Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohowlaweenitation: Phones come and go, but the cloud is forever. Adella scans the rolls of friendly progeny for future replacement parts, as Andrew's continuing flirtation with bike-alysis promises to increase with age. Crafts of ginger speed our lovebirds on their merry way to the weekend with an avast and a konichiwa! The orange barracuda rises from its primordial depths, devouring all tic-tic-tacs of tango in its path as the DINKS return to their jog-of-terror with arm-warmers and socks aglower in the cooling weather. And a weigh-in goes into the annals with a kerplunk of ambivalent annotations.
Coming Up: Amour nibbles at calves, but will necks be equally spare in the rearranged office spaces of doom and gaslighting?? They will at the opera! Will the fille of the regiment buck all odds and lindy off into provincial bliss? If the fat lady is a man, does that singing count? Return of the juice to rival the orange barracuda. Which witch will whittle which part of Adella's brain into sawdust?? The rabbit entourage expands with aplomb at the arrival of Aragaraconiselcius the Third! Will all be accomodated? Will silver turn gold or merely tarnish? And shrieking Nordic imps meet our heroine on her path. Do they herald the futures to come, or are they merely ready for their Punk Halloween Album?
Read on to find out...
Socktober Befores and Afters -
The cleaning lady was here this weekend. By here, I don't mean this blog, (thank god or all would be lost). Here at the moment connotes the office. This time there is documentary proof that she did in fact shuttle things around! We're not just crazy. Crazy, yes. Just crazy, no! There is no justice in our depravity, but I digress. I have decided to do a bit of a before and after portfolio over the next few months to see if she has a preferred way of leaving things or if she just kind of scatters stuff while cleaning and forgets from whence it sprang (and now I am imagining a battalion of office supplies and sundries launching campaigns against her as she attempts to fend them off with broom and eco-green cleaner). The project should be quite edifying. Yep, the miracles of modern technology. But hey, some people have nice food and cute children... I've got socks and slightly rearranged office spaces.
Yesterday I went to The Daughter of the Regiment with my father at the Seattle Opera. To my memory, this was my very first opera. My father thinks I must have been to operas before this with him. I would have been eight at the last staging of Fille de Regiment way back when and he is quite certain that he started taking both me and my sister to the opera far prior to that. Then again, he's quite certain of a lot of fascinating but thoroughly fictional accounts of my prior life. Storytelling runs in our family and starts in our highly mutable brains. All I can say, is that this is the experience I recall as first.
Funnily enough, I actually remember being a touch disappointed. Fille du Regiment is a brilliantly funny comedic effort. It mixes Donizetti's typical coloratura and lush soundscapes with a heaping dose of operatic parody and some good old fashioned romantic comedy. That's right: rom coms were a big thing in the opera world - basically take your typical opera, add some charismatic virtuoso soli and ensemble pieces that mock the traits typically glorified in your operatic types, and then tack on a happy ending in lieu of every one going mad and dying. Tada!
When I was eight, I was perhaps more pretentious. Or at least did not realize that opera could be quite blissfully silly, and this is ok, even desirable. I have had several years to acquire the background to get what makes this such a brilliant little opera. It relies on a familiarity with the excesses of romantic opera and twists that koine like a juicy lemon over spritzer. One of the most well known scenes is a straight out parody of classical singing - punctuated in this production with several of the most ridiculous voice exercises and prickling at each posturing note of grand aria, as the heroine confronts a "classical" aria in all its pomposity and inevitably lapses into bawdy regimental ballad.
In addition to these little pokes, there are several swipes at stuffy high society. This is kind of a rags to riches story in which the orphan discovers she's a society heiress just after finding her own true love that is now far beneath her station. Her "aunt" (actually her mother, but shhh don't tell any one) is played brilliantly as a silly but sweet older lady with a tremor in her well bejewelled fingers and her secretly sparkling alto timbre. The Baroness (mother of the unfavored high society groom) is flat out played in drag. In typical Seattle Opera style, each and every supernumerary and chorus member is given a character and strict stage directions to fill out the scene. The servants jig, the soldiers cavort, and the high society party members represent every anserine stereotype of the overly important.
