under the heaters. My head immediately commenced to throbbing, and after some five to ten minutes of feeling more and more miserable, I decided to take agency for my own comfort and change seats. Of course, the next table was also under heaters. And the other table had a little window right next to the diners (whom I knew just to add to awkwardness). 

The serving lady/owner, who is an angel, thought we were leaving in impatience and rushed to intervene while I roved about the restaurant like a dog circling its final seating spot. Finally, I gave up. Then I noticed Andrew putting on his sweater, and was surprised to realize that he felt enough of a draft in his seat to want to warm up. Naturally I recanted my prior refusal of his offer to "switch" seats and musical chairs resumed. I don't know why he was cold. I was still down to my cami and slightly roasting. But it was better. 

Yes, Mr. (W)right is - of course - right: My body/god/the fates hate me. I am consigned to always have algid feet and hands, while my arms and legs to turn numb and violet at the first tremor of chill. But in all circumstances I shall still find rooms stuffy and hints of calescence shall stoke nausea and the steady beat of head-bangs up top.

Anyways, back to the restaurant. Having finally surrendered to the least stuffy spot in the (still stuffy) restaurant, I then pursued  fussy customer status by sending back my "Yummy Vegetarian Salad." My explicitly and repeatedly requested "on the side" of peanut sauce had been unceremoniously sludged atop the mound of greens. I feel guilty about this, but I actually don't really eat the sauce. A large percentage of peanut sauces have fish sauce in them, which I don't care for. And it's just a bit heavy for me. I order it on the side in case I want to dip, but more often because my meal companions might want it. Of course after the kerfuffle, our server/owner made special effort to accommodate my on-the-sidedness with serving spoon and several mentions that we could serve you another dressing. Naturally, Andrew didn't really want the peanut sauce that evening, and it went mostly unused. So, thanks to me, a full salad doused in peanut sauce was chucked. And another large vial of peanut sauce was to follow! Ah well. I'm now enrolled in the Food Plus compost pick up service from home so I'm earning a little credit towards my profligate dalliances with unnecessary food waste. 

Andrew, being sweet like this, mitigated my lingering roving puppy dog peanut sauce hating contrition (and demonstrated his love) by upending the end portion of his bowl of noodles into his lap. Quite the dramatic gesture! Don't think I don't appreciate it. I'm not sure those tiny rice noodles will ever fully detach from his brown Carharts. 

Thank goodness for heavy work pants meant for factory work.  Date night is hazardous for those who don't pack the appropriate OSHA certified safety equipment (the goggles were handy as well on this sploosh of an outing!). 

Thank greatness, we all survived (including The Black Pearl, despite our best efforts to the contrary), and returned home to swap out our sotten sundries for some cozier enduement. 

And back to today with a smile on my face. I'm off to Small Claims court for a brief spell soon. Just to be proper, I may even put on real pants and a real shirt. Sure, I found it on the side of the road in a free pile, but it's a real honest to goodness shirt and everything! Really!





Forget Nine2Five, How About Six-Thirty2Six-Thirty? Single Lady Weekend Has Begun

The Ol' Bike-and-Chain is officially off. Well, he will be soon. I left for work while he was still in pjs, but I can only assume that he has subsequently packed up the double lunch I made him to be spread across two days (knock on wood he doesn't gorge himself on it all at once!), the several pounds of bike paraphernalia that he prepared last night, and maybe some extra clothes, and has hit the road.

After a spot of work today, he'll be heading to Seattle to stay the night with a teammate (his lurid video editing affair with another woman was just the beginning of course and now he's moving on to all sorts of acquaintances and all sorts of bike related activities). Tomorrow morning, he'll drive to Roslyn and ride his bike around-and-around-and-around-and-around from 9:00 a.m. until some time after 5:00 p.m. After the bike riding is done, I suspect there shall be feasting on rib roast and general bedazed befuddlement. Eventually he intends to drive home and sneak into bed (long after I've offlined). 

I've wished him well, given him a few extra kisses to make up the difference of a lost morning and couple of evenings together, and will see him on Sunday. 

Bring on the cabana boys! Adella's single for 48 hours! WHOOOOO! Or just plop me on my mom's couch with the remote control and let me fast forward through a week of Tour de France recordings (leave a tissue box nearby to daub the drool from my face). 

I'm torn between all the clamoring alternatives for things to do with this single-lady time. Do I go about my usual chores? Do I put in some extra work to recover from a topsy turvy work-week? Do I glom onto the aforementioned couch? Do I take some kind of ad-hoc adventure somewhere that only I'd appreciate? Do I try to finish this book I'm reading that is simultaneously interesting and yet emanating some kind of reader-repellant juju that has made it difficult for me to indulge in my usual biblio-binge (thus frustrating me into a far more urgent state of "let's just get this over with already... ooooh squirrel!")? Do I pretend I'm going to read my book and then enter into a cross-wording frenzy from which I emerge several hours later covered in pencil smudges and more newspapers than are circulated in Whatcom County?? I just can't decide. 

But I think I might try to play it cool and focus on recovering. Because it really has been an odd week. 

Yesterday's arcanity was of a mellower peculiarity than earlier in the week. Instead of my afternoon shift, I went with the WDRC to small claims court. The biggest area in which the DRC mediates is family cases. The second biggest, though, is small claims. Family is generally more specialized (being a family law attorney, I know from reviewing some train wrecks of "settlement agreements" that extra training and finesse is required; getting a family mediator with the right blend of training and temperament is a rarity),  and takes extra training for mediators to master.

Small Claims mediations have a satisfying symbiosis between the court's needs to lessen the load of litigation, the litigants' interests in actually reaching cost-effective conclusions to their disputes, and the DRC's need to have a forum for their training and practicum students. Since the disputes are generally more straightforward, more contained, more varied, and more amenable to creative problem-solving, they are tailor-made for mediator training. As such, small claims courts and mediation centers have long partnered.

