Of Trysts, Tracks, and Typhoons: A Dinkvendture Down South

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabition: Burn baby burn!!! Adella and Andrew blaze the sky and - far more - their bodies with some ubiquitously yuppie individual fitness routines and other habits and hobbies of the physically draining kind.  Blood was drained (and properly analyzed in a suitably sterile lab condition) and gym-goers inadvertently intercepted several mawkish kissy faces between loved ones. 

Coming up: The mentee becomes the mentor?? Or does she merely grab for some mentos and maker herself fresh?? A sordid tryst to the tracks is planned, but in her wild caprice, Adella breaks the weather and wreaks meteorological havoc in the Southern Lands. Speedways are forded and somehow, the organization of super-villainous EI(e-i-oooo) engineers managed to survived the cataclysm that is take your wife to work morning.

Holiday Time Strikes Back (for the children... and track junkies) - 

The last few weeks have featured work and lawyering and trials quite heavily. And it's time for me to say (temporarily, because denial is a beautiful thing) Enough with this work nonsense!! Apparently this is the week where 4th of July Vacation time Strikes Back! A little Monday, a little Wednesday, and a smattering of Thursday are quality hookey time. 

As an appetizer, I skipped Monday afternoon to do an orientation/training/intake with the local Boys and Girls Club. They have a mentoring program called BE GREAT (and what am I if not GRRRREAT? Ok, several adjectives spring to mind, but let's stay on task here). The program pairs volunteer mentors together with kids facing a steeper trek than most making it to high school graduation. As a mentor, I'd meet with one or two kids once a week in a blend of play, encouragement, emotional support, and academic guidance.

I liked the way the coordinator put it, although I admit I find it daunting: We are loaning these kids our personal stability (hey now, knock off the wise cracks... crazy yes, but unstable? Surprisingly, not so much these days). At any rate, I'm excited to be able to give back through an organization I've seen so many good things from (many of our clients have really benefited from the BCC). I know it will probably be as tough and frustrating as it is gratifying, but it is a really cool opportunity. 

And, hey, it's nothing compared to my cousin who - I am not kidding about this - lives in an orphanage and commutes to Texas to basically head a school there. I had lunch with St. Cousin on Monday, after not having seen her in quite possibly fifteen years. She's an unnervingly nice person - the rare kind who may casually and inadvertently drop "God" into her conversation in a way that seems neither phony nor judgmental (nor is she doing so as an imprecation). It's strange to see somebody who is so clearly family on the one hand - similar hereditary traits and tics, intonations I hear in my other cousins and sister, and flashes of childhood adventures or holidays - and yet so utterly unfamiliar on the other. She's a cool person, but from such different context that it was like meeting somebody for the first time.

It was interesting to hear her say something very similar to what I had said only recently about the experience of aunting: I think the first time I really felt like I was inextricably tied to my nephews was when the eldest was probably 5. He'd been in a snit, and I had just wandered into where he'd sulking. We had a conversation about a book he liked and how he liked to help his little brother and just sort of random things that popped into my head, during which time he entirely forgot that he was in the aforementioned snit. It was temporarily transformative for him (at that age every slight movement is of course) and far more for me. Like me, St. Cousin admitted to not having been that interested in her nieces and nephews when they were babies, but that something clicked when the first got to an older age. 
Ah but back to the sheer stability of my hooky-playing this week. I have never seen +Andrew Wright race track, despite it being a topic of garrulous fascination over the last year and change. This is about to change forever. I know, start the dramatic voice over and montage sequence!

After eternal curiosity, I suggested having a tryst night instead of our average date night. We're going to rent a hotel room near Andrew's work on Wednesday night, and I am going to take a vacation day on Thursday. I'll come down for Wednesday evening and watch him fight the orangutans for his golden banana points! It'll be pretty late at night at that point, hence the hotel room (also it just makes it feel like we're fooling around, which entertains me). And it means I could finally see where he works! I'm already anticipatorily tired and excited.  Less excited for all the driving through Everett (a/k/a Abaddon), but I suppose I should see how the other half spends large chunks of his day. 

She Hath Wrought the Rain - There are Track Points For That Right?? - 

So, I'd never seen +Andrew Wright actually racing on the track, despite several colorful tales told and races dissected. I'd seen a few pictures, but - aside from confirming that my husband makes the same death-metal-rocker-with-a-lot-of-fierce-and-a-touch-too-little-fiber-in-his-diet face (you so know there's a German word for that, right??) in these races as in others, it didn't give me the full flavor. So, having some extra vacation time due to not having had holiday time earlier in July, I decided it was time for an adventure! A tryst night!

I located a hotel just down the block from his workplace and suggested that I we stay overnight. That way, I could come see races, since they're always midweek, and we could both be spared a decent chunk of late night commute home. As an added bonus, Andrew does not carpool on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so his staying down here saves him one extra trip a week. And for my chocolate buttercream fondant on this delicious tryst-cake, I could see where he works before heading back to Bellingham at a leisurely pace. Also, hotel! I love staying in hotels! This one was completely to my liking, being the Extended Stay America.I don't know why any one would not prefer them: sure they don't automatically supply you with little shampoos, but the amenities are on par with more expensive hotels and you get a functional kitchen to boot! Little downside for my tastes. 

