Coming Up: Shoes in revolt as temperatures heat up and feet swell and chafe! Will the tumid toesies survive novelty? Will skirts blow high in the wind with Frankenshoes below? And will the capri swap conjure the lost boys with all their untold financial fortunes? Will a swap in earning capacity set Adella on her final path to Imperial fitness? Does a latte with your themelates make all the difference? The sea's susurrus slurring of skis herald the racing season is anon. The winds stir and the cumuli convene to pluck the pluvial strings of Memorial Day ballads. Will our cerulean poultry emerge from the bog pit intact? Will canoes capsize? Will the ovule be cycled once more? The cerulean poultry bawks and babbles, for its time is nigh.
Strap on your sandals, decapsule your canoes and crack out the cowbell. It's time for some holiday madness.
Spit-Spat-Spot Breaching the skirt-sneaker barrier.
From an aesthetic point of view, I hate skirts and sneakers. Really, I'm not hugely keen on skirts and flats. Or leggings/jeggings and the aforementioned footwear. The erumpent right angle of a flat foot against the perpendicular leg adds an abruptness to the flow of free-floating legginess. Barefoot or in minimal flats the transition is beveled by natural curves. The larger and clunkier the shoe at the end, the more jarring and inconcinnous it seems.
There are also separate messages that clash, I suppose. A skirt always seems to be advertising "I cared about my physical appearance today." I'm not sure why. But it just does. Maybe because skirts are a vestment exclusively reserved for women in our culture - utilikilts excepted. And sneakers are quintessentially undressy, casual, ready-to-work.
Boots are exempt from this gut level sartorial condemnation, as they also edge the abruptness by being a part of both the leg and foot lines. I except from that exception (and all exceptions), Uggs, which are - as the eponym conveys - Ugh.
Aesthetics aside, however, like hell I'm gonna wear heels to walk at my tread-desk! And with the arch in repose, I'm mostly staying off heels in general. I have enough foot problems as it is, thank you very much. While this has typically meant that I don't wear skirts to the office very much, there are times when I need to appear semi-professional in temperatures that defy traditional trousers. When the office options are "wear workout capris", "boil in a suit", or suck it up and wear a skirt and sneakers at least until the ever-dreaded chafing (ladies know whereof I speak) becomes an issue... well I may be a Barbie girl in a Barbie world, but sometimes I'm more like a Barbie's more practical friend in a Barbie world.
The look is something out of a Frank Whale movie given how immensely blockish my Sketchers Shape-Ups are. Sure I could hide a pair of more minimal shoes under the table a bit better, but I still maintain the roller sole supports my arch better than any conventional shoe.
My appointment is in the morning, though. I figure I can shuffle her in, plop my feet under a table and/or hobble myself into my trusy back-up heels, and send her on her merrily divorcing way before lunch time. At which time, the capris are back on the table (and/or back on my legs). I really need to start doing all my client meetings via skype. That way I can just have a semi professional jacket to pop on for brief spells of time.
Incidentally, the capris are also fitted and kind of a vestiary outrage. But work out clothes - despite all current implications otherwise - are primarily for working out (in other words "being comfortable while sweaty and moving around). And it works out just fine for me to not be obsessed about my appearance while dripping streams of sudor and battling my ever untameable hair as it tries to break free from its faltering bonds and swarm about my face in uncomfortable scalp-whiskers.
So pull on the sockies and drape down the skirt for now, but soon, so soon unity will once again by mine in an entirely and literally unsuitable for work ensemble. Counting the hours.
Tangoga-Cross-Spinabarre 20 Break out the Lycra, because I'm Chroming up for Trophydom
After several rumors and quirky procedural misunderstandings (oh sorry, that email self-eval wasn't for you! sorry you filled it all out) the Lost Boysof EIeeeeiiiiiooo got raises! Lost Boys? Are these peradventure the plucky interns who found themselves wedged behind some particularly large weldments for several years before somebody unearthed them and sent them back to work? Some kind of pick up sports group? An a capella group that sings about roller screws and dynamic friction? No, no. "The Lost Boys" refers to the kiddos who were hired after the cut-off for inclusion in the official 18 month performance review and raise algorithachacha, but who have been around long enough (over a year) to warrant some kind of raise before the next 18 month cycle. Apparently their raise is calculated in a far more simple fashion: project managers have a star rating system on a few dimensions, and presto. The official raise cycle involves several pages of complicated nuances, personal essays, blood of first-born etc. We're still waiting to hear what pans out with those in the rest of the company.
As it turns out, there were three employees included in the Lost Boys bracket. Which is pretty amazing, because there was a huge hiring binge around the time Mr. (W)right got hired. I don't know if that's a retention issue or if some unknown but byzantine cabals explain what happens to the others (I'd check behind the machines). But Mr. (W)right was one of those three.
