Banana-nut Crazy Bread: and other twisted tales of trials and tango.

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation: Beware the Kobucha Demons and their venomous listerine spittle! Our plucky couple narrowly avoid the clutches of extra work hours, instead falling into the equally painful clutches of the messianic masseuse on a mission! TRIAL! The inconceivable occurs and sets off a series of apocalyptic events culminating in an actual family law case going to trial!!! Clearly the product of a carefully calculated government conspiracy set off in concert with our own client and her mastermind mafiosos. And Andrew faces the abyss of work instanity as THE PIECE arrives!

Coming up: Say it Ceylon: the pantry shelters emerging superheroism with a homey nostalgic redolence. Pathfinder down! Andrew's car falters and stumbles its way to a Sterling automechanic. Will it ever find its path home? What will home be? Shall the Cerulean Avenger be forced to pick up her husband mid-flight to Japan? Appropriately shamed and girded, Adella feeds from the victory of a not entirely ambivalent make-up weigh-in. Will she make the cut? Is cake on the horizon for celebration or merely penance? The work-weekend resurges. This time victory cannot be certain. Will our couple survive? And another tango revelation. But will it be for good or for evil?? On the hive of ballerinas can know for sure and they are brandishing their fencing foils in an ominous fashion. 

Read on to find out...

Less Sugar, More Spice, and Not Everything Nice... 

We have a pretty fantastic pantry in our current house. I've never had such a thing before. I'm not even sure single ladies who do the majority of their cooking in a microwave are legally allowed to have such pantries. Panties, perhaps, but that is one of those unsavory words I'd just as soon avoid. Not sure why the difference of a single "r" can turn a word from sour to savory as it lulls about my tongue, but there we go. 

Maybe I've made do with closets to store my excess kitchenalia. But that special word pantry is reserved for chefs and DINKS and, well, anyone who wants one and can afford a decently sized living space. It's still kind of magical. My own little portal to untold shelves of raw ingredients loosened from their tiny cabinet cages and grazing in peace (mmmm free range flours and grains!). And batteries. And maybe the recycling bins. And, ok, gifts that never made it anywhere else, some instruction manuals, the odd piece of paper...

 Plus, it's not a bad hiding spot. If Andrew more or less inherited the "study" then I claim this as my lair. I'm pretty sure that it has a secret door or two to other areas of the house. And my superhero costume will definitely fit in there just fine. I do already hang my robe on a door-hook there. My big fluffy gray (nee white) robe may, in fact, by my super hero cape in training. I will probably dye it before I go out fighting crime. It's looking a bit nappy in crusty cinereal cream. 

Anyways, my pantry discovery of the week has to be this Whole Spice ceylon cinnamon. I've ordered what claimed to be ceylon cinnamon before, but it didn't taste significantly different from the casia that generally passes for cinnamon. Lighter in timber and tone, but still far shy of revelatory. When my subscribe and save was cancelled for the frontier ceylon cinnamon order, I decided to try this Whole Spice version (it being cheaper and all). Wow, it is amazing! I love cassia as well, but a spoonful of this cinnamon is a minute-of-infinity mull in the redolence of warmth, love, and childhood enchantment. The flicker of its mild fire across my tongue is the gustatory equivalent of velvet across a cheek, or a warm cidery hug on a cold night. Definitely a price bump, but well worth it. And yes, yes, I've read all about the FDA finding all kind of nasty things ground up in spices. As long as those things don't kill me or ruin the flavor of my spices I'll take my chances.

In non-pantry related news, the old bike and chain is currently - wait for it, it's pretty terrifying, so you might want to sit down - carless! Or SUVless. Well, both. Apparently his little Nissan decided that it didn't always feel like starting up. I guess Andrew feels that this is an important component of a car's work for him, so he thought he'd take it to car-training bootcamp and/or maybe just replace the spark plugs, which were looking a bit wan.

He had to take yesterday off to locate a mechanic and garner estimates... and maybe take a long bike ride because, hell, he's already off for the day and might as well use the commute time he's lost travelling in a big series of circles atop a mountain on his hey-hey (yes, that is how I intend to spell it, and I may add girl at the end with a flick of my ebulliantly epicene wrist) .