At UW, small claims was our largest mediation source as well, so it was a bit of a flashback. Except Whatcom County seems to take its small claims courts a little more seriously. In the King County courts, there's usually a single judge handling the entire docket. All litigants wait in one courtroom. The judge cursorily reviews the claim, asks some questions, and then rules. They churn through like butter. 


In Whatcom, there are three sitting small claims judges. In the first courtroom, all litigants are given a roll-call and asked if they'd like to try mediation. Those that decline are assigned a court-room/judge. Those that try mediation can come back and be heard same day usually, but aren't assigned a judge. The trials are a little longer and a little more formal, as well. 

I may be called to case manage the process at some point. That would involve giving the opening "what is mediation and why you might consider doing it instead of airing your irrelevant and legally anemic dirty laundry in a public forum where your chances of recovery even if you get a judgment are slim to none... did we mention mediation is awesome and super successful?" spiel. Aaaand filling out some paperwork. Aaaand wrangling the mediators. So I was there to observe all that. As was New-Vanessa, Luke, who will be doing all the wrangling as of next week! I also sat next to a practicum student who went through the UWLS training with Julia Gold. I initially thought perhaps at the same time as me until I realized I'd actually already graduated in 2012 and must have done the training in 2010 or so. But he was nice. A retired municipal attorney who put in some time teaching ESL and traveling around Turkey in the Peace Corps way back when. 


Anyways, if you enjoy Judge Judy/People's Court, then you should know that small claims in Whatcom County starts at 9:00 a.m. You can usually eyeball an interesting case during the roll call/mediation answers. And small claims cases are open to the public. 

Since there were only a smattering of mediations, Vanessa, Luke and I  sat through a fairly lurid little tale of landlord-tenant mayhem. The black-letter law is dull and clear-cut in this area, but the stories... and oh the stories will out! Clowns! Horses rampaging down the highway! Sotten sexual advances and dogs peeing on inebriated tenants passed out in lawns! Really, I couldn't repeated it here on such a family friendly forum. Really.

Moral being: mediate, because you probably have never consulted a lawyer and you have no idea that (unfair as it might feel) you still owe way more/are due to receive way less than you think. Mediate because you may have a business that doesn't need the public humiliation of your prior ill-fortune and regrettable decisions. Mediate, because... otherwise I will be tempted to attend your small claims court and start mentioning names in a blogger post or Bar Newsletter regular article. A little more of a strong arm approach to mediation, but one for people to consider. Really, the moral is that if you're idly unemployed and can't afford cable, you are missing out on some real entertainment opps at the local court calendars. 

Anyways, the morning was rather devoured by these little fripperies into the lives and livelihoods of others, so the rest of the day was a bit of a flurry. And even madder for the pre-weekend meal out with my mom and the boytoy (just in case Andrew dies, it seemed fitting for them to have a weekend meal with him). 

And so, I know now that today is Friday but several days before have already felt like Friday. So I think we're inventing a new name for today. Farfanuggin day, it is!

Mom-boss has a double court date plus double meetings and a mediation letter due out. I've got some support to play in all that. But first I'm off to stretch to the oldies... (with the oldies given the median age of the group). 

I missed Pilates yesterday, which I shall rue for ages, since I had been the only student on Thursdays the prior weeks. But it shan't happen again today. Mainly because there is no Pilates to miss! 

Happy Farfanugginday to you all!






Time and Trials Single-Lady-for-the-Day Celebrates with a coffee and a chock full DVR

Today I am determined: I will catch up with the live play of the Tour de France. I'm only about fifteen minutes out from catching up at this point. Once I've caught up, yes, I'll get to watch several exciting commercials about how Jelly Beans are the perfect cycling energy food (Jelly Belly makes a good point, considering what's usually in those gels and shots). More importantly, I'll get to figure out whether all the distortion, static, screen melting, etc. is the fault of a crusty dvr or something to do with the station/receiver. Not looking promising. The blips and techno-stutters are full in force during this recorded coverage, and I suspect that there's more to come in the live play. But at least if I've caught up and am still experiencing reality melt, I can supplement with the little Tour de France website avatar cyclists and live blogs. 

Time trials are oddly boring and exciting in an entirely new way than the rest of the Tour is boring/exciting. Regular stages consist of long stretches during which nothing happens shocked through with unexpected bursts of sheer adrenaline soaked thrall. And sheep. Chromatic sheep. There are also always matters of strategy, temporary alliances as interests align and diverge like shifting sands on a breezy beach... 


Time trial is exclusively about how fast any individual rider is. No deals, all wheels. Of course, they make up for it with exceptionally silly super hero outfits. And it definitely tests a whole new kind of strength and fitness, sending cyclists out in a race alone. With fifteen seconds differentiating fourth through second place (Nibali in first could basically walk his bike across the line, or try unicycling the stage while holding an ice cream cone in one hand and humming a jaunty tune with the time gaps he's got at this point), these little differences in strength matter. The whole top five (after first) is up for grabs and undetermined. 

Yesterday was a pretty wild finale to our wacky work-week. Another mediation letter went out reeking of brimstone and sulfur Actually, while I've been fearing the work on this one (heavily sedimented issues from some ridiculously complicated dissonances created by prior attorneys needing to be delicately sorted out from a crypt of old documents and nonsensical spreadsheets), we put in a great letter. Unlike, say, the other side (this is a theme in THE YEAR OF THE MEDIATION so far), who provided no documentation and a list of vitriolic and inaccurate characterizations that essential boil down to Mediation Agenda: Making my client's future ex stop being such a DOO-DOO HEAD! Super promising, I know. 


But regardless, my work is done... for now. 

In other excitement, a case we've been trying to get an order in on for months finally reached a head with a pending hearing, which was apparently finally enough to get the other attorney a bit more engaged (say willing to return our phone calls more than once a month...). Additional client priorities shuffled in and out at inconvenient intervals of course. 