So, after being told that his team leader would be giving him some performance feedback (and if not, he should ask for some), the bike and chain was informed that he's now making 20% more than he thought! Which is pretty nice, since he recently started contributing to his 401k, and hasn't much liked the decrease in take-home that this causes. Plus, he's got student loans licking their avaricious little chops for more monies.
This of course represents a major financial shift in our relationship. I mean for years he's been my cabana boy student arm candy, while I started off into the land of positive income under the aegis of extreme nepotism. Then last year, he got a job and we ascended to our DINK pedestal. Of course, at the time our proportional shares (and I'm a dissolution attorney, so trust me there is an involuntary assets and liabilities and community worth chart constantly and sloppily evolving in my head at all times) of income were about 48-52%. Making Mr. (W)right less the breadwinner than the croissant supplementer, perhaps.
But this new raise changes everything. If by everything, we mean the rough percentage shares of income and the breadth of baked goods included in the victorious-home-bringing equation (possibly adding focaccia). That's right, we're now at something closer to 44%-56%. I know, right?
Thank god I'm hawt. Especially because - given the dire articles about the mockable otiosity of a law degree gleefully posted by everyone from Slate to the ABA (um American Bar Association... the American Bike Association remains surprisingly mum on the issue),and my distaste for the remaining avenues towards profitability-through-figures-or-litigation - I'm probably making pretty close to my highest possible income, while Mr. (W)right is still wriggling about in the room-to-grow-salary-Carharts.
Naturally, it is my job as a future engineer's wife to start looking towards the future. I'm thinking with my mom slated to retire a few raise cycles down the road, I've got maybe three years to get started on my uxorial career as a fitness instructor. The more abstruse the associated apparati the better. I'm thinking that fusion workouts are pretty hot right now.
Since tango is my first love (absence may even make the heart grow fonder) and pilates is my thang at the gym, I have previously joked about tangolates, but - as I discovered to my delighted chagrin several years ago when I first mentioned this idea - it already exists!. So, back to the drawing board. Tango wake boarding yoga cross fit?
I think bridging the dance-workout model and lifting-heavy-things workout model has yet to be fully exploited. Maybe work off of that metal yoga class I saw, and add some literal metal of heft and repetitive grunting... while wearing superhero capes and tutus (people also like dressing up for exercise events). Oh oh or cardio-qi: tai chi mixed with zumba beats and sped up to triple time... on balance boards!
So many choices to make...
Budding Blisters and Blackened Toesies Shoe Sagas Spread Cross Spousal Lines
I may note that in my previous office-shoe inventory, I actually forgot a pair. I asseverate to the skies that no prevarication motivated such negligent omission. I just plumb (and/or pruneb) forgot that I also keep a pair of semi-fashionable waterproof boots in the filing cabinet as well. I'll be wanting to remember these for the upcoming ski to sea festivities. These mostly include wading around in the Hovander Park Bog with Andrew's car in the hopes that I can figure out his 4-wheel drive again long enough to heave-ho the car out of that infernal pit, while Andrew races his leg... and some anticipatory waiting to hold the bike for a flying mount at the start line.
Yes, the Ski to Sea is back baby. Andrew has yet another team, but this time he's less the last minuteringer and more the tintinnabulator of his teams victory bells. Or something. He's the "team leader," meaning the various participants are connected through him in various ways, mostly via Kevin Bacon of course. His cycle-team-mates are doing a few legs. His bestest old roomie (Sara, whom we all agree was the cool one that we missed piteously when she moved closer to campus) and her recruits (Sara has this preternatural ability to draw people into wild athletic capers with her) are filling out the remaining positions. And the team has its own ringer, who may have wanted an even more competitive team of his own.
As a recap, the Ski to Sea is a crazy local relay race with origins in "things crazy half-drunk loggers did back in the infancy of the 20th Century." In this case, they ran - usually in their logging clothes - up Mt. Baker and back, returning to Bellingham either via horseless carriage or car. There were no trails up Baker. They just kind of bolted through the woods and up the glaciers. There were, you'll be shocked to hear, some near-death experiences, but over time and modification, the modern version emerged. Now it's a blend of the following events: cross country, downhill skiing (which is really "running up a hill holding your skis and then skiing down"), running, road cycling, canoeing, "mountain" biking, and kayaking.
Andrew, once more, is on mountain biker duty. It's not really mountain biking, since there are no mountains on the course and the most "mountainy" thing is probably a treacherous traverse of the railroad tracks. But it's less "roadie" than the road cycle leg.
