The Widow of Base-a-Bop and The Temporal Plague

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation: Looby lady collateral damage piled up in swathes - from doubly crunched eggs to sartorial swirls of coffee dewdrops, no corner of the world was safe from the heart rash and roving rat dogs. Minor families pierced the time-space continuum and absconded with Andrew's ethereal abstraction of a personal trainer. Only an extravagant date night at the finest of grocery shopping stores could soothe the pain and loss. All the while, the crock cooked slowly, winding its way to the end of all ends.

Coming up: Suddenly a widow, Adella must carry on through tapestry and soliloquy. The bedsheets stage their lethal counter-attack at a moment of weakness. Can she survive her oh so seductively comfortable bed-of-death?? January takes a belated bow and scuttles away with politely reticent encomium having pushed the rock of finality uphill one too many times. With January ever heal its hernia? Political unrest brews and a new uprising of Gund-Americans promises revolution of the tastiest kind. Walls explode in word, while legs turn bardic. And the chilling quiet reaches its boil-bursting: distemportitis outbreak spreads beyond containment? Will weeks as we know them survive? Have they will be having to have been survived?? Only time will tell, and she's a taciturn wench. 

Read on if you dare and seal the fates with your insignia! 

Base-a-billy Bop - 

Attentive readers may be familiar with my motley allusions to base training. In this case, it refers to that catastrophic collision of Mr. (W)right's love for heart-bursting athletic cycling efforts with his equally powerful ardor for rapaciously reticulating data points and spreadsheet cabals. In hopes of engineering the perfectest track season ever, he follows "The Bible" (not the common issue King James version, as much as the Training Bible for cyclists of certain ilks) with a dampened fundamentalism. If The Bible does not lead to a perfect track season, he's got a Plan B (B as in Bike!), which involves switching cycle-striving-styles back to mountain biking and upping his mud quotient by 30-50%. 

But in the meantime, "we" are in training for track season. For his part Andrew plays weekly tetris with google calendar, fitting and/or jamming in his prescribed rides/runs/gym goals around those pesky work and relationship blocks with sheer elan. It's a bit of a logic game as certain things cannot be antecedent to others and some must be within certain time chunks to be worth it, while others... basically, Andrew has been training for the LSAT for the past several months as best I can tell, As for me, I've had a touch of base-training for the inevitable "track widow" nights. No, a track widow, is not a hazy penumbra of femme fatale troweling the track for fresh cycling victims. She is rather the pensive Penelope who waits and weaves at home while her husband gallivants off past Scylla to spend his Wednesday evenings going around-and-around-and-around-and-around a little concrete track in Redmond. 

Although Andrew is months away from a proper track night, he did give me occasion to practice my weave-and-unravel last night. His company, EI(eiooooo) requested that a few engineers go and represent EI(yo) at a UW Engineering Information night. Andrew, being a Husky himself, bounded at the opportunity even before he learned it would be considered billable work time. So, instead of coming home last night, he headed to Seattle and terrified several ambitious little engineerlets before grabbing a free dinner and dropping by a teammate's house for new wheels. 

My duties as a track widow are onerous. In addition to leaving Andrew's pajamas somewhere outside of the bedroom, I have to - and this is truly terribly - amuse myself. As you can imagine, our little home is a sheer bedlam of strange soliloquy muttered in variable accents, tones, and pitches on these nights. With a whir of the food processor and the occasional blast of perfidious Bach and his demonic fugal motifs. If I'm feeling really crazy - and when am I not - I might crank up the Saints-Saens and  bare knuckle box a few crosswords. 

And it was one of those wild nights, I assure you! I would have even read my quite opprobrious book about cussing, but in my reveries I'd managed to misplace my tablet. I hope it is only mislaid. I'm not entirely sure where it may be and hate to imagine I've lost one of my fifty bajillion crucial and not-at-all-redundant pieces of e-device flair. 

Anyways, Strava tells me that my average heart rate was ... banana(?) and that I partied-medium-rare for three personal bests and a second. No, it didn't really tell me that. Strava is Andrew's training website.He routinely uploads all his workout data in staggering detail here, and maybe sometimes I get jealous of his fastidiously quantified existence. 

As a true accomplishment for the evening, I managed to stay mostly asleep upon his delayed home-coming. Of course, the bedding conspired against my efforts and I woke in a panicked bind of sheets and bed shams circa 3:00 a.m. Apparently the cleaner did not make the bed as soundly as she has done in the past. My cunctation in addressing the bed-menagerie was duly punished. I barely managed to escape with all limbs intact and only after a valiant struggle. The bed has since been "made" but my missed REM will have to come straying home another day. No doubt, my sanity was already calendered in for hitting the snooze today. 

