Coming up: As wisdom shoots from the head of Miverva's minions, trouble stirs in suspicious stratiform aloft. Will 'Hamstertown survive the sugar rush unleashed upon its weekend divertissements? Trees throw the first ball of snow, forever breaking the cagey cease fire 'twixt man and nature. Will shovels fly?? Olympics wind down and controversy roars. Will the world survive a blast of outraged petitions, or is War inevitable? Will Russia seize Johnny Weir as the human embodiment of hot, cool, and all ours? Can anything be done? A rematch with an old nemesis. Will Adella survive the steely grip of Nick, the massage assassin? Marion of the effulgent imaginary frames finds "minor ers" yet again on his quest for (W)right physical training. Will he lose his final grasp on the tail of space and time? Can the universe survive the spiralling distemporitis of Marion's minor family?
All your questions shall find answers in the hibernal fens below - bring your gators...
Be Like the Bamboo Sprouting From an Owl's Head -There's an allegory in there somewhere worth flogging into submission
My mother's bamboo vase was no match for the bamboo it contained. The vase had begun to distintegrate, allowing bamboo juice to transude. While no doubt the bamboo would have eventually escaped its lacquer bonds and pullulated abunantly, it was appearing a touch peaked after receiving such slim soifs of the water that had not leaked off onto the desk. And so, the vase has been replaced for something a touch less porous: an owl with his head split open!
There is something oddly appropriate that this vase allows for new life to spring from the cranium of Athena's favorite pet (Athena, being quite the head burster in her own right). And if anything is worthy to spring from wisdom, it really ought to be the most elegant and modestly persistent of Confucian Gentlemen.
Man, this desk flora-fauna analysis is getting profound, here! Way too early in the day for that sort of thought. Wisdom, moderation, and all that rot aside, I have pretty socks gosh darnit! Sooooooocks.
I am, naturally, back on NBC Olympics live, which is not so live at the moment, since they seem to be replaying the ladies bobsled from yesterday. But, ladies free skate is coming up. And it's all drama and excitement here. The little Russian girl who never fails had a spill yesterday, allowing the erst-presumptive Russian diva (Adelina, so you know I've been rooting for her) to burst back from the crepuscular corner into which her handlers had trundled her. And, boy, she came out fighting. Essentially winning the short program in a three way tie and ripping the head off of a little Julia-doll for her grand finale. Ok, maybe not, but it was implied and she did get bonus execution points for doing it in the second half of the program.
I felt really bad for her when she was so mercilessly whisked into obscurity after several years of aureate gilding, all in favor of a relatively untested infant. So, while my heart melted for Julia Lipnitskaya and her utter shock at not having been perfect when it mattered most, there was an extra spice (paprika, perhaps?) to Adelina Sotnikov's performance. You could see her eyes to toes blazzing with a "that's-right-biyatch-who's-the one-who-can-handle-the pressure??" And fickle as audiences are, she earned back every ounce of fealty from the Russian fans in two fiery minutes. Not quite hiring a hit man to take out your biggest competitor (sorry, but that's US style "competition" and we're not sharing), but it had some serious Slavic pathos.
As viscerally satisfying a performance as Adelina's was, it was not as breathtaking as Yuna Kim's ethereal adagio. For my money, Karolina Kostner's angelic Ave Maria was also superior in its transcendence. But who am I to query the recondite arcana of this new judging system? At any rate, the top three are virtually tied, so I might actually pull up the live Olympic feed when the final group takes the ice. I'm promised it is still easily anyone's game, and this year I believe mostly it if "anyone" is limited to a handful of two or three people hoping other people fall badly in the free skate.
More importantly, Johnny and Tara are all dressed up to celebrate Tara Lapinski's gold medal anniversary. Tara and Johnny are both wearing golden crowns, Johnny's hair is coiffed up exquisitely, and I am digging his decolletage. Whenever I see Johnny Weir, I pretty much want to run up and give him a big hug, although I'd doubtlessly injure myself on some of his adornments. It still would be worth it.
Today, I test the waters of my grueling recovery from distemporitis and am trying the massage appointment that has been dribbled more than a basketball this month. My back is knottier than oak, so hopefully I can subject myself to a good battering at Nick's hands today.
They Never Really Got Into the Race The Penultimate Olympic Half-Watch
I'm not sure the Olympics ever really end, but apparently tomorrow is the day of "the big game" (in men's Hockey) and "the closing ceremony" (in expectedly bizarre borscht and circus eclat). I'm doing my part as a spectactor, and have the speed skating coverage playing somewhere in the other room. Apparently some country's team is "beautifully rhythmic" and "quite incredible." That is an observation made all the more charming by the British vibrato of the commentator of a certain age and class. I'll miss my British commentators. It's a long way until Tour de France kicks back up again.