But then we were done! DONE DUN DUN..... Weekend!! And all the bloodshed and inkstains seep away in the dewy mist of freedom. With the boyfrianceband off to chase his cycling doom, I was ready to enter a deep single coma. There was reading (and I've sent the Mirabal sisters off into history once more, time for a French crime novel). There were crosswords. I broke out the spatula and scraped tubs of peanut butter and yogurt clean. A mad evening, I assure. Today my ambitions have faded into "more of the same." After the time trial. There may be chopping. Maybe cooking. If I'm smart, I'll time myself for a walk of some sort. 

Aaaaand, I've shifted to the live feed. I see a little disturbance flickering in at the corners... holding my breath. Dun dun DUUUUUN (Still DONE with the week). And it's looking promising on the live feed. 


Go superheros!!

Dragons Dance in the Sparking Grotto: And other remembrances of things passed by Vincenzo Nibali...

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation: The scald was on and the beet-blood ran through ruts and rivers! Borscht ice cream debuted with a splat and a ducky quack quack. Corn-stalks smoked in geographically dazed summer swelters. And the race was on for (W)rightful victory with a side victoire atop the Alps. Pressure was pointed and propinquity of flesh dissolved in a puddle of palaver. Empresses adazed, staggered through the room of Hades, but nigh came a conquerer to save the day! 

Coming up: Tour and Tangos take the lead in the race for weekend supremacy! Workweek anomie awash in Lethe, as pilates pain punches 1-2-and out for SUMMER (Or at least two unfettered days). Will that wild and wacky wastrel work strike back upon the return? Adella dons the mantle (and leggings) of "on trend" with a residual shudder and a scream of liberation. Will Lulumon feast on the blood of innocents this evening? Dragons spark and sizzle, electricity in air and arch. Will our heroine hobble through? And auditions are posted for Mr. (W)right number two... will back ups be required? 
Leg-up your sporty spandex, stretch out that crotchety arch, and delve below where Angels fear to tread... 






Into the Alps and Out of the Seasonal Swelter Saturday looms like the peak of Chamrouse

Well, just as those little Tour de France cyclin' avatars on my live feed have one heckuva final glute-grinder to make it to the end, I've got one more day to get through before THE WEEKEND!! I'm excited about the weekend. Several hours of liveish video replays of all those attacks and counter attacks and rogue motorcycle attacks and crashes and devils and chromatic ovines...

Plus a side spot of tango (the rehabilitation 2014 part 2) and not being at work in a bit of a jaded-out frenzy to pick up the pieces of strident clients who retrench into defensive legalistic fortresses in the face of combative incompetence (and a bevy of that from the collective attorneys on the other side). I sympathize with all the riling sides. I really get why clients are scared and worried and lash out defensively. I really get that some attorneys are just incompetent by nature or by overwork, and just can't quite walk the talk that they espouse. I get why that disconnect is occasionally amusing. Most of the time. But it's a shame when it just makes everyone snippier and tanks the opportunity for a mutually beneficial outcome.

Outside of that little bubble of blurg, though, actually the work week has been taking a turn for the pleasant! Shielded as I am from the frontlines of litigious battle, I've been grinding my nose on several interesting and engaging projects that involve - dun dun DUUUUN - papers! research! Basic math that I continue to screw up royally because I can't use a calculator!

And my mediation skillz have been decomissioned for now. The couple I was working with were either so moved by my calming and reasonable manner, or so terrified of having to continue dealing with me that they are now going to reconcile. Which is good. I maintain that divorce can be a good and even healing thing, but I'm just as happy for it to be a tremoring event that forces couples to really sit down and reevaluate their lives, their communication styles, and their goals... however that turns out (hopefully founding a small island nation/Bond villain lair). Of course reflection could lead to a vast improvement in an ongoing marriage, because it makes marriage a choice again, instead of a default. And that's a pretty huge thing.

I have, of course, also been gadding out about the town during working hours (in my perpetual quest to make my work schedule more full of holes than my oldest pair o'socks).

Yesterday, I was the only person at Pilates. Well, the only student. Rachel, the instructor was there. I felt mildly guilty, since my persistent presence forces her to teach, and I do remember fantasizing about having either many or no students when I was on the hook for a lesson. But it was really great for  my selfish ends. Not only did she kick my ass (not literally, so much as with a potpourri of apparati and movement, though my ass feels it this morning), but we also sort of had a chance to chat a bit. She does some personal patter during lessons, in a delightfully wool gathering way, but it's often less directed and usually more overtaken by some of the other characters from our Pilates cast.

She now knows what I do, about my experiences in law school and my dance background, Andrew's background, and a whole lot about me actually. Other than my name (which I'm sure she still doesn't know because I never introduced myself, and I remember how it is being a teacher... you know people by face and posture, and that's usually far more intimate than a nom de danse).

For my part, I now know that she moved to Bellingham from a very successful business in L.A. (where she worked with several minor celebrities and colorful characters including Ed Bagley Junior, Julia Roberts' brother, and a bevvy of burlesque dancers and strippers who just wanted to work on their  butts) to take care of her mom. And that it was a tough transition trying to make it out here, but she really connected with some communication techniques that resemble a lot of what we learn in NVC/mediation trainings. Oh and she likes to go to the Food Co-op for breakfast after Pilates. I wasn't sure if that was an invitation or just a notice, so I didn't really follow up on that. 

Quite the week for getting to know my various professionals!

After another dalliance with work, I was off to a pleasant day at the DRC. Vanessa is one week away from leaving (and thus tearing up at random intervals, of course). Funnily enough, the girl who actually did the interview process with Vanessa just left yesterday. I'm not sure what that says... but anyways, it was a quiet day, and I got to play in the mediation rooms. Refilling snacks! And beverages! I care about these things. so it was highly satisfying. 

The air conditioning unit, of course, remains sitting in our bedroom in thoroughly inutile condition. It's cooled down, as predicted. The motivation to do much with it aside from admire the sheer post-modern depths of its shiny new desuetude has abated. It remains artwork not otherwise specified. The enormous box has been removed from my path when attempting to exit the bedroom to the study. During transition, the bottom fell out, which I guess was the way it was supposed to be opened. Ah well. 

