DINKs versus Birds at the Coffee Volcano

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Demolition and DINKstruction: Assessments accomplished, the bikes came back to frolic with cook-ware. Counter tops slumped back to thier erosity and soul returned to the (W)right domicile. A dastardly plot turned otherwise envious massages lethal. Our heroine eluded death at the eleventh hour with only tweaks and twinges. But Hansel and Gretel have not had their fill of murder and mayhem just yet! Sugartown no more! Bricks would fall and hammers pound until the Christmas dreams of wee ones were triturated to ginger dust and left for the evil elves to mourn. 

Coming Up: Bumped trial number 4 returns, its fangs glinting and pores transuding bile... Will Englettlaw be twerked and jerked? Will trial lead beyond tribulation and into the promised land of finalization? The birds are soundly shrieking for blood or coffee. Will Mr. (W)right survive their caws and screams? Date night bends time in a grand plie and a great deal of of tofu. A follow up with medical doctors reveals new hormonal horrors for our plucky couple, mediated with a wallop of a weigh-in. Will Adella grow greater or lesser. Will the exploding coffee volcano be an omen of ill or bounty? Will Andrew even get that flu shot or will he succumb to avian swine flu? 

Stay tuned and stay with us gentle reader to find out the answers to this and more...

Trial Down - Date Night Up 

Our penultimate trial has concluded! After several years of ludicrous peculiarity, unpredictable twists and audacious turns, the little trial that couldn't get its meds sorted out has sighed a tidily efficient murmur and climaxed with a well-reasoned judgment. All before 4 p.m.! I'm not sure if I'm impressed or caught in the dregs of a severe anticlimax. Regardless, we have plenty of work to slog through before getting to the come-down and reflection stage of things. Trials, incidentally, really should not be on Wednesdays. By the end of a trial, there is no will left to carry on. There should be an obligatory weekend imposed on all post-trial days. That's my opinion, but I assure you that it is a sound one (I believe it sounds like those maniacal birds that chirp on my new alarm and terrorize +Andrew Wright's final seconds of slumber - the birds the birds!!!).

But we carry on. Mostly we carry on, because checking bags is so absurdly expensive these days, but also because our clients seem to expect us to continue representing them on days that we don't quite feel like it as well as the days when we do. Some attorneys may vary on their practice policies regarding not feeling it days, but we have a pretty strong carry on policy in our office. I suspect we should revisit that. The alternate approach does seem to have its assets. 

I did get a mini-weekend in with a lovely date night with the husband. In our infinite depths of adventurous spirit and dopamine thirsting, we - and this is not recommended for those with faint hearts or pacemakers - went to dinner at the Chinese take out place down the street and then came home and cuddled with an episode of Psych!!  

It was nice to reconnect, since Andrew did his nutso masochistic late-night gym thing on Tuesday. It's very important that he lapse tachycardic at least every other day. The day where he does not wake up feeling stiff or sore is the day that he's dead! I suspect he'll adjust well to old age in that regard, if some of the other physical limitations will inevitable piss him off. Fortunately, he'd gotten his run in during lunch that day, so we didn't have to spend the date doing push ups or couples cardio spin yoga or whatever's popular with the kids these days. His wrist, I'm happy to report, has healed most of the way. 

In more ambivalent news, his actual carpool buddy - the one that seems to consistently exist and regularly show up at the park and ride - accepted a job closer to home. I never met Gabe, but I like him for the vicarious reliability of his presence and from the stories I'd heard about him. For instance, he moved up here after his ex wife moved from Bellingham to California, and he moved specifically so their son could stay behind in Bellingham and finish out his senior year with his friends. Gabe is taking a huge pay cut to be closer to home so he can spend time with him. He and Andrew seemed to get along pretty well, too. Gabe was a machinist, and I think Andrew relates to machinists as much as his fellow engineers, having done his myriad years in stage craft. Gabe also worked at EI with Andrew, so there was that sort of bond over being slightly quirky guys at a very quirky company. So, although I never met him, I'll miss Gabe. And his preference for regular hours getting my husband back home at a reasonable time in the evening. I might miss that too!