But, I'll miss you most of all, Johnny and Tara! Please stay on my television/computer stream. You can predict the weather, for all I care. I hear there's an outside chance of snow in my county! Tell me about cold fronts and polar vortexes while endued in swarovski tiaras and silvery suits spun to represent the relevant isobars...
In Non-Olympic life, we made it to the weekend! I was utterly convinced that yesterday was only Thursday. Have crash-landed into Saturday (limbs only slightly akimbo) is an incredible relief. In the last few days, work has simmered back from its full boil, but remained quite draining. My body has also been pushed and pulled quite thoroughly enough for one week. I had a massage on Thursday. It was blessedly benign in terms of long-lasting pain, but there were certainly a few moments in which my massage-assassin opened up some pain chakras in pursuit of a looser body. Knots do not go quietly into the night. They cavil and cuss before rustling off in a prickly pop, leaving behind a lingering headache.
I also had a PT session, in which I "got" to watch my disembodied bespandexed lower legs pounding up and down in various -mos for a while. It should be helpful going forward, as I could see that I tended to reach with my toes, to land with my tibia slightly slanted, and to often fail at landing my heels. Adjusting all of that is a lot easier if I just shorten my stride and increase my cadence a wee bit. Anything not to have to watch those videos again and again and again! Andrew has a gym date with his erstwhile trainer soon, so I'll try it with some run-walking later today.
Yes, the effulgently framed trainer continues to sort of exist, kind of! He cancelled a prior follow up session (on the day of, after ignoring a follow up email for a week) due to "my grandma" or - more accurately, as he would explain in a second email that suggests he forget he had sent the first one - "my spouses mother" having died. I fear for the rest of this man's family, but perhaps they'll all rally and survive long enough for Andrew to actually meet Marion the imaginary trainer again! Only time will tell, and time is being a tad taciturn at this early hour.
The commentators to this race, however, are still quite chatty. The U.S. ladies short skating team appears to be doing alright in their semi-final. I'm sure their Under Armour suits will explode or something, routing their good finish. I hear that's been happening. But in the meantime WHOOOO ladies. There, I've rooted. Tada!
For Today, We are All Canadian - Let us quickly run to Costco and buy twenty gallons of milk and gas (and hopefully not mix them up)
On this final day of Hot, Cool, Mine
Of course, having mostly only picked up a few Canadian dipthongs from my my handful of cross-border summer camp teeny-bopper romances, and geo-life experience abutting Vancouver, I'm not celebrating quite appropriately. I have the live stream up. I'm making breakfast and lunch and starting dinner for the day, since I'll be at the Opera all day. Thank goodness my father has a predilection for the matinees. It's already going to get me home late and likely in the snow tonight, and we have been hearing tale of Mercer anomie down my the opera house. Shudder. We shall prevail! I expect we may have to prevail by hijacking a tank, razing the construction signs and liberally applying the flame throwers. But it will provide a nice Sturm und Drang operatic prelude for us, that way.
Yesterday, it snowed! To be more precise, it began snowing yesterday. Having snowed, and comfortable with its state of having been snowing, it then continued to snow. It appears to still be snowing and probably will snow and will have snowed with a bit of will have been snowing in the near future. Lightly, but persistently. It's pretty, and thus far innocuous, so not cavils on my part... yet.
Such hiemal hijinks hardly creased our crisp Saturday plans. Although, it is possible that snow was somehow related to the death of yet another minor family member of Marion, imaginary trainer of the chimerical effulgent frames . We don't quite know the details, but Marion did email Mr. (W)right at roughly 9:30 a.m. yesterday with the illuminating epistle: wil hav 2 reschedul... minor er . I suspect this "minor er" would be yet another error in the space-time continuum, having something to do with his previously mentioned minor family. Hopefully space time can hold together and our universe will continue, but just in case hold your loved ones tight tonight!
Marionless, we worked out alone on tandem treadmills. Andrew ran, while I run-walked (humming the theme of Rocky in my head). Shortening my cadence corrects several minor idiosyncrasies that were putting strain on my arch. It also is a little different and - at least for now - a bit harder aerobically. Then again, I haven't been running in earnest (of Jack, Algernon, or Cecily!) since November, so possibly, any running feels a bit harder aerobically. On the bright side, it's sustainable for at least five three-minute running intervals, and I am not feeling crippled for the effort today. I even threw in my PT and stretching subsequently without many moans from the ol' achy arch. This is promising.
To celebrate our snowy Saturday, I suggested we try a stop in at the Abbey Garden Tea Room, the only tea place in Bellingham. Andrew and I had our first date at Remedy Tea on Capitol Hill, so I have a soft spot for tea joints. Remedy is more modern in sentiment. No high tea or tea-as-meal rituals.Your Remedy glass kettle is served propped over an open flame and with a digital timer into a double-insulated pellucid mug. The Remedy tea menu is several pages deep and life-shakingly delicious. The milieu is pointedly sleek and solo - long aluminum tables, quirky magazines, wifi, a hip sound track and plenty of space for independent sip-and-swills. I used to study there often.
