Ova Irae: Blazing Birch Birthdays and DINKS Becoming DITKS (or something like that)

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation:  A runny mess presented itself as two selves battled inside our heroin's ambivalent husk of a huff. Girls were goners and plots unfolded slapadash with malevolent monotony. Pilates plans imperiled by credit card by administrative ructions and concerted confusion. Solace was only a rock or two away, as our couples fled the home and hearth into the land of sculpture and serenity. And autumnal interventions contemplated anew, but once more forestalled.  

Coming Up: Adella awaits a long absent euphemo-relative promising to bring in her packs upheavals untold. As camels cross epees with barracudas, the DINKS plunge unfathomed territories of terror and tremulation: endocrinology becomes fertility. Insured becomes oh-crap. Free schedules become "on perpetual reserve." Pills become pokes. And longterm goals upgrade from possible-potential-options to absolute-actuality in the face of perpetual uncertainty. Will trying yield progenitative progress or merely ravaged schedules and barren wallets? Will love persist in the face of tortuous trails and nebulous time-and-space charts? In the midst of the October ookiness, a banner day splattered in red (gold, blue, and birch). ART set aside for art. A birthday feted with uptown oils and autumnal afflatus. Will Adella recover from her wild night of carousing? Will Molly's tree ever dry? And a clop-clop of heels tarrangoes in the tangos. Will Mr. Ed's true identity ere be discovered? Will a tango high ameliorate endorphin DTs? Will anything ever quite return to normal if such a thing ever conceivably existed, or will belly dancing flappers jingle their jangles with the witches to ook-and-spook this month of mayhem to a frothing smolder?? 

Sign your waivers, don your aprons, and be prepared to delve the depths and depravity of TMI land as DINKS dabble in the next realm. 

Zombie Camels Crunching Candy-Corn TGI Humpday, baby!

I will write the meeting minutes I was supposed to write yesterday. I will write them. I will. Well, I shall. I don't know how much active will or wit shall be involved. But they needs must be done... eventually. They're my sweet ticket to Whew-it's-Wednesday Whimsical Whoopies (TM, Umbrella Corporation), after all. 

But first, a mighty fine hallooo to the world wide interwebs! With a boil, but nary a toil nor a trouble, let's get this mid-week up to a bubble. 

Those of you tagging along in TMI (no such thing) land with yours-occasionally-truly, oh there are developments on the cocktail quagmire! If you are just dipping in a toe to the oceans of info (drum roll please...), I upgraded from a specialist to a mega-specialist endocrinologist to deal with my body's enduring resistance towards certain feminine activities that necessitate flowing white pants and riding horses on beaches (or at least the sanitary napkins that go with them). 

After several eons of low dose HRT (oooooh barracuda!), some weight gain, and several "huh, this should work... let's give it more time," I've amped it up a bit this fall. Have been on high doses of hormones and thyroid medications in far more targeted ways and with more monitoring medical tests in the interim. 

Which leads us to the next step. Should I choose to accept it... and by that I really mean, if my body is so kind as to respond to all those hormones and do the thing it's supposed to do when I discontinue these hormones by going a bit Carrie for Halloween, and giving me occasion for several more uncomfortable euphemisms to alienate the squeamish with potentially themed parties involving jelly donuts, cherry pie and so on! It might not. In which case, we begin the cycle-starting-cycle again. 

But if it does, a threshold shall be crossed into what could very well be considered straight-out fertility treatment. And I've got a complicated google sheets protocol to prove it.

If I make it to this next step, there will be ultrasounds on days 2-3. There will be self-administered shots on days 3-5 (and/or 1-3 of "stimulation day"). Bloodwork on day 6/4. After that, it's all touch and go (and poke and prick), subject to daily instructions based on regular lab tests; but expect more of the same. Hell, I'm in Munchausen's paradise. And yes, having a spreadsheet to play with does make this all way more fun than it really ought to be. Aside from the sheer overstimulation - (hopefully not the follicular kind, har har) - anyways. Hey, trying to work a full time job was so not my thing anyways. 

I'm excited and nervous. Nervous that the hormones won't work. Nervous that they will. Skeptical enough about my baseline responsiveness not to be too freaked out by the requisite waiver that Andrew and I must sign with a notary indicating that we are aware that this all amps up the rate of twinnage and beyond (gulp). But whatever else, the faint reek of progress and maybe-movement in a stagnating absence is hopefully not raising my hopes too  much. Just enough. Just enough and no more. 

As we debouch from TMI Land, I boomerang from home to work for a stopover at the every exciting EI(EEEEIIIIIIOOOO). Andrew had his very own minion for about a week and a half. This minion seemed like an ok guy... at first... but then he started disappearing for long swaths of time. If asked, he'd say things like he'd been "in the bathroom" (for an hour plus). The situation escalated, and a short check of his "work" on the project revealed a clunky and meager showing that should not have taken even the time he was present. Of course, he was not present for any kind of review of this.

On Friday, Andrew's  project manager spoke with "the brass," who revealed that this fellow had already been written up once on a previous project. They were planning to speak with him on Monday, but the kid didn't show up. No notice. No answers on his phones. No anything but an antiquated comment on his call-list that he was "travelling in the UK."

 On Tuesday the project manager got a mid-morning email from ex-minion saying he'd found black mold in his apartment and would be in when he was done bleaching. He did, in fact, come in. He was even apparently surprised when he was escorted to a private corner with the muckety-mucks, and informed of his termination. 

Let it never be said that there's no structure at EI. Apparently the hours may be flexible, but people do start noticing if you're blatantly blowing off your single project. 

And a return to the home-front, Andrew and I had an early date night last night. That's because tonight I've got a date night with my bestie for a post-birthday art-extravaganza (ok, painting and drinking). I'm excited and preemptively exhausted all at once! Both being run ragged by those ravaging Tuesday work-days, we played it low-key. Ate some slightly more formal Chinese (not even take out), browsed through a Gaiam catalog (yes, we too can have an entire YOGA LIFESTYLE) and snuggled on the couch. This is good preparation for the mad Maenad ART anomie I'll be slinging this evening. 

Which just leaves a work day to plonk through with fingers akimbo and brain a-bleary. Minutes, hours, minutes. I shall do the damned minutes! Maybe. After I color code my pretty new chart. 

Birthday Brewhahahas and the Baying of the Birch Wild nights in (W)rightlandia

Hrggnghh! I rolled out of bed this morning with a groggy grumble and that instinctive sense of panic one gets rousing from a restive parasomnia in all too short a spell. Paint flecks shrouded my epiderm. I stumbled to the bathroom, shaking my head in hopes of shaking off the veil of evisceration from a late and madcap night. 

COLOR! Glowing through the crepuscular crannies of an uncharted "downstairs." A memento of the evening before. Oh yes, it did happen. No delirium dreamt up in a febrile paroxysm.

Like some reckless rabble-rouser out for a gallivant, I had a girl's night out. And it actually included being out! At night!