Anyways, despite the trial and the lovely evening that made it feel like we must be on holiday, I'm here and ready to rumble with some more trial frenzy and a few hundred pages of supervisor's notes (not my own, I swear - my supervisor mostly draws pictures)! And I've got a highlighter and a hole punch, so those papers had better stay in line!

Anchors Aweigh in 2014: A Very Orangey Update Of the Quest for White Pants and Beaches - Another Waiting Room, Another Book

It's been about six months since my first adventures in specialist referrals and massive mounds of caloric intake. The pithy recap for our guests: I was underweight; my lady-hormones have been fairly idle in doing their lady-things; the former is presumably the cause of the latter according to every professional who's ever looked at my medical records and most of those who haven't. So, fun trip down the rabbit hole, eating 3500 calories a day and taking some hormones to push me along the path. Being a steadfast bunny, I didn't give up my carrots, but I learned well and good how to saute them in olive oil and chase 'em down with a glass of whole milk. Mmmmm mmmm. 

Yesterday I had a follow up appointment with my sports-crazed gynecologist. I gamed the hell out of the pre-intake weigh in, being the overachiever that I am. Wearing my sketchers shape ups (shoes that ought to have claimed workout potential based on their sheer heft instead of the roller sole), two coats, my purse, my phone, my kindle, and some extraneous things in my pockets, I weighed almost 13 pounds more than what I had previously weighed on his scales. Fortunately I had also been carrying extra ballast on my last weigh-in, so I think by virtue of consistent cheating I'm still getting an accurately trending chart. 

In fact I know I am. I've stopped gaining weight since about November, and have been holding steady around almost exactly 13 pounds above where I'd been holding previously. Mostly this idleness in scale numbers reflects an ambivalence and laziness on my part. My scale assures me I'm in the healthy weight range now, with a BMI of 19 and some completely fabricated estimate of 22%-23% body fat. Of course since that percentage changes by the minute and still can vary drastically, I tend to think of that reading as no more reliable than a post-weight horoscope.

Come to think of it, it's too bad that bathroom scales don't give fortunes with your weight. I have this obstreperous attraction to horoscopes, fortunes, and other obviously meaningless declarative statements about an unknown future and even lesser known personal character. In my naturally human way, I can take any blanket statement to apply to me in the way my brain wants it to. Sure, tarot has more far reaching psychological possibility given the depth of potential symbolism in each card and the exponential possibilities made rife by the series of cards laid in configuration. But a simple man with wings not so hot as man with arms can still spur me to a nice narcissistic reverie. A piece of paper all about me! And my awesome arms! I'd weigh in way more often if there were random spurts of destiny's dribble at the end. Hell, if my scale made me take one of those "which _(character from a time-honored tradition of popular culture) are you??" quizzes, I bet I'd let it share all of my weight results and possibly my social security number on facebook!

But, digressions aside, I remain somewhere in the middle one-thirties. Which is good. My hormone supplementation routine has been a blast, but has not yielded the initially intended result... yet. I'm told it can take six months to a year for the metabolism to adjust. I'm also told by the really crazy voices in my head - the ones that demonstrate both my lawyerly plan-for-every-contingency-no-matter-how-implausibly-dire and my glass-half-full-of-plague-water genetics - that maybe the weight and the non-cycling weren't causal and there's something else grandly wrong with me that doesn't show up on the easy tests! Maybe I'm a man! I think I would have noticed, but sometimes we miss the most obvious things... gorillas wandering through basketball courts, body parts... you know... inattentional blindness is a powerful force!