But yes, I am once more on support staff. And this mainly means waiting in the bemired mud-pit of Hovander park while Andrew preps to leap astride his bike and book it to the kayaker. Typical duties have included the following: sitting in the Pathfinder with a carafe of coffee and some snacks for a few hours between the check in time and the official race meeting, vainly attempting to use the buggy Ski to Sea app to ascertain the status of Andrew's team and prognosticate the likely arrival of the canoeists (of course, since they've managed to capsize their canoe during practice, this could have some variables), watching Andrew's bike while he wanders back and forth to the bathroom in an increasing state of nervousness (if, as has been the case, his team is a bit slow in arriving and we've been waiting to go for a few hours), holding the bike for him to leap upon, and finally spending several hours attempting to extricate his Pathfinder from the traffic-ridden abbadon of race-crazed Hovander murk.
As it is an unwritten rule that it must rain on Ski to Sea day, those boots should be handy. Or footy. Useful, anyways.
But enough about my feet. Let's talk about Andrew's feet. He recently - after much brooding and befuddlement - purchased a new pair of fancier bike shoes. They have yet to fit him well. He has purchased a few pairs of insoles. These have yet to yield the desired results. It's a bit of a conundrum for him. I gather this from last night's tossing and turning, and his eventual abandonment of our connubial Tempurpedic (which I note is actually separate property given the timing of acquisition) to repine over this Cinderella conundrum.
Say what you will about my "canoe shoes" (actually, I believe they more resemble clownish pontoons, personally) and my languishing and otiose comme il faut collection (hey, they look nice hanging on our wall), but I have yet to have a pair of shoes rob me of a night's sleep, so I feel fairly fortunate all in all.
Prepare the Ark! Memorial Day Weekend Pours Upon Us
It must truly be the Memorial Day weekend - it's raining! A fair amount. I blame Andrew. As it is a Friday in the "pre-season", he has a track night tonight. These events being held outdoors and involving several bespandexed cyclosuperhero wannabes careening about a small track at (hopefully not literally) breakneck speeds, they tend to give new meaning to the term rain check. More like "check the rain, consider cancelling, then recheck to find the rain has stopped, let the track dry, start the race, stop the race because it's started raining again, wait around while shrugging some spandexy shoulders, resume when it stops, stop when it resumes... leap lurch until cancellation or the race-finish brings a grand quietus to these soggy syncopations."
Given that the race track is in the opposite direction from home - and that the race does not begin until 7:00 p.m. - it's kind of a bummer when the race gets cancelled on account of that perilous pluvia. Ny then, Mr. (W)right has spent all day waiting to head out to Redmond, lingering at work, eschewing his carpool, forgoing uxorial delights and delectable dinner... only to turn around and drive home for a late evening return. Not ideal. So when there's a chance of rain, the bike-and-chain spends some decent time checking weather forecasts, and forestalls his final track decision until the night before a race.
Of course, one can't really trust our weather forecasts, all of which have been blaring "rain!" like Chicken Little with his head cut off (I'm guessing he has some kind of stereo recording to make up for his absent voice box). They are often incorrect. Or off on timing. Or otherwise just dissonant with experienced meteorological phenomena. But as little as one can trust the forecast, the weather itself is even cagier. One minute it frolics with a naively welcoming purr, the next souring and throwing a tantrum to turn toddlers green with envy. Yesterday, for instance, all predictions of cloud or rain were gleefully flouted with an exceptionally zesty summer morning. Though the end of the day succumbed to a saturnine slug of overcast swampiness, rain still seemed miles away.
Like sands through the hour glass, so the forecasts turned (the channel, because seriously, there are better soap operas out there people! Passions, anyone?). Percentage-chances of rain shuffled and reshuffled with no trackable (har har) pattern. And eventually Mr. (W)right declared that he would take the risk and rise to the ovular gauntlet once more. Thunder cracks pealed far and wide, but in muted tones that couldn't be heard through the chirp chirp of our maniacal avian troubadours.
And so: rain. Granted, that's only rain here in the Ham of Bell, so perhaps the malevolent meteorological Lokis got their wires crossed and inundated an innocent town. Perhaps this inundation is merely the dress rehearsal for the grand Ski to Sea Sunday flood. But where there're blobs on the radar, there's always an ambiguity about the evening's final track tally.
Not wishing to take chances, we enjoyed Thursday night like it was our last... one can never predict what might happen on that winding gyre of grunts and glory. And, finally finding respite from the shoe-anxieties which plague him, Andrew seemed to sleep deeply. So deeply, he was not inclined to rise with the vociferous birdies this morning. He also perhaps was not sensitive to subtle nuances and became confused by my variation on "breakfast is ready" ("Breakfast shall be served anon"). It took him a while to run google translate on Adellaese, and realize this meant "come down and join me for repast" or (google translation for early in the morning with insufficient coffee stores) "EATZ! NOW!"