Yeah, ok, maybe I did get home at eleven. Maybe no spirits were imbibed (though spirits were certainly high). No sleazy clubs or car chases ensued. But eleven on a weeknight?? At a paint and sip studio? What depths of depravity did I plunge when clasping hands and dreams with my oldest bestie (by time of position, not by the chronological age, despite the recent birthday) to take the leap into the oils??  

So, Uptown Art: it's kind of a fun playground for grown-ups to mix with their friends in an informal environment. Each session chooses a different painting. All of the supplies are provided and instructions for filling up one's palette come with one complimentary glass of wine. Additional vino is extra at the "canvas cafe," which is actually just a fridge behind the main registration desk with two sandwiches and a few bottle of wine. The instructor walks participants through the process, from color mixing, to building layers to hair drying each lovely layer. The final painting is free. A fancy schmancy wood frame is extra.

In the interim: Paint flies. Medium is mushed into any available crevice. Wine is spilled. Every one hates her piece. And somehow, these paintings get finished and all come together.

It's fun, but holy crap did it take every hour they predicted and then another forty-five minutes! To paint this particular painting, we worked in layers - doing the entire sky first, then the morass of autumnal colors. And finally the birch tree itself. Each step took about an hour. Finishing touches went from there.

Usually, there's a copy of the finished painting on display. But last night, the instructor was recreating in real time without much of a reference point. Which made it a little harder to see how things would come together and paint accordingly. But, as yesterday most certainly confirmed, I am so not a perfectionist. I took the absence of template as license to just do whatever. Did I mention I'm not a perfectionist?

Especially by the end, I was just kind of globbing paint on and then blow-drying a section several minutes before the instructor informed the more persnickety members of the group (Molly, for instance, was feverishly working with a cell phone photo of the painting with a brow so knit, one could make baby booties from it) that it was time to dry a layer and move on.  

Funnily enough, I actually like the tree part that I daubed haphazardly the best. I hate the final touches of sky (blue blobs) that I benightedly attempted to add. I think without them, there's kind of a nice abstract look of a barren birch-tree silhouetted by an enormous comet crashing down to earth. Which I rather like. The blue just undermines that for me. Like, what, is the comet wearing hydrangea boutonniere's? 

It was fascinating to see the drastic differences between paintings. No two looked remotely alike, though several of them were very cool and each had some resemblance to the initial painting. I think. I only saw the original a few times.

Molly, as I mentioned, was far more serious about this effort than I was. Being a visually artistic person  without much of a present outlet, she was in full on catharsis mode. Which was a little like panic mode at times! She started with "too much blue," going back to the paint pumps several times and then ruing the sheer blueness of the effort. When we covered that up with "leaves" she was cast into dire despair at the flaming voodoo doll that she had created. Once she mentioned it, I could totally see the face. It was a little fire demon. I actually kind of loved it. Then of course, the tree. After falling several steps behind getting the trunk of the tree, she tumbled further down the rabbit hole on the branches (cell phone photo of the original out) and painted through the "drying period" for the black outline. 
But it all came together. 

When I left, she was avidly yawning and painting the outer corners. I know she made it out of there from Facebook, but it wasn't certain last night! 

I absolutely love hers. And, hey, the last time I touched paints was in elementary school (and most of them ended up on my face), so I'm happy enough with my "Comet Crashing into Birch." You know, it's a real comment on like um global warming? Or um, the elements of earth, water, and fire coming together through air in an endless cycle of life and death and more life. Yeah. Anyways, I painted the damn thing, so I guess for a while it'll stay in our living room. Until somebody I know has a birthday. 

Anyone having a birthday soon?? Wedding? Housewarming?? 

And so it begins October got a whole lot scarier

Today is the first day of the rest of my ongoing life-changing terrifying ascension into potential adulthood. And/or, the precipice of the next level of medical mummery. I have two more days to finish out on my current white-pants-on-beaches protocol. If that pans out, a longstanding visit from Aunt Euphemism-and-or-oh-god-am-I-related-to-that-lady-from-the-Progessive-commercials. In theory. Sometime. Aaaaand if that happens, which it "probably will" all hungry hungry Hippocratic hell breaks loose (to paraphrase a far more detailed excel spreadsheet). 

About this time, insurance will be petering out. Or - as it did with the medication I will have to order within a day of said euphemistic visit - the "copay" may exceed the out of pocket payment by $800! Not a billion percent mark-up, but actually it does nearly double the cost. 

And of course, this is where we revisit our insurance plan and realize that it ain't gonna cover much. And so, I expect as I teeter from this edge of endocrinology to something more, we are both perilously close to entering the TTC (trying to conceive) category as far as the world comes.

If... big if... 

Given the expense (in all regards of the word), I feel it's time take everything more seriously than I may have been before. I have made the minimum adjustments, maybe mixed things up a little more earnestly after starting my thyroid medications. But I have still been holding out just a little. Still making excuses for being on-the-thin-side-of-not-quite-healthy, and still justifying my "moderate" exercise habits with a fantasia of overblown relativity. We shall not talk of stress management. 

I've confirmed with my doctor that I should avoid most any exercise that I'd categorize as even mild. Andrew and I have such a distorted sense of exertion and intensity when it comes to exercise. I think it's left us both dazed to realize what the doctors really mean by "moderate" (wait, no flaming searing burning sensation or doped out endorphins high??) Walking is a-ok, thank goodness. But anything that boosts the heart rate to what I'd consider an aerobic zone... not so much. And anything that could potentially jiggle and jaggle my overgrown internal flora is out. No skipping rope or bouncy castles for me. Gaining weight, yet again, is on the agenda. And enough of my excuses. 

Andrew has to be dragged into the process a little bit more. This is kind of "our" thing now, instead of "my" thing. And that scares me as much as it scares him, I think. 

Terrifying. Because (1) kids are terrifying. I have nephews. I've been left alone with them. I survived, but with a healthy respect for my sister's supernatural momness. Why would I even consider intentionally allowing one to happen to me, let alone go to great cost and effort to attempt one; (2) it will completely upend some of our (more so, my) lifestyle preferences for some time, and drain off all excess income. All with the possibility that it will lead nowhere but disappointment. And if it leads somewhere, that's an even larger upheaval. 

But, as Andrew said, all things worth doing are a little scary. And upheaval is the only constant in life. Things will change no matter what we choose. Perhaps it's only scary because we're affixing a marker of conscious choice to it all instead of mere passive experience. 

Regardless, a perfect thing to ponder in Halloween Month, both the month of terror and whimsy!

Hempy Hobgoblins and Devilish Di Sarli's A very spooky tango tanda or two

Peradventure some benighted souls consider the 19th of October (two weeks before All Hallow's Eve) a premature time for madcap masquerading. They probably are the sorts who misspent their childhoods playing IRS compliance accounting officer with three kids and a mortgage instead of Supehero soccer on Mars versus the Orks! 

But we try to serve all sorts. And maybe sometimes, tangueros are so caught up in their dancer's domino and melodic maquillage to venture beyond the costumery of TANGO DANCER. But then again, in sheer tango hipness, if you can dress up as a tango dancer dressed up as something else... well that's like twenty hipster tango bonus points. Belly dancer is a particularly good one, and certainly one used to good effect last night. Tango chic tends towards these styles already: drop crotch-harem pants, exposed bellies, little tingles and accents. 