Today, I dropped him off... no, not in Mukilteo sillies, although that would have been a fun adventure! I dropped him off at the park and ride for his carpool. I felt quite a bit like a mom dropping her teen off at school. If only I'd been wearing my cinereal superhero robe and curlers!! Sadly, I was just in work appropriate(ish) clothing and it was too dark to thoroughly embarrass anyone, including myself. But I have now seen the cars Andrew rides in! Ooooh my. Very exciting day, of course.  I'm really not sure how the rest of my day can live up to such excitement. 

Perhaps if I rush back home and hide in my pantry... maybe mix some of that cinnamon with some cardamon or cloves or apples or mmmmm Ok, I've worked enough today! 

If wishes were horses, I'd probably step in a lot of wish poop on the trails by our house - 

Andrew's little Nissan has lived up to its name and found its path back home. I'm quite impressed. He took it in on Wednesday. They gave him an estimate a few hours later. He gave them the go ahead to work on it late Wednesday evening. And mid-day Thursday, the darned thing was all tuned up and timing belted.

Andrew is quite pleased with himself for finding a nearby mechanic that seems honest and efficient, but he says that the proof will be in some pudding or other. I have seen no pudding, but if there is pudding - and it is not doused in car oil or radiator fluid - I would certainly like some! I will go digging intrepidly for this supposed "truth" nonsense with two spoons and a jar of sprinkles!!

Pudding aside, Andrew will be putting the new repairs to the test with his turn at carpool chauffeur today. I don't expect to receive any calls about being stranded due to the Pathfinder gaining sentience, breaking out its jetpacks and flying  home to Japan. Then again, I'm sure Japan is lovely this time of year, so I'll be ready if such contingincies emerge. Hell, I'm a lawyer (in personality as much as practice), so I've got contingency plans for roughly three-thousand potential variations on this and other disaster-motifs. 

My frolicsome Kia has yet to pull a full on drama queen snit-fit about the extra attention given to the Pathfinder, so I'm hoping it will continue on as my trusty steed that crumples like tissue paper with the slightest wind... kind of its thing. 

In other news of a more ambivalent nature, it's been unseasonably warm this week. This is fantastic in terms of scenery, crisp outdoor walks, and wool-gathering window-glances. However, this unseasonability runs into discrepancies with the seasonally-adjusted HVAC in all relevant indoor areas. I did, indeed spend most of yesterday at work with the fan on and a workout tank (this close to just going full out with the sports bra). And I'm pretty sure that notice at the YMCA about the steam room being out of service was actually code for "the entire workout area is the steamroom today!" I don't generally leave a slime trail of sudor on the exercise mats. 

Speaking of exercise mats, I've rediscovered the exercise balls (haha, I said balls... snort snort chortle chuckle). I am quite concertedly convinced that they are harbingers of germy nastiness unlike anything above the mats themselves, but I have transcended my hygienic hysteria and embraced the bouncy squishy fun version of making my core scream out like a little girl on a horror movie foley track.

When I'm working on the machines, I try to use the wet wipes they provide before touching anything, which is a nice delusional way to pretend I'm keeping myself from burying my head in Grime's chest and giving her a thorough motorboard. Granted, I eventually get so sweaty myself that I'll willingly wipe my face with the wet towel I've been leaving various contaminated locations. But psychologically, the wiping down helps.

 Wiping down the mats and ball are a bit counterproductive, unless you're up for the challenge of turning the workout area into a slip and slide before attempting to do balance-focused exercises. I usually give up on the wiping down and whatnot around this area. My sanitary compromise is generally to say several prayers to the almight Lysolia and her consort (the demon demi-god Purell), make a few wet nap sacrifices at the edge of the mats, try desperately to abstain from any physical contact with myself or my possessions, and then wash my hands back in the dressing room. Of course, if I were being honest, my keyboard is probably germier by far than the dirt-covered corner of the gym, but they're my germs goshdarnit (well, my collection of germs harvested throughout the day).