By the time he made it down this morning, I was nearly finished up and out the door. Half a snippet of conversation and he excused himself for the gentleman's room (that's the gender equivalent of the ladies room, right? Sounds far more untoward somehow!), ensuring that I was packed and standing by the stairs by the time he had debouched his morning haze. I can only assume he's made it off with trumpets ablare and a good soggy mildew beginning to form. Because it really is still raining
Churning and Burning in the Spinning Gyre...
... The loris cannot hear the Portlander;
Wheels fall apart, the spokes cannot hold;
mire anarchy is loosed upon the wheel.
The mud-dimmed tide is loosed upon the world
The semblance of senescence is drowned;
The best lack all conniption, while the worst
are full of passionate intensity
Surely some revelation is at hand,
Surely the Ski-Sea Coming is at hand
Ski to Sea! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image of Cyclo cross mundi
Tremors my sight: somewhere in the railroad tracks
A shape of a rooster body and the head of a man
Since this is all tied in to several additional moving parts, I expect to have the downstairs of our house back... maybe after my trip to Jersey? Which may be when I have my husband's brain back from his vortex-fretting session about his ill-fitting shoes. But in the meantime, he's got a reality-lariat about his big-toe and pends over the cavern of no-return, largely due to other projects, the occasional episode of House, M.D., and this raceamajig thing coming up.
Yesterday, I also was truant from work-work-work. Happening into a fortuitous window of mutual availability and text contact, I dusted off my rag-worn spontaneity and dropped-in on bestie Molly and her rug-rabbit Emma. They were watching Frozen for purportedly the five billionth time. Note to self, there's a happy ending involving pretty people with enormous eyes. Also the entire movie can be summed up as "lnolma" which means "snow man" and must be chanted at increasing pitch and volume depending on whether the movie is currently playing and at which volume.
I was having such a good time -- repetitious random movie notwithstanding, because the bright side of a child's repetitive obsession is that children don't really require a lot of attention be paid, and Emma was more than happy to ignore the movie so long as she had guests to show her mad crazy-baby-lunatic-skillz -- that I may have stayed the whole day if I didn't have an upcoming appointment at the WDRC (dispute resolution center).
I went in to talk with them about volunteering some case management services, since I'm flush with case-management skillz. Looks like there's a position currently available (good timing more than by design) that suits my strengths and experiences. Incidentally, they did not skimp on the job interview routine. I had several job interviewey type questions. I know as an introvert, I'm way too self-critical, so I doubt I seemed as insanely awkward as I felt I might have been (seriously, it felt like I was speaking at lightspeed and grinning maniacally in a way that would make The Joker uncomfortable). In fact, nobody looked too off-put or concerned.
I do think I should probably go on several more non-crucial job interview rehearsals before I actually need a job. Because I came out with some decent responses, but only in between upending my purse on the ground, staggering through some rather annular monologues about my desire that English had more compound words like German (in response to "three words colleagues would likely use to describe you"... as a logophile, this was a moment of agony, even if I alit on "conscientious, thoughtful, and compassionate" with maybe "obervant" and most-of-the-time "patient" as my own words). And I staggered through a dark forest of trumpery before coming up with my personal philosophy on professionalism (respect, clarity in expectations, truthfulness, and self-respect and confidence in delivery... but with a lot of "not artifice and not really formality" peppered in there).
As happens on dates, interest and commanlity can smooth over awkwardness and artificiality. I was fortunately enough of an actual fit to (1) have past experience to explain and discuss back in my introvert-comfort zone, (2) have some natural curiosity about the way they conducted things. And also, well, not a paying position and they need somebody, so not unduly stressful. Just a reminder that I have shockingly little practice answering those types of questions due to generally finding work through knowing friends-of-friends-of-profs-and-or-family. Though I've had some excellent interviews, they're a ways back now and it's been a while. Had it been the same questions in myspace bulletin board survey (don't pretend you don't remember this golden era of ante-diluvian virtual narcissism), I would have broken the awesometer on all answers, I assure you.
Anyways, I feel pretty pepped about giving up 5 hours of my free time to do more work for absolutely no compensation. Because I'm odd. Or latently idealistic. Or just really think it could be a refreshing way to delve into a community of interesting people with a sense of competency (knock on wood), contribution, and shared purpose. See I could totally nail these questions on myspace.
Today, after stirring the loris from his chimerical dancing sugarplums (and suitable shoes), it's off to the races... wait not yet. That's tomorrow. It's a run about Padden and then a pre-race cyclo-cross something in the mountains (Andrew only), followed by a TEAM LUNCH! At one of the business breweries right smack dab in the middle of the Blossom Parade downtown. I'll be bringing my earplugs and a spare pom-pom and/or cowbell.