Witch is honest: I want to still look pretty, but am willing to don a costume hat off the dance floor, and yep the makeup will get a little tweaking

Horse, however, is a less popular hipster tango costume option. So, the dude (and I still have no idea who this was) who came in full hoof and mouth gets a simultaneous kudos and unease (it is not easy to dance with a rubber horse maw pressed into your face). He was quite in character all evening - refusing to speak and only communicating by stamp and gesture. 

This was a first run for my costume, so I'm not revealing it yet. The big Halloween day is actually the one I just spend at the office on Halloween. No excellent explanation of why this is, but there you go. I was pleased with it. It didn't scream tango, but it didn't interfere either. 

Although Andrew and I subsequently decided that we really should just dress up as each other. I'd wear his Carhartts and EI t-shirt (maybe pencil in some stubble and get some glasses). And he'd borrow my yoga pants and aqua workout top (with built in shelf bra!). Sure it'd mostly be entertaining to each other, but the further into interior a little joke burrows, the better. Clearly we'll need to find a party to attend after all. Although not on Halloween. That's when I hand out candy to rugrats. 

To continue our "very scary Halloween month," Andrew and I did a little more comprehensive of a "what it means if (still big if) Adella starts the first part of her (feminine, not bikes) cycling, and graduates to the fertility side of treatment. I walked him through as much as I know of the process. What I need to do. What he can do to help. 

And he and I worked through the financial part of things (to HSA or not to HSA... apparently to HSA and quickly at that, because there are limits in dribs and drabs on what can be contributed when and all). 

Having been on the front lines for some time, I'm not sure the transition in thought was as dramatic for me, but it was definitely a - oh I'm gonna say it and then get an icky rash from the very thought of having uttered the words - paradigm shift for the (W)rights. 

Oddly enough these talks are exhausting. And adrenaline boosting. Which I'm supposed to manage these days. Andrew got to burn his off on some kind of self-destructive death plunge through Galbraith. Since I'm specifically supposed to cut back exercise - one of my major coping tools - I'm re-assessing my stress management techniques. I have others, but I'll want to expand my repertoire. 

I've got a guided meditation app on my phone. It's short, but I need a gradual transition to anything meditation-wise. I can work into the skill, but it takes me a little while. I've got reading (out of the house - there's always things to be done in the house). I've got the once a month Taize service, which I wish were more often. I've got walking. I've got my hurts-so-good massages.

Then there are baths. I used to live in the bathtub as a child. Really. I ate breakfast in bath. I spent hours either playing with bath toys or - eventually - reading. At a certain point I guess I outgrew (literally) the common household bathtub. It's now challenging to get comfortable or fairly well immersed. Our current bathtub isn't the most amenable, either. it's weirdly flat and shallow, and ergonomically challenging even with a nice bath pillow (to say nothing of its general state of mire from the bike-and-chain's post-bike ablutions).

 But even with those limitations, I'm thinking I could make it work. Yesterday I plopped myself down with a kindle, a glass of water, a songza playlist (Meditative Classical) and some bath salts (not the kind that make you eat other people's faces). And it wasn't 100% comfortable, but it was restful. Not to mention it also allowed me to soak my feet and scrub down some of the callouses a bit. 

So, that's a miniature win for the day: New stress management/self-care method achieved. 

We'll see how often it can be worked into the repertoire. 

Another opportunity today, as I've got a massage. And I might be getting a nap if i'm really lucky. But long before this, it's time to rouse the loris and lounge with some dark as the devil Halloween goodies. 

Yawn Girl and the Ragged Runner's Biggest Rocks

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation: Hormones hurled from the heavens upon the weary brow of our heroine left her weakened for the vicious calcium attack from below. The lessons were hard and well learned: never trust a supposed ally in the supplement battles (and always drink your water). The plague ravaged the (W)right weekend plans, taking our hacking hero from bike seat to convalescence in two hacks and a sniffle's time. Only the other-mother and her button sewn eyes could rouse him from his dwindling consciousness. And a plunge into the inner realms brought new ruminations (and yet more "pills"). 

Coming Up: Gorillas grapple with barracudas in the foggy twilight. Best laid pilates plans tremor in the winds of change, as YMCA billing processes inactivate accounts and annoy a hormonally-cocktailed member. Will logs and trees be hugged again? Will our warrior poses pullulate or peter out? Fatuous fiction traps our heroine in its anserine agony. Will she plummet through the looking glass into a funhouse of meta-mawkish-mumbo-jumbo seeking to subvert the Highsmithian highs into chick-lit lunacy? Will windows break when kindles fly across rooms? Kitchen plans laid waste and wastrel as the nutty norns intervene with fragile forks and harbor happenings. Will the hummus ere be saved? And runs raise rampant self-doubts and far-flung symbolic ponderances. Will Mr. (W)right ever ask "a simple question" again?

Charge up your e-readers, froth up your bile and pack some uncookies along to discover the final tally!

Friday Forms in Formidable Fog A final feat of a day to earn the weekend

There may well be gorillas afoot, what with all this mist dripping from every street lamp and traffic light (the only things that remain visible on a smazy morning)! I can't say that my ride to work stayed strictly on the roads, though I hope this is the case. I may well have barrelled through a few parks and office  buildings along the way. I'm not sure when exactly I tip-toed into an Edgar Allan Poe novel, but it does seem appropriate an appropriate ambience for our torrid tumble into full fall! We will eventually get to the point of putting fans away, closing the windows, and possibly even turning the heat back on. Not yet, judging by the tendency thus far of these fogs to burn off into crisply crystalline days. But eventually.

I've been riding the orange barracuda bareback(upping the hormonal mojito ante by an additional "pill") for three days now. It may be that the dosage is starting to accumulate sufficient to warrant side effects. Or I could be nauseous due to some philosophical crisis of existentialism and every one could just be exceptionally irritating to the point of tiring me out! Always an option.

After finally renewing my commitment to that pilates class at the YMCA, I got a phone call yesterday informing me that they stopped taking checks this summer, my account has been "inactive" since that time, and they don't know what to do with the checks my bank has been sending them. This perplexed me a bit, since I was allowed to enter several times in October. Apparently month-to-month memberships must be auto-charged by a credit card on file now. I guess I don't really mind this. But the whole idea seemed obscene to me yesterday. And when I did sufficient math to discover that the "seasonal membership" (three months paid in a chunk without the autobilling requirement) was actually four dollars pricier than the month to month... well I'm currently not a member of the YMCA anymore. I'm sure I'll come around, but the timing (just starting to use my membership after two months of desuetude and occasionally commenting that if it weren't for this one class, I'd drop my membership...)

Fortunately, I was mostly a touch too sleepy to care much after the YMCA phone call (phone calls intrinsically annoy me, so that might have had as much to do with it as anything). And the ambivalence floated me through the rest of the day quite nicely. I even had another excellent spell of quiet contemplation while perfecting the previously crafted excel spreadsheet. Oh even further, I reached - brace yourself - data entry!! Which was just my speed!