And today, we may even get a spot of rain! That will make fleeing work and trying to watch the last minutes of the Tour way more comfortable! Phew! I was worried!





Tour de Couch Let the Trumpets Blare and the Weekend Commence!

As reveille resounds in gusts of sotten zephyr, the (W)rights are up and at 'em, full of ambition and ardent anticipation: It's Tour Time, baby! I keep forgetting how many weekends the Tour can dominate, but it feels like the loss of a loved one at that final stage in Paris. Sure, it wreaks havoc on our carefully constructed schedule, but then again, summer and Mr. (W)right's made cycling ambitions do that anyways.

Case in point: instead of watching the final weekend of the Tour next Saturday, Mr. +Andrew Wright  will be participating in an aptly named race: the Nine-2-Five. If you recognize the "2" as an adorable textese homophone for "to" then you've got exactly what this race consists of. Well almost exactly. The idea is that you start at 9:00 a.m. and do as many laps as you can before 5:00 p.m. rolls around. But if you've started a lap, even an eensy bit, after 5:00 p.m., you get to finish that lap. So, I'm thinking it's probably more of a 9 (or 9:30 since things will always start late) to 5:55 p.m. (plus the usual hanging around for results, awards, etc. This event is also across the Cascades, so a long drive on either end. And then he's turning around and driving back to Darrington on Sunday afternoon for a friend's wedding. (Darrington is roughly 45 minutes from Bellingham, so not far by his attenuated standards, but not near either). 

I keep asking if maybe he wants to get a hotel room or find a place to crash, but I think he's saving that up for (drumroll please) the weekend after next, when he's racing in a 20 mile race on Port Gambol. Go ahead, ask me where Port Gambol is. I don't know! Somewhere you need to take a Ferry to reach that is near Poulsbo, which has lots of casinos. That's kind of what I understand. Anyways, it was nice having a husband, but I'm auditioning replacements next Saturday from, well, Nine-2-Five. Applicants should submit a headshot, a relevant resume, and a brief cover letter specifying their interest in the position.  Maybe at Andrew's friend's wedding, there will be a spare bridegroom. Worth looking into. 

Yes, I've thought about coming along to both or either far flung event. But I want to watch the Tour next weekend. And since Andrew's planning on staying in Fort Whereverthewhatsit on Friday, I'd have to drive out all by myself, and then would be kicked out of the hotel fairly early into a longish race. 

Still that's a long ways off. Today is a day for Nibali to continue being ridiculous. I'm kind of sad for him that the favorites for the yellow jersey have withdrawn from the race. He probably could have won this against the titans, and it would have made for a more interesting race in the offing of a more undeniable victory. Of course, there's still a chance that the Tour de France Organizers will decide things are getting a little dull and set a brood of wild pitbulls on Nibali during his final ascent of the day... just to spice it up. Maybe involve some fire? 

I'll be rooting for more wheelies from Sagan, a breakaway that makes it (Tony Martin is insane, by the way), and an interesting battle for top ten over all. Maybe a resurgence from the polka dotted mountain royalty! And a comfy couch from which to watch it. 

We've got plans this evening. Right here in River City. With a capital P and that rhymes with T and that stands for Tango! I may stay an extra tanda or two, if my foot's feeling up for it! Knock on arch... 

And in the meantime, it shall rain and Andrew shall get soaked whilst wheeling about mountains. I shall also get soaked, but most likely from a kitchen sink gone berserk. 





A Sprinter's Delight Short and Semi-Sweet for Sunday

On the road: an occasionally blipped and pixelized hoard of cream of the cropping cyclists. They're beaten and battered by carnivorous cobblestones and agonizing elevations. And slightly pollacked by the distorted signal/recording (we can't quite tell why the broadcast goes all techno video from time to time, but I swear it gets worse the closer you get to that final 5k excitement). To the side of the road: What appears to be a fuzzy french bird-angel with enormous crown and several flags, dancing in the lavender...  Oh yes, we're back for the Tour. 

In theory, we will wrap up this cartilage crunching carapace and break for a running rampage before Mr. (W)right's three hour tour of Galbraith Mountain. I reserve the right to postpone the run, since I was out dancing and prancing last night. It's already been a month since my first foray into tango 2014 rehabilitation. I've been dilatory in efforts to increase my frequency beyond the usual Tango Experience obligation.

But as an obligation, tango is a welcome one. As last month, I "taught" the "lesson" with David (felt a little off and rambly, but my best advice was basically "don't be a dick to your partner" which is probably the best thing anyone can learn), did my share of tandas, and bolted with a bag full of pastry pelf. While there was electricity in the air (souls sparking with sonorous strains of heavenly spheres), a different sort twinged in my right arch. Nothing painful, but a warning signal to be heeded. Heed I did, but only after a few final dances with crucial leads. 

As of last night, I have also officially conceded defeat: I've had a longstanding moral and spiritual objection to the trend of leggings in lieu of pants. I intrinsically abhor the silhouette it creates, as stumpy, unflattering, and simultaneously lurid and dowdy. I'm a flowy kinda gal who likes her lank to breeze away into the luscious folds of bootcut and flare. And, again, spandex blends are flattering to nobody. Particularly while dancing, since it emphasizes the natural bend in the knee (and undermines that long-legged straight legged look). But I give up. It's running capris and yoga pants all the way. With a tuxedo shirt perhaps, and flashy dragon socks. They're comfortable. They're efficient. They harken at some sense of "style." They don't catch when I dance. And, hell, for those who cavil about the casual sloppiness with which Amuricahns endue themselves: active wear is American fashion. It comes rife with implicit signals of class, status, and philosophy. It has as much if not more focus on making eye-catching looks to distinguish the wearers (yoga-mom competition and the peacockery of recent running/triathletics has ensured this). And it's about on par price-wise. So, I'm no longer an unprofessional slob, y'hear me? I'm "on trend". 