Flat in the middle of all this gaeity, there is transcendence. One of my favorite and most emotionally evocative pieces of music is also a piece from a Donizetti comedy (Una Furtiva Lagrima). Similarly here, the hero and heroine have moments of exquisite emotional power. There is a song in the first act that quite well resembles the heart wrenching mad scene in Lucia (oboe instead of flute), for instance. There are also several exquisite duets that will coax a tear or twenty in the middle of the guffaws.
I suspect this was all a bit lost on me when I was 8. Perhaps I would have been better off with Die Walkure, or something so thoroughly over the top that it would have suited all anticipations of grandiosity. But several years down the road, I can see the contrast between those moments of silliness and sincerity endue each other with Fauvist intensity and clarity.
Another very clever concept they employed was to set this particular production in something akin to World War II France. Although it may have made parts of the plot a bit difficult to swallow (like that a regiment could have found an infant and raised her to grown during that span of time), it captured a certain inevitable parallel between the rollicking spunk of our classical heroine and that charismatic classy-but-brassy elegance of a young Katherine Hepburn. And I really could easily see her in the role as portrayed in this production (down to the costumes - which would have looked fabulous on her). My Dad also noted that the army sergeant was perfectly to type down to physical characteristics, as were each and every member of the fading aristocracy.
First or not, it was a lovely full circle and a great way to start this year's season. Fun to hang out with my dad as well. I can happily attest that, while we did escape the opera house in a harried mad dash, no fey elderly couples or children were injured in our escape.
Naturally my darling husband spent roughly the amount of time I spent at the opera off on a mountain with his bike. He has once again survived! We're both in one piece after our excursions. Life is truly blessed.
And off to work, even! I will get my head into the game. I will not let the orange barracuda take another week from me when we're heading into busy-season again. All those trials that got bumped into the night have re-emerged just in time for Halloween. Not to mention a few more odds and ends of emerging exigency. While they all will probably get bumped yet again... well... we can't rely on that and quite a lot has happened that needs updating since summer! Crazy doesn't sleep just because litigation is in abeyance. Trust me on this one: as a crazy person, I know whereof I speak. Often I cock my head and look confused at the random string of palaver that's escaped from the Bedlam of my brain!
Happy MONDAY! It's almost HOWLOOOOWEEEEEEEN, so keep those necks protected and don't offer any eerily magnetic strangers invitations to cross your threshold (at least until November).
Invasion of the Space Cadets
Mostly the space creatures are bumping and (heaven forbid) twerking about in my brain today. They have put up a strong assault on my delicate sensory perceptions, and de-gravitized my balance. I have to admit, I feel quite a bit like I'm coasting along on inertia in the midst of some early Atari cosmos this morning. I blame the orange barracuda for everything, but perhaps it is actually to blame this time.
I have to say I blamed the catch-all "hormones" rather unjustly yesterday for what turned out to be my poor math and reading skills. Orange was not the culprit, at least not the sole one. Oh no, the vermillion cherry played its role in this sad charade with tragicomic elan.
I have been drinking diluted cherry juice concentrate in soda water. Having run out of my prior bottle, I bought another. The nutrition and serving information on the back of the bottle flummoxed my frenzied neurons. While most serving information reports the serving information for the concentrated juice, this particular nutrition-info panel reported the serving information for reconstituted juice (if you follow the instructions a bit further on down the label). Thus, instead of 1 ounce, I was getting information for 8 ounces. This might have tipped me off a bit and almost did, but I made the erroneous assumption that perhaps the juice was just less concentrated. I performed an impromptu calculation to divide out what I thought would be about the equivalent concentration of juice based on my faulty assumptions, and brought this much to work yesterday.
I could not quite figure out for the life of me why (1) I was wound up like pocket watch on the verge of exploding sprocket fireworks (2) why I could not for the life of me finish the juice I'd brought, and finally had to give up. Naturally, I assumed that the orange barracuda - previously responsible for a complete veneer of ennui and exhaustion - may have been having its own mood swing as my body accustomed itself to its protean presence. I think, in hindsight, it was the unprecedented levels of straight cherry sugar exploding in my veins. The post-rush headache and nausea were enough to confirm this hindsighted view.