And when I got home, I forewent any grand ambitions at making "cauliflower steaks," proclaiming I was low energy and would make do with leftovers. Of course, when I do leftovers they typically become culinary endeavors unto themselves. Thaw and reheat some pumpkin chili? Sure, but wouldn't the bit left be good with some lentils? And a sweet potato? Oh and there's plenty of napa cabbage and kale that would really pop. And hmmm more onion? You know, I'm not feeling the chili, let's revamp the spice profile with more of a garam masala and ginger sheen... etc. until it's 6:00 p.m. and I hear the garage door growling (at which point I realize I never plugged the rice cooker in, so ... time to make couscous!!!) But considering how much time and effort leftovers took, I'm glad I didn't attempt something that would have required innovative thinking and a lot of produce prepping (read "mess-making with sharp knives"). 

The futzing was restful, and the sofa surfing with my hubba-hubby was decidedly un-irritating (and I have Bhutanese rice for lunch today!) So I come into this day feeling pretty a-ok. A little nauseous from time to time. But a-ok. 

Once we debouch from our haze into the glare of autumn's sunniest (should such a thing continue to occur), I see a beautiful WEEKEND unfolding. Well, after my mother is surgically extracted from the mediation miff that looms over our collective morning. There are several reasons this won't be a tea party. For one, nobody remembered to order the scones. For another, all those other reasons I'd just as soon ignore for another few happy moments of ignorant bliss. 

For now, I'll stare into the haze outside my window and the little pinprick stars of glowing orbs (streetlights? aliens? spirits? who can say) and wish you all a fantastic FRIDAY!!!!!

Caturday Capers and Escape from the Peaks of Lit-Pique

I have escaped the bonds of a bad book! And there was much rejoicing. As I was explaining to a friend recently, I'm the kind of reader who lets a book... um... get to her. While I'm relatively even-keeled in most of my relationships, my relationship with literature may have some strains of borderline personality disorder. I love it. I hate it. It's nothing in between and if it lets me down, oh god will I destroy it ... with my brain. And nothing more. 

The way I see it, literature forms a symbiotic relationship with the readers' imagination, borrowing great portions of any reader's cognitive facilities each time the story is recreated. Overwriting portions of brainspace generally dedicated to the  maintenance of that trusty illusion of identity, even. It's a full-bodied cerebral experience that leaves little room for passivity. As such, it has a stronger effect on me than many other forms of entertainment. With movies and so on, I feel I have a greater ability to choose my level of engagement. I may sit back and let the story present itself to me (while doing a crossword and maybe fixing dinner even). Or I may become fully complicit. But I have that option. 

With literature, I become the conduit and vessel of the art itself. It burrows into my brain. And inevitably, my inner monologue (having been co-opted by a narrator's timbre) picks up the prose-style and tendencies of the piece I'm reading. Which can make me fully rapt. Alternately, I may fall prey to the throes of vituperative viscerating venom against the thing which has so abused my delicate id-self.

I'm more likely to abandon a book halfway through if it's a book I think is "ok" or "meh" or even "well written, but just doesn't grab me" than one I actually dislike. Maybe it's a sunken cost fallacy. A desperate hope that one brilliant ending will justify the time lost on something that has so insulted my supposed intelligence. Maybe I just kind of enjoy a little self-righteous raging.

I'm loath even to admit which book was currently irritating me, because inevitably (1) I cannot talk about my fully frothed annoyance without some sheer hyperbole that may well imply a scathing review not only of the source material but also of anyone who likes the material; (2) at least one person I know and respect and have no intention of insulting inevitably loves any book that I hate. Tastes are funny like that. 

Suffice to say I will eventually froth over and just declare that Gone Girl is - to me in all my righteous roil - not my cup of tea. Really, it strikes me as an awkward attempt to squish Patricia Highsmith into chick-lit. Which is just wrong. It is also obsequiously hip and meta, something it is so hip and meta about that it frequently references the fact that it is being quite hip and meta within the book. Every five seconds, some character or other is mentioning how much they feel like they're a character in a crime novel or tv procedural. Then thinking about how they're thinking about it and how that's really cliche and then becoming cliche and going with it in this endless loop of pointless reflection.

Given that the story is decidedly derivative (though as unlikable protagonist #1 points out more than once, "derivative as a critique is like soooo derivative") of said crime novels and stories, that's appropriate. Which could well be exploited for an interesting tension between the happenings of a crime-novel formula and characters of a more realistic bent. I think there are hints we might try to exploit that. But instead, they just kind of conform increasingly to cardboard cut-outs of more interesting-and-less-overwroughtly-explained predecessors. 

None of them are particularly engaging or likable in that way that horrible people in really good thrillers tend to be. The villainous victim (yeah, I don't think anyone who's ever read a cliff notes of a mystery or noir could call it a spoiler to say that "Diary Amy" is a fake and our heroine is apparently a "brilliant" sociopath... except when she's a naive moron) is always a chance for a seductive anti-hero, but instead she's just so annoying that she made the annoying Diary Amy persona slightly less so by comparison. There's no ambivalence or ambiguity exploited or utilized. It's all so obvious for a book promising miles and miles of twists and turns. Painfully, insultingly obvious. And unremarkable. But in this sort of blecky way that still makes my inner dialog go a little crusty and bleak and suspicious of the institution of marriage. 

Maybe less psycho chic-lit than revenge chic-lit passed off as noir for bitter divorcees of average intelligence who want to feel clever. Ok, see where I said I go all judgmental and hyperbolic? I don't really mean that, but I'm in a froth. 

I started this "literary" endeavor because David Fincher went and made a movie out of it. And that had all these fairly intelligent reviewers coming out and comparing it to the book. Some of them had high praise for the book, making me rethink my previously "no thank you" to the whole affair. I still have hope for the movie because (1) since it is so derivative of prior crime stories, the story itself - with a more interesting ending - actually has been and could again be quite functional in the proper hands, (2) David Fincher made Fight Club, which made a generation of smart kids benightedly believe that Chuck Palahniuk was the voice of our disaffected generation (he's not, but when your concept of Fight Club starts with the movie... you give the book and its subsequent carbon copies a lot more leeway for several years before realizing you've been had). 

Regardless, it's a bloody f-ing relief to wash a painfully prosaic pablum from my inner voice with a refreshing chaser of something else! Anything else! In this case, a series of short stories called Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen RuRussellThank you, Ms. Russell for not sucking horribly (har har, vampire joke!) 

And I'm off and on to my Caturday capering! I have already been out shopping, nearly requiring an ark to make it to the store with the passing tsunamis. And Andrew is hearty and hale enough to make it back to his four hour bike ride plans. I'm sure he'll survive. Hopefully. But if he doesn't, I swear he like is totally a brilliant sociopath who set me up with some massively over complicated (but BRILLIANT) plans. You'll see. When you find the second diary that he inscrutably is keeping after the first one and intersperse it with my self-conscious half-truths of a snivel fest... oh you'll see those Marionettes weren't just whistlin' Don Giovanni!! 