I cortada this ocho here, and wish you a happy Sunday. Its time to fixate on the boys in spandex. 




Monkeys Macerating Mondays And other ways to start the slog through the week

Well, phew, we survived that awful stretch of structurally slack time known as the weekend! Back to balance sheets and tipsy turvy schedules constantly waivering beyond the bounds of equilibrium. Good to be back... I guess. No, no, I like my work week. Every day still has a special little treat to get me excited. Maybe it's pilates. Maybe it's an unscripted odyssey to small claims court instead of my usual WDRC treatment.  Maybe it's the ever-popular dental filling excursion. But there's always something. 

This week is a bit of a bear (when I make ursine allusions, I'm envisioning an ornery circus bear that has gotten into the communal grog after a late night party and is now galloping around the circus tents in a battered clown ruffle and trailing the dress of a very scared reveller he happened upon in mid-skinny-dipping-revels...). The mediation floodgates open this week, and our longest standing, most complicated cases are up to bat first. I don't know if they're really the most complicated month by month, but since we've had them so long, they have the concentrated effect of several evolutions of sedimented complication AND the disconcerting errors and delusions of memory to compile atop. 

I've got clients coming in. Clients expecting work from me. And several other tasks that need to be done this week in between staring at spreadsheets and five year old documentation with a budding migraine. Oh do I look forward to that dentist's chair! He'd better not get me in and out all efficiently and with smiles like he's done the last couple of times! Darned pleasant, dentist-photographers...

But today I've got the monkeys at my feet and will tip toe to a full prance and whinny by mid-afternoon. At least we have our autumnal weather back to erase memories of heatwaves past (and apparently any obligation to figure out the air conditioning unit until the next time we're broiling. Because it's more fun to struggle with new installations when you're already hot and miserable!!

And, thank goodness, today's a rest day in the Tour de Awesome, so no little tugs at my attention towards the avatars of cycling glory.

Bikes, Beets, and Bros: Return of the Heat-Wave Hotdessy

Previously On A&A's Go-Pro 3D Adventures in Cohabitation: Heart rates plummeted as peaks scaled the heavens aside Babel's tallest towers! Cobblestone carnage creamed the the creme de the creme of cycling's epic Tour de Awesome, while Burmese mountain cats howled with the Tonka-toy-tonkinese. Interrogations intensified at the center of disputes, when our vivacious volunteer seeped into social mores. And Andrew led astray by power-meter dreams left his home and hearth for the company of another woman and a night of wild go-pro editing. The marriage rocked and reeled, but survived in a heap of cruciferous choppings. 

Coming up: She certainly can't can-can in this nasty humidity! The Pacific Northwest goes rogue and steals Midwestern summer. The world seethes, while the town sears. Will our (W)rights endure the blaze and boil? Will Andrews superlative sweating capacity set him up for record-breaking heat-wave's record breaking biking finishes?? The slaughter of the beets haunts calescent kitchens, as bubbles toils and troubles brim up in the cooker down the counter... Will borscht beet back the blurg? Hearing the plaintiff sobs of simmering souls, air conditining races to the home. But can it arrive in time?? Will date night survive intact with all those power tools needed?? 

Break out your mini-fans, and load up on ice, to plumb the sun's surface for answers... 







Vive La Weekend! A Tres Awesome Bastille Day Weekend Tally


Tour de France Stages consumed: 2

Real bike races endured:  1. A mountain bike "pedal" for Andrew. Witnessed by Adella. Suffered by Andrew. 

Total medals received:  1. Third place for Andrew! Although Adella awarded herself a pit-stained jaune for walking out and watching!






Total souvenir hats won in a game of chance:  1.



Total hats now sitting on the dining corner table: Only 3 so far... but there are a few more upstairs and on the kitchen counter just waiting to come join.  





Beets chopped: 5-6. They were on sale. Naturally I had to try my first hand at borscht. Slow cooker, vegan borscht because... because. 

Number of beets bounding over the sink and straight out of the kitchen, before splattering and sliming a veritable crime scene behind it upon attempts to peel: 1.5. The others only leapt headfirst against the sink and suffered concussions that otherwise quieted them down.
 


Sources of additional splatter: Murdered blueberries and chia seed under the whir of the immersion blender. Blueberries were on sale, so clearly they also had to be purchased and used. Chia freezer jam seemed necessary. As did doubling the recipes and standing near the mixing bowl in a (no longer) white shirt. Borscht in mid-cook during the inevitable immersion blender extravaganza. Mixing tomato, beet and the orange pop of carrots and yams does wonders for your culinary blood splatter. 

Carrots Consumed: Roughly a pound in between cutting up stick for lunches, chopping for the borscht, and other prep cookery. Similar numbers for peppers, kale, and garlic. 





Actual Borscht Consumed: Several spoonfuls, but no measurable quantity. After a check of the surrounding ambient temperatures, borscht was declared "a soup to serve chilled" and postponed for service at a later date. There is now about one third of the fridge dedicated to magenta mush. 

New glass storage jars created: 2. From a jar of thoroughly antediluvian clotted tahini. And a jar of bean dip. 

Number of glass storage jars freed up: 4. Two jars of broth that went into the borscht. One jar of lentils that was plopped into some makeshift aged tahini lentil unhummus spread. A miscalculation about the amount of lentils has lent this a thoroughly runny consistency, but it still has a lemony tahini cumminy goodness going for it. 

Number of glass storage jars immediately repurposed and used up: 8. Two for extra borscht, three for blueberry chia jam, one to ice water for subsequent cooling consumption (inevitably forgotten), one for the lentil hummus, one for more onions, and another one for chopped veggies. 






Inches of freezer space still available for use: 0.024. Give or take. 


Number of kitchen devices plugged in and out of various kitchen outlets: 4. A coffee maker, a spice grinder, and a highly zealous foreign toaster, of course. Plus a food processor for ancient lentil hummus juice; a slow cooker for Adella's Bloody CSI Beet Borscht; and an immersion blender for several pounds of blueberry chia jam. 