I'm guessing I drank about 66 grams of sugar over the course of the morning and early afternoon. Far less than your average wine bottle of starbucks confectionary, sure, but a decent percentage of my average daily sugar intake on a typical day. I am pretty sure a big gulp of Mountain Dew could quite possibly kill me at this point. My body is weak when it comes to the fructose fever. I may have mocked (ever so gently) the recent science ("news") conclusion that oreos are just like cocaine, but I am not so sure that I don't agree that unadulterated sugars still hit my blood stream and alter my consciousness more than the average schedule-one controlled substance.
Lesson learned: I might be eating more than the average Amurricuhn at this point (I sincerely hope this is the case), but I still can't eat like the average Amuuricuhn. Perhaps this might be noted by just how exorbitantly proud I am to have managed to add small sprinkles of mozzarella or feta to various meals and to have experimented with a greek yogurt cream cheese spread. Me and my juice and mild cheeses: I've run amok!
But not a bad time to get some more (artificial energy). The blister has burst and our several stalled cases have come oozing out with several emergencies. Holding patterns reversed, there are suddenly twenty to two-thousand issues that must be handled like yesterday (working on inventing time travel to address this schedule).
Fortunately, I had already churned the most imperative ones into a buttery spread for my oleaginous Tuesday daze to skate upon today. And, while I still want to blame my little lady pills, I have to demonstrate some learning from yesterday, and admit there's a chance that maybe I accidentally miscalculated the serving size of my, uh, coffee ... and served myself whiskey instead by mistake? Doesn't smell like it, but maybe my sense of smell is dulled by the superlative Irishness of my morning "joe" (or is Irish coffee something like "morning Colleen"?)
But - at the risk of breaching confidentiality - this is a pretty exciting week, so I'm hoping to get my head back together in some truncated shrift. My first adoption! No, not giving up on my own white-pants-beach issue just yet. But one of the sweet savory tidbits of practicing family law is that sometimes instead of doing the post-demolition clean up work on condemned families, you get to help add the final legal epoxy for families in formation. Even better, I know this family. Of course, since it's my first, I'm completely panicked that I'm missing something. Sure, it should be easy. Sure, I've been told what to do by several practiced practicioners. But I'm still imagining I'll show up on the big day wearing a skin suit, singing German hunting songs and trying to pass of my hand-drawings of happy families (in space) as our legal documentation.
The perks of this adoption thing are quite extensive: I get to see my friends (er "clients") at whim, because I can hold several necessary documents hostage until they drop by. This means, for instance, yesterday I got a long lunch visit from my bestest fr- er client, and her adorable daughter. Then later I got to rush out to a zumba class to see my other frie- er client and "get a signature" and/or a hug. I think I got both. But I'm sure the judge would take a hug on Thursday!
At any rate, while I may be incapable of walking a straight line, I seem to be suitable anchored at the treadmill. Maybe it's the extra stability of having my hands on the keyboard in front of me. I make no promises about my attempts to run on one later today during my gym bunny hippity hopping. I'm sure that won't end poorly. Hey, Ian survived his treadpocalyptic leap off the back. I'm sure I can too!
There is no such thing as too much Starbucks (apparently)
This is Leslie's Starbucks drink container. I'm perpetually fascinated by it, since it seems capable of housing a small ocean. I think she mostly uses it for water, but it entertains me to realize that most do not.
Wednesday! This is exciting! For one, it means the craziness of Tuesday has passed and the rife potentials for screwing up my first ever adoption are yet to come. Today it's a lull full of banausic administrative tidbits and slow-mo eye-of-the-storm nonsense. Taping the windows as we speak. The odd soporous quality of the prior days endures in spits and spats. Like yesterday, my muscles just feel a tad inebriated today, and my balance is as tipsy as it is tippy.