Of Big Rocks and Little unCookies Saturday gone (not hugely) wild

Yesterday was not the kitchen bacchanalia that I had anticipated. Those hempy norms quite craftily wove a polyphonic counterpoint to all my little mousy plots. Immediately after getting all my produce and prep stuff sprawled and smooshed across the kitchen, my presence was demanded elsewhere. Requiring a hasty repackaging, half-hearted "clean" and a rush back out the door yet again to barrel down streets and avenues towards far flung destinations. I can't complain about this too vociferously. My throat is hoarse from all the moaning yesterday, after all. 

Also, well,  the interruptions were generally pleasant affairs. After the first attempt to make my version of pico (not really at all, but the chopped onions, parsley, and peppers I add to my morning meal), I was off for a walk in the highly atmospheric Zuanich Park (Bellingham's bigger harbor). We hit a window between deluges and even saw glints of sunlight glinting from the roiled tides beyond us.  

Upon my return, I had just enough time to mop the hurricane I'd left behind, and extract most of the produce for a mostly finished pepper and onioning. Well, turns out that I left a bunch of cabbage and parsley and onions and peppers stashed in the salad spinner and promptly forgot about them for the rest of the day. Oh the joyfully pungent discoveries of later days. But just enough time to mostly give the food processor its second what-for that day. 

No more time. Not before Andrew - who'd been out in the Chuckanuts plummeting down even steeper hills than usual - requested a pick up in Fairhaven because "something was up" with his fork. Turns out it was less of an emergency than I'd interpreted in my dervish back through the stashing-everything-in-containers-in-the-fridge-and-fleeing-the-house routine (going on Tour in Spring of 2015 - reserve your tickets now!). I arrived in a glutted and thoroughly clogged Fairhaven about twenty minutes before Andrew puttered in on his bike. That time was well spent dredging the clotted neighborhood for something remotely resembling a parking spot. Eventually, I just picked him up on the curbside after he'd left his little treasure in the capable hands of the Bike and Ski people.  

Needless to say, I'd not really anticipated all this kitchen nonsense taking longer than "the morning" so I also hadn't had lunch by the time we got back (just around 2:30). Finally did eat and finally made it to the hummus I'd  expected to finish at roughly 11:30 a.m. that morning. All the several grander culinary conceits have been waylaid and ziplocked. They are on their way to the freezer at this rate. 

After the grand kitchen finale, we did have a pleasant evening excursion to Big Rock Garden, one of the little hidden gems of Bellingham's extensive park system. Beautiful Japanese gardens strewn with commissioned sculptures and related arts. Slowly zenned me back out of "AAAAA" kitchen-panic mode. 

This morning, I tried to make up some of the kitchen-crafting difference by making some protein bars and a new recipe experiment of uncookies. My last had mashed banana, oats, applesauce, and spices. Bananas are anathema to Papa T. He made it through one without realizing the "secret ingredient" but awareness exponentially increased from there. So I thought I'd try to replicate without the banana. Applesauce, peanut butter, oats, some jam and spices. Could definitely have used a little honey, though I like them in their nearly savory form. 

We are just about off for our run, so I'm jotting this out a bit more rapidly and less elaborately than generally, but I assure you, I'll be having far more strange fantastical thoughts just about all of you while I plod around the lake. And/or about the painful callous on my right outer arch that is making running a little uneven. One of those. 

Moonday Mystifications and Morning Pother - Socktober to the Rescue

It has come to this: I'm on the brink of booting up my SAD light. Like turning on the heat, firing up the ol' mini-nova represents a point of no return on the season
, rife with portent symbol and onerous omens of darker days ahead. Not something to be taken lightly (har har PUN!). 

Sure it's a little chilly, but it's not cold enough yet! Sure, it's pitch black when I rise and for several hours afterwards, but it's going to get so much worse that's it's virtually mid-summer in Alaska hereabouts by comparison. The days have several more hours to lose before the hiemal quietus to our sanity manifests in perpetual ash of our sparsely day-almost-lit hours. 

Sparking up the incalescence and luminescence feels a bit like (1) admitting defeat, because obviously the seasons and I are in an epic battle, (2) wasting fire-power and risking early hedonic adjustment. Or something. Maybe I'm just lazy. But soon. Very soon, I'll stop stumbling through the mornings in somnambular stupor and instead grope blinkingly through the blinding happy rays. Eventually, it may even grow cool enough to turn off the office fans. Ok, probably not. I hear they're revving up the boiler now, which means it's probably just going to even more infernal in our twelfth floor boiler room. Just watch, we'll have to run the a/c all year round!

Yesterday was, however, one of those days that doesn't quite merit the heat/light combo. Yes, it was a touch cinereal and moderately damp, but with bursts of sun and a certain warmth. Perfect running weather. Just cool enough to make my and head lungs happy, but only so cool that my hands got tepidly numb and blue. Once we hit the forties, my fingers will go gelid no matter the insulating layers I pile on top. Really, by the forties, my toes may start losing sensation. But fifties are fine by me. 

As Mr. (W)right discovered (or desperately tried not to discover) upon asking what appeared to be the very simple question "would you like to start increasing our run times together": I have this lingering ambivalence about running. I love running. It got me through my first year of law school. Yes, I dread it before every run, but by the second mile I am soaring. Yes, I keep injuring myself, but hell I do that in the kitchen. Once I'm out there, there is nothing more meditative or transcendent. Just me, the pavement, my breath and my steps. It's magical. 

But in my current hormonal predicament, I can't help noticing that it was when I started running that everything went wonky. Granted, I started running specifically to deal with nuclear levels of stress-fall-out and this coincided with a drastic loss of weight which I've dubbed "the law school thirty" (everyone either gains or loses it, but that first year will transform ya one way or another!)

And honestly, I think it's the combination of underfeeding myself for my activity level, and continuing to mix running with dancing with aerobics with yadda yadda yadda that really did me in. And that then, despite an ongoing sense of unease, I masked the symptoms with birth control and decided not to deal with it until we were at least arguably "ready" to head towards possible fecundity for fear of either terrifying a not-so-ready boyfriend or stumbling into some kind of "oh it would just figure" sort of discovery along the way. In that natural way of human  beings who will blame themselves for things far out of their hands because at least that blame gives them a faint illusion of control, I feel like I didn't listen to myself and kept on running. Yeah, running's become symbolic of all the stuff above. 

So when I read in my endo's flier that maybe I wasn't even supposed to get beyond "four hours of moderate activity" (maximum HR 140 bpm, which is about twenty BPM below my average running HR) a week... well, like all of us as patients, I have a way of undermining myself on the one hand, and flying into hypochondriac manias on the other. I have gained weight, but not as much as I proclaimed I would/should (still hovering at just 130, which is technically healthy but not really). And, well, for a while I was running, working out, etc. etc. on top of the usual several miles of treadmill walking a day. I like it. It's my lifestyle. If I don't have to change it, I'd rather not. But what if I ought to? 

 The arch injury was kind of a relief. It made any ambivalence between my athletic drive to over-push and my miserly drive to over-conserve (plus the cerebral compulsion to overthink) a moot point. But now that my foot has recovered... well, I was at least able to say "it's just 30 minutes a week. That can't really do all that much. " As if magically each minute added to that "only" has an exponential impact. 