Regardless, since I've handled the lower dosages of hormone replacement, my doc recommended doubling up the dosages for three months and then following up with some more involved tests if nothing happens by then. I think "if nothing happens" probably doesn't involve "if you haven't gone to jail for having some kind of hormone-related emotional meltdown and burned the house down because you were too busy crying at a neutrogena commercial." Does neutrogena still do commercials? I should find out. 

This whole conversation was padded with some slightly manic pleasantries, a minor rant about the switch to EMT (a good thing in the long run but not so great at the moment), a minor something about medicare and billing and a recap on the awesomeness of my treadmill desk. Oh and about 50 minutes of sitting in the exam room. I thought early morning appointments were supposed to avoid that kind of long wait! Fortunately I had a book with me. And in true Adella-style, I was about half-way through that morning and have now finished.

The book, A Tale for the Time Being, didn't go as far or get as off the reservation as I was maybe hoping for it to go, based on reviews I'd seen. It had its moments and was a well-told interplay of stories. I thought at times, especially near the end, I think given her subject matter and some of her stylistic choices, it's hard not to compare Ozeki's book with Murakami. And since Murakami can't always live up to a comparison with Murakami, that can be a dangerous place to start in my mind. I managed eventually to extricate my brain from Wind Up Bird mode to savor the separate flavors of a different style and tale, but never entirely. And happy endings, especially profound ones that reflect on time, being, and the creative interplay between author and story, are pretty difficult to write in a satisfying way.

 I do feel Time Being sacrificed a really powerful and unexpected ending (one that lingered in the crepuscule of potential not otherwise specified in my hopeful reader's mind) for a didactic gloss of  quantum physics and the many worlds hypothesis. While not a scientist, I do try to hold up my literary abuses of scientific theory to at least the standards of Marvel Comics, and hope that it's going to be twisted about specifically to open doors for new approaches, plotting, story, etc. Having it just kind of as a coda at the end seemed... well more like throwing in a little essay about how all this Buddhist/story/magic realism stuff is like totally related to this other thing I think, but I admit I don't get the math! Perhaps especially because I'd just gone on a long Russell Hoban reading and re-reading jag of works that toss around these theories in passing to get to some pretty fun literary constructs, I was less patient with this little wrap-up. Still I'd mostly gotten to the shit-gets-real (or surreal, I just kind of think of the beginning of the climax of any book as the SGR) part of the book when my doc finally saw me. Maybe I should have left it there until I'd had some of those extra hormones!

And the loris stirs, so off I go with no attempt to make sense of the mounds of paragraphic mush above! 

Weekend Wanders and Battles with Pointy Things - 

Our very fine yesterday started off with a dash of eclat. The magic of the microwave on full display! I overheated some coffee and then created my own mini volcano using no more ingredients than cooler coffee to top off the roiling ebony beneath. I believe the coffee was as shocked as I had been that Mr. (W)Right had roused himself and found his way downstairs a half hour before I usually attempt to shoo away his ornery oneiroi pals back through the pylai! Next time, I hope it will also explode with a little confetti and some singing, but I'm pleased with the whole coffee fanfare concept. Especially for my boyfrianceband, who is decidedly a fan of the onyx grog in all its unvarnished glory. 

You start the day so dramatically, you had best be ready to live up to such promises. And we certainly did our best. After some high stakes car chases around the kitchen isle and a few snaps of ruffled linens, we were off to hunt down, capture and thoroughly rattle the day. Or at least continue living in the day since that happened to be the day presented to us and we are not ones to look a day-horse in the mouth (bad breath, you know). Andrew, wrist no longer smarting from his ski snafu, went off in search of new tweaks and aches with a long road ride around a few counties. As I still have several tweaks and aches loyally by my side, I practiced more restraint and slide into a day of perambulations and practicalities. 