Abbey Garden is quaintly constructed for duos and trios. The little tea room faces a back alley, lined with bricks and gardens in Fairhaven. A farrago of traditional china patterns appear on the well linened tables as well as the walls. Guests are served at their tables. If there's any music, it's subtle. The majority of their menu consists of various tea meals. The menu has a paltry page of tea options, and your tea is served in traditional porcelain under a jaunty cozy. The cozy tea comes pre-steeped, and I wouldn't say that it's much better than something I could buy at any number of restaurants or cafes.
But, they do tea service with gustatory pinache. Andrew feels that his entire understanding of the concept of scone has been redefined after yesterday afternoon. It was a pretty good scone. I suspect that their light meals are highly worth a splurging or two. Definitely a great first-date place. And high tea, hip tea, or low tea, it was a pleasant little date-day to warm our chilly snowy souls.
And back to hockey. I'm told that NBC will be airing a very exciting interview with Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan before the Closing Ceremony. What, because we didn't have enough ice-skating drama this time around? But behind all the salacious prolepsis, there is a winning hockey game going on. While part of me wouldn't mind seeing the excitement involved in Sweden magically evening up the 2-0 score, it's nice to find at least one team pretty reliably good.
So, for now, I'll continue my quiet American "Go Canada!!" while I ready the car for an epic Trader Joe's+Costco run.
Winter Was Coming: Bracing Had Previously Occurred (Time to Learn that Luge Thing!)
I may have mentioned that yesterday brough us some significant accumulation of that heavenly magical white stuff loved by boys and girls the whole world over. By which, of course, I mean frosted sugar!! Candy land!!! WHOOO! Ok, if a bunch of powdered sugar fell from the sky, can you imagine how sticky that would get? Especially if it then turned to a downpour of honey drizzle, sugar syrup, and eventually maple syrup. Worse than an oil spill for all those cute little aquatic aviaries.
Actually, I meant to imply that it snowed hereabouts. I'd say that over the course of the day, we got about a foot of snow.
Before we get the usual flack for being incapacitated by a mere foot of snow, I'd like to point out that (1) we lack the infrastructure for this kind of weather, (2) our particular kind of wet snow and ground conditions have a tendency to ice in uncommonly dangerous ways compared to more hiemal parts of the country, (3) our towns are built on steep hills that many Midwesterners and East-Coasters would benightedly call "mountains" and attempt to ski down (4) white stuff! From the sky!! Cold white stuff!!! AAAAAAHHHH.
Seeing as all roads lead to snow-swamps around my neighborhood, we opted against slogging out to Seattle for the opera yesterday in favor of not dying in an ironically chilly blazing inferno. I spent a good chunk of my day shoveling our particularly vertical driveway and stairs. It has a satisfying Sisyphean futility, shoveling snow while it's still snowing. But it kept me from going stir crazy, and kept our driveway from looking like our Canadian Pirates' driveways. I know they probably do store a pirate ship in their garage, so I'm guessing they'll just wait for the snow to melt and set sail. I think their cars are still out there somewhere, but only a rescue St. Bernard with a tankard of premium gasoline around its neck could say for sure.
Andrew, being insane, attempted and mostly completed a mountain bike ride on Galbraith Mountain. There was, apparently, snow. It was, apparently, a bit of a tough ride. Naturally he returned, celebrated his survival, and then hopped on the trainer while I went out and shoveled out patio-deck thing. We both survived these endeavors, but only barely.
It's predicted that our snow will slush out eventually today, so Andrew and I are both going to work in a bit tardy. Although "they" also predicted we'd only have three inches of snow yesterday. "They" persisted in reporting a minimal accumulation on weather.com, despite several facebook photographs of measuring sticks in snow drifts belying their reports. Yes, yes, do we ever know how to enjoy snow days in this town! As soon as a flake falls, it's on with the snow shoes and off through town to measure snow and photograph it for facebook. Kind of like geocaching! I think. I've never geo-cached before and I'm pretty sure I've lost my tape measurer thingy.
The power, thank god, stayed on despite several threats to the contrary. A horrifying thought, considering - as my mom points out with great bemusement and some solid chuckling - we have roughly seven chargers for different devices in the living-dining-kitchen room alone. This does not count my army of kitchen sentries; nor does it count various warming and humidifying devices utilized upstairs. We did make sure we actually have candles, and we do have gas heat, so it would be survivable, but once the kindle and the phone died out... the horror! I have subsequently added two chargers for back up batteries to the downstairs socket rotation.
At any rate, it promises to be a day of more measuring sticks in slushier snow, some potential shoveling, and a pretty dead downtown. Since only our county was hit, there shan't be any really jaunty youtube videos of people skidding down the various mountains of Seattle streets. Alas, but I'm sure there will be crashes! Wheeee.