I love running. And I'm horribly jealous that Andrew gets to do it with little impact on his health. And that if I bag out, what was once my thing when we first started dating will become his thing instead of at least our thing. And maybe I'm more competitive than I think or maybe I just hate being left out, but the fact that he already does more of it than I do (especially after this last year) does make my inner child do a pouty face. Which is the same pouty face (tumid lip and all) it makes when he attempts to retract his offer that "we" do more running and suggests he can just do it midweek. 

At any rate, the real moral is: This is why you don't ask Adella even the simplest sounding of questions right before bed, or at any time where you aren't ready for at least twenty minutes of omphaloskeptic dialog as she rounds the corners of every single facet inherent. And don't think there won't be a pop quiz at some point in the future about how this simple question relates to that time when she was three and realized her parents were not god and mortality was the bittersweet spice of life.

This is why, instead, you wait until just after a run - when her brain is too amped up on endorphins and already bitter than she has had to stop, to ask this question. Because then she'll most likely just say "ok, but let's work up gradually. Now excuse me, I NEED TO EAT. And SHOWER. Possibly at the same time!!"

Fortunately, between giddy and ponderous, most of the day fell into a loosely efficient half-focus. We watched The Corpse Bride (another October movie I've long coveted and now finally own). We took a nap (oh the indulgence).

And I made my hackneyed variation on aloo gobhi. With red rice instead of basmati. With a garnet "yam" instead of potato. And with maybe not enough sauce. Really, the recipe let me down on the one area to which I remained devout (well mostly). It was delicious but about half as much as I would have liked in ratio to my small head of cauliflower, half yam, onions, peppers, and chickpeas. I could have eaten the sauce like a kitty lapping from a saucer, but instead I had to allow that it had absorbed into the veggies. Ah well. 

And today is Monday. I see pallid promises of sunlight peeking twixt strata and hilltop, while I eye my light box suspiciously. It is whispering sweet nothings in my direction, which I fortunately cannot hear over the Wind Machine that still chugs along beside it!

Socktober Scourges: Pharmacopeia O'Fear-and-Fun and the Blue Finned Orange Barracuda Nipping at TerrifyingTarsi

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation: Do you hear the sobs of the chickens in the distance? Pleading for pudla and chanting the psittacistic psittacosis of eco-vega-vita-guilt... our heroin warped to her inner yippie, facing near starvation and a pancake sandwich before a (W)right recovery. The sockening began! Trees quivered cayenne and amber hued, while churlish chinooks wafted in with ghouls and goblins aroil. Shots across the forward bow hit some viruses but not all, as our hero succumbed to the ghastly lurgy. 

Coming up: The menacing menagerie take flight in a flurry of sick-day sorcery. Will the Jewels of (W)rightlandia be lost to a phlegmy gasp, hack and rasp. Or will they turn out to be in Adella's pocket all along? A deep spelunk inward as our heroine moves from eggs of wrath to lunar ova landings in unerotic locales. At the deepest point of shadow-self, she finds the next direction along the treasure map o'uberty. Will her ride along the fiercer, paler barracuda carry her through cumuli to her prickly FSH fantasia, or will the lurking calcium assassin off her long before? And dates daubed in oils: a far-flung friend celebrates the rites of aging with a special trek to urban art. Will Adella blast the birch in her bacchanalia of birthday hullaballooing?  Will a blue-finned seaworld bring love and peace and a tint of anxiety to our hacking honey-doves? 

Rustle up your smocks, stockpile the kleenex and power up your spreadsheets to plunge the mysteries below... 


Aerial Porcines Versus Soaring Simians No Animals Were Harmed in the Making of this Half-Assed Sick-Day Header

So, that ballet I was mentioning. I assume it actually happened. I can't say it didn't. But I can't say it did either. Really, given the inevitable errata of human memory, I can't say much of anything objective about the past. I suppose one step further, the distortions in our perceptions would put the quietus on saying much objective about the present either. And the future doesn't exist. Unless it does. And it is also the past and/or the present and/or time is an illusion because all time stopped in 79 A.D. and why the heck are we so obsessed with it anyways? 

But this aside, before the meander through the non-heuristics of existence, I was more aiming towards the comment that yesterday turned into a sick-day. Andrew was even waner and weaker than the day prior. So deep was his ailing that he voluntarily (and without coaching) took a pass on doing a run or a bicycle workout. Upon rising, in fact, he promptly voiced his disinclination  to go out of the house 
in groggy gravelly timbre at all. Somewhat tanking our whole Seattle excursion plan, which requires leaving the house quite decidedly. After some initial cellular scurrying, I passed on my initial inclination to pass the tickets on. They sit inutile and expired on our bookshelf. 

Yes, I could have gone stag, but I've been stoically (yeah, right) nursing my own sore throat and dotty head for the last few days. I figure I'd just as soon stem full symptomatic 'xplosion off at the pass. And, besides, Stand (or, in this case, lay prostrate) By Your Man and all that crap!

Given my tangos with various klutzy mishaps throughout the day, I suspect staying home was a wise call. I began the morning by throwing a fair fit over my absent keys. They were, of course, in my pocket. But I only discovered this after uprooting the house over the course of a half hour and several prat falls. I proceeded to spill a large bag of water all over the sink-area. The water of course b-lined for our paper-towels, which have osmosed into a uniform DAMP. I threw my phone at the ground, nearly dislodging the pretty peacock on the back of my case. I splashed a half cup of coffee all over our clean dishes. I upended my pudla past the pan and into the oven flame beneath it... 

So, instead of tearing down to Seattle, Mr. (W)right and I tore it up on various cushy surfaces. In between wallows, I did go for a walk at the harbor and another tour of Fred Meyer's. Out of eggs (let's not read too much into that, please) and still feeling indecisive. Too many choices, not enough information. Might as well just go with DEATH EGGS and have done.

More importantly, I purchased a few of my Halloween movies that have intransigently resisted availability via streaming: Coraline and Corpse Bride. Andrew hadn't seen either, because he's been living in a bubble his entire life (we call it: his head). We've at least righted that score regarding Coraline now. It's very important I have access to my seasonal movies. Paranorman, at least, is available widely on streaming. Several more can be recorded on my mom's DVR. But Coraline and Corpse Bride have eluded my grasp for a few Halloweens. I'd call this day a victory based on that acquisition alone. 

Since I'd anticipated being gone all day, dinner was set up at about 6 a.m. Most of the cooking and kitchenry whirlwinding had also been wrapped up the prior day. It made kind of an off-day for both of us. Which was nice. I do love being able to rummage around the kitchen and take care of the house.  Maybe I'm still a kid at heart, but it often still feels like I'm playing house more than just maintaining my own house. That said, it's hard to sit still in the house nowadays. There's always something needing attention. Something that could be done. Andrew blocks it out with a certain masculine panache that I admire but am loathe and ill-equipped to emulate.