Despite this langour, I did manage to tack on a puffy tail and go out to the gym yesterday. Azita has been recruiting. Now we have an additional prospectus for our bunny-entourage: another attorney in fact (ooooh recoil, recoil!). With a name that starts with the letter A, even (that's right, his name is Aragaraconiselcius the Third!). We have such an exclusive club. Funnily enough, he was a year behind me at UW, although I can't say he necessarily had vivid memories of me and my sultry hall-skulking or anything. But I've known his father for years and we've since run into each other at parties. Anyways, Azita is the perennial hostess and was deeply concerned that his workout experience be the be all and end all of working out experiences.
Adam (that is the nickname for Aragaraconiselcius) is a little person, so Azita was in a state of perpetual fret that whatever equipment we'd chosen was not accommodating enough and that he must inevitably be having a horrible time and she was a big huge jerk for even suggesting the Y. I somehow suspect that he actually probably stopped playing with us on the silver sneaker machines to do free weights because he's a pretty muscular dude, and clearly had a set workout routine over there. And I suspect he left before us because he'd finished his workout and didn't think he needed to wait downstairs while bangs were recoiffed to perfectly off-center with a hair-dryer, a pick and a prayer. I do tend prefer to err on the side of assuming self-sufficiency than solicitousness. Especially, knowing Adam. Which I barely do. But he was pretty well known at UW. The man is a raging extrovert, highly successful, and once won a crap ton on either jeopardy or wheel of fortune while he was at UW (a bit of bruited about information throughout my years there). So I think he can kind of make his own gym experience without too much interference from me. I, for my part, avoided throwing dirty gym shorts at him or screaming about aliens, so I think I did my best to make it a good experience for him.
On the path between our initial meeting spot in the YMCA lobby and the ladies dressing room (why I haven't taken to just telling Azita I'll meet her upstairs, I'll never quite know, except I guess part of the reason I go at all is to chat with her anyways), I ran into Jon, my erstwhile 8th Style tango teaching partner. He had brought along his obscenely adorable towheaded nordic children. They are quite the able screamers, incidentally. Very apropos for Howloween, especially when they both get themselves into the echo chamber of a good raquetball court.
The flaxen trio had just finished up at some adorably named toddler workout/play program upstairs. I expressed my jealousy, as I think programs and toys for children are always waaaay cooler than grown up stuff. He said this was an "uh oh" sign of things to come (little wee ones, I assume, and not kidnapping charges or nervous breakdowns). Side stepping the medical stories, I instead regaled him with my business model for renting out children for chunks of play activities for the uncomitted (i.e. "sane") people who wanted the advantages of rug rats without the Stockholm syndrome. Really, it would be quite convenient.
I also didn't tell him that as much as I would probably like to have a child for the mere sake of having a child and all the wonders inherent (and our basic obligation to the world to pass on our mutually exquisite genetic material), I sometimes do feel like I may need to get new set of friends if the baby train continues without my ticket. Given my hours and work schedule, my single/divorced dance friends are rather hard to keep in touch with. My parenting friends are even harder to track down. The last of my DINK buddies are starting to get that baby-slipper gleam in their eyes and pretty soon I'll be entirely replaced with other moms at tot' and tyke baby yogaquazumba, and playdates and oh I know how this goes! See y'all in fourteen years! Perhaps not, but it's hard to make plans with grown ups anyways (especially when you're kind of an introvert and rely on regular commitments to get out of the house). Having directed activities, like "desperately trying to keep the cute little creature who controls my destiny with a mere giggle or glower" is sometimes helpful for "getting out there." Yes, that is number 187 for "not the best reason to want to have kids," somewhere between the rationed considerations of pros and cons (you can imagine I've continued this balance sheet in detail including economic returns on investment) and the panacea for any perceived relationship problems (never!). Anyways, if the baby thing doesn't pan out, I may still take to renting out a doll at the very least. Kids do have the funnest activities.
In the meantime, between bouts of blithering stumbling, I can be my own child quite handily! Because it's WEDNESDAY!
Happy humpday (snigger snigger)