Slices of toast burnt beyond recognition: 3. Since we were watching the Tour at my mom's, I had been carting along breakfast fixin's and doing the short order schtick mid-Tour. Apparently my mom's toaster takes a little more finessing after becoming accustomed to mine. Or maybe I was just having a very British day. 

Number of Eggs lost to mysterious sticky adhesion to carton: 3. In two cartons. Requiring me to extract all eggs that would be extracted, and take the stuck eggs out to the food recycling, during which time one half-cracked one went full on Humpty Dumpty and began oozing viscosity out the side of the carton. 


Number of boxer shorts desperately removed while technically still on the front porch, despite decency laws (and thank god the door hadn't locked behind me after I realized my indecency): One pair. The runny egg thing took me by surprise. 

Degrees over the "norm" that the temperature has been this last week: 500 bajillion (Fahrenheit). We get heatwaves at least once a summer, so this isn't new. But it's still not great in either my office, outside, or in our oven of a home. Actually, the way our house is facing, it manages the heat spectacularly well in the morning, but more than makes up for that once the sun starts to set. My office just pretty much starts as a bog and stays that way. At least this year, there's a/c nearby. I've proposed moving my stuff into my mom's office and shutting the door to foster the cold for the rest of the summer. 

Number of definitely air conditioned restaurants located: 4. Never a guarantee in the Pacific Northwest. I really think climate control matters should be addressed on yelp. 

Number of air conditioned restaurants successfully frequented: Between 2 and 3. We tried Round Table first on Friday night, but were driven away by pullulating parties of the soft ball and little league hordes variety. We tried Cascade Pizza on Sunday, which allowed us to be seated but which seemed to have lost all pretense at effective air conditioning. 

Number (in glasses) of ice cubes slowly melted over Adella's exposed skin as an a/c substitute: 2-3. 

Number of orders cocked up by the cook at our second choice, On Rice, on Friday: 2. Well, technically 1, but maybe 3. My meal was just kind of overcooked and sad looking (and had some items that don't actually come on "steamed veggies" mixed in. My mom's got double points though for being an Emperor's Cashew with Fresh Tofu and No Fish Sauce that (1) came with deep fried tofu after the waitress specifically asked about preferences, given the cross contamination issues of frying, (2) came without cashews. We did not inquire about the fish sauce or the relative approval of the Emperor. Sometimes one just doesn't want to know. 

Collective number of hours spent driving a box truck: 3.5 community hours racked up by Andrew in fearsome Friday traffic. "Work joy ride"... we shall say no more. 

Total Number of cold showers taken to mediate the heat: More than a tween boy watching a youtube Miley Cyrus Uncensored marathon. 

Total number of grocery store freezer aisles frequented: 4. Sometimes they're just excellent places to hang out. I may go on about how I used to live in Massachusetts without a/c and the weather we have now is still shy of that, so I/the-rest-of-my-kind should stop whining. But, I admit that I spent most of my working hours in either a produce cooler, a freezer, or other environments far beyond chill. Which brings flashbacks of the eternal fogging of my lenses as I stepped between the outside trash areas and the various coolers. Very nostalgic, my maunders through the frozen foods.

Number of creepy legal ads found in the NW Bar News: 2-3. Most of them are photos of people who rigorously defend child abuse and molestation charges featuring photos of lawyers who look like perps, themselves, but every once in a while there's just a baby doll with a blown out head advertising product liability matters. Gotta say it's striking. 





Number of air conditioning units purchased: 1. After a pretty roiling Friday and even hotter Saturday conditions, the (W)rights gave in. As environmentally/fiscally conservative (e.g. miserly) as "we" are, there just wasn't any more room for choice about it. Evaporative coolers had a good run for our money, but the relative humidity of our recent heat, as well as cautions about ill impacts on asthmatics (potential for fostering Legionnaire's disease, which sounds bad based on my experience of it on House, M.D.) convinced us we needed to go a bit more nuclear in our options menu. 

Number of days before said A/C Unit is received: 2-3. The plus of online shopping is that wary folks like me and Mr. (W)right actually buy things instead of continuing to cunctate past relevancy. The downside... it's friggin' hot and we're still struggling with a few fans and a lot of self-made "evaporative cooling" exudations. Andrew is fortunately an efficient sweater. I've been making do with the aforementioned showers and in between visits to the kitchen sink to rewet my sopping hair. 

Number of times I have proposed skipping work today and finding the nearest walk-in freezer: Too many to count. I wonder if Fred Meyer's is hiring stockers these days... 

Degree to which I wish you all a merry Monday: At least the nth degree. 

Stay cool, darlings. Unless you're one of them people in the Midwest with your summer "Polar Vortex: Solstice Redux", in which case I want my weather back!!!! 







Viva La Borscht Gelato! The Collaborative Empire Strikes Back Your Monthly Snippets of WCP Meeting Minutes

Le Quatorze Juillet (7/14/14), in the Juvenile Court Administration Conference Room (Behind the locked doors of Suite 501, in the room with all the peppy positive “I will not punch my friends in the face” posters), Whatcom County Courthouse 311 Grand Avenue. 

From 12:00 p.m. Collaborative Time to Whenever it was finally determined that sitting in a poorly ventilated room in the middle of what we bog-creature-Northwesterners determine as an intolerable heat wave was just not the ideal July activity when there was ice cream in which to bury one’s face/head/feet/whatever just down the street… and/or work to do in an air conditioned office. 

...

Eternally damned to stagger through the labyrinth of nesting courthouse rooms in her own personal reenactment of Kafka’s The Meeting : S. A. who has now undergone the first hazing rituals of new membership: finding our room! Unaware, as she may be, that (1) Collaborative Time is discounted by at least 5-10 minutes, so even if she'd found the right room, nobody would have been there and it probably would have looked like the wrong room anyways (2) the entry to the conference room automatically locks at non-Collaborative Noon, thus often necessitating some additional 12:06 (or 11:55 a.m. Collaborative Time) shuffling about to get into the actual room,  (3) Sargeant Pepper and his Lonely Heart’s Club Band of Hendersons were lurking in the wings humming ragas and dreaming of Cambodia, (4) The Whatcom County Courthouse was built over an ancient racoon burial ground, and strange things happen in these room... 