Yes, this confirms all sorts of gender stereotypes that will doubtless play an increasing role in our lives. My sister posted an article titled "Having One Parent Stay Home is a Luxury... For the Other Spouse." I can imagine. Though I am neither a parent, nor a stay-at-homer, there's an obvious progression from patterns I notice in our DINK life to the stay-at-home strain. When I have time off, I tend to instinctively (and maniacally) channel it towards domestic upkeep in some way or other. 

I work less and have more time, so I have already taken over the cooking and baking (helps I enjoy it more). I do the day to day cleaning since the cooking and baking makes most of the mess and once I've started I might as well continue. While we both do our individual laundry, I'm probably the one washing the towels and the sheets 99% of the time. Not that Andrew wouldn't, but I'm honed to be aware of it long before he is. And I can't rest until things are handled in some way. When he has the same amount of time off, he really can (and it's an admirable skill, I repeat) devote all of his focus and energy to leisure, bike projects, computer games, staring at the internet... 

Easy to see that projecting forward. From an economic perspective, partners confabulate to have one parent do the tasks that they would otherwise pay somebody to do - cleaning, cooking, childcare - in lieu of working to afford that level of care. There are intangible advantages to having the parent/spouse take those things on, but you can simmer it down to a job that isn't externally compensated or clearly delineated. And, as many stay-at-homes have remarked, there is no off-time. Not really. The working spouse has a spectrum of contexts to aid in the off-work-on-work hat-donning. Maybe smart phones and telecommuting have obfuscated this distinction, but there still is a separate home/work sphere.

When s/he gets "off work" then s/he comes "home" and expects some level of downtime. If the working spouse were single, then s/he would spend that downtime taking care of the domestic duties and self-care. Since there's another spouse, they have a lot of that covered already. Probably in a more elaborate and pleasant way than they would have had the energy or impetus to do. So, yeah, kind of a luxury. 

Quite the tangent, but when I watch myself spending all weekend fussing about the house without coming down to roost, I think of my sister and that article. And I get it. 

Having a day where I didn't really allow myself to do much fussing was enlightening. Oh I did some. Dinner still needed attention (I overfilled the slow cooker by a fair margin and had to strain about six cups of soup out before I could add the final ingredients) and there were several rounds of cleaning to go. It still took some bouts with restlessness in the meantime to roost down (ok, pace) with a book for a spell between naps and movies and offering to buy lozenges or other things for the ailing man-beast. 

And back to work with me! -Ish. I actually have a fair amount of business out of the office. A WCP board meeting which should prove more interesting than anticipated. One of our board members injured himself with a chainsaw and has promptly withdrawn from group membership. A little more complicated because we had an event planned at his home in less than a month. And lest I get too embroiled there, I have another ultrasound this afternoon to see if I get to switch up from looby lady pills and patches to high doses of orange barracuda in my eternal quest to ride horses on beaches in breezy blanche palazzo pants. 

Hoping your day is full of happy monkeys that hop more than fly. 

Mega-Super-Ultra Sounds of Mainly Marvelous Madness And other tales of a frenetic first work-day

Another Monday, another mad rush to everywhere but the office. Well, I was in fact at the office yesterday, but with a number of interruptions as seems to be my Monday wont. 

Not that I - in substantial ways - wanted to flee from a board meeting to Mt Baker Imaging in order to have a strikingly unerotic encounter with an ultrasound wand. Some people gaze into their navels. I personally prefer to look much deeper and employ the marvels of modern medical science to find my deeply inner self displayed in inscrutable maritime tv broadcast. How ultrasound techs find anything in that morass of gray palpitating material is beyond me, but it's oddly calming fodder for meditation during an uncomfortable spell of time.

For all I know, I could be looking at footage of the moon landing, but I suppose it's fascinating to see myself from the inside. Pretty sure I found my shadow-self, several manifestations of id, and what I'm told was some representation of lady-parts. No sphynx cats incubating up in there. At least not that anyone told me.

 But good news is that whatever the endocrinologist was looking for was indeed there. That means I get to add a whole new hormone protocol to my practice: Prometrium! No, not Prometheus. I don't - thank god - have to watch that inscrutable whacked out flick in calculated drabs for the next twelve days to hopefully induce a cycle. Prometrium is the brand name for what I was once coining the orange barracuda. Except this is a little... different. I won't wax on about the delivery mechanism on this one except to say that it expands my repertoire of absorption mechanisms and, well, it's only for twelve days. 

If I can actually get the scrip. My regular contact at SRM wasn't working yesterday, so the woman who called did say that she would call it in to my pharmacy. So far the pharmacy hasn't gotten any calls. I don't know if that's just a lapse in timing or if she called the wrong pharmacy. So, glad I called ahead to check. I even went to the most likely "other" pharmacy somebody might mistake mine for just to check. No dice. Ah well. One more day won't kill me. 

Between the board meeting (fascinating Collaborative Law stuff but too damned amazing to share here without blowing minds into a fever pitch of liability), I did rush about a bit so I'd be ready in the afternoon for our return to pilates. Pilates is great. But like all routines, once you've broken faith with it for a spell, getting back (and abs and intercostals) into it is terrifying. My mom and I had to set a date and commit unquestioningly to make it up to that workout room. Nevermind that I'd forgotten my workout clothes. Nevermind that Andrew usually gets home earlier on Mondays, and I wanted to deal with the beans I'd left in the slow cooker, make yogurt, make lunches, make dinner, and buy eggs/milk before he did. 

In frenzy of determination, I sped to the Freddy's between downtown and home.  After my cunctation had quandried me into an eggless quagmire, I ended up buying basically the poshest eggs they had on sale.  I think those hens had regular massages, spoke fluent French and Latin, and were raised on a series of all organic kale-chia-flax-goji smoothies to supplement their regular yoga routines. Andrew said he couldn't taste a difference, but the sheer ingestion of such products has puffed him up several magnitudes in smugness. Yes, yes they were the price of nearly three cartons of the cheapo kind. Not the ones I'd intended to buy, but... the rest were sold out and it was a harried, hurried time. Then I bought skim milk (not my thing, I'm a full fat gal in dietary habits if not always in figure) by accident. Not my most successful shopping venture all in all. 

But gosh dagnadamnidarnit, I made it to pilates! And it was lovely to return. She held off on the few exercises that I really dread. And, due to an absence of the heavier weights, I took it a little easier. Which is probably good. I do have a tendency to injure myself somehow. 

And, because fortune casts a sweet little Mona Lisa smirk at me from time to time, Andrew had motive and opportunity to stay later at work. Which was a blessed relief after I came home from my empty-handed pharmacy quest to an endless to-do list, a chaotic kitchen, and an addled brain. Things pulled together by the time he returned, but just barely. I think I had managed to finally sit do two crossword clues before his victorious homecoming. 

So again I'm at a Tuesday that feels like it oughta be at least Wednesday. But I think I can handle the distemporitis at this point. If plans are what they were last week, I believe I'll be seeing Azita at the gym soon, which should reorient me back in time for the DRC shift. Yes, I really do sometimes spend time at the office (the secret being that I come in at 6 a.m. which gives me a little wiggle room to shake my scheduling-samba hips).

May your Tuesdays tickle your tra-la-la, and may we all make it to Wednesday with a minimum of fuss!