Wheeeeeeeeeeeee. Glad to know I remain in stalwart shape for the coming single-lady-nights. It is good cross-training for date-night and DINK-gym-day. 

Ciao to January

Hello, Solmonath, you little mud-month you. It's time for February, that month so into the ebb of winter weather that even its name is a bit of a slush. I wonder now, is Feb-brew-ary as an excuse for beer swilling a thing? And the gods of google - having queued up my searched before I even formulated the  question - confirm it is! Often in conjunction with "Hibrewnation" Now, great google gods, answer me whether this is ever the appellation of a tea swilling festival! The answer is more equivocal, but there definitely is a Toronto Tea Festival in February, so that sort of counts.

Also, apparently, google finds a strong association betwixt February and the "Tea Party." That would be the one that doesn't involve adorable little children toasting phantasmal crumpets from lilliputian china cups with their twenty closest teddy bear compatriots. A shame, because I think the latter party would be far more fun for February. Incidentally, I think all U.S. political parties would really benefit from widening their tents and diversifying to include Gund-Americans and Beanie-Adolescents (those erst-while anchor beanies of mid-nineties fame). Also, I favor fewer protests and more whimsical ceremonial mass-repasts in floppy hats. Which is my way of announcing that I will be starting the "Hot Cocoa With Marshmallows Party" to represent the voiceless masses of cute and cuddly Amuricuhns whose voices have been drowned out in all the posturing and simony of these adults pretending to be ... I'm not entirely sure what, but I think most of us agree that they deserve a tough time out and no cookies before dinner. 

But - and you are utterly agog, I know - I digress.

January has been a bit of a querulous (polar) bear, so I'm happy to welcome in a fresh new month. I should give January its due. It brought in the New Year and toiled to give us longer days. After a week of wool-gathering blurg, it doffed the seasonal omphaloskepsis and brought us back in front of a present-now of quotidian routine and practical duties. Yes it may have done that rather abruptly mid-month and all that reality may or may not have hit us like a semi meeting baby bunnies on the highway, but we needed a lifeline back from the holiday delirium. Tough love, tough love. 

For us at work, January brought the last surge of trials. They are now "done." Of course "done" is meaningless in a legal system that would make Kafka's oeuvre appear to be a canny if overly ambitious model for reform! Of the four trials that finally blossomed from bump-buds to flowering litigation seedlings, none of them have yet to be utterly finalized.

An arduous trial process "ends" when the judge gives his/her ruling. Papers are then drafted based on that ruling for entry. But attorneys are always fans of the encore, so inevitably papers must go back in front of the judge for a "presentation hearing." Well, they don't have to. Technically, the parties/attorneys could just sign and that would be that, but where's the fun in that kind of that-be-that? Instead, we set a post-trial-hearing with new proposed drafts. Then every one argues some more. Then, the judge finds some way to compromise. This in turn requires further drafting and another presentation hearing, which... and of course, this is far in advance of all the appellate goodies that cannot even begin to whir into action until these disputed "final" orders are entered. And then, of course, after your several years arguing up to the supreme court about whether the child's time with his Swedish Masseur (agreed upon by the parents through mediation) starts at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays or 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays... it may well be time for a modification!

But, while the trial hang-over undoubtedly carries on into subsequent litigabenders, we'll pretend that January brought some semblance of closure, or at least did a workmanly job of attempting the impossible.

Yes, January, I've made my peace with you, but I've been eyeing February for a little while. Groundhog Day awaits on the morrow. Chocolate will be wrapped in red and pink instead of red and green. Men in large padded outfits will be  grunting and charging at each other in between the most highly anticipated advertisement slot remaining on network television and the inevitably surreal half-time show mostly endured in the hopes of spotting another scandalous wardrobe malfunction. Presidents - the not-of-this earth - sort will be celebrated with a dearth of work for a day.

 And, hey, if it doesn't work out between us, February's pretty short so there's not too much commitment. 

Happy Februuuuuuaaaaaary!

A Thousand Hearts - Adolescent Adventures in Petty Vandalism and Other Tales 

The Legs have a thousand hearts, 
the chest but one, 
but the light of a leg dies
When laundry's done

As a wee sprat, I took a temp job in petty but pretentious vandalism: Bathroom graffiti. Nice work if you can get it. The hours epitomize flex-time. The risks are comparatively low. It should be noted that the benefits are non-existent and the pay is paltry, so it's a don't-quit-your-dayjob kind of thing. 