Hotel was successfully acquired, and the drive accomplished, but inevitably I broke track night!!! See, this is why we can't have nice weather patterns! It's an outdoor track, meaning they are prey to the vicissitudes of changeable meteorological whims. No forecast predicted rain. No forecast was particularly justified in not having done so. Precipation loomed throughout the day, clouds heaved their dewy bosoms up above, and the air itself seemed to have broken out in a cold sweat. But no rain. Not until we got into Redmond. Then, by golly, was there ever rain. Just long enough to douse the track and cancel the evening. Needless to say, we handily returned to looming after that. 

This is the first and only rain-cancellation of the season, so clearly I have cause this. My shame knows no bounds, although it has encountered several lovely unchartered tropical islands for a good holiday from time to time. 

For our exceedingly romantic tryst night, we ended up mostly doing the round trip drive from Mukilteo to Redmond and back. This took about two hours, with a short stop to actually show me the track. I feel so much more a part of my husband's life now. All roads he travels, I have traveled with him now! Since I'd packed a small restaurant with me, he stopped at Jack in the Box on the way home.

 For the evening's entertainment we watched a melange of Judge Dredd, some soccer game, I'm Having Their Baby (or something similarly titled on Oxygen about pregnant women putting their unborn children up for adoption, but then inevitably going into labor early and wanting to keep the baby... this happened twice in the ten minutes we watched), an indie film about an academic going back to his old college and growing up, and a documentary about leopard. Guess which one I found most interesting. 

I do realize it would be a bad idea to have a pet leopard and that cuddling my face into a baby leopard's stomach would be suicide by feline and all, but I still kind of can't help but want to. Leopards were sort of my totem animal when I was a kid. Solitary, elegant, sleek, and sneaky... and it is oddly fascinating watching footage of a leopard hunting and then running off with animals much larger than it locked in its jaw as if it were a frisbee. 

This morning, I am more optimistic about my chances of actually seeing Andrew Wright at work. I don't think that they call work off on account of rain... hmmmm... I guess we'll find out when I try to visit. Hope nothing blows up!

Mukilteo Remains Intact... So Far: 

Yesterday we wrapped up our Wrightscursion Mini-Adventures in Mukilteo. I am happy to report that - while I am the bringer of rain and destruction - I did not manage to raze ElectroImpact to the ground by my mere attempt to visit. I admit to pondering peradventure such endeavors could prompt earthquake, volcanic eruption, or spontaneous combustion of the entire strip-mall-city of Mukilteo. It was not promising when I saw an enormous mechanical dinosaur running pell mell into an E-I(e-i-oooo) building in the parking lot. Fortunately it turns out that this was actually a scheduled demolition and, in fact, the engineers had had quite a lot of jollies vandalizing the place in anticipation of said demolition. I am told that one of +Andrew Wright's took a flying go at it with the company's largest forlift. I could kind of see the damage on one side, although I'm glad to say the jumbo forklift helmed by a rouge engineer was nowhere to be seen.  

In order to make it to Andrew's work, we somehow manged to tear ourselves from that king size bed of wonderment. Hotels are funny places. I can't say the beds are ever exactly comfortable, but I almost inevitably sleep more deeply on my first night in a hotel room. I imagine that the black out curtains don't hurt. And maybe I'm also just more tired after travel generally, but something about that change of context will diminish the number of mid-cycle wakes, and occasionally - very, very rarely - allow me to even sleep in... for maybe a whole ten or fifteen extra minutes (heart attack city, I know!). After a magnificent showing of dalliance, we even located and attended the nearby Speedway Cafe, which was far more of a nautically themed diner than "Cafe" (although they did have quite a lot of cafe and our exceptionally cheery waitress even offered to give us more coffee to go). I was initially quite grumbly about the endeavor, as I brought more than enough of my own food and dreaded the extra hassle of ordering a "breakfast combo #1 hold the everything, sub in coffee" but they actually had a selection of sides to my gustatory likings. And we were not killed attempting to cross the Mukilteo Speedway either time, a sign that we are cashing in on that rained-out karma acquired on Wednesday. 

Aside from razed buildings, E-I(e-i-oooo) has several fully intact industrial type buildings, inside of which are machines roughly two gazillions times the scale of ordinary human imagination. I can only assume that they are en route to world domination. I mean, just consider the name: ELECTROIMPACT!! Just sounds like it's chomping at the bit for nefarious supervillainry. Hopefully all employees and their families will be granted small fiefdoms in the new order. 

I left Andrew and his job intact, with his first fluffernutter sandwich ever in his lunch tupperware. The man had not just not experienced marshmallow fluff as a child, but hadn't even heard of it. I think in our state, that's grounds for CPS involvement! Since we did have that full kitchen, I figured this was a great time to make use of the counter space and knives. His review: "what was that white stuff? It was.. interesting... I ate it and kept thinking... what is this? huh!" I think it might have made more of an impact if he'd been about fifteen years younger. Or maybe a pothead. Fortunately my nephews are coming out soon. I've got grand plans with fluffernutter, fudge, bananas, and maybe some other fruit ingredients... 

But look at my nifty souvenir wrench! This little baby was made with a genuine 3-D printer. Some company brought their smallest printer to E-I(e-i-oooo) for a demo. They didn't exactly know what ElectroImpact might do with it, so they just left it with the engineers to play with for a few weeks! Did I mention Andrew works in an engineer's paradise?

And now that we're back to life as usual, and counting the final hours of the workweek, I'm happy to have had that extra vacation time, and thrilled that somehow, despite all odds, Mukilteo has survived my visit with a minimum of actual damage. 
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