But yes, I've considered purchasing my own ball to avoid this grimy compromise. Because my house is pure, of course. I wonder, though, if I had a ball at home if I would disqualify using one at the gym (because, gosh, I have one at home!) and then fail to use it at home! I sometimes feel that way about the foam roller, although I still make some effort to use this after runs. But hey, even if I didn't use the ball for its designated purpose, it would be a huge bouncy ball in my house! I'm sure +Andrew Wright  would never wake up in terror in any way related to this possession and my sense of ... frolic.

Hope that whatever the transportation and whatever the temperature, you are having a fantastic Friday and heading right off into a splendid weekend. I hear we're almost immersed in Christmas season, so I'd suggest getting your red and green scuba suits out before the tides rise!

Special Edition Truncated Weekend: The Weight is Over 

Ok, that pun misses its own mark, but I remembered this morning that I failed to publicly shame myself appropriately last weekend (well, I manage to do a fine job of flummoxing, bamboozling, and bewildering myself and others in a "public" manner, but generally in a less targeted fashion).

As I mentioned, I've gotten a bit more lackadaisical about this weight gain project now that I'm smack dab between the initial payoffs of more energy/overnight muscle development and  the longer term hopes of stabilizing at the weight my body would like to be at. Recently, it's taken a temporary stopover at the 133-ish area (about ten pounds from where I started and 12 from where I'm still aiming). Last week, I even went down a smidge from the week before, so I had been attempting a minor re-calibration binging forward. I think it worked. But my scale was being fussy, so don't quote me on that. Also, if you're quoting my peppy palaver about weight gains and goes, you may be boring the crap out of any potential interlocutors. Long story less excruciatingly driveling: I am edging up again with some measure of accuracy, but my scale does not like it when the cleaners move it around and store it on its side.  

Alright, that was a zesty shaming/declaration of psuedo-victory. Onto other things. Yesterday, Mr. (W)right decided to go into work to make up for the day he lost dealing with his pathfinder. Incidentally the pathfinder did indeed find its way home to us and appears to be behaving as per usual. Plus side is that "usual" means "mostly obedient, but occasionally sometimes the lights on the dashboard and tail don't want to turn on because of a faulty wire connection somewhere." Sturdy enough steed to do the Mukilteo trip anyways. 

Since Andrew was headed off to work, and I'd left my office in a state of devastation on Friday afternoon, I also went into work a bit. There is this leviathan beast of a response declaration from a fairly ... um... interesting other party. The response declaration is roughly 100 pages over limit, a day late, full of irrelevant and inscrutable documents (inevitably not labeled accurately), and snarling balefully in the corner of my office. Sure, it's probably all irrelevant, but maybe one tiny thing somewhere is important. Maybe that document will slip free of the muck and mire and burble its way to the top of the commissioner's papers. Which is to say: I had three spectacular hours of dredging through the cranberry bog with waders on.  I actually enjoyed this nonsense, even if I'm not sure I came to any solid conclusions. 

Needless to say we both worked tiresome days. I buried myself in papers and lurid tales of licentiousness libertinism and familial intrigue. Andrew did some equally lurid things with an ginormous torque wrench, some screws, and ooooh I am sure I can add some more entendre, but it's early yet. I had the luxury of recovering for a spell, while Andrew subsequently enjoyed the luxury of an extra large pizza. 

We were obviously both in good stead for tango. Ok, I was in good stead for tango. Fortunate, since I was teaching. We had a dj down from Burnaby and the event had been well promoted after the WiTF (an acronym that still entertains me), so the place was packed. The hook was that she is well known for dj-ing alternative tango (non-traditional tango to anything that blends well with fusion dancing and tango nuevo, and hell, really well with young people in San Francisco).

 I haven't taught a lesson that large in years. I'm not sure I could officially claim to having taught one yesterday, so much as cracked some jokes, gave some advice and wrangled wrangled wrangled.