For whatever odd surge of teenage irrationality, a friend and I decided we'd had enough as mere bystanders to the thoroughly detailed bathroom wall conversations. We took it upon ourselves to share a little erudition in the form of some of our favorite poems. We'd go on minor missions to inscribe portions of The Ballad of Reading Gaol (which I'd been on a tear to memorize) or (as modified above) The Night Has A Thousand Eyes in some selected bathroom. As a nervous tic, I also may have written the first several stanzas of poetry into a writing desk while waiting for one of my final exams. I tend to leave my urges for spontaneous quotation for the internet walls these days, but in a sense the urges are similar. 

As glossed from time to time, I spent most of my adolescence in various college environments doing my best not to be singled out for being the freak-smart-kid among a sea of semi-slackerly legal-adults. Of course, being a fey adolescent, my version of not drawing attention to myself involved painting myself in odd Hot-Topic hues from hair to toenail, and enduin myself in sparkly synthetics with cut offs and eye-searingly fabulous tights. While not expressly intended at the time, I do find that if you purposefully stick out, people will often ignore further inquiry into particularities. We like to make mental short cuts when we can, and once we've already got a convenient label or identifying feature, there's no vast need to delve further. 

 Colleges are exceptional for bathroom graffiti. The sheer explosion of freedom stewed in a slow cooker of hormones, identity anomie, and sexual curiosity; all then heavily spiced with the first buds of "intellectual pretensions." Most dialogues were a blend of the usual obscenities, frank sexual conversations (kind of a Sex and the City home game), and some more involved dialogues about self-identity, feminism, controversial historical topics... mostly the obscenities and sex, with just a sprig of Liberal Arts 101.  But from time to time, there would be a heart-wrenching confession of loneliness, self-recrimination, and isolation, which in turn would jumps start stalls' worth of anonymous encouragement or unison. In a time just predating the boom of blogging on online engagement, bathroom stalls in our college provided a similar safe and anonymous way to reach out and be remotely received. 

Of course when I actually went to college at St. John's, the bathroom walls were mostly just lined with paradigm sheets from Greek, on the advice that it was a surprisingly good way to help with memorization. And I'll admit, while a touch removed from the viscera of human experience, it is a fantastic place to for memorization and I followed that particular advice in spades for the rest of my academic career. My bathroom in Seattle reached wallpapering stage near the onset of the bar exam - every cabinet had a different section of issues to memorize, and throughout the day I'd take a cabinet and test myself on it. Glad to now have a bathroom with immaculately clean walls, but I make no promises to Mr. (W)right or our landlady that I will be able to leave them unadorned eternally. Sometimes, these things get in our blood. 

I still look pretty closely at the bathroom stalls when I'm out in public. There's always some form of conversation surrounded me. 

Monday Monday

Wait, Monday again? I swear we just had one or two of those the other week. And yet, it just keeps bounding back like an obstreperously cheery (though far less adorable) golden retriever. I actually don't mind Mondays all that much. We usually construct them well enough to warm into the week around these parts. No client appointments (in theory), and an office case status meeting. Instituting this practice was one of my first acts as a new employee, because in other missed-yer-callings, I am a latent case manager of all things and enjoy my reining status as person who knows everything about every case and peskily reminds every one else of the less sexy and more tedious tasks still pending with a school marmish cluck of the tongue. I feel like the mom of two teenagers sometimes with these meetings, as nobody wants to lay bare the scads of dreary little duties we've managed to sublimate into grandiose triage previously.

Of course, this is a bit of an aberrant Monday, in that I won't really be at the office all that much, inevitably spiraling the entire week off its carefully calibrated kilter right off the bat. I begin my destabilization mission with some stabilization exercises: time for a second PT meeting. The scheduling for the PT office is interesting. My first appointment was set on the quarter hour. This one is set at 8:10. My following-follow-up is at 8:00. Definitely keeps me guessing. After being manhandled and humiliated for the good of my completely unbalanced (but lovely) little athlete's chassis, I'll hobble back for the aforementioned case status meeting just in time for the "how was your weekend" mandatory opening that lures in the less organizationally rabid members of our little office. 

After that, I'll go back out for coffee with my MIA (mom-in-action) best-bud, Molly and her TIA (tot-in-action) rugrat, Emma. I expect Emma will get decaf. She really doesn't need any extra vim or brio in my experience. I expect Molly will have the coffee inserted intravenously with a follow up slow-drip. 