Special guest-star: Raspberry the giant stuffed tiger. While taciturn, he brought an air of wisdom from his perch in the far corner chair.

Additional special guest toy: Adella’s handheld “air conditioner”, a thrifty pink fan/sponge device attached to her computer and capable of creating untold depths of additional humidity if properly used. Not sufficient to banish her heat sensitivity altogether, but certainly a soothing bit of white noise for the duration of her stay at the meeting.  
...
​​
In the beginning of the Kira and Adella’s Collaborative Empire…  It was 12:10 Non-Collaborative time and thus just a little early to start in Collaborative Time, but we forged ahead anyways. President Patrick unfurled the mighty agenda… or board meeting minutes... or recipe for vegan borscht (which - according to somebody’s husband - is too weird to finish because it’s “sweet like ice cream, and cold like ice cream, but is NOT! ICE! CREAM!”, not that Mallards wouldn't try a beet, tomato, and kale ice cream sorbet just for kicks). Whatever Patrick had, it was more paper than anyone else had, at least. A few attorneys had the actual agenda up on their cell phones, but there wasn’t too much to address and Adella (or was it Kira? These women board members all look alike to me!) had the couple of issues emblazoned in her cerebral cortex anyhow.

 And thus the meeting commenced with only a few more minutes of fanfare and dancing elephants. 


1. Adella - Kira - Kira - Adella … Which Empress is which?? 

Adella is not nine month’s pregnant. She’s pretty sure of this. If if she is, there’s gonna be a pretty scathing review on amazon of certain testing products, and a lawsuit to cover the costs of Prince Florimund’s (her imaginary child-surrogate sphynx cat’s) intensive family therapy. She’s fairly certain that she is also not married to Roy, seeing as she just celebrated a wedding anniversary with some other dude in bike shorts who doesn't like beet ice cream. She doesn't think she’s a polygamist, but has been wrong before. (For instance: once upon a time, she thought she didn't like cilantro, and now she noshes it straight with bovine grazing mode set to devour). Her mental health experience is also fairly limited to obsessive omphaloskepsis, and armchair diagnoses of friends with various Jungian metaphors having something to do with the crucifixion, the shadow self, and the zodiac as represented in medieval alchemy. 

Kira is nine months pregnant with the collaborative progeny of WCP glory. Being the president elect and once having served a turn at the ol’ notebook, she has little to no designs on the secretarial position. Her soul is far too pure and intact to ever pass the final testing stages of the Washington State Bar admittance application process. And given her statements about "Targeting Lawyers" made in the July 2014 meeting, she may, in fact, be the dreaded Attorney Slayer of legend. I believe she is married to Roy. If not, then Roy’s wife is gonna be super jealous, because I've seen them canoodling and it is scandalous!

The other members of the board include MR, and P, who are also not (to my knowledge) pregnant at all. 

This all sorted out, onto the agenda for the day… 

Marketing

After the photo quagmire of 2012, our group has been committing $75 dollars a month to run said totally outdated member photo in the “Whatcom Bar Newsletter”. The newsletter is an online rag for local attorneys that is emailed out on a monthly basis. 

The group discussed and affirmed that being known in the legal community is an important element of building Collaborative Law. Some get direct referrals, while others opine that just being seen in a cursory way allows this weird little thing we do to be normalized. Others of us just really like seeing our pictures in print and Facebook alone cannot sate our boundless narcissism. 

The scads of members who also advertise in the bar news admit that they also have been thinking about dropping their ad, but are stymied by entropy. Perhaps this will start a revolution!

R. wanted to make certain that we would choose an alternative marketing focus, given that this is our sole remaining form of outreach. Given the dormancy (it’s not dead yet!... really… kinda… maybe)  of the marketing committee, we will address alternative marketing ideas at the September meeting.

Initial Proposals for Alternative Forms of Advertising: 

1. Cute pictures of kittens cuddling with a sloth instead of the old group photo. Possibly involving an upworthy video and/or a buzzfeed quiz. 

2. A $200 for $500 worth of Collaborative Divorce Dealsavers and/or Special Divorce Punchcards for Repeat Clients

3. Collaborative Divorce Promotional Contest. Entrants will be tasked with making a youtube video about why they want to enter the collaborative process. One lucky winner will be given a free Financial Professional Upgrade in their collaborative dissolution. 

4. Sky-writing and/or Sky-diving. 

5. Collaborative Night at the Upfront. Group members will perform improvisational vignettes on Collaborative Dissolution scenarios with the help of a live studio audience. 

6. Refer-a-friend points and family discounts. 

7. A Collaborative Flash-Dance Mob and/or Marching Band. 

8. Sandwich board dancers on every corner! Many of us have children. Let’s put them to work!

....

IV. Professional Development - Show and Tell, Book Reports, and Other Homework:

Back in the olden days of early collaboration (Pre-The-Wholly-Kiran-and-Adellan-Empire), members each volunteered to facilitate a Professional Development session (the last 45 minutes of the meeting). Previously a sign-up sheet had been circulated and members each signed up for a month. 

Members with a given month can come with a specific problem or topic they've been struggling with. They can bring in role plays. Really, they can perform an interpretive dance about their experiences breaking through impasse (dressed, of course, as a butterfly to demonstrate the effective usage of the Imago method)

For Adella’s month, she’s thinking a field trip to Legoland, because there’s a lot one can learn about building up a team and creative problem solving from legos. 

Naturally in September itself, we’ll just be asking each member to present a short video (with Go-Pro footage, preferably) and powerpoint summarizing What I Did On My Summer Vacation. Elaborations and 3-D glasses are acceptable add-ons. Please no in-room pyrotechnics, as there is currently a fire-watch and the room is - as before - not very well ventilated. 