But, as promised to myself during my wild and windy ride to Whidbey, I tapped into my single tangeura intrepidity and asked new leads to dance. I am apparently now intimidating so not a lot of leads will actually ask me to dance. First I was unfamiliar, so I had to do my own asking. Now I'm intimidating! Yeesh. This reticence of most leads is something I can rely on to abet my inner-wuss. But I full well know how to track and target leads on the dance floor. As recalled from days of yore, I was aglow! It wasn't necessarily that the new dancers were better, but they were less comfortable. And less comfort required more attention. And more attention pulled me away from my own "ooooh sickle foot, you mad woman!" head and back into the dance. I did steps - simple steps, but steps - that I haven't done in years, because leads I know don't lead them.

And I got that little burst of maniacal energy from sharing the first "wow" with a new partner. One man - sharing a name with my all time favorite and exhibiting quite promising aptitude with rhythm and connection - announced that he'd learned tonight that when he dances with a higher level follow, he becomes a higher level dancer. He told me that he'd just had a dance-breakthrough and I felt his radiance bubble out from his pores straight through my own veins. 

I still called it an earlyish night with several unfamiliar leads yet tapped, but it really was crowded and I really do go to bed before these darned events begin. I did end it on a lovely note, though. Andrew had been quite the trooper, despite being mostly comatose upon return from his weekend work-day. I popped in to check on him just as a blues set came on. Because I have no propriety and propriety would be highly out of place at an alternative milonga anyways, we blues danced to it. Of course, with a highly elevated tango flavor on my behalf. I had the shoes for adornos, and the balance to pivot into those damned boleos/ganchos/flicks and tricks. Fortunately Andrew remained strong enough to handle my sudden impulses to take both feet off the floor and hang from one arm or a thigh.

This morning I'm feeling the after-glow-over in a tired but pleasant sort of way. I managed to "sleep in" a whole extra hour. This is an accomplishment for me, trust me. We're off to the ballet this afternoon. No DINK running this weekend, but I think we'll survive.

Nuts, Bananas and Lunatic Sauce on that Mondae Treat - 

Let there be no mistake: this is a real Monday. this is none of your little working holidays. None of your drowsy lulling lurches into a proper work week. This is a head-first swan dive into the roiling seas of wheeeeee-wheeeee-work!

 Waiting for The Bald Birthday Party Soprano to Take us to a Zoo Where We Can Have Happy Days: The Musical continues after a good six day airing. Since we seem to be seesawing on a pattern of "our side takes a half hour to question our witness, followed by an entire day of cross examination with a minor two or three minutes for redirect," I expect that our final witness will take up the entire day today. Leaving tomorrow for Mr. Opposing Party to present his brilliant revelatory performance art piece on his convoluted feelings about pumpkin pie (it's giving him the evil eye, but it smells oh so good!). 

In the meantime, Miss Most Interesting Service Avoider 2013 has emerged unscathed from her exciting car chase of one across her own lawn and provided roughly two-thousand pages of "response" mostly addressing a contempt motion she has already lost and finishing with some opinions about the final parenting plan that is not currently at issue. She was a day late, so we are also likely to be a day late in our reply. Of course, it would be nice to hear from our client since I can only put so many words in his mouth before he needs to at least sign something saying it's not all the feverish phantasms of a diseased attorney's morbid mind.

It should be an interesting scurry through the morning! We'll tiptoe through tulips on Tuesday,  maybe. Today it's a clomp through the Monday mire. We also appear to have another trial in another case that might happen this next. A settlement conference with Ms. Service Avoider just after the hearing that is already likely to set her inner bile a murmur. And a mediation with yet another intractable other party who seems to think "shared decision making" means a deep-soul searching pow wow on every single possible decision made in the child's life, and resulting in a parental consensus to go with whatever random thing he thinks is appropriate!

To prepare for this slush pile of a week, +Andrew Wright and I had a very nice date afternoon yesterday at the PNB's Kylian and Pite. We'd seen Sechs Tanzes and Petite Mort before a few seasons ago. I think it might have been the first rep we saw at the PNB, actually. Very brilliant. Kylian has such a way of using the energy between dancers and the music to thwart expectations and play with surprise. Pite's piece was teeming and swarming, based in part on the movements of bees and insects. It must have been a success! Andrew only needed one cup of coffee and only almost-nodded off for a few seconds during the first piece!

But enough wool-gathering (I can't knit anyways). Back to the obsessive typing of a whole 'nother kind. 
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