From there, I'll be off to my Collaborative Law Board Meeting. We are, in theory, supposed to review our goals, practices, bylaws, budgeting, and all kinds of other really heavy stuff. But one of our most zealous attaches will not be present and the board is a distractible lot, so we may instead spend the hour choosing which Humvee we want for our Collaborative Derby Car. 

I suppose after this, I will actually engage with the office in some work-related capacity for a few hours before fleeing the office for the siren call of warm pink flannel and a huge bouncy ball chair!

At which point, it will more or less be Tuesday, which may feel a touch like Monday because I won't have had Monday, and thus we shall go spinning out of control like an astronaut untethered in space! In other words, a pretty normal week!

Distemportoritis Season is Upon Us - have will have been going to have had your vaccinations?

While you all may fret about this daunting cocktail pecarry-alate-lurgy, a silent plague is setting about the land. Distemporititis season is upon us! Andrew managed to meet with his trainer on Sunday after a bumpy ride of minor families and shifting days, but I believe that Marion (a/k/a Mark, who was ultimately disappointingly normal upon final assessment) was still contagious. I fear that I've caught the time-lurgy. 

Yesterday was a carefully plotted study of imbricated obligations assuredly destined to keep me moving and out of the office. In theory, it was these things. In practice... well where to begin? I managed to make it out of bed and keep a firm grasp on time's tail for the duration of dawn. After that, things went a mite askew. 

It all began with my chimerical 8:10 physical therapy appointment. After commenting several times that it was quite odd to have an 8:10 physical therapy appointment, I realized (at roughly 8:10) that actually the "1" that I had been superimposing onto my little appointment card had magically transmogrified back to the originally intended "0".

I had, in fact, always had an 8:00 a.m. appointment. Uncharacteristically, I had arrived exactly "on time" for my non-existent appointment. Ordinarily I'd have arrived several minutes early/on time for my real appointment, but work and interfered.

In a fit of rash expediency, my PT had called me exactly one minute before I parked the car. This was my first hint that something was awry, but I obeyed relevant laws and chose not to risk fiery inferno by attempting to answer the phone (not related to driving and cell phones, as much as my natural suspicion of the telephone feature of my smart "phone".)

 By the time I made it to the front desk - which was, as you'll recall exactly at 8:10 a.m. - the PT had already taken back her 8:30 appointment. Turgid expiation re my inability to  reschedule for later in the day with the PT's assistant ensued. Eventually, we agreed that I could just come to my next scheduled appointment. After some vacant staring and a "is there anything else we can help you with," I attempted to "confirm" that my next appointment would be - per the card I'd been persistently misreading - Thursday at 8:00. They revealed that it was actually on Wednesday... or so they would have me believe until about five minutes into my drive back, when - figuring that skipping the telephone due to driving had already inconvenienced my tightly wound schedule - I pulled halfway off the road with hazard lights ablaring to answer the damned phone. This entailed a fairly awkward reverse back into the lane that probably entailed higher risk than having just answered the phone while driving, and certainly higher risk than ignoring the telephone and waiting for the message. 

My car agreed, or so I can assume from the vociferous honking spell that my car embarked upon when I attempted to palm a sharp turn. I was so very confused that somebody was honking at me at first. Then I continued to make several increasingly convoluted gestures in the hopes of indicating a mea culpa to surrounding vehicles, which I in turn worried might be construed as expressions of unjustified frustration. By the end the block I'm pretty sure I entered full quivering paroxysm of "so sorry!" convulsion. Teach those in other cars to steer quite clear of me!

Upon my unexpectedly early return, I set back to actual work and hunker in for the case status meeting, which occurred with only some minor fits and starts. I did have plenty of time to prepare my quick turnover from case-status to lunch to board meeting, which turned out to be premature as my MIA (mom-in-action) bestie was regrettably ill with some virulent unpleasantness. And my afternoon appointment was postponed indefinitely due to a stricken hearing and alternate telephone meeting. 

Bright side, I ended up having quite a lot more time actually at work than originally anticipated. The brighter end to the day was Andrew's atypically early homecoming well before six! We had so much time together last night. Yes, I know, sounds terrifying (down time with one's spouse! AAACK) but somehow we managed to make a little date night of it. So all's well that ends well, but I was thoroughly flummoxed for a good portion of the day and am still feeling the after effects. I've asked Andrew if he might see about making today Wednesday, as that seems more appropriate to me. Needless to say, if any timely events or schedules need to involve me for the next week or so, this could be problematic. All have been warned!

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