I started at WINCO! Winco is an employee owned store that hovers between warehouse and grocer in ambiance and mission. Everything there is cheaper, although the exact breadth of discount varies substantially by item. I have come to fancy it because it has no need for putting on airs and thus has not fallen prey to the viral upscaling that inevitably has clogged my pathways with needless displays and turned the produce aisles into Borgesian maunders through the id of all fruit and vegetables. The prices are good, the bulk section is booming, the aisles are blessedly vast, they still have self-checkout options, and it's a 24 hour joint. This means I can shop there on off-hours and avoid the deal-deranged British Columbians who have seized Costco and Trader Joe's as their own. 

Having completed my chore quota for the day, I returned to the street by foot and sauntered into town, A nice three mile walk. In an ideal world, I would have the time and clemency of weather to walk everywhere. With the treadmill desk, of course, I do walk several miles a day; there is something very different about taking one's time and moving through space, though. Especially on a gleaming day redolent of spring. 

Andrew finished his tour of northern Washington at some point in the afternoon and we met at the Food Co-op for lunch. The co-op is certainly a funny counter-point to my Winco morning. It is crowded and homey (if your home is an upscale commune full of yippes and well-dreaded students), full of nuanced lighting and little touches... and pricey. But we had a gift card and they have a deli. I thought it would be an adventure. Andrew seems to have thought it would be a punishment for unspoken transgressions, but once he got some chicken lasagna down his gullet, I think he warmed up to the novelty. Not to prematurely end the adventure, I then steered us to Starbucks to use another gift card for a little caffeine hit and sugar rush for the honey, and some decaf and milk-froth for me. Satisfied with our daring, we fled the public and watched Charade at home with our pastry pelf. 

As a final coda, we managed to beat the system despite all attempts as repulsion thrown in our path. That hot oil, by the way, does wonders for the hair once the second decree burns clear up and the strands stop smouldering. Somebody did not want Andrew to get a flu shot. We had tried previously at a Rite Aid downtown. We waited for several minor eternities before being informed that our insurance was having some glitches. They were valliantly set upon trying harder, but eventually the futility of it all pushed us onward. Andrew got a call several days later saying the problem had been fixed, so we tried again at a different Rite Aid. Acknowledging that "the problem" was fixed, they gave him a form and said they'd just type some things into the computer while he filled it out. About twenty minutes later, Andrew was still shuffling in the corner, killing time on his phone, no prickly vaccines in sight. Asking whether they were still checking on his insurance or what, he discovered they'd actually been waiting on him to return the form. Form returned, he now had to return to the register to sign whatever acknowledgements they make you sign before you get medical stuff from them. Andrew didn't quite get that, so he went to sit down, and fell back a few places in line by the time I told him I thought he needed to be in the line and a confused conversation with the pharm tech confirmed this suspicion. By his reasoning, he had been in that line initially to start the process and he did not see why he needed to return to the line after having done it successfully once. Naturally, once he gave in and stood in line, things continued to go askew.There was a lady at the front of the line attempting to buy several non-pharmacy items at the pharmacy desk. This is usually ok, but was causing some problems that evening. They eventually got it sorted out and shuffled her off to another check out island, at which point...

drum roll please

... at which point the computer crashed and had to be rebooted! The Pharmacy dude who actually gives the shot finally threw caution to the wind and descended upon my husband with needles blazing.Fortunately no further ill luck ended our evening in bloodshed and ER visits, and eventually Andrew signed the thingy he needed to sign.  Dinner was made only a half hour after the original meeting time and about 50 minutes after we had arrived at Rite Aid. All we can say is _Andrew had better not get the friggin' H1N1 this year* or there will be some cadging going on! 
I had to repeat several times that, really, it had been quite easy when I went to get my shot.  Because it really had. Insurance cleared. Shots were administered. Things were signed. Computers worked. There were no strange ambiguities about my role in the process.

Having had our fun and done our part, we snuggled in for a satisfying Saturday evening on the sofa. Today - knock on wood - Andrew finally meets with the YMCA trainer who bailed on him last weekend. Will it be worthwhile? Will he learn new ways to hurt himself? Will the gym survive? Hard to predict at this point. 
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