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… 


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. 

Go-Pro Cats and Carnage on the Cobblestones: the Struggle for Power Peaks at the Peaks

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation: Cameras quaked, as Brim Brothers rumbled with promises of power. Mr. (W)right fell pray to succulent temptations and submerged in its turgid typhoon. His clever consort was helpless to aid, drowning in eddies of tangoing timelessness. And cycles whirred in far flung lands, wresting veganism from the the bosom of dusty tomes. And the hot day submerged into the the crib crypt.

Coming Up: Frisky foreign felines fluff their pedigreed fur atop oleaginous cobblestones. Will Adella's dancing companion go mad under the weight of the oriental purr? Hearts will beat to the boom boom of the old box. Will the truth about hibernation thrust a barrier between beau and belle? The interrogations heat up amid Swiss cheese schedules. Will the introvert crack her compatriots? And the final push for power pulls our hero into the arms of another woman! Will our couple reunite on the morrow? Will the cloud consume its offerings?

Bounce gingerly atop the cobblestones, avoid the carnage and discover the answers below. 

Crazy Cat-Lady and the Cranky Cobblestones 

I'm at work. Which is totes reeedonkulous considering I could be at my mom's house coopting her television and watching the perilous and equally reeeedonkulous "Cobblestone Stage" of Le Tour de Awesome. "The cobblestones??" you query benightedly. Oh yes. In the spirit of the WWE and every reality show everywhere, I guess the Tour organizers decided that ramming cyclists with news cars, tossing insane fans into the middle of the toughest climbs, sticking a bus underneath the end-sprint line, and throwing cyclists into wire fences just wasn't tantalizing enough (anyone who thinks cycling is a dull sport has not seen the weird crap that happens on the tour - and I'm not just talking about the heavily dyed livestock or the half naked screaming french men dressed as satan).

So instead of just going old-school sadist and throwing in a few stages of glute-guzzling vertical, they are doing the race over portions of cobblestone. Which is a recipe for bumper bikes, seas of wipe outs and the elimination of several otherwise strong contenders. Which irks me (I think this kind of risk is unnecessary to the race and appears to exist solely for "mixing things up"), but of course - like any good train wreck - I can't quite look away. I'm pretty much glued to the dodgy BBC Live News Update ticker. 

 I don't really ride, so this is hardly firsthand, but I have walked over cobblestone before. And it's not easy to stay upright sometimes. In fact, after two days of wandering around Roman cobblestones, I had to spend an entire day of my whylum Italian summer o'Teenage freedom with a leg elevated. I spent the rest of the trip with various makeshift scarf-braces, and about another year of repeating ankle injuries that seemed to have jump-started from my cobblestone cavortings. 

It's also raining today. So basically, it's a big torturous slog fest and everyone is slip-sliding all over the place. Now all they need to do is start littering banana peels and cherry bombs from the backs of the pacer bikes. 

At any rate, Chris Damned-Adorable Froome wiped out yesterday and a couple of times today, and has called it quits. This breaks my throbbing little heart. I really like Froome on a personal level, and not just for his buttery accent. He just seems like kind of a decent guy in a sport that can be dominated by alpha males and princesses (glad that's changing - and no, Sagan gets a free pass from any considerations of alphabetism, royalty, or decency). I liked that he was kind of dopey, and always looked fairly awkward on his bike. Really, if the (W)rights end up going the modern fertility route someday, I am hoping to clone him and give my hubby a little baby Froome to join him on mountain climbs. But, I guess this year is not his year. Maybe that means he can join equally adorbs Christian Vande Velde in the NBC Sports Commentator box o'crazy.

While I'm listing adorable cyclists: Sagan (duh), Talansky, and Voegler. Yes, my new hit tv show will be TdF Babies and will feature the above mentioned mini-cyclists. They will solve crimes on the alps with their bikes while battling Catastrophe Contador and Berserker Voit.

And with that I bid an adieu to Mr. Froome and acknowledge I really oughta get back to work... in a bit... soon. Or other activities.

Yesterday I got work done. More importantly, I also had coffee with an extraordinarily ebullient friend of mine from those halcyon ballroom days of yore. She and I connect maybe quarterly, and she fills our brief colloquys with a bubbly burble of peppy palaver. I appreciate,this, since her chatter is neither boring nor heavily taxing on my introvert conversational contributional caches.And I always learn something.

. Yesterday, I learned about the world of cat-shows, South East Asian feline breeding, and South East Asian feline breeds. She had owned two Siamese - the old school kind, not the freakishly bred show-Siamese - for 18 years. One just passed on and the other is lonely. During the grieving process, she's been attending various regional cat-shows and hunting down breeders. Because she's a diehard Siamese-classic fan and these are hard to find. Because, again, there is a difference between New-Siamese and Siamese Classic. Apparently the modern show Siamese are freakish, being bred to exaggerate the Siamese features to cartoonish effect. She is not a fan of ears the size of spindly torsos.