The Bride Wore Black Capris Can-can hotheads and return of the track widow

Boy does my sacrum smart. Yesterday, I had quite the tour of my anatomy, between a massage session at two and pilates shortly thereafter. There were other lower-back-kicking-in-a-more-figurative-manner events to the day, but they aimed a bit beyond the tramp-stamp toosh area and left less of a tangible mark (more various stains on my psyche and spirit. 

And then there was the all-thrashing heat. Dun dun duuuuun. Which turned out to be not that bad. It's all relative, after Sunday's record breaking (I guess Andrew wasn't the only one breaking records and going for medals on the Day of Our Dear Lord It's HOT), high-average respites of summer weather feel ... high-average. Not super pleasant necessarily when the internal thermostats mount 85 and the humidity condenses, but so much not that bad, that it's hard to complain while wafting on that little hint of a breeze beckoning through open windows. Last night, I even pulled up the blanket over my arms for a spell! This morning felt fresh enough that I was able to cover my arms while standing in front of the fan without broiling. 

My massage was quite pleasant. The massage assassin informs me that he became bored with his rote style and was experimenting a bit more. It seemed to mean less pain and more pressure points. Hence the sacred sacrum reshuffling, I believe. He was also uncharacteristically chatty. In less of a hairstylist "so how's your day going" kind of way than sometimes.

We started talking about a snafu with one of my dad's appointments and somehow this evolved into side-by-side comparisons of male dance teachers and male masseurs, his aspirations, and the frustrations of working in a semi-corporate franchise that worries about liability. Given how high profile Massage Envy is, they take no chances with any sort of allegation, and have pretty stringent policies to protect themselves from the potential notoriety that comes from a client calling out inappropriate touching. 

It's funny how contextualized intimate touch is. I had always wondered at how fastidiously "modest" Nick's process was, given that he really does give off the same workmanlike vibe that I'd expect of anyone who palps flesh all day. As somebody who has a lifetime of physical instruction with that twist of feigned sexuality that suffuses a certain level of dance performance ("no," said while grabbing the hips and shifting the entire angle of the pelvis, "you want to be sitting on my leg with your other thigh wrapped around my neck. Now stare directly into my eyes and stroke my chest... to the beat!")

I'm fairly immodest. Or at least unconcerned about modesty when context negates the relevancy. If my sheet were to fly off mid-massage, I really don't think I'd care, and if - gasp - the sheet barrier were breached to get at an ornery knot, bring it on. But in other contexts, even being stroked on the shoulder would feel concupiscent. I suppose it comes down to a duality of consent and intent. In a lot of ways, I felt like having a conversation with my masseur was a far more intimate act than all the physical contact. I guess because the former was an intentional act of connection, while the other was a service that required certain connections by contract. 

But enough about my mid-afternoon (asexual) grope. Andrew, feeling the heady victory of bodacious bike bronze, was back out to the track yesterday evening. The dissolute sot! No, naturally, he was thoroughly intoxicated by chain-lube and exudations alone: Monday night is track night at Marymoore Velodrome and he's back in the ovoid for more punishment. Usually, I take advantage of my single-lady-evenings by staying at home and going wild with chopping and crosswords. Yesterday, though, it was still a bit stuffy indoors. So I went back out to La Table Rond, where the a/c was minimal but sufficient with a large glass of ice. 

Andrew, I'm pleased to report, survived his one-man breakaway kamikaze stunt and was thoroughly rousable for the morning's breakfast. As always, he gets up earlier and more easily on less sleep, so he was down before the final sizzle of the eggs died down. 

Today is another warm day, forecast to exceed yesterday's almost-niceness. I'll be sitting atop the a/c unit in mom-boss' office when I can, and only swapping out the workout togs before my volunteer shift at the WCP. Amazing how much more motivated I am to be "at work" on these high weather days... that might change once our a/c arrives. Maybe. Now, can it motivate my to actually perform work? Quite the puzzler... 




Gator on a Hot Tin Bed And other tales of untapped climate control

We have an air conditioning unit! In theory. At the moment, what we really have are several beautiful modern art installations in our bedroom. There's "CLIMES," the sleek sculptural comment on the artificiality of modern life. It's sitting by our window in a state of latent climate control. There's "INSIDE THE BOX" which is, of course, a subversive comment on modern business practices and which otherwise resembles a huge box with plenty of packaging. This little masterpiece is perched just in front of the room's egress (part of the very deep comment on modern business, the blocking of easy entrance and exit... we're thoughtful artists that way). There are a few other complementary installations strewn about the bedroom, but they haven't been fully developed. 

Because... gosh darnit, heat or high water, nobody (and no a/c unit) puts date night in a corner. And yesterday was date night. After trying to balance certain basic needs against the investment required to turn art into function, we opted for the "deal with it later and Adella will take half an ibuprofen pm to clear up that heat related headache/insomnia issue" approach. Which I support. When we got it into the bedroom, Andrew got that glint in his eye. Oh you know the one... no, not that one... the project glint. As soon as he went downstairs for the scissors, I thought (miring in incalescent torpor all day can lilt one towards the half-empty glass of milk having spilt all over the kitchen table) he was lost to the evening. Fortunately, my pessimistic prognostications were incorrect, and he postponed further inquiry upon realizing that the install would still require some minor sawing and power tooling. 

Perhaps we'll get to it this evening. Or maybe by the weekend, which is around the time that we've been promised a full scale return of pacific northwest weather (rain! glorious rain!!) Isn't that always the way? But we will certainly have occasion to use it regardless. No fears about that. At our next gallery opening if nowhere else.

For this morning, I'm back in workout togs and contemplating pilates. Maybe this time I'll actually be ready to leave and everything by the time the hour arrives. But then again, I'm watching the little Tour de France live-feed, and time sometimes slips away a bit between hitting refresh. Oh how I long for the weekend and a chance to see liveish cyclists! Almost there. 

Just at the tip of the ol' toes.