Promie Pro and the Excel_lent Spreadsheet Another Tuesday, another TGI Dromedary Day

Hello orange barracuda, my old frenemy. You, of the soporous soten snoozes and the diurnal dazes. We have returned from estrogen cocktail (as in the pill-patch combo, not as in Cosmo with a cherry garnish served in a spiffy glass on lady's night) land to the oaky progesterone chaser. I will continue to exercise discretion on exactly how progesterone chases the other meds I take, but it turns out that the "pills" I had been taking are the same ones I've been prescribed on this go-around. Just with drastically differing instructions. Can't say which one floors me more, but it's going to be an "interesting" twelve days in my next phase of Adella-as-a-lovely-little-lab-rat. 

Needless to say, I slept pretty soundly last night. And reality is still a bit buoyant and squidgy to my brain this early foggy morning. I feel a bit like I'm moving through warm gel; this is not an entirely unpleasant situation, though somewhat dissonant with the clammy mist hovering about town. 

Rather fortunate that I had my day of intense focus yesterday. There's plenty to do today as well, but yesterday was a flow-state and flow-chart kinda day. There's a case we don't pay much heed to (it got shelved by everyone, including the parties once a mediation was scheduled several months back) that is now due for mediation.

Both parties are cagey in their different ways. Our client is just a bit unclear at all times. In that stridently certain way that makes efforts to glean eensy nuggets of clarification a Gladiatorial task. The other party is kind of a "charmer" as well, and his irrational and untenable positions seem to be supported by his attorney (whose take on Washington State law is ... creative? subversive? post-post-modern?). 

There's a long history before we got involved, of course as well. And several substantive issues that haven't even been addressed, given a high level of distraction over a minor issue. So, a day of spelunking for Adella led to a fairly sound (though as yet unsupported with documentation or solid numbers) mediation letter, and several proposed papers. I'm proud of my beautiful bouncy baby pleadings. 

And in the afternoon, I made a pretty! Finally had time to hammer together the Excel case status sheet for foreclosure cases that I'd discussed with Luke several eons ago. Not sure what he'll do with it from here, but it is awfully attractive. I can't believe I haven't learned excel earlier. It is such an Adella piece of software. You can make columns different colors and text go all which ways. Oh and I guess it's pretty powerful for tracking and sorting and whatnot too. I was so proud of my little accomplishment that I took a picture to share before remembering that there were remnants of confidential client information on it. Darn. It was, though, I assure you, pretty. 

In between, I tried my darndest to be sociable by leaving the office to meet Azita at the gym as previously (I thought) planned. She was, of course, a no-show. Hey, I tried. But glad I didn't wait around too long. Didn't hear back from her until 4 p.m. That would have been quite the camp out in the YMCA lobby. Nice place and all, but I have my limits. 

Today it appears our client has provided nothing of use (several other things of course), so I can remain in my little daze for at least a while longer before a mad dash and a grand punt. By punt I mean "throwing the half-baked papers on somebody else's desk while screaming NOT IT!!!"

And for the rest of the vagaries of today I second that emotion: 1-2-3- NOT IT!!!!

Except for lunch. Lunch is totally it for me!

Happy dromedary day!

Calcium Death Lozenges and the Big Blue Fins of Maine

Yesterday was not a great day for swallowing. First, my mom attempted to retracted a minor gleam of drool and managed to inhale a hostile crouton crumb into her larynx. Her diaphragmatic paroxysm resounded from shore to shore, though no medics were required. Moral being: to drool is human; to choke on a breadcrumb, disgusting and likely to end you up with more production of spittle than the original salivatory offender. In the argot of today's kiz: it rulz to droolz. 

To follow suit, last night I managed to supplement my supplementation routine with a good gaga gag of an attempt at swallowing a rather large calcium pill. It's my own fault. Instead of sagaciously swallowing one pill at a time, I got impatient and threw the handful in my mouth for one fell gulp. Should I say, attempted gulp?

Generally the pharmacopeia o'fun followed my intent and river rafted down with the glug-glug of water accompanying it. The calcium horse pill, however, tried to make a break for it. Doing a semi-somersault, it managed to lodge itself in my throat and hang on for dear life. Didn't want to come up and didn't want to go down. I'm sure it would have eventually disintegrated to a swallowable point had I been capable of patience, but given that every slight tremor of throat initiated a violent gag reflex, I wasn't quite able to wait it out.

Just shy or regurgitating my entire handful (plus dinner), I finally managed to down another two glasses of water and coax the cantankerous calcium to its proper destination. Amazing any of us are alive some days. 

I hope that's not a key to how my day went yesterday. I think, other than my near gag experiences, I had a pleasant day. Bestie-Molly has a birthday next week. Marcus will be out of town, so I'd started to work up the nerve to ask her out for some celebratory hoorah with some texting. 

I'm generally convinced that inviting people out - especially busy parents who never sleep and occasionally bemoan their guilt and distaste for constantly turning down their childless friends' unrealistically exuberant invitations - is an imposition. It takes a lot of strategy for me to reach the inviting period (thank god I'm not a high school boy in the 1950's trying to go steady).

After some intimations that I might be abducting her and forcing her to celebrate at Chuck-E-Cheese, I succeeded in getting an invite from her to try something called Uptown Art. It's an art class. It's a party. It's an art class. It's a party! It's an art class AND a party (or at least gathering space for hip youngish grown-ups spending a different kinda night on the town). You sign up for a three hour class in which everyone learns how to paint the same painting (with instructor help). And there are drinks. We both figured it was just interesting enough and just out of character enough to be a perfect birthday excursion.It's not clubbing all-nighters with friends who can't hold their liquor... thank god. But it's exciting. And staying out past 10:00 on a Wednesday? I feel so wild! Naturally I'll have to take a nap first. 

And last night was date night! Craving sushi (by which I mean wasabi and avocado re-wrapped in some seaweed after I've skimmed off most of the rice), I would have easily defaulted to our stable staple, Lakeway Teriyaki. It's a no frills kind of semi-strip mall joint, but they make nice sushi at a good price. Since I actually do watch our bank statements, I can tell you that we go there a lot. And date night is theoretically supposed to be about doing something a little special, a little different, and maybe re-channeling some of that initial discomfort and uncertainty of pre-marital dating. As such, I went totally and absolutely wild by suggesting three other potential Japanese restaurants.

We settled on Blue Fin Sushi. Located between a dentist and a Pizza Hut Bistro by a McDonald's, it's strip-mallesque, for sure, but an ambient sort of strip mall. We'd previously been thwarted in attempts to dine there by a twenty  minute wait. For whatever reason, this was not the circumstance last night. Last night, patronage was sparse and service was zealously attentive. The maki was meh, but Andrew got his beloved bento box, and I got avocado and seaweed. The server helpfully informed me that next time I might want to get the avocado nigiri if I wasn't totally into the rice. 

And today is a tip of the toe to Thursday! More fun with spreadsheets peradventure! More mucking about with actual trial preparations (the horror)! And hopefully more sockage. There's a whole 'nother half of this month to haunt with ghoulish toes, after all.