After several Siamese leads ending in blue-eyed mutts and crushed dreams, she expanded her horizons with the help of an Idahoan breeder to include Burmese cats. Mind you, these are Euro-berms, not American Burmese, This again is totally different. I guess Burmese cats are similar in coloring and intelligence to Siamese, but friendlier.  After falling in love with a Burmese named Zombie - a kitten she may someday receive but which may be too pedigreed not to stay with the cat-show circuit, she expanded her search once again to include Tonkinese. Tonkinese are a cross-breed of Siamese and Burmese. There are also, now, Thai cats, which are closer to the original flavor of Siamese cats. At the end of these journeys, she is now locked in with one old-school-Siamese kitten with a hold on a second (so he'll have a brother). She has a tentative hold on Euro-Burm Zombie. And she's got a lead on an upcoming litter of Thai cats. And somewhere in this mix, there was a mutant hybrid of a hybrid that turned out hideous but comes from a new Russian breed of small Siamese with a puff tail... 

Her neighbors are warning her she'll become the crazy cat lady (as if anything is wrong with that), but I suppose my standard for CCL is whether your cats can polish off your remains before anyone discovers you've passed. Otherwise you're just a looby lass who happens to have felines. 

Or lorises... and imaginary child-surrogate sphynx cats. Whatever floats your boat and fits your rental contract!

Anyways, I'd best be back to looking studious and/or watching live updates of crash-fest 2014, so I wish you a day free of tumbles and full of puuurrrrfect little catnaps. 

Forget Headphones, and Boom Boom Box-up The Toes 

For those of you who live in this century, there once was a device called a "boom box" and/or "ghetto blaster" and/or "portable somethingorother device."  Kind of like the portable speakers you may still carry to outdoor dance events if you aren't lazy enough, like me to just make do with your computer. This mythical boom box was a box o'beats, baby. And they stand as tribal totem to my toesies on the tippee toe of Thursday. 

Oh what a Thursday it shall be. I'm determined to make this 7:30 pilates class. Since I'd been hoping to start reworking a midweek run into my schedule and I'll already be in my workout clothes anyways (the largest barrier to fitting a run into my weekday schedule = the hassle of changing), I'm going to add just an eensy amount of running on either end. Still babying the arch, so I want to be gradual about total weekly hours. With my weekend runs comfortably hitting the half hour plus mark, I'm keeping it brief and incidental. 

And after an intermediate spot of work (most likely still in workout clothes, because heck I don't have any appointments today), I'll be off to the DRC for some volunteerism (at which point, I suspect I'll have donned the skirt that I packed along). Then back to work to pick up some hours. And then to my father's house, if he'll agree to my proposal of "dinner." Together, that is. 

Abandoning my darling Mr. (W)right? On a Thursday evening? Never! He's  been swallowed by bike-video-go-pro fever. Having let loose a productive cavil on facebook about his go-pro video conundrums, he's managed to locate a FB friend who edits video professionally to help him out. So tonight he'll be leaving work to have dinner and a movie (so to speak) with some other woman. I'm so threatened I could... amble over to my dad's house and insist on some father/daughter bonding. Andrew seems to think this will be a fairly easy venture (the editing, not the father/daughter bonding).. I'm still envisioning them both up at 5 a.m., chain-smoking and shooting whiskey as they tear their hair over those last minute perfection details. As of this morning, his computer was crashing every time he tried to upload his videos into the cloud, so who knows what he'll have by this evening. 

Knowing we may never see each other again, we took pains to cherish our possibly final date night with a classier little upgrade on Chinese (Xing's Panda Palace has a fishtank and booths and actual cutlery/service plates! Foppish and indulgent, we were). As all the best date nights do, our evening ended with a spell of laying on the bed in our respective heart rate monitor equipment, and comparing resting heart rates. Andrew's dropped down to lower 60s. About 61. Mine was about 43. Apparently my resting heart rate is... lower... than most living human beings. I may, in fact, be a bear in hibernation. Still gets up to 190 on those hills, at least. And when I gaze into my beloved's eyes, I'm pretty sure my heart rate spikes right up, but I can't say because I am looking away from my watch... Obviously, future experiments must be done. 

For most of today, though, I plan to keep it cool and midrange and maybe not entirely hibernating. Because there's a beat in my toes and a song in my brain and I'm ready to barrel through this penultimate climb to the weekend coast!

Peripatetic Prancings in Singlesville and Cycling Video Sirens  Go-Pro goes epic, and Adella stays home

The end of the Brim-Brothers-Why-the-Heck-Did-I-Think-I-Wanted-to-Win-This-Nightmare-of-a-Challenge-to-Receive-a-Loaner-of-Equipment-That-Will-Require-Some-Substantial-Financial-Investments-Just-to-Use Contest o'Crazy Video is nigh! The deadline is some time today. Since the Brim Brothers are Irish, I'm not sure if that's some Greenwich time or if there's a little more of our "Friday" involved, but regardless, something will be submitted as soon as humanly possible. Provided no further computer glitches get in the way. 

Andrew's 2008 laptop has been doddering for years, but this last excursion through narcissism has more or less tanked the poor thing. Or possibly. It was crashing like the Titanic and reached a standstill yesterday where it just wouldn't boot. I guess Andrew eventually did something with the RAM chip and got it chugging along again, but not quite to the finish line of submitting the three minute Go-Pro Odyssey past the shores of Padden. 

All of this happened far afoot, in the lands of Tulalip (a/k/a Casinoland) where some Circe of sorts lured him in with promises of video editing equipment. So cute: when I left the house yesterday morning Andrew said "See you tonight!" Uh huh. I, of course, merely chortled and said "no you won't." I was, of course, right. It was dark when he made it home. Very dark. I don't even know that his eyes were open by the time he crawled into the bedroom (circa 1:30 a.m.). He did not see me that night. 

But he did see me roughly four hours later, when I met him and his alarm of chirpy birds with a cup of coffee. Funnily enough, he's actually easier to wake and rouse when he's racking up these major sleep deficits. I'm guessing because he never plumbed the depths of slumber from which elevation gives one the bends. He was, as is often the pattern, up and ready and downstairs before I'd finished breakfast even. It's the day after that's usually the toughest trowel from torpidity. 

But he survived and I - being my usual self - operated through yesterday with the quite accurate prediction that it was a single-lady night. Usually on track widow nights, I rush home to read and chop vegetables. This time, I maundered home after mid-afternoon to evening merriment and a rather full day. 

Following the theme of parcelling my workday into a  swiss cheese schedule, I started the day at work. For an hour. Then I ran to a pilates class. I was one of two students who'd managed to attend, and the only one who stayed the full time. This was theoretically awkward, but the nice thing about the Y is that it doesn't seem to matter to them if classes reach a certain attendance number. The heartbreaks of group lessons of my dancing days (always underpopulated,and always tentative) don't seem to apply. If nobody else shows, the class carries on. And, maybe, even gets a little harder. We broke out the ballet bars yesterday and did an olio of ballet, gyrotonics, classic pilates, and whatever else came into the instructor's head. It burned. 

That was an hour, upon which I returned to work. And worked. More or less. For about five and a half hours. Then I went to WDRC for two hours.

 I'm having a moment of introvert glow for slowly cracking ajar the floodgates of conversational curiosity. I'm a great listener, but until I am comfortable with somebody, I tend to choke on any inquisition of my interlocutors for fear of prying. I'm personally hesitant to share much and feel very on the spot when subjected to direct questions from people lacking a certain level of intimacy, so - though I know it not to be true - I tend to project my feelings onto others. 

Once I know somebody, I might waylay that person for hours with query upon query. Really once I'm midway comfortable with a person, I'm such a master of dialectic deflection that I can turn any conversation back onto the other person within seconds with a bit of curiosity jiu jitsu and an oddly fascinated ability to switch between that old active listening, agile micro-muscular contractions, and a pretty genuine desire to know more. But that takes some comfort and usually a healthy cache of previously filed information about the other person.

 Usually when I first start getting to know people, I invite others to talk about themselves by forcing out something about myself and trailing out an invitational ellipsis. If the bait is bitten, I reel in with a show of interest, but let the other person set her own level of disclosure.

Generally the progression of curiosity to actual questioning comes out of prior conversations and topics already breached (i.e. "how is that cold?" or "how was your trip this weekend?" the general bland sort of thing). My big "oooh look at me, I know how to socialize" yesterday was asking one of the staff members "What are you doing up there?" (she was moving upstairs to work on something without distraction). And another one "so, where is this potluck?" Amazingly enough in both cases, these little questions were enough to open a fairly involved stream of new information. One of them had recently received a promotion. One of them was seeing her daughter's work place for the first time...  At any rate. 

After patting myself on the back and maybe doing some case management volunteering to boot, I returned to the office for another hour and a half. And then I went to dinner with Papa T, who is actually in town this weekend. We went to D'Anna's, an Italian restaurant a few steps away from his home where the minestrone is tasty and the hipsters are kept at bay by the surrounding micropubs and fancy-pants breweries. 

Only then did I return home and read a bit before bed. Today I'm as bright eyed and bushy haired as usual and ready for my IRB telephonic "uh huh, I actually can't hear you very well" festival of institutional reviewing!

I can taste the Friday and it has a wicked wild aftertaste.